- Dripping Springs ISD
Fourteen DSHS Senior Student-Athletes Sign National Letters of Intent
April 13, 2022
Fourteen Dripping Springs High School seniors signed National Letters of Intent on Wednesday, April 13 to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level. Student-athletes signing were soccer players Brenden Gajewski, Adam Knutson, Javier Ortega and Faith Wylie, football players Preston Alford and Kellen Vickery, cross country/track athletes Kate Ginther and Ryan Grunwald, volleyball player Ryann Allison, wrestler Seth Rill, tennis player Whitney Robbins, baseball player Matthew Schindler, basketball player Tanner Smith and golfer Tanner Wardlaw.
Combined with the 17 DSHS seniors who announced their college commitments earlier this year, this brings the number of Tiger student-athletes continuing their playing careers at the collegiate level to 31.
Preston Alford, Football, University of Oregon
Preston Alford was a three-year letterwinner for the Tiger football team, accumulating 5,281 yards and 81 touchdowns throughout his career to help Dripping Springs to three district titles and a 28-7 record. He spent time playing running back, quarterback and safety for the Tigers. He was a two-time all-state selection and three-time first team all-district honoree, being named the district MVP in 2019 and co-offensive MVP in 2021. As a senior, Alford was named to the All-Centex Third Team by the Austin American-Statesman and was selected to the Academic All-State Second Team. He is the son of Dacia and Brent Alford. Coach: Galen Zimmerman.
Ryann Allison, Volleyball, University of North Carolina at Asheville
Ryann Allison was a two-year letterwinner as a hitter and setter for the Tiger volleyball team. She helped the Tigers to the state semifinals in 2020 and the regional finals in 2021. As a senior, she was named to the District 26-5A Second Team after leading the Tigers with nearly 900 assists on the season. She plays club ball for the Austin Performance Volleyball organization and is the daughter of Sarah Holmes and Joseph Allison. Coach: Michael Kane.
Brenden Gajewski, Soccer, East Texas Baptist University
Brenden Gajewski is a two-year varsity letterman for the Tiger soccer team. As a senior, he earned first team all-district honors while ranking second for the Tigers in scoring with 18 goals from the forward position. He helped Dripping Springs advance to the UIL State Tournament for just the second time in program history and set school records for wins (25) and goals (116) this season. In 2021, he scored seven goals as part of a regional semifinalist squad. He is the son of Hailey and Jason Gajewski. Coach: Josh Hill.
Kate Ginther, Cross Country/Track, Texas A&M University
Kate Ginther is a three-year letterwinner in both cross country and track. She led the Tigers to a third-place team finish at the 2021 UIL State Meet in cross country with an eighth-place finish to earn all-state accolades. She was also named a 2021 Texas High School Coaches Association Academic All-State Second Team honoree. In track, she set the school record in the 800 meters with a time of 2:14 as a junior, qualifying for the state meet and placing seventh. In 2022, she was part of the distance medley relay team that set the school record at the Texas Relays with a time of 12:25. She is the daughter of Anna McMillan and Devin Ginther. Coach: Kourtney Morris.
Ryan Grunwald, Cross Country/Track, Texas State University
Ryan Grunwald is a one-year varsity letterwinner for the Tigers in both cross country and track. As a senior, he placed 23rd at the District 26-5A Cross Country Meet to earn honorable mention all-district honors while helping the Tigers to a fifth-place team finish. Over the course of his career he improved his 5K cross country time by three minutes and lowered his two mile personal-best time on the track by two minutes. He is the son of Jennifer and Mike Grunwald. Coach: Kourtney Morris.
Adam Knutson, Soccer, Trinity University
Adam Knutson is a four-year letterwinner and two-year team captain for the Tiger soccer team. He has helped Dripping Springs to four consecutive district championships and a UIL State Tournament berth in 2022. He will close out his career this week as the school record holder for goals and points, currently sitting with 80 and 196, respectively. As a senior, he set the single-season school record with 93 points and is one shy of tying the season record for goals scored with 37. In 2021, he was named a United Soccer Coaches All-American and was a Texas Association of Soccer Coaches Second Team All-State pick. A two-time first team all-district selection, he was also tabbed the district’s midfielder of the year as a junior and earned honorable mention all-state honors as a sophomore. He is the son of Lisa and Kyle Knutson. Coach: Josh Hill.
