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California high school sports: Indoor contests like basketball, volleyball back in play after legal settlement - OFFICIAL
California high school sports: Indoor contests like basketball, volleyball back in play after legal settlement
What works outdoors might just work indoors as well. Two weeks after California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a change to youth sports guidelines that paved the way for outdoor sports, including high school football, the door was opened Thursday for a return to indoor sports, namely basketball, volleyball and wrestling.

A legal settlement with the state on Thursday removes major restrictions to the indoor contests, namely placing the sports in the most restrictive yellow tier. It allows all high school sports to reopen using similar restrictions and protocols as professional and collegiate sports. The settlement came in response to a lawsuit filed last month from two San Diego high school football players and their attorney Stephen C. Grebing and managing partners Wingert Grebing of San Diego.

"This will open things open for youth sports — high school and youth leagues — around the state to resume play," said Scripps Ranch (San Diego) football coach Marlon Gardinera during a press conference. "And not just football, but indoor sports, too. So basketball, volleyball and wrestling athletes can have a season too."

Gardinera and his son were just two plaintiffs of several lawsuits filed up and down the  state over the last several weeks. All included high school athletes and their parents, citing "there is no medical evidence that competing in team sports is safe for college and/or professional athletes but not high school athletes."

The settlement requires counties to reach the same threshold as football (under 14 COVID new COVID cases per 100,000) — as of Tuesday, 54 of the state's 58 counties met that standard — and testing is mandatory. The state will pick up testing costs in three sports, rugby, water polo and football, but indoor sport athletes will have other options. Grebing and the Let Them Play CA offered free options that still need to be ironed out.

Newsom wouldn't comment on the settlement, but state Secretary for Health and Human Services Dr. Mark Ghaly confirmed new guidelines would be released in the next few days. California Interscholastic Federation Executive Director Ron Nocetti said he would "reserve comment until we see the agreement."

Each county, as always, can OK or reject the new guidelines, even if the state accepts them.

“Indoors, (the requirements are) going to be pretty rigid,” Grebing said. “But they’re going to be allowed to play.”
A settlement that paves the way for basketball and other indoors sports in California was reached on Thursday.
File photo by Greg Jungferman
A settlement that paves the way for basketball and other indoors sports in California was reached on Thursday.
That's all a number of athletes and coaches wanted to hear, including 16-year San Francisco prep coach Randy Bessolo. He and Miramonte (Orinda) boys basketball coach Chris Laviotis started the Bay Area Basketball Coaches Alliance three weeks after conferring with the Golden State High School Football Coaches Community, which led the charge to get outdoor sports off the ground two weeks ago.

"We just followed their model," Bessolo said.

That plus the monumental efforts of Moorpark boys basketball coach Ryan Moore and continued laborious work of the Let Them Play Ca group, led by founder Brad Hensley, helped get the settlement done.

"This is a major win for the youth of California," Bessolo said. "Playing youth sports has been proven to be safe and the risks of not playing are far greater than playing."

In a letter delivered Wednesday to Newsom's office, Let Them Play CA basketball leaders stated, "Now is the time. COVID-19 cases are drastically falling across the state. Vaccinations are nearing 10 million. People are dining indoors. Kids are going back to the classroom. Now is the time."

Thursday's news brought a lot of joy around the state.

"I haven't seen this many bright faces and happy smiles in a long time," Dublin boys basketball coach Tom Costello said.

Said Salesian College Preparatory (Richmond) coach Bill Mellis: "A month ago, I would have thought no way we're having a season. When outdoor sports were OK'd, there was a little light at the end of the tunnel, but I was still skeptical. Now? Today? Wow, things are moving so fast."

Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland) star center Jalen Lewis, one of the top sophomores in the country, said "I'm definitely excited to put an O'Dowd jersey on again. Hopefully nothing unexpected happens for the next few weeks, because I was really hoping to at least play a little bit of my sophomore season."
High school basketball: First-team OFFICIAL All-American TyTy Washington commits to Kentucky - OFFICIAL
High school basketball: First-team MaxPreps All-American TyTy Washington commits to Kentucky
MaxPreps first team All-America selection and Arizona Player of the Year TyTy Washington of AZ Compass Prep (Chandler, Ariz.) announced Wednesday he will attend the University of Kentucky next season. The rapidly rising 6-foot-3 guard looks to help the Wildcats after a 9-16 finish last season.

