Former Ryan star, Knight, signs deal with Blue Jays

Abilene Christian's Russell Crippen (10) is out at third base as Dallas Baptist infielder Nash Knight (8) applies the tag during an NCAA college baseball game at Horner Ballpark on Tuesday, March 31, 2015, in Dallas. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News)

Abilene Christian’s Russell Crippen (10) is out at third base as Dallas Baptist infielder Nash Knight (8) applies the tag during an NCAA college baseball game at Horner Ballpark on Tuesday, March 31, 2015, in Dallas. (Smiley N. Pool/The Dallas Morning News)

Per the Dallas Baptist University baseball website, senior third basemen and former Ryan standout, Nash Knight, signed a free agent contract Friday with the Toronto Blue Jays.

Knight played in 215 games in his four years at DBU, and according to the Patriots’ site, was one of only two Patriots to start all 61 games this year. When reached by phone late Friday, Knight confirmed he will report to Tampa, Florida on Saturday for a physical. He is expected to compete in a five-day mini-camp.

I will have more details in our Sunday paper, so consider this a TEASER.

Knight is the second Ryan star to end up with a pro club this week. On Wednesday, former teammate Adam Choplick was selected by the Texas Rangers in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

I had a chance to chat with Knight and he sounded incredibly stoked to be continuing his career. He actually apologized during our brief phone conversation for huffing and puffing. Apparently, he was in the process of packing.

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.

Weather permitting, playoffs to resume today

Teams from the area will try again today to get playoff games in as all of Thursday’s baseball and softball games were postponed due to inclement weather.

With more rain and thunderstorms predicted for today more adjustments are probable to the playoff schedule.


In Class 6A, Guyer will open its playoff series against Flower Mound Marcus at 6 p.m. tonight at Plano High School. Game 2 and the if needed game is  scheduled for Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at Plano West.

In Class 5A, Denton will travel to North Richland Hills to face Birdville at 4:30 p.m. today. Game 2 is slated for noon on Saturday at Denton’s Cotton Nix Field. If a third game is needed, Denton and Birdville will meet at Saginaw later Saturday.

Lake Dallas will attempt to get its series started today against Boswell at Argyle. Game 1 is slated for 1 p.m. and Game 2 is set for 4:30 p.m. Game 3, if needed, will be played at noon on Saturday.

Pilot Point and Holliday will open their Class 3A bi-district series today at 4:30 p.m. in Ponder, Game 2 is scheduled for 7:30 and the if needed game will be played at noon on Saturday.


Guyer opens its Class 6A area round series with South Grand Prairie at 6 p.m. tonight at Colleyville Heritage. Game 2 and the if needed game will be played Saturday, beginning at 2 p.m., also at Colleyville Heritage.

Lake Dallas and Burleson were washed out in their attempt to play Thursday night. They will play Game 1 at 1:30 p.m. today in Prosper and then head to Burleson to play Game 2 at 7 p.m. tonight. If a third game is needed, it will be played in Burleson at 9 a.m. Saturday.

In Class 3A, the Sanger-Bonham series will be played in Bonham with Game 1 slated for today at 6:30 p.m. Game 2 and the if needed game is scheduled for Saturday at 12 p.m.

Krum and Princeton are scheduled to open their best-of-three series today at 7:30 p.m.. Game 2 is now scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday. If a Game 3 is needed, it will be played at 4:30 p.m. All games are in Prosper.

Pilot Point and Grandview’s area round series in Class 3A was postponed Thursday and will start today in Bowie. Game 1 is slated for 2 p.m. with Game 2 at 4 p.m.

A look at potential contract for Mario Edwards Jr.

After signing with Florida State in 2012, Ryan graduate Mario Edwards Jr. helped the Seminoles win their third national championship on Monday night.

Mario Edwards Jr. signs with Florida State back in 2012. The former Ryan standout won a national title with the Seminoles and was recently drafted by the Oakland Raiders. (DRC file photo)

I’m not pretending like I know the inter-workings of the NFL and how all these top execs work through contracts — especially those for rookies. But I am a bit curious as to where Florida State defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. will end up on the scale.

