Bowling To Be Added As AHSAA Championship Sport in 2015-16

       MONTGOMERY – Bowling will become the newest championship sport offered by the Alabama High School Athletic Association, beginning with the upcoming 2015-16 school year. The state championship tournament is scheduled for Jan. 29-30, 2016.

    The Central Board of Control is expected to approve Pelham’s Oak Mountain Lanes as the host for the first state bowling championship at its July meeting. Two regional tournament sites at Tuscaloosa and Foley are also expected to be approved.
      “We are extremely excited about adding bowling to our list of winter state championship sports offered to our member schools,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said. “The sport was offered last season as an emerging sport under jurisdiction for our member schools. The growth of the sport in such a short time has been outstanding.”
     A total of 43 schools fielded bowling teams last season. Already, that number has grown to 78 based on school sports declarations received for next season, according to Denise Ainsworth, the AHSAA assistant director responsible for the sport of bowling.  “We think that number will grow even larger before the season gets underway,” she said.
     Schools participated in regular-season play only last school year.  Ainsworth said the format for the 2015-16 inaugural season will include two regional bowling tournaments at the Gulf Bowl in Foley and Leland Lanes in Tuscaloosa with qualifiers advancing to the state tournament at Oak Mountain Lanes. The South Regional at Foley will be Jan. 20-21, and the North Regional at Tuscaloosa is set for Jan. 21-22.
     The sport will include a championship for girls and for boys in a combined Class 1A-7A. Schools fielding only a coed team will compete in the boys’ division. The first day allowed for practice is Oct. 5 with the first date for a contest set for Oct. 26. Varsity teams will be limited to 18 dates and five regular season tournaments. Middle and junior high school teams will be allowed a maximum 12 regular-season play dates and two regular-season tournaments.
     “Bowling is a sport that includes a segment of our student population that may not be competing in other sports,” Ainsworth said. “It also is a sport that is attracting teachers who may not be currently coaching a sport.”
       A list of schools that have declared bowling for 2015-16 can be found at the following link:

      Bowling was offered by the AHSAA as a championship sport for girls from 1972-77 along with badminton and archery. However, all three were discontinued after the 1977 season.  It is the first championship sport added by the AHSAA since slow-pitch softball began its conversion to fast-pitch softball in 1995. Boys’ and girls’ soccer was added in 1991.
       Indoor track, which resumed in 2012, was conducted from 1966-2007 for boys and from 1974-2007 for girls before play was suspended for four seasons (2008-11) due to a lack of adequate facilities. With the construction of Birmingham’s state-of-the-art CrossPlex, indoor track participation has shown significant growth in the last three seasons since re-instatement.
      The AHSAA currently offers 24 championship sports, including cheerleading, with 12 for boys and 12 for girls. Cheerleading is a sports activity endorsed by the AHSAA with the state championships being administered by an outside source. With the addition of bowling, that brings the total to 26. 
      Boys’ basketball was the first championship sport established by the AHSAA (1923). Boys’ outdoor track followed in 1925 and boys’ tennis in 1935. Football, which got its roots as early as 1892 (Alabama School for the Deaf) and 1898 (Barton Academy of Mobile), established its first state playoff in 1966. Prior to that time, while no playoffs were set up, mythical state champions were crowned by news media each year from 1920 to 1965. Girls’ sports began officially in the AHSAA in 1962 with swimming, followed in 1966 by tennis. In the 1971-72 school year, six girls’ sports were added.
       A history of the AHSAA championship sports, with first year of championship play, is listed below.

NFHS, Simon’s Fund release “Sudden Cardiac Arrest” on www.nfhslearn.com

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (June 24, 2015) – The National Federation of State High School Associations has added a new course to its selection of online education courses available through the NFHS Learning Center at www.nfhslearn.com.

            “Sudden Cardiac Arrest” was developed in conjunction with Simon’s Fund, which raises awareness about the conditions that lead to sudden cardiac arrest and death in young athletes.

