MONTGOMERY – South wide receiver Artell Howell of Vigor High School hauled in a perfect strike pass from Wolves quarterback Kyle Walker with 6:23 left in the fourth quarter for a 31-yard game-winning touchdown at Cramton Bowl as the 60th annual AHSAA North-South All-Star Football Classic closed out All-Star Sports Week with a bang.
The TD gave the South a 22-19 and the defense held on in the final six minutes as the North tried valiantly to get into the end zone. The win for the South improved its lead in the series that started in 1948 to 31-27-2).
Howell finished the night with three receptions for 77 yards, one kickoff for 42 yards and one rush attempt for eight yards to earn South MVP honors. His high school teammate Walker was 3-of-8 passing for 50 yards and rushed 10 times for 51 yards. Jayland Whitsett, also a Vigor teammate, added 66 yards rushing on 12 carries and scored on a 1-yard run late in the third period to give the South a 14-13 lead. The boys from Prichard accounted for 248 offensive yards. The South finished with 268 total yards.
The South, coached by Dadeville head coach Richard White, dominated the first quarter offensively finally getting on the scoreboard with 9:53 remaining in the second period when Walker snagged a 15-yard TD pass from Enterprise quarterback Grant Thornton to give the South a 7-0 lead. Thornton finished the night 6-of-10 passing for 86 yards.
The North tied the score later in the period turning a South turnover at its own 15 into a 3-yard TD run by Michael Crear of Jasper with 3:05 left until intermission. Marion County’s Braden Pyron kicked the extra point and the two teams went in at halftime tied 7-7.
The North took the lead with 5:09 left in the third period when Brayden Lewis of DAR hauled in a 7-yard TD pass from Michael Crear of Jasper to take a 13-7 lead. The extra point was blocked.
Whitsett’s TD put the South ahead two minutes later 14-13. The North got a big break with 8:19 left in the final period when Chris Broyles of Winfield returned a punt 22 yards for a touchdown as the North took the lead again 19-14. Howell’s dramatic catch two minutes later made it 20-19 and Thornton passed Whitsett for the two-point conversion to round out the scoring.
Noah Turbyfill of Brooks had a game-high 82 yards rushing on 12 tries and also returned a kickoff 39 yards to earn the North MVP award. The North, coached by Gordo head coach David McKinney, totaled 129 yards rushing and 55 passing for 184 total yards. Kenny Cannon of Decatur also had 41 yards rushing on 10 carries and Devin Buckhalter of Russellville caught two passes for 32 yards.
Tallassee’s Trent Cochran-Gil led the South with nine tackles. Zachary Boerner of Prattville and E.J. Thomas of Vigor had seven tackles each. Andrew Gaylor of Dora led the North with eight stops. Micah Wood of Jasper had five tackles and two tackles resulting in 15 yards in losses.
2019 North-South All-Star Results
Football (at Cramton Bowl, July 18)
South 22, North 19 (South leads series 31-27-2)
Golf (July 18)
Girls: North 58.5, South 55.5 (North leads series 1-0)
Boys: North 63.5, South 50.5 (North leads series 1-0)
Tennis (July 18)
Girls: North 8, South 1 (North leads series 1-0)
Boys: North 8, South 1 (North leads series 1-0)
Volleyball, July 18
South 3, North 0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-18) – (North leads series 14-8)
Game 1: South 6, North 2 (North leads series 25-22-3)
Game 2: South 5, North 4
Girls: South 3, North 1 (North leads series 15-3-1)
Boys: North 3, South 0, (North leads series s 12-4-1)
North 65, South 56 (North leads series 20-3)
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)
Two Games set for 14th annual Season-opening Event
MONTGOMERY – The AHSAA Champions Challenge Football Classic will have a new name, “The AHSAA Kickoff Classic,” when it kicks off the 2019 prep football season at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl August 22-23, and it also has two exciting games set for 2019.
