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Spring football: State-by-state look at postseason play - HIGHSCORE
Spring football: State-by-state look at postseason play
High school spring football throughout the country has largely resembled spring training in baseball. It's good to be back. There's loads of camaraderie. But little drama. Without playoffs or postseason implications, the games can feel more like exhibitions than traditional all-out battles.

Considering many of these states were paused up to 16 months, there's nothing wrong with that.

FOOTBALL IN THE FALL — All 35 that tried

Of the 15 states that chose or were ordered not to play during the fall season, four dropped out completely. And of the 11 to play in the winter and spring, only three have decided to run some form of a playoff.

They are:

North Carolina: The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) football season ends Friday, playoff brackets are selected Saturday. First-round game begin April 16, second round (April 23), regionals (April 30) and state finals (May 8).

Rhode Island: Four-team brackets in five divisions of the Rhode Island Interscholastic League take place April 30. Championship games are all scheduled for May 7.

Virginia: After most of the state got to play six games in seven weeks starting on Feb. 22, the playoffs began Wednesday, with semifinals taking place April 24 and all state finals on May 1. See all the brackets.

The states (linked to their association or federation) that opted out of spring football playoffs are California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Mexico, New York and Oregon.
North Carolina football playoffs brackets will be selected Saturday with four rounds of play beginning April 16.
File photo by Matthew Plyler
North Carolina football playoffs brackets will be selected Saturday with four rounds of play beginning April 16.






Daughters of former NBA players Gilbert Arenas, Zach Randolph set to make high school basketball debuts for California powerhouse Sierra Canyon - HIGHSCORE
Daughters of former NBA players Gilbert Arenas, Zach Randolph set to make high school basketball debuts for California powerhouse Sierra Canyon
Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) has seen high-profile players come through its boys high school basketball program, including the sons of notable current and former NBA stars. Well, the girls got next as the Trailblazers added a pair of marquee freshman to a squad that finished No. 18 in the final MaxPreps Top 25 rankings.

Izela Arenas, daughter of Gilbert Arenas, and Mackenly Randolph, Zach Randolph's daughter, join a Sierra Canyon team that finished 25-7 last season before falling in the first round of the CIF Open Division state tournament.

The Trailblazers lost four Division I players to graduation, and Arenas and Randolph are part of a talented incoming freshman class that features seven players, including promising point guard Christy Reynoso.

The boys team features Bronny James (LeBron James), Zaire Wade (Dwyane Wade), Scotty Pippen Jr. (Scottie Pippen) and Kenyon Martin Jr. (Kenyon Martin).

Gilbert Arenas and Zach Randolph are former All-Stars who combined to play 28 seasons in the NBA. Randolph averaged 16.6 points and 9.1 rebounds over a lengthy NBA career, while Arenas averaged 20.7 points, 5.3 assists and 3.9 assists during an impressive 11-year run.

Expect the national spotlight to shine bright Sierra Canyon's boys and girls basketball programs as James continues to develop his game in his sophomore season, while Arenas and Gilbert add that star power to the girls game.

Todd Dodge of Austin Westlake named HIGHSCORE National High School Football Coach of the Year - HIGHSCORE
Todd Dodge of Austin Westlake named MaxPreps National High School Football Coach of the Year
Todd Dodge is doing at Westlake (Austin, Texas) what he did from 2000-2006 at Southlake Carroll – turning a program into a dynasty. The architect of six Texas high school football championships, Dodge led the Chaparrals to their second consecutive state title in 2020, a 6A Division 1 crown one season after winning the 6A Division 2 bracket.

Dodge is the 2020 MaxPreps National High School Football Coach of the Year after leading the Chaps to an undefeated season and banner in the nation's toughest postseason tournament.

Prior to Dodge's 2014 hire, Westlake's only title came in 1996 with Drew Brees under center. In his sixth season at the Austin school, the Chaps went 15-1 and won the 6A Division 2 title before adding a 14-0 year in 2020 and No. 3 ranking in the final MaxPreps Top 25.

In this year's semifinals, Dodge guided Westlake to a 24-21 win over two-time defending 6A Division 1 champ North Shore. (Houston). The championship game provided another fascinating storyline as he faced his son Riley, who is now the head coach at Southlake Carroll.

Father taught son a lesson in that contest as Westlake rolled to a 52-34 victory.

Since taking over as at Westlake, Dodge's teams are 88-11 and the Chaparrals will ride a 24-game win streak into the 2021 season. Dodge is 218-72 overall, having won six state championships (2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2019 and 2020) with a playoff mark of 66-7.

