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Goodrich collects win over Hudson

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Arly Balbuena sets for Aralyn AngelArly Balbuena sets for Aralyn Angel. (PHOTOS BY BRIAN BESCH | PCE)

Brian Besch
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The Goodrich Lady Hornets dropped the first game of Tuesday’s match, but quickly came back to take the contest in four over Lufkin Hudson 17-25, 25-20, 25-20 and 25-18.

It is Goodrich’s second win of the volleyball season, with just as many over Hudson. 

“We have improved a whole lot,” new Goodrich coach Pinellafie Johnson said. “I am pleased with the passing, but we definitely need to work a little more on our serving. We missed entirely too many serves and I told him we can’t win too many games without serves. I don’t mind missing volleys, but the serves we have to get over.” 

Sophomore Daisy Stutts passes to a teammate.Sophomore Daisy Stutts passes to a teammate.Goodrich came from behind in the second game — down 14-11 — going on a 13-2 run and flipping the score to a 24-16 advantage. Daisy Stutts served well during the run and Aralyn Angel was all over the court, able to pass the teammates to get the ball back over.

Jamya Garrett sends the ball back over.Jamya Garrett sends the ball back over.Johnson was also impressed with her young setter, Arly Balbuena.

“To have a freshman to set for you, that is awesome. Not knowing anything about the game and just picking it up like that,” the coach said. “Anytime you tell her to do something, she is there to do it.

“All of the others, they all contributed at one point in the game. It is a team effort. We worked well as a team and we were in place for the ball. A lot of times it just hit off the wrong hand or we called it too late. They are learning, they are getting there, and they are young. I was pleased with the effort tonight.”

Goodrich is now 2-6 on the season, with both wins over Class 4A Lufkin Hudson. However, the 1A school has played mostly 4A and 5A competition in tournaments to prepare for district.

Johnson said her junior high program has a few more girls than the eight that are on the varsity roster, but she is satisfied with the young group she has. There are only two upperclassmen — a junior and senior. Goodrich will next play at Burkeville Friday and returns home for Coldspring Tuesday.

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Corrigan-Camden wins dogfight

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Kadyn Burke waits behind his linemen as they push forward. (Photos by Albert TrevinoKadyn Burke waits behind his linemen as they push forward. (Photos by Albert Trevino

By Albert Trevino
PCE Reporter

The Corrigan-Camden Bulldogs earned a 35-14 victory against the rival Bulldogs from Crockett in the season opener Friday.

It was a competitive match for most of the night, but it was Corrigan’s hustle and physicality in the second half that outlasted Crockett as they pulled ahead.

The matchup featured a strong performance from junior quarterback, Christian Guzman who had Corrigan’s offense in sync this time around versus Crockett.

“[Guzman] is no doubt the driver of what we are trying to do offensively and as a team.” said Ratliff. “He is the prototypical quarterback in the fact that he is very cool, calm and collected...It took him a year to learn what we were trying to do and being able to command the offense. You saw tonight, what a difference 365 days makes.”

Corrigan Defense 1000 0829The Corrigan defense swarms to Crockett quarterback Jadyn Collins. Corrigan’s young defense also made a huge impact with several crucial stops against the size of Crockett’s starting junior quarterback Jadyn Collins and his receivers.

“Defensively, we swarmed to the football and played great pass defense against what I thought was a great quarterback [in Collins .] He is a college-level quarterback.” Ratliff said. “I could not be more proud of the heart and fight of every single player of this team.”

Corrigan’s rush offense developed an early rhythm on the opening possession, reaching Crockett territory. However, this was stopped with the team’s first turnover on a fumble by senior running back Deveion White.

Unable to capitalize, Crockett’s offense stalled near midfield on its first possession.

Going into the second quarter, Corrigan put together a drive first sparked by a reverse to senior JaVarion Williams, then a long keeper by Guzman to midfield.

Junior running back Anthony Harrell later helped finish the job with a short touchdown run on third and goal. Along with the extra point kick by junior Pablo Jimenez, Corrigan took the 7-0 lead early in the second.

Corrigan’s defense quickly put Crockett next possession to rest with a big stop and turnover on downs.

The following drive for Corrigan had a few negative plays, but was continually answered back with offensive sparks.

This included the toss to Williams on fourth down that went 21 yards for a touchdown to help extend the lead for Corrigan 14-0 with a little over two minutes in the half.

