Community Volunteers Embrace Super 7 to Make Special Memories for Teams, Fans


December 5, 2017



Contact: Mike Perrin | 205-969-1331 | 205-540-7721 | mike@dcwins.com


Community Volunteers Embrace Super 7  

to Make Special Memories for Teams, Fans


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Once the Alabama High School Athletic Association Super 7 State Football Championships begin on Wednesday, it will be easy for fans to spot their favorite team. The team most responsible for the success of the event may not be quite as conspicuous, but it has been putting in extra hours making memories from three days at Bryant-Denny Stadium last a lifetime.


“The volunteers that each community provide for our championship events are the foundation of the event,” said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. “Without those volunteers, we could not provide the quality event we do. We have so many people who give of their time to give back to the community.”


The long tradition of community support for AHSAA championship events began in Birmingham when the Monday Morning Quarterback Club and the Birmingham Tipoff Club got involved in the football and basketball championships decades ago. Now, with the football championships rotating between Tuscaloosa and Auburn, those communities and universities have taken up the mantle and taken it to a new level.


According to the Tuscaloosa Tourism & Sports staff, there will be 434 volunteers working more than 1,700 hours during Super 7 week.


“Tuscaloosa Tourism & Sports values our community partnerships above all else,” said Don Staley, the CEO and president of the tourism group. “Nothing is more vital to the success of our events than the selfless commitment of all those involved.”


Volunteers work as team hosts, selling and taking tickets at the gates, providing suite hospitality and staffing the press box. There are 62 volunteers per shift.


“I am a team host and having been doing this since 2009,” said Richard Powell, staff civil engineer at the University of Alabama. “My role is to coordinate everything that the team needs while in Tuscaloosa, which includes making sure that their hotel is ready for them when they arrive, restaurants can accommodate them, they have a place to have a walk-through or practice if needed and whatever else they need.”


It’s not just people who provide the vital support necessary to make the Super 7 a success. The universities and business community are critical partners.


“Both universities embrace our event,” Savarese said. “They treat us just like it’s any college football game that they’re hosting. It’s the most humbling experience I’ve been part of. It’s been such a great experience to watch Auburn and Alabama, who compete at the highest level, work together in the same fashion. It’s been a tremendous experience and I’ve gained a tremendous respect for both universities because of their commitment, their selflessness and their service to our member schools.”


Max Karrh, a senior vice president at Bryant Bank, said the finance professionals enjoy sharing their expertise – and getting out to the stadium. “Bryant Bank is proud to provide Super 7 volunteers each time it rolls around to Tuscaloosa,” he said. “With about 10 bankers, we have the fun opportunity to engage with, and welcome, the guests by helping sell tickets at the front gate. As a bank, we can lend our expertise and experience of handling cash properly and securely to enhance this statewide event that is a huge economic boost to Tuscaloosa. It’s a win-win situation for all involved!”


The teams involved in the Super 7 recognize how volunteers make the event run as smoothly as possible. The volunteers know how important their efforts are to the community and the participants, but they also get something extra from giving their time.


“I volunteer because I feel like it is vital to help people in need, which I feel is a worthwhile cause, while helping the community and hopefully making it a better place,” Powell said. “I believe that volunteering is a two-way street. It benefits the individual as much as it benefits the organization that you are helping. I believe that the more you volunteer, the more benefits you’ll experience. Volunteering allows me to connect with others that, in turn, brings fun and fulfillment to my life.


“This experience has allowed me to make new friends, and has expanded my network by exposing me to people with common interests,” he said. “Finally, I enjoy volunteering because it allows me to establish strong relationships, it is good for society and it gives me a sense of purpose.”


Savarese pointed out a monetary benefit of having such an outpouring of community support at the Super 7 venues. “Because of our volunteers, we’re able to give back to our schools with guarantees for playing in the playoffs,” he said. “Whether they have five fans or 5,000 – they are going to get a guarantee because of the universities’ commitment to the event and the communities’ commitment. It lowers our expenses and we’re able to do more for our member schools.”


# # #


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. 

Raycom’s AHSAA Super TV Network Telecasts Being Made Available in Mobile at WKRG TV Digital Channel

     MONTGOMERY – All seven AHSAA Super 7 state championship football games will be available to viewers across the state at a Raycom affiliate or over the affiliate’s Bounce Channel and over the internet on You Tube by live video-stream. There is no Raycom station is located in Mobile, but viewers from that area will have several ways to view the championships.
    According to Raycom Producer Rich Michaelson of Broadview Media, WKRG TV, over its D-3 channel (My TV), is carrying all games live – including McGill-Toolen Catholic vs. Hoover in the 7A state finals Wednesday night; St. Paul’s Episcopal vs. Briarwood Christian in the 5A finals on Thursday night; and UMS-Wright vs. Fayette County in the 4A finals Friday.
    WKRG’s My TV channel can be found on the following Mobile area cable networks:
Comcast – Channel 177
Cox – Channel 699
Mediacom – Channel 81

Cable channels showing the Super 7 Championships can be accessed for any community in the state by going to: http://www.pathtotheplayoffs.com/ and clicking on “Where to Watch.”

