The Farmersville athletic program saw a successful 2022 season, featuring several playoff teams, state championship medalists and qualifiers across many different sports.
Randy Barnes, the Farmer’s head football coach and athletic director, resigned from the position last June, welcoming a new era of athletics behind Zac Quinlan. The former offensive coordinator took over the football team and athletic department and set the tone for a new year.
Softball: Varga named MVP, Lady Farmers run table
After an undefeated district championship, the Lady Farmers softball team was well rewarded at the District 13-4A All-District awards.
Three Farmersville athletes earned superlative awards, led by starting pitcher and lead-off hitter Jamie Varga as the 13-4A Most Valuable Player. At the plate, she led the Lady Farmers with a .618 batting average, ranked 10th in the DFW Metroplex, along with 29 stolen bases.
She was also the top pitcher in the district, striking out 120 batters and recording 13 wins on the season. In her first year as the full-time pitcher for Farmersville, coach Wilfong was impressed with her development and the number of innings the sophomore handled.
Along with Varga, two more sophomores earned superlative awards, as Morgan Erwin was named the 13-4A Defensive Player of the Year. The starting shortstop for the Lady Farmers was one of the most productive defensive players in the district and made an impact at the plate as the team’s No. 2 hitter.
Carleigh Deeds was given the Utility Player of the Year award by the district voters, playing catcher most of the season while also helping in the field when needed.
Along with the superlative winners, seven more Lady Farmers were named to all-district teams, led by Jenson McTee, Bella Holland and Alyssa Smith as first-team all-district players. McTee was the senior clean-up hitter and starting center fielder for the Lady Farmers all season. Holland and Smith were the only two freshmen to make the first team this season in the district.
Erin Blackburn and Cecily Sandoval were named second-team all-district players for the Lady Farmers, while Kaylie Casados and Baylee Valliant were honorable mention players. The team finished the season a perfect 12-0 in district play and reached the area round of the state playoffs.
Head coach Paula Wilfong was also named the District 13-4A Coach of the Year.
Baseball: Farmers reach area round behind pitching, defense
After a season that resulted in a co-district championship and bi-district playoff victory, the Farmersville baseball team was well-represented in the all-district awards.
The Farmers (9-3, 17-16) had two superlative winners at the District 13-4A awards voting, led by the District Pitcher of the Year Cooper Strawn. He was the ace on the mound, leading the team in wins and strikeouts while helping the Farmers have a district-best 3.17 ERA. Strawn also committed to Texas A&M in the spring and threw a no-hitter in a win over Sunnyvale.
He was also paired with Jason Gomez, the Farmers’ top hitter who won the District 13-4A Offensive Player of the Year. Gomez led the team in hits and batting average for the season, as he was also selected to play in the THSBCA All-Star game in Round Rock on June 18.
Farmersville also had three first-team all-district players and four second-team players this season. Pitchers Caden Norman and Collin Berry helped man the rotation with Strawn and were named to the first team. They were also joined by starting catcher, Brady Gray, who came up with multiple clutch hits for the Farmers on their district championship run.
Logan Dale, Aiden Marquez, Mason Erwin and Luke Wilson made the second-team all-district for the Farmers, while Aidan Gray was an honorable mention. The team will return six of its 10 all-district players next season, as Gomez, Marquez, Wilson and Aidan Gray were the only seniors on the team.
Along with the on-the-field accolades, the Farmers got it done in the classroom as well. Gomez, Marquez, Hudson Gray, Jaron Johnson, Jordan Herring and Aiden Marquez were named to the academic all-state team. Gomez made the elite team among that group.
Powerlifting: Two athletes medal at state meet
The Lady Farmers sent three athletes to Corpus Christi for the powerlifting state championships and came away with two medalists.
Competing in the small school 4A state championships, Farmersville earned four points at the meet, while Robstown took home first place with 25 points.
Of the competitors, Mara Juntado had the best finish for the Lady Farmers. She finished third overall in the 114-pound weight class with a total lifting weight of 725 pounds over three lifts.
After the bench press and squat lifts, Juntado was in sixth place with a total of 420 pounds, 35 pounds off of a top-three position. She had a 290-pound squat and 190-pound bench press.
Needing to make up some ground, Juntado had a 305-pound deadlift, which was the best in her entire weight class. It was 20 pounds better than the next-best participant and cleared her for the third-place spot by 20 points.
In the 123-pound weight class, Phoebe Attaway finished tied for fourth overall with a total of 740 pounds. She was tied with Perryton’s Sofia Flores and just five pounds off Bandera’s Elizabeth Garcia for a top-three position. Attaway had a 285-pound squat, 160-pound bench press and 295-pound deadlift.
Elizabeth Applegate also went to the state meet for Farmersville but scratched with an injury in the 198-pound weight class.
Volleyball: Lady Farmers reach regional semifinals
The Farmersville volleyball team came into the season ready to compete, fresh off a tough loss in 2021 that ended their season prematurely in the playoffs.
When they met the Van High School team that eliminated them last season once again in the regional quarterfinals, the Lady Farmers left no doubt this time in breezing to a 3-0 victory.
