High School: Colleyville Heritage

Arl. Martin up to No. 11 in baseball FAB 50

May, 8, 2012
Arlington Martin moved up a spot to No. 11 in the latest ESPNHS FAB 50 national baseball rankings.

Martin (28-2-1) swept Odessa in a bi-district series, 10-0 and 8-2, and will face El Paso Franklin in an area-round series.

Colleyville Heritage (25-4), the only other area team in the FAB 50, climbed from No. 47 to No. 38 after sweeping Midlothian in bi-district play. Heritage will face Plano East in the next round.
High school baseball games average a much smaller fan attendance than those of other programs. Many games would be hard pressed to draw over 100 people.

This season, Fort Worth Christian has been guaranteed to draw anywhere from a handful to 67 spectators for their baseball games, all with radar guns in tow.

That’s right, 67 scouts lined the bleachers to get a report on pitcher Teddy Stankiewicz, coach Tracy Howard said.

The timing of the game was perfect to draw in that number of scouts. It was a week before any UIL schools could begin tournament play and it took place during a tournament hosted by Fort Worth Christian that featured many of the top private schools in the state.

But those 67 scouts were mostly there to check out the Cardinals ace.

Going into the regional final round of the TAPPS 4A state playoffs, Stankiewicz has a 10-2 record with 121 strikeouts and a 1.33 ERA in 79 innings. He is also No. 51 on the ESPNHS 100 top recruits in the nation -- the highest ranking of any player in the Metroplex.

Stankiewicz, an Arkansas signee, averages 90-92 mph on his fastball but has topped out at 95 with good control.

“Teddy is the type of guy that looks effortless when he throws,” Howard said. “He looks very smooth, but he has the ability to throw it by guys. He’s pretty fun to watch.”

Before his senior year, Stankiewicz participated in two Under Armor All-American games -- one at Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs.

“He’s been invited to some pretty big-time events and he’s done well,” Howard said. “He’s done a good job of getting himself recognized, but he’s also done a good job of competing once he’s there.”

The only question that remains in Stankiewicz’s game is if he’ll be playing SEC or MLB ball next fall.

Frisco Wakeland riding district momentum

Wakeland could be another team to beat in the playoffs. It is coming off a deep playoff run last year that ended at the hands of state semifinalist Mesquite Poteet.

Wakeland is on a 13-district game winning streak heading into bi-district play this weekend. It finished on top of District 9-4A with a 13-1 district record, and its only district loss of the season was the first game of district play to Frisco.

Colleyville Heritage jumps into Fab 50

Heritage jumped into the No. 47 spot this weekend thanks to winning 19 of its last 20 games to claim the District 6-5A crown.

Arlington Martin made a huge jump, moving from No. 33 to No. 12 in the national poll.

Colleyville Heritage and Cedar Hill get rematch

February, 16, 2012
Cedar Hill and Colleyville Heritage met in a memorable third-round boys basketball playoff game a year ago.

They face off again, this time in the bi-district round, at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Arlington Lamar.

Colleyville Heritage (24-7) is the No. 2 seed from District 6-5A. Cedar Hill (22-11) tied for second in 5-5A and had to settle for the No. 3 seed.

Cedar Hill needed two overtimes and a dramatic 3-pointer to edge Colleyville Heritage, 55-53, 12 months ago in Burleson.

Thomas Gipson, now a freshman at Kansas State, made two free throws with 1.3 seconds remaining in the second overtime for the winning margin.

Heritage’s Tanner James very nearly supplied a final twist to the night’s storyline when his desperation 3-pointer for the win from beyond mid-court caught a lot of the basket before coming out.

A miraculous 3-point basket by Cedar Hill guard Brandon Harris denied the Panthers at the end of regulation.

Cedar Hill enters the playoffs on a two-game losing streak, with losses to South Grand Prairie and Duncanville. The Longhorns rely heavily on juniors with guards Jalen Jones and Charles Wesley and forward Dorian Waggoner.

Colleyville Heritage, which has lost only one of its last 15, is led by senior forward Thomas Brandsma and senior guards Nash Nelson and Alberto Ortiz.

Richland turns to big guns to beat Col. Heritage

February, 1, 2012
COLLEYVILLE -- With the District 6-5A title at stake, the Richland boys basketball team turned to its two 6-7 leaders, Leyton Hammonds and Kris Brown.

