KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
June 28, 2022
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy ISD has announced its outstanding female and male student-athletes for the 2021-2022 academic year. Both students received a scholarship to the university of their choice.
Simone Ballard and Ty Kana. Photo credit: Katy ISD
Maybe Creek High School and Katy High Students Named Athletes of the Year
Katy ISD has announced that Simone Ballard of Mayde Creek High School and Ty Kana of Katy High School are the 2021-2022 Student-Athletes of the Year. Both received a $2,500 scholarship to the university or college of their choice.
“It has become a tradition that each school year our Katy ISD high schools nominate an outstanding female and male student from their campus,” says Debbie Decker, Executive Director of Athletics.
A Record-Breaking Track Star
Simone Ballard graduated from Mayde Creek High School with a 4.03 GPA. For the past three years she’s been a leader on the track team. Ballard was the 2022 Texas High School Coaches Association (THSCA) First Team All-State Academic, 2022 State Champion in the 100 and 300-meter hurdles, and is the first athlete in MCHS’ history to win two individual state titles.
Ballard currently holds the University of Texas stadium record, Texas Relays, and the State of Texas high school record in the 300-meter hurdles and is fourth on the all-time best list in Texas in the 100-meter hurdles.
She is currently ranked #2 nationally in both 100 and 300-meter hurdles. She is MCHS’ record holder in the 100 meters, 100 and 300-meter hurdles category. Her greatest accomplishment was obtaining the #1 spot in the World and #1 spot in the USA for high school athletes in the 300-meter hurdles following her Texas Relays performance.
Ballard plans to attend Baylor University to run track and pursue a career in education.
A Katy Tiger Football Captain
Ty Kana is a three-year letterman for the Katy Tigers Football team and is known for his leadership skills among his team and across his campus. He was selected for the captain position during his junior and senior years.
Kana helped lead the Katy Tigers to a State Championship his junior year and back to the State semi-finals during his senior year.
Some of his high school accolades include being named All-State Linebacker on three occasions, the 2021 19-6A Defensive Player of the Year, a 1st team linebacker for three years, 2019 Defensive Newcomer of the Year, and All-Greater Houston 1st Team Linebacker in 2021.
The Houston Touchdown Club recognized Kana as a Defensive Player of the Year nominee during his senior year. He was also named to the Academic All-District Team and Texas High School Coaches Association (THSCA) Academic All-State Team.
Kana graduated high school early and enrolled in Texas Tech University, where he is a member of the football team.
“While narrowing the process down to just two final candidates is challenging, there’s a sense of pride as the Athletic Department reviews the nomination forms and witnesses the outstanding work coming from many athletes who are excelling both academically and in their respective sports,” says Decker.
Katy Magazine wished both Ballard and Kana continued success in their athletic and academic endeavors.