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Preseason OFFICIAL Top 25 high school basketball rankings: Players to watch, storylines for No. 10 DeMatha - OFFICIAL
Preseason MaxPreps Top 25 high school basketball rankings: Players to watch, storylines for No. 10 DeMatha
DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) has established itself as a mainstay in the MaxPreps Top 25 high school basketball rankings, finishing in the top 10 each of the past three seasons.

The Washington Catholic Athletic Conference's No. 2 preseason team, the Stags return eight players who saw minutes in their rotation last season while adding top 100 junior Rodney Rice.

Elijah and Jordan Hawkins, Jacoi Hutchinson, Will Reynolds, Jerrell Roberson and Tyler Ward return from last year's 30-3 team and all are expected to see increased roles this year for coach Mike Jones.

A fourth straight 30-win season earned the Stags a No. 6 rank in the final MaxPreps Top 25. They are expected to compete in this year's Spalding Hoophall Classic, Hoophall West and Peachtree Invitational along with a grueling WCAC schedule.
Guard Jacoi Hutchinson
File photo by Lonnie Webb
Guard Jacoi Hutchinson
Players to watch

Height: 5-9 | Class: Senior (2021)
National rank: NR | Status: Uncommitted

Height: 6-6 | Class: Senior (2021)
National rank: 47 | Status: Committed to Connecticut

Height: 6-2 | Class: Sophomore (2023)
National rank: 20 | Status: Uncommitted

Height: 6-3 | Class: Senior (2022)
National rank: NR | Status: Uncommitted

Height: 6-4 | Class: Junior (2022)
National rank: 83 | Status: Uncommitted

Height: 6-8 | Class: Junior (2022)
National rank: NR | Status: Uncommitted

Height: 6-5 | Class: Junior (2022)
National rank: 128 | Status: Uncommitted
Guard Rodney Rice shown playing for Bullis (Md.) last season.
File photo by Cliff Lavelle
Guard Rodney Rice shown playing for Bullis (Md.) last season.

Virginia crowns first spring football champions in high school history - OFFICIAL
Virginia crowns first spring football champions in high school history
Like any other year, the Virginia High School League crowned six state football champions Saturday afternoon in six different classifications. But these were clearly different.  From all records MaxPreps has researched, Virginia is the first state to ever award football championships in the spring.

The Riverhead Gladiators were officially the first ones crowned, with a 65-29 victory over the Galaxy Maroon Tide in the Class 1 title game. A 34-point second-point explosion led the Gladiators to their 10th straight win of the season. They outscored opponents 483-119 on the season. 

Perennial East power Oscar Smith (8-0) followed with a 62-21 Class 6 title win over South County, and Stone Bridge (8-0) took the Class 5 crown with a 13-10 overtime win over Highland Springs. (See all the champions below).

The VHSL was one of 15 states to move the traditional fall 2020 season to the spring due to COVID-19 pandemic. Of those states, 11 decided on abbreviated spring seasons, with just three opting for playoffs. North Carolina and Rhode Island have scheduled state championship games next week.

According to MaxPreps senior writer and historian Kevin Askeland, no states have ever held football championships in the spring, although one in California was scheduled in 1919. That title game was called off when Orange League champion Fullerton disbanded a month before the scheduled contest.
Oscar Smith turned around a loss in the 2019 VHSL Class 6 title game with a resounding 65-21 win over the Stallions on Saturday.
File photo by Fred Ingham
Oscar Smith turned around a loss in the 2019 VHSL Class 6 title game with a resounding 65-21 win over the Stallions on Saturday.
2021 Spring VHSL State Football Championships

Class 1Full bracket can be found here - 2020 Virginia High School Football Playoff Brackets: VHSL Class 1
High school softball: Salpointe Catholic, Neshoba Central win state titles, rise in this week's OFFICIAL Top 25 - OFFICIAL
High school softball: Salpointe Catholic, Neshoba Central win state titles, rise in this week's MaxPreps Top 25
Leander (Texas) lost for the first time this season, 1-0 in second game of a 5A playoffs series with Medina Valley. In the finale, the Lions scored five in the fourth inning to advance and remain No. 1 in this week's MaxPreps Top 25 high school softball rankings.

Leander plays Carroll (Corpus Christi, Texas) starting Thursday. The Tigers are 30-5 and are led by Rhea Ann Avalos. The Texas Wesleyan University commit has hit 18 home runs.

In Florida, the winner of the 7A bracket has a legit case to be the top-ranked team in the country. The Final Four consists of third-ranked Lakewood Ranch (Bradenton, Fla.), 24-4 Palmetto (Miami) and a semifinal game that features teams with a combined 53-0 mark.

