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2020 Georgia HIGHSCORE All-State high school football team - HIGHSCORE
2020 Georgia MaxPreps All-State high school football team
Grayson went wire-to-wire as the top-ranked team in the Peach State and the Rams are well represented on the 2020 Georgia MaxPreps All-State high school football team. They beat Collins Hill 38-14 in the AAAAAAA championship to finish 14-0 and grab the school's first state title since 2016.

The Rams are No. 3 in the MaxPreps Top 25 and lead the Peach State with six All-State selections, including Clemson-bound running back Phil Mafah, wideout Jamal Haynes and defensive lineman Victoine Brown.

Collins Hill (Suwanee), Carrollton, Lee County (Leesburg), Lowndes (Valdosta), Mill Creek (Hoschton), Warner Robins, West Forsyth (Cumming) and Westlake (Atlanta) all had multiple selections. In total, 38 different schools had at least one selection.

Thirty-four seniors were selected, 14 juniors and four sophomores represent the 52 players featured on the 2020 MaxPreps All-State high school football team.

Georgia Final Top 25 Rankings: Grayson crowned 2020 MaxPreps Champion
Graphic by Ryan Escobar
First Team Offense

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 205
Status: Signed with Georgia | Class: Senior (2021)
Led the state with 4,169 yards passing and 46 touchdowns. Added over 500 yards rushing and 17 scores while leading the Wolverines to their first state title.

Height: 6-1 | Weight: 215
Status: Signed with Clemson | Class: Senior (2021)
Accounted for 1,300 total yards and 20 touchdowns in 10 games playing against the best competition in Georgia.

Height: 6-0 | Weight: 215
Status: Signed with Tennessee | Class: Senior (2021)
Battled through injuries during his senior year and still rushed for over 1,500 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Height: 6-1 | Weight: 170
Status: Committed to Florida State | Class: Junior (2022)
One of the best all-around players in the country finished his junior season with 137 receptions for 1,746 yards and 24 touchdowns to go with 51 tackles and eight interceptions on defense.

WR Jamal Haynes, Grayson (Loganville)
Height: 5-9 | Weight: 175
Status: Signed with Georgia Tech | Class: Senior (2021)
Made big-time plays for the No. 3 team all season. In the Rams 38-14 title win over Collins Hill he hauled in six receptions for a game-high 114 yards and a touchdown.

Height: 6-5 | Weight: 210
Status: Uncommitted | Class: Junior (2022)
The top-rated tight end in the Class of 2022 had nearly 1,000 yards receiving and led the Warriors to AAA runner-up finish.

Height: 6-7 | Weight: 315
Status: Signed with Georgia | Class: Senior (2021)
Checks in as a Top 10 prospect overall and is one of the most dominant offensive lineman in the country.

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 315
Status: Signed with Georgia | Class: Senior (2021)
The 10th-rated offensive tackle in the Class of 2021 matched up against some of the best competition in Georgia and dominated.

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 300
Status: Signed with Alabama | Class: Senior (2021)
The second-rated offensive guard on 247Sports composite rankings will be a huge addition for the Crimson Tide.

Height: 6-5 | Weight: 300
Status: Signed with Georgia | Class: Senior (2021)
Helped lead the Wolverines to the AAAAAAA quarterfinals and is also a standout wrestler. Went 46-0 as a junior and won the Class 7A heavyweight state title.

Height: 6-5 | Weight: 305
Status: Uncommitted | Class: Junior (2022)
Checks in as a Top 100 prospect overall in the Class of 2022 and has 30 FBS offers that includes Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Florida and Ohio State.

Height: 6-1 | Weight: 220
Status: Committed to South Carolina | Class: Junior (2022)
Put up video-game numbers during his junior year. Threw for 3,128 yards and 45 touchdowns to go with 1,581 yards rushing and 26 scores.

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 180
Status: Uncommitted | Class: Junior (2022)
Connected on 15-of-17 field goals and averaged over 41 yards per punt.

