AHSAA Volleyball Spotlight, Week I Chambless Keys Addison Championship in West Morgan Invitational Tourney

      MONTGOMERY – Class 1A defending state champion Addison (5-1) won the West Morgan Tournament of Champions volleyball tournament Saturday to headline this week’s AHSAA Volleyball Spotlight.
    Abbie Chambless, who was named MVP of the 2016 Class 1A state tournament, had 44 kills, 16 blocks and seven aces to lead the Lady Bulldogs to wins over Lexington, Good Hope, Lee-Huntsville, Deshler and Danville. Class 6A Florence was the only team to beat Addison during the tourney.
   Coach Kayla Woodard’s team also got strong performances from Kendra Tyree, Savannah Manley and Cecilee Gaither. Tyree had 57 digs and 14 aces, Manley had 35 kills, 10 blocks and four aces and Gaither, the setter, 44 digs, 13 aces and 76 assists.
   Addison has won nine state titles in the Winston County school’s storied volleyball history.
  The first week’s action was highlighted by a number of tournaments including the 35th annual Juanita Boddie Invitational at Hoover and the Mayor’s Cup Invitational at Montgomery.
  Highlights reported include:

LEXINGTON’S HAMMOND NOTCHES 900TH WIN: The Lexington Bears beat Central-Florence in the first match of the West Morgan Tournament of Champions invitational tourney Saturday to give head coach Melissa Hammond her 900th career win. The Bears finished 5-2 in the tourney with Kinsley Hanback recording 72 kills and 20 blocks for the tourney.

McGILL-TOOLEN REACHES SEMIS OF JUANITA BODDIE TOURNEY: The AHSAA’s oldest season-opening tourney was dominated by out-of-state teams with Class 7A McGill-Toolen Catholic the only in-state team to reach the semifinals. The Dirty Dozen fell in the semis to eventual champion Etowah (GA). Briarcrest Christian (TN) and Blessed Trinity (GA) were the other semifinal teams. Kenya McQuirter led McGill-Toolen with 56 kills and nine blocks in the 35th annual tourney while setter Lillie Fromdahl had 154 assists
    Among other top performances from the Boddie Tourney: Alana Cox, Bob Jones: had 42 kills and 10 blocks in five matches as the Lady Patriots finished 3-2; Paige Shaw, Hoover: recorded 50 kills, 23 digs and 12 service aces as the Bucs finished 4-1; Alex Presnell, Buckhorn: had 105 digs as Buckhorn finished 5-3 to claim second place in the Silver Division; Mallory Odom, Baker: recorded 40 kills, 63 assists, 30 digs and eight aces in five Boddie Tourney matches for the Hornets; Myah Magwood, Hazel Green: helped the defending 6A state champs go 3-3 in the Boddie with 19 blocks and 11 kills. Teammate Catherine Smith also had 69 assists.
 (5-0) downed Lawrence County in the finals after rolling through the preliminary matches with straight-set wins over Geraldine, St. Paul’s Episcopal, Clay-Chalkville and Boaz. Ramsay went 4-1 to win the Silver bracket with a win over Homewood in the finals. Kaitlan Stone had 30 assists and 10 service aces and Kaylyn Howard managed 33 kills, 25 digs and 10 aces. Lauren Mayes had 39 kills and 19 blocks in the tourney for Lawrence County (4-1), and Laekyn Bennett had 74 assists. Geraldine, which went 6-1, was led by Karlee Hale, who finished with 43 kills and 15 blocks and 23 digs.
MONTGOMERY ACADEMY WINS MAYOR’S CUP TOURNEY, MONTGOMERY: Coach Julie Sinclair’s Eagles beat Class 3A rival Providence Christian in the finals, 25-14, 13-25, 21-19. MA beat Enterprise in the semifinals and PCA beat Pelham.  Pacing Providence Christian was Kayla Champion, who had 155 assists, 25 digs and eight aces in the eight matches played.  Autumn Mayes had 81 kills, 45 digs, nine aces and three blocks and Jordan Hollis had 46 kills, 12 blocks, four aces and six digs to lead Providence (6-2). Enterprise went 6-1 with Mikaela Grubb notching 41 kills, 40 digs and 12 blocks and Ali Wiggins registering 30 kills, 12 blocks and 44 assists. Emorie Long led Pelham (5-1) with 53 kills and 13 blocks and teammate Georgia Stonicher registered 176 assists. No individual leaders were available for Montgomery Academy.
JASPER WINS ALBERTVILLE INVITATIONAL: Jasper went 5-0, including beating Springville in the semifinals and host Albertville in the finals, to claim the tourney title. Alex Oliver and McKinley Ferguson had 23 and 21 kills, respectively, for the Vikings. Chelsea (6-1) won the Silver Bracket division as Ashley Mock recorded 70 assists, 43 digs and 23 kills and teammate Jules Hamer had 53 kills, 13 blocks and 18 aces.
ARAB CAPTURES HAYDEN INVITATIONAL: The Lady Knights wet 5-0 to claim the title with Lexi Pace leading the way with 40 kills and 21 service aces. Lauren Watson also had 34 kills and Allie Isom passed out 64 assists.
CARBON HILL CLAIMS 12TH ANNUAL BULLDOG INVITATIONAL: The host Bulldogs went 6-0 beating Meek in the finals 2-0 with Allyssa Dutton totaling 55 kills, 20 aces, 17 digs and six blocks. Setter Molly Kate Atkins had 132 assists.
ST. LUKE’S CAPTURES MARY MONTGOMERY TOURNEY: Lauren Bailey had 53 assists, Jada Carney had 46 kills and Kellan Hensley had 101 digs as St. Luke’s went 5-0 to win the Mary Montgomery Invitational.
ISABELLA WINS LINCOLN TOURNEY: The Lady Mustangs beat Sand Rock, Ragland and Lincoln in pool play, then downed St. Clair County in the quarterfinals, Cherokee County in the semifinals and Sand Rock in the championship match. Leading Sand Rock was Erin Langley with 119 assists, 41 digs and 12 aces, and August Gilliland, who had 49 kills.
   Pleasant Valley also beat host Saks in the finals to claim the title of the Saks Invitational at Anniston.