The big boys delivered, combining for 40 points and 18 rebounds in the Rebels’ 71-67 overtime victory over Colleyville Heritage on Tuesday night on the Panthers home floor.

“Our guys look to us for leadership,’’ said Brown, a senior who accounted for six of Richland’s 11 points in overtime and also contributed the key defensive play. “When the other team is guarding us with shorter guys, we need to score.’’

Hammonds and Brown say they feed off the other’s strengths.

“When Leyton was stealing the ball and making that dunk in the first half, it got me excited,’’ Brown said.

Hammonds said when he sees Brown working hard to rebound, the feeling is mutual.

Richland (23-3), No. 3 in ESPNDallas.com's Class 5A Top 10, moved a half-game in front of Colleyville Heritage in the 6-5A standings with an 11-1 record. The Panthers (20-6), ranked No. 7, dropped to 11-2 in district play.

Colleyville Heritage had a possession for the win with the score tied in overtime, but Brown had other ideas. He came from behind to poke away a pass intended for Colleyville Heritage’s leading scorer Thomas Brandsma (24 points) at the top of the key with a half-minute remaining.

The turnover led to a go-ahead lay up by Antonio Mayfield Jr. with 22 seconds left.

“We were going to take it down for the final shot right there,’’ said Panthers coach Stephen Hamrick.

Down by two, Colleyville Heritage had one more crack, but Alberto Ortiz’ double-pumping shot under the goal missed and was rebounded by Hammonds, who added two free throws to seal Richland’s tenth straight victory.

“With the district title on the line, we had to win this game,’’ said Hammonds.

Revenge played a role. In the first encounter on the final day of 2011, Colleyville Heritage beat Richland on the Rebels home floor, 51-40.

“We took that loss personally,’’ said Brown. “We weren’t going to play around.’’

Richland coach Richard Bacon said his team was fresher this time.

“The difference in tonight and the first game is we were playing our fifth game in four days because of a tournament. Colleyville Heritage had scouted us so much they knew our plays,’’ Bacon said. “We changed some things up tonight.’’

Dominic Perez came off the Heritage bench to can four 3-point shots in the fourth quarter and overtime to wipe out a 12-point Richland lead.

"We got conservative, backed off our press and they started getting clear looks,'' Bacon said.

Brandsma tied the game late in regulation with a driving basket. The game went to overtime when Mayfield Jr. missed a shot in the lane.

“Dominic played his best game of the year,’’ Hamrick said. “Brandsma is a rock, so consistent. He has the knack of working the baseline, but he helps us in so many other areas, too.’’

Said Hammonds: "We have a lot of respect for Colleyville Heritage. Any team that can take us into overtime like that, we have to respect.''

Colleyville Heritage girls 59, Richland girls 48: Heather Roberts and Heidi Schneider combined for 35 points to help the Lady Panthers (20-11, 13-2) maintain their second-place standing in District 6-5A. Richland (20-11, 9-5), led by 19 points from Destiny Nunley, is challenging for a playoff berth.

No. 1 McKinney Boyd kicks off with new coach

January, 16, 2012

McKinney Boyd’s girls soccer team, ranked No. 1 in the ESPNHS Fab 50, has already begun its 2012 campaign after winning its second state title in four years last season.

With the players who return, Boyd remains a frontrunner to bring another state title back to North Texas.

The biggest change for Boyd this year is on the sidelines.

After one of North Texas’ most successful coaches, Jimmie Langford, resigned from Boyd to take a job coaching a boys team in Colorado, the reigns of the defending champs were given to Michele Estes.

[+] EnlargeAmanda Elertson
Travis L. Brown/ESPNDallas.comSenior striker Amanda Elertson and the McKinney Boyd girls team look to defend their state championship with a new coach.
The transition might not be as difficult as it sounds. Estes simply moved into the head coaching role after spending years as an assistant coach under Langford.

Not much strategically has changed in Boyd’s play under Estes, but it’s intangibles that the new coach emphasizes to her players.

“She’s brought a more competitive atmosphere,” senior striker Amanda Elertson said. “She’s trying to ignite the team more. We’ve lost players from last year, so we need to find a chemistry this year that will make us as successful as last year.”

Before practices and games, Boyd breaks out to the cheer “We are one” to put teamwork and team chemistry in the front of the players' minds as they move through the season, preparing for another playoff run.

