On Tuesday, the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association board approved having staff move forward on bringing esports to high schools.
NIAA executive director Bart Thompson said he has been approached by a couple different technology companies interested in bringing esports (video games) to Nevada.
Thompson said the companies would be in charge of most facets of esports. He said students would pay a fee, likely around $50, to be on their high school team. A portion of that fee would go to the NIAA with the technology company getting the rest.
He said esports do not require travel and they could bring a lot of revenue to the NIAA. A state championship would be held in a central location.
Thompson said the technology companies have said they would build computer labs for the participating high schools.
That disqualification in the 200-yard medley relay in the first race of the Arizona Division I state swimming and diving championships in early November ended up not crushing the Chaparral High School (Scottsdale, Arizona) girls’ national championship dream.
On Tuesday, they found out they were named the national public schools champs by the National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association for the 2018-19 academic year.
Chaparral ended up ranked No. 1 in the country with 6,376 points. Carmel (Indiana) was second at 6,348 points and Fairview (Boulder, Colorado) third at 6,113.
Because states compete in different seasons, the computer-generated final rankings weren’t released until now.
Arizona’s swimming-and-diving season runs in the fall.
Chaparral, led by Arizona Republic Female Swimmer of the Year Ashley Strouse and 100 butterfly record holder Greer Pattison, won the state championship with 477.5 points with Phoenix Xavier Prep second at 301.
Strouse, who will be a junior, and Pattison both won two individual state titles. Strouse broke her own state record in the 200 freestyle at 1 minute, 45.44 seconds and was first in the 500 at 4:48.70.
Chaparral coach Richie Krzyzanowski called the national championship an “unbelievable accomplishment.”
“It is an accomplishment that is so deserving to all the girls, because of their hard work in and out of the pool, their commitment to push each other in practices and meets, as well with being a team by appreciating not only their individual accomplishments but each other’s accomplishments,” Krzyzanowski said. “They are one heck of a group of girls that I have enjoyed coaching and getting to know last year but throughout their years at Chaparral.”
Chaparral High School swimmer Greer Pattison practices with the team at Cactus Aquatics and Fitness Center, Wednesday, October 31, 2018. (Photo: Tom Tingle/The Republic)
Krzyzanowski continued: “We couldn’t do this without everyone putting in their absolute best effort every time they jumped into the pool, the boys team support, as well with the parent/family support throughout the season, school support, and the great dynamic my assistant coach Russell Krzyzanowski (Richie’s brother) and I have. It’s hard to put words to this. It’s unbelievable.”
Chaparral’s girls and boys teams had a combined national ranking of No. 2 by NISCA and the boys team, led by The Republic‘s Male Swimmer of the Year, Matthew Leblanc finished ranked No. 9 in the country.
During that time, many teams are wrapping up the offseason and preparing for the first game of the year in the heat of the summer. Some teams do begin the regular season in late August.
The intensity of the conditioning sessions were “associated with overexertion or punishment drills,” the AOSSM news release stated.
The study found 187 non-traumatic fatalities during that two-decade stretch.
Fifty-two percent of the deaths were due to cardiac issues, 24% were heat-related and five percent were caused by asthma, according to the study.
The study found three commonalities between all the deaths:
The conditioning sessions were supervised by a coach; workouts were “irrationally intense,” as the release described; and the medical response was not adequate.
While the number of traumatic injuries has decreased since the 1960s, the yearly rate of non-traumatic deaths has remained constant — and is currently two to three times higher than the rate of traumatic deaths, according to the study.
With that said, the number of non-traumatic football deaths in the NCAA has decreased since 2010, when the organization implemented policies regarding sickle cell trait screening.
Sickle cell trait can cause illness and sometimes death due to extreme exertion, according to Hematology. The blood disorder is also more prevalent in some specific ethnicities. For instance, eight to 10 percent of African Americans have the disorder, according to the site.
Since the NCAA guidelines were put into place, the number of sickle cell trait deaths has decreased by 58%, according to the AOSSM study.
Without the sickle cell policies in high school, fatalities have increased 400% since 2010.
“Similar guidelines should be mandated at the high school level,” the AOSSM news release stated.
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. – This time last year, Tyrese Maxey had been committed to Kentucky for two months and turned into one of the top recruiters in the country, trying to sell his fellow elite recruits on playing in Lexington, Ky.
“I’ve talked to him and texted him a couple times,” Maxey said of Cunningham. “We’ve got the Texas connection so I’m just trying to get him to come down here and take this visit. I know Coach Cal will take care of him here.”
