Monday, January 27, 2020






AHSAA Saddened by Passing of J.D. Chesteen

      The Alabama High School Athletic Association is saddened to learn of the passing of Coach J. D. Chesteen of Hartford on Friday, Dec. 19. Mr. Chesteen, 87, is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Myra Smith Chesteen.
       Funeral arrangements include family visitation at Hartford Baptist Church from 12 noon to 2 p.m. Monday, December 22. The funeral service will follow at 2 p.m. at the church with interment following at Hartford City Cemetery.  Sorrells Funeral Home of Slocomb, will be officiating.
     Coach Chesteen was recently selected to be inducted into the AHSAA Sports Hall of Fame in the Class of 2015 in March.  The veteran high school football coach graduated from Brantley High School, and after a stint in the U.S. Air Force, he graduated from Troy University with a degree in education. He began coaching in 1951 at Samson High School.
     Coach Chesteen, 86-64-6 as a head football coach for 16 seasons, totaled 38 years and nine months as a teacher and coach in the Geneva County School system with tenures at Samson, Coffee Springs and Geneva County high schools. He served as a teacher and coach at Geneva County from 1961 until his retirement in 1988.
     He coached three teams to the Peanut Bowl, one to the Lions Bowl and had teams win the South Alabama Conference 2A Championship twice. He served as president of the South Alabama Conference in 1964, was elected vice president of the AHSADCA in 1962 and president in 1963. He was head coach of the South All-Stars in the 1963 North-South Game and inducted into the Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame in 1994. He was a long-time member of Hartford Baptist Church where he served as Sunday School teacher of Baracca Men's Class, deacon and was awarded Deacon Emeritus.
      His son Donnie Chesteen followed his dad into high school coaching most recently serving as a teacher/coach at Geneva High School.
    In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hartford Baptist Church, 105 E. Burch Street, Hartford, AL. 36344. 

Deshler’s Killen, Brewer’s Allen Notch 600th Career Basketball Wins

    Two girls’ basketball coaches reached milestone victories this week with Brewer’s Ricky Allen and Deshler’s Jana Killen each notching career win 600.
    Killen, who became the girls’ head basketball coach at Deshler in 1989, watched her Lady Tigers (6-1) beat East Lawrence 66-44 on Dec. 15.  Killen’s team won four straight Class 4A state titles from 2003-06 and finished runner-up in 2002, 2008 and 2010.
     Allen’s 600th win came one night later when Brewer’s Lady Patriots (12-3) downed Morgan County rival Priceville 68-53. Killen’s program produced four straight Class 4A state championships from 2003-06.
      Allen, who attended Priceville for 11 years as student but moved to Brewer as a senior when the schools were consolidated, is in his 30th year as a girls’ head basketball coach. His team won the Class 5A state championship in 2012.
    Allen now ranks fourth in wins all-time in basketball-rich Morgan County and is the current active leader.  Wayne Bowling notched 683 wins as Danville’s boys’ coach. Mike Smith won 624 games as Decatur’s girls’ coach, and Joe Jones won 606 as a boys’ coach with stops at Danville, Austinville, Decatur and Austin.
     The AHSAA’s all-time leader in girls’ basketball coaching wins is Donnie Roberts of Red Bay (6-2). Roberts is currently 821-340 eight games into this season.  His team went 32-4 last season was Class 2A state runner-up.   
     Lauderdale County (11-0) also extended the state’s longest current win streak to 56 games with a 53-36 win over West Limestone Monday. Coach Brant Llewellyn’s Lady Tigers play again on Dec. 22 at Clements.
     Deshler’s next game is set for tonight versus Central-Florence and Brewer doesn’t play again until Dec. 27 in the DOC Classic versus Holly Pond.   Red Bay is at home tonight against Mississippi rival Belmont.

Kim Vickers Joining AHSAA As Director of Publications

            Horseshoe Bend High School teacher/coach/athletic administrator Kimberly Vickers will join the executive staff of the Alabama High School Athletic Association as Assistant Director, Executive Director Steve Savarese announced Thursday.

            Vickers, who will be AHSAA Director of Publications, has been serving Horseshoe Bend as senior teacher and department chair in the English department, head girls’ softball coach and assistant to the athletic director. She will begin her new duties Jan. 5.