No. 4 Park Vista (Lake Worth, Fla.) and eight-ranked University (Orange City, Fla.) play Friday with a chance to advance to the state finals. The winner will get either Lakewood Ranch or Palmetto.

No. 9 Neshoba Central (Philadelphia, Miss.) captured a MHSAA Class 5A championship, the eight-straight title for the Rockets. The two-game sweep of East Central also extended their 48-game win streak.

Salpointe Catholic (Tucson, Ariz.) won the 4A championship Monday. The 15th-ranked Lancers beat Vista Grande 5-4 in the title game. Alyssa Aguilar tossed a complete-game win and hit a home run as the top squad from Arizona went 24-0.
Salpointe Catholic celebrates its 4A title.
Photo by Steven Davis
Salpointe Catholic celebrates its 4A title.
MaxPreps Top 25 high school softball rankings

1. Leander (Texas)
Record:
34-1 | Last week: 1
Angelo State commit Lauren Tetreault allowed no runs on five hits in the decisive playoff game against Medina Valley.

2. Barbers Hill (Mt. Belvieu, Texas)
Record:
34-2 | Last week: 2
The Eagles open 5A Regional 1&3 semifinal action Wednesday against Waller.

3. Lakewood Ranch (Bradenton, Fla.)
Record:
28-2 | Last week: 3
Jillian Herbst had two home runs, two doubles and six RBI Tuesday against Newsome.

4. Park Vista (Lake Worth, Fla.)
Record:
28-0 | Last week: 4
Two underclassmen, sophomore Chloe Fariello and freshman Nicole Mergen, were dominant in the circle against Treasure Coast.

5. Norco (Calif.)
Record:
19-1 | Last week: 6
The Cougars have a three-game series with King this week.

6. Hewitt-Trussville (Trussville, Ala.)
Record:
45-2-1 | Last week: 7
A very tough 7A bracket is all set in Alabama. The Huskies open Thursday against Baker.

7. Lake Creek (Montgomery, Texas)
Record:
37-0 | Last week: 9
Sophomore Kalee Rochinski was named Player of the Game after smashing a home run and driving in three runs during the Regional Quarterfinals.

8. University (Orange City, Fla.)
Record:
25-0 | Last week: 10
Madde Jorczak had two hits and an RBI against Lake Brantley on Friday.

9. Neshoba Central (Philadelphia, Miss.)
Record:
31-0 | Last week: 10
 Mississippi 5A champions. Season over.

10. Spring-Ford (Royersford, Pa.)
Record:
15-0 | Last week: 12
The Rams have scored 149 runs so far this season.

11. Doral Academy (Doral, Fla.)
Record:
27-2 | Last week: 13
Alyssa Zabala went the distance, striking out eight as the Firebirds beat a very good Cooper City team to advance.

12. Judson (Converse, Texas)
Record:
30-1 | Last week: 14
Keely Williams had three hits and Destiny Ortega-Rodriguez drove in three to lift the Rockets over Round Rock.

13. Williamsburg (Ohio)
Record:
25-0 | Last week: 16
Pitcher Madi Ogden has now struck out over 300 batters this season.

14. Barbe (Lake Charles, La.)
Record:
31-2 | Last week: 17
Louisiana 5A state champion. Season over.

15. Salpointe Catholic (Tucson, Ariz.)
Record:
23-0 | Last week: 18
Kimmy McDaniels had a pair of hits in state title victory.

16. Bob Jones (Madison, Ala.)
Record:
31-3 | Last week: 12
The Patriots open 7A state title play against 40-7 Thompson in a prime time matchup.

17. Saint Francis (Mountain View, Calif.)
Record:
17-0 | Last week: 20
Bi Dipepr and Ella Mil each had three hits on Friday to help beat Presentation, 10-0.

18. Villa Park (Calif.)
Record:
17-1 | Last week: 21
Four regular season games remain for the Spartans.

19. Westlake (Westlake Village, Calif.)
Record:
13-1 | Last week: 25
Junior Emily Jones had four hits Monday in a 10-0 win.

20. Lake Central (St. John, Ind.)
Record:
23-1 | Last week: 24
Amanda Aardema hit a walk-off double as the Indians beat Marist 2-1 in a battle of national powers.

21. Marist (Chicago)
Record:
23-1 | Last week: 5
The RedHawks fell for the first time this season 2-1 to No. 20 Lake Central.

22. South Gibson (Medina, Tenn.)
Record:
32-2 | Last week: 22
Emmi Whittemore, Erica Carpenter and Olivia Pickard have all pitched over 50 innings this season with a combined 1.47 ERA.

