Log in

Top Stories        News         Sports

Polk County Sports

Livingston outlasted in bi-district

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Livingston Lions vs Chapel Hill BulldogsLivingston Lions vs Chapel Hill Bulldogs

by Brian Besch

The first playoff trip in eight years for the Livingston Lions was a short one, as they were outscored 49-37 by the Tyler Chapel Hill Bulldogs Saturday night in New Caney.

The fourth seed in 9-4A Div. I found a way to score more points over the district champions from 10-4A than anyone else in 2020. It was the type of game that the district to the north has played all season — high scoring with defenses struggling to keep up. 

“Too many big plays,” Livingston coach Finis Vanover said. “They shredded us on the quarterback run and the little guy (Kevin Brooks, 6-71, 2 TDs) popped it on us a couple of times — the back. Then they started using him as a lead blocker and we couldn't handle the big boy (quarterback Cameron Ford, 22-210, 5 total TDs). He made plays on us. The quarterback is a tremendous athlete and we knew we had to stop the quarterback. We couldn't protect the corner and everybody has said if you can't stop the quarterback from running, you are going to be in trouble. And we couldn't.”

The Bulldog offense was contained in the first half, with only two scores. The first was giftwrapped after a failed fake punt allowed the ‘Dogs to take possession at the Lion 25.

But the big plays began with the first snap of the second half. A tipped pass that looked to be intercepted by Lion defensive back Julian Gardner fell into enemy hands. The 93-yard scoring strike tied the game at 21.

“We thought we had the interception and then it was like we handed it to them,” Vanover said. “Instead of an interception and turnover and we're fixing to get a two-score lead, he's going down the sidelines and tied it back up. It was just crazy big plays and we made some big ones too. They are very talented, very athletic and they've got a good scheme. They survived a big test.” 

The game was tied on five different occasions and both schools had opportunities to take control. Chapel Hill finally did, but it wasn’t until late in the fourth quarter.

Previous Next Play Pause
1 2 3 4

A slow start, combined with turnovers allowed the Bulldogs to remain in the game when it looked at any time Livingston could swing momentum.

“In a playoff game like this, you can't do that. We were just blowing our foot off by making bad decisions, bad throws, weren't covering, weren't tackling and just kind of looked like robots going through the motions. Once we got in the groove, we were back to our old selves again. That first seven minutes kills you when you are high-performance team like we are.”

Livingston’s Ja’Marri Green ran for 85 yards and two scores on 15 carries, Tank Johnson had 60 yards on 17 totes and Damian Ruiz led the team with 139 yards in just 10 attempts. Ruiz scored once on the ground and threw for two more, one to Izzy Enard and the other to Chris Washington. 

Chapel Hill took their final lead with seven minutes left in the game on a 46-yard pass from Ford to Ilonzo McGregor. They solidified the advantage with just over two minutes remaining on a Ford scamper from 45 yards out. On the next Lion offensive play, McGregor struck again with an interception. 

“We had an incredible year and we knew it was going to end sometime,” the Lion coach said. “We didn't think it was going to be this week and I truly thought we were going to win this game. Once we got in a scoring contest with them, I thought we still could. We started giving up those huge plays that we haven't been giving up this year. It's the playoffs. We go home with what might have been.”

Vanover said he was proud of his seniors for building what he hopes will be sustained success.

“What an unbelievable accomplishment. It did not end like we expected, planned, wanted, desired or prepared for. At some point in time, it's going to. There's only one team that is happy at the end of the season; everybody else is disappointed. But what they've accomplished is second to none in three or four decades. They played their hearts out. The seniors had a hand in it all year and tonight too. It has been a great year for those seniors and I couldn't be prouder for them, like Chris (Washington) who is been through all four years of the bitter wars and the horrors. They stuck to it and helped be a leader and kept everybody together.”

  • Hits: 1895

Corrigan-Camden volleyball ends 2020 season as area finalists (VIDEO & GALLERY)

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

corrigan camdenBRIAN BESCH | PCE Lady Dogs end season as area finalists

By Brian Besch

TOMBALL- Corrigan-Camden saw its season come to an end in the area round of the playoffs Monday, dropping a 25-17, 25-20, 25-10 match to East Bernard at Tomball High School.

