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I F + Spanish IV class attends National Hispanic Leadership Conference. - Page 3B HaysFreePress.com December 28, 2011 Page 1B % + Hays cornerback Jared Rodriguez tips a pass away from intended receiver Easton Mclntosh during the Rebels' dramatic 34-28 overtime victory against then-undefeated Smithson Valley, which was ranked No. 2 in the state in Class 4A. Hays High never trailed in the game. After Hays defenders Christian Rodriguez, Nate Paez and William Trevitlion made key plays to keep the Rang- ers off the scoreboard on the first overtime oossession, Rebel quarterback Caleb Kimbro took over when Hays went on the attack in overtime. Kimbro carried the ball on consecutive plays to advance Hays from the 25 to the 5-yard line. Two plays later, Mi- chael Romero dove in from 3 yards out for the game winner. PHOTO BY CYNDY SLOVAK-BARTON Several Hays athletic programs saw a resur- an gence this year. We couldn't narrow it down at q to only five. so here are our top six Rebel sports moments in 2011: m~ qu 1, Hays football team stuns Re pu No, 2 Smithson Re Valley in overtime to claim er, fie share of district crown 16. Ro He might have arrived on campus in March, but the Blake Feldt era officially began on the evening of Nov. 4 at Hays High School. The first-year Hays head coach earned a signa- ture victory over previously unbeaten state power SmithsonValley as his Rebels knocked offthe No. 2 Rangers 34-28 in overtime. Hays earned a district tri-championship along with Alamo Heights and SmithsonValley, It marked the biggest Rebel victory at Shelton Stadium since Hays endedWestlake's national record 71-game district winning streak in 2003. k was Hays' first win over a ranked team since the Rebs beat Calafien in the playoffs in 2006. Against Hays, a SmithsonValley team that had barely trailed all season long, and never by more than seven points, never led the Rebels. "That was no fluke." Feldt said. "We moved the Pa ball all night long and we beat them." Re Hays won the flip and elected to go on defense ck first in overtime. Rebel Cornerback Christian Rodriguez tipped away a pass in the end zone and Nate Paez teamed up with William Trevillion to sack Smithson Valley quarterback Parker McKen- 3 zie to help hold the Rangers scoreless in the extra frame, ql 'As soon as the defense got on the field first we knew we were going to win." Paez said. Feldt said he was equally as confident in his defense to come up with the plays Hays needed most. "Our defense is like a bunch of mad fire ants." Feldt said. "Theyjust kept moving to the football." Rebel quarterback Caleb Kimbro took over when Hays went on the attack in overtime, car- rying the ball on consecutive carries from the 25 down to the 5-yard-line. Two plays later. Michael Romero dove in from 3-yards out for the game winner. "Seeing Michael cross that goal line was an in- credible feeling," Kimbro said. 'All our hard work this season paid off." PHOTO BY BRUCE RUCKEL Hays senior Michael Romero scored the go-ahead touchdown to give the Rebels a 34-24 bi-district playoff victory at Clemens' Lehnhoff Stadium in No- vember, it was the Rebels' first piayoff win since a 2006 march to the Class 4A regional finals. Hays would lose the next week to No. 5 Cedar Park in the area round of the playoffs, but the 2011 Rebel foot- ball team gave many fans thrills and chills throughout the season. Q .ents In t went on to a 34-24 bi-district playoffvictory ;lemens' Lehnhoff Stadium. t was the Rebels' first playoff win since a 2006 rch to the Class 4A regional finals. kennan (7-4) led 24-21 early in the fourth ~er and had the ball one foot away from the )el goal line. But an illegal procedure penalty ~hed the Bears back and on the very next play )el defensive lineman William Tre~llion recov- d a fumbled Brennan snap at the 6. -lays proceeded to march 94 yards down the d, keyed by Caleb Kimbro's 42-yard run, his yard pass to Mason Cervenka and Michael nero's 4-yard run on fourth-and-three. /omero scored from 4 yards out to cap the dri ~e, gMng the Rebels a 27-24 lead with just tin ter six minutes to play. 