Wednesday, January 16, 2019

 

                                            


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AHSAA News


Pinson Valley QB Bo Nix Named ASWA’s Mr. Football for 2018

    MONTGOMERY – Pinson Valley High School senior quarterback Bo Nix was named the Alabama Sportswriters Association’s Mr. Football recipient for the 20128 season Tuesday at the annual ASWA Player of the Year Luncheon at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center.
    AHSAA Corporate Partner Cadence Bank was the presenting sponsor, and the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) hosted the luncheon.
    Nix, who was also selected for the second straight year as the Class 6A Back of the Year, beat out Class 7A Back of the Year Taulia Tagovailoa of Thompson in the Mr. Football voting – becoming the 37th Mr. Football selected in the ASWA’s long-running program which began in 1982.
    The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Nix directed Pinson Valley to a 13-1 record in 2018 and a 15-0 slate in 2017 – earning Super 7 Class 6A state championship game MVP honors both years as the Indians won back-to-back state championships. He was 25-of-35 passing for 372 yards, one rushing TD and two passing touchdowns in the 6A 26-17 win over Saraland in the finals played at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium.
    An Auburn signee already enrolled at AU for this semester, he completed 267-of-447 passes for 3,795 yards and 50 touchdowns as a senior and finished as the AHSAA’s all-time career total offense leader (12,497 yards) and touchdowns accounted for (161) – 127 TD passes and 34 rushing TDs with more than 2,000 career rushing yards.
    Nix played at Scottsboro High School from 2015-2017 and moved to Pinson when his dad became the Pinson head coach prior to the 2017 season. He started at QB for 2½ years for the Wildcats.   He finished his career ranked second in career passing yards (10,386), first in career pass attempts (1,223), second in completions (687) and third in TD passes thrown (127).  His 50 TD passes as a senior ranks third in the AHSAA all-time.
   Nix was named an All-American by USA Today (first team) and MaxPreps (second team), was the 
ALcom Super All-State Player of the Year and the Gatorade Alabama Player of the Year. He was selected and played in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic and Armour All-America Game following completion of the 2018 season.
   He was the Mr. Football runner-up last season to another Auburn signee, Asa Martin. He becomes the 11th Auburn signee to win the state’s top honor. He is the first Birmingham-area winner since Huffman’s Andre Smith in 2005.
    A total of 48 players, three linemen and three backs in each of the AHSAA’s seven classifications and the AISA, were honored at Tuesday’s luncheon. Tagovailoa was unable to attend the luncheon. He was in Hawaii preparing for the Polynesian All-Star Classic football game. He is enrolling early at the University of Alabama.
    Clay Webb of Oxford, named the Class 6A Lineman of the Year and third in the Mr. Football voting, was also absent. The Georgia signee is already attending classes at UGA.
    Named 2018 Back of the Year in the AHSAA’s respective classes were: Class 7A: Taulia Tagovailoa, QB, Thompson; Class 6A: Bo Nix, QB, Pinson Valley; Class 5A: Javonta Leartherwood, RB, Central-Tuscaloosa; Class 4A: Lee Witherspoon, RB, North Jackson; Class 3A: Daquan Johnson, QB, Flomaton; Class 2A: Samario Rudolph, RB, Cottage Hill Christian; Class 1A: Jermaine Brown, QB, St. Luke’s Episcopal.
    Selected 2018 Lineman of the Year in respective classes were:  Class 7A: Pierce Quick, OL, Hewitt-Trussville; Class 6A: Clay Webb, OL, Oxford; Class 5A: Fred Austin, DL, Vigor; Class 4A: Will Breland, LB, UMS-Wright; Class 3A: Ja’Len Sims, LB, Fultondale;  Class 2A: Arian Gregory, LB, Luverne; Class 1A: Jah-Marien Lathiam, DL, and Pickens County.
    The ASWA SUPER ALL-STATE Team selected by the ASWA All-State and Mr. Football Committee of prep sportswriters across the state, was also announced following the luncheon. That team included, the top 12 players, regardlss of classification:
Bo Nix, QB, Pinson Valley; Taulia Tagovailoa, QB, Thompson; Clay Webb, OL, Oxford; Lee Witherspoon, RB, North Jackson; George Pickens, WR, Hoover; Roydell Williams, RB, Hueytown; Pierce Quick, OL, Hewitt-Trussville; Mahamoud Diabate, DE, Auburn; Darrian Meads, RB, Hokes Bluff; Daquan Johnson, QB, Flomaton; Vonta Bentley, LB, Jackson-Olin; and D.J. Dale, DL, Clay-Chalkville.

ASWA 2018 Player of the Year Finalists
CLASS 7A
Back
Te'Darrian Murray, Lee-Montgomery
George Pickens, Hoover
Taulia Tagovailoa, Thompson, Alabaster
Lineman
Daevion Davis, James Clemens, Madison
Mohamoud Diabate, Auburn
Pierce Quick, Hewitt-Trussville

CLASS 6A
Back
Bo Nix, Pinson Valley
Tyquan Rawls, Wetumpka
Roydell Williams, Hueytown
Lineman
Vonta Bentley, Jackson-Olin, Birmingham
D.J. Dale, Clay-Chalkville
Clay Webb, Oxford


CLASS 5A
Back
Zaye Boyd, Russellville
Javonta Leatherwood, Central-Tuscaloosa
C.J. Yarbrough, East Limestone

Lineman
Fredrick Austin, Vigor, Prichard
Jamin Graham, Etowah, Attalla
Mark Hand, Briarwood Christian


CLASS 4A
Back
J.J. Evans, Montevallo
Darrian Meads, Hokes Bluff
Lee Witherspoon, North Jackson, Stevenson
Lineman
Will Breland, UMS-Wright, Mobile
C.J. Person, Catholic-Montgomery
James Waller, American Christian, Tuscaloosa


