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Former Alabama Wrestler Selected as Section 3 Recipient of NFHS National High School Spirit of Sport Award

     INDIANAPOLIS, IN (March 17, 2017) — Hasaan Hawthorne, a former wrestler at Pelham High School, has been selected as the 2017 Section 3 recipient of the “National High School Spirit of Sport Award” by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

     The National High School Spirit of Sport Award was created by the NFHS to recognize those individuals who exemplify the ideals of the spirit of sport that represent the core mission of education-based athletics.

      A standout wrestler at Pelham High School, Hawthorne, who had both legs amputated when he was an infant, now attends North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where he is a scholarship wrestler.

Hawthorne began his wrestling career as a seventh-grader at which time he compiled a rather pedestrian win-loss record of 12-22. That motivated him to become more determined to work harder to improve both in and out of the season.

      Hawthorne’s efforts paid off handsomely during his final three high school varsity seasons. As a sophomore, he was a state meet qualifier. The following year, he placed third in the 2015 Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Class 6A state tournament 145-pound weight class.

However, Hawthorne saved his best for last during his senior year in 2016, as he rolled to an unblemished 38-0 record and the AHSAA Class 6A state championship. For his efforts, he was selected the AHSAA Class 6A Most Valuable Wrestler.

      While Hawthorne’s accomplishments would be remarkable under any circumstances, they move into the realm of being truly extraordinary when one considers the fact that inspired all who watched him compete. ESPN Sports Center showcased his accomplishments in 2016 in a special interview.
      In addition to wrestling, Hawthorne participated in track, baseball and football.

       In 2016, Hawthorne was the Bryant-Jordan Foundation Class 6A Student-Athlete Achievement Award recipient – which is an award given annually in each of the AHSAA’s seven enrollment classifications for senior students who have overcome great obstacles to become outstanding student-athletes.

 

About the Award

     The NFHS divides the nation into eight geographical sections. The states in Section 3 are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.



Opelika’s RaKavius Chambers Selected Section 3 Recipient of NFHS National High School Heart of the Arts Award

       INDIANAPOLIS, IN (March 13, 2017) — RaKavius Chambers, a senior at Opelika High School (OHS), has been selected the 2017 Section 3 recipient of the “National High School Heart of the Arts Award” by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

       The National High School Heart of the Arts Award was created by the NFHS to recognize those individuals who exemplify the ideals of the positive heart of the arts that represent the core mission of education-based activities. This is the fourth year that the National High School Heart of the Arts Award has been offered.

       At an imposing 6-foot-4 and 300 pounds, Chambers, who excelled for the OHS Show Choir, Symphonic Band and Theatre Troup and also was a football standout who signed with Duke University last month, is near the top of his class with a 4.4 grade-point average on a 4.0 weighted scale.

       Nominated by the AHSAA, Chambers has been in the OHS Show Choir for four years – and earned “Freshman of the Year” honors as a ninth-grader. In addition to singing and dancing in OHS Show Choir productions, Chambers has been a willing stage hand setting up equipment and props for the productions.

However, perhaps his “biggest role” was when he played the lead role of God in the school’s production of “Children of Eden” at the Walter Trumbauer Theatre Festival in Florence. The group won the state competition and is now preparing for the national competition. He also sits as first chair in the saxophone section for Opelika’s Symphonic Band.

      Chambers, who also volunteers his time to tutor fellow OHS students and mentor elementary school students, was named the national recipient of the Watkins Award on March 1. That award is presented annually to the top African-American high school scholar-athlete in the nation as determined by the National Alliance of African-American Athletes. He is also a Bryant-Jordan Regional winner in Class 6A for 2017.

      The son of a former Auburn University linebacker, Chambers will attend Duke University, where he plans to play football and study medicine. As a seventh-grader, Chambers was selected a “Duke University Scholar,” which goes to academically gifted students with exceptional potential on their SAT-10 test scores. He attended a Duke Medical Camp last summer, where his motivation to become a heart surgeon became even more intensified.
       Chambers’ selection marks the second straight year that the AHSAA’s nominee has captured the NFHS Section 3 Heart of the Arts Award. Dale County High School’s marching band and its band director Sherri Miller received the Section 3 and overall national Heart of the Arts Award in 2016.
       Nominations for this award were generated through NFHS member state associations and reviewed by the NFHS National High School Heart of the Arts Award Selection Committee composed of state association staff members. While the national winner will be recognized June 29 at the NFHS Summer Meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, the section winners will be recognized within their respective states and will receive awards before the end of the current school year.

       The 2017 NFHS Heart of the Arts recipient is Josephine (Josie) Ross of St. Louis Park (Minnesota) Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School.
        The National High School Heart of the Arts Award was created by the NFHS to recognize those individuals who exemplify the ideals of the positive heart of the arts that represent the core mission of education-based activities. This is the fourth year that the National High School Heart of the Arts Award has been offered.

        Ross has participated in numerous performing arts activities, including debate, speech and choir. Among her many awards in this area are the Minnesota State High School League ExCEL Award and the Benilde-St. Margaret’s School Outstanding Character Award.

