AHSAA Volleyball Spotlight for Week 5
MONTGOMERY – Mountain Brook High School’s Spartans volleyball team extended its current win streak to 20 in a row last weekend by winning the HeffStrong Invitational tournament at Spain Park High School.
The Spartans (34-5) of Coach Vickie Nichols won 11 matches in a row to win the 66-team Rocky Top Classic the previous weekend and followed with a regular-season victory over Hewitt-Trussville and six straight wins at the HeffStrong tourney. Mountain Brook didn’t lose a single set in the seven matches and beat host Spain Park in the finals.
The dominating win streak catapulted Class 7A Mountain Brook into the AHSAA Volleyball Spotlight for week five of the 2019 season. Senior Grace Carr continued her strong play on the net with 54 kills, 40 digs and eight service aces. Senior teammate Hannah Hitson added 23 kills, seven blocks and seven aces, junior Celie Field also had 23 kills, five blocks, 30 digs and nine aces. Senior setter Ann Vandevelde, handed out 107 assists and also had 38 digs, five kills and three blocks in a strong all-around effort.
The next major tournament for Mountain Brook will be the Margaret Blalock Invitational scheduled for Oct. 11-12.
The Spartans’ team streak edged out a noteworthy milestone by Chelsea setter Bailey Drew McIntyre. She had 183 assists for the week and recorded the 1,000th assist of her career on Saturday in a win over Russell County at the Smiths Station Tourney. The Hornets (26-2) captured the championship later in the day beating Harris County (GA) in the finals. Chelsea was 8-1 on the week with wins over Vestavia Hills and Homewood in regular season play and victories over Valley, Smiths Station, Russell County, Shaw (Ga.), Central-Phenix City and Harris County in the tourney. McIntyre also had 63 digs and 25 service aces.
OTHER TOP PERFORMANCES REPORTED
SAVANNAH RUTLEDGE, ALBERTVILLE: Won MVP honors leading the Aggies (21-4) to the Marshall County Tournament championship. She had 110 assists, 22 service aces, 16 kills and three blocks. Albertville, after losing to Arab in pool play, beat the Knights in the finals.
ANNA JOHNSON, ALEXANDRIA: The Valley Cubs’ setter turned in 152 assists, 46 digs, 20 aces and 15 kills as Alexandria (29-6) won eight matches to win the Brooks Invitational.
BLISS BROWN, SOUTHSIDE-GADSDEN: Handed out 150 assists and served seven aces as the Panthers (23-08) won the Champions Fall Fest Invitational and finished 7-1 on the week.
ABIGAIL WISTNER, MADISON ACADEMY: Totaled 110 assists, 61 kills, 79 digs and 17 aces as the Mustangs (27-10) went 8-2 on the week. Madison Academy won the Priceville Invitational going 8-0.
KARSEN KINMAN, HORSESHOE BEND: Had 29 assists as Horseshoe Bend won the Tallapoosa County tournament with wins over Ranburne, Dadeville and Reeltown.
PAGE MORRIS, SPAIN PARK: Totaled 70 kills, 15 aces, seven blocks and 11 digs as the Jaguars went 8-1 for the week and finished runner-up in the HeffStrong Tourney.
GRACIE LYNN BUTLER, HAZEL GREEN: Totaled 77 kills and 26 blocks as the defending Class 6A state champion Trojans (35-5) finished 6-1 and reached the finals of the WILLCO Invitational in Tennessee before falling to Greenwood (KY).
HAILEY HOLSEHOUSER, HARTSELLE: Had 99 digs and 72 kills as Hartselle (33-5) went 8-1 for the week, including 4-1 at the WILLCO Invitational tourney. Teammate Grace Leighton also had 192 assists and 15 aces.
ANN MARGARET KEENER, CENTRAL-FLORENCE: Passed out 256 assists, had 124 digs and 27 aces to lead Central to a 7-2 record and a strong showing in the Brooks Invitational.
MARY BETH LONG, G.W. LONG: Had 22 kills in a 25-21, 25-15, 25-20 setback to Houston Academy. She scored 39.3% of her team’s points just on her kill shots.
ASHLEY CONNER, HOUSTON ACADEMY: Had 31 assists as the Raiders upset G.W. Long 3-0.
RYA McKINNON, HOOVER: Had 30 kills and three service aces in two match wins as the Bucs beat Thompson and handed defending Class 5A state champion Jasper its first in-state
JASMINE BROOKS, SPARKMAN: Had 13 kills and nine service aces as the Senators (22-8) beat Austin.
ADELINE BARNES, BOB JONES: Helped the Patriots (16-8) go 4-2 at the HeffStrong tourney by notching 108 assists and 29 digs. Among the Bob Jones wins was a victory over defending Class 7A state champion McGill-Toolen Catholic.
KALLIE BURDEN, DESHLER: Totaled 74 kills and five blocks in the Brooks Invitational as the Tigers went 7-1 for the week.
ALI WIGGINS, ENTERPRISE: Helped the Wildcats go 3-1 at the HeffStrong Tournament with 21 assists and 15 kills.
KAYLIE WRIGHT, MUSCLE SHOALS: Had 92 kills and 12 aces in 10 matches as the Trojans (20-12) went 6-4 for the week.
KAROLINE STRIPLIN, GENEVA COUNTY: Led the Bulldogs to s 3-0 win over Houston County with nine service saves and eight kills.
COURTNEY STONE, DORA: Had 147 assists and 36 digs in nine matches for the Bulldogs.
KHLOE KIMBRELL, CURRY: Had 136 assists, 43 digs and 17 aces as Curry (35-6) went 9-1 on the week with the only loss coming to Southside-Gadsden at the Champions Fall Fest tourney.
MARISSA KOCH, ST. JOHN PAUL II: Had 113 kills and 14 aces in nine matches for the Falcons.
CALEY GARRETT, SAND ROCK: Led the Wildcats to five wins in seven matches with 120 digs and 10 aces.
Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff, NFHS Executive Director
When the annual High School Athletics Participation Survey was released by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in August, many headlines across the country focused on the drop in the number of boys playing 11-player football. After all, the report showed 30,829 fewer participants than the year before. However, perhaps the most important number was overlooked – 14,247.
Yes, 14,247, the number of high schools with 11-player football teams. While there was a slight decline in the number of participants in many states, the number of schools sponsoring the sport was the highest in five years. In fact, the number of schools last year with 11-player teams has only been topped twice in the survey’s history – 14,262 in 2013-14 and 14,279 in 2010-11.
In addition, smaller schools in some states have shifted to 6-player, 8-player and 9-player football and have had good responses. The survey indicates an additional 156 schools and 1,594 participants involved in these alternate forms of the sport; and, in the past 10 years, participation by girls in 11-player football has doubled, with more than 2,400 participants this past year.
