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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.

Class 7A Baseball Championship Series -- Game 1 Smiths Station 3, Thompson 2

     MONTGOMERY  -- Smiths Station (25-16-1) beat Thompson Saturday afternoon 3-2 in the first game of the AHSAA Class 7A state baseball championship series at Riverwalk Stadium.
     The series was scheduled to start Friday night but was postponed because of rain until Saturday at 4 p.m. Rains came in the top of the fourth inning Saturday with Smiths Station leading 3-0.
     After an hour delay, the game resumed with Thompson getting a run in the fourth and seventh innings before Panthers starting pitcher Max Newton (7-6) pitched out of the final inning jam.
     Newton walked only one and struck out four.
     Colin Lillie (8-1) also pitched a complete game to get the loss. The Warriors hurler allowed six hits and struck out five over six innings.
    Devin Brown had a double, single and RBI for Smiths Station. Caleb Lynn also had a single and RBI for Coach Mike Ferry’s Panthers. Dalton Sinquefield added two hits.
    Chris Lewis had two hits and an RBI and Zach Brammer tripled in a run for Coach Pat Hamrick’s Warriors (31-17).
     Game 2 was still underway Saturday night. Game 3 will be Monday at 7 p.m., if needed. All games are being live-streamed by the NFHS Network.

Class 1A State Softball Championships Brantley Wins 4 Straight to Claim 1A Crown

MONTGOMERY –   Brantley High School outscored four opponents 25-4 en route to four straight victories as the Lady Bulldogs won their second straight Class 1A state softball championship Friday at Lagoon Park.
      Coach Cindy Hawthorne’s Lady Bulldogs (33-10) opened the 1A state tournament with a 4-2 win over Spring Garden, beat Isabella 6-0, Athens Bible 5-2 and Isabella in the championship game 10-0.
      Winning pitcher Leanna Johnson hurled all four wins, including a two-hit five-inning shutout in the final game. She struck out nine. She finished the tournament with 42 strikeouts in 26 innings pitched with only 16 hits and four runs allowed.
     Johnson, a freshman, got plenty of hitting support from her teammates. Kassidy Wilcox had a home run, two doubles and two RBIs in the final Isabella win. Olivia Jones also had two singles and Alex Wilcox had a run-scoring double.
      Chelsea Cox got the loss for the Mustangs (21-13). Caley Booth and Cox got the only hits for Isabella.
     Kassidy Wilcox finished the tournament 8-of-14 with four doubles, a homer and five RBIs for Brantley to earn MVP honors.
   Class 1A All-Tourney Team: Kassidy Wilcox, Brantley (MVP); Leanna Johnson, Brantley; Sydnee Bryan, Brantley; Jessica Hermeling, Brantley; Caley Booth, Isabella; Chelsea Cox, Isabella; Kacie Adams, Isabella; Payton Traffanstedt, Spring Garden; Megan Davidson, Spring Garden. 

Class 3A State Softball Championships Hale County Beats Pisgah in Finals 9-3

   MONTGOMERY –   Hale County rode solid pitching and some clutch pitching to roll through the AHSAA Class 3A state softball tournament undefeated to claim the school’s second straight state softball championship Friday night.
     The Wildcats (34-10) pounded 11 hits in the championship game to beat Pisgah 9-3. Savanna Holmes pitched 4 2/3 innings to get the victory. She allowed four hits and struck out four.  Halle Payne pitched the final 2 1/3 innings allowing one hit and no runs.
      Sophomore Harley Stokes earned MVP honors collecting two hits and an  RBI in the finals.  Her solo homer in the eighth inning in the winners’ bracket finals gave Coach  Lori Wyatt’s Wildcats a dramatic 1-0 win to send them to the championship game.  Her solo homer in the top of the sixth inning  tied Hale County’s second win of the tourney, a 3-1 victory that went 10 innings over Colbert Heights. Kayla Wyatt drove in the winning runs in that contest with a single in the final frame.   Hale County also beat Oakman 3-2.
     Olivia McCray had three hits and Dakota Morrow had two home runs and three RBIs in the championship game win over Pisgah.  Baylee Rogers had two hits and two RBIs for the Eagles (39-10).
   Class 3A All-Tourney Team: Harley Strokes, Hale County (MVP); Dakota Morrow, Hale County; Kayla Wyatt, Hale County; Savanna Holmes, Hale County; Halle Payne, Hale County; Ashley Keith, Pisgah; Lily Womack, Pisgah; Baylee Rogers, Pisgah; Madi Moore, Winfield; Kaelyn Holt, Colbert Heights.

