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OFFICIAL/AVCA Player of the Week - OFFICIAL
MaxPreps/AVCA Player of the Week
MaxPreps/AVCA High School Player of the Week
For the week of Jan. 18-24

North Carolina
OH | Senior | 5-foot-8
5 Sets Played

Kills: 15
Kills/Game: 3
Digs: 9
Digs/Game: 1.8
Receptions: 15
Rcpt/Game: 3
Aces: 4
Blocks: 4

About the MaxPreps/AVCA High School Player of the Week Program:
The MaxPreps/AVCA High School Player of the Week Program is a partnership between the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) and CBS MaxPreps, Inc. Each week MaxPreps and the AVCA recognize deserving student-athletes at the high school level who have demonstrated outstanding play on the court throughout the week of competition. Coaches must submit statistics to MaxPreps in order for their athletes to be considered for the program. To obtain your free access code to MaxPreps.com call (800) 329-7324 x1 or email [email protected] For more information on the AVCA, check out the AVCA website at www.avca.org
High school football: Mater Dei-St. John Bosco rivalry features impressive stats, rich history - OFFICIAL
High school football: Mater Dei-St. John Bosco rivalry features impressive stats, rich history
As vastly different as the 2020 California high school football season has been, the ending point is quite familiar. Even if it is in April 2021.

All eyes, computer screens, binoculars, smart phones and TV cameras will be focused on Santa Ana Stadium at 7 p.m. Saturday when Mater Dei (Santa Ana) and St. John Bosco (Bellflower) tangle to unofficially decide which is the best team not only in Southern California, but also the state and perhaps even the nation.

Just like it's been the last five years. Only no one is Christmas shopping.

The two national elites have been sparring, jabbing and throwing haymakers since 2016 to officially decide the Southern Section's Division I champion, which has parlayed into national ramifications, rankings and even championships.

St. John Bosco was crowned 2019 MaxPreps National Champion, while Mater Dei won it in 2017 and was second in 2018 and 2019. Heading into the fall of 2020, MaxPreps football editor Zack Poff had the Monarchs ranked No. 2 in the country and the Braves No. 3.
St. John Bosco takes the field before its season opener with Sierra Canyon.
File photo by Louis Lopez
St. John Bosco takes the field before its season opener with Sierra Canyon.
But California was one of 15 states to move football to 2021 due to the pandemic, erasing both programs from national-title consideration. Evaporation of the entire season in the state also seemed a distinct possibility, but politicians, health officials, coaching organizations, youth sports advocates and the California Interscholastic Federation finally were able to agree on a six-week campaign with no playoffs. 

Nothing in the short spring sample of nine games — five from Bosco and four by Mater Dei — has lessened their reputation nationally, according to Poff. IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) and Westlake (Austin, Texas) finished 1-2-3 in the final fall rankings.

"They (Mater Dei and Bosco) would both be right there in the mix no doubt," Poff said. "And with so many top young players on both sides, whoever wins Saturday has a real good shot to open the fall as preseason No. 1."

Which team will it be?

That's almost impossible to pick, just like it has been for the last 10 meetings since 2014, a year after Bosco, with quarterback Josh Rosen leading the charge, won its first state Open Division title.
Josiah Zamora (13) greets Cooper Barkarte (18) after a big catch.
File photo by Heston Quan
Josiah Zamora (13) greets Cooper Barkarte (18) after a big catch.
The teams have split the past 10 games, with the cumulative score being St. John Bosco 295, Mater Dei 287.
 
Since 2016, they've faced off twice each season with the Monarchs winning five of eight games total, but splitting the four section crowns — Bosco winning in 2016 and 2019 and Mater Dei claiming 2017 and 2018 titles. Each year those Southern Section champs went on to beat De La Salle (Concord) in the state Open Division title game.

Since 2004, Mater Dei has won 11 of the 20 meetings, but since Jason Negro took over Bosco in 2010, the Braves own a 9-6 edge. Mater Dei won six straight meetings starting in 2004 and the Braves won six straight starting in 2011.

History is simply a point of interest. Here are some more pertinent facts for the current season and Saturday's game.

• Bosco has outscored its opponents 266-91 (average score 53-18), Mater Dei's margin is 174-40 (44-10).