These numbers express the desire by high schools to keep alive one of the oldest and most treasured traditions in our nation – Friday Night Football Under the Lights. Although there are many options today for the entertainment dollar, nothing surpasses supporting the local high school football team on Friday nights. The No. 1 fan base in America? The answer is that number again – 14,247.
In Week 2 of the National Football League season, just under 1.1 million fans attended the 16 games. While impressive, it doesn’t come close to the number of fans who watched high school football during the corresponding week. It’s all in that number – 14,247.
With approximately 7,123 games every Friday night (14,247 divided by 2), and with a conservative estimate of 1,000 fans per game, there are more than 7 million fans in high school football stadiums every week. An unofficial attendance survey conducted by the NFHS in 2011 indicated about 165 million fans attended high school football games during that season, which included up to five weeks of playoffs and a weekly average of 11 million fans. Either way, the number of fans at high school football games dwarfs the numbers attending professional football games.
Early season crowds have been strong in many areas of the country with terrific fall weather – current and former students; parents, grandparents and friends of players on the team; longtime fans and supporters in the community. Unlike crowds at the college and professional levels where fans have little, if any, identity with the players, there is a connection between the players and fans at the high school level.
With concussion protocols and laws in place in every state, with a reduction in contact levels before the season and during practices, and with teaching of proper tackling skills at lower levels, we believe people, including parents of high school student-athletes, are seeing and believing that the sport of football at the high school level is as safe as it ever has been.
We urge you to support your local high school football team this Friday night.
Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff is beginning her second year as executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is the first female to head the national leadership organization for high school athletics and performing arts activities and the sixth full-time executive director of the NFHS, which celebrated its 100th year of service during the 2018-19 school year. She previously was executive director of the Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference for seven years.
Current Season Reversal Percentage is 23.1%
MONTGOMERY – Five of the seven AHSAA varsity high school football contests using DVSport Instant Replay last week had a total of six challenges with two calls reversed, reports AHSAA Director of Officials Mark Jones.
The Week 4 report had two games without any challenges. The reversed calls were as follow, said Jones.
Opelika vs. Central-Phenix City: Opelika challenged a Central receiver’s knee was on the ground when a pass was caught. After review the run after the catch was reversed to the spot of the catch as video showed the knee was on the ground.
Dora vs. Lawrence County: On a fourth down play, Dora was ruled short of the line to gain a first down. After review, forward progress was made beyond the line to gain and Dora was awarded a first down.
Other reviews were catch/no catch and breaking plane of goal line.
A total of 26 calls on the field have been reversed this season with six, or 23.1%, have been reversed. The 23.1% represents a slight increase from 20% rate after week three.
DVSport Instant Replay is in its second year of implementation. The NFHS has granted the AHSAA a three-year period to experiment with instant replay in regular season games.
Jones reported that 26 Instant Replay reviews this fall have consisted of the following:
TYPES OF CHALLENGES (26 reviews with 6 reversals, 23.1%)
10 Catch or no catch
7 Fumble or no fumble
5 Ball breaking the plan of the goal line (Note: also had 2 fumbles reviewed at same time)
2 Touching of a punt
2 Forward progress
1 Illegal participation
1 Illegal forward pass
A total of 40 schools have participated in AHSAA contests utilizing Instant Replay this season with six games scheduled for this Friday. New to the Instant Replay this week will be Minor, Jackson, Park Crossing, Athens and Lanett. The complete list of games utilizing Instant Replay this week are listed below.
Week 5 Games with Instant Replay
Minor (6A) at Auburn (7A)
Jackson (5A) at Baker (7A)
Park Crossing (6A) at Central-Phenix City (7A)
Athens (6A) at East Limestone (5A)
Lanett (1A) at Handley (4A)
SCHOOLS IN GAMES WITH INSTANT REPLAY THIS SEASON
Class 7A (12)
Class 6A (10)
St. Paul’s Episcopal
Class 5A (8)
Class 4A (6)
Class 3A (1)
Class 2A (1)
New Smyrna Beach (FL)
184 Events Planned by NFHS Network SBP Schools Sept. 24-30
MONTGOMERY – Class 2A Sand Rock and Class 1A Spring Garden high schools have met 30 times since 1969 – the first year the basketball-rich Panthers fielded a football team. The Wildcats have won the Cherokee County bragging rights 24 times.
The last five years have been nip-and-tuck, however, with Sand Rock, coached by Steven Chesnut, winning three and Spring Garden winning two. The Panthers of Coach Jason Howard posted 35-0 win in last year’s game – the biggest margin of victory in Panthers’ six wins in the series.
The stage is set for another exciting battle Thursday night as this Cherokee County small-school rivalry takes center stage as the AHSAA TV Network/NFHS Network Game of the Week. WOTM TV, under the direction of executive producer Vince Earley, is producing the contest – the fifth in the 2019 Game-of-the Week series.
The game will be live-streamed over the NFHS Network subscriber-based program and will also be available on the network of cable stations that have joined the WOTM Network in Alabama. Veteran announcer Tommy Wood and legendary football coach Rick Rhoades will be handling the commentary for the WOTM/NFHS Network production.
Earley also announced the lineup of AHSAA TV Network Game of the Week pairing for next week’s Game of the week – a Class 7A battle between Hoover and Tuscaloosa County at Northport on October 3. Spring Garden (3-1) is riding a three-game winning streak coming into the game. The Panthers opened the season with a 14-12 loss to Cedar Bluff. Since then, Spring Garden has beaten Winterboro 41-21, Notasulga 26-14 and handed Donoho its first defeat of the season last week winning 16-12. Howard’s team is 2-0 in Class 1A, Region 5 tied with Appalachian (4-1) at the top of the Region 5 standings heading into the second half of the season.
Chesnut’s Wildcats (2-2) are coming into the contest after two straight heart-breaking losses. Sand Rock beat Gaston 19-6 and Ider 20-14 before dropping a 14-7 overtime decision to Cedar Bluff and a 12-7 decision to North Sand Mountain last week. Sand Rock is still in the middle of the Class 2A, Region 8 race with a 1-2 region record.
Howard, the winningest coach in Spring Garden history with an 87-72 career record in two tenures at the school, led the Panthers to an 11-2 season in 2018 and the third round of the 1A state playoffs. Chestnut in his fifth season as head coach, is 30-18 overall. Spring Garden’s defense is anchored by Luke Welsh and the offense is managed by quarterback Ryley Kirk.
Howie Holland anchors a Sand Rock defense that is allowing only 11.5 ppg. Ian Clanton and Banks Alexander are leaders on offense.
The NFHS Network School Broadcast Program has 184 events planned for the NFHS Network subscriber-based platform this week. A total of 53 varsity football games are planned, 50 on Friday night, and 58 varsity volleyball matches are planned tonight through next Monday.
