MaxWire National Blog

Covering High School Sports in America
  • One of the best softball pitchers in the nation left her mark on her home state in a big way Monday, setting the Ohio state record for career strikeouts.

    According to the Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, star pitcher Taran Alvelo of Bloom-Carroll (Carroll, Ohio) recorded strikeout No. 1,383 in her team's 11-4 win over Logan Elm to reach the pinnacle in Ohio.

    Courtesy photo
    "The record was always in the back of (my) mind and it is something I dreamed about," Alvelo told the newspaper. "Regardless of any of the other awards I've won, this is at the top of the list for me.

    "It has made my whole career because I've not only left my mark on Bloom-Carroll softball, but the whole state of Ohio. It just means a lot."

    Alvelo has been on MaxPreps' radar since her freshman season. She was named to the Underclass All-American Team in 2012 and 2013, then made it to the overall All-American team last season as a junior. She was also recently featured on the National Softball Player of the Year watch list.

    The University of Washington commit has a shot at the state's all-time wins record (needs nine to tie) and she is eight home runs short of the state record on offense as well.

    Her team is 17-4 and spent time in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Softball Rankings earlier this season.
  • The last team to beat the Sherwood (Sandy Spring, Md.) softball team was Blair (Silver Spring, Md.), way back in 2011, eliminating the Warriors from the 2011 playoffs.

    Courtesy photo
    It's probably safe to say that Sherwood now has supreme bragging rights, as reports that the Warriors set the Maryland state record Monday with their 78th-straight win - and it came against Blair.

    Former Xcellent 25 stalwart Northern (Owings, Md.) held the record of 77 from 2010-14 but now the record is all Sherwood's after a 7-0 victory. The Warriors, 16-0 and ranked 12th in the Xcellent 25 National Softball Rankings, are gunning for their fourth-straight state title this year and the win margin was their smallest all season, according to the story.

    “I couldn't be more proud of this team and their hard work and determination this season,” said coach Ashley Barber-Strunk, who has coached the past two seasons.

    You can see photos from the game via the Washington Post.

    It turns out state records are a thing at Sherwood, as the story also reported that shortstop Nicole Stockinger set the state career home runs record (38) just three days before.
  • Video: Double bicycle kick goal
    See James Island High pull off one of the coolest goals of the season

    Bicycle kick goals are rare in high school soccer.

    Bicycle kick goals set up by bicycle kick assists? Unheard of.

    But it happened in South Carolina this week, where James Island (Charleston, S.C.) accomplished the amazing feat.

    Yasir Al-kameshi set up teammate William Le for a goal that James Island coach Todd Robinson believes is one of a kind.

    "I couldn't find anything quite like it," Robinson told the Post-Courier of his Internet search to find video of a similar goal. "It was unique and something we'll never see again."

  • A truly joyous day in sports is watching a humble kid raised in a healthy household win the top honor for his sport.

    Stephen Curry, short by basketball standards growing up, overcame long odds to win the 2015 NBA MVP award. It was so touching to see him thank both his parents, but especially his father, whom he idolized so deeply.

    A video emerged earlier this year of Curry in his much younger days, playing in of all places Toronto, where his father Dell played for the Raptors at the end of his career.

    Today Curry revealed a story about him missing his first middle school game at Queensway Christian College in Toronto because he wasn't taking care of business at home.

    "It was kind of embarrassing telling people you can't play because you didn't do the dishes," Curry said.

    After middle school, Curry was an all-state performer for Charlotte Christian (N.C.), leading the Knights to three conference titles. Despite that, at only 6-feet and 160 pounds, he didn't receive any scholarship offers from major schools. Curry eventually accepted an offer from Davidson College in North Carolina.

    Check out the great footage of Dell Curry practicing with the middle-schoolers, including his future MVP son, who played very much like he does now, minus the mouth guard. Great stuff.

  • Video: Trae Waynes in high school
    See the Minnesota Vikings' first-round pick as a prep at Bradford High in Wisconsin

    The first round of the NFL Draft is in the books for 2015. While the focus is on the future, there are a few fun facts worth checking out when it comes to the high schools of the 32 fortunate players chosen.

    States where they came from

    High schools from 16 states had players taken, and Florida led the way - in a huge way. Sunshine State schools produced eight of the 32, which equates to 25 percent. In other words, one of every four players chosen was from a Florida high school.

