Having joined the Star Local Media sports staff in February, the 2018-19 school year will be my first full year covering Plano ISD athletics.
The upcoming seasons, both in the bracket sports and the more individual endeavors, promise to reveal as yet unknown surprises. However, as is always the case, some athletes have set themselves up as consensus candidates for continued success or breakout campaigns.
With the 2018-19 school year beginning, here’s a look at five Plano West student-athletes set to make a splash with their respective programs.
The 2018 6-6A Pitcher of the Year and a recent Baylor commit, there’s little doubt that the southpaw will be the most critical piece of the West baseball team next spring.
Hattrup secured the Wolves’ only win in their bi-district series loss to Flower Mound Marcus last season, spinning a seven-inning, nine-strikeout gem to earn a 3-0 shutout of the Marauders.
Hattrup is a competitor and frequently goes deep into ballgames, and his senior campaign should bring more of the same as he takes his last turn in a West uniform.
Having bowed out of the 2017 postseason to eventual state champion Hebron, the West volleyball team has its sights set on a deep playoff run under new head coach Justin Waters.
The Lady Wolves have the talent to do it, and Ndiaye – along with junior Jill Pressly – holding down the net will have a lot to do with how far the program goes this season.
Ndiaye is a force on the kill, and she’s already shown that she’s in gear this season – the Lady Wolves took down the recent Nike ASC/LISD Classic, at which Ndiaye was named best offensive player. With Waters committed to shaping her into an even more well-rounded player, her star could continue to rise in the blue and white.
Boyd missed the majority of the 2018 campaign with an injury – a broken finger suffered against Allen in the early goings of 6-6A play.
While the setback derailed the West season, the Lady Wolves could storm back this spring in Boyd’s senior year as they enter the new District 9-6A.
The Stanford commit is one of the best hurlers in the area, and she’s entering her fourth season as a member of the varsity squad (along with fellow senior Elisa Rosado). If she stays healthy, she could have a special season in the circle for the Lady Wolves.
A physical force on the edge, defensive end Pearl has already garnered offers from a laundry list of the biggest names in college football – Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame, Texas have all come calling, to name a few.
While the Wolves had a season to forget a year ago, going 0-10, Pearl was often dominant. He recorded 33 solo tackles, assisted on 23, notched 10 tackles for loss and tallied six sacks.
If the Wolves’ defense is going to help them get back on the road to relevance, it will begin with Pearl.
In truth, there are several players worthy of keeping an eye on for the West girls soccer team. The Lady Wolves, who made the postseason last spring, are still young and will return many of their key pieces as they hit the pitch this season.
McQuaid showed off her free-kick ability against rival Plano Senior last season, curling one in off the crossbar from distance to help the Lady Wolves to a 4-1 victory that kept their playoff hopes alive.
As an upperclassman, the 6-6A first-teamer should once again play a large role in whether or not the Lady Wolves can return to the playoffs in 2019.
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