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High school sports: Timeline, impacts of a global pandemic one year later - HIGHSCORE
High school sports: Timeline, impacts of a global pandemic one year later
Billy Durkin walked slowly to midcourt and laid down his gym bag. He sat beside it and stared into the rolled up bleachers. Still proudly dressed in his Hinsdale South (Darien, Ill.) basketball jersey, Durkin had hoped to hear 3,000 fans in the sold out gym cheer on the 30-3 Hornets to a section semifinal playoff victory en route a first state championship.

However, 30 minutes earlier, Durkin and his teammates were told the coronavirus pandemic had hit the United State full force and the Hornets' storybook season, like many others to come, was over. Instead of jubilant celebrations and raucous ovations, Durkin heard the stark silence of an empty gym along with his own somber and bittersweet thoughts.

"So many memories," Durkin said. "The fans. The friendships. And just how far we had come. It was a little overwhelming. It wasn't supposed to end like that."

That was March 12, 2020.

The vision of Durkin's heartbreaking, solitary reaction was captured on a NFHS video stream and a screenshot shared on social media for all the world to see and sigh. The photo represented what many high school athletes and coaches felt that day, ultimately proving Durkin wasn't so alone after all.

Over the next 365 days, hundreds of thousands of student-athletes and their coaches have shared in that isolation, frustration and void, but ultimately similar numbers have returned from the sidelines and empty gyms to return to play.

Below, we chart a timeline of some of the more important dates and happenings surrounding high school sports and the pandemic.
The shot that went viral: Billy Durkin alone with his thoughts at midcourt after Hinsdale South's season ended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Photo courtesy of Billy Durkin
The shot that went viral: Billy Durkin alone with his thoughts at midcourt after Hinsdale South's season ended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Preps and the pandemic

March 11, 2020: NBA halts season, prompting sports organizations at all levels to re-evaluate competition going forward.

March 12, 2020: Texas (UIL) suspends state basketball tournament in progress, ultimately cancels.

March 12, 2020: The Central Plains (Claflin, Kan.) girls basketball team, riding a 136-game win streak, wins quarterfinal game but later learns season is over and career ends for Kansas Player of the Year Emily Ryan.

March 12, 2020: California cancels state championship games for first time, halting chances of a three-peat for the nationally-ranked boys team from Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth).

March 12, 2020: In Minnesota, MaxPreps girls basketball Player of the Year Paige Bueckers also has illustrious career unceremoniously unplugged one wins shy of a perfect 31-0 season for Hopkins (Minnetonka).

March 21, 2020: The Jordan Brand Classic, McDonald's All-American Games, Nike Hoop Summit and GEICO Nationals all are canceled. Top-ranked and 25-0 Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) misses out on winning a fifth GEICO title in eight years, and with it, a final chance to make case as one of greatest high school boys teams ever.   

April 3, 2020: California becomes 10th state to cancel spring season, joining Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Virginia. By the end of the month, all 50 would join.

June 15, 2020: The scheduled national football showdown between De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) at two-time defending Texas 6A champion North Shore (Houston) is canceled.

June 15, 2020: Baseball, softball fans enjoy action as competition begins in Iowa.

July 20, 2020: California announces fall season moved to 2021, one of 15 to eventually do so.

July 21, 2020: Texas announces six-week delay of two largest football divisions, 6A and 5A.

Aug. 1, 2020: Iowa state baseball tournament comes to an end, drawing nearly 30,000 socially-distanced fans at Principal Park in Des Moines over a week of games.

Aug. 11, 2020: High school associations largely align with Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences, which announce postponement of football season.

Aug. 13, 2020: Football season kicks off in Utah.

Aug. 14, 2020: Michigan becomes 15th state to move football to 2021.

Aug. 21, 2020: American Fork (Utah) athletic director Jeremy Lewis tells football crowd at halftime to practice social distancing or game would halt. Game finishes without pause.

Sept. 3, 2020: Michigan the first of many to reverse course, moves season back from 2021 to 2020.

Oct. 14, 2020: Alaska is first of five states to cancel football postseason due to rising COVID cases.

Nov. 5, 2020: Alabama and Mississippi become first states to tip off basketball seasons.

Nov. 13-14, 2020: North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming become the first states to hold football state championships.

Nov. 20, 2020: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer pauses all football playoffs due to rising COVID-19 cases.

Dec. 18, 2020: California pauses Jan. 8 start date indefinitely.

Jan. 9, 2021: Michigan continues playoffs, finishes one week later.

Jan. 16, 2021: Texas finishes 6A and 5A football playoffs at AT&T Stadium, one of 35 states to complete fall football seasons.

Feb. 13, 2021: Washington is first state to begin 2020 football season in 2021.

Feb. 17, 2021: Nevada OKs sports, but Clark County (Las Vegas) remains sidelined.

Feb. 19, 2021: After three-week negotiation between football coaches and advocacy groups with governor's office, California changes guideline to renew contact outdoor sports.

