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Dawgs dominate their opening games
October 28, 2021
Approaching their rivalry game against Westlake, the Bulldogs enter the game undefeated. Having already defeated teams such as Stony Point and Austin High, who the team had difficulty against last year, the varsity football team shows playoff potential.
The team accomplished these wins all while playing with their second string quarterback, Conner Kenyon, after Division I UT San Antonio commit Diego Tello broke his collarbone in the opening game against Vista Ridge.
“The loss of Diego really helped rally the team together to play harder,” senior Sonny Dedmon said. “The defense specifically felt the need to ensure they were playing with all their effort with the offensive leader out, because we knew we had to help take some stress off the new offensive and we’ve been able to carry that momentum thus far.”
Since starting as quarterback, Kenyon averages 176 passing yards a game and is completing 70% of his passes. He is also working with almost a completely new O-line, with all of them starting for the first time this year except for Rick Mao.
“Kenyon came in and has been very consistent,” coach Ty Branyon said. “He’s completing a high percentage of catches, protecting the ball, not turning over the ball, making the right decision, and just overall being efficient. ”
In addition to Kenyon, multiple other players are stepping up this year to have a bigger impact on the team on both defense and offense. Junior Max Barnes returned to the team this year after tearing his patella avulsion last season and now leads the team in touchdowns.
“Barns has been a big asset of offense,” coach Pittman said. “We’ve been able to utilize him as a receiver and a running back and he is averaging about 45 rushing yards and 40 receiving yards a game. We have different receivers each week that shine, last week it was Anthony Simmons against Del Valle and the week before Cash Peters against Austin High. The O-line is often forgotten about but they’ve all been doing well adjusting quickly and are playing efficiently.”
With 47 seniors on the team this year, many of the players have played alongside each other for multiple years now. Captain Noah Camacho believes these relationships help contribute to the team’s success.
“With all of us working towards a common goal that we’ve all had for years, we’re able to communicate really well,” Camacho said. “We also have a lot of chemistry because the seniors have been playing together for so long and the younger guys on the team follow us well.”
After only winning two games last year, the Bulldogs have already shown improvement halfway through their season. The Bulldogs have attained the record of 5-0 as they go into the game against Westlake with high hopes.
“I think the game against Westlake will be a good game and definitely better to watch than in years past since we’re the only undefeated teams in the district,” Dedmon said. “I think we need to really just focus on working hard in practice each week. If we just go one week at a time, I think we will keep our momentum for the rest of the season and hopefully into the playoffs.”
Athletes commit to D1 schools
Students receive offers from prestigious colleges to continue their sports
Sweat, blood and tears aren’t unusual for these prestigious athletes. There’s an immense number of high school athletes who dream of playing at this fierce level. Here at Bowie there’s a selective few who’ve earned the opportunity to play Division I sports throughout college.
Senior volleyball player Katherine Crosley has committed to Tulane University, senior football player Diego Tello, who has decided to play at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and junior baseball player Ben Merriman who has chosen to play at Texas State University. Their choice will further their sports and education at a high level.
“I am looking forward to playing for a successful volleyball team and being around players who are motivated and really want to get better,” Crosley said. “I think that energy is really contagious and will push me to be the best I can be.
The quality of academics student athletes will receive at college is another aspect of being a Division I athlete.
“When I was looking at what colleges I was interested in, I had a list of requirements that were super important to me: academics, location, size, and program,” Crosley said. “After learning about Tulane I realized it checked every box for me. I was born in New Orleans and my entire family lives there, so I’m excited to be closer to my family. My dad graduated from Tulane, my uncle played football there, and my grandpa was a professor there, so it’s exciting to keep it in the family.”
The competitive nature of select sports prepares athletes for college to be able to join a new team with players they’ve never met before and pursue the goal of winning.
“I think that playing club volleyball has really helped me to prepare for the college level,” Crosley said. “Club volleyball brings a new level of intensity that you can’t get at the high school level. I think that mentally will definitely be a big transition for me, especially being away from home.”
Playing at the highest level of college athletics provides an opportunity for high school athletes to showcase their skills.
“Entering high school my main goal was to just improve my skills and figure out if this is something I want to continue into college,” Crosley said. “I achieved this goal by putting in work on and off the court in order to realize I really wanted to play in college.”
The mental aspect of changing playing fields from high school to college athletics is almost as important as the physical for Tello.
“I think work ethic is what will help me at the next level,” Tello said. “Every day I will have to strive to get better and continue to learn.”
Athletes always have goals and a certain mindset to stay locked in. Merriman had focused on improving his game in every area he could work on to get attention from a school.
“It wasn’t an immediate choice to commit to Texas State, since I was very young and I wanted to see how things played out,” Merriman said. “I made the decision because I love the culture at the university and the coaching staff has treated me great.”
Each individual student athlete will learn in both the classroom and at practice. These will be things student’s will have to juggle while being in college.
“My dream would be to have a better perception about the game of baseball itself and also learn how to deal with adversity and grow from it,” Merriman said.
I think work ethic is what will help me at the next level. Everyday I will have to strive to get better and continue to learn.
— Diego Tello, Varsity Quarterback
Commits have lots of new challenges to face joining a new team. Each student athlete will be facing the challenge of working with a new team, coach, and are while maintaining their studies.
“I’m looking forward to being able to play with the experienced ball players and being able to learn from them,” Merriman said. “I also want to do whatever I can to help this team win lots of ball games.”
Bowie head baseball Coach Sam Degeila has been coaching Ben Merriman and former Division I athletes throughout his coaching career.
“Ben’s a good hearted kid that any coach would be happy to have 26 of him on the team,” Degeila said. “Ben’s been a quiet guy that’s starting to come out of the shell”, but he’s a competitor. His competitiveness translates on the field being a silent leader. He leads the team by example.”
Being a coach for so long, Degeila has seen the change of the mental focus of athletes once they commit to a college.
“Several times as a head coach I’ve seen these committed players and sometimes even seniors, and then they check out and stop working as hard,” Degeila said.”Every player has a role and it needs to be filled no matter who they are or what they’ve done.”