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.
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
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
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
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
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
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,
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
East Central: Brent Helms, Southside
North Central: Mark Snider, Trussville
Northeast: Joe Stephenson, Union Grove
MONTGOMERY – The North All-Stars needed only 65 minutes to post a 3-0 win over the South Thursday afternoon in the AHSAA North-South girls’ volleyball match held at Auburn-Montgomery’s Basketball Complex.
The volleyball match and the 58th annual North-South football all-star game Thursday closes out the 2017 All-Star Sports Week competition for the 21st annual Summer Conference. The football game was still underway Thursday night at Cramton Bowl.
The Summer Conference concludes Friday for member schools with special mandatory sessions for member school principals, athletic directors and administrators. It will also feature two banquets, the AHSAA Sportsmanship Luncheon at noon which recognizes 107 high schools that were fine and ejection free during the 2016-17 school year, and the Coaches’ Awards Banquet at 6 p.m. Both banquets will be at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center. A highlight of the Awards fete will be the presentation of the Making A Difference Award to seven individuals, one coach or administrator from each of the AHSAA’s seven classifications. The individuals were selected for the positive impact they have made in their schools and communities.
Two student-athletes, Pelham’s Hasaan Hawthorne and Opelika’s RaKavius Chambers, will also be recognized for capturing the NFHS Section 3 “Sprit of Sport” and ”Heart of the Arts” awards. They were selected from a field that included the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.
The AHSAA Officials luncheon, which is set for 11:30 a.m. Saturday at the Renaissance, will close out the week officially. The Summer Conference and All-Star Sports Week has been hosted annually since 1997 by the AHSAA and the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA).
NORTH GIRLS 3, SOUTH GIRLS 0: Mountain Brook’s Libby Gann had 30 assists, four kills and seven digs to lead the North to the 25-22, 25-16, 25-20 win. The victory improved the North’s record in the series to 14-6. For her efforts, Gann was named North MVP.
Karlee Hale of Geraldine and Tierra Porter of Hazel Green had 9 and 8 kills, respectively, on the front line for the North, coached by Coco Tate-Hughes of Hazel Green and Whitney Welch of Alexandria. Gann also had a team-high three service aces, and Alexis Snow of Danville had 12 digs. Maci Battle of Hazel Green also added nine digs.
The South, coached by Bridgett Brantley of Opp and Neysa Hernandez of Prattville, was led by South MVP Spanish Fort’s Reilly Vought. She had 14 assists, three kills and six digs. Brantley Rhodes of Bayside Academy had nine kills and four digs, and Caroline Kirkham of Montgomery Academy had five kills.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE AWARD: Seven individuals will be recognized in the Making A Difference Award Class of 2017: Winterboro football coach Alan Beckett (1A); Dale County Schools recently retired associate superintendent Lamar Brooks (2A); Ohatchee principal Bobby Tittle (3A); Bibb County athletic director Charles McCaleb (4A); Lawrence County head football coach Richard Dutton (5A); Chelsea athletic director Janeice Calhoun (6A); and Buckhorn softball coach Alvin Rauls (7A).
The award, now in its seventh year, was first presented in 2011.
ALABAMA MEDIA GROUP TO PRESENT SEVEN GRANTS: Russellville High School head baseball coach Chris Heaps will be the guest speaker at the 10th annual AHSAA Sportsmanship Luncheon. A total of 107 high schools, up from 75 the previous year, will be recognized as fine and ejection free for 2016-17. Alabama Media Group has selected eight of the schools, one from each district, to receive a $1,000 al.com sportsmanship grant. The schools are: 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 $8,000 distributed this year brings the total to $80,000 since 2008 distributed by Alabama Media Group in support of the AHSAA member schools’ commitment to good sportsmanship.
HAWTHORNE, CHAMBERS EXCEL IN AHSAA: Hasaan Hawthorne, a wrestler at Pelham High School, was selected as the 2017 Section 3 recipient of the “National High School “Spirit of Sport Award” by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). He was one of eight student-athletes to earn the prestigious section award and finished third in the overall balloting nationally.
The National High School Spirit of Sport Award was created by the NFHS to recognize those individuals who exemplify the ideals of the spirit of sport that represent the core mission of education-based athletics.
