Friday, January 24, 2020






Southside Girls, Thompson Boys Earn Top Seeds for Friday’s State Bowling Championship Round

Thursday’s Results Determine Seeding for Friday’s Championship Bracket

PELHAM – Three-time defending AHSAA State Girls’ Bowling Champion Southside-Gadsden rolled a state-tournament record high team series (2,719) in Thursday’s first round of the 5th AHSAA State Bowling Championships at Pelham’s Oak Mountain Lanes. However, don’t expect the Lady Panthers to be over-confident heading into Friday’s single-elimination head-to-head Baker format championship bracket.
    Why?  South Regional champion Thompson also broke the previous state record (2,631) set by the Warriors in 2018 with a 2,670 total Thursday – just 49 pins behind the leaders. The two schools earned the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds heading into Friday’s competition – and a possible rematch in the state finals. Southside edged the Warriors by just three pins to win the 2019 state title.
     Third seed Stanhope Elmore also surpassed the previous record with a 2,651 series.
     Coach Zachary Blume’s Panthers will open Friday’s first round of team play against No. 16 seed St. Clair County, and Thompson will face No. 15 seed Hokes Bluff. Stanhope Elmore meets Dothan in the first round Friday morning. All first-round matches in the girls’ and boys’ competition will begin at 8 a.m. 
     In the boys’ competition Thursday, Thompson had a three-game series 2,982 to grab the top seed for Friday’s play. Defending state champion Vestavia Hills totaled 2,957 pins to finish a close second in Thursday’s traditional play and earned second seed. Sparkman and Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa were right behind with 2,938 and 2,866 totals to earn third and fourth seeds.
    The Warriors will face Northridge in the first round of the championship bracket Friday morning, the Rebels will meet East Limestone; the Senators will face Southside-Gadsden; and the Patriots will meet Stanhope Elmore.
    Stanhope Elmore’s girls set a new state tournament record with a 1,039 total in the second round for the high team total of Thursday’s competition. Vestavia Hills’ boys rolled a 1,026 in the second round Thursday – just 11 pins shy of the record set by the Rebels at the 2017 state tourney.
    Sparkman’s Cole Arsenault had a three-traditional-game series
244-253-224—711 to lead the boys’ individual competition Thursday. Thompson’s Jacob Acker, who had a high game of 280 in the second round, was second with a 168-280-237—685 total. Arsenault’s series ties for third best in state tourney history and is tied for 6th in AHSAA bowling playoff history. Joe Renfro of Oak Mountain rolled a 284 in the third round for the top single game of the day. Renfro’s 284 is second only to Jon Kilgo’s perfect 300 round for Gadsden City in the 2016 state tourney. Acker’s 280 in the second round is third-best all-time in post-season play.
   Thompson’s Gracie Connelly rolled a 233-239-167—639 series to capture top honors in the girls’ traditional play Thursday. Her series ranks third best in state-tourney play and fourth overall in AHSAA playoff history. Grace Ann Clontz of Southside had a 225-183-203—611 series to finish 28 pins behind Connellly, and Meghan Best of Stanhope Elmore rolled 185-243-173—601 to finish third. Her 243 game in round two was the high for the girls. Connelly’s 239 in the same round was second.
    Complete first-day team and individual results and Friday’s single-elimination 16-team team championship brackets for each division can be found at in the in-season results bowling second on the front page of the website.
    Play gets underway Friday at 8 a.m., with four rounds of competition concluding with the state finals at approximately 4 p.m.

Friday’s Championship Bracket
First-Round Pairings (Baker Format)

Single elimination team play starts at 8 a.m. Finals are set for approximately 4 p.m.
GIRLS’ Bracket
No. 16 seed St. Clair County vs. No. 1 seed Southside-Gadsden
No. 9 seed Hewitt-Trussville vs. No. 8 seed Hazel Green
No. 12 seed Vestavia Hills vs. No. 5 seed Spain Park
No. 13 seed Pelham vs. No. 4 seed Sparkman

No. 14 seed Dothan vs. No. 3 seed Stanhope Elmore
No. 11 seed Gulf Shores vs. No. 6 seed Baker
No. 10 seed American Christian vs. No. 7 seed Hartselle
No. 15 seed Hokes Bluff vs. No. 2 seed Thompson

BOYS’ Bracket
No. 16 seed Northridge vs. No. 1 seed Thompson
No. 9 seed Corner vs. No. 8 seed Gadsden City
No. 12 seed Hoover vs. No. 5 seed Hewitt-Trussville
No. 13 seed Stanhope Elmore vs. No. 4 seed Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa

No. 14 seed Southside-Gadsden vs. No. 3 seed Sparkman
No. 11 seed Spain Park vs. No. 6 seed Auburn
No. 10 seed Mary Montgomery vs. No. 7 seed Oak Mountain
No. 15 seed East Limestone vs. No. 2 seed Vestavia Hills


GIRLS’ TEAM SCORING (3 traditional games)
Southside-Gadsden         2,719
Thompson                        2,670
Stanhope Elmore            2,651
Sparkman                        2,412
Spain Park                       2,212
Baker                                2,184
Hartselle                          2,156
Hazel Green                     2,134
Hewitt-Trussville             2,101
American Christian         1,953
Gulf Shores                      1,926
Vestavia Hills                   1,912
Pelham                             1,869
Dothan                             1,852
Hokes Bluff                      1,814
St. Clair County               1,801

Stanhope Elmore            1,039 (second round)
Southside-Gadsden            951 (second round)
Thompson                           946 (second round)
Southside-Gadsden            921 (first round)
Sparkman                           894 (third round)

BOYS’ TEAM SCORING (3 traditional games)
Thompson                        2,982
Vestavia Hills                   2,957
Sparkman                        2,938
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa        2,866
Hewitt-Trussville             2,828
Auburn                             2,806
Oak Mountain                 2,798
Gadsden City                   2,781
Corner                              2,770
Mary Montgomery         2,745
Spain Park                       2,704
Hoover                             2,700
Stanhope Elmore            2,648
Southside-Gadsden         2,524
East Limestone                2,497
Northridge                       2,257   

