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  • Eagles fly past Trojans, 41-28

    KentreveyionPOP28p2COURTESY PHOTO The Trojans’ season came to an end last Thursday with a 41-28 playoff loss to Woodville.

    By Jason Chlapek

    CROCKETT – Ken Stanley had a hunch that the Coldspring-Oakhurst football team would have its hands full with Woodville last Thursday.

    The head coach of the Trojans proved to be right. The Eagles used a balanced offensive attack and took advantage of a handful of Coldspring turnovers as they soared past the Trojans, 41-28, in a Class 3A-Division I bi-district contest at Monte Jack Driskell Stadium in Crockett.

    “It was one of those tough nights where once we would get something going, we couldn’t get a stop or something wouldn’t go our way,” Stanley said. “It is what it is. We have to make plays and they made more than we did.”

    Coldspring finished the season 8-3. Woodville (8-2) advanced to the area round where it faces Columbus at 7 p.m. Friday at Merrill Green Stadium in Bryan.

    Last week’s playoff contest was a role reversal from two years ago albeit with the same end result. In 2018, the Eagles were the champions of District 12-3A-DI and defeated the Trojans, 34-7, in the bi-district round.

    Coldspring was the fourth-place team out of 11-3A-DI and operated out of the spread offensively. Woodville ran the double-wing offense in 2018.

    This season, the Trojans ran the double-wing and won 9-3A-DI, while the Eagles operate out of the spread and were the No. 4 seed out of 10-3A-DI. However, Woodville was in a three-way tie for second with Anahuac and Buna, but was the No. 4 seed because of a points tiebreaker.

    “We knew they were pretty good and we had a pretty good game plan going in, but we didn’t anticipate a three-and-out or fumbling the ball,” Stanley said. “We were doing what we wanted to do, we were running the ball and moving the chains, but when we put the ball on the ground, we had to get in the spread and we were able to get some big plays out of that.”

    A three-and-out and a lost fumble on Coldspring’s first two offensive drives led to a pair of Darrius Bean-to-Jaylen Kibble touchdown passes that put the Eagles up 13-0 midway through the first quarter. A second lost fumble on the Trojans’ third drive had Woodville smelling blood and gunning for a bigger lead, but Luke Monroe intercepted a Bean pass in the endzone on the opening play of the second quarter to give Coldspring possession at its own 20-yard line.

    The Trojans needed just six plays to get on the scoreboard. Contavious Parker-Harden received a pitch from quarterback Duke Lawniczak, cut to his right and ran through a hole made by the offensive line for a 61-yard touchdown run that cut the Eagles’ lead to 13-7.

    But Woodville answered. Bean connected with Jacory Hyder for a touchdown pass and Pop Prejean added the two-point conversion run to increase the Eagles’ lead to 21-7. Coldspring drove to the Woodville 8 as time expired on the first half behind Lawniczak completing passes to Tavaress Chambers and Dante Eldridge.

    After blocking a punt on the opening drive of the third quarter, the Trojans set up shop at the Eagles’ 27. Lawniczak connected with Parker-Harden for 18 yards before the senior running back had an 8-yard run to the 1, the drive-capping 1-yard score and the two-point conversion run to trim the Coldspring deficit to 21-15.

    The Trojans appeared to have caught a huge break when Bean threw his second interception of the night. But a fumble during the interception return was recovered by Woodville, and the Eagles responded with the first of Prejean’s three touchdown runs to increase their lead to 28-15.

    Woodville struck again following a Coldspring interception as Prejean added a second touchdown run to give the Eagles their biggest lead of the night, 35-15, midway through the third quarter. Lawniczak scored on a 27-yard run to trim the Trojans’ deficit to 35-22.

    Following a Woodville punt early in the fourth quarter, Lawniczak threw a pass that was deflected twice before being hauled in by Eldridge in the end zone for a 37-yard touchdown that pulled Coldspring within seven, 35-28, with less than nine minutes in the contest. But Prejean took over from there.

    The Woodville junior ran the ball 10 times on the 12-play drive, including the drive-capping 7-yard touchdown run. Prejean ran for 138 yards in the second half.

    “They kept moving the chains, picking up first downs and scoring,” Stanley said of Woodville. “Tip your hat to them.”

    Parker-Harden ran for 155 yards and two touchdowns, while Lawniczak completed six passes for 122 yards and a score, while rushing for a touchdown. Eldridge caught two passes for 54 yards and a touchdown, while Greg Terry ran for 48 yards and caught a 35-yard pass.

