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  • Groveton celebrates athletes

    052721 banquet 2TONY FARKAS | TCNS Powerlifting Coach Mitchell Wheat displays a plaque to be placed with other school sports honors for the lifters who qualified for state.

    By Tony Farkas

    GROVETON — State qualifiers in cross country and powerlifting. District placing in numerous sports, such as track and volleyball. Grit, determination, heart.

    These and more were celebrated at the Groveton ISD athletic banquet, held May 17 at the school.

    Athletic Director Richard Steubing said the banquet was the first one in the five years he has been with the district, and the participants — coaches and players included — would be recognized.

    The coaches all provided accolades to the students, saying that regardless of the wild ride the year was because of weather and COVID cancellations and quarantines, every player showed a competitive spirit worthy of the Groveton Indians.

    Girls Basketball Coach Rogelyn Andrews said the first thing she thinks of when she thinks of her players is determination, since the team went “from the worst team in the district to the best team that Groveton has seen in years.”

    Andrews told the students that grit and determination will follow them throughout their lives.

    052721 banquet 3TONY FARKAS | TCNS The girls softball team giggle as they are introduced to the crowd by Coach Jim Dillard.

    Girls Softball Coach Jim Dillard said that his team was the hallmark of overcoming adversity; Head Powerlifting Coach Jim Wheat said that while the pandemic and the weather made the season a challenge, the lifters were dominating, with all seniors qualifying for regional and four of them making the state meet.

    Cross Country Coach Mary Lankford said that this year was a wild ride, but ended with eight girls participating in the state meet.

    Lankford summed up the season for all sports by saying everyone made the most of the season.

    052721 banquet 4TONY FARKAS | TCNS The boys baseball team introduce themselves at the Groveton ISD athletic banquet, held on May 17.

  • Groveton girls nip Lovelady for district track crown

    IMG 2689LARRY LAMB | HCC Groveton’s Ingrid Rojo took first in the 100 hurdles and second in the 300 hurdles at the District 20-2A Track Meet.

    By Larry Lamb

    A first place finish in the 1600-meter run and a third place showing in the 1600 relay lifted Groveton to the District 20-2A varsity girls track championship in the finals Friday, April 9 at Centerville High School’s Tiger Stadium.

    That strong finish by the Lady Indians in the last two events gave them a total of 167 points, putting them two points ahead of Lovelady (165) in the district team standings. Jewett Leon (137.5) finished a distant third, followed by Centerville (94.5), Latexo (20), Slocum (5) and Grapeland (0).

    The meet was scheduled to take two days, but inclement weather stretched competition into a third day.

    Field events, running prelims and 3200-meter races took place Monday. Athletes returned Thursday for the running finals at 6 p.m. and the meet was running on schedule until shortly after 7 o’clock when a 30-minute lightning delay was called. Subsequent threatening weather in the area forced the delay to be extended and eventually the remaining six events were postponed until Friday morning.

    The top four finishers in each event advanced to the area meet Thursday in Madisonville where they competed for a regional berth April 23-24 at Palestine Wildcats Stadium.

    Results of the district meet are as follows:

    District 20-2A Track Meet

    Monday, April 5 - Thursday, April 8 - Friday, April 9

    Varsity Girls

    Team Standings- 1, Groveton 167. 2, Lovelady 165. 3, Jewett Leon 137.5. 4, Centerville 94.5. 5, Latexo 20. 6, Slocum 5. 7, Grapeland 0.

    Running events

    100 dash – 1, Jacy Stubblefield, Lovelady, 12.78. 2, Anaya Bloodworth, Groveton, 13.28. 3, Charlee Biano, Latexo, 13.49. 4, Kortney Bynum, Lovelady, 13.55. 5, Kaitlyn Kirschner, Leon, 13.90. 5, Kameron Denman, Centerville, 13.90.

    200 dash – 1, Lauren Salley, Leon, 27.56. 2, Jacy Stubblefield, Lovelady, 27.87. 3, Keyonna Holley, Centerville, 27.93. 4, Maya Calvin, Leon, 28.84. 5, Emma Alexander, Groveton, 28.85. 6, Anaya Bloodworth, Groveton, 29.93.

    400 dash – 1, Lauren Salley, Leon, 1:03.11. 2, Madison Johnson, Leon, 1:04.90. 3, Kinsley Kornegay, Centerville, 1:07.49. 4, Tanaysha Cole, Groveton, 1:07.68. 5, Shyanne Pipkin, Lovelady, 1:07.75. 6, Josselyn Cruz, Groveton, 1:09.65.

    800 run – Madison Johnson, Leon, 2:36.46. 2, Rylie Croston, Centerville, 2:36.72. 3, Kaitlyn Bailey, Centerville, 2:36.96. 4, Kinsey Hardee, Centerville, 2:38.81. 5, Claire Stevens, Leon, 2:40.72. 6, Josselyn Cruz, Groveton, 2:43.86.

    1600 run – 1, Caitlyn Antley, Groveton, 6:06.61. 2, Claire Stevens, Leon, 6:08.36. 3, Isavel Bautista, Groveton, 6:18.34. 4, Abby Sarraf, Slocum, 6:19.68. 5, Skyler Shaw, Groveton, 6:22.27. 6, Shyanne Pipkin, Lovelady, 6:33.84.

    3200 run – 1. Claire Stevens, Leon, 13:14. 2, Caitlyn Antley, Groveton, 13:17. 3, Rylie Croston, Centerville, 13:19. 4. Kaitlyn Bailey, Centerville, 13:25. 5, Isavel Bautista, Groveton, 13:31. 6, Abby Sarraf, Slocum, 14:28.

    100 hurdles – 1, Ingrid Rojo, Groveton, 18.99. 2, Emma Carmicheal, Lovelady, 19.90. 3, Daisia Leonard, Groveton, 20.65. 4, Hanna Huffstuttler, Lovelady, 20.90. 5, Olivia Ice, Lovelady, 21.00.

    300 hurdles – 1, Scout Lovell, Lovelady, 51.34. 2, Ingrid Rojo, Groveton, 55.94. 3, Olivia Ice, Lovelady, 57.15. 3, Samantha Hobbs, Centerville, 57.15.