        However, it is the realm of theatre that could accurately be described as her true passion. Among her theatre accomplishments, she’s a four-year cast member of the One-Act Play, a performer in multiple school musicals and plays, and has received several Hennepin Theatre Trust Spotlight Theatre Awards. She has also worked diligently in her Minnesota community to help those disabilities have the opportunity to enjoy the arts as well as working to combat student bullying.
          The NFHS eight Heart of the Arts Section recipients include:

Section 1 – Lindsay Daugherty, student, Barrington (Rhode Island) High School

Section 2 – Christian Ellis, student, Woodbridge (Virginia) Senior High School

Section 3 – RaKavius Chambers, student, Opelika (Alabama) High School

Section 4 – Sabrina Kenoun, student, Buffalo Grove (Illinois) High School

Section 5 – Josephine Ross, student, St. Louis Park (Minnesota) Benilde-St. Margaret’s High School

Section 6 – The Premont Mighty Cowboy Band and Mariachi Estrella, Premont (Texas) High School

Section 7 – Susan Seep, instructor, Scottsdale (Arizona) Horizon High School

Section 8 – Abby Kellems, student, Corvallis (Oregon) High School

       

About the Award

     The NFHS divides the nation into eight geographical sections. The states in Section 3 are Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

       Nominations for this award were generated through NFHS member state associations and reviewed by the NFHS Heart of the Arts Award Selection Committee composed of state association staff members.

        While the national winner will be recognized June 29 at the NFHS Summer Meeting in Providence, Rhode Island, the section winners will be recognized within their respective states and will receive awards before the end of the current school year.
        The National High School Heart of the Arts Award was started in 2014. Including this year, four individuals and Dale County’s band have been chosen national award recipients. 



AHSAA Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Richard Carter Was Called for Two Ministries -- as a Pastor and Coach

         MONTGOMERY – When Richard Roosevelt Carter was attending Rehobeth High School in Fairfax back in the 1960s, he realized God called him to serve two ministries.
         Now, more than 50 years later, Reverend Carter is still following God’s unique plan for his life. That plan has also led Coach Carter to the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame. The Lanett High School boys’ basketball coach is one of 12 individuals being inducted in the Class of 2017 at this year’s banquet March 20 at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center at 6:30 p.m.
        Born across the state line in Georgia, Carter grew up in the Valley area. It was while he was attending Rehobeth High School in Chambers County that his dual path as coach and pastor was started. He served as the varsity basketball team’s manager, but his role became much more than handing out towels.

“Coach Arthur, who was the Rehobeth coach, many times would have other things to do after school, so he would allow me to run basketball practices,” Carter recalled in an interview. With the practice schedule in hand, “I would run them through the drills and the rest of practice.”
          With his career path developing, Coach Carter took notes and learned all he could from the coach before heading off to college. And along the way, he found strength in his religious faith that would also lead to a career path for him.

“I probably chose two of the most difficult, yet rewarding professions,” he said.” For me, coaching is a ministry. It’s an avenue for me to lead young men to Christ. I cannot tell you how many young men that I have coached over the years who are now in the ministry as stewards, deacons or members of the choir in the churches. What a reward.”

          He started his teaching and coaching career at Bullock County High School in Union Springs in 1969. He remained there five years, serving as head football and baseball varsity coach and junior varsity basketball coach.

In 1975 he moved to Chambers County to coach football, basketball and tennis at Valley High School.  His basketball record from 1975-99 was 301-62. He had multiple 20-win seasons and carried three teams to the semifinals of the state tournament.

After spending several years in Georgia, Coach Carter returned to Chambers County, taking the head basketball position at Lanett High School. With more than 100 wins to his credit at Lanett, his teams have won 20 or more games each season he has been there. The 2011-12 and 2013-14 teams, both with 25-5 regular season records, made it to the semifinals of the State Finals in Birmingham.  His 2016 and 2017 teams won back-to-back Class 2A state championships going 29-6 and 25-7 respectively. His career record after the 2017 season was 555-120.

Overall in his half-century coaching career, he has had 15 teams make it to the semifinals. That was the kind of success story that appealed to Lanett City Schools Superintendent Phillip Johnson when he hired Carter:

“I envisioned a basketball program for Lanett High School that only would be known for a winning spirit, but also would be known for developing a spirit of strong character and civic responsibility in our players,” said Johnson. “Since implementing a program geared to teaching and mentoring students on and off the court, Coach Carter’s impact is evident in our players. Academics and character are stressed in practice, workouts and on the court. He holds players accountable for their grades, conduct and integrity, and he provides the example for which they can grow into men of character.

“His noteworthy coaching accomplishments highlight a career of devotion to athletes in our region. He is respected throughout the community in both public and private school settings and in various churches as a man who can teach our students to be productive citizens.”    

Lanett head football coach Clifford Story, Jr., said Coach Carter’s influence reached beyond the basketball court to other sports as well.
          “Richard’s enthusiasm is contagious to our players, and he is a big reason why our numbers [have grown] from year to year in students signing athletic scholarships in all sports offered at Lanett High School’: Story said. “He can get players to push beyond their perceived limit. His passion for the game of basketball is easily recognizable.

“Leadership has also been a very integral part of what Richard has contributed to Lanett High. This year he helped introduce our athletes to our new character education program. Richard taught lessons about leadership and responsibilities which made a profound difference in the attitude of our program. He was the perfect instructor because of how genuine he is with the students.“

“But he has not limited himself to just excelling his professional life. He is a great family man with a loving wife, children, and grandchildren. His family is one of the most important things in his life, and he is a committed husband and father.”       

Lanett Principal Jennifer Boyd said Carter’s special traits of mentorship and focus on building character are impressive. He has made character building an intricate part of his coaching style.”

He was named the Chambers County Teacher of the Year in 1995.

He is pastor of Jones Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Fairfield. He has been a volunteer in the Jones Valley Feed the Hungry Program and in Alzheimer, cancer and sickle cell anemia programs.    

       Tuesday: Fifth installment of the Hall of Fame series: Pike County Football Coach Wayne Grant.



AHSAA Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Assistant Coach Peter Braasch Made A Career Out of Making a Difference

         MONTGOMERY – Peter Braasch stands alone in the Class of 2017 and is one of only a few selected to the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame whose career has been as an assistant coach rather than a head coach.

