Thursday, January 23, 2020

 

            


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AHSAA News


AHSAA Mourns the Death of High School Coaching Legend Tom Calvin

   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.


 


AHSAA Central Board Approves Adjustment to Volleyball Season Playoff Schedule

At Board meeting Wednesday

   MONTGOMERY – The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board of Control approved Wednesday at its Winter Board Meeting an adjustment to the volleyball season and post-season schedule, providing more time between area tournament, regional tournament and state tournament play.
    The adjustments were made at the request of the Volleyball Coaches Committee. Next fall, the area tournaments will be played the week of October 12-17 with the regional tournaments being played Wednesday, Oct. 21 through Friday, Oct. 23. The AHSAA Elite Eight State Tourney will be played Oct. 28-29.
     “The Volleyball Coaches Committee unanimously recommended the changes,” AHSAA Assistant Director Denise Ainsworth told the Central Board. “Volleyball’s entire playoffs have been over a 10-day period and this will give the schools more time between the different levels. It also gets the regional off Saturday, Oct. 24, which is an important ACT testing date.”
      The Central Board approved a third site for AHSAA Regional Cheer competition and approved a concept to require mandatory background checks on contest officials beginning with the 2020-21 school year.
      The Board also approved a transition from C2C Schools to Dragonfly Content Management Software for member schools beginning with the 2020-21 school year.
        The Central Board reviewed legislative proposals that were submitted in January by member schools prior to the board meeting.  The AHSAA Legislative Council will vote on the proposals at April’s Legislative Council meeting. Schools are being surveyed this month for their input.
       In other Central Board action:

  • Approved Northside Methodist Academy of Dothan for Associate membership beginning with the 2020-21 school year.
  • Approved expenses for the upcoming 2020 State Basketball Tournament.
  • Reviewed football playoff comparison financial data (first four rounds).
  • Heard a report from Daniel Smith and Michael McGreevey of Knight-Eady concerning the 2020 State Basketball Tournament.
  • Approved financial reports for the 2019 regional and state volleyball, cross country and swimming championships and the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star football game.
  • Approved the NFHS COS Officials registration system beginning with the 2020-21 school year.
  • Discussed District and Central Board representation and rotation.
  • Heard a report from the Publication Committee concerning eBook costs.

MLK Day – A Reminder to Treat Everyone with Respect in High School Sports

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 Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff, NFHS Executive Director

 

                Two days ago, the nation observed Martin Luther King Jr. Day for the 35th time. This annual remembrance of the civil rights leader and his remarkable efforts in the 1950s and 1960s to combat racism in the United States continues as one of the most significant days on the calendar every year.

             King’s “I Have a Dream” speech in Washington, D.C. in 1963 – one of the most iconic speeches in history – was the defining moment of the civil rights movement and led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which made desegregation a prerequisite to school funding and further strengthened the Supreme Court’s 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka.  

            As a result, separate schools for African Americans ended and King’s dream of equality for everyone began to occur.

            Thanks, in part, to the efforts of King, who was a member of his school’s debate team at Booker T. Washington High School in Atlanta, blacks and whites were assimilated in schools and in athletics and other activities such as speech and debate.

            A few years later in the early 1970s with the passage of Title IX, girls – both white and black – were provided the opportunity to participate in high school sports. With this landmark legislation on the heels of the civil rights movement, high school sports and activities were for EVERYONE.

            Amazingly, participation in high school sports increased from 3.9 million to 6.4 million in seven years between 1971-72 and 1977-78 – a jump of about 2.5 million. Why? The opportunity to participate was now available to all.

            High school athletes – male and female, black and white and other races – began to work together and excel both individually and as teams. Many have seized these opportunities and had a profound impact within their communities and nationally.

            In the past five classes of the NFHS National High School Hall of Fame, 13 of the 22 athletes were minority males and females, including the likes of Derrick Brooks, Dusty Baker, Seimone Augustus, Nicole Powell, Lisa Fernandez, Nikki McCray and Marlin Briscoe. Other females were Tracey Fuchs, Carrie Tollefson, Missy West, Joni Huntley, Jackie Stiles and Cindy Brogdon. 

            In previous classes, there were Ozzie Newsome, Chauncey Billups, Kevin Johnson, Janet Evans, Sean Elliott, Cheryl Miller, Archie Griffin, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Kim Mulkey.

            Can you imagine the storied history of high school sports without these individuals?

