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California high school softball: SFL battle between No. 1 Rocklin, No. 6 Del Oro could impact final OFFICIAL Top 25 rankings - OFFICIAL
California high school softball: SFL battle between No. 1 Rocklin, No. 6 Del Oro could impact final MaxPreps Top 25 rankings
Monday's rubber match between No. 1 Rocklin and sixth-ranked Del Oro (Loomis) is a battle for bragging rights, a potential Sierra Foothill League title and even a top spot in the final MaxPreps Top 25 Sac-Joaquin Section high school softball rankings. Coming into Monday, each team has won on the opposing field and the Thunder host the Golden Eagles.

There are still several big games left over the next several weeks that could shake up the MaxPreps Top 25. Early season contests have some impact on the rankings, but it's the teams playing the best at the end that matter the most.

With no postseason or official league champions, MaxPreps will still be naming an All-Section Team. If you feel an athlete is worth consideration, please email me at [email protected]
Kya Pratt, Lincoln
Photo by Ralp Thompson
Kya Pratt, Lincoln
MaxPreps Top 25 Sac-Joaquin Section softball rankings

1. Rocklin
Record:
15-2 | Last week: 1
The Thunder wrap up the season with three SFL games this week.

2. Vanden (Fairfield)
Record:
11-0 | Last week: 2
Season over.

3. Sheldon (Sacramento)
Record:
13-8 | Last week: 3
The Huskies are playing some of the best softball in the section. They've beaten four ranked teams in a row, including a 13-7 win Saturday over No. 8 Vista del Lago.

4. Elk Grove
Record:
18-6 | Last week: 4
The Herd have a big game Monday at Delta League rival No. 7 St. Francis.

5. Roseville
Record:
16-4 | Last week: 6
Junior Shaylen McDowell hit a home run and had three RBI last week in the Tigers' 8-3 win over Del Oro.

6. Del Oro (Loomis)
Record:
16-4 | Last week: 5
There's ne game left for the Golden Eagles in what could be the game of the year.

7. St. Francis (Sacramento)
Record:
14-5 | Last week: 7
All five losses are to teams ahead of them in the rankings. The Troubadours close out the season Tuesday at Pleasant Grove.

8. Vista del Lago (Folsom)
Record:
12-3 | Last week: 8
Lexi Holihan, Morgan Sweet and Sammy Smith hit home runs as the Eagles fought back to give Sheldon a game.

9. Folsom
Record:
10-6 | Last week: 9
Sophomore Gracie Carpenter drove in the game-winning run in a nine-inning battle with Oakmont.

10. Lincoln
Record:
16-4 | Last week: 10
Junior Kya Pratt is riding a seven-game hit streak. She has three home runs in her last four games.

11. Oakmont (Roseville)
Record:
14-5 | Last week: 11
Juniors Madison Redinger and Lily Peterson each homered Friday in a 12-1 win over Center.

12. Escalon
Record:
15-1 | Last week: 13
Brooke Davis pitched all 10 innings as the Cougars knocked off Oakdale 4-3 on Wednesday.

13. Oakdale
Record:
13-4 | Last week: 14
The Mustangs wrapped up their season Wednesday.

14. Central Catholic (Modesto)
Record:
11-3 | Last week: 12
The Raiders finish the season Wednesday against Escalon.

15. Ponderosa (Shingle Springs)
Record:
12-5 | Last week: 16
Jenna Joyce has 19 hits during her current nine-game hit streak. The Bruins have a big game at home Thursday against Lincoln.

16. Pitman (Turlock)
Record:
10-0 | Last week: 17
Kai Deleon had two triples and three hits for the Pride in a 6-3 win Friday over Turlock.

17. Granite Bay
Record:
13-10 | Last week: 21
Marissa Alders allowed five hits in seven innings as the Grizzlies beat top-ranked Rocklin 2-1 on Friday.

18. Tracy
Record:
13-5 | Last week: 18
Season over.

19. Calaveras (San Andreas)
Record:
10-0 | Last week: 20
Brooke Nordahl had three of the 18 hits in a 18-0 win over Summerville.

20. Linden
Record:
13-3 | Last week: 19
Season over.

21. Golden Valley (Merced)
Record:
16-2 | Last week: NR
The Cougars finished its season with eight-straight wins.

22. Enochs (Modesto)
Record:
7-0 | Last week: 23
The Eagles have scored over 100 runs in seven games. They travel to No. 17 Pitman on Tuesday.

23. Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove)
Record:
10-11 | Last week: 24
After a big win over Elk Grove, the Eagles wrap up the season Tuesday against St. Francis.