Vestavia Hills                   1,026 (second round)
Thompson                        1,019 (first round)
Oak Mountain                 1,011 (third round)
Hewitt-Trussville             1,010 (first round)
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa        1,009 (first round)

Top 5 Series

Gracie Connelly, Thompson                      233-239-167—639
Grace Ann Clontz, Southside                     225-183-203—611
Meghan Best, Stanhope Elmore               185-243-173—601
Ashlee Hull, Southside                               197-237-151—585
Kacey Marshal, Stanhope Elmore             182-227-167—576

Gracie Connelly, Thompson                      233
Grace Ann Clontz, Southside                     225
McKenzie Skelton, American Christian    199
Alexis Anderson, Spain Park                      198
Ashlee Hull, Southside                               197
Meghan Best, Southside                            243
Gracie Connelly, Thompson                      239
Ashlee Hull, Southside                               237
Kacey Marshal, Stanhope Elmore             227
Samantha Wilson, Stanhope Elmore        206
Angela Webber, Sparkman                       213
Emily Lindsey, Sparkman                           211
Evie Baum, Baker                                       209
Jillian Hulsey, Thompson                           205
Daylin Tolgo, Sparkman                             204

Top 5 Series

Cole Arsenault, Sparkman                         244-253-224—711
Jacob Acker, Thompson                             168-280-237—685
Landon Masters, Thompson                      244-201-232—677
Vincent Shim, Hillcrest                              200-245-225—670
Jason (Cole) McCarty, Hewitt-Trussville   202-204-254—660

Dalton Tolgo, Sparkman                            253
Travis Hayes, Corner                                  252
Nathan Kim, Auburn                                  245
Cole Arsenault, Sparkman                         244
Landon Masters, Thompson                      244
Jacob Acker, Thompson                             280
Cole Arsenault, Sparkman                         253
Vincent Shim, Hillcrest                              245
Tanner Hayes, Corner                                236
Reese Merritt, Vestavia Hills                     233
Tommy Butler, Gadsden City                    233
Joe Renfro, Oak Mountain                        284
Jason (Cole) McCarty, Hewitt-Trussville   254
Austin Osburn, Mary Montgomery          247
Jacob Acker, Thompson                             237
Landon Masters, Thompson                      232
Joseph Collier, Sparkman                          232

Francis Marion Delivers Career Milestone Coaching Win No. 800 for its Beloved Coach Woodie Jackson

This week’s AHSAA Basketball Spotlight

     MONTGOMERY— Coaching basketball has taken Woodie Jackson in several directions during his more than 40 years as a boys’ basketball coach, teacher and administrator. But the road always seems to take him back to Francis Marion High School in tiny Marion, Alabama.
     Jackson, currently in his third tenure as boys’ head basketball coach for the Rams, recently notched the 800th win of his legendary career with a 48-39 Francis Marion win over Choctaw County – Jackson’s alma mater. It was a milestone he really didn’t expect to reach when he retired from coaching for the second time after spending eight seasons at Selma High School from 2009-2016.
     He said the Perry County School Superintendent pulled him out of retirement in 2018 to take over the proud Francis Marion program once again a year later. Jackson, now 802-415 in his high school coaching career, has the Class 1A Rams (16-4) playing like the Rams of old. He coached the school to four state titles in his first four years (1988-1991) and reached the Final Four again in 1992. He left the school for college coaching for two years but returned in 1995 and eventually led the Rams to a fifth crown in 2000 – giving him six overall in his prep coaching career.
     Jackson’s 802 career wins ranks him sixth all-time behind in the AHSAA. The leader is another Perry County coaching legend Eugene Mason of R.C. Hatch, now deceased, who was 919-306. W.H. ‘Cap’ Brown of Birmingham-Parker is next at 890-312. Willie Scoggins, another Birmingham coaching legend, is third at 864-309. Both men are also deceased. Fourth is Jack Doss, who retired after 2017 with 10 state titles at four different schools (Hayes, Butler, J.O. Johnson and Mae Jemison, finished his career at 812-329. Currently fifth is long-time Barbour County boys’ coach Raymond White, now at Carroll of Ozark. He won his 800th game last season and currently owns an 808-342 career record.
     Inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2010, Jackson served as a coach in the first Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic in 1991 and coached the East team in the 2008 McDonald’s All-America Game. All five coaches ranked ahead of Jackson are also members of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame.
    Why did he give up retirement to return to Francis Marion one more time? Jackson summed up his reasons in an interview with Edwin Stanton of the Tuscaloosa News – reasons he said were taught to him first-hand by his own high school coach and father figure Vernon Johnson. “You have to be in it for the children because you are sure not going to get rich,” he said. “I am not rich. I’m in it for the love of it and because I care about people. The players love me and I love them. With kids it doesn’t matter how much you know, they care about how much you care about them.”
   Two other high school coaches won milestone victories over the past week:
    Southside-Gadsden Coach Kim Nails notched the 600th coaching win of her coaching career with a 43-39 win over Hokes Bluff. She is currently 192-123 at Southside, was 270-79 at Gadsden and posted a 146-45 record coaching Gadsden State Community College. Her prep coaching slate is 462-202 and overall record is 608-247. And Spain Park boys’ basketball coach Chris Laatsch notched the 400th win of his prep coaching career on January 21 when the Jaguars nipped Hewitt-Trussville 69-67.
    Three players had milestone efforts as well.
     Pike County 6-foot-8 senior Andres Burney scored a career-high and school record 49 points, cleared 16 rebounds and blocked four shots in a 77-74 overtime loss to Eufaula last week. He also had 14 points, 15 rebounds and six blocked shots to lead Pike County to a 52-31 win over Wicksburg.
Reeltown’s Makayla Langston scored 20 points in the first quarter and finished with 30 points to lead the Rebels past Fayetteville 44-20 last week. She sank nine field goals and two free throws in the period. The 20 points in one quarter ties her for sixth most points in a quarter in the AHSAA. The state record (27) for girls was set by Jesse Ralston of Ranburne in 2017 in a 66-24 win over Randolph County.
   Jamya Tyus of McAdory High School scored 18 points in a win over Hueytown – to put her over 2,000 points for her career. Burney is approaching 1,500 points for his prep career for the Bulldogs. She also contributed eight rebounds, five steals and three assists in the Hueytown victory.
   Other top performances reported include:

Scored 15 of his game-high 30 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Thunderbirds to an 95-80 win over Carver-Montgomery for the school’s first victory over their city rivals in school history.
RILEY LEONARD, FAIRHOPE: Proved to be Mr. Clutch for the Pirates scoring 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter and overtime and also blocked a potential game-tying shot in the extra period to preserve a 64-59 win over McGill-Toolen Catholic.
game-winning layup with nine seconds remaining as Mobile Christian edged Cottage Hill Christian 51-50. He scored 17 of his game-high 19 points in the second half.
R.J. JOHNSON, GRISSOM: Totaled 21 points and nine rebounds in a 58-57 win over Gadsden City.
JORDAN BELL, WILLIAMSON: Had 16 points, 12 rebounds, four blocked shots and five dunks in a big win over Escambia County.
NATHAN VINCENT, BAYSHORE CHRISTIAN: Scored a career-high 29 points in a 48-46 win over Bayside Academy.
MARTEZ JONES: Led B.T. Washington of Tuskegee to an 83-48 win over Wetumpka with 18 points and 15 rebounds. He finished 7-of-9 from the floor.
Scored 21 points, including five 3-pointers, to lead the Bulldogs to a 76-68 upset win over Williamson.
TREY LEWIS, MILLRY: Totaled 25 points, nine rebounds, five assists, seven steals and three blocks in a win over Fruitdale.
KAM WOOD, PINSON VALLEY: Sank five 3-pointers and finished with 45 points in the Indians’ 85-76 win over Center Point.
T0MMY MURR, LINDSAY LANE: Had nine 3-pointers on 15 attempts and finished with 43 points in s 93-57 win over Athens Bible.

J.D. DAVISON, CALHOUN: Was 15-of-23 shooting and finished with 31 points in a 93-83 win over arch-rival Central-Hayneville.
BRAYDON WHITAKER, SLOCOMB: Scored 24 points to lead the Red Tops to a 68-63 victory over Straughn in three overtimes. James Guilford had 33 points for the Bulldogs.
TRAVELL McREYNOLDS, CENTRAL-HAYNEVILLE: Had 22 points in a 93-83 loss to Calhoun and again in the Lions’ 89-88 loss to Greenville.
BRADY COBB, ZION CHAPEL: Scored 27 points in a 74-52 victory over Samson.
COLBY FULLER, GENEVA COUNTY: Led the Panthers past Cottonwood 77-69 with 28 points and 14 rebounds.
JUSTIN BUFFORD, MONTGOMERY CATHOLIC: Scored 31 points and cleared 10 rebounds in a 68-64 loss to Brewbaker Tech.

MIA HOLLINSWORTH, HAMILTON: Had 12 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in s 53-39 win over Russellville.
KAROLINE STRIPLIN, GENEVA COUNTY:  Scored 22 points, had 10 rebounds, 12 blocked shots and six assists in the Bulldogs’ 65-44 win over Cottonwood.
SAMIRA MOORE, CHARLES HENDERSON: Tallied 27 points in a 63-35 win over Carroll.
AIYAH POSTMA, LEE-MONTGOMERY: Had a career-high 37 points and added 10 steals as the Generals beat Jeff Davis in overtime 62-56.
EMILY BOWMAN, HUNTSVILLE: The Panthers’ senior and Vanderbilt signee pulled down 22 rebounds and had four blocked shots in a 43-32 win over Sparkman. She finished with 11 points.
QUINTASIA LEATHERWOOD, CENTRAL-TUSCALOOSA: Had 19 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists in  61-35 win over Sipsey Valley and added 15 assists as the Falcons beat Demopolis 63-36 and 10 in a 50-33 win over Hale County.
SAKYA WHITE, CENTRAL-TUSCALOOSA: Had 53 points and 44 rebounds in three wins for the Falcons. She has 21 points in a 63-36 victory over Demopolis and 18 rebounds in a 61-35 win over Sipsey Valley.
CORDASIA HARRIS, CENTRAL-HAYNEVILLE: Had 33 points in a 62-42 win over Greenville and 20 in a 66-36 win over rival Calhoun for the Lions (16-3).
Had 26 points and 11 rebounds in the Patriots’ 61-36 win over Fultondale and 20 points, six rebounds and 13 steals in a 58-6 victory over Holy Family. Teammate Jemeriah Moore also had 16 points, 13 assists and seven steals as Midfield (15-8) downed Sumter Central 64-33.
ANIYA HUBBARD, HOOVER: Had 20 points, nine rebounds, five assists and five steals in a 79-31 win over Tuscaloosa County and 15 points, four steals and  five assists to lead the Bucs past Oak Mountain 70-22.
RANDREA WRIGHT, CARVER-BIRMINGHAM: Had 20 points, eight assists and six steals in a 38-29 win over Minor.
RENIJAH BROWN, MARBURY: Had 28 points in a 65-61 win over Stanhope Elmore and 27 points and seven steals in the Bulldogs’ 74-58 victory over Chilton County.
TENASIA GORDON, GEORGIANA: Poured in 28 points in a 60-58 victory over J.F. Shields for Georgiana (12-5).
SKYE HARRIS, PIKE ROAD: Sank nine 3-pointers and scored 29 points in a 65-5 win over McEachern (GA).

