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Vestavia Hills’ Hannah Vines Serves Her Team and Community

By Lucas Nunn, Special for AHSAA

 

 

VESTAVIA HILLS – From the volleyball court to the international mission field, Hannah Vines’ extracurricular life is nothing short of exciting.

 

Hannah is a rising senior at Vestavia Hills High School and has played on the varsity volleyball team since her sophomore year. She is also a member of the 2018 Alabama High School Athletic Association Student Leadership Group, one of two members chosen to represent the state at a national conference in Indianapolis this month.

 

On the court, Hannah has had success both in school and club volleyball. Vestavia Hills reached the super regionals last season, and just last month her club team – Southern Performance Volleyball Club – placed second at the national tournament.

 

While her athletic achievements are impressive, it is Hannah’s desire to serve her community that sets her apart from the rest.

 

The 17-year-old is one of thousands of AHSAA athletes who give of themselves to their communities during their summer break, as well as spending many hours the rest of the year as they juggle sports, homework, family and volunteer time.

 

Hannah has been an active member of Shades Mountain Baptist Church in Vestavia Hills since she was 5 years old, and the church is her favorite place to serve the community. “I really like to work with kids through my church,” she said.

 

Her service for others also goes well beyond the walls of the church. This past spring, Hannah spent her school break on a mission trip to Guatemala. She worked with children there and assisted in putting on a Bible School for them.

 

“The trip was amazing. Spanish is one of my passions, I have been taking Spanish since I was in the seventh grade, so going down there was great,” Vines said. “It was just another way to connect with the kids and hear about their lives talking about the differences in culture between the U.S. and Guatemala.”

 

In March, Hannah was one of 18 student-athletes from around Alabama selected for membership in the AHSAA Student Leadership Conference, and she was thrilled to learn she and Bayside Academy’s Sam Koby were chosen to represent the state at the National Federation of State High School Associations’ Student Leadership Summit in Indianapolis. The NFHS Summit wrapped up this week.

 

“I was really excited when I heard about it,” Vines said. “The goal is to come back and be better leaders on our teams and in our communities.”

 

Upon graduation, Hannah plans to continue serving her community through her church, as she continues her volleyball career at Samford University.

 

Last year, Hannah was also featured in the AHSAA #MoreThanAGame social media campaign. Watch her video at www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3fayZMkAkY

 

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The Alabama High School Athletic Association, founded in 1921, is a private agency organized by its member schools to control and promote their athletic programs. The purpose of the AHSAA is to regulate, coordinate and promote the interscholastic athletic programs among its member schools, which include public, private and parochial institutions. 


Vestavia Hills Coach Buddy Anderson Inducted into NFHS National Hall of Fame

     CHICAGO, IL – Coach Dovey “Buddy” Anderson, the winningest high school football coach in Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) state history, was inducted into the National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS) Hall of Fame Monday night a banquet at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Hotel that closed the 99th Summer Meeting.
    Anderson, who is beginning his 41st season as head football coach at Vestavia Hills in August, became the 12th individuals from  Alabama be enshrined in the nation’s National Hall of Fame.  He was enshrined  along with 11 others from across the U.S., including track athlete Dick Fosbury (Oregon); former Nebraska head football coach Tom Osborne (athlete); former WNBA and Stanford basketball star Nicole Powell (Arizona), distance runner Carrie Tollefson (Minnesota); soccer coach Miller Bugliari (New Jersey); swimming coach Jeff Meister (Hawaii); basketball coach William O’Neil (Vermont); contest official Roger “Smokey” Barr (Iowa); retired Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Executive Director Richard Neal; and choral coach William Zurkey (Ohio).
     Anderson’s wife Linda, their children and grandchildren where among a large contingent on hand Monday night for the induction. He has compiled a 329-146 overall head-coaching record in 40 seasons at Vestavia Hills winning the Class 4A state title in 1980 and the Class 6A state championship going 15-0 in 1997. His teams have advanced to the state playoffs 30 times with a 47-28 playoff mark and have won nine or more games 22 times in the AHSAA’s large-school class. Anderson’s father Dovey Anderson was 182-81-5 as a prep head football coach in 31 seasons, all at Thomasville.
Both dad and son are in the AHSAA Sports Hall of Fame and won 511 football games between them, most in state history. Both attended Samford University (dad when the school was Howard College) and Dovey, Sr., competed
in the first game ever played at Legion Field in 1927.
     Buddy was hired as an assistant coach at Vestavia in 1972 and was elevated to head coach in 1978.
     “Buddy Anderson is a man of faith and character who has been an important mentor to many others along the way,” said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. “He is a shining example of the kind of positive impact coaches have on the lives of the student-athletes they serve.”
     Anderson, who received the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame’s “Frank ‘Pig’ House Award in 2014 and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ Herman L. “Bubba” Scott Award in 2016, was humbled by the Monday night’s induction.
      “I was very fortunate to grow up in a coach’s home,” he said. “My father was a high school a high school football coach for 31 years. I saw the relationship my dad had with his players, his fellow coaches and teachers. I just went to my own 50th high school reunion and picked right up where I left off with my classmates and those I played sports with. Seeing them, all now in their sixties, and seeing the kind of men they grew unto reminded me of the coaches I worked with (at Vestavia Hills), most of them for more than 30 years and the many players I have had the opportunity to coach. It also reiterated that we are in the relationship business.”
 Anderson, the only coach in AHSAA history to win 300 games at one school, is the second AHSAA football coach from the state to be enshrined in the National High School Hall of Fame. Glenn Daniel, who was the AHSAA’s first 300-game winner (at Pine Hill and Luverne), was inducted in 1999. Track coach Jim Tate of St. Paul’s Episcopal in Mobile, was the last coach from Alabama to be enshrined (2013).  Basketball coach Mickey “Guy” O’Brien, a Dadeville native who coached at Geraldine and Scottsboro, was inducted in 1992.
    Alabamians currently in the NFHS HOF include:

ALABAMIANS IN THE NFHS NATIONAL HALL OF FAME
Year    Name                                      High School                                       College
Administrators
1987: Cliff Harper                              Moore Academy (Pineapple)                  Birmingham-Southern
1990: Herman L. “Bubba” Scott        Autauga County (Prattville)                   Troy State
2011: Dan Washburn                          LaFayette                                            Chattanooga

Coaches
1992: Mickey “Guy” O’Brien            Tallapoosa County (Dadeville)     Auburn                        1999: Glenn Daniel                           A.A. Parrish (Selma)                          Livingston

2013: James “Jim” Tate                      UMS (Mobile)                                     Citadel
2018: Dovey “Buddy” Anderson       Thomasville                                        Samford

Athletes
1989: Bart Starr (Athlete)                   Sidney Lanier (Montgomery)             Alabama         
2012: Pat Sullivan (Athlete)               John Carroll (Birmingham)             Auburn

2014: Ozzie Newsome (Athlete)        Colbert County (Leighton)                   Alabama
Officials
1988: Dan Gaylord                             Central (Phillips, B’ham)                        Howard College
2007: Sam Short                                 West End (B’ham)                                  Western Kentucky
 


AHSAA Soccer Official Joe Manjone Receives NFHS Citation for Officiating

CHICAGO, IL – Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) soccer official Joe Manjone, a veteran of more than 50 years of service to the sport worldwide, was honored Sunday at the National Federation of State High School Association (NFHS) 99th Summer Meeting as the 2018 Citation Award recipient Officiating.
    Manjone was on hand at the luncheon held at the Chicago Downtown Hyatt Hotel to receive the award presented annually to only one contest official nationally. The NFHS also presented eight Citations, one in each of the NFHS’s eight sections, to individuals who made contributions to the NFHS, state high school associations, coaching, officiating and performance arts.
     Vestavia Hills High School football coach Buddy Anderson will also be inducted Monday night into the National High School Sports Hall of Fame as the NFHS Summer Meeting concludes. Anderson was on hand at the Hall of Fame press conference Sunday afternoon.
    Manjone, who began officiating soccer as a teenager, has been involved in the sport as an official and administrator for more than 50 years.  His influence in the sport has been has been far reaching – spanning more the nation and two continents.
          In Alabama, his service stretches over more than 30 years. The AHSAA Soccer Director and former National Federation of State High Schools Association (NFHS) Soccer Rules Committee Chair has served the AHSAA in numerous soccer roles from officiating to rules interpreter.
        “Not only has Joe always been an outstanding official, officiating other sports besides soccer, but also he has been a dedicated professional and a true credit to this Association,” said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese.
        Manjone ’s contributions have not gone unnoticed. He was recently named the recipient of the NFHS’s prestigious Citation for Officials for 2017, which is presented annually to only one contest official nationwide.
          “Among Joe’s prestigious accomplishments is the AHSAA Distinguished Service Award for service as an official,” Savarese said. “His greatest contribution has been his outstanding leadership exemplified to officials statewide while maintaining the relevance of high school athletics. He is a great ambassador for this Association and the entire Alabama high school sports community.”

