“We were the most dominant team in the history of Tennessee high school football,” he says, feet kicked up on the desk of his new office, “and it’s not arguable. There’s no argument against what we just accomplished.”
OK, pump the brakes.
While Dilfer’s teams were undoubtedly some of the best in Tennessee, they were at the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association’s D-II AA level.
The state’s most competitive level of play for private schools is D-II AAA, featuring heavyweights Brentwood Academy (a school that has produced athletes like Los Angeles Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey), Briarcrest, Baylor and Montgomery Bell Academy.
Though Lipscomb’s moving up to AAA this fall, it won its two state titles with Dilfer at the AA level. To even vaguely claim any sort of “greatest of all time” status, his teams would’ve needed more wins against AAA competition. To boot, Dilfer’s team actually lost to Brentwood Academy, 29-19, in August 2020.
Dilfer’s team also never defeated Tennessee powerhouse Oakland High School. Stationed in Murfreesboro, Oakland has become the team to beat since coach Kevin Creasy was hired in 2015. If any schools in state history have a fair argument for “most dominant” status, it’d be Creasy’s Oakland teams.
While Dilfer certainly accomplished a lot in his four years, saying his teams were the most dominant in Tennessee history is a stretch. It might not be as outlandish as his take on modern quarterback play, but it’s up there.
Bronny James, the 18-year-old son of NBA superstar LeBron James and his high school squad, Sierra Canyon will meet Notre Dame on Friday.
Bronny James, the 18-year-old son of NBA superstar LeBron James and his high school squad, Sierra Canyon will meet Notre Dame on Friday night from the Pauley Pavilion at UCLA.
Bronny James is a highly-touted four-star combo guard who has been the subject of much attention in college basketball recruitment circles. He has been making waves in the high school basketball scene, and many are excited to see him take the court against Notre Dame.
Tune in tonight and watch Bronny ball in Los Angeles, here is everything you need to know to watch and stream the game.
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But we still do not know what the future holds for James beyond his senior year of high school. James is currently the second-highest-rated recruit (behind only Matas Buzelis) on the 2023 ESPN 100 recruiting database not yet committed to a college.
2023 4⭐️ Bronny James will make his college announcement AFTER the high school season concludes. He will decide between these three schools:
Luca Evans reported that James is expected to make his decision after his season is over, and there are three schools currently considered as the most likely destinations (via LA Times):
“According to a person with knowledge of the situation not authorized to speak publicly, James will make a decision on his college commitment after the season, and his top three schools are Ohio State — his father’s favorite — USC and Oregon. LeBron James, 38, recently doubled down on previous remarks that he wants to finish his NBA career playing with his son.”
All three of these programs are Nike-affiliated universities, which makes sense considering LeBron’s affiliation with the company.
USC would be the closest to home in Los Angeles and where LeBron plays with the Lakers. Ohio State would be an interesting destination considering LeBron’s infatuation with the school. Oregon makes sense given that it is the flagship school for Nike.
The next generation of basketball legends will rock uniforms by New York City-based streetwear designer Eric Emanuel.
The next generation of basketball legends will rock uniforms by New York City-based streetwear designer Eric Emanuel.
For the 45th-annual McDonald’s All-American Game, Emanuel collaborated with adidas to outfit the best high school players in the nation when the tip-off at Chicago’s Wintrust Arena on Tuesday, March 29.
These jerseys are made from one hundred percent recycled materials and are tailored specifically for each athlete’s body for max breathability. They also have an incredibly high coolness factor.
Almost one year ago, Emanuel was able to open his first-ever brick-and-mortar concept store in New York City. The location, which was previously occupied by BAPE’s flagship on 91 Greene Street in SoHo, sits directly next to luxury brands including Louis Vuitton, Dior, and VERSACE.
Last year, when his brand released new clothing, lines often looked what you could expect from a new Supreme drop. After a few months, Emanuel had to introduce a new reservation system to both increase efficiency and calm the crowds.
Emanuel recently caught up with For The Win to discuss his collaboration with adidas and the McDonald’s All-American Game.
This interview has been condensed and edited for clarity.
Gradey Dick, a five-star Kansas commit, enjoyed one of the greatest shooting seasons in high school basketball history.
Gradey Dick was enjoying time with his teammates when they were told a special guest wanted to wish them luck. Suddenly, Celtics forward Jayson Tatum showed up on the screen.
