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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.”


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.


Record $2 Million in Revenue Sharing for Schools Approved by AHSAA Central Board of Control

     MONTGOMERY – The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board of Control approved returning a record $2 million to its member schools under its Revenue Sharing Plan. The action was taken Wednesday at its annual summer meeting in Montgomery.
        The AHSAA Legislative Council also met Wednesday.
        The Revenue Sharing Plan, approved first by the Central Board in 2009, has returned $11.8 million to its member schools over the last seven years. The formula for the distribution of funds includes a differential between classifications and the number of sports played by non-football-playing schools. The plan returns excess funds back to the schools when the AHSAA has at least one year’s working capital in reserve.
         The Central Board of Control also approved waiving membership dues for member schools for the 25th straight year – a cost savings of more than $83,000 in 2016-17 and more than $2 million in savings to our member schools since 1992.
         “Returning $2.0 million to our schools through our revenue-sharing plan is certainly important to the financial well-being of our schools,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said. “We are proud to have now returned almost $14 million to our schools through the Revenue Sharing Plan and the waiving of school dues. I thank our Central Board for its strong leadership, especially the Central Board Finance Committee, and thank our valued corporate partners for their commitment to our member schools, our student-athletes and our educational based programs.”
        AHSAA Assistant Director Denise Ainsworth previewed the AHSAA Five-Year Strategic Plan for 2017-22 and discussed the five major goals the strategic plan – and its theme: “Building Leaders through Athletics.”
        
Direct Communications, a public relations group, was approved to be hired to assist the AHSAA in promoting the association goals and mission.
        New president John Hardin, who served as vice president the last two years, was also welcomed to his new position. Hardin is principal at Hackleburg High School in District 7. He replaced Mike Welsh, Spring Garden principal and president in 2015-16 and 2016-17.
        The Board also approved recommendations by the AHSAA’s Sports Committees and Competition, including an item by the Baseball Committee that games added or deleted from a school’s schedule after the area play begins will NOT count toward tie-breaker issues. The board also approved the committee’s recommendation to eliminate the coin toss in the “if needed” game three in all rounds of the state playoffs except the finals. The home team will be the home team for the game in all preliminary rounds. A recommendation was approved that had was submitted by the Basketball Committee to allow the AHSAA to set each quadrant for each class after sub-regional play results are determined. This would allow a school that qualifies boys and girls for the regional tournament to have the games scheduled back to back to avoid long delays between the two.
    The Central Board reviewed and approved 2017-18 publications, including the AHSAA Handbook and 2017-18 AHSAA Sports Book. The Legislative Council also met and approved the AHSAA publications Wednesday afternoon and heard a review of the Central Board’s action.

In other Central Board action:

– Approved the financial reports for the spring championships in soccer, softball, baseball and track.

– Approved the 2017-18 budgets for the AHSAA and the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) and the 2016-17 audits for each group.

-- Approved a restitution plan for Washington County High School.

-- Approved the Scorebird Program and Dragon Fly document uploading program being made available to member schools in the coming school year.

-- Was updated about the AHSAA insurance coverages and School Audit Program.

Six Honored with Distinguished Service Awards AHSAA Closes Summer Conference With Officials’ Awards Luncheon

     MONTGOMERY – Six officials with a combined 173 years of officiating experience received the Greg Brewer Distinguished Service Award at Saturday’s AHSAA Officials Awards Luncheon at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center. Receiving the AHSAA’s highest officiating honor were Larry Galloway (38 years) of Hartford; Don Hudson (37 years) of Oxford); Bill Young (35 years) of Dadeville; Jimmy Isbell (34 years) of Tuscumbia; Gwyn Morgan (34 years) of Moulton; and Gary Knight (32 years) Dothan.
    Longtime contest official, district director and volunteer Gary McGriff of Holly Pond was also recognized McGriff received the National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS) National Contributor Award.
    He has been a visionary, always providing opportunities for officials to grow technologically, he continues to be a state leader with regard to communication, not only between officials, but most importantly our Association.  According to Steve Savarese, Executive Director of the AHSAA, “The greatest compliment I could provide Gary is to describe Gary as a servant, dedicating his life to serve the AHSAA through officiating.” 
   More than 370 attended the luncheon that recognized all contest officials who officiated in state championship events in 2016-17 as district and state officials of the year. Wright Waters, former Sun Belt Conference Commissioner who became the first executive director of the Football Bowl Association, was the keynote speaker at the luncheon that officially closed the 2017 AHSAA Summer Conference and Coaching School.
    State Officials of the Year: Selected AHSAA State Officials of the year in their respective sports were: Doug Baxter of Montgomery (Baseball); Katrina Evans of Mobile (Basketball); Pete Gonzalez Montgomery (Soccer); Jeff Bridges of Dothan (Softball); Keith Wilemon of Hartselle (Track); Jim Kirkpatrick of Huntsville (Volleyball); and Justin Miller of Decatur  (Wrestling).
   ASOF Scholarship Recipients: The Alabama Sports Officials Foundation also presented xx scholarships to children of officials in honor of the dedication and sacrifice families make to support the service of the state’s contest officials. To be eligible, the student must be planning attend a post-secondary school in Alabama.
    Those selected for the grants were: Cora Addison Bryan, Troy; Michael Evan Shaddix, Fort Payne; Andrew David Hester, Decatur; Matthew William Hrabovsky, Daphne; Tessa Faith Ivey, Nauvoo; Moriah Lee Brundidge, Brewton; Carly Alana Westmoreland, Addison; Abigail Faye Howard, Oxford; and Patrick Joseph Callahan, Hoover.

