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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

2020-21 OFFICIAL All-America Team: Chet Holmgren headlines high school basketball's best and most talented players - OFFICIAL
2020-21 MaxPreps All-America Team: Chet Holmgren headlines high school basketball's best and most talented players
Each year since 2006, MaxPreps has recognized the top high school basketball players in America. Past honorees include 2021 NBA All-Stars Bradley Beal (2011), Jaylen Brown (2015), Devin Booker (2014), Anthony Davis (2011), Kevin Durant (2008), James Harden (2007), Kyrie Irving (2010), Zach LaVine (2013), Julius Randle (2012 and 2013), Ben Simmons (2014 and 2015), Jayson Tatum (2014, 2015 and 2016) and Zion Williamson (2017 and 2018).

Selections are based on team success, individual production and local, regional and state honors from the recently-completed season. Potential at the college and professional level is not a primary consideration. Players in post-graduate and non-scholastic programs are not eligible for inclusion.

Highlighted by MaxPreps National Player of the Year selection Chet Holmgren of Minnehaha Academy (Minneapolis), we present the 2020-21 MaxPreps All-America Team.
Graphic By: Ryan Escobar
First Team

6-foot-1 | Senior (2021) | Guard | Tennessee
Averaged 14.7 points, 5.1 assists, 4.2 rebounds and 3.1 steals per game, guiding the Buffaloes to the GEICO Nationals title game.

6-9 | Senior (2021) | Forward | Kentucky
MaxPreps Texas Player of the Year averaged 35.2 points, 14.4 rebounds, 7.0 assists and 6.2 blocks for the 19-5 Rabbits.

6-10 | Junior (2022) | Center | Uncommitted
No. 2-ranked junior prospect averaged 14.3 points, 8.4 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per contest to help the Eagles win a fifth national championship since 2013.

MAXPREPS NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR
7-0 | Senior (2021) | Center | Uncommitted
Averaged 20.8 points, 12.6 rebounds, 4.7 blocks and 4.5 assists while shooting 80 percent from the field. Holmgren was part of four state championship teams at Minnehaha Academy.

6-3 | Senior (2021) | Guard | Uncommitted
Helped put AZ Compass Prep on the national map this season, averaging 24 points, seven assists and six rebounds per game.

Second Team

Matthew Cleveland, Pace Academy (Atlanta)
6-7 | Senior (2021) | Wing | Florida State
Five-star prospect averaged 22.8 points, 10.6 rebounds, 3.3 steals and 2.6 assists, helping Knights to their second consecutive state title and first GEICO Nationals berth.

6-3 | Senior (2021) | Guard | Alabama
Tallied 32.4 points, 10.8 rebounds, 4.9 assists and 3.6 steals per game as the Tigers reached the state semifinals. Davison opened his senior campaign with a 57-point game and posted 14 double-doubles.
6-5 | Senior (2021) | Guard | Duke
Limited to just 11 games, future Blue Devil averaged 28.7 points, 9.1 rebounds, 7.2 assists and 3.8 steals while recording six triple-doubles. Piled up 1,803 career points.

6-10 | Senior (2021) | Forward | Auburn
Produced 23.4 points, 9.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.5 blocks per game to lead the Patriots to the state championship game. Finished career with just under 2,000 points.

6-7 | Senior (2021) | Wing | Loyola-Chicago
MaxPreps Nebraska Player of the Year averaged 21.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game in leading Millard North to its first state title.

Third Team

6-10 | Senior (2021) | Forward | Michigan
Versatile five-star forward led fifth-ranked Ascenders in scoring and rebounding, averaging 14.1 points and 7.5 rebounds per outing while shooting 64 percent from the field.

6-3 | Junior (2022) | Guard | Uncommitted
Atlanta Journal Constitution Class 6A Player of the Year averaged 32 points, seven rebounds and six assists as Longhorns reached the state title game.

6-6 | Junior (2022) | Wing | Uncommitted
Poured in 31.1 points per game to go along with 15.8 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 4.7 steals while shooting 71 percent from the field for state quarterfinalists.

