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SportzBuzz - December 2022

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Memorial Mustangs

HISTORIC SEASON The Memorial Mustangs advanced to the UIL state tournament in team tennis for a record-breaking 14th consecutive season. Memorial went 17-1 on the season with its only defeat coming in the state championship final.

It was a historic season for the Memorial Mustangs tennis team, which advanced to the UIL State Tournament in team tennis for a record-breaking 14th consecutive season. “That’s a huge deal,” said Mustangs tennis coach Budd Booth. “It’s an extremely difficult feat to accomplish. Our kids work hard each and every year. Plus, we have a great staff and programs such as weight training, nutrition, and video work that put our players in the best position to be successful.”

This year’s team advanced to state final four with an undefeated 16-0 record before capturing a thrilling 10-9 victory over The Woodlands in the 6A state semifinals. The Mustangs ultimately came up one victory shy of its third state championship after being defeated by Round Rock Westwood in the state finals. It also marked the Mustangs’ one and only loss of the entire season.

For the Mustangs boys, Chase Scholz led the way as the team’s top seeded player. “Chase is one of our captains,” said Booth. “He came through with big wins all season in singles and also in the playoffs with his doubles partner Egor Morozov.”

On the girls side, Mustangs number one player Sofia Mazzucato pulled out a thrilling victory in a second set tiebreaker to clinch Memorial’s state semifinal victory over The Woodlands. Mazzucato also teamed up with Tara Ahmadi for several key victories in the playoffs. “I’m just very proud of this entire team,” said Booth.

Kinkaid Falcons

FALCONS SOAR The Kinkaid Falcons celebrated the SPC 4A Football Championship with a 17-6 victory over rival Episcopal. The victory marked the Falcons’ sixth SPC football title in the last ten seasons. (Photo: David Shutts Photography)

For the sixth time in the last ten years, the Kinkaid Falcons are SPC football champions. The Falcons captured the SPC 4A championship with a 17-6 victory over the rival Episcopal Knights in the SPC title game. “It was an incredible win for our guys,” said Falcons head coach Nathan Larned. “It was a similar feeling to our 2015 championship when we pulled off a huge upset for the victory.”

This year’s championship seemed somewhat improbable with the Falcons losing three quarterbacks to injuries even before the season started. “We had to totally restructure our offense just to get through the season. It was a pretty unique season to say the least,” said Larned.

Fortunately for Kinkaid, the Falcons were led by a unique talent in senior Micah Bell. The Notre Dame commit had a remarkable 44 carries for 208 yards in the championship final victory over Episcopal. “Micah carried us against a physical and tough defense that’s exceptionally athletic,” said Larned. With Bell leading the way, the Falcons sealed the victory with an epic 28 play-16-minute drive that culminated with a field goal and an 11-point lead.

“Our defense also played lights out,” said Larned. “Miles Roeder was phenomenal despite playing with a broken thumb suffered a week earlier. He had an interception at the goal line and forced a couple of fumbles. Plus, Nico Gomez had a huge game for us both on defense and at fullback. Nico, Miles, and Micah are kind of the heart and soul of our team.”

Episcopal Knights

SPC CHAMPS The Episcopal Knights capped off a sensational season by winning the SPC Volleyball Championship. Episcopal posted a 37-7 overall record including a trio of straight set victories in the SPC tournament championship.

In volleyball, the Episcopal Knights capped off a sensational season by winning the SPC 4A Volleyball Championship. Episcopal captured the title with straight set victories over Kinkaid, Dallas Greenhill, and Hockaday in the SPC championship tournament. For the season, the Knights boasted a lofty 37-7 record while going a perfect 9-0 against SPC opponents.

“I definitely believe we peaked at the right time,” said Knights first-year head coach Cydryce McMillian, who just a season earlier guided St. Agnes Academy to the TAPPS 6A State Championship. “As a staff we came in knowing there were key returners and solid personnel who returned from last year’s team, but we also identified the necessary steps to establish a culture of excellence in every facet of the program. We challenged our kids every day in practice and they ultimately rose to the occasion. They put in the time and commitment while also holding each other accountable. It was beautiful to cap it all off with a championship.”

The Knights’ talented lineup was led by a pair of standout seniors in middle blockers Farah Farooq and Ava Harrington. “Farah was a tremendous offensive threat while Ava is also phenomenal,” said McMillian. “Ava is a stud blocker who just shuts down opponents.” In addition, the Knights also boasted a dynamic libero in junior transfer Mykayla McMillian. “We talk with our girls daily about working to out-team the opponent, and everyone was dialed in and unafraid to keep pushing for greatness,” added McMillian.

Editor’s note: Todd Freed is the host and executive producer of H-Town High School Sports, which airs Saturday at 10:30 p.m. on CW39 and Monday-Thursday on AT&T SportsNet SW. To submit high school sports news for possible inclusion in SportzBuzz, please email [email protected].

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