CLASS 3A
Back
Tony Amerson, St. James, Montgomery
Daquan Johnson, Flomaton
Ian Thies, Westminster Christian, Huntsville
Lineman
Ricky Samuel, T.R. Miller, Brewton
Ja'Len Sims, Fultondale
Sean Smith, Piedmont


CLASS 2A
Back
Payton Anderson, Fyffe
Jaquon Kincey, Abbeville
Samario Rudolph, Cottage Hill Christian, Mobile
Lineman
Karron Daffin, Leroy
Arian Gregory, Luverne
Caleb Lyles, Fyffe


CLASS 1A
Back
Graderius Brown, Linden
Jermaine Brown, St. Luke's Episcopal, Mobile
Kristian Story, Lanett
Lineman
Jah-Marien Latham, Pickens County, Reform
Colt Smith, Mars Hill Bible, Florence
Tristen Thetford, Maplesville


ASWA Mr. Football Award
Recipients by year
2018 Bo Nix, Pinson Valley, quarterback
2017
Asa Martin, Austin, running back
2016
La'Damian Webb, Beauregard, running back
2015
Tyler Johnston, Spanish Fort, quarterback
2014 Kerryon Johnson, Madison Academy, running back
2013 Racean “Roc” Thomas, Oxford, running back
2012 Jeremy Johnson, Carver-Montgomery, quarterback
2011 T.J. Yeldon, Daphne, running back
2010 Jamal Golden, Wetumpka, quarterback
2009 Coty Blanchard, Cherokee County, quarterback
2008 Clint Moseley, Leroy, quarterback
2007 Julio Jones, Foley, wide receiver
2006 Larry Smith, Prattville, quarterback
2005 Andre Smith, Huffman, offensive lineman
2004 Jarod Bryant, Hoover, quarterback
2003 Chris Nickson, Pike County, quarterback
2002 JaMarcus Russell, Williamson, quarterback
2001 Brandon Cox, Hewitt-Trussville, quarterback
2000 Carnell Williams, Etowah, running back
1999 Cory Whisenant, Springville, running back
1998 DeMarco McNeil, Blount, defensive lineman
1997 Mac Campbell, Alexandria, running back
1996 Antoneyo Williams, Central-Tuscaloosa, running back
1995 Gorman Thornton, Jeff Davis, tight end
1994 Dawud Rasheed, Shades Valley, running back
1993 Thomas Banks, West Jefferson, running back
1992 Freddie Kitchens, Etowah, quarterback
1991 Robert Davis, Homewood, running back
1990 David Palmer, Jackson-Olin, running back/wide receiver
1989 Steven Coleman, Pike County, running back
1988 Darrell Williams, Vigor, running back
1987 Robert Jones, Parker, running back
1986 Larry Ware, Lee-Montgomery, running back
1985 Pierre Goode, Hazlewood, running back
1984 Roderick Green, Gardendale, wide receiver
1983 Freddie Weygand, Emma Sansom, wide receiver
1982 Tommy Compton, Vigor, quarterback



AHSAA Instant Replay Resulted in 25% of Challenges Being Reversed

   MONTGOMERY – The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Instant Replay program designed and administered by DVSport concluded its first season with the Super 7 State Championships at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Twelve challenges were made by teams in the seven championship games with four calls overturned and one other reversal was administered based on an automatic review of a scoring play for a 38.5% reversal rate. All scoring plays and potential scoring plays were reviewed automatically by the reviewed in the championship games.
    For the year, DVSport Instant Replay was utilized by 96 different schools in 103 games for a total of 203 opportunities. The final tally showed 96 challenges and 23 calls on the field overturned – a percentage of 25.0%.
    District 5 had 21 schools use Instant Replay and District 8 had 18. All districts had teams participate in games with Instant Replay. Class 6A had 24 schools participate in at least one contest using Instant Replay and Class 7A had 23 of it 32 teams participate.
   AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese and AHSAA former Director of Officials Greg Brewer began working on implement ting Instant Replay in 2013 – when NFHS rules changed to allow the technology on the sideline for the coaches. The National Federation State High School Associations (NFHS) granted permission to the AHSAA to experiment with instant replay for a beginning with the 2018 season. The AHSAA, thanks in big part to the leadership of current Director of Officials Mark Jones, partnered with DVSport to implement instant replay in the regular season as well as post season play. DVSport equipment is required in Alabama for instant replay.
     “Our first year of the experiment exceeded our expectations,” Jones said. “It was demonstrated that instant replay can work with the limited camera angles we have available.  Most games usually two camera angles: one from the sideline (press box) and the other from the end zone.”
     Jones said that during the state championships, the AHSAA was able to utilize the same equipment used by Auburn University during its home games. That equipment is also provided by DVSports. That allowed a review of all scoring or potential scoring plays from the booth without requiring a challenge by either coach. 
   “Forward progress or spot of the ball was reversed three times at the Super 7,” Jones said. There was a fumble call that was reversed to an incomplete pass along with one touchdown pass reversed to an incomplete pass upon review. Spotting of the ball was challenged six times, fumbles were challenged 4 times, and incomplete passes 2 times.”
    The AHSAA also had the opportunity to demonstrate Instant Replay to the nation via one nationally televised game on ESPN and through numerous games live-streamed by the NFHS Network.
   “The use of instant replay had insignificant impact on the length of the games,” Jones added. “Average replays took between 90 seconds to two minutes to review.”
    Jones said that three times during the season a touchdown pass or incomplete pass in the end zone were overturned. Fumbles and forward progress made up 70 percent of the challenges. Others included: backward passes, breaking the goal-line plane, touching, out-of-bounds spots and player ejection.


