MONTGOMERY – North-South all-star squads for the 61th AHSAA North-South All-Star Football Game scheduled to be played Thursday, July 16 at Cramton Bowl, have been selected. The two 37-member teams comprised of 2020 graduating seniors were announced by Jamie Lee Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) Thursday.
The AHSADCA, which operates under the auspices of the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) also plans to host all-star games in baseball, softball, boys’ and girls’ soccer, boys’ and girls’ basketball, volleyball, and boys’ and girls’ cross country during the All-Star Week. All-Star Sports Week is currently scheduled for July 13-18 in conjunction with the AHSAA Summer Conference.
Lee said school deadline for submitting North-South all-star nominations for the sports of baseball, softball, soccer, golf and tennis is April 17.
The South holds a 31-27-2 edge in the North-South series which began in 1948. The South won 22-19 last July to snap a four-game winning North win streak.
Head coach for the North for the upcoming North-South Classic is Walter Wellborn’s Jeff Smith. South head coach is Earnest Hill of McGill-Toolen High School.
The North coaching staff includes Don Dover, Fultondale; Chris Elmore, Fort Payne; Rod Isaac, Midfield; Heath Lauderdale, Susan Moore; Ryan Lolley, Gordo; Chis Musso, Haleyville; and Andy Lambert, Haleyville, the administrative coach.
The South coaching staff includes Matt Geohagan, Bibb County; Anthony Jones, Notasulga; Josh McClendon, Greenville; Brian Seymore, Demopolis; and Mark Heaton, Baldwin County, the administrative coach.
The North-South All-Star rosters include
2020 NORTH-SOUTH ALL-STAR ROSTERS
Central, Clay County
NORTH ALL-STAR COACHES
R. E. Lee
T. R. Miller
SOUTH ALL-STAR COACHES
2019 North-South All-Star Results
and all-time series records
South 22, North 19 (South leads series 31-27-2)
Girls: North 58.5, South 55.5 (North leads series 1-0)
Boys: North 63.5, South 50.5 (North leads series 1-0)
Girls: North 8, South 1 (North leads series 1-0)
Boys: North 8, South 1 (North leads series 1-0)
South 3, North 0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-18) – (North leads series 14-8)
Game 1: South 5-6, North 4-2 (North leads series 25-22-3)
Girls: South 3, North 1 (North leads series 15-3-1)
Boys: North 3, South 0, (North leads series s 12-4-1)
Girls: North 65, South 56 (North leads series 20-3)
Boys: South 88, North 75 (North leads series 48-29)
South 16-18, North 7-16 (North leads series 23-14-1)
South Girls 19, North Girls 36 (South leads series 2-1)
North Boys 27, South Boys 28 (North leads series 2-1)
5th in a 12-part series on the Alabama HOF Class of 2020
BY BILL PLOTT
MONTGOMERY – High school football coach Steve Mask’s love for the game of football and passion for what the sport teaches resonates in his coaching philosophy – and makes a difference in the lives of his students and fellow coaching staff.
That passion is a big reason he is being recognized as one of the 12 individuals set to inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in the Class of 2020. That induction will take place at a banquet at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center, Monday, March 16 at 6:30 p.m.
A native of Sheffield, Steve Mask was graduated from Muscle Shoals High School in 1974 and from the University of North Alabama in 1980. He also earned a masters in special education and secondary education.
His career began as an assistant football coach at Colbert County High School in 1979, helping them win two state championships and one runner-up.
In 1990 he became head football coach at Bradshaw High School. He led Bradshaw to three state playoff appearances, including the school’s first playoff win ever in 1991. The1992 team was the first to finish with a winning record in four years.
He then went to Buckhorn High School for five years, making the playoffs in 1997 and 1999. The latter team finished with a 9-2 record, only the fourth Buckhorn team to win that many games at the time. The 1999 squad achieved a No. 8 ranking during the season, the highest in school history.
In 2002 he returned to Colbert County High School as head coach. Over five years he compiled a record of 52-15 with five straight playoff appearances and four seasons of 10-plus wins. The 2002 team was Class 3A runner-up.