Dick had a lot of other thoughts on his mind already: The high school senior leaves this weekend to play in the McDonald’s All-American Game. Then, he is headed to Florida to play with Sunrise Christian Academy in the GEICO High School Showcase for a chance to call themselves national champions. After that, he leaves from Florida and heads to Portland, Ore. to participate in the NIKE Hoop Summit.
Seeing Tatum’s face appear brought Dick into the present, though. All he could do was listen. He wasn’t exactly sure why Tatum was calling, but he never expected what came next: Tatum was calling to honor him as the Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
“It was literally shocking,” Dick told For The Win. “To talk to a mind like that, with his point of view, is something I never expected to happen this early.”
Dick is a standout sharpshooter for Sunrise Christian, which was recently named the top overall squad on ESPN’s High School Boys’ Basketball Top 25. The 6-foot-7 forward is a five-star recruit who is committed to Kansas for college basketball.
He was chosen as the Gatorade National Boys Basketball Players of the Year winner over more than half a million other student-athletes who play boys basketball nationwide. Dick was chosen by a panel of coaches, scouts, and media not only for his athletic excellence but also academic achievement and exemplary character, according to the award’s website.
Previous winners of the award include the likes of LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. More than two dozen of the winners, including Tatum, went on to become first-round draft picks.
When he presented Dick with the award, and he saw the raw emotion Dick’s team and family experienced, Tatum couldn’t help but think about the “relief” he felt when Penny Hardaway gave him the same honor in 2016.
“Sharing the moment with him, I remembered the excitement I was feeling,” Tatum said. “Being on this side of it is just as cool and I’m happy to do it.”
During his conversation with For The Win, Tatum said that before his senior year of high school at Chaminade College Preparatory School in St. Louis, Mo., he set ambitious goals to win the Missouri state championship and Gatorade National Boy’s Basketball Player of the Year Award.
Tatum reached both of those milestones and now sees a lot of the same determination in Dick.
“He seems really focused. He’s not somebody that seems like they’re going to be complacent, obviously,” Tatum said. “You could tell how excited he was to play at the next level. He talked about [Kansas] coach [Bill] Self and Allen Fieldhouse and the atmosphere. It brought me back. I remember how excited I was to go to college. I’m excited to watch him next year.”
Dick said he didn’t predict any of this, but it is a well-earned honor. He has enjoyed one of the greatest shooting seasons in high school basketball history. He thrives in the pick-and-pop when lifting to the perimeter, he knocks down his catch-and-shoot opportunities, and he can create off the dribble.
Gradey Dick has had one of the greatest shooting seasons in HS history. 18 3PAs per 100 poss in NIBC, he made 45-84 53.6% spot up/pick-n-pop threes, 14-25 56% off screen threes and 19-46 41.3% off the dribble threes.
He led all tournament players in total 3-pointers made at the Montverde Academy Invitational in 2021, per Cerebro Sports. He was then the scoring leader at The La Porte Invitational in 2022, averaging 21.7 points per game.
Tatum saw Dick play in person earlier this year when he traveled to Springfield College to watch the Hoophall Classic. If his schedule had allowed it, Tatum said that he would also love to watch Dick play in the GEICO High School Showcase.
“I think it’s my duty,” Tatum explained. “Being in high school, when professional NBA players used to come back and watch games and watch me play, I know how that made me feel and I know how excited I was. I remember it was like a visual. There is somebody who is where I want to get to. It’s like motivation. So now that I’m in a position to go back and to watch high school players in tournaments that I’ve played in, I feel like it’s only right.”
Last year, Dick’s Sunrise Christian made it all the way to the finals in the GEICO tournament. However, they finished as the runner-up, falling 62-52 to Montverde Academy.
Last year, Sunrise Christian was led by two top-15 recruits in Kennedy Chandler (Tennessee) and Kendall Brown (Baylor).
Dick was able to learn how to make an impact even without the ball in his hands, and he was able to thrive as an off-ball movement shooter by navigating screens. This season, however, he has become more of a focal point.
“I had to come up with a bigger role and be the leader of this team and just get our guys going,” Dick said. “I don’t know if even we or a lot of the other people in the country expected us to kind of be where we are at the start of the season.”