 

 

 

TOTAL SCHOOLS PARTICIPATING

District Exposure Breakdown                                
District                       Schools           Opportunities
D-1                              16                    29
D-2                                3                      3

D-3                              11                    15
D-4                                9                    39
D-5                              21                    39
D-6                               6                    17       
D-7                              11                    21
D-8                              18                    39
Out-of-State                  1                      1
TOTAL                      96                  203

 

Class Exposure Breakdown                        
Class                          Schools           Opportunities
1A                                   7                  13
2A                                   3                    4

3A                                  8                  14
4A                                 16                  26
5A                                 14                  29
6A                                 24                  52       
7A                                 23                  64
Out-of-State                    1                    1
TOTAL                        96                203

INDIVIDUAL SCHOOLS PARTICIPATING
                (*-state championship game)

Class 1A                     District            Games
Hackleburg                  D-7                  6
Hubbertville                D-7                  1
Linden                         D-3                  1*
Mars Hill Bible           D-7                  1*
Phillips                        D-7                  1
Sweet Water                D-3                  2
Waterloo                     D-7                  1
Class 2A                     District            Games
Fyffe                           D-8                  1*
Luverne                       D-2                  1*       
Tanner                         D-8                  2
Class 3A                     District            Games
Bayside Academy       D-1                  1
Excel                           D-1                  1
Flomaton                     D-1                  2*
Hanceville                   D-8                  1
Phil Campbell             D-7                  1
Piedmont                     D-6                  1*
Pike County                D-2                  1
Thomasville                D-1                  6
Class 4A                     District            Games
B.T. Washington         D-4                  1
Clarke County             D-1                  1

Cordova                      D-5                  1

Deshler                        D-7                  1*
Elmore County           D-4                  1
Good Hope                  D-8                  6         
Haleyville                    D-7                  1         
Handley                      D-6                  5
Jacksonville                 D-6                  1
Leeds                          D-5                  1         
Oak Grove                  D-5                  1
Rogers                         D-7                  2
Sumter Central            D-3                  1
Trinity Presbyterian    D-3                  1
UMS-Wright               D-1                  1*
West Limestone          D-8                  1
Class 5A                     District            Games
Ardmore                      D-8                  1
Boaz                            D-8                  1
Brewer                        D-8                  1
Central-Clay County  D-6                  3*
Corner                         D-5                  1         
East Limestone           D-8                  9
Guntersville                 D-8                  1
Jackson                        D-1                  1
Jasper                          D-5                  1
Lawrence County       D-7                  5
Madison Academy      D-8                  1
Vigor                           D-1                  2*       
West Point                  D-8                  1

Wilcox Central            D-3                  1
Class 6A                     District            Games
Athens                         D-8                  1
Benjamin Russell        D-4                  2
Buckhorn                    D-8                  1
Calera                          D-5                  1
Carver-Montgomery   D-3                  1
Daphne                        D-1                  1
Decatur                       D-8                  4
Helena                         D-5                  1
Huffman                     D-5                  1         
Jackson-Olin               D-5                  1
Minor                          D-5                  2
Northridge                  D-5                  1
Opelika                       D-4                  8
Oxford                        D-6                  6

Park Crossing              D-3                  2
Pell City                      D-6                  1

Pelham                                    D-5                  5
Pinson Valley              D-5                  2*
Saraland                      D-1                  1*       
Selma                          D-3                  1
Shades Valley             D-5                  1
Stanhope Elmore         D-4                  1
St. Paul’s Episcopal    D-1                  1
Wetumpka                   D-4                  6
Class 7A                     District            Games
Alma Bryant               D-1                  1
Auburn                        D-4                  10
Austin                         D-8                  4
Baker                           D-1                  5
Central-Phenix City    D-4                  9*
Enterprise                    D-2                  1
Fairhope                      D-1                  2
Florence                      D-7                  1
Hewitt-Trussville        D-5                  2
Hoover                                    D-5                  1
James Clemens           D-8                  2
Jeff Davis                    D-3                  1
Lee-Montgomery        D-3                  3         
Mary Montgomery      D-1                  1
McGill-Toolen             D-1                  2
Mountain Brook          D-5                  1
Oak Mountain             D-5                  2
Prattville                      D-3                  1
Smiths Station            D-4                  1
Spain Park                   D-5                  1
Sparkman                    D-8                  1
Thompson                   D-5                  9*
Vestavia Hills              D-5                  3
Out-of-State
Meridian (MS)            NA                  1


Mississippi Beats Alabama 24-20 to Notch First Win at Cramton Bowl in Alabama-Mississippi Classic History

