Ryan’s Robinson commits to SMU

Ryan junior defensive back Delano Robinson (10) celebrates after recovering a fumble against Justin Northwest, Thursday, October 29, 2015, at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

Ryan junior defensive back Delano Robinson (10) celebrates after recovering a fumble against Justin Northwest, Thursday, October 29, 2015, at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

In 2014, Delano Robinson was on a Ryan team that finished 5-5 to snap a 14-year playoff streak. The next year, Robinson and the Raiders won 13 games and are now seen as state title contenders.

Robinson took a lot of pride in spurring Ryan’s resurgence. He believes the same thing is happening at SMU, and on Friday verbally committed to the Mustangs.

“When we went 5-5, that put a bad taste in our mouth,” Robinson said. “I liked being a part of rebuilding something. Nothing has been given to me, and I believe that everything is a process. SMU is a program that is building something special.”

Verbal commitments are nonbinding. The first day a class of 2017 recruit can sign a national letter of intent is Feb. 1.

On a defense full of stars, Robinson appeared to have been a relative unknown in the recruiting world until the last month or so. Including his offer from SMU, which he announced via his Twitter account on May 10, he also received offers from Texas-San Antonio, Bucknell, Air Force and Stephen F. Austin.

Part of the appeal is that Robinson is so versatile. At 6-1, 190, he predominately plays safety for Ryan, but he’s so physical that he can also step in at linebacker. Robinson said he is being looked at by SMU to play either position.

Last year, he racked up 125 tackles, 10 for loss, with two sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery and five pass breakups.

“The big thing is his physicality,” Ryan coach Dave Henigan said. “When he makes a tackle, it’s not just a tackle, it’s a violent hit. A lot of guys who have seen that from him feel like it will transition well to the next level. And I have no doubt it will.”

Robinson said he made his commitment while visiting the SMU campus Friday morning. He said it was an easy decision, and a load off his shoulders.

“When I spoke to coach [Chad] Morris, he asked if I wanted to be a part of a rebuilding program where I have a chance to be a big part of that success. I started thinking about it and that definitely means something to me.

“You should want to drive for something. This is very exciting, and it means a lot.”

Lake Dallas-ex Tauaefa named UTSA starter at MLB

Lake Dallas senior defensive lineman Josiah Tauaefa(45) wraps up Dallas Kimball junior quarterback Ryan Ross (6), Friday, September 19, 2014, in Corinth, TX. David Minton/DRC

Lake Dallas senior defensive lineman Josiah Tauaefa(45) wraps up Dallas Kimball junior quarterback Ryan Ross (6), Friday, September 19, 2014, in Corinth, TX. David Minton/DRC

Josiah Tauaefa was quite the wrecker in high school as a defensive standout for Lake Dallas, and he also was known to moonlight as a red zone machine at tight end for the Falcons.

Now, as a redshirt freshman at UTSA, it appears Tauaefa is making quite the impact. Not only did Tauaefa make the move to middle linebacker for the Roadrunners, he had such a great spring that he was sitting atop the post-spring depth chart that was released on Tuesday afternoon on an “or” basis, meaning, regardless, he’ll play.

Josiah Tauaefa was the third Tauaefa brother to star on defense for the Falcons, as his older brothers Isaac (UTEP) and Josh (Minnesota) both signed with FBS programs, as well. The youngest Tauaefa brother was named Defensive MVP of the Falcons’ district after his junior and senior seasons.

Ryan grad, Guerra, turns in solid debut in call up to Angels

May 6, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels pitcher Javy Guerra (40) pitches during the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

May 6, 2016; Anaheim, CA, USA; Los Angeles Angels pitcher Javy Guerra (40) pitches during the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Former Ryan pitcher Javy Guerra is back in the major leagues. He was called up Friday by the Los Angeles Angels to help offset a myriad of injuries to its pitching staff.

He pitched two innings in relief that night against Tampa Bay, striking out three without allowing a hit.

Guerra was drafted in the fourth round by the Dodgers out of Ryan in 2004 and also had a stint with the Chicago White Sox before serving a 50-game drug suspension. Guerra has pitched in 147 major league games with 30 saves in six major league seasons.

Guerra, 30, performed well as a member of the Angels’ Triple-A Salt Lake bullpen. He posted a 2.19 ERA with 14 strikeouts in 12.1 innings with Salt Lake. In his relief effort Friday, he came in with the bases loaded and no outs in the fourth inning but managed to get out of the jam unscathed.