    5, Emma Carmicheal, Lovelady, 57.72. 6, Daisia Leonard, Groveton, 1:05.31

    4x100 – 1, Leon (Ramirez, Sitton, Oviedo, Calvin), 51.65. 2, Groveton (Kaylee McRory, Maicey Smith, Emma Alexander, Breanna McQueen), 52.00.

    1. Centerville (Keeton, Denman, Rivenbark, Holley), 52.97. 4, Lovelady (MaKenna Pierce, Bailee Albinus, Kortney Bynum, Aaliyah Jones), 53.88. 5, Latexo (Charlee Biano, Emily Bird, Shelby Eberts, Taylor Dise), 56.31.

    4x200 relay – 1, Leon (Ramirez, Sitton, Oviedo, Calvin), 1:50.18. 2, Groveton. (Breanna McQueen, Emma Alexander, Kaylee McRory, Maicey Smith), 1:51.56. 3, Lovelady (MaKenna Pierce, Bailee Albinus, Scout Lovell, Jacy Stubblefield), 1:53.49. 4, Latexo (Charlee Biano, Emily Bird, Shelby Eberts, Taylor Dise), 2:01.87.

    4x400 – 1, Leon (Salley, Johnson, Sitton, Oviedo), 4:18.12. 2, Centerville (Holley, Hardee, Kornegay, Kapchinsky), 4:24.25. 3, Groveton (Breanna McQueen, Caitlyn Antley, Kaylee McRory, Maicey Smith), 4:26.18.

    Field Events

    Long jump – 1, Jacy Stubblefield, Lovelady, 16-1 ¼. 2, Ciera Keeton, Centerville, 15-4. 3, Breanna McQueen, Groveton, 15-1 ¾. 4, Aaliyah Jones, Lovelady, 14-2 ¾. 5, Emily Bird, Latexo, 14-0. 6, Alexis Easterling, Groveton, 13’10.

    Shot put – 1, Jenny Kapchinski, Centerville, 32-2. 2, Canaan Dillard, Groveton, 31-6. 3, Stacy Rojo, Groveton, 27-10. 4, Magali Castillo, Lovelady, 27-8. 5. Hollie Seidel, Lovelady, 25-8. 6, Hannah Spurgeon, Groveton, 24-7.

    Discus – 1, Kylie Pugh, Lovelady, 88-1. 2, Magali Castillo, Lovelady, 86-8. 3, Stacey Rojo, Groveton, 86-7 ½. 4, Canann Dillard, Groveton, 84-7 ½. 5, Hannah Spurgeon, Groveton, 78-2 ½. 6, Danielle Glasgow, Lovelady, 74-9.

    Triple jump – 1, Makenna Pierce, Lovelady, 31-6 ½. 2, Maya Calvin, Leon, 31-5. 3, Kortney Bynum, Lovelady, 30-11. 4, Kaylee McRory, Groveton, 29-0 1/2. 5, Emma Alexander, Groveton, 28-7. 6, Daisia Leonard, Groveton, 27-9.

    High jump – 1, Shyanne Pipkin, Lovelady, 5-2. 2, Kieyn Smith, Groveton, 4-8. 3, Emily Sitton, Leon, 4-6.

    Pole Vault - Jacy Stubblefield, Lovelady, 9-6. 2, Kameron Negrete, Lovelady, 9-0. 3, Scout Lovell, Lovelady, 8-6. 4, Ingrid Rojo, Groveton, 6-6. 5, Kaitlyn Bailey, Centerville, 6-0.

  • Groveton Invitational Baseball Tournament

    031121 baseball 1TONY FARKAS | TCNS Reece White makes contact with a pitch during the Groveton Invitational Tournament on Thursday. Groveton won its two outings, 9-1 over Trinity and 5-2 over Normagee.

    Thursday Results

    Groveton 9, Trinity 1

    Groveton 5, Normangee 2

    Warren 5, Trinity 3

    Diboll 8, Normangee 4

    Diboll 13, Warren 2

    031121 baseball 2TONY FARKAS | TCNS Kaleb Coots brings the heat against a Normagee batter during the Groveton Invitation Tournament on Thursday.

  • Groveton takes second at 20-2A district meet

    IMG 2644LARRY LAMB | HCC Groveton’s Haden Lee competes in the 800-meter run at the District 20-2A Track Meet in Centerville.

    By Larry Lamb
    Polk County Publishing

    CENTERVILLE — The Groveton Indians pulled off a second-place finish at the District 20-2A track meet, even though the competition required an extra day to complete due to inclement weather.

    Groveton tallied 135.5 points, just behind the Centerville Tigers, who racked up 181 points to claim the title. The Lovelady Lions were hot on the Indians’ heels with 134 points, followed by Grapeland (66), Jewett Leon (46.5), Latexo (30) and Slocum (0.

    Field events, running prelims and 3200-meter races took place April 5 at Tiger Stadium. Athletes returned Thursday for the running finals, but just over an hour into the session threatening weather prompted meet officials to call a 30-minute lightning delay. Subsequent threatening weather in the area forced the delay to be extended and eventually the remaining six events were postponed until Friday morning.

    District 20-2A Track Meet

    April 5-9

    Varsity Boys

    Team Standings: 1, Centerville 181. 2, Groveton, 135.5. 3, Lovelady, 134. 4, Grapeland 66. 5, Jewett Leon 46.5. 6, Latexo 30. 7. Slocum 0.

    100 dash

    Fifth, Phoenix Bowman, Groveton, 11.57.

    400 dash

    Fifth, James Williams, Groveton, 56.68.6, Halston French, Centerville, 56.75.

    1600 run

    Second, Jarrett Loftin, Groveton, 5:21.59; sixth, Caden Alexander, Groveton, 5:26.56.

    3200 run

    Second, Jarrett Loftin, Groveton, 11:52; fifth, Caden Alexander, Groveton, 12:07.

    110 hurdles

    Fourth, King Jones, Groveton, 18.56; fifth, Ian Utz, Groveton, 19.18.

    300 hurdles

    Fourth, King Jones, Groveton, 45.37. 5, Tuff Reynolds, Groveton, 46.34.

    4x100 relay

    Third, Groveton (Phoenix Bowman, Byron Thomas, David Ayala, Malachi Stewart), 45.31. 4.

    4x200 relay

    Second, Groveton (Navid Pat, Bryon Thomas, David Ayala, Malachi Stewart), 1:36.88.