After five years as defensive coordinator at East Coweta High School in Newnan, GA, he returned to Alabama as defensive coordinator at St. Paul’s Episcopal.
He assumed his present position at St. Paul’s Episcopal in 2012. His current record there is 87-21 with eight consecutive state playoff appearances. The 2014 team was 15-0, winning the Class 5A state championship. Four other teams finished the season with double digit wins, including the 2015 and 2017 state champions.
His overall record heading into next season is 187-94 with a playoff record of 36-15. Mask received Coach of the Year awards in 1997, 1999. 2004, 2014 and 2015. In 2018 he received the L’Arche of Mobile Lefty Anderson Service to Coaching Award. He is a founding member of the Alabama Football Coaches Association and was inducted into the Colbert County Hall of Fame in 2011. He has coached in two Alabama-Mississippi All-Star games and four North-South All-Star games.
F. Martin Lester, Jr., head of Brookestone School, was at St. Paul’s when Mask was hired. He recalled the hiring: “We originally hired Coach Mask as the defensive coordinator, but he quickly assumed the role of head coach of our football program. He has since become the athletic director at St. Paul’s while retaining is coaching duties.
“He is the most accomplished football coach I have ever worked with. His record of wins and losses is noteworthy, state championships won even more. Coaching All Star games is a prominent feature on his resume as well. He is clearly a great coach.
“All pales in comparison to what his greatest strengths are though. He is best at developing relationships with students. He gets the best out of them, he helps them grow as young men and young women, and he helps them to become good people. On countless occasions I have seen him mentor and advocate for students, athletes or not, with genuine concern for their development and well-being.”
Lester said his own family has benefitted from Coach Mask’s impact.
“Two of my sons played for him,” Lester said. “They were two different people, two different players. One was a starter, a state champion. The other was second team who rarely saw the field. Both point to their experience with Coach Mask as being the best and most important, athletic experience they ever had.
“My oldest son, the non-starter, in particular, points to Coach Mask as being one of the great influences in his life. He was a good athlete, a conference and team champion in track in college, and he became a coach at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, getting recognition by the NCAA as the South Region Assistant Coach of the Year. He will tell you that one of the biggest reasons for his success as an athlete and a coach was how Coach Mask taught him how to deal with people – to treat them well, and to truly listen to them. To me, there is no greater accolade a coach can receive.”
Coach Terry Curtis, at rival school UMS-Wright, said, “For the last eight years Steve’s team has been our biggest rival. I have had a close up look at the energy and how well-coached his teams are. They are always prepared and ready to play. That is attribute to his players and assistant coaches, but also the head coach and leader, Steve Mask.”
Curtis added, “Steve’s best traits though may be the intangibles that I believe are so important. He loves his players and always has his players’ best interests. They love to play for him. He lets his coaches coach. He listens and trusts their opinions. His passion and emotion of what he does and how he goes about it are the qualities that make a person worthy of the Hall of Fame. Steve’s terrific record and state championships speak for themselves, but you are put in the Hall of Fame not only for the records but also for the respect you show the game. I could not recommend anyone more highly.”
Bill Plott is a veteran journalist and state sports historian who has covered the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame since its inception in 1991.
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF STATE HIGH SCHOOL ASSOCIATIONS
NFHS Announces Signature Championship Rings as New Corporate Partner
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Mark Koski
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (February 14, 2020) — The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) and the NFHS Network have finalized a new corporate partnership agreement with Signature Championship Rings.
Based in Lincoln, Nebraska, Signature Championship Rings has crafted more than 750,000 championship rings since 2001 and prides itself on its highly customizable nature and fast-paced timeframe. Signature features ring templates for 15 different sports, as well as designs for band, martial arts, branches of the military and graduating classes.
“Signature Championship Rings has proven itself to be a premier organization in the ring manufacturing industry,” said NFHS Executive Director Karissa Niehoff. “We believe this will be a great partnership since Signature has already been working with high schools across the country.”