            “We are fortunate and delighted to have Kimberly Vickers join our staff,” Savarese said. “She is a talented individual, an excellent teacher and coach and has already been an important member of our AHSAA family while working in athletic administration and compliance at Horseshoe Bend. She is a tremendous addition to the AHSAA staff and will enable us to better serve our member schools.”

            Vickers, a 1984 graduate of Mellow Valley High School in Clay County, received her B.S. in Secondary Language Arts from Jacksonville State University in 1987 and earned a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education/Language Arts from Auburn University-Montgomery in 1993.

            “I am very excited about the opportunity to work with the AHSAA,” Vickers said, “This is a dream come true for me personally and I am looking forward to the new challenges ahead. It is something I have wanted to do for a long time.”

            Vickers has been at Horseshoe Bend since 2000 and served as a teacher/coach at Benjamin Russell High School from 1989-2000. She also was an adjunct English instructor at Southern Union Community College in Wadley in 1995-1996.

            At Horseshoe Bend she has served on the Building Leadership Team, was SACS Committee Chair, yearbook advisor, senior class sponsor, technology coordinator, commencement director and ACCESS Distance Learning facilitator and site coordinator.

           She holds memberships in the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association, National Federation Teachers of English, Alabama Education Association, National Education Association and Tallapoosa County Education Association.

           While at Benjamin Russell she served as yearbook and newspaper advisor, softball and cheerleader coach and broadcast producer among other duties.

           “The most difficult thing for me was leaving Horseshoe Bend and my kids in the middle of the year,” Vickers said. “We are like a big family, and if didn’t feel comfortable that I am leaving my duties in good hands, then I wouldn’t have made this decision. I can’t thank my principal Casey Davis and athletic director Mike Boyd enough for the opportunities they afforded me. I have loved my time at Horseshoe Bend.”

            Vickers, 48, was named Horseshoe Bend Teacher of the Year in 2005 and 2013 and Tallapoosa County Teacher of the Year in 2013. She was also an Alabama Teacher Hall of Fame finalist in 2013. Named Taylor Publishing Company Advisor of the Year in 1998, she was inducted into the Columbia University Yearbook Cover Design Hall of Fame in 1997 and was named Who’s Who Among American High School Teachers from 1996-2009.

            Her softball teams at Horseshoe Bend were area champions from 2004-2009 and 2011-2014 and runner-up in 2010.  Her 2010 and 2011 teams were South-Central Regional Class 2A runner-up and three teams advanced to the AHSAA state softball tournament at Lagoon Park (2006, 2010 and 2011).

            She credits her own high school English teacher, Miss Myrtie Will Fargason at Mellow Valley, for teaching her to love literature and the English language and for inspiring her to become a teacher. “As a young student I strove to please her because I wanted her approval in all that I did,” Vickers said. “I have come to realize as an adult all this wonderful teacher taught me about life in general."

St. Paul’s Sweeps AHSAA 1A-5A Boys & Girls State Swim Titles; Bob Jones Claims 6A-7A Boys, Auburn Takes 6A-7A Girls Championships