Among the top football games will be Bessemer City (4-0) at Wenonah (2-2) and Lee-Montgomery (4-0) vs. Carver-Montgomery (4-0) at Cramton Bowl Thursday night. Friday night’s lineup of 50 contests includes G.W. Long (4-0) at Elba (3-1); Jacksonville (4-1) at Piedmont (4-0); Mobile Christian (2-2) at UMS-Wright (4-0); and Muscle Shoals (5-0) at Florence (2-3).
The complete AHSAA schedule of events set to be livestreamed over the NFHS Network September 24 through September 30 can be found at the following link:
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 availability, got to the following link:
AHSAA Defensive Spotlight for Week 4
MONTGOMERY – A clutch defensive play by Guntersville High School junior Jerrell Williamson helped the Wildcats beat Arab 45-42 in the 91st meeting of the Marshall County rivalry Friday night.
Williamson, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound defensive back/linebacker/running back for the Wildcats of Coach Lance Reese landed in the AHSAA Defensive Spotlight for Week 4 for his interception with 1.5 seconds remaining that sealed a 45-42 victory over the Knights in last Friday’s battle of rivals.
Guntersville (3-2) now owns a 59-30-2 edge in the series. Friday’s game was one of the most exciting, however. Trailing 42-38 with 2:44 to go, the Wildcats marched 82 yards for the winning touchdown.
With one last chance to win, however, Arab’s final pass was picked off by Williamson and Guntersville walked away with the win. The last victory by Arab was a 14-0 win in 2012.
The effort edged another outstanding defensive effort by junior defensive back/receiver Sean Zerkle of St. John Paul II Catholic. He finished with three interceptions on defense, had seven catches for 147 yards and three touchdowns on offense and sealed the school’s first win over North Jackson when he intercepted a pass on a 2-point conversion in a 49-48 victory.
Other top performances included:
JEFFREY LIGHTNER, DALE COUNTY: Had 13 tackles on defense and returned a kickoff 94 yards for a TD in the Warriors’ 49-20 setback to Alabama Christian.
MARTIEZ BROWN, HUFFMAN: Spoiled two Pell City scoring opportunities by recovering a fumble in the end one on one drive and intercepting a pass on another as the Vikings won their homecoming game 34-12 over the Panthers.
JACK THOMAS, ALABAMA CHRISTIAN: Had 14 tackles as the Eagles beat Dale County 49-20.
D.J. LEE, GAYLESVILLE: Managed 11 tackles on defense and 105 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 17 carries on offense in a 52-16 loss to Valley Head.
REGGIE MALONE, THEODORE: Was credited with 10 tackles, a sack and two forced fumbles as the Bobcats (5-0) topped Alma Bryant 42-3.
WILBUR WRIGHT, RAMSAY: Totaled 10 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble in a 35-18 victory over Fairfield.
KAMERON BAKER, GOSHEN: Contributed 11 stops in the Eagles’ 42-16 win over New Brockton.
XAVIER MITCHELL, McGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC: Picked off two passes, returning one for 53 yards and a TD, to lead the Jackets to a 35-7 win over Mary Montgomery.
DESHAZIO WILLIAMS, PINSON VALLEY: Made two interceptions in the secondary for the Indians in a 33-32 loss to Oxford.
NOAH LINEVILLE, SCOTTSBORO: Had eight tackles and a fumble recovery in the Wildcats’ 27-7 win over East Limestone.
ANDREW FLOYD, SPRING GARDEN: Made nine stops in the Panthers’ 16-12 win at Donoho.
SUSAN MOORE DEFENSE: Limited Brindlee Mountain to minus-112 rushing yards and no yards passing in a 50-0 win. The Bulldogs (5-0) improved to 3-0 in Class 3A, Region 7 with the win.
AHSAA Special Teams Spotlight for Week 4
MONTGOMERY – Dothan High School’ special teams accounted for two touchdowns and a host of other big plays as the Wolves (3-2) downed Russell County 43-27 last week to capture the AHSAA Football Special Teams Spotlight for Week 4.
Coach Smitty Grider, in his first season as the new Dothan school’s first head, got big plays from a host of veterans including Jaylen White, Jabre Barber and Brody Barnett.
White returned a kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown and Barber raced 55 yards on a punt return to set up another score. Dothan’s special teams also blocked a punt in the game, and kicker Brody Barnett was 5-of-5 extra points and also threw a two-point conversion pass after a bad snap.
The team effort provided the margin in the Class 6A, Region 2 win at Dothan’s Rip Hewes Stadium.
Other top special team performances reported this weekend included:
SPECIAL TEAMS NOMINATIONS
JAKOBI SMITH, HUFFMAN: Helped the Vikings beat Pell City 34-12 with a 43-yard punt return for a TD and an 80-yard touchdown run. He finished with 107 yards rushing on six carries and had two TDs of 51 and 23 yards called back.
JAKARI FOSTER, PIEDMONT: Returned the second half kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown in the Bulldogs’ 53-0 win over Weaver.
JASON BROOKS, MOBILE CHRISTIAN: Returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown and also scored TDs on a 6-yard run and 16 yard reception as the Leopards beat Thomasville 42-9.
NYNY DAVIS, ETOWAH: Returned a kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown, caught an 8-yard touchdown pass and rushed for a 15-yard score in a 56-32 win over Southside-Gadsden.
DANIEL SPARKS, GADSDEN CITY: Kicked field goals of 30 and 36 yards, was 2-for-2 in extra points and had three touchbacks on kickoffs in the Titans’ 24-20 loss to Bob Jones.
MEES duCROO de JONGH, SCOTTSBORO: The foreign exchange student from the Netherlands was 3-for-3 on extra points and booted field goals of 37 and 30 yards, his first two attempts this season, in the Wildcats’ 27-7 win over East Limestone. He is now 15-of-15 on extra points this season.
DILLON HUMPHRIES, CHEROKEE COUNTY: Recovered a blocked punt, had one tackle for a loss and a sack all in the first seven minutes of the Warriors’ 38-6 homecoming win over White Plains. He also had another sack later in the game. Teammate Nas Diamond also blocked a punt and had a sack in the win.
NICK CLIFTON, CEDAR BLUFF: Kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired in the first half and connected on four extra points in the Tigers’ 37-7 win at Section.
NIKO TEMPELIS, GOSHEN: Booted 6-of-6 extra points and kicked six kickoffs deep into New Brockton territory as the Eagles posted a 42-16 win.
TAVION RUPERT, SPARKMAN: Gave the unbeaten Senators (5-0) a jump start in the second half with a 95-yard kickoff return for a TD in a 38-21 win over Huntsville. He also rushed 12 times for 109 yards and three other scores (17, 18 and 14 yards).
LARADIUS GARY, CHELSEA: Returned a punt 91 yards for a touchdown in a 64-38 victory over Pelham.
ZACK GRAY, ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL: Returned a kickoff for a touchdown and an interception for a score in the Saints’ 51-13win at Gulf Shores.
KORY CHAPMAN, HOOVER: Blocked a punt that was returned for a touchdown by a teammate in a 31-7 Bucs victory over Oak Mountain.
