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

LOUISVILLE, Ky. —Buford defeated two perennial powers en route to its 11th Georgia High School Association (GHSA) state championship last weekend, earning the right to be first in the final NFCA Summer/Fall High School Top 25 Coaches Poll of the season.

The (32-1) Wolves defeated newly-ranked, three-time 7A titlist East Coweta (30-8) twice in three days — including 9-1 in Saturday’s state final — and then-No. 23 North Gwinnett (29-8) for the second time this season in Friday’s semifinals to win their first crown in their current classification. Buford allowed a total of three runs over the three victories.

Fellow Georgia school Pope (35-1) also won three straight at states, beating River Ridge once and Apalachee twice to capture the GHSA 6A title and stay put in the rankings behind Buford, Columbine and Westfield School in an unchanged first four.

Blue Springs South (33-2) again rounds out the top five teams after breezing to its third Missouri state title in the last five years. The Jaguars defeated Marquette, 11-2, in last Thursday’s Class 5 semifinals, then rolled past Francis Howell, 10-2, in Friday’s championship to avenge a loss to the Vikings in last year’s state semis. Blue Springs South won back-to-back state Class 4 crowns in 2018 and 2019 before moving to Class 5 when Missouri expanded from four to five classifications in 2020.

Elsewhere, No. 12 Fatima (33-3) moved up two spots after wrapping up the Missouri state Class 3 crown, while Kearney (26-8) joins the rankings at No. 17 following its ranked win over Helias Catholic (28-7) in the Class 4 championship game.

North Gwinnett (29-8) dropped one place to 24th after losses to both No. 1 Buford and East Coweta in the double-elimination GHSA 7A Elite Eight.

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 – Nov. 11, 2022

Rank

Team

2022 Record

Previous

1

Buford (Ga.)

32-1

1

2

Columbine (Colo.)

28-1

2

3

Westfield School (Ga.)

28-0

3

4

Pope (Ga.)

35-1

4

5

Blue Springs South (Mo.)

33-2

5

6

Marian (Neb.)

33-2

6

7

Lutheran (Colo.)

28-1

7

8

Gretna (Neb.)

37-2

8

9

Rock Bridge (Mo.)

37-2

9

10

Washington (Okla.)

38-3

10

11

Piedmont (Okla.)

40-3

11

12

Fatima (Mo.)

33-3

14

13

Pocola (Okla.)

40-3

13

14

Douglas County (Colo.)

26-3

15

15

Mount Vernon (Iowa)

36-4

16

16

Legend (Colo.)

22-6

18

17

Kearney (Mo.)

26-8

NR

18

Tattnall Square Academy (Ga.)

29-7

19

19

Winterset (Iowa)

37-4

20

20

Twin Cedars (Iowa)

29-3

21

21

Holy Family (Colo.)

24-5

22

22

East Coweta (Ga.)

30-8

NR

23

Helias Catholic (Mo.)

28-7

17

24

North Gwinnett (Ga.)

29-8

23

25

Papillion-LaVista (Neb.)

25-10

25

Dropped out: Eureka (Mo.) and Washington (Mo.).

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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