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February 2013

Georgetown beats Brennan to secure spot in Class 4A championship game


Kaitlin Walla scored 17 points and Lorrie Santoy added 11 points and seven rebounds in Georgetown’s 44-30 win over San Antonio Brennan on Thursday night. The Lady Eagles (33-4) will return to the Erwin Center on Saturday afternoon to play Dallas Lincoln (36-4) for the Class 4A championship.

Georgetown and San Antonio Brennan battled to a 13-13 tie at halftime. But the Lady Eagles took control of the game in the third quarter.

Four Lady Eagles combined to score 18 points in the third quarter and Georgetown shut out San Antonio Brennan’s offense in the frame. Georgetown exited the quarter with a 31-13 lead and the Lady Eagles led by as much as 21 points in the final frame.

San Antonio Brennan (30-9) was led by Tanaeya Boclair’s 14 points.

Georgetown and Dallas Lincoln will play at 3 p.m. on Saturday. Georgetown will be chasing its first state championship since the 1978-79 season.

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UIL girls: Dallas Lincoln 64, Aledo 44

In its first appearance at the Erwin Center since 2010, Dallas Lincoln got 20 points from Alisha Washington in a 64-44 win over Aledo. In the 20-point victory, Lincoln (36-4) was also led by Jade Colbert’s 14 points and Jalah Walton’s 12-point, 11-rebound performance.

Aledo scored seven points over the Class 4A semifinal game’s first 62 seconds and had a 17-10 lead by the end of the first quarter. But Dallas Lincoln, which put together a woeful 10-for-42 effort from the field in the first half, rallied to a 27-20 lead by halftime.

Lincoln held Aledo without a field goal in the second and third quarters. The Tigers took a 44-27 lead into the final session and Aledo was unable to get closer than 12 points.

A 13-time tournament entrant, Lincoln advances to its ninth championship game. The Tigers won Class 4A titles in 1999, 2004 and 2008.

Aledo (30-8) was led by Megan Wood’s 13 points.

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UIL girls: Kennedale 87, Smithville 66

Kennedale 87, Smithville 66: Kennedale jumped out to a 30-10 lead after the opening quarter and rolled to a victory in the Class 3A state semifinals at the UIL girls basketball tournament.

A trio of Kennedale players — Travanti Downes, Autummn Williams and McKinley Bostad — each scored at least 20 points as the Wildcats (31-6) advanced to the 3A final to face Mexia.

Smithville (29-8), which had won 14 games in a row, was hurt by 31 turnovers. Forward Taryn Leiferman scored 19 points for the Lady Tigers while Cadie Jones added 13.

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UIL girls: Mexia 50, Krum 41

Mexia 50, Krum 41: Forward Brechelle Beachum and center Ashley Johnson combined for 10 steals to help Mexia race to victory in a Class 3A semifinal.

Neither team shot well, but Mexia took advantage of 28 turnovers by Krum, converting them into 23 points. Beachum helped Mexia overcome a 24-22 halftime deficit by scoring 16 points while guards Na’Teshia Owens and Ariel Ballard scored 14 and 10 points, respectively.

Many of Krum’s turnovers turned into easy buckets for Mexia, which owned a 34-12 edge in points in the paint.

Mexia (35-3) will make its first trip to a state final on Saturday, when the Blackcats will play Kennedale at 10 a.m. at the Erwin Center.

Rachel Wallace scored 15 points for Krum (29-7), and Julia Schmaltz added 14. Krum topped Mexia in rebounding 35-27, with Schmaltz leading both teams with 11.

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UIL girls: Martin’s Mill 54, Snook 49

Martin’s Mill 54, Snook 49: Taylor Munns scored five points in the final 1:01 of overtime and grabbed a critical defensive rebound with six seconds to play as Martin’s Mill (35-5) advanced to its fourth straight Class A, Division I final.

After grabbing her final rebound, Munns passed to Haily Jenkins, who was fouled and added two free throws in the final 1.2 seconds. Jenkins finished with 15 points while Munns and Cheyenne Brown each added 14 for Martin’s Mill, which last won a state title in 2007. Brown also grabbed 13 rebounds.

Shakera Barnes led Snook (24-12) with 21 points while Miya Hoskins added 11.

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UIL girls: Smyer 40, Triple A Academy 36

Smyer 40, Triple A Academy 36: Kennedy Farr and Jordan Locke combined to score Smyer’s first 26 points, helping the Lady Cats build a 13-point lead in a Class A, Division I semifinal victory.

Smyer (33-6) will face Martin’s Mill or Snook on Saturday for the Class A, Division I title.

Behind the inside-outside combination of the 6-foot-2-inch Farr and the 5-10 Locke, Smyer opened a 26-13 lead before Farr picked up her fourth foul midway through the third quarter. With Farr sidelined, Triple A Academy — a charter school in Dallas —put together a 9-0 run, and the Lady Stallions trailed 30-24 entering the final quarter.

Farr finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds despite missing nearly nine minutes because of foul trouble. Locke added 17 points. Both started on the Smyer teams that won back-to-back Class A, Division I state titles from 2010-11.

Amber Browning led Triple A Academy with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

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Anderson, Georgetown and Jarrell to play in playoff’s fourth round


And then there were three.

Anderson, Georgetown and Jarrell are the only boys basketball teams from the Austin area left standing in the University Interscholastic League’s playoffs. The three teams will participate in regional semifinal games on Friday and if they win, they will play on Saturday for an invitation to the state tournament.

Anderson is making its first-ever trip to the fourth round of the Class 5A playoffs while Jarrell is trying to avoid the same regional semifinal letdown that ended the Cougars’ 2011 and 2012 season. Two wins this weekend will help Georgetown match the school’s girls basketball program, which won the Class 4A, Region III tournament last week.

Here is the schedule for the area’s three games on Friday:




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Austin’s final four prepares for TAPPS’ Final Four

Four local basketball teams will try to wins a TAPPS title this weekend.

TAPPS will host its annual state basketball tournament this weekend and the Austin area still has four girls basketball teams alive in one of the private school association’s brackets. State semifinal games will be played on Friday and championship games are scheduled for Saturday.

At least one of the Austin area’s state semifinalists will reach a state championship game as Brentwood Christian and Round Rock Christian will play in a Class 3A showdown. St. Dominic Savio and Marble Falls Faith will appear in Class 4A and Class 2A semifinal games.

Here is the schedule for the Austin-area’s state semifinalists:




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Prepped And Ready: Coaching Consistency

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The Austin-area has three boys basketball teams left as we approach the regional tournament past of the University Interscholastic League’s playoffs. And to be the best, Anderson, Georgetown and Jarrell will have to beat the best.

The teams that are joining Anderson in Waco? Class 5A’s fifth, eighth and 11th-ranked teams. At its regional tournament in Nacogdoches, Jarrell will draw the state’s third-ranked team in the regional semifinals and if the Cougars survive, they’ll get to play either White Oak (the state’s defending champion and second-ranked team) or a Salado squad that Jarrell has beaten twice but also lost a 57-48 game to.

The highest-ranked teams at the Class 4A, Region III tournament will be 20th-ranked Rosenberg Terry and 21st-ranked Freeport Brazosport. Georgetown, who spent much of the season in the TABC poll, will play Freeport Brazosport on Friday and the winner of that game will get either Rosenberg Terry or Crosby.


Each week, we’ll introduce you to a player who is making big plays despite not having a big name. This week, we’re taking a look at Georgetown senior center Hayley Hunter.

One of the tallest players on Georgetown’s roster, the six-foot-one-inch Hunter has given Georgetown an inside presence this season. Hunter is averaging 12.2 points and 6.1 rebounds per game and among her fellow starters, she is the second-best free throw shooter (72 percent).

Hunter will be challenged on Thursday night by a San Antonio Brennen team that is not lacking in height. The Lady Bears start three players - junior Tanaeya Boclair, junior Eliza Martinez and sophomore Deja Mason - who stand at least six feet tall.


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If you’re looking for something that the Austin area’s three representatives at the state tournament have in common, look no further than the teams’ benches. Georgetown, Pflugerville and Smithville all have longtime coaches who have established themselves in their respective cities and for today’s list, let’s take a look at those coaching careers.

Pflugerville coach Nancy Walling

Walling celebrated her 600th career win on Jan. 11 and she has tacked 11 more wins onto her resume since then. Walling won two state championships as a player at Canyon High School and she has led Pflugerville on four trips to the Class 5A semifinals.

Georgetown coach Rhonda Farney

Either next season or the one after that, Farney will celebrate her 1,000th career win as she will head into this week’s tournament with a 969-265 career record. Farney, who coached at Goldthwaite, Ozona and Canyon Vista Middle School before her 25-year stay in Georgetown, has led the Lady Eagles to six appearances at the state tournament.

Smithville coach Robin Ramsey

As she approaches the end of her 17th season in Smithville, Ramsay has compiled a 363-212 record with the Lady Tigers and she has never missed out on the playoffs. Ramsey also coached at Tom Moore and Bandera.


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We just mentioned that Pflugerville coach Nancy Walling won two state championships as a player at Canyon High School.

Walling sent along this picture from her playing days with the Lady Eagles. In addition to winning the Class 3A titles in 1977 and 1978, Walling was also a four-year letterwinner at the University of Texas and she played on the Lady Longhorns’ first NCAA tournament team.


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Every week, we spotlight the collegiate athletic accomplishments of a few of our area alums. If you know of somebody who should be featured, email

Since Pflugerville, Georgetown and Smithville are in the state tournament… let’s take a look at some former Panthers, Eagles and Tigers.

That’s it. See you on Friday.

Maria from Sesame Street, play us out.

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Injured Pflugerville players uncertain for state hoops

Two starters for the Pflugerville girls basketball team had MRIs on their injured left knees Monday and their status for the upcoming state tournament might be revealed Tuesday, coach Nancy Walling said.

Senior guard Amy Staha was injured in the regional semifinal Friday against Plano West. Senior guard Brenisha Payne was hurt during the opening minute of Saturday’s regional championship victory over Spring Dekaney.

Pflugerville (38-0) will play in a Class 5A semifinal at 8:30 p.m. Friday against Cibolo Steele. Staha and Payne are Pflugerville’s leading scorers, averaging 10 points apiece.

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LBJ grad earns ACC honors in diving

University of Miami sophomore diver and former LBJ High School All-American Kara McCormack took home two medals from last week’s Atlantic Coast Conference Championships in Greensboro, N.C..