AHSAA Prep Spotlight, Week I Fisher Leads St. Clair County Saints’ 52-49 Comeback Win over Lincoln

   MONTGOMERY – Senior quarterback Jayce Fisher picked an opportune time to turn in the best performance of his high school football career last week. The 6-foot-3, 175-pound senior led St. Clair County to a 52-49 comeback win over Lincoln in dramatic fashion to earn the AHSAA Prep Spotlight for Week 1 of the 2017 season.
    Fisher was 12-of-26 passing for 280 yards and five touchdowns and also rushed 15 times for  103 yards and a sixth TD as the Saints battled from a 42-38 deficit in the fourth quarter to post the win. The victory was the first at St. Clair County for new head coach Matt Glover.
    Fisher’s touchdown passes covered 12, 40, 6, 35 and 30 yards, and he ran 15 yards for the other TD. Senior receiver Noah Bruce was his favorite target catching six passes for 179 yards and two scores. Bruce caught a 30-yarder to put the Saints ahead for good in the final period and also had a 60-yard connection to set up another TD. The win was the first at St. Clair County for new head coach Matt Glover.
    Lincoln senior quarterback Earl Wells also a career night – running for four touchdowns (71, 60, 15 and 25 yards) and completing tossed two TD passes covering 35 and 72 yards for Coach Matt Zedaker’s Bears.
   The 102 points scored by both teams ranks 41st on the AHSAA all-time list but does not either school’s most points list. Lincoln beat Coosa Central 86-36 (122 points) in a game in 2008 and St. Clair County lost to Central-Florence 58-45 (103 points) in a 2013 playoff game. The state record for most points scored (146) was set last year in Childersburg’s 82-64 win over Coosa Central.
    The prep shootout edged out a perfect performance by Oakman senior quarterback Jon Avery in the Wildcats’ 40-14 win over Lamar County. He set an AHSAA state record completing 15-of-15 passes for 271 yards and a TD. The 15 completions broke the old record set by Hayden Maples of Fairview (10-of-10) in a 47-14 win over Holly Pond in 2013.
   Week 1 was highlighted by several outstanding performances including some milestone wins and a host of buzzer-beater finishes.

AGGIES NOTCH  PRUITT’S 280TH WIN: Albertville exploded for 34 unanswered points Friday night to beat Arab 41-14 as head coach Dale Pruitt recorded his 280th career coaching win. Pruitt, the father of University of Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt, is 280-128 overall and 17-7 at Albertville.
SPARKMAN HANDS WHITE HIS FIRST 7A WIN: Sparkman's 48-11 victory over Athens was the first in new head coach Laron White’s tenure as the Senators’ head coach. White, the brother of Mae Jemison head coach Kelvis White and the son of Alabama High School Hall of Famer Courtland Coach Louis White, is now 149-30 and in his 15th season as a head coach. He came to Sparkman from Class 2A Tanner, where he guided the Rattlers to state titles in 2012 and 2013 and a runner-up finish in 2011. Tanner came into this season with a 53-game region game winning streak dating back to 2009. White guided Tanner to a 91-6 over region record and 29-12 playoff record. His 83.3% winning percentage is best among active head coaches in the AHSAA with 100 or more wins. Fyffe’s Paul Benefield (256-52) is right behind at 83.1%.
FUMBLE RETURNS HIGHLIGHT AHSAA'S LONGEST CURRENT RIVALRY: Jalem King of Jackson ran two fumbles back for touchdowns in the Aggies’ 40-26 win over Clarke County in the 102nd playing of the state’s longest continuously running series in state history. The teams have played annually each season since 1919. Jackson holds a 66-29-7 edge in the series after last week’s win.
GREENVILLE ENDS BEAUREGARD WIN STREAK: The visiting Tigers got strong rushing performances from Javion Posey and Arick Boggan to beat defending 5A state champion Beauregard 34-31. The victory snapped the Hornets’ eight-game winning streak overall and a 23-game home winning streak. Posey rushed 38 times for 151 yards and three touchdowns and Boggan had 29 carries for 171 yards and one score. La’Damian Webb, who rushed for 3,247 yards and a state-record 47 touchdowns last season for Beauregard, finished with 14 carries for 102 yards and a TD but was injured and missed most of the second half.

