Posts From InstantNewsWestu Staff

This Weekend: West U School Hosting ‘Food Truck Fright Nights’

access_timeOctober 24, 2013

West U residents don’t have to leave the city this Halloween season to experience a night of frights. The Xavier Educational Academy is hosting a

Crime Report: Burglar Smashes Car Window on Bissonnet

access_timeOctober 24, 2013

10-22-13 Theft At 07:43 AM, an officer was dispatched to the 2600 block of Pemberton in reference to a theft of trailer. The victim advised

West U Masons to Present Community Builder Award

access_timeOctober 23, 2013

Area Masons will honor a Houston Police Officer at a public event at the West University Masonic Lodge next week. Michael L. Barrow, a lieutenant

Crime Report: Police Make Drug Arrest on Mulberry

access_timeOctober 23, 2013

10-21-13 Possession of Narcotics At 2:53 PM, an officer conducted a traffic stop in the 900 block of Mulberry, and after further investigation, the occupants were

Strake standout runner Ammons commits to Harvard

access_timeOctober 22, 2013

R.J. Ammons, a senior at Houston's Strake Jesuit, will be running for Harvard next year.

After receiving interest from a number of prestigious programs from around the country, including those at Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Rice and Stanford, R.J. officially committed to Harvard after receiving one of that university's highly prized Likely Letters from its Dean of Admissions this week.

Ken Lojo, Principal of Strake Jesuit, states, "I'm pleased to say that R.J. is a wonderful example of what we hope to achieve with all our students here at Strake Jesuit. His outstanding dedication to academics and athletics is evident to all.

In addition to his many achievements in these areas, Ammons has sought ways to exemplify one of our primary mottos, 'men-for-others.' His dedication to serving others makes him much more than a great student or athlete. We are proud of his accomplishments and have every confidence that he will shine at Harvard."

R.J. will be the fifth student from Strake Jesuit to attend Harvard in the past seven years.

During his four years at Strake Jesuit, R.J. has been a member of the Principal's Honor Roll, National Honor Society, National Society of High School Scholars and the Strake Jesuit Think Tank. While at Strake Jesuit, R.J. founded Athletes Taking Action, a service club of athletes from Strake Jesuit and St. Agnes College Preparatory Schools. The club is the largest in school history, with over 200 members, and is also one of the most active clubs, providing community service year round in the greater Houston area. The members volunteer with many events, including Challenger Sports, Special Olympics, and Steps for Students.

Additionally, the members have a Christmas toy drive for the patients at Texas Children's Hospital and provide assistance at various homeless shelters. Throughout his high school years, R.J. has been a dedicated volunteer at The Beacon, a local homeless shelter that provides meals to those in need. During his summers and holidays, R.J. has spent hundreds of hours preparing and serving food to the homeless at The Beacon.

R.J. has been involved in cross country and track since he was 11 years old, winning numerous events throughout the years, and he is currently the Captain of Strake Jesuit's Varsity Cross County and Track Team.

Coach Michael Kerley, Head Coach of Strake Jesuit's Varsity Cross Country and Track teams, reflects, "R.J. is an incredible worker and has developed into a mature team leader and Captain. He leads by example and motivates the young team members. They really look up to R.J. The best of his high school career may yet come as he has dreams of several records this spring. It has been a pleasure to work with R.J."

On the track, R.J. specializes in the 3200m and 1600m races. R.J.’s time of 9:03.60 in the 3200 earned him a third place medal in the UIL State meet and a national ranking among high school juniors. Additionally, R.J. was the only member of the Strake Jesuit cross country team to receive UIL All State Honors in 2012. R.J.’s achievements in track and cross country gained the attention of Coach Jason Saretsky, the Track & Field/Cross-Country Coach at Harvard.

"I feel that Coach Jason Saretsky, Harvard's head cross country and track coach, has a clear vision for his team and for my next four years," Ammons said. "When I received the call from Harvard Admissions, I felt honored and privileged to be accepted to Harvard. I am really excited that I'll be running for this program and continuing my education at Harvard." Ammons said.

Kinkaid looks to clinch SPC South with win over St. John’s Friday

access_timeOctober 22, 2013

Man, these guys are loaded.

Undefeated Kinkaid, with a star-studded lineup, will try to close out a perfect regular season and an unbeaten Southwest Preparatory Conference South Zone championship 7:30 p.m. Friday night at Rice Stadium when the high-flying Falcons take on St. John’s School in both squads’ annual season finale against each other.

The Falcons, who have played in the last four SPC championship games and have won two of them, are now 8-0 on the season and 5-0 in the South Zone after they defeated Episcopal, 20-10, in an on-and-off rainstorm last Friday night at water-logged Segal Field at Barnhart Stadium.