    
 

 

 

AHSAA District Officials of the Year

BASEBALL
East Central:
Larry Stubbs, Jacksonvillle
North Central: Raymond Crawford, Dora
Northeast: Bobby Scheppler, Huntsville
Northwest:
Loyd Potter, Decatur

South Central: Doug Baxter, Montgomery
Southeast:
Brian Cross, Andalusia
Southwest:
Tim Naber, Theodore
West Central:
Danny Matherson, Moundville

 

BASKETBALL
East Central:
Rusty Burroughs, Jacksonville
North Central: Scott Richards, Homewood
Northeast: Marvin Wesley, New Market
Northwest:
Brandon Oaks, Hartselle

South Central: Bobby Tindal, Auburn
Southeast:
Reginald Franklin, Dothan
Southwest:
Katrina Evans, Mobile
West Central: James Sewell, Linden

 

FOOTBALL
East Central:
Johnny Brothers, Southside-Gadsden
North Central: Kevin Sutton, Birmingham
Northeast: Willis Jackson, Harvest
Northwest:
Gene Dickinson, Decatur

South Central: Frank Parsons, Montgomery
Southeast:
Ricky Morgan, Geneva
Southwest:
Ken Atkins, Demopolis
West Central: Fred Cody, Northport


SOCCER
East Central:
Charles Stanley, Guntersville
North Central: John David Nicholson, Vestavia Hills
Northwest: “Ed” Tate Wallace, Hartselle

South Central: Pete Gonzalez, Montgomery
Southeast:
Ben Davis, Andalusia
Southwest:
Ryan Campbell, Spanish Fort

SOFTBALL
East Central:
Nick Higdon, Albertville
North Central: Tessa Ivey, Nauvoo
Northeast: Aaron Golden, Madison

Northwest: Scottie Nichols, Sheffield
South Central:
Eric Morris, Montgomery
Southeast:
Jeff Bridges, Dothan
Southwest:
Tim Porter, Mobile
West Central: Carolyn Roshell, Holt

TRACK & FIELD
East Central:
Earl Lewis, Sylacauga
North Central: Stan Blakemore, Vestavia Hills
Northeast: Jeff Bradshaw, Madison

Northwest: Keith Wilemon, Hartselle
Southeast:
Darrell Houston, Daphne
Southwest:
Sheila Crenshaw, Mobile,

VOLLEYBALL
East Central:
Anthony Dupree, Leesburg
North Central: Anissa Smith, Birmingham
Northeast: Jim Kirkpatrick, Huntsville

Northwest: Walter Young, Moulton
South Central:
Walter Crosby, Millbrook
Southeast:
Michael Clayton, Dothan
Southwest:
Dwight Charley, Butler
West Central: Chris Cummings, Jasper

WRESTLING
East Central:
Brent Helms, Southside
North Central: Mark Snider, Trussville
Northeast: Joe Stephenson, Union Grove

South Central: Justin Miller, Decatur
Southwest:
Rob Hazenwinkel, Pensacola, FL

Seven Receive “Making A Difference” Awards At AHSAA 2017 Coaches’ Awards Banquet

MONTGOMERY – Seven individuals were recognized Friday night at the AHSAA’s 21st annual Coaches’ Awards Banquet as recipients of the prestigious “Making A Difference” Award as the 2017 AHSAA Summer Conference concluded at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center.
    The week-long conference, which attracted approximately 5,000 administrators, coaches and other support personnel from AHSAA member schools to Montgomery, was hosted by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA). It included 10 North-South all-star competitions during the week – for the sports of baseball, softball, boys’ and girls’ soccer, boys’ and girls’ basketball, boys’ and girls’ cross country, volleyball and football. The North beat the South 14-13 in the 58th playing of the North-South football all-star game to close out all-star play Thursday night.
    Friday’s awards banquet recognized a total of 112 state championship coaches who led teams to state titles in the AHSAA’s championship programs in 2016-17 as well as honoring several others for outstanding service or accomplishment.  Among them was Jim Tate of St. Paul’s Episcopal High School in Mobile. Tate, who has been enshrined into the Alabama High School Hall of Fame and National High School Hall of Fame, directed the Saints to the Class 5A state girls’ cross country and Class 4A/5A girls’ state indoor track titles  in 2016-17 to become the first head coach in AHSAA history to capture 100 state crowns. Since 1983, he has led St. Paul’s track and cross country teams to 101 titles overall in his legendary career. His teams have also recorded 51 runner-up finishes.
    Jack Doss also became the first boys’ basketball coach in the AHSAA to capture 10 state titles with Mae Jemison winning the 5A state championship last March at the BJCC. Doss has won state championships at four different schools since 1981. He directed Butler to five championships, Hayes and J.O. Johnson to two each.
    Alabama State Senator Jabo Waggoner was the keynote speaker.
   The highlight was the “Making A Difference” Award, however, now in its seventh year. One AHSAA member school coach or administrator was honored in each classification for their contributions to their schools and communities that help change lives in daily in a positive way.
    The recipients were: head football coach Alan Beckett, Winterboro High School (1A); recently retired Associate Superintendent Lamar Brooks, Dale County Schools (2A); principal Bobby Tittle, Ohatchee High School (3A); athletic director Charles McCaleb, Bibb County High School (4A); head football coach Richard Dutton, Lawrence County High School (5A); athletic director Janeice Calhoun, Chelsea High School (6A); head softball coach Alvin Rauls, Buckhorn (7A).
  