JACK MARTIN, NORTHVIEW: Kicked a 28-yard field goal with 16.8 seconds left to lift Northview over Enterprise 23-22. The kick climaxed a dramatic Cougars’ comeback that erased an Enterprise 22-0 lead. The win also snapped a 14-game NHS losing streak, was the first win over Enterprise since 1994 – and handed new head football coach Josh Parrish the first win of his head-coaching career. Parrish is the son of Harry Wayne Parrish, the legendary coach who started Northview’s program in 1977. He led the Cougars to state titles in 1981 and 1985. Martin also kicked two extra points.
ALEX ROGERS, ROGERS: Under intense defensive pressure by Lauderdale County, Rogers rolled to his left and found Harris Anerton in the back of the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown connection as time expired as the Pirates won 20-18. Lauderdale County had taken the lead 18-14 with 41 seconds remaining with quarterback Slade Brown’s 1-yard sneak -- a 24-yard scoring drive set up by a botched punt attempt by the Pirates with 2:18 left. RHS went 53 yards in the final drive to to get the win. Rogers and Anerton also hooked up on a 14-yard TD pass in the first quarter for the Pirates.
TYSNE COKER, DANVILLE: The Hawks running back scored in the final seconds as Danville overcame a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter to nip Falkville 28-27.
Senior Kane Hogan’s return to the field was a major motivating factor for the winners. Following his freshman season, Hogan was diagnosed with leukemia. Last June, doctors cleared him to play football again. Hogan, also a running back, had the first carry of the game
MATTHEW QUINN, SPANISH FORT: Kicked the fourth game-winning field goal of his prep career with an 18-yarder as time expired in the Toros’ 8-7 win over rival Daphne. He booted a career-long 50-yard field goal earlier in the game.
MATTEW EVANS, BUCKHORN:  Caught a game-clinching 10-yard touchdown pass with three seconds left as the Bucks beat Hazel Green 22-21. He also ran for his team’s  two other TDs.
JAIDEN WILSON, PIKE COUNTY: Completed four clutch passes in the game’s final drive, including a 27-yarder to Rayshawn Reynolds with 35 seconds remaining for the game-winning touchdown as Pike County knocked off Elba 25-24. Wilson engineered the game-winning drive which began at the Bulldogs’ own 18-yard line with 1:55 remaining. Reynolds, who had a 23-yard catch to start the march, also returned a fumble 53 yards for a TD for Coach Fred Holland’s team. Wilson also had a 5-yard TD pass to Spencer Givens and rushed for a 1-yard score early in the fourth period. Following that TD, Elba’s  Richmon Singletary  returned the kickoff  91 yards for a touchdown to put Elba back in front.
   In other highlights reported:

TUCKER BROWN, WILSON: The senior quarterback totaled 422 yards and accounted for four touchdowns in a 42-24 victory over West Point. He was 14-of-18 passing for 301 yards and added 12 carries for 121 yards, including touchdown runs of 39 and 10 yards.

PAUL TYSON, HEWITT-TRUSSVILLE: The junior quarterback completed 19-of-24 passes for 285 yards and four touchdowns covering 31, 20, 11 and 29 yards in a 65-28 victory over Callaway (MS).
CARDAVION MYERS, PIEDMONT: The senior quarterback accounted for 424 yards of total offense with five touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 42-20 win over Cherokee County. He was 6-of-9 passing for 270 yards and four scores (58, 45, 52, 40 yards) and ran for 154 yards on 13 carries with a 49-yard touchdown. T.J. Fairs had two TD catches (58 and 40 yards) and Cardavion’s younger brother Carl Myers made two interceptions on defense, returning one 49 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, caused a fumble, and posted nine tackles in the win.
LANDON CORNUTT, ASHVILLE: Rushed 12 times for 201 yards and completed 18-of-27 passes for 175 yards and another TD in the Bulldogs’ 33-32 win over Ragland. He also had six tackles on defense.
WILLIE MILLER, CLAY-CHALKVILLE: Was 15-of-24 passing for 258 yards and two touchdowns and added a 5-yard TD run in a 43-20 victory over Bessemer City.
ETHAN WILSON, ANDALUSIA: Was 15-of-20 passing for 230 yards and two touchdowns in Andalusia’s 31-12 win over Trinity Presbyterian.
BROCK SNYDER, GOSHEN: Completed 17-of-20 passes for 216 yards and three touchdowns in the Eagles' 28-10 win over Ariton. Zack Alford had seven receptions for 73 yards with two touchdowns and made an interception on defense for the Eagles.

