3 local schools honored

Published 6:17 pm Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Local schools Billingsley, Chilton County and Maplesville were among 103 state schools recognized this week at All-Star Sports Week for receiving no fines or ejections the entire 2008-09 school year.

CCHS athletic director Brian Carter said one of his first priorities after taking the job was telling coaches to make sure they had control of their teams in order to avoid ejections and to make sure all coaches had completed the necessary paperwork to avoid fines.

“It’s a big accomplishment,” Carter said. “It makes you feel like you’re doing the right thing across the board.”

Thirty-five high school members of the Alabama High School Athletic Association were recognized for receiving no fines or ejections the entire school year for the second year in a row.

The schools will be recognized at the second annual Sportsmanship Banquet at noon Wednesday at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville.

The 103 schools represent a 10 percent increase over last year’s 92 schools.

Each school will receive banners to display in their schools. The Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association hosts the banquet, and Learning Through Sports is the sponsor. Learning Through Sports developed the STAR Sportsmanship program, which is a mandatory eligibility requirement for a student-athlete to compete in AHSAA sports competition.

In the last 15 months, more than 140,000 students in grades 7 through 12 have successfully completed the program and another 4,600 high school and junior high coaches have completed the STAR coaches’ component. During the upcoming school year, game officials will be required to complete the STAR program.

“We are very happy with the impact the STAR Sportsmanship program has had on the behavior of students and coaches at AHSAA events,” Steve Savarese, Executive Director of the AHSAA, said in a release. “It was a major undertaking by our Central Board—and our schools. We registered every high school age student-athlete and cheerleader in the state. We can’t emphasize sportsmanship enough.”

The STAR program also developed a Take Two behavioral program for students who are ejected from contests for the first time. Last school year, 582 students took the Take Two program, which reduced the school fine from $300 to $100. None of these students were repeat offenders.

“That result speaks for itself,” Savarese said.

Among the 35 schools receiving banners two years in a row are Clay County and Lineville, the only two high schools in Clay County, and T.R. Miller and W.S. Neal, the two rivals located in Brewton and East Brewton.

Of the 103 schools with no fines or ejections, District 6 had the most (19), and Class 1A totaled more than any other classification (34).