McCormack, who currently holds the UIL 4A girl’s state diving record and placed ninth at the 2012 US Olympic Diving Trials in the three meter synchronized event, finished the 2013 ACC Championships with a bronze medal on the 1 meter board and brought home the gold medal for the Hurricanes on the 10 meter platform.

McCormack’s next stop will be the NCAA Championships next month in Indianapolis.

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Round Rock Christian sends two teams to TAPPS’ regional round

Georgetown, Pflugerville and Smithville won’t be the only teams attempting to win a state championship this week.

Six basketball teams from the Austin area are still alive in the TAPPS playoffs. TAPPS will host its regional playoffs games during the first half of this week and its semifinal and championship games are scheduled for this weekend.

Here is the schedule for the Austin area’s regional finalists:





Editor’s note: Austin Waldorf was originally omitted from this blog entry.

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Prepped And Ready: Pflugerville’s Yellow Shirts


Good morning everybody.

Georgetown, Pflugerville and Smithville fans will get to treat themselves to another week of basketball as their girls basketball teams have all reached the state semifinals. Georgetown and Smithville will each play their semifinal games on Thursday while Pflugerville will be at the Erwin Center on Friday.

When was the last time that the Austin area had at least three representatives at the state tournament? It’s actually been eight years since Connally, Pflugerville and Wimberley all reached the 2005 tournament.


Pflugerville and Duncanville will enter the state tournament with unblemished records and both teams will be looking to become the first Class 5A programs since Rockwall in 2007 to finish the season with an undefeated record. The 2007 state championship game featuring Rockwall and Cy-Fair was also the last time that any of the UIL’s title games, regardless of classification, pitted two undefeated girls basketball teams against each other.

Since Rockwall’s 2007 season, Class 4A Canyon is the only team to go undefeated. Canyon secured its undefeated season with a 44-39 win over LBJ in the 2011 Class 4A championship game.


There will be a basketball game played on Monday night and it’s a pretty big one. The Anderson Trojans and Abrian Edwards’ Pflugerville Panthers will meet in a regional quarterfinal game to decide who will represent the Austin area at this weekend’s regional tournament in Waco.

The Austin area hasn’t had a Class 5A regional semifinalist since Pflugerville reached the playoff’s fourth round in 2006. Either Pflugerville or Anderson will match that feat on Monday night.



1. During the 2012-13 school year, Lanier has missed the playoffs in football, volleyball and both of the basketballs but wrestler Andrey Diaz gave the school a state championship on Saturday when she beat Amarillo Caprock’s Ashlea Vongkhamphra in Class 4A’s 102-pound championship match. Austin ISD can now boast won four state championships in wrestling and Lanier has won two of those titles (Tabathia Ramsey won the overall 110-pound championship in 2002).

2. The last time that Anderson reached the third round of the playoffs? 1998. Georgetown last got to the playoff’s third round during a 1992 season that saw the Eagles reach the Class 4A semifinals. Kudos to those two programs.

3. If you go to Pflugerville’s state semifinal game against Cibolo Steele on Friday night, you’ll likely notice some brightly colored t-shirts on Pflugerville’s bench and among the Lady Panthers’ fans.

Explains head coach Nancy Walling: “Highlighter yellow. Actually my sporting goods salesman (B&B Athletics’ Doug Dickson) sold us coaches some highlighter yellow tennis shoes and we bit, we bought it and we got a lot of attention from them. He said people are going to know when you walk in. When we started looking for t-shirts, I’m like ‘Highlighter yellow’. The Woodlands had them also, Klein Forest had them so it’s not just us. It’s just the new style, we’re trying to stay vogue.”



The University Interscholastic League isn’t the only entity that will be crowing champions this week. TAPPS will hold its third-round playoff games during the first half of this week and the private school association’s semifinal and championship rounds are scheduled for this weekend.

The Austin area still has six teams left in the TAPPS playoffs. So for today’s Notable Numbers segment, let’s take a look at the TAPPS basketball scene.

9: It’s been nearly nine years since an Austin-area team won a TAPPS title. The boys basketball team from St. Michael’s took home the Class 5A title in 2004. St. Michael’s also won the area’s last TAPPS title in girls basketball as the Lady Crusaders took home the Class 4A crown in 2001.

2: Round Rock Christian has two teams playing in the regional round of the TAPPS playoffs. At 6 p.m. on Tuesday, the Lady Crusaders will play Tomball Rosehill and the school’s boys basketball team will play The Woodlands Christian Academy at 7:30 p.m. Both games will be played at Bryan’s Rudder High School.

0: St. Dominic Savio, which will play its regional playoff game against Corpus Christi Incarnate Word this week, has zero players on its roster who were members of the school’s state championship softball team in 2012. Junior guards Jenna Minor and Talyn LeJeune both played on a St. Dominic Savio volleyball team that reached the Class 3A championship match during the 2011-12 school year.

193: Marble Falls Faith has posted a 193-30 record over the last six seasons under Jerry English. The Lady Flames, who have reached the Class 2A state tournament in 2008, 2009 and 2011, are 35-2 this season and the team will play Muenster Sacred Heart in a third-round playoff game.


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Looking for a basketball game to go to on Tuesday? Here are three that may be worth your time.

1. LBJ vs. San Antonio Brennan (boys basketball): In a match-up that seems more fitting for a regional championship game, LBJ and San Antonio Brennan will meet up in a regional quarterfinal game on Tuesday. LBJ (32-3) is the state’s sixth-ranked team. Brennan (36-2) tops the TABC’s Class 4A poll. This game at New Braunfels Canyon High is set to begin at 7:30 p.m.

2. Georgetown vs. Nederland (boys basketball): Georgetown’s football team ended Nederland’s season with a 38-6 win in the quarterfinal round of the Class 4A, Division I playoffs. Over two months later, the school’s boys basketball team will try to accomplish the same thing. This game at Magnolia West High is set to begin at 7:30 p.m.

3. Jarrell vs. Franklin (boys basketball): Jarrell has reached the regional semifinals in each of the past two seasons. In order to make it three in a row, the Cougars are going to have to beat a Franklin team that has lost once this season. This game at Waco High is set to begin at 7 p.m.

Alright, that’s enough for today. Let’s blog again on Wednesday.

Quad City DJs, play us out.

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Semifinal match-ups announced for Georgetown, Pflugerville and Smithville

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The girls basketball teams from Georgetown, Pflugerville and Smithville will all be at the Erwin Center this week in search of the Austin area’s first state championship since 1996.

On Thursday afternoon, Smithville (29-7) will play Kennedale (30-6) at 3 p.m. in a Class 3A semifinal game. Hours later, Georgetown (32-4) will play San Antonio Brennan (30-8) at 8:30 p.m. in a Class 4A semifinal showdown.

On Friday, Pflugerville (38-0) will play Cibolo Steele (32-5) in a Class 5A semifinal game. The Lady Panthers and Lady Knights will play at 8:30 p.m.

If victorious, the three teams will return to the Erwin Center on Saturday for their classifications’ championship games. The Class 3A championship game will be played at 10 a.m. on Saturday, the Class 4A title game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. and the Class 5A championship game is set for 8:30 p.m.

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Austin-area showdown on regional quarterfinal schedule

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Five Austin-area boys basketball teams will enter the regional quarterfinal round of the University Interscholastic League’s boys basketball playoffs. At least one will survive.

Anderson, Georgetown, Jarrell, LBJ and Pflugerville have all reached the third round of the UIL playoffs. A win in the regional quarterfinals will advance a team to this weekend’s regional tournament.

The Austin-area is guaranteed to have at least one team in the regional semifinals as Anderson and Pflugerville are matched up in the Class 5A bracket. The Trojans and Panthers, who played each other in bi-district playoff games in 2011 and 2012, will meet at McNeil High on Monday night.

Here is the schedule for the Austin area’s regional quarterfinalists:


- Anderson vs. Pflugerville, 7 p.m. on Monday at McNeil HS


- LBJ vs. SA Brennan, 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at New Braunfels Canyon HS

- Georgetown vs. Nederland, 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Magnolia West HS


- Jarrell vs. Franklin, 7 p.m. on Tuesday at Waco HS

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Georgetown wins two of area’s five wrestling championships


The Austin area took advantage of the expanded format at the University Interscholastic League’s state wrestling tournament.

Five of the area’s wrestlers won state championships on Saturday. Dripping Springs’ Jonah Ribera and Leander’s Chris Giddens won the Class 4A meet’s 126 and 160-pound tournaments while Georgetown’s Blair Murski and Jace LaCaille won Class 4A’s 182 and 220-pound titles.

Lanier senior Andrey Diaz, the area’s only female champion, pinned Amarillo Caprock’s Ashlea Vongkhamphra in 4:36 to win Class 4A’s 102-pound championship.

This year marked the first year that the UIL had two wrestling meets, one for Class 5A wrestlers and one for Class 4A wrestlers. Before this winter, the Austin area had won only 11 championships at the state wrestling meet and Lanier’s Tabathia Ramsey and Vista Ridge’s Carrie Clark were the area’s only wrestlers from Class 4A schools to win a title.

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Eight Austin-area wrestlers reach title matches

The University Interscholastic League’s state meet will wrap up at the Delco Center on Saturday and eight Austin-area wrestlers will be competing for a state championship.

The area’s marquee match-up will pit Leander’s Chris Giddens against Vista Ridge’s Nathan Harrison in the Class 4A 160-pound finale. Earlier this month, Giddens and Harrison were set to wrestle for district and regional championships but Harrison forfeited each match due to an injury.

Vandegrift’s Adrian Barraza will wrestle Beeville Jones’ Rogelio Salazar for the Class 4A 113-pound title and Dripping Springs’ Jonah Ribera will meet up with Fort Worth Boswell’s Michael Gonzalez-Jones in the Class 4A 126-pound finale. Georgetown’s Blair Murski and Jace LaCaille, who were both linebackers on a football team that played in the Class 4A, Division I championship game, will also appear in Class 4A’s 182 and 220-pound championship matches.

Lanier’s Andrey Diaz will face Amarillo Caprock’s Ashlea Vongkhamphra in the Class 4A 102-pound title match. And Hendrickson’s Kierra Boyce, the Austin area’s only Class 5A finalist, will wrestle against Keller Fossil Ridge’s Paige Garcia for the 215-pound championship.

Boyce is scheduled to wrestle around 9:30 on Saturday morning at the Delco Center while Diaz’s championship match will be held at 4 p.m. The UIL will hold its championship matches for the Class 4A boys at 6 p.m.

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Five teams to play for Erwin Center invitations


On Saturday, five of the Austin area’s girls basketball teams will play for a trip to the state tournament.