    4x400 relay

    Third, Groveton (David Ayala, Navid Pat, Chase Blair, Haden Lee), 3:47.52.

    Long Jump

    Sixth, James Williams, Groveton, 17-9 ¾.

    Shot put

    First, Tyler Allen, Groveton, 40-2.

    Discus

    Third, Tyler Allen, Groveton, 99-10 ½.

    Triple jump

    Third, Chase Blair, Groveton, 37-2 ½; fourth, Navid Pat, Groveton, 37-1; fifth, James Williams, Groveton, 36-11 ½.

    High jump

    Fourth, Malachi Stewart, Groveton, 5-8; fifth, Chase Vycital, Groveton, 5-6.

    Pole vault

    Second, Dalton Chandler, Groveton, 10-0; third, Haden Lee, Groveton, 9-0.

  • Growing pains

    IMG 2622BRIAN BESCH | PCE Central Heights winning over the Lady Dogs of Corrigan-Camden on Friday 11 Decmber, 2020.

    By Brian Besch

    Central Heights started quickly and had Friday’s district matchup decided in a quarter, winning over the Lady Dogs of Corrigan-Camden 72-8.

    Holding the Lady Dogs without a field goal until the second quarter, Central Heights converted turnovers into layup, running up the first-half difference.

    “We have four freshmen, two sophomores, a junior and a senior. It is going to be rough at times this year,” Corrigan-Camden coach Ryan Hall said. “The ones that were the team leaders last year didn't come out and they left it on the young ones. This group works their tails off in practice and does everything I ask them to. They will get better; it is just going to take time. We are not in a developmental district, but we have a developmental team. We're going to have to develop and get better and it is just going to be trial by fire this year.

    “This is probably one of the toughest districts in the area and maybe the state. It is not because we have state-title contenders, but we have four or five teams in our district that, if the playoff bracket allowed them to, they could go to the regional tournament. They are very good and very high IQ basketball teams top to bottom.”

    The Lady Devils led 41-4 at halftime, as most who suited up scored at least two points. Nakalyn Wells and Kamryn Moore led the game by scoring 14 points each, while Hannah Shugart had 11. For Corrigan, Amiyah Jones had three points, Jonaisha Love and Paige Standley both had a bucket, and Kalyn Smith knocked down a free throw.

    The coach said Huntington, Central, Central Heights and Diboll would be favorites for the playoffs, along with Pineywoods Christian Academy.

    IMG 2617BRIAN BESCH | PCE players defending the net

    “That is the most athletic Central Heights team that we have played,” Hall said. “They always have good basketball IQ and good basketball teams, but now they are bringing athletes to it too. Huntington has dropped down (in classification) and they've got a D1 track recruit at point guard. She is all gas and no brakes, and she doesn't slow down even when she has the ball. She can go. I would say that they are probably the favorite to win district as long as she plays.”

    Hall said his squad's attitude is what he enjoys most.

    “Everything we asked them to do, they do. Everybody gets along, we have zero drama, and they play to the best of their ability. They are a fun group to be around. They are not the strongest basketball players right now, but if they keep that attitude and keep playing, they can learn basketball.”

  • Henderson edges Crockett in bi-district soccer

    IMG 1859LARRY LAMB | HCC Crockett goalie Antonio Cruz makes a diving save against Henderson in a bi-district game on Thursday.

    By Larry Lamb

    The Crockett Bulldogs capped the regular season with five straight wins but couldn’t keep their streak going against the Henderson Lions in the first round of the class 4A state soccer playoffs.

    Henderson scored two second-half goals to beat the Bulldogs 2-0 in a bi-district matchup Thursday night at Hudson High School’s Hornet Field.

    The Bulldogs and Lions battled back and forth down the field for the first 40 minutes. At halftime, the game was locked in a 0-0 stalemate.

    Crockett continued to struggle with finding an offensive spark early in the second half while Henderson finally found the back of the net at the 32:04 mark. The Lions tacked on an insurance goal with 16:36 left.

    Bulldogs coach Gary Gutierrez praised junior goalie Antonio Cruz’s performance.

    “In my opinion he won man of the match. He kept us in the game for as long as he could and he made absolute incredible saves. He’s going to be an elite goal keeper if he really wants to. Luckily I’ll have him back next year,” said Gutierrez.

    Henderson, which finished second in its district, sits at 14-8-4 overall going into the second round against Paris.

    While seeing the season end is always heartbreaking – especially for the senior trio of Alex Orozco, Pablo Ayala and Salvador Lopez – Gutierrez says the Bulldogs can be proud of their accomplishments.

    “This is the best season the boys have ever played. This is the best they’ve ever done in the playoffs. The boys have made a huge improvement from last year and prior years, and even from the beginning of this season. This is the strongest team Crockett has ever had and it’s only going to get stronger,” said Gutierrez.

    Crockett finished third out of eight teams in District 16-4A with a 10-4 record and ended the season with a 14-9 mark.

    Palestine won the district championship, Livingston came in second and Diboll finished fourth behind Crockett.

    As expected, Palestine prevailed over Carthage 2-0 in the first round Thursday. Livingston takes on Center in bi-district Friday at Hudson. Diboll, the fourth place seed, faces Kilgore.

    Crockett, a relatively young program, is marking its fourth year of UIL sanctioned competition. The Bulldogs made the playoffs as the fourth place seed their first two seasons and were poised to earn a playoff berth last season when the UIL suspended competition due to the pandemic.

    Gutierrez noted that the Bulldogs’ district losses were to Palestine and Livingston, both 4A schools.

    “We only lost to two teams in district (Palestine and Livingston). We’re blowing teams out that in previous years had blown us out such as Hudson and Madisonville. In our last five games we have scored 18 goals and have only allowed three goals,” pointed out Gutierrez.

    “This is my first year here but I’d safely assume that we have scored more goals than this team has ever scored in a single season and allowed the least amount of goals. This team has won the most amount of games and has lost the least amount of games,” said Gutierrez.

  • Hornets take 2nd, qualify for region meet

                                   JASON CHLAPEK | PCE Goodrich athlete Aralyn Angel finishes third in the District 28-A Meet last week in Lufkin. Angel will compete in the Region IV-A Meet Monday in Corpus Christi.