    AUBURN – St. Paul’s Episcopal High School captured the boys’ and girls’ Class 1A-5A state swimming titles Saturday sweeping the first state championships in the smaller-class division in the first year of competition. Tyler Kerns coaches both teams.
    Auburn’s girls won the new 6A-7A division state championship and Bob Jones won the 6A-7A boys’ state crown as the AHSAA’s 55th Swimming & Diving Championships concluded at Auburn University’s James E. Martin Aquatics Center.
    For the first 54 years, AHSAA schools competed in just one division regardless of size. With the addition of Class 7A this school year, the AHSAA created two divisions of competition.  The Saints, winning their first state boys title, scored 158 points to win the 1A-5A boys’ title over Huntsville’s Westminster Christian, the runner-up with 137 points.  Faith Academy of Mobile was a distant third with 56 points and Oneonta finished fourth with 50. 
    St. Paul’s posted 102.50 points in the 1A-5A girls’ competition to edge Mobile rival UMS-Wright. The Bulldogs totaled 81 points followed by Randolph of Huntsville with 64. The Lady Saints won the overall state title twice before winning in 2003 and 2004. The boys’ championship was the school’s first.
   Auburn’s girls, coached by Jeff Dellinger, posted 278 points in the 6A-7A division with runner-up McGill-Toolen totaling 234. Huntsville was third with 211 and Grissom fourth with 158. The Lady Tigers also won the overall championship in 2013.
    Bob Jones, coached by Mike Gunner, won the 6A-7A boys’ championship for the first time since 2010. The Patriots amassed 290 points with McGill-Toolen taking second place with 265.50 and Auburn finishing third with 183.50.  The state title was the 8th overall for Bob Jones – winners of seven in a row from 2004-2010.
    A total of six girls’ state records fell in the two-day competition. No boys’ state records were broken.
    Among the six were two new records set by sophomore Paige Madden of UMS-Wright. She earned automatic All-America status clocking 54.91 seconds in the 100-yard backstroke and 49.78 in the 100-yard freestyle races to establish new AHSAA standards. She beat the old freestyle record set by Maria Reed of Baker in 2013 by almost two seconds. Reed finished second to Madden Saturday clocking 51.59. The backstroke record broke the mark (55.05) set by Genny Pittman of Homewood in 2012.
    Two other records previously set by Madden fell in the 2014 competition. She did not compete in those events this year. She now currently owns the AHSAA state record in the 200-yard individual medley (2:04.13 set in 2013). Auburn also set two girls’ relay records and narrowly missed out on a third.
    Other records set included:
    Girls’ 200-Yard Medley Relay: Auburn’s quartet of Susanna Pudner, Annie Frances Dallas, Hadley Dowdle and McAuley Parker clocked 1:46.81 to break the record set by the same four last year by .74 seconds. Pudner and Parker are sophomores while Dallas and Dowdle are freshmen.
    Girls 400-Yard Freestyle Relay: Auburn also set a new mark in the 400 relay (3:32.85) with swimmers including Hadley Dowdle, Anna Kate McGinty, Audrey Philpott and McAuley Parker. Philpott is a sophomore and McGinty is a freshman. Runner-up Grissom also  clocked 3:34.41 to beat the old record time (3:35.08) set by Hoover in 2011. Auburn’s 200 freestyle relay team also won the event in 1:38.58, just shy of the state record (1:38.50) set by Athens in 2013.  
    Girls 200-Yard Freestyle:
Athens freshman Kobie Melton turned in a 1:49.97 time to best the record set (1:50.23) by Madden in 2012.
    Girls 100-Yard Butterfly: Randolph’s Sarah Cimino swam the distance in 55:01 in the finals to top the record set by UMS-Wright’s Madden (55.37) in 2013. Her time earned her All-America status.


    Bob Jones got strong performances in the relays with seniors Chris Burrows and Chris Day, junior Andrew Sterns and sophomore Andrey Tretyakov winning the 200-yard medley relay in 1:35.73 – narrowly missing the state record set by McGill-Toolen (1:35.28) in 2012.
   The Patriots also won the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:27.19.   Tretyakov also won the 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard breaststroke events. He earned All-America status with his 49.30 time in the 100 butterfly.
    Derek Sander, a junior, also reached All-America status for Bob Jones with a 1:39.10 time to win the 200-yard freestyle event. McGill-Toolen’s Russell Noletto swam the distance in 1:39.25 to also earn All-America status with his second-place finish.  Sander also won the won the 100-yard freestyle and swam the final leg of Bob Jones’ winning 200-yard freestyle relay. 
    St. Paul’s senior Slater Whiston won the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 50.14 seconds to pace the Saints to the 1A-5A boys’ state championship.
    Complete results can be found at

Alabama Scores On Final Play To Extend Streak To 7 In Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Series

