Sports

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By Tom Berhens

Let me tickle your tonsils…

Mason Munoz with his 55.5lb catfish caught at Lake Palestine.

Mason Munoz caught a 55.5-pound blue catfish on June 8 at Lake Palestine. He did it by noodling, using only his bare hands and feet.
Noodling is done by sticking your hand under water, probing deep pockets such as under docks, overhanging lake banks, or anything else that might hold a fish. The noodler, after feeling a fish (he or she hopes-yes there are women who do it) sticks their hand down the fish’s throat and pulls him out of his hole.
Richard Ott, a fishery management biologist out of the Tyler office of the Texas Parks and Wildlife reported that Munoz’s catfish was the largest fish he has ever heard caught by noodling.
Friend Troy McNaughton played an important role in making the catch.
Munoz said the big catfish latched on to his right foot. He then used his left arm for the pivotal move of the catch as the fish latched on to it up to his elbow. Munoz, who is 5-foot-7 and weighs 145 pounds said he was noodling in about eight feet of water. The catfish was pulling him into deeper water. McNaughton had to pull Munoz out of the water as he was beginning to swallow water.
Munoz and McNaughton boated the fish which was 46.5 inches long and had 29.75 inches of girth – into their boat. Their catch was verified by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department natural resource scientist Deborah Lane.
Because it was weighed and measured Munoz was unable to release the fish back into the lake. He decided to turn it into food and will have a replica made of it at a later date. After cleaning the fish, Munoz said there was about 20-25 pounds of meat.
Munoz is still recovering from his catch. He has at least six visible cuts on his left hand as the fish bit his knuckles hard. He had swelling in his arm that took a week to subside.
Munoz warns that noodling is not for everybody. He cautions that it can be dangerous and never do it alone.

Drawn hunts…

It’s time to start making plans for the upcoming hunting seasons now by applying for Drawn Hunts. There are a wide variety of high quality, supervised hunts across the state, including special drawings for both adult and youth hunters. The online system is now accepting and the first hunt category deadline is less than a month away.
Application deadlines are on the 1st and 15th of each month. Drawings are usually held the following business day. The first application deadline is August 1. Check tpwd.texas.gov for additional information on how to apply.

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By Tom Berhens

It took three hours and multiple people to reel in a shark caught during a Texas City fishing tournament. When tournament officials weighed the shark, it weighed a whopping 964 pounds. The tournament director said Roque’s catch is the only shark caught in the tournament so far and one of the heaviest catches in recent years.

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By Tom Berhens

TCGA Academic All State Team…
Several elite scholar-athletes made the TGCA Academic All State team. Cinco Ranch players of distinction include Isabelle McKiernan, Sydney Stone and Elyana Vostikova.

Katy area players picked in MLB draft

Lamar Sparks, Seven Lakes outfielder, was selected in the fifth round with the 158th overall pick by the Baltimore Orioles. He extended Seven Lakes’ streak of MLB draftees to five years. Jon Duplantier(Rice) and Conner Capel were selected in the first five rounds last year.
Katy High School had two alumni drafted as Lamar University junior pitcher Carson Lance and McLennan College outfielder Cole Haring were selected. The Detroit Tigers picked Lance in the 16th round, while Haring went in the 37th round to the Baltimore Orioles.
Lance joined the Cardinals from Angelina College, where he was the Region 14 East Pitcher of the Year. He compiled a 7-7 record and 4.17 ERA in 90 2/3 innings at Lamar, striking out 85 and allowing only 77 hits.
Among Lance’s 15 appearances was a complete game with 11 strikeouts against conference foe A&M-Corpus Christi. He also struck out seven in four innings against Illinois and limited Nicholls to one earned run in eight innings in Southland play. Lamar finished 33-25 overall.
Haring batted .363 with a .458 on-base percentage and .615 slugging percentage, hitting eight home runs and scoring 51 runs in 182 at-bats. The former Tiger added 16 steals without being caught to help McLennan to a 52-13 record and a place in the NJCAA World Series. He is committed to play at Baylor.
Dane Meyers, a sixth round pick, was a standout at Taylor High School before three productive years at Rice. He was drafted in the sixth round with the 185th pick by the Detroit Tigers, listed as a pitcher after a junior season that featured a 3.98 ERA, 37 strikeouts and a .244 opponents’ batting average in 54 1/3 innings.
While at Taylor, he was a three year starter on the mound and in the infield at second base, shortstop and third base.
A two-position contributor with the Owls, Myers had his best year at the plate with a team-high 88 hits, eight home runs, five triples and 13 steals to go with 51 runs and 43 RBI in 246 at-bats. He batted .358 with a .425 on-base percentage and slugged .545, earning second-team all-Conference USA honors.
Myers helped the Owls capture the conference tournament championship and two wins at the Baton Rouge Regional, where the former Mustang hit .333 with two home runs and five RBI while working 3 2/3 innings to earn the save against Southeast Louisiana.

