Author: Marvin Chou

Marvin Chou's Article

North-South Volleyball All-Star Teams, Coaches Named

                   Twenty-four outstanding junior volleyball players, 24 girls from across the state have been named to the North-South squads for the 19th annual AHSAA Summer Conference and AHSADCA All-Star Games competition in Montgomery July 20-25, according to an announcement by Alvin Briggs, Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA).

                The two volleyball teams will square off on Thursday, July 23 at Faulkner University’s Tine Davis Gymnasium at 4 p.m.
                  The AHADCA All-Star Games also include in-state all-star games in boys’ and girls’ soccer, baseball, boys’ and girls’ basketball and softball. The 55th North-South All-Star football game will be played the previous week on Friday, July 17, at Cramton Bowl.
                    The AHSAA Summer Conference is a week-long conference that includes sports’ specific clinics and special sessions for coaches, principals, athletic directors, cheerleading coaches and officials. Also, an All-Sports Equipment Expo and other related activities are scheduled throughout the week.
                  Among the conference’s highlights will be the Sportsmanship Luncheon honoring all schools that have not had an ejection or fine during the 2014-15 school year and the Championship Coaches Awards Banquet that includes the naming of the 2014-15 Making A Difference Award Recipients,  Coaches of the Year, and the AHSADCA Athletic Director of the Year. Both banquets will be Friday, July 24.
                  Concluding the week will be the 19th annual Officials Awards Banquet set for July 25 at noon. The featured speaker for 2015 will be Joe Dean, Jr., Birmingham-Southern athletic director and college basketball TV sports commentator.
                Coaching the South All-Stars will be Perry Robinson, of Class 6A 2014 runner-up Pelham, and Heather Nazat of Faith Academy. Administrative coach is Carver-Montgomery’s Virginia Franklin. North coaches are Haven O’Quinn, of 2014 Class 7A state champion Mountain Brook, and Amanda Smith of James Clemens. Sue Marshall of Randolph is administrative coach.
              Among the outstanding volleyball players selected are North juniors Sara Carr and Sara Mitchell of Mountain Brook, who helped Coach O’Quinn’s team win the first-ever Class 7A state title. John Carroll Catholic’s Kelsi Hobbs also played on the Cavaliers’ Class 6A state championship team.
       Julia Martin of Bayside Academy headlines the South squad. She helped the Lady Admirals win a state-record 13th straight state championship winning the 3A title in 2014. Outside hitter Kristy Odom

of Providence Christian led her team to the 2A state finals and a 56-match winning streak last season.
                The teams include:

2015 North Volleyball All-Star Team
Player                         School                         Pos.     Ht.
Isabelle Barnes           Bob Jones                    MB      6-1
Abby Borden               Arab                            Setter  5-9
Sara Carr                     Mountain Brook          OH       5-11
Madelyn Cheatham    Hartselle                     MB      6-1
Yta’e Cobb                   Muscle Shoals             MB      5-8
Victoria Fennell           Randolph                     Setter  5-10
Anna Harris                 Walker                        OH       5-9
Kelsi Hobbs                  John Carroll Catholic  OH       6-0
Aubrie Huddleston      Grissom                       OH       5-10
Alister Lowe                Hoover                        MB      6-0
Sara Mitchell              Mountain Brook          Setter  5-7
Courtney Rutledge      Huntsville                    Setter  5-11
Haven O’Quinn, Mountain Brook
Amanda Smith, James Clemens
Sue Marshall, Randolph (administrative)

2015 South Volleyball All-Star Team
Player                         School                         Pos.     Ht.
Elizabeth Burnett        McGill-Toolen                         MB      6-2
Ashley Chapman         St. Luke’s Episcopal     MB      6-0
Rickie Constant           Fairhope                      MB      5-11
Macie Gatlin               Faith Academy            Libero  5-1
Taylor Harrelson         Enterprise                   OH       6-1
Julia Martin                 Bayside Academy        OH       5-6
Elizabeth Murphy        McGill-Toolen             Setter  5-8
Kristy Odom                Providence Christian   OH       5-10
Maegan Parrillo          Spanish Fort                OH       5-9
Elise Polio                    St. Luke’s Episcopal     OH       5-8
Janna Terry                 Baker                           Setter  5-10
Anna Whaley               Spanish Fort                OH       6-0
Perry Robinson, Pelham
Heather Nezat, Faith Academy
Virginia Franklin, Carver-Montgomery (administrative)      

