The 97th annual National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Summer Meeting will be held June 28-July 2 at the Peppermill Resort in Reno, Nevada. 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 34th 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.
Twelve individuals will be inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame, including Steve Spurrier and Marlin Briscoe.
Spurrier was one of the best multi-sport athletes in Tennessee history at Science Hill High School in Johnson City before his rise to prominence as a Heisman Trophy quarterback, a National Football League quarterback, and as one of the nation’s top college football coaches. Briscoe was an All-City running back in football as a senior at Omaha (Nebraska) South High School before becoming the first African-American starting quarterback in modern NFL history.
Other athletes who were chosen for this year’s class are Joni Huntley, a three-sport athlete at Sheridan (Oregon) High School in the early 1970s who later competed in the high jump at two Olympics; Tom Southall, who overcame a physical disability to become one of the best athletes in Colorado history at Steamboat Springs High School (1979-81), and the late Ken Beardslee, one of the top pitchers in high school baseball history during his three years (1947-49) at Vermontville (Michigan) High School.
Chuck Kyle, who has won 321 games and 11 state championships in 33 years as football coach at Cleveland (Ohio) St. Ignatius High School, is one of four coaches selected for the 2016 class. Other coaches who will be honored this year are Peg Kopec, who retired last year after winning 12 state championships in 42 years as girls volleyball coach at St. Francis High School in Wheaton, Illinois; Pete Boudreaux, who has won an amazing 44 state championships in cross country, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field at Baton Rouge (Louisiana) Catholic High School; and Jack Holloway, who led his wrestling teams at New Castle (Delaware) William Penn High School to seven state championships and 13 undefeated seasons during his 25-year career.
Two administrators are part of the 2016 class – Tim Flannery, who served on the NFHS staff for 16 years and was responsible for starting the highly successful NFHS Coach Education Program; and Ennis Proctor, who retired in 2011 after 20 years as executive director of the Mississippi High School Activities Association. Rounding out the 2016 class is the late Eugene “Lefty” Wright, a cross country and track and field contest official in Minnesota for almost 50 years.
Among the topics that will be discussed at the 52 workshops during the NFHS Summer Meeting are inclusion of athletes with disabilities, multi-sport athletes, innovative marketing ideas, conflict resolution, transgender inclusion, social media public relations, competitive equity vs. school size and emerging sports.
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 ninth 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 – for the third time.
Ashley Carson of Ord (Nebraska) High School will receive the National High School Spirit of Sport Award, and the Midland City (Alabama) Dale County High School Marching Band and Band Director Sherri Miller will receive the National High School Heart of the Arts Award.
The Second General Session on June 30 will feature NFHS President Tom Welter, NFHS Executive Director Bob Gardner and Lance Taylor, executive director of the Arkansas Activities Association who will present the 2016-2021 NFHS Strategic Plan. The Closing General Session on Saturday, July 2, will feature Murray Banks, an educator and world champion athlete.
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 Nina Van Erk of New York, Butch Cope of Kentucky, Gene Menees of Tennessee, Gina Mazzolini of Michigan, Kevin Merkle of Minnesota, Peter Contreras of Texas, Marc Ratner of Nevada and Brad Garrett of Oregon.
Other Citation recipients are Harold Cooper of Missouri (NFHS Officials Association), Richard Robertson of Alabama (NFHS Coaches Association), Jay Dunnahoo of Texas (NFHS Music Association) and Pam McComas of Kansas (NFHS Speech/Debate/Theatre Association).
The Summer Meeting will conclude at 6 p.m. July 2 with the induction of the 2016 class of the National High School Hall of Fame.
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 17 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 7.8 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 website at www.nfhs.org.