I was not at the SMU home opener on Saturday due to a wedding — which is unusual for me, a dedicated fan and alum — but ESPN captured this Aggie corps member defending one of his own from a rogue play. Though I am a Mustang, I’m also the daughter of an Aggie, and therefore respect “the spirit of Aggieland.” Better believe I’d stand in front of Peruna if anything got in our mascot’s way.
Highland Park High School graduate Will Miller, a sophomore forward at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmittsburg, Md., is pretty good at shooting a basketball.
He proved that during his senior year at HPHS two years ago, and during his freshman season at MSM, when he averaged 5.6 points and was a three-point specialist for a Mountaineers team that reached the NCAA tournament.
In this video, he makes 100 3-pointers in five minutes in the practice gym. That’s 20 per minute, or one every three seconds. You hoopers out there know how difficult that is. Anyway, just watch, and take special notice of the awesome janitor cameo.
It’s easy to take it for granted at this point, but just how good is Clayton Kershaw? I’ll leave a complete analysis to the baseball historians and statistical gurus, but this might be the best season yet for the Highland Park High School graduate.
The Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander won his 20th game of the season yesterday as the Dodgers beat the Chicago Cubs 14-5 at Wrigley Field. It wasn’t the best outing for Kershaw by far, as he gave up three runs in the first inning, but it clinched a playoff spot for the Dodgers.
Still, the 20-win milestone is becoming more rare in this era of expanded rotations and bullpen specialists. In fact, yesterday Kershaw became the first pitcher to reach 20 wins in his first 26 starts in a season since Pedro Martinez of the Red Sox in 1999. He leads the league with a 20-3 record, a 1.80 earned-run average, and six complete games. He’s 17-1 in his last 20 starts, for crying out loud.
In other words, it’s not a stretch to say that he’s having the best season of his already decorated career — one that already includes two National League Cy Young awards. A third is almost certainly on the way.
The Scots might be off this weekend, but that doesn’t mean the Park Cities will lack for action on the gridiron. SMU’s home opener is set for 2:30 p.m. Saturday against Texas A&M, so consider this a reminder to prepare accordingly.
The game against the Aggies will likely draw a full house, so whether or not you’re attending said contest, you probably will be affected by the traffic if you live in the Park Cities. Of course, that means gameday parking restrictions around the campus. You can find more specifics here.
The Mustangs also will host TCU next Saturday at 11 a.m., so the same thing applies.
The Class 6A debut for Highland Park is one week away. And with the Scots taking a bye this week along with the rest of its new District 10-6A foes, it provides a good opportunity to examine how all eight teams have fared so far.
It was a curious decision by HP to not include any 6A teams (or any road games) in its nondistrict schedule this year. In fact, the Scots’ district opener next Friday at North Mesquite will be their first game against a team from the state’s top classification since facing Coppell in 2009.
Still, it’s difficult to argue with the results thus far. The Scots (3-0) are the only unbeaten squad in the district, and its two wins against 5A opposition have resulted in shutouts of Frisco Centennial and Prosper. The HP offense is averaging almost 50 points per game.
The best of the rest might be Mesquite Horn (2-1), which hasn’t been explosive on offense but nevertheless opened the year with consecutive wins over McKinney Boyd and Duncanville. The Jaguars stumbled against a resurgent Rockwall team in a 26-14 loss.
It’s hard to separate Richardson Berkner and North Mesquite so far. Both are 2-1 and have beaten the same two teams — winless Garland Naaman Forest and South Garland. As for the losses, the Rams were blown out by Mesquite Poteet 45-14, while the Stallions fell to Arlington Sam Houston in a 12-10 defensive struggle.
Lake Highlands (1-2) has played a fairly tough schedule, opening with a win over Plano East (18-13) before losses to Rowlett (37-35) and Colleyville Heritage (40-16).
Meanwhile, Richardson Pearce (1-2) is another 10-6A team that has feasted on South Garland, but has lost to McKinney by a little and McKinney North by a lot.
The defense for Mesquite (0-3) has been a disaster so far, as the Skeeters have allowed a total of 144 points in three lopsided losses to Plano West (who looked very good against HP in a scrimmage), Garland, and Duncanville.
Then there’s Richardson (0-3), which appears destined to struggle in this league after a winless nondistrict campaign that included defeats against Frisco Heritage, Garland Lakeview Centennial, and a 50-point drubbing at Wylie.
The Highland Belles spaghetti supper fundraiser on Sept. 5 had another successful year. The spaghetti supper sales winners are Grace Sloane, Flora Kate Richards, and Maddie Basso.
All 61 members of the award-winning drill team sold tickets, raffle tickets, and accepted donations, which will fund the team’s operations for the year. This year was bigger than ever with the addition of the live auction.
The team partnered with Amore Italian Restaurant for the 19th year, bringing hungry football fans to the cafeteria before the HPHS football game against Pulaski Academy.
Poor field position didn’t faze the Highland Park offense on Friday night. Swirling winds and intermittent rain likewise didn’t rattle the Scots. And neither did the Prosper defense.
In their final nondistrict test, HP crushed Prosper 54-0 at Highlander Stadium to start the season 3-0 for the first time since 2011. The Scots also easily extended their home winning streak to 81 games.
HP started fast and didn’t slow down until the game was well out of reach. Brooks Burgin completed 19 of 29 passes for 327 yards and four touchdowns, all without playing a snap in the second half. His favorite target was Kevin Ken, who tallied 10 receptions for 159 yards and three scores — again, all before halftime.
