Holly celebrates 100th win

Brantley, Sandford break scoring records


Lauren Gibbert

Coach Dustin Holly peaks around balloons given to him to celebrate his 100th coaching victory at Texas High School.

Story by Jessica Emerson, sports editor

100 jerseys, 100 cleats and 100 fans. After the Lady Tigers dominating 10-0 win over Greenville on March 6, head coach Dustin Holly secured his 100th career win.

“It was a pretty cool achievement,” Holly said. “The girls had a lot of fun with it, and I never expected there to be so much fun with it after the game. The team got me a frame with all the 100 wins on it and let me be nostalgic a bit, and let me think of all the players we’ve had here who have put so much into this program. It has been a quick six years and I’ve been blessed to be the head coach of the Lady Tigers soccer team.”

Senior Hannah Brantley accomplished 73 career goals, surpassing Caroline Byrd’s career record of 70.

“It was nice to break the record, especially since I only had three years to do it,” Brantley said. “I wouldn’t have wanted to share that moment with any other team. I love those girls. The rest of the season is looking very optimistic. We have a great chance at a district title and a run in the playoffs.”

After a shift in positioning, it seemed almost unlikely that Brantley would have surpassed the 70th goal mark.

“Hannah Brantley breaking the career record of 70 goals was also cool to do in the same night,” Holly said. “She had 46 goals coming into her senior year, and we knew with her playing center mid it would be tough to get to 70. Our team has played well all year and it has allowed these girls to achieve some individual goals.”

Freshman Reagan Sandford broke Caroline Byrd’s single-season record by scoring her 28th goal, a proud accomplishment for a rookie season.

“It was an amazing feeling to break the record, and a great accomplishment as a freshman,” Sandford said. “I couldn’t have done it without the help and support from my teammates.”

Through hard work, a stable team and a humble attitude, Holly believes Sandford has achieved a lot this year as a freshman.

“It’s always cool to break records, and its something at the start of the year that we never really talk about,” Holly said. “Reagan has had a great freshman year and has worked really hard. She’s surrounded by a lot of great players that have helped this year and she will be the first one to tell you that.”

While Brantley, Holly and Sandford achieved great feats Friday, sophomore Rachael Shewmaker has also shown great promise and kept up with Brantley and Sandford’s pace.

“Hidden in all of this is Rachael Shewmaker,” Holly said. “She has 21 goals on the year which gives us three players with over 20 goals. That’s really unheard of for the region we are in and the tough district we play in, Reagan Sandford has 28, Hannah Brantley 27, and Rachael Shewmaker 21.”

As the season progresses, these accomplishments will only prove to be a momentum shifter, as the Lady Tigers look toward a hopeful defeat of the Longview Lady Lobos to take the district title.

“Looking forward I think our team has a chance to make a long run in the playoffs,” Holly said. “The regional tournament isn’t out of the question and then from there we will just see what happens.”

With a 5-0 win over Sulphur Springs Monday, the Lady Tigers are now in a district championship showdown against the Longview Lobos at 7 p.m. Friday at Tiger Stadium.

“We were picked to finish fourth or fifth in our district during preseason, so to have a shot at the championship shows how hard these girls have worked throughout the year,” Holly said. “Our district has tested us every week, and I feel like we will be ready for anyone when the playoffs get here. I’m excited about what this team can do if they stick together.”