High School Sports


Preseason Top 10 countdown

In Central Texas, August means scorching days and heated preseason debates about the area’s top high school football teams. Leading up to the season’s kickoff on Aug. 31, we unveil our Top 10, as selected by our high school reporting staff and including … NO. 10 LBJ Coach: Andrew Jackson (32-15, fifth season) 2016: 9-2 overall, Class 5A, Division I bidistrict finalist Hello: QB...
This season, Del Valle’s football team welcoming recruiters’ attentions

This season, Del Valle’s football team welcoming recruiters’ attentions

This season, Del Valle’s football team will boast a pair of building blocks on defense to help it stand firm against District 14-6A opponents. It’s virtually impossible to overlook one of those players, defensive lineman Scale Igiehon, a 6-foot-2, 325-pound senior who also muscles aside opponents on the basketball court during the winter. The second one, linebacker Cameron Wilkins, has...
2017 preseason All-Central Texas football team

2017 preseason All-Central Texas football team

OFFENSE QB: Mak Sexton, sr., Cedar Park Third-year starter threw for 2,670 yards, 22 TDs last season and boasts career record of 28-1. RB: Nakia Watson, sr., Westlake Wisconsin pledge rumbled for 1,688 yards, 22 TDs to help Chaps reach a regional final in 2016. RB: Luke Leschber, jr., Thorndale A 200-pounder with good speed whose sophomore season included 1,530 yards rushing, 26 TDs. WR: Johnny Hoyle...
Westlake RB Nakia Watson ready to carry heavy load

Westlake RB Nakia Watson ready to carry heavy load

What a difference a year makes. At the Westlake football program’s annual media day last summer, reporters carrying cameras and recorders swarmed across Ebbie Neptune Field at Chaparral Stadium. A team that had come within a missed field goal overtime of winning a 2015 state title had the highest of expectations, and quarterback Sam Ehlinger – a homegrown University of Texas pledge &ndash...
Vandegrift volleyball team rolls past Hendrickson

Vandegrift volleyball team rolls past Hendrickson

Hendrickson entered its Aug. 15 matchup with Vandegrift coming off a two-game losing streak. And things only got tougher for the Hawks (13–6) while facing one of District 25-6A’s top team, losing to Vandegrift (10–1) in three sets 25-14, 25-15, 25-10. “Vandegrift has always been a really good team; they always know where to put the ball,” said Hendrickson senior libero...
Stony Point volleyball team sweeps Vista Ridge

Stony Point volleyball team sweeps Vista Ridge

Senior setter Brooke Stansel recorded 28 assists to lead Stony Point past visiting Vista Ridge 27-25, 25-21, 25-13 in a Class 6A non-district volleyball match Tuesday at Stony Point High School. The passing performance continued a strong season for Stansel, who had 43 assists in a match earlier this season. “Brooke has just done a great job for us this year; she really spreads the ball around...
Dripping Springs volleyball team stuffs Lake Travis

Dripping Springs volleyball team stuffs Lake Travis

According to Dripping Springs coach Michael Kane, a grueling early-season schedule helps his team identify and strengthen its weaknesses while prepping for District 26-5A play and beyond. Based on an Aug. 15 game nondistrict game against Lake Travis, those lessons are already starting to pay off. A dominant defensive performance at the net helped Dripping Springs bounced back from a first-set loss...
With initial nerves behind him, Garrett Wilson seeks breakout season

With initial nerves behind him, Garrett Wilson seeks breakout season

When he lined up against Converse Judson to start his varsity football career last year, then-sophomore receiver Garrett Wilson had a big case of nerves. “I thought I played OK, but before the game, that was the most nervous I’ve been,” he said last fall. “I was nervous until the first catch. I was running around, shaking, thinking about if I was doing everything right.&rdquo...
ASSOCIATED PRESS PRESEASON POLLS