24. Cordova (Rancho Cordova)
Record:
11-3 | Last week: 15
After falling to Del Campo, the Lancers responded with a 21-0 league win over Valley.

25. Yuba City
Record:
11-6 | Last week: NR
The Honkers wrap up their season this week with three games, including road games against league rivals Inderkum and Woodcreek.
High school football: Valdosta program hit with $7,500 fine, postseason ban for using ineligible players - OFFICIAL
High school football: Valdosta program hit with $7,500 fine, postseason ban for using ineligible players
Valdosta (Ga.), the winningest high school football program in history, was hit with a historic punishment this week by the Georgia High School Association over alleged recruiting violations and lack of institutional control, according to media reports.

The school was fined $7,500 and the football team banned from the 2021 postseason as five players from the 2020 team were deemed ineligible. Valdosta finished 7-5 last season and reached the AAAAAA semifinals. The school's 939 wins are the most in prep history, though victories with ineligible players become forfeits.

Valdosta coach Rush Propst remains on administrative leave last month after allegedly asking former booster club director Mike Nelson for "funny money" to help recruits and their families with rent and other expenses.

GHSA Executive Director Robin Hines announced the fines as $1,000 for each of the five ineligible players as well as $2,500 for "lack of institutional control."

"The evidence is clear that this is not an isolated instance (of recruiting) and that Coach Probst (sic) and members of the Valdosta Touchdown Club have on other occasions contacted other student athletes or their families and provided gifts of money, payment of utilities and housing incentives in an attempt to persuade those student athletes to transfer to Valdosta High School," Hines told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Among the ineligible players was Jake Garcia, who transferred to Valdosta from California. He played one game for Wildcats before being declared ineligible and transferring to Grayson, where he helped the Rams to a AAAAAAA title. Garcia is now enrolled at the University of Miami.

Propst owns a career record of 299-92 and has won seven state titles during a high-profile, 30-year, seven-school career that included an eight-year stint at Hoover (Ala.), which was featured on MTV's popular "Two-A-Days" reality show. He resigned there in 2007 mired in controversy, and was dismissed from Colquitt County (Moultrie, Ga.) in 2019 after more alleged impropriety.

The school has seven days to appeal to the GHSA.

Propst declined comment on any allegation or GHSA's ruling, but told the AJC, "We've got to let the (appeals) process play out, and we respect that process, and hopefully we'll get to the bottom of this."
Rush Propst, Valdosta
File photo by Gary McCullough
Rush Propst, Valdosta

Jersey Wolfenbarger named 2020-21 OFFICIAL Arkansas High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year - OFFICIAL
Jersey Wolfenbarger named 2020-21 MaxPreps Arkansas 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.

Jersey Wolfenbarger of Northside (Fort Smith) is the 2020-21 MaxPreps Arkansas High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year. The 6-foot-5 senior wing led the Grizzlies to a 26-2 record and the Class 6A state championship.

Wolfenbarger averaged 19.0 points, 8.8 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.7 blocked shots per game. Her combination of size and perimeter skills set her apart.

Wolfenbarger is regarded as the No. 7 prospect in the Class of 2021 by ESPN Hoopgurlz. The McDonald's All-American will play for Arkansas next year.

Each state's MaxPreps Player of the Year will be considered for inclusion in the MaxPreps All-America Team.
At 6-foot-5 with legitimate perimeter skills, Jersey Wolfenbarger is one of the most intriguing prospects in the Class of 2021 nationally.
Photo by Michael Woods
At 6-foot-5 with legitimate perimeter skills, Jersey Wolfenbarger is one of the most intriguing prospects in the Class of 2021 nationally.
High school basketball: Lonzo Ball leads list of players with most triple-doubles since 2014 - OFFICIAL
High school basketball: Lonzo Ball leads list of players with most triple-doubles since 2014
Russell Westbrook set a NBA record Monday when he recorded a triple-double in a loss to Atlanta. The 182nd triple-double of his career, the Washington Wizards guard passed Oscar Robertson on the list for the most triple-doubles in NBA history.

Also on the floor last night was Daniel Gafford, a first-year center out of Arkansas who played high school basketball at El Dorado (Ark.). He finished the game with 2 points, 5 rebounds and 1 assist. Naturally, that leads to the question is, which of the two players – Westbrook or Gafford – had more triple-doubles their senior year of high school?

The answer, of course, is Gafford, who posted 11 triple-doubles in 2017 at El Dorado. All of his 11 triple-doubles were via points/rebounds/blocked shots. Westbrook, who averaged 25 points per game as a senior at Leuzinger (Lawndale, Calif.), reportedly had 14 double-doubles, but there is no mention of triple-doubles.

