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FRIDAY NIGHT FEVER How many wins will your Childersburg Tigers have for the 2016 football season? (poll)

about 1 year ago

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Childersburg High honored with ‘Innovation and Change Award’

about 1 year ago

Written By Laci Braswell, Daily Home staff writer,     May 9, 2016

Photography By Bob Crisp

Pictured is NPLI's Dr. Beverly Smith presenting the award to Principal, Jesse Hooks, and Assistant Principal, Jennifer Ball.

CHS Student Leadership Team receiving the award from Dr. Beverly Smith from NPLI.

CHILDERSBURG -- Childersburg High on Monday was presented with the “School Innovation and Change Award” from the National Principals Leadership Institute.

The award was created to recognize and honor schools with “sustained positive changes in schools across the nation.”

“I could not think of a better combination of words than ‘innovation and change’ to represent Childersburg High School,” Talladega County Schools Superintendent Dr. Suzanne Lacey said. “Over the last four years, the school has produced such successful results from students, at a level it has never experienced before.”

Each year, schools across the country are endorsed and nominated by various education advocates and foundations. The award is the only one of its kind.

“This achievement would not be possible if it were not for the teachers and their willingness to embrace technology and the students for their leadership and willingness to learn,” Lacey said.

CHS is one of five total winners for the 2015-2016 school year, and was one of the only two high school’s selected for the award. This year, the award included a $10,000 sustainability grant for each of the five winners.

“The school has gone from using desks in rows to desktop computers, to chromebooks,” CHS principal Jesse Hooks said. “We have embraced the use of project-based learning and in return it has resulted in great teamwork between the students, teachers, staff and community.”

A national panel of judges chose the five overall winning schools from the group of nominated finalists during multiple rounds of evaluation.

“I wanted to make the journey to Childersburg High to present this award in person,” said Dr. Beverly Davis, member of the National Principals Leadership Institute.

Davis noted that, in her judging critiques of CHS, she listed the school as having “strong and impressive progress over a span of five years, including teamwork between student and teachers, a strong student voice, strong emphasis on technology and sustainable professional development for its students.”

“Over the last four years, the school has improved in SAT/ACT scoring, has shown an increase in school attendance, an increase of student enrollment in our AP courses and a decrease in discipline referrals,” Principal Hooks said.

The school’s graduation rate was once at a low of 73 percent, but has since increased to 95 percent.

“We take great pride in making sure our kids are college and career ready,” Hooks said.

The National Principals Leadership Institute established the “National School Change Award” in 2000, and has since evolved into the “School Innovation and Change Award.”

For the past 16 years, more than 850 schools have been nominated for this highly regarded award. Only 81 schools have been honored at a national level.

“The Innovation and Change Award” is now represented by multiple schools  in Talladega County.

Winterboro High School was a 2012 recipient of the award.

“The Talladega County School System is so proud to have another school to be honored with the innovation and change award,” Lacey said, “and we hope to add more of our schools to the list of winners in the future.”

3 Seniors from Childersburg High School Win Ladies Book Club Essay Contest

about 1 year ago

Written By Denise Sinclair, Daily Home staff writer,     Apr 27, 2016

Childersburg - Three Childersburg High School seniors were the recipient of cash prizes for winning the Ladies Book Club essay contest.

Two of the winners read their essays to book club members Thursday at the Rainwater Library. The third winner was unable to attend due to his commitment to an internship. His English teacher Sharon Wright read the essay instead.

The winners were Jadaria Thomas, first place; Phoenix Mejia, second place; and Travis Tullock, third place.

Students at CHS has to submit essays based on Mary Shelley’s novel “Frankenstein” and whether or not humans are born good or evil, are they a blank slate, or are they shaped by their environment. They could also do an essay on how the metaphor of weather in the novel effects Frankenstein.

The Childersburg Ladies Book Club has been holding the essay contest for several decades.

The book club was formed in 1906, making it 110-years-old. The book club started the town’s first library by collecting books.

Joyce Brooks, club president, thanked the students for their participation.

Johnson named head coach of Childersburg's boys basketball team

about 1 year ago

By LAVONTE YOUNG, Home sports editor Apr 13, 2016

Johnny Johnson named head coach

Childersburg High Principal Jesse Hooks named Johnny Johnson the school’s new boys basketball coach Tuesday.

