Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Southern California team tapped #1 in MaxPreps Preseason Top 25 Softball Poll

by Jeff Fisher
Host, NHSCA Sports Hour
Follow @NHSCARadioShow

Pacifica from Garden Grove, California is the preseason #1 softball team in America, according to

Pacifica finished 27-6 last season, losing in the CIF-SS Division 1 semifinals.  As MaxPreps reports, Pacifica lost a lot talent, but have plenty of Division 1 college talent returning.

Maybe the biggest surprise is that defending national champ Northern from Maryland opens #10.

Northern is riding a 79-game win streak after winning its sixth straight Class 3A state title in 2013.  While the team lost a lot of talent from last year, but senior pitcher Jess Cummings does return.  Last year Cummings only allowed one unearned run last year.  Her line - 22-0, 0.00 ERA with 298 strikeouts in 135 innings.

Last year I spoke with Northern head coach Robert Earl Radford last April, click here to listen to that interview on the NHSCA Sports Hour.

Here's the MaxPreps Top 10….

1. Pacifica (California)
2. Alexander Central (North Carolina)
3. Amador Valley (California)
4. Greenwood (Kentucky)
5. Deer Park (Texas)
6. Archbishop Mitty (California)
7. Hoover (Ohio)
8. Red Mountain (Arizona)
9. Mountain Ridge (Arizona)
10. Northern (Maryland)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Neil Diamond brings a little Fenway to high school game

by Jeff Fisher
Host, NHSCA Sports Hour
Follow @NHSCARadioShow

Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California opened a brand new $3 million baseball stadium over the weekend in a very special way - Neil Diamond singing "Sweet Caroline" a la Fenway Park.

Diamond wasn't the only celebrity on-hand.  Baseball's all-time hits leader Pete Rose was there along with fellow former major leaguer Reggie Smith and TV's Larry King, who's son plays on the ND freshman team.

Friday, February 21, 2014

MaxPreps Top 10 Preseason High School Baseball Poll

by Jeff Fisher
Host, NHSCA Sports Hour
Follow @NHSCARadioShow

It's not hard to figure-out why MaxPreps has placed Florida's Archbishop McCarthy at the top of the stack for the 2014 high school baseball season.  The prep sports website has named the Mavericks the #1 team in the nation in its Xcellent Top 25 Preseason Rankings, of which it revealed its Top 10 teams, one-by-one over the last ten days.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Phillipsburg (New Jersey) wrestling team learns a lesson in sportsmanship

by Jeff Fisher
Host, NHSCA Sports Hour
Follow @NHSCARadioShow

Photo courtesy of Express-Times
Phillipsburg's wrestling program is always near the top of the heap in New Jersey.  Last weekend, the Stateliners capped a perfect 18-0 dual meet season by winning the NJSIAA Group 4 state team championship, which would have been a good springboard into the state's individual championships.

However, the glory of the state title has now been tarnished by the above photo of seven of the P'burg wrestlers posing with a wrestling dummy wearing a Paulsboro High School t-shirt that is hanging from a rope.

According to the Express-Times, all seven of the wrestlers have been scratched from this weekend's district championships.  Two of the wrestlers were expected to receive #1 seeds.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Texas high school pitcher K's 22 in a game

by Jeff Fisher
Host, NHSCA Sports Hour
Follow @NHSCARadioShow

It took Ferris High School (Texas) pitcher Evan Pontley 97 pitches to strike-out 22 batters earlier this week, while throwing a complete game no-hitter in a game against Mabank.  Not bad, considering there's usually only 21 outs in a seven inning game.

Pontley, according to the Dallas Morning News, was able to get the extra "K" after a dropped third strike.  In fact, after the first inning, the Dallas Morning News reports that Pontley and Ferris trailed 2-0 Mabank High after dropped third strikes and throwing errors.  Ferris eventually fought back, winning 13-3.

Pontley is now third on the all-time list for strikeouts in a game.  Brett Jennings of Lingleville High School in Texas holds the record with 24.  Five pitchers have struck-out 23 in a game, according to the National Federation of High School Associations' record book.  Pontley joins a list ten other pitchers with 22 K's in a game.

Hard to believe, but Jennings set the national record in 1986 in a 6-3 loss.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Kentucky High School Wrestler with Cerebral Palsy wins match on Senior Night

by Jeff Fisher
Host, NHSCA Sports Hour
Follow @NHSCARadioShow

When you spend enough time in high school sports like I have, you come across many great, inspirational stories.

This one out of Kentucky tops them all, because as I watched the video and read the story of Willie Burton of Fairdale High School in Kentucky, I NEED to enjoy these two videos from the Courier-Journal.

To set the stage, Willie Burton has cerebral palsy.  He can't stand up, so he has to crawl on the mat, but that hasn't stopped him from being a wrestler on his high school team for the last four years.

Aside from forfeit victories, until last week's Senior Night, Willie had never won an actual match on the mat.  That all changed when he beat Sydney Smith of Pleasure Ridge Park High School with a 6-4 decision.

Below is video of the entire match.  Even if you aren't a fan of wrestling or if you don't understand the sport, you still need to watch this.

After you watch the video, check-out the story written by Adam Himmelsbach by clicking here.  You can also meet Willie in the video below.