First Team Defense

Height: 6-3.5 | Weight: 245
Status: Uncommitted | Class: Sophomore (2023)
The top-rated player in the Class of 2023 finished his sophomore season as the state leader with 21.5 sacks.

DL Victoine Brown, Grayson (Loganville)
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 230
Status: Signed with Louisville | Class: Senior (2021)
The leader for one of the best defenses in the country dominated in the trenches.

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 255
Status: Signed with Georgia | Class: Senior (2021)
Racked up 10 sacks and 19 tackles-for-loss to close out his high school career.

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 250
Status: Signed with Liberty | Class: Senior (2021)
Finished his senior year with 21 sacks and racked up over 30 tackles-for-loss.

Height: 6-1 | Weight: 220
Status: Signed with Clemson | Class: Senior (2021)
Expect the five-star linebacker to make an immediate impact at Clemson after a standout career for the Bulldogs.

Height: 6-5 | Weight: 240
Status: Signed with Florida | Class: Senior (2021)
Flies around on defense and is one of the hardest-hitting linebackers in the country. Broke the school record racking up 163 tackles during his senior season.

LB Chaz Chambliss, Carrollton
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 240
Status: Signed with Georgia | Class: Senior (2021)
Filled the stat sheet once again during his senior year posting 83.5 tackles, 27.5 tackles-for-loss, 12.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and a pick-six.

Height: 6-2 | Weight: 185
Status: Signed with Georgia | Class: Senior (2021)
One of the best all-around players in Georgia can single-handedly shut down one side of the field.

Height: 6-1 | Weight: 180
Status: Signed with Georgia | Class: Senior (2021)
Lines up everywhere on the field and plays at a high level on both sides of the ball.

DB Jayvian Allen, Grayson (Loganville)
Height: 5-8 | Weight: 180
Status: Uncommitted | Class: Senior (2021)
One of the most underrated players in the Class of 2021 led the Rams in tackles (103) and interceptions (four). In Grayson's 38-14 win over Collins Hill he rushed for three scores and added an interception.

Height: 6-2 | Weight: 170
Status: Signed with Clemson | Class: Senior (2021)
Has the talent to play cornerback, safety or wide receiver at Clemson. Very skilled athlete who makes a huge impact at any position.

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 190
Status: Uncommitted | Class: Junior (2022)
Had nearly 1,000 yards receiving on offense and flies around on defense making big-time plays.

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 190
Status: Signed with Stanford | Class: Senior (2021)
The future Cardinal is the third-rated punter in the Class of 2021 and averaged 41.5 yards per punt during his senior season.

Second Team Offense

QB Sam Horn, Collins Hill (Suwanee)
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 190
Status: Uncommitted | Class: Junior (2022)
Led the Eagles to their first state title game appearance and finished his junior year with 3,910 yards passing and 41 touchdowns.

Height: 5-10 | Weight: 185
Status: Uncommitted | Class: Sophomore (2023)
The talented sophomore rushed for nearly 1,600 yards and 22 touchdowns.

Height: 5-8 | Weight: 180
Status: Signed with South Carolina | Class: Senior (2021)
Helped lead the Trojans to AAAAAA runner-up finish. Rushed for 1,350 yards and accounted for 32 total touchdowns.

WR Dacari Collins, Westlake (Atlanta)
Height: 6-3.5 | Weight: 200
Status: Signed with Clemson | Class: Senior (2021)
Finished his senior year with nearly 1,000 yards receiving and eight scores.

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 195
Status: Signed with Notre Dame | Class: Senior (2021)
A matchup nightmare for opposing defenses and should make an immediate impact for the Fighting Irish.

TE Oscar Delp, West Forsyth (Cumming)
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 220
Status: Uncommitted | Class: Junior (2022)
Recently added an offer from LSU to his list of many and finished his junior season with 730 yards receiving and nine touchdowns.