The former Ryan standout was taken in Round 2 of the NFL Draft Friday as the 35th overall pick by the Oakland Raiders. Before I go any further, I want to congratulate Edwards on making it into the NFL. It was a foregone conclusion that he would, but the question remained as to when.

Now that we know which round and pick he is, I took the liberty of searching out who was the 35th pick in last year’s draft. It was former Nevada offensive linemen Joel Bitonio, who was taken by the Cleveland Browns.

For what it’s worth, Bitonio signed a 4-year rookie contract worth $5,461,698. It included a signing bonus of $2,292,144. His guaranteed income was reportedly $3,700,403.

In 2013, tight end Zach Ertz was drafted by the Eagles as the 35th pick. He, too, signed a 4-year rookie contract worth $5,379,198, with $3,657,854 guaranteed.

I’m not suggesting Edwards’ contract will mirror Bitonio’s or that of Ertz, especially since they all play different positions, but it was worth the look for anyone who might be curious. Congrats again to Mario Edwards Jr.



Local NFL prospects make pre-draft visits

Florida State junior defensive end Mario Edwards was named to the Bednarik Award watch list on Monday afternoon by the Maxwell Football Club.

Florida State junior defensive end Mario Edwards was named to the Bednarik Award watch list on Monday afternoon by the Maxwell Football Club. (AP)

The 2015 NFL Draft starts Thursday, but teams are sure to continue scheduling pre-draft visits for prospective players leading up to the big day. As of this weekend, had put together a comprehensive list of each team’s moves over the last few months. The list includes a list of players each team has visited with, and which of those players were invited in for a private workout.

There are three former local players who are hoping their football careers continue. Two of them were very busy according to the aforementioned list, which is below.

Continue reading

Ryan football nabs 5 district games at Collins in 2015

Ryan quarterback Spencer Sanders eludes a Trophy Club Nelson defender last year. (Mike Mezeul, for the DRC)

Ryan quarterback Spencer Sanders eludes a Trophy Club Nelson defender last year. (Mike Mezeul, for the DRC)

Ryan will play six games in the friendly confines of C.H. Collins in 2015, five of them in District 5-6A. If you remember, the Raiders played four of their seven district games on the road last year. That included three trips to Keller ISD Athletic Complex.

Keller ISD is a nice stadium, but attendants lock straggling reporters (like me) inside without checking the press box before they leave. I hate climbing gates.

This year, Ryan gains two extra district games at C.H. Collins, and only has to travel to Trophy Club Nelson (Oct. 2) and Keller (Oct. 22). For those keeping track, yes, the final regular-season game is technically an away game against Guyer. But since it’s both teams’ home stadium … it’s simply a matter of switching sidelines.

The Keller game is one of three Thursday night games — including nondistrict. The schedule only features one home game in nondistrict against Hebron.

So without further delay, here is the 2015 Ryan football schedule.

Date Opponent Time
Friday, Aug. 21 At Grapevine (scrimmage) TBA
Friday, Aug. 28 At Rockwall 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 3 Hebron 7 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 10 At Wylie East 7 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 18 OPEN
Friday, Sept. 25 Keller Central 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 2 At Trophy Club Nelson 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 9 Keller Timber Creek 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 16 Keller Fossil Ridge 7 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 22 At Keller 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 30 Justin Northwest 7 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 6 At Guyer (C.H. Collins) 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.

Guyer, Argyle, Aubrey, Ponder moved to Monday

The Guyer Wildcats-Cedar Hill Class 6A second round playoff game scheduled from this afternoon has been postponed again due to the inclement weather  and officials from Guyer and Cedar Hills are working on details when the game will be re-scheduled.

The Ponder-Peaster Class 3A second round playoff game has been re-scheduled to Monday night at 7 p.m. at Saginaw Chisholm Trail High School.

The Argyle-Wilmer-Hutchins Class 4A playoff game, scheduled for 5 p.m. today at Loos Field House in Addison has been postponed and will be played Monday night. Time and site is still undetermined.

The Aubrey-Dallas Lincoln Class 4A playoff game, scheduled for 7 p.m., has been postponed until Monday. A time and place for the game is undetermined.

