MONTGOMERY – Four-time AHSAA state cross country champion Amaris Tyynismaa of Montgomery Catholic headlines a strong group of distance runners named to the North-South All Star teams set to compete in the 2018 North-South boys’ and girls’ cross country competition have been selected.
A total of 40 current juniors – 10 on each team – were chosen from nominations submitted by high school coaches from across the state to participate at the 22th annual AHSAA Summer Conference and AHSADCA All-Star Games competition in Montgomery July 16-20, according to an announcement by Alvin Briggs, Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA).
The 2018 races will be held at Auburn University-Montgomery on Wednesday morning, July 18.
Tyynismaa, who was chosen for the South squad, holds the AHSAA state cross country meet girls’ overall record clocking 17:03.04 as an eighth grader to win the 4A state title in 2014 at Oakville Indian Mounds and Museum course near Moulton. She has won the 4A title each year since but has not beaten that 2014 time. She came close last fall winning in 17:14.37 – fastest overall in all classes.
She is one of just six girls’ runners in state history to win four AHSAA state cross country championships. Two, Holly Holman of St. Paul’s and Karisa Nelson of T.R. Miller, have won five and Lisa Savell of J.T. Wright, six. Savell and Holman won titles when the state meet distance was two miles.
Selected as girls’ team coaches are Christina Rodgers of Enterprise (South) and Brad Hood of Pleasant Valley (North). North boys’ coach is Joshua Gurley of Winfield and South coach is Monica Lott of Trinity Presbyterian. Ron Peters of Smiths Station is the South administrative coach for both teams and Michael McGovern of Mountain Brook will serve as the North squads’ administrative coach.
Isabella Rowland of Montgomery Academy, who finished fourth at the 3A state championships last November, and Tyynismaa’s Catholic teammate Isabelle Cochran, who was sixth in the 4A championships, were also selected for the South girls’ all-star squad. Daphne runner Nicole Luther was 10th in in the Class 6A championships.
Among the North girls’ selections are Abby Nunnelly of Alexandria, Hannah Bloom of Huntsville and Katie Strozier of Pelham. Nunnelly was fourth in the 5A state meet last season, Bloom was ninth in the 7A race, and Strozier finished 11th in Class 6A.
Hunter Harwell of Mountain Brook, chosen to the North boys’ squad, finished eighth in the Class 7A state meet in 2017 with a 16:02.61 time – fastest of all the North runners selected. The South’s top runner is Smiths Station’s Silas Franklin, who finished one spot ahead of Harwell in the 7A state meet race at 16:01.29.
In all, seven runners on the North squad had state-meet times of 16:47 or faster while the South squad has eight runners under 16:45.
The North-South Cross Country race made its debut last year at the 21st annual All-Star Week with the North girls winning the team competition over the South 20-35 and the North boys winning 16-47. Grace Jensen of McGill-Toolen captured last year’s individual title with a 20:02.89 time. Hoover’s John McCrackin turned in the best boys’ time (17:27.81).
The AHSADCA All-Star Games also include in-state games in soccer, baseball, softball, boys’ and girls’ basketball, volleyball and football. The 59th North-South All-Star football game will close out the all-star competition Thursday night, July 19, at Cramton Bowl.
The AHSAA Summer Conference is a week-long event that includes sports-specific clinics and special sessions for coaches, principals, athletic directors, cheerleading coaches and officials. Also, an All-Sports Equipment Expo and other related activities are scheduled throughout the week.
