Four selected to be on Wall of Honor at BHS
Wednesday, 04 January 2012 by Keith Bahlmann
A large crowd of families, friends, coaches and BISD administrators witnessed a quartet of former Belton High School All-State athletes welcomed into the prestigious Wall of Honor last Saturday morning in the foyer outside of Tiger gymnasium.
The latest inductees --- David Ash, Allison Boston, Kelsi Darr and Grace Weaver --- joined the more than 100 honorees already enshrined in the elite showcase that features several walls filled with plaques that bear the name, photo and accomplishments of each honoree.
Former Superintendent of the Belton Independent School District, coach, educator and an integral part of the Belton Tiger family for over a half century, Joe Pirtle, greeted those assembled and explained that they were there to honor exceptional athletes who had distinguished themselves and brought honor to the Belton school system. He drew laughter from the crowd when he said "If you aren't part of the Belton Tiger family, you've missed something special."
BISD Athletic Director Rodney Southern recognized a number of special people on hand....Superintendent Dr. Susan Kincannon, soccer coach Barry Elkins, football offensive coordinator and quarterback coach David Brewer, football coach Michael Morgan and BHS Principal Kathy Cook. He also acknowledged softball head coach Matt Blackburn and volleyball head coach Justeen Coulson, who were both unavoidably out of the city.
"We are all obviously proud of all you guys," Southern told the honorees. ":It's a great honor for us and we appreciate all you did while you were here."
Pirtle introduced the originator of the Wall of Honor, Dr. Billy Wilbanks, valedictorian of the BHS Class of 1958 and an All-State basketball player who led the Tigers to a state championship in his senior year. He briefly explained how the Wall of Honor originated, what it entails and why, and named a number of Belton's greatest high school athletes whose accomplishments are included on the Wall as part of the great Tiger tradition.
Each of the inductees then recognized members of her or his family in the audience. Ash drew a large round of laughter when he just kept spotting one family member after another. So many were on hand, he actually missed his sister before being prompted by her.
Then, the event became serious as Wilbanks and Pirtle proceeded to present individual plaques to each honoree.
Those young athletes honored and information noted on their plaques include, alphabetically:
DAVID ASH ---
"It's definitely a huge honor to be up on that wall with people who had a lot of talent and all," Ash stated. "I love everything that this high school has given to me...the coaches, teachers, the entire staff here. I'm just so thankful to go on that wall."
David Ash was named all-state by both the Texas Sports writers and the Texas Sports editors after his senior season of 2010. Ash, who was also named Academic All-State by the Texas Coaches Association, was one of the most widely-recruited quarterbacks in Texas and signed a year early with the University of Texas to play for the Longhorns. He enrolled in UT in January of 2011 and became the team's starting quarterback as a freshman in the fall of 2011.
David Trenton Ash was born on July 29, 1992,in Kingswood, TX and is the son of Stephen and Lynn Ash, one of six children (Sena, Adrienne, Nathan, Krista, David and Ian).David attended first thru ninth grade in Academy before enrolling ion Belton High School as a freshman in the Spring of 2007. His father is a middle school principal at Academy and played football for the Tigers in 1971. Ash was tutored by Belton head football coach Rodney Southern and offensive coordinator/QB coach David Brewer. He also competed in 7-on-7 football during the three summers of his Belton career. Ash was a varsity starter in basketball high freshman year at Academy and his sophomore year at Belton.
In his sophomore year of 2008, the Tigers were 3-7 as Ash completed 203 of 323 (63%) passing attempts for 2,517 yardswith 13 touchdowns. He also punted 28 times for a 41.9 average with a longest kick of 55 yards. In his junior year of 2009, the Tigers were 10-2 (6-1) and defeated Mesquite Horn 45-38 in Bi-District before losing to South Garland in the second round of the playoffs. Ash completed 141 of 254 passes for 1,962 yards and 23 TDs and was named the MVP of District 12-5A after his junior season, although he missed three of the seven district games due to injury.
As a senior in the 2010 football season, the 6'4", 217 pound Ash led the Tigers to a 5-6 (5-2) record, losing to Longview in Bi-District 52-28. As completerd 243 of 395 passes for 3,155 yards with 38 TDs and only 10 interceptions. As a punter, he averaged 43.1 yards a kick. Ash set numerous school records for his senior season and for his career. He setrecords for most passing yards in a game (446), season (3,155), and career (7,916); most completions in a single game (31), season (243) and career (592); touchdown passes in a game (6), season (41) and career (75); and TDs in a game (8), season (50) and career (98).