Class 7A Boys Tennis Mountain Brook Crowned First 7A State Boys Tennis Champion

     Mountain Brook became the first AHSAA Class 7A state boys’ tennis champions Tuesday as the Spartans doubled up the competition posting 74 points in the victory at Montgomery’s Lagoon Park Tennis Complex.
     Huntsville and Spain Park tied for second place with 35 points each, and McGill-Toolen was fourth with 29.
     Coach Susan Barlow’s team improved its boys' state record total to 24 – dating back to 1969. However, Tuesday’s title was the school’s first boys’ championship since 2010. Farlow’s girls  also holds the AHSA state record for most girls’ tennis titles with 26. The Lady Spartans finished second to Huntsville Tuesday.
     Mountain Brook’s boys won four singles titles and placed second in another. The Spartans swept all three doubles championships.
     Bob Jones’ Vince Rettke won the No. 1 singles title with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Brooks Green of McGill-Toolen in the finals. Mountain Brook sophomore Peter Hartman won the No. 2 singles finals with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Garrect Hartsock of Spain Park. Yates Jackson (No. 3), David Faulkner (No. 4) and Paul Jones (No. 6) also won singles titles for Mountain Brook. Will Hargrove also finished second in the No. 5 singles finals falling to William Cook of Huntsville.
     Sam Lidikay and Jackson won at No., 1 doubles beating Brooks Green and Hallet Green of McGill-Toolen 6-4, 1-6, 6-4 in a hard-fought final.  Hartman and Faulkner won at No. 2 doubles, Hargrove and Jones won at No. 3.
Class 7A State Boys Tennis Championships
Team scoring:
Mountain Brook 74, Huntsville 35, Spain Park 35, McGill-Toolen 29, James Clemens 22, Enterprise 14, Bob Jones, 8, Fairhope 8, Auburn 6.
Team Sportsmanship winner: Enterprise.
Singles Finals
No. 1 – Vince Rettke, Bob Jones d. Brooks Green, McGill-Toolen, 6-3, 6-4
No. 2 – Peter Hartman, Mountain Brook d. Garrett Hartsock, Spain Park, 6-3, 6-1
No. 3 – Yates Jackson, Mountain Brook d. Nathan Bartz, McGill-Toolen, 6-0, 6-3
No. 4 – David Faulkner, Mountain Brook d. Jacob Bourland, Huntsville, 6-3, 2-6, 6-4
No. 5 – William Cook, Huntsville d. Will Hargrove, Mountain Brook, 6-1, 6-1
No. 6 – Paul Jones, Mountain Brook d. Ethan Forbes, Huntsville, 6-1, 6-1
Doubles Finals
No. 1 – Sam Lidikay/Yates Jackson, Mountain Brook d. Brooks Green/Hallet Green, McGill-Toolen, 6-4, 1-6, 6-4
No. 2 – Peter Hartman/David Faulkner, Mountain Brook d. Jacob Bourland/William Cook, Huntsville, 6-7, 6-4, 6-1
No. 3 – Will Hargrove/Paul Jones, Mountain Brook d. Dalton Holladay/Jack Setterfield, Spain Park, 6-0, 6-1