2018 North-South All-Star Cross Country Rosters
Julianna Ballew. Pleasant Valley
Hannah Bloom, Huntsville
Maggie Graham, Lawrence County
Sydney Hall, Hewitt-Trussville
Haley Hughes, DAR
Anna Littleton, Mountain Brook
Mary Allen Murray, Altamont
Abby Nunnelly, Alexandria
Katie Strozier, Pelham
Abbey Weitenbeck, Huntsville
Brad Hood, Pleasant Valley
Michael McGovern, Mountain Brook (administrative)
Isabelle Cochran, Montgomery Catholic
Taylor Engram, Auburn
Jill Fassl, Enterprise
Sarah Francis, Enterprise
Frieda Kickliter, McGill-Toolen Catholic
Nicole Luther, Daphne
Amindy Mullen, Demopolis
Sara Pacer, Auburn
Isabella Rowland, Montgomery Catholic
Amaris Tyynismaa, Montgomery Catholic
Christina Rodgers, Enterprise
Ron Peters, Smiths Station
Allan Anderson, Grissom
James Brake, Florence
Nick Ceci, Huntsville
Asher Desai, Altamont
Hunter Harwell, Mountain Brook
Blake Noah, Ohatchee
Davis Holdbrooks, Winfield
Taylor Nails, Southside-Gadsden
Joseph Pitard, Mountain Brook
Blake Terry, Lawrence County
MONTGOMERY -- All-star squads for the 2018 North-South Volleyball competition have been selected.
Twenty-four outstanding current junior volleyball standouts, 12 on each team, were chosen from nominations submitted by high school coaches from across the state to participate at the 22th annual AHSAA Summer Conference and AHSADCA All-Star Games competition in Montgomery July 16-20, according to an announcement by Alvin Briggs, Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA).
The volleyball all-star match will be at 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 19.
The AHSADCA All-Star Games also include in-state all-star games in football, basketball, soccer, baseball, softball and cross country. Soccer, softball and baseball all-star contests will be Tuesday, July 17. The 57th North-South All-Star football game will be played Thursday night, July 19, at Cramton Bowl. The boys’ and girls’ basketball games will be at Alabama State on Wednesday, July 18, and the North-South cross country competition will be held earlier that morning on the Auburn-Montgomery campus. The volleyball site has tentatively been set for AUM as well.
Kayla Woodard, who guided Addison to the 1A state championship the last two seasons, and Chris Camper of Hoover, who led the Bucs (31-10) to the state tourney are the coaches for the North Volleyball All-Stars. Randolph’s Sue Marshall is the administrative coach.
South coaches are Kate Wood of McGill-Toolen Catholic and Bentley Stephenson of Auburn. Wood led the Dirty Dozen (46-8) to the Class 7A state title last season. Stephenson led Auburn (23-21) to the South Super Regional. Carver-Montgomery’s Virginia Franklin is administrative coach.
The South team features two players who earned MVP honors at the 46th annual AHSAA State Volleyball Championships last season. Carson Ann Crow of Saint James earned Class 4A MVP as the Trojans won the state title, and Kenya McQuirter of McGill-Toolen Catholic was named 7A MVP. McQuirter’s teammate Lillie Fromdahl is also on the South team. She was selected to the 7A All State Tourney team in 2017. St. Luke’s Episcopal setter Lauren Bailey, an All State Tourney selection leading the Wildcats to the 2A state title.
The North team has two players on its roster that earned All State Tourney honors last season. Outside hitter Emma Jarrett helped the Patriots to the 7A championship match and middle hitter Lauren Mayes helped Lawrence County reach the Class 5A state finals.
The North All-Stars posted a 3-0 win over the South at Auburn-Montgomery’s Basketball Complex last summer and holds a 15-6 lead in series that was first played in 1997.
The AHSAA Summer Conference is a week-long conference that includes sports specific clinics and special sessions for coaches, principals, athletic directors, cheerleading coaches and officials. Also, an All-Sports Equipment Expo and other related activities are scheduled throughout the week.
Among the conference’s highlights will be the Sportsmanship Luncheon honoring all schools that have not had an ejection or fine during the 2017-18 school year and the Championship Coaches Awards Banquet that includes the naming of the 2018 Making A Difference Award Recipients, Coaches of the Year, and the AHSADCA Athletic Director of the Year. Both banquets will be Friday, July 20. Concluding the week will be the annual Officials Awards luncheon set for Saturday, July 21.
