Former Guyer standout makes big jump for Yanks

Former Guyer catcher KJ Alexander rounds third base in a game back in 2009. Now, he's fresh off a promotion to Double-A in the Yankees organization after completely bypassing Class-A ball. DRC File Photo

Former Guyer catcher KJ Alexander rounds third base in a game back in 2009. Now, he’s fresh off a promotion to Double-A in the Yankees organization after completely bypassing Class-A ball. DRC File Photo

The day my story about Jacob Rhame’s recent promotion from High-A Rancho Cucamongo to Double-A Tulsa in the Los Angeles Dodgers system and the shorter it made his path to the big leagues ran on Saturday, I also got some other news on another former Guyer baseball standout making progress through the hierarchy of pro baseball.

Now Rhame’s former Guyer teammate KJ Alexander, aka Kevin Alexander, was promoted within the New York Yankees farm system, and it wasn’t the typical promotion.

The former Guyer star catcher, who went on to play for local powerhouse Dallas Baptist, had a pretty nice year in Rookie League last season with the Gulf Coast Yankees, hitting .304 with an .867 OPS, a homer and eight RBIs. He also walked 15 times to go with his 17 strikeouts.

But instead of starting the 2015 season back in the Rookie League, Alexander was called up, and not just to the logical next step of Class-A ball. Alexander got the call straight to Double-A Trenton, completely bypassing Class-A. He’s now on a roster loaded with some of the Yankees’ top prospects, and judging by the lofty promotion, he could be working his way into similar promise. Not bad at all for any prospect, especially not for an undrafted free agent signee.

Guyer tight end picks up Michigan offer

While Shawn Robinson is stealing all of the recruiting spotlight in Denton, and with good reason given his hefty list of big-time offers, one of the guys Robinson will be throwing to this upcoming season picked up a big one on Monday.

Sophomore tight end Brian Polendey, a big 6-5, 240-pounder who will be a junior in the fall along with Robinson, was offered by Michigan on Monday, according to Guyer head coach John Walsh — his second FBS offer after Houston offered recently.

Polendey, who moved to Denton from Washington last year, played on the JV as a sophomore and has grown into a guy who has a chance to be an elite tight end prospect in an age when big pass-catching tight ends are starting to be coveted in the mold of your Rob Gronkowskis, Jimmy Grahams, etc.

Polendey will give the Wildcats a weapon they’ve never really had before. They’ve had big guys at tight end, who are basically a sixth offensive lineman (Cole Underwood, Xavier Brown, etc.) and then they’ve had basically one pass-catching tight end in Austin Otto, who was a great high school tight end but didn’t have elite size like Polendey does.

So be ready, folks. The Guyer offense will likely have some new looks to it in 2016 with a new kind of weapon. But you won’t get a sneak peak on Thursday in Guyer’s spring game because Polendey will be sidelined with a minor ankle turn, along with several other starters who are dealing with minor bumps and bruises.

Robinson nation’s top QB in 2017 class

Quarterback Shawn Robinson eludes a Keller Central defender

Guyer quarterback Shawn Robinson eludes a Keller Central defender last season. David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle

This isn’t too surprising, but it’s news, nonetheless.

Guyer sophomore quarterback Shawn Robinson, who is set to begin spring football with the Wildcats on April 27 to prime for his junior season, has been getting tons of accolades and big-time offers recently, and on Tuesday he added another.

Robinson, who recently picked up offers from defending national champ Ohio State along with Alabama to add to his prestigious list, was named the top quarterback in the country in the latest Top 247 for 2017 released by recruiting website 247 Sports.

Robinson is the No. 11 player on the list and the top-ranked quarterback and has a four-star rating from the service. Other services, including Scout, have tagged Robinson with the rare five-star rating.

“We think he’s the best quarterback in the country regardless of classification, so I’m glad everyone else thinks so too,” Guyer head coach John Walsh said.

Robinson burst on to the scene last year as a young sophomore, having just turned 15 a month before the season began. He ended up throwing for 2,799 yards and 33 touchdowns with just five picks. On the ground, he rushed for 1,416 yards and 17 scores while leading Guyer to an area-round playoff berth.

Walsh said he has to pinch himself every once and a while to make sure he isn’t dreaming thinking about the prospect of coaching the 6-3, 195-pound Robinson for two more years at the high school level.

“It’s definitely something that makes you feel good as a program knowing you have your quarterback solidified with that kind of talent and that kind of leadership,” Walsh said. “He brings so much to the table with his physical talent, but he’s also extremely humble. I don’t know who all reads the papers and the Internet to see he’s the No. 1 guy, but you wouldn’t know it just seeing him at school.”

Hodapp set to become Guyer softball ironman

Guyer's Hannah Hodapp (3) connects against Burleson-Centennial in a playoff game last May at Saginaw High School in Fort Worth. David Minton/DRC

Guyer’s Hannah Hodapp (3) connects against Burleson-Centennial in a playoff game last May at Saginaw High School in Fort Worth. David Minton/DRC

Any time a Guyer softball player can break an all-time school record held by Kylee Crosek, it’s a pretty big deal.

