Wednesday, August 21, 2019

 

            


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AHSAA News


12 Selected For 25th Class of AHSAA Sports Hall of Fame

MONTGOMERY – Twelve major contributors to prep athletics in Alabama have been selected to the 25th class of the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame.

          The 2015 class, which includes coaches, administrators, officials, media and an “oldtimer,” will be inducted at a special Silver Anniversary banquet commemorating all 25 years of the event March 23, 2015, at the Renaissance Hotel at the Convention Center in Montgomery.
          Selected were tennis coach Nancy Becker, basketball coaches Steve Jefferson, Jack Doss and Bobby Wright, football coaches Steve Rivers, Doug Goodwin and John Tatum, athletic director Myra Miles, track official Houston Young, and administrators Alan Mitchell and Ron Ingram. Selected in the “Old Timer” category was longtime Geneva County football coach James D. Chesteen.
            The 18-member Hall of Fame Committee made the selections from the 50 nominations on the Hall of Fame ballot. The Hall of Fame is located at the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) office in Montgomery.

Sponsors of the Hall of Fame program are the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) and the AHSAA. The corporate sponsors are Cadence Bank, Coca-Cola, EBSCO Media, Encore Rehabilitation, Farmers Insurance, Russell Athletic, TeamIP and Wilson Sporting Goods.
           To order tickets ($40 each), mail requests along with check or money order (payable to AHSADCA) to: Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association, P. O. Box 242367, Montgomery, AL 36124. Additional information is available at 334-263-6994.


     A thumbnail sketch of each 2015 inductee:

     NANCY BECKER: One of the most successful girls’ tennis coaches in AHSAA state history, Becker began teaching as a business education teacher at Jacksonville (FL) in 1962, moved to John Carroll High School in 1965 and then to Vestavia Hills High School in 1984. Her tennis teams won 10 Class 6A state championships, had eight runner-up finishes, finished third four times and won 20 sectional championships.  Her teams won over 200 matches in her 23-year career at Vestavia Hills and several prestigious tournaments, including the Chattanooga Rotary Tournament three times.
    She was named NFHS State Tennis Coach of the Year in 2008 and 2010 and was honored by the Birmingham Kiwanis Club as Outstanding Teacher/Coach in 2011. She came out of retirement in 2013 to serve as an assistant coach and helped Vestavia Hills win the state championship. A 1957 graduate of Gadsden High School and 1961 graduate of Auburn University, Becker has been involved in many civic organizations, including Charity League, Civettes and the Birmingham Inter-Club and Tennis League.

     JAMES “J.D.” CHESTEEN: A long-time head football coach in the Wiregrass, Chesteen, is being inducted in the “Old-Timer” category.  He compiled an 86-64-6 overall record over a 16-year head-coaching career with stops at Coffee Springs, Samson and Geneva County.  He coached three teams to the Peanut Bowl, one to the Lions Bowl and had teams win the South Alabama Conference 2A Championship twice. He served as president of the South Alabama Conference in 1964, was elected vice president of the AHSADCA in 1962 and president in 1963. He was head coach of the South All-Stars in the 1963 North-South Game and inducted into the Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame in 1994.
   He totaled 38 years and nine months as a teacher and coach in the Geneva County School System, retiring in 1989. Active in civic and church activities, he has been Chairman of Deacons at Hartford Baptist Church for 12 years. 
     He graduated from Brantley High School in 1946 and Troy University in 1951. He also spent three years in the Air Force (1946-48). His son Donnie Chesteen is currently the head football coach at Geneva High School.