March 12, 2021: California scheduled to open its 2020-21 football season.
Ziaire Williams drills game-winning shot to send Sierra Canyon into the 2020 California Open Division finals. Two days later, the state championships were canceled due to the pandemic.
File photo by Louis Lopez
Ziaire Williams drills game-winning shot to send Sierra Canyon into the 2020 California Open Division finals. Two days later, the state championships were canceled due to the pandemic.

High school baseball: No-hit king Nolan Ryan among pitchers with at least 500 career strikeouts - HIGHSCORE
High school baseball: No-hit king Nolan Ryan among pitchers with at least 500 career strikeouts
David Clyde of Westchester (Houston) was a high school legend in the early 1970s and his resume includes a multitude of records in the National Federation of High Schools record book, including the mark for career strikeouts with 842. Except that depending on how you determine career strikeouts, Clyde is not Nos. 1 or 2 or even third or fourth.

In fact Clyde comes in behind Mississippi hurler Ronnie Richardson, a pair of Iowa pitchers in Bill Varner and Mike Boddicker, and Oklahoma leader Mark Turner. They are among the pitchers featured in the MaxPreps list of pitchers with over 500 career strikeouts.

To be fair, Clyde does hold the record for a four-year career, which is what the National Federation of High Schools recognizes. However, if a fifth year is included, Richardson moves into the top spot with 856 strikeouts.

Then, if you include pitchers from the schools in Iowa and Oklahoma that play both a summer and fall season (and in some cases a spring and summer season), then you have to include Varner, Turner and Boddicker.

Under these circumstances, Varner set the national record with 1,042 strikeouts in his four years at Decorah, graduating in 1970. He played three spring seasons to go with four summer seasons. Turner had 917 strikeouts in three fall and four spring seasons for Vanoss in Oklahoma from 1989-92.

Boddicker topped Varner for the all-time lead in Iowa, and the nation, with 1,122 strikeouts from 1972-75 while at Norway. Boddicker played three fall seasons to go with four spring seasons. The MLB All-Star also holds the record for most all-time wins with 79 (with all seasons considered). Boddicker went on to earn American League Conference Series MVP honors in 1983 en route to helping the Baltimore Orioles win the World Series.

Clyde also played professionally after being selected by the Texas Rangers with the first overall pick in 1973. Twenty days after pitching his final high school game, Clyde started for the Rangers and won his first MLB outing. Injuries marred his career, however, and he finished with 18 wins and 33 losses.

The first player to record 500 career strikeouts during a spring-only career is believed to be Francis Vidrine, who had exactly 500 while at Seligman (Ariz.) from 1955 to 1958. None other than MLB all-time strikeout leader Nolan Ryan of Alvin (Texas) became the all-time leader in 1965 with 510 strikeouts. Future California Angels teammate Lloyd Allen of Selma (Calif.) topped Ryan with 588 strikeouts upon graduation in 1968. Gene Carfrey of Westfall (Williamsport, Ohio) raised the record to 649 strikeouts in 1969 and then Clyde raised it to 842 in 1973. Richardson has held the spring record ever since 1987.

Another Mississippi pitcher, Randolph Salters of Mooreville, might have broken Clyde's records in the mid-1980s, but his career numbers are unavailable. According to former coach Rex Berryman, in an e-mail to MaxPreps, all of his records and scorebooks were inadvertently destroyed by contractors when Mooreville moved from the old gym to the new gym in 1988.

Salters holds the national record for single season strikeouts, although that total is up for dispute. Three different stories by the Clarion Ledger list Salters with 344 strikeouts, 366 strikeouts and 381 strikeouts during a 25-4 season. The 381 total is the most likely total since the Clarion Ledger ran a story about Salters on May 23, 1985, listing him with 366 and he then pitched in the championship game on May 25, striking out 15.

Salters struck out somewhere in the neighborhood of 140 batters as a junior, but exact totals are unavailable. His sophomore and freshman season are also unknown and he finished his career with a record of 53-9.

With new rules restricting the amount of batters a pitcher can face in a week (Salters once pitched 27 innings in four days in the state tournament), it's unlikely anyone will top the totals amassed by Clyde, Richardson, Varner, Turner and Boddicker. The most recent addition to the list is Bubba Gomez of Fremont Christian (Fremont, Calif.), who had 569 strikeouts between 2016 and 2019. That's still nearly 300 strikeouts away from the spring record.