The Lady Dogs started the first set in a 4-0 hole, but closed to within one point on a handful of occasions. Up 11-10 on Corrigan-Camden, the Brahmarettes scored eight of the next nine, leading to a 1-0 advantage.

In the second set, the Lady Dogs held a lead as large as four points before losing by five.

“We came out and played,” Corrigan-Camden coach Sage Gardner said. “We saw East Bernard two years ago, so I was worried about us being a little tentative, but they came out and played their butts off. My group has all of the heart and hustle, and that’s why we’ve gotten this far.”

The Lady Bulldogs have had some rough draws in the past few years, with East Bernard also the opponent two years ago, Hardin last year, and the Brahmarettes in 2020. Both schools are volleyball powers in the state.

This particular group of seniors has been with Gardner since the seventh grade, the first to do so since that level.

The seniors include Kallie Kelm, Essense Sanders, Micah Hughes, Aundrea Cuevas and Jennifer Vazquez.

“I’m losing five good ones. Each one of these kids are special to me,” Gardner said. “We have been through it all together. They put their hearts into it with blood and injuries and I couldn’t ask for a better group of kids. The group I have coming back next year, they’ll put in the work and they’ll be there too.”

Corrigan-Camden VolleyballShow Gallery 

  • Hits: 2102

Lions restore their roar (GALLERY & VIDEO)

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

IMG 2503PHOTOS COURTESY OF LINDA JACOBS AND JO'HANNA PROCTOR Livingston Lions celebrate their victory on Friday November 6, 2020 as they win the district championship.


By Brian Besch

HUFFMAN - From worst to first, or maybe more accurate, from the outhouse to the penthouse. After winning only two games over the past three years, Livingston football has won the District 10-4A Div. I championship.

The Lions stunned the defending district champions on their home field, taking a 21-20 come-from-behind win Friday over Hargrave in Huffman. It is the first outright district championship for Livingston football since 1963.

The Lions fell behind 20-7 when Falcon quarterback Luke Thomas powered his way in from eight yards out with 2:45 left in the third quarter.

The Lions later answered with a Nigel Henderson interception that set the offense up at the Hargrave 15. Three plays later, freshman Ja’Marri Green took a sweep over the goal line from the three, cutting the lead to 20-14.

With just 2:51 in the game, Livingston again needed just three plays to score. After a 5-yard run from Damian Ruiz, the quarterback then took to the air, completing a 40-yard pass to Julian Gardner. On the next play from the Falcon 30, Ruiz rolled right and threw back to his left, finding Green wide open. The young running back cut across the field, dodging defenders to help give Livingston the lead.

On the next possession, sophomore Jontavian McNeal intercepted a pass to give Livingston the ball once more with under a minute to play. A first down from Green on third-and-five secured the win.

Behind 6-0 at the half, Livingston head coach Finis Vanover said his team looked down in the locker room.

“We sagged a little bit going into halftime and I told them, ‘It is like a morgue in here. We told you and told you that it wasn't going to be easy. These guys have been there for five or six consecutive years and they have beaten all comers, including us. They made fools out of us last year here and there were people dancing on our sidelines when we were 40 points down. There's only going to be one dance taking place here tonight, it is going to be when we win.’”

Ruiz threw completions of 28, 6, 40 and 30 yards The first of those was a scoring strike to Chris Washington to put the Lions up 7-6 on the first drive of the third period.

Washington is the only Lion to have played through the past four years. He began as a freshman and had only been a part of two wins before 2020.

“Those four years were crazy,” the senior receiver said. “My (freshman and sophomore) year, we didn't win any games and coach Vanover told us to believe and that is what we kept doing. He told us keep believing and we are going to win and we are going to turn around the program. That's what we did. It has been a long, hard four years for me and I am just glad we came out with a win. It took a lot of hard work. I did my part and I did all

I could. I just stuck it out. I didn't want to transfer and I didn't want to go anywhere. I stayed with my hometown and this is the outcome.”

The coach said a big difference in the offense for the final two quarters was getting the running game in gear. Green provided much of that, going for 53 of his 69 yards in the second half.

