MaxWire National Blog

Covering High School Sports in America
  • Many are reaching out and extending a helping hand to the football programs at Marysville-Pilchuck (Marysville, Wash.) and Oak Harbor (Wash.) after Friday's tragic shooting near Seattle.

    The longest and most prominent reach might have been from Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, who invited both programs to practice at the Super Bowl champions' facilities.

    Photo by Todd Shurtleff

    Austin Joyner, Marysville-Pilchuck

    After Friday's shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck that left three teenagers dead, including the shooter, and three others in serious to critical condition, the championship football game between the teams was cancelled last week.

    Oak Harbor offered to forfeit the game to give Marysville-Pilchuck the title, but both teams will advance to the playoffs anyway.

    Marysville-Pilchuck will play in the WesCo 3A championship game while Oak Harbor hosts Mountlake Terrace in a matchup of No. 2 seeds. Both games are Friday.

    According to reports, Marysville-Pilchuck accepted Carroll's offer and was scheduled to practice Tuesday at the team's facility in Renton.

    "Our hearts just opened immediately to try to help in any way that we can," Carroll told the Seattle Times. "When they are faced with an opportunity about a playoff situation and the other school decides to forfeit the game, what an extraordinary gesture. And I think it's a gesture in every direction and an understanding and compassion that it's good to be recognized. And we hope that we can do whatever we can in our support, our fans' support.

    "You feel so helpless, but we wish that we could do something to ease the pain of all of the people that have been troubled."


  • The Orlando Sentinel reported Tuesday that 7-foot-5 senior basketball standout Tacko Fall has given a verbal commitment to continue his career at the University of Central Florida.

    Fall, a native of Senegal, is believed to be the tallest high school basketball player in the United States. He averaged 11.1 points and 5.0 rebounds per game as a junior at Liberty Christian Prep (Tavares, Fla.) and will begin his senior campaign at the school in the coming weeks.

    The Knights will have a bit of a project on their hands but not one without potential. Fall drew positive reviews on the ultra-competitive Nike EYBL circuit over the summer and is ranked No. 207 in the 247Sports Composite.

    According to 247, Fall also had offers from programs like Georgetown, Baylor, Tennessee and Wake Forest.


  • The all-time passing touchdown leader in Kentucky took a seat Friday when Elijah Sindelar of Caldwell County (Princeton, Ky.) threw four touchdown passes in a 63-6 win over Crittenden County to become the state's all-time leader.

    Sindelar completed 10 of 11 passes in the game for 206 yards and four touchdowns. The senior had 130 touchdown passes entering the game, and his four additional TD tosses put him past all-time leader Tim Couch of Leslie County (Hyden, Ky.), who set the national record with 133 career touchdown passes in 1995.

    Ricky Bowling of South Laurel (London, Ky.) also held the state record, tying Couch with 133 in 2008.

    Sindelar has completed 155 of 220 passes for 2,755 yards and 39 touchdowns, according to SurfKy.com.


  • Last year, Derrick Dick had the kick return-heard-round-the-world, as he took a squib kick into the end zone with no time remaining to stun Copperas Cove.

    That play quickly went viral, and Dick sprinting from the end zone to the bleachers to celebrate with the fans is one of the lasting images of the 2013 football season.

    Over the weekend, Dick submitted an entry for the category of "Play of the Year" in 2014, with another remarkable kickoff return for a touchdown for A&M Consolidated (College Station, Texas).

    Dick had a stellar return against College Station over the weekend, punctuated by a Gronkowskian slam of a defender near the end of his run.

    Check out Dick's amazing return in the video above, and see his improbable return from last year below.

  • Photo by Greg Patterson

    Deion Sanders instructs Brandon Martin Friday night.

    Deion Sanders had to watch with a little pride, and a little frustration.

    Photo by Greg Patterson

    Deion Sanders, Prime Prep

    Back-to-back interceptions for touchdowns late in the fourth quarter led host Lawton (Okla.) to a 41-26 win over Sanders' Prime Prep (Dallas) on Friday night.

    The pick-six is what Sanders did best in his 14-year NFL career, but these must have been hard to watch.

    Both occurred in a matter of 35 seconds, according to Lawton Constitution, as Levi Cain and Chris Bishop scored touchdowns.

    Sanders, who started the school and helps coach Prime Prep (see photo), returned nine of his 53 NFL interceptions for touchdowns. He also is the only athlete in history to hit a major league home run and score an NFL touchdown the same week, and to play in a Super Bowl and World Series.

    Lawton (7-1) won its seventh straight while Prime Prep had its four-game win streak snapped and dropped to 5-2. The Spartans, who got a 35-yard touchdown run by Alize Ward and superb line play by Jay Goodson on Friday, went 7-2 last season.
    Photo by Greg Patterson

    Deion Sanders, Prime Prep

    Photo by Greg Patterson

    Deion Sanders, Prime Prep

    Photo by Greg Patterson

    Deion Sanders, Prime Prep

    Photo by Greg Patterson

    Deion Sanders shakes hands with Lawton's Admural Majors.

  • Courtesy photo

    Central Bucks West had the rest of its season canceled Thursday due to multiple hazing incidents, according to the local school district.

    Another school district is taking a hard stance against bullying and hazing.