Of course, with the Gatorade National Boys Basketball Player of the Year in his possession and with his sights set on finishing up his illustrious high school career at Sunrise Christian, Dick still makes the time to watch Kansas play in March Madness.
The Jayhawks won the Big 12 Conference Tournament, then defeated Texas Southern and Creighton during the opening weekend of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. They will face Providence in the Sweet 16 on March 25.
“It’s crazy!” Dick added. “I love seeing the team that I’m going to play for in the future, literally next year, keep dancing to the Sweet 16. Seeing how they bond on and off the court is what excites me the most.”
A field goal with 1:05 left got it to 24-10. A recovered onside kick led to a touchdown with 29 seconds left and an extra point got it to 24-17. ANOTHER onside recovery and an incredible 22-yard touchdown with eight seconds left got the score to 24-23.
Then? A two-point conversion with a quarterback run while avoiding a tackle. Bishop Gorman couldn’t do anything with the subsequent throw and lateral, and … just wow.
One the craziest finishes you'll ever see…
Hamilton HS erased a 24-7 deficit with 1:10 left to play.
The details surrounding this Bishop Sycamore story are wild.
It’s been a little over 24 hours since Bishop Sycamore and its mysterious football team got surprise airtime on ESPN against the best high school football team in the country. Since then, this saga has gotten far weirder and wildly sinister than anyone could have predicted.
To catch you up, ESPN aired their final game of the GEICO ESPN High School Kickoff Sunday to usher in the start of high school football. In the game, high school powerhouse IMG Academy faced off against the mysteriously unknown Ohio school Bishop Sycamore to the tune of a 58-0 drubbing. Nothing seemed off until ESPN’s commentators called out Bishop Sycamore and their lack of transparency regarding… everything about them as a school.
In the end, it turned out Bishop Sycamore lied about having D1 prospects and falsified player names on their roster. And yet, they made it onto ESPN’s national broadcast on Sunday — after playing a game less than 48 hours prior!! — due to an apparent lack of fact-checking on Bishop Sycamore’s sketchy past and easily discoverable 0-6 record from last season.
Somehow, somehow, this is just the tip of the iceberg with this story. According to reports from Awful Announcing and The Columbus Dispatch, we know a lot more about Bishop Sycamore, how ESPN got duped, and the circumstances that surround this entire saga.
You’re not the only one who hasn’t heard of Bishop Sycamore’s football program.
Well, this is a goof ESPN will be thinking about for some time.
In the midst of college football and the NFL ramping up, it’s also time for good old high school football! For the last few days, ESPN has been airing seven high school football games as part of their GEICO ESPN High School Kickoff, with the last game of the weekend slated to be high school powerhouse IMG Academy’s second game of the season.
IMG Academy’s opponent? A small school named Bishop Sycamore, an online charter school from Ohio. If that school doesn’t ring any bells, you’re not alone here. And yet, Bishop Sycamore played IMG Academy — likely the No. 1 high school team in the country — on ESPN’s main channel on Sunday, and were destroyed 58-0.
How did we get to this point, you ask? Well apparently, Bishop Sycamore lied its way into this game by stating they had D1 prospects (they don’t) and naming players who don’t even go to the school in their press release.
ESPN’s broadcast of the game, meanwhile, scrambled to fill air time during IMG Academy’s drubbing of a vastly inferior opponent.
This is what happens when ESPN gets duped into airing a high school football game between the most talented team in the country and an online charter school nobody has heard of, went 0-6 last year, and lied about its roster to get on TV. pic.twitter.com/QUwM8BQKiY
The broadcasters also mentioned their attempts to verify Bishop Sycamore’s story, but could not come up with anything, and ultimately were concerned for the “health and safety” of the players involved… midway through the second quarter.
It’s hard to imagine how we even got here in the first place. A quick Google search will bring up Bishop Sycamore’s 0-6 record from last year, and IMG Academy cleaned their clock 56-6 in their last meeting too. Plus, Bishop Sycamore has only been around for two seasons to this point, casting even more doubt about their claims of reeling in D1 prospects.
Twitter, of course, was just as confused as to why the country’s best high school team was playing a school no one had heard of before.
Bishop Sycamore went 0-6 last season and were outscored 227-42.