Montgomery rivals Jeff Davis and Carver-Montgomery will play on Thursday night, August 22, in the first game of the 14th annual football extravaganza. Defending Class 7A state football champion Central-Phenix City and perennial powerhouse Hoover will tangle in Friday’s game on August 23. Both games kick off at 7 p.m., and will be live-streamed over the NFHS Network.
”We are excited about new name of this important event and equally excited about the two games we have set,” said Alabama High School Athletic Directs & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) Director Jamie Lee. “The Champions Challenge has been the “official” start of the AHSAA football season for more the last 13 years. The new name for the event, the AHSAA Kickoff Classic, aptly describes the importance of these games.”
Lee said while the name has been changed from the Champions Challenge, the event will continue to be an ideal way to start prep football season.
“The Kickoff Classic will showcase one of the state’s top rivalries, Jeff Davis versus Carver-Montgomery, on Thursday,” he said. “And on Friday night, two of our premiere 7A programs will battle when Hoover and Central Phenix City play. The field will be full of future college talent both nights and will be a great way to kick off our season. We are thankful to all of these programs for committing to this year’s AHSAA Kickoff Classic, and we look forward to watching all of our teams in the AHSAA compete during the season.”
Central (14-0) and Hoover (9-4) will be meeting for the second time in the season-opening classic. The Bucs won 23-7 in the 2016 Classic on the way to a 12-2 season and its 11th state title later that season. The Bucs also won the state crown in 2017.
The Red Devils of Coach Jamey DuBose are coming off a 14-0 season, including a 52-7 win over 2018 Champions Challenge winner Thompson in the Class 7A Super 7 state championship game at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Thompson beat Hoover in the 7A semifinals in 2018.
Central is making its second appearance in the AHSAA Kickoff Classic. Hoover is 3-0 in three previous Classic appearances. DuBose (125-38) and Hoover Coach Josh Niblett (203-52) have squared off in the state finals three times when DuBose was head coach at Prattville. His Lions won in 2008 and 2011 and Niblett’s Bucs in 2009. The two faced each other again in the 2013 Class 6A quarterfinals with Hoover edging DuBose’s Florence squad 22-21. Central and Hoover have played twice (1978 and 1996) with the Bucs winning both times.
Carver (8-3) and Jeff Davis (3-7) are meeting for the 51st time in the Montgomery rivalry. Coach James Thompson (39-14), now in his second year as head coach, made great strides with Carver (8-3) in 2018. He came to the Wolverines from Pickens County where he compiled a 31-11 record and reached the 1A stat finals two year in a row. The Wolverines reached the Class 6A state playoffs last season with a rugged battle for the Region 2 title evolving between arch-rivals Carver, Sidney Lanier and Park Crossing.
Jeff Davis, coached by Lee Carter, started last season with four straight setbacks but went 3-3 the rest of the year. That momentum has the Vols excited about 2019. Carter is 26-37 at Jeff Davis in six seasons with three state playoff appearances. Jeff Davis holds a 36-14 edge in its series with Carver, including winning three of the last four years. Thompson’s tenure with the Wolverines began last year with a season-opening 19-3 win over the Vols to snap a three-game DJ winning streak.
A total of 52 different schools have participated in the AHSAA’s season-opening classic since its inception in 2006 with teams from each of the eight districts and seven classifications taking part over the years. Carver is making its fourth appearance while Jeff Davis is making its AHSAA Kickoff Classic debut.
The games will be live-streamed by the NFHS Network and broadcast by the AHSAA Radio Network.
