Jason Lard, the head football coach at Lexington High School, was named this week as a recipient of the 2017 Yale Educator Award. Also a social studies teacher at LHS, he was one of 88 teachers selected from a pool of 411 nominees representing 42 states and 24 countries, for this prestigious honor. He was nominated by Lexington student Kailyn Corfman.
Kobi McCoy, Colbert County (Photo bhy Matt McKean, courtesy of Times Daily)
The 5-foot-10, 170-pound senior running back has helped Colbert County High School start fast this season with four straight wins before dropping an exciting 42-41 decision to West Morgan in Week 4. Kobie had 426 yards rushing and four touchdowns in that Sept. 22 game and became the first running back in the AHSAA this season to eclipse the 1,000-yard rushing mark. He now has 1,101 yards on the year.
Laron White, Sparkman
Laron, the oldest sibling, is in his first year as head coach at Class 7A Sparkman. He has guided the Senators to a fast 3-1 start this season, including 2-1 in Region 8. Their only loss this season was a 17-14 decision to Bob Jones. The three wins in four games is the best start since 2006 when Sparkman recorded its last winning season.
LaDamian Webb, Beauregard
Running back La’Damian Webb of Beauregard returns as a senior as the Hornets prepare to defend the Class 5A state football title. He was named by the Alabama Sportswriters Association as Mr. Football in 2016, becoming the first junior in the award’s 35-year history to receive the award.
Buddy Anderson, Vestavia Hills
The AHSAA’s all-time leader in football coaching wins, Anderson begins this season 325-140-0. Hired as an assistant coach in 1972, Anderson was named the sixth head coach in VHHS history in 1978 and has been the head coach ever since (40 years). His glowing record includes state championships in 1980 and 1998. A man of impeccable character, Anderson received the Herman L. “Bubba” Scott Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015 – an award presented by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes to coaches who are committed to their faith and to teaching the life lessons that high school educational athletics provide.
Kelvis White, Mae Jemison
Kelvis, an all-state offensive and defensive lineman who anchored his dad’s final state championship team in 1995, became Mae Jemison High School’s first head coach when Huntsville opened the new school in 2016. He guided the Jaguars to 6-5 record last season and to a red-hot 5-0 start this season. After high school, he played at Alabama from 1996-2000.
Jim Bob Striplin, Geneva County
Jim Bob Striplin returned to Hartford and his own alma mater, Geneva County High School, as head football coach and athletic director in 2016 after spending two years serving as offensive coordinator at Geneva High School. He was head coach at New Brockton for six seasons compiling a 31-33 record and was 4-6 in his first season as the Bulldogs coach in 2016.
West, a 6-foot-4, 210-pound senior quarterback committed to Stanford University, directed Saraland to a 17-14 win over Heard County (GA) last weekend in the season opener for Coach Jeff Kelly’s Spartans. He directed the game-winning drive with two key completions to Jay Williams covering 12 and 34 yards – the latter catch giving Saraland a first down at the Heard County 8-yard line. The victory was No. 100 in the coaching career for Coach Jeff Kelly (100-55), who is 53-21 at Saraland.
Abby Chambless, Addison
The senior student-athlete has been a key member of the Addison High School volleyball team since middle school. She led the Bulldogs to the school’s ninth state championship last season recording 20 kills and 35 digs in the dramatic 23-25, 25-23, 26-24, 20-25, 15-6 victory over Decatur Heritage in the 2016 Class 1A finals to earn MVP honors.