MISSISSIPPI ALABAMA BASKETBALL CLASSIC
MISSISSIPPI BOYS TEAM
NO. NAME POS HGT SCHOOL COLLEGE
2 DeANTHONY TIPLER PG 5-11 ASHLAND undecided
3 DaQUAN SMITH G 6-2 HOLLY SPRINGS MURRAY STATE
4 DEWAYNE STEWART F 6-6 RIVERSIDE MISS. STATE
10 GABE WATSON G 6-3 ST. JOSEPH (Madison) SOUTHERN MISS
11 GARRISON WADE F 6-6 ST. ANDREW’S undecided
12 MILES MILLER G 6-3 MERIDIAN undecided
15 TYRON BREWER F 6-6 MERIDIAN undecided
22 LADARIUS MARSHALL F 6-7 FOREST HILL undecided
23 TYLER STEVENSON F 6-7 NEW HOPE undecided
25 ROBERT WOODARD F 6-6 COLUMBUS MISS. STATE
30 JAVIAN FLEMING C 6-9 CANTON ALABAMA
33 KAMARIAN WILLIAMS C 6-8 CLEVELAND CENTRAL MURRAY STATE
HEAD COACH: KIM WINDOM, PORT GIBSON
ASSISTANT COACH: DARRIN CHANCELLOR, FLORENCE
ADMINISTRATIVE COACH: ERNIE WATSON, HATTIESBURG
ATHLETIC TRAINER: FRED ROBINSON, MS SPORTS MEDICINE
ALABAMA BOYS TEAM
NO. NAME POS HGT SCHOOL COLLEGE
3 TRAVARUS CARROLL G 6-2 HUFFMAN ITAWAMBA CC
4 JAMARI BLACKMON G 6-0 HOOVER undecided
10 DIANTE WOOD G 6-5 SACRED HEART ALABAMA
11 JARED SHERFIELD G 6-5 PAUL W. BRYANT TENNESSEE TECH
12 ANQUAEVIOUS POLLARD F 6-7 LANETT INDEPENDENCE CC
15 JAYCE WILLINGHAM G 6-5 CORDOVA undecided
20 JEFFERY ARMSTRONG PG 5-11 PLAINVIEW undecided
21 DYLAN ROBERTSON C 6-9 PAUL W. BRYANT WINGATE
23 LOGAN DYE G 6-9 HALEYVILLE SAMFORD
24 ISAAC CHATMAN F 6-6 CORDOVA undecided
25 SEAN ELMORE G 6-1 MOUNTAIN BROOK NORTH ALABAMA
34 XAVIER WILLIAMS C 6-9 A. H. PARKER undecided
HEAD COACH: ROBI COKER, PLAINVIEW
ASSISTANT COACH: HEATH BURNS, CORDOVA
ADMINISTRATIVE COACH: LUTHER TIGGS, BOB JONES
ADMINISTRATIVE COACH: DAVID GOOD, MOUNTAIN BROOK
ATHLETIC TRAINER: MEG IKEDA, ENCORE
MISSISSIPPI GIRLS TEAM
NO. NAME POS HGT SCHOOL COLLEGE
00 JARIYAH COVINGTON PG 5-3 STARKVILLE undecided
2 KYANNAH GRANT G 5-7 CHOCTAW CENTRAL undecided
3 TABREEA GANDY PG 5-3 STARKVILLE ITAWAMBA CC
4 KYARRAH GRANT G 5-7 CHOCTAW CENTRAL undecided
10 CHYNA LEIGH ALLEN G 5-6 HARRISON CENTRAL JONES JC
11 MAHOGANY VAUGHT G 5-7 OLIVE BRANCH SOUTH ALABAMA
12 KEALY WILSON G 5-9 HORN LAKE undecided
20 JATYJIA JONES G 5-9 INGOMAR undecided
23 DESTINY SMITH G 6-0 McCOMB SOUTHERN MISS
25 AMBER GASTON F 6-3 WARREN CENTRAL FLORIDA ATLANTIC
33 DAPHANE WHITE C 6-5 ST. MARTIN MISS. STATE
34 KAYLA SIMMONS F 6-0 BRANDON undecided
INJ KAVACI-A JOHNSON PG 5-4 BYHALIA CENTRAL ARKANSAS
HEAD COACH: JANNA THOMPSON, HORN LAKE
ASSISTANT COACH: SHAYNE LINZY, LAFAYETTE
ADMINISTRATIVE COACH: DONNY FULLER, GULFPORT
ATHLETIC TRAINER: STEVEN BUSH, MS SPORTS MEDICINE
ALABAMA GIRLS TEAM
NO. NAME POS HGT SCHOOL COLLEGE
3 HANNAH BARBER PG 5-6 HOMEWOOD ALABAMA
4 EBONI WILLIAMS F 6-0 HOOVER UT CHATTANOOGA
10 CAITLIN HOSE G 5-10 HAZEL GREEN GEORGIA