AHSAA KICKOFF CLASSIC /
CHAMPIONS CHALLENGE HISTORY
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
ALL TIME RECORDS (2006 – 2018)
SCHOOL DIS. CL. W-L PTS OPP
Hoover D-5 7A 3-0 93 34
Bob Jones D-8 7A 2-0 60 50
Opelika D-4 6A 2-0 54 22
Spanish Fort D-1 6A 2-0 75 36
Andalusia D-2 4A 1-0 34 13
Auburn D-4 7A 1-0 30 3
Benjamin Russell D-4 6A 1-0 28 14
Central, Clay County** D-6 5A 1-0 25 13
Clarke County D-1 4A 1-0 20 14
Clay County** D-6 3A 1-0 41 6
Dadeville D-4 4A 1-0 14 8
Daphne D-1 6A 1-0 24 21
Gordo D-7 3A 1-0 28 21
Hamilton D-7 4A 1-0 38 35
Hewitt-Trussville D-5 7A 1-0 49 10
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa D-5 6A 1-0 42 7
Hueytown D-5 5A 1-0 36 27
Jackson D-1 5A 1-0 30 8
Madison Academy D-8 3A 1-0 19 14
Maplesville D-3 1A 1-0 20 7
McGill-Toolen Catholic D-1 7A 1-0 27 0
Prattville* D-3 7A 1-0 36 3
Straughn D-2 3A 1-0 35 26
Thompson D-5 7A 1-0 38 7
T.R. Miller D-1 3A 1-0 27 7
Addison D-7 1A 0-1 6 41
Beauregard D-4 5A 0-1 13 25
Brooks D-7 4A 0-1 13 34
Central, Phenix City D-4 7A 0-1 7 23
Clay-Chalkville D-5 6A 0-1 21 24
Demopolis D-3 5A 0-1 7 42
Enterprise D-2 7A 0-1 20 23
Fyffe D-8 1A 0-1 7 20
MONTGOMERY – The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Super 7 State Football Championships will be heading back to Auburn University’s Jordan-Hare Stadium Dec. 4-6 for the second year in a row, announced Steve Savarese, AHSAA Executive Director, Sunday.
The seven AHSAA state football championship games have been rotating between the University of Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium and Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium annually since 2009.
“With our upcoming plans to upgrade parts of Bryant-Denny Stadium, we asked Auburn to host the Super 7 again this year, and they generously accepted,” said University of Alabama Athletics Director Greg Byrne. We will look forward to hosting the Super 7 again in 2020 and want to thank Auburn and everyone involved in helping move this forward.”
Auburn University Athletics Director Allen Greene said Auburn University was glad to be able to accommodate Byrne’s request.
“We are excited about the opportunity to once again welcome the state’s best football teams, their bands, cheerleaders, students and supporters to Jordan-Hare Stadium,” he said. “As they have done so well in the past, our community and local organizing committee will work to provide a great experience for those that travel to our city and campus for this great event.”
Savarese said that from the very beginning he has been amazed at just how well the parties involved have worked together to make the Super 7 such a special event. The Super 7 has rotated with the championships being held at the site not hosting the annual Auburn-Alabama Iron Bowl each year. Jordan-Hare will be the site for the Auburn-Alabama game next December as well.
“The University of Alabama and City of Tuscaloosa asked Auburn to step in and host again this year,” Savarese said. “Auburn University and the Cities of Auburn and Opelika graciously agreed. Tuscaloosa and the University of Alabama will host the 2020 Super 7 the following year.
“This partnership rotation between our state’s two finest football stadiums, the cities of Tuscaloosa, Opelika and Auburn and both universities has been outstanding. “Each community and each university have always shown tremendous cooperation working together to provide life-long memories for our student-athletes, member schools and our participating communities from all across this great state.”
Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller, Auburn Mayor Ron Anders and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter Maddox say they appreciate the opportunity to host the Super 7.
“From the beginning, there has been extraordinary partnership between the universities and our respective cities,” Maddox said. “Together, we take tremendous pride in hosting the AHSAA Super 7. The City of Tuscaloosa is truly appreciative of the willingness of the cities of Auburn and Opelika and Auburn University for going the extra mile to host in 2019. Along with the University of Alabama, we look forward to resuming the schedule in 2020 and showcasing the major upgrades at Bryant-Denny Stadium.”
Mayors Fuller and Anders look forward to the opportunity of hosting the Super 7 for the second straight year.
