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AHSAA News


Players Report Monday For 28th Alabama-Mississippi Game

    MONTGOMERY – Mississippi All-Star head coach Jamie Mitchell of Starkville reported Monday with his 40-member squad excited and ready to begin preparations for Saturday’s 28th annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Classic at Cramton Bowl.
    One coach and one player was to report Tuesday and one player was added to the Mississippi roster Monday, said Mitchell. Pearl High School Coach John Perry and all-star wide receiver Jordan Wright remained in Mississippi to attend a team function. Omr Bayless of Laurel, a 6-foot-5, 225-pound senior, was added to the Mississippi roster over the weekend and reported Monday with the team when it rolled into Montgomery for Saturday’s game.
     Kickoff is set for noon Saturday. The game is hosted by the AHSADCA in conjunction with the AHSAA and will be televised live by the Raycom Network over its affiliates in Mississippi and Alabama.
   Alabama head coach Jamey DuBose of Central-Phenix City and his staff welcomed 39 of 40 players selected Monday. Hoover linebacker Darrell Williams (6-3, 226) was expected to arrive late Monday night. Two of Williams’ teammates from the Class 7A 2014 state championship team did report earlier in the DAY – linebackers Christian Bell (6-4, 230) and Justin Johnson (6-4, 215).

    “We should have everyone on hand when we have our first practice,” DuBose said. “Everyone came in eager to get started.”
    Both squads toured the Hyundai Automobile Assembly Plant near Pintlala Monday night before settling into their rooms. First practice Tuesday is at 9 a.m. with Alabama running through drills at Huntingdon College and Mississippi practicing at Faulkner University. The teams are also scheduled to practice again at 2 p.m. The teams will visit the Rosa Parks Museum in downtown Montgomery Tuesday night. Former University of Alabama and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Brodie Croyle is scheduled to address both teams at a dinner Wednesday night at Wynlakes Country Club. 
      Alabama’s All-Stars have won the last six games in a row including a 21-17 vicrory last year at Cramton Bowl. Alabama has won all three games played at Cramton Bowl since 2011 and is 20-7 overall in the series that dates back to 1988.
    This will be the fourth year that Cramton Bowl has been the host site.
     Rosters for both teams can be found at:
http://www.al-msallstarfootball.com/Rosters.aspx
    TICKET INFORMATION: Tickets are $10 each at the Cramton Bowl ticket booth with children 5-and-under admitted free. Tickets can also be ordered in advance through AHSAA ticket partner PREPTIX at the following link:
http://www.al-msallstarfootball.com/TicketInfo.aspx
    Special ticket programs have been set up for schools interested in bringing their teams to Montgomery for the game. Call 334-263-6994 for more details.