          A native of Hazelton, Pennsylvania, Manjone attended Black Creek Township High School, graduating in 1959.

He attended Penn State University, graduating in 1963 with a bachelor’s degree. He later earned additional education degrees from the University of Georgia and Penn State. He was inducted into the NISOA Hall of Fame in 2013 and the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame earlier this year.
        Manjone is the seventh AHSAA representative to receive the NFHS Citation and the third contest official. Other include:

1992 – Herman L. “Bubba” Scott (NFHS Award of Merit)*

2000 – Ken Blankenship (NFHS Coach Citation)

2006 – Greg Brewer (NFHS State Association Citation)
2010 – Houston Young (NFHS Officials Citation)

2011 – Alan Mitchell (NFHS State Association Citation)
2014 – Jeff Hilyer (NFHS Officials Citation)

2015 – Wanda Gilliland (NFHS State Association Citation)
2016 – Richard Robertson (NFHS Coach Citation)
2018 – Joe Mangone (NFHS Officials Citation)
*-This special award is presented to special individuals who major a lasting impact on the NFHS and all its member schools. Recipients have included former President Gerald R. Ford, former Major League Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, former NCAA Executive Directors Walter Byars and Myles Brand. This award is not presented annually.


NFHS Network to Stream Summer Meeting Events

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (June 21, 2018) — The National High School Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on July 2 and Hall of Fame Press Conference on July 1 are among several events at the 2018 Summer Meeting of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in Chicago that will be streamed live on the NFHS Network. All Summer Meeting events can be accessed on the NFHS Network at no cost.

The Hall of Fame Press Conference will be held at 1:45 p.m. CDT (2:45 p.m. Eastern time) on Sunday, July 1, at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Illinois, followed by the 36th annual induction ceremony at 6 p.m. CDT (7 p.m. Eastern time) on Monday, July 2.

The Hall of Fame Press Conference will be available at no cost on the NFHS Network at http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/nfhs/evt885743f5e9 and the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony can be accessed at http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/nfhs/evt7f107de5cd .

All 12 inductees will be on hand at the press conference and induction ceremony, including Vestavia Hills High School’s Buddy Anderson, the winningest high school football coach in AHSAA state history.

In addition, four other events during the June 28-July 2 NFHS Summer Meeting will be streamed live on the NFHS Network. The “We Are High School” Opening Ceremony at 3:00 p.m. June 29 can be accessed at http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/nfhs/evtfb164fb09f, followed by the First General Session (http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/nfhs/evtedfb7a7e16) at 4:15 p.m.

At the Opening Ceremony, Marissa Walker of Waterford (Connecticut) High School will receive the National High School Spirit of Sport Award, and Cecelia Egan of Riverside St. Mary Academy-Bay View (Rhode Island) will receive the National High School Heart of the Arts Award.

Other NFHS Summer Meeting events available on the NFHS Network are the Second General Session at 9 a.m. June 30 (http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/nfhs/evtbd8da74ebb) and the Awards Luncheon at 12 p.m. July 1 (http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/nfhs/evt105b20b485).  

The Awards Luncheon will feature the presentation of NFHS Citations to 12 individuals, including AHSAA Soccer official Joe Manjone, who will receive the NFHS Officials Association Citation.  

Information on all NFHS Summer Meeting activities, the Hall of Fame Press Conference and the Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony is contained in the accompanying releases.


Anderson to be Inducted into National High School Sports Hall of Fame at 99th Annual NFHS Summer Meeting in Chicago

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (June 20, 2018) — The 99th annual National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Summer Meeting will be held June 28-July 2 at the Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Illinois. The NFHS is the national leadership organization for high school athletic and performing arts activities and is composed of state high school associations in the 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

More than 800 individuals are expected to attend the Summer Meeting, including staff members and board members from the 51-member associations.

