Lions to further athletic careers at next level￼
By Kyle Mooty
A pair of Lockhart High seniors have reached great heights as Lions and will now continue to represent their city at the next level after signing college scholarships last week.
LHS basketball star Jah Gulley has signed to play at Incarnate Word in San Antonio, a member of the NCAA Division I Southland Conference, while running standout Anthony Parra inked with Division I Stephen F. Austin of the Western Athletic Conference.
LHS Athletic Director Todd Moebes, during the signing ceremony at the Lions’ Den before students and staff, said Gulley scored “a million-and-a-half points here,” then noted how many running medals were adorning Parra’s table.
“Jah is one of a kind,” said Lockhart basketball head coach Javier Torres.
Gulley truly was, scoring 1,548 points for the Lions in just over two years as his sophomore campaign was limited due to the COVID-19 outbreak. He also managed 307 steals, 270 assists, and 419 rebounds. LHS made back-to-back playoff appearances for the first time in 60 years.
Among Gulley’s accolades were being named the Austin American-Statesman’s Cen-Tex Player of the Year, the Most Valuable Player of the District, a two-time team MVP, District Offensive MVP, two-time All-District First Team, two-time All Cen-Tex First Team, 5A Region 3 All-Region Team, the Area scoring champion, a Chicken Express All-Star Game MVP, and a selection to the Jordan Clarkson All-Star Game.
Incarnate Word is a large private school in San Antonio that struggled last season with a 7-25 record (3-11 in the Southland Conference). However, the Cardinals did defeat the likes of New Orleans, McNeese State, Grambling State, and Houston Baptist.
Head Coach Dr. Carson Cunningham has a roster with a global appeal with players from Australia, Greece, The Netherlands, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Ontario, Hawaii, California, Indiana, Maryland, Florida, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas.
Parra is joining a Lumberjacks’ cross country team with members from Kenya and England.
Parra was praised for his work ethic at Lockhart High.
“I first noticed Anthony running at the age of 11 here in Lockhart at the Cinco de Mayo 5K.,” LHS Cross Country Head Coach Scott Hippensteel said. “Anthony started having a lot of success in junior high. I respected the fact that he put in a lot of work. That kinda worried me though because a lot of times kids in junior high realize how much work they have to do in high school to be successful and don’t go out. Anthony didn’t mind.”
Parra helped lead Lockhart to three consecutive District championships during his sophomore, junior and senior years. He led the team to two State Meet appearances in cross country during his sophomore and senior seasons. As a sophomore, Parra was instrumental in leading Lockhart to a Regional runner-up, and he did likewise as a senior.
Parra was a four-year letterman in cross country, soccer, and track and field. As a senior, he was named Honorable Mention All-State in cross country.
Parra was All-District four consecutive years in cross country and was All-Regional three years. Hippensteel noted that Parra ran for more than 8,000 miles in high school.
He was co-captain of the LHS cross country team.
As a senior, Parra placed fourth at the Regional Championship in cross country with a field of 72 high schools competing. Parra’s personal best in the three-mile run, an event Hippinsteel said was Parra’s best, was 15:37. Parra’s best times in the mile run was 4:27, 9:42 for the two-mile, and 2:01 in the 800-meters.
Parra was also recruited by Incarnate Word, McMurry State, and the University of Houston.
“It’s a great day to celebrate two great student-athletes that will play their sport at the next level,” Moebes said.