Broncos picked 2nd in District 5-5A by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football

Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury and quarterback Patrick Mahomes grace the cover of this year’s Dave Campbell’s Texas Football and with a new cover comes new predictions.

With several local area teams going through district realignment earlier this year, the Denton Broncos still find themselves in District 5-5A, but many of the teams around them have changed.

Gone are Fort Worth Chisholm Trail, Saginaw, Saginaw Boswell, Azle and Fort Worth Brewer from last year’s eight-team district and incoming are Ryan, Denison, Sherman and newly-formed Denton Braswell into this year’s seven-team district.

After being predicted to come in second in the district behind Wichita Falls Rider last season, the Broncos rattled off a 6-1 district record and a share of the district championship for the first time since 1999.

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This season, and keep in mind these are just predictions, the Broncos have been prognosticated to place second behind Ryan, who is favored to win the Class 5A football title after falling 48-27 to Allen in last year’s Class 6A Division I Region I game.

Denton finished the season at 9-3, beating Grapevine 12-11 in their opening playoff game before falling to state powerhouse Aledo in the second round for the second consecutive season.

Behind the Broncos are Rider and the newly-added Denison to round out the top four playoff spots with Wichita Falls, Sherman and Braswell rounding out the final three teams.

It’s no surprise Denton is getting more respect after going 8-4 and making the playoffs for the first time since 2010 two seasons ago and this upcoming season Denton is returning six starters on both sides of the ball, headlined by first-team all-state representative Grant Polley and dynamic wideout Chris Miller.

Polley and Miller are entering their senior seasons with Polley committed to Kansas and Miller recently committing to Colorado.

Senior quarterback Colt Atkinson will return as a starter for the second season after throwing for 2,225 yards and 25 touchdowns in his junior campaign, but the Broncos will have to adjust with life without all-state running back Xavier Scott, who graduated this year.

Senior Caleb Osuofa and junior Adrian Wilson are expected to fill in the big hole that Scott left.

The Broncos also have a wealth of depth for the upcoming season and head coach Kevin Atkinson is quoted as he is “extremely excited about his senior class.”

Picked to place second in the district for the last two years by Dave Campbell, the Broncos are showing an uptick under Atkinson when it comes to predictions as the Broncos were picked seventh out of eight teams in District 5-4A in 2013 and in 2014 the Broncos were picked fourth in the newly-aligned District 5-5A.

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.

Denton’s Hunter Dozier selected to All-Star Futures Game

After being promoted to Triple-A Omaha in early May, Denton’s Hunter Dozier is already opening eyes and on Tuesday he was named to the All-Star Futures Game on July 10 in San Diego.

Hitting .298 with seven home runs and 23 RBIs in 47 games for the Storm Chasers, the 24-year-old third baseman will play for the U.S. Team and seems to be on the rise since being drafted out of Stephen. F. Austin in the first round in 2013 by the Kansas City Royals.

MLB: Kansas City Royals-Photo Day

 

Lake Dallas’ Tompkins resigns, heading to Denton

 

Former Lake Dallas head coach John Tompkins hands the ball off to senior Parker Tuck (4) against Grapevine, Friday, June 3, 2016, at Horner Ballpark in Dallas. David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle

Former Lake Dallas head coach John Tompkins hands the ball off to senior Parker Tuck (4) against Grapevine, Friday, June 3, 2016, at Horner Ballpark in Dallas. David Minton/Denton Record-Chronicle

One of the most successful coaches at Lake Dallas will not return for the 2016-2017 school year as head baseball coach John Tompkins turned in his resignation Tuesday.

Tompkins said he will accept a job to be the varsity assistant at Denton under Nick Buck.

“I think it’s just the best decision for me and my family at this time,” Tompkins said. “It was a tough decision, but it’s just what we felt like was best at this time.”

Tompkins, who was 185-116 in his nine seasons at the helm for the Falcons, is fresh off leading his team to the Class 5A Region I final before falling just shy of a state tournament appearance after being swept by District 6-5A foe and eventual state champion Grapevine.

Tompkins and Buck have a long history. The former Lake Dallas skipper coached Buck in the Texas Collegiate League with the now defunct Denton Outlaws. Tompkins said he will replace Donnie Watson, who recently took the head coaching job at Braswell, which is set to open in August.