The good news for Maxey is that the Wildcats are very much in contention for Cunningham, who released his top 10 schools (Texas, Duke, North Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas, Washington, Memphis, Oklahoma State, Florida, Virginia.) via his USA Today blog in May.
Cunningham has been dominant all summer, leading the Texas Titans to an 11-2 Nike EYBL regular season record, averaging 25.1 points, 6.6 rebounds and 5.2 assists a game.
“Coach Cal loves versatile players and he’s a 6-7 point guard, but he can play 1-4,” Maxey said. “That’s what makes him such a great player because you can’t really stop him because he hurts you in so many ways. I’ve gotta get him. He’s my No. 1 target in 2020.”
KENNESAW, Ga. — Jalen Suggs didn’t play in Grassroots Sizzle’s final game Sunday at the Under Armour Association Finals. It was a consolation game, so he and a couple other starters sat to let their teammates get more minutes.
Those five schools have started to separate from the pack in Suggs’ recruitment, with Juwan Howard and Michigan also making a late push.
After Sunday’s game, Suggs broke down the latest in his recruitment with the Register, including thoughts on his top schools and which programs he wants to visit.
How are things developing with Michigan?
“Juwan Howard, when he got the job, he hit me up. He was straightforward. He told me that he understands that it’s late in my recruitment, and that he wishes he got the job earlier so we could have started a relationship sooner, but he’d be kicking himself if he didn’t reach out to me. Ever since then, we’ve had a couple good conversations — he’s real cool, gave me good advice.
“Whenever I’ve needed to ask him something, he’s been there whenever I reach out to him. He’s just cool people. That’s one of the parts that I really like about him — he doesn’t really act too much like a coach trying to get a player. He’s really just trying to get to know me, be cool with me, and that’s a big part for me in the process.
“He’s got the experience on where I want to get to. So, like I said, it’s nothing but positive. That’s my guy. So I’m going to continue to build that relationship and we’ll see where everything plays out.”
Five-star combo guard Jalen Suggs awaits a free throw during the Under Armour Association Session II in Kansas City. (Photo: Matthew Bain/The Register)
What’s the latest with Gonzaga?
“We still talk to the coaching staff every day. I still talk to (2020 recruits Dominick Harris and Julian Strawther) every day. I’ve gotten to know a lot of the overseas guys who are coming in in our class, since they were all at the U-19 World Cup, and I got to meet a lot of cool people. It’s still the same impression from when I first started talking to them and when I took my visit. You don’t like Gonzaga; you love it. From meeting all the alumni and talking to the coaching staff, it’s just nothing but positivity on my side.”
What’s the latest with Marquette?
“When they came in for the in-home visit, they really ran down the plan of what it’s going to look like for me. They really just kind of relayed it to (Marquette star) Markus Howard — you got players around you, but ultimately you’re the guy to go to. And he told me, ‘We’re missing that one, big, five-star to really put it all together.’ And one thing that he said to me that really stuck with me, kind of hit home, was that I remind him of (former NBA superstar and Marquette product) Dwyane Wade and the type of impact I could have on that program. That hit home. I appreciate that so much — that’s an honor to get that kind of comparison.”
What’s the latest with Iowa?
“They’ve always been there. They’re one of the first schools that offered me, that recruited me. I’m close with Coach (Fran) McCaffery. Obviously, Coach (Andrew) Francis left (for California), but he made a great impression on me. I know all of McCaffery’s sons, I know a lot of players on the team. I’ve got a lot of people down there. Iowa just has the perfect family feel. When you go down there and you’re looking for a family environment, that’s it. They’re still in it. I’ve had good talks with them. McCaffery came for an in-home visit, and we had a great conversation.”
“A real family feel. I love what they’ve done. I watch Tyrese Haliburton — that’s one of my best friends, we’re really close. To see what he’s done down there, to see with a couple of scorers that have gone down there have been able to do, it’s good for me to see. I’m real close with Coach Prohm. He’s good people, he talks to me and my family all the time. They’re in the same boat.”
What’s the latest with Minnesota?
“That’s home. I’m starting to grow real close with Coach (Rob) Jeter. And Coach (Richard) Pitino, we’ve been talking a lot more recently. I went up to practice. I’m sure I’m going to be up at games a lot now that my cousin is there, Tre Williams. They’ve still got that freshman class from last year with Daniel (Oturu), Jarvis (Omersa) and Gabe (Kalscheur). They’re exciting. I think all arrows are pointing in the right direction for them. I love seeing where the program is going, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”
Any visits on the schedule?