Sources for the list include the NFHS record book, state association record books, coaches association record books,, Mississippi Baseball Record Book by John Smillie, and the Cal-Hi Sports Record by Mark and Nelson Tennis.
Bubba Gomez, Fremont Christian
File photo by Jim Malone
Bubba Gomez, Fremont Christian
Pitchers with 500 or more career strikeouts (spring only)

1.   856 — Ronnie Richardson, Lee (Columbus, Miss.), now Columbus (Miss.), 1983-87
2.   842 — David Clyde, Westchester (Houston), now closed, 1970-73
3.   734 — Jerry Boldt, Woodlawn (Chicago), 1979-83
4.   729 — Allen Rath, Highland (Riverside, Iowa), 1983-86
5.   690 — Brad Howard, Oakdale (Tenn.), 1992-96
6.   680 — Kelly Owens, Junction City (Ark.), 1979-82
7.   662 — Jordan Ray, Hillcrest (Tuscaloosa, Ala.), 2005-08
8.   661 — Steve Fink, Kee (Lansing, Iowa), 1970-73
9.   658 — Jaime Sepeda, Sinton (Texas), 1986-89
10. 651 — Tyler Stovall, Hokes Bluff (Ala.), 2005-08

10. 651 — Paul Morse, Danville (Ky.), 1988-92
12. 649 — Gene Carfrey, Westfall (Williamsport, Ohio), 1966-69
13. 646 — Craig Van Hulzen, Apple Valley Christian (Apple Valley, Calif.), 1987-90
14. 644 — David Flattery, St. Edmond (Fort Dodge, Iowa), 1974-77
15. 640 — David Mabe, East Surry (Pilot Mountain, N.C.), 1981-84
16. 637 — Pat Underwood, Kokomo (Ind.), 1971-74
17. 626 — Brian DuBois, Reed-Custer (Braidwood, Ill.), 1982-85
18. 623 — Mike Wisniewski, Bangor (Mich.), 1991-94
19. 612 — Tyler Sander, Okoboji (Milford, Iowa), 2000-03
19. 612 — Jon Peters, Brenham (Texas), 1986-89

21. 606 — Todd Neibel, Waltonville (Ill.), 1980-83
21. 606 — Bert Neff, Mooresville (Ind.), 1990-93
23. 598 — Will Inman, Tunstall (Dry Fork, Va.), 2002-05
23. 598 — Manuel Mendez, Washington Union (Fresno, Calif.), 1990-92
25. 597 — Matt Tomso, Mt. Olive (Ill.), 1987-90
26. 593 — Steve DeRoos, Wheeler (Valparaiso, Ind.), 1984-87
27. 590 — Gunner Baker, Carlisle (Price, Texas), 2010-13
28. 589 — Larry Knight, Lookout Valley (Chattanooga, Tenn.), 1978-80
29. 588 — Lloyd Allen, Selma (Calif.), 1965-68
30. 587 — Schuyler Tripp, Davis County (Bloomfield, Iowa), 2002-05

31. 586 — Mike Mercer, Nishna Valley (Hastings, Iowa), 1980-84
32. 585 — Cody Reed, Ardmore (Ala.), 2011-14
33. 583 — Nate Wernette, Morley Stanwood (Morley, Mich.), 2000-03
34. 580 — Brennen Milby, Green County (Greensburg, Ky.), 2008-13
35. 578 — Ron Robinson, Woodlake (Calif.), 1977-80
36. 575 — Ryno Bethel, Willcox (Ariz.), 1998-2001
37. 572 — David Dinsmore, Reese (Mich.), 2000-03
38. 569 — Bubba Gomez, Fremont Christian (Fremont, Calif.), 2016-19
39. 568 — John Tolson, Decatur Central (Indianapolis), 1998-2001
40. 566 — TJ Prunty, St. Paul Academy (Minn.), 1996-2000

40. 566 — Bob Goodyear, Lutheran (Los Angeles, Calif.), 1971-73
42. 564 — Jake Forrester, Umpqua Valley Christian (Roseburg, Ore.), 2011-14
43. 555 — Todd Malone, Casa Roble (Orangevale, Calif.), 1986-88
44. 553 — Tom Underwood, Kokomo (Ind.), 1969-72
44. 553 — Kevin Waldrum, Millsap (Texas), 1996-97
44. 553 — Steve Streater, Sylva-Webster (N.C.), now Smoky Mountain (Sylva, N.C.) 1974-77
47. 552 — Will Jostock, Lapeer West (Lapeer, Mich.), 2001-04
48. 551 — Ben Van Ryn, East Noble (Kendallville, Ind.), 1987-90
49. 550 — RA Dickey, Montgomery Bell Academy (Nashville, Tenn.), 1990-93
50. 548 — Alec Carney, Webster Christian (Webster, N.Y.), 2002-06

50. 548 — Gregg Johnson, Moorehead (East Monona, Iowa), now West Harrison (Mondamin, Iowa) 1983-85
52. 547 — Richy Harrelson, Iuka (Miss.), now Tishomingo County (Iuka, Miss.), 1988-92
53. 546 — Josh Collmenter, Homer (Mich.), 2001-04
54. 545 — Nick Stiles, Bath (Mich.), 2009-12
55. 542 — Able D'Loera, Grant (Oklahoma City, Okla.), 1998-2001
56. 541 — Del Howell, American Christian Academy (Tuscaloosa, Ala.), 2002-06
56. 541 — Chris Schoon, Anamosa (Iowa), 1974-77
58. 540 — Jerome Hammontree, Sperry (Okla.), 1987-90
59. 535 — Ryan Keaffaber, Northfield (Wabash, Ind.), 2010-13
59. 535 — Thomas Mitchell, Bladenboro (N.C.), 1997-2000

