Wednesday, September 18, 2019

High School Sports

AHSAA Indoor Track and Field State Championships

Well, it was a great day today at the Birmingham Crossplex broadcasting the 2014 AHSAA Indoor Track and Field state championships on the NFHS Network. It was good to see the old alma mater take home a team championship in 5A on the boy's side, and the girl's finished second. You can see the complete results on my site here. I kept them updated live as best as I could throughout the event. You can also catch the rebroadcast here. The next event I'll be doing (that I know for sure) is the basketball regional championships. The Final 48 will be on TV, so we won't carry that, but we will be at one of the regional sites bringing you the finals there live where teams will qualify for the Final 48 in Birmingham. I'll post more about that when I have more info.

AHSAA has finally evolved into seven classifications

It's finally here, Class 7A. I never thought I'd see the day, but it's an idea I thought the AHSAA should consider to help split the truly big schools from the others. This takes the 32 biggest schools and splits them into 7A, while the remaining regions have anywhere from 58 to 61 schools in it each. There were also some schools who hovered around the 5A/6A border for a while, and when in 5A, dominated the competition, and in 6A, had to compete with the now 7A schools because of location. I think this is finally going to separate teams how they need to be separated. There are many regions with 7 teams now, and some with 8 (like usual), and some with 9. The 9 team regions will play an extra region game and lose a non-region game, and also have a bye on certain weeks to make for the extra odd team. The 7 team regions will have a team with an open date each week, and it will rotate until all teams have played each other and had off weeks. There will also be 11 weeks in the season, but still only 10 contests are allowed for each team. Teams can still play in a scrimmage game in week 1, or they can schedule non-region match-ups. This opens flexibility for scheduling out of state teams. The biggest change is that we will all have to call it the Super 7 now. Check out the classifications and regions for the new Class 7A and 6A after the jump.

A different kind of high school coverage

When I was originally asked to come work with the NFHS Network, it was a no brainer. As a former high school football player, there is nothing I love more than what goes on Friday nights in the fall across the nation. And there is no place better to be on those Friday nights than in the state of Alabama. Most Friday nights, if I'm not working on a broadcast, or out of town for whatever reason, I'm at the Homewood game. For those who don't know much about my background, I played for Homewood from 2002-2004. We won the state title in 2002 and 2004, and made it to the semi-finals in 2003. We amassed a 40-4 record, and those were some of the best times of my life when I was on that gridiron. Now that I work with a mix of sports media, digital media, and broadcasting, I like to try and utilize those skills to help continue to grow the thing I love so much. I like to think I have talents in multiple areas of media. So much so that no matter where I am, and what is going on with me on a Friday night, I can still benefit the greater population who are also interested in high school athletics. I know plenty of people who only want to go to games if they are broadcasting it, or covering it for a publication. If they aren't assigned to go to a game, they would just prefer to sit home and sit on Twitter re-tweeting other people who are doing the work for them. I don't like to be that way. I'll admit, I don't always go to games on Friday night, but if I don't go somewhere, I want to work my ass off to make sure that I am still holding up my end of the coverage I've done in the past. After leaving the radio group I worked with a few months ago, I continued to think of ideas that could keep up the great work we had started last year. We had so many good things going, but when they killed the sports station, I didn't want that to end our coverage. I came up with so many ideas, and many of them ended up falling flat. Whether it be people not coming through, or not having the time or money to complete something, I ran into so many roadblocks. Not to mention that I tried to get this all done in less than a month. It just wasn't going to happen that quick. So I decided to take this season as time to develop a plan. I wrote plenty of business plans and layouts for what I wanted to do. While I traveled around to a few different stadiums, and went to a bunch of Homewood games, I kept trying to think of a way that I could continue great coverage. I don't just want to be forced to sit behind a microphone or a sound board in order to be effective. I have studied and worked too hard in other areas to be rendered useless because someone took the microphone out from in front of me. And so it hit me. There isn't a one stop shop for all things high school football in Alabama. There are great sites out there that keep the standings, and the association site is getting much better at updating things quicker thanks to their partnership with C2C Schools. AL.com does good reporting on game stories, but their high school staff is small and they focus more on the long form written word, more so than the scores, stats, and quick and efficient information. All of the resources out there are great ones to have, but it seems like there needs to be more. Not only more, but it needs to be easier to access. So now what? Read more after the jump.

5A and 6A Bracketology – Week 5

As we hit the midway point of the AHSAA football season this week and teams head to play non-region games, it seemed like a good time to start giving an indicator of where teams were lining up in the playoffs. Let me preface these brackets by saying that there is still a lot of football to be played. Some of these standings may not make much sense. For instance, Bessemer City is the #1 seed in 6A Region 5 and Hoover is the #2 seed - 99% of people will say that is wrong. As of right now, the tiebreaker gives it to Bessemer City on who they have played so far in the region. That won't matter much because Hoover and Bessemer City play each other next week when they get back into region play. So if you ever see a team that you know should probably be a one seed, it's solely because they are losing tiebreakers right now with no head to head game to break the tie first. These standings are on the official AHSAA tiebreakers which are, in order: 1) Head to head competition. Basically, if there is a tie between two teams, who won the meeting between them. This gets skipped at this point because most of the top ranked teams in a given region haven't played yet. 2) If more than two teams tie, whoever won the games between them moves on. So if A, B, and C are tied right now, if A beat both B and C, then they are ahead of them, and then B and C will go to head to head to determine who is next in line. 2a) If more than two teams are tied, then you go down the list and see who they have beaten. For instance, if A, B, and C are tied at 1-2, who is that one win against? The team with the highest ranked win gets the highest spot. So if one of those wins was an upset over the top ranked team (at the present time), then they move on. Do the same from the first place team on down. 3) If two or more teams are still tied, take their record against similar non-region opponents. This is impossible with only one non-region game so far for each. But for instance, if Team A beats non-region Team 1 and Team B lost to non-region Team 1, then Team A wins the tiebreak. 3a) If two or more teams are still tied, then just take their non-region record and see whose is better. At this point that is only one game, but it will be three at the end. There are more rules, but to be honest, at this point, most of them can't be used. We'll get deeper into that later in the season. Also, most of the time, these rules don't have to come into play. But sometimes teams will get all tangled up and it will be a mess to see who goes to the playoffs and in what spot. If you're really curious about the official wording and rules when it comes to tiebreakers in the AHSAA, you can see their tiebreak section here. Also, I should note that in a couple of instances, there were no clear tiebreakers in place. So instead of just flipping a coin in my office to determine it (which is the final tiebreaker, FYI), I went on how the teams were "trending", meaning how well have they played, how good was their competition despite records, etc. to see how the team was projecting for the future when they actually meet up with these other teams. So without further ado, here are the brackets for 5A and 6A. Once the season progresses and I have more time to sit down and work on these with a MUCH clearer picture, I will get 1A-4A up as well. But check out how 5A and 6A are doing at this point...