MONTGOMERY – The Alabama High School Athletic Association is saddened to learn of the death of Talladega High School head baseball coach Andy Blair.
Blair died January 9 from injuries sustained in an automobile accident.
“Our prayers go out to the family of Coach Blair and to the players, students, teachers and community of Talladega,” Savarese said. “He has been a tremendous influence on the lives of children.”
Blair, in his 10th year as a teacher and coach, served as head coach at Coosa Central High School before becoming head coach at Talladega. He was Class of 2000 graduate of Fayetteville High School and graduated Auburn University in 2005.
The memorial service was January 12.
Auburn civic leader Ron Anders is one of 23 individuals selected to receive national recognition by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association.
Anders, who helped spearhead the current AHSAA concept of rotating the Super 7 state high school football championships between the cities of Auburn and Tuscaloosa, has been selected to receive the NFHS Coach Contributor Award. This award is presented to one individual annually who has gone above and beyond in the coaching profession by exemplifying the highest standards of sportsmanship, ethical conduct and moral character, and who carries the endorsement of his or her respective state high school association.
Anders, an Auburn city councilman and long-time leader in youth sports in east Alabama, envisioned the championships at Auburn University’s Jordan-Hare Stadium and the University of Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium – an idea the AHSAA member schools have embraced with much enthusiasm since the rotation began in 2009. From 1996-2008, the state football championships were played at Legion Field in Birmingham. Prior to 1996, the championships in all classes but 6A were played at home sites.
Anders helped coordinate the rotation that has since seen AHSAA football championships played each year at the site not hosting the Iron Bowl, the Auburn-Alabama game, arguably the top rivalry in college football. Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama hosted the championship in 2009, 2011, 2013 and last December (2015). Auburn and Auburn University have hosted the games in 2010, 2012, 2014 and will host again in 2016.
“Ron Anders is a civic leader who uses every spare moment to find a way to help youth in Auburn and around the state of Alabama,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said. “His tireless efforts have helped hundreds of student-athletes have life-long memories of what is right and good about high school education-based athletics.
“His vision for our state championships has created an opportunity of a lifetime for out student-athletes to play on the same fields where Paul “Bear” Bryant and Ralph “Shug” Jordan coached and played. Other state associations have studied the AHSAA format and several have now adopted similar championship formats in their states. We thank Ron Anders for his leadership in helping the AHSAA provide cherished memories for its student-athletes.”
Anders will receive the award at the AHSAA Championship Coaches Awards Banquet at the conclusion of the 2016 AHSAA Summer Conference in July. The banquet will be held at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center on Friday, July 22 at 6 p.m.
The NFHS, which has been recognizing coaches through an awards program since 1982, honors coaches in the top 10 girls sports and top 10 boys sports (by participation numbers), and in one “other” sport that is not included in the top 10 listings. The NFHS also recognizes a spirit coach as a separate award category. Winners of NFHS awards must be active coaches during the year for which they receive their award. This year’s awards recognize coaches for the 2014-15 school year.
Recipients of this year’s national awards for boys sports are: Cooper Henderson, football, Artesia (New Mexico) High School; Tom Millbrooke, track and field, Canby (Oregon) High School; Britt Cooper, basketball, Roswell (New Mexico) High School; Dom Cecere, baseball, Eastchester (New York) High School; Thomas Walston, soccer, Wendell (North Carolina) Corinth Holders High School; Tim Berrier, wrestling, Tucson (Arizona) Ironwood Ridge High School; Arnie Miehe, cross country, Darlington (Wisconsin) High School; Larry Faulkner, tennis, Glenview (Illinois) Glenbrook South High School; Brennan Torgerson, golf, Buhler (Kansas) High School; and Linda Wiginton, swimming and diving, Altus (Oklahoma) High School.
The recipients of the 2015 NFHS national awards for girls sports are: Linda Richter, track and field, Cameron (Texas) C.H. Yoe High School; Anthony Pappas, basketball, Waterloo (Iowa) West High School; Paula Toney, volleyball, Burns (Oregon) High School; Lucas Kollross, soccer, Weston (Wisconsin) D. C. Everest High School; Cheri Ritz, softball, Wayland (Michigan) Union School; Kristin McWilliams, cross country, Winter Park (Florida) High School; Judith Hehs, tennis, Bloomfield Hills (Michigan) Academy of the Sacred Heart; Marty Keating, swimming and diving, Pittsford (New York) Central Schools; Stacie Butler, golf, Youngstown (Ohio) Cardinal Mooney High School; and Jessica Battle, lacrosse, Coronado (California) High School.