Georgetown, Pflugerville, Smithville, Thorndale and Vista Ridge all won regional semifinal games on Friday. The Austin area’s final five will play in regional championship games on Saturday and a victory will ensure a team a spot in next week’s state tournament.

Thorndale will play Snook in a Class A, Division I regional championship game that will be played at New Braunfels Canyon High at 1 pm. Down at Corpus Christi’s American Bank Center, Smithville and Boerne will meet at 12 p.m. to decide who the Class 3A, Region IV champion will be.

The Austin area could send two teams to the Class 4A tournament as Georgetown and Vista Ridge are both still alive.

Georgetown will play Tomball at 1 p.m. at Houston’s M.O. Campbell Center in the Region III title game. Vista Ridge, a Region IV team, will play San Antonio Brennen at 2 p.m. at the Blossom Athletic Center in San Antonio.

Finally, Pflugerville will play Spring Dekaney for the Class 5A, Region II title on Saturday. The Lady Panthers and Lady Wildcats will play at 6 p.m. at Baylor University’s Ferrell Special Events Center.

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Prepped And Ready: Austin’s Record-Breaking Swimmers

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So how about those Anderson Trojans?

Rasmus Bach scored 18 points on Thursday night to help lead Anderson to a 44-38 win over The Woodlands in the area round of the Class 5A playoffs. Anderson is now heading to the regional quarterfinals and the program’s progression is still trending upwards.

The Trojans reached the Class 5A playoffs for the first time in 2011, won their first Class 5A playoff game in 2012 and Anderson has now secured its first trip to the third round of the Class 5A playoffs. At this rate, Anderson will be celebrating a state championship in 2018.

Let’s blog.




Georgetown’s soccer team won’t have its St. Edward’s-bound goaltender for Friday’s game against Elgin. But Lorrie Santoy has a pretty good excuse: she also starts for a basketball team that will play in the regional semifinals on Friday.


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In today’s newspaper, you will find our preview for the 2013 baseball season. We’ve got a rundown of a few of the area’s top players and top teams. We also published a story about Lake Travis pitcher Daniel Castano.

A left-hander who has signed with Baylor, Castano is following in the footsteps of other standout pitchers at Lake Travis.


Thirteen Austin-area wrestlers have reached the semifinals at the state wrestling meet. One of those wrestlers is Leander senior Chris Giddens.

On Thursday, Rick wrote a story about the undefeated Giddins, who was hoping to learn from the mistakes he made at last year’s state meet.


Leander’s boys basketball has had a successful winter that has included a district championship and a bi-district playoff win over McCallum. Not bad for a team that went 5-23 last season.

I drove out to Leander on Tuesday afternoon to chat with point guard Allan McClatcher about his team’s turnaround and the Leander Lion who has the loudest fans.



Over the weekend, swimmers and relay teams from the Austin area will be at the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center for the University Interscholastic League’s annual state swimming and diving meet.

The Austin area has had success at past meets. In fact, Austin-area swimmers own 10 individual meet records.

For today’s list, let’s take a look at those record-holders. An asterisk indicates that the player had the best overall time, regardless of classification.

And let’s not forget about Westlake’s 400-yard freestyle relay team, which set the Class 5A and overall meet records in that event in 2008. On that relay team? Beck and Tucker, who were joined by Megan Latone and Camille Hendrix.

Westlake’s 400-yard freestyle relay team actually set a national record at the 2008 state meet. So did Beck in the 200-Yard individual medley. Those records, however, have since been broken.


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Looking for a basketball game to go to on Friday? Here are four that may be worth your time.

1. Pflugerville vs. Plano West (girls basketball): The second-ranked team in the TABC’s Class 5A poll, Pflugerville will meet up with the state’s eighth-ranked team in Waco. Pflugerville (36-0) has won its three playoff games by an average of 33.7 points. Plano West (36-3) has won its three playoff games by an average of 34.3 points. This game at the Ferrell Center is set to begin at 6 p.m.

2. Connally vs. Tomball (girls basketball): In each of the past two rounds, Connally has traveled to Katy and left with a win over a Beaumont school. Last week, Connally beat Beaumont Ozen 47-43 in an area playoff game. On Tuesday, Connally upended Beaumont Central with a 42-40 win. The Lady Cougars aren’t playing in Katy on Friday and their opponent isn’t from Beaumont but a win will get Connally into the Class 4A, Region III title game. This game at Houston’s M.O. Campbell Center is set to begin at 3:30 p.m.

3. Cedar Park vs. San Antonio Brennan (boys basketball): The Timberwolves reached the state tournament in 2011 but in order to get back to the Erwin Center, they will have to beat the state’s top-ranked team. The Timberwolves will look to avoid the same fate as last year’s girls basketball team, whose season was ended in the area round of the Class 4A playoffs… by San Antonio Brennan. This game at Fredericksburg High is set to begin at 4 p.m.

4. Georgetown vs. Beaumont Central (boys basketball): After struggling toward the end of the regular season, the Eagles opened up the postseason with a 59-51 victory over Willis. In order to extend their season, the Eagles will now have to beat the state’s 13th-ranked team. This game at Prairie View A&M University is set to begin at 7 p.m.

And that’s enough blog for today. I’ll see you Connally and Georgetown fans in Houston.

Connally baseball team, play us out.

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TSWA honors Austin-area football players

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UPDATE: Westwood wide receiver Ty Marshall, Westwood defensive lineman Parker Hanusa, Westwood kicker Colin McGuire, Westlake kicker Michael Barden and Lake Travis kicker Kevin Marcotte all earned third team honors on the TSWA’s Class 5A team.

On Thursday, sportswriters from across the state honored three Eagles, two Timberwolves and a Rouse Raider.

Georgetown guard Tyler Preston was joined by teammates Junel Barnes, a defensive lineman, and Brandon Boone, a defensive back, on the first team of the Texas Sports Writers Association’s Class 4A all-state team. Cedar Park linebacker Jackson Paine and Rouse defensive back Jordan Vise also made the team and Cedar Park’s Joe Willis earned Coach of the Year honors.

On the second team of the TSWA’s Class 4A all-state team was Georgetown quarterback Jake Hubenak, Cedar Park defensive lineman Wadih Eljuri, Rouse linebacker Tim Lapaglia and Cedar Park offensive linemen Austin Hisler and Davis Geerts. Third team honorees included Georgetown offensive lineman Jacob Hildebrand, Cedar Park tight end Chad Whitehead, Georgetown wide receiver Randy Knightner, Cedar Park athlete Nate Grimm, Manor linebacker Quinton Grant, Georgetown linebacker Jace LaCaille and Georgetown kick returner Matt Sanchez.

Liberty Hill senior Jadon Boatright, who scored off four kickoffs and a punt return this season, was placed on the first team of the TSWA’s Class 3A team as a kick returner. Thorndale senior defensive lineman Fabian Gomez earned second team honors on the Class A squad.

The TSWA’s Class 5A all-state team will be released on Friday.

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St. Andrew’s wins SPC championship

The boys basketball team from St. Andrew’s has brought a championship back to the Austin area.

John Covert scored 18 points and Blake Thrower contributed 10 more points in the Crusaders’ 52-49 win over John Cooper on Feb. 16. The three-point conquest came in the championship game of the Southwest Preparatory Conference’s Division II basketball tournament.

St. Andrew’s coach Jeff McCrary said that this was the first time that St. Andrew’s had won the Division II tournament. The Southwest Preparatory Conference consists of private schools from Texas and Oklahoma (John Cooper is located in The Woodlands).

The Austin area’s other representative in the Division II tournament - St. Stephen’s - was beaten in the semifinal round by St. Andrew’s. The Spartans wound up in fourth place.

St. Andrew’s finishes the 2012-13 season with a 16-15 record.

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Fourteen basketball teams head to UIL’s area round

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What Anderson and Austin High start on Thursday, Connally will finish on Saturday.

Anderson and Austin High’s boys basketball teams will head to College Station on Thursday for area playoff games against The Woodlands and Spring Westfield. Eleven Austin-area teams will play their area playoff games on Friday and Connally has a game against Crosby scheduled for Saturday afternoon.

A win in the area round of the University Interscholastic League’s playoffs will advance a team to next week’s regional quarterfinal round.

Here is the schedule for the Austin area’s area finalists.





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Six teams to represent the Austin area at regional tournaments


Six Austin-area girls basketball teams are two wins away from reaching the state tournament.

Pflugerville, Georgetown, Connally, Vista Ridge, Smithville and Thorndale have all reached the regional semifinal round of the University Interscholastic League playoffs. With the exception of Connally, all of the aforementioned teams will be making at least their second regional semifinal appearance in the last three seasons.

A win on Friday will advance a team to a regional championship game on Saturday. A win on Saturday will secure a spot in next week’s state tournament.

Two teams to keep an eye on will be Georgetown and Connally. If the Lady Eagles and Lady Cougars are able to beat Rosenburg Lamar and Tomball on Friday, the District 17-4A rivals will play on Saturday for the Class 4A, Region III championship.

Here is the schedule for the Austin-area’s regional semifinalists:





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Prepped And Ready: Vandegrift’s Prukop-Heavy History Book

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This week, Adrian Barraza and Tristan Prukop will become the first Vandegrift Vipers to compete at the state wrestling meet. Barraza, a sophomore, will compete in Class 4A’s 113-pound classification while Prukop, a junior, wrestles at 152 pounds.

This won’t be the first time that a Prukop goes into the Vandegrift record books.

Dakota Prukop, Tristan’s older brother, was on the throwing end of the school’s first varsity touchdown and he played on a basketball team that reached the Class 3A playoffs in its first year of competition. In 2011, Dakota and Tristan Prukop lined up at the quarterback and safety positions for a football team that appeared in and won its first playoff game.


Each week, we’ll introduce you to a player who is making big plays despite not having a big name. This week, we’re taking a look at is Veritas Academy junior Trevor Shaw.

Shaw recently became the only Austin-area athlete to medal at the TAPPS wrestling meet on Feb. 9. Wrestling in the 132-pound division, Shaw finished third.

This season, Shaw posted a 24-4 record and one of those losses was a semifinal defeat to McKinney Christian’s Christian Doyle at the state meet in Dallas. Shaw bounced back from the loss and he pinned his next two opponents - one of which was Texas School for the Deaf wrestler Braulio Contreras - to secure the bronze medal.


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The annual state swimming meet will begin on Friday and in Tuesday’s newspaper, we had a story about Westwood’s Bradley Homza and Burnet’s Savanna Meadows. Homza and Meadows are both divers but as our Lauren Jette reported, the two college-bound athletes differ when the subject is killing time at their meets.


