NFCA, high school, poll, top 25, coaches, fall, softball, fastpitch

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —Buford heads into today’s Georgia High School Association super regional game against Norcross as the new No. 1 team in the NFCA Summer/Fall High School Top 25 Coaches Poll.

The (24-0) Wolves, one of two remaining unbeaten teams in the rankings, rolled past Dacula, 12-1 last Thursday, in a tuneup for their state Class 7A playoff contest. Buford, a 10-time state titlist, is seeking its first crown in its current classification.

Meanwhile, the Nebraska state tournament produced the first losses for Gretna (37-2), which had held the top spot for the past eight weeks. The Dragons lost to then-No. 8 Marian, 2-1, in the Class A semifinals last Thursday, before earning a rematch with the Crusaders via a 4-0 victory over new No. 25 Papilion-LaVista on Friday.

In Friday’s state final, Marian (33-2) rallied from a 3-1 deficit and scored the championship-winning run in the bottom of the seventh during a Gretna rundown to secure the program’s second state title. There was little to separate the two Nebraska powerhouses this season, as they split their four meetings and all their losses came against each other.

Columbine (24-1) heads into this weekend’s Colorado state tournament as the No. 2 team after defeating both Fort Collins and Thunder Ridge this past week. The Rebels face Lakewood on Friday in a state Class 5A matchup.

No. 3 Westfield School (24-0) is the other team still perfect in the Top 25, after overwhelming Deerfield-Windsor twice on Saturday by a combined 33-2 margin. The Hornets play Stratford Academy later today in the opener of Georgia Independent Athletic Association tournament.

The highly-anticipated playoff showdown of Missouri titans Blue Springs South and Rock Bridge came in the Class 5, District 6 final, rather than deep into the state tournament, with then-No. 7 Blue Springs South eliminating then-No. 3 Rock Bridge, 6-2 last Friday, in the fourth meeting of the teams this season. The two have accounted for all of the other’s losses.

Elsewhere in the Missouri playoffs, 12th-ranked Washington (33-3) will face No. 17 Helias Catholic (27-6) in an Oct. 27 state Class 4 semifinal. Helias Catholic won the first meeting of the teams, 11-3, on Aug. 27.

Sixteen-time Nebraska state champion Papillion-LaVista (25-10) returns to the poll for the first time since finishing No. 1 in both 2019 and 2020. The Monarchs took third in last weekend’s Class A tournament and won a game at states for a 29th straight season.

State rankings submitted by the 2022 NFCA High School Steering Committee are used to compile the NFCA Summer/Fall High School Top 25 Coaches Poll. Teams are chosen based on performance, roster quality, strength of schedule, and active NFCA membership. Five states — Colorado, Georgia, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Missouri — play a fall fastpitch schedule, while Iowa recently completed its summer season.

NFCA Summer/Fall High School Top 25 Coaches Poll – Oct. 20, 2022

Rank

Team

2022 Record

Previous

1

Buford (Ga.)

24-0

2

2

Columbine (Colo.)

24-1

4

3

Westfield School (Ga.)

24-0

5

4

Pope (Ga.)

31-1

6

5

Blue Springs South (Mo.)

31-2

7

6

Marian (Neb.)

33-2

8

7

Lutheran (Colo.)

24-1

9

8

Gretna (Neb.)

37-2

1

9

Rock Bridge (Mo.)

37-2

3

10

Washington (Okla.)

38-3

10

11

Piedmont (Okla.)

40-3

11

12

Washington (Mo.)

33-3

12

13

Pocola (Okla.)

40-3

13

14

Douglas County (Colo.)

23-2

14

15

Fatima (Mo.)

30-3

NR

16

Mount Vernon (Iowa)

36-4

16

17

Helias Catholic (Mo.)

27-6

17

18

Tattnall Square Academy (Ga.)

26-5

18

19

Legend (Colo.)

20-5

20

20

Winterset (Iowa)

37-4

21

21

Holy Family (Colo.)

21-4

NR

22

Twin Cedars (Iowa)

29-3

22

23

North Gwinnett (Ga.)

24-6

19

24

Eureka (Mo.)

21-6

23

25

Papillion-LaVista (Neb.)

25-10

NR

Dropped out: Creekview (Ga.), Elkhorn South (Neb.) and Valor Christian (Colo.),

State rankings submitted by the 2022 NFCA High School Steering Committee are used to compile the NFCA Summer/Fall High School Top 25 Coaches Poll. Teams are chosen based on performance, roster quality, strength of schedule, and active NFCA membership. Five states — Colorado, Georgia, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Missouri — play a fall fastpitch schedule, while Iowa recently completed its summer season.

The NFCA (National Fastpitch Coaches Association) is the professional organization for fastpitch softball coaches. Known for its highly-regarded coaches polls and All-America awards, the NFCA also educates and supports softball coaches on a variety of different levels: from podcasts to awards, to in-person events and National Convention

 

Learn more about the NFCA and consider joining our lineup of coaches today! In August 2022, for the first time in Association history, the NFCA surpassed 6,000 members.

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