“The City of Opelika is happy to be part of this incredible team,” Fuller said. “We work side-by-side with Auburn University and the City of Auburn to give the players, fans and parents an experience they surely won’t forget.”
Anders, who was one of the founding members of the group that helped form this Super 7 alliance with the AHSAA in 2009, said he is proud of the way each city and university has worked together to celebrate the achievements of the state’s student-athletes and high schools.
“We’re looking forward to being a part of yet another unforgettable experience at this year’s AHSAA Super 7 at Jordan-Hare,” said Anders. “This event is a testament to the strong bond between Auburn and Tuscaloosa, and we’re grateful for the chance to step in and celebrate our great high school athletes for the second year in a row.”
Don Staley, president and CEO of Tuscaloosa Tourism and Sports, manages the Super 7 event locally when it is in Tuscaloosa.
“Although we are disappointed at not being in a position to host this year’s AHSAA Super 7 High School Football Championships, we recognize the importance of enhancements and construction timelines taking place at Bryant Denny Stadium” said Staley. “We appreciate the years of collaboration with Auburn University, Auburn Athletics, City of Auburn and City of Opelika on this project and are indebted for their support in hosting this year’s event.”
MONTGOMERY – North-South all-star squads for the upcoming 60th AHSAA North-South All-Star Football Game have been selected. The two37-memeber teams comprised of 2019 graduating seniors were announced by Jamie Lee Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) Tuesday.
The AHSADCA, which operates under the auspices of the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) will also 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. Lee, who also released the North-South Volleyball and Cross Country All-Star teams and coaches Friday, announced plans to add all-star competition for tennis and golf for the first time at the 2019 All-Star Sports Week and AHSAA Summer Conference. Those teams will be announced at date.
The North-South Game will be played Thursday, July 18 at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl. Kickoff will be at 7 p.m. The annual game will be live-streamed by the NFHS Network and broadcast by the AHSAA Radio Network.
The South holds a 30-27-2 edge in the North-South series which began in 1948. The North won 27-14 last July, its fourth straight victory in the series which was first played in 1948. The North won that first game played in Tuscaloosa 33-0.
Head coach for the South is Dadeville High School Coach Richard White. The North head coach is Winfield Coach David McKinney.
The North coaching staff includes Clint Smith, Jacksonville; Bryan Moore, Jasper; Scott Mansell, Hueytown; Al Smith, Gadsden City; Jamie Sullivan, Boaz; Oscar Glasscock, Cullman; and Cedric Brown, Southside-Selma, the squad’s administrative coach. Rounding out the South coaching staff are: Lawrence “L.T.” Yelding, B.C. Rain; Jack Hankins, Thomasville; Danny Raines, Headland; Roger McDonald, Carroll; Patrick Browning, Pike Road; Daniel Flowers, Southside-Selma; and administrative coach I Mark Heaton of Gadsden City.
Among the players on the North team is Mars Hill Bible linebacker/fullback Colton Smith, who led the Panthers to their first stat football title last December. He scored five TDs in the Super 7 finals to earn MVP honors at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Three players from Vigor’s Class 5A state runner-up team in 2018 are on the South squad: quarterback Kyle Walker; wide receiver Artel Howell; and defensive end Eric Thomas.
Coaches for the All-Star volleyball squads include: (North) April Marsh, Bob Jones; Justin Kisor, Faith Christian; administrative coach Sue Marshall, Randolph; and the South: Janie Wiggins, Enterprise; Manuel Guice, Alabama Christian; and administrative coach Virginia Franklin, Carver-Montgomery. The North holds a 14-7 edge in the series dating back to the first match in 1997.
Coaching the North All-Stars in cross-country competition are David Dobbs, Hewitt-Trussville (girls); B lake Borden, Huntsville (boys); and Michael McGovern, Mountain Brook, administrative coach. South coaches are Paul Agnew, Baker (girls); Jonathan Fischer, Beauregard (boys); and Ron Peters, Smiths Station, administrative coach.
The North-South cross country series is 1-1 for boys and girls.
