Watch News High School Sport Today - HIGHSCORE


High school softball: Maci Bergeron, Baylea Brandon headline list of HIGHSCORE National Player of the Year candidates - HIGHSCORE
High school softball: Maci Bergeron, Baylea Brandon headline list of MaxPreps National Player of the Year candidates
The high school softball season is over in some states, deep into playoffs in others, or if you're in New York, you could be in game three of your season.

That makes identifying candidates for MaxPreps National Softball Player of the Year a bit tricky. It also means others will emerge and this list is just kicking off the discussion. If you feel a player deserves to be considered, email [email protected] or follow on twitter @smontoyamp.

This initial list of 10 candidates includes a few recently-crowned state champions, a few who've completed their year, several in postseason play and one that still has nine more regular season games left to go.

Past MaxPreps National Player of the Year winners
2020 —  No award (Pandemic)
2019 — Sydney Supple, Oshkosh North (Oshkosh, Wis.)
2018 — Montana Fouts, East Carter (Grayson, Ky.)
2017 — Taylor Dockins, Norco (Calif.)
2016 — Caroline Hedgcock, Downers Grove South (Downers Grove, Ill.)
2015 — Tannon Snow, Chino Hills (Calif.)
2014 — Johanna Grauer, Amador Valley (Pleasanton, Calif.)
2013 — Casey Stangel, Lake City (Coeur d'Alene, Idaho)
2012 — Kenzie Conrad, Keystone (La Grange, Ohio)
2011 — Paige McDuffee, The Woodlands (Texas)
2010 — Kasey Fagan, Dunnellon (Fla.)
Graphic by Ryan Escobar
Softball Player of the Year Watch List

P Annika Litterio | Warren (San Antonio) | Sr.
The top pitcher for one of the best teams in the country has been dominant all season. The UTEP commit has a 0.23 ERA through 90 innings pitched. She's averaging just over two strikeouts per inning. The righty can also swing a bat with a .458 average with 27 RBI.

OF Baylea Brandon | Leander (Texas) | Sr.
If Brandon gets pitched to (29 walks), she is deadly with the bat. The LSU commit has 18 home runs and has two or more hits in 15 games this season. The powerful lefty is a major threat on the base paths as well as with 30 stolen bases.

P Emiley Kennedy | Lake Creek (Montgomery, Texas) | Sr.
The Texas A&M commit has not allowed an earned run this season in 84 innings pitched. The hard-throwing lefty has 168 strikeouts while allowing 18 hits in 299 batters faced. She's also hit 13 home runs.

UT Karissa Hamilton | Shelbyville (Shelbyville, Ind.) | Jr.
In 18 games, the Kentucky commit has 18 home runs while batting .719 with 45 RBI.

P Kylie Chung | Westlake (Westlake Village, Calif.) | Sr.
With the CIF Southern Section announcing spring playoffs will happen, the state of California will have a player up for Player of the Year consideration. Chung, a Stanford commit, is batting .471 with four home runs. She's also 8-0 in the circle with a 0.77 ERA.

C Maci Bergeron | Notre Dame (Crowley, La.) | Jr.
She led the Pioneers to another state title this season after smashing a nation-best 30 home runs. The LSU commit has hit 62 career bombs. She also drove in 70 runs and has 174 RBI in just two full seasons of play.

P Madi Ogden | Williamsburg (Ohio) | Sr.
The Morehead State University commit has thrown seven no-hitters this season, per Mike Dyer of WCPO in Cincinnati. The 18th-ranked Wildcats have yet to enter stats on MaxPreps.

OF Nyjah Fontenot | Barbe (Lake Charles, La.) | Sr.
Led her team to a Louisiana Class 5A state title. The Arkansas commit hit 11 home runs and batted .530 this season. Her junior teammate Halie Pappion is in the running as well after finishing 19-1 in the circle.

P Paige Kilgore | Houston (Miss.) | Sr.
The Southern Miss commit has been pitching at the varsity level since she was in seventh grade. She went 22-0 in the circle this season and struck 247 batters. She has 817 career strikeouts and a 95-6 overall record.

SJ Geurin | Leander (Texas) | Sr.
The Oklahoma commit is the ace for the top-ranked team in the country. In 81 innings pitched, Geurin has struck out 223 batters and has allowed 11 earned runs.
Sports with fans in attendance take place Monday as high school baseball gets underway in Iowa - HIGHSCORE
Sports with fans in attendance take place Monday as high school baseball gets underway in Iowa
Video: Fictional high school movie locations
Campuses made famous on big screen as seen via Google Earth.