           Braasch, however, is likely Alabama’s most decorated assistant coach. He received the Alabama Football Coaches Association’s Assistant Football Coach of the Year award in 2009 and an AHSAA “Making a Difference Award” in 2012.   He was elected to the Vestavia Hills Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.
         A native of Birmingham, he graduated from Homewood High School in 1973 and from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 1977.
        “One might question why an assistant head coach should qualify for the Hall of Fame,” wrote VHHS Head Football Coach Buddy Anderson, who was inducted into the HOF in 2003. “It is because Peter is the epitome of who and what a high school coach should be to young people. He demands the best from his players and, at the same time, inspires them to stretch beyond their abilities. Most of all, he has a love and concern for young people that goes far beyond the years they played for him.
        “He has helped a vast number of former players later their lives. He has been known on many occasions to hear about a former player who is not acting or living as he should, and then to show up at his house or even college apartment and do whatever he could to help get the young person back on the right track.”

         Anderson said Braasch’s selfless nature and role model makes him stand out among all individuals.
          “Peter has won several accolades in his career, but the one that stands out is the AHSAA “’Making a Difference’ Award…He truly does make a difference in the lives of the young people he teaches and coaches…He is the role model for commitment, loyalty, integrity, character, and love for his athletes. He is everything an assistant coach should be.”

         Braasch joined to faculty at Vestavia Hills High School in 1977. For the next 37 years he would serve the school in a variety of positions in multiple sports. They included football, basketball and track & field.

          When he retired as Vestavia Hills defensive coordinator at the end of the 2014 season, he left a huge hole in Anderson’s staff. Anderson is currently the AHSAA’s all-time wins leader with 325 wins in 39 years as Rebels’ head coach. Braasch was defensive coordinator for 34 of those seasons.  Together they guided Vestavia Hills to state championships in 1980 and 1998 and to the finals in 1978 and 1979.

          Braasch’s tenure with the Rebels’ basketball program has also been impressive. He served as assistant head coach from 1990-2014 with another Alabama High School Hall of Famer George Hatchett. His job, of course, was to manage the Rebels’ defensive schemes. He helped the Rebels win state championships in 1992 and 2009 and reach the semifinals in 2000 and 2011.

          Braasch served as assistant coach in track & field from 1978 to 1994. During that period he was also head coach of the freshman team which won the state championship in 1993.

          Retired Principal Cas McWaters wrote, “Over the past 37 years I have had the privilege to be a student under his tutelage, a peer coach with him, and serve as his principal. Writing this recommendation for Coach Braasch is easy. I have watched Peter grow into a truly legendary teacher and coach. I wish we could ‘bottle’ what Coach Braasch has and inject it into every coach in our nation.

“While Coach Braasch has built a reputation as a defensive mastermind, watching him coach students is really what he masters. When he teaches practice and game strategy, his students are so engaged I think sometimes they believe they are forming the game plan themselves. He players are truly ‘students of the game’ and believe they beat anyone.  While I recognize the great accomplishment of being an assistant coach for the same head coach for 37 years, I am most impressed with Coach Braasch’s ability to change with the times and impact students. Peter Braasch is about students!”

McWaters said he was with Braasch when the coach talked to a student who was threatening suicide. On another occasion Braasch went to a college town to help a former student who was in trouble. On yet another occasion, he intervened to help a former student get into a rehabilitation program.”
       Vestavia’s former principal said former players have reached out to Braasch in the good and the bad times.
         “He loves his players, and his players know it. Peter Braasch builds boys into men and then mentors them as adults. …his greatest achievement is he has taught young men how to be better sons, brothers and fathers. He displays for young men every day that they can be a man’s man and still have a compassionate heart.”

The Braasch family has had a major impact on athletics at Vestavia Hills over the years. Peter’s sister-in-law, Fran Braasch, coached girls’ basketball for 23 years, winning the 1987 state championship and reaching the semifinals four other times. She is also a member of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame. Her husband and Peter’s brother, Butch Braasch, has been a long-time volunteer coach at the school.
       Monday: Fourth installment of the Hall of Fame series: Lanett basketball coach Richard Carter.



AHSAA Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Coach Wayne Bowling Was Skillful As a Basketball Player and Coach

         MONTGOMERY – Norman Wayne Bowling grew up in basketball-crazy Morgan County, graduating from Austinville High School in 1959.
         He and his Austinville teammates raised the bar even higher.
         Bowling was a stand out on the school’s Class A state championship basketball team of ’59, then followed that with a successful career at St. Bernard College in nearby Cullman County, graduating in 1963.
          When he graduated he transitioned from playing basketball to coaching basketball when he accepted a job back in Morgan County at Danville High School.  His entire teaching and coaching career was spent at Danville where he served as head boys’ basketball coach from 1963-2000, a total of 37 years. He was also the school’s head baseball coach from 1963-85.
          And much like his career as a player, his basketball coaching accomplishments raised the bar even higher in Morgan County.
          Among his basketball accomplishments he became the career high school coaching wins leader in Morgan County with a career record of 683-388. His coaching tenure also included five state tournament appearances (1977, 1978, 1985, 1991 and 1992) with his ‘92 team advancing to the finals. His Hawks won two sub-state championships, Five Regional and 12 Area championships.
           Equally important to Morgan County schools, his teams won the Morgan County championship in 1965, 1985, 1988 and 1992. His legacy includes having the Morgan County tournament Most Valuable Player Award being named in his honor.
         Bowling’s teams were noted for their shooting skills. The 1995 team remains one of the highest-scoring in state history scoring 100 or more points 12 times with a season high of 124.
          Those records resulted from Bowling’s skill as a basketball player and coach and from his ability to instill his own competitive spirit in the legion of players who wore the Danville jersey.
          Coach Lynn Holladay wrote in 2015 of Bowling’s love for the game of basketball letter of recommendation to the Hall of Fame selection committee.
      “Today at age 73, Wayne still plays basketball several times per week at a very high skill level,” said Holladay. “If there were an Alabama Small College Basketball Hall of Fame, Wayne would be one of the first inductees. I know Wayne’s skill level because I played against him at the collegiate level. I also played with him and against him in varying levels of competition after college for all most 50 years. Wayne was one of the most competitive players that I have played against.”