Crosek was the first softball star for Guyer in the fledgling years of the program as a four-year starter. By the time she was a senior, she helped lead the Lady Wildcats to the Class 4A state tournament in Austin. Simply put, Crosek holds just about every school record at Guyer. I once saw her intentionally walked to lead off a game. That tells you what you need to know.

But on Friday, Crosek is losing one of her school records, and she’ll be on hand to see it as a member of the junior varsity coaching staff while doing her student teaching at Guyer and helping out with softball.

That’s because Hannah Hodapp will set a new school record for career starts when she steps on the field to start for Guyer against Keller in a key District 5-6A game to determine first place in the district and start off the second round of district play.

Hodapp started as a freshman and has never left the starting lineup since. She entered Wednesday’s win against Ryan hitting .476 with a .500 on-base percentage and a 1.119 OPS. She has a double, a triple and a homer to go with 13 RBIs and 16 runs in 12 games played. She has eight stolen bases and has been caught just once.

Hodapp, a West Texas A&M signee, will make her 111th career start, passing up Crosek’s mark of 110, which Hodapp tied on Wednesday night in a 10-0 win over Ryan. In that game, Hodapp went 1-for-2 with a walk, an RBI and a stolen base, also scoring on a passed ball at home.

Guyer football schedule features 4 Thursday games

Guyer sophomore quarterback Shawn Robinson (3) tries to get to the sideline as Ryan sophomore linebacker Tyreke Davis (21) hangs on Nov. 7 at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex. David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle

Guyer sophomore quarterback Shawn Robinson (3) tries to get to the sideline as Ryan sophomore linebacker Tyreke Davis (21) hangs on Nov. 7 at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex. David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle

Guyer will play four — count ‘em FOUR — Thursday night games in 2015 and will be the first game played at Allen Eagle Stadium since 2013, assuming they can get that $60 million fortress back up and running by August.

All four games against Keller ISD schools are on the road and will all be played on Thursday nights. The schedule also features a home date against defending Class 5A Division I state champion Ennis, which Guyer defeated on a last-second field goal last year at Ennis.

So without further delay, here it is, folks. The Guyer football schedule for the 2015 season.

Date Opponent Time
Friday, Aug. 21 At Euless Trinity (scrimmage) 7 p.m.
Friday, Aug. 28 At Allen 7:30 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 4 Ennis 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 11 At Wichita Falls Rider 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 18 OPEN
Thursday, Sept. 24 At Keller 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 2 Justin Northwest 7 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 8 At Keller Fossil Ridge 7 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 15 At Keller Central 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 23 Trophy Club Nelson 7 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 29 At Keller Timber Creek 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 6 Ryan 7 p.m.

 

Guyer QB picks up 5-star rating

Guyer quarterback Shawn Robinson (3) dives into the end zone in Guyer's playoff game against Southlake Carroll. The junior-to-be earned a five-star rating from Scout on Monday.

Coming as a surprise to absolutely no one, Guyer quarterback Shawn Robinson will enter his junior season for the Wildcats as a five-star recruit by at least one recruiting service.

Scout announced on Monday that Robinson was its first quarterback in the Class of 2017 to earn a five-star rating from its Midlands division, which includes Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota.

“I don’t know a whole lot about what stars mean, but I do know Shawn is really dang good,” Guyer head coach John Walsh said.

This, like I said, is a surprise to no one. Robinson had his coming-out party on the Texas high school landscape last season after moving to Guyer from a young Saginaw Chisholm Trail program after his mother, Andrea, was hired in April as the Guyer girls basketball coach. Robinson started as a freshman at Chisholm Trail, but went relatively unnoticed. Then, he went to Guyer and took off.

The 6-2, 205-pound sophomore used his pass-first approach to throw for 2,799 yards and 33 touchdowns to go with just five interceptions. But he’s also not only a plenty capable runner, he’s a lethal one. He rushed for 1,416 yards and 17 scores while averaging more than 10 yards per carry in leading Guyer to the area round of the Class 6A Division II playoffs as a 15-year-old.

Robinson already has offers from Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Baylor, TCU, Nebraska and Arizona State, and the next two years of watching him ought to be really fun for area high school football fans.

Area basketball games postponed

Guyer boys basketball coach Grant Long, right, is none too happy about the winter weather.

Well, that escalated quickly, didn’t it?

Road conditions in the area deteriorated rapidly on Friday morning due to accumulating snow and temperatures in the low-20s, and as a result several big events are being canceled and postponed around the area.

The biggest, so far, from a sports perspective is the fact that Guyer’s area-round playoff game against Cedar Hill, which was scheduled for 5 p.m. today at Haltom City’s Thomas Coliseum. The game will tentatively begin at 2 p.m. Saturday now, but it could be pushed back due to forecasted freezing precipitation Saturday morning. The forecasted high temperature for Saturday is 36, so you’d have to think the game will be able to be played at some point Saturday, even if it’s later than 2 p.m.

