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Varsity News

A Web log on high school sports in Central Texas by the Austin American-Statesman and staff.

Published: 2013-06-12T11:33:29-06:00


The Varsity News blog has moved



The Varsity News blog has moved.

You can now find all of your news and notes from the Austin-area high schools at Please bookmark this link today.

Thanks for reading.

Prepped And Ready: The Top Ten Stories From The 2012-13 School Year



On Tuesday night, Cincinnati Reds pitcher Homer Bailey struck out seven and gave up three runs in a 5-4 loss to the Colorado Rockies. Bailey, who pitched seven innings but was saddled with a no-decision, is 3-4 with a 3.84 ERA this season.

Bailey hails from La Grange and he played on the Leopards’ 2001 and 2004 Class 3A championship teams. Bailey, who was drafted by the Reds with the seventh pick of the 2004 MLB Draft, earned the MVP award in both championship games.

La Grange’s baseball team is back at the state tournament for the first time since 2004. The Leopards (24-9) will play Silsbee (32-8) in a Class 3A semifinal game on Wednesday with the first pitch at UFCU Disch-Falk Field set for 4 p.m.

La Grange and Salado are the closest thing to a tournament representative that the Austin area has but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything to check out this weekend:

  • The Woodlands has four college-bound pitchers in its rotation: Ryan Burnett (TCU), Carter Hope (Oklahoma State), Brandon Miles (Houston) and Braxton Markle (Central Michigan).

  • Weimar is trying to become only the third school to win UIL titles in baseball and softball during the same school year. Weimar’s softball team won the Class A championship last week.

  • Texarkana Pleasant Grove returns only two starters - senior Cason Cordray and Alex Alsup - from last year’s Class 3A title team. Wichita Falls Rider seniors Mason Stone and Jordan McQuerry also played on a Raider team that won the Class 4A championship in 2011.

The state baseball tournament will be held at Dell Diamond and Disch Falk Field. The games will also be televised and webcast. Let’s blog.

Lady Rebels get five players on UIL's all-tournament team



One day after they helped lead Hays High’s softball team to the Class 4A championship, five Lady Rebels were honored by the University Interscholastic League.

On Sunday, Hays pitcher Sarah Leal, first baseman Clarissa Gonzalez, shortstop Maddy Shannon and outfielder Brayden Pinckard were all placed on the UIL’s Class 4A all-tournament team. The quartet was joined on the 10-member team by Hays outfielder Hannah Ramsey, who earned MVP honors in the Class 4A championship game.

Hays beat Aledo 8-1 in a Class 4A semifinal game on Friday. The Lady Rebels then beat Lucas Lovejoy 11-8 in Saturday’s title game.

Gonzalez, Pinckard and Ramsey are all seniors. Leal and Shannon are members of Hays High’s 2014 graduating class and they are expected to lead the Lady Rebels’ title defense.

Prepped And Ready: Hays High's History-Making Championship



They are the champions.

Hays High’s softball team won a state championship on Saturday with an 11-8 win over Lucas Lovejoy at McCombs Field. The coronation of Class 4A’s new champions completed an impressive turnaround for the Lady Rebels.

When Aaron Fuller took over in 2012, he inherited a program that was coming off a playoff-less season. In the history of their program, the Lady Rebels had never advanced past the third round of the playoffs and their last trip to the postseason’s second round had come in 2003.

But in 2012, the Lady Rebels reached the regional quarterfinals. A year later, they won Hays High’s first team title.


The Austin-area will not have any representatives at this week’s state baseball tournament so that means that we’re done with sports until the 2013-14 school year opens up in August.

During the 2012-13 school year, the Austin-area teams won eight state championships. Cedar Park’s football team, Georgetown’s girls basketball team, Hays’ softball team, Round Rock Christian’s volleyball team, Lake Travis’ boys and girls golf teams and the boys and girls tennis teams from Marble Falls Faith all won state titles.

Hays High wins area's first softball championship



Hays High capped its 2013 softball season with its 32nd win and a state championship.