The recipient of the National Coach of the Year Award for spirit is Natalie Horton of Valley Center (Kansas) High School, and Karen Kuhlmann of Holmen (Wisconsin) High School was chosen in the other sports category for Girls Gymnastics.
The NFHS Coaches Association has an advisory committee composed of a chair and eight sectional representatives. The sectional committee representatives evaluate the state award recipients from the states in their respective sections and select the best candidates for the sectional award in each sport category. The NFHS Coaches Association Advisory Committee then considers the sectional candidates in each sport, ranks them according to a point system, and determines a national winner for each of the 20 sport categories, the spirit category and one “other” category.
A total of 537 coaches will be recognized this year with state, sectional and national awards.
MONTGOMERY – Eleven major contributors to prep athletics in Alabama have been selected from a field 59 nominations to be inducted into the 26th class of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame next March.
The 2016 class, which includes coaches, administrators, officials, media and an “oldtimer,” will be inducted at the 26th annual banquet at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center at Montgomery, March 21, 2016, at 6:30 p.m.
Selected for induction are football coaches Richard Beverly, Tandy Gerelds and Ike Grant, basketball coaches Mike Cochran and Jerome Sanders, volleyball coaches Frances Crapet and Brenda Mayes, baseball coach Earl Miller, wrestling coach Dwight Buzbee, volleyball official Apple Kridakorn and coach/administrator Alfred Peavy, who was selected in the “oldtimer” division. Peavy and Gerelds are deceased.
Sponsors of the Hall of Fame program are the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) and the AHSAA. The corporate sponsors include Alabama Power, Coca-Cola, Encore Rehabilitation, Russell Athletic, TeamIP, Wilson Sporting Goods, Cadence Bank and TNT Fireworks.
WSFA TV sports director Jeff Shearer will emcee the banquet. The NFHS Network is scheduled to live-stream the banquet.
The first class was inducted in 1991. These 11 new inductees will run the total enshrined into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame to 320.
A profile of each selectee:
RICHARD BEVERLY: A long-time football coach and administrator, Beverly’s career spanned 42 years. He compiled a 145-78-4 record as head football coach at Clay County High School from 1967-1988. His 1968 team went 10-0 in the regular season and then played St. Jude at Cramton Bowl in the first integrated AHSAA playoff game following the Merger of the AHSAA and AIAA. He served as principal at Wadley High School from 1988-92 and then worked as an assistant coach at Smiths Station High School and Russell County High School.
Beverly, 72, graduated from Handley High School in 1961 and Auburn University in 1966.
DWIGHT BUZBEE: The Alexander City native returned to his alma mater in 1977 working at Alex City Junior High. He moved to Benjamin Russell High School in 1978, serving as teacher, assistant football and head wrestling coach. In eight seasons as wrestling coach, the Wildcats won three AHSAA state team titles with seven individuals winning state weight-class championships. He served as athletic director for Alexander City Schools from 2001-09 and retired after 37 years of teaching and coaching in 2014. He has been one of the AHSAA’s top wrestling officials for the last 32 years. Buzbee, 62, played football and wrestled at Benjamin Russell High School, finishing second individually in his weight class as a senior for Coach Charles Lee, already a member of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame.
Buzbee graduated from high school in 1971 and Auburn University in 1977.
MIKE COCHRAN: Cochran, 54, became one of the state’s most successful girls’ basketball coaches during his 28-year head-coaching career at Fyffe High School. He guided the Lady Red Devils to a 627-226 record with seven state championships–including four in a row (1994-97) in the first four years of the AHSAA Final Four state tournament at the BJCC. His teams won 16 DeKalb County championships, 14 area championships and had one state runner-up finish. He coached in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic four times and saw his teams average 30-plus wins during the decade of the 1990s (302 victories). He was inducted into the DeKalb County Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.
Cochran graduated from Fyffe High School in 1979 and earned his college degree and Masters in English from the University of Alabama.
