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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 this writer.

  1. We are getting closer to Aug. 1, the first day of fall training camps for football and volleyball camps. Some have already started getting ready for the season such as the Burnet High School Lady Dawgs. The Lady Dawgs opened team camp July 18 with a strong number of campers. That says plenty about the players’ mindsets and goals for the 2022 season.
  2. The annual Texas High School Coaches Association convention finished up July 19 and some announcements were made that will impact and help fans. Among them was allowing web streams of Friday night football games, something the University Interscholastic League allowed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. That is now a permanent part of contests. State championship games will remain at AT&T Stadium through the 2022 season and beyond though the UIL was not specific on when that contract ends. The other interesting note? The possible addition of Class 7A because of the number of high schools and growth across the state. The University Interscholastic League said it won’t add a seventh class before 2024, the next time realignment is done. Insiders believe Class 7A isn’t happening anytime soon.
  3. Another addition to the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District athletic facilities is the creation of the cross country course that will include the grassy area behind R.J. Richey Elementary School and will connect to a path the runners already created. That’s great news for the Bulldogs and Lady Dawgs.
  4. While the girls basketball players competed at the Lampasas league in June, some of the boys teams, including the Burnet Bulldogs, traveled to Georgetown to play. Head coach Roy Kiser commended his players for making the decision to attend and improve, which speaks volumes of their commitment to the sport and program.
  5. Five Highland Lakes high school girls basketball players received offers to play at Principia College, an NCAA Division III program located in Elsah, Illinois. Those offers came after Principa coaches studied the players while they played for the Next Level basketball teams. The players are Burnet junior MaeSyn Gay and Marble Falls seniors Alyssa Berkman, Emma Koziel and Tea Rodriguez and junior Lexie Edwards.
  6. In preparation for the upcoming football training camps, coaches are scheduled to report for duty July 21 though many of them have been on campuses throughout the summer for voluntary strength-and-conditioning sessions, football camps, 7-on-7 and lineman challenges. Coaches typically go through and review techniques, basics and fundamentals with their head coaches so they are teaching players what the head coaches want. Coaches reporting for official duty is another sign we’re moving closer to the beginning of the 2022 season.
  7. Therefore, this gives an opportunity to review one question for each public school program. Let’s start with the Marble Falls Mustangs. The two positions that will draw the most looks are the offensive line and the secondary where all five players on both sides of the ball will have new starters. The good news? Some players have logged minutes as reserves in these positions. Still the offensive line and the secondary will be works in progress throughout August and September in preparation for District 13-4A Division I play. How quickly these players can come together and play the way coaches want will be a huge key to the Mustangs’ success.
  8. My biggest question about Burnet football is the offense’s identity. With junior running back Dash Denton and an offensive line that features multiple starters returning, one could see head coach Bryan Wood wanting to run the football more. That also eases the pressure off senior quarterback Tanner O’Hair and the receivers. When a team has an effective running game, that opens up the passing game. I’m looking forward to seeing this play out, particularly because the Bulldogs have a new quarterback coach in Colton Brewer.
  9. Llano has every question answered except one — who will be the starting quarterback in 2022? The competition has been between junior Briggs Green, head coach Matt Green’s son, and senior Bryce Mize. Otherwise, this Jackets team has all the elements to have a truly historical year because of the depth in every position, particularly the offensive line and the receivers and secondary. The Jackets ooze talent and experience and have been very consistent in their approach to summer strength and conditioning and 7-on-7. Hats off to Green and his staff for giving the players numerous opportunities to get better since the school year ended. That will pay off this football season.
  10. Both Highland Lakes private schools played for state titles in 2021. Let’s look at one, Smoking For Jesus. The Eagles are looking to win their third consecutive state title and play in their fourth straight championship game. However, a move to the Texas Association of Independent Athletic Organizations should challenge the program in ways the Texas Christian Athletic League did not. That’s why the Eagles have been working and preparing for the season since the end of May. I’m looking forward to seeing this one play out.
  11. Watch videos on Highland Lakes sports by going to Fierro’s YouTube channel and searching for The Broad Podcaster. Please like, subscribe and share.

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