Katy ISD grads at the NCAA Regionals…

TCU – Trey Morris (Taylor) and Bryan Sturges (Seven Lakes)
Oral Roberts University – Michael Hungate (Cinco Ranch)
University of Texas – Beau O’Hara (Seven Lakes)
Oklahoma State University – C.J. Varela (Seven Lakes)
Yale University – Mason Kukowski (Seven Lakes)

Katy Raiders eliminated in elite 8 round….

The Katy Raiders, a 12 and under select team finished with an 8-1 total record at Cooperstown. In seed games the Raiders went 6-0, giving the team an eight seed out of 104 teams. In single elimination tournament play the Raiders were awarded a second round bye which put them in the field of 32. The Raiders ended up 2-1, eliminated in the Elite 8 round.

Houston Chronicle All-Greater Houston-Baseball…

First Team – Lamar Sparks (Seven Lakes), Michael
Schrab (Katy)
Houston Chronicle All-Greater Houston – Softball…
First Team – Alyssa Leblanc (Katy), Kayla Garcia
(Katy)
Second Team – McKay Bloxham (Katy)

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by Tom Berhens

Texas Magazine predicts Cinco Ranch and Katy will be playing into December. The Cougars and Tigers are predicted to win their Regional divisions. Last year Cinco Ranch almost won a State Championship, making it all the way to the Class 6A, Division II state semifinals, and Katy had no problems knocking off district rivals for another District 19 6A crown.
Katy is favored to make it number 10 in District 19 6A crowns. The magazine predicts the Tigers at No. 2 behind Converse Judson and the Cougars at No. 26 in the state.
In the Texas Top 300 high school players, Katy places six. Offensive lineman Connor Galvin, running backs Joshua Oglesby and Dominick Glass, defensive linemen Michael Matus and Moro Ojomo, and kicker Seth Small were recognized for Super Team.
Katy ISD placed 13 players on the Top 300. Four are from Taylor who look to repeat, or top a 9-3 season. They include defensive lineman Max Wright (Super Team), running back, Ean Beek, offensive lineman Andrew Coker and defensive lineman Braedon Mowry.
Cinco Ranch, 11-4 last year, will have twins, Blake Kuithe, Super Team third team defensive lineman, and Brant Kuithe, a Top 300 running back.
Mayde Creek looks to build around Marcus Stripling, a standout junior defensive end.
Strake Jesuit, District 19 6A’s private school member, is expecting big things from tight end, Thomas Gordon.

7on7 results…

Cinco Ranch and Katy both won their pools with the Cougars defeating Mission Pioneer, 26-12 in the championship bracket before losing 34-28 to eventual champion Lake Travis.

How’s Rodney Anderson doing…?

Super Katy Tiger running back, Rodney Anderson who graduated from Katy in 2015, took his running talents to Oklahoma. Everything so far looks for him to have a good chance to be a Sooner highlight running back this fall if he isn’t beset by another injury. Local press says it’s been a long time since Oklahoma coaches were this excited to see a player on the field. Despite missing most of his first two years in Norman with season ending injuries, Anderson looks like he hasn’t missed a day in the weight room, and could be the all-star tailback he was billed as two years ago in the absence of Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine.

WEST HOUSTON RUGBY CLUB TO SET THE STANDARD FOR YOUTH AND SENIOR RUGBY

Katy Lions Rugby Football Club are pleased to announce the expansion of their programs from senior-only level, to include competitive sides at the Mini, Youth, and High School levels.

Beginning in the autumn of 2017, a new club – West Houston Rugby Club – will represent the West side of Houston in rugby competitions, from Minis through High School.

The unified West Houston Rugby Club plans to share resources, including a wealth of rugby experience, to develop athletes and the spirit of the game beginning at an early age. Mirroring organizational arrangements in many of the premiere rugby nations, the club – whose teams will play under the name West Houston Lions – envisions opportunities for young players to compete in morning matches followed by competitions featuring their rugby-playing parents, retiring afterwards to their clubhouse for a combined social.

