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Burnet athletes score most points ever in Bulldog Cup competition

CAPTION: The Burnet softball team is one of several district champions the department produced in 20223. File photo

No athletic department in Burnet County showed its superiority more than Burnet High School during the 2022-23 school year.

That’s because the Bulldogs won all but one District 24-4A title in cross country in the fall and was the district runners-up in baseball and track and field. They advanced to the playoffs in boys soccer.

Add in the three state titles in track and field by Victor Aviles, Hudson Bennett and Brayden Hill that led to finishing sixth in the team standings, and the Bulldogs easily assembled a year to remember.

In district play, the Lady Dawgs were even better.

They captured district titles in volleyball, cross country, soccer, softball and track and field. Tennis players Tatum Salinas and Alyssa Van Zandt advanced to the Class 4A state tournament in girls doubles. Asah Roy ran in the 1,600 meters at the state track meet. Freshman golfer Avery Gowin competed at the Class 4A Region III tournament and freshman Cambria Neeson was the first alternate.

And softball reached the Class 4A Region III semifinals for the first time in program history.

Swimming also was a runner-up at the district meet.

Powerlifting, which isn’t sanctioned by the University Interscholastic League, had Abby Smith and Maddie Moise compete at the Class 4A Division I state meet. Smith, who advanced to the state meet for the third time, finished seventh, while Moise set new personal personals in every lift to finish 11th.

“Over the last two seasons, there have been a lot of district championships,” athletic director Kurt Jones said. “It gets contagious, they feed off it. We’ve had a lot of talented girls, a lot of great families.”

The department has its own competition called the Bulldog Cup. Points are assigned to each program based on season finishes. This year’s athletes earned a total of 102 points.

“By our calculations, that’s the most ever,” Jones said.

He attributes that success to a number of factors beginning with a stable coaching staff, particularly with the head coaches. All but one are set to return in 2023-24.

“They built some consistency in those programs,” the athletic director said.

Another are the number of students who are in the stands cheering on their classmates.

“It’s great to see our kids out supporting each other,” Jones said. “We want to create some healthy competition. I think it’s great. They’re supportive of one another. We’re all pulling for one another.”

Jones believes the results of the 2022-23 season are simply a starting point. With the near completion of the new multipurpose complex, in which athletes toured the final week of the school year, the athletic director believes better seasons are ahead.

“We’re excited to get more and excited to climb higher,” he said. “I don’t think anyone is satisfied. Some of the other programs are hungry.”

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