AHSAA Offensive Spotlight for Week 4
MONTGOMERY – Gardendale High School junior quarterback Will Crowder completed 24-of-36 passes for 415 yards and three touchdowns for a personal high versus Clay-Chalkville last week.
It was his last completion, however, that gave the Rockets’ faithful the biggest exhilaration when he connected with senior Kendale Allen for a 38-yard connection with 25 seconds left and the score tied at 35-35 that set up senior place-kicker Landon Erbrick’s game-winning 32-yard field goal as time expired as Gardendale escaped with a 38-35 win.
The victory, the Rockets’ first over their Jeffco rivals in eight tries, shot Coach Chad Eads’ talented Gardendale offense into the AHSAA Offensive Spotlight this week.
The two teams have met just eight times since playing for the first time in 1998. Clay-Chalkville (3-2), coached by Drew Gilmer, has compiled a 196-88 record winning 69% of its games since opening its doors for the first time in 1996. The Cougars have won seven region titles and two state championships (1999 and 2014). In seven previous wins over Gardendale, Clay averaged winning by a 22.3-point margin.
Gardendale (5-0) is also a proud program in Jefferson County, compiling a 349-239-3 record since opening its doors in 1965. That is a winning percentage of 59.3%. The Rockets and Cougars are in the same Class 6A, Region 6 that includes Jeffco teams Shades Valley and Pinson Valley, the 6A champs in 2017 and 2018. Throw in currently unbeaten Oxford, Pell City and Huffman and it is obvious that every region game is important.
In fact, as last week’s games pointed out, every single play is important. Oxford (5-0) beat Pinson Valley 34-33 and Huffman downed Pell City 34-12. Shades Valley fell in a non-region contest to Stanhope Elmore 26-6.
Crowder’s 415 passing yards entered his named in the AHSAA Record Book. Allen finished with nine catches for 195 yards and Erbrick was also true on 5-of-5 extra-point kicks. Clay-Chalkville (3-2) took control in the second half with a 78-yard kickoff return by Marquarius White to open the third quarter. Damion Ward scored on s 3-yard run later in the quarter to make it 35-21. That’s when Crowder and company began their battle back, first with a 28-yard TD connection to Allen with 31 seconds left in the third period, and later on a 2-yard TD run by L.T. Sanders with 5:02 left.
The last-second heroics edged out a couple of other 400-yard plus performances in the Geneva-Opp game last week and three superb efforts in the Etowah vs. Southside-Gadsden contest.
Kahari McReynolds led Geneva to a 56-43 win over Opp totaling 410 all-purpose yards and seven touchdowns in the victory. He rushed for 300 yards on 19 carries with six touchdowns (59, 45, 5 7, 40 and 82 yards), returned an 80-kickoff for a touchdown and caught five passes for 30 yards. He also had five tackles on defense.
Quarterback Hal Smithart of Opp turned in the best passing performance in Bobcats history completing 34-of-41 passes for 416 yards and three touchdowns in the Class 3A, Region 2 thriller. He had 16 consecutive completions at one stretch. Erik Matthews had 13 receptions for 169 yards and two touchdowns, Zee Ridgeway added seven catches for 100 yards and one score, and Ashton Patel pulled down eight receptions for 85 yards and rushed 18 times for 117 yards and two TDs.
Etowah (5-0) got a big passing effort from quarterback Brady Troup and receiver Ollie Finch. The Blue Devils QB was 13-of-17 passing for 346 yards and a school-record five touchdowns passes (43, 8, 29, 54 and 80 yards), all in the first half, in the Blue Devils’ 56-32 win over Southside. Ollie Finch grabbed six passes for 218 yards and three TDs (43, 80 and 54 yards). Panthers quarterback also had 232 yards passing with touchdowns of 72 and 58 yards in the loss. He also scored on a 12-yard run.
99 IS THE MAGIC NUMBER: Hueytown senior running back Roydell Williams, an early University of Alabama commitment, ran for 212 yards on just nine carries in Hueytown’s 48-6 win over Brookwood with a big chunk of the yardage coming on a 99-yard touchdown run. Cade George of Oak Mountain also hauled in a 99-yard touchdown pass for his team’s only score in a 31-7 loss to Hoover.
Other top offensive performances included:
TERRANCE THOMAS, WETUMPKA: The Wetumpka running back scooted 56 yards on his first carry Thursday night and closed out the game with a 75-yard kickoff return for a final TD. He finished with 212 yards rushing on 10 carries and scored three touchdowns as the Indians (3-2) beat Buckhorn 44-28 in the AHSAA TV Network/NFHS Network Game of the Week produced by WOTM TV.
Thomas’ first carry set up teammate Tyquan Rawls’ 24-yard TD pass to Malik Davis on the next play to give Wetumpka a 7-0 lead just three plays into the game. Thomas had four carries of 25 yards or more and scored on the kickoff return as time expired in the game played at Burgess-Snow Field at Jacksonville State Stadium.
BRYAN GALLOWAY, GOSHEN: Had 380 yards total offense as the Eagles downed New Brockton 42-16. He rushed 23 times for 240 yards and three touchdowns and completed 11-of-16 passes for 140 yards and one TD. Teammate Tamarcus Shipmon added 13 rush attempts for 130 yards and a 41-yard TD scamper.
KOURLAN MARSH, MORTIMER JORDAN: Ran for 252 yards and five touchdowns, completed 12-of-21 passes for 117 yards and scored the game-winning 3-yard TD in overtime as the Blue Devils nipped Sylacauga 42-35.
ZAVION WILLIAMS, ALICEVILLE: Rushed 20 times for 251 yards and three touchdowns in a 27-19 victory over Cold Springs.
DALTON HANBACK, CENTRAL-FLORENCE: Picked up 248 yards rushing on 21 carries and scored all six touchdowns in a 42-37 win over West Limestone. His scoring runs covered 8, 29, 4, 1, 11 and 10 yards. He also scored three 2-point conversions to account for all 42 of his team’s points.
KADIN BENNEFIELD, BOAZ: The junior running back accumulated 240 yards two rushing touchdowns on 16 carries as Boaz beat Pisgah 38-8. His scoring runs covered 45 and 41 yards, and he had a 75-yard gain that set up another Boaz TD.
TYBO WILLIAMS, AUSTIN: Had 17 carries for 233 rushing yards and two touchdowns as the Black Bears beat Grissom 49-7.
DAMIEN TAYLOR, TUSCALOOSA COUNTY: Had 25 carries for 228 yards and a 71-yard touchdown in a 63-18 loss to Thompson.
SCOOTER GRAHAM, AMERICAN CHRISTIAN: Had 13 carries for 218 yards and four touchdowns as the Patriots beat Montevallo 84-30.
JUNIOR SUMMERHILL, WATERLOO: Rushed 19 times for 212 yards and five touchdowns as the Cougars beat Phillips 47-12. He had touchdown runs of 31, 11, 31, 5 and 35 yards.
