Coach confident Cavazos can kill competition off at state

EXPECTATIONS of a rebuilding year were greatly off the mark for Dickinson powerlifting coach Earl Ricicar, who started the season with only two returning lifters after the Gators won the division I state championship in 2015 and came within a point of repeating the feat last year.
Instead, his new batch of talent resulted in three Dickinson performers heading to Abilene for Saturday’s championships.
He told The Post on Monday: “This has turned out better than I originally expected. The kids have really improved as the season progressed to the point where I don’t feel like this was a rebuilding year at all. Since the last half of February, they have really come together.”
Perhaps the anchor of the Gators’ ability to continue holding their weight among the state’s premier programs has been the effort of junior Pablo Cavazos, who returns to Abilene after finishing in the top half of the 148lb class last March.
One of the veterans on the Dickinson squad, Cavazos finished third in the regional meet at Katy Taylor high school on March 4 and, in Ricicar’s eyes, is a strong candidate for a top-five finish.
The Gators are well represented in the 220lb class, in which both sophomores Daniel Parr and Jose Rodriguez have advanced to state.
Each finished with a total of 1,450lb at the regional meet and were able to grab the last two qualifying positions.
Ricicar said: “Both Daniel and Jose are young but I think they have an outside chance of getting into the top five”.
As good as this season has been for Dickinson, Ricicar is excited about the future, as all but two of his lifters will return. The Gators will also be bringing in an athletically gifted crop of freshmen in August, with a bushel of them having, as Ricicar points out, “a lot of size”.
Dickinson won’t be the only area school with lifters competing for state titles. Clear Brook’s Kevin Nguyen won the regional crown in the 242lb class and is a strong contender to top the state field. Beau Ramos of Texas City is competing in the 181lb class.
Josh Paige of Hitchcock won the region IV, division III championship in the 114lb field, while Bulldogs teammate Xavian Hampton qualified in the 242lb class.


DISTRICT 24-6a was well-represented in’s recently-released class 6a all-state team, with four local players recognized for their efforts this past season.
Friendswood quarterback Tyler Page was one of three players selected as all-purpose player of the year.
Page, who will play collegiately at SMU, accounted for 3,721 yards and 50 touchdowns from scrimmage while leading the Mustangs to a 9-3 record and a trip to the 6a, region III quarterfinals. He leaves Friendswood as the school’s all-time leading rusher and scorer among a list of records.
One of the anchors of a Dickinson defense that ranked among the region’s stingiest units, Gators defensive lineman Garrett Kettler received all-state second-team honors after being among the team’s leaders in sacks, tackles for loss and forced fumbles.
He was also named district 24-6a defensive player of the year while helping the Gators record a third straight season of at least 10 wins.
Also joining Kettler on the second team is Clear Creek defensive back Noah Daniels, a two-time all-24-6a first-teamer who will play his college ball at TCU.
The Wildcat earned a reputation as one of the region’s most feared cornerbacks and also excelled as a team leader who helped a young Creek team finish with a 5-5 record.
Clear Springs defensive back Christian Waller made the all-state second team following a season in which he ranked among the nation’s top ball-hawks with 10 interceptions.
He also recorded 29 tackles and a sack as he helped the Chargers capture the 24-6a title and was also named to the Associated Press’ all-state team in December.
Of the quartet, he is the only player returning to his team in the fall.


Slow rise to top for Coogs’ courtside coach

DESPITE A slow start that saw his team saddled with an 8-15 record at one point, La Marque boys basketball coach David Montano turned things around for the Cougars, who won the district 24-3a regular season title and advanced to the region III semifinals before being denied a shot at a third straight trip to the state final four in an overtime loss to Jarrell.
For his efforts, Montano was named the 24-3a coach of the year as his core seniors were also honored in their final season of high-school play en route to finishing the season with a 22-17 record.
Senior center LaDerrius Arvie was chosen as offensive player of the year while seniors Jauron Freeman, Desmond Murray and Keshaun Ouzenne were selected to the all-district second team.
Arvie, Freeman and Murray complete their high-school careers having participated in a pair of state semifinal games along with being key cogs in a pair of seasons in which the Cougars won at least 30 games.
Although Montano will have a host of new faces on the court next season, he will have at least one experienced player in freshman guard Jordan Ivy-Curry, who was named the district’s newcomer of the year.
Ivy-Curry is likely to be the focal point of La Marque while a bulk of the junior varsity, which won the district title, become acclimated to play at the next level.
Hitchcock senior Alfred Locke and junior John Scott were named to the 24-3a first team, while Bulldogs teammates Marvin Johnson and Kenneth Taylor, both seniors, were named to the second team.