• Bosco averages 503 yards of offense per game (290 rushing, 213 passing), Mater Dei averages 418 (210 rushing, 208 passing).

• The teams have played four common Trinity League opponents with Mater Dei beating JSerra Catholic (San Juan Capistrano), 52-3, Orange Lutheran, 49-7, Servite (Anaheim), 24-17 and Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita), 49-13. Bosco beat the same opponents in order: 66-14, 55-0, 38-28 and 65-28.

• After graduating generational quarterbacks in 2020 — MaxPreps 2019 co-National Players of the Year in Bosco's DJ Uiagalelei (now at Clemson) and Mater Dei's Bryce Young (Alabama) — both teams are led by remarkably young, but polished signal-callers.

The Monarchs start freshman Elijah Brown, who has completed 60-of-84 passes for 770 yards, 11 touchdowns and one interception. Bosco has split time between sophomore Pierce Clarkson and junior Katin Houser with almost identical numbers, combining on 50-of-73 completions for 838 yards, 12 touchdowns and no interceptions. Both can run if nobody is open, combining for 258 yards and two scores.
St. John Bosco sophomore quarterback Pierce Clarkson has thrown for more than 400 yards and six touchdowns without an interception.
File photo by Louis Lopez
St. John Bosco sophomore quarterback Pierce Clarkson has thrown for more than 400 yards and six touchdowns without an interception.
• Top rushers: St. John Bosco — Jabari Bates (324 yards, 8.5 average, four TDs) and Rayshon Luke (267, 14.8, 4). Mater Dei — Raleek Brown (301, 7.2, 5) and Marceese Yetts (276, 6.6, 2).

• Top receivers: St. John Bosco — Jode McDuffie (12 catches, 267 yards, 4 TDs) and Chedon James (11, 211, 4); Mater Dei — Josiah Zamora (14, 157, 3) and CJ Williams (13, 184, 3).

• Top tacklers: St. John Bosco — Sione Hala (25 tackles), Andrew Simpson (20) and freshman Kyngstonn Viliamu-Asa (20). Mater Dei — Shoes Brinkley (15), Leviticus Su'a (12) and Sione Moa (12).

• Of all the numbers, none is more remarkable than this: 59.

That is the total number of players in Saturday's game who either have three-star recruiting rankings by 247Sports, or who have received an FBS scholarship offer. Of those, 31 belong to Bosco and 28 to Mater Dei. Only 14 of them are seniors.

3-STAR RANKING OR FBS OFFER: SEE ALL 59

When legendary Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson (314 wins, 85 losses, two ties according to Cal-Hi Sports record book) was asked this week to take in all that talent and how Saturday's game would shake out, he told Eric Sondheimer of the Los Angeles Times:

"It's their big men against my big men and their skills against my skills. … I think it's going to be like any other St. John Bosco-Mater Dei game in recent years. It's going to be a great high school football game."
Mater Dei's Elijah Brown is the fourth freshman to start at quarterback for the Monarchs, joining Todd Marinovich, Matt Barkley and JT Daniels.
File photo by Heston Quan
Mater Dei's Elijah Brown is the fourth freshman to start at quarterback for the Monarchs, joining Todd Marinovich, Matt Barkley and JT Daniels.
Bronny James makes high school basketball debut, No. 3 Sierra Canyon dominates opener - OFFICIAL
Bronny James makes high school basketball debut, No. 3 Sierra Canyon dominates opener
Video: Massive expectations for Sierra Canyon boys basketball
The Trailblazers opened the season with a big win over Montgomery in Bronny James' first game.

With many eagerly anticipating the high school basketball debut of Bronny James, No. 3 Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth, Calif.) opened its season Thursday night with a 91-44 victory over Montgomery (San Diego) at the San Diego Tip-Off Challenge.

The two-time defending CIF Open Division state champions jumped to a 7-0 advantage and led by as many as 53 points in the wire-to-wire victory.

The Trailblazers were paced by strong efforts from Kentucky pledge B.J. Boston, who finished with 22 points to lead all scorers, and TCU commit Terren Frank, who chipped in 20.
Bronny James scored 10 points in his high school basketball debut Thursday night.
Photo by: Nicholas Koza
Bronny James scored 10 points in his high school basketball debut Thursday night.
James – the son of Lakers star and NBA legend LeBron James – produced 10 points off the bench. The freshman knocked down a pair of threes from the left corner and added a couple of layups.

