Softball - Bowie
It seems like everything has been leading to this
year for the Bowie girls' softball team. The Bulldawgs
lost to Garland in the Class 5A state semifinals two
years ago. They moved one step closer last spring,
losing this time to Alvin in the state title game. But
the gang is back nearly intact this season with one
last chance to go all the way. Senior pitcher Blaire
Luna is one of many impact players on this year's
squad. The Texas signee is the reigning Austin
American-Statesman Player of the Year after posting
an ERA of 0.06 last season to go with 246 strikeouts in
123 innings. Luna's battery mate is also back in senior
catcher Whitney Bailey. Bowie's outfield returned in
full with senior Andrea Porter in center field, senior
Sam Beeson in right and sophomore Kendall Wiley in
left. That trio doubles as the heart of the Bulldawgs
lineup, with Porter hitting second, Beeson third and
Wiley in the cleanup spot. All three hit better than
.300 last season, with Beeson leading the way at .389.
Bowie lost its first baseman, second baseman and
third baseman to graduation, but Brittany Moreno
does return to hold things down at shortstop. With a
pitcher like Luna in the circle, a talented lineup surrounding
her and two difficult season-ending losses
to use as motivation, it wouldn't be wise to doubt the
Bulldawgs come playoff time this spring.
Boys' Basketball - Wagner
When the Thunderbirds muscled their way past nationally ranked Madison in the second round of the
playoffs this winter, it was clear the third-year program had emerged as a true contender. Three hard-fought
wins later, Wagner found itself headed to the Class 5A state tournament as Region IV-5A champions. There, it
took a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Cedar Hill to finally derail the Thunderbirds. The team finished 32-8 overall
and will bring back three starters next season, including top scorer Jordan Clarkson.
Wrestling - Westlake
The Chaps produced a banner performance at this winter's state wrestling tournament. Not only did junior
Peyton Burns bring home the program's first individual state title since 2002, but the team piled up an
impressive 76 points to finish in its best-ever position of third place. Burns claimed the 152-pound title with
a last-second reversal to secure a 3-2 win over Allen's Eden Bernstein. Senior Grant Perry took second at 171
pounds and junior Chase Betzer finished third at 130 pounds to help pile up the points.
Girls' Basketball - Buda Hays
The Rebels had to be one of the most unlikely girls' basketball teams to advance to the state tournament
this season, but that doesn't mean they didn't deserve to be there. Coming off a 2007-08 season in which
Hays missed the playoffs altogether, senior Shelby Calabrese channeled that frustration and led the team on
a storybook season that didn't end until the Class 4A state semifinals. The 5-foot-6 guard averaged 14.5 points
and four assists per game to pace the Rebels to district and regional titles and a final record of 34-5.
BREAK OUT TEAMS
BASEBALL – CEDAR PARK
Only a junior, RHP Nathan Thornhill has already emerged as one of the state's top hurlers.
GIRLS' GOLF – NEW BRAUNFELS
Led by senior Liz Kensing, the Unicorns look to move into the top three at the Class 4A state tourney.
BOYS' LACROSSE – MCNEIL
Senior attack Ben King has the Mavericks moving up in the standings.
SOFTBALL – VISTA RIDGE
With junior OF Coralee Ramirez leading the offense, the Rangers won't miss a beat as they move to 5A.