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Crockett, Lovelady hosting volleyball scrimmages

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080422 Crockett VB

By Larry Lamb
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Houston County's five high school volleyball teams hit the practice court Monday and will get their first taste of competition during scrimmages this week.

On Friday, Lovelady will host a scrimmage with Latexo and Buffalo.

A total of nine matches will be played -- three varsity, three junior varsity and three freshman -- in two gyms. Each match will last 40 minutes.

Lovelady and Latexo varsities will start things off at 8 a.m.

Then the Lady Lions varsity will scrimmage Buffalo starting at 8:50 a.m.

Latexo and Buffalo round out the varsity segment of the scrimmage at 9:40 a.m.

Junior varsity scrimmages are as follows:

— 10:30 a.m. - Latexo JV vs. Lovelady JV
— 11:20 a.m. - Latexo JV vs. Buffalo JV
— 12 p.m. - Lovelady JV vs. Buffalo

Freshman scrimmages slated in Gym 2 are:

— 8:50 a.m. - Latexo F vs. Buffalo F
— 9:40 a.m.- Buffalo F vs. Lovelady JVM
— 10:30 a.m. - Lovelady JVM vs. Latexo F

On Saturday, Crockett is hosting a four-team scrimmage with Grapeland, Coldspring and Rusk. All matches will be in the Hopkins Dome.

There will be four varsity matches and three junior varsity matches lasting 30 minutes each.

Crockett and Grapeland will take the court first at 10 a.m., followed by Coldspring and Rusk at 10:40. After Crockett and Coldspring scrimmage at 11:30 a.m., Grapeland and Rusk will close out the varsity action at 12:10 p.m.

Three junior varsity scrimmages will round out the day.

Rusk and Coldspring JVs take the court at 12:50 p.m., followed by Crockett and Coldspring JVs at 1:30. Crockett and

Rusk JVs are pitted in the finale at 2:10 p.m.

Kennard Lady Tigers varsity and junior varsity squads will travel to Angelina County on Saturday to compete in the four-team Hudson Volleyball Mega Scrimmage.

Kennard's JV will face off with Hudson JV at 10 a.m., followed by the Kennard and Hudson varsities at 10:30 a.m.

Kennard JV will scrimmage and Colmesneil at 12 p.m. Kennard and Colmesneil varsities face off at 12:30 p.m.

Both Kennard squads will scrimmage Richards in their final action. The JV match is 2 p.m. and the varsity match follows at 2:30.

Next Tuesday, Kennard opens the season at home with Crockett.

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Football practice gets underway

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080422 football practice begnsLovelady head coach Will Kirchhoff watches closely as the Lions practice executing handoffs. Fifty-seven players attended the Lions' first day of workouts on Monday.

By Larry Lamb
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The countdown to the 2022 high school football season officially began Monday for Crockett, Lovelady and Grapeland with opening games just three weeks away.

Lovelady head coach Will Kirchhoff had good reason to smile when he welcomed 57 prospects, the biggest turnout of the three county schools.

"This is going to be a really good group. A very deep team," said Kirchhoff. "We're excited about this young group coming up as well as the older group that we've fostered over the last four years. We have a great group of juniors and seniors that'll be spearheading this bunch. We're excited about it."

Kirchhoff added, "We still have a couple of players out that are either sick or out of town and they should be back later this week."

An influx of 22 athletes from the junior high program boosted the Lions' numbers. "We lost 11 seniors and brought in 22 freshmen, plus we had several sophomores and juniors who decided to play this year and give it a run," said Kirchhoff. "Everybody wants to be a part of this. We're excited about the group we've got. From ninth grade up to twelfth is a really good group of kids."

Kirchhoff said the Lions' spring and summer conditioning program has paid off.

"We talked all year about starting where we finished. This group is definitely ahead of where we've been in the past. We had numerous kids who put in a lot of time this summer. We told them we have to just reset that bar and what it means to come into preseason in shape and continually getting better. Even though they came in in better shape, we're still going to push them to take that next jump so that where in the best shape we've ever been in by the time we get to our first game."

The Lions will report Saturday at 7:30 a.m. for a photo session followed by their first practice in full pads. "We'll get our pictures taken and then we'll come out and play a little football," Kirchhoff said.

Lovelady travels to Trinity on Thursday, Aug.11 for its first scrimmage.


Head coach Alton Dixon said an estimated 40 players were present for the first workout Monday evening.

"We'll have more once we get our sub-varsity players out here. We basically have all our varsity players here and we're just working on fundamental stuff and base schemes," said Dixon.

Practice is being held each evening at 5 p.m.

"With it being so hot, we're going through this acclimatization period taking precautions to make sure we have plenty of water during practice and ice afterward. We're trying to practice at a fast tempo while taking plenty of breaks," said Dixon.

Players lift in the weight room before practice two days a week. "We're trying to maintain and find a way to get stronger," said Dixon. "As we get into the school year our sub-varsity will probably lift three or four times a week and the varsity twice a week. But with our percentages set the way they are and with our post-game lifting we're going to be fine."

Conditioning-wise we're where we expected to be. For the most part we're a little bit ahead of the curve coming out of our summer strength and conditioning program. We've got some guys that are little behind, but we're going to condition every day," he added. "Right now we're probably about 65 to 75 percent being in shape as a team. We just have to get our bigs some reps because they're going to be playing both ways."

Fans can catch a sneak preview of the Bulldogs on Saturday during the Blue-White Intersquad Scrimmage starting at 10 a.m. in Driskell Stadium.