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 310
Status: Signed with Georgia Tech | Class: Senior (2021)
Will be a great addition for the Yellow Jackets and is good in both run and pass blocking.

OL Griffin Scroggs, Grayson (Loganville)
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 290
Status: Uncommitted | Class: Junior (2022)
Paved the way in the trenches for one of the best rushing attacks in the country.
Height: 6-6 | Weight: 280
Status: Uncommitted | Class: Junior (2022)
The second-rated offensive tackle in the state from the Class of 2022 dominated the opposition.

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 290
Status: Committed to Army | Class: Senior (2021)
Played a major role for the AAAAAA state champs. 

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 280
Status: Signed with Tennessee | Class: Senior (2021)
Made a huge impact on both sides of the ball for the Lions as they made the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 205
Status: Uncommitted | Class: Junior (2022)
Threw for over 1,500 yards and 14 touchdowns while adding another 1,100-plus yards rushing and 16 scores.

Height: 6-2 | Weight: 170
Status: Uncommitted | Class: Senior (2021)
Made 13 field goals and averaged 39.5 yards per punt.

Second Team Defense

DL James Smith, Collins Hill (Suwanee)
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 245
Status: Uncommitted | Class: Senior (2021)
One of the most underrated prospects in the Class of 2021 finished his senior year with 17 sacks and 61 tackles-for-loss.

DL Thomas Davis, Lowndes (Valdosta)
Height: 6-0.5 | Weight: 235
Status: Signed with Miami | Class: Senior (2021)
Impacts the game on the defensive line and linebacker at a high level.

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 255
Status: Uncommitted | Class: Sophomore (2023)
Finished with double-digit sacks and 20-plus tackles-for-loss while leading the Demons to their first state title since 2004.

Height: 6-5 | Weight: 255
Status: Uncommitted | Class: Junior (2022)
The fourth-rated defensive tackle in his class racked up 17 sacks and 19 tackles-for-loss.

Height: 6-0 | Weight: 200
Status: Committed to Houston | Class: Senior (2021)
Finished his senior year with 142 tackles, 28 tackles-for-loss, six sacks and forced five fumbles.

LB Baron Hopson, Lee County (Leesburg)
Height: 5-10 | Weight: 220
Status: Uncommitted | Class: Senior (2021)
Has been starting on defense since his freshman year and had at least 124 tackles in each of the last three seasons.

LB Ahmad Walker, Warner Robins
Height: 6-0 | Weight: 215
Status: Signed with Liberty | Class: Senior (2021)
Four-year starter and the leader on defense for the AAAAA champs.

Height: 5-10 | Weight: 185
Status: Committed to Kent State | Class: Senior (2021)
Led one of the best defenses in the state with five interceptions and also had 38 tackles, a forced fumble, blocked two punts and a field goal.
Height: 5-11 | Weight: 180
Status: Uncommitted | Class: Sophomore (2023)
One of the best prospects from the Class of 2023 finished his sophomore season with 60-plus tackles and four interceptions.

DB Josh Moore, Marist (Atlanta)
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 195
Status: Signed with UCLA | Class: Senior (2021)
Gets it done at a high level on both sides of the ball while leading War Eagles to AAAA state title.

DB Mumu Bin-Wahad, Grayson (Loganville)
Height: 6-0 | Weight: 180
Status: Committed to Cincinnati | Class: Junior (2022)
Finished with three interceptions and is one of the best shutdown cornerbacks in the Class of 2022.

Height: 6-1 | Weight: 195
Status: Uncommitted | Class: Junior (2022)
Makes an impact on both sides of the ball at a high level. Rushed for over 1,500 yards and 24 touchdowns while racking up over 40 tackles and two interceptions on defense.

