1. Swine Strikes Alabama…Plans In Place
Well, it kind of figured. On Wednesday, the big dog – Texas – reacted to the swine flu epidemic by shutting down sports in the Lone Star State for a couple weeks (see story) and now Alabama has followed suit. The Alabama High School Athletic Association has postponed all events indefinitely – at least Texas gave an end date of May 11 – and has cancelled all events this weekend, which includes the state track and field meet along with playoffs in soccer, baseball, softball and golf. The situation is fluid and ASAA Executive Director said plans could change rapidly. Keep posted to state high school sites folks for the latest updates. Georgia, for instance, is preparing for the worst with this emergency plan.
2. Sidney Long Gone
MaxPreps All-American Renardo Sidney won’t be playing at USC next year after all. The 6-foot-11 power forward visited Mississippi State last weekend even though he committed to the Trojans in a flamboyant ceremony in Feb. According to this story in the Los Angeles Times, the Sidney family felt threaten by on-going investigations into former USC standouts Reggie Bush and O.J. Mayo. Other interesting tidbits is that Sidney is academically sound, that going to Europe is out of the question and that Mississippi State is not the front runner but the “only runner.” Turns out, the report was correct as reported here on Mississippi State's website today. Sidney, by the way, is from Mississippi, moved to Southern California as a freshman and played at two high schools in four years. "It's good to be coming back home," Sidney said.
3. Say it ain’t so: A-Rod used in high school?
In the infamous words of Droopy Dog, the cartoon character not rapper, “oh me, oh my.” If Alex Rodriguez did use steroids in high school, then I’m really not sure what is worse – this generation’s best baseball player setting a horrific example for the next generation or having just to read and hear the incessant allegations and denials and speculation that will be written and bantered about for the remainder of the season. Isn’t that why Rodriguez called a press conference to start the season? To quote another cartoon legend Pete Puma, “I got a headache.”
4. New National High Jump King
He stands only 5-10 but Grandview (Mo.) junior James White is the highest flier in high school sports these days after breaking a national record in the high jump last week at an astounding 7 feet, 5 ¾ inches at the Winnetonka Invitational. He broke a 25-year-old mark of 7-5¼ set in 1984 by Dothel Edwards (Athens, Ga.). See this fine story by MaxPreps' own Dean Backes.
5. Bald plus Bold equals Beautiful
When faced with the good news, bad news option, we always start with the latter and finish on a good note. Same goes here. This, in fact, is my No. 1 story but we saved the best for last. This is a beautifully reported and written story about Kennedy softball catcher in Kent (Wash.) Lindsy Dugan who has overcome a rare condition called Alopecia Areata which, among other things, causes a loss of all body hair. She’s chosen not to wear a wig, like many victims of the condition, because “the more you can be who you are the more you’re going to grow.” Dugan isn’t just a human interest study, she’s a player too, hitting .676 and is considered the best defensive catcher in the region. Major kudos to Sandy Ringer of the Seattle Times.
National High 5 is a regular feature highlighting the top high school sports news and features on the Net. Let us know if there are some interesting reads that we’ve missed. E-mail Mitch Stephens at email@example.com.