Gafford's 11 triple-doubles made our list of prep players who have accomplished the feat most often over the past eight years.

Westbrook's record prompted a check of the MaxPreps leaderboards to see what players have racked up the most triple-doubles. MaxPreps has tracked the stat (for those players who have complete stats on the site) since the 2013-14 season. While career triple-doubles are not necessarily available, the MaxPreps double-doubles tool allows fans to track players who have the most double-doubles, triple-doubles and quadruple-doubles in a season.
Lonzo Ball's 25 triple-doubles as a senior led Chino Hills to state and national titles.
Photo by Heston Quan
Lonzo Ball's 25 triple-doubles as a senior led Chino Hills to state and national titles.
Current New Orleans Pelican guard Lonzo Ball leads the list with 25 triple-doubles during Chino Hills' 2015-16 season when MaxPreps ranked the team No. 1 in the nation. Ball also had a quadruple-double during the season and finished with an average of 23.9 points, 11.3 rebounds, 11.5 assists per game. Ball's career triple-doubles are not available.

Like Gafford, five of the players make the list for double-figures in points, rebounds and blocked shots. A total of six players averaged a triple-double for the season and one player, Reece Beekman of Scotlandville (Baton Rouge, La.), makes the list twice.

Beekman, coming off a promising freshman campaign at the University of Virginia, is one of several players on the list who have gone on to excel at the next level. Tilquan Rucker led all junior college players in scoring at 31.9 points per game in 2020. Theo Akwuba was the Sun Belt Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2021 while at the University of Louisiana.

In addition to Ball and Gafford, Mitchell Robinson of Chalmette (La.) is also in the NBA as a member of the New York Knicks. Travis Jay of Madison County (Madison, Fla.) has gone a different route. He is a member of the Florida State football team.

Unfortunately MaxPreps doesn't have statistics for some of the NBA's all-time triple-double standouts like Westbrook, Robertson, Magic Johnson and Jason Kidd.

Kidd averaged 25 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds and 7 steals as a senior while leading St. Joseph's (Alameda, Calif.) to the second of back-to-back championships in 1992. He finished his career as the state's all-time leader in assists and steals, according to the Cal-Hi Sports Record Book. He is known to have close to a quadruple-double in a win over Bishop O'Dowd that year, getting 30 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists and 8 steals.

Robertson's rebound and assist totals are unavailable as scoring totals were usually the only numbers reported by the media in 1956. Johnson, meanwhile, averaged 25.8 points per game as a senior on an Everett (Lansing, Mich.) team that won the 1977 Michigan state championship. According to the Lansing State Journal, Johnson averaged 17 rebounds and 9 assists per game as a senior.

Single season triple-double leaders

Lonzo Ball
Total triple-doubles: 25
School: Chino Hills (Calif.)
Year: 2015-16
Per game averages: 23.9 points, 11.3 rebounds, 11.5 assists
Best game: vs. Seattle Prep, 33 points, 10 rebounds, 14 assists, 10 steals

Reece Beekman
Total triple-doubles: 18
School: Scotlandville (Baton Rouge, La.)
Year: 2018-19
Per game averages: 21.9 points, 10.2 rebounds, 10.2 assists
Best game: vs. East Ascension, 39 points, 12 rebounds, 15 assists

James Moore
Total triple-doubles: 15
School: South Creek (Robersonville, N.C.)
Year: 2015-16
Per game averages: 15.1 points, 15.7 rebounds, 10.6 blocked shots
Best game: vs. Columbia, 22 points, 22 rebounds, 13 blocked shots

Reece Beekman
Total triple-doubles: 15
School: Scotlandville
Year: 2019-20
Per game averages: 19.6 points, 10.0 rebounds, 9.2 assists
Best game: vs. Live Oak, 40 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists

Tilquan Rucker
Total triple-doubles: 15
School: South Bronx Prep (Bronx, N.Y.)
Year: 2016-17
Per game averages: 36.0 points, 10.5 rebounds, 10.2 assists
Best game: vs. Bronx Early College Academy, 61 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists

Mike Kozlowski
Total triple-doubles: 14
School: Redeemer Classical Christ (Kingsville, Md.)
Year: 2015-16
Per game averages: 25.2 points, 13.5 rebounds, 10.6 blocked shots
Best game: vs. Arlington Baptist, 29 points, 20 rebounds, 17 blocked shots

Theo Akwuba
Total triple-doubles: 14
School: Brewbaker Tech (Montgomery, Ala.)
Year: 2017-18
Per game averages: 11.7 points, 14.1 rebounds, 10.4 blocked shots
Best game: vs. Lee, 18 points, 17 rebounds, 22 blocked shots