MI’KASIA FLOYD, EUFAULA: Sank the winning free throw with six seconds left as Eufaula beat Dothan 58-57. She finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
JULIA MILLER, REHOBETH: Nailed a jumper with two seconds remaining to lift the Rebels past Greenville 38-36. She had put Rehobeth ahead with two foul shots moments earlier, but Greenville came down the floor and tied the game 36-all, setting up her game-winning shot. She finished with seven points.


Huntsville High School Self-Reports Eligibility Violation

       MONTGOMERY –Huntsville High School have been fined for violating the AHSAA eligibility rules. The school self-reported the violation.
       Huntsville played an ineligible student on its boys’ varsity basketball team in violation of the AHSAA’s Transfer Rule.
As a result, Huntsville has forfeited 16 basketball victories, including Class 7A, Area 15 wins over Sparkman, Grissom and Gadsden City.
     Accordingly, as restitution the student must sit out the same number of basketball contests in which he participated ineligibly once he becomes an eligible athlete.

Thompson’s Jace Jones Runs His Way To 3 Indoor Track Personal Records

AHSAA Indoor Track Week 3 Spotlight

MONTGOMERY – With the Alabama High School Athletic Association Indoor Track Championships just two weeks away, high school runners in the state are rounding into state finals shape.
   Jace Jones of Alabaster’s Thompson High School notched three personal bests this week, including the No. 1 high school time recorded in the United States this year in the 1600 meters to earn the AHSAA Indoor Track & Field Spotlight this week. The senior raced to a 4:13.89 finish at the Hump Day Octameet at the Birmingham CrossPlex on Jan. 15 – just 69-hundreths off the 1600 course record set in 2016 by Frank Pittman running for the Marist School of Brookhaven, Ga. Jones’ 1:57.73 second-place finish to Scottsboro’s Rex Green (1:56.71) in the 800-meter run that same day was also a personal record as was his 9:23.44 victory in the 3200 meters in the Martin Luther King Indoor Track Classic on Jan. 20.
     Jones, who has committed to the University of Alabama, ranks third in the state and 23rd in the nation in the 800.
     Coach Christopher Schmidt’s Thompson boys’ team won the Octameet with 117 points, ahead of Hewitt-Trussville (80) and Homewood (69.5), and his girls’ squad finished second to Homewood (103) with 87.5 points.
       The prestigious MLK Classic, hosted Jan. 20 by the Alabama Indoor Track Association at the CrossPlex in Birmingham, drew 155 teams from Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia. The Hoover boys finished first in the meet with 118 points, followed by Thompson (56), Northridge (47), Randolph School (42) and Central of Phenix City (36.5). The Hoover girls also recorded a first-place finish in the MLK with 86 points, followed by Campbell of Smyrna, Ga., with 56, Saint James (53), Thompson (40) and Jasper (38).
     Other standout performances reported from the week:
The junior’s personal-best 6.81 in the 60-meter dash in the Class 1A-5A division of the MLK is a new meet record,  the top time in Alabama this year and fifth best in the country. The old mark (6.86) was set by Winfield’s Trey Cunningham at the 2017 MLK. Rhetta was also fourth in the 400 with a 51.05.
L.J. HILL, HOOVER: The senior’s 8.17-second first-place sprint in the 60-meter hurdles in the MLK Classic 6A-7A division is the top overall time in the event in the state this year.
J’MARRI McCALL, HOOVER: Another senior, McCall had a personal best 6.92 finish in the 60-meter dash in the MLK. He also won the long jump with a leap of 22-05.5 to top teammate Hill (22-04.25).
ETHAN STRAND, VESTAVIA HILLS: The junior’s 4:17.92 was a personal best in the 1600 meters, good for first place at the MLK and was one of the best times in the nation.
ZION BINION, NORTHRIDGE: His 54-5 toss to win the shot put at the MLK was a personal best.
KELVIN POE, HUFFMAN: The senior won the 400 meters with a 50.38 finish, 48-hundreths ahead of Thompson’s Dominique Hall.
DESHUN MURRELL, BIBB COUNTY: Another junior, Murrell won the MLK 400 with a 50.35 finish, a personal best. He also won the event on Jan. 14 with a 50.81 at the High School JV Meet No. 3 at the CrossPlex.
COLLIN MAYFIELD, GERALDINE: Ran away with the 1A-5A 3200-meter run with a personal best 9:43.02. No other runner broke 10 minutes in the event.



OLIVIA BEARD, ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL: Her personal-best 5-6 high jump won the 6A-7A finals at the MLK, which tied the meet record set by former St. Paul’s high jumper Shelley Spires in 2013.  Beard had another PR, 16-5.25 in the long jump, was good for fifth.
PRESLEY MILES, SAINT JAMES: Won the girls’ 800-, 1600- and 3200-meter runs at the MLK, with 2:16.70, 5:05.50 and 11:29.49 finishes, respectively.
ALEX COOK, BAYSIDE ACADEMY: With a personal best 11-06 pole vault at the MLK, the senior now has three first-place finishes in the event this season. She also won the Ice Breaker Invitational on Jan. 3 and the Magic City Invitational in December.
RIONNA JOHNSON, FAIRFIELD: Set a personal best mark with a first-place finish in the 1A-5A long jump with a leap of 16-04.25. The sophomore also had PRs in the 60-meter dash (8.24, 15th) and 400 (1:02.6, 8th).
ZaKIRIA HOLIFIELD, THOMPSON: Won the 6A-7A 60-meter dash with a 7.75 finish, just .01 off her personal best, and was second in the 400 meters with a personal best 57.28. She won both the 400 (57.54) and 60 (7.86) in the Hump Day Octameet.
|LAINEY PHELPS, HOMEWOOD: Won the 800 and 1600 at the Octameet, with 2:17.78 and 5:03.41 finishes. Her 1600 time is the best in Alabama this year and seventh nationally.

