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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: Wild week ahead in Florida could provide major shakeup for HIGHSCORE Top 25 - HIGHSCORE
High School Baseball: Wild week ahead in Florida could provide major shakeup for MaxPreps Top 25
The MaxPreps Top 25 high school baseball rankings could drastically different next week thanks to a number of big games pitting some of the top teams in the nation, all of them from Florida.

No. 2 Jesuit (Tampa) has a tough slate as it takes on Calvary Christian (Clearwater, Fla.) and No. 6 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.). The Ascenders, meanwhile, take on small-school powerhouse Canterbury prior to the Jesuit matchup. No. 4 Stoneman Douglas, meanwhile, tangles with No. 12 Calvary Christian Academy in one week.

Those matchups will have heavy influence on the rankings in the coming week, as will the final two matchups between No. 1 Buford (Ga.) and No. 25 Winder-Barrow. Although the Bulldogs lost the first game to the top-ranked Wolves, they will likely throw All-American Brady House in one of the final two games of the three-game series providing Buford's toughest test so far this season.

Dropped out: Sam Houston (Lake Charles, La.), Pioneer (Mission, Texas), Braddock (Miami, Fla.).

Game of the Week: Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.) 6, Pinnacle, 5. The Huskies rallied from a 5-3 deficit with two runs in the top of the seventh and then scored the winning run in the top of the eighth on a sacrifice fly.

Player of the Week: Jay Dill, Baylor. Dill homered four times in five wins for Baylor and drove in 12 runs.

Recruit Watch: Braden Montgomery, Madison Central. The All-America candidate had a double, triple and home run in one game last week and also picked up a pitching win.

Game to Watch: Buford vs. Winder-Barrow. Although Buford defeated Winder-Barrow in their first matchup on Monday, the Bulldogs got to Wolves' starter Dylan Lesko for four runs on five hits. Winder-Barrow is likely to give No. 1 Buford its toughest test for the remainder of the regular season.
Eli Runyan, Carrollton
File photo by Alyson Boyer Rode
Eli Runyan, Carrollton
MaxPreps Top 25 high school baseball rankings

1. Buford (Ga.)
26-0 | Last week: 1
Results: Def. Brookwood, 8-1; def. Winder-Barrow, 8-4.
Stats: Dylan Lesko had three hits and Riley Stanford had a home run against Brookwood. Lesko also struck out seven to get the win over Winder-Barrow.
Next: Wed./Fri. vs. Winder-Barrow

2. Jesuit (Tampa, Fla.)
19-1 | Last week: 2
Results: Def. Tampa Catholic, 6-1; def. Lakeland, 8-0; def. Jefferson, 8-2.
Stats: Dominic Castellano struck out nine against Tampa Catholic. Jake Kulikowski and Bradke Lohry each homered against Jefferson.
Next: Fri. vs. Calvary Christian

3. Madison Central (Madison, Miss.)
22-0 | Last week: 3
Results: Def. Warren Central, 16-3, 13-2. def. Clinton, 11-3.
Stats: Braden Montgomery had a double, triple and home run and Hunter Hines added a home run in the first game. Montgomery also had a triple in the second game. Montgomery had three hits and got the win against Clinton.
Next: Fri./Sat. vs. Clinton

4. Stoneman Douglas (Parkland, Fla.)
20-1 | Last week: 4
Results: Def. Westminster Academy, 9-1, def. American Heritage, 11-1.
Stats: Roman Anthony had two home runs against Westminster and one against American Heritage.
Next: April 21 vs. Calvary Christian Academy.

5. Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.)
9-1 | Last week: 5
Results: Def. Brophy College Prep, 14-7; def. Pinnacle, 6-5.
Stats: Roch Cholowsky and Gavin Turley each hit a double and a home run against Brophy College Prep. Josh Tiedemann had two doubles against Pinnacle and Brock Selvidge struck out 12.
Next: Wed. vs. Liberty (Peoria); Fri. vs. Desert Ridge (Mesa).

6. IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
21-2 | Last week: 7
Results: Def. Central Pointe Christian Academy, 7-0; def. Inspiration Academy, 7-3.
Stats: Stone Russell hit a home run against Central Pointe. Jackson Ferris struck out seven in the win. Mason Albright struck out 12 against Inspiration.
Next: April 19 vs. Canterbury; April 20 vs. Jesuit.

7. Barbe (Lake Charles, La.)
28-2 | Last week: 8
Results: Def. Acadiana, 10-3; def. Comeaux, 6-0; def. Anacoco, 1-0; def. Comeaux, 6-0.
Stats: Gavin Guidry struck out eight against Acadiana.
Next: Thur./Sat. vs. Lafayette.

8. Lake Travis (Austin, Texas)
24-2-2 | Last week: 11
Results: Def. Del Valle, 4-0, 10-3; def. Bowie, 7-3.
Stats: Ethan Calder struck out 13 in the first game and he had a double in the second game. He also got the win with eight strikeouts against Bowie.
Next: Fri. vs. Bowie.

9. St. Mary Prep (Orchard Lake, Mich.)
8-0 | Last week: 13
Results: Def. Brother Rice, 15-1; def. University Liggett, 12-6
Stats: Ciaran Caughey had 10 strikeouts and Ike Irish hit a home run against Brother Rice. Irish also hit a home run against University and Nolan Schubart had a double and a home run.
Next: Wed. vs. Divine Child (DH).

10. Friendswood (Friendswood, Texas)
20-0 | Last week: 14
Results: Def. Lee (Baytown), 12-0.
Next: Fri. vs. Manvel.

11. Farragut (Knoxville, Tenn.)
19-1 | Last week: 15
Results: Def. West, 7-0, 7-1; def. Knoxville Catholic, 8-6. def. Lenoir City, 3-2.
Stats: Hudson Seiglar homered and Parker Evans had two doubles in the first game and Bryce Burkey went 3-for-4 with a double in the second game against West.
Next: Wed. vs. Heritage.

12. Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
16-3-1 | Last week: 6
Results: Tied Trinity Christian Academy, 4-4; lost to Doral Academy, 5-4; def. Braddock, 6-0.
Stats: Rene Lastres and Alex Ulloa each hit a home run in the 10-inning tie against Trinity Christian.
Next: Fri. vs. Bolles; Sat. vs. St.Johns Country Day.

13. Reagan (San Antonio, Texas)
24-3 | Last week: 16
Results: Def. MacArthur 11-0 and Madison, 11-1; def. Clark, 8-0.
Stats: Stayton Ankrom had a grand slam against Madison and Hogan Heller also homered. Jacob Burcham had a double and a home run against Clark.
Next: Fri. vs. Brandeis.

14. Thousand Oaks (Calif.)
8-0 | Last week: 17
Results: Did not play
Next: Thur. vs. Newbury Park.

15. Hewitt-Trussville (Trussville, Ala.)
25-2 | Last week: 18
Results: Def. Gadsden City, 5-1. def. Vestavia Hills, 9-1.
Next: Thur. vs. Vestavia Hills

16. Auburn (Ala.)
25-2 | Last week: 19
Results: Def. Carrollton, 11-1.
Stats: Ryan Austin and Riley Austin each hit a home run and Will Turner had two doubles against Carrollton.
Next: Wed./Thur. vs. Smiths Station.

17. Carrollton (Ga.)
25-2 | Last week: 9
Results: lost to Auburn, 11-1; def. Alexander, 12-1; def. Norcross, 10-3. def. Alexander, 8-3; def. East Paulding, 8-1.
Stats: Eli Runyan hit a home run against got the win against Alexander. He added a double and triple against Norcross. Colton Cosper and Samuel Simpson each hit home runs against Alexander.
Next: Fri. vs. East Paulding.

