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Clay-Chalkville discontinues playing Hewitt-Trussville in all sports, effective immediately

By David Knox

Sports Editor

Clay-Chalkville High School has canceled all games with Hewitt-Trussville High School for the remainder of this school year — including basketball games scheduled for Tuesday and baseball games for this spring — and will not play Hewitt-Trussville in any sports for the next two seasons, according to CCHS Principal Michael Lee.

The two schools had already met in basketball this season on Nov. 14 at Clay-Chalkville. The Cougars won the varsity boys game by a score of 50-49 in front of a packed house.

Lee said the issue is that Hewitt-Trussville has not seen fit to play Clay-Chalkville in football, a rivalry that has been one of the best in the state.

Hewitt, a 7A school, has gone 11-1 the past two seasons. Clay, a 6A school, went 11-3 last season, won a state championship in 2014 and was the 6A runner-up in 2015. The game between the Huskies and Cougars has become known familiarly in the Birmingham Metro area as the Paws and Claws Bowl.

The two schools last played in varsity football in 2015. Clay won 53-35.

In a message sent to The Trussville Tribune Wednesday night, Lee said the following:

“We have a lot of respect for the Trussville School System and the whole Trussville community. Year in and year out they have proven to be one of the top schools in the state of Alabama both academically and athletically. We would like nothing more than a strong relationship with Hewitt in all areas. It is our feeling that this is good for both schools, our students, and our communities.

“However, we want to have relationships with schools who will play us in all sports, including football. Hewitt decided two years ago not to include CCHS in their football schedule. At that time, we chose to continue our relationship with Hewitt in all other sports. Our hope was that this would be a step in the process of re-establishment of our long-standing relationship in football when the new region alignments came out.

“Obviously, all schools have a set number of schools they must play based on their region as determined by the AHSAA. When this year’s region alignment was announced, and our region games scheduled, we reached out to Hewitt in an attempt to schedule a non-region football game. Our phone call and message was not returned.

“It is our feeling that two schools who are two miles apart could support the continued competition during open dates. It doesn’t appear that the feeling is mutual. In order to do what is in the best interest of our school and the athletics program, the decision has been made to discontinue participation in all sports at this time.

“Hopefully, this can be corrected when new alignments are announced and the scheduling process is open again.”

Trussville City Schools Athletic Director Lance Walker has no comment at this time, and superintendent Dr. Pattie Neill was out of town and unavailable for comment.


  1. Ched Z. Cole says:

    Robi Miller Cole Joanna Miller Lucia

  2. Everybody I know was upset when we found out the game would no longer be played. Most of the parents and students of Trussville want the game.

  3. Pete Blank says:

    The powers that be should work hard to figure this out. A lot of these kids go to church together, play in other leagues together, and know each other. I would appreciate if HT would reach out to CC and get this fixed. HT and CC are neighbors and need to be treated as such.

  4. Carl Crow says:

    You cant blame clay. Trussville should keep the rivalry going

  5. Matt Coleman says:

    You can’t blame clay at all .you can’t pick and chose what sports play against them

  6. Matt Coleman says:

    What’s the deal trussville scared clay football will embarrass trussville

  7. Tara Harmon says:

    Petty crap! Sounds like kids making decisions instead of adults to me!

  8. Kevin Small says:

    Good for Mr Lee. They should have done this when Trussville first backed out of Paws and Claws.

  9. Probably. They used to do it all the time, lol.

  10. How sad. I know it was a fun rivalry for years to be a part of.

  11. Ricky Baker says:

    Sad part is the Trussville football coach is not from this area and all he cares about is scheduling teams he can beat so he can keep his ridiculously high salary.

  12. Paula Ervin says:

    I really hate this. We have a lot of friends in Trussville and our kids enjoy playing sports together (travel baseball) and against each other at school events.

  13. Chris Amick says:

    Hewitt’s ducking Clay. To be the man you gotta beat the man

  14. RIP paws and claws games

  15. Kathy Sills says:

    Maybe we need to get back to the real point…teaching academics…sports is secondary…

  16. John Hollock says:

    HT tired of getting whipped by the Cougars in football.

  17. I guess I’m behind the times, but I didn’t think the high schools set their own schedules.

  18. Eddy Bonner says:

    The band always made a lot of money on the concessions from this game. We went from making money to spending tons of money going to away games at far away places.

  19. HT can agree to play CCHS in their non-regional games during scheduling. HT has refused to play the last cpl of years.