P Brock Pellegrino, Mill Creek (Hoschton)
Height: 5-8 | Weight: 170
Status: Uncommitted | Class: Senior (2021)
Averaged nearly 40 yards per punt and connected on 14 field goals during his senior year.
High schools of 'The Last Dance' alumni as seen via Google Earth - HIGHSCORE
High schools of 'The Last Dance' alumni as seen via Google Earth
Video: 'The Last Dance' high schools
See where Michael Jordan and eight teammates prepped via Google Earth.

Chicago's United Center has been known for many things since it was built in 1994. The UC. The Madhouse on Madison. The House that Jordan Built.

Specifically, it is the home of the Chicago Bulls, where Michael Jordan and his teammates won four of their six NBA championships.

It's also where much of the footage was shot for the ESPN documentary series "The Last Dance," which concludes Sunday with its final two episodes.

The following are the home high school gyms and prep careers of Jordan and several teammates featured in the 10-part documentary.

E.A. Laney (Wilmington, N.C.) — Michael Jordan: Widely regarded as the greatest basketball player to ever lace up a pair of sneakers, Jordan didn't make the varsity as a sophomore. That started his fire to become the very best. A four-inch growth spurt combined with his fire and work ethic led to back-to-back seasons of 25-points-per-game-plus, a McDonald's All-American honor and scholarship to North Carolina.
Hamburg (Ark.) — Scottie Pippen: Named one of the 50 greatest players in NBA history, Pippen was an All-Conference player and led the Lions to the state playoffs, but he received no college offers. Like Jordan and Dennis Rodman — see below — a growth spurt literally helped elevate his game.
Palisades (Pacific Palisades, Calif.) — Steve Kerr: The greatest 3-point shooter (percentage wise) in NBA history and an 11-time NBA champion (as player and coach), Kerr was perhaps known more for his baseball prowess as a third baseman and pitcher than sharpshooter on the Palisades hardwood.
Kiser High School (Dayton, Ohio) — Ron Harper: The school was shut down and demolished the year Harper graduated in 1982 and now is site of the town's K-6 elementary. Harper averaged 20.5 points, 13.4 rebounds, five assists, five steals and six blocks as a senior and was named first-team All-Ohio.
Poway (Calif.) — Jud Buechler: Not only a top basketball prospect, earning a scholarship to the University of Arizona, the 6-6 forward was also a Top 50 national volleyball standout at Poway.
Long Island Lutheran (Brookville, N.Y.) — Bill Wennington: A native of Canada, the 7-foot post's family moved to Brookville where he led one of the nation's Top 10 teams. He later starred at St. John's before a 13-year NBA career.
South Oak Cliff (Dallas) — Dennis Rodman: The extravagant NBA Hall of Famer stood 5-6 as a high school freshman and was cut from making any teams there. A massive growth spurt led him to a spot at then Cooke County College and eventual NBA stardom.
Hancock Central (Sparta, Ga.) — Horace Grant: He and brother Harvey led the Bulldogs to back-to-back state titles before Horace earned a scholarship to Clemson, where he was the ACC Player of the Year. He won four NBA titles with the Bulls and Lakers.
Brother Rice (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) — B.J. Armstrong: The three-time NBA champion and point guard holds the Warriors' single-game scoring record at 51 points and is a member of the Catholic League Hall of Fame.
High school basketball: HIGHSCORE All-American Scoot Henderson set to skip senior year for NBA G League - HIGHSCORE
High school basketball: MaxPreps All-American Scoot Henderson set to skip senior year for NBA G League
Five-star Class of 2022 high school basketball star Scoot Henderson of Kell (Marietta, Ga.) announced Friday on social media he will his senior year and join the NBA G League Ignite team.

Henderson is the first high school player to forgo his senior year to play in the G League. He won't be eligible for the 2022 NBA Draft because of age restrictions, meaning he must spend two years with the Ignite program.
The 6-foot-3 guard is the No. 9 prospect in the Class of 2022 according to 247Sports. He is expected to join Jaden Hardy, Michael Foster Jr. and international prospect Fanbo Zeng on the Ignite team next season.

