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June 2, 2010     Hays Free Press
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GONE TO CHINA Hays teacher spends a month in China as part of a Projects Abroad cultural program. - Page 3B June 2, 2010 Page 1B Hays baseball scores numerous all-district spots BY JASON GORDON was avery exciting year." Hays' Shane Kelley was a this season was first-team out- freepresssports@yahoo.com Fresh offa run to the Class 4A Region II semifinals, the names of many Hays High baseball players appeared on the all-dis- trict team. Hays, the District 17-4A co- champs along with San Marcos High, landed six players on the first team and four more on the second team all-district squad. "Pretty proud doesn't even begin to describe how I feel about these kids," Hays head coach Doug Ragsdale said. "It Rebel centerfielder Trace Gandy was named the district's offensive most valuable player after batting .500 in 17-4A play with one home run and seven stolen bases. He never backed off defensively either, using his speed and strong arm in the outfield to be a solid threat both atthe plate and in the field. "Trace was a perfect example of someone buying into what we try to do as a team," Rags- dale said. "He always did a good job putting the ball in play and was very aggressive on the basepads.' unanimous choice on the first team as a pitcher. He finished the season with a 10-2 record on the mound and a stellar 0.93 earned run average. Kelley became only the tfiird Hays pitcher in the last 15 years to throw a no-hitter when he accomplished the feat earlier in the season against Elgin. "Shane was a rock for us dur- ing our run to the co-district championship," Ragsdal e said. "He always seemed to come up big for us when we needed him to." Hays' Mr. Clutch at the plate fielder Phillip Abreo, who bat- ted .442 in district play. He had game-winning hits against both Lockbart and San Marcos in 17- 4A action. "Phillip was the guy that we wanted most to come to the plate in crucial situations," Ragsdale said. "He thrived un- der pressure." Hays' Justin Heath was the first-team catcher. He threw out seven of eight runners at- tempting to steal in district play while calling the majority of the See HAYS BASEBALL, pg. 2B COURTESY PHOTO Hays pitcher Shane Kelley was 10-2 on the season with a stellar 0.93 earned run aver- age. He was one of six Rebel play- ers selected first-team all- district. Four more Hays players made the second team. Looking back... Rebels had an exciting spring season BY JASON GORDON freepresssports@yahoo.com With the last week of school upon us and summer break a few days away, let's take a mo- ment to reflect on the top three Hays High spring sports stories: Hays girls basketball head coach Donny McDonald reth-s/Lady Rebs fall a game short of regional tournament: The biggest story of the Hays High spring sports season was longtime girls head coach Donny McDonald deciding to call it a career after a com- bined 35 years atSan Mar- schools.The last 16 of those were spent with the Lady Rebels, where he led Hays to the state toumament in 2001 and 2009 and finished with a total of 399 wins. There were 668 wins between the three schools he led as a head coach. One of the most well-liked coaches in the history of the school will certainly be missed. "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." Hays school board vice president 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 enjoyed 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 leadership style was very instrumental in the success of his teams over the years." Despite having nearly ev- eryone return this season from a team that made it to state in 2009, Hays fell a game short See REBEL REVIEW, pg. 2B PHOTO BY RUDY GONZALEZ Hays guard Chrissy Arias helped lead the Hays gids basketball team to the regional quarterfinals this season. It was one of many exciting accomplishments by Rebel sports teams during the spring. The Hays baseball team and Rebel boys soccer teams also advanced to the regional quarterfinals in the playoffs this season. Lehman senior dP Flores led District 17-4A with a .543 batting av- erage this season and was a first-team all-district selection along with team- mate Nick Cerda. PHOTO BY JUDY COOPER Lobo baseball places three on all-district BY MARK gAUL fl'eepresssports@yahoo.com In ayear in which they man- aged to break through and join the postseason party for the first time in school history; the Lehman Lobo baseball team had three players selected to the all-district squad. Sophomore Nick Cerda, who had an outstanding year with the bat and defensively for the l_obos, was a unani- mous first-team selection for Lehman along with senior JP Flores, who led the league in overall batting average. "We had a very memorable season by making the play- offs for the first time and were able to get a couple of players recognized for