Brayden Pinckard drove in four runs, Clarissa Gonzalez scored four times and Hays blew open a close game in the seventh inning of an 11-8 win over Lucas Lovejoy on Saturday. The victory at McCombs Field secured the Class 4A championship for Hays High.

Hays High became the first Austin-area school to win a UIL championship in softball. The Lady Rebels also won their school’s first team title in any sport.

By the end of the sixth inning, the two teams had slugged their way to an 8-8 tie but the Lady Rebels broke through in the top of the final frame. With two outs, Hays rallied with five straight singles and Hannah Ramsey, Gonzalez and Pinckard all contributed RBIs.

Ramsey, Gonzalez and Pinckard were the only three seniors in Hays’ batting order. Left fielder Traci Green, the other senior in Hays’ starting line-up, caught the final out in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Hays finished the 2013 season with a 32-10 record.

Lady Rebels cruise into Class 4A championship game



Hays High’s softball team will play for some history on Saturday afternoon.

Junior Sarah Leal pitched a five-hitter, Clarissa Gonzalez hit a home run and Addie Vayas and Karina Rocha each contributed two RBIs in Hays’ 8-1 win over Aledo on Friday. The victory at McCombs Field advances Hays to the Class 4A championship game.

An Austin-area public school has never won a state championship in softball.

Hays (31-10) will play Lucas Lovejoy (35-8) on Saturday. Lucas Lovejoy needed 12 innings on Friday (a regulation game lasts seven innings) but the Leopards, who won a state title in volleyball during the fall, prevailed with a 10-5 win over Richmond Foster.

The first pitch of the Class 4A championship game is set to be thrown at 1 p.m. The game will be held at the University of Texas’ McCombs Field.

Prepped And Ready: Hays High's Tournament Experience


Hays High’s softball team will be at McCombs Field at noon to face Aledo in a Class 4A semifinal game. I don’t have much of a scouting report on Aledo’s 2013 team but I can tell you something about the 2008 squad that won a state championship: Jennifer Swinney had an arm.

Since I was covering the Class 5A championship game that followed it, I saw much of Aledo’s 15-inning conquest over the Bulldogs. And in the second-to-last inning, I saw Aledo extend the game with an amazing play.

With a runner on second base in the bottom of the 14th inning, Nederland smacked what seemed to be a game-ending single up the middle. But Swinney scooped up the softball in center field and managed to throw a strike to catcher Easton Cook, who tagged out the runner.

It was the second-best defensive play that I have seen during my six years at the American-Statesman? The best defensive play? Kind of hard to top Wimberley senior Brennan Blakemore’s championship-sealing, one-handed interception in the 2011 Class 3A, Division II title game.


Prepped And Ready: Georgetown's All-Central Texans



Good morning everybody.

May 29th is a special day for me because this date marks the annual anniversary between myself and the American-Statesman. Yes, I started working at the American-Statesman on May 29, 2007.

The first story that I wrote for the American-Statesman? A recap of the Thorndale baseball team’s 14-1 win over Shiner in the second game of a regional championship series. Our archives claim that I’ve had nearly 1,500 bylines in the newspaper since then.

The number of Prepped And Ready blogs that we’ve done since my first day at the American-Statesman? This is No. 294.

Let’s get this party started.

TAPPS honors Austin-area baseball and softball players


Four Austin-area softball players and five baseball players from the area have been placed on a TAPPS all-state team.

Hyde Park Baptist senior utility player Brooke Chambers and Brentwood Christian freshman infielder Nicole Gentry each earned a spot on the first team of the Class 4A and Class 3A all-state softball teams. St. Michael’s senior first baseman Eric Honeycutt was a first-team honoree on the Class 5A all-state baseball team while the first team of the Class 4A all-state baseball team boasted Hyde Park Baptist junior utility player Chance Kirby and Regents senior utility player Jason Chapman on it.

St. Domnic Savio senior pitcher Katrina Rivera (Class 4A softball) and Brentwood Christian senior catcher Lanae Hollingsworth (Class 3A softball) earned spots on the second team of their respective classification’s all-state teams. Hyde Park Baptist junior utility player Grayson Williams and Brentwood Christian junior Skylar Treut-Shaffer were second-team honorees on Class 4A and Class 3A’s all-state baseball teams.

