2023 Sports Year in Review


By Kyle Mooty

LPR Editor

Simultaneously playing baseball and laying down tracks on an album, running like no Lockhart Lion has in the history of the school, and a local fighter training in Lockhart who punched his way to stardom; all of whom had a hand in making sports in Lockhart in 2023 a memorable year. However, the tragic loss of a Prairie Lea student-athlete will resonate well beyond many athletic seasons to come for the small school in west Caldwell County.

Here is a look back at Lockhart and surrounding communities in sports in 2023. (Next week, the Post-Register will review the Year in News):

Jan. 25 – Four Lockhart Lions make the Padilla Poll Coaches All-State list, including First Team member and senior Diante Jackson as a defensive back. Senior Treveon made the Second Team as a linebacker. Senior Sean McKinney made Second Team All-State as a running back, and junior offensive lineman Brady Stephenson made Second Team. The Lions had finished 2022 with an 8-4 record and reached the second round of the 5A-D2 playoffs.

Left off the list was junior quarterback junior quarterback Ashton Dickens, who set the school’s all-time single season rushing record.

Feb. 7 – Sophomore Rakaia Walker had 35 points and 21 rebounds as the Lady Lions won at Leander, 50-45. Walker is named the Austin American Stateman’s Player of the Week for her four-game effort. She had 122 points in that span.  

Feb. 16 – The Lockhart baseball team honors the late daughter of new Head Coach San Juan Arias by wearing patches on their sleeves and stickers on their helmets to remember Rhea Jaide Arias, 13, who passed away on Nov. 15, 2022, due to complications she had since a car accident she was involved in at the age of 2.

March 9 – Sophomore Rakaia Walker and senior Mylah Johnson are named First Team All-District for the Lockhart Lady Lions’ basketball team. Walker, Johnson, and junior Victoria Morales were named to the District’s All-Academic squad. Junior Za’Kayla Shannon was Honorable Mention All-District.

March 9 – Dionardo “Dino” Minor, who trains at Arciniega Boxing Outreach in Lockhart, is ranked the No. 16 Cruiserweight in the world.  Minor said, “My first professional fight was with (Arciniega) and my last will be with him.”

Sophomore Dareon Loggins was a Second Team All-District member on the LHS boys’ basketball team. Six Lions made the Honorable Mention list with senior Nolan Hellums, senior Nate Key, juniors Ashton Dickens and Zakaya Gathings, sophomore Elijah Santana, and freshman Jay Villalobos. Hellums also made the All-Academic team.

Feb. 9 – Dionardo “Dino” Minor, who trains at Arciniega Boxing Outreach in Lockhart, is ranked the No. 16 Cruiserweight in the world.  Minor said, “My first professional fight was with (Arciniega) and my last will be with him.”

May 6 – Zeke Sanchez wins the Lockhart Cinco de Mayo 5K in 17:11.53, while Lockhart’s Cater Castillo captures the 10K in 36:31.87.

May 25 – Evan Schuelke makes First Team Academic All-State for the Lockhart Lions’ baseball team. Tanner Castillo makes Second Team.

In softball, Angela Galindo makes Second Team Academic All-State. Mylah Johnson, James Franco, Amryss Flores, and Christy Gonzales make Second Team in track. Noa Figueroa is Honorable Mention in track, while Roman Estrada is Honorable Mention in Golf.

May 25 – Shortstop Presli Moebes and second baseman Elizabeth Salinas make All-District for the softball Lions. Genesis Lopez, Evelyn Rodriguez, and Angelina Nieto make Honorable Mention.

Academic All-District players for the softball Lions are Angela Galindo, Emma Betancourt, Elizabeth Salinas, Marissa Sosa, Sabrina Araiza, Evelyn Rodriguez, and Genesis Lopez.

July 9 – The Lockhart Hawks and Meat City Smoke meet at City Park in a battle of the town’s sandlot baseball teams. Trailing 13-1 early, the Hawks fought back, only to lose, 16-14.

July 24 – Prairie Lea junior-to-be DJ Cubit dies in the early morning hours after being involved in a car accident the afternoon before. Cubit is remembered by coaches and classmates at the school as not only an outstanding athlete with great promise, but as a friend with remarkable qualities.