As part of the three-year agreement, Signature will be given opportunities to place full-page advertisements in various NFHS publications including rules books, the High School Today magazine and the NFHS Court and Field Diagram Guide, and may distribute materials at annual meetings and national conferences, among various other benefits.
“It's been our privilege to help many of the schools within the NFHS celebrate their championships,” said Paige Hernandez, Signature Championship Rings national sales director. “So much so, that we believed it would be wise to partner with the federation. We are proud and excited to join with the NFHS as a long-term partner to help promote the programs that help build so many champions.”
Signature offers several promotions for both individual and team ring formats and backs each ring with a full lifetime warranty, free resizing and a 100 percent money-back guarantee.
“We’re excited to partner with Signature Championship Rings,” said Mark Koski, CEO of the NFHS Network and NFHS director of marketing. “We believe our state association member schools can benefit greatly from their top-of-the-line products and expertise as a ring manufacturer.”
Online link to article: https://www.nfhs.org/articles/nfhs-announces-signature-championship-rings-as-new-corporate-partner/
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.
About Signature Championship Rings
Headquartered in Lincoln, Nebraska, Signature Championship Rings is the go-to company for more championship teams than any other ring manufacturer. The competitive edge Signature provides is calculated by its fast-paced timeframe and its dedication to making any ring a ‘signature’ ring, with no limitations or stock designs. Affordability and state-of-the-art craftsmanship on the part of its 3D design specialists give Signature customers a customized look at a competitive price. Signature Championship Rings understands the work its clients put in to be called a champion, that’s why they put in the work to ensure their rings are of the highest quality. Signature Championship Rings. Your success – set in stone. For more information, visit www.signaturechampions.com.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Bruce Howard, 317-972-6900
Director of Publications and Communications
National Federation of State High School Associations
Chris Boone, 317-972-6900
Assistant Director of Publications and Communications
NATIONAL FEDERATION OF STATE
HIGH SCHOOL ASSOCIATIONS
Additional Timing Changes on Play Clock Approved
in High School Football Rules
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Bob Colgate
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (February 6, 2020) — In an effort to eliminate a potential timing advantage gained by the defensive team in high school football, the play clock will be set to 40 seconds – effective with the 2020 season – when an official’s time-out is taken for an injury to a defensive player or a defensive player has an equipment issue.
This change was one of six rules revisions recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Football Rules Committee at its January 12-14 meeting in Indianapolis. All recommended changes were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
Last year, in an effort to establish a more consistent time period between downs, the play clock was expanded from 25 seconds to 40 seconds in many cases, although the play clock remained at 25 seconds in most cases following an official’s time-out. However, this coming season, the play clock will be set at 40 seconds following an injury to a defensive player or a when a defensive player has an equipment issue.
“The rules committee was provided situations in which the defensive team was gaining a timing advantage late in games with a defensive injury or an equipment issue with the defense,” said Todd Tharp, assistant director of the Iowa High School Athletic Association and chair of the NFHS Football Rules Committee. “Under the current rule, if a play ended with less than 40 seconds left in the game and a defensive player was injured which resulted in an official’s time-out, the play clock would reset to 25 seconds and another play would need to be run. With the new rule change, another play would not need to be run.”
In the same rule dealing with the play clock (Rule 3-6-1), the committee approved one additional situation when 25 seconds will be on the play clock. Beginning next season, 25 seconds will be on the play clock and start on the ready-for-play signal when a new series is awarded following a legal free kick or scrimmage kick.
Two changes to Rule 7 – Snapping, Handling and Passing the Ball – were approved by the committee. The exception in Rule 7-5-2 regarding an illegal forward pass being a foul was expanded. Previously, it was legal to conserve time only by intentionally throwing the ball forward to the ground immediately after receiving a direct hand-to-hand snap. The committee expanded the exception to permit a player positioned directly behind the center (shotgun formation) to intentionally ground the ball.
In Rule 7-1, a new Article 9 states that no defensive player shall use disconcerting acts or words prior to the snap in an attempt to interfere with an offensive player’s signals or movements.
