This week in HS Sports: Will semifinal football games move to regional sites?

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Speaking at the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s 51st convention over the weekend, AHSAA executive director Alvin Briggs said moving state semifinal football games to regional locations remains a “possibility.” sex”.

“The semifinals are still on the table,” Briggs said. “We had to figure out how to do regional formatting.”

Stadiums at Alabama A&M, Jacksonville State, Troy and South Alabama, among others, would be ideal venues for the semifinals, Briggs said. He said one issue at the moment is finding a satisfactory location in the western part of the state to host the semi-finals.

Currently, all AHSAA state semifinals are played on campus, with Super 7 state championship games taking turns at Tuscaloosa’s Bryant-Denny Stadium, Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium and Birmingham’s Protective Stadium.

Briggs was also asked whether the expanded College Football Playoff, which begins in 2024, would affect future Auburn and Alabama Super Sevens.

“Right now, we have contracts with these schools,” he said. “We don’t know what the outcome will be. They don’t know what the outcome will be.”

Super 7 is scheduled for Tuscaloosa this fall and Birmingham in 2024.

Super 7: Flag Football Tournament

Syriah Daniels of Auburn celebrates a victory over Oxford during the AHSAA Super 7 flag football tournament at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Alabama, Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022. (Dennis Victory | preps@al.com)

Add 2 sports

Briggs also announced that AHSAA is preparing to add two new sanctioned women’s sports for the next classification period.

Those are flag football and wrestling.

Alabama has experimented with women’s flag football the past two seasons. Briggs said the state started a year ago with 76 teams and finished with 67, and now has about 96 teams declaring for this fall.

He said 65 schools have declared women’s wrestling.

“It’s exciting,” he said.

new basketball foul rules

Briggs said he likes the NFHS’ new rules on free throws in high school basketball.

The National Federation of State High School Associations announced last month that starting next year, teams will charge two free throws for all common fouls during the bonus period. No more one-on-ones.

“I think it’s going to be great for the game,” Briggs said. “I think it speeds it up and makes it more exciting. As a coach, you have to rethink things. Basically, you get 10 fouls in the half court. That definitely takes away the argument that it was a shooting foul.”

In addition to awarding two fouls for all common fouls, teams receive bonuses when their opponents commit five fouls in a quarter. Team fouls will reset quarterly. Previously, teams were awarded a one-plus-one bonus for 7 fouls and 10 two-shot fouls in the half.

UMS-Wright men’s basketball coach Michael Knapp called it the most significant change to the game since the addition of the three-point line in the 1980s.

Veteran officer Douglas Baxter dies

Veteran wrestling official Douglas Baxter died earlier this week at the age of 62.

Baxter died after a seven-year battle with cancer.

He served the AHSAA for 30 years in a variety of sports including football, wrestling and baseball. He officiated the 2008 Football Championship. He also officiated at six state wrestling events before becoming a state coordinator and rules translator for the past two years. On the baseball side, he is passionate about baseball, a 30-year player with 12 state championship finals.

“His commitment to our state schools and member schools over 31 years as a teacher and coach is well documented,” Briggs said. “His example of dedication and sacrifice in his additional career as a game official, All of our officials should strive to emulate. Our state’s student-athletes, coaches and schools will continue to feel his impact for many years to come.”

A native of Mobile, Baxter is a graduate of Robert E. Lee High School in Montgomery and Auburn University.

My prayers are with Mr Baxter’s family during this time of grief.

coaching change

Mary G. Montgomery High in Semmes has added three new coaches.

Principal Chip Menton announced the hiring of Tori Johnson as girls’ basketball coach, Notalsia Whiting as girls’ soccer coach and John Baxter as assistant to the girls’ and boys’ soccer programs.

A year ago, Johnson coached at Baker after a long run at Fairhope. Both Whiting and Baxter came from Theodore.

“Combining that trio, I think it’s going to give us good athleticism across all sports,” Munton said. “It really should give our kids a good chance to play sports.”

Other changes:

belgreen hired Jonathan Rapper Start its football program. Raper has served as Phil Campbell’s head baseball coach for the past 11 years.

former prattville high school star justin albert Joined Rush Propst’s football team in Pell City.

Brett Patterson is Excel’s new head baseball coach.

senior coach Marty Smith Has left Thompson to become Sylacauga’s assistant athletic director and men’s basketball head coach.

weaver has hired Ken Cove as a football head coach.

Pike Road added five assistants to new head coach Granger Shook this week.Hiring includes offensive coordinator josh sack and defensive coordinator Corey Lee. Other new helpers include clinton adams, grayling hodge and Quatvis Whitlow.

former alabama baseball player chandler edgy is the new baseball coach at Montgomery Catholic Schools.

Nick Anderson Joins David Faulkner’s soccer team at McGill-Toolen.

thoughts this week

“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due season we will reap if we do not lose heart.” – Galatians 6:9

Ben Thomas is the school’s high school sports reporter Elnet. He was named one of 50 Legends by the Alabama Sports Writers Association.Follow him on Twitter @BenThomasPreps or email him at bthomas@al.comYou can hear him on “Inside High School Sports” every Wednesday at 2pm on SportsTalk 99.5 FM for mobile or the free IHeart Radio App.

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