Vandegrift vs Westlake
Friday, Sept. 23 – 7:30 p.m.
By SCOTT W. COLEMAN, Four Points News
The Vipers still have a lot of work to do, and things don’t get any easier after a 1-3 non-district campaign to start the season.
All three of those losses were close, and though the Vipers fell behind last Thursday, they were able to rally and put themselves in position to win the game at Harker Heights. Still, the final score is what counts, and despite being close, those three losses will give the Vipers motivation to improve as they move into 25-6A play this week.
The challenge couldn’t be tougher than a face-off against state finalist Westlake, and it might get more difficult still, as rumors are that University of Texas commit Sam Ehlinger could return to action this week to quarterback the Chaps.
Westlake has done well in Ehlinger’s absence, as senior backup Matthew Gense has managed the offense as the Chaps shifted balance toward a rushing attack and Nakia Washington dominated opponents on the ground. The junior running back already has 548 rushing yards and eight touchdowns on the season and carried the ball for 214 yards and three touchdowns last week.
If Gense is behind center, the Vipers will likely expect Westlake to continue a ground-heavy gameplan with Gense working the short and mid-ranged passing game. If Ehlinger, however, returns on Friday, the Westlake offense becomes truly three dimensional. The reigning AP Texas high school player of the year is a threat to run at any time, and has the arm strength and accuracy to add a deep-threat passing attack with receivers Andrew Boykin and Cade Green. On the ground, Nakia Washington has already shown the ability to dominate opponents behind a strong offensive line.
Vandegrift saw its offense held back by penalties again last week. Vandegrift’s offensive game plan is predicated on the ability to go uptempo to take advantage of beneficial matchups and to keep defenses on their heels after big plays. Penalties killed the effort to build momentum in last week’s game at Harker Heights. Though the Knight’s defense is solid and has done an impressive job this season, there is little doubt that Westlake’s defense is among the best in the state. Vandegrift will have to make the most of every possession on Friday, and fixing the problem with penalties will be crucial to the Vipers’ chances of success this week.
By SARAH DOOLITTLE, Four Points News
Steiner Ranch resident Arys Perardi, a 4th grader at River Ridge Elementary, attended the CCM World Invitational Minor Hockey Tournament in Beijing, China recently, and he also enjoyed the trip of a lifetime.
The tournament, July 31 to Aug. 8, was sponsored by the Beijing Tigers Hockey Club and the China Ice Star Management Group in the lead up to China hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
Ayrs traveled to China with his dad and coach, Eric Perardi, along with his stepmom Rachel, older sister Ryleigh, 13, and brother Matteo, 12, while youngest brother Tres, 6, stayed home in Austin.
As Eric explains, playing in the tournament, “were (kids) with ages from 8 years old all the way up to 17… They decided that they’re having the winter Olympics so they wanted to bring in international teams from all over the world to compete against their kids so their kids would be ready.”
Arys’ USA Stampede team was one of several international teams invited to compete. As one of the coaches, Eric helped to assemble the team, comprised of kids from Austin, from Tulsa and Oklahoma City “and one Canadian kid,” according to Eric.
A love of hockey is a family affair for the Perardis. Arys, 9, has played since age 5 at the Chaparral ice rink where he currently plays for the Texas Junior Stars. Eric played Division I hockey in college and has coached Ayrs from the beginning. The family’s passion for the sport is such that they even have a synthetic indoor ice hockey rink above their garage.
By LYNETTE HAALAND, Four Points News
Amid a 43-percent increase in the number of ACT exams given, the Leander ISD’s composite scores on the ACT continue to be higher than state and national averages. Vandegrift scores are several points higher than the already high LISD scores.
“VHS has significantly increased our volume of ACT testers by 65 percent in just two years which is exciting,” said Christa Martin VHS dean of instruction. Vandegrift tested 312 class of 2016 seniors through ACT and the majority of those students tested in April.
For 2016, the average ACT composite score (scale of 1 – 36) for a VHS graduate was 25.4. The average across all of LISD was 23.3, while the state composite score was 20.6 and the national average was 20.8
“LISD is proud to report that our students are continuing to outscore the state and national averages on the ACT,” said Karie Lynn McSpadden, LISD interim superintendent.
ACT tests are administered for a number of subject areas, including English, math, reading, science and writing (optional).
An analysis of each zip code in the city of Austin shows that the 78732 zip code, which includes Steiner Ranch, has the highest average income in the city.
The average household in 78732 earns $10,644 monthly, according to the data analysis, which was done by the Austin American-Statesman.
The analysis also examined housing and transportation costs and compared them to city-wide averages.