Muscle Shoals High School has been fined and placed on restrictive probation for the 2016 football season by the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) for violations of the Recruiting Rule. The violations were self-reported
Restrictive probation limits the school’s football participation to regular-season contests only and prohibits the school from participating in any interscholastic (football) contest involving more than two schools, including championships, for the entirety of the restrictive probation.
Assistant football coach Chris Balentine has been suspended from coaching at any AHSAA member school for one year and the student-athlete involved is permanently ineligible at MSHS. Moreover, should incidents of this nature occur in the future, Muscle Shoals High School could be suspended from the AHSAA.
“We thank the Muscle Shoals administration for their cooperation throughout this process,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said. “Although we regret any time violations occur, we are encouraged to see how our schools strive with diligence to put into place protocol that will prevent these kinds of errors in the future.”
The AHSAA Recruiting Rule can be found in the 2015-16 Handbook on page 57, Rule VI-Administration, Section 12. RECRUITING.
MONTGOMERY, AL – Six teams have been selected for the 11th annual AHSAA Champions Challenge Football Classic Aug. 18-20 at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl.
The 2016 Champions Challenge, which will kick off the 2016 prep football season, will feature one game at 7 p.m., over three nights with Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa taking on Demopolis in the Thursday night game, according to Alvin Briggs, Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) that hosts the event each year.
Friday’s game will pit 2014 Class 7A semifinalists Hoover and Central-Phenix City, then Saturday’s game will close out the series with Andalusia versus Brooks.
“We are very excited about the three games we have lined up,” Briggs said. “Each of them has storied histories and strong communities that love high school football. We thank the City of Montgomery for helping us make these games possible each year.”
Hillcrest (8-4), coached by Sam Adams, reached the second round of the Class 6A state playoffs last year. The Patriots have high expectations with the return of talented running back Brian Robinson, wh0 set a new Class 6A single-game rushing record last season with 447 yards against powerful Clay-Chalkville. He is considered one of the top running back prospects in the nation in the Class of 2017. Adams, 17-8 in two seasons at Hillcrest, has compiled a 10-2 region record during that span.
Demopolis (10-3) reached the Class 5A quarterfinals in 2015 before falling to eventual state champion St. Paul’s. The Tigers are coached by Stacy Luker, who coached Sweet Water High School to five Class 1A state titles over a seven-year period from 2004-2010. Luker has a 187-74 career record. His 71.6 winning percentage is among the best in the state.
Hoover (10-3) and Central-Phenix City (9-4) each reached the 7A semifinals last year. The schools’ programs are among the most storied in Alabama prep circles and the two coaches are among the most successful.
The Bucs of Coach Josh Niblett have reached the state finals every year under his tutelage except 2015 when they reached the semifinals. Niblett, 106-11 in eight seasons at Hoover and 171-43 overall, guided Hoover to 6A state championships in 2009, 2012 and 2013 and the first AHSAA 7A title in 2014. His teams also finished as state runner-up in 2008, 2010 and 2011. He also guided Oneonta to the state 3A title in 2004 and has coached his teams to 11 or more wins in 16 years as a head coach.
DuBose, 90-35, had head-coaching stops at Susan Moore, Prattville and Florence before taking over Central in 2014. The Red Devils are 19-6 in two seasons. DuBose served as offensive coordinator at Prattville’s 6A state championship teams in 2006 and 2007 and served as head coach for the title runs in 2008 and 2011. The Lions were runner-up in 2009.
Andalusia (11-2) and Brooks (11-2) both reached the Class 4A quarterfinals last season. Andalusia’s storied past includes 58 regular-season wins from 1973-68 with non-losing streak of 35 games, including the playoffs, during that stretch. The streak included a 7-7 tie with Athens in the 1976 Class 3A state finals with Athens.
Coach Trent Taylor moved back to his alma mater in 2015 from Straughn where he had coached for 25 seasons and compiled a 175-107 record. Taylor is 194-123, including a head-coaching stop at Kinston in 1988 and 1989. Taylor’s teams have won 76 games in the last nine seasons.