    Georgia came in next with four players, followed by North Carolina and California with three. Wisconsin and Texas came in with two players taken, and single players were chosen from the following states: Alabama, Hawaii, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Washington, Arizona, Kentucky, Kansas, Connecticut and Illinois.

    Players coming home
    Photo by Todd Shurtleff

    Arik Armstead, Pleasant Grove, in 2011

    Three players were drafted by teams that play in their home state. Donte Fowler (3, Jaguars) is an alum of Lakewood (St. Petersburg, Fla.). Vic Beasley (8, Falcons) played his prep ball at Adairsville (Ga.) about an hour from the Georgia Dome, and Arik Armstead (17, 49ers) played at Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove, Calif.), about 100 miles from Santa Clara.

    Teammates go in the first round

    Fans of Bradford (Kenosha, Wis.) may not have known just how special it was when Trae Waynes and Melvin Gordon III played at the school. Waynes was taken 11th by the Vikings on Thursday and Gordon went to the Chargers at No. 15. Waynes went to Michigan State and Gordon went to Wisconsin.

    Each player graduated in 2011 and the team finished 11-2 but didn't win a state title. Guess that goes to show how it's a team game - a school with two future first-round NFL picks couldn't win a state title.
  • Photo by Jann Hendry

    The Lone Peak pipeline to BYU continued Thursday as head coach Quincy Lewis accepted a position on Dave Rose's staff.

    The trend of college and professional basketball teams tapping into the high school ranks for coaching talent continued Thursday, as BYU added Quincy Lewis of Lone Peak (Highland, Utah) to its staff.

    BYU announced the move on its official site.

    In 12 seasons as the head coach at Lone Peak, Lewis compiled a 250-45 record and led the Knights to seven state titles.

    "It's been really hard," Lewis said of leaving the program he built from the ground up. "When you put that much time into something, it makes it really hard to walk away. We've had opportunities to leave before but always felt really strongly about Lone Peak."

    The 2012-13 Knights were crowned national champions by MaxPreps and Lewis was named MaxPreps National Coach of the Year at the conclusion of the historic campaign. It marked the first time a high school from Utah was crowned national champion in any sport.

    Lewis is well-acquainted with the BYU program. Several of his former players have moved on to play in Provo, including Nate Austin, Sam Burgess, Jackson Emery, Tyler Haws, Eric Mika and Josh Sharp.

    Former MaxPreps All-American Nick Emery will join the program next season after serving a religious mission and the move may give the Cougars traction with 2016 scoring guard Frank Jackson – a former BYU pledge who decommitted and is now being pursued by Arizona and Duke, among others.

    The hiring continues a recent string of successful high school coaches who have made the jump to the next level. Among the more prominent examples:

    * High school coaches under consideration for college promotions may want to thank Danny Hurley. The second generation coaching star made a direct transition from high school head coach at St. Benedict's Prep (Newark, N.J.) to Division I college head coach at Wagner. Hurley has since moved to Rhode Island and has gone 83-72 in five seasons since leaving St. Benedict's Prep.

    * With no prior college coaching experience, Luther Riley was hired as head coach at Alcorn State in 2011 after leading Provine (Jackson, Miss.) to seven state championship game appearances in 11 seasons.

    * After getting the program off the ground at Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) and winning a national title in 2009, Michael Peck was hired to take over as head coach of the NBDL's Idaho Stampede in 2012.

    * Nate Oats made a rapid rise to college head coach after being hired as an assistant by Bobby Hurley at Buffalo. Oats led Romulus (Mich.) to a state championship in 2013 and two years later was tabbed to replace Hurley as head coach at Buffalo after he departed for Arizona State.

    * After going 35-1 in his only season as head coach at Findlay Prep, Todd Simon left to take a job on Dave Rice's staff at UNLV.

    * Missouri hired Huntington St. Joseph Prep (W.Va.) head coach Rob Fulford to serve as an assistant in June of 2014. Fulford lured Andrew Wiggins from Canada to the West Virginia program and went 138-17 in five seasons after starting the program from scratch.

    * New Mexico added La Lumiere (LaPorte, Ind.) head coach Alan Huss to its staff in August of 2014. Huss, a former player under Dana Altman at Creighton, won nearly 80 percent of his games in four seasons at La Lumiere.
  • It wasn't until the eighth grade that Owamagbe Odighizuwa began to play football. Though born in Ohio, he lived much of his childhood in Nigeria and played soccer and basketball, and ran track and field.

