Can one swimmer make waves that create a ripple effect that lasts for years?
Maybe. Over at Vanguard College Preparatory Academy, that may be the legacy that Sophia Garrison leaves, even as she’s just getting started.
Garrison, a Vanguard freshman, joined with Alex Kainer as the school’s first-ever swimmers this season. And what a way to dive into the sport – as Garrison ended up winning a pair of gold medals at last week’s TAPPS State Swimming Championships in Mansfield. She was also named the Top Female Performer at the meet.
Vanguard athletic director Will Curtis said that he wouldn’t be surprised if Garrison’s impressive performance sparks further interest in swimming among the school’s students.
“Any kind of success breeds interest,” Curtis said. “I almost liken it to boys basketball. In 2011, we got to the (TAPPS) final four, and the next year interest really peaked. We had 35 to 40 boys out. … But also because Sophia is such a humble kid. If she knew I was talking about her, she’d be blushing. Even when we took her picture at the state meet, she was like, ‘Ah shucks, Coach.’ So, since she’s that type of kid, it could really have an impact.”
Garrison won the 200-yard individual medley, coming in with a time of 2:07.32. Then she added another gold medal in the 100-yard breaststroke, breaking off a TAPPS state-record time of 1:03.76.
What makes her efforts even more remarkable is that Vanguard doesn’t even have a dedicated swim coach. Obviously, it’s never had a need for one before. Curtis jumped in as the de facto swim coach this year, but he admitted that his swimming knowledge is limited. Mostly, he handled scheduling and transportation.
But with pioneers like Garrison and Kainer, who knows? Vanguard could be on the path to a whole new avenue of success. (Kainer finished in the top 10 in the region in the boys’ 50 freestyle and 100 free, but fell short of qualifying for state.)
“We’ll have an interest meeting in the spring,” Curtis said. “You never know, and there are things to look at – practices, rental fees, since we don’t have a pool. But if there’s significant interest, I could see it continuing to grow.”
Victory Bowl rosters set
For the first time in the decade-long history of the Super Centex Victory Bowl, some high school football teammates will become opponents.
Coaches for the annual all-star game benefiting the Heart of Texas Fellowship of Christian Athletes had the option of picking from any nominating school as they were filling their rosters. That meant that both the red and blue all-star teams could have athletes from the same school.
So, that’s why Crawford’s Garrett Dutschmann, a red team running back, could end up getting tackled by Crawford classmate Kody Smith, a blue team linebacker.
As always, the Victory Bowl rosters feature some of the top players throughout Central Texas, including Super Centex and all-state performers like Midway’s Matthew Barnhill, Fairfield’s Kolbe Branch, Clifton’s Marc Gutierrez and Live Oak’s Chase Hill.
There is no shortage of talent on any of the sports’ rosters, either. Crawford’s Haley Vaughn, the Super Centex Volleyball Player of the Year and an Angelo State signee, will get a chance to play one last game with her high school teammate Morgan Claxton, as members of the red volleyball squad. The baseball and softball teams feature some of the top hitters and pitchers in the area, while the inaugural golf tournament will include college-bound players like Midway’s Austin May, a McLennan Community College signee.
The baseball and softball games will be held June 8 at Mary Hardin-Baylor. The volleyball game will be played at 12:30 p.m. June 9 at University High School, while the football game is slated for 6:30 p.m. that day at Waco ISD Stadium.
For a complete look at the Victory Bowl rosters, check out Page 2B of the Trib or see the bottom of this article.
Groesbeck senior inks with Angelo State football
Groesbeck senior Nick Mosley will continue his football career on the college level, as he signed with Angelo State on Wednesday.
Mosley (6-4, 190) created plenty of chaos for opposing offenses at defensive end for the Goats in 2017. He racked up 89 tackles, eight sacks, 13 tackles for losses, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a defensive touchdown.
Logjam in standings delays scheduling
If you ever wondered why the high school basketball regular season ends on a Tuesday and the playoffs don’t begin until the following Monday, look no further than District 18-2A for the reason why.
The UIL builds in a few days following the end of the regular season for district tiebreaker games, if needed. And in the case of the boys teams of 18-2A, they’re needed. The jumbled-up standings between the top four teams in that district — Axtell, Riesel, Dawson and Mart — are holding up the scheduling of next week’s bi-district games between that foursome and the playoff-bound teams from 17-2A, Bosqueville, Rosebud-Lott, Crawford and Moody.
Mart and Dawson had a game canceled in December, and will make up that game at 4:30 p.m. Friday at Dawson. The result of that game will determine the matchups for four playoff games. How much is riding on that one outcome? Consider this – Mart could be the district’s No. 1 seed with a win, and the No. 4 with a loss.
At least this much is settled — all four of the bi-district games between Districts 17-2A and 18-2A have already been finalized to be played Monday and Tuesday at Robinson.