Category: Football

Cy Springs Safety Named to ESPN Top 300

               Photo credit to Bayou City Preps Photo

Cypress Springs safety Leon O’Neal Jr. was named to the ESPN Top 300 list for the Class of 2018.

O’Neal Jr., the only Cy Springs athlete named to the list, was ranked the No. 115 athlete overall and No. 9 safety. In addition, ESPN has him ranked as the No. 17 best athlete in the state of Texas.

O’Neal Jr. is coming off a junior season where he led the Panthers in numerous defensive statistics. Those included interceptions (2), passes defended (5) and total (114), assisted (33) and solo tackles (81).

This past June the rising senior verbally committed to Texas A&M University. He is currently the highest rated recruit for the Aggies’ Class of 2018.

Seven Players to Represent Cy-Fair ISD in Bayou Bowl

HOUSTON —  Saturday, June 10 will mark the 18th installment of the Greater Houston Football Coaches Association’s Bayou Bowl.  This year’s Bayou Bowl will be played at Turner Stadium in Humble, TX at 7:00 PM.  The game will be broadcast live on ABC 13.

Below is the list of the seven players that will represent Cy-Fair ISD.

No. Name School
2 Luis Reyes Cypress Woods
7 B.J. Chambers Cy-Fair
11 Chase McCray Langham Creek
30 Kyle Allison Cy-Fair
52 Jacob Clarkson Jersey Village
74 Reis Mallory Langham Creek
90 Kory Toliver Cypress Falls

The annual GHFCA Bayou Bowl is an all-star game which features graduated seniors from Houston area high schools.  The two teams are comprised of players from the East and West halves of the city.

Before 2015, the Bayou Bowl was a match up between selected all-stars from Louisiana and Texas.

Baseball Academic All-District Team Unveiled

The one-hundred four Cy-Fair ISD baseball players that qualified for Academic All-District Team were unveiled on Tuesday, May 23, 2017.

In order to qualify for the Academic All-District Baseball Team, student athletes must finish the season in good standing and have earned a weighted grade-point average equaling 5.5 or higher for the two six weeks that comprise of most of the regular season which spans from last week of February to the final week of April.d

The complete list to the 2017 17-6A Academic All-District Baseball Team can be found here:  http://bit.ly/2rjvirW

Athletes Named to 2017 17-6A Softball All-District Team

24 athletes were named to the 17-6A First Team All-District softball team. Of those 24 athletes, Cypress Ranch had the most selections at seven.

The most selections per position were infielders. Twelve infielders were named between the nine teams, almost double than that of outfielders, of whom seven were named to the squad.

Cypress Ranch and Cypress Lakes each had three infielders respectively. Junior’s Jordyn Smith and Blaire McBeth joined sophomore Gabi Lopez as the infielders from Cypress Ranch. Sophomore Audrey Garcia joined seniors Cortez Sims and Jolie Readeaux as the athletes picked from Cypress Lakes.

The only team to have zero athletes named to the All-District First Team was Jersey Village.

FIRST TEAM ALL-DISTRICT 17-6A

Name Class School Position
Cortez Sims SR Cypress Lakes Infielder
Jolie Readeaux SR Cypress Lakes Infielder
Audrey Garcia SO Cypress Lakes Infielder
Edriani Berges FR Cypress Springs Infielder
Jordyn Smith JR Cypress Ranch Infielder
Blaire McBeth SR Cypress Ranch Infielder
Gabi Lopez SO Cypress Ranch Infielder
Sandy Lopez JR Cypress Woods Infielder
Krystal Huynh SO Cypress Ridge Infielder
Bryana Novegil SR Cypress Falls Infielder
Hannah Scheaffer SO Cy-Fair Infielder
Kennedy Picou SO Cy-Fair Infielder
Layla Lynch FR Cypress Lakes Outfielder
Haley Samuelsen SO Langham Creek Outfielder
Karlee Canada SR Cypress Ranch Outfielder
Sami Villarreal JR Cypress Ranch Outfielder
Casey Irvin JR Cypress Creek Outfielder
Meredith Tabor JR Cypress Woods Outfielder
Viviana Zarzoza JR Cypress Falls Outfielder
Cristina Garcia SR Cypress Lakes Pitcher
Alyssa Bazan SR Cypress Ranch Pitcher
Mikayla De Los Santos SR Cy-Fair Pitcher
Shelby Elrod JR Cypress Woods Designated Player
Ashley Koncir SR Cypress Ranch Designated Player

Shortstop Evans leads all selections on All-District Team

Of the eighteen athletes selected to the 17-6A First Team All-District baseball team, senior shortstop Hayden Evans from Cypress Ranch was the only unanimous selection. Evans was joined by senior’s pitcher Kel Bordwine and outfielder Eric Bohnert as the athletes selected from Cypress Ranch.

