Author: Marvin Chou

Marvin Chou's Article

Jasper Goes 8-0 to Claim Heffstrong Tourney Title and AHSAA Volleyball Spotlight This Week

MONTGOMERY – Jasper High School’s Lady Vikings (29-3) powered to eight straight victories last week, including going 6-0 to win the Spain Park Heffstrong Invitational Tourney, to claim the AHSAA Volleyball Spotlight this week.
   Coach Bobby Daniel, who picked career victory 700 as Jasper finished second in a tourney in Tennessee two weeks ago, saw his team beat five teams ranked by al.com in their respective classifications including Class 6A Spanish Fort, the top-ranked team in Class 6A, in the finals of the Heffstrong tourney. His girls did not lose a single set.
   McKinley Ferguson and Alex Oliver provided the power up front with 74 and 67 kills, respectively, for the Lady Vikings. Ferguson also had 30 service aces, and Oliver managed 19 blocks.
    Daniel had taken four different schools to the AHSAA State Tournament semifinals, including Winston County, Curry and Arab, in addition to Jasper.
   Walker’s strong performance for the week edged strong performances by Hazel Green and Carbon Hill for the AHSAA Volleyball Spotlight.
    The Class 6A Trojans (31-8) were 11-1 on the week winning the Huntsville Ironman Tourney. Gracie Lynn Butler had 111 kills and 26 blocks, setter Catherine Smith dished out 211 assists and middle blocker Myah Magwood recorded 31 blocks.
   Carbon Hill’s Alyssa Dutton had a killer week with 127 kills, 17 blocks, 71 digs and 24 service aces and the Bulldogs (36-3) won the Brooks Invitational to finish the week 13-0.
    In other top performances reported for the week:

Recorded 265 assists to surpass 2,000 for her career, and also had 40 kills in Athens Bible’s nine matches last week.

Totaled 93 kills and 48 digs in 11 matches.
MADISON CARTEE, DANVILLE: Slammed 79 kills, 15 aces and had 11 blocks in 10 matches for the Hawks.
JASMINE BROOKS, SPARKMAN: Had 75 kills and 33 digs in 10 matches last week.
RYA McKINNON, HOOVER: In two match wins over Thompson and Tuscaloosa County, McKinnon totaled 29 kills for the Bucs (20-4).
BAILEY JOHNSON, BROOKWOOD: In three matches, she recorded 31 kills, 7 assists and seven blocked shots as Brookwood (13-8) went 2-1.
MAGGIE WOOD, HORSESHOE BEND: Had 28 kills, 14 blocks and 29 aces as the Generals (18-2) won six matches and the Wadley Varsity Classic tourney title.
KENYA McQUIRTER, McGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC: Registered 22 kills as the Dirty Dozen (21-3) beat St. Paul’s Episcopal and Bayside Academy in regular-season matches.

Helped the Spartans (25-5) go 9-2 with 238 assists and 88 digs for the week.
SAVANAH FREE, DANVILLE: Recorded 234 assists, 19 aces and 40 digs in 10 matches.
LEIGHANNA TRALONGO, BOB JONES: Had 196 assists as the Patriots (23-6) went 8-2 for the week.
JOY MULLINS, WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN: Picked up 196 assists as WCA finished 6-3 on the week.
LAEKYN BENNETT, LAWRENCE COUNTY: Had 190 assists and 17 digs as the Lady Red Devils (31-6) won eight of nine matches.
KAYLA KESHOCK, SPANISH FORT: Posted 178 assists as the Toros (27-3) tolled to eight wins in nine tries last week. Spanish Fort lost to Jasper in the finals of the Spain Park Heffstrong Tourney.
ISABELLE FUELL, HUNTSVILLE: Totaled 175 assists, 33 service aces and 49 digs in 10 matches for the Panthers (15-10), who won seven of 10 matches on the week.
MADELYN DIZON, LINDSAY LANE: Had 144 assists and 33 kills to lead Lindsay Lane (23-7) to an 8-1 record and runner-up finish to West Point at the Priceville Invitational.
LAUREN HUNT, SOUTHSIDE-GADSDEN: Had 135 assists as the Panthers were 6-2 to finish second in the Sandy Hunter Invitational to host Pleasant Valley.
BEATRICE LINDQUIST, MARY MONTGOMERY: Accounted for 118 assists and 29 digs in six matches.
BRINKLEY HEARN, FAITH ACADEMY: Had 100 assists, 43 digs and eight service aces as the Rams (17-11) went 6-1 en route to the title at the Battle of the Bridge Tourney.
Helped the Hornets (27-4) win eight matches, capturing the championship of the Hewitt-Trussville Husky Challenge. She had 114 digs and 20 service aces.
MADALYNN OWEN, PRICEVILLE: Had 110 digs in nine Priceville matches to lead her team to a 7-2 record for the week.
MEGAN EDMOUNDS, BAKER: Had 38 digs and six service aces in two wins for the Hornets (14-5).
LAURA LEE KEENER, CENTRAL-FLORENCE: Managed 85 digs and 15 service aces in seven matches over the week.
TAYLOR BROWN, WILSON: Had 64 digs and Tori Walker had 25 blocks as Wilson (22-8) finished the week 6-2.
LEXIE DISHNER, PHILLIPS: Had 60 digs, 162 assists and 14 aces as Phillips (17-7) went 5-3.
KRISTEN BLACK, SARALAND: Managed 53 digs, 55 kills and nine aces as the Spartans (13-3) finished second to Faith Academy at the Battle of the Bridge tourney. Saraland was 6-1 for the week.

