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Lamar Consolidated ISD
Some of the stars of 2023-24 Fulshear Chargers Volleyball
In just eight years since the program was established, Fulshear has ascended to be one of the most dominant forces in Texas high school volleyball. That trend hasn’t faltered in 2023.
Turn back the clock three years, and head coach Sydney Zimmerman was just in her second season with the team (2019-2020), in which she guided the Chargers to a Class 4A championship prior to reaching the Class 5A State Final in the ensuing season.
Now, Fulshear (40-4; 14-0 in district) returns to Garland, Texas to compete in the UIL State Tournament, yet again. What else is new?
Sarcasm aside, Zimmerman has noticed something different about this year’s squad.
“This team is super unique,” she said. “They have a ton of energy, and they’re super close off the court, which really shows when they compete together. They just have fun, and I’ve never had a team that enjoys the game as much as these girls do.”
Bradley C. Collier (VYPE)
Given their frequent visits to this stage in years past, it’s become evident that Zimmerman has turned Fulshear into a dynasty of sorts.
“I think it’s pretty common for some programs to get used to success, and I feel like that’s part of what we do here at Fulshear,” said Zimmerman. “Once you set the bar so high so early, that becomes the standard. Because of that, anything less than a trip to the State Tournament feels disappointing. With our history, it has kind of become the expectation in which we thrive.”
It’s no secret who the stars of this season are for the Chargers. It all begins with Wake Forest-commit Bailey Warren (Jr. OH).
“I’ve coached a lot of good outside hitters in my career – some who were All-State selections and went on to play in college,” she said. “She (Warren) is different from the rest. They’re all obviously talented, but Bailey has been solid in all aspects on the court. She’s like her sister (Brielle) in a lot of ways, but I feel that she has a bit more finesse on her touch. She’s stepped up as a leader and never seems to get rattled.”
Warren hasn’t done it all on her own, of course.
Lauren Witte, Sydney Black, Yosola Adeleke, Alexys James and Avery Pruitt have delivered equal contributions to make Fulshear one of the scariest rotations in the state.
Now is the time for the H-Town representatives to show Texas what they’re really made of, as they prepare to face off against fellow Class 5A power Lovejoy this Friday at 1 PM.
“Specifically for this group of kids, I don’t have any that were on varsity three years ago when we won it all,” said Zimmerman. “They’ve been to the Regional Tournament, but this is still a little bit new for them. It (the 2019 championship) is talked about a lot and they haven’t experienced that, so I think it gives them a hunger."
“This is a team that doesn’t struggle with high expectations. I think we play better against teams that bring some adversity, so that’s what we’re hoping for this weekend.”
Two more wins and the legacy continues.
The Fulshear Chargers have that look.
The Class 5A postseason is up for grabs as we enter the Area Round of the playoffs.
What games are the headliners? Who should win? That’s where VYPE come in.
Let’s take a look at three high-profile matchups.
Fulshear (11-0) vs A&M Consolidated (8-3) – Traylor Stadium, 7 pm, Friday
Fulshear is just different. It’s like getting in a time-machine and watching an antiquated offense do work. The Chargers are PHYSICAL as they run the ball with a fullback, pulling guards and tackles. They are hard to game plan for on because they bludgeon defenses with Davion Godley and Patrick Broadway. QB Duece Barrington is efficient with a TD:INT ratio of 22:1. Zane Smith is the lead blocker for the backfield, while Tate Struble is the top WR. The defense is equally as physical.
A&M Consolidated’s style is the polar opposite. QB Will Hargett pulls the trigger for the Tiger offense, while Trey Taylor, Camron Vines and Dakota Johnson share the carries. Ellis Myers and Payton Bjork (son of Texas A&M AD) lead the receiving corps of seven, who have over 100 yards receiving. Will their defense be up to the task?
PREDICTION: Fulshear continues the ride under the direction of high-energy Coach Condutti.
Barbers Hill (9-2) vs Richland (11-0) – Hutto Memorial Stadium 7 pm, Friday
The Richland Royals are undefeated on the year and are tremendously balanced. QB Drew Kates has thrown for over 2,200 yards and 28 scores, while RB Michael Turner has rushed for over 1,200 and 17 scores. There are a solid one-two punch and are complemented by four WRs with over 350 yards. Roddrick Roberts and Brayden Johnson anchor the defense.
Barbers Hill finished second in a tough district and leans on QB Kody Fuentes, who is just a playmaker. WR Brady Thompson is his top target downfield and Jadon Rodriguez in the workhorse in the backfield. That loss to Porter is just a little confusing.
PREDICTION: The Richland Royals have just enough offense to knock off The Hill.
Magnolia (9-2) vs College Station (10-1) – College Station, 7pm Friday
The Magnolia game plan? The Bulldogs must ball-control and shorten the game against 2022 State Finalist College Station. RB Hunter Andrews is the truth with over 1,200 rushing, however, he’s their only real, big-play option. QB Tanner Whittington is a good game manager and must stay mistake-free.
College Station is an offensive juggernaut with QB Arrington Maiden (Memphis-commit), who has thrown for over 2,400 yards and 26 TDs. He hands the ball to Aydan Martinez-Brown and throws to Jake Peveto, among others. Strapp and Young are also running contributors and Paden Cashion is a shifty, inside WR. They can score from all over the field.
PREDICTION: College Station gets ahead early and Magnolia can’t catch up.
CLASS 5A DII BRACKET
CLASS 5A DI BRACKET