Several other special awards were presented including AHSADCA Athletic Director of the Year presented to McGill-Toolen Catholic AD Bill Griffin. The ADSADCA Past President’s Award was presented to former Opelika football coach Brian Blackmon.
    Swimming Coach Michael Gunner of Bob Jones High School was also recognized as the NFHS National Swimming Coach of the Year.  Student-athletes Hasaan Hawthorne of Pelham High School and RaKavius Chambers of Opelika high School were also recognized at NFHS Section 3 “Spirit of Sport” and “Heart of the Arts” Award recipients. Hawthorne, who had both legs amputated when he was an infant, graduated in 2016 and is now attending college in Idaho. He captured the Class 6A 145-pound state wrestling championship at 38-0 – Section 3 includes the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Chambers, also the recipient of the Watkins Award as the top black student-athlete in the nation, is a Duke University football signee. He was an All-America prep football standout who also shared a passion for the arts – participating in theatre, show choir and symphonic band in high school. He was also selected the 2017 Bryant-Jordan Scholar-Athlete of the Year in the AHSAA.
NFHS Section 3 Coaches of the Year: Six AHSAA coaches were named 2016 NFHS Section 3 Coaches of the Year, including: Stanley Johnson, Lawrence County (girls’ cross country); Meridy Jones, UMS-Wright (girls’ tennis); Brigid Littleton, Vestavia Hills (girls’ golf); Steve Reaves, Winfield (boys’ track & field); and Bobby Wright, Central-Phenix City (boys’ basketball).
NFHS State Coaches of the Year: Fourteen AHSAA coaches were selected 2016 NFHS state coach of the year in their respective sports: Emanuel Bell, Wenonah (girls’ basketball); Gretchen Boykin, Spanish Fort (volleyball); Eddie Brundidge, T.R. Miller (girls’ track & field); Claborn Campbell, Cold Springs (boys’ cross country); Isabella Coffell, Sparkman (girls’ bowling); Jeff Dellinger, Auburn (girls’ swimming); Dan DeMasters, Oak Mountain (boys’ soccer); Susan Farlow, Mountain Brook (boys’ tennis); Stephen Gaydosh, Vestavia Hills (wrestling); Cindy Hawthorne, Brantley (softball); Stephen Hobbs, Vestavia Hills (boys’ bowling); Emory Latta, Providence Christian (boys’ golf); Clifford Pate, St. John Paul II Catholic (girls’ golf); and Steve Smith, Piedmont (football).
AHSADCA Coaches’ Children Scholarship Recipients: Ten students, each a child of an AHSADCA member coach or administrator, also received the AHSADCA’s Coaches’ Children Scholarships. They were: Heaven Rozier, Jackson High School; Alexandria Wiggins, Enterprise High School; Bailey Ryan Price, Chilton County High School; Jessica Norris, LAMP Magnet High School; Bailee Simmons, Elmore County High School; Mary Elizabeth Laatsch, Helena High School; Shelby Hicks, Oxford High School; Reagan MaKinley Smothers, Addison High School; Michael Drew Statom, Deshler High School; and Jadie Burney, Huntsville High School.
Eight Receive al.com Sportsmanship Grants: Eight high schools that attended Friday’s 10th annual Media Group as recipients of a $1,000 al.com Sportsmanship Grant.  Al.com, in support of good sportsmanship, has provided $80,000 over the last 10 years – proving one scholarship to a fine and ejection-free school each from all eight of the AHSAA’s districts.
   The recipients this year were: Blount (District 1); Red Level (District 2); Linden (District 3); Holtville (District 4); Pleasant Grove (District 5); Ranburne (District 6); Hubbertville(District 7); and West Point (District 8).  The schools were selected from the 107 that completed the 2016-17 school fine and ejection free.
   A total of 107 high schools finished the year with no fine or ejection and were recognized at Friday’s luncheon, up from 32 from 2015-16 when 75 reached that goal. Chris Heaps, the head baseball coach at Russellville High School, was the keynote speaker. Russellville, which has won the Class 5A state baseball championship the last three seasons, was one of the schools recognized for its outstanding sportsmanship record of no fines or ejections.
AHSAA Welcomes New Sportsmanship Sponsor: The AHSAA also welcomed a new sponsor for the annual Sportsmanship Banquet Friday, Patterson Properties which produces high school preseason football magazines for Georgia and Alabama.
Herman L. “Bubba” Scott Lifetime Achievement Award: Longtime head football coach Randy Ragsdale was recognized by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes with its most prestigious award Thursday at the annual FCA Luncheon. Ragsdale who compiled a 242-86 career record in 28 seasons as head coach at Trinity Presbyterian in Montgomery received the Herman L. “Bubba” Scott Lifetime Achievement Award for his lifetime commitment to serving his faith and serving young people. The award is named in honor of Scott, former AHSAA Executive Director. Scott helped bring FCA to Alabama schools more than 40 years ago. Scott is now deceased.

2017 Summer Conference in Full Swing AHSAA Coaches, Administrators Swarm to City Conference

    MONTGOMERY – The City of Montgomery embraces for more than 4,000 coaches and administrators as the 21st annual AHSAA Summer Conference and All-Star Sports Week heads into day two at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Complex Tuesday.
   The week-long convention for AHSAA member schools, which is hosted by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA), features Coaching Schools for the various sports offered by the AHSAA.