NOLAN EARLE, BEULAH: Passed for 209 yards and two TDs and rushed for 79 yards as the Bobcats beat Spring Garden 35-6. It was the debut for new head coach Cody Flournoy.
MICHAEL CREAR, JASPER: Completed 8-of-13 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns and added 88 yards rushing on 21 carries in a 35-7 victory over Hueytown.
JACOB AMBERSON, GLENCOE: Completed 12-of-14 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns in the Yellow Jackets' 28-17 win over Westbrook Christian. Noah Huff caught six passes for 62 yards.
PHILLIP DUKES, PLAINVIEW: Completed 10-of-18 passes for 190 yards with an 84-yard touchdown and rushed for 70 yards and one score on 13 carries as the Bears beat Sand Rock 35-21.

JACK WEST, SARALAND: Was 11-of-18 passing for 173 yards and four TDs in a 42-24 win over LeFlore
Passed for 148 yards, rushed for 101 and accounted for four touchdowns in the Panthers’ 42-14 win over Alma Bryant. He rushed for two scores and passed for two.
DEVIN MITCHELL, FAIRHOPE: Amassed 315 yards in total offense and accounted for two touchdowns as Fairhope held off Foley 28-23.
LANDON JOHNSON, HOKES BLUFF: Was 9-for-14 passing for 159 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 47 yards on eight carries as the Eagles beat Southside-Gadsden 30-7 to snap a six-year losing streak to the Panthers.

KOBI McCOY, COLBERT COUNTY: Gained 386 yards rushing on 32 carries and scored three touchdowns in a 44-27 victory over Sheffield.

CHRISTIAN COLLINS, BOAZ: The junior rushed for 236 yards on 31 carries and scored three touchdowns as the Pirates beat J.B. Pennington 39-27. He also caught two passes for 17 yards. He scored on a 54-yard run and a pair of 1-yard runs.
TYLER CHRISTOPHER, PLEASANT GROVE: Rushed for 243 yards on 24 carries, including a 22-yard touchdown for the game's opening score, in a 47-6 win over Cordova.
DEANDRE CARLTON, JACKSON-OLIN: Registered 15 carries for 214 yards in the Mustangs' 25-12 win over Central-Tuscaloosa.
JADARIOUS MARTIN, WETUMPKA: The quarterback sparked a team that scored five of its seven touchdowns on plays that covered 30 or more yards in a 48-24 win over Eufaula. The visiting Indians  got scoring runs of 63 and 82 yards from Martin, a 55-yard TD run from Kevosiey Smoke, a 51-yard interception return for a TD from Nicholas Turner and a 30-yard TD pass from Martin to Edward Rogers.
SYMON SMITH, UMS-WRIGHT: Rushed for 226 yards, including TD runs of 38 and 61 yards, in the Bulldogs' 27-22 win over Charles Henderson.
ZACK SELF, BREWER: The senior quarterback scored five touchdowns in a 32-13 victory over Westminster Christian with scoring runs covering 1, 18, 20, 33 and 68 yards.
CALEB VINSON, FALKVILLE: Ran for more than 200 yards, scored three touchdowns and added a 2-point conversion in a 28-27 loss to Danville.
DARIUS GARRETT, PELL CITY: Rushed for 212 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries in the Panthers' 56-26 win over Childersburg.
WYATT WILBURN, EAST LIMESTONE: Had 207 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 17 carries to lead the Indians past West Limestone 21-19. His TD runs covered 4, 34 and 59 yards.
TAYLOR EASTERLING, HARTSELLE: The senior rushed for 175 yards and a 63-yard touchdown in the Tigers’ 40-0 victory over Lawrence County. He had 149 yards rushing at halftime.
ASA MARTIN & ANTONIO ROBINSON, AUSTIN: Martin rushed for 200 yards and four touchdowns and Robinson ran for 163 yards and scored on runs of 27 and 71 yards in a 41-14 victory over Bob Jones.
CRAIG KINSEY, ABBEVILLE: Rushed for 144 yards and one TD and caught two passes for 83 yards and two more scores in the Yellow Jackets’ 28-0 win over Ashford.
DARTAVIOUS BRITTON, COOSA CHRISTIAN: Ran 20 times for 165 yards and a touchdown while adding another 46 yards receiving in the Conquerors' 30-13 win over Appalachian.

CHANNING MARMANN, DESHLER:  The Tigers’ quarterback rushed eight times for 122 yards and two touchdowns. He also completed 8-of-12 passes for 71 yards and two more TDs in a 35-3 victory over Russellville.

NATHAN NELSON, DAR: Had 15 carries for 123 yards and three TDs in a 57-7 victory over Douglas.
BLANTON JONES, CROSSVILLE: Rushed for four touchdowns and completed two touchdown passes in the Lions’ 47-28 win over Collinsville. Jones scored on runs of 2, 7, 1 and 4 yards and connected with Banks Jolley for TD passes covering 8 and 10 yards.
DYLAN CHANDLER, COLBERT HEIGHTS: Rushed for 120 yards on 13 carries and scored four touchdowns in a 30-0 win over Phil Campbell.

