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Pugh signs with Southern Arkansas

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120822 Kylie PughLovelady senior Kylie Pugh signs a national letter of intent with the Southern Arkansas University Muleriders as a discus thrower. She is pictured with her parents, Mandy and John Pugh, and sister Shelby during a ceremony Monday afternoon. Photo by Larry Lamb

By Larry Lamb
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LOVELADY — Senior athlete Kylie Pugh made her college choice official on Monday when she signed a national letter of intent to take her discus-throwing skills to Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Ark.

Pugh was Region III discus champion and placed fifth at the UIL class 2A state meet her junior season.

Pugh, who plans to major in elementary education, said SAU is good fit for her because of its small-school atmosphere.

"Going to a class 2A school my entire life, I liked how small and close-knit they are at Southern Arkansas. It reminds me a lot of Lovelady," she said.

Pugh didn't get a chance to compete her freshman year due to Covid, but still devoted many hours to practicing discus throwing. "I had competed in track and field in junior high but I wasn't the best. I really didn't start focusing on discus until my freshman year," she recalled.

Her hard work paid off and Pugh reached the area level in discus competition as a sophomore.

She won the district title her junior year with a 121'-05 1/2" and recorded a PR of 121'-06" in Austin last May.

After getting a taste of competing on the big stage, Pugh wants more her senior year. "My goal is to make it further than I did last year. I'm trying to work my way towards state and hopefully medal there," she said.

A multi-sport athlete, Pugh was All-District Setter of the Year in volleyball this past season and is currently on the Lady Lions basketball team.
Lovelady track coach Will Kirchhoff said, "Southern Arkansas got a heck of a deal with Kylie from the classroom perspective to track and field. She can do everything, so she's a fantastic young lady."

Kirchhoff continued, "Kylie is a hard worker that always puts everybody before herself and wants to do whatever is best for the team. The good thing about track and field is it gives her a chance to shine because she puts in countless hours to get better. It's something that takes a lot of time and dedication to master. She's always stayed the course and every single year she just wants to get a little bit better. She has one more season at Lovelady, so we're excited to see what she's going to do in the spring. She'll be back hunting those medals this year and I promise you she'll work hard for it."

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Lions end season with loss to Mart

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120822 SkinnerLions Ben Monk (60) and Brandon Fry (19) lead the way for Dayvian Skinner (8) on a running play against Mart in the regional final last Friday. Photo by Lawanna Monk

By Lawanna Monk

COLLEGE STATION — Lovelady's best football season in recent years ended with a 56-6 loss to top-ranked Mart in the Class 2A Division II Region III championship Friday night at A&M Consolidated's Tiger Stadium.

Mart (14-0) meets Burton in the state semifinals at 7 p.m. Thursday in Round Rock. New Home (13-1) and Albany (12-2) face off in the other semifinals match-up Thursday in Sweetwater.

Lovelady, which had lost to Mart two straight years in the second-round, ended the 2022 season with a 12-1 record.

Mart turned the ball over on fourth down at the Lion 26 on its first possession but scored on its next five series.

Quarterback Jonah Ross broke a long run to the 13 yard line and scored on a 1-yard plunge at the 2:47 mark in the first quarter.

Mart erupted for four touchdowns in the second quarter for a 35-0 halftime lead.

Early in the second quarter, Ross scored from 2 yards out to cap a 9-play, 78-yard drive. The Panthers, who were perfect on eight extra-point kicks, led 14-0 with 10:28 left in the half.

Forcing the Lions to punt on their next two series, Ross found Wesley Carroll down the right sideline for a 68-yard TD with 8:03 on the clock.

After running back Ja’Deriun Bell zipped 73 yards to paydirt with 3:55 to go, Lovelady marched to the Mart 28 before turning the ball over on downs.

The Panthers took over and drove down the field for a 26-yard TD run by Ross with :55 left in the half.

After another defensive stop by Mart midway through the third quarter, Ross took the first snap and rambled 57 yards for a quick score with 5:43 on the clock.

Late in the third, a high punt by Lovelady gave Mart the ball at the Lion 42. The Panthers scored on a 14-yard run by Bell to make it 49-0 with 11:06 left in the game.

Lovelady finally got a break when Brandon Frye recovered a fumble on the Mart 28. After Skylar Pipkin picked up a yard on the first play, Dayvian Skinner carried to the 11 and took it to the 1 on the next play. Easterling scored on a 1-yard sneak two plays later, but a 2-point conversion came up short, leaving the score 49-6 with 5:24 left.

Mart capped the scoring with a 5-yard run from Jordan Vincent with 1:29 to go.

Early in the second quarter, Easterling threw a deep ball to Pipkin for a 65-yard touchdown that was called back on a holding penalty

The Panther quarterback ran for 208 yards and four touchdowns along with throwing for 128 yards and a score.

Bell added 216 yards and two scores rushing for the Panthers, who rolled up 651 yards for the game.

Dayvian Skinner ran for 135 yards on 20 carries for the Lions, who finished with 171 yards.

This was the final game in a Lovelady football uniform for seniors Shaun Easterling, Jayton Crawford, Landen LeBlanc, Brandon Fry, Cody Davis, Blake Patrick, Troy Shupak, Payton Larkin and Cannon McWhinney.

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Second-half sizzle propels Lions past Carlisle

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12012022 Easterling HurdleLovelady's Shaun Easterling (32) hurdles a Price-Carlisle defender on the way to the end zone in the regional semi-finals Friday night in Palestine. Photo by Lawanna Monk

By Lawanna Monk

PALESTINE — Trailing 21-12 at halftime, the Lovelady Lions pitched a second-half shutout to overcome the Price Carlisle Indians 32-21 in the regional semi-finals Friday night at Westwood's Panther Stadium.