The move was a welcomed surprise for Buck, who said he contacted his longtime friend to see if he knew anyone who would be interested in replacing Watson. The answer he got wasn’t exactly what he was expecting.

“He’s going to bring a ton,” Buck said of Tompkins. “John’s got the experience at the high school level and he’s done a great job at Lake Dallas. He’s done a great job developing players. He already has that experience on how to get every ounce of effort out of kids. I’m super excited to have him come on board and continue to develop the kids here at Denton High.”

The Falcons finished with a 26-12 record in 2016, which was the second-highest win total in Tompkins’ tenure — two shy of a 28-win season in 2011. In his nine seasons, Tompkins guided Lake Dallas to six playoff appearances and his teams racked up a 25-16 postseason record.

“It is a big blow. I hate to see him go,” said Lake Dallas athletic director Scott Head. “I understand why he’s going. He’s doing it for family reasons. He did a good job for us. Any time you lose a good coach like that it hurts, but you just have to reload.”

Head said the job opening has been posted and he will see what type of candidate pool he can get despite the resignation coming late. Teaching contracts for the upcoming school year will soon take effect.

“[Assistant athletic director and head football coach Michael] Young and I have been tossing stuff around. We’re going to throw it out there and see what we get,” Head said. “We posted it as soon as we got the resignation.

“He did a great job for us. We hate to see him go. I understand what’s going through his head though. It was a good year to leave on.”

Tompkins said the decision was a tough one considering the relationships he formed over the years, especially with his 13 departing seniors from the 2016 squad.

“We were able to make Lake Dallas a special place baseball-wise with the success we had,” Tompkins said.

Despite the tough decision, Tompkins said he’s ready for the next chapter and to work with an old pupil in Buck at an assistant level.

“I’m really excited to coach with Nick, because he’s a great baseball mind,” Tompkins said. “I think we’ll complement each other real well. I’m excited about working with him. I think we’ll balance each other out very well. I’m a little more intense and he’s a little more laid back. I think it’ll be a good combination.”

 ADAM BOEDEKER can be reached at 940-566-6872 and via Twitter at @aboedeker.

 

Guyer’s Mallory commits to Tulane

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The upcoming senior class at Guyer added another big Football Bowl Subdivision commitment late Monday night when offensive lineman Gage Mallory verbally committed to Tulane.

Mallory chose the Green Wave over offers from schools such as Fresno State, Air Force and Louisiana-Monroe. The first day a Class of 2017 recruit can sign a national letter of intent is Feb. 1.

“I have family close to the [New Orleans] area,” Mallory said of what drew hi

m to Tulane. “And the coaches there push you to do your best. I have worked with them before, and I know what to expect. The best thing of it all is I’ll get a world-class education.”

Mallory has played left tackle for Guyer in his two years as a starter, and although he projects as a guard at the next level, Guyer coach John Walsh said he believes the 6-3, 270-pound Mallory could play anywhere on the line.

“Gage brings a very athletic option up front for us,” Walsh said. “He has and will play all over the offensive line for us. He is great at getting to the second level and pulling.

“Tulane is getting a very good football player.”

Mallory said he thinks he can make an impact sooner rather than later, no matter where it is on the offensive line.

“I’ll most likely be playing guard, but I can play anywhere,” Mallory said. “I know what it takes to be great. Guyer got me ready for anything. I can take on any challenge and come out on top.”

Mallory is the third Guyer player in the Class of 2017 to commit to an FBS program, following tight end Brian Polendey (Miami) and safety Bryce Jackson (Northwestern). Former Guyer quarterback Shawn Robinson is a TCU pledge but transferred to DeSoto in April.

Mallory said he was happy to have the recruiting process behind him less than two months before the Wildcats open their season against Mansfield Lake Ridge.

“Even though the recruiting process was fun and interesting, I was always focused on getting better with my team,” he said. “This just helps me buckle down even more and get better during the summer.”