I went out to Bowie High on Monday to catch a wrestling practice that featured Bulldogs, Chaparrals and Tigers… oh my. Bowie and Westlake are used to practicing at this time of the year as they all have well-established wrestling programs but Dripping Springs is a different story.

A second-year program, Dripping Springs is sending representatives to the state meet for the first time. So while I was at Bowie, I chatted with three of the Tigers’ four Delco Center-bound wrestlers and Luke Hodsden, Jonah Ribera and Jordan Ribera talked to me about competing at the state meet and the future of their school’s wrestling program.


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Every week, we spotlight the collegiate athletic accomplishments of a few of our area alums. If you know of somebody who should be featured, email

All five members of the 2009-10 All-Central Texas basketball team have logged minutes at the collegiate level this winter. Let’s catch up with them today.

OK, we’re done for today. We’ll see you later.

Tracy Chapman, play us out.

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Leander’s Harper to coach at Alma mater

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Leander football coach Clint Harper is heading home.

Harper confirmed to the American-Statesman on Tuesday that he will be Marshall High’s next football coach. A former Maverick quarterback, Harper graduated from Marshall High in 1994.

Harper will inherit a Marshall team that went 1-9 in 2012. The Mavericks compete in District 14-4A.

After spending five seasons in Leander as an assistant coach, Harper succeeded Steve Gideon in 2011. In his two seasons, Leander went 19-6.

During the 2012 season, Leander went 11-2 and the Lions reached the third round of the Class 4A, Division I playoffs.

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Prepped And Ready: An Action-Packed Week


For those of you who didn’t know, the University Interscholastic League will be hosting its state swimming and wrestling meets this week. And those aren’t the only shows in town.

The boys basketball playoffs will begin on Monday and by the end of the weekend, we’ll know what girls basketball teams will be playing in next week’s state tournament. The 2013 baseball season also starts this week and if you’re into high school softball, soccer, golf, tennis or track, you’ll be able to find something around town.

So buckle up. It’s going to be a busy week.


Seventy-five wrestlers from the Austin area will be at the Delco Center and Burger Center this week for the University Interscholastic League’s annual state meet. But did you know that only five Austin-area boys have won a championship at the state wrestling tournament? Did you know that only four Austin-area girls have taken home titles?

Bowie’s Jonathan Sherrill won the 135-pound title in 2000, Westlake’s Justin Wood won the 145-pound championship in 2001 and the 152-pound title in 2002 and Bowie’s Greg Goganas was the top 103-pound wrestler in 2006. In 2009, Vista Ridge’s Bryan Osorio and Westlake’s Peyton Burns won the 135 and 152-pound championships.

In 2002, Lanier’s Tabathia Ramsey won the 110-pound championship, Pflugerville’s Rachel Billerbeck won the 128-pound title in 2003 and Cedar Park’s Jamie Moore won the 215-pound championship in 2009. Vista Ridge’s Carrie Clark won back-to-back championships in the 185-pound weight class in 2006 and 2007.


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Boys basketball teams from across the state will begin their playoff runs on either Monday or Tuesday. LBJ, the top-ranked team in the American-Statesman’s power poll and the sixth-ranked team in the TABC’s Class 4A poll, will host its bi-district playoff game against Vista Ridge on Monday night.

LBJ has been led this season by junior point guard Jahlil Tutein, who has established himself as an All-Central Texas Player of the Year candidate. But over the course of his breakout season, Tutein has had to overcome the death of his mother, who passed away in December.

We wrote about Tutein in today’s newspaper. If you’re interested in this story, here is the link.


Cedar Ridge, a second-year varsity program that was bumped up to Class 5A this season, will travel over to Anderson High on Monday night for its first-ever playoff game. The Raiders will be led by junior guard De’Andre Davis, who is averaging 21.8 points, 7.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game.

Anderson made its first-ever postseason appearance at the Class 5A level in 2011 and the Trojans won their first Class 5A playoff game in 2012. Guards Ras Bach and John Gramlich, who are averaging 16.3 and 14.9 points per game, lead the way for a Trojan team that is looking to take the next step.



1. On Friday night, Connally’s girls basketball team knocked off the TABC poll’s fourth-ranked program in an area playoff game that was played in Katy. If Connally can beat Beaumont Central in Katy on Tuesday, the Lady Cougars may join the state’s top-ranked team - District 17-4A rival Georgetown - at the Class 4A, Region III tournament in Houston.

2. How about a round of applause for Bowie and senior Kendra King, who scored 21 points in the Lady Dawgs’ 56-50 win over The Woodlands on Thursday. Earlier this season, Bowie feared that King would be lost for the season with a wrist injury but she returned for a Jan. 22 game against Austin High (she opened the 31-point win with two three-pointers) and the Lady Dawgs are 6-0 since her return to the line-up.

3. Jarrell’s boys basketball team has recorded a 29-3 record this season and the Cougars are the 14th-ranked team in the TABC’s poll of Class 2A teams. For the most part, the Cougars have gone about their business without the services of senior forward Morgan Cooper, who returned for last Friday’s tiebreaker game against Salado after a three-month injury-related absence. Last season, Cooper was an All-Central Texas honoree and he averaged 19.8 points per game.



The UIL’s boys basketball playoffs begin on Monday, let’s chat about that.

5: The Austin area has won five UIL state championships. Austin High won the “All Schools” title in 1928, San Marcos won the “All Schools” championship in 1940 and the Class 3A championship in 1965 and Thorndale won back-to-back Class A, Division I titles in 2007 and 2008.

0: No Austin-area basketball teams reached the state tournament in 2012. The Austin area had sent a team to the state tournament in each of the previous seven seasons.

20: The Austin area went 20-29 in its playoff games in 2012. Only four teams - Jarrell, Liberty Hill, Manor and Lake Travis - won more than one playoff game.

30: Three Austin-area teams - Elgin, LBJ and Liberty Hill - won 30 games this season. This marks the fifth straight season that Liberty Hill has reached the 30-win mark.



Looking for a basketball game to go to on Tuesday? Here are three that may be worth your time.

1. Thorndale vs. Thrall (girls basketball): Thorndale and Thrall’s boys basketball teams have a bi-district double-header at Rockdale High on Tuesday but my guess is that most Thrall and Thorndale fans will be in Georgetown as the Tigerettes and Lady Bulldogs battle for a spot in Class A, Division I’s Region IV tournament. Thorndale is 3-0 against Thrall this season and the Lady Bulldogs have recorded 52-20, 44-39 and 58-37 wins. This game at Georgetown High is set to begin at 6 p.m.

2. Pflugerville vs. Bowie (girls basketball): The Lady Panthers beat Bowie 69-44 on Dec. 20 but as we alluded to earlier, Bowie did not have Kendra King available for that game. Pflugerville is 35-0 this season and the Lady Panthers are trying to move one step closer to their first state tournament appearance since 2009. Bowie, on the other hand, is only three years removed from a two-win season but head coach Vickie Benson has turned around the program in her three seasons on campus. This game at McNeil High is set to begin at 6:30 p.m.

3. Lake Travis vs. McNeil (boys basketball): If you make it out to this game, be sure to check out the Lake Travis tandem of Stefan Vidovic and Jordan Manse as well as McNeil junior Trae Dilworth. This game at Vandegrift High is set to begin at 7 p.m.

OK, that’s enough blogging for today. Enjoy making your “Harlem Shake” video.

Rouse High, play us out.

Permalink | | Categories: Prepped and Ready

Bi-district playoffs await 27 Austin-area teams


The postseason will begin on either Monday or Tuesday for 27 of the Austin area’s University Interscholastic League-affiliated boys basketball teams.

Those 27 teams will participate in bi-district playoff games this week. The winners of those bi-district games will join Liberty Hill and Jarrell, who had bi-district byes, in the area round of the playoffs.

Here is the Austin area’s schedule for the bi-district round of the playoffs:





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Regional quartefinal schedule includes Thorndale/Thrall showdown

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The Austin area will send 10 teams to the regional quarterfinal round of the University Interscholastic League playoffs. At least two will survive.

Two Austin-area showdowns highlight the the area’s regional quarterfinal schedule. Pflugerville and Bowie will play on Tuesday at McNeil High while Thorndale and Thrall, two District 26-A towns that sit five miles apart from each other, will play for the fourth time this season.

A win on Tuesday will advance a team to the regional tournament. Two wins at the regional tournament will guarantee a team a spot in the annual state tournament.

Here is the schedule for the Austin area’s regional quarterfinalists:






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Hays names football coach

San Antonio Roosevelt football coach Neal La Hue will take the same job at Hays High School.

Hays school district officials announced La Hue’s hiring Friday in a news release. La Hue replaces Blake Feldt, who left Hays after two seasons to become the head coach at Odessa Permian. Feldt compiled an 18-6 record in his two seasons, leading the Rebels to back-to-back district championships.

La Hue served as the offensive coordinator at Westlake in 1996, when the Chaparrals won the Class 5A, Division II state title behind quarterback Drew Brees. He left Westlake to become the head coach at Kerrville Tivy. From 2002-06, La Hue was the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M-Kingsville.

La Hue’s hire comes a few days after Wimberley hired Doug Warren, the school’s offensive coordinator, to be the Texans’ head coach. Hays and Wimberley entered the week as the only Austin-area schools without football coaches.

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Brittany Tuck scholarship fundraiser set for March


An annual event that raises scholarship money in the name of former Lake Travis pitcher Brittany Tuck has been scheduled for March.

The Ninth Annual Brittany Tuck Memorial Benefit Concert & BBQ will be held on March 10 at Camp Ben McCulloch in Driftwood. Tickets can be purchased for $20 and more information can be found at this website.

Since its inception, the event has raised $140,000 in scholarships.

Honeybrowne, Brandon Jenkins, Texas Renegade, Chad Hudson, Michael Myers, The Jerry Martin Band and Jeff Whitehead are among the scheduled musical performances for this year’s concert. For the second straight year, a BBQ cook-off is also on the menu.

Tuck earned the 2000 All-Central Texas Player of the Year award as a sophomore at Lake Travis High. After finishing her high school career at Dayton High, she earned a scholarship from Sam Houston State but was killed in a car accident in December of 2003.

Tuck’s father Keith is the softball coach at Dripping Springs High.

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Dell Diamond to host a plethoa of baseball games

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Dell Diamond may soon become the Round Rock Dragons’ home away from home.

Round Rock’s baseball team will play at Dell Diamond on Feb. 21 as part of the Rock Hardball Tournament. The Dragons will return to Dell Diamond for an April 6 game against Stony Point and an April 19 game against Cedar Ridge.

