J.W. Walsh takes Abilene Christian job

Oklahoma State quarterback J.W. Walsh waits to take the field on senior night before an NCAA football game against Oklahoma at Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, in Stillwater, Okla. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News)

Oklahoma State quarterback J.W. Walsh waits to take the field on senior night before an NCAA football game against Oklahoma at Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 28, 2015, in Stillwater, Okla. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News)

Former Guyer star quarterback J.W. Walsh on Wednesday accepted a job as the running backs coach at Abilene Christian. He confirmed the move in a text message late Wednesday night.

J.W. Walsh has spent the 2016 season as an offensive graduate assistant coach at TCU and will coach the Horned Frogs in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Dec. 30 against Georgia before beginning his new job under newly hired Abilene Christian coach Adam Dorrel.

Dorrel was hired after winning three Division II national championships at Northwest Missouri State in the past four seasons. Abilene Christian recently made the jump back up to Football Championship Subdivision competition by rejoining the Southland Conference after a 40-year stint in Division II. The 2017 season will be the first the program is eligible for postseason play.

“The college game is what he wants to do,” said Guyer head coach John Walsh, J.W. Walsh’s dad. “This is the step he wants to take, and there’s several ways to get there, but getting his own position group and getting on the recruiting trail at his age is invaluable experience.”

Walsh, 24, ended his playing career at Oklahoma State in 2015 and finished his injury-plagued career with 3,917 career passing yards and 1,036 career rushing yards. He accounted for 61 career touchdowns — 36 passing and 25 rushing — and is still a fan favorite in Stillwater, Oklahoma. In 2012, he was named the Big 12 Freshman of the Year.

John Walsh said the year his son spent at TCU was great preparation for getting a full-time college job at such a young age.

“[Oklahoma State head coach Mike] Gundy gave him good advice. He told him last year that he knew the Oklahoma State way and he needed to go learn a different way,” John Walsh said. “[TCU head coach Gary] Patterson is one of the best in the business. I think he’s learning this business on fast-forward.”

At Guyer while playing for his dad, Walsh led the Wildcats to their first playoff appearance in school history in 2008 and guided Guyer to the Class 5A Division II state championship game as a senior in 2010 when he was an Associated Press first-team all-state selection before playing in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.

Before moving to Denton when his dad took the job to be Guyer’s first coach in 2005, Walsh grew up in Brownwood and has both sets of grandparents living in the Abilene area.

“As uncomfortable as a new job is, him being in Abilene surrounded by both sets of grandparents and some friends will make it more comfortable,” John Walsh said. “The family got to share in his playing career and now they get to be a part of his early coaching career, as well.”

 

 

 

 

 

Guyer’s Mwaniki to play in O-D All-American Bowl

Guyer defensive back Thabo Mwaniki (1) comes up with an interception on the final play of the game to secure the ten paint victory for Guyer as Plano Senior High School hosted Denton Guyer High School at John Clark Field in Plano on Friday night, September 23, 2016.  (Stewart F. House/Special Contributor)

Guyer defensive back Thabo Mwaniki (1) comes up with an interception on the final play of the game to secure the ten paint victory for Guyer as Plano Senior High School hosted Denton Guyer High School at John Clark Field in Plano on Friday night, September 23, 2016. (Stewart F. House/Special Contributor)

For the second time in a few days, an area standout has committed to play in the O-D All-American Bowl, as Guyer standout Thabo Mwaniki confirmed Thursday afternoon he was invited and accepted the invite to play in the game in Atlanta at the end of the year. Lake Dallas cornerback Kobe Boyce committed to play in the game earlier this week.

The Oklahoma State commit is having a big year for Guyer at both wide receiver and his main position as one of Guyer’s two FBS pledges at safety. NFL superstars such as Carolina quarterback Cam Newton and Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant are two of the more notable alumni of the game.

The game events will be in Atlanta from Dec. 26-31 at the same time the Peach Bowl is in town.

Mwaniki committed to Oklahoma State this summer, choosing the Cowboys over 11 other offers. He missed Guyer’s season opener but in five games has posted 35 tackles with five pass breakups and an interception.  He’s also Guyer’s second-leading receiver with nine catches for 123 yards.

Lake Dallas star to play in O-D All-American Bowl

Lake Dallas senior defensive back Kobe Boyce (3) evades a tackle from Centennial senior linebacker Steven Sacarello (33), Friday, September 2, 2016, in Corinth, Texas.  Jeff Woo/DRC

Lake Dallas senior defensive back Kobe Boyce (3) evades a tackle from Centennial senior linebacker Steven Sacarello (33), Friday, September 2, 2016, in Corinth, Texas. Jeff Woo/DRC

Lake Dallas star cornerback Kobe Boyce added a nice honor to his resume on Tuesday evening when he committed to play in the O-D All-American Bowl.

