Thursday, July 30, 2009

Kentucky High School Football Player Dies

by Jeff Fisher
The High School Football Huddle

It never is easy to write these stories, but it's important to keep focus on the seriousness of what can happen on football fields.

Ft. Campbell (KY) high school player Tim Williams passed away after practice on Wednesday. A report on WKRN says that Williams died after practice and doesn't appear to be heat related since temperatures were in the 70's with rain. Click here to read the story.

My condolences go out to Williams' family, teammates and his school.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dungy, Manning, Carroll & Irvin Coming to a Theater Near You for HS Football

by Jeff Fisher
The High School Football Huddle

It won't be a Hollywood premiere, but the stars will be shining on August 25th when Tony Dungy's RED ZONE '09 kicks-off the high school football season with a two-hour motivation show that will be shown in over 460 select movie theaters across America.

The former Indianapolis Colts head coach will be joined by three-time National Football League MVP Peyton Manning, Defensive Player of the Year Bob Sanders, Dallas Cowboys Hall of Fame Receiver Michael Irvin, USC Head Coach Pete Carroll and many others during this first-of-its-kind theater event.

Tony Dungy’s RED ZONE ’09 gives athletes unprecedented access to professional coaches and players who will present inside tips on football, the keys to winning at any position, and discuss the importance of hard work, team building, conditioning, skills development and mental toughness. A news release on the event states that regardless of ability level, audiences of all ages will be inspired to work hard, eat right, stay focused and expand their skills – on and off the field.

In addition, USC Coach Carroll will specifically address how parents can help their high school athletes prepare and potentially increase their chances of receiving college athletic scholarships.

To read the news release in its entirety click here

Headlines Inside The Huddle

by Jeff Fisher
The High School Football Huddle

Plenty of new stories throughout The High School Football Huddle network. Check them out by clicking on the links below. If you you a story you want to share with HSFH fans, please email it to


Arizona Huddle: Saguaro & Centennial Working on Active Win Streaks Click here for story.
Oklahoma Huddle: District C-4 Pre-season Notes Click here for story.
Rhode Island Huddle: 2009 Rhode Island High School Football Schedules Click here for story.
Tennessee Huddle: Big Changes in Defending 4A Camp Click here for story.
Virginia Huddle: 2009 Virginia High School Football Schedules Click here for story.

Monday, July 27, 2009

The High School Football Huddle on Facebook & Twitter

by Jeff Fisher
The High School Football Huddle

As I start my third year at the helm of The High School Football Huddle, I'm expanding the ways you can keep-up with news from around America.

The Huddle is now on Facebook and Twitter. Click on the links to keep yourself informed.

Follow us on Twitter

Opening Day in Alaska & Tennessee

by Jeff Fisher
The High School Football Huddle

High school football practice officially began in Alaska and Tennessee this morning and there certainly was a contrast in temperatures for two-a-days...Knoxville was in the mid 80's; Anchorage in the mid 60's.

It was the first day with new heat policy instituted by the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association that limits the amount of exposure to high heat indexes. Coaches are required to take players off of the field if the heat index reaches 95 degrees. Click here to read more about the policy from the Tennessean.

All eyes will be on Alcoa that will be going after it's sixth straight state title this fall. Click here to read a story about a quarterback logjam from the Knoxville News.

Here's the 2008 Tennessee high school football champs:

5A- Oakland
4A- Hillsboro
3A- Knoxville Catholic
2A- Alcoa
1A- Troudsdale County
Division II A- Davidson Academy
Division II AA- MUS

Click here for preview capsules from the Nashville area.

Up north, Soldotna will be looking for its fourth straight Alaska Small Schools championship. The Stars can also set a new state record for consecutive victories with a win in the season opener. Soldotna has won 29 straight.

Service is the Big Schools defending champ.

Longest Current Active Losing Streak in High School Football

by Jeff Fisher
The High School Football Huddle

I guess when you post a story about the longest current active win streaks, it only stands to reason that someone would start wondering about the longest active losing streak. Mike posed the question yesterday, and now here's the answer.

The Carl Hayden Falcons in Phoenix, Arizona enters the season with a 64-game losing streak. The last Falcons win came in 2002.

My research found that according to a story on ESPN Rise last year, Carl Hayden became the 15th school with a losing streak of more than 60 games. Glascock County of Georgia had held the dubious record by losing 82 straight between 1990 and 1999, but the team was awarded a forfeit victory in 1997.