 

     JACK DOSS: One of the state’s most successful high school boys’ basketball coaches in history, Doss captured the 700th win of his prep coaching career in 2014.
    His head-coaching career has produced seven state championships – two at Hayes in 1981 and 1982 in his first two seasons as a head coach. His teams won five at Butler in Huntsville (2004, 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2011). He is currently coaching at J.O. Johnson which has reached the state finals the last two years.
    Doss has had two games televised nationally over ESPN, his basketball character development strategies have been showcased on CBS Sports, and he has coached three players that were named Mr. Basketball in Alabama. His teams have produced more than 30 Division I players, including former NBA standout Buck Johnson. He also coached future NBA stars Charles Barkley and Ennis Whatley in the North-South All-Star Game and Eric Bledsoe in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game.
     He has been inducted into the Madison County Sports Hall of Fame, named Birmingham News Coach of the Year seven times and selected to coach in the AHSAA’s two all-star games four times.
    He graduated Oxford High School (1965) and after a stint in the Air Force, earned his college degree at Jacksonville State University.


     DOUG GOODWIN:
A member of the AHSAA’s 200-win club as a prep football coach, Goodwin began his head-coaching career at Marion County from 1987-92, then at Lineville (1993-98), Demopolis (1999-2006), Russellville (2007-10) and Homewood (2011-13).  He led Lineville to the state finals in 1996 and 1998, won a state title at Demopolis in 2004 while setting a state single-season scoring record (761 points) in the process. His Russellville teams reached the state finals in 2008 and 2009 and his Homewood teams won region titles in 2012 and 2013.
   His career record is 234-91 with five state championship appearances and was the first coach in AHSAA history to guide three different schools to the state finals.
    He was selected ASWA Class 4A Coach of the year in 2004 and the Alabama Football Coaches Association 5A Coach of the year in 2008. He coached in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game in 2005 and the North-South All-Star Game in 1998. A graduate of Sylacauga High School (1980) and Auburn University (1984), he currently serves as Director of High School Relations and NFL Liaison for Auburn University.

     RON INGRAM: The AHSAA Director of Communications since 2007, Ingram has served on the National Federation Hall of Fame Screening Committee and the National Records Committee, currently serving as chairman.  A sports journalist before joining the AHSAA, he  served as sports editor of the Dothan Progress from 1975-1981 and the Dothan Eagle from 1981-1984. In 1984 he became prep sports editor of the Birmingham News where he remained for 24 years before joining the AHSAA staff.  The award-winning writer has been named the Alabama Sports Writers Association Sports Writer of the Year and captured the ASWA’s sweepstakes writing award twice (1987 and 1994). He started and chaired the ASWA state football and basketball rankings and also the All-State teams from 1978 until 2008. He also managed the Birmingham News All-State Teams for football, basketball, softball, baseball, wrestling and volleyball.
    Ingram graduated from Pike County High School (1970) and the University of Alabama (1974). He was inducted into the ASWA Sportswriters Hall of Fame in 2013, the Wiregrass Sports Hall of Fame in 2009 and was named Alabama Community Journalist of the Year in 2012 by Auburn University. He has authored two books, Tales of Alabama High School Football and Sammy Dunn--Dynasty on the Diamond.

    STEVE JEFFERSON: The highly-respected boys’ basketball coach recorded over 650 career wins in his 31-year career at Carver in Birmingham. He led the Rams to back-to-back Class 4A state championships in 1978 and 1979 – playing before the largest high school crowd in AHSAA state tournament history at Coleman Coliseum against Parker in the 1978 finals. His Carver teams also reached the state finals three more times (1983, 1997 & 1998).  He served as an assistant coach on Carver’s 1981 Class 4A state runner-up team. Jefferson also coached Conecuh County Training School from 1965-68 with one trip to the AIAA state tournament. He was head football coach at Birmingham’s Ullman High School for one year.
     He was named Birmingham City Schools Coach of the Year 10 times, the Birmingham Tip-Off Club Coach of the Year twice (1979 and 1998) and received the 1998 Frank Nix Distinguished Service Award presented by the Tip-Off Club. He was named Birmingham Times Coach of the Year four times.  Jefferson is a graduate of Escambia County Training School (1958) and Alabama State University (1962).

