Alabama’s largest annual conference and All-Star Week celebrating high school sports returns

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AHSAA All-Star Game
AHSAA Volleyball All-Star game. Photo via AHSAA

After a two-year absence, the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) is holding its first in-person Summer Conference and All-Star Week all-star games  since the COVID-19 global pandemic disrupted high school sports in the Spring of 2020.

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Playing high school sports this year was a blessing says retiring AHSAA Executive Director

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Steve Savarese AHSAA Director
Retiring AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese. Photo via AHSAA

“It was a blessing.”  

That’s how retiring Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) Executive Director Steve Savarese summed up the end of the 2020-21 high school sports year, which saw every AHSAA-sanctioned sport start and complete their season on time and play for a championship.

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AHSAA announces new Executive Director Alvin Briggs

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A big anouncement for AHSAA. Photo via AHSAA

Today, the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) named their new executive director—former Auburn football player and current associate executive director Alvin Briggs. This July, he’ll be making history as the first African-American AHSAA executive director.

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Awareness & Acceptance: Teens and Parents and Mental Health

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Learn about common mental health issues and resources for help.  These forums are a project of NewGen Peacebuilders. The forums were planned by a group of teenagers in the Birmingham area who want to bring attention to the mental health issues of teens, especially through COVID-19.  Counselors from YouthTalkUnited will lead the discussion at the forums.

Bryant-Jordan Scholarship Program has awarded $11M+ to high school scholar-athletes. See why it matters.

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Bear and Shug
Coach Ralph “Shug” Jordan and Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Photo via ASHOF

This month, for the 36th year, the Bryant-Jordan Student-Athlete Scholarship Program rewarded high school senior student-athletes from every corner of Alabama for a job well done.

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Girls’ high school flag football to kickoff in Alabama, Fall 2021

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Flag Football
Jan 25, 2020; Orlando,Florida, USA; Teams from around the U.S. participate in the play off day of games with Pro Bowl members as special coaches in the NFL Flag Football Championships. Mandatory Credit: Jim Dedmon-Reining Champs

It’s official. Girls’ flag football is Alabama’s newest sanctioned high school sport.

The announcement was made last week at the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) 13th Annual Principals’ and Athletic Directors’ Conference. Helping pave the way for the new sport is a partnership between the Atlanta Falcons, NFL FLAG and AHSAA.

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3 remarkable women who left their mark on girls’ high school sports in Alabama

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Noona Kennard
Alabama girls’ high school sports pioneer Noona Kennard. Photo via Noona Kennard for Bham Now

Trailblazer. Character builder. Champion. 

This month in honor of Women’s History Month, I interviewed three remarkable women, Noona Kennard, Yvonne Michelle Simmons and Cat Reddick-Whitehill. Each one made a lasting impact on girls’ high school sports in Alabama.

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How 2 legendary high school coaches impacted students, community, civil rights and Alabama’s future

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AHSAA - Terri Sewell
Congresswoman Terri Sewell, Coach Andrew Anthony Sewell and Nancy Sewell. Photo via Bob Farley/f8Photo.org

Alabama Congresswoman Terri Sewell’s father Coach Andrew Anthony Sewell had a saying: 

“Anything worth doing is worth doing your best.” 

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Alabama High School Bowling is more than a game—it’s about community

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Tommy Barberini, General Manager at Oak Mountain Lanes. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

Nearly every high school in Alabama has a football stadium that can double and sometimes triple as a soccer field or a place to run track. Basketball and volleyball teams have their gyms on campus. Many schools have baseball and softball fields nearby.

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Alabama High School Sports in 2020 was more than a game

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Linden High School Patriots winners of the 1A State Football Championship. Photo via AHSAA

When I first met with the staff at the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) in December of 2019 to map out stories for the upcoming year, the most common refrain I received from the staff was “high school sports, more than a game.” 

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A coin toss connects Quarterback Club, high school football + children’s health charities

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On the left, Drew Ferguson, the organizer of the coin toss, director of sports medicine at Children’s of Alabama and member of the AHSAA Medical Advisory Committee. The picture was taken in 2018. Photo via Drew Ferguson

It is one of the most memorable traditions in sports—honorary captains participating in the coin toss before the start of a championship football game. Presidents, heroes, hall of famers and celebrities are typically given the distinction. In Alabama, we take it to a higher level.

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Inspirational stories to prepare you for the AHSAA volleyball championships on Oct. 27-29

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Homewood Coach Andie Freedman talks to her volleyball team before the Sub-Regional tournament. Photo via Matthew Niblett for Bham Now

Two teams. One journey. Discover the impact girls’ volleyball has on local teens in Alabama. Buy your tickets now for the AHSAA Volleyball Championships October 27-29 at the Birmingham Crossplex. 

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For Buddy Anderson, Alabama’s winningest high school football coach, it has always been more than a game

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Vestavia Hills High School Coach Buddy Anderson. (Photo courtesy of AHSAA)

When I was interviewing people for this story about Vestavia Hills Head Football Coach Buddy Anderson, the winningest football coach in Alabama High School history, I noticed something. Not one person mentioned the score of a game or the wins that added up to that record. Not a word.

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7 ‘hero’ coaches, teachers and administrators recognized by AHSAA for making a difference

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Hewitt-Trussville Coach David Dobbs (center) with players. Photo courtesy of AHSAA

Every year since 2011, the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) recognizes community high school heroes that are among us.

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