Archive | Sports

Passion for sports paves road to college

By Ariel Reyna/J-Line Writer ~

High school sports can be fun, tough, and exciting. They can also help you get a scholarship for college.

Most high school athletes would love to get a scholarship for their sport, and be able to play college-level sports. But many are not aware of how to earn a scholarship or the steps to reaching their goal.

“I grew up playing soccer, I always loved it and knew that I wanted to keep playing after high school, for as long as I could, at the highest level I could,” said Jonatan Torres, a freshman at Wake Forest University in North Carolina. Torres, who got a soccer scholarship for that university, graduated from Atascocita High School.

The first step in figuring out how to get a scholarship is figuring out if an athlete really wants to play in college. They have to ask themselves the important questions: Am I really passionate about the sport I play? Am I going to miss it if I stop playing? Am I willing to be dedicated on nothing but that sport while I’m in college?

After the student has taken the first mental step, they have to take the first physical step.

“The first step I took in the process was talking to my club trainer. He let me know exactly what the whole process was and what I was allowed to do and what I was not allowed to do,” said Kelsi Brown, a freshman at Sam Houston State University, who also earned a scholarship for soccer and graduated from Atascocita High School. “I then made a list of all the colleges that I was interested in.”

According to College Sports Scholarships, it is never too early to start the process of trying to get noticed.

As a freshman, athletes should join a club or some kind of organization to play that sport outside of school and try to rack up community service hours

In sophomore year, students should start writing a list of colleges they are interested in attending, then write an introduction letter to the coaches, telling them about records and accomplishments.

After September 1 of a student’s junior year, college coaches are legally allowed to approach students. If the coaches do not start contacting the student right away, the athletes should keep trying to contact them by e-mail, phone calls, or regular mail as often as possible.

“Through e-mail, it was towards the end of my first semester junior year. On the phone, it was at the very end of my junior year,” Torres said, referring to the contacts with coaches.

Senior year is the last step is to choose which college is the best to go to; this decision depends on the offers the colleges have given, or if it’s the student’s dream college.

This is also one of the most difficult decisions to make.

“At first I was committed to play at Western Carolina University, but then later I decided to play at Sam Houston State University because I realized I didn’t want to be so far away from home,” said Brown. “Some of the main things I would look at in a college to determine if I wanted to go there was the location of the school, the academics and if I liked the coach and the team.”

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Swimming into the future

By Alex Lance/J-Line Writer ~

Just days before the big race, Morgan Pfeil was pumped and ready to jump in the pool.

Pfeil, an Atascocita High School swimmer, and her teammates Rachel McKenzie, Sierra Trambaugh, and Britney Fant, had been preparing for this moment for months.

They were going to swim the 200-yard freestyle relay at the 5A Texas State Swim Championship in Austin, Texas. This would be the first time a relay squad from AHS had gone to state, the first time each swimmer would compete at a state competition, and the first time a girl from AHS had qualified for the 100 backstroke at a state meet.

All the relay team members are freshman, except for Pfeil who is a sophomore. The anticipation was almost too much to bear.

“I’m excited about just the atmosphere that the state meet will have,” said Pfeil, a few days before the big event.  “And all the excitement and intensity, but most of all the competition.”

McKenzie was especially looking forward to competing against all the fast swimmers. She wasn’t just competing in the free relay, though. She would also be swimming the 100 backstroke.

“Since the beginning of the year, I always thought she had the chance to go to state,” said their coach, David Pink.

The swim team has been practicing since school started back in August. Recently, they began drilling short sprints to prepare the girls for the 200 free relay, said Pink.

“We had to go to practice in the mornings and work our butts off,” said McKenzie.

The team did not know if they qualified for the state competition until just a week before the meet. They should have received the news two weeks earlier, but inclement winter weather in north Texas forced the postponement of some regional meets.

This left the team uneasy until they found out whether they had qualified or not.

“I was looking at my iPhone in the kitchen, babysitting my kids when I saw the results,” said Pink.

The relay team and McKenzie both qualified for 13th out of 16th in each event. Now, their only goal was to finish higher at the state meet and get the best time possible.

The girls had an official send-off outside the AHS natatorium on February 17, then they started their three-hour trek to the Lee and Joe Jamail Texas Swim Center at the University of Texas at Austin with Pink.

“The trip there was a lot of fun because we got to bond with some of our team,” said Pfeil.

The girls had competed in many meets this season, including district and regional. They knew the state meet would be different, but they didn’t know the magnitude of what they would find.

“When I looked over at the stands I saw so many people,” said Pfeil, “It was jaw dropping!”

At the February 18 preliminaries, the relay team and McKenzie both had good times, which qualified them for the finals.   

The next morning, the girls woke up knowing that this Saturday would be one of the highlights of their swim career. They had only one thing on their mind:

To swim as fast as possible.