 

    MYRA MILES: Considered one of the top high school administrators in the nation, Miles served as athletic director at Hoover from 2008-2014 after serving one year as interim AD. She also taught and coached at Hoover from 2002-2007. During her tenure the school won more than 20 state championships in 10 different sports.
    Her first teaching/coaching assignment was at Haleyville (1984-88), followed by stops at Brooks (1989-99), St. James (1999-2000) and Coffee (2000-02). She coached volleyball, softball and girls’ basketball and taught physical education during her teaching/coaching career. Her volleyball team at Haleyville won the Class 4A state championship in 1987 and finished runner-up in 1985 and 1986, then her softball team won the Class 4A state title at Brooks in 1994. Her career records were 546-201 in softball, 355-152 in volleyball, and 192-124 in basketball – a total of 1,062 prep wins in the three sports.
     Miles served on the AHSAA Central Board of Control from 2012-14, was president of the AHSADCA (2013-14) and an officer for five years.  She has been active in working with special needs students and Special Olympics and helps sponsor a fishing trip for special needs children in Eutaw annually.
   Miles is a graduate of Bradshaw (1979) in Florence and the University of North Alabama (1984).  She also attended Freed-Hardeman College.


    ALAN MITCHELL:
The veteran Assistant Director of the AHSAA served as the association’s first Director of Publicity and Publications during five different decades while working with three different executive directors.  A dedicated individual who has championed the AHSAA’s education-based athletics mission his entire career, Mitchell was recognized by the NFHS with the National Citation Award for Section 3 at the 2011 NFHS Summer Conference in Philadelphia. The AHSAA Central Board of Control also issued a resolution honoring Mitchell’s 32-year career with the AHSAA.
    Mitchell joined the AHSAA after spending 14 years as a newspaper journalist and five years in college public relations. The 1960 Robert E. Lee High School graduate completed his college degree at Huntingdon College in 1964. He was a sports writer for the Montgomery Advertiser from 1958-66 while also holding down the Huntingdon College sports information director position from 1959-66. He served as Publicity Director at Tennessee Wesleyan College from 1966-71 before returning to Montgomery as sports editor of the Alabama Journal in 1971 where he remained until joining the AHSAA. He has served in various leadership roles at Aldersgate United Methodist Church and currently directs the Praise Singers ensemble.

    STEVE RIVERS: The veteran football coach had head-coaching stops at Pelham (1979-80), Decatur (1981-95), Athens (1996-99) and Wakefield, N.C. (2000-05). A graduate of Sylacauga High School (1967) and Mississippi State University (1971), his overall head-coaching record is 188-95.
    Rivers had unbeaten regular seasons at three different schools: 1993 (Decatur), 1997 (Athens) and 2005 (Wakefield) during his 27-year head-coaching career. The father of current NFL quarterback standout Philip Rivers and current Vanderbilt quarterback Stephen Rivers, he led 16 teams to the state playoffs. He played in the North-South All-Star Game in 1967 and later served as head coach of the North team in the 1997 game. He was an assistant in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game in 1999.
    Rivers, who won the state prep doubles tennis championship in 1967, also coached tennis and basketball at Decatur and was inducted into the Morgan County Sports Hall of Fame in 2008 and named the Decatur Daily Football Coach of the Year five times. He played at Sylacauga for AHSAA Hall of Fame coach Tom Calvin and served as an assistant in his first coaching job under Hall of Fame coach Earl Webb.

 