All-Star rosters include
2019 NORTH ALL-STAR FOOTBALL TEAM ROSTER
J. B. Pennington
Lee - Huntsville
Mars Hill Bible
2019 North All-Star Team Coaching Staff
Southside - Selma
2019 SOUTH ALL-STAR FOOTBALL TEAM ROSTER
Mattie T. Blount
St. Luke's Eposcipal
Hillcrest - Evergreen
T. R. Miller
2019 South All-Star Team Coaching Staff
B. C. Rain
2019 NORTH VOLLEYBALL ALL-STAR TEAM ROSTER
2019 NORTH VOLLEYBALL ALL-STAR COACHES
2019 SOUTH VOLLEYBALL ALL-STAR TEAM ROSTER
Mary Beth Long
G. W. Long
St. Paul's Episcopal
2019 SOUTH VOLLEYBALL ALL-STAR COACHES
Carver - Montgomery
2019 NORTH ALL-STAR GIRLS CROSS COUNTY TEAM ROSTER
2019 NORTH ALL-STAR GIRLS CROSS COUNTY TEAM COACHES
2019 SOUTH ALL-STAR GIRLS CROSS COUNTY TEAM ROSTER
St. Michael Catholic
2019 SOUTH ALL-STAR GIRLS CROSS COUNTY TEAM COACHES
2019 NORTH ALL-STAR BOYS CROSS COUNTY TEAM ROSTER
Saint Bernard Prep.
2019 NORTH ALL-STAR BOYS CROSS COUNTY TEAM COACHES
2019 SOUTH ALL-STAR BOYS CROSS COUNTY TEAM ROSTER
2019 SOUTH ALL-STAR BOYS CROSS COUNTY TEAM COACHES
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 – The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Instant Replay program designed and administered by DVSport concluded its first season with the Super 7 State Championships at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Twelve challenges were made by teams in the seven championship games with four calls overturned and one other reversal was administered based on an automatic review of a scoring play for a 38.5% reversal rate. All scoring plays and potential scoring plays were reviewed automatically by the reviewed in the championship games.
For the year, DVSport Instant Replay was utilized by 96 different schools in 103 games for a total of 203 opportunities. The final tally showed 96 challenges and 23 calls on the field overturned – a percentage of 25.0%.
District 5 had 21 schools use Instant Replay and District 8 had 18. All districts had teams participate in games with Instant Replay. Class 6A had 24 schools participate in at least one contest using Instant Replay and Class 7A had 23 of it 32 teams participate.
AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese and AHSAA former Director of Officials Greg Brewer began working on implement ting Instant Replay in 2013 – when NFHS rules changed to allow the technology on the sideline for the coaches. The National Federation State High School Associations (NFHS) granted permission to the AHSAA to experiment with instant replay for a beginning with the 2018 season. The AHSAA, thanks in big part to the leadership of current Director of Officials Mark Jones, partnered with DVSport to implement instant replay in the regular season as well as post season play. DVSport equipment is required in Alabama for instant replay.
“Our first year of the experiment exceeded our expectations,” Jones said. “It was demonstrated that instant replay can work with the limited camera angles we have available. Most games usually two camera angles: one from the sideline (press box) and the other from the end zone.”
Jones said that during the state championships, the AHSAA was able to utilize the same equipment used by Auburn University during its home games. That equipment is also provided by DVSports. That allowed a review of all scoring or potential scoring plays from the booth without requiring a challenge by either coach.
“Forward progress or spot of the ball was reversed three times at the Super 7,” Jones said. There was a fumble call that was reversed to an incomplete pass along with one touchdown pass reversed to an incomplete pass upon review. Spotting of the ball was challenged six times, fumbles were challenged 4 times, and incomplete passes 2 times.”
The AHSAA also had the opportunity to demonstrate Instant Replay to the nation via one nationally televised game on ESPN and through numerous games live-streamed by the NFHS Network.
“The use of instant replay had insignificant impact on the length of the games,” Jones added. “Average replays took between 90 seconds to two minutes to review.”