Bob Colgate, NFHS director of sports and sports medicine and staff liaison to the NFHS Football Rules Committee, said this language was moved from Rule 9-5-1d and has been reclassified from a 15-yard unsportsmanlike foul to a 5-yard foul.
In addition, several rules will be affected by the committee’s ruling that the head coach, prior to the game, should notify the referee as to the team’s designated representative (coach or player) who will make decisions regarding penalty acceptance or declination. Several locations in the rules book required the team captains to make these decisions, so the new language throughout the book will provide teams more options.
The final change approved by the committee is an addition to the Note in Table 3-1 related to clock times. The new Note 2 will read as follows:
“If the game is interrupted due to weather during the last three minutes of the second period, and the delay is at least 30 minutes, the opposing coaches can mutually agree to shorten halftime intermission, provided there is at least a one-minute intermission (not including the three-minute warm-up period).”
“I am totally impressed with the thoughtfulness and discussion that went into the rules-making process this year by the Football Rules Committee,” Tharp said. “Two of the proposals dealt with the new play clock rule that went into effect last year, while another rule change now allows the passer who is in the shotgun position to intentionally throw the ball to the ground.
“Additionally, the penalty on the defensive team for any player using disconcerting acts has been reduced from 15 yards to 5 yards. Coaches and officials shared concerns that this was too harsh a penalty for this act, comparing this act to a 5-yard encroachment penalty on the defense.”
A complete listing of the football rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Football.”
According to the 2018-19 NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, 11-player football is the most popular high school sport for boys with 1,006,013 participants in 14,247 schools nationwide. In addition, there were 31,221 boys who participated in 6-, 8- and 9-player football, along with 2,604 girls in all four versions of the game for a grand total of 1,039,828.
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 almost eight million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Bruce Howard, 317-972-6900
Chris Boone, 317-972-6900
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.
Becomes the 38th recipient of the Award since 1982
MONTGOMERY – Lanett High School senior quarterback Kristian Story, who led the Panthers (15-0) to an undefeated season and the Class 1A state title this past season, was named Alabama’s Mr. Football for 2019 on Wednesday in Montgomery.
The announcement was made Wednesday at the Alabama Sportswriters Association’s Mr. Football Awards Luncheon at the Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center here. The Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) hosted the luncheon and AHSAA Corporate Partner Cadence Bank was the presenting sponsor.
The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Story, who signed with the University of Alabama, is the 38th winner of the award, which started in 1982 with Vigor quarterback Tommy Compton earning the first Mr. Football Award. His high school had coach was his father Clifford Story.
Story is the first Crimson Tide signee to win the award since Daphne running back T.J. Yeldon in 2011, the first player from Lanett to win the state’s top high school football award and the first player from a 1A school to claim the honor since running back Thomas Banks of West Jefferson in 1993.
The senior quarterback finished with 110 yards rushing on 13 carries with two touchdowns and was 18-of-23 passing for 249 yards and two more scores in the AHSAA Super 7 Class 1A State Championship at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium in December to earn Class 1A State Championship MVP honors. He finished his senior season 162-of-237 passing for 2,865 yards and 33 touchdowns. Story, who also was named the Gatorade Player of the Year for Alabama in 2019, also had 1,151 yards rushing on 116 carries and 17 touchdowns and finished his prep career as the AHSAA record holder in total offense and touchdowns account for.
He accumulated 13,218 total yards with 9,070 passing, 3,618 rushing and 530 receiving from 2016-19 and accounted for 175 touchdowns (119 passing, 48 rushing and 8 receiving). Story’s totals broke records set by Bo Nix of Pinson Valley from 2015-18 (12,497 total yards and 161 TDs accounted for). Story’s 9,070 career passing yards ranks eighth all time and his 119 TD passes ranks third. He also quarterbacked Lanett to the Class 2A state football title in 2017 and helped the Panthers win three state basketball titles from 2016-18. He finished with 29 interceptions on defense.
