Friday, April 22, 2011

Can Johnathan Gray Break America's 57-Year Old Rushing Record?

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

Eight touchdowns and 323 yards...that's what I witnessed last December when I saw Aledo High's (Texas) Johnathan Gray lead his school to the Texas Class 4A Division II championship.

Yes, Gray put-up those numbers in a championship game against La Marque in a 69-34 Aledo victory inside Cowboys Stadium.  You can check-out those first half highlights below.

Today, Gray decided to stay "in-state" by giving his verbal commitment to play his college ball at the University of Texas.  However, before putting-on the burnt orange, Aledo fans still have a full-year of the 5-star running back.

That got me to thinking about whether Gray can improve on last year's numbers, and whether he'll be able to touch a national record that has stood for more than 50 years.

Last season Gray, who's father was a running back at Texas Tech, rushed for 3,221 yards and 57 touchdowns.  The 57 TDs broke Kenneth Hall's state record for entering the end zone in a season.

Now, Gray sets his sights on another Hall's record.  The all-time U.S. rushing record of 11,232 yards that Hall accomplished between 1950 and 1953.

Gray needs an incredible 4,240 in his senior season to catch Hall.  He's also 3,295 yards short of Texas' #2 guy Traylon Shead of Cayuga, who was the last guy to attack Sims' incredible record.  Shead ended-up with 10,290 yards and a state record 141 touchdowns.

Shead is also on the Texas roster after redshirting last year as a freshman.

Now for those of you that don't know about Hall, who was known as the "Sugar Land Express", here's a little background....

Hall was a running back in Sugar Land's single-wing offense.  In 1953, he became just the second running back in U.S. high school football history to rush for more than 4,000 yards in a game.  He finished his senior season averaging 337.1 yards per contest.

According to the National Federation of State High School Athletic Associations' record book, Hall's best game was on October 9, 1953 when he carried the ball only 11 times for 520 yards!  He also returned a kickoff 64 yards; ran back a punt 82 yards; and returned an interception 21 yards while scoring seven touchdowns.

He graduated high school with 17 national records.  After high school, Hall played three years for Texas A&M under Paul "Bear" Bryant.  Professional he played in the NFL, AFL and Canadian Football Leagues, but never reached the epic status he did as a high schooler.

What will it take for Gray to pass Hall?

Hard to say, but I do know that it will be one incredible season to watch, if Gray does break the record!

Most Rushing Yards (Career)
Source: National Federation of High School Athletic Associations

1. Ken Hall (Texas) 11,232 yds.
2. Michael Hart (New York) 11,045 yds.
3. Traylon Shead (Texas) 10,290 yds.
4. Toney Baker (North Carolina) 10,241 yds.
5. Terrance Wilkes (Alabama) 9,668 yds.
6. Toby Gerhart (California) 9,662 yds.
7. Troy Fleming (Tennessee) 9,442 yds.
8. Tyrell Sutton (Ohio) 9,426 yds.
9. Brad Hocker (Missouri) 9,193 yds.
10. Demetrius Summers (South Carolina) 9,076 yds.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring is in the Air & So Far Footballs at Stony Point HS in Texas

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

The weather has been absolutely miserable in Chicago recently...snow last week and the temperature hasn't gone above 50 degrees in over a week.

However, this clip of spring football practice in Texas warmed me up!

Spring football practice is underway at Stony Point High School in Round Rock, Texas. The Tigers are coming-off a 14-1 season that ended in a loss in the Class 5A state semifinals.

Sioux Falls Washington (SD) Adds to All-Time Championship Record

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

After back-to-back South Dakota state titles in 2009 and 2010, Washington has widen its lead on the all-time list of high school football championships in America.

The Warriors, who won their first title in 1905, now own 37 state titles, which is five more than runner-up Little Rock Central in Arkansas.

Two other schools on the all-time list added to their trophy case in 2010.  Artesia (New Mexico) captured its 27th title to move into a tie for third-place with Lawrence (Kansas) and Omaha Creighton Prep (Nebraska).  Everett (Massachusetts) won its 26th title, although Massachusetts doesn't crown an overall state champ.

