Football didn’t work out for Asa Rice. So the recent Mansfield Summit graduate became one of the best distance runners in Texas and played a huge role in the success of the Summit athletics programs in 2016-2017.
Rice is headed to the University of Texas at Arlington on a full scholarship this fall, and coach Shannon Utley said Rice left an indelible mark on the track and field program.
“He was not a star athlete coming into high school. He came over to cross country when football didn’t work out his freshman year,” Utley said. “To watch what that young man has accomplished from where he started is a perfect example of ‘if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything.’”
Rice garnered a fifth-place showing at the state meet in the 1,600 meter event and an eighth-place finish in the 3,200.
“Asa has been an integral part of this program,” Utley said. “He is an outstanding leader both on and off the track. We will miss him immensely, but he has left his mark on this team and he is leaving it in good hands.
“Asa graduates as the most decorated distance runner in Summit’s history,” Utley added.
The Summit girls basketball team finished second in the District 10-5A standings, and coach Dawn Mailloux-Smith said her feelings about the season are somewhat mixed.
“I would sum up our season as a successful season with a disappointing ending,” Mailloux-Smith said. “We came into the season with only three returning players with significant varsity playing experience and some great young talent. The group was able to come together and play some great games throughout the year, beating teams like Barbers Hill, Pflugerville, Prosper, Legacy and Canyon. Ultimately, a poor shooting night and uncharacteristic turnovers in the first round of the playoffs sent us home earlier than anyone wanted or expected.
“I hope that the feeling after our last game will motivate our returning players and young players coming in to get back in the race this season for a district championship and longer playoff run.”
The boys soccer team got into the playoffs after overcoming multiple hurdles and defeated Everman in the bi-district round.
Coach Alex Bravo said that overall, he is pleased with how his team persevered.
“Our 2017 season was one of learning,” Bravo said. “With several injuries to key players, several of our young guys (freshmen and sophomores) where put to the test earlier than I had planned. But it showed our true team chemistry and how they all worked so hard for each other to accomplished our goals this year. We accomplished making the playoffs even though we never used the same line up two games in a row because of our injuries.
“Our guys were determined to succeed and they showed that this was a true team effort that lead to a successful season.”
Coach Scotty Hale led the Summit softball team to a postseason berth after a five-year drought in 2017, and he said his team showed a lot of toughness.
“Our team goal was to make the playoffs for the first time in five years,” Hale said. “To reach this goal, our team motto was ‘Finish.’ Our two biggest games were our Waxahachie game that we had to finish in the seventh inning as momentum was changing, and the last game of the season vs. Timberview.
“We finished that game to make the playoffs and meet our team goal,” Hale said. “Senior leadership played a huge part in our successful season. They will be missed.”