Last month we asked our network to share the places in their state that they thought were the toughest to visit. Nearly 500 stadiums, gyms, pools, and courses were nominated, and now it’s time to crown a winner.
Where’s Texas’ Toughest Place to Play?
Votes are eligible to vote once per day.
Winning locations will be entered into our Regional and National Contest to come at a later date!
With help from our friends at Rapid Replay, VNN gathers the top plays from high schools around the nation every week!
Download the free Rapid Replay app today and start filming to get your school and athletes noticed nationwide.
Learn more on how your school can earn money using Rapid Replay’s filmraising on page 2:
We here at VNN are doing a feature for our national media site highlighting the toughest places to play in all of high school sports and we want to hear from YOU what Stadium/Field/Gym/Course/Venue is the toughest to play and why?
New jerseys, gear, entry fees, retreats – the wish list of opportunities to improve your teams is long, and often, the ways to finance them are short. While there’s no perfect one-size-fits-all fundraiser for every community, good inspiration is the first step.
Whether its your booster club, team, or program looking to raise funds and increase school spirit, here’s a few of our favorite ideas that we’ve seen across the network:
Jail-N-Bail – DeSoto High School (KS)
$10 files a warrant to arrest members of the community with phony allegations like “impersonating a golfer,” “failure to yield at the end of a sentence,” and “wearing pants way too high.” Once served with the warrant for their ‘arrest,’ the jailbirds are placed in a jail cell, a mug shot is taken, and they must call family/friends to raise bail.
Cheerleading Day – Pickens High School (SC)
Blue Flame cheerleaders dedicated their time to teach younger members of the community motion drills, jump technique, stunting fundamentals and sideline spirit in a day camp for a donation to the program. The campers, led by the PHS cheerleaders, performed a showcase at the conclusion of camp.
Lap-a-Thon – Gilmer High School (GA)
Anyone who has ever ran distance before knows that the hardest part isn’t necessarily the physical aspect, but the mental component of the sport, and in true Cross Country fashion, the Bobcats’ ‘hardest fundraiser,’ forces participants to run for an hour and a half around the track without stopping, with the main goal of seeing who can run the most laps consecutively in that time. Each lap ran accumulates money from sponsors, and all proceeds go towards funding the team.
Lift-A-Thon – Avon Lake (OH)
Earlier this Summer, the Shoremen football team held their 26th annual lift-a-thon, where players perform their max in 4 lifts, including the squat, hang clean, bench press, and deadlift in front of a crowd. Donations could be made in a player’s name, or to the team generally. Whittier Christian (CA) has a similar event coming up, the Push-Up-a-Thon, and Gilmer.
3 v. 3 Soccer Tournament – Roy High School (UT)
In the warm up to the Utah Spring Season, the Roy Royals Boys Soccer team held a 3v3 soccer tournament. At $20 per player, it was billed as a tune up for the year’s games across all levels, with teams starting at age 6 through adult.
Home Run Derby – Desert Ridge High School (AZ)
To help assist a teammate with unforeseen medical costs, the Jaguars held a home run derby. Split into two age groups, “19 and over” and “18 and under,” participants paid $20 to hit baseballs out of the park. The total raised, including raffles, auctions, and concessions, was $2,671!
Top Golf – Lakota West High School (OH)
Instead of practicing their own sport, the Firebirds of Lakota West held a fundraiser at the local West Chester Top Golf branch. At $100 per golfer, the cost included heavy appetizers, soft drinks, and visits from Lakota West NFL alumns Jordan Hicks (Philadelphia Eagles) and Ryan Kelly (Indianapolis Colts).
If there’s one thing everyone loves, it’s food. Several schools connected with local restaurants and held fundraisers there. Whether the deal was for a portion of the day’s earnings donated back to the school (Chipotle and Buffalo Wild Wings are good national candidates for this), an ‘all-you-can-eat’ Belgian Waffles special, or selling coupons, this idea is a simple turn-key way to start earning.
Staying hydrated is important to your health, and is one of the best ways to ensure that you are playing your best. Unfortunately, many athletes overlook just how important water is in maintaining top-level performance.
Think you know everything there is to know about proper hydration? Take the quiz below sourced from Active.com’s 15 Hydration Facts for Athletes and find out:
Even though it’s only halfway through Summer, we’ve compiled a handy reference guide to the key dates coming for this Fall season from the UIL. Feel free to bookmark!