Eric Kjar of Corner Canyon (Draper, Utah), Adam Carter of Grayson (Loganville, Ga.), Bobby Acosta of IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) and newly-retired Bob Beatty of Trinity (Louisville, Ky.) were among the other names considered for COY honors.

Past MaxPreps Coaches of the Year
2008 — Mike Alberghini, Grant (Sacramento, Calif.)
2009 — Mike Newsome, Butler (Matthews, N.C.)
2010 — Tony Heath, Pearland (Texas)
2011 — Hal Wasson, Southlake Carroll (Southlake, Texas)
2012 — Bob Ladouceur, De La Salle (Concord, Calif.)
2013 — Jason Negro, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)
2014 — Tom Westerberg, Allen (Texas)
2015 — Gary Joseph, Katy (Texas)
2016 — Kenny Sanchez, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
2017 — Bruce Rollinson, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
2018 — Jon Kay, North Shore (Houston, Texas)
2019 — Jason Negro, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)
Graphic by Ryan Escobar






Best high school girls basketball team in all 50 states - HIGHSCORE
Best high school girls basketball team in all 50 states
Last week the initial MaxPreps Top 25 high school girls basketball rankings were released, highlighted by defending Florida Class 4A champion Lake Highland Prep (Orlando) at No. 1. Today, we expand our look at the nation's elite by highlighting the best team from all 50 states.

Uncertainty surrounds the season as coronavirus concerns are on the rise heading into the winter months, but optimism remains high we will see high school hardwood action in the near future.

From Alabama to Wyoming and every state in between, we searched coast-to-coast to find the best team from your state heading into the 2020-21 season.
Azzi Fudd, St. John's
File photo by Steven Ryan
Azzi Fudd, St. John's
Alabama — Hoover
Sophomore Reniya Kelly and junior Aniya Hubbard are the major returning pieces for the Buccaneers, but they're not alone. This is a deep and talented team, which is likely to improve on last season's impressive 32-3 record.

Alaska — Anchorage Christian (Anchorage)
Even though the Lions are a 3A school (tops is 4A), three state titles in recent years is a strong statement. And with sophomore Sayvia Sellers and senior Mykaila Pickard both back, another championship might be in reach.

Arizona — Valley Vista (Surprise)
It's no surprise the Monsoon are the state's best, as the No. 21 preseason ranking in the MaxPreps Top 25 suggests. Six-foot wing Jennah Isai and 6-1 power forward Marisa Davis (a Washington commit) make the defending state champs a favorite to repeat.

Arkansas — Northside (Fort Smith)
As a 6-5 perimeter player, Arkansas commit Jersey Wolfenbarger is one of the best players in the country (18.8 points per game, 6.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists) but she's not alone: 6-2 power forward Tracey Bershers (Oklahoma State commit) is the real deal as well.

California — Mater Dei (Santa Ana)
The annual gauntlet that is Southern California basketball seldom leaves any record unblemished, but with Stanford-bound Brooke Demetre anchoring a deep roster, the Monarchs have the best chance to emerge as the top team in the Golden State.
Brooke Demetre, Mater Dei
File photo by Gint Federas
Brooke Demetre, Mater Dei
Colorado — Grandview (Aurora)
Lauren Betts is 6-7 and skilled, and Addison O'Grady is 6-3 and skilled — that's a frontline any college would like to have. As proof, the Betts tops the 2023 recruit list and O'Grady has committed to Iowa.

Connecticut — Notre Dame Catholic (Fairfield)
Like so many teams, the Lancers were denied a shot at a state title when the playoffs were canceled, but coach Maria Conlon — who won three NCAA titles in four years at UConn — has junior guard Aizhanique Mayo to lead a team that looks to be the best in the Constitution State.

Delaware — Conrad Science (Wilmington)

With UMass commit Stefanie Kulesza back to fire from long range, the Red Wolves are primed to claim the state title that COVID may have prevented.

District of Columbia — St. John's (Washington, D.C.)
UConn signee Azzi Fudd is back and fully healthy — she was recovering from a torn ACL through much of last season — and St. John's is both back in the national rankings and at the top of the list in Washington, D.C.

Florida — Lake Highland Prep (Orlando)
With eight players returning from the Florida 4A championship team — including top prospects Kayla Blackshear (a senior committed to Alabama) and junior Nyla Harris — the Highlanders are not only the preseason pick in Florida, but the entire country.

