News from the Tennessee Valley Sports

Prattville's Clark gets head coaching slot for Alabama-Mississippi game

From Staff, Wire Reports

After guiding Prattville High to the Class 6A state football championship, Bill Clarkhas been named head coach for the Alabama team in the 2007 Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Football Classic in Mobile on June 2.

A committee representing the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association, the Alabama High School Athletic Association, and the All-Star Classic game committee selected Clark for the 20th annual game. He served as the defensive coordinator in the 2003 classic won by Alabama 24-16 and as the defensive coordinator again in the 2005 contest, won by Mississippi 21-18.

He also was defensive coordinator in the North-South all-star game in 1998 and then served as head coach in the North-South all-star game for juniors in December of 2004.

The remainder of the Alabama staff will be named at a later date.

Clark has compiled a 92-10 record during his eight years at Prattville and led his 2006 team to a 15-0 record, a sixth straight region championship and the 6A state title.

Winning streak continues: The celebration had begun on the Charlotte Independence sideline as time ticked away on yet another state championship victory.

The Patriots beat Durham Riverside 49-19 on Saturday night to win the Class 4-AA North Carolina High School Athletic Association title, extending the nation's longest winning streak to 108 games. The win also made Independence the first team in state history to win seven straight championships.

The Patriots have not lost a game since a 34-31 loss to Shelby Crest on Sept. 1, 2000, and stand 43 wins from matching the all-time national record of 151 set by Concord (Calif.) De La Salle. They shattered the state record of 46 straight wins to open the 2003 season and have been ranked No. 1 in The Associated Press state 4-A poll since the beginning of the 2001 season.

"It's both an incentive and a burden," coach Tom Knotts said of the streak. "It's an incentive in that you want to keep it alive. And it's a burden in that there's constant media attention and everybody's asking about it. And if you lose it, in some ways you'll feel like a failure because I honestly believe we can achieve the 152. We've got the young players."

This time, the Patriots (16-0) relied on a powerful ground game with Dequan Leak, who ran for 204 yards and four touchdowns against Riverside. Quarterback Darryl McFadden completed 13 of 20 passes for 159 yards and a touchdown.

The challenge will be to keep the streak going. In the meantime, this year's seniors can leave school relieved that it's still alive.

"We waited four years for this and for it to end like this with a state championship and keeping the streak alive," McFadden said. "I know the class next year doesn't want to end it. We're just happy that we weren't the ones to end it."

Copyright 2005 THE DECATUR DAILY. All rights reserved.
AP contributed to this report.

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