Live video-streaming of all seven championship games can be accessed at the following You Tube links:

·         McGill-Toolen v. Hoover 7A
Direct Link: https://youtu.be/_9vMLkhGHtY

·         Hillcrest-Evergreen vs. Randolph Co 3A
Direct Link: https://youtu.be/8RJGu0b_UTU

·         Sweet Water vs. Pickens County 1A
Direct Link: https://youtu.be/zFt_J6Bny0w

·         Briarwood Christian vs. St. Paul’s Ep 5A
Direct Link: https://youtu.be/vWqD_ARIe2Q

·         Fayette County vs. UMS-Wright 4A
Direct Link: https://youtu.be/rLHYuWbdRKA

·         Lanett vs. Leroy 2A
Direct Link: https://youtu.be/cscyiyPmfoY

·         Wetumpka vs. Pinson Valley 6A
Direct Link: https://youtu.be/9RSiT5QWMs0

Baldwin County vs. Vestavia Hills (Unifed Game)
Direct Link: http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/hillcresttuscaloosa-high-school-tuscaloosa-al/0125064dce

Raycom Media schedule and main channel AHSAA Super 7 Football telecast Dec. 6-8

        MONTGOMERY – Raycom Media is pleased to announce the TV schedule for the 2017 AHSAA Super 7 Football games to be televised live and web-streamed from Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa this week. Raycom announced today the slate of games airing December 6-8 from Bryant-Denny stadium in Tuscaloosa.  As an AHSAA TV Partner the live broadcast of the Super 7 championships game will are available on 5 Raycom affiliates in-state WAFF, WBRC, WSFA, WTVM, WDFX and WKRG Dot 3 in Mobile many on main channels in their markets. The games will be either on Raycom’s Bounce channel or main channel. Check the chart below for more details. The AHSAA/Special Olympics Alabama Unified Game, which is being produced by Brent Jones and the Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa High School’s NFHS Network School Broadcast Program,  will also be free to all viewers over the NFHS Network. Go to http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/explore/upcoming/school/79b4a0a4a9 for more information. The link for the game should be uploaded by the end of the day Tuesday.







Wednesday 12/6 7:00 PM

McGill-Toolen v. Hoover


WKRG - Mobile
Comcast - 177
Cox - 699
Mediacom - 81







Thursday 12/7 11:00 AM

Hillcrest-Evergreen vs. Randolph Co





Thursday 12/7 3:00 PM

Sweet Water vs. Pickens Co.




Thursday 12/7 7:00 PM

Briarwood Christian vs. St. Paul’s Ep










Friday 12/8 11:00 AM

Fayette County vs. UMS-Wright





Friday 12/8 3:00 PM

Lanett vs. Leroy




Friday 12/8 7:00 PM

Wetumpka vs. Pinson Valley





McGill-Toolen v. Hoover 7A

Direct Link: https://youtu.be/_9vMLkhGHtY

Hillcrest-Evergreen vs. Randolph Co 3A

Direct Link: https://youtu.be/8RJGu0b_UTU

Sweet Water vs. Pickens County 1A

Direct Link: https://youtu.be/zFt_J6Bny0w

Briarwood Christian vs. St. Paul’s Ep 5A

Direct Link: https://youtu.be/vWqD_ARIe2Q

Fayette County vs. UMS-Wright 4A

Direct Link: https://youtu.be/rLHYuWbdRKA

Lanett vs. Leroy 2A

Direct Link: https://youtu.be/cscyiyPmfoY

Wetumpka vs. Pinson Valley 6A

Direct Link: https://youtu.be/9RSiT5QWMs0

This event is sure to be a special time for high school teams and their communities in the recognition for their yearlong achievements. We look forward to giving the fans and families of these schools a great production and a memory of this event that will last a lifetime.


Viewers can go to www.pathtotheplayoffs.com for more information and channel schedule for the games airing in your area.

Tickets can be purchased on line. For ticket information, go to: https://gofan.co/app/school/AHSAA/Super7

Super 7 Set for Bryant-Denny Stadium, Dec. 6-7-8 Championship Pairings Set for 62nd AHSAA State Football Playoffs

     MONTGOMERY – Four unbeaten teams and one defending state champion advanced to the 2017 Super 7 State Football Championships set for the University of Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium, Dec. 6-7-8.
    Randolph County (13-1) avenged a regular-season 41-31 loss to two-time defending Class 3A state champion and Region 5 rival Piedmont in the semifinals Friday with a dramatic 35-28 win over the Bulldogs to clinch a berth in championship game.  Coach Pat Prestridge’s Tigers from Wedowee scored the winning touchdown with 1.6 seconds remaining in the game. Randolph County had a chance to tie the game at 28-28 a few minutes earlier but failed on a two-point try.
      “It was an incredible finish,” Prestridge said of the semifinal win. Piedmont won the 2015 and 2016 Class 3 state titles. The Tigers, 36-5 over the last three seasons with two losses coming at the hands of Piedmont, will face Hillcrest-Evergreen (13-1), which beat Region 1 rival Clarke County 20-14 to reach the Super 7 finals for the first time in school history. Randolph County last reached the finals in 1998.
      Leroy (12-2) went for two in its 28-21 win over Goshen in the semifinals. The Bears of Coach Jason Massey took the lead 22-21 with 1:26 left going for two after trailing for most of the game, then blocked a 45-yard field goal attempt by the Eagles in the final seconds and ran the blocked kick back for a final touchdown. Lanett (14-0) downed Sulligent (12-2) 59-28 to capture the other 2A championship game berth.
    In Class 5A, St. Paul’s Episcopal (13-1) and Briarwood Christian (14-0) won close game in the semifinals to reach the finals. Coach Steve Mask’s Saints edged Demopolis 20-19 and Coach Fred Yancey’s Lions rebounded from a 27-10 halftime deficit to beat St. Clair County 37-33.
     The Saints and Lions, with eight state titles between them, played in the 2007 state finals – a game that included two blocked kicks in the final minutes. St. Paul’s won 14-13. Both starting quarterbacks in that game, A.J. McCarron of St. Paul’s and Barrett Trotter of Briarwood, met again in college in the Iron Bowl as starters for Alabama and Auburn, respectively.
     In Class 6A, Wetumpka (13-1) beat Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 44-27 and Pinson Valley (14-0) beat Clay-Chalkville 37-7 to reach the finals for the first time in school history. In Class 4A, Fayette County (12-2) beat previously undefeated Saks 34-7 and UMS-Wright (12-2) nipped Andalusia 35-28 to set up the 4A championship game. And in Class 1A, Pickens County (12-2) scored 29 points in the fourth quarter to beat South Lamar 35-7 and Sweet Water (12-1) edged Wadley 27-21 in the other semifinal to advance to the Super 7.
      Hoover (10-3) and McGill-Toolen Catholic (13-0) clinched spots in the 7A finals on Nov. 24. The Bucs are the only defending champion to advance to the finals this season. The Yellow Jackets are one four teams still unbeaten. Lanett, Briarwood Christian and Pinson Valley are the other unbeaten teams in the Super 7.
    Schools reaching the Super 7 championships for the first are: Hillcrest-Evergreen, Lanett, Wetumpka, Pinson Valley and Baldwin County’s Unified team. 
     Raycom Media, the AHSAA’s TV partner, will televise all seven championships over its Raycom network of affiliates. The AHSAA Radio Network will broadcast all seven finals as well.
    UNIFIED TEAMS IN SUPER 7: Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa’s NFHS Network School Broadcast Program will live-stream the fourth annual Unified Sports game between Vestavia Hills and Baldwin County, which kicks off the Super 7 Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. at Bryant-Denny Stadium. The AHSAA partners with Special Olympics Alabama to host the annual flag football game.
    Complete Super 7 pairings:

