Lemak Group awards grants to 12 Alabama high schools
MONTGOMERY, Alabama – Tarrant and Woodlawn were among 12 high school recipients of the 2011 Dr. Lawrence Lemak Award grant Friday night. Each school received $2,500 from the total of $30,000 distributed by the Lemak Group at the annual Championship Coaches Banquet held at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel and Convention Center Friday night.
The banquet, an event of the Alabama High School Athletic Association and hosted by the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association, honored the 85 high school head coaches who led their schools to AHSAA state championships in the 2010-11 school year. The awards banquet also closed out the 15th annual All-Star Sports Week held in Montgomery.
In addition, six coaches were selected as the first recipients of the AHSAA's newest award, the "Making A Difference" Coach of the Year. The six coaches were: Class 1A: Greg Hamilton, Vina; Class 2A: Jason Franklin, Horseshoe Bend; Class 3A: Earlando Courtney, Greensboro; Class 4A: Jack Hankins, Thomasville; Class 5A: Jim Elgin, Pleasant Grove; Class 6A: Fred Riley, Davidson. Franklin, Hankins, Elgin and Riley are head football coaches while Courtney is a boys head basketball coach and Hamilton, a head baseball coach.
The Lemak Award has been provided a total of $90,000 in grant funds to AHSAA schools over the last three years. Schools apply on line at the AHSAA website for the need-based grant each spring. A committee comprised of Central Board members and Matthew Lemak of the Lemak Group then selected the grant recipients.
"It has been very special during my career to work with high schools throughout the state and with the AHSAA. I hope in some small way these awards assist the great job our teachers, administrators, and coaches do every day for our children,” said Dr. Larry Lemak, Founder and Chairman, Lemak Sports Medicine & Orthopedics.
While 10 schools were picked each of the first two years from the applications, 12 were presented this year. The 12 include Woodlawn and Tarrant from Jefferson County, Alabama School for the Deaf, Notasgula, Skyline, Sweet Water, Parrish, Central-Hayneville, Wicksburg, B.B. Comer, Washington County and Cherokee County,
"This means a tremendous lot to our schools," said Washington County High School principal David Wofford. "We can't thank the Lemak Group and Dr. Lemak enough for all that they do for our high schools."
AHSADCA Director Steve Bailey also announced the 10 recipients of the AHSADCA Coaches' Children Scholarships. The grants are awarded to seniors who are children of high school coaches. The 2011 recipients included Frankie Clark, Rehobeth; Tiffany Dawn Taylor, Straughn; Taylor Kent Daniel, Opelika; Taylor Nicole Lamb, Beulah; Hunter Mims, Northside; Felicia Hansen, Lincoln; Rachel Hill, Glencoe; Paige Dean, Sulligent; Alexandria Scott, Addison; and Hunter Netherton, Decatur.
Ann Schilling of Bayside Academy was honored for being named National Federation of High School Associations (NFHS) 2010 national volleyball coach of the year. Jim Tate of St. Paul's was also recognized for being named the United States Track and Field Federation (USTFF) 2011 national girls track coach of the year.
Fifteen state coaches chosen by the AHSADCA as 2010 NFHS state coaches of the year were also honored. The list included: Buddy Anderson, Vestavia Hills (football); Devon Hind, Hoover (girls track and field); Reginald Ware, Midfield (girls basketball); Lissa Walker, Hueytown (softball); Nancy Becker, Vestavia Hills (girls tennis); Brook Gibbons, Mountain Brook (girls swimming); Pat Galle, UMS-Wright (boys track); Danny Petty, Bob Jones (boys basketball); Matt Cimo, Auburn (baseball); Chris Winningham, Southside-Gadsden (wrestling); Rick Cleveland, UMS-Wright (boys tennis); Michael Gunner, Bob Jones (boys swimming); and Gary Orr, Hartselle (girls golf).
Myra Miles of Hoover was also announced as state athletic director of the year.
Ten schools that reported major damage from the April 27 storm system that ravaged the state received funds from a special Tornado Relief Fund that was established through the AHSAA Catastrophic Fund.
The schools, East Limestone, Hackleburg, Hanceville, Holt, Pell City, Phil Campbell, Plainview, Ragland, St. Clair County and Walker, received a combined $30,000 from the fund.