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CLASS 1A GIRLS’ SEMIFINALS Phillips 75, Linden 46

     BIRMINGHAM – Sophomore forward Alicyn McCollum sank 14-of-16 field goals attempted Monday morning and finished with 29 points to lead Phillips (29-3) to a 75-46 victory over Linden in the Class 1A girls’ state basketball tournament semifinals at the BJCC Legacy Arena.
    The contest was the first of 42 games to be played this week at the 96th annual AHSAA State Finals Championships. The Class 1A girls’ and boys’ semifinals and the Class 2A boys’ and girls’ semifinals are also scheduled for Monday. Classes 3A and 4A play Tuesday, Classes 6A and 5A, Wednesday, and Class 7A semifinals will be Thursday morning.
    McCollum also cleared 14 rebounds with her resounding dominance inside for Coach Scott Veal’s Bears from Bear Creek. Teammate Gracie Hallman, also a sophomore, added 17 points and had three assists. Senior Julianna Taylor chipped in eight points, had a game-high seven steals and handed out three assists. Lexie Dishner had eight points and nine rebounds.
    Linden (20-4), coached by Teressa Bolden, got a big game from senior guard Amber Richardson. She scored 28 points, was 9-of-11 at the free-throw line, cleared 10 rebounds and blocked two shots.  Dajai Miller also had 10 points and five steals.
     Phillips advances to the Class 1A championship game Thursday at 4 p.m., to play the winner of the other semifinal, Spring Garden or Loachapoka.   All semifinal games in the tourney are being live video-streamed by the NFHS Network and broadcast over the AHSAA Radio Network. Both may be accessed at www.ahsaa.com. Raycom Sports will broadcast all finals.
    Phillips has two state titles to its credit, winning championships in 1985 and 1986. 

AHSAA State Basketball Finals Celebrate 25 Years as Combined Extravaganza in Birmingham

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – A groundbreaking idea 25 years ago changed the face of Alabama High School Athletic Association basketball. Why not bring the girls’ and boys’ state semifinals and finals to one site for a week of the best basketball in the state? It had never been done in Alabama and the format proposed for that 1994 championship tournament was likely the first ever in the nation.

 

The AHSAA would crown its champions at one site, all classifications, with girls’ and boys’ games alternating until all the nets had been cut down.

 

“I think everyone will agree it’s been a great 25 years for basketball in our state,” said Steve Savarese, the current AHSAA Executive Director. “Having all the teams playing at one site makes for a special environment to showcase our student-athletes, their coaches and all the fans.

 

“The tournament has been a great success for the AHSAA and for the city of Birmingham. We are grateful for all of our partners who make it such a memorable event.”

 

The genesis of the tournament finals coming to the state’s largest city came from the Birmingham Tip Off Club’s then-president John D. Clements and then-AHSAA Executive Director Dan Washburn in 1993. Clements’ idea was to bring the six prep champs to the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Center for a “Tournament of Champions” to create an extra buzz for the sport. Washburn rejected that idea, but offered a different plan – why not crown all the champions in an event in the Magic City to generate a next level of excitement?

 

Clements and his fellow Tip Off Club members leapt into action, creating the Alabama Basketball Foundation to serve as the organization to administer the tournament, securing sponsors, housing at the Sheraton Civic Center hotel for the teams and officials, and creating a volunteer program that rallied the community around the teams and the event.

 

Former Tip Off Club president Jim Conrad prepared a tournament manual that has served as a blueprint for conducting the event. A logo and marketing theme was put into place – “State Finals, 48 Teams, 1 Dream” – that was used for many years.

 

Clements said the consolidation and move of the tournaments to Birmingham had its risks for the AHSAA, including the end of the long tradition of having eight boys’ teams advance to the finals. The makeup of the first Alabama Basketball Foundation board helped smooth the transition. The board was made up of Tip Off Club members Clements, Edgar Welden, Ron Edwards, Bill Meagher, Dick Coffee III and Mike Washburn. Members from the AHSAA were Washburn, Jimmy Cal, Max Ray from the Central Board of Control, Vestavia Hills High School coach Fran Brasch and Bryant-Jorden Scholarship Foundation board member Larry Striplin.

 

The agreement that combined the two tournaments into “Final Four” extravaganzas also started the four regional tournaments, dubbed collectively as the “Road to Birmingham.”  The first year the regionals were played at Alabama State University in Montgomery, Jacksonville State University, Wallace State Community College in Hanceville and Faulkner Community College in Bay Minette. Along the way, the the south site moved to Troy University, the University of South Alabama and is currently held at Dothan Civic Center. Since that first season, approximately 2 million spectators have watched the state championship qualifier tournaments.

 

Birmingham businesses joined the effort to support the tournament in Birmingham from the get-go, Clements said. “Coca-Cola United of Birmingham has been a loyal sponsor and supporter of the tournament since its inception,” he said, “not only financially but with in-kind products for the participants during the tournament, marketing and personnel to assist with the production of the tournament.

 

“HealthSouth (now Encompass Health) also committed as an initial sponsor. HealthSouth provided trainers and medical personnel in attendance during the games and participant medals given to each player. The Birmingham News provided in-kind promotional and advertising services. Alabama Power also participated by providing promotional assistance – and sponsored a popular slam-dunk contest and 3-point shooting contest. Later, Alabama Power became a full participating financial sponsor. The City of Birmingham and Jefferson County also agreed to help.”

 

The Tip Off Club also devised the concept of providing hosts for each team to assist them from the moment the results of the regionals were known until their state in Birmingham was complete. Sally Bryant, and later Janis Clements, headed up the effort to recruit volunteers and match them with the teams. Many of the hosts went the extra mile, providing treats for the players and some even invited players and coaches to their homes and/or offices for a sort of “career day.” At least one host was later invited to speak at “his” team’s postseason banquet and others have received championship rings from their team.

 

Welden, a Birmingham businessman and longtime supporter of high-school athletics, told the Over The Mountain Journal in a 2016 interview: “I really think putting the boys and the girls in the same venue was one of the best things that ever happened for girls’ basketball in the state. We put them on equal footing with the boys and gave them a showcase they hadn’t had previously. Other states have followed our format.” That unique concept has been copied by other several other states since then.

 

That first year at the BJCC, the girls’ Class 2A matchup between Lauderdale County and top-ranked Fyffe drew the largest crowd with a record-breaking 6,500 in attendance.

