Sunday, July 14, 2024
Sports Roundup

Alford exiting as Rattlers baseball coach;

Granbury’s Johnson wins NTHSRA title


Alford exiting as Rattlers baseball coach;

Granbury’s Johnson wins NTHSRA title


Special to the
Hood County News

After four seasons at the helm and turning the Tolar baseball program around into one of the best in the region, Lance Alford has resigned as head coach and accepted a teaching position in the Weatherford School District.

During his four years leading the program, the Rattlers enjoyed their best stretch in program history. They were 84-32-4 with four district championships and only one league loss during his tenure.

Three of his four teams reached the Class 2A Region II quarterfinals, including this past season. The 2023 team had the deepest postseason run in team history, reaching the regional final, defeating perennial state power and defending state champion Valley Mills in a best-of-three series along the way.

Alford’s resume’ includes 115 total wins with stops at Gonzales and McKinney Christian as head coach and as an assistant at Allen and Coppell. He also coached in the Texas Collegiate League, also known as the Cape Cod League of the South.

No announcement had been made concerning his replacement at press time.

"Coaching in Tolar was a true blessing. Six years ago coach (Jeremy) Mullins (former football coach/athletic director) gave me and opportunity to join an outstanding staff," Alford. "Then, four years ago he allowed me to lead the baseball program."


Levi Johnson of Granbury captured the chute dogging title at the North Texas High School Rodeo Association Finals in Saginaw recently. In one of the weekend’s tightest competitions, he scored 175 points to edge the runner-up with 168. Tolar’s Joseph Rickabaugh was third with 154 points.

Johnson also placed second in the saddle bronc competition. Also from Granbury, Ainsley Reeves was third in poles and 12th in barrel racing.

Rylee Rickabaugh of Tolar placed in the top 10 in two events, fifth in goat tying-horse and walk-up goat tying.

Kyley Kenley of Tolar placed 10th in breakaway roping, Grace Burdick of Granbury was 11th in walk-up goat tying and Carsyn Nolen of Granbury finished 15th in goat tying-horse.

In the team standings, Granbury was seventh with 3,647 points accumulated throughout the season and Tolar was eighth with 3,584.


Seniors Jesse Owen and Talan Brown were named Co-MVPs of the All-District 13-2A Baseball Team by the league’s coaches. The district champion Rattlers dominated the awards, with senior Merritt Imel receiving Offensive MVP, junior Cutter Cain being named Defensive MVP and junior Drake Owens being tabbed Pitcher of the Year.

Lipan senior Tyson Tarpley was named Utility Player of the Year and Indians freshman Jackson Posey is the Newcomer of the Year.

First-team accolades from Tolar went to senior Mitchell Alford, junior Hunter Michels and sophomores Rowdy Tryon and Noah Yanish. Senior Oakley Saffer was picked for the second team and senior Clayton Stembridge is an honorable mention.

First-team honors from Lipan were awarded to senior Brayden Dowdy, junior Hunter Mills and freshman Tucker Tims. Named to the second team were sophomores Johnny Pierce and Riggin Morris, along with freshman Court Gaylor, while honorable mentions are junior Cash Bolenbarker and sophomore Chris Collins.

Tolar also had several academic all-district honors go to Alford, Brown, Imel, Michels, Owens, Stembridge and freshman Lucas Mills.

The Rattlers reached the Class 2A Region II quarterfinals this season while the Indians advanced to bidistrict.


Senior pitcher Reese Tryon of Tolar was named the District 11-2A MVP by the league’s coaches. She finished her career with over 600 strikeouts and 62 wins.

The Lady Rattlers had the deepest playoff run in program history this season, reaching the Class 2A Region II semifinals. The Lipan Lady Indians, also from 11-2A, likewise had the deepest playoff run in team history, reaching the third round.

Junior Senne Imel of Tolar and senior Ashlyn Clark of Lipan shared Co-Offensive MVP honors. Lipan senior Dixon Sinclair was named Defensive MVP.

Tolar junior Allyson Dobbs was selected Catcher of the Year, while Lipan senior Sarah Marcantonio was chosen as Utility Player of the Year. The Fighters Award went to Lipan junior Dawson Oliver.

Tolar first-team selections are senior Ava LeCluyse, along with sophomores Kanyn Deaver, Jaylyn Miller and Ava Massey. Second-team picks are sophomore Lane Gardner and freshman Milly Taylor. Junior Kaira Krause and freshman Jorgia Reed received honorable mention.

Lipan first-teams picks are junior Ella Sharp and sophomore Ryan Atkinson. Second-team honors went to sophomore Finley Shockley and freshman Gentry Kirkland, with senior Rylei Cudd and freshman Sari Thompson receiving honorable mention.

Tolar academic all-district accolades were awarded to LeCluyse, Dobbs, Imel, Gardner, Deaver, Reed, Miller, Massey, freshman Lillie Uselton and sophomores Kylee Jo Lane and Kaylee Smith.

Lipan academic all-district honors went to Marcantonio, Clark, Sinclair, Cudd, Atkinson, Shockley, Thompson, freshman Kenzley Rhody and sophomore Addison Tarpley.


The Pirate Touchdown Club handed out its annual scholarships. They went to seniors Daniel Cain, Alan Orocio, Tyler Rogers, Jadon Rogers, Cooper Silva, Parker Temple and Reid Wyss.


Granbury ISD summer sports camps, all at Granbury High School, include:

Football: June 3-6, grades 1-6, 8-11 a.m. Cost $75

Baseball: June 3-6, grades K-4, 8-10 a.m.; grades 5-9, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Cost $90

Softball: June 3-6, grades 2-6, 8-9:30 a.m.; grades 7-9, 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Cost $70

Girls soccer: June 10-13, grades 6-9, 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Cost $75

Boys soccer: June 10-13, grades 7-9, 6-8:30 p.m. Cost $75

Co-ed soccer: June 10-13, grades K-5, 8-10 a.m. Cost $75

Tennis: June 17-20, grades 2-9, 8-10 a.m. Cost $70

Boys basketball: June 24-27, grades 1-5, 8-10 a.m.; grades 6-9, 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Cost $80

Football: July 29-31, grades 7-9, 8-11 a.m. Cost $75

Volleyball: July 29-31, grades 7-9, 8-10 a.m. Cost $75

Tolar summer sports camps, all at Tolar High School, include:

Football: June 17-21, grades 7-9, playmaker camp, 10 a.m.-noon; grades 3-6, passing camp, 6-8 p.m. Cost $40

Football: June 24-28, grades 7-9, linemen camp, 10 a.m.-noon. Cost $40

Football: July 29-Aug. 1, grades K-9, 6-8 p.m. Cost $40

Volleyball: July 29-31, grades 7-9, 8-10 a.m.; grades 4-6, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Cost $50