Five of the selected athletes were pitchers, more than any other position. Cypress Ranch senior Kel Bordwine, Cypress Creek senior Ben Casas, Langham Creek junior Tyler Ferguson and Cypress Woods senior’s Matt Swick and Connor Elliott.

Cypress Woods had the most selections at five. Sophomore outfielder Dylan Bourgeois joined Swick and Elliott. Junior second baseman Trent Golson and senior third baseman Kyle McShaffry rounded out the group as the infield selections.

Cypress Ridge and Cypress Springs were the only teams to not have any athletes selected to the first team.

FIRST TEAM ALL-DISTRICT 17-6A

Name Class School Position
Kel Bordwine SR Cypress Ranch Pitcher
Matt Swick SR Cypress Woods Pitcher
Ben Casas SR Cypress Creek Pitcher
Connor Elliott SR Cypress Woods Pitcher
Tyler Ferguson JR Langham Creek Pitcher
Kyle Harper SR Cypress Creek Catcher
Tyriece Silas SR Cypress Falls Outfielder
Dylan Bourgeois SO Cypress Woods Outfielder
Eric Bonhert SR Cypress Ranch Outfielder
Andrew Rash SR Jersey Village Outfielder
Bryce Davidson SR Cypress Creek First Baseman
Trent Golson JR Cypress Woods Second Baseman
John Gilbert JR Jersey Village Second Baseman
Cole Wesneski SR Cy-Fair Third Baseman
Kyle McShaffry SR Cypress Woods Third Baseman
Hayden Evans SR Cypress Ranch Shortstop
Kevin Bedon SR Cypress Lakes Designated Hitter
Beau Billings JR Cypress Falls Utility

SECOND TEAM ALL-DISTRICT 17-6A

Name Class School Position
Matt Thompson SO Cypress Ranch Pitcher
Ty Madden JR Cypress Ranch Pitcher
Riley Backs JR Cypress Falls Pitcher
Matthew Stary SR Cypress Falls Pitcher
Kyle Higgins JR Jersey Village Pitcher
Sam Gotlieb SR Cypress Woods Catcher
Peyton Lewis JR Cy-Fair Outfielder
Trey Jones JR Jersey Village Outfielder
Korey Holland JR Langham Creek Outfielder
Chris Logsdon JR Jersey Village Outfielder
Sutton Dole JR Langham Creek First Baseman
Aaron Clark SR Cy-Fair Second Baseman
Alex Martinez JR Langham Creek Third Baseman
Tommy Tolve SR Langham Creek Shortstop
Matt Santos SO Cypress Creek Designated Hitter
Blake Faecher SR Cy-Fair Utility

Edwards wins gold, bronze in hurdles for Langham Creek

The Langham Creek boys track & field team only had three athletes qualified in four events at the 2017 UIL State Championship. However the Lobos still managed a top ten finish, placing ninth with 18 points. Sixteen of those points came from junior Eric Edwards.

Edwards arrived in Austin intent on becoming a dual state champion in the hurdles. The AAU Junior Olympic Champion came into Mike A. Myers Stadium with the No. 1 qualifying time in the Boys 6 A 110H, 13.35s, and No. 2 time in the 300H, 37.22s. Edwards’ time in the 110H was a personal best for him. But his times put Edwards in a great position to win, or at least medal, in both events.

Edwards single handedly put Langham Creek into the Boys 6A top ten standings with his performance in the 110H. Just short of another PR, Edwards won the race in 13.39s, easily outrunning Dorian Andrews of Dallas Skyline’s time of 13.61s. His win brought the Lobos’ point total to 12 and put them in seventh place at the time.

Later, in the 300H, Edwards improved his time with a 36.69s performance. This was good enough for third as Charles Brockman of Plano outran him by one one hundredth of a second to take second place. Edwards’ bronze medal brought his individual points total to 16, the last points for Langham Creek. Senior Jordan Murray was the only other Lobos athlete to score points for the boys, two points in the long jump where he placed fifth with a 7.08m jump.

