Prep Rally

  • If the game's going down to the wire, you want Ryan Sturdivan on your team. The Woodland (Wash.) High School senior sunk a 45-foot shot at the buzzer to give his team the 49-47 win on Monday night. The win helped Woodland stay undefeated, improving to 6-0 on the season.

    Woodland had trailed by nine just minutes earlier. He played down the rally-capping shot in a postgame interview with The Daily News.

    “Please don’t make it sound like I did it all myself,” said the guard. “My teammates played great defense, they got me the ball in spots where I like to shoot... none of us gave up when it looked bad. All I did was make a lucky shot.”

    Lucky, for most. But Sturdivan seems to have a rare talent for the shot. That was, after all, his second of the game.

    He also hit a shot from behind the mid-court line as time ran out in the first half. That shot brought Woodland within one point of Kelso High School, as the Beavers went into the locker room trailing 19-18.

    “I probably make those shots

    Read More »from H.S. basketball player hits two buzzer-beaters in same game
  • Whenever the Arvada (Colo.) High School girls basketball team faces rival Armeda (Colo.) High School, things tend to get ugly. Last year's game was halted as the girls started fighting on the court.

    This year, Arvada head coach Roger Griffin encouraged his team to avoid creating the same scene. But with just minutes left, a fight again broke out.

    Grainy video from KMGH in Denver shows at least a couple of the girls from each team wrestling on the floor as coaches and officials attempt to break them up. An Arvada player runs towards the fight from the bench.

    But before she reaches the rest of the girls, Griffin grabs her by her ponytail and flings her to the ground. He then walks over to where she landed, ignoring the rest of the fight. 

    The player is sophomore Areeon Frilot. She was involved in last year's fight, and has been involved in a fight at school, but says that this time she was just running in to defend her teammate. Yahoo Sports has reached out to Griffin, but he has not

    Read More »from Coach unpunished after throwing player to floor
  • Some players let their parents call the coach if they think they're not getting enough playing time. Others have a sense of humor about it, like Barrington (Illinios) senior Jack Lenihan.

    The second-string wide receiver created an entire highlight reel of his action on... the sidelines. He gets in for one play, contributing the "Lenihan Factor."

    No word yet on how many Division 1 coaches are calling for the distracted sideline star. But hey, at least he's having fun with it.

    H/T: Total Frat Move

  • Top defensive end Josh Sweat, the 6-foot-5, 240-pound senior from Chesapeake, Va., who started the year as the nation's top college football prospect, has kept fans and recruiters guessing all season. Would he go to Florida State or Virginia Tech? Was a visit to Oregon last week enough to convince him to move across the country?

    On Wednesday morning, he gave them their answer. Or, to be fair, his mom gave his answer. He's heading to FSU.

    As of last week analysts said Sweat had narrowed the field of teams down to five: Florida State, Oregon, Georgia, Virginia Tech and Ohio State.

    Wednesday morning it looked like Sweat was going to follow the trend, picking the hat that matched his choice. Instead, he let his mom do the honor.

    Read More »from Top H.S. recruit Josh Sweat makes commitment
  • The 2014 American Family Insurance All-USA High School Volleyball Team was announced on Wednesday morning. A total of 24 girls were selected for three teams, led by 2014 National Player of the Year Mikaela Foecke.

    Mikaela Foecke serves in a state tournament match. Photo courtesty Twitter/mersch95Mikaela Foecke serves in a state tournament match. Photo courtesty Twitter/mersch95Foecke led her Holy Trinity Catholic (Iowa) squad to a state title, averaging more than 10 kills per set in the three state tournament rounds. She racked up 812 kills over the season, and more than 2,500 in her high school career. She also had 168 aces, 125 digs and 125 blocks this year. Foecke will play at Nebraska next year.

    Joining Foecke on the first team are Alexa Smith of Monument, Colo.; Yaasmeen Bedart-Ghani of Redondo Beach, Calif.; Tionna Williams of Fort Wayne, Ind.; Jordyn Poulter of Centennial, Colo.; Jenna Tunnell of Phoenix, Ariz.; and Amber MacDonald of Roswell, Ga.

    Six of those seven girls led their teams to state titles this year. Joe Burke of Cincinnati, Ohio, is the coach of the year.

    The second team selections hail from Kentucky, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas,

    Read More »from All-USA H.S. volleyball team announced
  • The nation's top-ranked high school football team Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) won the Nevada state title game this weekend, easily marching to a 70-28 victory. They did it with "The Greatest" watching from the stands. 

