INDIANAPOLIS — Wanda Gilliland, Assistant Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association, is among 12 leaders in high school activity programs across the country selected to receive National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Citations.
An award designed to honor individuals who have made contributions to the NFHS, state high school associations, athletic director and coaching professions, the officiating avocation and fine arts/performing arts programs, the NFHS Citation is one of the most highly-regarded achievements in high school athletics and performing arts.
The 2015 Citation recipients will receive their awards July 1 at the 96th annual NFHS Summer Meeting in New Orleans.
Gilliland has been an assistant director with the AHSAA since 1996. A graduate of Marion County High School and Athens State College, she served as a teacher and coach/athletic director at Hamilton High School from 1979-1996 where her girls basketball teams compiled a 301-96 record, won a state championship in 1990, finished runner-up the next year and won the Marion County tournament seven times.
She has played a key role in the development of state championship programs in volleyball, softball, basketball and cross country. She has helped govern eligibility requirements through involvement with school audits, investigations and foreign exchange student regulations.
Gilliland has received several coach of the year honors and served on the NFHS basketball, softball and spirit rules committees. She currently chairs the NFHS Softball Rules Committee. She was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2011 and the Marion County Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.
She is the fifth Alabama recipient of the prestigious award. Others include Ken Blankenship (Coaches Citation) in 2000, Greg Brewer in 2006, Houston Young (Officials Citation) in 2010, and Alan Mitchell in 2012.
Gilliland, the Section 3 recipient, is one of eight Citation honorees
representing NFHS-member state high school associations. The other four recipients represent NFHS professional organizations for officials, coaches, music leaders and speech/debate/theatre directors.
The other state association recipients are Pat Corbin, retired executive director of the New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association; Butch Powell, assistant executive director of the West Virginia Secondary School Activities Commission; Scott Johnson, assistant executive director of the Illinois High School Association; Cheryl Gleason, assistant executive director of the Kansas State High School Activities Association;
Amy Cassell, assistant director of the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association; Dwight Toyama, former executive director of the Hawaii High School Athletic Association and the Oahu Interscholastic Association; and John Billetz, retired executive director of the Idaho High School Activities Association.
Citation recipients in other categories are James Coon, volleyball official, Pittsboro, Indiana; Milt Bassett, executive director, Oklahoma Coaches Association, Edmond, Oklahoma; Jean Ney, retired coordinator of fine arts, Kansas City, Kansas, Public Schools, Bonner Springs, Kansas; and Darrel Harbaugh, retired director of debate and forensics, Field Kindley Memorial High School, Coffeyville, Kansas.
Kerryon Johnson of Madison Academy became the 33rd recipient of the Alabama Sports Writers Association's Mr. Football Award Wednesday at the ASWA's annual Player of the Year Awards luncheon.
The Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association hosted the annual luncheon attended by more than 250 coaches, administrators and family members of the 48 finalists at the Alabama Activity Center in Montgomery.
Johnson, a multi-talented, 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior running back, helped the Mustangs go 14-1 in 2014 en route to Madison Academy’s third straight Class 3A state title. He rushed for 1,659 yards and 25 touchdowns as a senior. The Class 3A Super 7 MVP also caught 25 passes for 598 yards and eight TDs, totaled 71 tackles on defense and six interceptions. He returned three interceptions for touchdowns and finished with 34 total TDs.
The Auburn University commitment set a Super 7 record with six touchdowns in the 70-34 championship win over Dale County. He also was named MVP of the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star football game won by Alabama 36-30 in December.
He finished his prep career with 5,274 rushing yards on 483 carries – a 10.9-yards-per-carry average. He caught 88 passes for 1,554 yards, made 204 career tackles, had 19 interceptions with eight more scores, and had four kick returns for TDs for 109 total touchdowns.
Johnson is the first Mr. Football winner from the Huntsville area. His brother Kerron was named ASWA Mr. Basketball following the 2009 season.
Johnson picked up 148 points and eight of the 13 first-place votes from the ASWA prep committee to capture the 2014 award. Dale County's Jamarius Henderson, the Class 3A Lineman of the Year, and Clay-Chalkville quarterback Ty Pigrome, the 6A Back of the Year, tied for second with 137 points each.
