Boston to host NFHS Summer Meeting; J.H. Rose's Vincent to be recognized

Boston to host NFHS Summer Meeting; J.H. Rose’s Vincent to be recognized

The National Federation of State High School Associations’ (NFHS) 105th Summer Meeting will be held June 28-July 1 at the Boston Marriott Copley Place in Boston, Massachusetts. This will be the fourth time Boston has played host to the NFHS Summer Meeting, and the first time the event has returned to “The City on the Hill” since 2014.

The national leader for education-based high school athletics and activities programs since 1920, the NFHS features a membership of 51 state high school associations – one in each of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia. More than 850 state association staff and board members, NFHS Board of Directors members, other national high school activities leaders and their guests are expected to attend this year’s meeting – attendance totals not seen at the Summer Meeting since the last time it was held in Boston in 2014.

For those unable to make the trip to Boston, live streaming options for three of the meeting’s marquee events – the Summer Meeting Luncheon, the National High School Hall of Fame Press Conference and the Hall of Fame Banquet – will be available on the NFHS Network ( at no cost.

After a day of meetings and summits, the Opening Ceremony will officially begin the Summer Meeting festivities at 3 p.m. ET on Friday, June 28, and will be highlighted by the National High School Spirit of Sport Award and the National High School Heart of the Arts Award presentations.

Merik Dismang, a Unified Athlete from Olathe (Kansas) East High School, who has battled cancer, will be honored with the National High School Spirit of Sport Award, while Anders Lovstuen, a multi-activity participant and exemplary student leader at Decorah (Iowa) High School, is the recipient of the National High School Heart of the Arts Award.

The Second General Session is slated for 9:30 a.m. ET on Saturday, June 29, and will provide important updates from NFHS CEO Karissa Niehoff, NFHS COO Davis Whitfield, NFHS Board of Directors President Tom Keating, Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Executive Director Bob Baldwin and National Association of Sports Officials President Bill Topp.

Immediately following at 10:30 a.m., a Third General Session will be held and will feature a panel moderated by ESPN Commentator Sean McDonough addressing the role interscholastic athletics plays in growing courageous leaders. The panelists include Oklahoma City Thunder Head Coach Mark Daigneault, Harvard University Director of Athletics Erin McDermott and former New England Patriots player Jermaine Wiggins.

Saturday’s slate also includes the Fourth General Session with Howard Tullman, the general managing partner of G2T3V, who will address attendees about “The New Normal: New Tech, New Talk and the New Workforce.”

Beginning at 12:15 p.m. ET on Sunday, June 30, the Summer Meeting Luncheon will include the presentation of 13 NFHS Citations to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to high school activity programs.

Eight Citations are awarded to outstanding state association administrators in each of the NFHS sections, with Todd Nelson of New York (Section 1), Sean Conley of the District of Columbia (Section 2), Mary Sheldon of Mississippi (Section 3), Robert Faulkens of Indiana (Section 4), Jo Auch of South Dakota (Section 5), Rhonda Blandford-Green of Colorado (Section 6), Brent Mizutani of Hawaii (Section 7), and Ron Laird of Wyoming (Section 8) comprising the 2024 recipients.

Five additional Citations are being distributed to individuals who have shown exemplary service to the four NFHS professional associations. This year’s professional association recipients are Bill Castle of Florida (NFHS Coaches Association); Jay Lemelin of Montana (NFHS Officials Association); Peter Eklund of Iowa (NFHS Music Association); and David Yastremski of New Jersey (speech and debate) and Janine Stroemer of Illinois (theatre) – NFHS Speech/Debate/Theatre/Academics Association.

The Summer Meeting Luncheon will be streamed live on the NFHS Network.

Supplementing the agenda, 35 individual workshops will be offered at the 2024 Summer Meeting spread out over five workshop sessions beginning Saturday morning and concluding Monday afternoon. Notable workshop topics for this meeting include event safety; artificial intelligence (AI); Name, Image and Likeness (NIL); preparing meaningful budgets; and athletic program standards.  

The Legal/Sports Medicine Workshop, the meeting’s premiere forum for current legal and medical issues in high school activities and one of the highest attended workshops each year, will be conducted at 2:15 p.m. ET on Monday, July 1.

The Hall of Fame Press Conference will be held at 11:30 a.m. ET on Monday, and will set up the Summer Meeting’s signature culminating event, the Hall of Fame Banquet and induction ceremony, at 6 p.m. ET that evening.

Coverage of both events will be available on the NFHS Network, with the Hall of Fame Press Conference streaming on the NFHS Network.

The National High School Hall of Fame will welcome its 41st class on the evening of July 1, with four outstanding athletes, four decorated coaches, two longtime state association administrators and one official rounding out the 11-member cohort.

Class of 2024 inductees include (athletes) Dot Ford Burrow of Mississippi, Joe Mauer of Minnesota, Takeo Spikes of Georgia and Tyrone Wheatley of Michigan; (coaches) Paula Kirkland of South Carolina, Gary Rankin of Tennessee, Roy Snyder of Pennsylvania and Ronald Vincent of North Carolina; (administrators) Mike Colbrese of Washington and Marie Ishida of California; (official) David Gore of Oklahoma.

At Cretin-Derham Hall High School, Joe Mauer batted .567 with 43 home runs and struck out only once in 222 at-bats. He led Cretin-Derham Hall to a state football title as a junior and to a state baseball title as a senior. Takeo Spikes, who as a two-way football player (tight end, linebacker) helped Washington County High School in Sandersville, Georgia to a 15-0 mark and a state championship in 1994; Tyrone Wheatley, who was one of the greatest multi-sport high school athletes in Michigan history during his career at Dearborn Heights Robichaud High School in the late 1980s; and Dot Ford Burrow, who scored 82 points in a basketball game for Smithville (Mississippi) High School in 1949-50 when she averaged almost 50 points a game and was making headlines long before her grandson, Joe Burrow.

The four coaches in this year’s class have coached an astounding combined 194 years (48.5 average) and claimed a total of 43 state championships in volleyball, football, swimming and baseball. These four remarkable individuals include Paula Kirkland, who was won 1,088 volleyball matches at Dorman High School in Roebuck, South Carolina, and led her teams to 15 state championships in 43 years; Gary Rankin, the winningest high school football coach in Tennessee history during his 42-year career in which he has led teams to 17 state championships at four different schools; Roy Snyder, who started the swimming program at Wilson High School in West Lawn, Pennsylvania, in 1964 and has 611 victories and four state championships in an amazing 59 years; and Ronald Vincent, who won the 1,000th baseball game of his career last year at J. H. Rose High School in Greenville, North Carolina and has led his teams to seven state titles in 50 years. 

The official in this year’s class is David Gore, a baseball and football official from Norman, Oklahoma, for 37 and 35 years, respectively, who officiated nine Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association state football championship games.

The administrators in this year’s class are Mike Colbrese, who retired in 2019 after 37 years as an administrator in three state high school associations, including the final 26 years as executive director of the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association, and who had major contributions to NFHS committees and boards; and Marie Ishida, the first female president and first female executive director of the California Interscholastic Federation who had major contributions at the state level and nationally with the NFHS.