    By Jason Chlapek

    LUFKIN — Frigid, rainy conditions were not enough to slow down Goodrich senior Joaxci Garzon, who won the boys race at the District 28-A cross country meet in Lufkin.

    Garzon and teammate A’Maereion Bookman finished 1-2, respectively, in the meet. Garzon finished with a time of 17 minutes, 50 seconds, while Bookman had a time of 18:33.

    “It’s been a few years since I’ve run in weather this cold,” Garzon said. “I think I could’ve run better. I have to keep working, keep running and try to improve.”

    Garzon was the individual district champion last year as well. In addition to him and Bookman, the rest of the Goodrich team will participate in Monday’s Region IV-A Meet in Corpus Christi.

    The Hornets took second with 47 points and edged Chester (50) for the runner-up spot, while Zavalla scored 30 points to win the team title. The top two teams and top 10 individuals qualified for the region meet.

    Rounding out the Goodrich roster was Exzavier Henderson, Tilde Guzman, Jose Reyes and Marcos Machuca. At the region meet, the top three teams and top 10 individuals not attached to a qualifying team will earn berths at the Class A state meet Nov. 23 in Round Rock.

    “We’ve been working out as much as we can,” Garzon said. “We just have to keep running to make ourselves better.”

    In the girls race, Goodrich finished third and missed out on team qualification. Zavalla and Chireno finished 1-2, respectively.

    However, a pair of Lady Hornets will compete in Corpus Christi on Monday. They are Aralyn Angel and Daisy Stutts, who finished third and seventh, respectively.

  • Lady Cats off to fast start in December

    IMG 2195PHOTO BY BRIAN BESCH I PCE Jamya Garrett shoots a jumper in the first half Tuesday.

    By Brian Besch

    The Big Sandy Lady Cats came back from their turkey-day break by defeating intra-county foe Goodrich 71-15 Tuesday night in Dallardsville.

    The game was never in doubt, as the Lady Cats scored just a few seconds after the tip and held the lead throughout the competition. Big Sandy was led by sophomore Alexis Thompson, who scored 13 points in the first quarter, on her way to 28 for the game.

    Despite the large difference, Lady Cat head coach Ryan Alec sees room for improvement from his bunch.

    “We didn't shoot the ball very well tonight as much as I would like for us to,” he said. “Offensively, I thought we executed as best we could. We had good ball movement around the perimeter, but I thought we missed our post players on the inside a little bit. In the second half, we tried to fix that a little more and go inside. I thought we did a better job going to our bigs and trying to score down low. Early in the first half, I thought we were trying to settle for too many 3-pointers on the outside. We weren't making them, so we have to figure out something else to do.”

    The home team outscored the Lady Hornets 21-2 in the first quarter and led 37-4 at the half. Savannah Hoffman had 13 points for the Lady Cats and Faith Geller added a dozen. For Goodrich, Aralyn Angel led with seven points, Latrina Morgan had five and Jamya Garrett ended with three.

    The Big Sandy boss liked what he saw on the defensive end, holding the Lady Hornets to minimal success.

    “We played our zone defense and we tried to be aggressive out of it,” Alec said. “In the second half, we played a little bit of man. We are trying to figure out who we are and figure out our identity and what type of defense we are better at. I thought our first half defense was much better than our second half, but we still have a lot of work that we have to do in order for us to run both defenses to perfection. It's one of those things that we have to work on every day.”

    For Goodrich, the Lady Hornets are coming off a hard-fought win just before the Thanksgiving holidays.

    “I feel like the last game they played a lot better,” Goodrich coach Khadijah Carter said. “We played the Livingston game against the freshmen. We've just got to get more competitive.”

    In the game with Livingston, Goodrich played with only four on the court for the entire fourth quarter. Carter said the team was up 10 or 15 points to begin the period and Livingston closed the gap to four points before the Lady Hornets took the win.

    “(Versus Livingston,) we actually moved the ball around and we were getting open shots,” Carter said. “Most of our points came from in the paint. It was a lot of high-low and stuff like that. We had a girl foul out, so we just had to get in a box set. We managed with that for a little bit and our sophomore stepped up, bringing the ball down the court, because they doubled our point guard.”

    The coach believes that confidence is a factor with her team and she wants to build in that area during non-district before heading into league play, which begins next week.

  • Lady Dogs defeat Goodrich

    Micah Hughes lofts a shot over the net.Micah Hughes lofts a shot over the net.

    By Brian Besch
    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Corrigan-Camden volleyball continued its impressive start to the year by sweeping Goodrich 25-6, 25-7 and 25-10 Tuesday on the north end of Polk County.

    The Lady Dogs began both the first and second games with 6-0 starts to ease into victories. Corrigan-Camden coach Sage Gardner said the quick starts were a positive turn after making some adjustments.

    “We hit a little bump there where I think girls were getting complacent,” the coach said. “The one thing we have focused on is just not being complacent and making sure that we stay up and stay positive and focus on fundamentals and just being prepared for every ball coming back over.”

    The final game began in a 2-2 tie, but nine consecutive points gave the Lady Dogs all the buffer they would need to complete the win.

    Corrigan-Camden has dropped games to Madisonville, Neches and Splendora for a 10-3 record after a start to the season that garnered a few votes in the state rankings. However, Gardner said the games were good competition for her girls and important in the preparation for district play.

    “District is always going to be tough. We go against Central Heights, Diboll, Huntington and Hemphill. This year we only have a five-team district and we dropped Woodville and Newton. Everything is going to be a fight to the end for first.”

    Gardner said Central Heights has been district champions and the team all schools have targeted in recent history.

    “Of course, that is what we want and that is what we are going after. We are going to do what we can to get there.”

    For Goodrich, the Lady Hornets are just beginning the spike season. Tuesday was the squad’s third game and new coach Khadijah Carter said her young group needs the experience.

    “We have started out OK. We have to communicate better and we have to get more aggressive,” Carter said. “There are times when you can tell they were getting themselves down. We have to keep pushing and play like we did at the beginning of the Coldspring game. That was good, and we have to get back to that.”

    Carter is instructing four freshman, two sophomores and a junior in her small group of seven. Another reason for optimism is a talented group of eighth graders that will soon be part of the Lady Hornet program.

