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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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August 23, 2017     Hays Free Press
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Section B HaysFreePress.i Hays alum, Tiger band director hangs up baton after 30 years. -Page 3B August 23, 2017 PagelB PHOTOS BY MOSES LEOS III The 2017 cross country season officially kicked off Friday as the Hays and Lehman cross country teams hosted a dual race at Lake Kyle Park in Kyle. The event had both teams' varsity and junior varsity teams square off in a relay-style event. Friday's dual event is a lead up to the first meet for each team's season. Both teams open the 2017 season at the Lockhart Invitational meet Saturday. new season BY MOSES LEOS III Dreams of starting the 2018 baseball and softball season in a new stadium at Hays High may be go- ing foul. On Monday, Hays CISD leaders said the district won't be able to meet the deadline of constructing the $3.6 million baseball and softball complex before the start of the season. Tim Savoy, Hays CISD public information officer, said the project should be completed by mid-spring, with both teams starting the season at their current facilities. Hays Highs new com- plex, which was approved by voters in the May 2017 bond, is proposed to have a 1,000 seat baseball stadium, and a 600 seat softball field. The two fields are also proposed to have field turf installed, as opposed to grass. Carter Scherff, Hays CISD deputy superintendent, said the district's preference is a turf field, but added it may be a budget constraint. Preliminary cost esti- mates on the complex are tmknown at this time, as the district doesn't have geotechnical work, Scherff said. Once the district re- ceives that information, Hays CISD could know a "little better" whether to install grass or turf. Hays CISD board trust- ees will ultimately con- sider what playing surface is installed, which will be part of the guaranteed maximum price (GMP). "Our preference is turf. We're driving hard on that because of the long term cost of putting in a grass field," Scherff said. One alternative solu- tion could be reducing the number of seats at Hays Higl~s baseball stadium. Cutting the number of seats to 600, which is the same number of seats at the High School No. 3 baseball stadium, could be an altemative to limit costs and allow installa- tion of turf, Scherff said. Hays High's $3.6 million new complex, approved by voters in the May 2017 bond, is proposed to have a 1,000 seat baseball stadium and a 600 seat softball field. The two fields are also proposed to have field turf installed. Hays Highs current baseball field holds 550 spectators. Hays CISD administra- tors are also fielding and ad- dressing concems from the public regarding the field. Betsy Russell, Hays CISD director of student activi- ties, and Scherffmet with a parent who was concerned about the orientation of the field, as well as available parking to the complex~ Scherff said administra- tors met with the parent and adjusted the fields and the parking issues. Administrators have also met with the school's base- ball and softball coaches, who approved the final orientation of the fields. "I know our timeline is off and we're not going to be in completion by the time the season starts," Vanessa Petrea, Hays CISD at-large board trustee said. "I know our baseball community is going to be disappointed." See the new baseball and softball field ren- derings online at www. haysf~epress.com. Members of the Hays Rebel practice. BY MOSES LEOS III It "could have been easy for the Hays Reb- els to administer some flash during the course of Saturday's intersquad scrimmage at Shelton Stadium. Bth for head coach Neal LaHue, improving on the little things held top billing. And while there were some big plays dur- ing the course of the scrimmage, IaHue was pleased overall with the effort put in by a Rebel team that returns a pleth- ora of experience in 2017. I.aHue said the Reb- els, who began pre- season practices Aug. 14, have been in good shape during the first week of practices. "They've handled what we've thrown at them," LaHue said. "We've conditioned a lot more than we have since I've been here. They handled it like a champ." LaHue said the team has worked hard every day and there's a lot of "good competition out there." It was apparent during the scrimmage, which was the team's second full day in pads.While the PHOTO BY MOSES LEOS I1| offensive line work their way down the boards during Saturday's intersquad scrimmage and "We're playing well and I see a lot of improvement in the back end. We have some guys returning there. We look a little stronger and a little faster." -Neal LaHue, Hays head football coach . coaching staff planned to work with the team on several things, the focus was to see them "get after it," LaHue said. "There was some good hitting and a lot of good effort and guys nmning to the ball," LaHue said. Guiding Hays will be an offense that returns . eight of the 11 starters from last season. Lead- ing the charge is a siz- able offensive line which includes Phil McSorely, Jaydan Smith and Bran- don Garcia. Experience als0 ex- tends to the skill posi- tions. Running backs Cade Powell and Thai Mayberry could provide a one-two punch in the backfield, while wide receivers Patrick Guer- rero and Nate Tate are the weapons for the offense. Under center, senior Tyler Conley took the majority of snaps with the first team in Satur- day's scrimmage. How- ever, LaHue also gave backup quarterbacks Gentry Brawith, Xavier Gonzaiez and Desmond Young a chance to work with the first offense as well. LaHue said he was pleased with all four players during the scrimmage, but also said they all had some things to work on. While the Rebel offense had some bright spots, including a 25-yard touchdown pass from Conley, play was also sporadic at tie's,. LaHue said. "We were good in some spots, but we have a ways to go," LaHue said. Conley, who was the team's leading passer from last season, said there is more cohesion among the players so far this season. "We feel closer than last year," Conley said. "For many, it was their first time on varsity. This year, we have a lot ogre- turning seniors." Experience can be found on defense where seven starters retum this fall. Defensive backs Hector Fuentes and Blaze Thomas, along with defensive end Zane Kuykendall and line- backer Dominic Johnson will lead the group. Others that could play a factor are Sam Guz- man, Justin Rodriguez and Ryan Leal. "We're playing well and I see a lot of im- provement in the back end," IaHue said. "We have some guys return- ing there. We look a little stronger and a little faster." Hays will work on get- ring into game shape when the team travels to Pflugerville Hendrickson for its only scrimmage prior to opening the sea- son Sept. 1 Trying to improve on what they're doing is what LaHue aims to have his player accomplish. "We're just trying to get better as Hays Reb. els. That's the job," La- Hue said. k Ti iil i i