FRANCES CRAPET: The Birmingham native returned to her roots and became one of the AHSAA’s top volleyball and softball coaches. She began her teaching and coaching career at W.A. Berry High School in 1984 but moved to John Carroll Catholic High School in 1986 where she has served as athletic director since 2014. Crapet compiled a 635-415 volleyball coaching record with state championships in 1996 and 1997 and state runner-up finishes in 1998 and 1999. Her softball teams were 294-208 from 1987-2004 with three trips to the state tournament. Several of her former students have followed her into coaching.
Crapet, who is a Eucharistic Minister at Our Lady of the Lake Church, graduated from Ensley High School in1976 and the University of Montevallo in 1980.
TANDY GERELDS: Gerelds, now deceased, was a high school teacher and coach for more than 25 years with stops at Woodlawn and Deshler in Alabama and closed out his coaching at Belmont, MS. He also served as principal at Shoals Christian. He compiled a 101-36 coaching record at Deshler with state 4A championship in 1990 and runner-up in 1991. After stepping down as head football coach, he guided the Deshler boys’ golf team to a 1996 state runner-up finish in Class 4A and a state championship in 1997. He began his coaching career at his own alma mater, Woodlawn High School in Birmingham, as baseball coach for three years. He became head football coach in 1971 and coached the Colonels to a 36-14 record over the next five years. His strong faith-based approach helped Woodlawn overcome racial strife to become one of the top programs in the state – culminating with more than 42,000 fans attending the 1974 Woodlawn versus Banks football game at Legion Field. That inspirational saga was made into a popular movie, “Woodlawn,” which chronicles those times and the life of star player Tony Nathan and is currently showing in theatres across the nation.
The 1960 Woodlawn graduate earned his college degree at Auburn in 1965.
IKE GRANT: One of two Benjamin Russell High School graduates in this year’s class, Grant, 62, has spent his entire teaching and coaching career in Chambers County as head football coach and athletic director for a total of 17 years. He served for 10 years from 1978-1986 as head coach and again from 2001-2009 and compiled an overall 85-89 record and four trips to the state playoffs. His 2003 and 2005 teams were 10-2. He has coached in the Alabama-Mississippi Football All-Star Game and North-South All-Star Game. Grant has also served as a football official since 1987 and is currently serving on the AHSAA Central Board of Control.
He graduated from Benjamin Russell in 1972 and Alabama State University in 1976.
KITTILAX “APPLE” KRIDAKORN: Born in Bangkok, Thailand, in 1947, Kridakorn, 68, has worked as an AHSAA volleyball official for more than 45 years. She served as state tournament referee coordinator and the AHSAA state volleyball rules interpreter for 15 years. Considered an influential teacher, mentor and visionary for volleyball officials, she has served as a camp instructor for a decade. Kridakorn has also officiated college volleyball for 30 years, including the 2015 NAIA National Championship, and USA Volleyball for 20. She received the NFHS Section 3 Distinguished Service Award in 2011, the AHSAA Distinguished Service Award in 2004 and the PAVO Excellence in Service Award in 2011. She was also named Southeast District Volleyball Official of the Year in 2013.
She served as Tri-County coordinator for Special Olympics from 1993-98. Kridakorn graduated from Ramsay High School in 1966 and the University of Montevallo in 1970. She earned her Masters from Auburn in 1975 and a Doctorate of Education from Auburn in 1983.
BRENDA MAYES: A coaching icon in the Shoals area for the past 28 years, Mayes, 52, has served as associate athletic director, head volleyball and girls’ basketball coach during her teaching/coaching career that spanned from 1987 through 2015 at Muscle Shoals High School. Her volleyball teams compiled a 1,143-368 record with four state titles from 1998-2001. Her basketball teams were 359-348 and qualified for the Northwest Regional tournament twice. She was named Regional and NFHS National Volleyball Coach of the Year in 2001. Mayes, who also has coached track and softball during her tenure, served on the AHSAA Central Board of Control, has been a key volunteer for the AHSADCA’s all-star competitions and is considered a mentor to numerous current coaches and teachers. She was named the AHSAA Class 6A Making A Difference Award recipient in 2015.