'We had a little bit of a hangover from the Sn ithson Valley win early on, but that 94 -yard dri ve was our biggest of the night," said Hays head co~ Lch Blake Feldt. ' We really got it cranked up fro m there." .... i ~rennan forced Hays into a punting situation ne~ midfield with three minutes to play, but Jake Vela fumbled Kimbro s booming kick at the 5, and Rebel receiver Granger Studdard pounced on the ball at the 1. the Rebels (8-3) ran all but the final 25 seconds off the game clock before Taven Mayberiy's 1-yard tm .chdown plunge capped the win. .lays would lose the next week to No. 5 Cedar k in the area round of the p]ayoffs, but the201] )el football team gave many fans thrills and lls throughout the season. Five Hays athletes alify for state three Ha gs High po e vaulters, go: fer Lind- McCurdy ~1~ cross- copntry runner M~iana Sigala qualified for UI~ state co~-npetition. D~spite blus- te]~y conditions that hindered golfers all tournament lo,g, McCurdy pa~red the final 131holes she pl,yed on the second day of co~npetition at gimmy Clay G0lf Course in Aqstin to card a :~-over 74. Treat was an inqprovement or~ her first- round 78 and le~t the talented LaXly Rebel, woo came into th9 tourna- mgnt ranked th~ top female golfer in Class .4~,.tied for fifth in ~he event. PHOTO BY CYNDYSLOVAK-BARTON Three Hays High pole vault- ers, Chaney Turney, Meredith Driskell and Daryl Burrell (above), Lady Rebel golfer Lindsey McCurdy and cross- country runner Mariana Sigala qualified for UIL state competi- tion in 2011. McCurdy finished fifth at the Class 4A UIL State Tournament at Jimmy Clay Golf Course in Austin. Driskell and Burrefl finished fifth in the Class 4A UIL pole vault event, and Sigala ended her cross-country career with a top-40 finish. 'Even though I knew I wasn't leading I was go- in3: to do my best," McCurdy said. "It felt real good to 5nish with 13 straight pars. McCurdy teed off on the back nine Tuesday and ge~: her lone birdie after an 8-iron landed 30-feet : of the pin on the 133.yard par-3 12th hole. She m~ Lde the bomb of a putt and that kick-started her inn pressive round. 2. Hays football team wins :'Some of the holes she parred down the stretch | hrst playoff game since 06 The Re~oel football team claimed the first two spots on our list this year. The Rebels turned a football game in which they looked down and out into another thrilling victory by the time the final seconds ticked away. Hays turned the ball over four times, but it was San Antonio Brennan's miscues late that gave the Rebs a chance to win. Hays took full advantage of the opportunity Li~adsey really had to scramble," said Hays golf c6ach Danny Preuss. "She got up and down from totagh places several times then made the par p~tt. We're very proud of her. I know she wanted tolwin it, but she's always going to fight for the boa score no matter what." IAt the UIL State Track and Field Meet at My- er~ Stadinm in Austin, things didn't go quite as plmaned for Hays High pole vaulters Chaney See TOP REBEL SPORTS OF 2011, pg. 2B It certainly was a year to remember in the world of Lehman athletics. There were many his- toric moments along the way. Here are our picks for the top five Lobo sports stories of 2011: 1, Lehman boys basketball team makes the playoffs for first time school history It was an historic night in late February that warranted a standing room only crowd. The Leh- man Lobos basketball team was making its first-ever playoff appear- ance agmnst the Kerrville Tivy Antlers and the pre-game atmosphere PHOTO BY JUDY COOPER was electric - thanks in part Adam Woodworth emerges to four busloads through a sea of fans with inter- of boisterous locked hands before the Lobo Loho blue and boys basketball team took to silver fans Who the court in Boerne for its first- made the 80- ever playoff game in February. mile trek to Four busloads of fans made their way to the game to watch Champion Lehman take on Kerrville-Tivy. High School in Boerne. In the end it was the Antlers that came away with a 59-48 bi-district win over Lehman. Lehman then-sophomore guard DeAndre Carson tried to bring his team back from an early 16-3 deficit erupting for 15 of his team high 20 points to pace the Lobos in the second half, but the Lobo rally came up just short. "I just wanted to be aggressive in the second half because I knew that's what my team needed me to do," Carson said. Senior captain Taraie Murry, who scored 10 points in his final game as a Lobo, is expecting big things from the Lehman basketball program as the Lobos. who also swept Hays for the first time ever in 2011 try to build on the playoff experience. "We will have a couple of good players coming lowed Martinez to score an insurance run for the Lobos. When the Lobos repeated the feat at Lehman in April, they acted like they had been there before. Lehman rallied for an 8-6 victory at Lobo Field that put the team right back in the thick of the playoff race, and virtually ended Hays' chance of a fifth straight district title. "We expect nothing less now." said Cerda, who shut down Hays late in the game with three solid mnings of pitching. "We're starting a tradition." The Lobos went on to earn their second straight playoff berth, before losing to talented Boerne Champion in the first round. Lehman coach Toby Robinson said his Lobos have drawn tough opponents to start the playoffs in each of their two postseason