Mitchell Robinson
Total triple-doubles: 11
School: Chalmette (La.)
Year: 2015-16
Per game averages: 16.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, 7.9 blocked shots
Best game: vs. Holy Cross, 20 points, 10 rebounds, 20 blocked shots

Daniel Gafford
Total triple-doubles: 11
School: El Dorado (Ark.)
Year: 2016-17
Per game averages: 17.4 points, 16.0 rebounds, 7.7 blocked shots
Best game: vs. Pine Bluff, 33 points, 18 rebounds, 15 blocked shots

Travis Jay
Total triple-doubles: 11
School: Madison County (Madison, Fla.)
Year: 2017-18
Per game averages: 13.5 points, 7.7 rebounds, 6.7 assists
Best game: vs. Lee, 25 points, 16 rebounds, 11 assists

High school football: Los Gatos senior Adam Garwood carries ball, legacy for his late uncle Pat Tillman - OFFICIAL
High school football: Los Gatos senior Adam Garwood carries ball, legacy for his late uncle Pat Tillman
Los Gatos (Calif.) senior Adam Garwood doesn't hide it. He just doesn't talk about it much. He doesn't need to.

The chiseled 5-foot-9, 185-pound running back and linebacker proudly wears No. 42 on his black and orange jersey and a small decal of the same number with an American flag that's pasted on his helmet.

It's to honor his uncle, Pat Tillman, the former NFL safety who — in the prime of his career — enlisted in the Army after 9/11 and was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in 2004. Tillman was only 27.

Garwood was a baby at the time of his uncle's death but has worn Tillman's retired Arizona State number since starting youth football at age 8.

"I just try to represent and carry on his legacy," Garwood said. "He's the role model. He's everything."

By all accounts and every measure, Garwood has represented Tillman impeccably.

The third-year starter leads California's Central Coast Section in rushing (467 yards), yards per carry (13.7) and rushing touchdowns (10) for the section's third-ranked team during an abbreviated spring season due to the pandemic. The Wildcats (3-0) play their biggest game of the season Thursday at fifth-ranked Wilcox (Santa Clara).

His coach Mark Krail calls him the team's heartbeat for an unrelenting work ethic, authentic appreciation of teammates and desire to always be better.
Adam Garwood (42) is the nephew of late Arizona Cardinals safety Pat Tillman.
File photo by Dennis Putian
Adam Garwood (42) is the nephew of late Arizona Cardinals safety Pat Tillman.
"He's for sure the most dedicated player I've ever met," said junior linebacker Jake Ripp, a 6-3, 210-pound FBS prospect who Friday had 19 tackles. "He's a great leader. Very intense. He definitely leads by example."

Last week after practice, Krail was heading home but happened to glance out at the field. There was Garwood doing gassers. By himself. Again.

"He does them all the time," Ripp said. "Some of us will join him but he always outlasts us."

Said Krail: "He's always the last guy off the field. It's just him wanting to be great. He's the heart and soul of the team, but you'll never hear it from him."

Garwood doesn't talk much about his own accomplishments and rarely speaks about Tillman. Even though he plays the same positions, he didn't study Tillman's game film at Leland (San Jose, Calif.), Arizona State or with the Arizona Cardinals.

"Adam doesn't watch much," said his father Alex Garwood. "He's more of a doer."

A star football player himself at Leland and later at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, Alex Garwood earned All-American and conference Defensive Player of the Year honors as a linebacker.

He and his wife Christine, a soccer player and competitive dancer, were high school sweethearts at Leland and Christine's sister Marie married Tillman. The four were extremely tight.

When Tillman was killed, Alex quit his day job as a Silicon Valley software salesman and co-founded the Pat Tillman Foundation, which according to its website was "born overnight in the wake of tremendous tragedy, and with determination to honor a man whose passion for life was contagious."

The foundation has raised more than $18 million to "unite and empower remarkable military service members, veterans and spouses as the next generation of public and private sector leaders committed to service beyond self."
Adam Garwood leads the Central Coast Section in rushing yards, touchdowns and yards per carry.
File photo by Dennis Putian
Adam Garwood leads the Central Coast Section in rushing yards, touchdowns and yards per carry.
Alex and Christine never pushed Tillman as a role model for Adam or their two other sons — Ryan, now 20, or Scott, 15. 

"How could they live up to that? How could anyone?" Alex said. "Obviously, we've struggled with Pat's passing. He was just an incredible human being and everything you've ever heard about him, he was better than that. He was the best conversationalist I ever met. Best friend. Simply, an awesome, awesome person."

