Monday, October 14, 2019






Author: David Holtsford

David Holtsford's Article

Alabama Squad Named For 2019 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Game Set for Dec. 14 at Hattiesburg

     MONTGOMERY – A roster including 26 players already committed to Division I-A schools have been selected to the 40-player Alabama All-Star Team that will face Mississippi in the 33rd annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Game Dec. 14 at Hattiesburg on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi.
      The roster, comprised of current high school seniors, was announced Tuesday by Jamie Lee, Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association.  The annual contest is an event of the AHSADCA and the Alabama High School Athletic Association.

   The game was played in Mississippi for the first time in the series in 2015. The hosts are 2-0 at home and Alabama is 22-8 in its home games. The series was played at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile from 1988 to 2010; a second game in 2010 was held at Troy University’s Veterans Memorial Stadium and Cramton Bowl has hosted the All-Star Game six times, 2011-2014, 2016 and last year. Alabama is 22-10 overall.
    “We hope the 40-man Alabama roster selected for this year’s game hosted by the AHSADCA will bring the Alabama-Mississippi Game Championship Trophy back (to Alabama),” Lee said.
      Spain Park High School Coach Shawn Raney, is serving as the head coach for Alabama. The All-Star squad has 14 players that are currently committed to SEC with the Crimson Tide receiving verbal commitments from six. Auburn has three commitments, Ole Miss has two. LSU, Kentucky and South Carolina have one each. Two players on the team are headed out-of-state to the Atlantic Coast Conference (defending National Champion Clemson and Georgia Tech); two have announced plans to attend Big 10 schools Nebraska and Purdue, and one player is heading to the Big 12 (Kansas). UAB has three commitments, Troy University has two, Tulane and Middle Tennessee have one each. Of the 14 players still uncommitted, the majority are still embroiled in national recruiting battles.
      The roster, comprised of current high school seniors, was selected through a rigorous process that began last winter, Lee said. “The selection committee has worked extremely hard to trim down the strong list of nominations to the 40 selected. It is a difficult task for sure, and we thank the committee for its dedication.
     Among the Alabama commitments is running back RoyDell Williams of Hueytown, who rushed for 2,757 yards and 32 touchdowns as a junior. The husky 5-foot-10, 208-pound speedster had 409 yards and five touchdowns on 15 carries in one game last year. Linebacker Jackson Bratton of Muscle Shoals, another Alabama commit, recorded the 400th tackle of his prep career last week. Other Crimson Tide commitments include quarterback/athlete Kristian Story of Lanett; defensive back Malachi Moore of Hewitt-Trussville; 6-7, 340-pound defensive lineman Jayson Jones of Calera; 6-3, 2145-pound linebacker Demouy Kennedy of Theodore.
      Auburn commitments selected are 6-5, 210-pound linebacker Cameron Riley of Hillcrest-Evergreen; offensive lineman Javian Cohen of Central-Phenix City; and defensive lineman Daniel Allen of St. Paul’s Episcopal.
     Quarterback Logan Smothers of Muscle Shoals and Robbie Ashford of Hoover committed to Nebraska and Ole Miss, respectively. Smothers has led the Trojans to a 6-0 record this season and eclipsed 6,200 passing yards in last week’s 29-10 win over Florence. He is 522-of-795 passing for 6,240 yards and 50 touchdowns for his career and has rushed 400 times for 2,420 yards and 28 TDs.
      Central-Phenix City wide receiver Eddie Williams plans to Clemson, Spanish Fort receiver Kris Abrams plans to attend Ole Miss and Jamichael Thompson of Clay-Chalkville plans to join the Middle Tennessee receiving corps. Hewitt-Trussville’s 6-5, 295-pound defensive lineman Eric Taylor has committed to LSU.
    Briarwood Christian offensive lineman Trent Howard, 6-4, 285, has committed to Georgia Tech. Howard is the son of former Jess Lanier High School and University Alabama offensive lineman standout Johnny Howard. His dad also represented the AHSAA in the very first Alabama-Mississippi Game played at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in 1988 and won in three overtimes 24-21 by Alabama.
   The complete roster can be found at the following link:

Veteran Officials ‘Hanging it Up’ Because of Unruly Behavior by Parents

Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff, NFHS Executive Director

      About four weeks ago, we distributed an op-ed suggesting that inappropriate behavior by parents and other adult fans at high school sporting events was causing many officials to quit before they even reached two years on the job.

      Although we received mostly positive support from this article, some people thought we went too far in telling parents to “act your age” and “stay in your own lane.” On the contrary, perhaps we should have been more direct.

      Last week, one of our member state associations shared a resignation letter it had received from a 20-year veteran soccer official who had taken all the abuse he could handle. A portion of that letter follows:


      “Soccer parents: you are absolutely 100% the reason we have a critical refereeing shortage and games are being cancelled left and right. And you are at least a part of the reason I’m done here. The most entitled among you are the ones that scream the loudest. And every time you do this, you tell your son or daughter the following:

      “I do not believe in you, I do not believe in your team, I do not believe in your collective ability to overcome your own adversity and you absolutely will not win and cannot do this without me tilting the table in your favor.

            “On behalf of myself and so many other referees – and I say this with every ounce of my heart and soul – shut up about the referees, and let your kids rise or fall as a team, as a FAMILY. Because the vast majority of you truly have no idea what you’re talking about, and even if you have a legitimate gripe about one play or one decision, you’re not fixing anything.”


            And if that wasn’t enough, last week the Eastern Panhandle Youth Football League in West Virginia released the following statement:


            “Unfortunately, it has come to the point that because of the abuse, negativity and utter disrespect shown to our officials from parents, coaches and most recently from our players, the Eastern Panhandle Officials Association president stated today that the association will no longer schedule officials for our league games at any field. This means effective immediately all remaining games are cancelled.”


         This statement is from a youth league, which means the coaches are likely also parents of players, and the players are sons and daughters who are emulating their parents’ behavior.

         So, no, our previous message was not too direct or emphatic. The kind of boorish parental behavior that compels a 20-year soccer official to quit cannot be allowed to continue. While we would hope that parents and other fans would embrace the concepts of education-based athletics by respecting the efforts of those men and women who officiate high school sports, that unfortunately is not occurring in some cases.

            As a result, schools must adopt and enforce a strict, fan behavior policy. In soccer, a player receives a “yellow card” as a first warning for unsportsmanlike conduct. If the action occurs again, the player is hit with a “red card” and is ejected from the contest. Some schools have implemented a similar penalty structure for parents and other fans – not just at soccer games but all high school events. If the inappropriate behavior and verbal abuse of officials continues after one warning, the person is removed from the venue. There must be consequences for these offenders before we lose any more officials.