"It's our first day of real contact. Staying within the policies of UIL rules is highly important and we really want to take care of kids at this time too," Dixon said.

When classes begin next Wednesday, the Bulldogs will shift to their usual school routine.

"We'll use eighth period for film and weight room. We do a 24-period practice and work on offense, defense and kicking game all in that same structure," the coach explained.

Crockett's first scrimmage will be Thursday, Aug. 11 at Elysian Fields.


Thirty-seven players reported at Grapeland, where workouts are held from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m.

"It's been really smooth so far. We had a great offseason that has helped this year as far as a smooth transition," said head coach Jordan Wood. "We don't have a lot of numbers but the kids we have work really hard. They're not scared to work."

"After morning practice, we take about a 2 1/2 hour break, feed them lunch, meet and work out. It's not the traditional two-a-day," said Wood.

This Saturday is media day for the Sandies. Players will report at 8 a.m. to get suited up and photos will be taken around 8:30 a.m.

An intersquad scrimmage is scheduled afterward in Sandie Stadium.

"It'll be real structured and real controlled. We'll let them hit a little bit for the first time. It'll go for about an hour," said Wood.

Next Friday, the Sandies will host Cushing for a scrimmage. The Meet the Sandies program will take place while the junior varsity scrimmage is

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Davis named MaxPreps Softball All-American

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072122 davis all americanLovelady All-American Mihyia Davis will play in The Alliance Fastpitch All-Star Game on Sunday before starting her college career at University of Louisiana-Lafayette. Courtesy photo

Former Lady Lion playing in national all-star game Sunday

By Larry Lamb
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It's hard to top being an all-state performer in three sports, but Lovelady's Mihyia Davis has racked up yet another prestigious award.

Davis earned a spot on the MaxPreps 2022 First Team All-America softball team. The Lady Lions' center fielder finished her final high school season on the diamond posting an impressive .659 batting average.

MaxPreps All-Americans are selected based on statistical information, local honors, postseason success and contributions to their team.
The All-America Team highlights the 60 best players from the recently-completed season.

Only four of the 29 first team honorees are from Texas and Davis is the only class 2A athlete representing the state. The second team consists of 31 players and only one is from Texas.

During her senior season Davis also received all-state recognition in both volleyball and basketball. In track, she placed third at state in the 100-meter dash.

Davis, who signed with the University of Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns last November, will play one more game before starting her college career.

Davis and fellow ULL incoming freshman Kylei Griffin of Tyler Chapel Hill are joining a select group of 40 high school graduates nationwide for the 2022 Alliance Fastpitch All-Star Game on Sunday, July 24 at Kokomo Municipal Stadium in Kokomo, Indiana.

Fans have an opportunity to watch Davis participate in the contest, which is set to air live on ESPNU beginning at 6 p.m. (CDT).
The All-Star athletes are divided into two teams — Alliance American and Alliance National. Davis has been placed on the National Team roster.

Davis, a Top 15-rated prospect by Extra Inning Softball, is part of Louisiana's Class of 2022 signees that are set to arrive on campus in August.

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Campers get head start on football

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072822 football campCampers await their turn during a drill at the Houston County Crusaders Football Camp Saturday at Driskell Stadium. Photo by Larry Lamb

By Larry Lamb
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CROCKETT– Youngsters from kindergarten age through high school varsity ranks took advantage of free football camps hosted by the Houston County Crusaders and Crockett Bulldogs on Saturday morning.

The camps were conducted simultaneously on opposite ends of the field in Driskell Stadium starting at 9 a.m..

Houston County Youth Association president Jerry Holmes said 46 players participated in the Crusaders Camp. There were eight Flag division players (ages 4-5), 16 Bantams (ages 6-7), 10 Juniors (ages 8-9) and 12 Seniors (ages 10-11-12).

This year's camp instructors included Holmes, Lavardrick Satterwhite, Tyrone Colter, Joseph Porter, Austin Montgomery and Chris Bell.

While the football camp was underway, cheer coordinator Shemira Davis conducted a camp for eight participants.
Holmes thanked Zenita McKnight and Shambrica Creag for staffing the check-in table and registering players for the 2022 season.

Another sign-up is scheduled Thursday from 5-7 p.m. at Hibbett Sports in Crockett. Parents are reminded that they must provide a copy of the player's birth certificate, recent photo and end of the year report card. Registration fee is $100. Contact Holmes at 936-204-9469 for information about the Crusaders football and cheer program.

Preseason practices will begin Aug. 1 at 6 p.m. on the field next to the Andrew Hopkins dome.

Holmes noted that the season opener previously announced has changed. The Crusaders will now travel to Trinity on Sept. 10 for four games starting with the Flag division at 9 a.m.

Crockett Bulldogs head coach Alton Dixon and his staff conducted a timing camp for junior high and high school athletes on the scoreboard end of the field.

Most of the participants were from Crockett, but several athletes from Grapeland and Latexo also attended.

"It was a good day. We ran 40s, the L drill, pro agility drill and lead ball toss. At the end we did a weight room session. The kids did a pretty good job. It was nice seeing them being excited about the work they've put in throughout the summer. It was nicehaving some athletes from other schools out here getting the Crockett Bulldog experience," said Dixon.

"It's been a really good summer. We have a couple of weeks before we start fall camp on Aug. 1 and We're ready to rock and roll," he added.

Preseason workouts will start at 5:30 p.m. each evening until the school year begins, said Dixon.

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