9th Annual Champions Challenge Set for Cramton Bowl Friday, Saturday

Six high schools, including one defending state champion, will play Friday night and Saturday at Cramton Bowl as the 9th annual Champion Challenge officially kicks off the 2014 prep football season for the Alabama High School Athletic Association.
              Spanish Fort, which will be staking a 24-game winning streak on the line Saturday night against Stanhope Elmore, won the last two Class 5A state titles. The Toros (15-0) of Coach Mark Freeman will meet Coach Jeff Foshee’s Mustangs (4-6) in the final game of the series Saturday night at 7:30 p.m.
            The Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) hosts the series, which played its first Champions Challenge at Cramton Bowl in 2006.
            Carver-Montgomery (10-3), which reached the Class 6A quarterfinals in 2013, opens the triple-header Friday at 7 p.m. against Opelika (7-4). Coach Brian Blackmon’s Bulldogs reached the Class 6A finals in 2012.
           Stanhope Elmore, Carver and Opelika will be competing this season in Class 6A with Spanish Fort, which moves up a class as the AHSAA changes to seven classifications.
          Class 4A Dadeville (11-2) takes on Class 3A Piedmont (11-2) Saturday at 5 p.m. in the small-school game of the series. Coach Richard White’s Tigers have been one of the winningest 4A schools in the state over the last six seasons. Coach Steve Smith’s Bulldogs, the 2009 3A state champions, are likewise in Class 3A. Piedmont lost 34-33 in overtime to eventual state champion Madison Academy last season.
          The 2014 will mark the first year that schools will have 11 weeks to play 10 games and the first year for the new seven-classification system. Schools still have a choice to count any week one contest as a regular-season or exhibition contest. The Carver-Opelika and Piedmont-Dadeville games will remain as exhibition games and will not count on either team's record. The Spanish Fort-Stanhope Elmore game will be the regular-season opener for each school.
         All six schools are taking the playoff-type approach, however. “This game offers a real state playoff atmosphere,” Spanish Fort’s Freeman said. “We played in this game in 2012 and it helped us prepare for the state playoffs and the state championship game.”
          His Toros have compiled a 38-5 record in three seasons under Freeman’s direction and 73-12 over the last six years with three state titles.
         Class 6A Stanhope Elmore finished 4-6 last season. The Mustangs are coached by Jeff Foshee, who has compiled a 98-58 record with 11 playoff appearances in 13 seasons.
         Gresham has led Carver to a 29-9 record the last three seasons. The Wolverines have gone 60-16 over the last six years with six straight playoff appearances. Brian Blackmon has guided Opelika to a 35-20 record in five seasons with 17 wins over the last two years. The Bulldogs have reached the 6A playoffs for four straight seasons.
        Piedmont has won 10 or more games the last seven seasons. Dadeville (11-2) reached the 4A quarterfinals in 2013, losing a 35-34 heartbreaker to UMS-Wright. The Tigers are 66-9 over the last six seasons with an amazing 40-2 record in region play.
        The 2014 Champions Challenge will be televised live and web-streamed by AHSAA TV partner Raycom Network. Stations on the network can be found at www.ahsaa.com. The AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast all three games live. The AHSAA Radio Network affiliates can also be found at www.ahsaa.com.  Live stats will also be available online at www.ahsaa.com.
        The Champions Challenge schedule:

        Friday, August 22 – 7 p.m.: Carver-Montgomery (10-3) vs. Opelika (7-4)

        Saturday, August 24 – 5 p.m.: Dadeville (11-2) vs. Piedmont (11-2)

        Saturday, August 24 – 7:30 p.m.: Spanish Fort (15-0) vs. Stanhope Elmore (4-6)

CHAMPIONS CHALLENGE HISTORY

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


Six Schools Making Debuts In Ninth Annual Champions Challenge Aug. 22-23

            Six high schools chosen to participate in the ninth annual Champions Challenge high school football triple-header addressed the media Wednesday at the 2014 event press conference at the Alabama High School Athletic Association Office in Montgomery.
          The press conference closed out the AHSAA’s annual Media Day, which was attended by more than 50 media representatives from across the state.
          Carver-Montgomery will meet Opelika Friday night, Aug. 22 in the first of three games, according to Alvin Briggs, Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association which hosts the event each year.
        The two remaining games will be played Saturday, Aug. 23, beginning at 5 p.m. with Piedmont taking on Dadeville in the small-school game. Class 6A teams Spanish Fort and Stanhope Elmore will meet in the final game at 7:30 p.m.
        “We are very appreciative of the AHSAA for inviting us to participate,” Carver head coach Billy Gresham told the media. “We think this is a great opportunity for us to play a team we have the utmost respect for.”
        This coming season will be the first year that schools will have 11 weeks to play 10 games and the first year for the new seven-classification system. Schools still have a choice whether to count any week one contest as a regular-season or exhibition contest. The Carver-Opelika and Piedmont-Dadeville games will remain as exhibition games, Briggs said, and will not count on either team's record. The Spanish Fort-Stanhope Elmore game is set to be the regular-season opener for each school.
        “Coach Blackmon and I have talked and although it is officially an exhibition game, we are going to be playing all out just like a regular game,” Gresham said.
         Piedmont Coach Steve Smith said his Class 3A Bulldogs will be facing a powerful opponent in Dadeville. “We lost of lot from last year’s team,” he said, “but we have young players who are having to step up and be leaders this year and this will be a very good challenge for us.”