SETH WILLIAMS, PAUL BRYANT: Caught nine passes for 233 yards and a touchdown in a 22-19 loss to Minor.
Had two catches —his 99th and 100th career receptions — and had one TD to help Lanett defeat Notasulga 21-6. Pollard is a two-time, two-sport, all-state selection in both basketball and football. He led the Lanett basketball team to back-to-back state championships in 2016 and 2017 and helped the football team reach the 2A semifinals last season.
B.J. ANDERSON, ANDALUSIA: Hauled in seven pass receptions for 114 yards and two  touchdowns as the Bulldogs downed Trinity Presbyterian 31-12.


JALEN HUMPHREY, LEE-HUNTSVILLE: Recorded 18 tackles, returned a fumble 47 yards for a touchdown, made a tackle in the end zone for a safety and had two sacks as the Generals nipped Grissom 24-23.
DYLAN BLOUNT, WICKSBURG: Had three interceptions in the Panthers’ 42-9 win over Geneva County.
ETHAN EDMONDSON, SCOTTSBORO: Recorded two quarterback sacks, giving him 15 for a new school record, and returned a fumble 27 yards for a TD in a 34-14 loss to Fort Payne. He finished with six tackles.
BRADLEY SCOTT, GLENCOE: Finished with 13 tackles in the Yellow Jackets' 28-17 win over Westbrook Christian.
JACKSON MURPHY, OAK MOUNTAIN: Stripped the ball from a Patriots’ runner and then returned the fumble 50 yards for a touchdown in a 28-27 win over Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa.
JAKE McDOWELL, COOSA CHRISTIAN: Forced and recovered a pair of fumbles leading to two touchdowns as the Conquerors beat Appalachian 30-13.
ARIES LAWSON, BAKER: Intercepted a pair of passes, returning one for a touchdown, as Baker nipped Vigor 17-13.

DALTON DYKES, SLOCOMB: Had eight tackles and an interception as the Red Tops blanked Rehobeth 6-0. Teammate Brantley Nelson also had eight stops and recovered a fumble for Slocomb.
SAM SAMFORD, HOOVER: Returned an interception 37 yards for a TD in the Bucs’ 42-7 victory over Meridian (MS).
CORTLIN MARTIN, BLOUNT: Recorded six tackles, two sacks and a forced fumble in the Leopards’ 42-0 win over Robertsdale.

JALEN McMILLAN, SPAIN PARK: Returned a kickoff 85 yards for a score and caught four passes doe 80 yards in the Jaguars' 40-7 triumph over Muscle Shoals.
ARCHER CHARLES, GUNTERSVILLE: Returned a kickoff 81 yards for a touchdown and rushed for 90 yards and two TDs as the Wildcats beat Oneonta 35-6.
JALYN ARMOUR-DAVIS, ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL: Returned a punt 52 yards in the first half as the Saints beat St. Stanislaus (MS) 35-12. He also had four receptions at wide receiver. 

AHSAA Mourns Death of Elkmont’s Leah Seibert

   The AHSAA is saddened to learn of the death of former Elkmont High School student Leah Seibert. The 2017 Bryant-Jordan Ken and Betty Joy Blankenship State Achievement Award recipient, passed away Tuesday night, Aug. 29, after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
   “Receiving the Bryant-Jordan Award was very special to Leah and her family, and the life she lived was a shining example of the character that Elkmont High School and the AHSAA want in all of our students,” said Elkmont assistant principal Kenny Jordan.
    AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said, “Leah was a very special student-athlete who personified what courage is all about and inspired all who knew her. We are very saddened by the news of her death and offer our prayers and condolences to her family and her extended family of teachers and students at Elkmont High School.”
    Miss Seibert, who graduated last May, was a cheerleader and softball player at Elkmont High School in Limestone County. She had a 4.14 GPA on a 4.0 scale.  Leah was diagnosed with Rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of childhood cancer, which required her to face many obstacles during her high school years.  Even when she couldn’t participate, she was there cheering her teammates on and giving them her full support.  Her positive attitude affected all who knew her.
    Funeral arrangements are not available at this time.

Mark Koski Named CEO of NFHS Network

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (August 29, 2017) —Mark Koski, director of sports, events and development at the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) for the past 10 years, has been selected chief executive officer of the NFHS Network. Koski’s appointment by the NFHS Network Board of Directors is effective September 1. 

The NFHS Network, a joint venture between the NFHS, its member state associations and PlayOn! Sports, provides live and on-demand video of high school sports events through a digital network available at  www.NFHSNetwork.com and on Apple TV. The NFHS Network, now in its fifth year of operation, covered more than 25,000 events last year involving 27 sports and activities.  

