LASA Athletes Compete At District

Annabel Andre, Staff Writer

As spring sports come to an end, district and regional competitions begin and give athletes a chance to compete against the best of the best. Many LASA teams and individuals made it to regional and state competitions.

 In the last few weeks of the school year, teams and individuals first compete in district competitions. Then top athletes go on to regionals. After regionals, the top competitors go on to state and face athletes from across Texas. These competitions give teams and players the opportunity to compete against different, and sometimes more experienced, teams than the ones they’ve played all year, as well as the chance to be recognized on a statewide level.

Freshman golf player Maxwell McWilliams qualified for regionals this year. In order to qualify for regionals in golf, you have to be in the two top teams or be one of the top two individuals in the district. While LASA didn’t qualify for regionals as a team, McWilliams did as an individual and placed in the top 20% of individuals at regionals. He did not make it to state. 

“I’m just a freshman, so I’m pretty happy with my performance overall,” McWilliams said. “I’m just happy I was able to have the experience to go and play the regional golf tournament. I have three more years to go, and I feel like I can definitely be higher on the leaderboard.”

According to McWilliams, the district and regional golf tournaments aren’t very different. McWilliams said that the main difference is that the regional tournament has harder competition. He added that competing against and socializing with more experienced golfers was a good experience for him.

“It was a cool experience, just being in a tournament with people all over Texas and meeting new kids every day and talking about golf with them,” McWilliams said. 

Despite not making it to state this year, McWilliams is determined to make it next year as one of the top three players at regionals. He believes he has plenty of time and skill to make it higher in ranks in the future as a high school golfer.

“I think my goal next year would be to play for state,” McWilliams said. “I think I can definitely be one of the top three, so I can qualify.”

Senior Crystal Zhou is a player on the LASA tennis team. This season, she made it to regionals as the number one player in the district and was seeded as the number one player for women’s singles at regionals. Zhou is moving on to the state level as second in the region. 

Zhou would have liked more competition at district this year as she is more interested in competing and having a good match rather than just winning, but she found that she takes tennis and competing much more seriously than anyone she played does.

“The district tournament was really easy,” Zhou said. “I didn’t really have any competition. All the people I played don’t really take it as seriously as I do. It didn’t really give me a feeling of accomplishment. Because it’s my senior year, I’m not interested in the win but competing for the last time. District is like a box I have to check before I go to region.”

Zhou is confident she will make it to state as number one in the region, but her biggest goal is winning state. The competition at state will be the hardest because the players will be the best in their region, but Zhou is not too nervous.

“There will be one or two competitors that are good,” Zhou said. “I don’t know if I’ll be playing them, but if I do, my chances will be pretty slim because they’re really good. But going to state doesn’t seem like it will be a problem. Just overall, the competition is going to be better. It will be harder.”

Zhou also enjoys competing in regional tournaments because she gets to socialize with other tennis players. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many students are still attending school online and use athletics as an opportunity to socialize.

“Because of quarantine,[I enjoy] just being with other people and cheering [them] on and seeing how they improve at every single tournament,” Zhou said.

Senior Philip Metcalf runs track for LASA, and this year, he won first place in the 3200-meter race and in the 1600-meter race at the district meet. At regionals, Metcalf qualified for state with his time in the 3200. Similarly to Zhou, Metcalf feels like district is easier than the other meets, but despite this, he enjoyed running in district this year because he wasn’t able to last year due to COVID-19.

 “That was a fun meet,” Metcalf said. “A lot of people moved on from that. That was really cool. It was nice because last year, all spring sports got canceled before we had a chance to get to the competitive part of the season. It was nice to have district and [regionals] this year.”

For more information and results of the state competitions, look out for the weekly Principal’s Messages.