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Wylie East High School 2022 sports year in review

by | Dec 29, 2022 | Sports

It was an eventful 2022 for Wylie East High School, featuring new coaches, standout performers and a shakeup for the new year.

It was announced in February that Wylie East would be moving up to Class 6A, pairing them with Wylie and Garland ISD in athletics for the new year. With that came much success for the fall sports programs and encouraging signs for years to come for the Raiders.

Here is the 2022 Wylie East High School sports year in review.

Football: Raiders win District 9-6A championship in first season

It was a landmark season for the Wylie East football program, setting new records on their way to a district title in their first season at the 6A level. The Raiders finish their great season with a record of 9-2 and a district championship. It’s the best season, record-wise for the program since, its last playoff appearance in 2016. Despite losing to Rockwall-Heath in the first round of the playoffs, head coach Marcus Gold was thrilled to see the growth of the program in just his second season at the helm.

“I’m super proud of our kids and staff and what we’ve accomplished in a short amount of time,” coach Gold said. “Being able to take a program that only won four games in three years. We never had any goals set at the beginning of the year. We were just going to play it by each game. That’s what our focus was, and our kids did that all year.”

Terrell Washington Jr led the way for the district champion Raiders. The three-star senior was the unanimous district MVP, leading the team with 1,387 all-purpose yards and 24 touchdowns. He finishes his Wylie East career with 3,568 rushing and receiving yards in four seasons at the varsity level.

Other superlative winners for Wylie East included defensive back Michael Henderson and coach Gold.

Henderson was named the 9-6A defensive newcomer of the year as a sophomore defensive back, setting the tone in the secondary with six interceptions, including two returned for touchdowns. His biggest game of the season came in the Crosstown Showdown win over Wylie, where he had five tackles and two interceptions.

Gold was named the 9-6A coach of the year, helping the Raiders win the district title in just his second season as head coach. Wylie East improved from 2-8 the season before to 9-2 in 2022, making great strides under the new coaching staff in two short seasons.

Wrestling: Feece places fifth at state championship

Colby Feece, the 182-pound competitor for the Raiders, placed fifth overall in his weight class at the UIL 5A state championship.

Feece won his first-round matchup over The Colony’s Elijah Waters by a 13-10 decision. After losing his quarterfinal match, Feece won three more matches, including a 6-1 decision over Palo Duro’s Micah Wesley. He finished the season 27-4 overall and is the only placeholder between the two Wylie schools.

Timothy Ouane, Ryan Lobato and Isaac Flores also wrestled at the state meet for Wylie East. Ouane lost both of his matches in the 152-pound weight class, getting pinned in 1:57 in the first round and then losing by majority decision.

Lobato was the only other Raider to win a match at state, defeating Cedar Park’s Nathan Andrews by an injury forfeit before losing his next two matches. Lobato was 33-11 in the 138-pound weight class.

Flores was pinned in his first-round match at the 126-pound weight class, losing his consolation round match by a sudden victory. He finished the season 22-10.

Baseball: Hattaway named offensive player of the year

The Wylie East Raiders baseball season ended with a playoff appearance, and the team was well represented in the District 10-5A All-District team.

The Raiders (10-4, 17-11-1) had 10 players named to the all-district team, led by the District 10-5A Offensive Player of the Year Matthew Hattaway. The outfielder was the top hitter in the lineup, working primarily out of the lead-off spot for the offense.

Wylie East also had one first-team player and five second-team players on the all-district team this year. Rylee Lamm was named to the first team as the top pitcher for the Wylie East rotation. He allowed just one earned run in the Raider’s game two playoff loss to Frisco Independence but won his final three starts of the regular season.

Second team members for the Raiders included Kason Atkins, Joshua Hollingsworth, Nathan Lam, Knox Wilson and Caden Roeschen. Wilson was the starting catcher for one of the district’s top rotations, while Hollingsworth and Lam manned the outfield along with Hattaway.

The remainder of Wylie East’s starting lineup was on the all-district honorable mentions list. Jacob Hollingsworth and Kolby Atkins were both infielders for the Raiders, along with starting pitcher Brennen Boyd. Boyd was the ace starter in district play for Wylie East, earning a shutout win in game one of the bi-district playoffs.

East’s regular season ended in the bi-district round of the state playoffs, falling in three games to Frisco Independence.

Softball: Duff’s strong season not enough to push Lady Raiders

The Lady Raiders fell short of their postseason goal in 2022, losing 4-2 to Lovejoy on April 25.

