Vestavia Hills High School downed Hoover in the South Regional boys’ championship match Friday and East Limestone beat Hewitt-Trussville in the North Regional boys’ finals as the AHSAA 2019 Regional Bowling Championships concluded Friday.
The Rebels outscored the Bucs 1,630 to 1,411 to finish 4-0 in the 16-team championship bracket Friday at Mobile’s AMF Camellia Lanes to advance to next week’s fourth annual AHSAA State Bowling Tournament at Pelham’s Oak Mountain Lanes Jan. 24-25 as the South Regional champion. East Limestone posted a final-match 1,603 to beat the Huskies, who had 1,489 pins, in the North Regional finals at Vestavia Lanes. All championship bracket matches included one traditional game and three Baker Format games.
Southside-Gadsden, the state girls’ champs in 2016 and 2017, rolled to the North Regional girls’ title with 1,299 pins in the final match versus Hartselle. The Tigers had 1,147. Thompson’s Lady Warriors captured the South Regional title with 1,349 pins in the finals. Stanhope Elmore finished second with 1,238.
The top traditional game of the day for at the North Regional was rolled by Carson Poe of Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa (267) in the first round. Daylin Tolgo of Sparkman had the top girls’ game with a 216 in the second round.
The South Regional’s top game belonged to Kacey Marshal of Stanhope Elmore. She rolled a 278 in the semifinals to set a new AHSAA single-game state record. Gillian Baker of Thompson set the previous high game (264) at the 2018 state tourney. Beau Reed of Vestavia Hills had a 277 in the finals to top the boys’ efforts.
All first-round winners at each site Friday advanced to next week’s State Championships.
Complete results of Friday’s championship bracket and top games in each round are listed below.
AHSAA BOWLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
NORTH REGIONAL TOURNAMENT
At Vestavia Bowl, Vestavia Hills
FRIDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY BRACKETS
Hewitt-Trusville 1,576, Pinson Valley 1,005
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 1,376, Hartselle 1,112
Gadsden City 1,338, Corner 934
Buckhorn 1,490, Lamar County 1,028
East Limestone 1,415, Sipsey Valley 960
Sparkman 1,424, Northridge 1,168
Southside-Gadsden 1,433, Hazel Green 1,140
James Clemens 1,342, Holt 1,042
Hewitt-Trussville 1,469, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 1,223
Gadsden City 1,374, Buckhorn 1,323
East Limestone 1,372, Sparkman 1,308
James Clemens 1,400, Southside-Gadsden 1,331
Hewitt-Trussville 1,582, Gadsden City 1,412
East Limestone 1,442, James Clemens 1,366
East Limestone 1,603, Hewitt-Trussville 1,489
Hartselle 1,156, Gardendale 811
East Limestone 1,084, Lamar County 970
Pinson Valley 1,153, Northridge 910
Etowah 985, Randolph 840
Sparkman 1,274, Holy Spirit Catholic 794
Grissom 1,049, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 828
Hewitt-Trussville 1,041, Hazel Green 961
Southside-Gadsden 1,244, Corner 823
Hartselle 1,213, East Limestone 1,012
Pinson Valley 1,039, Etowah 1,030
Sparkman 1,401, Grissom 1,128
Southside-Gadsden 1,311, Hewitt-Trussville 1,021
Hartselle 1,180, Pinson Valley 1,004
Southside-Gadsden 1,336, Sparkman 1,261
Southside-Gadsden 1,299, Hartselle 1,147
NORTH INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
Top Traditional Scores
Carson Poe, Hillcrest 267
Jackson Stiles, Buckhorn 253
Cole Arsenault, Sparkman 251
James Roberts, James Clemens 246
Jackson Stile, Buckhorn 248
Cole McCarty. Hewitt-Truss. 233
Isaac Hernandez, Gadsden City 217
Cole McCarty. Hewitt-Truss. 245
Kyle Wright, Hewitt-Truss. 227
Thomas Butler, Gadsden City 227
Nicole Gilbert, Sparkman 194
Denisha Kendall, Grissom 194
Taniya Horton, Hewitt-Truss. 188
Daylin Tolgo, Sparkman 216
Denisha Kendall, Grissom 208
Nicole Gilbert, Sparkman 206
Grace Ann Clontz, Southside 202
Jessica Clontz, Southside 195
Emily Lindsey, Sparkman 192
Jennifer Clontz, Southside 180
SOUTH REGIONAL TOURNAMENT
At AMF Camellia Lanes, Mobile
FRIDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY BRACKETS
Vestavia Hills 1,458, McGill-Toolen Catholic 1075
Baker 1,447, Spanish Fort 1,269
Stanhope Elmore 1,338, Ramsay 1,080
Auburn 1,476, Oak Mountain 1,039
Hoover 1,489, Houston Academy 1,076
Spain Park 1,393, Northview 1,116
Mary Montgomery 1,302, Foley 1,127
Thompson 1,533, Murphy 1,102
Vestavia Hills 1,535, Baker 1,284
Stanhope Elmore 1,562, Auburn 1,530
Hoover 1,444, Spain Park, 1,300
Thompson 1,615, Mary Montgomery 1,281
Vestavia Hills 1,501, Stanhope Elmore 1,386
Hoover 1,521, Thompson 1,402
Vestavia Hills 1,630, Hoover 1,411
Thompson 1,424, Houston Academy 953
Satsuma 1,061, Baker 1,031
Gulf Shores 1,106, vs. McGill-Toolen Catholic 1,100
Spain Park 1,094, Northview 861
Auburn 1,102, UMS-Wright 943
Vestavia Hills 1,001, Pelham 998
Oak Mountain 1,066, Daphne 1,065
Stanhope Elmore 1,304, Homewood 904
Thompson 1,335, Satsuma 1,092
Spain Park 1,133, Gulf Shores 1,066
Vestavia Hills 1,168, Auburn 1,086
Stanhope Elmore 1,286, Oak Mountain 1,053
Thompson 1,324, Spain Park 1,039
Stanhope Elmore 1,359, Vestavia Hills 1,077
Thompson 1,299, Stanhope Elmore 1,147
SOUTH BOYS INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
Top Traditional Scores
Brandt Bennett, Spanish Fort 252
Wyatt Lumsden, Spain Park 244
Dan Zhang, Auburn 231
Min Kim, Auburn 257
Boris Lu, Vestavia Hills 249
Cameron DeCord, Thompson 238
Cameron DeCord, Thompson 252
Josh Wilson, Stanhope Elmore 248
Boris Lu, Vestavia Hilils 225
Beau Reed, Vestavia Hills 277
Cameron Monistere, Vestavia 235
Martin Maners, Vestavia Hills 209
Maggie Smith, Thompson 232
Gillian Baker, Thompson 213
Katherine Mather, McGill-Tool. 178
Kimi Stull, Auburn 178
Alyssa Ward, St. Elmore 214
Jessica Sherman, Thompson 180
Katie Keener, Thompson 175
Kacey Marshal, St. Elmore 278 (state record)
Gillian Baker, Thompson 199
Maggie Smith, Thompson 183
Jessica Sherman, Thompson 209
Jillian Hulsey, Thompson 188
Kacey Marshal, St. Elmore 172
MONTGOMERY – Hewitt-Trussville edged James Clemens by 65 pins to post the top North boys’ series as the 2019 AHSAA Regional Bowling Championships got underway Thursday.