 

This year’s State Finals begin on Monday with Class 1A and 2A girls’ and boys’ semifinals.  The Class 1A girls’ semifinal contest between Linden (20-3) and Phillips (28-3) kicks off the eight-game slate at 9 a.m.  Classes 3A and 4A play Tuesday, Classes 6A and 5A tip on Wednesday and Class 7A semis will be Thursday.  Championship games begin Thursday afternoon and continue through Saturday afternoon. Tickets are available at Ticketmaster.com.


Thompson, Oxford, Arab Sweep 63rd AHSAA State Wrestling Championships at Von Braun Center

HUNTSVILLE – Thompson High School junior Gabe Hixenbaugh captured the fourth state wrestling championship of his prep career Saturday to spark Thompson High School to the Class 7A state wrestling title at the 63rd AHSAA State Championships held at the Von Braun Center.
    The Warriors of Coach Sean Weltzin totaled 120 points to claim the crown. Central-Phenix City finished second with 93 points and Oak Mountain was third with 84.5. Oxford, coached by Matt Hicks, posted 203 points to win the Class 6A state championship for the second year in a row, Benjamin Russell had 111 and Clay-Chalkville totaled 103.5. Arab edged Scottsboro by 4 points, 157.5 to 153.5, as Coach Michael Pruitt’s Knights their sixth straight state crown.
     Hixenbaugh (53-3) won a tough 3-2 decision in the Class 7A 132-pound finals over Maxwell Kauffman of Central-Phenix City (51-5) to seal the championship for the Warriors. He won at 126 pounds as a sophomore, 113 pounds as a freshman and 106 pounds as an eighth grader. Thompson had four wrestlers in the winner’s circle Saturday with junior Dylan Lesueur (47-8) at 106 pounds, junior Chandlar Akins (39-9) at 126 and senior Seth Whitlock (28-11) at 285 pounds.
    Oxford 285-pound junior Clay Webb (35-1) was one of three Yellow Jackets to claim state titles in the 6A competition. Webb beat Hueytown’s Brian Gardner in the finals with a pin at 37 seconds. Webb finished with four pins for a state-tourney leading three minutes and 40 seconds. Freshman Jakob Chisolm (57-14) won the 126-pound title and senior Matt King (55-3) was the victor at 152 pounds.
    Arab had just one wrestler in the winner’s circle, 145-pound senior Clay Jones (69-0). Jones was also one of four wrestlers to finish unbeaten on the season in Class 1A/5A. Macon Edwards, a senior at Fultondale, won at 120 pounds and finished the year 75-0. He won three state titles in the last four years with just one loss – finishing with a 238-1 record overall in that stretch. He won 163 matches in a row from 2015-17.
   Alexandria junior Chris Knop (50-0), who was named the Class 1A/5A state tourney MVP, won at 182 pounds for his third state title and extended his current winning streak to 164 matches. If he can complete his senior year undefeated, he could become the wrestler in AHSAA history to win four straight state titles with unbeaten records.
   In Class 6A, senior Justin Ingram of Spanish Fort finished 76-0 with a victory in the 145-pound finals and earned MVP honors. Senior Tobias Garrison of Stanhope Elmore (40-0 won at 170 pounds to also finish unbeaten.
    In Class 7A, Oak Mountain senior Barrett Blakely (53-0) won MVP honors capturing the 170-pound title for his second straight championship.
Results of all championship matches are listed. Complete results can be found at www.trackwrestling.com

   
      

 

285 pounds: Clay Webb (Oxford) 36-1, Jr. over Brian Gardner (Hueytown) 22-3, Sr. (Fall 0:37).
6A MOST PINS: Clay Webb, Oxford (4 pins, 3:40).
6A BEST MATCH: Steven Bell, McAdory, vs. Jakob Chisolm, Oxford (126 pound finals).
6A MVP: Justin Ingram, Spanish Fort.


 

 

 

AHSAA 63rd State Wrestling Championships
Final Results
TEAM SCORING (TOP 10)
CLASS 1A/5A
Arab 157.5; Scottsboro 153.5; Alexandria 112.5; Cleburne County 111.0; Dora 108.5; Mortimer Jordan 78.5; Hayden 69.0; Moody 69.0; Mae Jemison 64.5; Susan Moore 60.5.
CLASS 6A
Oxford 203.0; Benjamin Russell 111.0; Clay-Chalkville 103.5; Gardendale 98.0; Athens 97.0; McAdory 88.0; Helena 87.0; Pinson Valley 86.5; Southside-Gadsden 85.0; Stanhope Elmore 71.0.
CLASS 7A
Thompson 120.0; Central-Phenix City 93.0; Oak Mountain 84.5; Hewitt-Trussville 77.0; Vestavia Hills 77.0; Bob Jones 73.5; Hoover 73.5; Grissom 57.0; Huntsville 36.0; Auburn 33.0.

CLASS 1A-5A Championship Bouts
106 pounds:
Cory Land (Moody) 53-2, 8th. over Cody Souder (Weaver) 34-1, Fr. (Dec 6-4).
113 pounds: Jaden New (Alexandria) 37-5, 8th. over Joseph Martin (Arab) 56-5, Jr. (Fall 1:28).
120 pounds: Macon Edwards (Fultondale) 75-0, Sr. over Dylan Turner (Cleburne County) 31-4, Sr. (Dec 6-0.
126 pounds:
John Mcalpin (Scottsboro) 46-4, Sr. over Landon Castleberry (Hayden) 53-3, Sr. (Fall 1:16).
132 pounds: Zachary Clayton (Dora) 59-1, Sr. over Kage Robertson (Susan Moore) 40-4, Sr. (MD 16-3).
138 pounds: Brantley McHugh (Madison County) 28-5, Sr. over Garrett Mcclendon (Arab) 58-7, Jr. (Fall 6:00).
145 pounds: Clay Jones (Arab) 69-0, Sr. over Rashad Clark (Moody) 53-6, Jr. (Dec 8-6).
152 pounds: Aaron Whittaker (Alexandria) 46-4, Sr. over Brady Richardson (Holtville) 49-2, Sr. (Dec 7-5).
160 pounds: Carial Tarter (Mortimer Jordan) 62-0, Sr. over Colby Hallmark (Hayden) 47-9, Jr. (MD 15-2).
170 pounds: Kolton Clark (Scottsboro) 51-2, Jr. over Ethan Pippin (Westminster Christian) 44-5, Sr. (Fall 2:57).
182 pounds: Christian Knop (Alexandria) 50-0, Jr. over Monquavias Ricks (Deshler) 43-3, Sr. (Fall 1:45).
195 pounds: Tanner Woodall (North Jackson) 30-2, Jr. over Andy Baker (Tallassee) 57-2, Jr. (Fall 2:40).
220 pounds: Sean Caleb Allison (Weaver) 57-2, Jr. over Travis Woodall (North Jackson) 30-5, Jr. (SV-1 3-1).
285 pounds: Bradford Womack (Scottsboro) 29-6, Jr. over Michael Barnes (Mortimer Jordan) 46-11, Jr. (Dec 6-0).
1A/5A MOST PINS: John Mcalpin, Scottsboro (4 pins, 5:02).
1A/5A BEST MATCH: Aaron Whittaker, Alexandria vs. Brady Richardson, Holt (152-pound finals).
1A/5A MVP: Christian Knop, Alexandria.