Game Stats

    Alabama wide receiver Justin Johnson of Hoover came down with perhaps the most dramatic catch in the 28-year Alabama-Mississippi Football All-Star Game series Saturday on the last play of the game to score the game-winning touchdown in the 36-30 win.
    With the game at Cramton Bowl tied at 30 all with 12 seconds remaining and Alabama at the Mississippi 30-yard line, quarterback Tyler Cameron of Foley fired deep into the left corner of the end zone and Johnson, a 6—foot-4 receiver, leaped high to wrestle the ball into his arms from a Mississippi defender for the spectacular TD.
     The play climaxed an incredible comeback by the Alabama All-Stars, now 21-7 in the series and a perfect 4-0 in the game played at Cramton Bowl.  Coach Jamey DuBose of Central-Phenix City, Alabama’s head coach, saw his team trailing 28-10 late in the first half before the offense finally got on track.
     Sparked by the hard running of Madison Academy running back Kerryon Johnson, Alabama took a 30-28 lead with 7:44 left in the third quarter when St. James tight end Jalen Harris caught a 7-yard TD pass from Mountain Brook quarterback Jacob Carroll.  Johnson, who earned Alabama team MVP honors with 130 yards rushing and three touchdowns, scored on runs of 11 and 7 yards in the second quarter and capped a 10-play, 80-yard march in the third period with a 5-yard score to pull his team to within four at 28-24.
     Mississippi, coached by Starkville’s Jamie Mitchell, came out clicking on all cylinders in the first half as Starkville quarterback Brady Davis completed his first 12 passes to help the visitors post four first-half touchdowns, a Mississippi record in 28-year history of the series.  Davis connected with his own high school teammate Raphael Leonard for two touchdowns in the first quarter. Leonard made great grabs for 28 yards and 11 yards to put Mississippi up 14-3. Leonard finished with five catches for 59 yards to earn Mississippi MVP honors.  Davis, who was just 1-of-12 over his last dozen passes, finished 13-of-24 for 158 yards and three scores. Terance Davis, an Ole Miss early basketball signee from Southaven, was the game’s leading receiver with seven receptions for 104 yards and a 23-yard TD from Davis late in the first half. Linebacker Johnathan Abram of East Marion also raced 44 yards with an interception for Mississippi’s final touchdown of the first half.
      Alabama, which led 3-0 on Decatur kicker Rhett Morrison’s 31-yard field goal in the opening period,  gave up a safety with 3:22 remaining in the third quarter when Mississippi linebacker Fred Walls  of Olive Branch tackled Blount’s back Demetrice Vaughan in the end zone after the running back tried to scoop up an errant snap that had sailed past him past the goal line. The play erased Alabama’s first lead of the game and tied the game at 30-30.
    That is how it stood when Mississippi kicker Michael Godley tried a 46-yard field goal with 1:03 remaining that sailed short and wide left.
    Starting its final drive at the Alabama 30, the host team needed six plays to reach the end zone. Johnson had runs of 21 and 9 yards, Dale County’s Jamarrius Henderson streaked for a six-yard gain and DeSherrius Flowers of Vigor gained four yards to set up the final play.
    Alabama finished with a series-record 28 first downs, 240 yards rushing and 189 passing for 429 total yards. The 74 total offensive plays also set a new series record. Mississippi set the series record for passes attempted and completed with a 25-of-47 performance that netted 280 yards. The visitors managed only five net yards rushing on 17 attempts.
    Johnson’s 130 yards led all rushers. Vaughan had 38 on nine carries, Keith Mixon of Shades Valley added 29 on two carries with one long end round touchdown called back.  Henderson had 20 yards on six carries.   Cameron was 5-of-9  passing for 147 yards. Carroll was 5-of-12 for 42 yards. Each fired one TD pass.   Mixon also caught three passes for 90 yards and Johnson finished with 49 yards on three catches.
     Jamarius Smith of Meridian was 12-of-23 passing for 122 yards to go with Davis’ 158-yard, three-TD total for Mississippi.  
    Defensively, Michael Jackson of Parker had 11 tackles and one assist to pace Alabama.  Amon’te Caban of Smiths Station added seven stops and Melvin Tyus of Carver-Montgomery had five. Quandeski Whitlow of Opelika had three tackles for 15 yards in losses and Caban had three stops behind the line for seven yards in losses.
    Mississippi’s defensive leaders were Leo Lewis of Brookhaven, Jamal Paters of Bassfield and Ephraim Kitchen of South Panola each had seven tackles to pace Coach Jamie Mitchell’s defense.
    After 28 games in Alabama, the series will move to Mississippi next year with the game set to be played at M.M. Roberts Stadium on the campus of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg.

