Mars Hill Bible Meets Pickens County in 1A Semifinal Rematch
MONTGOMERY – Eight of the 12 semifinal matches in the AHSAA 54th State Football Playoffs this coming week will feature rematches from regular-season region play.
That record number of teams from the same region reaching the semifinal round highlights an exciting slate of Thanksgiving Week contests that will send all winners to the Super 7 State Football Championships at Auburn University’s Jordan-Hare Stadium Dec. 4-5-6.
The Class 7A championship match pairings were set Friday night with, no surprise, two rematches in the semis from Region 2 and Region 3 and sets up a rematch from last year’s 7A finals between defending state champion Central-Phenix City (12-1) and Thompson (11-1). Coach Jamey DuBose’s Red Devils defeated Region 2 second seed Auburn 38-0 Friday night, and the Warriors, coached by Mark Freeman, beat Region 3 second seed Hoover 35-21.
The rematch theme also evolved in the Special Olympics Alabama Unified championship game, which opens the 2019 Super 7 Championships at Jordan-hare at 3:30 p.m., on December 4, is also a rematch with Baldwin County taking on Vestavia Hills. Baldwin County won the game last year 26-18 but Vestavia Hills beat the Bandits in the qualifying competition 27-26 in overtime two weeks ago.
Class 1A defending champion and 2019 Region 8 champion Mars Hill Bible (13-0), coached by Darrell Higgins, travels to Reform this week to face Region 6 champion Pickens County (11-2). The Panthers beat Coach Michael Williams’ Tornadoes 20-12 in last season’s 1A semifinals, the closest game Mars Hill has had versus 1A competition in the last two years.
Lanett (12-0) travels to Sweet Water (11-1) in the other Class 1A semifinal pairing. Coach Clifford Story’s Panthers downed previously unbeaten Isabella (12-1) 41-21 and Coach Pat Thompson’s Bulldogs (11-1) nipped Brantley 38-35. Lanett senior quarterback Kristian Story accounted for all six touchdowns in the Panthers’ win to set the AHSAA career record for touchdowns accounted for (166). The old record was set by current Auburn University freshman and former Pinson Valley quarterback Bo Nix (161) last year. Story also moved past Nix to become the AHSAA career leader in total yards accounted for.
Story, a member of the Alabama All-Star team set to play Mississippi in the 33rd Alabama-Mississippi Classic Dec. 14 at Hattiesburg, now has 12,528 total yards – 8,529 passing (eighth all time), 3,469 rushing and 530 receiving. Nix closed out his prep career with 12,497 yards.
T.R. Miller, coached by Brent Hubbert, the fourth seed in Region 1, knocked off defending 3A state champion and No. 1 seed Flomaton 14-12 Friday to advance to the semis to face No. 2 seed Mobile Christian.
The AHSAA TV / NFHS Network (WOTM) Large School Playoff Game of the Week
Network/NFHS Network will pit Region 3 winner Opelika (11-1), coached by Erik Speakman, against Spanish Fort (8-4), coached by Ben Blackmon, the only fourth seed still alive in the playoffs. The two friends coached together as assistant coaches at Opelika. The Bulldogs advanced with a 45-24 win over Hueytown (11-2), and the Toros (8-4) edged Regio2 fourth seed Park Crossing 28-21.
WOTM’s Vince Earley announced the game-of-week selection Saturday morning. He also announced that Collinsville’s rematch with Fyffe in the Class 2A North semifinals would be the AHSAA TV / NFHS Network (WOTM) Small-School Game of the week. The defending Class 2A state champion Red Devils (13-0), the 2019 Region 8 champion, downed previously unbeaten Red Bay (12-1) 45-6 in the quarterfinals Friday, and Collinsville (12-1), the Region 8 runner-up, bet Region 8 third seed North Sand Mountain 37-28. Coach Ernie Willingham’s Panthers lost 24-3 to Fyffe, coached by Paul Benefield, in the regular season. The Red Devils, currently riding a 28-game winning streak, have outscored opponents 562-36 this season, and ironically, the three points by Collinsville have been the only points allowed all season by the Fyffe starting defensive unit.
Other region rematches in the semifinals November 29 include, in Class 3A, Region 1: T.R. Miller (9-4) at Mobile Christian (8-4), and Class 3A, Region 6: Walter Wellborn (12-1) at Piedmont (12-1); Class 4A, Region 1: Andalusia (10-3) at defending 4A state champion UMS-Wright (12-0); Class 4A, Region 6: Anniston (9-4) at Jacksonville (11-2); Class 5A, Region 4: Pleasant Grove (12-1) at Briarwood Christian (12-1); Class 5A, Region 5: defending Class 5A state champion Central-Clay County (11-2) at Mortimer Jordan (11-2); and Class 6A, Region 6: defending Class 6A state champion Pinson Valley (10-2) at Oxford (12-1).
The NFHS Network plans to live-stream all 12 semifinal games November 29 if possible.
Six of the contests will be live-streamed by member school broadcast teams in the NFHS Network School Broadcast Program. Two games, Andalusia at UMS-Wright and Opelika at Spanish Fort, will be live-streamed by both schools. Most will also be broadcast over the radio as well.
The Class 1A thru 6A semifinal pairings are listed.
2019 AHSAA State Football Playoffs
Thursday, November 29
Lanett (12-0) at Sweet Water (11-1)
Mars Hill Bible (13-0) at Pickens County (11-2), Reform
Leroy (11-2) 35 at Reeltown (12-1)
Collinsville (12-1) at Fyffe (13-0)
T.R. Miller (9-4) at Mobile Christian (8-4)
Walter Wellborn (12-1) at Piedmont (12-1)
Andalusia (10-3) at UMS-Wright (12-0), Mobile
Anniston (9-4) at Jacksonville (11-2)
Pleasant Grove (12-1) at Briarwood Christian (12-1)
Central-Clay County (11-2) at Mortimer Jordan (11-2), Kimberly
Opelika (11-1) at Spanish Fort (8-4)
Pinson Valley (10-2) at Oxford (12-1)
Dec. 4, Super 7 Championships
Thompson (11-1) vs. Central-Phenix City (12-1), 7 p.m.
Special Olympics Alabama Unified Game
Baldwin County vs. Vestavia Hills, 3:30 p.m.
Sweet Water (11-1) 38, Brantley (11-2) 35
Lanett (12-0) 41, Isabella (12-1) 21
Pickens County (11-2) 31, Spring Garden (11-2) 24
Mars Hill Bible (13-0) 42, Decatur Heritage (12-1) 21
Leroy (11-2) 35, Ariton (10-3) 24
Reeltown (12-1) 41, G.W. Long (10-3) 22
Collinsville (12-1) 37, North Sand Mountain (9-4) 28
Fyffe (13-0) 45, Red Bay (12-1) 6
T.R. Miller (9-4) 14, Flomaton (11-2) 12
Mobile Christian (8-4) 41, Gordo (12-1) 21
Piedmont (12-1) 33, Geraldine (8-5) 7
Walter Wellborn (12-1) 27, Randolph County (11-2) 20
UMS-Wright (12-0) 21, Montgomery Catholic (12-1) 0
Andalusia (10-3) 24, American Christian (11-2) 0
Jacksonville (11-2) 63, Northside (11-2) 27
Anniston (9-4) 30, Deshler (9-4) 13
Pleasant Grove (12-1) 51, Ramsay (10-3) 22
Briarwood Christian (12-1) 7, Bibb County (12-1) 3
Mortimer Jordan (11-2) 32, Center Point (9-4) 14
Central Clay County (11-2) 43, Madison County (10-3) 15
Spanish Fort (8-4) 28, Park Crossing (5-8) 21
Opelika (11-1) 45, Hueytown (11-2) 24
Oxford (12-1) 20, Clay-Chalkville (10-3) 13
Pinson Valley (10-2) 26, Muscle Shoals (12-1) 14
Central-Phenix City (12-1) 38, Auburn (9-4) 0
Thompson (11-1) 35, Hoover (10-3) 21
Current Season Reversal Percentage is 20.6%
MONTGOMERY – Only one challenge was made in four AHSAA playoff football contests using DVSport Instant Replay last week in the second round of the state playoffs, said AHSAA Director of Officials Mark Jones. None of the calls on the field were reversed, Jones reports
“The challenge came in the Class 6A St. Paul’s at Opelika game,” Jones said. “Opelika challenged whether a pass was complete and then a fumble or incomplete. Officials had called the play an incomplete pass. After video review, the play stood as called.”
