Jun 11, 2012 03:55PM
● By tina
by Rick Herrin
How else could you define Carroll ISD’s 2011-2012 athletic year? State championships, all-state player selections, coach of the year awards, district titles and record win totals. It was a remarkable year and another excitement-filled ride for the green-clad Dragon Nation.
With the school year drawing to a close, let’s look back at some of those great moments with the Top 5 Stories of the Year in Carroll Dragon athletics.
The Dragon swimming and diving powerhouse program had a season like none other. The boys and girls both earned Class 5A state championships and celebrated together in Austin. Carroll is the state’s premier program in the pool and coach Kevin Murphy led the remarkable finish while dealing with the loss of his father. Like his brother Wil before him, swimmer Ted Singley put his name in the Carroll history books with two individual state titles in the 200 and 500 freestyle events capping a brilliant career. And when it came to relays, the Lady Dragons were relentless racers winning titles in the 200 medley, 200 free and 400 relay.
Eight Is Great!
The Dragon football team returned to glory. For the first time in five years, the Carroll Dragons reached the apex of Texas High School football. The Dragons’ amazing ride ended with the Class 5A Division I state championship and 16-0 record. It was a state record-tying eighth state football title for the Dragons. Coach Hal Wasson earned two National Coach of the Year honors and won his first state championship as a head coach. Linebacker Will Davis was named Defensive Player of the Year, the first such honor for a Dragon since 1993. The Dragons finalized Wasson’s motto of “Reaching the Summit” and along the way they produced amazing comebacks and a miracle victory against Dallas Skyline that will be talked about for decades.
Race To New Heights
Like the swimming and diving teams, the Carroll cross-country teams pulled off the boys/girls sweep at the Class 5A state meet. The boys were nearly invincible this season and posted a 5A state record-low total of 20 points. The Dragons’ five runners all finished in the top 10 and it marked the Dragons’ first boys’ state championship.
Meanwhile, the girls added to their trophy case with their sixth team title since 2000. Courtney Kriegshauser was the top finisher for the girls and Nate Sullivan led the pack of Dragons into state history. These dedicated runners reaped the return on their investment of hours and hours spent following a strict running regimen.
Fear The Fox
We love the Dragon, but the Fox became the football team’s new mascot sidekick on the sidelines. It was all because of one moment that will live in Texas High School football lore. On the Dragons’ game-winning drive in the Class 5A Division I state semifinals, a reddish-brown fox raced across the field ahead of Kenny Hill’s 35-yard touchdown with 46 seconds left in Carroll’s 28-24 magical comeback. The fox phenomenon grew the following week leading up to the title game. T-shirts were printed that read “Fear the Fox” and coach Hal Wasson’s new nickname of the “Silver Fox” was coined. Several Carroll fans attending the championship game at Cowboys Stadium were waving stuffed foxes with every big Dragon play.
Sign On The Dotted Line
This year produced another heavy crop of student athletes signing scholarships with universities or colleges. Three signing days were held at Carroll Senior High School this year as 27 students signed National Letters of Intent. On this year’s National Signing Day in February, the event was moved to the gymnasium and provided a great atmosphere for the signees, families and friends. These events continue to grow bigger and bigger and the number of college-bound athletes continue to symbolize the success across all Dragon sports.
Here Comes The Parade
Southlake went back to its small-town roots on a sun-splashed Texas Sunday afternoon in late April. Fire truck, police escort, floats, fans, cheerleaders, band and a traveling pool (swim team’s float) and basketball goal (boys’ basketball team float) provided added twists. For the first time, Southlake held a community parade to celebrate the Dragon state and national champion teams and organizations. Providing a close-knit backdrop of families and fans, the champions rolled through the cheer-filled streets of Town Square. Each team carried a banner representing their organization and the event concluded with a Spirit Rally on the steps of City Hall. It was Dragon Fever at its best. The small-town style celebration was the perfect ending to a monumental sports year.
Rick Herrin works in the Carroll ISD Communications and Marketing Department as the Video Webmaster. He also works closely with the athletic department covering events and managing sports news for the district. He is a long-time follower of Dragon athletics and formerly covered Carroll as a sports reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Grapevine Sun. You can reach Rick Herrin by email or 817.949.7084.