The Texas commit will take part in the showcase, which features alumni such as Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton and Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant.

The festivities will be held in Atlanta from Dec. 26-31, and will culminate with the game.

Boyce burst onto the scene last year when he was shined in several camps and ended up committing to Texas, choosing the Longhorns over 17 other offers.

In six games, Boyce has 18 tackles, with two tackles behind the line of scrimmage to go with two pass breakups, a forced fumble and a blocked field goal. He also returned a punt for a touchdown and has three catches for 106 yards and a score in limited offensive duty.

 

Former Guyer standout inks with Raiders

Oklahoma State's Jimmy Bean speaks to reporters at Cotton Bowl Media Day, Monday, December 30, 2013, in Arlington, TX. David Minton/DRC

Oklahoma State’s Jimmy Bean speaks to reporters at Cotton Bowl Media Day, Monday, December 30, 2013, in Arlington, TX. David Minton/DRC

Jimmy Bean looked like he was a lock to be the first Guyer football player drafted by an NFL team.

The formerly underweight, long and rangy defensive end filled out at Oklahoma State and turned into one of the better defensive ends in the Big 12 before suffering a season-ending knee injury in a game against Texas Tech last season, effectively ending Bean’s collegiate career.

To show what NFL teams thought of Bean, he was still invited to the NFL combine last winter in advance of the draft even though he couldn’t partake in much of the drills, but teams still wanted to get a look at him and most importantly put him through the interview process.

By the time the draft rolled around, it was decided Bean’s knee still wasn’t 100 percent and teams passed on him. On Wednesday, Bean signed a deal to join the practice squad of the Oakland Raiders, putting him on the road to beginning his NFL career.

The 6-5, 264-pound (his measurements at the combine) Bean will now (theoretically) be on the same defensive line as former Ryan standout Mario Edwards Jr., who was drafted in 2015 out of Florida State.

Ryan-ex Choplick earns Rangers monthly award

Former Ryan and Oklahoma starting pitcher Adam Choplick throws against TCU on Sunday May 11, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas.  (AP Photo/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Ron T. Ennis)  MAGS OUT; (FORT WORTH WEEKLY, 360 WEST); INTERNET OUT

Former Ryan and Oklahoma starting pitcher Adam Choplick throws against TCU on Sunday May 11, 2014, in Fort Worth, Texas. (AP Photo/The Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Ron T. Ennis) MAGS OUT; (FORT WORTH WEEKLY, 360 WEST); INTERNET OUT

Adam Choplick capped off his first full minor-league season in style on Thursday when he was awarded the Rangers’ Minor League Player of the Month honor for August/September for the Low-A affiliate (since the minor-league season creeps into September much like the big-league year creeps into October).

Choplick, who pitched all season for Low-A Hickory in the South Atlantic League, had 35 relief appearances this season for the Rangers’ affiliate and the 6-9 lefty compiled a season ERA of 3.32 with a 2-2 record. He struck out 74 batters in 59 2/3 innings of work and opposing hitters hit .239 against him.

In August and September, Choplick had nine outings and saw his ERA dip by more than a full run to his season-ending 3.32. In those nine games, Choplick allowed just two earned runs (both in one game) in 18 2/3 innings with 23 strikeouts and allowed just 11 hits. He also earned a save on Aug. 18.

Former Aubrey kicker hits it big on Twitter

Former Aubrey kicker Evan Moore is now at Texas, and is going viral with his 60-yard field goals. David Minton/DRC

Former Aubrey kicker Evan Moore is now at Texas, and is going viral with his 60-yard field goals. David Minton/DRC

I can readily admit Evan Moore got a raw deal from the Denton Record-Chronicle as a standout high school kicker for Aubrey a couple of years ago.

That’ll happen when you’re overshadowed by a district rival who sets the national record for most field goals in a season, which is exactly what former Argyle standout Cole Hedlund did before heading off to Arkansas. Before that, it was Cole’s older brother, Chad, who stole the kicking spotlight in the area.

But Moore isn’t doing too badly for himself, either, and on Tuesday the Texas sophomore made waves on Twitter when he did this…

If you notice, these aren’t the normal videos you see of kickers in pregame “hitting 60-yarders” off a tee. Nope, no tee here. Just a holder off a flat ground — 60 yards one way, and then 60 back the other.