61. 531 — Sam Traver, Potterville (Mich.), 2012-15
61. 531 — Bob Rossi, Corning West (N.Y.), 1969-72
63. 528 — Drew Henson, Brighton (Mich.), 1995-98
64. 526 — Jeff Granger, Orangefield (Texas), 1987-90
65. 525 — Mike Taylor, Iowa Falls (Iowa), 1973-76
65. 525 — Logan Ehlers, Nebraska City (Neb.), 2007-10
67. 524 — Guy Finch, Clarksville (Ind.), 1975-78
68. 523 — Keith Creel, Duncanville (Texas), 1974-77
68. 523 — Kirk Benda, Decorah-North Winneshiek (Decorah, Iowa), 1980-81
70. 521 — Aron Cornett, Concord (Ark.), 2002-04

70. 521 — Ty Henderson, Webber (Bluford, Ill.), 2010-13
70. 521 — Steven Rice, Crawfordsville (Ind.), 2007-10
73. 520 — Brian Bohanon, North Shore (Houston), 1984-87
74. 519 — Drew Tanner, Coffee (Douglas, Ga.), 1979-82
74. 519 — Justin Willoughby, Princeton (N.C.), 1993-96
76. 518 — Ryan Ellison, Isabella (Maplesville, Ala.), 2000-04
76. 518 — Lesley Piersall, Hutsonville (Ill.), 1995-98
76. 518 — Tom King, La Porte (Ind.), 1970-72
79. 517 — Tyler Howe, Northeast (Goose Lake, Iowa), 2000-04
80. 515 — Doug Bates, J.J. Kelly (Va.), 1980-83

81. 513 — Tony Watson, Dallas Center-Grimes (Dallas Center, Iowa), 2000-03
82. 512 — Chandler Shepherd, Lawrence County (Louisa, Ky.), 2006-11
82. 512 — Joe Goodman, Gilbert (Iowa), 2008-11
84. 511 — Scott Davidson, Redondo Union (Redondo Beach, Calif.), 1986-88
85. 510 — Jim Peterson, Sonora (La Habra, Calif.), 1971-73
85. 510 — Brian Barnes, Roanoke Rapids (N.C.), 1982-85
85. 510 — Kevin Mann, Jackson Center (Ohio), 2003-06
85. 510 — Nolan Ryan, Alvin (Texas), 1963-65
89. 506 — Jon Kirby, Estill County (Irvine, Ky.), 1999-2002
90. 505 — Tim Rogers, Bixby (Okla.), 1975-78

91. 502 — Chad Billingsley, Defiance (Ohio), 2000-03
92. 501 — Chase Reeves, Hamilton (Miss.), 2007-11
93. 500 — Francis Vidrine, Seligman (Ariz.), 1955-58
93. 500 — Harvey Marshall, Floyd County (Floyd, Va.), 1975-79

Top 10 Fall-Spring-Summer combo strikeout leaders
1. 1,122 — Mike Boddicker, Norway (Iowa), 1972-75
2. 1,042 — Bill Varner, Decorah (Iowa), 1967-70
3.    917 — Mark Turner, Vanoss (Ada, Okla.), 1989-92
4.    817 — Will Hunt, Asher (Okla.), 1986-89
5.    757 — Mario Enriquez, Davidson (Okla.), 1986-89
6.    743 — Cal Eldred, Urbana (Iowa), 1983-86
7.    735 — Brett Case, Preston (Okla.), 2000-03
8.    732 — Larry Frakes, Goldfield (Iowa), 1968-72
9.    723 — Kevin Lomon, Cameron (Okla.), 1987-90
10.  687 — Cale Elam, Oktaha (Okla.), 2006-10
Note: It's possible Boddicker and Varner would qualify for the "spring only" list, but their spring-only totals are unknown.
High school girls basketball rankings: Florida's Lake Highland Prep tops Preseason HIGHSCORE Top 25 - HIGHSCORE
High school girls basketball rankings: Florida's Lake Highland Prep tops Preseason MaxPreps Top 25
The 2019-2020 high school girls basketball season fizzled into the history books in many states. Playoffs never got off the ground or finished due to the coronavirus pandemic — and 2020-21 is planned but its fate might be questionable as well.

No one really knows how the basketball season will shake out in the high school setting. Many club teams managed to get in 40 or more games during the summer without an apparent negative impact. Still, schools will approach safety and virus control much differently than summer tournament operators, so the fact that club teams played bunches of games may not mean the same for high school teams.

And even if games are played, schedules have been disrupted, most notably in California. In that state, practice won't even begin until March, with the season set to end in mid-June. In other states, regular season schedules have been cut back and postseasons shortened or even eliminated entirely.

