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Page 2B SPORTS + Hays Free Press April 27, 2011 + Laney has Lehman boys track and fidd team primed for regionals BY MARK CAUL freepresssports@yahoo.com In the three seasons head coach Michael Laney has been at the helm, he has instilled a strong de- sire to succeed at the highest level in his Lehman track and field team. After straggling with numbers in their first cou- ple of seasons, the Lobos have become a consis- tent force thanks to a couple of sprinters that let their actions on the track speak for themselves. Senior Justin Torres has made his mark in track over the past two years by capturing two con- secutive 300-meter hurdle rifles and junior laylon Hardaway has continued his family's tmdirion by anchoring two of Lehman's top relay squads. "Those two guys are the leaders of this team," Laney said. 'They both are pretty soft spoken but they lead in different ways. Justin has been the best runner on our team all year and hasn't fin- ished any lower than second at any meet." Hardaway has continued to be solid in spite of a lingering football injury that has hampered him off and on throughout the outdoor season. He will be one of the keys to Lehman finishing in the top two at regionals. "Injuries have slowed Jaylon down a little bit this year but he still has mined in a solid season," said Laney. "He has also put his teammates first by sacrificing an event he has performed well in over the past few years (400-meter dash). That's the type of leadership this team has." Since Laney has taken over, the Lehman boys PHOTO BY JUDY COOPER (Left to right) Jaylon Hardaway, Justin Torree, Maurice Charles and Ethan Martin helped push the Lehman boys track and field team to berths in several regional events this season. The Class 4A Region IV Track and Field Meet will take place May 2-3 at Alamo Stadium in San Antonio. have far surpassed any expectations people may have had for the fledgling track program. Wm- ning has now become a habit at the campus. The Lehman boys were able to boast several regional qualifiers. Both relay teams (4X400, 4X200) have ad- vanced to the regional meet along with 'Tortes in the 300-meter hurdles. "We always want to do the best we can do every time we step on the track," Tones said. "I know my team is depending on me to do my part and as a leader, that's what I have to work hard to do." The Lobos have been able to reach the cusp of the state meet and Laney believes his squad has the work ethic and talent to be a strong con- tender at the Region IV track meet in San Antonio next Monday and Tuesday at Alamo Stadium in San Antonio. Junior Trevor McClintock has flourished as the first leg of the 4X200 relay team on his first season on the varsity level. "Trevor has probably been the biggest surprise for us this season," Laney said. "He has put in the work to make himself stronger." Both of the regional relay teams have contin- ued to improve on their times as the season has progressed and are peaking at iust the right time. Torres and Hardaway were regional qualifiers last season as a part of the 4X400 and 4X200 relay teams. Seniors Darius Jones and Ethan Martin will also be making their second appearances at regionals after competing at last spring's regional meet in the re relay. In addition to wins at the Lobe Relays, both relay teams also secured high finishes at the Can- yon, Manor, Whnberley and Hays Rebel Relays. Tortes will be relishing his last looking forward to competing at regional in a fewweeks and hopes to improve upon his times at the district meet. "I've been working hard all season to get to where I'm at," Tones said. "This will be my last shot at state so I'm definitely going to go all out." Laney is hoping for a great performance from his relay squad on the season's biggest stage. "We have been a team thafs reallyworked our tails offto get here so I wouldn't expect us to have anything less than one of our best races," said Laney. Hays Baseball: Pouncing Canyon gives Cougars chance to tie Rebs Continued from pg. 1 B season Friday night at home against district-champ Smith- son Valley (11-0 in 27-4A). The Rebels must beat the Rangers or else the Rebels will fall into a tie for second place in 27-4A with Canyon, which has finished its district sched- ule with a 7-5 record. The two teams would either flip a coin or play a one-game playoff for postseason seeding. Against Canyon, things were looking good for Hays early on as the Rebels came back from a 2-0 deficit with a four-run third to take a 4-2 lead. After Victor Rubio singled and Trevor Rags- dale doubled offthe wall in cen- ter, Chase Brunnemann, Matt Casas and Nick Cavazos RBIs helped give Hays a 4-2 lead. Canyon's explosive frame came right after that in the bot- tom of the third inning, when the Cougars pushed across nine runs. The big shots were a three-run homer off the bat of Chris Rodriguez and a two-run run blast over the wall by Tan- ner Hill. Hays couldn't recover this PHOTO BY CYNDY SLOVAK-BARTON Hays' Victor Rubio backs away from a pitch Thursday night during the Rebels' 12-4 loss to Canyon. The Rebs must now beat Smithson Valley at home Friday night to wrap up second place in District 27-4A. time, and for the first time all season lost by more than two runs in district play. "For the second time, we gave Canyon a big inning but we didn't respond the same way that we did in the first round," Hays head coach Doug Ragsdale said. "You can't give hitters like Canyon has a lot of mistakes to hit and win." Casas said Canyon was mo- tivated Thursday night:. "They weren't happy from the first time we played them and they wanted payback," Ca- sas said. "Now, it's very crucial that we get second plIace and momentum. We feel there's a big difference between second and third on the playoff tree. We know we have to be at our very best Friday night against Smithson Valley." First pitch Friday night against SmithsonValley at Reb- el Field is scheduled for 7 p.m. Hays ,IV Red celebrates undefeated season The Hays JV Red soccer team went undefeated in district play with 6 wins and a tie. COURTESY PHOTO Top-Ranked Golfer: Hays McCurdy heads to slate tourney Continued from pg. 1 B Junior Golf Tour and in South Texas PGA junior events. This year at Hays High, Lindsey has finished second in four tournaments, and won