            Thanks to the efforts of many people in the 1960s and 1970s, there are more women and minorities in leadership positions today. Nine of our member state high school associations are led by minorities, including three females – Que Tucker of North Carolina, Sally Marquez of New Mexico and Rhonda Blanford-Green of Colorado.

            Despite these advances in opportunities the past 50-plus years, the late Dr. King would be disappointed to hear about some of the disrespectful behavior in and around high school sports the past few years. Since our column in late October, we have heard of other racially related incidents. Indeed, pain still occurs.

            As we reflect on the tremendous efforts of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to bring everyone together, let it be a further reminder that all student activity participants – regardless of race, religion, political views or gender identity – should be treated with respect.  

 

     

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.

 

 


UMS-Wright’s Terry Curtis Selected 2018-19 National Football Coach of the Year by the NFHS Coaches Association

INDIANAPOLIS, IN — UMS-Wright head football coach Terry Curtis has been named the 2019 National Coach of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association.
           He is among 23 high school coaches from across the country who have been selected as sports specific 2019 National Coaches of the Year.
          The NFHS, which has been recognizing coaches through an awards program since 1982, honors coaches in the top 10 girls sports and top 10 boys sports (by participation numbers), and in two “other” sports – one for boys and one for girls – that are not included in the top 10 listings. The NFHS also recognizes a spirit coach as a separate award category. Winners of NFHS awards must be active coaches during the year for which they receive their award. This year’s awards recognize coaches for the 2018-19 school year.
          Curtis, who spent the first 17 years of his career as an assistant coach, has compiled a 317-85 career head-coaching record in 31 years as a head football coach – with stops at Shaw and Murphy in Mobile. His last 21 years have been at UMS-Wright, where his teams have compiled an 85-23 playoff record and a 125-11 region record overall, including 50 region wins in a row from 1998-2006. His teams have won eight state titles – including the last three Class 4A championships in a row.  The Bulldogs currently own a 33-game winning streak and a 15-game state playoff win streak heading into next season. He ranks second behind Vestavia Hills High School’s Buddy Anderson (342-154) in all-time AHSAA football coaching wins. Anderson was inducted into the National High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2018.
       "This is quite an honor," said Curtis. "I knew I wanted to be a coach when I was in the eighth grade. I am truly humbled, and am reminded of so many others who have been responsible for our success. I share this recognition with our outstanding assistant coaches, with an administration that has always been so supportive and with players who are committed to playing for a school and a team that they believe in."
        Curtis has also been a leader off the court, currently serving as the District 1 representative on the AHSAA Central Board of Control. He is a District 1 officer and member of the AHSAA Legislative Council as well and has held numerous leadership positions, including tenures as president, in the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) and the Alabama Football Coaches Association (AFCA). He has also served a baseball official at the high school and college level.
       Curtis, who was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2004, is the fourth coach from the AHSAA to receive the National Coach of the Year award. Ann Schilling of Bayside Academy received the 2009-10 Volleyball Coach of the Year; Michael Gunner of Bob Jones High School received the 2016-17 Swimming & Diving Coach of the Year; and Sandra Seals of Winfield was selected the 2017-18 Spirit Coach of the Year by the NFHS Coaches Association.
       He is one of three AHSAA coaches that have been named Section 3 Coach of the Year for 2018-19. Vestavia Hills High School’s Brigid Meadow is the Section 3 Girls’ Soccer Coach of the Year, and Drew Bell of James Clemens High School is the Section 3 Girls’ Outdoor Track & Field Coach of the year.
        Other recipients of this year’s national awards for boys’ sports are: Glenn Cecchini, baseball, Lake Charles (Louisiana) Alfred M. Barbe High School; J.R. Holmes, basketball, Bloomington (Indiana) South High School; Karl Koonce, cross country, Pearcy (Arkansas) Lake Hamilton High School; James Orcutt, golf, North Platte (Nebraska) High School; Terry Michler, soccer, St. Louis (Missouri) Christian Brothers College High School; David Hanson, swimming and diving, Warwick (Rhode Island) Bishop Hendricken Catholic High School; David Fredette, tennis, Armada (Michigan) High School; William “Bill” Thorn, track and field, Fairburn (Georgia) Landmark Christian School; and James Matney, wrestling, Paintsville (Kentucky) Johnson Central High School.
        The recipients of the 2019 NFHS national awards for girls sports are: Jack Gayle, swimming and diving, Snellville (Georgia) Brookwood High School; Cherry Roberds, tennis, Miami (Arizona) High School; Desmond Dunham, track and field, St. John’s (District of Columbia) College High School; Valorie McKenzie, volleyball, Scottsdale (Arizona) Horizon High School; Sherri Anthony, basketball, Ponte Vedra (Florida) Nease High School; Dave Van Sickle, cross country, Phoenix (Arizona) Xavier College Preparatory; Dick Bliss, golf, Hopkinton (Massachusetts) High School; Carol Rainson-Rose, lacrosse, Northport (New York) High School; Meredith Messer, soccer, Rockport (Maine) Camden Hills Regional High School; and Deborah Schwartz, softball, Toms River (New Jersey) Donovan Catholic High School.
      The recipient of the National Coach of the Year Award for spirit is Stephanie Blackwell of Bixby  (Oklahoma) High School. Steven DeAngelis, a cross country skiing coach at Readfield (Maine) Maranacook Community High School, was chosen in the “other” category for boys sports, and Lois Emshoff, a badminton coach at Chandler (Arizona) High School, was chosen in the “other” category for girls’ sports.
       A total of 857 coaches will be recognized this year with state, sectional and national awards.