CLASS 6A Championship Bouts
106 pounds:
George Vazquez (Pinson Valley) 32-3, Jr. over Bobby Charsha (Benjamin Russell) 56-10, So. (Dec 8-5).
113 pounds: Andrew Smith (Southside-Gadsden) 71-4, Sr. over Chase Hicks (Oxford) 59-8, Fr. (MD 12-1).
120 pounds: Jacob Dease (Southside-Gadsden) 61-10, Fr. over Landon Burrage (Oxford) 53-21, Jr. (MD 8-0).
126 pounds: Jakob Chisolm (Oxford) 57-14, Fr. over Steven Bell (McAdory) 69-2, Jr. (Dec 8-5).
132 pounds: Gage Hudson (Gulf Shores) 42-6, Jr. over Brandon Seawright (Minor) 36-3, So. (Dec 11-6).
138 pounds: Alex Miller (Helena) 51-2, Sr. over Deacon Cowart (Athens) 35-14, Jr. (Fall 3:06).
145 pounds: Justin Ingram (Spanish Fort) 76-0, Sr. over Saxon Coker (Benjamin Russell) 55-11, So. (Dec 5-1).
152 pounds: Matt King (Oxford) 55-3, Sr. over Javonic Turner (Homewood) 42-1, Sr. (Dec 4-2).
160 pound: Zaquarius Harris (Columbia) 42-9, Jr. over Trevor Muncey (Gardendale) 26-6, Sr. (Dec 2-1).
170 pounds: Tobias Garrison (Stanhope Elmore) 40-0, Sr. over Isaiah Mcdougal (Columbia) 45-3, Sr. (Dec 5-2).
182 pounds: Nathan Dunaway (Helena) 67-1, So. over Thomas Carter (Athens) 12-2, Sr. (Dec 6-2).
195 pounds: Carlos Miguel Figueroa (Homewood) 61-1, Jr. over Anthony Talton (Clay-Chalkville) 43-5, Jr. (Fall 1:23).
220 pounds: Jackson Jones (Clay-Chalkville) 36-2, Jr. over Daiquion Thedford (Brookwood) 32-4, Sr. (Fall 1:55).
285 pounds: Clay Webb (Oxford) 36-1, Jr. over Brian Gardner (Hueytown) 22-3, Sr. (Fall 0:37).
6A MOST PINS: Clay Webb, Oxford (4 pins, 3:40).
6A BEST MATCH: Steven Bell, McAdory, vs. Jakob Chisolm, Oxford (126 pound finals).
6A MVP: Justin Ingram, Spanish Fort.

CLASS 7A Championship Bouts
106 pounds:
Dylan Lesueur (Thompson) 47-8, Jr. over Adrian Neco (Central-Phenix City) 51-6, Fr. (Dec 1-0).
113 pounds: Tyler Ivey (Grissom) 22-0, Jr. over Emmanuel Oliver (Thompson) 32-6, So. (Dec 5-1).
120 pounds: Sullivan Tipton (Oak Mountain) 50-7, So. over Riley Huff (Hoover) 35-9, Jr. (Dec 4-3).
126 pounds: Chandlar Akins (Thompson) 39-9, Jr. over Mark Hurt (Central-Phenix City) 39-7, Sr. (Dec 3-0).
132 pounds: Gabe Hixenbaugh (Thompson) 53-3, Jr. over Maxwell Kauffman (Central-Phenix City) 51-5, Jr. (Dec 3-2).
138 pounds: Stone Barden (Hewitt-Trussville) 26-3, Jr. over Hector Candelaria (Central-Phenix City) 51-1, Sr. (MD 9-1).
145 pounds: Conner Smith (Hewitt-Trussville) 43-4, Sr. over Jonathan Handy (Grissom) 52-3, Sr. (Dec 10-4).
152 pounds: Cale Land (Hewitt-Trussville) 23-9, Jr. over Peter Dazzio (Vestavia Hills) 38-7, Jr. (Dec 6-3).
160 pounds: Robert Morales (Central-Phenix City) 49-3, Sr. over Bowman Hill (Vestavia Hills) 28-3, Sr. (Fall 3:12).
170 pounds: Barrett Blakely (Oak Mountain) 53-0, Sr. over Jordan Hunter (Buckhorn) 31-3, Jr. (Fall 3:42).
182 pounds: Spencer Haddock (Vestavia Hills) 22-2, Sr. over George Francovitch (Bob Jones) 42-5, Jr. (MD 14-5).
195 pounds: D`angelo Dewitt (Hoover) 46-2, Sr. over Harold Gilmore (Bob Jones) 41-6, Sr. (MD 10-2).
220 pounds: Jaeger Clark (Huntsville) 57-2, Sr. over Seth Dupree (Bob Jones) 45-5, Sr. (Dec 4-2).
285 pounds: Seth Whitlock (Thompson) 28-11, Sr. over Camron Hill (Lee-Montgomery) 29-2, Sr. (DQ).
7A MOST PINS: Robert Morales, Central-Phenix City (3 pins, 8:24).
7A BEST MATCH: Jaeger Clark, Huntsville vs. Seth Dupree, Bob Jones (220-pound finals).
7A MVP: Barrett Blakely, Oak Mountain.


