Optimist Club September Athletes of the Month

Pictured with representative Jim Slattery are the Mineral Wells Optimist Club September Athletes of the Month (clockwise, left to right) Rams cross country senior Noe Salazar, Rams football junior running back Khalil Thompson, Lady Rams cross country senior Beatriz Martinez and Lady Rams tennis sophomore Sasha Kirsch.

COURTESY/INDEX

Each month, the Mineral Wells Optimist Club recognizes the most-outstanding athletes at Mineral Wells High School in all sports and for the month of September a worthy group of four Ram and Lady Ram competitors were chosen for their successes on the hills, the hard court and the gridiron.

Noe Salazar

Running for the Rams cross country team, senior Noe Salazar had a spectacular September with a pair of top-five finishes, one of which was a third place result at the annual Naimadu Classic in Abilene where the Ram boys finished first as a team.

Salazar also had a fifth place result in the Rams first top-three team finish of the year at the Assault on Eagle Summit in Decatur on Sept. 9. Additionally, the senior turned in his top time of the season with a 16:58 at the Decatur Reunion Run on Sept. 30.

Khalil Thompson

Helping the Rams football team open the 2017 season with a 3-2 record during the month of September, running back Khalil Thompson averaged 23 carries and 172 yards per-game.

The junior was an offensive powerhouse throughout the month with at least 160 yards rushing in four out of five games. He also put up a pair of 200-yard games in the season opener versus Bridgeport, a 47-33 win, and week five at Burkburnett, a 35-28 Rams victory. For the month, Thompson totaled 862 yards on the ground and eight touchdowns.

Beatriz Martinez

Lady Rams senior cross country runner Beatriz Martinez had a standout September with the top varsity girls time in all four meets, including back-to-back top-three finishes at the Naimadu Classic on Sept. 16 and the Keller Invitational on Sept. 23.

Good enough to take first place in Keller, Martinez's time of 12:29 was a season best. The senior also led off the month with a seventh place finish at the Assault on Eagle Summit on Sept. 9 and finished with a top-30 result at the Reunion Run on Sept. 30.

Sasha Kirsch

In an up-and-down month for MWHS team tennis, Lady Ram Sasha Kirsch was consistent with girls singles wins in three out four matches played during September. After dropping her first match of the year against Millsap on Sept. 7, Kirsch closed out the month with singles wins in three straight district matches.

On Sept. 14, she defeated her Kennedale Wildcat opponent in three sets, 8-6, 2-6 and 7-4. On Sept. 21, Kirsch took down a Lake Worth challenger in a three-set comeback, 2-6, 6-0 and 7-3, and on Sept. 28 she outlasted another Lake Worth competitor for a match win in straight sets, 6-4 and 6-2.

Congratulations to these four outstanding athletes on all of their current and future success! 

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