There is no doubt that Stratford High School is one of the most competitive schools in all of Houston, Texas.
The Spartans have won a state championship in football, two in men’s swimming, and two in men’s cross country. With a growing athletic program, here is a look at some of the best Spartan athletes in the Class of 2021.
At 220 pounds, Bryce Calloway is a frightening opponent for an opposing defensive lineman standing across the scrimmage line. The 6-foot-2 right guard is a starter for the Stratford Spartans’ varsity football team.
Calloway doesn’t only block on the football field, he plays everywhere from 1st base to 3rd base to pitcher on the baseball field for the Spartans as well.
As far as a collegiate career, Calloway says he aspires to play football for an SEC school.
“Which ever offer that benefits me the most is the one I will most likely choose,” Calloway stated. “Particularly LSU but, hopefully any SEC school.”
Sophomore Natalie Winn plays for the Stratford varsity volleyball team as the outside hitter. Last year, Winn was the only freshman to be on the roster. This year, Winn is just one of four players to be on the team as a sophomore.
Winn has been a big part of the Spartans success this season. Stratford advanced to the second round of the playoffs with a 3-0 sweep of Belliare last night. They play Seven Lakes on Thursday.
Winn and her teammates have a very simple pregame routine in order to get loose before a big game.
“Before games we listen to music to get hype,” Winn said. “We also stretch and dance to warmup.”
Ben Moseley is one of the best all around athletes in the Class of 2021 at Stratford. Moseley plays running back for the varsity football team, point guard for the basketball team, and runs the 200 meter, long jump, and triple jump for the track team.
To give you an idea of his grit, Moseley played two games this football season with a fractured fibula in his right leg. In fact, he even scored a touchdown in the season opener battling against the pain, reluctant to come off the field.
The 6-foot sophomore is also starting to transition into the receiver position for the Spartans. Regardless of what sport or position he is playing in, Moseley’s speed and perseverance makes his one of the best athletes in Stratford’s Class of 2021.
Moseley’s coach, Bryan Keefner, applauded Moseley’s mental and physical strength to return from his recent injury.
“Ben is a tough kid that stayed positive throughout the whole process,” Keefner said. “He knew he’d be out for a short time, so he focused on getting better physically and attended all meetings to stay sharp for his return.”
Ally Padron, the center defender and holding midfielder for the Stratford girls’ varsity soccer team and already has her collegiate career lined up in front of her.
Padron’s ball handling skills and speed caught the attention of one of the top schools in the nation. In her freshman year, Padron committed to play soccer for the University of Rice.
“One of the coaches at Rice came out to one of my games and they liked me and thought I would be a good fit for their school,” she said. “I started having phone calls with them over the course of a few months and they came out to a few more games.
“After an unofficial tour, I was so in love with the people, academics, campus, and so much more that when Rice offered me a scholarship I took it,” Padron added.
In his freshman year, Nathan Siciliano was the only freshman to be on the boys’ varsity soccer team. Standing at 5-foot-10, Siciliano plays left back and right back for the Spartans. Siciliano’s acceleration and agility with the ball makes his athleticism incomparable.
According to Siciliano, putting on the green and white means everything to him.
“It means a lot,” Siciliano said. “I grew up hearing about Stratford athletes and wanting to be one of them. So finally having the opportunity to represent the school is definitely something I think about when pushing myself to do well.”
Emma Venghaus is one of the best swimmers at Stratford High School, let alone in her class. Venghaus made the varsity swim team as a freshman last year and again this year. According to Venghaus, what makes her one of the best in the class is her “underwaters” – the swimming beneath the surface of the water at the beginning of a race and after a flip turn.
And when asked if she aspires to swim collegiately, Venghaus responded with a resounding, “Yes, definitely!” She continued to say, “I’d love to swim in college. My dream is to swim for A&M, TCU, or Auburn.”
With an incredible basketball and baseball IQ, Mark Perkins separates himself as one of the best athletes in his class. Perkins plays shooting guard for the Spartans’ basketball team and third base for the Spartans’ baseball team.
On the court, Perkins has remarkable shooting ability and court vision. On the field, Perkins has played almost every position in the infield. However, his specialty position is at third base.
Last baseball season, Perkins even played a handful of games with the varsity team.
“Mark has an outstanding feel for the game,” Spartans basketball coach Timothy Johnson said. “He seems to have a maturity with the game of basketball. He never gets too high or too low. He never gets rattled.”
Monica Guarin was one of two freshman girls on the varsity tennis team last year.
Whether she is on the court or in the work out room, Guarin spends most of her free time making sure she is the best tennis player that she can be.
Guarin’s intelligence on the court and composure clearly makes her one of the top athletes in her class.
Monica touched on her ability to stay composed and how she spends her time training.
“I try to stay calm and not show my emotions [on the court],” she said, “I spend a lot of training time, both in tennis and fitness.”
To say the least, the future is bright for the athletic program at Stratford High School.
Jackson Allred is a student at Stratford and a member of the VYPE U Ambassador Program. To learn more about how you can become a VYPE U Ambassador at your school...