11 CLAIRE HOLT PG 5-8 SPAIN PARK RICHMOND
12 ALLIE CRUCE G/F 6-1 LAUDERDALE CTY ALABAMA
15 AJAH WAYNE G/F 5-10 RAMSAY OLD DOMINION
20 DAISHA BRADFORD PG 5-8 LEFLORE undecided
21 KARLEIGH SLEDGE F 6-0 DESHLER JACKSONVILLE ST.
24 JERMECYA HARRIS F 6-0 MATTIE T. BLOUNT LOUISIANA TECH
25 ZIPPORAH BROUGHTON PG 5-9 R. E. LEE RUTGERS
34 BROOKE HAMPEL G/F 5-10 HAZEL GREEN MISSOURI (K.C.)
40 MAYA BUCKHANON C 6-2 TALLADEGA MEMPHIS
HEAD COACH: TIM MILLER, HAZEL GREEN
ASSISTANT COACH: RICKY AUSTIN, SPRING GARDEN
ADMINISTRATIVE COACH: TAMMY WEST, COLD SPRINGS
ATHLETIC TRAINER: DeSHENA THOMAS, ENCORE
By Bill Plott
When Jerome Tate came out of college, he was a big man with big plans. And he would take that plan to the small Lee County community of Loachapoka where he spent more than two decades instilling big dreams in the student-athletes he taught.
A native of Selma, Tate is being inducted into Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame’s Class of 2018. He graduated from Selma High School in 1977 as an All-State offensive and defensive lineman and was selected to play in the AHSAA North-South All-Star Game. He attended Alabama A&M University, where he continued his on-the-field success and graduated in 1982 with a bachelor’s degree in health, physical education and recreation.
His first job out of college was at Keith High in Orrville where he served as head football and assistant basketball coach. He taught physical education and health, subjects that he taught at each stop in his career.
For the next two years he coached at the college level, first at Alabama A&M and then at Tuskegee University. He was defensive line coach at A&M. At Tuskegee he served as an assistant football coach, and head strength and conditioning coach. However, he knew in his heart that he belonged back in high school.
In 1990 he moved to Lanett High School where he spent 10 years as defensive coordinator, linebackers coach and offensive line coach. He also was head track coach from 1990-95 at Lanett.
When Tate left Lanett to accept the athletic director and head football coach position at Loachapoka High School, sportswriter Todd Brooks wrote of his impact at Lanett.
“Perhaps the thing I noticed most about Jerome in the past four years I’ve known him is not how well he coached, but how well he got along with the students,” Brooks said. “Anyone who has seen the man in a school setting can tell that he cares. When (coach) Billy Kinnard left (Lanett) in 1993, it was Tate who led the team until a new coach was found. He, along with the other coaches, took them through spring training and kept them together until Lee Gilliland was hired.