The 36th annual induction ceremony of the National High School Hall of Fame and discussion of several key issues affecting high school sports and performing arts highlight this year’s agenda.  The NFHS Network will be live-streaming the Hall of Fame press conference and Hall of Fame banquet ceremonies. For more information, check for details at www.nfhsnetwork.com.

Twelve individuals will be inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame, including Alabama’s own Buddy Anderson, Nebraska’s Tom Osborne and Oregon’s Dick Fosbury.        Anderson is the AHSAA’s winningest football coach in Alabama history with a 329-146 record over the past 40 years at Vestavia Hills High School. Anderson was also a standout tight end at Thomasville High School and was played on the offensive line at Samford University. He becomes the 12th individual to be inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame from Alabama. The others include: former AHSAA Executive Directors Cliff Harper (1987); Herman L. “Bubba” Scott (1990); and Dan Washburn (2011); basketball coach Wallace “Mickey Guy” O’Brien (1992); football coach Glenn Daniel (1999); track and cross country coach Jim Tate (2013); athletes Bart Starr (1989); Pat Sullivan (2012); and Ozzie Newsome (2014); and contest officials Dan Gaylord (1988); and Sam Short (2007). 
          In addition, AHSAA Soccer Rules interpreter and state Other Citation recipients are Joe Manjone of Alabama (NFHS Officials Association), Scott Evans of New Mexico (NFHS Coaches Association), Alan Greiner of Iowa (NFHS Music Association) and Tara Tate of Illinois (NFHS Speech/Debate/Theatre Association).  Manjone, who has spent more than 50 years in sports officiating, has served as AHSAA State Rules Interpreter and  AHSAA Championship Officials Coordinator since 1991 and has been an NFHS Soccer Rules Committee member beginning in 2000. He has served as rules committee chairman and is the current NFHS rules consultant and interpreter. In 2012 he received the NFHS Sports Officials Association Contributor of the Year Award.

Osborne was a three-sport standout (football, basketball, track and field) at Hastings (Nebraska) High School in the early 1950s before becoming one of the most successful coaches in college football history. Fosbury developed the upside-down, back-layout leap known as the Fosbury Flop at Medford (Oregon) High School and later perfected it by winning the gold medal at the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City.

Other former high school athletes in the 2018 class are Nicole Powell, one of Arizona’s top all-time girls basketball players during her days at Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix who later excelled at Stanford University and in the WNBA, and Carrie Tollefson, who won five state cross country championships and eight individual track titles at Dawson-Boyd High School in Dawson, Minnesota, before winning individual and team NCAA titles while competing at Villanova University and qualifying for the 2004 U.S. Olympic team.

Four other outstanding coaches will be inducted with Anderson in the 2018 class, including Miller Bugliari, No. 2 nationally in boys soccer coaching victories with a 850-116-75 record in 58 years at The Pingry School in Basking Ridge, New Jersey, and Dorothy Gaters, the Illinois state leader with 1,106 career victories in 42 years as girls basketball coach at John Marshall High School in Chicago who won her ninth Illinois High School Association state title earlier this year.

Other coaches who will be honored this year are Jeff Meister, girls and boys swimming coach at Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii, who has led his teams to a combined 34 Hawaii High School Athletic Association state championships; and Bill O’Neil, who retired last year after winning almost 1,300 games as the boys ice hockey, girls soccer and girls softball coach at Essex High School in Essex Junction, Vermont.

The other three members of the 2018 class are Roger Barr, who retired in 2015 after a 43-year career in high school officiating in Iowa, including the final 13 years as director of officials for the Iowa High School Athletic Association; Dick Neal, who retired in 2013 after a 34-year career as executive director of the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association; and Bill Zurkey, who retired in 2012 after an outstanding 35-year career as a choral director in three Ohio schools, including the final 25 years at Avon Lake High School.

Among the topics that will be discussed at the 52 workshops during the NFHS Summer Meeting are esports, recruiting and retaining officials, overuse and sport specialization, crowd control, social media, inclusion, digital ticketing, and participation by students in home, charter and virtual schools.

In addition, the Legal/Sports Medicine Workshop will be held at 1:00 p.m. on June 30. This event provides an ideal opportunity to discuss current legal and medical issues, as well as an open exchange among the attendees.

The Summer Meeting will kick off on June 29 with the Opening General Session featuring Mark Wood, original member and string master of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Along with the 11th annual National High School Spirit of Sport Award ceremony, the NFHS will present its performing arts counterpart – the National High School Heart of the Arts Award – for the fifth time.

