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00ANDING EDUCATORS Foundation fetes district teachers of the year. - Page 3B HaysFreePress.com May 12, 2010 Page 1B Popular Lady Rebel coach McDonald to retire Hays head coach Donny McDonald (left) talking to current Lehman head coach and former Lady Rebel as- sistant Danny Preuss, has decided to retire after 35 years in the business. PHOTO BYJASON GORDON BYJASON GORDON freepmssspos@yahoo.com One of the most charismatic coaches to ever walk the Hays High School campus has decid- ed to call it a career. Lady Rebel basketball coach Donny McDonald will step down at the end of the school year. He led the Lady Rebs to the state tournament in both 2001 and 2009, and amassed 399 of his 668 career wins in 16 years at Hays. The Lady Rebels made the playoffs 13 of the last 14 years. McDonald's 35-year coaching career also included stops at San Marcos High and San Antonio Madison. "It was just time," McDonald said. 'I was going to retire after last season, but when we made it to state and had nearly everyone coming back, I decided to wait. It was still a tough decision. I went back and forth on it." McDonald's younger brother Lynn retired last season as boys head coach at Clear Lake High. 'All my friends were retir- ing," McDonald said. "When my younger brother retired, I knew it was about time for me to do the same." McDonald certainly left an im- pression on those he worked with and the players he coached. "He's not just an awesome coach, but a great person," said Danny Preuss, the current Leh- man girls basketball head coach and former Hays assistant coach. "He's a great family man and was a great mentor. I coached with Donny for 10 years and I deft- nitely have his coaching style. It was a great 35-year run. Not many people anywhere can say they've had as much success as . he did coaching." Hays school board vice presi- dent Mark Jones said it will be hard to replace McDonald. "He's the type of coach kids wanted to play for," Jones said. "He truly cared for them and en- joyed being around them." Hays athletic director Bob Shelton agreed. "Donny certainly did a very good job and we were fortunate to have him for 16 years," Shelton said. "He always ran his program with a lot of integrity. His leader- ship style was very instrumental in the success of his teams over the years." Current Hays assistant coach Emily Klaerner played on Mc- Donald's 2001 state tournament team. "He meant so much to this school," Klaemer said. "Dur- ing his career he took teams to the state tournament at both the Class 4A and Class 5A level. I don't know many coaches that can say they did that." Hays senior guard Ashley Rankine, who hit the game-win- See COACH MAC, pg. 2B Coach Mac will definitely be missed BETWEEN en I learned Monday at Hays girls head asketball coach Donny McDonald had decided to hang it up after 35 years in the business, my brain started flooding with memories. Some of my fondest recollec- tions as a sports writer have been covering Lady Rebel basketball games through the years. When I was asked a couple of seasons ago to add an entry into a book to celebrate McDonald's 600th car.eP4;., cching victory, one moment among many stood out. " F" It was Hays' first year in Class 5A, playing with the big dogs, and the Lady Rebels somehow man- aged to advance to the regional finals in the spring of 2001. That's when "The Miracle at the Convocation Center" on the University of Texas-San Antonio campus took place. The Lady Rebels were going up against three-time defending Class 5A Region IV champion Corpus Christi-Carroll and its all- state phenom and Texas A&M- signee Sabrina Mitchell. By all accounts, Hays had little to no chance to win and advance to the state tournament. Something incredible hap- pened that Saturday afternoon besides the fact Hays and Carroll delayed a trip I had planned to take to the beach in Galveston by more than three hours. They kept playing, and play- hag, and playing. In all, three overtimes were needed to decide the outcome. With Carroll trying to milk the clock for a final shot in a tie game in the third overtime, Lady Rebel point guard Lauren Guerrero stole the ball and dribbled the length of the court for a layup. When Jennifer Capps blocked Mitchell's potential game-win- ning three-point shot seconds later, Hays earned a trip to the See BETWEEN THE UNES, pg. 2B PHOTO BY JOEL SAN MIGUEL Hays shortstop Anthony Pesina tries unsuccessfully to leap over Montgomery catcher Caleb Williams during the Rebels' 5-4 win Thursday. Hays went on to win in three games and now advances to play Nederland in a best-of-three series at Montgomery High School, beginning Thursday. D 6"00/t vu? Not quite, as Hays baseb team advances to second round BY JASON GORDON freepresssports@yahoo.com The Hays baseball team chased the ghosts of a tough playoff loss that brought its 2009 season to an end all the way back to the cem- etery with a thrilling victory over Montgom- e After a win Thursday night against Mont- gomery at Rebel Field in the first game of a best-of-three series that was very similar to last year's excruciating playoff loss to Little Cypress-Mauriceville, Hays lost game two against the Bears 6-1. That loss forced a game three at Mont- gomery Friday night, and after leading most of the contest, the Rebels fell behind 6-5 heading to the bottom of the seventh. That's when Masen Gulley started what would become a very memorable evening, nailing a two-out single to score Shane Kel- ley to knot the score 6-6 and