    Goodrich has played Burkeville and Coldspring to this point. Though both were losses, Carter is optimistic about the team, especially following the game versus a larger Lady Trojan program. Their first district contest is Friday versus Kennard. The five-team district also includes Chester, Apple Springs and Latexo. 

    Corrigan-Camden will next see action Friday when they host Shepherd.

  • Lady Jackets make easy work of Kennard, Apple Springs

    Chester Volleyball 101520JANA RAYBURN | TCB Lady Jacket Olivia Gilzow goes up for a kill in recent action. The Lady Jackets are currently 11-1 for the season.

    By Jana Rayburn

    TYLER COUNTY - The Chester Lady Jackets went two for two last week, defeating both Kennard and Apple Springs. These two wins bring the Lady Jackets to 11-1 for the season.

    The Lady Jackets defeated Kennard in three sets last Tuesday, Oct. 6. Brianna Kort and Jasmine Mitchell led the team in kills. Kort had seven kills and Mitchell had eight kills during the match.

    The Lady Jackets played a home game on Oct. 9 against Apple Springs. The Lady Jackets won in three sets. Linzie Romo led with six blocks. Kinsley Barnes had three blocks, and Olivia Gilzow had two blocks.

    The Lady Jackets will be at home on Friday, Oct. 16 as they face the Goodrich Lady Hornets at 4:30 p.m. Then on Tuesday, Oct. 20, they will travel to Kennard to take on the Lady Tigers for a 4:30 p.m. match.

    The junior high volleyball teams played against Groveton on Monday, Oct. 5 in Groveton. The Lady Jacket B team lost, but it was a very close game. The A team won in two games.

    The junior high teams will play their last game of the season on Monday, Oct. 19 at home against Latexo. The game will begin at 4 p.m.

    Yellowjacket Football
    The high school football team had a bye week to allow their athletes to participate in the Tyler County Fair.

    The Yellowjackets will travel to Buckholts on Friday, Oct. 16 to face the Badgers in a 7:00p.m. game. This game against Buckholts will be the last game before district play starts for the Jackets.

    The junior high football team have had a few weeks off, but will get some action on Friday, Oct. 16, as they travel to Buckholts for a 5 p.m. game against the Badgers. This game will be played prior to the high school game.

    Yellowjacket cross-country
    The high school cross country team competed in the Lufkin Coca-Cola Invitational on Wednesday, Oct. 7. Even though no one placed, they all competed well.

    The high school and junior high cross-country teams will travel to West Sabine on Wednesday, Oct. 14. Then, on Wednesday, Oct. 21, Chester will host their own invitational meet at The Gathering Place in Chester. For more information, contact Charlotte Barnes at Chester High School.

  • Lady Tiger wins state meet

    032521 powerliftingCOURTESY PHOTO Kailyn Fisher displays her first-place award for taking top honors at the State 3A Powerlifting meet on March 16 in Corpus Christi.

    News-Standard staff

    CORPUS CHRISTI — Kailyn Fisher took top honors at the State 3A Powerlifting meet on March 16.

    The Lady Tiger lifted a personal best squat of 520 pounds, did a 285-pound bench press, a personal best 450-pound deadlift and hit a new state totals record of 1,255 pounds.

    Her efforts put Trinity at seventh in the team standings, which was won by Edinburg Idea College Prep.

    At the 1-2A State Meet held March 15, Groveton’s Jadan Alsip took eighth place and Lexia Blanks brought home 10th-place hardware.

    Kylie Voelker and Chloe Meshell bombed out on squats, which ended their competition for the season.

  • Lady Tigers advance 5 to regionals (VIDEO)

                                   JASON CHLAPEK I TCNS Trinity athlete Shelby Walters clears her height during the Districts 23/24-3A Area Meet on April 12 in Coldspring. Walters won the event with a vault of 9 feet.

    By Jason Chlapek

    COLDSPRING — April 12 was a banner day for Trinity athletes Shania English and Shelby Walters.

    English was part of a trio of fourth-place finishes and Walters won her event at the Districts 23/24-3A Area Meet last week in Coldspring. The top four finishers in each event qualified for the Region III-Class 3A Meet Friday and Saturday at Midway High School in Waco.

    English finished fourth in the girls high jump (4 feet, 10 inches), 400-meter run (1:06.38), and ran a leg on the fourth-place 400-meter relay team (53.60). Joining English on the 400 relay were Yasmin Moore, Anaya Weathersby and MyOna Wilson.

    Walters won the pole vault with a vault of 9 feet. She didn’t start vaulting until the height reached 7 feet, and Walters cleared the height with ease to clinch the area title in the event.

    The second-place finisher in the girls pole vault cleared 6-6, but failed to clear 7 feet. The top two finishers and top third-place finish statewide in each event at the region meet qualify for the state track and field meet May 6-8 in Austin.

  • Lady Trojans outshine Lady Tigers

    040121 softball 1TONY FARKAS | SJNT Coldsprint-Oakhurst Lady Trojan Cami Fussell (No. 4) attempts to lay down a bunt during Friday’s game against Trinity. The Lady Trojans won 18-8.

    SJNT staff

    TRINITY — The Lady Trojans hammered runs out here and there to take a win over Trinity on Friday.

    "We are taking it day-by-day," Coldspring coach Brandi Hill said. "Trinity is pretty good. Their ace pitcher ended up getting hurt, so they had to pull in backups. We just kind of hung with them at the very beginning and weren't hitting very well, but just making contact.

    "We ended up scratching out a couple of runs here and there,” she said. “When she got injured and they had to pull her is when they were trying to keep things together, but it was really difficult for them."

    Trinity Head Coach Doug Sanchez said Tiger Pitcher Cynthia Sizemore was injured, and the backup pitcher didn’t mount much defense.

    Hill said the team is working to improve, with a goal of reaching the postseason. She said the offense usually begins clicking as games progress.

    "It is hard for us to start, but as time goes, we are piecing together hits here and there by the end of the game."

    The team is trying to get consistent play and "level out the bumps and trying to keep everybody on the same page" to improve. Coldspring's district record is 2-3 and tied for fourth place with Tarkington, which currently holds the tiebreaker in a win over the Lady Trojans.

    To this point, Coldspring has dropped district games to Onalaska, Tarkington and Hardin, while defeating Anderson-Shiro and Trinity. New Waverly is the top team in district and the Lady Trojans challenged them Tuesday to finish up the first round of league play.

