FALL WRAP: Solid Seasons Prepare Warriors for Big 2022
DESPITE BEING YOUNG AT KEY SPOTS ON THE FIELD, THE WOODLANDS CHRISTIAN ACADEMY ENJOYED A SOLID YEAR ON THE GRIDIRON IN 2021, GOING 7-4 AND FALLING TO PERENNIAL POWER AUSTIN REGENTS IN THE FIRST ROUND OF THE PLAYOFFS.
The Warriors made the postseason for the ninth time in the last 11 years. It was the first season for head coach Chris McClanahan, who took over for Randy Hollas in December 2020.
The Warriors were led offensively by junior running back Roric Hawkins Jr., who compiled 1,309 rushing yards and 15 touchdowns. Junior Ryan Leslie added to what was a potent ground game for TWCA with 794 yards and nine touchdowns.
The core of TWCA’s offense will return next season with Hawkins, Leslie and quarterback Josh Johnson. The junior completed 58 percent of his passes for 1,090 yards and 14 touchdowns to 12 interceptions. He also rushed for 595 yards and six touchdowns.
Defensively, the Warriors were led by senior linebacker Sean Kane, senior linebacker Austin Veldekens, junior defensive back Jacob Rios, senior lineman Ezekiel Jurado and senior defensive back Dereck Felder.
AFTER LOSING FOUR KEY MEMBERS OF THE 2020-2021 SQUAD, SEVERAL NEW FACES CONTRIBUTED TOWARD THE WOODLANDS CHRISTIAN ACADEMY’S THIRD CONSECUTIVE TAPPS PLAYOFF RUN THIS FALL.
A youthful club saw breakout seasons for much of its young talent. Juniors Jordan Booth, an outside hitter, and Katie Wise, a setter, were all-district, first-team selections. Junior Kirstyn Montgomery was named to the second team, and junior libero Brooke Harris was named honorable mention.
Booth was also an honorable-mention, all-state pick.
All of those girls return for their senior season in 2022.
THE RETOOLED WOODLANDS CHRISTIAN ACADEMY ONCE AGAIN FLEXED ITS STRENGTH ON THE CROSS COUNTRY COURSE IN 2021.
The Warriors boys and girls each finished fourth at the TAPPS 5A state championships, once again earning trips to the award podium.
TWCA was the only 5A school to put both of its teams on the awards stand at state.
The Warriors girls now have 10 consecutive podium wins. The boys have eight.
The TWCA girls won the District 5 championship for the seventh consecutive year. The boys also won the District 5 title.
Even more impressive, 2021 was a sort of reloading year for the Warriors after they graduated star runner Ben Shearer (University of Arkansas) and three boys who finished in the Top 10 at State in 2020. The TWCA boys had only one senior in 2021 in Will Bennett.
The TWCA girls were paced by seniors Lindsay Worthington and Ellie Johnson. Sophomore Zoe Calimani is also a promising talent who is expected to emerge as a leader in 2022.