“None on the schedule. But, like I said, it’s just waiting until I get some free time. It’s a real busy time in the year for me. So I’m going to finish this out, have fun with it, finish my AAU season and then go from there.”
Are there any visits you know you want to take?
“I’m going to go to Gonzaga for sure. Get down to Marquette. Minnesota, that’s close to home so I can go there whenever. And then Iowa State, I want to get down to for sure.”
Suggs added that he could also use his two other senior-year official visits and more unofficial visits. Nothing is set in stone right now.
Are you open to new interest?
“I’m still open to it, but it’s getting to that point where, if you haven’t really come, it’s kind of a little bit too late. I know all the people I need to know. And if they’ve had interest in me, they’ve had all the time in the world to kind of commit and talk to me to show that. So right now I’m focusing on the schools that have prioritized me.”
Salpointe Catholic (Tucson, Arizona) safety Lathan Ransom, a four-star football recruit, announced through a video on social media Tuesday afternoon that he has committed to Ohio State.
Ransom, 6-foot-1, 195 pounds, is considered the top 2020 safety in the West. He will be joining Scottsdale Chaparral senior quarterback Jack Miller to Columbus next year. Miller, rated among the top quarterbacks in the country who reached the Elite 11 in Texas, committed to the Buckeyes before his junior season.
There is a chance that Ohio State could ultimately wind up with the Big Four out of the 2020 class in Arizona if Ransom’s teammate, running back Bijan Robinson, and Scottsdale Saguaro cornerback Kelee Ringo end up committing to Ohio State.
Ransom, who made The Arizona Republic’s All-Arizona team as a junior, had 82 tackles, two sacks, six interceptions and eight pass deflections last season when the Lancers went 13-1, losing their only game to Saguaro in the 4A final.
Salpointe coach Dennis Bene sees Ransom making a huge impact in college.
“He is just a terrific combination of size and athleticism,” Bene said. “But as important are his attitude and work ethic. The great ones are unrelenting in their pursuit.
“Simply put, Lathan possesses those qualities. Ohio State is getting an absolute gem. Truly one of the best in America.”
Justin Lett, who was found dead from gunshot wounds in a Birmingham, Alabama alley in May 2018, will be remembered as a loving, caring, family guy during a football game on Sept. 20 when Valley Christian (Chandler, Arizona) will honor his memory with the start of an annual scholarship.
A $1,000 merit-based scholarship will be established in partnership with Lett’s family and will go to one student each year.
Lett, who was 28 when he died, played on Valley Christian’s 2005 state championship football team. He graduated from Valley Christian in 2007 and was a top receiver on the 2006 team.
At the Sept. 20 game, Valley Christian will also recognize the 2005 and 2009 state championship football teams.
In a statement sent to The Arizona Republic by Bryan Winfrey, director of communication and marketing at the school, said the Lett family has been working closely with Valley Christian to honor Justin and his “love for God, people, and the gift that is life.”
“With great faith and steadfast commitment, Justin loved his Lord, family, and friends mightily, holding each special relationship firmly within his heart,” Winfrey, a 2004 Valley Christian graduate, wrote in an email. “He was forever proud of his VCHS family and the many wonderful people that he shared life with. Therefore, in partnership with the Lett family, we are humbled to announce the establishment of the Justin Kyle Lett Dream Then Do, in the Name of the Lord Memorial Scholarship.”
“This fund provides a merit-based scholarship to one VCHS student who exemplifies the same values that Justin lived out: high integrity, hard-working, academically-driven, well-rounded, and a spirit of ‘Dream Then Do, in the Name of the Lord.’ The first $1,000 scholarship will be given out this fall to a deserving student, and this scholarship will be awarded every year for as long as VCHS exists.”
According to an AL.com story in February, Lett’s killer still hadn’t been found.
USA TODAY High School Sports has a weekly column on the college recruiting process. Here, you’ll find practical tips and real-world advice on becoming a better recruit to maximize your opportunities and play at the college level. Jason Smith is a former NCAA DIII athlete and college coach at all three division levels. Jason is just one of many former college and professional athletes, college coaches and parents who are part of the Next College Student Athlete team. Their knowledge, experience and dedication, along with NCSA’s history of digital innovation and long-standing relationship with the college coaching community, have made NCSA the largest and most successful athletic recruiting network in the country.
