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TRACK AND FIELD
MICHAEL MORROW DOESN’T SUGARCOAT HIS EXPECTATIONS WITH HIS LEGACY PREP TRACK & FIELD TEAMS.
After the boys and girls teams each finished fifth overall at the 2021 TAPPSState Track & Field StateMeet, Morrow put the pressure on the squads in the offseason and this spring to improve.
At the beginning of Maya year’s worth of work and “believing in the vision”came to fruition as theLegacy Prep girls team finished as the TAPPS 4A State Runner-Ups with 85points and the boys did the same with 68 points.
“I couldn’t be prouder of a group right now,”Morrow said. “It’s still kind of unbelievable that we did so well. It means so much tome to see the belief and the faith.
At the 2022 TAPPS State Track & Field Meet, Legacy Prep added to their record-breaking season withseven more school records dropped. In the entirety of the season, the Lions broke school records in every event except for three.
For the girls’ side, Charlotte Freeman, who was the best runner on the Legacy Prep State Championship Cross Countryteam in the fall, took home the state crown in the1600-meter race (5:34.08)and the 3200-meter race(12:16.96). She also took silver in the 400-meter dash(1:01.65).
“She’s phenomenal,”Morrow said. “She’s our team leader.”
Another key performance came from the girls 4x400-meter relay. The combination of Mary Wittmer, Layla Faysal, Molly Steed andJulianne Carr posted a time of 4:12.15 and finished as State Champions.
Other state performances included Josie Jones taking fifth in the 200-meter dash (27.46), Sydney McNeil placing eighth in the 300-meter hurdles (54.54), Wittmer taking silver in the800-meter (2:28.63) and Carr placing fourth (2:30.08) in the same race, Steed placing eighth in the long jump(14-feet-10.75-inches) and McNeil taking seventh in the pole vault (9-feet). The girls4x100-meter relay team took sixth (52.49) and the 4x200-meter squad took fourth(1:50.80).
On the boys’ side, the second-place finish as a team is the best in program history.
The headliner for the boys was Luke Sigler, who competed in the high jump and long jump. Sigler defended his 2021 TAPPS State Championship in the high jump, clearing 6-feet-2-inches. In the long jump he reached 20-feet-7.50-inches to claim bronze.
“Luke is just a gamer,” Morrow said. “He worked hard throughout the year.”
Carter Hutton also turned in big performances in all three distance races for the Lions. Hutton ran his“best race of the year” in the 800-meter finishing in second with a school-record time of 2:00.49. Hutton finished fifth in the 1600-meter (4:41.79) and fourth in the 3200-meter(10:23.63).
Other key performances for the boys came from Chase Carrico and Luke Henson, finishing third (15.99) and fourth (16.14) in the 110-meter hurdles, respectively. Henson took fourth in the 300-meter hurdles (41.61) and Aidan Rivers took sixth in the1600-meter race (4:44.70). In the relays, the boys took fifth in the 4x100 (44.17), sixth in the 4x200 (1:33.24) and eighth in the 4x400 (3:38.89).
THE LIONS’ BASEBALL TEAM ROARED IN 2022 ON THE DIAMOND.
Under the tutelage of LPCA first-year coach Thomas Loria, Legacy Preparatory Christian Academy baseball made theTAPPS Division III playoffs. Once there, LPCA defeated San Antonio Lutheran to be crowned Bi-DistrictChampions.
“We did it in different ways this season,” Loria said. “We’ve done it with pitching and defense some nights. We’ve done it with offense some nights and with both on some nights. We’ve been consistent.”
It was the Lions’ first playoff victory since 2019 despite only carrying 12 players on the 2022 roster.
At the dish, the Lions were led by Ross Donaldson, who hit .451 with 28 RBIs on 13 doubles, three triples and two home runs, and Ian McCraray (.433, 16 RBIS, 92Bs).
Other key contributors included Wyatt Francis (.365,20 RBIs, 3 HR), Sutton Moyer (.349, 30 RBIs, 6 2Bs), Asher Abrahams (.269, 17 RBIs), Charlie Fray (.298, 16 RBIs) and Aiden Bailey (.241, 13RBIs).
On the mound, Francis was the Lions top pitcher with 61 strikeouts in 43 innings. Donaldson posted a 5-2 mark on the mound with a 3.00 ERA and 86 strikeouts in 51 1/3 innings.
“They’ve really stepped up this year as starters to eat up some innings to give us a chance in most of our games,” Loria said. “Those two guys have carried the load of our pitching staff.”
