Katy ISD Athletic Hall of Honor Team Inductees for 2020-21

By Terry Carter

Cinco Ranch junior John Gioffre (right) celebrates the Cougars’ 2007 state wrestling championship with coach Bill Dushane and teammates. (Terry Carter/UD Photos.com photo)

Due to COVID-related restricts in 2020, this year’s Katy ISD Athletic Hall of Honor inductions will include both the Class of 2020 and the Class of 2021 this weekend.

Katy ISD Executive Athletic Director Debbie Decker said Friday’s induction events at Legacy and Rhodes Stadiums will be the final year of inducting members to get current. Starting with its first class in 2017, the Athletic Hall of Honor, a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization, has inducted 12 state championship teams and approximately 159 individuals to the hall since 2017.

On Friday, four teams from the Class of 2020 will be added and 45 individuals from 2020 and 2021, according to printed material from the athletic department. All teams are state champions. The hall honors four categories in which to honor those who positively impact athletics in Katy ISD: teams, athletes, coaches and a special merit category, Decker, who is one of 35 current hall committee members, said recently.

The four state championship teams being inducted into the hall are: the 2007 Katy Tiger football team (16-0), the 2008 Katy Tiger football team (13-3), the Cinco Ranch boys’ wrestling team and the Seven Lakes boys’ cross country team.

Katy coach Gary Joseph coached both football teams. Cinco Ranch wrestling coach Bill Dushane coached the Cougar wrestling team. Seven Lakes head coach Marvin Rathke coached the Spartans cross country team.

Related story: Katy ISD Athletic Hall of Honor Individual Inductees for 2020-21

Here is a summary of the achievements for these teams, which will be honored before or during football games to be held Friday at Legacy and Rhodes stadiums:

2007 Katy Tigers Football Team

This photo is on display at Legacy Stadium inside the fieldhouse where the Katy ISD Athletic Hall of Honor. The t-shirt celebrates the 2007 and 2008 back-to-back state championships of the Katy Tigers football program. (Terry Carter/UD Photos.com photo)

The Tigers finished 16-0, 7-0 in district play, capturing the Division II state championship and outscoring opponents 701-132 with a potent offense led by quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell (126-of-219 passing, 2,314 yards, 34 TDs/4 INTs), who has had stellar professional career in the Canadian Football League, and running Aundre Dean, who rushed for 2,164 yards and 23 touchdowns, according to maxpreps.com.

The Tigers outgunned all foes in an undefeated season, culminating in a 28-7 state championship victory over Pflugerville, 28-7. The closest contest in 2007 was a 24-13 win over Alief Hastings, according to Maxpreps. Katy’s average game score as 43-8.

“Our 2007 team had real good leadership,” Joseph said. “They were determined the whole way. It’s good to see these kids get recognized. It’s not about just the starter. It’s about the whole program, the learning process.”

From the 2007-2008 championship teams, the Tigers have 12 individual hall inductees this year, including Mitchell, Dean, Sam Holl, Terrence Frederick, Nate Bryan, Ryan Doerr, Brad Graham, Trent Hunter, Shep Klinke, Chris Roberson, Markham Stayton and Elvin Tapong. All received all-state honors, and most played college or professional football.

According to Joseph, Frederick and Hunter played at Texas A&M; Frederick played in the NFL with Pittsburgh, the New York Giants and New Orleans. Dean played college ball at UCLA.

2008 Katy Tigers Football Team

Katy football coach Gary Joseph in a 2007-08 file photo (Terry Carter/UD Photos.com photo)

The Tigers finished the season 13-3 and a second consecutive state championship. But the 2008 season started rough, with early-season losses against North Shore (10-6) and The Woodlands (47-0). The Tigers turned their season around as their offense regrouped. The Katy defense held off Flower Mound Marcus, 17-14, for a win as the offense with quarterback Parker Ray (40-of-78 passing, 835 yards, 7 TDs/3 INTs) and a host of running backs varying the standard Katy offensive approach with solid returns.

“Our 2008 team started rough, but they came back and refused to quit,” Joseph said. “Our 2007 team had a lot of talent. In 2008 they had grit. After state in ’07, they told me they feared failure (the next season). They had to find their own identity. The offensive line came around; we made a few changes in personnel, and that win against Marcus helped us build some confidence. These kids know how to win. They learned to take on failure, learn from it. They didn’t let the loss destroy them.”

Starting as underclassmen on the 2007 title team, Holl, Klinke, other players and coaches helped the Tigers delivered stronger team play as the season progressed. Although no Katy players rushed for 1,000 yards, running back William Jeffery (626 yards, 10 TDs), Michael Webber (538 yards, 5 TDs) and Vernon Jeffries (478 yards, 4 TDs) shared duties to keep defenses off-balance, according to Maxpreps statistics.

A district loss to Cinco Ranch, 27-21, did not halt Katy’s new momentum. They rolled through Stratford, Humble, Dickinson and La Porte for the Region III crown before beating Smithson Valley, 41-19, in the state semifinals and Wylie, 17-3, for the state championship.

2007 Cinco Ranch Boys’ Wrestling Team

Cinco Ranch wrestling coach Bill Dushane reacts to the Cougars winning the state title in 2007 (Terry Carter/UD Photos.com photo)

When the Cinco Ranch wrestlers entered the 2007 State Wrestling Tournament, no boys’ or girls’ team from south of the Dallas area had won a state championship. Since the Katy ISD team won with 78.5 points, no boys’ team south of Dallas has claim the state championship again. Four Cougars from the team are also being inducted into the hall individually. They are highlighted below.

Dushane’s coaching experience gave the Cougars a mathematical chance, but a decisive pin by state champion Jamie Sheets (145 pounds) over an unbeaten foe ignited a rally for Cinco Ranch. Cougar senior Matt Harris (160) won his second state title in a controversial match. Will Morris placed third, leaving junior heavyweight John Gioffre to determine if Cinco Ranch could claim the team championship. Wrestling for fifth place in 2007, Gioffre broke the mold and won in over. Sheets and Harris won two state titles at Cinco Ranch, and in 2008 Morris and Gioffre claimed their state crowns as well.

“Jamie was our catalyst for that title,” Dushane said. “His :48 fall was the fastest at state for a long time. 2007 was a special team. As a team, they were the best drilling team I ever had—just superb. They’ve been through the fire, and you wrestle the way you practice. These guys all went the extra mile.”

2007 Seven Lakes Boys’ Cross Country Team

Comprised of individual hall honorees this weekend Jimmy Welin, Chase Rathke and C.J. Jesse, the Spartan distance program won the 2007 4A state championship as a finely-trained team after finishing sixth at state in 2006, Rathke said.

“They worked hard and believed in our (new) training program,” Rathke said. T“heir mindset made the difference. They pursued their goal and ran fast from the start in practice, which made it possible in big events.”

That consistency paid off as Henry Li and other Spartan runners showed improvement in their times. Li finished fourth best of the Seven Lakes runners at state. Welin led the team, finishing sixth individually. Chase Rathke ran 11th, and Jessett ran 13th.