The ASWA also announced Back and Lineman of the Year recipients in each of the AHSAA’s seven classifications and the AISA.
ASWA Back of the Year Class winners:
Class 1A: Tyler Crumpton, Phillips, WR
Class 2A: Austin Stiefel, Fyffe, RB
Class 3A: Kerryon Johnson, Madison Academy, RB
Class 4A: Troy Dixon, UMS-Wright, RB
Class 5A: Brandon Baynes, Tallassee, RB
Class 6A: Tyrell Pigrome, Clay-Chalkville, QB
Class 7A: Grey Jackson, Fairhope, QB
ASWA Lineman of the Year Class winners
Class 1A: Tyler Armstrong, Maplesville, LB
Class 2A: Deshon Kilpatrick, Sweet Water, OL
Class 3A: Jamarius Henderson, Dale County, LB/Athlete
Class 4A: Anfernee Jennings, Dadeville, DL
Class 5A: A.J. Smoot, Dora, DL
Class 6A: Tyler Carr, Southside-Gadsden, OL
Class 7A: R.J. Arnold, Hoover, LB
ASWA Mr. Football
Racean “Roc” Thomas
The Alabama Sports Writers Association will announce the 2014 Mr. Football recipient at its annual Mr. Football/Player of the Year luncheon Wednesday at noon at the Montgomery Activity Center. The Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) sponsors the luncheon.
For the first time in the award’s 33-year history, a total of 48 players will be in the running – three backs and three linemen in each of the seven ASWA classifications and one division for AISA schools. Oxford running back Racean “Roc” Thomas, now a freshman at Auburn University, was named Mr. Football in 2013.
A Back and Lineman of the Year in each classification will be announced from the finalists with Mr. Football being selected from those recipients. Charles Henderson linebacker Richard McBryde and Dale County linebacker/running back Jamarius Henderson are both in the mix after becoming winners of the Class 4A Lineman and Class 3A Back of the Year, respectively, last season.
McBryde is a lineman finalist in Class 5A and Henderson, who set the state single-season rushing record with 3,483 yards in 2014, is listed as a 3A lineman finalist. He also played linebacker for the Warriors recording 182 stops in 15 games this season.
Also among the finalists are Super 7 state finals MVPs: quarterback Tyrell Pigrom, Clay-Chalkville (6A); running back Ostin McPherson, St. Paul’s Episcopal; running back Kerryon Johnson, Madison Academy (3A); and running back Austin Stiefel, Fyffe (2A).
The 48 finalists for back or lineman of the year in their classes are also finalists for the state’s Mr. Football award, which will be presented at the ASWA’s annual Player of the Year Luncheon in Montgomery on Jan. 14, 2015. The award is sponsored by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association.
AHSAA finalists are listed below.
Maceo Booker, RB, James Clemens
Grey Jackson, QB, Fairhope
Traveon Samuel, Athlete, Central-Phenix City
R.J. Arnold, LB, Hoover
Kenny Thomas, OL, Prattville
Darrell Williams, LB, Hoover
Keith Mixon, Athlete, Shades Valley
Ty Pigrome, QB, Clay-Chalkville
Chris Weaver, Athlete,Saraland
Keaton Anderson, LB, Florence
Tyler Carr, OL, Southside-Gadsden
Darryl Williams, OL, Bessemer City
Brandon Baynes, RB, Tallassee
Ostin McPherson, RB, St. Paul's
ShaKeith Tyes, RB, Calera
Lester Cotton, OL, Central-Tuscaloosa
Richard McBryde, LB, Charles Henderson
A.J. Smoot, DL, Dora
Troy Dixon, RB, UMS-Wright
Octavius Matthews, Athlete, North Jackson
Kyle Nalls, RB, Fayette Co.
Riley Cole, LB, Oneonta
Anfernee Jennings, DL, Dadeville
Josephus Smith, DL, Leeds
Kerryon Johnson, RB, Madison Academy
Thomas Ozmint, RB, Glencoe
Zack Simbeck, Athlete, Lauderdale Co.