23. Mahopac (N.Y.)
Record:
9-0 | Last week: 28
Shannon Becker has not allowed a run in nine games in the circle. She has also struck out 167 batters.

24. Clear Springs (League City, Texas)
Record:
28-0 | Last week: 30
Junior Emma Strood is 19-0 as a pitcher. She also has hit six home runs.

25. Xavier College Prep (Phoenix)
Record:
19-2 | Last week: NR
Riley Flynn struck out and nine and Macy Lee had seven RBI as the Gators won the 6A title.

Next five: Baylor (Chattanooga, Tenn.), Mater Dei Catholic (Chula Vista, Calif.), Crown Point (Ind.), Rocklin (Calif.), Clovis North (Fresno, Calif.)
High school basketball: Nearly 70,000 votes were cast to identify the best gym in Indiana – find out which storied facility won - OFFICIAL
High school basketball: Nearly 70,000 votes were cast to identify the best gym in Indiana – find out which storied facility won
Now that the NCAA Tournament – played entirely in the state of Indiana this year – has wrapped up, locals can go back to focusing on more important things. Mainly, debating who has the best high school basketball gym.

VisitIndiana.com set out to finally settle the matter in recent weeks, allowing readers to cast their vote to identify the premier prep hoops palace in the state.

A testament to the passion that remains for the high school game in Indiana, over 67,000 votes poured in. Ultimately, the Spartan Bowl in Connersville emerged as the winner, upending storied facilities like the New Castle Fieldhouse (featured in the video above).
According to VisitIndiana.com readers, the Spartan Bowl is the state's premier high school basketball gym.
Courtesy of Connersville Athletics
According to VisitIndiana.com readers, the Spartan Bowl is the state's premier high school basketball gym.
See VisitIndiana.com's complete top 10 here.

The Spartan Bowl opened in 1958 and has a capacity of 5,134 fans. Matt Howard, who helped Butler reach the NCAA Tournament championship game in 2010 and 2011, is among the standouts that have taken the floor there for Connersville.

Where every 2021 MLB Opening Day starting pitcher went to high school - OFFICIAL
Where every 2021 MLB Opening Day starting pitcher went to high school
With Opening Day of the 2021 MLB season set for Thursday, it's always fun to look back at where all of the starting pitchers went to high school. California has bragging rights this season as seven of the 30 projected starters finished their high school career playing in the Golden State.

In fact, three came from the same school, which is more than any state outside of California.

Jack Flaherty, Lucas Giolito and Max Fried all graduated from Harvard-Westlake. Giolito and Fried were both first-round selections in the 2012 MLB Draft while Flaherty was selected in the first round two years later.

Gerrit Cole, Kyle Hendricks, Shane Bieber and Tyler Glasnow are the other four Opening Day starters from California.

Colorado, Florida and Texas were the only other states with at least two pitchers featured.

In total, 15 states are represented along with the Dominican Republic, Japan, South Korea and Venezuela.
Graphic by Ryan Escobar
American League East

Baltimore Orioles — John Means, Gardner-Edgerton (Gardner, Kan.) | Class of 2011
Didn't have any Division 1 offers coming out of high school but was selected in the 46th round of the 2011 MLB draft. Means elected to go to Fort Scott Community College before transferring to West Virginia a year later. He played his junior and senior year of high school with the Kansas City Royals' Bubba Starling, who was selected fifth overall in the 2011 MLB Draft.

Boston Red Sox — Nathan Eovaldi, Alvin (Texas) | Class of 2008
After missing his junior season because of Tommy John surgery, he came back his senior year and went 12-1 with a 1.66 ERA. He added three saves and posted 72 strikeouts in 70.2 innings. Eovaldi was selected in the 11th round of the 2008 MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers and helped the Red Sox to a World Series championship in 2018.

New York Yankees — Gerrit Cole, Orange Lutheran (Orange, Calif.) | Class of 2008
Went 8-2 during his senior year posting a 0.47 ERA to go with 121 strikeouts in 75 innings. The Yankees selected Cole with the 28th overall pick in 2008 but he elected to go to UCLA and after a three-year career with the Bruins he was taken first overall in the 2011 MLB Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Tampa Bay Rays — Tyler Glasnow, Hart (Newhall, Calif.) | Class of 2011
He became the seventh player to graduate from Hart that has played in the World Series joining Bob Walk, Kevin Millar, James Shields, Mike Montgomery, Todd Zeile and Trevor Bauer. He only had one offer coming out of high school and was selected in the fifth round of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Toronto Blue Jays — Hyun-jin Ryu, South Korea
A year before signing with the Hanwha Eagles of the Korean Baseball Organization in 2006 he played for his high school team in the Blue Dragon Open National Championship and did not allow a run throwing 22 consecutive scoreless innings and batted .389. After a seven-year career in the KBO, he has posted a 2.95 ERA in the Majors during his first eight seasons.

