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6C   Midlothian Mirror,   Thursday, June 23, 2011

Sports

Alex Riley, Sports Writer 469-517-1456 | alex.riley@wninews.com

The stars of tomorrow Mirror sports writer takes a look at the names that’ll make headlines for Midlothian next school year Male athletes

Female athletes

Myron Hanson, football (left)

Justin Seeton, Kalen Semper and Bryce Murphy will garner a lot of the spotlight this upcoming season with their rushing and passing totals but their success will hinge in large part to what Hanson does. Last fall, the then-junior made the transition from defensive line to center and played like he’d been at that slot all along. Hanson earned firstteam all-district honors and despite his stocky frame is easily one of the strongest players in the Panther locker room. He might be beat on sheer size but Hanson is a tough guy to get around because of his sheer strength. If he stays healthy, expect the run game to do big things as he throws blocks.

Hunter Enderle and Tyler Honeycutt, tennis

Like Haley Richards and Lexi Hendrix last season, this duo appears together on the list because two is better than one, as they have demonstrated. Enderle and Honeycutt played doubles together in the fall and then again in the spring, reaching the regional tournament together in spring. Both played well as individuals as well but together they’re capable of contending with anyone. Expect a return trip to Lubbock as the minimum they’ll accomplish but don’t be surprised if they can do more.

Alec Humprheys, baseball (right)

No other name on any Midlothian roster carries as much weight as Humphreys does. Everything he touches seems to turn to gold and in his finals high school season the expectations will be at their all-time highest. Last season, Humphreys’ bat was big but he ran into a few errors that were uncharacteristic. That problem probably won’t be a factor next season as the man affectionately known as “Humphy” should have his best season yet. He’s a shortstop that can hit for power and plays sound defense. The scouts will be watching and odds are they’ll like what they see.

Josh Sonnen, track and field

A year removed from reaching state, Sonnen got to regionals and hit a speed bump. The good news – he performed well at most of his meets, including an impressive third place at Texas Relays. Where Sonnen goes from here is anyone’s guess. He has the potential to win a state title and sign a major D-I scholarship eventually. This year will be a good measuring stick of his progress. If he wins a 5A state title, his legacy will forever be cemented as one of the greatest athletes to come out of Midlothian.

Julia Frandsen-DeLoach, tennis (left)

No other Midlothian athlete burst onto the scene the way Frandsen-DeLoach did last year. She earned district freshman of the year along with first-team line 2 singles and second-team line 2 doubles in the fall. Then, Frandsen-DeLoach dominated in the spring and earned a regional trip for her second-place finish in girls singles’ competition. She and double partner Kaylee Hullett are playing together over the summer and will most likely do so again in the fall. Either way, Frandsen-DeLoach is one of Midlothian’s fastest rising standouts in any sport.

Ashley Cox, soccer and track and field

In this same forecast last year, it was predicted that Cox would be a major athletic force in two different sports. She didn’t disappoint. Cox reached the regional track meet in the triple jump for the second-straight season and earned District 5-5A MVP honors for soccer making her the first (and so far only) 5A district MVP in school history. If her senior year is anything like her junior year, Cox will once again be arguably the top female athlete at Midlothian and will be called on to help two different program reach higher competition.

Tadam Mergener, volleyball (right)

It’s a little unfair to call Mergener a “rising star.” She’s already on the recruiting radar and one of the best hitting forces in all the Metroplex. Opposing defenses have to prep for her and be wary of where she is on the court. Last fall, Mergener proved she was back from injury by earning first-team all-district honors and leading the Lady Panthers to a bi-district playoff berth. This season, her elevated play will obviously be called upon but it’s her leadership which will be needed most. She might have a laid back attitude but Mergener is capable of taking the reins when need be.

Savannah Valderas, softball

Valderas is another one of those athletes who falls into this “rising star” category but could contend for top athlete status with the seniors easily. As the Lady Panthers’ centerfielder, Valderas is as fast as they come with stellar range that college coaches drool over. Added to that, she’s spent much of the last few seasons in leadoff hitting spot for Midlothian with a steady bat. Few batters can battle an opposing pitcher to a deep count like Valderas can. The offense and defense both go through her now so don’t expect that to change.