Prep All-Stars Finalize Game Plans For Saturday’s 28th Alabama-Mississippi Clash

    MONTGOMERY – Alabama and Mississippi all-star squads had their final practices Friday morning as coaching staffs for each squad put the finishing touches on Saturday’s game plans.
     The 28th Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Game will kick off at noon Saturday from Cramton Bowl. Raycom Network will televise the contest live over its affiliates in Mississippi and Alabama and will also live-stream the game over the world-wide web.
     Teams spent Friday afternoon working with the Salvation Army at its packaging operation in Montgomery and then attended a banquet at the Cramton Bowl Multiplex attended by parents, coaches and players.
      Honorary captains Ron Stallworth (Alabama) and Tyson Lee (Mississippi) each addressed the players at the dinner.
      Festivities continue Saturday morning at 8:30 at the Multiplex with a breakfast hosted by the Fellowship of Christian Athlete, followed by a meet-and-greet session for fans and players on the field at Cramton Bowl from 10 to 11 a.m.
      Both head coaches, Alabama’s Jamey DuBose of Central-Phenix City and Mississippi’s Jamie Mitchell of Starkville, said the teams have had good workouts all week and are ready to play.
      THE SERIES: Alabama’s All-Stars have won the last six games in a row, including a 21-17 victory last year at Cramton Bowl. Alabama has won all three games played at Cramton Bowl since 2011 and is 20-7 overall in the series that dates back to 1988. The series was played at Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium from 1988-2010 with one game played at Troy University. Alabama also won six in a row from 1999-2004. Mississippi captured four in a row from 1992-1995.
    This will be the fourth year that Cramton Bowl has been the host site.
     Rosters for both teams can be found at:
    TV/RADIO INFORMATION: Raycom Network will broadcast the game live over its affiliates in Alabama and Mississippi Saturday and will also live-stream the game at the following link: The TV affiliate list can be found at:
  The AHSAA Radio Network will broadcast the game live as well over its network. Links will be available on line at:
    TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets are $10 each will be available at the Cramton Bowl ticket booth with children 5-and-under admitted free. Tickets can also be ordered in advance through AHSAA ticket partner PREPTIX at the following link:

Fairhope’s Helen Legg Wins 3rd Straight Diving Title; Freshman Conner Pruitt Gets Boys Crown

       AUBURN – Freshman Conner Pruitt of Opelika High School posted a 408.35 score in the 1-meter diving competition Friday to win the event as the 55th annual AHSAA State Swimming & Diving Championships got underway at the James E. Martin Aquatics Center on the Auburn University campus.
       Pruitt’s stiffest competition came from Spain Park eighth grader Zachary El-Fallahand, whoposted a 368.35 total to finish second. Senior Alex  Evans of Auburn was third at 342.35. In 2013 Conner finished fourth, Evans eighth and El-Fallahand 14th.
       Junior Helen Legg of Fairhope posted a 377.90 score to win the AHSAA Girls’ 1-meter diving competition for the third year in a row. Her 2014 total was just shy of her 2013 winning score of 383.50.  Senior Sarah Bradberry of James Clemens was second at 337.95, and junior Julie Keller of Huntsville third (323.45).
       The swim events got underway with prelims Friday afternoon. All swimming event finals will be Saturday at Auburn University’s James E. Martin Aquatics Center beginning at 2 p.m. Warm-up will commence at 1 p.m. The finals will be live-streamed by the NFHS Network at the following link:

       The AHSAA will crown late Saturday afternoon boys and girls state team champions in two divisions (6A-7A and 1A-5A) for the first time in the 55-year history of the AHSAA Swimming & Diving Championships.

Stallworth, Lee To Serve as Honorary Captains All-Stars Have One Practice Remaining For Saturday’s 28th Alabama-Mississippi Game

