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Lady Pirates down Onalaska twice

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031623 sanjac softballHannah Bailey takes a swipe in a quick pick-off move. Isabel Hooper brought the heat during the first 5 innings of play against Onalaska. Photos by Charles Ballard

By Charles Ballard
SJNT correspondent

After going undefeated in the Cleveland Tournament the week before, The Lady Pirates continued their winning streak with two wins over the Onalaska Lady Wildcats.

Isabel Hooper took the mound on March 7 with the idea of making sure her pitches were hitting the correct spot. She also made sure her pitch form was correct.

Hooper said, “I just wanted to make sure my pitches were hitting the correct spot and we kept the lead. I had to make sure my form was good and I could last the length the team needed me to.”

Coach Suzon Martin said, “We finished undefeated at the Cleveland Tournament, and we want to get a good start at the District run. It is important to make the playoff and set the Pirates in motion for a deep run in the playoffs.”

The Lady Pirates struck first in the first inning, was not until the fifth inning that the Pirates make a run to finish the game early by the 10-run rule.

Reliever Kaylee Barlow said after the game, “It is a lot easier to come in a game as a closer and just finish the game off. You don’t have to watch your pitch count as much. Just through to get them out.”

Martin said, “We are going to attack each team as though it is a must win for the Lady Pirates this year. The Playoffs are a must for us this year.”

On Friday, the Lady Pirates owned Onalaska 19-1.

The Lady Trojans took a 2-0 district lead on Friday with 21-0 and 9-6 wins over the New Waverly Lady Bulldog last week.

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Holcomb takes second in martial arts event

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021623 holcomb JiuJitsuBy Charles Ballard — James Holcomb and Joseph Minter made a trip to NRG Stadium Saturday to compete in the Jiu Jitsu World League Championship. Holcomb took second in his division which had a high level of competition. Both Holcomb and Minter were entry level, (white belt) competitors. Minter said it was a great learning experience, one he hopes to do again.

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Shepherd advances to playoffs

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021623 sanjac basketballPirate Jesse Valerie shoots a lay-up around the Coldspring Defense. Shepherd’s Tangela Yates stops just inside the 3-point line and tosses up a jump shot. Luke Monroe goes coast to coast and finishes with a layup. Photos by Charles Ballard

By Charlie Ballard
SJNT correspondent

COLDSPRING — With the 66-58 win over the Coldspring Trojans on Friday, the Shepherd Pirates earned a berth in the playoff bracket.

The game was a lot closer than the previous one earlier this year but both games ended up with a win for Shepherd.

Head Coach Jeremy Bennett said the difference came when the team made a few adjustments after the first quarter in its offense and defense.
“All that matters is we made the playoffs,” he said.

Jesse Valerie and Tre Patterson both said they were excited making the playoffs in their senior year.

Top producers for Shepherd were Valerie with 14 points, Braydon Mettlen with 11 points, Payton Burton with 12 points and two 3-pointers, Tristen Cullum with 27 points and Patterson with a 3-pointer.

For Coldspring, Jacorrion Jackson had 20 points, Josh Brimsey had 2 points, Luke Monroe had 17 points and three 3-pointers and Kelvin Harden had 14 points.

On Feb. 7, Shepherd downed the Anderson-Shiro Owls 60-45 after a slow start.

“The Owls came out tough in the first few minutes of the game, so we re-did our defense to stop them,” Bennett said.

The Owls started hitting treys with success and the Pirates adjusted to stop the 3-point attack.

Valerie had 14 points, Mettlen had 15 points, Burton had 12 points and two 3-three pointers, Cullum had 12 points, and Patterson had 5 points.


The Lady Pirates ended their season with a 59-29 loss to the Anderson-Shiro Lady Owls on Feb. 7.

Mckayden Nelson said the team had a hard time hitting shots, making it tough to be competitive.

Grace Ramos had 12 points for the night including three 3-point shots, Nelson had 4 points, Tiana Clark had 4 points, and Sydney Gonzales had a nice 3-point shot go in.

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Trojans commit to colleges

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Special to the News-Times

COLDSPRING — Family and friends, coaches, students, and administrators were on hand as seniors Chrishun McGowen and Jaylon Bradford signed their letters of intent to attend Tyler Junior College and Cisco College, respectively.

Coldspring-Oakhurst High School celebrated two outstanding athletes on National Signing Day, Feb. 1, as they committed to play college football.

Athletic Director/Head Football Coach Ken Stanley said it was the first time since his tenure (nearly five years) that two COHS athletes had signed their letters of intent on the actual date of National Signing Day.

He described the work ethic of both athletes in an address to the crowd before the signing.

“Crishun came in as a freshman with great potential but suffered an injury that required major surgery,” Stanley said. “When he was able to return to school, even though he wasn’t released medically yet, he showed up at every practice and stood on the sidelines fully dressed out with his helmet on. He never missed.”

Stanley said that once Chrishun was released, he played one game on JV and we realized he was something special, so he was pulled up to varsity and he played every game on the way to the Trojans’ playoff game against East Chambers.

When COVID hit, Chrishun wasn’t able to attend school in person his sophomore year due to safety concerns, but he started working out after Christmas and played his junior year with outstanding potential.

Stanley said he was being scouted by Division 1 schools including El Paso University and SFA, but he injured his knee again at the end of his junior year and wasn’t able to work out his lower body for a long time.

“He still had a great year this year, but it wasn’t indicative of what he can really do,” Stanley said. “Still, Tyler JuCo is a major Division 1, so hopefully he will do well there and transfer to one of the 4-year division universities.”

Stanley said that Jaylon Bradford was an average player in his first year, but hard work gave him strength.

“He started doing competitions in the off-season and started winning contests most players aren’t able to win,” Stanley said. “He started this year as an inside linebacker on defense and ended up being named all-district linebacker. He had a lot of great highlights film and ended up with this great opportunity at Cisco College, a really good school.”

Both athletes will be attending college on full football scholarships.

“These are two fine young men who have overcome a lot of obstacles, worked hard and now they will be rewarded by having their educations paid for through football,” Stanley said. “They deserve to be congratulated.”

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