Taylor O'Rear

Salado High School

Why she won: O'Rear won her first-ever individual regional crown at the Region IV-2A golf tournament last week at Quail Creek Golf Course in San Marcos, shooting a two-day total of 159 (83-76) as the Lady Eagles cruised to their second-consecutive team title, besting Comfort by 75 strokes.

With the widespread support from the entire Salado community, especially a late push from Thomas Arnold Elementary, O'Rear tallied 300-plus votes in the final two hours of voting to edge Harker Heights junior Bryce Davis by 1.6 percent in the closest-ever Player of the Week poll. Combining for the second-highest overall vote total with 4,580 votes, the Salado junior golfer won with 2,024 (44.2 percent) for the second-highest individual total to eclipse Davis' 1,953 (42.6 percent), which tied for third-most votes for an individual. The Salado-Heights combo trail only the record 5,203 votes received two weeks ago when fellow Salado athlete Cole Calder won with 3,207 individual votes.

Davis, who led the Knights with a pair of RBIs in a crucial District 12-5A victory over A&M Consolidated last Friday, was in first place most of the week, leading by more than 500 votes mid-Thursday before the concerted effort of Salado's school children put O'Rear over the top.

Trailing by a couple hundred votes around mid-afternoon, Thomas Arnold second-grade teacher Vickie Frazier rallied most of the students in her grade to log on to KDHpressbox.com and vote for O'Rear, her daughter's best friend.

What she said: "It's pretty awesome. I didn't even know they were doing it at the little schools — I knew they were doing it at the high school — but I just got a text saying 'I just took my entire class down and you got like 40 votes' or something like that. Just people taking their time out (to vote) was pretty awesome. ... Pretty much everywhere you go (in town), someone knows who you are."

What Salado golf coach Bobby Peschel said: "Our school is such a big part of our community that when these things come up, we tend to vote. It's community pride."What Heights coach Glenn Cunningham said of Davis: "For (the parents and community) to come out like they did says a lot of the support and how they feel about our kids. We've got great kids and Bryce was very deserving of the award and unfortunately it was a vote that he happened to lose out on because of another great community that supports their athletes."

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