    “We had 10 seniors and they all played,” Stanley said. “They’re good kids and we’re going to miss them. We hope to get some of them to sign.” 

    Eldridge, Lawniczak, Parker-Harden and Terry were four of the 10 seniors who suited up on the gridiron for Coldspring for the last time. The others were Bobby Bishop, Joseph Lemon, Matt Martinez, Caleb Monroe, Reagan Roberts and Trevor Vaughn.

  • Former Tyler County Sheriff Jessie Wolf dies

    Jesse Wolf 1Wolf when he served as Tyler County Sheriff. PHOTO COURTESY OF KENDALL COLEMAN

     
    By Chris Edwards

    WOODVILLE – Former Tyler County Sheriff Jessie Wolf died on Monday at the age of 68. Wolf was a long-time lawman in the county and served one term as sheriff. He died of natural causes.

    In a profile of Wolf written by the late scholar and community leader Mayme Canada Brown, and published in the Sept. 25, 2014 edition of the Booster, Wolf was described as a stand-out athlete during his high school days at Warren ISD.

    Wolf was, according to Brown’s story, one of the “new generation in the time of total integration,” in 1968, and following his graduation in 1970, he and his twin brother James were scouted by Prairie View A&M University and accepted to the program in 1972.

    Wolf was a collegiate star athlete, as well, and was inducted into the university’s Sports Hall of Fame in 2014. In addition to being a football star, Wolf also earned a collegiate letter in the university’s track and field division.

    Following his graduation from college in 1976, he was drafted by the Miami Dolphins. He also played for the Birmingham Americans and the Canadian team the Stamp Platers.

    After his semi-pro and professional football career ended, he returned to Tyler County, and worked in law enforcement. He eventually worked his way up to Chief Deputy under the late former Sheriff Gary Hennigan.

    jesse wolf 2Jessie Wolf in the ‘70s as a Prairie View A&M football star. BOOSTER FILE PHOTO

    In 2004, when Hennigan retired due to declining health, Wolf became acting sheriff, and was later elected to the position. He took office in 2005 and served one term.

    Wolf, according to Brown’s piece, made history as the first Black sheriff in the county’s history. When he retired from his law enforcement career, aside from being a highly respected member of the law enforcement community, he was a shining example, as Brown wrote, of someone who had the courage and willingness to move forward in life.

    A public celebration of Wolf’s life is scheduled for 11 a.m. at the Eagle Summit on the campus of Woodville High School, which will be prefaced by a public viewing starting at 9 a.m. The services for Wolf are being handled by Kendall Coleman and Coleman’s Family Mortuary of Woodville.

  • Meth dealer receives 20-year sentence

    RobertHolcombMug102920MUGSHOT: Robert L. Holcomb, Jr. Courtesy of the TYLER COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

    By Chris Edwards

    WOODVILLE – After a long hiatus from jury trials due to the pandemic, Tyler County District Attorney Lucas Babin is back in action.

    On Monday, Babin and first assistant DA Pat “Hawk” Hardy successfully brought a conviction for the state in the case of Texas v. Robert Lloyd Holcomb, Jr. District Judge Earl Stover handed Holcomb a sentence of 20 years in state jail on the charge of Possession of Meth with Intent to Deliver.

    “I appreciate Judge Stover for his attentiveness to the evidence and his sense of justice,” Babin said.

    During the trial, Holcomb took the stand and testified that he was only a meth user and not a dealer. He also attempted to explain why he was carrying digital scales, a loaded short-barrel shotgun, $800 in cash and close to an ounce of meth when he was arrested.

    Babin and Hardy’s evidence proved that Holcomb was a dealer, and one witness testified before the jury that he had purchased meth from Holcomb at least 10 times.

    After Holcomb was sentenced, Babin said “The message is that selling meth in Tyler County has consequences.”

    Babin gave thanks to Tyler County Sheriff Bryan Weatherford and his deputies’ efforts in apprehending Holcomb.

    “Without their efforts, this offender would still be on the streets endangering our law-abiding citizens,” he said.

    Holcomb is one of several convicted methamphetamine traffickers who have been tried in Tyler County and received stiff sentences. Following a full year of jury trials in 2019, Babin and his office have had to take most of this year off from the courtroom due to COVID-19.

    “I’m glad to be back in the courtroom,” he said. “In addition to this case, we resolved several dozen other felonies last week and will be resolving more cases next month.”