State softball tournament games to be televised on FOX Sports Southwest


Three championship games at the state softball tournament will be televised by FOX Sports Southwest.

FOX Sports Southwest has announced that it will televise the Class 3A, 4A and 5A championship games on Saturday. The Class 3A championship game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Southwest while the Class 5A and 4A title games will be on FOX Sports Southwest Plus.

The Class 5A and 4A semifinal games on Friday will also be on FOX Sports Southwest. The tournament games on Wednesday and Thursday, which will feature teams from the University Interscholastic League’s three lowest classifications, will be webcast on

FOX Sports Southwest also plans on televising a tournament-themed highlight show on June 25 at 10 p.m.

Lincoln Rose will be in charge of play-by-play duties for the broadcasts from McCombs Field. He will be joined in the broadcast booth by Westlake coach Haley Gaddis and Nacogdoches Central Heights coach Iyhia McMichael.

Prepped And Ready: Hays High's State Champions



Hays High’s softball team re-defined the meaning of a road trip this weekend. The Lady Rebels’ regional championship series with Leander was originally scheduled to be played in Elgin, but weather moved Friday’s opener to Georgetown’s East View High. After the opening game was officially rained out, the series was switched to a one-game affair at Weimar High on Saturday, but the game was once again re-located to Kerrville’s Schreiner University.

A look at the mileage:

  • Hays High to Elgin High: 46 miles

  • Hays High to East View High: 49 miles

  • Hays High to Weimer High: 88 miles

  • Hays High to Schreiner University: 112 miles

I doubt many of the Hays High fans are complaining though. The Lady Rebels are heading to the state tournament after a 4-3 win over Leander, and it’s only a 23-mile trip to McCombs Field.


The Austin area last won a softball championship in 2012 when St. Dominic Savio took home the TAPPS Class 3A crown. Hays High, however, will try to become the first University Interscholastic League-affiliated softball team from the Austin area to win a state title.

If Hays High can win the Class 4A championship on Saturday, the Lady Rebels will boast their school’s 10th state championship.

Hays High’s 1967 Class B title in volleyball is currently the school’s only team title, but the school boasts eight individual championships. According to the Hays Free Press, Chuck Ables (1978 Class 2A high jump), Whitney Dill (1999 Class 4A 1,600-meters), Helen Breyfogle (2000 Class 4A high jump), Britni Lawrence (2003 Class 5A pole vault, 2004 Class 5A pole vault), Jessica Doyle (2007 Class 4A pole vault, 2008 Class 4A pole vault) and Lindsey McCurdy (2012 Class 4A golf) have all won individual golds.

Hays to play Aledo at the state softball tournament


On Saturday, Hays High secured its first-ever trip to the state softball tournament. On Sunday, the Lady Rebels found out who they would be playing.

The University Interscholastic League announced on Sunday that Hays will play Aledo in a Class 4A semifinal game at 12 p.m. on Friday. Richmond Foster and Lucas Lovejoy will play in the other semifinal game at McCombs Field and the Class 4A championship game will be held on Saturday.

Hays, which beat Leander 4-3 in a regional championship game on Saturday, will enter the tournament with a 30-10 record. Aledo is 40-3.

The complete schedule for the four-day tournament can be found at this link.

Hays and Leander alter playoff locations and formats


The weather has impacted the Austin-area’s three remaining representatives in the University Interscholastic League’s softball and baseball playoffs.

The regional championship series between Hays and Leander’s softball teams has been moved to Kerrville’s Schreiner University. The first pitch is scheduled to be thrown at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

The game was originally scheduled to begin in Weimar at 1 p.m.

The regional semifinal series between the baseball teams from Hays and Corpus Christi Moody will be played at Laredo’s Uni-Trade Stadium at 6 p.m. on Saturday. The two teams had originally hoped to play at the San Antonio ISD Athletic Complex on Saturday afternoon.

Both series are one-game showdowns. The softball and baseball series were originally slated to be best-of-three series in Elgin and San Antonio but weather washed out the opening games on Friday and the four teams were subsequently forced to switch locations and formats on Saturday.