Arab, Oxford, Thompson Lead Wrestling Divisions Heading into Final Day of 63rd AHSAA State Meet

     HUNTSVILLE – Defending Class 1A/5A state champion Arab totaled 148.5 points after Friday’s competition and holds a slim 21-point lead over Scottsboro heading into Saturday’s final round of the 63rd AHSAA State Wrestling Championships at Von Braun Center.
    Defending 6A champion Oxford had a much more comfortable lead in Class 6A with 179 points overall. Benjamin Russell was 74 points back with 105. And in Class 7A, which had its first day of competition Friday, Thompson and Central-Phenix City emerged 1-2 with the Warriors amassing 102 points and the Red Devils just 15 points back with 87. Defending 7A state champion Vestavia Hills was third with 72 points, bunched closely with Bob Jones (70.5) and Oak Mountain (68.5).
    The consolation finals kick off Saturday’s final day of wrestling at 9 a.m., with the championship matches to follow beginning at 11:30 a.m. All matches will be live-streamed over the NFHS Network by TrackWrestling.
     Highlights from Friday were plenty.
CLASS 6A
     Hueytown senior Brian Gardner pulled the biggest upset of Friday’s wrestling action with a pin over defending Class 6A state 285-pound state champion Jake Andrews of Stanhope Elmore. Gardner (22-2) pinned Andrews (25-3) at 2:12 in the semifinals match for his third straight by fall in the Class 6A competition.  He will now face Clay Webb of Oxford (34-1), who pinned Opelika sophomore Michael Dawson (51-13) at 1:25 in the other semifinal bout. Webb finished second in last year’s competition and Gardner was fifth.
    Andrew Smith of Southside-Gadsden, last year’s 6A champion at 106 pounds, improved to 70-4 on the season with a 14-0 major decision win in the 113-pound semifinals. The senior will meet Oxford junior Chase Hicks (59-7), who won his semifinal match with a pin (1:54).
    Justin Ingram of Spanish Fort (75-0) moved into the 145-pound finals after going 53-1 last season to win the 132-pound state crown. Javonic Turner of Homewood (42-0) reached the 152-pound finals to face Oxford’s Matt King (54-3), who won last year at 160 pounds. Turner’s teammate Carlos Miguel Figeroa takes a 60-1 record into the 195-pound finals. He won at 182 pounds last year as a sophomore. Other defending champions to reach Saturday’s finals include Jackson Jones of Clay-Chalkville (35-2) at 220 pounds and Thomas Carter of Athens (12-1), last year’s 170-pound champ, in the 182-pound finals.
CLASS 1A/5A
   In Class 1A/5A, Weaver’s Sean Caleb Allison (52-3) advanced to the 220-pound championship match with his a 5-1 decision over Scottsboro junior Caleb Anderson. Allison won his first two matches in a total of just 69 seconds – with pins at 0:32 and 0:37. His opponent in the finals will be Travis Woodall of North Jackson (30-4). Woodall and his twin brother Tanner (29-2) both advanced to the finals with Tanner competing in the 195-pound championship bout.
     Four defending champions advanced to the finals in Class 1A/5A. Landon Castleberry of Hayden (53-2), who won at 113 pounds last season, will be facing Scottsboro’s John McAlpine (45-4), last year’s 120-pound winner, in the 126-pound finals Saturday.
    Mortimer Jordan senior Carial Tarter (61-0), who won at 145 pounds last season, reached the 160-pound finals pinning Mae Jemison’s Michael Flynn in the semifinals at 1:43 for his third win by fall in the state meet. Now 119-0 in the last two seasons, will face Hayden junior Colby Hallmark (47-8) in the finals.
    Kolton Clark (50-2), a Scottsboro junior was runner-up to Tarter last season at 145 pounds, advanced to the 170-pound championship match to face defending state champion Ethan Pippen of Westminster Christian (44-4), who finished 53-0 last season.
    Junior Christian Knop of Alexandria (49-0), the defending champion at 182 pounds, pinned Beauregard’s Kyle Hugley (51-3) at 1:13 for his third straight win by fall to advance to the finals again. He will face Monquavious Ricks (43-2) of Deshler, who finished third last season.
     Fultondale senior Macon Edwards advanced to his fourth consecutive championship bout with a quick pin (0:56) in his semifinal match and will meet Cleburne County senior Dylan Turner (31-3) in the finals. Edwards is 237-1 over the last four seasons with winning streak of 163 straight match wins coming to an end in last year’s 113-pound finals.
   Arab’s Clay Jones (68-0) is also undefeated heading into the 145-pound championship bout.
 CLASS 7A
    Six wrestlers who claimed state titles in the Class 7A division last season advanced through the quarterfinals and semifinals Friday to reach Saturday’s championship bouts. Oak Mountain senior Barrett Blakely (52-0), the 2017 160-pound champ, won one match by technical fall (15-0) and won the semis with a pin (0:58) to move into Saturday’s 170-pound finals. He will face Buckhorn junior Jordan Hunter (31-2). Other state champions back on center mat for Saturday’s finals include 126-pounder  Chandler Akins of Thompson (38-9), who won at 113 last year, and Thompson 132-pounder Gabe Hixenbaugh (52-3), who won at 126 in 2017.
   Hewitt-Trussville 138-pound junior Stone Barden (25-3), who won at 120 last season, will meet Central-Phenix City’s undefeated senior Hector Candelario (51-0). Hewitt-Trussville senior Conner Smith (42-4) won his semifinal match and will be in the 145-pound finals again facing Grissom senior Jonathan Handy (52-2). Hoover senior D’Angelo Dewitt (45-2) will be attempting to defend his 195-pound crown against Bob Jones’ Harold Gilmore (45-4).
   The 160-pound finals will feature last year’s 152-pound champ Robert Morales of Central Phenix City (48-3) and last year’s 160-pound  runner-up Bowman Hill (28-2) of Vestavia Hills.


AHSAA 63rd State Wrestling Championships
Saturday’s Championship Matches
(Finals start at 11 a.m.)
CLASS 1A/5A
106 pounds: Cory Land, Moody (52-2), Jr., vs. Cody Souder, Weaver (34-0), Fr.
113 pounds: Joseph Martin, Arab (56-4), Jr., vs. Jaden New, Alexandria (36-5), 8th
120 pounds:  Macon Edwards, Fultondale (74-0), Sr., vs. Dylan Turner, Cleburne County (31-3), Sr.
126 pounds:  Landon Castleberry, Hayden (53-2) Sr., vs. John McAlpin, Scottsboro (45-4), Sr.
132 pounds:  Zachary Clayton, Dora (58-1), Sr., vs. Kage Robertson, Susan Moore (40-3), Sr.
138 pounds:  Garrett McClendon, Arab (58-6), Jr., vs. Brantley McHugh, Madison County (27-5), Sr.
145 pounds:  Clay Jones, Arab (68-0), Sr., vs. Rashad Clark, Moody (53-5), Jr.
152 pounds:  Aaron Whittaker, Alexandria (45-4), Sr., vs. Brady Richardson, Holtville (49-1), Sr.
160 pounds:  Carial Tarter, Mortimer Jordan (61-0), Sr., vs. Colby Hallmark, Hayden (47-8), Jr.
170 pounds:  Kolton Clark, Scottsboro (50-2), Jr., vs. Ethan Pippen, Westminster (44-4), Jr.
182 pounds:  Monquavias Ricks, Deshler (43-2), Sr., vs. Christian Knop, Alexandria (49-0), Jr.
195 pounds:  Tanner Woodall, North Jackson (29-2), Jr., vs. Andy Baker, Tallassee (57-1), Jr.
220 pounds:  Travis Woodall, North Jackson (30-4), Jr., vs. Sean Caleb Allison, Weaver (52-3), Jr.
285 pounds:  Bradford Womack, Scottsboro (28-6), Jr., vs. Michael Barnes, Mortimer Jordan (46-10), Jr.

