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Bayside Academy’s Sam Koby Uses Lessons Learned From Prep Sports to Aid Community

Bayside Academy’s Sam Koby Uses Lessons Learned

From Prep Sports to Aid Community

 

DAPHNE, Ala. – Bayside Academy rising senior Sam Koby doesn’t consider himself a “superior volunteer,” but a look at his extracurricular activities calendar shows otherwise.

 

The president of the Daphne school’s student government association plays point guard for the Admirals’ basketball team and he’s a strong safety on the football squad. Koby is a member of the 2018 Alabama High School Athletic Association Student Leadership Group, one of two members chosen to represent the state at a national conference in Indianapolis in July.

 

The 17-year-old is one of thousands of Alabama High School Athletic Association athletes who give of themselves to their communities during the summer and throughout the year, using lessons learned at home and as part of prep team sports.

 

Koby shares his love for basketball by serving as a coach and mentor at camps for players as young as second grade.

 

Koby also volunteers at two food banks – the Prodisee Pantry and Feeding the Gulf Coast – in the metro Mobile area and has volunteered at a nearby nursing home.

 

“I wouldn’t call myself a ‘superior volunteer,’” Koby said. “I’ve helped at the food banks, the nursing home, during intramural basketball and I volunteered at an art festival and some other little things. Being so busy, I don’t do them on a weekly basis – just when I have time.”

 

With Feeding the Gulf Coast, which has offices in Alabama, Mississippi and Florida, Koby said he has worked as a donation collector, standing outside during food drives. “My dad (Roger Koby) does some fundraising events with them,” he said.

 

Prodisee Pantry is a faith-based non-profit that provides emergency food and disaster relief. According to its website, it has provided assistance to more than “110,000 Baldwin County families facing hardship stemming from job loss, medical expenses, natural disasters and other crises.”

 

“I’m more hands-on with Prodisee Pantry,” Koby said. “I sort food and have even had days when I load carts and take food to people’s cars.”

 

Koby said all the students at Bayside are encouraged to share their skills in the community. “The school does a really good job offering opportunities to volunteer, and my parents encourage me to help others,” he said. “I try to be a role model. I want to help and do the right things so younger kids know.”

 

Playing a team sport also works to help students stay on the right path, Koby said. “I definitely think there’s a family kind of atmosphere that you create with a team,” he said. “The bonds you make with people that are bigger than just hanging out on the weekend. You play together to accomplish something with everybody working together. Even people you might not be friends with – it’s cool how people you’ve never known get attached and grow together.

“Another thing that team sports does is it adds structure. If you have practice in the morning, you can’t just sleep in. Lastly, and one of the biggest things for me, is the leadership you learn. In sports, I’ve always wanted to be a leader. It has helped me to step up when I need to and develop my leadership skills.”

 

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The Alabama High School Athletic Association, founded in 1921, is a private agency organized by its member schools to control and promote their athletic programs. The purpose of the AHSAA is to regulate, coordinate and promote the interscholastic athletic programs among its member schools, which include public, private and parochial institutions. 


AHSAA Announces Recipients for 2018 ‘Making a Difference’ Award

        MONTGOMERY – Seven individuals who have made an impact as exemplary role models have been selected as the 2018 Making a Difference Award recipients by the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) and the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA).
        One recipient from each of the AHSAA’s seven classifications was chosen from nominations submitted by AHSAA member schools and other support organizations. 
        This year’s recipients are Jack Hayes, Brilliant High School (1A); JimBob Striplin, Geneva County High School (2A); Anthony McCall, Montgomery Academy (3A); Frances Dunn, Greensboro High School (4A); Stanley Johnson, Lawrence County High School (5A); Pam Robinson, Benjamin Russell High School (6A); and Clem Richardson, Baker High School (7A).
        The honorees will be recognized during the Championship Coaches Banquet at the Renaissance Montgomery Convention Center July 20. The 6 p.m. event will close out the 2018 AHSAA Summer Conference and All-Star Sports Week for member schools. The Officials’ Awards luncheon will officially close out the week on Saturday, July 21, at the Renaissance at 11:30 a.m.
        The Making a Difference Award was established in 2011 by the AHSAA and AHSADCA to recognize individuals who go beyond their normal duties as a coach, teacher or administrator to make a positive impact in their schools and communities. This year’s recipients include two principals, three athletic directors, one basketball and one track coach.  One of the athletic directors also serves as head football coach, one is a head volleyball coach and the other is a head basketball coach.
        “The recipients in this 2018 Making a Difference class are excellent examples of men and women who take their positions as role models for their students, faculty and community very seriously. Each has had a major positive impact in their communities and schools and across the state and are excellent choices for what this award stands for," said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. 
        “This award is the most important honor a professional educator in our state can receive. Characteristics considered for this prestigious award include the recipient’s character, integrity and service, all of which have enabled these individuals to have a life-changing impact on the community or school where they serve,” he added.
        Savarese said this special award exemplifies what makes education-based sports so important.
        “This is one way we can honor them for the examples they set and the life lessons they teach on a daily basis,” he said.
        Following is a brief synopsis of the Making a Difference recipients for 2018:


CLASS 1A

JACK HAYES, BRILLIANT HIGH SCHOOL – A longtime coach, teacher and administrator who is much loved by his students and community, Hayes has served Brilliant High School for the last 38 years. He was a teacher and coach from 1980-1997, was head baseball coach for 12 years, head football coach and athletic director for four years and head boys’ basketball coach for seven years. He has been the school’s principal since 1997 and is retiring at the end of June.
         He grew up in Marion County, graduating from Phillips High School in 1974, and graduated from the University of Alabama in 1979.  His has served as a member of the District 7 Board and on the AHSAA Legislative Council representing District 7 since 2004. Although his high school is one of the smallest in the AHSAA, he has worked tirelessly to provide his students with opportunities. He has been the Bryant-Jordan Student Scholarship Program Area and Region Chairperson for two decades and has chaired the University of Alabama’s Commitment to Teaching Committee since 2003. He is also a member of the UA College of Education 21st Century College Circle. He also served as area or region coordinator for football, basketball, volleyball and baseball since 1969.
    He was inducted into the Marion County Sports Hall of Fame as a player (2006) and in a special category for his leadership in 2004. He was also recognized as Brilliant High School Teacher of the Year in 1991-92 and Marion County Secondary School Teacher of the Year that same year.
    He has dedicated his life to training young men and young women to be successful in the classroom and in the athletic arena and has emphasized the importance of teamwork and responsibility in each person’s daily life.

