This introductory column originally ran on Feb. 4, 2019. Not much has changed, but the last six months have certainly recharged an old sportswriter's batteries.
Patriarch Larry Hays carved legendary status at LCU and Texas Tech, then his sons followed in his footsteps to lay the groundwork for Lubbock Christian standouts Hampton, Kaytee and Kelsee Hays.
Three district champions and three second-place crews highlighted the 2019 season in Lubbock and created plenty of strong individual performance along the way.
Lubbock Christian and Trinity Christian landed six players apiece on the TAPPS All-District 1-3A first team voted on by the league coaches.
Season-long dominance in District 3-5A helped Coronado, Monterey and Lubbock-Cooper fill up the 2019 all-district team voted on by the league coaches.
Frenship’s dominant surge through District 2-6A yielded a wave of recognition when the league coaches selected the 2019 all-district team.
ABILENE -- Ultimately, it was more the bloops and bunts than the bombs that ended Frenship’s season in an 11-3 loss to Keller Saturday in the Class 6A regional semifinal round.
ABILENE -- Keller unleashed a barrage of extra-base hits and turned them into early runs to knock Frenship on its heels Friday in the first game of a Class 6A best-of-three regional semifinal series at Poly Wells Field.
CROSBY -- Relentless to the end, Lubbock Christian came within a swing here or there of getting its shot at a state championship.
Lubbock Christian knows the way to the TAPPS 3A State Tournament. It’s been a few years since the Lady Eagles have gotten this far down the playoff road, though, with one obstacle keeping them away.
HERMLEIGH -- Coronado produced plenty of offense against Abilene Wylie in two games Saturday on the second day of a back-and-forth pair of games in the Class 5A regional quarterfinals.
ABILENE -- Trinity Christian grabbed a 7th-inning lead against Waco Reicher Catholic on Saturday in a TAPPS Class 3A state quarterfinal, but the advantage was shortlived as the Cougars answered with two runs in the home half of the inning to claim a dramatic 4-3 victory.
SAN ANGELO -- Frenship didn’t need two or three games to establish who was the better team in the regional quarterfinal round of the Class 6A playoffs.
HERMLEIGH -- Coronado leadoff hitter Riley Flores circled the bases on a fly ball to right field in the top of the 7th inning for two-run inside-the-park home that snapped a tie and sent the Lady Mustangs on their way to a 7-2 triumph against Abilene Wylie in the opener of a Class 5A best-of…
Softball and baseball playoff action gets underway all around West Texas the next two days with nine Lubbock teams taking aim at the next step down the postseason path.
HERMLEIGH -- Lubbock Christian did its job by filling up the bases consistently against Kennedale Fellowship in the first 2 innings on Thursday.
ABILENE -- Lilli Underwood, Sophia Medina and Ava Peters produced 4 hits apiece as every Trinity Christian starter except one had multiple hits in a 16-2 romp past Flower Mound Coram Deo on Tuesday in the area round of the TAPPS Class 3A playoffs.
Lubbock Christian stayed patient and removed all the drama quickly Tuesday, scoring 17 1st-inning runs on the way to a 20-0 victory against Austin Hill Country Christian in a TAPPS Class 3A area-round game.
Two teams that were separated by very little on the diamond this season get the TAPPS Class 3A playoffs started on Tuesday.
The dust has settled on a hectic and mostly successful weekend for Hub City softball and baseball teams, and the next round of action is set for all the teams still alive.
WICHITA FALLS -- Frenship’s Torrey Hogan might not have needed a lot of help Saturday with her fastball and screwball both on fire.
FORT STOCKTON -- Coronado did enough damage early and limited El Paso Hanks’ offensive production to four solo home runs in a 5-4 victory in the first game of a Class 5A best-of-three area-round series at Fort Stockton.
Monterey’s baseball got the party started with a win over Aledo secured in the bottom of the 7th inning on Thursday and the rest of the Hub City’s baseball and softball teams jump into action Friday around West Texas. Three more teams get started in the bi-district round of the baseball post…
It is difficult to take a step back when your life from a young age was all about putting your foot forward and following through.
Like their softball counterparts last week, Hub City baseball teams hit the do-or-die phase of the season this week as the UIL and TAPPS playoffs get rolling.
Lubbock Christian unleased an avalanche of offense against San Jacinto Christian on Saturday on the way to a 17-2 romp in a primer for the TAPPS Class 3A playoffs.
WICHITA FALLS -- Aledo found the ballpark at the Sunrise Optimist Fields very hospitable for the second game in a row on Saturday with more power swings coming in handy against Lubbock-Cooper.
SNYDER -- No drama needed this time for Monterey. Tish Williams almost singlehandedly made of that.
FORT STOCKTON -- El Paso Socorro got Frenship’s attention with an early run Saturday in the second game of a best-of-three playoff series.
Coronado’s bats were rolling on Friday as the Lady Mustangs came out firing on all cylinders at the plate to open the Class 5A playoffs with a dominant 28-2 victory against Wichita Falls Rider.
FORT STOCKTON -- Alyssa Rundell spearheaded a dominant offense performance for Frenship with a pair of home runs and 5 runs batted in as the Lady Tigers pummeled El Paso Socorro 21-2 in 5 innings Friday in the first game of a Class 6A bi-district playoff series.
SNYDER -- Monterey grabbed control of its Class 5A bi-district playoff opener vs. Abilene Cooper on Friday with five runs over two innings, lost its grip when the Cougars rallied and then walked off with a win after a big hit from an unexpected hero.
WICHITA FALLS -- Lubbock-Cooper went from red-hot to desperation mode in the matter of a few swings Friday night.
Something tends to kick in for certain elite players at playoff time, an innate and intangible trait that pushes and motivates and leads to high-level performance.
Playoff time has arrived in softball and is just around the corner in baseball, and at least two Hub City teams will need an extra contest to help bring the postseason picture into clearer focus.
AMARILLO -- Monterey’s Tatiana Trotter hammered a two-run home run to center field to erase a 5th-inning tie with Randall and Tish Williams pounded another long ball to anchor a four-run 6th as the Lady Plainsmen hung up enough runs to outlast the Lady Raiders 9-7 on Friday.