Harold Yu , a 7-foot-3 center from China, scored eight points. Zaire Wade , the son of three-time NBA champ Dwyane Wade, and Shy Odom had six points apiece.

Sierra Canyon will return to the San Diego Tip-Off Challenge tomorrow night to face off against St. Augustine (San Diego), which won its opener as well on Thursday night.
Photo by: Nicholas Koza
Zaire Wade throws down for two of his six points Thursday night.
Photo by: Nicholas Koza
Zaire Wade throws down for two of his six points Thursday night.
Dwyane Wade liked what he saw from son Zaire and his Sierra Canyon teammates.
Photo by: Nicholas Koza
Dwyane Wade liked what he saw from son Zaire and his Sierra Canyon teammates.
Future Kentucky Wildcat B.J. Boston signs autographs after pumping in a game-high 22 points.
Photo by: Nicholas Koza
Future Kentucky Wildcat B.J. Boston signs autographs after pumping in a game-high 22 points.
The stands were packed in San Diego for the nation's No. 3-ranked high school basketball team.
Photo by: Nicholas Koza
The stands were packed in San Diego for the nation's No. 3-ranked high school basketball team.

California high school softball: Vanden takes over top spot in OFFICIAL Top 25 Sac-Joaquin Section rankings - OFFICIAL
California high school softball: Vanden takes over top spot in MaxPreps Top 25 Sac-Joaquin Section rankings
In a battle of Top 10 teams Thursday, Vanden (Fairfield) held on to beat Sheldon (Sacramento) 11-8 and climb to the top spot in the MaxPreps Top 25 Sac-Joaquin Section high school softball rankings. The Huskies had 10 hits, including sophomore Jaylee Ojo's section-leading fifth home run in the top of the seventh. But it wasn't enough as junior Hazyl Gray struck out 14, including the final batter of the game.

The Vikings matched Sheldon with 10 hits. Seattle University signee Tai Wilson went 3-for-3 and now has seven base knocks in her first nine at-bats. Vanden jumps five spots, while the Huskies dropped to No. 2 as they bounced back with a 9-6 win over Roseville on Saturday.

Like teams figuring out their pitching rotations, starting lineups, and getting everyone play time, the rankings will see early movement. Five new teams joined this week. Lincoln (Stockton) has caught our attention after a 4-0 start. The pitching combo of junior Peja Goold and sophomore and Daniella Hunter has struck out 38 batters in 28 innings pitched.

Although this upcoming week will see many teams off because of spring break, we will still see some big games that will have a huge impact on the rankings.

Five games to watch

Tuesday
No. 3 Rocklin (4) at No. 2 Sheldon (Sacramento)
No. 5 Del Oro (Loomis) at No. 25 Lincoln

Wednesday

No. 3 Rocklin at No. 13 Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove)

Friday
No. 4 Elk Grove at No. 10 Folsom
No. 17 McClatchy (Sacramento) at No. 13 Pleasant Grove
Tai Wilson, Vanden
File photo by Robert Schlie
Tai Wilson, Vanden
MaxPreps Top 25 Sac-Joaquin Section softball rankings

1. Vanden (Fairfield)
Record:
3-0 | Last week: 6
The Vikings showed they can do it all in win over Sheldon.

2. Sheldon (Sacramento)
Record:
5-1 | Last week: 1
The Huskies have faced five opponents who've been in the Top 25 rankings at some point this season.

3. Rocklin
Record:
2-0 | Last week: 4
Senior Brook Thompson threw a 1-0 no hitter over Elk Grove. Freshman Sydney Barker hit a home run for the Thunder.

4. Elk Grove
Record:
6-1 | Last week: 2
The only blemish for a tough early season schedule for the Thundering Herd was a 1-0 loss to Rocklin.

5. Del Oro (Loomis)
Record:
1-2 | Last week: 3
The Golden Eagles open league play April 7 against Whitney.

6. Vista del Lago (Folsom)
Record:
0-0 | Last week: 7
The Eagles get the season rolling with two games this week.

7. St. Francis (Sacramento)
Record:
1-1 | Last week: 8
Troubadours have a tough test on Thursday against Inderkum.

8. Roseville
Record:
1-2 | Last week: 5
After a 2-1 win over Oakmont, the Tigers lost to Lincoln in extra innings and then to Sheldon on Saturday.

9. Lincoln (Stockton)
Record:
1-1 | Last week: NR
The Trojans will have a tough test Tuesday against Tri-City Athletic League rival St. Mary's.

10. Folsom
Record:
1-1 | Last week: 11
Emma Falen struck out 13  in complete-game shutout win over Ponderosa. She struck out seven more in two innings of work against Cordova.

11. Oakmont (Roseville)
Record:
2-1 | Last week: 12
Marc Watson's Vikings look to be a tough game no matter who they play.

12. Ponderosa (Shingle Springs)
Record:
1-1 | Last week: 13
The Bruins fell 2-0 to Folsom, but bounced back with 12 hits and 18 runs in win over Franklin.

13. Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove)
Record:
3-0 | Last week: 15
Sophomore Zoe Iverson had three of the Eagles 16 hits in a 15-1 win over Vacaville.

14. Center (Antelope)
Record:
1-0 | Last week: 19
Rylei Trujillo struck out 16 in a complete game no-hitter against Oak Ridge.

15. McClatchy (Sacramento)
Record:
0-0 | Last week: 24
Big season-opening game Friday against No. 13 Pleasant Grove.

16. Cosumnes Oaks (Elk Grove)
Record:
2-0 | Last week: 25
Freshman Marisol Gomez has a pair of doubles and a .833 OBP to start her varsity career.

17. Central Catholic (Modesto)
Record:
3-0 | Last week: NR
Sophomore Randi Roelling is mowing opponents down. She's struck out 43 in 17 innings of work.

18. Marysville
Record:
1-0 | Last week: 23
Senior Kaylen Galaviz hit a home run and struck out 10 in 5-1 win over Nevada Union.

19. Antelope
Record:
1-0 | Last week: 17
The Titans beat Rio Linda 11-6.

20. Tracy
Record:
3-2 | Last week: NR
The Bulldogs' two losses were to ranked teams and have impressive wins over Oakdale and Lodi.

21. Oakdale
Record:
1-1 | Last week: 14
After 4-2 loss to Tracy, the Mustangs bounced back with a 7-1 win over Merced.

22. Merced
Record:
1-1 | Last week: 10
The Bears drop after loss to Oakdale.

23. Vacaville
Record:
1-2 | Last week: 20
After a blowout loss to Pleasant Grove to start the season, the Bulldogs played well in the next two games.

24. Granite Bay
Record:
3-2 | Last week: NR
The Grizzlies dropped their first two games, but have since rolled off three straight. The team has six early season home runs.

25. Lincoln
Record:
2-3 | Last week: NR
The Fighting Zebras have not backed away from competition. After three losses to Sheldon, Elk Grove, and Granite Bay, they have bounced back with two wins, including a 6-5 victory over Roseville.
Aizhanique Mayo named 2020-21 OFFICIAL Connecticut High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year - OFFICIAL
Aizhanique Mayo named 2020-21 MaxPreps Connecticut High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year
Each year since 2006, MaxPreps has recognized outstanding performers in high school basketball. America's source for high school sports continues the tradition to close out the 2020-21 season by naming the top player in each state. Selections are based on team success and individual excellence, in addition to local and state accolades.

Aizhanique Mayo of Notre Dame Catholic (Fairfield) is the 2020-21 MaxPreps Connecticut High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year. In a shortened season, the 5-foot-9 junior point guard led the Lancers to a 12-1 record and the school's second straight South-West Conference Tournament championship.

Mayo averaged 20.4 points, 7.0 assists, 6.8 rebounds and 5.0 steals per game while producing a 7:2 assist to turnover ratio. Head coach Maria Conlon's star shot 44 percent from the field, 47 percent from beyond the arc and 82 percent from the free throw line.

Notre Dame Catholic is 58-3 through the first three seasons of Mayo's career and outscored opponents by nearly 30 points per game on average in 2020-21. She was the South-West Conference championship game MVP and a first team All-Conference selection.

Mayo has already received around 30 offers from college programs.

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 20.