    Boxing legend Muhammad Ali surprised his grandson, Bishop Gorman sophomore Biaggio Ali Walsh, by attending the game. 

    "I didn't know he was coming," Walsh told MaxPreps. "It was a complete surprise. I looked back in the stands and just saw a big cluster of people. It was awesome. He made me want to play harder. I did it for my team and seniors, but I really wanted it badly for him."

    Walsh, the son of Rasheda Ali-Walsh,

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  • A 12-year-old California middle school student committed suicide on Dec. 3, a tragic reaction to alleged bullying at school. The bullying started when Ronin Shimizu pursued a spot on the cheerleading squad.

    According to local media, 

    ABC News10 reported that Ronin Shimizu, a former 6th grader enrolled at Folsom Middle School, was taken out of the school to be home-schooled after intense harassment from fellow students. According to Ronin's friends and family, the harassment centered around Ronin being the only boy cheerleader for the Vista Jr. Eagles squad

    A fellow student was quoted saying that he had been bullied "very badly." No further details were offered. The family released a statement, posted in full by the local Fox affiliate

    The people close to our family know exactly who Ronin was, but since the story of this tragedy has spread worldwide, we want to take a minute to let the world know who he was. Ronin was one of the most loving, compassionate, empathetic, artistic

    Read More »from Bullying cited in preteen cheerleader suicide
  • Many young athletes are one-sport speciailists these days, but don't expect Mo'ne Davis to follow the trend.

    That's never been her style, as the world learned when the 13-year-old pitcher became the first girl to win a Little League World Series game. Now she's starting for her school's high school varsity basketball team. It comes as no surprise, until considering her age. Davis is still in eighth grade. 

    Photos By: Ken InnessPhotos By: Ken InnessBecause she attends a private school that plays in Philadelphia's Inter-Academic League, she is able to step up early. (When they play public schools, Davis will have to sit out.)

    So far, she's helped her squad to a 2-0 start, scoring in both games. 

    “Mo’ne is way too good for middle school basketball,” Springside Chestnut Hill girls athletic director Tina Tina O’Malley told the Philadelphia Inquirer. “For her, it was a no-brainer.”

    “Her natural instincts for the game are very good,” coach Tony Tucker added. “She’s able to penetrate and get to the basket, but at the same time, she

    Read More »from Still in 8th grade, Mo'ne Davis starts H.S. basketball career
  • While all eyes have been on the highlights of Odell Beckham Jr.'s spectacular touchdown catch, high school receivers pulled in a few of their own beauties in state playoff games across the country over the weekend.

    In a state semifinal matchup, Cranford (N.J.) High School's Luke Christiano grabbed an interception in the end zone Saturday that looked a lot like the catch Beckham Jr. would make Sunday.

    Cranford defeated West Essex (N.J.) High School 35-7.

    Another amazing catch came in Central (Louisville, Ky.) High School's 36-33 win over Corbin (Ky.) High. At first it looks las if the receiver pulls the ball in David Tyree-style, but a closer look shows he didn't hold on quite as long as Tyree. The ball went careering off his foot and straight into the air. A teammate grabbed the ricochet mid-stride and ran another 10 yards before getting out of bounds.

    Central had trailed 26-0 before coming back for the win. The catch was a matter of "great effort and determination," coach Ty

    Read More »from Incredible plays keep high school teams' playoff hopes alive
  • The Washington Capitals tweeted out a tribute to a high school hockey player killed in a car accident earlier this month. The team stood together at their practice facility, holding their fingers up to make the No. 11 in honor of Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) College High School senior Dominik Pettey.

    Pettey and his friends were driving home on Halloween night when their car ran out of gas and they pulled over on the side of the road. He was in the backseat as another drive veered off the Capital Beltway and crashed into them.

    Pettey, 17, died at the scene; another passenger sustained a head injury, two had minor injuries and one was not injured.