Hunter Sallis, Millard North
6-5 | Senior (2021) | Guard | Gonzaga
Top 10 prospect averaged 22.2 points, 5.6 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 2.4 steals. Sallis tallied 25 points, six rebounds and five assists in Mustangs' state-title game win.

6-2 | Junior (2021) | Guard | Ohio State
Atlanta Journal Constitution 7A Player of the Year averaged 17 points, nine assists and seven rebounds per contest. Led Eagles to their first state title since 2012 and the program's first GEICO Nationals appearance.

Honorable Mention

6-8 | Junior (2022) | Wing | Uncommitted
Top-ranked Class of 2022 prospect averaged 25.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists in a shortened 10-game season for the first-year program.

6-11 | Senior (2021) | Center | Oregon
Oregon native averaged 17 points, eight rebounds and three blocks per game in lone season with the No. 10 Crew.

6-6 | Senior (2021) | Guard | Michigan State
Catalyst for the Hurricanes' first state championship, averaging 33.4 points, 11.2 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.3 steals.

Malaki Branham, St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio)
6-4 | Senior (2021) | Guard | Ohio State
Ohio Mr. Basketball averaged 21.3 points, 5.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists per contest. Branham put an exclamation point on his senior year with 37 points in the Fighting Irish's title victory.

Kendall Brown, Sunrise Christian Academy
6-8 | Senior (2021) | Guard | Baylor
Five-star prospect averaged a team-high 16 points per game and shot 62 percent from the field to help third-ranked Buffaloes to their second consecutive top five finish in the national rankings.

6-6 | Senior (2021) | Guard | Michigan State
Chicago Sun-Times Player of the Year averaged 24 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three steals to guide the Mustangs to a 15-0 record. Christie became the all-time leading scorer in Mid-Suburban League history, finishing with over 2,000 career points.

6-3 | Senior (2021) | Guard | Connecticut
MaxPreps Pennsylvania Player of the Year helped the Vikings reach state championship game, averaging 18.6 points, 6.5 assists and 3.5 steals per contest. He became the program's all-time leading scorer in the process with over 1,400 points.

6-10 | Senior (2021) | Forward | Purdue
MaxPreps Indiana Player of the Year averaged 21.5 points, 14.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.1 blocks to lead the Braves to their second consecutive state title. Furst finished an impressive four-year run as the program's all-time leading scorer with 2,087 career points.

6-5 | Senior (2021) | Guard | Connecticut
MaxPreps Maryland Player of the Year averaged 18.8 points, 11.4 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 2.1 steals and 1.9 blocked shots per contest as the Stags finished No. 4 in final MaxPreps Top 25.

6-3 | Senior (2021) | Guard | Kentucky
MaxPreps Utah Player of the Year averaged 16.0 points, 3.3 assists and 2.5 rebounds per game to help the Tigers finish No. 12 in final MaxPreps Top 25.

DaRon Holmes, AZ Compass Prep
6-8 | Senior (2021) | Forward | Dayton
Top 50 prospect transferred after the New Year and provided a strong second option for the Dragons, averaging 15 points, nine rebounds and three blocks per contest.

6-7 | Senior (2021) | Forward | Kentucky
MaxPreps Illinois Player of the Year averaged 24.4 points, 12.5 rebounds and three assists per game to lead the Friars to the Catholic League Blue championship.

Caleb Houstan, Montverde Academy
6-8 | Senior (2021) | Forward | Michigan
Top 10 prospect averaged 13.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per outing while shooting 53 percent from the field and 40 percent from 3-point range.

6-7 | Senior (2021) | Wing | Stanford
Five-star prospect averaged 23.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and 8.3 assists per outing in an abbreviated 7-2 season.

6-3 | Senior (2021) | Guard | North Carolina State
MaxPreps North Carolina Player of the Year averaged 25.6 points per game to lead the Jaguars to their third straight state championship, posting a 76-2 record during their dominant three-year run. Smith pumped in 33 points, 10 assists, nine rebounds and five steals in the state title game.
High school basketball: Five-star guard Jaden Hardy expected to sign with G-League - OFFICIAL
High school basketball: Five-star guard Jaden Hardy expected to sign with G-League
Senior high school basketball star Jaden Hardy of Coronado (Henderson, Nev.) is expected to join the NBA G League Ignite team, according to a Saturday report from Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The 6-foot-4 guard is the No. 3 prospect in the Class of 2021 according to 247Sports. Hardy will be following in the footsteps of Class of 2020 prospects Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga and  Isaiah Todd among others in selecting the G League path over the traditional collegiate route.