 

TAPPS moving headquarters to Speedway, not Denton as originally proposed

The championship games of the TAPPS State 7 on 7 football tournament were held at Trinity Christian Academy in Addison on June 25, 2016. (Steve Hamm/Special Contributor)

The championship games of the TAPPS State 7 on 7 football tournament were held at Trinity Christian Academy in Addison on June 25, 2016. (Steve Hamm/Special Contributor)

Officials with the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools are still moving their headquarters closer to a more metropolitan area, but not to Denton as originally planned.

Bryan Bunselmeyer, executive director of TAPPS, confirmed Monday they are moving this weekend into an office tower at Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth.

The decision was approved at a board of directors meeting June 9.

In an interview with the Denton Record-Chronicle on March 24, Bunselmeyer said TAPPS, which creates rules and organizes athletic and academic contests for 232 private high schools across five classifications, had its sights set on Denton and had narrowed its search to office space in the Unicorn Lake development. The plan was to move there sometime in July.

Denton was originally chosen over Houston, San Antonio and Dallas, though Bunselmeyer stressed at the time that they hadn’t signed a lease.

It wasn’t until recently officials were presented with another option from TMS.

“We were right there on top of it, but the price [for office space at TMS] was too good to pass up,” said Bunselmeyer, who did not go into specifics on the deal. “This will be a good move for us, and we’re still right down the road.

“We will be in Denton quite a bit.”

TAPPS has been in Salado, a small town about 17 miles southwest of Temple, for 15 years. Before that, TAPPS had stints in Austin and Forney. The organization was first chartered in 1978 with 20 member schools.

Either way, the organization is still accomplishing its original task of getting closer to its member schools. Bunselmeyer estimated in March that there are just two or three member schools close to the Salado office.

He went on to say that there are 65 member schools in the immediate Dallas-Fort Worth area, including Selwyn, Calvary, Liberty and Coram Deo Academy in Flower Mound.

But the biggest desire TAPPS had was to be down the street from a major college or university, which Denton has with North Texas and TWU.

Bunselmeyer said TAPPS is still in talks with TWU to develop a partnership that can include internship opportunities for TWU students while partnering with college classes on specific projects.

Bunselmeyer said there is potential to hire TWU students to work in the TAPPS office and at various events.

“The biggest thing is that it’s nice to know TWU is really in this with us,” Bunselmeyer said Monday. “They’ve been very nice, and I know it will be a great partnership.”

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

Denton’s Chris Miller commits to Colorado

As a three-sport athlete, Chris Miller has been at the heart of Denton High’s recent resurgence, anchoring a relay team to the state meet, adding depth to an already deep Bronco basketball squad and injecting the football team with some of the best speed and athleticism that they’ve seen in several seasons.

On Wednesday, he announced on Twitter that he has committed to play football at Colorado and for Miller, it represents the first step in what he hopes is a long, successful football career.

Denton against Grapevine

“I just feel like I trust in the coaches and in my own ability to prove that I can play at the next level,” Miller said. “I know it’s hard but I’ll be able to do it. They play a lot of man-on-man coverage and coach Mac [Mike MacIntyre] helped recruit [Darrell] Revis to the Jets, so he knows what he’s doing. He knows how to coach up good players and teach them how to act right.”

For the 9-3 Broncos, Miller served as a versatile dual-threat athlete, starting every game at defensive back and wide receiver. In his junior season, Miller pulled down 28 catches for 8 touchdowns and 572 yards, including the only touchdown in Denton’s 12-11 win over Grapevine in the opening round of the playoffs.

Recruited as an overall athlete, Miller expects to play defensive back and special teams for the Buffaloes, who went 4-9 in the Pac-12 last season. Miller turned down offers from Boise State, Missouri, Kansas, Houston, Iowa, Nevada, Tulane, Louisiana Tech, Fresno State and North Texas and said that his relationship with the coaches, especially defensive backs coach Charles Clark, was one of the main reasons why he chose Colorado.

“I’ve been training a lot for DB and that’s best for me,” Miller said. “I’m really good size for a corner and I’m trying to play further than college and as a corner I can still score touchdowns. It’s good for me. I’m still going to play both positions for the Broncos and give both my all. Coaches noticed how athletic I am and coach Clark has been recruiting me since January. We have a really good relationship.”

Miller’s wide receivers coach Lonnie Teagle wasn’t surprised at all the looks he was getting and said his motivation is second to none.