     JOHN TATUM: A graduate of Montgomery’s Robert L. Lee High School (1964) and Troy University (1969), Tatum spent 16 years as athletic director, head football and track coach at Montgomery Academy (1984-2000). He also had coaching stops at DeKalb County (GA), Norcross (GA) and Everitt Junior High in Panama City, Fl. He also worked with AHSAA STAR Sportsmanship developer Learning Through Sports in 2007-08 and served as principal at St. James School for three years before officially retiring. His Montgomery Academy teams compiled a 170-95 record, including 24-17 in playoff games. His 1987 team finished 14-0 and won the Class 1A state title. His 2006 team was 10-0 in the regular season and closed out 12-1. Three of his teams reached the state semifinals.
    His overall head-coaching record was 196-112-1 with 21 trips to the state playoffs in 27 years. In 1987 Tatum was named Class 1A Coach of the Year, Montgomery Quarterback Club and Birmingham Monday Morning QB Club Coach of the Year. The 2005 AHSADCA Athletic .Director of the Year was also named Montgomery Advertiser Coach of the Year eight times. He was an assistant coach in the first Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Game in 1988, coached in the North-South Game in 1999 as an assistant and as head coach of the South in 2007. A member of the prestigious Jimmy Hitchcock Award selection committee, he was inducted into the Robert E. Lee High School Hall of Fame in 1999.

 

      BOBBY WRIGHT: The Central-Phenix City boys’ head basketball coach since 1989, Wright also served 26 years as defensive coordinator for the football team. His Red Devils basketball team has compiled a 449-160 record in 22 seasons with an average of 22 victories per year.   His 1992-93 and 1998-99 teams each finished 29-3 and the 1994-95 team compiled 27-2 record. He guided teams to the Final Four five times and to the Class 6A finals in 1999. Prior to becoming head coach, he served as Coach James Redd’s assistant and coached the JV team for several years.
     Central football teams compiled a 215-82 record during his coordinator tenure that included the Class 6A state championship in 1993. The Red Devils posted 59 shutouts during that span and allowed only 10.8 points per game.
     Wright has won numerous Coach-of-the-Year honors from the Columbus Ledger Enquirer and Opelika-Auburn Daily News. He graduated from Buena Vista (GA) High School in 1960 and Fort Valley State College (GA) in 1974.

      HOUSTON YOUNG: One of the top track officials in the nation, Young was awarded the NFHS National Citation Award as Track Official of the Year in 2010. A track and field official since 1968, he has worked the state track meet for the last 48 years and currently serves as a State Track Meet Director. He was named AHSAA State and Southwest District Official of the Year in 2008. An Olympic Torch Bearer in 1996, he has also officiated at several regional and national college track meets.
    The 1963 Uniontown High School graduate became a college track standout at Livingston University where he set the 100-yard dash record that still stands. He became a teacher at Beatrice in 1968, moved to Lowndes County Training for one year and then joined Selma High School as teacher and track coach where he served from 1971-79. He moved into administration at Wallace Community College in Selma for 22 years. He is active in his community and church, serving as a deacon at Elkdale Baptist Church and as president of the Selma Jaycees in 1971. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Selma-Dallas County Red Cross and received the Education Award from the Prattville Fire Department.


NFHS Concussion Task Force Recommendations to be Discussed by State Associations for Implementation in 2015

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (November 12, 2014) — The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has finalized its position paper from the NFHS Concussion Summit Task Force, which met in July to develop recommendations for minimizing the risk of concussions and head impact exposure in high school football.

The recommendations, which have been shared with the 51 NFHS-member state high school associations, and approved by the NFHS Sports Medicine Advisory Committee (SMAC) and the NFHS Board of Directors, will be discussed by state associations at the NFHS Winter Meeting in early January for implementation in the 2015 football season.

The 24-member task force, which featured medical doctors, athletic trainers, high school coaches and key national leaders in high school sports, developed nine fundamentals for minimizing head impact exposure and concussion risk in football. They were designed to allow flexibility for state associations that collectively oversee the more than 15,000 high schools across the country that have football programs. As a result, each state high school association will be developing its own policies and procedures for implementation in the 2015 season.

Many of the recommendations focus on reducing the amount of full contact, including limiting the amount of full contact in practices during the season.

The Concussion Summit was the latest effort by the NFHS to minimize risk for the almost 7.8 million student participants in high school sports. In 2008, the SMAC advocated that a concussed athlete must be removed from play and not allowed to play on the same day. For the past five years, all NFHS rules publications have contained guidelines for the management of a student exhibiting signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion. In 2010, the NFHS developed on online course – “Concussion in Sports – What You Need to Know” – and about 1.7 million individuals have taken the course through the NFHS Coach Education Program at www.nfhslearn.com.

