With the book closing on 2021, it’s time to look back on the year that was in The Colony athletics.
Sports teams were impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as well as one of the biggest snow storms in recent memory. Games were halted in February after icy roads and the loss of power in thousands of homes in the Dallas area forced school to be called off for several days. Amid the wintry weather and the global pandemic, The Colony turned in its share of highlight moments.
The Star Local Media sports staff has compiled its top 10 sports stories of the year, concluding with the second half of that list.
1. Grabiec caps off high school career with state title
This past season for high school wrestling in Texas might have been the shortest on record – but no complaints from The Colony alum Elizabeth Grabiec.
Grabiec capped off a stellar career by going 27-0 as a senior and capturing the Class 5A state title at 165 pounds.
That undefeated run was nearly cut short in the state semifinals as College Station’s Alex Guerra rolled Grabiec onto her back, but Grabiec fought off her back and went on to capture an 8-7 double-overtime win. Grabiec pinned Comal Canyon’s Jillian Wold in the first-place match.
2. Cougar baseball team wins first district title
The Colony baseball team went where no Cougar team had ever gone before – winning its first district title in school history and advancing to the regional quarterfinals after sweeping Frisco Lone Star in the bi-district round and Woodrow Wilson in the area round of the Class 5A playoffs.
A big reason behind The Colony’s success was the all-around play of center fielder/pitcher Ryan Scott and pitching of Devin Reyna.
Named the MVP of District 10-5A and the Star Local Media all-area baseball team, he went 4-0 on the mound with a 0.96 ERA and struck out 69 batters in 51 innings. He won all three postseason starts. Scott hit .364 with eight home runs, 10 stolen bases and 45 runs.
Reyna, meanwhile, was named the district’s pitcher of the year, finishing the season with an 8-1 record, 86 strikeouts and a 0.93 ERA.
3. Boys cross country team qualifies for state meet
The Colony boys cross country qualified for the state meet for the first time since 2015 – placing fourth in the Region II-5A meet to earn the automatic berth.
The Cougars were paced by a fourth-place finish from Devon Judelson and a 16th-place run by Dylan Judelson.
“Our motto this year has been ‘believing and competing’ and really stressing a positive mindset and a proper competitive mentality. We’ve been working on that all year,” said Tony Doran, The Colony head coach. “These guys put in the work all summer and it’s a very young group with just two seniors. They’ve been persevering all year.”
Devon Judelson placed 17th at the UIL Class 5A state championships, accounting for the highest finish by a Cougar runner in Round Rock.
4. Boys soccer wins first district title since 1998
Led by its nine seniors, The Colony boys soccer team won a district title for the first time since 1998 and then defeated Frisco Liberty in a shootout in a bi-district playoff to capture their first postseason victory in seven years.
In the Cougars’ win over Liberty, goalkeeper Bryan Carrillo made three saves. Victor Esquival-Ventura kicked the game-winner in the shootout, which The Colony won 4-2.
The Colony was rewarded with a total of 17 selections on the all-district team. Elijah Elias, who overcame a bout with cancer during middle school, was named the 10-5A midfielder of the year. Both Elias and Yosmar Reyes, who garnered co-offensive player of the year, scored 13 goals on the season.
5. Volleyball earns first playoff berth of Buckley era
After just missing out on a playoff berth in Rachel Buckley’s first season as Lady Cougars head coach in 2020, the Lady Cougars got over the hump in 2021.
The Colony punched their ticket into the postseason after posting a sweep of Denison on Oct. 26 and getting help from state champion Lovejoy, which eliminated Prosper Rock Hill that night – ensuring fourth place in the district standings for the Lady Cougars.
Playing in the same school that Buckley attended high school, she saw her Lady Cougars storm out to a 19-10 lead in the first set against Frisco Reedy in a bi-district playoff at Hebron. Reedy rallied for a three-set sweep, ending The Colony’s season in the first round of the 5A playoffs.
The Lady Cougars finished the season with 28 wins, highlighted by a second-place finish in the Planet Volleywood Tournament at Richardson Berkner.