With dad working daily on the foundation for four years — he's now back to selling software — Tillman's life was prominent among the boys. His traits and actions naturally permeated and penetrated.

Adam Garwood told Ripp about running in one of the foundation's 4.2-mile "Pat's Run," held annually in Tempe (Ariz.).

"He said he ran the entire way with a Navy Seal, and how cool he thought that was," Ripp said. "He told me all about that guy."

Alex Garwood said Tillman's influence was more off the field for his son than on the field. Offerings of hard work, being a good teammate and an example for others. Being well-rounded, interested, resilient, true to yourself and engaged. 

Tillman left behind a blue print to live. Not to mention a Purple Heart. And a Silver Star.

"In that way Pat never stops giving back," Alex Garwood said. "But Pat wasn't perfect and we don't hold him up as a Norse God. We just raised our sons to be the very best versions of who they are. And they have. And we're so grateful for that."

Turns out. Adam shares a lot in common with his uncle on the field as well.

Tillman was considered too small growing up to play football. Instead, he was a two-way terror at Leland, rushing for 34 touchdowns as a senior in addition to leading the team in tackles and to the school's first section title in 1993.

"He wasn't about glory," a former Tillman teammate Rudy Perez told the San Jose Mercury News in 2012. "He was the MVP of the championship game, but he never took the credit."

At 165 pounds, Adam Garwood was well undersized as a junior, but put up a team-best 1,260 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns to go along with 50 tackles and four fumble recoveries. He led the Wildcats to the program's 13th CCS title.

Since then, he's added 20 pounds of muscle, and utilizing a super speed treadmill at home, he's lowered his 40-yard time to 4.47 seconds while upping his top-end treadmill speed to 22 mph. Adam is getting FCS Division I recruiting looks, including Cal Poly, his dad's alma mater.

"Had he played in the fall, I think he'd have many more opportunities," Krail said. "He didn't complain about the time off or bemoan the pandemic. He made the most of the time away. He's considerably bigger and faster. Whoever gets him will be very pleased."

Not only for his talent or speed, Krail said, but also the impassioned, selfless intangibles that mirrors Tillman. Adam led the team in offseason workouts, for instance, and after every touchdown, he truly celebrates with the offensive linemen who paved the way. It's not simply a ritual.
Adam Garwood (42) has celebrated with his offensive linemen 10 times in three games in 2021.
File photo by Scott Dinn
Adam Garwood (42) has celebrated with his offensive linemen 10 times in three games in 2021.
"He'll sprint back to us and really let each of us know we did a great job," Ripp said. "He'll get to us as fast as he got in the end zone. And if you ask him how many touchdowns he's scored and it's always one less than he actually has."

Said Adam: "I definitely don't consider myself the heart and soul of the team. Every single person plays a role, senior or sophomore, two-way player or reserve. Every snap, 11 players have to do their job."

The entire Garwood family embraces that "all-for-one, one-for-all" football culture. Ryan, who graduated from Los Gatos in 2019, introduced it to Adam. And now, Adam displays it to Scott, who stars on the freshman team. The brothers are extremely close.

"Right, wrong or indifferent, we're a football family," Alex Garwood said.

Adam Garwood definitely shares that unbridled passion of football with his uncle. He's played with "intensity and fire" since he was 8, said Alex Garwood. It's the only area his dad would compare him to Tillman.

"Pat played like every play was his last," said Alex Garwood, who graduated from Leland in 1990, four years before Tillman. "He flew around and figured out a way to make a tackle or play. Adam does that, too."

And he does it with a joy that brings tears to his father's eyes. Before the team's first game this season, Adam led the team in warm-ups, then guided them to the sidelines, where he flailed his fists and roared to the skies, unleashing 15 months of pent up fury from no competition. 

Or perhaps he channeled his uncle's favorite quote: "To err on the side of passion is human and right and the only way I'll live."

Or perhaps he just expressed the glee of playing the game he loves with his best friends.

"Football means everything to me," Adam Garwood said. "The relationship you build with teammates is hard to describe. It's a feeling that only we share, under the lights. It's beautiful."
Adam Garwood looking up at a gigantic Pat Tillman jersey before an annual 4.2-mile run in Tempe (Ariz.) put on by the Pat Tillman Foundation. "Pat's Run" is the signature fundraiser for the foundation's scholarship program, this year scheduled April 24 to be run virtually.
Courtesy of Garwood family
Adam Garwood looking up at a gigantic Pat Tillman jersey before an annual 4.2-mile run in Tempe (Ariz.) put on by the Pat Tillman Foundation. "Pat's Run" is the signature fundraiser for the foundation's scholarship program, this year scheduled April 24 to be run virtually.