Monday, February 17, 2020






Author: David Holtsford

David Holtsford's Article

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

Vestavia boys, Southside Girls Earn Top Seeds in Region Bowling Championships

   Stanhope Elmore’s girls bowling team and defending state champion Vestavia Hills’ boys team emerged from the first day’s competition at the AHSAA South Region Bowling Championships at the AMF Camelia Bowl at Mobile to earn No. 1 seeds in Friday’s head-to-head team competition. East Limestone’s boys and defending state champion Southside-Gadsden’s girls captured No. 1 seeds at the North Region Bowling Championships being held at Vestavia Bowl.
    All 16 teams competing at the regionals qualified through area play at each site. The first day’s competition included three games of traditional bowling on Thursday with the total pins for each team determining the seeding from 1 through 16 for Friday’s Baker format head-to-head team competition. All first-round winners on Friday will qualify for the AHSAA State Bowling Championships at Pelham’s Oak Mountain Lanes next week, Jan. 23-24.

   At Mobile, Vestavia Hills’ boys team rolled a 2,871 total and Thompson captured second seed with 2,814 pins. The Rebels had a 1,010 total in the first game – the top team score of any round. Auburn (2,797) and Mary Montgomery (2,706) ranked third and fourth behind the Rebels and Warriors.
   Vestavia also had the top total (996) in the second game and Thompson rolled posted the top round (957) in the third game.
    Stanhope Elmore’s Josh Wilson led the individual competition with a 190-236-239—665 series. Thompson’s Jacob Acker was second just one pin behind with a 239-223-202—664. Baker’s Trent Wilson was a close third at 215-207-213—635.
MARSHAL PACES STANHOPE ELMORE GIRLS: The Mustangs pulled away from the competition in the South girls’ team competition Thursday with a three-game 781-866-902—2,549 pin total. Thompson was second at 2,289, followed by Spain Park (2,092) and Gulf Shores (2,052). Southside had the top game in all three rounds.
     Stanhope Elmore’s Kacey Marshall led the girls’ individual competition with a 183-257-220—660 series to lead the competition. Her 257 in the second round was the top game of the day. Jillian Hulsey of Thompson was second with a 159-197-186—542 series. She set the girls’ single-game state record with a 289 last year in the state tourney at Pelham.  Stanhope Elmore’s Meghan Best and Alyssa Ward finished third and  fourth in the girls’ individual scoring with series of 540 and 519, respectively.

   At Vestavia Hills, the East Limestone boys’ squad edged past Gadsden City by just six strokes to earn Friday’s top seed in the head-to-head championship bracket. The Pirates rolled 938-946-886—2,770 and the Titans’ totals were 925-880-059—2,764. Sparkman (2,696) landed the third seed and Hewitt-Trussville (2,611), the fourth seed. The top game was recorded by Gadsden City (959) in the third game of the traditional competition.
    Cole Arsenalt of Sparkman turned in the top individual series in the North boys’ competition with a 247-224-205—676 series. Gadsden City’s Tommy Butler was second in Thursday’s individual play with a 251-174-205—630 series. His 251 was tops in  the first round. Carson Barnes of Lamar County rolled a 258 in the second  game, the top round of the day for the boys, to finish tied fourth with Nick Delgado of Grissom with a 617 series. Austin Turner was third overall with a 618 series. His 235 in third set was the game in that round.
DEFENDING CHAMP SOUTHSIDE FINISHES STRONG: Southside, vying to capture its fourth straight AHSAA state championship, rolled the top games team wise in all three rounds Thursday totaling 799-815-801—2,415 to take the top seed by 152 pins over runner-up Hazel Green (779-776-708—2,263). Sparkman, which won the first girls’ state title when bowling returned to the AHSAA championship sport lineup in 2016, rolled a 2,184 series to take third seed and Hartselle (1,995) earned fourth seed.
     American Christian’s McKenzie Skelton turned in a 223-182-204—609 series to take the top honors in  the individual competition by 107 pins over her nearest competition. Jessica Clontz of Southside was second with a 172-167-263—502 series. Southside teammate Ashlee Hull was third at 498 and Emily Lindsey of Sparkman (496) was fourth.
    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 5 p.m.

