LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Neshoba Central (Philadelphia, Miss.) opens the USA TODAY Sports/NFCA High School Super 25 poll in a familiar spot — the same No. 1 position it held for the final eight weeks last season.
The six-time defending Mississippi 5A state champion, which was a perfect 34-0 a year ago, is already 4-0 and is unbeaten over its last 43 games. The Rockets last loss came in May 2017— a 2-1 loss to Saltillo (Miss.) in the state 5A quarterfinals.
FULL RANKINGS: Super 25 Softball, Week 1
Fellow state title winners — two-time reigning Virginia 6A champion Madison (Va.) — remained No. 2 heading into Wednesday’s season opener at South County (Lorton, Va.), and perennial power Norco (Calif.) (8-0) rounds out the top three. The Cougars have allowed just two runs this season — both in a 6-2 triumph over California rival Orange Lutheran (Orange, Calif.) on Feb. 22 — while scoring 44.
Elsewhere, No. 7 Shawnee Heights (Tecumseh, Kan.) is coming off back-to-back Kansas state 5A crowns. The Thunderbirds will put their 50-game win streak on the line when they open their season on April 5 against Seaman (Topeka, Kan.).
Fellow Kansas powerhouse Olathe Northwest (Kan.) was the state runner-up in 2018 after winning the title in 2017. The 16th-ranked Ravens kick off their season on March 25 at Lawrence Free State (Kan.) High School.
Meanwhile, two-time reigning Indiana state champ New Palestine (Ind.) remains in the top 10 (ninth) as it prepares to start its season on April 2 at Southport.
State rankings submitted by NFCA member coaches are used to compile the USA Today Sports/NFCA High School Super 25.