Marissa Walker of Waterford (Connecticut) High School will receive the National High School Spirit of Sport Award, and Cecelia Egan of Riverside St. Mary Academy-Bay View (Rhode Island) will receive the National High School Heart of the Arts Award.

The Second General Session on June 30 will feature NFHS President Jerome Singleton and NFHS Executive Director Bob Gardner, and the Closing General Session on July 2 will feature speaker and author, Aaron Davis.

The Summer Meeting Luncheon will be held at 12 p.m. on July 1 and will feature the presentation of NFHS Citations to 12 individuals. State association honorees include Steve Timko of New Jersey, Melissa Mertz of Pennsylvania, Keith Alexander of Louisiana, Craig Ihnen of Iowa, David Cherry of Kansas, T.J. Parks of New Mexico, Becky Anderson of Utah and Trevor Wilson of Wyoming.

The NFHS Summer Meeting will conclude at 6 p.m. July 2 with the induction of the 2018 class of the National High School Hall of Fame.


Clarity Provided to Out-of-Bounds Calls in High School Wrestling

NEWS RELEASE

 

Clarity Provided to Out-of-Bounds Calls in High School Wrestling

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                               Contact: Elliot Hopkins

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (April 27, 2018) — New definitions for inbounds and out of bounds highlight  high school wrestling rules changes for the 2018-19 season.

Beginning next year, a wrestler will be inbounds if two supporting points of either wrestler are inside or on the boundary line. This could be two supporting points of one wrestler or one supporting point of each wrestler that is inside or on the boundary line.

Changes related to out-of-bounds and inbounds calls, along with rules dealing with uniforms and sportsmanship, were among the rules revisions recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Wrestling Rules Committee at its April 2-4 meeting in Indianapolis. All rules changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

The revised definitions for out of bounds and inbounds eliminate subjectivity with the out-of-bounds call without increasing the out-of-bounds area. The removal of “majority of weight” from the definition will allow officials to focus on inbounds and out of bounds rather than having to make a judgment on where the majority of the wrestler’s weight is being supported.

“The majority of rules changes for the 2018-19 high school wrestling season deal with revised definitions of escape, reversal, out of bounds and takedown,” said Elliot Hopkins, NFHS director of sports and student services and liaison to the Wrestling Rules Committee. “These changes were needed to reinforce our new position with increasing scoring opportunities by addressing the supporting point issue, but not creating additional risk to the sport. We have defined what the usual supporting points are while down on the mat and how near-fall points or a fall shall be earned.”

Several articles in Rule 5 are affected by the elimination of subjectivity in the out-of-bounds call. Rule 5-10 now provides language stipulating that any combination of two supporting points allows an official to make an inbounds call. Similarly, Rules 5-15-1 and 5-15-3 introduce the same clarity while Rule 5-15-2 alters language from “knees” to “knee(s),” making it consistent with Rule 5-15-2a(4) and its use of “hand(s).”

The revision to the definition of an out-of-bounds call is clearly stated in Rule 5-18, which outlines that it occurs when there are no longer two total supporting points inside or on the boundary line (two supporting points of one wrestler or one supporting point of each wrestler). Rules 5-22, 5-25-1 and 5-25-3 will have similar language to establish inbounds and out-of-bounds calls for reversals and takedowns.

Revisions to Rule 5-24-3 will assist officials with making a stalling call. The new criteria establish that stalling in the neutral position also takes place when a wrestler is backing off the mat and out of bounds, as well as when the wrestler is pushing or pulling out of bounds.

In addition to the numerous changes related to inbounds and out-of-bounds calls, Hopkins noted sportsmanship issues, a new illegal hold and uniform promotional references as other rules changes made by the committee. Among those are the following:

•    Rule 4-1-2: New language will state that no additional manufacturer’s logo, trademark or promotional references shall be allowed on the wrestling uniforms.

•    Rule 7-1-5y (NEW): The Nelson-Cradle is a new illegal hold/maneuver that is a combination made up of a Half-Nelson on one side with a locked cradle from around the neck with the far side knee. The back of the knee acts as the other arm (arm pit) to complete the Full-Nelson pressure on the neck and throat.

