Thursday, December 05, 2019

 

            


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Author: David Holtsford

David Holtsford's Article

ALABAMA SPORTS HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES CLASS OF 2020

  

ALABAMA SPORTS HALL OF FAME

ANNOUNCES CLASS OF 2020

 

The Board of Directors of the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame is pleased to announce the Class of 2020 to be inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame on May 2, 2020. The Class was selected by ballot through a statewide selection committee; votes were tabulated by the firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The newly elected inductees for the Class of 2020 are as follows:

RONNIE BROWN

SYLVESTER CROOM

DOUG KENNEDY

Q.V. LOWE

WOODY MCCORVEY

JORGE POSADA

DUANE REBOUL

STEVE SHAW

Starting with the first class in 1969, this will be the 52nd Class inducted into the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame. The eight newly elected inductees will bring the total number of inductees to 369.

The 52nd Annual Induction Banquet and Ceremony will be held in the Birmingham Ballroom, at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, on May 2, 2020. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Museum at (205) 323-6665.

CLASS OF 2020 BIOGRAPHIES

RONNIE BROWN – FOOTBALL | Born December 12, 1981 in Rome, GA. He played running back at Auburn University from 2000-2004. He finished seventh in school history in rushing yards and fifth in rushing touchdowns. He was the 2003 Citrus Bowl MVP. Drafted second overall by the Miami Dolphins in the 2005 NFL Draft, he started at running back the first four weeks of the season. In the 2008 season, he had 916 yards and ten touchdowns, leading to his Pro Bowl selection. In 2010, he started all 16 games with the Dolphins. He played six seasons with Miami and went on to play with the Philadelphia Eagles, San Diego Chargers and Houston Texans. He retired in 2014 with the Chargers.

 

SYLVESTER CROOM – FOOTBALL - COACHING | Born September 25, 1954 in Tuscaloosa, AL. Croom played center from 1972-1974 at the University of Alabama. During his college career he was awarded the Jacobs Blocking Trophy and also earned All-American honors. Croom helped the Crimson Tide win three SEC championships and the National Championship in 1973. He played one year in the NFL for the New Orleans Saints before returning to Tuscaloosa to coach. Croom was an assistant at Alabama for 11 seasons under Coach Paul Bryant and Coach Ray Perkins. He then spent 17 years coaching in the NFL. In 2004, he was named Head Coach at Mississippi State University, making him the first African-American head football coach in the Southeastern Conference. For the 2007 season, Croom was voted SEC Coach of the Year. After Croom’s time at Mississippi State, he served as running backs coach in the NFL for the Rams, Jaguars, and Titans.

 

DOUG KENNEDY – PARALYMPIAN | Born November 13, 1958 in Haleyville, AL. He is a Paralympic athlete that holds many world records. In 1991, at the age of 33, Kennedy dominated as the top wheelchair racer in the U.S. He was the world record holder for the 1500m, the 10K, the 15K, and the 5-mile. He was a gold medalist in the 1990 Goodwill Games in the 1500m. He was on the 1988 and 1992 U.S. Paralympic Teams. His career began in 1987 when he won the silver medal in the Stoke-Mandeville Games in Albany, England in the pentathlon. He went on to win two gold medals for the U.S. National Pentathlon team in 1987 and 1988. Kennedy’s career was unmatched in 1990 as he was considered the greatest wheelchair racer in the world. He was given the Sington Award as the Physically Challenged Athlete of the Year for the State of Alabama.

 

Q.V. LOWE – BASEBALL | Born January 15, 1945 in Red Level, AL. He played at both Gulf Coast Community College and Auburn University. As a pitcher at Auburn, he went 23-3 with a winning percentage of .885 in two years. He set an Auburn record at that time of a career ERA of 1.69 and most complete games in one season (10). During his senior season he went 15-1 and helped lead Auburn to the 1967 College World Series. After his playing career, he was a coach and manager in the minor leagues for the Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees and Montreal Expos farm teams. In 1986 he established the baseball program at Auburn University-Montgomery. He won 1,127 games at AUM, and led them to the NAIA World Series three times, finishing second in 1990. His teams won six conference championships and he was named NAIA Coach of the Year in 1990. In 2007, he was named Alabama Baseball Coaches Association College Coach of the Year; the Auburn Walk of Fame in 1998; and the Alabama Coaches Hall of Fame in 2005.

 

WOODY MCCORVEY – FOOTBALL - COACHING | Born September 30, 1950 in Grove Hill, AL. He played quarterback at Alabama State from 1968-1971. After starting in the high school ranks, he began his collegiate coaching career in 1978 with NC Central. He has held positions at the University of Alabama, Alabama A&M, Clemson, Mississippi State, South Carolina, and Tennessee. During his 26 plus years in college football, McCorvey has been a part of five national championship teams and 31 bowl games. Since 2008, he has been an Associate AD for Football Administration at Clemson under Coach Dabo Swinney.

 

JORGE POSADA – BASEBALL | Born August 17, 1971 in Santurce, Puerto Rico. He played collegiately at Calhoun Community College in Decatur, Alabama, where he was selected as co-captain and named to the All-Conference Team in 1991. He was drafted in the 24th Round of the 1990 Major League Baseball Draft by the New York Yankees. He played 17 seasons, all with the Yankees. He was a five-time American League All-Star. He was also a five-time Silver Slugger Award Winner. The Yankees won four World Series during his career. He is only the fifth Major League catcher with at least 1,500 hits, 350 doubles, 275 home runs, and 1,000 RBIs in a career.  From 2000 to 2011, he compiled more RBIs and home runs than any other catcher in baseball. He is the only Major League catcher to ever bat .330 or better with 40 doubles, 20 home runs, and 90 RBIs in a single season.

