Bulldog hoopster makes all-region team
By Brady Keane BCC Contributor
Pictured: Ty Neff attributes "increased aggression" on the inside layup as key to his success in drawing more fouls.
For the past three seasons, junior guard Ty Neff has been a go-to scoring option for the Bulldog basketball squad. After averaging nearly 20 points and four rebounds in pre-district, and 21.4 points and five rebounds in district play, Neff was named to the 2014 Region 4 All-Region basketball team this week.
"It's a blessing, but I couldn't have done it without my team and everyone else that supported me," Neff said. "It goes to show that hard work really does pay off."
Neff certainly puts a lot of hard work into basketball, and in addition to playing for the Bulldogs in the winter, he is a member of the traveling Texas Tigers AAU basketball program.
"It helps tremendously," Neff said. "Playing in the winter and in the summer keeps in the flow and has me continuously improving my game. I'm thankful for my parents sacrificing a lot of time to support me. But I would recommend for every serious basketball player to try to get on a summer team."
Ty first joined the Bulldogs varsity squad at the start of the district season in 2011 as a freshman, and has since scored over 1000 total points at the varsity level for the Bulldogs.
Since joining the Bulldogs varsity squad midway through his freshman season, Neff has been a pure scoring machine for the Bulldogs. As a sophomore, Ty was named to first team All-District while averaging a little more than 12 points per game.
"I'd say the thing I've improved most is my aggressiveness," Neff said. "I had a lot more lay ups than last year and with the increased aggression I drew more fouls and shot about 150 more free throws."
Taking over the role of the go to scorer for this year's Bi-District championship team, Neff was one of two captains and a vital leader both on and off the court for the Bulldogs.
"Ty has a positive impact on any situation or circumstance he is put in," fellow captain and senior Jonathan Raitz said. "He has a never give up and never give in attitude that is matched by few. He always had something motivating and catchy to encourage the team with, including the hashtag #BigAmbitions, which was the team's motto throughout the year. Ty truly cares about each person's success, and he will sacrifice his own gain in a heartbeat so that others can benefit."
Ty's biggest games this season came in a 19 point outing and a win over the previously undefeated Fredericksburg Billies, and a 37 point outing against the Wimberley Texans that secured the Bulldogs a playoff position.
"The win over Fredericksburg was awesome," Neff said. "The entire team played so well that game! All of the returning players feel that will be a glimpse of what next year is going to be all about!"
Although Neff has been largely successful on the court over the past several seasons, he is also a member of the Bulldogs varsity baseball team and has made it to regionals in track the last two seasons while maintaining a 3.85 GPA. Neff was also one of five Bulldogs named to the Academic All-District team.
"I'm a student athlete, so grades and school come first, even though it gets tough after late night games or early morning practices," Neff said. "Sadly, basketball will only last so long. I'm hoping to play in college, but the grades will help me get into a career that'll last until I'm old enough to retire."
Neff will be one of four key returning players from this year's team (Neff, Mansfield, Nelson and Jennings), and the entire team feels that next season could be even more successful.
"I'm so thankful for this year's seniors for helping us build a house and leaving us and following classes to decorate it," Neff said. "I think we have a chance to do something special next season! Coach Shearhart, Wanek, and LaLanne all believe that we have endless potential, and with their coaching I think we can reach our peak! Ultimately, our goal is to reach the state tournament, and while some may see this as a joke, our entire program is on the same page and I'm sure the team is up for the challenge."