Hawthorne displayed amazing grit and determination rising from a 12-22 start as a seventh grader to finish undefeated at 38-0 and earning MVP honors in Class 6A as a senior while winning the Class 6A state 145-pound state title. While Hawthorne’s accomplishments would be remarkable under any circumstances, they move into the realm of being truly extraordinary when one considers the fact that he had both legs amputated at the knee at age four months. His inspirational example of courage and tenacity was documented by ESPN Sports and earned him Class 6A Bryant-Jordan Achievement Award recipient in 2016.
He now wrestles for North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.
RaKavius Chambers of Opelika High School was selected as the 2017 Section 3 recipient of the “National High School “Heart of the Arts” Award by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). He was one of eight student-athletes to earn the prestigious section award and finished second in the overall balloting nationally.
The National High School Heart of the Arts Award was created by the NFHS to recognize those individuals who exemplify how the arts and athletics represent the core mission of education-based athletics.
He received the NFHS Heart of the Arts Award for his balance between his love for sports and the arts. A leader in all aspects of his life, he helped OHS capture first place in the state high school theatrical competition at Florence – playing the lead role of “God” in the play “Children of Eden.” He was also a member of the OHS Show Choir and Symphonic Band. The 6-foot-4, 300-pound lineman helped the Opelika football team reach the Super 7 Class 6A state finals in 2016 earning All-America and All-State honors while also being named team captain. The Duke University football signee graduated with a 4.33 grade-point average, scored a 32 on his ACT test and ranked second in his graduating class of 248.
Chambers was also named the recipient of the Bryant-Jordan Foundation’s Larry D. Striplin, Jr., AHSAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The program, named in honor of the late coaches Paul "Bear" Bryant of Alabama and Ralph "Shug" Jordan of Auburn, recognized 52 regional scholar-athlete winners selected for their excellence in athletics and academics and 52 achievement winners chosen for their ability to overcome major obstacles during their high school athletic careers.
Chambers, who plans to study medicine at Duke University with his goal of becoming a cardiac surgeon, also was the recipient of the Watkins Award, which is awarded annually to the top Afro-American high school student-athlete in the U.S. as selected by the national committee.
NFHS NETWORK: The NFHS Network started a special live-stream series July 19 entitled “30 Plays in 30 Days” over the NFHS Network featuring a top highlight from around the country each day beginning July 19. AHSAA member schools are being featured throughout the 30 days – including the first segment on Wednesday, August 4, August 6, August 13, August 14, and August 17. The schools featured include Briarwood Christian, Blount, Prattville, Gadsden City, Madison Academy and Russellville.
AHSAA SUMMER CONFERENCE APP: The week’s festivities can 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
MONTGOMERY – The North girls and boys posted hard-fought victories Wednesday night over the South in the North-South All-Star basketball all-star competition with a crowd of more than 2,500 in attendance at Auburn University-Montgomery’s Basketball Complex.
North’s girls won 76-67 to improve to 18-3 in the series that got underway in 1997, and the North boys captured a 75-64 win and now holds a 48-27 edge in a series that got its start 64 years
ago in 1953.
Earlier in the day the North also swept the first-ever all-star cross country competition and the North won 16-47 – running at AUM’s on-campus 3.1-mile course. Cross Country was added to the North-South all-star competition this year. The All-Star contests are part of the AHSAA’s annual Summer Conference, now in its 21st year. The week-long convention is managed by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA).
The all-star action concludes Thursday with the North-South volleyball match at AUM at 4 p.m. The 58th AHSAA North-South Football All-Star Game will be the final all-star event Thursday night at Cramton Bowl at 7 p.m.
NORTH GIRLS 76, SOUTH GIRLS 67: Homewood’s Ajah Wayne scored 22 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had three steals to earn MVP honors for her team and led the North to its 18th victory in the 21-year series. She had 16 points in the first half – virtually unstoppable when going inside and dead-on at the foul line as well.
LeFlore’s Daisha Bradford had 15 points, four steals and five rebounds to capture MVP honors for the South.