Bryant-Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa
Wednesday, Dec. 6
Baldwin County vs. Vestavia Hills, 3:30 p.m.

McGill-Toolen Catholic (13-0) vs. Hoover (10-3), 7 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 7
Hillcrest-Evergreen (13-1) vs. Randolph County (13-1), 11 a.m.

Sweet Water (12-1) vs. Pickens County (12-2), 3 p.m.

Briarwood Christian (14-0) vs. St. Paul’s Episcopal (13-1), 7 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 8
Fayette County (12-2) vs. UMS-Wright (12-2), 11 a.m.

Lanett (14-0) vs. Leroy (12-2), 3 p.m.

Wetumpka (13-1) vs. Pinson Valley (14-0), 7 p.m.

AHSAA 2017 Football Playoffs
Semifinal Results (Friday, Dec. 1)

Sweet Water (12-1) 27, Wadley (12-1) 21
Pickens County (12-2) 35, South Lamar (10-4) 7

Leroy (12-2) 28, Goshen (12-2) 21
Lanett (14-0) 59, Sulligent (12-2) 28

Hillcrest-Evergreen (13-1) 20, Clarke County (11-3) 14
Randolph County (13-1) 35,  Piedmont (12-2) 28

UMS-Wright (12-2) 35, Andalusia (12-2) 28
Fayette County (12-2) 34, Saks (13-1) 7

St. Paul’s Episcopal (13-1) 20, Demopolis (11-3) 19
Briarwood Christian (14-0) 35, St. Clair County (10-4) 33

Wetumpka (13-1) 44, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (10-4) 27
Pinson Valley (14-0) 37, Clay-Chalkville (11-3) 7

CLASS 7A (Nov. 24)
McGill-Toolen Catholic (13-0) 27, Central-Phenix City (12-1) 26 (OT)
Hoover (10-3) 31, Thompson (12-1)

58th AHSAA Swimming & Diving Championships Westminster, St. Paul’s, Auburn and Huntsville Repeat as AHSAA State Swimming Champions

AUBURN – Fifteen AHSAA state swimming records were set Saturday and defending champions Westminster Christian, Auburn, St. Paul’s Episcopal and Huntsville repeated as team winners as the 58th AHSAA State Swimming & Diving Championships concluded at James. E. Martin Aquatics Center at Auburn University.
    Huntsville’s boys, coached by Arthur Fortin, won the 6A/7A state title with 321 points as the Panthers notched their fourth state title in the last 16 years and recorded their 14th overall. Auburn was second with 259 points. Auburn’s girls of Coach Jeff Dellinger posted 339.50 points captured the Tigers’ fifth girls’ AHSAA crown in a row to beat runner-up Huntsville (263). Westminster Christian, coached by  Roger Von Jouanne, out-pointed runner-up and Huntsville rival St. John Paul II Catholic of 331-285 to claim its second Class 1A/5A girls’ state championship, and St. Paul’s Episcopal, coached by Tyler Kerns, accumulated 357 points to win the Saints’ fourth consecutive Class 1A/5A boys’ crown.
   Of the 15 records that fell in the swimming competition this weekend, senior Kolbie Melton of Athens broke one all-time mark – winning the Class 1A/5A 100-yard backstroke in a record 54.67-second time. Paige Madden of UMS-Wright had held the previous record (54.91) since 2014. Eight boys’ AHSAA records fell and seven girls’ records were broken in the 2017 state meet.
   Two additional records were set by senior Kailee Lusk of Thompson in the Adaptive Sports 50 and 100-yard freestyle events. She bettered her prelim time in the 50-yard race from 41.29 seconds to 39.83 in the finals to establish an AHSAA record in the adaptive division. She also swam 1:32.62 in the 100-yard freestyle prelims and then established the adaptive record in the event in the finals with a time of 1:29.39.
    For complete event results, go to the following link at www.ahsaa.com.

For complete team results go to:


AHSAA 58th annual Swimming & Diving Championships
At James E. Martin Aquatics Center, Auburn University

200-Yard Medley: Huntsville clocked 1:36.43 in the finals to beat the previous record of 1:36.65 set by Auburn in 2016. The Panthers’ relay team consisted of Caleb Chance, Alexander Nurre, Evan Vela and Stephen O’Neil.
100-Yard Freestyle: Northview junior Wen Zhang tied his own 6A/7A record set in 2016 with a winning time of 44.78 in the finals Saturday.
500-Yard Freestyle: Sophomore Ward Lockhart of Spain Park set the 6A/7A state record in the prelims with a time of 4:40.91 in the prelims and broke his own mark in the finals with a 4:38.88.
100-Yard Backstroke: Huntsville’s Caleb Chance set a new 6A/7A record in the prelims with a time of 50.54 and bettered that mark in the finals (40.46) to set a new record on Saturday.
100-Yard Breastroke: Daphne’s Trey Sheils won the event Saturday with a time of 57.51 seconds – just shy of the 57.08 time he swan in Friday’s prelims to set a new 6A/7A record.