18. Bryant (Ark.)
16-1 | Last week: 21
Results: def. Conway, 6-4.
Stats: Ryan Riggs had a home run and three RBI in the win.
Next: Fri. vs. Northside.

19. Baylor (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
12-2 | Last week: 22
Results: Def. McMinn County, 9-0; def. Christian Academy of Knoxville, 3-0; def. Silverdale Academy, 8-2; def Chattanooga Christian, 13-0, 17-1.
Stats: Henry Godbout hit two home runs and Jay Dill had one against McMinn County. Daniel Corona had two doubles against CAK. Corona, Dill and Hunter Herndon all hit one out against Silverdale. Corona and Dill both hit a home run against Chattanooga Christian in the first game and Dill, Godbout and Carson Yates each hit one out in the second game.
Next: Thur. vs. Chattanooga Christian.

20. Rancho Bernardo (San Diego, Calif.)
11-0 | Last week: NR
Results: Def. LaJolla, 3-0; def. Torrey Pines, 12-0.
Stats: Trent Abel had three hits and a home run against Torrey Pines.
Next: Wed. vs. Carlsbad; Fri. vs. Sage Creek.

21. Orange Lutheran (Orange, Calif.)
9-1 | Last week: NR
Results: Def. Birmingham, 6-2; def. Damien, 10-1; def. Harvard-Westlake, 9-5.
Stats: Casey Borba had two doubles against Harvard-Westlake. 
Next: Wed. vs. Redondo Union

22. Fort Zumwalt West (O'Fallon, Mo.)
16-1 | Last week: NR
Results: Def. Fort Zumwalt South, 10-3; def. Vianney, 6-5; def. Troy Buchanan, 8-1.
Next: Wed. vs. Troy Buchanan.

23. Seymour (Tenn.)
22-1 | Last week: 20
Results: Def. William Blount, 9-4; lost to Maryville, 7-3; def. Heritage, 5-3; def. Roane County, 16-2; def. Tennessee, 4-3.
Stats: Adam Quincy went 3-for-4 with a double against William Blount. AJ Berry had two doubles against Roane County.
Next: Sat. at Grace Christian Academy

24. Gregory-Portland (Portland, Texas)
23-2-1 | Last week: 12
Results: Def. Moody, 4-2; lost to Carroll, 10-0. lost to Veterans Memorial, 2-0.
Stats: Malachi Lott had a double and got the pitching win against Moody.
Next: Fri. vs. Flour Bluff; Sat. vs. Victoria West.

25. Winder-Barrow (Winder, Ga.)
19-2 | Last week: 23
Results: Def. Mountain View, 8-3; lost to Buford, 8-4.
Stats: Brady House had a home run against Mountain View and two doubles against Buford.
Next: Wed./Fri. vs. Buford.
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.

High school basketball rankings: Montverde Academy finishes No. 1, crowned HIGHSCORE National Champion for the fifth time since 2013 - HIGHSCORE
High school basketball rankings: Montverde Academy finishes No. 1, crowned MaxPreps National Champion for the fifth time since 2013
Despite dominating high school basketball over the past decade, there was still something missing from head coach Kevin Boyle's resume at Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.) — back-to-back national titles. Mission accomplished as this year's Eagles compiled a 24-1 record, captured their fifth GEICO Nationals crown and went wire-to-wire as the No. 1 team in the MaxPreps Top 25.

Montverde Academy outscored opponents by an average of 25.8 points this season and went 11-1 against MaxPreps Top 25 teams. The lone loss came in overtime to No. 3 Sunrise Christian Academy (Bel Aire, Kan.), which the Eagles beat in three other meetings.

At GEICO Nationals, Montverde Academy defeated No. 25 Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.) 85-64, No. 2 AZ Compass Prep (Chandler, Ariz.) 51-49 and Sunrise Christian Academy 62-52 in the title game.