Johnson has spent the past 14 years at his alma mater, including the last four full seasons as the girls basketball coach. Johnson said being named boys basketball coach is his dream come true.

“When I started to work my way up, I knew that at some time that my time was coming,” he said. “I was preparing myself; that’s why I moved over to the girls and I had success with the girls. I had great teams to come through and I think that got me prepared.”

Johnson takes over for Al Barnett, who led the Tigers to a 28-6 record and a trip to the Final Four last season. Barnett, who retired after the 2015-16 season, led the Tigers to a 290-153 record in 14 seasons at helm, including seven area titles, seven regional tournament appearances, 12 subregional appearances, an Elite 8 appearance, a Final Four appearance and three Talladega County titles.  

Johnson was an assistant coach for 12 years under Barnett.

“Any time you are coming in to a new job, it is going to be a lot of pressure,” Johnson said. “Coach Barnett won over 200 games, and he went out going to the Final Four. You want to get back and the pressure of wanting to get back to the Final Four.

“It is going to be tough to do. We have some good kids coming back that can play and we are going to add to it.”

Hooks said he received 31 letters of interest for the vacancy. Out of all the candidates that applied, Hooks believed Johnson was the best for the position.

“Coach Johnson is a very hard working, loyal member of the Childersburg staff,” Hooks said. “He served 12 years as assistant to Coach Barnett and spent four years as varsity girls head coach, taking the girls to the regional tournament on multiple occasions.

“After a thorough interview process and vetting of applicants, Coach Johnson proved deserving of this opportunity. We look forward to working with Coach in his new capacity and know he will work hard for his alma mater and this community.”

Johnson had success as the girls coach for the past four seasons. He was named the interim coach before the area tournament in 2012. During his tenure, he led the Lady Tigers to a 45-33 record, which included four area titles and two appearances in the regional tournament, which included the program’s first ever trip to the Class 4A Central Regional final in 2013.

Johnson hopes his coaching experience with the boys and girls teams will make the transition seamless.

“I think it is going to be great, “Johnson said. “I have been around these guys for a long time from the many years that I did B-team. I know the guys, and they know me. … It is just moving up to the varsity level with them. ...

“I did about everything that Coach Barnett did on the varsity level with the B-team, so when they did go to varsity, they were doing the same thing so they would know what is going on. Moving over, I don’t want to change much because they have been successful on the boys side, and I just want to keep it going.”

Childersburg's Wilson signs basketball scholarship with Illinois

about 1 year ago

By LAVONTE YOUNG, Home sports editor Apr 5, 2016

Childersburg's Erica Wilson

signs basketball scholarship with Illinois.

CHILDERSBURG — Erica Wilson signed a wheelchair basketball scholarship with the University of Illinois on Tuesday afternoon in the library of Childersburg High School.

Wilson, who has been playing wheelchair basketball since she was 14 years old, said going to Illinois puts her in the best position to accomplish her goal of representing the United States in the Paralympics.

“Signing with Illinois is probably the biggest accomplishment that I have succeeded with so far,” Wilson said. “I have been talking with the coach at Illinois since I was a junior, and she has known of me since I was a freshman. For her to even recruit me is a big deal because she is also the Paralympic coach. She is a good person to work with and learn with for my dreams of becoming a paralympian.  

“Also, the academics at the University of Illinois is top notch … I am going to major in kinesiology, and I am either going to pursue a career in occupational therapy afterwards or go on to medical school. I haven’t quite decided yet, but I definitely want to give back to the community after playing basketball. “

Six years ago, Wilson went from living the life of a normal youngster to not being able to feel or use her legs in the span of a day. Doctors diagnosed her with transverse myelitis, a neurological disorder.

The Transverse Myelitis Association describes the condition as “a rare inflammatory disease causing injury to the spinal cord with varying degrees of weakness, sensory alterations and autonomic dysfunction (the part of the nervous system that controls involuntary activity, such as the heart, breathing, the digestive system and reflexes).”

