Last week, members of the Deer Park High School men's varsity basketball team spent part of their morning with students at San Jacinto Elementary.
The athletes had breakfast and mingled with the students just before their first bell.
"It's part of leadership," said Head Coach Louie Means. "The kids look up to our guys. When the [elementary] students go to our basketball games, these are the guys they see. These are the guys that they try to imitate."
Knowing this, Means said he pressures his student athletes to be leaders on and off the court.
Means also honored Deer Park's all-district selections. Robert Martinez and Jeremy Dockan were both named first-team, all district. Dennis Lawton was named second team. Austin Hughes and Taylor Morris were both named honor able mention.
Hughes and Dockan were also named to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches state's all-academic team.
DPHS Senior Quarterback Austin Rainer has committed to continue his football career at Austin College in Sherman. Rainer took over as starting quarterback during his sophomore season. He was selected to participate in the Blue-Grey National Combine and finished as MVP of the national combine. Rainer was named Offensive MVP of District 22-5A. He is the son of Daryl and Michelle Rainer.
Senior John Martinez has signed his to play football at Texas Lutheran University in Seguin. The son of Terri and Marty Martinez, John was named first team all-district in the 2010-11 and 11-12 seasons. The linebacker has also been named academic all-district and is a member of the National Honor Society. He is played on varsity for three years and started for two.
The Women’s Golf Team recently finished third at the Goose Creek ISD tourney at Evergreen Point GC in Baytown. Short game challenge winners were Alyssa Jetter and Courtney O’Sullivan.
Several members of the Lady Deer basketball team were honored for their performances during the 2011-12 season. Allison Hernandez was honored as defensive player of the year. First teamers are Tabitha Hawthorne and Lyndsie LeBlanc. Brianna Turney and Jacie Pullig were named second team while Devon Weldon and Arielle Collins were named honorable mention.
The Mens Varsity Golf Team finished tied for third at the Katy Taylor Invitational at River Ridge.
The Deer Park 8U Deer Park Lady Deer all-star softball team finished its season with a 28-5 record and four first-place tournament victories.
Team manager Eric Ripley said the team got off to a fast start, going 5-1 in its season-opening tournament in Texas City.
“Our first tournament was against all select teams. Our all-star uniforms weren't ready so we had to wear our league uniforms. The teams out there saw us as just an "all-star team" in league uniforms and didn't take us seriously. We won the championship and the girls received rings,” he said.
The wins included an 18-0 win to start the tournament and a 14-0 win to send the team to the title game.
Deer Park took third in its next tournament, the Deer Park Summer Bash. The team lost two games to the same Pearland team, but Ripley said the losses were not viewed as a setback.
“We faced a tough Pearland team that knocked us out. It was a learning experience for the girls and we grew as a team during that tournament,” he said.
After the second loss to Pearland, Deer Park went on a 20-game winning streak, taking first place at the ASA Metro Tournament in Pasadena, the Pixie National Invitation Tournament in Spring and wins in Deepwater and West University.
Ripley said the ASA Metro championship game ended with a stellar diving catch by leftfielder Reily Hernadez. The win at the Pixie NIT made the Lady Deer the first Deer Park team to win both ASA Metro and ASA Pixie Nationals in recent memory.
Over the course of the season, Deer Park outscored its opponents by an average of 10-4 (351-132).
The Lady Deer are Keke Arevalo, Adrian Cantu, JoJo Cantu, Briana Collazo, Abby Grant, Reily Hernandez, Kayla Houser, Chloe Monson, Tori Pharis, Jacqueline Ramirez, Bailey Ripley and Emily Ripley The coaching staff consists of Manager Eric Ripley and coaches Joe Cantu, Michael Grant and Chris Monson.
The Deer Park 8U Toros coach pitch select team was honored at Tuesday’s City Council meeting for its recent world series win in Destin, Fla.
Head Coach Ignacio Izaguirre said the team is focused on not just player development, but leadership as well.
“We want to develop them to play fundamental baseball and along the way, develop them to become community and world leaders,” he said. “The season was special.”
Izaguirre said the coaches challenged the players to be great.
“Look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that you’re going to be a great son, a great student and a great ballplayer,” he said. As Izaguirre made the statement, the team recited the mantra with him.
“These kids, when they rolled, they were unstoppable,” he said. “We were glad to represent Deer Park.”
The team consists of Riley Martin, Caiden Wells, Noah Vargas, Mason Hill, Elias Merced, Dylan West, Reilly Hellyer, Jason Dinh, Jayden Rios, Braeden Terry, Colt Turner, Matt Izaguirre and Julian Carillo. The team is coached by Izaguirre and assisted by Danny Dinh, Joe Terry, Ralph Vargas, Brad Wells and Victor West. The batboy is Michael Vargas.
The 6-foot, 2-inch Means transferred to Lutheran South Academy his junior year from Deer Park High School and finished his career by scoring 1,646 points. He also finished his career with 248 three pointers, and shot 80 percent from free throw line. Means also averaged 4.2 rebounds per game.
Pictured with Means (center) are his parents Sherri and Louie and his grandparents Bill and Shirley Kielman.
With one match under their belts and a big tournament this weekend, the Lady Deer volleyball team is preparing for another playoff run. Before they hit that road, DPHS Coach Cortni Cox wants her team to use the predistrict schedule as a learning experience.