 

DUANE REBOUL – BASKETBALL - COACHING | Born November 9, 1948 in New Orleans, LA. He was the basketball coach at Birmingham-Southern College for 17 years and became the winningest coach in school history with 402 wins. He led the Panthers to two NAIA National Championships (1990 and 1995), six conference championships and nine tournament appearances. His team had twelve 20-win seasons and averaged 23.6 wins per year. In BSC’s first full year of eligibility in NCAA Division I basketball they were co-champions of the Big South Conference (2004). He was named Coach of the Year in the Big South Conference twice. His Panthers had a 44-game winning streak that spanned two seasons (1995 and 1996). In the 1998 season they won their first 20 games.

 

STEVE SHAW – FOOTBALL - OFFICIATING | Born June 11, 1959 in Tuscaloosa, AL. He began his officiating career after his graduation from the University of Alabama. He worked high school football for 14 seasons with the Birmingham Football Officials Association. His first role as a collegiate official was with the Gulf South Conference where he officiated for six years. Following his time with the GSC, he served as a referee in the Southeastern Conference for 15 years. He was selected for 14 post-season assignments, including two National Championship Games, eight BCS Bowls, and four SEC Championship Games. Shaw was President of the SEC Football Officials Association from 2009-2011. He was named Coordinator of Football Officials for the SEC in 2011. He has received numerous officiating awards including the Rush Lester Silver Dollar Award and the Bobby Gaston - Ed Dudley Spirit of Officiating Award.

###

Contact:

Scott Myers

(205) 323-6665

  


Wake-up Call for Increased Security at High School Sports Events

Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff, NFHS Executive Director

            Given the increase in school-related shootings since the Columbine massacre 20 years ago, perhaps it is not surprising that these acts of violence are no longer confined to regular school hours.  

            The tragic shooting – and eventual death of an innocent 10-year-old – at a New Jersey high school football game last month made headlines across the country and was a somber reminder that events occurring after school hours are subject to the same type of senseless violence.   

            This was not the first shooting at a high school sporting event this year – actually it was the 23rd according to the National Center for Spectator Sport Safety and Security (NCS4) – but the death of Micah Tennant and the eventual conclusion of the game five days later at the Philadelphia Eagles’ stadium drew nationwide coverage.     

            Camden High School and Pleasantville High School finished the playoff game at a nearly empty Lincoln Financial Field before a few hundred family members and friends as the stadium was closed to the public. Larry White, New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association executive director, said the decision to finish the game was made by both schools “to provide closure and send a powerful message that acts of violence and those who perpetrate them will not win.”

            High school sporting events traditionally have been safe gathering places for fans to attend and celebrate the accomplishments of high school student-athletes – particularly the sport of football. And we must do whatever is necessary to make sure these venues remain safe and secure.

            Reports have been encouraging about attendance as state football playoffs concluded in some states last weekend and continue in other states this coming weekend. In Indiana, about 20,000 people attended the Class 5A championship at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis on the day after Thanksgiving.  

            We want to ensure that our stadiums remain open for everyone to attend. The fans – students, parents, other family members, friends, community residents – are what make education-based athletics different from non-school sports.  

            More intense security plans have been in existence at college and professional sports venues for many years; it is essential that leaders in high school sports move after-school safety and security to the top of their priority lists.

            In addition to school athletic events that typically start in early evening hours, security plans also should be in place for practices inside and outside the school building. 

            Many resources are available for high school athletic administrators to implement an after-school safety and security program, including the free online education course on the NFHS Learning Center at www.NFHSLearn.com. “Afterschool Security” provides practical strategies for developing and implementing a school safety team and an after-school activities supervision plan.         

            As was the case with increased security at airports after September 11, 2001, the results of heightened safety plans for after-school activities may be an inconvenience for some individuals. However, plans must be in place to ensure that high school stadiums and arenas remain open for the almost eight million participants in high school sports, as well as the estimated 350 million fans annually.     

 

Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff is in her second year as executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is the first female to head the national leadership organization for high school athletics and performing arts activities and the sixth full-time executive director of the NFHS, which celebrated its 100th year of service during the 2018-19 school year. She previously was executive director of the Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference for seven years.


AHSAA Mourns the Death of National High School Sports Hall of Famer Pat Sullivan

    The AHSAA was saddened to learn of the death of Pat Sullivan, 69,  Auburn University’s first Heisman Trophy winner and a multi-sport star at John Carroll Catholic High School who was inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame in 2012. He passed away Sunday, Dec. 1.
     He is survived by his wife, the former Jean Hicks, and their three children, Kim and twins Kelly and Patrick Jr. 
    “Pat Sullivan was one of Alabama’s greatest ambassadors for what is honorable and good about educational-based athletics,” said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. “We offer our prayers and condolences to the Sullivan family.”