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

Single elimination team play starts at 8 a.m. Finals are set for 5 p.m.
(At Camelia Bowl, Mobile)
GIRLS’ Bracket

No. 16 seed McGill-Toolen Catholic vs. No. 1 seed Stanhope Elmore
No. 9 seed Vestavia Hills vs. No. 8 seed Foley
No. 12 seed Alma Bryant vs. No. 5 seed Baker
No. 13 seed Oak Mountain vs. No. 4 seed Gulf Shores

No. 14 seed Houston Academy vs. No. 3 seed Spain Park
No. 11 seed Pelham vs. No. 6 seed Satsuma
No. 10 seed Auburn vs. No. 7 seed Dothan
No. 15 seed Homewood vs. No. 2 seed Thompson

BOYS’ Bracket
No. 16 seed UMS-Wright vs. No. 1 seed Vestavia Hills
No. 9 seed Oak Mountain vs. No. 8 seed Baker
No. 12 seed Homewood vs. No. 5 seed Spain Park
No. 13 seed Theodore vs. No. 4 seed Mary Montgomery

No. 14 seed Houston Academy vs. No. 3 seed Auburn
No. 11 seed Foley vs. No. 6 seed Stanhope Elmore
No. 10 seed Hoover vs. No. 7 seed Daphne
No. 15 seed Dothan vs. No. 2 seed Thompson

(At Vestavia Bowl, Vestavia Hills)
GIRLS’ Bracket

No. 16 seed Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa vs. No. 1 seed Southside-Gadsden
No. 9 seed Grissom vs. No. 8 seed Hokes Bluff
No. 12 seed Gardendale vs. No. 5 seed American Christian
No. 13 seed Priceville vs. No. 4 seed Hartselle

No. 14 seed Northridge vs. No. 3 seed Sparkman
No. 11 seed Huntsville vs. No. 6 seed Hewitt-Trussville
No. 10 seed St. Clair County vs. No. 7 seed Corner
No. 15 seed Sipsey Valley vs. No. 2 seed Hazel Green

BOYS’ Bracket
No. 16 seed Lamar County vs. No. 1 seed East Limestone
No. 9 seed Huntsville vs. No. 8 seed Corner
No. 12 seed Scottsboro vs. No. 5 seed Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa
No. 13 seed Shades Valley vs. No. 4 seed Hewitt-Trussville

No. 14 seed Lincoln vs. No. 3 seed Sparkman
No. 11 seed Grissom vs. No. 6 seed Southside-Gadsden
No. 10 seed Northridge vs. No. 7 seed Hartselle
No. 15 seed Paul Bryant vs. No. 2 seed Gadsden City


Spring Garden Lady Panthers Present Coach Ricky Austin Win No. 600 – and Counting …

   MONTGOMERY – Spring Garden High School’s veteran girls’ basketball coach Ricky Austin coached his 600th win in of all places – Georgia – earlier this season. The Panthers beat Haralson County (GA) in the first round of the Haralson County Invitational tourney at Tallapoosa (Ga) 51-24 on December 28.
    Two weeks later, Spring Garden (20-2) played an almost perfect game to beat Jacksonville Christian 96-39 for its 10th win in a row. The red-hot Panthers and their legendary coach grab this week’s AHSAA Girls’ Basketball Spotlight.
   Austin (607-161), now in his 24th season as head girls’ coach, started the season with a 587-159 career girls’ basketball record and five Class 1A state titles (2018, 2016, 2008, 2005, 2004). The Panthers also have three runner-up finishes (2017, 2015, and 2002) during that span. His record does not reflect the approximately 200 wins his boys’ teams at Spring Garden have won.
      This year’s team is currently 20-2 heading into Friday night’s semifinal game in the Cherokee County tourney. The two losses came by a combined four points to Lauderdale County (45-44) on December 19 and Collinsville (47-44) on Nov. 26.
      Wife his wife, Dana, coaching his side, Spring Garden has become a household name when it comes to girls’ basketball in the AHSAA. Dana and her twin sister Jana played on Spring Garden’s first state championship team in 1987 and then starred at Jacksonville State.
     In the win over Jacksonville Christian, the Lady Panthers scored 41 points in the first quarter – sinking shots on 17 of their first 25 attempts from the floor. The team forced 19 turnovers in that stretch and with just over a minute remaining in the first half, Austin had gotten every player into the game and had scored on 68.6% percent of their 35 possessions to build a 56-11 lead.
  “I wish I could duplicate that every game. That would be a great year,” Austin told an East Alabama Sports reporter. “It was pretty precise.”
      Macy Reedy and Kayley Kirk led that win with 14 points each. All 14 players on the team scored and the Panthers canned 15 3-point attempts. Reedy and Abbie Steward had four each. Four other players had at least one each.  Jacksonville Christian’s Rebekah Carter had 21 points for the Thunder.
   Other top girls’ performances reported from last week:

MADISON PARKER, WEST END: Canned two free throws with no time remaining lift West End to a 45-44 win over Sardis in the Etowah County tournament.
IVEY MADDOX, GOOD HOPE: Sank two free throws with six seconds remaining in overtime to lift Good Hope past Hanceville 52-48 in overtime. She finished with 22 points. Kelly Pickett had 25 for Hanceville.