  20. Christina Parker Miller thank you for clarification

  21. Kathy Sills says:

    Btw 2 great academic schools..

  22. Can’t say that I blame ’em.

  23. Still should have finished out the games promised this season. That was wrong on his part. He promised those games in those sports knowing they would not meet on the football field this past season and then to go back on his word. Kind of low down on his part also

  24. Good job Mr Lee. My only complaint is you should have done it a couple of years ago.

  25. I just got through reading this. Hewitt won’t give in. Next year Hewitt moves to the same region as Hoover, Mt Brook and Spain Park. Our 5 star running back from Florence just enrolled at Hewitt last week. Wonder how that happened. Lol🤑

  26. Ricky Baker says:

    Seems a lot of players are transferring in to Hewitt. Wonder why myself.

  27. Joey Blalock says:

    That’s correct! Trussville has nothing to gain but a lot to lose by getting trounced by a 6a school! Kinda like no big time college football teams gonna fill their non-conference schedule with Central Florida when they can schedule Mercer!

  28. Joey Blalock says:

    Kathy Sills I can see your point! These kids can run, jump, and throw but can’t write a check and GOD forbid asking them to fill out a form 1040EZ

  29. Ryan Freeman says:

    Seeing that it packs the house when they both play… sounds dumb.. he needs to check his pride and think about keeping revenue to the school…

  30. Joey Blalock says:

    Football coaches could care less.

  31. Joey Blalock says:

    Money! Hoover has done it for years

  32. Who would blame them?

  33. Me. Lee has a good point. I hate that the rivalry was ended/put on hold hopefully they will pick it back up

  34. Travis Bayles- what do you think about this?

  35. Dennis Gray says:

    The Rivalry in football always packed the stadium. Discontinuing the Paws/Claws game is/was a bad move from an economic standpoint. Everyone involved lives 20 minutes from either school, thereby virtually guaranteeing a full house. If you don’t want to do business on what must be the #1 revenue generating event each year for the schools, why do business at all? It’s stupid to leave money on the table like that, but I guess someone in power has a different agenda in mind.

    So long, Huskies. It was good while it lasted. Call Principal Lee if you change your mind.

  36. Has HTHS officials formally announced this or is it just rumor? Makes no sense! We haven’t played football with them for the last two seasons because theymoved Trussville to a different class by some stupid Alabama High School Athletic Association! Trussville Hated it ! It cost The Hewitt Band $30,000 to transport the band to games last season!

  37. Christina Parker Miller NO, THAT IS NOT TRUE! Trussville was moved to a different group by the Alabama High School Athletic Association the last two years. Was Not Trussvilles Choice.

  38. HTHS played Center Point last season. Center Point is in the same classification and area as CCHS. CCHS also went on the road and played James Clements, who is the same classification and area as HTHS. Your point is now invalid.

  39. Bob Greene says:

    Not to mention the lost revenue from “flagging” tickets….just saying

  40. Ronald Hagood Jr. No, you are Wrong!! We in Trussville Hated the last two seasons!! We played games in North Alabama and went to Central Florida and Tennessee. We had Clay-Chalkville on this years schedule.

  41. Clay has been guilty of moving in basketball players as well

  42. Jimmy Goeb says:

    Pretty sure Christina is right

  43. Jimmy Goeb says:

    Shannon Harris well if they have it sure hasn’t helped

  44. Sharon yes your regional games moved the last two years to a northern region. Dont worry they moved back for this upcoming season. HOWEVER that had nothing to do with HT not playing CCHS in their non regional games. HT chose not to play the last 2 yrs and it appears they have chose to not play again. This was 100% HT’s decision.

  45. Drew Owen. Shelby Long

  46. Sharon you are correct…your REGIONAL games were moved the last 2 yrs. That has NOTHING to do with your non regional games!!

  47. Ronald Hagood Jr. Last year we played
    Call away
    Gadsden City
    Center Point
    Bob Jones
    James Clemens
    Spain Park

  48. Sharon…HT is 7A…they will never be in Clays divisional regional games because we are 6A. We can only play non-regional games against each other. HT decided to NOT play CCHS!

