Author: Marvin Chou

Marvin Chou's Article

Holy Family Removed From Boys Sub-Regional Basketball Playoffs

Holy Family High School has been removed from the Class 4A Boys Sub-Regional round of the AHSAA state basketball playoffs for self-reporting playing an ineligible student-athlete in violation of the Academic Rule. Holy Family, which finished second to Montevallo in the Area 7 tournament, forfeits its semifinal win over Oak Grove.

Oak Grove will represent Area 7 as runner-up and will travel to Bibb County in the sub-regional round Tuesday night at 7 p.m. Holy Family’s season has ended.

Four Girls, Four Boys Teams Claim State Titles Holly Pond High Jumper Knocks Down 34-Year Old Record In Final Day of Indoor Track Championships

       It took 34 years for the Class 1A-3A high jump record (6 feet, 4 inches) set by James Sanders to finally be beaten when Holly Pond sophomore Joey Cahoon cleared 6-5 just a few minutes after sealing his victory in the event as the only participant to clear the bar at 6-4.
     It took only 20 minutes, however for that new record to surpassed not once but twice.  Cahoon  cleared  6-6 and then 6-7  before finally missing three times at 6-8 Saturday as the 46th Alabama High School Athletic Association Indoor Track Championships came to a close at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
     Several  other records fell Saturday as eight state champions were crowned, four boys and four girls teams in four divisions.
     Capturing the Class 7A boys’ championship was Auburn with 116 points. Hoover was runner-up with 85.50 and Hewitt-Trussville third with 55. Hoover’s girls claimed the 7A championship scoring 123.50 points. Mountain Brook was second with 65 and James Clemens third with 65.
     In Class 6A, Homewood’s boys totaled 114 points to claim its third straight state indoor title nipping  Opelika, second with 98. Paul Bryant took third place with 60.50.  Peham won the girls’ 6A crown for the first time in school history. The Panthers had strong third-place finish in the 4x400-meter relay to finish with 105 points. It was just enough to hold off Homewood, which won the final race to finish second with 103 points. Opelika was third with 65.
    In Class 4A-5A, St. Paul’s Episcopal won its 21st girls’ indoor state championship. The title gives Coach Jim Tate’s Saints one more than Mountain Brook, which shared the state record for most titles coming into this season.  St. Pauls’ had 149 points; UMS-Wright was second with 93 and Columbia third with 43.
    UMS-Wright’s boys scored 88 points to win the 4A-5A state championship – its fourth title since the indoor track championship was reinstated in 2012. It extended the Bulldogs’ total to boys’ state record 14 for Coach Pat Galley. Columbia finished second with 78 points and St. Paul’s was third with 56.
       In the 1A-3A division, Winfield’s boys won the state championship with 135 points. American Christian was second with 81 and Westminster of Oak Mountain took third place with 75. Coach Charles Tiller’s American Christian girls totaled 96 points and won its first indoor state title at the CrossPlex. Cottage Hill Christian was second with 87 and Winfield was third with 50.
Class 7A Pole Vault Catches Crowd’s Attention 
     One state record that caught the attention of the entire CrossPlex crowd was Sean Collins’ assault of his own state indoor pole vault record (15 feet, 7 inches) set at the 2014 state meet. The McGill-Toolen senior was all alone in the Class 7A competition after 14-06 and then cleared the bar at 16 feet, 4 ¾ inches on his third try for the new record.
    The bar was then moved to 16-8¼ and Collins, with the crowd cheering loudly, tried three times – coming close but it did not clear. Teammate Chris Taylor took second with jumping 14-6 to take second place.
      One of the top overall individual performances, however, was turned in by sophomore Trey Cunningham of Winfield. Cunningham scored the maximum 40 points in the Class 1A-3A boys division with individual wins in the 60-meter hurdles, 60-meter dash, long jump and triple jump to help the Pirates win the state title.
    Deonte Tolbert of Auburn set the first ever 7A state record in the 400-meter dash Saturday and in the process ran the fastest time in the 46-year history of the AHSAA State Indoor Track Championships. Tolbert clocked 48.09 seconds in the final race of the event to beat the mark (48.11) set by Marlon Humphrey of Hoover in 2013 while competing in Class 6A. He also took third place in the 60-meter dash later in the day and anchored the winning 4x400 relay team.
     Woodlawn’s Jayla Kirkland came close in the Class 6A girls’ 400 with a winning time of 56.72. The record (56.18) was established by Hoover’s Joy Maneice-Marbury in 2012.  She then tied her own record (7.49) set in 2014 in the 60-meter dash.
    Amaris Tyynismaa of Montgomery Catholic added a third classification state record to her collection winning the 1,600 meters in Class 4A-5A with a 1,600 meters time of 5:01.36 time.
    Northridge’s Indyia Summerville set a new record in the Class 6A girls’ shot put with a toss of 41-9.
    Taylor Young of Altamont set a new 1A-3A girls’ triple jump record with her winning leap of 38-09.50.
    Kaitlin York of American Christian captured her third 1A-3A title of the meet running 5:10.65 in the 1,600 meters. She also helped the Lady Patriots win the 4x800 relay running the anchor leg.
     Mary Grace Strozier of Pelham also won her third race with a 5:04.69 in the 1,600 and also placed sixth in the 400-meter dash to give her 33 points in the Class 6A meet for the state champion Panthers.