AUSTIN GAVIN, SAINT JAMES: Piled up 206 yards rushing on 22 carries and scored on runs of 64 and 6 yards as the Trojans (5-0) beat Dadeville 46-18.
KELSTON FIKES, LEROY: Had 14 carries for 226 yards and four touchdowns in the Bears’ 44-14 victory over Washington County.
JALEN CLARK, ALABAMA CHRISTIAN: Rushed 15 times for 204 yards and three touchdowns and passed for two more as the Eagles beat Dale County 49-20.
JARRICE PRIYOR, CLEMENTS: Ran for 195 yards on 34 carries and scored three touchdowns in a 59-34 loss to Westminster Christian.
CHASE SIDES, SOUTH LAMAR: Led the Stallions (4-0) to a 51-22 win over Hubbertville with 193 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 18 carries.
JERRY BURTON, PRICEVILLE: Rushed for 192 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-21 victory over Fairview.
DESHUN MITCHELL, BIBB COUNTY: Gained 185 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 21 carries in a 42-7 victory over Tuscaloosa-Central.
EMMANUEL HENDERSON, GENEVA COUNTY: Had just six rush attempts but made the most of them with five touchdowns and 163 yards as the Bulldogs beat Barbour County 71-32. He scored on runs of 6, 56, 17, 18 and 35 yards and averaged 27.6 yards per carry.
BLAKE CARROLL, ARITON: Rushed for five touchdowns and 160 yards on 21 carries as Ariton rallied from a 26-point first-half deficit to beat Daleville 55-40. The Purple Cats trailed 34-14 at the half but outscored the Warhawks 41-6 in the second half to earn the key Class 2A, Region 2 win.
JACOB MANNING, SCOTTSBORO: The junior quarterback rushed 19 times for 134 yards and two touchdowns in a 27-7 win over East Limestone. He also completed 4-of-7 passes for 63 yards and a 52-yard touchdown to senior receiver Rylee Whitehead. Teammate Cam Bass had 27 rush attempts for 126 yards – his third straight 100-yards plus rushing effort this season. Manning now has 582 rushing yards on the season while Bass has 526 rushing yards.
JARRIS WILLIAMS, BLOUNT: Rushed for 168 yards and two touchdowns as the Leopards beat Baldwin County 31-7.
JACORIAN COSBY, PICKENS COUNTY: Picked up 147 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries in the Tornadoes’ 57-14 victory over Marion County.
SLADE ALEXANDER, CHEROKEE COUNTY: Ran for 136 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries in the Warriors’ 38-6 win against White Plains.
DAMON GENTLE, NORTH SAND MOUNTAIN: Scored both touchdowns for the Thundering Herd in a 12-7 win over Sand Rock. He ran 55 yards for the first score and caught a 3-yard pass for the game-winning TD.
GABE GAMBLE, PELHAM: Had 153 rushing yards, including an 89-yard TD run, in a 64-38 loss to Chelsea.
KOLBY POTTS, HOLTVILLE: Rushed for 138 yards and four touchdowns as the Bulldogs (3-1) beat county rival Elmore County 35-14.
JACOB BISHOP, RUSSELLVILLE: Had touchdown runs of 17, 9, 5 and 53 yards as the Golden Tigers downed West Point 51-6.
QUISHON JUDKINS, PIKE ROAD: Had 120 rushing yards and one touchdown on 14 carries, and teammate Baron Brack added 112 yards and two TDs on 12 rush attempts and passed for 101 yards and a third TD as the Patriots (5-0) beat Bullock County 38-3.
David Hall, Oneonta: Rushed for 189 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-8 victory over Ashville.
KHALIFA KEITH, WOODLAWN: Rushed for 133 yards on 12 carries and passed for 87 yards, including the game-winning 36-yard TD pass to Cornelius Grant, in a 12-7 victory over John Carroll Catholic.
STROTHER GIBBS, MOUNTAIN BROOK: Totaled 159 yards rushing and passing and kicked two extra points as the Spartans (5-0) handed Vestavia Hills (3-1) its first loss of the season with the 14-7 Class 7A, Region 3 win. He was 6-of-8 passing for 73 yards and had 26 carries for 86 yards.
LAWSON PRATT, AMERICAN CHRISTIAN: Led the Patriots (4-0) to an 84-30 win over Montevallo completing 14-of-20 passes for 359 yards and five touchdowns. He also ran two more TDS, accounting for seven of American Christian’s 12 touchdowns, in the big win. Pratt threw touchdown passes of 10, 29, 70, 15, and 55 yards and had touchdown runs of 43 and 6 yards. Kamari Lassiter led ACA with five catches for 199 yards and three touchdowns.
The 114 points scored by both teams ranks as the 24th all-time for most points in a game in AHSAA history but still falls shy of last year’s 70-54 ACA win over the Bulldogs, which totaled 124 points for both teams and ranks 13th all-time.
MALIK INABINETTE, MONTEVALLO: Completed 20-of-37 passes for 345 yards and three touchdowns in the 84-30 loss to American Christian. His favorite targets were Jamarius Carter (6 catches for 110 yards and two scores) and Kial Cottingham (nine receptions for 157 yards and one TD).
REVY HIGGINS, OXFORD: Was 15-of-23 passing for 292 yards and four touchdowns, including a 33-yard heave into the end zone with 2:33 remaining that was tipped and caught by Miguel Mitchell for the game-tying touchdown as the Yellow Jackets (5-0) added the PAT and knocked off defending Class 6A state champion Pinson Valley 34-33.
HARRISON BARKER, SPAIN PARK: Connected on 25-of-43 pass attempts for 245 yards, including a game-winning 17-yard touchdown pass on the final play of the game to Jaylen Ward, as the Jaguars beat Hewitt-Trussville 31-28. Ward finished with six catches for 76 yards and two scores for Spain Park.
KYLE HIPP, COTTAGE HILL CHRISTIAN: Was 13-of-17 passing for 391 yards and four touchdowns as the Warriors (4-0) beat Chickasaw (3-1) 34-27.
MARQUARIUS MOORE, SIDNEY LANIER: Completed 13-of-29 passes for 334 yards and three touchdowns covering 61, 96 and 35 yards to lead the Poets past Park Crossing 30-28. The 96-yard connection went to Jacorian Wilson in the first quarter. Moore also rushed for 51 yards and one TD.
AVERY SEATON, MADISON ACADEMY: Completed 18-of-22 passes for 322 yards and three touchdowns and added 61 yards rushing and another score in a 41-14 victory over Ardmore.
BARRY WHITE, PINSON VALLEY: Was 19-of-41 passing for 319 yards and three touchdowns in the Indians’ 33-32 loss to Oxford.
HESS HORNE, EUFAULA: Completed 17-of-27 for 282 yards and two touchdowns and added a 1-yard TD run and two-point conversion pass in a 57-49 win over Early County (Ga.).
