Pasadena Roundup: Deer Park alum to play in college
Pasadena native Adrian Morales, who enjoyed a standout prep career at Deer Park High School, recently signed a national letter of intent to continue his college basketball career at NAIA-school the University of St. Thomas in Houston.
"I'm very, very happy for him," Deer Park coach Louie Means said. "I'm glad he got to take his game to another level and continue his career, and more importantly his education, at St. Thomas."
Morales, a 5-foot-11 guard, averaged 3.2 points, 1.3 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in two years at San Jacinto College. He started in 19 games and shot 88 percent from the free-throw line.
Outside the charity stripe, his individual numbers aren't impressive, but Morales helped San Jac go 29-4 and earn a No. 4 national ranking this past season. The Gators were 54-10 in his two years.
"He did a great job," Means said.
"He had a few injuries along the way that kind of derailed him a little bit, but Coach (Todd) Smith at St. Thomas actually recruited Adrian out of high school, so there was a connection there and that was a good thing.
"Maybe by the numbers it doesn't look like he had two good years, but I think he really contributed (and) did the things he does well. He didn't really have to score as much at San Jac as he did for Deer Park."
Means knows all about what Morales does well.
The point guard led his team to two runner-up district finishes his final two years in high school. As a senior, he averaged 15.1 points per game while leading the team in assists and steals, too.
And he certainly could score.
During one game against Pearland as a senior, he put up 41 points in a 73-71 double-overtime win.
In fact, when Morales arrived at San Jacinto in the fall of 2009, he had more of a scorer's mentality, which he adjusted during his time with the Gators, according to former coach Scott Gernander.
"Adrian is a changed player this year," Gernander said this past season. "His forte is shooting. He's smart and aggressive with the ball, and I'm really happy with how he has come around this year."
Means says he expects Morales to continue to grow as a player with St. Thomas, which is moving to the NAIA Red River Conference for the upcoming season after going 13-14 this past season.
"I think he's going to fit in well," Means said. "Adrian just has the kind of game that is whatever the coach wants him to do, he can do.
"If (Smith) wants him to try to score, he can try to score, if he wants him to shoot, he can shoot, or if he wants him to pass the ball or play defense, or whatever he wants, he can do that, too."
Locals ink with San Jac soccer
Dobie's Jose Gonzalez and Sam Rayburn's Martin Castillo recently signed national letters of intent to continue their soccer careers at San Jacinto College.
Both incoming freshmen are forwards. Gonzalez was the 2009 all-district newcomer of the year and the 2011 all-district MVP. Castillo was an all-district pick in his final two years of high school.
Gonzalez also played for the Texas Rush and is a member of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. Castillo was a Dynamo Academy player.
"We're really excited to have these guys on our team," San Jac coach David Santesteban said.
"Jose lit it up for Dobie and always showed to be a consistent player. Martin is another great attacking player and looks to be versatile in the midfield as well. There could be some professional potential there.
Vordenbaum caps juco career
Pasadena Memorial graduate Alyssa Vordenbaum recently wrapped up her junior college softball career at Blinn.
Vordenbaum helped the nationally ranked Lady Buccaneers reach the Division I NJCAA national tournament in St. George, Utah, where they went 4-2 to finish the season with a 55-8 overall record.
After a first-round loss to Lake Land College, the Lady Bucs won four straight games and finished fourth at the tourney. Tallahassee College ended their season with an 8-6 decision on May 21.
Vordenbaum suffered the loss in the circle in that game, giving her a final mark of 13-3.
The pitcher sported a 1.57 ERA as a sophomore, striking out a team-high 83 batters with 24 earned runs allowed and 31 walks issued in 107 innings worked.
Trojans enjoying run
South Houston heads into the third week of play in the Pasadena 7-on-7 league a perfect 4-0, but Trojans coach C.L. Whittington isn't getting too worked up.
The wins are nice, but they're not the objective.
"There are still a lot of things we're trying to get together," Whittington said.
"It's like anything, (4-0) is good, but we still want improvement. Wins in this league are one thing, but are you improving what you're trying to accomplish from an offensive and defensive standpoint?"
The Trojans' 7-on-7 performance does show the value of an experienced quarterback, and incoming senior Rudis Requeno has that after passing for 2,200 yards and 18 touchdowns last season.
In two seasons combined prior to Requeno moving under center, the Trojans produced no passing scores.
But Requeno still is working on timing with a bevy of new receivers after four graduated last month, leaving Torre Daniel, who's looked good this summer, as the only returning wide receiver.
Incoming sophomore receivers James Davis and Elton Dyer are competing for starting jobs this summer.
"There are several areas that we definitely need to improve in because the majority of what we do is in the passing game," Whittington said.
The 7-on-7 season also is important for the Trojans' defense, which returns just three varsity lettermen. Byron Hodges has been busy in league play, working on his move from running back to cornerback.
"We needed some veteran help on defense, so that was one of the reasons I moved him out of the backfield over to the other side, to get some varsity game experience there," Whittington said.
South Houston beat Sam Rayburn and La Porte last week. They return to action today with Week 3 of league play at Pasadena ISD's Veterans Memorial Stadium. The league wraps up play on July 14. Games start at 5 p.m., 5:35 p.m., 6:15 p.m. and 6:50 p.m. every Thursday.
Former South Houston player Antonio Hernandez is coaching the 7-on-7 squad.
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