Grace Carr’s Performance Leads Mountain Brook To AHSAA Volleyball Spotlight and Tourney Title

MONGOMERY – Junior hitter Grace Carr turned in an all-around MVP performance to earn most-valuable-player honors as Mountain Brook (16-3) went undefeated to win the Back to the ‘Boro high school volleyball tournament championship at Siegel (TN) last weekend.
     Carr registered 108 kills, 12 service aces and 77 digs to earn MVP honors as the Class 7A Spartans (16-3) were 7-0 with wins over Tennessee teams Page, McGavock, Nashville Christian, Cookeville, Nolensville and AHSAA schools Hazel Green and Jasper to win the title and capture the AHSAA Volleyball Spotlight for last week.
      Coach Vickie Nichols also got outstanding play from junior setter Amy Vandevelde, who dished out 217 assists and had 76 digs. Ellie Dayhuff had 20 blocks and 43 kills, Greer Golden contributed 15 blocks, and Liz Vandevelde added 116 digs and 12 aces.
    The Spartans’ performance led by Carr beat out several tournament championship efforts by Pelham (Hartselle Invitational), McGill-Toolen Catholic (Catholic Cup), Baker (Battle of the Bay), East Limestone and Lexington (Metro First Tourney), Ariton (Charles Henderson Invitational and Pleasant Valley (Etowah County Tourney).
    McGill-Toolen, the defending Class 7A state champ, finished 7-0 to win the Catholic Cup tourney title at Mobile with wins over St. Joseph’s Academy and Mt. Carmel from Louisiana, Cardinal Mooney (FL), St. Pius X (GA) and AHSAA schools John Carroll Catholic and St. John Paul II Catholic. Coach Kate Wood got superb performances from setter Lilly Fromdahl (143 assists); Kenya McQuirter (66 kills); and Haley Palmer (33 kills).
Other top performances reported include:

Powered the Class 6A Panthers (15-2) to seven wins, including the Hartselle Invitational tourney title, with 71 kills, 73 digs and nine aces. Teammate Sarah Guthrie added 62 kills, 61 digs and 22 aces.
RACHEL MORRISETTE, BAKER: Had 39 kills, 16 blocks and 14 service aces to lead the Hornets to the Battle of the Bay tournament championship. Baker (9-5) finished 6-1 – avenging an earlier loss to Thompson with a victory over the Warriors in the finals.
KOLBI REED, THOMPSON: Had 62 kills and 12 service aces as the Warriors rolled to a 7-1 record and a runner-up finish at the Battle of the Bay tournament.
MAEGAN MILLIGAN, WEST MORGAN: Led West Morgan (20-6) to eight wins in 11 matches with 126 kills. Teammate Aaliyah Wallace had 165 assists and 10 aces.
ALYSSA DUTTON, CARBON HILL: Paced Carbon Hill (24-3) to a 7-1 record last week with 86 kills, 59 digs, nine blocks and 20 aces.
CARSON ANN CROW, SAINT JAMES: Had 89 kills, 45 digs and eight aces as the Trojans (13-4) rolled to a 7-1 record on the week. Saint James lost to East Limestone in the First Metro Tourney hosted by Muscle Shoals.
JASMINE BROOKS, SPARKMAN: Totaled 67 kills as the Senators (16-8) finished 5-2 on the week.
SKYLAR HAMMOND, LEXINGTON: Had 103 kills and 16 blocks as Lexington (16-3) won seven matches. The Bears captured the Muscle Shoals First Metro Tournament lower-division title beating Winston County in the finals. Teammate Anna Sims had 171 assists.
SAIGE BLANTON, WINSTON COUNTY: Had 69 kills, 18 digs and 11 aces as Winston County (14-7) went 5-2 – including reaching the finals of the Muscle Shoals First Metro Tourney lower division.
SKYLER BENSON, PRICEVILLE: Had 93 kills and 11 blocks in 10 matches as the Bulldogs won the Silver Bracket title of Muscle Shoals' First Metro tournament.
MARY BETH LONG, G.W. LONG: Helped the Class 2A Rebels go 5-2 on the week with 84 kills as Long had four wins over 5A schools and one win over a Class 4A school. Makenna Long added 173 assists.

