Celina and Prosper sports had yet another successful year in 2019, keeping its rich winning traditions alive.
Between Celina and Prosper football each making the playoffs while competing in brand new stadiums, this past year will be another to remember.
Let’s take a look back on the year that was in Celina and Prosper athletics, starting with the first half of that lineup.
10. Celina softball reaches third round
After losing to powerhouse Crandall two years ago in the postseason, the Celina softball team got over that hump by taking down the Lady Pirates in a thrilling area-round matchup in 2019.
Behind a masterful complete game from junior pitcher Micayla Galloway, the Lady Bobcats outlasted Crandall in a 6-3 affair in a one-game series – but it was a final defensive play in the field that sealed the deal late.
With two outs in the seventh inning, Crandall’s cleanup hitter Angel Grimaldo hit a screaming liner to Celina shortstop Alexis Ginegaw, who dropped the ball for what would have been a devastating error that could have loaded the bases.
But Ginegaw had other plans with a heads-up play, as she pounced on top of the ball and dove to the bag at second to record the out and end the ballgame in dramatic fashion.
9. Celina girls basketball gets back into playoffs
After a two-year drought from the postseason for the Celina girls basketball team, the Lady Bobcats showed signs of life once again by sneaking into the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
Under first year head coach Kristin Cole, Celina came up with notable wins over quality district foes such as Sanger and Anna before being bounced in the first round by powerhouse Lincoln.
The Lady Bobcats are poised for another potential playoff berth again this season, as Cole enters year No. 2 at the helm of the program.
8. Rick Carpenter retires
While watching his son Matt Carpenter play for the St. Louis Cardinals less than 24 hours after Prosper’s season came to an end, Rick Carpenter and his wife received a text from their real estate agent that their house had received an offer.
Carpenter briefly flirted with the thought of retirement following the conclusion of the 2018 season and even put his house on the market then.
After countless months of not getting any nibbles on the house, everything started to fall into place this past spring and he said selling the house was the final straw in announcing his retirement from coaching.
Carpenter leaves a legacy that is unmatched around the state with 883 career victories in 37 seasons that includes three state titles at Elkins in 1995, 2002 and 2003 and a fourth in 2015 with Prosper.
He is also a member of the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and although his coaching accolades are about as good as it gets, the highlight of his illustrious career has nothing do with any award or state championship.
7. Prosper girls basketball gets to regional finals
In just their first-ever season in Class 6A competition, the Lady Eagles not only proved they could hang with the teams from the state’s highest classification, but also nearly brought home a state title in the process.
Led by five-star recruit and current Baylor freshman Jordyn Oliver, Prosper finished with an overall record of 29-10, as the former McDonald’s All-American spearheaded the Lady Eagles on an exciting postseason run.
Prosper cruised past Rowlett and Waco Midway in the first two rounds before an epic matchup with district foe Plano resulted in a narrow 55-51 victory for the Lady Eagles.
Then after stomping Vista Ridge in the regional semifinals, Prosper’s magical playoff run came to an end in a wild battle with another familiar face in Allen in the fifth round.
6. Prosper opens new football stadium
As the city of Prosper continues to boom, it was only a matter of time until the football team received a new stadium that could accommodate for a 6A program.
Not only did Prosper ISD do just that, but it went all out with the $53 million, 12,000-seat stadium Children’s Health Stadium.
Prior to the opening of the state-of-the-art stadium, Prosper previously played its home games at nearby Reynolds Middle School, which originally accommodated for Prosper when it was a Class 3A program.