Tag: sports

Adams Junior High talent Holt earns first DI offer

Adams Junior High incoming eighth grader Jaden Holt. (COURTESY PHOTO)

BY DENNIS SILVA II | densilva2@gmail.com

Jaden Holt never saw it coming. Never expected it in his wildest dreams. Not so soon, at least.

And why would he have? Rarely does a kid, barely a teenager at 14 years old, expect to have a NCAA Division I scholarship offer before he enters high school, let alone the eighth grade.

But that’s what happened July 17, when Holt, a 5-foot-8-1/2 point guard product of Adams Junior High in Katy, was offered by the University of Tulsa.

Before he even had a 247sports.com recruiting page, Holt had a scholarship offer.

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Taylor’s Shorter finds home at West Point

Taylor High senior running back Casey Shorter. (COURTESY PHOTO)

By DENNIS SILVA II | densilva2@gmail.com

As soon as Army offered Taylor High’s Casey Shorter on June 5, it didn’t take long for the power running back to commit himself to the black and gold.

The 5-foot-10, 210-pounder had done his research on Army ever since the Black Knights had contacted him on February 4. Then came the official full-ride offer. Fourteen days later, on June 19, Shorter declared the program his future home.

“I know it is an opportunity of a lifetime,” Shorter said. “One of the top academic schools, a guaranteed job when graduating, and I know they have an offense that I fit into perfectly.”

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Star talent Williams to finish career at Tompkins

Three-star guard recruit Demari Williams is transferring from Fulshear High to Tompkins for his senior year. (PHOTO COURTESY OF DEMARI WILLIAMS)

BY DENNIS SILVA II | densilva2@gmail.com

Tompkins was the pleasant surprise of Katy ISD’s boys basketball last season when it made a surprising run to the Class 6A regional quarterfinals as a relatively young team.

Though the Falcons lost a pair of senior leaders in Hank Sanders and Jonathan Nash for the upcoming season, they return a talented junior class in B.B. Knight, Jason Clark and Carmelo Yakubu. All three have size, length and shooting ability; Knight is regarded as one of the top shooters in the class of 2022.

Tompkins has also added a pair of dynamic transfers: Joshua McMillan II from Cypress Lakes and Demari Williams from Fulshear. The marquee name is the senior combo guard Williams. The 6-foot-6, 210-pounder averaged 21 points, six rebounds, three assists and two steals last season.

Williams, a three-star recruit, scored more than 1,000 points over the last two seasons for the Chargers.

“I’ve been zoned to Tompkins for over a year now,” Williams said. “I was at Fulshear on a district waiver last year because my dad works in the district. Tompkins is a lot closer to my home, so we discussed it as a family, and I decided to give it a try for my senior year.”

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Former Tompkins stars reunite at UTEP

Former Tompkins standout Kristian Sjolund, shown here in white No. 32, will join two former high school teammates at the University of Texas-El Paso. (PHOTO BY MARK GOODMAN)

BY DENNIS SILVA II | densilva2@gmail.com

Tompkins High basketball players and coaches drooped in their locker room, entrenched deep within the bowels of San Antonio’s Alamodome, with shoulders slumped and heads heavy, fallen and frustrated, on the night of March 11, 2018.

The Falcons had just dropped a heartbreaking 49-47 overtime decision to Allen in the Class 6A state championship game.

Even after a remarkable season that put the still-young program on the high school basketball map in Texas, tears filled eyes. Eventually, however, perspective and optimism filled thoughts and words.

“It was definitely a learning experience,” said Emmanuel White, then a senior wing. “Shortly after the game, we all told each other that we were going to be in a bigger moment. That wasn’t going to be the biggest game we’d ever play in. So, we didn’t really hang our hats on that.

“Now it’s just crazy. We’re all about to have a chance to do it together again.”

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A Katy ISD leader in sports medicine, Stevens set to retire

Katy ISD assistant athletic director over sports medicine Charlie Stevens, middle, was awarded the Logan Award by the Greater Houston Athletic Trainer’s Society in 2015. Stevens is set to retire after 13 years in that role on June 30.

BY DENNIS SILVA II | densilva2@gmail.com

Katy ISD is a Houston pioneer in sports medicine.

The district was the first in the Greater Houston area to promote an athletic trainer to the central office 13 years ago. Today, the district is one of only three in the Houston area—Fort Bend and Pasadena being the other two—to have an assistant athletic director over sports medicine.

That job was fulfilled by Charlie Stevens, who furthered the advancement of sports medicine at the high school level for Katy ISD. Stevens officially resigned before spring break in March, but his last day is June 30. Former Katy High athletic trainer Justin Landers will succeed him.

“Some of us have a servant’s heart,” said Stevens, who was the athletic trainer at Mayde Creek High for 23 years before then-Katy ISD athletic director Rusty Dowling promoted him in 2007 to oversee the district’s initiatives in athletic training and sports medicine. “You enjoy helping people. The sports world deals with strength and speed and all those things, so athletic training allowed me to gain knowledge that allowed me to help people.”

