Aug. 4—Anniston at a glance
Five things to know about Anniston football heading into the 2022 season:
—Rico White enters his fifth season as Anniston High's head football coach. He's 24-22 in four seasons, with four playoff appearances, four playoff victories and one semifinal appearance. He's 17-9 in region play.
—Anniston comes off of a 5-5 finish and fourth-place finish in region play in 2021. The Bulldogs' record factors in two forfeits after the AHSAA cited an ineligible player. Forfeiting a region victory over Jacksonville cost Anniston three spots in the region standings, taking the Bulldogs from first to fourth in a region where all four playoff qualifiers officially finished either 5-1 or 4-2 in region play.
—Key losses from 2021 include safety/wide receiver Antonio Kite, who was a finalist for Class 4A back of the year. He enters his freshman season at the University of Alabama.
—Highlighting the returning group for Anniston are two SEC commits, quarterback Kamron Sandlin (South Carolina) and offensive lineman Ryqueze McElderry (Alabama). Returning All-Calhoun County players also include running back Malachi Taylor; wide receivers Jaylon Cunningham and Javon Thomas; offensive lineman Malachi Harris, Stefon Traylor and Dee Searcy; defensive linemen Rosco Malloy, Lindsey Smedley, K.J. Cole and Que Elston; linebacker Grayshun Swain; and defensive backs Love Kirby and Jaden Lewis.
—Realignment changed little for Anniston, with Talladega moving down from Class 5A and replacing Cherokee County, which stayed in 4A but moved north, into a different region. Cleburne County, Handley, Jacksonville, Munford and White Plains remain in Anniston's region. The Bulldogs' non-region slate includes Wellborn, Villa Rica (Ga.) and Piedmont.
Sports Writer Joe Medley: 256-235-3576. On Twitter: @jmedley_star.