CLASS 2A
JIMBOB STRIPLIN, GENEVA COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL –
A former college quarterback at Auburn University, Striplin has spent his coaching career at smaller schools where he has mastered the art of taking  over struggling programs and building them into competitive teams year-in and year-out. He is always striving to find a way to include more students.
     For instance, at New Brockton he started the student band program and mentored students outside sports. His overall football coaching record is 41-44, including 10-11 in two years at Geneva County. He inherited a New Brockton team that was 2-8 in 2006 and led them to a 7-4 record in 2009. At Hartford, he took over a team that won just two games in 2015 and led them to the playoffs each of the last two years.
      His leadership and involvement with youth transcends the school setting to his church and community commitment.
      Now at Geneva County, his alma mater, his role as a mentor has evolved for students and parents alike. As an AD, he reinstated volleyball as a girls’ sport, has coached girls’ basketball and track and constantly walks the halls encouraging students to try some extracurricular activity. He also has such a passion about the influence coaches and teachers had on his life that he found time to author and have published a novel about a coach who makes a difference.  He is one of the AHSAA’s prize resources and with his humility, you would never know it, said the nominator.


CLASS 3A
ANTHONY McCALL, MONTGOMERY ACADEMY –
Praised as a strong administrator, McCall has proven to be an excellent head coach and example for students and coaches alike. He has also been an outspoken leader in promoting the educational mission for member schools in the AHSAA – taking his stance to the legislature at times on behalf of the member schools.
   An outstanding student-athlete at Sidney Lanier High School and later Auburn University, McCall returned to Montgomery in 1992 and joined the Montgomery Academy faculty where he has been the last 27 years.   He has served as the school’s athletic director for much of that time, helping build the Eagles’ girls’ and boys’ program into one of the strongest and most respected overall athletic programs in the state.  His football program was 39-18 in five seasons, compiling a 32-5 record over his last three seasons (2013-15). His basketball teams were very competitive and had a strong reputation of taking on the toughest challengers available.
     It is his personal desire to reach every student that grabbed one nominator’s attention. She wrote of his kindness and ability to find those struggling students and help them grow into strong, confident adults.
    He recently resigned to take a similar position at a school in Florida.
   

CLASS 4A
FRANCES DUNN, GREENSBORO HIGH SCHOOL –  
Mrs. Dunn has spent 35 years teaching and coaching in Hale County – and has served the last 13 years as head girls basketball and volleyball coach for the Lady Raiders, compiling a 301-91 record in basketball. Her teams are always competitive, reaching AHSAA State semifinals the last two seasons, and also tenacious and most respectful of the rules of the game, their opponents and each other.
    She works diligently with her girls on and off the court to make them the best they can be. She helps them set high standards for their lives and then equips them with ideals and tools that help them reach those standards they set.
    At Greensboro, Mrs. Dunn has become an institution. She is a Francis Marion High School graduate and a prize pupil of FM principal legend and former Central Board member Mrs. Maxine Coley.

CLASS 5A
STANLEY JOHNSON, LAWRENCE COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL --
This tireless coach has not only taught his teams to be champions but also at the same time has taken over the State CC Championships, molded the community together to provide a state championship event for all students in the state.
    Johnson, who also serves as assistant principal at Moulton Middle School and director of city’s “Strawberry Festival,” was named "Citizen of the Year" at the annual Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce banquet last January. Johnson was nominated for that prestigious honor by Lawrence County District Attorney Errek Jett for his contributions to the community as an educator, boys’ and girls' cross country coach and director of the annual festival.
    "Stanley has a genuine love for Lawrence County," Jett said. "I'm proud to say I'm not only a personal friend of Stanley, but draw inspiration and stand amazed at all he does. He places our children and community before himself. He gives significant time and resources to that effort while wanting to be in the shadows instead of the spotlight. Lawrence County is better for having him as a citizen here."
    Johnson has been one of the AHSAA’s most successful cross country coaches, guiding Lawrence County to boys’ and girls’ state cross country titles in 2015, 2014 and 2003. He coached the 2014 and 2015 championships while also organizing and managing the state meet for all runners and teams in every classification.  His track and cross country programs are among some of the largest in the AHSAA – involving many students that were introduced to educational athletics for the first time by Johnson.
    The NFHS honored Johnson as the Alabama Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2015 and the Section 3 Cross Country Coach of the Year in 2001. He was one of eight recipients nationally of the prestigious Section honor.


 



CLASS 6A
PAM ROBINSON, BENJAMIN RUSSELL HIGH SCHOOL –
The Benjamin Russell High School athletic director has proven herself as a teacher, coach and administrator over the last three decades by displaying toughness and compassion. She has contributed her leadership to all the children of Alex City and still finds the time to work with AHSAA in such capacities as the Medical Advisory Committee. Her passion for the children is most evident.
    The Wildcats’ head volleyball coach for the past 25 years, Robinson also coached softball and for the last several years served as the school’s AD. She recently stepped down from coaching volleyball to devote all her time to her athletic director duties and to her grandson.
    Her impact has gone well beyond the playing field or gymnasium. She has been a constant leader and mentor for students and teachers alike.
    “The greatest thing about coaching is being able to get to know the kids,” Robinson recently told the Alexander City Outlook. “You get to know them in the classroom, but when you’re coaching them, you’re around them more than their parents are. With summer workouts, practices every day, games, time on the bus, it really is fun.”