Koski will continue to serve on the NFHS administrative staff as director of marketing and will divide his time between the NFHS Network headquarters in Atlanta and the NFHS office in Indianapolis.

“The NFHS Network Board of Directors sees in Mark Koski a person who has a powerful passion for the mission and potential of the NFHS Network,” said Jack Roberts, president of the NFHS Network Board of Directors and executive director of the Michigan High School Athletic Association. “He was involved with the Network when it was only an idea, has been instrumental in expanding its reach and has great ideas for furthering its success.

“Most important to the Board is that Mark has an excellent understanding of the needs of state high school associations, having served in the New Mexico association office and then serving all state associations during his decade on the NFHS staff; and he has gained the trust and respect of my counterparts across the country,” Roberts continued. “The hiring of Mark Koski and the location of the Network CEO in Indianapolis signal the next important phase in the development of the NFHS Network, which provides the NFHS its most significant tool ever for promoting the values of school-sponsored sports to students, schools and society.”

Since joining the NFHS staff in 2007, Koski has directed all major NFHS events and meetings. He also has been editor of the NFHS Soccer Rules Book and NFHS Field Hockey Rules Book and served on the NFHS Rules Review Committee.

Koski has been responsible for a tremendous growth in corporate partnerships for the NFHS the past five years as director of development. Currently, the NFHS has more than 20 corporate partners with total corporate revenue of $2.2 million annually. He also has led the national #MyReasonWhy public relations campaign the past two years and has been staff liaison with the NFHS Network since its formation in 2013. 

“We are excited about the opportunities that Mark’s appointment brings both to the NFHS and the NFHS Network,” said Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director. “We see the integration of NFHS marketing opportunities with the NFHS Network as a win-win for both organizations.”  

Prior to joining the NFHS staff in 2007, Koski was assistant director of the New Mexico Activities Association (NMAA) for four years, where he served as director of corporate development. He helped the NMAA increase its annual corporate sponsorship revenue from $27,000 to $700,000. He also was instrumental in starting the NMAA Foundation, which raised more than $100,000 in its first year of existence.

Koski graduated from Highland High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1995. He earned his bachelor’s degree in physical education from the University of New Mexico in 2000, where he was a decathlete and 400-meter sprinter for the Lobo track and field team for four years, and his master’s degree in sport administration from UNM in 2003. As a member of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA), Koski earned his Certified Athletic Administrator (CAA) status in 2005 and his Certified Master Athletic Administrator (CMAA) in 2007. He is currently in the final phase of receiving his doctorate in educational administration.

Prior to joining the NMAA, Koski was a physical education and special education teacher at Manzano High School in Albuquerque for three years. He served as head track and field coach at Manzano for one year, where he helped increase participation from 30 to 130 student-athletes. Koski also served as assistant football coach for three years and assistant track coach for two years.

During his time with the NMAA, Koski served on the NFHS Baseball Rules Committee and the NFHS Track and Field Rules Committee. At the state level, Koski was president-elect of the New Mexico Sports Hall of Fame Board of Directors and a member of the Board of Directors of the New Mexico Games and the New Mexico Track and Cross Country Coaches Association.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to take the NFHS Network to new heights as its chief executive officer,” Koski said. “After serving 10 years at the NFHS national office, I have learned how important and influential our state associations are to the success of the NFHS and our NFHS Network. Building and fostering relationships with the state associations has always been a priority of mine, and I will take that with me to the NFHS Network. Great things lie ahead for the NFHS, its member associations and our Network – I am honored to be a part of it.”

Hewitt-Trussville Downs Pell City in Champions Challenge Big School Game

   MONTGOMERY -- Hewitt-Trussville High School junior quarterback Paul Tyson passed for 236 yards and four touchdowns in the first half Friday night to lead the Class 7A Huskies to as 49-10 win over Class 6A Pell City in the final game of the 2017 AHSAA Champions Challenge high school football season-opening series at Cramton Bowl. The Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) hosts the annual event.
    Maplesville beat Fyffe 20-7 in the first game of the series Thursday night. Both games, televised live by the Raycom Network, were considered preseason contests.
    Tyson completed 11-of-12 attempts for 173 yards and three touchdowns in the first quarter. He connected with senior Logan Pitts for a 34-yard touchdown just two minutes into the game and followed two minutes later with a 21-yard strike to senior running back Elliott McElwain for the Huskies’ second score. McElwain capped a six-play, 76-yard drive later in the quarter with a 2-yard TD run, and Malachi Moore hauled in a 5-yard pass in the right flat for the final score of the opening period with 11 seconds left in the quarter.
    Pell City slowed the Huskies in the second quarter with some offense of its own. Coach Keith Etheredge’s Panthers used up more than four minutes with a 10-play, 57-yard drive late in the period to finally get on the scoreboard. Senior Sergio  Alvarez kicked a 28-yard field goal to cut the lead to 28-3.
   Coach Josh Floyd’s Huskies struck quickly as Tyson directed a six-play, 65-yard drive that culminated with Lee Reagan getting behind the Pell City defense and Tyson delivered with a perfect 27-yard TD connection as Hewitt took a 35-3 lead into the half. Tyson finished the first half 15-of-18 passing for 236 yards, four TDs, and also tacked on 15 yards rushing on two carries. He did not play in the second half.
    Antonio Reed  scored on a 29-yard run early in the third quarter for the Huskies’ fifth score and Sean Jackson bulled in from the 4 for the final Hewitt TD with 9:37 to play in the fourth quarter. Parker Colburn kicked six of the seven extra points. Joseph Seagle booted the last one.
    Pell City’s Maleek Robinson scored on a 13-yard pass from quarterback Jackson Burkhalter with 3:20 remaining to close out the scoring for Pell City.
    Hewitt-Trussville finished with 24 first downs, 231 yards rushing and 279 passing for 510 total yards.  Myles Mason had 45 yards on three carries and Red had 44 on three to lead the Huskies’ running game. McElwain had five catches for 66 yards and Reagan had 67 on four receptions.  Dazalin Worsham also had three catches for 52 yards.
    Pell City had 15 first downs, 84 rushing yards and 80 passing for 164 total yards. Burkhalter was 5-of-13 passing for 58 yards. Darius Garrett and Andrew Crow had two receptions each. Brett Staples’ 10 tackles led the Panthers’ defense. Trevor Sisk had seven tackles and an interception to pace the Huskies.

