Last weekend was one of the most important of my professional football life, as I participated in an NFL regional scouting combine in Houston. It was one of my biggest opportunities aside from my Tulsa pro day to show more than 20 NFL scouts what I can do and why they should draft me or give me a shot on their team.
Last weekend was very special for me for two reasons. First, I received an incredible award for my heritage and performance on the field. Second, I got to see some great people I haven’t seen in a long time.
I’ve had another intense week of training in Fort Worth. It was nice to get back to the grind after a great weekend in Houston for Super Bowl LI. As most of y’all read last weekend, I attended my agent Leigh Steinberg’s 30th annual Super Bowl party, and it was a blast!
SANGER — Sanger needed a spark, and coach Tracy Sykes took the leap of faith to sub all five of her starters after a dismal start. It paid off, and the Lady Indians evened their District 9-4A record to 2-2 with a narrow 37-34 win against Krum at Sanger on Tuesday night.
PONDER — Chase Harris had 16 points to lead the No. 5 Ponder boys to a 105-56 win over Callisburg on Saturday, and the senior guard became the all-time leading scorer in Ponder history with 2,189 career points. Harris also broke the school’s 3-point field goal record with 312.
FORT WORTH — Jalen Wilson led Guyer with 21 points, but no shot was more important than his 3-point basket late in the fourth quarter that sealed the Wildcats’ 75-73 win over Garland Lakeview Centennial in the Orange division championship game of the Whataburger Tournament on Friday.
BRIDGEPORT — Aubrey advanced to the final of the Bridgeport tournament after defeating the host team 68-51, but fell short of the title as Class 5A Birdville dominated the Chaparrals 84-39 in Thursday’s finale.
FORT WORTH — Three Denton-area teams picked up first-round wins to open the Whataburger Tournament, as Guyer blew past Richland 76-59, Ponder scraped by Liberty Christian 66-59 and Argyle edged Wall 44-37.
PILOT POINT — The Pilot Point Lady Bearcats tipped off district play with a win, defeating Callisburg 57-50 on Tuesday night.
SAINT JO — The Calvary boys took home a tournament title Saturday after defeating Ryan 61-41 in the final of the Saint Jo tournament.
SANGER — Sanger, Ponder and Aubrey got back to work at the Sanger tournament, and all three walked away Friday with big wins. Ponder started it off with a 77-52 win over Denison led by four players in double digits. Senior Chase Harris scored 17 points, juniors Dean Akins and Tye Schluter each added 16 and junior Ryan Waldo dropped in 10.
Denton-area volleyball players were represented well on their respective all-district teams. The select players are chosen by district coaches, who consider their performance during district play.
ROUND ROCK — Sanger has developed a reputation as a cross country powerhouse. The Indians did little to discount that at the Class 4A state meet Saturday, placing fourth overall on a day filled with sun and blue skies. It was Sanger’s ninth consecutive trip to the state meet, and it came on the heels of a third-place finish in a sloppy quagmire of a race in 2015.
DECATUR — A week ago, the Decatur Eagles couldn’t find a way to get stops or make plays defensively in a loss to a then-winless Burkburnett.Friday night with the second playoff seed out of District 4-4A Division I on the line, the Decatur defense flipped the script. Starting with Dylan Nation’s 50-yard fumble return midway through the first quarter, the Eagle defense and special teams helped build a 21-point halftime lead. Decatur kept pulling away in the 58-31 victory against the Sanger Indians at Eagle Stadium in the regular-season finale.
FRISCO — Sanger discovered the difficulty in playing from behind in the playoffs: Sometimes its works, usually it doesn’t. Earlier this week, the Lady Indians dropped their first set against Carrollton Ranchview in their Class 4A bi-district playoff before charging back to win in four sets.
Five Denton-area volleyball teams, three from District 9-4A, remain alive in the UIL state playoffs as teams head into the second round of games. Four area representatives will be in action tonight, while the Ryan Lady Raiders play their area-round game Friday.
Eight Denton-area teams have their focus squarely set on a championship run when the UIL state volleyball playoffs begin this week.
The Argyle Eagles offense may get most of the attention, but on this Friday night, credit their defense for getting a big District 4-4A victory against Sanger. Junior running back Don Williams rushed for 173 yards and one touchdown on 31 carries, and Dylan Sadler added a critical late field goal, but it Argyle’s defense that made the difference with two crucial stops, one with 1:16 left, to lead the Eagles to a 27-21 win.
SANGER — For the second straight week, the Sanger Indians struggled out of the gate and trailed at halftime. But once again, the Indians came out of the locker room with new life, relying on the arm of quarterback CJ Jackson in 41-26 comeback win against Burkburnett on Friday night.
SANGER — Sanger has all the necessary pieces to make another deep postseason run and, barring a wild mishap, should be one of the four playoff teams coming out of District 9-4A.
SANGER — After rushing for just 30 yards in the first half, Denton running back Caleb Osuofa was found hanging his head in the locker room at halftime. Osuofa ripped off a 27-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter to give Denton valuable breathing room and allow its defense to close out the second-half shutout as the Broncos defeated Sanger 31-21 on Friday at Indian Stadium.
SANGER — If there were any questions surrounding Sanger’s defense heading into its season opener against Graham on Friday night, its performance silenced the critics. Returning only five starters from last year, the Sanger defense played fast and physical all game in a convincing 45-7 win against the Steers at Indian Stadium.
After two weeks of practice, the Braswell Bengals will hit someone other than one another. The Bengals will host Fort Worth Western Hills at 10 a.m. Saturday in a scrimmage at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex. It will be an exciting moment for Braswell, whose coaching staff is trying to fit all the puzzle pieces together heading into the team’s inaugural season.
Ryan coach Dave Henigan may very well have an easy road ahead. With 15 starters back, the Raiders are experienced, star-studded and among the favorites to compete for a Class 5A state championship.
A growing movement to institute pitch count limits on high school baseball players took a huge step toward reality this week, but it has been met with mixed reviews from a handful of local coaches. The National Federation of State High School Associations announced Tuesday that each state’s governing organization for high school sports must establish its own set of pitch count guidelines.
After spending some time as the state’s top-ranked Class 6A team, Guyer finished second in District 5-6A to eventual state champion Keller, but the Lady Wildcats were well represented on the 5-6A all-district team.
ARGYLE — Coach Ricky Griffin knew he had his ace, Connor Mushinski, in his back pocket if he needed him to pitch in a pinch on Saturday. The junior threw 53 pitches in Friday’s Game 1 victory for Argyle and was available to close out a game Saturday. Turns out Griffin didn’t need him. Sanger forced a decisive Game 3 with a strong pitching effort from Julien Ly in a 3-1 victory before Argyle sophomore Gage Campbell fired a gem to shut down the Indians 5-0 in Game 3 and advance the Eagles to the Class 4A Region II semifinals.
CORINTH — Just more than a month ago, Lake Dallas baseball coach John Tompkins couldn’t have been more disappointed in his team, or more unsure about its upcoming playoff push. So he did the only logical thing he could to light a fire — he held tryouts.
FRISCO — The Sanger Indians are developing a knack for finishing off their playoff games in style, and after ending Thursday’s game in the ninth inning on a double steal, the Indians found a way to one-up themselves Friday in Game 2 of their area-round series against Anna at Frisco Reedy.
Louisiana Tech strung together four consecutive two-out hits, capped by a three-run blast off of the bat of senior Krysta Tutsch in the fifth inning and rolled to a 6-3 victory over Marshall on Wednesday night at the Conference USA tournament at Lovelace Stadium.