Joseph Taylor rolled a 219-235-197—661 series to pace the Huskies’ 2,764 series score in the traditional bowling round that determined seeding for Friday’s championship round of head-to-head team competition. The Huskies totaled 2,764 pins and James Clemens had 2,699 to finish 1-2 and were placed on the boys’ 16-team championship bracket as the top two seeds.
The four-round championship bracket, that includes one traditional game and three Baker format games in each match, gets underway at 8 a.m., at the Vestavia Bowl Friday. Hewitt will meet No. 16 seed Pinson Valley and James Clemens faces No. 15 seed Holt. Hartselle’s girls posted a 2,309 pin total to capture top-seed honors. Southside-Gadsden was second in Thursday’s tradition round just six pins back at 2,303 and will move into the championship bracket as the second seed.
The South Regional also got underway at AMF Camellia Lanes in Mobile Thursday with Vestavia Hills’ boys claiming Friday’s top seed with a 3,123 team total. Thompson was second at 2,961. Thompson’s girls rolled a 2,572 total to take top seed honor in the South girls’ championship bracket. Stanhope Elmore rolled a 2,375 to take second seed.
Vestavia Hills boys’ total set a new state playoff record breaking the 3,063 total set by the Rebels in the 2018 state tourney by 60 pins. Vestavia will meet McGill-Toolen Catholic in the first round Friday morning, and Thompson squares off against Murphy. The Lady Warriors will take on Houston Academy and Stanhope Elmore faces Homewood.
Play will continue with the finals scheduled to start at approximately 2:45 p.m. at each site Friday. All first-round winners will clinch a berth in next week’s fourth annual AHSAA State Bowling Championships to be held at Oak Mountain Lanes in Pelham Jan. 24-25. The NFHS Network will live-stream the championships thanks to Cullman High School’s NFHS Network School Broadcast Program directed by producer John Drake.
Josh Wilson of Stanhope Elmore captured South Regional medalist honors with a 269-258-194—721 total Thursday – falling just three pins shy of the state record (724) set by East Limestone’s Brendan Ferris in last year’s state tourney. Kenny Ealy of Hoover was one pin back at 720. He had a 279 in the first game of the series to tie the state playoff record for second best single game. Spain Park’s Jalen Johnson rolled a 279 in the state tourney last year and Jon Kilgo of Gadsden City set the single-game high with a perfect in the inaugural state tourney in 2016.
South girls’ medalist Thursday was Jillian Hulsey of Thompson. She rolled a 626 with a high game of 232. North boys’ medalist was James Clemens’ Daejon McCray (672) and North girls’ medalist was two-time defending state champion Southside-Gadsden’s Grace Ann Clontz (550). Buckhorn won the boys’ state title in 2018.
First-day team results, Friday’s first-round championship pairings and complete team scoring can be found at www.ahsaa.com.
AHSAA BOWLING CHAMPIONSHIPS
NORTH REGIONAL TOURNAMENT
At Vestavia Bowl, Vestavia Hills
FRIDAY’S CHAMPIONSHIP PLAY BRACKETS
Boys First-Round Pairings (8 a.m.)
Pinson Valley vs. Hewitt-Trussville (No. 1 seed)
Hartselle vs. Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa
Corner vs. Gadsden City
Lamar County vs. Buckhorn (No. 4 seed)
Sipsey Valley vs. East Limestone (No. 3 seed)
Northridge vs. Sparkman
Hazel Green vs. Southside-Gadsden
Holt vs. James Clemens (No. 2 seed)
Girls First-Round Pairings (8 a.m.)
Gardendale v. Hartselle (No. 1 seed)
Lamar County vs. East Limestone
Northridge vs. Pinson Valley
Randolph vs. Etowah (No. 4 seed)
Holy Spirit Catholic vs. Sparkman (No. 3 seed)
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa vs. Grissom
Hewitt-Trussville vs. Hazel Green
Corner vs. Southside-Gadsden (No. 2 seed)
Thursday’s First-Round Final Standings
(3 traditional games)
James Clemens 2,699
East Limestone 2,687
Gadsden City 2,537
Hazel Green 2,169
Lamar County 1,923
Shades Valley 1,847
Pinson Valley 1,637
Pinson Valley 2,068
Hazel Green 1,804
East Limestone 1,776
Lamar County 1,770
Holy Spirit Catholic 1,470
NORTH BOYS INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
Daejon McCray, J.Clemens 244-198-230—672
Austin Turner, East Limestone 219-235-197—661
Joseph Taylor, Hewitt-Truss. 199-224-226—649
Peyton Hughes, Buckhorn 221-203-202—626
Carson Poe, Hillcrest 233-180-203—616
Hawkins Davis, Hillcrest 193-214-208—615
Jake Warden, Southside 266-185-163—614
Jackson Stiles, Buckhorn 210-202-189—601
Cole Arenault, Sparkman 193-177-218—588
Kyle Wright, Hewitt-Trussville 182-198-192—572
Michael Kosinski, J. Clemens 204-189-179—572
Jake Warden, Southside 266
Daejon McCray, J.Clemens 244
Carson Poe, Hillcrest 233
Austin Turner, East Limestone 245
Thomas Butler, Gadsden City 233
Joseph Taylor, Hewitt-Truss. 224
Malcolm Porter, Southside 237
Daejon McCray, J.Clemens 230
Joseph Taylor, Hewitt-Truss. 226
NORTH GIRLS INDIVIDUAL LEADERS
Grace Ann Clontz, Southside 205-169-176—550
Kynzion Gibbs, Etowah 190-155-200—545
Emily Cowart, Hartselle 186-163-183—532
Angela Webber, Southside 134-217-150—501
Savannah Mayes, Pinson Va. 189-146-162—497
Shy-ere Gibbs, Etowah 146-156-190—493
Kailee Adcock, Hartselle 162-149-178—489
Daylin Tolgo, Sparkman 145-157-178—480
Tori Hughes, Hartselle 121-173-185—479
Jessica Clontz, Southside 168-184-120—472
Grace Ann Clontz, Southside 205
Shauna Clevenger, Pinson Va. 192
Kynzion Gibbs, Etowah 190
Ashlee Hull, Southside 190
Angela Webber, Southside 217
Davaria Russell-Riffe, Etowah 200
Nicole Gilbert, Sparkman 199
Kynzion Gibbs, Etowah 200
Shy’ere Gibbs, Etowah 190
Tori Hughes, Hartselle 185
MONTGOMERY – Qualifiers for the AHSAA’s South and North Regional Bowling Tournaments which get underway Thursday, Jan. 17, are set with 16 girls’ and 16 boys’ teams at each site.