In all, the Scots rolled up 487 yards in their most prolific offensive performance so far this season. And perhaps more importantly, they established momentum heading into their bye week, which will be followed by the District 10-6A opener on Sept. 26 at North Mesquite.
“I thought we took a step backward last week, but this week we took a step forward,” said HP head coach Randy Allen. “We’re where we need to be right now. We’ve still got a long way to go.”
Meanwhile, the aggressive HP defense earned its second shutout of the season. The Scots had four interceptions, including two apiece for Hayden Schnieders and Carter McDade. Schnieders returned one 34 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter.
“I’m very proud of our defense. We did a good job not giving up big plays,” Allen said. “We played with confidence.”
HP’s first two drives were quick and efficient, and both ended with a short touchdown pass from Burgin to Ken. The first drive went for 81 yards, and the second covered 97 yards — aided by a 35-yard strike from Burgin to Sam Welfelt.
“We got off to a quick start, which was what we wanted to do,” Allen said.
Prosper’s ensuing possession stalled on downs at the HP 25-yard line. The Scots marched down the field again, with a 15-yard catch by Welfelt on fourth down setting up a 31-yard Grayson Borrego field goal early in the second quarter.
The Scots (3-0) made their only major mistake of the first half on their next drive, which ended with an interception by Prosper’s Kody Kupke on a tipped pass inside the Prosper 10-yard line.
But the Eagles (1-2) couldn’t capitalize, as Schnieders picked off a pass inside Prosper territory a few plays later. On the next snap, Burgin hit a wide-open Ken over the middle for a 36-yard scoring pass.
HP added nine more points in the closing minutes of the first half to lead 33-0 at the break. Prosper gave up a safety on a bad punt snap, and the Scots took advantage of the favorable field position on the free kick that followed. Burgin’s fourth touchdown pass of the half went to Andrew Frost with 22 seconds remaining before halftime.
Stephen Dieb and Will Jackson added short rushing touchdowns in the third quarter to pad the margin.
While the offense has been as advertised, the Highland Park defense might be the primary reason why the Scots are on the verge of a 3-0 start for the first time since 2011.
HP began the season with a shutout of Frisco Centennial — a perennial playoff team, by the way — then held off Pulaski Academy from Little Rock, Ark., last week in a 48-42 thriller.
Now the Scots (2-0) turn their attention to Prosper for their final nondistrict test at 7:30 p.m. today at Highlander Stadium.
While the numbers might not be pretty — 42 points and 467 yards allowed — the defense played a key role in the win over the Bruins, an opponent known for its fast-paced offense that doesn’t punt. That type of system naturally lends itself to extra plays, extra possessions and extra yardage.
Yet in spite of that, HP held Pulaski off the scoreboard for more than two full quarters during a 35-0 spurt that put the Scots ahead for good. The Scots forced two turnovers during that span, including a momentum-changing interception by Mitchell Kaufman that was returned for a touchdown in the closing minutes of the first half.
That’s an impressive effort for a defensive unit that generally lacked varsity experience entering this season, especially on the line and in the secondary.
Now HP will prepare to battle the Eagles (1-1), who opened the season with a 41-20 victory over Birdville before stumbling against Justin Northwest in a 42-19 loss last week.
Prosper is led by quarterback Colton Hepp, a Plano West transfer who has thrown four touchdown passes this season, including three to Zack English. Robert Mahone leads the rushing game with an average of more than 11 yards per carry.
For the Scots, Brooks Burgin has thrown for 517 yards through two games, including four touchdown passes to Campbell Brooks. He also has rushed for four scores. Stephen Dieb added three rushing touchdowns against Pulaski.
After the Prosper game, HP will have a bye week before starting its inaugural District 10-6A campaign on Sept. 26 at North Mesquite.
The hope for the Highland Park volleyball team was that a rigid nondistrict schedule would prepare them for the rigors of the Lady Scots’ first season at the 6A classification.
On Friday, HP can begin to see if that strategy paid off when the Lady Scots host Richardson Berkner in their District 10-6A opener.
HP (15-10) enters district play without much momentum after consecutive losses to Rockwall-Heath and Southlake Carroll, both in four sets. Heath rallied past the Lady Scots last Friday (24-26, 25-15, 25-21, 25-16), while Carroll proved its status as a state-title contender on Tuesday (25-19, 25-15, 29-31, 25-12).
However, HP has competed favorably for years against schools with larger enrollments, and its new district isn’t loaded with perennial powerhouses.
While five of the seven other 10-6A teams qualified for the postseason in 2013 — including a district title for Richardson Pearce — none of the five won a playoff match.
As for this season, outside of HP, only Pearce and Mesquite Horn have winning records entering league play. Horn will visit the Lady Scots on Tuesday.
For years, the Highland Park football team has seen other groups raise funds before its Friday night home games. Belles, cheerleaders, basketball — worthy causes all. But this year, the Scots have decided to get into the fundraising action themselves.
Thus, the team will host an inaugural supper and silent auction from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the HPHS cafeteria, prior to its nondistrict game against Prosper. The menu from Raising Cane’s will include chicken fingers, slaw, fries, and dessert.
The fundraiser will supplement other efforts throughout the year, including the team’s annual car wash, advertising sales, and a smaller auction held in area homes. The money goes toward purchasing new equipment, spirit items, and broadcast time, among other things.
At any rate, it sounds like a good deal to us. Tickets are $10, available in advance from any football player or at the door, for dine-in or take-out. And there’s even a drive-through option in the teacher parking lot beginning at 4:30 p.m. Friday.