(January through June)
As 2023 approaches, Houston County is closing the books on another banner sports year that included state appearances by local athletes in baseball, softball, track and golf.
Here's a look at some of the highlights through the first six months of 2022.
Hudson won the Gold Bracket championship in the Houston County Holiday Classic. Crockett finished second in the Silver Bracket and Grapeland was third in the Bronze Bracket. The last 2-1/2 games of the tournament were played in the Old Crockett High School gym due to a bubble that developed in a section of the hardwood floor in the Hopkins Activity Center.
Lovelady girls basketball coach Kollyn McWhinney recorded her 400th career win.
The Crockett Bulldogs topped the century mark in a 100-64 district win over Westwood.
The Grapeland Sandies drained 15 3-pointers on the way to beating Groveton 80-41.
Lovelady senior hoopster Slade Murray joined the 1,000-point career club.
Crockett girls basketball coach TaNesiah Johnson celebrated her 100th win milestone.
The Lady Bulldogs clinched fourth place in District 20-3A and were eliminated by Little River-Academy in bi-district.
The No. 2 ranked Lady Lions capped a 12-0 district championship run and won their first two playoff games to set up a showdown with
No. 3 Martins Mill in the regional quarterfinals,
Kennard Lady Tigers fell to a highly ranked Zavalla in the bi-district round of the state basketball playoffs.
Lovelady senior Mihyia Davis received honorable mention on the Texas Sports Writers Association Class 2A All-State Volleyball Team.
Lions Shaun Easterling, Brandon Fry and Conner Martinez received honorable mention on the TSWA Class 2A All-State Football Team.
Crockett Bulldogs knocked off Franklin 75-52 with a 32-9 fourth quarter frenzy to earn a share of the District 20-3A championship.
Entering the playoffs as undefeated district champions, the Grapeland Sandies defeated Cayuga in bi-district and Crawford in the area round.
The Bulldogs handily defeated Rogers 80-49 in bi-district but saw their hoops season end with a 59-54 loss to Lorena in the area round.
Jonney Smoldas of Crockett reeled in a 13.34-pound ShareLunker bass, the first Legacy Class fish for Houston County Lake since 1990.
Martins Mill ended the Lady Lions’ season with a 67-65 decision in the regional quarterfinals.
Three Lady Lions earned Superlatives on the 20-2A All-District Basketball Team. Mihyia Davis was District MVP, Shyanne Pipkin was
Defensive MVP and Lexi Price was Newcomer of the Year.
Crockett’s Delvin Walker was named District 20-3A MVP and Courtney Byrd received the Sixth Man Award. Coach Drae Murray was voted Coach of the Year.
Lady Bulldog Tocarra Johnson was voted District 20-3A Co-Offensive Player of the Year.
District 20-2A coaches tabbed Grapeland’s Omarian Wiley as District MVP and Cadarian Wiley as Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Slade Murray of Lovelady was Co-Offensive POY.
Two state-ranked Houston County softball teams won tournament championships with eye-popping performances. No. 1-ranked Lovelady outscored six opponents 45-0 and No. 6 Latexo dominated 52-4 in five games.
Grapeland's boys basketball season ended with a 72-60 loss to LaPoynor in the regional quarterfinals in Tyler.
Lovelady softballers put on a homerun clinic with four dingers against Groveton. In the next game, Mimi Sandoval hit a grand-slam homer against Alto.
Crockett girls soccer finished fourth in district and were eliminated the first round by Henderson.
CHS senior Omar Garcia signed with Jacksonville College for scholarships in cross-country, track and soccer.
TABC All-Region basketball honors were bestowed on six county athletes. Crockett’s Delvin Walker was named to the Class 3A boys team while Lovelady's Slade Murray and Grapeland’s Omarian Wiley were class 2A honorees.
Lovelady girls recognized as All-Region were Lexi Price, Aaliyah Jones and Mihyia Davis. Price and Davis also were named All-State.
A grand-slam homer by Slade Murray propelled Lovelady past Normangee, 7-6.
Crockett’s boys track team finished second in the district meet and qualified athletes for area in 12 events.
Lovelady’s girls track team ran away with the district championship while the Lions captured second place.
Latexo and Lovelady softball teams continued to steamroll their district opponents.
Four Lovelady girls basketball players received additional post-season awards from the Texas Girls Coaches Association. Lexi Price and Mihyia Davis were named to the TGCA All-State Team while Jada Johnson and Macie LaRue were Academic All-Staters.
Crockett Merchants Youth Baseball held opening ceremonies and presented the Paul May Legacy Sponsor Award to Davy Crockett Drug.
Contributor Awards were presented to City of Crockett Police Department, Crockett Fire Department and Lifeguard EMS.
Lovelady track teams duplicated their district showings at the area meet with the Lady Lions taking first and the Lions finishing second. A combined total of 23 athletes qualified for regional.