The rosters are below.
2018 North-South Volleyball All-Star Team
NORTH ALL-STARS POS. HT.
Molly Kate Atkins, Carbon Hill Setter 5-5
Ellen Dunn, Mountain Brook Middle Hitter 5-9
Isabelle Fuell, Huntsville Setter 5-8
August Gilliland, Sand Rock Outside Hitter 5-5
Kinsley Gregoria, Alexandria Libero 5-0
Juliana Hamer, Chelsea Middle Hitter 6-0
Kiara Hill, Bob Jones Middle Hitter 5-9
Alexis Hyatt, Arab Middle Hitter 5-8
Emma Jarrett, Bob Jones Outside Hitter 5-11
Catherine Klop, James Clemens Outside Hitter 5-6
Breylee Linder, Florence Setter 5-9
Lauren Mayes, Lawrence County Middle Hitter 6-0
Chris Camper, Hoover
Kayla Woodard, Addison
Sue Marshall, Randolph (Administrative)
SOUTH ALL-STARS POS. HT.
Abigail Andrews. Baker Outside Hitter 5-8
Lauren Bailey, St. Luke’s Episcopal Setter 5-6
Kayla Champion, Providence Christian Setter 5-3
Carson Ann Crow, Saint James Outside Hitter 5-9
Taylor Fontenelle, Spainish Fort Libero 5-3
Lillie Fromdahl, McGill-Toolen Catholic Setter 5-8
Mikaela Grubb, Enterprise Outside Hitter 5-9
Aubrey Holladay. Auburn Middle Hitter 6-1
Aleah Kennedy, St. Paul’s Episcopal Middle Hitter 5-11
Kenya McQuirter, McGill-Toolen Catholic Outside Hitter 5-10
Briauna Thompson, Brewbaker Tech Middle Hitter 6-3
Bradlie Walters, Daphne Setter 5-7
Kate Wood, McGill-Toolen Catholic
Bentley Stephenson, Auburn
Virginia Franklin, Carver-Montgomery (Administrative)
MONTGOMERY – Briarwood Christian (12-2-1) extended its current boys’ soccer winning streak to 10 in a row with a 4-0 victory over Shades Valley in th3 finals of the Metro B Division Tournament championship match.
Hamilton Bowen earned MVP honors posting seven goals and one assist in four tourney wins.
The Class 5A Lions, coached by Shawn Brower, opened the season 2-2-1 – giving up 10 goals in the five matches. Since then, Briarwood has outscored opponents 59-3. In the Metro tourney, the Lions outscored opponents 17-1. In addition to the win over Shades Valley, the Lions posted a 4-0 victory over Leeds, a 6-0 win over previously unbeaten McAdory and a 3-1 win over Pinson Valley.
Hoover (12-1-3) won the Metro A division with four wins with Dylan Stern earning MVP honors. The Bucs beat Oak Mountain 1-0 in a match that went to the sudden death shootout.
In other top performances reported:
ISAIAH AVILA, COLLINSVILLE: Posted five goals in a 7-2 win over Hamilton (TN) at the Baylor Invitational Tourney at Chattanooga. Collinsville (10-1-2) also tied Chattanooga Christian 2-2 and Hardin Valley Academy 3-3. Avila finished the weekend with seven goals.
PIRMIN BLATTMANN, MOUNTAIN BROOK: Had three goals and an assist as the Spartans tied George Mason (VA) 3-3, lost 3-2 to Greeneville (TN) and beat Murfreesboro (TN) 1-0 at the Smokey Mountain Classic at Gatlinburg.
KELEN LEBLANC, ENTERPRISE: Scored four goals and teammate Sam Mazariegos added three goals and an assist in the Wildcats’ 9-1 win over Andalusia.
MARLON TAITE, WETUMPKA: Scored three first-half goals as the Indians held on for a 3-2 win over Tallassee.
IRVIN RODRIQUEZ, PELHAM: Scored two goals and had an assist as the Panthers beat Thompson to win the Border War trophy.
