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One of the power brands in Texas high school baseball is The Woodlands under the direction of Ron Eastman. The Highlanders were loaded last season and were looking for their fourth state title until COVID hit.
Eastman had to say goodbye to 20 seniors, including first-round pick Drew Romo (Colorado Rockies). The Woodlands reloads again and is stacked with pitching. Dylan Kerbow (Texas State) is the ace and will fill in at first base as well. He's one of their top four hitters with great speed. Super sophomore Brayden Sharp (Baylor), Justin Barry-Smith (South Alabama), and Tyler Brautigam (TCU) round out a talented staff.
Cody Howard (Baylor) is on the shelf with an arm injury, which would have been unfair. Will Chauffe could also contribute on the mound. So, who will be wielding the bats? Sharp, Kerbow, and junior Gray Nooe will power a small-ball offense, while James Marin and Noah McCarren are the middle infielders headlining the defense.
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Highlander's Donovan Rock, Mackenzie Kulick, and Ximena Chico sign to play at the college level on National Signing Day.
On Wednesday, February 3, at 2 PM in the Highlander gymnasium, The Woodlands High School held their annual celebration of National Signing Day. The Highlanders had a large class of 42 signees to schools across the country.
The athletes each took the podium for a short speech in front of a limited crowd of family members and coaches. Each student was allowed to invite five loved ones to celebrate, with the addition of the event being live-streamed for those who could not be present.
The Woodlands track and field program was the most well represented with a total of eight signees, six from the girls and two from the boy's team: Kennedy Doakes (Kansas), Kaitlin Laner (St. Mary's College of California), Hannah Jane Miller (Rhodes College), Katie Schlather (Air Force Academy), Sohalia Schoen (Louisiana-Monroe), Ashley Sharer (Texas Tech), Caden Cymbala (Texas Tech) and Ryan Tresaugue (Trinity University).
Following in signees is the swimming and diving program. With a total of six signees, they had one diver, four swimmers, and one triathlon athlete: Lauren Burch (diving, Stanford), Isabella Barrientos (swimming, Washington-St. Louis), Cotton Fields (swimming, SMU), Tyler Hulet (swimming, Texas A&M), Alyssa Sorensen (swimming, BYU) and Freya McKinley (triathlon, Denver).
The Highlander baseball team also represented with a total of five signees: Cody Howard (Baylor), Justin Barry-Smith (South Alabama), Will Chauffe (Pepperdine), Cameron Hainebach (Southwestern) and Dylan Kerbow (Texas State).
The football program had four signees: Jack Calhoun (Kilgore), Arian Cervoni (McPherson), Connor Dechiro (Washington-St. Louis) and Blake Hubert (Southern Virginia). In addition, Teddy Knox (Mississipi University) couldn't make the event due to surgery.
Girls soccer had three signees, all of which are signed at the Division I level: Samone Knight (West Virginia), Isabella Hollenbach (Missouri) and Marley Krach (Miami-Ohio)
The Highlander lacrosse program had four signees, three boys and one girl: Andrew Litsey (Rollins College), Matthew Nunes (Virginia), Donovan Rock (Air Force Academy) and MacKenzie Kulick (Linfield University).
The softball program had three signees: Kayla Falterman (Louisiana-Lafayette), Jordan Jones (Vernon College) and Haley Mountain (UT-Arlington).
The golf program had three signees: Avery Blake (TCU), Holly Paterson (Blinn) and Alejandro Alonso (Loyola Marymount).
Volleyball had two signees: Claire Arend (High Point University) and Natalie Kimmel (Incarnate Word). In addition, early graduates Clara Brower (Georgia University), Natasha Zorbas (Lafayette College), and Jackie Lee (Texas State) who are already playing at the college level.
Other signees included Mallory Kent (acrobatics, Oregon), Ximena Chico (rowing, Virginia), Lachlan Laner (tennis, Austin Peay) and Liam Kozak (water polo, Penn State).
Mutual university signees include Ximena Chico and Matthew Nunes at the University of Virginia; Donovan Rock and Katie Schlather at the United States Air Force Academy; Conner Dechiro and Isabella Barrientos at the University of Washington at St. Louis; and Dylan Kerbow and Jackie Lee at Texas State University.
Photo by Marysa Barela.
Mallory Kent signed to The University of Oregon for acrobatics.