Class 4A Region II final — Argyle vs Celina

Happy Saturday folks! I am still here at Texas A&M-Commerce for today’s highly-anticipated — and expected — rematch between Argyle (29-5) and Celina (32-4). These teams have a lot of history and met in last year’s 3A region final, a game the Lady Eagles won. A berth to this year’s state tournament is on the line. Game time is noon.

Just like yesterday, you can follow me on Twitter or directly through this blog post. You should be able to see my Twitter feed below. If you have a friend or family member who is “Twitterless”, send them here.


Argyle one win from state; Celina stands in its way

By Steve Gamel, Staff Writer

COMMERCE — There was no sugar coating in Argyle coach Skip Townsend’s postgame speech Friday night. The message was simple and straightforward.

The Lady Eagles’ 61-32 dismantling of Gilmer in the Class 4A Region II semifinals meant only one team stood in the way of Argyle and a second straight state tournament appearance. Townsend didn’t need to remind his players who that team was.

Argyle (29-5) meets Celina (32-4) at noon today in the region final at Texas A&M-Commerce. It is the second straight year these longtime rivals have met in a region final.

“I told them, ‘Here we are, right where we expected to be,’” Townsend said. “It’s going to come down to which team wants to be at state the most. And I challenged them by asking, ‘Is it us or them?’ I do believe these are the two best teams in the region. We’ll find out.”

Celina made quick work of Canton, 79-50, in its semifinal game to help set up what is essentially a rubber match with Argyle. Both teams split the District 9-4A series this season with blowout wins over the other. Argyle is ranked No. 3 by the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches, but No. 7 Celina is no slouch.

The rematch also possesses a bit of intrigue. Last year’s Class 3A region final, a game Argyle won in double overtime, was marred when referees blew a whistle on a last-second 3-pointer by Celina’s Kynese Davis and left the court without providing an explanation.

Davis’ shot fell short of the net as she hit the ground, and a video on YouTube shows players from both teams reacting as if it were a costly foul. The referees left the court and the game was over.

The outcome was so controversial that the UIL issued a statement saying the decision was a judgment call and was not subject for review.

Argyle went on to the state final, where it lost to Waco La Vega. Judging by the way the Lady Eagles have played lately, they’ll be hard to beat in their quest for one more crack at a state title.

Vivian Gray scored 17 points on Friday and helped hold Gilmer (24-9) to 18 points through the first three quarters. In four playoff games, the Lady Eagles have combined to outscore opponents 284-102.

“I don’t think we’ve been beating bad teams; I just believe our girls are playing real good right now,” Townsend said. “This isn’t a one person team. We’ve shown that everyone on this team can score. It has made it [playoff run] very fun.”

Gray agreed.

“I think we’re better prepared after what happened last year,” she said.

Madison Ralston finished with 10 points — all in the first half — as Argyle jumped out to a 15-3 lead after the first eight minutes. Ralston scored eight of her team’s points during a 16-4 run to open the second quarter.

Argyle 61, Gilmer 32

Argyle 15 18 14 14 61
Gilmer 3 8 7 14 32

Argyle (29-5) — Vivian Gray 17, Jesse Sheridan 8, Madison Ralston 10, Delaney Sain 4, Olivia Gray 2, Claire Betzhold 5, Brittany Hamilton 6, Jocelyn Pierce 4, Kayla Haynes 3, Madison Stapleton 2.

Gilmer (24-9) — Jameekia Homer 16, Erica Wesley 5, Christian Brown 7, Tyler Criddle 2, Destiny Brooks 2.


Alright folks! It’s game time here in Commerce. Yes, yours truly made the trek out here to Texas A&M-Commerce for tonight’s Class 4A Region II semifinals. Game 1 (6 p.m. start) pits Celina against Canton. Game 2 (8 p.m. start) is, of course, the Argyle girls taking on Gilmer. The winners from tonight’s slate of games will meet in the final tomorrow at noon.

Below is a running blog of tonight’s games. Keep looking for updates throughout the night from me. After all the dust settles, I’ll post a recap game story to this blog.