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High school football: 100 days to kickoff, preseason HIGHSCORE Top 25 set to be released June 23 - HIGHSCORE
High school football: 100 days to kickoff, preseason MaxPreps Top 25 set to be released June 23
While adjusted spring seasons due to the pandemic are just wrapping up in some pockets of the country, high school football is expected to return to its normal time slot this fall. Here's to hopes that all the things that make prep football a community event on Friday nights can return along with it – bands, cheerleaders, student sections and of course fans.

Kickoff is 100 days away in many states and we will officially begin counting down to what may be the most highly-anticipated high school football season in history with the release of our preseason MaxPreps Top 25 on June 23.

A look at the nation's elite programs will be followed by breakdowns of the top team in every state, biggest games, toughest schedules and top players at every position. Our 2021 preview will conclude in late July with the release of our preseason All-America teams.

Most states have confirmed start dates for the 2021 season. The earliest scheduled thus far is Hawaii on Aug. 6, followed by Alaska and Utah the following week. The season will really pick up steam Aug. 20-21 with more than a dozen states kicking off that weekend.

Last year, Utah kicked off first Aug. 13 and was one of 35 states to complete seasons in the fall. Of those, 31 eventually crowned state champions.
High school football teams around the country can't wait to take the field again this fall.
Photo by Daniel Galarza
High school football teams around the country can't wait to take the field again this fall.
Previewing the 2021 football season

June 23: Preseason MaxPreps Top 25
June 29: Highlighting the nation's top 100 teams
July 1: Best team in all 50 states
July 5: Top 10 biggest games
July 7: Top 10 toughest schedules
July 9: Top 10 quarterbacks
July 12: Top 10 running backs
July 14: Top 10 wide receivers
July 16: Top 10 defensive linemen
July 19: Top 10 linebackers
July 21: Top 10 defensive backs
July 23: Top 10 players
July 26: Preseason Sophomore All-America Team
July 28: Preseason Junior All-America Team
July 30: Preseason All-America Team
Lauren Betts named 2020-21 HIGHSCORE Colorado High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year - HIGHSCORE
Lauren Betts named 2020-21 MaxPreps Colorado 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.

Lauren Betts of Grandview (Aurora) is the 2020-21 MaxPreps Colorado High School Basketball Player of the Year. The 6-foot-7 junior post sparked the Wolves to a 17-1 record and the Class 5A state semifinals.

Betts averaged 17.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 1.9 assists a game while shooting an incredible 80 percent from the field. Betts had nine double-doubles on the season and had five or more blocked shots four different times.

Betts is the top-rated prospect in the Class of 2022 by ESPN Hoopgurlz and has committed to play at Stanford.

Each state's MaxPreps Player of the Year will be considered for inclusion in the MaxPreps All-America Team.
Lauren Betts in action during Colorado's Class 5A state tournament.
Photo by Steve Abeyta
Lauren Betts in action during Colorado's Class 5A state tournament.
Girls high school basketball rankings: No. 6 Mount Notre Dame lone HIGHSCORE Top 25 team with out-of-state MLK matchup - HIGHSCORE
Girls high school basketball rankings: No. 6 Mount Notre Dame lone MaxPreps Top 25 team with out-of-state MLK matchup
Usually, the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend is full of big games with lots of impact on the rankings — but right now, "usual" is a word that's conspicuous by its absence.

There is one team in the MaxPreps Top 25 girls high school basketball rankings playing a major event this weekend that will draw out-of-state competition — No. 6 Mount Notre Dame of Ohio vs. Compass Prep of Arizona. As for ranked teams from different areas of the country going head-to-head? Not likely this year.

Which means that making sense of the national rankings — always a difficult task — is even more complicated in 2021, especially with some states (such as California) not even playing in the winter and thus not included.

Still, we're confident every one of the teams in the list below is a very good. It's just unfortunate that we're unlikely to find out how good, as schools are wisely staying local as much as possible and doing all in their power to keep players, coaches, officials, fans and relatives safe.

(NOTE: Please update schedules and results on MaxPreps. If there are issues, please reach out to [email protected] for assistance.)

MaxPreps Top 25 Girls High School Basketball Rankings

Record: 11-0 | Last week: 1
The Highlanders took care of a major challenge last week by jumping on No. 14 Montverde early and rolling to a 57-47 win. DME Sports Academy, at 10-3, is Monday's test.

