In a state that may produce more elite football players than any other, Brantley stood out even in his state's deep talent pool. The 6-foot-3, 198-pound quarterback, who threw for 2,766 yards and 41 touchdowns as a senior, led Trinity Catholic to the Class 2B state title as a junior and a state runnerup finish as a senior. As a junior and senior, Brantley directed an offense that averaged 50 points per game while building a 27-game winning streak. In his career, he threw a state-record 99 touchdown passes and was intercepted just 14 times, passing for 6,802 yards with a 61.5 completion percentage. The Gatorade National High School Player of the Year, Brantley was the MVP of the EA Sports/Nike Elite 11 Camp and played in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. He will attend the University of Texas.
The 6-foot-7, 215-pound Beaven was named Youth Player of the Year by Baseball America after scattering seven hits and striking out 11 in shutting out Cuba, 4-0, in the 2006 World Junior Championships, helping the U.S. team win the silver medal. In the same event in 2005, Beaven blanked Chinese Taipei as the U.S. also took home the silver medal. This season, Beaven, whose fastball has been clocked at 96 miles per hour, is 9-2 with a 0.19 earned-run average and 139 strikeouts - with just five walks - in 73 innings. Though his career record is just 25-13, he has 424 career strikeouts in just 247 1/3 innings with a 0.91 earned-run average. He has accepted a scholarship to the University of Oklahoma, but is projected to be a high first-round selection in the upcoming Major League Baseball amateur draft.
Valencia is ranked No. 1 in the USA Today Super 25, and Taylor, one of five Valencia players committed to Division 1 college programs, is one of the major reasons. Heading into the Division 1 South Section state playoffs, Taylor had posted a perfect 28-0 record, with a 0.23 earned-run average and 348 strikeouts in 185 innings. She threw a perfect game and nine no-hitters during a junior season that saw her finish 26-5 with a 0.13 earned-run average, and her 416 strikeouts (in 215 innings) made her the first girl to exceed the 400-strikeout mark in Santa Clarita Valley history. Taylor ended an 18-3 sophomore season with 58 consecutive scoreless innings. She will attend the University of Michigan.
The 6-foot-4 outside hitter led Mira Costa to state titles her sophomore and senior years, and was named tournament MVP both times. This year, Mira Costa finished 37-1 and was ranked No. 1 nationally. Klineman racked up 513 kills as a senior and set school records with 52 service aces and a .494 hitting efficiency percentage. She was selected the Gatorade National Player of the Year and the PrepVolleyball.com Senior Player of the Year. Klineman also led the U.S. Women's Junior National Team to the gold medal in the NORCECA Continental Championships in 2006, scoring 22 kills, five blocks and an ace in a five-set title-match win over the Dominican Republic. Also an outstanding student with a 3.94 grade-point average, she will attend Stanford University.
Falgowski, a forward, was a four-time All-State selection. She was voted the state's Player of the Year as a sophomore, when she scored 17 goals and added 15 assists, and as a junior, when she led St. Mark's to the state title game with eight goals and 13 assists. A member of six U.S. National Teams, she became the youngest player ever selected to the U.S. Senior National Team, and competed in the World Cup last September, a month before her 18th birthday, as the U.S. finished sixth. A three-time National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) First Team All-American, she will attend the University of North Carolina.
A three-time Ohio Division 2 state champion, Sponseller went 6-0 and won one of the toughest weight classes - 160 pounds - in the NHSCA National High School Seniors Wrestling Championships in April and was voted the meet's Outstanding Wrestler. It was Sponseller's second NHSCA national championship, as he also claimed the National Juniors title at 152 pounds in 2006. Sponseller completed a dominating senior season with a 49-0 record and posted a career record of 157-13, and was a finalist for W.I.N. magazine's prestigious Junior Dan Hodge Trophy. He will attend Ohio State University.
