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Nation's Top 10 athletic programs

Posted: Tuesday June 19, 2007 12:12PM; Updated: Tuesday June 19, 2007 5:37PM
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By Kevin Armstrong, SI.com and Jon Mahoney, Special to SI.com, RISE

USC-bound Joe McKnight left his mark in Louisian high school history as he carried John Curtis to a state titel and No. 4 rankings in the RISE/SI.com Top 25.
USC-bound Joe McKnight left his mark in Louisian high school history as he carried John Curtis to a state titel and No. 4 rankings in the RISE/SI.com Top 25.
AP
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6. John Curtis (River Ridge, La.)

Enrollment: 380

'06-'07 state championships: Football, softball

Football is king at this southern school, but it was the queen of the softball diamond who sparkled this spring. Leading her team to a state title, Louisiana-Lafayette signee and Gatorade National Softball player of the year, Ashley Brignac surrendered just 14 hits all year and threw 18 no-hitters. She went 25-0 on the season with a 0.00 ERA with 421 strikeouts in 159.2 innings pitched to help lead the Patriots to the Class 2A state title. She also hit .500 with six homers while maintaining a 4.0 GPA and was co-valedictorian of her class. The football team, which finished No. 4 in the RISE/SI.com top 25 rankings, was lead by USC signee and U.S. Army All-American Joe McKnight.

Nation's Top 10 athletic programs

7. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)

Enrollment: 2,300

'06-'07 state championship: boys' basketball

The Monarchs' boys' basketball team was one of the nation's best this season. Mater Dei finished the year 33-4 and won the Division II state title to finish No. 11 in the RISE/SI.com National Basketball Top 25. Senior forward Taylor King, who's rated the nation's No. 29 overall recruit in the Class of 2007 by RISE, signed with Duke, senior point guard Kamyron Brown inked with Oregon and senior center Alex Jacobson is headed to Arizona. Meanwhile, senior Jackie Zinke, who signed with Arizona, guided the girls' soccer team to a 1-0 upset of Upland in the CIF Southern Section Division I finals.

Nation's Top 10 athletic programs

8. Southlake (Texas) Carroll

Enrollment: 2,520

'06-'07 state championship: Football

It's no surprise that Carroll once again dominated in football this season. The Dragons defeated Austin Westlake, 43-29, in the Class 5A Division I state championship to earn their third consecutive state title and fourth in five years. It was also the 48th consecutive win for the Dragons, who were led by junior quarterback Riley Dodge and junior running back Tre' Newton, both of whom have committed to Texas. Dodge was named Class 5A state Offensive Player of the Year. Not to be outdone, the girls' cross-country team won its second consecutive Class 5A state title. Sophomore Tara Upshaw finished in third place individually.

Maya Moore brought Collins Hill's name to the national stage  as she won multiple national player of the year awards as well as leading her team to the national title.
Maya Moore brought Collins Hill's name to the national stage as she won multiple national player of the year awards as well as leading her team to the national title.
AP

9. Collins Hill (Suwanee, Ga.)

Enrollment: 3,750

'06-'07 state championships: Girls' basketball, girls' cross-country, boys' swimming

Gatorade and Naismith player of the year Maya Moore may have been the marquee name, but the UConn signee and McDonald's All-American was not the only girl who enjoyed success at the school on the outskirts of Atlanta. Behind her 26 points and 11 rebounds per game, the Screaming Eagles won the state and national titles in girls' basketball while going undefeated this season. In addition, Collins Hill also won state titles in girls' cross- country and boys' swimming

Nation's Top 10 athletic programs

T-10. BC High (Dorchester, Mass.)

Enrollment: 1,300 (all boys)

'06-'07 state championships: Boys' basketball, hockey

Winter belonged to the Eagles this year. The boys' basketball team went 25-0 and defeated Holy Name (Worcester, Mass.) in the Division 1 final for its first state title since 1917. Senior guard Chris Hurley, who signed with St. Michael's (Colchester, Vt.), led the way, with help from highly recruited junior forward Jake O'Brien. Meanwhile, the Eagles' ice hockey squad was just as impressive as they took home their second consecutive Super Eight crown in what is regarded as arguably the nation's most competitive high school hockey tournament. Senior defenseman Mike Vasilchuk earned All-Scholastic honors from both The Boston Globe and Boston Herald.

Sprint star Bryshon Nellum (far right) and the 4x400 boys' track relay team helped continue the tradition of the Jackrabbits.
Sprint star Bryshon Nellum (far right) and the 4x400 boys' track relay team helped continue the tradition of the Jackrabbits.
Kirby Lee/WireImage.com

T-10. Long Beach (Calif.) Poly

Enrollment: 5,000

'06-'07 state championships: Girls' basketball

Filling the shoes of former Jackrabbits is not easy in Long Beach Poly's locker rooms, but senior sprinter and football tailback Bryshon Nellum did more than his share to continue the school's fine athletic tradition this school year. Even at a school that boasts 15 seniors earning athletics scholarships to college, Nellum was the one who shone the brightest as he was a part of the 4x400 meter relay team that timed 3:09.89 in the 113th Penn Relays at the University of Pennsylvania's Franklin Field on Saturday, April 28, 2007. As a team, girls track and field finished 2nd in the Southern Section of the California Interscholastic Federation. The future is bright for the girls with a sophomore class of Jasmine Joseph and Turquoise Thompson.

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