CLASS 6A
106 pounds: Bobby Charsha, Benjamin Russell (56-9), So., vs. George Vazquez, Pinson Valley (31-3), Jr.
113 pounds: Andrew Smith, Southside-Gadsden (70-4), Sr., vs. Chase Hicks, Oxford (59-7), Jr.
120 pounds: Jacob  Dease, Southside-Gadsden (60-10), Fr., vs. Landon Burrage, Oxford (53-20), Jr.
126 pounds: Steven Bell, McAdory (69-1), Jr., vs. Jakob Chisolm, Oxford (56-14), Fr.
132 pounds: Brandon Seawright, Minor (36-2), So., vs. Gage Hudson, Gulf Shores (41-6), Jr.
138 pounds: Alex Miller, Helena (50-2), Sr., vs. Deacon Cowart, Athens (35-13), Jr.
145 pounds: Saxon Coker, Benjamin Russell (55-10), So., vs. Justin Ingram, Spanish Fort (75-0), Sr.
152 pounds: Javonic Turner, Homewood (42-0), Sr., vs. Matt King, Oxford (54-3), Sr.
160 pounds: Zaquarius Harris, Columbia (41-9), Jr., vs. Trevor Muncey, Gardendale (26-5), Sr.
170 pounds: Isaiah McDougal, Columbia (45-2), Sr., vs. Tobias Garrison, Stanhope Elmore (39-0), Sr.
182 pounds: Thomas Carter, Athens (12-1), Sr., vs. Nathan Dunaway, Helena (66-1), So.
195 pounds: Carlos Miguel Figueroa, Homewood (60-1), Jr., vs. Anthony Talton, Clay-Chalkville (43-4), Jr.
220 pounds: Jackson Jones, Clay-Chalkville (35-2), Jr, vs. Daiquion Thedford, Brookwood (32-3), Sr.
285 pounds: Clay Webb, Oxford (34-1), Jr., vs. Brian Gardner, Hueytown (22-2), Sr.

CLASS 7A
106 pounds: Dylan Leseueur, Thompson (46-9), Jr., vs. Adrian Neco, Central-Phenix City (51-5), Fr.
113 pounds: Tyler Ivey, Grissom (21-0) , Jr., vs. Emmanuel Oliver, Thompson (32-5), So.
120 pounds: Sullivan Tipton, Oak Mountain (49-7), So., vs. Riley Huff, Hoover (35-8), Jr.
126 pounds: Chandler Akins, Thompson (38-9), Jr., vs. Mark Hurt, Central-Phenix City (39-6), Sr.
132 pounds: Gabe Hixenbaugh, Thompson (52-3), Jr., vs. Maxwell Kauffman, Central-Phenix City (51-4), Jr.
138 pounds: Stone Barden, Hewitt-Trussville (25-3), Jr., vs. Hector Candelario, Central-Phenix City (51-0), Sr.
145 pounds: Conner Smith, Hewitt-Trussville (42-4), Sr.,  vs. Jonathan Handy, Grissom (52-2), Sr.ewi H
152 pounds: Cale Land, Hewitt-Trussville (22-9), Jr., vs. Peter Dazzio, Vestavia Hills (38-6), Jr.
160 pounds: Bowman Hill, Vestavia Hills (28-2), Sr., vs. Robert Morales, Central-Phenix City (48-3), Sr.
170 pounds: Jordan Hunter, Buckhorn (31-2), Jr., vs. Barrett Blakely, Oak Mountain (52-0), Sr.
182 pounds: Spencer Haddock, Vestavia Hills (21-2), Sr., vs. George Francovitch, Bob Jones (42-4), Jr.
195 pounds: Harold Gilmore, Bob Jones (45-4), Sr., vs. D’Angelo Dewitt, Hoover (45-2), Sr.
220 pounds: Seth Dupree, Bob Jones (45-4) , Sr., vs. Jaegar Clark, Huntsville (56-2), Sr.
285 pounds: Camron Hill, Lee-Montgomery (29-1), Sr., vs. Seth Whitlock, Thompson (27-12), Sr.


AHSAA 63rd State Wrestling Championships Saturday’s Championship Matches

(Finals start at 11 a.m.)
CLASS 1A/5A
106 pounds: Cory Land, Moody (52-2), Jr., vs. Cody Souder, Weaver (34-0), Fr.
113 pounds: Joseph Martin, Arab (56-4), Jr., vs. Jaden New, Alexandria (36-5), 8th
120 pounds:  Macon Edwards, Fultondale (74-0), Sr., vs. Dylan Turner, Cleburne County (31-3), Sr.
126 pounds:  Landon Castleberry, Hayden (53-2) Sr., vs. John McAlpin, Scottsboro (45-4), Sr.
132 pounds:  Zachary Clayton, Dora (58-1), Sr., vs. Kage Robertson, Susan Moore (40-3), Sr.
138 pounds:  Garrett McClendon, Arab (58-6), Jr., vs. Brantley McHugh, Madison County (27-5), Sr.
145 pounds:  Clay Jones, Arab (68-0), Sr., vs. Rashad Clark, Moody (53-5), Jr.
152 pounds:  Aaron Whittaker, Alexandria (45-4), Sr., vs. Brady Richardson, Holtville (49-1), Sr.
160 pounds:  Carial Tarter, Mortimer Jordan (61-0), Sr., vs. Colby Hallmark, Hayden (47-8), Jr.
170 pounds:  Kolton Clark, Scottsboro (50-2), Jr., vs. Ethan Pippen, Westminster, (44-4), Sr.
182 pounds:  Monquavias Ricks, Deshler (43-2), Sr., vs. Christian Knop, Alexandria (49-0), Jr.
195 pounds:  Tanner Woodall, North Jackson (29-2), Jr., vs. Andy Baker, Tallassee (57-1), Jr.
220 pounds:  Travis Woodall, North Jackson (30-4), Jr., vs. Sean Caleb Allison, Weaver (52-3), Jr.
285 pounds:  Bradford Womack, Scottsboro (28-6), Jr., vs. Michael Barnes, Mortimer Jordan (46-10), Jr.