Georgia — Westlake (Atlanta)
The Lions may have dropped down a division this year, but the Atlanta school is still the state's best. In fact, led by South Carolina commit Raven Johnson, they're No. 7 in the country.

Hawaii — 'Iolani (Honolulu)
The Raiders return all but one player from a 23-2 team, including sisters Lily Lefotu Wahinekapu and Jovi Lefotu, who combined for nearly 29 points a game.

Idaho — Mountain View (Meridian)
Yes, senior Trinity Slocum (Hawaii commit) is the younger sister of NCAA star Destiny Slocum, but more relevant is that she and junior Naya Ojukwu are the one-two punch for this Mountain View team — which was 29-4 last year and might be better this time around.

Illinois — Simeon (Chicago)
Senior Aneesah Morrow, a DePaul commit, averaged 23.0 points, 12.1 rebounds and 3.6 assists last season, and will lead a senior-dominated team coming off a 35-2 season.

Indiana — North Central (Indianapolis)
As always, Indiana is a very competitive state, but the preseason rumblings indicate the Panthers, led by junior guard Tanyuel Welch and senior Meg Newman (Arizona State commit), are the best of a solid group.
Meg Newman, North Central
File photo by Julie Brown
Meg Newman, North Central
Iowa — Waukee
Without a senior on the roster, Waukee went 23-2 last year. Point guard Katie Dinnebier, who will play for Drake next year, is back to run the show again.

Kansas — Derby
The two top scorers for last year's 23-2 team were freshmen, so it's reasonable to assume that Maryn Archer and Addy Brown will be even better this time around — which makes it reasonable to assume the Panthers will be the best in the Sunflower State.

Kentucky — Anderson County (Lawrenceburg)
Not many 29-4 teams carry an eighth-grader on their roster, but Anderson also had a seventh-grader — emblematic of a very young team that lost only one senior to graduation. And top player Amiya Jenkins is just a junior.

Louisiana — Ponchatoula
The Green Wave are a perennial power in Louisiana girls' basketball, and return four starters from a team that lost in overtime in the state finals. LSU commit Amoura Graves is the big gun, averaging 23.5 points last season.

Maine — Portland
Cousins Gemima Motema and Amanda Kabantu are refugees from the Congo who found a home on the basketball court in Maine — and they lead a roster that returns a lot of firepower from a 19-4 team.

Maryland — Bishop McNamara (Forestville)
Not surprisingly, the No. 2 team in the country is the No. 1 team in Maryland, as Bishop McNamara, loaded with talent, is expected to dominate most of its in-state opposition. Things will be tougher in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference, however.

Massachusetts — Bridgewater-Raynham (Bridgewater)
Led by 6-3 junior Shay Bollin, a verbal commit to Duke, the Trojans look to build off a 21-4 season and claim a first state title since 1990.

Michigan — Edison Academy (Detroit)
It's possible the Pioneers will drop off a little after going 23-0 last year — it's also possible, led by junior Ruby Whitehorn and senior Damiya Hagemann (committed to Michigan State), that they will be even better.

Minnesota — Hopkins (Minnetonka)
The wheels keep turning for the Royals, even though coach Brian Cosgriff retired and star Paige Bueckers moved on to UConn. There's still a boatload of talent in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and smooth sailing ahead.

Mississippi — Meridian
Even though five seniors graduated from a 29-2 team, with junior Debreasha Powe leading the way, Meridian is expected to be the Magnolia State's best.

Missouri — Incarnate Word Academy (St. Louis)
Let's see, the Red Knights were 27-4 last year and return three major contributors: 5-11 senior Jaiden Bryant, 5-6 junior point guard Saniah Tyler and 6-2 sophomore Natalie Potts. To put it another way, IWA will be really good again.

Montana — Capital (Helena)
Twins Dani Bartsch and Paige Bartsch are 6-1 and 6-3, respectively, and will carry much of the load for a team that was 20-1 last year. Capital was denied a shot at the AA title due to COVID, but could well get another chance this year.

Nebraska — Pius X (Lincoln)
The defending state champs bring back 6-3 Nebraska signee Alexis Markowski and point guard Jillian Aschoff, so a changing of the guard is unlikely.

Nevada — Centennial (Las Vegas)
When the Bulldogs wins another state championship, a bunch of seniors graduate and everyone thinks the reign is over. They probably think that way this year, too.
Taylor Bigby, Centennial
File photo by Doug Stringer
Taylor Bigby, Centennial
New Hampshire — Bishop Guertin (Nashua)
The Cardinals haven't lost to a New Hampshire team since January 2018 — and with 6-0 sophomore Meghan Stack topping a young and talented roster, there's no reason to expect that 45-game winning streak to end.