Katy Lions President, Hunter Nezat, said “We are thrilled with the opportunity to offer a full scope of development and competitive rugby. We’ve managed to assemble an experienced and highly motivated management team to direct this new program. The Lions are committed to the enrichment of local rugby at all levels of play, and this growth is a massive step towards our tradition of legacy rugby.”

In conjunction with this expansion, West Houston Lions of all ages will unite under the new name West Houston Rugby Club. According to Nezat, “Associating with the greater region of West Houston offers several advantages. We’re casting a much larger net, so to speak, in both player recruitment and corporate partnerships. Thanks to the 99 Grand Parkway and I10 corridor, West Houston Rugby Club now offers the possibility for anyone to play rugby – from Sugarland to Cypress, and from Downtown to Brookshire.”

“The Lions will retain their branding, colors, and 10+ year history in Texas rugby,” said Nezat, who will become President of West Houston Rugby Club senior division.

The West Houston Lions announced their arrival in the youth rugby community at the Rugby Texas Annual General Meeting in Plano last month. Nigel Saunders, who has been involved in both local youth rugby and Katy Lions Men’s player development since relocating to Houston in 2011, is spearheading the youth program.

Nigel comes with a strong rugby playing legacy. He played senior level rugby in the UK for all of his playing career, and internationally for 5 years in Asia and the Southern hemisphere. Since arriving in Houston, he has been working with the Katy Lions coaching staff to develop the squad. Involved in youth rugby for the past 2 years, Nigel has taken the role of President for the West Houston Rugby Club youth division.

About the coming together, Saunders said, “We are very excited about the joining of these two great clubs. We have recognized the potential benefits that a merger could provide and have entered into the process in a positive and constructive manner. The synergies and joint development strengths will bring great opportunity for rugby for those living in the West Houston area, and create a ‘Community Club’ for all who want to join the sport at any age. We have carefully selected experienced, key individuals from the two clubs to take on the responsibility of working together. It has quickly become clear that both clubs are committed to the continued development of grass-roots rugby for all, and that combining the two clubs will deliver a number of favorable advantages.”

“We have strategically located and named the club to target areas that would benefit the most from a new youth club in Houston. Merging with the Katy Lions to form the West Houston Rugby Club will have nothing but benefits for our members new and old, and for rugby within Houston,” Saunders explained.

Houston, June 20, 2017Dr. F. Alex Schroeder, orthopedic surgeon at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine at West, threw the ceremonial first pitch at the Father’s Day Astros baseball game on Sunday, June 18. Schroeder’s wife and two children cheered him on as he threw a strike with ease.

Schroeder and his family have been fans of the Astros for as long as he can remember, so not only was he excited by this opportunity but was also impressed by the whole experience.

“I played baseball growing up, and I have spent a lot of time as an assistant coach for my kids’ select baseball and softball teams,” said Schroeder. “The key to staying on top of my game is remembering to stretch and properly warm up before and after physical activity. Despite my competitive spirit, I know it’s important to not throw too hard or too often because that can also lead to shoulder injuries.”

Shoulder overuse is a common injury for avid athletes and weekend warriors alike. In children and adolescents, overuse injuries usually occur due to overtraining in one specific sport. For adults, overuse injuries often occur when they do too much in too few workouts; improper technique and improper use of equipment are also both factors. Cross training, stretching, proper technique and consulting a trainer or physical therapist can help alleviate the risk of overuse injuries at all ages.

Schroeder is an experienced orthopedic surgeon with a focus on knee and shoulder problems. He provides minimally invasive repair and reconstructive procedures allowing for reduced pain and quicker recovery. To schedule an appointment at Houston Methodist Orthopedics & Sports Medicine at West, visit houstonmethodist.org/west or call 832.522.BONE (2663).

About Houston Methodist West Hospital

Houston Methodist West Hospital is committed to leading medicine in the West Houston and Katy communities by delivering the Houston Methodist standard of high quality, advanced technology and personalized care. The growing campus offers nearly 200 beds and access to the most innovative medical and surgical care available, including robotic and minimally invasive surgery, full-spectrum heart care, state-of-the-art imaging, cancer care, labor and delivery with a level II neonatal ICU, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopedics and sports medicine, outpatient rehabilitation, and 24/7 emergency services. For more information, visit houstonmethodist.org/west.