McNeil and Westwood will also play at Dell Diamond on March 12 and 14. Stony Point and Cedar Ridge have a game scheduled at Dell Diamond on March 19.

In addition to the Rock Hardball Tournament and several District 16-5A showdowns, Dell Diamond will host the Class 5A, Class 4A, Class 2A and Class A state tournaments in June. The Central Texas Baseball Coaches Association and Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association all-star games will also be played at Dell Diamond.

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Prepped And Ready: Bowie’s Big Win


Good morning everybody.

I hope that everybody had a good Valentine’s Day. I know that the ladies from Bowie and Jarrell did.

On Thursday night, Bowie beat The Woodlands 56-50 to reach the third round of the Class 5A playoffs. That last Austin ISD team to accomplish that? Akins in 2007. Jarrell also improved to 32-1 with a 59-32 win over Buffalo.

OK, are you ready to blog? I’m ready to blog. Let’s blog.



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The first games of the 2013 softball season were played this week and we published our annual softball preview in Friday’s newspaper.

We also had a story about Westlake’s softball program, which opened the season as the top-ranked team in the American-Statesman’s power poll. Westlake has four college-bound softball players: shortstop Stephanie Wong, pitcher Liz Carter, outfielder Aaliyah Gibson and first baseman Cedar Slovacek and the Lady Chaparrals are coming off a season in which they went 29-7.

Would you like to read this story? Here’s the link.


The Vista Ridge Lady Rangers will head into tonight’s area playoff game against San Antonio Brackenridge with a 28-3 record. But that isn’t anything new. Vista Ridge, after all, has played in a regional championship game in each of the past two season.

I went out to Vista Ridge on Wednesday to chat with senior Rachel Purl about her team’s new starters, the Lady Rangers’ new coach and whose mother cooks the best team dinners.



Looking for a basketball game to go to on Friday? Here are four that may be worth your time.

1. Vista Ridge vs. San Antonio Brackenridge (girls basketball): Class 4A’s third and 11th-ranked teams will both be in San Marcos on Friday night as the Lady Rangers and Lady Eagles get set to battle for a spot in the regional quarterfinals. This game at San Marcos High is set to begin at 8 p.m.

2. Pflugerville vs. Klein Forest (girls basketball): Pflugerville, the second-ranked team in the TABC’s Class 5A poll, is coming off a 63-point win over Lake Travis but things won’t be as easy on Friday. Klein Forest enters the contest as the state’s 23rd-ranked team. This game at A&M Consolidated High is set to begin at 7 p.m.

3. Georgetown vs. Elgin (boys basketball): Georgetown beat Elgin 67-42 on Jan. 15. Elgin topped Georgetown 61-46 on Feb. 8. The District 17-4A co-champions will now play for seeding on Friday night. This game at Hendrickson High is set to begin at 7 p.m.

4. McCallum vs. Lanier (boys basketball): The Knights beat Reagan 84-54 on Thursday night to set up a showdown with a Lanier team that it split its season series with. The winner of tonight’s game will play Leander in the bi-district round of the Class 4A playoffs. The loser of tonight’s game can start preparing for the 2013-14 season. This game at Lanier High is set to begin at 7 p.m.

OK, enjoy your weekend. We’ll see you again on Monday.

Jennifer Hudson, play us out.

Permalink | | Categories: Prepped and Ready

Six Austin-area teams prepare for play-in games

Six of the Austin area’s boys basketball teams will participate in play-in games this week as they attempt to reach the postseason.

Most of those teams will only have to win one game but some may have to win twice. Almost all of the teams will have their seasons ended by a single loss.

McCallum, Reagan and Lanier all wound up tied for fourth place in the District 26-4A standings, a scenario that has set up a three-team tournament. McCallum and Reagan will play on Thursday night at the Delco Center and the winner of that game will play Lanier on Friday for the district’s final playoff spot.

A play-in tournament will also be needed in District 26-3A as Yoakum, Smithville and Giddings all tied for second place.

Smithville and Giddings will play on Thursday night in Columbus and the winner of that game will return to Columbus on Friday for a game against Yoakum. If Yoakum loses, the Bulldogs will play Thursday night’s loser on Saturday for District 26-3A’s final playoff spot.

With District 27-4A’s final playoff spot on the line, Boerne Champion and Hays will play on Friday night at Schertz Clemens High. Wimberley and Bandera will play for District 27-3A’s final postseason berth on Friday night at New Braunfels High.

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State wrestling, swimming televised

The UIL announced that Fox Sports will televise the upcoming swimming and diving and wrestling state championships to be held in Austin. Here is a copy of the release sent by Fox:


Live Web Streams on

FOX Sports Southwest will provide live webcasts of two UIL state championships on Saturday, Feb. 23 in Swimming and Diving and Wrestling.

The live web streams will begin at 9:30 a.m. CT for both the Swimming and Diving finals from the University of Texas’ Jamail Texas Swim Center, and the boys and girls Wrestling championships from the Austin ISD Delco Center.

Fans can watch the internet broadcasts on by clicking on the UIL championship banner for the respective sport located on the home page.

Austin sportscaster Jeff Power, San Antonio Madison swim coach Bobby Duin and Angela Hamann will call the Swimming and Diving championships.

Randy Sumner and J. Carl Guymon form the announcing team on the Wrestling webcast.

FOX Sports Southwest will televise UIL Championship Spotlight recap shows in March featuring highlights and results from the two Texas High School state meets.


(All times listed are Central. Schedule subject to change)

Swimming & Diving: Monday, March 3, 11:00 p.m.; Thursday, March 14, 11:00 p.m.; Friday, March 15, 9:00 p.m. (only in Houston market); Saturday, March 16, 10:30 p.m. (only in North Texas markets) & 11:00 p.m.; Wednesday, March 27, 1:00 p.m.

Wrestling: Wednesday, March 13, 9:00 p.m. (except Houston market); Friday, March 15, 7:00 p.m. (only in South Texas markets); Sunday, March 17, 11:00 a.m.; Monday, March 18, 6:30 p.m. (only in South Texas markets); Wednesday, March 20, noon; Friday, March 22, 10:30 p.m. (only in South Texas markets); Wednesday, March 27, 2:00 p.m.; Friday, March 29, 10:30 p.m. (only in South Texas markets).

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Austin area sends 17 teams to area playoffs


In search of a state championship, a few of the Austin area’s girls basketball teams will spend Valentine’s Day on the road.

Seventeen schools from the Austin area have reached the area round of the University Interscholastic League playoffs. And with the regional quarterfinal, semifinal and championship games set for next week, area playoff games will be played on Thursday and Friday.

Five of the Austin area’s remaining teams - Bowie, Jarrell, LBJ, Rouse and Stony Point - will play on Valentine’s Day. Bowie and Stony Point will travel to College Station to play The Woodlands and Spring Dekaney, LBJ will be in Dripping Springs for a game against Kerrville Tivy and Rouse will play Schertz Clemens in San Marcos.

Here is the schedule for the Austin-area’s area finalists:


- Bowie vs. The Woodlands, 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at A&M Consolidated HS

- Stony Point vs. Spring Dekaney, 7 p.m. on Thursday at College Station HS

- Pflugerville vs. Klein Forest, 7 p.m. on Friday at A&M Consolidated HS

- Anderson vs. College Park, 7 p.m. on Friday at College Station HS


- LBJ vs. Kerrville Tivy, 7 p.m. on Thursday at Dripping Springs HS

- Rouse vs. Schertz Clemens, 7 p.m. on Thursday at San Marcos HS

- Leander vs. SA Brennan, 6 p.m. on Friday at San Marcos HS

- Georgetown vs. Vidor, 7 p.m. on Friday at Waller HS

- Connally vs. Beaumont Ozen, 7:30 p.m. on Friday at Katy Seven Lakes HS

- Vista Ridge vs. SA Brachenridge, 8 p.m. on Friday at San Marcos HS


- Liberty Hill vs. Mineral Wells, 6:30 p.m. on Friday at Hamilton HS

- Burnet vs. WF Hirschi, 7 p.m. on Friday at Brock HS in Weatherford

- Smithville vs. La Vernia, 8 p.m. on Friday at Lehman HS


- Jarrell vs. Buffalo, 7 p.m. on Thursday at Hearne HS

- Lago Vista vs. East Bernard, 7 p.m. on Friday at Giddings HS


- Thorndale vs. Barksdale Nueces Canyon, 7 p.m. on Friday at Llano HS

- Thrall vs. Brackettville Bracket, 7 p.m. on Friday at San Antonio Wagner HS

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Lions sets to join Crusaders’ football program


Three Leander Lions are heading to Belton.

Leander football coach Clint Harper confirmed to the American-Statesman on Wednesday that seniors Darrell Cleveland and defensive back Taylor Sugar will commit to Mary Hardin-Baylor this week. Cleveland and Sugar’s announcements come a week after the Crusaders secured a commitment from Leander linebacker Hayden Newsom.

Mary Hardin-Baylor went 13-1 in 2012 and the Crusaders reached the semifinal round of the NCAA Division III playoffs. Junior defensive tackle Silvio Diaz, a Leander alum, led the Crusaders with his nine sacks.

This past season, Cleveland led Leander in receptions (16), receiving yards (371) and touchdown catches (six). An all-district honoree, Sugar recorded 86 tackles and four interceptions for a Leander team that reached the third round of the Class 4A, Division I playoffs.

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Prepped And Ready: Liberty Hill’s Long Run

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Good morning everybody.

There were 17 Austin-area schools that sent their boys and girls basketball teams to the University Interscholastic Playoffs this wineter (that number could swell if teams like Hays, McCallum, Reagan and Smithville win play-in games over the weekend). But among that original group of 17 schools, I think that Leander’s name sticks out the most.

Leander’s girls basketball team had not reached the playoffs since 2003. Leander’s boys basketball team went 5-23 during the 2011-12 season.

But the Lions, who were a Class 5A program last year, have fared well on the Class 4A scene.

The Lady Lions are 26-9 this season and the team is coming off a 78-32 win over McCallum in the bi-district round of the Class 4A playoffs. Leander’s boys basketball team won the District 25-4A championship, posted a 18-12 record in the regular season and secured a bi-district match-up against either Lanier, McCallum or Reagan.

I don’t think that Leander will be celebrating a state championship this winter but it’s not blasphemous to think that both squads will win a couple of playoff games. And that feat will definitely propel the teams’ two coaches - boys coach Clint Bradley and girls coach Jonathan Lamb - into the Coach of the Year conversations.