New Jersey — St. John-Vianney (Holmdel)
New Jersey, as always, is loaded with talent, but the Lancers' combination of solid coaching, a deep roster (headed by Madison St. Rose) and a tradition of excellence looks to be the best of a very good group.

New Mexico — Hobbs
The Eagles went 29-1 and won the 5A championship last year, and with sophomore Wisdom Anthony and senior Elise Turrubiates returning, a repeat would not be a surprise.

New York — Christ the King (Middle Village)
It was definitely a down year for perennial power Christ the King, but in 2020-21, a young roster will be boosted by newly eligible transfers and the Royals are expected to begin a climb back to the glory days.

North Carolina — Southeast Raleigh (Raleigh)
After a 27-1 season and a state title, graduation took a toll on Southeast Raleigh, but with junior Bobbi Smith topping a deep roster, the Bulldogs look like the best in the Tar Heel State once more.

North Dakota — Century (Bismarck)
Though Century didn't finish the season as well as expected, the Patriots were still 21-4 – and with sophomore guard Logan Nissley back, they could be better this year.

Ohio — Reynoldsburg
The Raiders were 18-8 last year in a state known for strong girls basketball. But a pair of transfers — Alexia Mobley (bound for Louisville) and Imarianah Russell — will add enough to an already solid roster to make them the preseason favorite.

Oklahoma — Norman
All of the firepower is back from a 24-1 team, including Texas Tech commit Chantae Embry, a power forward who controls the paint, and sharpshooter Kelbie Washington (42 percent from three-point distance).

Oregon — West Linn
With 6-4 Aaronette Vonleh inside and Audrey Roden on the perimeter, the Lions have the foundation for a top-notch offense — but they also have everyone back from a 21-6 team and that makes them a clear preseason favorite.

Pennsylvania — Archbishop Wood (Warminster)
The Vikings were once known as a classic Philly pass-the-ball-10-times team, but no more. Now the talent gets up and down the floor, and there's a lot of it on the roster — which makes them very tough to beat.

Rhode Island — South Kingstown (Wakefield)
Despite losing six seniors from a 20-2 team, the Rebels — led by 5-11 junior Jamisen Hill — are expected to reload and remain the best in state.

South Carolina — Cardinal Newman (Columbia)
The Cardinals finished the season on a 22-game winning streak, and with Ashlyn Watkins and Tanaja Kennedy both back, there's every reason to believe the train will keep rolling.

South Dakota — Washington (Sioux Falls)
With 6-5 senior Sydni Schetnan and 6-1 junior Ndjakalenga Mwenentanda, Washington has a one-two punch no other team in South Dakota can deal with — and maybe a lot of other states, too.

Tennessee — Ensworth (Nashville)
Though graduation hit 28-0 Ensworth hard, the Cambridge sisters — Jaloni Cambridge, who starred as an eighth-grader last year, and Kennedy Cambridge, now a junior — should keep the Tigers ahead of the pack in 2020-21.

Texas — Duncanville
The definition of "perennial power" has to include a reference to mighty Duncanville, which year in and year out, not only is one of the best in Texas, but is also one of the best in the nation. This year, sadly for Lone Star State rivals, will not change that perception.

Utah — Fremont (Plain City)
With senior Emma Calvert and junior Timea Gardiner back for another go-round, the Silverwolves are primed to improve on a 24-3 record from last season, erase the bitter taste of a postseason upset and claim a state title.
Timea Gardiner, Fremont
File photo by Terry Cullop
Timea Gardiner, Fremont
Vermont — Rice Memorial (South Burlington)
Rice Memorial's young players were thrown into the fire last season, playing the toughest schedule in the state, and with some talented transfers, are expected to take a great leap forward in 2020-21.

Virginia — Paul VI (Chantilly)
The Panthers moved their campus from Fairfax to Chantilly but the school's rule over Virginia won't be affected. Led by Duke commit Lee Volker, deep and well-coached Paul VI will once again be the class of the Old Dominion.

Washington — Chiawana (Pasco)
The Riverhakws, as usual, are a state title threat, and with Oregon State-bound Talia Von Oelhoffen (26.2 ppg) leading the way, could claim that so-far elusive championship.