             “The NFHS is pleased to partner with Simon's Fund to provide this free online course,” said Dan Schuster, director of coach education at NFHS. “This is critically important information that can save a life and ultimately create a safer environment for students.” 

The course educates coaches, students, parents and others about sudden cardiac arrest, how to recognize its warning signs and symptoms, and the appropriate course of action to be taken if a player collapses during physical activity.

            Sudden cardiac arrest is the No. 1 cause of death in the United States for student-athletes during exercise, taking the lives of thousands every year.

“It is critically important for coaches – and others – to be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest, and to know how to respond effectively in order to protect student-athletes,” said Dr. Bill Heinz, chair of the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee and host of the new “Sudden Cardiac Arrest” course.

            “By partnering with the NFHS, hundreds of thousands of coaches will see our educational video and become educated about the warning signs and conditions that lead to sudden cardiac arrest.  We can’t think of a better way of fulfilling our mission,” said Darren Sudman, executive director and co-founder of Simon’s Fund.

            Along with this new course, the NFHS also encourages all schools to develop and implement an emergency action plan, have an AED on site and have an appropriate health-care professional present at as many events as possible in order to minimize risk to student-athletes.

            “Sudden Cardiac Arrest” takes just 15 minutes to complete and can be used toward fulfillment of Certified Interscholastic Coach requirements, part of the NFHS National Certification Program.

The course can be taken for free at https://nfhslearn.com/courses/61032.

Jackie Stiles, J. T. Curtis Among 12 Individuals Selected for 2015 Class of National High School Hall of Fame

     INDIANAPOLIS, IN (June 23, 2015) — Jackie Stiles, the high school basketball legend from Claflin, Kansas, who is the leading scorer in NCAA women’s basketball history, and J. T. Curtis, whose 542 victories as football coach at John Curtis Christian School in Louisiana rank No. 2 all-time, are among 12 individuals selected for the 2015 class of the National High School Hall of Fame.

Other athletes who were chosen for this year’s class are Cindy Brogdon, who helped Greater Atlanta Christian School to three state girls basketball titles in the early 1970s while setting 12 school records; Nikki McCray-Penson, Tennessee’s all-time leading scorer in five-player girls basketball during her days at Collierville High School; and Lincoln McIlravy, who won five South Dakota state wrestling titles at Philip High School and three NCAA championships at the University of Iowa.

Joining Curtis as coaches in this year’s class are David Barney, who has won 34 state championships in boys and girls swimming at Albuquerque Academy in New Mexico; Rick Lorenz, girls volleyball coach at Central Catholic High School in Portland, Oregon, who has won 10 state championships and 1,174 matches; Don Petranovich, who retired in 2010 after winning eight girls basketball state championships at Winslow High School in Arizona; and Charles “Corky” Rogers, football coach at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida, who ranks fifth among active coaches with 444 victories.

These four athletes and five coaches, along with one contest official, one state association administrator and one in the performing arts, will be inducted into the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) National High School Hall of Fame July 2 at the New Orleans Marriott in New Orleans, Louisiana. The 33rd Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be the closing event of the 96th annual NFHS Summer Meeting.

Other members of the 2015 induction class are the late Joseph (Joe) Pangrazio Sr., who was a football official for 45 years and a basketball official for 55 years with the Ohio High School Athletic Association; Doug Chickering, who guided the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association to unprecedented levels of success during his 24 years (1986-2009) as executive director; and Mike Burton, one of the nation’s top speech and debate coaches during his 39 years (1969-2008) at two schools in the state of Washington.

            The National High School Hall of Fame was started in 1982 by the NFHS to honor high school athletes, coaches, contest officials, administrators, performing arts coaches/directors and others for their extraordinary achievements and accomplishments in high school sports and activity programs. This year’s class increases the number of individuals in the Hall of Fame to 435.

            The 12 individuals were chosen after a two-level selection process involving a screening committee composed of active high school state association administrators, coaches and officials, and a final selection committee composed of coaches, former athletes, state association officials, media representatives and educational leaders. Nominations were made through NFHS member associations.