Former Ryan linebacker Alex De La Torre plans move to coaching ranks

Waco Midway junior quarterback Jordan Darling (16) is slammed by Denton Ryan senior defensive lineman Dominique Banks (16), and senior linebacker Alex De La Torre (33), Friday, November 25, 2011, at Vernon Newsom Stadium in Mansfield, Texas. (DAVID MINTON/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)

Waco Midway junior quarterback Jordan Darling (16) is slammed by Denton Ryan senior defensive lineman Dominique Banks (16), and senior linebacker Alex De La Torre (33), Friday, November 25, 2011, at Vernon Newsom Stadium in Mansfield, Texas. (DAVID MINTON/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER)

During last year’s NFL Draft, the Ryan football faithful was busy celebrating two former players as Mario Edwards Jr. and Bud Sasser were drafted by the Raiders and Rams, respectively. This year, that same legion of fans are celebrating another Ryan graduate — but for slightly different reasons.

Former linebacker Alex De La Torre, who had a standout collegiate career at Texas, announced this morning that he has decided to pursue a coaching career.

De La Torre went undrafted in this weekend’s NFL Draft, and was not signed to an undrafted free agent deal. He announced his decision via his Twitter account.

 

De La Torre, whose dad Aaron De La Torre was a former defensive coach at Ryan before moving on to Irving, graduated from Ryan following the 2011 season and went on to play fullback for the Longhorns. He played in 11 games last season and announced his plans to enter this year’s draft.

It was the second straight year that Ryan had former players in the mix to possibly make it to the NFL. Edwards is currently in the league with Oakland after being taken 35th overall in the 2015 draft. Sasser was eventually cut by the Rams due to a pre-existing heart condition.

While things didn’t work out in terms of an NFL career, De La Torre clearly wants to give back to the sport he has excelled in for so many years by following in his father’s footsteps.

 

 

Volleyball: Argyle’s Van Poppel commits to Division I Belmont

Argyle junior Halee Van Poppel (9) tips the ball over the net against Decatur junior Autumn Fuller (11), Tuesday, September 22, 2015, in Argyle, TX. David Minton/DRC

Argyle junior Halee Van Poppel (9) tips the ball over the net against Decatur junior Autumn Fuller (11), Tuesday, September 22, 2015, in Argyle, TX. David Minton/DRC

Halee Van Poppel knew she didn’t have to go out of state to play college volleyball, but there was always a part of her that was intrigued by the idea.

Argyle’s junior outside hitter orally committed to Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. on Tuesday, giving the Lady Eagles — the defending Class 4A state champs — four players who have signed with or committed to a Division I program this school year.

“I’m excited for all of us,” Van Poppel said. “Playing Division I volleyball is not too big [a stage] for me. I knew God had a plan, and this is the best place for me.

“I always imagined myself doing something different by going out of state.”

Oral commitments are nonbinding. The first day a class of 2017 recruit can sign a national letter of intent is Nov. 9.

Argyle has been an active recruiting target this year. Beyond Van Poppel, seniors Eighmy Dobbins (Texas Tech) and Alexa Bass (Oral Roberts) have already signed. Junior Allison White committed to Texas Tech on Feb. 10.

Dobbins, who originally committed to Division I Texas A&M-Corpus Christi before switching to the Red Raiders, and Bass were two of four Lady Eagles who took part in the early signing period in November.

Seniors Strealy Sizelove (Dallas Baptist) and Melanie Carlisle (Henderson State) were two Division II signees in November. Senior Emma Malone committed last week to Division II West Texas A&M, bringing the total number of signings and commitments to seven.

Head coach Clark Oberle said there are likely more to come.

“It brings a lot of credibility to 4A volleyball, that’s for sure,” Oberle said. “I’m excited because I know how much all these girls love to play.”

Oberle said he is excited to have Van Poppel back, and her role is expected to expand after two standout seasons on varsity. In 2015, Van Poppel racked up 182 kills and a .353 hitting percentage despite being injured early in the season.

“[Halee] is super athletic, she has a great vertical jump and I will definitely use her in all six rotations for us next season,” Oberle said. “I expect big things from her.”

Belmont competes in the Ohio Valley Conference, and Van Poppel said she is being looked at for back row and as an outside hitter.

“I play six rotations for my club team Texas Image,” Van Poppel said. “That’s where Belmont was able to see me play the most, and they said I have the potential to play in several spots on the floor.

“It’s not a huge school, but I really liked it. They are also big into academics, which is extremely important to me. I also know I don’t have to deal with the stress of having to make a college decision during my senior year. I’m good now.”

