BIRMINGHAM – The AHSAA’s two most powerful Class 7A programs met for the first time this season in the 2020 Wrestling Duals Tournament finals and the defending champion Thompson Warriors (19-5) emerged with the win 41-24 over the Vestavia Hills Rebels (16-4) Friday night at the Birmingham CrossPlex Bill Harris Arena. Gardendale won the 6A title beating Oxford 45-28 and Arab beat Ranburne 40-26 in the 1A/5A finals.
Thompson was making its third appearance in four years, also winning the title in 2019 and finishing as runner-up in 2018. Vestavia Hills won the first 7A duals crown in 2017 and was making its second appearance in the duals’ four-year history.
Vestavia Hills’ Dawson Ray turned in the fastest win with a pin just 34 seconds into his 285-pound match with Thompson’s Tucker Hutson. Rebels teammate Jacob Gammill started the match with a pin at 1.55 in the 182-pound match with Carson Freeman of the Warriors. Thompson rallied to win nine matches with Michael Jackson (195 pounds) and Wilson Kennedy (138 pounds) wining by fall.
The AHSAA state wrestling playoffs get underway with Super Sectional competition at Bill Harris Arena and Montgomery’s Garrett Coliseum Feb/ 7-8. The State Championships will be at Huntsville’s Von Braun Center Feb. 13-14-15.
Gardendale 40, Oxford 26
The third time was the charm for Gardendale’s wrestling team as the Rockets (16-5) downed Oxford 40-26 to snap the Yellow Jackets’ three-year hold on the AHSAA Class 6A Wrestling Duals tournament championship.
Oxford (19-14) beat Gardendale 42-27 for the title in 2019 and 30-23 in 2018. This time, the Rockets started fast and never let up on the way to their convincing win. Derrick Orvik posted a major decision win 11-0 in the 182-pound match, and Matt Franks followed with a pin at 195 pounds. Gardendale then won four matches in a row (106, 1113, 120 and 126 pounds) to take a commanding lead before Oxford’s Matt Hicks won at 132 pounds to keep a glimmer of hope for the Jackets. Gardendale closed out with wins by Russ Boackle at 152 pounds and Carson Kim at 160 pounds to seal their first duals title.
Arab 45, Ranburne 28
The Knights (36-2) fell behind early with the bigger weight divisions getting underway first. The little guys got Arab on track, however, and posted a 45-28 win over Ranburne (16-5) for the program’s third AHSAA Class 1A/5A Wrestling Duals tourney title in the duals competition’s four-year history. Arab won in 2017 and 2018, but Scottsboro won in 2019.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a quick 19-0 lead winning the 182, 195, 220 and 285 weight divisions, but Arab dominated the lighter weights winning seven of the next eight matches. Cabe Dunn and Jacob Holland got the streak going at 106 and 113 pounds with pins in just 0:33 and 0:13 seconds.
Spencer Jordan closed out Ranburne’s first appearance in the Duals finals with a pin at 160 pounds in just 47 seconds.
Complete results follow.
AHSAA Wrestling Duals Tourney Champions
7A: Thompson 41, Vestavia Hills 24
6A: Gardendale 40, Oxford 26
1A/5A : Arab 45, Ranburne 28
7A: Thompson 51, Bob Jones 12
6A: Oxford 42, Gardendale 27
1A/5A: Scottsboro 50, Saint James 24
7A: Bob Jones 34, Thompson 29
6A: Oxford 30, Gardendale 23
1A/5A: Arab 34, Cleburne County 30
7A: Vestavia Hills 47, Oak Mountain 19
6A: Oxford 40, Southside-Gadsden 24
1A/5A: Arab 43, Moody 19
INDIVIDUAL MATCH RESULTS
Thompson 41, Vestavia Hills 24
106 pounds: Blaise Albarado (T) dec. Zach Flurry (VH), SV-1 10-8.
113 pounds: Yanni Vines (T) dec. Hasting Roberts (VH). Major dec., 15-5.
120 pounds: Christopher Hays (VH) dec. Cory Jones (T), 5-3.
126 pounds: James Latona (T) dec. Bryant Segars (VH), tech fall, 19-4.
132 pounds: Emmanuel Oliver (T) d. Leighton Reese (VH), maj. dec., 13-4.
138 pounds: Wilson Kennedy (T) pinned Luke Maluff (VH), 2:23.
145 pounds: Jack Lamey (VH dec. Will Garrett (T), major dec., 10-0.
152 pounds: Will Miller (T) dec. Chandler Merrill (VH), major dec., 10-2.
160 pounds: Ashunti Perry (T) dec. John Edwards (VH), 9-3.
170 pounds: Sam Willoughby (VH) d. William Browder (T), tech fall, 18-1.
182 pounds: Jacob Gammill (VH) pinned Carson Freeman (T), 1:55.
195 pounds: Michael Jackson (T) pinned Trey Saunders (VH). 5:50.
220 pounds: Alex Ward (T) pinned Bryce Littleton (VH), 2:15.
285 pounds: Dawson Ray (VH) pinned Tucker Hutson (T), 0:34.
Gardendale 40, Oxford 26
106 pounds: Daishun Powe (G) pinned Zachary Follett (O), 4:39.
113 pounds: Isaiah Powe (G) pinned Kaleb Shelton (O), 3:23.
120 pounds: Melton Powe (G) pinned Preston Smith (O), 2:15.
126 pounds: Brody Scoggin (G) dec. Michael Howell (O), 7-6.
132 pounds: Chase Hicks (O) dec. Luis Sanchez (G), major dec. 10-2.
138 pounds: Jakob Chisolm (O) pinned Devyn Scoggins (G), 1:13.
145 pounds: Kendrick Young (O) pinned Vincent Ziegler (G), 4:10.
152 pounds: Russ Boackle (G) pinned Jaydon Thomas (O), 1:27.
160 pounds: Carson Kim (G) dec. Reed Hill (O), 14-8.
170 pounds: Tristen Latham (O) dec. Kenndy Wyatt (G), SV-1 14-12.