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Each week, we’ll introduce you to a player who is making big plays despite not having a big name. This week, we’re taking a look at Anderson junior Mary Grace Bilby.

A six-foot-three-inch post, Bilby has teamed with junior Saundra Guillory, an All-Central Texas honoree in 2012, and sophomore Kennedy Harris to create a young nucleus on Anderson’s roster. This season, Bilby is Anderson’s third-leading scorer (11.3 points per game) and she is also averaging 8.3 rebounds and 3.2 blocks per game.

Anderson, which beat Westwood in a bi-district playoff game on Monday, is 25-8 this season and the team has overcame adversity. On Dec. 28, the husband of head coach Katrina Hall passed away but the Lady Trojans are 12-0 since Dec. 28 and Hall said that her team was “playing inspired, together and with purpose.”


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Among the girls basketball teams in he Austin area, it would be tough to find a program that is more decorated than Westlake. Pflugerville and Georgetown have become established powerhouses and the future looks bright for a relative newcomer (Vista Ridge) and an actual newcomer (Cedar Ridge).

But if we’re talking about consistency, then we are talking about Liberty Hill.

Liberty Hill will play Mineral Wells this weekend in a Class 3A area playoff game. The Lady Panthers have reached the postseason’s second round in each of the past 10 seasons.

In 2007 and 2009, Liberty Hill received a first-round bye and the team did not end up winning a playoff game. But since 2003, the Lady Panthers are 19-10 in the postseason and the team reached the state tournament in 2004 and 2012.

How does the Lady Panthers’ active streak match up against the other team sports in the Austin area? Let’s discuss that in today’s list.


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Every week, we spotlight the collegiate athletic accomplishments of a few of our area alums. If you know of somebody who should be featured, email

In honor of next week’s state swimming meet, let’s catch up with some swimmers today.

And that’s enough for today. Enjoy your Valentine’s Day.

Brian McKnight, play us out.

Permalink | | Categories: Prepped and Ready

UIL basketball playoffs to begin on Monday

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Twenty-eight girls basketball teams from the Austin area will enter this week with the Erwin Center in their sights.

The University Interscholastic League’s playoffs will kick off this week and bi-district playoff games will be played on Monday and Tuesday. Area playoff games are slated for this weekend and regional quarterfinal, semifinal and championship games will be played next week.

If an Austin-area school goes undefeated over the next two weeks, it will secure an invitation to the state basketball tournament. The state tournament will be hosted by the Erwin Center from Feb. 28 - March 2.

Here is the Austin-area bi-district playoff schedule. Liberty Hill, Smithville, Lago Vista, Jarrell and Thorndale all received first-round byes.





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Prepped And Ready: The 17-Year Drought

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If you’re a fan of Sports Illustrated, you may have already read this story about Andrew Wiggins, the so-called “Michael Jordan of Canada”. And why are we talking about a Canadian basketball player on one of the Austin American-Statesman’s blogs? Because two of Wiggins teammates at Huntington Prep are from the Austin area.

This season, Dominic Woodson and Patrick Strake are averaging 5.3 and 3.7 points per game for the nationally-ranked prep school in West Virginia. Woodson is pulling down 5.9 rebounds per game while Strake, who is one of three players to appear in all 27 of Huntington Prep’s games, is averaging 5.2 rebounds per game.

Woodson, a six-foot-nine-inch center who has signed with Baylor, was the All-Central Texas Newcomer of the Year during his sophomore season at Stony Point. Strake led Austin High to the playoffs in each of the past two seasons.


The Austin area currently boasts one undefeated basketball team (Pflugerville), the state’s top-ranked Class 4A team (Georgetown) and highly-touted Vista Ridge and Jarrell squads. And over the next few weeks, those teams will be contending for a state championship and a spot in this history books.

Girls basketball teams from the Austin area have only won seven University Interscholastic League championships since Comance and Claude won the UIL’s first titles during the 1950-51 season. The Austin-area’s last championship? That was won in 1996.

Georgetown won a Class 3A championship in 1979 and three years later, Del Valle took home the Class 4A title. San Marcos won a Class 5A title in 1992, Dripping Springs won the Class 3A crown in 1994 and after winning a Class 4A championship in 1993, Westlake was Class 5A’s top team in 1995 and 1996.


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Westwood is back in the playoffs for the first time since 2004. And on Monday, the Lady Warriors will play Anderson in a bi-district playoff game.

On the court, the Lady Warriors have won 21 games for head coach Matthew Butler. Off the court, the players have forged a bond with Butler and his family.

Do you want to read Rick’s story? Cool, here is the link.


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1. Looking for an underrated boys basketball team from the Austin area? How about Elgin? On Friday, the Wildcats clobbered a good Georgetown team in a game that saw the team’s best player - senior Trey Nash - was limited by foul trouble and a five-point performance.

Elgin was not ranked in last week’s TABC poll and they were barely ranked in our power poll. But like LBJ and Liberty Hill, the top two teams in last week’s power poll, Elgin now has 29 wins this season. Nobody from the Austin area has more.

2. If you’re into Class A basketball, then you should probably tune into District 26-A on Tuesday. With one game left in the regular season, Bartlett is 7-2 in district play and the Bulldogs have a one-game lead over Thorndale, Thrall and Holland.

Thorndale and Thrall have winnable games against Granger and Gateway Prep on Tuesday so the real intrigue can be found in the Holland/Bartlett match-up. Holland beat Bartlett 70-58 on Jan. 25 and if the Hornets can upend Bartlett again, we’ll likely have a four-way tie for first place in District 26-A. And remember, Class A districts only send three teams to the playoffs.

3. The Austin area’s girls basketball teams went 1-3 in play-in games over the weekend. In: Bastrop. Out: San Marcos, East View and Lehman.


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The UIL’s girls basketball playoffs begin on Monday, let’s chat about that. On your mark. Get set. Go.

0: None of the 13 players on Pflugerville’s roster have played in more than one varsity loss. Senior Amy Staha played in Pflugerville’s regional championship loss to Georgetown in 2011 while Alyssa Echols, Brenisha Payne, Taylor Ross and Diana Omozee all played in Pflugerville’s lone defeat of the 2011-12 season, a 51-43 loss to The Woodlands in the regional quarterfinal round of the Class 5A playoffs.

1: Jarrell suffered its first loss of the season on Saturday in a 41-36 loss to Merkel. The five-point loss could serve the Lady Cougars well, however, as Merkel is also expected to contend for a state championship this season. In last week’s TABC poll, Jarrell was ranked second and Merkel was ranked fourth and if the two teams meet again, it will be in the state tournament as Jarrell is a Region III team and Merkel hails from Region I.

9: Thorndale is 23-9 this season but the Lady Bulldogs are 9-0 in their games against Class A opponents. Thorndale’s 44-39 win over Thrall on Jan. 11 was the only time that the Lady Bulldogs didn’t beat a Class A opponent by at least 13 points.

29: The Austin area went 29-27 in its University Interscholastic League playoff games in 2012.

6: The Austin area has had at least one team reach the UIL’s state tournament in each of the past six years. Over those six years, the Austin area has been represented eight times by eight different teams: Del Valle, Georgetown, Hays, LBJ, Liberty Hill, Marble Falls, Pflugerville and Thorndale.



1. Bowie vs. Cedar Ridge (girls basketball): The Lady Bulldogs and Lady Raiders have already met this season as Cedar Ridge beat Bowie 52-40 in the semifinal round of the Lady Bulldogs’ own tournament. The Lady Raiders will return to Bowie High on Tuesday with an even bigger prize on the line: a trip to the area playoffs. This game at Bowie High is set to begin at 7 p.m.

2. Akins vs. Westlake (boys basketball): Westlake will be looking to arrange another date with Akins as the Chaparrals currently sit a game behind the Eagles in the race for District 15-5A’s final playoff spot. Akins beat Westlake 50-49 on Jan. 18 and if Akins beats Westlake again, the Eagles are heading to the playoffs. But if Westlake wins, the Chaparrals and Eagles will have to play again this weekend in a play-in game. This game at Westlake High is set to begin at 7:30 p.m.

3. Cedar Ridge vs. McNeil (boys basketball): District 16-5A still has two unclaimed playoff berths and third-place Cedar Ridge holds a one-game lead over McNeil and a Westwood team that plays Pflugerville on Tuesday night. If the three teams end up with 7-5 district records, we’ll need a play-in tournament to decide who is heading to the postseason. This game at McNeil High, which will feature Cedar Ridge’s De’Andre Davis and McNeil’s Trae Dilworth, is set to begin at 7 p.m.

OK? OK. Good luck with your Pope applications.

Dixie Chicks, play us out.

Editor’s note: This entry has been edited to correct the location of the McNeil/Cedar Ridge game.

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Bowie girls in basketball playoffs

Among the comeback stories for girls basketball is the rise of the Bowie Bulldogs.

Bowie, which had not won district since the 2005-06 season, is co-champion with Anderson in District 15-5A. Coached by Vickie Benson, Bowie opens bidistrict against Cedar Ridge at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Bowie gym.

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Prepped And Ready: One-on-Five

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Good morning everybody.

In today’s newspaper, we published the names of 27 Austin-area girls who signed with collegiate soccer programs on Wednesday and Thursday (Cedar Park’s Madison Sanders, pictured above, is heading to Sam Houston State). Lake Travis plans to hold a signing ceremony for five more college-bound soccer players this morning.

So let’s do some math here. 27 + 5 + the athletes whose coaches forgot our e-mail address = a lot of soccer players. I know we’re not talking about football here (by our count, we had 83 football players sign on the dotted line this week) but this futbol isn’t a joke either.

Onto the blog.



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In today’s newspaper, Rick wrote about Vista Ridge senior Dillon Carter. Last year, Carter was at the state wrestling tournament with a heavy heart. This year, he’s looking for a gold medal.


On Wednesday, I put over 130 miles onto my vehicle’s odometer as I traveled around to four signing ceremonies. I brought my camera with me and the college-bound athletes talked to me about their choices.

First up: LBJ senior wide receivers Sebastian Canizares and John Gormley. Canizares and Gromley have signed with the Wesleyan University and University of Chicago football programs.

Second stop: Del Valle senior Josh Cleveland’s signing ceremony. An All-Central Texas running back in 2012, Cleveland has decided to play football at Navarro College in Corsicana.

Up next: Florence senior quarterback Kaleb Hardy. On Wednesday, Hardy signed to play football at the University of Incarnate Word.

