Lampasas lost in the playoffs, but the Lady Badgers know they will be back.
After being dispatched from the postseason in the third round for the third consecutive year, Lampasas received some strong support regarding their legitimacy in 2015.
The two-time defending District 34-4A champions dominated the recently released all-district list, earning district MVP, offensive MVP, defensive MVP, newcomer of the year and Coach of the Year honors.
More importantly, each of Lampasas’ award winners is returning next season, leaving head coach Tracy Brantley excited about the program’s immediate future.
“I’m losing a good group of seniors,” she said. “I’ve got four that are starters, so it is going to be a little tough, but I know we have some athletes coming up, and we should be good. I know our seniors are upset they are leaving.”
Despite graduating first-team selections Bailey Hilgenberg, Maria Salinas and Sierra Rash, along with second- teamer Aimee Henderson, the Lady Badgers will return a strong core highlighted by Analise Watson.
The junior led Lampasas in scoring, recording 31 of the team’s 91 goals this season en route to being named district MVP for a second consecutive season. Teammate Caitlyn Shaughnessy received the offensive MVP award, while Drew Dekort was given the distinction of defensive MVP and junior Qadrey Tolliver was named co-newcomer of the year along with Salado freshman Sarah Wilkerson.
Brantley was named Coach of the Year after guiding the Lady Badgers to a 19-11 overall record and repeating as district champions.
Lampasas goalkeeper Samantha Nunnery also landed on the first team, while Lindsey Whaley, Madi Walls, Tatum Morrison, Mckenzie Miller and Nomei Sanchez each received second-team recognition.
Along with Wilkerson, who helped the Lady Eagles achieve a 9-9-2 record and a playoff berth, teammates China Saxton, Katey Ewton, and Anissa Peralta were placed on the first team. Taylor Valeriano, Dani Gatenbein and Olivia Sula were second-team selections for Salado.
Gatesville did not make the playoffs, but two Lady Hornets were still recognized. Miranda Brown and Rebecca Dunahoo made the first and second team, respectively.
The Hornets had a much stronger showing after earning the program’s second playoff berth this season.
Sophomore Ernesto Hernandez was named co-midfielder of the year along with Lampasas senior Dustin Rumple, while Gatesville junior Thomas Trevino earned goalkeeper of the year honors. Additionally, Abate Hennessy, Jhovany Maldonado and Jared Kemp landed on the first team, while Dykota Smith, Jose Ruiz and Austin Combs made the second team.
Hornets head coach Van Collins received a share of the Coach of the Year award, splitting the honor with Salado head coach Michael Goos, who also had several of his players land on the list, including defensive MVP Josh Rogers.
First-team selections for the Eagles, who have reached the area round of the playoffs in each of the program’s first three seasons, included Daniel Lemus, Tristan Bragg, Chase Crenwelge, Clayton Cole, Brad Cosper and Dennie Barker.
The 2014 district champions were also well represented on the second team; Cameron Markham, Christian Martinez, J.P. Michael, Mason Price, James Svadlenak and Luis Rojas each made the list.
Like the Lady Badgers, Lampasas’ boys team has reason to be excited for the future with a bulk of the players returning from this year’s squad that finished third in district.
Nick Lawson, a junior, headlines the list after being named offensive MVP, but first-team selections Mason Morris, Hernan Torres, Alex Ruehlen will all be seniors next year as well, along with second-teamers Markos Terrazas and Michael Brazell.
Along with Rumple, the Badgers will lose some other key players, however, including Josh Parrish, a first-teamer, and second-team selection Javier Torres.