        Class 6A Carver (10-3) reached the third round of the 6A state playoffs last season and Class 6A Opelika (7-4) reached round one after playing in the 6A finals in 2012. 
       Spanish Fort (15-0) coached by Mark Freeman, moves up to Class 6A after winning back-to-back Class 5A state football titles. The Toros will be riding a 24-game winning streak heading into the Champions Challenge. The team is 38-5 in three seasons under Freeman’s direction and 73-12 over the last six years with three state titles.
         Class 6A Stanhope Elmore finished 4-6 last season. The Mustangs are coached by Jeff Foshee, who has compiled a 98-58 record with 11 playoff appearances in 13 seasons.
          “We think this is a great game for our program and our community,” Foshee said. “This is an exciting opportunity for our players, coaches, dance team, band and our entire community.”

         Gresham has led Carver to a 29-9 record the last three seasons. The Wolverines have gone 60-16 over the last six years with six straight playoff appearances. Brian Blackmon has guided Opelika to a 35-20 record in five seasons with 17 wins over the last two years. The Bulldogs have reached the 6A playoffs for four straight seasons.
        Piedmont (11-2) reached the Class 3A quarterfinals last season, losing 34-33 in overtime to eventual state champion Madison Academy. Smith’s Bulldogs averaged 43.2 points per game in 2013 while yielding only 12.5 points per game. He is beginning his ninth season as head coach. Piedmont has won 10 or more games the last seven seasons with an 86-18 record overall and a 17-7 mark in eight playoff appearances. The Bulldogs won the 2009 Class 3A state championship.
       Dadeville (11-2) reached the 4A quarterfinals, losing a 35-34 heartbreaker to UMS-Wright. Coach Richard White’s Tigers are 66-9 over the last six seasons with an amazing 40-2 record in region play. Dadeville will be in Class 4A, Region 3 and Piedmont is in 3A, Region 6 this fall.
        In last year’s Champions Challenge, Benjamin Russell beat Walker 28-14, Straughn downed Walter Wellborn 35-26 and Bob Jones edged Enterprise 23-20.
        The 2014 Champions Challenge will be televised live and web-streamed by AHSAA TV partner Raycom Network. The AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast all three games live.             
        Raycom announced at the press conference the first slate of games for the its new AHSAA Thursday Night Game of the Week.  Raycom, the AHSAA’s TV Partner for the Super 7 championships and State Basketball Tournament, will show 10 Thursday night games beginning Aug. 28 with Mountain Brook at Huntsville.
       The remaining schedule includes: Sept. 4: Shades Valley at Center Point; Sept. 11: Florence at Cullman; Sept. 18: Washington County at Sweet Water; Sept. 25: Montgomery Academy at Trinity Presbyterian; Oct. 2: Hoover at Spain Park; Oct. 9: Charles Henderson at Eufaula; Oct. 16: Smiths Station at Enterprise; Oct. 23: R.A. Hubbard at Hackleburg; and Oct. 30: Blount at Saraland. Executive producer Mike Llewellyn announced that Graham Dunn and Mike Peacock will be the announcers for the Thursday Night Game of the Week.
        The Champions Challenge schedule is:

        Friday, August 22 – 7 p.m.: Carver-Montgomery (10-3) vs. Opelika (7-4)

        Saturday, August 24 – 5 p.m.: Dadeville (11-2) vs. Piedmont (11-2)

        Saturday, August 24 – 7:30 p.m.: Spanish Fort (15-0) vs. Stanhope Elmore (4-6)

CHAMPIONS CHALLENGE HISTORY

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