The win marked the fourth time since 2018 the Lady Farmers were able to reach the regional semifinals.
“I was very proud of the girls this week,” head coach Harold Davis said. “They wanted it really bad that game and you could tell the way they fought tooth and nail for every ball and every play. The defense was stellar in this game, and we bounced back after a slow start to the game.”
It was a close first set with Farmersville calling a timeout down 21-18, but they were able to right the ship and Angie Lee closed out the set with a kill. Coach Davis praised his team’s resiliency in the win.
Eventually, Farmersville lost their regional semifinal match to Celina to end the season, but the team finished with a 43-4 record overall and another district championship. Several Lady Farmer athletes received recognition for the team’s achievements, including Angie Lee being named the District 14-4A MVP.
The star middle blocker for Farmersville, Lee was the team leader in kills and blocks and signed her national letter of intent to play volleyball at LSU next fall. Along with Lee, Sophia White was named the district’s co-setter of the year in her first season with the Lady Farmers, while senior Morgan Erwin was named the 14-4A libero of the year.
Coach Davis was also named the district’s coach of the year.
Track and Field: Four runners reach regional finals
Farmersville sent four runners to the Region II-4A track and field championships but could not qualify for state.
Running in the regional championships at Texas A&M Commerce on April 29-30, Baylee Valliant and Aubrey Varner ran individually for the Lady Farmers. Valliant finished 12th in the preliminary heat of the 200 (26.45), setting a personal record in a wind-assisted time. She was less than half a second from a top-eight time, which would have put her in the finals for the event.
Varner was also close in the 400-meter race, placing 13th (1:02.59). She was 1.07 seconds off a top-eight slot, narrowly missing the cutline.
The duo also ran for the team’s 4×400-meter relay, along with Alexi Atchison and Jenniel Soto. The group competed hard but finished 16th (4:19.22).
All four Farmersville runners will return to the team in 2023
Football: Coach Quinlan builds culture at FHS
Despite a difficult season for the Farmersville football team, several players were named to the all-district team for their efforts this season.
Twelve Farmersville football players made the all-district team, led by senior defensive captain Caiden O’Brien. The starting linebacker led the team in tackles and was named first-team All-District 5-4A for the Farmers, after multiple years as one of the Farmers’ top defensive players. First-year head coach Zac Quinlan credited his work ethic throughout his career.
“He changes a little bit on the field and lets a different guy out there, but Caiden is extremely driven,” Quinlan said. “He never missed a summer workout and always listens to what the coaches have to say. I’d say he leads more by example, which is fine because not everyone needs to be the vocal kind of player. He just needs to go out and perform.”
Along with O’Brien, seniors Andrew Pike and Jacob Tull were also named first-team all-district for the Farmersville football team. Tull was the team’s leading rusher this season, moving to the starting running back role after playing linebacker last season. Pike was a new starter to the Farmers’ defense, finishing second on the team in tackles after a terrific senior season. Quinlan praised all the seniors on the team this season.
“Those seniors did a great job this season,” Quinlan said. “The loss of guys like Caiden O’Brien, Jacob Tull, Andrew Pike, Christian Robbins and Conner Kelley will be felt this offseason. Guys like Caiden didn’t miss a workout this year and Christian was a guy who wasn’t even on our radar but did everything we asked of him to help win games. The season might not have been where we wanted it to finish but they did a great job setting the tone.”
The Farmers finished the season with two wins overall and couldn’t win a district game in 2022. The highlight of the season was a home upset over Pilot Point, a regionally ranked team at the time.
Cross Country: Varner races at state championship
Aubrey Varner became the first Farmersville cross-country athlete to run at the state championships since 2017, qualifying as an individual.
Running in the girls’ 4A state championship on Nov. 4 in Round Rock, Varner placed 81st (13:13.5) out of 152 runners at the state meet. The junior was 21 seconds off her personal record pace running on a tough course. She set her personal record earlier in the season before the state championship meet.
Celina placed first overall at the state championship meet, earning 70 points. They were followed by Fredericksburg (86 points) and Canyon Randall (108 points) in the team standings. Canyon’s Avery Brown placed first overall (11:36) at the meet, with only three runners finishing inside 11:40.
Varner qualified for the state championship for the Lady Farmers after racing in the Region II-4A championships at Lynn Creek Park in Grand Prairie, where Varner placed 26th (12:55.58) out of 157 runners but was able to qualify as one of the 10 individuals. Celina (24 points) also won the regional championship, followed by Kaufman (49 points), Sulphur Springs (150 points) and Canton (155 points) to qualify as the top four teams.
Varner’s run was an improvement of 35 seconds from last year’s regional championship, where she placed 66th and did not qualify for state. It was also just one second from her personal record, which she managed to get at the district championship a week before. Varner was the only Farmer runner to qualify for regionals.
Girls Basketball: Injuries plague Lady Farmers
With the final playoff spot on the line in 13-4A, the Lady Farmers fell short.