JENNA WALKER, PRICEVILLE: Dished out 11 assists, scored eight points and grabbed four rebounds in a 54-24 victory over Danville.
CORDASIA HARRIS, CENTRAL-HAYNEVILLE: Scored 34 points in a 64-39 win over Highland Home and 31 in a 59-34 victory over Luverne for the Central (13-3).
BELLA MILLIRONS, COOSA CHRISTIAN: Had 30 points and teammate India Brown added 18 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists as the Conquerors beat Westbrook Christian 71-40.
AALIYAH POSTMA, LEE-MONTGOMERY: Scored 21 points to lead the Lady Generals to a 43-38 come-from-behind win over Enterprise. The Wildcats led 29-21 heading into the final period but Lee outscored the hosts 22-9 in the final eight minutes to seal the win. She had 12 points in the final quarter.
JANIYA LABYZON, VIGOR: Led all scorers with 28 points in a win over LeFlore.
ELSIE HARRIS, B.C. RAIN: Scored 29 points in a 63-52 victory over Baldwin County.

ASHLEY PHILLIPS, ALEXANDRIA: Sank five 3-pointers and finished with 24 points in the Valley Cubs’ 66-55 win over Etowah.
FARRAH PEARSON, HAZEL GREEN: Had a double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds in a 45-33 victory over Buckhorn.

RANDREA WRIGHT, CARVER-BIRMINGHAM: Had 24 points and 10 assists against Homewood and 15 points and 10 assists against Jackson-Olin.

JAYDN POWELL, HUEYTOWN: Posted 17 points and 13 rebounds against Jackson-Olin, 17 points and 17 rebounds against Gardendale and eight points and six rebounds against Thompson.

SARAH ASHLEE BARKER, SPAIN PARK:  Scored 20 points against Mountain Brook and added 26 points against Hewitt-Trussville.
MONTANA HARRIS, HELENA: Had 28 points and five steals against Calera and 17 points against Pelham.
EMMA SMITH, VESTAVIA HILLS: Had 18 points and 10 rebounds in upset win over Hewitt-Trussville.

NIAIRA JONES, CHARLES HENDERSON: Scored 22 points to lead the unbeaten Trojans (145-0) to a 49-36 win over Carroll.
KAROLINE STRIPLIN, GENEVA COUNTY: Totaled 27 points, 12 rebounds and five blocked shots to lead Geneva County (13-4) past Houston County 74-34.
ZAKYRIA JOHNSON, ARITON: Scored 18 points and cleared 10 rebounds in the Purple Cats’ 36-31 win over Cottonwood.
MYA BARNES, CARVER-MONTGOMERY: Had a career-high 17 rebounds, six blocked shots, five assists and a season-best 17 points in a 70-57 win over Park Crossing. She followed with 11 points and nine boards in a 69-52 win over Park Crossing for the Wolverines (14-4).

UMS-Wright’s Terry Curtis Selected 2018-19 National Football Coach of the Year by the NFHS Coaches Association