Batting clean-up: McNeil senior Judy Emeodi. On Wednesday night, Emeodi announced that she would run track at TCU. Last year, Emeodi won the 100 and 200-meter competitions at the Class 5A, Region II meet in Waco.


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Looking for a basketball game to go to on Friday? Here are four that may be worth your time.

1. Georgetown vs. Elgin (boys basketball): On Jan. 15, Georgetown beat Elgin 67-42 to take over atop the District 17-4A standings. If the Eagles beat the Wildcats again, they can start celebrating their district championship. With two games left in the regular season, Georgetown has a one-game lead over the Wildcats in the standings. This game at Elgin High is set to begin at 7 p.m.

2. Cedar Park vs. Vista Ridge (boys basketball): If Cedar Park wins, the Timberwolves are in the playoffs. If Vista Ridge wins, the Rangers will pull into a tie with Leander atop the District 25-4A standings. This game at Vista Ridge High is set to begin at 7 p.m.

3. Reagan vs. McCallum (boys basketball): It’s do or die time for the Knights. Stuck in last place in the District 26-4A standings with a 2-6 district record, McCallum will play a Reagan team that is locked into a three-way tie for third place. Reagan - like Crockett and Lanier - has a 3-5 record in district play. This game at the Burger Center is set to begin at 8 p.m.

4. Lehman vs. Boerne Champion (girls basketball): Lehman and Boerne Champion will meet for the third time this season and District 27-4A’s final playoff spot will be on the line in this play-in game. Win and get in. Lose and go home. This game at Seguin High is set to begin at 7 p.m.

Enjoy your Friday. We’ll see you again on Monday.

Green Day, play us out.

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Tiebreaker games to determine playoff spots

For a few basketball teams, the playoffs will begin over the weekend.

The bi-district round of the University Interscholastic League’s girls basketball playoffs won’t actually tip off until Monday but several teams will play tiebreaker games this weekend. Wins will put teams like East View, Bastrop, Lehman and San Marcos into the postseason.

East View, a first-year varsity program, and Bastrop tied for fourth place in the District 17-4A standings so those two teams will play for their district’s final playoff spot on Saturday at 2 p.m. The two teams, who will play at Elgin High, split their season series as East View beat Bastrop 44-35 on Dec. 11 and Bastrop returned the favor with a 45-39 victory on Jan. 18.

San Marcos will play Smithson Valley for District 25-5A’s final playoff spot on Saturday at noon at New Braunfels High. Smithson Valley beat San Marcos 50-42 on Jan. 11 and San Marcos beat Smithson Valley 50-48 on Jan. 29.

And with District 27-4A’s final playoff spot being awarded to the victor, Lehman and Boerne Champion will play on Friday night at 7 p.m. in Seguin High’s gym. Lehman beat Boerne Champ 52-47 on Dec. 18 but the Chargers responded with a 72-47 win over the Lady Lobos on Jan. 18.

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Local football players step into spotlight on National Signing Day

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Across the country on Wednesday, plenty of high school football players signed on the dotted line on National Signing Day. Things weren’t any different in the Austin area.

Listed below are the Austin area’s college bound-football players. The same list will appear in Thursday’s newspaper while a list that features athletes from other sports who signed on Wednesday will be published in Friday’s newspaper.


- Xavier Garcia, TE, Texas Lutheran

Austin High

- Isaiah Jones, WR, East Carolina

- Charles Schneider, TE, Rhodes College


- Antwuan Davis, DB, Texas

- Aneas Henricks, DB, UT-San Antonio

- Paul Whitmill, LB, TCU


- Elijah Thompson, DL, Central Connecticut

Cedar Park

- Ethan Fry, WR, Houston Baptist

- Austin Hisler, OL, Abilene Christian

- Riley Mayfield, OL, Abilene Christian

- Keith Tambe, DE, Mary Hardin-Baylor

Cedar Ridge

- Ray Racine, WR, West Texas A&M


- Michael Adeniken, DB, Cisco

- Leo Dawson, WR, Arkansas Baptist

- Michael Egwuagu, LB, UT-San Antonio

- LaDaedrix Payton, RB, Kilgore College

- Darrell Songy, LB, Oregon State

- Dajon Williams, QB, North Texas

Del Valle

- Josh Cleveland, RB, Navarro College

- Kelly McBride, LB, Hastings College

Dripping Springs

- Jackson Hoskins, OL, Texas State

- Cole Rogers, WR, UTEP


- Chance Cottle, OL, Howard Payne

- Jacob Hildebrand, OL, Angelo State


- Kaleb Hardy, QB, Incarnate Word


- Reed Darragh, OL, UT-San Antonio

- Devin Jennings, LB, Howard Payne

- Caleb Kimbro, QB, New Mexico

- William Trevillion, DL, Texas State


- Tanner Thrift, DL, Baylor


Lago Vista

- Nick Hargrove, DB, Texas Lutheran

Lake Travis

- Brandon Quinterro, DL, Henderson State

- Hunter Streuling, DB, West Texas A&M


- Sebastian Canizares, WR, Wesleyan Univ.

- John Gormley, WR, Univ. of Chicago

- Randon Knotts, DB, Fresno State


- Brian Resa, OL, Kansas Wesleyan

- Tevin Smith, WR, Mary Hardin-Baylor

- Caleb Woodward, ATH, Texas Tech


- Kenny Higgins, OL, Blinn College

Liberty Hill

- Jadon Boatright, DB, New Mexico


- Levi Mair, RB, A&M-Kingsville

- Rhett Crawford, OT, Cisco College


- Quinton Baker, DB, Abilene Christian

- Dominique Brisco, LB, Prairie View A&M

- Barion Henry, DB, Cisco College

- Jalen Washington, WR, Cisco College

Marble Falls

- Rey Baltazar, OL, Sam Houston St.

- Ishiah Carson, WR, Hardin-Simmons

- Brennan Parker, LB, Hardin-Simmons

- Rex Prince, OL, Trinity Valley CC

- Travis Sparks, OL, Angelo State

Marble Falls Faith

- Brendan Cockroft, OL, Howard Payne


- Will Janosek, P, Blinn College

- Chad Loitz, OL, Blinn College


- Durrell Arsenault, LB, Arkansas Baptist

- Jay Byrd, DB, Mary Hardin-Baylor

- Ashton Thielke, LB, Angelo State

Round Rock

- Sam Lawlis, LB, Midwestern State


- Tim Lapaglia, LB, Midwestern State

- Wesley Lewis, WR, Houston Baptist

- Justin Pelt, QB, Southwestern Univ.

St. Michael’s

- Reed Wells, DB, Bowdoin College

- Kyle Wurzel, OL, Marist College

Stony Point

- Marcos Curry, LB, UT-San Antonio

- Christian Ahrens, DB, Texas Lutheran


- Dustin Johnson, DE, Southwestern Okla.

- Jeremy Snyder, QB, Southwestern Univ.

Texas School for the Deaf

- Dalton Etkie, DB, Gallaudet Univ.

- Zack Young, ATH, Gallaudet Univ.


- Chris Clark, RB, Bacone College

- Cantrell Gaines, DL, Trinity Valley CC

- Michael Moreno, OL, Bacone College

- Brahlun Watson, DL, Campbellsville Univ.


- Michael Barden, K, Air Force


- Dayne Bullock, OL, Southwest Baptist

- Parker Hanusa, DL, Rice

- Tyler Logan, LB, Colorado School of Mines

- Colin McGuire, K, Fresno State

- Brad Watson, DB, Wake Forest


- Reed Jones, DB, Harding University

- Kolby Kelley, RB, Mary Hardin-Baylor

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Prepped And Ready: Signing Day 2013

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Good morning everybody.

In last night’s 77-50 win over Cedar Ridge, junior Darren Henderson scored six points for a Pflugerville team that took over sole possession of first place in the District 16-5A standings. After the game, Henderson secured a date to prom.

As soon as the game ended, Pflugerville High’s court was cleared and Henderson’s girlfriend and three of her friends took to the floor for a dance routine. After the dance, the girls pointed to a sign that was unveiled in the bleachers. The sign asked Henderson to Pflugerville’s prom, which will be held in May.

“To be honest, it was a surprise to me,” Henderson said. “I thought it was (for) someone else but it was for me.”

Anyways, today is signing day and I’ve got trips to LBJ High, McNeil High, Del Valle High and Florence High penciled into my planner. We’ll be talking a lot about Signing Day in today’s blog and they’ll be lots of Signing Day-related coverage in Thursday and Friday’s newspapers.

OK? Let’s do this.


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One of the Austin area athletes who will be signing with a collegiate athletic program today is St. Stephen’s soccer player Jessica Harmon. Harmon is set to sign with Louisiana Tech.

Louisiana will be the next stop for Harmon, who has lived in placed like Saudi Arabia, Japan and Alaska. We wrote about Harmon in Tuesday’s newspaper so please check out this story.


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Each week, we’ll introduce you to a player who is making big plays despite not having a big name. This week, we’re taking a look at Texas School for the Deaf senior forward Dalton Etkie.

Etkie entered this week with an impressive statline of 15.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.5 steals per game. With Etkie leading the way, the Rangers have posted a 14-6 record.

Etkie also owns several of the Texas School for the Deaf’s quarterbacking record but on Wednesday, he is expected to sign with Gallaudet University’s football program as a defensive back. Joining Etkie in Washington D.C., will be teammate Zack Young, who will sign with the Bison as an athlete.



Every week, we spotlight the collegiate athletic accomplishments of a few of our area alums. If you know of somebody who should be featured, email

Today’s theme: let’s catch up with some of the kids who I have written stories about on past signing days.

And that’s all we’re writing about on this Wednesday. Enjoy Signing Day.

Mr. C, play us out.

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Wimberley’s Nelms to coach at Weatherford


After a successful second stint in Wimberley, Weldon Nelms is moving on.

On Monday, the Weatherford ISD school board unanimously approved the hiring of Nelms to be the new football coach at Weatherford High. According to a Weatherford ISD press release, more than 110 applicants applied for the job.

In Weatherford, Nelms will inherit a Class 5A football program that went 3-7 in 2012.

In 29 years as a coach, Nelms has compiled a 237-111-3 record. Nelms coached at Wimberley from 1990-93 and he returned to the Texans in 2002.

Nelms won 147 games with the Texans and eight of those victories were recorded during a 2012 season that saw the Texans reach the area round of the Class 3A, Division II playoffs. Nelms won a Class 3A, Division I championship in 2005 and a Class 3A, Division II championship in 2011.

Wimberley and Hays are now the only Austin-area schools that don’t have football coaches. According to the Hays Free Press, a replacement for Blake Feldt is expected to be named by the end of the month.

