When Chance Beasley graduated from Humble High School in 2002, he left behind a legacy of award winning play, effort and dedication. After garnering All Greater Houston and All-State honors in football, he picked up right where he left off and was awarded All-District honors in baseball.
The son of Humble football coach, John Beasley, Chance has translated high school success into eye-opening collegiate stats for his Ouachita Baptist baseball team.
The Ouachita Tigers are currently 48-6 on the season, ranked second in the NCBWA poll and fourth in the CBN poll thanks in large part to Beasley's all-around display of power and consistency. OBU took home the Gulf Southland Conference championship for the first time in school history with a 18-6 conference record.
Beasley's patience at the plate and determination to be the best became instantly noticeable as he hit safely in 31straight games, a school record. His 77 runs scored have him at the top of his conference and ranked third nationally.
It does not end there. He also leads the conference in hits (84), runs batted in (72) and in total bases (143). His RBI total has him ranked 13th nationally. Beasley's 13 home runs and .408 batting average have him in the conference top three in those categories, as well.
Power is not his only asset to the team. Speed and getting on base is a major facet of his game. His 23 stolen bases and .494 on base percentage put pressure on the opposing teams and give his teammates the chance to win many ball games.
Beasley was recently named team MVP and OBU's most outstanding male athlete. If he keeps this up, it may not be long before Humble High School is represented at the professional level.
The Tigers are currently playing in their first-ever conference championship tournament and will be hosting the Division II South Central Regional Tournament on May 17.
Photo: Ouachita Baptist player and Humble High school Graduate Chance Beasley has led his Tiger team to the top of their conference for the first time in school history.
For most Eagle softball players, their last game of the softball season was April 20 against Baytown Lee. That is not the case for starting varsity center fielder, Stephanie Regan. Since she was 8 years old, Regan has been playing in a softball season or tournament virtually every weekend.
“A friend of mine asked me if I wanted to play softball with her one summer, and it just kind of stuck with me,” Regan said of how she got started playing the game.
Whether she stuck with it or it stuck with her, the result is all that matters. Regan finished the inaugural Eagle season leading the team in batting average, stolen bases, and runs scored. She also finished the season with a fielding percentage of 1.000. It is little wonder why she was elected as co-captain of the varsity team.
Her never-quit attitude and all or nothing style of play was noticeable at a collegiate exposure tournament in Colorado and earned her an invitation to play in tournaments in South America and Europe this summer.
“I will be playing in a ‘good will’ tournament in Peru the middle of July and in the Holland Invitational early August,” Regan said.
Both tournaments are supported by the Junior Olympic committees of the respected nations, so this will truly be an international experience for Regan.
“We are excited and honored on her being selected for these events,” her father, John Regan said. “It is always nice when other people recognize your kids.”
Softball is not the only thing that keeps this stand-out athlete busy. She actively participates in her youth group at Atascocita United Methodist Church, plays in the church band when needed, is president of Fellowship of Christian Athletes at AHS, vice-president of Christian Student Union, listed in the Who’s Who of high school students and sports a straight-A, 4.0 average in her classes. She also represents AHS on the 1st team All-District softball squad for District 21-5A.
Motivation and the pursuit of excellence is never a problem for Regan, who admits that there are days when she is tired, but once she steps on the field, her drive to succeed kicks in and takes over.
Regan hopes that by playing international competition, the experience will help improve her game and give her an edge heading into next season with the Eagles. She aspires to play for a Division I-A school after she graduates high school.
Regan hopes to represent her community and high school well as she plays throughout the world this summer and is looking for sponsors to help make this once in a lifetime experience possible. If you would like to assist in making this dream come true, you can contact John or Susan Regan at 281-852-5128.
Photo: Stephanie Regan
Reaching the playoffs in their first year of varsity level sports is a great accomplishment in itself. However, the Atascocita Eagles baseball team wanted more. They wanted to advance deep into the playoffs and make it known that they have arrived.
Unfortunately for them, a more experienced and polished La Porte team was waiting for them and halted their playoff run before it could get started.
Following a 10-0 loss in the first game of the best-of-three series, the Eagles came home needing a win to push the series to a decisive game three. Eagle ace Jonathan Dziedzic took the mound against the senior heavy Bulldog lineup.
Two quick fly outs and a strikeout in the top of the first for Dziedzic set the tone for what would be a good pitching performance. The Eagles countered the quick inning with a walk by Jordan Wilson and a double off the bat of Grant Clyde. With one out and runners on second and third, Clay Schrader came to the plate hoping to do some early damage for his team. Personifying one of the big factors of the night, the Eagles could not get the clutch hit as Schrader and Bronson Buell struck out to end the inning.