   Golf and bowling highlighted Monday’s first day with the AHSADCA hosting its annual golf tournament for coaches, administrators and guests at Lagoon Park. The festivities included a cookout afterward.
    Tuesday’s slate includes baseball, softball, soccer, C2C Training and Coaches Education courses.
    The AHSAA and City of Montgomery hosted  press conference on the campus of Auburn University-Montgomery as all-stars chosen to compete in All-Star Sports Week checked in at the North Commons Dorm, which is hosting the more than 300 players and coaches selected to compete this week in North-South all-star competition.
     Mayor Todd Strange lauded the AHSA event’s economic impact in the city. “This event has an economic impact of between $8 and $10 million annually,” he told the media gathered in the North Commons lobby.
    AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese and AHSADCA Director Alvin Briggs both thanked the city, especially the Parks and Recreation Department, Mayor Strange and AUM for their commitment to hosting this major event.
    The North-South All-Star competition gets underway Tuesday with a baseball doubleheader at Riverwalk Stadium beginning at 4 p.m. The Girls’ and Boys’ soccer matches will be held at Emory Folmar Soccer Complex at 5 and 7 p.m., and the fast-pitch softball all-star doubleheader’s first pitch is scheduled for 5 p.m. at Lagoon Park Tuesday.
   The first-ever North-South cross-country competition will be held on the AUM campus Wednesday morning with the girls running at 7:30 a.m., and the boys at 8. The Girls’ and Boys’ North-South basketball games will be played at the AUM Basketball Complex a 6 and 8 p.m., respectively, Wednesday night
    The all-star games conclude Thursday with the North-South volleyball match at 4 p.m. at AUM, and the 57th annual North-South football game at Cramton Bowl at 7 p.m. All all-star events will be live-streamed by the NFHS Network with Graham Dunn and Jerry Young handling the commentary. The AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast live the football clash.
    PLAYERS ADDED TO FOOTBALL ROSTERS: Among the late additions to the North-South football rosters as teams checked in Sunday with the North picking up Davarrius Hudson, Jacoby Johnson and Joshua Nickerson.  Wide receiver Tyler Welsey of Jeff Davis and quarterback Caleb Winton of T.R. Miller were added to the South squad.
    BASKETBALL CHANGE: Faith Reynolds of Wenonah is injured and did not report for the North squad as teams reported Monday. She will not be replaced. The South won last year’s girls’ game 57-53 – snapping an eight-game losing streak. The North holds a 17-3 lead heading into Wednesday’s contest. The North boys hold a 47-27 advantage heading into the 75th playing of the game that dates back to 1953. The tall, tall team coached by Paul Bryant’s Shon Peck-Love and Muscle Shoals’ Neal Barker, feature 6-foot-11 center Trey Jemison, who was a standout at Homewood for the last three years but has transferred to Hoover for his senior year. Xavier Williams of Parker and Logan Dye of Haleyville are also 6-9 each. The South, coached by Monroe County’s Tony Hayes and Bullock County’s Douglas Moore, feature 6-9 Theo Akwuba of Brewbaker Tech and 6-8 center Emanuel Littles of Lanett.

The complete all-star schedule is listed below.
   NFHS NETWORK: All all-star competition will be webcast live over the NFHS TV Network. Links and instructions on how to subscribe can be found at www.ahsaa.com. The All-Star Football Game will also be broadcast live by the AHSAA Radio Network.
      The week’s festivities can also be found on the new AHSAA Mobile App, which can be downloaded free at Apple and Google stores online or by going to the following link: https://admin.mycaboodleevents.com/event/detail/79/ahsaa-2017-ahsaa-summer-conference

 

ALL-STAR WEEK SCHEDULE at MONTGOMERY
North-South Baseball (doubleheader)         Tuesday, 4 p.m.         Riverwalk Stadium
North-South Soccer (Girls)                          Tuesday, 5 p.m.         Folmar Soccer Complex
North-South Soccer (Boys)                           Tuesday, 7 p.m.         Folmar Soccer Complex
North-South Softball (doubleheader)          Tuesday, 5 p.m.         Lagoon Park
North-South Basketball (Girls)                    Wednesday, 6 p.m.    AUM Basketball Complex
North-South Basketball (Boys)                    Wednesday, 8 p.m.    AUM Basketball Complex
North-South Volleyball                                 Thursday, 4 p.m.       Auburn-Montgomery Gym
North-South Football                                    Thursday, 7 p.m.       Cramton Bowl


Lineup of Speakers Highlight 21st AHSAA/AHSADCA Summer Conference and All-Star Sports Week

   MONTGOMERY – AHSAA member school coaches, administrators and contest officials will gather next week (July 17-21) at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center beginning Tuesday for the 21th annual Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Summer Conference and All-Star Sports competition.
    Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) Director Alvin Briggs said he is pleased with the line-up of speakers scheduled this week.
     “We think we have an outstanding list of clinicians who are very knowledgeable of the best practices in their sports concerning topics ranging from offensive and defensive schemes to current health and safety issues,” Briggs said.
    The conference is expected to have 4,000 in attendance and will include eight all-star competitions, more than 300 all-star student-athletes and coaches, approximately 100 professional development sessions, eight rules clinics, three luncheons, one night banquet, 92 speakers, 51 moderators and a golf tournament and cookout hosted by the AHSADCA.
     Among the speakers set to address basketball coaches on Wednesday are SEC men’s coaches:  Auburn University’s Bruce Pearl, University of Alabama’s Avery Johnson, and Georgia’s Mark Fox. Also speaking are Georgia Tech men’s basketball coach Josh Pastner, the 2017 Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) Coach of the year, Troy University’s Phil Cunningham and Scott Groninger, West Georgia’s women’s coach.
    Among the list of other top clinicians set to speak are: (Baseball) Perry Roth, the hitting coach for UAB; (Softball) former University of South Carolina collegiate All-American Karen Johns, Wallace-Hanceville coach A.J. Daugherty, John Garris of Southern University and Carie Dever-Boaz of West Alabama; (Track) Troy University’s Mark Davis and Huntingdon College’s Dan August; (volleyball) Josh Lauer of Troy University and Ryan Roberson, Brooks High Schoo;l; (Soccer) Ged O’Connor of Troy University; (Golf) Matt Luther of South Alabama and Brendan Ryan of Golf Placement Services; (Wrestling) Craig Duncan, Huntingdon College and Jeremy Waters, Trackwrestling.
    Football clinicians will be some of the state’s top high school head and assistant coaches, including: 2016 Class 2A state championship coach Paul Benefield of Fyffe, Phil Lazenby of Bayside Academy, Fred Yancey of Briarwood Christian, Shawn Raney of Spain Park, Josh Niblett and Adrian Adams of Hoover, former college quarterbacks and current head coaches Patrick Nix of Pinson Valley and Jeff Kelly of Saraland, Smitty Grider of Park Crossing, Andro Williams of W.S. Neal, Terry Curtis of UMS-Wright, Earnest Hill of McGill-Toolen, Chris Yeager of Mountain Brook, Caleb Ross of Opelika, Fred Riley of Davidson, David Faulkner of Enterprise and Steve Mask of St. Paul’s Episcopal.
   The completing Coaching School schedule and list of speakers can be found at:

 

http://www.ahsaa.com/Coaches-ADs/2017-Summer-Conference


     AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese and Medical Advisory Committee co-chairmen Dr. Lawrence Lemak and Dr. James Robinson will address principals and athletic directors Friday along with a host of high school administrators.
     Former Denver Broncos head coach Dan Reeves will be the key speaker at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Luncheon on Thursday. The week concludes Friday with two banquets, the AHSAA Sportsmanship Luncheon at noon and the AHSAA Championship Coaches banquet Friday night. Russellville baseball coach Chris Heaps will address the 107 schools that were fine and ejection free at the Sportsmanship Luncheon, and State Senator Jabo Waggoner will address the Coaches’ Awards Banquet.
    The AHSAA Officials Awards banquet will be Saturday morning. All will be at the Renaissance.
   ALL-STAR GAMES BEGIN TUESDAY: Football teams reported Sunday to begin preparations for the 58th annual North –South All-Star Game set for Thursday night at Cramton Bowl. The North-South Baseball All-Star doubleheader will be played Tuesday at 4 p.m. Tuesday at Riverwalk Stadium.   The Soccer North-South Girls’ All-Star match will be played at Emory Folmar Stadium at the AUM YMCA complex at 5 p.m.  The boys will play at 7.    And the North-South softball competition will play two games at Lagoon Park with first pitch set for 5 p.m. 
      The North-South girls’ and boys’ basketball games will be Wednesday night at Auburn-Montgomery Basketball Complex at 6 and 8 p.m., and the North-South volleyball competition will be Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. at AUM.
   NFHS NETWORK: All all-star competition will be webcast live over the NFHS TV Network. Links and instructions on how to subscribe can be found at
www.ahsaa.com. The All-Star Football Game will also be broadcast live by the AHSAA Radio Network.
      The week’s festivities can also be found on the new AHSAA Mobile App, which can be downloaded free at Apple and Google stores online or by going to the following link:
https://admin.mycaboodleevents.com/event/detail/79/ahsaa-2017-ahsaa-summer-conference


2017 Summer Conference Kicks Off Monday Players Report Sunday for 58th North-South All-Star Game

    MONTGOMERY – Several roster changes have been made as North-South teams prepare to report Sunday for the 58th North-South All-Star Football Game to be played at Cramton Bowl next week. The game will kick off at 7 p.m., June 20, as the 2017 All-Star Sports Week competition concludes for the 21th annual AHSAA All-Star Week and Summer Conference hosted by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association.
    A total of 20 players have been replaced on the South squad and 18 on the North squad from the original rosters announced earlier this spring. Both squads will check in Sunday at Auburn-Montgomery University. Andre Robinson of Birmingham’s Parker High School is the North head coach while Scott Horne of Skipperville’s G.W. Long High School will be coaching the South team.
    All-Star competition is being held in seven different sports at various locations across the city of Montgomery. Baseball, basketball, softball and soccer squads report Monday with North-South competition set for all but basketball on Tuesday. Cross country and volleyball squads check in Tuesday.
     The Baseball all-stars will play a doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m., girls’ and boys’ soccer all-star teams will play at 5 and 7 p.m., at Emory Folmar Soccer Complex and the fast-pitch all-star doubleheader will be at Lagoon Park starting at 5 p.m.
     Cross country is being added for the first time with the girls’ race at 7:30 a.m., Wednesday at the cross country course on the AUM campus. The boys’ race will follow at 8 a.m.  The girls’ and boys’ basketball competition will be Wednesday night at Auburn University-Montgomery’s Basketball Complex with the girls’ game at 6 p.m. and the boys at 8 p.m. The North-South volleyball competition will be Thursday at 4 p.m. at AUM’s Complex.  The basketball competition, originally scheduled for Alabama State University’s Dunn-Oliver Arena, was moved earlier this week due to some facility issues.
     The AHSAA Summer Conference gets underway Monday at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center with sessions for bowling and golf. More than 4,000 coaches, administrators, contest officials, all-star players and others are expected to attend the conference, which will provide extensive professional development for AHSAA member schools.
     The Summer Conference will conclude Friday, July 21, with two mandatory sessions for member schools as well as the 10th annual AHSAA Sportsmanship Luncheon honoring 107 schools that were fine and ejection free in 2016-17 and the 21st annual Coaches Awards Banquet Friday night. The Officials Awards Luncheon will be held Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
     Robinson’s North football coaching staff includes Michael Robinson of Hokes Bluff, Bill Smith of Munford, Mark Heaton of Russellville, Richard Dutton of Lawrence County, Kelvis White of James Clemens and Scott Sharp of Madison County. Cedric Brown of Southside-Selma is the administrative coach.
     Horne’s South staff lists Jason Massey of Leroy, Wesley Sims of J.U. Blacksher, Lee Carter of Jeff Davis, Pat Thompson of Sweet Water, Tim Perry of Wetumpka and James Lucas of LaFayette. Michael Summers of Alabama Christian is the administrative coach.
    Horne has a 74-20 career record in eight years as G.W. Long’s head coach. His teams have compiled a 55-7 slate averaging 11 wins per season over the last five years. Long has reached the 2A semifinals each of the last two years going 12-1 each year and currently owns a 25-game region winning streak. Robinson, now in his second tenure as Parker’s head coach, is 64-55 overall in 15 years. He coached the Thundering Herd from 1997-2003 before becoming a college assistant coach, then returned to the high school ranks in 2013 at Birmingham Carver, moved back to Parker in 2014 and has guided the Herd to a 22-11 slate the last three years.
      The South holds a 30-25-2 edge in the North-South series which began in 1948. The North won 14-0 last year in a game called due to inclement weather in the second quarter.
       The AHSADCA operates under the auspices of the Alabama High School Athletic Association. Membership includes coaches of all AHSAA sports as well as administrators of member schools.
      