As an athlete, what you put in your body has a tremendous impact on your athletic performance. Your nutrition can either help you reach the next level, or it can hold your development back and hurt you over the course of a season. College athletic programs are well aware of this and in 2014, the NCAA changed its rules to allow Division I colleges to provide their student-athletes (whether on scholarship or not) with unlimited meals and snacks. These days, not every college program has a budget to provide unlimited meals, but some programs do and even go the extra mile by investing in specialty athletic nutrition facilities that aim to give athletes the extra edge. Take a peek at some of the best around.
Sports & Nutrition Facility
The University of Alabama has invested $14 million into building a state-of-the-art, 25,000-square-foot, bi-level Sports and Nutrition facility. Inside, athletes can find five chefs, four dietitians, a smoothie bar and plenty of tasty food. It’s another reason why Alabama football is a perennial contender for the national championship.
25,000 sq ft
Fuel Center & Smoothie Bar
5 Performance Chefs & 4 Dietitians
Uptstairs Patio Dining Overlooking Practice Fields
50+ HD TVs
Also known as the BANC, the Beauchamp Athletics Nutrition Center is a two-story, 12,100-square-foot facility that was completed in 2015. It serves Baylor’s 550 student-athletes and sits beside the water, overlooking the Brazos River. The nutrition center features a stocked fuel station, outdoor terrace, upstairs lounge and a dining hall that seats 160 people.
The University of Texas has one of the largest athletics programs in the country, so it’s no surprise that they’ve also invested in athlete nutrition with the Texas Athletics Nutrition Center, also known as TANC.
VIDEO: Take a tour of the new Texas Athletics Nutrition Center (TANC) which fuels our Longhorns athletes each day! https://t.co/cI9h7ICO95
Long Beach State University has around 350 student-athletes and you bet they get hungry. That’s why it opened a permanent nutrition center located adjacent to its Long Beach State Strength and Conditioning Center so that athletes can stay fueled up and ready to perform at their best.
Supporting nearly 350 student-athletes, the Long Beach State Nutrition Center will be seeing improvements in the coming months. #GoBeachhttps://t.co/4UBmBlreIc
Opened in the fall of 2014 and built at a cost of $6.6 million, the Auburn University Wellness Kitchen gives student-athletes nutritious meals, while also helping with injury prevention and immune support. Student-athletes can take advantage of a salad bar, hot line, smoothie station, carving station and pizza oven.
Auburn Wellness Kitchen - YouTube
University of Nebraska
Lewis Training Table
Grilled shrimp? Crab? Fresh fruit? Rib roast? Carb station? The eating is good at the University of Nebraska’s Lewis Training Table, which transitioned to an athletes-only facility in 2018.
Nebraska Athletic Lewis Training Table - YouTube
Slocum Nutrition Center
Built for a cool $12 million, the Slocum Nutrition Center is a state-of-the-art dining facility that also serves as the hub for Aggie athletics. Visitors enjoy a pasta station, full salad bar, grilled options, smoothies and interactive culinary nutrition education.
And we know that the challenges, conflicts and commitments sports provide can build mental toughness and character. But how much stress is too much stress? And at what point is it unhealthy — even traumatic?
Rats and depression
In 1967, Martin Seligman, a psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, started some unique research on depression. Seligman and his colleagues created an experiment in which two rats were housed in bordering cages.
In cage one, when the rat pressed a lever for food, it was given an electric shock first. The rat in cage two got food by pressing the bar just like the rat in the first cage; however, the rat in cage two got shocked only when the rat in cage one pressed the lever.
The rat in cage one experienced stress, but over time, it became tolerant as it recognized that it still got food after the shock. Knowing the shock was coming when it pressed the lever allowed the rat in cage one to still hold onto some level of control.
The rat in cage two experienced stress but had no control over or idea of when it would be shocked. The rat in cage two became sensitized to the stress, not tolerant of it.
After running these tests, they found that the rat in cage one actually experienced some health benefits, while the rat in cage two experienced a weakened immune system, weight loss, and was nearly three times more susceptible to cancer.
Seligman and his team tried to reverse the changes by giving the rat in cage two its control back, but it was too late; it was too afraid to learn how to help itself.
People can have a similar depression and submission in reaction to stress and pain. Seligman used his observations on the rats in his study to form links between depression and uncontrollable stressful events that we experience as children. This became the foundation of his groundbreaking theory of learned helplessness.
The theory is based on the idea that we can predict and have some element of control over stress in our life, our stress decreases, and our tolerance increases. But when we experience pain and stress and feel that there is no way to escape it, we feel helpless, and our stress becomes trauma.