Record: 0-0 | Last week: 2
Still looking at a Feb. 1 start.

Record: 8-0 | Last week: 3
It won't be an easy week for Westlake, with 11-1 Langston Hughes on Friday and 8-2 Forest Park on Monday. Though Langston Hughes has the better record, note that Forest Park took No. 14 Montverde to overtime earlier this season.

Record: 0-0 | Last week: 4
Wayzata isn't quite as strong as it was last year, when it was Hopkins' main Minnesota rival, but next Tuesday's game should still be a serious test for the No. 4 team in the country.

Record: 0-0 | Last week: 5
Another team still sitting in limbo.

Record: 12-0 | Last week: 6
If the Journey to the Tourney can be played this weekend, the Cougars take on Compass Prep of Arizona on Saturday and 11-3 Springboro on Sunday.

Record: 0-0 | Last week: 7
There was some concern the Cadets might not play at all this year, but it appears that games will be played and some sort of schedule will be announced soon.

Record: 3-0 | Last week: 8
After disposing of unbeaten Marquette 60-42, the Red Knights have only one game this week — against 1-3 Nerinx Hall.

Record: 0-0 | Last week: 9
The Lancers' first game should be played Jan. 21.

Record: 18-0 | Last week: 10
Jersey Village is 15-0 — and coming off a 69-0 win Saturday — so that Jan. 13 game might be a serious test. Then again, Jersey Village hasn't played anyone nearly as good as the Cougars.

Record: 6-0 | Last week: 13
If the Tigers hold on to this No. 13 ranking, it will have earned it: First up is powerful Moore on Friday, then rival Norman North on Saturday and finally young but talented Edmonds North on Tuesday. Oklahoma is awfully good this year.

Record: 5-0 | Last week: 12
We'll know a lot more very soon, as the Raiders play once-beaten traditional power Pickerington Central on Thursday, and then unbeaten Wayne on Saturday.

Record: 9-0 | Last week: NR
The Redskins are the first newcomer jumps into the rankings thanks to a big win over previous No. 11. Classen, which had beaten No. 21 DeSoto. But it's one thing to get into the rankings — it's another thing to stay there.

Record: 13-1 | Last week: 14
You can't really punish a team for losing to No. 1, but the Eagles needs to be ready for 12-3 Mekiva on Thursday. At this point, the margin for error is slim.

Record: 0-0 | Last week: 15
No word on when or if the Quakers will begin their season.

Record: 18-0 | Last week: 16
That perfect record will be tested by 12-4 Thompson on Friday and perennial power St. Francis of Georgia (now 8-1) Monday.

Record: 4-1 | Last week: 17
As a team that relied heavily on scheduling out-of-area games, New Hope's future slate is uncertain. What is certain is the level of talent on the roster.

Record: 7-0 | Last week: 19
After Friday's game against Harpeth Hall, the Tigers are off until Jan. 26.

Record: 0-0 | Last week: 20
The Argonauts are still searching for their first game — which may be harder to find than the golden fleece.

Record: 10-0 | Last week: 25
The Silverwolves have lots of talent in a smaller state, so the next challenge probably won't come until Jan. 22, when Syracuse shows up on the schedule.

Record: 14-1 | Last week: 18
The Eagles should have a relatively easy time of it, at least until Jan. 23. That's the date of the rematch with No. 23 Duncanville.

Record: 0-0 | Last week: 22
There's hope for games, but nothing confirmed yet — still, expect some schedule info soon.

Record: 18-1 | Last week: 23
There are three Texas teams in the Top 25 right now — likely there will be only two after the Panthers and DeSoto play Jan. 23.

Record: 0-0 | Last week: 24
It seems less and less likely the Riverhawks will play basketball this winter, but we won't know for sure until a Washington Interscholastic Activities Association meeting Jan. 19.

Record: 9-0 | Last week: NR
With a win over previously unbeaten Madison Central, the Wildcats jump into the Top 25 — which is unfamiliar territory for Mississippi schools.

Dropped out:
No. 11 Classen SAS (Oklahoma City), No. 21 Valley Vista (Surprise, Ariz.).
High school basketball: NFHS opens door for states to adopt 35-second shot clock - HIGHSCORE
High school basketball: NFHS opens door for states to adopt 35-second shot clock
Beginning with the 2022-23 season, states can decide to adopt and use a 35-second shot clock for high school basketball games. The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) approved the measure that leaves open the door for major change across the hardwood landscape in coming years.