Posted 193 assists, 44 digs and eight service aces as Pelham (15-2) won seven matches on the week – including winning the championship of the Hartselle Invitational.
KIARA ROBINSON, EAST LIMESTONE: Had 185 assists and 92 digs to lead the Indians (12-7) to an 8-2 record for the week and the Upper Division championship of the First Metro Tourney at Muscle Shoals. Teammate Jenny Renfroe also had 90 kills and 92 digs.
ANN MARGARET KEENER, CENTRAL-FLORENCE: Had 171 assists, 66 digs and 20 aces in six matches for Central-Florence (12-7).
ERIN CHEEK, FAITH CHRISTIAN: Led her team to the Donoho Classic championship recording 152 assists and 14 aces as Faith (15-4) won six matches including a win over Meek in the finals.
EMMA NESTER, WILSON: Recorded 135 assists for Wilson (16-6) to lead her team to a 5-2 record for the week.
STEPHNIE SHARP, BUCKHORN: Had 153 assists as the Lady Bucks (25-11) won 7 of 10 matches.
EMILEY STEVENS, ARITON: Had 128 assists to lead the Purple Cats (9-0) to six wins en route to the championship of the Charles Henderson Invitational at Troy. The finals match was the second win of the tourney for Ariton over arch-rival G.W. Long.
MADELYN DIZON, LINDSAY LANE: Had 118 assists as Lindsay Lane (15-6) went 7-1 for the week.
AMIYAH KING, HOOVER: Had 52 assists in the Bucs’ wins over James Clemens and Mountain Brook.
BEATRICE LINDQUIST, MARY MONTGOMERY: Had 48 assists, 23 digs and seven service aces as the Vikings (9-7) went 2-1 for the week.
KAYLAY KESHOCK, SPANISH FORT: Led the Toros (19-2) to two wins with 40 assists and two blocks.

Led the Hornets (19-4) to a 7-1 record and the championship of the September Slamfest Tournament recording 104 digs and 21 service aces in eight matches.
P.G. GARRISON, HELENA: Recorded 51 digs and 10 kills in two matches for the Huskies (9-6).
MAGGIE HEDGEPATH, PLEASANT VALLEY: Turned up the defense with 66 digs as Pleasant Valley (14-6) won four matches to win the Etowah County tournament.
COLEY KRIEG, ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL: Managed 65 digs and 12 aces as the Saints (12-4) went 4-2 on the week.

Had 29 services in nine matches last week. She also had 61 assists, 17 kills and six blocked shots.
ALEX PRESSNELL, BUCKHORN: Managed 25 service aces and 104 digs for Buckhorn in 10 matches over the week.
SAVANNAH RUTLEDGE, ALBERTVILLE: Had 14 service aces and 34 assists as Albertville (18-4) finished 3-1 for the week.
EMMA JARRETT, BOB JONES: Had seven service aces and 25 kills as the Patriots won three matches over Florence, Hazel Green and Danville.
KENDAL CROWELL, HATTON: Served 20 aces over 10 matches for the Hornets last week.

AHSAA Swimming and Diving: ‘It’s All About the Team’

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – More and more student-athletes are joining the 128 high school varsity girls’ and boys’ swim teams in Alabama. And, those Alabama High School Athletic Association swimmers are finding success beyond the confines of the pools in this state.


Wade Thaxton, swimming and diving coach at Bob Jones High School in Madison, said, “The state of swimming in Alabama is as good as it’s ever been. We are seeing more and more kids take it to college, it’s a good avenue for scholarships.”


Thaxton, who was an assistant for two boys’ state titles at Bob Jones and has been head coach for the past four years, said he was thrilled with the spirit his swimmers bring to the pool. “With high school swimming, it’s all about the team,” he said. “I asked my kids what was different between their summer league teams and our team and they told me, ‘We are together. We do things together besides what we do at the pool.’ One of my swimmers told me, ‘It is all about the school spirit, not just about yourself.’


“To see them celebrate with each other and the parents taking pictures, not of their swimmer in the pool but the team on the sidelines, that is really something that stands out.”


According to the latest reports, 72 AHSAA schools offer varsity girls’ swimming and 56 field boys’ teams. The 716 boys’ varsity swimmers is an 11.5 percent increase over the 2016-17 academic year. Girls’ participation jumped 3.8 percent to a total of 844 swimmers.


The Bob Jones swim teams do agility and weight training along with their work in the pool – which is at a local recreation center, since none of the Madison City Schools System teams have pools at school. “We practice five days a week, about 2½ hours a day,” Thaxton said. “Some of our kids also swim on their own, too. Sometimes in practice, I just want them to do sets for speed – ‘OK, just go as fast as you can on this, just get there.’ Other times, I ask them to go 60-70 percent so we can work on technique. They need individual instruction to know what they need to work on. It’s about doing every little thing that is going to make their time faster.”