Right now, Davis High of Houston, Texas holds the record with 80 straight losses. Sturgis High in South Dakota dodged tying the record with a win in 2006 that snapped the Scoopers 79-game win streak. Click here for that story.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Kirk Herbstreit Varsity Series Announces Texas Games

by Jeff Fisher
The High School Football Huddle

The Dallas Cowboys new home will play host to a high school football quadruple-header on Monday, September 7th as part of the Kirk Herbstreit Varsity Series.

As I mentioned earlier in the week, the showcase game will pit 2007 Texas 5A Division I champ Euless Trinity against Utah power Bingham. Bingham, which lost in the state's 5A championship game in 2008, is led by junior running back Harvey Langi, who was third in the state in rushing last year with 1,371 yards rushing and 17 touchdowns. The Texas/Utah showdown will kick things off at noon with the game being broadcast nationally by ESPN.

The other interstate match-up is between Klein Oak (TX) taking-on Notre Dame Prep from Sherman Oaks, California. Notre Dame is led by one of the top junior quarterbacks in the country. Ryan Kasdorf (6-2, 205) was named the state's Gatorade Player of the Year after passing for nearly 3,300 yards and 36 touchdowns.

“Intersport is proud to team with Burger King, Fox Sports Net, and Kirk Herbstreit to once again bring you the best high school football in the nation,” said Intersport, Inc. Event Manager Joseph Salituro. “We look forward to having the new Cowboys Stadium as our host. We are excited for the players, coaches, and fans to experience this once in a lifetime opportunity. The four matchups that we have provided will be a great introduction of high school football to this wonderful facility.”

Here's the schedule for the day, plus the Ohio match-ups that were released earlier this year:

Texas Games at Cowboys Stadium
September 7, 2009

Noon - Euless Trinity (TX) vs. Bingham (UT)
2:30 P.M. - Klein Oak (TX) vs. Notre Dame Prep (CA)
5:00 P.M. - Colleyville Heritage (TX) vs. Irving MacArthur (TX)
7:30 P.M. - Mansfield Timberview (TX) vs. Mansfield Summit (TX)

Ohio Games at Ohio Stadium
August 29, 2009

Noon - Upper Arlington (OH) vs. St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)
3:30 P.M. - Hilliard Davidson (OH) vs. Westville South (OH)

August 30, 2009

Noon - Olentangy Liberty (OH) vs. Dublin Coffman (OH)
3:30 P.M. - Orange Lutheran (CA) vs. Pickerington Central (OH)

High School Football's Active Win Streaks

by Jeff Fisher
The High School Football Huddle

With South Panola (MS) and Maryville (TN) losing on back-to-back days last December, Smith Center of Kansas owns the nation's longest active high school football win streak. South Panola's streak, which is the third longest all-time in high school football ended at 89, while Maryville ended at 74.

Next month, you'll be able to learn a lot more about the Smith Center Redmen when New York Times write Joe Drape's book Our Boys comes out on August 18th. Drape moved to his family to the small town of 1,931 to do the book. You can learn move about Drape's book at

After plenty of research, here is the most accurate active win streak list I could come-up with...if I missed a team, please feel free to email me at

1. Smith Center (KS) - 67 straight wins
2. Wayne Hills (NJ) - 52 straight wins
3. Plymouth (NH) - 44 straight wins
4. Timpview (UT) - 36 straight wins
5. Saguaro (AZ) - 33 straight wins
6. Lake Travis (TX) - 30 straight wins
7. Soldotna (AK) - 29 straight wins
8. Skyline (WA) - 28 straight wins
8. River Hill (MD) - 28 straight wins
10. Jupiter Christian (FL) 27 straight wins
10. Solon (IA) - 27 straight wins
12. Centennial (AZ) - 26 straight wins

Friday, July 24, 2009

Where Was the Spread Offense Born?

by Jeff Fisher
The High School Football Huddle

We all know that Texas high school football teams love to toss the ball around and light-up the scoreboard. Click here to read a good story on the origin of the spread offense in the Lone Star State from ESPN Rise.

Headlines Inside The Huddle

by Jeff Fisher
The High School Football Huddle

The High School Football Huddle network of blogs continues to grow and reach more-and-more fans.

