With young nucleus, Cy Creek softball ‘shooting for all of it’ next year

May 16, 2019 GMT

It was a record-setting season for Cy Creek softball and longtime head coach Randall Kight. The 2018-19 Cougars went further than any team in school history.

The district runners-up and area finalists capped an impressive year for Cy Creek athletics in CFISD, which featured two state champions and 10 of 12 sports making the postseason or finishing with winning records.

Looking ahead, the Cougars are poised to make it even further in 2019-20 as the squad will return most of the roster, including a deep junior class.

“This is my 28th year at Cy Creek and I’m planning on graduating when these sophomores graduate,” 26th year Cy Creek head softball coach Kight said. “We were blessed with just having a really good freshman group last year.”


After leaving coaching for four years, Kight, who has coached for 39 years overall, returned in 1991 as the varsity softball coach at Cy Creek.

In December of 2017, Kight was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer.

However, even during treatments, he was still a participant of the program and would coach from the field and sidelines. Kight received his last treatment on Aug. 24, 2018, which is when he was declared cancer-free.

“It’s something that was totally unexpected, and I really struggled last year,” Kight said. “I came back to teach in January last year when the semester started and I’m sure I scared a lot of people because I saw pictures of me...

“I’ve made a pretty good recovery, I still have one more surgery to do in June this summer and should be through with all that after this last surgery, I believe.”

The Cy Creek Athletic Booster Club supported Kight during his journey, from starting a GoFundMe account to fundraisers selling BBQ plates.

“My booster club were the ones that got behind me,” Kight said. “It was really a heartfelt blessing because the doctor bills when you incur that type of illness are just outstanding; still paying. It helped tremendously with some of the expenses that I incurred. But they did a great job. Mainly a guy named Jeff Farish, who is our booster club president, and a lady named Becky Anderson, who is our softball liaison, are the two main ones that got things rolling.”

Now, Kight will go two more seasons and call it quits.

“It just worked out that way,” Kight said. “That’s a good round number to leave it with somebody else.”

Steadily improving

Cy Creek (15-5, 14-2) finished second in District 17-6A behind Spring Branch ISD’s Memorial. Cy-Fair placed third and Stratford fourth.


The Cougars were hoping to place ahead Cy-Fair in the standings.

“We felt like we had a better draw as far as making it to playoffs if we could finish second, so that was one of our aiming points,” Kight said.

The Cougars were able to beat Memorial 4-3 the first time around in eight innings with Idalia Alarcon scoring the winning run, March 8, but then lost to Cy-Fair 8-0, March 19, and lost to the Mustangs the second time, 9-4, April 16.

After they couldn’t place first, the Cougars tried their best for second.

In the last district game, April 19, the Cougars and Bobcats battled it out in the oldest rivalry in CFISD with playoff implications.

The winner would clinch second and the loser third. Cy Creek won 2-1. Pitcher Alarcon had 11 strikeouts.

“It’s always fun to beat Cy-Fair,” Kight said after the game. “That’s probably our biggest rival and so anytime we’re able to beat them it’s always a plus.”

District 18-6A also had a tie for second and third place between Chavez and Lamar. And after a tiebreaker, the Bobcats drew the Texans.

In the Region III-6A bi-district round, Jordan Peno finished with three runs and a home run and Alarcon led the way on the mound, as the Cougars beat Lamar 12-2 in a one-game playoff, April 26, at Butler Stadium.

In the area round, May 1, also in a one-game series, the Cougars were two outs away from eliminating Ridge Point.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Taylor Roman and Maggie Darr hit back-to-back home runs to rally the Panthers past Cy Creek 7-6, at Mayde Creek.

“Didn’t end the way we wanted but they put up a hard fight,” Kight said. “Proud of these girls and their fight.”

Core of the group

The Cougar softball team was one of 12 school teams that either made the playoffs or finished with a winning record this past year. Ultimately, they improved two spots in the standings from last year’s group that had placed fourth and finished as bi-district finalists.

“We’re shooting for all of it next year,” Kight said.

One of the seniors who improved overall, according to Kight, was captain Alarcon. Alarcon had 138 strikeouts in 16 games during the district season and batted third in the lineup. The other seniors were Lexie Garza and Kinley Murray.

“She (Alarcon) upped her game,” Kight said. “She increased her speed and worked real hard on her changeup. As she goes, we go.”

Alarcon was voted the 2018-19 District 17-6A Most Valuable Player and proved to be durable, pitching in every game but one in which she was hurt.

“She’s really had a great year, has had four great years basically,” Kight said. “She set a bunch of records for us with her pitching.”

Nevertheless, with a small senior class, the underclassmen were also able to step up their game.

Kight’s starting lineup featured a freshman at catcher, a freshman at third base, a sophomore at shortstop, a sophomore at second base, a junior at first base and all sophomores in the outfield.

“I have eight sophomores and two freshmen on the varsity,” Kight said.

The area with the most need for improvement is the pitching, claims Kight.

“We’re going to be good again next year,” Kight said.

‘Go as far as we can’

Kight played seven freshmen on varsity last year, and after a historic season, they’ll be juniors next year.

“Most all of them play select ball, in fact I think all of them do, they’re just around softball,” Kight said. “They’re softball junkies…Two of them are already committed to going to colleges.”

Sophomore third baseman and outfielder Ja’Naiya Thomas, last year’s Newcomer of the Year, is committed to going to UH and sophomore catcher and outfielder Jordan Peno is committed to Sam Houston.

Thomas batted .460 this past season and Peno .356. There’s also sophomore shortstop Delayne Moreno, Madison Battle, Holly Selldin, Jess Schumann, Connor Payton, Jordan Orr, junior Jazmine Gonzalez and freshman Kyla Gonzalez and Kayla Richardson.

“Then I have a couple of more that are talking with people,” Kight said.

Thomas is most likely the player that will take over as captain.

“She’s more vocal than the rest of them,” Kight said.

The Cougars wanted to win district this year.

“That was our goal,” Kight said. “Now, our goal is just to go as far as we can in the playoffs.”

The pressure of winning next year could also benefit the team, instead of hurting them.

“They actually play better when they know they’re playing somebody that’s pretty good,” Kight said. “They rise up and play even harder. I’m really excited about what we’re going to do the next couple of years. It’s just going to be one of those things, it could go real well…They’re a really good group of girls.”

In the end, what Kight is prouder of than anything else when it comes to the program is that out of 30 total athletes, 26 of them made the A-B honor roll this last report card, counting junior varsity too.

“Not only are they good athletes but good students,” Kight said. “Which is even more important than the softball part of it.”