Nine states use either a 30- or 35-second shot clock, but the adoption of Rule 2-14 says that each state association may adopt a shot clock beginning in the 2022-23 season — according to guidelines outlined in the Basketball Rules Book — to encourage standardization among states.

“We provided the committee with a lot of information regarding the shot clock, including responses to a 46-question survey sent to states currently using a shot clock,” said Theresia Wynns, NFHS director of sports and officials and liaison to the Basketball Rules Committee.

Prior to the 2020-21 season, the Georgia High School Association approved a phase-in of a 30-second shot clock for all varsity boys and girls basketball games, becoming the ninth state to adopt a shot clock.

The Peach State joined California, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota and Washington as the only states to use a 30- or 35-second shot clock.

Guidelines approved by the NFHS include displaying two timepieces connected to a horn that is distinctive from the game-clock horn, and using an alternative timing device, such as a stopwatch at the scorer’s table, for a shot clock malfunction. The guidelines also allow for corrections to the shot clock only during the shot-clock period in which an error occurred and the officials have definite information relative to the mistake or malfunction.

Although a proposal for a national rule mandating a shot clock was not approved, the ruling is likely to bring momentum to the shot-clock movement across high school basketball.

According to the most recent NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, a total of 540,769 boys participated in basketball in 18,617 schools, and 399,067 girls participated in the sport in 18,210 schools across the country. It is the third-most popular sport for boys and girls.

The NFHS paved the way for states to adopt a 35-second shot clock, like the one used in the 2019 Washington 3A semifinals.
File photo by Paul Caldwell
The NFHS paved the way for states to adopt a 35-second shot clock, like the one used in the 2019 Washington 3A semifinals.

California high school football: Defending HIGHSCORE National Champion St. John Bosco doubles up Sierra Canyon in season opener - HIGHSCORE
California high school football: Defending MaxPreps National Champion St. John Bosco doubles up Sierra Canyon in season opener
It had been 455 days since defending MaxPreps National Champion St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) took the field in a high school football game that counted. No worries as the Braves cruised to a 42-21 win Saturday night over Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) to begin the 2021 spring season.

The Trailblazers scored on their opening drive as Daniel Duran found Virginia Tech signee DJ Harvey for a 26-yard score but the Braves would answer with three straight touchdowns to take a 21-7 lead. Rayshon Luke, Michael Hayes and sophomore quarterback Pierce Clarkson all rushed for a score in the first half.

Clarkson and junior Katin Houser alternated possessions under center and both played well. Replacing DJ Uiagalelei at quarterback is a steep hill, but both showed why FBS offers are starting to pile up.

Sierra Canyon cut the deficit to 21-14 in the final minutes of the opening half when Duran found tight end Henry Deakins from 19-yards out for his second scoring strike.
Pierce Clarkson, St. John Bosco quarterback
Photo by Louis Lopez
Pierce Clarkson, St. John Bosco quarterback
Those would be the final points the Braves defense allowed outside of a late, fourth-quarter touchdown with the reserves playing.

St. John Bosco dominated the second half as Luke rushed for a 67-yard score on the opening possession after Clarkson found sophomore standout Matayo Uiagalelei on a third-down conversion. DJ's younger brother stood out on both sides of the ball and showed why he's the fifth-rated recruit in California from the Class of 2023.

Houser made a big-time play alluding pressure and rolling outside the pocket to find Chedon James for a 21-yard touchdown that increased the Braves lead to 35-14 with 4:28 left in the third quarter. The pair connected on a 41-yard touchdown late in the fourth.

Sierra Canyon freshman quarterback Alonzo Contreras connected with Jason Jones for the final score of the night with seven seconds remaining.

Jason Negro's squad dominated in the trenches. Four-star junior Earnest Greene, USC signee Maximus Gibbs and senior Edward Riley created huge holes for the running game while also allowing Houser and Clarkson plenty of time in the pocket.

The Brave's defense forced three turnovers and shined on all three levels.

The Braves next face Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita) on March 20 while Sierra Canyon looks to bounce back March 19 against St. Bernard (Playa del Rey).
Rayshon Luke, St. John Bosco running back
Photo by Louis Lopez
Rayshon Luke, St. John Bosco running back
Two St. John Bosco defenders smother a Sierra Canyon ballcarrier.
Photo by Louis Lopez
Two St. John Bosco defenders smother a Sierra Canyon ballcarrier.