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Shepherd Lady Pirates host Turkey Shoot-Out

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112323 gb shepherdMakayden Nelson shoots over the tall center of Diboll during the Turkey Shoot-Out.Jazz Richardson launches a trey outside the line against West Fork during the Turkey Shoot-Out.Maraya Davis hits a 2-pointer against a host of Lady Jacks.Dakiyah Clark (No. 5) for the Lady Pirates post a nice trey against Lufkin to start the Turkey Shoot-Out. Photos by Charles Ballard

By Charles Ballard
SJNT correspondent

The Annual Turkey Shoot-Out hosted by the Lady Pirates featured nine teams, and Shepherd went 2-2 over the tournament.
The first Shepherd game was against Lufkin JV, and Avi Patterson had 2 points, Jaz Richardson had 10 points, Angeline Garland had 2 points, Makayden Nelson posted 7 points and Tiana Clark had 10 points and the only 2 three-point shots of the game. Scoring went 12 points in the first quarter, 8 in the second, 7 in the third and 8 in the final quarter for 36-14 total points and the win.

The second game did not go as well as the first; against the Lady Jacks of Diboll, the Lady Pirates were downed 47-29. Avi Patterson had a point at the line, Kiona King had 13 points, Angeline Garland had 3 points, Dakiyah Clark had 3 points, Makayden Nelson had 3 points, Tiana Clark had 3 points and Naraya Davis had 3 points.

Head Coach Eldridge McAdams said, “During the Livingston game on Tuesday we were shooting the three point shots great, but tonight they just would not fall.”

On Saturday, the Shepherd Lady Pirates faced the New Caney-West Fork team. With a slow start the Lady Pirates fell behind in the first and second quarters and could not rebound to take the game. At the half the Lady Pirates stood looking at the scoreboard with a 17 to 11 score. After posting 5 points West Fork answered back with 11 unanswered points, digging the hole deeper for the Lady Pirates. The last and final quarter of the Turkey Shoot-Out, the Lady Pirates almost took the game by shooting 13 points and allowing only 5 to West Fork, but it was just not enough for the win. West Fork took the game 33-29.
Diboll posted 4 wins, Kirby posted a 2-2 record, Shepherd posted a 2-2 record, Dayton posted 4 wins.

On Nov. 14, it was raining in Livingston as 3-point shots fell like cats and dogs.

The Lady Pirates posted 8 3-pointers against the Lady Lions. Mckayden Nelson had 15 points, of which 9 were treys. Tiana Clark had 2 additional 3-point shots. The Lady Lions just could not keep the Lady Pirates off the 3-point line. It started early in the 3rd quarter after the halftime team meeting.

McAdams said, “We fixed a few problems that we saw during the first half, which opened up the 3-point shots for us.”
Mckayden Nelson said, “We need to work on paying attention to each other during the game, but overall it was a good win.”
Patterson scored 2, King 2, Richardson 13, Clark 4, Nelson 12, and Tiana Clark 10. Shepherd posted 5 points in the first quarter, 12 in the second quarter, 19 in the third quarter and 10 in the fourth and final quarter for a total of 46 points. They shot 4-for-10 at the line.


The Coldspring Lady Trojans lost 62-20 to Madisonville and 40-19 against Carthage during a tournament in Madisonville on Thursday.



The Pirates were downed by Splendora 58-49 on Saturday.

Top scorers were Tristen Cullum with 20 points, Joshua Stowe with 9 and Braydon Mettlen with 8.


The Trojans opened the season with two wins, a 68-47 downing of Founders Christian on Friday and a 77-44 drubbing of Warren on Saturday.

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Pirates fall to top-ranked Lions in playoffs

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112323 shepherd footballTeam captains for the game were Jacob Guidry (No. 64), Preston Stephens (No. 20), Hunter Kyle (No. 10) and Sheldon Ferguson (No. 23).
Photo by Charles Ballard

By Charles Ballard
SJNT correspondent

With a sophomore quarterback, Landon Dellinger, and 2,000-yard running back Preston Stephens, the Shepherd Pirates pushed past the first round in the UIL playoffs for the first time since the 60s.

Even with a 50-16 loss on Friday to the Franklin Lions, the Pirates still had a record year.

Coach Miles Robison said it was a very good year and he is looking forward to 2024.

“We have a nice bunch of athletes that are going to fill a lot of shoes,” Robison said. “Our JV team has a lot of talent that we can use next year.”