The “Recommendations and Guidelines for Minimizing Head Impact Exposure and Concussion Risk in Football” position paper is posted on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org.


Central Board Upholds AHSAA Rulings

                The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Central Board of Control Wednesday upheld two recent AHSAA eligibility rulings appealed by James Clemens and Chickasaw high schools.
                The appeals were heard at the Central Board’s annual October meeting at the AHSAA Office.  James Clemens High School’s appeal concerned the Eight Semester Rule while Chickasaw High School’s appeal related to the Custody and Legal Guardianship section of the Transfer Rule.
              The Board also heard a request for membership from Lindsay Lane Christian Academy of Athens. A vote was tabled and the request will be reconsidered later this school year to allow  more time for evaluation of membership requirements.
               The Central Board also thanked longtime AHSAA assistant director Alan Mitchell for his many contributions to the AHSAA while continuing to serve on a part-time basis.
               Other Board action included:       
               -- Approved the 2014 Super 7 Football projected expense budget.
              -- Approved online data requirement and publication clarifications.
               -- Heard a report concerning the NFHS Section 3 Meeting hosted by the AHSAA in September.
               -- Heard updates concerning the C2C Academic calculator.
            -- Heard a report from Knight Eady representative Mike Vest concerning upcoming Super 7 plans.


AHSAA Mourns Death Of Deshler Coach

       The AHSAA is saddened to learn of the untimely death of Deshler High School head football coach Jeffrey “Jake” Linville and joins with its member schools in offering condolences and to his family and extended family at the school.
       Linville, 41, died Sunday at Collinwood, TN. He is survived by his wife Kim and two children.
        “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of Coach Linville, the coaches and players at Deshler High School and the entire school community,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said.  “We offer our most sincere condolences and pray that God will sustain them in this time of such great loss.”
       Coach Linville, a native of Collinwood, was in his first year as head coach at Deshler. His 7-1 team clinched the Class 4A, Region 8 football title Friday night as the Tigers won its seventh straight game of the season.
       Previously he also served as an assistant coach at Wilson and Russellville and was head coach at Covington and Tipton-Rosemark high schools in Tennessee.
       Funeral arrangements were not available Monday morning.

 


Alabama Ranks Fourth in NFHS TV Network Subscribers

 The NFHS TV Network's first subscriber rankings of the 2014-15 school year released Monday showed Alabama ranking fourth nationally, trailing only Georgia, California and Tennessee.
   The AHSAA is also ranked second for the two-month period of August-September in respect to network referrals. The Illinois High School Association ranks first.
    The Network has broadcast more than 3,500 events this school year through September with virtually all of them through the School Broadcast Program available. Many AHSAA member schools are taking part in the SBP program. The total schools nationwide is up to 1,070 – a 57 percent increase over last year.
    The NFHS Network will broadcast (live-stream) the AHSAA State Volleyball Championships, State Cross Country Championships, State Swimming & Diving Championships and many of the AHSAA state football playoff games in the coming weeks.
    The current NFHS rankings, based on number of subscribers, are:
1. Georgia
2. California
3. Tennessee
4. Alabama
5. Florida
6. Texas
7. Illinois
8. New Mexico
9. Colorado
10. South Carolina

The current NFHS rankings, based on number of network referrals are:
1. IHSA.org (Illinois)
2. AHSAA.com (Alabama)
3. GHSA.net (Georgia)
4. MHSAA.com (Michigan)
5. CHSAA.com (California)
6. WIAAWI.org (Wisconsin)
7. WIAA.com (Washington)
8. TSSAA.org (Tennessee)
9. OSAA.org (Oregon)
10. FHSAA.org (Florida)


Gill Athletics Announced as NFHS Corporate Partner


 

                                                                     

 

NEWS RELEASE

 

Gill Athletics Announced as NFHS Corporate Partner


INDIANAPOLIS, IN (October 1, 2014) — Gill Athletics, the oldest and largest manufacturer of track and field equipment in the United States and around the world, has entered into a three-year agreement with the National Federation of State High School Associations as an NFHS Corporate Partner.

