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Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Recognize San Antonio/Austin

ESPNRISE.com

Baseball - Medina Valley


Defense and pitching win championships  it's a baseball cliché as old as time. But it's also true, and a major reason why Medina Valley won last season's Region IV-3A championship. And though the Panthers have moved up to Class 4A this spring, defense and pitching are the major reasons why their expectations remain high. Medina Valley's defensive expertise is a result of countless hours taking ground balls and pop flys during practice. And before each practice ends, the team plays a game called 21 Outs, basically a simulated game in which the Panthers remain on defense for seven consecutive innings. "We like to think we put the kids through so many different situations that there's nothing they won't be prepared for," assistant coach Robert Herb says. As for the pitching, well, senior Baylor signee Zackry Dodson takes care of that. The 6-foot-1 left-hander went 13-0 last season with a 0.59 ERA and 149 strikeouts in 83.1 innings. Dodson also hit .400 with seven homers and 52 RBI last year. Backing up Dodson on the mound this spring will be senior Issac Tijerina and junior Weston Heiligman, a duo that combined to go 16-3 last year. Junior Troy Stein does the catching for the Panthers, and he and joins senior second baseman Cameron Payne as the team's major offensive weapons alongside Dodson. Senior shortstop Neil Tschirhart led the team in steals with 17 last season. Senior Brandon Stein and junior Brett Bippert are also expected to be key regulars this spring.



Girls' Track - Judson


The Rockets lived up to their nickname last spring at the Region IV-5A meet, posting 110 points to soar past the competition. A trio of returnees did most of the damage, led by senior Christina Holland, who won the 100 hurdles and took second in the 300 hurdles and as a member of the 4x400 relay squad. Junior Ciara McLee won the 100 and anchored the 4x100 relay team to second place, while senior Taylor Rosser won the shot put and finished second in the discus.



Boys' Golf - S.A. Reagan


The Rattlers were one of the youngest teams at the Class 5A state tournament last spring, but it didn't stop them from coming within four strokes of first place. And the team's youngest player, then-freshman Nick Tremps, showed no nerves whatsoever as he fired rounds of 75 and 71 to finish fourth individually. Tremps is back as a sophomore this spring and joins junior Chris Contreras (13th at state last year) and senior James Clingman (29th) as the Rattlers look to make another run toward state glory.



Softball - Dripping Springs


The Tigers made their second trip to the Class 4A state tournament in three years last season. The team lost in the semifinals, but it's clear Dripping Springs has emerged as one of the area's top softball teams. If the Tigers want to get back Austin this spring, they'll have to do it without graduated ace pitcher Paige Sandahl, who struck out more than 1,000 batters in her high school career. Junior outfielder Brianna Miles and junior shortstop Kristen Szkotak will play key roles for the Tigers this season.



BREAKOUT TEAMS


GIRLS' TRACK  BELTON
Led by distance running extraordinaire Regan Tindell, the Tigers boast three ESPN RISE All-Area picks.

BOYS' GOLF  ALAMO HEIGHTS
After taking seventh at the 4A state tourney last spring, junior Andrew Carreon is one of the Mules three returnees.

GIRLS' LACROSSE  WESTLAKE
Junior midfielders Rachel English and Caroline Beninghoff are a great 1-2 combination.

BOYS' TRACK  TEMPLE
Junior football sensation Lache Seastrunk is also one of the state's fastest sprinters.