Brooks, coached by Brad Black, averaged 34.8 points per game en route to a 7-0 region record in 2015 and the Region 8 title. The Lions have gone 41-17 this decade and won nine or more games nine times since 2000.
In last year’s Champions Challenge, Madison Academy beat Leeds 19-14, Gordo downed Glencoe 28-21 and Bob Jones defeated Carver-Montgomery 37-33.
The 2016 Champions Challenge schedule at Cramton Bowl:
Thursday, August 18 – 7 p.m.: Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (8-4) vs. Demopolis (11-2)
Friday, August 19 – 7 p.m.: Hoover (10-3) vs. Central-Phenix City (9-4)
Saturday, August 20 – 7 p.m.: Andalusia (11-2) vs. Brooks (11-2)
MONTGOMERY – Spanish Fort’s Tyler Johnston was named the 34th recipient of the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Mr. Football Award on Wednesday at the ASWA’s annual Player of the Year Awards luncheon, presented by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association. The annual luncheon was held at the Alabama Activity Center in Montgomery.
Johnston – a 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior quarterback – threw for 3,619 yards this season, completing 193 of 286 passing with 39 touchdowns and just nine interceptions. Johnson also had 129 carries for 750 yards for 13 touchdowns. Johnston was 35-0 as a starter, leading the Toros to state championships in 2013 and 2015 but missing most of the 2014 season with an ACL injury.
Johnston finished with 148 points and eight first-place votes from the ASWA’s prep committee, while Clay-Chalkville senior quarterback Ty Pigrome, the 2014 runner-up, had 139 points with four firsts. Gordo senior linebacker Ben Davis was third with 80 points, Clay-Chalkville senior wide receiver TJ Simmons was fourth (69) and Austin senior offensive lineman Deonte Brown was fifth (68).
Johnston was named the ASWA Class 6A Back of the Year and was chosen to the group’s Super 12 team. He participated in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game and is a verbal commitment to UAB. He was also an ASWA first-team all-state selection at quarterback in 2013. He also played the last game and a half this season with a torn ligament in his elbow.
Johnston becomes the first quarterback to win the Mr. Football award since Carver-Montgomery’s Jeremy Johnson in 2012 and the seventh from the Mobile area, joining Tommy Compton (Vigor, 1982), Darrell Williams (Vigor, 1988), DeMarco McNeil (Blount, 1998), JaMarcus Russell (Williamson, 2002), Julio Jones (Foley, 2007) and T.J. Yeldon (Daphne, 2011).
1982 Tommy Compton, Vigor
1983 Freddie Weygand,
1984 Roderick Green, Gardendale
1985 Pierre Goode, Hazlewood
1986 Larry Ware, Lee-Montgomery
1987 Robert Jones, Parker
1988 Darrell Williams, Vigor
1989 Steven Coleman, Pike Co.
1990 David Palmer, Jackson-Olin
1991 Robert Davis, Homewood
1992 Freddie Kitchens, Etowah
1993 Thomas Banks,
1994 Dawud Rasheed,
1995 Gorman Thornton, Jeff Davis
1996 Antoneyo Williams, Central-Tuscaloosa
1997 Mac Campbell, Alexandria
1998 DeMarco McNeil, Blount
1999 Cory Whisenant, Springville
2000 Carnell Williams, Etowah
2001 Brandon Cox, Hewitt-Trussville
2002 JaMarcus Russell, Williamson
2003 Chris Nickson, Pike Co.
2004 Jarod Bryant, Hoover
2005 Andre Smith, Huffman
2006 Larry Smith, Prattville
2007 Julio Jones, Foley
2008 Clint Moseley, Leroy
2009 Coty Blanchard, Cherokee Co.
2010 Jamal Golden, Wetumpka
2011 T.J. Yeldon, Daphne
2012 Jeremy Johnson,
2013 Racean Thomas, Oxford
2014 Kerryon Johnson,
2015 Tyler Johnston, Spanish Fort
Back/Lineman voting lists top 3 vote getters only; Super 12/Mr. Football voting is top 12 only; 33 players received votes on the ASWA Super 12. Vote totals for the AISA were not available.