   
  NFHS NETWORK: All all-star competition will be live-streamed over the NFHS TV Network. Links and instructions on how to subscribe can be found at www.ahsaa.com. The All-Star Football Game will also be broadcast live by the AHSAA Radio Network.
      The week’s festivities can also be found on the new AHSAA Mobile App, which can be downloaded free at Apple and Google stores online or by going to the following link: https://admin.mycaboodleevents.com/event/detail/79/ahsaa-2017-ahsaa-summer-conference

     The updated numerical rosters for the 2017 North-South All-Star football game are listed.

2017 NORTH - SOUTH FOOTBALL GAME

NORTH ROSTER (Updated)

No

First

Last

School

Pos.

Ht.

Wt.

1

Reynard

Ellis

Shades Valley

RB

6'1

223

2

Trevor

Oakes

Hartselle

QB

6'1

200

3

Jakobi

Byrd

Florence

WR

5'10

170

4

Koy

Chapman

Gordo

QB

6'0

190

5

LeDarrian

Mobley

Tuscaloosa County

WR

5'11

194

6

Dekarlos

Billingsley

Scottsboro

RB

5'11

205

8

Antonio

Stanton, Jr.

Bessemer City

Ath

5'7

167

9

Demetrius

King

Gardendale

RB

6'1

205

30

Thomas

Smith, Jr.

Florence

DB

6'3

205

31

Diamonte

Douglas

Lee - Huntsville

DB

5'10

190

34

Quadre

Gresham

Huffman

DB

6'0

170

35

Austin

Freeman

Scottsboro

DB

6'2

175

45

Khalid

Leonard

McAdory

LB

5'9

160

49

Josh

Hatcher

Handley

LB

6'0

190

50

Jay

Brown

Handley

OLB

5'10

193

51

Dylan

Powell

Lawrence County

OLB

6'0

210

53

Quavonta

Gardner

Mae Jemison

DL

6'4

215

54

Connor

Landers

Hartselle

LB

5'11

230

55

Will

Evans

Haleyville

LB

6'2

212

59

Brenton

Weeks

Winfield

LB?

5'10

212

62

Khalil

Keith

Winterboro

OL

6'5

290

63

Adam

Patterson

Hokes Bluff

OL

6'3

250

64

Jase

Jones

Fyffe

OL

6'1

250

66

Malik

Milton

Mae Jemison

OL

5'10

260

67

Tyler

Cough

Thompson

OL

5'11

285

68

Cade

McGuire

Muscle Shoals

OL

6'2

280

70

Jakari

Robinson

Munford

OL

6'2

298

78

Dexter

Fuqua

Tanner

DL

6'2

280

84

Quinterrius

Ward

Shades Valley

DL

6'0

300

89

Tristian

Skinner

Cullman

K

5'10

200

91

David

Lara

Winfield

DL

5'9

210

92

Will

Wetzler

Mountain Brook

LB

5'11

200

95

Caleb

Meyer

Hartselle

DL

6'0

215

COACHES

Andre

Robinson

A. H. Parker, Head

Michael

Robertson

Hokes Bluff

Bill

Smith

Munford

Mark

Heaton

Russellville

Richard

Dutton

Lawrence County

Kelvis

White

Mae Jemison

Scott

Sharp

Madison County

Cedric

Brown

Southside - Selma, Adm.

SOUTH ROSTER (Updated)

No

First

Last

School

Pos.

Ht.

Wt.

1

Garrett

Sanders

G. W. Long

ATH

5'6

170

2

David

Poole

Montgomery Catholic

WR

5'11

175

3

C. J.

Roberts

Carroll

RB

5'11

195

4

Tommy

Spivey

Brantley

WR

6'1

165

5

Chase

Warren

Leroy

QB

5'10

170

6

Maurice

Young, II

Wetumpka

WR

5'10

160

7

Mike

Huntley, Jr.

