2019 was another great year for Cooke County sports. Although there were no high school State team championships for the first time in three years, there were lots of amazing moments.
Here is our list of the Top Local Sports Stories of 2019.
1. Lindsay's Allison Hedrick wins 3 State Championships
What a year it was for Lindsay High School's Allison Hedrick. In May, she won two UIL State Track and Field gold medals in Austin, winning both the Class 2A 1,600 meter run and the 3,200 meter run for the second year in a row. Then in November, she won the UIL 2A Cross Country championship for the first time. So she will take a total of 5 State titles into the Spring track season. And she is just a junior!
2. Valley View Eagles advance to State Semifinals
What a run it was for the Valley View football team this Fall. After starting the season 1-2, wins over Nocona and Muenster help propel the Eagles to 11 wins in a row. After winning a District Championship, Valley View picked up playoff wins over Como-Pickton, Italy, Crawford and San Saba. Their run ended in the Semifinals with a 35-7 loss to Post. But it was an amazing season for the Eagles and their fans.
3. Lindsay volleyball coach Bridget Anderle retires
In a bit of a surprising move, longtime Lindsay head volleyball coach Bridget Anderle announced her retirement at the end of the school year. Anderle led the Lady Knights to the State Tournament four times including appearances in the championship game twice. The 2018 Lindsay team got the closes of any Lady Knights volleyball team to winning the title. They lost in 5 sets to Beckville including 15-13 in the fifth set. The Lady Knights have been a regular participant at the Regional Tournament over the last decade and have a district winning streak of 112 matches in a row.
4. NCTC Volleyball wins NTJCAC Championship
The North Central Texas College volleyball team started the 2019 season with 7-straight losses. But they followed that with 13 wins in a row including their first 6 conference matches. They ended up going 11-1 in league play to win the Northern Texas Junior College Athletic Conference championship. At the Region V North Tournament, the Lady Lions went 2-2 to fall just short of a trip to NJCAA Nationals. Sophomore Ali Hamsher was named the Conference Player of the Year.
5. Cale Kassen sets State Track record
It was already an outstanding track and field career for Valley View's Cale Kassen, but he put an exclamation point on it with two more gold medals in Austin and also set a new UIL Class 2A record in the process. Kassen won both the 110-meter hurdles and 300-meter hurdles for the second-straight year, giving him six gold medals at the State Track Meet in his high school career. Kassen is now competing for the defending NCAA National Champion Texas Tech Red Raiders.
6. Gainesville High School gets new athletic facilities
Gainesville Leopards athletes already had nice facilities, especially after a new Multipurpose Indoor Facility was completed a couple of years ago. But the Gainesville ISD Board of Trustees voted this year to improve existing facilities and add to the campus as well. The GHS Baseball and Softball fields are both getting turf which is expected to be completely installed by the start of the season. In addition, a new on-campus tennis facility is being constructed right across from the Indoor Facility. This will give GHS some of the best facilities in North Texas.