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By Grant Lengefeld

 

January

Led by freshman Grayson Moore’s 17 points, the Hamilton Bulldog basketball team defeated Hico 64-33 during Stock Show weekend to move to a district leading 3-0 record.  Close to 70 first through sixth graders attended a Skills & Drills Clinic hosted by the Hamilton High School and Junior High basketball teams. Four HHS seniors, including Ashley Weatherford (softball), Abbie Housden (volleyball), Kate Killian (cheerleading) and Riley Stephens (football), were selected to participate in the 2017 FCA Victory Bowl activities to be held later in June. 

February

Hamilton’s JV Lady Bulldog basketball team secured a district title with a 33-32 road victory over De Leon to finish 21-5 on the season and 11-1 in district. Hamilton and Hico’s high school girls’ basketball teams played back-to-back bi-district games in Brock. The repeat 11-1 district champion Lady Tigers defeated Petrolia 57-30 for a bi-district crown, and the Lady Dogs fell to Windthorst 66-41 for the second consecutive year in the first-round of the playoffs. It marked the final game for three Hamilton seniors Hope Anthony, Abbie Housden and McKinley Crownover. Six Bulldog basketball seniors, Weston Nolen, Riley Stephens, Jadon Wenzel, Timothy Ramirez, Austin Weaver and Erick Espinoza, played their final game as bi-district qualifiers in Mineral Wells. Nolen led the Dogs with 16 points in the 83-51 bi-district loss to Petrolia. Eight Hamilton High School athletes, Nolen (Co-defensive MVP), Moore (Newcomer of the Year), Housden (1st team), Stephens (1st team), Kirsten Niemann (2nd team), Maddy Mehaffey (2nd team), Anthony (hon. Mention) and Hunter Finley (hon. Mention) earned all-district basketball nods.  As Hamilton’s powerlifting team competed in their final meet in Brady and the basketball teams finalized their seasons as bi-district qualifiers, Hamilton athletes sprung into a busy spring sports schedule to include baseball, softball, golf, tennis and track. 

March

The Bulldog baseball team overcame a five-run deficit and Riley Stephens hit a walk-off double to drive in Austin Weaver for the winning score in an 11-10 extra innings district victory over Hico. Hamilton’s high school and junior high track teams hosted the 23rd Annual Extraco Relays. Hamilton Lady Bulldog golfers Haley Payne, Paige DeJong, Kodee Crouch, Julia Whitt and Kameron McKandless earned another team gold in Glen Rose in their final tournament before district.

April

Weston Nolen was named to the Waco Tribune-Herald Super Centex basketball team for averaging 11.9 points per game and 4.8 rebounds while shooting 58% from the field as a senior point guard for the Bulldogs. Seniors Austin Weaver and Riley Stephens earned the “Bash Brothers” moniker after smashing back-to-back homeruns in lifting the Dogs from a 4-1 deficit to a 7-4 district win over Meridian. Bulldog tennis advanced three to Regionals. Senior Catherine Kinsey qualified with a second-placed district finish in girls’ singles, and the sister duo of Elaine and Emma Polster qualified for the regional tournament by placing second in doubles at district. Kinsey moved on to win silver at the regional tournament to become one of eight in the state to advance to the state tournament held in College Station. Hamilton hosted and competed well in the junior high and junior varsity district track meet. The eighth grade boys earned team gold, and the seventh grade boys and eighth grade girls both placed second overall. Twenty-one Bulldogs, including 13 girls and eight boys, qualified for the regional track meet for their performances in the district meet held in Hico. Sophomore pitcher, Emily Weatherford, recorded her 100th strikeout of the season for the Lady Bulldog softball team. Six baseball seniors, Erick Espinoza, Nolen, Brennan Stroud, Weaver, Tim Ramirez and Stephens, and softball seniors Elizabeth Comacho, Ashley Weatherford and Geneva McKinney played their final games for the Hamilton Bulldogs. Hamilton’s baseball team wrapped up a 10-win season with a 13-11 victory over Moody. The Hamilton Bulldog golf team of Matt Zschiesche, Reese Haile, Kain Kunkel, Shane Catoe and John Ceresini narrowly missed regional tournament qualification after placing third as a team in the district tournament held at Squaw Valley in Glen Rose. Zschiesche qualified for regional individually as a freshman, leading the Dogs in Glen Rose with combined 18-hole scores of 91 and 89. Kirsten Niemann, Sydney English, Sydney Lengefeld, Abigail Killian, Maddy Mehaffey, Abbey Hale, Kate Killian, Hunter Finley, Weston Nolen, Austin Weaver and Austin Sherman qualified for the regional track meet for top four finishes in their respective events at the area track meet held in Jacksboro. For the second consecutive year, juniors Maddy Mehaffey and Sydney Lengefeld qualified for the state track and field meet. Lengefeld advanced in two events after placing third in both the 1600-meter and 3200-meter runs at the regional track meet in Springtown, and Mehaffey qualified in the 800-meter run with a third placed finish at regional. Hamilton’s Lady Bulldog golf team including Kameron McKandless, Kodee Crouch, Haley Payne, Paige DeJong, Camden Andrews and Julia Whitt earned their third consecutive trip to the regional golf tournament with a dominating district team victory in Glen Rose. The Lady Dogs went on to be crowned Region II, 2A champions, earning a trip to state with a gold medal performance in the regional golf tournament held at the Old Brickyard Golf Course in Ferris.

May

Seniors Kate Killian and Weston Nolen were awarded the Lady Bulldog Fighting Heart and the Chandler Craig awards respectively at the 2016-17 Hamilton Bulldog athletic banquet. Sydney Lengefeld earned a bronze medal in the 1600-meter run and a fourth placed finish in the 3200-meter run at the state track meet held on the University of Texas campus in Austin. Maddy Mehaffey too returned to state for the second consecutive year in the 800-meter run and placed ninth overall in the event at the state track and field finals. Senior Catherine Kinsey made it to the quarterfinal round of the state tennis tournament held in College Station.  In their second consecutive trip to the state golf tournament held at the Roy Kizer Golf Course in Austin, the Hamilton Lady Bulldogs placed fourth overall as a team. Junior Paige De Jong turned in a team leading top five finish with personal best rounds of 85 and 84.

June

Junior Sydney Lengefeld was just one of 33 female athletes to be named to the 2A Texas all-state track team as recognized by the Texas Girls Coaches Association. Lauren Lee was named the winner of the Hamilton girls’ athletic Iron Woman competition that included over ten events testing speed, strength and agility. Volleyball, basketball and cheerleading camps were hosted by Hamilton’s high school athletes and coaches.

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