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Coaches, Players Gather at Champions Challenge Press Conference Wednesday

      MONTGOMERY, AL – Coaches and players from Sweet Water, Clarke County, Thompson and James Clemens high schools gathered Thursday at the 2018  AHSAA Champions Challenge Football Classic press conference at the AHSAA Office here. The season-opening games are set for Aug. 23-24 at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl.
     Coaches addressed the large contingent of media on hand for the AHSAA’s annual Media Day, each discussion their excitement for the upcoming football season and the opportunity to participate in the 13th annual Champions Challenge.
      Clarke County and Sweet Water kick off the season on Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Cramton Bowl. Class 7A top-10 teams Thompson takes on James Clemens in the big-school game on Friday night, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m.   Raycom Media will televise the game live, the NFHS Network will live-stream the game and the AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast the game over its statewide network.
     Clarke County Coach Stacy Luker, who is the only head coach in the 13-year history to compete in the season-opening football classic at three different schools, said his team is glad to play in the opening game versus his alma mater Sweet Water. “I have been here twice before,” Luker said, “and the first two times was pretty tough.”
      Luker, who won five state championships while serving as head coach at Sweet Water, participated in the 2011 Champions Challenge versus Hamilton and then brought Demopolis in 2016 to face Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa. Hamilton beat Sweet Water 38-35 in ’11 and Hillcrest beat Demopolis 42-7 in ’16.
      “We got beat pretty good in 2016,” he said.
     He has no regrets, however. His Demopolis team rebounded to win five in a row and finished 7-4 – losing two games to 7A schools.  His Sweet Water team rebounded from a 38-35 loss to 4A Hamilton to win 10 games before falling in the Class 1A semifinals. His Clarke County squad is coming off an 11-3 season and reached the Class 3A semifinals for the first time in school history in Luker’s first season at the helm. The Bulldogs, moved up to 4A this season, is ranked ninth in the ASWA preseason rankings.
     Pat Thompson coached with Luker as an assistant at Thomasville and Sweet Water before he ascended to head coach in 2014 when Luker left. The Bulldogs, ranked second in the ASWA preseason rankings behind Lanett, are riding a 13-game winning streak heading into this season after claiming the school’s 10th Class 1A state championship overall. Lanett moved down to from 2A this season after winning the state title last year with a 15-0 season.
     Sweet Water’s defense should be strong with linebackers Jacory Brown, Chance Broussard and JahDarrius McIntosh returning. All three were on hand at Thursday’s press gathering. Clarke County was represented Thursday by returning starters Jake Anderson, Javon Ivory and Avant Law.
      Thompson (12-1), coached by Mark Freeman (186-41), won the Class 7A, Region 5 regular-season championship last season going 7-0. The Warriors lost in the semifinals to Region 5 runner-up Hoover, which won the state championship the next week. Freeman’s team features one of the nation’s top quarterback prospects, Taulia Tagovailoa, who passed for a state-leading 3,820 yards and 36 TDs last season as a junior.  Shad Byrd returns at running back after rushing for 1,167 yards and 18 scores. Both were on hand Thursday along with linebacker Will Conner and defensive end Eric Mizell.
     James Clemens (3-7) is the state’s youngest Class 7A school, opening its doors for the first time in 2012. Coach Wade Waldrop has coached the Jets to a 30-35 overall record, including going 10-2 in 2015 and 8-4 in 2016. James Clemens fell to 3-7 season but is expected to challenge for the Class 7A, Region 8 championship in 2018.
    The Jets return 2018 starting quarterback Conner Cantrell, who was forced into action when expected starter Jamil Mohammad suffered a season-ending injury.  Mohammad is back and at full strength giving Waldrop what he describes as “Two great quarterbacks. That is the position that probably has the most depth heading into this season.”
    Both were in attendance Thursday along with defensive lineman Daevion Davis and running back Austin McGhee.
    Also on hand at the  press conference was Montgomery Catholic senior cross country standout Amaris Tyynismaa, her head coach Ed Wright, Goshen volleyball coach Amy Warrick and Bob Jones swimming coach Wade Thaxton.
    The three coaches discussed those seasons, which also get underway Aug. 23, and discussed their own teams’ outlooks. Tyynismaa, the most decorated AHSAA girls’ distance runner in more than 40 years, comes into the 2018 season with four straight Class 4A/5A state girls’ cross country titles and holds the record for the fastest girls’ finish in state-meet history, 17:03.4, a state record she set as an eighth grader.
    She said her goal this season is to get under 17 minutes, a feat she accomplished at last year’s Footlocker national competition. Catholic’s boys and girls finished second last season. Warrick’s Goshen team finished 28-14 and was Class 2A state volleyball runner-up last season, the best finish in school history.  Thaxton’s young girls’ Bob Jones swimming team had a fourth-place finish last season in Class 6A/7A, and the boys finished seventh.