Despite the missed opportunity in that inning, Dziedic held the Bulldogs scoreless in the second, highlighted by a quick pick-off move to first where Conn McWilliams tagged out the Bulldog runner. More Eagle traffic in the second yielded zero runs and the third inning began with a 0-0 tie.
La Porte led off the inning with a single and advanced to third on a throwing error as Dziedic attempted another pick-off. A fielder’s choice brought in the first run of the game for the Bulldogs. Atascocita answered in the bottom of the inning with a two-out single from Grant Clyde, his second hit of the night. However, the inning ended with, yet again, an Eagle runner on third, unable to score.
“We didn’t swing the bat with intensity and couldn’t get a clutch hit when we needed it,” coach Eric Matthews said.
So far, the Eagles had been able to avoid the damage from two fielding errors, but you can only tempt fate for so long. La Porte began the fourth inning with one single, followed by a double to take the lead 2-1. Two stolen bases and a walk later put runners on the corners with one out. A throwing error on a fielder’s choice and a pass ball allowed two more runs to score and La Porte led 4-1.
Atascocita got one run back in the fourth inning from Clyde’s third hit of the night, a single to centerfield. Unfoturnately, the wheels came off in the fifth and sealed the Eagles' fate.
Three hits and two errors allowed the Bulldogs to score six runs, with only three of them being earned.
“Dziedzic did what he is supposed to do. He pitched well enough to give us a chance to win, but his defense let him down,” Matthews said.
Two more errors in the top of the seventh allowed La Porte to score three more runs and take a 13-2 lead. Dylan Linhoff led of the bottom of the seventh with a single, but was put out on a fielder’s choice. Despite a walk and stolen base, La Porte was able to get the final two outs and the win advancing to the next round of the playoffs.
“Reaching the playoffs in their first year was good for these guys,” Matthews said. “They have got a taste of what it feels like and know that the intensity level increases in the playoffs, and they must match that level with their play. We have a lot to learn, but we are young and had a great first year.”
It has been a great year for the Eagle baseball team and, with most of the team only in the tenth grade, you cannot help but imagine how good they could be in the next year or two.
Photo: Third baseman Grant Clyde attempts to break a scoreless tie in the first inning of the game.
Photo by Wesley Orton
It appears that when searching for an instructor that would take their first year dance and drill squad to the top, Atascocita High School found the perfect candidate in Melissa Rayburn. Rayburn is in her 10th year of teaching dance in the public school system. Before teaching in high schools, she taught in several Houston area dance studios. During thattime she opened her own studio where she honed her teaching skills for five years. Galena Park High School benefited from her pursuit toward excellence as she taught dance and directed the Jacketeer Drill Team for seven years. Before moving to AHS, Rayburn taught dance at Humble High SchoolNinth Grrade Campus for two years. Having received her master’s degree from University of Houston in 2000 and teaching at the collegiate level for five years, Rayburn has a deep well of experience and ideas to take her teams to the highest level possible. The team’s 2007 results are proof. The AHS Patriette’s placed first or second in three of their four competitions this year. Not only did they place in the top two consistently, their officer’s group swept the awards at dance competitions in San Antonio and Northshore. Their biggest competition in 2008 will be the Houston Area Championships in February. Hard work and dedication drives the team, but they could not do it without a committed group of parents and the help of Rayburn’s junior varsity teacher, Cindy Marches. The girls fine-tune their skills by training at least three days after school and on some Saturdays. Rayburn and Marches currently train 92 girls between their varsity and junior varsity squads. Recently new officers were elected to represent the team during the 2008 campaign.
Their success and first-rate facility have earned them a chance to host the American Dance and Drill Team Competition in 2008. For more information on the Patriettes contact Rayburn at 281-641-6017.
Photo: Meet the AHS Patriette officers for 2008! Top Row (l-r): Secretary LaTrea Walters, Treasurer Kinsey Speigelhauer, Social Chair Courtney Sitton. Second Row (l-r): Social Chair Taylor Gistrap, Vice President Ami Hunt, President Tina Ramirez, Social Chair Lindsey Bruton, Historian Nikki Calfee. Third Row: Senior Lieutenant Samantha Linhoff, Lieutenant Ashlee Hendrex, Senior Lieutenant Renee Benson, Senior Lieutenant Monica Duren. Bottom Row (l-r): Senior Lieutenant Ashley Filkins, 1st Lieutenant Jaimee King, Captain Allison Durham, Co-Captain Brandy Smalstig and Lieutenant Skye White. Photo by Wesley Orton
Entering the playoffs, Kingwood ran off six straight victories and squeaked by Atascocita as the number two seed. That clutch performance down the stretch earned them a bi-district playoff series against District 22-5A third place finisher, Pasadena Dobie. The Longhorns entered the series with a 15-15 record having played in a district that was as equally tough as Kingwood’s.