The Mr. Football selection was made by the ASWA’s committee of member prep sportswriters across the state. The top 12 vote-getters regardless of position earned a spot on the ASWA’s prestigious All-State Super 12 Team.
Those 12 included, in order, were: Kristin Story, Lanett QB; Kris Abrams-Draine, Spanish Fort QB; Jalen White, Daleville RB; Roydell Williams, Hueytown RB; Sawyer Pate, Thompson QB; Demouy Kennedy, Theodore, LB; Dee Beckwith, Florence WR; Rontarius Wiggins, Jacksonville RB; Jackson Bratton, Muscle Shoals LB; Seth Brown, St, John Paul II Catholic QB; Trey Higgins, Oxford QB; Will Breland, UMS-Wright, LB.
A total of 48 prep football standouts and their families attended the luncheon. Three finalists for Back and Linemen of the Year in each class were recognized. The Back and Lineman of the Year award winners included:
ASWA Players of the Year
Back of the Year: Kristian Story, Lanett
Lineman of the Year: Mack McCluskey, Mars Hill Bible
Back of the Year: Jalen White, Daleville
Lineman of the Year: Arian Gregory, Luverne
Back of the Year: Daquan Johnson, Flomaton
Lineman of the Year: Deontae Lawson, Mobile Christian
Back of the Year: Rontarius Wiggins, Jacksonville
Lineman of the Year: Will Breland, UMS-Wright
Back of the Year: Zyquez Perryman, Pleasant Grove
Lineman of the Year: Trent Howard, Briarwood Christian
Back of the Year: Kris Abrams-Draine, Spanish Fort
Lineman of the Year: Jackson Bratton, Muscle Shoals
Back of the Year: Sawyer Pate, Thompson
Lineman of the Year: Demouy Kennedy, Theodore
Back of the Year: Cephus Cleveland, Macon-East
Lineman of the Year: Eli Richey, Southern Academy
The top 12 vote-getters in the Mr. Football voting
AWSA MR. FOOTBALL SELECTIONS, 1982-2019
2019: Kristian Story, Lanett, QB
2018: Bo Nix, Pinson Valley, QB
2017: Asa Martin, Austin, RB
2016: La’Damian Webb, Beauregard, RB
2015: Tyler Johnston, Spanish Fort, QB
2014: Kerryon Johnson, Madison Academy, RB
2013: Roc Thomas, Oxford, RB
2012: Jeremy Johnson, Carver-Montgomery, QB
2011: T.J. Yeldon, Daphne, RB
2010: Jamal Golden, Wetumpka, QB
2009: Coty Blanchard, Cherokee County, QB
2008: Clint Moseley, Leroy, QB
2007: Julio Jones, Foley, WR
2006: Larry Smith, Prattville, QB
2005: Andre Smith, Huffman, OL
2004: Jarod Bryant, Hoover, QB
2003: Chris Nickson, Pike County, QB
2002: JaMarcus Russell, Williamson, QB
2001: Brandon Cox, Hewitt-Trussville, QB
2000: Carnell Williams, Etowah, RB
1999: Cory Whisenant, Springville, RB
1998: DeMarco McNeil, Blount, DL
1997: Mac Campbell, Alexandria, RB
1996: Antoneyo Williams, Central-Tuscaloosa, RB
1995: Gorman Thornton, Jeff Davis, DL
1994: Dawud Rasheed, Shades Valley, RB
1993: Thomas Banks, West Jefferson, 1A
1992: Freddie Kitchens, Etowah, QB
1991: Robert Davis, Homewood, RB
1990: David Palmer, Jackson-Olin, RB/QB/WR
1989: Steve Coleman, Pike County, RB
1988: Darrell Williams, Vigor, RB
1987: Robert Jones, Parker, RB
1986: Larry Ware, Lee-Montgomery, RB
1985: Pierre Goode, Hazlewood, RB
1984: Rod Green, Gardendale, WR
1983: Freddy Weygand, Emma Sansom, WR
1982: Tommy Compton, Vigor, QB
According to Central-Phenix City Superintendent of Schools Randy Wilkes, during a team meeting of players this morning, Tuesday, January 7, Central High School Head Football Coach Jamey DuBose announced his retirement from the State of Alabama.