Pretty impressive stuff from one of many successful kickers the area has produced in recent years.

Guyer-ex, UT QB Heard injures shoulder in practice

 

Former Guyer and current Texas quarterback Jerrod Heard (13) breaks through the California defense on a 45-yard touchdown run with just over a minute to play during the fourth quarter of an NCAA football game at Royal Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, in Austin. Texas failed to convert the tying extra point and California won the game 45-44. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News)

Former Guyer and current Texas quarterback Jerrod Heard (13) breaks through the California defense on a 45-yard touchdown run with just over a minute to play during the fourth quarter of an NCAA football game at Royal Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015, in Austin. Texas failed to convert the tying extra point and California won the game 45-44. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News)

Jerrod Heard was thrown into the fire, perhaps a little sooner than Texas wanted, last season but kept his head above water and helped lead Texas to bit of an improvement in head coach Charlie Strong’s second season in Austin. Improvement in the sense they had a signature win over Oklahoma but not in the sense of W/L record. Against OU, he rushed for 115 yards.

Heard became the Longhorns’ starter under center after their first game and had a monster effort in a crushing loss to Cal when he threw for 364 yards, rushed for another 163 and ran for three touchdowns. But that was the high point for Heard from an individual standpoint.

Now, the former Guyer standout who led the Wildcats to consecutive Class 4A state championships in 2012 and 2013, might be in danger of losing his weak grasp of the starting job after news broke on Wednesday that he suffered a shoulder injury in practice on Tuesday.

Of course, that’s all the Longhorns would say as no further information was given in a short release to media.

In his 10 starts last year, Heard threw for 1,214 yards, five touchdowns and five interceptions while rushing for 556 yards and three touchdowns. He was second on the team in rushing.

According to the folks at Burnt Orange Nation, Heard has been working as the backup to senior Tyrone Swoopes, who Heard supplanted as the starter a year ago.

A significant injury will obviously hurt Heard’s case to be the starter, and could even hurt his chances of being the team’s backup with early enrollee Shane Buechele in camp fresh off his senior year at Arlington Lamar. With new offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert in place, the word on the street is that the quarterback competition is truly a wide-open one.

Robinson holds firm as Scout’s No. 1 QB

 

Denton Guyer High School quarterback Shawn Robinson (3) throws a pass as he is pressured by San Angelo Central High School defensive tackle Jordan Schellhase (41) during the second quarter as Denton Guyer High School hosted San Angelo Central High School at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Friday, November 27, 2015.  (Stewart F. House/Special Contributor)

Denton Guyer High School quarterback Shawn Robinson (3) throws a pass as he is pressured by San Angelo Central High School defensive tackle Jordan Schellhase (41) during the second quarter as Denton Guyer High School hosted San Angelo Central High School at AT&T Stadium in Arlington on Friday, November 27, 2015. (Stewart F. House/Special Contributor)

Depending on which recruiting service you look at, and when you do it, there’s been a pretty consistent game of tug of war between Guyer junior quarterback Shawn Robinson and fellow junior signal caller Tate Martell from famed Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas.

My boy Greg Powers of Scout.com just tweeted out the newest set of Scout rankings for the 2017 class, and Robinson sits atop the quarterback perch and checks in at No. 11 in the Scout 300 — the top 300 players in the country. Martell is No. 13 overall, and both players earned the coveted five-star ranking from Scout.

Here’s what Scout’s Brian Dohn wrote about Robinson, who is coming off a bit of a “sophomore slump” his junior season in his second season at Guyer after playing his freshman season at Saginaw Chisholm Trail.

Shawn Robinson, a 6-foot-2, 205-pounder from Denton (Texas) Guyer, is verbally committed to TCU. He picked the hometown Horned Frogs over offers from a host of national names and fits well in the Sonny Cumbie / Doug Meachem offense.

Powers wrote the following as a more in-depth look at what the TCU pledge brings to the table.

Robinson has all of the tools that you are looking for in a young quarterback prospect. Physically and mentally he is prepared for the next level. Had a tough time picking the area of improvement for his profile. Has the true ability to beat you with his arm or his legs any snap. He works well outside the pocket extending plays and will find receivers before just taking off when things break down, but when he does run he is a threat to score.

These accolades are nothing new for Robinson, who helped lead Guyer to the regional final in Class 6A Division II this past season despite an up-and-down season. When it was showtime in the playoffs, however, Robinson was at his best.

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.

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.