            Following is biographical information on the 12 individuals in the 2015 class of the National High School Hall of Fame.






                Cindy Brogdon was one of the top girls basketball players in Georgia history during her four years (1972-75) at Greater Atlanta Christian School in Norcross. She led her teams to three state titles (finished second the other year) and set 12 school records, including most points in a game (44) and highest career scoring average (23.7). Brogdon played two years at Mercer University, averaging 30.1 points per game, and two years at the University of Tennessee, where she led the Lady Vols in scoring both seasons. Brogdon was a member of the 1976 U.S. Olympic women’s basketball team and was inducted into the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and the Women’s College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002. She is currently a teacher and coach at Northview High School in Johns Creek, Georgia.

            Nikki McCray-Penson scored 3,594 points during her four-year basketball career at Collierville (Tennessee) High School – most in state history for the five-player game. She led her team to the state tournament as a senior in 1990 and was the state’s top scorer with an average of 33.6 points per game. McCray also is the state’s all-time leading rebounder and was  named Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association Class AAA Miss Basketball in 1990. McCray led the University of Tennessee to a 122-11 record during her four years and was Southeastern Conference Player of the Year as a junior and senior. She played on two Olympic gold medal teams (1996, 2000) and played nine years in the Women’s National Basketball Association. McCray was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2012. She is currently an assistant women’s basketball coach at the University of South Carolina. 

            Lincoln McIlravy won five state wrestling titles (1988-92) at Philip High School in South Dakota – the first as an eighth-grader in the 98-pound class. He also won the 112-pound title as a ninth-grader, the 125-pound championship as a sophomore and the 152-pound titles as a junior and senior. His overall high school record was 200-25. At the University of Iowa, McIlravy posted an overall record of 96-3-12 and won three NCAA championships and three Big Ten Conference titles. From 1997 to 2000, McIlravy won four consecutive USA national freestyle titles. He also claimed three World Team trials and the 2000 USA Olympic trials. McIlravy was a bronze medalist at the 2000 Olympic Games. In 2010, McIlravy became a “distinguished member” of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.

            Jackie Stiles is regarded by most people as the greatest female athlete in Kansas history after her incredible accomplishments at Claflin High School from 1993 to 1997. In basketball, she scored 3,603 points and averaged 35.7 points per game (seventh all-time nationally), which includes a staggering 46.4 scoring average (fourth all-time nationally) as a senior. She set the state’s all-time single-game mark with 71 points in 1997. In track and field, Stiles helped Claflin to two state titles and set an all-state record with 14 gold medals and two silver medals (16 possible medals). She won four gold medals as a freshman and, as a junior, became the first female athlete to win the 400, 800, 1600 and 3200 – all in one day. She also competed on the cross country and tennis teams. Stiles’ accomplishments continued at Southwest Missouri State University (now Missouri State University), where she led her team to a berth in the Women’s Final Four in 2001. Stiles is the all-time leading scorer in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history with 3,393 points and led the NCAA in scoring in 1999-2000 with a 27.8 per-game average. She is the school’s single-season scoring leader. Stiles was named WNBA Rookie of the Year in 2001 after averaging 14.9 points per game for the Portland Fire. She currently is assistant women’s basketball coach at Missouri State University.


            David Barney has been involved in interscholastic coaching since 1961, including the past 40 years as girls swimming coach and the past 33 years as boys swimming coach at Albuquerque Academy (AA) in New Mexico. The amazing 83-year-old Barney has led his AA swimmers to 34 New Mexico Activities Association state titles (18 boys, 16 girls). His overall record (boys and girls) entering the 2014-15 season was 923-71. Barney’s teams previously set or still hold 70 state records with 238 individuals and relays winning gold medals. Barney has coached five National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association (NISCA) national champions and he has coached more than 300 NISCA All-American swimmers. In 1995, Barney was selected the first NFHS National High School Girls Swimming Coach of the Year. In 2010, he was the first swimming coach to be inducted into the NMAA’s Hall of Pride & Honor.

