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June 9, 2010     Hays Free Press
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HaysFreePress.com T00MLY AWESOME Lehman Totem honorees named for Class of 2010. - Page 3B June 9, 2010 * Page 1B Hays football team makes progress in offseason BY JASON GORDON freepresssports@yahoo.com Despite the fact the competi- tion level will certainly be diffi- cult in Hays' new district, long- time head coach Bob Shelton is pleased with the strides his team made in the offseason. During spring football class- es, the returning and new Rebel varsity team members began the task of making a strong comeback after Hays suffered its first non-winning season in 25 years in 2009. Coming offa 4-7 season com- peting in a district that included teams with recent poor football traditions like Manor and El- gin, Hays will now have to face off against the likes of Smithson Valley, Alamo Heights, Clemens and New Braunfels Canyon, along with Lockhart and Leh- man in the new District 27-4A. "We really feel good about how things went in the offsea- son," Shelton said. "We feel like we made a lot of progress." Hays will return only three starters on offense, running back Torrance Smith, offensive lineman Alex Rocco and run- ning back Tony Garza; and two on defense, nose guard Austin Reyes and defensive lineman Alan Marin, but the Rebels will have a total of 30 seniors. Smith also started in the de- fensive bacldield last year, but After first non-winning season since the mid-8Os, the Hays football team will look to rebound next fall. Shelton said the game plan is to currently use the speedster ex- clusively on offense this fall. "It looks like we'll also have about 20 sophomores and ju- niors on varsity, along with our 30 seniors," Shelton said. "It should give us a good mix of players that know what it's like to play on that level and some guys that will have to get used to playing at the increased speed of a varsity game." The quarterback race should be a good one between junior Mason Cervenka, who was the varsity backup last year, and sophomore Caleb Kimbro, who led the freshman team to a 9-0-1 record and district cham- pionship last season and was also named first-team all-dis- trict on the varsity basketball team this spring. "Right now, it's a pretty even race," Shelton said. "It's been back and forth. One day, one will look better, and the next day the other one will. The competition is making both See HAYS FOOTBALL, pg. 2B PHOTO BY JOEL SAN MIGUEL Hays senior receiver Michael Romero leaps be- tween two defenders to grab a pass last segson. Rebel head coach Bob Shelton is pleased with the progress his team made this spring. High school hop Hays hires Preuss away from Lady Lobos BY JASON GORDON freepresssports@yahoo.com ays High School didn't have to go on a very long journey to find its new girls head basketball coach. Danny Preuss, who coached at Hays as an assistant under recently retired Donny McDon- ald for 14 years before taking over as head coach at Lehman High, has accepted the job to guide the Lady Rebels. , "I'm proud of what I accom- plished at Lehman, but Hays is .... my home," Preuss said. "I was ecstatic when I was offered the job, .................. Preuss, who led Lehman to a playoffberth during the 2008-09 season, beat out 50 other candi- dates. Hays narrowed its search down to five coaches during an interview process before offering the job to Preuss. "Danny has been with our pro- gram before and he knows what it's about," Hays athletic direc- tor Bob Shelto.n said. "We know he'll do a good lob. We had a lot of people apply for the job, but we're real happy with our choice." McDonald led Hays to 399 wins and two state tournament berths, in 2001 and 2009, during 16 years at the helm of the Lady Rebel program. A strong girls basketball tradi- tion dates back as long as the school has been in existence, as the Lady Rebs won the district title in 1969, a year after the cam- pus opened. Since then, the program has seen nothing but success, as the Lady Rebels also qualified for the state tournament in both 1976 and 1980 and have rou- tinely made deep playoff runs throughout most of the past four decades. "It's a program that's been very successful from the beginning," Shelton said. "It started strong PHOTO BY JASON GOROON Hays hired Danny Preuss (right) away from Lehman to take over its girls basketball program from recently retired Denny McDonald (left). McDonald guided Hays to the state tournament in 2001 and 2009, and Preuss, a former Lady Rebel assistant coach, led Lehman to its first playoff berth in 2009. "We were a little bit worried when Coach McDonald retired, but we fed real good about the fact they hired Coach Preuss since be's coached at Hays before and everyone here knows him." -Jalaesa Jones, Hays returning varsity forward and has stayed that way. It's a real bonus to be able to hire someone like Danny who understands that tradition." Preuss was an assistant coach on the Lady Rebel team that knocked off Corpus Christi Car- roll in triple overtime in the Class 5A Region IV final in 2001 to advance to the state tournament. "I loved being around all the tradition of the program as an assistant, and it will be even sweeter as a head coach," Preuss said. "It will be a challenge, but it's one I'm really looking for- ward to. I talked to the girls we have coming back next season at Hays, and they know they'll be expected to work hard so we can maintain the level of success we're used to." ]aleasa Jones, a returning varsity forward who will be a senior at Hays next season, said she expects the transition from McDonald to Preuss to be a See COACH PRBJSS MOVING, pg. 2B PHOTO BY JOEL SAN MIGUB. Hays