There’s a timeless quality to this photo of the Highland Park High School football captains, who were recently named for the 2014 season. After all, these captains’ photos don’t vary much through the years. Yet here we are in a new age, when all four captains are on Twitter:
— Park Cities People (@pcpeople) April 11, 2014
By Randy Jennings/Special Contributor
CARROLLTON — Highland Park’s lofty goal of a third straight trip to the UIL girls state soccer tournament was dashed by the narrowest of margins.
Wylie East defeated the Lady Scots in the Class 4A Region II title game, 1-0, on a windy Saturday afternoon at Standridge Stadium.
The only goal came in the 58th minute in fluke fashion when a clearance pass by a Highland Park defender ricocheted off a teammate and into the Lady Scots’ net.
The scoring chance began with a shot by the Lady Raiders’ Asia Revely that Highland Park keeper Mariay Molina came off her line to deflect. The ball scooted to Molina’s right, setting up the chain of events that led to the goal.
“If we had scored that goal to win one-nil, I’d say it was a great win,” Highland Park coach Stewart Brown said. “It depends on what side of the field you’re standing on. Sometimes a goal like that win games.”
In a scoreless first half, Highland Park (21-5-1) controlled possession and enjoyed an edge in scoring opportunities despite going into the wind. Those chances were reduced in the second half until a desperate flurry in the final 18 minutes.
“The defenses for both teams did well,” Brown said. “The wind was a huge factor. We had the feeling it would take something special to decide it.”
Hope Hyde, who came into the game with 15 goals in her last seven matches, led the late Highland Park assault along with Sara Summers. Brooke-Lynn Scroggins, keeper for Wylie East (23-1-1), made an alert save to stop perhaps the Lady Scots’ best chance, a low Summers drive from seven yards with three minutes remaining.
“Getting to state twice is an accomplishment,” Brown said. “So is making it to the regional final. I couldn’t be prouder of my team. They represent the school and the community so well.”
By Billy Wessels/Special Contributor
CARROLLTON — They say the post is the goalie’s best friend. That wasn’t the case Friday.
Highland Park sophomore Hope Hyde scored two of her three second-half goals off shots that caromed off the post in the Lady Scots’ 3-1 win against Waxahachie in the Class 4A Region II semifinals.
“I was aiming for the corner, not the post,” Hyde said. “But as long as it goes in, it’s a goal.”
After a scoreless first half, Hyde opened the scoring just two minutes into the second with a point-blank shot that went off the post and past a diving Elizabeth Gish, Waxahachie’s senior goalkeeper.
Hyde then scored off a laser shot from 25 yards out that once again came off the post and into the net with 28 minutes left in the contest.
Just seven minutes later, she got a breakaway and easily beat Gish to put the game away.
Hyde said her team is used to this stage and wasn’t concerned about a scoreless tie at halftime.
“We got a great halftime talk and came out ready to play,” Hyde said. “We were fired up and did what we had to do to win. We’re a mature team; its our third year here, my second, and we just did what we needed to do.”
Hyde has scored nine goals in the last four playoff games.
“She’s been very hot lately. The service we’ve been getting to Hope has been fantastic,” Highland Park coach Stewart Brown said. “Whether it’s been Kate Summer or Savanna Jones or Lauren Echols, she’s been putting it away nicely, and we’ve been fortunate.”
Highland Park was playing against the wind in the first half and had several scoring chances, but couldn’t take advantage of them. When the wind changed in the second half, so did the Lady Scots’ fortune.
“We settled. In the first half, we played well, but with the wind, it was difficult,” Brown said. “For us, we want to get the ball down and play. In the second half, once that first goal went in, we just wanted to continue it.”
Waxahachie’s lone goal came on a 25-yard free kick from junior Mackenzie Posey with 2:57 left in the game to prevent the shutout.
Highland Park advances to the Region II championship at 1:30 p.m. Saturday against either Red Oak or Wylie East.
— Daryl Reaugh (@Razor5Hole) April 11, 2014
Congratulations to Park Cities person Daryl “Razor” Reaugh, who has received a contract extension from the Dallas Stars. Consequently, we hockey fans have renewed our prescriptions for “mind vitamins” like this.
In the playoffs, it’s not about how you win, but only whether you win. So the Highland Park girls won’t complain after a 3-2 overtime victory over Forney on Tuesday in a Class 4A Region II quarterfinal.
Sara Summers scored the game-winner in the first overtime for the Lady Scots (20-4-1), while Hope Hyde scored both of the regulation goals, giving her eight in four postseason games.
The win sends HP back to the regional tournament, where it will face Waxahachie, a 1-0 winner over Whitehouse in another regional quarterfinal on Tuesday. That game will start a semifinal doubleheader on Friday at Standridge Stadium in Carrollton.