NFHS Releases “Beyond The Scoreboard,” Second Video Resource for Adult Fan Behavior at Events



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                       Contact: Dan Schuster


     INDIANAPOLIS, IN (January 23, 2020) — The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has released “Beyond The Scoreboard,” the second installment of its new video series centered on correcting negative adult fan behavior at high school events.

     Competitive high school events can be a highly emotional experience for the parents of participants and other invested adults, especially during the intense moments when winning and losing hangs in the balance. “Beyond The Scoreboard,” which follows “The Parent Seat” as the second non-course production housed on the NFHS Learning Center website (, utilizes a list of 10 “life lessons” fostered by athletics and activities participation that are often forgotten by adult fans during the heated battle for victory.

     “There are times when the scoreboard may indicate a loss, but there is actually a whole lot of winning going on,” said NFHS Director of Educational Services Dan Schuster. “As cliché as that sounds, we’re trying to spread the word that this is what our programs are supposed to be about – putting the ‘education’ in education-based athletics and activities programs.”

     The participation benefits described in “Beyond The Scoreboard,” which include work ethic, respect, confidence, adaptability and others, are but a small portion of the actual list of invaluable traits developed through high school athletics and activities. For this reason, Schuster feels the most impactful element of the video is the clear, concise descriptions accompanying each term.

     “Some people may use different words for the same thing or believe in a different set of 10 life lessons or a different number of them – whatever they choose,” he said. “But they’re going to agree and nod their heads at the descriptions and understand that we need our kids developing these skills through participation.”

     A major part of the success of “The Parent Seat” was its shareable nature as a downloadable video. Once taken from the website, the video could be shared on social media and/or used by coaches and administrators at contests and preseason parents meetings. With the same concept applied to the fresh content found in “Beyond The Scoreboard,” Schuster is excited by a new set of possibilities.      

     “We wanted to come up with a way that we could easily disseminate information to parents and ‘The Parent Seat’ has proven that this model works,” he said. “This is another topic we want to get in front of parents and we’re really looking forward to schools receiving it and using it; and it gives them something new instead of the same video over and over.”

     The NFHS is planning a third parent-centric video in the near future, but Schuster said he would also like to expand video offerings to target additional audiences within the NFHS’ membership.

     “We want to take this momentum and carry it on to other constituents,” he said. “We want to create some bite-size video pieces for students in the future, perhaps a couple of intro pieces for coaches, even administrators. Our goal is to just keep getting our message out – who we are, what we do and why it’s important – and continue to pump out resources that ultimately serve our students and schools as best we can.”

     To watch the full “Beyond The Scoreboard” video, visit:



            Online link to article:



About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)

The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 16 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,500 high schools and 12 million participants in high school activity programs, including almost eight million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS website at




MEDIA CONTACTS:                         Bruce Howard, 317-972-6900

                                                      Director of Publications and Communications

                                                      National Federation of State High School Associations



                                                      Chris Boone, 317-972-6900

                                                      Assistant Director of Publications and Communications

                                                      National Federation of State High School Associations






AHSAA Mourns the Death of High School Coaching Legend Tom Calvin

   The AHSAA was saddened to learn of the death of Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame charter member Tom Calvin, 93. He passed away Tuesday.
    “Tom Calvin was a coaching legend in our state who made a major impact on those who played for him, coached with him or knew him,” said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
    A native of Athens, Calvin was an outstanding high school athlete who served in World Ward II, then returned to attend the University of Alabama where he played football. The fullback was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1951 but chose a career in coaching at Baldwin County instead. He eventually ended up in Pittsburgh playing football for the Steelers for four seasons before moving back south.
     In 1956, Calvin took the head football coaching job at Sylacauga High School where coached the Aggies for 21 seasons. In 1957, Calvin’s team was named state champions by The Birmingham News. The 1960 and 1961 teams were also  selected as state champions and his 1969 team won the Class 3A state title in just the third year of the AHSAA state playoffs. Calvin also was an outstanding tennis coach at SHS.
   Tom and his wife Lenette, who is also a member of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame, were a part of the Sylacauga school system for 21 years. Calvin took the head coaching position at Austin High School in 1978 and retired there, finally stepping down in 1988 with a 201-130-11 career record. Calvin was a three-time Coach of the Year and was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1991. He and Lenette are the only husband and wife team in the Hall of Fame. In 1985, a poll of Alabama high school football coaches, Calvin was voted “The Most Respected High School Coach” in the state.
    The Sylacauga High School fieldhouse at Legion Stadium is named in his honor.  Sylacauga City Schools released the following statement.
     “Coach Calvin was truly a legend at Sylacauga High School. His voice, his expressions, and his interaction with students and fellow teachers made a lasting impression on those he encountered. We are saddened by his passing and send our love and prayers to his devoted wife, Lenette. Together the Calvins set a standard for athletic excellence at Sylacauga High and created the rich heritage we now call Aggie Pride.”
     Calvin will be buried in his hometown of Athens. No arrangements were available at this time.