182 pounds: Derrick Orvik (G) def. Mason Blackwell (O), major dec., 11-0.
195 pounds: Matt Franks (G) pinned Chanceton Holifield (O), 2:28.
220 pounds: Octavius Adair (O) dec. Jeremy Simpson (G), major dec., 11-3.
285 pounds: Kobe Shumaker (O) dec. Gardendale, 13-11.
Arab 45, Ranburne 28
106 pounds: Cade Dunn (A) pinned Braden Driver (RA), 0:33.
113 pounds: Jacob Holland (A) pinned Nate Merrill (RA), 0:13.
120 pounds: Austin Silva (A) dec. Brent Lovvorn (RA), tech fall 16-1.
126 pounds: Zack Buchanan (RA) dec, Dakoda Long (A), 6-3.
132 pounds: Johsua Roe (A) pinned John Lexin Caldwell (RA), 5:56.
138 pounds: Patrick Lawler (A) pinned Hunter Hollis (RA), 5:21.
145 pounds: Kaden King (A) pinned Jared McGinnis (RA), 2:39.
152 pounds: Michael Myslinski (A) pinned Rya Van Pelt (RS), 2:39.
160 pounds: Spencer Jordan (RA) pinned Caleb Roe (A), 0:47.
170 pounds: Ryan Morelan (A) dec. Damon Calhoun (RA), maj. Dec., 21-10.
182 pounds: Jeremiah McCord (RA) pinned Christian Eaton (A), 3:56.
195 pounds: Christian Smith (RA) dec. Sam Atchley (A), 6-2.
220 pounds: Carson Hall (RA) dec. Xander Shipp (A), major dec., 10-2.
285 pounds: Ben Buchanan (RA) pinned Skylar Rodgers (A), 1:58.
PELHAM – Southside-Gadsden High School won its fourth straight AHSAA Girls’ State Bowling championship Friday at Pelham’s Oak Mountain Lanes, and Thompson High School’s boys captured their first state title.
Southside-Gadsden met Thompson’s girls in the finals for the second straight year with Grace Ann Clontz rolling a 233 traditional game to give the Panthers a 29-pin win over the Warriors, 1,556 to 1,537. Teammate Ashlee Hull, who had the top four-game traditional series (841) Friday, also rolled a 214. Clontz also had a 825 series, and Thompson’s Gracie Connelly, who had 203 in the finals, finished with an 808 series for the Warriors. The combined 3,093 pins set a new state tourney record for girls, breaking the previous record (2,1814) by 279 pins.
Thompson beat Sparkman by 134 pins with a 1,565 total in the boys’ finals. Sparkman rolled a 1,431. Jacob Ackers and Landon Masters the Warriors of Coach Chris Hollingsworth with traditional games of 193 and 201, respectively, and finished 1-2 overall Friday with four-game series totals of 843 and 734 pins. Cole Arsenault led the Senators with A 223 in the finals and had an 822 series total for third best. Caleb Farmer’s 203 was the top traditional game for Thompson.
Coach Zachary Blume’s Panthers reached the finals with a strong 1,533-team total in the semifinals to beat Sparkman (1,295) by 238 pins. Thompson’s girls, also coached by Hollingsworth, had a closer semifinal match with Stanhope Elmore, winning 1,463 to 1,305. Southside also posted team scores of 1,400 and 1,383 to win its first two matches Friday over St. Clair County and Hazel Green. The Warriors beat Hokes Bluff and American Christian by 322 and 650 pins in the first two matches posting team totals of 1,473 and 1,560, respectively.
Thompson’s boys beat Northridge 1,502 -1,365, Gadsden City in a high-scoring 1,587 – 1,421 win in the second round and toppled Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa in an even higher-scoring battle 1,578 – 1,448 to reach the finals.
Sparkman, coached by Lisa Ivey, downed Southside-Gadsden, Auburn and Oak Mountain on the way to the finals. The Senators posted team totals of 1,563, 1,491 and 1,422 to win the matches by 304 pins, 18 pins and 142 pins, respectively.
Gadsden City senior Dakota Jones rolled the best traditional game Friday’s competition with a near-perfect 287 in the Titans’ first-round win over Corner. The state-meet record was set by another Gadsden City bowler Jon Kilgo, who rolled a perfect 300 round for Gadsden City in the 2016 state tourney. Jones’ total ranks No. 2. Thompson’s Landon Masters had a 261 in the quarterfinals for the next best boys’ traditional game.
Southside-Gadsden senior Ashlee Hull’s 245 in the semifinals was the top game in the girls’ field Friday. Clontz’s 233 in the final match was the next best single game effort.
Complete team and individual results and Friday’s single-elimination 16-team team championship brackets for each division can be found at www.ahsaa.com in the in-season results bowling second on the front page of the website.
AHSAA STATE BOWLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Friday’s Championship Bracket
Single elimination team play starts at 8 a.m. Finals are set for approximately 4 p.m.