ASSOCIATED PRESS PRESEASON POLLS

ASSOCIATED PRESS PRESEASON POLLS The AP preseason rankings, with total points based on a 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 sliding scale. First-place votes are listed in parentheses. Allen (8);211 Katy (5);201 DeSoto (3);170 Converse Judson (5);169 Cibolo Steele (1);160 Lake Travis (2);136 Westlake (1);119 Cedar Hill;83 The Woodlands;63 Galena Park North Shore;22 Others receiving votes: Spring Westfield...
Round Rock, Cedar Ridge volleyball teams both 2nd in local tourneys

Round Rock, Cedar Ridge volleyball teams both 2nd in local tourneys

In an impressive weekend for volleyball teams from the Round Rock school district, Cedar Ridge and Round Rock both finished second in the first tournament weekend of the season. The Raiders were second in the Jason Landers Memorial hosted by the Austin school district, while Round Rock finished second at the Westwood Warrior Showcase tournament. “I am extremely pleased with our start,&rdquo...
Hendrickson impresses at Westwood tourney; Panthers shows potential

Hendrickson impresses at Westwood tourney; Panthers shows potential

Hendrickson had a strong showing at the Westwood tournament this past weekend, losing to District 13-6A powerhouse Round Rock in the gold bracket. The Hawks (6-1) and their young roster went 3-0 on the first day of the tournament and split a tri-match with a win over Leander and a loss to Georgetown on Aug. 8. Hendrickson head coach Carrie Sulak was “very pleased” with Hendrickson&rsquo...
Questions abound as defending champs open fall football camp

Questions abound as defending champs open fall football camp

Hank Carter smiles as he thinks about welcoming Lake Travis’ football players back for the 2017 season. He can’t quite refer to practice by its traditional, seasonal moniker, but he’s ready to see his team get back to work. “Our fall camp — I don’t know that you can call it that anymore — will be about learning how to play football, learning how to play your...
Westlake football opens summer workouts with few questions

Westlake football opens summer workouts with few questions

Todd Dodge enters his fourth season at the helm of the Westlake football program, and the coach with four state titles and a history of working well past Thanksgiving wants to continue that tradition. “We’ve played 42 games in three years and won 33 of them,” Dodge said. “We haven’t even scratched the surface on how good we can be in a lot of ways.” As he prepares...
Westlake volleyball team fends off scrappy McCallum

Westlake volleyball team fends off scrappy McCallum

When Westlake volleyball coach Al Bennett told his team Sunday about his plans to retire following his 30th season at the school, there were tears, hugs and a bit of shock. After all, Bennett has built Westlake into one of the preeminent programs in the state, and the four title banners hanging on the Westlake High School gymnasium wall serve as a reminder of his success But after the emotions of...
Campbell’s revised volleyball schedule to include international play

Campbell’s revised volleyball schedule to include international play

Westlake senior Holly Campbell, an elite middle blocker, knows that the first few weeks of the high school volleyball season are when memories are made. Long bus trips and hotel stays tied to tournaments form bonds that last a lifetime. For Campbell, those days are finished, but she sees it as a small price to pay for what lies ahead. As the Chaparrals continued their 2017 season with a 3-1 victory...
Round Rock sweeps Cedar Park to open volleyball season

Round Rock sweeps Cedar Park to open volleyball season

In a matchup of two of Central Texas top teams , visiting Round Rock swept Cedar Park in three sets Tuesday night. Sophomore Emma Young recorded seven kills in just two sets for the Dragons (1-0), and junior Maddie Lowe added six kills and two blocks. Laura Malone, another sophomore, totaled five kills for Round Rock in its 25-14, 25-22, 25-21 victory. “We played really good defense most of...
Bears aim for efficiency

Bears aim for efficiency

The Bastrop volleyball team struggled to a 4-12 record in its first season in District 19-5A. That record could be directly related to a low hitting percentage (.103) and few blocks (31). “Our hitting percentage wasn’t very good,” Bastrop coach Nicole Creek said. “We’ve got to be smarter when we attack the ball. The setters and hitters need to communicate a little better...
District 25-6A preview series: Westlake DBs help make Chaps favorite