    Pettey was buried Nov. 8, just four days before he should've started his senior hockey season. His team is looking for its third-straight Mid-Atlantic

    Read More »from Washington Capitals pay tribute to H.S. hockey player killed in crash
  • FILE - In this Nov. 2, 104 file photo, Mount St. Joseph's Lauren Hill gives thumbs-up as she holds the game ball during her first NCAA college basketball game against Hiram University at Xavier University in Cincinnati. The freshman player is taking life day-to-day as a cancerous tumor in her brain grows. As part of her final push, Hill is raising money to research and treat the type of cancer that is taking her life. A big donation on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, pushed the total raised to more than $324,000. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman, File)FILE - In this Nov. 2, 104 file photo, Mount St. Joseph's Lauren Hill gives thumbs-up as she holds the game ball during her first NCAA college basketball game against Hiram University at Xavier University in Cincinnati. The freshman player is taking life day-to-day as a cancerous tumor in her brain grows. As part of her final push, Hill is raising money to research and treat the type of cancer that is taking her life. A big donation on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, pushed the total raised to more than $324,000. (AP Photo/Tom Uhlman, File)Around this time last year, Lauren Hill was a senior starting on the Lawrenceburg (Ind.) High School basketball team, committed to continuing her basketball career at a Division III college in Cincinnati.

    That dream would be cut short before it even started, as Hill's doctors diagnosed her with a rare brain cancer called Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma last November. Hill decided to use the diagnosis of the inoperable brain tumor as inspiration, grasping the opportunity to get the word out about DIPG. She also continued playing hoops despite worsening symptoms.

    Her story became national news when Mount St. Joseph played its first game of the season on Nov. 2, a few weeks early in order to give Hill the chance to play at least one college game before her symptoms become too severe. Legendary coach Pat Summitt surprised her at halftime, presenting her with the Pat Summitt Most Courageous award.

    Hill was the next to surprise everyone, her doctors included, by appearing in a regularly

    Read More »from Lauren Hill's high school retires her basketball jersey
  • Courtesy Sam Gordon/TwitterCourtesy Sam Gordon/TwitterShe became an overnight sensation as the first female football player to grace the cover of a Wheaties box in 2012. At the time, she was in fourth grade, and picked up the sport as a way to keep up with her big brother.

    The next season Sam "Sweet Feet" Gordon decided to drop football and focus on soccer, but lucky for her team, she didn't stay away for long.

    Gordon, 11, came back for 2014, and it looks like the absence didn't hurt her game at all.

    The only girl in her age group, she's all of 70 pounds and stands 4-foot-two. She plays for the Herriman district team, near Salt Lake City, Utah.

    The tape says she averaged 13 yards per carry this season, torching the boys as she made her way to the end zone. And don't think the boys went easy on her - the highlights show they're hitting her as hard as anyone, when they can catch her.

    Earlier in the season Gordon broke down her best and worst games. Describing one rainy day, she says, "I tried as hard as I could but I just couldn't bust

    Read More »from Sam Gordon is back and faster than ever
  • After nine seasons at the helm of the Durant (Ok.) football program, Byron Cordell was informed on Thursday that his services are no longer needed. 

    He could've done as most coaches do, packing up his office and saying goodbye to the students. Instead, Cordell wanted everyone to know that he's shaking it off just fine. He got the word out with a little help from his family.

    Cordell brushed his shoulders off as he packed up the boxes and danced out the door carrying a box.

    He told the Durant Daily Democrat that he understands the decision and will continue rooting for the team. 

  • The football team in Boyne City, Mich., didn't let a little blizzard on Wednesday get in the way of their preparation for Friday's regional championship.

    Boyne City is about 260 miles north of Detroit. Temperatures were a balmy 30 degrees after school on Wednesday and they got more than an inch of snow – but still, they practiced. 

    Boyne City won last week's district final 47-0. Weather.com shows it should be about 23 degrees at kickoff on Friday. If the field looks anything like this again, it's hard to imagine anyone will be playing football.

    ____
    Danielle Elliot is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact her at delliot@yahoo-inc.com or find her on Twitter.

    And keep up with Danielle over on Facebook, too.

    Read More »from A little blizzard won't stop the Michigan football playoffs
  • The start of the national signing period is a cause for celebration at high schools across the country. Basketball recruits are getting the most attention, but there are athletes signing national letters of intent in just about every sport (other than football).

    For many, signing the letters is the realization of a dream they've been chasing since they first started playing their respective sport. Some signees brought their families, some brought their friends, most are flanked by banners and balloons, and all seem to be celebrating on Twitter.

    Following the tweets shows just how strong some high school programs are – Bergen Catholic in N.J., for instance, has 10 lacrosse players signing today. For other schools, it's the first time they're experiencing the rush of seeing their high school star move on to a bigger stage. 

    Read More »from It's time for high schools to celebrate their star athletes
  • When high school teams talk about winning a national championship, they are often referring to ending the season at the top of the national rankings. Rarely, if ever, do state champions face other state champions.

