Courtesy of Sutton Hull
Sutton Hull is the only underclassman in Katy High’s everyday lineup. It’s tough to tell, however, with how well Hull is playing in these playoffs.
The Tigers are 29-7 and in the regional semifinals for the first time since 2009. A big part of their 6-0 romp through the postseason so far is Hull, a sophomore outfielder hitting in the middle of the order, batting .421 (8-for-19) with five RBIs, four doubles and three runs.
“The key for me has just been to not let the moment get too big,” Hull said. “The atmosphere has been electric for the entire playoffs. I’ve just been trying my best to not get caught up in all the craziness and focus on the end goal. I always try to keep my mindset the same, whether I’m in a slump or hitting well.”
Hull said his biggest improvement throughout the season is maturity at the plate. Early on, he said he was too anxious while hitting and struggled to stay disciplined.
“I take a deep breath before every pitch of every at-bat,” he said. “Whenever I’m in a bigger at-bat, I take a deeper breath. It also helps to have great hitters behind me that will get the job done if I don’t. Being able to trust the people behind me takes a lot of pressure off my shoulders.”
Hull has worked tirelessly to adjust his timing so he can better hit breaking pitches, something not many pitchers had successfully in their arsenal while he was on the sophomore team last season.
He broke onto the varsity scene in dramatic fashion. In his first at-bat in a tournament game in late February, Hull drilled a pinch-hit, walk-off three-run home run.
“It was a huge confidence-booster,” Hull said. “It showed me I could compete at the varsity level and set me up well for the rest of the season. It gave me the confidence to hit in any game scenario.”
Katy High junior Sutton Hull.Courtesy of Sutton Hull
Hull credits his strong debut season to the many upperclassmen who have taken him under their wing.
Junior Graham Laxton has been crucial. Laxton was in the same spot last year that Hull is in now; a sophomore on a veteran-laden club with great expectations.
Junior Nayden Ramirez offers encouragement and timely pointers about the game. Junior Reese Ruderman looks out for Hull. Senior Jhonnatan Ferrebus is a leader by example; because of him, Hull has learned the importance of playing every play with passion and energy. Senior Dominic Melchor is always there to pep up Hull after a bad game.
“Everyone on this team has welcomed me and influenced me in so many ways,” Hull said.
Pitching and defense are the backbone of Katy’s success this postseason. Juniors Lucas Moore and Caleb Koger have been lights-out on the bump. Ramirez and senior Parker Kidwell headline a stingy defensive infield.
It’s also no coincidence that the Tigers are enjoying their best playoff run in 13 years in coach Tom McPherson’s final year at the helm.
“I think Coach Mac’s retirement has made us want to win even more,” Hull said. “He’s had such an amazing career and we all want him to go out on a good note. He has taught me so many different things about baseball and life. He has helped me become mentally stronger, which has helped a lot in the playoffs.”
Read More... Read Less
25 May, 2022
HOW DO YOU MEASURE GROWTH WITHIN A PROGRAM?
Some may argue that the biggest sign of improvement comes in the form of wins. For Second Baptist School men’s soccer that argument could be made about this past season.
From Doug Walker’s first season at the helm – one win in 2021 – to finishing with six wins in 2022, there is definite growth.
“It felt like a massive step forward in a lot of different ways,” Walker said. “Physically and skillfully, we improved a lot. We saw that success in our win column.”
But the work for this season began immediately after their last match of 2021. The team took two weeks off and then dove into the offseason program.
Part of that program was building the culture.
During the summer, Walker and his players met weekly for Bible study and community. It was a laidback atmosphere to get to know one another and create genuine camaraderie.
“Building relationships ahead of time was really helpful, so day one, everyone knew each other,” Walker said. “The freshmen coming up felt like they were part of something already.”
At the start of the season, the team had a retreat, which was new for everyone. Throughout the season, they also had some intentional “family fun time” to continue building a healthy culture.
Every step was part of Walker’s process.
“Doing [the retreat] together was a bonding moment, and it set the tone for the rest of the season,” Walker said.
As the team pieced together win after win – even stringing together three-straight at one point – Walker’s joy came from seeing his seniors celebrate.
It is a senior class that has gone through the lean years. The winless seasons. The 10-0 losses. But now, they were winning and doing it consistently.
“This year’s senior class worked so hard,” Walker said. “To finally see our first win happen and turn into two and then three wins, the joy that was on their faces, the raw joy of winning together is something I’ll always remember.”
