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Bay Area Christian School
Michael Tweed, BACS
Bay Area Christian School's Michael Tweed pops up all over the campus.
He could be found in the wrestling mat room, the baseball diamond or the band hall. Tweed has signed to play baseball at Sterling College and was a member of the 2021 TAPPS State Title baseball team.
At the same time, he is the drum major for the band and is a talented saxophonist.
What can this kid not do?
VYPE caught up with the lead Bronco to find out what his secret to success has been while at Bay Area Christian.
VYPE: You were involved with band, wrestling and baseball at BACS. What was it like being a part of all three?
TWEED: At the end of the day, I was motivated by the fact that I really enjoy all of my pursuits. I was very fortunate that my parents encouraged me to try new things. They also encouraged me to set high academic performance standards so that doors would be open later on in college. This was also something that had to be factored into my personal time management equation.
VYPE: What did you learn from being the drum major for the band?
TWEED: It was a gratifying accomplishment. My father’s side of my family has deep musical roots including marching band. My grandfather was actually a high school band director and he discussed the importance of the drum major’s role many times. I applied for consideration as drum major for my senior year and attended a really great drum majors band camp. It opened my eyes to a lot of things, including how an effective leader is responsible for the actions of others and how leadership can inspire the performance of others in a team setting.
VYPE: What does it mean to you to be getting to play college baseball?
TWEED: It is a huge thrill and really means a lot. I have always wanted to play college ball, but also needed to find a school that could accommodate my academic goals – I’m looking to major in biology with a minor concentration in chemistry – as well. Having the opportunity to continue playing music is another huge bonus I was looking for. My goal was to find a school offering the same full range of activities that I have grown accustomed to while at Bay Area Christian although my athletic goal will be focused on only one sport this time. Sterling College turned out to be my best option to pursue all the activities I wanted to participate.
VYPE: What did you enjoy the most about attending Bay Area Christian?
TWEED: Attending Bay Area Christian School has been an opportunity of a lifetime. The entire experience has been filled with numerous blessings and many fond memories. The school has a relatively small student body that is more like a close-knit family, so it is a very supportive environment. It is a place where classmates are always rooting for you. I have so many great memories from the classroom, band, swimming, wrestling and baseball, but if I had to choose one, it would probably be the last game of the 2021 season when I was behind the plate catching the TAPPS Division III Championship Game, which we won. It took a while to realize what we had accomplished, since it was the very first State Championship in any boys’ sport in our school’s history, but looking back it was really amazing.
Caroline Bonnecaze, Bay Area Christian
As Caroline Bonnecaze stepped up to the starting line at The Woodlands Christian Invitational on August 25, 2018, the then seventh grader didn't know what to expect.
Or, even what time to shoot for.
Bonnecaze just ran.
Her times got better and better as the season went on. Eventually on October 18, 2018, she took second place at the GHAC XC Championships for middle school.
“I think placing like I did really boosted my confidence especially for the years following,” Bonnecaze said. “It still drives me to compete harder at meets. Doing so well convinced me to keep doing cross country and I’m so glad I have.”
As she transitioned to the high school level in 2020 as a freshman at Bay Area Christian School, Bonnecaze continued to drop her time and kept finding the podium.
In October of 2020, Bonnecaze ran a thenpersonal best of 12:25.40 at the TAPPS 4A District 4 & 5 Championship to take home the district crown. She then advanced to the TAPPS State Championships, where she finished fifth overall.
Last spring, Bonnecaze took her success from the cross-country course to the oval. She advanced to the TAPPS Track & Field State Championships in all three distance races – the 800-meter, 1600-meter and 3200-meter. There, she ran personal bests in all three events.
Bonnecaze finished third in the 800-meter (2:25.55), fourth in the 1600-meter (5:37.77) and fifth in the 3200-meter (12:55.17) as a freshman.
“My success has been very rewarding,” Bonnecaze said. “It’s fulfilling to see your hard work pay off and see my times drop. Although I have good races, there are always races I don’t do as well in. Even though it’s disappointing to have a bad race, it keeps me motivated at practice to do better than the last time. I try to work on keeping a consistent workout schedule, so I don’t lose progress. Endurance is also something I constantly keep working on.”
Being this good at a sport which can take two to five to 12 minutes to finish a race, comes down to feeling and instincts for Bonnecaze.
While running, the sophomore thinks about things like “how far have I gone, how many more laps, what place am I in, if I need to pass people, if my pace is too fast or too slow, and how water will taste so good after I finish”. Even, what meal she will get after the meet is over.
With so many races under her belt, Bonnecaze admits she knows when it is time for that final kick to the finish.
“By the last 100 meters of a race I’m typically sprinting and the adrenaline takes over,” she said.
This year as a sophomore for BACS, Bonnecaze advanced to the TAPPS Cross Country State Championships for a second-straight year and finished 10th overall. This spring, Bonnecaze continues to run her distance races but has also added the long jump, reaching 14-feet7.5-inches in March as a personal best.
“This year I wanted to try something new, and I’ve never participated in a field event before,” Bonnecaze said. “Long jump has been unlike anything I’ve competed in, which I think helps me appreciate the other events more. I’ve enjoyed getting to start fresh at something and gain new skills. I’ve been working on the different parts of the jump and trying to get more height.”
So, could we see Bonnecaze running at the next level one day?
“Running in college hasn’t been my main goal, however, if the right opportunity arose, I’d consider the possibility,” she said.