Hardy missed his entire senior season after the Nevada Interscholastic Athletics Association canceled the 2020-21 winter sports season because of COVID-19.

In 2019-20, Hardy earned first team MaxPreps Junior All-America honors after averaging 30.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.4 assists per game. His junior season was highlighted by a 62-point game in which he led his team back from a 21-point deficit. He also recorded 11 rebounds, six assists, five blocks and four steals in the comeback victory.

The McDonald's All-American selection chose the professional path over his final list of college options including Arizona, Arizona State, Kentucky and UCLA.

Hardy is considered one of the most lethal and versatile scorers in the Class of 2021 and is projected to be a lottery pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Coronado guard Jaden Hardy drives to the basket.
Photo by: Darin Sicurello
Coronado guard Jaden Hardy drives to the basket.
OFFICIAL Photos of the Month: March - OFFICIAL
MaxPreps Photos of the Month: March
MaxPreps is known for its outstanding freelance professional photographers that cover high school sporting events, and the stellar images they capture are highlighted in the pro galleries.

Here are nine of the best photos published in galleries during the month of March from our network of photographers across the nation.
Texline (Texas) head coach Coby Beckner celebrates on the court with his players (background) after winning the  UIL Class 1A state championship game at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Photo by Tommy Hays
Texline (Texas) head coach Coby Beckner celebrates on the court with his players (background) after winning the UIL Class 1A state championship game at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Walden Grove (Ariz.) goalkeeper Ethan Itule makes a diving save en route to a 3-0 victory over Prescott in an AIA 4A state semifinal game.
Photo by Chris Stanley
Walden Grove (Ariz.) goalkeeper Ethan Itule makes a diving save en route to a 3-0 victory over Prescott in an AIA 4A state semifinal game.
A female diver soars above the pool during the CHSAA 3A State Diving Championships in Colorado.
Photo by Brent Murphy
A female diver soars above the pool during the CHSAA 3A State Diving Championships in Colorado.
Curtis (Wash.) receiver Issac Emanuel (top) goes over the shoulder of Puyallup defensive back Jaden Kolowitz trying to make the reception.
Photo by Vince MIller
Curtis (Wash.) receiver Issac Emanuel (top) goes over the shoulder of Puyallup defensive back Jaden Kolowitz trying to make the reception.
A Dana Hills (Calif.) goalie eyes an incoming shot during a game against host Aliso Niguel.
Photo by Ming Chung Lin
A Dana Hills (Calif.) goalie eyes an incoming shot during a game against host Aliso Niguel.
Lee's Summit's (Mo.) Alex Benassi splits two Liberty defenders for a layup during a MSHSAA state quarterfinal game.
Photo by David Smith
Lee's Summit's (Mo.) Alex Benassi splits two Liberty defenders for a layup during a MSHSAA state quarterfinal game.
A Glendora (Calif.) defender covers the face of a St. Lucy's player looking to pass the ball.
Photo by Donn Parris
A Glendora (Calif.) defender covers the face of a St. Lucy's player looking to pass the ball.
Two Northwest Christian (Ariz.) players battle a Parker player (middle) for a header.
Photo by Mark Jones
Two Northwest Christian (Ariz.) players battle a Parker player (middle) for a header.
Canyon (Texas) players celebrate wildly as the final seconds countdown in their victory over Hardin-Jefferson in the UIL Class 4A state championship game at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
Photo by Robbie Rakestraw
Canyon (Texas) players celebrate wildly as the final seconds countdown in their victory over Hardin-Jefferson in the UIL Class 4A state championship game at the Alamodome in San Antonio.
2020 OFFICIAL High School Football Junior All-America Team - OFFICIAL
2020 MaxPreps High School Football Junior All-America Team
Each year since 2006, MaxPreps has recognized the nation's top high school football players. Past members of the MaxPreps Junior All-America Team include Jadeveon Clowney (2009), Jameis Winston (2010), Derrick Henry (2011), Deshaun Watson (2012), Kyler Murray (2013), Nick Bosa (2014), Najee Harris (2015), Trevor Lawrence (2016), Kayvon Thibodeaux (2017) and D.J. Uiagalelei (2018).