Ash's resume includes numerous honors at the District, Regional and State level. After his senior year, he was named 2nd Team All-State as a quarterback by the Texas Sportswriters and the Texas Sports Editors and was named 1st team All-State as a punter by the AP and 2nd team by the Sportswriters. He was also named Academic All-State by the Coaches Association. He was named Offensive MVP of the Area by the Killeen Daily Herald, Offensive Player of the Year by the temple daily telegram and All-Centex as a quarterback and as a punter by the Austin American Statesman. At the district level, he was named 1st Team All-District as a QB and as a punter. At the national level, Ash was named the Old Spice Player of the Year and was listed on numerous recruiting lists as one of the top recruits in the U.S. (e.g., MaxPreps #68 in TX).
Davis Ash committed to UT after his junior season and enrolled at the university in January 20111. He became the Longhorns' starting quarterback as a freshman in the Fall season of 2011.
ALLISON BOSTON ---
"I feel so honored to be chosen to be on the wall of Honor," she softly said. "It's really exciting!"
Allison Boston was named 5A All-State as a softball pitcher by the Texas High School Girls Coaches Association (TGCA) and the Texas Sportswriters (TXSW) after her senior season at Belton High School. She led a quartet of Belton seniors in signing to play for Cisco Junior College. Allison Nicole Boston was born on February3, 1993, in Temple, TX to Brian and Annette Boston and she and her older sister, Chelsea, grew up in Belton, attending Lakewood Elementary, Lake B elton Middle School and Belton High School. Allison began her softball career at the age of six, started pitching at the age of nine with the Belton Chicks and ended her select softball career as a member of the Texas Terminators. She ran track and cross country in junior high but focused on softball in high school.
Boston played on the Lady Tiger softball team for three years. The team was 2nd in district in her sophomore year of 2009, finishing 19-12 (11-3) and won three rounds in the state playoffs before losing to Mesquite Horn 2-1.
During her junior year of 2010, the Lady Tigers finished 3rd in district (15-18, 10-4) and lost in the first round of the playoffs to mesquite. In her senior year of 2011, Belton, led by coach Matt Blackburn, was the District 12-5A champion and had its best-ever team finish at 28-10, 12-2 on the year, losing in the fourth round of the playoffs to The Woodlands after earlier defeating North mesquite, McKinney Boyd and Mesquite Horn.
The 5'5" 125 pounds Boston had eight district starts as a junior in 2010 with a 6-1 record, an DERA of 1.22, 74 strikeouts and 7 walks in 59 innings. She had a tremendous year as a senior in 2011 with an overall record of 24 victories and only seven losses. She pitched in all 14 District 123-5A games, had nine shutouts, an ERA of 1.57 (giving up only 44 earned runs in 195.7 innings) and gave up only 155 hits on the year, allowing opponents a batting average of just .201. She posted a no-hitter against Copperas Cove on March 25 and a one-hitter against Ellison on April 22. On the year, 72% of her pitches were strikes and 28% were balls as she had 188 strikeouts and only 15 walks.
Boston received numerous awards during her three years at Belton High School. She was a 2nd Team All-District pitcher as a sophomore in 2009 and a 1st team All-District pitcher, team MVP and presented the Golden Arm Award as a junior in 2010. In her senior year, Boston was again a 1st team All-District 12-5A pitcher and District MVP,; given the Golden Arm and Coaches Award; 1st Team All-Centex by the Austin American Statesman, named All-State by the TGCA and 3rd team All-State by the Texas Sportswriters.
Allison Boston and three other Belton senior teammates (Ashley Bucher, Talya Bishoff and Kristi Moose) signed to play for Cisco Junior College for the 2012 season.
KELSI DARR ---
"This feels pretty good," Kelsi exclaimed. "Making All-State was one of my goals in my senior year. It was the one thing I really wanted to happen and it did! This feels good to get this opportunity and honor."
Kelsi Darr was named as the 2nd Team 5A All-State goal keeper in girls soccer by the Texas Association of Soccer Coaches (TASCO) after her senior season of 2011. She received a scholarship to play at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.
Kelsi Marie Darr was born on March 23, 1993, in temple, TX to Duane and Shari Darr. She and her older brother, Dillon (an all-district soccer player), attended Lakewood Elementary, Lake Belton Middle School and Belton High School. Kelsi began playing soccer at the age of fourand played youth soccer at the Belton Christian Youth Center and select soccer for the Centex Storm /Cyclone in the summers. In the seventh grade, she transferred to the Lone Star soccer club in Austin and played there until she graduated from BHS.
Darr was a four-year starter for coach barry Elkins' Lady Tigers, who have won seven consecutive 12-5A District championships (2005-2011). She was a freshman on the 2008 team that was 26-3 and made the Regional quarterfinals; a sophomore on the 2009 team that went 21-2-3 and made the Area round of the playoffs; a junior on the 2010 team that was 23-5-2 and made the regional semi-finals; and a senior on the 2011 team that was 22-2-2 and went to the Regional quarterfinals. Two of Belton's playoff losses in 2010 and 2011 were to McKinney Boyd and The Woodlands --- both eventual state champions.
