Top 10 Local and Regional Stories of '06
By Mark Fagan, 1:01AM, Thu. Jan. 4, 2007
1) With arguably the greatest performance in college football history, Vince Young led UT to a 41-38 upset victory over USC in the Rose Bowl on the fourth day of 2006 and then went on to lead the struggling Tennessee Titans to an 8-5 record in his 13 starts, including beating the Texans with a 39-yard game-winning TD run in OT in his return to his hometown of Houston.
2) UT’s women’s programs achieved unprecedented success in ’06 with the No. 8 soccer squad finishing with their highest final ranking ever. The volleyball team finished at No. 7 and reached the Elite Eight beating Wisconsin in the third round and losing to Stanford in the fourth. UT softball finished the year at No. 5 and said goodbye to interstellar pitcher Cat Osterman.
3) The Westlake Chaparrals made it to the state football championship game in San Antonio’s Alamodome but lost to the seemingly unbeatable Southlake Carroll Dragons 43-29.
4) The Austin Wranglers reached the Arena Football League playoffs for the first time in their short history only to lose to Jon Bon Jovi’s Philadelphia Soul 52-35 at the Frank Erwin Center.
5) After having called the Travis County Expo Center home for the last 10 years, the Austin Ice Bats moved their Bat Cave to the newly refurbished Chaparral Ice Arena.
6) On Thursday, Dec. 28 the Austin Toros of the NBDL managed a feat unaccomplished in their first 12 games: they won. Their current record stands at 1-13.
7) 2006 saw the continued success of not one but two Roller Derby leagues here in town, the Lonestar Rollergirls and the Texas Rollergirls. The Texas Rollergirls Texecutioners also won the 2006 Flat Track National Championship in Tucson, Ariz.
8) The Round Rock Express made the jump from AA to AAA with Roger “the Rocket” Clemens making an appearance on the mound June 16 in front of a capacity and star-studded crowd.
9) The emergence of Tony Romo as the Cowboys No. 1 QB somehow managed to draw the media’s attention away from Terrell Owens, for now.
10) The NFL returned to New Orleans with a Super Bowlesque production including performances from Green Day and U2. Better still, the Saints beat the Atlanta Falcons 23-3 and made the playoffs.