It’s that personal connection with the team that Elerton values in Estes, which in turn is what Estes wants to spread amongst the team.

“She knows your personality,” Elertson said. “If you’re struggling, she knows what’s best to help pick you up and get you going, and I think it’s really good to have a coach that knows you.”

Elertson is one of many Boyd players who participates year-round by playing club soccer outside of the school team. Estes believes this creates a business-like attitude that prevents true chemistry from forming. Estes hopes she can create a more personal connection amongst the Boyd team, which is something the players rarely have the opportunity to form on club squads.

Boyd will have another tough road to state again this year with five North Texas girls teams ranked in the top 10 in the Fab 50 as of Jan. 8.

The 5A state runner-up, Colleyville Heritage, ranks No. 3 in the nation in the Week 6 poll, behind Coppell. Ursuline Academy ranks No. 4 as it looks to continue its dynasty in the state’s private school ranks.

North Texas has the chance to make a strong push on the boys side, as well, with the efforts being led by defending 5A state champion Southlake Carroll. Carroll entered the 2012 season with a 31-match undefeated streak that is the second longest active streak in the nation.

The surprise team to watch for is Hebron, which is ranked No. 12 in the nation as of Jan. 8, just one spot ahead of district rival Allen at No. 13.

The perennial powerhouse, Frisco Wakeland, comes in at No. 14, looking to sandwich a girls state title last season with a boys title in 2010.

But 2012 has the chance to be the season of Boyd in soccer, with a boys team that ranks No. 9 in the Fab 50, competing with the girls side for the higher national ranking when all is said and done.

The girls, of course, are winning the battle so far, and have the will and drive to repeat last season’s success.

“Everone on this team is competitive and everyone wants to win,” Elertson said. “They have that drive and desire, and I think we can be as successful.”

No. 3 Richland still looking for consistency

January, 12, 2012
Since stepping into the state’s boys basketball spotlight with attention-grabbing holiday tournament wins, Richland has gone on a bit of a roller coaster ride in its four-game return to District 6-5A play.

The Rebels (18-3, 6-1 in 6-5A), ranked No. 3 in ESPNDallas.com's Class 5A Top 10, host Grapevine (13-7, 4-3) at 8 p.m. on Friday.

Two weeks ago, Richland defeated defending Class 5A state champion Flower Mound Marcus 58-55 in the second round of the Whataburger Tournament and added a win over Plano West in the third-place game the following day.

Euphoria ended with a wakeup call. In the first district game after the tournament, Richland was beaten on its home floor by 6-5A foe Colleyville Heritage, 51-40, and dropped into a first-place tie with the Panthers.

Richland bounced back with a solid district road win at L.D. Bell, 60-48, and a blowout of rival Haltom, 106-77.

But the roller coaster took another dip in Richland’s narrow 78-76 win at Irving Nimitz on Monday. Nimitz (7-14, 3-4) outscored Richland 28-12 in the third period to take a two-point lead into the final quarter, but the Rebels survived the scare.

In addition to the loss to Colleyville Heritage, the other blemishes on Richland's record came courtesy of Dallas Woodrow Wilson in the season opener (68-63) and Milwaukee (Wis.) King (77-68) in a Whataburger semifinal.

The Rebels’ resume includes wins over DeSoto, Highland Park and Justin Northwest.

Richland has benefited from the play of a pair of senior transfer guards, 6-foot-2 Ricky Roberts and 5-foot-9 Antonio Mayfield Jr.

Roberts, who came over from Marcus, owns a 15.8 scoring average and has been the team’s leading scorer in seven games.

Mayfield, averaging a team-best 16.3 points, found his way to Richland along with his brother Malik, from Milwaukee, Wis. He’s led the Rebels in scoring in 11 games.

Two other Rebels boast double-figure scoring averages. Junior 6-foot-7 wing Leyton Hammonds is averaging 12.3 points per game and 6-foot-7 senior post Kris Brown averages 10.3.

Colleyville Heritage solidifies No. 2 spot in 6-5A

January, 11, 2012
Colleyville Heritage took a big step in solidifying its hold on second place in the District 6-5A girls basketball race with a 38-35 road victory over Hurst L.D. Bell on Monday.

The win gave the Lady Panthers (15-9, 8-1) a season sweep over Bell (21-7, 6-3).