KELVIN TOWNSEND, WOODLAWN: The goalkeeper had 15 saves in a shutout win over Holy Family and 11 saves in a win over Shelby County. He allowed just one goal all week.
JAIME DROUIN, PRATTVILLE CHRISTIAN: Scored both goals for her team in a 2-0 win over Marbury.
SARA LYNAM, GRISSOM: Scored late on a penalty kick to lift the Tigers to a 1-0 win over Hewitt-Trussville.
KAILEY LITTLEFORD, CHELSEA: Had three goals in a 5-0 win over Pelham and a goal and assist in a 4-0 win over Prattville.
MIMI DAVIS, ALTAMONT: Scored four goals in a 10-0 win over Holy Family.
AUDREY MECKLENBURG, CARROLL: Scored four goals as the Eagles beat Eufaula 10-0.
MONTGOMERY – Eleven major contributors to prep athletics in Alabama were inducted into the 28th class of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame Monday night at the banquet held at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Convention Center.
Inducted were: (football coaches) John Mothershed, Deshler; Randy Ragsdale, Trinity Presbyterian; Jerome Tate, Loachapoka; (basketball coaches) Ricky Allen, Brewer; Obadiah Threadgill III, Notasulga; and Ed Wood, now deceased, who was elected in the “Old Timer” category from Carver-Montgomery; (volleyball coach) Ann Schilling, Bayside Academy; (baseball coaches) William Booth, Hartselle; Al Rauls, Buckhorn, who also coached softball; (administrator) Greg Brewer, AHSAA; and (official) long-time soccer official Joe Manjone.
Sponsors of the Hall of Fame program are the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) and the AHSAA. The corporate sponsors include Alabama Power, ALFA, Cadence Bank, Coca-Cola, Encore Rehabilitation, Jack’s, Russell Athletic, TeamIP and Wilson Sporting Goods.
Rauls delivered a poignant acceptance address for the Class of 2018, thanking those who helped guide them along the way.
Veteran sportscaster Jeff Shearer emceed the banquet attended by more than 700. The Goshen High School NFHS School Broadcast Program live-streamed the banquet over NFHS Network under the guidance of Stephanie Snyder. The first class was inducted in 1991. These 11 new inductees will run the total enshrined into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame to 343.
The first class was inducted in 1991. These 11 new inductees will run the total enshrined into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame to 343.
A profile of each inductee:
RICKY ALLEN: Allen, 62, graduated from Brewer High School in Somerville in 1973, earned his college degree at Auburn University and then returned to Morgan County in 1977 where he remained as a teacher and coach for 34 years. He served in various assistant coaching roles at Brewer and head-coaching roles at nearby Cotaco and Union Hill junior high schools before taking over the girls’ program at Brewer in 1985.
He became Brewer High School’s girls’ head basketball coach in 1985 where he remained through 2015. Allen compiled a 30-year record of 604-272 with one state title (Class 5A in 2012) and one state runner-up (2009). His teams reached the State Championships five times, made 15 Northwest Regional tournament appearances winning five times. His teams won 17 Morgan County championships.
Brewer also served in various other head-coaching roles including volleyball and softball. In high school he was a member of the school’s first graduating class helping Brewer reach the state boys’ basketball tournament in 1973 for the only time in school history while averaging 13 points and 12 rebounds.
A local church leader, he has taught Sunday School for 25 years and served as a member of the Board of Directors for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA).
WILLIAM BOOTH: Booth, 73, a veteran of 52 years in education, got a late start in coaching at Hartselle High School. However, he made up for lost time quickly. Over the last 30 years he has become the state’s all-time career wins leader for baseball, compiling a 1,025-431 record with eight state championships and three runner-up trophies.