Faster pays off for the high school teams – Bob Jones has won nine boys AHSAA championships, including seven straight in the 2000s, and one girls title in 2007 – and for the individual swimmers. Former Patriots standout Zach Harting, who now swims for the University of Louisville, won a bronze medal this year in the Pan Pacific Championships with a personal best time (1:55.01) after finishing second in the 2018 U.S. National Championships in the 200-meter butterfly.


High school swim season for the AHSAA began with the opening of practice on Aug. 6 with the first contests on Aug. 23. The sectional meets – in Huntsville, Birmingham and Mobile – are Nov. 16-17 with the State Meet set for Nov. 30-Dec. 1 at Auburn University.




The Alabama High School Athletic Association, founded in 1921, is a private agency organized by its member schools to control and promote their athletic programs. The purpose of the AHSAA is to regulate, coordinate and promote the interscholastic athletic programs among its member schools, which include public, private and parochial institutions. 

Clarke County Downs Sweet Water 20-14 in Champions Challenge Opener at Cramton Bowl

MONTGOMERY – Clarke County High School senior quarterback Javon Ivory rushed for 85 yards and two touchdowns on eight carries and completed 5-of-8 passes for 76 yards and another TD to lead the Bulldogs to a 20-14 victory over Sweet Water in the AHSAA’s 2018 Champions Challenge Classic football opener at Cramton Bowl.
     The game officially opened the season for AHSAA schools and was also the first game to utilize the DVSport Instant Replay system which is being used by a number AHSAA schools this  season.
     Instant Replay will be used for Friday’s final game of the Champions Challenge between Class 7A teams  Thompson and James Clemens. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. from Cramton Bowl with Raycom Media televising the game live over its statewide network. The AHSAA’s NFHS Network School Broadcast Program is also live-video streaming the game over the NFHS Network thanks to the Cramton Bowl Pixellot camera and the talented announcing team of the AHSAA Radio Network. The  network is broadcasting the game over its statewide network and the internet as well. The links can be found at www.ahsaa.com.
     Clarke County opened the scoring with 8:20 remaining in the first quarter when receiver Caleb Taite scored on an 18-yard pass from Ivory, who one play earlier scored on a keeper around right end on a play that was called back for a penalty.
        Sweet Water marched 69 yards on 14 plays and used most of the rest of the time in the first quarter to take the lead. Quarterback Braiden Broussard found his older brother, tight end Chance Broussard, for a 6-yard touchdown toss and Jacory Brown’s extra-point kick gave Sweet Water the lead 7-6 with 1:18 seconds left in the period.
    Clarke County’s Ivory erased that lead two plays later racing 73 yards around the right side, shook loss and legged into the end zone to give Coach Stacy Luker’s team  12-7 lead with 12 seconds remaining in first quarter.
   Ivory directed a Clarke County on a 54-yard drive in the third quarter that culminated in a 1-yard sneak by the senior quarterback and increased the lead to 18-7. The play was challenged by Sweet Water Coach Pat Thompson, the first replay opportunity of the night for the AHSAA’s new replay rule. However, after reviewing the call on the TV monitor on the sideline, the touchdown call was confirmed. The two-point extra-point play that followed gave Clarke County a 20-7 lead.
    Sweet Water drove 90 yards in just six plays midway through the fourth period with Jaylin Dixon scoring on a 29-yard run. Jacory Brown’s kick closed the gap to 20-14. The Bulldogs of Coach Pat Thompson mounted one final drive, moving from their own 18 to midfield before turning the ball on fourth down with a fumble.
    Dixon was the game’s leading rusher with 86 yards on eight carries. Jacory Brown added 52 yards on 14 tries. Taite had 10 tackles on defense for Clarke County while Tyler Ward and Willie Lewis had seven stops each for Sweet Water. Braylone Rogers also had the game’s only interception.
    Sweet Water finished with 207 yards, 201 rushing and six passing, and had 14 first downs. Clarke County has 11 first downs and 239 total yards – 163 rushing and 76 passing.
    The victory for Luker came against his own alma mater and a program that he coached to five state titles in a seven-year period. He is now in his second year as head coach at Clarke County, where he led the team to the Class 3A semifinals in 2017. The school moved to Class 4A this season.
   Sweet Water, coached by Pat Thompson, won the Class 1A title last season. It was the 10thi state championship in school history. Thompson was defensive coordinator before taking over the program after Luker’s departure in 2014.