|Date||Event or Deadline|
|August 7||First day of conditioning (No contact activities permitted. No contact equipment except helmets may be worn.)|
|August 11||First day of contact|
|August 18||First scrimmage|
|August 23||Second scrimmage (5 Day Rule applies)|
|August 28||Third scrimmage (Schools opting for a third scrimmage shall not play during week one)|
|Date||Event or Deadline|
|August 14||First day of conditioning|
|August 18||First day of contact|
|August 25||First scrimmage|
|August 30||Second scrimmage (Schools opting for a second scrimmage shall not play during week one)|
|Week One||August 31, September 1, 2 (Sub-varsity football teams in Conferences 5A & 6A can play on Wednesday during Week 1 only if the varsity team plays on Thursday of that same week.)|
|Week Two||September 7, 8, 9|
|Week Three||September 14, 15, 16|
|Week Four||September 21, 22, 23|
|Week Five||September 28, 29, 30|
|Week Six||October 5, 6, 7|
|Week Seven||October 12, 13, 14|
|Week Eight||October 19, 20, 21|
|Week Nine||October 26, 27, 28|
|Week Ten||November 2, 3, 4|
|Week Eleven||November 9, 10, 11|
|Week One||November 16, 17, 18|
|Week Two||November 23, 24, 25|
|Week Three||November 30, December 1, 2|
|Week Four||December 7, 8, 9|
|Week Five||December 14, 15, 16|
|State Championships||December 20, 21, 22, 23 (All Conferences)|
|Date||Event or Deadline|
|October 14||District Certification Deadline|
|October 17||Bi District|
|October 24||Regional Quarterfinals|
|October 26-27||Regional Tournament|
|November 1-2||State Tournament|
|Date||Event or Deadline|
|October 14||District certification deadline|
|October 23||Regional Meet|
|November 4||State Meet|
|Date||Event or Deadline|
|August 1||First day to issue equipment and conduct workouts outside the school day, all conferences. (For grades 9-12 and separate ninth grade teams on separate campuses. Students in grades 8 and below may not work out before the first day of school.)|
|August 4||First day for scrimmages, all conferences|
|August 7||First day for matches, all conferences.
|October 28||District Certification – All conferences|
|October 30-31||Bi-district – All conferences|
|November 2-4||Area – All conferences|
|November 6-7||Regional Quarterfinals – All conferences|
|November 10-11||Regional Tournament- All conferences|
|November 15-18||State Tournament|
As Americans, we tend to fall in love with our rising stars who are breaking out on the national stage at a young age. At 18, all eyes were on Patrick Kane as he started his professional hockey career with the Chicago Blackhawks. Nobody blinked twice when MLB’s Bryce Harper was selected to the National League All-Star team at 19. Likewise, there were no calls for the U.S. Men’s National Team to pump the brakes on budding soccer star Christian Pulisic when he scored his first goal for the Stars & Stripes at the young age of 17.
Yet, in basketball, most of the top high school talent is required to follow the controversial “one & done” trend. As the rule goes, an athlete needs to be at least 19 years old to be eligible for the NBA Draft, forcing all hopeful pros into at least one year in college or a European League. The policy, instituted in the NBA CBA in 2005, was aimed at yielding more developed and matured players as draft options, instead of seeing teams draft solely on raw talent and potential, and stashing those prospects away on their bench.
Over the last decade, this rule has been a nonstop point of discussion and debate. Many appreciate the importance this rule places on attending higher education, and further developing professional skills. In addition, many college programs can benefit from knowing that the prospects they are recruiting will indeed commit to a school, rather than decide to forgo college altogether. Conversely, however, many have questioned whether forcing the likes of Andrew Wiggins, Ben Simmons and Anthony Davis to go to college for a year is really the right path for top-level talent. The careers of Tracy McGrady, Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James might say no. In addition, the one-and-done phenomenon sees many top players in and out of a college faster than you can say “Karl-Anthony Towns,” rendering a college game that is often focused more on individual showcases and annual ‘big names,’ rather than cheering for programs that see players develop over 3 or 4 years. This controversy is especially relevant, as current NBA Commissioner Adam Silver recently stated at the beginning of this year’s NBA Finals that “We all agreed we need to make a change . . . It’s one of those issues we need to come together and study. … My sense is, It’s not working for anyone.” (read more on Silver’s statement) Such a change could be to do away with the rule altogether, or amend it to have caveats, such as requiring those who choose to go to college to stay at least 2 years or those who choose to turn professional out of high school to spend a year in the G-League.
So, what do you think? Should the NBA change their age requirement and allow basketball players to turn professional fresh out of high school?
Who had the best record-breaking performance in Texas this season? We took your nominations over the past week and here are the finalists:
Nadine Arredondo – Stephenville
Softball – 13 HR – Nadine more than doubled her school record from last year (6). With 13 HRs this season, she finishes her career with 24.
Emma Sherrer, Sarah Mobley, Addison Martin, Reezon Eke – Coppell Middle School North
Track and Field – 4×400, 4:16:65 – The relay team at Coppell MS North broke a 10 year old school record, setting a new district record as well.
Alec Carr – Kempner
Baseball – 12 homeruns in a single season
Taylor Thompson – Lucas Lovejoy
Soccer – For most of the season, no one had scored a goal on the top-rated Highland Park Scots, until Taylor put one in the back of the net.
Katy Raby – Kilgore
Soccer – Katy broke school the school record scoring 47 goals in a season, 27 of which came in district play. Last year the record was set at 46, and even when missing 2 games from injuries, Katy was able to overcome the odds and set a new one at Kilgore.
Simeon Woods Richardson – Kempner
Baseball – 128 strikeouts in a single season
Blake Aragon – Stephenville
Track and Field – High Jump – 6’10” – Blake broke a 30 year school record by 2-inches. He improved his personal best by 8 inches winning the state championship as a junior in the process.
Grace Ridgeway – Lucas Lovejoy
Track and Field – Pole vault (12’6″), 300m hurdles (43.82) – Grace won the Texas 5A girls state pole vault title with this record and is 2nd in 5A in Texas in the 300m hurdles.
Emily Gueller – Lucas Lovejoy
Track and Field- 2000M Steeplechase (7:59) – Emily was the first person to run steeple at Lovejoy high school, setting the first record in 2016, then broke her own record this year.
So, who had the best record-breaking performance? Vote below. Voting closes at Midnight EST on June 5th.