Heather Roberts, a 5-foot-10 junior guard, and 5-foot-8 senior guard Heidi Schneider each scored nine points to lead the balanced Colleyville Heritage attack. Roberts leads the team in scoring with a 10.6 average and in 3-pointers with 43.

The Lady Panthers trailed Bell 34-27 at the start of the fourth quarter, but held the Lady Raiders to no field goals and only one free throw in the final eight minutes.

In the first meeting of the teams on Dec. 9 in Colleyville, Bell outscored its hosts in the fourth quarter, 18-9, but fell a point shy in a 46-45 Colleyville Heritage victory. Schenider scored 18 points in that game.

Artavia Ford, a 6-foot-2 junior post, is Colleyville Heritage’s leading rebounded with 5.4 boards per game.

Colleyville Heritage’s only district loss came at the hands of ESPNDallas.com’s top-ranked Class 5A team, Irving MacArthur, 65-53. The teams are scheduled to meet again on Jan. 27 in Irving.

Two home games are next for Colleyville Heritage. Haltom comes to town Friday, followed by Irving Nimitz on Tuesday. Both games are scheduled to tip off at 6:30 p.m.

Mansfield Timberview secures emotional victory

November, 12, 2011
GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas -- Amid the Mansfield Timberview celebration after its 44-19 Class 5A Division II bi-district victory over Colleyville Heritage, there was a moment of sadness, too.

After receiving the bi-district championship trophy Friday night, coach Mark Walker and the Timberview players huddled and took a moment to look up and point to the sky.

Bi-district »   Area round »
Region semis »   Region finals »
State semis »   Finals »   Totals »

Class 5A: Div. I | Div. II
Class 4A: Div. I | Div. II

5A Division I: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
5A Division II: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
4A Division I: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
4A Division II: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2

It was their way of remembering Cody McCarty, the Timberview offensive coordinator who coached his last game in this very same Gopher-Warrior Bowl before dying a couple of days later in a Burleson hospital. That happened just five weeks ago.

“We think about Coach McCarty all the time,’’ said Timberview running back Josh Smith, who rushed for 230 yards and three touchdowns and also caught a 52-yard touchdown pass. “He’s always with us, giving the team strength.’’

Said Walker: “Because this is the place where Cody called his last game, it is emotional and bittersweet. He’d be all happy and yelling right now. It’s his offense.’’

Smith, a junior, is among the smallest Timberview players at 5-foot-5 and 170 pounds but came up big.

“I don’t want to sound arrogant, but when I’m running, I don’t care how big the other guys are, I don’t think they can stop me," he said. "But I couldn’t do it without my line. The holes were there and all I had to do was run through them.’’

Walker said Smith runs on heart. “When we lost Talo Pascal to injury, Josh stepped in and hasn’t let up.’’

Smith scored the first two touchdowns on runs of 1 and 23 yards to open a 14-0 Timberview lead. He added a 79-yarder to go with a 52-yard pass reception in the second half.

Timberview (9-2) quarterback Chuck Taylor threw for 126 yards and added 106 rushing.

Colleyville Heritage (9-2) had trouble getting its passing game going against an aggressive Timberview defensive backfield. Junior quarterback Cody Thomas completed 17-of-43 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns, but was intercepted four times.

Heritage also lost a costly fumble near the Timberview goal line when it trailed only 14-0.

“Timberview is the best team we’ve faced,’’ Heritage coach Mike Fuller said. “They’re the most athletic by a mile and the most physical. They outplayed us in every facet. It looked like they wanted it more than we did. Their defensive backs did a good job keeping our receivers from getting downfield. We had too many penalties, too, especially on their first drive.’’

Timberview’s Smith returned the compliment.

“That’s a good team we played tonight," he said. "We knew we could never afford to let up.’’

The Wolves (9-2) will play an area playoff game at 5 p.m. next Saturday at Cowboys Stadium against the winner of the Flower Mound Marcus-Keller Fossil Ridge bi-district game.

QB battle shaping up for Heritage-Timberview

November, 9, 2011
7:30 p.m. Friday at Grand Prairie‘s Gopher-Warrior Bowl

What: Class 5A Division II Region I bi-district game.

When we saw them last: Colleyville Heritage quarterback Cody Thomas threw for 352 yards and four touchdowns in a 40-18 elimination of 4-6 Haltom. Timberview’s Josh Smith rushed for 223 yards and two touchdowns in a 45-7 Week 10 rout of 2-8 Mansfield Legacy.