The 6-foot-10 power forward led Lake Oswego to the 2005 Class 6A state championship and scored 813 points, a state record for a junior. He exceeded that as a senior, averaging 33 points, 17 rebounds, four assists and three blocks per game while shooting 67 per cent from the field as he led the Lakers back to the state title game. His 2,628 career points broke the state record that had stood for 50 years, and he became the first Oregon boys player to earn state Player of the Year honors three times. Love, whose father, Stan, played for the NBA's Baltimore Bullets and Los Angeles Lakers, was the Gatorade National Player of the Year, and also was named Player of the Year by Parade magazine and USA Today. He will attend UCLA.
Moore ended her career with Miss Georgia Basketball honors after leading Collins Hill to a 125-3 record and three Class 5A state titles in her four-year career. Her team won its final 53 games with her on the court and ended this season ranked No. 1 in the USA Today Super 25. As a senior, the 6-foot forward averaged 27 points, 12 rebounds, five assists, five steals and two blocks and became only the third girls player to capture the Naismith Award twice. She also was named the Gatorade National Player of the Year, the WBCA Player of the Year and the USA Today National Player of the Year, and averaged 10 points, six rebounds and four steals to help lead the USA Basketball Women's Under-18 National Team to the gold medal in the 2006 FIBA Americas Championship. She will attend the University of Connecticut.
Hall was the champion of the Foot Locker Boys National Championship in 2006 after a runnerup finish in the West Region qualifying race. He was the Division 4 state champion as a senior and finished just one second behind the overall boys leader, and was the Division 4 state runnerup as a sophomore and junior. He also finished 12th in the 3,200 meters in the state track and field tournament as a junior. Hall began his senior season by setting a course record in the prestigious Woodbridge Invitational, and was honored by Sports Illustrated as its National High School Athlete of the Week. He will attend the University of Oregon.
Lawrence finished fifth in the Foot Locker Girls National championship in 2006, and was the highest placing senior, after posting runnerup finishes as a freshman, sophomore and junior. She earned Athletes Only Athlete of the Week honors twice last fall. A three-time Class 4A state cross country champion, Lawrence led Reno to the state track and field title this spring by sweeping the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 meters for the third time, ending her career with 11 individual state championships, five relay titles and four state records. She finished 10th in the 3,000-meter steeplechase in the Under-20 World Championships and is the national high school record holder in the 2,000 and 3,000 meters. She will attend the University of Washington.
Fowler burst onto the tradition-rich Southern California golf scene in 2004, when he shot 62 to become the first freshman to win the state's Southern Region title since Tiger Woods. He won the Southern Region for the second time as a sophomore, adding a sixth-place state finish. He then won the state title as a junior after finishing third in the Southern Region, and was named High School Golfer of the Year by the Los Angeles Times. He was the Southern Region runnerup this spring. Last year, he advanced to the quarterfinals of the U.S. Amateur Championships. A two-time Rolex Junior All-American, Fowler is ranked No. 2 in the Junior Golf national rankings. He will attend Oklahoma State University.
As a junior, Choe posted a 36-hole score of 15-under-par 125 - the lowest score in state history - to lead Cactus Shadows to the Class 4A state team title. She followed that with 11-under 129 as a senior for her second individual title, leading Cactus Shadows to a state runnerup finish and earning repeat Girls Golfer of the Year honors from the Arizona Republic. A two-time Junior Solheim Cup Team member who also competed on the Junior Ryder Cup Team in 2006, Choe is ranked No. 1 in the Junior Golf national rankings and was voted the Rolex Junior Player of the Year. She will attend the University of Arizona.
Duran has overcome a multitude of physical ailments to excel on the soccer field. The 6-foot-1 midfielder led Lincoln-Way East to a 22-2 record in his final 24 games played. In his career, he scored 20 goals and added 47 assists, including a school-record 19 assists as a sophomore. After suffering four collapsed lungs over a two-year period that required surgery on both lungs, Duran returned just months after the operations to score 10 goals and 10 assists for the Griffins as a senior before a broken foot ended his season in the team's 11th game. Selected the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's NSCAA/adidas High School Player of the Year as a senior, he will attend Creighton University.