Henderson was a first team MaxPreps Junior All-American selection this season, averaging 32 points, seven rebounds and six assists per contest to help the Longhorns reach the Georgia AAAAAA state title game. The explosive point guard showed rapid development over the course of his high school career and has the potential to be a lottery pick in the 2023 NBA Draft.

A year ago, Class of 2020 prospects Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga, Daishen Nix and Isaiah Todd selected the G League path over the traditional collegiate route.
Scoot Henderson in action during a December game against McEachern.
Photo by Ed Turlington
Scoot Henderson in action during a December game against McEachern.

High school baseball: Regis Jesuit blasts 13 home runs, sets Colorado record in 21-2 victory - HIGHSCORE
High school baseball: Regis Jesuit blasts 13 home runs, sets Colorado record in 21-2 victory
The 2019 Colorado 5A champion Regis Jesuit (Aurora, Colo.) baseball team evidently hit the weight room during time off from the pandemic. Friday, in the Raiders' second game of the 2021 season, they blasted 13 home runs during a 21-2 win at Dakota Ridge.

The baker's dozen is the most in state history and the second highest total in a high school game. Only Atlantic (Iowa) hit more homers in a high school game — 16 — and that was in 1928, almost a century ago.

Oregon State commit Dallas Macias, along with Max Valdez and Charlie Doubet each clubbed three home runs and Regis hit four consecutive round-trippers in the second inning as the team moved to 2-0 on the young season.

More impressive: The game was stopped after five innings due to the state's mercy rule. Ten of the 13 blasts were solo homers.
Charlie Doubet (25) with one of three home runs he hit Friday against Dakota Ridge.
Photo by Clemy Dalfonso
Charlie Doubet (25) with one of three home runs he hit Friday against Dakota Ridge.
"It was a really good day to hit and the wind was blowing out," Regis Jesuit coach Matt Darr told the Denver Post. "I have always felt like we would be a really good hitting team this year and that hitting is contagious. But honestly, I have never seen something like that before."

Minnesota-bound Alec Willis, Xavier commit Isaac Wachsmann, Nate McHugh and Finn O'Connor also hit bombs for the Raiders. Regis Jesuit, which didn't play last season due to the pandemic, hit 25 home runs in 2019 en route to a 25-6 record and No. 1 spot in the final MaxPreps Top 25 Colorado rankings.

"It was just an extraordinary performance that I don't think I'll ever see again," Darr said.

The Raiders probably won't repeat the feat Monday when they return to action. Regis Jesuit faces the state's top college prospect in ThunderRidge (Highlands Ranch) pitcher Cale Lansville, an LSU commit.
Charlie Doubet (25) celebrates with Finn O'Connor (10) after another home run in Regis Jesuit's record-breaking performance on Friday.
Photo by Clemy Dalfonso
Charlie Doubet (25) celebrates with Finn O'Connor (10) after another home run in Regis Jesuit's record-breaking performance on Friday.

May Manning adds own title to one of America's most famous sports families - HIGHSCORE
May Manning adds own title to one of America's most famous sports families
It's been almost three weeks, but May Manning still has trouble piecing together the final, frantic yet joyous sequence of her last competitive high school volleyball match.

But she vividly recalls the feeling. And it hasn't left her.

"It happened so fast," she said. "I still get chills every time I watch that last point."

The fifth-year varsity player and third-year captain dove so hard to the Pontchartrain Center floor for a dig that she didn't hear the referee's final whistle. An opposing hitter had brushed the net. It was point, set and match, and triggered a wild, raucous celebration near midcourt.