Class 1A Back
Terence Dunlap, Maplesville, 36
Grayson Wakefield, Decatur Heritage, 26
Tommy Spivey, Brantley, 23
Class 1A Lineman
Cameron Longmire, Georgiana, 19
Tanner Swinney, Hackleburg, 15
Devan Wallace, Maplesville, 14
Class 2A Back
Chadarius Townsend, Tanner, 66
Dilan Kilpatrick, Fyffe, 63
Peyton Gilliland, Cleveland, 50
Class 2A Lineman
Austin Lewter, Tanner, 63
Blaine Hudson, Elba, 50
Ethan Jones, Fyffe, 44
Class 3A Back
Taylor Hayes, Piedmont, 78
Kearvae Qualls, Colbert Co., 65
Pace Ozmint, Glencoe, 55
Class 3A Lineman
Ben Davis, Gordo, 53
Austin Troxell, Madison Acad., 41
Neonta Alexander, Piedmont, 29
Class 4A Back
Kaleb Barker, Priceville, 78
Tre’ Nation, Leeds, 68
Noah Ard, Cordova, 48
Class 4A Lineman
Josephus Smith, Leeds, 68
Dee Nalls, Fayette Co., 46
Sterling Jones, St. James, 36
Class 5A Back
Jordan Bentley, Guntersville, 55
Ostin McPherson, St. Paul’s, 47
Demarcus Williams, Jackson, 39
Class 5A Lineman
Marlon Davidson, Greenville, 69
Quinnen Williams, Wenonah, 59
Darius Whitfield, St. Paul’s, 45
Class 6A Back
Tyler Johnston, Spanish Fort, 79
Ty Pigrome, Clay-Chalkville, 75
TJ Simmons, Clay-Chalkville, 45
Class 6A Lineman
Deonte Brown, Austin, 81
Lyndell Wilson, Carver-Montgomery, 56
Thomas Johnston, Spanish Fort, 51
Class 7A Back
La’Mical Perine, Theodore, 20
Henry Ruggs III, Lee-Montgomery, 13
Kyriq McDonald, James Clemens, 10
Class 7A Lineman
Labryan Ray, James Clemens, 17
Walter Pritchett, Central-Phenix City, 15
Carlton Martial, McGill-Toolen, 11
Tyler Johnston, Spanish Fort, 148
Ty Pigrome, Clay-Chalkville, 139
Ben Davis, Gordo, 80
TJ Simmons, Clay-Chalkville, 69
Deonte Brown, Austin, 68
La’Mical Perine, Theodore, 65
Marlon Davidson, Greenville, 38
Lyndell Wilson, Carver-Montgomery, 37
Jordan Bentley, Guntersville, 37
Quinnen Williams, Wenonah, 32
Kaleb Barker, Priceville, 25
Kyriq McDonald, James Clemens, 25
MONTGOMERY – The Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Mr. Football luncheon to be held at the Montgomery Activities Center will be live-streamed over the NFHS Network Wednesday – a first in the 34-year history of the annual award.
The broadcast, which is being produced by Prattville High School’s School Broadcast Program, can be accessed over the NFHS Network at the following link: http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/ahsaa/4ad6062ebf
Viewers can click on the link directly or go to www.ahsaa.com and click on the NFHS Network icon.
The luncheon is set to begin at 11:45 a.m. Former Hazlewood High School standout Pierre Goode, Mr. Football in 1986, will be the guest speaker, and the awards presentations will follow.
The 2015 Mr. Football Award will be presented to one of 48 finalists, three linemen and three backs, selected in each of the seven AHSAA classifications and AISA by the ASWA All-State Committee. All 48 players, their coaches and families will be attending the luncheon. A back and lineman of the year will be announced in each classification.
Mr. Football, considered as the state high school player of the year, is selected from the class back and line winners by the ASWA. Last year’s Mr. Football recipient was Kerryon Johnson of Madison Academy, now a freshman at Auburn University.
The Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association is host of the luncheon.
The ASWA announced the finalists in December. Those representing AHSAA member schools are listed below.