Despite an 0-8 start to the year, with five of the eight games being decided by just one goal, Walker said the seniors never gave up. They finished the year 6-3-1 to go 6-11-1 overall.
“We preach in Second Baptist School soccer that we want everyone to be faithful to the commitment they’ve made, adaptable to playing different roles and teachable,” Walker said. “Those are the three qualities we really look for in players and the seniors took that seriously.”
With a big season behind them, what’s next in year three for Walker and company?
“We are really pushing our chips in on our culture building,” Walker said. “Showing Second Baptist School soccer is fun. We love playing together. We want to see more player ownership where it is player led.”
With grit and determination combined with a growing sense of family, it’s clear the future is bright for this team, even as its seniors graduate.
Read More... Read Less
THE 2021 FOOTBALL SEASON SAW THE NIMITZ COUGARS AS THE LONE REP FROM ALDINE ISD TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS, GOING 4-6 IN THE REGULAR SEASON AND 4-3 IN DISTRICT 14-6A PLAY TO TAKE THE FINAL POSTSEASON SLOT.
Nimitz bounced back from an 0-3 start to the year and won three of its last four district contests to make the playoffs. The Cougars fell to College Park (42-0) in the Bi-District round.
Aldine Davis finished the year 3-7 (3-4) and just one game out of playoff contention. Eisenhower was 3-7, MacArthur 2-8 and Aldine finished 0-10 on the year.
In the offseason, Aldine welcomed Cirilo Ojeda as its new head coach, while Nimitz will be led by Cornelius Harmon heading into 2022.
THE LADY GENERALS OF MACARTHUR WON THE DISTRICT 14-6A TITLE WITH AUTHORITY.
Big Mac ran the table going 14-0 in the district to win its second-consecutive title under the direction of head coach Lynda Eastland.
MacArthur was loaded in 2021 with District MVP Aaliyah Callaway and first-teamers Jessika Martinez, Emeli Maugututia and Jasmine Rutledge. Sydney Davis and Natalia Gammage earned second-team nods.
Nimitz finished third in the district and punched its postseason ticket under District Coach of the Year Shannon Harrison. The Cougars went 22-17 overall and 9-5 in district play.
Davis also earned a playoff spot, going 8-6 in district play to finish fourth overall. The Falcons were led by District Outstanding Setter Aeja Brown.
IT WAS YET ANOTHER BANNER YEAR FOR BIG MAC OUT ON THE CROSS COUNTRY COURSE.
At the District 14-6A Championships in October, the MacArthur boys took home the district crown with 32 points and four runners in the Top 10. Nimitz came in second with 46 points, while Aldine placed fourth and Davis in sixth.
Individually, MacArthur’s Jay Hernandez Laboy took home the District 14-6A Championship with a time of 18:01.
On the girls’ side, MacArthur took second overall as a team with 64 points, while Aldine had 76 points for third. Nimitz placed fourth with 91 points and Eisenhower came in sixth with 167 points.
Individually, Nimitz’s Erika Sanchez was the district’s top finisher coming in fourth with a time of 23:13.
At the Region II-6A Championships in October, Hernandez once again led the field with a 48th place finish with a time of 16:50.77. Silva came in 55th crossing at 16:59.45, while Mota came in 74th posting a time of 17:20.90. MacArthur finished 15th as a team, while Nimitz took 23rd.
On the girls’ side, Sanchez led the contingency with an 87th place finish with a time of 21:37.20. Doyle took 99th in the Regional Championships with a time of 21:53.21. MacArthur took 22nd as a team and Aldine placed 23rd.
IT WAS ANOTHER BIG YEAR FOR ALDINE ISD ON THE TEAM TENNIS COURTS IN THE FALL.
MacArthur once again led the way. With an 18-1 victory over Aldine on September 30, the Generals secured the District 14-6A Championship. It marks the sixth straight team tennis district crown for the program. Since 2016, MacArthur has gone 42-0 in district team tennis play.
The Generals were one of four teams from Aldine ISD to make the Class 6A Team Tennis Playoffs. MacArthur fell to Oak Ridge, Nimitz fell to The Woodlands, Davis lost to College Park and Aldine came up short to Grand Oaks all in the Bi-District round.
Read More... Read Less
Join the #VYPETEAM
Get up to date news from all over the country!
FROM THE WEB
CONNECT WITH US