American League Central

Chicago White Sox — Lucas Giolito, Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.) | Class of 2012
The first of three Harvard-Westlake graduates featured who will be starting on Opening Day. He finished his high school career with a 12-2 record and 1.51 ERA and suffered an elbow injury during his senior year that resulted in Tommy John surgery. He struck out 106 batters in 97.2 innings. Giolito was selected 16th overall by the Washington Nationals in the 2012 MLB Draft.

Cleveland Indians — Shane Bieber, Laguna Hills (Calif.) | Class of 2013
The reigning American League Cy Young award winner went 8-4 during his senior year posting a 1.40 ERA. After a three-year career at UC Santa Barbara, he was selected in the fourth round of the 2016 draft by Cleveland.

Detroit Tigers — Matthew Boyd, Eastside Catholic (Sammamish, Wash.) | Class of 2009
Went 7-2 during his senior year striking out 91 batters in 58 innings while posting a 0.84 ERA. The season before he was 7-0 with a 0.71 ERA to go with 58 strikeouts in 39.2 innings.

Kansas City Royals — Brad Keller, Flowery Branch (Ga.) | Class of 2013
Entered his senior year of high school with no offers or any interest from the Majors but in a regular season matchup against Clint Frazier and Loganville (Ga.) everything changed. He struck out Frazier during his first two at-bats and the interest picked up after that game from MLB scouts. Keller was selected in the eighth round of the 2013 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Minnesota Twins — Kenta Maeda, Japan
Maeda was selected by the Hiroshima Toyo Carp's in the 2006 Nippon Professional Baseball league draft out of PL Gakuen Senior High School. He pitched in the NPB from 2008 until 2015 before signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He has gone 53-36 with a 3.75 ERA during his first five years in the Majors.

American League West

Houston Astros Zack Greinke, Apopka (Fla.) | Class of 2002
Named the 2002 Gatorade Player of the Year after going 9-2 during his senior year, posting a 0.55 earned run average to go with 118 strikeouts in 63 innings. The 2009 American League Cy Young winner finished his high school career with 31 home runs.

Los Angeles Angels Dylan Bundy, Owasso (Okla.) | Class of 2011
The only Opening Day starter to be named the Gatorade Athlete of the Year. He took home the award in 2011 and the only other two baseball players to claim this honor since 2003 are MacKenzie Gore (2017) and Bobby Witt Jr. (2019). During his senior year, he went 11-0 and had a 0.25 ERA to go with 158 strikeouts in 71 innings. Bundy was named the Oklahoma Gatorade Player of the Year in each of his final three years of high school and was selected fourth overall in the 2011 MLB Draft by the Baltimore Orioles.

Oakland Athletics Chris Bassitt, Genoa Area (Genoa, Ohio) | Class of 2007
Bassitt posted a 1.56 ERA during his senior year and struck out 65 batters in 56 innings. He was also a standout basketball player and was named to the all-league team in both sports.

Seattle Mariners Marco Gonzales, Rocky Mountain (Fort Collins, Colo.) | Class of 2010
Gonzales won a state title every year during his high school career. He went 11-0 during his senior season and posted a 2.20 ERA to go with 87 strikeouts in 54 innings. Named the Colorado Gatorade Player of the Year that season and also batted .486 to go with seven home runs and 36 RBI. 

Texas Rangers Kyle Gibson, Greenfield-Central (Greenfield, Ind.) | Class of 2006
Went 15-8 during his two years pitching for the Cougars while posting a 1.19 ERA to go with 251 strikeouts. He was selected in the 36th round of the 2006 draft by the Philadelphia Phillies but elected to go to the University of Missouri instead.

National League East

Atlanta Braves Max Fried, Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.) | Class of 2012
Only played his senior year at Harvard-Westlake after transferring from Montclair Prep (Van Nuys) after it shut down the baseball program. Fried went 8-2 with a 2.02 ERA to go with 105 strikeouts in 66 innings during his senior season and was selected seventh overall by the San Diego Padres in the 2012 MLB Draft.

Miami Marlins Sandy Alcantara, Dominican Republic
Pitched professionally in the Dominican Republic and was signed by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2013 as an international free agent.