IAN SENN, ARITON: Was 12-of-23 passing for 282 yards and three touchdowns in the Purple Cats' 55-40 comeback win over Daleville.
CARTER SANFORD, FAYETTE COUNTY: Finished 14-of-18 passing for 285 yards and four touchdowns as Fayette beat Curry 48-23.
JAKE CORKREN, NORTHSIDE: Threw for 265 yards and five touchdowns in a 48-28 win over Cordova. His TDs covered 43, 30, 8, 48 and 31 yards.
JACKSON BILLINGS, WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN: Accounted for seven touchdowns and 418 total yards in a 59-34 win over Clements. He completed 9-of-11 passes for 161 yards and three TDs, rushed for 198 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries and caught six passes for 59 yards and another TD.
SAWYER PATE, THOMPSON: Was 13-of-16 passing for 229 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half, and Thompson beat Tuscaloosa County 63-18.
DEYJUN HUNT, JACKSON: Completed 18-of-28 passes for 209 yards and a touchdown as the Aggies (4-0) beat Vigor 18-0.
JACOB CUNNINGHAM, BAYSIDE ACADEMY: Completed 12-of-21 passes for 166 yards, including a 21-yard touchdown to teammate James Jones with 19 seconds remaining, and the Admirals beat T.R. Miller 30-29. He also rushed for 83 yards and two scores on 14 carries.
SAMUEL COSBY, CEDAR BLUFF: Completed 9-of-13 pass attempts for 197 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 65 yards on seven carries with two 1-yard scores in the Tigers’ 37-7 victory at Section.
JOHN DAVID BONNER, TRINITY PRESBYTERIAN: Was 15-of-32 passing for 193 yards and rushed 16 times for 47 yards in the Wildcats’ 26-13 loss to Catholic.
MAJOY DWYER, RANDOLPH: Was 11-of-12 passing for 172 yards and one TD and added 49 rushing yards on six carries and scored two rushing TDs in a 35-7 victory over Danville.
BRITTON KOHN, MONTGOMERY ACADEMY: Was a perfect 5-of-5 passing for 163 yards and three touchdowns to spark the Eagles to a 47-0 win over Prattville Christian. He had a 70-yard TD pass to Jamal Cooper for his long completion of the night.
LUKE STAMBA, HELENA: Completed 13-of-18 passes for 153 yards and two touchdowns and added 43 yards rushing and a TD on 15 carries in a 28-14 victory over Minor.
KALEB JONES, COLLINSVILLE: Was 7-of-9 passing for 148 yards and three touchdowns and added a defensive score on a 61-yard interception return in the Panthers’ 60-7 victory over Ider.
JACK HAYES, PIEDMONT: Was 4-of-5 passing for 149 yards with all four completions going for touchdowns as the Bulldogs beat Weaver 53-3. The TD passes covered 74, 27, 26 and 22 yards).
RODARIUS THOMAS, EUFAULA: Snagged seven pass receptions for 200 yards and two touchdowns (44 and 32 yards) in Eufaula's 57-49 win over Early County (Ga.) on Friday.
ASHTON PUGH, NORTHSIDE: Caught six passes for 184 yards and three touchdowns in the Rams’ 48-28 win over Cordova.
ANBRE LEEK, CEDAR BLUFF: Caught five passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns (87 and 16 yards) in the Tigers’ 37-7 win at Section.
ALEX WHISENHUNT, SAINT JAMES: Snared three pass receptions for 116 yards and three touchdowns (18, 33 and 65 yards) and also returned a kickoff 81 yards for a fourth score as the Trojans downed Dadeville 46-28. Whisenhunt also rushed for 80 yards and had 277 all-purpose yards for the game.
ERIK MATTHEWS, OPP: Caught 13 passes for 161 yards and two touchdowns (15 and 10 yards) in the Bobcats' 56-43 loss to Geneva.
HAYES FLOYD, ARITON: Pulled down five receptions for 135 yards and two touchdowns and added 74 yards on just two rushes in Ariton's 55-40 win over Daleville.
JAYSON JONES, CENTER POINT: Had 122 receiving yards and two touchdowns on six catches and added 56 yards and a TD on the ground in a 54-13 victory over St. Clair County.
HAYDEN NEIGHBORS, HUNTSVILLE: Caught four passes for 131 yards, including a 71-yard touchdown catch, in a 38-21 loss to Sparkman.
MIKEY McINTOSH, MUSCLE SHOALS: Had 101 receiving yards, including a 37-yard touchdown catch, in a 31-0 victory over Mae Jemison.
GA’QUINCY McKINSTRY, PINSON VALLEY: Caught nine passes for 112 yards in a 33-32 loss to Oxford.
ROKAFEWLLOA TAYLOR, OXFORD: Pulled down six pass receptions for 114 yards and two touchdowns as the Yellow Jackets beat Pinson Valley 33-32.
MICHAEL PETTWAY, THOMPSON: Caught five passes for 98 yards and a touchdown, ran for a 16-yard TD and added 138 kick return yards and a third TD on an 89-yard return as the Warriors beat Tuscaloosa County 63-18.
COOPER AUSTIN, SPRING GARDEN: Caught the game-winning 10-yard touchdown pass from Ryley Kirk with 1:52 remaining as the Panthers (3-1) handed Donoho (3-1) its first loss of the season 16-12.
OLIN PRUITT, SAND ROCK: Caught a 75-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Justin Lee with 4:55 remaining in the fourth quarter to in the Wildcats’ 12-7 loss to North Sand Mountain. He also had an interception on defense.
KEYONTEZE JOHNSON, PINSON VALLEY: Caught eight passes for 157 yards, with TD catches of 8 and 38 yards, in a 34-33 loss to Oxford.
JAYLEN WARD, SPAIN PARK: Caught 17-yard TD pass from Harrison Barker with 17 seconds remaining in a 31-28 victory over Hewitt-Trussville. He finished with six catches for 76 yards and two touchdowns.
JERONE YORK, SARALAND: Caught four passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns as the top-ranked Spartans downed Robertsdale 56-7.
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF STATE HIGH SCHOOL ASSOCIATIONS
NFHS Joins Bag Tags, Inc. and Crisis Text Line to Provide SAFE Tags
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Elliot Hopkins
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (September 19, 2019) — The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), Bag Tags, Inc. and Crisis Text Line have collaborated to create the “SAFE Tag” – a luggage tag designed to offer emergency contact information for students experiencing any kind of emotional crisis.
The luggage tag shows the contact information to Crisis Text Line – a national not-for-profit organization that provides free and confidential support to those experiencing emotional crises. Bag Tags, Inc., which specializes in event credentials and has been a corporate partner of the NFHS since 2014, produced the luggage tag to help the NFHS address issues such as bullying, hazing and other social issues in schools.