Southside-Gadsden 1,556, Thompson 1,527
Southside-Gadsden 1,533, Sparkman 1,295
Thompson 1,463, Stanhope Elmore 1,305
Southside-Gadsden 1,383, Hazel Green 1,086
Sparkman 1,186, Vestavia Hills 1,146
Stanhope Elmore 1,389, Baker 1,147
Thompson 1,560, American Christian 910
Southside-Gadsden 1,400, St. Clair County 949
Hazel Green 1,073, Hewitt-Trussville 1,055
Vestavia Hills 1,148, Spain Park 1,105
Sparkman 1,208, Pelham 1,028
Stanhope Elmore 1,402, Dothan 943
Baker 1,160, Gulf Shores 999
American Christian 1,046, Hartselle 896
Thompson 1,473, Hokes Bluff 1,051
Thompson 1,565, Sparkman 1,431
Thompson 1,578, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 1,448
Sparkman 1,422, Oak Mountain 1,280
Thompson 1,587, Gadsden City 1,421
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 1,447, Hoover 1,238
Sparkman 1,491, Auburn 1,473
Oak Mountain 1,462, East Limestone 1,366
Thompson 1,502, Northridge 1,365
Gadsden City 1,621, Corner 1,306
Hoover 1,579, Hewitt-Trussville 1,485
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 1,492, Stanhope Elmore 1,292
Sparkman 1,563, Southside-Gadsden 1,259
Auburn 1,498, Spain Park 1,304
Oak Mountain 1,504, Mary Montgomery 1,446
East Limestone 1,545, Vestavia Hills 1,492
GIRLS’ TEAM LEADERS
Thompson 230 (third game)
Thompson 225 (first game)
Southside-Gadsden 217 (second game)
Southside-Gadsden 202 (second game)
Southside-Gadsden 190 (third game)
Thompson 190 (third game)
Southside-Gadsden 181 (first game)
Stanhope Elmore 213 (first game)
Thompson 205 (second game)
Thompson 200 (third game)
Thompson 205 (second game)
Spain Park 183 (third game)
Stanhope Elmore 170 (first game)
BOYS’ TEAM LEADERS
Thompson 227 (third game)
Thompson 175 (second game)
Thompson 174 (first game)
Sparkman 233 (first game)
Thompson 218 (second game)
Thompson 169 (third game)
Auburn 223 (third game)
Thompson 215 (second game)
Thompson 203 (first game)
Gadsden City 1,065 (first game – new state record)*
East Limestone 244 (first game)
Gadsden City 234 (second game)
Hoover 234 (third game)
GIRLS’ INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
Grace Ann Clontz, Southside 233
Jillian Hulsey, Thompson 221
Ashlee Hull, Southside 245
Cheyanne Bohannon, Southside 224
Gillian Baker, Thompson 213
Alyssa Ward, Stanhope Elmore 201
Jilliam Hulsey, Thompson 198
Angela Webber, Sparkman 225
Kacey Marshal, Stanhope Elmore 225
Maggie Smith, Thompson 223
Gillian Baker, Thompson 216
Gracie Connelly, Thompson 216
Jennifer Clontz, Southside 223
Gracie Connelly, Thomson 207
McKenzie Skelton, American Chr. 206
Jillian Hulsey, Thompson 204
Kacey Marshal, Stanhope Elmore 202
BOYS’ INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
Cole Arsenault, Sparkman 223
Caleb Farmer, Thompson 203
Carson Poe, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 243
Jacob Acker, Thompson 223
Caleb Farmer, Thompson 210
Landon Masters, Thompson 204
Hawkins Davis, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 200
Landon Masters, Thompson 261
Cameron DeCord, Thompson 226
Alfonso Carrington III, Sparkman 225
Jason Lewis, East Limestone 217
Cole Arsenault, Sparkman 216
Dakota Jones, Gadsden City 287
Jacob Acker, Thompson 247
Justin Lewis, East Limestone 244
Elijah Avery, Gadsden City 234
Dalton Tolgo, Sparkman 234
Story by David Elwell; The Decatur Daily
I firmly believe that if everyone had a person like Tom Calvin in their life that the world would be a better place.
Calvin, who died Wednesday at age 93, had a way of making you feel special. Part of it was his smile and that twinkle in his eye. There was also that firm handshake that pulled you into his world.
His wife Lenette is the same way, minus the firm handshake. They were a dynamic pair for 70 years and changed the lives of so many people they touched. It wasn’t just football players or the girls she coached in gymnastics. They were indeed an impact couple.
I met Calvin when I was a rookie sports writer at The Daily. It was in the summer, and he was preparing to start his fourth season at Austin High. I lived close enough to the old Austin campus that you could hear the whistles from the football field in the morning and the band practicing in the afternoon.
One late morning as I headed home from the office, I decided to swing by the practice field. I had yet to meet Calvin. I knew about his playing career at Alabama and in the NFL with the Steelers. I knew about his coaching success at Sylacauga. The plan was to watch some practice and, if I was still there when practice ended, I would introduce myself.
In those days you could park on the street right next to the practice field. I did and before I could step from the street to the grass I heard this raspy voice repeatedly yelling across the field for the managers to "find out who that man is."
It took me a couple of minutes to realize the raspy voice was Calvin and I was the subject his managers were running to question. I explained who I was and they relayed the message. He later came over and apologized. The next time I saw him he apologized again and he did several more times. He made sure I knew that I was always welcomed at Austin, in his office and at practice.
I thought I had hit it lucky. I expected this veteran coach to be someone who didn’t care much for distractions for his football program. I thought dealing with the local newspaper would probably be a low priority. I was wrong. Instead we became great friends.
Over the years I have put coaches in two groups. One group is coaches that use fear to get the best out of their teams. The players play their best because of a fear for what happens if they don’t.
Then there are the coaches who care for their players so much that the players want to be successful so as not to disappoint. It didn’t take me long to see that Calvin belonged in the second group. His players loved him.
That season was Steve Rivers’ first year as head coach at Decatur. The Daily’s high school football spotlight was probably shining a little more in the Decatur direction. Calvin had been at Austin three years with just one winning season. As the fourth man on sports staff, most of my assignments were at Austin.
During school, Calvin was in his office the last period of the day. There was no football practice in those days until after school. My visits would be during that last period. I would ask questions about the Black Bears and just let him talk. Often he would divert to stories about growing up in Limestone County, playing football at Alabama, marrying the head cheerleader at Alabama, playing for the Steelers and the glory days at Sylacauga. The stories were so interesting that I would show up some days when I wasn’t working on an Austin story just to hear another one.
Austin went 1-9 in 1981. After that season the next three years were amazing. The Black Bears won 31 games and in 1983 advanced all the way to the Class 4A championship game at Legion Field. If there had not been a monsoon that night at Legion Field, I’m convinced Austin would have won that game. The wet field slowed down a fast Austin team. Murphy won 7-0.
Calvin’s career was all about relationships. One of the most special relationships was with Rivers, who played for Calvin at Sylacauga. Rivers’ father was not around much. Calvin became like a father figure to him. Sylacauga even won a tennis state championship with Calvin coaching and Rivers playing.