The future Wildcat averaged 24 points, seven assists and six rebounds and was among the leading candidates for MaxPreps National Player of the Year honors. Washington led AZ Compass Prep to a 28-2 record and No. 2 ranking in final MaxPreps Top 25 rankings, the first for the school.

Washington began the season as the 57th overall prospect in the Class of 2021, according 247Sports rankings. The elite guard prospect rose to five-star status and is regarded as the No. 16 prospect, according to 247Sports' most recent update.

MaxPreps All-America Teams: Overall | Junior | Sophomore | Freshman | Coach of the Year

Washington chose Kentucky over Arizona, Baylor, Kansas, LSU and Oregon. Washington most recently starred in the Iverson Classic, where he recorded a game-high 22 points against the nation's top high school players and won the 3-point shootout.

The guard should make an immediate impact in the SEC next season as the potential one-and-done prospect will likely be inserted into the starting rotation as a freshman.
TyTy Washington announced he'll play for the University of Kentucky next season.
Photo by Mark Jones
TyTy Washington announced he'll play for the University of Kentucky next season.

2021 NFL Draft: Ranking the high school careers of top quarterback prospects - OFFICIAL
2021 NFL Draft: Ranking the high school careers of top quarterback prospects
Draft experts expect five quarterbacks to be taken in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, which starts Thursday. And to no one's surprise, Trevor Lawrence is expected to go No. 1 to the Jacksonville Jaguars.

After all, from high high school football days at Cartersville (Ga.) to leading the Clemson Tigers to a 39-3 mark with a National Championship, Lawrence has stood above most other quarterbacks, including the other four QBs expected to go in the first round.

Lawrence was 53-3 as a four-year varsity starter at Cartersville, winning two state titles while posting nearly a 6-to-1 career touchdown-to-interception ratio.

His senior year, the projected top pick put an exclamation point on an impressive Hurricane career by passing for 3,290 yards and 41 touchdowns against one interception. He had a 69 percent completion rate as Cartersville went 11-1.

While Justin Fields missed the back half of his senior season due to injury, the elite dual-threat option rushed for over 2,000 yards and accounted for 69 total touchdowns in 19 career games.

BYU product Zach Wilson also showed off elite versatility during his senior year, passing for 298.6 yards per game adding 752 yards rushing and eight touchdowns on 119 carries.

Mac Jones and Trey Lance each won over 84 percent of their games over the course of their high school career, however, neither quarterback put up gaudy numbers throughout their prep careers.
Trevor Lawrence, Cartersville
File photo by Will Fagan
Trevor Lawrence, Cartersville
Ranking the high school careers of top quarterback prospects

Record: 53-3 (2 state championships)
Career stats: 13,902 yards, 121 touchdowns and 21 interceptions. Lawrence completed 63.4 percent of passes over 56 career games.

Record: 15-4
Career stats: 4,187 yards, 41 touchdowns and eight touchdowns. Field completed 65.8 percent of passes and rushed for 2,096 yards and 28 touchdowns on 300 carries.

Record: 16-7
Career stats: 5,842 yards, 45 touchdowns and 14 interceptions, Wilson's completion percentage was  61.9 percent and he added 1,310 yards rushing and 11 touchdowns on 211 carries.

Record: 22-4
Career stats: 3,911 yards, 55 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Jones completed 64.5 percent of his passes as a senior.

Record: 27-4
Career stats: 3,045 yards, 33 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. Lance's completion percentage was 51 percent. He rushed for 1,212 yards and 20 touchdowns on 218 carries.
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
Isabella King named 2020-21 OFFICIAL New Hampshire High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year - OFFICIAL
Isabella King named 2020-21 MaxPreps New Hampshire 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.

Isabella King of Bedford is the 2020-21 MaxPreps New Hampshire High School Girls Basketball Player of the Year. In a shortened season, the 6-foot-1 senior wing led the Bulldogs to a 14-2 record and the New Hampshire Division I state championship.

King averaged 20.1 points, 8.5 steals, 3.0 assists and 3.0 steals per game this season, earning first team Division I All-State and Miss Basketball honors.

The Bucknell signee owns schools records at Bedford for points in a game, season and career, topping the 1,000-point mark as a senior.

Each state's MaxPreps Player of the Year will be considered for inclusion in the MaxPreps All-America Team.