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Ten Highland Lakes Sports Insights

Welcome to this weekly column where readers will find a summary of sports across the region and the impressions left on the writer.

  1. Let’s begin with what I believe is the most anticipated contest of the weekend in north Burnet County. It’s the Burnet High School girls soccer team against Bay City in the Class 4A Region III semifinals. The contest kicks off at 11 a.m. Friday, April 8, in Katy. Bay City, like Lumberton and Lake Belton, are district champions. But don’t discount the Lady Dawgs. Here’s why. Burnet has shown it is battle tested. It outlasted a Giddings team, ranked No. 2 in the state, 3-2 in double overtime. The Lady Dawgs crushed Sealy 6-1 and converted a corner kick against China Spring for a 1-0 win. Few thought Burnet had a chance in the playoffs, and Lady Dawgs have shown their mettle. As the pressure mounts and goals get tougher to score, Burnet finds a way. No matter the result, one certainty exists — the Lady Dawgs will bring their all and leave it on the field.
  2. The Marble Falls High School golf program is sending four athletes to the Class 5A Region IV tournament April 18-21. They are Mustangs Blake Turner, who is the District 25-5A individual champion thanks to shooting 77-77–154, and Koby Holley, who was sixth overall after shooting 84-79–163. The two shot the best scores not on advancing teams to get to regionals. Kolton Pannell, who shot 83-85–168, is an alternate. The boys tournament was played at Avery Ranch Golf Club in Austin. The other golfer is Lady Mustang Madison Deberard, who was second in the individual standings thanks to shooting 81-82–163 at Delaware Springs Golf Course. Turner had to play two playoff holes to win the district championship. Head coach Rick Blackington noted the boys team was in second place in the team standings after the first round and finished third by six strokes to second place and nine strokes behind the district champion. Leander Rouse and Georgetown were in the top two spots.
  3. What the Faith Academy of Marble Falls baseball team is doing is thrilling. During a 16-1 win against Bryan St. Joseph Catholic School, sophomore pitcher Kade Shaw struck out 10 of the 15 batters he faced, including striking out the first 3 at the top of the order in the first inning. Why only 15? Because the Flames had a 15-run lead after three innings, which activated the mercy rule. And because Faith plays in a small district, the Flames only play one district contest a week, which means Shaw gets plenty of rest between outings. And that’s bad news for everyone else.
  4. The Burnet baseball team scratched out an important win April 5 when they beat Georgetown Gateway 3-1. During that contest Burnet committed five errors the Gators couldn’t capitalize on thanks to pitcher Ralson Vance. Head coach Russell Houston noted that Vance’s demeanor of being cool and not letting things get to him helped everyone in the kelly green. Vance didn’t issue a walk in seven complete innings, and that meant the Gators stranded at least six runners, which proved detrimental in the final score. Burnet welcomes Gateway at 7 p.m. Friday, April 8, to Bulldog Diamonds in another important game.
  5. Another team at playing at Bulldog Diamonds also is returning to its winning ways. The softball team ended a three-game losing streak by run-ruling Jarrell 15-5 where the Lady Dawgs hit three homers. The losses to Salado, Lake Belton and Taylor featured outstanding pitching and defense and made generating runs difficult. In this sport, a two-run win is the norm. Look, beating Jarrell was important because it keeps Burnet in the playoff mix. A loss to Jarrell would have been more difficult to overcome. The same can be said about tonight’s road game at Georgetown Gateway.
  6. The powerlifting season ended and three Marble Falls High School athletes placed in the top 10 of their weight classes. This item isn’t so much about their finishes, which are great, but because it shows the gains made in the weight room during the offseason. With more than 30 seniors graduating in a few weeks, including five starting offensive linemen, seeing returners pump more iron and get stronger was a definite must. Here’s hoping their commitment to lifting will continue during the summer.
  7. The Burnet High School middle-distance runners showed their endurance in full force at the District 19-4A meet April 6-7. Hudson Bennett, who is looking to successfully defend his state title in the 3,200 meters, repeated as the district champion in that event and in the 1,600 meters. He was second in the 800 meters. Joining him at the area meet are teammates Victor Aviles and Carlos Olvera. Aviles took silver in the 1,600 and 3,200 and bronze in the 800, while Olvera earned the bronze in the 3,200 and was fourth in the 1,600.
  8. Faith Academy of Marble Falls is set to host its district track meet Monday, April 11. Going into the meet, the Flames have the fourth fastest 4×200-meter relay team for Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools members and the seventh-fastest 4×400-meter relay team for a TAPPS squad. The day’s first event is the 3,200 meters at 8:30 a.m. followed by field events at 9:15 a.m. The running events begin at 1 p.m. The meet is expected to finish at 4:30 p.m.
  9. A hearty congratulations to Marble Falls High School football players Logan Barnes and Jake Becker, who will play college football at Texas Lutheran University and Hardin-Simmons University, respectively. Both were instrumental in the Mustangs posting a 9-4 record and playing three rounds of the Class 5A Division II playoffs last season. The two teammates will be rivals on the next level.
  10. When the Burnet High School soccer team advanced to the regional tournament, the Lady Dawgs continued an superb streak. The soccer squad was the third team from the Burnet girls athletics department to reach the tournament, which is what the volleyball and basketball teams accomplished, too. To say it’s been a banner year for the Lady Dawgs is an understatement. I believe one athletic program in the Highland Lakes sending three different teams to regional tournaments in the same school year is a first in this century and incredibly impressive. But coaches will say they’re not done yet. Other spring sports are still being played, and there’s opportunities to add more terrific memories to this sports year.

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One Thought to “Ten Highland Lakes Sports Insights”

  1. Charles Watkins

    Love this feature

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