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

 

 


2018-19 National Coaches of the Year Selected by NFHS Coaches Association

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                Contact: Dan Schuster

     INDIANAPOLIS, IN (January 16, 2020)— Twenty-three high school coaches from across the country have been selected as 2019 National Coaches of the Year by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Coaches Association.

     The NFHS, which has been recognizing coaches through an awards program since 1982, honors coaches in the top 10 girls sports and top 10 boys sports (by participation numbers), and in two “other” sports – one for boys and one for girls – that are not included in the top 10 listings. The NFHS also recognizes a spirit coach as a separate award category. Winners of NFHS awards must be active coaches during the year for which they receive their award. This year’s awards recognize coaches for the 2018-19 school year.

     Recipients of this year’s national awards for boys sports are: Glenn Cecchini, baseball, Lake Charles (Louisiana) Alfred M. Barbe High School; J.R. Holmes, basketball, Bloomington (Indiana) South High School; Karl Koonce, cross country, Pearcy (Arkansas) Lake Hamilton High School; Terry Curtis, football, Mobile (Alabama) UMS-Wright Preparatory School; James Orcutt, golf, North Platte (Nebraska) High School; Terry Michler, soccer, St. Louis (Missouri) Christian Brothers College High School; David Hanson, swimming and diving, Warwick (Rhode Island) Bishop Hendricken Catholic High School; David Fredette, tennis, Armada (Michigan) High School; William “Bill” Thorn, track and field, Fairburn (Georgia) Landmark Christian School; and James Matney, wrestling, Paintsville (Kentucky) Johnson Central High School.

     The recipients of the 2019 NFHS national awards for girls sports are: Jack Gayle, swimming and diving, Snellville (Georgia) Brookwood High School; Cherry Roberds, tennis, Miami (Arizona) High School; Desmond Dunham, track and field, St. John’s (District of Columbia) College High School; Valorie McKenzie, volleyball, Scottsdale (Arizona) Horizon High School; Sherri Anthony, basketball, Ponte Vedra (Florida) Nease High School; Dave Van Sickle, cross country, Phoenix (Arizona) Xavier College Preparatory; Dick Bliss, golf, Hopkinton (Massachusetts) High School; Carol Rainson-Rose, lacrosse, Northport (New York) High School; Meredith Messer, soccer, Rockport (Maine) Camden Hills Regional High School; and Deborah Schwartz, softball, Toms River (New Jersey) Donovan Catholic High School.

     The recipient of the National Coach of the Year Award for spirit is Stephanie Blackwell of Bixby  (Oklahoma) High School. Steven DeAngelis, a cross country skiing coach at Readfield (Maine) Maranacook Community High School, was chosen in the “other” category for boys sports, and Lois Emshoff, a badminton coach at Chandler (Arizona) High School, was chosen in the “other” category for girls sports.

     The NFHS has a contact in each state who is responsible for selecting deserving coach award recipients. This person often works with the state coaches’ association in his or her respective state. He or she contacts the potential state award recipients to complete a coach profile form that requests information regarding the coach’s record, membership in and affiliation with coaching and other professional organizations, involvement with other school and community activities and programs, and coaching philosophy. To be approved as an award recipient and considered for sectional and national coach of the year consideration, this profile form must be completed by the coach or designee and then approved by the executive director (or designee) of the state athletic/activities association.