Class 5A State Softball Championships Springville Beats Hayden 2-0 in Finals

   MONTGOMERY –   Springville High School pitcher Abby Swaney pitched four straight wins in the 2015 AHSAA Class 5A state softball tournament to lead the Tigers (38-12) to their first fast-pitch state championship.
     Swaney, an eighth grader, beat Clay County-Central 2-1, Beauregard 10-1 and then blanked Hayden 3-0 in the winner’s bracket finals and 2-0 in the championship game.  The Wildcats (34-7) was the North Central Regional No. 1 qualifier and Springville was No. 2.
     Swaney had 14 straight shutout innings to close out the tourney for Coach Chris Williams’ team to earn MVP honors. She pitched 28 innings, allowed 17 hits, 2 runs, one earned run, walked five and struck out 26 for an 0.25 ERA. She allowed just two hits, no walks, struck out six in the championship game – facing only 23 batters.
     She allowed two hits in the final game, singles to Savannah Woodard and Meleah Hargett.  Sharley Miller started for Hayden and pitched two scoreless innings before yielding to Chloe Kirkland, who hurled thde final five innings allowing four hits and two runs.
    Springville got both runs in the top of the seventh with Meg Sullivan doubling in a run and Katie Emmal singling in Sullivan.
   Class 5A All-Tourney Team: Abby Swaney, Springville (MVP); Meg Sullivan, Springville; Hanna Walker, Springville; Rian Brown, Springville; Sydney Daugherty, Beauregard; Megan Hill, Lawrence County; Sharley Miller, Hayden; Brooke Meadows, Hayden; Tori Knighten, Hayden; Savannah Woodard, Hayden.

Class 6A State Baseball Championship Series: Game 3 Cullman Claims 6A Title With 3rd Game win

   MONTGOMERY –   Cullman High School downed Pelham 10-4 in game three of the AHSAA Class 6A state baseball championship series Saturday afternoon at Riverwalk Stadium to seal the Bearcats’ first state title since 2008.
      Pelham rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning in game two to win 3-2 to force the series’ third game.
      Cullman (45-10), coached by Brent Patterson, scored five runs in the first two innings and four in the sixth – totaling 13 hits for the game.  Sophomore third baseman Noah Fondren had a double and single and scored three runs to lead the strong offensive finish. He completed the series with six hits in 11 at bats with six runs scored to earn 6A MVP honors.
     Owen Lovell (5-0) pitched 6 1/3 innings allowing eight hits and striking out one to get the final game win.  He also had four hits and two RBIs. Kolby Robinson and Cole Collins also had two hits each with Collins driving in two runs.  Orvis Cuello had a double and three RBIs, and Sam Huser had a double and RBI.
     Carter Bowen hurled the final two outs to close the game for the Bearcats.
     Coach Sean Anderson’s Panthers (34-12) collected eight hits with Sam Finnerty  slugging a solo home run and Chase Martin collecting a triple and RBI. Hunter Stovall added a double. Starting pitcher Tyler Wilburn (8-1) got the loss. Hunter Orr hurled two scoreless innings to finish the game for Pelham.
      Cullman’s state title was the school’s fourth overall with other championships coming in 2002, 2007 and 2008. Pelham has two state crowns to its credit (2004 and 2013).