Maplesville Beats Fyffe 20-7 in Champions Challenge Battle at Cramton Bowl

  MONTGOMERY --  Maplesville’s Nate Watson struck for big plays on three of his four first-half touches as the defending Class 1A state champs downed Class 2A defending state bchampion Fyffe 20-7 in the first game of the 2017 Champions Challenge season-opening football series at Cramton Bowl Thursday night.
    The AHSAA’s  12th annual Champions Challenge, hosted by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA), will conclude Friday night with Class 7A Hewitt-Trussville taking on Class 6A Pell City in the large-school game at Cramton Bowl at 7 p.m. Raycom Media is televising the contest live over its stations in Alabama. Check out www.pathtotheplayoffs.com  for local TV information. The AHSAA Radio Network is also broadcasting the contest over the internet and its network of radio affiliates.
     Both teams rolled into the preseason contest with winning streaks of 23 and 15 games respectively after winning state titles at the AHSAA 2016 Super 7  State Championships at Auburn last December. The game will count on neither team’s record, however, since it was scheduled as a jamboree contest.
   Watson, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound senior already verbally committed to Mississippi State, scored on the first play of the first and second quarters, taking the opening kickoff at his own 22-yard line and speeding untouched up the middle for a 78-yard score to start the game. He hauled in a 57-yard TD pass from senior quarterback Thomas Schoener on the first play of the second quarter for a 14-0 Red Devils lead. Late in the second period, he got open once again and raced 73 yards with a pass thrown by freshman quarterback Jackson Abbott  for his third TD of the game.
    In between Watson’s spectacular plays Fyffe kept the ball for almost 15 minutes but saw an untimely penalty and some big defensive plays by Coach Brent Hubbert’s defense to keep them from establishing any real momentum.
    Fyffe kept the ball for 14:51 of the first half to Maplesville’s 9:09. However, the 1A team had 146 yards passing and 219 total yards on 20 plays. Fyffe’s 2A Red Devils had 89 total yards – 82 rushing and 7 yards passing.
    Coach Paul Benefield’s team from DeKalb County cut the lead to 20-7 in the third period when Brody Dalton made an exceptional catch of Payton Stoner’s 24-yard pass for the TD with 6:51 left in the third period. Both teams played their reserves the rest of the game.
    Maplesville had 323 total yards on the night. Watson finished the game with 131 yards receiving on his two catches, had 78 yards on kick returns and seven yards rushing for 216 total yards. Abbott was 4-of-6 passing for 79 yards and a TD, and Schoener was 3-of-5 for 65 yards and a TD – all in the first half. Ryan Morrow was the game’s leading rusher with 100 yards on 15 carries, and Abbott had 32 on seven rushes.
    Fyffe rushed for 207 yards on 44 attempts and passed for 31 for 238 total yards. Payton Anderson and Cage Cochran each rushed for 34 yards on 12 and 4 carries, respectively.  Dalton’s 24-yard catch led the receivers.
    Stoner had an interception he returned for 31 yards on defense for Fyffe.  Dalton had seven tackles and Luke Martin had six. Maplesville linebacker Tristen Thetford had 10 tackles and teammates Jakavian McKenzie and Noah Walls had six stops. Latrell Wilson also returned an interception 25 yards.