“His athletic ability and his talent, we haven’t had a guy this athletic,” Teagle, who has been at Denton since 2012. “He’s so effective on both sides of the ball especially in special teams and he’s in great shape so he’s able to do it. As a receiver, he’s explosive and his ability to stretch the field with big-play ability and he can shut down the top threat on the other team as a corner. He’s intelligent and he’s physical, always coming up with tackles.”

Boasting a 40-yard dash time of 4.4 seconds, Miller has aspirations of advancing to the NFL and has been nurturing his speed for a long time.

This season on the Broncos’ track team, he advanced to the regional meet in all three of his events (100-meter dash, 400-meter relay and 800-meter relay), before helping the 800-meter relay claim a Class 5A Region I championship on the way to the state meet.

His speed will also be relied upon for his senior season, which Miller said will be important to his development and with Broncos’ losing their top wideout in Emerson Espinoza from last season, Miller will play both sides of the ball at corner and wide receiver.

“I really need to work on my technique and that’s what I’ve been working on this summer,” Miller said of his speed. “It never hurts to get your stamina up either. I think those sports gave me a big advantage. Track really helps me with my speed and quickness and basketball helps me get my hops up and my defense. I think I’ll be ready for Colorado. I know it’s going to take some hard work, but that’s what I’m ready to do.”

PATRICK HAYSLIP can be reached at 940-566-6873 and via Twitter at @PatrickHayslip.

Ryan hires Matt Buettner as new softball coach

Matt Buettner isn’t taking over a struggling Ryan program so that he can maybe turn it around in a few years. He wants to win now — and he has put a guarantee on it.

Buettner, who just finished his 10th season as the head baseball coach at Little Elm, is switching over to softball and says the Lady Raiders will end their four-year playoff drought next spring.

Buettner, 42, was approved as Ryan’s new head coach at Tuesday’s Denton school board meeting. He replaces Aimee Foutch, who stepped down in April after 13 seasons at the helm.

“I will tell you, and you can put this in [the paper] — we will make playoffs,” Buettner said. “We will win.”

Buettner led Little Elm to the second round of the playoffs this past season and is expecting an immediate return to success for Ryan. The Lady Raiders once competed for district titles and deep playoff runs every season, including a trip to the Class 4A state final in 2007.

But the program hasn’t been the same since moving to the state’s largest classification in 2013. In four seasons, the Lady Raiders won a combined 10 district games.

They’ll drop from Class 6A to Class 5A next season. Buettner’s oldest daughter, Abby, plays and will be a freshman at the school.

“He’s been a guy who has won, and he built that program up over at Little Elm,” Ryan football coach and athletic coordinator Dave Henigan said. “He has a heart for kids, and I think he’s going to build on what Aimee was able to do and get this team to another level.”

Though it doesn’t show in terms of playoff appearances — Little Elm’s latest playoff appearance was its first since 2002 — the Lobos came a long way in Buettner’s tenure after being in a position similar to what Ryan is in now.

“[Little Elm] hadn’t won 10 games in three years before I got there, so it was a total rebuild,” said Buettner, who with wife Stacey also has a younger daughter, Olivia, who is entering fourth grade. “They gave me time to build it the right way, and I’d like to think they are in a much better spot than before I got there.

Buettner has coached select softball with the Dallas Titans for the last three seasons, though the majority of his career has been on the baseball diamond. He was an assistant at Dallas Jesuit and Sherman before Little Elm, and he has coached in the Titans’ select baseball program for 22 years.

He said the chance to come to a program like Ryan — and be able to coach his daughter — was too good to pass up.

“It’s a huge perk,” Buettner said. “I’ve been a coach for a long time, and other coaches who have been in the same situation say there’s nothing like coaching your own child. It’s a huge opportunity and I couldn’t pass it up.

“Ryan has some good, young talent, and I want to continue the tradition that has been there. The sign out there that says ‘Home of Champions’ is not there for show.”

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

Krum assistant replacing Lucas at softball helm

Krum sophomore Morgan Sebastian (24) high-fives head coach Stacey Lucas after a home run against Melissa, Friday, May 13, 2016, at Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas. David Minton/DRC

Krum sophomore Morgan Sebastian (24) high-fives head coach Stacey Lucas after a home run against Melissa, Friday, May 13, 2016, at Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas. David Minton/DRC

Bryan Chaney has only two years of experience coaching high school softball, and they were 14 years apart.