    According to nbcphiladelphia.com, the Central Bucks School District canceled the rest of the football season for the Central Bucks West (Doylestown, Pa.) varsity and junior varsity football teams for multiple hazing incidents.

    This comes on the heels of a New Jersey school superintendent Richard Labbe canceling the rest of the season at Sayreville (Parlin, N.J.) for similar issues.

    Among the hazing incidents at Central Bucks was a form of "waterboarding" and involuntary hair-cutting.

    Central Bucks School District Superintendent David Weitzel told reporters that the activities caused no physical harm, "but were not harmless."

    He continued in a statement: "Based on all available, verified information gathered from an ongoing internal investigation into allegations of improper conduct by numerous Central Bucks West football team members, and the failure of the coaching staff to properly supervise activities, swift and firm action is absolutely necessary."

    There was no criminal activity, according to police, and the incidents occurred before the season. C.B. West, which won four state titles in the 1990s, was 2-6. The 1999 title inspired the movie "The Last Game."

    Cleveland Browns head coach Mike Pettine played quarterback at C.B. West. His father Mike Pettine Sr. retired as coach at the school following the 1999 season as the winningest coach in state history at 326-32-4.

    Hazing and/or initiation ceremonies are prohibited, according to the district code of conduct.

    "Team-building activities cannot be permitted to spin out of control and become hazing," Weitzel wrote. "There will be no exceptions when it comes to compliance."
  • One Kansas high school football coach has developed a game plan to deal with an unlikely opponent: Twitter.

    Screen shot from KAKE video
    Citing players feeling tired and sluggish, Maize South (Wichita, Kan.) head coach Brent Pfeifer instituted a nightly Twitter curfew three years ago and continues to maintain the policy.

    According to KAKE in Kansas, the curfew on some nights begin as early as 10 p.m.

    "They were on there all the time and reading what every one else was doing. Putting stuff out there. It seemed to be kind of a distraction," Pfeifer told KAKE.

    The students have begun to hold each other accountable, and seem to see the value in the curfew.

    "I think it's good," one player said. "We got some guys that like to stay up late and keep their Twitter game hot."


  • The high school sports landscape offers much: health, fitness, future stars, competition, crazy plays and this, according to Fargo South (N.D.) cross-country runner Danielle LeNous.

    "Hope," the senior told valleynewslive.com.

    Hearing that single word from such a young person rattles the senses a little, but what she experienced last week during the EDC Cross County Championships makes it understandable.

    With approximately 800 meters left in the race, LeNous tore a patella tendon in her knee and collapsed. She was in agonizing pain. "I felt like my leg was getting cut off," she said.

    Photo courtesy of Janelle Hogenson

    Melanie Bailey carries Danielle LeNous

    So rather than let her fellow competitor writhe in pain, Devils Lake (N.D.) senior Melanie Bailey offered a hand and then her back. Bailey got LeNous to her feet, then carried her some 300 feet before help arrived.

    It was an act of sportsmanship and humanity reminiscent of the 2008 Great Northwest Athletic Conference college softball game, where two opposing players — Mallory Holtman and Liz Wallace — carried Sara Tucholsky around the bases after she hit a three-run homer but injured her knee rounding first base.

    That act gained worldwide attention and eventually an ESPY for Best Moment in Sports in 2008.

    In this case, Bailey sacrificed her season. This was an elimination race. She did, however, finish, more than eight minutes back of the winner. She told reporters she more than happy with how her season ended.

    "It's just a race that's the thing," Bailey told valleynewslive.com. "A person is forever, a race just lasts 25 minutes. … If I was helping her pain, then that's all that counted."

    Said LeNous: "She sacrificed her time to some stranger she didn't even know. There's still good people out there. There's still hope."


  • Lawton (Lawton, Okla.) kicker Caitlyn Cox has been just waiting for her chance. Extra points are cool and important. But a field goal — from distance — that's the test of any kicker.

    Photo by Greg Patterson

    Caitlyn Cox, Lawton

    The junior made the most of her first try last week, drilling a 42-yarder during a 72-27 win over Eisenhower (Lawton). It was six yards short of the national female record of 48 yards held by Heidi Garrett of King (Riverside, Calif.) in 2004.

    "It was a real big thrill for us because she's such a great gal," Lawton coach Randy Breeze told newsok.com. "She nailed it."

    Breeze said he won't hesitate to use Cox in any game or situation. She's made 30 extra points this season.

    "We've got the world of confidence in her," Breeze said. "This is not a gimmick."

    Female kickers aren't terribly unusual in the prep world.

    MaxPreps senior writer Kevin Askeland noted that in 2012 at least 50 female athletes scored at least one point in football games.

    He then listed the top 10 female kickers in high school history, starting with Garrett, who had 112 career points, nine field goals and 58 straight extra points.

    She went on to play soccer at UC Riverside and in the Women's Premier Soccer League.


  • No player in the history of Illinois high school football has kicked a longer field goal than the one that Tucker McCann nailed against Belleville East on Saturday afternoon.

    The O'Fallon (Ill.) junior connected on a 60-yard field goal in the first quarter for O'Fallon's first points.

    The previous record was set by Nick Setta of Lockport in 1996, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

    Unfortunately for O'Fallon, McCann's kicking heroics were not enough, as it fell to Belleville East 17-13.

    Watch the incredible kick in the video above.