On top of all that, teams are much less likely to travel this year, which makes it more difficult to evaluate teams from a national perspective. Top 25 teams can be expected to dominate locally, but major intersectional events test them against their peers. That won't happen nearly as much this year, so it's likely there will be more unbeaten teams and fewer ways to determine which ones might stand above the others.

And finally, it all could change in a heartbeat. A vaccine could restore confidence, schedules and travel, or a winter surge could cause cancellations of single games or even full seasons.

Bottom line? The Preseason MaxPreps Top 25 is always an exercise in uncertainty, but that's even more true in 2020-21.

Still, we're confident that the teams listed below are all exceptional, and so of course are more than a few that aren't mentioned — which means that one historical certainty remains: The MaxPreps Top 25 at the end of the year will be a lot different than the one we're publishing now.
If all goes to plan in 2020-21, Stanford signee Brooke Demetre and No. 6 Mater Dei will just be tipping off the season in California as other states are winding down the playoffs.
Photo by Gint Federas
If all goes to plan in 2020-21, Stanford signee Brooke Demetre and No. 6 Mater Dei will just be tipping off the season in California as other states are winding down the playoffs.
Preseason MaxPreps Top 25

1. Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Fla.)
Head coach: Al Honor | 2019-20: 29-2, No. 16 in final MaxPreps Top 25
Breakdown: Eight players return from the Florida 4A championship team — including senior Alabama commit Kayla Blackshear and junior Nyla Harris — as the Highlands are taking their chance for national prominence seriously. The Orlando school travels to the United Bank Holiday Invitational (formerly the Crescom Bank Holiday Classic) in South Carolina and She Got Game in Atlanta, giving Lake Highland Prep one of the most challenging schedules in the country. Even amid a pandemic, strength of schedule has to count for something in the MaxPreps Top 25.

2. Bishop McNamara (Forestville, Md.)
Head coach: Frank Oliver Jr. | 2019-20: 27-5, No. 7 in final MaxPreps Top 25
Breakdown: Despite losing five players off of last year's team, Bishop McNamara has once more reloaded (it seems like the DMV never runs out of talent). And even though the Mustangs may not travel much, the always tough Washington Catholic Athletic Conference provides plenty of opportunities to show how good this team really is.

3. Duncanville (Texas)

Head coach: LaJeanna Howard | 2019-20: 40-3, No. 5 in final Top 25
Breakdown: Even the loss of McDonald's All-American Deja Kelly won't slow the Duncanville roll, as plenty of talent returns for the defending 6A champions. That said, though, Texas has more than a few quality teams, and it won't be all that easy for the Pantherettes to hold on to this spot.

4. Hopkins (Minnetonka, Minn.)
Head coach: Tara Starks | 2019-20: 30-0, No. 4 in final MaxPreps Top 25
Breakdown: Paige Bueckers is now the next big thing at UConn and coach Brian Cosgriff retired, but it will still be a surprise if Hopkins loses a game in Minnesota. Six-foot-four junior Maya Nnaji leads a deep, talented roster that should coast through however many games Hopkins winds up playing.

5. Edison Academy (Detroit)
Head coach: Monique Brown | 2019-20: 23-0, No. 8 in final MaxPreps Top 25
Breakdown: Michigan State commit Damiya Hagemann tops the list of players with Power 5 potential on the Edison roster, which once again should be way too much for any Michigan team to overcome. And as with many teams this year, there will be no travel, so it will be hard to know how good Edison really is.

6. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
Head coach: Kevin Kiernan | 2019-20: 30-3, No. 25 in final MaxPreps Top 25
Breakdown: As always, Southern California is loaded with quality teams, and if Mater Dei can rise above the pack, No. 6 in the nation makes a lot of sense. But "rising above the pack" is a lot easier said than done. The Monarchs will need a big year from Stanford-bound Brooke Demetre, among others, to retain this ranking.

7. Westlake (Atlanta)

Head coach: Hilda Hankerson | 2019-20: 30-2, No. 14 in final MaxPreps Top 25
Breakdown: Led by senior South Carolina commit Raven Johnson, Westlake's deep roster has one missing ingredient: size. A single returner is taller than 6-0, but that's the only weakness in an otherwise rock-solid top 10 team.

8. St. John's (Washington, D.C.)
Head coach: Johnathan Scribner | 2019-20: 22-9
Breakdown: Early last season without the injured Azzi Fudd — favored as the 2020-21 MaxPreps National Player of the Year — the Cadets were a very good team, but not a great one. As Fudd got healthier, St. John's got better and better. Fudd is now 100 percent and primed for as great season. Not coincidentally, so is St. John's.

9. Incarnate Word Academy (St. Louis)
Head coach: Dan Rolfes | 2019-20: 26-4
Breakdown: The Red Knights' quest for an eighth state title was denied by COVID, but with all but two players returning from a 26-4 team, Rolfes has all the pieces in place for another championship run. Like No. 7 Westlake, Incarnate Wood lacks a dominant post presence, but makes up for it with size up and down the roster.