He said there are still a lot of questions that will need to be answered with the upcoming UIL district realignment, in which Shepherd could return to 4-A division II.

After posting an upset against Kirbyville, Shepherd was set to upset top-ranked Franklin, which was picked to win state almost the entire season until a loss to Lorena.

Ronnie Corn, athletic director for Shepherd and the superintendent of the district for 20-plus years, was the coach of the 1967 team, and presented the ceremonial coin toss before the game. Additionally, Corn graduated from Franklin High School.

The Lions won the opening toss and elected to receive the ball. It was only seconds after the clock started that the score board started lighting up, as Franklin’s first possession of the ball resulted in 8 points.

The game plan for the Pirates was to try to keep the ball on the ground and keep it away from the Lions’ offense. Even though the Pirates ate up a lot of the clock during the first quarter, the second offensive set of downs for Franklin ended with another 8 points.

The Pirates posted a lot of yards in the first half, but no points. Stephens had several very good runs but the Pirates just could not put the ball across the goal line until the fourth quarter.

The Pirates opened the quarter with a score, and with only seconds left in the game, Stephens shoots the gap on the right side of the line, running into a host of Lions. He reverses, finds Dellinger and falls in behind him and runs 68 yards for Shepherd’s final TD of the 2023 season.

The Pirates had a total of 300 yards of offense and Preston Stephens 26 carries for 258 yards and 2 TDS .

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Lady Trojans humble Lady Indians

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By Charles Ballard
SJNT correspondent

COLDSPRING — The COCISD Lady Trojans stand at 2-0 in the early basketball season, downing the Cleveland Lady Indians 70-26 on Friday.

From the jump it was all Lady Trojans’ game, scoring 14 points in the first quarter, and just going up from there.

Ella Phillips was shooting the lights out under the basket with 16 points. Shani’ya Goffney had 15, included by one 3-pointer. Mandy Harden had an open-shot 3-pointer. Akiah Harwig had 11 points. At the line the Lady Trojans were 10 for 28, or 36 percent.

Ella Phillips said It was a good win, but they are looking to take district this year.

“It is a must,” she said. “We could improve a lot on shooting but that will come in time.”

Head Basketball Coach Monique Whittaker said, “This game gave us a chance to work on our full-court press. Other games we worked on other aspects of game. We have a lot to work on but I feel we will be there for District Play.”

Shani’ya Goffney said, “As a Senior I want to lead this team to an undefeated district title and then deep into the playoffs.”


The Lady Pirates downed Corrigan-Camden 37-12 in their season opener on Friday.

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Great prospects for Shepherd basketball

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( Left ) Tristen Cullum slams a dunker during the warmup period to set the mode of the scrimmage against Big Sandy. ( Right) Tristen Cullum slams a dunker during the warmup period to set the mode of the scrimmage against Big Sandy. Photos by Charles Ballard by Charles Ballard( Left ) Tristen Cullum slams a dunker during the warmup period to set the mode of the scrimmage against Big Sandy. ( Right) Tristen Cullum slams a dunker during the warmup period to set the mode of the scrimmage against Big Sandy. Photos by Charles Ballard by Charles Ballard

By Charles Ballard
SJNT correspondent

GOODRICH — “All Signs Point to Positive” for a great season of basketball after the Shepherd Pirates headed to Goodrich High School for a Running Clock Scrimmage against Big Sandy, Goodrich and Piney Woods Academy from Lufkin.

The Pirates scored 21 points to Big Sandy’s 9 during the first scrimmage, and Head Coach Jeremy Bennett said, “We have a bunch of hard-working athletes and I am looking for a very good season this year.”

Tristen Cullum, the center for the Pirates, said this year’s team is good, and should go far in the playoffs.

The Pirates were very aggressive during the scrimmage shooting 3-point shots. Senior Payton Burton and Sophomore Darrian Matthews were hitting treys all during the warmup period and during the game.

The next scheduled game will be Friday at Splendora High School.

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All-district players

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Ella Phillips (No. 4) was named to the District 23-3A 1st Team for volleyball, while Tess Phillips (No. 1) and Cali Crowder (No. 2) were named to the district’s 2nd Team. Allie Muirhead was tabbed as the district’s Setter of the Year, and she also was named to the Academic All-state 2nd Team. Honorable mention honors went to Jordyn Davidson, Ja’Nyah Terry, Honesti Bradford, Savannah Phillips, Efreauna Baines, Maria Major, Hannah Sewell, Ashlynn Holley and KeKe Nixon. Courtesy photos

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