None of the meets they had ever competed in had ever compared to what they were going to do that day.

“Standing behind the blocks right before I was going to swim was so nerve-wracking,” said Pfeil.

When all the swimming was over and everyone was out of the pool, the girls had placed 10th in the 200 free relay and McKenzie got 11th in the 100 backstroke.

They had surpassed their goal of placing higher than 13th.

The four swimmers left the meet with grins on their faces and excitement about what lies ahead. This competition was over, but their high school swimming careers were just beginning.


Posted in J-Line Buzz, Sports0 Comments

New district, new challenge for AHS soccer

By Ariel Reyna/J-Line Writer ~

A new year. A new season. A new district?

Every two years, the UIL decides what schools will be in what district. Sometimes a school will be in the same district, but this year, Atascocita High School was moved to a challenging new district, along with rival Kingwood High School.

A district is made up of schools that all have about the same amount of students, and which compete against each other in sporting events and academic contests.

Though this tough district affects all sports and other UIL programs, it will especially test this year’s soccer program.

“It’s gonna be the toughest district we’ve ever been in,” said boys head soccer coach Alex Rogina.

Some of the schools in this new district consist of some of the toughest soccer teams in the state: The Woodlands, The Woodlands College Park, and Lufkin.

The Woodlands High School girls soccer team became state champions last year after winning the state game 3-2 against McKinney Boyd High School. Lufkin High School advanced to the playoffs.

“It’s good for us,” said girls head coach Eric Nichols, explaining how playing tough teams “makes us play at our best… and have to become mentally prepared.”

Atascocita High School itself will be the underdog in this district. The previous year, both boys and girls varsity teams earned second place in district, behind Kingwood, and advanced to the playoffs. Oddly, they both were knocked out by losing 3-0 in the second round of playoffs, boys losing to eventual state runners-up.

The coaches and players know this season won’t be easy but many of them do believe if they work hard enough, they have a very good chance at making it to playoffs.

“It’s not gonna be pretty,” said Rykley Crowe, a student and soccer player on the boys team at Atascocita, “We have a tough conference, but we have strong devoted players, we’ll see how it goes.”

The new season starts in January, and both Atascocita boys and girls soccer programs have been preparing for this season all semester, hoping that this will be an exciting and successful season.

The new, and hopefully, exciting season is coming very soon, with tryouts starting November 30, 2010.

“I’m not sure what will happen this year because the new teams in this district will be a lot more challenging than the schools in the 2009-2010 school years,” said Alex Deeb, 2010 Atascocita high school graduate and soccer player. “It will definitely be more competitive.”

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Lady Eagles head to playoffs

By Jayson C. Pullen/J-Line Writer ~

The Atascocita High School Lady Eagles volleyball team will have everything on the line tonight when they face off against Klein Oak in the bi-district playoffs.

“We have eight seniors on the team, who have put in over four years of training for this game. I just want them to have some recognition,” said Coach Jessica Callahan. “Their blood, sweat, and tears have been put into training for not only this game, but for this school.”

Although the AHS Volleyball Team has never made it past the playoffs, team members believe that the Lady Eagles should do well against the competition.

“I think we can win, said Katie Bertling, one of the team captains. “Our team needs to just come together and give it our best effort.”

The girls stressed that if they lose even one game, the season is over.

 “It’s basically one, and you’re done. There’s no room for a loss,” said Kelsey Paulhus, another of the team’s captains.

Team members believe that they have a good chance winning all their playoff games, and they are hoping fans will show up to offer support. The game starts 6 p.m. tonight at Dekaney High School.

“All we want in return is people in the stands,” said Callahan. “Even if the team loses in the playoffs, they’d want to be surrounded by the people they love and care about.”

Posted in Sports3 Comments

A lesson in sports

Houston Chronicle sports columnist Jerome Solomon in the press box at the 2004 Super Bowl in Houston

By Jack Lee/J-Line Writer ~

Jerome Solomon is fortunate enough to get paid for two of his favorite things: writing and sports.

Solomon, a sports columnist for the Houston Chronicle, came into a Journalism I classroom at Atascocita High School on Oct. 19 and spoke about his life, his career, and his encounters with many people and places as a journalist.

“I am a sports nut,” said Solomon to the enthusiastic journalism students. His columns are mainly about different sports teams, players, coaches, and famous athletes.

Solomon, dressed professionally in a button-down shirt and khakis, was very friendly and humorous toward the students as they asked him questions in a simulated “press conference.”

Solomon told stories about everything from recent experiences to his early childhood. He said that his original favorite sport was basketball, noting that he was rather skilled at the sport despite his slightly below average size.

Growing up in what he called “the hood”, Solomon said that his goal in life was not to get out, but to make a successful living there.