AHSAA CHAMPIONS CHALLENGE HISTORY

2017
Hewitt-Trussville 49, Pell City 10
Maplesville 20, Fyffe 7
2016
Andalusia 34, Brooks 13
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 42, Demopolis 7
Hoover 23, Central-Phenix City 7
2015
Bob Jones 37, Carver-Montgomery 30
Gordo 28, Glencoe 21
Madison Academy 19, Leeds 14
2014
Spanish Fort 42, Stanhope Elmore 14
Opelika 20, Carver-Montgomery 16
Dadeville 14, Piedmont 8
2013

Benjamin Russell 28, Walker 14
Straughn 35, Walter Wellborn 26
Bob Jones 23, Enterprise 20
2012

Spanish Fort 33, Muscle Shoals 22
Central of Clay County 25, Beauregard 13
McGill-Toolen 27, Northridge 0
2011
Hueytown 36, Thomasville 27
Hamilton 38, Sweet Water 35
Daphne 24, Clay-Chalkville 21

2010
Opelika 34, Greenville 6
Auburn 30, Spain Park 3
Jackson 30, Trinity 8                                     

2009
Prattville 37, Carver-Montgomery 0
T.R. Miller 27, Leeds 7
Hoover 32, Oxford 27

2008
Prattville vs. Oxford, canceled due to inclement weather

2007
Prattville 36, North Gwinnett, Ga. 3

2006
Hoover 38, UMS-Wright 0
Clay-County 41, Addison 6

 

 

 

ALL TIME RECORDS (2006 – 2017)

SCHOOL                                               DIS.        CL.          W-L        PTS         OPP
Bob Jones                                           D-8         7A           2-0          60           50
Hoover                                                 D-5         7A           2-0          61             7
Opelika                                                 D-4         6A           2-0          54           22
Spanish Fort                                       D-1         6A           2-0          75           36
Andalusia                                            D-2         4A           1-0          34           13
Auburn                                                 D-4         7A           1-0          30             3
Benjamin Russell                              D-4         6A           1-0          28           14
Central, Clay County**                  D-6         5A           1-0          25           13
Clay County**                                   D-6         3A           1-0          41             6
Dadeville                                             D-4         4A           1-0          14             8
Daphne                                                D-1         6A           1-0          24           21
Gordo                                                   D-7         3A           1-0          28           21
Hamilton                                              D-7         4A           1-0          38           35
Hewitt-Trussville                              D-5         7A           1-0          49           10

Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa                        D-5         6A           1-0          42             7

Hueytown                                           D-5         5A           1-0          36           27
Jackson                                                D-1         5A           1-0          30             8
Madison Academy                           D-8         3A           1-0          19           14
Maplesville                                         D-3         1A           1-0          20             7
McGill-Toolen Catholic                   D-1         7A           1-0          27             0
Prattville*                                           D-3         7A           1-0          36             3
Straughn                                              D-2         3A           1-0          35           26
Oxford                                                  D-6         6A           0-0            0             0


Addison                                               D-7         1A           0-1            6           41
Beauregard                                        D-4         5A           0-1          13           25
Brooks                                                  D-7         4A           0-1          13           34
Central, Phenix City                         D-4         7A           0-1            7           23
Clay-Chalkville                                   D-5         6A           0-1          21           24
Demopolis                                          D-3         5A           0-1            7           42
Enterprise                                           D-2         7A           0-1          20           23
Fyffe                                                     D-8         1A           0-1            7           20

Glencoe                                               D-6         3A           0-1          21           28
Greenville                                           D-2         5A           0-1            6           34
Leeds                                                    D-5         4A           0-1          14           19
Muscle Shoals                                    D-7         6A           0-1          22           33
North Gwinnett, GA                        GA          7A           0-1            3           36
Northridge                                          D-5         6A           0-1            0           27
Piedmont                                            D-6         3A           0-1            8           14
Pell City                                                D-6         6A           0-1          10           49
Spain Park                                           D-5         7A           0-1            3           30
Stanhope Elmore                             D-4         6A           0-1          14           42
Sweet Water                                      D-3         1A           0-1          35           38
Thomasville                                        D-3         4A           0-1          27           36
Trinity Presbyterian                        D-3         4A           0-1            8           30
UMS-Wright                                       D-1         4A           0-1            0           38
Walker                                                  D-5         5A           0-1          14           28
Walter Wellborn                               D-6         3A           0-1          26           35
Carver-Montgomery                      D-3         6A           0-2          46           57

TOTAL                                                                   26-26                    838         838        

*-Scheduled to play in 2008 but cancelled due to inclement weather
**-Clay County merged with Lineville in 2012 to form Central, Clay County

Hoover High School’s Josh Niblett Named Alabama All-Star Head Coach for 2018 Alabama-Mississippi Football Game

    MONTGOMERY – Hoover High School head football coach Josh Niblett will be the head coach for the Alabama All-Star football squad for the 32st annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star game next December.  The game will be played at Montgomery’s legendary Cramton Bowl on Monday night, Dec. 17 with a 6:30 p.m., kickoff. This will be the first game in the 31-year history to be played on Monday night.
    Jamie Lee, Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) made the announcement at the 2018 Champion Challenge press conference Thursday at the AHSAA office.
    Niblett, who served as head coach of the Alabama All-Stars in 2009, is one of the nation’s top high school coaches. He has coached six Hoover teams to AHSAA state championships and Oneonta to one title. The Bucs have been to the state finals every year except 2015 and 2008 since Niblett took over the program.
      “It was a great experience when I coached in the game in 2009,” Niblett said. “I am looking forward to the opportunity again. It is very important to high school football in this state.”
       Alabama lost 42-7 last year in Hattiesburg but still holds a 22-9 edge in the annual game that has pitted the top high school senior players from Alabama and Mississippi since 1988. Mississippi has won both games played in Mississippi (2015 and 2017). Alabama has a 22-7 edge in all games played in Alabama.  Piedmont’s Steve Smith was head coach in 2017.
     Niblett, the son of a high school football coach, owns a 129-16 record at Hoover, the state’s largest high school. His Bucs have won 89% of their games with state titles in 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016 and 2017 and finished second in 2008, 2010 and 2011.  Oneonta won the 3A title in 2004 and was runner-up in 2003. His overall record is 194-48 (80%).
     “Coach Niblett is one of our most outstanding high school head coaches in the nation,” said Lee.
     The rest of the Alabama All-Star staff for next December’s game will be announced in the near future, Lee said. The AHSADCA, in conjunction with the Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC) administers the all-star game each year.