An outstanding high school and college basketball player in her own right, Mayes has been inducted into the Mississippi Community/Junior College Sports Hall of Fame, Northeast Mississippi Community College Sports Hall of Fame, University of North Alabama Athletic Hall of Fame and Colbert County Sports Hall of Fame. She is a 1980 graduate of Biggersville (MS) High School and 1986 graduate of the University of North Alabama.
EARL MILLER: One of the state’s most successful high school baseball coaches, Miller, 62, led G.W. Long High School’s program from 1991-2005. The Rebels compiled a 407-133 record during that span with 14 playoff trips in 26 years. Miller’s teams won seven Class 1A state baseball championships and three Class 2A state titles in that stretch. His team won six state crowns in a row in the 1990s. He was inducted into the Alabama Baseball Coaches Hall of Fame in in 2003. His program produced two Mr. Baseball recipients and 23 all-state selections. His son Drew followed his dad as head baseball coach at G.W. Long.
Miller graduated from Escambia County High School in 1971 and Troy University in 1976.
JEROME SANDERS: The long-time boys’ head basketball coach and athletic director at J.F. Shields High School compiled a 465-151 career record with a 359-158 slate at his alma mater from 1995-2014. He also coached at Dozier, Luverne and Monroe County in a career that spanned 30 years. His Shields teams won three state titles, finished second twice and reached the AHSAA State Tournament semifinals seven times. His teams won seven regional titles. He coached in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game twice. He received the NFHS Section 3 Coach of the Year in 2007 and was the AHSAA Class 1A Making A Difference Award recipient in 2014.
Sanders was a senior member of J.F. Shields’ 1972 Class 2A state championship team. He earned his college degree from Daniel Payne College in 1976.
ALFRED PEAVY: Selected in the “Old Timer” category, Peavy, now deceased, served as a teacher, coach and administrator in Alabama schools from 1956-1991. One of the young leaders of the AIAA when it merged with the AHSAA in 1968, Peavy led Coppinville High School to a 9-0 record in 1968. He compiled 96-42 football coaching record and 200-75 basketball coaching record at Coffee Country Training and Coppinville from 1956-69. He was also an outstanding track coach with four championships and four runner-up finishes. He moved to Enterprise Junior High in 1970 as a coach, then to Enterprise High School in 1971 and became assistant principal in 1975 – serving in that capacity until his retirement in 1991. He served on the AHSAA Central Board of Control for eight years and the District 2 Board for 14 years. He was honored with the AHSAA Distinguished Service Award in 1991. He also was named the recipient of the Martin Luther King Community Awareness Award in 1995 and was inducted into the Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame in 1998. Peavy Park in Enterprise was named in his honor in 1986.
Peavy was a 1948 graduate of Clarke County Training School and 1856 graduate of Alabama State University. He earned his Masters from Troy University in 1975.
Northview High School head coach LaBrian Stewart knows the importance of a strong kicking game. After last Friday’s performance by place-kicker Coby Neenan, the rest of Class 6A, Region 3 will likely agree.
Neenan kicked three field goals – 28, 50 and 47 yards – and opened the third period with an onside kick that set up a 44-yard TD pass as the Cougars beat Carver-Montgomery 23-19 to grab the AHSAA Spotlight for Week 3 of the prep football season.
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound senior also kicked two extra points to finish with 11 points in the contest. It was the second straight week his kicks provided the winning points. Northview beat Stanhope Elmore 21-20 in the first Class 6A, Region 3 win of the season.
For good measure, Coach LaBrian Stewart’s kicker punted four times for a 39.5-yard average as Northview improved to 2-1 and 2-0 in Region 3. Junior teammate Terrell Harris also returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown in another Cougars’ special team highlight.
Neenan’s performance edged out two spectacular offensive performances turned in by Beauregard running back La’Damian Webb and Priceville quarterback Kaleb Barker.
LA’DAMIAN WEBB, BEAUREGARD: The sophomore piled up 376 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 23 carries — averaging 16.3 yards per carry — in the Class 5A Hornets’ 42-27 victory over Sylacauga. He scored three of his four TDs in the second half with an 80-yarder in the final quarter. Beauregard finished with 509 yards rushing as a team.