Battling in Princeton, Wylie East (7-8, 15-16) ended the regular season tied for fourth in the District 10-5A standings. That meant a one-game playoff, to name the last team to reach the bi-district round.

In an elimination game, Lovejoy started strong with three runs in the first inning and held off East.

After a strikeout from Presleigh Duff to lead off the game, Lovejoy loaded the bases with two singles and a walk. A sacrifice fly and error by Wylie East scored the first two runs of the inning, followed by an RBI single with two outs.

The Lady Raiders, who only had five hits in the game, pulled one back in the third when Isabella Flores hit an inside-the-park home run to make it a two-run game.

Abby Hollingsworth added one more run on an RBI single in the bottom of the sixth to make it 4-2, but East failed to score with runners on first and third with two outs.

Lovejoy advanced to face Frisco Heritage in the bi-district round of the state playoffs, where they lost their first two games of the series.

Duff was a workhorse for the Wylie East softball team, ending the year as one of the top pitchers in District 10-5A.

Starting nearly every game for the Wylie East Lady Raiders, who finished fourth in the district standings, Duff finished the regular season with an 11-6 record and 2.34 ERA. She also added 141 strikeouts for the season, all marks that were among the top in the Metroplex.

“Presleigh was great for us all year so this game was no surprise,” head coach Demi McNulty said. “It’s just another shut out for her and she’s just owning the circle and leading her teammates. Then her teammates are backing her and making really good plays defensively.”

Track and Field: Raiders set school record, fall short for state qualification

Wylie East sent seven athletes to the Region II-5A track and field meet at UT Arlington, but fell just short of a state championship qualification. ,

The Raiders boys’ 4×400-meter relay team helped set a new school record this season and qualified for the finals but finished fourth overall in the finals (3:17.16).

The team was less than one second off of a top-two finisher. Charis Jackson, Rashaun Washington, Alex Ainsworth and Kory Boyd ran in the finals for the Raiders, while Jake Kortkamp ran in the preliminary meet to help his team earn qualification.

Jackson and Boyd also ran individually for the Raiders, with Jackson placing fourth in the 400-meter finals (49.32). Boyd finished sixth in the 200 (22.06) after qualifying in the preliminary heats.

Wylie East sent two participants for the girls’ team, with Madison Gauthier and Nyle Mathis competing for the Lady Raiders.

Mathis finished fifth (38–0.5) in the triple jump, while Gauthier finished 11th (105-6) in the discus event.

Powerlifting: Mitchell places second at state

Wylie East competed in the 5A big school state championships on March 16, as the team finished 14th overall with six points.

They finished in the top 15 out of 44 schools, while Kyle Lehman took the championship with 34 points.

Of the four Lady Raiders who competed, two medaled in their respective weight classes. Carmen Mitchell finished second overall in the 220-pound weight class. She set a new state record in the bench press with a 295-pound lift and totaled 1,055 pounds over her three lifts. She finished 70 pounds behind Kyle Lehman’s Crystal Martinez, who had an advantage in both the squat and deadlift.

Wylie East’s Nyliah White also medaled at the meet, finishing fifth in the 165-pound weight class with a total of 860 pounds. She was five points off of fourth and 10 off of third place, as she finished with the third-best squat and deadlift in the meet.

Volleyball: Lady Raiders tie for second in 9-6A

The Lady Raiders volleyball team ended the regular season in the area round, losing to Waco Midway.

Competing in their first season at the 6A level, Wylie East handled the pressure well and finished second in the District 9-6A standings. Taking things even further, they opened the postseason with a 3-1 (29-31, 25-18, 25-23, 25-15) victory over Rockwall Heath.

Julia Hicks led the team with 18 kills, while Addison Achilles added 13 kills and seven blocks in the victory. It was the first win in the playoffs for the Lady Raiders since 2017, with the players at the net stepping up and dominating play after dropping a close first set.

In their final game, however, the Wylie East season came to a close with a dramatic 3-2 (25-17, 19-25, 25-20, 17-25, 10-15) loss to Waco Midway. The Lady Raiders got off to a strong start, attacking Midway early and winning the first and third sets, but ran out of gas as the Lady Panthers’ defense stepped up down the stretch. Waco Midway advanced to face Waxahachie in the regional quarterfinals.

Wylie East graduates six seniors from the varsity roster, including Charleigh Stevens, Baylor Rodgers, Trinity Singer, Emma Blackstar, Kendall Lee and Emily Higham.

