It was a nerve-racking time for McKinney ISD's most decorated athlete. As classmates, parents and staff all around the McKinney North campus were watching fellow athletes announce their intentions on where they would take their talents to for the next four years, over in room G114, Jessica Richards, the cross country and girls track and field head coach, along with London Culbreath and her family were hurriedly trying to set up the room.
Trying to figure out what table cover would hide a blanket the best above a table with a bunch of school swag. Setting up pennants along the front of another table – going Baylor, Arkansas, Baylor, Arkansas. Setting up a logo cake at the back. Checking to make sure the McKinney North-themed balloons were aligned just right, and lastly making sure the reveal clothing was fully tucked under thick, heavy winter jackets.
Momma Culbreath definitely feeling every degree of 72 in the room: "It is hot in here," she said with a smirk and fanning herself.
As the minutes ticked down, anxious classmates and parents tried entering the locked door. Three-fifteen passed by and the attempts grew more frequently.
Finally, people were allowed into the room and the faint murmur outside in the hall engulfed the classroom. One by one, London greeted friends with hugs and laughter as she anxiously awaited her time to make her announcement.
The nerves definitely got to Culbreath as after a minute of thanking everyone, she forgot the script she wanted to go with – all with the vibrant smile and charm people around the school and program have known her for.
It came down to two programs for London: Baylor or Arkansas. And it wasn't easy for her to decide – it never is if you ask any athlete deciding on where to spend the next four years of their lives.
"Either one would be a great fit," she said. "But there's always a perfect fit."
And from there, London unzipped her black jumper jacket, revealing an Arkansas Razorbacks cardinal hoodie to the delight of in attendance, regardless of which school they thought she was going to pick.
"I really just wanted a program that was challenging. I wanted a strong culture of really strong women. They're always up there in the NCAAs, and I thought that would be so amazing to be a part of such a strong team. I really loved Coach [Lance] Harter and the campus," Culbreath said.
It had been nearly a full week since London made her decision to go with Arkansas, something she said she wanted to have finished so she could strictly focus on State and take home her fourth straight UIL 5A Girls title.
Culbreath said she kept the inner-circle information very small, limiting those who knew of her choice to Coach Richards, her parents and her best friend. She also admitted having everyone ask her where she was going was tough to deal with, but she able to hold out.
Ultimately, Culbreath fell short of that four-peat, but her high school career is nothing short of 'amazing.'
"I feel really blessed to have all those accomplishments. I'm super excited to see what the future holds. I think at the college level, I'll be able to grow as an athlete so much more. With all these things I've accomplished, I'm just eager to see what else I have to unlock," Culbreath said.
Dealing with all that on-field pressure as well as navigating through the recruiting process was aided by Coach Richards, who has been there as a Division I athlete and help more than 10 other athletes get to this point.
"It's exciting to help her on the journey," Richards said. "There's nothing better than getting to [continue your athletic career] for the next four years. I'm excited for her to be in a program like Coach Harter's built around the girls that are in there. The atmosphere there, I think she'll excel even more than she already has, and be pushed."
The next chapter for Culbreath is the spring track and field season and finishing her career with a 'bang.' Coach Richards admitted there's an elephant in the room with how things finished at State, but the Culbreath and the team are going to take three weeks to rest and recoup.
"I think once she made this decision and once the season was over, it was kind of a double weight lifted. I think once we rest and regroup and we go back to the drawing board and figure out some things," Richards added.
The long-term goal for Culbreath is to make the most of her endeavors at Arkansas and parlay her existing accomplishments and skills into being a pro or Olympic athlete or maybe even a coach."They've had so many alumni that have run pro or in the Olympics – I never wanted to say 'what if' – and I felt at Arkansas, I could reach my full potential."
On Friday, The Pfield in Pflugerville hosted a UIL 5A Division II bi-district football matchup that included two Austin area teams that didn't make the 2018 postseason. Pflugerville Weiss (9-2) bounced back from an 0-10 inaugural season record to earn a share of the 13-5A Division II title in 2019. It played a motivated Lockhart (6-5) squad that earned this year's 14-5A Division II three-seed after falling two wins short of the postseason in 2018.
