I remember the day Ralph Stone called me and asked SRS to come to Huntsville, Alabama. They were looking for something different and something that would set off their outdoor fall event. That was in spring of 2008. We are delighted to say that we have since been a part of the Huntsville Sports Commission’s Outdoor Fall Festival every year.
Huntsville, Alabama has a definite unique feel about it. For a town with the population of approximately 200,000, its small town welcome has made us feel right at home. Ask any of the competitors of SRS and he/she will tell you that no other community on the tour has been as welcoming as Huntsville. They absolutely love coming here and it is one they won’t miss. I blame this on the Huntsville Sports Commission. They certainly know how to roll out the red carpet.
Huntsville is so accommodating on all aspects; it’s easy to navigate, has beautiful landscapes and hillsides, shows great cultural exhibits in their Arts Center, and has a must-see NASA program that literally is out of this world (ha ha). But I think the thing I notice most about Huntsville and the HSC is their support of the Super Retriever Series’ games and the folks that play them. The whole city becomes emerged in our sporting dogs; whether it is the retriever trials or the dogs on the dock, they are out to greet us and watch the games. I am glad Ralph made that call in the Spring of 2008, and after 4 years we are proud to bring our SRS Crown Championship event to Huntsville in the fall of 2012.
- Shannon Nardi
Super Retriever Series
The Huntsville Sports Commission (HSC) proved an invaluable asset in coordinating and managing support from various city departments to facilitate the Alabama State Championship Criterium Bicycle Race, May 2011. Our event closed several city streets around city hall and the courthouse for the entire day. It was the HSC team’s dedication to supporting the community and new ideas that made it all happen. From concept to execution, Ralph and Gina were engaged throughout the process and never wavered from the many challenges we encountered. Choosing to partner and plan with the Huntsville Sports Commission made our race a big success in its first year of operation. We received many positive comments from our racers, with my favorite quote being, “Huntsville is so cool, I’m bringing my girlfriend next year.
- Chris Cundiff, Race Director
Rocket City Criterium
We have hosted several sports events in Huntsville since I became Executive Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association. I have nothing but praise for the Huntsville Sports Commission.
The experience for our member schools has been tremendous and the events – the state wrestling championships at the Von Braun Center, the state soccer championships at the John Hunt Soccer Complex and the regional softball championships at Metro Park – have all gotten rave reviews from our participating schools.
All-Star Sports Week truly became one of the top events of the year for us thanks to the leadership of Ralph Stone and his capable and caring staff at the Huntsville Sports Commission. Our relationship with the city and the Huntsville Sports Commission has been one of mutual respect, one that we cherish at the AHSAA.
We can’t thank the Huntsville Sports Commission enough for the leadership and manpower you have provided to make our AHSAA events in Huntsville such memorable experiences for our teams, coaches, schools and communities.
- Steve Savarese, Executive Director
Alabama High School Athletic Association
As president of the USATF Alabama Association and head coach for the Huntsville Metro Track club, I want to thank Mr. Ralph Stone, Executive Director of the Huntsville Sports Commission, his staff and others who helped our organization host the 2011 USATF Alabama Association Junior Olympic Track and Field Championships.
The dedication, commitment and services directed by Mr. Stone was outstanding. The USATF coaches and athletes who participated in this event gave high praise for the Milton Frank facility and the efforts that were made to make the event enjoyable and comfortable. During our annual USATF Alabama Association meeting last Sunday, Huntsville, Alabama name was mentioned as a possible place to host future regional and national track meets. Again, we want to thank Mr. Stone and the Sports Commission for their outstanding support in helping us host this event.
- Joseph Henderson, President
USATF Alabama Association
For the past 2 years the Huntsville Sports Commission has assisted me and my staff with the American Junior Golf Association Huntsville Classic Tournament in July. This is a world class event which attracts top golfers from many states and foreign countries. The Sports Commission staff, Ralph Stone and Gina Conard (with the assistance of the City of Huntsville) have gone above and beyond any expectations we could have hoped for in regards to our event.
The Commission’s knowledge of large sports events was a life saver to our committee, making our event a huge success. They met with the AJGA staff from Georgia and helped formulate a plan for all phases of our 7 day golf tournament. The feedback from players and parents from around the country is that our tournament was by far the best planned and organized golf tournament of the 85 AJGA events around the globe.
- Mark A. Jackson, Chairman, Local Organizing Committee
As Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association, it was a pleasure to work with the Huntsville Sports Commission during our annual All- Star Sports Week through the years. Their organizational skills, attitude of service, and willingness to “go the extra mile” to get the job done was simply amazing! Your worries are few when the Huntsville Sports Commission is in charge. I would not hesitate to bring another event to the great City of Huntsville under their direction.
- Steve F. Bailey, Director
Alabama High School Athletic Directors and Coaches Association