District 25-6A preview series: Westlake DBs help make Chaps favorite

As the 2017 football season approaches, the community newspapers take a look at what to expect from District 25-6A, position by position. The series concludes by examining the teams’ defensive backs. The community sports writers rank them from the strongest (No. 1) to the weakest (No. 7), based on how the unit looks in the preseason. Visit westlakepicayune.com for the entire series. 1. Westlake...
Three new coaches join Lake Travis athletic depratment

Three new coaches join Lake Travis athletic depratment

Three new varsity coaches have joined the Lake Travis athletic program for the 2017-18 school year. Kevin Bussinger will take over the girls basketball program, Billy Coleman is the new softball coach, and M. Dean Lackey has been named the new swimming and diving coach. “These coaches have been successful everywhere they’re been — we’re happy to have them join the Lake Travis...
Westlake volleyball coach Al Bennett to retire at end of season

Westlake volleyball coach Al Bennett to retire at end of season

Longtime Westlake volleyball coach Al Bennett will share something extra with his seniors this fall. Just as for them, 2017 will bring Bennett’s final high school season. This past weekend, the 62-year-old Bennett told his players and his assistant coaches that he will retire after this season, his 30th at Westlake. Since he first stepped on campus in 1988, Bennett has guided the Chaparrals...

Volleyball program to host annual skills clinic

The Westlake High School varsity volleyball program will host its annual skills clinic and fundraiser Monday and Tuesday for incoming third- through eighth-grade girls at the school’s gym. Area club coaches and members of the Westlake varsity program will conduct drills and teach skills. The clinic is divided by age group; incoming third- through sixth-graders will attend from 8:30 to 10:30...
Eagles focused on first playoff win

Eagles focused on first playoff win

Cedar Creek’s goal of winning its first volleyball playoff match in school history was stymied by Magnolia last season. The Eagles (10-6 in District 19-5A, 30-15 overall) have set that as one of their goals again this season. First, they have to advance to the playoffs, which is not a given in a district that ranks as one of the best in the state. Last year, district co-champion Cedar Park lost...
RRCA eyes return trip to TAPPS state volleyball tournament

RRCA eyes return trip to TAPPS state volleyball tournament

The Round Rock Christian Academy Crusaders have their eye on the volleyball prize this season. The 2016 TAPPS Class 3A state runners-up return the nucleus of a team that lost to Rockwall Heritage Christian in the finals. Third-year coach Doug Keyser always schedules challenging nondistrict schedule, and that level of competition helps RRCA when the team lines up against a conference foe. “We...
Giddings tops yet another group

Giddings tops yet another group

As we inch closer to the 2017 football season the community newspapers are taking a look a look at what to expect from District 10-4A, Division II position by position. We start the series by examining each team’s linebackers. We rank them from the strongest (No. 1) to the weakest (No. 6), based on how the unit looks in the preseason. Visit smithvilletimes.com for the entire series. 1. Giddings...
New-look Westwood volleyball team rolls to wins on opening night

New-look Westwood volleyball team rolls to wins on opening night

Westwood welcomed four new starters, including two setters, into its lineup in Monday’s season-opening doubleheader against Austin High and Hutto. But the Warriors looked like the same team that won last year’s District 13-6A title while sweeping both opponents. Maggie Stout pounded nine kills, Emily Low slammed eight kills and Maddi Kriz added seven kills as Westwood started the 2017...
District 13-6A preview series: Stony Point boasts deep, talented DBs

District 13-6A preview series: Stony Point boasts deep, talented DBs

As we inch closer to the 2017 football season, the community newspapers takes a look at what to expect from District 13-6A, position by position. We finish the series by examining the teams’ defensive backs. We rank them from the strongest (No. 1) to the weakest (No. 7), at least based on how the unit looks in the preseason. Visit rrleader.com for the entire series. 1. Stony Point The Tigers...
Pflugerville school district grads tour world with volleyball teams

Pflugerville school district grads tour world with volleyball teams

A pair of Pflugerville area volleyball standouts who now play for Kansas traveled the world this summer as part of two different U.S. volleyball teams. Madison Rigdon, a Pflugerville graduate, was selected to the USA Volleyball’s 12-player U.S. Women’s Collegiate National Team Thailand Tour (CNT-Thailand) roster comprised of current collegiate players who traveled to Thailand to compete...
Area volleyball: Our preseason honor roll

