With the summer swimming season nearly here, aquatic clubs, related industry organizations and healthcare providers are kicking off a month-long campaign in May to encourage safer water practices.  This month-long event is being celebrated in local communities with educational programs, public service announcements and the distribution of water safety materials.

In an effort to support May as National Water Safety Month, KATY Aquatics is teaming with Texas Children’s Hospital West Campus to host a FREE Make A Splash Water Safety event for the whole family!  The Make A Splash event will feature Free Swim Lessons* and water safety skills for children ages 3 and up.

The Make a Splash Water Safety event will be held on:

Saturday, May 13, 2017
10am – Noon
Cinco Ranch High School Natatorium
23440 Cinco Ranch Blvd., Katy, TX 77494

While the statistics are staggering, drowning has not gained the necessary public attention needed to help prevent these tragedies from occurring.  Drowning is preventable, and understanding the risks associated with being in and around the water is crucial.

In addition to the FREE Swim Lessons for children, the Make A Splash event will have water rescue demonstrations, informational booths and vehicle displays from the Willow Fork Fire Department and Fort Bend EMS Paramedics.  Other draws to the event include kayak rides for children and special character appearances from Bobber the Water Safety Dog, the Chick-fil-A Cow and Princess Ariel!

Patrons will also experience food samples from PDQ, Papa Murphy’s Pizza and Nothing Bundt Cakes.  As an added bonus, there will be Free Door Prizes and Gift Bags filled with coupons from local Katy businesses.  Be sure to join us at the Make A Splash Water Safety event, we will have something fun and informative for all ages to enjoy!

*Register for your child’s FREE Swim Lesson on May 13th now!  Guarantee your spot in the pool by pre-registering online at  Click on “Learn to Swim” then “Make A Splash”.  Children must wear swimsuits to participate in the Free Swim Lessons. 

For more information about the Make A Splash event or the many different programs KATY Aquatics has to offer, please visit our website at or call 281-391-7200.
About KATY Aquatics
At KATY Aquatics, we offer the nationally recognized learn-to-swim program, SwimAmerica.
The SwimAmerica program is designed to teach children as young as three, the life-long skill of swimming.  Through KATY Aquatics, you can participate in group or private learn-to-swim classes, as well as choose from any of the other additional programs we offer in a variety of class levels including special needs and adults.

Website: / Email: / Office Phone: 281-391-7200

By Tom Behrens

The NCAA Division I council enacted recruiting reform that will drastically affect high school football recruits and their coaches.

The changes that will affect high school players the most:

Early signing period update…

The NCAA approved changes to the recruiting calendar which would allow for a mid-December signing day. The Collegiate Commissioners Association has a vote in June to make it official, but the early indications are that it will pass. If it does, Class of 2018 prospects will be allowed to sign during a three-day period from Dec. 20 to Dec. 22 this year. Any player who doesn’t sign would have to wait until the traditional winter signing period, beginning in early February.

Official visits, earlier.

Also, the NCAA voted to add an official visit period from April 1 to late June of their junior years. The legislation doesn’t go into effect until Aug. 1, so the Class of 2019 prospects will be the first class affected.

This will allow recruits to get their visits in before the high school season starts. Right now, players must fit them in on bye weeks or after the season. For players making deep playoff runs, it can be difficult to make all five visits by the time signing day rolls around.

New challenge for HS coaches jumping to college.

Recruiting, recruiting, recruiting….

Coaches employed at a camp or clinic can now have recruiting conversations with participants.

That makes college camps more important for recruits. There is now zero lag time between a coach seeing a player, possibly for the first time, and him immediately being able to recruit.

0 72

MVP: Jay Jay Chandler, Sr., Cinco Ranch
Offensive MVP: William Brueggeman, Sr., Strake Jesuit
Defensive MVP: Diego Martinez, Sr., Seven Lakes
Newcomer: L.J. Cryer, Fr., Morton Ranch
Coach: Neil King, Cinco Ranch
First team: Darius Alford, Jr., Seven Lakes; Jamal Bieniemy, Jr., Tompkins; L.J. Cryer, Fr., Morton Ranch; Enzo Sechi, Jr., Taylor; Alonzo Sule, Sr., Cinco Ranch
Second team: Mike Donlon, Sr., Strake Jesuit; Jordan Pride, Sr., Strake Jesuit; Westley Sellers, Fr., Morton Ranch; Kristian Sjolund, Jr., Tompkins; Josh Williams, Sr., Tompkins
Third team: Nick Appleby, Sr., Katy; Marcus Bardaji, Sr., Cinco Ranch; Jonathan Howell, Sr., Seven Lakes; Jackson McClurg, Jr., Seven Lakes; Emmanuel White, Jr., Tompkins.

