Since 1972, the United States Sports Academy has worked to help meet the educational needs of students preparing for a career in sports. Now, thanks to an agreement with Stillman College, USSA plans to share its knowledge with the historically black college in Tuscaloosa.

Stillman President Cynthia Warrick, Ph.D., recently visited the USSA campus in Daphne to sign the deal with Academy President and CEO T.J. Rosandich, Ph.D. Qualified students from the bachelor’s degree program at Stillman will now be admitted into USSA’s Master of Sports Science degree program.

This will offer the students majors in sports coaching, sports health and fitness, sports management, sports studies and recreation management. The master’s degree is a fully online program that allows students to enroll and start work at any time and do so at their own pace.

(Photo | Courtesy USSA) Stillman College President Cynthia Warrick, left, signs an articulation agreement with United States Sports Academy President and CEO T.J. Rosandich.

“This agreement creates an opportunity for our students in physical education and related majors to get their graduate studies and experience from an excellent academic program,” Warrick said. “Physical education is one of our largest majors, so many of those students are looking to get certification as teachers or coaches, and they are interested in sports careers. This will be really important for our students.”

USSA also offers a bachelor of sports science degree that provides subject-specific courses typically taken during a student’s junior and senior years. The agreement allows USSA bachelor’s-level students to take their required general curriculum core coursework at Stillman. These courses typically are taken in the freshman and sophomore years.

“The Academy is very pleased to be able to partner with such an historic institution and a fellow member of the Alabama Association of Independent Colleges and Universities,” Rosandich said. “This agreement benefits students and faculty from both institutions.”

USSA will waive application fees for any Stillman student graduating with a physical education degree and will allow them to begin Academy coursework without official graduation status, provided all other admission requirements are met. Qualified members of the Stillman faculty may also be invited to become members of the USSA National Faculty, a group that teaches for the Academy’s post-secondary non-degree international sports education programs.

For more information on the program, call USSA at 251-626-3303 or visit

Volunteers needed for heart screenings
The nonprofit Heart for Athletes group has two primary goals: to identify athletes aged 13-18 who are at risk of sudden cardiac arrest (SCA), and to raise awareness about the signs of SCA and provide instruction on how to respond.

Several heart screenings are planned in the next few months. These include Oct. 3 at St. Michael Catholic High School in Fairhope (12:30-4:30 p.m.), Alabama School of Math and Science in Mobile (1-4 p.m.) and Foley High School (1-4 p.m.).

Amy Cockrell helped start the program after her son, Sam, suffered an SCA at age 16. The competitive triathlete collapsed while swimming in a pool. Aaron Morgan, M.D., a family medicine resident at the University of South Alabama, was present and quickly analyzed the situation.

Cockrell is seeking volunteers for the three sessions. Help is needed for blood pressure checks, electrocardiogram monitoring and clerical work at the check-in desk. Interested parties may contact her at 251-510-7263 or

The service is offered free of charge to athletes from Mobile and Baldwin counties. A typical screening takes approximately 30 minutes.

SCA is the leading cause of death in athletes aged 17-35. The goal of these screenings is to find athletes at risk for SCA by looking for the conditions most likely to cause the disorder. To learn more, visit

Wildlife events planned
• The Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries is conducting seminars to educate hunters about the Game Check harvesting system and new hunting regulations that take effect this year. One seminar is scheduled for Sept. 19, 6-8 p.m., at the Spanish Fort Community Center (7361 Spanish Fort Blvd.).

Game Check results from last year’s hunting season, hunting and fishing regulation changes, and new public hunting opportunities for hunters will be explained during the seminar. A question-and-answer session will follow.
Most of the seminars are being conducted by WFF Director Chuck Sykes. For more information, visit or call WFF at 334-242-3465.

• National Hunting and Fishing Day, an annual celebration of hunters and anglers, will offer something new this year. Richard Childress, NASCAR legend and honorary chair for 2017, is asking hunters and anglers to participate in the new NHF Day Challenge by taking someone hunting, fishing or target shooting.

By pledging to introduce someone to the outdoors between now and NHF Day on Saturday, Sept. 23, participants will be eligible to win a Richard Childress Racing VIP race weekend package or the Ultimate Outdoor Experience from Big Cedar Lodge and Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium.

Alabama Conservation Commissioner Chris Blankenship says small-game species provide an ideal introduction for new hunters. Dove season began Sept. 9 in the South Zone, while squirrel and rabbit seasons open Sept. 16.

Visit for complete details. To get involved in the challenge, visit

Taking the town by storm
Charlie McCants, owner of the local American Basketball Association team, has been busy this offseason. The squad, which lost in the Final Four playoffs to four-time defending champion Jacksonville by two points, has rebranded itself entering its fifth season as the Port City Tornados.

Katelynn Craig has been appointed director of the dance team. A University of South Alabama student majoring in kinesiology, Craig is a choreographer and trainer who works with all ages to teach tumbling, stunts and dance routines.

Tryouts for the Port City Tornados will be Sept. 16, 2:30-10 p.m., at the Gemini Studioz at 3240 Dauphin St. in Mobile. Male and female performers at least 18 years old are invited.

For more details, call 251-861-1675 or visit