Bi-district »   Area round »
Region semis »   Region finals »
State semis »   Finals »   Totals »

Class 5A: Div. I | Div. II
Class 4A: Div. I | Div. II

5A Division I: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
5A Division II: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
4A Division I: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
4A Division II: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2

Last in the playoffs: Colleyville Heritage lost to Southlake Carroll in a Class 5A Division II area playoff, 34-17, in 2010. Timberview lost to Denton Ryan in a Class 4A Division I area playoff, 49-14, in 2008.

What’s at stake: The winner advances to the area round to face the winner of the bi-district game between Flower Mound Marcus (9-1) Keller Fossil Ridge (6-4).

Key matchup: Both offenses rely heavily on their quarterbacks. The defense that can take the other team’s quarterback out of his rhythm should prevail. For Timberview’s defense, that means finding a way to apply pressure to Thomas in the pocket. For Colleyville Heritage, it means shutting down the darting scrambles of Timberview signal-caller Charles Taylor.

Players to watch: Colleyville Heritage’s Thomas, a junior, has gone over the 3,000-yard mark in passing yardage and has thrown 34 touchdowns. Nolan Brown leads the Panthers in receiving with 49 catches for 736 yards and eight touchdowns. Timberview's Taylor is a threat as a runner (1,286 yards, 15 touchdowns) and a passer (1,236 yards and 11 scores). Rickey Gross leads all Wolves receivers with 27 catches for 496 yards and seven touchdowns.

Prediction: It could five touchdowns to win this one: Timberview 35, Colleyville Heritage 31.

5A-II preview: Region 1 notable for balance

November, 7, 2011

Overview: Of the four regions in the two 5A brackets that include Dallas-Fort Worth area teams, Division II Region I is the only one without a state-ranked team. But what the region may lack in top-end talent, it makes up for with depth. Because of that, there should be very few blowouts, even in the early rounds.

Bi-district »   Area round »
Region semis »   Region finals »
State semis »   Finals »   Totals »

Class 5A: Div. I | Div. II
Class 4A: Div. I | Div. II

5A Division I: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
5A Division II: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
4A Division I: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2
4A Division II: Reg. 1 | Reg. 2

The top half of the bracket features an Abilene team that always seems primed for a run at a state title, but the winner between Denton Guyer and Hebron in the first round might be headed for the region finals instead. Arlington and Mansfield also have the potential to make noise. The bottom half of the bracket seems to come down to two teams – Flower Mound Marcus and Colleyville Heritage, which might be the two best teams in the area not ranked in state. Mansfield Timberview and Abilene Cooper could be factors as well.

Favorite: Flower Mound Marcus. With most of the heavy hitters in Region I going in to the Division I bracket, the Marauders (9-1) have the potential to make a serious run at a state title. Their running game – led by bruiser Harvey Giddens and speedster Jeff Smiley – is as good as it’s ever been. Marcus hasn’t relied on its passing game much this year but it has the potential to blossom in the playoffs behind sophomore quarterback Cole Erwin.

Watch out for: Arlington. In a bracket full of dark horses, the Colts (6-4) might be the most dangerous if they can get by Abilene in the first round. The area round would pit Arlington against a west Texas team before facing a comparable team from the Metroplex (Denton Guyer, Hebron, Mansfield). Running back Tavarreon Dickerson has rushed for 1,686 yards and 22 touchdowns in averaging about 10 yards per carry.

Can’t wait to see: Hebron-Denton Guyer (2 p.m. Saturday, Cowboys Stadium). Colleyville Heritage vs. Mansfield Timberview might be just as good, but we’ll let the venue break the tie. If the young Wildcats (7-3) can come of age quickly, they have the raw talent to make another run through the 5A Division II bracket. Hebron (6-4) is back in the playoffs after missing out last year, and its defense and experience in close games could have the Hawks playing after Thanksgiving if it can pass this tough opening test.

We hope to see: Flower Mound Marcus-Colleyville Heritage. The region may be won in the area round with this presumed matchup. Both teams have forgivable blemishes on their records in the form of close losses to Allen and Euless Trinity, respectively. And the matchup would pit one of the area’s best running games (Marcus) against one of the area’s best passing games (Heritage).