Holladay said Bowling’s better than 60% winning record is even more remarkable when considering that for approximately the first 20 years of Wayne’s coaching career Danville was a 1A school and his schedule was comprised of many larger schools such as Austin, Decatur, Hartselle, Brewer, Lawrence County and East Lawrence.
        Holladay, who is writing a book on Morgan County’s outstanding basketball history, credits Bowling with introducing the fast-break style of basketball that he had played at St. Bernard, to Morgan County.

“His first team at Danville averaged over 76 points per game, which was almost six points more than any Morgan County team had ever averaged,” He said. “Within two years, Wayne’s style of play had spread to almost all other teams in Morgan County, and all of them were suddenly averaging about six to eight points more than they ever had. The style of play employed by Wayne at Danville soon crossed the county borders into the adjoining counties. The tempo of the game had spread tremendously.” 

Morgan County School Superintendent Bill W. Hopkins Jr., who played and coached against Bowling, recalled going to watch Bowling’s teams play as a child.

“I then had the honor of playing against his teams in varsity basketball and baseball,” he continued. “When I became a young coach, I had the privilege of coaching against his teams. Later when I became an administrator I was able to watch his teams compete against other teams. I was always amazed how he took what seemed like less talent than others and molded them into successful winning teams. The discipline of his teams became his trademark.”

Bowling also made a difference off the court. One of his former players, Joe D. Bailey said he is a prime example of that influence.
          “Coach Bowling, I know I have told you before, but I wanted to put in writing how much you mean to me,” he wrote. “I want you to know how much I appreciate all that you did for me. You drove me to be the best player and person I could be, and I still see results from that today.
         “You taught me more than anyone how to compete. You are still the most competitive person I know, and you helped me learn how to compete at a high level. We won a lot of games, and I am proud of that as I know you are.  But, I also know that’s not why you coached. You coached to make a difference in the lives of young men, and you did that. You did that not just in my life but in (the lives of) so many others.
       “I will always be grateful for your leadership. I am glad to be a small part of your successful career. It was a joy and honor to play for you. Thank you for being disciplined and stern with us—we needed it. I want you to take comfort in knowing that you had a huge impact on one player’s life.”

          Bowling was inducted into the Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame in 2002.
         Sunday: Third in a series: Vestavia Hills Coach Peter Braasch.


AHSAA Hall of Fame Class of 2017 Coach David Bethea Uses Tennis To Teach Important Life Lessons

         David Bethea wanted to be a teacher. Little did he realize that his best classroom would turn out to be the tennis court!
         Bethea is one of 12 individuals being inducted into the Class of 2017 of the   Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame. The induction banquet will be March 20 at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center.
         The graduate of Huntsville’s Butler High School earned his college degree at the University of North Alabama and received his Masters from the University of South Alabama. Joining the faculty of Montgomery Academy in 1979, he has spent his entire teaching and coaching career at the private school where he has served as head coach of the boys’ tennis program and the junior high/middle school football program.

His junior high football coaching record (191-83-3) includes 19 city championships. He was also Montgomery Academy head basketball coach from 1986-90, compiling a record of 33-36.
          It was tennis, however, that propelled Bethea to the forefront among AHSAA coaches. Adding tennis to his duties in 1983, his record remarkable ever since. Currently in his 35th season as the head coach, he has compiled an 878=175 dual match record through the 2016 season. That total included 14 state championships, nine runners-up and 32 Section Championships. He was also named the 2014 NFHS Sooth Section Tennis Coach of the Year.
        As with so many coaches, however, it is not just impressive numbers that mark his success.
        “Coach Bethea’s real impact has not been in winning in athletics, but in winning in the game of life,” wrote former Saint James head football coach Robert Johnson. “He is one of the best Christian leaders I have ever known. Always putting his faith before anything else, he has led many people to Christ through his amazing testimony and how he lives his life.”
        Johnson, a long-time friend and former student of Bethea, added, “He is the most positive person I know. He is an amazing motivator and is always smiling and encouraging others. He is always concerned about others and how he can help them. He challenges people in their spiritual life, academics and athletics. Coach Bethea has personally impacted my life in tremendous ways. First, he was my junior high coach as a 7th grader. I was in awe of this man with long hair that loved Jesus.
     “As an 8th grader he cut me from the football team. Looking back, it was a pivotal moment in my life. He encouraged me all year to work hard and come back out. He did not give up on me. His love and motivation changed my life, and I made the team as a 9th grader…. I went on to make All State and played on a state championship team as a senior because of his motivation. My last year in college, Coach Bethea asked me to be his assistant on the junior high team. This again was a pivotal moment in my life, changing my career. I ended up becoming a teacher and coach because of this man. I only hope that I have made a small portion of the impact on lives like David Bethea has.”

Jim Tuley, former coach at Robert E. Lee and Trinity Presbyterian, described Bethea as gentle with a calm compassion.