“We told our tailbacks, ‘If you didn't show up to play, get your tail on the bus and wait for us. We'll find somebody else that will run tough. Get busy running — and we did. (Coach) Seven (Armstrong) had some good talks with the offensive linemen about getting physical. They are the simplest defense (by scheme) that we played the entire year. Little Cypress (-Mauriceville, last week) was good, but these guys (Hargrave) are great.”

The district champions will now face Tyler Chapel Hill 6 p.m. Saturday in the bi-district round of the playoffs at New Caney’s Texan Drive Stadium.

Previous Next Play Pause
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  • Hits: 4333

Wildcats win 7th straight district title

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

                               JASON CHLAPEK | PCE Onalaska athlete Kierra Anstee finishes third in the District 23-3A cross country meet last week in Anderson. Anstee will participate in the Region III-3A Meet Monday in Huntsville.

By Jason Chlapek

ANDERSON — For the seventh year in a row, the Onalaska boys cross country team is a district champion.

The Wildcats accomplished this feat last Thursday at the District 23-3A Meet in Anderson. Onalaska finished with 47 points, while runner-up New Waverly had 56.

“I think individual commitment from each runner and making sure we were playing it safe, wearing our masks and maintaining social distancing helped us maintain our streak,” Onalaska coach Terri Boyce said. “We’ve also been very dedicated and we were determined to win come heck or high water. I’m very proud of them.”

The top two teams and top 10 individuals qualified for the Region III-3A Meet on Monday at Kate Barr Ross Park in Huntsville. At the region meet, the top three teams and top 10 individual finishers not attached to a qualifying team will earn berths in the 3A state meet Nov. 23 in Round Rock.

Leading the charge for the Wildcats last Thursday was three-time district champion William Boyce — the coach’s son. Running in chilly, windy conditions on a hilly course, Boyce finished the race with a time of 17 minutes, 37 seconds — nearly a minute faster than runner-up Hutton Edney of New Waverly (18:30).

“This was my first goal (to win district),” Boyce said. “I ran on my own and made sure I was faster on my times. I made sure I ran faster and longer in practice. I also conditioned myself on hills because there’s a bunch of hills on this course. Over the summer, I hit the hills really hard. We have a lot of hills in Onalaska that I ran on. This is the coldest I’ve run in a district meet. I’ve run in mud and slush for district, but never something this cold. I feel like that helped with breathing.”

Boyce also is the defending region champion and finished third in state last year. A runner-up finish in district his freshman year gave Boyce all the motivation he needed to make sure he never took home a silver medal in a district meet again.

“In junior high, I won both years — seventh and eighth grade — so I thought I was going into it pretty good my freshman year.,” Boyce said. “That’s what it’s been since then (first place).”

Now that the first goal is complete, Boyce is aiming for the second one — a repeat region championship. With this being his senior season, Boyce also hopes to complete the triple crown by winning gold at the state meet, and that his team will qualify as well.

“I’ve been to state every year,” he said. “I hope we can get there again. I won region last year and finished third in state. I hope to take him gold in both regionals and state this year. I need to put my head down and put the work in. There’s a bunch of guys real close and I hope to use them to push myself to run my best.”

Rounding out the boys scoring was Brady Neuman (fourth), Cy Turner (12th), Jason Arnold (14th) and Canyon Holley (16th). Derek Winkle (21st) and Jaykob Lowrie (25th) also participated for Onalaska.

On the girls side, the Lady Cats were 13 points shy of returning to the region meet. New Waverly and Anderson-Shiro finished 1-2, respectively, in the team standings.

This ended Onalaska’s streak of four consecutive district championships. However, Kierra Anstee and Emily Kirkley qualified for the region meet as they finished third and 10th, respectively.

“We’re very young and had three freshmen running,” Terri Boyce said. “We have a really good eighth grader coming up who’s going to run next year and help us out quite a bit. She’ll bring some speed to our team. We have one senior girl — Kierra.”

While Boyce will just have to replace one spot on the girls side, she’ll have three holes to fill on the boys side. Among those are Boyce and Neuman.

“We have three senior boys, including my top two finishers,” Boyce said. “We’re going to be struggling a little bit next year, but I’ve got two eighth-graders who can come in next year who could easily fill those shoes.”

Which could lead to an eighth straight title.

  • Hits: 2306

Hornets take 2nd, qualify for region meet

Write a comment
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

                               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.

  • Hits: 1878