our sports: WEATHERFORD CHRISTIAN SCHOOL The Lions Roar BY MELISSA MOORMAN JULY 2016 PA R K E R C O U N T Y T O D AY W Weatherford Christian School Lions building on past success and looking forward to the future ith a high school enrollment of just 55 students, the success of this year’s Lions athletic teams is a great start to a program that will only get better as the school expands both its number of students and the number of sports it competes in. With great facilities and room to grow, the school has been upgrading and adding to its athletic fields, activities and facilities. According to Athletic Director Brian Ruiz, “We have everything we could want and more. Everyone is so appreciative of what we have. We’re very fortunate.” This spring two seniors are participating in track and field. First is Hunter Hasenjaeger. He competed in an invitational track meet — which includes all state champions from UIL, private schools, and home schools — at Baylor University in Waco, where he placed 8th. As a senior he ran the 100-meter dash in 10.82 seconds and is the state record holder in their league, having already broken the school record. Only 18 athletes were invited to compete with Hunter ranked 6th going into the meet. The second senior standout is Cooper Bomar who won state this year in the long jump. Along with the successes of the high school team, the junior high program is proud of three girls on the track team who ran less than a six-minute mile this first year. The girl’s track team was district champion this year with several elite young runners. “Hopefully they stick with it and they work hard over the summer. We should start seeing some even better things come from them as they grow up and get stronger,” Ruiz said. He is the coach of both the track and cross-country teams. The girls’ basketball team worked hard to achieve the state title this year after coming so close the past two years. Last year’s team won in double overtime, but this year they were successful in winning the title. “This was a good year for them. They finally took care of business their senior year. They are a great group of girls,” Ruiz said. They began working in October straight through to the end of their season in February with their coach, Leslie Chalmers. 52 In football, the team made it all the way to the state championship losing only one game in district on their way. Although the team was favored to win the championship they came up short in the end. Of their opponents Ruiz said, “They were definitely the better team that day.” Coach Stephen Cox served as the school’s athletic director last year but focused only on football this year, and according to Ruiz, “He’s a great football coach and the kids love him.” The team plays six-man football on their recently constructed field. This is the first year the school is playing on its own field, having leased a field from Hall Middle School in Weatherford in year’s past. The school competed in cross-country this year for the first time and the girl’s team finished 2nd in state. This is the first time many of them have ran competitively, and they are a very young team, according to Ruiz. “We had three girls in the top ten, and none of those three have ever run a step in their lives,” he said. It’s a very young team with two eighth-graders and a ninth-grader, with a seventh-grader coming up behind them. The school hosted three different meets utilizing their two miles of trails and their 400-meter grass track on school grounds. “Our facilities are great for our size,” Ruiz said. “It’s a great place to be.” The girls’ volleyball team, who were coached by parttime coach Tim Barton, had some individual successes. “We had three girls go all state,” Ruiz said. It was a rebuilding year for the Lions and they are looking to build the team in the coming years. Weatherford Christian School has been competing in the Texas Christian Athletic Fellowship (TCAF) but will be transitioning next year to the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPS) conference to allow them a more level playing field. In TAPS, the schools are divided by their enrollment size, so WCS will be competing in the 1A division of 80 students and under category. As part of TCAF, they sometimes came up against schools with 1,000 or more students. “Even though our athletes are great, it’s hard to compete against schools with 1,000 or more kids to choose from,” Ruiz said.