Coach DuBose will reportedly accept a head football coaching position outside of the state in the near future. Coach DuBose acknowledges that this is one of the most difficult decisions that he has ever had to make due to the support of Central High School and Phenix City Schools. The relationships forged with players, parents, colleagues, administrators, and community members is something he will fondly remember for a life-time. Coach DuBose’s desire is to continue those relationships and noted that “once a Red Devil, always a Red Devil.”
In six years as Central High School’s head football coach, Coach Dubose led the Red Devils to one state championship, one state runner-up, two final-four appearances, six consecutive regional championships, and compiled a record of 66-11.
Phenix City Schools appreciates Coach DuBose’s commitment to excellence both on and off the playing field, noting the significant amount of emphasis DuBose placed on character, grade point averages, and ACT scores. According to school officials, Coach DuBose went above and beyond in seeking scholarships for players as evidenced with last year’s signing class of 20 student-athletes and this year’s early signing of seven players to Division I scholarships.
MONTGOMERY – Four high schools, including two teams that went undefeated in the 2019 regular season, have been selected to participate in the 2020 AHSAA Kickoff Classic hosted by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA).
Pike Road meets Montgomery Catholic at Cramton Bowl on Thursday night, August 20 to officially kick of the 2020 prep season. Wetumpka and Prattville, two long-time powers in Class 6A and 7A, respectively, will play in the Kickoff Classic’s second game on Friday, August 21 at Cramton Bowl. Both games will begin at 7 p.m. and will be televised live over the AHSAA TV Network and live-streamed over the NFHS Network. AHSAA TV partner WOTM will produce the game for the NFHS Network / AHSAA TV Network.
“We are very excited two games of this magnitude lined up for the 2020 Kickoff Classic,” said Jamie Lee, Director of the AHSADCA and the coordinator of the annual Classic. “Pike Road and Montgomery Catholic are two up-and-coming programs coming off their best seasons ever, and the Wetumpka-Prattville matchup is considered one of the top rivalries in Central Alabama. All four teams play an exciting brand of football and all four have excellent community support.”
Pike Road (11-1) finished 7-0 to win the Class 3A, Region 3 title last season. It was just the second varsity season for the Patriots since the school shut down its program in 1933. Pike Road was opened in 1918 and continued as a high school through 1944. From 1945-1971 it served as a junior high school but remained closed from 1971 to 2015. The school was opened as part of the Pike Road City School System. The 2019-20 school year is the first year the school system has been a complete system. It is continuing to grown at a rapid pass.
Coach Patrick Browning’s Patriots, moving to Class 5A next season, reeled off 11 straight wins, four by shutouts, and outscored opponents 515-116. Mobile Christian, which reached the 3A finals, ended Pike Road’s win streak with a 28-10 win in the second round of the state playoffs.
Ironically, Montgomery Catholic High School opened its doors in 1945, the same year Pike Road was scaled down to a junior high. Coach Aubrey Blackwell’s Knights (12-1) won its first 12 games, including two Class 4A playoff games, before falling to eventual state champion UMS-Wright 21-0 in the quarterfinals.
Blackwell’s team won Class 4A, Region last season with a 6-0 slate. Catholic outscored its opponents 402-140 for the year and registered three shutouts. The school drops to Class 3A in the 2020 season. Catholic is 42-16 under Blackwell’s direction with three straight years in the state playoffs. The 10-0 regular season was the first for Catholic since 1979. The 12 wins set a single-season school record.
The Friday battle next August between Class 7A Prattville and Class 6A Wetumpka pits two big rivals with storied programs. The two teams had their first encounter in 1922 with Wetumpka winning 25-6. Prattville, coached by Caleb Ross, won the 2019 meeting 31-13. The Indians of Coach Tim Perry hold a slight 28-27-2 edge in the series heading into the Kickoff Classic next August – which will be the 58th game in the series. The teams are 4-4 over the last eight seasons.
Ross, 57-27 as a head coach, returned to his alma mater in 2018 and quickly turned the Lions program, which was 5-13 in the two previous seasons, into a playoff team. Prattville was 7-4 in his first year and 9-3 last year. The Lions are 567-397-26 over 102 seasons with Class 6A state titles in 1994, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011. Ross guided McGill-Toolen to the 2015 Class 7A state crown and also had head-coaching stops at Thompson and Opelika. Prattville is 70-40 from 2010-2019 but was an amazing 124-12 in the previous decade (2000-2009).
Wetumpka is coming off a 6-6 season – and its seventh straight year in the playoffs. The Indians have compiled a 59-37 record in Perry’s eight seasons as head coach. The Indians were 13-2 in 2017 reaching the Class 6A state finals. Perry’s 2018 team reached the 6A semifinals before falling by one point to Saraland. Perry, who spent 14 seasons as head coach at Alabama Christian, recorded the 200th win of his prep coaching career in 2019.
Wetumpka is one of the state’s oldest football programs, beginning in 1902. The school has a 558-453-33 record overall with a 71-46 slate from 2010-19 and 67-46 from 2000-09.
Hoover beat Central-Phenix City 17-14 and Montgomery-Carver nipped city rival Jeff Davis 18-13 in the 2019 Kickoff Classic.
AHSAA Kickoff Classic History
Hoover 17, Central-Phenix City 14
Carver-Montgomery 18, Jeff Davis 13
Clarke County 20, Sweet Water 14
Thompson 38, James Clemens 7
Hewitt-Trussville 49, Pell City 10
Maplesville 20, Fyffe 7
Andalusia 34, Brooks 13
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 42, Demopolis 7
Hoover 23, Central-Phenix City 7
Bob Jones 37, Carver-Montgomery 30
Gordo 28, Glencoe 21
Madison Academy 19, Leeds 14
Spanish Fort 42, Stanhope Elmore 14
Opelika 20, Carver-Montgomery 16
Dadeville 14, Piedmont 8
Benjamin Russell 28, Walker 14
Straughn 35, Walter Wellborn 26
Bob Jones 23, Enterprise 20
Spanish Fort 33, Muscle Shoals 22
Central of Clay County 25, Beauregard 13
McGill-Toolen 27, Northridge 0
Hueytown 36, Thomasville 27
Hamilton 38, Sweet Water 35
Daphne 24, Clay-Chalkville 21
Opelika 34, Greenville 6
Auburn 30, Spain Park 3
Jackson 30, Trinity 8
Prattville 37, Carver-Montgomery 0
T.R. Miller 27, Leeds 7
Hoover 32, Oxford 27
Prattville vs. Oxford, canceled due to inclement weather
Prattville 36, North Gwinnett, Ga. 3
Hoover 38, UMS-Wright 0
Clay-County 41, Addison 6
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.
HATTIESBURG (MS) – Mississippi All-Star Armondous Cooley of Wayne County blocked Alabama’s extra-point try in overtime to preserve a 17-16 come-from-behind Mississippi victory in the 33rd annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Classic at M.M. Roberts Stadium on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi campus Saturday.
With the game tied at 10-10 at the end of regulation, Mississippi, coached by Brad Breland of Union, scored first in overtime. Janari Dean of South Panola grabbed an outlet pass from Will Rogers of Brandon and out-legged an Alabama defender to the left pylon to score the go-ahead TD. Place-kicker Gavin Gaudin kicked the extra point to give Mississippi the led for the first time 17-10.
Alabama quarterback Logan Smothers of Muscle Shoals connect fired a pass to Thompson receiver Mike Pettway in the back of the end zone for a 9-yard touchdown to set up the final play.
The extra-point try by Alabama place-kicker Evan McGuire, who had field goal blocked late in the fourth quarter, was deflected by Hopkins to keep Mississippi’s current three-game win streak alive. Mississippi is also still unbeaten in three games at M.M. Roberts Stadium.
Alabama, coached by Spain Park’s Shawn Raney, holds a 22-11 edge in the series, which dates back to 1988.
