Page 1B • The Leader • December 13, 2012 • www.theleadernews.com
Notebook Soccer success building for Lions Lutheran North head boys soccer coach Detlef Kemnitz said the Lions are building toward a successful season. “We are missing some key players from last year that graduated, but we have some new players that are helping out,” said the 27th-year head coach. “Our oﬀense is not as strong, but it is improving. I believe very strongly that we will go to (the) playoﬀs again this year.” The Lions (3-4) ﬁnished third in district competition last season and went on to lose in the regional tournament with a 13-7 overall record. Kemnitz said key players this season are Micah Brouwer, Sean Dandy, Donald Mambo and Jacob McLemore; he expects the team’s toughest challenge to come from Awty International.
LHN senior Shankle likes coach’s toughness by Michael Sudhalter firstname.lastname@example.org Even after a 45-point victory, the Lutheran H igh North boys basketball team runs for 10 minutes up and down the court. But Lions senior point guard Keith Shankle doesn’t mind following the plans set out by fi rstyear head coach C raig Upchurch. “H e’s good,” Shankle said. “H e’s strict with us. Everything he does helps you out.” Upchurch, a former University
of H ouston star basketball player who was an assistant coach at district rival, Emery-Weiner, last season, has raised expectations for the Lions (7-6). LH N lost to San Antonio C hristian in the fi rst round of the TAPPS D ivision II Playoffs last season. Shankle, who averages 10 points and seven assists per game, is the Lions’ coach on the court. “I want to make everybody play well,” Shankle said. “I’ll tell everybody what they need to correct and help them out in the fu-
ture. I like having all the control - to slow the pace, speed up the pace.” Upchurch said that the 17year-old point guard is “softspoken, but he gets this group of guys together.” “H is ballhandling skills, court awareness and his IQ of the game (are among his strongest attributes),” Upchurch said. Shankle is one of three seniors and one of two varsity returners for the Lions. H e transferred to Lutheran North last season from
U IL C lass 5A, C ypress-Fairbanks H igh School. The C ypress resident will get a chance to play in his hometown when the Lions compete in the C ypress C hristian Tournament, today through Saturday. The senior has played basketball since he was four years old in a program at First Metropolitan C hurch in C ypress. Lutheran North competes in a tough district, led by perennial national powerhouse Westbury C hristian.
“Westbury has always been at the top,” Upchurch said. “We have to stay focused and take care of business.” The Lions have never defeated Westbury C hristian in basketball. Still, Shankle said the Lions’ goal is “trying to win state.” Shankle would like to play basketball at the next level and enjoys “music, friends and family.” H e considers point guards Brandon Jennings and C hris Paul to be his favorite players and would someday like to be a sports
STH alum debuts with Ball State Ball State freshman guard Chase Brogna, a 2012 St. Thomas High graduate, has played in six of the Cardinals’ eight games this season. Brogna has made 2-of-8 3-pointers for the Muncie, Ind.based school, which is a Division I member of the Mid-American Conference. Brogna helped lead STH to the TAPPS Division I State Championship in 2010-11. The Cardinals (4-4) will host the University of South Dakota on Saturday and visit Purdue on Tuesday.
Washington makes season debut Army sophomore guard Milton Washington, a 2010 Waltrip High alum, ﬁnished with two points and two rebounds in three minutes of the Black Knights’ 91-57 win over Marist on Dec. 4 in West Point, N.Y. Army (4-4) will host the University of Maine on Friday and visit Texas A&M on Dec. 29 and Houston Baptist on Dec. 31, respectively.
UPCOMING GAMES... BOYS BASKETBALL Austin at Reagan, 4 p.m. Friday (Delmar-Tusa) Lutheran North at Cypress Christian Tournament, ThursdaySaturday Scarborough at Friendswood, 7:30 p.m. Monday Reagan, Waltrip, Scarborough at HISD Tournament, Dec. 20-22 St. Pius X Holiday Classic, Dec. 20-22 GIRLS BASKETBALL Lutheran North at Cypress Christian Tournament, ThursdaySaturday Worthing at Scarborough, 5:30 p.m. Friday (Delmar-Tusa) Reagan at Waltrip, 7 p.m. Friday (Delmar-Tusa)
Photo by Stephen A. Carrera/Northwestern Athletics
Northwestern running back Venric Mark, a 2010 St. Pius X graduate, and the Wildcats will face Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1 in Jacksonville, Fla.