            J. T. Curtis has registered a phenomenal 542-58-6 record (89.9 winning percentage) during his 46 years as football coach at John Curtis Christian School in River Ridge, Louisiana. He is second all-time in coaching victories, trailing the legendary John McKissick, who has 621 wins through the 2014 season. Curtis has led his teams to 26 state championships in 35 appearances in the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) state title game, and the school has reached the championship game for 19 consecutive years. In 2012, his team was the consensus national champion and he was named USA Today Coach of the Year for the second time. Curtis is also the school’s athletic director, overseeing a program that has won more than 50 state championships in eight different sports, and the school’s headmaster. An ordained minister, Curtis delivers weekly sermons to a local congregation.

            Rick Lorenz has coached girls volleyball in Oregon since 1976, including the past 27 years at Central Catholic High School in Portland. He previously coached 10 years at St. Mary’s Academy and one year at Lake Oswego High School. Lorenz has led his teams to 10 Oregon School Activities Association state championships and 10 second-place finishes. His teams have advanced to the finals site in 32 of his 39 years coaching the sport. Lorenz has posted a 1,174-185 record (86.3 winning percentage) and his career victory total ranks eighth all-time nationally according to the NFHS’ National High School Sports Record Book. Lorenz’s 2011 team registered a perfect 44-0 record in the state’s largest volleyball class and won a third consecutive state title. Last year, Lorenz was named National Volleyball Coach of the Year by the National High School Coaches Association (NHSCA).

            Don Petranovich retired in 2010 after a legendary 33-year career as girls basketball coach at Winslow (Arizona) High School. Petranovich registered a state-record 780-158 record (83.1 winning percentage) and appeared in a state-record 16 state championship games, winning the title eight times. His 1989 and 1990 teams won a state-record 44 consecutive games. Petranovich was NFHS National Girls Basketball Coach of the Year in 2009 and was named the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s Coach of the 20th Century. He played major roles in the early development of girls high school basketball in Arizona as well as the rise in interest in girls basketball on Native American reservations. Petranovich also served as the school’s athletic director for 28 years, retiring in 2013.

            Charles “Corky” Rogers ranks sixth all-time (fifth among active coaches) in career football coaching victories during his outstanding 43-year career at two Jacksonville, Florida, high schools. Rogers coached at his alma mater, Robert E. Lee High School, from 1972 to 1988, and has directed the football program at The Bolles School for the past 26 years. Rogers has compiled an overall 444-80-1 record (84.8 winning percentage) and was the eighth coach in high school football history to surpass 400 victories. Rogers’ teams have won 11 Florida High School Athletic Association state championships in 16 appearances – most in Florida history. He has been inducted in several halls of fame and was National High School Football Coach of the Year in 2004-05, as selected by the National High School Coaches Association.


            The late Joseph (Joe) Pangrazio Sr. was an Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA) football official for 45 years (1955-2000) and an OHSAA basketball official for 55 years (1945-2000). He officiated six state football championships and 10 state basketball tournaments (eight boys, two girls). He conducted countless clinics and camps and was instrumental in recruiting and mentoring numerous new football and basketball officials. Pangrazio was also a highly successful college basketball official in several conferences and was a Big Ten Conference basketball officials observer and evaluator at Ohio State University for 25 years. Pangrazio was a 1989 charter member of the OHSAA Officials Hall of Fame, and last year he was inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame.


            Doug Chickering guided the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) to unprecedented success during his 24 years (1986-2009) as executive director. Only the fourth person to hold the position in the 113-year history of the WIAA, Chickering was instrumental in adding private schools into the association in 2000, expanding state tournament opportunities in all sports, and enhancing the exposure of high school sports through various media platforms. At the national level, Chickering served two terms on the NFHS Board of Directors and was president in 1992-93. During his year as president, Chickering guided the organization through some challenging financial times, and he later was instrumental in establishing the NFHS Foundation. He was chair of the Foundation Board of Directors until his retirement in 2009. Chickering also chaired the NFHS Strategic Planning Committee. Prior to joining the WIAA in 1986, Chickering was a teacher, coach, athletic director, principal and district administrator in the Gilman and Marathon schools in Wisconsin.


            Mike Burton retired in 2008 after an outstanding 39-year career as a speech and debate coach in the state of Washington. Burton started his career in 1969 at White River High School in Buckley, Washington, and then served for 25 years in the Auburn, Washington, School District. He closed his career with a nine-year stint at Eastside Catholic High School in Bellevue, where he started the speech and debate program in 2000. Burton’s students won three national championships and 36 state championships. He was known for building the Auburn forensics program into one of the largest and most successful in the nation, with 120 to 150 students involved. He served on the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) Forensics Committee for 14 years and was the National Catholic Forensic League diocese director. Burton also coached baseball for 15 years and was a highly successful high school and college football official for 36 years. Burton was president of the NFHS Officials Association in 1998.

AHSAA mourns death of Collinsville coach

     The AHSAA is saddened to learn of the death of Coach L.D. Dobbins. The long-time Collinsville High School basketball coach passed away June 11.  He is survived by his wife Marian.
      Coach Dobbins, who coached at Collinsville for 29 years, retired in 1991 with a 511-311 record with one state championship in 1975. Always promoting sportsmanship, he was cited for only four technical fouls in his coaching career.
    Coach Dobbins was inducted into the AHSAA Sports Hall of Fame in 2000. He was inducted as a charter member into the DeKalb County Sports Hall of Fame. The gymnasium at Collinsville High School is also named in his honor.

Ohio University is new NFHS Corporate Partner

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (June 12, 2015) – Ohio University, the nation’s ninth oldest public university and a pioneer in sports education, has entered into a one-year agreement with the National Federation of State High School Associations as an NFHS Corporate Partner.

As part of the agreement, Ohio University, located in Athens, Ohio, will be considered one of three exclusive NFHS Partners for the NFHS Coach Education Program, and the only Educational Academic Program Partner of the NFHS.

“We are pleased to enter this agreement with Ohio University, a long-time leader in sports administration programs,” said Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director. “These master’s programs provide an excellent opportunity for coaches and athletic administrators to advance their careers.”

Recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of America’s best universities, Ohio University offers two distinct graduate programs for athletic leaders: the Online Master’s in Athletic Administration (MAA) and the Online Master’s in Coaching Education (MCE).

Designed exclusively for busy professionals, coursework for the MAA and MCE programs is delivered 100 percent online. The innovative online format gives coaches and athletic administrators the flexibility needed to advance their education without having to put their career on hold.

                We have a strong appreciation for the NFHS and consider it an honor to be named a corporate partner,” said Dr. Scott Smith, program director for Ohio University’s online MAA program. “To strategically align ourselves with such a tremendous brand and education-based leader in interscholastic sports will only heighten our ability to support the growth of today’s best coaches and athletic directors. 

As the first specialized academic sports program in the country, Ohio University’s online Master’s in Athletic Administration is focused solely on developing interscholastic athletic directors and preparing them for National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) Certification. To learn more about Ohio University’s online MAA program, visit: http://athleticadminonline.ohio.edu/

The online MCE program prepares coaches to excel at all levels of competition through a challenging curriculum based on the National Association of Sport and Physical Education’s (NASPE) “8 Domains of Coaching.”  For more information regarding the online MCE program, visit: http://mastersincoachingonline.ohio.edu/.

Applications for both programs are currently being accepted for the Fall 2015 term. No GRE or GMAT is required to apply. Both programs can be completed in two years.

Public-Address Announcers to be Recognized During National High School Activities Month

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (May 20, 2015) – For the first time, public-address announcers will be recognized and celebrated during “National High School Activities Month” sponsored by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) this October. During the October 1-10 timeframe, a focus on what public-address announcers bring to the high school activities experience will be included with sportsmanship and fan appreciation.