Trojan grad lauded at Houston


University of Houston first baseman Justin Montemayor has been named Freshman of the Year by Conference USA.

A 2012 graduate of Anderson High School, Montemayor it hitting a team-high .333 with 3 homers and 27 RBIs while starting all 56 games for the Cougars (36-20).

Montemayor was a three-year letterman for the Trojans and helped the 2012 team win district with a 23-7 record. He was named as one of the Top 50 athletes of Central Texas by the Austin American-Statesman.

Elgin grad gets college honor


Former Elgin infielder Shelbi Swenson has been named a first team All American by the National Junior College Athletic Association.

The freshman third baseman leads Temple with a .493 batting average and 71 RBIs. She has also scored 50 runs and stolen 16 bases for a team that is 46-19, 26-6 in conference games.

Prepped And Ready: Everything You Need To Know About The All-CenTex Soccer Awards



Good morning everybody.

It is Game Day in the Austin area. The area’s two best-of-three playoff series will open tonight as Hays and Leander’s softball teams will play in Elgin and Hays’ baseball team will travel to San Antonio to face Corpus Christi Moody.

Since Hays and Leander are playing each other, at least one Austin-area team will be playing next week. Can Hays’ baseball team extend its season as well? We will have to wait and see.


Cedar Park's Griffin, Georgetown's Olivares touted as area's top soccer players



After a season in which she led Cedar Park to the state semifinals for the second straight season, Kayci Griffin has put her name into the history books.

Griffin has been named the American-Statesman’s All-Central Texas Player of the Year for the 2013 girls soccer season. A senior midfielder who recorded 25 goals and 17 assists this season, Griffin was also the All-Central Texas Player of the Year in 2012 and she is now the only female soccer player to win the award twice.

Griffin has signed with BYU.

Georgetown senior Michael Olivares has been named the All-Central Texas Player of the Year for the boys soccer season. Olivares, a Southwestern University recruit, had 28 goals and 20 assists for an Eagle team that reached the regional championship round of the Class 4A playoffs.

AABCA's All-Star Game To Be Played In June



The Austin Area Baseball Coaches Association will hold its annual Central Texas All-Star Game on June 9 at the Dell Diamond. The first pitch of the all-star game, which will showcase seniors from the Austin area, will be thrown at 6 p.m.

Westlake’s Jeff Montgomery and Marble Falls’ JT Blair will coach the South. Connally’s Ryan Burns and Cedar Ridge’s Jeremy Trojacek will lead the North.

Here are the rosters for the AABCA all-star game:

SOUTH TEAM: Lake Travis P Daniel Castano, Marble Falls P Cole Ridgely, Dripping Springs P Austin Kufrovich, Lehman P Hunter Lehman, McCallum P Griffin Stuesser, Burnet P Nick Melvin, Dripping Springs C Jason Nicholson, Austin High C Andrew Pate, McCallum C Jacob Haggerty, Austin High 1B Mitch Mathews, McCallum 1B Jacob Whitefield, Burnet 2B Will Kyle, Anderson 2B Easton Johnson, Crockett SS Jacob Paciocco, Marble Falls SS Stacy Heinatz, Lake Travis 3B Baker Mayfield, Wimberley 3B Shane Clement, Burnet OF Zach Evans, Hays OF Granger Studdard, Dripping Springs OF Jonathan Bigley, Lake Travis OF Nico Escalante, Fredricksburg OF Caden Eckert, McCallum OF Wil Smith, Lake Travis DH Trenton Ray, Canyon Lake DH Michael Brady

NORTH TEAM: Cedar Park P Ryan Johnson, Vista Ridge P Dylan Bein, Cedar Ridge P Trent Rosipal, Georgetown P Jako Kelm, Salado P Reagan Bazar, Round Rock P Chris Falwell, Georgetown C Lukus Hermanson, Stony Point C Kiki Menendez, McNeil C Alex Grant, Georgetown 1B Trey Hicks, Westwood 1B JR Holloway, Georgetown 2B Wilkes Swaim, Rouse 2B Kyle Jacobs, Stony Point SS Taylor Bailey, Salado SS John Franz, Salado 3B Marshall Mann, Hutto 3B Alex Orton, Cedar Ridge OF Daniel Williams, Leander OF Taylor Sugar, Leander OF Garrett Venner, Connally OF Cedric Robertson, Taylor OF Brandon Martinez, Round Rock OF Kirby McGuire, Westwood DH Chris Sims, Georgetown DH Brent Ellerbee

Two Westlake golfers college bound


Two Westlake High golfers are prepared to sign national letters of intent on Friday to play in college.

