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Ten Highland Lakes Sports Insights

CAPTION: Marble Falls’ Kole Becker (10), Colton Minor (29) and Greg Lemon (21) celebrate another forcing Fredericksburg to turn the ball over on downs on the Mustangs’ one-yard line. Staff photo by Jennifer Fierro

This week’s word is moxie, whose definition is courageous spirit and determination, perseverance. Moxie was on full display on football fields throughout the region Sept. 22 that caused fans to cheer and reminded them of the greatness of their programs. Let’s take a closer look at what fans saw.

  1. The Marble Falls Mustangs earned their first win of the season in beating Fredericksburg 14-9. They showed a lot of moxie to get the victory, particularly on defense. Defensive coordinator Ryan Craven and his unit showed flashes of the Mustangs’ tremendous defense in 2021, the year Marble Falls won two playoff games and got to the third round for the first time since the David Denney era. The Mustangs caught three interceptions and forced the Billies to turn the ball over on downs twice. That the turnovers on downs happened on the Marble Falls one- and three-yard lines also is significant because of what it does for the mentality of each sideline. It empowered the Mustangs and deflated the Billies. Getting non-offensive touchdowns provides necessary scoring cushions for teams that allows their counterparts in the other units to continue to stick with their own game plans. But it’s a tough-ask to continue to implore the defense to not only get takeaways but also return them for touchdowns. Still, there’s no denying how impressive the Mustangs looked defensively, especially when they had to protect a five-point lead with 94 seconds left in the contest and Fredericksburg started on its own 11-yard line and had to throw to have a shot at winning. Marble Falls gets the all-important victory going into the District 13-4A Division 1 bye next week and has two weeks to prepare for Fischer Canyon Lake.
  2. Teams have hot starts and then there are starts the Burnet Bulldogs had: three touchdowns in four plays against Early en route to the 52-14 victory. What makes the Bulldogs difficult to defend is their ability to get positive yards through the passing game and through the rushing game. So far this season, Burnet has 1,052 passing yards and 933 rushing yards, which illustrates the talent and the play-making abilities of those wearing Kelly green. “That’s a pretty good balance,” head coach Bryan Wood said. “It’s been 50-50.” In short, they are putting defenses in pickles in trying to figure out what to defend. Burnet enjoys completing short passes in bubble screens that receivers turn into big plays. That’s because the receivers are showing their commitment to blocking all over the field, and those who have the ball have the speed to get away from defenders.
  3. With Lampasas losing to Wimberley 41-20, no team in District 13-4A Division 1 is unbeaten. Taylor (3-2) beat Jarrell 62-35, San Antonio Davenport crushed Lockhart 65-38, and Canyon Lake lost to San Antonio East Central 58-16. Davenport might be considered the favorite because of its enrollment (Davenport is believed to move up to Class 5A during the next realignment, which will be announced in February). There’s a belief the district has more parity than last season. Still, there’s no question that district eyes will be on Badger Field Oct. 6 when the Bulldogs make the short trek to Lampasas for the opener. Davenport faces Taylor and Marble Falls welcomes Canyon Lake. After one district contest, it would be too early to say any team is eliminated from the playoff chase or district championship. But the three teams that win take steps in those directions and with so much parity in the district, every victory is worth gold.
  4. Faith Academy of Marble Falls lost to Austin Veritas 41-26 in a contest featuring former district foes. The Flames (2-3) begin District 3, Division II play of the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools Oct. 6 when they welcome Waco Live Oak. The Flames have a bye this week.
  5. Time to switch to volleyball. The most anticipated matches happened at The Doghouse when Lago Vista, which advanced to the Class 4A Region III tournament a year ago, visited Burnet Sept. 22. The Lady Dawgs made quick work of the Lady Vikings by winning 25-17, 25-15, 25-8. While head coach Crystal Shipley and Lady Dawgs continue to be a team on a mission, there’s not much to report that’s new. Burnet is District 24-4A’s No. 1 team, and the athletes play like it every match. The Lady Dawgs travel to Lampasas Tuesday, Sept. 26, before welcoming Marble Falls Friday, Sept. 29. Subvarsities play their matches on both dates at 5 p.m. and varsity takes the court at 6 p.m.
  6. The Marble Falls Lady Mustangs lost to Jarrell in three sets. Perhaps the final set was the most cruel as the Lady Mustangs had a 23-21 advantage that went to 24-23 before losing 25-27. After the match, the Lady Mustangs honored senior setter Ava Carter, who has 600 career assists and sits atop of that program record. Marble Falls welcomes Georgetown Gateway Tuesday, Sept. 26, at 6:30 p.m.
  7. After capturing two consecutive District 3-3A wins in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools, the Faith Academy Lady Flames lost 1-3 to Waco Live Oak Classical Sept. 21. The match didn’t start that way as the Lady Flames took the first set 25-18. This match was important because Live Oak was the fourth-place team in the district last season, which meant the Lady Falcons took the final playoff berth. The first round of district play is complete, and Faith begins the second round with a road trip to Round Rock Christian Thursday, Sept. 28. The junior varsity plays at 5 p.m. and the varsity follows at 6:30 p.m.
  8. The Llano Lady Jackets are 1-2 in District 5-3A play after losing to Ingram Tom Moore 13-25, 16-25, 15-25 and to Florence 25-16, 24-26, 13-25, 25-15, 10-15. Ingram is considered the favorite to win the district crown because the players make very few mistakes. Losing to Florence was the surprise, particularly because the Lady Buffaloes lost to Brady in five sets three days later. Playoff spots weren’t awarded after three matches. Still, Tuesday’s match at Brady at 6:15 p.m. can’t be overlooked. In short, the top three programs in the district — Blanco, Comfort and Ingram — will beat Florence and Brady. Therefore, the Lady Jackets must find a way to do the same if they want to contend for district title.
  9. The Burnet and Marble Falls cross country teams competed at the Hoka Round Rock McNeil Invitational Sept. 22-23. The Bulldogs finished eighth in the team standings led by junior Victor Aviles, who was 12th overall in 16 minutes and 59.10 seconds, and Isaias Zarate, who was 21st overall in 17:19.10. Marble Falls finished 26th led by junior Blake Cockrell, who was 67th overall in 18:20.10. Marble Falls junior Tyler Hamblin and senior Nick Dahl competed in the silver division of the meet. Hamblin finished 22nd overall in 16:41.10 and Dahl was 27th in 16:47.40. The Lady Dawgs, who were 12th in the team standings, were paced by sophomore Asah Roy, who finished seventh in the two-mile run in 12:07.50. The District 24-4A meet is in two weeks.
  10. The Marble Falls team tennis squad edged Burnet to take the second seed in the District 19-4A tournament. All that means is the two teams will meet again in the district tournament at 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 28, at the Nancy and Charlie Herrington Tennis Center on the Marble Falls campus. Marble Falls’ Collin Schilling gutted out his singles match to give the Mustangs the win. Head coach Samuel Whitley noted the two teams are equally matched in many ways. Schilling’s match was one of four matches that were still being played. But he won his match before the other three concluded, which gave the Mustangs the overall win.

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