Area volleyball: Our preseason honor roll

PRESEASON TOP 10 TEAMS (Records from 2016) 1. Westlake (35-13) In coach Al Bennett’s final season, Holly Campbell, a Stanford pledge, and outside hitter Madi Baptiste will lead the Chaparrals, who last reached the state tournament in 2009. 2. Rouse (40-9) Five starters return for the Raiders, who lost a five-set battle against district rival Cedar Park in a Class 5A regional final played last...
Pflugerville schools set for volleyball season

Pflugerville schools set for volleyball season

The new addition of Weiss High School to the Pflugerville school district gives the district its fourth high-school campus. While Weiss will field a varsity volleyball team comprised of underclassmen this season, the Wolves will wait a year before joining a district. This year, Weiss plays a hodgepodge schedule, matching some varsity opponents, some junior varsity and some small-school opposition...
Rest of District 25-6A will be chasing powerhouse Westlake in 2017

Rest of District 25-6A will be chasing powerhouse Westlake in 2017

Holly Campbell and her Westlake teammates cast a long shadow over District 25-6A with a solid returning cast from last year’s regional quarterfinalist squad. Al Bennett begins his 30th season as a head coach with the 6-foot-3 Campbell, a Stanford pledge, at the center of his squad. Campbell has a strong supporting cast around her with all-district outside hitter Madi Baptiste and Sammy Bray...
Round Rock, Westwood enter volleyball season as district favorites

Round Rock, Westwood enter volleyball season as district favorites

Defending District 13-6A champion Westwood graduated eight seniors, second-place Round Rock returns a slew of letter winners, and Hendrickson, Cedar Ridge, McNeil, Stony Point and Pflugerville are all hopeful of grabbing at least one of the playoff spots as the district opens the 2017 volleyball season next week. Westwood (43-8 in 2016, 12-0 in district) didn’t drop a match while claiming the...
Timberwolves lead the pack at linebacker

Timberwolves lead the pack at linebacker

As we inch closer to the 2017 football season the community newspapers are taking a look a look at what to expect from District 19-5A, position by position. The series continues by examining the teams’ defensive linemen. The community sports writers rank them from the strongest (No. 1) to the weakest (No. 9), based on how the unit looks in the preseason. Visit pflugervillepflag.com for the entire...
District 13-6A preview series: Transfer bolsters Round Rock’s LBs

District 13-6A preview series: Transfer bolsters Round Rock’s LBs

As we inch closer to the 2017 football season, the community newspapers takes a look at what to expect from District 13-6A, position by position. We continue the series by examining the teams’ linebackers. We rank them from the strongest (No. 1) to the weakest (No. 7), at least based on how the unit looks in the preseason. Visit rrleader.com for the entire series. 1. Round Rock With the arrival...
District 25-6A preview series: Can LBs help lift Vandy into playoffs?

District 25-6A preview series: Can LBs help lift Vandy into playoffs?

As the 2017 football season approaches, the community newspapers take a look at what to expect from District 25-6A, position by position. The series continues by examining the teams’ linebackers. The community sports writers rank them from the strongest (No. 1) to the weakest (No. 7), at least based on how the unit looks in the preseason. Visit westlakepicayune.com for the entire series. 1....
Cedar Ridge volleyball team acing classroom

Cedar Ridge volleyball team acing classroom

With volleyball season approaching, optimism abounds for Cedar Ridge - on the court and in the classroom. It was a perfect 13 for the volleyball team in the classroom last season; all 13 of Coach Kim Fuller’s varsity volleyball players earned academic all-district honors. During the past six years under Fuller, nearly 70 academic honor players that have competed for Cedar Ridge. “It is...
District 25-6A preview series: Westlake DL deep, talented

District 25-6A preview series: Westlake DL deep, talented

As the 2017 football season approaches, the community newspapers take a look at what to expect from District 25-6A, position by position. The series continues by examining the teams’ defensive lines. The community sports writers rank them from the strongest (No. 1) to the weakest (No. 7), at least based on how the unit looks in the preseason. Visit westlakepicayune.com for the entire series...
Baldwin set to step into high-profile role of Lake Travis quarterback