But despite Langham Creek not making to podium, Edwards’ performance at state was still a true accomplishment. Very few athletes are able to win at the UIL State Championships, even fewer manage to medal in multiple events.

Continue reading “Edwards wins gold, bronze in hurdles for Langham Creek”

Relays lead Cyp. Springs to podium at state

19 points. That was the point total separating the Cypress Springs women from the first place DeSoto Eagles at the 2016 UIL State Track & Field Championships. Going into the 2017 meet, the Panthers were aiming to take the title for themselves.

Arriving at Mike A. Myers Stadium Saturday, the Panthers relay teams were qualified in the 6A Girls 4x100m, 4x200m and 4x400m races. Having top 5 qualifying times in each race, the relay teams would have a chance to place high if they could match or improve on their seed times. But with only two athletes qualified for individual events it was clear their championship aspirations would live and die with the relays.

The team of junior Rachel Hall, senior Ariele Adams, senior Essance Sample and sophomore Tiffany Mack got the championship started for Cyp. Springs in the 4x100m relay. The squad came into the meet with a qualifying time of 46.93s, fourth overall.

The relay team improved their time to 45.07 seconds, outrunning DeSoto’s 45.39s. However the number one seed Mesquite Horn came out victorious with a time of 44.94 seconds. The result may not have been what the Panthers desired, but they scored 16 points from the event and moved into third place.

round two

In between the running of the 4x100m and 4x200m relay races, freshman Wonders Oguejifor and Sample ran individually in the 800m and 100m respectively. The two were the only athletes competing in individual events for the Panthers.

Oguejifor ran a personal best 2:13.40s in the 800m but only managed a fifth place finish. Sample ran 11.72s in the 100m, short of her PR of 11.49s, and also placed fifth in her event. The two brought Cyp. Spring’s total to 20 points, behind Lewisville Marcus, Lamar and Mesquite Horn. But the two would be back on the track not long after for the 4x200m relay.

The unchanged squad from the 4×100 once again went head to head with the DeSoto Eagles. The Panthers ran 1:35.53s in the final, nearly three whole seconds faster than their qualifying time. However, by less than a second, DeSoto won the race in 1:34.87s, forcing Cyp. Springs to settle for second.

The last leg

The Panthers entered the 4x400m, the final event of the championships, trailing by ten points. For their championship hopes to be fulfilled they would need to win the race and hope that DeSoto slip up.

The team of Hall, Mack, and Oguejifor were joined by senior Erica Cormier Jordan. They came in with the third best qualifying time, 3:45.11. But despite shortening their time by almost four seconds only managed a fourth place finish. Cyp. Springs ran 3:41.867s but were kept off the podium byMcKinney Boyd’s 3:40.145s.

DeSoto ended up winning the 4x400m in 3:37.85s, giving them 65 points overall and winning them their second straight state championship. Again they won the title by 19 points.

The Cyp. Springs Panthers may have fallen short of their goal for a state title, but their 44 points gave them third place.

Continue reading “Relays lead Cyp. Springs to podium at state”

Close, But No Cigar

The crowd gasps and a dusty base runner takes off for home; but the ball is secured in the glove of right fielder Elijah Strang. A three run inning is stopped and the game is concluded with a 4-3 win for the Cy Woods Wildcats over the Cy-Fair Bobcats.

Pitcher Matt Swick worked fast and strong and allowed just two hits when he was called out for closer Blake Brogdon. By the time it was all said and done he had a handful of strikeouts and no runs. Swick was masterful through his six and allowed the Wildcats to safely gather a solid four run lead.

A quick start to the game allowed Wildcat Sam Gottlieb to collect the first run in the bottom of the first and feed the momentum that gave Matt Swick a 1-2-3 inning the next time out.

In the bottom of the third Elijah Strang sent a shot to right field and let Woods gather another two runs to make it 3-0.

The next inning, in the fourth, Sean Koon launched a rocket right into the Cy-Fair First Basemen and knocked him over to let him stride safely into first while Dylan Bourgeois grabbed the last run to make it 4-0.

By the time the sun had set and Matt Swick had grabbed a couple more strikeouts, Brogdon came to take the mound. Brogdon struck out the first batter but an easy grounder forced indecision for the Third Basemen and now there were runners on first and second.