The Academy of the Sacred Heart (New Orleans), a small all-girls Roman Catholic school founded in 1867, had won the Louisiana state Division IV girls volleyball championship in four sets Nov. 14 over favored Pope John Paul II.
May Manning played her fifth season as outside hitter and middle blocker in 2020 for the state-champion Cardinals.
Photo by Gregory Juan
May Manning played her fifth season as outside hitter and middle blocker in 2020 for the state-champion Cardinals.
May, the oldest grandchild of New Orleans Saints quarterback Archie Manning and niece of future NFL Hall of Famers Peyton and Eli, was awarded the game's Most Valuable Player plaque, thanks to 14 kills and some tenacious defense.

"I saw everyone on the dog pile," she said. "I was late to the celebration. I said (to her team), ‘It's over? It's over?' Of course everyone was crying and yelling and cheering. I was on Cloud Nine. I don't really remember all the details from there. I was so overcome with emotion and joy. There was so much happiness."

For so many reasons.

It was the Cardinals' first state crown since 2006, and 14th overall, and came against a squad that had won three titles in four years and downed Sacred Heart earlier in the season.

"We went into the playoffs thinking, 'Hey, we're the underdogs here. Let's take advantage of that and surprise some people,' " May said.

The Sacred Heart title came a season after a 2019 dud that ended below .500 and with an early playoff exit, followed by a year that was beaten and battered by COVID-19. Practice schedules and matches were altered or skipped; fans were required to largely stay home.

"We were just lucky to play this year," May said.

Especially fortunate for May who knew she wouldn't play after 2020. Her focus by next summer will be on college, academics and new surroundings. A game she's played year-round for Cajunland Volleyball since she was 9 would be in the rear view mirror.

"It feels funny that that was my last volleyball match ever," she said. "It's bittersweet that it's over. But that's the only way you want to end a career. With a state title."

Especially with all the family who had given her so much in attendance, all decked out in bright Cardinal reds and Sacred Heart swag.

Mom and May
Leading the charge was her mom Ellen, a 1987 Sacred Heart graduate and talented 5-9 middle hitter on the volleyball team. May's mother, then Ellen Heidingsfelder, and current assistant coach Betsy Laborde (then Becker) propelled the Cardinals to the school's first state title as seniors in 1986. 

Ellen, like May, was named the championship game's MVP of that title game, a fact she didn't reveal until after last month's match.
Ellen (left) and May Manning each led their Academy of the Sacred Heart teams to state titles.
Photo courtesy of the Manning family
Ellen (left) and May Manning each led their Academy of the Sacred Heart teams to state titles.
"I never told her because I didn't want to put that kind of pressure on her," Ellen said. "This was her deal, but when they announced (May) won the same award it was like ‘Oh yeah, our careers do kind of parallel.' … It's not like, ‘Whoa back in my day,' but we did go to the same school and our banner is up there on the wall. We have the first and May's team will go up soon as the most recent. That will be fun."

Being a Sacred Heart athlete is in May Manning's genes as her mother and late grandmother Dot both attended along with Ellen's two sisters. Ellen was recently inducted into the Sacred Heart Sports Hall of Fame, and the strong influence of women athletes on her mom's side makes May proud.

This Manning family isn't just an old boys' network. 

"I definitely think her accomplishments get forgotten because the Mannings are so much in the spotlight," May said. "The Mannings are great athletes but I get my volleyball talents and ability from my mom. She could really pop the ball from what I've heard."

Ellen downplays her own glory days. This was May's time and Sacred Heart's return to the top.

"It was so much fun because it was so unexpected," she said. "I think they surprised themselves. ... It was a fabulous way to end her volleyball career. She ended on a high note. It was icing on the cake. I'm still smiling about it."

Dad and May
May's dad Cooper is grinning also. He is the oldest of Archie and Olivia's three boys and by many accounts, the most athletic.

A quarterback-turned-receiver, Cooper likely would've been the first Manning son to reach the NFL if a serious back ailment (spinal stenosis) hadn't ended his football career as a freshman at the University of Mississippi. It was a cruel and tough setback for Cooper, the husband and father of three who landed squarely and softly on his feet in the real estate market and as a TV host on Fox's "The Manning Hour." He's done well as Principal and Senior Managing Director of Investor Relations for AJ Capital Partners. 