West Virginia — Huntington
The focus of West Virginia girls basketball fans will shift to Huntington this season, as transfers and a veteran roster should lift the Highlanders above the competition.

Wisconsin — Beaver Dam
Though Beaver Dam may have lost a little from its 25-3 team of 2019-20, there's lot of talent coming back — and little reason to expect much of a drop off. In short, look for Beaver Dam to be the Badger State's best once again.

Wyoming — Thunder Basin (Gillette)
Thunder Basin won the 4A state title in 2019 — in its second year of varsity play — and was on track for another championship in 2020 before COVID canceled the playoffs. So it's no surprise the Bolts are expected to the best in Wyoming again this season.
2021 NFL Draft: Trevor Lawrence one of six former Georgia high school players in first round - HIGHSCORE
2021 NFL Draft: Trevor Lawrence one of six former Georgia high school players in first round
For more than a decade, Georgia's reputation as a high school football hot bed has been gaining on the big three of Florida, Texas and California. On Thursday night, the Peach State surpassed all three during the first night of the 2021 NFL Draft.

Six former Georgia prep standouts, including No. 1 overall selection, Trevor Lawrence, of Cartersville, were picked in the first round to lead all states.

Florida, which didn't have a selection until ninth pick in Patrick Surtain II, of American Heritage (Plantation), had the second most represented with five selections, followed by California, Texas and Louisiana, which each had three.

Utah had two of the first seven picks, headlined by No. 2 overall selection Zach Wilson, of Corner Canyon (Draper). Pennsylvania was the only other state with multiple picks.

Since the turn of the century, Georgia boasts 48 first-round picks and is right on the heels of California (49) for third place behind only Florida (81) and Texas (61).

Rhode Island, thanks to the Colts' No. 21 selection of defensive end Kwity Paye, of Bishop Hendricken (Warwick), was represented in the first round for the first time since at least 2000.

2021 NFL Draft First Round 

No. Player, Position, High School, Picked By

1. Trevor Lawrence, QB, Cartersville (Ga.), Jaguars
2. Zach Wilson, QB, Corner Canyon (Draper, Utah), Jets
3. Trey Lance, QB, Marshall (Minn.), 49ers
4. Kyle Pitts, TE, Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.), Falcons
5. Ja'Marr Chase, WR, Archbishop Rummel (Metairie, La.), Bengals
6. Jaylen Waddle, WR, Episcopal (Bellaire, Texas), Dolphins
7. Penei Sewell, OT, Desert Hills (St. George, Utah), Lions
8. Jaycee Horn, CB, Alpharetta (Ga.), Panthers
9. Patrick Surtain II, CB, American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.), Broncos
10. Devonta Smith, WR, Amite (La.), Eagles
11. Justin Fields, QB, Harrison (Kennesaw, Ga.), Bears
12. Micah Parsons, LB, Harrisburg (Pa.), Cowboys
13. Rashawn Slater, OT, Fort Bend Clements (Sugar Land, Texas), Chargers
14. Alijah Vera-Tucker, OG, Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland, Calif.), Jets
15. Mac Jones, QB, Bolles (Jacksonville, Fla.), Patriots
16. Zaven Collins, LB, Hominy (Okla.), Cardinals
17. Alex Leatherwood, OT, Booker T. Washington (Pensacola, Fla.), Raiders
18. Jaelan Phillips, DE, Redlands East Valley (Redlands, Calif.), Dolphins
19. Jamin Davis, LB, Long County (Ludowici, Ga.), Washington Football Team
20. Kadarius Toney, WR, Blount (Eight Mile, Ala.), Giants
21. Kwity Paye, DE, Bishop Hendricken (Warwick, R.I.), Colts
22. Caleb Farley, CB, Maiden (N.C.), Titans
23. Christian Darrisaw, OT, Riverdale Baptist (Upper Marlboro, Md.), Vikings
24. Najee Harris, RB, Antioch (Calif.), Steelers
25. Travis Etienne, RB, Jennings (La.), Jaguars
26. Greg Newsome II, CB, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), Browns
27. Rashod Bateman, WR, Tift County (Tifton, Ga.), Ravens
28. Payton Turner, DE, Westside (Houston, Texas), Saints
29. Eric Stokes, CB, Eastside (Covington, Ga.), Packers
30. Gregory Rousseau, DE, Champagnat Catholic (Hialeah, Fla.), Bills
31. Jayson Oweh, DE, Blair Academy (Blairstown, N.J.), Ravens
32. Joe Tryon, DE, Hazen (Renton, Wash.), Buccaneers