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COHS sending 14 entries to region meet

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                               JASON CHLAPEK I SJNT Coldspring-Oakhurst athlete Crystal Ramos finished fourth in the pole vault during last week’s area meet.

By Jason Chlapek

COLDSPRING — The Coldspring-Oakhurst boys and girls track and field programs each qualified seven entries for the Region III-Class 3A Meet this weekend in Waco.

The Trojans finished third in the team standings of last week’s Districts 23/24-3A Area Meet, while the Lady Trojans finished fifth. The meet took place on April 12 at Trojan Stadium in Coldspring.

The top four finishers in each event qualified for the region meet, which takes place Friday and Saturday at Midway High School’s Panther Stadium in Waco. The top two finishers and top third-place finish statewide in each event qualify for the Class 3A state meet, which takes place May 6 in Austin.

TROJANS

A trio of first-place finishes kept C-O in the hunt for the area championship. Edward Brown and Curtis Parker, Jr., won the 100 and 400-meter runs, respectively, and the quarter of Parker, Reagan Roberts, Gavin Trejo and Jared Curry won the 1,600-meter relay.

Dante Eldridge took second in the shot put, while Carter Currie was the runner-up in the pole vault. Troy Fortenberry finished third in the pole vault and fourth in the 300-meter hurdles.

C-O had 79 points in the standings to finish third. East Bernard (96.5) and Boling (94) finished 1-2.

LADY TROJANS

Five of the seven regional-qualifying entries for C-O took place in the field events, including a pair of first-place finishes. Alexis Moore and Amanda Ready won the shot put and high jump, respectively, to lead the Lady Trojans’ charge.

Shanaya Gilbert finished second in the shot put, while Alexis Chandler was third in the triple jump, and Crystal Ramos took fourth in the pole vault. Miya Ellis qualified in two events as she finished third in the 100 and fourth in the 200.

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Coldspring downs rival Trinity

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040121 baseball 1TONY FARKAS | SJNT Coldspring-Oakhurst hurler Easton Dean delivers a pitch to a Trinity batter during the team’s 18-1 win over the Tigers on Friday.

News-Times staff

TRINITY — Hot bats gave the Coldspring-Oakhurst Trojans a commanding win over the Trinity Tigers on Friday.

Trojan Head Coach Austin Riddell said it was a great overall team win, defeating the Tigers 18-1 in five innings.

Easton Dean, who also carried pitching duties, went 4-for-5 and hit for the cycle, including his first high school-career home run. He also put up three strikeouts while allowing only two hits.

Trinity managed to put up a few hits, but couldn’t string together enough to counter Coldspring-Oakhurst.

Tiger head coach Chad Kinney said senior Sam Allen gave up a total of 4 earned runs and 1 RBI at the plate, and junior Cole Caldwell went 2-for-2 with a triple and a run scored. Freshmen Remi Lassman and Cole Hortman each went 1-for-2 with a double, and freshman David McKendree walked twice.

Riddell said this week is going to be a tough test, as they were to play New Waverly on Tuesday at home, and then travel to Anderson-Shiro on Thursday.

“This will be a great measuring tool to see where we truly stand in our district and we are excited for the opportunity,” he said.

Kinney said that due to having players out, the next game — Onalaska on Thursday — they will be starting five or six freshmen.

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Lady Trojans outshine Lady Tigers

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040121 softball 1TONY FARKAS | SJNT Coldsprint-Oakhurst Lady Trojan Cami Fussell (No. 4) attempts to lay down a bunt during Friday’s game against Trinity. The Lady Trojans won 18-8.

SJNT staff

TRINITY — The Lady Trojans hammered runs out here and there to take a win over Trinity on Friday.

"We are taking it day-by-day," Coldspring coach Brandi Hill said. "Trinity is pretty good. Their ace pitcher ended up getting hurt, so they had to pull in backups. We just kind of hung with them at the very beginning and weren't hitting very well, but just making contact.

"We ended up scratching out a couple of runs here and there,” she said. “When she got injured and they had to pull her is when they were trying to keep things together, but it was really difficult for them."

Trinity Head Coach Doug Sanchez said Tiger Pitcher Cynthia Sizemore was injured, and the backup pitcher didn’t mount much defense.

Hill said the team is working to improve, with a goal of reaching the postseason. She said the offense usually begins clicking as games progress.

"It is hard for us to start, but as time goes, we are piecing together hits here and there by the end of the game."

The team is trying to get consistent play and "level out the bumps and trying to keep everybody on the same page" to improve. Coldspring's district record is 2-3 and tied for fourth place with Tarkington, which currently holds the tiebreaker in a win over the Lady Trojans.

To this point, Coldspring has dropped district games to Onalaska, Tarkington and Hardin, while defeating Anderson-Shiro and Trinity. New Waverly is the top team in district and the Lady Trojans challenged them Tuesday to finish up the first round of league play.

“We have a good fighting chance and hopefully things end up better on the second time through district."

