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New Orleans to Host 96th Annual NFHS Summer Meeting

29 Jun, 2015


The 96th annual National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Summer Meeting will be held June 28-July 2 at the New Orleans Marriott in New Orleans, Louisiana. The NFHS is the national leadership organization for high school athletic and performing arts activities and is composed of state high school associations in the 50 states plus the District of Columbia.

More than 900 individuals are expected to attend the Summer Meeting, including staff members and board members from the 51 member associations.

The 33rd annual induction ceremony of the National High School Hall of Fame and discussion of several key issues affecting high school sports and performing arts highlight this year’s agenda.

Three of the top high school girls basketball players in history headline the 2015 class of the hall of fame, including Jackie Stiles from Kansas, Nikki McCray-Penson of Tennessee and Cindy Brogdon of Georgia. South Dakota wrestling star Lincoln McIlravy is the other former high school athlete in the 12-member class of inductees.

Stiles was a four-sport athlete at Claflin (Kansas) High School before becoming the leading scorer in NCAA Division I women’s basketball history at Missouri State University. McCray-Penson became Tennessee’s all-time leading scorer and rebounder in five-player basketball at Collierville High School before playing nine years in the WNBA and winning two Olympic gold medals. Brogdon was a standout at Greater Atlanta Christian School in Norcross, Georgia, setting 12 school records and winning three state titles. McIlravy won five South Dakota state wrestling titles in four different weight classes for Philip High School before going on to win three NCAA championships and a bronze medal at the 2000 Olympic Games.

Among the other inductees is New Orleans’ own J.T. Curtis, football coach at John Curtis Christian School in River Ridge, Louisiana, for the past 46 years who ranks No. 2 all-time nationally with 542 victories and 26 state championships.

Among the topics that will be discussed at the 60 workshops during the NFHS Summer Meeting are emerging sports and activities, promoting positive academic impact of participation in activities, social media marketing and technology, components of successful spirit programs, challenges with transfer rules, promoting education-based athletics, branding, public/private classification issues, working with state governments and legal issues.

The Summer Meeting will kick off on June 29 with the Opening General Session featuring a “We Are High School®” student program. Along with the eighth annual National High School Spirit of Sport Award ceremony, the NFHS will present its performing arts counterpart, the National High School Heart of the Arts Award.

Grace Cummings of Daniel Hand High School in Madison, Connecticut will receive the National High School Spirit of Sport Award, and Ethan Gray of St. Rita of Cascia High School in Chicago, Illinois will receive the National High School Heart of the Arts Award.

The Second General Session on June 30 will feature NFHS President Tom Mezzanotte, NFHS Executive Director Bob Gardner, a presentation on Olympic Day and an update on the NFHS Network. The Closing General Session on Thursday, July 2, will feature former NFL player and coach Herm Edwards.

The Summer Meeting Luncheon will be held at 12 p.m. on July 1, and will feature the presentation of NFHS Citations to 12 individuals. State association honorees include Pat Corbin of New Hampshire, Butch Powell of West Virginia, Wanda Gilliland of Alabama, Scott Johnson of Illinois, Cheryl Gleason of Kansas, Amy Cassell of Oklahoma, Dwight Toyama of Hawaii and John Billetz of Idaho.

Other Citation recipients are James Coon of Indiana (NFHS Officials Association), Milt Bassett of Oklahoma (NFHS Coaches Association), Jean Ney of Kansas (NFHS Music Association) and Darrel Harbaugh of Kansas (NFHS Speech, Debate and Theatre Association).

Two additional awards will be presented at the Summer Meeting luncheon. Mal Mayse, legal counsel for the Missouri State High School Activities Association, will receive the NFHS Award of Merit, and Varsity Spirit will be recognized with the NFHS American Tradition Award.

The Summer Meeting will conclude at 6 p.m. July 2 with the induction of the 2015 class of the National High School Hall of Fame.

In addition to the four athletes and coach J.T. Curtis noted previously, other coaches slated for induction this year are David Barney, who has won 35 state championships in boys and girls swimming at Albuquerque Academy in New Mexico; Rick Lorenz, girls volleyball coach at Central Catholic High School in Portland, Oregon, who has won 10 state championships and 1,174 matches; Don Petranovich, who retired in 2010 after winning eight girls basketball state championships at Winslow High School in Arizona; and Charles “Corky” Rogers, football coach at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida, who ranks fifth among active coaches with 444 victories.

Other members of the 2015 induction class are the late Joseph (Joe) Pangrazio Sr., who was a football official for 45 years and a basketball official for 55 years with the Ohio High School Athletic Association; Doug Chickering, who guided the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association to unprecedented levels of success during his 24 years (1986-2009) as executive director; and Mike Burton, one of the nation’s top speech and debate coaches during his 39 years (1969-2008) at two schools in the state of Washington.

About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS): The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 16 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50 member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,000 high schools and 11 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.7 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS Web site at www.nfhs.org.

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