The Lions scored twice in the third quarter to take a 26-21 lead and put the game away with 1:02 left.

After a first quarter defensive struggle that resulted in punts by both teams, the Lions drove to the 5 yard line on their first possession of the second quarter before turning the ball over on downs.

A 40-yard punt return by Jayton Crawford to the 20 yard line sparked the Lions' offense. Shawn Easterling managed six yards on three carries and Dayvian Skinner picked up 13 on two runs before punching the ball in from 1 yard out at the 9:02 mark.
Carlisle started its next series with poor field position when the return man was immediately nailed at the 16-yard line. After picking up 9 yards on two plays, the Indians broke a 75-yard touchdown run. An extra-point kick put the Indians in front 7-6 with 8:33 left in the half.

A fumble on a Lovelady punt set up Carlisle's next score. Punter Skylar Pipkin, forced to scramble under pressure, fumbled and the Indians took over at the Lion 32. The drive started off shaky with two 5-yard penalties, a sack by Skinner and an incomplete pass. The Indians completed a long pass to the 5 yard line and picked up 3 on the next play to set up a 2-yard TD. Another PAT put the Indians up 14-6 with 4:43 left in the half.

Blake Patrick fair-caught the Indians' kickoff and the Lions went to work at their 28. After Easterling escaped to the 10 yard line, the Lions scored three plays later when Cortavies Whitaker hit the outside and went in for the TD.

A two-point conversion attempt was no good, leaving the Lions behind 14-12 with 2:13 left in the half.

After the kick, Carlisle drove down the field and scored on an 11-yard TD pass with :54 left in the half.

Carlisle started the drive at its 26 where Landen LeBlanc stopped the return man but the Indians quickly moved across midfield to the Lion 32 on the first play. Carlisle scored three plays later and tacked on the PAT for a 21-12 halftime lead.

The Lions closed the gap early in the third quarter with a 57-yard scoring drive after Patrick fielded the kickoff at the Lion 43.
Easterling carried four times, including a 20-yarder and threw to Crawford for 17. Skinner picked up five yards on three carries and capped the drive from 4 yards out. Offensive line blocking by Erik Castillo, Ben Monk, Tyler Gilchrist, Silas Strength and Jordan Blackmon opened holes for both Skinner and Easterling.

An unsuccessful conversion left the Lions trailing 21-18 with 7:15 left in the third.

Lovelady fans were able to breathe a little easier after a three-and-out series by Carlisle.

Taking over at their own 34, the Lions scored nine plays later on a 28-yard scamper by Skinner.

The Lions drove across midfield with Easterling and Skinner alternating carries. Easterling picked up 18 to the Carlisle 28 and Skinner took it to the end zone on the next play. Easterling's conversion put Lovelady in front 26-21 with 1:10 left in the third.
An interception by Easterling at the Lion 32 thwarted a Carlisle threat early in the fourth quarter. The Lions drove down the field and turned the ball over on downs at the 4 yard line.

Carlisle's next possession was stymied when Pipkin picked off a pass at the Lion 43.

Lovelady drove down the field and scored with 1:02 left to ice the win.

Back-to-back 18-yard runs by Easterling and Skinner quickly put the Lions at the Carlisle 20. The Lions scored five plays later when Easterling connected with Brandon Fry on a 7-yard end zone toss. A conversion play failed, leaving the Lions with a 32-21 cushion.

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Lady Lions break in new gym with hoops victory

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111722 lovelady lady hoops

From Staff Reports

LOVELADY — Lovelady Lady Lions played their first basketball game in the school’s new gym last Tuesday and celebrated a 46-43 win over Crockett’s Lady Bulldogs.

Crockett trailed 12-9 after a quarter but staged a 19-7 run in the second to open up a 28-19 lead at intermission.

Outscoring their guests 15-9 in the third quarter, the Lady Lions trimmed the gap to 38-34 and closed the game with a 12-6 run in the fourth.

Lexi Price led Lovelady’s scoring with 18 points, including three treys, along with booking 3 rebounds, 6 assists and 4 steals.

Haley Davidson rounded out double figures with 10 and had 3 steals.

Aaliyah Jones drained two treys and finished with 8 points along with getting 3 steals and a team-high 11 rebounds. A’nyya Mitchell had 4 points while Shelby Pugh, Kylie Pugh and Diara Woods chipped in 2 apiece.

Shelby Pugh also contributed with 8 rebounds and 2 assists, and Woods had 3 rebounds.

Tocarra Johnson paced the Lady Bulldogs with 21 points and was joined in double figures by A’Nayah Wooten with 13. L’Kyriah Hamilton and Ty’Reyanna Beasley rounded out the scoring with 5 and 4 points, respectively.

“We really played well, we just fell at the wrong times then struggled tremendously with free throws,” said Crockett coach Ta’Nesiah Johnson. “It was a great game. Both teams had to earn everything they got. Nothing was given by either team.”

The Lady Bulldogs only made 5 of 20 shots at the line and Lovelady was 5 of 12.

"It was a game we definitely needed, especially early in the season. Lovelady has a really nice gym and it had a great atmosphere. Our fans showed up and poured out a lot of support,” added Johnson.

The Lady Lions travel to Douglass on Friday and host class 4A Hamshire-Fannett on Tuesday, Nov. 22 for their final action before Thanksgiving.

Crockett is hosting a Thanksgiving tournament this week.

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