Cerrone stands just 5-foot-5, but the midfielder played big for Ketcham, scoring 29 goals - six of those coming in the state playoffs - and 11 assists to lead her team to an 18-3-3 record and the Class AA regional final as a senior. A six-year varsity starter, Cerrone was selected the NSCAA/adidas High School Player of the Year. Also the state's Gatorade Player of the Year, Cerrone is a Parade All-American, a two-time NSCAA All-American and a member of the United States Soccer Federation's Under-17 National Team. She also excelled on the basketball court, averaging more than 20 points per game in the backcourt. She will attend Boston College.
One of the nation's top sprint swimmers, Staab is a two-time Division 1 state champion in the 100-meter freestyle and the 100-meter butterfly, becoming the first Ohio boys swimmer to repeat in the same event since 2001. Staab's 100 butterfly time of 47.10 set a state record and tied the national high school record set in 1997, and his 100 freestyle time of 43.93 was just one-half second off the state record. Also an outstanding student with a 4.2 grade-point average and a perfect combined score of 2400 on the SAT, he will attend Stanford University.
English set two state records this year and became the first girl to win four Meet of Champions state backstroke titles and only the fourth girl to win a single event four times. She broke her own state record by swimming the 100-yard backstroke in 54.39 seconds, and also upset a three-time defending state champion to win the 50-yard freestyle in a state-record 23.11 seconds. English finished ninth in the 100-meter backstroke in the 2004 U.S. Olympic Trials, and the next year she set the national high school record (1:02.17), a mark she broke (1:01.39) in the Morris County Championships this year. She will attend the University of Georgia.
An imposing figure on the court at 6-foot-6, Allare is a three-time Division 1 state champion, winning the state singles title this season after taking state doubles crowns as a sophomore and junior. He also has won a pair of United States Tennis Association (USTA) Under-18 doubles crowns. Since the conclusion of the high school season, Allare went 4-1 in the USTA Midwest Winter Championships, then won the Columbus Indoor Championships and the USTA National Open Under-18 event in Cincinnati, and has moved up to No. 16 nationally among high school seniors according to tennisrecruiting.net. He will attend Ohio State University.
Taney was unbeaten in a six-year high school career, winning all 166 matches in which she competed. That total included 150 singles victories and 16 doubles victories. Taney was the state doubles champion as an eighth-grader and as a freshman, following that with state singles titles as a sophomore, junior and senior. Edina won the state team title all six seasons. As a junior player, Taney has won 174 consecutive USTA Northern Section matches and 42 consecutive tournaments, and has been ranked as high as No. 9 nationally in singles and No. 5 in doubles. She will attend the University of Michigan.
Forys has been breaking state and national records since he began his high school career, when he established national indoor freshman records in the 1,600 and 3,200 meters. He has won six Meet of Champions individual state titles - three indoor and three outdoor - and as a junior became only the second runner ever to win both the 1,600 and 3,200 in the outdoor Meet of Champions, scoring a double title in the indoor season as well. At the West Chester (Pa.) Henderson Invitational May 4, Forys set three state records in one race - in the 3,000 meters (8:15.5), the 3,200 meters (8:46.04) and the two-mile run (8:48.99) - and he has run the nation's fastest time in all three events this year. Also the two-mile champion in the Nike Indoor Nationals in March, he will attend the University of Michigan.
Already one of the greatest female athletes in Mississippi history, Knight broke her own state record in the 100 meters, running the race in 11.28. Her best 2006 time, 11.26, placed her among the top 40 runners in the world at any level. She won her sixth state title in the 100, her fifth title in the 200 and her fourth title in the 400, leading Ridgeland to the Class 4A team title. Knight won two gold medals at the 2005 IAAF Youth World Championships in Marrakech, Morocco, taking the 100 (11.38) and running a leg of the winning U.S. medley relay team, and added a silver medal in the 200. She also holds four of the nation's top 12 indoor sprint times this year. A rare Gatorade National Player of the Year selection as a junior, she will attend the University of Texas.