“His love for the students, parents, the game and the team he

         David Bethea wanted to be a teacher. Little did he realize that his best classroom would turn out to be the tennis court!
         Bethea is one of 12 individuals being inducted into the Class of 2017 of the   Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame. The induction banquet will be March 20 at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center.
         The graduate of Huntsville’s Butler High School earned his college degree at the University of North Alabama and received his Masters from the University of South Alabama. Joining the faculty of Montgomery Academy in 1979, he has spent his entire teaching and coaching career at the private school where he has served as head coach of the boys’ tennis program and the junior high/middle school football program.

His junior high football coaching record (191-83-3) includes 19 city championships. He was also Montgomery Academy head basketball coach from 1986-90, compiling a record of 33-36.
          It was tennis, however, that propelled Bethea to the forefront among AHSAA coaches. Adding tennis to his duties in 1983, his record remarkable ever since. Currently in his 35th season as the head coach, he has compiled an 878=175 dual match record through the 2016 season. That total included 14 state championships, nine runners-up and 32 Section Championships. He was also named the 2014 NFHS Sooth Section Tennis Coach of the Year.
        As with so many coaches, however, it is not just impressive numbers that mark his success.
        “Coach Bethea’s real impact has not been in winning in athletics, but in winning in the game of life,” wrote former Saint James head football coach Robert Johnson. “He is one of the best Christian leaders I have ever known. Always putting his faith before anything else, he has led many people to Christ through his amazing testimony and how he lives his life.”
        Johnson, a long-time friend and former student of Bethea, added, “He is the most positive person I know. He is an amazing motivator and is always smiling and encouraging others. He is always concerned about others and how he can help them. He challenges people in their spiritual life, academics and athletics. Coach Bethea has personally impacted my life in tremendous ways. First, he was my junior high coach as a 7th grader. I was in awe of this man with long hair that loved Jesus.
     “As an 8th grader he cut me from the football team. Looking back, it was a pivotal moment in my life. He encouraged me all year to work hard and come back out. He did not give up on me. His love and motivation changed my life, and I made the team as a 9th grader…. I went on to make All State and played on a state championship team as a senior because of his motivation. My last year in college, Coach Bethea asked me to be his assistant on the junior high team. This again was a pivotal moment in my life, changing my career. I ended up becoming a teacher and coach because of this man. I only hope that I have made a small portion of the impact on lives like David Bethea has.”

Jim Tuley, former coach at Robert E. Lee and Trinity Presbyterian, described Bethea as gentle with a calm compassion.

“His love for the students, parents, the game and the team he is competing against is always there,” Tuley said. “He makes it fun to play his teams. As a person on the other sideline, it was always a pleasure to play the teams he coached. They were always ready to play to their best and, win or lose, they were always gentlemen. He has not only won on the field, but also is a great ambassador for high school sports
           “When I served at Trinity (for 17 years), I saw David build a dynasty in boys’ tennis at MA. He gave young players a chance and gave the young men who stayed around a chance to play and contribute. He has the rare ability to make each person he coaches feel important.”

Montgomery Academy Associate Head of School John McWilliams cited Coach Bethea for his leadership role at many levels.
          “David is a respected leader within our MA community, but he is clearly a respected leader within the entire AHSAA community as well. Over the years, I have been able to witness the high respect that David has received from his coaching colleagues around the state while serving as a leader within the coaching community. Recently, after a particularly emotional tennis match at a sectional tournament that David was directing, a coach from another school approached David to express her deep appreciation to David for how he handled a particularly difficult situation on the court.  That one incident was emblematic of the type of respect that coaches all over the state have for David Bethea.”
          McWilliams said he considers outstanding sportsmanship as one of the key qualities of American citizenship.
         “And when I think of David’s many qualities, I have to think that teaching his players the tenets of good sportsmanship is one of his most significant contributions to the development of future leaders at our school. Tennis can be a challenging sport that can bring out the worst in individuals. However, David, through his firm expectations and his loving spirit, has a way of bringing out the best in his players.
         Furthermore, David serves as a powerful role model for his players in the way that he demonstrates care for his family, friends and colleagues as well as his school and church communities.”
         Saturday: Second in a series: Danville Basketball Coach Wayne Bowling.



All-Stars Selected for 27th Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Basketball Games

