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Henderson Cup finish validates hard work for St. Thomas program
Published in 19-1-2016
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Since Netzel's arrival, St. Thomas has made major improvements to its athletic facilities, including: Various updates to Reckling Gymnasium, including a new sound system, lighting and flooring and increased capacity for fans with the addition of ADA-compliant bleachers Upgrades to Father Wilson Field, with new protective screens, improved drainage and changes to the bullpen area, and The Eagles turned in another high finish in the Henderson Cup, a combined sports and academic competition sponsored by the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools. [...] St. Thomas reached the TAPPS Division I regional finals in boys soccer, losing 1-0 to eventual state champion Fort Worth Nolan. The Eagles placed fourth at state in boys swimming and diving, while the boys basketball team reached the TAPPS Class 5A playoffs, falling to nationally ranked and eventual state winner Plano Prestonwood Christian 67-56 in the first round. Once again, head baseball coach Craig Biggio, the former Houston Astros great, guided the Eagles to the TAPPS Class 5A State Tournament for the fourth straight year, although the Eagles fell to St. Pius 5-1 in the semifinals. Coached by Billy Tuten, St. Thomas failed to defend its TAPPS Class 5A state golf title, but the Eagles remained in the upper echelon with a third-place showing. While rugby isn't an official TAPPS sport, Netzel was proud of the Eagles, who won an unprecedented third consecutive Rugby Texas high school state championship. In addition to fielding quality teams, St. Thomas has given an increasing number of student-athletes an opportunity to play sports at the next level. Other signees included Cameron Arndt (Millsaps College, football), Travis Bradford (Western State Colorado University, wrestling), Jo Allan Castilleja (TCU, track and field), Max James (Austin College, football), Tommy Kherker (University of California-Santa Barbara, golf), Nicholas Matthews (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, track and field), Collin Prusak (Milligan University, soccer), Jack Reidy Jr.