Balance was key at GEICO Nationals with five-star Michigan signee Caleb Houstan, No. 2-ranked junior prospect Jalen Duren, five-star junior guard Dariq Whitehead, four-star junior Malik Reneau, Baylor signee Langston Love  and Creighton pledge Ryan Nembhard averaging between seven and 14 points per game.

MaxPreps National Champions in 2013, 2015, 2018 and 2020, Montverde's dominance spans well beyond this season as the program has won 49 of its past 50 games dating back to the start of last season. The Orlando-area power has finished in the top 10 for 10 consecutive years.

Since Boyle's arrival prior to the 2011-12 season, Montverde has a 93.9 win percentage and produced NBA players R.J. Barrett, D'Angelo Russell and Ben Simmons as well as projected lottery picks Scottie Barnes of Florida State, Cade Cunningham of Oklahoma State and Moses Moody of Arkansas.

Due to unique circumstances surrounding the 2020-21 season, teams were required to play at least eight games to be eligible for the final MaxPreps Top 25. See the complete rankings below.
Photo by Pete Wright / Graphic by Ryan Escobar
Past MaxPreps National Champions
2018 — Montverde Academy
2015 — Montverde Academy
2013 — Lone Peak (Highland, Utah); Montverde Academy
2012 — St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.); Oak Hill Academy (Mouth of Wilson, Va.)
2011 — St. Anthony (Jersey City, N.J.)

MaxPreps Top 25 Basketball Rankings

Record: 24-1 | Last week: 1

Record: 28-2 | Last week: 2

Record: 21-4 | Last week: 3

Record: 9-0 | Last week: 5

Record: 21-3 | Last week: 4

Record: 29-1 | Last week: 6

Record: 29-3 | Last week: 7

Record: 20-1 | Last week: 9

9. Camden (N.J.)
Record: 13-0 | Last week: 8

Record: 31-4 | Last week: 12

Record: 27-2 | Last week: 13

Record: 18-7 | Last week: 10

Record: 20-3 | Last week: 14

Record: 27-0 | Last week: 16

Record: 28-3 | Last week: 17

Record: 21-3 | Last week: 18

Record: 26-2 | Last week: 19

Record: 30-2 | Last week: 21

Record: 25-3 | Last week: 22

Record: 26-2 | Last week: 23

Record: 7-4 | Last week: 24

Record: 26-2 | Last week: 25

Record: 31-0 | Last week: NR

Record: 20-9 | Last week: NR

Record: 26-2 | Last week: NR
HIGHSCORE/WBCA Players of the Week: February 22-28 - HIGHSCORE
MaxPreps/WBCA Players of the Week: February 22-28
The Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) has announced its High School Players of the Week presented by MaxPreps and Wilson Sporting Goods.

Player of the Week honors are awarded to a deserving student-athlete who demonstrated outstanding play in her respective region of the country. Head coaches submit nominations each week and the WBCA selects the individual based on stats that were submitted.

Here are this week's honorees:

Region 1:
5 Games Played
Points: 20.0 Rebounds: 1.0 Steals: 3.4

Region 2:
4 Games Played
Points: 33.3 Rebounds: 12.5 Steals: 4.2

Region 3:
3 Games Played
Points: 42.0 Rebounds: 7.0 Steals: 3.0

Region 4:

3 Games Played
Points: 24.0 Rebounds: 4.3 Steals: 4.0

Region 5:

2 Games Played
Points: 28.0 Rebounds: 11.0 Steals: 5.0

Region 6:
3 Games Played
Points: 33.0 Rebounds: 8.0 Steals: 2.0

Region 7:
3 Games Played
Points: 27.3 Rebounds: 6.0 Steals: 3.0

Region 8:
2 Games Played
Points: 11.0 Rebounds: 4.5 Steals: 2.0

Region 9:
3 Games Played
Points: 38.7 Rebounds: 10.6 Steals: 3.0

To obtain a coach's login or for questions about our player of the week programs, please contact Aaron Hendricks (E-Mail: [email protected] Phone: (530)313-5158.