  49. Jimmy Goeb 2007. Pretty sure both players were ruled ineligible

  50. Ricky Mills says:

    It is true that Trussville has to play the other 7 schools in their region, but they have 3 OTHER FRIDAY DATES FOR NON REGION GAMES. The Administration at THS chose to dodge CCHS for the past 2 year classification cycle/ playing contracts. The AHSAA has just released the new set of classifications for the next 2 years. Once again, ALL schools that want to participate in the state championship program must schedule the other teams in their region. Depending on how many teams in the region, schools will have 3 or 4 non region game slots that they can sign a contract with. Trussville has chosen NOT to schedule Clay Chalkville in one of their non region slots. As I said 2 years ago, Jack Wood would have NEVER dodged a team in this manner. I rode by the other day and felt a little nostalgic that the stadium bearing his name is gone, but when I see what is going on with the coach and AD, I guess it is for the best!! Principal Michael Lee is doing what is best for CCHS.

  51. There is the article. HT stopped the rivalry game

  52. Crazy thing to do, guess they got tired of getting whipped every year.

  53. Kelli Penque says:

    Actually, our football team has tremendously excelled in the past couple of years and those coaches they have on board changed lives. My brother played from 75# youth all the way until his senior year this year, and I have to say the confidence that grew out of him recently was huge. He’s going on a full ride to South Alabama and doing their pre-accepted medical school program for the next seven years. Must be that “terrible” coaching and Hewitt education.

  54. Kelli Penque says:

    I feel like everyone that cares is from Clay-Chalkville, because I do not see an issue with this. I honestly wish they would have implemented all of this while I was there

  55. So CCS literally took their balls and went home?

  56. Ricky Baker says:

    I did not say anything about the education. Trussville provides a high quality of education. I also did not say the coaches could not coach. If you will my comment I said they schedule weak teams so they can have a winning record and keep their high pay. I have many Trussville friends who agree with that statement and wished they played a better schedule which would end up with better games and bigger crowds.

  57. All I know is when there’s conflict Dr. Patti Neill can’t comment because she’s out of “town”! It was like that when the atheist pitched a fit about the Anthem being sung at the football game. ‍♀️

  58. It’s been two years since they played each other in football.

  59. It’s obvious from some of these comments that many didn’t even read the article….

  60. Eric Leslie says:

    So what does that have to do with the football schedule?

  61. Eric Leslie says:

    Not about this past season, it’s about next season.

    Trussville isn’t even going to return his call, I understand his point.

  62. The Clay Chalkville football coach wanted to play Hewitt last season but Hewitt football coaches decided to play the team from Mississippi instead

  63. Eric Leslie says:

    Why should he help Trussville Athletics when they’re basically disrespecting school?

  64. If its best for the image of hewitt trussville to discontinue playing clay chalkville in football. It is best for clay chalkville to discontinue playing hewitt in any sport.

  65. Only after Hewitt did.

  66. Eric Leslie says:

    You might have hated it, the powers that be at HTHS would rather play Center Point instead of CCHS.

    not sure how this is difficult to understand.

  67. Once Hewitt pussed out in football, I wouldn’t play them in anything else either.

    Shame. It meant a lot to a lot of people.

  68. Eric Leslie says:

    Just so it’s clear, both teams had a non-region game on 9/29

    Clay played James Clemens, Hewitt scheduled Center Point.

    Hewitt could have easily, and literally, played ball and schedule CCHS that weekend.

  69. Yep. HT played CP who had over 20 plus consecutive losses 🤔

  70. Marc Ward says:

    Sharon Dear Bernard we didn’t go to Florida (thank goodness) to play

  71. I 100% disagree with my husband, and one of my favorite things was to stand on my back deck and watch the flaggers drive up and down Deerfoot and think about how great it was going to be when my kids got to do it. However, while I enjoyed the rivalry, I totally understand the business decision being made. We play in a physically punishing region. We play strategically difficult games at the beginning of each year that bring us national attention. In 7-A we have to play the maximum number of regular season games (some divisions play one less because there are less teams). The coach was hired to win games and get college attention for our student athletes. No one can argue that winning seasons, playoff breaths, and more national recognition leads to increased attention for our boys. Look at the fabulous FBS scholarships our boys are receiving! Kudos to Clay. You have a great team. A challenging game. An emotional game. A loss could affect the mental state of these kids and a win doesn’t do anything to help us in our quest to win our division. Look at colleges. They play a few lesser challenging schools to give these kids a break from the physical punishment they face each week. Why don’t our even younger students deserve the same? These decisions had the best interest of the kids at heart instead of the good ole boy network. I love rivalries as much as the next person, but sometimes it’s not what’s best for the kids. The coach’s or athletic director’s job is not to do things that make the adults in the community happy, it is to do what’s best for student athletes and win games-which HT is doing!