10. St. John-Vianney (Holmdel, N.J.)
Head coach: Dawn Karpell | 2019-20: 28-1, No. 19 in final MaxPreps Top 25
Breakdown: For most schools, being ranked No. 19 in the nation is the culmination of years of program building and, when seniors graduate, is followed by a swift decline. But Karpell and St. John-Vianney see their No. 19 ranking as the beginning of something special. Every player returns, including point guard Madison St. Rose.

11. DeSoto (Texas)

Head coach: Andrea Robinson | 2019-20: 32-3, No. 23 in final MaxPreps Top 25
Breakdown: While some teams scramble to find a 6-footer to play the post, DeSoto's Robinson has three players 6-4 or taller — and all three juniors are ranked in the Hoopgurlz 2022 Top 60. Size matters but beating Duncanville in postseason matters more, and that's DeSoto's biggest hurdle.

12. Reynoldsburg (Ohio)
Head coach: Jack Purtell | 2019-20: 18-8
Breakdown: How can an eight-loss team start out No. 12 in the nation? When two elite transfers — Louisville-bound Alexia Mobley and Imarianah Russell — bulk up an already solid roster. Ohio, though, has its usual crop of quality teams, so Reynoldsburg is far from a lock to hold on to this slot.

13. Norman (Okla.)
Head coach: Michael Neal | 2019-20: 25-1, No. 24 in final MaxPreps Top 25
Breakdown: With point guard Kelbie Washington running the show and 6-1 Chantae Embry scoring and rebounding, Norman is looking to do even better than last year — which would take some doing, since Oklahoma's best only lost once.

14. New Hope Academy (Landover Hills, Md.)
Head coach: Sam Caldwell | 2019-20: 23-8
Breakdown: Caldwell always attracts talent, and that trend continues in his third year at New Hope. This year's roster is headed by point guard Kennedy Fauntleroy and 6-2 post Maria Gakdeng, but there's plenty of firepower after those two — and thus a ranking in the top 15.

15. Sidwell Friends (Washington, D.C.)
Head coach: Tamika Dudley | 2019-20: 25-6
Breakdown: A new power is rising in the always-loaded DMV, as junior Kiki Rice, who averaged 26.8 points, 10 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.6 blocks per game a year ago, is the prime mover behind the Quakers' jump into elite status. Sophomore Jadyn Donovan also averaged a double-double for this young team, so get used to hearing the name.

16. Hoover (Ala.)
Head coach: Krystle Johnson | 2019-20: 32-3
Breakdown: Hoover is traditionally one of the strongest high school sports schools in Alabama and with sophomore Reniya Kelly and junior Aniya Hubbard leading the way, add girls basketball to the list of powerhouse Buccaneers programs. Of course, at 32-3, Hoover wasn't half-bad last year, but expecting more this time around would not be a mistake.

17. Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.)
Head coach: Sue Phillips | 2019-20: 26-3
Breakdown: Clearly the best in Northern California, Mitty rolls out a deep, talented team chock full of Division I players. The best are probably seniors Marley Langi and Hunter Hernandez, but Phillips has multiple options and many ways to win.

18. Cypress Creek (Houston)
Head coach:
Jennifer Alexander | 2019-20: 41-1
Breakdown: Yes, Cypress Creek played 42 games last year and lost just one. On top of that Texas commits Rori Harmon (15.6 points, 5.2 assists per game) and Kyndall Hunter (20.0 points per game) return for their final season, so there's no reason to expect much drop off. In fact, Cougars' fans might wonder why No. 3 Duncanville and No. 11 DeSoto are ranked higher.

19. Ensworth (Nashville, Tenn.)
Head coach: Mary Taylor Cowles | 2019-20: 28-0, No. 9 in final MaxPreps Top 25
Breakdown: Ensworth might not be quite as good as last year — but it's hard to top a perfect season and a top 10 national ranking. Still, the Cambridge sisters — freshman Jaloni and junior Kennedy — will keep Ensworth in the national conversation and at the top of the Tennessee list.

20. Rutgers Prep (Somerset, N.J.)
Head coach: Mary Klinger | 2019-20: 26-5
Breakdown: As always, New Jersey produces plenty of quality players, and Rutgers Prep has a lot of them. Senior Christina Dalce and freshman Mikayla Blakes are the top two, but they are just the tip of the iceberg on a deep, experienced team that could easily wind up in the top 10 at season's end.

21. Valley Vista (Surprise, Ariz.)
Head coach: Rachel Matakas | 2019-20: 28-3
Breakdown: With 6-0 wing Jennah Isai distributing and 6-1 power forward Marisa Davis, a Washington commit, taking care of business inside, Valley Vista is the best in Arizona — and primed to make the jump from regional power to national recognition.

22. Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.)
Head coach: Mike McDonald | 2019-20: 21-7
Breakdown: It used to be that Archbishop Wood passed the ball 15 times before taking a mid-range jumper, hoping to win 39-38 — but those days are long gone. Led by Villanova signee Kaitlyn Orihel and 6-0 junior wing Ryanne Allen, Philly's best is looking to score early and often ... and win going away.

23. Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.)
Head coach: Special Jennings | 2019-20: 17-6
Breakdown: Usually a 17-6 team that loses six seniors to graduation isn't going to find a home in preseason national rankings, but Montverde has a lot coming back plus several quality out-of-state transfers. Bottom line: No. 1 Lake Highlands Prep isn't the only Sunshine State power.

24. Chiawana (Pasco, Wash.)
Head coach: Mike Brown | 2019-20: 23-5
Breakdown: Led by Oregon State's prize recruit, Talia Von Oelhoffen, Chiawana is out to erase memories of last year's late-season slump and stake a claim as Washington's best — not to mention a home in the MaxPreps Top 25. To do that, Von Oelhoffen will likely have to improve on her 26.2 points and 9.5 rebounds a game, but she's good enough to make that happen.

25. North Central (Indianapolis)
Head coach: DeeAnn Ramey | 2019-20: 17-10
Breakdown: It's an unusual year, which is why a 10-loss team creeps into the preseason rankings, but the word from Indiana is that North Central will be the state's best — and also plans to travel to Ohio to test itself against some top teams across the border. The key performer is Arizona State-bound Meg Newman, who leads a balanced attack.
Jeriah Warren named 2020-21 HIGHSCORE Louisiana High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year - HIGHSCORE
Jeriah Warren named 2020-21 MaxPreps Louisiana High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year
Each year since 2006, MaxPreps has recognized outstanding performers in high school basketball. America's source for high school sports continues the tradition to close out the 2020-21 season by naming the top player in each state. Selections are based on team success and individual excellence, in addition to local and state accolades.

Jeriah Warren of LaGrange (Lake Charles) is the 2020-21 MaxPreps Louisiana High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year. The 6-foot senior point guard helped the Gators win their second straight Class 4A state title.

Warren carried averages of around 17 points, 12 rebounds, six steals and three blocked shots into postseason play.

The University of Florida signee tallied 19 points, 14 boards rebounds, three blocked shots and two steals in a 49-42 win over Huntington in the state championship game earlier this month, earning MVP honors.

Warren helped LaGrange notch 13 postseason wins during her four years playing under head coach La'Keem Holmes. The Gators fell just short of the 2019 Class 5A final four before breaking through and winning the back-to-back 4A state titles. After averaging nearly 17 points a game as a junior, Warren earned first team Class 4A All-State honors by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association.

Each state's MaxPreps Player of the Year will be considered for inclusion in the MaxPreps All-America Team.
High school volleyball rankings: In search of sixth consecutive state title, Nebraska's Skutt Catholic headlines preseason HIGHSCORE Top 25 - HIGHSCORE
High school volleyball rankings: In search of sixth consecutive state title, Nebraska's Skutt Catholic headlines preseason MaxPreps Top 25
While the 2020 high school volleyball season might look different on a national level, one thing remains: You've got to win the matches in front of you. More than two-thirds of the states are pushing forward with fall sports, though some have a delayed calendar, but the national landscape will nonetheless look different.

California opted for a spring volleyball schedule, while some of the national tournaments were either canceled or rebooted in a different format. Michigan, with several Top 25-worthy teams is still trying to figure out if it's pushing back or moving forward.

Still, there's a ton of individual talent already on the court and equal number of teams capable of putting together state and perhaps national title runs.

We've included teams that have started playing or will start in September. Coaches can play their part in formulating accurate rankings by updating schedules and scores via MaxPreps.
Mabrey Shaffmaster and New Castle (Ind.) check in at No. 9 in our preseason rankings. The Trojans are chasing their fourth straight Indiana title.
File photo by Julie Holt
Mabrey Shaffmaster and New Castle (Ind.) check in at No. 9 in our preseason rankings. The Trojans are chasing their fourth straight Indiana title.
Preseason MaxPreps Top 25

1. Skutt Catholic (Omaha, Neb.), 7-0
Notes: Won the Bellevue West Invite without dropping a set. Lindsay Krause has 84 kills in 15 sets, while Allie Gray has 188 assists.

2. Flower Mound (Texas), Opens Sept. 15
Notes: Finished 41-4 last season and return three All-Americans in Kaylee Cox, Angelique Cyr and Caroline Dykes.

3. Lovejoy (Lucas, Texas), Sept. 15
Notes: Defending 5A champions posted a 2019 mark of 48-5. All-Americans Averi Carlson and Cecily Bramschreiber look to repeat.

4. Hoover (Ala.), 14-1
Notes: Following a season-opening five-set loss to McGill-Toolen, the Bucs have reeled off 14 straight including a revenge win over the Yellowjackets and a three-set tourney win over Tennessee's Brentwood.

5. Mercy (Louisville, Ky.), Sept. 8
Notes: Kentucky runners-up open the season against 2019 champion Assumption in a battle of the titans.