AHSAA State Bowling Championships Rolls into Action Thursday at Pelham’s Oak Mountain Lanes

Stanhope Elmore Boys & Girls Among the Qualifiers

    PELHAM – Stanhope Elmore High School senior Josh Wilson was an eighth grader when he rolled a 269 to help the Mustangs finish runner-up in the first AHSAA State Bowling Championships held at Pelham’s Oak Mountain Lanes in 2016.
   He and the Mustangs’ boys and girls will be competing Thursday as the fifth AHSAA State Bowling Championships kick off the first day’s action at Oak Mountain Lanes. A total 16 girls’ teams and 16 boys’ teams will be bowling for the 2020 state title. Thursday’s traditional three-game series will seed the teams for Friday’s single-elimination championship head-to-head team bracket competition. The final day’s action will use the Baker format of one traditional game and three Baker games in each match.
    The State Bowling Championships kick off a busy winter championship month that includes the AHSAA Wrestling Duals Tourney finals Friday night at the Birmingham CrossPlex Bill Harris Arena at 6 p.m. February will be even busier with the AHSAA Indoor Track and Field Championships set for Feb. 7-8 at the Birmingham CrossPlex; North and South Wrestling Sectionals at Birmingham CrossPlex and Cramton Bowl Multiplex in Montgomery, Feb. 7-8; the AHSAA State Wrestling Championships at Huntsville’s Von Braun Center Feb. 13-14-15; and wrapped up by the 98th AHSAA State Basketball Championships at the BJCC Legacy Center in Birmingham Feb. 24-29. The Southwest, Southeast, Northwest and Northeast Regional Tourneys will be played the week before (Feb. 13-19) at Montgomery’s ASU Acadome and Garrett Coliseum; Wallace-Hanceville’s Tom Drake Coliseum; and Jacksonville State’s Pete Mathews Coliseum, respectively. 
    Coach Jacquelyn Wynn’s Stanhope Elmore girls are coming off a runner-up finish at the South Regional bowling competition. The boys’ team clinched a state tourney berth with a quarterfinal finish. Kacey Marshal rolled a 183-257-220—660 series to lead the South Regional last week. Teammates Meghan Best and Alyssa Ward rolled 540 and 519 series and ranked 3 and 4 in the individual competition.
      Wilson had a 190-236-239—665 series last week to top the South boys and followed with a 257 in the quarterfinal round on Friday. He came into the South Regional red-hot rolling a perfect 300 game in a match win over Valley on the last week of the regular season. He followed the 300 with nine more strikes – rolling an amazing 21 strikes in a row – and finished with a 275 for a two-game series of 575.
     Thompson won the girls’ South Region title with a 1,422 – 1,347 win over Stanhope Elmore in the finals. Spain Park beat Auburn 1,601 to 1,373 in the boys’ South finals. In the North Regional, Sparkman beat Hewitt-Trussville by 110 pins (1,433 to 1,323) in the boys’ finals, and defending state champion Southside-Gadsden won the girls’ North Regional crown over Sparkman’s girls with a 1,452 total. The Senators rolled a 1,243.
      Southside has won the last three girls’ state titles (2017, 2018, and 2019) and Sparkman won the first girls’ crown in 2016. Vestavia Hills, which lost to Spain Park in the South Regional boys’ semifinals, won the AHSAA state championship in 2019. Spain Park won the first two state titles in 2016 and 2017 and Buckhorn won in 2018. Cole Arsenault had the top boys’ traditional series at the North Regional tourney with a three-game 247-224-205—670 and bowled a 255 on Friday.
    Jillian Hulsey, who rolled a 289 for the top girls’ game in AHSAA state-playoff history last year, anchors a strong Thompson team. She had a 257 game in the semifinals of the South Regional last week. Southside-Gadsden appears ready to defend its title with Jessica Clontz, Ashlee Hull and Cheyanne Bohannon finishing 2, 3 and 5 in the girls’ individual rankings at the North Regional with traditional series of 502, 498 and 486, respectively. Grace Ann Clontz had the top game on Friday with a 245 in the finals, and her sister Jessica had games of 200 (semifinals) and 224 (quarterfinals).
     Bowling gets underway at 8 a.m. on Thursday and Friday with the finals set for approximately 4 p.m. on Friday.

January 23-24 at Oak Mountain Lanes, Pelham

Past State Champions
GIRLS                                                          BOYS
   Southside-Gadsden                  2019: Vestavia Hills
2018:   Southside-Gadsden                  2018: Buckhorn
2017:   Southside-Gadsden                  2017: Spain Park
2016:   Sparkman                                    2016: Spain Park




GIRLS’ TEAMS                                            
American Christian
Gulf Shores
Hazel Green
Hokes Bluff
Spain Park
Stanhope Elmore
St. Clair County
Vestavia Hills

East Limestone
Gadsden City
Mary Montgomery

Oak Mountain
Spain Park
Stanhope Elmore

Vestavia Hills

AHSAA Central Board Approves Adjustment to Volleyball Season Playoff Schedule

At Board meeting Wednesday

   MONTGOMERY – The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board of Control approved Wednesday at its Winter Board Meeting an adjustment to the volleyball season and post-season schedule, providing more time between area tournament, regional tournament and state tournament play.
    The adjustments were made at the request of the Volleyball Coaches Committee. Next fall, the area tournaments will be played the week of October 12-17 with the regional tournaments being played Wednesday, Oct. 21 through Friday, Oct. 23. The AHSAA Elite Eight State Tourney will be played Oct. 28-29.
     “The Volleyball Coaches Committee unanimously recommended the changes,” AHSAA Assistant Director Denise Ainsworth told the Central Board. “Volleyball’s entire playoffs have been over a 10-day period and this will give the schools more time between the different levels. It also gets the regional off Saturday, Oct. 24, which is an important ACT testing date.”
      The Central Board approved a third site for AHSAA Regional Cheer competition and approved a concept to require mandatory background checks on contest officials beginning with the 2020-21 school year.
      The Board also approved a transition from C2C Schools to Dragonfly Content Management Software for member schools beginning with the 2020-21 school year.
        The Central Board reviewed legislative proposals that were submitted in January by member schools prior to the board meeting.  The AHSAA Legislative Council will vote on the proposals at April’s Legislative Council meeting. Schools are being surveyed this month for their input.
       In other Central Board action:

  • Approved Northside Methodist Academy of Dothan for Associate membership beginning with the 2020-21 school year.
  • Approved expenses for the upcoming 2020 State Basketball Tournament.
  • Reviewed football playoff comparison financial data (first four rounds).
  • Heard a report from Daniel Smith and Michael McGreevey of Knight-Eady concerning the 2020 State Basketball Tournament.
  • Approved financial reports for the 2019 regional and state volleyball, cross country and swimming championships and the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star football game.
  • Approved the NFHS COS Officials registration system beginning with the 2020-21 school year.
  • Discussed District and Central Board representation and rotation.
  • Heard a report from the Publication Committee concerning eBook costs.