Lee - Montgomery

QB

5'11

174

8

NeColby

Maxwell

Benjamin Russell

RB

5'8

196

10

Jamal

Hourel

Andalusia

RB

5'11

210

18

Trey

Bryant

Wetumpka

WR

6'0

170

23

Kameron

Green

Park Crossing

DB

5'8

165

25

Brady

Hancock

Tallassee

DB

5'9

180

30

Max

Weeks

New Brockton

K/P

6'4

185

31

Mykale

Trammell

Lafayette

DB

5'9

180

34

Zye'Kee

Pruitt

Theodore

DB

6'1

185

35

Charles

Blackmon

Linden

DB

6'0

172

49

Carlton

Martial

McGill-Toolen

DE/LB

5'10

215

50

Keonte

White

Enterprise

DE/LB

6'0

225

51

Marcus

Crenshaw

Jeff Davis

DE/LB

6'3

226

53

Ke'Andrae

Rutledge

Southside - Selma

DE/LB

5'11

205

54

Darrell

Scott

Blount

DE/LB

5'11

210

55

Tyler

Dean

J. U. Blacksher

DE/LB

5'11

185

63

Nathan

Harrison

B. T. Washington

OL

6'0

340

64

Johnathon

Buskey

LeFlore

OL

6'6

290

67

Jacob

Baker

Tallassee

OL

6'2

295

71

Jacorey

Pritchett

Jackson

OL

6'0

300

72

Ryan

Rush

Elmore County

OL

6'3

280

73

Thomas

Kanaley

Andalusia

OL

6'6

290

75

Thornton

Rudolph

Lee - Montgomery

OL

6'1

308

78

Courtney

Holloway

Lafayette

OL

6'0

304

90

Brian

Mitchell, II

Daphne

DL

6'4

225

91

Thomas

Key

Greenville

DL

5'11

185

92

Dexter

Davidson

Greenville

DL

5'7

220

93

Clifton

Robinson

Dothan

DL

6'2

245

95

Jaylon

Jones

Fairhope

DE/LB

6'3

215

99

Taryon

Edwards

Lee - Montgomery

DL

5'10

295

COACHES

Scott

Horne

G. W. Long (Head Coach)

Jason

Massey

Leroy

Wesley

Sims

J. U. Blacksher

Lee

Carter

Jeff Davis

Pat

Thompson

Sweet Water

Tim

Perry

Wetumpka

James

Lucas

Lafayette

Michael

Summers

Alabama Christian, Administrative Coach



2017 ‘Making a Difference’ Award Recipients Named

        MONTGOMERY – Seven individuals who have made an impact as exemplary role models have been selected as the 2017 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 Alan Beckett, Winterboro High School (1A); Lamar Brooks, G.W. Long High School (2A); Bobby Tittle, Ohatchee High School (3A); Charles McCaleb, Bibb County High School (4A); Richard Dutton, Lawrence County High School (5A); Janiece Calhoun, Chelsea  High School (6A); and Alvin Rauls, Buckhorn High School (7A).
        The honorees will be recognized at the Championship Coaches Banquet at the Renaissance Montgomery Convention Center July 21. The 6 p.m. event will close out the 2017 AHSAA Summer Conference and All-Star Sports Week for member schools. The Officials’ Awards luncheon will officially close out the week on Saturday, July 22, 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 one  principal, two head football coaches,  head softball coach, two athletic administrators and an associate superintendent of education for the Dale County school system.
        “The recipients in this 2017 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. They are each outstanding choices for what this award stands for. Each have had a major positive impact in their communities and schools and across the state," 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.”
        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 2017:


CLASS 1A

ALAN BECKETT, WINTERBORO HIGH SCHOOL – Winterboro’s head football and baseball coach is described as a man of strong character and tireless work ethic. Beginning his fifth year at Winterboro, Beckett guided the Bulldogs from an 0-10 start his first year to two straight winning seasons the last two years. He has been a head football coach for 11 years, including six at Collinsville, and has compiled a 59-48 overall record.
    He personally has helped many of his student-athletes through hard times –whether it be a dysfunctional home situation or a problem dealing with other off-the-field difficulties. He personally insures each student can get home from practice – driving countless miles himself to insure they get home safely.
   Short-staffed for many years, this son of a coach has had to carry the weight of rebuilding this school’s struggling athletic program and has done the job well -- with a smile on his face and never complaining. Active in FCA, he does not tolerate cursing or bullying and shows impeccable character in his everyday dealings with students, said principal Emily Harris.
   She said he is constantly providing a vision for his student athletes, then shows them how to fulfill that vision. Harris sums him up, “He is a father to the fatherless, and a mentor to those who need a mentor.”

 

CLASS 2A
LAMAR BROOKS, DALE COUNTY SCHOOLS (G.W. LONG HS) – Brooks, who recently retired as Associate Superintendent of Dale County Schools, spent 40 years in education. He has been a teacher, coach, principal, associate superintendent and has served on the District 2 Board, Legislative Council and the AHSAA Central Board of Control, where he served as president from 2013-15.
     “Mr. Brooks has gone above and beyond to serve the students in our community, school and state,” said G.W. Long principal Jason Steed.
    Brooks taught and coached at Abbeville and Ashford before moving into administration. He then served as assistant principal at Ashford, then moved to Carroll-Ozark as assistant principal for nine years and career tech director for another four. He then became principal at G.W. Long 1998-2004 and then became Associate Superintendent of Dale County Schools in 2005.
    An invaluable member of the AHSAA’s core leadership, his maturity, compassion and understanding of the educational mission of high school athletics has helped the AHSAA move forward in addressing such national issues as: Football contact limitations, health and safety issues in all sports, non-tradition student eligibility issues and good sportsmanship.
     He is also a servant in the community – seen regularly at school events, he is also a board member for the Echo Rescue and Fire Squad.

