MaxWire National Blog

Covering High School Sports in America
  • Tragedy has unfortunately touched the first big weekend of high school football across the country.

    Sheriff Kevin Cobb confirmed to a Louisiana television station that a member of the Franklin Parish (Winnsboro, La.) football team has died following an injury during the team's game with Sterlington on Friday night.

    Though not identified in initial reports, social media posts by both schools involved in the game and an outpouring of support messages identified the player as Tyrell Cameron, listed on Franklin Parish's MaxPreps roster as a 5-foot-7, 167-pound sophomore linebacker.

  • File photo by Heston Quan

    Henry Owens pitching for Edison High in 2011.

    As if the pressure that comes with a first Major League Baseball start isn't enough, Henry Owens will do so tonight as a Boston Red Sox starting pitcher in Yankee Stadium.

    But a look back at his prep career shows that the kid should be up to the task tonight in what is baseball's top rivalry. The Edison (Huntington Beach, Calif.) alum was a three-time MaxPreps All-American Team choice at Edison and the State Player of the Year for California in 2011.

    He was in the running for National Junior of the Year in 2010 and he was also a candidate for National Player of the Year in 2011 but current Baltimore Orioles top pitching prospect Dylan Bundy beat him out for that honor. Still, he established himself as one of the country's top amateur pitchers with a 30-4 record over his final three seasons of high school competition. He struck out 140 in just over 91 innings as a senior (along with a playoff no-hitter) and punched out 87 in 71 2/3 innings as a sophomore.

    See all 203 of our professional photos featuring Henry Owens in high school

    His teams went 56-18 in his final three seasons. He also played on the varsity team as a freshman.

    A first-round pick by the Red Sox in 2011, Owens has racked up 572 strikeouts in 518 innings over three-plus minor league seasons.
    File photo by Terry Jack

  • Courtesy photo

    Jack Hillen, left, and Erik Johnson had their jerseys retired at Holy Angels Academy.

    When it comes to producing professional hockey players, Academy of Holy Angels (Richfield, Minn.) has proven itself as one of the best in the nation. The school in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area touts nine NHL draftees since 2005, and 24 alumni have player professional hockey since the turn of the century.

    Recently, two NHL players were honored at a golf tournament by having their jerseys retired.

    The most recognizable name is Erik Johnson, the No. 1 pick in the 2006 NHL Draft, current Colorado Avalanche defenseman and former Olympian. Appearing with him was Jack Hillen, a defenseman for the Carolina Hurricanes who was undrafted but made it all the way to the big show.

    Johnson played two years at the school before moving on to the National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, Mich. See the MaxPreps Beyond the X feature on the NTDP.

    Courtesy photo

    Jack Hillen

    Courtesy photo

    Erik Johnson

  • Video: Ben Davis Top 5 Plays
    5-star recruit will likely stay in Alabama for college.

    Ben Davis, the fast and menacing 6-foot-3, 240-pound linebacker at the Gordo (Ala.), has more than 20 college offers.

    Among his suitors are LSU, Georgia, Florida State, Miami and Notre Dame. But no one for a second believes he's leaving Alabama.

    Courtesy 247Sports

    Ben Davis, Gordo

    Of the 25 experts who predicted his choice of school through the 247Sports Crystal Ball, 25 believe he'll sign to Alabama in February. Davis, who is ranked the third best linebacker in the country and is the No. 19 recruit overall by 247Sports, will be at The Opening this week in Beaverton, Ore.

    If Davis shocks most and doesn't pick the Crimson Tide, then he'll likely head to Alabama's other perennial power, Auburn. Don't count on that however. Davis' father Wayne was Alabama's career tackle leader before a short NFL career with the Rams.

    Wayne was a legendary figure in the same town of Gordo (population 2,000), which is 30 minutes west of Tuscaloosa. He's told his son in no uncertain terms where to attend college.

    "I made it clear with Ben than he needs to go to Alabama," Wayne told tide991.com. "I made it clear with Ben also that I want him to go around and look at other schools and make up his own mind."

    Look for MaxPreps coverage from Chris Stonebraker and Scott Hargrove this week at The Opening.
  • Video: LeVonta Taylor Top 5 Plays
    See the dazzling FSU cornerback commit dominate the field.

    Florida State commit LeVonta Taylor is considered by many to be the top athlete in the class of 2016.

    The 5-foot-10, 170-pound cornerback and returner from Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, Va.) will get to match his skills against 160 of the best incoming juniors and seniors at The Opening this week in Oregon.

    Watch his Top 5 Plays and let us know if you think there's a better high school athlete out there.

    Look for MaxPreps coverage from Chris Stonebraker and Scott Hargrove next week at The Opening.
  • Video: Udoka Azubuike - 2015 Nike EYBL Highlights
    See the big senior-to-be starring in summer basketball action


    Photo by Jim Redman

    Udoka Azubuike, Potter's House Christian

    Rising senior Udoka Azubuike of Potter's House Christian (Jacksonville, Fla.) may be the most physically impressive player on the high school basketball circuit right now.