Jones said that three times during the season a touchdown pass or incomplete pass in the end zone were overturned. Fumbles and forward progress made up 70 percent of the challenges. Others included: backward passes, breaking the goal-line plane, touching, out-of-bounds spots and player ejection.
TOTAL SCHOOLS PARTICIPATING
District Exposure Breakdown
District Schools Opportunities
D-1 16 29
D-2 3 3
D-3 11 15
D-4 9 39
D-5 21 39
D-6 6 17
D-7 11 21
D-8 18 39
Out-of-State 1 1
TOTAL 96 203
Class Exposure Breakdown
Class Schools Opportunities
1A 7 13
2A 3 4
3A 8 14
4A 16 26
5A 14 29
6A 24 52
7A 23 64
Out-of-State 1 1
TOTAL 96 203
INDIVIDUAL SCHOOLS PARTICIPATING
(*-state championship game)
Class 1A District Games
Hackleburg D-7 6
Hubbertville D-7 1
Linden D-3 1*
Mars Hill Bible D-7 1*
Phillips D-7 1
Sweet Water D-3 2
Waterloo D-7 1
Class 2A District Games
Fyffe D-8 1*
Luverne D-2 1*
Tanner D-8 2
Class 3A District Games
Bayside Academy D-1 1
Excel D-1 1
Flomaton D-1 2*
Hanceville D-8 1
Phil Campbell D-7 1
Piedmont D-6 1*
Pike County D-2 1
Thomasville D-1 6
Class 4A District Games
B.T. Washington D-4 1
Clarke County D-1 1
Cordova D-5 1
Deshler D-7 1*
Elmore County D-4 1
Good Hope D-8 6
Haleyville D-7 1
Handley D-6 5
Jacksonville D-6 1
Leeds D-5 1
Oak Grove D-5 1
Rogers D-7 2
Sumter Central D-3 1
Trinity Presbyterian D-3 1
UMS-Wright D-1 1*
West Limestone D-8 1
Class 5A District Games
Ardmore D-8 1
Boaz D-8 1
Brewer D-8 1
Central-Clay County D-6 3*
Corner D-5 1
East Limestone D-8 9
Guntersville D-8 1
Jackson D-1 1
Jasper D-5 1
Lawrence County D-7 5
Madison Academy D-8 1
Vigor D-1 2*
West Point D-8 1
Wilcox Central D-3 1
Class 6A District Games
Athens D-8 1
Benjamin Russell D-4 2
Buckhorn D-8 1
Calera D-5 1
Carver-Montgomery D-3 1
Daphne D-1 1
Decatur D-8 4
Helena D-5 1
Huffman D-5 1
Jackson-Olin D-5 1
Minor D-5 2
Northridge D-5 1
Opelika D-4 8
Oxford D-6 6
Park Crossing D-3 2
Pell City D-6 1
MONTGOMERY – Practices have concluded and both a squads appear to fine-tuned and ready for the 2018 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Classic which kicks off Monday night at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl at 6:30 p.m.
The two 40-man squads had two short workouts Sunday before gathering Sunday night at the Cramton Bowl Multi-Plex for the annual Player-Parent Banquet. Honorary Alabama team captain former Alabama All-Star and NFL standout Wallace Gilberry addressed the crowd Sunday night as well as Mississippi honorary captain Jerious Nortwood. Both played in the Alabama-Mississippi Classic. Gilberry attended Baldwin County High School in Bay Minette. He spent 10 seasons in the NFL before retiring at the end of the 2017 season. Norwood, who attended Brandon High School near Jackson (MS), finished his collegiate career as the second-leading rusher in Mississippi State history and then spent six seasons in the NFL.
Alabama holds a 22-9 edge in the 32nd annual Classic, which will be televised Raycom Media over its affiliate stations in Alabama, Mississippi, Columbus (GA) and Memphis (TN) as well as other stations in cities like Mobile where no Raycom affiliated is currently operating.