Kaitlin Bush, soccer (left)

Bush is about as steady a soccer player as you’ll find. She’s tall and lanky and doesn’t look overly fast at first glance. But that is a smokescreen as Bush’s long strides help her easily pull away from defenses and get good shots on goal. She’s been relegated to second-team all-district each of the last two years but this is the year she’ll easily crack the first-team ballot. With her natural shooting touch and ability to avoid defensive pressure, Bush will team up with Cox, Riann Winget and Eliza Carey to be the big offensive cogs next spring.

Brent Jones, hockey (left)

If you’ve ever seen the Adidas advertising campaign “fast knows fast,” then you could assume it’s talking about Jones. While hockey isn’t a UIL sanctioned sport, Jones might be one of the fastest and toughest players in MISD. He’s a lightning bolt on ice skates who gets at least one breakaway shot on goal every game. The Midlothian hockey team reached the state tournament last season in large part to his offense. If they’re going to keep building, Jones will be one of the biggest keys.

Cody Meyers, basketball

He’s tall, rangy and nimble, all good things for coach Glenn Hartson’s second look at life as a 5A program. The Panthers were pretty undermanned last season as the record indicates but now that Meyers has another season of experience under his belt he should only get better with age. Plus, let’s not forget, he’s only a rising junior so the upside is limitless. Meyers will be asked to amp up his efforts in the scoring department or at least get more consistent. If he can get to about 10-15 points per game, the season could be completely different.

Bryce Murphy, football (right)

It’s Murphy’s show this fall. What the football team does will ride on what he is able to accomplish. If Murphy becomes the type of quarterback his frame suggests he can be, passing and rushing will be no problem and the Panther attack might end up being one of the best in the Metroplex. He’s a natural athlete capable of making things happen and extending plays. If he gets some help from his receivers, it could be a record-setting season.

Justin Seeton, football, track and field, powerlifting

Seeton’s top sport is football where he became a bruising force last fall en route to district sophomore of the year honors. With more than 700 rushing yards, Seeton showed he’s not scared to run between the tackles and play hard-nosed football. Playing with a broken hand in the final two games only added to his legend. If Seeton can stay healthy and the line can throw some blocks for him, he’s a potential 1,000-yard rusher with a playoff game to aid his cause. And yes, the playoffs are a realistic goal.

Lexa Corbin, volleyball

Corbin has flown under the radar for quite some time mainly because she’s not an overly vocal player. A big kill doesn’t make her break out into a battle cry. Instead, she just moves on to the next serve. But make no mistake – Corbin is good enough to carry an entire team. She’s athletic, strong and capable of playing about any position on a volleyball court. As a junior, Corbin earned second-team all-district honors. If she plays as up to the level she’s capable of, expect her to be first-team material next season.

Kayla Robinson, basketball (right)

Robinson made the most of her first-year on varsity by garnering honorable mention all-district honors. She was a steal machine, jumping in front of opposing team’s passing lanes to come up with a loose ball and send the offense going in the other direction. This season, Robinson will have even more responsibility placed on her shoulders but it’s pressure she’s ready to handle. Running the point, becoming a bigger offensive factor and leading the defense are all tasks she is capable of doing.

Riann Winget, cross country, track and field and soccer

Winget made this list last year and she showed why over the course of the 2010-11 school year. She finished fifth at the cross country district race, took home a top five finish in the 1600m run in district, set the school’s 800m record and earned first-team all-district honors in soccer. All this and she’s only a rising junior. Winget’s career is already on track to be one of the best in school history but another sterling year with more accolades will only further her legend. Plus, she’s now a veteran on the soccer field and the top distance runner for cross country and track. Expect big things.

Mackenzie Grier, softball (left)

Since teammate Michelle Schroeder made this list last year, it’s Grier’s turn to earn a paragraph but both players will be key. Grier (first base) and Schroeder (third base) anchor an infield that might be as good as any in the state of Texas. Grier has sure hands at first and backs her play up with powerful bat that should only get stronger next spring. Grier, a second-team all-district pick this season, will be in the mix for first-team honors next season and rightfully so. If her bat gets hot, she could end up being the offensive mastermind that pushes Midlothian deep in the playoffs.