It was the second time this season that the Lady Scots knocked off the Lady Jackrabbits, including a 2-1 win during a season-opening tournament in January at Highlander Stadium. It also marked HP’s 12th consecutive victory overall.
This is the biggest week of the track and field season for dozens of Highland Park athletes attempting to run, jump, and throw themselves one step closer to the state meet.
Their first postseason opportunity comes at the District 10-4A meet at Standridge Stadium in Carrollton, which is whittling the competition down to eight finalists in each event during today’s preliminaries.
The top four finishers in each event will advance to the area meet next week, also in Carrollton, which will combine districts 9-4A and 10-4A to determine regional qualifiers.
The 3,200-meter finals are slated for today, along with the finals in pole vault, shot put, and triple jump. The rest of the events will be tomorrow, with field events (long jump, high jump, and discus) starting at 10 a.m. and running finals getting underway at 3:15 p.m.
As the field continues to dwindle, the games get bigger for the Highland Park girls soccer team during its postseason run.
The next test for the Lady Scots will come on Tuesday, when HP faces Forney in the Class 4A Region II quarterfinals at 6 p.m. at Lake Highlands. It will be a rematch of a game that HP won 2-1 in January during a season-opening tournament at Highlander Stadium.
The Lady Scots (19-4-1) advanced to the regional quarterfinals with a 2-1 victory over Frisco on Friday, marking their 10th straight win overall. Hope Hyde and Megan Uhr scored the goals for HP, giving Hyde six goals in three playoff games.
Forney knocked off Wylie 2-1 in the sectional round on Friday. The Lady Jackrabbits (17-6-3) were the runner-up behind Mesquite Poteet in District 23-4A during the regular season. Forney’s Kayleigh Phillips is one of the top strikers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
The winner will move on to the regional semifinals this weekend in Carrollton, and will meet either Waxahachie or Whitehouse on Friday.
By the way, in boys playoff action, Poteet and Frisco Wakeland will play their regional quarterfinal at Highlander Stadium at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Drazner, a junior, and Hornbach, a senior, were part of a 10-Warrior contingent at the Class 2A District 2 tournament, which was contested April 2 at L.B. Houston Tennis Center. That was Lakehill’s largest number of competitors ever at a varsity district tennis tournament.
Drazner and Hornbach finished third in girls doubles, earning them a trip to Waco. They’ll be joined by freshmen Dunny Boch and William Skipworth, who finished fourth in boys doubles.
Editor’s note: This story also appears in the April edition of Park Cities People.
Vaughn Miller thinks the sport of polo gets a bad rap.
The Highland Park resident is trying a more grassroots approach to spreading the popularity of a sport known for its royal roots and country-club reputation. He wants to open the game up to children, and to those families who might not own a stable full of horses.
That’s one reason why, in 2008, after more than a decade playing regularly at other clubs throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Miller founded Prestonwood Polo Club, located in the community of Oak Point, just north of Lewisville Lake near Little Elm.
“We wanted to be accessible to everyone. Polo has this reputation as an elitist sport,” Miller said. “We knew we had something special and wanted to build on that.”
Two years later, he started a youth camp with the help of a grant from the United States Polo Association. He said the summer program so far has hosted about 24 kids, who are provided with equipment and an equine partner.
Miller traces his love for polo back more than 20 years. He one played alongside Prince Charles of Wales in a charity match overseas, and even met his wife at a match.
He has passed that passion along to his two sons, Vaughn Jr., 14, and Vance, 13, who comprise two-thirds of Prestonwood’s youth select team that has become nationally recognized. The third is Ronnie Puente, who attends Little Elm High School.
“They both fell in love with the sport and became good at it,” said Miller, who also coaches a women’s club team at TCU.
The Prestonwood varsity team began competing at the USPA Open National Interscholastic Championships two years ago, and last year was the youngest team at the national event, which is played with three players instead of four, and on a much smaller field than traditional polo.
In February, Prestonwood won its second consecutive Central Regional Championship in Houston, with Vaughn Miller Jr. being named the tournament MVP. The younger Miller said he hopes to eventually earn a college scholarship in polo.
“I was always riding horses from a really young age,” said Vaughn Jr., a freshman at Highland Park High School. “I practiced a lot and got a lot better. My goal is to be one of the best players in the world, and I feel I can do that.”
The Highland Park girls soccer team continued its quest to make a return trip to the state tournament on Friday when it knocked off Frisco 2-1 in the Class 4A Region II sectional round in Richardson.
Hope Hyde and Megan Uhr scored the goals for the Lady Scots (19-4-1), who won their 11th consecutive game. Jordan Hill scored the only goal for the Lady Raccoons (22-3), as Frisco fell to HP in the sectional round for the second straight year.
The Lady Scots advance to the regional quarterfinals, where they will meet Forney, which knocked off Wylie 2-1 on Friday. Those teams have a history as well, as HP defeated Forney 2-1 in a season-opening tournament in February at Highlander Stadium.