Alabama Sports Writers Association
2015 Mr. Football Finalists
BACK: Kyriq McDonald, James Clemens, DB; La’Mical Perine, Theodore, RB; Henry Ruggs III, Lee-Montgomery, WR.
LINEMAN: Carlton Martial, McGill-Toolen, LB; Walter Pritchett, Central-Phenix City, DL;
Labryan Ray, James Clemens, LB.
BACK: Tyler Johnston, Spanish Fort, QB; Ty Pigrome, Clay-Chalkville, QB; T.J Simmons, Clay-Chalkville, WR.
LINEMAN: Deonte Brown, Austin, OL; Thomas Johnston, Spanish Fort, LB; Lyndell Wilson, Carver-Montgomery, LB.
BACK: Jordan Bentley, Guntersville, RB; Ostin McPherson, St. Paul's Episcopal, RB;
Demarcus Williams, Jackson, QB.
LINEMAN: Marlon Davidson, Greenville, DL; Darius Whitfield, St. Paul's Episcopal, OL;
Quinnen Williams, Wenonah, DL.
BACK: Noah Ard, Cordova, QB; Kaleb Barker, Priceville, QB; Tre' Nation, Leeds, RB.
LINEMAN: Sterling Jones, St. James, LB; Dee Nalls, Fayette County, OL; Josephus Smith, Leeds, DL.
BACK: Taylor Hayes, Piedmont, QB; Pace Ozmint, Glencoe, DB; Kearvae Qualls, Colbert County, RB.
LINEMAN: Neonta Alexander, Piedmont, LB; Ben Davis, Gordo, LB; Austin Troxell, Madison Academy, OL.
BACK Peyton Gilliland, Cleveland, QB; Dilan Kilpatrick, Fyffe, RB; Chadarius Townsend, Tanner, athlete.
LINEMAN: Blaine Hudson, Elba, OL; Ethan Jones, Fyffe, OL; Austin Lewter, Tanner, OL.
BACK: Terence Dunlap, Maplesville, RB; Tommy Spivey, Brantley, WR; Grayson Wakefield, Decatur Heritage, QB.
Cameron Longmire, Georgiana, LB; Tanner Swinney, Hackleburg, OL; Devan Wallace, Maplesville, OL.
ASWA Mr. Football
Past winners (1982-2014)
Racean “Roc” Thomas
HATTIESBURG, MS – Alabama and Mississippi all-star squads went through two more practice sessions Thursday and one practice Friday morning as the high school seniors finalized preparations for Saturday’s 29th Alabama-Mississippi All-Star football game.
Kickoff is set for noon.
“We have had a great week,” said Alabama head coach Mark Freeman of Thompson High School.
Quarterbacks Tyler Johnston of Spanish Fort and Ty Pigrome of Clay-Chalkville will be leading the offense as Alabama strives to win its eighth straight game in the series and 22nd overall since its inception in 1988. The game, being played in Mississippi for the first time, will be played at M.M. Roberts Stadium on the campus the University of Southern Mississippi.
Alabama all-star fullback Jarrion Street of Hewitt-Trussville has committed to Ole Miss and running back La’Mical Perine of Theodore has committed to Florida. The Gators and Alabama each have three commitments on the squad. The Crimson Tide lists wide receiver T.J. Simmons of Clay-Chalkville, offensive lineman Deonte Brown of Austin and defensive lineman Quinnen Williams of Wenonah. The Gators also list Hoover defensive end Jeremiah Moon and Park Crossing defensive back Jeawon Taylor among their commitments.
Also selected to the Alabama All-Star squad are Auburn commitments John Broussard of Central-Phenix City and Marlon Davidson of Greenville. Broussard is a defensive back and Davidson is a defensive lineman.
Freeman’s assistant coaches include 2015 state championship coaches Brent Hubbert of Maplesville (1A), Keith Etheredge of Leeds (4A) and Steve Mask of St. Paul’s Episcopal (5A). All three coaches have directed their teams to back-to-back Super 7 state titles. Other members of the coaching staff are Jerry Hood of Clay-Chalkville (6A), Paul Benefield of Fyffe (2A), Eric Cohu of Madison Academy (3A), J.B. Wallace of Florence (6A) and Chris Yeager of Mountain Brook (7A). Hood, Benefield and Cohu directed teams to state titles in 2014. Hood and Benefield led Clay-Chalkville and Fyffe back to the finals this year.