    MONTGOMERY – Twenty-four seniors have been selected to represent Alabama in the 27th annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Basketball Games to be played at Dunn-Oliver Acadome on the Alabama State University campus on Friday, March 17. 
       The Alabama teams, comprised of 12 senior boys and 12 senior girls, were announced Wednesday by Alvin Briggs, Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA). The girls’ game will tip off at 5 p.m. and the boys’ game will follow at 7.  
        The games were played in Mississippi last year with the hosts winning two close games. Mississippi’s girls evened the series at 13-13 with a 78-77 win over Alabama, and the Mississippi boys won 85-83. Alabama’s boys hold a slim 14-12 edge in that series.
        Emanuel Bell of Wenonah and Barbara Roy of Locust Fork will be the Alabama girls’ all-star coaches. Bell, who has a 485-178 career record over 23 seasons, will serve as head coach.  His Lady Dragons, 31-3 this season, have won four Class 5A state titles in a row. Roy guided Locust Fork (35-1) to the Class 3A state championship this season, the first in school history. She is 308-151 in 15 years as head coach.  Cold Springs’ Tammy West is serving as administrative coach.
      Coaches for Alabama’s boys are Midfield’s Darrell Barber and Lanett’s Richard Carter. Barber will serve as head coach. He is 177-80 overall and led Midfield (28-6) to the Class 3A state title last week, the third state championship in his tenure as head coach. Carter guided Lanett (25-7) to its second straight Class 2A boys’ title in 2017. He has been coaching for 40 years and has a career mark of 652-220. Administrative coaches are David Good of Mountain Brook and Jamie Lee of Grissom.
        Headlining the boys’ squad are eight players who competed in the AHSAA’s 95th State Basketball Tournament last week. Among them are 6-foot-7 guard/forward Herbert Jones of Class 4A state champion Hale County, 6-4 guard Shy’im Cunningham of 3A state champ Midfield, guards D.J. Heath and Kevion Nolan of 1A state champ Sacred Heart Catholic. Jones has already signed with Alabama.
        Others on the squad already signed to D-I scholarships already are 6-10 center Garrison Brooks of Auburn High School (Mississippi State), 6-5 Fairhope guard Tevin Brown (Murray State) and 6-9 Pelham forward Alex Reese (Alabama) and 6-4 Spain Park guard Jamal Johnson (Memphis University). Brooks led Auburn to the 7A state finals. Other all-stars in last week’s state tourney were 6-7 guard/forward Javan Johnson of Austin, 6-4 Midfield guard Shy’im Cunningham, 6-6 forward DeAndre Robinson of Monroe County and 6-7 forward Myles Parker of Madison Academy. Rounding out the team is guard Malik Burnett of Lee-Huntsville.
     The Alabama girls’ roster lists four players that participated in last week’s state tournament and three already signed to D-1 schools. South Carolina has landed 5-11 Brewbaker Tech guard Bianca Jackson and 5-10 Gadsden City guard Haley Troup.  Unique Thompson of Faith Academy, a 6-3 forward, has also signed with Auburn. Participating in last week’s state tourney were Deshler guard Nicole Shirley, Tanner forward Kirsten Brown, Wenonah forward Alexus Dye and point guard Jayla Morrow. Dye and Morrow helped the Lady Dragons win four state titles and Shirley helped Deshler win 68 straight games with the streak being broken in this year’s Class 4A finals.
  
  Both games will be live-streamed over the NFHS Network and will be broadcast over the AHSAA Radio Network.


2017 Alabama vs. Mississippi All-Star Games

ALABAMA GIRLS ROSTER

Player

School

Pos.

Ht.

Queen Ford

Sipsey Valley

C

6-3

Kirsten Brown

Tanner

F

5-10

Alexus Dye

Wenonah

F

6-1

Terri Smith

Sparkman

F

5-8

Unique Thompson

Faith Academy

F

6-3

Brooke Burns

Gadsden City

G

5-10

Bianca Jackson

Brewbaker Tech

G

5-11

Allie Kennedy

Red Bay

G

5-8

Courtney Lee

Ramsay

G

5-7

Jayla Morrow

Wenonah

G

5-7

Nicole Shirley

Deshler

G

5-6

Haley Troup

Gadsden City

G

5-10

Coaches

Emanuel Bell

Wenonah (head)

Barbara Roy

Locust Fork

Tammy West

Cold Springs (administrative)

ALABAMA BOYS ROSTER

Player

School

Pos.

Ht.

Garrison Brooks

Auburn

C

6-10

Malik Burnett

Lee-Huntsville

G

6-2

Tevin Brown

Fairhope

G

6-5

Shy'im Cunningham

Midfield

G

6-4

D.J. Heath

Sacred Heart

G

6-0

Herbert Jones

Hale County

G/F

6-7

Javan Johnson

Austin

G/F

6-7

Jamal Johnson

Spain Park

G

6-4

Kevion Nolan

Sacred Heart

G

6-2

Myles Parker

Madison Academy

G/F

6-7

DeAndre Robinson

Monroe County

G/F

6-6

Alex Reese

Pelham

F

6-9

Coaches

Darrell Barber

Midfield (head)

Richard Carter

Lanett

David Good

Mountain Brook (administrative)

Jamie Lee

Grissom (administrative)

 

THE ALABAMA-MISSISSIPPI CLASSIC SERIES

(1991-2016)

ALABAMA-MISSISSIPPI CLASSIC YEAR-BY YEAR HISTORY

GIRLS

Year

Winner

Score

Loser

Score

Site

2016

Mississippi

78

Alabama

77

Miss. College, Clinton

2015

Alabama

93

Mississippi

87

Alabama State U.

2014

Mississippi

95

Alabama

89

Jackson State U.

2013

Alabama

64

Mississippi

54

Alabama State U.

2012

Mississippi

94

Alabama

91

Alabama State U.

2011

Mississippi

73

Alabama

60

Pelham CC

2010

Mississippi

78

Alabama

56

Pelham CC

2009

Alabama

81

Mississippi

73

Pelham CC

2008

Alabama

89

Mississippi

86 OT

Pelham CC

2007

Alabama

90

Mississippi

65

Pelham CC

2006

Mississippi

89

Alabama

80

Pelham CC

2005

Mississippi

101

Alabama

83

Pelham CC

2004

Alabama

114

Mississippi

78

Pelham CC

2003

Mississippi

95

Alabama

82

Pelham CC

2002

Alabama

76

Mississippi

71

Miss. College, Clinton

2001

Alabama

87

Mississippi

76

North Alabama, Florence

2000

Mississippi

87

Alabama

82

Holmes JC, Goodman, MS

1999

Alabama

95

Mississippi

85

North Alabama, Florence

1998

Alabama

105

Mississippi

84

Miss. College, Clinton

1997

Alabama

60

Mississippi

54

North Alabama, Florence

1996

Mississippi

88

Alabama

72

Miss. College, Clinton

1995

Alabama

80

Mississippi

77

North Alabama, Florence

1994

Mississippi

92

Alabama

84

Miss. College, Clinton

1993

Alabama

73

Mississippi

66

North Alabama, Florence

1992

Mississippi

74

Alabama

61

Miss. College, Clinton

1991

Mississippi

82

Alabama

66

North Alabama, Florence

Series record: Alabama 13 wins; Mississippi 13 wins

BOYS

Year

Winner

Score

Loser

Score

Site

2016

Mississippi

85

Alabama

85

Miss. College, Clinton

2015

Alabama

101

Mississippi

88

Alabama State U.

