AHSAA honors Keith softball, volleyball coach

Published 6:48 am Thursday, June 1, 2023

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By Travis Gupton

The Selma Times-Journal

Coaches make a big difference in the kids they coach.

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Not only do they teach them the sport they play but they teach leadership skills and life lessons. Last week, the Alabama High School Athletic Association and the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association named seven individuals as recipients for the Making a Difference Award.

Each recipient was named from the AHSAA’s seven classifications. There were 90 nominations submitted by different schools, organizations and individuals.

The winner of the Class 1A award was Keith’s Head Softball and Volleyball coach Towanna Flennory. Flennory was a product of Keith High and in 2013 began teaching and coaching at Ellwood Christian Academy. In 2014 she took her coaching over to Keith where she has been since. Flennory goes the extra mile because she says someone once did it for her.

“Because someone did it for me at this exact place and time,” she said in an interview with the AHSAA. “I am an alumnus of Keith High School. I walked these hallways, I sat in these classrooms, I ate in this cafeteria, I played in this gym, I marched on this football field, and I rode on these buses. This school and my coaches saved me. They stepped in during one of the most difficult times of my life. I lost my mother my senior year in high school, and I was confused, sad, and angry. But there were three ladies, two coaches and one administrator that really showed me they cared. They refused to let me give up and refused to let me accept failure. They played a pivotal  role in my life then and are currently part of my life now, and I wanted to have the same impact.”

Mart’Chavious Johnson nominated Flennory for the award and in the nomination letter Johnson said that Flennory always goes above the call of duty.

“She goes above and beyond for her players and community and is an advocate in her district for girls’ sports,” Johnson said. “ Mrs. Flennory invests her time and energy into her students during life issues outside of school. For example, she bought water and food for those in need following the tornado that devastated Dallas County. She helped find temporary housing and shelters for those left homeless, handed out items to those in need and even helped move the debris during this awful time.”

“She is well respected and takes pride in empowering the young ladies in our community to be successful.”