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — UMS-Wright head football coach Terry Curtis has been named the 2019 National Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association.
           He is among 23 high school coaches from across the country who have been selected as sports specific 2019 National Coaches of the Year.
          The NFHS, which has been recognizing coaches through an awards program since 1982, honors coaches in the top 10 girls sports and top 10 boys sports (by participation numbers), and in two “other” sports – one for boys and one for girls – that are not included in the top 10 listings. The NFHS also recognizes a spirit coach as a separate award category. Winners of NFHS awards must be active coaches during the year for which they receive their award. This year’s awards recognize coaches for the 2018-19 school year.
          Curtis, who spent the first 17 years of his career as an assistant coach, has compiled a 317-85 career head-coaching record in 31 years as a head football coach – with stops at Shaw and Murphy in Mobile. His last 21 years have been at UMS-Wright, where his teams have compiled an 85-23 playoff record and a 125-11 region record overall, including 50 region wins in a row from 1998-2006. His teams have won eight state titles – including the last three Class 4A championships in a row.  The Bulldogs currently own a 33-game winning streak and a 15-game state playoff win streak heading into next season. He ranks second behind Vestavia Hills High School’s Buddy Anderson (342-154) in all-time AHSAA football coaching wins. Anderson was inducted into the National High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.
       "This is quite an honor," said Curtis. "I knew I wanted to be a coach when I was in the eighth grade. I am truly humbled, and am reminded of so many others who have been responsible for our success. I share this recognition with our outstanding assistant coaches, with an administration that has always been so supportive and with players who are committed to playing for a school and a team that they believe in."
        Curtis has also been a leader off the court, currently serving as the District 1 representative on the AHSAA Central Board of Control. He is a District 1 officer and member of the AHSAA Legislative Council as well and has held numerous leadership positions, including tenures as president, in the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) and the Alabama Football Coaches Association (AFCA). He has also served a baseball official at the high school and college level.
       Curtis, who was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2004, is the fourth coach from the AHSAA to receive the National Coach of the Year award. Ann Schilling of Bayside Academy received the 2009-10 Volleyball Coach of the Year; Michael Gunner of Bob Jones High School received the 2016-17 Swimming & Diving Coach of the Year; and Sandra Seals of Winfield was selected the 2017-18 Spirit Coach of the Year by the NFHS Coaches Association.
       He is one of three AHSAA coaches that have been named Section 3 Coach of the Year for 2018-19. Vestavia Hills High School’s Brigid Meadow is the Section 3 Girls’ Soccer Coach of the Year, and Drew Bell of James Clemens High School is the Section 3 Girls’ Outdoor Track & Field Coach of the year.
        Other recipients of this year’s national awards for boys’ sports are: Glenn Cecchini, baseball, Lake Charles (Louisiana) Alfred M. Barbe High School; J.R. Holmes, basketball, Bloomington (Indiana) South High School; Karl Koonce, cross country, Pearcy (Arkansas) Lake Hamilton High School; James Orcutt, golf, North Platte (Nebraska) High School; Terry Michler, soccer, St. Louis (Missouri) Christian Brothers College High School; David Hanson, swimming and diving, Warwick (Rhode Island) Bishop Hendricken Catholic High School; David Fredette, tennis, Armada (Michigan) High School; William “Bill” Thorn, track and field, Fairburn (Georgia) Landmark Christian School; and James Matney, wrestling, Paintsville (Kentucky) Johnson Central High School.
        The recipients of the 2019 NFHS national awards for girls sports are: Jack Gayle, swimming and diving, Snellville (Georgia) Brookwood High School; Cherry Roberds, tennis, Miami (Arizona) High School; Desmond Dunham, track and field, St. John’s (District of Columbia) College High School; Valorie McKenzie, volleyball, Scottsdale (Arizona) Horizon High School; Sherri Anthony, basketball, Ponte Vedra (Florida) Nease High School; Dave Van Sickle, cross country, Phoenix (Arizona) Xavier College Preparatory; Dick Bliss, golf, Hopkinton (Massachusetts) High School; Carol Rainson-Rose, lacrosse, Northport (New York) High School; Meredith Messer, soccer, Rockport (Maine) Camden Hills Regional High School; and Deborah Schwartz, softball, Toms River (New Jersey) Donovan Catholic High School.
      The recipient of the National Coach of the Year Award for spirit is Stephanie Blackwell of Bixby  (Oklahoma) High School. Steven DeAngelis, a cross country skiing coach at Readfield (Maine) Maranacook Community High School, was chosen in the “other” category for boys sports, and Lois Emshoff, a badminton coach at Chandler (Arizona) High School, was chosen in the “other” category for girls’ sports.
       A total of 857 coaches will be recognized this year with state, sectional and national awards.

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




2018-19 National Coaches of the Year Selected by NFHS Coaches Association



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                Contact: Dan Schuster

     INDIANAPOLIS, IN (January 16, 2020)— Twenty-three high school coaches from across the country have been selected as 2019 National Coaches of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association.

     The NFHS, which has been recognizing coaches through an awards program since 1982, honors coaches in the top 10 girls sports and top 10 boys sports (by participation numbers), and in two “other” sports – one for boys and one for girls – that are not included in the top 10 listings. The NFHS also recognizes a spirit coach as a separate award category. Winners of NFHS awards must be active coaches during the year for which they receive their award. This year’s awards recognize coaches for the 2018-19 school year.

     Recipients of this year’s national awards for boys sports are: Glenn Cecchini, baseball, Lake Charles (Louisiana) Alfred M. Barbe High School; J.R. Holmes, basketball, Bloomington (Indiana) South High School; Karl Koonce, cross country, Pearcy (Arkansas) Lake Hamilton High School; Terry Curtis, football, Mobile (Alabama) UMS-Wright Preparatory School; James Orcutt, golf, North Platte (Nebraska) High School; Terry Michler, soccer, St. Louis (Missouri) Christian Brothers College High School; David Hanson, swimming and diving, Warwick (Rhode Island) Bishop Hendricken Catholic High School; David Fredette, tennis, Armada (Michigan) High School; William “Bill” Thorn, track and field, Fairburn (Georgia) Landmark Christian School; and James Matney, wrestling, Paintsville (Kentucky) Johnson Central High School.

