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February 20, 2013     Hays Free Press
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Page 2B SPORTS H'ays Free Press February 20, 2013 + ) BY MOSES LEOS III nois, and as far west as Eugene, Oregon. Luling head coach Colby Hensley, Colum- The coaches and applicants them-bus head coach David Sine and former sports@haysfreepress.com selves had impressive coaching and play- McAllen head coach Tony Harris, who ing experiences. At least three coaches had been the longest tenured high school After an exhaustive month-long search, from 2012 4A Division I State Champion coach in the Rio Grande Valley until his which captivated much of northern Hays Denton Guyer submitted applications, reassignment in November. County, the Hays High athletic coordina- One applicant had experience as an as- Despite the plethora of applications to tar/head coaching position was finally sistant coach at Florida powerhouse St. workwith, Interim Superintendent Carter filled. Thomas Aquinas, which had won seven Sherff was adamant on finding the right However, Hays CISD had quite the task Florida High School Athletic Association person for the job. of sifting through numerous applicants football championships, including the "Our goal was to find a coach that has before deciding on Neat La Hue. 2012 7A rifle, the best interests of the students; stu- La Hue comes to Hays from San Ante- Two applicants had experience with dent-centered coaches are ideal for any nio's Roosevelt High School. Lake Travis during the school's "Drive for school," Scherff said. '~,dditionally, we In a formally filed open records re- Five" state tire run. One coach had been wanted to make sure that as athletic co- quest, Hays CISD granted the Hays Free an assistant at ludson during its era of ordinator, the new head coach would en- Press documentation, in order to find dominance during the late 1990s, while sure that other programs in the school are out who submitted applications for the another had been a colleague with Bob also performing well." coaching position. The results stemming Shelton during his days at Buda High Sherff also addressed some of the eco- from Open Records Request 13-016 were School. nomic impact on the search for the Hays a little surprising. In terms of playing experiences, there coaching position, saying that most of the Over 100 applicants sent in their infer- were numerous former collegiate football advertising done for the job went through mation, ranging from all over Texas and players at the Football Bowl Subdivision the internet, and that the costs for such some parts of the United States. From the level, as well as a former quarterback in advertising was "minimal." Big Bend area, to the panhandle, from the the Arena Football League. The interim superintendent also said Rio Grande Valley and the PineyWoods of The most surprising applicants were no outside search firm was hired to assist East Texas, coaches were eager to claim a few head coaches that placed their hat in the coach hiring process. The entire the Hays position. The furthest applicants into the ring. Notable coaches were Drip- search process was conducted internally hailed from as far north as Chicago, Illi- ping Springs head coach Bob Schultz, within Hays CISD. Softball Preview: Tough season ahead Continued from pg. 1B Hays Rebels ship, hungry to surpass last year's playoff Last season was memorable for the nm, andhtmgrytoplayinthestatetour- Hays High softball team, as the club nament in June." overcame mid-season struggles to earn a trip to the playoffs. From there, the Lehman Lobes Lady Rebels would go on a tear, upset- This year signals a whirlwind of ting two state powerhouses, including change for the Lehman Lobes soft- 2011 state finalist Dripping Springs, en ball team. The biggest being new head route to a remarkable finish in the UIL coach Bill Holmes, who takes over a 4A Regional Quarterfinal round, program that has struggled to keep tabs For second year coach Aaron Fuller, with Hays and the rest of 27-4A. the Rebels' playoff mn helped sketch a Holmes, who coached previously blueprint for success in 2013. at Banquete High School, a 2A school "This team now knows what we're ca- near Corpus Christi, brings with him a pable of and how much hard work needs new attitude in coaching to the Lehman. to go into achieving those goals (of win- program.With a background in the mil- ning a district title and making the play- itary, Holmes' style of coaching is one of offs). All we can do to match or surpass discipline and adherence to detail. last year's success is continue to work "The players have been very recep- hard every day, stay focused on the task tire to my coaching methods and they at hand, stay healthy and take the season understand that the key to our season one game at a time," Fuller said. is: players keeping up their grades, a Hays' gameplan will be predicated commitment to hard work, develop- on the prowess of their pitching staff, as ing solid fundamentals, and learning to well as sound defense. Fuller explained, come together as a team," Holmes said. "This year's team has a lot of potential. Even with the change in coaches, the We're strong where it matters most in Lobes' efforts have dwindled little, with softball - in the pitching circle, with the team compiling a respectable 4-3-1 (junior) Sarah Leal and (senior) Clar- record through eight games. issa Gonzalez. We've also got a solid "The girls have worked hard in the defense behind them who are going to off-season and during the first month make the routine plays." of the year. I think we will be very cam- Offensively, Hays is equally prepared petitive every time we step on the field. for the challenge ahead. We have a good blend of veteran and "Every girl on our team is capable of younger players, most of which play producing at the plate and on the base travel ball during the off-season." paths. We've got a good mixture ofspeed The left side of the infield will be the and power at the plate," said Fuller. strength of this Lehman team, which Hayswillhaveatremendousamount is anchored by senior third baseman of depth and experience in the dugout Jullana Hernandez, a four-year starter. this year; that experience has led to the Along with senior center fielder Jessica Rebels' torrid 6-0-1 start to the 2013 Gonzalez, also a four-year stater, as well campaign. Hays' efforts are led by Leal, as junior second basemanAlexisTrotter junior shortstop Maddy Shannon and and sophomore shortstop Aleza Rulz, sophomore Haleigh Madden Lehman hopes to stay competitive in a "Our pitcher, Sarah Leal, will be the very difficult district. girlleadlngourteamdefensively.Wealso On the offensive side, Holmes said have a third-year varsity starter in Mad- his team's speed is an asset. "It allows dy Shannon. Maddy is very solid defen- us to put pressure on our opponents' sively and produces a lot of offense at the defense," he said. topofourorder.Haleighisasophomore For the Lobes and Holmes, pro- who started at second base last year as a gressing as a group will be the ultimate freshman, who will handle the catching prize. duties and hit in the middle of our line- "We always want to be competitive, up this season," Fuller said. "This year's to win every inning, focus on one game teamhasalotofpotentialandlknowthe at a time and make it into the 2013 girls are hungry for a district champion- playoffs." Hays High Coach Continued from pg. 1B Madison and New Braunfels. La Hue said every game felt like a "dogfight." However, before focusing on preparations for the upcoming 2014 season, the first thing on Coach La Hue's mind is just to understand the team he has inherited. "The first thing is for our kids to start learning a new coaching philosophy. I want to get to know these kids and what they can do. We're coming up on what I'd like to call, "early spring," which is an important time in football. This is where I want to begin installing our philosophy," said La Hue. However, not lost on the new Rebel head coach is the position of athletic coordinator and the responsibilities that holds. "My goal is to ensure that all programs at Hays are successful, that all programs have the necessary resources to compete, and that there are good numbers in the athletic program. We strive to become competitive at all levels," said La Hue. He knows that his job will be to oversee growth beyond the field, where students are able to "learn values as a team," outside of the athletic arena. La Hue has not only served as a football coach in the past, but has also been involved in soccer and track and started the soccer program at Calallen High School. Besides Roosevelt High School. La Hue has also been in the 1980s and 1990s at high schools that have been Hays High competi- tors, including Westlake, Calallen and Seguin. In more recent years, he was the athletic direc- tor and head football coach at I