Sullivan was considered the top football player in the state of Alabama in his junior and senior seasons (1967, 1968) as the quarterback at John Carroll Catholic High School in Birmingham. He was a two-time all-state selection and was named the top player in the nation by one publication. Sullivan also was named all-state twice in basketball, averaging 18 points per game as the team’s point guard, and in baseball as the team’s shortstop.
          He then led Auburn to a 26-7 record in three years as the team’s quarterback and won the Heisman Trophy in 1971. Sullivan played parts of seven seasons in the National Football League before launching his college coaching career. After serving as an assistant at Auburn and the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and head coach at Texas Christian University, Sullivan closed out his coaching career at Samford University in Birmingham.
       For more on Pat Sullivan’s legendary career, check out this story: https://www.al.com/auburnfootball/2019/12/reports-auburn-legend-former-heisman-winner-pat-sullivan-has-died.html

    The AHSAA was saddened to learn of the death of Pat Sullivan, 69,  Auburn University’s first Heisman Trophy winner and a multi-sport star at John Carroll Catholic High School who was inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame in 2012. He passed away Sunday, Dec. 1.
     He is survived by his wife, the former Jean Hicks, and their three children, Kim and twins Kelly and Patrick Jr. 
    “Pat Sullivan was one of Alabama’s greatest ambassadors for what is honorable and good about educational-based athletics,” said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. “We offer our prayers and condolences to the Sullivan family.”

Sullivan was considered the top football player in the state of Alabama in his junior and senior seasons (1967, 1968) as the quarterback at John Carroll Catholic High School in Birmingham. He was a two-time all-state selection and was named the top player in the nation by one publication. Sullivan also was named all-state twice in basketball, averaging 18 points per game as the team’s point guard, and in baseball as the team’s shortstop.
          He then led Auburn to a 26-7 record in three years as the team’s quarterback and won the Heisman Trophy in 1971. Sullivan played parts of seven seasons in the National Football League before launching his college coaching career. After serving as an assistant at Auburn and the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and head coach at Texas Christian University, Sullivan closed out his coaching career at Samford University in Birmingham.
       For more on Pat Sullivan’s legendary career, check out this story: https://www.al.com/auburnfootball/2019/12/reports-auburn-legend-former-heisman-winner-pat-sullivan-has-died.html

 


Five Defending Champions Survive Semifinals to Advance to AHSAA Super 7 Championships

    MONTGOMERY – Five defending state champions pulled out wins the 54th AHSAA State Football Playoff semifinals November 29 to advance to the Super 7 State Championships at Auburn University’s Jordan-Hare Stadium Dec. 4-5-6. 
    The Class 7A championship match pairings were set a week earlier with defending state champion Central-Phenix City (12-1) and 2018 runner-up Thompson (11-1) advancing to Wednesday night’s finals. The 7A game kicks off at 7 p.m.
    Class 1A defending champion Mars Hill ,Bible (14-0) beat Pickens County 22-18 to set up Thursday’s 1A finals at Jordan-Hare with unbeaten Lanett (13-0), the 2017 Class 2A state champ. The Panthers downed Sweet Water 42-35 in the 1A semifinals.
    Defending Class 2A state champion Fyffe (14-0) blanked Collinsville 21-0 and will play Reeltown (13-1) in the 2A finals on Friday. The Rebels beat Leroy 29-28 in overtime.
    Class 5A defending champion Central of Clay County (12-2) knocked off Region 5 rival Mortimer Jordan 27-0 and will face Pleasant Grove (13-1), a 16-14 winner over Briarwood, Thursday night.
    Defending Class 4A state champion UMS-Wright (13-0) came from behind to nip Andalusia 21-14 in the semis, will take on Jacksonville (12-2), a 34-13 winner over Anniston. The Golden Eagles are one of three teams from Calhoun County advancing to the Super 7 Championships this year. Oxford (13-1) edged defending 6A champ Pinson Valley 31-28 in the semifinals and Piedmont (13-1), the 3A runner-up last season, beat Calhoun County rival Walter Wellborn 41-7 in the semifinals.
    Baldwin County faces Vestavia Hills in the Special Olympics Alabama Unified Game on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at 3:30 p.m. Baldwin County won the game last year 26-18 but Vestavia Hills beat the Bandits in the qualifying competition 27-26 in overtime in early November.
    The AHSAA TV / NFHS Network (WOTM) plans to live-stream all seven state championship games over the NFHS Network and broadcast the games live over the WOTM Cable Network of stations. The Central-Phenix City NFHS Network School Broadcast Program, under the direction of producer Tim Loreman, will also live-stream the Special Olympics Alabama Unified flag football game at Jordan-Hare Stadium on Wednesday.  
      For more information on the TV coverage, go to the following link:

http://www.ahsaa.com/Portals/0/WOTM-Coverage-2019.jpg?ver=2019-11-22-103930-073

2019 AHSAA State Football Playoffs
Semifinal Results

CLASS 1A

Lanett (13-0) 42, Sweet Water (11-2) 35
Mars Hill Bible (14-0) 22, Pickens County (11-3) 18

CLASS 2A
Reeltown (13-1) 29, Leroy (11-3) 28 (OT)
Fyffe (14-0) 21, Collinsville (12-2) 0

CLASS 3A
Mobile Christian (9-4) 41, T.R. Miller (9-5) 21
Piedmont (13-1) 41, Walter Wellborn (12-2) 7
CLASS 4A
UMS-Wright (13-0) 21, Andalusia (10-4) 14
Jacksonville (12-2) 34, Anniston (9-5) 13

CLASS 5A
Pleasant Grove (13-1) 16, Briarwood Christian (12-2) 14
Central-Clay County (12-2) 27, Mortimer Jordan (11-3) 0

CLASS 6A
Spanish Fort (9-4) 27, Opelika (11-2) 24
Oxford (13-1) 31, Pinson Valley (10-3) 28


AHSAA Super 7 Championships
At Jordan-Hare Stadium, Auburn

(Home team listed second)
Wednesday, Dec. 4
Special Olympics Alabama Unified Game

Baldwin County vs. Vestavia Hills, 3:30 p.m.
CLASS 7A
Thompson (11-1) vs. Central-Phenix City (12-1), 7 p.m.


