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Wrapping Up The Year: The Biggest North Texas Sports Headlines of 2016

Keith Allison / Flikr Creative Commons
Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott celebrate a touchdown against Washington.

It wasn’t a championship year for sports in North Texas, but there were still reasons to celebrate. The Texas Rangers, Dallas Stars and FC Dallas each had their league’s best record, and each bowed out early in the playoffs.

The Cowboys have the most wins in their conference and are hoping for a Super Bowl date in Houston in February. KERA’s Gus Contreras flips through this year’s top sports stories in North Texas.

Page one. The collapse.

Jordan Spieth came into the year on top of the golf world. Halfway through the final round of the Masters, which he won last year, he ran into trouble. Big trouble.

Ultimately Spieth made a quadruple bogey, lost his five-shot lead and ended up in second place.

A month later though, a little good news. The 23-year-old from Dallas won the Colonial in Fort Worth. His first PGA Tour victory on home turf.  

Page two. The Punch.

It was May, and the Texas Rangers wanted revenge for their playoff loss to Toronto the year before. Then things got a little chippy.

The benches cleared after Rougned Odor landed a hard jab to the jaw of the Blue Jays Jose Bautista. The Rangers won the game, and Odor became an instant fan favorite. But Toronto struck back in October and knocked the Rangers out of the playoffs again.

Page three. Out with the old and in with the new.

In Frisco, the Cowboys built a $1 billion football practice palace called the Star. And abandoned Valley Ranch – the place they called home since 1985.

Across town, FC Dallas started $39 million worth of renovations at its soccer home.

In Arlington, the Rangers locked down a deal for a new ballpark, right next to the old one but with a retractable roof. In November, voters agreed to foot part of the bill.

In Dallas, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban spent $70 million on a practice facility across I-35 from the American Airlines Center.

Page four. The scandal.

Administrators at Baylor University didn't do anything to protect students when they learned of a potential pattern of sexual violence by multiple football players.

The report released cost Baylor’s President Ken Staar and football coach Art Briles their jobs.

The Waco school is now under investigation by Federal officials – and faces several lawsuits from current and former students who say they were raped by football players.

The Baylor investigation came after a flurry of attention about domestic violence in the sports world.

And the final page to this look back at 2016. A pair of rookie aces.

Ezekiel Elliott and Dak Prescott have electrified Cowboy fans and powered the team the team to 13 wins so far – tying a franchise record. Not only are these two the leaders for rookie of the year, they’re each making a case for NFL Most Valuable Player.

But that spotlight shining on Prescott has left fan favorite Tony Romo in the shadows, and most likely looking for another team next season. 

Honorable Mention. The Domination. 

The Duncanville Pantherttes basketball team had one of the biggest wins you'll ever see. Their 91-1 victory over Grand Prairie earlier this month might help them get over their only loss of the season. The defending Class 6A girls state champions scored 44 points in the first quarter alone. And they did it while playing a team style game - Duncanville had 12 players score points and not one of them scored more than 13.

They are the No. 2 ranked team in Texas and off to a 19-1 start. Duncanville suffered their only defeat in an overtime thiller against Mansfield Timberview in the first game of the season.

Gus Contreras is a digital producer and reporter at KERA News. Gus produces the local All Things Considered segment and reports on a variety of topics from, sports to immigration. He was an intern and production assistant for All Things Considered in Washington D.C.