Alabama’s All-Stars have won the last year’s game 36-31 on the last play of the game and holds a 21-7 edge in the 28-game series. The game was played at Mobile from 1988-2010 and at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl from 2011-14. It will return to Cramton Bowl in 2016. This will be the fourth year that Cramton Bowl has been the host site.
TV/RADIO INFORMATION: Raycom Media will broadcast the game live over its affiliates in Alabama and Mississippi Saturday and will also live-stream the game. The AHSAA Radio Network will broadcast the game live as well over its network. More information is available on line at www.AHSAA.com.
A banquet attended by players and parents is planned for tonight Thad Cochran Center at USM. A special Meet-and-Greet session on will be held at M.M. Roberts Stadium from 10 to 11 a.m. Saturday preceded by a Fellowship of Christian Athletes Breakfast for players and coaches at the stadium at 8:30 a.m.
Accomplished author and former Erwin High School and Auburn University standout Dr. Rob Pate is Alabama’s honorary captain for Saturday’s 29th Alabama-Mississippi All-Star football game. Kickoff is set for a noon Saturday at M.M. Roberts Stadium on the University of Southern Mississippi campus in Hattiesburg.
Pate was a four-year starter at Birmingham’s Erwin High School in football, basketball and baseball where he earned All-State and Super All-State honors in football. An outstanding student, he was also named the Class 5A Bryant-Jordan Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 1997.
Chosen to play in the Alabama Mississippi Game in 1997, he was named captain by his teammates and helped Alabama win 10-6.
He then attended Auburn University on football scholarship where he was four-year starter in the Tigers’ secondary. He earned All-Conference and was a two-time GTE Academic All-America All-District selection, a four-time SEC Honor Roll recipient, and the Pat Dye Leadership Award winner. Pate graduated from Auburn University in May 2002 with a bachelor’s degree in zoology and spent a year with the San Diego Chargers.
Injuries cut his NFL career short and he opted for medical school where he graduated from the UAB School of Optometry in May 2007 – earning Dean’s List every quarter in Optometry School. He currently practices in Auburn. He lives in Chelsea with his wife of 9 years, Dana, and their three daughters, Claire McKinley, Ellie Brooklyn, and Jenna Kathryn.
Very popular with Auburn fans, Dr. Pate has authored two books, including his latest, A Tiger’s Walk, which chronicles his battles with the highs and lows of championships and losing seasons, coaching hirings and firings, and personal success and tragedy – as well as giving poignant insights into the daily lives of college football players as they strive to also be college students.
He also authored Memoirs of an Auburn Football Player, which was published in 2004.
Dr. Rob Pate is a member of the American Optometric Association, the Alabama Optometric Association, served as president of the Birmingham Area Optometric Society in 2013, the Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce and the Birmingham Auburn Club. He served as Alabama Special Olympics Opening Eyes Chairman in 2012. He earned induction into the Beta Sigma Kappa Optometric Honor Society, was named Southern Council of Optometrists’ Young Optometrist of the Year in 2015 and the American Optometric Association Young Optometrist of the Year in 2013.
Alabama holds a 21-7 edge in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star series including a current seven-game winning streak dating back to 2007. This marks the first year the game is being played outside Alabama. The Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC) is hosting the event which has been a project of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association in conjunction with the AHSAA.
Pate will speak to the two teams Friday night in Hattiesburg at the annual Players & Parents banquet. He will also attend the game on Saturday and take part in the pre-game ceremonies.
2015 ALABAMA ALL-STAR ROSTER
J. B. Wallace
Mark Freeman, Thompson High School
Brent Hubbert, Maplesville High School
Jerry Hood, Clay-Chalkville High School
Paul Benefield, Fyffe High School
Eric Cohu, Madison Academy
J. B. Wallace, Florence High School
Chris Yeager, Mountain Brook High School
Steve Mask, Saint Paul's Episcopal School