1. Hays softball plays in memory of a fallen teammate
Few, if any, teams in the history of Hays CISD showed as much grit, determination and guile as the Hays Rebel softball team did in the 2016-2017 season. Guided by the memory of teammate Brynn Aylor, who was tragically killed in a car accident in Buda in March, Hays rolled through 25-6A en route to the school’s first district title since 2014. In addition, the Rebels powered through the first round of the playoffs, sweeping San Antonio Madison before finishing in the area round. Seven Rebel players were named to the 25-6A All District team, with pitcher Max Valdez named as MVP and head coach Lisa Cone named Coach of the Year.
2. Rebel volleyball, girls soccer and girls basketball reach the postseason
Girl power was on full display at Hays High this sports season as the Rebel girls volleyball team, as well as the Lady Rebels soccer and basketball teams all reached the postseason. Rebel volleyball, which reached the playoffs in back-to-back seasons, finished as bidistrict finalists after a 25-21 season and a 6-6 mark in 25-6A district play. The Lady Rebel basketball team extended its playoff streak to nine straight seasons after they finished with a 20-14 overall record and third-place in district play. The Hays girls soccer team returned to the playoffs in 2016-2017 after a two year hiatus.
3. Rebel baseball powers its way to the playoffs
By virtue of three critical wins over the Vandegrift Vipers to close the regular season in April, the Hays Rebel baseball team secured the program’s seventh straight trip to the postseason earlier this year. Hays, which finished 18-9 overall and bidistrict finalists, used the sweep over Vandegrift, which held second place at the time, to catapult into the second place playoff spot in 25-6A. The Rebels have reached the playoffs in back-to-back years under second year head coach James Howard.
4. Rebel girls track takes district crown
With the help of a podium sweep in the 300-meter hurdles by Nicole Lewis, Cameron McFadden and Trinity Wells, the Hays Rebel girls track team in late April took the 25-6A varsity championship at Vandegrift High. Hays claimed the district championship over second place Vandegrift by 16 points. First place finishers included Lewis, Camille Dickson, Brianna Kaminski, Reagan Casey, Alyssa Blanks and the Rebel 4×200-meter relay team.
5. Gabby Bosquez reaches the UIL state cross country meet
“Run like a Boss-quez” was the motto for Hays High junior Gabby Bosquez and the Rebel cross country team after she reached the UIL Class 6A girls state cross country meet in 2016. Bosquez accomplished the feat in only her first year of competing in the sport. Bosquez finished with a time of 19:05.60 at the state meet, which was good for 57th out of 152 athletes. Bosquez preceded her run at state with a 7th place finish at the Region IV, 6A meet in Corpus Christi, and a 3rd place finish at the District 25-6A meet in Austin.
Josh Kirkland has taken the helm as the Lobo new athletic coordinator and head football coach. (photo by Moses Leos III)
1. Head coaching changes define landscape at Lehman High
Perhaps no other story generated as much buzz this sports season as the departure of Todd Raymond, who was hired to become the Leander ISD athletic director in mid-March. Raymond, who was hired by Hays CISD in 2012, helmed Lobo Athletics and led the Lobo football program. More than 70 propsective appliants threw their hats into the ring before the district chose Joshua Kirkland as the new athletic coordinator and head football coach. Kirkland was previously the athletic director and head football coach at El Paso Parkland High. The coaching carosel continued to turn in mid-May when Nauri Garcia, head girls soccer coach at Lehman, stepped down from his position. Hays CISD officials have not named a successor to Garcia at this time.
2. Lehman girls powerlifters perform at state
The tradition of powerlifting success continued in 2017 for the Lehman High girls powerflifting team, which sent six athletes to the Texas High School Women’s Powerfliting Association state meet in Waco in March. Lehman High’s Evelyn Ramirez capped off her senior season with a fourth place podium finish in the 220-pound weight class. Ramirez lifed a personal best 985 total pounds at the meet. Joining Ramirez was Alexis Ysla, Rubylee Perez, Julissa Gonzalez, Mia Palomarez, Maddie Cruz and Mia Dolin.
3. Lobo boys basketball stuns Hays in final seconds
Facing a ten point fourth quarter deficit to the Hays Rebels in late January, Lehman Lobo head coach Michael Whitten never asked his team to stop believing. His wish came true as the Lobos rallied to force overtime and eventually top the Rebels in a 66-65 come-from-behind win at the Lobo den. Leading the way was senior Tracy Malrey, who sunk two key free throws at the end of regulation to force the overtime session. Lehman’s win over Hays was the program’s first since Jan. 15, 2013.
4. Lehman football ends lengthy losing streak
For the better part of two years, Lehman football couldn’t buy a win. That all changed in mid-September when the Lobos crushed the Akins Eagles 42-7, which ended an 18-game losing streak that dated back to September 19, 2014. The opponent? Akins. All coincidence was put aside the following week as Lehman cruised past San Antonio Jay, which was the first time the program scored back-to-back wins since 2011.
5. Lobo football, soccer players make history
In February, Lehman High senior Tyler Henderson became one of the first Lehman football players to sign his letter of intent to play at a Power-5 conference school. Henderson, who was a first-team 25-6A All-District selection in 2016, signed on to play at Baylor University in Waco. Prior to signing, Henderson was one of the first Lobo players to have been recruited by football bowl subdivision teams, including Navy and Oklahoma State. On the soccer pitch, Lehman High senior Maya Erwin made history by becoming the first Lobo to be selected as a district Most Valuable Player in back-to-back years. Erwin was named MVP in 14-6A in 2016, and followed by being selected as MVP in 25-6A this season.