Wow. It is 2020.
Let that sink in for a minute or two. We are at the beginning of a new decade, which made me think back to the great teams of the 2010s.
Softball teams from H-Town really dominated the last decade, bringing home 11 titles. Katy, Deer Park and Huffman all brought back two titles apiece, while Atascocita won Humble ISD's first ever title and Angleton won its first crown since 1994. The Woodlands and Santa Fe also won titles back in 2011, while Pearland won in 2010.
On the baseball diamond, Houston's last title came back in 2017 when Deer Park won it all. Before that, Cypress Ranch (2015 & 2012), The Woodlands (2013), Tomball (2013) and Brazoswood (2011) were the others to bring home the crowns.
So, it's a new decade.
Who starts the 2020s off with a title for Houston?
🚨 2020 VYPE Houston Baseball/Softball Preview presented by @ChampionEnergy Cover Reveal 🚨
It's time to play ball Houston!
Congrats to @MasynWinn / @2021Kennedy / @drewromo23 / @wittnesstwitty & @miaaascott for making the cover! #VYPECover pic.twitter.com/Eqyny1p62c
— VYPE Houston (@vypehouston) February 18, 2020
Baseball has some prime candidates with state finalist Ridge Point, regional finalist Kingwood and semifinalist The Woodlands all bringing back solid pieces as well. Memorial, Cy-Fair, Lamar, Tompkins, Atascocita, Clear Springs and Cy Ranch will also be teams to keep an eye on.
On the softball side, Klein Collins played Katy – which will have to replace a lot of pieces - for the state title a year ago and are primed to make a run again, along with Huffman, Barbers Hill, Atascocita, The Woodlands and Deer Park.
The talent pool is amazing in Houston and it will be shown on the field this spring.
The 2020 VYPE Houston Baseball and Softball Preview presented by Champion Energy will give you a glimpse into how special the first season of the new decade could be.
Check out who the Contenders, Dark Horses and Sleepers are for public and private school softball and baseball. Be sure to read the 2020 cover story, which dives into the decision of going pro or going to college for potential MLB Draft picks. There are also Q&A's with State Title Game MVP Katy Janes of Huffman and triple-sport star Tauryn Cummings of Summer Creek.
This amazing 64-page magazine is full of everything the baseball-softball fan needs and it will be available at local Academy Sports & Outdoors, Freddy's Steakburgers and Frozen Custard, Timewise Gas Stations and select McDonald's across the city beginning next week.
Big thanks to Baseball USA for playing host to the annual photo shoot this year.
Let''s Play Ball!
With all the holiday tournaments over and teams in the midst of district play, it was time for VYPE to take a look at its basketball rankings and freshen them up.
VYPE's Preseason No. 1 team Cypress Creek has been unbelievable. The Cougars are 25-0 overall and are absolutely rolling. Behind them the rest of the city falls in line with some ultra-talented teams in the mix.
In the private school ranks, The Village School has been crazy good, going 23-5 so far. But that should be no surprise to anyone with the talent on that roster.
Check out the Top 10 Public School and Top 5 Private School girls basketball teams in the city below.
VYPE's TOP 10 - Public School
1. Cypress Creek Cougars (25-0) (Prev. 1)
- Cypress Creek has been absolutely rolling this season. The Cougars have been blowing the doors off opponents of late. In the last few games, Cypress Creek defeated Northbrook (72-17) and Spring Woods (67-10) and has been dominant.
2. Atascocita Eagles (23-3) (Prev. 4)
- Atascocita has been impressive this year, especially coming off a 65-48 victory over rival Summer Creek. That is a big district win for Atascocita.
3. Fort Bend Hightower Hurricanes (21-4) (Prev. 3)
- The Hurricanes got a nice win over Foster, 42-39, on December 31. Destini Lombard is leading the team in scoring, followed by Zaria Johnson. They have a big showdown against Shadow Creek tonight.
4. Cypress Ranch Mustangs (20-3) (Prev. 5)
- Cy Ranch has been solid, outscoring opponents 370-236 in district play to move to 7-0 thus far. The last two losses for Cy Ranch have been to Mansfield Legacy and Centennial, which came at the Spring Creek Invitational. Riane Burton is leading the team in scoring, followed by Shadiya Thomas.
5. Summer Creek Bulldogs (18-4) – (Prev. 2)
- Summer Creek is coming off its first district loss of the year, which came at the hands of Atascocita this past week. The Bulldogs should be able to right the ship against Sam Rayburn on Tuesday with South Houston next on Friday.
6. Clear Springs (18-6) – (Prev. Unranked)
- Clear Springs was impressive in the VYPE-Aldine ISD Holiday Hoops Classic, where they made it to the semifinals of the winners' bracket. A six-point loss to Heights prevented them from moving on to the title game of the tourney. Kylie Minter has been impressive, averaging 14.4 points per game, while Jermia Green is averaging 13.2 points per game.
7. Clear Falls (21-5) (Prev. Unranked)
- Clear Falls has been good this season, winning 21 games. In district before the holiday break they fell to Clear Springs, 62-56. Since then they are coming off three-straight wins over Clear Brook, Dawson and Dickinson. Clear Falls' scoring has been even between Alexis Clayborne (11.1 ppg/6 rpg), Niah Richard (11 ppg) and Josephine Adegbite (10.8 ppg). That is a triple-headed threat that if going all that same time will be hard to stop.
8. Oak Ridge (19-3) – (Prev. Unranked)
- Oak Ridge has been a bit of a surprise this year, the play of Mersadez Nephew has been key to their success. Nephew has been averaging 18.1 points per game and 5.1 rebounds. Behind her has been Nicole Petrakovitz, who is putting up 14.6 points per game This week will be a big test for Oak Ridge, facing Klein and Conroe, which is 6-0 in district play entering this week.
9. Barbers Hill (20-4) – (Prev. Unranked)
- First-year Barbers Hill coach Bryan Harris has his team rolling. The Eagles are 20-4 overall and 3-0 in district play. Harris came over from Manvel in the offseason and has brought a spark to a team that went 17-12 a year ago and eventually lost in the first round of the playoffs.
10. Shadow Creek (19-4) – (Prev. No. 6)
- This may be the showdown of the week in the city of Houston. Shadow Creek will try and take an undefeated district mark into its game against Fort Bend Hightower on Friday night. If that is a meeting of two undefeated district mates, that will be fun. Bre'yon White has been really good this year, averaging 12.5 points and 6.1 rebounds per game. Behind her has been R'Mani Taylor, who is averaging 12.3 points per night.
Others to Watch: Magnolia West, Langham Creek, Waller
Private School Top 5
2. Fort Bend Christian Academy (14-5)
3. Episcopal (13-5)
4. Concordia Lutheran (12-11)
5. St. Agnes (12-11)
Others to Watch - Kinkaid, Lutheran North, John Cooper, Second Baptist, Lutheran South