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(Media release from the Kansas High School Activities Association)

TOPEKA, Kan. — The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has announced eight Kansans as sectional coaches of the year for their leadership in 2018-19.

The NFHS is divided into eight geographical sections. They are as follows: Section 1 – Northeast (CT, ME, MA, NH, NJ, NY, RI, VT); Section 2 – Mideast (DE, DC, KY, MD, OH, PA, VA, WV); Section 3 – South (AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN); Section 4 – Central (IL, IN, IA, MI, WI); Section 5 – Midwest (KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD); Section 6 – Southwest (AR, CO, NM, OK, TX); Section 7 – West (AZ, CA, HI, NV, UT); and Section 8 – Northwest (AK, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY).

The sectional committee representatives evaluate the state award recipients from the states in their respective sections and select the best candidates for the sectional award in each sport category. The NFHS Coaches Association Advisory Committee then considers the sectional candidates in each sport, ranks them according to a point system, and determines a national winner for each of the 20 sport categories, the spirit category and two “other” categories.

NFHS Sectional Coaches of the Year (2018-19):

Gina Leigh Clark, Volleyball – Garden Plain HS

Mark Twellman, Girls Soccer – Lenexa-St. James Academy

Steve Crist, Girls Cross Country – Lincoln HS

Ashley Oliver, Spirit – Cheney HS

Jon Thomas, Girls Track and Field – Seneca-Nemaha Central HS

Patrick Stiles, Girls Basketball – Claflin-Central Plains HS

James Sandstrom, Boys Tennis – Topeka-Hayden HS

Mallory West, Girls Gymnastics – Olathe West HS

The NFHS, which has been recognizing coaches through an awards program since 1982, honors coaches in the top 10 girls sports and top 10 boys sports (by participation numbers), and in one “other” sport that is not included in the top 10 listings. Winners of NFHS awards must be active coaches during the year for which they receive their award.

The KSHSAA works with the Kansas Coaches Association (KCA) to nominate Kansas coaches. The KCA contacts their potential state award recipients to complete a “coach profile” form that requests information regarding the coach’s record, membership in and affiliation with coaching and other professional organizations, involvement with other school and community activities and programs, and coaching philosophy. To be approved as an NFCA award recipient and considered for sectional and national coach of the year, this profile form must be completed by the coach or designee and then approved by the executive director (or designee) of the state athletic/activities association.

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