Ryan Class of 2014 defensive end J.T. Williams, seen here scoring against Cedar Hill in the the playoffs last year, has picked up two offers so far from North Texas and Houston. (Mike Mezuel II/For the Denton Record-Chronicle)
Despite the the carnival-like activities going around Ryan today during “Raider Day” (where was this when I was in high school?), there was some notable events that occurred today off East McKinney Street.
I confirmed with defensive coordinator David Thomas that Class of 2014 defensive tackle J.T. Williams currently has two offers from North Texas and Houston.
Pilot Point pitcher Skylar Cagle, seen here against Ponder, pitched her third no-hitter of the year in Game 1 of Pilot Point's series win against Commerce. (David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle)
At the start of the weekend, two area baseball teams and two area softball teams were still in the hunt to reach the state tournament.
At the end of the weekend, Pilot Point’s softball team was the lone team still clinging to state tournament aspirations.
Pilot Point is one of eight teams left in the Class 2A playoffs after the Lady Cats swept Commerce in the 2A regional semifinals. Sanger’s softball team was eliminated by Van, while Krum and Argyle’s teams got knocked out of the 3A baseball playoffs.
In this 2009 file photo, Denton shortstop Hunter Dozier (11) throws out a runner at first base in a game against Wichita Falls. Now, he's a highly-rated MLB draft prospect. (DRC File Photo)
Hunter Dozier had a bit of a rough high school athletic career for Denton as one of a few standout players on both the football field, as the Broncos quarterback, and on the baseball diamond on an average Broncos team. But he always excelled, and it earned him a scholarship to play baseball at Stephen F. Austin.
A few years later, all that hard work is set to pay off in a big way with the MLB First Year Player draft approaching next month. Dozier is set to be a very high pick in the draft after putting a great three years as a Lumberjack with his junior season nearing an end.
Dozier recently checked in at No. 39 on Baseball America’s list of 2013 MLB draft prospects and is the fourth-rated shortstop after putting up solid numbers for SFA. This seaosn, he’s hitting .398 with 16 home runs, 23 doubles, 47 RBIs and 44 runs scored, showing the potential to be a plus-offensive shortstop in the bigs.
Dozier is ranked No. 54 on the same type list by ESPN draft guru Keith Law and is on the watchlist for the Brooks Wallace Award, given to the nation’s top collegiate shortstop.
It’s unknown whether Dozier will leave school if drafted, but it’s hard to imagine him staying at SFA if he’s picked anywhere around where he’s slotted — anywhere from a late first-rounder to a second-rounder.
It would mark the second straight year an area shortstop has been drafted high in the MLB draft, as Argyle’s Austin Aune was a second-round selection by the New York Yankees in 2012, forgoing a chance to go play both baseball and football at TCU.
Josh Stewart, pictured here in December 2010, is now the leading returning receiver in the Big 12. His touching story will be featured on Fox Sports Southwest. (David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle)
In this job, there is the occasional story you write that sticks with you for a long time, and to this day, the story of Josh Stewart, the former Guyer standout and current Oklahoma State wide receiver, is one of the highlights of my near-decade long career in sports journalism (wow, I’m really aging myself).
*Excuse some of the weird formatting on The Dallas Morning News version, I can’t find ours anywhere.
As it stands, Stewart is the leading returning receiver in the Big 12 after a breakout sophomore season last year, and there’s a pretty solid chance he’ll become the first Guyer athlete to go big-time at the professional level as some NFL team is going to be very lucky to have him in a year or two.
Anyway, Stewart’s story is being re-told in the current running of the Oklahoma State preview show, which begins running on Fox Sports Southwest Thursday at 10 p.m. with subsequent showings scheduled later in the week. But if you’re a fan of good stories and a good kid, set your DVR and plan to watch it.
We had figured for at least a week that Wilson and Sizelove were planning on committing to K-State. Wilson, 6-2, moved to Argyle from Coppell last year and he put up big numbers in the Eagles’ secondary.
He had 126 tackles, eight interceptions, five pass break-ups, one forced fumble and four fumble recoveries. He was huge for the Argyle secondary last year and missed the team’s playoff loss against Gilmer because of a hip-related injury.
He was also an Associated Press first-team all-state selection, further solidifying his status as one of Class 3A’s best defensive backs.