CLASS 6A
106 pounds: Bobby Charsha, Benjamin Russell (56-9), So., vs. George Vazquez, Pinson Valley (31-3), Jr.
113 pounds: Andrew Smith, Southside-Gadsden (70-4), Sr., vs. Chase Hicks, Oxford (59-7), Jr.
120 pounds: Jacob  Dease, Southside-Gadsden (60-10), Fr., vs. Landon Burrage, Oxford (53-20), Jr.
126 pounds: Steven Bell, McAdory (69-1), Jr., vs. Jakob Chisolm, Oxford (56-14), Fr.
132 pounds: Brandon Seawright, Minor (36-2), So., vs. Gage Hudson, Gulf Shores (41-6), Jr.
138 pounds: Alex Miller, Helena (50-2), Sr., vs. Deacon Cowart, Athens (35-13), Jr.
145 pounds: Saxon Coker, Benjamin Russell (55-10), So., vs. Justin Ingram, Spanish Fort (75-0), Sr.
152 pounds: Javonic Turner, Homewood (42-0), Sr., vs. Matt King, Oxford (54-3), Sr.
160 pounds: Zaquarius Harris, Columbia (41-9), Jr., vs. Trevor Muncey, Gardendale (26-5), Sr.
170 pounds: Isaiah McDougal, Columbia (45-2), Sr., vs. Tobias Garrison, Stanhope Elmore (39-0), Sr.
182 pounds: Thomas Carter, Athens (12-1), Sr., vs. Nathan Dunaway, Helena (66-1), So.
195 pounds: Carlos Miguel Figueroa, Homewood (60-1), Jr., vs. Anthony Talton, Clay-Chalkville (43-4), Jr.
220 pounds: Jackson Jones, Clay-Chalkville (35-2), Jr, vs. Daiquion Thedford, Brookwood (32-3), Sr.
285 pounds: Clay Webb, Oxford (34-1), Jr., vs. Brian Gardner, Hueytown (22-2), Sr.

CLASS 7A
106 pounds: Dylan Leseueur, Thompson (46-9), Jr., vs. Adrian Neco, Central-Phenix City (51-5), Fr.
113 pounds: Tyler Ivey, Grissom (21-0) , Jr., vs. Emmanuel Oliver, Thompson (32-5), So.
120 pounds: Sullivan Tipton, Oak Mountain (49-7), So., vs. Riley Huff, Hoover (35-8), Jr.
126 pounds: Chandler Akins, Thompson (38-9), Jr., vs. Mark Hurt, Central-Phenix City (39-6), Sr.
132 pounds: Gabe Hixenbaugh, Thompson (52-3), Jr., vs. Maxwell Kauffman, Central-Phenix City (51-4), Jr.
138 pounds: Stone Barden, Hewitt-Trussville (25-3), Jr., vs. Hector Candelario, Central-Phenix City (51-0), Sr.
145 pounds: Conner Smith, Hewitt-Trussville (42-4), Sr.,  vs. Jonathan Handy, Grissom (52-2), Sr.ewi H
152 pounds: Cale Land, Hewitt-Trussville (22-9), Jr., vs. Peter Dazzio, Vestavia Hills (38-6), Jr.
160 pounds: Bowman Hill, Vestavia Hills (28-2), Sr., vs. Robert Morales, Central-Phenix City (48-3), Sr.
170 pounds: Jordan Hunter, Buckhorn (31-2), Jr., vs. Barrett Blakely, Oak Mountain (52-0), Sr.
182 pounds: Spencer Haddock, Vestavia Hills (21-2), Sr., vs. George Francovitch, Bob Jones (42-4), Jr.
195 pounds: Harold Gilmore, Bob Jones (45-4), Sr., vs. D’Angelo Dewitt, Hoover (45-2), Sr.
220 pounds: Seth Dupree, Bob Jones (45-4) , Sr., vs. Jaegar Clark, Huntsville (56-2), Sr.
285 pounds: Camron Hill, Lee-Montgomery (29-1), Sr., vs. Seth Whitlock, Thompson (27-12), Sr.

Defending Champs Oxford, Arab Lead the Pack After Day 1 of AHSAA State Wrestling Tournament

    HUNTSVILLE – Defending Class 1A/5A and Class 6A state wrestling champions Arab and Oxford each held a comfortable leads after day one of the 2018 AHSAA State Wrestling Championships at Von Braun Center.
      Arab, coached by Mike Pruitt, posted 74.5 points through Thursday’s two championship play rounds and the first consolation round. The Knights have won five state titles in a row. Scottsboro was second Thursday with 61.5 points and Alexandria, third with 52.5. Coach Matt Hicks’ Class 6A Yellow Jackets posted 84 points while Benjamin Russell, Wetumpka, Gardendale, McAdory and Clay-Chalkville finished in a  battle for second place. Benjamin Russell totaled 53 points, Wetumpka 50, Gardendale and McAdory, 47 each, and Clay 46.5 heading into Friday’s second day of the 63rd annual state wrestling tournament.
    Class 7A joins the action Friday, which gets underway with weigh-in at 8 a.m. Wrestling starts at 9:30 with Class 1A/5A and 6A consolation round 2 and Class 7A championship round 1. The championship round semifinals for all classes is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., followed by consolation quarterfinal and semifinal rounds later in the afternoon. The consolation finals will kick off Saturday’s championship day at 9 a.m. The championship matches in all classes will begin at 11 a.m. All matches are being live-streamed by TrackWrestling over the subscriber-based NFHS Network and can be accessed at www.nfhsnetwork.com.
     Heavyweights Jake Andrews and Clay Webb appear headed for another showdown in the Class 6A 285-pound division.  Both had impressive days Thursday. Webb, an Oxford junior, won his first match with a pin in just 31 seconds, and Stanhope Elmore’s Andrews, the defending state champion and 2018 South Super Sectional champion, posted his first win winning by fall in just 12 seconds. Andrews (25-2) and Webb (34-1) had identical wins in the quarterfinals pinning their opponents at 1:07.  Andrews, who beat Webb in the state finals last season, also won a touch victory over the Oxford junior at the South Super Sectional finals last weekend.
     Among the other top performances Thursday:
Christian Knop, Alexandria: Reached the Class 1A/5A semifinals at 182 pounds with two easy wins to improve to 58-0 on the season. He has put together three straight unbeaten seasons going 161-0 since losing his last match.
Macon Edwards, Fultondale: Advanced to the Class 1A/5A semifinals for the fourth straight year winning two matches at 120 pounds Thursday. He had one victory by pin and another by major decision. Edwards (73-0), a senior, has gone 236-1 in his last four seasons with the only loss coming in last year’s 113-pound finals to Landon Castleberry of Hayden to snap a 163-match winning streak. He has since won all 73 matches this season. Castleberry (52-2), wrestling in the 126-pound division this season, won both his matches Thursday with pins.
Carial Tarter, Mortimer Jordan: The senior improved to 60-0 in the 160-pound class with two pins Thursday. He earned Class 1A/5A state tourney MVP in 2017 going 58-0 to win at 145 pounds and
 and has gone 118-0 over the last two seasons.
Javonic Turner, Homewood: Won two matches at 152 pounds to advance to Friday’s Class 6A semifinals. The senior, now 41-0, won by fall in just 51 seconds in his first match of the day.
Jackson Elder, American Christian (19-0):
Won two matches in the Class 1A/5A 106-pound division with pins to remain unbeaten heading into semifinals Friday. The junior won over Tennison Norton of Saint James in just 59 seconds in his opening match and pinned Moody’s Cory Land (50-3) at 3:25 in the quarterfinal match.
     Vestavia Hills is defending Class 7A champion.