Wilson spent four years doing physical therapy, and despite having no sensation in her legs, she can now walk some with a cane. She only uses a wheelchair when she plays basketball or if she has to cover a great distance. She does not use the wheelchair at school.

Getting Erica to play basketball wasn’t easy for her mother, Jamie McDaniel. It took 18 months for Erica to finally give basketball a try, and only after a few practices, she developed a passion for the game.

“When I got disabled, I got really sad and didn’t have a whole lot to do,” Wilson said. “I used to do dance, I danced for years. I wanted to find something to do, and my mom persuaded me to go do basketball.

“I wasn’t very excited because I didn’t think wheelchair basketball was going to be that intense, and I thought it was going to be lame. I really didn’t know much about the sport, so after checking it out, I realized that it may be more intense than the able playing basketball.

“You have people falling over, the fouls are the same, the rules are the same, basketball size is the same, and the height of the goal is the same. Wheelchair basketball automatically became my passion. It took a few practices before I fell in love with it, but once it clicked, it clicked and it hasn’t changed since.”

Wilson plays for the for the co-ed varsity Lakeshore Lakers. Later this week, she will lead the Lakers to a national tournament.

McDaniel said she is proud of the progress that her daughter has made since she began playing as a freshman.

“She only began playing wheelchair basketball four years ago,” McDaniel said. “She didn’t have any wheelchair skills to begin with, and she had not been athletic before. It was all very new.

“She went from learning how to dribble a basketball in a chair to learning to how to shoot and (defend). She worked her way up for colleges to pay attention to her and watch her grow over the last four years.”

Wilson has drawn interest from college coaches since her freshman season. She said she had three other offers but felt Illinois was the best place for her.

“I had three or four schools that I was looking at: the University of Texas at Arlington, the University of Whitewater Wisconsin, and I looked at the University of Alabama a little bit. All great programs, but the thing that really shined on Illinois for me was the team dynamics; they are more like a family than just a team, and the academics are a given -- the campus is gorgeous. I had many options, but I just followed my heart and I went with them. “

Childersburg Principal Jesse Hooks said he is proud of what Wilson has been able to accomplish.

”It is a great opportunity for her,” Hooks said. “She has been playing with Lakeshore Foundation out of Birmingham. She is a great student and she is a great representative for Childersburg High School. “

Wilson hopes the way she was able to overcome adversity in her life will inspire others to never give up.

“I hope if someone sees me, I don’t want to inspire them because I have a disability,” Wilson said. “I want to inspire them because I have had a challenge and not only overcome it, but I have found a passion throughout it.

“I plan on making that my future and building on that. I don’t want to be inspirational because I am disabled, I want to be inspirational because I have overcome adversity, and it has really been an awesome experience. I hope other children will join wheelchair basketball, because if it wasn’t for this, I don’t know where I will be.”

Beverly hired to coach Childersburg football program

about 1 year ago

By LAVONTE YOUNG, Home sports editor Mar 22, 2016

The Talladega County Board of Education approved the hiring of Jonathan Beverly as the head football coach for Childersburg High School on Tuesday evening.

Beverly said in a phone interview he is elated about the opportunity and can’t wait to get to work.

“It is really exciting,” Beverly said. “When I saw the position posted, I applied because I have always heard great things about Childersburg. I did my own research and came to the conclusion that it was definitely a place that I wanted to be.

“I wanted to be a part of the great things that they were doing there. … I can’t wait to start working out with the kids. I can’t wait to get to meet the rest of the faculty and staff there and get involved in the community.”

Childersburg Principal Jesse Hooks said 75 coaches applied for the position. He said 13 applicants were brought in for first interviews, and that group was narrowed to five for final interviews.

Hooks said he was impressed with the passion Beverly had for helping young people become quality men and women when they finish high school.

“The biggest thing that stood out to me in the whole process was the fact that he really comes across as caring about what these kids turn into, “Hooks said. “Football is kind of a secondary thing; he is worried about these kids becoming good young men and women – being successful in life. ...

“No. 2, he had some great ideas and great qualities as far as his organization, his plans going forward. I am looking forward to having him at Childersburg. “  

Last season, in his first head coaching job, Beverly led Holt to a 2-8 record in Class 4A, Region 4. Beverly said his time at Holt helped him improve immensely as a coach.

