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County gridmen ramp up for scrimmages

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081122 Bulldogs practiceThe Crockett Bulldogs had their first day of practice in full pads on Monday and will see their first action against opposing athletes during a scrimmage at Elysian Fields on Friday. Photo by Larry Lamb

Crockett at Elysian Fields

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Head coach Alton Dixon takes the Crockett Bulldogs to Elysian Fields on Friday for their first taste of competition against an opposing team.

The junior varsities will start it off at 5 p.m. in Jacket Stadium and varsity scrimmage is expected to begin around 6 p.m.

Following a controlled format, the varsity scrimmage consists of each offense running 12 plays starting at the 30 yard line. The varsity-2 offenses will then run a set of 10 plays each.

After a short break, the scrimmage will resume with emphasis on red zone offense for a total of 10 plays by each varsity-1 from the 25 yard line and eight plays by each varsity-2.

The final segment will be devoted to goal line offense. The varsity-1 offense will run eight plays and the varsity-2's will get six plays each,
"This is truly a controlled scrimmage format," said Dixon. "Elysian Fields is in the same situation as we are number-wise, so we'll probably just go about an hour-and-a-half."

Dixon estimates the varsities will get in roughly 80 plays during the scrimmage. "To have that many plays this time of the year is a good conditioning test. It'll give us a chance to see where we stand going into our second scrimmage," he said.

"For the most part, things we're going to be looking for are grasp by our offense and defense and those guys that are on that bubble between being on the varsity or sub-varsity. We're going to give some of those kids an opportunity to play in both scrimmages just so we can see them perform versus a higher level of competition," said Dixon. "Everybody gets excited around this time because it's the first time you get to attack another color of uniform.

"Our biggest priority is coming out of this scrimmage healthy, feeling good about what we do and orchestrating our coaching staff and our process of transporting 100 men. That's vital practice as well, so the whole thing is a basic run-through," added Dixon.
The 120-mile trip to Elysian Fields, located near Marshall, will prepare the Bulldogs for a 130-mile bus ride to Buna on Sept. 9.

Crockett wraps up the pre-season schedule at home against Malakoff on Thursday, Aug. 18 and kicks off its 2022 campaign at home with Marlin on Aug. 26.


Head coach Will Kirchhoff and his squad will make the short trip to Trinity on Thursday for their first preseason outing.
The junior varsities will start things off at 6 p.m. with an hour-long scrimmage.

The varsities will get rolling around 7:15. Kirchhoff said the scrimmage format will consist of 15 plays on offense and 15 plays on defense with the 1-huddles and 12 plays with the 2-huddles on offense and defense.

A live quarter will close out the scrimmage. "We'll go a little less on the controlled portion and put them in that live setting right out of the gate for one quarter and let them get their feet wet," said Kirchhoff, adding that special teams are not included.


Grapeland High School will hold "Meet the Sandies" in conjunction with the scrimmage Friday night in Sandie Stadium.

The varsity football players and cheerleaders will be introduced at 5 p.m. while the junior varsity scrimmage is in progress.

The varsity scrimmage will start around 6-6:30 p.m.

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Volleyball season gets cranked up

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081122 CKT GRAPE VBCrockett and Grapeland players battle at the net during a volleyball scrimmage Saturday at the The Hop in Crockett. Coldspring and Rusk also participated in the four-team scrimmage. Photo by Larry Lamb

By Larry Lamb
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With just a week of practices and a few scrimmage matches under their belts, Houston County volleyballers are hitting the courts this week for their first official action of the 2022 season.

Crockett, under new head coach Marla Hust, opened the season at Kennard on Tuesday and will be idle until its next match on Aug. 16 at Goodrich. The Lady Dogs travel to Apple Springs on Aug. 19 and the varsity squad will compete in the Groveton Tournament on Aug. 18 and 20.

The Lady Dogs will finally make their home debut on Aug. 23 when Elkhart comes to town. They will close out pre-district play at home against Latexo on Aug. 30 and Groveton on Sept. 6.

Crockett will compete in a new district this year and only has about a month to prepare for its District 23-3A opener against Coldspring on Sept. 9 in The Hop.

Rounding out the eight-team district are Onalaska, New Waverly, Cleveland Tarkington, Trinity, Anderson-Shiro and Shepherd, which is dropping from class 4A. The same district lineup will be in effect for girls and boys basketball.


All three of the county's class 2A schools are in the same volleyball district this year.

Lovelady, Latexo and Grapeland are in District 23-2A along with Groveton, Colmesneil and Corrigan-Camden, which is down from class 3A.

Lovelady, the defending district champion with a 13-0 record, won the bi-district title before losing to Leon in the second round. Groveton finished as district runner-up, Latexo was third and Colmesneil fourth.

Corrigan-Camden was runner-up in its former 3A district. Grapeland has been competing in a different district for several years and is looking to break a two-year playoff drought after winning a district crown in 2019.

District play doesn't start until Sept. 20, so the three local teams will have plenty of time to work out any kinks.

