Scots Hold Off Ryan, Will Play for Title


James Herring and the HP defense helped swing the momentum midway through Friday's semifinal win over Denton Ryan. (Photo: Melissa Macatee)

ARLINGTON — As the clock struck midnight at AT&T Stadium, Highland Park officially punched its ticket back to the Class 5A Division I state championship game.

A dynamic offense and an opportunistic defense combined to lift the Scots past previously unbeaten Denton Ryan 45-35 on Friday in the state semifinals, erasing the Raiders’ hopes for revenge while getting HP one step closer in its quest to repeat.

The Scots (14-1) will face Manvel (14-0) at 7 p.m. Dec. 22 in the state championship game on the same field where they have won more games than any other high school team.

HP Clay Target Team Finishes Year


Members of the Highland Park clay target team took their best shots during a recent tournament in Decatur.

The Highland Park clay target team turned in a solid performance in its final fall tournament on Dec. 9 at the Fossil Pointe Sporting Grounds in Decatur.

HP’s Matthew Weyman placed 17th in the varsity division, while Thatcher Hagen was 13th in the JV division. The event featured 17 teams with more than 230 competitors.

Top 10 finishers for the Scots included Nick Swartzendruber (Intermediate Advanced division) Hays McNeil (Intermediate Advanced), Ford Manley (Intermediate Entry) and Avery White (Ladies Intermediate Entry).

Ryan Seeking Revenge in HP Rematch


Conner Allen and the Highland Park offense will look to keep rolling on Friday against undefeated Denton Ryan. (Photo: Melissa Macatee)

As the defending Class 5A Division I state champion, Highland Park has had the proverbial target on its back all season.

However, it’s unlikely any opponents have had a potential matchup with the Scots circled on the schedule more than Denton Ryan, which will clash with HP on Friday in a rematch of last year’s state semifinal at AT&T Stadium.

The Raiders led HP in the second quarter a year ago when star quarterback Spencer Sanders suffered a knee injury. The Scots went on to post a 31-24 victory to propel them into the state title game.

Blue Wave Earns Medals at TISCA


Ethan Nguyen and Omar Hmimy each earned podium finishes at the North Zone 5A TISCA Invitational. (Photo: Aimee Madden)

Highland Park swimmers turned in an impressive showing at the prestigious North Texas 5A TISCA Invitational over the weekend in Frisco. The HP boys finished fourth in the team standings, while the girls came in seventh.

Ethan Nguyen won the boys 100 breaststroke and was second in the 50 freestyle. Omar Hmimy placed second in the 100 free and fourth in the 100 breast.

The Blue Wave sent 26 athletes to the meet, with three others advancing to the “A” finals — Max Van Cauwelaert in the boys 100 backstroke and 200 individual medley, Katherine Huang in the girls 50 free and 100 breast, and Bryanna Wilder in the girls 500 free.

Shorthanded Scots Hold Off Lions


Harrison Ingram of St. Mark's is defended by HP's Alex Staffaroni on Tuesday. The Scots won 59-55. (Photo: Chris McGathey)

Within the past week, the Highland Park basketball roster has dwindled due to injuries, the success of the football team, and other factors. But the Scots aren’t letting such adversity affect them.

HP held off St. Mark’s for a 59-55 win in a nondistrict game on Tuesday behind 21 points from Alex Staffaroni and 19 from Reilly Seebold. Dillon Powell added 12 points for the Scots (10-3), who remarkably scored exactly 15 points in each of the final three quarters after netting 14 in the first.

Harrison Ingram, a 6-foot-5 freshman, scored 15 points to lead four players in double figures for the Lions (10-3).

Kimzey Leads Scots at Raider Invite


Highland Park senior Caleb Kimzey won his weight class at the recent Raider Invitational meet in Wylie. (Photo: Chris McGathey)

Caleb Kimzey continued his hot start to the wrestling season on Saturday by winning his weight class at the Raider Invitational tournament in Wylie.

Several HP wrestlers took fourth place in their respective weight classes, including Kiefer Wetzel, Logan Petty, Spencer Buchholz, Ben Willey, and Emory Martin.

Earlier this season, HP competed well in dual meets at The Colony and Frisco Heritage. In the first event, the Scots defeated The Colony and Justin Northwest before falling to Euless Trinity. Kimzey, Buchholz, Michael Tsang, and Aidan Conner each were unbeaten.

Scots QB Honored With Landry Award


Highland Park quarterback John Stephen Jones deservedly continues to add to his trophy collection. (Photo: Melissa Macatee)

The accolades continue to accumulate for Highland Park quarterback John Stephen Jones, who won the prestigious Tom Landry Award on Monday.

The award honors the top high school football player in North Texas regardless of position or classification, as chosen by a panel of former coaches and players, along with media members.

After leading the Scots to the Class 5A Division I state title last year, Jones has put together one of the most impressive seasons for a Dallas-area quarterback in recent memory, having passed for almost 4,000 yards with 52 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He’s also rushed for nine scores entering Friday’s state semifinal showdown with Denton Ryan.

Overton, Elahmadi Lead HP in Irving


Highland Park junior Lily Overton won the all-around title at the recent Irving Invitational compulsory meet.

The Highland Park girls wrapped up the calendar year in style by winning the Irving Invitational meet on Dec. 7.

Lily Overton claimed the all-around title by finishing second on uneven bars and floor exercise, and third on vault and balance beam. Her classmate, Tatum Meeks, won bars and vault and was second in the all-around standings.

On the boys side, HP placed second in the team standings. Adam Elahmadi won the all-around title in addition to five of six individual events. Ryan Perry was second on rings, and Nicholas Gregory finished third on horizontal bar.

Scots Rally Past Eagles in Playoff Thriller


HP's Paxton Alexander rushed for a game-high 122 yards and a touchdown during Friday's playoff win over Lake Ridge. (Photo: Melissa Macatee)

ARLINGTON — The Highland Park defense allowed more than 500 yards and yielded several big plays. But when it mattered most, that same defense — led by Ryan Coxe — possibly saved the season for the Scots.

HP forced a late turnover, then made a fourth-down stop in crunch time to preserve a 37-35 win over Mansfield Lake Ridge in a thrilling Class 5A Division I Region II final on Friday at AT&T Stadium.

The thrilling victory puts the Scots (13-1) back in the state semifinals, where they will face either Denton Ryan or Lubbock Coronado at 9 p.m. Dec. 15 on the same field.