MONTGOMERY – Mississippi’s All-Stars edged Alabama 24-20 Monday night to win for the first time in the 33-game series at Cramton Bowl.
    The Alabama-Mississippi Classic, a game sponsored by the AHSAA and administered by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) in conjunction with the Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC), played its first 24 games from 1988 to 2010 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and one game at Troy University. The game moved to Cramton Bowl in 2011 and began a rotation with Hattiesburg (MS) 2015.
     Alabama, which holds a 22-10 edge in the series despite two losses in a row, won the first five games at Cramton Bowl and are 0-2 in games played in Mississippi.
    Running back Jarod Conner of Hattiesburg rushed 18 times for 112 yards and two touchdowns to lead Mississippi to its first Cramton Bowl win. He moved from his running back position to quarterback in the second period and helped jump-start a sluggish offense that found its running game with the one-two punch of Conner and Tupelo’s Jaquerrious Williams. Conner scored the first two Mississippi touchdowns on runs of 2 and 6 yards and Williams finished with 94 yards on 20 carries and scored the final TD on a 13-yard run early in the fourth quarter. Conner was selected MVP for Mississippi, coached by Clarksdale’s Henry Johnson.
     Alabama’s All-Stars, coached by Hoover’s Josh Niblett, moved the ball well on its first two possessions, but came away with only one score. The first drive stalled inside the 25 and a 41-yard field attempt by Hoover’s Will Reichard was wide to the left.
    The defense got the ball back near midfield when Jackson defensive back Nehemiah Pritchett intercepted Oak Grove (MS)           quarterback John Rhys Plumlee’s pass on the next series and return it 36 yards to the Mississippi 49.
      Pinson Valley quarterback Bo Nix dazzled the fans with two pas connections with Hoover receiver George Pickens – the last one covering 13 yards for a touchdown to cap the 49-yard, six-play march. Reichard’s PAT made it 7-0 with 5:27 left in  the first quarter.
    Mississippi recovered a fumble near midfield with 6:05 left in the half and took advantage late in the second period climaxing an 11-play, 44-yard drive that followed with Conner’s 2-yard TD run with 1:19 left in the half. Tucker Barefoot of Clinton tied the game with his PAT kick.
    Conner capped a 75-yard, nine-play drive to start the second half with a 6-yard TD run, and  Williams extended the lead to 21-7 early in the fourth quarter with a 13-yard TD run.
    Central-Phenix City’s Peter Parrish culminated a 12-play, 75-yard march midway through the final period with a 3-yard TD pass to tight end Michael Vice to cut the lead to 21-14.
     Mississippi place-kicker Tucker Barefoot, who missed two field goals, nailed  43-yarder with 35 seconds left to extend the lead to 24-14. Alabama, however, wasn’t through. Pickens made a spectacular grab in the end zone for a 32-yard touchdown from Nix on the final play – capping a 75-yard drive in the final 35 seconds to close the game at 24-20.
    Pickens earned MVP honors with nine catches for 155 yards and two touchdowns. The nine catches tied the Alabama-Mississippi series record for most catches in a game and the 155 yards set a new record.
    Mississippi finished with 257 yards rushing and 133 passing for 390 total yards. Alabama had just 57 yards rushing but Parrish and Nix combined to complete 16-of-39 passes for 237 yards. Nix was 9-of-22 for 162 yards and two TDs, and Parrish was 7-of-17 for 75 yards and a score. Tre Ross of Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa caught two passes for 33 yards, Lanett’s Trikweze Bridges had two catches for 10 yards and Jackson-Olin’s A.J. Toney had a 28-yard reception.  Amontae Spivey of Central-Phenix City led all Alabama rushers with 29 yards on seven carries.
    Oxford linebacker Kendall McCallum led Alabama’s defense with 10 tackles, Pritchett had nine and Fultondale’s Ja’Len Sims and Jackson-Olin’s LaVonta Bentley had eight each. Horn Lake’s Nakobe Dean had eight stops for Mississippi.


Alabama – Mississippi All-Stars Set to Meet in the 32nd Annual Football Classic Monday night

    MONTGOMERY – Practices have concluded and both a  squads appear to fine-tuned and ready for the 2018 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Classic which kicks off Monday night at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl at 6:30 p.m.
     The two 40-man squads had two short workouts Sunday before gathering Sunday night at the Cramton Bowl Multi-Plex for the annual Player-Parent Banquet.  Honorary Alabama team captain former Alabama All-Star and NFL standout Wallace Gilberry addressed the crowd Sunday night as well as Mississippi honorary captain Jerious Nortwood.  Both played in the Alabama-Mississippi Classic. Gilberry attended Baldwin County High School in Bay Minette.  He spent 10 seasons in the NFL before retiring at the end of the 2017 season. Norwood, who attended Brandon High School near Jackson (MS), finished his collegiate career as the second-leading rusher in Mississippi State history and then spent six seasons in the NFL.
      Alabama holds a 22-9 edge in the 32nd annual Classic, which will be televised Raycom Media over its affiliate stations in Alabama, Mississippi, Columbus (GA) and Memphis (TN) as well as other stations in cities like Mobile where no Raycom affiliated is currently operating.
    More than 30 players in the game are headed to the SEC or other major college teams next fall.  AHSADCA Director Jamie Lee said both teams have had a good week. “We have two talented squads who made an even bigger impression by how both squads have conducted themselves this week.”
    Alabama is 5-0 in games played at Cramton Bowl. Mississippi is 2-0 in games played at Hattiesburg, including last year’s 42-7 win. Alabama also compiled a 17-6 record in games played at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and Mississippi won the only game played at Troy University’s Veterans Stadium.
    The AHSAA Radio Network also plans to broadcast the game live over its statewide network of radio and internet affiliates. The link will be available at www.ahsaa.com. For more information concerning TV coverage, go to the following link:
http://www.al-msallstarfootball.com/Portals/0/2017/Website%20Information--TV%20coverage.pdf

    For ticket information, go to the following link:
http://www.al-msallstarfootball.com/TicketInfo.aspx

GoFan is providing digital tickets for the contest at the following link:
https://gofan.co/app/events/37633

 


