Boys soccer, swimming propel Nelson in Lone Star Cup

After finishing in the Top 10 for the last two years, Byron Nelson High School finished this season in fifth place in the Class 4A division of the Lone Star Cup competition, its highest mark in the standings.

The UIL Lone Star Cup is a year-long standing that recognizes athletics and academics and is given to five high schools, one for each classification (1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A).

The Bobcats were just a few points away from finishing third, as Amarillo, Aledo, Dallas Highland Park and Friendswood finished higher.

“Finishing fifth in the standings is a huge honor and tribute to the work that the athletes and students put in this year,” Northwest ISD athletic director Susan Elza said.

One sport that contributed to the fifth-place finish was boys soccer, which won the 4A state championship last season, defeating Valley View on April 19.

“It's great for us, being a new school,” head boys soccer coach Howard Putter said. “We definitely could have finished higher, but unfortunately a couple of our teams came up short.”

Other activities that factor into the standings include theater, marching band, boys and girls basketball, football, volleyball, girls soccer, swimming and more. Swimming is a tricky sport to score. There's some points for doing good, even though it's an individual sport, but most of the points come from academics.

“We had a couple of girls that did really well academically wise,” head swimming coach Steve Melbourn said.

Even though the team won their regional, Melbourn sees the finish as a step into the right direction for next year, despite the school moving into a different class.

Soccer and swimming are tops on the list for helping the Bobcats into the top five, but Elza knows that every sport contributes in its own way.

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“It gives the athletic department something to shoot for. It's a big honor,” Elza said. “Every sport shoots for a playoff run to get more points, and the fall sports really get the season off to a success. It grows to other sports in later seasons to do just as good.”

Each sport did what it had to do for the Bobcats, but there wasn't any one sport that stood out and surprised the community in helping the school to fifth, Elza said.

Most schools have coaches who are also teachers, and Elza believes it starts with their leadership.

“We want to hire great leadership so we can have expectations in our program. Part of our goal is to make the postseason every year and make it past the first round,” Elza said. “There's no surprises if it's our goal to do so, but in terms of leadership, we had a significant amount of it this year.”

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