2014

Alabama

90

Mississippi

83

Jackson State U.

2013

Alabama

87

Mississippi

76

Alabama State U.

2012

Alabama

109

Mississippi

104

Alabama State U.

2011

Mississippi

85

Alabama

74

Pelham CC

2010

Mississippi

112

Alabama

88

Pelham CC

2009

Alabama

78

Mississippi

74

Pelham CC

2008

Alabama

101

Mississippi

99

Pelham CC

2007

Mississippi

118

Alabama

113

Pelham CC

2006

Mississippi

94

Alabama

87

Pelham CC

2005

Alabama

84

Mississippi

79

Pelham CC

2004

Alabama

87

Mississippi

86

Pelham CC

2003

Mississippi

82

Alabama

80

Pelham CC

2002

Mississippi

98

Alabama

67

Miss. College, Clinton

2001

Mississippi

87

Alabama

83

North Alabama, Florence

2000

Alabama

90

Mississippi

82

Holmes JC, Goodman MS

1999

Alabama

95

Mississippi

68

North Alabama, Florence

1998

Alabama

111

Mississippi

76

Miss. College, Clinton

1997

Alabama

110

Mississippi

91

North Alabama, Florence

1996

Mississippi

105

Alabama

97

Miss. College, Clinton

1995

Alabama

85

Mississippi

69

North Alabama, Florence

1994

Mississippi

123

Alabama

111

Miss. College, Clinton

1993

Mississippi

82

Alabama

75

North Alabama, Florence

1992

Mississippi

73

Alabama

71

Miss. College, Clinton

1991

Alabama

103

Mississippi

62

North Alabama, Florence

Series record: Alabama 14 wins; Mississippi 12 wins



Class 7A Boys’ Championship Mountain Brook 63, Auburn 43

    BIRMINGHAM – Mountain Brook sophomore Trendon Watford scored 26 points and junior Sean Elmore scored 17 as the Spartans downed 63-43 Saturday night in the AHSAA Class 7A boys’ state basketball finals at the BJCC Legacy Center.
    A total of 17,034 attending the final day of the 95th AHSAA State Basketball Tournament Saturday – with a final attendance 72,148 for the week-long tourney, a new state tournament attendance record. The attendance for the final three days topped 41,000.
    Watford dominated inside and Elmore sank 5-of-8 3-pointers, including three late in the third quarter. His last one came with three seconds left in the period and gave Coach Bucky McMillan’s Spartans (31-5) an eight-point lead. Auburn never recovered as Mountain Brook outscored the Tigers 25-11 in the final quarter.
     Ben McCool also had 10 points for Mountain Brook, which won its third state title in five years. Paulie Stragmaglia also had six points and five assists.
     Auburn (23-10), coached by Frank Tolbert, was led by Garrison Brooks’ 11 points. Justin Brooks added eight points, Will Elston and Antoine Pitts, six each. Pitts also had nine rebounds.
Class 7A Boys’ All-Tourney Team
Trendon Watford, Mountain Brook (MVP); Sean Elmore, Mountain Brook; Garrison Brooks, Auburn; Antoine Pitts, Auburn; Carlton Martial, McGill-Toolen; Mac Smith, Vestavia Hills.

AHSAA 95th State Basketball Championships
At BJCC Legacy Arena

STATE CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS

 

CLASS 1A BOYS
Sacred Heart Catholic (28-8) 82, South Lamar (25-8)  59

CLASS 2A GIRLS
Geneva County (31-2) 44, Tanner (28-3) 42

CLASS 2A BOYS
Lanett (25-7) 54, R.C. Hatch (24-3) 40.

CLASS 3A GIRLS
Locust Fork (35-1)  72, Pisgah (27-8) 62
CLASS 3A BOYS
Midfield  (28-6) 60, Plainview (31-5) 46

CLASS 4A GIRLS
Madison Academy (35-1) 50, Deshler (34-1) 47
CLASS 4A BOYS
Hale County (28-4) 67, Monroe County (23-5) 56
.

CLASS 5A GIRLS
Wenonah (30-3) 55, Charles Henderson (30-6) 52

CLASS 5A BOYS
Mae Jemison (35-4) 58, Faith Academy (22-9) 52

CLASS 6A GIRLS
Homewood (34-2) 52, Hazel Green (37-2) 49
CLASS 6A BOYS.

Paul Bryant (24-11) 48,  Parker (28-8) 44

CLASS 7A GIRLS
Hoover (29-7)  51, Spain Park (22-12) 47 (OT)

CLASS 7A BOYS
Mountain Brook (31-5) 63, Auburn (24-10)  43


Class 7A Girls’ Championship Hoover 51, Spain Park 47 (OT)

    BIRMINGHAM – Hoover outscored Spain Park 7-3 in overtime Saturday night in the battle of the city’s two rival high schools and captured the 2017 AHSAA Class 7A girls’ state basketball championship 51-47.
    Coach Krystle Johnson’s Lady Bucs (29-7)  saw a 3-point lead vanish Sarah Ashlee Barker sank a 3-point goal with four seconds remaining in the fourth quarter for Spain Park (22-12) to tie the game at 44 all.
    Coach Mike Chase’s Lady Jaguars lost two key starters in overtime when Claire Holt and Barrett Herring fouled out. Hoover was clinging to two-point 48-46 lead with 1:05 left in overtime when Joiya Maddox stepped to the foul line and sank free throws in the final seconds to seal the win.
       Eboni Williams had 10 points and 11 rebounds to earn Class 7A state tourney MVP. Angela Grant also had a big game inside scoring 13 points and snatching eight rebounds. Maddox had nine points and Kelci Marable scored eight.
    Holt led Coach Mike Chase’s Jaguars with 22 points. Barker had 11 points and nine rebounds and Ahrielle Parks had four points and 10 rebounds.
     For Hoover’s Johnson, the state championship as a coach was her first. She sank the winning free throws in Hoover’s 2001 state championship win over Decatur to win a title as a player.
          The boys’ Class 7A championship game was set close out the 2017 state tournament Saturday night at Legacy Arena.  All finals are being televised live and live-streamed by Raycom Sports. The AHSAA Radio Network is also broadcasting all games over its statewide radio network and internet link.
    Class 7A Girls’ All-Tourney Team
   
Eboni Williams, Hoover (MVP); Angela Grant, Hoover; Claire Holt, Spain Park; Sarah Ashlee Barker, Spain Park; Teyah Johnson, Central-Phenix City; Shauntai Battle, McGill-Toolen.

AHSAA 95th State Basketball Championships
At BJCC Legacy Arena

STATE CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS

 

CLASS 1A BOYS
Sacred Heart Catholic (28-8) 82, South Lamar (25-8)  59

CLASS 2A GIRLS
Geneva County (31-2) 44, Tanner (28-3) 42

CLASS 2A BOYS
Lanett (25-7) 54, R.C. Hatch (24-3) 40.

CLASS 3A GIRLS
Locust Fork (35-1)  72, Pisgah (27-8) 62
CLASS 3A BOYS
Midfield  (28-6) 60, Plainview (31-5) 46

CLASS 4A GIRLS
Madison Academy (35-1) 50, Deshler (34-1) 47
CLASS 4A BOYS
Hale County (28-4) 67, Monroe County (23-5) 56
.

CLASS 5A GIRLS
Wenonah (30-3) 55, Charles Henderson (30-6) 52

CLASS 5A BOYS
Mae Jemison (35-4) 58, Faith Academy (22-9) 52

CLASS 6A GIRLS
Homewood (34-2) 52, Hazel Green (37-2) 49
CLASS 6A BOYS.

Paul Bryant (24-11) 48,  Parker (28-8) 44

CLASS 7A GIRLS
Hoover (29-7)  51, Spain Park (22-12) 47 (OT)

CLASS 7A BOYS
Auburn (24-9) vs. Mountain Brook (30-5), Saturday, 5:45 p.m.


Class 6A Boys’ Championship Paul Bryant 48, Parker 44

    BIRMINGHAM – Paul Bryant High School of Tuscaloosa captured its first AHSAA state boys’ basketball championship Saturday afternoon with a 48-44 win over Birmingham-Parker in  the 95th AHSAA Class 6A State Basketball Tournament at the BJCC Legacy Arena.
    Coach Sean Peck-Love’s Stampede (24-11) trailed by one at the half but took the lead by the end of the third quarter and then never relinquished the lead despite  a tenacious Parker comeback effort in the final period to win.
    Paul Bryant point guard Jared Sherfield earned Class 6A state tourney MVP honors thanks to his floor leadership. He scored eight points, had seven assists and was 2-of-3 on 3-point goals. Teammate Seth Williams scored 16 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had three steals. He was also 4-of-4 at the foul line down the stretch. Daviyon Dennis added eight points.
    Parker’s Thundering Herd (28-8), coached by Reginald McGary, got 15 points and eight rebounds from Cam’Ron Beard.  Xavier Williams had 12 points and five rebounds and Jason King had 10 points and two steals.
      The Girls’ and boys’ championship games for Class 7A are set to close out the 2017 state tournament Saturday night at Legacy Arena.  All finals are being televised live and live-streamed by Raycom Sports. The AHSAA Radio Network is also broadcasting all games over its statewide radio network and internet link.
    Class 6A Boys’ All-Tourney Team
   
Jared Sherfield, Paul Bryant (MVP); Seth Williams, Paul Bryant; Xavier Williams, Parker; Cam’Ron Beard, Parker; Javan Johnson, Austin; Terrin Atkinson, Spanish Fort.

AHSAA 95th State Basketball Championships
At BJCC Legacy Arena

STATE CHAMPIONSHIP RESULTS

 

CLASS 1A BOYS
Sacred Heart Catholic (28-8) 82, South Lamar (25-8)  59

CLASS 2A GIRLS
Geneva County (31-2) 44, Tanner (28-3) 42

CLASS 2A BOYS
Lanett (25-7) 54, R.C. Hatch (24-3) 40.

CLASS 3A GIRLS
Locust Fork (35-1)  72, Pisgah (27-8) 62
CLASS 3A BOYS
Midfield  (28-6) 60, Plainview (31-5) 46

CLASS 4A GIRLS
Madison Academy (35-1) 50, Deshler (34-1) 47
CLASS 4A BOYS
Hale County (28-4) 67, Monroe County (23-5) 56
.

CLASS 5A GIRLS
Wenonah (30-3) 55, Charles Henderson (30-6) 52

CLASS 5A BOYS
Mae Jemison (35-4) 58, Faith Academy (22-9) 52

CLASS 6A GIRLS
Homewood (34-2) 52, Hazel Green (37-2) 49
CLASS 6A BOYS.

Paul Bryant (24-11) 48,  Parker (28-8) 44

CLASS 7A GIRLS
Hoover (28-7)  vs. Spain Park (22-11), Saturday, 4 p.m.

CLASS 7A BOYS
Auburn (24-9) vs. Mountain Brook (30-5), Saturday, 5:45 p.m.