Alumni Report

April 9, 2014



College is for learning, and it was at Howard Payne University where Ross Whittet learned just how tough he really is.

Whittet, a 2009 graduate of Granbury High, recently played his final basketball game for Howard Payne. It culminated four years of hard work and bouncing back.

Whittet’s numbers weren’t overwhelming as a senior. He averaged 3.8 points, 2.0 rebounds and 1.4 assists.

But he played in all 25 games and started 16 at guard for the Yellowjackets (5-20), and that’s something many people questioned would ever happen again following the 2010-11 season. He only saw action in seven games that season after suffering his second shoulder injury.

Whittet, however, was not among those who questioned his playing throughout his entire college career.

He and his father, Larry Whittet, moved to Arizona in January 2011 so Ross could undergo rehabilitation. That not only led to his return on the court, but also to a renewed faith.

Not only did Whittet return to finish his college basketball career, he earned Academic All-American Southwest Conference honors in 2013. He also scored his career high of 15 points in a game at Concordia last season.

“It’s been an honor to coach Ross in his time at Howard Payne University,” said Yellowjackets coach Troy Drummond.

“Ross is a great young man who will be successful in everything he does.”

Another great thing in Whittet’s life occurred very recently. He and his fiancee Autumn are now the parents of a baby girl named Auburn Rose, born on April 1.

Whittet has always been one to make the most of his opportunities. One of his most memorable moments came as a backup quarterback for the Granbury Pirates during his junior season in 2007.

Whittet, with his first varsity pass, threw a touchdown pass of 27 yards. In that same game, on his first varsity carry, he rushed for a 96-yard touchdown.


John Elmore and his Howard Payne baseball teammates received quite a scare on their way to play East Texas Baptist University in Marshall recently.

Before arriving at the game, the team bus was hit by an 18-wheeler, said his father, Raymond Elmore.

According to the elder Elmore, no major injuries were sustained, though there were several minor injuries.

As for John, the junior former Tolar standout was “a little banged up,” but he and his teammates found their way to the ballpark.

After dropping the first game 3-0, the Yellowjackets won the next two 3-2 and 12-2, with Elmore going 5-for-8 with an RBI in the wins.

Since the accident, the Yellowjackets have gone 4-2 to improve their season record to 13-13 overall and 10-11 in the American Southwest Conference.


Zully Martinez, sophomore

Cisco Junior College

The former Lipan standout was named honorable mention All-North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference. Her 43 baskets from 3-point range were eighth in the conference, and her average of 2.05 per game ranked third in the league.

In 21 games she played in for the Lady Wranglers (12-18), Martinez averaged 9.38 points.

Martinez led the Lipan Lady Indians to back-to-back Class A Division II State Tournament appearances in 2011-12, including a runner-up finish to Neches in 2012.

Martinez was a two-time all-state selection while playing at Lipan.

Lilly Vander Zee, freshman

University of Texas

She averaged 1.4 points in eight games playing for the 22-12 Longhorns, who advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

During her time at Granbury, Vander Zee led the Lady Pirates to four playoff appearances, including the 4A Region I semifinals in 2012.

Vander Zee was also named all-state in her junior and senior seasons for the Lady Pirates.

McKinley Meyer, senior

Howard Payne University

The former Tolar Lady Rattler played in 23 games for the Lady Yellowjackets (16-10), averaging 5.0 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1.0 assist.

While at Tolar, Meyer led the Lady Rattlers to four consecutive playoff appearances from 2007-10.

Meyer was named Class A all-state as a senior at Tolar.

Ashley Bonugli, freshman

Texas Woman’s University

In her first college season, Bonugli saw action in three games for the Pioneers (16-12).

Bonugli played alongside Vander Zee on the regional semifinals team a couple years ago at Granbury High.

Tina Doughty, junior

Utah Valley

In her second season after transferring from the University of New Mexico, Doughty tied for third on the team in scoring, averaging 9.0 points for the Lady Wolverines (7-23). She also averaged 3.3 rebounds, 1.9 assists and a steal, starting 12 games and playing in 20.

At Granbury, Doughty was one of the most prolific scorers in Lady Pirate history, helping them to four playoff appearances. The final basket she scored as a Lady Pirate was from midcourt in a bidistrict playoff game.

Rhiana Michou, freshman

Sul Ross

In her inaugural college season, the former Lipan Lady Indian made an immediate impact. She played in all 25 games for the Lady Lobos (1-24), averaging 7.2 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists and one steal. She was second on the team in assists, third in scoring, and her 34 3-point field goals were second.

Michou and the Lady Lobos were winners of the American Southwest Conference Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Team Sportsmanship Award. It honors the team that best displays qualities of sportsmanship and fair play from athletes, coaches and fans.

It’s the third time the Lady Lobos have won the award in its seven-year existence and the second consecutive year.

Michou was a part of the Lady Indians’ back-to-back state tournament teams in 2011-12.


Morgan Northcutt, sophomore

University of North Texas

The 2012 Granbury High graduate pole vaulted 11 feet, 9 inches to take first place at the J.D. Martin Invitational. At the Conference USA Championships, she placed 12th after clearing 11-4.

As a Lady Pirate at GHS, Northcutt qualified for state three times, bringing home a bronze medal in 2010.

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