Houston, we have two state champs.
In a state long dominated by the DFW, Texas witnessed Houston programs sweep the large-school state titles for the first time since 1999 on Saturday when Alief Elsik (Houston, Texas) boys and Houston Memorial (Houston, Texas) girls capped undefeated seasons. The Texas UIL state championships bring a close to this year's winter season.
Alief Elsik finishes No. 2 in the FAB 50 behind national powerhouse Montverde Academy (Montverde, Fla.), which is riding a 174-match undefeated streak and already has 19 seniors committed to college programs. Houston Memorial girls finish No. 3 in the FAB 50, behind St. Johns Country Day (Orange Park, Fla.) and Monte Vista (Danville, Calif.). Alief Elsik and Monte Vista earn the titles as the top-ranked public school programs for the winter season.
Elsik and Memorial seemed an unlikely pair to snap the Dallas stronghold on state titles. Elsik has been a program so full of promise in recent years only to suffer a heartbreak playoff defeat until going 25-0-2 this year. Memorial, meanwhile, had never even advanced to the regional tournament before this year, but ended up with a 27-0-1 record. Neither team started the year in the state Top 20, but by Jan. 15, Elsik was up to No. 3 and Memorial was on the fringe of the Top 10. Through January, February and March both teams continued to climb in the rankings as other winter-playing states finished out their seasons.
In spring high school soccer, top-ranked Wando (Mount Pleasant, S.C.) boys set a new state record for consecutive wins, which stands at 47 now.
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BIG MOVERS: BOYS: Montgomery Bell Academy (Nashville, Tenn.). MBA rallied for a 1-1 draw with then No. 2 McCallie School (Chattanooga, Tenn.) to muscle its way back into the Top 25. ... GIRLS: Blue Valley West (Overland Park, Kan.). Blue Valley West moves up nine spots this week to settle in at No. 26. Another perfect week of results should move this team into the Top 25 next week.
NEWCOMERS: BOYS: No. 20 Albemarle (Charlottesville, Va.), No. 36 Ankeny Centennial (Ankeny, Iowa), No. 45 Bellingham (Wash.), No. 46 Cross Keys (Atlanta, Ga.), No. 47 Greeneville (Tenn.), No. 48 Ferris (Spokane, Wash.) and No. 49 Germantown Houston (Germantown, Tenn.). ... GIRLS: No. 36 Patriot (Nokesville, Va.), No. 43 Deep Run (Glen Allen, Va.), No. 45 Burlington Central (Burlington, Ill.), No. 46 Rockwood Summit (Fenton, Mo.), No. 47 St. Joseph's Academy (St. Louis, Mo.), No. 49 Columbia (Ill.).
CLICK BELOW FOR THE COMPLETE SPRING HIGH SCHOOL RANKINGS
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BIG MOVERS: BOYS: San Antonio Reagan (San Antonio, Texas). Although Reagan lost in the state final, the team's 3-1 victory over Coppell allowed the team to jump six spots this week to finish the year at No. 9. ... GIRLS: Grapevine (Texas). For the second time in three seasons Grapevine lost the state final in a shootout, the the result was enough to move this perennial 5A power up to the No. 25 spot this week.
NEWCOMERS: BOYS: None. ... GIRLS: None.
CLICK BELOW FOR THE COMPLETE WINTER HIGH SCHOOL RANKINGS