  72. PS – we’ve argued loudly about this topic for the last 45 minutes.

  73. I used it as a general term for all the CCHS vs HTHS games

  74. Pete Blank says:

    As much as I love my wife, she couldn’t be more wrong on this issue. I am so sick and tired about everything being about winning and losing and the almighty dollar. This rivalry has been going on for over 40 years and yet we have to now stop it because we might lose? Let the kids play! It’s what they want to do anyways.

  75. Spoken from a loser gator fan. Roll Tide- Go Huskies!

  76. Big deal. It’s done in college all the time. Bigger schools scared to play smaller ones. That’s why UCF went undefeated and couldn’t get any higher than #6. I guarantee you Bama would be scared to play UCF right now. They would rather schedule a Mercer.

  77. Then remove them from next seasons schedule not this season.

  78. I think it’s terrible of Clay to just drop out of other sports in the middle of the season. The basketball players that won’t get to play their games and all others sports they dropped, it means the kids will miss the opportunity to play those games. Sounds like they got mad and took their ball & went home. I could understand if they didn’t schedule for the next school year but in the middle of the year. Stupid!

  79. Agree with Kathy Sills CCHS has a good football program but the ACT scores are horrible especially for Jefferson County… Maybe this should be more of a concern than the football schedule … HTHS is 7A now… Sounds petty to me since they haven’t played in two years!

  80. As a former Hewitt Trussville student, which I must mention that neither of my parents are, I side with my father. That is all I have to say 🙂

  81. Madison Blank, you are perfectly wrong.

  82. Ryan Freeman says:

    It’s about revenue and funding after school curricula. Not choices made on pride of self. You must rise above and take care of what you’re in charge of. Why hurt the athletic departments cause you feel direspected.

  83. Don Baker says:

    Sounds like Mr Lee used some great logic to me. The pathetic thing was Trussville dropping Clay from non region play. Blame Trussville here, not Clay

  84. This is pathetic. As a 2011 graduate from Hewitt who attended Clay Chalkville until 8th grade, this was my favorite high school memories all four years. This is a rivalry. Hewitt should have never dropped Clay from their schedule. Why play random people from a state away when you have great competition 2 miles down the road and it is fun for everyone in the communities. There is absolutely nothing like driving around the other team’s town with your school colors flying behind the truck you are riding in on the day of the big game. Let the kids have fun and worry about out of state games for college.

  85. Joey Blalock says:

    Kelli Penque We are talking football! No critical comments! If you read my comment very closely I stated that Trussville has nothing to gain but a lot to lose by playing CCHS!

  86. Chenise Ryan says:

    Sherri Davidson Blank – this family exchange is the best part of the entire thread.

  87. Daniel Vest says:

    Pete Blank 40 years? Clay-Chalkville wasn’t created until 1996 – breaking away from Hewitt-Trussville. The first game between the two was in 1998.

    #CCHSalum #CO2003

  88. Gk Elrod says:

    So you cancelled upcoming basketball games?! I would think the state will step in. Work it out after the season. The kids lose when adults make childish decisions

  89. Amber Norman Mr Lee Petty lmao he said has nothing but respect for them, but he doesn’t wanna play a school that doesn’t wanna play ALL sports. So if Hewitt isn’t gonna play us in football he’s canceling everything lmao

  90. Amber Norman says:

    i relate to that so hard tbh

  91. Sherri Davidson Blank , Hahahaha!! I am dying here!! I tend to agree with you though. The coach & AD should have final say.

  92. Tim Norman says:

    And the student athletes lose!

  93. Sherri Davidson Blank 👎🏽🧀🧀🧀🍷🍷🍷

  94. Shannon Harris I can tell you! I’m from Florence! AHSAA is aware apparently.

  95. Pete Blank says:

    Daniel Vest great point. My hyperbole got away from me there…

  96. This thread😂😂 The Blanks win all around!

  97. Aaron Beard says:

    Don’t have to guy back far to see Clay coming under sanctions from the AHSAA for player eligibility

  98. Tim Meacham says:

    Cutting out games in the middle of a season is not right. Especially when they have played theor home game. Basketball teams rely on large gates to financially support their programs. Sounds selfish to me. Current commitments should be kept. Maybe there is more to the story than we know.

  99. Daniel Vest says:

    Ohhhh, I see what you did there

  100. HT should change their mascot to a chicken.

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