Those two minutes were more than enough for Collins to connect on a long pass inside Corrigan territory, then make a 20-yard touchdown pass to senior receiver Tyrek Houston to make it a one-score game at halftime.

Crockett’s offense came out aggressive to start the third quarter. On the first play, Collins passed up the middle to senior Crowley Pierce, who took it all to way to the redzone.

Shortly after, Collins found a running lane to go 11 yards for the game-tying touchdown early in the third.

JaVarion Williams returns the opening kickoff against Crockett.JaVarion Williams returns the opening kickoff against Crockett.

Corrigan responded on the following drive with Harrell finding room along the right sideline to sprint 69 yards for the touchdown. That extra point was blocked, but Corrigan took back momentum and never let go.

Late in the third, Guzman scored another six on a long keeper as he broke tackles and stretched the ball past the goaline. This extended the lead 26-14 for Corrigan.

Backed into their own territory in the fourth quarter, Collins threw a short pick right into the hands of Corrigan junior Morgan Rayburn. This set up a short field for Corrigan to seal the game on another rushing touchdown by Harrell.

After Crockett turned over the ball again, Corrigan managed to top of the night with a successful field goal attempt by Jimenez within the final seconds.

Ratliff is determined to carry his team’s energy into next week as he continues to emphasize the heart and tradition of Corrigan-Camden football.

“We are going to do what the sign says on our practice field. We are going to outhit, outhustle and outlast.” said Ratliff. “That is something that was ingrained in me since I was here as a player. That is something that is never going away. We proved that here tonight.”

The Bulldogs will travel to Centerville for their next game this Friday at 7:30 p.m.

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Onalaska topping last season

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The Onalaska Lady Cats prepare for the game.The Onalaska Lady Cats prepare for the game.By Brian Besch
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Onalaska needed just four games to down their old coach and the Latexo Lady Tigers Tuesday in a 21-25, 25-21, 25-14 and 25-16 match.

“It has been a struggle a little bit, just finding pieces that fit where they are supposed to be. Tonight is the first time they have looked that good this season so far.”

IMG 8380 250Kenadi Houser (25) passes to a teammate.To hear new Onalaska head coach Connor Nichols, one may not expect much from the Lady Cat volleyball team. However, expectations are high, as the spikers by the lake are now 5-2. It matches their win total all of last year just eight days into the 2021 season.“With that, it showed me that we have a lot of potential and a lot to look forward to this season. Keori Perry, that is the most production we have had out of her all season kill-wise. Our passing was on from everybody and that was the best setting performance that we have had all season. Just all around, it was a good performance from everybody.”In the first game, the Lady Cats came back from down six to make it a one-point difference at 22-21, but could not catch Latexo, now under the direction of Greg Horn. 

They let a lead slip away in the second, but regrouped to get their first win of the match. A large lead in the third made for an easy victory, and they then came from behind to win the fourth convincingly. 

At this point in the season, Nichols said Autumn Adams, Kaleigh Park and Perry have stood out as top performers. However, she is optimistic about the entire squad.

“I think we are going to be pretty good this season. I love that they come out every day and they want to work and want to put in the effort. We are struggling with the chemistry part of it a little bit. That is a new coach and all of that, so we have to work that out. After that, it is moving in the right direction, I think.”The Lady Cats will next travel to take part in the Leon tournament. They will not return home until Sept.3, when they host Caney Creek.

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Livingston takes clash of county schools

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The Livingston Lady Lions received their first volleyball win of 2021, opening the season with Corrigan-Camden. Livingston needed four games to put away the Lady Dogs 25-18, 19-25, 25-17 and 25-21.

Every game was close, but a few key Livingston runs made the difference Tuesday in Lion Gym. For new head coach Macy Box, it is beginning a few steps ahead of where she thought the team would. She said the team has exceeded her hopes “probably three times what I was expecting.” There was the thought it could take a few years to reach the point they have, based on records from the previous season. 

IMG 7940 ladydogs 1000“They've proved me wrong and they proved me wrong Saturday in our scrimmages,” Box said of the progress. “I say that in a very proud way. I thought it would take a little more time to really buy in, but they bought in from day one and it really showed tonight. The girls really showed up. We still have some kinks to work out, but it is all going to come together, and I am super excited for district. Corrigan was a big competitor for us, and I couldn't be more proud of the way things turned out.” 