Kelsi played a Belton record 106 games in her four years as the Lady Tigers goal keeper and had a career won-loss record of 93-9, including 9-0-1 at home at Wilson-Kerzee Field and an 8-3 career playoff record as goal keeper. Darr had a record 53.5 career shutouts and had a goals-against average of 0.57 for her career. As a sophomore in 2009, she allowed a school record of only 17 goals for the entire season. She had 216 saves in her four-year career, including g 15 saves against Rowlett in 2010 and nine saves against eventual state champion McKinney Boyd in 2011.
Darr was named 1st Team All-District for her sophomore-senior years (2009-2011) after making 2nd team All-District as a freshman in 2008. She was named 1st team All-Area by the Killeen Daily Herald as a junior and senior; was selected as the 2nd Team goal keeper on the 5A All-State soccer team by the Texas Association of Soccer Coaches, which had earlier named her to the All-Area 1st team in 2010 and 2011 and to the All-Region 1st team in 2010-2011.
Kelsi Darr plans to major in Sociology at Southwestern University.
GRACE WEAVER ---
"It feels great! It's really a great honor to be on the wall," Grace stated. "I really wanted this. I still remember when I looked at the pictures on the wall when I was younger. I'm very happy!"
Grace Weaver was named 1st team 5A All-State in volleyball by the Texas Sprotswriters Association after her senior season of 2010 and signed to play at Tulane University, a Division I school in New Orleans. The 5'11" Weaver was Honorable Mention All-State by TSWA as a junior.
Grace Elizabeth Weaver was born on November 12, 1992, in Temple, TX and is the daughter of Ron and Sue Weaver. She and her older brother, Ryan, grew up in Belton and attended Lake Belton Middle School and Belton High school. Grace began playing soccer at the age of four at the Belton Christian Youth Center and continued with that sport thru her freshman year at BHS. She also competed in basketball and softball as a youth in elementary and middle school. Her volleyball career began in seventh grade at LBMS. She also played club volleyball in the spring seasons, beginning in eighth grade and in cluding four seasons (2008-2011) with Austin Performance Volleyball. She competed in the 2010 AA National Championships (Orlando) and the 2009 and 2011 USA National Junior Championships in Miami and Atlanta. Grace was tutored during her school yearsbny Sharon McCollister at LBMS, BHS head coach Allison Irvin her freshman year and head coach Justeen Coulson during her later years at BHS. She also was coached by Brian Wright, Michael Kane, Miguel Saenz and Jenny Krueger of Austin Performance Volleyball.
Weaver was a four-year varsity player and three-year starter in volleyball at Belton High as the Lady Tigers made the playoffs in each of her four years and won Region II 5-A championships in her last three years. Grace was 2nd team All-District after her sophomore year and was selected as "highest honorable mention" for the "soph 79" national award by prepvolleyball.com. As a junior in 2009, Weaver was Honorable Mention All-State by the TSWA; voted Co-MVP of District 12-5A; 1st team Super-Centex by the Waco Tribune Herald; and All-Area Player of the Year by the Killeen Daily Herald.
Grace was voted the Most Valuable Player of District 12-5A in her senior season of 2010; All-Area Player of the Year again by the Killeen Daily Herald; 1st team Super-Centex again by the Waco Tribune Herald; 3rd team All-Centex by the Austin American Statesman; and 1st team 5A All-State middle blocker and outside hitter by the TSWA. She also received the 2011 Austin Performance Pinnacle Award for outstanding character, wotk ethic and commitment.
In her last three years at BHS, Weaver had a total of 1,277 kills, 1,018 digs, 171 blocks and 145 aces. As a sophomore, she had 319 kills, 260 digs, 28blocks and 60 aces. As a junior, the 5'11" Weaver had 432 kills, 315 digs, 49 blocks and 44 aces and as a senior, Grace had 526 kills, 443 digs, 94 blocks and 41 aces.
In her senior track season, Grace was District 12-5A champion in the high jump at 5'4" and placed 5th at Regionals with a jump of 5'2". She was coached by Jeff Lindsey.
Grace Weaver made a verbal commitment to Tulane after her junior year and signed after her senior season. She had also made visits to several other Division I schools (e.g. University of Mississippi, Auburn, Stephen F. Austin and Belmont). Her college credentials were helped by her status as 2010 Academic All-District and Academic All-State by TGCA.
In conclusion, the Athletic Wall of Honor Induction is unique among Texas high schools. Former Tigers are honored for their achievements and it's remarkable the amount of time and work that Dr. Wilbanks spends in research of sports programs. Everyone should make the time to look at the Wall and they would appreciate the amount of knowledge that he has put together in one spot. It's always good to honor achievements of young people and to find out about the Tigers who played sports here 60-70 years ago.
Four new names and biographies line the wall in the foyer outside of Tiger gym. Congratulations to David Ash, Allison Boston, Kelsi Darr and Grace Weaver --- Well done!