KALEB BARKER, PRICEVILLE: Engineered Priceville’s first 3-0 start in school history with a 43-40 win over North Jackson. He was 14-of-28 passing for 206 yards and five touchdowns and rushed for 260 yards and two scores on 22 carries – giving him 466 total yards on the night.
Coach Dirk Strunk’s senior quarterback has averaged 545.7 total yards this season and has accounted for 22 touchdowns – 11 passing and 11 rushing. He is 64-of-96 passing on the year for 1,010 yards and has 637 yards rushing on 58 carries.
The victory over the Chiefs was the first in six tries for Priceville, now in its 10th season competing in championship play in the AHSAA. In the five previous meetings, North Jackson averaged 56.2 ppg and had a winning margin of 49 points over the Bulldogs.
In other highlights reported from last weekend:
AHMAUD TAYLOR, T.R. MILLER: Caught four passes for 138 yards and a touchdown to help lead T.R. Miller beat Cottage Hill Christian 48-0. The win was the 298th of head coach Jamie Riggs’ career.
JACKSON HOLLADAY, WALKER: Passed for more than 300 yards for the second straight week as the Vikings beat Minor 3013. Holladay, a junior, was 18-of-30 for 303 yards and four touchdowns – giving him 608 yards and six TDs (36-0f-55) over the last two games.
CHASE WILSON, GLENCOE: Completed 11-of 20-passes for 192 yards and three scores, including the game-winning 28-yard touchdown pass to Pace Ozmint with 28 seconds left in the game, and rushed 11 times for 77 yards and a touchdown as the Yellow Jackets rallied past Westbrook Christian 50-43.
MALIK CUNNINGHAM, PARK CROSSING: The junior was 19-of-28 passing for 292 yards and three touchdowns as the Thunderbirds (4-0) remained unbeaten with a 37-10 win over Wetumpka. Cunningham also rushed for two TDs.
SHAWN JENNINGS, DADEVILLE: The senior quarterback was a perfect 10-of-10 passing for 266 yards and four touchdowns in just over a half of play as Class 4A Dadeville beat Childersburg 60-13. Jennings has completed 23-of-24 pass attempts for 446 yards and six touchdowns over his last two games – playing a total of just 4½ quarters during that span.
PARIS CHAMBERS, McGILL-TOOLEN: The Yellow Jackets quarterback was 20-of-30 passing for 242 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-0 Class 7A win over Baker.
CLAY CULBERT, BOAZ: The senior quarterback accounted for 363 total yards and six touchdowns in the Pirates’ 41-14 Class 5A win over Fairview. Culbert completed 13-of-21 passes for 256 yards and four touchdowns covering 71, 17, 5 and 56 yards. He also rushed for 107 yards on 11 carries and scored twice (34 and 21 yards).
ZAC ODEN, MONTEVALLO: Completed 8-of-14 passes for 192 yards and three touchdowns in Montevallo’s 50-18 Class 4A win over Holt. His TD scores covered 59, 13 and 20 yards.
JORDAN AUBREY, MOBILE CHRISTIAN: Was 12-of-17 passing for 202 yards and three touchdowns in the Leopards’ 50-34 win over Sweet Water.
PEYTON GILLILAND, CLEVELAND: The senior quarterback completed 8-of-13 passes for 169 yards and two touchdowns and rushed seven times for 90 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown, in the Panthers' 51-22 victory over West End.
TAYLOR HAYES, PIEDMONT: Had touchdown runs of 9 and 11 yards, and a 57-yard scoring pass to Bayley Blanchard – all in the first half – as the Bulldogs won a 3A victory over Ohatchee 40-13. He finished with 66 yards rushing on seven carries and completed 5-of-10 passes for 111 yards in the Bulldogs' 40-13 win at Ohatchee.
AHMAD DERAMUS, GADSDEN CITY: Was 9-of-11 passing for 163 yards and three TDs and rushed for 51 yards and a fourth TD as the Class 7A Titans beat Grissom 51-7.
RAMSEY RIGBY, ELBA: Completed 7-of-12 passes for 157 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Class 2A Tigers to a 56-0 win over Central Hayneville.
KOBE SMITH, WEST POINT: Had 262 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 24 carries in a 42-7 Class 5A win over Ardmore. The senior’s longest scores went for 74 and 61 yards.