The Argyle girls are set to play in the Class 4A Region II tournament in Commerce with an 8 p.m. semifinal tonight and a final tomorrow afternoon. Argyle athletic director Todd Rodgers said he got a call from the UIL this morning and was told to try his darndest to get the team to Commerce, so they left at 9 a.m., probably much earlier than they’d planned for their 8 p.m. game. Got word at 12:30 p.m. via a parent that the Argyle girls were already in Greenville, so they’ll be good to go.

Ponder’s game against Peaster in the Class 3A boys playoffs has been moved to 3 p.m. Saturday at Saginaw Chisholm Trail.

UPDATE (12:28 p.m.) The Argyle boys are off for tonight, as their scheduled 7:30 p.m. game against Wilmer-Hutchins was bumped to Saturday. The game will now be played on Saturday at 5 p.m. at Loos Field House in Addison.

UPDATE (2:07 p.m.) Aubrey’s boys were set to play Dallas Lincoln Friday night at Lewisville, but that game has now been postponed to Saturday, as well. Now, the Chaps will play a doubleheader with the Argyle boys and play Lincoln at 7 p.m. at Addison’s Loos Field House.

Guyer’s Brown does all the dirty work

Guyer senior forward Xavier Brown fights for a rebound in a game against Keller Central earlier this season.

Guyer won its first playoff game at the state’s largest classification by edging recent superpower Flower Mound Marcus in a grind-it-out game that never saw a lead go more than six points either way.

The Wildcats are loaded with scorers and have three excellent starting guards in Sean Choate (third-leading scorer in DFW 6A), Zach Garza (12.5 ppg) and point guard Bryson Erby, who led DFW 6A players in assists per game. In other words, they have plenty of flash.

Then, there is Xavier Brown.

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Guyer’s Honey commits to SMU

Guyer senior wide receiver Alex Honey dives to make a catch deep into Plano territory in November's bi-district playoff win over Plano at AT&T Stadium.

Guyer head coach John Walsh is familiar with the wholesale coaching changes that have recently taken place on the SMU football staff with several Texas high school football coaches joining on under new head coach Chad Morris.

Morris made his name coaching high school football in Texas before eventually becoming the offensive coordinator at Clemson and most recently the Mustangs’ new coach, hired to breathe new life into a struggling program.

Now, Walsh said, he is excited to see one of his own players play college football in the area and help bring the Mustangs back to prominence as senior wide receiver Alex Honey committed to SMU late Sunday evening.

“Coach Morris has been one of the hot names out there in the coaching world when any job came open, so getting him in Dallas is going to be great for the program,” Walsh said. “It’s going to be fun getting one of my guys in there and watching not just the maturation of Alex but of the whole program.”

Honey chose the Mustangs over offers from Air Force, Louisiana-Monroe, Texas State, Northwestern State and North Texas.

Oral commitments are non-binding. The first day a Class of 2015 recruit can sign a national letter of intent is Feb. 4.

The 6-4, 195-pound Honey finished the year with 41 catches — second on the team to Adam Scott’s 42 — but led the team with 980 yards and 14 touchdowns while averaging an eye-popping 23.9 yards per reception.

Walsh added that he wouldn’t be surprised if Honey steps on the field early during his freshman season and makes an immediate impact for what will be a young program with an up-tempo offense under Morris.

“I really think he could play right away and contribute,” Walsh said. “It’s just because of his work ethic and his confidence. He’s still a young guy, too. His upside is huge. As many wide receivers as they’re going to play and the tempo they play with, I think he’ll find the field pretty quick. A lot of tall guys are stiff and play too tall, and he’s past that point. He comes out of breaks and almost plays like a smaller guy in that regard and college coaches noticed that.”

Look for more in Tuesday’s edition of the DRC due to the late news on Sunday.

Guyer’s Thompson decommits from Kansas

Guyer senior defensive lineman Carl Thompson (2) grabs Allen running back David Feliciano (7), in the season opener on August 29 at Apogee Stadium.

With the NCAA recruiting dead period coming to an end soon and programs likely making their final pushes across the area, there appears to be one local star back on the open market, so to say.

Guyer defensive lineman Carl Thompson announced via his Twitter early this morning that he has officially decommitted from Kansas, where he committed back in June. According to 247 Sports, Thompson has 17 offers, including six from major-conference schools: Kansas, Duke, Wake Forest, Northwestern, Minnesota and Vanderbilt.

National signing day is Feb. 4, which is now less than a month away. Thompson has a rare blend of size, speed and athleticism that could make him a defensive end or a defensive tackle at the next level, and Guyer head coach John Walsh said he’ll be a dominant force wherever he ends up.

“Carl is a dynamic player in the trenches that I have no doubt will be an impact player at the next level,” Walsh said.

Thompson was injured in the Wildcats’ eighth game of the season and ended up needing surgery on his knee. There was a chance he could’ve returned had the Wildcats made it to the state semifinal, but they were defeated in the second round by Southlake Carroll.

Thompson finished the year with 36 tackles, including 16 behind the line of scrimmage and three sacks. He also tallied 20 quarterback hurries and had a forced fumble to go with a fumble recovery.