MONTGOMERY – Alabama and Mississippi all-star squads went through two more practice sessions Thursday and Alabama head coach Jamey DuBose said his team is ready to play.
    “Our kids have come in ready to compete, have listened and adjusted to what we want them to do,”the Central-Phenix City head coach, said. “Now we just want to keep them healthy.”
     DuBose and two players, running back Kerryon Johnson of Madison Academy and linebacker Keaton Anderson of Florence, joined Charlie Trotman and Doug Amos on their local radio show on remote at Cramton Bowl Thursday at lunch. Also on hand were Mississippi head coach Jamie Mitchell of Starkville and players Leo Lewis of Brookhaven and Terance Davis of Southaven.
    Anderson, an Alabama linebacker commitment, and Johnson, an Auburn running back commitment, both said this has been a fun week “and a chance to really get to know some of the other players across the state.” It also reunited Anderson with his former head coach DuBose, who coached at Florence from 2012-13.
     Lewis, a linebacker, is an Ole Miss football commitment while Davis, a 6-foot-4 wide receiver, signed a basketball scholarship during the November signing period with Ole Miss as well.
    Lewis said he hopes to be a teammate with Davis in college as well. “I hope he decides to play football too,” Lewis said.  Davis, who has played both sports since seventh grade, said the option may be possible.
    Mitchell had some strong views on the matter. “Terance has a lot of talent, and I don’t really understand why more schools didn’t recruit him for his football talents. I hope this game might help him have a chance to play both sports at the college level if he wants to.”
    The two teams practiced Thursday afternoon at Millbrook and then enjoyed the city’s hospitality by attending a low country boil provided for the teams.
    The players for both teams are scheduled to practice at Huntingdon College (Alabama) and Faulkner University (Mississippi) Friday morning, then spend Friday afternoon working with the Salvation Army in a service project.
    The week’s activities culminate Friday night at the Cramton Bowl Multiplex with the annual parent-player banquet.
     Scheduled to speak at the dinner are honorary captains Ron Stallworth (Alabama) and Tyson Lee (Mississippi). Stallworth, named the USA Today National Defensive Player of the year as a senior at Woodham High School in Pensacola (FL) in 1983, had an outstanding college career at Auburn and played for two years in the NFL with the New York Jets.  Currently working with Merrill Lynch, Stallworth has been active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes since his college days and has served on its state board of directors in Alabama.
    Lee attended Columbus (MS) High School and graduated in the top 10 percent of his class in 2006. He earned a football scholarship to Itawamba Community College and became the first player in Itawamba history  to earn pre-season all-American and academic All-American the same year. In the spring of 2008, Tyson walked-on the football team at Mississippi State University and earned a scholarship at the end of the spring semester. After graduating Cum Laude in the May of 2010 with a degree in education, Tyson enrolled in graduate school at Mississippi State and earned his master’s degree in sports administration in May of 2012. After graduate school, he moved to St. Louis and became a scouting assistant in the NFL for the St. Louis Rams before moving back to Starkville to work full time with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
      Alabama’s All-Stars have won the last six games in a row, including a 21-17 victory last year at Cramton Bowl. Alabama has won all three games played at Cramton Bowl since 2011 and is 20-7 overall in the series that dates back to 1988. The series was played at Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium from 1988-2010 with one game played at Troy University.
    This will be the fourth year that Cramton Bowl has been the host site.
     Rosters for both teams can be found at:
    TV/RADIO INFORMATION: Raycom Network will broadcast the game live over its affiliates in Alabama and Mississippi Saturday and will also live-stream the game. The AHSAA Radio Network will broadcast the game live as well over its network. Links will be available on line at
Tickets are $10 each will be available at the Cramton Bowl ticket booth with children 5-and-under admitted free. Tickets can also be ordered in advance through AHSAA ticket partner PREPTIX at the following link:
    Special ticket programs have been set up for schools interested in bringing their teams to Montgomery for the game. Schools may call 334-263-6994 for more details.

    A special Meet-and-Greet session on will be held at Cramton Bowl from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday following the annual Fellowship of Christian Athletes Breakfast at the Cramton Bowl Multiplex at 8:30 p.m. 

Competition Set for Dec. 12-13 at Auburn AHSAA Swimming & Diving Championships To Crown State Champions In 2 Divisions

    AUBURN – The 55th annual Alabama High School Athletic Association State Swimming & Diving Championships get underway Friday at James E. Martin Aquatic Center on the Auburn University campus with a trimmed field that could be the most competitive in state history.
    The NFHS Network will live-stream the competition Saturday. Check the NFHS Network links below:

    The swimming championships underwent a major overhaul with the addition of three Sectional swim meets where competitors for the first time in state history were required to qualify for the state meet. The AHSAA also established two divisions for championship play this season with Class 6A-7A comprised of the largest schools and Class 1A-5A encompassing the remaining schools. From 1960-2013 all schools competed for one state title in each of the boys’ and girls’ divisions.
    The result, said AHSAA Assistant Director Marvin Chou, “Is some immediate growth with more than 20 new schools fielding teams this season.” Chou, AHSAA’s director for swimming competition, said the section meets also provided an excellent tune-up for the state’s swimmers and provided qualifying standards that should provide the state meet with its most elite competitors.
        Auburn, winner of girls’ state title last season, will be in a strong Class 6A-7A field that features all six schools that won the last 10 state championships. In addition to Auburn, McGill-Toolen won in 2012, Hoover in 2011 and 2010, Mountain Brook in 2009, 2006 and 2005, Grissom in 2008 and Bob Jones in 2007.  St. Paul’s, back-to-back winners in 2003 and 2004, will be competing in the Class 1A-5A division.
       On the boys’ side, the 6A-7A division features 2012 and 2013 state champion Huntsville as well as Bob Jones, the state champs for seven straight seasons from 2004-2010. McGill-Toolen won in 2011.
       Among the top swimmers in the competition are current state record holders Paige Madden of UMS-Wright and Foster Ballard of Elmore County. Both will be competing in the 1A-5A division but already own overall state records. Madden, a sophomore, won the 500 freestyle in 2012 and holds the state record in the 200 freestyle, 200 medley and 100 butterfly events.  Ballard, a senior, set the 200 individual medley record last season.
     In the Class 1A-5A division, Benjamin Russell senior Robert Howard came close last season to records in the 50 and 100 freestyle events, winning both in times that earned him All-America status. Howard captured the 50 in 2013 with a 21.61-second time and the 100 in 45.46 seconds. T.J. Leon if UMS-Wright holds both state meet records with winning times of 20.24 and 44.73 in the 2008 state meet.
     Diving starts the action Friday with warm-up at 9 a.m. and competition begins at 10 a.m. Swim events get underway at 4 p.m. Friday for prelims. Finals are set for swim events Saturday at 2 p.m. Warm-up gets underway at 1 p.m.
      Admission is $10.00 per day with children 5 and under admitted free.
     Current AHSAA records are listed below for each event.

     15   Grissom, 1984-99
    12   Huntsville, 1968-2013

      13   Grissom, 1984-96
     7   Huntsville, 1977-83
      7   Bob Jones, 2004-10


200 Yard Medley Relay--McGill Toolen, 1:35.28, 2012
200 Yard Freestyle Relay--Bob Jones, 1:25.84, 2013

400 Yard Freestyle Relay-- Bob Jones, 3:09.93, 2009

50 Yard Freestyle—T.J. Leon, UMS-Wright, 20.24, 2008
100 Yard Freestyle-- T.J. Leon, UMS-Wright, 44.73, 2008
200 Yard Freestyle-- Will Freeman, Spain Park, 1:37.31, 2013
500 Yard Freestyle--Will Freeman, Spain Park, 4:27.36, 2013

100 Yard Backstroke-- Will Glass, McGill Toolen, 48.41, 2012
100 Yard Breaststroke--Marlin
Brutkiewicz, UMS-Wright, 2012

100 Yard Butterfly--Will Glass, McGill Toolen, 48.12, 2012

200 Yard Individual Medley--Foster Ballard, Elmore County, 1:50.24, 2013

One Meter Diving 

Robert Raley, Murphy, 520.35, 2011


     18   Grissom, 1977-2008
     10   Huntsville, 1971-83
     10   Grissom, 1984-93
       6   Huntsville, 1971-76


200 Yard Medley Relay—Auburn, 1:47.55, 2013
200 Yard Freestyle Relay—Athens, 1:38.50, 2013
400 Yard Freestyle Relay—Hoover, 3:35.08, 2011

50 Yard Freestyle—Megan Molnar, Auburn, 23.09, 2010
100 Yard Freestyle—Maria Reed, Baker, 51.18, 2013
200 Yard Freestyle—Paige Madden, UMS-Wright, 1:50.23,  2012
500 Yard Freestyle—Chloe Sutton, Hoover, 4:53.37, 2004
100 Yard Backstroke—Genny Pittman, Homewood, 55.05, 2012
100 Yard Breaststroke—Megan Molnar, Auburn, 1:02.13, 2010
100 Yard Butterfly—Paige Madden, UMS-Wright, 55.37, 2013
200 Yard Individual Medley—Paige Madden, UMS-Wright, 2013 
One Meter Diving
Elizabeth Flint, Auburn, 452.25, 1996