Baldwin set to step into high-profile role of Lake Travis quarterback

When Lake Travis senior Matthew Baldwin strolls through his high school’s activity center, he can’t help but be reminded of the football program’s legacy of success. One prominent wall is dedicated to a display of the jerseys of the championship-winning quarterbacks who have played for the Cavaliers. The most recent one, Charlie Brewer, guided Lake Travis to its sixth UIL state championship...
District 13-6A preview series: Stony Point tops deep list of D-lines

District 13-6A preview series: Stony Point tops deep list of D-lines

As we inch closer to the 2017 football season, the community newspapers take a look at what to expect from District 13-6A, position by position. We continue the series by examining the teams’ defensive lines. We rank them from the strongest (No. 1) to the weakest (No. 7), at least based on how the unit looks in the preseason. Visit rrleader.com for the entire series. 1. Stony Point An underrated...
Hippos will gobble up competition

Hippos will gobble up competition

As we inch closer to the 2017 football season the community newspapers are taking a look a look at what to expect from District 19-5A, position by position. The series continues by examining the teams’ defensive linemen. The community sports writers rank them from the strongest (No. 1) to the weakest (No. 9), based on how the unit looks in the preseason. Visit pflugervillepflag.com for the entire...
Lake Travis-Judson to air as part of historic Friday night broadcast

Lake Travis-Judson to air as part of historic Friday night broadcast

Note to high school football fans: If you can’t make it to Converse on Sept. 1 for the season opener between Lake Travis and Judson, you’ll have a second option for watching the showdown — a live television broadcast. And that will be a historic first for Texas high school sports. Last month, the University Interscholastic League’s legislative council broke from tradition to...
Westlake High phenom Dakota Luther dives into first international meet

Westlake High phenom Dakota Luther dives into first international meet

Whitney Hedgepeth barely had a chance to say goodbye to Dakota Luther, her 17-year-old daughter, as she pulled up to the sidewalk at the Austin airport July 4. “I literally dropped her off on the curb,” Hedgepeth said. “I was like, ‘Bye! I love you! Go!’ ” The brief goodbye came after Hedgepeth had to make last-minute changes to her daughter’s travel plans...
District 13-6A preview: Healthy Jennings gives Westwood proven QB

District 13-6A preview: Healthy Jennings gives Westwood proven QB

As we inch closer to the 2017 football season, the community newspapers takes a look at what to expect from District 13-6A, position by position. We continue the series by examining the teams’ quarterbacks. We rank them from the strongest (No. 1) to the weakest (No. 7), at least based on how the unit looks in the preseason. Visit rrleader.com for the entire series. 1. Westwood Whether it&rsquo...
District 25-6A preview series: Cavs’ Baldwin tops QB list

District 25-6A preview series: Cavs’ Baldwin tops QB list

As the 2017 football season approaches, the community newspapers take a look at what to expect from District 25-6A, position by position. The series continues by examining the teams’ quarterbacks. The community sports writers rank them from the strongest (No. 1) to the weakest (No. 7), at least based on how the unit looks in the preseason. Visit westlakepicayune.com for the entire series. 1...
Matthew Baldwin latest Cav QB to make college pledge

Matthew Baldwin latest Cav QB to make college pledge

Lake Travis incoming senior Matthew Baldwin continued a Cavalier tradition by committing to play quarterback at Colorado State University July 14. Baldwin becomes the eighth consecutive Lake Travis quarterback to pledge to a FBS college. The streak began in 2006, when Todd Reesing signed with Kansas and continued with Garrett Gilbert (Texas), Michael Brewer (Texas Tech), Colin Lagasse (SMU), Baker...
Westlake continues tradition with top-10 finish in Lone Star Cup

Westlake continues tradition with top-10 finish in Lone Star Cup

Westlake continued a school tradition by finishing in the top 10 of the Lone Star Cup standings for the 17th time in the past 20 years. Westlake, the 2015-16 winner of the Class 6A cup, finished fourth this year with 88 points while Lake Travis, which won state championships in football and girls golf, came in ninth with 63 points. Hendrickson, which won the girls soccer state title, was 10th with...
High school football star practicing with ankle monitor, booted from practice