BLAKE UNDERWOOD, SAINT JAMES: The junior gained 264 yards on 35 rushes and scored four touchdowns in the Trojans’ 38-17 win over Montgomery Catholic.
LA’MICAL PERINE, THEODORE: Rushed for 252 yards and two touchdowns to lead Theodore to a 26-10 victory over Davidson. His scoring runs covered 69 and 29 yards.
TEDDY BROOKS, TALLASSEE: Ran for 235 yards and six touchdowns on 14 carries as the Class 5A Tigers beat Shelby County 44-28.
CALVIN FIGUEROA, SAKS: Posted 244 yards rushing on 30 carries and scored three touchdowns to lead the Class 4A Wildcats to a 32-14 victory over Cherokee County.
GARRETT SANDERS, G.W. LONG: Totaled 280 total yards with 173 yards rushing and 107 receiving in the Rebels’ 44-22 win over Samson. Sanders had nine carries with three touchdowns and four catches for a fourth TD. Teammate Kennon Casey added 158 yards and a TD rushing and was 5-of-8 passing for 118 yards and one TD for 276 total yards.
OMAR BROWN, NORTH JACKSON: Ran for 264 yards and three touchdowns on 31 attempts in a 43-40 loss to Priceville.
KYLE HARRELL, CALERA: Had 250 yards rushing and three touchdowns on runs of 85, 54 and 5 yards as the Class 5A Eagles beat Central-Tuscaloosa 39-29.
JARED SMITH, WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN: Ran for 245 yards and three touchdowns on 34 carries and tossed a pair of scoring passes in a 46-38, triple-overtime loss to Locust Fork.
MILES STRICKLAND, BOB JONES: Accounted for 243 yards total offense, rushed for three touchdowns (42, 4 and 22 yards) and caught a 64-yard score in a 47-28 win over Sparkman.
JAHARI BROWN, NEW BROCKTON: Rushed for 247 yards and two touchdowns (61 and 49 yards) on 18 carries in the Gamecocks' 42-15 win over Calhoun.
JACOB WASHBURN, J.B. PENNINGTON: The senior running back had 24 carries for 225 yards and five touchdowns (68, 7, 37, 16, 21 yards) and caught two passes for 29 yards in the Class 4A Tigers' 43-35 loss to DAR. He added 115 yards on four kick returns.
C.J. COOK, NOTASULGA: Turned in an impressive performance on offense and defense as Class 1A Notasulga beat Pleasant Home 61-28. Cook finished with 220 yards on 13 carries and four touchdowns and added seven tackles, one sack and a forced fumble at linebacker.
TYLER COLLINS, ALBERTVILLE: Rushed for 200 yards and a 49-yard touchdown on 18 carries, and caught a 26-yard TD pass in a 35-10 win over Scottsboro.
JONATE COTTON, NEW HOPE: Ran for 252 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries in a 21-16 win over Plainview.
BLAKE ADAMS, HAYDEN: Rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns (3 and 30 yards) on 28 carries in the Class 5A Wildcats' 28-12 win over Anniston.
DAVION FIFE, CEDAR BLUFF: Ran for 187 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries in the Tigers' 54-0 victory at Valley Head.
QUINTON DOWNEY, SPRING GARDEN: Had 184 yards rushing on 15 carries and scored two touchdowns in the Class 1A Panthers’ 39-13 win over Gaylesville. He also caught a 16-yard TD pass for a third score.
KRISTIN JONES, HACKLEBURG: Gained 186 rushing yards on 24 attempts and scored a touchdown as Hackleburg beat 1A rival Phillips 29-6.
B.J. SMALLS, HANCEVILLE: Ran for 159 yards and two TDs on 27 carries in a 26-20 Class 3A win over Vinemont. Teammate Branen Hurst added 100 yards and two more scores on 13 carries.
ROBERT HOUSTON, LAFAYETTE: The sophomore had 18 rush attempts for 158 yards and five touchdowns as the Class 2A Bulldogs beat Horseshoe Bend 52-31. The sophomore carried the ball 18 times for 158 yards and had five touchdowns, leading the Bulldogs to the win over Horseshoe Bend.
JOHN MICHAEL DYE, VINEMONT: The senior had 30 carries into 173 rushing yards and three touchdowns in a 26-20 loss at Hanceville.