Cross Country: Both teams qualify for regionals in fall season

Wylie East finished as runners-up at the District 9-6A championships thanks to a strong showing from Kyler Guinn and Alessandro Garcia, who finished seventh and eighth. Keigan Trussell (17:39.2) ran in 11th and Benjamin Greer (18:27.3) in 17th as the other top 20 runners for the Raiders.

For the Lady Raiders, Madison Akers and Oluwabusayomi Ojo crossed the finish line in fourth and fifth place.

The placement allowed Wylie East to qualify for the regional championships at the end of October, where both the boys and girls teams placed 19th overall. It was a successful season for the Wylie East program, who return several runners next season.

Girls Soccer: East loses to state champion Frisco Wakeland

Wylie East fought until the very end, eventually falling short against one of the best teams in state.

In the battle of two former state champion programs, thirty seconds was the difference in the Wylie East girls’ soccer team losing or advancing to the next round of the state playoffs.

Wylie East’s defensive approach paid dividends for much of their bi-district playoff round against Frisco Wakeland, but the Lady Wolverines scored 22 seconds after the second-half kickoff to win 1-0 on March 24 at Clark Stadium.

Little did Wylie East know that Wakeland would go on to the win the 2022 state championship. Head coach Kody Christensen was proud that his team was able to take one of the state’s top programs to the brink in an elimination game.

East finished the season 17-4-1 overall and third in the District 10-5A standings after the result.

Amaya Dawkins, Bryn Geppert and Breanna Wooten were given superlative awards for the Lady Raiders. Dawkins was the midfielder of the year, Geppert was the defensive player of the year and Wooten was the goalkeeper of the year. All three will return to Wylie East next season.

In the first-team all-district, Ryleigh Wood, Raegan Hollis, Alyssa Striker, Zoe Harbison and Ramani Neal were named to the team.

Boys Soccer: Raiders also lose to Frisco Wakeland

Similar to the girls program, the Wylie East boys soccer team had struggles with quick goals, as Wakeland scored 15 seconds into the bi-district playoff game to defeat the Raiders 4-0.

A long ball played down the right side of the field off of the start found the foot of Wakeland’s Brenan Bezdek, who played the ball to Kyle Davis in the middle. In a blur, it was quickly 1-0 and East was on its back foot.

The Raiders settled the game after the initial goal, but the Wolverines could break down defenders and create opportunities most of the game. Wylie East was held to just three shots on goal for the game.

Michael Delaney was the bright spot for the Raiders, making five saves in the first half and keeping East within two goals at the halftime break. Wakeland managed to score quickly into the second half as well, adding insurance with a rebounded goal.

The Raiders also finished third in the 10-5A standings and 11-5-4 overall. The team had three superlative winners, led by Daniel DeMarais’ midfielder of the year award. Two freshmen earned superlatives, with Michael Delaney being named goalkeeper of the year and Ethan Aquino named newcomer of the year.

Devin Chandler, Marcus Rodriguez, Manuel Ordonez Verdeja, Brian Satterwhite and Grayson Sheffler were named first-team all-district for the Raiders.

They also had five second-team players and three honorable mentions, with Nathan Ferrel, Maximiliano Riojas, Payton Laronga, Roland Quaye and Robin Linhart being second-team players. At the same time, Kyler Guinn, Emmanuel Mpezeni and Justin Breedlove were honorable mention players.

Boys Basketball: Wylie East ends season on high note

Despite missing the postseason, the Wylie East boys were able to end its season on a high note and pick up its fourth district win.

The Raiders (4-9, 14-17) defeated Denison 93-53 to move into sixth place in the 10-5A standings. The victory also gives East more district wins than they had in 2021, showing improvement behind first-year head coach Brent Kelley.

Wylie East wrapped up its season showing improvement. The Raiders had double the wins from the 2021 season under their new leadership and had several close losses as well. Seven Raider seniors graduate from the 2022 team, including Messer, Proctor, Amari Griffin, David Timon, Raul Fierro, Riley Sutton and Stanley Terry.

Girls Basketball: Lady Raiders place third in competitive distirct

Wylie East’s season came to an end in the bi-district round of the state playoffs after losing to Frisco Memorial in the first round. The Lady Raiders ended the year with an 18-12 record and a third-place finish in the 10-5A standings. The Lady Raiders graduate six seniors, including starters Taylor Dailey and Aleena Dawkins, as the team will gear up for the move up to 6A competition in 2023.

“Their experience is going to be missed,” head coach Meaghan Hodapp said. “I’ve had them for three or four years and they knew how to play in big games well. They were some great shooters, a great defensive presence and just talented basketball players.”

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