By Stephen Spiewak
1. Myrtle Beach vs. Byrnes: In a titanic collision of South Carolina powers, Myrtle Beach and Byrnes will play each of the next three seasons, beginning with a Sept. 4 showdown at Byrnes in 2009. According The Sun News’ Josh Hoke, who broke the story, there are a number of intriguing storylines that will underline the match-up between defending state champions.
“Perhaps the nation’s No. 1 team, No. 1 senior and No. 1 junior will all take the field at the same time this September,” he wrote.
The nation’s No. 1 team refers to Byrnes, who is drawing early consideration to be ranked atop preseason polls. The No. 1 senior is Byrnes running back Marcus Lattimore, MaxPreps’ National Junior of the Year in 2008. When he writes about the nation’s top junior, Hoke refers to Everett Golson, Myrtle Beach’s sensational quarterback.
2. More 2009 Showdowns: It’s not all that often that Virginia schools play out-of-state competition. So in many ways, Oscar Smith’s game against Venice (Fla.) is meaningful for the entire state of Virginia. Oscar Smith, the state’s defending Division 6 state champ, can illustrate the quality of Virginia football with a win. Both teams will be returning marquee quarterbacks. Phillip Sims will be behind center for Oscar Smith, while Trey Burton will call the signals for Venice.
Another team looking to make a statement is Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.). Kevin Rooney’s squad will return Ryan Kasdorf at quarterback and will be heading to Texas to play either Southlake Carroll or Klein Oak.
On the east coast, it appears as if the De La Salle vs. Don Bosco Prep game will be held at Rutgers Stadium. It will likely be the second game of a doubleheader that will feature St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.) taking on St. Joseph Prep (Philadelphia, Pa.) in the other contest.
3. Gray Bees Get Stung: Speaking of New Jersey, it was a tough week for head coach Dan Hurley and the St. Benedict’s Prep Gray Bees. Not only did in-state rival St. Patrick wallop St. Benedict’s in their annual tussle, but the Gray Bees were also downed by Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) at the Nike Extravaganza. St. Benedict’s, who was undefeated for the first few months of the season, woke up Sunday morning with two losses in four days.
4. Brawl Ends Game Early in Washington: A heated league contest between Garfield (Seattle, Wash.) and Redmond ended prematurely when a brawl erupted on the court between players and fans. According to SeattlePI.com, a Redmond fan ran out onto the court in the fourth quarter and struck a Garfield player in the face. The ensuing mayhem reportedly resembled the notorious 2004 NBA incident in Detroit, when players and fans brawled with one another. League ramifications are unclear at this point. Only one player, Redmond senior Max Wisman, was ejected from the game.
5. Combine Time: If you’re having post-Signing Day football withdrawals, it may be about time you check out the spring combine season. Combines around the country gauge players’ athleticism in tests of strength, speed, and agility. Two prominent camp and combine circuits are DeBartolo Sports University and National Underclassmen Combine. While there is no substitute for success on the football field, players can sometimes emerge from obscurity with breakout performances in the combine setting.
National High 5 is a regular MaxPreps feature, highlighting top national high school news, game stories or human interest pieces from around the web. If we miss something, please e-mail us at email@example.com and/or firstname.lastname@example.org.