Conveniently affixable to a student’s backpack, the SAFE Tag connects students to Crisis Text Line, which has processed more than 117 million messages and completed more than 27,000 active rescues across the country. By texting ‘SHIELD’ to 741741, individuals begin a conversation with a trained Crisis Counselor, who offers support and helps to de-escalate the crisis.
“We are pleased to be involved in this important service to students with Bag Tags, Inc. and Crisis Text Line,” said Karissa Niehoff, NFHS executive director. “In many cases, students don’t have anyone to talk to them when these events occur, so having someone who will listen is a great opportunity for young people.”
With the help of the NFHS and its access to 19,500 high schools and more than 12 million athletics and activities participants through its 51 member state high school associations, the ultimate goal is to have the SAFE Tag attached to all students’ backpacks, and for its assortment of vibrant colors to become synonymous with protection, and act as a deterrent for those looking to cause harm to someone else.
“Bag Tags, Inc. is honored and excited to promote SAFE Tags alongside the NFHS and Crisis Text Line,” said Jeff Jones, Director of National Sales at Bag Tags, Inc. “We not only know that Crisis Counselors will help any student that reaches out, we also know that as long as students are provided with SAFE Tags, they will feel comfortable to reach out through the texting environment that Crisis Text Line has created.”
“Crisis Text Line is thrilled to partner with two incredible and genuine organizations – the NFHS and Bag Tags, Inc. – to bring SAFE Tags to life,” said Maggie Farah, Senior Manager of Business Development for Crisis Text Line. “The program has a massive opportunity to cast a safety net for students across the country. We’ll be here 24/7 to support their crises.”
SAFE Tags can be purchased from Bag Tags, Inc. for 99 cents apiece plus shipping and handling, with 50 percent of the proceeds going back to Crisis Text Line to support its efforts. More information, including order details, can be found here: www.bagtagsinc.com/safe-tags/ .
“We would urge school leaders to purchase SAFE Tags for all students in their particular school,” said Elliot Hopkins, NFHS director of sports and student services. “This would help to ensure that students are equipped with someone to contact when a crisis does occur.”
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
MONTGOMERY – Defending Class 1A state football champion Mars Hill Bible is averaging 59.7 points per game (ppg) heading into week four’s games to lead the AHSAA in points scored per game. South Lamar High School tops the state’s defenses with three shutouts in three games thus far.
The Panthers (3-0) of Coach Darrell Higgins scored 732 points in 15 games last season (48.8 ppg) en route to the school’s first state football state title in 2018. Class 4A North Jackson’s 56.4 ppg last season on the way to an 11-1 overall record led the AHSAA last year. Mars Hill was second. Two other Class 1A schools are right on their heels this season, however. Brantley (3-0) is averaging 56.3 ppg and Isabella (3-0) is averaging 53.3.
South Lamar (3-0), which is currently ranked fourth in Class 1A with 49.7 ppg, yielded just 13.6 ppg last season on the way to a 12-1 record. Coach Clay Gilliam’s Stallions is at home versus Hubbertville Friday in a key Region 6 contest. Mars Hill is on the road at Cherokee in a Region 8 battle.
Defending Class 2A state champion Fyffe (3-0) yielded a field goal in last week’s 24-3 win over Collinsville and is averaging 1.0 points per game allowed thus far this season to rank second behind South Lamar. The Red Devils of Coach Paul Benefield notched the school’s 18th consecutive victory in the process. Fyffe goes on the road Friday to take on Asbury in a Region 8 contest.
Isabella and Class 2A Ranburne (3-0) are tied for third (2.3 ppg) allowing only one touchdown in three games thus far this season. The Mustangs face a difficult task this week hosting last year’s Class 1A state runner-up Linden on Friday. Ranburne’s Bulldogs, coached by Stephen Bailey and averaging a 2A-leading 50.7 ppg on offense, hosts Cleveland in Class 2A, Region 6 action this week. The Panthers (1-2) are averaging 36.6 ppg.
In addition to Mars Hill Bible (1A), other class scoring leaders this week are Class 2A Ohatchee and Ranburne (50.7 ppg); Class 3A Pike Road (53.3 ppg); Class 4A Brooks (51.3 ppg); Class 5A Etowah (45.3 ppg); Class 6A Muscle Shoals (46.3 ppg); and Class 7A Vestavia Hills (46.3 ppg).
Defensive scoring leaders in each class, in addition to South Lamar, include Class 2A Fyffe (1.0 ppg); Class 3A Pike County (6.7 ppg); Class 4A Williamson (4.7 ppg); Class 5A Jasper (6.3 ppg); Class 6A Paul Bryant (6.3 ppg); and Class 7A McGill-Toolen Catholic (8.3 ppg).
This week’s up-to-dare football standings including scoring averages are attached along with scoring leaders in each classification. AHSAA live standings can be found at the in-season box located on the front page of www.ahsaa.com. Each class has its own link. For Class 1A, click on:
Class 1A http://www.ahsaa.com/Portals/0/Sports/Football/Region%20Standings/2019/1A.html?ver=2019-09-04-075820-117
Class 2A http://www.ahsaa.com/Portals/0/Sports/Football/Region%20Standings/2019/2A.html?ver=2019-09-04-075820-067
Class 3A http://www.ahsaa.com/Portals/0/Sports/Football/Region%20Standings/2019/3A.html?ver=2019-09-04-075820-103
Class 4A http://www.ahsaa.com/Portals/0/Sports/Football/Region%20Standings/2019/4A.html?ver=2019-09-04-075820-073
Class 5A http://www.ahsaa.com/Portals/0/Sports/Football/Region%20Standings/2019/5A.html?ver=2019-09-04-075820-110
Class 6A http://www.ahsaa.com/Portals/0/Sports/Football/Region%20Standings/2019/6A.html?ver=2019-09-04-075820-113
Class 7A http://www.ahsaa.com/Portals/0/Sports/Football/Region%20Standings/2019/7A.html?ver=2019-09-04-075820-327
This week’s Top 10 scoring leaders include:
AHSAA Scoring Leaders (Offense)
1. Mars Hill Bible (3-0) 1A 59.7
2. Brantley (3-0) 1A 56.3
3. Isabella (3-0) 1A 53.7
4. Pike Road (4-0) 3A 53.3
5. Brooks (3-1) 4A 51.3
6. Ohatchee (3-0) 2A 50.7
6. Ranburne (3-0) 2A 50.7
8. South Lamar (3-0) 1A 49.7
9. Westbrook Chr. (4-0) 2A 48.8
10. Pickens Co. (3-0) 1A 48.7
AHSAA Scoring Leaders (Defense)
1. South Lamar (3-0) 1A 0.0
2. Fyffe (3-0) 1A 1.0
3. Isabella (3-0) 1A 2.3
3. Ranburne (3-0) 2A 2.3
5. Williamson (2-1) 4A 4.7
6. Escambia Co. (3-0) 4A 5.0
7. Paul Bryant (3-1) 6A 6.3
7. Jasper (3-0) 5A 6.3
7. Maplesville (3-0) 1A 6.3
10. Pike County (3-0) 3A 6.7
10. UMS-Wright (3-0) 4A 6.7
AHSAA Volleyball Spotlight for Week 4
MONTGOMERY – Lucy Edwards, a senior at Saint James, set an AHSAA record serving 27 aces in the Lady Trojans’ 3-0 victory over Valley September 10. Her effort captured the AHSAA Volleyball Spotlight for Week 4.