The teams got off to a slow start on Friday, as evident by Pflugerville Weiss' turnover on downs at the 7:28 mark of the opening quarter and Lockhart's fumble at the 6:01 mark of the period, but the Wolves bounced back for a come-from-behind 24-14 win.
"It's a pretty emotional moment," Pflugerville Weiss coach Tommy Aultman said of his program's first playoff win. "I'm just so proud of these kids for buying in from the first day that we started in January of 2017. We told them all along if you just stick to the process, stick with us, stay coachable, be a good kid, do what we ask you to do [and] work hard that you're going to have a chance to do something special with this first senior class."
Lockhart took the game's first lead on Jayden Garza's touchdown at the 1:13 mark of the first quarter, but Pflugerville Weiss started to heat up in the second period. Its defense was attentive enough to force and recover a fumble on the same play its offense recorded an interception, and its offense later tied the score when Jeremiah Robinson hung on for a touchdown catch with 49 seconds left in the first half.
The momentum stayed on Pflugerville Weiss' side in the third quarter. The Wolves were successful on a field goal attempt that gave them a 10-7 lead with 8:20 left in the period. Their defense also forced its second fumble recovery at the 4:13 mark and VYPE Player of the Game Edric Whitley's first pick six made it a 17-7 game with 10 seconds left in the period.
Tay Andrews cut into the deficit with a touchdown at the seven-minute mark of the fourth quarter, and Lockhart's defense forced its second turnover on downs with 2:39 left in the game, but Whitley's second pick six at the 2:03 mark wrapped up Pflugerville Weiss' win.
"Our defense is the heart of this team," said Whitley. "So we dominated today, and here are the results."
Pflugerville Weiss now turns its attention to its next postseason test. The Wolves will travel to Corpus Christi ISD's Cabaniss Sports Complex for next Friday's UIL 5A Division II area round playoff game against 16-5A Division II's Sharyland Pioneer (10-1). Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
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vype media austin central texas pflugerville isd weiss wolves first 1st uil football playoff postseason win victory program history school lockhart tommy aultman jayden garza jeremiah robinson edric whitley player of the game interview 5a division ii dii bi-district game round area sharyland pioneer corpus christi cabaniss sports complex sports the pfield
16 Nov, 2019
The scores are rolling in, teams' seasons are coming to an end while others will get to practice for at least another week.
Being a 10-0 team hasn't fared well so far in the 2019 playoff picture. Fort Bend Travis saw its perfect season come to an end on Thursday with a 35-28 loss to Katy Tompkins. New Caney, which just wrapped up its fourth-straight district title a week ago, fell short to Foster on Friday, 31-21, ending its season.
Katy protected its perfect season as it dispatched Fort Bend Ridge Point on Friday with a 35-28 victory; Shadow Creek remained perfect with a 49-7 victory over Port Arthur Memorial; Cy-Fair moved to 11-0 with a 65-20 victory over Bellaire; Manvel continued its perfect march with a 49-14 win over Nederland and Huffman remained flawless with a 49-6 win over Furr on Thursday.
On the private school ranks, Second Baptist School stayed perfect with a 43-29 win over Brentwood Christian on Friday, while The Woodlands Christian Academy did the same with a 48-7 victory over San Marcos Christian.
So, that's a look at the teams that were perfect and remain perfect. What about the rest of the field, including who won and who and when they play next.
Class 6A Division I – Region III
Cy-Fair 65, Bellaire 20
Katy 35, Ridge Point 28
Area Round – Katy vs Cy-Fair – Friday, Nov. 22 at Tully Stadium - 7 pm
North Shore 54, Dobie 0
Pearland Dawson 38, Clear Springs 32
Area Round – North Shore vs Dawson – Friday, Nov. 22 at Pasadena Memorial Stadium - 7 pm
Cy Falls 27, Lamar 14
Tompkins 35, Fort Bend Travis 28
Area Round – Cy Falls vs Tompkins – Friday, Nov. 22 at Legacy Stadium - 7 p.m.