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by Tom Behrens

Region and State …

Tompkins and Cinco Ranch girls produced seven of the honorees. The Cougars had three First-Team players in senior defender Lilly Bravenec, senior mid-fielder Shaylee Anaya and sophomore forward Ali Russell.
Senior midfielder Mary Brodeur took all Region III-6A first team honors for the Cougars.
Tompkins was led by First Team selection Cailey Croson. Senior midfielder, JoAnnie Ramos amassed 14 goals and seven assists. Barbara Olivieri made the All-State Second Team as a freshman. She had 18 goals and nine assists. Junior midfielder Kayla Ruopp received honorable mention All-State.
Seven Lakes was led by senior forward Morgan Proffitt, First Team All-Region; junior midfielder Sydni Dusek, Region III-6A received Honorable Mention.
For the boys, Seven Lakes listed two All-State selections; in junior defender, Anthony Romano and junior forward, Raul Ekmeiro, both received Honorable Mentions. Junior Felipe Latorre, First Team All Region defender and Fabio Montanari, second team All Region midfielder.
Cinco Ranch had three all-region selections in junior forward Michael Gusman who made the Region III-6A First Team. Dawson Palomar and senior midfielder Nick Coburn were voted to the Second Team.
Tompkins had two Honorable Mention All Region players in sophomore forward Jovan Prado and freshman midfielder Daniel Espinoza.
Tompkins girls head coach, Jarrett Shipman was voted III-6A Coach of the Year, while Seven Lakes boys assistant David Crockett earned III-6A Assistant Coach of the Year.

At the District level…Girls

Cinco Ranch … Ali Russell, MVP; Lilly Bravenec, Defensive MVP; Fredy Sanguinetti Coach of the Year. Anaya Brodeur, Katie Becker, Olivia Futch, Kendall Hollo and MaKayla Wang were All-District first team picks.
Tompkins … Cailey Croson, MVP goalkeeper and Barbara Olivieri, offensive MVP. JoAnnie Ramos, Kayla Ruopp, Katy Reid, Leanne Veary and Elena Wolf made the District First Team.
Seven Lakes … Sydni Dusek, Morgan Proffitt, Julia Marotta and Veronica Romero were First Team selections.
Taylor …Ellie Cardner, Newcomer of the Year; Ally Brittain, Camille Day, and Shelby Wilkins were First Team selections.
Katy …Landri Edwards and Bella Tablante were First Team selections for the Tigers.
Morton Ranch …Shenta Knox, First Team
Mayde Creek … Priscilla Trevino, First Team

At the District level … boys

Cinco Ranch’s Guzman earned a share of the MVP. First Team included Dawson Palomar, Nic Fielden and Klaus Schoelman.
Seven Lakes … Senior German Unzner, Defensive MVP; Anthony Romano, Raul Ekneiro and Fabio Montanari were First Team selections.
Morton Ranch … Joseph Paredes and Michael Ewobar, First Team
Tompkins … Jovan Prado, Daniel Espinosa and Joseph Schmidt, First Team
Mayde Creek … Eid Yousef, Jerry Bohi and Eduardo Quevedo, First Team
Katy … Nicholas Diaz, Rey Borjas and Josue Ruiz, First Team

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Max Wright, Taylor High School, has been nominated to play in 2018 U.S. Army All-American Bowl presented by American Family Insurance. Four hundred players are in the running to be among the 100 selected to participate in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl…East vs. West match-up held every January and televised live on NBC to more than five million television viewers.

Wright was nominated by the U.S. Army All-American Bowl Selection Committee, which consists of All American Games, the national network of coaches and scouts, and 247 Sports.
The game is played in San Antonio in the Alamo Dome, close to New Year’s day. Wright should find out by the end of this coming season on whether the nomination will become a definite “yes” for the game.
A senior, Wright was moved up to the varsity after three games in his freshman year. He plays defensive end and sometimes gets to mix it up on the offense.
The Power Five colleges that have offered scholarships to Wright include Texas A&M, Ohio State, Stanford, Georgia, Florida and Notre Dame. He has committed to Texas A&M. Texas A&M has also talked to him about possibly playing baseball. “That’s a lot to do, so I’m going to focus on football only,” said Wright
“Max has loved sports since as far back as I can remember,” said Cydney, his mother. “If there is a ball of some sort, he’s playing.” His sports include basketball, baseball, track and soccer. Up to this year, Max was involved in three varsity sports: football, basketball and baseball.