appearances. "We got to play a great team last year in Brenham, and this year coach (Chuck) Foster's group at Champion is excellent as well," he said. "Hopefully that will motivate the team to move up the rankings and not have to play a No. 1 (seed) ." With eight freshmen and sophomores, along with five juniors on its 16-man playoff roster in 2011, Robinson said he hopes the experience they gained this year will help the team heading into next season. "You can't get too mad because we're very, very young," he said. "Hopefully they had a great experience and learned a lot." PHOTO BY DAVID SIMONEAUX The Lehman football team rushes out of the locker room and onto the field with pride during the Lobos' first-ever winning season in 2011. The Lobos finished the season 6-4, and also won two district games for the first time ever. beating Clemens and Lockhart to close out the year. 3, Lehman football team back next year with some playoff experience undertheirbelt,"Murrysaid."Nowthatthey earns first winning season have gotten a taste of what this is like, hopefully Not only did the Lehman footb~dl team finish they will come back next year and try to get back 6-4, marking the first time in school history the to this point. The talent will be here." squad finished with a winning record, the Lobos won two district games for the first time ever as well. With the chance to secure a winning season on the line in its final game of the year against Lockhart. a group of sophomores helped ensure the 2011 team would be one for the record books. Sophomore cornerback Conner Baird grabbed a pair of interceptions in a breakout second half on Friday as the Lehman Lobos ran past district rival Lockhart 31-7, Sophomore Trace Gonzales ran the Lobo of- fense with steady hands, sophomore Brandon Hamilton had two catches for 62 yards, and se- nior Levi Medley finished with 95 yards rushing in his final game as a Lobo. "We're trying to get everything on the right path. and I'm really proud of these guys," Leh- man head coach Steve Davis said after his play- ers celebrated the win by dousing him with ice water. "I'm really proud that they never gave up, PHOTO BY JUDY COOPER and they kept playing." Hunter Lehman and the Lobo baseball team earned its first two wins ever against Hays in an exciting 2011 season. The Lobos went on to claim their sec- ond straight playoff berth before losing to talented Boerne Champion in the first round. 2, Lehman baseball team sweeps Hays, makes second slraigM playoff appearance It wasn't enough for Lehman to end a five- year losing streak to Hays, a perennial regional baseball power,.back in March, the Lobos re- peated the feat in early April. The Lobos did it in dramatic fashion in March, scoring three runs in the top of the seventh for a 5-3 comeback win at Rebel Field in the District 27-4A opener for both teams. "It's an amazing feeling," said Lehman short- stop Nick Cerda. "I've wanted to beat Hays ever since my freshman year." Hays High appeared to have the upper hand when it took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning on Nick Cavazos' double offthe wall in deep right field that platedVictor Rubio. Although Hays was three outs away from an- other victory over Lehman, it was apparent the Lobos weren't going to quit. ' Even when we were losing, I knew we had the fight in us to come back," Cerda said. "I could see it in everyone's eyes in the dugout." Three of the first four Lehman batters, Braxton Rico, Xavier Soliz and Rudy Martinez, singled in the top of the seventh inning to load the bases with one out. Cerda drew a walk that brought Rico home to tie the score 3-3, and JustinVajgert's sharp grounder for a single scored Soliz to give Lehman the lead 4-3. Chris Tello's RBI-groundout to shortstop al- 4, Lehman powerlifting team sends 10 athletes to State Meet Don't look now- but there is a budding new dynasty at Lehman. For the third con- secutive year, the Lobos were well represent- ed at the State Powerlifting Meet. Lehman sent a school record seven girls and three boys to the State Meet in March in PHOTO BY JUDY COOPER Corpus Christi Michaela Castillo, who finished and Abilene second at State in March, was respectively, one of 10 Lehman powerlifters The Lobo to qualify for the State Meet in athletes that 2011. In all, the program sent qualified for 16 boys and girls to the regional State were Mi- meet. Three Lobos qualified for chae]a Castiilo, the boys State Meet in Abilene, who finished and seven Lady Lobos made second at State, it to the girls State Meet in Jon Frasier, Corpus Christi. who finished third, Shelbi Snyder, who finished fourth, Sheila Martinez, who finished fourth, Adrieana Marti- nez, who finished fourth, Shannon Pickett, who See TOP LOB0 SPORTS STORIES OF 2011, pg. 2B +