    “We have a good fighting chance and hopefully things end up better on the second time through district."

    Sanchez touted Dayanara Martinez, who hit her first home run of the season during the game, and Dezi Galvan and Abby Crowton, who each go their first hits at the varsity level.

    Trinity heads to district play on Thursday against Onalaska.

  • Lamar Cardinals sign Lovelady lineman

    IMG 0907COURTESY PHOTO Lovelady senior Carter Murray signs a National Letter of Intent to play football with Lamar University in Beaumont during a ceremony Wednesday, Dec. 16 in the LHS gym.

    By Larry Lamb

    Lamar University landed a big man to bolster its offensive line with the signing of Lovelady senior Carter Murray during a ceremony Wednesday, Dec. 16 in the LHS gym.

    Murray was one of five offensive linemen Lamar signed to National Letters of Intent on Early Signing Day.

    The 6-3, 290-pound tackle was a four-year starter for the Lions on both sides of the ball.

    Kilgore College, Sam Houston State and Rice University also had their eyes on Murray. “None were as interested in me as Lamar. They kept in contact with me, their coaches are really good and the facilities are nice. I just liked everything about it,” he explained.

    “A whole new coaching staff came in last December. Coach (Dane) Morgan was previously at San Diego State and always had a good record there, so I feel like it’s going to be a good ride,” said the future Cardinal. “I’m excited about what’s next.”

    Carter, son of David and Michelle Murray, hasn’t decided on a major. “I plan to get the basics done first and then decide on what I’ll major in,” he said.

    Murray’s senior football season was cut short by meniscus surgery which sidelined him after the regular season. “I missed the two playoff games because if I had waited and not had the surgery I wouldn’t have been ready for baseball,” said Murray, who is a standout player for the Lions baseball team. “I’m ready for baseball.”

    “I really grew up playing baseball but football kind of just fell into me. I knew I could go to the next level and play football, so I started to take that seriously and work hard at it,” he continued.

    Murray said the most memorable football game was his during freshman season when the Lions defeated Alto 22-20 in bi-district. “Being a freshman starter in my first playoff game made it special and it was probably the best game that we’ve ever played as a team. The atmosphere was amazing. There’s no other feeling like that.”

    Lovelady athletic director/head football coach Will Kirchhoff said, “He’s an exceptional young man, a great football player and an even better person.”

    The coach continued, “I’ve watched him grow from freshman year all the way to where he is now so I feel like he’s one of my own. He’s going to carry all the things I’ve seen him grow into and keep growing in the next level, so we’re really excited about seeing where he’s going.”

    In addition to Murray’s obvious physical changes, Kirchhoff noted, “His biggest change has been the mentality and the leadership that he brings to the table. Every single play is important to him on both sides of the football. He’s had such an impact on our program in changing the way that we play football, which is physical hard-nose offense running the football down your throat. He’s been a big piece of that puzzle. Basing your offense around a right tackle is rare but when you’ve got one as good as Carter it’s something that you can do.”

    As a junior Murray received honorable mention All-East Texas and All-State. At the Texas Top 100 combine last year, Murray was named as the top five offensive linemen in Classes 1A through 6A.

    Murray was District 11-2A DII Lineman of the Year this past season and is a likely to be a repeat as All-State honoree when the 2020 selections are announced.

    “Carter was one of those kids that everyone in the district always asked me whether he’s graduated yet because he’s dominated this district for the last four years on both sides of the ball. I hate to see him go but I’m excited to see where he’s going. If he carries that Lovelady work ethic to the next level he’ll do just fine,” said Kirchhoff.

    “To be as successful as he has been is just a testament to his character and all the work that he’s put in because year after year he just keeps getting better,” added Kirchhoff.

    Murray has played every position on the offensive line.

    “That’s a testament to how high his football IQ is and that’s his big attribute. No matter where you plug him in he understands the big picture and can handle those jobs. That’s a huge thing that Lamar’s going to get out of him. No matter where they put him he’s going to be able to execute at a high level and he’s going to understand exactly what’s going on,” said Kirchhoff.

    “Lamar noticed on film how he picks up different schemes, no matter what defenses throw at him. He not only can get his job done but he can make sure everyone on the O-line is in their right place and he does a great job directing those guys. But for football IQ and physicality, Lamar got a gem I assure you,” summed up Kirchhoff.

  • Last-second prayer unanswered (VIDEO)

    IMG 3690COURTESY PHOTO

    By Brian Besch

    Goodrich had a chance to send Friday's game versus Burkeville into overtime at the buzzer, but fell a bit short in a 49-46 contest. 

    Down by three with nine seconds remaining, Goodrich inbounded the ball. They missed two field goals in the lane before tossing up a last-second heave from behind the arc that bounced off the front of the rim. 

    "It is hard to beat somebody when you can't make free throws," Goodrich coach Lester King said of the team's 8-for-20 performance from the charity stripe. "With all the layups we missed, it is hard. Kids are standing around and they don't realize that you have to rebound." 

    The Hornets led 15-5 after the first period, yet were not on the positive side of any quarter following. 

    The Mustangs had three players score in double digits and only four players that registered a point. The Hornets were led by Joacxi Garzon, who had a game-high of 23 points, Brandon Izaguirre with 10 and Dartavian Nickson with eight. 

    The Hornets have a bye Tuesday and then go to Chester Friday to begin the second half of district play. 

    "We will spend Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday on the baseline (running)," King said. Making free throws will get you off of it. Otherwise, we will stay there a while. 

    "With the type of ball that we play, we haven't played a team yet this year that has shot more free throws. We are playing man-to-man defense. We've got one senior that we will lose and the rest of them are coming back. We've got some kids in eighth grade that are coming up, so we will be pretty good next year." 

    King is beginning to feel better about his team's chances in district. Goodrich has just one win in 28-1A play, but he feels there is enough parity for every game to be competitive. 

    "That was the last game of the first half. We can go through the second-half and beat everybody almost. That should show it right there.  

    "These kids are trying to do too much on offense, but I want you to break your neck on defense -- not offense. Take your time and wait for a good shot. They will see it on video. We had plenty of opportunities and plenty of good shots. If you get to the rim, you should score. We got the lead a little bit and we got relaxed. We stopped really concentrating on defense. I hope we are learning."