50-Yard Freestyle: Junior Dexter Brown of Jackson set a new 1A/5A record in the prelims with a 21.50 time and broke that mark in the finals swimming 21.39.

200-Yard Freestyle Relay: The St. Paul's Episcopal relay ream of Addison Sims, Antoine Seurot, Stephen Conrad and Noah Prevost swan 1:33.91 to set a new Class 1A/5A state meet mark – topping the Saints’ record-setting time of 1:34.22 swan in 2016.
100-Yard Breastroke: Senior Kyle Vosen of Scottsboro clocked 58.48 in the finals to better the 1A/5A record he set in 2016 and won the event by almost two seconds.


Class 6A/7A Girls
200-yard Medley Relay: Auburn’s relay team of Maggie Casey, Annie Frances Dallas, Hadley Dowdle and Anna Kate McGinty swam the distance in 1:46.24, just shy of the record set by Auburn in 2016.
100-Yard Backstroke: Athens senior Kobie Melton clocked 54.67 seconds in the finals to set the 6A/7A record she set Friday in the prelims (55.08) and also broke the AHSAA’s all-time mark of 54.91 set by UMS-Wright’s Paige Madden in 2014.
100-Yard Breastroke: Grissom’s Alison Hu clocked 1:03.19 in the finals to break the 6A/7A state record of 1:03.77 set in the prelims by freshman Letitia Sims of Spanish Fort. Sims bettered her own prelim time in the finals swimming 1:03.64 and finished second in the event.
Adaptive 50-Yard and 100-Yard Freestyle: Kailee Lusk, a senior at Thompson, established the AHSAA record with a time of 39.83 seconds in the finals. She followed with a time of 1:29.39 in the 100-yard freestyle finals to set another adaptive record.


200-Yard Freestyle:
Freshman Rebekah Hamilton of Westminster Christian set a new AHSAA Class 1A/5A state record with a prelims time of 1:51.85 and then broke that mark with a 1:50.04 time in the finals. She set the previous record (1:51.85) last year as an eighth grader.
200-Yard IM: Katie Pollard of Madison Academy clocked 2:06.85 to win the event break her own record time. The sophomore set the AHSAA mark for 1A/5A in 2016 with a 2:07.19.
100-Yard Freestyle:  Westminster Christian freshman Eboni McCarty set a new AHSAA 1A/5A record in the prelims (51.69) but Altamont’s Anna-Julia Kutsch topped that mark in the finals with a 50.39 time. McCarty finished second at 51.96.
400-Yard Freestyle Relay: Westminster Christian’s relay team bettered Friday’s prelim time by 16 seconds to win the event Saturday with a 1A/5A record time of 3:39.10. The team consisted of Rebekah Hamilton, Amanda Dowling, Lauren McAdams and Eboni McCarty. St. John Paul II Catholic’s relay team finished second with a 3:42.94 time – just short of their prelim-winning 3:42.31 mark that set a short-lived state record on Friday.  

58th AHSAA Swimming & Diving Championships Underway at Auburn Pruitt Wins AHSAA Diving Title for 4th Time

AUBURN – Opelika High School senior Conner Pruitt posted a 510.95 score in the finals Friday afternoon to win the AHSAA State Diving Championship for Class 6A/7A for the fourth year in a row.
    Pruitt fell just short of the AHSAA state-meet record (532.90) he set last year in the 1-meter competition, but still finished 119.45 points ahead of runner-up Zachael El-Fallah of Spain Park. The Jaguars junior scored 391.50 to edge Grissom’s James Hughes for second place.
    The 58th annual AHSAA State Swimming & Diving Championships got underway Friday at Auburn University’s James E. Martin Aquatics Center with diving semifinals and finals. Swimming event prelims were scheduled for Friday night. The swimming finals will get underway Saturday at 2 p.m. All finals will be live-streamed by the NFHS Network Saturday with veteran announcer Jerry Young handling the commentary. The link for NFHS Network subscribers is: http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/ahsaa/d1dabc183c
    None subscribers can sign up by registering at www.nfhsnetwork.com
    Madison Academy junior Taylor Young won the Class 1A/5A boys’ diving competition for the second year in a row Friday with a 369.85 score. Dominic Bechen, a sophomore at St. John Paul II Catholic, finished second at 244.65.
    In the girls’ competition, Auburn junior Ava Talorico edged defending state champion Emilie Hunter of Daphne by 401.25 to 400.05 to capture the Class 6A/7A 1-meter diving title Friday. Hunter, a junior, improved her winning score from 2016 by 94 points but it wasn’t enough to hold off Talorico. Finishing third was Huntsville’s Julie Keller (365.95).
    Eighth grader Blakeslee Elliott of UMS-Wright posted a 307.80 score to win the Class 1A/5A competition. She also won as a seventh grader in 2016 with an almost identical score (306.25). Freshman Lexi Cubitt of Cottage Hill Christian finished second at 272.75 and Elliott’s UMS teammate Tori Waters, a seventh grader, was third with a 252.05 point total.
    Huntsville’s boys and Auburn’s girls are defending 6A/7A state champions while St. Paul’s Episopal and Westminster Christian are the defending 1A/5A state champs.