The Falcons along with Episcopal will be in the playoffs as SPC South Zone representatives. St. John’s and Country Day are tied for third place with 3-2 marks and the Mavericks can secure a playoff spot in either the Big School or Small School classification with a win while they can also get some help if Episcopal can knock off Houston Christian, which would give them four losses.

So there is still a lot on the line this week for both Kinkaid, which is looking to finish a perfect 9-0, and St. John’s, which is looking for its second consecutive victory over the Falcons and a second consecutive playoff appearance.

If the Falcons and that lethal offense, led by junior quarterback J.T. Granato, get things cranked up the way they have just about every game this season, then the Mavericks’ best chance may come by using their veer ball-control offense, led by quarterback Wes Wallace, to keep Granato and company off the field. But if the Mavs’ can’t get their offense rolling, then their defense will be asked to stop a team that no one has really stopped to this point in the season.

With a host of outstanding college prospects on offense like junior quarterback J.T. Granato, junior wide receiver Sam Mays, senior safety Thomas Dillon, senior running back Jacob Matthews and a few others, the Falcons have a lot of different weapons on both sides of the ball.

But due to a pretty solid Episcopal defense and a heavy rain that at times literally paralyzed both teams offensively, the Falcons couldn’t shake the Knights, who are now 6-1 overall and 4-1 in the SPC South.

The Falcons also never let the Episcopal offense, which came into the game averaging 50 points a game, get on any kind of schedule. In fact, the Knights had a chance to score very early, but fumbled and from there, the Falcons were pretty much in control.

With a short kick to start the game, Episcopal began the game with the ball at its own 42. With a Tyreik Gray 19-yard run and Will Taussig 15-yard pass to Colby Jones, the Knights moved to the Kinkaid 22 before an intentional grounding penalty forced them into a 4th-and-30 back in their own territory.

They pinned Kinkaid back its to its own goal line with an outstanding punt as the rain, for the first time, began to fall. The Falcons got the ball out to its own 16, but a penalty pushed them back and they had to punt from their own end zone.

After a decent Kinkaid kick, the Knights had good field position at the Kinkaid 43. A nine-yard pass to Preston Heard followed by a 10-yard run by Gray and a leaping 21-yard catch by Collin Leisz put them at the Kinkaid 3. But on first down with the rain intensifying, the Knights had a bad snap and Kinkaid recovered to halt what would be the Knights’ only real threat for a while.

After the teams traded punts, the home team scored its first touchdown to complete an 11-play, 85-yard drive. With the big play a 35-yard catch-and-run by Michael Goldak, the Falcons got on the board with Jacob Matthews sweeping around the left side for a three-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second period. John Beeler added the extra point and Kinkaid led 7-0 with 11:55 remaining in the first half.

After Episcopal, aided by a late hit against Taussig, moved the ball to the Kinkaid 34, the Knights threw an incomplete pass on fourth-and-10 and had to turn the ball over on downs right there. On the first play from there, Granato found the big speedster Sam Mays, who caught three passes for 90 yards, behind the secondary and Mays scored on a 66-yard touchdown play to make it 14-0 midway through the second period.

Later in the period, Episcopal got on the scoreboard with a 23-yard Gabe Vogatizis field goal, but the Falcons responded with one final drive that resulted in a Beeler 34-yard field goal on the final play of the second period to put Kinkaid up 17-3 at halftime.

While both teams battled the elements and good defenses in the third period, the Knights began their final scoring drive late in the third period. Even though the rain was going in all different directions, Taussig completed passes to Leisz, Heard and then Gray to move the Knights inside the Kinkaid 10-yard-line.

After moving to the Kinkaid one, a penalty moved the Knights back to the 13 as the clock showed less than 10 minutes to play in the game. But on second and goal, Taussig completed a short pass to Dillon Davis, who carried the ball eight yards into the end zone to close the gap to 17-10 with 9:15 left

However it was then the rain started to fall harder than it had all night long and just making sure the ball was snapped and handed off cleanly became a real challenge. And it was a bad snap by Episcopal that allowed Kinkaid to score its final points of the game.

The Knights tried a punt from their own 25 with just under five minutes remaining, but had a bad snap. When Vogatizis finally ran the ball down in front of his own goal line, he tried to punt it, but the ball went nowhere while he was knocked down and Kinkaid took over at the Episcopal 6.

However, the Knights made one final stand as it appeared Niagara Falls was coming down on them and it the midst of that torrent, Beeler made a 22-yard field goal to complete the scoring and give Kinkaid some breathing room.

Despite the rough conditions, neither team shied away from putting it in the air with Granato, who was flicking long tight spirals as though it were a bright sunny afternoon, going up top 41 times while Taussig, who also threw the ball well under tough conditions, had 35 attempts.

St. John’s comes into Friday’s game against Kinkaid ppearing to be back on track after the Mavericks snapped a two-game losing streak last Friday night with a 35-7 victory over Trinity Valley in Fort Worth. In back-to-back losses to Fort Worth Country Day and Episcopal, the Mavericks had been held in check but their running back got its groove back against Trinity Valley, collecting 517 yards on the ground against the Trojans.

