Tuesday, July 12, 2011

2010-11 High School Sports Season in Review

by Jeff Fisher
Host, NHSCA Sports Hour

The 2010-11 school year was loaded with all kinds of high school sports stories and accomplishments across this great nation.

A lot of those stories and accomplishments you heard about on the NHSCA Sports Hour through interviews with the coaches and players that were involved.

I thought I’d take a little time to look back over this past year with a highlight of the highlights!!

Let’s start with our Febuary 13th show when Leta Andrews, girls’ basketball coach at Granbury High School in Texas, became America’s all-time wins leader as a head basketball coach.

Andrews set the record in early December when her team beat Midloathian for her 1,334th career victory.  She passed Robert Hughes of Fort Worth Dunbar in Texas, who previous held the record with 1,333 career victories.

Speaking of basketball greats on the NHSCA Sports Hour, a week later on Show #288 we had two more legendary coaches on the same show when Bob Hurley of St. Anthony High School in Jersey City joined us along with Jack Curran of Archbishop Molloy in New York City.

Between the two of them, they’ve been coaching high school basketball at their respective schools for a combined 90-plus years.

Coach Hurley and his Friars won another “mythical” national championship this past season, while he also won his 1000th game in February.  Coach Curran, who is 80-years young, still coaches baseball along with his basketball duties.  He’s America’s winningest coach with 2,500 victories between the two sports.

Moving on to football, the 2010 season was another incredible one with many great team and individual performances.

South Panola, won its 9th Mississippi state championship and that helped the Tigers claim MaxPreps.com’s and USA Today’s “mythical” national championships.

Hamilton High School in Arizona finished #5 in the USA Today poll after winning its third straight state title.  Head coach Steve Belles joined us on the April 10th show to talk about his program’s 40 straight victories heading into the 2011 season, plus he talked about his team’s big 2012 game when Hamilton will play Notre Dame of Sherman Oaks, California in Dublin, Ireland.

When it comes to win streaks, West Rowan High School in North Carolina will enter the 2011 season with the longest active win streak.  West Rowan won its third straight 3-A title in December, closing the season with a 46-game win streak.

On May 1st, we talked with Rocco Casullo, the new head coach at St. Thomas Aquinas in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.  Casullo talked about taking over for the legendary George Smith, who resigned earlier this year.

Smith was named the 2011 NHSCA Football coach of the Year after amassing a record of 361-66.  ESPNRise and the National Prep Poll named Smith’s Raiders the 2010 “mythical” national champs.

My favorite football story came on January 23rd when we spoke with Chance Anthony of Breckridge County High School in Kentucky after he was named the High School Rudy Award winner.

Anthony joined Trish Hoffman and me to talk about playing high school football and basketball with only one-and-a-half arms.  Anthony was born without the lower part of his right arm, but that didn’t stop him from being a two-way starter on the football team.  He even caught a couple of touchdown passes this past season.

Speaking of inspirational…you need to go back to listen to the December 5th show with University High School (San Francisco, CA) girls’ cross country coach Jim Tracy and his top runner Holland Reynolds.

Reynolds told an incredible story of how she crawled across the finish line to win another state title for her coach, who is battling Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  Tracy is the 2011 NHSCA Girls’ Cross Country Coach of the Year.

We had plenty of great wrestling stories and interviews during the past school year.

How about Bobby DeBerry of Sunnyside High School in Arizona, whose program has won a national record 314 straight matches. You can listen to DeBerry talk about his incredible program by going to the archives and clicking on show #288 on February 20th.

Then there was the great interview with Hope Steffensen of Kenai High School in Alaska.  Hope became only the second girl to ever win a state wrestling championship in a boy’s tournament.

Steffensen joined us on the January 30th show to talk about winning in a man’s world.

That was contrasted with our February 27th show when we spoke with Sean Keeler a sports writer in Des Moines, Iowa who talked about a top-ranked wrestler named Joel Northrup, who refused to wrestle a girl.  Northup forfeited to Cassy Herkelman in the first round of the state championships.  By forfeiting, Northrup, who was seeded fifth, gave-up all hopes of a coveted Iowa state title.

In Minnesota, Destin McCauley of Apple Valley won his 5th state championship.  McCauley, who’s an Olympic hopeful, has been wrestling in state championships since 7th grade, which is allowed in Minnesota. McCauley appeared on our March 13th show.

McCauley’s team was ranked as the top team in America by WIN Magazine.

Another wrestling shout-out goes to Blake Rouolo of Matoaca High School in Virginia, who became only the second wrestling in America to win four straight NHSCA National Wrestling Championships. Blake was our 2011 Wrestler of the Year.

Our final wrestling story comes from Hollywood when director/writer Tom McCarthy joined us on March 27th to discuss his movie Win Win that was based on the sport of high school wrestling.   A week later, Alex Shaffer (Hunterdon Central HS, Flemington, NJ), the teenage star of the movie talked with us about the change from being a New Jersey state wrestling champ to an actor.

There were several great baseball stories this past year.

At the top of the list was Tim Hopley and the Portsmouth High.  The Clippers won their fourth straight New Hampshire state championship, plus set a national record with 83 straight victories. Hopley appeared on the April 17th show.

On May 1st, we spoke with Eric Lay of tiny Maxwell High School in California.   Lay had the pleasure of watching pitcher Steven Perry pitch four-straight no-hitters.  Perry and his teammate Tyler Wells combined to throw a total of 11 no-no’s this year.

There were plenty of high schoolers drafted by Major League Baseball last month.

We talked with two of the higher draft picks…Dylan Bundy of Owasso High School in Oklahoma, who was taken #4 by the Baltimore Orioles and Bubba Starling of Gardner-Edgerton in Kansas, who was selected #5 by the Kansas City Royals.

Archie Bradley of Broken Arrow High in Oklahoma was taken #7 by the Arizona Diamondbacks. We spoke with his coach, Shannon Dobson, about Archie and his team winning Oklahoma’s 6A state title.

And we wrap-up with a great story in girls’ tennis.  Tiny Cindy Duan of Sanford School in Delaware became a five-team tennis champ in the spring.  Duan, who will go to Princeton University in the fall, finished a perfect 83-0 during her high school career.  Cindy, who’s only 5-3, 105 pounds appeared on the June 19th show.

In all, the NHSCA Sports Hour touched 34 states, covering 17 different sports.

There were plenty of other great stories and interviews along the way, and you can go to our archives and listen to everyone of them.

To everyone that participated in the show, thanks!

To all of our listeners we’re so happy you tune-in each week, and we look forward to an even better 2011-12 season!!

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