    Getty images

    Owamagbe Odighizuwa

    But he picked up football fast — as fast as his sprinter speed — and at 6-foot-3 and 270 pounds, he drew the attention of scouts while at Douglas (Portland, Ore.).

    As a junior defensive end in high school, he had 96 tackles (22 for loss), including 10 sacks. That helped him earn a scholarship to UCLA and after a superb four-year career that included him earning second-team all-Pacific-12 Conference honors, he's now considered a first-round draft pick of the NFL Draft, which takes place April 30-May 2 in Chicago.

    At the NFL combine, he ran a blazing 4.62-second 40-yard dash to go along with a remarkable 39-inch vertical leap.

    Even with two hip surgeries, Odighizuwa (Oh-DIGGY-zoo-wuh) is considered one of the most exciting defensive players in the 2015 draft.
  • File photo by James Conrad

    Brett Hundley, Chandler

    Jon Gruden thinks Brett Hundley might be the next Donovan McNabb. Some think he has the potential to be even better.

    He's not as thick as McNabb and probably a little more athletic and agile, as he showed while at Chandler (Ariz.) before he even entered UCLA.

    In three seasons at Chandler, Hundley passes for 4,041 yards, 38 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He was even more explosive running the ball, rushing for 2,152 yards and 21 touchdowns.

    He's projected as a second-round NFL pick and the third-best quarterback in the draft, which takes place April 30 to May 2 in Chicago.

    At the NFL combine, Hundley ran a 4.63-second 40-yard dash and had a 36-inch vertical jump.

    At UCLA, he threw for a school record 3,740 yards and 29 touchdowns as a redshirt freshman and backed that up with similar production over the next two seasons.
    File photo by James Conrad

    Brett Hundley, Chandler

  • Not even the rain could stop East Limestone (Athens, Ala.) soccer star Dilan Sayer from setting the Alabama state record for career goals.

    According to The News Courier out of Athens, Sayer reached No. 154 on Friday in a 7-0 playoff rout of Elkmont. His two-goal performance helped his team advance and also got his name etched in the Alabama High School Athletic Association record book.

    Photo courtesy of East Limestone High
    "I don't have to worry about it anymore," Sayer told the newspaper after reaching 46 goals this season. "I've just got to keep scoring now. I kind of wanted to break it (Thursday), but it's okay. I'm just focused on the playoffs now."

    The fifth-year varsity player has led his team to an 11-4-3 record while chasing his personal record, and from what coach Danny McConnell said, the record should have fallen a while back.

    "As we got closer to it, we worried about all the games that got canceled more than anything," McConnell was quoted as saying. "You would have thought this would have been done five or six games ago, but we've played about half our season. Finishing it in a playoff game was pretty neat."

    The record-setting performance relegated Ryan Kirschbaum of Priceville (2002-06) to second place in the AHSAA record book. The national record, according to the National Federation of State High School Associations record book, is 213 by Sean Shapert of Moon Area (Moon Township, Pa.).
  • Photo by Rudy Hardy

    Roger Clemens attended Saturday's high school baseball game between Memorial (Houston) and College Park, a 12-2 College Park win. Clemens' son Kody is Memorial's shortstop.

    Unless he plans to jump into the prep coaching ranks, Roger Clemens probably won't be attending many more high school baseball games in the near future.

    Not until, perhaps, he becomes a grandfather.

    Photo by Rudy Hardy

    Roger Clemens

    His youngest of four boys, Kody Clemens, is winding down his stellar high school baseball career at Memorial (Houston), and "The Rocket" was in attendance on Saturday to see his son's team lose 12-2 to visiting College Park.

    Kody Clemens, ranked the 37th-best senior in the country by MaxPreps baseball editor Kevin Askeland, has signed with the University of Texas, where his father pitched for two All-American seasons, compiling a 25-7 record.

    Kody, an athletic 6-foot-1, 170-pound shortstop, hits left-handed and throws right-handed. While his stats are not complete on his career page, the team has jumped out to a 14-7-1 start, not including Saturday.

    His dad amassed 354 wins, struck out 4,762 and won seven Cy Young awards while pitching for the Red Sox, Yankees, Blue Jays and Astros.
    File photo by Steven Silva

    Kody Clemens playing in the 2014 Perfect Game National Showcase in San Diego.

    File photo by Steven Silva
    File photo by Steven Silva