A couple of shots to the gaps in the outfield saw a handful of Bobcats score to make it 4-3; with runners on second and third and a deep shot to right-center, the fate of the game was held in the balance. When Elijah Strang held his glove up to show he had the ball, the crowd erupted and the Wildcat dugout stormed the field. The comeback that was mounting for Cy-Fair had been quelled.

Varsity Wires founder and Executive Director Zachary Babb steps down effective immediately, Chase Parisher promoted to Executive Director

Zachary Babb (right) and Adam Coleman (left) field questions from student reporters at a monthly press conference event put on by the Communications Department of Cypress Fairbanks ISD on February 12th, 2015. Photo credit to Joel Weckerly.

CYPRESS, Texas — Varsity Wires announced Monday that founder Zachary Babb is stepping down as the organization’s Executive Director, effective immediately, to pursue other opportunities.

Vice President of Operations Chase Parisher has been promoted to Executive Director.

“It’s been an incredible four years, seeing Varsity Wires grow into something I never dreamed it would,” said Babb. “To watch it swell from a small project I started one summer in a friend’s spare bedroom into an organization hundreds of people keep up with on a day-to-day basis has been nothing short of amazing. I’ve had the opportunity to meet and work with some incredible people, including Adam Coleman, Joel Weckerly, Ray Zepeda, Ed Warken, Carey Palmer, Kirk Eaton, Kevin Cook, and countless others.”

Varsity Wires has since grown to encompass more than 30 volunteers over it’s four years of existence, providing avenues for high school students and others to learn some of the basics of sports journalism.

Babb founded Varsity Wires in July of 2013 as a side project to cover Cy Fair ISD football while obtaining his Associate of Arts degree from Lone Star College. He first broke into the CFISD media landscape as a student at Cypress Falls High School, covering Golden Eagle sports for the Cy Falls Newsfeed and CFWingspan before graduating in 2013.

Babb moved to Denton, Texas in the summer of 2015 to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Broadcasting at the University of North Texas, but still oversaw the day-to-day operations of Varsity Wires for the 2015 and 2016 football seasons.

New Executive Director Chase Parisher initially joined Varsity Wires as a volunteer for the 2015 season, before being promoted to Vice President of Operations in June of 2016.

What’s In A Name? The Most Overused Mascots in Houston High School Sports

Photo credit to VYPE.

I’ve had the privilege of covering high school sports for the better part of seven years now, five of those on an almost day-to-day basis in the Greater Houston Area. I’ve met and worked with some incredible people, and had an incredible amount of fun doing. But through all that, one complaint that I’ve heard from some fellow media members and fans alike is the perceived lack of uniqueness when it comes to mascot names.

Just on my own, I’ve run out of times I’ve covered or called games for Eagles vs. Eagles, Mustangs vs. Mustangs, or Wildcats vs. Wildcats (it also makes broadcasting a pain in the rear).

That being said, I was curious these complaints were well-founded at all. About 90% of my time in the high school media world has been spent covering 17-6A, mingling with parents and fans of the ten schools that seem to have duplicating mascots with their nearest brethren.

So I decided to look it up.

Below, I’ve complied mascots for 6A and 5A schools in the Greater Houston Area and nearby, sticking within Region III and some of the schools on the north side that stretch into Region II

I can see the beef, especially if you’re a 17-6A follower. Nine of the district’s soon-to-be 12 high schools fit into the Top 10, the Bulldogs being the lone exception. Mustangs lead the pack, and the only one in double digits, with 10 (sorry Cy Ranch). My own alma mater is right behind at nine, with Eagles.

There’s a grand total of 47 different mascots on this list, spread out amongst 122 high schools. Those in the Top 10 account for 68 of those schools, a pretty sizable 56%. If you were to narrow it down to just the Top 5, that only cuts it to 41%.

So yes, there seems to be a sizable number of schools using the same mascots (21-5A is probably the biggest culprit, with two Eagles, two Panthers, and two Wildcats making up the nine school district).

But on the other side of the spectrum, there’s also 23 schools who have a mascot unique to themselves (accounting for 19%). The Pearland Oilers, Hightower Hurricanes, Baytown Lee Ganders, and Dickinson Gators all stand apart on their own. And perhaps my favorite of all, the Texas City Stingarees.

What the heck is a stingaree?