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AHSAA News


Coaches, Players Gather at Champions Challenge Press Conference Wednesday

      MONTGOMERY, AL – Coaches and players from Sweet Water, Clarke County, Thompson and James Clemens high schools gathered Thursday at the 2018  AHSAA Champions Challenge Football Classic press conference at the AHSAA Office here. The season-opening games are set for Aug. 23-24 at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl.
     Coaches addressed the large contingent of media on hand for the AHSAA’s annual Media Day, each discussion their excitement for the upcoming football season and the opportunity to participate in the 13th annual Champions Challenge.
      Clarke County and Sweet Water kick off the season on Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Cramton Bowl. Class 7A top-10 teams Thompson takes on James Clemens in the big-school game on Friday night, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m.   Raycom Media will televise the game live, the NFHS Network will live-stream the game and the AHSAA Radio Network will also broadcast the game over its statewide network.
     Clarke County Coach Stacy Luker, who is the only head coach in the 13-year history to compete in the season-opening football classic at three different schools, said his team is glad to play in the opening game versus his alma mater Sweet Water. “I have been here twice before,” Luker said, “and the first two times was pretty tough.”
      Luker, who won five state championships while serving as head coach at Sweet Water, participated in the 2011 Champions Challenge versus Hamilton and then brought Demopolis in 2016 to face Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa. Hamilton beat Sweet Water 38-35 in ’11 and Hillcrest beat Demopolis 42-7 in ’16.
      “We got beat pretty good in 2016,” he said.
     He has no regrets, however. His Demopolis team rebounded to win five in a row and finished 7-4 – losing two games to 7A schools.  His Sweet Water team rebounded from a 38-35 loss to 4A Hamilton to win 10 games before falling in the Class 1A semifinals. His Clarke County squad is coming off an 11-3 season and reached the Class 3A semifinals for the first time in school history in Luker’s first season at the helm. The Bulldogs, moved up to 4A this season, is ranked ninth in the ASWA preseason rankings.
     Pat Thompson coached with Luker as an assistant at Thomasville and Sweet Water before he ascended to head coach in 2014 when Luker left. The Bulldogs, ranked second in the ASWA preseason rankings behind Lanett, are riding a 13-game winning streak heading into this season after claiming the school’s 10th Class 1A state championship overall. Lanett moved down to from 2A this season after winning the state title last year with a 15-0 season.
     Sweet Water’s defense should be strong with linebackers Jacory Brown, Chance Broussard and JahDarrius McIntosh returning. All three were on hand at Thursday’s press gathering. Clarke County was represented Thursday by returning starters Jake Anderson, Javon Ivory and Avant Law.
      Thompson (12-1), coached by Mark Freeman (186-41), won the Class 7A, Region 5 regular-season championship last season going 7-0. The Warriors lost in the semifinals to Region 5 runner-up Hoover, which won the state championship the next week. Freeman’s team features one of the nation’s top quarterback prospects, Taulia Tagovailoa, who passed for a state-leading 3,820 yards and 36 TDs last season as a junior.  Shad Byrd returns at running back after rushing for 1,167 yards and 18 scores. Both were on hand Thursday along with linebacker Will Conner and defensive end Eric Mizell.
     James Clemens (3-7) is the state’s youngest Class 7A school, opening its doors for the first time in 2012. Coach Wade Waldrop has coached the Jets to a 30-35 overall record, including going 10-2 in 2015 and 8-4 in 2016. James Clemens fell to 3-7 season but is expected to challenge for the Class 7A, Region 8 championship in 2018.
    The Jets return 2018 starting quarterback Conner Cantrell, who was forced into action when expected starter Jamil Mohammad suffered a season-ending injury.  Mohammad is back and at full strength giving Waldrop what he describes as “Two great quarterbacks. That is the position that probably has the most depth heading into this season.”
    Both were in attendance Thursday along with defensive lineman Daevion Davis and running back Austin McGhee.
    Also on hand at the  press conference was Montgomery Catholic senior cross country standout Amaris Tyynismaa, her head coach Ed Wright, Goshen volleyball coach Amy Warrick and Bob Jones swimming coach Wade Thaxton.
    The three coaches discussed those seasons, which also get underway Aug. 23, and discussed their own teams’ outlooks. Tyynismaa, the most decorated AHSAA girls’ distance runner in more than 40 years, comes into the 2018 season with four straight Class 4A/5A state girls’ cross country titles and holds the record for the fastest girls’ finish in state-meet history, 17:03.4, a state record she set as an eighth grader.
    She said her goal this season is to get under 17 minutes, a feat she accomplished at last year’s Footlocker national competition. Catholic’s boys and girls finished second last season. Warrick’s Goshen team finished 28-14 and was Class 2A state volleyball runner-up last season, the best finish in school history.  Thaxton’s young girls’ Bob Jones swimming team had a fourth-place finish last season in Class 6A/7A, and the boys finished seventh.