AHSAA 58th annual Swimming & Diving Championships
At James E. Martin Aquatics Center, Auburn University

Friday’s Diving Results
Class 1A/5A
Top 4
1. Taylor Young, Madison Academy                       369.85
2. Dominic Bechen, St. John Paul II Catholic         244.65
3. David Clary, Randolph                                         220.85
4. Ross Cummings, St. Paul’s Episcopal                 207.20

Class 6A/7A
Top 5
1. Conner Pruitt, Opelika                                        510.95
2. Zachiary El-Fallah, Spain Park                             391.95
3. James Hughes, Grissom                                      387.10
4. Alex Benzek, James Clemens                              312.00
5. Hampton Jarres, Huntsville                                304.75

Class 1A/5A
1. Blakeslee Elliott, UMS-Wright                            307.80
2. Lexi Cubitt, Cottage Hill Christian                      272.75
3. Tori Waters, UMS-Wright                                   252.05
4. Maddie Guilbert, St. John Paul II Catholic         237.90
5. Olivia Brookins, Westminster-Oak Mtn             232.50

Class 6A/7A
1. Ava Talorico, Auburn                                           401.25
2. Emilie Hunter, Daphne                                        400.05
3. Julia Keller, Huntsville                                         365.95
4. Cameron Wilson, Davidson                                336.95
5. Olivia Foster, Saraland                                        331.60

9 AHSAA Football Playoff Live-Streams set for NFHS Network Raycom AHSAA Game of the Week Features

     MONTGOMERY – Raycom Media has selected Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa at Wetumpka as the  Raycom/AHSAA State Playoff Game of the Week tonight. The Class 6A semifinal game will be shown live over the television network’s stations in Alabama. To find local listings, go to: www.pathtotheplayoffs.com.
    AHSAA Corporate Partner ALFA has also designated Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa at Wetumpka as its ALFA Game of the Week.
    The NFHS Network  Playoff Game of the Week will be the other Class 6A semifinal featuring Clay-Chalkville at Pinson Valley.  The NFHS Network, through its AHSAA School Broadcast Program, will feature nine football playoff live video-streaming productions tonight as the AHSAA state football playoffs determine next week’s Super 7 participants. Raycom will broadcast all seven Super 7 State Football Championships Dec. 6-8 from Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa and the Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa NFHS Network School Broadcast Program will live-stream the Super 7 Unified Sports Game between Vestavia Hills and Baldwin County on Wednesday.
     The NFHS Network will also live-stream the finals of the 58th annual AHSAA State Swimming & Diving Championships Saturday at Auburn University’s Martin Aquatics Center beginning at 2 p.m.
   Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (10-3) rolls into Wetumpka (12-1) following a 26-24 victory over Opelika in the Class 6A quarterfinals. Coach Sam Adams’ Patriots opened the season at 0-2 but have since won 10 of their last 11 games. The only loss was to Class 7A Thompson 33-27 in the last game of the regular season.  Wetumpka (12-1), coached by Tim Perry, beat Spanish Fort 69-41 last week. The Indians scored 34 points in the third quarter to break open a game tied at 21 all. The defense intercepted five passes with Malik Davis returning on 68 yards for a TD to jump-start the third-quarter rally. Teammate Rico Bozeman also returned a fumble 17 yards for another score in the same quarter.   
    The NFHS Network AHSAA Game of the Week will feature two Jefferson County rivals. Clay-Chalkville (10-3) beat previously undefeated Oxford 31-15 and Pinson Valley (13-0), led by Bo Nix’s 400 yards passing, beat another undefeated team Austin 51-50 in overtime.
      The NFHS Network is producing this game with veteran announcer Jerry Young handling play-by-play. Producer is Stacy Mills. The game will be live-streamed over the NFHS Network’s subscriber-based network. The Cullman High School NFHS School Broadcast program is also live-streaming the St. Clair County vs. Briarwood Christian Class 5A semifinals tonight at Briarwood. Producer is John Drake.
     Jerry Young is teaming with J.J. McCormick and Zach Myers to live-stream the state swimming championships Saturday.
         In addition to the live video and TV telecasts, 22 radio/internet audio broadcasts have been approved for this week’s playoffs.
   To check out the football games on the NFHS Network, go to: http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/alabama/football
    To subscribe to the NFHS Network, click:

    The NFHS live-stream of the Clay-Chalkville vs. Pinson Valley game may be accessed at:

To access the AHSAA State swimming championships, go to the following link:

   Those who currently have not joined the Network can view the delayed version (beginning next Tuesday) once they sign up for the free membership.


Raycom Game of the Week
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa at Wetumpka, 7 p.m.
Clay-Chalkville at Pinson Valley, 7 p.m.
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa at Wetumpka, 7 p.m.

FOOTBALL  PLAYOFFS                           Producer                                    Air Time
Class 1A
Sweet Water at Wadley                                  NFHS Net (WELR)               6:29 p.m.
Class 2A
Leroy at Goshen                                             Goshen HS SBP                       7 p.m. 
Leroy at Goshen                                             NFHS Network (House)        7 p.m.
Sulligent at Lanett                                           NFHS Network (WELR)       7 p.m.
Class 3A
Randolph County at Piedmont                       NFHS Net (WEHR)               7 p.m.
Class 4A
UM S-Wright at Andalusia                             Andalusia HS SBP                       7 p.m.
Class 5A
St. Clair County at Briarwood Chr.                Cullman HS SBP                       6:59 p.m.
Class 6A
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa at Wetumpka                 Hillcrest HS SBP                      6:30 p.m.
Clay-Chalkville at Pinson Valley                   NFHS Network (Mills)          7 p.m.

BASKETBALL                                             Producer                                    Air Time
Hazel Green at Hoover (JV Girls)                  Hoover HS SBP                       4:30 p.m.
Hazel Green at Hoover Var. Girls)                 Hoover HS SBP                       6 p.m.
Ben.  at Smiths Station (Var. Boys)               Smiths Station HS SBP          7 p.m.