Her total also ranked sixth nationally. The 5-foot-3 setter for Coach Karen Lee scored 36% of her team’s points from the service box with the aces as Saint James won in straight sets 25-6, 25-2, 26-5.
The single-match national record, accord to the NFHS Record Book, is 36, established by Maura Kelly of Caldwell High School vs. Newark West Side on September 19, 2003. The New Jersey prep standout’s record has stood for 16 years. Katie DeLay of Chattanooga’s Boyd Buchanan High School (2013), Lauren Deaton of Harding Academy (2017) in Memphis and Minnesota high schooler Mackenzie Luce of Lundington (2017) each had 32 services aces in a match to share second place. Andrea Nachtrieb of Aurora Gateway High School in Colorado ranked fifth all-time with 28 in a match.
The AHSAA previous record (10) was set by Lexie Bradley of Wilson in a match versus Central-Florence in 2013.
St. James (7-9) beat Valley and Beauregard last week as Lucy Edwards set a state record with 27 aces the win over Valley.
Edwards had 34 aces for the week, adding 25 assists and 11 digs while Danielle Greene had 18 kills.
Edwards’ art of serving edged a couple of other top serving efforts for this week’s AHSAA Spotlight. Lincoln senior Taylor Lett served 25 straight points with eight aces during the stretch in a 25-0, 25-5 win over Childersburg. She finished the week with 11 aces as the Bears (21-7) went 4-0. Teammate Morgan Allison added 25 service aces. And at Horseshoe Bend, Kate Lewis had 15 service aces, 77 assists and 19 kills as the Generals won seven matches on the way to winning the Wadley Invitational tourney title.
AHSAA teams had great success against out-of-state schools with Mountain Brook winning the 66-team Rocky Top Classic invitational at Sevierville (TN). McGill-Toolen Catholic also won the Catholic Cup tourney beating two defending state champions from Louisiana and one from Georgia in the process; and Thompson was 6-0 en route to the River City Classic tourney at Jacksonville (FL).
OTHER TOP VOLLEYBALL PERFORMANCES:
HALEY PALMER, McGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC: Earned MVP honors as the Dirty Dozen captured the Catholic Cup Tournament going 6-0 with wins over defending state champions Teurling Catholic (LA), St. Pius X (GA) and Mt. Carmel (LA) along with Father Ryan (TN), St. Joseph's (LA) and St. John Paul II of Huntsville. She had 59 kills, 34 digs, eight blocks and five service aces in the six wins.
KELSEY TANGLE, THOMPSON: Helped the Warriors win six matches, including the championship match at the River City Classic tourney in Jacksonville (FL), with 127 assists and 10 service aces.
GRACE CARR, MOUNTAIN BROOK: Totaled 111 kills, 103 digs and 15 aces as the Spartans (27-5) won the 66-Team Rocky Top Classic tournament at Sevierville (TN). Teammate Ann Vandevelde also had 257 assists and Liz Vandevelde had 128 digs.
MACKENZIE YOAKUM, HOMEWOOD: Led Homewood (18-5) to eight straight wins, including the Husky Challenge tourney championship at Trussville. She had 43 kills and a 33.4% hitting percentage.
AVERY RODGERS, SPANISH FORT: Totaled 83 kills, 12 blocks and 37 digs as Spanish Fort (27-5) won nine matches last week. Among the victories were seven wins en route to the championship of the Battle of the Bay tourney. The Toros downed host and defending 4A state champion Bayside Academy in the finals. Teammate Kayla Keshock also had 159 assists, 66 kills, 59 digs, 21 blocks and nine service aces.
MARY BETH LONG, G.W. LONG: Had 114 kills, 41 digs, 15 blocks and seven aces as the Rebels (15-2) went 6-2 and reached the finals of the Enterprise Invitational tourney. Makenna Long dished out 260 assists for G.W. Long.
MACKENZIE MORRISON, GULF SHORES: Had 232 assists, 33 digs and 12 aces as the Dolphins (17-5) won the Battle of the Bridge tournament. Teammate Lauren Quigley had 123 kills, 84 digs, 20 blocks and 14 aces.
GRACE LEIGHTON, HARTSELLE: Had 115 assists and 31 digs as the Tigers (25-4) went 6-0 to win the Eddie Prueitt Invitational tourney. Hartselle beat Madison Academy in the championship match. Tori Hughes also had 90 digs.
GRAYSON EVANS, CURRY: Had 82 kills, 52 digs and 12 blocks to earn MVP honors as Curry went 6-1 on the week and won the Walker County Tournament.
ALLI WILLIAMS, ATHENS: Had 116 kills and seven blocks as Athens (14-8) went 7-2 in nine matches. The only loss came to East Limestone in the Elkmont Invitational tourney.
JESSICA CROSS, BROOKWOOD: Led the Panthers (11-3) to six wins, including going 4-0 in the McAdory Invitational to win the title. She had 28 kills, 14 blocks and 20 assists.
RYLEIGH HAMM, WETUMPKA: Had 47 kills and 65 digs as the Indians played six matches and won the Stanhope Elmore Invitational tourney.
ALY DURBAN, HOOVER: Had 166 assists in seven matches for the Bucs (13-9).
MORIAH SEAY, PRATTVILLE: Had 56 kills, 25 blocks and 14 aces as the Lions won seven of nine matches last week.
JUANITA MONTERIO-PAI, BOB JONES: Had 26 kills and 17 digs in two wins over Buckhorn and James Clemens for Bob Jones (12-6).
ANNA GRACE DAVIS, BUCKHORN: Had 95 digs as the Bucks (19-9) went 6-3 in nine matches. Five of the wins came over out-of-state teams.
BLISS BROWN, SOUTHSIDE-GADSDEN: Had 121 assists as the Panthers went 7-3 on the week. Southside lost to tourney champion Homewood in the semifinals of the Husky Challenge tourney.
ADLEIGH MAYES, PROVIDENCE CHRISTIAN: Had 146 assists, 49 digs and 13 aces as the Eagles (21-3) went 7-1. Providence’s only loss was to 7A Enterprise at the Enterprise Invitational.
SAVANAH FREE, DANVILLE: Totaled 159 assists, 33 digs, 10 kills and eight aces as the Hawks went 5-1 on the week.
ANN COBERN CHAPMAN, MONTGOMERY ACADEMY: Helped the defending Class 3A state champion Eagles (19-4) win five of seven matches last week notching 40 kills and
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