But after leaving a job at Prosper, where he had coached football and baseball, to take the softball varsity assistant job at Krum this past season, Chaney will now take over the Lady Bobcats as head coach Stacey Lucas is stepping away from coaching but will remain as a teacher at Krum.

“Coach Lucas did a great job of preparing this team and building the program,” said Chaney, who was also a softball assistant in his first year in the business more than a decade ago at Maypearl. “Our girls have really bright futures. To have those sophomore and juniors coming back is going to be great. We have a really good core. Any coach would be excited to be taking over this group.”

Lucas led Krum to the Class 4A Region II final in 2015 and to the regional semifinal this past season behind a pair of star sophomores in pitcher Tristan Bridges and catcher Morgan Sebastian.

Lucas said she is stepping away from coaching to give herself a chance to watch her daughter compete in beach volleyball, which she said requires a lot of travel.

Chaney, who was the head baseball coach for two years at Maypearl and three years at Howe before serving as the varsity assistant at Prosper under legendary coach Rick Carpenter, made his return to softball this past season and helped lead Krum to the regional semifinal where it lost to Paris North Lamar.

“One of the things I found out quickly is softball and baseball are essentially the same game,” Chaney said. “It’s been a pretty easy transition and just like baseball, it’s all about pitching. You have that one girl, and if she’s dominant you can run her out there every day. If you have that dominant pitcher, you can win a lot of games. To have Tristan and, on the receiving end, Morgan, she’s a phenomenal catcher. It certainly helps a coach breathe a little easier knowing you have those two working together.”

Bridges and Sebastian will be just two of the six returning starters for Chaney’s first season at the helm as Krum lost shortstop Kaely Whatley and outfielders Ashley Landry and Hannah Carlson to graduation.

“All three of them will be tough to replace,” Chaney said. “They’ve been through the program for several years and you can’t beat experience. We have good, young girls behind them, but they’re going to be hard to replace.”

Krum athletic director Gary Robinson said he thinks Chaney will be able to continue the Lady Bobcats’ recent run of success.

“Coach Lucas has done a great job as far as winning district two years in a row and took us to regional championship last year and she’s done an outstanding job of bringing the program back to where it needs to be,” Robinson said. “Coach Chaney jumping in there, I don’t think he’ll miss a beat.”

 

 

 

 

Braswell hires Ryan assistant Ostrom to head softball program

Kasie Ostrom helped start a softball program from scratch when she played in college. Now she’s getting a chance to do it again as a head coach.

Ostrom, a Ryan graduate who was recruited to play on the inaugural team at Navarro College in 1999 before eventually finishing her career at TWU, has been named the head softball coach for the new Braswell High School opening this fall.

Ostrom spent the last 11 seasons as an assistant at Ryan. Before that, she was the head coach in Pilot Point for one year and led the Lady Bearcats to the state tournament.

Braswell is the Denton school district’s fourth high school.

“I have been a part of something like this before, getting to have the first of everything — the first win, hit, home run, season,” Ostrom said. “I knew [Denton ISD] would open up a new school eventually, and those were the memories that came into my mind.

“I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity to open a new school.”

Ostrom jumped at the chance to be an assistant at Ryan under Aimee Foutch, who stepped down in April after 13 seasons at the helm. Ryan missed the playoffs for the fourth straight season, but before that Foutch and Ostrom had the Lady Raiders competing for district titles and deep playoff runs practically every season.

That included a run to the Class 4A state final in 2007, where Ryan lost to Boerne.

It was Ostrom’s second trip to a state tournament as a coach. In 2005, she led Pilot Point to the state semifinals in her first coaching job out of college.

Ostrom said all of those experiences helped put her in this position, and she’s ready to hit the ground running with her new school.

“I loved everything about playing and coaching at Ryan, but you never know when you are going to have an opportunity like this come up again,” Ostrom said. “I want to start my own traditions, build something from the ground up and set the bar as high as I can without following in anyone else’s footsteps.”