McAdory Boys’ Basketball Team Exceeds Maximum Contests Allowed

     MONTGOMERY – McAdory High School has been fined and placed on probation for one year for the boys’ basketball exceeding the maximum number of contests allowed in the regular season. The school self-reported the violation.
     Furthermore, all regular-season contests t
he boys’ varsity basketball program played and won after exceeding the maximum number allowed must be forfeited. Accordingly, the AHSAA Restitution rule requires the basketball team to sit out the same number of contests in which they played ineligibly. On page 27 of the AHSAA 2017-18 Sports Book, it states in item 2: Schools are permitted to play (a maximum) 20 regular-season games and (unlimited contests) in three tournaments prior to area, sub-regional, regional and State Finals play.
      Restitution begins immediately. As a result of this violation being reported to the AHSAA early Friday morning, February 9, the next scheduled contest for McAdory is the finals of the Class 6A, Area 9 basketball tournament against Hueytown High School (HHS).  As restitution for game one over the allowable contests, MHS must forfeit this contest to HHS.  Thus, Hueytown will be the tournament champion and advance to Game 14 of the Class 6A Northwest Sub-Regional round. Furthermore, McAdory’s restitution for game two over the allowable contests will be a forfeit in Game 15 of the Class 6A Northwest Sub-Regional. Thus, the Class 6A Area 16 winner will advance to the Northwest Regional Tournament. Because the 2018 season has ended and McAdory is unable to fulfill the last restitution requirement, an additional fine is being assessed. 
      Hueytown, as Area 9 champion, will host the Area 16 runner-up in the sub-regional round.
      The probationary period is a warning that other violations of this nature could bring further sanctions against the school.


Midfield Boys’ Basketball Team Exceeds Maximum Contests Allowed

     MONTGOMERY – Midfield High School has been fined and placed on probation for one year for the boys’ basketball exceeding the maximum number of contests allowed in the regular season. The school self-reported the violation.
     Furthermore, all regular-season contests t
he boys’ varsity basketball program played and won after exceeding the maximum number allowed must be forfeited. Accordingly, the AHSAA Restitution rule requires the basketball team to sit out the same number of contests in which they played ineligibly. On page 27 of the AHSAA 2017-18 Sports Book, it states in item 2: Schools are permitted to play (a maximum) 20 regular-season games and (unlimited contests) in three tournaments prior to area, sub-regional, regional and State Finals play.
      Restitution begins immediately. Midfield, the Area 8 tournament champion, will not participate in the Class 3A sub-regional playoff game versus Area 7 tournament runner-up American Christian. As a result, American Christian will advance to the Central Regional Tournament.
      The probationary period is a warning that other violations of this nature could bring further sanctions against the school.


Selma Girls’ Basketball Coach Anthony Harris Leads Saints to 20 Wins for 15th Season

MONTGOMERY – Selma High School girls’ coach Anthony Harris saw his Class 6A Lady Saints beat Central-Tuscaloosa 58-56 at the buzzer when Kynadra Lewis nailed a lay-up in overtime.
   The shot sealed Harris’ 399th career coaching win at Selma and landed the coach and his team in the AHSAA Basketball Spotlight this week. The Lady Saints captured win 400 the next night with a victory over rival Southside.
    The victory also improved Selma to 22-4 on the year – clinching a 20-win season for the 15th time in Harris’ 20-year coaching tenure. With an overall record of 400-96 heading into the area tournament this week, he has seen his share of buzzer beaters during that span.
      He’s been on both sides of such dramatic finishes – and still finds them exciting.
     As the seconds ticked away, he said was concerned that his clock was going to run out.  “Lewis picked it up and laid it up,” Harris told the Selma Times-Journal. “I turned my head away because I thought the time was going to run out.”
     The victory avenged an earlier 53-35 setback to the Falcons.
    “We knew it was going to be a test, and I wanted it to be a test,” Harris said. “It got a little tough for us, but we told them to never quit.”
     The milestone Selma victory edged out an amazing shooting performance by defending Class 3A state girls’ champion Locust Fork. Opening play in the Class 3A, Area 11 tournament Monday night, Coach Barbara Roy’s Lady Hornets sank an AHSAA single-game state girls’ basketball record 20 3-point goals in a 95-36 win over Blount County rival J.B. Pennington.
    Eight different girls sank at least one 3-pointer with Rachael Baker and Carissa Horton making four each, Jayleigh Tawbush and Hannah Armstrong sinking three apiece. Locust Fork shot 64.5% from the 3-point arc for the game, another AHSAA single-game record, nailing 20 on just 31 attempts.
    The previous record was 19 3-point goals made by North Sand Mountain (2011), Clay-Chalkville (2009) and Cold Springs (1999).