Mark blossoms into Big Ten leader by Michael Sudhalter email@example.com Last winter, Northwestern University running back/return specialist Venric M ark returned to H ouston and faced Texas A&M in the Texas Bowl at Reliant Stadium. Friends and family showed up to watch
the 2010 St. Pius X graduate score a touchdown in the loss to the Aggies. “It was great and I really enjoyed myself,” M ark said. “I played a lot during that game and scored a touchdown. I had an amazing time, but it doesn’t compare to this year at all. I’m having the best time of my life this year.” That’s because the 5-foot-8, 175-pound
junior, who didn’t begin the season as the starting running back, fi nished the 2012 season as the Big Ten C onference’s allpurpose yards leader (2,053 yards and 14 touchdowns) and the C onference’s fourth-leading rusher (1,355 yards and 11 scores). “I kept working hard to get on the fi eld,” M ark said. “The offensive linemen and
wide receivers contributed to my success. Everything is clicking on all cylinders so far.” M ark’s breakout season is one of the reasons why the Wildcats (9-3) are playing in a New Year’s D ay bowl game for the third time in four years. They’ll face M ississippi
see Mark • Page 2B
Stewart tops season with top award by Michael Sudhalter firstname.lastname@example.org
Kohl Stewart, who set touchdown records all season, was named the ﬁrstever private school Oﬀensive Player of the Year by the Houston Touchdown Club. Now, he must decide between Texas A&M and Major League Baseball.
Whether he chooses to pursue football or baseball, Kohl Stewart has a bright athletic future ahead of him. O n D ec. 5, the St. Pius X senior quarterback/ace pitcher made history by becoming the O ffensive Player of the Year at the inaugural Touchdown C lub of H ouston Private School postseason awards dinner at the J.W. M arriott in H ouston. “It feels good to be a part of the Touchdown C lub and just to have the opportunity,” Stewart said. “I can’t be thankful enough.” Former Katy H igh coach M ike Johnston presented the award to Stewart. Johnston, who coached against Stewart in 2010 and
2011 as the head coach at H ouston C hristian, joked that Stewart “sent him into retirement.” Stewart, a Texas A&M commit, didn’t forget to recognize the people that helped make his success possible, including his parents, teammates, head coach Blake Ware and athletic director Jason Kimball, who convinced him to play football. “It’s one of the best decisions I ever made,” Stewart said. Stewart led the Panthers to an 8-2 regular season and broke the school’s all-time passing yards record. H e was injured during the fi rst quarter of the Panthers’ regular season fi nale, a 27-6 loss on Nov. 9 at St. Thomas. H e missed the postseason, and SPX (9-3) lost in the state quarterfi nals to defending
state champion, Fort Worth Nolan. “It was tough to watch at the end of the year, but it’s part of life and I have to move on,” Stewart said. Ware said SPX is “very honored for Kohl to win the award.” Stewart will travel to the ESPN UnderArmour All-American G ame on Jan. 4 in St. Petersburg, Fla. but likely won’t play in it. H e said he’s expected to return for baseball season and hopes to lead the Panthers to a second consecutive TAPPS D ivision I State C hampionship. H is big decision will be whether to choose A&M or the M LB D raft where some experts have him projected in the fi rst round.
see TD Club • Page 2B
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Page 2B â€˘ The Leader â€˘ December 13, 2012 â€˘ @heightsleader
Local youth selected for all-star game Eight members of the Faith C hristian Bulldogs were named O ffense-D efense All-Americans and invited to participate in the 7th-annual O ffense-D efense Bowl Week festivities taking place at Reliant Stadium in H ouston, TX, D ecember 26 â€“ January 1. Ray Allen, Spenser C ola, Jarron H enderson, C ullen M ontgomery, C hase Ratcliff, Konkheis Spivey, Arthur Toliver, and Jordan Turk are coached by Lamont Ratcliff and C hristopher C ola. â€œThe Faith C hristian Bulldogs, an independent youth football Chase RatcliďŹ€ (No. 5), who lives in the Leader area, is one of the local playorganization that competes in ers selected to the All-Star team. the Katy All American Football League, is very proud of these bering in the thousands across â€œEach player has worked very young players for receiving such the country and played well hard doing off-season workouts prestigious recognition,â€? says representing H ouston, TX, eas- in the spring and summer and C oach Ratcliff. The players were ily validating the Bowl Selection competed hard each day to get selected for this honor from a C ommitteeâ€™s choice in tabbing themselves to be better players. group of young athletes num- them for the All-Star tilt. They are all good kids who love
football but most importantly they are good students as well,â€? says C oach C ola. Ray, 10 years old, is a quarterback and defensive back. Spenser, 10 years old, is a fullback and linebacker. Jarron, 10 years old and a fi rst year player, is a defensive end and offensive lineman. C ullen, 9 years old and a fi rst year player, is a nose guard and offensive lineman. C hase Ratcliff, 10 years old, is a running back and defensive back. O ffense-D efense Sports has been running full-contact football instructional camps for the past 44 years and currently operates in approximately 40 camp locations nationwide every spring and summer. For more information visit http://www.o-d.com and http://www.bowl.o-d.com.
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