High school football star practicing with ankle monitor, booted from practice

A South Florida high school student, who is facing a felony charge, will not be allowed to take part in spring football practice while wearing an ankle monitor after school officials read a newspaper story about it online. A judge’s order had allowed Shelley Singletary to participate in spring practices, as well as attend classes at Boca Raton High School, and the 18-year-old apparently was...
Florida prep football team gives signed helmet to No. 1 fan

Florida prep football team gives signed helmet to No. 1 fan

Members of a Florida high school football team surprised their No. 1 fan with a Christmas gift. Andrew Hayne is a special needs student at Wiregrass Ranch High School in Wesley Chapel. The 18-year-old has been friends with Bulls quarterback Chris Faddoul since middle school, BayNews9 reported. Faddoul would let Hayne wear his No. 14 jersey on Fridays before Wesley Chapel games, and after...
Ohio student with MD scores touchdown on senior night

Ohio student with MD scores touchdown on senior night

An Ohio high school senior with muscular dystrophy scored a touchdown for the varsity football team Friday night while remaining in his wheelchair. Connor Williams has been a special captain with the Valley View High School varsity football team in Germantown since his freshman year. Being confined to a wheelchair has never stopped his love of Spartans football. Williams has served in several capacities...
Special needs student in Utah scores touchdown

Special needs student in Utah scores touchdown

Brian Herrera attends Cottonwood High School in Murray, located in suburban Salt Lake City. He is a special needs student and has known senior Alex Hart since the pair attended junior high school.

Powerful Washington high school football team strikes fear in opponents

In the world of Friday night lights and high school football, is it possible for one team to be too good? In Everett, Washington, one powerhouse team outscored its opponents 170-0 in its first three football games this season. Now other conference opponents would rather forfeit than get pummeled by Archbishop Murphy High School’s team.  "There's still unknowns. … We don't know...
High school coach bloodied on sideline after headbutting player

High school coach bloodied on sideline after headbutting player

TV cameras captured some tense moments on the sidelines during the Georgia high school playoffs Friday night. In a game between Colquitt County and Mill Creek, Colquitt coach Rush Propst appears to headbutt one of his players on the sideline in the second quarter. Moments later, blood was seen pouring from Propst's forehead. Colquitt County is the defending AAAAAA state football champs. They beat...
High school football player suspended for 'praising God'

High school football player suspended for 'praising God'

A high school football player in Arizona could miss the school's first playoff game in 25 years after an official deemed a gesture to in praise of God as "excessive celebration." Pedro Banda, 17, was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct and ejected from a game last week after he pointed his index finger to the sky following a touchdown. The senior running back at Dysart High School in El...
Coach suspended after 161-2 rout

Coach suspended after 161-2 rout

You may expect a coach to be suspended for losing too many games. But what about when his team wins one? That's exactly what happened to the head coach of a high school girls basketball team in California after they beat the other team 161-2.   That is not a typo.  The Arroyo Valley High School girl's basketball team beat Bloomington High School  by nearly 160 points the ...
3 deaths in 1 week: How risky is high school football?

3 deaths in 1 week: How risky is high school football?

A 16-year-old high school football player died Wednesday following an on-field collision. Tom Cutinella was a junior at Shoreham-Wading River High School. He was pronounced dead after collapsing during the third quarter of a varsity football game.  But school officials say football is not to blame. STEVEN COHEN, Shoreham-Wading Superintendent WNBC: "It was the result of a typical...

Close-knit, competitive family helps Palm Beach Central’s Kc McDermott become one of the top football recruits in the country

The note on Kc McDermott’s bathroom mirror, typed in all caps and printed out on white paper, has two questions. “What are you going to be doing on Feb. 5th, 2014? And what are you doing today to ensure that?” This week, the 6-foot-7, 285-pound 16-year-old offensive tackle is visiting Notre Dame and Miami. By the end of this week, McDermott, one of the top recruits in the nation...
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