AHSAA mourns death of Hall of Fame Coach John L. Meadows

    MONTGOMERY – The Alabama High School Athletic Association is saddened to learn of the death of AHSAA Hall of Fame Coach John L. Meadows. Mr. Meadows, 94, passed away earlier this week after a long illness.
      “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said. “John Meadows’ impact on the lives of the many students he taught and was considered an icon in the communities he served.”
      Meadows compiled a 276-79-9 career coaching record over 35 years from 1955-89 and was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports  Hall of Fame in 1993. He coached football at Hanceville, Gordo, Butler, Scottsboro and Lincoln County (TN) during his long tenure as a teacher/coach compiling a career. Coach Meadows led Scottsboro to a 10-0 record in 1965, a team that was declared Class 3A state champs that year. His 1982 Lincoln County team was 13-1 and won the Tennessee AAA state title. The stadium at Lincoln County was named for him and his successor Louis Thompson. The fieldhouse at Scottsboro High School was also named for him and Coach Larry Morris.
     In addition to the AHSAA HOF honor, he was also enshrined into the Huntsville-Madison County Athletic Hall of Fame (1989 inaugural class), Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame (Class of 1993), Cullman County Sports Hall of Fame (Class of 2004), Jackson County Sports Hall of Fame (2014 inaugural class), Pickens County Athletic Hall of Fame (Class of 1995) and Jacksonville State Hall of Fame (Class of 1986).
    Meadows graduated from Falkville High School in 1942 as the valedictorian, then served in World War II before returning home to enroll at Jacksonville State where he earned Little All-America honors as a wide receiver in 1951. He was selected to the JSU All-Time Team in 1983,
    His funeral is set for Saturday at Calvary Baptist Church in Scottsboro. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. with the memorial service to follow.
In lieu of flowers, the family request memorial contributions be made to the Samaritans Purse or St. Jude’s.

Vestavia Hills’ Hannah Vines Serves Her Team and Community

By Lucas Nunn, Special for AHSAA



VESTAVIA HILLS – From the volleyball court to the international mission field, Hannah Vines’ extracurricular life is nothing short of exciting.


Hannah is a rising senior at Vestavia Hills High School and has played on the varsity volleyball team since her sophomore year. She is also a member of the 2018 Alabama High School Athletic Association Student Leadership Group, one of two members chosen to represent the state at a national conference in Indianapolis this month.


On the court, Hannah has had success both in school and club volleyball. Vestavia Hills reached the super regionals last season, and just last month her club team – Southern Performance Volleyball Club – placed second at the national tournament.


While her athletic achievements are impressive, it is Hannah’s desire to serve her community that sets her apart from the rest.


The 17-year-old is one of thousands of AHSAA athletes who give of themselves to their communities during their summer break, as well as spending many hours the rest of the year as they juggle sports, homework, family and volunteer time.


Hannah has been an active member of Shades Mountain Baptist Church in Vestavia Hills since she was 5 years old, and the church is her favorite place to serve the community. “I really like to work with kids through my church,” she said.


Her service for others also goes well beyond the walls of the church. This past spring, Hannah spent her school break on a mission trip to Guatemala. She worked with children there and assisted in putting on a Bible School for them.


“The trip was amazing. Spanish is one of my passions, I have been taking Spanish since I was in the seventh grade, so going down there was great,” Vines said. “It was just another way to connect with the kids and hear about their lives talking about the differences in culture between the U.S. and Guatemala.”


In March, Hannah was one of 18 student-athletes from around Alabama selected for membership in the AHSAA Student Leadership Conference, and she was thrilled to learn she and Bayside Academy’s Sam Koby were chosen to represent the state at the National Federation of State High School Associations’ Student Leadership Summit in Indianapolis. The NFHS Summit wrapped up this week.


“I was really excited when I heard about it,” Vines said. “The goal is to come back and be better leaders on our teams and in our communities.”


Upon graduation, Hannah plans to continue serving her community through her church, as she continues her volleyball career at Samford University.


Last year, Hannah was also featured in the AHSAA #MoreThanAGame social media campaign. Watch her video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3fayZMkAkY





The Alabama High School Athletic Association, founded in 1921, is a private agency organized by its member schools to control and promote their athletic programs. The purpose of the AHSAA is to regulate, coordinate and promote the interscholastic athletic programs among its member schools, which include public, private and parochial institutions. 

AHSAA Central Board of Control Approves Modification of Kicking Game for Non-Varsity Football Competition