send ilt into extra innings. Gulley again became the hem iin the bot- tom of the ninth when he came up to the plate with no outs and the bases hoaded. His single again scored Kelley, this fin'ae with the game mer, and the Rebels hadt their sec- ond walk-offvictory in the series. Hays' 7-6 game-three win sends the Rebs into the second round, where they will face Nederland in another best-of-three series. The series will begin on Thursday at 8 p.m. Game two will take place Saturday; begin- ning at 2 p.m., with game three following im- mediately afterward ff needed. All games in the Nederland series are scheduled to take place at Montgomery High School. "When Masen came up in the ninth in- ning we huddled up and coach asked ff we thought a squeeze play would work," Kelley said. "I asked coach to give him a shot to hit Sea HAYS BASEBALL pg. 2B PHOTO BY JUDY COOPER Lehman's mixed-doubles team of Penelope Kittel and John Martin lost in the quarterfinals of the UIL state Class 4A tennis tournament Monday at The World of Tennis in Lakeway. Lobo tennis duo loses at state tourney BY MARK CAUL freepresssports@yahoo.com When the Lehman mixed doubles duo of John Martin and Penelope Kittel took the court for their state quarterfinal match, they were ready to play After listening to pep talks and heeding last minute advice from athletic director Steve Davis, prin- cipal Elsa Hinojosa and sopho- more tennis phenom Adolfo Gonzalez, the pair appeared to be ready to duplicate their surprising run through the regional tennis tournament a few weeks back. But at the OIL Class 4A state tennis tournament at The World of Tennis in l_akeway they ran into something that even alot ofveter- ans have trouble avoiding- a case of nerves. And it cost them dearly The Wichita Fails Rider pair of Tom Holka and Leigh Martin cap- tured an easy 6-i win in the first game and rode that momentum to a three set win over the Lehman pair 6-1, 5-7, 6-3. "We got off to a slow start from the very beginning and that hurt us a lot," Martin said. "We looked See LEHMAN TENNIS, log. 2B Lehman swept by No. 5 Brenham in baseball playoffs BY MARK CAUL freepresssports@yahoo.com Making their first baseball playoff ap- pearance in school histor the Lehman kobos were issued the tall task of hav- ing to take down the Brenham Cubs, the state's fifth-ranked team. The Lobes came out of the first inning unscathed as sophomore shortstop Nick Cerda ignited an inning-ending double play to bring the mucous Lehman crowd to their feet early. But that's as good as it got for Lehman. Brenham's Erich Weiss clubbed three home,runs and the Cubs got outstanding pitching efforts from both Chase Well- brock and Ty Schottman to sweep the LO- bos 2-0 and advance to the second round against Crosby High School. Base-running miscues and defensive blunders proved to be the downfall for the Lobes in their first playoff series. "We never gave up but theytook advan- tage of some mistakes we made," Lehman head coach Toby Robinson said. 'Anytime you give a great team like Brenham extra PHOTO BY JUOY COOPER JP Flores fires a pitch during Lehman's game one loss against Brenham. The Cubs went on to sweep the Lobos after an 11-1 win Friday. outs, they will make you pay." keyed by back-to-back doubles by Drake Brenham (28-4), the District 18 4-A Roberts and ChanceBolcerek. champion, took control of the opener in From there, Jarred Moehlmann tripled the third inning with a seven-nm outburst to the deepest part of center field wall to drive in Roberts and Bolcerek to give the Cubs a commanding 5-0 advantage. Before the inning was over, the Cubs sent 12 batters to the plate against the shell-shocked Lobes. Wellbrock (10-2) allowed only two hits and smack out six in the opener for the Cubs. "Our guys came out and tried to set the tone early;" Brenham head coach Jim Long said. "Chase had command of his pitches and did a good job of focusing on each batter." Brenham also dominated the second game of the series as Schottmann kept the Lobe hitters off balance in the Cubs 11-1 triumph to close out the series in two games. The Cubs battered Lehman starter Mi- chael Andmde for five quick runs as Weiss once again bdted a two-run shot to deep left field to give Brenham an early 2-0 lead. Soon after, Bolcerek and third base- man Scott Weinschenk got into the act by crushing home runs to end Andmde's night prematurely as the Cubs coasted to a 5-0 lead that they never relinquished. "You never want to give a team that has nothing to lose a chance to gain mo- mentum and our kids came out ready to play from the very beginning," Long said. "Toby (Robinson) has done an excel- lent job with that program and I'm sure they'll learn from this experience and bounce back next year." Flores led Lehman offensively with two hits and will be one of the seniors who will be departing along with Omelas andAbeita. "rm not happy about the way we went out but I'm glad that we were able to accom- plish a goal we had since we were freshmen," Roles said. "Everybody will remember us as the group who finally got it done." Although they will be losing three cor- nerstones of the program, the Lobos look to return a few key components in sopho- mores Cerda, Max Soils, Andrade and freshman catcher loey Hemandez. "We're losing a great group of ys that helped get this program to wlaere R s But we have a good core of young guys com- ing back that have to step up and become leaders next season," Robinson said. "We took a big step forward this season and I hope we can build on this experience."