Mason Brown, LB, Glencoe
Jamarius Henderson, Athlete, Dale Co
Jeffery Whatley, DL, Dale Co.
Peyton Gilliland, QB, Cleveland
DeAnthony Holcombe, RB, Washington Co.
Austin Stiefel, RB, Fyffe
Deshon Kilpatrick, OL, Sweet Water
Austin Lewter, OL, Tanner
Dakota Newsome, LB, Fyffe
Kendarius Bradley, DB, Maplesville
Tyler Crumpton, WR, Phillips
Chandler Rigdon, Athlete, Chickasaw
Tyler Armstrong, LB, Maplesville
Jake Mintz, OL, Cedar Bluff
Justin Foster, DL, Donoho
The Alabama High School Athletic Association is saddened to learn of the passing of Coach J. D. Chesteen of Hartford on Friday, Dec. 19. Mr. Chesteen, 87, is survived by his loving wife of 63 years, Myra Smith Chesteen.
Funeral arrangements include family visitation at Hartford Baptist Church from 12 noon to 2 p.m. Monday, December 22. The funeral service will follow at 2 p.m. at the church with interment following at Hartford City Cemetery. Sorrells Funeral Home of Slocomb, will be officiating.
Coach Chesteen was recently selected to be inducted into the AHSAA Sports Hall of Fame in the Class of 2015 in March. The veteran high school football coach graduated from Brantley High School, and after a stint in the U.S. Air Force, he graduated from Troy University with a degree in education. He began coaching in 1951 at Samson High School.
Coach Chesteen, 86-64-6 as a head football coach for 16 seasons, totaled 38 years and nine months as a teacher and coach in the Geneva County School system with tenures at Samson, Coffee Springs and Geneva County high schools. He served as a teacher and coach at Geneva County from 1961 until his retirement in 1988.
He coached three teams to the Peanut Bowl, one to the Lions Bowl and had teams win the South Alabama Conference 2A Championship twice. He served as president of the South Alabama Conference in 1964, was elected vice president of the AHSADCA in 1962 and president in 1963. He was head coach of the South All-Stars in the 1963 North-South Game and inducted into the Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame in 1994. He was a long-time member of Hartford Baptist Church where he served as Sunday School teacher of Baracca Men's Class, deacon and was awarded Deacon Emeritus.
His son Donnie Chesteen followed his dad into high school coaching most recently serving as a teacher/coach at Geneva High School.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hartford Baptist Church, 105 E. Burch Street, Hartford, AL. 36344.
Two girls’ basketball coaches reached milestone victories this week with Brewer’s Ricky Allen and Deshler’s Jana Killen each notching career win 600.
Killen, who became the girls’ head basketball coach at Deshler in 1989, watched her Lady Tigers (6-1) beat East Lawrence 66-44 on Dec. 15. Killen’s team won four straight Class 4A state titles from 2003-06 and finished runner-up in 2002, 2008 and 2010.
Allen’s 600th win came one night later when Brewer’s Lady Patriots (12-3) downed Morgan County rival Priceville 68-53. Killen’s program produced four straight Class 4A state championships from 2003-06.
Allen, who attended Priceville for 11 years as student but moved to Brewer as a senior when the schools were consolidated, is in his 30th year as a girls’ head basketball coach. His team won the Class 5A state championship in 2012.
Allen now ranks fourth in wins all-time in basketball-rich Morgan County and is the current active leader. Wayne Bowling notched 683 wins as Danville’s boys’ coach. Mike Smith won 624 games as Decatur’s girls’ coach, and Joe Jones won 606 as a boys’ coach with stops at Danville, Austinville, Decatur and Austin.
The AHSAA’s all-time leader in girls’ basketball coaching wins is Donnie Roberts of Red Bay (6-2). Roberts is currently 821-340 eight games into this season. His team went 32-4 last season was Class 2A state runner-up.
Lauderdale County (11-0) also extended the state’s longest current win streak to 56 games with a 53-36 win over West Limestone Monday. Coach Brant Llewellyn’s Lady Tigers play again on Dec. 22 at Clements.
Deshler’s next game is set for tonight versus Central-Florence and Brewer doesn’t play again until Dec. 27 in the DOC Classic versus Holly Pond. Red Bay is at home tonight against Mississippi rival Belmont.
Horseshoe Bend High School teacher/coach/athletic administrator Kimberly Vickers will join the executive staff of the Alabama High School Athletic Association as Assistant Director, Executive Director Steve Savarese announced Thursday.
Vickers, who will be AHSAA Director of Publications, has been serving Horseshoe Bend as senior teacher and department chair in the English department, head girls’ softball coach and assistant to the athletic director. She will begin her new duties Jan. 5.
“We are fortunate and delighted to have Kimberly Vickers join our staff,” Savarese said. “She is a talented individual, an excellent teacher and coach and has already been an important member of our AHSAA family while working in athletic administration and compliance at Horseshoe Bend. She is a tremendous addition to the AHSAA staff and will enable us to better serve our member schools.”
Vickers, a 1984 graduate of Mellow Valley High School in Clay County, received her B.S. in Secondary Language Arts from Jacksonville State University in 1987 and earned a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education/Language Arts from Auburn University-Montgomery in 1993.
“I am very excited about the opportunity to work with the AHSAA,” Vickers said, “This is a dream come true for me personally and I am looking forward to the new challenges ahead. It is something I have wanted to do for a long time.”
Vickers has been at Horseshoe Bend since 2000 and served as a teacher/coach at Benjamin Russell High School from 1989-2000. She also was an adjunct English instructor at Southern Union Community College in Wadley in 1995-1996.
At Horseshoe Bend she has served on the Building Leadership Team, was SACS Committee Chair, yearbook advisor, senior class sponsor, technology coordinator, commencement director and ACCESS Distance Learning facilitator and site coordinator.
She holds memberships in the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association, National Federation Teachers of English, Alabama Education Association, National Education Association and Tallapoosa County Education Association.
While at Benjamin Russell she served as yearbook and newspaper advisor, softball and cheerleader coach and broadcast producer among other duties.
“The most difficult thing for me was leaving Horseshoe Bend and my kids in the middle of the year,” Vickers said. “We are like a big family, and if didn’t feel comfortable that I am leaving my duties in good hands, then I wouldn’t have made this decision. I can’t thank my principal Casey Davis and athletic director Mike Boyd enough for the opportunities they afforded me. I have loved my time at Horseshoe Bend.”
Vickers, 48, was named Horseshoe Bend Teacher of the Year in 2005 and 2013 and Tallapoosa County Teacher of the Year in 2013. She was also an Alabama Teacher Hall of Fame finalist in 2013. Named Taylor Publishing Company Advisor of the Year in 1998, she was inducted into the Columbia University Yearbook Cover Design Hall of Fame in 1997 and was named Who’s Who Among American High School Teachers from 1996-2009.
Her softball teams at Horseshoe Bend were area champions from 2004-2009 and 2011-2014 and runner-up in 2010. Her 2010 and 2011 teams were South-Central Regional Class 2A runner-up and three teams advanced to the AHSAA state softball tournament at Lagoon Park (2006, 2010 and 2011).
She credits her own high school English teacher, Miss Myrtie Will Fargason at Mellow Valley, for teaching her to love literature and the English language and for inspiring her to become a teacher. “As a young student I strove to please her because I wanted her approval in all that I did,” Vickers said. “I have come to realize as an adult all this wonderful teacher taught me about life in general."
AUBURN – St. Paul’s Episcopal High School captured the boys’ and girls’ Class 1A-5A state swimming titles Saturday sweeping the first state championships in the smaller-class division in the first year of competition. Tyler Kerns coaches both teams.
Auburn’s girls won the new 6A-7A division state championship and Bob Jones won the 6A-7A boys’ state crown as the AHSAA’s 55th Swimming & Diving Championships concluded at Auburn University’s James E. Martin Aquatics Center.
For the first 54 years, AHSAA schools competed in just one division regardless of size. With the addition of Class 7A this school year, the AHSAA created two divisions of competition. The Saints, winning their first state boys title, scored 158 points to win the 1A-5A boys’ title over Huntsville’s Westminster Christian, the runner-up with 137 points. Faith Academy of Mobile was a distant third with 56 points and Oneonta finished fourth with 50.
St. Paul’s posted 102.50 points in the 1A-5A girls’ competition to edge Mobile rival UMS-Wright. The Bulldogs totaled 81 points followed by Randolph of Huntsville with 64. The Lady Saints won the overall state title twice before winning in 2003 and 2004. The boys’ championship was the school’s first.
Auburn’s girls, coached by Jeff Dellinger, posted 278 points in the 6A-7A division with runner-up McGill-Toolen totaling 234. Huntsville was third with 211 and Grissom fourth with 158. The Lady Tigers also won the overall championship in 2013.
Bob Jones, coached by Mike Gunner, won the 6A-7A boys’ championship for the first time since 2010. The Patriots amassed 290 points with McGill-Toolen taking second place with 265.50 and Auburn finishing third with 183.50. The state title was the 8th overall for Bob Jones – winners of seven in a row from 2004-2010.
A total of six girls’ state records fell in the two-day competition. No boys’ state records were broken.
Among the six were two new records set by sophomore Paige Madden of UMS-Wright. She earned automatic All-America status clocking 54.91 seconds in the 100-yard backstroke and 49.78 in the 100-yard freestyle races to establish new AHSAA standards. She beat the old freestyle record set by Maria Reed of Baker in 2013 by almost two seconds. Reed finished second to Madden Saturday clocking 51.59. The backstroke record broke the mark (55.05) set by Genny Pittman of Homewood in 2012.
Two other records previously set by Madden fell in the 2014 competition. She did not compete in those events this year. She now currently owns the AHSAA state record in the 200-yard individual medley (2:04.13 set in 2013). Auburn also set two girls’ relay records and narrowly missed out on a third.
Other records set included:
Girls’ 200-Yard Medley Relay: Auburn’s quartet of Susanna Pudner, Annie Frances Dallas, Hadley Dowdle and McAuley Parker clocked 1:46.81 to break the record set by the same four last year by .74 seconds. Pudner and Parker are sophomores while Dallas and Dowdle are freshmen.
Girls 400-Yard Freestyle Relay: Auburn also set a new mark in the 400 relay (3:32.85) with swimmers including Hadley Dowdle, Anna Kate McGinty, Audrey Philpott and McAuley Parker. Philpott is a sophomore and McGinty is a freshman. Runner-up Grissom also clocked 3:34.41 to beat the old record time (3:35.08) set by Hoover in 2011. Auburn’s 200 freestyle relay team also won the event in 1:38.58, just shy of the state record (1:38.50) set by Athens in 2013.
Girls 200-Yard Freestyle: Athens freshman Kobie Melton turned in a 1:49.97 time to best the record set (1:50.23) by Madden in 2012.
Girls 100-Yard Butterfly: Randolph’s Sarah Cimino swam the distance in 55:01 in the finals to top the record set by UMS-Wright’s Madden (55.37) in 2013. Her time earned her All-America status.
Bob Jones got strong performances in the relays with seniors Chris Burrows and Chris Day, junior Andrew Sterns and sophomore Andrey Tretyakov winning the 200-yard medley relay in 1:35.73 – narrowly missing the state record set by McGill-Toolen (1:35.28) in 2012.
The Patriots also won the 200-yard freestyle relay in 1:27.19. Tretyakov also won the 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard breaststroke events. He earned All-America status with his 49.30 time in the 100 butterfly.
Derek Sander, a junior, also reached All-America status for Bob Jones with a 1:39.10 time to win the 200-yard freestyle event. McGill-Toolen’s Russell Noletto swam the distance in 1:39.25 to also earn All-America status with his second-place finish. Sander also won the won the 100-yard freestyle and swam the final leg of Bob Jones’ winning 200-yard freestyle relay.
St. Paul’s senior Slater Whiston won the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 50.14 seconds to pace the Saints to the 1A-5A boys’ state championship.
Complete results can be found at www.ahsaa.com.