Class 7A Girls Tennis Huntsville Claims First Girls Tennis Title Since 1990

     Huntsville High School out-scored nipped runner-up Mountain Brook 61-57 to capture the AHSAA’s first Class 7A state girls tennis championship Tuesday at Montgomery’s Lagoon Park Tennis Complex.
     Huntsville parlayed one doubles and three singles championships into the Lady Panthers’ first state girls’ tennis title since 1990. It was the school’s fourth overall.
    Coach Reece Morton’s team was boosted by freshman Sydney Flesch’s come-from-behind 3-6, 6-0, 6-3 win over Daryn Ellison of Spain Park in the No. 1 singles finals. Ashley Coots also won at No. 3 singles and Nicole Reilly took the No. 6 singles crown.  Andrea Walker and Laura Walker also won the No. 3 doubles title.
    Mountain Brook, which holds the AHSAA girls' state record with 26 state championships, was led by Elllie Polk and Cele Sullivan, who won at No. 4 and No. 5 singles. Polk also teamed with Sarah Cooper to win the No. 2 doubles title.
    Vestavia Hills’ team of Haley Harmon and Hannah Nelson captured No. 1 doubles beating Flesch and Coots of Huntsville in the finals 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. The Lady Rebels finished third overall with 50 points, and McGill-Tooeln was fourth with 26.
Class 7A State Girls Tennis Championships
Team scoring:
Huntsville 61, Mountain Brook 57, Vestavia Hills 50, McGill-Toolen 26, Fairhope 21, Hazel Green 10.
Team Sportsmanship winner: Fairhope.
Singles Finals
No. 1 – Sydney Flesch, Huntsville d. Daryn Ellison, Spain Park, 3-6, 6-0, 6-3
No. 2 – Hannah Nelson, Vestavia Hills d. Sarah Cooper, Mountain Brook, 7-5, 6-4
No. 3 – Ashley Coots, Huntsville d. Georgia Morros, Vestavia Hills, 3-6, 6-2, 6-4
No. 4 – Ellie Polk, Mountain Brook d. Grace Forbes, Huntsville, 6-2, 6-2
No. 5 – Cele Sullivan, Mountain Brook d. Meredith Cazalas, McGill-Toolen, 6-1, 6-0
No. 6 – Nicole Reilly, Huntsville d. Harper Anderson, Vestavia Hills, 6-3, 6-3
Doubles Finals
No. 1 – Haley Harmon/Hannah Nelson, Vestavia Hills d. Sydney Flesch/ Ashley Coots, Huntsville, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
No. 2 – Sarah Cooper/Ellie Polk, Mountain Brook d. Chloe Warren/Caroline Adams, Fairhope, 6-0, 6-0
No. 3 – Andrea Walker/Laura Walker, Huntsville d. Helen Darby/Margaret Clark, Mountain Brook, 6-2, 7-5