Two-time defending girls’ state champion Southside-Gadsden and defending boys’ state champion Buckhorn will highlight the North Regional field set to compete at Vestavia Bowl Thursday and Friday. First and second-place finishers
in regular-season area competition earned berths in the regional tournaments.
The South Regional Championships will be held at the AMF Camillia Lanes in Mobile. Defending regional champs Baker (boys) and Auburn (girls) are back to defend titles won in 2018.
Eight teams in each division will advance to the AHSAA’s fourth annual State Bowling Championships at Oak Mountain Lanes in Pelham Jan. 24-25.
Thursday’s first day of competition will be three traditional games with all 16 teams being seeded for Friday’s championship play based on total team scores from the first day.
The championship bracket competition will be head-to-head team competition in a 16-team bracket with teams competing in one traditional game and three Baker games and winners advancing from each round.
The top eight boys’ and girls’ eight teams from each region will advance to the State Championships.
Previous state champions include:
2018: Southside-Gadsden (Girls) Buckhorn (Boys)
2017: Southside-Gadsden (Girls) Spain Park (Boys)
2016: Sparkman (Girls) Spain Park (Boys)
Regional Tourney qualifiers include:
AHSAA 2019 Bowling Championships
South Regional Tournament, Jan. 17-18
(Format: First day: 3 traditional games; Day 2: Baker format)
At AMF Camillia Lanes, Mobile
GIRLS QUALIFIERS (Area Record listed)
A-1 Champ: McGill-Toolen Catholic (10-0), Mobile
A-1 RU: UMS-Wright (7-3), Mobile
A-2 Champ: Baker (10-0), Mobile
A-2 RU: Satsuma (8-2)
A-3 Champ: Daphne (10-0)
A-3 RU: Gulf Shores (7-3)
A-4 Champ: Houston Academy (3-1), Dothan
A-4 RU: Northview (3-1), Dothan
A-5 Champ: Stanhope Elmore (8-0), Millbrook
A-5 RU: Auburn (6-2)
A-6 Champ: Spain Park (6-0), Hoover
A-6 RU: Oak Mountain (4-2)
A-7 Champ: Thompson (8-0), Alabaster
A-7 RU: Pelham (5-3)
A-8 Champ: Vestavia Hills (10-0)
A-8 RU: Homewood (8-2)
BOYS’ QUALIFIERS (Area Record listed)
A-1 Champ: Murphy (11-1), Mobile
A-1 RU: McGill-Toolen Catholic (10-2), Mobile
A-2 Champ: Baker (11-1), Mobile
A-2 RU: Mary Montgomery (11-1), Semmes
A-3 Champ: Spanish Fort (12-2)
A-3 RU: Foley (10-4)
A-4 Champ: Houston Academy (3-1), Dothan
A-4 RU: Northview (2-2), Dothan
A-5 Champ: Stanhope Elmore (10-0), Millbrook
A-5 RU: Auburn (8-2)
A-6 Champ: Oak Mountain (7-1)
A-6 RU: Spain Park (7-1), Hoover
A-7 Champ: Hoover (9-1)
A-7 RU: Thompson (9-1), Alabaster
A-8 Champ: Vestavia Hills (12-0)
A-8 RU: Ramsay (9-3), Birmingham
North Regional Tournament, Jan. 17-18
At Vestavia Bowl, Vestavia Hills
A-9 Champ: Lamar County (2-0), Vernon
A-9 RU: Northridge ( 0-2), Tuscaloosa
A-10 Champ: Hillcrest (6-0), Tuscaloosa
A-10 RU: Holy Spirit Catholic (3-3), Tuscaloosa
A-11 Champ: Corner (9-1)
A-11 RU: Gardendale (6-4)
A-12 Champ: Hewitt-Trussville (7-1)
A-12 RU: Pinson Valley (6-2)
A-13 Champ: Southside (6-0), Gadsden
A-13 RU: (Etowah (4-2), Attalla
A-14 Champ: Hartselle (9-1)
A-14 RU: East Limestone (9-1)
A-15 Champ: Sparkman (6-0), Harvest
A-15 RU: (Grissom (3-3), Huntsville
A-16 Champ: Hazel Green (10-0)
A-16 RU: Randolph (7-3), Huntsville
MONTGOMERY – Midfield High School junior Jemeriah Moore scored the 2,000th point of her prep basketball career and Lindsay Lane junior Tommy Murr canned his 1,000th point this season as both captured the AHSAA Basketball Spotlight this week.
Murr, who currently leads the nation in scoring with a 43.5-point average according to MaxPreps, scored 37 points in a 64-35 win over Whitesburg Christian giving him 144 points in his last three games. He tallied 53 in an 85-75 loss to Elkmont and followed with 54 versus Oakwood Adventist Academy in an 81-65 win. Murr’s 1,000th point this season came on his last bucket versus Oakwood. He has made 267 of 309 free throws attempted this season (86.4%) and is 42 of 47 since January 1 (89.4%).
