MaxWire National Blog

Covering High School Sports in America
  • A high school freshman football player died following a morning workout Saturday, according to the Philadelphia Enquirer.

    From Twitter

    Ryan Gillyard

    Ryan Gillyard, a 15-year-old running back and linebacker for St. Joseph's Prep (Philadelphia), suddenly collapsed after warm-ups on the school's practice field, according to the report.

    He was rushed to Temple Hospital where he perished.

    "It's just a sad day," St. Joseph's Prep Athletic Director Jim Murray told the newspaper. "People are mourning the loss of a young man."

    School spokesman Bill Avington told the Enquirer: "From what I've been told by others, he was a great kid, loved by his classmates and teammates."

    The cause of death isn't known as of yet. Grief counselors will be at school starting Monday, according to Avington.
  • Kids, don't try this at home. Or any time or place frankly. But we sure appreciate the effort and the result in this case. 

    Photo from Facebook

    Evan Williams, Evansville Mater Dei

    According to 14news.com, Evan Williams, a 6-foot-2, 255-pound senior guard and defensive tackle for Evansville Mater Dei (Ind.), chased down a drunk driver by foot and tackled him, which led to the adult's arrest.

    Williams and his date were leaving a prom by car, when they were struck by another car driven by William Yeckering, according to reports. When Yeckering tried to flee the scene by foot, Williams made the tackle and kept him on the ground until police arrived.

    According to affidavits, Yeckering had a gun in the car and has four previous drunk driving arrests. He was charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, having a gun without a permit and driving with a suspended license.

    No one was injured during the ordeal.

    Last season on defense, Williams had 52 tackles, one fumble recovery, one sack, 4.5 tackles for loss and an interception. Surely, he didn't make a better or more important open-field tackle then the one he made last week.
  • Courtesy photo

    Frank Kaminsky is introduced at his jersey retirement ceremony Thursday at Benet Academy.

    He may have graduated just four years ago, but Frank Kaminsky's legendary status at Benet Academy (Lisle, Ill.) has already reached impressive heights.

    The Wisconsin basketball star and National Player of the Year returned to his alma mater on Thursday for a ceremony in which the school retired Kaminsky's No. 44 jersey.

    Kaminsky enjoyed a highly-productive career at Benet, earning first team and second team all-state honors in his senior and junior seasons, respectively.

    It was Kaminsky's performance for Wisconsin this season that made it clear to Benet Academy that no future basketball player would ever wear No. 44 again.

    "We are pleased to announce that your jersey No. 44 will be permanently retired here at Benet Academy," his coach, Gene Heidkamp said, referencing Kaminsky's elite company as a college basketball's player of the year, joining the likes of Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, David Robinson and Kevin Durant.

    Even without its 7-foot star, Benet fared rather well in the 2014-2015 season, finishing with a 22-8 record.
  • Video: Bryan Bennett highlights
    See Bryan Bennett in action at Crespi High in Southern California


    He left Oregon for Southeastern Louisiana State to stay clear of Marcus Mariota. Now Bryan Bennett is all on his own, ready to make his own name in the professional ranks.

    File photo by Jann Hendry

    Bryan Bennett, Crespi

    Bennett, a 2010 Crespi (Encino, Calif.) graduate, is one of the most intriguing quarterbacks in the 2015 NFL Draft and he's projected to be a late second-day pick. But he's also been compared to Johnny Manziel in terms of improvisational skills.

    In three seasons at Crespi, he completed 426 of 742 passes for 6,125 yards and 53 touchdowns with 30 interceptions. He also rushed for eight touchdowns.

    See the CBS Sports Draft Overview for Bryan Bennett

    After transferring from Oregon, he started all 14 games as a junior at Southeastern Louisiana State and led the team in passing yards (3,165) and rushing (1,046) while accounting for 37 touchdowns.

    He was first team All-Southland Conference as a junior and senior.

    The 6-foot-2, 211-pounder ran a 4.81-second 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, and had a vertical jump of 37 inches.


  • Trophy cases at high schools across the United States will become the home for a Wilson-produced golden football thanks to the National Football League.

    As part of its "On the Fifty" campaign to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Super Bowl, the NFL is presenting commemorative gold footballs to the high school of every player and head coach who has appeared in a Super Bowl, according to NFL.com.

    The presentation will occur sometime during the 2015 season and the NFL hopes to make it an annual tradition.

    Gold footballs will be sent to such places as Pleasant Valley (Chico, Calif.), home of Super Bowl MVP and reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers.

    "We would love to have one," said current Pleasant Valley coach Mark Cooley.

    The gold footballs are one of several events planned as part of the NFL's "On the Fifty" program. Others include the honoring of all 43 previous Super Bowl MVPs at Super Bowl 50, homecoming celebrations for past Super Bowl championship teams, and 19 Super Bowl rematches that will be a part of the 2015 NFL schedule.

    The "On the Fifty" celebration kicks off during the NFL Draft on April 30, when potential draft picks will walk across a gold carpet entering the theater where the draft will be held in Chicago.
  • Video: Sam Duane Jr., MaxPreps Coach of the Year
    Coronoa del Sol coach led team to state title.

    Talk about going out on top.

    Last Tuesday Sam Duane Jr. was named MaxPreps National Coach of the Year after leading Corona del Sol (Tempe, Ariz.) to its fourth consecutive state title.