SWIMMING & DIVING                             Producer                                    Air Time
58TH AHSAA Championships                        NFHS Network                      2 p.m.

AHSAA Central Board Approves Classification System For 2018-19 and 2019-20 School Years

      MONTGOMERY – The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board of Control unanimously approved Thursday a seven-classification system for championship play for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years. The seven-class system, which began in 2014-15, was approved once again for all sports. For the first time, however, for classification, non-traditional students were included in the average daily membership figures reported for member public schools by the Alabama State Department Education and a competitive balance factor was approved for AHSAA member private schools based on the recommendation of the AHSAA Classification Task Force.
      The action came during the Central Board’s quarterly meeting at the AHSAA Office.

       Non-traditional students, which gained eligibility for the first time in the 2016-17 school year, include home-school and virtual school students that enroll in at member public school.

       In accordance with the AHSAA constitution and by-laws, the AHSAA Central Board of Control manages championship play and classification. Member schools are reclassified every two years. The high schools are currently divided into seven classifications (1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, 6A and 7A) for competition in championship programs.
       Classification is based on Average Daily Membership (ADM) figures furnished by the State Department of Education for public schools for the upper three grades plus ninth-grade students that are retained in the ninth grade. Member private schools report that same data directly to the AHSAA. An index of 1.35 is used to determine the enrollment figure for classifying each private school member. Each private school student counts 1.35 for classification purposes.
     Alignments are made for each sport in a classification based on the number of schools participating in a sport. Some programs may include two or more classes in a division. The alignments for each sport in a class are published in the AHSAA Sports Book each year.
      The AHSAA Classification Task Force, made up of superintendents, principals, athletic directors, administrators and coaches from across the state and chaired by Madison County Schools Superintendent Mark Massey and Montgomery Academy Athletic Director Anthony McCall, addressed many issues concerning the membership including competitive balance between schools in the respective classes. The committee unanimously recommended adding a competitive balance factor to private schools by sport. While private schools are classified based on the membership data and 1.35 multiplier, those affected by the competitive balance factor will move up one class or division from where they are this school year for the respective sport but will remain in their respective classification for all other sports. 
    Reclassification, according to the AHSAA Constitution and By-Laws, is conducted every two years by the AHSAA Central Board of Control.

      “This reclassification system will allow more student-athletes to participate in championship events,” Central Board President John Hardin said.

      The 2018-19 and 2019-20 football alignment places the 32 largest high schools in the new Class 7A and 55 in Class 6A. The remaining six classes were divided equally with 60 schools in each remaining class.

      “I want to thank the Classification Task Force, Central Board and AHSAA staff for the hard work they put in and the recommendations they made,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said. “It was a difficult job, but everyone worked together to find the best solution as we move forward.”
      Hardin said he also wanted to thank the Classification Task Force and member schools for their input and patience throughout the reclassification process. “Their recommendations came after many hours of study and discussion. They gave of their valuable time to evaluate our classification system thoroughly and provided valuable input in ways to improve that system,” he said. “On behalf of the Central Board of Control and our member schools, I want to thank Mr. Savarese and his staff for their hard work. I also want to thank our Central Board for their commitment and dedication to providing a first-class athletic program to all our student-athletes, and for making decisions that are best for all of our member schools.”
      The reclassification alignment data for each sport and the private school competitive balance chart can be found at the following link located at www.ahsaa.com. Reclassification by enrollment data is located on the home page of www.ahsaa.com.



In other Central Board action:



  • Heard a report on Super 7 from Knight Eady Sports and approved the Super 7 budget
  • Approved the Summer Conference Profit-Loss Statements
  • Heard a School Audit Update from Associate Executive Director Tony Stallworth
  • Approved the AHSAA Return to Learn Policy
  • Heard and denied an appeal from Eufaula High School.
  • Approved dates for future board meetings (Jan. 31, 2018, April 12, 2018 and July 25, 2018)

AHSAA Football Spotlight for Week 13 Martin and Smoke Run Wetumpka Past Spanish Fort in Class 6A Quarterfinals

    MONTGOMERY – Wetumpka High School junior quarterback J.D. Martin and senior running back Kavosiey Smoke have quietly provided a powerful 1-2 punch for Coach Tim Perry’s Indians (12-1) all football season.
    After last Friday night’s performances, however, the secret is now out.  The mighty duo combined to rush for 445 yards and seven touchdowns in the Indians’ 69-41 Class 6A quarterfinal football playoff win over Spanish Fort last Friday to thrust Wetumpka into the AHSAA Football Spotlight for the third round of the state playoffs.
    Martin rushed for 261 yards and three touchdowns in and Smoke ran for 184 yards and four touchdowns as Wetumpka moved into the semifinals of the Class 6A state playoffs for the first time in school history. The 69 points was the most for WHS in a playoff game and the combined 110 points is the most by both teams in school history.
     That history began in 1902 when Wetumpka, then known as Fifth District Agricultural School, played Starke Academy and lost 12-6. The school changed its name to State Secondary Agriculture School in 1917 and was renamed Wetumpka High School in 1932. For 116 seasons (they did not field a team in 1918) football has been a fall passion for the residents of this Elmore County town.
     The Indians had more than 600 yards total offense in the playoff win at Hohenburg Field. Wetumpka will be at home again Friday as Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (10-3) comes in after beating Opelika 26-24. Opelika has been the only team to beat Perry’s Indians this year, winning 20-19 on a last-play field goal during the regular season. Since then, Wetumpka has won four games in a row, including three playoff games.
    Smoke and Martin have given WHS the ability to score from any yard line on the field. And they have done so often. Wetumpka is averaging 43.2 points per game and giving up only 18.4. The 559 points scored this season has already broken the school record (505), which was set in 1995 when the Indians finished 13-1 and reached the semifinals in Class 5A. Blount beat the Indians 20-14 that season. Wetumpka defeated the Leopards in the first round of the playoffs this season 41-7.
    The duo’s efforts edged out tremendous performances by Jermaine Brown and Bo Nix.
a junior running back at St. Luke’s Episcopal, closed out a stellar junior season with 38 carries, 470 yards and six touchdowns as the Wildcats lost a heart-breaking 56-52 Class 2A quarterfinal playoff contest to Goshen. The 470 rushing yards tied second Jerry Stancil of Gaylesville for second highest single-game rushing total in AHSAA history. Stancil rank for 470 yards in a 48-28 win over Spring Garden in 2004. The state single-game record of 531 yards was set by Tony Dixon of Parrish in an 81-58 win over Hubbertville in 2003. Dixon, who went to Kentucky where he had a stellar college career, had 21 carries, all in the first three quarters.