He has scored 50 or more point seven times in 23 games with his season high coming in December when he canned 61 in an 84-77 win over Sheffield. He was 24 of 27 at the foul line in that win. Murr, who increased his career total to 2,942 points in 84 games after the Oakwood win, averaged 39.5 points per game as a junior with 1,231 points in 31 games. The 6-foot-1 guard has scored 32 or more points in 21 of his team’s 23 games this season with his low of 25 coming in a 74-53 loss to R.A. Hubbard in early December. Stephen Murr, Tommy’s dad, is head coach of the Lions (13-10).
Moore had 42 points in the Patriots’ 83-8 win over Holy Family last week – pushing her over 2,000 points for her career. She is averaging 19.9 ppg for Coach Charles Thomas’ team. Midfield (17-8) has three regular-season games remaining. All 42 points came from the field with four 3-pointers and 15 2-point goals.
The two players’ milestone performances edged out a state-record tying effort by West Point High School’s Lady Warriors of Coach John Welborn. West Point sank 20 3-pointers in its 82-42 win over Hamilton to tie the state record for most in a game by a single team. Locust Fork set the record with 20 last season versus J.B. Pennington.
West Point and Hamilton combined for 24 – tying the record set by Coach Tammy West’s Cold Springs Eagles in an 84-20 win over Southeastern last week. West and Welborn are brother and sister.
Leading West Point’s effort was Lexi Shadix with seven treys. Six other players had at least one for the Warriors, including Miriam Oldacre (5), Macy Hamby (3), Micah Oldacre (2), Sheridan Bowers, Natalie Trammell and Emily Wells (1 each).
NAUDIA BISHOP, NORTHVIEW: Grabbed a pass from teammate Alexis Hudgens and converted a layup with six seconds left to lift Northview to a 53-52 win over Dothan in the last meeting between the two on the Dothan High campus. The teams, who still have a game left at Northview on Jan. 25, will be consolidated into one program next year. Hudgens had 11 points in the win and added 24 one night later in a 61-52 victory over Holmes County of Bonifay (FL).
DEMETRION BARNES, ESCAMBIA COUNTY: Sank a 3-pointer on a last-second shot to give the Blue Devils a 57-54 win over Williamson.
BENNIE GAMBINO, DAPHNE: Made a layup with 3:24 left in the game to give the host Trojans the lead for good as Daphne held on to beat Spanish Fort 67-64 in the first meeting of the season for the Class 6A, Area 2 rivals before a packed gymnasium at Daphne. He finished with 12 points and surpassed the 1,000-point plateau for his career. Malik McClain scored his team’s final six points, including a pair of clinching free throws with 22.6 seconds remaining, and finished with 21 points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots.
ALEX ODAM, PIEDMONT: The eighth grader gave his team the lead with 1:21 to play and then scored the last seven points of the game in the final 45 seconds to lift the Bulldogs to a 63-56 win over Weaver. Odam was 8-of-9 at the foul line and finished with 17 points as Piedmont played the eighth game of a nine-game stretch over 14 days. The Bulldogs (15-2) outscored Weaver 23-10 in the final quarter to erase a 47-40 deficit.
Other top performances reported included:
LUKE COUCH, VESTAVIA HILLS: Had 26 points, including a perfect 11-of-11 at the foul line, as the Rebels beat Hewitt-Trussville 61-49. Vestavia Hills finished 18-of-23 overall at the charity stripe.
BRODY PEEBLES, HARTSELLE: Scored 29 points, including a 10-of-12 effort at the foul line, to lead the Tigers past Decatur 58-46.
ANDREW BURNEY, PIKE COUNTY: Totaled 55 points in three games, including 39 in a pair of victories. The Bulldogs beat Wicksburg 59-22, lost to Barbour County 73-67 and beat Houston Academy 56-35. He also had 26 rebounds and 11 blocked shots in the wins over Wicksburg and Houston Academy.
ELIGAH ALLEN, DOTHAN: Had 29 points to lead Dothan past Smiths Station 74-44.
KEYSHAUN MARTIN, DALE COUNTY: Scored 29 points, including 22 in the first half, in the Warriors 65-60 area win over Ashford.
SRDJAN PETROVIC, HOUSTON ACADEMY: Scored 27 points in leading the Raiders to a 58-40 win over Providence Christian on Friday.
JYQUAN WHITE, GENEVA COUNTY: Managed 25 points and 13 rebounds in Geneva County's 66-63 win over Houston County.
LUE WILLIAMS, ESCAMBIA COUNTY: Scored 28 points and cleared 10 rebounds as the Blue Devils beat the Tigers 69-54. He also had 21 points and 10 rebounds in a 59-54 win over Williamson.
JERMAINE BROWN, ST. LUKE’S EPISCOPAL: Tallied 29 points in a 66-59 win over McIntosh.
KALEB MOORE, HACKLEBURG: Scored 42 points in his team’s 78-65 win over Tharptown and added 27 in a 2-point win over Phillips.
JAKE BAXTER HALL, SHOALS CHRISTIAN: Reached the 1,000-point mark for his career with a 25-point effort against Waterloo in a 67-49 setback.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN — Winfield High School Spirit Coach Sandra Seals is one of 23 high school coaches from across the country that have been selected as 2018 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 2017-18 school year.
Seals, a dedicated high school teacher and coach who been a clinician in much demand at various cheer functions, including the AHSAA Summer Conference Coaches School, has built the Winfield cheer program into one of the best in the nation – winning the national title in 2017 at the National Championships held at the Disney World Complex in Orlando (FL) as well as numerous state and regional titles. She has also been a key volunteer for the AHSAA coordinating the many cheer squads that attend the AHSAA State Basketball Championships at the BJCC. She was selected the AHSAA Spirit Coach of the Year and NFHS Section III Coach of the Year as well. Two other AHSAA coaches were also selected Section III Coaches of the Year for 2017-18: Samson High School girls’ basketball coach Chad McKnight and Thompson High School wrestling coach Shawn Weltzin.
Recipients of the NFHS 2017-18 national awards for boys’ sports are: Randy Allen, football (11-player), Dallas (Texas) Highland Park High School; Alan Arata, swimming and diving, Monument (Colorado) Lewis-Palmer High School; Leon Braisted III, golf, Birmingham (Michigan) Brother Rice High School; Scott Brown, baseball, St. Louis (Missouri) St. John Vianney High School; Alan Clinton, wrestling, Anaheim (California) Servite High School; Fred Lorensen, basketball, Monroe (Iowa) PCM High School; James Paccia, outdoor track and field, Tully (New York) Junior-Senior High School; Jason Pendleton, soccer, Overland Park (Kansas) Blue Valley Southwest High School; Terry Schwartzkopf, tennis, Midland (Michigan) H.H. Dow High School; and Lee Sternberg, cross country, East Canton (Ohio) High School.