“There was a lot of growth that took place during my time at Holt, not only for that program, but for me as a coach,” he said. “I learned a lot. You can’t replicate experience. It was a lot of good, and sometimes you have some setbacks as you go through a season.

“All in all, they were all things that taught me a lot; it sharpened me and prepared me for the next step. I honestly believe that my experience at Holt has made me a better football coach; it has made me a better leader of young men. I am looking forward to applying those things at Childersburg.”

Beverly replaces Adam Fossett, who took the head coach job at Smiths Station. During his four seasons at Childersburg, Fossett had a 23-21 record and led the Tigers to three postseason appearances. Last season, Childersburg had a 2-8 record.

“When you look at the history of the team, Coach Fossett did a great job in his time there,” Beverly said. “In three of his four years, he had playoffs teams, which is definitely an accomplishment in itself.  

“I want to come in and build off of that. He has laid a great foundation and he did some great things during his time there. From the rough year last year, by all accounts from everything that I have heard from the people that I have spoken with, they had a really young team. All in all, that is a really positive thing; however, playing 4A football in Alabama, when you have young players on the field in a tough region, you are going to put yourself in position where you are going to take some losses early on …

“Our goal is go out each and every Friday night and compete. Eventually, we will work our way up to where we are considered one of the (best), if not the best team in the region.”

Beverly comes to Childersburg with a wealth of knowledge as he coached on both sides of the ball during stops in Alabama and Kentucky. The former Samford offensive lineman said he would like to work with the linemen, but that will be determined by the coaching staff he plans to put together in the coming weeks.  He said the Childersburg community can expect his teams to adapt his hard working mentality.

“They are getting an extremely hard worker,” he said. “I know one speed and I know one level when it comes to work-ethic, and that is just full tilt. From Day 1, I am rolling up my sleeves and going to work.

“The kids are going to know that their head coach works extremely hard and expects them to work extremely hard. Obviously, schematically speaking, I have some base philosophies, but I am going to make sure what we do fits the kids that we have.

“I have to come in and I have to evaluate and go from there. I have coached on both sides of the ball, but truth be told, my passion is working in the trenches. I may look to work closely with our offensive line and work on that side of the ball. On the flip side, I’ve got experience working closely with quarterbacks and secondaries.”

Athletic Summit

over 2 years ago

Written By: ZAC AL-KHATEEB, Home staff writer - Posted July 16, 2015

childersburg high school to hold athletes' summit for students

Athletics Director Adam Fossett and Childersburg High School will play host to a mandatory athletics summit for its student-athletes Thursday at 8:30 a.m. in the school arena.

Childersburg High School will play host to a mandatory athletics summit for its student-athletes Thursday, July 30 at 8:30 a.m. in the school arena.

The summit, the first event of its kind under Athletics Director Adam Fossett, is meant to offer a forum where coaches can express their expectations to all players. Fossett first addressed his coaches with the idea of a summit late in the academic year and was met with resounding support from both coaches and administrators.

The impetus for this summit, he said, is not based off any issues with his school’s student-athletes, but instead a desire to make sure all athletes are addressed under the same guidelines, regardless of sport.

“For us all to be under one set of guidelines, one set of rules, instead of, ‘Basketball has these rules and football has these rules, soccer has these rules,’ now we’re under the same rules,” Fossett said. “It’ll make it a lot easier for the kids to understand, and for us to go by.”

Those who do not attend will need to go through the same guidelines with Fossett before they will be allowed to play their respective sport.

The summit will take place for most of the day Thursday, ending at around 3 p.m. Parents of athletes will be given an opportunity for their own question-and-answer session later that day at 5:30.

The summit will start off with an address from Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association Director Alvin Briggs on the importance of sportsmanship. From there, the summit will divide into several breakout sessions.

These sessions will feature additional guest speakers and cover numerous facets, including a new point-based disciplinary system, a potentially revamped drug testing policy and – of particular interest to Fossett – guidelines for social media use.

“We want to make sure that they understand that when something’s put out there on social media, it … can’t be taken back,” Fossett said. “Whatever outlet it is.”