Alabama All-Star Head Coach Josh Niblett Likes Intensity and Character of Squad

    MONTGOMERY – Alabama All-Star head coach Josh Niblett of Hoover High School cut short the team’s Thursday afternoon practice at Faulkner University when heavy showers forced the team inside.
    The weather didn’t dampen Niblett’s enthusiasm for this year’s 40-man squad preparing to take on Mississippi’s All-Stars next Monday in the 32nd annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Classic at Cramton Bowl. The contest kicks off a 6:30 p.m. and will be televised over Raycom Media’s affiliate stations in Alabama, Mississippi, Columbus (GA) and Memphis (TN) as well as other stations outside Raycom in cities like Mobile where no Raycom affiliated currently reside.
     “The kids came in ready to go to work (Wednesday) and they were still excited (Friday),” Niblett said. “There is a lot of competition going on in practice and the kids are picking up what we coaches are trying to teach them really well.”
    Alabama’s team suffered a blow Wednesday when Jeff Davis linebacker/defensive end Brandon Mack suffered an injury and will be unable to participate in the game Monday night. Niblett’s coaching staff found his  replacement quickly with the addition of Auburn High School senior linebacker Mohamoud Diabate, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound defensive end. Coach Adam Winegarden’s standout defensive leader committed to the University Florida last August, choosing the Gators over Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Texas A&M. He made an official recruiting trip to Gainesville last weekend. Diabate reported to the All-Star practice Friday.
    Niblett said his staff has tried to be smart this week – preparing the team to be  at full speed come Monday. Alabama’s team holds a 22-9 edge in the all-star classic, which is an event of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) in conjunction with the Mississippi Association of Coaches (Mac). However, Mississippi handed Alabama a 42-7 defeat last year at Hattiesburg, the worst setback in the series’ history for Alabama.
    AHSADCA Director Jamie Lee said he has been impressed with how both squads have conducted themselves this week. The teams had two practices Friday and were scheduled to participate in the Camellia Bowl parade at downtown Montgomery Friday night. The City of Montgomery, which hosts the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl which kicks off Saturday afternoon with Eastern Michigan taking on Georgia Southern University, has gone to great links to incorporate the Alabama-Mississippi All-Stars in its festivities this week.
     Both teams will have their sixth practice session of the week Saturday morning and will then attend the bowl game in the afternoon. Their day will conclude Saturday night with dinner at Wynlakes Country Club. Former Prattville High School, University of Alabama and current NFL standout Roman Harper will address the players and coaches at the dinner. The annual Player/Parent Banquet will be Sunday night at Cramton Bowl’s MultiPlex.
     One player attracting a lot of attention this week is Alabama’s strong all-star running back corps headed  North Jackson running back Lee Witherspoon. He transferred from Birmingham’s Parker High School to North Jackson this season and turned in a record-setting effort rushing for 2,850 yards and 53 touchdowns on 149 carries in 12 games for the Chiefs (11-1) for a  state-record 19.1 per-yard carry average. His 53 rushing TDs also set a single-season state record and his 59 overall TDs is also  an AHSAA state mark. In one game he had 11 carries for 373 yards and 8 TDs. He also had over 500 additional yards in returns. Witherspoon, who returned three interceptions for touchdowns as a junior defensive back at Parker, is joined in the All-Star backfield by running backs Jalen Henderson of Spain Park, DeAngelo Jones of Wetumpka, Larry McCammon of Hoover and Amontae Spivey of 2018 Class 7A state champion Central-Phenix City. Payton Anderson, who rushed for almost 2,000 yards for Class 2A state champion Fyffe, is also in the game but listed as a defensive back.
    Alabama is 5-0 in games played at Cramton Bowl. Mississippi is 2-0 in games played at Hattiesburg, including last year’s 42-7 win. Alabama also compiled a 17-6 record in games played at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and Mississippi won the only game played at Troy University’s Veterans Stadium.
    The AHSAA Radio Network plans to broadcast the game live over its statewide network of radio and internet affiliates. The link will be available at www.ahsaa.com. For more information concerning TV coverage, go to the following link:
http://www.al-msallstarfootball.com/Portals/0/2017/Website%20Information--TV%20coverage.pdf

                 


For ticket information, go to the following link:
http://www.al-msallstarfootball.com/TicketInfo.aspx


GoFan is providing digital tickets for the contest at the following link:
https://gofan.co/app/events/37633


Alabama, Mississippi All-Star Teams Pleased with Teams’ Progress after First 2 Practices

MONTGOMERY – Alabama and Mississippi All-Star head coaches Josh Niblett of Hoover and Henry Johnson of Clarksdale (MS) agree on one things after two practice sessions. Both teams are talented and both teams reported with one main goal – to win next Monday’s 32nd annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Classic. The kicks off a 6:30 p.m., and will be televised over Raycom’s affiliate stations in Alabama, Mississippi, Columbus (GA) and Memphis (TN) as well as other stations outside Raycom in cities like Mobile.
     “We coaches have been impressed by the players’ attitudes,” Niblett said of his Alabama squad. “The players all seem to be very respectful of the coaches, their teammates and the other team. We know we have a lot to teach in a short time. We had a very good practice yesterday and again (Thursday morning). I told our players that we need them to get better every practice. We know they have talent, and we know they were all selected for their outstanding work ethic. My goal is to have them peaking at the right time – next Monday night. This game is also about relationships … some that will go with these kids for a lifetime.”
     Niblett said some players are already showing great leadership. “It starts at quarterback and (Pinson Valley’s) Bo Nix is showing great leadership. The other players are looking to him and he is acting like a field leader.
    “We have others like linebackers LaVonta Bentley of Jackson-Olin and Kendall McCallum of Oxford are intense … they are alpha dogs out there.”
     Mississippi’s Johnson said his team’s leaders are also stepping forward. He mentioned quarterback John Rhys Plumlee of Oak Grove is very vocal. He is a take-charge kind of player. And linebacker Nakobe Dean of Horn Lake is much quieter but leads just the same. He leads by his actions. He’s got a 4.35 GPA and is one of the smartest kids I have ever seen.
    “He doesn’t say much. He lets his actions on and off the field do the talking for him.” Johnson also said the players are reacting well to the coaching staff. “They are picking up what we are trying to teach them really well. That’s always encouraging.”
     Johnson said his team’s talented defensive front four also stand out.  They’re big, strong and fast and are showing a great attitude.”
     The teams were scheduled to go to the Hyundai Plant for a tour Thursday night after the afternoon practice. Both teams will have workouts from 9 to 11 a.m., Friday with Alabama at Faulkner University and Mississippi at Huntingdon College. They will practice again from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Friday afternoon before departing for dinner and then participation in the Raycom Camellia Bowl Parade. The squads will practice again Saturday morning with the players attending the Camellia Bowl at Cramton Bowl Saturday afternoon. NFL standout Roman Harper will then speak to the squads at a dinner set for Wynlakes Country Club Saturday night.
    Alabama holds a 22-9 edge and is 5-0 in games played at Cramton Bowl. Mississippi is 2-0 in games played at Hattiesburg, including last year’s 42-7 win.
    The game is an event hosted by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) in conjunction with the AHSAA. Alabama’s All-Stars hold a 22-9 edge in the series which began in 1988 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and moved to Cramton Bowl in 2011. It also started a rotation in 2015 with the game being hosted every other year by the Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC).
    The AHSAA Radio Network plans to broadcast the game live over its statewide network of radio and internet affiliates. The link will be available at www.ahsaa.com.