Atascocita 70, Deer Park 29
Dickinson 28, Pearland 23
Area Round – Atascocita vs Dickinson – Saturday, Nov. 23 at NRG Stadium - 2 p.m.
Class 6A Division I – Region II
Cypress Woods 42, Cedar Ridge 28
Spring vs The Woodlands – 11/16 – 2 p.m.
Area Round – Cy Woods vs Spring/The Woodlands
Cypress Ranch 38, Stony Point 24
Klein Oak vs MacArthur – 11/16-2 p.m.
Area Round – Cy Ranch vs Klein Oak/MacArthur
Class 6A Division II – Region III
Cypress Creek 41, Westside 21
Mayde Creek 27, Fort Bend Bush 21
Area Round – Cypress Creek vs Mayde Creek – Thursday, Nov. 21 – Pridgeon Stadium - 7 pm
West Brook 55, Kingwood 21
Strake Jesuit 48, Clear Creek 14
Area Round – West Brook vs Strake Jesuit – TBD
Memorial 20, Heights 9
Katy Taylor vs FB Elkins – 11/16 – 4 pm
Area Round – Memorial vs Katy Taylor/FB Elkins
George Ranch 49, Clear Falls 37
Humble vs C.E. King – 11/16 – 4 pm
Area Round – George Ranch vs Humble/CE King
Class 6A Division II – Region II
Tomball Memorial 49, Vista Ridge 43
Westfield 41, Klein Cain 15
Area Round – Tomball Memorial vs Westfield – TBD
Klein Collins 37, Dekaney 6
Vandergrift 14, Bridgeland 13
Area Round – Klein Collins vs Vandergrift – TBD
Class 5A Division I – Region III
Foster 31, New Caney 21
Georgetown 6, LBJ 3
Area Round – Foster vs Georgetown – TBD
Shadow Creek 49, Port Arthur Memorial 7
Hutto 35, Seguin 27
Area Round – Shadow Creek vs Hutto – Friday, Nov. 22 at Waller ISD Stadium - 7:30 p.m.
Cedar Park 49, McCallum 10
Friendswood 40, Kingwood Park 14
Area Round – Friendswood vs Cedar Park – Saturday, Nov. 23 at NRG Stadium – 6 p.m.
Manor 28, Dripping Springs 27
Porter vs FB Hightower – 11/16 – 1 p.m.
Area Round – Manor vs Porter/FB Hightower
Class 5A Division I – Region II
McKinney North 70, Magnolia West 36
Lancaster 44, The Colony 29
Area Round – McKinney North vs Lancaster – TBD
Magnolia 34, Poteet 14
Highland Park 33, Wakeland 10
Area Round – Highland Park vs Magnolia – Thursday, Nov. 21 – AT&T Stadium 7 p.m.
Class 5A Division II – Region III
Huntsville 35, Marshall 12
Crosby 70, FB WIllowridge 42
Area Round – Huntsville vs Crosby – TBD
A&M Consolidated 42, Pine Tree 14
FB Marshall 48, Port Neches-Groves 14
Area Round – A&M Consolidated vs FB Marshall – Friday, Nov. 22 at Pridgeon Stadium – 7 p.m.
Manvel 49, Nederland 14
Lamar Consolidated 48, Lindale 43
Area Round – Manvel vs Lamar Consolidated – Friday, Nov. 22 – Traylor Stadium TBD
Barbers Hill 42, Sterling 0
Whitehouse 35, Paetow 10
Area Round – Barbers Hill vs Whitehouse – TBD
texas high school football texas high school football playoffs cy-fair high school cy-fair football katy football katy high school north shore high school north shore football pearland dawson high school pearland dawson football cy falls high school katy tompkins high school katy tompkins football atascocita football dickinson football atascocita high school dickinson high school cypress woods high school cypress ranch high school cypress creek high school mayde creek high school west brook high school memorial high school strake jesuit high school scoreboard playoff scoreboard vype houston high school sports houston high school sports
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