     The recipients of the 2019 NFHS national awards for girls sports are: Jack Gayle, swimming and diving, Snellville (Georgia) Brookwood High School; Cherry Roberds, tennis, Miami (Arizona) High School; Desmond Dunham, track and field, St. John’s (District of Columbia) College High School; Valorie McKenzie, volleyball, Scottsdale (Arizona) Horizon High School; Sherri Anthony, basketball, Ponte Vedra (Florida) Nease High School; Dave Van Sickle, cross country, Phoenix (Arizona) Xavier College Preparatory; Dick Bliss, golf, Hopkinton (Massachusetts) High School; Carol Rainson-Rose, lacrosse, Northport (New York) High School; Meredith Messer, soccer, Rockport (Maine) Camden Hills Regional High School; and Deborah Schwartz, softball, Toms River (New Jersey) Donovan Catholic High School.

     The recipient of the National Coach of the Year Award for spirit is Stephanie Blackwell of Bixby  (Oklahoma) High School. Steven DeAngelis, a cross country skiing coach at Readfield (Maine) Maranacook Community High School, was chosen in the “other” category for boys sports, and Lois Emshoff, a badminton coach at Chandler (Arizona) High School, was chosen in the “other” category for girls sports.

     The NFHS has a contact in each state who is responsible for selecting deserving coach award recipients. This person often works with the state coaches’ association in his or her respective state. He or she contacts the potential state award recipients to complete a coach profile form that requests information regarding the coach’s record, membership in and affiliation with coaching and other professional organizations, involvement with other school and community activities and programs, and coaching philosophy. To be approved as an award recipient and considered for sectional and national coach of the year consideration, this profile form must be completed by the coach or designee and then approved by the executive director (or designee) of the state athletic/activities association.

     The next award level after state coach of the year is sectional coach of the year. The NFHS is divided into eight geographical sections. They are as follows: Section 1 – Northeast (CT, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VT); Section 2 – Mideast (DE, DC, KY, MD, OH, PA, VA, WV); Section 3 – South (AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN); Section 4 – Central (IL, IN, IA, MI, WI); Section 5 – Midwest (KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD); Section 6 – Southwest (AR, CO, NM, OK, TX); Section 7 – West (AZ, CA, HI, NV, UT); and Section 8 – Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY).

     The NFHS Coaches Association has an advisory committee composed of a chair and eight sectional representatives. The sectional committee representatives evaluate the state award recipients from the states in their respective sections and select the best candidates for the sectional award in each sport category. The NFHS Coaches Association Advisory Committee then considers the sectional candidates in each sport, ranks them according to a point system, and determines a national winner for each of the 20 sport categories, the spirit category and two “other” categories.

     A total of 857 coaches will be recognized this year with state, sectional and national awards.


This press release was written by Hannah Wishart, Coordinator of Educational Services with the NFHS who works with the NFHS Coaches Association and the NFHS Coach Education Program.



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 17 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 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.9 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







Lanett’s Carter, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa’s Suttles Reach Coaching Milestones

This Week’s AHSAA Boys’ Basketball Spotlight

   MONTGOMERY – Lanett High School boys’ basketball coach Richard Carter and Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa boys’ coach Scott Suttles each reached major milestones in their outstanding careers last week to catapult into the AHSAA Boys’ Basketball Spotlight this week.
   The Panthers beat Loachapoka 74-33 on January 7 to hand Carter his 700th career win – in a career that has spanned almost 50 years with the last nine at Lanett. He has also had stops at Bullock County, Valley and Greenville (GA). His current win-loss record heading into Friday’s game home game against arch-rival LaFayette is 702-234.
    The Class 1A Panthers (8-7) started slowly this season winning just two of their first seven games with a very difficult schedule against several 5A, 6A and 7A schools. And as in recent years, the team didn’t all its players until football season finished. Lanett was 15-0 and won the Class 1A state title last December 5. Carter coached the Panthers to three straight Class 2A state titles in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Lanett, which features big 6-foot-9 senior twin centers Zameron and Cameron Boozer, is currently riding five-game winning streak.
   Carter, who also has been a pastor for most of his coaching career and is currently serving Washington Chapel AME Church in Tuskegee, was honored recently when the school named the Lanett gymnasium basketball court in his honor.
   “Lanett made a dream come true. This is where my dream came true,” Carter said at that ceremony, according to the Valley Times News. “I’ve had a lot of teams that have gone to the Final Four, but I was still chasing a ring.  I never envisioned myself having my name put on the floor because that’s not what I did it for. I did it for the love of the people that I was teaching,” Carter said. “Believe me, I loved every one of them.”
   Hillcrest (14-6) beat rival Central-Tuscaloosa 52-46 last week for Suttles’ 600th career win. The Patriots followed with a 69-48 win over Brookwood earlier this week – giving Suttles a 601-194 career record heading into the final stretch of the current season. He is 384-122 at Hillcrest – leading the Patriots to 34-3 and 33-3 records in winning Class 6A state titles in 2008 and 2011.
   Suttles, who has had coaching stops at Holy Spirit Catholic and Akron, got his 400th career win in the 2011 state championship game over Murphy. After that game, he said his mother made a comment about the No. 600 milestone.
    “My mother, who passed four years ago this week, told me when we won the second state championship in 2011, ‘wouldn’t it be interesting if you were to get 600 wins before you get 200 losses?’ I was like, ‘thanks mom for all the pressure,’” Suttles said in an interview with the Tuscaloosa News.
     He met that goal. His teams have had just 194 losses in his 24 seasons as a head coach.

BRYCEN PARRISH, WILSON: Canned a 26-foot 3-pointer at the buzzer to lift Wilson to a 49-47 win over Rogers. Parrish, who finished with 24 points, got the ball with just 2.7 seconds remaining and got off his winning shot just before the buzzer.
ASHTON ELLIOTT, HAZEL GREEN: Recorded a double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds in a 74-72 overtime win over Buckhorn. He also had 14 points, including the game-winning shot, and five rebounds in a 44-43 victory Mae Jemison.
DANIEL PRUITT, CARROLL: Sank a shot with three seconds left to give Carroll a 43-41 win over Charles Henderson in a Class 5A, Area 3 win. He finished with 14 points.
XAVIER FUELL, HUNTSVILLE: Sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer in a 52-49 win over visiting Sparkman.
JACKSON ABBOTT, MAPLESVILLE: Had 32 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Red Devils past Holy Spirit 52-50. He had 15 crucial points in the final period.

LANE McCAY, CENTRAL-FLORENCE: Scored 23 points in a 72-70 win over Deshler. Central sealed the win shooting 9-for-9 in the final minutes.
JUSTIN JOHNSON, BREWBAKER TECH: Was 8-of-14 from the 3-point line and scored 35 points as the Rams (13-6) beat Park Crossing 73-71. He finished 12-of-19 from the field.
HARRISON WALLACE, PIKE ROAD: Led the Patriots (15-3) to a 63-61 win over Bullock County scoring 22 points – in the school’s first game in its newly renovated gym.
TOMMY MURR, LINDSAY LANE: The AHSAA’s career scoring leader scored 52 points in the Lions’ 87-68 win over Whitesburg Christian.

K.D. RABB, J.U. BLCKSHER: Had 42 points, five rebounds, two steals, four blocks and two assists in a 58-49 win over Leroy.

KAM WOODS, PINSON VALLEY: Had 29 points, three rebounds and three assists in a 60-56 win over Bessemer City, 42 points, six assists and two steals in a 70-64 win over Clay-Chalkville and 40 points, eight assists and five rebounds in a win over Pell City.

QUANDRE BURROUGHS, CLARKE COUNTY: Scored 26 points against Andalusia and 28 points against Hillcrest-Evergreen to lead the Bulldogs to two wins.
COLBY McALLISTER, DAPHNE: Nailed five 3-pointers and finished with 21 points in a 68-48 victor over Robertsdale.
TREY LEWIS, MILLRY: Had a double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead Millry past McIntosh 55-41.

BLAKE DAVIS MURPHY: Totaled 22 points, eight rebounds and four blocked shots in a 66-55 win over Foley.

DRESSEAN KNIGHT, MINOR: Recorded two triple-doubles with 10 points, 12 rebounds and 12 blocks in an 85-28 win over Dora, and 11 points, 16 rebounds and 11 blocks to lead the Tigers past Gardendale 66-62.
TAYE PERSON, BRANTLEY: Had a double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds in a 75-53 win over Kinston.
RASHAAD COLEMAN, FLORALA: Led the Wildcats to a 66-48 win over Elba with 24 points and eight assists.
MARTEZ JONES, B.T. WASHINGTON: Led the Golden Eagles (13-4) from Tuskegee to a 67-36 win over Elmore County with 22 of his 28 points coming in the second half. He also had 21 re bounds and 11 blocked shots.
IMARUION WATSON, CENTRAL-HAYNEVILLE: Had 32 points as the Lions beat Highland Home 89-56.
JUSTIN BUFFORD, MONTGOMERY CATHOLIC: Had 30 points and 15 rebounds in a 107-75 win over Alabama Christian for the Knights (1703).
TYREK TURNER, TALLASSEE: Was 7-of-10 from the floor and totaled 21 points to lead the Tigers (17-3) past Brewbaker Tech 63-47.

Lanett Quarterback Kristian Story Selected 2019 Mr. Football by the ASWA

Becomes the 38th recipient of the Award since 1982

MONTGOMERY – Lanett High School senior quarterback Kristian Story, who led the Panthers (15-0) to an undefeated season and the Class 1A state title this past season, was named Alabama’s Mr. Football for 2019 on Wednesday in Montgomery.
    The announcement was made Wednesday at the Alabama Sportswriters Association’s Mr. Football Awards Luncheon at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center here. The Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) hosted the luncheon and AHSAA Corporate Partner Cadence Bank was the presenting sponsor.
    The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Story, who signed with the University of Alabama, is the 38th winner of the award, which started in 1982 with Vigor quarterback Tommy Compton earning the first Mr. Football Award. His high school had coach was his father Clifford Story.
      Story is the first Crimson Tide signee to win the award since Daphne running back T.J. Yeldon in 2011, the first player from Lanett to win the state’s top high school football award and the first player from a 1A school to claim the honor since running back Thomas Banks of West Jefferson in 1993.
The senior quarterback finished with 110 yards rushing on 13 carries with two touchdowns and was 18-of-23 passing for 249 yards and two more scores in the AHSAA Super 7 Class 1A State Championship at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium in December to earn Class 1A State Championship MVP honors. He finished his senior season 162-of-237 passing for 2,865 yards and 33 touchdowns. Story, who also was named the Gatorade Player of the Year for Alabama in 2019, also had 1,151 yards rushing on 116 carries and 17 touchdowns and finished his prep career as the AHSAA record holder in total offense and touchdowns account for.
      He accumulated 13,218 total yards with 9,070 passing, 3,618 rushing and 530 receiving from 2016-19 and accounted for 175 touchdowns (119 passing, 48 rushing and 8 receiving).  Story’s totals broke records set by Bo Nix of Pinson Valley from 2015-18 (12,497 total yards and 161 TDs accounted for). Story’s 9,070 career passing yards ranks eighth all time and his 119 TD passes ranks third. He also quarterbacked Lanett to the Class 2A state football title in 2017 and helped the Panthers win three state basketball titles from 2016-18. He finished with 29 interceptions on defense.
   The Mr. Football selection was made by the ASWA’s committee of member prep sportswriters across the state. The top 12 vote-getters regardless of position earned a spot on the ASWA’s prestigious All-State Super 12 Team.
   Those 12 included, in order, were: Kristin Story, Lanett QB; Kris Abrams-Draine, Spanish Fort QB; Jalen White, Daleville RB; Roydell Williams, Hueytown RB; Sawyer Pate, Thompson QB; Demouy Kennedy, Theodore, LB; Dee Beckwith,
Florence WR; Rontarius Wiggins, Jacksonville RB; Jackson Bratton, Muscle Shoals LB; Seth Brown, St, John Paul II Catholic QB; Trey Higgins, Oxford QB; Will Breland, UMS-Wright, LB.
  A total of 48 prep football standouts and their families attended the luncheon. Three finalists for Back and Linemen of the Year in each class were recognized. The Back and Lineman of  the Year award winners included:

ASWA Players of the Year
Back of the Year:
Kristian Story, Lanett
Lineman of the Year: Mack McCluskey, Mars Hill Bible
Back of the Year:
Jalen White, Daleville
Lineman of the Year: Arian Gregory, Luverne
Back of the Year:
Daquan Johnson, Flomaton
Lineman of the Year: Deontae Lawson, Mobile Christian
Back of the Year:
Rontarius Wiggins, Jacksonville
Lineman of the Year: Will Breland, UMS-Wright

Back of the Year:
Zyquez Perryman, Pleasant Grove
Lineman of the Year: Trent Howard, Briarwood Christian
Back of the Year:
Kris Abrams-Draine, Spanish Fort
Lineman of the Year: Jackson Bratton, Muscle Shoals
Back of the Year:
Sawyer Pate, Thompson
Lineman of the Year: Demouy Kennedy, Theodore
Back of the Year:
Cephus Cleveland, Macon-East
Lineman of the Year: Eli Richey, Southern Academy

   The top 12 vote-getters in the Mr. Football voting


2019: Kristian Story, Lanett, QB
2018: Bo Nix, Pinson Valley, QB
2017: Asa Martin, Austin, RB
2016: La’Damian Webb, Beauregard, RB
2015: Tyler Johnston, Spanish Fort, QB
2014: Kerryon Johnson, Madison Academy, RB

2013: Roc Thomas, Oxford, RB
2012: Jeremy Johnson, Carver-Montgomery, QB
2011: T.J. Yeldon, Daphne, RB
2010: Jamal Golden, Wetumpka, QB