 


CLASS 3A
BOBBY TITTLE, OHATCHEE HIGH SCHOOL –
Tittle has spent the last decade as an administrator and the last six as principal at Ohatchee. He has worked tirelessly to bring back the tradition in sports and academics that OHS once stood for. His leadership, said assistant principal Michael Graham, has brought back a real sense of pride in the community. The fans now flock to sporting events at this small Calhoun County school for all sports. The football team reached the semifinals of the state playoffs for the first time in 40 years last season finishing 12-2. Academics, other sports and extracurricular activities are thriving as well. The school received an A+ College Ready Grant – a grant totaling more than $240,000 for his school. Tittle has turned the community’s perception of the school around - making a lasting difference.
   Tittle graduated from Jacksonville State in 1999 and immediately began teaching music education and serving as band director at Carbon Hill High School. He later held the same positions at Walter Wellborn and Clay County. He moved into administration as assistant principal at Talladega in 2007, became principal in 2010 and moved to Ohatchee in 2012. He is active in CLAS and is a University of Alabama ACCESS instructor.


CLASS 4A

CHARLES McCALEB, BIBB COUNTY – Charles McCaleb knows Bibb County basketball better than anybody. He grew up in Bibb County graduating from the school in Centreville in 1968. He returned after college at Alabama to become a teacher and coach and has worked at the school every year but two since 1973. Always willing to serve wherever he could, he has held the positions of boys’ and girls’ basketball coach and has also served as athletic director, softball coach and was even head football coach in 2004 when the head coach left for another job. To those in the know, he is “Mr. Bibb County High School”. He was the point guard on the first Bibb County team to make the state tournament in 1967, made it back as a boys’ assistant in 1976 and did it again with three Final Four appearances in four years from 1989-1992 as the boys’ head coach with one state championship. After a two-year retirement from the school after the 1996-97 season, he returned for the 1999-2000 school year as the girls’ head coach, leading them to their most successful run in team history for 10 seasons. Forty-eight of his players signed college scholarships.
He retired again in 2010 after years in education and returned as AD in 2012 where he has served ever since.
   He works daily to make sure the school has the best programs possible and has mentored dozens of coaches – including 2017 Class 6A Making a Difference recipient Janiece Calhoun.

CLASS 5A
RICHARD “RICH” DUTTON, LAWRENCE COUNTY –
Rich Dutton is beginning his sixth season as head coach at Lawrence County High School.  He graduated from Lawrence County in 1994. He played football, basketball, baseball, and ran track and cross-country to become a rare five-sport standout who played football on Friday nights and then ran cross country the next day.   He received his B.S. in Spanish from UNA in 1998 where he ran track and cross-country.  He coached at Lawrence County as an assistant from 1999-2005. He was the head cross-country coach in 1999-2000. He has served as assistant football, basketball and baseball coach and as head softball coach at Lawrence County. He also coached at Speake, Russellville and Austin. He served as defensive coordinator, assistant coach and head softball coach at Austin High School from 2008-2011.
   His nominator, Denton Bowling, a coach at a Hatton High School, wrote about his friend and former coach. “When playing for Coach Dutton, he not only served as a coach but a mentor as well. He always made time to talk to me as a player regarding athletics, academics and life. He has continued that practice, and I have seen first-hand the difference he has made in so many lives.”
    Fluent in Spanish, Dutton is often called on by local law enforcement to become an interpreter in the growing Hispanic community. As head football coach, he has taken the Red Devils from an 0-10 start in his first year (2012) to the school’s first playoff in decade by emphasizing team-building activities. One was having his players dress like super heroes while attending the Lawrence County Special Olympics – creating priceless smiles and joy for the participants and football players alike.

 

 

 

CLASS 6A
JANIECE CALHOUN, CHELSEA HIGH SCHOOL –
Coach Calhoun has spent more than 22 of her 24 years in education at Chelsea where she has coached basketball, softball and volleyball. She is currently serving as assistant athletic director. Principal Wayne Trucks estimates more than 10,000 student-athletes have been affected positively by her leadership and example during this time – and she continues to make a difference each new day, he said.
    The Thompson High School and University of Montevallo graduate is known for her “look” or pat on the back that helps guide students in a positive direction. Trucks added, “She always puts the needs of our student-athletes first and always wants what is best for them. She also handles all eligibility reports, scheduling for games and practices, tickets and transportation, drives a bus when called upon and can be found at the end of the night sweeping the gym or lending her ear to someone who has a question.”
    She now mentors younger coaches – something she said she learned from this year’s Class 4A Making a Difference recipient Charles McCaleb at Bibb County High School where she got her first job as a teacher and coach.



CLASS 7A
AL RAULS, BUCKHORN HIGH SCHOOL –
This former Central Board member has been a trailblazer of sorts as a teacher/coach and is one of the most respected coaches in his district (8) – serving on the Legislative Council and District Board. He has been an outstanding role model for all students and is well respected by his peers. Coach Rauls, a strong advocate for good sportsmanship,  became the first black head coach to win an AHSAA state baseball championship when he led New Hope to the 1992 state 3A championship. In 2017 he guided Buckhorn to the Class 7A state softball championship – becoming the first black head coach to win a fast-pitch softball title in the AHSAA. He is also just the second coach in AHSAA history to win baseball and fast-pitch softball titles.
    A native of Albany, Ga., Rauls attended college at Florida A&M playing second base on the Rattlers’ baseball team with former teammate and Hall of Famer Andre Dawson.
     He moved to Madison County after college and became the Director of Parks and Recreation at Triana and the first black parks and recreation director in Alabama. He has also served as Alabama A&M head baseball coach, has been an AHSAA basketball official and has had coaching stints at Butler, Sparkman and Bob Jones. His teams have won more than 300 baseball games and 345 softball games.