 

ALABAMA-MISSISSIPPI ALL-STAR GAME HISTORY

Year-by-Year

2017

Mississippi

42

Alabama

7

Hattiesburg

2016

Alabama

25

Mississippi

14

2015

Mississippi

28

Alabama

21

Hattiesburg

2014

Alabama

36

Mississippi

30

2013

Alabama

21

Mississippi

17

2012

Alabama

21

Mississippi

16

2011

Alabama

31

Mississippi

12

2010

Alabama

24

Mississippi

17

(2 OT)

2009

Alabama

21

Mississippi

13

2008

Alabama

28

Mississippi

3

2007

Mississippi

26

Alabama

7

December

2007

Alabama

51

Mississippi

14

June

2006

Alabama

24

Mississippi

3

2005

Mississippi

21

Alabama

18

2004

Alabama

24

Mississippi

22

2003

Alabama

24

Mississippi

16

2002

Alabama

29

Mississippi

17

2001

Alabama

33

Mississippi

14

2000

Alabama

16

Mississippi

9

1999

Alabama

28

Mississippi

24

1998

Mississippi

9

Alabama

0

1997

Alabama

10

Mississippi

6

1996

Alabama

17

Mississippi

14

1995

Mississippi

37

Alabama

9

1994

Mississippi

24

Alabama

10

1993

Mississippi

17

Alabama

6

1992

Mississippi

17

Alabama

14

1991

Alabama

15

Mississippi

13

1990

Alabama

21

Mississippi

14

(OT)

1989

Alabama

24

Mississippi

21

(4 OT)

1988

Alabama

24

Mississippi

21

(3 OT)

SERIES HISTORY: Alabama has 22-9 edge


North Downs South 27-14 to Claim the 59th AHSAA North-South All-Star Football Game

   MONTGOMERY – The North scored 21 second-half points – including a wild and crazy touchdown on the last play of the game to beat the North 27-14 in the 59th AHSAA North-South All-Star Football Game at Cramton Bowl Thursday night.
    The game closed out the 2018 All-Star Sports Week competition with the North and South               splitting the baseball, softball, basketball and cross-country all-star events. The North swept the volleyball, soccer and football games and finished 7-4 on the week.
     The football victory was the fourth in a row for the North and closed the South’s edge in the series to 30-27-2. The South’s last win came in 2014 in a 20-12 win. The North won the first game played in 1948 at Tuscaloosa, 33-0. Thursday’s game was the first to played officially using the AHSAA instant replay program provided by DVSports. Two calls where challenged and both calls on the field were confirmed. The AHSAA has permission from the NFHS to conduct up to a three-year experiment using instant replay and will use it this fall for all schools who choose to participate.
     North MVP Keaton Wilson of Sylacauga scored two TDs on 1-yard runs. His first score at 8:35 of the second quarter gave the North, coached by Chris Musso of Locust Fork, a 6-0 lead. His second TD came with 2:35 left in the third period and erased a 7-6 South lead. His two-point conversion gave the North  14-7 Lead.
     Quenton Young of Clay-Chalkville dashed  11 yards for a score with two seconds left in the third period to up the margin to 21-7.
        The South, which took its only lead of the game on Benjamin Russell running back Davede Herron’s 8-yard run and Fairhope kicker Cole Deeds’ extra point and held the 7-6 margin into intermission.  Herron added his second score on a 1-yard run with 6:26 remaining to cut the margin to 21-14.
       The North ran out all but eight seconds of the remaining time on its following drive. The South, coached by Montgomery Catholic’s Aubrey Blackwell, had one more play up its sleeve as they took over on their own 7-yard line. Tallassee’s Casey Baynes passed the Blount’s JaMarcus Powe-Mauldin in the flat, who ran for four yards before lateraling back to Baynes. Four laterals later, North linebacker Perry Kirby of Athens scooped up a fumble at the 1 and fell into the end zone for the North’s final touchdown.
     Wilson finished with 72 yards rushing on 14 carries and Young had 69 on 15 attempts to help the North pile up 211 total rushing yards. Wilson was also 2-of-3 passing for 56 yards and West Morgan’s Gabe Peluso finished 4-of-5 for 47 yards. Carson Bobo of Oak Mountain had two catches for 46 yards and London Knight of Weaver had two for 37 yards.
    Herron, the South MVP, finished as the game’s leading rusher with 111 yards on 18 tries. Leonard Gatson of Theodore picked up 46 on eight carries. Goshen quarterback Brock Snyder finished 9-of-15 passing for 66 yards, and Bayes was 5-of-10 for 14 yards. The North made three interceptions, however, with Jaylen Washington of Leeds, Court Coley of Westbrook Christian and Kevin Shaw of Colbert Heights notching one each.
     Gordo linebackers Collin Herring and Ridge Wood led the North with 11 and 9 tackles, respectively. Coley also had seven. Pacing the South defense was Jacobey Hawthorne of W.S. Neal with eight stops. Jonathan Struggs of Jeff Davis and Ty Reynolds of Daphne had seven each.
   The South finished with 14 first downs and 239 total yards while the North had 18 first downs and 314 total yards.
   