Legacy Prep wrapped up the season in the Area Round, falling to Bay Area Christian.
IT WAS A BANNER YEAR FOR THE LEGACY PREP LIONS OUT ON THE LINKS.
The boys golf team was particularly outstanding.The Lions drove, putted, and chipped their way to the District Championship in April and then went on to finish second at the TAPPS South Regional golf tournament to punch their ticket to State.
At the TAPPS State Golf Tournament, the Legacy Prep boys golf squad took second place overall with a score of 649 for the best finish in program history.
“Was proud of the way our guys did,” LPCA golf coachClint McDonald said. “I explained to them that this is the first time the boys team has been to State in Legacy’s history, so that’s something to be proud of.”
Aiden Wright finished in a tie for first place overall and fell in a two-hole playoff to take silver. Wright shot a 71 and 75 for the two-day tournament. “Considering the conditions, I think it was some of the best golf he’s played all year long,” McDonald said.
Ben Paylor finished fifth overall (78—74, 152), Mark Wyrick shot a 159 (82, 77), Isaac Davis shot a 192 (95, 97) and Jackson Edwards hit a 206 (102, 104) rounded out the LPCA golf team.
On the girls’ side, Brooke Corley – who is also a volleyball player and cheerleader at LPCA – had a banner season. Corley finished fourth at the Regional golf tournament to punch her ticket to the TAPPS State GolfTournament.
Corley, who just started playing golf competitively in February, shot a 203 (100,103) to finish 13th overall, which is a remarkable finish after she started the year averaging a 130 per round.
“She’s got a bright future ahead of her,” McDonald said. “She’s just a competitor.”
DURING LEGACY PREP CHRISTIAN ACADEMY ’S RECENT CHEER TRYOUTS, SENIOR CHLOE GONZALEZ GOT THE CALL.
Gonzalez was running the Lions’ tryout for the young girls with her senior teammates. Everyone gathered around when the call came.
“All the girls saw my reaction and we all started freaking out,” Gonzalez said.“It was tears of joy and just an overwhelming feeling. All of the sacrifices and hard work had paid off. It was worth it.
”So, who was on the other end of the line?
A co-captain on theUniversity of Texas cheer team, who congratulated Gonzalez on earning a spot on the 2022-23 Longhorn cheer team.
“I really don’t know what to expect,” Gonzalez laughed. “I’ve been told there will be cameras everywhere and the energy is indescribable. At games, you just look up and see a sea of fans. I love to perform, so I can’t wait to soak it all in."
Gonzalez is not the first Lions cheerleader to hit the college sidelines. Caroline Day, whose mom Laura is the Lions’ cheer coach, is a full-fledged Cheerlebrity for the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
“It is pretty impressive that a small school like Legacy Prep has some elite cheerleaders representing the Lions in college,” Day said. “You have to be very determined to get to that level and Chloe is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever seen. She’s also a tremendous student.”
Being a University Model School has played a huge role in the success of Gonzalez and Day.
Legacy Prep offers a traditional high school experience with a full-range of athletics and games which promotes school spirit, but what sets the school apart is the college model schedule.It allows for more time to do outside activities.
“Being able to cheer for your school is so much different than competitive cheer,” Gonzalez said. “You learn to engage the crowd and motivate people. You need to be really peppy, which is a great thing. It really brought out my out-going side.
“As a college prep school,Legacy Prep also allowed me to practice more on my cheerleading skills at the competitive level. I was able to travel more to college camps and competitions.Legacy Prep was so flexible.”
Gonzalez has cheered competitively for WoodlandsElite since the age of six years old. The time commitment and wear and tear on your body is the price the most elite athletes pay to pursue their passion.
“Cheer has taught me so many life lessons andI’ve met so many life-long friends,” Gonzalez said. “It has really shaped me as a person, where I’ve learned to be a team player and being a part of something bigger than yourself.
“There have been so many sacrifices. Our prom was during the weekend I had Texas tryouts. There was no way I was missing those tryouts. I had come too far. I was banged up last year with an ankle injury where I had stress-fractures in my foot.I was in a boot for a little bit, but I had to get back to Woodlands Elite tryouts. A little pain wasn’t going to keep me from my goals.”
While cheerleaders seem to be all smiles and rah-rah, these girls are focused, motivated and mentally-tough, and two of the best in the country are proud to call Legacy Prep ChristianAcademy home.