    Nix, a junior quarterback at Pinson Valley, completed 31-of-39 passes for 400 yards and seven touchdowns and also tacked on a pair of 2-point conversion passes as the unbeaten Indians (13-0) nipped Austin (12-1) in overtime 51-50 in the Class 6A quarterfinals. The seven touchdown passes tied for third-most in AHSAA history. He connected with seven different receivers. His final pass of the game came on a 2-point conversion that gave Pinson the win.
    In other top playoff performances reported:


CADE BLACKMON, OPELIKA: Completed 26-of-37 passes for 367 yards, three touchdowns for the Bulldogs (9-4) in a 26-24 loss to Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa in the Class 6A playoffs.

WILLIE MILLER, CLAY-CHALKVILLE: Was 11-of-19 passing for 203 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-15 victory over previously unbeaten Oxford (21-1) in the Class 6A quarterfinals. Clay (11-2) advanced to the semifinals with the win.

CHANCE STEVENSON, FAYETTE COUNTY: Was 12-of-24 passing for 206 yards, rushed 22 times for 54 yards and accounted for all five Fayette County touchdowns in a 34-27 victory by the Tigers (11-2) over Hokes Bluff in the Class 4A quarterfinals.


The senior running back selected for the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game in December closed out his career at Austin (12-1) with  379 yards rushing and three touchdowns (70, 39 and 68 yards) on 29 carries in a wild 51-50 Class 6A quarterfinal overtime loss to Pinson Valley (13-0). He also threw a 41-yard pass to Collin Moses. Teammate Antonio Robinson also had 160 yards and two TDs (8 and 33 yards) in the game.

KELSTON FIKES, LEROY: Led the Bears (11-2) to a 38-20 Class 2A playoff win over Luverne with 264 yards rushing and three touchdowns. Fikes scored on runs of 42, 29 and 2 yards and now has 27 total touchdowns for the season. He surpassed 2,000 all-purpose yards in the quarterfinal victory.
DARRIAN MEADS, HOKES BLUFF: Ran 29 times for 251 yards and TDs of 13, 58 and 68 yards in a 34-27 loss to Fayette County in the Class 4A quarterfinals.
SYMON SMITH, UMS-WRIGHT: Rushed for 201 yards, including a 62-yard touchdown in the second quarter, to lead the Class 4A Bulldogs (11-2) to a 31-7 Class 4A playoff victory over Bibb County (11-2).
LARRY McCAMMON, HOOVER: Rushed for 196 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries in a 31-12 victory over Thompson in Class 7A semifinals. Defending state champion Hoover (10-3) clinched a spot in the Super 7 Class 7A finals for the 16th time since 2000.
CARDAVION MYERS, PIEDMONT:  Piled up 129 yards rushing on 17 carries and threw a touchdown pass as defending 3A state champion Piedmont (12-1) beat Colbert Heights (11-2) in the quarterfinals of the playoffs 34-13. His 24-yard touchdown pass to Lee Stanley came on a 4th-and-18 play.
AUSTIN KINSEY, CLARKE COUNTY: Picked up 101 of his 132 rushing yards in the second half as the Bulldogs (11-2) beat Mobile Christian 21-16 to advance to the Class 3A semifinals. He had a 52-yard touchdown run and caught a 58-yard pass to set up another Clarke County score.
JORDAN INGRAM, ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL: Rushes for 123 yards on 11 carries and scored on runs of 35, 3 and 42 yards as the Saints (12-1) beat defending 5A state champion Beauregard 52-20 to advance to the semifinals.
ANTONIO BESTEDER, DEMOPOLIS:  Had 112 yards rushing on 28 carries with 87 yards coming in the second half as the Tigers downed Vigor 35-24 in the Class 5A quarterfinals.

Caught six passes for 192 yards and a touchdown as the Bulldogs (9-4) lost 26-24 to Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa in the Class 6A quarterfinals.

ANTHONY HUDSON, WENONAH: Had nine receptions for 150 yards and a touchdown and intercepted three passes on defense in a 27-26 Class 5A quarterfinal overtime loss to St. Clair County.
AVION CHRISTON, ST. CLAIR COUNTY: Finished with nine receptions for 115 yards and two touchdowns and added 80 yards rushing in a 27-26 overtime victory over Wenonah in the Class 5A quarterfinals.
LiALLEN DAILEY, PINSON VALLEY: Caught 10 passes for 113 yards and touchdowns of 17 and 10 yards in a 51-50 overtime victory over Austin in the Class 6A quarterfinals.

GEORGE PICKENS, HOOVER: Caught six passes for 112 yards and a 59-yard touchdown in a 31-12 victory over Thompson (12-1) in Class 7A semifinals.

