By Kevin Posival
Harker Heights Herald
As some coaches replaced stars, other leaned more heavily on the ones they had left.
Expectations at Belton in 2011-12 ran the gamut.
Well, expectations outside of the hallways and locker rooms were scattered. Inside, the Tigers and Lady Tigers all had the same expectations: win.
They didn't always win, but the Tigers and Lady Tigers continue to lay blocks for a greater foundation.
The Tigers football team, moving on without standout quarterback David Ash, made its third straight playoff appearance. As Ash emerged as Texas' starting quarterback as a true freshman, Belton finished 8-3 following a 35-23 loss to Mesquite in a bi-district playoff game and a 5-2 finish in District 12-5A.
The Lady Tigers' soccer team, led by its all-time leading goal-scorer Hadley Young, won its eighth straight district championship, 10th overall under now-former head coach Barry Elkins, and finished 20-3-3 after a second-round playoff loss to Sachse. Young, a senior, tied her single-season scoring record with 41 and set the career scoring record at 119.
Luke Villamaria, a senior, led the Tigers' soccer team to a share of the district championship and a 20-5-1 season following an area-round playoff loss to Dallas Jesuit.
By their own standards, the Belton baseball and softball teams had down years. Still, both teams reached the regional quarterfinals, where both were similarly eliminated by district rival Bryan.
Top 5 performances
1. Hadley's top hat: Hadley Young broke the Lady Tigers' soccer career scoring record with her 15th career hat trick in Belton's 8-0 win against Harker Heights on March 2. The senior, who signed with Baylor, finished her prep career with 119 goals and tied her own single-season scoring record with 41 for a second straight year.
2. Hard to hit: Hunter Houston and Blayten Magana surrendered just three hits and two runs to lead Belton to a first-round sweep of North Mesquite in their best-of-three, bi-district playoff series.
Houston threw a five-inning no-hitter in Belton's 11-0 Game 1 win and Magana was one strike away from a pitching a perfect Game 2.
3. The longest stroll: The Lady Tigers earned District 12-5A's final playoff berth thanks to two errant throws by Ellison in their 6-2 win over the Lady Eagles in the regular season finale.
Belton may have snuck into the playoffs at the last minute, but the playoff fourth seed stayed awhile. The Lady Tigers upset one district champion and a district runner-up before they lost to 12-5A rival Bryan in a regional quarterfinal.
4. Unexpected challenge: Peter Shelburne and Marcus King each ran for touchdowns abnd Carlo Mosnia kicked a field goal, but it took a Shoemaker mistake for the Tigers to avoid the Grey Wolves' upset bid, 23-21 on Oct. 7, 2011.
Belton trailed 21-3 late in the third quarter, but scored 18 unanswered points on offense and snapped a 21-21 tie when Shoemaker's offense fell on a fumble in its own end zone for Belton's game-winning points.
5. Fourth time's the silver charm: It was far from his personal-best throw, but Levi Jordan's fourth throw at the UIL State Track and Field Championsips was still good enough for a second-place finish in 5A discus. The senior's first three attempts were forgettable, but his first throw of the finals sailed 171 feet, 1 inch, good enough for a silver medal.
5 players to watch in 2012-13
1. Bekah Alcozer, softball: The freshman was a unanimous all-district first-team designated player after she hit .483 with two home runs and 24 RBIs in only 79 at-bats.
2. Jared Janczak, baseball: A District 12-5A co-newcomer of the year as a freshman following the 2010 season, Janczak was again big for the Tigers this season as a sophomore and will be expected to lead next year.
3. Kathryn Parker, girls soccer: The junior midfielder is a two-time Daily Herald All-Area selection and will be instrumental for the Lady Tigers as they move on next season without their career leading scorer and longtime coach.
4. Peter Shelburne, football: The District 12-5A first-team quarterback, and David Ash's replacement, threw for 2,250 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior to lead the district's most prolific passing offense and the Tigers to their third-straight playoff appearance.
5. Durham Smythe, football: The Tigers junior tight end has already committed to Texas, where he'll re-join former Belton quarterback David Ash, and figures to play a big - 6-foot-6, 230-pound - role in Belton's 2012 season.