Hazel Green’s Brooke Hampel added 12 points, Allie Cruce of Lauderdale County had 11, Karleigh Sledge of Deshler chipped in nine and Athens’ Alexis Woods had eight to round out the North offensive leaders for North coaches Mike Chase of Spain Park and Lisa Bates of Sand Rock.
Samson guard LaTascya Duff added 11 points and five rebounds for the South. Teammates Brianna Harris of Blount and Lakhylian Rankins of Faith Academy chipped in nine points each. The South was coached by Geneva’s Rich Bixby and R.C. Hatch’s Willie Morgan.
The North dominated inside out-rebounding the South 53-36.
NORTH BOYS 74, SOUTH BOYS 64: Huffman guard Travarus Carroll had a game-high 27 points to help the North boys win for the 48th time in the 75-game series. No bucket was bigger than his startling round-house dunk with 57 seconds left in the third quarter that put the North ahead 48-40.
The South rallied midway through the fourth period to tie the game at 53-53 but Carroll sank a 3-pointer just under the four-minute mark to push the North ahead by four 62-58.
Carroll, the North MVP, finished 8-of-11 from the field, including 3-of-3 from the 3-point arc, and was 8-of-10 at the foul line. He also had five rebounds. Trey Jemison, a 6-foot-11 center from Homewood, added 13 points, 11 rebounds and two blocked shots for the North, coached by Paul Bryant’s Shon Peck-Love and Muscle Shoals’ Neal Barker. Parker’s 6-9 center Xavier Williams also had nine points and six rebounds.
The South, coached by Tony Hayes of Monroe County and Douglas Moore of Bullock County, were led by Anquavious “Quay” Pollard’s 23 points and eight rebounds. The 6-6 forward from Lanett was 5-of-12 on 3-pointers and a perfect 4-of-4 at the foul line. He also had three steals. Lanett teammate Emanuel Littles added 11 points and five rebounds.
NFHS NETWORK: The North-South Football All-Star Game Thursday night will 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 NFHS Network also plans to live-stream the AHSAA Sportsmanship Luncheon Friday at noon and the Coaches’ Awards Banquet Friday night.
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
AHSADCA TO AWARD 10 COACHES’ CHILDREN SCHOLARSHIPS: A highlight of the AHSADCA each year is the awarding of scholarships to graduating seniors at AHSAA schools who are children of AHSADCA member coaches, teachers or administrators. The 10 students to receive the scholarships for 2016-17 will be recognized at Friday night’s Coaches’ Awards Banquet at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center.
This year’s recipients include:
· Heaven Rozier, Jackson High School, Daughter of Coach Walter and Ursula Rozier
· Alexandria Wiggins, Enterprise High School, Daughter of Mr. Dewayne and Coach Janie Wiggins
· Bailey Ryan Price, Chilton County High School, Son of Coach Zed Ryan and
· Jessica Norris, LAMP High School, Daughter of Coach Anthony and Patti Norris
· Bailey Simmons, Elmore County High School, Daughter of Mr. Robert and Coach Angie Simmons
· Mary Elizabeth Laatsch, Helena High School, Daughter of Coach Chris and Leigh Laatsch
· Shelby Hicks, Oxford High School, Daughter of Coach Matt Hicks
· Reagan MaKinley Smothers, Addison High School, Daughter of Micah and Cindy Smothers
· Michael Drew Statom, Deshler High School, Son of Coach Michael and Cindy Statom
· Jadie Burney, Huntsville High School, Son of Coach Jay and Sandee Burney
2017 ALL-STAR WEEK North-South Results/Schedule
Baseball: North 9-3, South 3-2 (North leads series 22-11-1)
Softball: North 12-1, South 6-11 (North leads series 25-10-3)
Boys’ Soccer: North 5, South 2 (North leads series 11-4-1)
Girls’ Soccer: North 4, South 1 (North leads series 13-2-1)
Boys Cross Country: North 16, South 47 (North leads series 1-0)
Girls Cross Country: North 20, South 35 (North leads series 1-0)
Girls Basketball: North 76, South 67 (North leads series 18-3)
Boys Basketball: North 74, South 64 (North leads series 48-27)
Volleyball: Thursday, 4 p.m., AUM (North leads series 13-6)
Football: Thursday, 7 p.m., Cramton Bowl (South leads series 30-25-2)