National Junior of the Year selection Travis Hunter of Collins Hill (Suwanee, Ga.) headlines the 2020 MaxPreps High School Football Junior All-America Team. The five-star Florida State commit finished had with 137 receptions for 1,746 yards and 24 touchdowns for the Eagles while recording 51 tackles and eight interceptions on defense.

He led Collins Hill to its first state title game appearance and is a rare athlete who could be a five-star recruit either at cornerback or wide receiver.

Selections are based on team success, individual production and local, regional state honors from the recently completed season. Potential at the college and professional level is not a primary consideration.
Graphic by Ryan Escobar
First Team Offense

Height: 6-2 | Weight: 180
Led the Chaps to a 6A Division 1 state title and No. 3 spot in the final MaxPreps Top 25 rankings. Accounted for over 4,000 yards of total offense (3,495 passing, 583 rushing) and 50 touchdowns.

Height: 5-9 | Weight: 170
MaxPreps Oklahoma Player of the Year rushed for 1,744 yards and 25 touchdowns for the three-time defending 6A-II champs. Added 57 receptions for 727 yards and 10 scores.

Height: 5-11 | Weight: 205
Rushed for 2,155 yards and 30 touchdowns in 11 games.

Height: 6-2 | Weight: 195
Oklahoma commit was selected on the Class 3A first team by the Missouri Football Coaches Association.

Height: 5-8 | Weight: 170
Led largest classification in Alabama with 18 total touchdowns and racked up more than 1,600 total yards for the No. 6 team in the country.

Height: 6-5 | Weight: 210
The top-rated tight end in his class on 247Sports composite rankings had nearly 1,000 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns for the AAA runners-up.

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 315
Dominated opposing lineman playing against the best competition.

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 265
The top-rated offensive lineman from Texas in his class dominated this season.

Height: 6-6 | Weight: 285
Has landed over 35 FBS offers and excels in pass and run blocking.

Height: 6-6 | Weight: 300
Helped Explorers to an 8-0 record and 8A Tri-County championship in 2020, a season after helping St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) to a 7A state title as a sophomore.

Height: 6-6 | Weight: 315
Clemson commit did not allow a sack during his junior year.

Height: 6-1 | Weight: 165
Junior Player of the Year hauled in 137 receptions for 1,746 yards and 24 touchdowns while recording 51 tackles and eight interceptions on defense.

Height: 5-10 | Weight: 145
One of the strongest legs in the country already has offers from Florida, LSU and Tennessee.

First Team Defense

DL Jeremiah Alexander, Thompson (Alabaster, Ala.)
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 235
Former Alabama pledge racked up 116 tackles, 31 tackles for loss and nine sacks for the back-to-back 7A champs.

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 225
Played a major role on defense for the 5A state champs, finishing with a team-high 15.5 sacks.
Height: 6-5 | Weight: 255
Four-star defensive tackle had 17 sacks and 19 tackles for loss in 2020.

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 240
Has been a standout on the defensive line for the last two years playing against the state's best competition.

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 230
Oklahoma commit was a monster during his junior year and has some of the game's most impressive tape.

Height: 6-1 | Weight: 195
Does it all at a high level from the linebacker position. Helped the Rockets to a Top 25 finish and back-to-back 6A championships.

Height: 6-2 | Weight: 200
One of the most underrated prospects finished with 140 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, five sacks and three interceptions for the ninth-ranked team in the country.

Height: 6-1 | Weight: 180
As good as any defensive back in the country, regardless of class.

Height: 6-1 | Weight: 170
Recent Ohio State commit made a big-time impact on both sides of the ball.

DB Kamari Wilson, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 195
Ascenders went wire-to-wire as the No. 1 team in the country and Wilson stood out on defense every week.

Height: 6-2 | Weight: 190
Bounced back in 2020 and shutdown opposing wide receivers all year after missing sophomore campaign with a torn ACL.