Class 4A/5A Boys Tennis UMS-Wright Boys Claim 7th Consecutive AHSAA Tennis Crown

     UMS-Wright captured the 16th AHSAA boys’ state tennis championship in school history Tuesday totaling 80 points in the Class 4A/5A state tourney held at the Mobile Tennis Center. UMS-Wright had won six straight Class 4A crowns coming into the new 4A/5A division. The streak is still alive now at seven.
     St. Paul’s, the Class 5A champs in 2014, finished second with 50 points and Randolph was third with 48.
     The tourney still has No. 1 singles finals to play Wednesday. Trinity Presbyterian’s Tyler Vermillion won three straight singles matches to reach the finals and will face UMS-Wright senior William Hooper, who beat Randolph’s Grant Ginsburg in a grueling 6-3, 7-5 semifinals to set up today’s final match. Hooper also teamed with Nicholas Anez to win four No. 1 doubles matches including Tuesday’s 7-6 (5), 6-4 victory over Ginsburg and Owen Averbuch of Randolph in the finals.
      Cooper played in his maximum number of matches forcing the singles finals to be postponed.  Since all other play has concluded, the two netters will play the championship match Wednesday at 4 p.m. at T.R. Miller High School in Brewton, a midway point between Montgomery and Mobile for the two schools.
      Coach Rick Cleveland’s Bulldogs can pick up three more points with a Cooper win. Trinity, which had 31 points, can also added three more points to its total with a Vermillion win. UMS-Wright’s girls won the 2015 state crown Tuesday and now owns a seven-year state championship winning streak as well.
      Anez won the No. 2 singles title for Cleveland’s squad. UMS-Wright also got singles championship wins from Patrick Kraver (No. 3) and Patrick McGowin (No. 4). Patrick Kraver and Pete VanLingen also had a hard-fought win over Jimmy Mackin and Sam Franklin of St. Paul’s in the No. 2 doubles finals, winning 7-6 (6), 6-3.
Class 4A/5A State Boys Tennis Championships*
Team scoring:
UMS-Wright 80*, St. Paul’s Episcopal 50, Randolph 48, Trinity Presbyterian 31*, LAMP 27, Russellville 24, Fayette County 18, West Point 16, Helena 14, Douglas 12, Guntersville 10, St. James 9, Sylacauga 9, Haleyville 4, Jacksonville 2, Oneonta 2.
*-Final scoring will be completed after No. 1 singles finals Wednesday.
Team Sportsmanship winner: (tie) Fayette County and SAylacauga.
Singles Finals
No. 1 – Tyler Vermillion, Trinity vs. William Hooper, UMS-Wright, Wednesday at TR Miller, High School, Brewton, 4 p.m.
No. 2 – Nicholas Anez, UMS-Wright d. Owen Averbuch, Randolph, 6-1, 6-4
No. 3 – Patrick Kraver, UMS-Wight d. Max Williams, Trinity, 3-6, 7-5, 6-1
No. 4 – Patrick McGowin, UMS-Wright d. Sam Franklin, St. Paul’s, 6-0, 7-5
No. 5 – William Russell, St. Paul’s d. Pete VanLingen, UMS-Wright, 6-4, 7-5
No. 6 – Harrison Citrin, St. Paul’s d. Jackson Laurence, UMS-Wright, 6-4, 6-1
Doubles Finals
No. 1 – William Hooper/Nicholas Anez, UMS-Wright d. Grant Ginsburg/Owen Averbuch, Randolph, 7-6 (5), 6-4
No. 2 – Patrick Kraver/Pete VanLingen, UMS-Wright d. Jimmy Mackin/Sam Franklin, St. Paul’s, 7-6(6), 6-3
No. 3 – William Russell/Harrison Citrin, St. Paul’s d. Patrick McGowin/Will McGowin, UMS-Wright, 6-2, 2-6, 7-5

Class 4A/5A Girls Tennis UMS-Wright Wins 7th Straight AHSAA Girls’ Tennis Title

     UMS-Wright moved into the newly created Class 4A/5A tennis division in 2015 with the same precision that led to the Lady Bulldogs’ six straight Class 4A state championships from 202009-14. Coach Meridy Jones’ Bulldogs posted 71 points to capture the school’s seventh straight title Tuesday at the Mobile Tennis Center. Deshler finished a strong second with 51 points and St. Paul’s Episcopal, the 2014 Class 5A champs, was third with 46 points.
     Senior McKenzie Courtney won her third straight No. 1 singles championship beating Douglas senior Isabella Wisener in the finals 6-1, 6-2. Wisener, a Birmingham-Southern signee, was selected the 2015 Bryant-Jordan Program Scholar-Athlete of the Year on April 13.
     Courtney and Audrey Sewell combined to win the No. 1 doubles title as well with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Ali Gonzales and Selinne Morrisette of St. Paul’s. Morrisette also won at No. 3 doubles.
    Elizabeth Swain (No. 4), Brooke Swain (No. 5) and Ellen Williams (No. 6) also posted singles wins in the finals for UMS.
     Josie Waddell led Deshler with the No. 2 singles title.  Mary Davis and Lauren Cantrell also posted a win in the No. 3 doubles championship match. Cantrell earned MVP honors in the 2015 AHSAA Class 4A state basketball tournament leading the Tigers to the state crown at the BJCC in February.
    UMS-Wright now owns 12 state girls’ tennis championships winning 10 in the last 12 seasons, another in 1994 and the school’s first in 1978 when the girls played at J.T. Wright. The all-girls school later merged with UMS Prep.
Class 4A/5A State Girls Tennis Championships
Team scoring:
UMS-Wright 71, Deshler 51, St. Paul’s Episcopal 46, Trinity Presbyterian 34, Douglas 27, Randolph 27, Guntersville 20, LAMP 18, Sylacauga 17, Helena 15, Oneonta 14, Springville 2, Brooks 2.
Team Sportsmanship winner: Trinity Presbyterian, Montgomery.
Singles Finals
No. 1 – McKenzie Courtney, UMS-Wright d. Isabella  Wisener, Douglas, 6-1, 6-2
No. 2 – Josie Waddell, Deshler d. Ann Mason Hunter, St. Paul’s, 6-4, 7-6(4)
No. 3 – Seline Morrisette, St. Paul’s, d. Adelaide Bell, UMS-Wright, 7-5, 6-2
No. 4 – Elizabeth Swain, UMS-Wright d. Monnie Slaton, St. Paul’s, 6-3, 7-5
No. 5 – Brooke Swain, UMS-Wright d. Lauren Cantrell, Deshler, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2
No. 6 – Ellen Williams, UMS-Wright d. Elaina Holt, Guntersville, 6-0, 6-2
Doubles Finals
No. 1 – McKenzie Courtney/Audrey Sewell, UMS-Wright d. Ali Gonzales/Seline Morrisette, St. Paul’s, 6-2, 6-4
No. 2 – An Mason Hunter/Monnie Slaton, St. Paul;’s d. Kyra Holway/Riner, Deshler, 6-4, 6-1
No. 3 – Mary Davis/Lauren Cantrell, Deshler d. Ellen Williams/Martha Williams, UMS-Wright, 1-6, 6-4, 6-3