Alabama, Mississippi All-Star Teams Set to Begin Practice for 32nd Annual All-Star Football Game

    MONTGOMERY – Alabama and Mississippi football all-stars reported Wednesday and went through one brisk practice in the afternoon as the squads began preparation for the 2018 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic game set to be played Monday, Dec. 17 at Cramton Bowl.
    Both 40-member squads had some minor roster changes Wednesday with Alabama adding two players and Mississippi adding one. 
     All-Star head coach Josh Niblett’s squad added defensive back Reddy Steward, a 6-foot, 170-pound senior from Austin High School in Decatur. He replaced Saraland defensive back Cordale Flott, who removed himself from the team on Tuesday. Offensive lineman Tre’veon Pickens, 6-1, 310, also replaced Pierce Quick of Hewitt-Trussville. Quick chose not to play.
      Mississippi’s staff added running back Jovan “Hamm” McGee of St. Martins of Ocean Springs. The 5-9, 190-pound replaced Rodriques Clark, a running back from Starkville. Head coach for Mississippi is Henry Johnson of Clarksville.  McGhee received an offer from Indiana State late last month.
     Kickoff is set for 6:30 p.m., Monday night, with Raycom Media televising the game live over its Raycom affiliate stations in both states as well as in Memphis and Columbus (GA). The AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast the game live over its radio network.
    Niblett welcomed a very talented Alabama squad headlined by Class 7A and Class 6A Super 7 State Championship Game MVPs – quarterbacks Peter Parrish of Central-Phenix City and Bo Nix of Pinson Valley.  Parrish, an LSU commit, led the Red Devils to a 52-7 win over Thompson to claim Central’s first state championship since 1993.  Nix, who earned MVP honors in 2017 and 2018 with back-to-back state titles, finished his career at Pinson as the AHSAA’s all-time total offense leader. He finished his career with 12,497 yards – 10,386 passing and 2,111 rushing – and accounted for a state-record 161 touchdowns. He had 127 passing and 34 rushing over the last four seasons – in 2015 and 2016 at Scottsboro and 2017 and 2018 at Pinson Valley. He led the Indians to a 28-1 record the last two seasons, and helped Scottsboro go from 5-6 his freshman year to 12-1 as a sophomore. Nix finished 267-of-447 passing this past season for 3,795 yards and 50 touchdowns with just seven interceptions. He was not sacked in 14 games.
   Nix, an Auburn commitment, is joined on the squad by fellow Auburn wide receiver commitments JaVarrius Johnson of Hewitt-Trussville and George Pickens of Hoover. Receivers A.J. Toney of Jackson-Olin and Trikweze Bridges of Lanett have both committed to Oregon, Tre Ross of Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa has committed to Troy University and tight end Michael Vice is still undecided.
    The Alabama team worked out at Prattville’s Stanley Jensen Stadium Wednesday for a couple of hours and Mississippi practiced at Stanhope Elmore High School. The two teams were scheduled to attend a Country Low Boil dinner at Millbrook following the sessions.
    The two teams will go through two practices Thursday with Alabama at Faulkner University and Mississippi at Huntingdon College. The squads will close the day with a tour of the Hyundai Car Manufacturing Plant.
    The game is an event hosted by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) in conjunction with the AHSAA. Alabama’s All-Stars hold a 22-9 edge in the series which began in 1988 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and moved to Cramton Bowl in 2011. It also started a rotation in 2015 with the game being hosted every other year by the Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC).


ALABAMA-MISSISSIPPI ALL-STAR GAME HISTORY


Year-by-Year

2017

Mississippi

42

Alabama

7

2016

Alabama

25

Mississippi

14

2015

Mississippi

28

Alabama

21

2014

Alabama

36

Mississippi

30

2013

Alabama

21

Mississippi

17

2012

Alabama

21

Mississippi

16

2011

Alabama

31

Mississippi

12

2010

Alabama

24

Mississippi

17

(2 OT)

2009

Alabama

21

Mississippi

13

2008

Alabama

28

Mississippi

3

2007

Mississippi

26

Alabama

7

December

2007

Alabama

51

Mississippi

14

June

2006

Alabama

24

Mississippi

3

2005

Mississippi

21

Alabama

18

2004

Alabama

24

Mississippi

22

2003

Alabama

24

Mississippi

16

2002

Alabama

29

Mississippi

17

2001

Alabama

33

Mississippi

14

2000

Alabama

16

Mississippi

9

1999

Alabama

28

Mississippi

24

1998

Mississippi

9

Alabama

0

1997

Alabama

10

Mississippi

6

1996

Alabama

17

Mississippi

14

1995

Mississippi

37

Alabama

9

1994

Mississippi

24

Alabama

10

1993

Mississippi

17

Alabama

6

1992

Mississippi

17

Alabama

14

1991

Alabama

15

Mississippi

13

1990

Alabama

21

Mississippi

14

(OT)

1989

Alabama

24

Mississippi

21

(4 OT)

1988

Alabama

24

Mississippi

21

(3 OT)