Interesting situation on ESPN. ESPN has obviously been fooled into broadcasting a HS football game between IMG and an overmatched online charter school in Ohio called Sycamore Bishop. Embarrassing to watch and someone is going to get hurt. #ESPN
The IMG v Bishop Sycamore game on ESPN is something else 😩 the commentators said Bishop Sycamore essentially lied about having D1 recruits 🤣🤣🤣 they said they need to stop the game and it’s in the 2 quarter
Dear Football, Bishop Sycamore is not an accurate representation of Ohio HS football. It’s not an OHSAA member. There’s far superior schools that could really and truly represent us here in the great state of Ohio. Sorry this game is on ESPN.
Oh, and apparently Bishop Sycamore also played a game on Friday night, less than 48 hours before taking on IMG Academy, endangering the health and safety of their players even more.
Just how this got past ESPN is quite unfathomable, honestly. A thorough Google search would have told them all they needed to know that Bishop Sycamore wasn’t a legitimate program to face IMG Academy.
Part of me wants to give props to Bishop Sycamore for duping ESPN and getting their school on national television, but the injury risk to their players in a meaningless game of football was not worth it in the slightest.
This is the “Two-A-Days” follow-up we’ve all been waiting for.
Editor’s note: Spoilers ahead.
At the end of Episode 4 of the new Netflix series Titletown High, out today, the head football coach at Valdosta High School calls his quarterback into a meeting. The player’s mother enters the room seconds later.
The Wildcats have won two games in a row without giving up a point to move to 3-3 on the season. A string of wins, the coach knows, will be enough to push the team into the playoffs — maybe even with home-field advantage.
“Now we know going forward where you are,” the coach begins. “You’re the guy that’s either going to lead us (to) being successful or not being successful. You know, I think you’ve persevered through some things, and I think that’s a good thing.
“What I’m here to talk to you about, and why I wanted your mama to hear this, is that I am concerned, with the type of kid you are, with this girlfriend situation. And, mom, it’s not a good situation.
“You cannot be my quarterback and continue down this path.”
The episode ends with the quarterback staring blankly.
It is unclear whether Amari Jones, the charismatic and quickly maturing junior, knows how bizarre this conversation really is. The head coach speaking to him is Rush Propst, who rose to fame while leading Hoover High and appearing on the MTV hit Two-A-Days 15 years ago.
Propst would leave that job, and the dynasty he built, amid the revelation that he **had an entire second family.** (He was also accused of having an affair with an administrator who was involved in changing players’ grades; he’s denied that.)
Maybe Propst has learned from experience that relationships can be a distraction. Or maybe it’s just old-school football-man manipulation. You can’t ever really tell, which is how it generally goes with Propst, who manages to be both remarkably direct while forever appearing to have a secret he might but probably will not share.
At heart, Titletown High is in so many ways a follow-up to Two-A-Days. It gives executive producer Jason Sciavicco a chance to revisit the project that propelled his career at age 24 and made Propst the most famous high school coach in the country. Here, 15 years later, is a study in how time changed it all: reality television, high school kids, a cantankerous football coach.
Whether it can replicate the success — Two-A-Days was at one point MTV’s most popular show and helped spawn a wave of embedded-with-the-team documentary series — is impossible to guess. The formula feels well-worn at this point (Netflix has had Last Chance Useasons in previous summers) and it’s hardly novel to have high school kids express themselves on video; they’re filming themselves a lot of the time, anyway.
But if you give the show a chance — just get past the initial wave of remembering how cloying it can be to be in high school — you’ll find a warm, big-hearted look at growing up today. And of playing football in yet another place where football matters too much to the adults who generally manage to cause most of the problems.
Sciavicco, who would go on to produce a searing look at youth football called Friday Night Tykes and then embed for seasons with Notre Dame and Florida State, always had the idea of catching up with Propst in the back of his mind. Then Propst landed at the winningest high school program in the country.
“Seemed like the right time,” Sciavicco says.
The Wildcats have won 24 Georgia state titles but only one this century and while all the pressure of being a dominant program exists in town, the elements that actually make up such a program are, according to Propst, lacking. He puts the team through a fevered preseason — he runs his offenses at breakneck pace — while simultaneously telling his players outright that 1) the program is broken and 2) nevertheless, their goal should be a state title.
Titletown High is ultimately a show about the kids, though. One of them, quarterback Jake Garcia, is the quintessential grown-up-too-fast elite athlete: A USC-commit (who ultimately signed with Miami), he has moved to town because California canceled football due to Covid-19. He’s eventually ruled ineligible and leaves the team.
