HUNTSVILLE, Alabama (WHNT) – Oakwood Adventist Academy has responded to Governor Kay Ivey’s invitation to tour the State Capitol. It comes a day after Governor Ivey released two letters she sent. One letter was addressed to the administration and players of Oakwood Adventist Academy, and the other to the Alabama High School Athletic Association.
News 19 has reached out to Oakwood Adventist Academy principal Judy Dent for her response to Governor Ivey. In their letter, Principal Dent said the team would be “thrilled” to accept his invitation.
News 19 also spoke with Dr. Toussaint Williams. Williams is the parent of a team player and also associate pastor of Oakwood Community Church, located on the same campus as the school.
Williams said the Oakwood Adventist Academy team and staff were happy to hear their trip made it to the Governor. Williams said, “It was just a moment like, ‘Wow, Governor Ivey actually took the time to put this on her schedule’ to identify an opportunity for the boys to be recognized.”
Williams said they will work with Governor Ivey’s office to find a time for the trip that fits everyone’s schedule.
Williams told News 19 that the whole experience is a learning opportunity for the boys on the team. He said: “One lesson they will learn is that you never know who is watching. They think we’re a 1A team, you know, in this huge tournament, but it got a huge amount of attention,” Williams said. “People around the world are affected by this decision.”
On Wednesday, News 19 reached out to the Alabama High School Athletic Association for the third time about the matter. In a previous statement, AHSAA spokesman Ron Ingram told News 19 “AHSAA has no comment.” In a new statement to News 19, Ingram said, “AHSAA has no comment yet.”
News 19 responded to Ingram’s statement, asking if more information would be released. Ingram has not yet resent this email.
News 19 asked Williams if the school heard any additional information from AHSAA. Williams said, “Not since our initial conversation.”
He continued, “You know, once we identified that we weren’t going to play this game, we didn’t hear anything. This has been a constant “no comment”. »
News 19 isn’t the only one asking AHSAA questions. In her letter to AHSAA Executive Director Alvin Briggs, Governor Kay Ivey posed seven questions.
The questions all relate to the topic of the team, its treatment, and AHSAA policies. Governor Ivey said she was “very disturbed” to read accounts of what happened with the Oakwood team.
Governor Ivey said, “A sincere faith brings Alabamians together. “It’s a source of comfort in difficult times.”
Williams said that wasn’t the only challenge and test of faith the team members would face in their lives.
“There will be other things, whether it’s people they hang out with or places they go, friendships they make. We want to find creative ways to build character so that these young people can have lives that reflect quality character,” Williams said.
The team’s players showed good character in the difficult situation on Saturday. Even though the team lost their 4:30 p.m. match, they still made it to the tournament after the sun went down. They stood there and supported Decatur Heritage Christian Academy and thanked them for kindly to change game times.
News 19 has also reached out to Governor Kay Ivey’s office to request an interview about the team and their questions from AHSAA. As of this writing, his office has not been able to plan for this request.
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