•    Rule 7-4-2: New language states that repeatedly dropping to one knee, as well as one hand, to break locked hands is considered unsportsmanlike conduct.

Wrestling ranks seventh in popularity among boys at the high school level with 244,804 participants, according to the 2016-17 NFHS Athletics Participation Survey. In addition, 14,587 girls participate in the sport throughout the nation.

“Overall, the sport is stable,” Hopkins said. “We are excited to have the influx of young women wrestlers who want to challenge themselves and represent their local high schools.”

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

 

This press release was written by Cody Porter, a graphic arts/communications assistant in the NFHS Publications/Communications Department.


NFHS Responds to Rice Commission Report on College Basketball

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                           Contact: Bruce Howard

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (April 25, 2018) — In response to the Rice Commission Report on College Basketball, NFHS Executive Director Bob Gardner offers the following comments on some of the suggestions from the Commission, particularly those that would impact the 51 NFHS member state associations and the high school basketball community.

 

NFHS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR BOB GARDNER COMMENTS

ON RICE COMMISSION REPORT ON COLLEGE BASKETBALL

 

First, the NFHS commends the NCAA and the Rice Commission for its thoughtful examination of the status of NCAA Division I men’s basketball and its recommendations to provide meaningful changes. Overall, we believe the Rice Commission offered some suggestions that will improve the collegiate model.

The specialness of college basketball is not just that it is “amateur,” but also that it is “education-based.”  We agree with the Rice Commission that both attributes are important to the game’s future. Preserving and promoting the education-based aspect of the game calls for the high school and college levels to support one another.

As the NCAA considers implementation of these proposals, however, we have concerns in some areas and urge that thought be given to the high school landscape. As an example, we are concerned that “certified agents” meeting with high school student-athletes could be disruptive to high school teams. Although we understand the need to have all college prospects obtain information regarding their potential, the high school community should be involved in determining when and where this would be promoted.

Another concern from the Commission’s report is the June evaluation period for “scholastic” events. We would like to see what roles our member state associations and high school coaches would play in that evaluation period. Further, we still believe that limiting recruiting to the high school season would be the most effective tool in eliminating the unsavory outside influencers.

We support the requirements of education as a part of non-scholastic events and that participation in such events require students making appropriate academic progress towards initial college eligibility.

We look forward to working with the NCAA to bring about important change.

 

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About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)

The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.9 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org.


THE TRUTH ABOUT SPORTS SCHOLARSHIPS

By Bob Gardner, Executive Director of the National Federation of State High School Associations and Steve Savarese, Executive Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association.


Many parents are trying to live the dream through their sons and daughters – the dream of landing a college athletic scholarship by specializing in a sport year-round. Unfortunately, most of these dreams are never realized.

The odds of a sports scholarship paying for even a portion of a student’s college education are miniscule. 

The College Board, a not-for-profit organization comprised of 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions, reports that a moderate cost for college students who attend a public university in their state of residence is $25,290 per year. The annual cost at a private college averages $50,900.

Meanwhile, the most recent data from the NCAA reveals that the average Division I athletic scholarship is worth only $10,400.  More significantly, the same study shows that fewer than two percent of all high school athletes (1 in 54) ever wear the uniform of an NCAA Division I school.

Even if the dream is realized, parents likely will spend more money for club sports than they ever regain through college athletic scholarships. Thanks to the costs of club fees, equipment, summer camps, playing in out-of-state tournaments and private coaching, youth sports has become a $15 billion-per-year industry.

There is an option, and it’s a financially viable one: Encourage your sons and daughters to play sports at their high school.

In education-based high school sports, student-athletes are taught, as the term implies, that grades come first. The real-life lessons that students experientially learn offer insights into leadership, overcoming adversity and mutual respect that cannot be learned anywhere else. Unlike club sports, coaches in an education-based school setting are held accountable by the guiding principles and goals of their school district. And the cost of participating in high school sports is minimal in most cases. 

While there is a belief that the only way to get noticed by college coaches is to play on non-school travel teams year-round, many Division I football and basketball coaches recently have stated that they are committed to recruiting students who have played multiple sports within the high school setting.

In addition, by focusing on academics while playing sports within the school setting, students can earn scholarships for academics and other talents—skill sets oftentimes nurtured while participating in high school activities. These scholarships are more accessible and worth more money than athletic scholarships. While $3 billion per year is available for athletic scholarships, more than $11 billion is awarded for academic scholarships and other financial assistance.

