~~Under tough circumstances the Stampede entered today’s final with powerhouse the Phoenix Heat. The Stampede still smarting from the loss of Emily Shryock, was dealt another blow early in the morning when starting class 1 Landon Groff was a scratch for the game.
Losing 2 starters in as many days is enough to cause many to fold, however the true test of a team can’t be measured until under pressure. I am happy to report that ALL members of the Stampede answered the bell and gave a giant effort. Led behind import Raf “Staples” Hendrix, CJ Brown, “Sure hands” Gabe Garcia and Jeff “Probie” Butler the Texas squad displayed a gritty resolve. Patience and communication paid off in the first quarter as the team was able to stay within striking distance (11-7) at the end of the first quarter.
The rush of goals however could not be stopped and the Heat began to put distance between themselves and the 6.5 points the Stampede fielded. Late contributions by Mason “Snookum” Symons added some spark to the side but it wasn’t enough to tame the blaze of Phoenix. The Heat win 59-31.
The weekend went smoothly throughout. A huge thanks to the City of Pearland, the volunteers, staff, officials, the Texans and Lyndsey French who got the “Wonder woman” of the year award by being a tournament director and mother of a 9 day old newborn at the same time – incredible.
Enough can’t be said of the Stampede this weekend. They played with heart, sacrifice, and poise. They pushed through obstacle after obstacle and never gave up. Their efforts earned a 2nd place finish at the Mountain Sectional and punched their ticket to nationals for the 15th time out of the last 16 years. Well done everyone. A special thanks to our “staff” who pitched in and kept us rolling. You are the best!. Now it’s on to Louisville in 3 weeks!