Thursday, February 27, 2020






Francis Marion Delivers Career Milestone Coaching Win No. 800 for its Beloved Coach Woodie Jackson

This week’s AHSAA Basketball Spotlight

     MONTGOMERY— Coaching basketball has taken Woodie Jackson in several directions during his more than 40 years as a boys’ basketball coach, teacher and administrator. But the road always seems to take him back to Francis Marion High School in tiny Marion, Alabama.
     Jackson, currently in his third tenure as boys’ head basketball coach for the Rams, recently notched the 800th win of his legendary career with a 48-39 Francis Marion win over Choctaw County – Jackson’s alma mater. It was a milestone he really didn’t expect to reach when he retired from coaching for the second time after spending eight seasons at Selma High School from 2009-2016.
     He said the Perry County School Superintendent pulled him out of retirement in 2018 to take over the proud Francis Marion program once again a year later. Jackson, now 802-415 in his high school coaching career, has the Class 1A Rams (16-4) playing like the Rams of old. He coached the school to four state titles in his first four years (1988-1991) and reached the Final Four again in 1992. He left the school for college coaching for two years but returned in 1995 and eventually led the Rams to a fifth crown in 2000 – giving him six overall in his prep coaching career.
     Jackson’s 802 career wins ranks him sixth all-time behind in the AHSAA. The leader is another Perry County coaching legend Eugene Mason of R.C. Hatch, now deceased, who was 919-306. W.H. ‘Cap’ Brown of Birmingham-Parker is next at 890-312. Willie Scoggins, another Birmingham coaching legend, is third at 864-309. Both men are also deceased. Fourth is Jack Doss, who retired after 2017 with 10 state titles at four different schools (Hayes, Butler, J.O. Johnson and Mae Jemison, finished his career at 812-329. Currently fifth is long-time Barbour County boys’ coach Raymond White, now at Carroll of Ozark. He won his 800th game last season and currently owns an 808-342 career record.
     Inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2010, Jackson served as a coach in the first Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic in 1991 and coached the East team in the 2008 McDonald’s All-America Game. All five coaches ranked ahead of Jackson are also members of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame.
    Why did he give up retirement to return to Francis Marion one more time? Jackson summed up his reasons in an interview with Edwin Stanton of the Tuscaloosa News – reasons he said were taught to him first-hand by his own high school coach and father figure Vernon Johnson. “You have to be in it for the children because you are sure not going to get rich,” he said. “I am not rich. I’m in it for the love of it and because I care about people. The players love me and I love them. With kids it doesn’t matter how much you know, they care about how much you care about them.”
   Two other high school coaches won milestone victories over the past week:
    Southside-Gadsden Coach Kim Nails notched the 600th coaching win of her coaching career with a 43-39 win over Hokes Bluff. She is currently 192-123 at Southside, was 270-79 at Gadsden and posted a 146-45 record coaching Gadsden State Community College. Her prep coaching slate is 462-202 and overall record is 608-247. And Spain Park boys’ basketball coach Chris Laatsch notched the 400th win of his prep coaching career on January 21 when the Jaguars nipped Hewitt-Trussville 69-67.
    Three players had milestone efforts as well.
     Pike County 6-foot-8 senior Andres Burney scored a career-high and school record 49 points, cleared 16 rebounds and blocked four shots in a 77-74 overtime loss to Eufaula last week. He also had 14 points, 15 rebounds and six blocked shots to lead Pike County to a 52-31 win over Wicksburg.
Reeltown’s Makayla Langston scored 20 points in the first quarter and finished with 30 points to lead the Rebels past Fayetteville 44-20 last week. She sank nine field goals and two free throws in the period. The 20 points in one quarter ties her for sixth most points in a quarter in the AHSAA. The state record (27) for girls was set by Jesse Ralston of Ranburne in 2017 in a 66-24 win over Randolph County.
   Jamya Tyus of McAdory High School scored 18 points in a win over Hueytown – to put her over 2,000 points for her career. Burney is approaching 1,500 points for his prep career for the Bulldogs. She also contributed eight rebounds, five steals and three assists in the Hueytown victory.
   Other top performances reported include:

Scored 15 of his game-high 30 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Thunderbirds to an 95-80 win over Carver-Montgomery for the school’s first victory over their city rivals in school history.
RILEY LEONARD, FAIRHOPE: Proved to be Mr. Clutch for the Pirates scoring 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter and overtime and also blocked a potential game-tying shot in the extra period to preserve a 64-59 win over McGill-Toolen Catholic.
game-winning layup with nine seconds remaining as Mobile Christian edged Cottage Hill Christian 51-50. He scored 17 of his game-high 19 points in the second half.
R.J. JOHNSON, GRISSOM: Totaled 21 points and nine rebounds in a 58-57 win over Gadsden City.
JORDAN BELL, WILLIAMSON: Had 16 points, 12 rebounds, four blocked shots and five dunks in a big win over Escambia County.
NATHAN VINCENT, BAYSHORE CHRISTIAN: Scored a career-high 29 points in a 48-46 win over Bayside Academy.
MARTEZ JONES: Led B.T. Washington of Tuskegee to an 83-48 win over Wetumpka with 18 points and 15 rebounds. He finished 7-of-9 from the floor.
Scored 21 points, including five 3-pointers, to lead the Bulldogs to a 76-68 upset win over Williamson.
TREY LEWIS, MILLRY: Totaled 25 points, nine rebounds, five assists, seven steals and three blocks in a win over Fruitdale.
KAM WOOD, PINSON VALLEY: Sank five 3-pointers and finished with 45 points in the Indians’ 85-76 win over Center Point.
T0MMY MURR, LINDSAY LANE: Had nine 3-pointers on 15 attempts and finished with 43 points in s 93-57 win over Athens Bible.

J.D. DAVISON, CALHOUN: Was 15-of-23 shooting and finished with 31 points in a 93-83 win over arch-rival Central-Hayneville.
BRAYDON WHITAKER, SLOCOMB: Scored 24 points to lead the Red Tops to a 68-63 victory over Straughn in three overtimes. James Guilford had 33 points for the Bulldogs.
TRAVELL McREYNOLDS, CENTRAL-HAYNEVILLE: Had 22 points in a 93-83 loss to Calhoun and again in the Lions’ 89-88 loss to Greenville.
BRADY COBB, ZION CHAPEL: Scored 27 points in a 74-52 victory over Samson.
COLBY FULLER, GENEVA COUNTY: Led the Panthers past Cottonwood 77-69 with 28 points and 14 rebounds.
JUSTIN BUFFORD, MONTGOMERY CATHOLIC: Scored 31 points and cleared 10 rebounds in a 68-64 loss to Brewbaker Tech.

MIA HOLLINSWORTH, HAMILTON: Had 12 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in s 53-39 win over Russellville.
KAROLINE STRIPLIN, GENEVA COUNTY:  Scored 22 points, had 10 rebounds, 12 blocked shots and six assists in the Bulldogs’ 65-44 win over Cottonwood.
SAMIRA MOORE, CHARLES HENDERSON: Tallied 27 points in a 63-35 win over Carroll.
AIYAH POSTMA, LEE-MONTGOMERY: Had a career-high 37 points and added 10 steals as the Generals beat Jeff Davis in overtime 62-56.
EMILY BOWMAN, HUNTSVILLE: The Panthers’ senior and Vanderbilt signee pulled down 22 rebounds and had four blocked shots in a 43-32 win over Sparkman. She finished with 11 points.
QUINTASIA LEATHERWOOD, CENTRAL-TUSCALOOSA: Had 19 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists in  61-35 win over Sipsey Valley and added 15 assists as the Falcons beat Demopolis 63-36 and 10 in a 50-33 win over Hale County.
SAKYA WHITE, CENTRAL-TUSCALOOSA: Had 53 points and 44 rebounds in three wins for the Falcons. She has 21 points in a 63-36 victory over Demopolis and 18 rebounds in a 61-35 win over Sipsey Valley.
CORDASIA HARRIS, CENTRAL-HAYNEVILLE: Had 33 points in a 62-42 win over Greenville and 20 in a 66-36 win over rival Calhoun for the Lions (16-3).
Had 26 points and 11 rebounds in the Patriots’ 61-36 win over Fultondale and 20 points, six rebounds and 13 steals in a 58-6 victory over Holy Family. Teammate Jemeriah Moore also had 16 points, 13 assists and seven steals as Midfield (15-8) downed Sumter Central 64-33.
ANIYA HUBBARD, HOOVER: Had 20 points, nine rebounds, five assists and five steals in a 79-31 win over Tuscaloosa County and 15 points, four steals and  five assists to lead the Bucs past Oak Mountain 70-22.
RANDREA WRIGHT, CARVER-BIRMINGHAM: Had 20 points, eight assists and six steals in a 38-29 win over Minor.
RENIJAH BROWN, MARBURY: Had 28 points in a 65-61 win over Stanhope Elmore and 27 points and seven steals in the Bulldogs’ 74-58 victory over Chilton County.
TENASIA GORDON, GEORGIANA: Poured in 28 points in a 60-58 victory over J.F. Shields for Georgiana (12-5).
SKYE HARRIS, PIKE ROAD: Sank nine 3-pointers and scored 29 points in a 65-5 win over McEachern (GA).

MI’KASIA FLOYD, EUFAULA: Sank the winning free throw with six seconds left as Eufaula beat Dothan 58-57. She finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
JULIA MILLER, REHOBETH: Nailed a jumper with two seconds remaining to lift the Rebels past Greenville 38-36. She had put Rehobeth ahead with two foul shots moments earlier, but Greenville came down the floor and tied the game 36-all, setting up her game-winning shot. She finished with seven points.


Comments are closed.