For the 2019 season, a 63 challenges have been issued by coaches in 76 games with 13 calls overturned upon review, a 20.7% reversal rate. Three games are scheduled to use DVSport Instant Replay this week in round three. All seven Super 7 State Championship Games will utilize DVSport Instant Replay this season.
In 2018, the first year DVSport Instant Replay was implemented, 91 games, including all state finals, used Instant Replay with 73 total challenges with 18 calls overturned (25%). The Catch/No Catch, Fumble and Forward Progress calls made up 70% of the challenges last year. The NFHS has granted the AHSAA a three-year period to experiment with instant replay in regular-season and playoff games.
Last week, three schools experienced DVSport Instant Replay for the first time this season: Pickens County, Falkville and St. Paul’s Episcopal. This week, all six schools participating in contest with Instant Replay have used the system already this year. A total of 77 schools participated thus far this season.
Instant Replay reviews this fall have consisted of the following:
63 reviews with 13 reversals. 21.0%
State Playoffs, Round 3 Games with Instant Replay
SCHOOLS IN GAMES WITH INSTANT REPLAY THIS SEASON (77)
Class 7A (19)
Class 6A (21)
Class 5A (16)
St. Paul’s Episcopal
Class 4A (13)
Class 3A (1)
Class 2A (2)
Class 1A (3)
New Smyrna Beach (FL)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Karissa Niehoff
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (November 21, 2019) — The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) will be launching an online platform for high school officials, effective with the 2020-21 school year.
The NFHS Center for Officials Services, with its technology platform created by DragonFly Athletics of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will offer a variety of services for officials, including registration, assessment, assignments and payments. In addition, NFHS Officials Association members will be able to access NFHS rules exams, NFHS digital rules books and case books, insurance information, video content and sport-specific officiating courses on the NFHS Learning Center.
In time, it is anticipated that the NFHS Center for Officials Services database would include all registered officials in NFHS member state associations. As a result, this new technology would assist the NFHS as it continues to recruit new officials through its #BecomeAnOfficial program as well as ongoing efforts to retain individuals who officiate high school contests.
“We are excited about providing this tremendous service for high school officials across the country,” said Dr. Karissa Niehoff, NFHS executive director. “In those states that use the NFHS platform, officials will be able to obtain everything they need in one location – from registering, making payments and receiving assignments and assessments, to educational material such as rules publications, rules exams and video content provided through NFHS Officials Association membership. The technological expertise offered by DragonFly will provide a streamlined process for officials to participate, and for state associations and the NFHS to share officiating data.”
DragonFly currently works with administrators nationwide to manage athletics and activities programs at the high school level. Its all-inclusive platform provides features for registration, medical care, scheduling, communications and payments. DragonFly developed the video exchange technology used by NCAA Division I schools for game day preparation.
“Under Dr. Karissa Niehoff’s leadership, we’ve seen a strong focus on technology and data analysis to improve high school sports and activities,” said Kirk Miller, chief executive officer of DragonFly. “We’re thrilled to be a part of her vision. Not only will this new service provide a first-class digital experience for officials, it will also help the NFHS have the information it needs to make strategic decisions for the future of officiating.”
The NFHS Center for Officials Services is expected to launch sometime in May 2020 in time for the upcoming 2020-21 school year.
Online link to article: https://www.nfhs.org/articles/nfhs-announces-plans-to-launch-center-for-officials-services/
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 19,500 high schools and 12 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 www.nfhs.org.
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
Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff, NFHS Executive Director
This fall, one school canceled the remainder of its football season after reports of hazing surfaced. There have been several incidents of high school student-athletes using racial slurs against members of the opposing teams. As we have noted previously, there have also been multiple reports of parents verbally and – in some cases – physically abusing officials, along with several cases of coaches allegedly running up scores. And then there was the bizarre case of a suspended player appearing in a game disguised as another player.
On the positive side, there was a cross country runner who stopped at the one-mile mark of a race to assist a competing runner who had collapsed and was unresponsive. He didn’t finish the race, but he saved the life of the competing runner.
After the completion of a recent football game, one player on the winning team found his friend on the other team who had just lost his mother to cancer to comfort and pray with him. There have also been cases of schools helping other schools that were hit with tragedies, such as the fires in California.
And earlier this year a high school golfer who, after signing her scorecard, noticed on the app that her partner had entered an incorrect score for her on one hole. She could have kept quiet and retained her top-10 finish, and most likely no one would have noticed. Instead, she reported the error and was disqualified. She later was honored by her school for doing the right thing.
Fortunately, there are far more good acts of sportsmanship that happen in high school athletics and activity programs; however, the unsportsmanlike displays tend to make more headlines and sometimes overshadow the great things that are occurring.
The key individuals in schools who are responsible for making education the central theme of the athletic program are the athletic directors and coaches. If coaches are more committed to helping student-athletes become responsible citizens than helping them perfect an athletic skill, and if athletic directors are committed to an education-based philosophy, the likelihood of unsportsmanlike incidents such as those mentioned above is minimal.
What’s the measure of success for a high school coach – winning 80 percent of the games, bringing home multiple state championships, being named coach of the year several times? As long as success on the fields or courts is done in accordance with an education-based philosophy, this would be an award-winning biographical sketch.
The win-loss record aside, however, how about also considering the consistent teaching of values, character and lifelong lessons that would place his or her teams in consideration for sportsmanship awards and his or her student-athletes on the paths to successful lives after high school?
The NFHS has several free online education courses to assist coaches and athletic directors in leading an effective education-based program. “Engaging Effectively with Parents,” “Sportsmanship” and “Bullying, Hazing and Inappropriate Behaviors” are among the many courses at www.NFHSLearn.com.
In addition, “Fundamentals of Coaching” is the core course that every interscholastic coach should complete.
When a school district is looking to hire a high school athletic director or coach, we would suggest finding someone more committed to an education-based philosophy than hardware in the trophy case.
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.
The AHSAA is saddened to learn of the death of long-time high school teacher, administrator and football coach Chuck Furlow, 72. He passed away November 18.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Furlow family,” said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. “His commitment to high school educational athletics and his example of leadership will continue to have an impact for many years to come.”
An Opelika native, Furlow served as Auburn City Schools athletic director from 1998 to 2009 in the final stop of what was a 39-year career in high school educational athletics. He started at Beulah High School in 1970, then made stops at Opelika Junior High (1971-72), Lyman Ward (1973-75), Beauregard (1976-81), Auburn High as a coach (1981-84), Gardendale and the Jefferson County Schools central office (1994-98) prior to returning to Auburn High.
