Sep 30, 2020
By Bradley Collier
Senior libero Andi Vaught can read a room.
Earlier this season, she led movie night where the Friendswood Mustangs huddled to watch “When the Game Stands Tall”. The movie chronicles De La Salle High School, one of the nation’s best high school football teams.
The message – no one is bigger than the team. It’s about leadership, love and the brotherhood of a team.
The movie hit.
“It was the perfect movie at the perfect time for the perfect team,” coach Sarah Paulk said. “We have had adversity this year and the girls keep stepping up. We played a tournament in Florida and it was a great team-building experience for us. It was then when I could see this team really coming together.”
The team suffered a set-back in the preseason, however, losing Meghan Donoughue to an Achilles injury. She will be lost for the season. Sophomore outside Sydney Gibson has been out all season but will return in the next week, and junior DS Anna Melgren should be back in a few weeks with another injury.
The Mustangs reached the State Tournament as recent as 2019 and have had continued success in the postseason since, but they have been tripped up by Fulshear of late.
“We haven’t won district in two years (Manvel) and we’ve hit some road blocks late in the season,” she said. “But this team really works hard and has great chemistry.”
The ‘Stangs are currently 16-9 overall and 3-0 in district play with a young and talented team.
Vaught keeps the youngsters on track… and they are really talented.
Sophomore Nadi’Ya Shelby is hammering balls at a violent pace and she is set up by sophomore setter Caroline Adams.
“Nadi’Ya does some things athletically that I’ve never seen before. She is special,” Paulk said. “Caroline has stepped up huge running the offense. She has allowed us to run a 5-1 instead of a 6-2.”
Other sophomores Haley Patton (DS) and Tallah Benson (OH) have played expanded roles, along with juniors Jordyn Sims (right side) and Preslee Alaniz (MB).
“It has been true team effort,” she said. “Everyone plays a role.”
Next Tuesday will be very telling. The Manvel Mavs are looming, who have been a thorn in the hooves of the Mustangs the past two seasons.
Will the “Stand Tall”?
Vaught will see to it.
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Wylie East and Sachse are headed for a week five district matchup against each other. Wylie East is undefeated so far this season and looking to continue their hot streak while Sachse is looking to improve their record. VYPE DFW takes a look at these two teams and what fans can expect heading into this district matchup:
Wylie East Raiders (3-0, 1-0)
Wylie East is off to another hot start this season. The team has posted big victories against their opponents while allowing only 27 points combined in three games. First, the Raiders had a hard-fought 14-13 victory over Richardson Berkner before posting a 49-0 shut-out victory over Grand Prairie. Last week, Wylie East secured a convincing 58-14 win over Garland Naaman Forest.
As the team looks to continue their hot streak, Raiders fans can look to dominant athletes putting in the work to be successful on and off the field. Kason Atkins, Michael Henderson, Howard Fisher IV, Keveyon Thorne, Amarean Porter, Alex Ainsworth, and others help lead this offense through key moments while Zach Loftus, Sean Berry, Ki'Neal Reed, Jamal Olford, Kory Boyd, and others lead the defense to powerful stops each week.
Sachse Mustangs (2-2, 2-0)
Dropping both of their non-district games shouldn't leave fans looking passed the Sachse Mustangs this season. The team showed a drive and focus through both non-district matchups. Week one saw a tough 44-41 battle against Coppell while week two saw an intense competition against Prosper (49-13). With a fresh breath of air and determination to enter district play strong, the Mustangs defeated Garland Lakeview Centennial in a convincing 31-7 victory. Last week, the team hosted Rowlett where they posted another huge victory (45-7).
Having allowed only 14 points against them against district opponents, the team is looking to battle hard against Wylie East. The offense is led by Kaliq Lockett who has averaged over 150 receiving yards per game, Brenden George, Kendrick Hanks Jr., Brendon Haygood, Joshua Ridge, Robbie Rothrock, and more. Ready to score early and often, this offense is focused on the game ahead. The defense is led by Sean Davault, Vashon Brunswick, Cory Bennett, and more.
What To Expect
Last season, Wylie East defeated Sachse 45-17 en route to a 7-1 district record and a finish at the top of their district standings. The Raiders will be looking to continue showcasing their strength as they take on Sachse. Sachse is looking to display their talent against a tough opponent. Fans can expect an intense matchup against these two opponents.
Kick-off is slated for 7 p.m. on Friday night.
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Doug Brown (VYPE)
Well, it’s about time!
After putting up some big numbers over the past three-plus years and enduring the recruitment process, Concordia Lutheran’s Lou Lamar finally has a place to call home at the conclusion of this school year.
The Crusaders' senior RB/DB had a variety of offers to choose from, such as the Colorado School of Mines, as well as interest from a handful of Ivy League schools like UPenn and Harvard. However, Lamar ultimately announced his decision to commit to Dartmouth, earlier this month.
Bradley C. Collier (VYPE)
“Even if I got an offer from any other school, I could really only see myself going to Dartmouth,” Lamar said. “They have such a tight community and when I went up there for my official visit, I was just flooded with alumni telling me how much of an impact the school has had on them.”
“The football program is great, they have an incredible staff and culture, but it’s also what they have to offer outside of that which really caught my attention. It (the university) is pretty secluded, in the woods, and I also love that part about it.”
The timing couldn’t be better for Lamar, as he competes alongside his teammates to ensure that ‘Sader Nation has a memorable experience in his final year suiting up in the blue and white, prior to advancing to Big Green.
“It (being committed) has been a relief off my chest,” he said. “Every game, in the back of your head, you’re worrying about getting film out and making highlights. Now, that’s off my shoulders. If anything, it motivates me to go even harder, now that I don’t have to worry about that anymore in my last year.”
Under the direction of second-year head coach Willie Amendola, the Crusaders have started the season 3-1, which featured two immense comebacks against Liberty (24-23) and Lutheran South (20-16),
Courtesy of various impressive Fall debuts from Lamar, Tanner Huckfelt (Jr. QB), Cole Chance (Sr. RB/LB), and a budding line in the trenches, Concordia Lutheran is poised to make a dramatic entrance as they prepare for the district portion of their remaining schedule.
“We can’t get in our own heads, and that starts with the leaders – Myself, Jayden Noack (Sr. TE/LB), Ben Hubenak (Sr. DL), Tanner Huckfelt,” Lamar said. “We talk about what needs to be done, and we’re not getting overly emotional. We’re analyzing everything, talking to the coaches, and making the adjustments that are necessary to win.”
We’re only into week No. 5 of the season, so don’t expect the Crusaders, or the newly-committed Lou Lamar for that matter, to slow down anytime soon. This is only the beginning.
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