The recipients of the 2018 NFHS national awards for girls’ sports are: Clinton Caldwell, swimming and diving, Santa Fe (New Mexico) Prep School; Richard DeSomma, lacrosse, South Riding (Virginia) Freedom High School; Amy Dunlap, soccer, Cincinnati (Ohio) Indian Hill High School; Janet Glaser, tennis, Andover (Kansas) Central High School; Stanley Goodell, cross country, Grants Pass (Oregon) High School; Phyllis Hicks, fast-pitch softball, Southaven (Mississippi) DeSoto Central High School; George Maya, basketball, Las Cruces (New Mexico) Mayfield High School; Richard Smith, golf, Allendale (New Jersey) Northern Highlands Regional High School; Roger Whittaker, outdoor track and field, Gahanna (Ohio) Lincoln High School; and Betty Wroubel, volleyball, Pontiac (Michigan) Notre Dame Preparatory School.
Jack Henderson, an 8-player football coach at Dufur (Oregon) High School, was chosen in the “other” category for boys’ sports, and Anne Horton, a field hockey coach at Columbus (Ohio) Academy 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 806 coaches will be recognized this year with state, sectional and national awards.
MONTGOMERY – Pinson Valley High School senior quarterback Bo Nix was named the Alabama Sportswriters Association’s Mr. Football recipient for the 20128 season Tuesday at the annual ASWA Player of the Year Luncheon at the Montgomery Renaissance Hotel and Convention Center.
AHSAA Corporate Partner Cadence Bank was the presenting sponsor, and the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) hosted the luncheon.
Nix, who was also selected for the second straight year as the Class 6A Back of the Year, beat out Class 7A Back of the Year Taulia Tagovailoa of Thompson in the Mr. Football voting – becoming the 37th Mr. Football selected in the ASWA’s long-running program which began in 1982.
The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Nix directed Pinson Valley to a 13-1 record in 2018 and a 15-0 slate in 2017 – earning Super 7 Class 6A state championship game MVP honors both years as the Indians won back-to-back state championships. He was 25-of-35 passing for 372 yards, one rushing TD and two passing touchdowns in the 6A 26-17 win over Saraland in the finals played at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium.
An Auburn signee already enrolled at AU for this semester, he completed 267-of-447 passes for 3,795 yards and 50 touchdowns as a senior and finished as the AHSAA’s all-time career total offense leader (12,497 yards) and touchdowns accounted for (161) – 127 TD passes and 34 rushing TDs with more than 2,000 career rushing yards.
Nix played at Scottsboro High School from 2015-2017 and moved to Pinson when his dad became the Pinson head coach prior to the 2017 season. He started at QB for 2½ years for the Wildcats. He finished his career ranked second in career passing yards (10,386), first in career pass attempts (1,223), second in completions (687) and third in TD passes thrown (127). His 50 TD passes as a senior ranks third in the AHSAA all-time.
Nix was named an All-American by USA Today (first team) and MaxPreps (second team), was the ALcom Super All-State Player of the Year and the Gatorade Alabama Player of the Year. He was selected and played in the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic and Armour All-America Game following completion of the 2018 season.
He was the Mr. Football runner-up last season to another Auburn signee, Asa Martin. He becomes the 11th Auburn signee to win the state’s top honor. He is the first Birmingham-area winner since Huffman’s Andre Smith in 2005.
A total of 48 players, three linemen and three backs in each of the AHSAA’s seven classifications and the AISA, were honored at Tuesday’s luncheon. Tagovailoa was unable to attend the luncheon. He was in Hawaii preparing for the Polynesian All-Star Classic football game. He is enrolling early at the University of Alabama.
Clay Webb of Oxford, named the Class 6A Lineman of the Year and third in the Mr. Football voting, was also absent. The Georgia signee is already attending classes at UGA.
Named 2018 Back of the Year in the AHSAA’s respective classes were: Class 7A: Taulia Tagovailoa, QB, Thompson; Class 6A: Bo Nix, QB, Pinson Valley; Class 5A: Javonta Leartherwood, RB, Central-Tuscaloosa; Class 4A: Lee Witherspoon, RB, North Jackson; Class 3A: Daquan Johnson, QB, Flomaton; Class 2A: Samario Rudolph, RB, Cottage Hill Christian; Class 1A: Jermaine Brown, QB, St. Luke’s Episcopal.
Selected 2018 Lineman of the Year in respective classes were: Class 7A: Pierce Quick, OL, Hewitt-Trussville; Class 6A: Clay Webb, OL, Oxford; Class 5A: Fred Austin, DL, Vigor; Class 4A: Will Breland, LB, UMS-Wright; Class 3A: Ja’Len Sims, LB, Fultondale; Class 2A: Arian Gregory, LB, Luverne; Class 1A: Jah-Marien Lathiam, DL, and Pickens County.
The ASWA SUPER ALL-STATE Team selected by the ASWA All-State and Mr. Football Committee of prep sportswriters across the state, was also announced following the luncheon. That team included, the top 12 players, regardlss of classification:
Bo Nix, QB, Pinson Valley; Taulia Tagovailoa, QB, Thompson; Clay Webb, OL, Oxford; Lee Witherspoon, RB, North Jackson; George Pickens, WR, Hoover; Roydell Williams, RB, Hueytown; Pierce Quick, OL, Hewitt-Trussville; Mahamoud Diabate, DE, Auburn; Darrian Meads, RB, Hokes Bluff; Daquan Johnson, QB, Flomaton; Vonta Bentley, LB, Jackson-Olin; and D.J. Dale, DL, Clay-Chalkville.