SEAN LONG, SARALAND: Ran for 187 yards and two touchdowns to lead Saraland past Gulf Shores 17-9. His TDs came on runs of 32 and 3 yards.
MICHAEL PHILLIPS, JACKSON: Helped the Aggies end defending 5A state champion St. Paul’s Episcopal’s 18-game winning streak by rushing for 142 yards on 13 carries in a 28-7 win. He scored on an 80-yard run.
IVORY STARR, CEDAR BLUFF: The freshman accumulated 164 yards on 12 rush attempts with four touchdowns in Cedar Bluff's 54-0 victory over Valley Head.
STACY WILLIAMS, ETOWAH: Rushed 22 times for 146 yards and two touchdowns, including the winning score in overtime, as the Class 5A Blue Devils nipped Randolph 21-20.
BEN ROBINSON, ADDISON: Ran for 131 yards, including a 54-yard touchdown, and recovered a fumble in a 15-12 loss to Falkville.
DESHON COWLING, PIKE COUNTY: Scored six touchdowns as the Class 3A Bulldogs (3-0) beat Dale County 59-0 for their third straight shutout of the season. Cowling had a 65-yard TD pass reception, scored on a 95-yard fumble return and added four rushing touchdowns on runs of 1, 40, 13 and 3 yards. Pike County has now outscored its first three opponents 159-0 this season.
RILEY EAGAN, MARY MONTGOMERY: Rushed for 159 yards on 28 carries as the Vikings edged Foley 31-30.
LANDON SMOTHERS, MUSCLE SHOALS: Scored five rushing touchdowns while gaining 92 yards as Muscle Shoals beat Austin 42-17. The Class 6A Trojans also got 156 yards rushing and one TD from Carlos Davis.
ASA MARTIN, AUSTIN: Scored one touchdown on a 97-yard run and finished with 105 yards on seven total carries as Austin lost 42-15 to Muscle Shoals.
MYRON MITCHELL, WALKER: The Vikings’ senior receiver had nine catches for 147 yards and two touchdowns in Walker’s 30-13 Class 6A win over Minor.
DONTAVIUS WILLIAMS, ELBA: Caught five passes for 115 yards and three touchdowns in a 56-0 win over Central-Hayneville.
KADE SEAY, PROVIDENCE CHRISTIAN: Registered 12 tackles, three assists, one for a loss and one quarterback sack on defense n a 13-12 win over 2A region foe Cottonwood. The linebacker was forced into offensive action in the fourth period when injuries depleted the PCA running back corps and responded with nine carries for 54 yards in a go-ahead drive. His 6-yard touchdown run and extra point kick with 4:42 gave his team the win. Teammate Ricky Hall also had 13 tackles.
TANNER SWINNEY, HACKLEBURG: Had 14 tackles on defense and had 15 pancake blocks on offense in the Panthers’ 29-6 Class 1A win over Phillips. Teammate Court Stidham added eight tackles and two interceptions.
JERMARIOUS JORDAN, BESSEMER CITY: Had a key interception in the Tigers’ 14-0 win over previously unbeaten Paul Bryant. Bessemer City finished with five picks on the night.
ALEX McMAHAN, SAND ROCK: Led the Class 3A Wildcats defense with 10 ½ tackles, including eight solo efforts and 1 ½ tackles for lost yardage, in Sand Rock's 21-14 loss at North Sand Mountain.
CLAY KELLEY & GRANT GRIFFIN, NEW BROCKTON: Each returned interceptions 61 yards for touchdowns as the Class 2A Gamecocks beat Goshen 42-15. Kelley also had 11 tackles.
JANSEN ALEXANDER, SAND ROCK: Picked off a pair of passes in the Wildcats' 21-14 loss at Class 3A North Sand Mountain.
KAMERON SMITH, NORTHVIEW: Had 10 tackles, including a quarterback sack, in the 6A Cougars' 23-19 over Carver.
CHARLES CRAWFORD, VIGOR: Scored on a 90-yard kickoff return to open the game and Vigor went on to post a 20-14 overtime win over Murphy.
ALEX McNEAL, DALEVILLE: Returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown and rushed for a pair of TDs in a 40-19 win over Wicksburg.