MLK Day – A Reminder to Treat Everyone with Respect in High School Sports

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 Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff, NFHS Executive Director


                Two days ago, the nation observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day for the 35th time. This annual remembrance of the civil rights leader and his remarkable efforts in the 1950s and 1960s to combat racism in the United States continues as one of the most significant days on the calendar every year.

             King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, D.C. in 1963 – one of the most iconic speeches in history – was the defining moment of the civil rights movement and led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made desegregation a prerequisite to school funding and further strengthened the Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.  

            As a result, separate schools for African Americans ended and King’s dream of equality for everyone began to occur.

            Thanks, in part, to the efforts of King, who was a member of his school’s debate team at Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, blacks and whites were assimilated in schools and in athletics and other activities such as speech and debate.

            A few years later in the early 1970s with the passage of Title IX, girls – both white and black – were provided the opportunity to participate in high school sports. With this landmark legislation on the heels of the civil rights movement, high school sports and activities were for EVERYONE.

            Amazingly, participation in high school sports increased from 3.9 million to 6.4 million in seven years between 1971-72 and 1977-78 – a jump of about 2.5 million. Why? The opportunity to participate was now available to all.

            High school athletes – male and female, black and white and other races – began to work together and excel both individually and as teams. Many have seized these opportunities and had a profound impact within their communities and nationally.

            In the past five classes of the NFHS National High School Hall of Fame, 13 of the 22 athletes were minority males and females, including the likes of Derrick Brooks, Dusty Baker, Seimone Augustus, Nicole Powell, Lisa Fernandez, Nikki McCray and Marlin Briscoe. Other females were Tracey Fuchs, Carrie Tollefson, Missy West, Joni Huntley, Jackie Stiles and Cindy Brogdon. 

            In previous classes, there were Ozzie Newsome, Chauncey Billups, Kevin Johnson, Janet Evans, Sean Elliott, Cheryl Miller, Archie Griffin, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Kim Mulkey.

            Can you imagine the storied history of high school sports without these individuals?

            Thanks to the efforts of many people in the 1960s and 1970s, there are more women and minorities in leadership positions today. Nine of our member state high school associations are led by minorities, including three females – Que Tucker of North Carolina, Sally Marquez of New Mexico and Rhonda Blanford-Green of Colorado.

            Despite these advances in opportunities the past 50-plus years, the late Dr. King would be disappointed to hear about some of the disrespectful behavior in and around high school sports the past few years. Since our column in late October, we have heard of other racially related incidents. Indeed, pain still occurs.

            As we reflect on the tremendous efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to bring everyone together, let it be a further reminder that all student activity participants – regardless of race, religion, political views or gender identity – should be treated with respect.  



Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff is in her second year as executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is the first female to head the national leadership organization for high school athletics and performing arts activities and the sixth full-time executive director of the NFHS, which celebrated its 100th year of service during the 2018-19 school year. She previously was executive director of the Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference for seven years.



Southside & Thompson girls Capture Region Bowling Championships Friday

Sparkman & Spain Park Take Boys’ Titles

MONTGOMERY – Defending state champion Southside-Gadsden and 2019 state runner-up Thompson swept the team crowns at the AHSAA 2020 Regional Bowling Championships Friday.
   Southside finished strong beating Sparkman in Friday’s championship bracket finals at the North Regional played at Vestavia Bowl with a convincing 1,452 pin total in the Baker format competition. The Senators finished with a 1,243 total.  Thompson had a tougher time in its South Regional finals versus Stanhope Elmore at Mobile’s Camelia Lanes. The Lady Warriors won by 75 pins, 1,422 to 1,347 – outscoring the Mustangs the traditional round to start the match 919-797.
    The Thompson trio of Gracie Connelly, Maggie Smith and Miranda Dean had single games of 196, 194 and 186 to lead the Warriors in the final match. Jillian Hulsey rolled a 257 in the semifinals for Thompson for the top girls’ single game of Friday’s South Regional competition.
     The Clontz sisters led Southside’s charge in the finals with Grace Ann Clontz rolling a 245 – the best single game of the day in the North girls’ competition. Jennifer Clontz bowled a 193 and Daylin Tolgo of Sparkman recorded a 201 score in the final match. Emily Lindsey had the second-best round of the North competition with a 244 for Sparkman in the quarterfinals.
     In the boys’ finals, Spain Park turned in its best round of the day at the South Regional to win the title over Auburn 1,601 pins to 1,313.  The Jags totaled 1,010 pins in the traditional round and posted a 235 team score in the second game of the Baker series. Spain Park knocked off defending state champion Vestavia Hills in the semifinals 1,448 to 1,397. Cameron Park led the Jags’ championship match win with a 238, the top individual total in the traditional round. Cooper Kelley had a 254 in Spain Park’s victory over Vestavia Hills. Walter Reed rolled a 279 in the quarterfinals for the top single game of the day for the South boys.
     Sparkman won the North Regional championship over Hewitt-Trussville with a final-match 1,433-pin total. Runner-up Hewitt had a 1,323 score. Joseph Collier, Dalton Tolgo and Alphonso Carrington turned in single game of 214, 183 and 181 in the finals for the winning Senators. Cole Arsenault rolled a 255 in the semifinals for the top boys’ single  game overall Friday.
   All first-round winners on Friday advance to the AHSAA State Bowling Championships at Oak Mountain Lanes in Pelham next week. The first round will be Thursday, Jan. 23 with the championship round on Friday, Jan. 24. The final day’s competition will be live-streamed over the NFHS Network.
     Final results and  individual leaders in each round of Friday’s championship competition are listed below.