Talent pool (FBS recruits): El Paso Americas: RB Jack Fields (Boise State). Arlington: RB Tavarreon Dickerson (uncommitted). Mansfield: DE Hassan Ridgeway (Texas). Denton Guyer: DL Dominic Ramacher (Oklahoma State); WR Conner Crane (Stanford); DT Cody Henessee (Rice); OL John Ferguson (uncommitted); DT Daniel Kottman (San Diego State). Hebron: WR/DB Kiante’ Griffin (Baylor); DE Deatrich Wise (Arkansas). Abilene Cooper: QB Clayton Nicholas (Texas Tech). Colleyville Heritage: DE Rex Montes (uncommitted).

Volleyball: Lake Dallas advances to area round

November, 2, 2011
High school volleyball playoffs began this week.

Lake Dallas did not do anything out of the ordinary to prepare for its playoff run, which began on a strong note with a 25-9, 25-23, 25-16 victory over Hereford on Tuesday.

Hereford won the state championship in 2008, but was no match for the strong serving of Olivia Chapman and an aggressive offense led by Samantha Llamas and Whitley Chambers.

“What we have been doing has been working so we continue to scout, watch film, lift weights and practice hard,” Lake Dallas Head Coach Heather Van Noy said.

The team is focusing on playing hard one game at a time and continuing to have a positive outlook during the ever-competitive playoffs. This is a team with a lack of playoff experience past the first round of 4A play.

“We have been playing in the moment and we have been successful that way,” Van Noy said.

Perhaps one reason for the team’s success is the fact that it is made up of a group who is very close and has played together since they were in intermediate school.

“We have strong individual contributors, but what makes us so strong is that team is more important to every one of them. The support from the entire roster is incredible to see. It is quite amazing and I have never coached a team like this,” said Van Noy.

The District 4-4A Falcons will play El Paso on Saturday for the area championship.

Colleyville Heritage moves on

Colleyville Heritage beat Midlothian, 25-20, 25-19, 25-22, on Tuesday.

The Panthers believe they have the potential to go deep into the playoffs with their strong chemistry.

Something they do need to work on during the playoffs is consistency. While they are capable of solid play, they need to play at the highest caliber each and every game from here on out. Colleyville Heritage just needs to continue playing as it has been and of course, it needs to play cohesively as one.

“I need every one of them prepared and ready to do their job. It's definitely a team effort,” said Head Coach Jamie deTurck. “We set a high bar, and we are determined to meet it. None of us want to let each other down, and will fight for every point for each other.”

Colleyville Heritage will face Coppell in the next round.

Southlake Carroll defeats Plano East

Southlake Carroll defeated Plano East, 25-12, 25-18, 25-12, in their first playoff matchup.

The Dragons are the No. 1 ranked team in Texas according to the Texas Girls Athletic Association poll.

Head Coach Arthur Stanfield found two areas that his team could work on in practice Wednesday.

“Pass serves and run the middle are our two main points we practiced,” said Stanfield, who despite the win was less than thrilled about his team’s pass-serve against Plano East.

The team should go into its next game against Grapevine feeling that it has more confidence and experience. Stanfield allowed essentially his entire team to take part in the win.

To see the complete volleyball playoff brackets, visit uiltexas.org/volleyball/playoff-brackets.

1-4 teams aren't without playoff hope in 6-5A

October, 17, 2011
A remarkable drive to the playoffs by Irving Nimitz a year ago should serve as an example not to give up hope for a playoff spot in District 6-5A, where in the middle of the pack parity reigns.

A year ago, Nimitz was 1-4 in district play, won its final three games to match Grapevine with a 4-4 record and gained the final berth based on its earlier victory over the Mustangs.

If the season ended today, Grapevine (4-3, 3-2) would be the fourth playoff qualifier. The Mustangs travel to Euless Trinity this week and finish with Irving MacArthur at home and Richland on the road. Two wins in the final three should be enough for Grapevine. Two losses and the Mustangs might be out.

MacArthur (2-5, 2-3) and Haltom (3-4, 2-3) trail Grapevine by just a game. MacArthur has Nimitz, Grapevine and Trinity on its schedule. Haltom closes with Richland, Irving and Colleyville Heritage.

Nimitz is back at its familiar 1-4 this year and faces city rivals MacArthur and Irving sandwiched around a home game against Richland.

Richland is also 1-4 and concludes with rival Haltom, Nimitz and Grapevine.

It is a different story at the top of 6-5A. With two regular-season games remaining, Trinity (8-0, 6-0) has clinched its 14th consecutive playoff appearance.

