Senior Ally Andress, a three-sport standout for Glen Rose High School, last week signed a letter-of-intent to attend Texas A&M University and join its women’s track and field program.
The 5-foot, 11-inch tall Andress, who won the Class 4A girls state high jump championship as a junior and brought home the silver medal as a sophomore, said she spoke with Sean Brady, who coaches the women’s jumping events for the Aggies, during her recent recruiting trip to College Station.
She said Brady mostly talked to her about being a high jumper, but other events also “might be a big possibility.”
Pat Henry is the head coach of the men’s and women’s track and field program at A&M. In 2011, he became the first coach to win three consecutive NCAA outdoor championships. He has led A&M’s program to nine national and 18 conference titles in track and field.
Andress, daughter of Russell and Lisa Andress, will be following in her father’s footsteps when she begins her collegiate studies at A&M next fall. Russell is an alumnus, but did not play sports at A&M, Andress said.
“I’ve grown up (with) A&M everything,” Andress joked Monday night by phone. “(There are) so many traditions — all the yells at the games, and everybody was so friendly. I thought (the campus) was really pretty.”
Andress had also considered choosing Tarleton State University in Stephenville so she could play both basketball and track.
In fact, playing team sports — basketball and volleyball — will be one of the things she will miss the most from her high school career as a Lady Tiger.
“I think it’s kind of sad,” Andress said. “I grew up playing those team sports. Being part of a team is so much fun. I think I’m going to miss that the most.”
Sandy Langford, who coaches the Glen Rose varsity volleyball and girls track teams, said “she could go to college and play all three sports,” although that won’t be happening at A&M.
Her winning mark in the state high jump last May was 5-6. Langford said that once Andress has a chance to focus exclusively on her jumping at A&M, she will reach far greater heights.
“When she devotes the whole year to jumping, she’ll go over six feet, easy,” Langford said. “A&M has been watching her since last year. She’s such a competitor.”
Langford noted that they have grown close and Andress will be missed not just as an athlete.
“Her and I are very close,” Langford said. “In all aspects of my life, I’m going to miss her on the team, and in the classroom. She is a special young lady.
“She is liked by everyone. She’s always positive toward everyone. She’s not just a good athlete, but she is a good student and just a great girl.”
Andress is a National Honor Society member who takes advanced courses, and currently ranks No. 8 in her class scholastically.
Andress helped lead Langford’s volleyball squad to last week’s Class 4A state tournament, where they lost to Argyle in the semifinal round. The Lady Tigers notched an incredible 48-2 season record — the most wins and least losses in a season for any GRHS sports team. The Lady Tigers were ranked No. 1 in the state most of the season, and went into the state tourney ranked second. As a three-year member of the varsity volleyball squad, Andress played a part in 155 wins overall and three straight district championships.
In basketball, in which she is coached by Ramsey Ghazal, Andress had even greater individual success than in volleyball as she earned all-state honors last season. She was named to the Texas Girls Coaches Association’s all-star game, and voted Offensive Most Valuable Player in District 8-4A.
Since school is out this week for Thanksgiving, Andress plans to have a signing party and photo opportunity with her classmates at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 29, in the high school library.