STEVE GAMEL can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @NewspaperSteve.

Argyle’s Boyzuick will be preferred walk-on at Alabama

Argyle's Tanner Boyzuick stands with his first place medal after his team won the UIL State Baseball 4A championship in Austin Thursday, June 11, 2015. Stephen Spillman/Special Contributor)

Argyle’s Tanner Boyzuick stands with his first place medal after his team won the UIL State Baseball 4A championship in Austin Thursday, June 11, 2015. Stephen Spillman/Special Contributor)

Argyle third baseman Tanner Boyzuick tweeted Monday evening that he has committed to Alabama. Boyzuick will be a preferred walk-on and will also receive a full academic scholarship. He added that the combo was too good to pass up.

“This was the perfect situation,” Boyzuick said. “I had been talking to the coach for a while now. He offered me a preferred walk-on, and I accepted today.”

Boyzuick, now a senior, was a key cog in Argyle’s run to its first Class 4A state championship last season as a junior. The Eagles are mere days away from wrapping up the regular season and are looking to defend that title. Boyzuick played shortstop last year, but made the move to third base this season.

Head coach Ricky Griffin said Boyzuick is hitting .400 heading into the playoffs.

Boyzuick said in addition to Alabama, he had been looking at Villanova and Abilene Christian University.

“Honestly, I’m more relieved than anything,” he said. “This landed in my lap, and it’s all I could ask for. I’m very happy with this decision.”

Football: Ryan’s Tyreke Davis commits to North Texas

Ryan junior running back Tyreke Davis (21) breaks through the Keller Central defense for a Raider touchdown, Friday, September 25, 2015, at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

Ryan junior running back Tyreke Davis (21) breaks through the Keller Central defense for a Raider touchdown, Friday, September 25, 2015, at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex in Denton, TX. David Minton/DRC

Ryan’s Tyreke Davis didn’t need his arm twisted much at all when he stepped foot in North Texas football coach Seth Littrell’s office earlier today.

“I had already made up my mind,” he said.

Davis, a junior who rose to prominence as a versatile linebacker and running back during Ryan’s 13-1 run in 2015, confirmed by phone on Saturday that he has orally committed to Littrell and the Mean Green — putting an end to a rather short recruiting process.

“I’m excited. Coach Littrell and the players made me feel comfortable and at home,” Davis said. “I already planned to commit today.”

Oral commitments are nonbinding. The first day a class of 2017 recruit can sign a national letter of intent is Feb. 1.

Davis was one of about 75 high school juniors who were on campus today for the Mean Green’s junior day. He is a three-star prospect, according to 247Sports.

Davis has only received the one Division I offer from North Texas so far and is regarded as a solid pickup for the Mean Green because of his versatility. The 5-10, 190-pound standout should fit in nicely in UNT’s 3-4 defensive scheme, where Davis said he could play as a nickle linebacker/safety.

“I’m excited for him and North Texas,” Ryan defensive coordinator Shane Tolleson said. “Tyreke is phenomenal in space, and kudos to North Texas for recognizing that ability. They aren’t going to miss because you can’t teach instinct.”

Davis was in on 117 tackles last season — 17 behind the line of scrimmage — and scored twice off interceptions. He added two sacks, one forced fumble, and one pass breakup. He was able to juggle that workload with being the Raiders’ go-to running back.

He led the team with 877 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns.

Ryan is dropping to Class 5A next season and is regarded as a heavy favorite to win a state title.

“It’s going to be straight defense for me [at UNT],” Davis said. “The other thing now is I can just play, have fun, and enjoy my senior year with my teammates.”

STEVE GAMEL can be reached at 940-566-6869 and via Twitter at @NewspaperSteve.

Possible Robinson move could mean shakeup at Guyer

Guyer girls basketball coach Andrea Robinson is in talks with DeSoto about becoming its new girls basketball coach. (The Dallas Morning News file photo)

Guyer girls basketball coach Andrea Robinson is in talks with DeSoto about becoming its new girls basketball coach. (The Dallas Morning News file photo)

Word came down on Friday afternoon that Guyer girls basketball coach Andrea Robinson was recommended by DeSoto administrators for the school’s vacant girls hoops job.

That, in itself, is significant given the fact she led Guyer to a District 5-6A championship this past season and made the Lady Wildcats a competitor at the state’s largest class after just one previous playoff appearance at that level prior to her arrival a year ago, when Guyer finished second in the district.