Javier Ortega, Soccer, University of Texas at Dallas
Javier Ortega is a four-year letterman and two-year team captain for the Tiger soccer team, helping the squad to the 2022 UIL State Tournament and four consecutive district titles. This season, he has recorded four goals and five assists while anchoring the Dripping Springs defense to 17 shutouts to tie a school record. He is a two-time all-district honoree, earning first team accolades as a junior and second team honors as a sophomore. He is the son of Irene and Javier Ortega. Coach: Josh Hill.
Seth Rill, Wrestling, Schreiner University
Seth Rill was a three-year letterman for the Tigers and was a part of three district and regional championship teams during his career. As a senior, he advanced to the UIL State Meet after capturing district and regional titles in the 160 weight class. He posted a 42-14 record in his final season to finish 66-38 for his career. He finished in the program’s top 10 for most pins in a season with 38 as a senior and 59 for his career. He is the son of Lori and Sean Rill. Coach: Joe Kirksey.
Whitney Robbins, Tennis, University of Arkansas
Whitney Robbins is a four-year letterwinner for the Tigers, and a two-time state doubles qualifier. As a freshman, she captured a district title in girls’ doubles and earned a second-place finish at the regional tournament to qualify for state. Robbins was a district champion in mixed doubles in 2021 and 2022, currently competing at the regional tournament. In 2021, she earned her second trip to state after placing second at regionals with teammate Henry Lovelace. She is the daughter of Tracy and Robert Robbins. Coach: Cary Jackson.
Matthew Schindler, Baseball, Garden City Community College (Kansas)
Matthew Schindler is a two-year letterwinner for the Tiger baseball team and was a part of the 2021 regional finalist squad. He is a starter at catcher for the Tigers this season, starting in 22 of 24 games so far. Schindler plays summer ball for the Austin Boom organization, and is the son of Kristin and Jason Schindler. Coach: Chris Payne.
Tanner Smith, Basketball, Brescia University (Kentucky)
Tanner Smith is a three-year starter at guard for the Austin Warriors organization. He is averaging 20 points per game this season along with seven rebounds, six assists and three steals per game. During his four-year career, he was named tournament MVP eight times and also served as team captain for the Warriors. He is the son of Chanel Elder and John Smith. Coach: Rick Gentry.
Kellen Vickery, Football, Austin College
Kellen Vickery was a two-year letterwinner at wide receiver for the Tiger football team, helping Dripping Springs to first-place district finishes and playoff appearances in 2020 and 2021. In 2021, he was named an Academic All-District honoree and an Academic All-State Honorable Mention selection by the Texas High School Coaches Association. He is the son of Marisa and Robert Vickery. Coach: Galen Zimmerman.
Tanner Wardlaw, Golf, University of Texas Permian Basin
Tanner Wardlaw is a four-year letterman for the Tiger golf team. He has multiple top-10 individual finishes throughout his career and is on track to break the school’s season and career averages in 2022. He was a member of the district championship and state-qualifying team in 2019, earning first team all-district honors. He will make his second appearance at the regional meet April 18-19 in San Antonio. Wardlaw also ranks third in the school record books for his 18-hole score of 69 and is part of the best 18-, 36- and 54-hole scoring teams in DSHS history. He is the son of Rynda and Chris Wardlaw. Coaches: Jason Wahlers and Angela Tennison.
Faith Wylie, Soccer, Murray State College (Oklahoma)
Faith Wylie is a three-year letterwinner for the Lady Tiger soccer team. She was part of two state-qualifying teams including the 2021 UIL 5A State Championship team. As a senior, she scored three goals and recorded three assists as a midfielder to help the Lady Tigers reach the regional finals. In addition, she is a member of the USA Deaf Women’s Soccer National Team and the Lonestar Soccer Club. She will travel to Brazil this summer to compete in the Deaflympics. She is a three-time academic all-district award winner, and is the daughter of Tamara Joyce-Wylie and Mark Wylie. Coach: Bailee Perrine.