Never met a stranger …
Max is one of those kids that never met a stranger. “We have taught our kids to be personable, have a good hand shake, and to look at people when you talk to them. He has always been friendly. He’s has a big heart, and is a respectful young man, people like him. Not to be corny, but he’s just kind of a gentle giant, but definitely a beast on the field. He flips the switch when he gets out there.”
Max wears number 99 jersey for the Taylor Mustangs. He is 6’4” tall, weighs 270 lbs., same as J.J. Watt of the Houston Texans.
“Did you pick 99 because that’s what JJ Watt wears, or did he pick it because that’s what you wear?” I jokingly asked him.
“People have compared me to him because I play offense and defense.” Also because physically, Max reminds you of JJ. This year Wright will play tight end, running back and some fullback, besides his defensive end duties.
“It’s a huge honor to be compared to a man like that. I love the way JJ plays, his style, and his character. I did pick 99 because of how I respect JJ,” said Wright.
“When I was younger, I was always a big kid. They would hand me the biggest jersey they could find. I had numbers 57 and 40 all through KYF. On the freshman team I was 99, but when I got to varsity I was 49. In sophomore year I decided to switch to 99 again. I’m keeping that.”

When it all began …
He played Katy Youth Football (KYF), beginning in the fourth grade. He “played up” because of his size, playing in the fifth grade when he was in the fourth grade. In sixth grade he switched over to Cross Point Football League.
From there he moved on to Memorial Parkway Junior High School, continuing to play football, and then on to Taylor.
At Taylor the first three varsity games he was on the freshman team.
“We played Clements. In three quarters I had nine sacks, and then they pulled us out. After that the coach told me that I was being considered for a move up to varsity.”
In the next game, which was against Katy, the Taylor backup defensive end, on the first play, tore up his knee. Next game he was moved up to varsity.
Seven Lakes was his first official varsity game, split time playing with another player. “As a freshman it was very humbling to play along with some senior guys. Some of the other players didn’t necessarily like it. I learned to be humble about a lot of things and learned a lot.
“Getting to play two playoff games in my freshman year set me up for what I wanted to do for the next three years.”
Sophomore year was a disappointment for him as he tore his ACL in one of knees in the second game of the season. The Mustangs were playing Seven Lakes, winning all the way up to the end of the third quarter. “We were having a great game, holding them down, and I tore my ACL. Things started falling apart, and we ended up losing the game. Next game was against Cinco and they beat us on a 50 yard pass with like 10 seconds left.
Last year Taylor lost only one district game. “It was cool just to be an upperclassman for once, be able to be a leader. It’s been fun to go through all four years, see so many different guys, so many different teams; I’ve played on four different varsity teams now.”

How about this year … 10-0?
“Travis, Foster, Katy and Cinco are always strong, but we will be a team, if we play to our ability. Our school is starting to build a winning tradition. It’s cool to be part of that, building Taylor High School football, making a name.”

Taylor Mustangs bolster their offensive line

Two freshman players who will be part of the Taylor Mustangs this coming season are offensive tackle, Hayden Conner and offensive guard, Bryce Foster. The Taylor line for the last couple of years has always been big and brutal. Look for even more this coming season.
Bryce Foster’s stats read 6’4” at 295 lbs; Hayden Conner is 6’5” and tilts the scales at 286 lbs. College scouts have been impressed with the combination of their young age, size, footwork and technical ability.
They have already received a number of verbal commitments from several Texas schools, but no solid offers as yet. In the last 30 days Conner received offers from Miami and Nebraska. Bryce Foster has offers from Georgia and Auburn.
Bryce is the bruiser of the two and Hayden is more of the finesse technician. They have played together for the last three years at Memorial Parkway Junior High and traveled together on a select team that won national championships as sixth and eighth graders

The Northwest Cycling Club invites cyclists to participate in 32, 42, 55, 62, and 100-mile routes on Sunday, July 16 beginning at 6:45 a.m. at Tompkins High School located at 4400 Falcon Landing Blvd.

Lunch will be provided in the OTHS cafeteria from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Radios and headphones prohibited. Register at kfc.bike.

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A total of five Angelina College Lady Roadrunners landed on the Region XIV All-Conference list following the team’s record-setting, 43-win regular season.

Kali Holcomb, Kaylee Parker and Miranda Wiggins earned First-Team All-Conference honors, while Lauren Garza (Seven Lakes High School) and Taylor Davis earned Second-Team nods.

Garza, a sophomore third baseman from Seven Lakes High School, led the team in runs scored with 57. Hitting in the leadoff spot for most of the season, Garza hit .367 with an on-base percentage of .445 and finished with 10 homers and 29 RBI.

Tom Behrens, tbehrcomm@gmail.com