He coached his first times on a field he described as a “cow pasture” and but now plays and practices at Sparkman Park, one of the finest high school facilities in the nation. He has seen 101 of his former players sign college scholarships and eight played professionally. Two, Steven Woodard and Chad Girodo, reached the major league. He was recognized by the Alabama State Senate and his hometown last May for his career achievements at a special ceremony at Sparkman Park.
He served 10 years as a little league coach, leading teams to two state titles and one state runner-up. He graduated in 1962 from Morgan County High School and got his undergraduate and masters’ degrees from Athens State and Alabama A&M. Teaching advanced math for almost 50 years, Booth served as interim Superintendent of Education in the summer of 2017 and is now serving as assistant superintendent while continuing to coach baseball.
GREG BREWER: Brewer, 61, rose from the ranks of officiating to become the AHSAA’s Director of Officials while serving as an assistant director from 1985-2016. A 1975 graduate of Bradshaw High School in Florence, he earned his college degree from the University of North Alabama in 1980 and a master from the University of Alabama in 1983.
He began officiating with the AHSAA in 1976. While at UA he became active as a contest official rising to supervisor of intramural officials in 1982. He also served as official scorer for basketball at UA for 22 years.
As Director of Officials with the AHSAA, Brewer served on various NFHS rules committees including serving as chairman of the NFHS Baseball Rules Committee from 2000-2006. He also served on the NFHS Football Rules Committee from 1998-2016 and also served on the NFHS Football Manual Committee and Football Rule Editorial Committee.
An innovator who worked diligently to improve officiating in the AHSAA, he developed the AHSAA district director program, the AHSAA Pitch Count Rule for baseball, which has been lauded as one of the best in the nation, and created a sports officiating course approved by the ASDE that is now being taught in high schools that will serve as a recruiting tool to help recruit future officials.
He also served as a Boys State staff member from 1981-92, was the NFOSA state director from 1990-2001 and was on the Jimmy Hitchcock Selection Committee for nine years.
The NFHS honored him with the Section 3 Citation Award for his contributions in 2006 and received the Alabama Baseball Coaches Association Distinguished Service Award in 2012. He co-founded the Alabama Sports Officials Foundation in 2016.
JOSEPH “JOE” MANJONE: A native of Pennsylvania, Joe, 75, has served as been a soccer official for the past 58 years. He became the AHSAA’s soccer rules interpreter in 1991, a position he still holds. His work with soccer officiating in Alabama has helped the sport flourish over the last 30 years.
He joined the NFHS Soccer Rules Committee as the AHSAA representative in 2000 and has been the AHSAA state soccer championships officials’ coordinator since its inception in 1991.
He received the AHSAA Distinguished Service Award for Officiating in 2010, was selected the NFHS Sports Official Contributor of the Year in 2012 and was inducted into the NISOA Hall of Fame in 2013.
A native of Pennsylvania, he graduated from Black Creek Township High School in 1959 and Penn State University in 1963. He earned several post-graduate degrees from Penn State and the University of Georgia. He came to Alabama in 1980 where he worked through 1996 with the University of Alabama-Huntsville as Director of Sports and Fitness. He has spent most of his professional life working in some capacity in college education and served as president of Waldorf College from 2009-11.
JOHN MOTHERSHED: Mothershed, 54, served as head football coach at Deshler High School from 1995-2013 and was athletic director from 1995-2007. His teams compiled a 201-53 record during that span. Prior to becoming head coach, he served on Coach Tandy Gereld’s staff for eight years. Gerelds was inducted into the AHSHOF last year.
The Tigers won state titles in 1998 and 1999 under Mothershed’s direction and reached the Super 6 state finals in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2010. His teams compiled a 49-17 playoff record in 19 appearances and was 102-13 in region games. Eleven of his teams won 10 or more games.
A graduate of Sheffield High School (1981) and the University of North Alabama (1985), he has been active in the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) serving as president in 2004 and as a vice president from 2001-03. He has been inducted into the Colbert County Sports Hall of Fame.