The Indians retired Cubit’s number in both football and basketball. The female athletes at the school wore pink ribbons in their hair in his memory. There were several other commemorative gestures. Prairie Lea Athletic Director Jess Stephens said, “Those of us that were beyond lucky for knowing DJ have a choice: we can choose to remain sad or angry or guilty, or we can choose to take everything good that DJ showed us and spread it to our families, our friends and even our enemies, and furthermore the people we haven’t even met yet.”

Aug. 31 – Prairie Lea claims an emotional, 34-6, victory in its season-opener over Calvary Baptist Academy of New Braunfels, just weeks after the death of teammate DJ Cubit. Cubit’s friend, Lane Fiscus, wore Cubit’s retired number as captain of the Indians and promptly returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown.

Brady Stephenson and Ashton Dickens sign with Army.

Sept. 1 – Lockhart junior running back Nathaniel “My Time” Gonzales rushes 37 times for 293 yards and 4 touchdowns as the Lions knock off Pflugerville Connally, 38-21.

The Lions celebrate an early Homecoming with. Queen Lupita Gomez and King Galarza Bustos crowned.

Sept. 2 – Lockhart High School’s boys’ cross country team easily captured the Lockhart Invitational at City Park, beating runner-up San Marcos by 27 points. Zeke Sanchez won the 2.1-mile race in 11:02.

Sept. 22 – Prairie Lea wins its Homecoming by routing Buckholts, 66-6. Keyunna Reed is crowned the Prairie Lea Queen, while Bryant Garcia the King.

Sept. 30 — Johnny Castanon, 22, of Lockhart is the overall winner of the Kiwanis 5K Stampede with a time of 19:10. Jenny Saad, 28, of Lockhart was the first overall female to finish.

Oct. 13 – Scott Hippensteel’s Lockhart cross country boys finish as runners-up at the District meet at Cedar Park, qualifying for the Regionals for the 32nd time in 36 years.

Oct. 14 – Prairie Lea wins its first district football game since 2016 when the Indians hammer McDade, 77-32.

Oct. 31 – Lockhart Junior High’s 8th grade B team won its District championship by beat Goodnight Middle School of San Marcos, 20-14. LJHS’ 7th grade A team tied San Marcos’ Miller Middle School, 18-18, in the District title game, while the LJHS B team shut out Gonzales, 13-0, to win the District. 

Nov. 3 – Lockhart, which hadn’t beaten Kerrville Tivy in football in 30 years before winning in 2022, claims its second consecutive win over the Antlers, 31-30, at Lions Stadium. Lockhart was tied 21-21 at the half, but allowed nine points to Tivy in the first 57 seconds of the second half before rallying for the win.

Nov. 3 – The Lockhart boys’ cross country team finishes 16th at the State meet held at Round Rock.

Nov. 10 – Alamo Heights knocks off Lockhart in the first round of the state football playoffs, 69-21, in San Antonio.

Nov. 16 – Prairie Lea has multiple players make All District in football, including First Team safety Jimmy Saberones and wide receiver Lane Fiscus. Indians making the Second team include safety Saberones, Gabriel Garcia, spread center Bryant Garcia, and linebacker Edwin Canepa. Also, center Lane Harkey and offensive lineman Cass Cunningham made Honorable Mention.

Nov. 19 – The Lockhart Little Lions win the Mighty Mite CFPO Youth Sports Super Bowl in San Marcos by beating the Seguin Matadors, 25-15.

The Lockhart Pee Wee Lions win the Patriot Bowl in San Marcus, beating the San Marcos Cowboys, 18-8.

Nov. 30 – Five Lockhart volleyball players earned All-District honors, including Jada Edwards and Giselle Roque on the Second Team, and Kennedy Roland, Presli Moebes, and Preslyee Reynolds as Honorable Mention.

Nov. 30 – New Head Coach Colin Hart leads his basketball Lions to a 5-0 start after the team had won just 3 games in the 2022-23 season.

Dec. 8 – Lockhart wins its first girls’ soccer game in more than a year, beating Florence 4-1.


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