Providence to host 98th annual NFHS Summer Meeting

(Rick Payette/Flickr)

INDIANAPOLIS — The 98th annual National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Summer Meeting will be held June 28-July 2 at the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence, Rhode Island.

The CHSAA administrative staff and Board of Directors will be in attendance.

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 35th 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.

Eleven individuals will be inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame, including Bobby Richardson and Lisa Fernandez.

(Ed G/Flickr)

Richardson was a baseball and basketball standout at Edmunds High School in Sumter, South Carolina, in the early 1950s before playing on three World Series championship teams with the New York Yankees. Fernandez won 80 games and posted a remarkable 0.07 career earned-run average in softball during her days at St. Joseph’s High School in Lakewood, California. 

Other athletes who were chosen for this year’s class are Joe Dial, who set a national record in the pole vault in 1981 as a senior at Marlow (Oklahoma) High School; and Melissa (Missy) West, a three-sport standout (basketball, softball, soccer) and former Miss Basketball in New York at Franklin Academy in Malone, New York, who later played basketball at Duke University.

Russ Cozart, who has posted a remarkable 689-6 dual-meet record in 37 years as wrestling coach at Brandon (Florida) High School, is one of five coaches selected for the 2017 class. Other coaches who will be honored this year are Joe Lombard, girls basketball coach at Canyon (Texas) High School who ranks second nationally in career coaching victories; Steve Shondell, who won almost 1,200 matches and 21 state titles in 34 years as volleyball coach at Muncie (Indiana) Burris High School; Bernie Walter, who won 10 state titles in 36 years as baseball coach at Arundel High School in Gambrills, Maryland; and Jerry Winterton, who had a 621-16 record in 30 years as wrestling coach at Cary (North Carolina) High School.

The other two members of the 2017 class are Bill Laude, a football, basketball and baseball official from Frankfort, Illinois, and Rick Wulkow, who had significant contributions to high school sports during his 35 years with the Iowa High School Athletic Association.

Among the topics that will be discussed at the 49 workshops during the NFHS Summer Meeting are recruiting and retaining officials, student advisory committees, sportsmanship, social media, inclusion, championship event ideas, music copyright laws and student participation. In addition, the Legal Issues Workshop will be held at 1:00 p.m. on June 30 with legal counsel from four state associations guiding the discussion.

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 tenth 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 fourth time.

Danny Lilya of Moose Lake (Minnesota) High School will receive the National High School Spirit of Sport Award, and Josie Ross of St. Louis Park (Minnesota) Benilde-St. Margaret’s School will receive the National High School Heart of the Arts Award.

The Second General Session on June 30 will feature NFHS President Gary Musselman, NFHS Executive Director Bob Gardner and various administrators on the NFHS staff giving updates on the status of the NFHS. The Closing General Session on July 2, will feature Walter Bond, a former professional basketball player.

The Summer Meeting Luncheon will be held at 12 p.m. on July 1, and will feature the presentation of NFHS Citations to 15 individuals. State association honorees include Dick Neal of Massachusetts, Bob Goldring of Ohio, Karen DeHart of North Carolina, Tom Shafranski of Wisconsin, Stacy Schroeder of Missouri, Tom Robinson of Colorado, Dr. Harold Slemmer of Arizona and Tom Welter of Oregon.

Other Citation recipients are Sharon Hughes of New Jersey (NFHS Officials Association), Dick Katte of Colorado (NFHS Coaches Association), Neil Hendriksen of Utah (NFHS Music Association) and J. Scott Baker of Wisconsin (NFHS Speech/Debate/Theatre Association). Three individuals being recognized for their contributions to the NFHS at the national level are Lee Green, J.D., of Kansas; Dr. David Hoch of Maryland; and Steffen Parker of Vermont.

The Summer Meeting will conclude at 6 p.m. July 2 with the induction of the 2017 class of the National High School Hall of Fame.

(Rick Payette/Flickr)