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5 takeaways from spring preps season: Southern schools dominate

The high school sports season is over.

State champions for all eight spring sports were crowned last week, leaving no shortage of interesting storylines on and off the field.

Here are five takeaways from the spring sports season:

1. Southern teams rule

All Class 5A team state champions this spring were Southern Nevada schools.

Palo Verde (baseball, boys volleyball and boys swimming), Coronado (softball, boys golf and girls swimming), Centennial (girls track and field) and Shadow Ridge (boys track and field) were crowned as the state’s best across the eight spring sports.

Northern schools had the option during an eventful realignment process last year of either staying in 5A or dropping down to 4A for each sport. They elected to stay in 5A for all spring sports. They dropped to 4A in boys and girls basketball, girls soccer, tennis and girls golf. They also decided to not be in the top football division, 5A Division I.

That choice ultimately led to no Northern champions this spring. Douglas was a heavy favorite in softball, but the Tigers lost twice to Coronado in the state tournament.

2. Palo Verde party

May was a good month for Palo Verde.

The Panthers started things off by winning the boys volleyball state title by sweeping Coronado on May 14. Their baseball team then emerged out of the wide-open 5A playoffs with the Southern Region and state titles. It took Palo Verde two tries to beat Reno High for the championship Saturday, but it emerged victorious for its second baseball title.

The Panthers then won their 10th straight boys swimming and diving state championship Saturday by 40 points. Max Carlsen led Palo Verde by beating the previous state record in the 500-yard freestyle by over five seconds with a time of 4:21.37.

The Panthers’ softball team also qualified for the state tournament after winning the Southern Region title. In girls track and field, Tia Brown earned individual titles in the 300 hurdles and long jump for Palo Verde.

3. Coronado coronation

Coronado also had plenty to celebrate this spring. Its softball team won its first title Saturday by dethroning defending champion Douglas.

The Cougars had a pair of comebacks to win in boys golf and girls swimming and diving. They shot 293 the second day of the boys golf state tournament to jump from third to first and take the title. Anderson Lee won the individual championship for Coronado.

The Cougars’ girls swimming and diving team rallied from a 20-point deficit to win its third straight state title. Coronado’s baseball team qualified for the state tournament as well.

4. Codd leads Centennial

Centennial’s Iyonna Codd left no doubt she was the state’s top girls sprinter Saturday in Carson City.

Codd, a University of Miami commit, successfully defended her titles in the 100, 200 and 400-meter dashes at the 5A state meet. She also finished first in the 4x400 meter relay to help the Bulldogs win the 5A team title.

Codd’s time in the 100 meters (11.61) is a state record. She’s also the state record-holder in the 200 (23.43) and 400 (53.02) meters.

Centennial won three relay races and had six individual title winners as part of its 12th state championship. The Bulldogs bounced back after their run of 10 straight state titles came to an end last year.

5. Forfeitures, coaching departures

Some of the biggest stories this baseball season came off the field. Two of the state’s top programs were rocked by coaching controversies.

Bishop Gorman announced April 10 that coach Chris Sheff was suspended and the program was under investigation after the school “received some complaints that were concerning.” The school has not commented since its initial statement. The status of the investigation is unknown.

Basic announced coach Scott Baker was “no longer with the team” on April 10 as well. There was no reason given for Baker’s dismissal.

Basic had to forfeit all its league games earlier this month for using an ineligible player. The Wolves missed the Southern Region playoffs as a result of the forfeitures. It is unclear if Baker’s dismissal is related to the forfeitures.

Bishop Gorman also had to forfeit several league games last month for using an ineligible player. The school confirmed the forfeitures are not related to the investigation. Bishop Gorman also missed the region playoffs.

Those two weren’t the only schools with similar issues. Legacy’s baseball team forfeited several league games for using an ineligible player and missed the 4A state playoffs as a result. Green Valley’s softball team also forfeited several games for using an ineligible player.

Contact Alex Wright at awright@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlexWright1028 on X.

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