Class 1A-3A Boys Tennis Montgomery Academy Boys Sweep Tennis Title for Eagles

   Montgomery Academy won all nine singles and doubles championship matches Tuesday to total 65 points as the Eagles claimed the 2015 AHSAA Class 1A-3A state boys’ tennis crown at Decatur’s Almon Tennis Center at Decatur’s Point Mallard State Park.
   It was the fifth straight title and 14th boys’ state championship overall for Coach David Bethea’s Eagles. The win gave Montgomery Academy a sweep of the boys’ and girls’ championships in 2015.
  Westminster of Oak Mountain was second with 28 points and Altamont was third with 26.
   Bo Torbert won the No. 1 singles title with a 6-0, 6-2 victory over Dylan Young of Madison Academy. Torbert and Hunter Carroll, the 2014 No. 1 singles champion, combined at No. 1 doubles for the Eagles to beat Trent Kannegieter and Matthew Mitchell, Bayside Academy, 6-2, 7-6 for the state title. Carroll also won No. 2 doubles.
     Also winning singles titles for Montgomery Academy were Clayton Muller (No. 3), James Torbert (No. 4), Will Spain (No. 5) and Allen Millsap (No. 6).  Spain and James Torbert also won No. 2 doubles while Muller and Millsap finished the sweep with the No. 3 doubles championship.

Class 1A-3A State Boys Tennis Championships
Team scoring:
Montgomery Academy 65, Westminster-Oak Mountain 28, Altamont 26, Houston Academy 20, Indian Springs 10, Madison Academy 9, Bayside Academy 9, Faith Christian 2, Decatur Heritage 2, Sheffield 2.
Singles Finals
No. 1 – Bo Torbert, Montgomery Academy d.  Dylan Young, Madison Academy, 6-0, 6-2
No. 2 – Hunter Carroll, Montgomery Academy d. Chris Mines, Altamont, 6-2, 6-2
No. 3 – Clayton Muller, Montgomery Academy d. Robert Dunlap, Houston Academy, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4
No. 4 – James Torbert, Montgomery Academy d. Spencer Skidmore, Altamont, 6-0, 6-3
No. 5 – Will Spain, Montgomery Academy d. Robert Mann, Westminster OM, 6-1, 6-1
No. 6 – Allen Millsap, Montgomery Academy d. Samson Sands-Mac Lidikay, Altamont, 3-6, 6-1, 7-5
Doubles Finals
No. 1 – Bo Torbert/Hunter Carroll, Montgomery Academy d. Trent Kannegieter/Matthew Mitchell, Bayside Academy, 6-2, 7-6
No. 2 – Will Spain/James Torbert, Montgomery Academy d. Bobby Skelton/Mark McClure, Westminster OM, 6-0, 6-4
No. 3 – Clayton Muller/Allen Millsap, Montgomery Academy d. Robert Mann/Parker Mixon, Westminster OM, 6-3, 6-1

Class 1A-3A Girls Tennis Montgomery Academy Claims 15th State Girls Tennis Championship

   Montgomery Academy edged defending state champion Houston Academy 46-41 to capture the Lady Eagles’ 15th state championship Tuesday at Decatur’s Almon Tennis Center at Decatur’s Point Mallard State Park.
   It was the third state crown in in the last four seasons for MA.
   American Christian finished third with 23 points and Madison Academy was fourth with 15.
   Sydney Homan of Madison Academy beat Houston Academy’s Natalie Voss 6-0, 6-1 in the finals to claim the No. 1 singles title.  For Homan, a senior, it was her fourth straight state title, putting her in an elite group of past No. 1 singles champions including Helen Cunningham of Bayside Academy (2005-08), Hillary Barnes of St. James (2001-04), Ashley Bentley of Montgomery Academy (1999-2002), Kristen Flowers of Houston Academy (1990-93) and Ann Templeton of Ramsay (1967-70).
    The singles championship was a rematch of the 2014 title match for Voss, also a senior, and Homan.
    Claiming the No. 2 singles title was Nicola Voss of Houston Academy. She beat sophomore Elizabeth Robertson of Montgomery Academy in the finals 6-2- 6-2.
     Coach Fairlie Herron’s Eagles won singles titles at 3, 4, 5 and 6 singles.
     Hannah Snider, a senior, captured the No. 3 singles championship beating Sterling Gualteri of Madison Academy 6-2, 6-1. Junior Holland Griffin won for MA at No. 4 singles, sophomore Kate Dockery won at No. 5 and junior Lucy Massey won at No. 6.
    The Voss sisters, Natalie and Nicola, won the No. 1 doubles state crown with a 6-4, 6-2 win over American Christian’s Leah Davis and Mary Madison Taylor. Robertson and Griffin teamed to win the No. 2 doubles for Montgomery Academy. Houston Academy’s Caroline Orr and Mary Francis White gave the Raiders the No. 3 doubles championship.

Class 1A-3A State Tennis Championships
Team scoring:
Montgomery Academy 46, Houston Academy 41, American Christian 23, Madison Academy 15, Shoals Christian 9, Altamont 6, Decatur Heritage 2, Whitesburg Christian 2.
Singles Finals
No. 1 – Sydney Homan, Madison Academy d.  Natalie Voss, Houston Academy, 6-1, 6-1
No. 2 – Nicola Voss, Houston Academy d. Elizabeth Robertson, Montgomery Academy, 6-2, 6-2
No. 3 – Hannah Snider, Montgomery Academy d. Sterling Gualteri, Madison Academy, 6-2, 6-1
No. 4 – Holland Griffin, Montgomery Academy d. Kaitlyn Mohlenbrok, American Christian, 6-1, 6-0
No. 5 – Kate Dockery, Montgomery Academy d. Mary Kate Jones, Houston Academy, 6-3, 6-2
No. 6 – Lucy Massey, Montgomery Academy d. Bailey Farrish, American Christian, 6-0, 6-2
Doubles Finals
No. 1 – Natalie Voss/Nicola Voss, Houston Academy d. Leah Davis/Mary Madison Taylor, American Christian, 6-4, 6-2
No. 2 – Elizabeth Robertson/Holland Griffin, Montgomery Academy d. Kavita Kanramneni/Mary Kate Jones, Houston Academy, 6-1, 6-1

AHSAA Mourns Death of Hall of Fame Coach Jack Ray

     The Alabama High School Athletic Association is saddened to learn of the death of Willard Jackson “Jack” Ray, 89, who died Tuesday morning. Mr. Ray was inducted into the AHSAA Sports Hall of Fame in 2006.
      “We offer our most sincere condolences to the family of Coach Ray,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, Wetumpka High School and the entire Wetumpka community.”
      Ray served as head football coach at Wetumpka High School for 13 seasons (1952-64), compiling an 82-38-8 record. Three teams (1953, 1963 and 1964) finished 9-0-1. He also coached three seasons at Central-Phenix City and retired from coaching with a 90-59-9 overall record. He also coached basketball and baseball at Wetumpka.
     The Wetumpka High School graduate also served as Elmore County Superintendent of Education and was a retired minister.
     Visitation will be held today, from 5 to 8 p.m., at First Baptist Church in Wetumpka. The funeral service will be at First Baptist Church Friday at 2 p.m. Burial will follow in Pine View Memorial Gardens.

2015-16 Swimming and Diving Rules Changes Include Lifting of Jewelry Restrictions

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (April 15, 2015) — High school swimmers and divers will now be permitted to wear jewelry during competition. This change was approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Swimming and Diving Rules Committee at its March 22-24 meeting in Indianapolis.

This significant rules change was among four revisions recommended by the committee for the 2015-16 season and subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

With a focus on addressing pertinent rules regarding competition, the committee determined that the wearing of jewelry presents little risk of injury to the competitor or opponents. Therefore, prohibiting jewelry is an unnecessary restriction, and officials can now better focus on meet administration directly related to competition. Rule 3-3-5 now reflects the change with the removal of any language barring or penalizing the wearing of jewelry.

“We’ve been working for the past 10 years on the role of prohibiting jewelry, and we finally came to the conclusion that prohibition presented little concern for injury,” said Becky Oakes, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the Swimming and Diving Rules Committee. “We determined the penalty’s severity was no longer based in sound rationale.”

The committee also addressed the requirements of officials’ uniforms. Rule 4-1-7 was amended to only require that swimming and diving officials dress in a uniform approved by the state association. Previously, officials were required to dress in white attire or other attire approved by the state association. This change clarifies the rule and allows for more practicality when determining the appropriate uniform for officials, as white is no longer the current standard.

“We felt that it was more appropriate for state associations to handle officials’ uniforms, so long as, in each state, every official wears the same uniform,” Oakes said.

The committee also amended Rule 4-3-1 a, b to allow the starter to designate another individual to sound a device for the lead swimmer during the 500-yard/400-meter freestyle when the swimmer has two lengths plus 5 yards remaining in the race. The starter may have multiple tasks occurring simultaneously, and having a designee would allow for the starter to maintain better accuracy and concentration during events. 

The final change was to Rule 9-6-1, which now includes a clarification indicating that the diving referee may be one of the judges on the panel, or a separate official.  

A complete listing of all rules changes is available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page, and select “Swimming & Diving.”

According to the 2013-14 NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, swimming and diving has 304,152 participants in 14,530 programs nationwide.

Central Board Adopts Current Football Practice Contact Safety Guidelines As AHSAA By-Law

     The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board of Control approved the current recommended football practice contact guidelines in place for health and safety to become a by-law Tuesday at the AHSAA Spring Central Board meeting at the AHSAA Office.
      The guidelines require the first two days of fall practice to be in shorts and helmets, followed by shoulder pads and helmets on the third day not to exceed 90 minutes. On the fourth day, shoulder pads and helmets are to be used with the practice not exceeding 120 minutes. On the fifth practice day, one full speed contact practice, not to exceed 90 minutes of full speed contact is allowed.
     Week 2 would allow alternating days of full-speed contact practice, not to exceed a combined total of 120 minutes of full-speed contact practice per week. In addition, one intra-squad scrimmage would be allowed in week 2.
     Beginning week 3, alternating days of full-speed contact practice, not to exceed a combined total of 120 minutes of full-speed contact practice per week, will be permitted. One interscholastic scrimmage or contest will be allowed in week 3.
     Week 4 through the end of the season, 90 minutes of full-speed contact practice is permitted.
      During Spring Evaluation, alternating days of full-speed contact practice, not to exceed a combined total of 120 minutes of full contact per week, are allowed. One interscholastic scrimmage contest is allowed during the spring evaluation. The complete guidelines can be found at www.ahsaa.com.
      The board voted to require all schools to follow the guidelines that were recommended in 2013 that restrict football practice contact. The AHSAA, along with Texas, Arizona and Maryland, has been a national leader in developing good health and safety practices. The NFHS, in its recent report on football contact, cited the AHSAA’s safety recommendations and its reduction of injuries as a result.
      The AHSAA Medical Advisory Board, co-chaired by Dr. Jimmy Robinson of Tuscaloosa and Dr. Lawrence Lemak of Birmingham, also more clearly defined “contact” in its latest recommendation.
      “This is a landmark decision by the Central Board,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said. “Our medical advisory committee, at our meeting last February, agreed that the AHSAA’s recommendations in place were adequate and necessary. They also asked us to define more clearly the definition of “contact” and the Central Board agreed. We thank our medical advisory committee, which we think is the best in the nation, and our Central Board for helping us take a leadership role in developing these very important guidelines.”
      The practice requirements for high schools and middle schools will be placed in the AHSAA Handbook and go into effect beginning with the 2015-16 school year.
       Hartselle High School head football coach Bob Godsey, a member of the AHSAA Football Coaches Committee and the Alabama Football Coaches Association, was also present to express coaches’ support for these guidelines.
      The Central Board also approved requiring all schools to have athletic emergency plans on file for all sports and all facilities by June 1, 2015. A template will be developed by the AHSAA and will be made available to member schools. The Central Board approved requiring CPR training for all coaches to include AED training.
     The Central Board also instructed  the AHSAA, in conjunction with its Baseball Coaches Committee, to study baseball’s current length of season, total number of games played, the pitching limitation rule and to clearly define of what constitutes a tournament. The group was asked to bring back recommendations to the July Central Board meeting. 
    In other Central Board action, Spring Garden High School principal Mike Welsh was elected to serve as Central Board president for the 2015-16/2016-17 two-year term. Hackleburg principal John Hardin was elected vice president.
      The AHSAA Legislative Council also voted on 21 legislative proposals submitted by member schools for 2015 and ratified one.
      The Legislative Council voted 27-5 to ratify a proposal submitted by Bob Jones High School to restrict floor access at regular-season wrestling tournaments to a specific number of school or team personnel.  

        Passage of a legislative proposal requires a two-thirds vote of the 32-member council.

In other board action Tuesday:

§  Approved Covenant Christian School of Mobile as a middle-school member of the AHSAA beginning the 2015-16 school year.

§  Approved Lindsay Lane Christian Academy of Athens for associate membership of the AHSAA beginning 2015-16.

§  Approved the 2014 Super 7 audit, the 2015 State and Regional Basketball Tournament audits, Super Section and State Wrestling audits and Indoor Track financial report.

§  Approved Regional Basketball Tournament sites (Dothan, Alabama State, Jacksonville State, Wallace-Hanceville) for 2015-16 season.

§  Approved the State Swim Meet contract (with Auburn University) for the next three years, 2015-17.

§  Approved the projected expenses for the 2015 NFHS Summer Meeting in New Orleans.

§  Approved the 2015-16 Calendar of Events, 2015-16 Sports Calendar and five-year Sports Calendar.

§  Heard an update from AHSADCA Director Alvin Briggs concerning the 2015 Summer Conference and All-Star Sports Week in Montgomery July 20-25.

§  Heard a report from Assistant Director Denise Ainsworth detailing results of the recent member-school AHSAA survey.
Set June 18, 2014 as the date for new Central Board Member Orientation.

§  Set dates for future Central Board meetings – July 29, 2015, Oct. 21, 2015, Feb. 3, 2016 and April 12, 2016.

§  Set June 18, 2015 as the date for new Central Board Member Orientation.