Grayson Leavy, meanwhile, is a sophomore defensive end who vacillates between two girls … but also between profound realizations and ridiculous justifications as he figures himself out.
Jones’ mother encourages him to focus on football and school and not date, yet he can’t resist Morgan Miller, a fiercely passionate classmate determined to draw him out from the shelter of books and the huddle.
Sciavicco gives us an immersive look at life for the students as the coronavirus pandemic swirls. They live so much of it on their phones, a source of frustration for Propst. “The thing they’ve lost is that ability to be one-on-one, that personal interaction, because they don’t have to do it,” he tells me. “You sit down with them, and you have to dig things out of them.”
Yet they hardly shy from having intimate conversations in front of the camera. “They’re remarkably open, and they adjust to it so quickly,” Sciavicco says.
Propst remains an anti-Ted Lasso character. Sure, he wears a visor, deploys a disarming Southern drawl and can — will — talk to anyone. He’s more slight now — he was bed-ridden and had suicidal thoughts while fighting cancer a few years after leaving Hoover — and his hair has gone white. He looks less bombastic, more grandfatherly, and, though he tells me that he regrets how brash and surly he seemed in Two-A-Days, he is much the same coach on film now, constantly belittling and challenging his players in hopes that they will rise to his challenges.
They mostly do, as they usually have for him, and Valdosta appears to be on the cusp of regaining its rightful place in Georgia high school football. Among many of his players, Propst is a revered figure; they gather at his house to eat and study, and he speaks proudly of the players headed to college on scholarship.
Now Propst is out of football again, and Valdosta is, for the first time in the school’s history, ineligible for the playoffs. Propst has moved back to Alabama, not far from where he was raised, and is focused on being a dad.
“I’ve spent so much time raising up other kids,” he says, “that maybe my kids have been cheated a little bit.”
He reckons he’ll coach again someday, and says that the whole story about what happened at Valdosta will come out eventually. “It has always taken time for the truth to come out,” he says.
The truth about his other family at Hoover is this: He eventually divorced his first wife, Tammy, to marry his girlfriend Stefnie. She’s the other woman present for the meeting where Amari is told he needs to breakup with Morgan.
They have three kids, all born while Propst was at Hoover and hiding his relationship; the oldest is a junior in high school. A wide receiver, like his dad was. In one scene of Titletown High’s last episode, Propst has to tell them that his world, and therefore theirs, has been upended by scandal again. Sciavicco has made a career out of filming raw moments like this and even he felt like he was intruding on that moment.
I ask Propst why controversy has followed him, and he says it’s a mix of his success, his personality and his mistakes. He talks about learning from the past, about having Sciavicco film almost every second of his life and condense it into a cohesive, coherent narrative. He hasn’t seen Titletown High yet. He’s anxious to know what others will think. He’s anxious to know what he will think.
“Jason knows me better than I do,” he says. “But I remember a time, at Hoover, when we’d been to four state title games in a row, won three of four, and we’re on the bus back and, no lie, we had a staff meeting before we even went out to celebrate. We had to plan what to do next.
“I don’t think that’s who I am now. But, that monster’s still flourishing at Hoover, so, I don’t know.”
Everyone loves fun, wholesome sports content, right? This latest delightful moment is thanks to a super speedy dog, who interrupted a Utah high school track meet in spectacular fashion.
During the final leg of a 4×200 meter relay heat on Saturday, runner Gracie Laney, from Logan High School in northern Utah, was anchoring for her team, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. She had a comfortable lead as she went into the final straightaway, and if she was going to get caught before finishing, she probably didn’t expect to get caught by a dog.
That dog’s name is Holly, according to The Sacramento Bee. And mid-race, she got loose from her humans and hit the track, technically finishing ahead of Laney after running 100 meters in about 10.5 seconds.
“I’d say probably about the 50-meters [mark], I could feel something coming on me, and I thought it was a person. I thought it was the runner,” Laney said. “And then I kind of realized that it was really small.”
Laney and Logan High School obviously got the actual credit for winning the race, but that was still an awfully impressive performance on Holly’s part. And luckily for everyone involved, nothing bad happened after Holly (surely unintentionally) cut off Laney at the very end.
As The Sacramento Bee noted, Laney also commented on the video posted on Instagram, writing: