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March 2, 2011     Hays Free Press
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Section B HaysFreePress.com MOVIN' ON UP Hays, Lehman bands send students to state. - Page 36 March 2, 2011 * Page 1B PHOTO BY JOEL SAN MIGUEL Matt Casas and the Hays baseball team won three of four games at the San Marcos Tournament. They will next p|ay in the Judson Tournament this weekend. Rebs win three at San Marcos tourney BYJASON GORDON fpcesssp(xts@.corn The Hays High baseball team shot out of the gates fast bywinning three of four gs over the weekend at = the San Marcos Tourna- ment. Hays started the tourna- ment with a 6-1 win over Hendrickson keyed by :a stilar pitching perfor: mance by Migud Valdez. i Maldez threw a complete game, tossing six innings of four-hit baseball while Like it or not, Spurs are legit contenders Lobe b=L,=eball finishes second in Bastrop tourney BY MARK CAUL freepresssports@yahoo.com If their pre-season scrimmages were any indication, the Lehman baseball team should have had an inkling that they would be a lot more explosive than last year's playoff squad. Once the season opener against Crockett arrived, theywere equal- ly as offensive-minded. Junior Nick Cerda's fourth in- ning grand slam keyed a five- run fourth inning as the Lobes spanked Crockett 11-1 to be- gin their season on the winning track. Lehman head coach Toby Rob- inson praised the play of Cerda, who went 2-for-2 with 5 RBI's. "We missed a lot of scoring opportunities early and Cerda's home run kicked us into gear," Robinson said. Lehman took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as Rudy Martinez doubled to open the frame and was promptly dou- HOT BATS Cerda's hot bat, strong Lobe pitching keys solid start to baseball season for Lehman Lobes. bled home by sophomore Justin Vajgert. From there, the two teams were locked into a pitchers duel until Cerda smashed the second pitch he saw deep into the stands for his first home run of the campaign. Cerda's grand slam plated loey Hernandez who singled, along with Hunter Lehman and Vajgert who had reached base by walking to give Lehman a 5-0 advantage. Vajgert was also exceptional in his first start on the mound of the season as he took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before surrender- ing a one-out single to Michael Rendon. Vajgert finished with a one- hitter and struck out 10 of the 20 Crockett batters he faced. "Justin was dominant on the mound tonight and came reaUy close to throwing a no-hitter," said Robinson. "This is what we expect from our pitchers every time they take the mound." D] Trejo also contributed a three-run double in sixth inning for the Lobos in a five-run sixth inning. Lehman continued to swing hot bats a few nights later in the opener of the Bastrop Tourna- ment with an 13-7 win over the host Bears. Cerda had a three-run double and Martinez also drove in a pair of runs as the Lobos overcame an early 6-2 second inning deficit. "We didn't get offto the start we wanted but we finally got going offensively," Robinson said. Freshman Justin Penney (1-0) picked up the win for the Lobos despite allowing six earned runs in the early going. Lehman (3-1) went on to beat Canyon Lake 7-4 in the winner's See LEHMAN BASEBALL, pg. 2B PHOTO BY JUDY COOPER Lehman shortstop Nick Cerda watches a grand-slam home run deep over the fence at Lobe Field in his team's season- opening win. The Lobes went on to finish second in the Bastrop Tournament last weekend. ust admit it. If you live outside the state of Texas there is a very good e that you hate the San Antonio Spurs. Sure you do. You think Manu Gino- bili flops. You think Tim Duncan gets all of the calls no star on the Heat will ever get. The Spurs are the closest equivalent to your inner Bronco hating the Raiders. And they both wear black-and-silver. The Spurs aren't making life easier by winning. They axe winning this season, and winning a lot. At 49-10 they own the Ks best re- cord, and they are doing it in a way few thought possible - without large contributions every night from Duncan. In fact, Dun- can's beram:d sibtr of categories. He's playing the fewest minutes of his career in this, his 14th season. On 14 occasions this season he's failed to reach double- digits in the 0 col- urtm. Butlin th6se games the Spurs are still 12-2. It's all going well for the team from the Alamo Ci and ill had to choose a favorite at the halfway point to win the title, the Spurs would bemychoice. As much as if pains me to say that as a Laker backeI: Wh you ask? Because they win close games, they win at home; they're agood defensive tand they are a powerful offensive team. They have much more depth than I've ever seen them