ASWA 2018 Player of the Year Finalists
Te'Darrian Murray, Lee-Montgomery
George Pickens, Hoover
Taulia Tagovailoa, Thompson, Alabaster
Daevion Davis, James Clemens, Madison
Mohamoud Diabate, Auburn
Pierce Quick, Hewitt-Trussville
Bo Nix, Pinson Valley
Tyquan Rawls, Wetumpka
Roydell Williams, Hueytown
Vonta Bentley, Jackson-Olin, Birmingham
D.J. Dale, Clay-Chalkville
Clay Webb, Oxford
Zaye Boyd, Russellville
Javonta Leatherwood, Central-Tuscaloosa
C.J. Yarbrough, East Limestone
Fredrick Austin, Vigor, Prichard
Jamin Graham, Etowah, Attalla
Mark Hand, Briarwood Christian
J.J. Evans, Montevallo
Darrian Meads, Hokes Bluff
Lee Witherspoon, North Jackson, Stevenson
Will Breland, UMS-Wright, Mobile
C.J. Person, Catholic-Montgomery
James Waller, American Christian, Tuscaloosa
Tony Amerson, St. James, Montgomery
Daquan Johnson, Flomaton
Ian Thies, Westminster Christian, Huntsville
Ricky Samuel, T.R. Miller, Brewton
Ja'Len Sims, Fultondale
Sean Smith, Piedmont
Payton Anderson, Fyffe
Jaquon Kincey, Abbeville
Samario Rudolph, Cottage Hill Christian, Mobile
Karron Daffin, Leroy
Arian Gregory, Luverne
Caleb Lyles, Fyffe
Graderius Brown, Linden
Jermaine Brown, St. Luke's Episcopal, Mobile
Kristian Story, Lanett
Jah-Marien Latham, Pickens County, Reform
Colt Smith, Mars Hill Bible, Florence
Tristen Thetford, Maplesville
ASWA Mr. Football Award
Recipients by year
2018 Bo Nix, Pinson Valley, quarterback
2017 Asa Martin, Austin, running back
2016 La'Damian Webb, Beauregard, running back
2015 Tyler Johnston, Spanish Fort, quarterback
2014 Kerryon Johnson, Madison Academy, running back
2013 Racean “Roc” Thomas, Oxford, running back
2012 Jeremy Johnson, Carver-Montgomery, quarterback
2011 T.J. Yeldon, Daphne, running back
2010 Jamal Golden, Wetumpka, quarterback
2009 Coty Blanchard, Cherokee County, quarterback
2008 Clint Moseley, Leroy, quarterback
2007 Julio Jones, Foley, wide receiver
2006 Larry Smith, Prattville, quarterback
2005 Andre Smith, Huffman, offensive lineman
2004 Jarod Bryant, Hoover, quarterback
2003 Chris Nickson, Pike County, quarterback
2002 JaMarcus Russell, Williamson, quarterback
2001 Brandon Cox, Hewitt-Trussville, quarterback
2000 Carnell Williams, Etowah, running back
1999 Cory Whisenant, Springville, running back
1998 DeMarco McNeil, Blount, defensive lineman
1997 Mac Campbell, Alexandria, running back
1996 Antoneyo Williams, Central-Tuscaloosa, running back
1995 Gorman Thornton, Jeff Davis, tight end
1994 Dawud Rasheed, Shades Valley, running back
1993 Thomas Banks, West Jefferson, running back
1992 Freddie Kitchens, Etowah, quarterback
1991 Robert Davis, Homewood, running back
1990 David Palmer, Jackson-Olin, running back/wide receiver
1989 Steven Coleman, Pike County, running back
1988 Darrell Williams, Vigor, running back
1987 Robert Jones, Parker, running back
1986 Larry Ware, Lee-Montgomery, running back
1985 Pierre Goode, Hazlewood, running back
1984 Roderick Green, Gardendale, wide receiver
1983 Freddie Weygand, Emma Sansom, wide receiver
1982 Tommy Compton, Vigor, quarterback
MONTGOMERY -- Camryn Crider sank 13 of the 22 3-point goals she attempted to tie the AHSAA girls’ single-game state record in the Lady Eagles’ 74-58 win over Cleveland on December 7. She opened the new year with eight in an 84-20 win over Southeastern on Jan, 8 as Coach Tammy West’s team grabbed the AHSAA Prep Basketball Spotlight for the second time this season.
Crider, who tied four others with her 13 treys versus Cleveland, sank seven in the first quarter for 21 of her 39 points in that win. She also had eight 3-point goals in the victory over Southeastern. She now shares the single-game mark with Erica Smith of Belgreen (2011), Jordan Dollar of Russellville (2007); Heather Morris of Vestavia Hills (1995); and Heather Mayes of Fyffe (1994).
Cold Springs beat Southeastern with 17 treys on 33 attempts – an amazing 51.5 percent accuracy rate from beyond the 3-point arc. Kinley Campbell added three 3-pointers and Neely Ellison, Toni West and Kylon Hamby two each. Southeastern had four – giving both teams 21 total. Kasandra Soto had three and Andrea Zamoro one.
The Lady Eagles had 19 treys overall in the Cleveland win to tie the school record set in 2009. The Panthers had five. The 24 3-pointers by both teams set an AHSAA single-game record. The old mark (21) was set by Brilliant in a 2016 82-78 win over Vina and tied by Cold Springs and Southeastern earlier this week.
The state record (20) was set by Locust Fork in a 95-36 win over J.B. Pennington in the 2017-18 season. Three schools have had 19 – with Cold Springs the only school to complete the feat twice. The Eagles had 19 in an 88-80 victory over Addison in 1999; Clay-Chalkville had 19 in a 79-43 victory over Ardmore in 2008; and North Sand Mountain canned 19 in a 97-13 win over Whitesburg Christian in 2010.
Cold Springs is the only school in state history to have four games with 17 or more 3-pointers in a single game. West’s teams have now had 19 twice and 17 twice.
In other highlights reported over the Christmas break and first week of 2019:
PRIDE BECOMES FIRST FORMER PLAYER TO WIN CLASSIC AS COACH: Howard Pride, the boys’ basketball coach at Mae Jemison High School, became the first person in the Huntsville City Classic tournament’s 36-year history to win the Classic title as a player and a coach when the Jaguars defeated Columbia 75-65 in the finals in late December.
Pride, a former Alabama Mr. Basketball who is in his first season as head coach for the Jaguars, won three Classic titles with Butler during the early 1990s while playing under Coach Jack Doss. Tony Toney recorded 25 points, six rebounds and three blocks to lead the Jags in the finals.
