Back to Back Champs!

Sam Chambers
Football lost to All Saints in the first round of the SPC playoffs.  Field Hockey beat Kinkaid for 5th place.  Girls' Volleyball reached the D2 finals losing to Kinkaid for 10th place.   Boys' Volleyball finished in fourth place.  Boys' Cross country finished runner-up and Girls' Cross country won SPC for the second year in a row.   Click here for SJ Review Twitter score updates.

In the the playoffs for the third year in a row, Varsity Football concluded the regular season as the #2 South Zone seed in the small school bracket.  The first Maverick team to kick off the 2013 SPC playoffs, Varsity Football was the only team this season to hang with Ft. Worth All Saints, the #1 Seed in the North Zone. The Mavericks kept pace with the Saints for most of the game as both teams each accumulated over 500 yards of offense.  St. John's trailed 28-20 at the half, and 35-27 with 9:43 left in the game, but the one-way players from All Saints finally wore down the Mavericks and pulled away with two more scores.

"Our guys battled, and I could not be more proud of our team," said Head Coach Steve Gleaves.  "It is tough because it is over, but we will recover, and get ready for the next season."

The the number one SPC South seed for the third year in a row, Boys' Volleyball swept Trinity Valley School (25-18, 25-19, 25-21) winning their first round match for the first time since 2011.  Looking to gain some SPC swagger by pulling out all of the stops in the first round, Boys’ Volleyball’s game plan changed when what would be their next opponent, Casady, walked into the gym to scout the Mavericks. The Mavericks were in the championship game in 2009 versus St.  Mark's.
“Without showing our complete arsenal of offensive and defensive capabilities, we still swept Trinity Valley,” said Andrew Chung ’14.
The Mavericks almost reached the finals, but could not get by Casady in the semis. St. John's lost the first and third sets and had a 5-0 lead in the closer, but could not finish off the Cyclones. 

"Ball control is key to victory," said Head Coach Mike McCrary.  "When we control the ball, we control the tempo, and when we control the tempo, we control the game."

St. John's lost to Greenhill (2-3) for fourth place.
Field Hockey (15-1-2; 6-0) also finished undefeated in conference play with a 2-0 win against Kinkaid to take the top seed in the SPC South. The Mavericks' first round game in Fort Worth was against the Fort Worth Country Day Falcons, the team the Mavericks have knocked out in the last two SPC tournaments.  St. John's dominated the game but not the score.  FWCD scored a goal off a corner and the Mavericks could not find the net in a frustrating first round loss.

"The reality is that even if you do everything well, the other team does good things too," said Assistant Coach Gordon Center.  "We feel like we dominated the game, and unfortunately they scored and that is the way the ball bounces some times, but we bounce back.  It's what we do."

Coming off their first SPC tournament loss in two years, St. John's got back on track in their second game of the day, cruising to a 3-0 victory over Episcopal of Houston.  They went on to beat Kinkaid for a fifth place finish.

"Resiliency is our team motto," said Abby Avery '14.  "We are such a strong team and we were determined to show that today."
Girls’ Volleyball (11-13-3; 1-5) finished the regular season with a tough loss to Kinkaid 3-1 and landed in the D2 playoffs.  After winning their first two SPC matches against Hockaday and Trinity Valley, the Mavericks landed in the D2 Championship game against cross-town rival Kinkaid.  
"It was a fun first game and a great way to start off the tournament," said Grace Winston '14.  

"Today (Friday) is the most I have seen our team mesh with a great amount of energy and we are pushing forward with this momentum tomorrow," said Kasey French '14.

"Remaining spirited and not worrying about the previous point is the key to our success this weekend," said Head Coach James Fuller.
Playing in the last contest of the weekend, Girls’ Volleyball fell to the Falcons of Kinkaid in the D2 final 3-0.

After winning the SPC South Zone cross country meet last weekend in Austin (St. Andrew’s), Maverick Girls’ and Boys’ Cross country teams were primed to pick up where they finished last year in Fort Worth, and that is how it ended.  With 5 runners in the top 20 the girls finished first for the second year in a row, and the boys finished runner up, this time behind St. Mark's.

Boys' cross country repeated their 2012 runner-up performance.  All Conference for the Mavericks were Akshay Jaggi '15 (3rd), Joe Faraguna '16 (4th), Julian Henry '15 (17th), and Gustavo Anaya '14 (20th). 

"I ran my heart out and I am proud of the team and happy that everyone left it all out there," said Jake Peacock '14 after his last cross country race as a Maverick.
The top five runners from each team are counted at the finish line, but each team’s top seven can influence the score. The sixth place finisher breaks a tie and the seventh runner can place ahead of an opponent of another team. After being tied with Hockaday’s first five finishers, the 2012 Maverick Girls’ team won the championship on the placement of their sixth runner, Olivia Havel ’16.
In 2013 Havel finished fifth for the Mavericks (19th) and received All-Conference recognition along with Maya Bhandari '16 (18th), Margaret Trautner '16 (15th), Lillian Chen '16 (5th), and Chronicle  Athlete of the Week nominee, Peyton Brown '17 (4th).  The Maverick Girls’ squad were primed to defend their title, but nothing is for certain in the sport of cross country. The Mavericks had not seen half of their competition when the gun went off on Saturday, and while the weather forecast had plenty of wind in store, the biggest factors on race day were inside the runners' minds.
“Race day is emotional and you can get thrown off the game plan and go out too fast,” said Head Coach Rachel Fabre. “The key is to stay with the race plan and resist the temptation to go after opponents early. In a split second a runner can give up or forge on with the game plan. We can talk about mental toughness and train for it, but the race is a unique experience.”
“Teammates come in a pinch when self doubt creeps in,” said Assistant Coach Bridget Jensen ’81.
“We have a lot of depth, almost like we run in pairs,” said Fabre. “When you can see the Maverick jersey in front of you, it makes you want to stay the course and catch up.”

"I saw my teammates on every corner and knew that they were there for me and I thought about all the work we put in this season and I was not about to give up," said Lillian Chen '16.

"Lillian and I ran together and she helped me out," said Peyton Brown '17.  "We had fans cheering on the sidelines as well."

"I was excited to have four but we had five runners finish in the top 20," said Fabre.  "Our depth showed today when someone did not have a great race others were able to step in, plus the fans were awesome today!"
‘Run with a Purpose’ was the motto of the girls’ team this season, and one they used on Saturday.  The Mavericks had a game plan.  They ran in the wind, dealt with doubt, and stuck together to defend their title-mind over matter.

"1, 2, 3, Go, Mavericks!"

For more SPC sports in the Chronicle please click here.
For more in the Examiner please click here.

Sam Chambers -Athletic News