Teams Set For 2017 Champions Challenge At Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl Aug. 24-25

      MONTGOMERY – Four high schools, including two defending state champions,  will officially kick off the 2017 AHSAA high school football season Thursday and Friday at Cramton Bowl in the 12th annual Champions Challenge football classic hosted by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA).
       The head coaches and selected players gathered at the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Tuesday for the Champions Challenge press conference. Media on hand came in early for the annual Media Day. Montgomery Department of Leisure Services Director Scott Miller was on hand to officially welcome the teams and media to the city. Enterprise High School volleyball coach Janie Wiggins and Auburn High School cross country/track coach Dan Norton were also on hand to discuss the start of those two fall sports as well.  
       Three-time defending Class 1A state champion Maplesville (14-0) and defending 2A state champion (15-0) Fyffe will meet in the small-school game Thursday night at 7 p.m. Class 7A Hewitt-Trussville (11-1) and Class 6A Pell City (6-5) will play in the large-school game Friday night at 7.
     Both games will be televised live across the start by Raycom Media. WVUA Sports Director Gary Harris will handle the play-by-play and former University of Alabama standout Mike Johnson will be the color commentator. The AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast the games live over its statewide radio network.
    Benefield, 256-52 overall with 210 wins at his alma mater, saw his team record just four turnovers (four fumbles) in last season’s 15-0 season. He said his team is looking forward to the trip from DeKalb County. “I’ve been coaching 36 years and we’ve had a lot of ups and downs,” said Benefield. “I’ve never felt that I had to work a day in my life since I’ve been coaching.”
    He predicts the challenge will be difficult.
      Coach Brent Hubbert’s Maplesville team met Fyffe last year in a jamboree game to start the season with the contest ending in a 7-7 tie. His team lost a solid senior class but has another one returning, he said.
    “Each year we go through an identity change,” said Hubbert. “This group is growing. We’ve had a summer of growth as individuals. We aim to help make these young men better human beings off the field and, we (also) want to teach them to prepare for adversity.”
      Pell City (6-5) reached the Class 6A state playoffs in Coach Keith Etheredge’s first season at the helm in 2016. He moved to Pell City from Leeds where he served as head coach for 10 seasons compiling a 113-39 record and capturing four state championships. Etheredge’s teams have been known for their explosive offenses and smothering defenses.
    Floyd finished his third season at Hewitt-Trussville leading the Huskies (11-1) to a 10-0 regular season record for the first time in the school’s 92-year football history.  Hewitt-Trussville also won the Class 7A, Region 8 title and outscored opponents 552-289 on the year.
   Floyd came to Trussville from Shiloh Christian (Ark.) where he led the school to a 99-21 record over 10 seasons with four state titles in five trips to the Arkansas state high school finals.
    The former prep quarterback’s high school coach was current Auburn University Coach Gus Malzahn.
    “Winning championships are great,” said Etheredge. “I’ve won four (at Leeds) and every one was very, very special to me. But coaching and teaching is about building relationships. That’s the most important part of coaching. If I can touch one life as a coach, I feel I’ve done my job. But, I want to do a lot more.”
     Floyd said he also understands there is much, much more to coaching than just X’s and O’s.
    “I’m a younger coach, but I know there’s so much more about this game than just playing on the football field,” he said, “There’s nothing more fulfilling as a coach than a few years down the line getting messages from those kids you coached. They will tell you, ‘Coach, we remember things you said when you didn’t even know we were listening.’”
    Andalusia beat Brooks 34-13, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa downed Demopolis 42-7 and Hoover topped Central-Phenix City 23-7 in last year’s Champions’ Challenge.

AHSAA Mourns Death of Boaz High School Coach Eric Whaley


     The AHSAA was saddened to learn of the death of Boaz High School Coach Eric Whaley. Whaley, who resigned as head football coach last winter, died Sunday after battling cancer.  Whaley, 39, is survived by his wife Alison, children Addie Grace and Tyler.
     “He fought a courageous battle that has inspired us all,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said. “I experienced first-hand the impact Coach Whaley has made to those around him through his leadership as a coach and teacher. He always strived to use the opportunity to teach his players the important life lessons that can be learned from playing a high school sport as well as living his life based on his strong faith and Christian principles.
    “He has meant so much to the students, teachers and children of Boaz because of the example of his daily walk.  On behalf of the AHSAA, I offer our most sincere condolences to his family and the entire Boaz community."
      A celebration of life service will be held, Tuesday, August 15 at 7 p.m. at Boaz High School’s gymnasium. The family will receive friends from 4 until 7 prior to the service. The Funeral service will be Wednesday at 2 p.m., at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Boaz with visitation from noon until 2. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Cemetery.
     In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Eric Whaley Memorial Scholarship Fund, c/o Snead State Community College.


Boaz Coach Eric Whaley in ICU

   The AHSAA is asking its member school family to join us in praying for Boaz High School Coach Eric Whaley who is currently in ICU at a Birmingham hospital in grave condition battling an illness.
    The AHSAA appreciates the contributions of our men and women like Coach Whaley who make a difference in the lives of so many entrusted to them. As a family, our AHSAA member schools are quick to support their colleagues in times of need.
    Thank you for keeping Coach Whaley and his family in your thoughts and prayers as they go through this difficult time.