    That all changes this December, as Florida, Washington and Utah will send teams to the inaugural Burger King State Champions Bowl Series. Florida agreed to host the series in October, but it took another month to get other states to sign on. The series was expected to be officially announced on Wednesday.

    Six teams will play three games (one each) at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Fla., on Dec. 27. All three games will be televised on ESPNU.

    (AP Photo/John Bazemore)(AP Photo/John Bazemore)It's a well-marketed event that is starting to receive some hype, but it should not be confused with a national championship series. Teams from several of the strongest football states, including Texas and Georgia, never considered participating. 

    Officials in California told Yahoo Sports in October that the series was being

    Read More »from Florida to host first H.S. football champions bowl series
  • SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 11: Julia Krass of the United States competes in the Freestyle Skiing Women's Ski Slopestyle Finals on day four of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 11: Julia Krass of the United States competes in the Freestyle Skiing Women's Ski Slopestyle Finals on day four of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Extreme Park on February 11, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)In February Julia Krass competed with Team USA at the Sochi Olympics. Making the team as a junior in high school, the coaches recommended she start concentrating on her skiing career full time.

    Turning to one sport is a trend among most elite high school athletes, but Krass wasn't interested – first she wanted to finish out her high school soccer career, the Associated Press reports. 

    On Sunday, she did so in style. Krass, 17, helped lead Hanover High School to the New Hampshire Division II state title. 

    "I really like having that balance, being able to take a break, hang out with my high school friends," Krass told the AP on Monday, adding that it can be tough to balance the two sports but she loved soccer too much to quit.

    She even seemed nostalgic before the game.

    Her status as an Olympian hasn't gone unnoticed on the pitch. During the quarterfinals, fans chanted "U-S-A" as Krass

    Read More »from Olympic skier is now a high school soccer state champ
  • The football coaches at South Pasadena (Calif.) High School or a big supporter allegedly tried a move right out of Bill Belichick's playbook. Unfortunately, they weren't copycatting the legendary NFL coach's best calls, and their decision cost their players a spot in the state playoffs. 

    South Pasadena is accused of illegally filming La Canada High School's practice without LCHS' permission.

    La Canada's principal alerted South Pasadena's principal on Thursday, reports the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Their Friday game should have determined a state playoff berth. Instead, the principals decided on the forfeit prior to kickoff. They let the teams play because it was La Canada's homecoming game.

    South Pasadena won in convincing fashion, 21-3. The players celebrated, thinking they'd made the playoffs for the first time since 2003. As their bus arrived back at their school, though, the principal was there to explain that they actually had to forfeit.

    On Monday she sent a letter to parents

    Read More »from H.S. forced to forfeit playoff berth after illegally filming opponent
  • A week after ending the longest unbeaten streak in the nation, N.J.'s  Immaculate Heart Academy is now the top-ranked girls high school soccer team in the country. IHA jumped from No. 7 to No. 1 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

    It's the first time this season that there's a new name atop the NSCAA poll. The spot has previously belonged to Northern Highlands, a public school in New Jersey that had had an 88-game unbeaten streak going since 2010.

    IHA ended the streak with a 2-1 win in the county finals last week.

    What's most surprising about the poll, though, is that Northern Highlands fell all the way from No. 1 to No. 22. It was one loss, in a very close game. The school has since won two state playoff games. 

    In the Top Draw Soccer Fab 50 national rankings, also released this morning, IHA moved from No. 4 to No. 2. That poll has McDonogh (Md.) in the top spot and Northern Highlands at No. 5. McDonogh held the No. 2 spot in the NSCAA poll last week, but slipped to

    Read More »from For first time this fall, there's a new No. 1 in HS girls soccer
  • Photo: APPhoto: APThe seven high school football players arrested for alleged acts of hazing in their Sayreville (N.J.) War Memorial High School locker room will be tried as juveniles, the New York Daily News is reporting. 

    The newspaper did not name its source, but reports that Middlesex County (N.J.) Prosecutor Andrew C. Carey will not ask a judge to try any of the teens as adults. This means that their names will remain protected and their records will be sealed. They will also face lesser penalties if convicted.

    "It's huge news for the kids who were arrested," said the source, who has followed the case closely and spoke on the condition of anonymity. "The charges are still serious, but trust me, juvenile court is where they want to be, not adult court."

    The boys, who range in age from 15 to 17 years old, were arrested Oct. 10 on charges of aggravated sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, conspiracy to commit aggravated criminal sexual contact, criminal restraint and hazing.

    The

    Read More »from Sayreville football players to be tried as juveniles