Right now we're closing in on 600,000 page views as we start our third season! Thanks to everyone for visiting us on a regular basis, and I promise you bigger-and-better things in '09.

For those of you that are new to The High School Football Huddle, I'll take a few sentences to explain what you'll find within the network.

First, The High School Football Huddle is actually 52 blogs in for each state, plus the District of Columbia. Each state Huddle can be accessed by going to the link section on the right side. Each state, plus DC is listed there...example Alaska Huddle, Florida Huddle, Wisconsin Huddle, etc. Just click on the link and you'll be taken to the state you desire.

My overall goal is to put stories that have a universal interest on The High School Football Huddle, the rest of the stories go on to the respective state websites.

To help Huddle fans, at the end of each day, I'll post on the main site, the headlines of the day that will include a link to the stories.

We'll start with yesterday's headlines...

Arizona Huddle: FOX Sports Arizona to Provide Plenty of Friday Night Lights Click here for story
Wisconsin Huddle: Reaction to Wisconsin's Proposed Statewide Realignment Click here for story
Wyoming Huddle: 2009 Wyoming High School Football Schedules Click here for story

If you have suggestions or news stories you'd like to share with others, I can be contacted at or of course you can reach me through the comments section located at the bottom on each posted story.

You can also keep up with me on Twitter by click on the "Follow me on Twitter " link in the sidebar below about me.

Here's to a great 2009 high school football season!!

Jeff Fisher

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Powerhouse States: Texas, Florida, California...and Utah?

by Jeff Fisher
The High School Football Huddle

With Utah gaining more-and-more notoriety on the national college football scene, it only stands to reason that high school football in the state has something to do with the Utes rise to national prominence.

Today, the Salt Lake Tribune has a story that looks at Alta and Bingham high schools. Both teams enter the season ranked in Max's Top 50....Bingham is 27th and Alta 31st. Alta teams will have an opportunity to show what the state's top program is made of when the Hawks face one of the top teams from Texas early in the 2009 season.

Alta faces Trinity of Euless, Texas in the Herbstreit Varsity Series. Trinity spent most of the 2008 season ranked #1 by several top national publications. However, before the September 7th match-up, Alta and Bingham have their own little squabble to settle when they square-off on August 28th.

The Alta Hawks are Utah's two-time defending 5A state champs entering the season, but didn't ascend to the top of the heap until 2007 when it finally disposed of Bingham in the state semis. Last year Alta won its second straight title by beating its arch-rival in the title game.

Click here to read today's story in the Salt Lake Trib.

For more stories from Utah, click here to go to the Utah High School Football Huddle.

Monday, July 20, 2009

America's ONLY Husband/Wife Broadcast Team Retires

by Jeff Fisher
The High School Football Huddle

When you spend a lot of time scouring the web for high school football news, you uncover a gem or two.

I liked this one today about the retirement of Neil & Jill Little from Maumee, Ohio, who announced they were retiring after nearly two decades of broadcasting local football and basketball games on the radio, public-access television and internet in the Toledo area.

Neither was formally trained in the biz, but looks like from the story in the Toledo Blade that the team known as "Mr. & Mrs. Friday Night" had a great following.

As one who loves the game of high school football, I give a big thumbs up to the Littles for taking the time to share their passion with others.

Click here to read the story of the retirement of the nation's only husband/wife broadcast team America.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Study Released on Concussions in High School Football

by Jeff Fisher
The High School Football Huddle

A report by the National Athletic Trainers' Association shows that impacts during both high school football practices and games occur more frequency and with more intensity, than at the collegiate level.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois at Ubana-Champaign, analyzed the biomechanics of football tackles to better understand the high risk of concussions and serious cervical spine injuries faced by high school players. One of the conclusions...coaches must teach proper tackling techniques in order to reduce the risk of those types of injuries.

Click here for the report.

Click here for a story from the New York Times.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Indianapolis Colts to Sponsor Indiana High School Football Championships

by Jeff Fisher
The High School Football Huddle

The news that the Indiana High School Football Championships are staying in the Lucas Oil Dome for three more years through the 2011-2012 school year comes as no surprise. However, the fact that the Indianapolis Colts will sponsor the entire state football championship tournament does.

The Colts are believed to be the first professional sports franchise in the country to partner with a high school association for this type of sponsorship.

“We are extremely pleased and appreciative of the Indianapolis Colts involvement in making sure high school football continues at Lucas Oil Stadium,” said Blake Ress, IHSAA Commissioner. “This plan has been more than a year in the making and their financial involvement will help reduce the ever-increasing expenses associated with holding the state finals at Lucas Oil Stadium. This one-of-a-kind type of sponsorship is like no other that I know of in the country. The Indianapolis Colts commitment to the local community and the community at large certainly made this type of sponsorship agreement possible.”

“The Colts organization has a long standing commitment to youth football in Indiana and our new relationship with the IHSAA is an extension of that commitment,” said Tom Zupancic, Colts Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing. “The IHSAA and the Indianapolis Colts have a common goal of developing the core values of young athletes. It is an honor to join forces with such an outstanding organization.”

“The IHSAA would also like to thank Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard for his leadership in making sure we continue to play championship high school football in Lucas Oil Stadium in front of thousands of fans,” said Ress.

Mayor Ballard understands the importance of keeping the football state finals here in Indianapolis. “It is critical that the capital city of our state remain the home of our high school championships and I am thrilled the IHSAA and the Indianapolis Colts worked together to make this happen,” said Mayor Ballard. “I continue to believe that Lucas Oil Stadium is a community gathering place for our entire state and I am pleased that we will continue to call it the home of the IHSAA Football State Finals.”

Last fall’s state championships, which were played in Lucas Oil Stadium for the first time, drew a record crowd of 40,680 to Saturday’s three games (Class 3A, 4A and 5A). Coupled with Friday’s attendance (Class A and 2A), the state finals drew an overall record total of 56,050.

Arraigned Virginia Football Coach to Stay on Sideline...for now

by Jeff Fisher
The High School Football Huddle

As everyone knows, my job (not an official one, but someday soon) is to comb the media for high school football stories, and then post them on The High School Football Huddle, so it's a little easier for my readers to get high school football news.

For the most part, I like to talk about all of the positive things that are associated with high school football. I generally don't post the stories about arrests and the police blotter stuff.

However, today I came across a story that made me scratch my head, and thought I had to post it.

It comes from The Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg in Virginia...

According to the published report Caroline High School will not suspend head coach Ben Boyd for this season even though he's been arraigned on two felony charges of forging and uttering a public document. This is the same Ben Boyd, who in 1991 had a federal misdemeanor conviction for misbranding and illegally dispensing anabolic steroids.

Now, I certainly believe that in America, you're innocent until proven guilty...but...the Caroline School Board didn't even discuss possibly suspending the head coach at its Monday meeting!! If you're wondering, the Virginia High School League has no policy on coaches charged with crimes, so it's up to the individual districts.

Click here to read the entire story, while I continue to scratch my head on what this school district is thinking?

Oh wait...I figured it's because the knuckleheads on the school board think it's too close to the start of practice, and Boyd's suspension could jeopardize the team's season.

That's it...wins trump integrity! Everyone on that school board should be suspended until they figure out the right thing to do!

Non-Contact Drills Begin in Kentucky

by Jeff Fisher
The High School Football Huddle

Full contact drills don't begin until August 1st, but coaches in Kentucky are able to get down to the business of coaching today in the Bluegrass State. However, not all teams will be on the practice field today for non-contact workouts.

State officials want to make sure that before heading out into the summer heat, all coaches have completed training to comply with the state's new rules on heat-related training that were implemented last year after the heat-related death of Max Gilpin of Pleasure Ridge Park.

Two week's ago, the National Athletic Trainers' Association recommended that high school football teams should eliminate two-a-day practices in the first week of August. Kentucky High School Athletic Association rules prohibit teams from holding two-a-day workouts on consecutive days.

Click here to read about the National Athletic Trainers' Association recommendations.

The regular season begins August 21st in Kentucky.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Friday Night Lights on Tuesday with Billy Bob Thornton

by Jeff Fisher
The High School Football Huddle

Just got back from a meeting in St. Louis where I met Billy Bob Thornton, the star of Friday Night Lights, who is currently working on producing a movie on Cardinals manager Tony La Russa's book 3 Nights in August. FNL's author Buzz Bissinger is also the author of La Russa's book.

Billy Bob was very cool...just like you'd expect him to be!!

I enjoyed a five minute conversation with him on baseball. For those of you that don't know, the Academy Award winning actor had aspirations of being a major league baseball player for the Redbirds, but the closest he got, was his current close friendship with La Russa.