After high school, Calvin helped Rivers get a scholarship to play football at Mississippi State. When Rivers was ready to start a coaching career, it was Calvin who told Decatur head coach Earl Webb about him. Rivers joined Webb’s staff and that changed his life. He met his wife Joan here and eventually became head coach at Decatur and later Athens. Their son Philip has created a legacy as a star NFL quarterback. None of that would have happened if not for Calvin.
Calvin touched a lot of other lives and will continue long after he’s gone just because of the people he touched. We should all be thankful that he passed through our lives.
• One of his Calvin’s best friends growing up in Limestone County was Alabama teammate Herb Hannah, the father of the famous Hannah brothers who played at Alabama in the 1970s. Herb’s son John is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
• Calvin played at Alabama in 1949 and 1950. In the 1949 Iron Bowl, he scored a late touchdown to cut the Auburn lead to 14-13. The point after touchdown kick was missed giving Auburn the win.
• When Tom and Lentte married in 1950, it was the wedding of the cheerleader and the football star. The Birmingham News covered it with big photo at the top of Sunday’s front page. The guest included players from both Alabama and Auburn.
• The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Calvin in the 25th round in the 1951 draft. He was not impressed with the money and elected to start his coaching career at Baldwin County. A year later the Steelers called and increased the offer to $8,000 and Calvin accepted. He played for the Steelers from 1952-1955.
• Calvin left the NFL to become head coach at Sylacauga. He built a powerhouse that was declared state champions in 1957, 1960 and 1961 and won another championship on the field in 1969. Many of those players from Sylacauga stayed in touch with their coach. Over the years several traveled to Decatur for reunions.
MONTGOMERY –Carroll High School of Ozark have been fined for violating the AHSAA eligibility rules. The school self-reported the violation.
CHS played two ineligible students on its boys’ varsity basketball team in violation of the AHSAA’s Transfer Rule. As a result, CHS has forfeited all varsity boys’ basketball victories the students participated in, including Class 5A, Area 3 wins over Greenville and Charles Henderson.
Accordingly, as restitution the students must sit out the same number of basketball contests in which each participated ineligibly once each student becomes an eligible athlete.
Thursday’s Results Determine Seeding for Friday’s Championship Bracket
PELHAM – Three-time defending AHSAA State Girls’ Bowling Champion Southside-Gadsden rolled a state-tournament record high team series (2,719) in Thursday’s first round of the 5th AHSAA State Bowling Championships at Pelham’s Oak Mountain Lanes. However, don’t expect the Lady Panthers to be over-confident heading into Friday’s single-elimination head-to-head Baker format championship bracket.
Why? South Regional champion Thompson also broke the previous state record (2,631) set by the Warriors in 2018 with a 2,670 total Thursday – just 49 pins behind the leaders. The two schools earned the No. 1 and No. 2 seeds heading into Friday’s competition – and a possible rematch in the state finals. Southside edged the Warriors by just three pins to win the 2019 state title.
Third seed Stanhope Elmore also surpassed the previous record with a 2,651 series.
Coach Zachary Blume’s Panthers will open Friday’s first round of team play against No. 16 seed St. Clair County, and Thompson will face No. 15 seed Hokes Bluff. Stanhope Elmore meets Dothan in the first round Friday morning. All first-round matches in the girls’ and boys’ competition will begin at 8 a.m.
In the boys’ competition Thursday, Thompson had a three-game series 2,982 to grab the top seed for Friday’s play. Defending state champion Vestavia Hills totaled 2,957 pins to finish a close second in Thursday’s traditional play and earned second seed. Sparkman and Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa were right behind with 2,938 and 2,866 totals to earn third and fourth seeds.
The Warriors will face Northridge in the first round of the championship bracket Friday morning, the Rebels will meet East Limestone; the Senators will face Southside-Gadsden; and the Patriots will meet Stanhope Elmore.
Stanhope Elmore’s girls set a new state tournament record with a 1,039 total in the second round for the high team total of Thursday’s competition. Vestavia Hills’ boys rolled a 1,026 in the second round Thursday – just 11 pins shy of the record set by the Rebels at the 2017 state tourney.
Sparkman’s Cole Arsenault had a three-traditional-game series 244-253-224—711 to lead the boys’ individual competition Thursday. Thompson’s Jacob Acker, who had a high game of 280 in the second round, was second with a 168-280-237—685 total. Arsenault’s series ties for third best in state tourney history and is tied for 6th in AHSAA bowling playoff history. Joe Renfro of Oak Mountain rolled a 284 in the third round for the top single game of the day. Renfro’s 284 is second only to Jon Kilgo’s perfect 300 round for Gadsden City in the 2016 state tourney. Acker’s 280 in the second round is third-best all-time in post-season play.
Thompson’s Gracie Connelly rolled a 233-239-167—639 series to capture top honors in the girls’ traditional play Thursday. Her series ranks third best in state-tourney play and fourth overall in AHSAA playoff history. Grace Ann Clontz of Southside had a 225-183-203—611 series to finish 28 pins behind Connellly, and Meghan Best of Stanhope Elmore rolled 185-243-173—601 to finish third. Her 243 game in round two was the high for the girls. Connelly’s 239 in the same round was second.
Complete first-day team and individual results and Friday’s single-elimination 16-team team championship brackets for each division can be found at www.ahsaa.com in the in-season results bowling second on the front page of the website.
Play gets underway Friday at 8 a.m., with four rounds of competition concluding with the state finals at approximately 4 p.m.
AHSAA STATE BOWLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Friday’s Championship Bracket
First-Round Pairings (Baker Format)
Single elimination team play starts at 8 a.m. Finals are set for approximately 4 p.m.