All-Star Sports Week Results
THURSDAY
Football
North 27, South 14
Volleyball
South 3, North 1

WEDNESDAY
Cross Country
Girls: South 27, North 28
Boys: South 20, North 41

Basketball
Girls:  North 66, South 57
Boys: South 61, North 57

TUESDAY
Baseball
Game 1: South 3, North 2
Soccer
Girls: North 2, South 0
Boys: North 2, South 1
Softball
Game 1: South 3, North 0
Game 2: North 5, South 4

Series Records (Through 2018)
Football – South leads 30-27-2
Boys Basketball – North leads 48-28
Girls Basketball – North leads 19-38

Baseball – North leads 23-12-1
Softball – North leads 25-21-3
Boys Soccer – North leads 11-4-1

Girls Soccer – North leads 15-2-1

Volleyball – North leads 14-7

Boys Cross Country – North and South tied at 1-1

Girls Cross Country – North and South are tied at 1-1

 

 

CONTACT RON INGRAM AT RINGRAM@AHSAA.COM


Prep Football Squads Announced For 59th North-South All-Star Game

MONTGOMERY – North-South all-star squads for the upcoming 58th AHSAA North-South All-Star Football Game have been selected. The two teams comprised of 2018 graduating seniors were announced by Alvin Briggs, Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) Tuesday.
      The North-South Game will be played Thursday, July 19 at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. The annual game will be live-streamed by the NFHS Network and broadcast by the AHSAA Radio Network.
     
  The South holds a 30-26-2 edge in the North-South. The North won 14-13 last July, its third straight victory in the series which was first played in 1948. The North won that first game played in Tuscaloosa 33-0.
      Head coach for the South is Montgomery Catholic High School Coach Aubrey Blackwell. The North head coach is Locust Fork’s Chris Musso.
     Blackwell has led the Knights to a 22-11 record over his three seasons as head coach. Last year’s team finished 10-2, won the school’s first region title and first playoff game since 1989.  Musso, beginning his sixth season as head coach at Locust Fork, has compiled a 53-52 career record in 10 seasons – the first five at John Carroll (23-29) and the last five at Locust Fork (30-23). The Hornets have made the state playoffs three of the last four years.
     Musso’s North coaching staff includes Tom Causey, Pelham; Drew Gilmer, Clay-Chalkville; Ryan Lolley, Gordo; Mark Sanderson, Donoho; Matt Griffith, Sylacauga; and James Thompson, Pickens County. Blackwell’s South staff consists of Jon Cooper, Kinston; Josh McClendon, Greenville; Kenny King, Daphne; Erik Speakman, Opelika; Kevin Smith, Benjamin Russell; and Andro Williams, W.S. Neal.
      Eight players who helped their teams play in state championship games last December have been selected to play in the 2018 game. Named to the South squad are quarterback Swift Lyle of Class 5A state champion St. Paul’s Episcopal and linebacker Shamar Lewis of Class 1A state champion Sweet Water. Defensive back Eric Cameron-Garror and running back Bryan Hill of Class 7A runner-up McGill-Toolen Catholic and offensive lineman Tavien White of Class 6A runner-up Wetumpka are also on the South squad.
      Goshen, which reached the Class 2A semifinals and finished with 12 wins for the first time in school history, is the only team to place three seniors on the South squad. Selected are quarterback Brock Snyder; wide receiver Zack Alford; and defensive lineman Devin Bell.
    
Headlining the North squad is defensive lineman Khamari Brown of Class 7A state champion Hoover, defensive lineman Desmond Scott and wide receiver Liallen Dailey of Class 6A state champion Pinson Valley. Leeds and Thompson have three players each selected. Green Wave seniors include kicker Greg Dawkins; offensive lineman Gage Towery; and defensive back Jaylen Washington. Chosen from the Class 7A Warriors (12-1) are defensive back Myles Brown, wide receiver Tim Harris-Edwards; and defensive lineman Mackie McNeal.
 

    The AHSADCA, which operates under the auspices of the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA), will also host all-star games in baseball, softball, boys’ and girls’ soccer, boys’ and girls’ basketball, volleyball, and boys’ and girls’ cross country during the All-Star Week.
      The rosters are attached.

AHSADCA Football Lunch & Learn To Feature Prominent High School Coaches

  MONTGOMERY – Four outstanding high school football coaches among the ranks of the AHSAA will be the keynote clinicians at the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) Lunch and Learn Mini-Clinic Friday, March 9, at the AHSAA Office.
  Thompson head football coach Mark Freeman will open the mini-clinic at 9 a.m., discussing Thompson High School’s offensive philosophy. He will be followed in Session 2 by Bob Jones head coach Kevin Rose, who will address his staff’s coaching philosophy.
   After lunch, Hillcrest-Evergreen head coach Clint Smith will discuss “Building a Championship Program from the Ground Up,” explaining how he took a team that finished 4-7 in 2014 and in just three years led them to a 14-1 season and Class 3A state championship.
   Hoover High School’s Josh Niblett, one of the most sought after high school coach clinicians in the nation, will close out the day discussing “Hoover High School Football.”
    High school and middle school coaches can still register for the Lunch & Learn by going to http://www.ahsaa.com/Coaches-ADs/Lunch-Learns/Lunch-Learn-Registration

    Registration online is $30.00.


High School Football Players with Improper Equipment Will Be Removed for One Down

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                         Contact: Bob Colgate

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (February 8, 2018) — Players in high school football who are detected with missing or improperly worn equipment during playing action will be removed from the game for at least one down, unless the improper equipment is directly attributable to a foul by the opponent.