“I have never seen players respond to a coach the way the Panthers have responded to Tate. When I interviewed Cliff Jackson about being selected to the state’s Super 12 team, I asked him about who he credits for his success. Jackson immediately spoke the name of Jerome Tate. ‘He’s my biggest fan, my biggest buddy.’ That’s pretty impressive to hear a 17-year-old kid speaking so highly of an adult these days.”
Tate went to Loachapoka in 1995. Over the next 22 years he compiled a record of 152-98 and won four region titles and become the school’s all-time wins leader. The Indians were in the state playoffs 17 times in 22 years, including a string of 14 straight appearances.
His coaching accomplishments and honors include:
· 15 winning football seasons in 22 years at Loachapoka. Seventeen of his 22 teams made the state playoffs.
· Led his 2004 team to an undefeated regular season and finished 12-1 overall. The 12 wins is a single season is a school record.
· Finished 11-2 in 2009, tied a school record for wins and advanced to the playoff semifinals.
· All-time winningest coach in Lee County.
· Coach of the Year awards in 1997, 2004, 2005 and 2009.
· Played in the North South All-Star Game and later coached in both the North-South and the Alabama-Mississippi all-star games.
Eleven of his players at Lanett and 16 at Loachapoka went on to play at the collegiate level. Three of them played professionally: Josh Evans with the Houston Oilers, Tennessee Titans and New York Jets; Kenny Sander with the New York Giants; and Tracy Brooks with the Salina Liberty of the Championship Indoor Football League.
Long-time coaching rival and friend Jackie O’Neal, a 2012 Hall of Fame inductee, admired Coach Tate’s work ethic.
“He was focused and driven to develop his teams to be tough mentally and physically on the football field,” O’Neal said. “Through his mentorship and life of integrity, Coach Tate has positively impacted student athletes for over three decades…. He is a true professional, along with being one of the most honest and upstanding people I know. I truly call him a friend.”
Former AHSAA Executive Director Dan Washburn mentored Tate at Lanett and wrote the following:
“I have been associated with Jerome for 35 years. I hired Coach Tate as an assistant coach at Lanett High School during my tenure as superintendent of Lanett City schools. I have witnessed first-hand his love and passion for the game of football. Jerome demonstrates professional integrity, outstanding character and is a true professional in everything he undertakes.
“Being a former coach, I have experienced how difficult it is to maintain a quality program over a period of many years. Jerome is the winningest coach in Lee County…. Every year we have numerous coaches who have qualifications to be part of this most prestigious hall of fame, but there are some outstanding individuals who simply stand above and beyond other nominees. Jerome Tate is definitely one of these.”
Coach Jim Hubbert, a 2006 Hall of Fame inductee, also wrote a letter endorsing Tate’s nomination. Hhe said, “I have known Coach Jerome Tate for over 30 years – as a college recruiting coach, as one of my assistant coaches, as a head coach and opponent, and mostly as a colleague and a friend. Jerome is the type of coach any father would love his son and grandson to have lead them. I was fortunate enough to have Coach Tate as one of my son’s coaches, and for that I am extremely thankful.
“His teams always have been respected as hard-nosed, disciplined and respectful of opponents. Those positive attributes are the results of Coach Tate leading his teams to exhibit good moral and ethical standards, to demonstrate leadership qualities, and to display good sportsmanship. Because of Coach Tate’s leadership, his teams have always brought a source of pride and respect to his school and community.”
Tate was inducted into the Alabama A&M Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.
Friday: Obadiah Threadgill Legacy stretches over four generations.
By Bill Plott
Ann Schilling’s journey to the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame started at the hands of a master. The Class of 2018 inductee played under the renowned Coach Becky Dickinson at McGill-Toolen Catholic High School. Coach Dickinson was in the very first class of inductees in 1991.
In a letter nominating Schilling to the Hall of Fame, Coach Dickinson wrote:
“Before her high school tenure with me even began, Ann fell during summer team camp and broke her right arm. Other athletes might have let that discourage them, but not Ann. She stayed at summer camp and continued to work out. She came to every volleyball practice and game, taking statistics and stepping in wherever she could. She even taught herself to shoot a basketball left-handed.