     The next award level after state coach of the year is sectional coach of the year. The NFHS is divided into eight geographical sections. They are as follows: Section 1 – Northeast (CT, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VT); Section 2 – Mideast (DE, DC, KY, MD, OH, PA, VA, WV); Section 3 – South (AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN); Section 4 – Central (IL, IN, IA, MI, WI); Section 5 – Midwest (KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD); Section 6 – Southwest (AR, CO, NM, OK, TX); Section 7 – West (AZ, CA, HI, NV, UT); and Section 8 – Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY).

     The NFHS Coaches Association has an advisory committee composed of a chair and eight sectional representatives. The sectional committee representatives evaluate the state award recipients from the states in their respective sections and select the best candidates for the sectional award in each sport category. The NFHS Coaches Association Advisory Committee then considers the sectional candidates in each sport, ranks them according to a point system, and determines a national winner for each of the 20 sport categories, the spirit category and two “other” categories.

     A total of 857 coaches will be recognized this year with state, sectional and national awards.

 

This press release was written by Hannah Wishart, Coordinator of Educational Services with the NFHS who works with the NFHS Coaches Association and the NFHS Coach Education Program.

 

 

Online link to article: https://www.nfhs.org/articles/2018-19-national-coaches-of-the-year-selected-by-nfhs-coaches-association/

 

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

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

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 


NEWS RELEASE: Former NFHS Executive Director Brice Durbin Passes Away

 

 

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                    Contact: Bruce Howard

 

      INDIANAPOLIS, IN (January 6, 2020) — Brice B. Durbin, the third full-time executive director of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) from 1977 to 1993, passed away January 4 in Topeka, Kansas, at the age of 92.

      Durbin joined the NFHS staff in September 1976 as executive director designate when the office was located in Elgin, Illinois, before succeeding Cliff Fagan as the third full-time director in September 1977.

      Durbin was responsible for moving the headquarters to Kansas City, Missouri, in 1979 and starting the nation’s largest in-house sports-related printing operation and beginning speech, debate and music services for the member state associations.

      By the time Durbin retired in 1993, he was responsible for 44 new programs and services, including national organizations for high school coaches and officials, an equipment center for officials, the National High School Sports Record Book, the National High School Hall of Fame, the “Be A Sport” national sportsmanship program and a chemical-health awareness program.

      Prior to his 17 years at the NFHS, Durbin was a member of the Kansas State High School Activities Association (KSHSAA) staff for 19 years, including five years as assistant executive secretary and 14 years as KSHSAA executive director. During his time as head of the Kansas association, Durbin was credited with helping launch girls high school sports in the state and starting the 10-yard overtime procedure in football in 1969 that was used at the national level.
      After graduating from Central Missouri State University, Durbin was a teacher and basketball coach at Kansas high schools in Marysville, Arkansas City and Hutchinson and was an assistant basketball coach at Wichita State University for one year under coach Ralph Miller before joining the KSHSAA staff.

      Durbin was involved with officiating throughout his career and was supervisor of basketball officials for the Big Eight Conference from 1969 to 1975. After joining the NFHS, he held numerous positions with USA Basketball, including treasurer (1976-78), secretary (1978-80), men’s vice-president (1980-84) and president (1984-88). He also served on the United States Olympic Committee Board of Directors and Executive Committee.

      Durbin is a member of the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame, the KSHSAA Hall of Fame, the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame and the Kansas College Officials Hall of Fame. In 1993, Durbin was inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame at the NFHS Summer Meeting in Nashville, Tennessee.

       Visitation will be held from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. CST Thursday at Penwell-Gabel Cremations, Funerals and Receptions, 1321 S.W. 10th Avenue in Topeka, and funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, January 10, at the St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 901 S.W. Fillmore in Topeka, with interment at Mount Hope Cemetery.

       Memorial contributions may be made to the Trash Mountain Project, 4110 N.W. 62nd Street, Suite B, Topeka, Kansas 66618, or St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. 

 

 

 

 

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

The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,500 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

 

 

 

 

 


AHSAA Offers Condolences to Geneva High School Community

    The AHSAA is saddened to learn of a Christmas Day car accident that has taken the lives of three Geneva High School students and injured two others.
    “Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families of the students, Geneva High School, its faculty and student body for their tragic loss,” said AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. “We pray God will sustain each in this time of great loss.”
     No other details are available at this time.


State Football Championship Helps Healing Process in Newtown, Connecticut

                                           

Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff, NFHS Executive Director

 

     Dates of some tragedies are etched in our memories forever. On September 11, we pause to remember the thousands who perished in 2001 as a result of the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 that crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

     Many individuals remember where they were when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 and/or when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was gunned down on April 4, 1968.