Recovered a fumble and recorded a sack to lead a defense that shut out Etowah (11-2) as the Lions (13-0) beat the Blue Devils 31-0 in the Class 5A playoffs.
JACQUEZ JONES, HILLCREST-TUSCALOOSA: Caused a fumble and recovered it for a touchdown in a 26-24 victory over Opelika in the Class 6A quarterfinals.


The punter ran 10 yards for a first down on a fake punt in the fourth quarter in a 31-12 victory over Thompson (12-1) in the Class 7A semifinals. He also averaged 44.5 yards on four punts, with a 61-yard punt downed at the Thompson 1 and a 44-yard punt downed at the 3.
CAGAN CAMPBELL, HILLCREST-TUSCALOOSA: Had two long punt returns for the Patriots (10-3), including a 45-yarder for a touchdown, in a 26-24 victory over Opelika in the Class 6A quarterfinals.
locked a PAT in overtime as the Yellow Jackets (13-0) edged Central-Phenix City 27-26 to earn a berth in the Super 7 championship game for the third straight season.
KAEDON JENKINS, PIEDMONT: Returned the opening kickoff 76 yards for a touchdown in the Bulldogs’ 34-13 victory at Colbert Heights.
SIDNEY PERRY, CHEROKEE COUNTY: Returned a blocked field goal attempt 73 yards in the fourth quarter and caught a TD pass in the first half in the Warriors’ 42-14 loss to Saks in the Class 4A playoffs.

Classification Process Important to Balancing AHSAA’s Changing Membership

                   By STEVE SAVARESE
                   Executive Director, AHSAA


MONTGOMERY – In an effort to provide fair play among member schools, the Alabama High School Athletic Association reclassifies its member schools every two years based on enrollment data in accordance with the AHSAA Constitution and by-laws. Thanks to the State Department of Education and modern technology, the AHSAA now has a program designed specifically for its member schools that provides enormous assistance in aligning the schools geographically more accurately and more timely.
    The Central Board of Control is expected to address classification for the 2018-19 and 2019-20 school years at its board meeting Thursday at the AHSAA Office in Montgomery. For the first time in the AHSAA’s long history, classification will include non-traditional students such as home-school and virtual school students in its average daily membership totals.
     The AHSAA mission has not changed over its long history which started with its formation in the 1920-21 school year. The mission statement states: The AHSAA serves member schools through interscholastic competition by enhancing student learning, sportsmanship, safety and lifelong values. With integrity as its foundation, the AHSAA consistently governs the rules created by its member schools.
    The member schools have written the organization’s constitution and continue to establish the by-laws. The AHSAA Constitution states in Article 7, Item 4 (l): The Central Board shall have the power to classify member schools into two or more divisions for the purpose of athletic competition. No school’s classification shall be changed during the classification period after the schools have been classified.
    In accordance with the AHSAA constitution, high schools are currently divided into seven classifications (1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, 6A and 7A) for competition in championship programs. Classification is based on Average Daily Membership (ADM) figures furnished by the State Department of Education for public schools for the upper three grades plus ninth grade students that are retained in the ninth grade. Member private schools report that same data directly to the AHSAA. An index of 1.35 is used to determine the enrollment figure for classifying each private school member. Each private school student counts 1.35 for classification purposes.
     Alignments are made for each sport in a classification based on the number of schools participating in a sport. Some programs may include two or more classes in a division. The alignments for each sport in a class are published in the AHSAA Sports Book each year.
      The AHSAA Classification Committee, made up of superintendents, principals, athletic directors, administrators and coaches from across the state, has spent countless hours studying ways to improve the current classification process. The task force, chaired by Madison County Schools Superintendent Mark Massey and Montgomery Academy Athletic Director Anthony McCall, addressed many issues concerning the membership including ways to improve competitive balance between schools in the respective classes.
     The AHSAA staff has worked closely with the committee to provide any historical data that might be helpful. The committee, in turn, will make recommendations to the Central Board they think might help to improve the current system for our member schools. We appreciate the efforts of this committee, the leadership of its co-chairmen, and the Central Board of Control. Their input is vital as the AHSAA continues to evolve into the 21st Century.
     Classification is important to the membership for many reasons. Seven classes, which was approved by the Central Board of Control for the 2014-15 school year, has been a very positive move for our member schools. A record number of schools participate in post-season championship play and a number of schools have participated in state championship events for the first time as a result.
    Classification has changed as the AHSAA membership has changed. The AHSAA was formed in 1920-21 with the first “official” state champion crowned in basketball that winter. A total of 248 public and private schools made up that first charter with all competing in one class for the championship. That one-class system remained until 1947 with championships in basketball, golf, outdoor track and baseball as 320 member schools were divided into two classes. By 1963, the AHSAA had expanded to include 352 public and private schools with additional champions crowned in wrestling and boys’ and girls’ tennis and a four-class system was introduced. Three years later, the football playoffs were added, and in 1968-69, the AHSAA merged with the Alabama Interscholastic Athletic Association (AIAA) with 524 member public and private schools making up the AHSAA as a result.
   Many school systems merged schools in the early 1970s, and by 1974, the total number of schools were reduced to 416. That number remained constant for the next 10 years, and in 1984-85, the AHSAA expanded its classifications to six – with a full array of girls’ sports, including golf, volleyball, indoor and outdoor track and cross country among the AHSAA’s championship sports offered. Softball was added in 1986, boys’ and girls’ soccer in 1991.
   A total of 410 member schools competed in six classes until the seven-class system was approved in the 2014-15 school year. Bowling, which was offered for a short time for girls only in the 1970s, was added as a championship sport for boys and girls in 2016.
    Classification provides new experiences and opportunities for our changing membership. As the AHSAA continues to serve its membership best, it is important that we all remember the original mission that created this organization. We should always treasure the opportunity to experience the life lessons that can be learned from participating in educational-based sports and other activities.