Running back Preston Neal had a season-high 219 yards and a touchdown on 34 carries while quarterback Wes Wallace was back to his usual self, picking up 159 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries. Running back Risher Randall scored the team’s other touchdown to account for all their points.

So all three Examiner-area SPC teams have a lot to play for on the final night of the season and after Friday night, the final two South Zone playoff representatives after St. John’s and Episcopal should be known.

West U’s Second Annual Full Moon Fest is Friday

access_timeOctober 22, 2013

West U residents are invited to come out for the second annual Full Moon Fest on Friday, Oct. 25. The event will be held at

Crime Report: Cops Chase Down Alleged Drunk Bicyclist

access_timeOctober 22, 2013

10-18-13 Traffic Violations At 11:42 PM, an officer conducted a traffic stop in the 3100 block of Rice. Upon making contact, the officer detected the

Stratford, Memorial, Strake Jesuit XC teams do well in last meets prior to district

access_timeOctober 21, 2013

Stratford Cross Country begins its postseason Oct. 22 at 9 a.m. with the District 22-4A meet at Spring Branch Park in Tomball. Memorial and Strake Jesuit go three days later (Oct 25) with the District 19-5A meet at 8 a.m. at Bear Creek Park. All had good meets last weekend in their final tune up prior to the district meets.

Stratford boys went to College Park to face their toughest competition of the year against 5A state powerhouses College Park and The Woodlands. Also competing were 5A state ranked Cinco Ranch as well as Seven Lakes, Klein and other top 5A schools. Stratford was encouraged by its 3rd place finish. Austin Richard and Brian Quinlan finished in the top 10. Nick Terrazas, Hayden Richard and Douglas Baker were the other scoring runners and finished in the top 50 over the challenging 3 mile course.

Stratford Girls travelled to Austin Westlake and were pleased with their 7th place finish that was better than 10 other schools. Ingvild Utengen and Shelby Kallus ran under 20 minutes for the 3 mile course, just missing a top 10 and top 25 finish respectively. Fiona Fahey and Christina Tirado finished close together in under 21 minutes while freshman Leah Bach edged closer to going under 21 minutes.

Memorial boys and girls stayed closer to home, going to Bear Creek Park to compete in the Strake Jesuit meet. Memorial boys were happy to finish 5th of 12 schools. Presley Good finished 9th and Alexander Potthast was 19th over the flat 5k course. Riki Kobayashi, Nic Hamilton and Luis Chaval rounded out the Memorial scoring runners.

Memorial girls finished second to Kingwood Park, beating over a dozen other schools. Khayla Patel was the overall winner while Leslie Romero finished 3rd, and Meredith Ackerson had a 10th place finish. Lauren Deutser and Paiton Raines finished in the top 20.

The Strake Jesuit boys felt right at home in their home meet easily beating Kingwood Park, who are expected to battle Stratford in early November for Region 3-4A supremacy. Strake had the top 3 finishers in Frank Lara, RJ Ammons and Andrew Hebert. Blake Bordelon had a top 10 finish, and Matt Solcher finished 20th to complete the Strake scoring.


College Park Meet

Stratford Boys (3rd) – Austin Richard (4th,15:29); Brian Quinlan (9th,15:44), Nick Terrazas (28th,16:15), Hayden Richard (35th, 16:25); Douglas Baker (47th,16:46), Paul Brastrom (55th, 16:53)

Austin Westlake

Stratford Girls (7th) – Ingvild Utengen (11th,18:41); Shelby Kallus (27th, 19:27); Fiona Fahey (50th, 20:42); Christina Tirado (51st, 20:43), Leah Bach (21:19), Makenzie Kooken (76th, 21:41)

Strake Jesuit

Strake Jesuit Boys (1st) – Frank Lara (1st,15:48); RJ Ammons (2nd 16:02); Andrew Herbert (3rd, 16:17), Blake Borderlon (7th,16:41), Matt Solcher (20th, 17:16), Colin Thompson (25th, 17:28)

Memorial Boys (5th) – Presley Good (9th, 16:52); Alexander Potthast (19th, 17:12); Riki Kobayashi (34th, 17:55), Nic Hamilton ((36th, 17:56); Luis Chavil (40th,17:59)

Memorial Girls (2nd) – Khayla Patel(1st,19:17), Leslie Romero (3rd,19:44); Meredith Ackerson (10th, 20:50); Lauren Deutser (18th, 21:35); Paiton Raines (20th, 21:40)

Fathers and Flashlights Raises More Than $100,000 for West U Parks

access_timeOctober 21, 2013

The Friends of West U Parks Fathers and Flashlights event was a huge success, raising more than $100,000 for West U parks. The seventh annual

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