As a part of the agreement, Gill Athletics, based in Champaign, Illinois, will be the exclusive NFHS partner for track and field, which will include coverage in the sport’s rules book, case book, rules poster, scorebook and rules PowerPoint. 

“We are pleased to have Gill Athletics join the NFHS as a corporate partner and to be our exclusive sponsor of track and field,” said Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director. “In the high school market, Gill has been the leading supplier of track and field equipment for many years, so we believe this is a great partnership for both organizations. Track and field is No. 2 in school sponsorship for both boys and girls, so it is great to have Gill on board with the NFHS. We look forward to working with Gill over the next three years.”

Started by Harry Gill in 1918, Gill Athletics is the largest producer of track and field equipment in the world. Gill is the Official Equipment Supplier of USA Track and Field and currently produces more International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF)-certified products than any company in the industry.

“Gill Athletics considers it an honor to partner with the NFHS as its track and field equipment sponsor,” said Fred Dixon, national sales manager for Gill Athletics. “We could not have any greater appreciation for the work done by the NFHS, and we look forward to providing our full support for years to come.”


AHSAA Mourns Death Of Volunteer/Official

     The AHSAA is saddened to learn of the death of Bob Pannone, longtime volunteer at AHSAA events, 2008 inductee into the AHSAA Sports Hall of Fame and long-time football official. Pannone died Monday morning at the age of 78.

     A two-sport letterman at Baldwin County High School, the industrial engineering graduate of Auburn University enjoyed a 42-year career in football officiating, including service as an AHSAA observer and district director, and received its Distinguished Service Award.
     Since retiring from officiating he has been a fixture at AHSAA championship and all-star events, handling various administrative duties.

     “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Bob’s devoted wife Joyce and the entire Pannone family,” said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. “His life of service is one that we all should emulate.”


Visitation will be Wednesday, October 1st at Spanish Fort Presbyterian Church located at 6620 Spanish Fort Boulevard from 5 to 7 p.m.
Burial will be Thursday at 12:30 p.m. at Veterans Memorial Cemetery located at 34904 Highway 225, Spanish Fort. A Celebration of Life memorial service will follow at 2 p.m. at Spanish Fort Presbyterian Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Camp Rap a Hope, 1701 Airport Boulevard, Mobile, AL  36606 or to Spanish Fort Presbyterian Church in memory of Robert “Bob” Pannone.


AHSAA mourns death of Charles Henderson student

The Alabama High School Athletic Association is saddened to learn of the death of Charles Henderson High School senior student-athlete Demario Harris. Demario collapsed during Charles Henderson’s football game versus Davidson Friday night. He passed away Sunday.

“We offer our most sincere condolences to the family of Demario and to his extended family, the Charles Henderson High School football team, coaching staff, administration, faculty and student body,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, school, team and entire Troy community.”

How to Avoid Hyponatremia

Ample hydration before and during practice and play is key for safety and optimal athletic performance, especially in the heat. However, the recent death of a high school football player reportedly from drinking far too much fluid, in an apparent attempt to resolve his muscle cramping, is a grim reminder that over-hydration, while rare,  should never be encouraged or dismissed as harmless.

Ready access to water and sports drinks during practice and competition is always recommended for any athletic or other strenuous physical activity. But drinking too much in a short period of time – in this tragic case, reportedly two gallons of water and two more gallons of a sports drink – can be far more than the body can handle. As a result, too much water in the blood can lead to brain swelling followed by seizure, coma and even death. This potentially deadly condition is called hyponatremia. Early symptoms typically include headache and nausea; although an athlete could be feeling this way for other reasons.