HARDING CAPTURES 400TH CAREER WIN: Albertville’s 63-42 win over Scottsboro on Jan. 8 at AHS’s Hambrick Hall notched the 400th Albertville victory for Coach Patrick Harding. Harding, who has coached 472 wins in his prep coaching career spanning more than 20 years, won his 400th game as a coach in 2015 when Albertville beat the Wildcats 58-48 at Hambrick Hall. He had 72 wins prior to starting his 20-year coaching run at Albertville. The Aggies are now 13-6 this season with six wins in the last seven games. Trinity Bell had 14 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots in the Aggies’ win.
SEGARS SETS PRATTVILLE CHRISTIAN ASSIST RECORD: Guard Gen Segars dished out six assists in a 60-19 win over Trinity Presbyterian to become the school’s career assist leader. He upped his career total to 294 to eclipse the record (291) set by Wyatt Jennings, who graduated in 2017. Segars also had 11 points in the win.
JAKE HALL TOPS 1,000 POINTS: The Shoals Christian guard had 25 points in a 67-49 loss to Waterloo and went over 1,000 points for his high school career in the process.
LUE WILLIAMS, ESCAMBIA COUNTY: Had 14 points and eight rebounds for Escambia County (9-1) in a 68-40 win over Flomaton. The points put him over 1,000 for his prep career.
PARKER DRIGGERS, BRANTLEY: Sank a bucket at the buzzer to give Brantley a 67-65 win over Florala. He finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Teammate Tucker Kilcrease had 25 points and 10 rebounds.
KAILEY RIRY, OAK MOUNTAIN: Nailed a 3-pointer at end of regulation to the game with McAdory and the Lady Eagles responded by posting a 61-52 win in overtime. She finished with 10 points and teammate Hannah Edwards posted 32.
LOGAN PADGETT, HOMEWOOD: Nailed a clutch put-back at the buzzer in overtime to send the game into its second extra period and finished with 12 points as the Patriots beat Oak Mountain 40-36 to win the Homewood Metro Tourney. He earned MVP of the tourney in the process.
GARRETT HICKS, JAMES CLEMENS: Nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer, his seventh of the night, to lift the Jets to a 59-56 win over Athens. He finished with 33 points, seven assists and was 7-of-10 shooting from the 3-point zone.
TYLER EUBANKS, SPANISH FORT: Scored 19 points, including sinking a free throw with eight seconds remaining in overtime to seal a 76-72 win over Baker. It was the sixth straight win for the Toros. Kirston Davis had four 3-pointers and finished with 31 points for the Hornets.
SRJDAN PETROVIC, HOUSTON ACADEMY: Fired a shot from just inside the mid-court line at the buzzer to lift the Raiders to a dramatic 32-30 win over Pike County. He inbounded the ball under the Pike County goal to a teammate with 4.9 seconds left and got a pass back before dribbling downcourt for the game-winning shot. He led HA with 14 points.
KATE ANDREWS, HOUSTON ACADEMY: In the girls’ game, Andrews scored twice in the final minute to spark the Lady Raiders to a 49-47 win over Pike County. She had 14 points on the night.
OTHER TOP PERFORMANCES
TRENDON WATFORD, MOUNTAIN BROOK: The senior had 38 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Spartans past nationally-ranked IMG Academy 72-67 in the City of Palms Classic at Fort Myers (FL) during the Christmas break. He also had 18 points and 10 rebounds in a 63-62 loss to De La Salle (MN) and scored 29 in an 89-44 win over Mitchell (S.D.) at the Hoop City Classic in South Dakota to close out the Christmas break. He opened 2019 with 30 points and 17 rebounds as Mountain Brook beat Hoover 63-49.
TOMMY MURR, LINDSAY LANE: Scored 47 points to lead Lindsay Lane to a 77-70 victory over Skyline. Collin Lockhard had 32 for Skyline.
JACOB HOPPER, SARDIS: Had 32 points and 20 rebounds in s 66-63 double-overtime win versus Douglas.
BRANDON GREEN, PHILLIPS: Scored 31 points as the Bears topped Brilliant 75-41.
D.J. BROWN, WILLIAMSON: Had 25 points, five assists and three steals as the Lions downed Gulf Shores 69-64. He also had 17 points, six assists and two steals in an earlier win over Alma Bryant.
TRINITY BELL, ALBERTVILLE: Recorded 26 points, 17 rebounds and seven blocked shots in the Aggies’ 79-71 win over Fort Payne.
AUSTON LESLIE, WESTMINSTER CHRISTIAN: Had 27 points as the Wildcats beat Madison County 51-35.
MATTHEW McNEECE, McGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC: Had 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Jackets past Spanish Fort 68-52.
MARTAVIUS PAYTON, GEORGIANA: Scored 22 points and cleared 16 rebounds as the Panthers beat McKenzie 83-51.
MALIK McCLAIN, DAPHNE: Posted 19 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, four steals and two blocked shots in a 72-52 win over Robertsdale.
MATTHEW LANZI, CHELSEA: Was 12-of-14 at the foul line and finished with 20 points as the Hornets beat host UMS-Wright 55-44 to reach the finals of the William Mitchell Memorial Tourney at Mobile. He added 11 points in the finals as Chelsea beat Jackson 40-35 to win the championship.
ELSIE HARRIS, B.C. RAIN: Totaled 37 points and four steals in a 59-29 win over Daphne.
KAROLINE STRIPLIN, GENEVA COUNTY: Scored 36 points as the Bulldogs beat Cottonwood 70-24.
RODRECKIA PARKER, SELMA: Had 31 points as the Saints beat Foley 60-59 in the Dwight Madison Christmas Classic.
KRISTIN BROWN, CARVER-MONTGOMERY: Totaled 32 points and seven rebounds in the Wolverines’ 70-55 win over Park Crossing. Teammate Bri’Anna Rhodes also contributed 21 points and 10 rebounds in the win.
EMILY HENDERSON, MOUNTAIN BROOK: Had 30 points as the Spartans downed Dr. Krop (FL) 77-63 in the Holiday Basketball Classic at West Palm Beach (FL) in December. Mountain finished 3-1 in the tourney.
RIVER BALDWIN, PLEASANT HOME: Tallied 34 points and 16 rebounds as the Eagles beat South Walton (FL) 47-38.
BREE GRIFFIN, GOSHEN: Had 26 points and seven assists in the Eagles’ 48-22 win over Highland Home.
AALIYAH AUSTIN, FAITH ACADEMY: Aaliyah Austin scored 23 points and pulled down 13 rebounds for the Rams in a 50-44 win over Harrison Central (MS).