SERIES HISTORY: Alabama has 22-9 edge      


Alabama All-Star Team Adds QB Peter Parrish, DB Nehemiah Pritchett for 2018 Ala-Miss Game

   MONTGOMERY – Quarterback Peter Parrish, who led Central-Phenix City High School to a perfect 14-0 season and the 2018 Class 7A state football championship, and outstanding multi-sport standout Nehemiah Pritchett of Jackson High School have been added to the Alabama All-Star roster for the upcoming 32nd annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Classic.
   The announcement was made by Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association Director (AHSADCA) Jamie Lee Monday. Hoover’s Josh Niblett is Alabama’s All-Star Team head coach. Alabama holds a 22-9 edge in the series which started in 1988, but lost last year’s game 42-7 played at Hattiesburg.
      Parrish replaces Thompson quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, and Pritchett replaces Central-Phenix City defensive back Ray Thornton. Both players are withdrawing due to injuries. Both will remain on the team and will take part in all the off-the-field festivities leading up to the 2018 Alabama-Mississippi Game which kicks off Monday night, Dec. 17, at 6:30 p.m. at Cramton Bowl. The game will broadcast live over the Raycom Network’s Alabama and Mississippi TV affiliates and can be heard over the Alabama Radio Network’s statewide network of radio and internet affiliates.
    “While we are disappointed that Taulia Tagovailoa and Ray Thornton will be unable to participate in the game, we are glad they will be with us supporting their teammates’ efforts,” Lee said. “We also excited to have Peter Parrish and Nehemiah Pritchett join the squad. Our state is blessed with an abundance of talented high school players each year. Both of these young men will be playing in the SEC next season.”
    Lee said offensive lineman Pierce Quick of Hewitt-Trussville has chosen not to play and will be replaced before the players report Wednesday.
    The 6-foot-1, 190-pound Parrish, an LSU commit, earned Class 7A State Championship Game honors last week in leading the Red Devils of Coach Jamey DuBose to a 52-7 win over Thompson. More than 22,000 attended the game at Jordan-Hare Stadium.  He was 5-of-9 passing for 78 yards one touchdown was Central’s leading rusher with 100 yards 11 carries and another score. He finished the season 1134-of-174 passing for 1,466 yards and 12 TDs with just one interception and rushed 100 times for 615 yards and 10 scores. Pritchett, 6-0, 172, has committed to Auburn. The safety anchored Coach Danny Powell’s Jackson’s defense the last two seasons as a big-play defender and is also considered one of the AHSAA’s top baseball prospects. He was a first-team selection as an outfielder on the Alabama Sportswriters Association Class 5A All-State Baseball Team last spring.
     A busy week is planned for the all-stars. They report Wednesday afternoon and will have their first practice from 3 to 5 p.m. with Alabama’s All-Stars at Prattville High School and Mississippi’s All-Stars at Stanhope Elmore High School. The teams will gather at Millbrook that night for a Low Country Boil dinner.
    The two teams will practice twice on Thursday with Alabama at Faulkner University and Mississippi at Huntingdon College and one practice on Friday and Saturday at the same sites. They will also tour the Hyundai Plant Thursday night, will participate in the Camellia Bow Parade Friday and attend the Camellia Bowl on Saturday before dining at Wynlakes Country Club Saturday night. NFL standout Roman Harper of Prattville will be the featured speaker at Saturday night’s dinner.
    The annual Players-Parents Banquet will be held at Cramton Bowl’s Multiplex Sunday night. Former Alabama All-Star and NFL standout Wallace Gilberry, who prepped at Baldwin County,  is serving as Alabama’s All-Star Team honorary captain and will speak at Sunday night’s banquet. Mississippi’s honorary captain Jerious Norwood, a former Mississippi All-Star who finished his collegiate career as the second-leading rusher in Mississippi State history, will also address the group.
    The complete itinerary is listed below:


CLASS 6A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP Pinson Valley 26, Saraland 17

Pinson Valley 26, Saraland 17

    AUBURN  – Pinson Valley High School held off Saraland in the second half to beat the Spartans 27-16 and claim its second consecutive Super 7 Class 6A state football championship Friday night at Jordan-Hare Stadium. The 6A finals closed out the 2018 Super 7. Attendance for all the finals 51,651 with 22,435 on hand for the 7A finals on Wednesday night, 16,012 in attendance on Thursday and 13,204 on hand for Friday’s three games. The total was up more than 15,000 from 2017.
     Senior quarterback Bo Nix completed 25-of-35 passes for 306 yards and two touchdowns and rushed 15 times for 66 yards and another TD to earned MVP honors for his dad Coach Patrick Nix’s Indians (13-10 for the second straight year. 
     It was his keeper for two yards on fourth down at the Saraland 31-yard line with just under a minute remaining that sealed the hard-fought victory over Coach Jeff Kelly’s Spartans (13-2).
      Nix teamed up with receiver Geordian Pollard for the longest touchdown pass in Super 7 Class 5A championship-game history on an 83-yard connection early in the second quarter to give Pinson a 12-3 lead at halftime. The pass was also the second longest in Super 7 history over all. The record, an 85-yard TD connection, was set earlier in the week by Mars Hill Bible in its 1A win over Linden. That pass eclipsed the Super 7 record set, ironically, by future NFL receiver Chad Jackson on a Hoover flanker pass in a 48-21 loss to Daphne in the 2001 Super 7 Class 6A finals.
     Saraland took the early lead with a 32-yard field goal by Cole Robitzch late in the first quarter. The Indians drove 64 yards on six plays on the ensuing drive to take a 6-3 lead on Nix’s 2-yard run with 40 seconds left in the opening period.  Spartans defensive  back Shawn Byrd blocked both extra-point kicks following Pinson’s two first-half touchdowns. He also had two interceptions on defense, forced a fumble and recorded a game-high 13 tackles to keep Saraland in striking distance.
    His second pick was the catalyst that led to the Spartans’ first touchdown, a 3-yard run by Rayshawn McAlpine which came at 2:40 in the third quarter and cut the Indians’ lead to 12-10.
Pinson answered quickly, however, driving 62 yards on 10 plays in the next three minutes to take a 19-10 lead on Nix’s 2-yard TD pass to Demarion Holloman with 11:21 to play. Saraland stormed right back scoring on quarterback Brett Nezat’s 11-yard TD pass to Jay Williams to pull within two 19-17 with just under nine minutes to play.
    Is was Pinson’s defense that came up with the biggest play of the final period, however, when Kendall Thornton intercepted a Saraland pass and sped 32 yards into the end zone for the final score of the game with 5:03 to play.
    Pinson Valley had 21 first downs, 94 yards rushing and 306 passing for 400 total yards. Saraland had 18 first downs, 221 yards rushing, 106 passing and 327 total yards.  Nix, who became the state’s all-time career total offense leader in the Indians’ semifinal win over Clay-Chalkville, finished the season 267-of-445 passing on the year for 3,795 yards and 49 touchdowns with just eight interception. He finished his career with 161 touchdowns accounted for with 126 passing touchdowns and 35 rushing touchdowns to set a new AHSAA career state record.
    McAlpine led Saraland with 158 yards rushing on 28 carries and Karie White had 65 on five runs.  Nezat was 8-of-21 passing for 106 yards with Jay Williams hauling in four receptions.
    Dorian Henderson and Antone Williams each had 11 tackles to pace the Indians defense.