Shortly after his retirement, he began work alongside Bill Cameron on the Sports Call show and remained there for nearly five years before following Cameron to ESPN 106.7 FM in 2013. The two have hosted The Drive radio show together since that time.
Also in his retirement, he served in volunteer roles including working with the Super 7 State Football Championships when held at Auburn.
Visitation will be Thursday, November 21, at Auburn United Methodist Church's Founders Chapel from 5 to 7 p.m. A graveside service will be 11 a.m. Friday, November 22, in Town Creek Cemetery, followed by a memorial service at 3 p.m., at Auburn United Methodist Church's Main Sanctuary.
For a poignant tribute to Coach Furlow, check out the following story published in the Opelika-Auburn News at the following link.
QB Grabs AHSAA Round 2 Playoff Spotlight
MONTGOMERY – Lanett High School quarterback Kristian Story accounted for five touchdowns in the Panthers’ 44-6 Class 1A second-round state playoff football victory last week to push to within one TD of the all-time record set by Pinson Valley’s Bo Nix last season.
The win send Coach Clifford Story’s Panthers (11-0) into the quarterfinals this week to face unbeaten Isabella (12-0) with the winner clinching a semifinal playoff berth for the following week.
Kristian Story’s effort grabbed the AHSAA Football Spotlight for week two of the AHSAA State Playoffs. Story, has been selected to the Alabama All-Star squad for the upcoming 33rd annual Alabama-Mississippi Football Classic set for Hattiesburg, Mississippi and Roberts Stadium on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi on Dec. 14, shares this week’s Spotlight with several other players named to the Alabama All-Star squad.
The Lanett quarterback scored on runs of 1, 64, 2 and 20 yards and had a 3-yard TD pass to teammate Travaunta Abner in the win over Elba. Abner highlighted a 29-0 first-half outburst by scoring two touchdowns in a span of 13 seconds. Following his TD reception from Story, he scooped up and Elba fumble and scooted 30 yards for his other TD.
Story, like his soon-to-be All-Star teammates, winning a state championship for his high school team is taking his only priority right now. Check out his highlights from last week’s win.
several members of the All-Star contingent shined in round 2. In Class 3A, Daquan Johnson, chose to the All-Star squad in the athlete position, sparked Flomaton to a 20-19 win over Saint James to keep the defending state champion Hurricanes’ hopes for a repeat alive. He rushed for 162 yards on 29 carries on offense and had 11 tackles – firing a touchdown pass and scoring the go-ahead two-point conversion with 16 seconds remaining to preserve the win.
Kris Abrams-Drain of Spanish Fort, chosen as a tight end on the All-Star squad, turned his talents to running back and piled up 258 yards rushing on 16 carries with four touchdowns as the Toros beat Wetumpka 63-21 in the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs. Spanish Fort (8-4), the No. 4 seed from Region 1, advances with the win to host another No. 4 seed, Park Crossing (5-7) Friday night in the Class 6A quarterfinals. He also completed his only pass for a 25-yard touchdown connection and also returned an interception 70 yards for a defensive TD.
Hoover quarterback Robby Ashford, one of two quarterbacks selected for the All-Star team, completed 14-of-17 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns and ran 9 yards for the game-winning touchdown in overtime for a 23-20 victory over James Clemens.
Pinson Valley all-star wide receiver Keyonteze Johnson caught eight passes for 183 yards and a touchdown in a 42-10 victory over Fort Payne in the second round of the 6A playoffs. And E.J. Williams of defending Class 7A state champion Central-Phenix City had a 67-yard kickoff return that set up his 22-yard TD reception one play later to seal a 24-6 Class 7A playoff win over Prattville.
SPRING GARDEN DELIVERS COACHING WIN 100 FOR HOWARD: Thanks to the strong running of Luke Welsh, the Class 1A Panthers (11-1) beat Hackleburg 34-0 for head coach Jason Howard’s 100th career coaching victory. Welsh had 173 rushing yards on 19 carries, scored three touchdowns (3, 20 and 25 yards) and posted five tackles on defense. The win also secured a third-round playoff berth against Pickens County for a second straight season. Howard is now 100-87 in 17 seasons with a 95-72 record in two stints at Spring Garden. He also served as head coach at Ohatchee for two seasons.
SMITH SPARKS UMS-WRIGHT’S 30TH STRAIGHT WIN: Senior running back Symon Smith rushed for 93 yards and two touchdowns as the defending Class 4A state champion Bulldogs (11-0) defeated Talladega 31-6 in the second round of the state playoffs to run their winning streak to 30 games – the longest current streak in the AHSAA. It was victory number 314 for head coach Terry Curtis (314-85), who has coached seven of UMS-Wright’s state titles. The Bulldogs won the state crown in 2017 and 2018.
In other second-round playoff highlights reported include:
HESS HORNE, EUFAULA: Passed completed 26-of-42 pass attempts for 439 yards and four touchdowns in a 56-49 Class 6A overtime playoff loss to Hueytown.
ALEX YOUNG, HUEYTOWN: Completed 15-of-32 passes for 290 yards and four touchdowns in a 56-49 overtime victory over Eufaula in the 6A state playoffs. The sophomore had to assume a bigger role after senior running back and Alabama commit Roydell Williams left the game with a bruised leg in the first half.
JAKE CORKREN, NORTHSIDE: Finished 16-of-29 passing for 393 yards and four touchdowns in the Rams’ Class 4A 41-14 playoff victory over Priceville.
SAWYER PATE, THOMPSON: Was 20-of-27 passing for 338 yards and three touchdowns and scored a fourth TD on a 2-yard run on the final play of the first half to lead the Warriors to a 38-31 Class 7A playoff victory over Florence, The win sends the Warriors into the Class 7A semifinals to face Hoover for the third straight year.
ZYQUEZ PERRYMAN, PLEASANT GROVE: Completed 15-of-28 passes for 293 yards for the Spartans (11-1) and added 28 yards rushing in a 33-14 Class 5A playoff victory over previously unbeaten Faith Academy (11-1).
WILL CROWDER, GARDENDALE: Finished 22-of-44 passing for 240 yards and added 12 rushes for 28 yards and a score in a 30-27 Class 6A playoff loss to Muscle Shoals.
BARRY WHITE, PINSON VALLEY: Completed 16-of-25 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a third TD in a 42-10 Class 6A playoff victory over Fort Payne
BRITTON KOHN, MONTGOMERY ACADEMY: Was 16-of-29 passing for 221 yards and one TD as the Eagles fell to T.R. Miller 21-14 in the Class 3A state playoffs.
JACK HAYES, PIEDMONT: Completed 8-of-11 pass attempts for 183 yards and two scores (14 and 74 yards) to lead fifth-ranked Piedmont past Lauderdale County 42-20.
BRYAN GALLOWAY, GOSHEN: Ran for 165 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries and completed 8-of-11 passes for 45 yards in three quarters before suffering an injury in the Eagles’ 34-25 Class 2A playoff loss to Leroy.
RONTARIUS WIGGINS, JACKSONVILLE: Ran for 329 yards and five touchdowns on 25 carries the Eagles’ 55-22 Class 4A playoff victory over St. John Paul II Catholic at Huntsville.
DANTE JORDAN, RANDOLPH COUNTY: Tallied 14 carries for 291 yards with TD runs of 46, 5, 54 and 5 yards in a 54-6 Class 3A playoff victory over Westminster Christian.