Montgomery Catholic’s Tyynismaa Sets 2 AHSAA Indoor Records at Indoor Track Championships

    Amaris Tyynismaa of Montgomery Catholic blazed past the competition twice Friday to set two AHSAA state records as the 46th Alabama High School Athletic Association Indoor Track & Field Championships got underway at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
    Tyynismaa, who set the state mark in winning the Class 4A state cross country title last November, broke a two-year old record in the 3,200 meters to win in a record time of 10:32.92. Winning by 41 seconds over her nearest competition, Tyynismaa established a new for Class 4A-5A as well as the overall state indoor record for all classes.
     Her time was her career best and was the second fastest high school time in the nation this season.  The eighth grader won the Class 4A state cross country title last November with an overall state record time of 17:03 in the 3.1 mile run.  Carmen Carlos of McGill-Toolen, now a student at Vanderbilt, held the previous indoor 3,200 mark with a time of 10:34.02 set in 2012.
    Tyynismaa followed the Friday morning performance with her second record-setting win in the 800-meter run later in the afternoon. Her 2:17.57 time toppled a record (2:18.16) set by J.O. Johnson’s Genoa Collins 13 years earlier in 2002.
     While Tyynismaa's performance Friday highlighted the individual competition, St. Paul’s and UMS-Wright slugged it out in the 4A-5A girls’ team competition to make it a two-team race heading into Saturday’s final day.  St. Paul’s had 66 points and UMS 63.50 after the first day’s results.
      Hoover had 46.50 points to lead the new Class 7A division with McGill-Toolen second with 34 points and James Clemens third wioth 30.50.   Pelham topped Class 6A with 43 points and Homewood had 37. American Christian’s 40 points give Coach Charles Tiller’s Lady Patriots a slim five-point lead over Cottage Hill Christian (35). Winfield is third with 28.
    In the boys’ competition, Auburn had 39 points, Hoover 32.50 and Oak Mountain 20 in Class 7A.  Homewood had a commanding 60-33 over second-place Opelika in Class 6A after one, UMS-Wright leads Class 4A-5A with 33 points and Winfield tops Class 1A-3A with 41. American Christian is right behind the Pirates with 31, and St. Paul’s trails Coach Pat Galle’s Bulldogs with 22 points.
     In addition to Tyynismaa, Magaret Ollinger of McGill-Toolen turned in an exceptional effort in the Class 7A set the AHSAA pole vault. Ollinger won the indoor state title last season with a Class 6A state record 12-feet, 1-inch jump. Friday, she cleared 12-04 to establish the first Class 7A record for her event. It is also the overall state record for all classes.
   Pelham’s Mary Grace Strozier of Pelham clocked 11:35.53 to claim the Class 6A 3,200 meters championship and also ran 2:17.05 to win the 800 race.
   Altamont’s Taylor Young broke her own Class 1A-4A long jump record set last year with a leap of 18-02.50 in the new Class 1A-3A division Friday. Kaitlin York of American Christian clocked 11:10.78 to win the first race of the day in 1A-3A. She followed with a 2:19.95 to also win the 800 meters race.
  Beauregard’s Kylee Carter won the 11th state championship of her prep career with a winning toss of 34 feet, 9 inches in the 4A-5A competition, and in the most exciting girls’ race of the first day, Abbey Weitenbeck of Huntsville nipped Frances Patrick of Mountain Brook by .39 seconds to win the Class 7A 3,200 meters. She clocked 11:14.03 and Patrick, 11:14.42. 
    In the boys’ competition, Opelika sprinter Nathanaiel Huggins ran the 60-meter dash in 6.87 seconds in the prelims Friday to set a new overall state record. The time erased the old record (6.89) set by Hoover’s Marlon Humphrey in 2013. He’ll have a chance to better that time Saturday in the finals.
    The top boys’ race of the first day also came in Class 6A. Homewood’s Andy Smith and Logan Sadler finished one-two in the 800 meters with only a second between them. Smith won running 1:58.41. Sadler clocked 1:59.38 and Gadsden City’s Hunter Nails was a close third at 1:59.50.
   A close second was the 1A-3A 800-meter race. American Christian’s Noah Karr recorded clocked a 2:01.11 to win in a photo finish over Scott Landers of Westminster of Oak Mountain. Landers crossed the finish line less than a second behind at 2:01.78. Jacob Carrell of Westminster was a close third at 2:02.08, followed by Garrett Clark of Winfield and Jack Anderson of Montgomery Academy 2:04.08 and 2:04.49, respectively.
    Since Class 7A is a new class this season, all winning performances will be a class record.
   Action resumes Saturday morning at 8 a.m. with the final day’s events in all classes.

Wrestling Super Sectionals in Montgomery, Birmingham AHSAA 56th Indoor Track & Field Championships Set For Birmingham CrossPlex Friday and Saturday

   The AHSAA State Indoor Track & Field Championships are set to begin at 9 a.m. Friday at the Birmingham CrossPlex with 1,391 student-athletes competing. The championships will conclude Saturday, starting at 8 a.m.
     The AHSAA Super Section Wrestling Championships are scheduled this weekend with the North Section at Bill Harris Arena at the Birmingham CrossPlex and the South Section is at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl Multiplex.
      For the first time since 1992, the indoor championships will feature include four high school divisions: Class 7A, Class 6A, Class 4A-5A and 1A-3A. Last year’s divisions were 6A, 5A, 1A-4A.
      The 2015 state championships will be the first featuring the Class 7A division. That means a new division of state records and a chance for McGill-Toolen pole vaulter Margaret Ollinger to set a state mark in another division. She set the 6A indoor record last season clearing 12 feet, 1 inch to win the state crown. She has qualified this season with one of the top vaults in the nation (13-02.25).
      McGill-Toolen also features two of the best prep boys pole vaulters in the nation with Sean Collins coming in with a career best 16 feet, 6.50 inches as his best leap.  Teammate Chris Taylor has also cleared 15 feet this season.  Collins also set the AHSAA indoor state meet record last season with a 15-07 winning vault.
    Bram Miller, a Falkville junior who won the 1A state outdoor crown last season with a 6-6 clearance, is expected to make a serious run at the 1A-3A state record (6-4) set by James Sanders of Springville in 1981.  Miller has cleared 6-10 in practice this winter and qualified for the state meet with a 6-2 jump.
    Distance runner Amaris Tyynismaa of Montgomery Catholic comes in with qualifying times that could better or almost equal the state marks in Class 4A-5A. Tyynismaa shattered the AHSAA cross country overall state record in November running the 3.1-mile distance in 17:03.  The eighth’s grader’s indoor qualifying times include 10:37.10 in the 3,200 – just three seconds of the record set by current Vanderbilt runner Carmen Carlos of McGill-Toolen. Carlos, who competed in Class 6A, also holds overall state indoor records in the 800 and 1,600.
    Tyynismaa has a 5:00.18 best indoor time in the 1,600 this season – 11 seconds off Carlos’ record pace but nine seconds better than the current 4A-5A record.
    The AHSAA Indoor Championships were first held at Montgomery’s Garrett Coliseum in 1966. The indoor door championships later moved to Priceville’s Celebration Arena on the same wooden track used at Montgomery. However, the AHSAA discontinued the indoor championships for one year in 1993 while repairs were being made and then shut down the competition from 2008-2012 for safety reasons once again with the promise of the current world-class CrossPlex facility to be constructed. The AHSAA reinstated indoor track as a championship at the CrossPlex in 2012.
      Last year’s state champions for girls were Hoover (6A), St. Paul’s (5A) and Beauregard (1A-4A). This year, St. Paul’s and Beauregard are in the same division (4A-5A) along with perennial power UMS-Wright.  Boys’ champions in 2014 were Hoover (6A), Homewood (5A) and UMS-Wright (1A-4A).  Hoover is now competing in 7A, Homewood moved up to 6A and UMS-Wright is in the new 4A-5A division.
   Super Section Wrestling: Competition in three divisions (7A, 6A and 1A-5A) commences at 10 a.m. Friday and 9:30 Saturday morning. Matches will continue on a rolling schedule until the meet ends Saturday afternoon. Qualifiers will advance to the 60th AHSAA State Wrestling Championships scheduled at Huntsville’s Von Braun Center Feb. 12-14.

Bats Force 1A Area 13 to Change Site

    Gary McGriff, AHSAA District Director for basketball, said he thought he had heard it all – that is until Thursday.
    Cedar Bluff High School basketball coach Joe Carpenter called McGriff to inform him the site of tonight’s Class 1A, Area 13 boys basketball tournament semifinals was being moved – because of bats.
   “He told me that more than 200 bats (flying kind) had gotten inside the Cedar Bluff gym,” McGriff said. “He was obviously flustered about the situation.”
     McGriff was called to let the contest officials know the site was being changed for tonight’s games: Cedar Bluff and Jacksonville at 5:30 and Spring Garden vs. Coosa Christian at 7 p.m. are being switched to the Gadsden State Community College’s Cherokee Arena in Centre. Times will be the same.
     Carpenter said the bat problem surfaced as the Cedar Bluff girls’ team finished up practice Wednesday. “The bats were all over the place,” he said. “I’ve been  coaching for 33 years. I didn’t think anything could surprise me, but this has.”
      The Gadsden State Arena in Centre seats almost 3,000, Carpenter said. It is only five years old and is a great place to play.”
     The school plans to have the problem eradicated by Saturday’s finals. “The gym is being sealed and should be ready to go on Saturday night,” said Carpenter, who also will be coaching the girls’ team Friday night in the area finals at Spring Garden.
        As for McGriff, a long-time AHSAA basketball official before taking the role of district director, he said, “I have heard a lot or reasons for moving games, but not bats.”  

Central Board Approves Plan For Incorporation Of Adaptive & Wheelchair Athlete Scoring in Track

        The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board has approved a plan to incorporate and calculate scoring for adaptive and wheelchair student-athletes participating in the AHSAA outdoor track & field championships, effective this spring. The action was taken Wednesday at its annual winter meeting in Montgomery.
        The Board approved extending the existing state cross country championship contract at Moulton’s Oakville Indian Mounds Park & Museum for three more years through the 2017 season and the record-setting 2014 region and state volleyball financial reports.
       AHSAA, in conjunction with the Lakeshore Foundation, is devising a plan to count the points scored in adaptive or wheelchair track events with the scoring of the school they represent. In past years, a separate championship was awarded to schools with students in the wheelchair division.
     “We think this plan will generate increased participation by adaptive and wheelchair students,” Executive Director Steve Savarese said. “It will be a way to provide a more memorable experience for all our students.”
     Savarese said the 2014 volleyball championships at the CrossPlex and at the regional sites set attendance records. “I think the new seven-classification system provided opportunities for some new schools to make the tournament.  The excitement generated by the teams and fans created a wonderful state-championship atmosphere.”
     The AHSAA cross country committee recommended unanimously to extend the state cross country event contract.
     Additionally, the Central Board approved two-year term limits for sports committee members.

In other Central Board action:

– Heard an update on the newly formed AHSAA Student Leadership Conference and approved conference expenses.

– After hearing an appeal from Murphy High School and Yanna Curran, the state’s Refugee Coordinator, the Central Board voted to uphold the original eligibility ruling by the executive director involving a Murphy High School student.

– Approved alignment adjustments predicated by the closing of Sunshine and Akron high schools by the Hale County Schools System at the end of the 2014-15 school year.

– Approved the financial reports for the fall championships in volleyball, cross country and swimming.

– Approved the Super 7 football championships audit.

– Approved the 2014 Alabama-Mississippi football all-star game financial report and also approved changing the all-star game’s coaching limits from two appearances to three and from one head-coaching opportunity to two.

– Approved expenses for the 2015 State Basketball Tournament.

– Approved additions to the AHSAA Consent and Release Form that must be signed by all student-athletes and their parents each school year.

Bayside Academy Forfeits Area Tournament Victory

Bayside Academy has been fined, placed on probation for one year and ordered to forfeit its first-round Class 3A, Area 1 boys’ basketball tournament win over Cottage Hill Christian for violating AHSAA eligibility rules. The school self-reported the violation.

Bayside played an ineligible student in violation of the AHSAA Transfer Rule, specifically related to a bona fide move. The school must forfeit all contests its team won in which the student had participated. Cottage Hill will now advance to the Area 1 finals versus Excel. Bayside Academy’s season has ended.