CLASS 7A
CLEM RICHARDSON, BAKER HIGH SCHOOL –
The principal at Baker High School since 2003, Richardson attended and graduated from Baker HS in 1974 – playing on the Hornets’ first state baseball championship team. He has seen the school and community grow from a rural Class 2A/3A size school to now one of the largest schools in the AHSAA.
     Students and teachers alike point out that Richardson has always had a compassion for students who need “a little nudge or extra guidance.” 
     He graduated from Troy University in 1978 and received a master’s degree in Mental Retardation from South Alabama in 1984. He earned a second masters in Educational Leadership from USA in 1994.
    He served as special education teacher and coach at Baker from 1981-1996, then served as assistant principal at Williamson and Theodore before becoming the Mobile County Schools athletic director from 2001-2003. He was named principal at Baker in 2003 and has served in that role ever since. He recently announced his plans to retire this summer
    He was an assistant coach on Baker’s 1990 state baseball championship team. More important, however, he has been one of Mobile County’s most prominent administrators, sharing his leadership skills--always offering a well thought-out approach to most problems. He has also served in a leadership capacity in District I and in the AHSAA.


2018 Coaches’ Children Scholarship Winners Selected

     MONTGOMERY – Ten Coaches’ Children Scholarship winners for 2017-18 have been selected by the Scholarship Committee of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA), according to Director Alvin Briggs.

        The $1,000 need-based scholarships, presented for the tenth year by the coaches’ group, are being awarded to college-bound students whose parents are active members of the AHSADCA. The scholarships will be presented July 20 at the Championship Coaches Awards Banquet during the AHSAA Summer Conference and All-Star Sports Week in Montgomery.

        “We are pleased to provide this service once again from the AHSADCA to our member coaches and athletic directors,” Briggs said. “We are very thankful for our coaches and administrators who sacrifice so much as teachers and coaches to work with our student-athletes. Their families also make much sacrifice. This is one way the AHSADCA can show its appreciation and help the children at the same time.”
        This year’s recipients include:

District 1: Willie James Taylor, Jr., Jackson HS (son of Coach Tamiko Taylor)
District 2: Courtney D. Powell, Georgiana HS (daughter of Coach Ezell Powell)
District 3: Elijah Jones, Prattville Christian Academy (son of Coach Leonard Jones)
District 4: Casey Baynes, Tallassee HS (son of Coach Mark Baynes)
District 5: Gracyn LeSueur. Pelham HS (daughter of Coach Kevin LeSueur)
District 6: Riley Lane Austin, Spring Garden HS (son of Coaches Dana and Riley Austin)
District 6: Anna Bryant, Pleasant Valley HS (daughter of Coaches Dana and David Bryant)
District 7: Tucker Brown, Wilson HS (son of Coach Scott Brown)
District 8: Phillip DesRosier, Grissom HS (son of Coach Alicia Wright DesRosier)
District 8: Shelby Madison Brothers, Geraldine HS (daughter of Coach Cristie Brothers)


AHSAA Mourns Death of Coach Jack Powell

     The AHSAA was saddened to learn of the death of former Eufaula High School basketball coach Jack Powell and joins with its member schools in offering condolences and to his family

      Powell, 96, died Saturday in Abbeville.
      Powell spent 18 of his 20 years in high school coaching at Eufaula where his teams compiled a 364-178 record, advanced to the state tournament nine times and won a state championship in 1953. He also coached at Livingston State University.
      Powell was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1992. The old Eufaula high school gym named in his honor serves as home of the Jack Powell Youth Basketball League. He is a graduate of Pleasant Home High School and Auburn University.
          Funeral services will be Saturday at First Baptist Church in Eufaula with visitation from noon to 2 p.m., followed by the service.


AHSAA Associate Executive Director Tony Stallworth Announces Plans to Retire

Savarese Announces AHSAA Staff Promotions and Hire of Dean

MONTGOMERY --  AHSAA Associate Executive Director Tony Stallworth has announced his plans to retire on July 31 from the position he has held since 2011.  AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese has also announced that current AHSAA Assistant Director Alvin Briggs will be promoted into that position effective Aug. 1.
    Briggs joined the AHSAA as the Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) in 2011. In addition, Mr. Savarese announced that Assistant Director Jamie Lee will become the Director of the AHSADCA and that Montgomery County Public Schools System Athletic Director William Brandon Dean will be joining the AHSAA as an Assistant Director effective June 18.
    “We are saddened on one hand to see Mr. Stallworth retire, but we are also excited for him as he moves into the next phase of his life,” Savarese said. “We thank him, not only for his years of service as the Associate Executive Director, but also for his many years as a high school teacher, coach, and administrator and volunteer. His service has been outstanding to this organization, to the member schools and the state of Alabama.”
    Savarese said he has full confidence in Briggs’ and Lee’s abilities to step into their new positions. “The AHSAA is very fortunate to have such outstanding individuals already on staff who are capable and ready for these new challenges. And too, we are very excited to have Mr. Dean join the AHSAA family. He has served in many volunteer capacities while serving as an officer in the AHSADCA, and his leadership with the Montgomery Public Schools is well documented.”
     Stallworth, a graduate of J.F. Shields High School in Beatrice and Huntingdon College, began his career as a teacher and coach at Lomax-Hannon Community College in Greenville, then began a 32-year career in high school education that took him first to Monroe Senior High School, then to Brantley High School in 1988 where he guided the Bulldogs’ Junior high basketball team to a 48-0 record from 1988-90. He served as the varsity boys’ head basketball coach from 1990-2005 compiling a 298-47 record and guiding Brantley to three straight state championships (1993, 1994 and 1995). He was named 1A Coach of the Year in 1993 and 1994 and 2A Coach of the Year in 1995.
      Stallworth served Brantley High School as its principal from 2005-08 and later worked in various roles with the Crenshaw County School System before becoming the Associate Executive Director of the AHSAA in 2011. He was inducted into the Huntingdon College Hall of Fame in 2013 and into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. 
     “I can’t fully express how thankful I am to Mr. Savarese and the Central Board of Control for allowing me the opportunity to serve the AHSAA as Associate Executive Director,” said Stallworth. “I will appreciate forever the relationships that have evolved with administrators and coaches across the state. The AHSAA is highly regarded across the nation, and the AHSAA staff is second to none. They have been extremely supportive of me during my tenure here. This executive staff has been a game changer, and I cherish my time with them as I close out this chapter of my career.”
      Briggs, an outstanding high school student-athlete who played college football at Auburn, served as a college assistant coach and high school head coach and athletic director at his alma mater Greenville and Florence high schools before joining the AHSAA staff. He will become just the fifth Associate Executive Director in the AHSAA’s history.
     “I want to thank Mr. Savarese for his leadership and am very appreciative of the confidence he has in me that I can do the job,” Briggs said. “I also thank Mr. Stallworth for his example and leadership. There have been some great men in this position and I am very humbled for this opportunity.”
     The position was established in 1968 and includes former Associate Executive Directors James Hall, Dr. Jimmie Cal, Joe Evans and Stallworth.
    Lee, who coached basketball and golf and served as a high school math teacher for 22 years, joined the AHSAA staff last summer as Assistant Director for Special Programs. He also assists Briggs with the AHSADCA.
    “I have learned a lot during my time here at the AHSAA and I look forward to working with our coaches, in all sports, as well as our athletic directors to enhance educational-based athletics throughout our state,” Lee said. “I am extremely grateful to Mr. Savarese for giving me the opportunity to lead the AHSADCA. I also thank Mr. Briggs for his leadership and for helping prepare me for this opportunity I look forward to the challenges ahead.”
   Dean, 37, brings a wealth of administrative experience to the AHSAA. A native of Montgomery, he graduated from Alabama State University in 2004, earned a Masters in Educational Administration in 2006 from ASU and an Education Specialist degree from Walden University in 2016. He also received a Master Certification in Athletic Administration from the NIAAA in 2016 and is currently pursuing a Masters in Sports Management at Troy University.
    He has served as District Director of Athletics for the Montgomery Public Schools since 2013, has also served as a principal, assistant principal, curriculum instructional assistant, teacher and coach during his tenure with the MCPS, beginning in 2003. He also served as a head coach for the City of Montgomery Parks and Recreation Department and has been an AHSAA and youth baseball official since 2005.
    “I am extremely grateful to Mr. Savarese for giving me the opportunity to join this wonderful organization,” Dean said. “It has always been a dream of mine to work for this organization. I look forward to working with the great staff at the AHSAA and AHSADCA.”

NFHS Responds to Rice Commission Report on College Basketball

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                           Contact: Bruce Howard

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (April 25, 2018) — In response to the Rice Commission Report on College Basketball, NFHS Executive Director Bob Gardner offers the following comments on some of the suggestions from the Commission, particularly those that would impact the 51 NFHS member state associations and the high school basketball community.

 

NFHS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR BOB GARDNER COMMENTS

ON RICE COMMISSION REPORT ON COLLEGE BASKETBALL

 

First, the NFHS commends the NCAA and the Rice Commission for its thoughtful examination of the status of NCAA Division I men’s basketball and its recommendations to provide meaningful changes. Overall, we believe the Rice Commission offered some suggestions that will improve the collegiate model.

The specialness of college basketball is not just that it is “amateur,” but also that it is “education-based.”  We agree with the Rice Commission that both attributes are important to the game’s future. Preserving and promoting the education-based aspect of the game calls for the high school and college levels to support one another.

As the NCAA considers implementation of these proposals, however, we have concerns in some areas and urge that thought be given to the high school landscape. As an example, we are concerned that “certified agents” meeting with high school student-athletes could be disruptive to high school teams. Although we understand the need to have all college prospects obtain information regarding their potential, the high school community should be involved in determining when and where this would be promoted.

Another concern from the Commission’s report is the June evaluation period for “scholastic” events. We would like to see what roles our member state associations and high school coaches would play in that evaluation period. Further, we still believe that limiting recruiting to the high school season would be the most effective tool in eliminating the unsavory outside influencers.

We support the requirements of education as a part of non-scholastic events and that participation in such events require students making appropriate academic progress towards initial college eligibility.

We look forward to working with the NCAA to bring about important change.

 

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About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)

The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.9 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org.


AHSAA football coaches excited to welcome Instant Replay experiment this fall

April 19, 2018

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

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

 

AHSAA football coaches excited to welcome

Instant Replay experiment this fall

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Alabama High School Athletic Association football coaches expressed excitement about the newly approved instant replay option for all regular-season games beginning in this fall.

 

The AHSAA received permission from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) to provide instant replay in the regular season and postseason as an experiment beginning in the 2018 football season. The experimental period can be for up to three years. Current NFHS football rules prohibit the use of instant replay. Minnesota and New Jersey have also been granted permission for use during championship games.

The AHSAA has partnered with instant replay technology leader DVSport to provide Instant Replay Solution for its member schools. Participation by member schools is optional.

Clifford Story is a 20-year coaching veteran headed into his 10th year as head football coach at Lanett High School in Chambers County on the Alabama-Georgia border. His Panthers, the 2017 Class 2A state champions, are moving from Class 2A to 1A next season – and he’s eager to put the new technology to use.

 

“I think it’s a great thing for the Alabama High School Athletic Association,” Story said. “I’m very excited for it. My staff is excited for it. I know the way the Association works. I know the way the Alabama High School Athletic Association runs things, they will make it cost-effective for 1A through 7A.

 

“We had a representative from DVSport come to look at our stadium to talk to us about how it would work,” he said. “I told our administration if we need to, I’m willing to give up a lot of other things to be able to get it at our school. I want to make sure it’s something we can get done at Lanett High School. It will make football even better.”

 

At Birmingham City School Jackson-Olin High, head coach Tim Vakakes said he called DVSport the first day he heard the AHSAA’s announcement of the instant replay experimental period.

 

“We’re going to have it,” said Vakakes, who is headed into his sixth season at J-O. “I think it will help the referees get it right, and I don’t think it will slow the game down. You’ve got to be sure before you drop that (challenge) flag.”

 

Sideline video for coaching staffs was approved by the NFHS in 2013, but officials were not allowed to use those videos for replay. Vakakes’ Class 6A Mustangs have been using computer tablets on their sidelines.

 

“We already have a way to watch the game on the sideline with iPads and TVs,” he said. “A lot of times we’ve been able to realize that there was not a good call, but now that it’s reviewable it will be nice to have a way to get the call right.

 

“I think it’s going to be a good thing. What’s going to determine it is how many angles the cameras have. The more cameras, the more efficient it will be.”

Andalusia High School’s Trent Taylor, 218-127 in 30 years as a head coach, is proud that Alabama is at the forefront on instant replay. “A lot of our game is influenced by what the NFL and the colleges are doing,” Taylor said. “I felt it is was just a matter of time before instant replay filtered down to the high schools. I am proud that Alabama is the first state to bring it to the regular season for all schools that wish to participate.

“I have thought about it a lot but last season, I can’t think of a single time that I would have challenged a call. The year before, however, we had three or four. This gives us an opportunity to improve the game. Obviously, we will have to educate officials and educate our coaches, too, on how to use the system.  From my standpoint, I see nothing but positives.”

Fred Riley, head coach and athletic director at Davidson High School in Mobile for the past 14 years, is for instant replay for one simple reason: Officials want it.

“I like it,” he said. “The officials association endorsed it, and that was my reason for supporting it. I was on the committee that finalized approval from our coaches association. Everyone now has some type of replay even if it is on their phones. That makes it very tough on the officials.”

Like Taylor, he doesn’t expect a lot of challenges. “Our officials get it right much more often than they get credit for,” he said. “I think the goal is to overturn the obvious mistakes that can be reviewed that impacts outcome. I do not see challenge flags flying all over the place. Our officials do not miss many of those.”

The Alabama High School Athletic Association, founded in 1921, is a private agency organized by its member schools to control and promote their athletic programs. The purpose of the AHSAA is to regulate, coordinate and promote the interscholastic athletic programs among its member schools, which include public, private and parochial institutions. It is a member of the NFHS.


Central Board Approves E-Sports, Instant Replay for Football at April Board Meeting

 

   MONTGOMERY – The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Central Board of Control approved E-Sports competition for member schools and Instant Replay for football games at its board meeting at the AHSAA Office Thursday.
    The AHSAA Legislative Council also met Thursday afternoon and ratified four legislative proposals – which go into effect for the 2018-19 school year.
    The AHSAA received permission from the NFHS to begin instant replay for regular-season varsity football games beginning next season. The permission grants up to three years of experimentation. DVSport Inc., the nation’s top instant replay company, is partnering with the AHSAA on the project. A separate news release outlining the Instant Replay was sent out Thursday following a press conference that was held at the AHSAA Office.
    E-Sports is a new online gaming activity that allows students to compete with other schools and will now be offered to AHSAA member school students. The Central Board approved a two-year experiment for E-Sports. The program is being provided by NFHS Network Partner PlayVS.
   The Central Board also approved limiting high school basketball teams to 30 games in the regular season, including tournaments, and lifted the restriction on the number of tournaments a team can play in. The 2017-18 rule allowed varsity teams to play 20 regular-season games and three regular-season tournaments with two being played with no loss of school time. Junior high and middle schools will be allowed to play 24 games total.
    The Board voted to move the site of the South Regional Basketball Tournament, which had been at the Dothan Civic Center the last six years, to Montgomery. The new format will have two regionals at Montgomery – at Alabama State University’s Oliver-Dunn Acadome and the new site, Garrett Coliseum, which seats 8,500 with the ability to add an additional 4,000 seats. The regionals will be renamed Southeast and Southwest. The Northeast Regional will remain at Jacksonville State and the Northwest Regional will remain at Wallace-Hanceville.
      University Charter School of Livingston was approved for membership into the AHSAA, making it the first public charter school member in AHSAA history.
      Current Central Board president John Hardin, Hackleburg High School principal, and vice president Keith Bender, Oneonta City Schools, were re-elected by the Central Board to serve for the 2018-19 school year. Past president Mike Welsh of Spring Garden, who finished a two-year term at the end of the 2016-17 school year, received a plaque of appreciation from the Central Board and Executive Director Steve Savarese.
Legislative Council Ratifies Four Proposals
     Proposals No. 6, 9, 13 and 19 were passed by the 32-member Legislative Council:
     No. 6 – Amends the current ejection policy to remove fines from ejections that occur due to NFHS rules that call for ejections based on game rules and are not conduct related.
    No. 9 – Amends Rule 1, Section 6 to allow individual sports (Bowling, Cross Country, Swimming, Wrestling, Tennis, Golf and Track) to be exempt from the AHSAA 50% rule.
   No. 13 – Changed the punishment for a first time violation of the outside participation rule to the athlete serving restitution. A second violation would result in loss of eligibility.
 No. 19 – Will allow two additional days for all sports to compete at in-state college and university team camps that occur outside the allowable three weeks of summer competition. If a team chooses to attend an in-state camp during these two days, the team will lose two days from the allowable time period.
In other board action:
-- Approved Grace Lutheran School for associate membership.
-- Approved 2018 financial reports Regional and State Bowling, Dual, Super Section and State Wrestling, Indoor Track and Regional Basketball.
-- Approved 2017 State Football Playoff Audit.
-- Approved 2018 basketball Finals Audit.
-- Heard an update from the AHSAA Medical Advisory Committee.
-- Approved 2018-198 Required Forms and release date of forms.
-- Approved ECSI – CPR and AED Certification.
-- Approved the 2018-19 Calendar of Events, 2018-19 Sports Calendar and AHSAA 5-Year Calendar.
-- Approved 2018 NFHS Summer Meeting expenses
-- Heard a report from AHSADCA Director Alvin Briggs on the AHSADCA Summer Conference and All-Star Sports Week.
-- Approved providing only football playoff on-line ticket sales for visiting teams.
-- Approved New Board Member Orientation (June 14, 2018), if needed.
-- Approved Regional Cheerleader competition to be held at Mobile Civic Center (Nov. 7, 2018) and Birmingham CrossPlex (Nov. 15, 2018) and State Cheer Competition will remain at Wallace-Hanceville (Dec. 15, 2018).
-- Approved bracket rotation – home team listing consistency for all sports.
-- Approved standardizing Officials District Director salaries.
-- Approved 2018-19 school year Central Board meetings (July 25, 2018, October 17, 2018, and January 30, 2019).


AHSAA & DVSport to Provide Instant Replay for Member Schools in 2018 Football Season

MONTGOMERY – The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) has received permission from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) to provide instant replay for member schools for up to three years beginning with the upcoming 2018 football season.
      The AHSAA is partnering with DVSport, Inc., a Pittsburgh (PA) based Software Company, which has provided Instant Replay Solutions in NCAA college football since 2005. The AHSAA Central Board of Control approved the partnership and project at its quarterly board meeting Thursday.  Participation is optional for member schools.
     Most of the NCAA’s major conferences use DVSport Instant Replay Solutions  including the Southeastern Conference, Atlantic Coast Conference, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12, Ohio Valley, Sunbelt, SWAC, Missouri Valley, Mountain West, Big South, Big Sky, Colonial, MAC and MEAC conferences. DVSport also provides instant replay for the College Football Playoffs, FCS, D-II, D-III playoffs and NAIA championship game.
     AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said, “We are grateful to the NFHS for approving our request. This gives our officials the opportunity to use the same technology coaches have been equipped with on their sidelines to get the call right.” 
    “While this replay process is in the initial stages of development, the AHSAA is committed to working with DVSport and the NFHS to develop a cost effective process to assist both our coaches and officials In addition, all football state championship games will use the same replay fan experience DVSport provides for SEC contests.”
     NFHS Executive Director Bob Gardner said the NFHS permits state associations to experiment in certain situations to determine the future viability of rules changes.  “As technology improvements evolve, the use of instant replay is an area of interest for the NFHS Football Rules Committee,” he said. “We welcome the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s experiment in use of replay in the 2018 season.  We hope to learn the advantages as well as any problems associated with replay from the use in Alabama.”
     The AHSAA, which has been actively studying instant replay options for the last five years, along with DVSport Instant Replay Solutions, will collect and study the data over the next year with a possibility of three years of experimentation.
     "Alabama is at the forefront of using cutting-edge-technology in the high school athletics setting and with its deep football roots, it is a perfect place for this partnership to begin." stated DVSport CEO Brian Lowe.
    DVSport Replay technology gives officials the ability to review video from multiple camera angles within seconds of the play happening. Once a coach challenges a play, the on-field referee will be able to review a play on a system located on the sideline.

    No stranger to replay solutions, DVSport has been the leading provider of Instant Replay Solutions since 2005 in both the professional and intercollegiate sports markets. DVSport’s replay solutions have been used in over 400 venues, 10,000 collegiate football games, 20,000 collegiate basketball games, and 1,500 professional games to complete more than 100,000 reviews.
    
The AHSAA’s protocol will be as follows:
    Section 1. Instant replay is a process whereby video review is used to let stand or reverse certain on-field decisions made by game officials.
     Section 2. The instant replay process operates under the assumption that the official’s ruling on the field is correct. The replay official may reverse a ruling only if the video evidence convinces him or her beyond all doubt that the ruling on the field was incorrect. Without indisputable video evidence that the ruling on the field was incorrect, the ruling will stand as called.
     Instant replay will be available at schools that use DVSport Instant Replay’s system. No other instant replay system will be allowed, according to the AHSAA protocol.
     Complete details of the AHSAA Instant Replay protocol can be found at www.ahsaa.com.

 About the AHSAA
 
The AHSAA serves 414 senior high and an approximately 335 junior high and middle school members with more than 150,000 students participating in 24 championship programs for boys and girls. Since 1921, the AHSAA has provided not only opportunities for interscholastic athletic competition, but also a platform for student-athletes to gain life-long memories and experience important life lessons through mentorship, teachers, coaches and administration.
        

About DVSport

    DVSport, Inc. is a software company founded in Pittsburgh, PA specializing in digital video acquisition, analysis, and play-back software designed specifically for the sports market. DVSport has provided Instant Replay Solutions in college football since 2005 and college basketball since 2010.
   DVSport is the current provider of Instant Replay for NCAA college football for the ACC, American, Big Ten, Big-12, Big South, Big Sky, Colonial, MAC, MEAC, Mountain West, Missouri Valley, OVC, Pac-12, SEC, Sun Belt and SWAC conferences. In addition, DVSport has been the exclusive postseason Replay Solution provider for the College Football Playoff (“CFP”), FCS, D-II, D-III playoffs and the NAIA championship game.

 


Reeltown’s Cody Argo, Mountain Brook’s Hamp Sisson Named Top 2018 Bryant-Jordan Winners

        BIRMINGHAM – Reeltown High School’s Cody Argo and Mountain Brook High School’s Hamp Sisson were named the overall winners at the 33rd annual Bryant-Jordan Student Athlete Awards Banquet Monday night at the Birmingham Sheraton Hotel. A total of 104 high school regional senior honorees were recognized and awarded more than $300,000 in scholarships.
        Sisson, a four-sport standout at Mountain Brook, was the recipient of the Larry D. Striplin, Jr., Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award. Argo, who participated in baseball and basketball at Reeltown, received the Ken and Betty Joy Blankenship Student Achievement Athlete of the Year Award.
        The program, named in honor of the late coaches Paul "Bear" Bryant of Alabama and Ralph "Shug" Jordan of Auburn, recognized 52 regional scholar-athlete winners selected for their excellence in athletics and academics and 52 achievement winners chosen for their ability to overcome major obstacles during their high school careers.
   “He seeks out the best in people, and he brings out the best in them for the good of the team,” Mountain Brook principal Amanda Hood said. “Our school is better because Hamp was here.”
   He quarterbacked the Spartans football team the last three seasons, was a member of the Mountain Brook Class 2017 and 2018 Class 7A state champion basketball team. He also runs track and played baseball for the Spartans as a freshman. A National Merit Semifinalist with a 4.47 weighted grade-point average on a 4.0 scale. Sisson scored 35 on the ACT college entrance exam. He is a member of the National Honor Society and Mu Alpha Theta. He earned Eagle Scout as a member of Troop 63, founded KICK MS in 2013 and is the founder and a director for Raise Mountain Brook organization. He is active in his church youth group, is First Priority Outreach Coordinator and has worked with Habitat for Humanity and Relay for Life.
    Spartans athletic director and head football coach Chris Yeager added, “He is the best young person I have ever met at seeing the needs of people and also seeing the best in them at the same time.”
    Sisson, who was also named the Class 7A Bryant-Jordan Scholar-Athlete of the Year, thanked the Bryant-Jordan Foundation for recognizing me. He also had a message for the rest of the regional recipients on hand. “You are an amazing group,” he said. “I am so thankful for the opportunities and for those who have invested so much of themselves in me.”
      Argo, who also was named the overall Class 2A Student-Achievement recipient, was burned over more than 70 percent of his body from his waist to his head in a trash fire accident when he was only 3. He has undergone more than 50 surgeries since and spent much of his early years in and out of hospitals.
    He began participating in physical education classes in the third, tried his hand at sports and has spent his high school years as a member and leader of Reeltown High School’s baseball and basketball teams. Argo has also maintained a 3.55 grade-point average and has become an inspiration to teammates and opponents alike.
     He is a member of the Reeltown High School Beta Club, the Scholars Bowl team and was on the school’s Law Enforcement/Forensic Science team that won the state championship three years. He also serves as a children’s counselor at the Camp Conquest, a summer camp for adolescent burn victims at Children’s Harbor.
    “It is an honor to accept this award,” Argo said. “I thank God for what I have been put through because it has made me a better person. I thank my coaches and teachers and I thank my family.”
Sisson and Argo were each awarded scholarships totaling $8,500. Each regional winner received $2,500 and each class winner an additional $3,000. The state winners also received an additional $3,000. More than $10 million has been distributed to student-athletes through the Bryant-Jordan Program since its inception in 1986. The Student Achievement program was added in 1989.
   The 2018 Bryant-Jordan Student Achievement Award Class winners were: (1A) Olivia Nelson, McKenzie High School; (2A) Cody Argo, Reeltown High School; (3A) Anna Bryant, Pleasant Valley High School; (4A) Zoe Portis, Trinity Presbyterian School; (5A) Myles Williamson, Guntersville High School; (6A) Benjamin Hendrix, Benjamin Russell High School; (7A) Thierry Havah, Huffman High School.
   The 2018 Bryant-Jordan Scholar Athlete Award Class winners: (1A) Hannah Tarwater, Whitesburg Christian Academy; (2A) Cade Worthy, Horseshoe Bend High School; (3A) Hannah Mason, Lauderdale County High School; (4A) Benjamin Buck, Holtville High School; (5A) Abbie Barron, Charles Henderson High School; (6A) Emily Pinkston, Wetumpka High School; (7A) Hamp Sisson, Mountain Brook High School.
     Several special scholarships were also presented to some of the regional winners, including: Herman L. “Bubba” Scott Coaching Scholarship: Malachi Beverly, Wadley High School; Alabama “A” Club Educational & Charitable Foundation Scholarships: JoHannah Daughdrill, Vincent High School, and Benjamin Hendrix, Benjamin Russell High School; Auburn Football Lettermen Club Scholarships: Margaret Steely Ruzic, T.R. Miller High School, and Lauryn Malone, Buckhorn High School; Dr. Gaylon McCollough Medical Scholarship: Emily Pinkston, Wetumpka High School;  United Methodist Children’s Home Scholarships: Zoe Portis, Trinity Presbyterian School, and Devionte Williams, Abbeville High School.
   The complete list of regional winners honored Monday night were:

2018 Bryant-Jordan Scholar-Athlete Regional Winners
CLASS 1A
Region 1:
Baylee Holley, Kinston
Region 2:
Ethan Flowers, Brantley
Region 3:
Malachi Beverly, Wadley
Region 4:
Camila Lemons, Westminster-Oak Mountain
Region 5:
Maggie Herron, Berry
Region 6:
Hayden Bryant, Brilliant
Region 7:
Gage Mallard, Phillips
Region 8:
Hannah Tarwater, Whitesburg Christian

CLASS 2A
Region 1:
Madison Howard, Washington County
Region 2:
James Ethan Greggs, Geneva County
Region 3:
Brock Snyder, Goshen
Region 4:
Cade Worthy, Horseshoe Bend
Region 5:
Samuel Jackson, Ranburne
Region 6:
Savannah Blackwell, Sand Rock
Region 7:
Riley Byars, Sulligent
Region 8:
Seth Swinea, Mars Hill Bible

CLASS 3A
Region 1:
Margaret Ruzic, T.R. Miller
Region 2:
Cody Davis, Opp
Region 3:
Austyn Barnes, Montgomery Academy
Region 4:
Collin Herring, Gordo
Region 5:
Rachel Faucett, Pleasant Valley
Region 6:
Natalie Morton, Susan Moore
Region 7:
Benjamin Hembree, Pisgah
Region 8:
Hannah Beth Mason, Lauderdale County

CLASS 4A
Region 1:
Caitlin McIlwain, UMS-Wright
Region 2:
Corey Jerkins, Ashford
Region 3:
Benjman Buck, Holtville
Region 4:
Robert Burchfield, Oak Grove
Region 5:
Kate Kent, Good Hope
Region 6:
Beck Wilkes, Winfield
Region 7:
Matthew Estopinal, Randolph
Region 8:
Tucker Brown, Wilson

CLASS 5A
Region 1:
Emme Fraser, Jackson
Region 2:
Abbie Barron, Charles Henderson
Region 3:
Noah Glenn, Jemison
Region 4:
Gabriel Russell, Briarwood Christian
Region 5:
Cole Burns, Cental-Clay County
Region 6:
Rikyia Riddlesprigger, St. Clair County
Region 7:
Kayleigh Rogers, Douglas
Region 8:
Ashton Moore, Russellville

CLASS 6A
Region 1:
William Dobbins, Baldwin County
Region 2:
Mason Wakefield, Northview
Region 3:
Emily Pinkston, Wetumpka
Region 4:
Gracyn LeSueur, Pelham
Region 5:
Katharine Lightfoot, Shades Valley
Region 6:
Michael Crowder, Gardendale
Region 7:
Presley Johnson, Southside-Gadsden
Region 8:
Grant Brown, Florence

CLASS 7A
Region 1:
Brooks Green, McGill-Toolen Catholic
Region 2:
Madison Northington, Prattville
Region 3:
Hamp Sisson, Mountain Brook
Region 4:
Lauryn Malone, Buckhorn

2018 Bryant-Jordan Achievement Award Regional Winners
CLASS 1A
Region 1:
Dallas Eastman, Florala
Region 2:
Olivia Nelson, McKenzie
Region 3: Quay Porter-Scott, Loachapoka
Region 4: R.J. Burns, Winterboro
Region 5: Montana Huie, Faith Christian
Region 6:
Amanda Pettry, Southeastern
Region 7:
Britney Todd, Phillips
Region 8: Denver Benjamin, Cherokee

CLASS 2A
Region 1:
K.D. Floyd, St. Luke’s Episcopal
Region 2:
Emmy Reid, Samson
Region 3:
Devionte Williams, Abbeville
Region 4: Cody Argo, Reeltown
Region 5:
JoHannah Daughdrill, Vincent
Region 6: Nathan Stephens, Cleveland
Region 7:
Andrew Sweeney, St. Bernard
Region 8:
Autumn Fox, Fyffe

CLASS 3A
Region 1:
Joshua Jolly, T.R. Miller
Region 2:
Cade Wood, Wicksburg
Region 3:
Brody Wortham, Randolph County
Region 4:
Joshua Stanton, Fultondale
Region 5:
Anna Bryant, Pleasant Valley
Region 6:
Kylie Bolton, Oakman
Region 7:
Kline DeWolfe, Plainview
Region 8:
Kaleb Fletcher, Clements

CLASS 4A
Region 1:
Terica Curtis, Monroe County
Region 2:
Zoe Portis, Trinity Presbyterian
Region 3:
Caden Kilpatrick, Tallassee
Region 4:
Tyler Blair, Northside
Region 5: Giovanna Martinez, Leeds
Region 6: Christopher Trejo, Winfield
Region 7:
Jasmine Baker, Madison County
Region 8:
Rhett Powers, Rogers

CLASS 5A
Region 1:
LaVonta Hunt, Vigor
Region 2:
Payton Robinson, Charles Henderson
Region 3:
Artasiz Cannon, Marbury
Region 4:
Bailey Adams, Moody
Region 5: Attalina Edmondson-Jimenez, Central-Clay County
Region 6:
Hunter Appling, West Point
Region 7:
Myles Williamson, Guntersville
Region 8:
Brenan Ashmore, East Limestone

CLASS 6A
Region 1:
Ren Magtanong, Robertsdale
Region 2:
Kim Kern, Russell County
Region 3:
Benjamin Hendrix, Benjamin Russellville
Region 4: Cameron Crouse, Northridge
Region 5:
Kayla Davis, Hueytown
Region 6:
Bria Berry, Center Point
Region 7:
Zack Self, Brewer
Region 8:
Darryl Pointer, Austin

CLASS 7A
Region 1:
Jeremiah De’Irish, Fairhope
Region 2:
Davornne Lindo, Central-Phenix City
Region 3:
Thiery Havah, Huffman
Region 4:
Taylor Davis, Sparkman