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In what was called the "Dodge Bowl" among fans and the media, Coach Todd Dodge adds to the Chaparrals' trophy case by bringing home the State Championship for Westlake High School a second time. Westlake was able to hold off the Southlake Carroll Dragons, winning 52-34 and becoming back-to-back State Champions for the first time in school history.
The Texas State Championship game put father and son coaches head to head against each other, and this time dad got the upper hand. Todd faced off against son Riley Dodge Saturday night in one of the most highly anticipated State Championship games in a decade.
Southlake was able to strike first, scoring on a 10 play 3:35 minute drive that was capped off by Owen Allen scoring his 27th touchdown of the season for the Dragons. It didn't take long for the Chaparral's to answer back. Yale commit Zane Minors was able to score on the first possession for Westlake on a 75-yard touchdown run. It the pace for the first half between one of the state's best offenses and a Chaparral defense that only allowed 5.5 points per game to opponents all season.
After Minnesota commit Brady Boyd's 49-yard touchdown reception from former Longhorn commit Quinn Ewers, Southlake was able to take a touchdown lead with 6:24 left in the first quarter. Westlake's Grey Nakfoor was able to even the score on a 39-yard touchdown run making the score tied at 14 to end the first quarter.
Quinn Ewers ⏩ Brady Boyd! #UILState #UILonFSSW https://t.co/IGi7QQdfRk— Dave Campbell's Texas Football — TexasFootball.com (@Dave Campbell's Texas Football — TexasFootball.com)1610847047.0
After a Southlake punt, Westlake was able to take the lead. Offensive player of the game, junior quarterback Cade Klubnik, was able to connect with Jaden Greathouse for Greathouse's 13th touchdown of the season for the Chaps. The Dragons answered back in style. After a fourth down conversion to RJ Maryland from Ewers, the Dragons tied the game up with Boyd's second touchdown of the game from 27 yards out. The 21 first-half points were the most points given up on the season—let alone in the first half—from Todd Dodge's team.
There's a reason his name is GREAThouse. Perfect throw from Cade Klubnik, too. #UILState #UILonFSSW https://t.co/YCHHdLgFi1— Dave Campbell's Texas Football — TexasFootball.com (@Dave Campbell's Texas Football — TexasFootball.com)1610848282.0
After Cade Klubnik was able to get into the endzone for his 14th rushing touchdown of the season, Micheal Taaffe had the first of his Defensive MVP moments. Taaffe, who had an interception in last year's championship, picked off Quinn Ewers. Westlake ended the season +25 in turnover differential, one of the best in the state. The interception stopped Southlake from taking the lead, keeping the score tied at 21 going into halftime.
EWERS TO BOYD HOW?!?! #UILState #UILonFSSW https://t.co/BZBBNrmmc2— Dave Campbell's Texas Football — TexasFootball.com (@Dave Campbell's Texas Football — TexasFootball.com)1610849246.0
The Chaps got the ball to start the second half, and Klubnik picked up where he left off. The junior quarterback rushed for a season-long 44 yards that would set up Grey Nakfoor for his second rushing touchdown of the game from three yards out. On the first Southlake possession, Taaffe made one of the best plays in Westlake history. One second down, Taaffe was able to make a one-handed interception on Ewers. The turnover lead to another score for the Chaparrals making the score 42-21 and all but sealing the game for Coach Todd and his team.
ONE-HANDED INTERCEPTION 😳 @Westlake_Nation DB Michael Taaffe goes full Odell Beckham Jr. for his second INT of the… https://t.co/QHW1YITsrW— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOX Sports Southwest)1610853139.0
After a third rushing touchdown for Nakfoor, Southlake Carroll was finally able to score with 4:31 left in the game on a ten-yard touchdown catch from Ewers to RJ Maryland to make the score 52-27 after a missed two-point conversion. The score snapped 24 unanswered points scored by Westlake against Southlake. Southlake was able to score one last time on an Owen Allen rushing touchdown to make the final score a more respectable 52-34 win for Westlake.
IT'S OVER! Austin Westlake wins the 6A Division I State Championship! 🏆 #TXHSFB | @uiltexas | #UILonFSSW |… https://t.co/0FB9EhO0nG— FOX Sports Southwest (@FOX Sports Southwest)1610857460.0
The dueling quarterbacks both ended with great numbers: Offensive MVP Cade Klubnik going 18-20 for 220 yards and a touchdown to pair with 111 yards rushing and two scores, and Quinn Ewers had 351 yards and three touchdowns to go along with two interceptions and a fumble.
For Todd Dodge, the championship marks his sixth title coaching at the 5A/6A level, making his already legendary career a little more special. The win for Westlake made them the first team in school history to win back-to-back state titles and sets them up to be the first team since Allen to try to win three championships in a row at the 5A/6A level ('12-'14). For Coach Riley, Southlake is already projected to win their district next season with the returns they are projected to have. Fans should not be surprised if we are in for a "Dodge Bowl II" next season.
17 years and three medals later, Osterman's last ride with USA softball is over. What's next for Cat?
Nearly two decades after her debut with the University of Texas and 17 years after her first Olympic gold, softball icon Cat Osterman stepped off the Olympic pitcher's mound for the last time with a silver medal to take back home.
Osterman, a three-time Olympian who has been called the "Michael Jordan of softball," will officially retire from the international realm at 38 after a decorated career that included Olympic golds, years of retirement and plenty of adversity—from a worldwide pandemic to dashed gold-medal dreams.
Osterman and her crew left Tokyo on a bittersweet note on Tuesday with a silver medal in hand.