0 85

By Tom Behrens

Cinco Ranch – Fort Bend Austin, Langham Creek, and Ridge Point:

The District 19-6A champion Cinco Ranch Lady Cougars defeated Fort Bend Austin, Langham Creek, and Ridge Point. Kendall Hollo highlighted the Ridge Point victory with two goals. Mckenzie Chew, Ali Russell, Olivia Futch, Shaylee Anaya, Alexa Zarvos and Abby Mcclain, contributed both offensively and defensively for the Lady Cougars in their climb up the playoff ladder. The Cougars next opponent: Atascocita in the Regional Semifinals.

Cinco Ranch – Atascocita

The Cougars came up against a very good Atascocita team (22-2-2, 12-1-1) finally preserving a 1-0 victory. Shaylee Anaya finished a corner in the 38th minute for the game’s lone goal. Atascocita only managed three shots on goal and one corner. Next up is the matchup everybody was looking forward to – Cinco Ranch versus Tompkins for the Regional championship.
This year will make six straight years for the Lady Cougars to be in the regional tournament, the fifth straight year in the Regional Final – all the while facing another KISD school.

Cinco Ranch – Tompkins showdown

Freshman Veruzla Gomez, in her first varsity start, supplied Tompkins’ first goal in the Class 6-A Region III girls’ soccer finals. Skyler Parker sealed the Falcons’ first victory over the Cougars when she scored off a Joannie Ramos corner kick for a 2-0 advantage in the 65th minute. The Tompkins Lady Falcons defeated Cinco Ranch 2-0.
The Falcons didn’t allow a goal in the regional tournament. They posted three shutouts in the march to the state and six in district.
Forward Barbara Olivieri, the teams’ leading scorer, paced the Falcons offensive attack with 17 goals and is second with nine assists. Joannie Ramos had 14 goals and eight assists; Kayla Ruopp had 12 goals and Leanne Veary had 10.
Senior goalkeeper Cailey Croson gave up only .91 goals per game.

Tompkins Lady Falcons vs. Austin Vandegrift (19-1-4) in the semifinals

With the game tied at 1-1, Tompkins scored again and added another goal for good measure to defeat Leander Vandegrift 3-1 at Birkelbach Field. The Lady Falcons next faced Pflugerville Hendrickson for the 6A State Championship. The Hawks (18-4-4) went to overtime against Keller to make it to the top game.
The Falcons are loaded with talent; it could be their time.
The Pflugerville Hendrickson Hawks get the better of Tompkins

Hendrickson defeated Tompkins, 2-0, in the Class 6A state championship game Saturday at Birkelbach Field.
Behind a strong defense and freshman goalkeeper MaKenna Garcia, MVP of the game, the Hawks (19-4-4) shut out Keller, which hadn’t scored less than two goals since January, and Tompkins, which outscored its first six playoff opponents 20-4.
Tompkins ends the year at 19-5-3. “Second place is not what we wanted but I’m super proud of every single one of them,” said Tompkins Coach Jarrett Shipman in an after game interview. “We have an expectation to be back here next year.”
Kayla Geren put Hendrickson up in the 31st minute, taking a Jayme Woodfill cross and ripping a shot that Tompkins goalkeeper Cailey Croson got a hand on before the ball bounced off the crossbar and into the goal.
Kensley Martin added an unassisted goal in the second half. Hendrickson outshot the Falcons 22-12, which included a 14-4 advantage in the first 40 minutes.

0 92

By Tom Behrens

Coach Mike Johnston

The Katy ISD board members in a recent meeting unanimously voted to name the second Katy ISD stadium Mike Johnston Field at Legacy Stadium.
“It’s an honor, not for just myself, but for my family to have our family name attached to a facility,” Coach Johnston said in a recorded interview at the almost completed new stadium. It’s also a tribute to the coaches I had work with me through those years. It’s also for the outstanding players I had at Katy during that time. It’s an honor and a tribute both and overall just a great blessing.”
He said he had no inkling that his name was going to be on the stadium. “I didn’t know anything about it. I had never thought about anything like this happening.”

The Mike Johnston-Katy ISD Connection:

Beginning in 1982, Johnston guided the Katy Tigers program for the next 22 years ending his tenure following the 2003 season and a third State Championship – winning titles also in 1997 and 2001.
When things began, Johnston’s Tigers went a combined 4-26 overall in his first three years. The next 19 years Johnston’s Tigers recorded and overall record of 196-49, 12 District Championships, and three State Championships.
During an extended weather delay a couple years back I had the chance to visit with Coach Johnston in the press box at Rhodes Stadium and listen to him reminisce about his coaching career.
“It was kind of rough those first few years,” Johnston said. “Once we got kids buying into what we were asking them to do and our staff became more established, it all came to fruition. The community was always supportive and of course when you start winning it just excites the community even more. Of course Coach (Gary) Joseph took over and he’s even taken it to another level. It’s a pleasure for me to be indirectly associated with what’s going on.”
Since retiring from Katy High School in 2003, Johnston hasn’t strayed far from the program he helped build into what it is today. During the weekdays, at times, Johnston can be found having a morning coffee with Coach Gary Joseph, watching practice, and then on gameday settling into his seat up in the press box.
The new stadium will seat 2,232 more fans than the current 9,768-seat Jack Rhodes Memorial Stadium, which sits right next to it, giving it a maximum capacity of 12,000. Improved roads around the stadium, a 4,000-space parking lot and a $1.8 million video replay board are also some of the amenities to come with the new stadium.
Between Mike Johnston Field at Legacy Stadium and Rhodes Stadium, games will be confined to the evenings only, no more Saturday day games. As Coach Johnston said, the heat coming off the artificial turf can be brutal to both players and fans in the stadium during the day games.
Mike Johnston Field at Legacy Stadium will have more uses than for just football. Drill teams and bands will have a place to showcase their talents at both the games and the different UIL contests throughout the year. Soccer games in 2017-2018 will also have the opportunity to be played in the new facility.
The price tag for the stadium pushed past the $70-million mark in the fall coming, to a total cost of $70.3 million for the facility. Johnston reported in another interview that he was aware of the concern for the overall cost of the stadium.
“When you had to start from scratch, which they did, we had no infrastructure or anything. If you’re going to be competitive, if you’re going to be in the hunt you have to show that you’re supporting what’s going on in your district. I think this is probably a good physical example that our school district supports our kids in competition.”
Where will Coach Johnston be at the start of the 2017 football season?
Of course, Johnston will be in attendance at the football games. “Oh yes, I make the games at Rhodes right now, I don’t miss many games,” Johnston said. “Starting Thursday nights, I’m usually there. If they’re looking for me in the fall, they’ll know where to find me.”

The Children’s Memorial Hermann IRONKIDS Texas Fun Run offers young athletes, ages 3 to 14, the opportunity to feel the excitement of competition while enjoying the outdoors and promoting healthy living.

Offering both a half-mile and one-mile course, the festivities will take place in The Woodlands, TX around Town Green Park, 2099 Lake Robbins Drive, on Saturday, April 15.

Registration is $20 and each athlete receives a race bib, finisher shirt, medal, goodie bag and the pride of calling themselves an IRONKID!

WHEN              Saturday, April 15

8 a.m.: Registration opens and festivities begin

10 a.m.: Race


WHERE  Town Green Park

2099 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77380


REGISTER Registration is $20 and can be completed online at or on-site on April 15 from 8-9:30 a.m.

MORE The fun doesn’t end with the run! Parents and kids alike will enjoy family-friendly activities, including an appearance by the Houston Rockets’ mascot Clutch, a flyover by Memorial Hermann Life Flight®, a TIRR Memorial Hermann obstacle course for kids, face painting, photo booth, a bean bag toss game, a prize drawing for a bicycle and a wagon, and more.



0 99
The weekend of March 25th and 26th the Girls of Morton Ranch High School took second place
at the Texas Team High School State Tournament. They qualified second seed going into the
Round of 16 and battled their way to the championship match, but came up short and claiming
the Runner-Up tittle. This was an esteemed accomplishment by the Girls and is the highest
placement that Morton Ranch High School bowling team has received at the State level. The
team consisted of sophomore Leslie Gracian, junior Crystal Cline, and seniors Zoe Powers,
Danielle Turner, and Kayla Marsh led by their coaches MikeBenoit, Derrick Marsh, and Rick Foley.

0 148

Local fencer Jonathan Piskovatskov earned a bronze medal at the Cadet World Fencing Championships on Monday in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Piskovatskov is a Junior at Westchester Academy for International Studies High School in Spring Branch.


Fencers are selected based on cumulative points scored at national and international tournaments over the course of the fencing season from July 2016 through February 2017.   Only the highest three-ranking fencers qualify to represent the United States for the Cadet (under 16-years-old) World Championships. The World Championships are the highest level of international competition equivalent to the Olympics for Cadet and Junior Fencers.


Piskovatskov earned his bronze medal for third on Monday, April 3, 2017 in a field of 132 top world fencers. Piskovatskov made it to the top four, losing only to gold-medal winner Davide Di Veroli of Italy in the semifinals.


Fellow Alliance Fencing Academy club members Gigi Vierheller and Sean Wilson have also earned spots on the United States World Championship Teams. Vierheller, formerly a student at Lamar High School, is on the Junior Women’s Epee Team. Sean Wilson, a senior at Strake Jesuit College Preparatory High School, is on the Junior Men’s Epee Team. Vierheller is a starter on the Varsity fencing team at Columbia University. Wilson has been accepted to the Wharton school of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and will be fencing there next year. Piskovatskov is also an alternate for the Junior Men’s Epee World Championships.