            Most of the 7.9 million participants in high school sports are on the fields and courts every day to have fun and compete as a team with their classmates, and the 300,000-plus officials assist in that process. Now, if parents would let the players play and the officials officiate! 

            Online link to article:




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.



Bayside Coach Ann Schilling Become First AHSAA Volleyball Coach to Reach 1,500 Wins


MONTGOMERY – Bayside Academy (34-8) was 4-1 in the strong field at the Over the Mountain volleyball tournament held at Hoover last weekend.
   More significantly, the Admirals posted the 1,500th coaching victory of Coach Ann Schilling’s legendary career and landed in the AHSAA Volleyball Spotlight for Week 6 of the 2019 season.
     Schilling, who was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2018, finished the weekend with a 1,502-407 career record. The defending Class 4A state champion Admirals posted wins over Etowah (GA), Class 5A Jasper and Class 7A powers Vestavia Hills and Thompson before falling 2-1 to host and tourney champion Class 7A Hoover in the semifinals.
     The state’s volleyball coaching career wins leader is now in a most elite group of one as the only high school volleyball coach in the AHSAA to reach the 1,500-match victory milestone.  Earlier this season, Montgomery Academy Coach Julie Gordon coached her 1,400th career match win at Montgomery Academy, joining Schilling and retired coaches Glenda Wright and Tammy Richardson reaching that exclusive milestone.
       Bayside has won 17 straight AHSAA state volleyball titles dating back to 2002 and have won 24 state championships over a 27-year period since 1992. Schilling’s program has won titles in Class 1A, 2A, 3A, and last year, in Class 4A. Victory No. 1,500 came against the defending Class 5A state champion Jasper Vikings last weekend.

      Jacque Martin and Emily Buhl led Bayside at the Over-the-Mountain tourney. Martin had 36 kills, four aces, four blocks and 27 digs and Buhl recorded six aces, 26 kills and 27 digs.
     Hoover (22-10) went 5-1 in the tourney to win the championship. The Bucs avenged a pool-play loss to 7A rival Mountain Brook with a victory in the championship match.
     The Class 7A third-ranked Bucs beat the Spartans 2-1 in the title match after falling to the Spartans 2-0 earlier in pool play at the tournament.
    Rya McKinnon led Hoover with 113 kills for the week, including 24 in the tourney win over Spain Park. She went over the 1,000-kill mark for her career in the tourney win over Baker.

Other top performances reported include:

ALLY McCOLLUM, PHILLIPS: Had 61 kills and seven blocks to spark the Bears (19-14) to the championship of the Marion County Tournament. Phillips beat Hackleburg twice and Meek in regular season play and then beat Marion County twice, Hackleburg, Hamilton and Winfield twice for the title after losing to the Pirates earlier in the tournament.

GRACIE LYNN BUTLER, HAZEL GREEN: Led the Trojans (44-5) to the 10 match wins, including the championship of the Kentucky Challenge Invitational tourney at Lexington (KY). She had 81 kills, 42 digs, 14 blocks and five aces in the tourney with a career-high 17 digs in a win over Tate Creek (KY).
KAYLA KESHOCK, SPANISH FORT: Led the Toros (38-5) to nine match wins with 163 assists, 40 digs, 27 kills, 11 blocks and 12 aces as Spanish Fort won the Harvest Fest Invitational at Boaz. The Toros beat Hartselle in the finals. Teammate Avery Rodgers contributed 88 kills and 21 aces.

IMANI NICHOLSON, McGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC: Helped the defending Class 7A state champion Dirty Dozen (22-7) finish third in the Southern Invitational at Atlanta with 59 kills and 28 digs in seven matches.
MARY GRAY TURNER, MONTGOMERY ACADEMY: Had 36 kills and 13 digs and teammate Millie Stevenson dished out 115 assists and the Eagles (28-5) went 6-0 to win the Danville Tournament of Champions.
ANSLEY DEAN, MONTGOMERY CATHOLIC: Had 50 kills in two match wins over Prattville Christian and LAMP for the Lady Knights.
BAILEY DREW McINTYRE, CHELSEA: Had 158 assists, 49 digs and 21 aces as the Hornets (34-2) went 8-0 for the week and 5-0 to win its own September Slamfest tourney. Chelsea beat Brewbaker Tech in the finals.
ANNA CLARE HUTTO, LAWRENCE COUNTY: Had 194 assists, 49 digs, 27 kills and 12 aces as the Lady Devils (30-11) were 8-3 for the week. Two losses were to defending 5A and 6A state champs Jasper and Spanish Fort.
GRACE CARR, MOUNTAIN BROOK: Posted 57 kills, 63 digs and four aces as the Spartans won six of seven matches last week. Teammate Vandevelde had 133 assists.
JASMINE BROOKS, SPARKMAN: Had 29 kills and 34 digs in three matches for the Senators (24-9).
MAKENNA LONG, G.W. LONG: Had 213 assists as the Rebels (24-3) posted six wins in seven matches.
MACKENZIE BLACKWOOD, WINSTON COUNTY: had 132 KILLS, 19 service aces and 54 digs as the Yellow Jackets went 7-2 for the week.
AMBER ASKEW, GRISSOM: Dished out 72 assists and recorded five blocks and four aces in two match wins for the Tigers (22-12) over Danville and Guntersville.
AINSLEY SCHULTZ, VESTAVIA HILLS: Served a near-perfect 93 percent with 17 aces and just six errors in 88 attempts in seven matches for the Rebels. She also had 127 assists, 70 digs and six blocks.
HAVEN HALL, GERALDINE: Had 50 blocks and 55 kills as Geraldine (22-7) posted five wins in seven matches.
JAYDEN WATKINS, ALBERTVILLE: Had 82 kills as the Aggies went 7-2 overall and 4-1 in the Harvest Fest Tourney.
STEPHANIE SHARP, BUCKHORN: Totaled 100 assists as the Bucks (29-11) went 4-1 in five matches.
ALLI WILLIAMS, ATHENS: Totaled 96 kills and seven blocks in nine matches for the Golden Eagles (19-13).
McKINLEY FERGUSON, JASPER: Led the Class 5A Vikings (34-8) to seven wins in nine matches with 84 assists, 54 kills and 19 services aces.
BLISS BROWN, SOUTHSIDE-GADSDEN: Had 148 assists and 18 digs in eight matches for the Panthers (29-10), which went 6-2 for the week.
LOGAN HORNE, BREWBAKER TECH: Had 62 kills and 67 digs to lead Brew Tech to the finals of the SlamFest Tourney at Chelsea. Brewbaker (17-11) was 5-2 on the week.
AUTUMN MAYES, PROVIDENCE CHRISTIAN: Had 134 kills and 84 digs in 10 matches for the Eagles (30-6). She also served 10 aces and had 12 assists.
MADALYN HOLLADAY, DANVILLE: Posted 93 kills, 50 digs, 10 blocks and 10 aces as the Hawks (30-19) reached the finals of the Tournament of Champions hosted by Danville.
LAURA LEE KEENER, CENTRAL-FLORNCE: Had 155 digs and Ann Margaret Keener had 257 assists as Central went 7-4 for the week.