CHRISTIAN CRANDALL, COLD SPRINGS: Returned a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown and ran for 60 yards in a 52-21 loss to Tanner.
DAKOTA LAMBERT, SPRING GARDEN: Returned a kickoff 61 yards for a touchdown in the 1A Panthers' 39-13 win at Gaylesville.
GRANT BARBER, UMS-WRIGHT: Scored on a 54-yard punt return and an 84-yard reception as UMS-Wright beat Clark County 28-6.
Olive Garden and the NFHS Network, the nation’s leading high school sports media company, are teaming up to recognize Team Moms and the high school athletes they support. This partnership includes the launch of GoTeamMoms.com, which will serve as a resource and destination to recognize Team Moms.
Team Moms volunteer to assist coaches and often lead team communications, fundraising, travel coordination and more. The website will feature Team Mom’s Best-Kept Secrets and game day highlights from high schools around the nation. In addition, coaches, athletes, family members and the community are invited to contribute shout-outs or photos of their favorite Team Mom using #GoTeamMoms on Twitter and Instagram to be featured on the website.
“The goal of the NFHS Network is to serve and support both the athletes and their fans,” said Christopher Young, senior vice president of sales for the NFHS Network. “There’s no bigger fan than a Team Mom and no better partner for the NFHS Network than Olive Garden, which resonates so deeply with our audience and shares our same commitment to families and the local community.”
To further assist Team Moms, each Olive Garden restaurant in the U.S. will be paired with a local high school to support through two national fundraising nights and Olive Garden VIP Passes that give teams access to exclusive discounts. With dining options that include ToGo and catering, Olive Garden is often the choice for feeding an entire team.
“Our restaurants are excited to support their hometown high schools and give back to their communities,” said Jose Duenas, executive vice president of marketing for Olive Garden. “This partnership allows us to thank Team Moms nationwide as well as give families and teams chances to connect over meals and create memories during the busy sports season.”
Visit GoTeamMoms.com to view photos, videos and Team Mom tips and tricks. To find your nearest Olive Garden restaurant and to order your meal online ToGo, visit OliveGarden.com. Visit www.NFHSnetwork.com for live streaming of high school events.
Olive Garden is the leading restaurant in the Italian dining segment with more than 800 restaurants, more than 96,000 employees and more than $3.8 billion in annual sales. Olive Garden is a division of Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI), which owns and operates more than 1,500 restaurants that generate over $6.8 billion in annual sales. Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., and employing more than 150,000 people, Darden is recognized for a culture that rewards caring for and responding to people. Olive Garden is committed to making a difference in the lives of others in the local community. As part of this commitment, Olive Garden restaurants have donated more than 33 million pounds of food to local community food banks across the country. For more information, visit www.olivegarden.com. Connect with us onFacebook.com/OliveGarden, Twitter.com/OliveGarden and Instagram.com/OliveGarden.
The AHSAA was saddened to learn of the death of Jimmy Smothers, 82, the long-time sports editor of the Gadsden Times. Mr. Smothers died Monday, Aug. 31.
A former teacher and principal from Geraldine, he was born in 1933. He graduated Geraldine High School in 1951 and went on to attend Jacksonville State University for three years. He taught school for four years and became the youngest principal in DeKalb County history. While teaching, Smothers worked part time as a correspondent for several newspapers.
Mr. Smothers joined The Gadsden Times in 1961 and became sports editor in 1963. He retired in December 2006 but continued to write columns and articles for The Times.
He was highly regarded and honored by his peers in the newspaper industry and by the people he covered. He won dozens of sportswriting awards and in 2011 became just the fifth sportswriter inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. A fixture at the AHSAA state basketball tournament and other championship events for five decades, he became the just second sportswriter inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2001. Mr. Smothers was also inducted into the Alabama Sports Writers Association Hall of Fame, the Etowah County and DeKalb County halls of fame.
Funeral Services will be held on Thursday, September 3, at 2 P.M. at Fyffe Church of God located at 778 Main Street, Fyffe, with Rev. Billy Smothers and Rev Charles Beshears officiating. Burial will follow in Glenwood Cemetery in Fort Payne. Visitation will take place on Thursday, Sept 3, 2015 from 1-2 p.m., at Fyffe Church of God.
To read more about Mr. Smothers, go to the following link for The Gadsden Times.