In addition, Bayside must forfeit varsity wins over Gulf Shores and Pensacola Christian. Furthermore, the school reported playing an ineligible student in two junior varsity games.  

The probationary period is a warning that other violations of this nature could bring further sanctions against the school.


Registration Now Open for Inaugural NFHS Network Broadcast Academy

First 50 Students to Attend Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Atlanta Braves Broadcast Experience


ATLANTA (January 14, 2015) - The NFHS Network, the nation’s leading high school sports media company, has opened early registration for the first-ever NFHS Network Broadcast Academy to be held July 17-19, 2015 in Atlanta, GA.  High school broadcasting students, faculty and family members are invited to register at: www.nfhsnetwork.com/broadcastacademy.

The event will kick off on Friday at the Atlanta Braves vs. Chicago Cubs baseball game at Turner Field at 7:35 p.m.  The first 50 students to register will gain exclusive access to a behind-the-scenes Atlanta Braves broadcast experience prior to the game.

Intimate hands-on workshops conducted by NFHS Network producers will enable students to learn pre- and post-production best practices, announce a live sporting event, create a live studio show and produce an original feature package.  General sessions will feature prominent broadcasters and executives from ESPN, Turner Sports and NBC Sports. 


Attendees will also hear from Vicki Michaelis, Carmical Distinguished Professor in Sports Journalism, Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia, about pursuing journalism in college, Robert Sherman, a student who successfully started a broadcasting program at his high school and is now producing events in college, and Adam Zimmerman, President, CSE, who will discuss best practices for marketing events and increasing your audience.


In addition, high school broadcast programs and students from across the country will be recognized for their accomplishments during the first annual NFHS Network Broadcast Academy Awards ceremony on Saturday, July 18.  The submission deadline is February 15.


Detailed information including the full agenda, workshop and session descriptions, award categories and selection process is available online at: www.nfhsnetwork.com/broadcastacademy.   Early registration rates for conference passes and hotel rooms will be valid until April 15.

About the NFHS Network


The NFHS Network is the single online destination for watching high school sports and other events live and on demand from anywhere at anytime.   Students participating in the NFHS Network School Broadcast Program, which provides high schools with the technology platform, training and support to broadcast their own regular season games online, now produce the majority of the events on the NFHS Network.

All NFHS Network events are available online at www.NFHSnetwork.com.  Follow the NFHS Network on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram at @NFHSnetwork for the latest news and event information.



Ashley Peden                                                

PR Agency, PlayOn! Sports  



AHSAA’s Wanda Gilliland Among 12 Leaders To Receive NFHS Citations at 96th Annual Meeting

        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. 

Lauderdale County Lady Tigers Capture State Record 74th Consecutive Victory

    Lauderdale County High School’s Lady Tigers basketball team won their sixth straight Lauderdale County girls’ basketball tournament title Saturday night beating arch-rival Lexington  57-26.
    The victory by Coach Brant Llewellyn’s three-time defending Class 3A state championship team closed the books on a record-setting week.
   In the first round at Rogers High School Jan. 20, Lauderdale County beat Brooks 75-24 to tie the AHSAA state record (72) for girls’ high school basketball wins in a row. Athens set the mark in 2001-03.
   On Thursday night in the semifinals, the Lady Tigers beat Central-Florence 69-48 for their 73rd win in a row to surpass the streak that tied the boys’ consecutive win record held by A.G. Parrish of Selma since 1947.
   And on Saturday night in the finals, Lauderdale County downed arch-rival Lexington 57-26 to claim the county tournament title to extend the winning streak to 74 games – a new overall AHSAA state record for girls and boys.  Junior guard Emma Wallen led the Tigers with 21 points and Allie Craig Cruce had 10. Lexington (19-6) was led by Rebekah Hambright’s 10 points.
    Ironically, Lexington is the last team to post a win over Llewellyn’s talented team in the last game of the 2013 regular season. Lauderdale County went on to win seven straight the rest of that season to win their second straight Class 3A state title, then followed with a state-record 38-0 season last year.
    Last season’s state title was the the school’s 11th girls’ state championship – another AHSAA record.  The county title was the school’s 27th overall. Lauderdale County has won every county tournament girls’ title since 1996 but two.
    Currently, the Lady Tigers improved to 29-0 after winning the county title with two regular season games remaining. Lauderdale County is at home Tuesday versus Madison Academy and on the road Thursday at Lexington.
   Llewellyn’s team will host the girls’ Class 3A, Area 15 tournament next week.