Recognize Dallas/Ft. Worth

Updated: November 20, 2008, 4:00 PM ET
ESPNRISE.com

Wrestling - Allen



The Eagles have been one of the state's most consistent teams since coach Jerry Best took over in 2002, winning district championships in five of the past six seasons and picking up a regional title in 2007. A mainstay in the Top 10 at both the UIL state tournament and the dual state tournament, the Eagles are looking to contend for the top spot in the state this season with 13 out of 15 wrestlers returning from last year. To help prepare for the grueling end-of-season events, the Eagles upped the ante during the regular season. Typically the team competes in one out-of-state tournament each season. This year, the Eagles are going national by taking part in events in Arizona, Virginia and Oklahoma. "We want to be state champions. We think we can break into the Top 20 national rankings," Best says. "You don't accomplish those things without seeking out challenges."The Eagles are loaded from top to bottom this winter. Junior Roderick Gaines is a two-time state placer who will wrestle at 119 pounds this season. He took third at 112 pounds last season after taking second at 103 as a freshman. Senior Eden Bernstein took fourth at 145 last year, and he is a team leader who sets the tone during practice, according to Best. The coach is also impressed with freshman Jarrod Trotter, who should challenge for a state crown at 112 pounds this season. Best is also expecting big things from Alex LeGrande, Zach Cobb, Travis Springfield, Steven Reyes and Jody Bishop.



Girls' Volleyball - Bishop Lynch


This fall, the Lady Friars tripled their win total from a year ago, and the result was a TAPPS Class 5A state championship. After winning just 12 matches in 2007 with seven first-year varsity players, Bishop Lynch improved to 36-5 in 2008. The turnaround culminated with a 3-2 state finals victory over San Antonio Incarnate Word. Seniors Jessica Jiles and Meghan Mannari and juniors Becky Wallander and Michelle Carson were named to the All-State Tournament team.



Boys' + Girls' Tennis - Highland Park


The Scots weren't able to get revenge this fall on New Braunfels after the San Antonio-area school halted H.P.'s 118-match winning streak in last year's Class 4A team tennis state final. New Braunfels moved up to Class 5A this year, so Highland Park mercilessly blasted its way through state tournament foes W.F. Rider in the semifinals and Boerne Champion in the title match. In the pair of 10-0 sweeps, no Highland Park singles competitor or doubles team dropped a set.



Girls' Cross Country - Forney


The Jackrabbits slowly climbed their way up the Region II-4A ladder the past few years, moving from sixth to fifth to fourth to second between 2004 and 2007. Forney took the final step this fall by winning the regional title on Nov. 8 thanks to the front-running trio of senior Gabbie Corletto (seventh), senior Tyler Blacklock (eighth) and freshman Martha Romero (ninth). Sophomore Kara Hyde (15th) and senior Jessica Boudreau (18th) rounded out the team's top five.



BREAK OUT TEAMS



BOYS' SWIMMING  CISTERCIAN
Junior Matt Roney returns after winning the 200 free and 100 fly at last year's SPC meet.

GIRLS' BASKETBALL  TIMBERVIEW
Keena Mays and Maegan Conwright, juniors, form one of the state's best 1-2 combos.

BOYS' BASKETBALL  LANCASTER
Junior standout John Bohannon has the Tigers looming as a Class 4A power.

GIRLS' SOCCER  PLANO EAST
Class 5A state finalists return District 9-5A Offensive Player of the Year Marissa Holden.