Finish Strong

Tompkins starts season hot, but has bigger goals in mind

Tompkins’ Barbara Olivieri, Skylar Parker, Leanne Veary, Kayla Ruopp and Lauryn Wild. Photo by Chris Brown

Originally appeared on Vype.com

The page has turned and a new chapter began for the Katy Tompkins Lady Falcons soccer team led by head coach Jarrett Shipman.

It was a difficult and motivated off-season for Tompkins after last year’s 0-2 defeat in the 2017 UIL 6A State Championship game against Hendrickson High School.

Now, it is a new year and a new season for Tompkins and they are looking to get back to the same place they were last season — playing in the UIL State Championship game.

Tompkins opened their new year in the Lady Highlander Tournament with a 0-0 tie against The Woodlands. The Falcons then took down Cedar Ridge 4-0 and finished the tournament with a 5-0 victory over Plano East. Sophomore Skylar Parker finished the game with a hat trick (3 goals).

“We are hungry and experienced now coming off last year’s defeat in the state championship. I am excited about this season and our goal is to just leave everything out there on the field,” Shipman said.

Tompkins will be an experienced team this season with several of their players returning from last year’s state finalist team including senior captain, Kayla Ruopp.

“After last year’s defeat in state, we became motivated to get back, but this time to win it all,” Ruopp said. “Everyone on the team is motivated and we are giving it our all, and especially with this being my last year playing competitive soccer, so I know I will.”

Tompkins kicks off the I-10 Shootout with a first round matchup in the “Falcon Bracket” against Clear Springs on Thursday, Jan. 11 at Tompkins HS.

Tompkins knows what it will take to get to the 2018 UIL State Championship game, but the real question that is yet to be answered; do they now know what it takes to win it all?

Keion Cage is a student at Tompkins High School and a member of the VYPE U Internship program. To learn more about how you can become a VYPE U Intern, click here. 

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It more of the same from the Houston Texans. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

Sunday afternoon provided a high-res snapshot of the state of Houston sports. The Astros, already assured of the best record in the American League, played a game they didn’t need to win. The Astros won, ho-hum, their 104th win of the season.

Meanwhile, eight miles away, the Texans, mired in last place with fan support dwindling, played a game they really needed to win. The Texans lost 34-24 to the Los Angeles Chargers in front of (giggle) 69,071 fans at NRG Stadium. The Texans really ought to stop saying the stands are packed. Every time a team punts, and cameras follow the ball skyward, there are thousands of empty seats on display. I know the NFL methodology for determining attendance, (total tickets sold, no-shows don’t count) but it just looks silly when the Texans announce 69,000 fans.

The Texans came close as usual before sputtering to another defeat. The Texans now stand at 0-3-1, the only winless team in the NFL. It’s the second time in three years they’ve started a season without a victory after four games. It’s telling to note that not one of the Texans opponents has a winning record for 2022.

In other words, the Texans have played four games they shoulda/coulda won. Shouda against the Colts, Broncos and Bears, and coulda against the Chargers.

Should/coulda four wins. Instead, none.

That’s the Texans. They’re in every game but can’t close the deal. Yeah, yeah, on Monday we hear, “the Texans are playing hard for coach Lovie Smith” and “they’re competitive” and “they’re a young team.” These are NFL equivalents of a participation trophy.

Sunday’s loss to the Chargers at NRG Stadium was straight out of the Texans playbook. Fall behind, make it interesting, lose. The Texans stuck to their script, timid play calling, momentum-crushing penalties (nine for 67 yards), self-inflicted drops, lackluster quarterbacking and Rex Burkhead on the field for crunch time. After one play where a Texan player was called for holding, the announcer said, “and he did a poor job of holding.”

Statuesque quarterback David Mills keeps saying “we’re in a good spot” and “we’re improving.” Statuesque as in he doesn’t move – or barely moves to avoid sacks. Sunday saw his first touchdown pass to a wide receiver. He’s now thrown four interceptions in the past two games. Let’s go to the tote board: 5 touchdowns, 4 interceptions, 4 fumbles, 11 sacks, qbr rating 28.5 – good for 28th in the league.

A bright spot, sort of. This was the first week the Texans didn’t cover the spread. They’re now 1-2-1 against Vegas oddsmakers, meaning you’ve won money if you took the Texans all four weeks. They head to Jacksonville next as early 6.5-point underdogs.

Meanwhile, Alabama’s brilliant quarterback Bryce Young, who will be available for the Texans when they draft first in 2023 (as Paul Heyman says, that’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler), suffered a shoulder injury last Saturday. The Texans need to take out a Lloyds of London insurance policy on Young.

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