Piskovatskov started “hanging around fencers” at Alliance Fencing Academy when he was 3-years-old. At 7, Piskovatskov started fencing. At 10, he did chores around the club in exchange for lessons with his dad.


In fact, fencing runs in the family. His dad Andrey Geva was the United States Olympic Coach for Women’s Epee at last year’s Olympics in Rio and currently is the National Women’s Epee Coach responsible for training the next Olympic team. Jonathan’s older brother Anton earned a fencing scholarship to Penn State where he is a Varsity starter. His 9-year-old younger sister Eliana has already taken several medals in youth competitions.


Coach Geva says, “Jonathan is very goal-oriented. He sets his goals in fencing and works hard to achieve them.”   Jonathan’s hard work has paid off. At 10, Jonathan won every Youth-10 competition on the National Fencing Circuit. He was the #1 ranked fencer at yearend in his division in both 2010 and 2011. At 14, Jonathan moved up a division competing against fencers up to 16 years old. He finished the season ranked #1.


Jonathan attributes his success to hard work, training and “being able to regularly fence so many other great fencers at the club [Alliance Fencing Academy]. It’s really like my family outside my family.”


Alliance Fencing Academy has grown to over 350 students, making it the largest epee fencing school in the country.   Alliance has two locations – one in downtown Houston and one in The Woodlands. The two locations share students and World-class coaches. Three of Alliance’s coaches are Designated Coaches for the United States’ international teams.


At the World Championships in Plovdiv, Bulgaria April 1-10, 2017, the US-designated coaches come from Alliance Fencing Academy, too. Andrey Geva is coaching the US Cadet Epee Team and Junior Women’s Epee Team. Sergey Danilov will coach the US Junior Men’s Epee Team.


For more information, contact:


Or Sarah Thow, Alliance Fencing Academy Office Manager at 713.410.6655.

The event raised funds for scholarships, subsidized programming

From left to right, Jennifer Ramsey, group exercise instructor at Monty Ballard YMCA, Ralph Fluker and Melanie Ellis, past board members for Katy Area YMCAs, and Bill Griffin, current Katy Area YMCA board member, pose after last year’s Spring Golf Classic Tournament.

On March 27, the Fort Bend Family YMCA, T.W. Davis Family YMCA, Monty Ballard YMCA at Cinco Ranch, and the YMCA at Katy Main Street – all four located in Fort Bend County – raised more than $64,000 in the 11th Annual YMCA Spring Golf Classic.

Sponsored by Fort Bend Toyota and Sterling McCall Lexus for the sixth consecutive year, the event’s proceeds will go to the YMCA’s Annual Campaign to ultimately provide scholarships and subsidized programming for at-risk children.

The YMCA rounded up more than 130 players and 32 teams to take part in the charitable event – breaking a record of participation. Thirty volunteers helped make the event a success.

“As a YMCA volunteer, it is exciting to see so much support from the business community, which is committed to the YMCA and the impact that it has on our community,” said Barbara Jones of Fluor Corporation, YMCA golf chair and T.W. Davis YMCA board member.

left to right-Paul Urquhart, district executive director, YMCA; Jim Shier, YMCA Association board member; Richard McReavy, McWilliams YMCA board chair; and Bryan Zuniga, McWilliams YMCA board member

The tournament was held at Pecan Grove Country Club and included several on-course competitions, sponsored by Thom Polvogt Insurance Group, Top Golf and Firehouse Subs. It also included a lunch donated by Swinging Door BBQ and dinner donated by Macaroni Grill.

In addition, participants participated in silent and live auctions that raised more than $12,000. Fort Bend County Commissioner James Patterson served as auctioneer and special guest at the event was Fort Bend County Judge Bob Hebert.

All proceeds from the event will benefit the Annual Support Campaigns of the Fort Bend Family YMCA in Missouri City, the T.W. Davis Family YMCA in Richmond, the Monty Ballard YMCA at Cinco Ranch, and the YMCA at Katy Main Street. Combined, the campaigns provide scholarships or subsidized programming for more than 7,000 youth, families and individuals in YMCA programs, outreach and memberships.

“We are thankful to have the ongoing support of so many sponsors and teams who have participated in this tournament since its inceptions.  Through their support combined with all our new teams and sponsors, hundreds of youth and families will benefit from YMCA services this summer,” said Brian Haines, district executive director for the YMCA of Greater Houston.

In addition to the event’s title sponsors, Fort Bend Toyota and Sterling McCall Lexus, other top sponsors were Fluor Corporation, NtheZone Photography, Staff Force Personnel Services, NRG – WS Parish Plant and First Transit.