Sportzbuzz - April 2020
The third time was the charm for the St. Agnes Academy soccer team, which secured the TAPPS Division 1 state soccer championship.
The Tigers claimed the championship in what was their third berth to the state tournament over the last four seasons. “It’s huge, we’ve been knocking on the door, and it’s the first time a Houston girls team has won a TAPPS Division 1 state soccer title,” said Tigers head coach Josh Dolan.
On their way to winning the title, the Tigers posted a dominant 24-1 record, including a victory over UIL 6A defending state champion South Lake Carroll, along with wins over other large UIL 6A powerhouse programs such as Cinco Ranch in the finals of the prestigious I-10 Shootout tournament. If all that weren’t enough, Top Drawer Soccer had St. Agnes ranked 12th in the nation among all girls’ high school soccer teams.
“It’s so exciting to get that kind of national recognition,” said Dolan. “We have some extremely talented players on our team. I think we earned it.” Leading the way for St. Agnes was senior sensation Lauren Geczik, who scored a remarkable 50 goals with another 25 assists this past season. Geczik will play collegiate soccer at Texas A&M. In addition, sophomore Leah Klenke scored 25 goals with eight assists, while Dolan also had high praise for the standout play of senior midfielder Grace Noe. “Really, we had 11 strong players on the field, and another 11 on the bench that got us this amazing season.”
In basketball, the Memorial Mustangs ended a 32-year draught by winning its first district championship in boys’ basketball since 1988. “It really was the greatest thing in the world,” said Mustangs basketball coach David Lay. “We had a group of young men who did what we asked them to do day in and day out, and they were rewarded with a district championship. It was phenomenal.”
The Mustangs were led by a phenomenal season from senior Ethan Taylor, who’ll play college basketball at the Air Force Academy. “Ethan was our confidence guy,” said Lay. “We all knew we’d be in good shape as long as Ethan was on the court. He averaged 14 points and seven rebounds a game for us.”
Another major contributor for the Mustangs was senior Grayson Buehler, who averaged 13 points and six rebounds a game. Buehler will play college basketball at Dallas Baptist University. “Grayson stretched the defense with his shooting,” said Lay. “I loved the fact that he did a great job of also attacking the bucket.”
In addition, junior Gaston Elie, the son of former Houston Rockets star Mario Elie, played a key role in the Mustangs’ success this season. “Gaston was just extremely consistent for us all season as a strong defender, rebounder and even scorer,” said Lay. “Our whole team played inspiring ball all year. They truly understood the concept of team basketball and bought into the program 100 percent.”
The St. John’s Mavericks captured the SPC girls swimming and diving championship for the third year in a row, beating Dallas Hockaday by a 22-point margin at this year’s SPC meet. “The kids really stepped up and swam extremely well the entire meet,” said Mavericks swimming and diving coach Ron Raper. “We knew we’d be challenged by Hockaday and also Kinkaid, and we really won it on our overall depth.”
The Mavericks’ depth included a pair of seniors who’ll be swimming at the collegiate level: Sydney Buchman (Kenyon College) and Katie Shelburne (Tufts University). Buchman closed out her career at St. John’s by finishing first in the 100-yard backstroke, while also teaming with Shelburne, Ella Flowers and Georgianna Matthews for a key second-place finish in the 400-yard freestyle relay to clinch the SPC title.
Also winning an individual gold for St. John’s was Flowers, a sophomore who swam to victory in the 200-yard IM. Teammate Ainsley Dodson finished second in the same event. Flowers added to her medal total with a second-place finish in the 100-yard backstroke. Meanwhile, Matthews was another major contributor individually, with second-place finishes in both the 50-yard freestyle and the 100-yard freestyle. The Mavericks also scored valuable points in diving, with Cai Flowers finishing second in 1-meter diving, while missing out on first place by a mere fraction of a point.
Editor’s note: Todd Freed is the Emmy Award-winning co-host and producer of the KUBE SportsZone, which airs Saturday and Sunday at 6 p.m. on Channel 57-KUBE. To submit high school sports news for possible inclusion in SportzBuzz, please email [email protected].
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