All-Time State Championships

1. Sioux Falls Washington (South Dakota) 37
2. Little Rock Central (Arkansas) 32
3. (tie) Artestia (New Mexico) 27
3. (tie) Lawrence (Kansas) 27
3. (tie) Omaha Creighton Prep (Nebraska) 27
6. (tie) Everett (Massachusetts) 26
6. (tie) Butte (Montana) 26
6. (tie) Phoenix Union (Arizona) 26
9. (tie) Valdosta (Georgia) 23
9. (tie) Massillon Washington (Ohio) 23
11. Pine Bluff (Arkansas)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Producer of PBS Documentary "Football High" on NHSCA Sports Hour

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

Watch the full episode. See more FRONTLINE.

Tune-in to today's NHSCA Sports Hour to listen to Caitlin McNally, who is one of the producers of Football High, which aired on PBS' Frontline this week.  Ark Media in Brooklyn, New York produced the 60-minute film.

It's a well-done documentary on the pressures associated with the explosive growth of high school football in America.  One of its focuses is on three-time Arkansas 4A champ Shiloh Christian.

Click here to listen LIVE starting at 6 PM EST.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

New High School Football All-American Game Coming to Phoenix

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

And then there are three...three high school football All-American all-star football games that is.

The United State Marine Corps and Junior Rank, a national training company for young athletes, announced today the creation of the Semper Fidelis All American Bowl that will be played January 3, 2012 at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona.  The East-West format game will showcase 100 of the best seniors in the nation.

"The United States Marine Corps is the embodiment of honor, tradition and working with your teammate to achieve an objective," said Junior Rank founder Shaon Berry. "Nothing will stop a Marine from his objective. The parallels between a winner on and off the field, those same core values, will be manifest in the participants of the bowl game and combine which bears the name of the United States Marine Corps. We look forward to bringing in the best athletes from across the nation to a beautiful setting in Phoenix for a true celebration of the game."

The Semper Fidelis All American Bowl will be held in conjunction with Fiesta Bowl Week and the celebration surrounding the BCS bowl game in Arizona.

The U.S. Army All-American Bowl is the oldest of the post-season national all-star games.  Recently Under Armour joined the field with the help of a television contract with ESPN.

Monday, April 11, 2011

20th Anniversary of the Urban Football Coaches Association

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

Over the past few years I've written about my association with the Dorsey High School football program in Los Angeles.

Thanks to a friendship with Martin Ludlow, who is the founder of the Dorsey Football Boosters and the team's strength and conditioning coach, I've learned a ton about inner-city football.  That brings me to today's subject which is the 20th anniversary of the Urban Football Coaches Association.

Yesterday, I talked with Brian Stewart on my radio show, the NHSCA Sports Hour, about the organization's upcoming Coaches' Clinic on May 13th and 14th in the Los Angeles-area.  Stewart, who is the President of the UFCA and the defensive coordinator at the University of Houston, is excited about the growth of the organization whose mission is to offer minority coaches the best training and career development skills at all levels of football.

Currently there are seven African-American head coaches at the NFL level, and at the end of the 2010 college season, there were 13 black coaches at Division I schools.  While the current numbers aren't great, there is growth, and that's where the UFCA steps-in.

This year's clinic will be a star-studded affair that will feature the legendary John Wooten, who along with the help of the late Johnnie Cochran, helped open the door to top coaching positions for coaches of color in the NFL through the Rooney Rule that ensures that minority candidates are interviewed for head coach openings at the professional level.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary, Wooten will be honored at a reception on Friday, May 13th along with Hue Jackson, a Dorsey alum, who is the new head coach of the Oakland Raiders and Juan Castillo, who was named the the Philadelphia Eagles' defensive coordinator earlier this year.

Castillo's story is an incredible one that you can learn about below...

Organizers expect more than 500 coaches to attend this year's clinic.  To learn more, please go to the UFCA's website at

Below is a video that looks back at a past clinic...

Coming Friday & Saturday May 14-15, 2011 from EDITyourVIDEO on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Hamilton (AZ) Head Coach Steve Belles on Sunday's NHSCA Sports Hour

by Jeff Fisher
High School Football America

With spring high school football practice getting ready to kick-off in select states around the nation within the month, I thought I'd spend some time talking about football on Sunday's NHSCA Sports Hour.

Steve Belles, who's the head coach of the powerful Hamilton Huskies program in Arizona, will join us as the lead guest on the show. Hamilton is Arizona's three-time defending Class 5A Division I champs with a 40-game win streak.

One of the main topics on the show will be a game in 2012. That's right, I'm talking about two years from now. That's when the Huskies will play California-power Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks in the first-ever American high school football game in Ireland.

Don't worry, we'll also spend plenty of time talking about what's ahead for the program in 2011.

Click here to listen to the show live starting at 6 PM EST.