Thursday, Dec. 5
CLASS 3A

Mobile Christian (9-4) vs. Piedmont (13-1), 11 a.m.
CLASS 1A

Mars Hill Bible (14-0) vs. Lanett (13-0), 3 p.m.
CLASS 5A

Central Clay County (12-2) vs. Pleasant Grove (13-1), 7 p.m.


Friday, Dec. 6
CLASS 4A

Jacksonville (12-2) vs. UMS-Wright (13-0), 11 a.m.
CLASS 2A

Fyffe (14-0) vs. Reeltown (13-1), 3 p.m.
CLASS 6A

Oxford (13-1) vs. Spanish Fort (9-4), 7 p.m.

 


AHSAA TV Network (WOTM) to Broadcast Class 6A Opelika – Spanish Fort Battle in Semifinals

        http://www.ahsfhs.org/images/helmets/Opelika.gif              http://www.ahsfhs.org/images/helmets/Spanish%20Fort.gif

AHSAA TV Network/NFHS Network Game of the Week
Opelika (11-1) vs. Spanish Fort (8-4)

   

cid:image013.jpg@01D584DB.53EE0630            

AHSAA Football Playoff Game of the Week
AHSAA TV Network (WOTM) to Broadcast Class 6A Opelika – Spanish Fort Battle in Semifinals

 

     MONTGOMERY – Coach Erik Speakman of Opelika (11-1) isn’t fooled by Spanish Fort’s No. 4 seed label in the 2019 AHSAA State Football Playoffs. The Bulldogs cross paths annually with teams from Region 1 and all play like No. 1 seeds in the post-season – especially the playoff-tough Toros (8-4).
    The two teams square off Friday night at Spanish Fort in the Class 6A semifinals at 7 p.m., in the AHSAA TV Network / NFHS Network Game of the Week produced by WOTM TV. The AHSAA TV Network’s other featured game this week will be Collinsville (12-1) at defending state champion Fyffe (13-0) in the Class 2A North semifinals.
    Executive producer Vince Earley pegged this game quickly after Coach Ben Blackmon’s squad knocked off  another strong No. 4 seed Park Crossing 28-21last week in the quarterfinals.  Opelika, the No. 1 seed in Region 3, beat powerful Hueytown, a No. 1 seed in Region 4, 45-24 to move to the semifinals.
    Regular season records go out the door when it comes to the state playoffs. Opelika knows that as well as anyone. In 2012, the Bulldogs, coached then by Brian Blackmon, the older brother of Spanish Fort’s Ben Blackmon, took a 6-4 Bulldogs team into the playoffs as a third seed and led the team to three road wins in the playoffs en route to a berth opposite powerful Hoover in the 6A finals. That Super 6 final produced the largest single crowd in Super 7 history with more than 30,000 fames estimated in attendance in the finals at Jordan-Hare Stadium.
    This year’s Bulldogs, 42-28 overall in 29 trips to the playoffs, are 2-2 in semifinal games. This year’s team features a powerful running attack anchored by senior Eric Watts. He had 302 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 27 carries last week.
    Spanish Fort
has reached the state playoffs 12 times in the Tors’ 14-year history – with four state titles and a 39-7 playoff record in the playoffs. Friday’s semifinal will be the seventh for Spanish Fort, which holds a 4-2 record in the previous six. The Toros emerged as a No. 3 seed in the Class 5A playoffs to win the program’s first state title in 2010.
    Spanish Fort’s emergence this season came in part with the move of senior wide receiver Kris Abrams-Draine to quarterback earlier this season. Abrams-Draine has rushed for 1,331 yards and 15 touchdowns and thrown eight TD passes since moving into his new role. Selected to the Alabama All-Star Team to face Mississippi in December as a wide receiver, he has been able to open up the running lanes for the other Toros’ talented backs Johnny Morris (136 carries, 1,142 yards, 10 TDs) and Chico Hixon (87 carries, 690 yards, 8 TDs).
  
    All 12 semifinal games are slates to be shown on the NFHS Network this week. The AHSAA TV Network Game of the Week can be found on the NFHS Network and on the growing cable network of channels put together by Earley. The AHSAA TV Network / NFHS Network will produce all seven state finals at next week’s Super 7 championships at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium. Thompson (11-1) and Central-Phenix City (12-1) clinched berths in the 7A semifinals last week. The Warriors beat Hoover 35-21 and the Red Devils downed Auburn 38-0.
Defending state champions Pinson Valley (6A), Central of Clay County (5A), UMS-Wright (4A) and Mars Hill Bible (1A) have semifinal battles ahead of them Friday. o
     The NFHS Network also has 135 boys’ and girls’ basketball games set for live-streaming this holiday week through next Monday. Two wrestling events are also scheduled.
    The schedule of football playoff games set for live-streaming Friday can be found at the following link:
http://www.ahsaa.com/Portals/0/Images/New%20Website%20Graphics/NFHS%20Network%20Games/3rd%20Round%20Football%20Playoffs.pdf?ver=2019-11-21-130545-210

  The schedule of basketball games set for the NFHS Network can be found at:
http://www.ahsaa.com/Portals/0/Images/New%20Website%20Graphics/NFHS%20Network%20Games/Basketball%2011-21%20Network%20Schedule.pdf?ver=2019-11-21-130951-323

    A subscription allows the viewer access to any events on the NFHS Network. Monthly and yearly subscriptions are available. For more information on how to subscribe, go to the following link:
https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/subscribe/retail

For information concerning the AHSAA TV Network’s cable football game availability, got to the following link and on the chart below:
http://www.ahsaa.com/Media/AHSAANOW/News-Articles/ahsaa-signs-3-year-tv-agreement-with-nfhs-network-alabama-cable-network

2019 AHSAA State Football Playoffs
Semifinal Pairings (Classes 1A/6A)

CLASS 1A

Lanett (12-0) at Sweet Water (11-1)
Mars Hill Bible (13-0) at Pickens County (11-2), Reform

CLASS 2A
Leroy (11-2) 35 at Reeltown (12-1)
Collinsville (12-1) at Fyffe (13-0)

CLASS 3A
T.R. Miller (9-4) at Mobile Christian (8-4)
Walter Wellborn (12-1) at Piedmont (12-1)

CLASS 4A
Andalusia (10-3) at UMS-Wright (12-0), Mobile
Anniston (9-4) at Jacksonville (11-2)

CLASS 5A
Pleasant Grove (12-1) at Briarwood Christian (12-1)
Central-Clay County (11-2) at Mortimer Jordan (11-2), Kimberly

CLASS 6A
Opelika (11-1) at Spanish Fort (8-4)
Pinson Valley (10-2) at Oxford (12-1)


Eight Region Rematches Highlight the AHSAA State Playoff Semifinal Pairings for November 29

Mars Hill Bible Meets Pickens County in 1A Semifinal Rematch

    MONTGOMERY – Eight of the 12 semifinal matches in the AHSAA 54th State Football Playoffs this coming week will feature rematches from regular-season region play.
   That record number of teams from the same region reaching the semifinal round highlights an exciting slate of Thanksgiving Week contests that will send all winners to the Super 7 State Football Championships at Auburn University’s Jordan-Hare Stadium Dec. 4-5-6.
    The Class 7A championship match pairings were set Friday night with, no surprise, two rematches in the semis from Region 2 and Region 3 and sets up a rematch from last year’s 7A finals between defending state champion Central-Phenix City (12-1) and Thompson (11-1). Coach Jamey DuBose’s Red Devils defeated Region 2 second seed Auburn 38-0 Friday night, and the Warriors, coached by Mark Freeman, beat Region 3 second seed Hoover 35-21.
   The rematch theme also evolved in the Special Olympics Alabama Unified championship game, which opens the 2019 Super 7 Championships at Jordan-hare at 3:30 p.m., on December 4, is also a rematch with Baldwin County taking on Vestavia Hills. Baldwin County won the game last year 26-18 but Vestavia Hills beat the Bandits in the qualifying competition 27-26 in overtime two weeks ago.
     Class 1A defending champion and 2019 Region 8 champion Mars Hill Bible (13-0), coached by Darrell Higgins, travels to Reform this week to face Region 6 champion Pickens County (11-2). The Panthers beat Coach Michael Williams’ Tornadoes 20-12 in last season’s 1A semifinals, the closest game Mars Hill has had versus 1A competition in the last two years.
      Lanett (12-0) travels to Sweet Water (11-1) in the other Class 1A semifinal pairing. Coach Clifford Story’s Panthers downed previously unbeaten Isabella (12-1) 41-21 and Coach Pat Thompson’s Bulldogs (11-1) nipped Brantley 38-35.    Lanett senior quarterback Kristian Story accounted for all six touchdowns in the Panthers’ win to set the AHSAA career record for touchdowns accounted for (166). The old record was set by current Auburn University freshman and former Pinson Valley quarterback Bo Nix (161) last year. Story also moved past Nix to become the AHSAA career leader in total yards accounted for.
       Story, a member of the Alabama All-Star team set to play Mississippi in the 33rd Alabama-Mississippi Classic Dec. 14 at Hattiesburg, now has 12,528 total yards – 8,529 passing (eighth all time), 3,469 rushing and 530 receiving. Nix closed out his prep career with 12,497 yards.
    T.R. Miller, coached by Brent Hubbert, the fourth seed in Region 1, knocked off defending 3A state champion and No. 1 seed Flomaton 14-12 Friday to advance to the semis to face No. 2 seed Mobile Christian.
      The AHSAA TV / NFHS Network (WOTM) Large School Playoff Game of the Week
Network/NFHS Network will pit Region 3 winner Opelika (11-1), coached by Erik Speakman, against Spanish Fort (8-4), coached by Ben Blackmon, the only fourth seed still alive in the playoffs. The two friends coached together as assistant coaches at Opelika. The Bulldogs advanced with a 45-24 win over Hueytown (11-2), and the Toros (8-4) edged Regio2 fourth seed Park Crossing 28-21.
    WOTM’s Vince Earley announced the game-of-week selection Saturday morning. He also announced that Collinsville’s rematch with Fyffe in the Class 2A North semifinals would be the AHSAA TV / NFHS Network (WOTM) Small-School Game of the week. The defending Class 2A state champion Red Devils (13-0), the 2019 Region 8 champion, downed previously unbeaten Red Bay (12-1) 45-6 in the quarterfinals Friday, and Collinsville (12-1), the Region 8 runner-up, bet Region 8 third seed North Sand Mountain 37-28. Coach Ernie Willingham’s Panthers lost 24-3 to Fyffe, coached by Paul Benefield, in the regular season. The Red Devils, currently riding a 28-game winning streak, have outscored opponents 562-36 this season, and ironically, the three points by Collinsville have been the only points allowed all season by the Fyffe starting defensive unit.
    Other region rematches in the semifinals November 29 include,  in Class 3A, Region 1: T.R. Miller (9-4) at Mobile Christian (8-4),  and Class 3A, Region 6: Walter Wellborn (12-1) at Piedmont (12-1); Class 4A, Region 1: Andalusia (10-3) at defending 4A state champion UMS-Wright (12-0); Class 4A, Region 6: Anniston (9-4) at Jacksonville (11-2); Class 5A, Region 4: Pleasant Grove (12-1) at Briarwood Christian (12-1); Class 5A, Region 5: defending Class 5A state champion Central-Clay County (11-2) at Mortimer Jordan (11-2); and Class 6A, Region 6: defending Class 6A state champion Pinson Valley (10-2) at Oxford (12-1).
    The NFHS Network plans to live-stream all 12 semifinal games November 29 if possible.
Six of the contests will be live-streamed by member school broadcast teams in the NFHS Network School Broadcast Program. Two games, Andalusia at UMS-Wright and Opelika at Spanish Fort, will be live-streamed by both schools. Most will also be broadcast over the radio as well.
    The Class 1A thru 6A semifinal pairings are listed.


2019 AHSAA State Football Playoffs
Semifinal Pairings

Thursday, November 29
CLASS 1A
Lanett (12-0) at Sweet Water (11-1)
Mars Hill Bible (13-0) at Pickens County (11-2), Reform

CLASS 2A
Leroy (11-2) 35 at Reeltown (12-1)
Collinsville (12-1) at Fyffe (13-0)

CLASS 3A
T.R. Miller (9-4) at Mobile Christian (8-4)
Walter Wellborn (12-1) at Piedmont (12-1)

CLASS 4A
Andalusia (10-3) at UMS-Wright (12-0), Mobile
Anniston (9-4) at Jacksonville (11-2)

CLASS 5A
Pleasant Grove (12-1) at Briarwood Christian (12-1)
Central-Clay County (11-2) at Mortimer Jordan (11-2), Kimberly

CLASS 6A
Opelika (11-1) at Spanish Fort (8-4)
Pinson Valley (10-2) at Oxford (12-1)

CLASS 7A
Dec. 4, Super 7 Championships
Jordan-Hare Stadium

Thompson (11-1) vs. Central-Phenix City (12-1), 7 p.m.

Special Olympics Alabama Unified Game
Baldwin County vs. Vestavia Hills, 3:30 p.m.

 

Third-Round Results
CLASS 1A
Sweet Water (11-1) 38, Brantley (11-2) 35
Lanett (12-0) 41, Isabella (12-1) 21

Pickens County (11-2) 31, Spring Garden (11-2) 24
Mars Hill Bible (13-0) 42, Decatur Heritage (12-1) 21

CLASS 2A
Leroy (11-2) 35, Ariton (10-3) 24
Reeltown (12-1) 41, G.W. Long (10-3) 22

Collinsville (12-1) 37, North Sand Mountain (9-4) 28
Fyffe (13-0) 45, Red Bay (12-1) 6

CLASS 3A
T.R. Miller (9-4) 14, Flomaton (11-2) 12
Mobile Christian (8-4) 41, Gordo (12-1) 21

Piedmont (12-1) 33, Geraldine (8-5) 7
Walter Wellborn (12-1) 27, Randolph County (11-2) 20

CLASS 4A
UMS-Wright (12-0)  21, Montgomery Catholic (12-1) 0
Andalusia (10-3) 24, American Christian (11-2) 0

Jacksonville (11-2) 63, Northside (11-2) 27
Anniston (9-4) 30, Deshler (9-4) 13

CLASS 5A
Pleasant Grove (12-1) 51, Ramsay (10-3) 22
Briarwood Christian (12-1) 7, Bibb County (12-1) 3

Mortimer Jordan (11-2) 32, Center Point (9-4) 14
Central Clay County (11-2) 43, Madison County (10-3) 15

CLASS 6A
Spanish Fort (8-4) 28, Park Crossing (5-8) 21
Opelika (11-1) 45, Hueytown (11-2) 24

Oxford (12-1) 20, Clay-Chalkville (10-3) 13
Pinson Valley (10-2) 26, Muscle Shoals (12-1) 14

CLASS 7A
Central-Phenix City (12-1) 38, Auburn (9-4) 0
Thompson (11-1) 35, Hoover (10-3) 21

 


Schools’ Have 1 Challenge in Second Round of Playoffs Using DVSport Instant Replay

Current Season Reversal Percentage is 20.6%

MONTGOMERY – Only one challenge was made in four AHSAA playoff football contests using DVSport Instant Replay last week in the second round of the state playoffs, said AHSAA Director of Officials Mark Jones. None of the calls on the field were reversed, Jones reports
     “The challenge came in the Class 6A St. Paul’s at Opelika game,” Jones said. “Opelika challenged whether a pass was complete and then a fumble or incomplete.  Officials had called the play an incomplete pass. After video review, the play stood as called.”
   For the 2019 season, a 63 challenges have been issued by coaches in 76 games with 13 calls overturned upon review, a 20.7% reversal rate. Three games are scheduled to use DVSport Instant Replay this week in round three. All seven Super 7 State Championship Games will utilize DVSport Instant Replay this season.
    In 2018, the first year DVSport Instant Replay was implemented, 91 games, including all state finals, used Instant Replay with 73 total challenges with 18 calls overturned (25%). The Catch/No Catch, Fumble and Forward Progress calls made up 70% of the challenges last year. The NFHS has granted the AHSAA a three-year period to experiment with instant replay in regular-season and playoff games.
    Last week, three schools experienced DVSport Instant Replay for the first time this season: Pickens County, Falkville and St. Paul’s Episcopal.  This week, all six schools participating in contest with Instant Replay have used the system already this year. A total of 77 schools participated thus far this season.
     Instant Replay reviews this fall have consisted of the following:

63 reviews with 13 reversals.  21.0%

 

 

  • 23 on catch/no catch
  • 22 fumbles
  • 5 breaking plane of goal line (note 2 were also fumble reviews)
  • 5 Forward progress
  • 2 Touching of punt
  • 1  Backward pass
  • 1 Free kick traveling 10 yards
  • 1 Illegal participation
  • 1 Illegal forward pass
  • 1 Penalty enforcement spot
  • 1 Kick out of bounds
  • 1 Play clock expiring
  • 1 Runner stepping out of bounds

       The list of games utilizing Instant Replay this week are listed below.

     

State Playoffs, Round 3 Games with Instant Replay

  • Auburn at Central-Phenix City (7A)
  • Clay Chalkville at Oxford (6A)
  • Hoover at Thompson (7A)

 

 

SCHOOLS IN GAMES WITH INSTANT REPLAY THIS SEASON (77)
Class 7A (19)

Auburn
Austin
Baker
Bob Jones
Central-Phenix City
Davidson
Fairhope
Foley
Florence
Gadsden City
Hoover
Huntsville
Jeff Davis
Mountain Brook
Murphy
Prattville
Smiths Station
Thompson
Tuscaloosa County
Class 6A (21)
Athens
B.C. Rain
Benjamin Russell
Calera
Carver-Montgomery
Chelsea
Clay-Chalkville
Daphne
Dothan
Gardendale
Gulf Shores
Hartselle
Huffman
McAdory
Minor
Opelika
Oxford
Park Crossing
Saraland
Sidney Lanier
Wetumpka
Class 5A (16)
Arab
Ardmore
Brewer
Charles Henderson
Dora
East Limestone
Guntersville
Hamilton
Lawrence County
Madison County
Russellville
Scottsboro
St. Paul’s Episcopal
Tallassee
Vigor
Wilcox-Central
Class 4A (13)
Childersburg
Curry
Fayette County
Good Hope
Handley
Lincoln
Munford
Northside
Priceville
Sumter Central
Talladega
West Blocton
West Limestone
Class 3A (1)
Carbon Hill
Class 2A (2)
LaFayette
Tanner
Class 1A (3)
Falkville
Lanett
Pickens County
Out-of-State (2)
Callaway (GA)
New Smyrna Beach (FL)

 

 

 

 


NFHS Announces Plans to Launch “Center for Officials Services”

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                          Contact: Karissa Niehoff

 

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (November 21, 2019) — The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) will be launching an online platform for high school officials, effective with the 2020-21 school year.

 

The NFHS Center for Officials Services, with its technology platform created by DragonFly Athletics of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, will offer a variety of services for officials, including registration, assessment, assignments and payments. In addition, NFHS Officials Association members will be able to access NFHS rules exams, NFHS digital rules books and case books, insurance information, video content and sport-specific officiating courses on the NFHS Learning Center.   

 

In time, it is anticipated that the NFHS Center for Officials Services database would include all registered officials in NFHS member state associations. As a result, this new technology would assist the NFHS as it continues to recruit new officials through its #BecomeAnOfficial program as well as ongoing efforts to retain individuals who officiate high school contests.

 

“We are excited about providing this tremendous service for high school officials across the country,” said Dr. Karissa Niehoff, NFHS executive director. “In those states that use the NFHS platform, officials will be able to obtain everything they need in one location – from registering, making payments and receiving assignments and assessments, to educational material such as rules publications, rules exams and video content provided through NFHS Officials Association membership. The technological expertise offered by DragonFly will provide a streamlined process for officials to participate, and for state associations and the NFHS to share officiating data.”

 

DragonFly currently works with administrators nationwide to manage athletics and activities programs at the high school level. Its all-inclusive platform provides features for registration, medical care, scheduling, communications and payments. DragonFly developed the video exchange technology used by NCAA Division I schools for game day preparation.   

 

“Under Dr. Karissa Niehoff’s leadership, we’ve seen a strong focus on technology and data analysis to improve high school sports and activities,” said Kirk Miller, chief executive officer of DragonFly. “We’re thrilled to be a part of her vision. Not only will this new service provide a first-class digital experience for officials, it will also help the NFHS have the information it needs to make strategic decisions for the future of officiating.”

 

The NFHS Center for Officials Services is expected to launch sometime in May 2020 in time for the upcoming 2020-21 school year. 

 

 

Online link to article: https://www.nfhs.org/articles/nfhs-announces-plans-to-launch-center-for-officials-services/

###

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 19,500 high schools and 12 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.

 

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:                Bruce Howard, 317-972-6900

                                              Director of Publications and Communications

                                              National Federation of State High School Associations

                                              bhoward@nfhs.org

 

 

 

                                              Chris Boone, 317-972-6900

                                              Assistant Director of Publications and Communications

                                              National Federation of State High School Associations

                                              cboone@nfhs.org

 

 

 


Coaches, Athletic Directors – Keys to Success in High School Sports

Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff, NFHS Executive Director

            This fall, one school canceled the remainder of its football season after reports of hazing surfaced. There have been several incidents of high school student-athletes using racial slurs against members of the opposing teams. As we have noted previously, there have also been multiple reports of parents verbally and – in some cases – physically abusing officials, along with several cases of coaches allegedly running up scores. And then there was the bizarre case of a suspended player appearing in a game disguised as another player.

            On the positive side, there was a cross country runner who stopped at the one-mile mark of a race to assist a competing runner who had collapsed and was unresponsive. He didn’t finish the race, but he saved the life of the competing runner.

            After the completion of a recent football game, one player on the winning team found his friend on the other team who had just lost his mother to cancer to comfort and pray with him. There have also been cases of schools helping other schools that were hit with tragedies, such as the fires in California. 

            And earlier this year a high school golfer who, after signing her scorecard, noticed on the app that her partner had entered an incorrect score for her on one hole. She could have kept quiet and retained her top-10 finish, and most likely no one would have noticed. Instead, she reported the error and was disqualified. She later was honored by her school for doing the right thing.

            Fortunately, there are far more good acts of sportsmanship that happen in high school athletics and activity programs; however, the unsportsmanlike displays tend to make more headlines and sometimes overshadow the great things that are occurring.

            The key individuals in schools who are responsible for making education the central theme of the athletic program are the athletic directors and coaches. If coaches are more committed to helping student-athletes become responsible citizens than helping them perfect an athletic skill, and if athletic directors are committed to an education-based philosophy, the likelihood of unsportsmanlike incidents such as those mentioned above is minimal.

            What’s the measure of success for a high school coach – winning 80 percent of the games, bringing home multiple state championships, being named coach of the year several times? As long as success on the fields or courts is done in accordance with an education-based philosophy, this would be an award-winning biographical sketch.

            The win-loss record aside, however, how about also considering the consistent teaching of values, character and lifelong lessons that would place his or her teams in consideration for sportsmanship awards and his or her student-athletes on the paths to successful lives after high school?

            The NFHS has several free online education courses to assist coaches and athletic directors in leading an effective education-based program. “Engaging Effectively with Parents,” “Sportsmanship” and “Bullying, Hazing and Inappropriate Behaviors” are among the many courses at www.NFHSLearn.com.

In addition, “Fundamentals of Coaching” is the core course that every interscholastic coach should complete. 

            When a school district is looking to hire a high school athletic director or coach, we would suggest finding someone more committed to an education-based philosophy than hardware in the trophy case.

           

Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff is in her second year as executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) in Indianapolis, Indiana. She is the first female to head the national leadership organization for high school athletics and performing arts activities and the sixth full-time executive director of the NFHS, which celebrated its 100th year of service during the 2018-19 school year. She previously was executive director of the Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference for seven years.


AHSAA Mourns the Passing of Veteran Coach Chuck Furlow

   The AHSAA is saddened to learn of the death of long-time high school teacher, administrator and football coach Chuck Furlow, 72. He passed away November 18.
    “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Furlow family,” said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. “His commitment to high school educational athletics and his example of leadership will continue to have an impact for many years to come.”
     An Opelika native, Furlow served as Auburn City Schools athletic director from 1998 to 2009 in the final stop of what was a 39-year career in high school educational athletics. He started at Beulah High School in 1970, then made stops at Opelika Junior High (1971-72), Lyman Ward (1973-75), Beauregard (1976-81), Auburn High as a coach (1981-84), Gardendale and the Jefferson County Schools central office (1994-98) prior to returning to Auburn High.
    Shortly after his retirement, he began work alongside Bill Cameron on the Sports Call show and remained there for nearly five years before following Cameron to ESPN 106.7 FM in 2013. The two have hosted The Drive radio show together since that time.
   Also in his retirement, he served in volunteer roles including working with the Super 7 State Football Championships when held at Auburn.    
  Visitation will be Thursday, November 21, at Auburn United Methodist Church's Founders Chapel from 5 to 7 p.m.  A graveside service will be 11 a.m. Friday, November 22, in Town Creek Cemetery, followed by a memorial service at 3 p.m., at Auburn United Methodist Church's Main Sanctuary.
      For a poignant tribute to Coach Furlow, check out the following story published in the Opelika-Auburn News at the following link.


https://www.oanow.com/sports/high_school/_football/former-auburn-city-schools-ad-chuck-furlow-passes-away/article_40bfc288-aace-521a-9ff8-da8beed811da.html