Friday’s Championship Bracket Results

(All first-round winners advance to the State Tourney)
At Camelia Lanes, Mobile

Girls’ Results
Championship Match
Thompson 1,422, Stanhope Elmore 1,347
Stanhope Elmore 1,281, Baker 1,137
Thompson 1,450, Spain Park 1,261
Stanhope Elmore 1,255, Vestavia Hills 1,107
Baker 1,140, Gulf Shores 1,120
Spain Park 1,199, Pelham 980
Thompson 1,360, Dothan 1,056
First Round
Stanhope Elmore 1,203, McGill-Toolen Catholic 862
Vestavia Hills 1,109, Foley 1,085
Baker 1,148, Alma Bryant 1,001
Gulf Shores 1,110, Oak Mountain 986
Spain Park 1,186, Houston Academy 870
Pelham 1,039, Satsuma 976
Dothan 1,090, Auburn 963
Thompson 1,372, Homewood 847

Boys’ Results
Championship Match
Spain Park 1,601, Auburn 1,373
Spain Park 1,448, Vestavia Hills 1,397
Auburn 1,392, Thompson 1,386
Vestavia Hills 1,640, Oak Mountain 1,390
Spain Park 1,515, Mary Montgomery 1,420
Auburn 1,409, Stanhope Elmore 1,392
Thompson 1,490, Hoover, 1,486
First Round
Vestavia Hills 1,537, UMS-Wright 1,046
Oak Mountain 1,393, Baker 1,292
Spain Park 1,423, Homewood 978
Mary Montgomery 1,306, Theodore 1,046
Auburn 1,528, Houston Academy 1,087
Stanhope Elmore 1,361, Foley 1,249
Hoover 1,362, Daphne 1,317
Thompson 1,572, Dothan 945

At Vestavia Bowl, Vestavia Hills

Girls’ Results
Championship Match
Southside-Gadsden, 1,452, Sparkman 1,243
Southside-Gadsden 1,277, Hartselle 1,027
Sparkman 1,203, Hazel Green 1,137
Southside-Gadsden 1,369, Hokes Bluff 852
Hartselle 1,068, American Christian 958
Sparkman 1,198, Hewitt-Trussville 1,067
Hazel Green 1,125, St. Clair County 998
First Round
Southside-Gadsden 1,301, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 654
Hokes Bluff 949, Grissom 947
American Christian 987, Gardendale 801
Hartselle 912, Priceville 772
Sparkman 1,197, Northridge 934
Hewitt-Trussville 1,054, Huntsville 787
St. Clair County 942, Corner 902
Hazel Green 1,065, Sipsey Valley 816

North Regional
Boys’ Results
Championship Match
Sparkman 1,433, Hewitt-Trussville 1,323
Hewitt-Trussville 1,420, East Limestone 1,344
Sparkman 1,663, Gadsden City 1,607
East Limestone 1,406, Corner 1,396
Hewitt-Trussville 1,364, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 1,316
Sparkman 1,326, Southside-Gadsden 1,312
Gadsden City 1,256, Northridge 1,170
First Round
East Limestone 1,321, Lamar County 1,072
Corner 1,371, Huntsville 1,138
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 1,342, Scottsboro 1,066
Hewitt-Trussville 1,416, Shades Valley 970
Sparkman 1,494, Lincoln 943
Southside-Gadsden 1,219, Grissom 1,122
Northridge 1,365, Hartselle 1,275
Gadsden City 1,472, Paul Bryant 901

South Regional
Boys’ Individual Leaders
Championship Match
Cameron Copeland, Spain Park  238
Austin Gothard, Spain Park        211
Nathan Kim, Auburn                   205
Semifinal Round
Cooper Kelley, Spain Park          254
Caleb Farmer, Thompson            212
Austin Gothard, Spain Park        211
Quarterfinal Round
Walter, Reed, Vestavia Hills       279
Josh Wilson, St. Elmore               257
Fillip Nguyen, Auburn                237
First Round
Daniel Lee, Auburn                     255
Darren Gwin, M. Montgomery   245
Logan Heiter, Daphne                 230


Girls’ Individual Leaders
Championship Match
Gracie Connelly, Thompson       196
Maggie Smith, Thompson           194
Miranda Dean, Thompson           186
Semifinal Round
Jillian Hulsey, Thompson           257
Kacey Marshal, St. Elmore         215
Alexis Anderson, Spain Park      210
Quarterfinal Round
Maggie Smith, Thompson           213
Jillian Hulsey, Thompson           202
Meghan Best, St. Elmore            192
First Round
Jillian Hulsey, Thompson           224
Meghan Best, St. Elmore            188
Laura MacGuire, Baker               174

North Regional
Boys’ Individual Leaders
Championship Round
Joseph Collier, Sparkman            214
Dalton Tolgo, Sparkman             183
Alfonso Carrington, Sparkman   181
Semifinal Round
Cole Arsenault, Sparkman          255
Elijah Avery, Gadsden City        247
Tommy Butler, Gadsden City     247
Quarterfinal Round
Derrian Winters, Northridge       244
Jackson Hartley, Corner              214
Austin Turner, East Limestone   212
First Round
Carson Barnes, Lamar Co.          247
Alfonso Carrington, Sparkman   224
Joseph Collier, Sparkman            223

Girls’ Individual Leaders
Championship Round
Grace Ann Clontz, Southside      245
Daylin Tolgo, Sparkman             201
Jennifer Clontz, Southside          193      
Semifinal Round
Jessica Clontz, Southside            200
Grace Ann Clontz, Southside      180
Jennifer Clontz, Southside          167      
Quarterfinal Round
Emily Lindsey-Sparkman           244
Jessica Clontz, Southside            224
Grace Ann Clontz, Southside      205
First Round
Keilsy Hull, Southside                 211
Daylin Tolgo, Sparkman             188
Ashlee Hull, Sparkman               177