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THE NEW YEAR brings change to the local sports
scene while also giving us another year to watch new
faces emerge as stars in their athletic venture of choice.
The following is a look at five things to keep an eye on
as 2018 gets into motion.
The University Interscholastic League will make its
bi-annual changes known to the public on February 5.
Friendswood will drop from Class 6A to 5A and will most
likely be added into a district that will include Galveston
Ball, Texas City and Santa Fe. Of less certainty is La
Marque, which returns to Class 4A after spending the
previous two years in 3A. The Clear Creek ISD schools
and Dickinson will remain linked together in 6A.
*New Gridiron Generals
Clear Creek’s Darrell Warden and La Marque’s Mike
Jackson, the area’s two most-tenured high school football
coaches, have departed, leaving the Wildcats and
Cougars with vacancies that will be filled in the first two
months of the season. The new coaches will come into
programs which will have a host of talent that will allow
them to come into August with a better than average
chance to compete for a playoff spot.
*Clear Springs Girls Soccer
Veteran coach Craig Foster returns the bulk of a roster
that captured the District 24-6A title last season en
route to a 16-3-4 record. The high-scoring Chargers will
have junior striker Alyssa Mencacci and senior striker
Zoe Jessen at the forefront of an offense that outscored
district foes by a 47-3 margin last year, while senior
goaltender Maddie Fisher also returns to bolster a team
that could develop into a sleeper in a loaded Region III.
*Continued Local Success in Professional Sports
Last year was bountiful for the area, as Galveston
Ball alum Nick Williams debuted with the Philadelphia
Phillies, hitting .288 with 12 homers and 55 runs batted
in in just 83 games. Texas City’s D’Onta Foreman
showed flashes of his potential with the Texans, rushing
for 327 yards and two touchdowns before an Achilles
injury ended his rookie season. Former Clear Springs
standout Marcus Johnson was part of an NFC East
champion Eagles team that could end up facing La
Marque’s Brian Allen and his Pittsburgh Steelers in the
Super Bowl. The success also found its way into the
front office of the Colts as Texas City’s Chris Ballard just
completed his first season as general manager.
This year could see two more area players reach pro
status as Texas City’s Armanti Foreman, who recently
completed his career at University of Texas, is ranked
among the top 40 receivers available for the NFL Draft,
while Clear Springs’ Brooke McCarty, the point guard
for the nationally ranked University of Texas women’s
basketball team, will be a strong prospect heading into
the WNBA Draft.
*Fear the Sophomores
Dickinson’s Koi Johnson and Galveston Ball’s Leyha
Williams each competed in last year’s state track and
field meet as freshman and are strong contenders to not
only return to Austin this May, but come back with gold.
Johnson finished second in the Class 6A girls triple
jump, narrowly missing out on the title, while the blistering
fast Williams finished ninth in the 5A girls 100-meter
hurdles. The duo head into the upcoming track and field
season as the area’s best bets to contend for a state

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