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FORT BEND CHRISTIAN ACADEMY MADE THE PLAYOFFS IN 2022, REBOUNDING FROM A SUBPAR 2021 SEASON.
The Eagles were 19-14-1 overall in securing their postseason bid and buoyed by stellar performances from a number of players.
Senior Zane Councill hit .374 with 24 RBIs and a .468 on-base percentage. Junior Benji Elizondo hit .374 with 21 RBIs and a .508 on-base percentage to go with a team-high 25 walks. Junior Caleb Bratcher had 22 RBIs. Senior Blaine Baird had 21.
On the mound, junior Clay Krisch led the team in innings with 50 1/3 and had more than three times as many strikeouts (53) as walks (14). Senior Markos Romo led the team in appearances (16) and ERA (2.88), striking out 17 and walking only four in 24 1/3 innings of work.
FBCA SOFTBALL UNDERWENT SIGNIFICANT LEADERSHIP CHANGE IN 2022.
And the wins kept coming.
With Kelli Jacoby taking over for longtime leader Kelly Carroll, the Eagles went 11-1 in TAPPS 5A district play to earn a share of the District Championship and advanced to the State Tournament. FBCA did not skip a beat under Jacoby.
Though this is her first stint as head coach, she is a respected club coach who spent the previous 14 years as associate head coach for the Eagles.
FBCA was paced by senior and Oklahoma-signee Avery Hodge (.722 average, .767 onbase percentage, 14 RBIs; 1.87 ERA in 52 1/3 innings), senior and Nicholls State signee Reagan Heflin (.641 average, 26 RBIs), sophomore Hadley Hodge (.610 average, 15 RBIs), sophomore Jaelynn Lee (.475 average, 13 RBs) and senior Grace Payton (.317 average).
A FEW FRESHMEN MADE THE 2022 SPRING TENNIS SEASON ONE TO REMEMBER FOR FBCA.
Amber Hayes and Farrah Childs enjoyed an outstanding season on the courts as a doubles tandem, making it all the way to the TAPPS 5A State Tournament before falling 6-3, 6-2 to Austin Regents.
Freshmen Naomi Jones and Elizabeth Johnson also qualified as feed-in matches at State. FBCA enjoyed a strong freshman class overall. Sydney Batts and Kendall Dailey also performed admirably in their debut seasons.
On the boys’ side, freshman Austin Martinez is someone to keep an eye on down the road.
TRACK AND FIELD
IT WAS A BANNER YEAR FOR TRACK AND FIELD AT FBCA.
The girls won the Regional Championship and sent 10 qualifiers to the TAPPS State Meet in Waco, where they followed up by winning the TAPPS 5A State Championship.
Bayleigh Minor qualified in the long jump, triple jump, 200-meter dash, 400-meter dash, and 4x400. She was the star in Waco, taking home five gold medals at State.
Angel Nwodu qualified in the shot put, triple jump, 200-meter dash, 4x100 and 4x200. Lani Brown qualified in the 300 hurdles, 4x200 and 4x400. Brooke Coleman qualified in the 100-meter dash, 4x100 and 4x200. Gabbie Washington qualified in the 400-meter dash, 4x100 and 4x400. Bailey Hanner qualified in the high jump, and in her first year competing in track and field won gold in the event at the State Meet.
Daniella Herrera qualified in the 4x200 and 4x400. Shea Bedminster qualified in the 4x100 and 4x200. Kyra Whitman qualified in the 4x400. Thea Longbottom qualified in the 4x200 and 4x400.
The boys also sent 10 to State and finished by placing third in Waco.
Cobey Sellers qualified in the 110 hurdles, 200-meter dash and 4x400. Noah Brooks qualified in the high jump, 400-meter dash, 4x100 and 4x400. Brooks won gold in the 400 meters.
Sam LeBlue qualified in the long jump and 4x200. Max Granville qualified in the shot put and 4x400. Bryce Grays qualified in the 100-meter dash, 4x100 and 4x200. Bryan Domino qualified in the long jump, 4x100 and 4x200. Matthew Brown qualified in the 100-meter dash, 4x100 and 4x200. Ben Longbottom and Ryan Welch each qualified in the 4x400. Tekena Williams qualified in the 4x200.
The Eagles’ dominance at State was no surprise. They set a plethora of school records during the season and postseason.