Piper Wheaton will sign with Wheaton (Ill.) College and Christine Campbell with Trinity University, the school announced Wednesday. The ceremony will be at the principal’s conference room.

Manor offensive coordinator hired to coach at LBJ


Austin ISD announced on Wednesday morning that Andrew Jackson will be LBJ’s next football coach. Jackson will replace Keith Willis, who left for Waco University in April after only one season with the Jaguars.

Manor’s offensive coordinator for the past two seasons, Jackson has ties to Austin ISD. Jackson went 46-24 from 1996-01 as the head coach at Reagan and he led the Raiders to the state semifinals in 2001.

Bridging the gap between Reagan and Manor was Jackson’s nine-year run as Lancaster’s head coach.

“I’ve been to the state semis a couple of times in my lifetime and I really want to play for the state championship and (be) the last man standing,” Jackson said. “My goal is to build this program (at LBJ) and get it to the level where we can compete for the state championship.”

LBJ becomes the eighth Austin-area school to hire a new coach during this off-season. Bastrop, Del Valle, Hays, Hutto, Leander, Lockhart and Wimberley also have new coaches.

Prepped And Ready: Hays vs. Hays



Good morning everybody.

St. Dominic Savio hosted a signing ceremony on Wednesday as Daniel Minor (Trinity University football), Jordan Hofmeister (Belmony Abbey lacrosse), Tyler Martinez (Ranger College baseball), Jeff Tucker (Howard Payne baseball) and Eric Shempert (Howard Payne baseball) all signed on the dotted line. The school also announced this week that Ana Mooney (Texas volleyball), Cole Korte (UT-Dallas basketball) and Chaz Anthony (Blinn College basketball) will walk-on to athletic teams at their respective universities.

St. Dominic Savio will have a good publication to document these achievements in. The school’s yearbook program was recently a recipient of Jostens’ 2012-2013 National Yearbook Program of Excellence award.


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 Hays junior first baseman Justin Diaz.

Diaz started the spring on Hays’ bench but after an early-season injury in the outfield forced the Rebels to shift teammate Granger Studdard into centerfield, Diaz was inserted into the line-up. Diaz has scored 15 times this season and he has also driven in 15 runs.

Diaz has also hit one home run and that third-inning homer this past weekend broke a 2-2 tie in the opening game of Hays’ regional quarterfinal series against Schertz Clemens. Leander won the game 4-2 and went on to sweep the Buffaloes.

St. Dominic Savio to host offensive lineman's football camp



An Atlanta Falcon will be running a football camp in Austin.

Justin Blalock’s Elite 63 Football Camp/Combine will be held on St. Dominic Savio’s campus on June 29. The camp will feature two sessions: a morning session for first-seventh graders and an afternoon session for eighth graders and high school students.

The camp will be free. Registrations will be done on the day of the event on a walk-up basis.

A six-year NFL veteran, Blalock has made 94 starts for an Atlanta Falcons team that drafted him out of the University of Texas in the second round of the 2007 NFL Draft. Blalock attended high school in Plano.

Prepped And Ready: The Austin Area's Success At The Class 4A Level



Most of the Austin-area athletes can start planning their summer vacations but that is not the case at Hays High and Leander High. The two schools boast the only Austin-area athletes that are still participating in a UIL or TAPPS-sanctioned sport.