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Tulsa commit Shoulders making his mark at Tompkins

Katy, Tx. Sept. 27, 2019: Tompkins Marquis Shoulders (6) gets to the end zone scoring a TD during a conference game between Seven Lakes and Tompkins at Rhodes Stadium. (Photo by Mark Goodman)

BY DENNIS SILVA II | densilva2@gmail.com

Tompkins coach Todd McVey remembers it well to this day.

Then-sophomore Marquis Shoulders, a transfer from Cypress Springs, misread the ball on a kick return in his first junior varsity home game in 2018. Shoulders was clearly frustrated, and McVey approached him to have a quick chat.

“It was his first time out there and he kind of fumbled it a bit,” McVey said. “He got frustrated and I had to give him a talk on the sideline. It was that year of learning for him. That JV year was really good for him. He was our MVP and he got to key in on his craft and it paid off for him.”

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As Katy High’s Johnson carves his own path, greatness is leaned upon

Katy High’s Jack Johnson. (COURTESY PHOTO JOHNNY JOHNSON)

BY DENNIS SILVA II | densilva2@gmail.com

Every now and then, when he’s struggling with his swing or simply has an inquiry about the game of baseball, Katy High incoming senior Jack Johnson will call or text a legend.

Whether it’s Major League Baseball’s all-time hits leader Pete Rose, 10-time all-star Steve Garvey or Hall of Famer Tony Perez, it doesn’t matter. Greatness is at Johnson’s disposal, and he soaks it in whenever it arrives.

“The older you get, you make different adjustments. That’s something Pete’s shared with me,” Johnson said. “In high school, adjustments are game-to-game. In college, adjustments are at-bat-to-at-bat. In the pros, adjustments are swing-to-swing. It’s about being more and more meticulous and aware.”

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Tompkins girls, Seven Lakes boys headline all-district soccer honors

Katy Tx. Jan. 11, 2020: Tompkins Skylar Parker (22) takes a shot at the goal during the I-10 Soccer Shootout in a match between Tompkins vs McAllen at Legacy Stadium in Katy. (Photo by Mark Goodman)

BY DENNIS SILVA II | densilva2@gmail.com

The 2020 high school soccer seasons were one many lost because of the global pandemic. Due to precautions for the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, the season was initially postponed in March before the UIL canceled all remaining spring sports seasons in April.

Still, the soccer seasons, boys’ and girls’, were on the brink of the playoffs, with just two more nights of district play remaining. With that, a lot was determined about who were the best players and which teams were the best through district play, which allowed for all-district picks to still be made by District 19-6A’s coaches.

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Onianwa’s quick rise lands opportunity at Rice

Cinco Ranch junior offensive lineman Ethan Onianwa. (COURTESY PHOTO)

BY DENNIS SILVA II | DENSILVA2@GMAIL.COM

Cinco Ranch junior offensive lineman Ethan Onianwa recently verbally committed to Rice. It was somewhat of a surprise, considering Onianwa only has 10 games of varsity football under his belt and his recruiting process was stunted by restrictions due to the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.

“The current coronavirus outbreak affected my recruiting experience a lot,” Onianwa said. “Due to the current epidemic, I wasn’t able to visit colleges and have coaches come to our spring practices. It most definitely made it harder to learn about programs from the players and coaches there.”

COVID-19 prevented college coaches from going on the road to recruit and closed campuses, which disallowed visits by recruits. It also canceled spring football, a time of the year when college coaches can visit high school campuses to watch practices and talk to high school coaches about players.

Still, Onianwa was able to secure his future in a sport he only started taking seriously in middle school, in large part because he’s a tantalizing physical prospect. Onianwa stands 6-foot-5 and 305 pounds. He’s also only 16 years old.

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Katy ISD releases 2020 varsity football schedules

Katy ISD’s composite 2020 varsity football schedule, along with Jordan High’s inaugural sub-varsity schedule.

BY DENNIS SILVA II | densilva2@gmail.com

During uncertain times hungry for any semblance of normalcy due to a global pandemic, some came last week when Katy ISD released its composite varsity football schedules for the 2020 season.

The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, means nothing is sure for the upcoming high school football season. But the UIL and its districts are making any and all plans for when the 2020-2021 school year begins.

The  biennial realignment in February brought little significant change for Katy ISD athletics for the next two school years.

Cinco Ranch, Katy, Mayde Creek, Morton Ranch, Seven Lakes, Taylor and Tompkins will compete in District 19-6A, which has been the norm. Paetow moves up to Class 5A, Division I as its enrollment number is on the brink of Class 6A after just three years of existence. Jordan High, the district’s ninth high school scheduled to open in August to freshmen and sophomores only, will compete in Class 5A, Division II, but won’t have varsity football until 2022. Until then, the Warriors’ football schedule will be a makeshift rendition of mixing and matching opponents.

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