    Babin added that last year between the months of March and September there were hundreds of jury trials performed, statewide, but that number has been “barely 20” this year.

    “I’m ready to get our justice system moving again, and I know other DAs across the state feel the same.”

    Holcomb will be confined in a Texas Department of Criminal Justice facility.

  • Tyler County cross-country runners place at Regional meet

    11JASON CHLAPEK | PCPC Spurger Pirates Colton Fredieu and Luis Jimenez cross the finish line.

    BY CHRIS EDWARDS

    HUNTSVILLE – Tyler County was well-represented at the UIL Region 3 Cross-Country Regional Meet.

    The meet, for the 2A through 6A conference schools, was held Nov. 9-10 in Huntsville at Sam Houston State University, and found teams from Spurger; Colmesneil; Warren and Woodville competing in the 2A and 3A events, respectively.

    For the Spurger Pirates, the boys placed in eighth, overall, with 223 points.

    In the girls’ two-mile run, Katy Curry came in 55th place with a time of 15:36.60 and Jillian Leasman placed at 111th with a time of 18:34.50.

    The boys had six runners compete in the three-mile run. Jose Jimenez placed at 24th with a time of 19:26.80. Luis Molina Jimenez came in 53rd place, with a time of 20:26.70, and Colton Fredieu came in right behind at 54th with the same time. Nicholas Wilson got a 65th place finish with a time of 21:12.20; Bryce Oseguera got the 100th place finish with 25:01.80 and Coby Anthony got the 104th place with 25:32.90 on the clock.

    The Colmesneil Bulldogs’ cross-country runners put a team of six girls in the two-mile run and Treston Horton running in the boys’ three-mile event. Horton placed 66th with a time of 21:20.20.

    For the girls, Katherine Vargas-Martine placed 18th, with 14:39.40; Alyssa Mabry came in 37th with 15:04.70; Bernice Pittman placed 87th with 16:47.30. Erin Frazier got 97th place with a 17:05.20; Karen Vargas-Martinez got 113th with 18:41.20 and Katelyne Guerrero placed 115th with a time of 18:48.

    The Warren Warriors cross-country boys had a team consisting of Jerrod Yeagin (#42, 18:21.70); Eli Carrell (#105, 20:46.40); Arturo Bustamante (#118, 21:26.50); Jonathan Lee (#126, 22:02.80); Jerry Don Brinkley (#133, 23:01.30); Juan Lianes (#137, 23:45.90) and Corley Dilbeck (#138, 24:03.70.) They placed 15th in the three-mile event with a total of 378 points.

    Abby Carroll from Warren also ran in the 3A girls’ two-mile run and finished 24th with a time of 13:57.70.

    The Woodville Eagles were represented in the 3A girls’ two-mile run with a ninth-place finish for a team of seven Lady Eagle runners.

    Here are the results for Woodville individual runners at the meet: Kristina Nash (#60, 14:55.50); Brittany Lilley (#63, 15:00.30); Raegan Frantz (#71, 15:23.30); Ryleigh Stewart (#85, 15:23.30); Aubrianna Torres (#96, 15:50.40); Ashley Davis (#118, 16:35.30) and Kenadi Frauenberger (#129, 17:28.20.) The Lady Eagle runners accumulated a combined 258 points.

  • Woodville ISD approves goals; terminates remote learning

    Lisa Meysembourg 072320File Photo - Woodville ISD superintendant Lisa Meysembourg

    By Chris Edwards

    WOODVILLE – The Woodville ISD Board of Trustees discussed and approved a pair of agenda items relating to district-wide goals and improvement plans respective to each WISD campus at its Monday night meeting.

    The first item up for discussion was the district’s revised goals, with respect to how they relate to the district’s own goals as well as meeting goals with regard to the sweeping House Bill 3 passed during the last legislative session. WISD Curriculum Director Ashley Weatherford spoke about this item, and where the district needs to be.

    “We’re at the point where we need to dig deeper,” she said, and explained that data is being looked at through the federally required metric of student achievement meeting the appropriate grade levels. She cited, as an example, data that showed WISD’s third grade as performing at 67% below the level for reading and 84% for math.

    Weatherford said one new goal set forth, district-wide, is the investment in technology infrastructure and professional development, and she added that in spite of the “COVID slide” throughout the second half of last school year and this year’s term, she has seen some “great wins” on each WISD campus.