More than 30 players in the game are headed to the SEC or other major college teams next fall. AHSADCA Director Jamie Lee said both teams have had a good week. “We have two talented squads who made an even bigger impression by how both squads have conducted themselves this week.”
Alabama is 5-0 in games played at Cramton Bowl. Mississippi is 2-0 in games played at Hattiesburg, including last year’s 42-7 win. Alabama also compiled a 17-6 record in games played at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and Mississippi won the only game played at Troy University’s Veterans Stadium.
The AHSAA Radio Network also plans to broadcast the game live over its statewide network of radio and internet affiliates. The link will be available at www.ahsaa.com. For more information concerning TV coverage, go to the following link:
For ticket information, go to the following link:
GoFan is providing digital tickets for the contest at the following link:
MONTGOMERY – Alabama All-Star head coach Josh Niblett of Hoover High School cut short the team’s Thursday afternoon practice at Faulkner University when heavy showers forced the team inside.
The weather didn’t dampen Niblett’s enthusiasm for this year’s 40-man squad preparing to take on Mississippi’s All-Stars next Monday in the 32nd annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Classic at Cramton Bowl. The contest kicks off a 6:30 p.m. and will be televised over Raycom Media’s affiliate stations in Alabama, Mississippi, Columbus (GA) and Memphis (TN) as well as other stations outside Raycom in cities like Mobile where no Raycom affiliated currently reside.
“The kids came in ready to go to work (Wednesday) and they were still excited (Friday),” Niblett said. “There is a lot of competition going on in practice and the kids are picking up what we coaches are trying to teach them really well.”
Alabama’s team suffered a blow Wednesday when Jeff Davis linebacker/defensive end Brandon Mack suffered an injury and will be unable to participate in the game Monday night. Niblett’s coaching staff found his replacement quickly with the addition of Auburn High School senior linebacker Mohamoud Diabate, a 6-foot-4, 225-pound defensive end. Coach Adam Winegarden’s standout defensive leader committed to the University Florida last August, choosing the Gators over Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Texas A&M. He made an official recruiting trip to Gainesville last weekend. Diabate reported to the All-Star practice Friday.
Niblett said his staff has tried to be smart this week – preparing the team to be at full speed come Monday. Alabama’s team holds a 22-9 edge in the all-star classic, which is an event of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) in conjunction with the Mississippi Association of Coaches (Mac). However, Mississippi handed Alabama a 42-7 defeat last year at Hattiesburg, the worst setback in the series’ history for Alabama.
AHSADCA Director Jamie Lee said he has been impressed with how both squads have conducted themselves this week. The teams had two practices Friday and were scheduled to participate in the Camellia Bowl parade at downtown Montgomery Friday night. The City of Montgomery, which hosts the Raycom Media Camellia Bowl which kicks off Saturday afternoon with Eastern Michigan taking on Georgia Southern University, has gone to great links to incorporate the Alabama-Mississippi All-Stars in its festivities this week.
Both teams will have their sixth practice session of the week Saturday morning and will then attend the bowl game in the afternoon. Their day will conclude Saturday night with dinner at Wynlakes Country Club. Former Prattville High School, University of Alabama and current NFL standout Roman Harper will address the players and coaches at the dinner. The annual Player/Parent Banquet will be Sunday night at Cramton Bowl’s MultiPlex.
One player attracting a lot of attention this week is Alabama’s strong all-star running back corps headed North Jackson running back Lee Witherspoon. He transferred from Birmingham’s Parker High School to North Jackson this season and turned in a record-setting effort rushing for 2,850 yards and 53 touchdowns on 149 carries in 12 games for the Chiefs (11-1) for a state-record 19.1 per-yard carry average. His 53 rushing TDs also set a single-season state record and his 59 overall TDs is also an AHSAA state mark. In one game he had 11 carries for 373 yards and 8 TDs. He also had over 500 additional yards in returns. Witherspoon, who returned three interceptions for touchdowns as a junior defensive back at Parker, is joined in the All-Star backfield by running backs Jalen Henderson of Spain Park, DeAngelo Jones of Wetumpka, Larry McCammon of Hoover and Amontae Spivey of 2018 Class 7A state champion Central-Phenix City. Payton Anderson, who rushed for almost 2,000 yards for Class 2A state champion Fyffe, is also in the game but listed as a defensive back.
