Watch News High School Sport Today - HIGHSCORE
Of course it's hardly a news flash that these are strange days, so in a way, all of this is sort of "normal." And so the MaxPreps Top 25 girls high school basketball rankings are about as "normal" as we can make it, absent big tournaments, intersectional matchups and, in many states, regular season or postseason play.
And Lake Highland Prep, the No. 1 team, mentioned above, is back in action Friday, and No. 2 Bishop McNamara will start Saturday. As the saying goes, every journey begins with but a single step.
It's to honor his uncle, Pat Tillman, the former NFL safety who — in the prime of his career — enlisted in the Army after 9/11 and was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan in 2004. Tillman was only 27.
Garwood was a baby at the time of his uncle's death but has worn Tillman's retired Arizona State number since starting youth football at age 8.
"I just try to represent and carry on his legacy," Garwood said. "He's the role model. He's everything."
By all accounts and every measure, Garwood has represented Tillman impeccably.
The third-year starter leads California's Central Coast Section in rushing (467 yards), yards per carry (13.7) and rushing touchdowns (10) for the section's third-ranked team during an abbreviated spring season due to the pandemic. The Wildcats (3-0) play their biggest game of the season Thursday at fifth-ranked Wilcox (Santa Clara).
His coach Mark Krail calls him the team's heartbeat for an unrelenting work ethic, authentic appreciation of teammates and desire to always be better.
Last week after practice, Krail was heading home but happened to glance out at the field. There was Garwood doing gassers. By himself. Again.
"He does them all the time," Ripp said. "Some of us will join him but he always outlasts us."
Said Krail: "He's always the last guy off the field. It's just him wanting to be great. He's the heart and soul of the team, but you'll never hear it from him."
Garwood doesn't talk much about his own accomplishments and rarely speaks about Tillman. Even though he plays the same positions, he didn't study Tillman's game film at Leland (San Jose, Calif.), Arizona State or with the Arizona Cardinals.
"Adam doesn't watch much," said his father Alex Garwood. "He's more of a doer."
A star football player himself at Leland and later at Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, Alex Garwood earned All-American and conference Defensive Player of the Year honors as a linebacker.
He and his wife Christine, a soccer player and competitive dancer, were high school sweethearts at Leland and Christine's sister Marie married Tillman. The four were extremely tight.
When Tillman was killed, Alex quit his day job as a Silicon Valley software salesman and co-founded the Pat Tillman Foundation, which according to its website was "born overnight in the wake of tremendous tragedy, and with determination to honor a man whose passion for life was contagious."
The foundation has raised more than $18 million to "unite and empower remarkable military service members, veterans and spouses as the next generation of public and private sector leaders committed to service beyond self."
"How could they live up to that? How could anyone?" Alex said. "Obviously, we've struggled with Pat's passing. He was just an incredible human being and everything you've ever heard about him, he was better than that. He was the best conversationalist I ever met. Best friend. Simply, an awesome, awesome person."
Tillman was considered too small growing up to play football. Instead, he was a two-way terror at Leland, rushing for 34 touchdowns as a senior in addition to leading the team in tackles and to the school's first section title in 1993.
"He wasn't about glory," a former Tillman teammate Rudy Perez told the San Jose Mercury News in 2012. "He was the MVP of the championship game, but he never took the credit."
At 165 pounds, Adam Garwood was well undersized as a junior, but put up a team-best 1,260 yards rushing and 20 touchdowns to go along with 50 tackles and four fumble recoveries. He led the Wildcats to the program's 13th CCS title.
Since then, he's added 20 pounds of muscle, and utilizing a super speed treadmill at home, he's lowered his 40-yard time to 4.47 seconds while upping his top-end treadmill speed to 22 mph. Adam is getting FCS Division I recruiting looks, including Cal Poly, his dad's alma mater.
"Had he played in the fall, I think he'd have many more opportunities," Krail said. "He didn't complain about the time off or bemoan the pandemic. He made the most of the time away. He's considerably bigger and faster. Whoever gets him will be very pleased."
Said Adam: "I definitely don't consider myself the heart and soul of the team. Every single person plays a role, senior or sophomore, two-way player or reserve. Every snap, 11 players have to do their job."
The entire Garwood family embraces that "all-for-one, one-for-all" football culture. Ryan, who graduated from Los Gatos in 2019, introduced it to Adam. And now, Adam displays it to Scott, who stars on the freshman team. The brothers are extremely close.
"Right, wrong or indifferent, we're a football family," Alex Garwood said.
Adam Garwood definitely shares that unbridled passion of football with his uncle. He's played with "intensity and fire" since he was 8, said Alex Garwood. It's the only area his dad would compare him to Tillman.
The event was played throughout last week with state championships in all four classes held Saturday. According to a Twitter account devoted to the Iowa high school baseball tournament, 29,904 fans passed through the turnstiles – the highest turnout since 2014.
Due to virus concerns, ticket sales for each game were capped around 1,800, according to a press release distributed by the IHSAA. Capacity at Principal Park is 11,500.
The best-attended state tournament since 2014, all during a global pandemic and safety protocols. Thanks for your support.— Iowa HS Baseball (@iahsbb) August 2, 2020
13 — 35,095 (record)
14 — 34,428
15 — 26,311
16 — 29,153
17 — 25,709
18 — 27,533
19 — 28,797
20 — 29,904
Total (16 years) — 483,254 pic.twitter.com/MDIPaSQpHq
While reports from last week's championships have been positive, the state's summer baseball and softball seasons haven't been without adversity when it comes to the novel coronavirus. ESPN reported in early July that at least 25 of 338 baseball teams and 20 softball teams have encountered some type of exposure to COVID-19.
Class 4A baseball championship contender Dowling Catholic (West Des Moines) ended its season around the same time after a member of the team tested positive for COVID-19. The school's softball team also ended its season prematurely.
The season got underway a month later than originally scheduled. Those initial baseball and softball contests in Iowa were the first high school sports events since the pandemic shut things down in March.
- No. 4 Murphy (NC) vs. No. 5 Northside - Pinetown (Pinetown, NC)Saturday 12:00pm (Local time)
Full bracket can be found here - 2020-2021 Football Championships 1AA
- No. 2 East Surry (Pilot Mountain, NC) vs. No. 1 Tarboro (NC)Saturday 12:00pm (Local time)
Full bracket can be found here - 2020-2021 Football Championships 2A
- No. 2 Mountain Heritage (Burnsville, NC) vs. No. 1 Reidsville (NC)Saturday 5:00pm (Local time)
Full bracket can be found here - 2020-2021 Football Championships 2AA
- No. 7 Salisbury (NC) vs. No. 2 St. Pauls (NC)Thursday 7:00pm (Local time)
Full bracket can be found here - 2020-2021 Football Championships 3A
- No. 4 Charlotte Catholic (Charlotte, NC) vs. No. 3 Havelock (NC)Friday 7:00pm (Local time)
Full bracket can be found here - 2020-2021 Football Championships 3AA
- No. 2 Mount Tabor (Winston-Salem, NC) vs. No. 1 Cleveland (Clayton, NC)Thursday 7:00pm (Local time)
Full bracket can be found here - 2020-2021 Football Championships 4A