Osterman with Team USA in 2008. (Antoni Majewski/Twitter)
Osterman in the final in 2021. (Antoni Majewski/Twitter)
After a year of sparse in-person training and over a decadelong hiatus, Team USA and Osterman flew to the finals. In five games, the team beat Italy (2-0), Canada (1-0), Mexico (2-0), Australia (2-1), and Japan (2-1).
Deja vu struck in the final match. On one side, Osterman and fellow 2008 Olympic teammate Monica Abbott took the mound; on the other was the 39-year-old Yukiko Ueno, a familiar foe who helped the team beat Team USA last go-round.
"Just like 13 years ago," Ueno said in a press conference, "we were facing each other in the final."
Ueno, who had lost hopes at gold to Osterman in '04, outpitched her longtime opponent with six scoreless innings as Team USA was held to just three hits. The same team that squandered their gold-medal hopes 13 years before had done it once again.
Your Tokyo 2020 Olympic Silver Medalists 🇺🇸#TokyoOlympics | @TeamUSA pic.twitter.com/MOMNOedHUd
— USA Softball Women's National Team 🇺🇸 (@USASoftballWNT) July 27, 2021
"There's a little bit of disappointment in not bringing home the gold since that's the eye on the prize when you go over there and you know you have a shot at it," Osterman told Austonia. "But more than anything, I'm very proud of the way our team handled everything that was part of this journey and not just the six games."
It's that very loss at the 2008 Olympics that partially motivated Osterman to get back on the mound. She officially put down the glove in 2015 after six seasons with the USSSA Pride, took time with family and began coaching at Texas State University.
Osterman helped ace Randi Rupp to greatness while a coach at Texas State University. (Active Voice Health/Twitter)
She thought her Olympic endeavors were well over—until talks of reinstating softball into the Games reentered the conversation.
"It wasn't until 2016 or 2017, that it ever crossed my mind to possibly put the USA uniform on again," Osterman said. "After the World Championships in 2010, I walked away, and I thought that my career on the international stage was done. So this was a pleasant kind of new opportunity."
Three years after facing any competition, Osterman was on the field once more with world-class athletes. Some, like Osterman and Abbott, had been playing together long enough to form a formidable "Fire and Ice" duo on the mound. Others had just graduated college.
Osterman said playing with a younger generation of athletes was one of the most rewarding aspects of this year's Games.
"It can be very different when you have 24- and 38-year-olds on the same field," Osterman said. "The adversity put us in some challenging positions and we came through with flying colors. And this group will forever be special just because what we had to go through is so different."
While on the mound, Osterman's job was to give the team a calm start. Off of the field, she felt her role had much of the same effect: she knew that new Olympic feeling, and she served as a deep breath to her first-time teammates.
"There's no words to explain how nervous and excited you get knowing that the whole world can be watching," Osterman. "I think using those emotions and figuring out how to get all our butterflies lined up and going in the right direction, so that way we were all moving together, was kind of my role outside of pitching."
We've heard her retire once before, but this time Osterman said she's gone for good—even from coaching. After her final time with Team USA on Sept. 27, she plans on returning to Austin, where she'll look to work for a nonprofit.
A gold and two silvers will have to do for one of the most decorated athletes in U.S. softball history.
"To be able to say you're a three-time Olympic medalist is a pretty special deal, right?" Osterman. "I played for a long time. But those are the pinnacle, in my mind, and kind of what elicits the dream to keep playing."
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Hospitals are facing a "significant" increase in admissions of pregnant women due to COVID-19 complications, Austin-Travis County health officials say, revealing what could be a long-term side effect of the virus.
Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes met with three maternal medicine specialists on Monday morning to warn of yet another COVID-19 Delta variant concern: severe cases of the disease affecting unvaccinated mothers-to-be.
The doctors said unvaccinated pregnant women face an increased risk of preterm births, long-term effects, preeclampsia, ICU stays, stillbirths, being put on life support and even death if they are unvaccinated.
"We are really concerned that we are not getting that population of folks to hear this message of the safety of vaccines, so today we're assembled, one and all to say, wear a mask and please get vaccinated," Walkes said. "Vaccinations are the way to prevent severe disease and hospitalizations and death."
Medical Director of Maternal Fetal Medicine at St. David's Women's Center of Texas Dr. Kimberly DeStefano said 95% of pregnant women admitted with COVID-19 are unvaccinated, stressing that all pregnant and lactating women should get the vaccine not only to protect themselves but to protect their babies from infection, which can be passed through breastmilk or birth.
"We know that the earlier in pregnancy you are vaccinated, the more antibodies are present at the time of birth for the infant," DeStefano said. "This is something that's very important, both during the pregnancy and postpartum."
Catching COVID-19 while pregnant can cause adverse effects on the baby, particularly because it increases the risk of preterm births. Baylor Scott & White Maternal Obstetrics Chief of Maternal Medicine Dr. Jessica Ehrig, said that preterm births are one of the "biggest impacts" on childhood development.
"We know that (preterm births) can have long-term effects depending on how early a baby's born," Ehrig said. "It increases the risk for long term respiratory issues, for blindness sometimes (and) for neurologic development delays."
Since mid-July, COVID-19 hospitalizations have been on a steep rise that sent the city back to recommending Stage 4 guidelines. As the seven-day rolling average of hospitalizations surpassed 50 admissions, Stage 5 guidelines could be on the horizon. The city reported 54 new admissions and 546 total new cases on Friday.
Delta is more contagious than chickenpox, Walkes said, and even vaccinated individuals can catch and spread the virus without symptoms. The group of doctors asked everyone, especially pregnant women, to mask while in public as local hospitals pass the Stage 5 threshold.
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