junior Mason Cervenka (18) and the rest of his Hays 7-on-7 teammates will look to hone their skills in the pass- ing league in preparation for the upcoming fall season. Young Rebs look to improve in ;Uon-7 BY JASON GORDON , . freepresssports@yahoo.com Playing with very few athletes that have seen varsity football action, coach Ryan Shelton expects the Hays 7-on-7 passing-league team to improve in the weeks ahead. The Rebels got off to a fast start during regular season play last Tuesday evening, beating Leh- man, but a last-minute touchdown by Dripping Springs gave the Tigers a 25-19 win over Hays in the second game of the night. Hays once again got off to a solid start in its first state-qualifying tournament Saturday at Lake Tra- vis with a 22-21 win over Class 5A Anderson, but losses followed against eventual tournament win- ner San Antonio Warren and A&M Consolidated, two more class 5A schools. "This is by far the youngest 7-on-7 team we've ever had," Ryan Shelton said. "I think we've only got two guys we're playing with right now that have varsity experience, and we're playing four guys who were freshman last season. That said, I'm extremely proud of the way we're competing right now and think we'll definitely improve as the season progresses." Last Tuesday, Caleb Kimbro and Mason Cer- venka both threw touchdown passes to each oth- er, and "raven Mayberry, Ty Green, Kurt Timmons and Jackson Schaubhut also caught touchdown passes. On the defensive side of the ball, Mayberry returned an interception for a touchdown. In Saturday's tournament at Lake Travis, Hays beat Anderson 22-21 on a thrilling 30-yard touch- down pass from Kimbro to Taylor Hough on an out-and-up pattern late in the contest. See HAYS 7-0N-7, pg. 2B Lobo 7-on-7 football poised for strong summer run BY MARK CAUL freepresssports@yahoo.com Many of the core group of players who began the 7-on-7 tradition at Lehman have now departed, but Lobo summer- league coach Lee Perry ex- pects another step in the right direction for the team this summer. This year's squad will rely on six returning offensive start- ers from the varsity team that had its best campaign to date along with four lettermen who return on the defensive side of the bail. "Our primary objective is to get these guys acclimated to the system they will be run- ning in the fall," Perry said. "But of course we want to win as many games as we can in the process." The Lobos will see a few fa- miliar faces in different spaces this summer with last year's backup quarterback Harvest Trammell expected to get in some reps in as a receiver dur- ing the course of the summer. Trammell, a senior, split the quarterback duties with junior Matt Angiuano last fall. "I just want to do what- ever the coaches want me to do this year," Trammell said. "They wanted to try me out at receiver so I'm putting in the extra work to try and do what I can to help this team win." Trammell's move to receiver was needed because of the unavailability of junior speed- ster ]aylon Hardaway, who will be on the shelf for much of the summer due to a couple of lin- gering injuries from track and football this past school year. "Not having Jaylon on the team means that he won't get the reps I would like over the summer," Lehman varsity head coach Steve Davis said. "But I know ]aylon will contin- ue to take care of himself and be a big part of our offense in the fall." In the backfield, senior Rich- ard Porche and junior Charles PHOTO BY JUDY COOPER Lehman junior quarterback Matt Angiuano will help lead a Lobes team that has plenty of returning players during the 7-on-7 summer passing league. Williams are expected to give the Lobos a 1-2 punch along with transfer Levi Ridiey, who joins the Lehman squad after transferring from Aklns High School. "We didn't know a lot about Levi coming into the summer because he didn't transfer to our school until after football season was already over," said Davis. "But he'll definitely give us some much needed depth in the backfield." Last year's starting tight end Kevin Ibanez will also be switching positions next fall, shifting to the offensive line to provide the Lobos with a bit more size in the trenches. "Ibanez is a big, physical guy that can be utilized on our of- fensive line," Perry said. "We'll spend the summer helping him make the transformation from receiver to offensive line- man." Junior Matt Riojas and se- nior Devin Fox will also be two of the receiving weapons for the Lobos in the summer league. Many of Lehman's offensive players will also see plenty of action on defense with Fox and Williams among the fa- vorites to receive defensive starting nods when the fall rolls around. "This summer will give those guys a taste of what it will be like in the fall," Davis said. After opening the summer 7-on-7 season with a loss to rival Hays, the Lobes quickly got back on track with an ira- pressive win over Akins to split their opening night schedule. "Obviously we played a lot better against Akins than we did against Hays," said Perry. "But the key is for us to be consistent the entire summer in everything we do both of- fensively and defensively." Lehman will play a 12-game regular-season schedule with two games scheduled each Tuesday at Hays. Games will nm through July 6. Lehman will also play in Hays' state-qualifying tourna- ment on June 26. If the Lobos finish in the top two, they will advance to the 64-team state 7-on-7 tournament in College Station July 9-10. Perry hopes his troops are amo.ng the many elite teams across the state which will be competing at the state 7-on-7 tournament. "It's going to take a lot of hard work for us to get there," Perry said. "But our guys are talented and driven enough to make it happen."