     

  • Leggett basketball in postseason once again (VIDEO)

    IMG 4685BRIAN BESCH | PCE Varian Flournoy fights through traffic to the rim.

    By Brian Besch

    The Leggett Pirates punched their ticket to the playoffs Saturday night with a 78-69 triumph over Burkeville at The Summit in Woodville. 

    The neutral-site game was for the third seed of District 28-1A. 

    Leggett began the contest on a 7-0 run and held a 26-8 lead after the first period.

    However, the Mustangs regrouped, pouring in 24 second-quarter points. The difference was just three at 30-27 with 2:30 in the second quarter.

    Leggett extended that seven at 39-32 at the half and would hold a lead from the first bucket to the final buzzer.

    "We got hot -- real hot -- and everything was good," Leggett coach Sean Edwards said of the first period. "They came back in the second quarter. I liked how we hustled and we played team ball. We grabbed the ball a little more and played with effort and heart."
     

    Edwards said he felt like the team did not play with the same intensity in the second and third quarter.

    "We just let the crowd get to us and everything. We've got to be ready for a playoff atmosphere with Kennard (the next opponent) being tougher."

    Chase Parrish led all scores with 28 points, Varian Flournoy had 21, Josh Perkins had 12 and JaColby Sells had 11.

    The win pushes the Pirates into a Tuesday night bi-district matchup with Kennard, the champions of District 27-1A. 

    "It's been a weird season with Covid and the weather. But, if we just take it day by day and game by game, we can make it to regionals and eventually state," Edwards said. "We just have to take it game by game. There is a tough test that we are going to have with Kennard though, they are pretty good and have a 6-4 guard and a good slasher. They are pretty good and have a good coach over there that just came from Latexo. He knows what he's doing."
  • Leggett grinds out victory

    IMG 2522 BRIAN BESCH I PCE Jacoby Sells scored a game-high 21 points Friday in Leggett’s win over Big Sandy.

    By Brian Besch

    LEGGETT - The Leggett Pirates took an impressive 43-36 win over the Big Sandy Wildcats Friday night in Dudley Dickens Gymnasium.

    Leggett secured an early lead in the match largely behind the first-quarter scoring of Chase Parrish, who had 11 points through the first eight minutes.

    “We just came to play and we had a game plan,” Leggett coach Sean Edwards said. “We wanted to slow it down on them and I knew if we played good defense and controlled the tempo, we would win. We just had to run our half-court offense and grind it out.”

    The Pirates showed plenty of hustle on defense, frustrating the ‘Cats offensively. At the half, the home team held a 21-14 advantage.

    “Defense is always No. 1 and it's a tradition — it's always defense,” Edwards said. “We cut down our turnovers and that was a good thing, but we just have to learn how to finish games. It's the most perfect game we have played all year long.”

    The Wildcats played a better second half, slowly chipping away at the deficit. They took their first lead in the game with 4:30 remaining in the fourth quarter at 32-31 just after Parrish fouled out. 

    “I thought Leggett played great and played with a lot more intensity than we did,” Wildcat coach Kevin Foster said. “They executed better than we did, and offensively, we turned the ball over. When we got good looks, we couldn't make anything.”

    Jacoby Sells scored 14 points in the second half to help put his team back on top. For the night, he had 21 points and Parrish had 19 points for the Pirates. The Wildcats were paced by Kaden Foster with 11 (nine in the second half) and Weston Mayer, who had eight points.

    “Even with all of that with the turnovers and as bad as we played, if we make our free throws late, it's at least a one-possession game or maybe we even win it,” the Big Sandy coach said. “It was one of those nights where we didn't do anything to help ourselves win. In all honesty, and I just told the kids this, we didn't deserve to win that game. Even if we would have come back and won it, we didn't do enough. Every loose ball and every rebound, they seemed to get, and those are effort things.”

  • Leggett tackles state-ranked Kennard

    IMG 4923BRIAN BESCH | PCE

    By Brian Besch

    The bi-district round of the playoffs was not easy, but the Leggett Pirates outlasted state-ranked Kennard 39-36 in Huntington Tuesday.

    Down 30-26 in the fourth, Kennard received contributions from five different players and outscored Leggett 10-9. However, a heave from behind the arc in the final second did not fall and allowed the Pirates and their fans to celebrate.

    Leggett coach Sean Edwards felt that Tuesday's performance over the No. 17 team in 1A was the most complete of the year.

    "I told the kids that you have to think about 10 years down the road -- any regrets or what you should've, could've, would've (done)," he said. "It is just representing your school, your family and everybody that was at Leggett before you. It is starting to jell and they know it is playoff time. I see serious on their face."

    The game was the first competition in over a week for Kennard.

    "We were very rusty," Tiger coach Cory Carden said. "We came off of almost a week and a half of no basketball. It really kind of put a dent in what we're doing. They got to play on Saturday and we could say excuses for all of that, but it came down to who wanted it more. I think they got more loose balls and they were scrapping too. They came out and won the first couple of minutes and I think that's kind of what kept their momentum the rest of the game."

    Leggett established an early lead, but the Tigers would quickly recover. Hitting a 3-pointer to close the first quarter, Kennard held an 8-7 advantage.

    Down 20-15 at the half, the Pirates went to work in the third. They began a 15-3 run to go up 12 until a Tiger 3-pointer from Dylan Cole ended the period.

    "We got in foul trouble and we had to slow it down and play a half-court game," Leggett coach Sean Edwards said. (Our plan) was to press and run them. They broke it and they were banging us inside and they were physical at first. We had to change some stuff up in the second half and come with it."

    Edwards agreed that the offense was able to relax a bit after ditching the full-court press.

    "We play different types and different styles. We can play slow or fast, but we have to go with what gets us the win that night."

    Leggett's JaColby Sells finished with 18 points, tops on the night. Teammate Chase Parrish added eight and Garrett Francois hit an important bucket and free throws in the final quarter. Kennard's Cole led the Tigers with eight points, while Jacob Catoe and Okoye Smotherman each had seven.

    The Tigers finish the 2020-21 season with a district championship and plenty of individual accolades.

    "We had a great year and I hate that it went down this way," Carden said. "We've played a lot better than this. We came out tonight, I think a little overconfident and rusty, but we had a great season. We topped at 17th in the state and I'm going to have an all-district MVP and I'm going to have first team all-district players. We had a great year, it is just that tonight was not our night. Games like this when it is playoff time, that one night is going to cost you. The playoffs are not forgiving at all."