“Public-address announcers have a lot of control, and really set the stage for fans and participants to enjoy the athletic experience,” said Elliot Hopkins, director of sports and student services at the NFHS. “Therefore, we thought it was important to include public-address announcers and celebrate their importance in high schools across America during Activities Month.”

The NFHS initially created National High School Activities Week in 1980 to increase the public’s awareness of the values and benefits inherent in high school athletics and other co-curricular activities. Activities Week has since expanded into Activities Month, with each week designed to promote and celebrate different areas of high school activities. The first week of Activities Month will now be called National Sportsmanship, Fan Appreciation and Public-Address Announcers Week.   

In addition to promoting the values of sportsmanship and acknowledging those faithful fans of high school sports, schools are now encouraged to acknowledge the dedication and service that public-address announcers provide at every athletic contest.

The addition of public-address announcers to Activities Month was due, in part, to the focus being directed to these individuals by the National Association for Sports Public Address Announcers (NASPAA). NASPAA was founded several years ago by Brad Rumble, former assistant director of the NFHS.

“Besides the fact that [announcers] enjoy what they do, the primary reason they announce is to give back to the athletes, school and community,” Rumble said.  “Because of public-address announcers who know their role and follow approved public-address announcing guidelines, games and events are significantly enhanced. For these reasons and for their decades of service to high school sports, the NASPAA is proud to partner with the NFHS to make it possible for the men, women and student public-address announcers to be recognized by being included in National High School Activities Month."

Class 4A State Softball Championships Curry Comes Out of Loser’s Bracket To Win Title

MONTGOMERY –   Curry High School clawed its way out of the loser’s bracket Saturday by winning three straight games to capture the AHSAA Class 4A state softball championship at Lagoon Park.
    Coach Phillip Smith’s Yellow Jackets (44-6) beat West Blocton 2-0 and Westminster Christian 6-2 to reach the winner’s bracket finals. Northside (46-10) handed Curry a 5-1 loss, but the Jackets roared back with a 5-1 win over west Blocton, then beat Northside 7-3 in 10 innings and 2-1 in eight innings in the championship game.
    Junior Ashlee Swindle pitched all six games for Curry with two one-hitters. She hurled all 10 innings in the first game of the double-elimination finals. She scattered seven hits and struck out nine. She pitched all eight innings in the final game allowing five hits and striking out five.  She finished the tournament with 45 innings pitched, allowed 31 hits, 12 runs and struck out 31.
    Class 4A state tournament MVP  Haleigh Lane, a senior first baseman, had three hits in the finals and finished the six games hitting .550 with 11 hits in 20 at bats with six runs scored and seven RBIs. She had a homer and double in the 10-inning win over Northside, a double and triple in the 5-1 win over West Blocton and a home run in the tournament opener against the same Tigers.
    Kaylee Norton had a double, two singles and one RBI, Taylor Rowe had two hits and an RBI and Gabby Englebert had two hits in the final game for Curry.   Destiny Noble had one hit and an RBI for Northside, coached by Tommy Honeycutt.
   Class 4A All-Tourney Team: Haleigh Lane, Curry (MVP); Courtney Howze, Curry; Taylor Rowe, Curry; Ashlee Swindle, Curry; Destiny Noble, Northside; Haley Barnette, Northside; Regan Malone, Northside; Annie Willie, Westminster; Chloe Deerman, West Blocton.