Colleyville Heritage (7-1, 5-1) is close to clinching. The Panthers’ record is marred only by an overtime loss to Trinity.

Hurst L.D. Bell (5-3, 4-2) is well-positioned in third but still has to play Colleyville Heritage next week.

If the district finishes in the order of the present standings, Trinity and Bell would advance to Division I while Colleyville Heritage and Grapevine would go to Division II.

Volleyball: Colleyville Heritage a threat in 6-5A

October, 5, 2011
The young Colleyville Heritage volleyball team will be a threat to its opponents this season thanks to its offensive versatility. Although the team does not have any seniors, it has the luxury of being able to move players around and have many different looks.

Junior Kimmy Gardiner is a perfect example of how players on this team can move around on the court. Gardiner is a six-rotation player who is just one part of Heritage's team with additional standouts Maddie Jones, Morgan Hatwig and Brooke Hollingsworth.

“We take it day-by-day and come in ready to work, to perform now. Yes, we are excited about the future, but we are focused on the present. This group is a special group that has an amazing journey ahead of them,” said head coach Jamie deTurck.

DeTurck and strength coach Misail Tsapos do all they can to get their team in shape both mentally and physically. All players go through a variety of drills.

“We also make use of eye training and different types of thinking while playing drills that make them think, talk and perform right then,” said deTurck.

Colleyville Heritage will need to play every ball aggressively and stay consistent in order to reach its expectations of winning District 6-5A and going deep into the playoffs.

Waxahachie hanging tough in District 15-4A race

Waxahachie is a strong team who should be in the running with Red Oak until the very end in District 15-4A. With a 10-1 start, Waxahachie is only one win behind Red Oak in the standings.

Future Texas A&M player, senior Kate Praslicka, is the team leader in both kills and assists. She was the 2010 All-District MVP for District 15-4A.

Another standout is senior libero Lacie Tucker, who was the 2010 All-District Libero of the Year and has multiple colleges looking at her.

Head Coach Sandy Faussett cites her team’s chemistry, passing and defense as major strengths. Waxahachie also has options, with several strong hitters who are able to make a difference.

Although not an all-around tall team, Faussett believes Waxahachie has more potential when it comes to the blocking game.

Waxahachie will have to stay sharp all season to remain in competition with Red Oak. If it continues to improve on its defensive skills, it should be able to do just that.

What we got right: Corsicana is the real deal. Its 29-13 win over Mesquite Poteet solidified its position as the No. 3 team in the 4A poll. In 5A, Allen continued to roll and DeSoto had a bye week, keeping them on top of the rankings.

What we got wrong: Losses by Arlington Martin and Coppell allowed room for Flower Mound Marcus and Colleyville Heritage and Denton Guyer to move up in the 5A poll. Euless Trinity has had two close calls in an overtime win over Colleyville Heritage last week and halftime upset alert vs. rival L.D. Bell, allowing Dallas Skyline to jump into the No. 3 spot. In 4A, Highland Park's less-than-dominant win over Wylie East allowed Denton Ryan to jump back into the No. 1 spot.

Say hello to: 5A -- Hebron, Mansfield; 4A -- Mansfield Summit

Say goodbye to: 5A -- Arlington Martin, Coppell; 4A -- Dallas Kimball

Watch out for: 5A -- Duncanville, Keller Central; 4A -- Fort Worth Arlington Heights.

Tell us: Use the comments section to let us know what we have wrong.

Rankings: Highland Park takes No. 1 from Ryan

September, 25, 2011

What we got right: The top of the 5A poll. There were no changes in the first four spots -- with Allen, DeSoto, Euless Trinity and Dallas Skyline maintaining their strongholds.

What we got wrong: We may have underestimated Highland Park. The Scots, who started the year at No. 3 in the 4A rankings, climbed past Denton Ryan into the No. 1 spot for the first time this season based mostly on its quality offensive play. We overrated Birdville, which had climbed to No. 5 in 4A but fell out of the rankings after losing to second-year program Trophy Club Byron Nelson.

Say hello to: 5A -- Denton Guyer; 4A -- Waxahachie

Say goodbye to: 5A -- Plano; 4A -- Birdville

Watch out for: 5A -- Hebron, Mansfield; 4A -- Wylie East, Trophy Club Byron Nelson

Tell us: Use the comments section to let us know what we have wrong.