Hays and Leander’s softball teams will play in a regional championship game series this week and Hays is also sending its baseball team to the regional semifinals. Here is the schedule for those three teams:

  • Hays vs. Leander (softball): 7 p.m. on Friday at Elgin HS; 12 p.m. on Saturday at Elgin HS; 2 p.m. on Saturday at Elgin HS (if necessary)

  • Hays vs. Corpus Christi Moody (baseball): 7:30 p.m. on Friday at San Antonio ISD Sports Complex; 4 p.m. on Saturday at San Antonio ISD Sports Complex; 7 p.m. on Saturday at San Antonio ISD Sports Complex (if necessary)


Hays and Leander’s softball teams will meet in the regional championship round of the Class 4A playoffs this weekend. It will mark only the third time that two Austin-area softball teams have played for a spot in the state tournament.

In 2005, Elgin swept Dripping Springs with 1-0 and 2-0 victories in their Class 4A regional championship series. Three years later, Dripping Springs recorded 2-1 and 4-2 wins over Vista Ridge in the same round.

No Austin-area teams have ever played against each other in the state semifinals or state finals.

Wimberley golfer signs scholarship


Wimberley senior Barbara Bruns has signed a national letter of intent to play golf at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia.

“We would like to take this opportunity to express to you how excited we are that you chose to further your education and golf career at Southern Arkansas University,” SAU coach James E. Robertson wrote to Bruns after she signed.

Some of the honors Bruns has received in 2012 include: 2nd place, district medalist and 4th place in 2013. Bruns was a regional qualifier in 2011, 2012, and 2013. She was named All-District those same years.

Prepped And Ready: TAPPS Track Totals


In Monday’s blog, we talked about the Austin-area athletes who won medals at the University Interscholastic League’s track and field meet. Let’s talk about TAPPS today.

TAPPS also held its track and field meet over the weekend and Austin-area athletes brought home 33 medals. Brentwood Christian’s Priscilla Glenn collected three golds and a bronze medal while Marble Falls Faith’s Jake Diamond set the Class 2A record in the pole vault.

But if anyone had a better weekend than St. Michael’s junior Chris Lewis, I’d like to know. Lewis won gold medals in Class 5A’s long jump, triple jump, 800-meter relay and 1,760-meter relay competitions and his name went into the Class 5A record books for his last three events.

Let’s look at the medal count from this past weekend:

  • Gold: Hill Country’s Karen Baker (Class 2A 100-meter hurdles, Class 2A 300-meter hurdles); Marble Falls’ Jake Diamond (Class 2A pole vault), Round Rock Christian’s Tyler Severson (Class 3A 100-meter dash); Brentwood Christian’s Priscilla Glenn (Class 3A 300-meter hurdles, Class 3A pole vault); St. Michael’s Chris Lewis (Class 5A long jump, Class 5A triple jump); Brentwood Christian girls (Class 3A 1,760-yard relay); St. Michael’s boys (Class 5A 800-meter relay, Class 5A 1,760-yard relay)

  • Silver: Severson (Class 3A 200-meter dash); Cedar Park Summit’s Jacob Sherrill (Class 2A 800-meter run); Hill Country’s Olivia Dahl (Class 2A pole vault); Marble Falls Faith’s Hanner Shipley (Class 2A shot put); Marble Falls Faith’s Sarah Kiley (Class 2A triple jump); Marble Falls Faith’s Kylie Cozby (Class 2A 300-meter hurdles); TSD’s Sria Webb (Class 3A 100-meter dash); Brentwood Christian’s Morgan Vandygriff (Class 3A 400-meter dash; Class 3A 200-meter dash); St. Michael’s Scotland Butler (Class 5A 400-meter dash); St. Michael’s Jameson Houston (Class 5A 200-meter dash); Hill Country girls (Class 2A 1,760-yard relay)

  • Bronze: Glenn (Class 3A 100-meter hurdles); Dahl (Class 2A 100-meter hurdles), Marble Falls Faith’s Brian Freeman (Class 2A 400-meter dash); Marble Falls Faith’s Juliette Fisher (Class 2A high jump); Brentwood Christian’s Serena George (Class 3A high jump); St. Dominic Savio’s BriAna Davison (Class 4A 200-meter dash); St. Michael’s Kyle Wurzel (Class 5A discus); Marble Falls Faith girls (Class 2A 800-meter relay, Class 2A 1,760-yard relay); Austin Waldorf girls (Class 2A 400-meter relay)