    Monday, Richard Obert of AZCentral.com reported that Duane has resigned as head coach to spend more time with family and seek professional development opportunities.

    A letter Duane penned to his players was posted on the Tempe Union High School district website, pinpointing some of the reasons behind his surprising decision:

    I believe I have given my best to Corona Basketball the last 12 years and have enjoyed being your coach. I now want to take some time and look at all my options going forward. It is also very important for me to finish my administrative certification which will allow me to grow both professionally and personally.

    Under Duane, the Aztecs captured their fourth consecutive state title in early March and looked poised to extend that streak with a number of young stars leading the way.

    Corona del Sol went 275-87 in 12 years under Duane and have finished the past two seasons ranked in the Top 10 nationally by MaxPreps.

    Barring defections or transfers, the Aztecs could still be in line for big things even without Duane. Corona del Sol is home to arguably the nation's top freshman in 6-foot-10 Marvin Bagley III and star sophomore point guard Alex Barcello.
  • File photo by Rudy Schmoke

    Drew Finley struck out 20 of 21 batters for Rancho Bernardo last Wednesday.

    It wasn't a perfect game, but Drew Finley was pretty close to perfection.

    The 6-foot-3, 205-pound Rancho Bernardo (San Diego) right-hander struck out 20 of 21 batters in a 2-1 win over Ramona (Calif.) last Wednesday.

    According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, the only out that wasn't a strikeout came when a Romona batter check-swung on an 0-2 pitch, sending a dribbler to first baseman Lenard Jones. Finley allowed two hits, walked two and gave up an unearned run in the 107-pitch effort.

    "I was just trying to throw strikes and get ahead in the count," Finley told the Union-Tribune. "My fastball and curve were really working."

    That's an understatement.

    Finley, a USC commit, has a fastball consistently in the low 90s and is No. 55 in the list of MaxPreps Top 100 Seniors for 2015.

    According to the San Diego Section record book, the 20 strikeouts are a new large-school record for a seven-inning game.

    It's a far cry from the national record, however. According to the NFHS record book, Brett Jennings of Lingleville (Texas) set the record in 1986 by striking out 24 batters in a seven-inning game.
  • Video: Corey Sanders dunks over 7-foot-6 Tacko Fall
    See what made the 6-1 guard's dunk so impressive


    At the Florida vs. USA Dunk Contest over the weekend, Rutgers signee Corey Sanders of Kathleen (Lakeland, Fla.) threw down a dunk that won't soon be forgotten.

    The 6-foot-1 point guard displayed some incredible hops during the event's dunk contest, soaring over 7-6 center Tacko Fall of Liberty Christian Prep (Tavares, Fla.) to throw down a vicious one-handed slam.

    Fall is the tallest high school basketball player in America, according to the MaxPreps database.

    "Most of it was will power," Sanders told the Orlando Sentinel. "I've jumped over plenty of people, but that was the tallest person I've jumped over. It was a good accomplishment."

    Unsurprisingly, Sanders took home the slam dunk contest title.
  • Video: Archie Bradley profile
    See the Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher dominate on the mound in an Oklahoma state title game, and see his reaction when he found out he was drafted


    The Archie Bradley era in Major League Baseball has officially begun.

    A 2011 graduate of Broken Arrow (Okla.), Bradley made his first Major League start Saturday and not only did he win, he didn't yield a run and he beat reigning MVP Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers.

    Bradley's final line for the Arizona Diamondbacks was six innings of scoreless pitching with one hit and four walks allowed to go with six strikeouts.

    The seventh pick in the 2011 MLB Draft was destined for stardom at Broken Arrow High, garnering MaxPreps first-team All-American Team honors and leading his team to the Xcellent 25 national title. His stats were ridiculous: a 12-1 record with a 0.29 ERA and 137 strikeouts in 71 1/3 innings.

    And he was a superstar at school in more than just baseball.

    His high school baseball coach told MaxPreps in this feature that Bradley could have been a Division 1 football star as well. And Bradley, in the same story, revealed that his favorite class in school had to do with helping others.

    "My favorite class is peer tutoring because I love getting to interact with special needs students. I feel I make a positive impact on their day and in the end, those students have made me a better person," he said.

    "It's exciting having MLB scouts at my games. It means I'm doing something right and all my hard work has paid off. If I were to be drafted it would be a great honor and I would consider myself very blessed."
  • Auburn University will be getting a pitcher with a prestigious state record as long as he doesn't sign with a professional team this summer.

    Courtesy photo
    As reported by the Cullman Times, Jesse Scott of Cullman (Ala.) made it all the way to 33 consecutive innings without allowing a run before Hartselle (Ala.) finally plated a run in Tuesday's contest. He still earned the win as his team moved to 32-6 and he bumped his second

    A second-inning strikeout got him to 29 2/3 innings to tie the record and the play that snapped his streak was a potential double play where the runner at first was ruled safe, allowing Hartselle to get on the scoreboard. He still finished the eight-inning complete game with 10 strikeouts and one hit allowed, though he did yield seven walks.

    "I hate it came to an end, but it means a lot breaking the record. I want to keep going after it and break it again in the playoffs. It was a real tough day for me, though," Scott told the newspaper. "Defense helped me out a lot, and I made some pitches when I needed to. It’s pretty awesome to beat them, because I haven’t pitched that well versus them in previous area games."

    The national record for consecutive scoreless innings is 115 2/3 by David Clyde of Westchester (Houston) in 1972, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations Record Book.