ESPNHS takes a look back at the top storylines from last week, which include a number of spring results of note and a state entertaining the idea of shutting down state playoffs due to financial reasons.
5. Flexing Its Muscle: Bishop Kelley (Tulsa, Okla.) has long dominated the Class 5A ranks in Oklahoma, but this year the program has moved to Class 6A group with the state’s perennial large-school powers. The first major regular-season test for ESPNHS state No. 3 Bishop Kelley ended up being a 2-1 win over state No. 4 Union (Tulsa, Okla.).
4. Quite A Turnaround: Courtney Raetzman scored both goals as Conant (Hoffman Estates, Ill.) edged St. Charles North (St. Charles, Ill.) last week 2-1. The result was significant for nationally ranked Conant since it lost 5-0 the last time it faced St. Charles North.
3. What A Payne: Spain Park (Birmingham, Ala.), the defending state champions, had no answer for Oak Mountain (Birmingham, Ala.) and standout Toni Payne. Payne scored twice and earned a penalty kick en route to Oak Mountain’s 4-0 victory between these Alabama powers. Oak Mountain won an earlier meeting between the teams 3-0.
2. New Kid On The Block: Union Grove (McDonough, Ga.) emerged as a Georgia Class AAAA title threat following this past week’s Brine Tournament of Champions event in Jekyll Island, Ga. Union Grove (7-0-1) defeated Auburn (Ala.) 3-0 and Spain Park (Birmingham, Ala.) 4-1 en route to a 3-0 showing at the event. The score with Spain Park was similar to the results posted by Oak Mountain (Birmingham, Ala.), and the win over Auburn better the performance of nationally ranked St. Pius (Atlanta), which tied Auburn.
1. No State Playoffs? It seems like a long shot of that happening, but New York is kicking around a proposal to halt state playoffs for two years to help ease the financial crunch faced by state athletic budgets.