NYA VALENTINE, McGILL-TOOLEN CATHOLIC: Had 17 points in a 53-40 win over Booker T. Washington.
DESTINY SANDERS, FAITH ACADEMY: Scored 21 points and cleared 18 rebounds as Faith Academy downed Vigor 55-43.
JAKIYA JACKSON, FOLEY: Sparked the Lions to a 59-38 win over Baldwin County with 22 points and also had 16 in a win over Robertsdale.
TATIYANNA DAVIS, LEE-HUNTSVILLE: Had 10 points, 12 rebounds and five steals to lead the Lady Generals to a 68-29 win over Bob Jones.
MACIE WILLIAMS, SOUTHSIDE-GADSDEN: Had 24 points and 11 rebounds as the Lady Panthers beat Etowah 54-38.
As President of the Alabama High School Athletic Association Central Board of Control, I would like to address the numerous stories being circulated regarding a recent eligibility ruling assessed to a student-athlete attending Charles Henderson High School (CHHS). Several facts involved in the ruling have either been misstated or ignored; therefore, I feel the need to provide the following details:
No one (including USA Basketball or CHHS) disputes the Amateur Rule was violated. On August 15, 2018, USA Basketball paid the student $857.20 for lost wages while participating with the USA Basketball team over the past summer. Neither USA Basketball, the student’s parents, the student’s coach, nor CHHS administration reported the student had received the check until three months later, (specifically 91 days). During this time, the student played in several games. The AHSAA Amateur Rule states in part “A student cannot accept payment for loss of time or wages while participating in athletics as part of expenses . . . A student who has lost his/her amateur standing may be reinstated after the lapse of one high school season for the sport in which he/she has become professional . . .”
The check ($857.20) paid to the student was dated August 15, 2018, and endorsed by the student and posted to the student’s bank account on August 27, 2018. The student’s mother sent USA Basketball a check in the same amount three months later on November 28, 2018.
The student’s mother is a certified AHSAA Basketball Coach; therefore, she is required to uphold current AHSAA bylaws and rules, including the Amateur Rule quoted above. Furthermore, the Head Girls’ Basketball Coach at CHHS is a former member of the AHSAA Central Board of Control; thus, she should not only appreciate the importance of knowing and following the AHSAA bylaws and eligibility rules but also understand how imperative it is to consistently uphold the same rules.
Steve Savarese, as AHSAA Executive Director, made the eligibility ruling based upon the plain language of the Amateur Rule. As Executive Director, Mr. Savarese does not have the authority to change a rule. Rather, as Executive Director, his job is to apply the rules as written.
Following Mr. Savarese’s ruling, the school appealed to both appellate levels for the AHSAA. First, to the District 2 Board – affirmed by unanimous vote of the 4-member Board. Next, to the Central Board of Control - affirmed by unanimous vote of the 15-member Board which represents the entire State. Thus, this ruling was affirmed by the Board that under the AHSAA Constitution has complete and final jurisdiction over all questions of the Constitution and Bylaws or other facts appealed to it by a member school. Mr. Savarese was not present at the District appeal or during deliberation at the Central Board hearing. To be clear, this ruling was affirmed by the Central Board of Control and as Executive Director, Mr. Savarese does not have the authority to change or reverse a ruling made by the Central Board.
Also, please remember, the AHSAA member schools, not Mr. Savarese nor the AHSAA staff, write and approve the AHSAA eligibility rules which include the Amateur Rule.
The AHSAA Legislative Council has the authority each year at the annual meeting to amend the AHSAA Constitution and Rules. Meaning, each year the member schools (including Charles Henderson High School) have an opportunity to change a rule or create new ones. The penalty for violating the Amateur Rule has not been amended in at least the past 10 years with Mr. Savarese as Executive Director. Which, in turn, means each year Charles Henderson High School has agreed to the penalty for violating this Rule without comment or pursuing any kind of rule change within the legislative process.
Each year these Rules are reviewed multiple times during AHSAA sponsored and hosted seminars with the member schools and are available on the AHSAA website. A review of all Summer Conference and Principals’ and Athletic Directors’ Conference attendees show the Principal for Charles Henderson High School has not attended the 2016, 2017, or 2018 Summer Conferences or the 2016, 2017 or 2018 Principals’ and Athletic Directors’ Conferences.
The stories and comments being circulated throughout the media and social networks are asking that an exception be made to the Amateur Rule because it was not the student’s fault; the fact the money was repaid, and that the student is an exceptional athlete and will miss her senior year. However, if exceptions are made, there would no longer be a need for an Amateur Rule. The Rules are applied equally to ALL athletes. Furthermore, most eligibility violations are the result of adults failing to follow the rules. Here, the student’s mother as a certified AHSAA Coach should know the rules; the School’s Principal should know the rules, the Head Basketball Coach, as not only a Coach but also as a former Central Board member, should know the rules.
Another point not mentioned in the public stories being circulated is that creating an exception to this Rule would have provided an avenue to exploit student-athletes by providing an opportunity for students to receive money and prizes for athletic participation and if discovered, state they didn’t know the rule, thus allowing them to return the items and retain eligibility. This is why AHSAA stresses to the leadership of its member schools how important it is to know the rules and advise their students regarding all rules that affect eligibility. Informing student-athletes of the consequences for violating such rules is the responsibility of the adults supervising them.
It should be pointed out that a high school student from Illinois also received payment from USA Basketball. However, that student called her high school once she received the check and then returned the check to USA Basketball without cashing or depositing it. Here, the student received the check, endorsed it and it was posted to her bank account. Three months later, AHSAA was notified and the monies returned to USA Basketball.
A high school student from Missouri has also been ruled ineligible for this basketball season for accepting the lost wages payment from USA Basketball.
USA Basketball never called Charles Henderson High School or AHSAA to ask if payment for lost wages violated AHSAA rules until November which was three months after payment was made and accepted by the student. This was not a clerical error but a complete lack of administrative oversight on the part of USA Basketball, thus possibly rendering multiple student-athletes ineligible as most states have an Amateur Rule.
Lastly, misstated facts and placing Mr. Savarese’s email on social media has led to Mr. Savarese and the AHSAA staff receiving threatening, irresponsible, and vulgar communications.
We, as the Central Board of Control, stand by the staff of the AHSAA and thank them for their unwavering support of the AHSAA mission, educational athletics, as well as the AHSAA Constitution and Bylaws.
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