The overtime game was the first since Alabama’s two-overtime 24-17 win in 2010 at Mobile and was the fifth overtime contest in the series overall. Alabama was 4-0 in overtime games until Saturday’s setback – winning 24-21 in three overtimes in 1988, 24-21 in four overtimes in 1989 and 21-14 in one overtime in 1990.
Alabama took the early lead marching 69 yards on 11 plays to take go up 7-0 in first possession of the game. Lanett’s Kristian Story had two strong runs and Thompson quarterback Sawyer Pate had completions of 42 yards to Eddie Williams of Central-Phenix City and 11 yards to story to set up St. Paul’s running back Jordon Ingram’s 2-yard TD run with 6:10 left in the opening period. Thompson’s Evan McGuire booted the extra point.
Williams finished with six key receptions for 98 yards to earn MVP honors for Alabama. Mississippi MVP was George County defensive lineman McKinley Jackson.
The Alabama and Mississippi defenses took control in the second quarter making first downs hard to come by. Late in the first half, however, Mississippi reached inside the Alabama 20 but was turned away when defensive tackles Daniel Foster-Allen of St. Paul’s and Decarius Hawthorne of Center Point sacked Mississippi quarterback Jimmy Holliday of Madison Central in the final minute to stop the hosts’ best scoring opportunity of the first half.
Alabama’s offensive attack picked up steam in the third period, thanks to the strong running of Story and McGill-Toolen’s C.J. Evans and a big pass connection from Logan Smothers of Muscle Shoals to Keyonteze Johnson of Pinson Valley set up McGuire’s 30-yard field goal to stretch the lead to 10-0 with 8:02 to play in the quarter.
Mississippi drove inside the Alabama 5-yard line late in the third quarter, but Reeltown linebacker Eric Shaw sacked quarterback Jimmy Holiday of Madison Central on the last play of the quarter to stall the drive. Mississippi’s Gavin Gaudin of Northwest Rankin booted 31-yard field goal on the first play of the fourth quarter to cut Alabama’s lead to 10-3.
Mississippi got the ball back deep in Alabama territory a few minutes later, but the defense came up big once again when Pinson Valley defensive back intercepted a pass in the end zone for a touchback with just over eight minutes to go.
That’s when the Alabama wide receiver Eddie Williams stepped to the forefront with two big catches to move the ball inside the Mississippi 10-yard line. The drive stalled, however, with two straight incomplete passes and a 25-yard field goal try that was wide to the right with 6:14 to play.
Mississippi tied the game at 10-10 late in the quarter on a 70-yard, 11-play drive that ended with Tupelo receiver Trip Wilson snaring 12-yard TD pass from Will Rogers of Brandon with 2:04 remaining and Gaudin’s extra point.
Thompson’s Pate connected with Warriors teammate Mike Pettway on a 28-yard pass play that eventually led to a 25-yard field goal try by McGuire that was blocked Olive Branch defensive end Javon Banks to send the game into overtime.
Alabama finished with 260 total yards with 40 yards rushing on 27 tries and 220 yards passing. Pate finished 7-of-13 for 127 yards and Smothers was 7-of-9 for 93 yards. Story was the leading rusher for Alabama with 37 yards on eight carries. Pettway caught two passes for 37 yards and a TD and Johnson caught three for 40 yards.
Defensively, Alabama got an outstanding effort across the board with Xavier Morrow recording eight solos and one assist, Jackson Bratton of Muscle Shoals, five stops and two assists, and Daniel Foster-Allen of St. Paul’s Episcopal had six tackles total. Shaw had two sacks and three tackles overall.
Mississippi had 177 total yards with 88 rushing and 123 passing. Dean was the leading rusher with 66 yards on 19 carries. Rogers was 10-of-16 passing for 66 yards and Jaden Walley of D ’Iberville was their leading receiver with four catches for 27 yards.
Jackson had three tackles for Mississippi. Emmanuel Forbes of Grenada led the hosts with eight stops and Cooley had four tackles.
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