Jon’Toyrian McNeal, Janae Bland and Taryn Orn stood out to Box in the win.“Duecey (McNeal) stepped in and helped us out a lot,” she said. “She has an eye for the court that I have actually never seen before. She can see the court as she is in mid approach, which is not something you can coach. That is an intangible that we are thankful for.”

IMG 7926 1000Corrigan-Camden was able to fight back in the second set to pull even. After a Livingston win in the third, the Lady Dogs held a 15-10 advantage in the fourth set that soon disappeared, turning the match in favor of the Lady Lions.

“We are going to hustle after the ball and we are going to dive everywhere,” Corrigan-Camden coach Sage Gardner said of the team’s positives. “We're going to do what we can to get the ball back over. Passing looked good tonight, we've just got to finish it and put the ball away. We are going to have to step up practice and get a little more intense. We've been doing a lot of big groups with all of our teams, and we are going to have to start splitting away to get the work in that we need.”Corrigan lost five seniors last year off a very experienced playoff group, but have another four this season to lead.“We lost our offense last year, in a sense, having someone who can put the ball away every time,” Gardner said. “With this team, they've got heart, they've got hustle, and our passing is better than it was last year. We are just going to have to find it and get there.”Tuesday was the opening game for both squads, and there is still about a month before district play. However, the season couldn’t come soon enough for Livingston’s new leader.

“I've been waiting on this game for a few months now,” Box said. “My girls have really bought in, which is exactly what I was hoping for. They have shown up and they are just as excited as I am, which is the reason why we won tonight.”

The Lady Lions will next take part in the Woodville tournament Thursday through Saturday, while Corrigan-Camden enters tournament play in Lumberton.

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Livingston 10U All-Stars capture state title

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Dixie League 250Team will participate in Dixie Youth World Series

The Dixie Youth Baseball Livingston 10U All-Stars are state champions after sweeping Lindale in a best two-of-three series over the weekend. The week before, they played five games in regionals, emerging without a loss there as well. In June, the team was able to defeat Cleveland amongst other teams in the district round. The squad of ages 9 and 10 to this point are undefeated. 

They are now set to travel to Laurel, Mississippi, site of the Dixie Youth World Series. The Livingston youth are scheduled versus North Carolina in the opening round Aug. 7. Other states involved will include Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Virginia, Alabama, South Carolina Florida and Georgia. 

Head coach Shannon Goins said the core of the team has been many of the same kids each year. This year’s group includes Jax Ruiz, Cade Randolph, Corbin Cude, Bentley Jernigan, Aiden Haynes, Jake Young, Brayden Goins, Ryder Surrency, Mikey Murphy, Paxton Drake, Braxon Smith and Ezekiel Angel.

“This isn't the only thing they do; they play youth football, basketball and soccer,” Goins said. “That is the thing about it, when you have good athletes and they play all these sports and they play good together, good things come out of it. We've done really well and out of all of Livingston, this is what was voted as the top 12 (players) in the league. They have had to work their way through all these tournaments to get to this point and they have been very successful with it.”

The coach said a strong work ethic and knowledge of the game has been the strength pushing the team’s success. 

“They seem to understand enough about the game that it helps them,” Goins said. “They are smart base runners and know when to work hard to get a ground ball when we've got runners on second and third to get a run in, because one run can make a difference. That is understanding the layout of the game and what they have to do to tack on as many runs as they can when they can. They put in the work every week and try to keep getting better. By doing that, they've obviously been rewarded.”

Livingston has faced formidable pitching, according to Goins, and he feels the team has an advantage in tournaments with a deep staff that can take the mound at any time.

“We work hard on pitching, and we have tremendous pitching on the team. I would pitch 10 out of the 12 kids all day long. The first hour of every practice they work on pitching. That is key and you have to throw strikes. Walks are bad, and we work hard on throwing it up there and trusting in your defense.”

There is a belief that this squad has enough to not only compete in Mississippi, but also bring a title back home to Polk County.

“We are super proud of them, and this group is working hard to try to accomplish something that has never been done. Livingston has never won a World Series. There have been a few teams that have gone, but nobody has ever won it. We're hoping they understand that, and they keep working hard and maybe come home with a victory.”

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