    In other outstanding performances reported:

BOYS
QUA’DARIUS PETERSON, HOUSTON COUNTY: Scored 21 points and had 12 rebounds as the Lions (15-8) beat Rehobeth 108-104 in overtime in the final game of the regular season. Seven players scored in double figures for Coach Brandon Brown with Savion Jones scoring 18, Zydarien Brown 17.  Rehobeth (14-13), which placed five players in double figures, was led by Jordan West, who had 31 points, and Samuel Mounce with 20. The combined 12 players who scored in double figures is believed to be a record for a single game.
   Rehobeth’s 104 points in a loss ties for fourth all-time in the AHSAA Record Book. Pisgah set the record in a 127-126 five-overtime loss to Sylvania in 1998. Springville also scored 123 in a 124-124 two-overtime setback to Pinson Valley, Lamar County had 119 in a 151-119 loss to South Lamar in 1992, and Huntsville-Butler had 104 in a 107-104 six-overtime loss to Grissom in 1996. Ironically, Houston County followed with an 18-13 win over Pleasant Home in the Class 1A, Area 2 tournament.
RALPH BARRETT, CENTRAL-FLORENCE: The 6-foot-3, 230-pound senior scored 27 points in  a 64-55 win over Brooks to hand the Lions their first loss of the season – snapping a game winning streak. He also has 23 points in a win over Lauderdale County.
BRANDON GREEN, PHILLIPS: Scored 34 points in a 76-61 victory over Hackleburg and added 19 points, including a shot at the buzzer, to give the Bears a last-second 50-49 win over Phil Campbell.
LUKE TIDMORE, WHITESBURG CHRISTIAN: Sank five 3-pointers and finished with 29 points in a 64-54 win over New Hope.
QUAIMAINE OLIVER, BARBOUR COUNTY: Had 24 points and 10 rebounds and the Class 2A Jaguars beat Class 6A Northview 66-58.
CALVIN DAVIS, BLOUNT: His 3-point play with 1.2 seconds left gave the Leopards a 59-56 win over Baker. He had 15 points in the game – helping Blount battle back from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
DEMONTREZ BROWN, BOB JONES: Sank a shot at the buzzer to give the Patriots a 43-41 win over Columbia.
B.J. ANDERSON, ANDALUSIA: Scored 25 points as the Bulldogs closed the regular season with a 77-44 win over Opp.
ROBERT SCOTT, PLEASANT HOME: Had 21 points and Austin Kelley added 15 as the Eagles beat T.R. Miller 60-50 in the final regular-season game of the season.


GIRLS
KYLA BELL-BARTON, T.R. MILLER: Led the unbeaten Tigers (24-0) to a 66-61 win over Samson (24-3) with 19 points in the come-from-behind win. LaTascya Duff scored 35 for Samson.
SADIE THOMPSON, LAWRENCE COUNTY: Scored 32 points as the Class 5A Red Devils beat defending Class 1A state champion R.A. Hubbard.
KAYA JOYNER, CHEROKEE: Had games of 31 and 24 points in two wins over Vina and Athens Bible.
TYONNA ROGERS, SPRING GARDEN: Had 25 points, including 8-of-10 at the foul line, in Spring Garden’s regular-season closing 71-33 win over Weaver.
TAYLOR AIKERSON, DESHLER:
Had back-to-back 23-point performances as the Tigers beat Mars Hill Bible and Russellville.
KATHLEEN WHEELER, PRICEVILLE: Scored 25 points and grabbed eight rebounds as the Bulldogs beat West Morgan 52-38.
KAITLYN RIDLEY, PIEDMONT: Sank two free throws with four seconds left to give Piedmont a 38-35 win over Pleasant Valley.
RIVER BALDWIN, PLEASANT HOME: Had 27 points, six rebounds and four blocked shots as the Class 1A Eagles fell to Class 3A T.R. Miller 46-36.

T.R. Miller 66, Samson 61: In a battle of state ranked teams, Class 3A sixth-ranked unbeaten T.R. Miller edged Class 2A top-ranked Samson in Samson, 66-61.


High School Football Players with Improper Equipment Will Be Removed for One Down

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         Contact: Bob Colgate

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (February 8, 2018) — Players in high school football who are detected with missing or improperly worn equipment during playing action will be removed from the game for at least one down, unless the improper equipment is directly attributable to a foul by the opponent.

This revision in Rule 1-5-5 and other related rules was one of five rules changes for the 2018 season recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Football Rules Committee at its January 19-21 meeting in Indianapolis. All changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

Rule 1-5-5 also states that if the player is wearing otherwise legal equipment in an illegal manner, the participant must also be replaced for one down. If proper and legal equipment has become improperly worn through use during the game, and prompt repair does not delay the ready-for-play signal for more than 25 seconds, the repair can be made without replacing the player for one down.

In a related change (1-5-4), the head coach is responsible for verifying that all players are legally equipped and will not use illegal equipment. The penalty provisions for any use of illegal equipment remain unchanged and result in an unsportsmanlike foul charged to the head coach.

“I commend the entire football rules committee for its thoroughness and focus on the state of the game of football,” said Todd Tharp, chair of the NFHS Football Rules Committee and assistant director of the Iowa High School Athletic Association. “The committee recognizes that the state of high school football focuses on risk minimization and the responsibility that coaches, players and game officials play in continuing to protect our student-athletes. By emphasizing that the coach is ultimately responsible for assuring his players are using legal equipment by issuing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for violations and that players will be removed for using legal equipment in an illegal manner, the committee continues to focus on minimizing risk for all players.”

The second rules change approved by the NFHS Football Rules Committee provides another option for teams in Rule 6-1-9 on fouls committed by the kicking team during free kicks and scrimmage kicks. Now, the receiving team can accept a 5-yard penalty from the succeeding spot. The previous three options remain: accept a 5-yard penalty from the previous spot and have the kicking team re-kick, put the ball in play at the inbounds spot 25 yards beyond the previous spot, or decline the penalty and put the ball in play at the inbounds spot.

Bob Colgate, NFHS director of sports and sports medicine and liaison to the NFHS Football Rules Committee, said this additional option was approved by the committee in an effort to reduce re-kicks, further minimize risks and ensure that appropriate penalties are in place for all fouls.

“The ability to ‘tack on’ penalty yardage on free kicks will potentially reduce the amount of repeated free kicks,” Tharp said. “In addition, this rule change is consistent with NFHS rules that no foul should go unpenalized.”

The third change approved by the committee was a revision related to the examples of a defenseless player. In Rule 2-32-16a, the committee clarified that defenseless player provisions do not apply to a passer until a legal forward pass is thrown. The passer continues to be a defenseless player until the pass ends or the passer moves to participate in the play.

The committee also changed the signal for free-kick infractions, other than encroachment of the neutral zone, from Signal 18 to Signal 19.

The final change approved by the NFHS Football Rules Committee concerned six-player football in Rule 3. The timing rule between periods and intermission for six-player football has been standardized to match the current NFHS rules for 8-player, 9-player and 11-player football.

A complete listing of the football rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Football.”