In high school, one of the best pitchers currently in baseball was barely noticed. He attended a school that had roughly 400 students from kindergarten to 12th grade and went undrafted during the 2007 draft. Shortstop was his primary position and he might of been an even better basketball player in high school. Played third base and shortstop during his first two years of college at Stetson University before pitching in 17 games during his junior season. The Mets selected deGrom in the ninth round of the 2010 MLB Draft.

Philadelphia Phillies Aaron Nola, Catholic (Baton Rouge, La.) | Class of 2011
Finished his high school career 21-2 and had 214 strikeouts in 152 innings. Nola posted a sub-1.85 ERA in each of his final three years and was named the Class 5A State Player of the Year by the Louisiana Sportswriters Association in 2011. He helped lead the Bears to a 5A state title during his junior season.

Washington Nationals Max Scherzer, Parkway Central (Chesterfield, Mo.) | Class of 2003
The three-time Cy Young award winner played baseball and basketball all four years of high school and started at quarterback as a freshman for the football team. During his final game as a high school pitcher he threw a five-inning no-hitter while striking out 13 batters. Scherzer was selected in the 43rd round of the 2003 draft by the St. Louis Cardinals but elected to go to the University of Missouri. After a three-year career with the Tigers, he was selected 11th overall in the 2006 MLB Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

National League Central

Went 8-2 during his senior year and posted a 0.93 ERA while striking out 65 batters in 75 innings. The Angels selected Hendricks in the 39th round in 2008 but he elected to go Dartmouth and was taken by the Texas Rangers in the eighth round three years later.

Cincinnati Reds — Luis Castillo, Dominican Republic
Pitched professionally in the Dominican Republic and was signed by the San Francisco Giants in 2011 as an international free agent.

Milwaukee Brewers — Brandon Woodruff, Wheeler (Miss.) | Class of 2011
Led the Eagles with a .618 average and three home runs during his senior season and posted a 1.62 ERA en route to being an all-state selection. As a junior, he went 5-3 with a 2.98 ERA while striking out 100 batters in 49.1 innings to go with a .534 average and five home runs. As a sophomore, he had 46 strikeouts in 18 innings and posted a 1.20 ERA to go with a .565 batting average, nine home runs and 31 RBI.

Pittsburgh Pirates — Chad Kuhl, Middletown (Del.) | Class of 2010
He comes from the same high school as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' Chris Godwin and was named the state's Player of the Year in 2010 by the Delaware Baseball Coaches Association after going 9-2 while posting a 1.47 ERA. He was also an all-state selection as a first baseman after batting .433 with eight home runs.

St. Louis Cardinals — Jack Flaherty, Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.) | Class of 2014
The year after Giolito and Fried graduated, Flaherty, then a junior, led the Wolverines to a CIF Southern Section Division 1 title. He pitched a complete-game shutout and drove in the lone run in a 1-0 win against Marina (Huntington Beach) at Dodger Stadium. Flaherty went 23-0 during his final two years of high school and posted a 0.63 ERA to go with 237 strikeouts in 167 innings. He was named the California Gatorade Player of the Year in 2014.

National League West

Arizona Diamondbacks — Madison Bumgarner, South Caldwell (Hudson, N.C.) | Class of 2007
The 2014 World Series MVP went 11-2 during his senior year and had a 1.05 ERA to go with 143 strikeouts in 86 innings. He hit .424 with 11 home runs and 38 RBI while leading the Spartans to a 4A state championship. Bumgarner was named the North Carolina Gatorade Player of the Year and was selected 10th overall in 2007 by the San Francisco Giants.

Colorado Rockies — German Marquez, Venezuela
Pitched professionally in Venezuela before signing an international deal with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011. 

Los Angeles Dodgers — Clayton Kershaw, Highland Park (Dallas) | Class of 2006
The three-time National League Cy Young award winner went 13-0 and posted a 0.77 ERA during his senior season. He added 139 strikeouts in 64 innings and was selected seventh overall in the 2006 MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kershaw was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year in 2006.

San Diego Padres — Yu Darvish, Japan
Darvish was 7-3 in his final year for Tohoku High School and despite being heavily scouted, chose to play professionally in Japan for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. After a seven-year career in Japan, he signed with the Texas Rangers in 2012 and has a career 3.47 ERA in nine seasons.

San Francisco Giants — Kevin Gausman, Grandview (Aurora, Colo.) | Class of 2010
Went 5-3 with a 4.41 ERA and had 76 strikeouts in 52.1 innings and batted .371 during his senior season to go with three home runs and 27 RBI. The Los Angeles Dodgers selected him in the sixth round of the 2010 MLB Draft but elected to go to LSU and was taken fourth overall two years later by the Baltimore Orioles after going 12-2 with a 2.77 ERA during his sophomore season for the Tigers.