Teams Hand AHSAA Football Coaches Milestone Wins in Week 5 Action

   MONTGOMERY – Several AHSAA coaches claimed milestone wins last week.

   Scottsboro junior quarterback Jacob Manning had 23 rushes for 126 yards and two touchdowns and senior linebacker A.J. Widgeon had three sacks on defense as the Wildcats beat North Jackson 33-0 for the 100th career head-coaching victory for Coach Don Jacobs. He had head-coaching stops at Elkmont and Oneonta before taking over the Scottsboro program in 2017. Jacobs, a Scottsboro graduate and former three-sport star, is in his 13th season as a head coach with a 100-50 overall record.
       Muscle Shoals (6-0) beat Florence last week 29-10 to give Coach Scott Basden his 175th career win. Now in his 31st season as a head coach, Basden owns a 175-64 career slate with 106 wins at Muscle Shoals. His other stops were at Cordova and Parrish.
      Winfield head coach David McKinney registered his 100th head-coaching victory Sept. 19 when the Pirates beat Lamar County 34-6. Now in his 13th season as a head coach, McKinney is 100-47 overall with a 48-25 mark at Winfield.
    Vestavia Hills’ Buddy Anderson (339-151) is the AHSAA career wins leader and the AHSAA’s active wins leader. The Rebels posted his 339th win last week beating Shades Valley 17-0.  Three coaches – Tallassee’s Mike Battles Jr. (174-83), Bayside Academy’s Phil Lazenby (174-95), and Mark Rose (174-79) of Smiths Station – are one win away from career coaching win 175 heading into this week’s games.

TOT   NAME                                                CAREER       PCT.   YEARS                
339 – Buddy Anderson (Vestavia Hills)             339-151-0        69.2%  1978-2019
313 – Jamie Riggs (Houston Academy)              313-89-0          77.9% 1986-2019
308 – Terry Curtis (UMS-Wright)                      308-85-0          78.4%  1989-2019
303 – Danny Horn (Central, Clay County)          303-87-0          77.7%  1989-2019
287 – Paul Benefield (Fyffe)                             287-53-0          84.4%  1992-2019
242 – Lamar Harris (Hubbertville)                     242-202-0        54.5%  1978-2019
237 – Steve Smith (Piedmont)                           237-73-0          76.5%  1995-2019
230 – Trent Taylor (Andalusia)                         230-135-0        63.0%  1988-2019
221 – David Powell (Sumiton Christian)            221-81-0          73.2%  1994-2019
207 – Josh Niblett (Hoover)                              207-53-0          79.6%  2000-2019
203 – Stacy Luker (Clarke County)                    203-87-0          70.0%  1995-2019
202 – Mark Freeman (Thompson)                     202-50-0          80.2%  1998-2019
187 – Brent Hubbert (T.R. Miller)                     187-42-0          81.7%  2001-2019
187 – Bob Godsey (Madison Academy)             187-67-0          73.6%  1998-2019
183 – Steve Mask (St. Paul’s Episcopal)            183-91-0          66.8%  1990-2019
175 – Scott Basden (Muscle Shoals)                  175-64-0          73.2%  1999-2919

Zion Chapel Safety Nathan Grantham Has 18½ Tackles in Rebels’ 34-30 win over Kinston

AHSAA Defensive Spotlight For Week 5

    MONTGOMERY – Senior strong safety Nathan Grantham has had numerous big plays from his wide receiver position this season for Coach Johnny Bryant’s Class 2A Rebels. Last Friday, he recorded 18 ½ tackles to lead Zion Chapel to a 34-30 win over rival Kinston to claim the AHSAA Defensive Spotlight of the Week.
      He also scored on a 3-yard run. Teammate Zay Adair also had an interception with 1:03 left to preserve the win. He had 8 tackles, a blocked extra point and recovered a fumble in the end zone.
    Grantham’s defensive effort edged out two other strong performances reported. Stanhope Elmore linebacker William Whitlow had 15 tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery in the Mustangs’ 20-17 win over Smiths Station. And Chaz Pope of Spring Garden stripped a Sand Rock runner of the ball near the Panthers goal line, then scooped up the fumble and raced 98 yards for a touchdown in Spring Garden’s 44-21 win over Sand Rock in the AHSAA TV Network/NFHS Network Game of the Week produced by WOTM. He finished with an interception and five tackles.

 Returned an interception 15 yards for a TD, and teammate Braxton Whitehead also had a pick he returned 39 yards for a score as the Rebels (5-0) beat Elba 46-35. Both scores came in the final nine minutes of the fourth quarter. Whitehead also had a 62-yard TD reception.
MAYS McMILLAN, TRINITY PRESBYTERIAN: Totaled 12 tackles, including three for losses, had an interception, forced and recovered one fumble as the Wildcats downed Montgomery Academy 33-10.
SPENCER MOOREHEAD, GENEVA: Totaled nine tackles, including three for losses, in Geneva's 40-28 win over Samson.

LUKE WELSH, SPRING GARDEN: Had eight tackles on defense and also rushed for 75 yards and two touchdowns on offense as the Panthers beat Cherokee County rival Sand Rock 44-21.
L.J. HILL, REELTOWN: Caused a fumble and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown as the Rebels beat Maplesville in a battle of unbeatens, 33-21.
HAMILTON ATHENS: Intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble – both of which led to touchdowns – in a 42-21 victory over East Limestone.

AMIL WILLIAMS, GARDENDALE: Finished with eight tackles, including four for losses, and returned a blocked punt 15 yards for a TD in a 35-7 victory over Hazel Green.
Intercepted a pass and blocked a punt, anchoring a defense that allowed just 67 yards rushing, in a 31-0 victory over Wenonah.
JACOLBY HEGGLER, RAMSAY: Intercepted two passes in 55-12 victory over Central-Tuscaloosa.
COLE JOHNSTON, VESTAVIA HILLS: Intercepted a pass and added two sacks as the Rebels allowed just 152 yards of total offense in a 17-0 victory over Shades Valley.