Rain pushed the Thursday night game back to Friday, but the Mustangs came prepared. Hosting the game at Andy Wells Field, their win could only be described as a nail-biter. Dobie opened strong with three consecutive singles to load the bases. Mustang pitcher Chris Churchwell minimized the damage by striking out two of the next three batters and only allowing one run to score.
Dobie continued to pressure Kingwood by getting runners in scoring position each of the next three innings. Thanks to a stellar Mustang defense, highlighted by Rocky Presifillipo's throw from left field to get an out at the plate, they were able to prevent Dobie from scoring any more runs. Through the first four and a half innings, Kingwood fans were worried that the sole run on the board would be enough to beat them.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, thingschanged as Prestifillipo followed his blue star defensive play with a solo home run over the center field fence. The fans went crazy and the Mustang bench ran to the plate to congratulate their star of the game. Churchwell and reliever Mark Mendez combined to shutout the Longhorns the rest of the way and Dobie's Greg Coppens matched their performance, forcing the game into extra innings.
With one out in the bottom of the eighth inning, Kingwood's shortstop, David Tittle, blasted a two-run, walk-off home run over the Mustang scoreboard, giving Kingwood a 3-1 victory and a 1-0 edge in the best of three series.
After a tense match the night before, Kingwood fans were hoping things would be a little easier Saturday at Dobie's Maguire Field. Thanks to the Mustang offense, the fans got their wish.
Mike Pierce started on the mound for Kingwood and went all six innings allowing only one run on six hits. He was supported by 14 hits and 10 runs from the bats of the Mustang team.
The scoring started early when Jordan Raney led off with a single. After a sacrifice bunt moved him over, Brad Evans connected with an RBI single to break the scoreless tie.
The top of the third began with a Jordan Brewster double. Tittle followed that with an encore to his walk-off home run the night before, as he belted another shot over the fence, making the score 3-0. Following a hit batsman, Pierce helped his own cause with a two-run home run of his own, pushing the score to 5-0.
The fourth inning proved to be much of the same with a Tommy Richardson RBI single, a double from Raney, two walks and another two RBI hit from Evans, finishing the score at 10-1. Pierce nailed down the game keeping the Longhorn bats quiet, while striking out nine.
Next up for Kingwood is the area match against District 23-5A representative, Clear Lake. With Atascocita and Baytown Sterling both making early exits, Kingwood and district champion Beaumont West Brook are the only teams left representing District 21-5A. Locations and times of their next games will be determined later in the week.
Photo: David Tittle is congratulated by his team as he crosses the plate after hitting his second home run of the series. Photos by Wesley Orton
To be the best at anything, one must put forth a lot of practice mixed with goals and ambition stirred with the direction of a mentor of some type. So, it should come to no surprise that the Kingwood Gymnastics Team is having one of the best years that it has had in a long time. The regional competition results include the girl’s team finishing in second place and the boy’s team finishing in third place which means both teams advanced to the state-wide competition taking place in San Angelo, Texas.
“This is the first year in about three or four years that the boys have been qualified for state” said Kevin Reiland, one of the gymnastics coaches. Reiland was also named “Girl’s Coach of the Year” for the region.
The teams consist of twelve girls and five boys. There are four seniors that have a chance for nationals during this competition. Those seniors include Julia Croes, Katie Brown, Dina Sokol and Brian Desmarais.
The regional competition included numerous placements in the competition. Brian Desmarais placed fourth in the all around competition by placing ninth in the floor exercise, fourth in the pommel horse, fourth in the rings, second in the vault, ninth in the parallel bars and third in the high bars. Matt Amodeo placed tenth in the rings. Katie Brown earned third place honors and Erin Williamson earned sixth place honors in the all around competition. Katie placed sixth in the vault, third on the uneven bars, fifth on the balance beam and ninth on the floor exercise. Erin placed fifth in vault, ninth on uneven bars and seventh on the balance beam. Julia Croes placed fourth on the balance beam, seventh on the floor and seventh on the floor. Dina Sokol placed eighth on the balance beam. Megan Rafferty placed eighth on the floor exercise.
The gymnasts practice before school and, on average, about three hours after school. About 90 percent of the students practice at Rowland Ballard School of Gymnastics in Kingwood where Reiland also teaches. Reiland has been with the Kingwood High School Gymnastics Team for eight years. This is the first year coaching for Brenda Ostermanray.
“Dave Ballard and Brian Jarrell have also trained with some of the students for a very long time” said Reiland.
Some of the schools that might make the competition tough at state this year include San Angelo Central, LD Bell and Round Rock. The Kingwood High School’s Gymnastics Team has spent six years in a row ranked in the top five teams in Texas.
Photo: Varsity gymnasts pose with their second and third place team trophies after the regional competition.