By TONY EIERDAM
SANTO – In the 2011-12 season, the Santo Ladycats fell in the area round to Windthorst, and vowed to be back in the 2012-13 campaign.
The Ladycats, coach by Tony Raffaele, were extremely young and used the loss as experienced gained while also using it for motivation for this season.
Not only did the Ladycats extract revenge by beating Windthorst in the playoffs, but Santo also went an extra round in the playoffs this season and will return plenty of talent for the 2013-14 season, a season that could be special for the Santo ladies.
In fact, it was a great year for all of Santo’s girls’ basketball teams in 2012-13.
All teams either won a district championship or were co-champions.
The seventh grade went 9-4 and were co-district champs; the eighth grade ladies went 12-2 and are undefeated district champs for the second year in a row; the junior varsity finished 19-2 and were undefeated district champs; and varsity went 28-5 and were co-district champions.
“Not too many programs can do that year after year,” Raffelle said.”These kids, and parents, work hard for that every year.
“Work ethic, work ethic, work ethic – that’s still the only way to get ahead.
“I am a pretty intense person and do not apologized for that.
“The kids always say they like it when I get that glassy-eyed look. They tell me it makes them play harder. I know I am not the smartest, but passion and heart can overcome a lot of short comings for anyone who wants it bad enough.”
The varsity Ladycats will return District 11-A Sixth Man of the Year award winner Courtney Flanagan, as well as all-district, first team guards Breeana Raffaele (Tony’s daughter) and Payton Billue.
Second-team choice Taylor Nemeth also will return. All four ladies will be seniors next year, adding to the experience and leadership this team will posses next season.
Tony Raffaele said it will be hard to lose his seniors, particularly District 11-A Most Valuable Player Sarah Van Remmen. He will also lose District 11-A Defensive Player of the Year Alyssa McKennon, and Kristy Trammell, who earned an honorable mention.
“Sarah Van Remmen, Alyssa McKennon and Kristy Trammell will be missed,” Tony Raffaele said. “Their leadership will be sorely missed, and these three are great kids.
“The common thing about these three is that they have great parents, and they were always in it for the team and not just for themselves.”
Tony Raffaele expects his team to work hard in the offseason, knowing what next year can bring to the talented and experienced group.
For the rest of the team, it will be select basketball in the Metroplex and summer shootouts around the area,” he said. “Several will also developing more skills through individual training from former Santo basketball players, their parents and private trainers.
“We must stay ahead of the competition.”
By TONY EIERDAM
- Local Sports
Swimming to State
KELLER – The Mineral Wells Water Moccasins are heading to the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation's state meet in College Station, July 31-Aug. 3, after an outstanding performance in the Region 4 Championships that saw seven local swimmer qualify.
Mineral Wells summer track sends 11 to state meet after strong regionals
THE COLONY – The future continues to look bright for Mineral Wells track and field, as 11 members of legendary head coach Jackie Harvey's summer track club punched their tickets to the TAAF state meet in College Station – to be held July 31-Aug. 3 – after a dominant showing at the regional meet in The Colony, July 18-19.
FWIW: Good, clean hate – Ranking the area's best rivalry games of the 2014 football season
By CLINT FOSTER
Football season is fast approaching and with it those glorious games between teams that love to hate each other, which we call rivalries.
I'm speaking, of course, about sports hate – the only beautiful kind. It's the stuff built on history and tradition that inspires simply the fiercest and most entertaining games of every season.
Palo Pinto County and the surrounding area have no shortage of fierce football rivalries.
The University Interscholastic League's realignment often causes new rivalries to be born and old ones to be rekindled. But which rivalries are the area's very best for 2014? The one's you circle your calendar for and make sure you don't miss.
I can think of at least 10.
So, for what it's worth, here's my list of the area's best, can't-miss football rivalries of the upcoming 2014 season.
Local Bowlers Roundup set for first weekend of August
Mineral Wells Women's Bowling Alliance invites you to join them Aug. 3 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Mountaineer Lanes for their second annual Bowlers Roundup. The event will feature snacks, tips from the pros, information on league bowling and two hours of great exercise.
Something in the water
Mineral Wells is well known as the home of Crazy Water, and by all accounts the city's swim team went absolutely berserk in their one and only home meet of the summer on Saturday.
Throughout the summer, the Mineral Wells Rams have been hard at work preparing for football season.
Hooks and Slices 7/11
In the Holiday Hills Country Club Guys and Dolls tournament, locals Denny and Sherry Hall turned in rounds of 77 and 73 to take first place in the opening round and second place on Sunday in the fourth flight. George and Linda Hutton turned in two solid rounds to place both days. The twosome shot 71 and 72 to take first place on Saturday and second place on Sunday in the second flight.
GRAPEVINE – The Mineral Wells High School cheerleaders attended the Universal Cheerleaders' Association's cheer camp in Grapevine two weeks ago and proved that spirit will definitely be high at every Rams and Lady Rams sporting event this coming school year.
Millsap selects Lee as new head volleyball coach
MILLSAP – The board of trustees at Millsap ISD recently announced their hire of Denise Lee as the new head volleyball coach for Millsap High School.
Waldrum leads the way in MW's latest swim meet
TROPHY CLUB – The Mineral Wells Water Moccasins city swim team took to the pool once again June 28 and showed valiant effort against some tough competition at its latest meet in Trophy Club.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- Swimming to State