    Checking in at 6-foot-10 and 250 pounds (down from 280), the native of Nigeria is in the midst of an impressive spring and early summer with the Georgia Stars of Nike's EYBL.

    Azubuike leads the 14-3 Stars in scoring (13.8 points per game) and is second in rebounding (7.8). According to 247Sports, Florida State, Kansas and Kentucky are all involved in his recruitment.

    As a junior at Potter's House Christian, Azubuike averaged 17.2 points and 9.6 rebounds per game while shooting 72 percent from the field. He earned Junior All-American honors from MaxPreps and will be a candidate for the McDonald's and Jordan Brand all-star games next spring.
  • Video: V.J. King high school basketball highlights
    Paul VI forward recently committed to Louisville.

    Rick Pitino earned a contract extension earlier this week that will keep him at Louisville at least until 2026.

    It didn't Pitino long to parlay that security and stability into a win on the recruiting trail as elite small forward V.J. King of Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) committed to the Cardinals on Friday.

    King announced his decision via Twitter and Instagram.


    247Sports pegs King as the No. 16 overall prospect in the 2016 class.

    The 6-foot-6, 195-pound wing spent the first two years of his high school career at St. Vincent-St. Mary (Akron, Ohio) — the high school home of LeBron James.

    King transferred to Paul VI prior to the 2014-15 season and experienced a bit of a bittersweet campaign. He averaged a team-high 18.5 points per game and was a first team Washington Post All-Met pick.

    However, Paul VI struggled to a 20-15 record after being ranked in the national Top 25 in three of the past four seasons. Meanwhile, St. Vincent-St. Mary began the season 26-0 without him and reached the state quarterfinals.
  • Video: Joe Wieskamp high school basketball highlights
    Muscatine freshman announced his commitment to Iowa.

    Meet Joe Wieskamp of Muscatine (Iowa), who became the second known verbal commitment in high school basketball's Class of 2018 earlier this week.

    NY2LA Sports was among the media outlets reporting Thursday that the 6-foot-4 freshman has committed to head coach Fran McCaffrey and the Iowa Hawkeyes.

    Wieskamp averaged 18.6 points and 6.1 rebounds per game last season at Muscatine. The Muskies struggled to a 7-15 record but that didn't stop him from garnering third team Class 4A All-State honors from the Iowa Newspaper Association.

    According to the MaxPreps database, Wieskamp joins Dane Goodwin of Upper Arlington (Columbus, Ohio) — an Ohio State pledge — as the only two rising sophomores already committed to Division I college programs.

  • One of the top 10 sports law issues that impact high school sports, according to a report on the National Federation of State High School Associations site, is transgender policies for athletic programs.

    The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association Board of Directors on Tuesday made Oklahoma the 36th state in the union to make a ruling regarding the eligibility of transgender student-athletes.

    Photo courtesy of OSSAA
    The OSSAA unanimously approved a policy that allows athletic eligibility of transgender student-athletes based on guidelines that center around medical therapy from licensed physicians, according to a story on newsok.com.

    Though the state hasn't recognized any transgender athletes in her state yet, OSSAA Assistant Director Amy Cassell told the newspaper that because of the trending nature of this issue, her state wants to be prepared when it does occur.

    The legislation passed a week after Olympic gold medalist decathlete Bruce Jenner announced he has switched genders and wants to be known as Caitlyn Jenner.

    "Mostly, we want to be sure that there aren't limitations opposed on any student-athlete that are unnecessary," she said.

    Cassell told the newspaper that her main concern with the issue is competitive balance. Males are generally bigger and stronger than females, she noted, so student-athletes who transition from male to female need to be scrutinized more closely.
  • Courtesy photo

    This rendering was offered at the time when Rodney Frazier Jr. was murdered in Richmond, Calif. last November. A coaches group was formed to stop the violence then, and in April, another group — Coaches United Against Violence - was started in Chicago.

    The violence on Chicago streets is alarming. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, more than 1,000 people have been shot in Chicago this year.

    The year isn't even half over.

    A group of Chicago Public Schools high school basketball coaches are taking a stand and trying to curb the violence. They've formed a group called Coaches United Against Violence.

    According to this story in the Chicago Sun-Times, the group met this week with Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and several high school players. The coaches group was started in April following the shooting death of former Marshall player Tim Triplett.

    A similar group was started in the San Francisco Bay Area following the shooting death of a Richmond player Rodney Frazier Jr. right before the season. See story.

    Westinghouse (Chicago) coach Bill Curry broke the organization's plan into three steps: A cultural understanding, a bridge between police officers and youth, and a parents tool kit.

    "Anytime we can partner with the community it's a good thing,'' McCarthy told the newspaper.

    Curry said he was happy how kids from different high schools expressed themselves to officers. Von Steuben (Chicago) sophomore Rafael Cruz said it was nice to be heard.

    ‘‘Honestly, I was kind of scared of police officers before the meeting,'' Cruz said. ‘‘They are not just people with guns and badges, you can relate to them and have a conversation with them."