their efforts on the field," Lehman head coach Toby Robinson said. "Both of these guys helped contribute to our success this season." Cerda batted .515 this sea- son and slugged six home rims. He also drove in 26 RBIs. Cerda had two game-winning hits for Lehman, including a monstrous walk-off home run against Manor that helped the I.obos overtake the Mustangs in what was a wild finish for the district's fourth and final playoff spot. In addition, Cerda was also noted for his defensive prow- ess, committing only five er- rors the entire season. "The future is really bright for Cerda at Lehman," said Robinson. "He continues to improve each year and he'll be a huge force for us next year in the new district." Flores, playing in his final season at Lehman, fought val- iantly through a few injuries and still managed to finish with the district's highest bat- ring average at .543. "I worked on my hitting a lot over the past summer and it really paid off for me this year," Flores said. "I was seeing the ball a lot better and was able to make good contact every hme I got up to the plate." Flores was a model of con- sistency at the plate for the Lobos, finishing with only two strikeouts the entire season. He delivered the go-ahead single in a late-season win against El- gin that officially propelled the I_obos into the postseason. "When you have guys like IP that you can depend on to make contact and get timely hits, then it makes your job a lot easier," Robinson said. "He was a tough player to get out so that will be a huge loss for our program." Flores was the backbone of the Lehman pitching staff, appearing in 16 games this season both as a starter and in relief. Making the second team was senior outfielder Cesar Or- nelas, who completed his high school career with a .375 aver- age t/as season. Omelas was one of the team's steadiest outfielders and provided a much-needed spark to the l_obos offense. The sure- handed right fielder drove in 10 rims at the AISD Invitational See LOBO BASEBALL, pg. 2B Lobos have thrills, spills during spring sports Lehman pitcher Ashleigh Hil- debrand (left), pictured here with team- mate Cydney Ervin, pitched the Lady Lobos to a dramatic 3-1 district win at state-ranked Lockhart this season. PHOTO BY J.P. EDDS BY MARK CAUL freepresssports@yahoo.com In a spring season that certainly had its share of ups and downs, the Lehman High athletic program continued to stride in 2010. Injuries certainly played a key role in all three spring sports for Lehman in 2010. Some teams like baseball and softball continued to flourish, while others like soccer saw their seasons take a huge hit after losing key players early in their campaign. It was hard to narrow down three memorable events from the spring because there were so many exciting games and individual performances that were able to capture the attention of Lobo fans during these past five months. That included another run at the state toumament for Lehman tennis (John Martin/Penelope IOttel in mixed doubles). However, if somebody were to put the spring season into some sort of time machine for the next generation to wit- ness, my list would have to go some- thing like this: Lehman softball stuns fourth-ranked Lockhart on the road In softball 3-1: All I can say is - WOW!. I still can't believe that happened. The last time the Lady Lions were beaten at home in softball, the seniors on their team were fresh- man. Lehman's jaw-dropping win was something to behold. Sophomore Ashleigh Hildebrand handcuffed Lockhart's high-powered offense like nobody else had before. I overheard some of the Lockhart fans saying that it was by far the best pitching performance that they had seen against their team. Monique Johnson made a couple of dazzling catches to preserve the win late. It was a signature win that should put Lehman on the softball map. Big picture-wise, you can bet that the next time these two teams meet, the Lady Lions won't be staging any pre, game dance contests instead of warm- ing up for the game. Lehman baseball makes school's first-ever baseball playoff appearance: Overall, it may not have been the best of seasons for Coach Toby Robinson's crew because of an unfommate injury to ace pitcher JP Flores early in the pre-district campaign which affected him on the mound for most of the district run. But Robinson rallied the troops and picked up a couple of key wins late in the dis- trict season to secure the district's fourth and final playoff spot. The night they beat Elgin to clinch the berth was magical enough as Rudy Martinez threw the ball down to first baseman Orlando Banda for the final out. It played out like a movie with the team mobbing each other near the mound, the coaches grinning from ear- to-ear and the fans celebrating wildly in the stands. But it was just a prelude to one of the biggest celebrations and playoff games in school history with a See LOBO REVIEW, pg. 2B !