The videos were fun, but we couldn't leave 2011 without a look back on the strangest stories in high school sports. With that in mind, here are the cream of the bizarre crop, as they stuck out to Prep Rally. Where the incidents rank -- and what inspired them -- is certainly up for debate, but they definitely all fall on the bizarre end of the scholastic sports scale.
• New Mexico parents file suit over a blown call to try and earn team a berth in state football playoffs: You can say whatever you want about the Atrisco (N.M.) Heritage High football parents, but no one can doubt their commitment to their sons' sports team. When it was clear that Heritage had been cheated out of a last second field goal attempt that would have -- potentially -- pushed the team into the state playoffs, they took their complaints all the way to the state courts. Eventually they fell short of a playoff berth, but did little to discredit their commitment to the program in the process.
• New York teenagers are suspended for Tebowing in school hallway: The term "Tebowing" has only been in the American sports cultural Zeitgeist for a couple of months, but it's already jumped the shark, as proven by this bizarre suspension of two twin brothers who organized a mass Tebowing at Riverhead (N.Y.) High. As first reported here at Prep Rally, the brothers didn't really do anything wrong, but were still given a one-day suspension essentially for proving that they could incite a riot. Fittingly, they kept Tebowing even during the suspension, though they did so in an area where they couldn't be punished again. Smart.
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• Illinois coach's wife charged with illegally changing player grades: Stories don't get much stranger than this: A high school football coach's wife, who was a special education teacher at the same school, was charged with breaking into the school's online grading system and changing grades for a bunch of students. Nearly all the players who received improved grades were football players, but the teacher's husband claimed he had no idea his wife was changing his players' grades. And, incredibly, he might have been telling the truth; none of the players whose grades were improved needed better grades to continue competing for the school.
• New York girls soccer team banned from state playoffs for playing one game too many: Holland (N.Y.) High had one of the best girls soccer teams in the state of New York in 2011. That is pretty much beyond question or doubt. What we'll never know is if the Holland squad was actually the best, because the team was banned from the state playoffs because it competed in one game too many. Really. Appeals didn't work, a Facebook campaign didn't help, and the team was forced to watch the playoffs unfold from the stands.
• Boston school loses state title game after game-winning penalty is called back for questionable celebration penalty: This moment was not the finest for football referees, with Massachusetts officials calling back a potential state title-winning touchdown by Boston (Mass.) Cathedral High quarterback Matt Owens when he raised his fist about 10 yards from the end zone in the fourth quarter. On the subsequent play he threw an interception, and Cathedral lost. Since then, Owens and Cathedral have become minor celebrities, landing a celebrity-studded lunch with Boston Mayor Tom Menino and a host of other sports stars. Good for them.
• Maryland boys soccer team banned from the state playoffs for doing 'The Bernie': Who knew that traditionally lampooned sequel 'Weekend at Bernie's 2' would land a highly touted boys soccer team in serious trouble? In fact, it threatened to kick them out of the state playoffs altogether, after the Perry Hall (Md.) boys squad celebrated a state playoff victory by dancing like a resurrected corpse. Parents from the vanquished foe complained, and Perry Hall's principal briefly ended his own team's season. Luckily, cooler heads prevailed and the team went on to compete in the state quarterfinals ... without any more Bernie celebrations.
• New Jersey teens play-in, win state semifinal despite violent assault charges: Few issues charged up a community more than this dispute surrounding the Wayne (N.J.) Hills High football program, which is coached by longtime head man Chris Olsen, who happens to be the father of NFL tight end Greg Olsen. The elder Olsen practically went to the ends of the earth to defend nine of his players, who were charged with a violent assault of two teens who attended a rival high school. By all accounts, it was an almost indefensible position to hold. In the end, the players were suspended from the state championship game ... but even that couldn't keep Wayne Hills from another state title.
• Runaway cart mows over coach after Texas state title game: Of all the inexplicable events from 2011, this was probably the least likely: A runaway cart, which was meant to collect pylons and other sideline goods, somehow had one of those aforementioned pylons hit the accelerator, with the phantom cart then plowing over a coach during a postgame interview. The event was stunning, shocking and the absolute epitome of head-shakingly bizarre.
• Tennessee football team vacates two wins after mom's Facebook scolding reveals her sons' ineligibility: They always say to be careful what you post on Facebook, and this story could serve as the absolute test case for that truism. The mother of two Tennessee football linemen tried to scold them on the social network for leaving their rooms messy when they disappeared for the week to return to the town in which they were attending school. There was just one problem with that: They weren't allowed to live in the two locales legally. As a result, the teens were deemed ineligible, and their team had to vacate the two victories they earned with them.
• Principal forces cheerleaders to wear sweats over their too-skimpy official uniforms: A team's uniforms are supposed to be the standard for what can legally be worn. That's what made this story so bizarre: A California principal deemed the skirts that the school's cheerleaders were wearing in violation of the school's dress code for a very simple reason: They were just too short. As a result, the cheerleaders were required to wear sweats under the skirts whenever they wore them at school events, despite the fact that they had been custom produced to fit the cheerleaders themselves.
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