This revision in Rule 1-5-5 and other related rules was one of five rules changes for the 2018 season recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Football Rules Committee at its January 19-21 meeting in Indianapolis. All changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

Rule 1-5-5 also states that if the player is wearing otherwise legal equipment in an illegal manner, the participant must also be replaced for one down. If proper and legal equipment has become improperly worn through use during the game, and prompt repair does not delay the ready-for-play signal for more than 25 seconds, the repair can be made without replacing the player for one down.

In a related change (1-5-4), the head coach is responsible for verifying that all players are legally equipped and will not use illegal equipment. The penalty provisions for any use of illegal equipment remain unchanged and result in an unsportsmanlike foul charged to the head coach.

“I commend the entire football rules committee for its thoroughness and focus on the state of the game of football,” said Todd Tharp, chair of the NFHS Football Rules Committee and assistant director of the Iowa High School Athletic Association. “The committee recognizes that the state of high school football focuses on risk minimization and the responsibility that coaches, players and game officials play in continuing to protect our student-athletes. By emphasizing that the coach is ultimately responsible for assuring his players are using legal equipment by issuing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for violations and that players will be removed for using legal equipment in an illegal manner, the committee continues to focus on minimizing risk for all players.”

The second rules change approved by the NFHS Football Rules Committee provides another option for teams in Rule 6-1-9 on fouls committed by the kicking team during free kicks and scrimmage kicks. Now, the receiving team can accept a 5-yard penalty from the succeeding spot. The previous three options remain: accept a 5-yard penalty from the previous spot and have the kicking team re-kick, put the ball in play at the inbounds spot 25 yards beyond the previous spot, or decline the penalty and put the ball in play at the inbounds spot.

Bob Colgate, NFHS director of sports and sports medicine and liaison to the NFHS Football Rules Committee, said this additional option was approved by the committee in an effort to reduce re-kicks, further minimize risks and ensure that appropriate penalties are in place for all fouls.

“The ability to ‘tack on’ penalty yardage on free kicks will potentially reduce the amount of repeated free kicks,” Tharp said. “In addition, this rule change is consistent with NFHS rules that no foul should go unpenalized.”

The third change approved by the committee was a revision related to the examples of a defenseless player. In Rule 2-32-16a, the committee clarified that defenseless player provisions do not apply to a passer until a legal forward pass is thrown. The passer continues to be a defenseless player until the pass ends or the passer moves to participate in the play.

The committee also changed the signal for free-kick infractions, other than encroachment of the neutral zone, from Signal 18 to Signal 19.

The final change approved by the NFHS Football Rules Committee concerned six-player football in Rule 3. The timing rule between periods and intermission for six-player football has been standardized to match the current NFHS rules for 8-player, 9-player and 11-player football.

A complete listing of the football rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Football.”


Austin’s Asa Martin named 2017 Mr. Football by Alabama Sports Writers Association

MONTGOMERY — Austin’s Asa Martin was named the 36th recipient of the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Mr. Football Award Tuesday at the ASWA’s annual Player of the Year Awards luncheon, presented by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association. The luncheon was held at the Renaissance Hotel at the Convention Center in Montgomery.

Martin, a 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior running back, rushed for 2,228 yards this season on 198 carries with 33 touchdowns, while adding two more scores and 399 yards on 20 receptions. The Black Bears went 12-1 on the year before losing 51-50 in the quarterfinals in overtime to eventual state champion Pinson Valley. Martin also rushed for more than 1,300 yards as a sophomore at Austin, but attended school out of state as a junior.  Martin graduated in December and is attending Auburn.

Martin, who was also named the ASWA’s Class 6A Back of the Year for 2017, finished with 170 points and 10 first-place votes in ballots cast by the ASWA’s prep committee, while Pinson Valley quarterback junior Bo Nix was second with 144 points. Thompson quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa, selected Class 7A Back of the Year, was third with 143. Both Nix and Tagovailoa had one first-place vote, while Central-Phenix City wide receiver Justin Ross — who finished fourth with 111 points — had two firsts. Beaureguard’s La’Damian Webb, the 2016 Mr. Football, and 2017 Class 5A Back of the Year, was seventh with 64 points, behind Park Crossing’s Tank Jenkins (66) and Thompson’s Ahmad Edwards (65). All were named to the ASWA Super 12. Rounding out the Top 12 were offensive lineman Pierce Quick, Hewitt-Trussville; running back Jermaine Brown, St. Luke’s Episcopal; offensive lineman Clay Webb, Oxford; quarterback/defensive back Cardavion Myers, Piedmont; and quarterback J.D. Martin, Wetumpka.

In winning the Mr. Football, Martin becomes the fifth running back to win the award in the last seven years and second player from North Alabama in four years, joining Kerryon Johnson of Madison Academy in 2014. He is the first player from the Decatur area to win the award.
 