No. 16 seed St. Clair County vs. No. 1 seed Southside-Gadsden
No. 9 seed Hewitt-Trussville vs. No. 8 seed Hazel Green
No. 12 seed Vestavia Hills vs. No. 5 seed Spain Park
No. 13 seed Pelham vs. No. 4 seed Sparkman
No. 14 seed Dothan vs. No. 3 seed Stanhope Elmore
No. 11 seed Gulf Shores vs. No. 6 seed Baker
No. 10 seed American Christian vs. No. 7 seed Hartselle
No. 15 seed Hokes Bluff vs. No. 2 seed Thompson
No. 16 seed Northridge vs. No. 1 seed Thompson
No. 9 seed Corner vs. No. 8 seed Gadsden City
No. 12 seed Hoover vs. No. 5 seed Hewitt-Trussville
No. 13 seed Stanhope Elmore vs. No. 4 seed Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa
No. 14 seed Southside-Gadsden vs. No. 3 seed Sparkman
No. 11 seed Spain Park vs. No. 6 seed Auburn
No. 10 seed Mary Montgomery vs. No. 7 seed Oak Mountain
No. 15 seed East Limestone vs. No. 2 seed Vestavia Hills
GIRLS’ TEAM SCORING (3 traditional games)
Stanhope Elmore 2,651
Spain Park 2,212
Hazel Green 2,134
American Christian 1,953
Gulf Shores 1,926
Vestavia Hills 1,912
Hokes Bluff 1,814
St. Clair County 1,801
GIRLS’ TEAM TOP 5 GAMES
Stanhope Elmore 1,039 (second round)
Southside-Gadsden 951 (second round)
Thompson 946 (second round)
Southside-Gadsden 921 (first round)
Sparkman 894 (third round)
BOYS’ TEAM SCORING (3 traditional games)
Vestavia Hills 2,957
Oak Mountain 2,798
Gadsden City 2,781
Mary Montgomery 2,745
Spain Park 2,704
Stanhope Elmore 2,648
East Limestone 2,497
BOYS’ TEAM TOP 5 GAMES
Vestavia Hills 1,026 (second round)
Thompson 1,019 (first round)
Oak Mountain 1,011 (third round)
Hewitt-Trussville 1,010 (first round)
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 1,009 (first round)
GIRLS’ INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
Top 5 Series
Gracie Connelly, Thompson 233-239-167—639
Grace Ann Clontz, Southside 225-183-203—611
Meghan Best, Stanhope Elmore 185-243-173—601
Ashlee Hull, Southside 197-237-151—585
Kacey Marshal, Stanhope Elmore 182-227-167—576
Gracie Connelly, Thompson 233
Grace Ann Clontz, Southside 225
McKenzie Skelton, American Christian 199
Alexis Anderson, Spain Park 198
Ashlee Hull, Southside 197
Meghan Best, Southside 243
Gracie Connelly, Thompson 239
Ashlee Hull, Southside 237
Kacey Marshal, Stanhope Elmore 227
Samantha Wilson, Stanhope Elmore 206
Angela Webber, Sparkman 213
Emily Lindsey, Sparkman 211
Evie Baum, Baker 209
Jillian Hulsey, Thompson 205
Daylin Tolgo, Sparkman 204
BOYS’ INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
Top 5 Series
Cole Arsenault, Sparkman 244-253-224—711
Jacob Acker, Thompson 168-280-237—685
Landon Masters, Thompson 244-201-232—677
Vincent Shim, Hillcrest 200-245-225—670
Jason (Cole) McCarty, Hewitt-Trussville 202-204-254—660
Dalton Tolgo, Sparkman 253
Travis Hayes, Corner 252
Nathan Kim, Auburn 245
Cole Arsenault, Sparkman 244
Landon Masters, Thompson 244
Jacob Acker, Thompson 280
Cole Arsenault, Sparkman 253
Vincent Shim, Hillcrest 245
Tanner Hayes, Corner 236
Reese Merritt, Vestavia Hills 233
Tommy Butler, Gadsden City 233
Joe Renfro, Oak Mountain 284
Jason (Cole) McCarty, Hewitt-Trussville 254
Austin Osburn, Mary Montgomery 247
Jacob Acker, Thompson 237
Landon Masters, Thompson 232
Joseph Collier, Sparkman 232
This week’s AHSAA Basketball Spotlight
MONTGOMERY— Coaching basketball has taken Woodie Jackson in several directions during his more than 40 years as a boys’ basketball coach, teacher and administrator. But the road always seems to take him back to Francis Marion High School in tiny Marion, Alabama.
Jackson, currently in his third tenure as boys’ head basketball coach for the Rams, recently notched the 800th win of his legendary career with a 48-39 Francis Marion win over Choctaw County – Jackson’s alma mater. It was a milestone he really didn’t expect to reach when he retired from coaching for the second time after spending eight seasons at Selma High School from 2009-2016.
He said the Perry County School Superintendent pulled him out of retirement in 2018 to take over the proud Francis Marion program once again a year later. Jackson, now 802-415 in his high school coaching career, has the Class 1A Rams (16-4) playing like the Rams of old. He coached the school to four state titles in his first four years (1988-1991) and reached the Final Four again in 1992. He left the school for college coaching for two years but returned in 1995 and eventually led the Rams to a fifth crown in 2000 – giving him six overall in his prep coaching career.
Jackson’s 802 career wins ranks him sixth all-time behind in the AHSAA. The leader is another Perry County coaching legend Eugene Mason of R.C. Hatch, now deceased, who was 919-306. W.H. ‘Cap’ Brown of Birmingham-Parker is next at 890-312. Willie Scoggins, another Birmingham coaching legend, is third at 864-309. Both men are also deceased. Fourth is Jack Doss, who retired after 2017 with 10 state titles at four different schools (Hayes, Butler, J.O. Johnson and Mae Jemison, finished his career at 812-329. Currently fifth is long-time Barbour County boys’ coach Raymond White, now at Carroll of Ozark. He won his 800th game last season and currently owns an 808-342 career record.
Inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2010, Jackson served as a coach in the first Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic in 1991 and coached the East team in the 2008 McDonald’s All-America Game. All five coaches ranked ahead of Jackson are also members of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame.