Christmas came early for high school sports fans in Iowa as baseball and softball players returned to the field Monday after a month-long delay due to the coronavirus.

Pleasant Valley defeated Assumption (Davenport) 3-2 in one of the first of 97 games scheduled on the opening day of the baseball season in Iowa and MaxPreps photographer Mandy McGlothlin was on hand for the action.
Pleasant Valley players take the field during the National Anthem.
Photos by Mandy McGlothlin
Pleasant Valley players take the field during the National Anthem.
Monday's contests mark the first games since the COVID-19 pandemic shuttered many state basketball tournaments and spring sports schedules. Fans in Iowa, and no doubt across the land, can rejoice at the return of high school athletics.

Iowa, which plays a summer baseball season that normally starts in late May, is the first state to resume athletic competition at the high school level since the coronavirus shut down all high school play in mid-March. At least a hundred games are scheduled each day throughout the state for the coming week with most teams playing doubleheaders.

The regular season is going to be a short one with Iowa expected to begin postseason play on July 9 at the 1A level, July 11 for Class 2A and July 17 for Class 4A and 3A. State championship games are scheduled for Aug. 1.
Fans were permitted to attend the game at Assumption High School in Davenport.
Fans were permitted to attend the game at Assumption High School in Davenport.
A Pleasant Valley player watches his hit.
A Pleasant Valley player watches his hit.
Two Pleasant Valley players celebrate the victory.
Two Pleasant Valley players celebrate the victory.

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 basketball: HIGHSCORE National Player of the Year Chet Holmgren commits to Gonzaga - HIGHSCORE
High school basketball: MaxPreps National Player of the Year Chet Holmgren commits to Gonzaga
MaxPreps National Player of the Year Chet Holmgren of Minnehaha Academy (Minneapolis) announced Monday he will attend Gonzaga University next season, as the versatile 7-foot center looks to help get the Bulldogs over the hump to capture the program's first state championship.

"The process was hard," Holmgren said on ESPN. "I had a lot to learn on the go. I had to lean on others and get their advice. My dad went through it, and coach Larry Suggs with Jalen. I kept getting consistent advice that I will get a feeling when I know. Not to over-analyze everything because everything sounds good. Nobody sells their weakness."
It's been a busy past two weeks for Holmgren, who led the Redhawks to their fourth consecutive state championship on April 10, tallying 18 points, 13 rebounds, seven assists and two blocks as Minnehaha crushed Alexandria 80-29.

Holmgren earned MaxPreps Minnesota Player of the Year honors last week, while adding MaxPreps National Player of the Year honors later in the week along with Minnesota Mr. Basketball honors.

MaxPreps All-America Teams: Overall | Junior | Sophomore | Freshman | Coach of the Year

The future Bulldog averaged 20.8 points, 12.6 rebounds, 4.7 blocks and 4.5 assists, connecting on 80 percent of his attempts from the field this season. Last season, Holmgren helped guide the Redhawks to their first MaxPreps Top 25 finish, while also being named a first team MaxPreps Junior All-American after averaging 14.6 points, 10 rebounds, 4.9 blocks and 2.4 assists.

The versatile 7-footer finished his prep career with 1,567 points, 964 rebounds and 456 blocked shots as Minnehaha Academy compiled a 128-15 record with four state titles.

Regarded as the top prospect in the Class of 2021 according to 247Sports, Holmgren chose Gonzaga over Georgetown, Memphis, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina and Ohio State.
Chet Holmgren was part of four state championship teams at Minnehaha Academy going back to his eighth grade year.
Photo by Josh Johnson
Chet Holmgren was part of four state championship teams at Minnehaha Academy going back to his eighth grade year.


Michel Ndayishimiye named 2020-21 HIGHSCORE Vermont High School Basketball Player of the Year - HIGHSCORE
Michel Ndayishimiye named 2020-21 MaxPreps Vermont High School 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.

Michel Ndayishimiye of Rice Memorial (South Burlington) is the 2020-21 MaxPreps Vermont High School Basketball Player of the Year. The 5-foot-10 senior guard helped the Green Knights go 10-0 en route to their second straight Division 1 state title.

Ndayishimiye averaged 30.8 points, 6.2 rebounds and 4.9 assists per contest and is the overwhelming favorite to repeat as Mr. Basketball in the Green Mountain State.

The talented guard surpassed the 1,000-point mark mid-way through his junior season, tallying 26.9 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.9 assists per contest in 2019-20.

Ndayishimiye also averaged 19.5 points per contest in two state championship game victories.

Each state's MaxPreps Player of the Year will be considered for inclusion in the MaxPreps All-America Team, which is scheduled to be released April 13.