Compiled by Mitch Stephens
1. Indomitable force. In a triumphant "feel good" tale that only autistic team manager Jason McElwain reached last basketball season in New York, comes a championship football journey in Louisiana where South Plaquemines (Port Sulphur) captured the Class 1A title with a 48-8 win over West St. John (Edgard). As many obstacles as South Plaquemines defeated, its championship run was quite smooth as it outscored five playoff opponents by a combined 276-47 count.
2. Better than fiction. If your team wins a triple overtime 4A Texas state playoff game, it's groundbreaking. If you break a Texas career touchdown record in the same game and then it's downright earthshaking. And if you're the one who did it and your first name is Jacquizz then I'm thinking the whole thing is fiction. But of course it is not. Oregon State-bound Jacquizz Rodgers did all of the above as Lamar Consolidated (Rosenberg) pulled out a thrilling 33-27 win over New Braunfels Saturday night in San Marcos.
3. More inspiration. Former Los Gatos (California) football coach Charlie Wedemeyer was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS) more than 30 years ago, yet he continues to thrive. According to this fantastic read by San Jose Mercury News reporter David Kiefer, only 10 percent of ALS victims live past a decade. An All-Star high school football game in his name is still a huge part of football in the Central Coast Section, but more so is his inspiration.
4. The "Tig" is up. Carried by a 333-yard, four-touchdown performance by Darius "Tig" Barksdale, South Panola won its current national best 75th consecutive game and captured the Mississippi 5A title also with a 28-21 win over George County. Barksdale finished with more than 2,900 yards rushing this season and 35 touchdowns.
5. The other California team. While Long Beach Poly climbed to the top of most preseason national girls basketball lists, it was another defending California champion, Sacred Heart Cathedral-San Francisco, that not only knocked off Poly but two other defending state champs at the Nike Northwest Invitational in Beaverton (Ore.) last weekend. In this excellent column by San Francisco Chronicle writer Will McCulloch, Irish coach Brian Harrigan said people in Beaverton didn't even know who the Irish were. Not going in anyway.
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