an event at Northcliffe Golf Club in Cibolo after finishing her round with three straight birdies to card a 69 - the first time she ever shot in the 60s in toumament play. All that experience has given McCurdy plenty of reason to feel confident heading into the state tournament. "I know if I play my game and put two consecutive scores together I'll have a chance to win it," she said. "Winning a state title has al- ways been a big goal. It would be very gratifying." Lindsey's determination and competitive nature is why Preuss thinks she has an excel- . lent chance at state. Last summer, McCurdy uncharacreristically shot a score of 9-over par on her first nine holes of the Texas Legends State Tournament at Barton Creek Country Club, but bounced back to shoot 2-under par on the back nine. # At the regional tournament last week at PecanValley, Mc- Curdy started out with time early bogies before going on a four-birdie run to help her fin- ish day one of the event with a 1-over score o 72. "Lindsey has no fear," Preuss said, "I've never seen a girl handle pressure like she does." Although she can't officially be recruited until her junior season, Lindsey already has her sights set on attending a school in the Big 12 confer- ence, or perhaps heading out west to attend the University of Arizona or Stanford Univer- sity After that, she said she would love nothing more than to have a chance to become a professional golfer. "I can't think of anything better to do for a living than to head to the golf course every day,," she said. "That would be a dream job." If Lindsey does one day maker to the Ladies Pro- fessional Golf Tour, hitting fairways and greens may be the least of her troubles. Preuss said he wants to be her caddy, as do many others, including her morn. "I think alot of people have dibs on that job," she said. "My mom doesn't know a whole lot about golf, so that may be a problem. I'm sure it's some- thing that will work itself out." Lehman Tennis: Ends at regionals Continued from pg. 1 B Unfortunately, the lingering pain was so severe that Gon- zalez was forced to redre in the second place playback match later on in the day against Ala- mo Heights' Russell Naumann, whom he had beaten just a week before for the District 27- 4Atifle. The fact Gonzalez wasn't able to continue in the play- back match meant Archer and Naumann received the bids to the UIL Class 4A State Tourna- ment in Austin. The playback role comes into effect ff a player reaches the semifinals and loses to the top seed in the toumament. Since Naumann lost to top- seeded Archer and Gonzalez didn't have to play Archer en route to the finals, Naumann was able to request a playback match against Gonzalez for the fight for the final singles spot at the state tourney. %dolfo played a beautiful match but just couldn't over- come the pain," Lehman head tennis coach Orlando DeLaFu- ente said. "He battled as hard as he could considering he wasn't really at full strength. It was ex- tremely disappointing." Gonzalez defeated Charles Horseman of Gregory-Portland 6-1, 6-0 in the quarterfinals and then breezed past Sean Spies- man ofAusfln LBJ in the semi- finals. "I'm honestly really disap- pointed that I won't have a chance to play at the state tour- nament," Gonzalez said. "I'm not a big fan of the playback system because I basically lost all my strength in the finals (against Archer). It was de- pressing because I had worked so hard to get there and even though I knew I wasn't going to be able to finish the match, I was winning in the playback game (against Naumann) but just couldn't go on." Gonzalez believes his second consecutive loss in the regional finals will morivate him for one final run next spring. "Honestly. I think I was on the top of my game and I think right now I am definitely above thelevelthat I was as a freshman when I went to the state final," said Gonzalez. "I have more power to my shots and I have gotten a lot bigger over the past two years. But now I just need to work on my fitness because I believe thafs what caused me problems this season." Meanwhile, the outstand- ing mixed-doubles duo of lohn Martin and Desiree Kittel also fell short in their bid for state tournament appearance as they lost in their second place playback game to Lake Tmvis' Evan Hammer and Iris Wigod- sky 6-3, 6-2. Martin reached the state quarterfinals last spring with Desiree's older sister Penelope where theylost in three games. "John and Des played in- spired tennis and represented our school very well," DeLa- Fuente said. "Unfortunately they ran into the same Alamo Heights team that beat them at district. Their third place finish in a region this tough was an honor by anybody's standards." The Martin/Kittel team de- feated the Dougias/Hu pair from Austin LBJ in straight sets 6-1, 61 before falling in the semifinals. DeLaFuente will lose Martin to graduation this spring but looks for both Gonzalez and Kittel to spearhead another talented squad in their final seasons. "The fact that we had three medalists in such a strong re- gion is something we can all be proud of," DeI_aFuente said. "What really stands out is how our student athletes represent- ed our school and community. They competed with compas- sion and class. All three of these kids left a lasting impression for SU." Hays Educators Association/TSTA and sister TSTA affiliates from Dripping Springs, San Nlarcos and Del Valle THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING OUR PUBLIC SCHOOLS by attending our April 2nd Rally at Gre-Clarke Park in Kyle. The Rally would not have been such a success without the support and commitment of: TSTA, Hays CISD School Board Member Willie and Daphne Tenorio, Ray and Belinda Hemandez, f/ayor Lucy Johnson, Nancy Fahy, Judith Bums, Donna Haschke, Bob ELder, Katie Bert Moore, Jason Wylie and David Satazar. A special thank you to our speakers: San Marcos Graduate Juan MigueL Arredondo, Mayor Lucy Johnson, San Marcos Schoo[ Board/mber Margie Viltapondo, Dripping Springs School Board Member John Adams, Hays School Board Member Willie Tenodo, TSTA Former President Donna Haschke and Congressman Lloyd Doggett. .o.'r:! CUT :,.: KIDS:,- OUT'" "" EDUCATORS & PARENTS TAKE A STAND This is only the beginning. We still have much work to dol If you would like to be on our email list, please contact heatstaausUn.rr.gom