Alabama is 5-0 in games played at Cramton Bowl. Mississippi is 2-0 in games played at Hattiesburg, including last year’s 42-7 win. Alabama also compiled a 17-6 record in games played at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and Mississippi won the only game played at Troy University’s Veterans Stadium.
The AHSAA Radio Network plans to broadcast the game live over its statewide network of radio and internet affiliates. The link will be available at www.ahsaa.com. For more information concerning TV coverage, go to the following link:
For ticket information, go to the following link:
MONTGOMERY – Alabama and Mississippi All-Star head coaches Josh Niblett of Hoover and Henry Johnson of Clarksdale (MS) agree on one things after two practice sessions. Both teams are talented and both teams reported with one main goal – to win next Monday’s 32nd annual Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Classic. The kicks off a 6:30 p.m., and will be televised over Raycom’s affiliate stations in Alabama, Mississippi, Columbus (GA) and Memphis (TN) as well as other stations outside Raycom in cities like Mobile.
“We coaches have been impressed by the players’ attitudes,” Niblett said of his Alabama squad. “The players all seem to be very respectful of the coaches, their teammates and the other team. We know we have a lot to teach in a short time. We had a very good practice yesterday and again (Thursday morning). I told our players that we need them to get better every practice. We know they have talent, and we know they were all selected for their outstanding work ethic. My goal is to have them peaking at the right time – next Monday night. This game is also about relationships … some that will go with these kids for a lifetime.”
Niblett said some players are already showing great leadership. “It starts at quarterback and (Pinson Valley’s) Bo Nix is showing great leadership. The other players are looking to him and he is acting like a field leader.
“We have others like linebackers LaVonta Bentley of Jackson-Olin and Kendall McCallum of Oxford are intense … they are alpha dogs out there.”
Mississippi’s Johnson said his team’s leaders are also stepping forward. He mentioned quarterback John Rhys Plumlee of Oak Grove is very vocal. He is a take-charge kind of player. And linebacker Nakobe Dean of Horn Lake is much quieter but leads just the same. He leads by his actions. He’s got a 4.35 GPA and is one of the smartest kids I have ever seen.
“He doesn’t say much. He lets his actions on and off the field do the talking for him.” Johnson also said the players are reacting well to the coaching staff. “They are picking up what we are trying to teach them really well. That’s always encouraging.”
Johnson said his team’s talented defensive front four also stand out. They’re big, strong and fast and are showing a great attitude.”
The teams were scheduled to go to the Hyundai Plant for a tour Thursday night after the afternoon practice. Both teams will have workouts from 9 to 11 a.m., Friday with Alabama at Faulkner University and Mississippi at Huntingdon College. They will practice again from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., Friday afternoon before departing for dinner and then participation in the Raycom Camellia Bowl Parade. The squads will practice again Saturday morning with the players attending the Camellia Bowl at Cramton Bowl Saturday afternoon. NFL standout Roman Harper will then speak to the squads at a dinner set for Wynlakes Country Club Saturday night.
Alabama holds a 22-9 edge and is 5-0 in games played at Cramton Bowl. Mississippi is 2-0 in games played at Hattiesburg, including last year’s 42-7 win.
The game is an event hosted by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association (AHSADCA) in conjunction with the AHSAA. Alabama’s All-Stars hold a 22-9 edge in the series which began in 1988 at Ladd-Peebles Stadium and moved to Cramton Bowl in 2011. It also started a rotation in 2015 with the game being hosted every other year by the Mississippi Association of Coaches (MAC).
The AHSAA Radio Network plans to broadcast the game live over its statewide network of radio and internet affiliates. The link will be available at www.ahsaa.com.
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