But he struck gold meeting Ellen, a licensed attorney, and the couple have been married 21 years. They also have raised two athletic boys, Arch Manning and Heid Manning, both members of the Newman (New Orleans) football squad. The Greenies (8-0), the top seed in the Division III playoffs, host Catholic (New Iberia) at 7 p.m. today in a quarterfinal game.

Arch is the nation's top-rated sophomore quarterback and Heid, a promising freshman offensive lineman.

"When Coop and I decided to have kids it was decided he'd be the breadwinner and I run the household," Ellen said. "It has worked out perfectly so we stuck with it."
May Manning with her father Cooper Manning.
Photo courtesy of the Manning family
May Manning with her father Cooper Manning.
Cooper didn't just spend time running the boys to ball fields. May played as many sports as the boys, maybe more, including swimming, gymnastics, soccer and tennis. Cooper, in fact, did most of the traveling with May to out-of-area volleyball tournaments. 

"We've had a lot of late Sunday night drives home and a lot of late airport layovers together," he said. "It's been a lot of fun; everything about it. It's been a terrific bonding experience with my daughter. She's always been a delight to be there for.

"Selfishly, it was neat to see it all come together for her last game of her career. A lot of girls playing and all their parents have been through the same journey. It was really sweet. May and all those girls put in a lot of work. It's been a rough year for a lot of seniors across the country in sports. I'm thrilled they got something to hang onto that was so positive."

He admitted getting pretty choked up when May got the MVP award.

"It was well deserved," Cooper said. "They had a lot of different girls all season that could have been MVP. But May never comes off the court. I would say she was their vocal leader."

The boys
There was plenty of hollering during May's championship match from her younger brothers, along with a group of other Newman football players behind the Pope John Paul II bench.

The Manning siblings are tight and all within four years in age. The boys would have made more volleyball matches this season, but COVID restrictions kept them away. Nothing restricted them on championship day. May noticed all the Greenies, dressed in Sacred Heart colors, and even volleyball practice jerseys.
The Manning family left-to-right: Arch, Heid, Ellen, May and Cooper.
Photo courtesy of the Manning family
The Manning family left-to-right: Arch, Heid, Ellen, May and Cooper.
"They must have raided my closet," she said. "They took all the Sacred Heart gear they could find. It was great."

Roughly 300 fans were allowed into the title match and the football kids were perhaps the loudest. Their enthusiasm and excitement has barely simmered. 

"The boys were super proud of their sister," Ellen said. "Arch told me the following week, ‘Mom, I've been smiling all weekend about it.' People, he said, were congratulating him. It's just been a neat experience for all of us."

Sibling competition can sometime get complicated, especially in a spotlighted home like the Mannings.

Arch, for instance, was the 2019 MaxPreps national Freshman of the Year and recently he played and was featured on ESPNU. He's considered one of the most coveted recruits from any class and recognizable prep athletes in the country.

Cooper, with a unique perspective, said sibling rivalries don't exist in the household and he's rarely had to address it, if at all.

"They all support and love each other," he said. "Everyone is equally excited for others' successes. If I ever have to talk about it, I would simply say: ‘Look at me. I'm a guy who has two brothers that won Super Bowls and been on the highest level and I've been nothing but thrilled for them. Jealousy is a nasty thing, so let's never go there.' "

May jokes about Arch's sudden arc to stardom in the last year.

"It's obviously weird when you see your little brother on national TV and 20 minutes later he's complaining about something or eating a bowl of Frosted Flakes at the kitchen table," she said. "It's like, ‘Wait, is this the same person?'

