Tips from the Top 100: Glendale Prep’s Comeback and other January Success Stories

An integral part of being a partner with VNN is the healthy competition between schools hoping to crack the top of our National Top 100 . Producing the best content and keeping their fans excited about high school sports all help – but exactly what are VNN’s high school athletic departments doing that make the most impact? Here’s where we highlight the top schools in our network for this past month, January 2018.

Leveling up – what does it take?

Glendale Preparatory Academy in Glendale, Arizona used to be on the outside looking in on VNN’s Top 100 with 8,978 page views in January of last year. This month they hiked all the way to the number two spot in the VNN Top 100 with over 90,000 page views during the month! That 913% increase from last year didn’t happen overnight but because, “We strive to be accurate in all of our schedules, giving updates and posting scores as they become available. We also have great pictures that we showcase on our site,” according to Jonathan Rickey, Director of Athletics. With an attitude like that it’s hard not to succeed. 

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A Michigan school getting real with mental health:

The West Bloomfield Lakers were the first school in the nation to implement a mental health curriculum to their health program. Their article posted about the incredible new PrepareU course created by one of their alumni, Ryan Beale, was the top read article in the entire VNN network for the month of January.  The program is “designed to move the needle” for mental health and how people cope with mental illnesses.

This story came at a relevant time for the national mental health conversation – where January 31st was #BellLetsTalk day, which promoted mental health awareness, acceptance and action built on 4 key pillars: fighting stigma around mental health issues, improving access to care, supporting world-class research and leading by example in the workplace. #BellLetsTalk began as a Canadian campaign with the National Hockey League which raised 5 cents per post for those that included the hashtag #BellLetsTalk, and the West Bloomfield article got a big boost from what was happening nationally.  


What keeps them great?

A school that has made a home from themselves within our Top 20 for the last year is Scripps Ranch from San Diego, California. In addition to keeping their site fresh weekly with new photo galleries, posts and featured stories, the Falcons have started using Rapid Replay, a new way to post highlight videos of their teams via a mobile app. Implementing Rapid Replay has elevated Scripps and kept them at the top of our network. VNN Network schools can get started with Rapid Replay by following this link:

Hot tips:

  • Photo galleries are the number one way to get fans on your site and to get them to stay on your site. If you would like to learn how to create galleries on your VNN site here is a tutorial that will help you.

Example: Our Top 100 leader, Glendale Prep, prides themselves on great photo content, check them out!

Example: Trousdale County Yellowjackets “Athlete of the Winter”


The full Top 100 includes such heavy hitters as Hoover (AL), Temple (TX), Sherwood (MD), Fishers (IN) and Brunswick (OH) – see the full list here.

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