Why did he give up retirement to return to Francis Marion one more time? Jackson summed up his reasons in an interview with Edwin Stanton of the Tuscaloosa News – reasons he said were taught to him first-hand by his own high school coach and father figure Vernon Johnson. “You have to be in it for the children because you are sure not going to get rich,” he said. “I am not rich. I’m in it for the love of it and because I care about people. The players love me and I love them. With kids it doesn’t matter how much you know, they care about how much you care about them.”
Two other high school coaches won milestone victories over the past week:
Southside-Gadsden Coach Kim Nails notched the 600th coaching win of her coaching career with a 43-39 win over Hokes Bluff. She is currently 192-123 at Southside, was 270-79 at Gadsden and posted a 146-45 record coaching Gadsden State Community College. Her prep coaching slate is 462-202 and overall record is 608-247. And Spain Park boys’ basketball coach Chris Laatsch notched the 400th win of his prep coaching career on January 21 when the Jaguars nipped Hewitt-Trussville 69-67.
Three players had milestone efforts as well.
Pike County 6-foot-8 senior Andres Burney scored a career-high and school record 49 points, cleared 16 rebounds and blocked four shots in a 77-74 overtime loss to Eufaula last week. He also had 14 points, 15 rebounds and six blocked shots to lead Pike County to a 52-31 win over Wicksburg.
Reeltown’s Makayla Langston scored 20 points in the first quarter and finished with 30 points to lead the Rebels past Fayetteville 44-20 last week. She sank nine field goals and two free throws in the period. The 20 points in one quarter ties her for sixth most points in a quarter in the AHSAA. The state record (27) for girls was set by Jesse Ralston of Ranburne in 2017 in a 66-24 win over Randolph County.
Jamya Tyus of McAdory High School scored 18 points in a win over Hueytown – to put her over 2,000 points for her career. Burney is approaching 1,500 points for his prep career for the Bulldogs. She also contributed eight rebounds, five steals and three assists in the Hueytown victory.
Other top performances reported include:
JALEN TAYLOR, PARK CROSSING: Scored 15 of his game-high 30 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Thunderbirds to an 95-80 win over Carver-Montgomery for the school’s first victory over their city rivals in school history.
RILEY LEONARD, FAIRHOPE: Proved to be Mr. Clutch for the Pirates scoring 10 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter and overtime and also blocked a potential game-tying shot in the extra period to preserve a 64-59 win over McGill-Toolen Catholic.
DEONTAE LAWSON, MOBILE CHRISTIAN: Nailed a game-winning layup with nine seconds remaining as Mobile Christian edged Cottage Hill Christian 51-50. He scored 17 of his game-high 19 points in the second half.
R.J. JOHNSON, GRISSOM: Totaled 21 points and nine rebounds in a 58-57 win over Gadsden City.
JORDAN BELL, WILLIAMSON: Had 16 points, 12 rebounds, four blocked shots and five dunks in a big win over Escambia County.
NATHAN VINCENT, BAYSHORE CHRISTIAN: Scored a career-high 29 points in a 48-46 win over Bayside Academy.
MARTEZ JONES: Led B.T. Washington of Tuskegee to an 83-48 win over Wetumpka with 18 points and 15 rebounds. He finished 7-of-9 from the floor.
CLARKE O’CONNOR, UMS-WRIGHT: Scored 21 points, including five 3-pointers, to lead the Bulldogs to a 76-68 upset win over Williamson.
TREY LEWIS, MILLRY: Totaled 25 points, nine rebounds, five assists, seven steals and three blocks in a win over Fruitdale.
KAM WOOD, PINSON VALLEY: Sank five 3-pointers and finished with 45 points in the Indians’ 85-76 win over Center Point.
T0MMY MURR, LINDSAY LANE: Had nine 3-pointers on 15 attempts and finished with 43 points in s 93-57 win over Athens Bible.
J.D. DAVISON, CALHOUN: Was 15-of-23 shooting and finished with 31 points in a 93-83 win over arch-rival Central-Hayneville.
BRAYDON WHITAKER, SLOCOMB: Scored 24 points to lead the Red Tops to a 68-63 victory over Straughn in three overtimes. James Guilford had 33 points for the Bulldogs.
TRAVELL McREYNOLDS, CENTRAL-HAYNEVILLE: Had 22 points in a 93-83 loss to Calhoun and again in the Lions’ 89-88 loss to Greenville.
BRADY COBB, ZION CHAPEL: Scored 27 points in a 74-52 victory over Samson.
COLBY FULLER, GENEVA COUNTY: Led the Panthers past Cottonwood 77-69 with 28 points and 14 rebounds.
JUSTIN BUFFORD, MONTGOMERY CATHOLIC: Scored 31 points and cleared 10 rebounds in a 68-64 loss to Brewbaker Tech.
MIA HOLLINSWORTH, HAMILTON: Had 12 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in s 53-39 win over Russellville.
KAROLINE STRIPLIN, GENEVA COUNTY: Scored 22 points, had 10 rebounds, 12 blocked shots and six assists in the Bulldogs’ 65-44 win over Cottonwood.
SAMIRA MOORE, CHARLES HENDERSON: Tallied 27 points in a 63-35 win over Carroll.
AIYAH POSTMA, LEE-MONTGOMERY: Had a career-high 37 points and added 10 steals as the Generals beat Jeff Davis in overtime 62-56.
EMILY BOWMAN, HUNTSVILLE: The Panthers’ senior and Vanderbilt signee pulled down 22 rebounds and had four blocked shots in a 43-32 win over Sparkman. She finished with 11 points.
QUINTASIA LEATHERWOOD, CENTRAL-TUSCALOOSA: Had 19 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists in 61-35 win over Sipsey Valley and added 15 assists as the Falcons beat Demopolis 63-36 and 10 in a 50-33 win over Hale County.
SAKYA WHITE, CENTRAL-TUSCALOOSA: Had 53 points and 44 rebounds in three wins for the Falcons. She has 21 points in a 63-36 victory over Demopolis and 18 rebounds in a 61-35 win over Sipsey Valley.