On the road against Kaufman with the two teams tied in the district standings, Farmersville (4-8, 9-18) fell behind early in a 50-37 loss. The Lady Farmers were down 20-5 at the end of the first quarter, struggling to get baskets from the floor in the game. Farmersville shot just 29 percent from the floor in the contest.
“We shot the ball; we just didn’t shoot it well,” head coach Sandra Hoge said. “So, we got the shots off and they weren’t bad looks but between missed shots and turnovers, we struggled a little.”
Still, the Lady Farmers managed to battle back in the second quarter, holding Kaufman to just seven points. Down 10 at the half felt like a success and created positive momentum for the team.
Ashdon Kelly helped spark the comeback for Farmersville, as she scored a game-high 14 points. The freshman took on the challenge and stepped into the role of starter effectively for the Lady Farmers.
“She’s young and she’s getting better all the time,” Hoge said. “The only thing I must remind her usually is to play basketball and not be so tight and we can fix the mistakes on the way. Tonight, she was able to play relaxed a little bit and it paid off.”
Farmersville finished the season on a five-game losing streak, dealing with several injuries that hindered the team in district play. Without three critical starters for most of the district play, the Lady Farmers went 2-8 since the start of the new year.
Paige Lair and Rylee Ortega were the two graduating seniors on the Farmersville roster.
“I’m really proud of the girls and the way that they’re playing right now,” Hoge said. “They never say die.”
Boys Basketball: Farmers end season on a high note with win
It was a tough season for the Farmersville basketball program, but they managed to end the year with their only district win of 2022 over Quinlan Ford.
Ford held a slim lead in the third quarter on a few occasions, but Farmersville always found a way to have an answer. Jordan Herring connected from three to tie the game at 39 before Dylan Shankle hit one from deep to tie things up again at 42. With the two teams going back and forth, Farmersville eventually was able to take a two-point lead into the fourth.
The game was the last for the Farmers this season as they missed postseason qualification. Four of their district losses came within 10 points over the year, preventing them from a chance to compete for one of the last playoff spots.
Six seniors will graduate from the Farmersville roster, with starters Herring, Tre Brewer and Braejon Tidwell all finishing out their Farmersville careers. Adrian Salvador, Tom Saari and Austin Grobe also were seniors for the Farmers team.
Boys Soccer: Farmers miss out on playoffs
Farmersville soccer opened district play with back-to-back wins but couldn’t keep the momentum going and finished 3-10-1 record. Jimmy Maldonado and Kenani Kenani led the way for the Farmers on the attack as their top goal-scorers in 2022.
The Farmers were still in the playoff picture until the last week of the season, after a 3-0 win over Bonham on March 2 kept them in the hunt. However, the team lost its final three games of the regular season when they needed to win out to have a chance at a playoff position.
Girls Soccer: Lady Farmers go winless in district play
Farmersville finished the year 0-12 in district play, struggling to score goals with such a young program.
Head coach Chris Chase knew it would be challenging with an inexperienced roster but felt like the girls grew throughout the season and learned as things went along. They managed to score a goal in their district loss to Bonham on March 8, their first in district play, and competed hard at the end of the season in a 1-0 loss to Community. Keeping the game close and competing every week was important for the program.
Rodeo: Day qualifies for state
Morgan Day, a sophomore at Farmersville High School, qualified for the Texas High School Rodeo Association state finals.
She represented the school in Abilene last June, competing in pole bending and barrel racing events. Reaching the state finals was a goal of hers and something she felt great about the accomplishment.
“It was extremely satisfying because I have been working on it all year,” Day said. “It’s just extremely good to see that my work is paying off. I’ve been working every day and racing sometimes twice a week to reach this point and now I’m making it and succeeding.”
Day had to finish in the top 10 of each event to qualify for state. She finished ninth in both events, six points ahead of elimination in pole bending and one point ahead of elimination in barrel racing. She was unable to finish in the national finals place at state but accomplished a lot in a competitive season in rodeo.
Regional qualification was something that took place over seven months of the year, competing during six weekends from September to March in Sulphur Springs. Beyond just the events themselves, Day spends multiple days a week fine-tuning her craft and preparing to compete.
Fishing: Two teams qualify for state
The Farmersville bass fishing team capped off its inaugural season by sending two teams to the state championship.
With eight teams of two fishermen and one boat captain, Farmersville sent the teams of Tye Thompson and Mason Erwin, along with James Wood and Jayce Fagan, to the state tournament in Lake Belton on May 14.
Competing amongst the top 325 teams in the state, school sponsor Monica Johnson said it was an excellent result for the team in year one.
“There were over 1,600 teams in the state that competed in bass fishing and 325 went to state,” Johnson said. “That’s a huge accomplishment to send two of our teams to state and we’re proud of them. One of the teams also finished in the top half, which was great in such a competitive event.”
Thompson and Erwin finished 140th overall at state, catching five fish for a total of 10.15 pounds. Wood and Fagan placed 164th overall, catching one fish for a total of 3.29 pounds. Thompson and Erwin were also named the Farmersville anglers of the year at the team’s end-of-the-year sports banquet.
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