The accomplished journalist readjusted the visitor’s name tag sticker on his pants and swayed back and fourth when asked the question, “I think everyone here wants to know. What is your salary?”

“I make enough,” responded Solomon, carefully choosing his words..

 Solomon, who was rather modest about his 17-year career, spoke from many years of experiences about the good and bad of journalism.

There were things he said he will never forget about his life and career.

 He talked about being in a room with a woman who had to speak for a son who had been paralyzed from a recent hit in football. The mother managed to choke out words through her tears and moans of emotional agony throughout the interview.

He talked about covering the New England Patriots for the Boston Globe, writing about the Big 12 Conference and getting to go to many places around the world, including five Super Bowls and four Olympic Games.

One of the stories he told was about going to Beijing, China for the Olympics two weeks early to explore as kind of a vacation. Solomon also recalled a time in Greece, when he stumbled upon a store that makes poetry and sandals. He ended up writing a story about the sandal-maker poet.

“Even though I mostly write about sports, I have the creative freedom to write about whatever I want to,” said Solomon.

Solomon, a former flight attendant who has no formal journalism training, mentioned how lucky the journalism students are to have a class in the craft, when he had to do all his learning in the field.

“The best moments of journalism are when you get to talk to someone right after the best moment of their life just happened,” said Solomon. “There is no better feeling in journalism.”

Posted in News, Sports8 Comments

Eagles fall to Conroe in season finale

Atascocita lost its season finale to Conroe Friday night 28-21, bringing to an end a disappointing season for the Eagles, who finished at the bottom of the District 14-5A standings.

Atascocita (3-7, 1-5) outgained Conroe in total yards 227-171, but it wasn’t enough.

The Eagles showed plenty of fight. Trailing 28-7 after a Conroe touchdown with less than 11 minutes left in the game, Atascocita put up 14 points down the stretch to get back into the ballgame.

Senior quarterback Earnest Carrington connected with Tyrone Roberson for a 14-yard score and with Nick Brooks on a 26-yarder, and sophomore Daniel Higdon added the extra points to cut the Conroe lead to seven points with 4:14 remaining.

The Eagles would get no closer. They advanced inside the Tigers’ 5-yard line in the final minute, but could not score the game-tying touchdown.

It was that kind of a year for Atascocita, whose three victories this season came over Pasadena South Houston, Galveston Ball and The Woodlands College Park.

After a difficult stretch in which they lost five straight games by at least 27 points, including three shutout defeats, the Eagles played well in their last three games. Though the young Eagles managed just one victory in the final three weeks, the two most recent losses were by three points to rival Kingwood and the seven-point loss on the road at Conroe.

Elijah Merchant, who scored the game’s first touchdown against Conroe on a four-yard run, led the team in rushing with 511 yards, edging out Kyle Tate (464 yards). The two tied for the team lead with six touchdowns on the season.

 A year ago, Atascocita won 10 games and advanced to the area round of the playoffs for the first time, before losing to eventual state champion Katy. Roberson was the team’s leading receiver with 18 receptions for 182 yards.

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Volleyball, everyone?

What do you get when you mix the Atascocita varsity volleyball team and the All-Marine pro-level team?

A match worth watching.

The two teams came together Tuesday evening for an exhibition game to benefit the AHS volleyball program. The All-Marine team, which consists of players who have competed on the collegiate, international and Olympic levels, stayed after the match to sign autographs and answer questions.

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Eagles prevail

The Atascocita Eagles scored their first district win Saturday, when they edged out The Woodlands College Park by a one-point margin in a hotly-fought overtime game.

The 28-27 victory at Turner Stadium helped the Eagles break a six-week losing streak and makes them a 1-4 record in District 14-5A.

Sophomore halfback Elijah Merchant, still recovering from a hip injury, shone in the match-up, rushing 16 times for 145 yards and two touchdowns.

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Up next, College Park

The Atascocita Eagles will try to break a four-game losing streak this weekend when they face up against The Woodlands College Park.

Despite the tough stretch, the Eagles still have a chance to make the playoffs.

The College Park Cavaliers have a mixed record so far this year, with victories over Oak Ridge and Conroe and a loss to Kingwood.

Saturday’s game kicks off at 6 p.m. at Turner Stadium.

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Four down, but not out

The Atascocita Eagles are 0-4 this season after a heartbreaking 30-27 loss Saturday to the Kingwood Mustangs.

The Eagles did not go down easily. A 54-yard run by Kyle Tate tied the game at 27 with less than six minutes to play.  But the Mustangs snatched the victory in the final minute of the game with a 41-yard field goal.

The Eagles are not yet out of contention for playoffs. With this defeat, however, the road there just got that much harder.

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Stomp the ‘Stangs

The Atascocita Eagles face up against arch rival Kingwood tonight at Turner Stadium. Get there early because the stands with be packed with Red-and-White supporters.

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December 2017
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