CORDASIA HARRIS, CENTRAL-HAYNEVILLE: Had 33 points in a 62-42 win over Greenville and 20 in a 66-36 win over rival Calhoun for the Lions (16-3).
DOMINIQUE OWENS, MIDFIELD: Had 26 points and 11 rebounds in the Patriots’ 61-36 win over Fultondale and 20 points, six rebounds and 13 steals in a 58-6 victory over Holy Family. Teammate Jemeriah Moore also had 16 points, 13 assists and seven steals as Midfield (15-8) downed Sumter Central 64-33.
ANIYA HUBBARD, HOOVER: Had 20 points, nine rebounds, five assists and five steals in a 79-31 win over Tuscaloosa County and 15 points, four steals and five assists to lead the Bucs past Oak Mountain 70-22.
RANDREA WRIGHT, CARVER-BIRMINGHAM: Had 20 points, eight assists and six steals in a 38-29 win over Minor.
RENIJAH BROWN, MARBURY: Had 28 points in a 65-61 win over Stanhope Elmore and 27 points and seven steals in the Bulldogs’ 74-58 victory over Chilton County.
TENASIA GORDON, GEORGIANA: Poured in 28 points in a 60-58 victory over J.F. Shields for Georgiana (12-5).
SKYE HARRIS, PIKE ROAD: Sank nine 3-pointers and scored 29 points in a 65-5 win over McEachern (GA).
MI’KASIA FLOYD, EUFAULA: Sank the winning free throw with six seconds left as Eufaula beat Dothan 58-57. She finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
JULIA MILLER, REHOBETH: Nailed a jumper with two seconds remaining to lift the Rebels past Greenville 38-36. She had put Rehobeth ahead with two foul shots moments earlier, but Greenville came down the floor and tied the game 36-all, setting up her game-winning shot. She finished with seven points.
MONTGOMERY –Huntsville High School have been fined for violating the AHSAA eligibility rules. The school self-reported the violation.
Huntsville played an ineligible student on its boys’ varsity basketball team in violation of the AHSAA’s Transfer Rule. As a result, Huntsville has forfeited 16 basketball victories, including Class 7A, Area 15 wins over Sparkman, Grissom and Gadsden City.
Accordingly, as restitution the student must sit out the same number of basketball contests in which he participated ineligibly once he becomes an eligible athlete.
AHSAA Indoor Track Week 3 Spotlight
MONTGOMERY – With the Alabama High School Athletic Association Indoor Track Championships just two weeks away, high school runners in the state are rounding into state finals shape.
Jace Jones of Alabaster’s Thompson High School notched three personal bests this week, including the No. 1 high school time recorded in the United States this year in the 1600 meters to earn the AHSAA Indoor Track & Field Spotlight this week. The senior raced to a 4:13.89 finish at the Hump Day Octameet at the Birmingham CrossPlex on Jan. 15 – just 69-hundreths off the 1600 course record set in 2016 by Frank Pittman running for the Marist School of Brookhaven, Ga. Jones’ 1:57.73 second-place finish to Scottsboro’s Rex Green (1:56.71) in the 800-meter run that same day was also a personal record as was his 9:23.44 victory in the 3200 meters in the Martin Luther King Indoor Track Classic on Jan. 20.
Jones, who has committed to the University of Alabama, ranks third in the state and 23rd in the nation in the 800.
Coach Christopher Schmidt’s Thompson boys’ team won the Octameet with 117 points, ahead of Hewitt-Trussville (80) and Homewood (69.5), and his girls’ squad finished second to Homewood (103) with 87.5 points.
The prestigious MLK Classic, hosted Jan. 20 by the Alabama Indoor Track Association at the CrossPlex in Birmingham, drew 155 teams from Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia. The Hoover boys finished first in the meet with 118 points, followed by Thompson (56), Northridge (47), Randolph School (42) and Central of Phenix City (36.5). The Hoover girls also recorded a first-place finish in the MLK with 86 points, followed by Campbell of Smyrna, Ga., with 56, Saint James (53), Thompson (40) and Jasper (38).
Other standout performances reported from the week:
JEKOVAN RHETTA, PARKER: The junior’s personal-best 6.81 in the 60-meter dash in the Class 1A-5A division of the MLK is a new meet record, the top time in Alabama this year and fifth best in the country. The old mark (6.86) was set by Winfield’s Trey Cunningham at the 2017 MLK. Rhetta was also fourth in the 400 with a 51.05.
L.J. HILL, HOOVER: The senior’s 8.17-second first-place sprint in the 60-meter hurdles in the MLK Classic 6A-7A division is the top overall time in the event in the state this year.
J’MARRI McCALL, HOOVER: Another senior, McCall had a personal best 6.92 finish in the 60-meter dash in the MLK. He also won the long jump with a leap of 22-05.5 to top teammate Hill (22-04.25).
ETHAN STRAND, VESTAVIA HILLS: The junior’s 4:17.92 was a personal best in the 1600 meters, good for first place at the MLK and was one of the best times in the nation.
ZION BINION, NORTHRIDGE: His 54-5 toss to win the shot put at the MLK was a personal best.
KELVIN POE, HUFFMAN: The senior won the 400 meters with a 50.38 finish, 48-hundreths ahead of Thompson’s Dominique Hall.
DESHUN MURRELL, BIBB COUNTY: Another junior, Murrell won the MLK 400 with a 50.35 finish, a personal best. He also won the event on Jan. 14 with a 50.81 at the High School JV Meet No. 3 at the CrossPlex.
COLLIN MAYFIELD, GERALDINE: Ran away with the 1A-5A 3200-meter run with a personal best 9:43.02. No other runner broke 10 minutes in the event.
OLIVIA BEARD, ST. PAUL’S EPISCOPAL: Her personal-best 5-6 high jump won the 6A-7A finals at the MLK, which tied the meet record set by former St. Paul’s high jumper Shelley Spires in 2013. Beard had another PR, 16-5.25 in the long jump, was good for fifth.