2018 Super 7 State Championship Results
Class 1A
Mars Hill Bible 53, Linden 26
Class 2A
Fyffe 21, Luverne 19
Class 3A
Flomaton 23, Piedmont 12
Class 4A
UMS-Wright 52, Deshler 0
Class 5A
Central-Clay County 43, Vigor 42
Class 6A
Pinson Valley 26, Saraland 17
Class 7A
Central-Phenix City 52, Thompson 7



CLASS 2A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP Fyffe 21, Luverne 19

Fyffe 21, Luverne 19
    AUBURN  – Fyffe High School (15-0) downed Luverne 21-19 Friday afternoon at Jordan-Hare Stadium to claim the Red Devils’ third AHSAA Super 7 Class 2A state football championship since 2014.
      Senior running back Payton Anderson rushed for 177 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries to earn Class 2A championship game MVP for Coach Paul Benefield’s team. It was the Fyffe defense’s time to shine as well – turning back a strong Luverne bid early by forcing two field goals in the red zone. The outcome wasn’t decided, however. Trailing 21-19 with 1:25 left to play, Luverne (13-2) mounted a drive that began at its own 13 and ended at the Fyffe 28-yard line when Tigers quarterback Dionte Brantley’s completed pass to Edward Thomas ended 26 yards shy of the end zone as time expired to seal the Fyffe win.
       Fyffe took the lead with 8:56 remaining in the first half when senior Payton Anderson scored on  7-yard run to cap a 15-play, 99-yard drive and Brody Dalton’s kick gave the Red Devils a 7-0 lead.
       Luverne marched 57 yards on 12 plays on the ensuing march to cut the lead to 7-3 when Chase White booted a 31-yard field goal. Four minutes later,
 Luverne appeared to take the lead on a 17-yard pass play that was ruled a touchdown.  The scoring play, which was automatically reviewed, was also challenged by Fyffe High School and upon review, it was ruled an incomplete pass and Luverne settled for a 28-yard field goal by White one play later. That reversal was the third challenge to be successful in the Super 7 state finals and became the first in AHSAA history to erase a touchdown in a state championship game. The DVSport Instant Replay protocol used by member schools all season is being used in state championship games for the first time.
    Fyffe led 7-6 at the half and extended the lead on Anderson’s 33-yard run that capped a 77-yard, eight-play drive late in the third quarter. Coach Scott Rials’ Tigers struck back quickly going 73 yards on 10 plays in just 3:02 to pull to 14-12 on the first play of the fourth quarter. Luverne’s try two points came up short. 
     Receiver Payton Stoner stretched the Red Devils’ lead to 21-12 with a 19-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Zach Pyron with 4:18 remaining. Brantley, who finished 18-of-36 passing for 237 yards and rushed for 111 yards on 27 carries, drove Luverne quickly to a touchdown – keeping on a 1-yard sneak with 2:34 left to cut the lead to 21-19.
    The Tigers defense got the ball a minute later, but Luverne’s final drive just ran out of time.
    Fyffe finished with 14 first downs, 192 yards rushing and 72 passing for 264 yards. Luverne had 26 first downs, 202 yards rushing and 237 passing for 439 yards. The Tigers kept the ball for 81 offensive plays and 27:40 while Fyffe had 44 offensive plays and 20:20 of the time clock.
     Pyron finished 3-pof-4 passing for Fyffe for 72 yards. Stoner had two catches for 43 yards – both coming on the final Red Devils’ TD march.
     Ellian Harris added 77 yards rushing on 13 carries for Luverne. Edward Thomas was the team’s top receiver with 11 catches for 132 yards, and Sayler Wilson added five receptions for 93 yards.
     Tyler Kinard had 10 tackles and Kyle Dukes had nine to lead the Fyffe defense. Harris had 13 tackles and Arian Gregory had 10 for the Tigers. Neither team had a turnover.
     Pinson Valley (12-1) faced Saraland (13-1) in the Class 6A finals Friday night at 7 p.m., to close out the 2018 Super 7 Championships.
      All games are being televised by the Raycom Sports Network with the Raycom feed live-streamed over the NFHS Network. The AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast the games live over their network of radio and internet affiliates across the state.