NEWS: Unlike the marathon-length winter season, which runs from late October to early April, the spring high school season is more of a sprint.
This week, teams in Georgia start postseason play already.
South Carolina and other southern states will be soon to follow, and within a monthalmost everyone is finished.
The reason that takes on added importance now is how the teams are positioned in late April sets up a pecking order in the race for No. 1. Consider the following on the boys side: No. 1 Wando (Mount Pleasant, S.C.) and No. 8 River Bluff (Lexington, S.C.) are in the same postseason bracket. No. 3 First Colonial (Virginia Beach, Va.), No. 4 Langley (Va.) and No. 5 W.T. Woodson (Fairfax, Va.) all will be vying for the same group state title. And, No. 6 McCallie School (Chattanooga, Tenn.) and No. 7 Father Ryan (Nashville, Tenn.) are in the same Division II-AA state tournament. In fact, the only Top 10 teams without another Top 10 opponent in their way of a state title are the top three Georgia programs: Peachtree Ridge, Dalton and McIntosh, which happen to be in separate playoff classifications this year. As long as Wando wins, this South Carolina power will stay at No. 1. But a loss opens the door for Peachtree Ridge, or the Virginia large-school champ or the Tennessee private school champ to end the season at No. 1.
On the girls side, two major events this week will sort of the Top 10. No. 1 Naperville North (Naperville, Ill.) is joined by a strong group of nationally ranked opponents in this week's Naperville Invitational quarterfinals, with a champion to be declared Saturday. In Iowa, the adidas Tournament of Champions features top teams from five states and the results will help shape rankings for the balance of the season.
BIG MOVERS: BOYS: Kellam (Virginia Beach, Va.). Despite a tie last week, the reshuffling on the top Virginia teams led to a major jump for Kellam to No. 15 this week. ... GIRLS: Wakefield (Raleigh, N.C.). As several other nationally ranked teams tie matches or lose, Wakefield's perfect record in a strong Raleigh area scene has been just cause for jumping this team higher in the rankings. Wakefield moves 12 spots from No. 31 to No. 19 this week.
NEWCOMERS: BOYS: No. 28 Omaha Westside (Omaha, Neb.), No. 30 Cedar Rapids Prairie (Cedar Rapids, Iowa), No. 46 Waukee (Iowa), No. 47 Mercer Island (Wash.), No. 48 Maryville (Tenn.) and No. 50 Bingham (South Jordan, Utah). ... GIRLS: No. 24 Brighton (Mich.), No. 42 Warren Township (Gurnee, Ill.), No. 43 Vestavia Hills (Ala.), No. 44 Canton (Mich.), No. 45 Omaha Marian (Omaha, Neb.), No. 46 Millard North (Omaha, Neb.), No. 47 Peoria Notre Dame (Peoria, Ill.), No. 48 Normal Community (Normal, Ill.), No. 49 Lewis-Palmer (Monument, Colo.) and No. 50 Claremore (Clarermore, Okla.).
CLICK BELOW FOR THE COMPLETE SPRING HIGH SCHOOL RANKINGS