“She had her silly moments, too. When she was still a freshman, our basketball team played an area championship, and I watched as my starting players fouled out one by one, clearing my bench until I was left with Ann. When I put her in the game, I called a time-out and shared the game plan with my players. We were ahead and time was running out. They were to maintain possession of the ball. We didn’t need any baskets, so they weren’t to shoot.
“Ann Stepped out onto the court and received the ball out in Timbuctoo. She didn’t’ dribble. She didn’t pass. She didn’t’ fake her opponent. No, that 14-year-old kid launched the ball toward our goal, and – swoosh! – made it. After the game, I told her had her ill-advised shot missed, she would never have seen playing time on one of my teams again.
“But she hadn’t missed. And perhaps she had learned something about strategy, something that came in handy for her as she played at Auburn or as she began her own coaching career at Bayside Academy.”
A native of Mobile, Schilling went from McGill-Toolen to Auburn University where she played basketball for four years, walking on and earning a scholarship by her sophomore year. She stayed a fifth year at Auburn to play volleyball when the program was reinstated.
With college-level varsity experience in basketball and volleyball under her belt, she accepted the position of physical education teacher, basketball and volleyball coach at Bayside Academy in 1987. It was a perfect union. Schilling is now in her 31st season of teaching and coaching at Bayside.
That career, by the numbers, includes the following:
· 23 state volleyball championships, four runners-up
· 16 consecutive state champions 2002-2017, an Alabama record and second in the nation, and 19 in 20 years since 1998
· More than 1,400 wins, first among state active coaches and second in the state all-time
· 6 Mobile Press Register Super 12 Coach of the Year awards
· 5 Birmingham News Coach of the Year awards
· 7 selections as AHSAA all-star coach
· National Federation of High Schools Volleyball Coach of the Year award in 2010
Additionally, Schilling has received two John L. Finley Awards for Superb Achievement as a coach and an R. L. Lindsay Service Award for club volleyball. She is founder and director of the Eastern Shore Volleyball Club.
She was elected to the Bayside Academy Hall of Fame in 2004 and to the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.
Nancy Shoquist, varsity volleyball coach at Mary G. Montgomery High School and a Hall of Fame inductee in 2014, wrote of her long association and friendship with Schilling:
“I truly feel Ann is the smartest high school volleyball coach in Alabama,” she said. “She studies the game, wanting always to learn new ideas and strategies which will give her an advantage. Her career record, state championships and state tournament appearances speak loads of her success.
“She will continue to be successful in volleyball because of the work ethic, love of her teams and lover of the game.”
Bayside Head of School Michael Papa spoke to the intangibles in Schilling’s career.
“Ann plays a huge role in the character development of the young ladies she coaches,” he said. “She instills good sportsmanship and the importance of teamwork in her players, regardless of the outcome of the game. Ann’s players respect her, and they want to work hard to win under her direction.”
Coach Dickinson said she saw Schilling develop and grow into a superb leader.
“Looking back at her outstanding career, it may come as a surprise that Ann was not a born leader,” Dickinson said. “During her senior year, the captain of the volleyball team missed one of our tournaments, and I watched as my team floundered, leaderless. A few timeouts later, when I asked Ann and her fellow senior to take charge, I watched her step onto the court and step into her own. After that, nothing Ann did surprised me.
“I was not surprised when she started and didn’t stop winning state championships. I was not surprised when Ann’s peers repeatedly recognized her coaching ability by voting her Coach of the Year. I was not surprised that she learned to take relatively unskilled young women and teach them game skills while building their confidence and leadership skills.”
And it is no surprise that Ann Schilling is now being inducted into the AHSAA Sports Hall of Fame in the Class of 2018.
THURSDAY: Jerome Tate taught his players to be mentally tough.
When Alvin Rauls was presented an AHSAA Making a Difference Award in 2017, he was aptly described as a “trailblazer.”