West Morgan, Brewer Post 111 Points Combined in Rebels’ 57-54 Victory in the Morgan County Rivalry

AHSAA Offensive Spotlight for Week 5

   MONTGOMERY – West Morgan and Brewer combined to score 111 points and amass 934 yards of offense Friday night as the Rebels persevered with a 57-54 win over their Morgan County rivals.
     However, it was a defensive play late in the fourth quarter by linebacker Garrett McCurry on a fourth-and-three play with West Morgan clinging to a 49-47 lead that proved to be the difference as The Rebels and Patriots grabbed the AHSAA Offensive Spotlight for Week 5 of the 2019 prep football season.
    McCurry blitzed up the middle to sack Brewer quarterback Wyatt Styles for a 12-yard loss back to the Patriots’ 19-yard line. On the next play, West Morgan’s Zachary Alexander scored and Adam Lucas made the two-point conversion to give the Rebels a 10-point, 57-47 lead.  Lucas finished with 180 yards rushing on 18 carries for West Morgan. Quarterback Glavine Segars also accounted for 174 yards and four touchdowns as West Morgan (2-5), coached by Mikel Riggs, captured its second straight win.
     For Brewer, Johnathan Morgan gained 268 yards on 27 rush attempts and scored three rushing touchdowns. His scoring runs covered 25, 13 and 9 yards. Riggs’ team also got another big defensive play earlier in the final period when defensive back Caleb Terry intercepted a Patriots pass and sped 92 yards for a touchdown to break a 41-41 deadlock.
     The 111 total points is the fourth AHSAA game this season that has accounted for a combined total of more than 100 points. It ranks tied for 31st on the AHSAA list of most points scored in a game by both teams. The 54 points by Brewer ties for fifth place for most points scored by the losing team. The 934 total yards by both teams is the most so far this season in a single contest.
      The offensive explosion edged out three milestone victories for popular coaches, a two-overtime thriller in Class 5A at Clay County, a superb performance by a freshman that helped a school post just its third shutout since 2002, the AHSAA’s top pass receiving and rushing efforts of the season, and a player who had two 99-yard touchdowns.
      Jasper (5-0) and defending Class 5A state champion Central of Clay County (4-1) came into last Friday’s battle at Lineville ranked 1-2, respectively, by the Alabama Sportswriters Association prep poll committee. The visiting Vikings of Coach Bryan Moore escaped with a 35-34 win when
freshman quarterback Spencer Rosenfeld connected with junior tight end Carson Alvis on a 10-yard pass to score what would be the winning touchdown for Jasper (5-0) in a game that lived up to its billing. Ironically, it was Rosenfeld’s only throw of the game and Alvis’ only catch of the night.
   “We had called that play earlier in the game and it was blown dead, so we had it and felt comfortable calling in that spot,” Moore told the Daily Mountain Eagle. “Those guys executed it.”

     At Douglas High School, freshman Eli Teal had 16 carries for a 243 yards and had four rushing touchdowns as the Eagles (1-4) beat Brindlee Mountain 55-0 to snap a nine-game losing streak. He also completed his only pass for 20 yards and had four tackles, two pass break-ups and an interception on defense as Douglas, 3-42 over its last 45 games., recorded the program’s first shutout win was since 2015 when the Eagles blanked Brindlee Mountain 27-0.  Douglas’ only other shutout since 1998 (21 seasons) came on August 30, 2002, when the Eagles won 24-0 over New Hope to start the season.
      Two other individual efforts of special note were turned in by Madison County receiver Quamaine Gamble and Daleville running back Jalen White.  Gamble had six pass receptions for 254 yards and two touchdowns covering 85 and 64 yards in a 42-7 victory over New Hope. The 254 receiving yards is the most reported for any receiver in the AHSAA in 2019.
    White became the first running back to top the 400-yard rushing mark this season with 419 yards and five touchdowns on 25 carries in a 50-35 Warhawks’ win over Straughn. His TD runs went for 77, 72, 64, 61 and 56 yards. White has now rushed for 4,858 yards in his career, including 1,749 yards this season. In six games.
    Geneva High School beat county rival Samson 40-28 in big part thanks to Kahari McReynolds’ continuing weekly big-play efforts. He rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns scored on two 99-yard plays. He had a 99-yard interception return on defense for one score and finished with two picks and five tackles, rushing touchdowns of 99 and 40 yards and a 25-yard TD pass reception on offense and added a two-point conversion on defense.


Snared a 40-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Ty’Javian Edwards with 28 seconds remaining to lift Paul Bryant to a 24-21 win over Mae Jemison.
KARSTEN THREATT, MIDFIELD: Finished with 185 yards receiving and two touchdowns and added a rushing score in a 48-36 loss to Talladega.

TRAE AUSMER, HOMEWOOD: Pulled down 10 passes for 177 yards and a touchdown in a 22-21 loss to Center Point.
JERRY BROWN, SUMITON CHRISTIAN: Had three receptions for 175 yards, including TD connections of 56 and 83 yards from quarterback Jordan Robertson, as Sumiton beat Meek 28-6.
COOPER AUSTIN, SPRING GARDEN: Caught five passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns in the Panthers’ 44-21 win at Sand Rock.
Caught 13 passes for 153 yards and a touchdown, added 13 yards on two carries and scored the game-winning two-point conversion on a run in a 22-21 victory over Homewood.
BLAKE McKENNA, BRIARWOOD CHRISTIAN: Finished with three catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns in a 21-10 victory over Hartselle.
MALIK STRICKLAND, LAWRENCE COUNTY: Caught eight passes for 120 yards in a 27-25 victory over Decatur.
KENDALE ALLEN, GARDENDALE: Had three catches for 111 yards and a TD in a 35-7 victory over Hazel Green.
JOHN RANDALL FOSTER, SAND ROCK: Caught four passes for 169 yards and accounted for all three Wildcats scores in a 44-21 loss to Spring Garden. Banks Alexander completed the TD tosses for Foster, who also scored on a 65-yard run.
REGINALD SUMMAGE, JEFF DAVIS: Had four catches for 127 yards and an 83-yard touchdown in the Vols’ 17-13 win over Sidney Lanier. Teammate Tavares Womack had six catches for 115 yards, including a 68-yard touchdown.
MIKEY McINTOSH, MUSCLE SHOALS: Hauled in five pass receptions for 112 yards and two touchdowns covering 36 and 32 yards in the unbeaten Trojans’ 29-10 win over Florence.
BRISEN TATUM, BILLINGSLEY: Had seven catches for 109 yards and a touchdown, rushed seven times for 76 yards ands and a TD and also returned a punt for a score in the Bears’ 47-7 win over Prattville Christian. Teammate Jonatavies Todd, a starting offensive lineman, also scored two touchdowns on short runs.
JAMES HANDEY, TRINITY PRESBYTERIAN: Caught five passes for 106 yards and one touchdown in the Wildcats’ 33-10 victory over Montgomery Academy.
WILLIAM ROBERTSON, MONTGOMERY ACADEMY: Grabbed seven catches for 111 yards and a TD in the Eagles’ 33-10 setback to Trinity Presbyterian.
KISEAN JOHNSON, RAMSAY: Caught three passes for 99 yards and TD catches of 21 and 20 yards in a 55-12 victory over Central-Tuscaloosa.
DEVIN HOLDEN, OAK MOUNTAIN: Grabbed five receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown in a 21-7 victory over Pelham.

Was 12-of-22 passing for 290 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 278 yards and two scores on 25 carries to lead the Wildcats past Houston Academy 47-20. He also booted 5 of 6 extra points. His chief receiver was Rashaad Coleman, who snagged nine catches for 215 yards and two TDs on offense and made two interceptions for Florala on defense.
KHORI BOWLING, SHEFFIELD: Passed for 271 yards and three touchdowns to lead Sheffield to a 34-22 win over R.A. Hubbard. He also rushed for the Bulldogs’ other two TDs as Sheffield overcame a 16-0 deficit to post the win.
AUSTIN MILLS, MADISON COUNTY: Completed 7-of-8 passes for 269 yards and four TDs in a 42-7 victory over New Hope.
Completed 19-of-27 passes for 247 yards with a touchdown and an interception in a 22-21 victory over Homewood.
KOURTLAN MARSH, MORTIMER JORDAN: Completed 17-of-28 passes for 245 yards and five touchdowns and ran three times for 53 yards in a 48-6 victory over Hayden.
7-of-22 passing for 243 yards and TD passes of 33, 32 and 14 yards and ran for 58 yards and another score on nine carries in a 29-10 victory over Florence.
HESS HORNE, EUFAULA: Threw for 236 yards and four touchdowns in leading the Tigers to a 55-21 win in over Alma Bryant. His TD passes covered 14, 31, 45 and 54 yards to four different receivers.
TY HUTTO, LAWRENCE COUNTY: Finished 16-of-23 passing for 221 yards and one TD and rushed for a touchdown in a 27-25 victory over Decatur. It was the first Lawrence County win over the Red Raiders in seven games played since 1954. Decatur now holds a 21-4 edge in the series that began in 1923.
RYLEY KIRK, SPRING GARDEN: Completed 10-of-14 pass attempts for 235 yards and three touchdowns in the Panthers’ 44-21 victory at Sand Rock in Thursday’s AHSAA TV Network/NFHS Network Game of the Week.

TYRONE FRANKLIN, LEE-MONTGOMERY: Ran for three touchdowns and was 9-of-16 passing for 191 yards and two TDs covering 75 and 43 yards as the unbeaten Generals (6-0) downed Carver-Montgomery (4-1) in a battle of unbeatens 49-14.
CHASE FORD, JEFF DAVIS: The freshman quarterback was 10-of-12 passing for 242 yards and two touchdowns (83 and 68) yards as the Vols won their first game of the season 17-13 over Sidney Lanier.
BYRON BRACK, PIKE ROAD: Led the Patriots (6-0) to their sixth straight win completing 12-of-21 passes for 234 yards and four TDs in a 35-0 win over Headland. His TD tosses covered 43, 38, 27 and 3 yards.
JOHN DAVID BONNER, TRINITY PRESBYTERIAN: Completed 13-of-18 passes for 183 yards and two touchdowns in a 33-10 win over Montgomery Academy.
CHRISTIAN IVEY, MONTGOMERY CATHOLIC: Was 10-of-15 passing for 158 yards and rushed for 75 yards and two TDs on eight carries to finish with 233 total yards as the Knights beat Beauregard 41-12.
JAY TRAWICK, REHOBETH: Fired a 5-yard TD pass to Trey Turner on third down in overtime to give the Rebels a 28-25 win over Wicksburg. He finished the night 7-of-11 passing for 106 yards and two scores and rushed for 50 yards on eight carries.
BRITTON KOHN, MONTGOMERY ACADEMY: Connected on 16-of-34 passes for 216 yards and a TD in a 33-10 loss to Trinity Presbyterian.
SAMUEL COSBY, CEDAR BLUFF:  Completed 8-of-11 pass attempts for 174 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for a third in a 35-0 homecoming win over Gaylesville.
ZACHARY FRANKLIN, HANCEVILLE: Accounted for six touchdowns, two rushing and four passing, as the Bulldogs downed Curry 50-22.

TREY LEINDECKER, PHIL CAMPBELL: Ran for 327 yards and three touchdowns covering 86, 82 and 13 yards as the Bobcats blanked Phillips 29-0.
JERRY BURTON, PRICEVILLE: Ran for 220 yards and four touchdowns in a 37-10 victory over Falkville.
CARLOS CORBIN, HUNTSVILLE: Gained 216 rushing yards and scored four touchdowns on 13 carries, all
in the first half, in a 63-0 victory over Columbia.
MATTHEW CLARK, MEEK: Had 35 carries for 208 yards and one TD in a 28-6 loss to Sumiton Christian.
TERRANCE MOORE, MOODY: Carried 25 times for 208 yards and three TDs in a 41-20 victory over Shelby County.
JEFFREY ROWSER, RAMSAY: Picked up 190 yards on 12 rush attempts and scored on a 20-yard run in a 55-12 victory over Central-Tuscaloosa.
JEFFREY ROWSER, RAMSAY: Gained 190 yards rushing on 12 carries and scored one TD as the Rams (5-1) beat Central-Tuscaloosa 55-12.
BLAKE CARROLL, ARITON: Had 170 yards rushing and scored three touchdowns as Ariton downed Slocomb 41-29. He also had 10 tackles on defense.
TRENT DAVIS, ETOWAH: Playing with a high ankle sprain, he rushed for 155 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries and intercepted a pass in the Blue Devils’ 26-20 win over Fort Payne. The game played last Friday was interrupted by lightning delays and concluded just after midnight.
QUINSHON JUDKINS, PIKE ROAD: Had 18 carries for 139 yards and one touchdown as the Patriots (6-0) beat Headland 35-0.
JEREMIAH COBB, MONTGOMERY CATHOLIC: Ran 13 times for 136 yards and two touchdowns in a 41-12 win over Beauregard.
JUSTIN McDANIEL, MARS HILL BIBLE: Ran for 111 yards and three TDs on 16 carries to lift the defending Class 1A state champion Panthers to a 46-27 win over Brooks. It was 15th straight win for Mars Hill since falling to the Lions 36-35 last season.
DARRIAN MEADS, HOKES BLUFF: Rushed for four touchdowns, all in the first half, as the Eagles beat Glencoe 35-6.

Stanhope Elmore Soccer Standout Dylan Presciti Kicks Mustangs to ‘Football’ win

AHSAA Special Teams Spotlight For Week 5

MONTGOMERY – Stanhope Elmore High School soccer standout Dylan Presciti has taken a shine to ‘football’ this season. And the Mustangs’ faithful are taking a shine to their place-kicker. Presciti kicked two field goals of 33 and 27 yards and two extra points to lift Stanhope Elmore past Smiths Station 20-17 last Friday.
     The 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior delivered the clutch 27-yarder with four seconds remaining to seal the win and earned the AHSAA Special Teams Spotlight for Week 5.
The Mustangs of Coach Brian Bradford are off to a 5-1 start this season and are tied with Opelika at 2-0 atop the Class 6A, Region 3 standings. Stanhope Elmore goes to Wetumpka Friday to face their Elmore County arch-rivals in a key region battle for both teams.
     Presciti edged another outstanding kicker Jacob Fruewald of Bob Jones, for this week’s Spotlight. Fruewald also kicked a 27-yard field to give the Class 7A Patriots a 30-28 road win over Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa.

The Panthers’ place-kicker hit a 25-yard field goal as time expired to send the game with Rehobeth into overtime and added a 17-yard field goal in the extra period to give his team a brief 25-22 lead. Rehobeth rebounded in their time on offense to score a game-winning touchdown to claim a 28-25 win.
JAYLIN PETERSON, RAMSAY: After his team fell behind 6-0 in the first quarter, Peterson returned the ensuing kickoff 73 yards for a touchdown and Ramsay went on to post a 55-12 win over Central-Tuscaloosa.

ETHAN TRIMM, HELENA: Blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown in a 61-10 victory over Southside-Gadsden.
JAKARI FOSTER, PIEDMONT: Returned the opening kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown in the Bulldogs’ 35-14 victory over Jacksonville. Teammate Austin Estes also returned a kickoff 82 yards for another TD later in the game.
WHIT JOHNSON, CHEROKEE COUNTY: Returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown and added a 12-yard TD run in the Warriors’ 49-6 win over Weaver that was terminated in the second half due to lightning. Teammate Ryon Dunn also blocked his second punt in as many games to spark the Warriors’ special-teams effort.


Vestavia Junior Ethan Strand Clocks 15:03.13 To Win Huntsville’s Southern Showcase Meet

 AHSAA Cross Country Week 5 Spotlight

      MONTGOMERY – Junior distance runner Ethan Strand turned in the best time of his prep cross country career and the top time in the AHSAA for the 2019 season last weekend to capture the featured varsity race at the Southern Showcase Cross Country Invitational at Huntsville’s John Hunt Park.
    In the girls’ feature race, two defending state champions battled to the end with defending Class 6A state champ Lainey Phelps, a senior at Homewood, pulling away in the last 100 yards to beat junior Presley Miles of Saint James. Phelps’ winning time was 17:36.18, and Miles, the defending Class 3A state champion, was timed at 18:04.83.
     Strand and Rainey, in the process, ran their way into the AHSAA Cross Country Spotlight for Week 5.
    Strand’s winning time, one of the tops in the nation this season, gave him a 22-second victory over runner-up Will Pinson of Huntsville, who crossed at 15:25.91. Six of the 118 runners finished below 15:40 in the major meet’s feature race. Strand, who is fast becoming one of the nation’s top distance runners, won the 2018 Class 7A state cross country title with a time of 15:24.29 – best overall among runners in all classes at last year’s state meet.
    Phelps, who won the Class 6A state cross country individual championship in 2016 with a time of 18:02.13 and captured the title again in 2018 clocking 17:22.51, also turned in one of the best times in the nation last weekend. Miles, who won the 3A state championship in 2018 with a 17:49.94 time, was second in Class 4A as a freshman in 2016.
   Huntsville won the Southern Challenge boys’ varsity team title with 43 points and Vestavia Hills was second with 69.  Cullman’s girls had 56 points to win the large-school division competition, and St John Paul II Catholic had 27 points to claim the small-school girls’ team title. A total of 680 boys competed in the three boys’ races and 360 girls participated in the three girls’ races at John Hunt Park.
    Several meets are set for this coming weekend with the Battle of the Bay at Loxley, the Kudzu Hills Invitational at Bremen, the Oak Mountain Invitational, Scottsboro Invitational and the Warriors Invitational at Florence, all set for Saturday. The Huntsville City Championships will be Monday.  The annual Jesse Owens Classic meet will be held at Oakville on Oct. 5. That meet, which annually attracts one of the largest field of runners in the Southeast, will feature some of the best prep teams and runners in the nation.
     Results of all the AHSAA 5,000-meter races reported last week include:


John Hunt Park, Huntsville (Host: Huntsville HS)

VARSITY BOYS WINNER (Featured Race): Huntsville 43; Vestavia Hills 69; Scottsboro 78.
1. Ethan Strand, Vestavia Hills           15:03.13
2. Will Pinson, Huntsville                   15:25.91

3. Crawford Hope, Homewood          15:29.01

4. Hayden Judge, Scottsboro              15:29.46


LARGE-SCHOOL BOYS TEAM WINNER: Randolph 59; Vestavia Hills 89; Baylor (TN) 93.
1. Dustyn Lewis, Grissom                   15:57.90
2. Xian Campbell, Baylor (TN)          16:35.52
3. Lee Thomas, Randolph                  16:46.37
4. Jean Pierre LeRoux, Bob Jones      16:55.29


SMALL-SCHOOL BOYS TEAM WINNER: DAR 38; Westminster Christian 69; Tanner 111; Priceville 113.


1. John Farmer, Westminster              17:29.85

2. Kyle Van Kirk, Westminster          17:35.22

3. Kyle Saylor, DAR                          17:42.84

4. Andrew Wrenn, DAR                     17:53.19

VARSITY GIRLS WINNER (Featured Race): Independence (TN) 79; Vestavia Hills 88; Homewood 92.
1. Lainey Phelps, Homewood             17:36.18
2. Presley Miles, Saint James             18:04.83
3. Crawford West, Homewood           18:55.36

4. Ann Braese, Arlington (TN)           19:25.03

LARGE-SCHOOL GIRLS TEAM WINNER: Cullman 56; Lawrence County 56; Homewood 127.


1. Emily Daniel, Lawrence Co.          20:05.64
2. Jennifer Aviles, Cullman                20:30.75
3. Savannah Williams, Lawrence Co. 20:42.37
4. Marin Poleshek, Homewood          20:44.91

SMALL-SCHOOL GIRLS TEAM WINNER: St. John Paul II Catholic 27; Pisgah 52; Westminster Christian 66.


1. Kendall Wright, St. James              20:33.25
2. Hannah Richardson, St. James        21:32.92
3. Elizabeth Slone Butler, DAR         22:19.02
4. Mary Custodio, St. John Paul II     23:37.37


Sokol Park, Tuscaloosa (Host: American Christian HS)

CLASS 5A/7A BOYS TEAM WINNER: Hoover 30; Helena 38; American Christian 107.
1. Brady Barton, Helena                     16:22.50
2. Talon Pritchard, Helena                  17:02.57
3. Forrest York, Northridge                17:10.88

4. John M. Williamson, Hoover         17:17.65

CLASS 1A/4A BOYS TEAM WINNER: Cold Springs 24; Providence Christian 52; Altamont 67.


1. Clay Suddarth, Providence Chr.     17:33.78
2. Ethan Edgeworth, Cold Springs     17:50.82

3. Jonathan Collett, Cold Springs       18:16.12 

4. Seth Walker, Cold Springs             18:22.59

CLASS 5A/7A GIRLS TEAM WINNER: Hoover 28; American Christian 42; Helena 72.


1. Mary Collins, Northridge               19:39.93
2. Lauren Wallace, Hoover                 20:29.76
3. Karis Kelley, American Chr.          20:32.27
4. Elizabeth Vise, Northridge             20:39.57

CLASS 1A/4A GIRLS TEAM WINNER: Providence Christian 30; Cold Springs 33; Holy Spirit Catholic 89; Altamont 99.


1. Grace Crim, Providence Chr.         19:33.84
2. Reagan Parris, Cold Springs           20:53.33
3. Anaelyse Perez-Ruiz, Holy Spirit   21:27.32
4. Kendall Lacoste, University C.      22:07.28

Grady, Al.

BOYS TEAM WINNER: Auburn 48; Montgomery Catholic 55; Smiths Station 65.
1. Woodrow Dean, Tallassee              16:04.50

2. Savian Taylor, Smiths Station        16:24.28

3. Hollis Johnson, Mont.-Catholic      16:28.85

4. Sean Dorrill, Central-PC                16:34.04

GIRLS TEAM WINNER: Central-Phenix City 47; Auburn 49; Smiths Station 54.

1. Adley Burkes, Central-PC              18:59.98
2. Olivia Blackmon, TR Miller           20:19.13
3. Abigail Garner, Central-PC            20:25.74
4. Kyndall Foley, Ala. Christian         20:52.33

Quail Creek Golf Course (Host: Hartselle HS)

BOYS TEAM WINNER: Hartselle 48; Deshler 88; Hatton 128.
1. Nicolas Ulrich, Athens Bible          17:34.30
2. Cody Hill, Deshler                          17:34.76
3. Carson Graves, Hatton                   17:49.18

4. Hawken Foote, Hartselle                17:57.39

GIRLS TEAM WINNER: Hatton 61; Deshler 72; Elkmont 82.


1. Cissie Duykers, Hartselle                21:92.48
2. Claudia Allen, Elkmont                  22:00.65
3. Mallory Cole, Brooks                     22:06.83
4. Ally Amerson, Hatton                    22:21.97

Westview Baptist Church, Opp (Host: Opp HS)

BOYS TEAM WINNER: Enterprise 15; Wicksburg 57; Dothan 81.
1. Tyler Rathburn, Enterprise             16:02.42
2. Henry Templin, Enterprise             16:41.31
3. William Kim, Enterprise                 16:50.48

4. Brett Tessay, Enterprise                  17:08.53

GIRLS TEAM WINNER: Enterprise 27; Dothan 49; Pleasant Home 83.


1. Natalie Warner, Enterprise             20:27.88
2. Lauren Rodgers, Enterprise            21:32.22
3. Kayleigh Riordan, Enterprise         21:41.63
4. Kate Smith, Dothan                         21:43.83

Blakeley State Park (Host: Daphne HS)

BOYS TEAM WINNER: St. Paul’s Episcopal 40; Baker 87; UMS-Wright 96.
1. Joseph Perry, UMS-Wright            16:30.53
2. Carson Barlow, Baker                     16:38.91
3. John M. Romanos, St. Paul’s          16:41.35

4. Drew Roberts, McGill-Toolen        16:43.19

GIRLS TEAM WINNER: St. Paul’s Episcopal 60; Baker 63; McGill-Toolen Catholic 81.

1. B. Biancamano, L. Beach (MS)      18:31.11
2. Isabel Valenzuela, St. Paul’s          19:24.27
3. Lindsey Baxter, Baker                    19:30.02
4. Emily Shumock, Faith Ac.             19:45.85

(Host: Central, Clay County HS)

BOYS TEAM WINNER: White Plains 31.
1. Reginald Sweetwyne, B. Russell    17:36.90
2. Dakota Frank, Munford                  17:37.50
3. James Middlebrooks, W. Plains      17:40.20

4. Luke Larson, White Plains             18:01.10

GIRLS TEAM WINNER: White Plains 27.


1. Savannah Yates, White Plains        22:26.70
2. Camden Wilson, White Plains        22:36.60
3. Anna Strickland, White Plains        23:13.50
4. Taylor Simmons, Donoho              23:22.00

Cartersville (GA)

GIRLS TEAM WINNER: Marist (GA) 106; St. Pius X (GA) 133; Auburn (151).


1. Hannah Miniutti, Blessed Trinity GA        17:54.00
3. Samantha Rogers, Auburn                          17:59.10
31. Harper McGowan, Auburn                       19:08.70




Mountain Brook Extends Streak to 20 in a Row with Championship of HeffStrong Invitational tourney

AHSAA Volleyball Spotlight for Week 5

MONTGOMERY – Mountain Brook High School’s Spartans volleyball team extended its current win streak to 20 in a row last weekend by winning the HeffStrong Invitational tournament at Spain Park High School.
    The Spartans (34-5) of Coach Vickie Nichols won 11 matches in a row to win the 66-team Rocky Top Classic the previous weekend and followed with a regular-season victory over Hewitt-Trussville and six straight wins at the HeffStrong tourney. Mountain Brook didn’t lose a single set in the seven matches and beat host Spain Park in the finals.
     The dominating win streak catapulted Class 7A Mountain Brook into the AHSAA Volleyball Spotlight for week five of the 2019 season. Senior Grace Carr continued her strong play on the net with 54 kills, 40 digs and eight service aces. Senior teammate Hannah Hitson added 23 kills, seven blocks and seven aces, junior Celie Field also had 23 kills, five blocks, 30 digs and nine aces. Senior setter Ann Vandevelde, handed out 107 assists and also had 38 digs, five kills and three blocks in a strong all-around effort.
   The next major tournament for Mountain Brook will be the Margaret Blalock Invitational scheduled for Oct. 11-12.
    The Spartans’ team streak edged out a noteworthy milestone by Chelsea setter Bailey Drew McIntyre. She had 183 assists for the week and recorded the 1,000th assist of her career on Saturday in a win over Russell County at the Smiths Station Tourney. The Hornets (26-2) captured the championship later in the day beating Harris County (GA) in the finals. Chelsea was
8-1 on the week with wins over Vestavia Hills and Homewood in regular season play and victories over Valley, Smiths Station, Russell County, Shaw (Ga.), Central-Phenix City and Harris County in the tourney. McIntyre also had 63 digs and 25 service aces.