PRESLEY MILES, SAINT JAMES: Won the girls’ 800-, 1600- and 3200-meter runs at the MLK, with 2:16.70, 5:05.50 and 11:29.49 finishes, respectively.
ALEX COOK, BAYSIDE ACADEMY: With a personal best 11-06 pole vault at the MLK, the senior now has three first-place finishes in the event this season. She also won the Ice Breaker Invitational on Jan. 3 and the Magic City Invitational in December.
RIONNA JOHNSON, FAIRFIELD: Set a personal best mark with a first-place finish in the 1A-5A long jump with a leap of 16-04.25. The sophomore also had PRs in the 60-meter dash (8.24, 15th) and 400 (1:02.6, 8th).
ZaKIRIA HOLIFIELD, THOMPSON: Won the 6A-7A 60-meter dash with a 7.75 finish, just .01 off her personal best, and was second in the 400 meters with a personal best 57.28. She won both the 400 (57.54) and 60 (7.86) in the Hump Day Octameet.
|LAINEY PHELPS, HOMEWOOD: Won the 800 and 1600 at the Octameet, with 2:17.78 and 5:03.41 finishes. Her 1600 time is the best in Alabama this year and seventh nationally.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Dan Schuster
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (January 23, 2020) — The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has released “Beyond The Scoreboard,” the second installment of its new video series centered on correcting negative adult fan behavior at high school events.
Competitive high school events can be a highly emotional experience for the parents of participants and other invested adults, especially during the intense moments when winning and losing hangs in the balance. “Beyond The Scoreboard,” which follows “The Parent Seat” as the second non-course production housed on the NFHS Learning Center website (www.NFHSLearn.com), utilizes a list of 10 “life lessons” fostered by athletics and activities participation that are often forgotten by adult fans during the heated battle for victory.
“There are times when the scoreboard may indicate a loss, but there is actually a whole lot of winning going on,” said NFHS Director of Educational Services Dan Schuster. “As cliché as that sounds, we’re trying to spread the word that this is what our programs are supposed to be about – putting the ‘education’ in education-based athletics and activities programs.”
The participation benefits described in “Beyond The Scoreboard,” which include work ethic, respect, confidence, adaptability and others, are but a small portion of the actual list of invaluable traits developed through high school athletics and activities. For this reason, Schuster feels the most impactful element of the video is the clear, concise descriptions accompanying each term.
“Some people may use different words for the same thing or believe in a different set of 10 life lessons or a different number of them – whatever they choose,” he said. “But they’re going to agree and nod their heads at the descriptions and understand that we need our kids developing these skills through participation.”
A major part of the success of “The Parent Seat” was its shareable nature as a downloadable video. Once taken from the website, the video could be shared on social media and/or used by coaches and administrators at contests and preseason parents meetings. With the same concept applied to the fresh content found in “Beyond The Scoreboard,” Schuster is excited by a new set of possibilities.
“We wanted to come up with a way that we could easily disseminate information to parents and ‘The Parent Seat’ has proven that this model works,” he said. “This is another topic we want to get in front of parents and we’re really looking forward to schools receiving it and using it; and it gives them something new instead of the same video over and over.”
The NFHS is planning a third parent-centric video in the near future, but Schuster said he would also like to expand video offerings to target additional audiences within the NFHS’ membership.
“We want to take this momentum and carry it on to other constituents,” he said. “We want to create some bite-size video pieces for students in the future, perhaps a couple of intro pieces for coaches, even administrators. Our goal is to just keep getting our message out – who we are, what we do and why it’s important – and continue to pump out resources that ultimately serve our students and schools as best we can.”
To watch the full “Beyond The Scoreboard” video, visit: https://nfhslearn.com/library/videos/beyond-the-scoreboard.
Online link to article: https://www.nfhs.org/articles/nfhs-releases-beyond-the-scoreboard-second-video-resource-for-adult-fan-behavior-at-events/
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 16 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 19,500 high schools and 12 million participants in high school activity programs, including almost eight 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.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Bruce Howard, 317-972-6900
Director of Publications and Communications
National Federation of State High School Associations
Chris Boone, 317-972-6900
Assistant Director of Publications and Communications
The AHSAA was saddened to learn of the death of Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame charter member Tom Calvin, 93. He passed away Tuesday.
“Tom Calvin was a coaching legend in our state who made a major impact on those who played for him, coached with him or knew him,” said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family.”
A native of Athens, Calvin was an outstanding high school athlete who served in World Ward II, then returned to attend the University of Alabama where he played football. The fullback was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1951 but chose a career in coaching at Baldwin County instead. He eventually ended up in Pittsburgh playing football for the Steelers for four seasons before moving back south.
In 1956, Calvin took the head football coaching job at Sylacauga High School where coached the Aggies for 21 seasons. In 1957, Calvin’s team was named state champions by The Birmingham News. The 1960 and 1961 teams were also selected as state champions and his 1969 team won the Class 3A state title in just the third year of the AHSAA state playoffs. Calvin also was an outstanding tennis coach at SHS.
Tom and his wife Lenette, who is also a member of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame, were a part of the Sylacauga school system for 21 years. Calvin took the head coaching position at Austin High School in 1978 and retired there, finally stepping down in 1988 with a 201-130-11 career record. Calvin was a three-time Coach of the Year and was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 1991. He and Lenette are the only husband and wife team in the Hall of Fame. In 1985, a poll of Alabama high school football coaches, Calvin was voted “The Most Respected High School Coach” in the state.
The Sylacauga High School fieldhouse at Legion Stadium is named in his honor. Sylacauga City Schools released the following statement.
“Coach Calvin was truly a legend at Sylacauga High School. His voice, his expressions, and his interaction with students and fellow teachers made a lasting impression on those he encountered. We are saddened by his passing and send our love and prayers to his devoted wife, Lenette. Together the Calvins set a standard for athletic excellence at Sylacauga High and created the rich heritage we now call Aggie Pride.”
Calvin will be buried in his hometown of Athens. No arrangements were available at this time.
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