RANDY RAGSDALE: Ragsdale, 60, served as head football coach at Trinity Presbyterian High School in Montgomery from 1989-2017. The Wildcats compiled a 242-86 record during that span with a 45-game regular-season winning streak from 2000-05. His 2003 team won the Class 4A state championship going undefeated at 15-0.
His teams reached the state playoffs in 25 of the 28 seasons and compiled a 116-23 region record. He began his coaching career as an assistant coach in Georgia and joined the Northview staff in Dothan in 1985.As defensive coordinator, he helped the Cougars win a state crown in 1985.
Ragsdale coached in the 1997 and 2004 North-South All-Star Games, was head coach in 2010 and was named ASWA Coach of the Year in 2003. He currently serves as a board member of the District 3 Fellowship of Christian Athletes and received the Herman L. Scott Distinguished Service Award in 2017 for his faith-based coaching leadership.
He coached a team of Alabama all-stars in the Down Under Bowl in Australia in 1999 and 2000. As a player he earned All-America honors as an offensive lineman at Jacksonville State and played in the NCAA Division II championship game in 1978.
The Rockdale County (GA) graduate attended Jacksonville State University on football scholarship graduating in 1979. He earned his masters from JSU in 1984. He and his family attend Ray Thorington Road Baptist Church.
ALVIN RAULS: Rauls, 62, has served in various capacities as a high school teacher and coach at Madison County and Huntsville city schools. As a baseball coach at he guided New Hope to the 1992 Class 3A state baseball crown and his 1990 and 1994 teams finished runner-up. With stops at Sparkman, Butler and Bob Jones, his teams won over 350 games. He moved to Buckhorn in 2007 where he has coached softball teams to more than 300 victories over the last 11 years. He guided the Lady Bucks to the state championship in 2017. He is only the second coach in AHSAA history to coach state titles in both sports.
He coached American Legion baseball for many years winning numerous state titles.
Rauls has also served on the AHSAA District 8 Board and Legislative Council and on the AHSAA Central Board of Control. He graduated from Monroe High School in Albany (GA) in 1972 and from Florida A&M, where he was on baseball scholarship, in 1977.
ANN SCHILLING: Schilling, 53, who was named the NFHS National Volleyball Coach of the Year in 2010, has had an incredible run as head volleyball coach at Bayside Academy. Through the 2017 season, her teams have won 16 straight state championships and 23 titles overall. She has more than 1,400 wins which places her among the leaders in the nation, and has been named State Coach of the Year by the Birmingham News five times (1992, 2000, 2007, 2011, 2012.
The founded the Eastern Shore Volleyball Club, Schilling was inducted into the Bayside Academy Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 and Mobile Sports Hall of Fame in 2017. Among her numerous honors was receiving the R.L. Lindsay Service Award for volleyball (2006), the John L. Finley Award for Superb Achievement (2004 and 2014) and the prepvolleyball.com Co-National coach of the year in 2009.
Schilling graduated from McGill-Toolen Catholic High School in 1982 where she played volleyball for legendary coach Becky Dickinson, who is already inducted into the AHSHOF. Schilling got her college degree at Auburn in 1987.”
She is a member of the American Volleyball Coaches Association and the AHSADCA. She is active in Christ the King Church.
JEROME TATE: Tate, 58, has spent almost his entire high school coaching career in East Central Alabama. After a one-year stint as head football coach at Keith High School in 1982-83, Tate moved to Lanett after two years as a college coach, and served the Panthers as head track coach and assistant football coach at Lanett through 1995.
He became head football coach and athletic director at Loachapoka in 1997and remained in that capacity until he stepped down in 2017. His teams compiled a 152-98 record with four regional titles and played in the state playoffs in 17 of his 22 seasons, including 14 appearances in a row. Tate coached in the North-South All-Star Game in 1997 and 2010 and in the Alabama-Mississippi Game in 2005.
He has been selected Opelika-Auburn News Coach of the Year, Montgomery Advertiser Coach of the Year, Alabama Football Coaches Association Coach of the Year and was inducted into the Alabama A&M Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.
He received a Certificate of Commendation from the City of Lanett in 1995 and a Certificate of Commendation from the City of Huntsville in 2006.
He coached numerous players who went to excel in college and three (Josh Evans, Kenny Sander and Tracy Brooks) that played professionally. Tate graduated from Selma High School in 1977 and Alabama A&M University in 1982, where he was an outstanding collegiate player.
OBADIAH THREADGILL III: Threadgill, 70, coached girls’ and boys’ basketball for 30 years including 22 at Notasulga High School – becoming one of the few coaches in AHSAA history to coach both teams to the state tournament. His boys won state titles in 1987 and 1992 and his girls’ team won a state title in 2001. He also coached two state runner-up teams and had nine Final Four appearances – including three in a row with his girls in 1995, 1996 and 1997. His teams combined to win more than 900 games. The gymnasium at Notasulga is named in his honor.
He was named Class 1A State Coach of the Year for boys twice and for girls once and received six Opelika-Auburn area coach of the year awards for boys and girls. He also had coaching stops at Tuskegee, D.C. Wolfe and Tuskegee Institute high schools.
His family represents three generations in education and coaching with his father and mother career teachers, his brother Kenneth a teacher and coach and now his son, Obadiah IV serving as a teacher and coach at LaFayette. Obadiah, at Notasulga, and Kenneth, at Livingston, became the first brothers to coach tams to the state championship game (1992) in the same year.
Threadgill, who served in the Army with a tour of duty in Viet Nam, graduated from Sumter County Training High School in 1965 and Tuskegee University in 1970. He completed his masters at Auburn in 1980.
EDWARD WOOD (OLD TIMER Division): Wood, now deceased, coached at two schools in his teaching/coaching career, Marengo County (Dixons Mills) and Carver-Montgomery. Born on New Year’s Day in 1927, he was in his coaching prime when succumbed to cancer in 1980 just eight days after his 53rd birthday.
He made an impact quickly on the students of the schools where he worked. He coached all sports at Marengo County from 1954-59 with much success in football and basketball.
He then moved home to Montgomery become head boys’ basketball coach at Carver, where he remained until 1979. He compiled a 209-99 record from 1959-69 and finished his 13-year span with 310 wins. His teams won district championships in the AIAA from 1961-64 and reached the state tourney in ’64. When the AIAA merged with the AHSAA in 1968, Wood continued his success with a region title and trip to the state tourney in 1969’s first with all schools competing. His Wolverines also reached the state tourney four more times in the next five years.
He recruited a young coach Dan Lewis to become his assistant coach and hand-picked Lewis to be his success when he stepped down. Lewis, credits Wood’s mentoring and example for his successes. Lewis, how retired, has already been inducted into the AHSHOF.
The gymnasium at Carver is named in Wood’s honor.
The Montgomery native graduated from Alabama State Laboratory School in 1945 and Alabama State University in 1954. He earned his masters from ASU in 1956. He attended Dexter Avenue King Memorial Church where he was a leader and community volunteer.
By Bill Plott
Veteran Carver-Montgomery High School boys’ basketball coach Edward Wood lost his battle with cancer much too young. However, his legacy and impact still live on in his hometown of Montgomery.
The Carver gymnasium bears his name, and students who attended the school during his tenure in the 1960s and 1970s will forever carry his memory in their hearts. And so will the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame. Coach Wood is being inducted into the Hall’s Class of 2018.
Wood attended high school at Alabama State Laboratory High School in Montgomery, graduating in 1945. He played basketball for Coach Hubert “Prof” Lockhart, a 2003 Hall of Fame inductee. Wood was named to the All-Tournament team in the 1944 AIAA state tournament.
After graduation, he moved across campus to Alabama State College where he would receive his bachelor’s degree in 1954. His college career, however, had been deferred for three years while he served in the United States Navy. He later returned to ASU again to earn a master’s degree.
His first of just two high school coaching/teaching job was at Dixon’s Mills in Marengo County where he coached and taught math. He was there from 1954-59.
In 1959 he moved back home to Carver High School in Montgomery as math teacher and coach. For the first 10 years, his teams played in the Alabama Interscholastic Athletic Association. His record at Carver during that period was 209-99. The 1963 team was runner-up in the state tournament. In 1968 the AIAA was merged with Alabama High School Athletic Association and he finished his career in the unified organization.
In 11 years in the AHSAA, Wood’s record was 164-114. There were five consecutive 20-plus win seasons, including four state tournament appearances.
Coach Dan Lewis, Wood’s longtime assistant and successor at Carver, said those AIAA teams were “some of the best-coached in the state.” When the merger came, Carver played in the three consecutive AHSAA state tournaments.
Lewis further recalled: “Everything I know and have experienced with Coach Wood is positive, uplifting and inspiring. I had the rewarding opportunity to work and serve as Coach Wood’s assistant for eight years. What an honor and privilege to work under a coach who was well organized and believed in structure and organization.
“The success I had as head coach at Carver, following Coach Wood as my mentor, enabled Carver to win back-to-back state championships in 1982 and 1983. I bestow Coach Wood a lot of credit for helping me to develop my own coaching philosophy. Coach Wood believed in developing character and discipline in the lives of every young man whom he coached. All of his team members exuded extreme character and sportsmanship.
“Coach Wood affected the lives of many young people on the west side of Montgomery. Some of the young men whose lives he touched went on to become doctors, lawyers, educators, businessmen, political officials, coaches and professional basketball players. I am immensely proud to have been influenced by Coach Edward L. Wood.”
Christine E. Williams and Dorothy Wright Pleasant, writing on behalf of the Class of 1965, said:
“The class of 1965 had a special relationship with Coach Edward Wood. He came to Carver in the fall of 1959, and we started seventh grade in junior high school. Therefore, the nomination journey has been a time of many reflections on Coach Wood and his lasting influence on our young lives.
“Coach had chances for advancement but turned down colleges time and time again to remain at Carver. Why? We believe the root of all his actions was his dedication to his players. His most important concern was the welfare of his players as future men in the community. Coach instilled in his players and mathematics students the values of an education, work ethic and community involvement.
“For those of us that attended Carver in the ‘60s and ‘70s, Coach Wood’s voice is still resonant. We recall many inspirational and motivational speeches he gave to the student body at pep rallies that kept us calm during the turbulent start of integration.”
Coach Wood died in 1980 at just age 54 after a four-year battle with cancer. He had already turned his coaching duties over to Lewis, his personal choice to take over the program. Lewis would go on to lead Carver to a then school record 30- and 31-win seasons. For the last 32 years, Wood’s family has awarded the Edward L. Wood Scholarship to the most outstanding Carver basketball player. In 1982 the school gymnasium was dedicated as the Edward L. Wood Gymnasium. His son Ed went on to play college basketball at Auburn University.
Another former student, U. S. Army Maj (ret) Abraham McCall Jr., was very specific about Wood’s influence in his life:
“Coach Wood became part of my life at a most pivotal point. Had it not been for the Lord, my parents and Coach Wood, I honestly don’t know where I would be. The Lord gave me grace and mercy. My parents game me my birth rights.
“Coach Wood gave me an opportunity to attend college. He wrote, called and carried me to visit with the staff at Mississippi Valley State College for me to attend their school. For the things that he did, I am forever grateful.
“He did more than just rolling basketballs out on the court for me. He instilled those things in me that would propel me to become the person that I am today. He taught me about discipline, hard work, and sacrifice. Other things that I learned from him were leadership, commitment, service and family.
“All of the aforementioned have helped me have two long and successful careers. One was 22 years in the military, of which I retired as a field grade officer. The second career was that of public educator, of which I retired as a high school administrator. As you can see, Coach Wood gave me and others immeasurable opportunities at having a chance at success in life.”