In 1992 this 2018 Alabama Sports Hall of Fame selection became the first black head coach to win a state baseball championship. Last year he became the first black coach to win a girls fast-pitch softball state championship. He is just the second coach in AHSA history to win titles in both of those sports.
A strong advocate of sportsmanship, Rauls was described as “an outstanding role model for students and is well respected by his peers.” Additionally, his service to the AHSAA has included serving on the Central Board of Control, Legislative Council and District Board of Officers.
A native of Albany (GA), he attended Monroe High School in Albany, graduating in 1972. Rauls then attended Florida A&M University on a baseball scholarship. At FAMU he played second base and was teammates with future baseball Hall of Famer Andre Dawson. He received his bachelor’s degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation and Driver’s Education in 1977.
After graduation he moved to Huntsville where he became Director of Parks and Recreation for the town of Triana, a small town that was incorporated in Madison County in 1919 – which officially became just the second city incorporated in the county’s history. With this job he became the first black recreation director for a city or township in the state. He also was responsible for implementing the Summer Youth Program.
His coaching career had begun back in Albany with an American Legion team. He continued at Triana where he coached the city women’s softball team and the men’s After Dark slow-pitch softball team, which won a state championship. He also became certified as an AHSAA basketball official during this time, calling games regularly from 1979-98.
In 1981 he became head baseball coach at Alabama A&M University, serving in that position for three years.
In 1988 he went to New Hope High School as baseball coach. He was named Madison County Coach of the Year in 1990 and 1993. He won the state Class 2A championship in 1992 and his 1990 team was Class 3A runner-up. At New Hope he also served as assistant football coach as well as driver’s education and physical education teacher. He took on head football coaching duties in 1993 and 1994, compiling a 10-10 record.
In 1995 he went to Sparkman High School as head baseball coach, assistant football coach and driver’s education teacher. He held the same positions at S.R. Butler from 1997-2002 and at Bob Jones from 2002-06.
During his tenure as a baseball coach he has won more than 350 games and has received Coach of the Year honors at the county and state level numerous times.
In 2007 he went to Buckhorn High School as softball coach compiling a 256-141 record through the 2017 season. In addition to the 2017 state championship, the 2015 team won the Area 7 championship and made it to the semifinals in the state playoffs.
In nominating Rauls for the Hall of Fame, Buckhorn Principal Todd Markham wrote: “I have known Coach Rauls for many years. We have worked together as coaches, and I now serve as his principal. He is a man of great character, and he has devoted his life to coaching and teaching young people.”
He also has coached American Legion baseball for Post 237, winning state championships in 1990 and 1993.
Another letter of nomination came from Buckhorn Athletic Director David Carroll. “I have known him since around 1984,” Carroll said. “He was just ‘Al’ to me as an eight-year-old boy signing up to play basketball, soccer or baseball. He worked for the Madison Recreation Center and always had a big smile and that trademark deep voice. I would see him at the gym, all gyms it seemed, for he was also a basketball official. I waved at him as I rode my bicycle on the walkway up and down Hughes Road.
“As luck would have it, Coach Rauls took over the head baseball and assistant football jobs at New Hope High School as I entered the 9th grade. I would see him plenty over the next four years as the New Hope/Bob Jones rivalry in football and baseball had championship implications every year. Coach Rauls had a deep impact on the players he coached at BJHS, and they became my mentors.
“A vivid memory I have of my first day of baseball practice involves a drill run by senior Paul Fulda. We were working on ‘crow-hops’ in the outfield, and I was not familiar with it. As I struggled to catch on, I questioned, ‘Why are we doing this?’ Fulda’s reply was simply, ‘Coach Rauls taught us to do it this way.’ I had pride that I was at least indirectly coached by Al Rauls.
“As years passed and I got into coaching, our paths crossed several times. Any time I could pick his brain or ask advice he would never hesitate to talk ball with me. I had had countless conversations with those who either played for or coached with him. He is revered. I am now fortunate to be his athletic director as he has coached softball at Buckhorn. Although he is now coaching girls, the winning and the reverence is still the same.”
WEDNESDAY: Ann Schilling – Perseverance and Passion Has Been her Trademark.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: John Gillis
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (March 12, 2018) —LaFrancis Davis, the director of bands at Montgomery’s Carver High School, has been selected as the 2018 Section 3 recipient of the “National High School Heart of the Arts Award” by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). Cecelia Egan of Riverside (Rhode Island) St. Mary Academy-Bay View has been selected the 2018 national recipient of the “National High School Heart of the Arts Award” by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
Davis will be recognized at the AHSAA Summer Conference Championship Coaches banquet on Friday night, July 20 at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center.
The National High School Heart of the Arts Award was created by the NFHS to recognize those individuals who exemplify the ideals of the positive heart of the arts that represent the core mission of education-based activities. This is the fifth year that the National High School Heart of the Arts Award has been offered. Eight
Ever since he was a student at Slocomb High School, Davis has had a passion for music. However, he was also a tremendous athlete who excelled in football, basketball, baseball and track. As such, he often faced schedule conflicts between athletics and performing arts.
By the time he was a junior, Davis had developed into a very talented all-around athlete who emerged as one of the state’s best football running backs. Band director Debra Lynn Long encouraged Davis to keep playing football and to keep playing the trumpet. He would often gain several yards in the first half of a football game and then march in his football uniform in the Marching Red Top Band before returning to the backfield in the second half.
When Davis prepared to graduate, several college football programs vied for his services. While Davis really wanted to play college football, he also wanted to major in music. He chose to attend Alabama A&M University, which had an outstanding music program.
After graduation, he served in the U.S. Army for 10 years. After that, he was persuaded to become band director at Coffee Springs High School. After resurrecting a struggling program there, he moved to Geneva County High School. He had two more stops along the way before landing at Carver, where he encourages his students to not just “… love all music, but to love playing the music and singing the songs even more.”
He rejuvenated Carver’s struggling band program from less than 60 members to now more than 150. He also started a band program at its feeder middle school that now nearly 100 students involved as well.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (March 12, 2018) — Mark Russell, a high school football official and president of the Huntsville (Alabama) City Council, has been selected as the 2018 Section 3 recipient of the “National High School Spirit of Sport Award” by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). Russell will be recognized at the AHSAA Summer Conference Championship Coaches awards banquet Friday night, July 20 at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center.
The National High School Spirit of Sport Award was created by the NFHS to recognize those individuals who exemplify the ideals of the spirit of sport that represent the core mission of education-based athletics. Marissa Walker, a student-athlete at Waterford (Connecticut) High School, was selected the 2018 national recipient of the “National High School Spirit of Sport Award.” One recipient from each of the NFHS’s eight districts was selected for section recognition.
An Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) and youth league football official for more than 30 years, Russell has been a member of the Northeast Football Officials Association (NEFBOA) during most of that time. He has served as head of its nominating committee, as the leader of the local football association’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes group, and as chair of the NEFBOA’s benevolent committee projects. He has officiated several AHSAA state championship football games – most recently as a linesman at the 2017 Class 7A title game.
That seemingly innocuous officiating assignment was nothing less than a miracle. Just three months earlier on August 25, Russell was officiating a season-opening high school game between Alabama school Madison Academy and McCallie Academy from Tennessee. During the game, Russell collapsed on the field with heart failure. Paulette Berryman, a nurse who just happened to be working as the Madison Academy school photographer, was standing at the sidelines and quickly came to his aid performing CPR until he was revived. His heart had been stopped with no heartbeat for eight minutes while he lay unconscious on the ground in front of the packed stadium of fans.
He was then rushed by ambulance to Huntsville Hospital’s emergency ward. Within two hours, doctors stabilized him, implanted a stent, and he was sitting up with more than 40 officials who had rushed to the hospital ICU to pray for him and to support him during his time of need. Advised by the doctors to take some extended time off, Russell returned to football in less than a month for a coin toss, and then back as a linesman within six weeks.