THE ROAD to Georgetown and a berth in the high-school boys’ and girls’ soccer begins with bi-district round action from tomorrow, Thursday, until Saturday. The end of the week also features a busy Friday night of high-school baseball and softball, along with track and field making its presence and golf heading toward its postseason schedule.
Today, Wednesday:
As the season opener approaches, Texas City high school’s water-polo team will play in their final scrimmage when the Stingarees travel to Brazosport for a 5:00pm contest. The Stings will open the season at home in the city’s Doyle natatorium against Pasadena Dobie at 5:00pm on Tuesday.
Tomorrow, Thursday:
With district championships looming, the action will be intense at Deer Park’s Battleground golf course, where Galveston Ball’s girls play host to the rest of their 23-5a compatriots. Texas City will look to continue the momentum that came from winning the Hitchcock varsity tournament at Bayou golf club this month, when sophomore Maddie Grubbs placed third overall.
Galveston Ball will get the baseball evening started when the Tors host Fort Bend Marshall at 6:00pm. At 7:00pm, Alvin will be at Clear Springs, Clear Brook at Clear Creek, Danbury at Hitchcock, Friendswood at Clear Falls, La Marque at Brazos, Manvel at Texas City and Shadow Creek at Santa Fe.
A pair of teams will open softball action at 5:00pm with La Marque traveling to Brazos and Shadow Creek meeting Santa Fe. Alvin at Friendswood, Clear Creek at Clear Falls, Dickinson at Clear Brook, Fort Bend Marshall at Galveston Ball, Manvel at Texas City and Shadow Creek at Santa Fe will all start at 6:30pm.
The Clear Springs Chargers will host their annual relays with a host of area schools participating in the event. The meet will feature the likes of Springs’ Amber Klesel and Ashley Villanueva, who finished first and second respectively in the pole vault during this past weekend’s TSU Relays.
Clear Falls’ Chris Rainey, co-owner of the state’s best time in the 100-meter dash this season, also shone at the TSU Relays, finishing second in both the 100-meter and 200-meter sprints.
He ran a personal-best 10.39 seconds in the 100-meter dash at the Lamar Consolidated relays on March 3, a time equaled by Garland Sachse’s Nicholas Alexander at the Lewisville Max Goldsmith relays on March 9.
A youthful Texas City girls’ track team continues to grow with experience as the Stingarees take part in the Prairie View A&M relays. The team is loaded with freshmen and sophomores who have improved as the outdoor season takes shape. One particular highlight is the form of sophomore Stephanie Evans, who captured first place in the discus and fifth place in the shot put during the Fort Bend Marshall relays last month.


Trainer takes stress out of NFL draft hopes

THE OWNER of the training facility where D’Onta Foreman is working out in preparation for next month’s NFL draft had good news on Friday for fans anxious about the former Texas City standout’s progress.

Brandon Robinson of Dynamic Athletic Builders said the All-American running back at University Of Texas is making progress after a stress fracture in his left foot caused him to miss most of this month’s rookie combine in Indianapolis.

No client has drawn more attention for Robinson’s Mall Of The Mainland facility than the Longhorn, who works out with his twin brother, UT senior wide receiver Armanti.

Robinson told The Post: “D’Onta’s doing well. I’m certainly not going to give up anything but he’s making great progress. He’s going to do well at his college pro day and I can’t wait to see how he does.”

It was late afternoon and Robinson was moving and sounding like a man who had just woken from a nap rather than someone who had been up since before 5:00am.

Such is life for DAB’s owner as he approaches the end of what has been a successful first year at the Texas City company.

In the midst of preparing his Team DAB 7-on-7 football team for a game in Friendswood that night, he said: “Different seasons, different people.

“It’s baseball and softball season, so the batting cages are filled. It’s offseason for football, so we have a lot of players coming to work out and keep their routine going.”

The facility has expanded since opening last spring. Robinson has added more batting cages to accommodate the growing number of baseball and softball players who have chosen to hone their skills there.

One of the biggest moves he is proud of is his after-school program, which picks up students from schools in the Texas City area in order for them to maintain their workout schedules while removing one more concern for transport-weary parents.

He said he plans to expand the pickup route over the next few months in order to have more athletes able to take advantage of the opportunities presented by DAB.

Currently, the company has nearly 300 clients who use its facilities for one-on-one specialized and group training for skills from football to losing weight.

Robinson said: “I wish I could have all of them come for an entire month. It would be a challenge, but I’d welcome it.”

Looking to the future, he said he wants to focus more on expanding DAB’s marketing reach.
He said: “I’m aiming to get more out there. I know business, yet I also want to see how I can get DAB to be more of a presence not just in social media but across the board.

“I love what I do and I want to be able to share that with as many people as I can.”