With its 4-0 victory over rival St. Thomas High School, the St. Pius X High School Panthers captured the TAPPS 5A State Baseball Championship. Panthers pitcher Nick Vitulli threw a complete-game shutout as the Panthers dethroned the two-time defending champs.
“This was a team that believed in themselves and showed up every day at practice with a goal to get better,” said Panthers head coach Adam Massiatte. “Before the season started it seemed like we weren’t even allowed in the building, and now we’re on the roof top.”
In the state semifinals, the Panthers defeated another district rival in Houston Christian High School by a 3-2 final in extra innings. Chase Fontana knocked in Brian Newman with the winning run, while Panthers pitching ace Kohl Stewart went six strong innings.
Other standouts this season included shortstop and four-year varsity starter Kyle Kirk, who hit for a .360 batting average. Outfielder Jonathan Moroney slugged eight home runs and added four doubles in the playoffs. Defensively, catcher Kevin Kubecka threw out 50 percent of opposing base runners.
“We just really trusted Kevin back there,” said Massiatte.
The Lamar High School Redskins girls lacrosse team enjoyed its best season ever by winning the Texas High School Girls Lacrosse League Division II State Championship. The Redskins had a pair of dominating wins at state over Dallas Greenhill and the Plano Premiere Lacrosse Club.
“It was just a great weekend for the girls,” said Lamar head coach Anthony Petrucciani. “It also gives us tremendous confidence as we move up to the Division 1 level next season.”
The Redskins finished the season with a 15-2 overall record, with its only losses coming to Division 1 powers St. John’s School and Cy-Fair High School.
Several Lamar players received major awards, including top scorer Sara Holland. The Redskins junior was an all-state selection and was one of only two girls in Texas selected to the Under Armour All American Underclassmen Team.
Holland was also one of five Lamar players invited to play in the U.S. Lacrosse National Tournament, which brings together top lacrosse prospects from across the country. Joining Holland were Lyndsey Lafitte, McKinley Wade, Tobey Folk and Macy Moseley.
“All of those girls will be back with us next season, which is pretty exciting,” said Petrucciani. “Plus, our outstanding goal keeper, Katherine Farmer, also returns.”
The St. John’s Mavericks girls lacrosse team advanced to the championship final of the Texas High School Girls Lacrosse League Division 1 State tournament before losing a 19-18 heartbreaker to Dallas Hockaday in the title game.
“It was quite a battle,” said Mavericks head coach Angie Kensinger.
Prior to state, the Mavericks won their second straight Southwest Preparatory Conference Championship, marking the ninth consecutive year the Mavericks have won either the SPC or State Championship, or both.
In the SPC title game, the Mavericks overcame the loss of one of their top players to beat the Episcopal High School Knights in a 13-11 final. Missing from the lineup was Eden Epner, who was injured in the SPC semifinals. Led by the four goals of Robby Rybarczyk, the Mavericks pulled out the win.
For the season, senior Sarah Urdahl led the team in scoring with 105 goals. Urdahl, who’ll play field hockey at Duke University, was honorable mention lacrosse All-American. Amanda Leavell, who scored seven goals in the state final, was also an honorable mention All-American.
Leavell and Urdahl were named to the all-state team, as were Alexa Mullins and Lauren Resnick. Other major contributors were defender Sarah Cordill and goalie Chase Musslewhite.
It was the best season ever for the St. Thomas’ Episcopal track and field team, which finished fifth overall at the TAPPS 3A state meet. Leading the way was Andrew Hawk, who, despite suffering a stroke only eight months earlier, ran to victory in the 3,200-meter run.
“I’m just really proud of Andrew,” said STE head coach Brett Ramsey. “He took control of that race by running his fastest time of the year. His comeback story really is phenomenal.”
In addition, Hawk finished third in the 1,600-meter run, followed by his brother Matthew Hawk in fourth and STE’s Marc Liu in seventh place. Liu also teamed with Randy Gil, Matthew Hrncir and Andrew Calvert for seventh place in the 4-by-400-meter relay. Also scoring points for STE was Stephen Masion, who finished fourth in shot put and seventh in discus.
Editor’s Note: Todd Freed is the Emmy Award-winning co-host and producer of the KUBE SportsZone, which airs Saturday and Sunday at 6 p.m. on Channel 57-KUBE. To submit information for possible inclusion in SportzBuzz, please email (email@example.com) todd (at) thebuzzmagazines (dot) com.