  • Leggett, Livingston face off to begin schedule (VIDEO)

    legg and livBRIAN BESCH | PCE Livingston took a 60-44 home win over the 1A powerhouse.

    By Brian Besch

    LIVINGSTON - The Leggett Pirates and Livingston Lions did not exactly ease into the season with cupcake games. The two Polk County schools squared off against each other Saturday, with Livingston taking a 60-44 home win over the 1A powerhouse.

    Leggett actually began the contest with a 7-0 lead, as the Lions needed a few minutes to adjust to the game's speed.

    "It started out real good, but we just have to do a better job of protecting the paint and matching up with other teams," Leggett head coach Sean Edwards said. "Coach (Calvin) Phillips knows what he is doing over there and they are going to be OK. Livingston is going to be competitive this year. He even has three guys that he is missing, so he is even going to be better.”

    Even though the Lions were missing a few due to football, they were able to show off a deep bench. Eight of the nine players dressed for the game contributed points.

    Jeston Kowis led all scores with 16 points for Livingston, newcomer Adyn Stewart had a dozen and Gage Morris had nine. For Leggett, Varian Flournoy had 12, Chase Parrish had 10. Both Jacoby Sells and freshman Josh Perkins finished with seven points.

    Just as last year’s team, Livingston possesses plenty of size, even adding some for the latest version.

    That proved to be a difficult task for the smaller Pirates.

    “We are small this year and my 6-5 post got hurt, and for medical reasons, he can't come back and play," Edwards said. "We had another guy move to Splendora, but it is what it is. We are small this year and we are going to have to out-quick them, but sometimes you run out of gas.”

    State-ranked Leggett may not have the offensive firepower as they have the past few years, but the team will still be able to collect plenty of wins on the 1A level.

    “It is going to be defense,” Edwards said of keys to success. “We have to control the tempo, it is simple and easy. We are not going to be scoring 95 or 100 this year. We have to play defense and take it possession by possession. Of course, I'm
    going to coach to what I have, so that's what we have to do.”

    The Lions may have a few different ways to earn victories in the 2020-21 season. Their size should prove to be an asset both on defense and in rebounding, but they will also receive an injection of speed now that football season has come to an end.

    "It's going to let us do what we want to do," new Lion head coach Calvin Phillips said. "The press with Julian (Gardner) and Izzy (Enard), that is going to be our quicks up front. We can play a lot more man-to-man in full court like I want, but it all depends on what we see, how we break down film and see what works best for us. I'm not trying to be a big entertainer; we just have to get some wins. (The additional players) will give us some more shooters too."

    Phillips said aggression has been a big key and something emphasized in practices. Once the team regained its footing Saturday, aggression made the difference in the outcome.

    “We started off kind of slow and we were a little bit soft and backing off, but once the aggression came around and we started hitting the floor and started getting turnovers, I thought that was the difference in the game right there," Phillips said. "We got some breakaway shots and Coach (Stephen) Seaback works transition every day. Overall, every phase of the game was OK, but we still have a lot of work to do. I was impressed with the half-court game. We went to a zone, which really helped us a lot. It wasn't bad for the first game, considering who they (Leggett) are, because they play hard.”

    After allowing 16 points in the first quarter, the Lions held Leggett to single digits in both the second and third period to slowly distance themselves.

    Livingston was consistent on offense each quarter and outscored the Pirates in all four frames.

    "Seaback and I both are always working something as far as some kind of
    shooting drill," the Lion coach said. "Our pet peeve is defense and we have to stop people. It isn't going to do any good to go out there and score 100 points and
    let them score 100 points. I like the fast game and I like the man-to-man defense, but you have to pick your poison. We had to fall back and play more zone than I wanted to play, but it worked out for us. All I want is a victory and get that first victory in my belt."

  • Lifter taking next step up the mountain

    042221 powerlifter 2COURTESY PHOTO Kailyn “KK” Fisher show off the hardware she’s won during her journey to becoming the state champion powerlifter this year.

    By Tony Farkas

    TRINITY — Kailyn Fisher said it’s good to be at the top, especially for a state as grand as Texas.

    The Trinity High School junior won’t be stopping there, as she has set her sights on a national competition, set for June 2-3 in San Antonio.

    Kailyn, or KK as she’s known, is following in her older sister Deanna’s footsteps after watching her lift, and her happiness doing it.

    “I love doing what I do, and I love making people happy,” she said.

    Powerlifting Coach Forrest Reddick said he had the privilege of coaching both sisters. At a recent school board meeting, he listed her numerous accomplishments.

    “Deanna was my first star,” Reddick said. “We would be down on the floor getting ready to lift, and we’d look up in the stands and there would be this kid, laying across two or three sets of bleachers, dead asleep. Four years later, KK’s freshman year, she went undefeated in her regular invitational meets, came in second place at regionals and came in third at state behind some senior girls.”

    In her sophomore year, KK went undefeated in all invitational meets, became regional champion and set three records for bench, deadlift and a totals record with 1,230 pounds.

    Reddick said Kailyn qualified for the state meet, but that was cancelled because of COVID.

    For this year, she again was undefeated in invitational meets, again was regional champion where she was named most outstanding lifter, and at state set a personal best with a squat of 520 pounds, benched 285 pounds, and deadlifted a personal best of 450 pounds to break the state record of total weight of 1,255 pounds.

    “I knew I would do well, I was confident,” Kailyn said. “We were looking at the stats going in to the tournament, and knew I would do well, but I didn’t think I would outdo everyone from 1A to 6A.”

    042221 powerlifterCOURTESY PHOTO Kailyn Fisher poses with her coach, Forrest Reddick, after the state meet this year.

    Reddick said that he went back through all the totals, and KK had the best lift of all weight classes this year.

    Trinity School Superintendent John Kaufman praised Kailyn’s accomplishments, but also said he was a role model.

    “Ms. Fisher has accomplished a task that no one in Trinity has accomplished,” he said. “I am extremely proud of her, and I’m even more proud of her as a student leader.”

    With all of her success competing this year, Kailyn, after at the Scarlet Showdown in New Caney on April 10, was invited by the U.S. Powerlifting Association to compete at the national level.