6. Assumption (Louisville, Ky.), Sept. 8
Notes: See No. 5 Mercy.

7. Valley (West Des Moines, Iowa), Sept. 2
Notes: Tigers open 2020 against Fort Dodge after 38-5 runner-up season in 2019. All-American Hayden Kubik leads Valley.

8. Brentwood (Tenn.), 9-1
Notes: The Bruins started 9-0 before the loss to Hoover. All-American Shaye Eggleston has 150 kills to start the year.

9. New Castle ( Ind.), 1-0
Notes: The Trojans opened with a sweep of Center Grove as Mabrey Shaffmaster (21) and Laila Smith (16) combined for 37 kills.

10. Walton (Marietta, Ga.), 2-0
Notes: The Raiders opened with sweeps of North Cobb and Marietta.

11. Guyer (Denton, Texas), Sept. 15
Notes: The Wildcats went 35-9 before losing to 6A champion Byron Nelson in the state semis.

12. Leon (Tallahassee, Fla.), Sept. 18
Notes: The Lions were 29-3 last season in winning the FHSAA 6A title and return assist leader Alexa Washington after dishing up 957 in 2019.

13. Papillion-LaVista South (Papillion, Neb.), 6-1
Notes: Sophomore Stella Adeyemi (46 kills) and freshman Lauren Medeck (39 kills) had helped the Titans to the 6-1 mark. Lone loss was to Skutt.

14. Hamilton Southeastern (Fishers, Ind.), 7-0
Notes: The Royals have been paced by Delaney Garner's 83 kills and while freshman Lauren Harden has added 74. Junior Emily Weber has 129 assists.

15. McGill-Toolen (Mobile, Ala.), 12-2
Notes: Senior Skyler Bumpers has 180 kills thus far as Yellowjackets' losses are to Hoover and Brentwood.

Notes: Ella Broadhead has 110 kills with senior Emily Buhl adding 87 as the Admirals' lone losses are to upper division opponents Hoover and McGill-Toolen.

17. O'Gorman (Sioux Falls, S.D.), 1-0
Notes: All-American Bergen Reilly opened her sophomore campaign with 16 kills in the sweep over Roosevelt.

18. Teurlings Catholic (Lafayette, La.), Sept. 9
Notes: The Rebels open the quest for their fourth straight DII title along with senior Gatorade winner Cicily Hidalgo.

19. Mount Notre Dame (Cincinnati), 2-0
Notes: Junior Carly Hendrickson posted 25 kills in three sets as the Cougars earned two sweeps to start the year.

20. Jenks (Okla.), 11-1
Notes: Mikiah Perdue, Sophie Bufogle and Savanna LaBiche all have more than 50 kills as the Trojans took the Broken Arrow Invitational.

21. Aquinas (Overland Park, Kan.), Sept. 2
Notes: The Saints open with St. James.

22. Briarcrest Christian (Eads, Tenn.), 4-0
Notes: Zykia Jones has 45 kills as the Saints have jumped to a 4-0 start without dropping a set.

23. Providence (Clarksville, Ind.), 5-1
Notes: Pioneers' lone loss to Hamilton Southeastern.

24. McIntosh (Peachtree City, Ga.), 7-0
Notes: Senior Ngozi Iloh has 85 kills and junior Alexa Markley added 77 kills as the Chiefs have dropped only two sets. Senior Claire Lewis has 172 assists.

25. Padua Franciscan (Parma, Ohio), 4-0

Notes: Senior Brooke Cirigliano leads the Bruins with 49 kills as Maria Futey has added 40. Amanda Leigh dished up 123 assists as Padua has swept all four matches.

The Next 25

26. Mountain Brook (Birmingham, Ala.), 9-2
27. Blessed Trinity (Roswell, Ga.), 7-1
28. Pope (Marietta, Ga.), 7-0
29. Klein (Texas), Sept. 11
30. Southside (Fort Smith, Ark.), 2-1
31. Dorman (Roebuck, S.C.), Sept. 10
32. Lake Highland Prep (Orlando, Fla.), Sept. 17
33. Washburn Rural (Topeka, Kan.), Sept. 3
34. Willard (Mo.), 6-0
35. Ursuline Academy (Cincinnati), 3-0
36. Plano West (Plano, Texas), Sept. 18
37. Pleasant Grove (Utah), 3-0
38. Byron Nelson (Trophy Club, Texas), Sept. 15
39. Elkhorn South (Omaha, Neb.) 2-0
40. Norman North (Norman, Okla.), 4-1
41. Parkland (Allentown, Pa.), Sept. 15
42. North Allegheny (Wexford, Pa.), Sept. 14
43. St. Francis Borgia (Washington, Mo.), Sept. 3
44. Brookfield Central (Brookfield, Wis.), Sept. 15
45. Prosper (Texas), Sept. 11
46. St. James Academy (Lenexa, Kan.), Sept. 8
47. St. Pius X Catholic (Atlanta), 8-0
48. Notre Dame Academy (Toledo, Ohio), 1-1
49. Reagan (San Antonio), Sept. 4
50. Appleton North (Appleton, Wis.), Sept. 18