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The Dallas-Fort Worth area is rich with athletes who excel at their sport. As baseball and softball playoffs heat up, there are still some schools who have multiple teams that continue to inch closer and closer to state. One of those schools is Aledo as the Bearcats prepare to take on Abilene Wylie in the Regional Semifinals and the Lady Bearcats prepare to go up against Lubbock Monterey in the Regional Finals. VYPE DFW takes a deeper look at both teams' seasons so far and lays out what fans can expect in this week's round of playoffs for Aledo.
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The Aledo Lady Bearcats ended their season in a heartbreaking fashion last year with a 4-1 playoffs loss against Barbers Hill. Coming into this season, the team regrouped and entered the preseason with a bang taking down opponent after opponent. Then, in district play, the Lady Bearcats continued their dominance with victories over Fort Worth Brewer, Wichita Falls Rider, Granbury, Azle, and more to finish district play with an undefeated district record.
In playoffs, the Lady Bearcats have shut down the attacks of Denton Ryan (14-3, 12-1), Mansfield Legacy (12-1, 13-1), Colleyville Heritage (4-1, 10-0), and Abilene Wylie (14-2, 7-3). The Lady Bearcats have outscored their opponents in playoffs by a combined 86-12.
Headed into the Regional finals on a 22 game win streak, the Lady Bearcats are more than prepared to take on Lubbock Monterey. Led by Macy Graf, Marissa Powell, Texas Ray, and others- the Lady Bearcats offense has been phenomenal not only at getting on base, but stealing and scoring as well. Fans can expect the team to play strategic offense in order to help the defense play without worrying.
Game one of the series is set to begin at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 26th at Abilene Christian University with game two being set for 10 a.m on Friday at the same venue. If a game three is necessary, it will be played immediately following game two.
The Bearcats played a tough season last year, but ultimately fell. After a focused off-season, with a goal of being at the top this season, the Bearcats pushed into preseason play ready to never go down without a fight. This season, Aledo has posted incredible wins over Southlake Carroll, Lubbock Cooper, Weatherford, South Grand Prairie, Mansfield Lake Ridge, and more. After successful district play, Aledo entered playoffs with a vengeance.
So far in playoffs, Aledo has ended he seasons of Denton (6-2, 9-4), Burleson (6-4), and Burleson Centennial (4-0, 3-0). On a seven game win streak, the team looks to continue to advance in playoffs as they prepare to take on Abilene Wylie in the Regional Semifinals. Fans can expect Aledo to play with the same amount of force that they have been all season. With the ability to read other offenses and adjust wherever needed, Aledo's defense can be expected to step up and pave a path to the next round.
Game one of the series is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 26th at Weatherford College. Game two will be played at 1 p.m on Friday at Abilene Christian. If game three is necessary, the team will play at Iowa Park on Saturday at 5 p.m.
Creed Willems (catcher's gear) walks into the field with the rest of the Aledo Bearcats baseball team
Creed Willems is one of the latest Texas high school baseball stars to take his talents to a professional level. After recently announcing his decision to forgo TCU baseball and join the Orioles, Willems was able to catch up with VYPE DFW regarding his high school career as well as everything he's looking forward to in his future with the MLB.
Despite a shortened season when the COVID-19 pandemic was running rampant across the country, Wilems didn't have a hard time staying focused on his goal. The star athlete banded together with teammates to stay in shape and on top of being sharp and ready for the next time they stepped foot onto the diamond. "Me and a few teammates would go hit, throw, and lift every morning and get all of our work in," said Willems. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that the extra work, time, and dedication to his sport paid off. "My goal [for my senior season] was to hit double-digit home runs and his .400 with less than 10 strikeouts," Willems said before adding that his ultimate goal was to simply have a good senior season and hopefully get the honor of being drafted out of high school.
"Doing my part to help my team win and not trying to do it all myself," is exactly what Willems said was the secret to his success in high school baseball. "Most importantly, keeping the Lord ahead of everything and giving him all the glory." As far as the team's success, Willems chalks it up to the fact that they were always able to come together and work together. "Playing as a team [is the secret to the team success]. Knowing that if we could find a way to get the next guy to the plate, they would take care of business." Willems added that the team was always able to trust each other and so it helped to strengthen their bond on and off the field.
It's no doubt that his time with Aledo was nothing short of a great experience for him. With many memories to last him a lifetime, Willems drew from one specific moment in his high school career when looking back on his time with the Bearcats. "Hitting a home run in my first at-bat on senior night [was my favorite memory while playing for Aledo]," said Willems.
As most young boys who play baseball do, Willems always dreamed of playing at the professional level. Willems said he expected to be drafted to the MLB out of high school, but had no clue what or how that opportunity would present itself and with who. "It was a dream of mine ever since I stepped on the baseball field," Willems told VYPE. "It honestly felt surreal until I signed my contract." Although it was a dream come true, it couldn't have been an easy decision to make when it came time to decide what his next chapter would be. With an offer and commitment to TCU's baseball program, Willems had to think long and hard as well as pray about what path was the right path to take. "The offer was given and I prayed and prayed about it. I felt the Lord pushing me towards signing to play pro ball rather than going to college," Willems said in his interview.
In the coming year, so much will be changing for this young man from a small town in Texas known as "Title Town". Brighter lights than ever before will shine on the Bearcat star as he transitions into being a star for the Orioles, but what he most looks forward to is simply being able to do what he has always wanted to do. "Being able to live my dream and getting to play professional baseball," said Willems when asked what he's most looking forward to in the upcoming year.
As for all of those watching and learning from those making it to the highest levels, Willems has a piece of advice: "Work hard, stay humble, never be satisfied, and always trust that God has a plan for your life; trust in it."
What is your favorite professional sports team?"Baltimore Orioles and New Orleans Saints."
What athlete do you look up to the most?"JT Realmuto."
"If you could have lunch with one person (dead or alive) who would it be? What would you talk about with them?"Ted Williams or Pete Rose. I would just talk to them about baseball and the hitting side of it because they are two of the greatest hitters of all time- if not already the greatest."