To fully measure the impact of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2018 inductee Randy Ragsdale, one needs to look past his 242 football coaching victories.
That’s the opinion who those who know him, including Trinity Presbyterian High School’s head of school Kerry Palmer. “There is so much more to ‘Coach Rags’ than metrics can measure,” Palmer said. “Randy Ragsdale is one of the finest human beings I have ever known. He truly loves and cares for all of the students at our school – not just ‘his boys’. He learns every name, knows every relationship and demonstrates real interest in each individual student. Randy’s positivity, enthusiasm and optimism are always present and are contagious.”
Ragsdale is being inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2018 at the Hall of Fame banquet March 19 at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center.
A native of Coyners, a suburban city near Atlanta, Ragsdale attended Rockdale County High School, graduating in 1975.
After an outstanding high school career, he received a football scholarship to Jacksonville State University. At JSU he earned All-American honors starting at tackle for three years and played in the NCAA Division II National Championship game in 1978 as a senior.
Upon graduation the following spring, he accepted a position at north Clayton High School in Georgia where he was an assistant coach for three years. He then moved to Fayette County (GA) where he coached from 1982-85.
In 1985 he moved to Alabama and joined the Northview High School coaching staff as defensive coordinator at the Dothan school. His impact was felt immediately as Northview won the 1985 Class 6A state championship.
After four years at Northview, Ragsdale moved to Trinity Presbyterian as head football coach, a position he held through the 2016 season. Although he announced his retirement from coaching, he continues to serve in the Middle School Dean position he has held since 2006.
With his retirement from football, Ragsdale legacy includes:
· He compiled an overall head-coaching record of 242-86.
· His teams qualified for the state playoffs 25 times in 28 seasons.
· Trinity was 15-0 in 2003 and won the Class 4A state championship.
· The Wildcats compiled a 45-game regular-season win streak from 2000-05.
· His teams won 13 Region titles with an overall 116-23 region record.
· He served as a coach in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game, was head coach in the North-South All-Star Game in 2010 and assistant coach in 1997 and 2004; and also coached a team in the Down under Bowl in Australia.
· He was named 2003 State Coach of the Year and was selected three times Metro Coach of the Year.
· Received the prestigious Herman L. “Bubba” Scott Lifetime Achievement Award from the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in 2017 for his positive impact as a coach and commitment to his faith.
· The City of Montgomery proclaimed October 10, 2017, as Randy Ragsdale Day with commendations coming from the mayor’s office and the governor’s office.
“He makes our school better, and he makes the world better,” Palmer said. “Coach Ragsdale is not simply a colleague. He is a close personal friend and my brother in Christ.”
Todd Parsons, president of the Trinity Presbyterian Board of Trustees, added, “Coach Ragsdale put the Trinity football program on the map and compiled a record on the field of play that may never again be matched by a coach at a single school in Montgomery. Several members of our Trustee Board played for Coach Ragsdale and admire and respect him greatly.
“In fact, our board has voted to re-name our football field in honor of Coach Ragsdale. Our playing field will be known as Ragsdale-Boykin Field, honoring what we believe to be two of the finest men ever to serve this institution.“
In a 2014 interview with Duane Rankin of The Montgomery Advertiser, Ragsdale attributed part of his success to a simple motto his teams strived to live by: “Be accountable.”
“Our young men work to try to do what we ask them to do,” he said. “We repeat that over and over and over again. I think that comes with helping teach them to handle their own stuff. They’ve got to be personally accountable. And I say this in a positive way. We’re going to demand that out of them.”
Wilson Van Hooser, a former Trinity player who played collegiately at Tulane and Troy and received a tryout with the New England Patriots, was asked why Trinity has one of the best football programs in the state.
“I tell people this all the time,” he said, referring to what he learned as a member of a Randy Ragsdale-coached team. “We were a bunch of crazy, small guys out there. We weren’t the most athletic team out there. We had one or two (outstanding players) and my senior year we had three or four. (What we did have) was just a bunch out there who would lunge into people and knew how to play by the details.
