Sports Year in Review: Seasons in the sun for Lockhart athletics


EDITOR’S NOTE: This week, the Post-Register is reviewing the highlights from the Year in Sports. Next week, the LPR will highlight the Year in News.

By Kyle Mooty

LPR Editor

It was a year for the record books as well as the memory banks as far as Lockhart Lion athletics were concerned.

LHS basketball went to the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time in 61 seasons, the Lions’ baseball team did likewise for the first time in 54 years, the cross country boys’ team won the District for the fourth consecutive season, and the football Lions won its first Bi-District championship since 2015 and tied for the best season at LHS since 1971. Junior quarterback Ashton Dickens becoming the school’s all-time single-season rushing leader along the way.

Not to be outdone, the Lockhart Junior High Lions’ 8th Grade Maroon squad, also referred to as the 8th Grade ‘A’ team, had a perfect season and won the District title.

All of this amidst a big year of changes within Athletic Director/Head Football Coach Todd Moebes’ department as there were multiple coaching changes.

Here is a rundown of the year’s highlights in the Year in Sports:

Jah and New Milestones

Lockhart High’s Bobby New also hit milestones in a win over Liberal Arts & Science Academy of Austin on. Jan. 21. Lion teammate Jah Gulley hit the rare 1,000-point milestone in December 2021.

Signing Day I

Lockhart High football players Tay Andrew, Jason Batres signed collegiate football letters-of-intent, while McKenzie Mendoza did likewise in softball. Signing ceremonies were held inside the LHS gym on Feb. 2.

New District

Lockhart High School found out its new athletic district opponents on Feb. 3. The new football district includes Lockhart, Bastrop, Cedar Creek, Comal Pieper, Kerrville Tivy, Liberty Hill, and San Antonio Veterans Memorial, while the new basketball and volleyball district for the Lions includes LHS, Buda Hays, Cedar Park, Kyle Lehman, Leander, Leander Glenn, Leander Rouse, and Liberty Hill.

Andrews signed with the U.S. Academy (Army), Batres with McMurry University, and Mendoza with Trinidad College in Colorado.

What a Season!

Lockhart High’s boys’ basketball team qualified for the playoffs for the first back-to-back seasons since 1960-61, losing in the Bi-District to Pflugerville Weiss on Feb. 21. It marked the final game at LHS for seniors Jah Gilley, Major New, Tay Andrews, DJ Williams, Sean Schexnayder and Daniel Morales.

Power Girl

After winning the District title, Lockhart High’s Zenaida Tucker placed third in her weight class at the 5A D2 State Championships in powerlifting in Corpus Christi on March 19. Tucker totaled 915 pounds with a 390-pound squat, 195-pound bench press, and 330-pound deadlift. 

Co-District Champs

The Lockhart softball Lions, co-district champions, reached the playoffs but lost to Pflugerville Weiss 9-8, on April 29, in a game played at Cedar Creek to end their season.

Diamond of a Season

Lions’ baseball team qualified for its first back-to-back playoff berth in 54 years last season, but its season ended with a doubleheader sweep against Pflugerville Weiss on May 7.

Coming Home

Shelly Herzog is introduced as the new LHS Head Volleyball Coach and Girls Athletic Coordinator on May 10. She returned to her alma mater after coaching Buda’s Johnson High since that school opened in 2019. She was the 2018 District Coach of the Year while at Burnet High.  She was also a graduate assistant at Southern Arkansas University where she played collegiately.

Signing Day II

Lockhart High basketball star Jah Gulley signs a letter of intent on May 11 to play at Incarnate Word in San Antonio after an incredible season that saw him earn the following accolades: 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.

Also signing a cross country letter-of-intent was LHS runner Anthony Parra, who inked with Stephen G. Austin in Nacogdoches.

Softball Program in Good Hands

Mark Salinas is selected as the new Lockhart High softball coach on May 25 after more than 20 years of experience as a highly touted Travel softball coach as well as successes at Falls City and more recently Pleasanton high schools.

Hoops and Harris at Lockhart

Elizabeth Harris was introduced as the new Lockhart High girls’ basketball coach on May 26. She previously coached at Waelder High.

New Lion Leaders

Among the new head coaches at Lockhart High School were head boys’ track coach Brandon Douglas and head boys’ soccer coach Ubaldo Vasquez.

Championship Coach to Lead Lions

San Juan Arias was introduced June 20 as the new head baseball coach of Lockhart High after four seasons as the head coach at Nixon-Smiley High School, where his team made three playoff appearances. A former first base standout at Texas Lutheran, Arias earned several honors for the Bulldogs.

Cross Country Again Strong

Lockhart High’s cross country squads continued their impressive traditions. The boys won the District title on Oct. 13 at Lockhart City Park for the fourth consecutive year and 27th in Coach Scott Hippensteel’s 34 seasons at the helm. LHS had three runners in the top 10 — Carlos Terrazas-Soberano (3rd), James Franco (5th), and Zeke Sanchez (7th). Lockhart was 7th at the Regional IV Championship Oct. 25 at Corpus Christi, just six points from earning a trip to the State Meet. 

For the Lady Lions, freshman Reina Del Castillo (4th overall) and sophomore Adrianna Rodriguez (8th overall) each qualified for Regional Cross Country competition following the District Meet.

Hippensteel was voted in the Lockhart Post-Register’s Best of Caldwell County issue as the Best Coach by online voters.

Runnin’ Wild

Running back Sean McKinney of Lockhart High School runs for six touchdowns in a 61-35 rout of Comal Pieper on Oct. 28 in what would be the senior’s final game at Lions Stadium.


Coach Wille Boyd’s Lockhart Junior High football 8th grade ‘A’ team had a perfect season, going 8-0 and winning the District championship with a dominating 16-0, victory over Goodnight Middle School of San Marcos on Nov. 2.

Drought Ends

Lockhart beat Tivy, 42-28, for the first time in 30 years as quarterback Ashton Dickens runs for 213 yards at Antler Stadium on Nov. 4.

Great Gridiron Season

Lockhart High’s football season ended on Nov. 18 in the second round of the 5A D2 playoffs to Corpus Christi’s Flour Bluff, 49-42, at San Antonio’s Alamo Stadium. A week before, LHS had crushed San Antonio Burbank for the Bi-District title, 62-7, at Alamo Stadium. The Lions finished third in District 13.

Lockhart finished 8-4 overall, just two years removed from a winless season.

Record Makers

Lockhart High junior quarterback Ashton Dickens set the school’s all-time single-season rushing record with 2,013 yards, surpassing Dominic Hardaway’s 1,984 from 2008. Among Dickens’ many highlights during the season was a 5-touchdown performance in a 42-28 win at Kerrville Tivy on Oct. 4, Lockhart’s first win over the Antlers since 1992.

Also, senior running back Sean McKinney finished the year as fourth on the single-season list with 1,705 yards. Among his many highlights was a six-touchdown effort in a 61-35 win over Comal Pieper.


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