Minor set records in the triple jump (37’-0”), long jump (18’-3.2.5”), 200-meter dash (24.44 seconds) and 400-meter dash (56.31 seconds). Sellers set the record in the 200-meter dash (21.80 seconds). Brooks set the record in the 400-meter dash (49.58 seconds).
The boys 4x100 relay of Grays, Brooks, Domino and Brown set the record with 42.86 seconds, and the 4x200 of Grays, LeBlue, Domino and Brown set the record with 1:29.92.
The girls 4x800 of Minor, Washington, Sidney Arnold and Maddie Font set the record at 10:23.29, the 4x100 of Nwodu, Coleman, Washington and Minor set the record at 48.04, the 4x200 of Coleman, Nwodu, Washington and Minor set the record at 1:41.09 and the 4x400 of Washington, Coleman, Herrera and Minor set the record of 3:53.40.
If you lost count, that’s 12 school records set in one season.
FBCA’S BOYS TEAM STARTED STRONG BY WINNING FOUR OF ITS FIRST FIVE TOURNAMENTS THIS SEASON, AND THEN WAS REWARDED BY QUALIFYING FOR THE TAPPS STATE TOURNAMENT.
The Eagles’ boys were led by Eli Walker Campbell (71 average) and Andrew Jammal (73). Chris Jammal (87), Brody Cowser (95) and James Donovan (99) also qualified for State due to the team’s strong standing at the Regional Tournament.
At the TAPPS 5A State Golf Tournament, Campbell finished ninth overall shooting a 142 (72, 70). The FBCA team finished seventh overall, shooting a 636.
Andrew Jammal shot a 159 (79, 80), Chris Jammal scored a 167 (80, 87), James Donovan scored a 168 (81, 87) and Brody Cowser hit a 194 (95, 99).
Eli Walker Campbell, FBCA
ELI WALKER CAMPBELL’S GOT NEXT.
Just a year after older brother and current Oklahoma Sooner redshirt freshman, Steven Jr. graduated Fort Bend Christian Academy as a TAPPS 5A State Champion and set the TAPPS scoring record (131) in the process, Eli Walker is already leaving his own mark as an Eagle.
Not only did FBCA win four of five tournaments to start the season, but Campbell, a freshman, was the individual champion in three of those.
“It’s been great,” Campbell said. “I think I’ve played pretty well. It’s different playing on a team. Typically, golf is an individual sport, but it’s great playing on a team and it prepares me for college golf. I get to be a part of the guys and I get to represent my school.”
Golf has always been his M.O.
Campbell picked up his first club when he was 2 years old. He played his first tournament when he was 5. The freshman’s strength is his long game. He has impressive accuracy and drives the ball 305 yards, on average, off the tee.
His favorite course is Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina. He admires Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and, of course, Tiger.
Campbell admits there are great expectations thanks to Stephen, a two-time first-team, all-state selection and three-time all-regional selection as an Eagle.
“I have to fill his shoes, basically,” said Campbell, who had Stephen caddie for him in the US Kids World Championships four years ago in North Carolina because Stephen knew the Pinehurst No. 8 course “inside and out”.
“But I view it as a goal to beat. I don’t view it as real pressure. It’s kind of like Eli Manning and Peyton Manning. Eli was the younger brother who always tried to live up to Peyton.”
Campbell, 15, spoke more with VYPE.
VYPE: How have you improved as a player throughout this season?
CAMPBELL: High school golf helps me work on patience compared to my regular normal tournaments I play in. High school tournaments can take a long time, whereas other tournaments are a lot shorter in time. So, I’m a lot more patient player.
VYPE: What was the dynamic like between you and Stephen growing up around the game?
CAMPBELL: It was great. He’s taught me a lot of things, especially about the recruiting process. He gives me a lot of encouragement. When we practice together, it gets heated. We argue a lot. I try and beat his butt, basically.
VYPE: What have you learned about the recruiting process by watching Stephen?
CAMPBELL: I learn what coaches like and don’t like, and how to act and how to talk to them. I was able to go on a lot of his recruiting trips. I’m able to see what they look for in players and what I can work on or need to do.
VYPE: Your dream school is Oklahoma, and you want to join your brother playing there. What do you think you have to do to accomplish that?
CAMPBELL: My course management can get better, making smarter decisions on the course. Not trying to go for a lot of shots; maybe just try to lay up or get par on a tough hole, instead of hoping you can get birdie and it cost you.