Without a doubt, your sons and daughters will have more fun, make more friends and be better prepared for life beyond sport by participating in multiple sports and activities offered by the high school in your community. 


Carver-Montgomery Director of Bands Selected as Section 3 Recipient of NFHS National High School Heart of the Arts Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                             Contact: John Gillis

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (March 12, 2018) —LaFrancis Davis, the director of bands at Montgomery’s Carver High School, has been selected as the 2018 Section 3 recipient of the “National High School Heart of the Arts Award” by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). Cecelia Egan of Riverside (Rhode Island) St. Mary Academy-Bay View has been selected the 2018 national recipient of the “National High School Heart of the Arts Award” by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
          Davis will be recognized at the AHSAA Summer Conference Championship Coaches banquet on Friday night, July 20 at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center.
         The National High School Heart of the Arts Award was created by the NFHS to recognize those individuals who exemplify the ideals of the positive heart of the arts that represent the core mission of education-based activities. This is the fifth year that the National High School Heart of the Arts Award has been offered. Eight

Ever since he was a student at Slocomb High School, Davis has had a passion for music. However, he was also a tremendous athlete who excelled in football, basketball, baseball and track. As such, he often faced schedule conflicts between athletics and performing arts.

By the time he was a junior, Davis had developed into a very talented all-around athlete who emerged as one of the state’s best football running backs. Band director Debra Lynn Long encouraged Davis to keep playing football and to keep playing the trumpet. He would often gain several yards in the first half of a football game and then march in his football uniform in the Marching Red Top Band before returning to the backfield in the second half.

When Davis prepared to graduate, several college football programs vied for his services. While Davis really wanted to play college football, he also wanted to major in music. He chose to attend Alabama A&M University, which had an outstanding music program.

After graduation, he served in the U.S. Army for 10 years. After that, he was persuaded to become band director at Coffee Springs High School. After resurrecting a struggling program there, he moved to Geneva County High School. He had two more stops along the way before landing at Carver, where he encourages his students to not just “… love all music, but to love playing the music and singing the songs even more.”
           He rejuvenated Carver’s struggling band program from less than 60 members to now more than 150. He also started a band program at its feeder middle school that now nearly 100 students involved as well.


Alabama Football Official Selected as Section 3 Recipient of NFHS National High School Spirit of Sport Award

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                             Contact: John Gillis

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (March 12, 2018) — Mark Russell, a high school football official and president of the Huntsville (Alabama) City Council, has been selected as the 2018 Section 3 recipient of the “National High School Spirit of Sport Award” by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). Russell will be recognized at the AHSAA Summer Conference Championship Coaches awards banquet Friday night, July 20 at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center.

The National High School Spirit of Sport Award was created by the NFHS to recognize those individuals who exemplify the ideals of the spirit of sport that represent the core mission of education-based athletics. Marissa Walker, a student-athlete at Waterford (Connecticut) High School, was selected the 2018 national recipient of the “National High School Spirit of Sport Award.” One recipient from each of the NFHS’s eight districts was selected for section recognition.
           An Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) and youth league football official for more than 30 years, Russell has been a member of the Northeast Football Officials Association (NEFBOA) during most of that time. He has served as head of its nominating committee, as the leader of the local football association’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes group, and as chair of the NEFBOA’s benevolent committee projects. He has officiated several AHSAA state championship football games – most recently as a linesman at the 2017 Class 7A title game.

That seemingly innocuous officiating assignment was nothing less than a miracle. Just three months earlier on August 25, Russell was officiating a season-opening high school game between Alabama school Madison Academy and McCallie Academy from Tennessee. During the game, Russell collapsed on the field with heart failure. Paulette Berryman, a nurse who just happened to be working as the Madison Academy school photographer, was standing at the sidelines and quickly came to his aid performing CPR until he was revived. His heart had been stopped with no heartbeat for eight minutes while he lay unconscious on the ground in front of the packed stadium of fans.

He was then rushed by ambulance to Huntsville Hospital’s emergency ward. Within two hours, doctors stabilized him, implanted a stent, and he was sitting up with more than 40 officials who had rushed to the hospital ICU to pray for him and to support him during his time of need. Advised by the doctors to take some extended time off, Russell returned to football in less than a month for a coin toss, and then back as a linesman within six weeks.