     MONTGOMERY – The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board of Control has approved allowing modification of the kicking game rules for non-varsity football competition beginning this fall and approved regional sites for softball and bowling for the coming school year. The action was taken Wednesday at its annual summer meeting in Montgomery.
        The AHSAA Legislative Council also met Wednesday.
        AHSAA Director of Officials Mark Jones recommended modification of the kicking rules for non-varsity contests due to current health and safety concerns and limited time to devote to the kicking game for the non-varsity programs.
       Beginning in the 2018 season, the Central Board of Control will allow schools to choose one of three options for a non-varsity football contest. The two competing schools may choose Option 1 (simulation of kicks); Option 2 (no kickoffs or punts allowed); and Option 3 (utilizing all aspects of the kicking game in accordance with NFHS rules).
       If the two schools cannot agree, then Option 1 will be the default choice. In Option 1, teams will be allowed to conduct simulated kickoffs and punts, but with no blocking or contact, including no rushing the kicker and no kick returns. Receiving teams may fair catch a kick but after the non-contact kickoff, the ball will be placed at the receiving team’s 35-yard line to begin the offensive series.  After the no-rush and non-contact punt, the ball will be placed 30 yards from the line of scrimmage but not inside the 20-yard line of the receiving team.
        Should both teams agree to Option 2, no kickoffs or punts will be attempted.  A series will start at the receiving team’s 35-yard line following a touchdown. In lieu of a punt, the ball will be placed 30 yards from the line of scrimmage, but not inside the receiving team’s 20-yard line.   
       Option 3 will be conducting kickoffs and punts without modification.  Field goals and extra points will not be modified and will be live under all three options.
       The Central Board of Control approved waiving membership dues for member schools for the 27th straight year – a cost savings of more than $83,000 in 2017-18 and more than

$2.2 million in savings to our member schools since 1992. The Board also approved a Revenue Sharing Plan $2 million payout for the 2017-18 school year but put the distribution to schools on hold until the AHSAA’s current litigation has concluded.
        The Board selected Camelia Lanes in Mobile and Vestavia Bowl in Vestavia Hills as the sites for the South and North Regional bowling tournaments in 2019. The AHSAA State Bowling Championships will return to Oak Mountain Lanes in Pelham for the third straight year.
      Florence and Oxford were also selected as new sites for regional softball competition for the next two years (2019 and 2020). Florence will host the North Regional which has been held in Huntsville since regional tourneys began for softball in 2009. The South Central Regional, held in Troy from 2009-18, will move to Oxford and will be renamed the East Central Regional. Tuscaloosa will remain the host of the North Central Regional, which is being renamed the West Central Regional, for 2019 and 2020. Gulf Shores, which has two years remaining on its current contract, will once again host the South Regional.  Lagoon Park is still under contract to host the State Tourney.
      In another softball item, the board, upon recommendation of the AHSAA Softball Coaches Committee, approved allowing the team emerging from the winner’s bracket to choose whether they will be the home team or visiting team in all championship games in area and state tournament play. Several recommendations from other sports committees were also approved by the Central Board. Those changes can be found at www.ahsaa.com.
      The Central Board reviewed and approved 2018-19 publications, including the AHSAA Handbook and 2018-19 AHSAA Sports Book. The Legislative Council also met and approved the AHSAA publications Wednesday afternoon and heard a review of the Central Board’s action.

In other Central Board action:

– Approved the financial reports for the spring championships in soccer, softball, baseball and track.
– Approved drafts of the 2018-19 budgets for the AHSAA and the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) and the 2017-18 audits for each group.
-- Removed fines for middle /junior high declarations.
-- Approved the purchase of six new wrestling mats for State Championship and Duals competition and also approved moving all wrestling duals tournament finals to the same day.
-- Approved new officials’ fee for state wrestling and track championships and discussed the schools’ current scratch list policy concerning officials.
-- Was updated about catastrophic insurance and approved AHSAA insurance coverages.
-- Discussed Mandatory Summer Meeting Requirement for administrators.

AHSAA Closes Summer Conference With Officials’ Awards Luncheon

     MONTGOMERY – Six officials with a combined 257 years of officiating experience received the Greg Brewer Distinguished Service Award at Saturday’s AHSAA Officials Awards Luncheon at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center. Receiving the AHSAA’s highest officiating honor were: Eugene Reynolds (46 years);  Warren Bowron (45 years); Wayne Carden  (42 years);  Jimmy Chaffin (40 years); Larry Short (40 years); and Jack Minshew (36 years).
       More than 400 attended the luncheon that recognized all contest officials who officiated in state championship events in 2017-18 as well as those selected district and state officials of the year in each AHSAA sport. Laird Hayes, a veteran of 22 years as an NFL official, was the keynote speaker at the luncheon that officially closed the 2018 AHSAA Summer Conference and Coaching School.
    The Alabama Sports Officials Foundation (ASOF) also presented nine scholarships to children of officials in honor of the dedication and sacrifice families make to support the service of the state’s contest officials. To be eligible, the student must be planning attend a post-secondary school in Alabama.
    Those selected for the grants were: Gary Shirley III, Rainbow City; Jalon Jimmerson, Douglas; Jonah Trotter, Oakman; Peyton Luker, Thomasville; Danielle Covert, Arab; Anna Grace Murphy, Southside; Delandrion Woods, Hillsborough; Emma Mayer, Maylene; Allyson Phelps, Meridianville.
    AHSAA Director of Officials Mark Jones also recognized two AHSAA officials, Joe Mangone and Mark Russell, who received national honors from the NFHS. Mangone, the AHSAA soccer rules interpreter and State Finals director of officials, received the NFHS Citation for Officials for 2018 as national official of the year, and Russell was chosen one of eight Section recipients of the NFHS Spirit of Sport Award. He was selected from Section III, which includes the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Jones also announced that AHSAA football official Anthony Jeffreys has just been selected to become an NFL football official.
    AHSAA Officials of the Year were also selected from in each officiating district and one official was also chosen state official of the year in each sport.
    Among those honored were:
State Officials of the Year: Phillip Winslett (Baseball); Anthony Dupree (Basketball); Eddie Carr (Football); Bill Presor (Soccer); Mike Heath (Softball); Joey Lauderdale (Track); Willie Moore (Volleyball); and Heath Williamson (Wrestling).
     AHSAA District Officials of the Year included:
East Central:
John Ewing
North Central: Chris Pike
Northeast: Bill Ward
Roger Crafts

