Barbers Hill head softball coach Aaron Fuller celebrates during the Region 3 Final series against Angleton as Stephanie Niemann rounds third base. (file photo)

As 2020 is now underway, it officially marks the end of 2019 as a whole and in the past.

To take one last look at this past year, there were plenty of big moments that took place during that time which have to be considered memorable for years to come.

Here are the Baytown Sun’s top 10 area sports moments for 2019.

10. The great heart of people

Following a story printed here in October about Barbers Hill volleyball player Trinity Hennigan and her father’s battle with cancer, the community stepped up.

Yet, they were never asked to.

Those close to Hennigan, who lost her mother four years earlier, said a number of people in the community reached out to help in any way they could and without any prompting in the story or from the family at all.

That says it all.

9. Baytown boys soccer takes off

The only thing about the Patriots blistering playoff journey that ended in the Region 3 semifinals was the wondering of what took so long?

The team struggled during district play and snuck out the final bi-district spot only to get hot at the right time.

One can only wonder what if they had been a higher seed?

Then of course there was Robert E. Lee’s historic playoff win and second-place finish in District 22-5A.

How about an encore this spring?

8. Sterling baseball’s rise

Head coach Adam Shibley got his young team rolling at the right time to get them into the Class 6A Region 3 playoffs and then in the offseason, announced the coming of a major tournament in March in Baytown.

Shibley said the formation of the first-ever Gary Herrington Battle of the Bay baseball tournament will take place at multiple sites featuring two dozens clubs.

Things are looking bright with the Rangers.

7. Football cultural shifts

Progress was made once again at Robert E. Lee as Tim Finn got the Ganders to .500 in his third year despite missing out on a planned playoff spot.

Shannon Carter took over Goose Creek Memorial and that hire immediately paid dividends as the team was more competitive than the previous three seasons and the overall expectations on and off the field were elevated.

Also, Jerry Prieto took over at Crosby and overcame an 0-3 start to get the Cougars to the area around following a tumultuous offseason.

6. Baytown PONY baseball’s run

It was a fun run to the South Zone playoffs in Louisiana for the Baytown boys that ultimately saw the summer end there.

But not before capturing youth baseball fans’ hearts by qualifying out of two playoff tournaments to get there.

5. Volleyball rebuilds at REL, Anahuac

Both Mary Grosjean (Robert E. Lee) and Lauren Brandon (Anahuac) walked into volleyball situations that were a bid precarious but both programs benefited from the breath of fresh air.

Anahuac pushed for a bi-district playoff spot into the waning weeks of the season and increased its win total from four to 17 as Grosjean saw REL capture 12 wins which was a marked step up from four wins.

4. Barbers Hill football’s playoff run

Head coach Tom Westerberg’s squad got the breakthrough it coveted in year four of his time in charge of the Eagles.

Barbers Hill football went undefeated in district play and then got its first two Class 5A playoff wins in history.

3. BCA’s state basketball title

It was a nice run for the Bulldogs who added top hoops hardware with the TAPPS six-man state trophy they earned in football the previous fall.

The run to the title was an easy one as the Bulldogs wrapped up a memorable six months of athletics.

2. Bryce Bonnin’s run at Tech

The Barbers Hill alum made the most of his first year at Texas Tech after leaving the Arkansas baseball program the year before.

The Red Raider sophomore helped propel the Tech squad into the College World Series final four behind some big performances down the stretch of the regular season and the playoffs.

It was a good sneak preview for the former Eagle and his potential push for the majors.

1. Barbers Hill falls to Angleton softball

The result was not a pleasant one for the Lady Eagles but one would be hard pressed to find any moment that came close to equally this dramatic three-game series at the University of Houston with a state semifinal spot on the line.

It may have been one of the best high school competitions the area saw the last decade.

Barbers Hill fell despite coming inches close from winning the series on a dramatic hit by senior Matee Simon that just went foul instead of bringing home the deciding runs of the Region 3 final.

Instead, one pitch later she struck out looking on a ball later discovered via video to be a good 18-24 inches outside the strike zone.

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