DEWINE INTERVENTION: The Woodlands Star Has Guardian Angel Looking On
Being the setter at The Woodlands is the equivalent of being the starting running back for Katy in football. It's one of the most coveted positions in all of high school sports in the state of Texas.
Here’s the lineage of former Highlanders hard-court quarterbacks. Courtney Eckenrode (2 State Titles and played at Missouri), passed the baton to Sophie Walls (played at Penn State), who passed the torch to Clara Brower (Georgia). That’s some great company.
After Brower came Claire Dewine, who led the Highlanders to the Class 6A Region II Championship match in 2021. The 6-foot-1 setter-outside hitter was the District 13-6A Offensive MVP and first-team, all-state selection as a junior and is a nightmare matchup for opponents.
“When I was eight years old, my club team coaches moved me up to the 10-year- old team,” Dewine said. “When I was nine, I was playing with the 12s. I just got used to playing with older girls and that’s how I got good.
“My versatility came from playing beach. You have to be able to do everything when it’s just two of you out there. I played so much beach during the pandemic when the gyms were shut down and it really helped my game.”
Dewine has had an interesting ride during her high school career. She was on varsity as a freshman for the Highlanders, before moving to The Woodlands Christian Academy as a sophomore.
“My brother went to TWCA and my family was very familiar with the school,” she said. “I wanted to try a smaller school and I liked it a lot. The academics, coaching and facilities were great, but I just needed to get back to the big-school level.”
She was an all-state selection and led the Warriors to a district title.
Her high school and club play with Houston Juniors propelled her onto the recruiting scene. She had several offers and committed to Colgate in the fall.
“It’s a pretty academic school and when I went on my visit I just fell in love with the team and the campus,” she said of the Hamilton, New York school. “I’m going to study economics and I’d like to do something in business in the future. I just felt that Colgate was the best place to set me up in the future.”
While Dewine seems to have the world on a string, she will be playing with a heavy heart this year. She lost her father in June as he battled pancreatic cancer.
“It’s been pretty hard,” she said. “I know he’s in a better place and not in so much pain anymore. I’m focusing on the positive. He was my biggest fan and really understood the game and my potential.”
With a guardian angel looking over her, she and the Highlanders could have a magical season.