How can you avoid hyponatremia?

  • All student-athletes have the responsibility to be well-hydrated (normal body weight and light-colored urine) and well-nourished prior to training or competing. Regular fluid intake during practice and games/matches should be a priority, especially in the heat. Weighing oneself before and after practice with minimal clothing provides a good indication of how well you managed offsetting your sweat loss. The goal is to drink regularly to thirst. If you begin well-hydrated, a small pre- to post-practice/competition weight loss is okay. A weight gain shows that too much fluid was consumed.
  • Those selected and notably fewer athletes who sweat excessively and/or have a history of muscle cramping may have to add some salt to their diets and sports drinks when training and competing in the heat. This helps the body to hold onto fluid and reduces the risk of muscle cramping caused by large sweat sodium losses.

Bottom line: Hydrate regularly and wisely – but don’t overdrink! 


High School Sports Participation Increases for 25th Consecutive Year, Sets All-Time High of Almost 7.8 Million

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (August 28, 2014) — The number of participants in high school sports increased for the 25th consecutive year in 2013-14 with a record total of almost 7.8 million, according to the annual High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).

Based on figures from the 51 NFHS member state high school associations, which includes the District of Columbia, sports participation for the 2013-14 school year reached an all-time high of 7,795,658 – an increase of 82,081 from the previous year. This one-year increase was the highest since 2009-10.

Girls participation increased for the 25th consecutive year with an additional 44,941 participants from 2012-13 and set an all-time record of 3,267,664. Boys participation eclipsed 4.5 million for the first time (4,527,994), breaking the mark of 4,494,406 in 2010-11.

The increase in boys participation was due in part to the first increase in football numbers in five years. An additional 6,607 boys participated in 11-player football in 2013-14, pushing this past year’s total to 1,093,234. In addition, another 1,715 girls participated in 11-player football last year, an increase of 184 from the previous year.

“We are pleased with the increase in participation numbers in the sport of football for the 2013-14 school year,” said Bob Gardner, NFHS executive director. “With the precautions that are in place nationwide to address concussions in all high school sports, including football, we have maintained that the risk of injury is as low as it ever has been. Certainly, this rise in football numbers is a confirmation of those beliefs and indicates the strong continued interest nationwide in high school football.”

Among the top 10 boys sports, baseball registered the largest gain with an additional 7,838 participants, followed by football and soccer (6,437). The top 10 boys sports remained unchanged from last year: football, outdoor track and field, basketball, baseball, soccer, wrestling, cross country, tennis, golf, and swimming and diving.

Volleyball gained the most participants among girls sports (9,426) from the previous year, and its total of 429,634 was within 3,710 of basketball for the No. 2 position. Track and field, with an additional 5,946 participants from 2012-13, remained the No. 1 sport for girls, followed by basketball, volleyball, soccer, fast-pitch softball, cross country, tennis, swimming and diving, competitive spirit squads and lacrosse.

“This past year’s report on sports participation in our nation’s high schools was another great statement about the importance of these education-based programs,” Gardner said. “We are encouraged that schools are continuing to respond to the funding challenges, and are particularly pleased to see that the increase this past year was evenly distributed between boys and girls.”

In terms of combined participation, lacrosse continued to register sizeable increases as overall participation for boys and girls increased by 9,744 to 188,689. The sport ranks 10th for girls and 11th for boys.

The top 10 states by participants remained in the same order as last year, with Texas and California topping the list with 805,299 and 783,008, respectively. The remainder of the top 10 was New York (389,475), Illinois (343,757), Ohio (325,448), Pennsylvania (317,318), Michigan (299,246), New Jersey (285,020), Florida (268,266) and Minnesota (232,909). Overall, 33 states reported higher figures from the previous year, up from 30 states that had increases the previous year.

The participation survey has been compiled since 1971 by the NFHS through numbers it receives from its member associations. The complete 2013-14 High School Athletics Participation Survey is attached in PDF format and will be posted soon on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org.