ASWA 2017 Back and Lineman of the Year Recipients
Class 7A
Back of the Year:
Taulia Tagovailoa, Thompson, quarterback
Lineman of the Year:
Pierce Quick, Hewitt-Trussville, offensive lineman
Class 6A
Back of the Year:
Asa Martin, Austin, running back
Lineman of the Year: Marcus Jenkins, Park Crossing, defensive lineman
Class 5A
Back of the Year:
La’Damian Webb, Beauregard, running back
Lineman of the Year: Malik Langham, Lee-Huntsville, defensive lineman
Class 4A
Back of the Year:
Symon Smith, UMS-Wright, running back
Lineman of the Year: Caleb Storie, Rogers, linebacker
Class 3A
Back of the Year:
Cardavion Myers, Piedmont, quarterback/defensive back
Lineman of the Year: Andres Fox, Mobile Christian, defensive lineman
Class 2A
Back of the Year:
Jermaine Brown, St. Luke’s Episcopal, running back/quarterback
Lineman of the Year: Baraskious Dowdell, Lanett, defensive lineman
Class 1A
Back of the Year:
Shamar Lewis, Sweet Water, running back
Lineman of the Year: Devin March, Houston County, defensive lineman
AISA
Back of the Year:
Griffin McKenzie, Monroe Academy, quarterback
Lineman of the Year: Trace Ott, Autauga Academy, offensive lineman


ASWA Mr. Football Award
Recipients by year
2017 Asa Martin, Austin, running back
2016
La'Damian Webb, Beauregard, running back
2015
Tyler Johnston, Spanish Fort, quarterback
2014 Kerryon Johnson, Madison Academy, running back
2013 Racean “Roc” Thomas, Oxford, running back
2012 Jeremy Johnson, Carver-Montgomery, quarterback
2011 T.J. Yeldon, Daphne, running back
2010 Jamal Golden, Wetumpka, quarterback
2009 Coty Blanchard, Cherokee County, quarterback
2008 Clint Moseley, Leroy, quarterback
2007 Julio Jones, Foley, wide receiver
2006 Larry Smith, Prattville, quarterback
2005 Andre Smith, Huffman, offensive lineman
2004 Jarod Bryant, Hoover, quarterback
2003 Chris Nickson, Pike County, quarterback
2002 JaMarcus Russell, Williamson, quarterback
2001 Brandon Cox, Hewitt-Trussville, quarterback
2000 Carnell Williams, Etowah, running back
1999 Cory Whisenant, Springville, running back
1998 DeMarco McNeil, Blount, defensive lineman
1997 Mac Campbell, Alexandria, running back
1996 Antoneyo Williams, Central-Tuscaloosa, running back
1995 Gorman Thornton, Jeff Davis, tight end
1994 Dawud Rasheed, Shades Valley, running back
1993 Thomas Banks, West Jefferson, running back
1992 Freddie Kitchens, Etowah, quarterback
1991 Robert Davis, Homewood, running back
1990 David Palmer, Jackson-Olin, running back/wide receiver
1989 Steven Coleman, Pike County, running back
1988 Darrell Williams, Vigor, running back
1987 Robert Jones, Parker, running back
1986 Larry Ware, Lee-Montgomery, running back
1985 Pierre Goode, Hazlewood, running back
1984 Roderick Green, Gardendale, wide receiver
1983 Freddie Weygand, Emma Sansom, wide receiver
1982 Tommy Compton, Vigor, quarterback

Mississippi Downs Alabama 42-7 to Claim 31st Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Classic

    HATTIESBURG (MS) – Mississippi’s All-Stars scored 35 unanswered points in the second half Saturday to beat Alabama 42-7 in the 31st Alabama-Mississippi All-Star football game here at the University of Mississippi’s M.M. Roberts Stadium.
     With the loss, Alabama’s record in the series dropped to 22-9 overall and 0-2 in games played at Hattiesburg. Alabama won last year’s game at Cramton Bowl 25-14 and is 5-0 in games played at Montgomery since the classic was moved from Mobile in 2011. The 42 points is the most scored by Mississippi in the series and the most since beating Alabama 38-9 in 1995. Alabama’s biggest margin of victory (51-14) came in 2007.
    Alabama, coached by Steve Smith of Piedmont, started off strong, scoring on its first possession when Wetumpka’s Kavosiey Smoke scored from the 1 to cap a seven-play, 76-yard march – highlighted by Smoke’s 42-yard run. Evan McPherson of Fort Payne booted the extra point and the visitors led 7-0 with 7:03 left in the first period.
   McPherson followed with a successful onside kick recovered by Ramsay’s Starling Thomas, but a 15-yard penalty foiled Alabama’s opportunity.
    Mississippi, coached by Lance Mancuso of Jefferson Davis County, tied the game at 3:43 in the quarter following an Alabama fumble at its own 24-yard line, and Kenneth Gainwell of Yazoo County raced 24 yards on the next play for a touchdown. Brandon kicker Scott Goodman’s kick tied the game at 7-7.
   Both teams sputtered at times in the second quarter – with Alabama missing on a 51-yard field goal and Mississippi’s 48-yard field-goal try on the last play of the first half coming up a few yards short.
   Mississippi took control in the third quarter scoring three touchdowns as Alabama’s offense continued to sputter and a tiring defense that spent too much time on the field.
   Quarterback Patrick Shegog of South Panola put Mississippi ahead for good early in the third period with a 3-yard touchdown run. Marcus Murphy of West Point scored from the 2-yard line three minutes later taking advantage of Pearl defensive back Tylan Knight’s interception of Alabama quarterback James Foster’s pass at the 26-yard line as Mississippi took a 21-7 lead. Gainwell scored his second touchdown of the third quarter with 1:32 left in in the period with a 12-yard run.
    Gainwell, who finished with 56 yards rushing on nine carries to earn co-MVP honors for Mississippi with Knight, added his third touchdown in the fourth quarter on a 3-yard run.  Murphy, who rushed for a game-high 124 yards on 13 carries, added his second score with 3:53 left on a 25-yard run.
    Alabama linebacker K.J. Robertson of Thompson High School finished with seven tackles, including 3 for losses, was selected Alabama team MVP.
    Smoke led Alabama’s offensive effort with 69 yards on 10 carries. Asa Martin of Austin added 39 on 12 carries and Carlos Davis of Muscle Shoals had 38 on six attempts. Alabama had 131 yards rushing but was only 10-of-27 passing for 87 yards to finish with 218 yards. Mississippi had 187 rushing, 138 passing and 325 total yards. Each team had eight penalities with Alabama being assessed 55 penalty yards and Mississippi had 59. Both teams had two off-setting penalties as well.
     Alabama quarterbacks Jack West of Saraland was 9-of-17 passing for 71 yards and James Foster of Sidney Lanier finished 1-of-10 for 16 yards. Seth Williams of Paul Bryant had three catches for 48 yards and Justyn Ross of Central-Phenix City had one for 19 yards.
    Fort Payne kicker Evan McPherson punted six times for a 42.2 average and missed his only field-goal try.
    Jaquez Jones of Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa also had six tackles and Jamias Presley of Opelika had five. Marese McBride of Daphne also had two tackles for losses among his four stops.
   Cameron White of Madison Central led Mississippi with five stops. Knight also had five and an interception.