South Central: Mike Stewart
Philip Winslett
Greg Fairchild
West Central:
Tommy Colvin

East Central:
Anthony Dupree
North Central: Mike Pretnar
Northeast: Matt Driver
Andy Pruitt

South Central: Eric Morris
Southeast: Ronnie Burnett
Elicia Lynch
West Central: Charlie McCant


East Central:
Cecil Garrison
North Central: Anthony Jeffries
Northeast: Ben Smith
Amel Drake

South Central: Garnett Ray
Philip Thomas
Eddie Carr
West Central: Jeff Halcomb

East Central:
no selection
North Central: Luis Mendez
Northwest: Jeff Edwards

South Central: Bill Presor
Garrett Franklin
Coral Grubler
West Central: no seletion

East Central:
Steve Nelson
North Central: Larry Jordan
Northeast: Michael Tidmore

Northwest: Phillip Pugh
South Central:
Bruce Arnold
Mike Heath
Tim Porter
West Central: Michael Mullally

East Central:
no selection
North Central: Joey Kyle
Northeast: Joey Lauderdale

Northwest: Willie Ray
South Central:
Tony Reaves
no selection
Southwest: Wayne Kulakowski
West Central: no selection

East Central:
Connie Higgins
North Central: Willie Moore III
Northeast: Phillip Mosley

Northwest: Anthony Gunn
South Central:
Kevin Foley
Morris Murphy
Maureen McKannan
West Central: Kimberly Dailey

East Central:
Adam Pierce
North Central: Jeff Saxon
Northeast: Matt Smart

South Central: Heath Williamson
no selection
Southwest: Archie Best
West Central: no selection

Eight Receive al.com Sportsmanship Grants

Eight high schools that attended Friday’s 10th annual Media Group as recipients of a $1,000 al.com Sportsmanship Grant.  Al.com, in support of good sportsmanship, has provided $88,000 over the last 10 years – proving one scholarship to a fine and ejection-free school each from all eight of the AHSAA’s districts.
   The recipients this year were: Choctaw County (District 1); Dothan (District 2); Trinity Presbyterian (District 3); Central Coosa (District 4); Jackson-Olin (District 5); Ragland (District 6); Covenant Christian (District 7); and Fyffe (District 8).  The schools were selected from the 75 that completed the 2017-18 school fine and ejection free.
   Former major leaguer Todd Jones was the guest speaker at the Sportsmanship Luncheon. Jones, who spent 15 years pitching in the majors, was inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.