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Songy to play for Team USA, Oregon State

Another Pflugerville ISD athlete is heading to Oregon State.

Last month, Connally linebacker Darrell Songy gave a verbal commitment to Oregon State. Songy had verbally committed to Texas State’s football program in July but he will sign with the Beavers on Wednesday.

In Corvallis, Songy will join a roster that already features running back Storm Woods. Woods graduated from Pflugerville High in 2011.

This past season, the six-foot-one-inch, 220-pound Songy earned second-team honors on the American-Statesman’s All-Central Texas team. Songy recorded 111 tackles for a Connally team that went 8-4.

Oregon State, a Pac-12 Conference program that went 9-4 in 2012, will open up the 2013 season on Aug. 31 with a home game against Eastern Washington. But Songy’s next football game will be played on Feb. 5 as he was recently added to Team USA’s roster for the International Bowl.

The International Bowl will be played on Tuesday at Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex. Songy won’t be the only Central Texan at the game as he will be joined on Team USA’s roster by New Braunfels tight end Alex Leslie and Killeen defensive back Deric Robertson.

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Prepped And Ready: Between 2004 And Now

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Last month, we wrote a story about the Walla family. Dave Walla is the girls basketball coach at East View High while Kaitlin Walla, Dave’s daughter, is a third-year starter at Georgetown. If you want to read about this in-house rivalry, here is the link.

Kaitlin Walla scored 26 points in Georgetown’s 61-18 and 58-24 wins over East View this season. But now, Dave Walla is going to need an assist from his daughter.

A first-year varsity program, East View is tied with Bastrop for District 17-4A’s final playoff spot. Bastrop will play Georgetown, the state’s top-ranked team, in its regular-season finale on Tuesday. Meanwhile, East View will play a Hutto team that the Lady Patriots beat 51-41 on Jan. 11.

If East View and Bastrop remain tied after Tuesday, a play-in game will be needed. The two teams split their season series.


In his team’s 34-31 win over San Francisco in Super Bowl XLVII, Baltimore kicker Justin Tucker tallied 10 points. Tucker, who graduated from Westlake High in 2008, kicked four extra points, two fourth-quarter field goals and he ran for eight yards on a fake field goal attempt.

Between Tucker, Green Bay kicker Mason Crosby (Georgetown Class of 2003) and New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees (Westlake Class of 1997), the Austin-area can lay claim to 31 of the 207 points that have been scored in the last four Super Bowls. The only other Texans to score in the last four Super Bowls - Lake Highland’s Matt Stover, Southlake Carroll’s Garrett Hartley, Sharpstown High’s Joseph Addai and Dallas Carter’s Michael Crabtree - have accumulated 27 points.


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1. Connally’s 39-37 win over Georgetown has made things interesting in District 17-4A. With three games left in the regular season, Georgetown holds a one-game lead over Connally and Elgin. Left on Georgetown’s schedule: games against Bastrop, Elgin and Manor. Connally has games left against Manor, East View and Cedar Creek. And in addition to Elgin’s game against Georgetown on Friday, the Wildcats must still play Cedar Creek and Hutto.

Georgetown split its season series with Connally and the Cougars split their season series with Elgin. Georgetown beat Elgin 67-42 on Jan. 15 but if the Wildcats can avenge that loss on Friday, we may need to toss out the tiebreakers atop the District 17-4A standings.

2. For the first time since the 2005-06 season, Marble Falls Faith hasn’t had a Field on its roster but the Lady Flames are doing fine in the post Ashley/Kendra/Brooke-era. A 54-20 win over Hill Country Christian on Friday improved Marble Falls Faith’s record to 30-2.

3. If Vista Ridge makes it back to the regional tournament this season, fans at the Blossom Center will see a different team than the one that played in the regional championship game in 2011 and 2012.

With a new coach on the sideline, five fresh faces in its starting line-up and All-Central Texas center Chinwe Duru at Tulane, Vista Ridge has installed an up-tempo attack on offense. The Lady Rangers have adapted well as the team is 27-3 and ranked among the state’s best Class 4A teams.

Said point guard Japreece Dean, who scored 20 points on Friday: “It’s a different game. It’s a faster game, it’s not a slow down, halfcourt (game). It’s fast, we’re pushing it, we’re picking up on D. It’s a faster game.”


With its 55-36 win over Comfort on Friday, Lago Vista improved its record to 20-7 and the Lady Vikings have now won all seven of their games against District 27-2A opponents. Lago Vista has a game at Blanco scheduled for Tuesday and a win over the Lady Panthers will secure the Lady Vikings the outright district championship and a first-round bye in the Class 2A playoffs.

Lago Vista’s playoff game - whether it comes in the bi-district or area round - will be a historic one. Why? The Lady Vikings’ last trip to the postseason was ended by a 47-37 loss to Salado in the bi-district round of the 2004 Class 2A playoffs.

So what has changed since that loss to Salado? Time for a history lesson.

7: There have been seven different Super Bowl champions - the Patriots, Steelers, Colts, Giants, Saints, Packers and Ravens - since Lago Vista’s last playoff appearance.

12: The school of Lago Vista has won 12 playoff games since the girl basketball team’s last postseason appearance. The football team has won seven playoff games, the volleyball team has won four matches and the softball team won a playoff series in 2008.

8: Aside from Lago Vista, only eight of the Austin-area’s girls basketball program haven’t reached the postseason since the end of the 2003-04 season. Two of those programs - Westwood and Leander - have also clinched playoff berths this winter and two additional schools - East View and Rouse - could secure an invitation to the postseason on Tuesday.

0: Lago Vista’s boys basketball team has also been kept out of the postseason over the past few seasons. The Vikings’ last playoff appearance came in 2001.


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1. Cedar Ridge vs. Pflugerville (boys basketball): Tied for first place in the District 16-5A standings, Cedar Ridge and Pflugerville will meet up less than a month after the Panthers recorded a 59-52 victory over the Raiders. A second-year varsity program and Class 5A newcomer, Cedar Ridge is looking to lock up its first playoff berth and things won’t get any easier for the Raiders as third-place Round Rock and fourth-place McNeil await. This game at Pflugerville High is set to begin at 7 p.m.

2. Lake Travis vs. Akins (boys basketball): In their first five games against District 15-5A opponents, Lake Travis went 5-0. In their last five games, Lake Travis is 2-3. Now in second place, Lake Travis sits a game behind Anderson and the Cavaliers are 1.5 games ahead of an Akins team that is 21-8 this season. This game at Akins High is set to begin at 8 p.m.

3. Lehman at Schertz Clemens (girls basketball): The Lady Lobos have reached the postseason only once but the team can book its second trip with an upset win over a Schertz Clemens team that is tied with Kerrville Tivy for first place in the District 27-4A standings. A loss won’t eliminate Lehman from postseason contention as the fourth-place Lady Lobos hold a one-game lead over Boerne Champion, which it split its season series with. This game at Schertz Clemens High is set to begin at 7 p.m.

OK, that’s it for today. Congratulations to all of the Ravens fans.

OutKast, play us out.

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Prepped And Ready: Return Of The Lady Warriors

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Good morning.

Well, the Super Bowl is on Sunday. And Westlake’s Justin Tucker will be kicking extra point and field goals for the Baltimore Ravens. And if you’re a big fan of the ex-Chaparral, then I guess that you can contact your local bookie.

Regardless of Sunday’s outcome, Tucker will have bragging rights among his fellow Chaparrals. Drew Brees, Nick Foles and Kyle Adams also play in the National Football League but Tucker was the only Westlake alum who reached the postseason this winter.

Brees, however, does have a Super Bowl ring. With Brees starting at the quarterback position, the New Orleans Saints beat Indianapolis in Super Bowl XLIV.

Let’s blog.



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After a two-year stint in Class 2A, Thorndale’s basketball teams are back at the Class A, Division I level and, well, the Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs are doing just fine. In this week’s TABC poll, Thorndale’s boys basketball team was ranked 10th among Class A, Division I teams while the Lady Bulldogs were 24th in their poll.

The Lady Bulldogs have been led by Olivia Atkins, a senior who is averaging 15.0 points and 7.5 rebounds per game. Atkins was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in April of 2011 and she has found a solid support system that includes her team’s manager and her coach’s family.


On Tuesday night, Westwood’s girls basketball team beat Hendrickson 36-30. The six-point win gave the Lady Warriors their first 20-win season in over a decade and the team secured its first playoff berth since Westwood lost 38-35 in a 2004 area playoff game against Spring Westfield, the eventual Class 5A champions.

On Wednesday, I was in Westwood’s gym to talk with sophomore Gillian Mellor and senior Khiani Clark about their season. The Lady Warriors talked about their accomplishments, their new goals and the attention that they are attracting within their own hallways.


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Looking for a basketball game to go to on Friday? Here are four that may be worth your time.

1. Connally vs. Georgetown (girls basketball): Georgetown tops the TABC and TGCA’s Class 4A polls but before the Eagles can start thinking about state championships, they will have to worry about the District 17-4A title. With two games left on its schedule, Georgetown currently holds a one-game lead over a Connally team that Georgetown beat 45-34 on Jan. 8. This game at Georgetown High is set to begin at 7 p.m.

2. Georgetown vs. Connally (boys basketball): This week, the Eagles were ranked second in the American-Statesman’s power poll and 11th in the TABC’s Class 4A poll. But watch out for Connally, which beat Elgin last week to move into a tie for second place in the District 17-4A standings. A Georgetown win will all but secure a district championship for the Eagles but a Connally victory could make things interesting. This game at Connally High is set to begin at 7 p.m.

3. Vista Ridge vs. Leander (girls basketball): Like Georgetown, Vista Ridge is also highly-ranked in both of the state’s leading Class 4A polls (third in the TABC poll, fourth in the TGCA poll). And like the Lady Eagles, the Lady Rangers can secure a district championship on Friday night. Standing in Vista Ridge’s way is a Leander team that sits two games behind Vista Ridge with two games to go. This game at Leander High is set to begin at 7 p.m.

4. Westwood vs. Cedar Ridge (boys basketball): Thanks to Pflugerville’s two-game losing streak, Cedar Ridge has claimed a one-game lead over the Panthers in the race for the District 16-5A title. And with a marquee match-up with Pflugerville set for Tuesday, will the Raiders be able to hold off a Westwood team that currently sits in fifth place in the District 16-5A standings? This game at Cedar Ridge High is set to begin at 7 p.m.

OK, that’s it for today. Enjoy the Destiny’s Child reunion on Sunday.

Destiny’s Child, play us out.

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