KOURTLAN MARSH, MORTIMER JORDAN: Accounted for seven touchdowns in a 56-21 Class 5A second-round state playoff victory over Guntersville – five rushing TDs, a 5-yard TD pass and a fumble return for a touchdown. The quarterback also logged more defensive snaps than he’s had all season, tallying three solo tackles, one assist and a pass deflection that a teammate intercepted. He had 16 carries for 140 yards and completed 12-of-17 passes for 113 yards.
KELSTON FIKES, LEROY: Ran for 224 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carries as the Bears (10-3) defeated Goshen 34-25 in the Class 2A playoffs.
DAMON GENTILE, NORTH SAND MOUNTAIN: Rushed for 213 yards and three touchdowns in the Thundering Herd’s Class 2A second-round playoff 35-13 victory over Westbrook Christian.
KOBIE STRINGER, G.W. LONG: The Rebels quarterback rushed for 208 yards and three touchdowns on 30 carries and also recovered a fumble on defense in the Rebels' 28-13 Class 2A playoff win over Luverne.
RONNIE ROYAL, ALEXANDRIA: Had 25 rush attempts for 196 yards, including a 69-yard TD, in a 28-27 loss to Madison County.
DOMONIQUE THOMAS, OHATCHEE: The Indians’ workhorse had 41 carries for 194 yards and a 1-yard touchdown in the Indians’ 21-14 Class 2A playoff loss to Collinsville.
ADARYLL LEWIS, PARK CROSSING: Rushed for 184 yards and two touchdowns on 25 carries to help the Thunderbirds (5-7) keep their Class 6A playoff hopes alive with A 35-32 win over Stanhope Elmore. Park Crossing, a No. 4 seed, also got 173 yards rushing and three TDs from quarterback Trevor Robinson, who also passed for 94 yards in the come-from-behind win.
JEFF ROWSER, RAMSAY: Piled up 188 yards on 23 rush attempts and scored five touchdowns as the Rams beat Valley 4-7 in the Class 5A playoffs.
KALEB JONES, COLLINSVILLE: Rushed for 145 yards on 16 carries with a 1-yard score, and was 8-of-11 passing for 92 yards and two touchdowns (13 and 9 yards) in the Class 2A Panthers’ 21-14 playoff win over previously unbeaten Ohatchee.
BRAYDEN PARTON, MADISON COUNTY: Scored on a 2-yard run in the final minute – his second TD of the Class 5A playoff game – to give the Class 5A Tigers a 28-27 playoff win over Alexandria.
ELIJAH JOHNSON, PIEDMONT: Ran for 141 yards on 14 carries and scored two touchdowns 5 and 58 yards) in the Class 3A Bulldogs’ 42-20 playoff win over Lauderdale County.
IKE ROWELL, FYFFE: Rushed for 135 yards and three touchdowns as the defending Class 2A state champion Red Devils won their 27th straight game in a 38-7 Class 2A playoff victory over Ranburne.
LAZARIUS HINKLE, CHAL-CHALKVILLE: Ran for 128 yards and two touchdowns in a 35-7 victory over Athens in the 6A playoffs...
JERRY BURTON, PRICEVILLE: Finished with 126 yards on 26 carries and two touchdowns in a 41-14 Class 4A playoff loss to Northside.
MICHAEL PETTWAY, THOMPSON: Caught 10 passes for 189 yards and a touchdown in a 38-31 Class 7A playoff victory over Florence. Teammate J.W. Mitchell also snagged six receptions for 134 yards and a TD.
TY SMITH, MUSCLE SHOALS: Caught four passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns in a 30-27 Class 6A playoff victory over Gardendale. His 36-yard touchdown set up the game-winning 18-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter.
RAH RAH THOMAS, EUFAULA: Caught seven passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns (24 and 68 yards) in the Tigers’ 46-49 Class 6A playoff setback in overtime at Hueytown. Teammate Devin Fuller had six receptions for 120 yards, including hauling in s 65-yard TD pass.
WES MALKUDA, NORTHSIDE: Caught seven passes for 155 yards and one touchdown in a 41-14 Class 4A playoff win over Priceville.
DEANDRE COLEMAN, HUEYTOWN: Caught four passes for 124 yards and two touchdowns in a 56-49 overtime 6A playoff win over Eufaula.
R.J. ORR, CENTER POINT: Caught five passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns in a 26-10 victory over Scottsboro in the 5A playoffs.
ZACK WARD, ARITON: Had 18 tackles and teammate Blake Carroll had 13 as the Purple Cats (10-2) beat LaFayette 30-12 in the Class 2A state playoffs.
GARRETT HELM, MORTIMER JORDAN: Finished with 13 tackles, including two for a loss, two quarterback hurries, one forced fumble and an interception in a Class 5A playoff 56-21 victory over Guntersville.
JA’WON WILLIAMS, THOMPSON: Had two interceptions, including one in the final seconds to seal the Warriors’ 38-31 Class 7A playoff win over Florence. Williams has had five picks in the last five games.
HILLSMAN JAMES, MONTGOMERY ACADEMY: Totaled 12 tackles and also caught a TD pass in a 21-14 Class 3A playoff loss to T.R. Miller.
TEGAN GRAVES, DESHLER: Returned an interception 96 yards for a touchdown and had a 58-yard reception to set up another touchdown in a 27-11 Class 4A playoff victory over Oneonta.
DEMARCUS DAVIS, RANDOLPH COUNTY: Intercepted two passes and scored a rushing touchdown in a 54-6 Class 3A playoff win over Westminster Christian.
DEONTAE LAWSON, MOBILE CHRISTIAN: Accounted for 12 tackles as the Leopards beat previously undefeated Pike Road 28-10 in the Class 3A state playoffs. He also had 105 offensive yards with two rushing touchdowns.
TYLER WAUGH, BRIARWOOD CHRISTIAN: Returned an interception for a touchdown and scored on a go-ahead 1-yard run after keeping the drive alive with a first-down run on fourth-and-five as the Lions (11-1) beat Jackson 24-14 in the 5A playoffs.
KETE THOMAS, CLAY-CHALKVILLE: Intercepted a pass and added fumble recovery in a 35-7 Cougars Class 6A playoff win over Athens.
CADE WILLIAMS, SPRING GARDEN: Led the Panthers’ defense with six tackles and an interception in a 34-0 Class 1A playoff victory at Hackleburg.
SEAN ZERKLE, ST. JOHN PAUL II CATHOLIC: Had two interceptions defensively and caught a 58-yard touchdown pass on offense in a Class 4A playoff 56-22 loss to Jacksonville.
TREY STODDARD, MUSCLE SHOALS: Kicked 18-yard field goal in the final minute for a 30-27 victory over Gardendale.
DAVIS WINGATE, EUFAULA: Kicked a pair of field goals, including a 19 –yarder with 28 seconds left in the fourth quarter to force overtime, and also nailed all five extra points attempted in the Tigers’ 56-49 overtime loss to Hueytown.
ZACH PAPPANASTOS, MONTGOMERY CATHOLIC: Kicked a 41-yard field goal to put the Knights ahead 3-0 and the kick turned out to be the winning difference as Catholic (12-0) beat Handley 9-6 in the 4A playoffs.
LAJUAN JONES, FLORENCE: Returned a punt 41 yards for a second-half touchdown in a 38-31 loss to Thompson.
Eight No. 1 Seeds advance to Second Round in Class 1A
MONTGOMERY – Eleven of 17 unbeaten teams posted wins in the second round of the AHSAA State Football Playoffs Friday and eight will playing each other in round three next week.
The third round of the 54th annual State Football Playoffs is set for Friday, Nov. 22
In Class 1A, all Eight No. 1 seeds were among the 52 teams advancing in all seven classes. Two of those 1A quarterfinal matchups involve unbeaten teams. Defending state champion Mars Hill Bible (12-0) hosts Decatur Heritage (12-0), and Lanett (11-0), the 2017 state champion, hosts Isabella (12-0). Other matchups involving unbeaten teams include Red Bay (12-0) at defending Class 2A state champion Fyffe (12-0) and Montgomery Catholic (12-0) at defending Class 4A state champion UMS-Wright (11-0) in Class 4A.
The other three unbeaten teams have tough matchups with Class 6A Muscle Shoals (12-0) hosting defending two-time state champion Pinson Valley (9-2), Class 3A Gordo (12-0) at Mobile Christian (7-4) and Class 5A Bibb County (12-0) traveling to Briarwood Christian (11-1).
In Class 6A, Region 2 fourth seed Park Crossing (5-7) downed Stanhope Elmore 35-32 to move into the third round and will visit Spanish Fort (7-4), the No. 4 seed in Region 1. The Toros beat Wetumpka 63-21. Two No. 4 seeds meeting in the third round is unprecedented.
While Classes 1A through 6A will be in the quarterfinals, the Class 7A teams advanced to the semifinal round. Defending Class 7A state champion Central-Phenix City (11-1) hosts Region 1 rival Auburn (9-3) in the South semifinal and Thompson (10-1) hosts Region 3 rival Hoover (10-2) in the north semifinals.
AHSAA TV Network producer Vince Earley of WOTM TV announced Saturday that the AHSAA TV Network / NFHS Network (WOTM) game of the week will be the Central vs. Auburn contest next Friday. The two teams first played in 1930, skipped playing from 1932-1953 and have played almost annually ever since. The Red Devils have won the last seven in a row and hold s 38-14-3 advantage in the series.
Class 3A defending champ Flomaton (11-1) edged Saint James 21-20 to advance to the quarterfinals to host Region 1 rival T.R. Miller (8-4). Class 5A defending champion Central of Clay County (10-2) nipped previously unbeaten Jasper 20-7 and will host Madison County (10-2).
Approximately 20 playoff games are expected to be live-streamed in the third round over the NFHS Network.
The third-round playoff pairings are listed.
2019 AHSAA State Football Playoffs
Third-Round Pairings (Friday, Nov. 22)
Brantley (11-1) at Sweet Water (10-1)
Isabella (12-0) at Lanett (11-0)
Pickens County (10-2) at Spring Garden (11-1)
Decatur Heritage (12-0) at Mars Hill Bible (12-0), Florence
Ariton (10-2) at Leroy (10-2)
G.W. Long (10-2) at Reeltown (11-1)
North Sand Mountain (9-3) at Collinsville (11-1)
Red Bay (12-0) at Fyffe (12-0)
T.R. Miller (8-4) at Flomaton (11-1)
Gordo (12-0) at Mobile Christian (7-4)
Piedmont (11-1) at Geraldine (8-4)
Walter Wellborn (11-1) at Randolph County (11-1), Wedowee
Montgomery Catholic (12-0) at UMS-Wright (11-0), Mobile
American Christian (11-1) at Andalusia (9-3)
Northside (11-1) at Jacksonville (10-2)
Deshler (9-3) at Anniston (8-4)
Pleasant Grove (11-1) at Ramsay (10-2), Birmingham
Bibb County (12-0) at Briarwood Christian (11-1)
Center Point (9-3) at Mortimer Jordan (10-2), Kimberly
Madison County (10-2) at Central-Clay County (10-2), Lineville
Park Crossing (5-7) at Spanish Fort (7-4)
Opelika (10-1) at Hueytown (11-1)
Clay-Chalkville (10-2) at Oxford (11-1)
Pinson Valley (9-2) at Muscle Shoals (12-0)
Auburn (9-3) at Central-Phenix City (11-1)
Hoover (10-2) at Thompson (10-1), Alabaster
Sweet Water (10-1) 34, Maplesville (8-3) 21
Brantley (11-1) 49, Notasulga (6-5) 21
Lanett (11-0) 44, Elba (8-4) 6
Isabella (12-0) 29, Millry (10-2) 27
Spring Garden (11-1) 34, Hackleburg (5-7) 0
Pickens County (10-2) 21, Falkville (7-5) 20
Mars Hill Bible (12-0) 59, South Lamar (10-2) 34
Decatur Heritage (12-0) 20, Donoho (9-2) 2
Leroy (10-2) 34, Goshen (8-4) 25
Ariton (10-2) 30, LaFayette (6-5) 12
Reeltown (11-1) 30, J.U. Blacksher (9-3) 20
G.W. Long (10-2) 28, Luverne (11-1) 13
North Sand Mountain (9-3) 35, Westbrook Christian (8-4) 13
Collinsville (11-1) 21, Ohatchee (10-1) 14
Fyffe (12-0) 38, Ranburne (10-2) 7
Red Bay (12-0) 43, Sulligent (9-3) 6
Flomaton (11-1) 20, Saint James (10-2) 19
T.R. Miller (8-4) 21, Montgomery Academy (7-5) 14
Gordo (12-0) 18, Providence Christian (10-2) 7
Mobile Christian (7-4) 28, Pike Road (11-1) 10
Geraldine (8-4) 61, B.B. Comer (6-6) 7
Piedmont (11-1) 42, Lauderdale County (9-3) 20
Randolph County (11-1) 54, Westminster Christian (8-3) 6
Walter Wellborn (11-1) 21, Susan Moore (11-1) 14
UMS-Wright (11-0) 31, Talladega (6-5) 6
Montgomery Catholic (12-0) 9, Handley (7-5) 6
Andalusia (9-3) 40, Lincoln (9-3) 10
American Christian (11-1) 21, Hillcrest-Evergreen (7-5) 0
Northside (11-1) 41, Priceville (8-4) 14
Jacksonville (10-2) 56, St. John Paul II Catholic (9-3) 22
Deshler (9-3) 27, Oneonta (8-4) 11
Anniston (8-4) 35, Fairview (8-3) 7
Pleasant Grove (12-1) 33, Faith Academy (11-0) 14
Ramsay (10-2) 41, Valley (7-5) 7
Briarwood Christian (11-1) 24, Jackson (6-6) 14
Bibb County (11-0) 12, Greenville (7-5) 6
Mortimer Jordan (10-2) 56, Guntersville (8-3) 21
Center Point (9-3) 26, Scottsboro (9-3) 10
Madison County (10-2) 28, Alexandria (8-3) 27
Central-Clay County (10-2) 20, Jasper (11-1) 7
Park Crossing (5-7) 35, Stanhope Elmore (9-3) 32
Spanish Fort (7-4) 63, Wetumpka (6-6) 21
Hueytown (11-1) 56, Eufaula (9-3) 49
Opelika (10-1) 20, St. Paul’s Episcopal (8-4) 10
Clay-Chalkville (10-2) 35, Athens (8-4) 7
Oxford (11-1) 35, Cullman (6-6) 0
Pinson Valley (8-2) at Fort Payne (9-2)
Muscle Shoals (12-0) 30, Gardendale (8-4) 27
Central-Phenix City (11-1) 24, Prattville (9-3) 6
Auburn (9-3) 26, McGill-Toolen Catholic (11-1) 0
Hoover (10-2) 23, James Clemens (9-3) 20 (OT)
Thompson (10-1) 38, Florence (7-5) 31
MONTGOMERY – Twelve major contributors to prep athletics in Alabama have been selected for induction into the 30th class of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame. The 2020 class, which includes an “old-timer,” will be enshrined at a banquet held at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Spa Convention Center March 16, 2020.
Selected were: administrator Luke Hallmark; football coaches Carrol Cox, Steve Mask and Fred Yancey; basketball coaches Tommy Lewis and Yvonne Simmons; Track coaches Aaron Goode and Keith Wilemon; wrestling coach Joseph Dasaro; soccer coach Rick Grammer; wrestling official Toney Pugh, who was also an outstanding wrestling coach and football coach; and coach/administrator Samuel ‘Hamp’ Lyon, who chosen in the old timer category.
Sponsors of the Hall of Fame program are the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) and the AHSAA. The corporate partners include Alabama Power, ALFA, Cadence Bank, Coca-Cola, Encore Rehabilitation, Future Ones, Jack’s, TeamIP and Wilson Sporting Goods.
The first class was inducted in 1991. These 12 in the Class of 2020 will run the total inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame to 365.
A profile of each selectee:
CARROL COX: A 1968 Jackson High School graduate and member of Samford University’s 1971 National Championship team, Cox coached from 1973 to 2000 at Jess Lanier High School in Bessemer – serving as head football coach and athletic director the final 21 years compiling a 162-77-2 overall record with the Purple Tigers.
His teams reached the state playoffs 14 times, including two trips to the state finals. His 1990 team was 12-3 and won the Class 6A state championship beating Murphy 22-0 at Legion Field. His teams had just two losing seasons but made the playoffs one of those years. After retiring in Alabama, he continued teaching and coaching in Georgia.
Cox, an old-school coach who had some of the top rushing teams in AHSAA history thanks to his tenacious wishbone offensive scheme, is the winningest head football coach in Bessemer school history. He coached in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic in 1990, has been a clinician at football coaching clinics across the Southeast and sent a large number of his players to Division I and Division II college programs during his coaching tenure.
JOSEPH DASARO: The 1973 Grissom High School graduate, 65, completed his degree at Auburn University in 1978. He then became a wrestling coach and teacher at Redbud High School in Calhoun (GA) foe two years – leading his team to the Class 1A state championship.
Dasaro then moved back to his hometown of Huntsville where began a teaching and coaching career at his alma mater Grissom. He served as assistant wrestling coach from 1980-83 and became head coach in 1984 – a position he has held ever since.
He has been one of the state’s premier wrestling coaches – leading the Tigers to seven state championships (1994, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003 and 20012. His team won four state titles in a row at one stretch. His overall dual meet record was 804-149 through the 2017-18 season. Fifty-nine of his players have won individual state titles with two, Robby MacArthur and Josh Hall, earning positions on Olympic teams.
He has been selected Who’s Who among American Teachers (1998), was inducted into the Madison County Sports Hall of Fame (2008) and has been named Huntsville City Schools Coach of the Year eight times – his first year in 1984 and his most recent in 2018. He was named USA Wrestling Man of the Year (1997) and received NFHS State Coach of the Year Award twice (1998 and 2000).
Dasaro, who is very active in numerous community projects, received a special Huntsville City Schools Resolution Recognition for his heroic devotion and disregard for personal safety when he evacuated a number of children during a fire at Stone Middle School in 1983. Also among his numerous awards received was the White House Golden Rule Award from President Bill Clinton in 1996.
AARON GOODE: Goode, 66, graduated from Hazelwood High School as its salutatorian in 1971 where he was an outstanding football and track athlete – helping the Bears win the school’s first state football title as a senior in 1970. He was an outstanding two-sport athlete in college at Alabama State University.
He began long tenure as high school teacher and coach at his alma mater, serving in numerous capacities including becoming a football and track coach. He helped the small Lawrence County School in Town Creek win 11 state football crowns before the school merged with Courtland in 2009 to form R.A. Hubbard High School. He laid the groundwork for Hazelwood’s track program that also won 13 boys’ outdoor state championships and 13 girls’ state titles. His hurdlers dominated the track scene.
The Goode family, which included his nephews Clyde, Chris, Kerry, Pierre, Clyde III, and Antonio Langham, not only excelled in high school but at the college and NFL level. His brother Clyde also served on the AHSAA Central Board of Control.
Goode, an assistant coach in various sports much of his career, was head football coach at Hazlewood from 2003-08 compiling a 48-23 record. He then led the merger with Courtland into R.A. Hubbard in 2000 leading the Chiefs to an 11-3 record and the state semifinals in 2009. Goode earned the NFHS Section 3 Track Coach of the year in 2004. He is currently serving as a volunteer track assistant coach at Lawrence County High School in Moulton.
. Active in the Town Creek community, he is a member of First Baptist Church and has served as a city councilman. Dedicated to the sport of track, he served on the USA Track and Field Board of Directors from 1988-2004 with a stint as president from 1995-2000.
RICK GRAMMER: A 1974 graduate of Birmingham’s Huffman High School, Grammer, 64, earned his college degree from Jacksonville State in 1979 and received his masters from the University of Montevallo.
He spent his entire coaching and teaching career at Vestavia Hills, where he served as an assistant varsity football coach, freshman football coach, freshman basketball coach, the school’s swim coach sponsor and was handed the Rebels’ boys’ soccer coaching duties in 1979. He also taught advanced level math.
He knew very little about the sport of soccer when he was told he would be the boys’ soccer coach in 1979. He embraced the opportunity, however, and dedicated himself to studying and learning how to coach the sport – leading the Rebels to a 633-158-50 record over the next 36 years with four state titles and five semifinal appearances. He continued to serve as an assistant football coach for almost the entire duration.
His win total ranked him ninth nationally in the NFHS when he retired in 2015. He was chosen NFHS Section 3 Soccer Coach of the year in 2013, and the NFHS State Coach of the year twice (2013 and 2014).
He served on the AHSAA Soccer Coaches Committee for several years.
LUKE HALLMARK: The veteran school administrator graduated from Perry Christian High School in 1975 and earned an associate degree in 1977 from Marion Military Institute. He earned his BS degree in Finance from Auburn University in 1980. Later, he earned a Master of Education degree from Livingston University and an Educational Specialist degree from the University of Montevallo.
Hallmark, 62, began his career in education in 1982 as a teacher and boys’ basketball coach at Southern Academy, and later at Marion Military Institute. He joined the faculty at Demopolis High School in 1985 and continued to coach basketball until moving into administration following the 1997 school year. One former player at Demopolis, Theo Ratliff, was a first-round draft pick in the 1995 NBA Draft, remaining in in the NBA for the next 16 years finally retiring after the 2011 season.
Hallmark served as principal at Greensboro West Elementary School from 1997 to 2000, stepping down to become the Superintendent of Education for Marengo County Schools. He has been serving in that capacity ever since.
He has continued his love of sports by officiating baseball (since 1988) and basketball (since 1997) in the AHSAA. He has officiated one state championship game and called in three regionals.
His influence and leadership have been immeasurable as a member of the AHSAA Central Board of Control. He currently is the longest serving active member of the current Board. He also currently serves as chairman of the PEEHIP Board of Control and chairman of the Teacher Retirement System Board.
He is active in the community including serving as a Lay Eucharistic minister at Trinity Episcopal Church, is a member of the Marengo County Historical Society, president of the Marengo County Auburn Club, was a past member of the Demopolis Park and Recreation Board and serves as a Demopolis Rotarian.
Hallmark received the University of West Alabama Alumni Achievement Award (2007); the Outstanding Superintendent Award from the University of Montevallo (2008); was a Superintendent of the Year finalist (2009); and the Outstanding Service Award from CLAS (20-13) among his many honors.
THOMAS WAYNE ‘TOMMY’ LEWIS: A basketball coach with a knack of getting the best out of his teams, Lewis, 58, learned to love the game as a high schooler at Spring Garden, where he graduated in 1979. He completed his college degree at Jacksonville State in 1984. He spent most of his career in education and coaching in his native Cherokee County at Gaylesville, Spring Garden and Cherokee County and finished his career at Piedmont, located on the Cherokee County border in Calhoun County.
He retired after 31 years of coaching with a 602-342 career record, which included taking three different schools to the AHSAA State Basketball Championship semifinals. He had 20 teams win 20 or more games and coached teams to area titles 22 times. His 2006 Cherokee County team had a 31-2 record and reached the Class 4A state tourney semifinals.
He also won more than 200 games at Spring Garden (226-106) from 1988-99 and at Piedmont (226-153) from 2006-18. He guided the Bulldogs to three regional titles and three state tourneys. The 226 wins at Piedmont is the most in the school’s nearly 100-year history.
Spring Garden principal and former teammate Mike Welsh said Lewis’ coaching is just one aspect of his success with student-athletes. “Throughout his education and coaching career, Tommy Lewis exhibited extraordinary moral and ethical character, outstanding leadership qualities and exemplary school, community and American citizenship.”
SAMUEL ‘HAMP’ LYON: Coach Hamp Lyon, now deceased, was selected for induction into the 2020 Class as an “old timer’. Born in 1911, he came to Alabama from Benjamin Bosse High School in Evansville (TN) in 1932 when he joined the University of Alabama athletic program. Upon graduation in 1937, he went straight to Alexander City High School where he served as head football coach from 1937-1941 – leaving to serve in the U.S. Army in Europe in World War II from 1941-45. He returned to Alex City in 1946 as head football coach remained as head coach through 1957 – compiling a 107-47-10 record. His 1953 team was the first in school history to go undefeated, compiling a 9-0-1 record.
He served as athletic director from 1957-1972 until he retired. The football stadium in Alexander City was named in his honor in 1970. He passed away in 1974. Known for his humble leadership, he helped numerous students earn scholarships and attend college that otherwise would not have had that opportunity, said George W. Hardy, President retired for Russell Athletics.
Coach Lyon was founder of the Alex City Quarterback Club, served in the Lions Club and Shriners Club and retired as a Colonel in the Army Reserve.
STEVE MASK: Mask, 62, who graduated from Muscle Shoals High School in 1976 and the University of North Alabama in 1980, has compiled a 187-94-0 record in 23 years as a head football coach.
He has had head coaching stops at Bradshaw, Buckhorn, Colbert County and St. Paul’s Episcopal. His 87-21 record with the Saints over the last eight seasons makes him the school’s all-time winningest football coach. St. Paul’s won three Class 5A state titles (2014, 2015, 2017) and have reached the playoffs every year including 2018 and 2019 in Class 6A. Mask’s playoff record is 36-14 overall in 17 appearances.
He began his coaching and teaching career at Colbert County in 1979, serving as an assistant coach for the Indians’ 1985 Class 5A state championship football team and for Colbert County’s 1981 Class 3A state basketball championship squad.
He coached Bradshaw to its first-ever playoff victory in 1991, led Buckhorn to its highest state ranking ever in 1999, and was the Huntsville Times Coach of the Year in 199 and 1999. He returned to Colbert County as head coach in 2002 and led the Indians to the 3A state finals – earning the Florence Times Daily Coach of the Year honors.
The Alabama Football Coaches Association and al.com named him the Class 5A Coach of the Year in 2014, and he received the John L. Finley Award for his service to coaching in 2015. He received the L’Arche of Mobile Lefty Anderson Award in 2018, also presented for his service to coaching.
A founding member of the AFCA, he was inducted into the Colbert County Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.
TONEY PUGH: Pugh, 60, has worn a lot of different hats in his career in education. And he has worn them all well. He graduated from Auburn High School in 1976 and Auburn University in 1982. He earned his masters at UAB in 1994.
He served as an assistant football coach and head wrestling coach at his first two stops – Auburn and Hewitt-Trussville high schools. He also served as offensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Hewitt. He was then tabbed to start the Clay-Chalkville program from scratch as head football coach and athletic director when the school opened in 1996. He left after 1999 to do the same at Oak Mountain in Shelby County, remaining in that capacity from 1999-2004. He then moved to Spain Park, which had opened two years prior, and returned to coaching wrestling while also serving as the Jags’ offensive line coach. He finished his coaching career with stops at Hoover and Lassiter (GA) and then became the Executive Director of the Birmingham Athletic Partnership in 2010 where he has remained ever since.
His role with BAP is to provide support and professional development for the coaches and teams for all the schools in the Birmingham City School System.
And while he has been busy with those jobs, he also has become one of the AHSAA’s most outstanding wrestling officials in the process. He has worked the AHSAA State Wrestling Championships as an official for the last decade.
His wrestling teams at Hewitt won two state championships, had 10 straight playoff appearances and made one Class 6A trip to the state finals at Legion Field.
He coached in the North-South All-Star Game in 1999 and was defensive coordinator in the Alabama-Mississippi Game in 2000. Pugh has served on the AHSAA Football Coaches Committee and on the Board of Directors of the Alabama Football Coaches Association.
YVONNE MICHELLE SIMMONS: The Carver-Montgomery High School coaching legend graduated from Sidney Lanier High School in Montgomery in 1971 and Alabama State University in 1976.
Simmons, 66, spent her entire teaching and coaching career in the Montgomery County Public School System. She got her start at Loveless Junior High in 1972, moved to Floyd Junior High the next year and remained until 1985. Her teams at Floyd won seven city girls’ basketball and two softball championships. She became the Carver girls’ basketball coach in 1985, and over the next 28 years guided the Wolverines to a 558-237 record, one state title (1993), three state runner-up finishes (1988, 1989, and 2010) and 12 state tourney appearances.
Principal Gary Hall said Simmons’ impact on the student-athletes will be long-lasting.
“I found Coach Simmons to have a passion for all students at Carver High School and not just the students she coached,” Hall said. “She dedicated almost 30 years of service to the young women and young men at Carver. Her love for the game of basketball made teaching the skills of the game challenging for those she coached.”
Devoted to her community and church, Simmons in retirement serves on the Beulah Baptist Church Health and Welfare Committee.
KEITH WILEMON: Mississippi native Keith Wilemon, 59, graduated from Itawamba Agricultural High School in 1978 and the University of North Alabama in 1985. He earned two masters degrees – in Special Education and School Administration.
He got his first teaching and coaching position at Winfield High School in 1986 teaching math and coaching football, basketball and track. He moved to Falkville in 1989 to coach football and track. His passion for track made the Blue Devils’ program one of the best small-school programs in the AHSAA.
He became assistant principal and athletic director in 2000, a position he held for the next 18 years until his retirement in 2017. He remained as track coach during that time – leading Falkville to four state boys’ outdoor track championships and has served as an assistant as the Blue Devils won four boys’ and two girls’ state indoor titles. His teams have also finished state runner-up 15 times with him serving as head or assistant coach. Falkville’s girls won 14 section titles and the boys won four. Falkville also captured nine boys’ Morgan County track titles and eight girls’ county titles.
He played a major role in help advance the sport of track in the AHSAA serving on the AHSAA Track Coaches Committee for four years. He also helped start the Smith Lake Track Officials Association and serves as president.
Wilemon was named the NFHS Alabama Track Coach of the Year in 2014. He was selected the AHSAA State Track Official of the Year in 2017. Falkville’s track program is now led by Wilemon’s son Jace – and dad still helps as a volunteer assistant. Together, they have added two more state boys’ titles.
FRED YANCEY: A native of Memphis, Yancey, 74, graduated from Messick High School in 1963 and began his teaching and coaching career in 1969 at Overton (TN) High School after earning his degree at Memphis State University that same year.
He had coaching stints at private Christian schools in Tennessee and Georgia and then moved to Alabama in 1990 as the head football coach at Briarwood Christian School. He remained at Briarwood for the next 29 years – building a program that would compile a 278-95 record, win three state championships (1998, 1999, 2003) and finish runner-up three times (2007, 2010, 2017).
His 278 wins at Briarwood rank third in the AHSAA for wins by a coach at the same school. His teams had 26 straight state playoff appearances, and the 62 playoff wins rank the Lions second all-time in Class 5A. He finished his coaching career compiling a 319-115-1 record. More importantly, his devotion to his faith and dedication to coaching excellence made him a role model for coaches and teachers across the state.
Yancey was named the Varsity Football National Coach of the Year by the National Christian School Athletic Association in 2017 and was recognized by his school for his outstanding career during the 2019 season with more than 400 former students and players gathering on the field to honor him.
Current Season Reversal Percentage is 22%
MONTGOMERY – Three challenges were made in 10 AHSAA varsity high school football contests using DVSport Instant Replay the last week of the regular season and the first round of state playoffs, said AHSAA Director of Officials Mark Jones. None of the calls on the field were reversed, Jones reports
For the 2019 season, a 62 challenges have been issued by coaches in 72 games with 13 calls overturned upon review, a 21.0% reversal rate. In 2018, the first year DVSport Instant Replay was implemented, 91 games used Instant Replay with 73 total challenges with 18 calls overturned (25%). The Catch/No Catch, Fumble and Forward Progress calls made up 70% of the challenges last year. The NFHS has granted the AHSAA a three-year period to experiment with instant replay in regular-season and playoff games.
“The one challenge two weeks ago was Tanner challenging that an East Limestone player fumbled prior to being down,” said Jones. “After the review, the play stood as called confirming that the runner was down prior to losing the ball.”
Jones said out of six games using Instant Replay last week, “There were two challenges in the first round, both in the McAdory at Opelika game,” he said. “One was by McAdory on an interception catch and the other by Opelika on a fumble. Both, the interception and the player being down prior to the fumble stood as called on the field after review.”
This week, four games will be utilizing the DVSport Instant Replay in the second round of the state playoffs with three schools taking part for the first time this season: Pickens County, Falkville and St. Paul’s Episcopal.
Instant Replay reviews this fall have consisted of the following:
62 reviews with 13 reversals. 21.0%
State Playoffs, Round 2 Games with Instant Replay
SCHOOLS IN GAMES WITH INSTANT REPLAY THIS SEASON (74)
Class 7A (19)
Class 6A (21)
Class 5A (15)
Class 4A (13)
Class 3A (1)
Class 2A (2)
Class 1A (1)
New Smyrna Beach (FL)
AHSAA Football Playoff Game of the Week
MONTGOMERY – The AHSAA TV Network / NFHS Network Game of the Week produced by WOTM TV for the second round of the state football playoffs is the much anticipated rematch between defending Class 5A state champion Central of Clay County and ND Jasper, announced executive producer Vince Earley of WOTM.
The two teams met on September 27 at Lineville with both teams unbeaten and ranked 1-2 in the ASWA state rankings and the Vikings (11-0) od Coach Bryan Moore escaped with a 35-34 double-overtime victory. The Volunteers (9-2) of Coach Danny Horn suffered another close setback to Mortimer Jordan 34-28 the next week but have not lost since – currently riding a five-game winning streak. Jasper finished the regular season 10-0 for the first time since 1999 and Moore’s Vikings are on an 11-game win streak. Jasper also ended the regular season with a 19-game regular-season win streak still intact. He is 22-2 in two seasons at the helm.
Game time for Friday’s telecast will be at 7 p.m., with announcers Tommy Wood and former Cleburne County football coach Michael Shortt handling the play-by-play and color commentary. Earley also announced that WOTM will be telecasting and live-streaming a second “Game of the Week” at Sylacauga’s Legion Stadium where B.B. Comer (6-5) will host Geraldine (7-4) in a Class 3A second-round playoff game. The Tigers of Coach Adam Fossett, a No. 4 seed from Region 6, knocked off Region 5 top seed Fultondale 28-19 last week to clinch their first playoff win since the 2000 season. Geraldine’s Bulldogs, coached by Brad Waldrop, downed Clements 49-16. Both games will be carried live over the NFHS Network with live updates interjected into the Central-Jasper game.
The NFHS Network will have at least 25 second-round playoff games live-streamed over its NFHS Network School Broadcast Platform Friday night. In addition, 177 basketball games have been scheduled this week with a big slate tonight, Friday and Saturday. Two wrestling events are also planned for a total of 204 AHSAA events on the NFHS Network this week.
In addition, 65 playoff games can be heard over air waves via radio or internet live-audio feeds. Four other contests will be videotaped and played back at a later date.
The Vikings and Volunteers have met twice in Central’s short history with Jasper winning both. The Vikings won 10-7 last year and have outscored the Vols 45-41 in the two meetings.
Horn, currently 308-88 in 31 seasons, won six state titles and had two runner-up finishes as Clay County High School and compiled a 225-40 record from 1989 to 2008 before the school system merged the Ashland school with its chief rival Lineville. His team won 55 straight games, still an AHSAA state record, from 1994 to 1997.
The two schools, considered among the best small schools in the nation, played 102 times with Lineville holding a 54-44-4 edge in a series that saw the Aggies score 1,288 points and the Panthers, 1,231. Clay County, which had its first season in 1920, had an overall 534-332-38 record when the schools were merged in 2011. Lineville, which fielded its first team in 1917, had a 575-324-25 mark – a total of 1,109 wins between them and just 656 losses with 73 ties. A 63.3% winning rate. Since the merger, Central has gone 72-26, a winning percentage of 73.5% and no losing season in the school’s eight-year history.
Jasper, which had its first season in 1920, has an all-time record of 607-376-33. The school has had three names in its history, Walker County High School, Walker and finally Jasper, since 2017. The Vikings have gone undefeated during the regular season seven times in it rich history – the first (9-0) in 1921. The other years were 1930 (11-0), 1933 (9-0-1), 1957 (10-0), and twice prior to this season since the state playoffs were instituted in 1966 – 1997 and 1999. Jasper went to the third round each year before finally getting beat.
The schedule of football playoff games set for live-streaming Friday can be found at the following link:
The schedule of basketball games set for the NFHS Network can be found at:
A subscription allows the viewer access to any events on the NFHS Network. Monthly and yearly subscriptions are available. For more information on how to subscribe, go to the following link:
For information concerning the AHSAA TV Network’s cable football game availability, got to the following link:
Older Archives 2008-2014