Three Crockett soccer players were awarded All-District Superlative honors. Angel Castillo was District Utility Player and Antonio Cruz was District Co-Goalie. Lady Bulldog Atriana Guerrero was voted Offensive Player of the Year.
Lovelady and Latexo softball teams geared up for the playoffs as undefeated district champions.
Houston County sent two golf teams and an individual to the UIL state Tournament in Austin. Grapeland’s boys golf team and Latexo’s girls team qualified along Tiger golfer Cordell Knox.
Crockett tracksters qualified for regional in five events led by second place showings of Joseph Tuggle in pole vault and La’Kyriah Hamilton in the 200-meter dash.
Lovelady Youth Baseball held the first Opening Day on its home field. Mike Broxson threw the ceremonial first pitch to Lane Wilson.
Hundreds of cyclists raced through downtown Crockett during the Davy Crockett Classic criterium.
Five girls and three boys represented Lovelady at the state track meet in Austin and Mihyia Davis brought home a bronze in the 100-meter dash.
CHS pole vaulter Joseph Tuggle placed third in the regional meet and advanced to the class 3A state meet.
Latexo and Lovelady softball teams were both dominant in their playoff openers. Lovelady swept Shelbyville while Latexo knocked off Snook.
Latexo shut out Mason in the area round before falling to Thorndale in the regional quarterfinals.
The Lady Lions posted shut-outs in their next two playoff series against Colmesneil in the area round and Beckville in the regional quarterfinals.
Latexo golfer Cordell Know place second in medallist play at the UIL class 2A Boys State Championship in Austin.
The No. 5 ranked Kennard Tigers defeated Oakwood 11-0, 15-1 in the first round of the class 1A state baseball playoffs and swept Chireno 11-3 and 10-3 in the area round.
Kennard's softball team earned three All-District Superlatives. Kaylin Parrish was Defensive Player of the Year, Halli Hunt was Newcomer of the Year and Serenity Smith was Pitcher of the Year.
The Lady Lions continued their string of shutouts against Como-Pickton, 10-0 and 10-0 in the regional semifinal.
In the class 1A baseball regional semifinal series, Kennard outlasted Chester in a three-game decision.
The Lady Lions made school history by becoming the first softball team to reach the Final Four. Lovelady defeated district rival Groveton to clinch the regional championship.
The Lady Lions brought home the class 2A State Runner-up trophy in their Austin debut. The knocked off defending state champion Stamford in the state semifinal but fell short against top-ranked Crawford 3-0 in the championship game.
The LHS trio of second baseman Bailee Albinus, outfielder Mihyia Davis and shortstop Scout Lovell received Class 2A State All-Tournament honors.
Davis's performance throughout the season earned her the title of Softball Athlete of the Year for classes 1A-4A by the Texas Girls
Coaches Association. Davis and Macie LaRue were recognized as 1A-4A Legacy All-Stars selected by TGCA.
Lovell was also selected to play in the TGCA All-Star softball game in July.
Kennard Tigers earned their second straight trip to Round Rock by knocking off Union Hill in a regional series 10-0, 4-5, 16-4. The Tigers' championship dreams were shattered, though, with a 1-0 loss to Nazareth in the state semifinal.
Kennard senior pitcher Dylan Cole was selected for the Class 1A Baseball State Championship All-Tournament team.
Latexo softball coach Greg Horn was named District 25-2A Coach of the Year and Charlee Biano was voted MVP. Katy Allen and Lauren Woodard were named Co-Pitchers of the Year and Baylee Omelina was Catcher of the Year.
Lovelady players awarded District 21-2A Superlatives were Mihia Davis as MVP, Lovell as Defensive MVP, LaRue as Pitcher of the Year and Morgan Womack as Catcher of the Year.
The Lovelady City Council passed a resolution proclaiming "Lovelady Lady Lions Month" to celebrate the softball team's accomplishments.
Post-season softball honors continued to trickle in for Lovelady and Latexo.
Latexo players Charlee Biano and Natalie Nicol were selected for the TGCA All-State Team along with Lovelady's LaRue, Davis and Lovell.
Lovelady tied for ninth place in the UIL Lone Star Cup Standings after a state runner-up softball season.
The 10u Crockett Bulldogs outlasted Onalaska 23-20 in a three-plus hours battle for the District 2 Dixie Youth Baseball Championship and advanced to the Dixie AAA South Regional Tournament.
Lovelady senior baseballer Slade Murray was named Co-Offensive MVP of District 21-2A.
4-H Shooting Sports member Trey Musgrove competed in Abilene, where he finished as HOA (Highest Over All) in the junior division.
Three local softball teams advanced to TTAS State Tournaments. The 12u Crockett Rampage took first in the District 8 tournament and the 10u Lovelady Lady Lions won District 9 and the 15u Lovelady Lady Lions placed second in their district.