In her two seasons at Guyer, she’s put the Lady Wildcats on the map as a perennial contender. She’s not finished at Guyer yet, at least not officially, as she said earlier today that nothing “was even close to official” with DeSoto. She added that more would be known next week and that she has a meeting with human resources on Monday, but not before making it clear nothing was official on Monday afternoon.

“This job has been offered to me but it’s pending final details still,” Andrea Robinson said. “Nothing is official yet.”

But that’s not the end of the story, and be honest, it’s already in your mind: What might Robinson’s departure — if it happens — mean for Guyer football and star quarterback Shawn Robinson, who happens to be Andrea’s son and one of the top high school quarterbacks in the country entering his senior year.

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)

We’d be lying if we said the fact that DeSoto, like Guyer, is a perennial football power didn’t make it interesting as an enticing move for the entire family, as her husband, Othell, is a coach on Guyer’s football staff. But again, nothing is official with Andrea, or Shawn and Othell, and the two aren’t a packaged deal if history tells us anything. However, sources indicate talks involving a family move are on the table and it is indeed a possibility.

Shawn Robinson is committed to TCU and is the No. 1 dual threat quarterback in the country. Just because Andrea Robinson leaves Guyer (if she does), doesn’t mean Shawn Robinson will leave Guyer. It’d be no different than when Shawn was a freshman at Saginaw Chisholm Trail when his dad was on staff there and his mom was the head coach at Cedar Hill.

It’s going to be interesting to see how this all plays out, and with spring football on the horizon, you’d think John Walsh would want to know whether he’ll have his senior quarterback for 2017. If not, he’d be fine rolling with junior Luke Stillwell, who started one game last year and rushed for more than 100 yards in a win over Trophy Club Nelson. Also, to make matters juicier, Guyer and DeSoto are set to play in Week 2.

UT: Heard’s shoulder injury not serious

 

Former Guyer standout Jerrod Heard of the Texas Longhorns celebrates with fans after beating the Oklahoma Sooners 24-17 during the AT&T Red River Showdown at the Cotton Bowl on October 10, 2015 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Former Guyer standout Jerrod Heard of the Texas Longhorns celebrates with fans after beating the Oklahoma Sooners 24-17 during the AT&T Red River Showdown at the Cotton Bowl on October 10, 2015 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

News broke on Wednesday that former Guyer standout Jerrod Heard, who was the starting quarterback for the Texas Longhorns last year, suffered a shoulder injury on Tuesday in spring practice and the severity was unknown.

The abrupt, short release by the Texas program did have a bit of an ominous ring to it though, and it had people wondering just how bad Heard’s shoulder injury was and what it meant for his future standing in the program after a redshirt season of ups (Cal and Oklahoma) and downs.

Well, good news for Heard came down on Thursday as it was announced that injury wasn’t so serious, after all.

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. The fact Heard isn’t seriously injured bodes well for the two-time Texas high school state champion at Guyer as new Texas offensive coordinator Sterlin Gilbert has said the quarterback competition is “wide open” this spring.

Ryan-ex Choplick assigned to Rangers’ Low-A Hickory

Former Ryan standout Adam Choplick, shown here pitching for Oklahoma in 2014, was assigned to Low-A Hickory by the Rangers on Tuesday.  (AP Photo)

Former Ryan standout Adam Choplick, shown here pitching for Oklahoma in 2014, was assigned to Low-A Hickory by the Rangers on Tuesday. (AP Photo)

Adam Choplick, a former Ryan two-sport star who went on to pitch for Oklahoma, was assigned by the Texas Rangers to Class Low-A Hickory on Tuesday afternoon as the Rangers wrap up their time in Arizona for spring training.

Choplick, who was drafted for the third time last year was assigned to the Rangers’ short-season affiliate in Spokane, Washington after being selected in June’s draft. He went 4-0 with a 2.18 ERA in 16 games with Spokane, finishing six games with three saves.

The 6-9 lefty appears to be slotted to be a reliever as a pro and will have a chance to begin his full-season professional career with the Crawdads. He’ll be joined in Hickory by the Rangers’ No. 1 pick in last summer’s draft, starting pitcher Dillon Tate.

Low-A was the logical starting point for Choplick and his expected destination out of his first spring training. The next step would be High-A High Desert in the California League, which is a pitcher’s worst nightmare due to overinflated offensive stats because of similar climate to that of Arizona. After that, would be Double-A Frisco, which would obviously be right back in Choplick’s backyard.

If you want to follow Choplick’s season, you can do so here and keep track of his appearances and statistics.