    WISD campus principals each spoke to their respective campus improvement plans. Woodville Middle School principal Kevin Frauenberger said that his campus’s two main goals are to improve community relations through outreach and to improve student achievement.

    High school principal Rusty Minyard said his campus goals are focusing on two areas: reaching out and nurturing the student population in the low-income socioeconomic demographic for them to succeed and supporting his campus’s teachers.

    “I want them to feel good about coming to work every day,” Minyard said.

    Woodville Intermediate principal Bonnie Trammell said that her campus’s priority is to meet standards appropriate to grade levels and putting resources and energies into training teachers with flexible, data-driven plans.

    Along with the goals and improvement plans, the board also approved a one-time incentive payment for all WISD employees for their November paychecks. Superintendent Lisa Meysembourg said the incentive, which will be a bonus of about $300 per employee, is a way to recognize the hard work and dedication of the district’s faculty and staff during this school year with all of its changes due to COVID-19.

    In another measure related to the coronavirus, WISD voted to terminate remote learning. Board president Jimmy Tucker said that many of the districts in the region are dropping remote learning, and Meysembourg said “We just need our kids back in school.”

    Meysembourg gave an update from the Texas Education Agency Commissioner Mike Morath about remote instruction that gives school districts the latitude to either continue or terminate remote learning, but to give the option for those who must be quarantined due to compromised immune systems.

  • Woodville native finds ‘home’ in Polk County

                                   JASON CHLAPEK | PCE Polk County game warden David Johnson speaks at Livingston Lions Club Oct. 14.

    By Jason Chlapek

    Twelve years ago today, David Johnson began his career as a game warden in Polk County.

    And he doesn’t plan on leaving either. Johnson believes he has found his stomping grounds, which he talked about when he was a guest speaker at the Livingston Lions Club on Oct. 14.

    “I started (as a game warden on) Nov. 1, 2008,” Johnson said. “I worked as a laborer in Pollok prior to becoming a game warden. Polk County was my first duty station and will probably be my last. Polk County feels like home. It feels a lot where I come from. There’s a lot of good people here. Livingston is just big enough where it’s not too big.”

    Johnson grew up in Woodville. He also described why he enjoys living in Polk County.

    “I live just north of Corrigan and I came from a small town like Corrigan (Woodville) where you know everybody and everybody knows you,” Johnson said. “There’s a small town persona where folks can lean on one another and go to one another when they need help. I like the closeness of it.”

    During his 12-year tenure, Johnson spoke about the quantity and quality of hunting resources in Polk County. Deer season begins Saturday, Nov. 7.

    “In the last 12 years, the resources have gotten better,” Johnson said. “We’ve seen a great increase in our deer population as well as the maturity and health of our animals. I think it’s a contribution to the people of our county respecting the law, doing what is asked of them and practicing good stewardship of the resources.”

    Johnson also talked about his duties as a warden. He said that although most citizens obey the laws of hunting, fishing and boating, there are a few who need a reminder or two.

    “We’ve got a broad range of activity that goes on over here,” Johnson said. “You’ll have anything from criminal trespass or possession of narcotics to boating while intoxicated. Starting around March until September, we put in quite a few hours on the water. We have an extremely large lake one here and several rivers. On average, we spend 200-300 hours a year on the water. We have a little bit of everything around here. Some of the people I’ve encountered have found interesting ways to try and hide or dispose of what they did. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to stumble across those things, and sometimes we have a little help and it’s just blind luck. Sometimes the grown adult almost acts like the elementary school kid who gets caught playing in the bathroom. We’re all human and we all make mistakes. The biggest majority of the people we deal with are good people who are out recreating and having a good time. They’re involved in sports that we regulate and they’re very respectful people. All of the bad things you hear about consist of 1 percent of the people. We have a lot of good people here and that’s why I want to be here.”

    When it comes to hunting or water activities such as boating or fishing, Johnson said there’s balanced participation and interest among them. He also thinks this season will have a little more participation with hunting because of Covid-19.

    “We have a good mixture of popularity among hunting and water seasons,” Johnson said. “Any given year, it can teeter one way or the other. On the years that they have droughts, we may get more water contacts, but that’s because of something going on. This was a benign water season. We had a few accidents, tragedies and BWIs, but we had a healthy amount of boat traffic. I expect to see more hunters because it’s an isolation sport. Boating and being around the lake is people being more in crowds.”

    And he hopes to patrol the land and waters of Polk County for another 12 years — or more.