2009: Coty Blanchard, Cherokee County, QB
2008: Clint Moseley, Leroy, QB

2007: Julio Jones, Foley, WR

2006: Larry Smith, Prattville, QB

2005: Andre Smith, Huffman, OL

2004: Jarod Bryant, Hoover, QB

2003: Chris Nickson, Pike County, QB

2002: JaMarcus Russell, Williamson, QB

2001: Brandon Cox, Hewitt-Trussville, QB

2000: Carnell Williams, Etowah, RB

1999: Cory Whisenant, Springville, RB

1998: DeMarco McNeil, Blount, DL

1997: Mac Campbell, Alexandria, RB

1996: Antoneyo Williams, Central-Tuscaloosa, RB

1995: Gorman Thornton, Jeff Davis, DL

1994: Dawud Rasheed, Shades Valley, RB

1993: Thomas Banks, West Jefferson, 1A

1992: Freddie Kitchens, Etowah, QB

1991: Robert Davis, Homewood, RB

1990: David Palmer, Jackson-Olin, RB/QB/WR

1989: Steve Coleman, Pike County, RB

1988: Darrell Williams, Vigor, RB

1987: Robert Jones, Parker, RB

1986: Larry Ware, Lee-Montgomery, RB

1985: Pierre Goode, Hazlewood, RB

1984: Rod Green, Gardendale, WR

1983: Freddy Weygand, Emma Sansom, WR

1982: Tommy Compton, Vigor, QB

Scottsboro’s Rex Green Claims Indoor Track Spotlight with a Pair of Personal Bests

AHSAA Indoor Track Spotlight

MONTGOMERY – Scottsboro High School sophomore Rex Green won the boys’ 400 and 800 meters with personal bests in each event at the Indoor JV Meet No. 2 at Birmingham’s CrossPlex last week to earn the AHSAA Indoor Track Prep Spotlight.

    Grabbing the Girls’ Spotlight was junior Allison Tanner of Helena, who cleared 5-04 in the high jump at the same meet to win the event the state’s second best performance of the year. She had the best jump of the season (also 5-04) last year in Alabama.  She also won the triple jump with the top leap of 33-10. Mountain Brook junior Grayson Scott cleared 5-06 at the Magic City Invitational in early December for top girls’ high jump in Alabama this season.
    Green ran the 400 in 52.11 and the 800 in 1:57.61 for Coach Luke Robinson’s defending Class 5A state champions at the event held on Jan. 7. Green’s 800 time is the second-best performance in the event in Alabama this season, according to statistics compiled by It ranks 17th overall among the nation’s high schools. Smiths Station senior Savian Taylor clocked 1:56.96 in the Magic City Invitational in December for the fast 800-meter time of the season.

   Scottsboro junior teammate Hayden Judge captured first and second in his two events at the meet, topping teammate Cooper Atkins to win the 1600-meter run. His 4:23.77 finish was good for second in the state this season and 20th in the U.S. this year. Atkins’ 4:29.44 for second place is the fourth-best recorded in Alabama this year. Judge was second to Green in the 800 meters, finishing with a 2:00.10. The best 1,600-meter time of the season (4:21.86) was recorded by Thompson senior Jace Jones at the Holiday Invitational in December. It is no surprise that Scottsboro’s 4x800 relay team has the best time in that event (8:11.00) in the state this season. The Wildcats turned in that performance at the Magic City Invitational in December.

   Other top finishers for the Wildcats, who have captured seven state championships since 2001 and two of the past three, were Brandon Cloud’s third place in the high jump (5-06.00) – behind Helena’s T.J. Funches (6-04) and Bowman Downey (5-08); Alex Cantrell’s third place in the long jump (18-10) – behind Hewitt-Trussville’s Omari Kelly (21-08.5) and Helena’s Damian Hines (19-07); and Nathan Jones’ first-place throw in the shot put (43-09.75).
   Most of the indoor teams in the AHSAA are gearing up to compete in the Martin Luther King Classic at the CrossPlex Jan. 20. More than 100 teams from Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia have already registered for what is one of the largest prep indoor meets annually.
   Other standout performances reported from last week’s indoor competition:



  • OMARI KELLY, HEWITT-TRUSSVILLE: The sophomore also won the triple jump with a 39-11.25 finish.



  • CARTER PINHOLSTER, FORT PAYNE: Won the boys’ 60-meter hurdles with an 8.34 finish.



  • MADI WALLACE, FORT PAYNE: Ran a personal-best 9.17 in the girls’ 60-meter hurdles, the fourth-best time in Alabama this year.



  • ANNA COLLINS, SPAIN PARK: Cleared 11 feet to win the pole vault. The junior’s effort was a personal best.



  • MARIN POLESHEK, HOMEWOOD: The ninth-grader won both the 800 meters and 1600 at the event, finishing in 2:25.77 in the 800 and 5:23.28 in the 1600.



  • ADELE BRANDRUP, HOMEWOOD: The ninth-grader won the Adaptive Girls 60-meter dash finals.