     

Raycom to Televise the All-Star Football Game from Hattiesburg ALABAMA – MISSISSIPPI ALL-STARS TO MEET SATURDAY IN 31ST ALABAMA-MISSISSIPI CLASSIC

    HATTIESBURG (MS) – The week of preparation is over for Alabama and Mississippi All-Star football teams as both teams completed their seventh practice of the week Friday morning. The two teams square off Saturday at noon in the 31st Alabama-Mississippi Classic all-star football game at Carlisle Faulkner Field/M/M. Roberts Stadium on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi here.
    Raycom Media will televise the game over its network of affiliates in Alabama and Mississippi with most of the stations, including WSFA TV 12 in Montgomery, showing the game over the main channel. Some of the affiliates will show the game over Raycom’s Bounce channel. To check availability, go to www.pathtotheplayoffs.com and click on “Where to Watch” or click on the following link for a story detailing the available at each affiliate: http://www.ahsaa.com/News-Articles/ArticleId/928/31st-alabama-mississippi-all-star-football-game-to-be-televised-on-main-channel-of-7-raycom-affiliates-saturday

     Alabama head coach Steve Smith said Alabama’s squad has had an outstanding week of practice. The team held a light workout Friday morning going over special teams, substitution patterns and other game details. The players participated in a community service project in Hattiesburg Friday afternoon. A banquet attended by both teams and the players’ families was scheduled for Friday night. A breakfast hosted by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at M.M. Roberts Stadium will be Saturday morning. A “Meet the Players” time on the field will be from 10 to 11 a.m. for fans and families attending the game.
     The Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game series, a partnership between the AHSAA and AHSADCA and the Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC), played at Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium from 1988 to 2010. The game moved to Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl in 2011 and has been there ever since – except for the 2015 game played at Hattiesburg for the first time. Mississippi won the 2015 game 28-21 and is 1-0 at home. Last year’s game, a 25-14 win by Alabama, was played at Cramton Bowl and improved Alabama’s record to 22-8 in the series.
    Annually, the teams are comprised of 40 of the top senior players in each state. This year’s squad is no different. Since the inception of the game in 1988, many of the players had successful college careers and some have reached the NFL. More than 60 current players with Alabama roots are playing in the NFL. Among the Alabama alumni that have played in this game are current NFL players former Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, T.J. Yeldon, Julio Jones, A.J. McCarron, ArDarius Stewart, Reuben Foster, Dre’ Kirkpatrick, Sammie Coates, Reggie Ragland, Nick Fairley, Marlon Humphrey, D.J. Fluker, C.J. Mosley and Courtney Upshaw.
   Several current Alabama All-Stars have committed to Division I schools including Paul Bryant wide receiver Seth Williams (Auburn); Austin running back Asa Martin (Auburn); Hoover wide receiver Shedrick Jackson (Auburn); Saraland quarterback Jack West (Stanford); Westminster Christian tight end Michael Parker (Alabama); Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa linebacker Jacquez Jones (Ole Miss); Stanhope Elmore tackle Jake Andrews (Troy); Eufaula defensive tackle Ka’Darian Hill (Ole Miss); Fort Payne placekicker-punter Evan McPherson(Florida); Hoover offensive lineman Mike Maye (Georgia Tech); Piedmont defensive back Cardavian Myers (Western Kentucky); Homewood wide receiver C.D. Daniels (Memphis); Ramsay defensive back Starling Thomas (UAB); Central-Phenix City offensive lineman Jahlil Ryles (Middle Tennessee); Thompson linebacker K.J. Robertson (Troy); Bob Jones linebacker Kade Koler (South Alabama); and Spanish Fort offensive lineman Grant Betts (Troy).
    Among the top players still uncommitted are Central-Phenix City wide receiver Justyn Ross; Park Crossing offensive tackle Tank Jenkins; Lee-Montgomery safety Kevontae Ruggs; Wetumpka running back Kevosiey Smoke; Theodore defensive tackle Timaje Porter; Thompson linebacker Jalen Rayam; and Sidney Lanier quarterback James Foster, who de-committed from Missouri during the fall.
    TELEVISION: The 31st annual Alabama-Mississippi Football All-Star Classic will be televised live over Raycom’s network of stations in Alabama and Mississippi. Kickoff is set for noon. Check www.ahsaa.com
for more complete details.
   RADIO: The AHSAA Radio Network will live-stream the audio over the internet and will also carry the game live over its network of radio stations across the state.



Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic Kicks Off Saturday at noon ALABAMA ALL-STARS COMPLETE TWO SOLID PRACTICES THURSDAY IN PREPARATION FOR SATURDAY’S GAME

    HATTIESBURG (MS) – Alabama’s coaching staff was pleased after the Alabama All-Star football team went through two more spirited practices Thursday. Coach Steve Smith, Piedmont’s head football coach and the all-star head coach this week, said he couldn’t me more pleased with the 40-man team.
    “Their attitude has just been outstanding all week,” Smith said. “We have seen them come together as a team in a very short time.”
    The 31st Alabama-Mississippi All-Star football classic is being played at Carlisle Faulkner Field/D.D. Roberts Stadium on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi for the second time in the 30-year history of the game.  The Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game series, a partnership between the AHSAA and AHSADCA and the Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC), played at Mobile’s Ladd-Peebles Stadium from 1988 to 2010. The game moved to Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl in 2011 and has been there ever since – except for the 2015 game played at Hattiesburg for the first time.
      Mississippi won the 2015 game 28-21 and is 1-0 at home. Last year’s game, a 25-14 win by Alabama, was played at Cramton Bowl and improved Alabama’s record to 22-8 in the series.
    Smith said defensive coordinator Paul Benefield of Fyffe and the other defensive coaches Jeremy Perkins of Austin, Brent Hubbert of Maplesville and Rueben Nelson of Ramsay have tried to keep things simple. “Defensively, we are very limited at what we can do, but these kids were chosen because of their ability and knowledge of the game. They have picked up what we’re trying to do real quickly.”
     Offensively, he said offensive coordinator David Faulkner of Enterprise, Larry Strain of Handley and Rob Carter of Beauregard have done a good job of getting everyone on the same page.
     “Our quarterbacks James Foster of Sidney Lanier and Jack West of Saraland have done a good job as taking a leadership role,” Smith said. “They have gotten the respect of the rest of the kids. That’s important.”
    Smith, a former high school and college quarterback himself, said the receiving corps on Alabama’s side can make a quarterback look real good. These kids are all big, strong and outstanding. They made me look like a good quarterback when I was throwing to them in our seven-on-seven drill. Shedrick Jackson of Hoover is Bo Jackson’s nephew and he is 6-2, 200 pounds. He’s the smallest guy on the receivers group. Our running backs, Asa Martin of Austin, Kevosiey Smoke of Wetumpka and Carlos Davis of Muscle Shoals, are all very talented and have been running hard.”
    He said Kevontae Ruggs, the Robert E. Lee strong safety, has continued to do things full speed all week.  Our defensive line and linebackers have really had a good week.” He noted that linebacker Jacquez Jones of Bob Jones has had an exceptional week along with defensive lineman Marese McBride.
    The Alabama-Mississippi Classic has always been a game that showcased some of the best players from both states with many heading to the NFL eventually. “When I coached in this game the first time it was obvious to everyone that D.J. Fluker (Foley) and Dre’ Kirkpatrick (Gadsden City) were heading to the NFL some day,” Smith said. “Right now, I would have to say that the kid who stands out like that here is our kicker Evan McPherson. This kid is the best I have ever seen.”
    McPherson, a senior from Fort Payne, is rated the top kicking prospect in the nation according to most recruiting services. He booted a 60-yard field goal and kicked an 84-yard punt in the same game for the Wildcats this season.
 TELEVISION: The 31st annual Alabama-Mississippi Football All-Star Classic will be televised live over Raycom’s network of stations in Alabama and Mississippi. Kickoff is set for noon. Check www.ahsaa.com for more complete details.
   RADIO: The AHSAA Radio Network will live-stream the audio over the internet and will also carry the game live over its network of radio stations across the state.



ALABAMA-MISSISSIPPI ALL-STAR GAME HISTORY




Year-by-Year

2016

Alabama

25

Mississippi

14

2015

Mississippi

28

Alabama

21

2014

Alabama

36

Mississippi

30

2013

Alabama

21

Mississippi

17

2012

Alabama

21

Mississippi

16

2011

Alabama

31

Mississippi

12

2010

Alabama

24

Mississippi

17

(2 OT)

2009

Alabama

21

Mississippi

13

2008

Alabama

28

Mississippi

3

2007

Mississippi

26

Alabama

7

December

2007

Alabama

51

Mississippi

14

June

2006

Alabama

24

Mississippi

3

2005

Mississippi

21

Alabama

18

2004

Alabama

24

Mississippi

22

2003

Alabama

24

Mississippi

16

2002

Alabama

29

Mississippi

17

2001

Alabama

33

Mississippi

14

2000

Alabama

16

Mississippi

9

1999

Alabama

28

Mississippi

24

1998

Mississippi

9

Alabama

0

1997

Alabama

10

Mississippi

6

1996

Alabama

17

Mississippi

14

1995

Mississippi

37

Alabama

9

1994

Mississippi

24

Alabama

10

1993

Mississippi

17

Alabama

6

1992

Mississippi

17

Alabama

14

1991

Alabama

15

Mississippi

13

1990

Alabama

21

Mississippi

14

(OT)

1989

Alabama

24

Mississippi

21

(4 OT)

1988

Alabama

24

Mississippi

21

(3 OT)

SERIES HISTORY: Alabama has 22-8 edge