By John Henry
Photos courtesy of Carroll Independent School District
We are the champions, friends. And it’s not always about football. Four Carroll athletics programs will be defending state titles in 2019-20.
The reputation of Carroll’s athletics program precedes every step it takes throughout the school year.
It is synonymous with distinction.
In 2018-19, the Dragons won the prestigious Lone Star Cup, presented by the University Interscholastic League each spring to the one school in each of its six classifications that has accumulated the most points overall in not only athletic championships, but academics and the arts.
It marked the seventh time Carroll has brought the trophy and a $1,000 scholarship back to Southlake.
The athletics program contributed four state championships to the total.
The baseball team, girls soccer team, and boys and girls swimming and diving teams experienced that pinnacle of high school sports — a state title — outlasting all comers in often-grueling postseason tournaments and meets.
What kind of long shot was Carroll to defend its 2018 Class 6A state championship? Most picked the Dragons as no better than the fourth- or fifth-best team in the district. After all, Carroll had lost 22 seniors, including every starter, off that title-winning team. Shows you what they know. When the time came, Carroll’s baseball team was back in Round Rock and returned triumphant for a second consecutive state championship. The Dragons, who finished 33-11, whipped Fort Bend Ridge Point 17-0 in an emphatic statement, setting 6A state tournament records for runs in a game and runs in one inning, with 11 in the third. The trip to state was Carroll’s ninth.
The Carroll girls soccer team traveled to Georgetown for the state final four meaning business. “No bubbles” was the mantra. As in, get them down and keep them underwater. Figuratively, of course. And they did, smothering Katy Tompkins, previously unbeaten and the top-ranked team in the country, 5-nil. Carroll dominated, scoring three goals in the game’s first 19 minutes. Dragons senior Madison Drenowatz, selected the game’s most valuable player, became the third player in the UIL’s largest classification to record a hat trick in a state tournament game. She ended her career on a 15-game goal streak.
Swimming and Diving
The achievements of Carroll’s swimming and diving program will make your head, well, swim. In February, the girls team joined the perennial state-champion boys as Texas champs, blowing past the competition in the pool and winning by a margin of 77 points over its closest rival, The Woodlands. Natalie Whalen (200 IM); Kit Kat Zenick, Riley Francis, Whalen and Ashley Zettle (400 relay); and diver Hailey Hernandez all won individual finals in the Dragons’ big weekend. The natant boys — where do you start? The Dragons won a ninth consecutive state championship this time without winning a single event. Yet, Carroll dominated the meet, “edging” The Woodlands by 30.5 points.