On Title IX

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D. Mark Mitchell

ON THE MARK
D. MARK MITCHELL

OPELIKA —

There is not much to report in the Opelika Athletic Department. Athletic teams at Opelika High School are starting summer workouts. Each sport has certain days to either workout, participate in team camps or engage in 7-on-7 events.

Last week, I wrote about the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Super 7 Football Championship being held in Jordan-Hare Stadium on the Auburn University campus.

The Super 7 Football Championship is one of many championship hosted by the AHSAA. Kim Vickers, associate director of the AHSAA, joined me as a guest on my sports show “On the Mark” , airing weekdays 6a.m. to 9 a.m. on FOX Sports the Game 910-1310 AM.

This is the 50th anniversary of the passing of Title IX. Vickers is the first female to hold the title of associate director of the AHSAA since the organization has been in existence. Vickers was invited to be the keynote speaker for the Alabama State Games in Dothan last Friday night.

Part of her speech was about Title IX, passed 50 years ago, and what it meant for female athletics and in the business world. Vickers worked her way up the ranks with the AHSAA after spending numerous years as an educator and coach. Vickers said the bill contained only 30-plus words, but was huge for females. The AHSAA recognizes multiple female sports including, cheerleading, cross country, volleyball, E-sports, basketball, softball, track and field, golf and soccer.

Vickers deserves to be the associate director because she carries a tremendous amount of knowledge of the bylaws and rules of the AHSAA. Being a female had nothing to do with her being promoted by former Executive Director Steve Savarese. Savarese hired Kim as an administrator during his tenure and watched her work her way up the latter by doing the job the right way!

Current AHSAA Executive Director Alvin Briggs hired former OHS girls’ basketball coach Devin Booth as one of the assistant directors with the AHSAA.  Booth was very successful as a basketball coach and continues to do a wonderful job in her new career.

Vickers and Booth are wonderful examples of women earning the positions they hold by hard work. Title IX opened the door for many females, including Vickers and Booth. I can’t imagine where we would be today without it.

In other news pertaining to the AHSAA, Birmingham’s Bill Harris Arena will host a basketball regional in 2023. The regional that was played at Montgomerys multiplex will be moved to Bill Harris Arena. Montgomery will continue to host a regional at Garrett Coliseum. The high school baseball championship could return to Oxford/Jacksonville, or Montgomery’s Patterson Field and River Walk Stadium. No decision has been made at this time. The baseball playoffs were moved out of Montgomery because MLB could not work out an open week at River Walk Stadium. Stay tuned for more updates.

SOFTBALL FIELDS

The city of Opelika continues to work on turfing the second field at West Ridge Park. Crews are working each day to have the second field completed prior to school starting in August. The field that is completed is beautiful and gives OHS a softball surface that is top notch.  

D. Mark Mitchell is the sports director at iHeartMedia, host of “On the Mark” Fox Sports the Game 910-1310, co-chair of the Auburn-Opelika Sports Council, chairman of the Super 7 and Dixie Boys Baseball state director.

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