AHSAA CHAMPIONS CHALLENGE HISTORY

2017
Hewitt-Trussville 49, Pell City 10
Maplesville 20, Fyffe 7
2016
Andalusia 34, Brooks 13
Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa 42, Demopolis 7
Hoover 23, Central-Phenix City 7
2015
Bob Jones 37, Carver-Montgomery 30
Gordo 28, Glencoe 21
Madison Academy 19, Leeds 14
2014
Spanish Fort 42, Stanhope Elmore 14
Opelika 20, Carver-Montgomery 16
Dadeville 14, Piedmont 8
2013

Benjamin Russell 28, Walker 14
Straughn 35, Walter Wellborn 26
Bob Jones 23, Enterprise 20
2012

Spanish Fort 33, Muscle Shoals 22
Central of Clay County 25, Beauregard 13
McGill-Toolen 27, Northridge 0
2011
Hueytown 36, Thomasville 27
Hamilton 38, Sweet Water 35
Daphne 24, Clay-Chalkville 21

2010
Opelika 34, Greenville 6
Auburn 30, Spain Park 3
Jackson 30, Trinity 8                                     

2009
Prattville 37, Carver-Montgomery 0
T.R. Miller 27, Leeds 7
Hoover 32, Oxford 27

2008
Prattville vs. Oxford, canceled due to inclement weather

2007
Prattville 36, North Gwinnett, Ga. 3

2006
Hoover 38, UMS-Wright 0
Clay-County 41, Addison 6

 

 

 

ALL TIME RECORDS (2006 – 2017)

SCHOOL                                               DIS.        CL.          W-L        PTS         OPP
Bob Jones                                           D-8         7A           2-0          60           50
Hoover                                                 D-5         7A           2-0          61             7
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
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
Oxford                                                  D-6         6A           0-0            0             0


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

Glencoe                                               D-6         3A           0-1          21           28
Greenville                                           D-2         5A           0-1            6           34
Leeds                                                    D-5         4A           0-1          14           19
Muscle Shoals                                    D-7         6A           0-1          22           33
North Gwinnett, GA                        GA          7A           0-1            3           36
Northridge                                          D-5         6A           0-1            0           27
Piedmont                                            D-6         3A           0-1            8           14
Pell City                                                D-6         6A           0-1          10           49
Spain Park                                           D-5         7A           0-1            3           30
Stanhope Elmore                             D-4         6A           0-1          14           42
Sweet Water                                      D-3         1A           0-1          35           38
Thomasville                                        D-3         4A           0-1          27           36
Trinity Presbyterian                        D-3         4A           0-1            8           30
UMS-Wright                                       D-1         4A           0-1            0           38
Walker                                                  D-5         5A           0-1          14           28
Walter Wellborn                               D-6         3A           0-1          26           35
Carver-Montgomery                      D-3         6A           0-2          46           57

TOTAL                                                                   26-26                    838         838        

*-Scheduled to play in 2008 but cancelled due to inclement weather
**-Clay County merged with Lineville in 2012 to form Central, Clay County



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