Panthers, Mustangs still have much to play for

Posted Monday, Apr. 22, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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While observers will look at Colleyville Heritage’s record – 17-12-1 – and think that’s not what they would expect, the Panthers have probably exceeded what 2013 presented.

This team’s pitching was such an unknown that coach Alan McDougal had to work his way through the regular season in order to truly know what he had. It turned out to be enough. The Panthers (10-2 in District 6-5A) have already clinched a playoff berth. McDougal’s teams have made the playoffs in all eight of his seasons.

Because of the TAKS test, the Panthers played at Carrollton R.L. Turner Monday afternoon and play host to Hurst L.D. Bell on Friday in the regular season finale.

McDougal relied on senior right-hander Lane Norwood and junior right-hander Jake Thompson to carry this team as district play began. Neither had strikeout stuff, but they have done a good job pitching to contact and trusting the defense to support them.

“That’s absolutely what we’ve had to do,” McDougal said. “Really, the closest thing we’ve had to a guy with a plus fastball is our closer, Jason Adams. He’s just done a great job of getting some swings and misses.”

Colleyville Heritage was still very much alive for the district championship despite an 8-1 loss to Irving Nimitz this past Friday. The Panthers trail Grapevine (11-1) by one loss and need to win out and hope for a Grapevine loss in order to share it. If they win out and Grapevine loses both of its games, then the Panthers win the outright championship.

What will Thomas do?

In speaking to a couple of people about Cody Thomas, it really should be a fascinating June to see what the Major League teams will do when it comes to the number he would be asking and what the clubs are willing to offer when draft begins June 6.

Plus, the draft has changed because there are pricing slots.

Thomas has enjoyed an incredible season (.469, 10 HR, 36 RBIs) and has demonstrated to scouts that he has the tools to play professionally. But with him signing to play quarterback for Oklahoma on Feb. 6, that will be always play a major role to the discussion.

As one person familiar with the situation said: “He’s done everything that’s been asked and performed. He’s a special tools guy. But I would be shocked if he didn’t wind up going to Oklahoma.”

Grapevine update

It’s been so long since the last time Grapevine won a district championship, head coach Tim McCune had to check. Looks like it was 1999.

Setting the District 6-5A pace at 11-1, the Mustangs (21-8-1) controlled their destiny in the final week of the regular season. They played at Irving MacArthur Monday afternoon and then finish with Irving Nimitz at home on Friday. A win against MacArthur would have clinched a tie for the championship.

Make no mistake, McCune’s team is going to go for it.

“Why would we not?” McCune said. “There’s a major incentive. The kids set a goal and this one is pretty exciting. To me this isn’t a situation where you’re a major league team wrapping it up with a week left and then resting people. We’re going to do our best to win it.”

If there was a two-tie between Grapevine and Colleyville Heritage, there is a chance that a playoff game to determine the top seed would be played on Saturday. However, McCune had to check on that.

By the way, the running game has been a valued part of the Grapevine offense. The Mustangs have more than 40 steals this year, led by center fielder Satchel Goodwin’s 17.

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