Before the end of the chat, I asked Billy Bob for his thoughts on Gary Gaines returning to the sidelines at Odessa Permian this fall.

"It should be interesting," replied Thorton, who played the tough nose Gaines in 2004 movie.

Click here to read an earlier Huddle story on Gaines returning to the Permian sidelines.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Illinois and Ohio 2009 High School Football Schedules

by Jeff Fisher
The High School Football Huddle

With the first day of high school football practice only 16 days away, I'm going to take some time to help Huddle fans check out the schedules from around the nation.

We start today with Illinois and Ohio. The first day of practice in the Buckeye State is August 3, Illinois starts on August 12.

Click here for every schedule in Illinois from the IHSA.

Click here for Ohio's schedules from the OHSAA.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Chicago Bears Jason Davis Puts on Camp for Underprivelaged Kids

by Jeff Fisher
The High School Football Huddle

With all of the business travel lately, I didn't have a chance to tell you about the football camp that my company co-sponsored and helped produce with the Chicago Bears Jason Davis.

Blitz Group teamed-up with Davis, who played his college ball at the University of Illinois, and 17th Ward Chicago Alderman Latasha Thomas for a free camp for kids 5-14 in Englewood on the south side of Chicago on June 20th. Over 150 kids showed-up for the camp at Ogden Park.

It was very heartwarming to watch the kids interact with Jason and his teammates Kevin Jones, Chris Williams, Adrian Peterson and Garrett Wolfe. All of Davis' teammates pitched-in to help the kids that live in one of the toughest neighborhoods in the Windy City.

The camp also served as the launch of Davis' foundation called Barred But Not Broken. The foundation's mission is to restore broken homes due to incarceration. Jason's heart is especially fond of children of incarcerated parents and his desire is to make a difference in their lives. The foundation encourages scholastic achievement by setting and reaching high goals. In addition Barred But Not Broken believes spiritual growth can help break the cycle of broken families that are affected by incarceration.

Blitz Group donated its media relations and event production services to the camp, and also served as the creative consultant that named Davis' foundation. Other sponsors included B.J.'s Market, Chicago Bears, Eric Daniels Sound, Jason Davis Barred But Not Broken Foundation, NFL Youth Fund, Subway, The Will Group, The William & Mary Foundation and Windy City Dolphins Youth Football League.

"Jason and his wife Jessica are very special people that believe in reaching down to help children in these impoverished areas of Chicago," said Trish Hoffman, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Blitz Group. "Jeff and I founded Blitz Group by donating our media services to non-profit organizations. We believe that companies should always look for ways to help children, and that's why we were happy to join forces with the Davis family."

“My office worked to develop Jason's camp because I recognize that each young person in my community needs access to activities that challenge them, entertain them, and give them the experience, motivation and encouragement to pursue their interests and dreams," said 17th Ward Alderman Latasha Thomas, 17th Ward Alderman and Chair of City Council Education Committee.

"I was very pleased with my first camp in Chicago, which came on the heels of my first camp in St. Louis," said Jason Davis. "My wife and I want to be a part of this Chicago community, because these children need roles models. As far as our foundation, just about everyone's family has been affected by incarceration, including mine, and I want to make sure that kids have tools to work with to make sure those family bonds are not broken during those very difficult times."

To hear more from Jason and Alderman Thomas, please check-out the great video from Mouthpiece Sports below.

Super Seven QB Retreat

by Jeff Fisher
The High School Football Huddle

Happy 4th of July everyone!!

Sitting poolside at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, and thought it was time to kick things into high gear for the 2009 season, which gets started July 27th with practice in Alaska and Tennessee.

Several of the country's top quarterbacks spent the last three-days learning at the Super Seven QB Retreat in Hawaii. Hall-of-Famers Warren Moon and Joe Montana, who I had the pleasure of speaking with last week on my flight to LA, are on-hand to help with some coaching. Joe's son Nick, who will be a senior at Oaks Christian in Westlake Village, California is at the camp.

Here's the rest of the Super Seven QB's working out in Maui: Blake Bell, Bishop Carroll Catholic (KS); Barry Brunetti, Memphis University (TN); Austin Hinder, Steamboat Springs (CO); Andrew Manley, Leilehua (HI) and Phillip Sims, Oscar Smith (VA)

Click here to read for about the camp and the QBs.

Also enjoy the hamburgers and hot dogs!!