2013 Texas High School State Championship Recap
Posted: May 20, 2013 05:24 PM
Heart, intensity and respect. That’s what was visible on and off the field at this year’s Texas High School State Championships. Heavy rain poured down deep into the night Friday which made the main fields unusable.
The State Youth Coordinator, Tournament Director and Field Manager (Michelle Walters, Holly Amerson and Rob Patterson respectively) did a great job having the backup fields and a rain schedule already worked out, so the teams could still compete.
All the top seeds took care of business, using their experience and deep athletic lines to control the outcome of their games. Coppell H.S. seemed more relaxed on Saturday, having a point differential of 33-12 against their opponents. Belton H.S.’s easy first-game win, 11-0, allowed for team chemistry and flow to develop which was crucial for their game against J.J. Pearce H.S. Pearce made Belton work hard for the 10-7 victory. Flower Mound H.S. used their athleticism and quick hucks to take early leads, winning games well before time caps would become a factor. Marcus H.S. had a loud and intense sideline that could be heard all over the fields. Their quick movement on offense and creative zone play kept teams from getting into any kind of rhythm. The rain schedule left a lot of teams with multiple byes, which allowed them to rest and watch other teams play. Personally, I enjoyed hearing feedback from other coaches, players and spectators about how the weekend was going.
As the sun started to peak out of the clouds and the moisture on the field began to disappear, the level of play began to increase. The talent gap between finesse teams and athletic teams also began to even out. Highland Park H.S. (HPUF) and Consoltimate, who were dominant early in the day, started to wear down against athletic, huck-heavy teams. Highland Park took half at 6-3 against Memorial H.S. only to have Memorial battle back to a 9-7 score right before hard cap. Unfortunately the run would not be enough, as HPUF hung on for the win 9-8. Consoltimate and Anderson H.S. seemed like mirror images of each other with Consoltimate being more huck-conservative on offense. The game went back and forth until Anderson went up two breaks before the hard cap and closed out the game 9-7. First-year team Kingwood H.S. surprised a lot of people, taking second place in their pool and earning the final spot in Sunday’s championship bracket.
In the quarterfinals of the championship bracket, all the top seeds prevailed and moved on. The most competitive game was between long-time rivals Marcus and Highland Park. Marcus would go up two, sometimes three breaks, but HPUF would find a way to battle their way back into the game. Late in the second half, Marcus senior Tyler Niskanen placed a perfect huck out in front of teammate Trevor Davis and just inches away from HPUF junior Kyle Cheves’ outstretched arms. That proved to be the difference as hard cap blew, and Marcus took the game 14-11. Marcus would not be as fortunate in the next round against Coppell. The most exciting play I saw from the weekend featured Coppell’s Alex Garcia making a horizontal layout D close to the sideline, followed by Marcus’ Trevor Davis making a bid for the floating disc. As Davis fell inches away, you could hear both sidelines cheer for the players’ efforts. Coppell seemed focused throughout the game, winning 15-4. In the other semifinal, Belton matched the athleticism of Flower Mound, slowing their offense and forcing them to move the disc side to side. Belton would punch their ticket to the final with a 15-11 win over Flower Mound.
Coppell vs. Belton
Throughout Sunday, Coppell played like a number one seed. Their sidelines were loud, communicating to their players during the game and rushing the field after each score. Belton came in with the same focus and an equally large sideline. To most spectators’ surprise, the first half was very lopsided ending 8-1 in Coppell’s favor. Every time Coppell scored, you could hear senior captain Josh Brunelli yell, "Coppell, what is our profession?" followed by a loud and chilling "HA-ROO! HA-ROO! HA-ROO!" (borrowing from the famous chant from the movie 300). In the second half, Coppell opened up their lines, which Belton used to their advantage in battling back to a score of 11-8 right before soft cap. In the end, Coppell’s intensity proved to be too much for Belton. Coppell came away with the victory, 13-10, and the title of 2013 Texas State Champions.
The weather turned out to be perfect, and the TD – with the help of the Houston Ultimate Community and Texas Youth Coordinator – did an amazing job running the tournament. It was an incredible experience getting to see new teams developing and future college stars coming into their own. Thanks to all the coaches and parents for continually helping the sport of ultimate grow and making this year’s State Championship a huge success.
Check out our galleries of photos from various 2013 HS State Championships: (facebook gallery / google+ gallery). If you have any shots from your HS State Championships that you'd like to see added, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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