SAVANNAH RUTLEDGE, ALBERTVILLE: Won MVP honors leading the Aggies (21-4) to the Marshall County Tournament championship. She had 110 assists, 22 service aces, 16 kills and three blocks. Albertville, after losing to Arab in pool play, beat the Knights in the finals.
ANNA JOHNSON, ALEXANDRIA: The Valley Cubs’ setter turned in 152 assists, 46 digs, 20 aces and 15 kills as Alexandria (29-6) won eight matches to win the Brooks Invitational.

BLISS BROWN, SOUTHSIDE-GADSDEN: Handed out 150 assists and served seven aces as the Panthers (23-08) won the Champions Fall Fest Invitational and finished 7-1 on the week.
ABIGAIL WISTNER, MADISON ACADEMY: Totaled 110 assists, 61 kills, 79 digs and 17 aces as the Mustangs (27-10) went 8-2 on the week. Madison Academy won the Priceville Invitational going 8-0.
KARSEN KINMAN, HORSESHOE BEND: Had 29 assists as Horseshoe Bend won the Tallapoosa County tournament with wins over
Ranburne, Dadeville and Reeltown.
PAGE MORRIS, SPAIN PARK: Totaled 70 kills, 15 aces, seven blocks and 11 digs as the Jaguars went 8-1 for the week and finished runner-up in the HeffStrong Tourney.
GRACIE LYNN BUTLER, HAZEL GREEN: Totaled 77 kills and 26 blocks as the defending Class 6A state champion Trojans (35-5) finished 6-1 and reached the finals of the WILLCO Invitational in Tennessee before falling to Greenwood (KY).
HAILEY HOLSEHOUSER, HARTSELLE: Had 99 digs and 72 kills as Hartselle (33-5) went 8-1 for the week, including 4-1 at the WILLCO Invitational tourney. Teammate Grace Leighton also had 192 assists and 15 aces.
ANN MARGARET KEENER, CENTRAL-FLORENCE: Passed out 256 assists, had 124 digs and 27 aces to lead Central to a 7-2 record and a strong showing in the Brooks Invitational.
MARY BETH LONG, G.W. LONG: Had 22 kills in a 25-21, 25-15, 25-20 setback to Houston Academy. She scored 39.3% of her team’s points just on her kill shots.
ASHLEY CONNER, HOUSTON ACADEMY: Had 31 assists as the Raiders upset G.W. Long 3-0.
RYA McKINNON, HOOVER: Had 30 kills and three service aces in two match wins as the Bucs beat Thompson and handed defending Class 5A state champion Jasper its first in-state
JASMINE BROOKS, SPARKMAN: Had 13 kills and nine service aces as the Senators (22-8) beat Austin.
ADELINE BARNES, BOB JONES: Helped the Patriots (16-8) go 4-2 at the HeffStrong tourney by notching 108 assists and 29 digs. Among the Bob Jones wins was a victory over defending Class 7A state champion McGill-Toolen Catholic.
KALLIE BURDEN, DESHLER: Totaled 74 kills and five blocks in the Brooks Invitational as the Tigers went 7-1 for the week.
ALI WIGGINS, ENTERPRISE: Helped the Wildcats go 3-1 at the HeffStrong Tournament with 21 assists and 15 kills.
KAYLIE WRIGHT, MUSCLE SHOALS: Had 92 kills and 12 aces in 10 matches as the Trojans (20-12) went 6-4 for the week.
KAROLINE STRIPLIN, GENEVA COUNTY: Led the Bulldogs to s 3-0 win over Houston County with nine service saves and eight kills.
COURTNEY STONE, DORA: Had 147 assists and 36 digs in nine matches for the Bulldogs.
KHLOE KIMBRELL, CURRY: Had 136 assists, 43 digs and 17 aces as Curry (35-6) went 9-1 on the week with the only loss coming to Southside-Gadsden at the Champions Fall Fest tourney.
MARISSA KOCH, ST. JOHN PAUL II: Had 113 kills and 14 aces in nine matches for the Falcons.

CALEY GARRETT, SAND ROCK: Led the Wildcats to five wins in seven matches with 120 digs and 10 aces.



High School Football is Thriving, Not Dying

Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff, NFHS Executive Director

When the annual High School Athletics Participation Survey was released by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in August, many headlines across the country focused on the drop in the number of boys playing 11-player football. After all, the report showed 30,829 fewer participants than the year before. However, perhaps the most important number was overlooked – 14,247.

            Yes, 14,247, the number of high schools with 11-player football teams. While there was a slight decline in the number of participants in many states, the number of schools sponsoring the sport was the highest in five years. In fact, the number of schools last year with 11-player teams has only been topped twice in the survey’s history – 14,262 in 2013-14 and 14,279 in 2010-11.

            In addition, smaller schools in some states have shifted to 6-player, 8-player and 9-player football and have had good responses. The survey indicates an additional 156 schools and 1,594 participants involved in these alternate forms of the sport; and, in the past 10 years, participation by girls in 11-player football has doubled, with more than 2,400 participants this past year. 

These numbers express the desire by high schools to keep alive one of the oldest and most treasured traditions in our nation – Friday Night Football Under the Lights. Although there are many options today for the entertainment dollar, nothing surpasses supporting the local high school football team on Friday nights. The No. 1 fan base in America? The answer is that number again – 14,247.

            In Week 2 of the National Football League season, just under 1.1 million fans attended the 16 games. While impressive, it doesn’t come close to the number of fans who watched high school football during the corresponding week. It’s all in that number – 14,247.

            With approximately 7,123 games every Friday night (14,247 divided by 2), and with a conservative estimate of 1,000 fans per game, there are more than 7 million fans in high school football stadiums every week. An unofficial attendance survey conducted by the NFHS in 2011 indicated about 165 million fans attended high school football games during that season, which included up to five weeks of playoffs and a weekly average of 11 million fans. Either way, the number of fans at high school football games dwarfs the numbers attending professional football games.   

             Early season crowds have been strong in many areas of the country with terrific fall weather – current and former students; parents, grandparents and friends of players on the team; longtime fans and supporters in the community. Unlike crowds at the college and professional levels where fans have little, if any, identity with the players, there is a connection between the players and fans at the high school level.

            With concussion protocols and laws in place in every state, with a reduction in contact levels before the season and during practices, and with teaching of proper tackling skills at lower levels, we believe people, including parents of high school student-athletes, are seeing and believing that the sport of football at the high school level is as safe as it ever has been.  

            We urge you to support your local high school football team this Friday night.


Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff is beginning 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.