have and they See LAST CAUL, pg. 2B PHOTOS COURTESY OF WWW.CHAPARRALPHOTO.COM Lehman hurdler Andrew Longworth (left) and Hays relay runner Cary Gay (right) competed at the Lobe Relays last weekend. Hays' Don Shelton Relays are scheduled for March 11. Lehman boys win Lobo Relays, Lady Rebels take second BY JASON GORDON freepresssports@yahoo.com The Lehman boys varsity ran away with the team title at the Lobo Relays track and field meet last weekend. Leh- man scored 144 total points, Manor was second with 124 and Hays High was third with 118. "I am excited about win- ning our meet this year," Lehman coach Michael Laney said. "Our kids are work- ing exceptionally hard this year. we have a strong core of reau'ning team mere- bers and regional qualifiers in Justin Tor- res, Jaylon Hardaway, Darius Jones and Ethan Martin. The expectations for this team are high but the sky is the limit and I have no doubt they are going to con- linue to work hard to meet the goals they set for this season." In addition, the Hays High girls team finished a dose second to fast-place Manor. The Lady Rebs had 134 total points to Manor's 138. For a complete varsity and IV Lobo Relays meet results, go to www. haysfreepress.com, under the photos gallery for the meet. Lehman softball team loc,[:s to build on last year's success PHOTO  JUOT gOOPlffi Monique Johnson is one of the key returners who will try and help the Lady Lobe softball team take the next step into the playoffs this season. Lehman finished one win away from qualifying for postseason play last year. BY MARK CAUL freepresssports@yahoo.com After they came within a game of securing the school's first playoff berth in softball in 2010, the Lehman Lady Lobos are aiming to build on their most successful season to date. Lehman has had a steady climb over the past few years as they have gone from a team that failed to win a single game two years ago to a team that fin- ished 21-11, upset state-ranked Lockhart on the road and nearly toppled arch-rival Hays for the first hme. in addition, Nicole Herrera's squad entered the final night of the campaign with a winner- take-all game against San Mar- cos for the final playoff berth, but unfortunately weren't able to capitalize on numerous scor- ing opportunities and dropped a 1-0 decision which eliminated them from contention. Although they fell a bit short ONE MORE STEP Lady Lobe softball team looks to take another step forward this season into postseason play. of realizing their postseason dreams, the Lady Lobes were able to take a lot of positive things out ofthe season. Lehman went on the road and halted a Lockhart home win- ning streak that had spanned three consecutive seasons. The most surprising thing about thestunning win over the state- ranked Lady Lions was that it happened only a few days af- ter losing to Hays, in a game in which they carried an 8-0 lead into the fourth inning. Their 21 wins in 2010 easily shattered the school record in softball and included second place finishes at both the AISD and Taylor IInvitational tourna- ments. Although Herrera is excited about the great nucleus of play- ers returning to her program, she laments the loss of two important veterans that gradu- ated last May who helped build the positive momentum of Leh- man softball over their four sea- sons as Lobes. Third baseman Liz Valderaz, who was a three-year starter and left ridder/pitcher Felici- ana Torres have both graduated and are now playing college ball at Huston-Tdlotson University in Austin. Valderaz finished her career among the leaders in most of the school's offensive catego- ries. Torres currently holds the school record in strikeouts and innings pitched. Among the Lehman re- turnees this season are senior outfielder Monique Johnson, junior shortstop Cydney Endn and first baseman KeKe Hol- mes, who were all key contribu- tors on this year's squad. Johnson, a first-team all dis- trict selection last season, batted .386 in 2010 and was the Lady Lobos best defensive player. She only committed four errors last season as Lehman's starting center fielder. The speedy Endn has the best range in the district at shortstop and remains one of the Lobos primary threats on the base paths. Holmes, who hit a team-lead- ing four home runs last season, will bat clean-up and play first base for Lehman in her senior season. Lehman will be in one of the areas toughest districts with SmithsonValle Canyon, Lock- hart and Hays all vying for the district championship. Canyon won the Class 4A state title in 2009 and went to state in 2010, and SmithsonVal- ley was the Class 5A state cham- pion in 2009. After taking part in the Victo- ria St. Joseph's Tournament, the Lady Lobos will open district play next Tuesday in Leckhatt.