Class 6A State Softball Championships Wetumpka Downs Southside 3-2 in Final Game

MONTGOMERY –   Wetumpka edged Southside-Gadsden 3-2 in the AHSAA Class 6A state softball tournament championship game Saturday night at Lagoon Park to capture the school’s first state title.
    Coach Randy Belyeu’s Indians 42-8-1) reached the finals with a 6-4 win over Oxford, 5-1 victory over Saraland and a 6-1 win over Southside. The Panthers (42-7) of Coach Angie Sanders came out of the loser’s bracket to beat Wetumpka 5-4 to force a second game in the finals.
    Lauren Lett gave up nine hits and struck out one to get the win that sealed the state title for Wetumpka.  Class 6A state tournament MVP Destiny Brewer had three hits and two stolen bases to key the victory. Brewer finished 9-of-16 at the plate with six runs scored, a triple, five walks and six stolen bases in the Indians’ five games.
    Savannah Reaves added a double and single and Lindsey Johnson, who pitched two wins, had two hits each.  Claire Graves and Paiden Kircus had two hits apiece for Southside.
   Class 6A All-Tourney Team: Destiny Brewer, Wetumpka (MVP); Alex Christian, Wetumpka; Savannah Reaves, Wetumpka; Lauren Lett, Wetumpka; Paiden Kircus, Southside; Claire Graves, Southside; Savanna Yancey, Southside; Claire Jenkins, Cullman; Aspyn Goodwin, Daphne.

Class 2A State Softball Championships Sumiton Christian Beats Ider 8-7 in Finals

MONTGOMERY –   Sumiton Christian posted three straight one-run wins to capture the Eagles’ second state softball championship Saturday at Lagoon Park.
      The Eagles (48-11) opened play Friday with a 15-5 win over Zion Chapel and followed with a 5-4 victory over Mobile Christian to set up Saturday’s 6-5 win over Ider in the winners’ bracket finals and an 8-7 win in the AGSAA Class 2A state softball tournament championship game.
      Sophomore Jenna Ergle pitched the two wins over Ider Saturday, and sophomore Kendall Beth Sides hurled the first two wins Friday. Coach Jessica Aderhalt’s Eagles slugged 12 hits in the championship game with Ergle, the 2A state tournament MVP, collecting a double and single and two RBIs. Kendall Beth Sides, Savannah Langston and Abbie Brewster added two hits each in Sumiton’s 12-hit barrage.
    Ider (44-12), coached by David Hughes, was paced by Kayla Norman, who had a home run and single for three RBIs.
     Ergle was 8-of-14 with six RBIs and five runs scored over the four wins in the tourney. Kendall  Hamm was 7-of-15, including a 4-for-4 performance in the 15-5 win over Zion Chapel that included three doubles.
     The state title was the second Sumiton Christian. The Eagles’ last championship came in 2010.
   Class 12A All-Tourney Team: Jenna Ergle, Sumiton Christian (MVP); Holly Murray, Sumiton Christian; Kendell Hamm, Sumiton Christian; Kendll Beth Sides, Sumiton Christian; Savannah Hood, Ider; Kayla Norman, Ider; Courtney Blevins, Ider; Hannah Brenton, Mobile Christian; Claire Boston, Hatton.

Class 7A Baseball Championship Series -- Game 2 Smiths Station Captures 7A State Championship with Sweep

     MONTGOMERY  -- Smiths Station (26-16-1) exploded for seven runs in the top of the sixth inning Saturday night en route to an 11-4 victory over Thompson in game two of AHSAA Class 7A state baseball championship series at Riverwalk Stadium as the Panthers won the first state championship in school history.
      Coach Mike Ferry’s Panthers beat Thompson in game one Saturday 3-2 to set up the sweep as the Class 7A series brought the 2015 state baseball championships to a close.
     Blake Rivera (7-5) pitched a complete game to get the second-game win. He scattered eight hits and struck out seven.  Thompson (31-18) starter Stephen Poplin (7-2) hurled five innings allowing nine hits and seven runs to get the loss.
      Shortstop Devin Brown was 3-for-4 with four RBIs. He had a triple in the seven-run sixth inning.  Number nine hitter Hunter Woodall delivered a bases-loaded triple in the top of the fourth inning as the Panthers scored four runs to take a 4-1 lead.  Dalton Sinquefield added two hits and two RBIs and Tim McGonegle also had two hits among the Panthers’ 13 total.
     Riley Reach and Lance Johnson each had two hits and an RBI for the Warriors of Coach Pat Hamrick. Jonathan Crawford and Zach Brammer also had a double each.