Sizelove was another highly sought-after recruit. Sizelove compiled a team-high 140 tackles and had three forced fumbles last season.
He’s a very impressive linebacker and held offers from places like Baylor, Iowa State, and North Texas, his dad’s alma mater.
His power can be seen below, when he wiped out former Celina senior and current Texas center Jake Raulerson last season on a punt return (the sideline reaction toward the end of the video is outstanding).
In the jumbled mess that is District 5-4A baseball, there’s one thing we know — well, two things. One, Wichita Falls Rider, at 10-3 in district play, has clinched the district title as the regular season wraps up today. Two, that’s all we know and the rest of the district is completely up in the air.
So sit back, put on your thinking cap, and let’s break down what could happen with the remaining three playoff spots that are up for grabs between Guyer, Trophy Club Nelson, Azle and Lake Dallas, with Fort Worth Brewer, Denton and Wichita Falls all eliminated.
Heading into Friday’s finales, Guyer, Nelson and Azle are all tied at 8-5 in district play. Guyer has the best cumulative record against the other two schools having swept Nelson and split with Azle. Lake Dallas, at 7-6, is alone in fifth place.
Tonight’s games that have a bearing on this: Nelson-Denton, Guyer-Brewer, Lake Dallas-Azle.
Read on to see what all could happen pending the results of said games.
Former Guyer standout, and current Oklahoma State defensive end, Jimmy Bean sacks Mesquite Horn quarterback Collin Strahan during their game at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex in 2010. (Al Key/Denton Record-Chronicle)
Oklahoma State quarterback J.W. Walsh won Big 12 Freshman of the Year honors last season. His teammate, wide receiver Josh Stewart, prepares to enter the 2013 college football season as the leading returning receiver in the Big 12 after topping 1,000 yards last year for the Cowboys with seven touchdown catches and 101 grabs on the season.
As you all know, the two were a potent pass-catch combination in high school at Guyer and now they’ll be joined by another Guyer teammate as key contributors for the Cowboys in 2013 as defensive end Jimmy Bean is listed as a starter on the team’s post-spring depth chart, which was released Tuesday morning.
Bean graduated in 2010 with Walsh and Stewart and played in three games as a true freshman before redshirting last season after an August injury slowed his progress. Now a redshirt sophomore, like Walsh, he’s finally ready to make an impact for the Cowboys after a great spring game over the weekend which saw him record five sacks.
As a senior at Guyer, Bean had 78 tackles, including 19 behind the line of scrimmage as the Wildcats fell to Cibolo Steele in the Class 5A Division II state championship game.
Stewart, obviously, was listed as a starter on the preliminary depth chart while head coach Mike Gundy continued his quarterback mystery as all three of Oklahoma State’s 1,000-yard passers from last season are listed as equals on the depth chart with the keyword “or” between their names.
Lake Dallas junior Jackson Owens catches Guyer senior Cole Wessling (3) in a rundown at third on March 19 in Corinth. Both teams face uncertain postseason futures with one game remaining in the regular season. (David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle)
Oh, what a difference a week can make.
At this time last week, Guyer and Wichita Falls Rider were tied for the lead in the jumbled mess that is District 5-4A baseball. Rider won that game, and has since clinched the 5-4A title. The Raiders are the only team to have clinched a playoff spot out of the district with one game to play. Now, Guyer is one more loss from the possibility of missing the playoffs. Lake Dallas is also in the mix and with a win Friday could end up playing in a play-in game for the fourth seed in the playoffs, which begin next week.
It’s simple for both teams: Win on Friday and you’re in good shape. Lose, and things get hairy. If Lake Dallas loses to Azle on Friday, the Falcons will miss the playoffs after such a promising start to the district slate. If the Falcons win, they’ll likely play a play-in game against the same Azle team the following day.
For Guyer, it’s a little safer bet to make the postseason. A win on Friday against Brewer, and the Wildcats could finish anywhere from the No. 2 seed to the fourth seed, depending on other results involving Byron Nelson and Lake Dallas-Azle. A loss to Brewer, and the Wildcats could finish second, third, fourth or even fifth and miss out on the postseason altogether, a week after being in first place.
With school testing going on this week, teams can’t play until Friday, when the regular season will come to an end. Needless to say, it’ll be an interesting night in 5-4A baseball.