The summit has elicited high praise from Childersburg coaches, some of whom will likely play a part in addressing their athletes.

One, fourth-year softball coach Hillary Rogers, a 2006 Childersburg alum, said her own class could have made excellent use of such a summit.

Regardless, she got plenty of experience with such meetings at Jacksonville State, where she played softball. Rogers expects every player who attends should be able to glean something useful from the summit.

“I think it’s really going to help with coaches exert their control all across the board,” Rogers said. “I think it’s going to be a really good thing.”

Article from Daily Home

Childersburg's Patterson signs to play football for Huntingdon

over 2 years ago

Written by: ZAC AL-KHATEEB, Home staff writer 

Jarius Patterson signs a scholarship with Huntingdon as his family and coaches look on Thursday. Patterson, who will play football for the Hawks, signed with Huntingdon because the coaches and players there made him feel at home.

Posted: Thursday, May 7, 2015 10:41 pm

CHILDERSBURG –- Jarius Patterson of Childersburg High School is exchanging his blue and white prep colors for the red and black of Huntingdon College.

Patterson made it official at 2 p.m. Thursday during a ceremony in the high school media center. He signed a scholarship with Huntingdon, where he will play football for the Hawks.

Patterson fielded interest from Mt. Ida College in Boston, Barry University in Miami and home-state universities Alabama A&M and Tuskegee.

As the day of his signing drew closer, Patterson had narrowed his options to Tuskegee and Huntingdon. In the end, it was a single visit to Huntingdon’s campus that helped Patterson come to a decision.

"They didn’t treat me like a visitor, they treated me like I was already a member of the Hawk family, and they just showed that they wanted me to be there the most," Patterson said. "They made me feel wanted, and I knew that it would be a great atmosphere from me."

Playing at Huntingdon, Patterson said, offers him everything he could wish for as a player -- including close proximity to his hometown.

Patterson also expressed excitement at the prospect of reaching the field as a freshman. He played numerous positions for coach Adam Fossett at Childersburg, spending significant time at wide receiver.

The chance to play as a freshman is an opportunity that will keep him working throughout the summer.

"I told them, I will play wherever they need me to play," Patterson said. "I’ll be a special-teamer if I’ve got to. I just want to be there to help the team: Wherever they need me, I’ll be there."

It is that attitude, Fossett said, that made Patterson such a great player. Like his former player, Fossett expects great things from Patterson while he wears a Hawks’ uniform, perhaps even as a freshman.

"It’s a good opportunity for him," Fossett said. "The thing about Jarius is, I think he still has a lot of potential left in him as far as growth in the sport of football. If he works hard this summer, and he goes in in shape and ready to go, I think he’ll be a great asset for them."

Moreover, Fossett lauded Patterson’s personality and attitude, which he considered as big of factors in his success as his physical prowess as a player.

"He’s a very good kid, he’s a ‘Yes sir, no sir’ kid," Fossett said. "He’s very coachable and willing to learn and play."

Overall, Fossett said, Patterson has everything he needs to be successful with the Hawks.

It’s a hunch Patterson shared with his coach, and something he’ll be happy to experience once he’s finished his career there.

"When I go off," Patterson said, "I’ll proudly be saying, ‘I’m from Huntingdon College.’"

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Five Childersburg Baseball Players Sign Scholarships

over 3 years ago

CHILDERSBURG- The Childersburg Tigers baseball team had five players to sign college baseball scholarships on Thursday morning in the school’s library. 

Alex Bentley, Trevor Bentley, Will Donahoo and Peyton Logan signed with Central Alabama Community College in Alexander City, while Reeves Brashear signed with Southern Union in Wadley.

“Anytime you can get five kids to sign at one time that is pretty good,” Childersburg head coach Chad Slaten said. “I am really proud of them; they have put in an extremely large amount of hard work to get where they are. I am happy for them and their families. They come from good families, it is an exciting time for them and I am proud of them.”

Bentley signed with CACC as a pitcher. As a junior, Bentley had an ERA of less than two and he struck out 56 batters.

“I am just happy that I got to sign with a college and keep playing baseball at the next level,” Bentley said. “I want to thank my parents, my coaches and everyone to push me to be the best. I want to thank God.”