"As we've gotten older we've got closer. All our friends hang out together. But he'll always be my little brother. It will definitely be weird seeing him on TV in interviews or getting fan mail later. I don't think any of it right now affects him. He's oblivious to it sometimes. He doesn't realize that it's kind of a big deal. … Arch is probably one of the most humble people I've ever known."

Family matters
May's grandparents Archie and Olivia (Cooper's parents) and Charles Heidingsfelder (Ellen's father) also attended her championship match. They've been there every step of the way, May said. 

"They (Archie and Olivia) raised just boys playing football, basketball and baseball, so they'd never been to a swim meet, gymnastics events or girls basketball and soccer games, yet they were there for me," May said. "He (Heidingsfelder) told me after the match that between his daughters and other grandchildren he'd been going to matches for 40 years and that our match was his last. It was a great finish for him, too."
Front row (L-R): Heid Manning, Ellen Manning. Backrow (L-R): Charles Heidingsfelder, Jane Heidingsfelder, Archie Manning, May Manning, Olivia Manning, Arch Manning and Cooper Manning.
Photo courtesy of the Manning family
Front row (L-R): Heid Manning, Ellen Manning. Backrow (L-R): Charles Heidingsfelder, Jane Heidingsfelder, Archie Manning, May Manning, Olivia Manning, Arch Manning and Cooper Manning.

Dot joined Charles at many of May's games before a long bout with Parkinson's disease and dementia was finally cut short in March by COVID-19. Dot was 77. 

"She went to all the games even when she wasn't her best," Ellen said. "I wear a little bracelet that says 'Mom' on it. (Before last month's title match) I said 'OK mom, let's go root on May.' She would have been thrilled."

That kind of support from family and friends has helped May thrive, she said, and live easy in The Big Easy — even as a Manning.

"I think my friends and Arch's friends make it all so normal, so comfortable," May said. "It's not as big a deal as it might seem. Obviously my grandfather played for the Saints, my uncles played in the NFL. Everyone in New Orleans knows the Mannings and is so used to it."

Going to Sacred Heart has also helped with the spotlight or possible scrutiny, she said.

"To be honest, I've never felt pressure to succeed or play sports or anything," she said. "Not from my family, my friends or people in New Orleans. I really think going to an all-girls school helped with that.

"I'm sorta trying to start my own legacy. It is more May vs. May Manning which has been a blessing. If I do feel pressure, it's me putting pressure on myself, not anyone else. I'm lucky for that."

Ultimately, her healthy perspective comes back to a balanced, enthusiastic family who shows its true color, whether at championship matches or practice or school.

"I think it's everybody — my parents, my grandparents, my brothers," she said. "It's just having such a huge support system that's so separate from football.

"From the beginning my parents made it clear: ‘You like sports, play sports. If you don't like sports, you don't have to do it.' I do it for me because I love to compete and I love my teams."

For the first time, she's attempting four sports this school year, including basketball currently, and golf and tennis in the spring. She's been on the tennis team since the sixth grade.

She said the best way to cap her senior season would be if her brothers dive in and grab Newman's first football state title. 

"Arch told me how cool it was to watch us win the state title and I told him 'I hope y'all win one too,' " May said. "It's the best feeling ever."
May Manning helped lead Academy of the Sacred Heart to its 14th state title but first since 2006 last month.
Photo by Gregory Juan
May Manning helped lead Academy of the Sacred Heart to its 14th state title but first since 2006 last month.
Ellen Manning (Heidingsfelder) sits in the middle front row right behind the 1986 Academy of the Sacred Heart state title trophy. To her left is Betsy Laborde (Becker) who was an assistant coach for the Cardinals in 2020.
Photo courtesy of the Manning family
Ellen Manning (Heidingsfelder) sits in the middle front row right behind the 1986 Academy of the Sacred Heart state title trophy. To her left is Betsy Laborde (Becker) who was an assistant coach for the Cardinals in 2020.
Newman football players pose with state champion May Manning.
Photo courtesy of the Manning family
Newman football players pose with state champion May Manning.