With 2011 firmly in the rearview, the high school sports focus turns to 2012. It should be equally compelling. While familiar faces will remain relevant, plenty of new ones should jump onto the national radar. Here are 10 storylines to watch.
This much is clear: Following a bevy of coaching changes, the landscape has drastically changed. Ohio State has added Noah Spence, Tommy Schutt and Se'Von Pittman since Urban Meyer's hire in November, while Pitt is danger of losing a bevy of top recruits following Todd Graham's abrupt departure. It should add up to a wild -- and largely unpredictable -- Feb. 1.
The numbers don't lie: The junior trio accounted for a combined 6,638 yards and 74 touchdowns, scoring at least twice in all of Trinity's games. Given another nationally demanding schedule (Trinity defeated five out-of-state foes in '11), and the 'Rocks stand a rare legitimate chance at a repeat.
It was a long way from happening, with both the Kentucky and New Jersey governing bodies promptly denying the request. But Pandora's Box was opened. Expect follow-up bids -- and increased pressure to make them a reality.
The best indicator of the game's growing popularity? Attendance. More than 43,000 fans witnessed the Texas 4A Division 2 final on Dec. 17 -- besting the total from this year's first eight college bowl games. Look for those numbers to grow in 2012.
His next goal? Accomplishing what Johnathan Gray couldn't. Entering his senior year, Taylor is a mere 1,702 yards shy of the untouchable national rushing record (11,232 yards) set by Sugar Land's (Texas) Ken Hall in 1953.
Winston's not the only player in a two-way predicament. Petal (Miss.) quarterback Anthony Alford also boasts both skills, and holds offers to Alabama, LSU and South Carolina, among others. As both rise to prominence, the question becomes: In which sport?
Their additions would transform UCLA into a Final Four threat, rivaling this year's Kentucky bunch as the best haul in recent memory. And it's a distinct possibility. "I think we'll get them," Adams told
Turns out, they can coach, too.
The Blackhawks' response showed unparalleled toughness. They won the next three games in Leonard's honor, and