     Unfortunately, in the past 20 years, there are several dates stamped in our memories because of shootings in our nation’s schools, such as the ones at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, on April 20, 1999, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on February 14, 2018.

     And on December 14, 2012, the nation wept when 26 people, including 20 children, were killed during the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. While this tragedy tore the hearts of people nationwide, it was profoundly personal to me.

     I was executive director of the Connecticut Association of Schools-Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference and, on that day, was attending a meeting with the Commissioner of Education and the Board of Directors for the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents. The commissioner was interrupted to take a private call, left immediately, and shortly thereafter the news of a “school shooting” reached the nation.

     Suddenly, what previously was important became insignificant as we were all shocked at yet another senseless act of violence. As details of the shooting rampage were released, the incident became more and more horrific. The principal of Sandy Hook Elementary at the time, Dawn Hochsprung, was one of the six adults who perished that day. She was a personal friend of mine.

     So, like millions of Americans this past weekend, I was overcome with emotion when Newtown High School won the CIAC Class LL State Football Championship – seven years to the exact day of the Sandy Hook tragedy. Newtown won the state title on the last play of the game as Jack Street – a fourth-grader at Sandy Hook in 2012 – threw a touchdown pass just as the fog lifted enough to be able to see downfield.

     Once again, high school sports, and football in particular, was a unifying activity for a community. Amid the sorrow of the day, this incredible storybook finish by the Newtown High School football team gave everyone in the community – at least for a moment – the strength to continue the healing process.

     We have seen time after time when high school sports provided students, parents and those in our communities a means to come together, to band together and to rise above struggles arm in arm. This was but the latest example.

     The grieving process will continue for those people who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook tragedy, but this amazing effort by these high school football players brought smiles and tears of joy to a community that has not had many of those emotions for the past seven years.

     Bobby Pattison, the Newtown High School football coach, had the following to say after the state title:

     “The great thing about football and sports in general, moments like this bring people together,” Pattison said. “These guys had an outstanding year. To win a state championship, to win on the last play, it’s been a tremendous accomplishment. And these boys deserve it. They’re a great bunch.”

     The value of high school football for communities across America? We would suggest what happened in Newtown, Connecticut, last weekend says it all.   

                

Online link to article:  https://www.nfhs.org/articles/the-nfhs-voice-football-championship-helps-healing-process-in-newtown-connecticut/

 

 

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.

 

 

 


Some Adjustments Made to AHSAA Re-Classification, Fall Sports Alignment Data Released Tuesday

MONTGOMERY – Due to a miscalculation in data, some adjustments have been made to the AHSAA 2020-21 & 2021-22 Classification and Sports Alignment information released Tuesday morning.
    As a result, St. John Paul II Catholic High School, which was listed in Class 5A, will be a Class 4A school in the new classification period. Saint James High School of Montgomery, listed in 3A, will also be in Class 4A. East Lawrence and Oakman are moving from 4A to 3A.
     Due to these changes in school classification, some football region alignment changes became necessary in Classes 5A, 4A and Class 3A. The adjustments leave 32 football-playing schools in Class 7A; 58 in Class 5A; and 59 in Classes 6A, 4A, 3A, 2A and 1A.
    Some changes were also made in volleyball alignments and cross country alignments. The adjustments have been corrected on the football and volleyball alignment maps online and on the classification information online.
   “On behalf of the Alabama High School Athletic Association, I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused,” said Executive Director Steve Savarese.
     To get the most up-to-date information, including up-to-date maps, please go to the following link:

http://www.ahsaa.com/Schools/2020-Re-Classification

Changes to 20120-21& 2021-22 Classification
FOOTBALL
CLASS 5A
St, John Paul II moves from Region 8 to Class 4A
Brewer moves from Region 7 to Region 8

CLASS 4A
St. John Paul moves from 5A to 4A, Region 7
St. James moves from 3A to 4A, Region 2
Priceville moves from Region 7 to Region 8
Oakman moves from Region 5 to Class 3A
East Lawrence moves from Region 8 to Class 3A

CLASS 3A
St. James moves from Region 4 to Class 4A
East Lawrence moves from 4A to 3A, Region 8
Oakman moves from 4A to 3A, Region 6
Monroe County moves from Region 1 to Region 3
Trinity Presbyterian moves from Region 3 to Region 4
Glencoe moves from Region 6 to Region 5
Hokes Bluff moves from Region 6 to Region 5
Winfield moves from Region 8 to Region 6
Carbon Hill moves from Region 8 to Region 6
Childersburg moves from Region 5 to Region 4


FOOTBALL
CLASS 6A
John Carroll Catholic moves from 5A, Area 9 to 6A, Area 8 (due to competitive balance factor)
CLASS 5A
St. John Paul II Catholic moves from 5A, Area 15 to Class 4A, Area 13
Ramsay moves from 5A, Area 10 to 5A, Area 9
CLASS 4A
St. John Paul II Catholic moves from 5A, Area 15 to Class 4A, Area 13
East Lawrence and Oakman move to 3A
CLASS 3A
East Lawrence moves from Class 4A, Area 15 to Class 3A, Area 15
Oakman moves from Class 4A, Area 8 to Class 3A, Area 10
St. Luke’s Episcopal was placed in 2A, Area 1 but moves to 3A, Area 1 (due to competitive balance factor)
CLASS 2A
Washington County moves from Area 4 to Area 1


CROSS COUNTRY
CLASS 4A
St. John Paul II Catholic moves from 5A, Section 4 to Class 4A, Section 4
East Lawrence and Oakman move to Class 3A
CLASS 3A
East Lawrence moves from 4A, Section 4 to 3A, Section 4
Oakman moves from 4A, Section 3, to 3A, Section 4


AHSAA Central Board Approves 2020-21 & 2021-22 Classification at Tuesday’s Board Meeting

      MONTGOMERY – The Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board of Control unanimously approved Tuesday the classification for member schools for the school years 2020-21 & and 2021-22. The classification will once again classify member schools in seven classes.
      The action came during the Central Board’s December meeting at the AHSAA Office. Re-classification, conducted every two years, is based on average daily enrollment numbers for the first 20 school days after Labor Day. Public schools provide those figures to Alabama State Board of Education (ASDE). Member private schools supply the same enrollment information for their schools or school systems to the AHSAA.
      The AHSAA functioned with a six-classification system from 1984 to 2014 and have been grouped in seven classifications ever since. The schools were grouped in a four-classification system from 1964-1983 and a two-classification system from 1947-1964. Prior to 1947, the AHSAA had just one classification system.
      The 2020-21 & 2021-22 classification football alignment places the 32 largest high schools in the new Class 7A. The remaining six classes are divided with 59 football-playing schools in each class. The Central Board also approved the sports alignments for the other fall sports volleyball, cross country and swimming. The winter sports alignments will be announced following the end of the basketball season, and the spring sports alignments will be announced following the conclusion of the spring sports playoffs.
     The Competitive Balance factor assigned to member private school teams have been applied to the fall sports alignments and will be applied after the winter and spring sports seasons for the remaining sports. Three private school football programs (Mars Hill Bible, Mobile Christian and UMS-Wright) reached the Competitive Balance threshold during the current classification and will move up one class from their current classification. Two schools bumped up in the first Competitive Balance application (Madison Academy and St. Paul’s Episcopal) did not meet the threshold to remain in the higher class during the current classification period and will drop back one class to 4A and 5A, respectively in the new classification period.
     Of the eight school volleyball programs that moved up a class for the current classification period, three (Bayside Academy, Providence Christian and Saint James) earned enough points in the Competitive Balance formula to move up another class in the upcoming two-year period.  Three (St. Luke’s Episcopal, Madison Academy and St. Paul’s Episcopal) will remain in the same class and two (Decatur Heritage and John Carroll Catholic) did not meet the threshold and will move down one classification to 1A and 6A, respectively. Four schools (Athens Bible, Westminster-Oak Mountain, Montgomery Academy and Faith Academy) are moving up for the first time due to Competitive Balance, and McGill-Toolen Catholic, which is dropping from 7A to 6A due to enrollment, will see its volleyball program remain in 7A due to the Competitive Balance points earned.
      “I want to thank the AHSAA staff and Central Board for the hard work they put in to develop the reclassification plan that was approved,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said. “This is something that must be done every two years. It was a challenging task, but everyone worked together to find the best solution as we move forward.”
      Central Board president Keith Bender said he wanted to thank the member schools for their input and patience throughout the reclassification process. “On behalf of the Central Board of Control and our member schools, I want to thank Mr. Savarese and his staff for their tireless efforts. I also want to thank our Central Board for their commitment and dedication to providing first-class athletic programs to all our student-athletes as well as making decisions that are best for all of our member schools.”

      The reclassification enrollment and alignment data and for the sports of football, volleyball, cross country and swimming can be found at www.ahsaa.com. The direct link is:


http://www.ahsaa.com/Schools/2020-Re-Classification