Jaron Thomas, track and field (left)

A two-time regional qualifier, Thomas is master of the hurdles and that says a lot going against District 5-5A competition. He’s got the speed and stride to reach the state meet which should be his ultimate goal this season. If he’s going to get that far, he’ll need a little luck (as all athletes do) but natural ability will carry him a long way.

Daniel Rushing, baseball and football

A standout on the baseball diamond last season, Rushing has all the makings of a true twosport start. He’s strong, fast, physical and makes even the most difficult play look routine. He’ll most likely be a baseball starter and could do the same on varsity football with so many receivers graduating. If he gets rolling, there’s no limit to his potential in either sport. Expect all-district accolades in both sports by the end of the season.

Leevi Schwartz, soccer (right)

A booming shot and terrific field vision made Schwartz firstteam all-district pick last spring and don’t expect that to change. He handles the ball well and has a knack for finding just enough room to launch shots on goal. College recruiters are giving him a good hard look so a scholarship offer is almost a guarantee. While he finished as one of the top goal scorers last season, a lot of Midlothian’s firepower has graduated leaving Schwartz to pick up the slack. It’s a task he can easily handle.

Others of note:

Jarmon Jackson (football), Hunter Hipsman (baseball), Jacob Morgan (tennis), Colton Rapp (basketball), Doss Allen (golf and hockey), Kendall Jackson (football), Laurence Chamberlain (soccer), Michael Glenn (football and track), Joseph Dancy (hockey), Slater Gravens (football), Tony Kirk (powerlifting and football), Grant Freels (baseball), Jeff Reynolds (football), Tyler Colburn (baseball and hockey), J.D. Pruitt (baseball), Sawyer Golden (basketball), Grayson Ridge (hockey), Cain Miller (football and wrestling), Matthew Young (baseball), Jordan Diedrich (football and track), Dustin Seeton (football, powerlifting and track), Tre Peace (football), Brandon Mundie (basketball and track), Kalen Semper (football), Dylan Hogg (baseball), Tanner Dickerson (hockey and baseball), Matthew Robertson (soccer), Daniel Deweerd (hockey), Jesse Rios (powerlifting and football)

Lydia Traylor, golf

If you remember nothing else about Traylor, remember this – she’s just a freshman. Traylor helped play a key role in getting the Lady Panther golf team back to the regional tournament. Coach Brant Bennett has high hopes for the youngster who could become the next big golfer from Midlothian with college aspirations. If nothing else, Traylor figures to be a driving force behind Midlothian’s return to the district title race and regional tournament.

Eliza Carey, soccer (right)

Carey’s earned her share of first-team all-district honors over the last few years, now she’ll be gunning for all-state accolades. With booming shot and a skilled eye, Carey can either score or set teammates up to score with ease. Opposing defenses already have a lot to deal with in Cox, Winget and Bush so Carey is just another player to watch out for. She’ll respond by making team’s regret they tried to defend someone else instead. With a little luck, Carey will be the difference maker for Midlothian.

Others of note:

Ashley Cunningham (track and field), Paige Winningham (volleyball), Michelle Schroeder (softball), Heather Sides (track and field and cross country), Sam Drusch (basketball and track and field), Madi Wilkerson (volleyball), Delaney Wayland (softball), Bria Henson (track and field), Alyssa Freeman (basketball), Morgan McBride (volleyball), Meghan Turner (basketball), Tara Traylor (golf), Katie Daniel (softball), Brooke Emery (golf), Morgan Mobley (volleyball), Kaitlyn Reddick (basketball), Caitlin Paschall (volleyball), Aizia Azarcon (softball), Jaci Browning (volleyball), Kari Kuykendall (volleyball), Amanda Claus (softball), Lauren Wilkerson (volleyball), Lily Escamilla (track and field and powerlifting), Marissa Baltierra (softball)

Mirror Sports 6-22  

Alex Riley's final Midlothian Mirror Sports section on June 22. A countdown the top five senior athletes and a look ahead at future stars.

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