I’ve heard the distinction between stress and trauma best explained by Dr. Bruce Perry and Maia Szalavitz in their book, The Boy Who Was Raised as a Dog:
“Resilient children are made, not born. The developing brain is most malleable and most sensitive to experience — both good and bad — early in life. Children become resilient as a result of the patterns of stress and of nurturing that they experience early on in life. Consequently, we are also rapidly and easily transformed by trauma when we are young. Though its effects may not always be visible to the untrained eye, when you know what trauma can do to children, sadly, you begin to see its aftermath everywhere.”
As a high school athlete, I struggled through four years of being coached by a man whose treatment of some players was emotionally abusive. He had good intentions, but multiple players sought psychological counseling for similar issues related to their experience with him. While some athletes did OK in that environment, I struggled with depression and suicidal thoughts. Our coach created stress that I wasn’t ready to handle. I’ve since come out the other side and believe I am stronger for it, so it’s debatable whether my parents should have pulled me from the team.
Now, whether it’s bad coaching, bullying teammates, or toxic team culture, nearly every parent is tempted at some stage to pull their kid off the team. As parents, it can be hard for us to see them struggle with the many challenges that sports present. We know the stress that these struggles create can be healthy and build character. But at some stage, these struggles can become unhealthy and harmful, with long-term negative consequences. So, how do we know when enough is enough?
As Seligman and others have shown, we can train our brains to deal with stress from an early age. However, not every athlete develops similar strength, speed, or skills in their sport; likewise, not every athlete develops similar tolerance for stress. What is traumatic for one child may only be stressful for another. If you’ve got more than one kid, you definitely know this to be true from an early age!
So, not only should their “struggle be age-appropriate,” as Heath Eslinger says on the Coaching Culture Podcast Episode 90, but their struggle should also be child-appropriate.
This is why a parent is most likely the best person to decide what is appropriate and manageable stress for their child. It can be valuable to seek the opinion of others, but only you know your child best.
The challenges and struggles that athletes face in sports are so wide, and every person and their circumstance is unique. So, the best I can do is give you four questions to ask yourself as you decide whether or not to pull your child from the team.
What’s really going on?
Often, our children are unable or afraid to communicate what’s really going on. In my own athletic experience, I never spoke to my parents about what was really going on in closed practices and locker-room talks. Do some fact-finding before you make your decision.
What are my child’s options, and do they know they have them?
Remember the critical difference between the two cages of rats: One group had a choice and the other didn’t. Often, kids feel like they don’t have a choice. As an athlete, I played basketball all my life; I didn’t want to give up on my dream, so I didn’t feel like I had any other option than to just keep playing.
What previous struggles have they experienced that will prepare them for this one?
We want to prepare them for the road, not the other way around. But have we allowed them to experience other struggles before this? And if so, how have they responded to them?
How can I support them through their struggle?
If you decide your child should remain on the team, you’ll need to determine what type of support is both appropriate and healthy. If your child leaves the sport, you’ll need to help them find new areas of life that will challenge them.
I’d love to hear more about your challenge. Shoot me an email at email@example.com
Also, if you are interested in bringing our Healthy Sports Parenting Workshop or Coaching Culture Workshop to your organization, you can learn more here!
Recruiting has long been about more than just a players commitment. For more than two decades, intrepid reporters break a sweat tracking down top high school seniors’ every thought and whim, delivering updates and full-blown tea leaf analysis about whether a player’s future destination could be deciphered by their apparel at a recent high school scrimmage.
Somewhere along the line, players began making formal announcements not only of their college choice but of each cull of schools along the way. It has become traditional for a player to announce his top-five contenders in a Tweet or an interview with a media outlet, adding more ceremony to a decision which has become steadily more elongated year after year.
If you’re wondering how many college programs a prospect could cut if they’re still considering 15, the answer is seven. That’s right, seven. Brooks is still considering more than twice as many programs as he has officially eliminated.
He even hashtagged the Tweet #RESPECT MY DECISION. What decision?
None of this is to say that there’s anything wrong with Brooks. He’s just giving the people what they want. A top-25 national prospect in 247Sports’ composite rankings, the Handley High School (Roanoke, Ala.) star is a product of his environment. And his environment is focused on rewarding all who provide elaborate recruiting updates with more attention than those who don’t.
Thus, we end up with a recruiting “cut” to 15 schools. Wherever Brooks does end up, his talent is suck that he could emerge as a true difference maker early in his collegiate career. We just may not find out where that career will unfold for a longer period than one might expect when hearing that a recruit cut down his list of schools.