The senior pitcher said playing fall baseball at CACC helped him and his teammates get a scholarship offer.

During the fall, CACC holds a fall league which goes from October until December. Bentley said he guesses he and his teammates made a good impression on the coaches during that time.

“I am happy that I have three guys going down there with me,” he said. “I chose CACC because I wanted to be with people that I knew. Now I have three of them down there with me, so I think we will do good and have some fun.”

Trevor Bates signed as a second baseman for CACC. Bates believes signing early takes pressure off of him going into the season.

“It helps a lot with me at least, because I don’t have to worry about it during the season when we will be focused on winning and making the playoffs,” Bates said. 

Bates said that CACC is going to get a student/athlete that works hard in the classroom as well as the diamond.

“They can expect someone who is going to work hard and I am going to give it all I got,” Bates said.

Peyton Logan signed with CACC as first and third baseman. Last season, the Tigers won 32 games and were eliminated from the second round of the AHSAA playoffs. He feels like signing early will just allow them to focus on playing baseball.

“I know I am getting to go somewhere and play the next couple of years, but I am more focused on my senior year at Childersburg and winning a state championship,” Logan said. “It is good to know that I am going to a good program like CACC that won a national championship last year. It is like a weight has been lifted off of me.”

Last season, CACC won the National Junior Division I College Athletic Association World Series against Palm Beach in Colorado for the Division I National Championship. The coaching staff is also a major reason that Logan signed with CACC .

“The coaches are really good guys and they are fun to be around,” Logan said. “It seems like they are fun to play for coaches and I heard they had a nice facility too.”

For Will Donahoo, he has always dreamed of playing baseball on the next level and now it is reality. Donahoo will play outfield and third base in the spring of 2015. Winning a championship last season also was a factor in Donahoo’s decision making process.

“It is something that I always wanted to do,” Donahoo said. “It was like a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders going into my last season of high school baseball.”

CACC assistant coach Michael Dugan is excited about signing four players from Childersburg’s baseball program.

“It is not every day that you can pick up four guys out of one school,” Dugan said. “We are really excited about all four of them. The thing about all four of these guys is that they are pretty versatile, they can do all different types of things. I am excited about bringing them over to CACC and having them be a part of the program.” 

Dugan has high expectations for the players next spring. He hopes that all four guys can compete for a starting role next season.

“We have a lot of sophomores this year,” Dugan said. “Obviously getting them at the Junior College level we only get them for two years and we have a turnover every year. We expect them to come in and fight for playing time. We don’t sign people to come in and sit on the bench. We sign them to come in and play. We have high expectations that all four of them can contribute early and often. We think they are going to be able to do some good things in their two years at CACC.

Reeves Brashear signed with Southern Union in Wadley on Thursday. The senior slugger believes that Southern Union was the best fit for him.

“I think it is the right fit for me,” Brashear said. “I liked it when I went down there. It seemed like everybody on the team was close and everybody had to stay together so everyone liked each other and did well with one another. The field is real nice.”

Brashear has a stellar junior campaign for Childersburg. Brashear had an ERA of below two on the season. He participated in last summer’s AHSAA North-South All Star game. Brashear believes playing in All-Star games over the summer helped him get noticed.

“We were looking for a guy that could come in and hit in the middle of the lineup,” Jordan said. “We had several recommendations. Coach Slaten is a proven winner, he cares about his kids. It is good to get a kid from this program because we don’t have to do as much, because they are so well coached here. We felt like he would fit right in to our program.”

Slaten believes that his players will do an excellent job of representing the Childersburg community as well as their families while they are attending CACC and Southern Union.

“In today’s world if you don’t make the grades you won’t even get this far,” Slaten said. “The first thing they asked me when they called me was what kind of person is he and what kind of grades he makes. They make good grades; these kids are going to go to class every day. They are going to get their work done. A lot of coaches have to worry about if their kids are going to get to and go to class. These kids are good people, and I think that is one of the reasons that they are here today. They are going to do what they have to do in the classroom and they always have. They understand that the big prize is that college degree. They get it.”

Read more: The Daily Home - Five Childersburg baseball players sign scholarships written by LaVonte Young, Daily Home