Recapping a great year in North Texas high school sports

Posted Monday, Jun. 10, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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When June arrives, you can officially mark the end of the high school athletics season.

We came close to having an event in June. Carroll’s baseball team needed two wins to advance to the Class 5A state baseball tournament in Round Rock this past weekend. Alas, it didn’t turn out that way. Still, we all enjoyed some banner events from the beginning of January through the end of May.

So as we reflect, these are the moments that defined the time period. There is no order of ranking.

•  National Signing Day: Feb. 6 became the culmination of one of the better recruiting days in the history of this area. It’s not often when two nationally rated quarterbacks located within five miles of each other are playing in the same season. But we enjoyed watching Carroll’s Kenny Hill Jr. and Colleyville Heritage’s Cody Thomas ply their trade. Thomas never wavered from his commitment to the Sooners. Hill went through some last-minute looks at Baylor and Kansas State before remaining faithful to Texas A&M. The two signed their national letters of intent. Rivals rated Thomas No. 125, while Hill was No. 137. Our coverage area had eight Division I signees.

•  Northwest girls basketball makes bold move: A disastrous 2-28 season for the Northwest girls basketball program led to the resignation of coach Wayne Parker. But while folks looked at that program with little to no expectations for the future, Aledo’s Rusty Johnson looked at it as a challenge. Weeks after guiding his program to the Class 4A state tournament, Johnson accepted the idea of rebuilding the Lady Texans’ program by taking the position. Johnson is convinced there are some players in the feeder schools who can help the turnaround.

•  Carroll sweeps swimming: Carroll’s penchant of not just settling for reaching the state swimming meet takes hold of those of coming through the program. Both the boys and girls teams won respective 5A state championships in 2012. But the 2013 squads, featuring returning and new faces, found a way to keep the hardware this past February in Austin. Each comfortably repeated as state champions. The teams accomplished the same thing that the cross country teams did in November at the state meet. The Carroll girls soccer team just missed capturing a state championship as it fell to Plano West in the girls 5A state championship game in April.

•  A Nelson first: Byron Nelson is on the verge of becoming the next athletic power in the North Texas area. There has been plenty of postseason participation in football, volleyball, basketball, softball and baseball. But the first state championship appropriately went to a golf team. After finishing as the runners up to Montgomery in 2012, the girls team flipped the result April 29 and brought home Nelson’s first state title in any sport. They held off Montgomery by four strokes.

•  Regional Final Runs: Deep playoff runs are always memorable. But there’s also a lot of pain when teams fall one round short of advancing to the state tournament. That’s what happened to the Byron Nelson boys basketball team, Nelson girls soccer team and Carroll baseball team. All three just couldn’t take that last step in reaching the ultimate destination. The Nelson boys fell to Fort Worth Arlington Heights in the Region I 4A championship game in Snyder. Meanwhile, the girls soccer team fell to fellow district rival and eventual state champion Denton Guyer in the Region I 4A title game in Wichita Falls. Carroll’s rematch with Arlington Martin in the Region I 5A championship series didn’t have a different result. The Warriors swept the series at QuikTrip Park in Grand Prairie.

•  Notable: Northwest pole vaulter Desiree Freier repeated as 5A state champion with a state record of 13 feet, nine inches. Carroll’s Courtney Kriegshauser repeated at 5A state champion in the 1600 with a time of 4:51.10.

Now, we can rest up recharge the batteries until volleyball teams report – in less than two months.

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