We were relentless. We never let up. Whether we’re down or up, we (would) keep the pedal to the metal the whole game.”
Tuesday: Alvin Rauls – A trailblazer in high school athletics.
Longtime Deshler High School head football coach John Mothershed displayed an innate ability to connect with students – on and off the football field.
Current Deshler principal Russ Tate supports that assessment.
“Coach Mothershed was not only a winner on the football field, but also a great teacher,” Tate said. “I have been told by many former teachers and students about his amazing ability to connect with students first in the classroom and then on the field. His teaching ability was respected by all members of the faculty at Deshler High School.”
Mothershed is being inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2018 at the Hall of Fame banquet March 19 at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center. He compiled a 201-53 head-coaching record at Deshler from 1995-2013.
Molding youngsters into men was his even bigger accomplishment, Tate said.
“While his athletic accomplishments are numerous and most deserving of this award, we must never forget why we are in this business of education, and that is to mold and develop the minds of our youth,” Tate said. “Coach Mothershed took the same principles that he taught to his players and used them to impact the entire school. He was a teacher first and coach second.”
A native of Florence, John Mothershed attended Sheffield High School where he lettered in football and wrestling. He was All-Area in football during his senior season and a state runner-up in wrestling in the 155-pound weight class.
After high school, he attended the University of North Alabama where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1985. While in college, he actually began his high school coaching career, serving as assistant wrestling coach. After graduation he returned to his alma mater as assistant football coach.
In 1987 he left Sheffield and accepted a position as teacher and assistant at Deshler High School. From 1987-94 he worked with Coach Tandy Gerelds, a 2016 Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame inductee. During those eight years with Gerelds, Mothershed helped develop a program that was in the state playoffs every year, including 1990 when the Tigers won the state championship with a 15-0 record. Deshler was also runner-up the following year.
In 1995 he was promoted to head football coach and athletic director. He gave up the athletic director position in 2007 to concentrate on coaching, a role he held until 2013. Deshler won his 200th game in the final regular season game in 2013, a 49-20 win over North Jackson. During his career at Deshler, Mothershed had the following accomplishments:
· An overall record of 201-53, a 71% winning mark
· Class 4A State Championships in 1998 and 1999
· Class 4A runners-up in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2010
· 13 Area and Region championships with a record of 103-13
· In the state playoffs each of his 19 years, advancing to the third round in all but three of those years, with an overall playoff record of 49-17
“(I think) every coach (at Deshler) will be measured against his success,” Tate said. “Coach Mothershed was a winner and invoked a winning attitude into every sport here at Deshler High School. I was lucky enough to watch from afar while Coach Mothershed was the head football coach, and it was one of the first scores I always tried to find on Friday night during football season.
“During Mothershed’s tenure as coach, he accumulated a multitude of playoff victories, won back-to-back state titles, finished as state runner-up numerous times, and concluded his coaching career with a 201-53 record. That is why every coach who will ever patrol the sidelines at Deshler High School will have a difficult challenge of measuring up to the standard that Coach Mothershed established.”
In a 2009 interview with Sean Lowery, Mothershed talked of his coaching philosophy.
“All eyes are on you, and the more successful your program, the more eyes are on you. It kind of goes to Matthew 5:14, ‘You are the light of the world.’ Those that are behind you look to you for leadership. Those that are against you watch closely to see if you stumble so they can pounce on that,” he said.
Asked how you handle that kind of pressure, Coach Mothershed said, “You just do what you can do. You’re just a man, and you’re not anything more than that. So, you just focus on your job and doing your job. You don’t get too excited when they are praising you, nor do you get too down when they are trashing you. You just go on and do your job.”
From 2001-03 he served as vice president of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association He was president in 2004.
He was inducted into the Colbert County Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
MONDAY: Randy Ragsdale – Much more to him than wins and losses.