Height: 6-0 | Weight: 180
Five-star recruit hauled in 52 receptions for 902 yards and 10 touchdowns while recording four interceptions on defense.

Height: 5-11 | Weight: 170
Finished eighth in the nation averaging 45.2 yards per punt and also connected on 10-of-15 field goals.

Second Team Offense

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 195
Top-rated 2022 prospect led the Dragons to first state title game appearance since 2011. Finished with 2,442 yards passing and 28 touchdowns in eight games.

Height: 5-11 | Weight: 195
MaxPreps Tennessee Player of the Year rushed for 2,010 yards and 24 touchdowns in nine games.

Height: 5-9 | Weight: 175
MaxPreps Arkansas Player of the Year put up video game numbers for the 5A champs. Rushed for 1,925 yards and 23 touchdowns averaging 10.2 yards per carry to go with 80 receptions for 1,068 yards and nine scores.

WR Cody Hagen, Corner Canyon (Draper, Utah)
Height: 6-1 | Weight: 175
Three-star wide receiver had a touchdown in all 14 games this year and finished with 55 receptions for 1,184 yards and 18 scores for the 6A champs.

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 185
Oklahoma commit hauled in 61 receptions for 1,152 yards and 14 touchdowns for the runner-up in 6A-I. 

TE RJ Maryland, Southlake Carroll (Southlake, Texas)
Height: 6-4 | Weight: 210
Had nearly 800 yards receiving and 13 touchdowns averaging over 24 yards per catch for the No. 15 team in the nation.

Height: 6-5 | Weight: 295
Clemson commit is one of the most physical and athletic offensive lineman in the game.

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 315
Eagles have had some great offensive lineman come through their program and Dewberry continues that legacy.

Height: 6-5 | Weight: 255
Dominated on both sides of the ball. He's also a standout pitcher in baseball.

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 315
LSU commit helped the Saints to an undefeated season and 5A state title.

Height: 6-5 | Weight: 305
One of the best all-around offensive lineman in the country has already landed 30 FBS offers.

Height: 6-1 | Weight: 220
The 2018 Freshman of the Year accounted for over 4,700 yards of total offense (3,128 passing, 1,581 rushing) and 71 touchdowns.

Height: 6-0 | Weight: 175
Helped Cougars to first state championship game appearance since 1960. Connected on 16-of-19 field goals as a junior.

Second Team Defense

Height: 6-5 | Weight: 250
Made an impact on defense and helped Trojans to first state title since 2015 and a No. 12 spot in the MaxPreps Top 25.

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 300
Top-rated defensive tackle in the Class of 2022 dominated in the trenches during his junior year.

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 325
Raiders won their first state title since 2002 and Alexander was a standout player for the No. 8 team in the country.

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 215
Expect the Power 5 offers to start coming for "Deuce" after a strong junior season. He racked up 13.5 sacks and 19 tackles for loss playing against Arizona's best competition.

Height: 6-2 | Weight: 200
Top-rated outside linebacker dominated on both sides of the ball.

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 220
Selected to the Ohio All-State first team after registering 61 tackles, six tackles for loss, four sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception. The Ohio State commit added 594 yards rushing and six touchdowns on offense.

Height: 6-4 | Weight: 215
Can line up anywhere on defense and play at a high level. The Ohio State pledge checks in as the third-rated outside linebacker in the Class of 2022 on 247Sports.

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 190
Eighth-rated prospect in the Class of 2022 can lock down any wide receiver in the country.

Height: 6-1 | Weight: 200
Played a major role on defense for the No. 4 team and three-time defending 6A state champs.

Height: 6-1 | Weight: 170
Quarterbacks rarely looked his direction during his junior season and he also shined on offense in 2020.

Height: 6-5 | Weight: 220
Ohio State commit was named the MaxPreps Kansas Player of the Year after a strong junior season.

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 195
Magic happens when he gets his hands on the ball. The five-star prospect impacts the game at high level in all three phases.

Height: 6-3 | Weight: 180
Averaged better than 41 yards per punt and connected on 15-of-17 field goals. Was a first team selection on the Georgia All-State team as a kicker.