With new head coach Haleigh Blount at the helm, Lovelady opened the season at Cayuga on Tuesday before two straight home games against class 3A Diboll on Friday and 3A Franklin on Tuesday, Aug. 16. The Lady Lions hit the road Aug. 18-20 for their first tournament appearance at Jewett Leon.

Lovelady rounds out its August schedule at home with Neches on Aug. 23, a tourney appearance at Warren on Aug. 25-27 and a trip to Buffalo on Aug. 30.

Veteran coach Greg Horn returns to lead Latexo, which opened the season Tuesday against St. Joseph Catholic School. Horn takes the Lady Tigers to the Cross Roads Tournament Thursday and Saturday.

Next week, the Lady Tigers will make their home debut Aug. 16 in a dual match with Trinity and Onalaska. They travel to Trinity on Aug. 19, host Buffalo on Aug. 23 and compete in the Anderson tourney Aug. 25-27. Latexo wraps up its August schedule with a short trip to Crockett on Aug. 30.

Grapeland opened the season against Oakwood and will compete in its first tournament this week at Cross Roads on Thursday and Saturday. The Sandiettes will compete in their first tournament of the season at Eustace on Aug. 18 and 20.

The rest of Grapeland's schedule for August includes a home match with Oakwood on Aug. 23 and the Anderson-Shiro tourney on Aug. 25 and 27. Grapeland closes out the month with a trip to Cross Roads on Aug. 30.

Sandiettes head coach Trina Pierce is being assisted by interim co-head coach Zeke Green.


Kennard, the lone class 1A team in the county, is in a new district this year with Neches, Leverett's Chapel and Apple Springs.

Coach Tori Alverson returns to lead the Lady Tigers, who were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs last season.

Neches and Leverett's Chapel both made deep playoff runs last year. Neches, the 2020 state champion, lost to Sulphur Bluff in the regional semifinals last year and Leverett's Chapel was eliminated by Sulphur Bluff in the regional quarterfinals.

The Lady Tigers opened the season at home with Crockett on Tuesday and will compete in the Cross Roads tourney Thursday and Saturday.

Next week, Kennard travels to Tenaha on Tuesday before making its second tourney appearance at Leon on Aug. 18-20.

Kennard's district opener is Sept. 23 at Neches.

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County 4-Hers compete in July shoots

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080422 shooting competition two

Brian "L.B." Fiolek (far right) won first in trapshooting with a perfect score at the Comal County Shoot recently and Trey Musgrovem (far left) placed second in skeet. Houston County Shooting Sports coaches (middle) Jay Davis, Brian Fiolek, Ann Fiolek, Jim Long and Ronnie Musgrove competed in the coaches team event at the State 4-H Shotgun Games 2022 in San Antonio on Tuesday, July 19. Jim Long placed third in the Coach Event Open Division and Ann Fiolek too first in the Coach Event Lades Division. Competition took place at the National Shooting Complex.

080422 shooting competitionHouston County Shooting Sports members Jett Currie (left) and Trey Musgrove compete at the State 4-H Shotgun Games in San Antonio.


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Lovelady Volleyball 2022

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080422 volleyball

Marla Hust is Crockett High School's new head volleyball coach. Hust has been associated with winning programs at class 5A Mansfield Summitt and her hometown of Duncanville. Lovelady's new head volleyball coach Haleigh Blount (center) is pictured with assistants Kim Pennington (left) and Abby Kirchhoff. Blount was previously head volleyball coach at Trinity for four years. Courtesy Photos


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4-H shooters compete at state

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080422 shooter competition twoRepresenting Houston County Shooting Sports Team at the State 4-H Shotgun Games 2022 in San Antonio July 20–23 were: (left to right) Trey Musgrove, Caleb Long, Jett Currie, Brian "L.B." Fiolek, Alex Long, Broxton Davis and his younger brother, Lane Davis, who attended to support the team.

Six members of the Houston County Shooting Sports Team travelled to San Antonio recently for the State 4-H Shotgun Games 2022.

Trey Musgrove, Caleb Long, Jett Currie, Brian "L.B." Fiolek, Alex Long and Broxton Davis competed at the National Shooting Complex and Broxton's younger brother, Lane Davis, made the trip to support the shooters.

Three team members brought home awards.

Fiolek took second place in sporting clays event with 91 out of 100 targets hit.

Currie and Davis won first place two-man team in the skeet with two identical scores of 93/100 and 93/100.

Currie also took third place Class B Whizbang.

The state shoot was held July 20-21 at the National Shooting Complex.

In earlier competition at the Comal County Shoot,  two team members racked up awards.

Fiolek shot a perfect 100 to win first place in trapshooting and Musgrove placed second in skeet.

080422 shooter competitionJett Currie displays a bronze medal he earned in Class B Whizbang at the State 4-H Shotgun Games. Jett Currie (left) and Braxton Davis won first place two-man team in the skeet with two identical scores of 93/100 and 93/100 at the State 4-H Shotgun Games in San Antonio July 20-23.

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