Random musings as the sports seasons begin to change and the weather takes its time following suit:
—I wasn’t here last basketball season, but for the numerous District 8-5A coaches and players at Waco University High School on Tuesday – there was at least a player or a coach from each local team by my count — Harker Heights’ loss to No. 2 DeSoto had to feel like deja vu.
Like last season, when South Grand Prairie topped Ellison in the regional quarterfinals, the District 8-5A champion saw a magical season end at the hands of the District 7-5A champion.
Like last year, the 8-5A champ was the only team to defeat a 7-5A team despite worthy battles from the second and fourth seed.
And on Tuesday, here was that champ having its dream of heading to Austin cut short by a state power.
Like this past season, reaching the playoffs next season will be a tall task in and of itself in the new Killeen ISD 6A district, with five quality teams vying for four playoff spots.
But it will certainly benefit the teams that do reach the postseason, particularly the district champ, to be in Region II the next two seasons as opposed to Region I.
Not that this means teams will cakewalk to the regional semifinals.
But it figures to be longer before teams see the eventual state runner-up, as Ellison did last season, or the No. 2 team in the state, as Heights did and that is only to the advantage of Killeen ISD teams.
After Tuesday, there is two years of evidence to support that.
—With the All-District 8-5A team out, what sticks out is not only how the Heights senior class dominated the list this season but the number of players Heights has returning also on the list.
Heights was the only team with multiple players to win superlatives as twins Josh and Cameron DeLaney took home MVP and Defensive Player of the Year honors in a fitting end to their storied prep athletic careers.
The Knights placed two more starters on the first team in junior C.J. Bobbitt and senior Cody Halvorson while Roderick Taylor earned a second-team nod.
As head coach Celneque Bobbitt noted, that is lofty praise for the Knights’ veteran starting five.
Yet while Heights loses plenty of talent with four of its five starters graduating, the Knights return plenty, starting with C.J. Bobbitt.
The Knights also had the most honorable mentions of any team in four, all of whom return.
It is no coincidenc that each of the four, juniors D’Angelo Streeter and Pat Everette and sophomores Davon Clare and LaMarcus Freeman, saw significant playing time against DeSoto.
These players are the future for Heights and, as the All 8-5A team shows, the Knights will still be in the thick of it.
Contact Jordan Mason at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7562