Humplik, Terrell Orange Leader Athletes of the Year

Published 11:01 am Thursday, June 17, 2021

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Making it count with not only their skills on the playing fields but with their determination to motivate their teammates on and off the gym floors, playing fields and track, West Orange-Stark’s Jerren Terrell and Orangefield’s Emma Humplik both are honored to be the Orange Leader’s Orange County Male and Female Athletes of the Year respectively.

It was a great run for sure for Terrell in wearing the Blue and Silver for West Orange-Stark.

When you are the starting quarterback for the most winningest football program in the state’s history the last two years, it’s not too hard to be in the limelight.

However, Terrell, took it in stride and was a tremendous leader, not only for his Mustang football teammates, but for so many of his teammates in all of the sports he shined in, especially as a senior.

He also inspired many youngsters in the Orange area as someone they could look up to.

“I just wanted to be a leader and I strived to help my teammates the best I could at everything I was involved in,” said Terrell. “My Dad (Phil) has stressed that to me all of my life in striving to be the best you can be and being a good teammate and friend to everyone I came across. You have to be a leader when you are a quarterback especially and I think I grew into that well. I would do anything for my teammates. And yes, it is always great to see little kids smile and look up to you, that is a great feeling.”

Terrell not only shined on the gridiron but he brought his leadership skills to the baseball and basketball teams and tore it up on the track, where he was the District 22-4A champion in both the 110-meter hurdles and the 300-meter hurdles.

Terrell saw some time at quarterback on varsity as a sophomore as he gained great experience. At the start of his junior season, the WO-S staff gave him the keys to the offense and Terrell had a superb run.

As a junior he passed for 1,453 yards and 12 touchdowns, helping guide the Mustangs to a 10-2, a district championship, and a trip to the Class 4A Region III Finals.

As a senior, the numbers shot up. Terrell completed 87-of-167 passes for 1,497 yards and 19 touchdowns, with just three interceptions for a superb touchdown-to-interception ratio.

The Mustangs, who fought through a season that was shortened due to hurricane evacuations and the Covid pandemic, rolled to a perfect 7-0 regular season and another district crown before finishing 8-1 and reaching the Area Round. Terrell battled hard with his Mustang teammates in the postseason, especially in the Area Round loss to China Spring in which the Mustangs were basically without their entire offensive line due to Covid quarantines.

“We had a nice run the last two years despite all of the craziness that went on,” said Terrell. “I was hoping we could have went further my senior year but I’m happy we were able to get those two district titles. It was such a weird year last season, never knowing whether you are going to play or when you are going to play. Many of us were wondering if we were going to get to play at all, so it was great to get the games in, despite battling so much stuff.”

Terrell will certainly miss his days in a Mustang uniform.

“There is nothing like stepping on a football field and representing that Mustang uniform,” said Terrell. “Those memories will never go away. My teammates, they will always be my brothers and I will always have Coach T’s (Cornel Thompson) voice in the back of my head, it was a great run and great times for sure.”

Terrell will now take his talents to Navarro Junior College next season where he will continue to hone his talents.

“I have been working hard as far as staying in shape and I can’t wait to get there and my goal is to continue to improve and work on my game,” said Terrell. “It’s an exciting opportunity for sure.”

On the track, Terrell had a tremendous run in the hurdles in several local meets and then went on to dominate at the 22-4A Track Championships where he won both the 110-meter hurdles in 16.25 seconds and the 300-meter hurdles in 43.94 seconds as he went on the qualify and compete at the Regional Meet.

“I always liked track but my main effort was usually focused on the football side,” said Terrell. “Coach (Mike) Pierce liked how my times were going down in practice and he pushed me hard, telling me I could lower them even more with work and I went on to have a good run my senior year.”

For Humplik, she was a mainstay and leader for an outstanding softball program at Orangefield, led by head coach Rebekah Ragsdale.

As a catcher, nothing hardly ever got past her and when she was at the plate, the ball usually went sailing, a lot of times, over the fences.

Humplik certainly made her mark as a four-year starter and helping lead the Lady Bobcats to the playoffs three times. Now she will look to hone her talents at the University of South Florida in Tampa the next four years.

After dominating district and reaching the third round of the playoffs in Class 3A her sophomore year, the sky was the limit for the Lady Bobcats when they entered the 2020 season as they were highly ranked and were storming through their non-district schedule with huge wins, and then the Covid pandemic put a halt to it. It was a season that the Lady Bobcats certainly pinpointed as a possible run to the 3A State Tournament.

Then the school district got pushed back up to the Class 4A ranks for 2021 as the Lady Bobcats found themselves in a highly-competitive District 22-4A, where so many games were a dogfight. Well, the Lady Bobcats certainly passed with flying colors as they zipped to an 11-1 22-4A mark and a district title, and they will always remember two gut-wrenching wins over formidable LC-M in district play.

“Coach Ragsdale has built something special, it’s not just about winning, it’s about building a family-type atmosphere and we always had that,” said Humplik. “We had such a great run. We started rolling our sophomore year and then we thought 2020 was going to be our year and then the pandemic got us. That’s when we started to call ourselves the “Comeback Cats”. We wanted to make a statement in 4A and we went out and did it by winning such a tough district against some really good teams. We made memories that will last a lifetime for sure.”

Humplik had superb numbers during her senior campaign despite getting walked intentionally as opponents were leery of her going “yard” on them.

Her four-year numbers are stunning.

In four years in Orange and White, Humplik hit .397 with an on-base percentage of .508. She finished with 129 hits, 31 of them home runs. Her catching prowess was just as phenomenal. Her career fielding percentage was .990 as she only made four errors in four years. She was involved in 769 putouts and 58 assists.

Humplik was also a key cog for Lady Bobcat volleyball coach Ashlee Broussard and was part of two playoff squads.

“Volleyball was such a fun experience and it gave me a break from softball,” said Humplik. “We always played hard and I had a blast with my teammates.”

Now, she can’t hardly wait to get to Tampa and play at South Florida. She will play for Coach Ken Eriksen, who, by the way, is the United States Olympic coach as well. The Lady Bulls are a powerhouse in the American Athletic Conference and have made the NCAA Tournament seven of the last nine years, including a trip to the Women’s College World Series in 2012.

“It’s going to be cool but different going from a small-town atmosphere to a big town, but I am so looking forward to it,” said Humplik. “The South Florida program has everything you could possibly want as far as facilities and atmosphere. They have tremendous fan support in all of their sports. Coach Eriksen is such a great coach and has well over 1,000 wins.”

She may be going to a big town but she will always have a big heart and ties in Bobcat Country.

“I’m going to miss my Orangefield teammates dearly,” said Humplik. “So many of us were together all four years and some further back than that with select ball. It’s sad to leave when I think about it sometimes, but there are so many bonds here that will never be broken, Orangefield is such a great school and community and I will always be tight with so many people, great memories for sure.”