Seven Receive “Making A Difference” Awards At AHSAA 2018 Coaches’ Awards Banquet

MONTGOMERY – Seven individuals were recognized Friday night at the AHSAA’s 22st annual Championship Coaches’ Awards Banquet as recipients of the prestigious “Making A Difference” Award as the 2018 AHSAA Summer Conference concluded at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center.
    The week-long conference, which attracted approximately 5,000 administrators, coaches and other support personnel from AHSAA member schools to Montgomery, was hosted by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA). It included 10 North-South all-star competitions during the week – for the sports of baseball, softball, boys’ and girls’ soccer, boys’ and girls’ basketball, boys’ and girls’ cross country, volleyball and football. The North beat the South 27-14 in the 59th playing of the North-South football all-star game to close out all-star play Thursday night.
    Governor Kay Ivey was the keynote speaker at Friday’s awards banquet recognized a total of 112 state championship coaches who led teams to state titles in the AHSAA’s championship programs in 2017-18 as well as honoring several others for outstanding service or accomplishment.  Among them was Devin Hind of Hoover High School. Hind led the Bucs to a sweep of the AHSAA Class 7A indoor and outdoor boys’ and girls’ state track and field championships. As a result, national track and field website Dyestat named Hoover the National Duals Track and Field Champs for 2018 – using best times and performances from the student-athletes during the season and matching the Bucs against other state champions from across the nation in a computerized playoff. The match-play competition concluded with Hoover beating California prep track powerhouse Great Oak High School of Temecula (CA) 69.3 – 66.7 in the dual match finals. Dyestat has had its hypothetical match-play championships for three years – with Auburn High School winning the first virtual competition National crown in 2016.
   The highlight of Friday’s banquet was the “Making A Difference” Award, however, now in its eighth year. One AHSAA member school coach or administrator was honored in each classification for their contributions to their schools and communities that help change lives in daily in a positive way.
    The recipients were: principal Jack Hayes, Brilliant High School (1A); Head football coach and athletic director JimBob Striplin, Geneva County High School (2A); athletic director Anthony McCall, Montgomery Academy (3A); girls’ basketball and volleyball coach Frances Dunn, Greensboro (4A); track and cross country coach Stanley Johnson, Lawrence County (5A); athletic director and volleyball coach Pam Robinson, Benjamin Russell (6A); principal Clem Richardson, Baker High School (7A).
Several other special awards were presented including AHSADCA Athletic Director of the Year presented to Kim Kiel of Pelham High School. The ADSADCA also presented the Past President’s Award was presented to Kiel.
     Veteran Huntsville city councilman and AHSAA football official Mark Russell and Carver-Montgomery band director and music teacher LaFrancis Davis were also recognized at NFHS Section 3 “Spirit of Sport” and “Heart of the Arts” Award recipients for 2018. Russell suffered a heart attack in Madison Academy’s opening game of the 2017 prep football season and had no heartbeat for more than eight minutes, but thanks to the quick thinking of a nurse, who was in the sidelines as the MA school photographer, he survived the trauma. Just over three months later, he officiated in the Super 7 Class 7A state championship game at Bryant-Denny in Tuscaloosa.
     Davis, a multi-sport standout athlete at Slocomb high school, turned down college football for his true passion – music. He got his degree from Alabama A&M, then went into the Army where he reached the rank of Lieutenant Colonel before leaving the military to become a band director, first in his home Geneva County where he embarked on a career of rebuilding struggling band programs. He took over a Carver program that had just 60 members, now marches with more than 150 and has developed a program at a feeder middle school that is almost 100 strong.
     He marched and performed trumpet solos at halftime in high school and also rushed for over 1,400 yards. He has encouraged students in his band to play sports and currently has nine who are playing various sports from football and basketball to softball and volleyball.
NFHS Section 3 Coaches of the Year: Four AHSAA coaches were named 2017 NFHS Section 3 Coaches of the Year, including: Richard Carter, Lanett (boys’ basketball); Thomas Esslinger, Homewood (girls’ indoor track & field); Derrick Gargis, Muscle Shoals (boys’ golf); and Jimmy Johnson III, Opelika (boys’ outdoor track & field).
NFHS State Coaches of the Year: Twenty-one outstanding AHSAA coaches were selected 2017 NFHS state coach of the year in their respective sports: Zachary Blume, Southside-Gadsden (girls’ bowling); Richard Carter, Lanett (boys’ basketball); Thomas Esslinger, Homewood (outdoor track); Cheryl Flores, McGill-Toolen Catholic (girls’ soccer); Derrick Gargis, Muscle Shoals (boys’ golf); Donna Garner, Florence (boys’ tennis); Chris Heaps, Russellville (baseball); Matt Hicks, Oxford (wrestling); Stephen Hobbs, Spain Park (boys’ country); Kyle Justice, Decatur (girls’ tennis); Tyler Kerns, St. Paul’s Episcopal (boys’ swimming); Josh Niblett, Hoover (football); Dan Norton, Auburn (boys’ cross country); Al Rauls, Buckhorn (softball); Barbara Roy, Locust Fork (girls’ basketball); Rik Tozzi, Indian Springs (boys’ soccer); Roger von Jouanne, Westminster Christian (girls’ swimming); Kayla Woodard, Addison (volleyball).
Children Scholarship Recipients: Ten students, each a child of an AHSADCA member coach or administrator, also received the AHSADCA’s Coaches’ Children Scholarships. They were:
District 1: Willie James Taylor, Jackson HS (son of Coach Tamiko Taylor)
District 2: Courtney Powell, Georgiana HS (daughter of Coach Ezell Powell)
District 3: Elijah Jones, Prattville Christian (son of Coach Leonard Jones)
District 4: Casey Baynes, Tallassee HS (son of Coach Mark Baynes)
District 5: Gracyn LeSueur, Pelham HS (daughter of Coach Kevin LeSueur)
District 6: Riley Austin, Spring Garden HS (son of Coaches Dana and Ricky Austin)
District 6: Anna Bryant, Pleasant Valley HS (daughter of Coaches Dana and David Bryant)
District 7: Tucker Brown, Wilson HS (son of Coach Scott Brown)
District 8: Phillip DesRosier, Grissom HS (son of Cach Alicia Wright DesRosier)
District 8: Shelby Madison Brothers, Geraldine HS (daughter of Coach Cristie Brothers)
Willie James Taylor, Jackson HS (son of Coach Tamiko Taylor)