Sanchez touted Dayanara Martinez, who hit her first home run of the season during the game, and Dezi Galvan and Abby Crowton, who each go their first hits at the varsity level.

Trinity heads to district play on Thursday against Onalaska.

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A STORYBOOK CAREER

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IMG 20201116 132120COURTESY PHOTO Coldspring-Oakhurst running back Contavious Parker-Harden (20) set his school’s all-time rushing record with 4,578 yards in four seasons. Parker-Harden is the only player in school history to have more than 4,000 yards throughout his career.

Coldspring senior boasts school rushing record

By Jason Chlapek

COLDSPRING — Throughout the Coldspring-Oakhurst football team’s history, many great running backs have come and gone.

There was Ray Fisher, who ran for 3,542 yards throughout his career (1990-92), including a single-season record 2,791 yards in 1992 when the Trojans lost to Southlake Carroll in the Class 3Å state championship game. A few years later, Isaac White broke the school’s all-time rushing record with 3,615 yards in three years (1996-98).

More than two decades later, the C-O all-time rushing record has been broken again. Contavious Parker-Harden now has that distinction with a grand total of 4,578 yards in four years.

“When I first came in here, it was looking at the whole picture and I saw some big kids,” C-O coach Ken Stanley said. “When you make a transition into the double-wing, you know you’re going to have to have some guys up front. We had a young man in Liberty that was a lot like Tay and we did very well with him when we put that offense in. I thought Tay had everything that kid had, only Tay was bigger and stronger. Tay was the icing on the cake and the cherry on top. He’s a big kid that has some speed and he made it very easy for me to pull the trigger on this whole double-wing. That made me very excited knowing what I know about the offense. I knew with a kid like Tay that sooner than later we were going to have success. He was a big part of that.”

In Parker-Harden’s four seasons, he ran for more than 1,000 yards three times, including a 1,635 in 2020 — his final in a Trojan uniform. He also rushed for 1,049 yards as a freshman in 2017 and 1,031 yards in 2018 his sophomore year.

In the year prior to Stanley’s arrival, Coldspring-Oakhurst was 3-8 in its only campaign under previous coach Jim Bird. Once the coach arrived from Liberty, where he served as the offensive coordinator, he thought he was going to have something special.

“Tay and his fellow seniors were the group that put their cleats in the ground and said they weren’t going to settle for 3-8,” Stanley said. “In two years, they won a district championship.”

For Parker-Harden and his teammates, Stanley was the third coach the team played under going into his junior season. Mark Byrd was the coach Parker-Harden’s freshman year and Bird coached him as a sophomore.

Both Byrd and Bird had one thing in common — the spread offense. But Stanley proved to be an answered prayer for the school running back.

“I felt more calm in the double-wing,” Parker-Harden said. “In the spread, I wasn’t able to read as much as I could before the snap. In the double-wing, I was able to read the defense and see who I have to beat on the play. It calmed me down a lot.”

Parker-Harden recently committed to the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. He also talked a little bit about his running style.

“I ask for the ball on the first play of the game because on that first play I’m going to give them everything that I’ve got,” Parker-Harden said. “Pretty much every team that we play, I’ll look at them and I’ll start laughing because if I want it I can get it. I don’t let one guy tackle me. I want all 11 guys tackling me. Coach Stanley and I talked all year about how I’ll never let just one guy tackle me. If I allow just one guy to tackle me, then I don’t deserve to be in my spot.”

Stanley talked about a particular play when the Trojans met Diboll in the regular season finale. The play was pivotal in C-O’s 20-12 victory that clinched the district championship.

“We had a critical moment in our season against Diboll where we were on our own 30-yard line and it was fourth-and-two,” Stanley said. “It would’ve been real easy to punt right there, but we went for it. If they can stop us, I’ll tip my hat to them and put our defense back on the field. The Diboll coach called a timeout before that play and tells his team, ‘you know No. 20 is going to get the ball.’ They knew it, we knew it, and everybody in the stands knew it that Tay was going to get the ball on that play, and we still got the first down.”

When Parker-Harden was in seventh grade, Bryan Barbay was the Trojans’ head football coach and athletic director. Barbay employed another run-oriented offense — the wing-T.

“The double-wing is actually a lot different than the wing-T except for the misdirection,” Stanley said. “In the wing-T, you have a lot of double teams up front and a lot of buck sweep with pulling guards and trap. The double-wing is more of a gap-control offense and it kind of lends to all offenses now where you have a power/counter scheme. The beauty of the double-wing for us is we feel like you have to balance on us, and we can always put one more man on you. Our quarterbacks have to be blockers. By having that extra blocker, running that tunnel sweep gets us over the top. We also emphasize the weight room and we get guys who can get good technique and move on people. We want two-and-a-half yards a play. When we get to fourth-and-two, we’re going to go for it. The fullback in our offense is primarily a blocker. They block on our tunnel sweep and counter play. We get a kid who’s gritty and tough hat fullback.”

One thing that helped the Trojans — and Parker-Harden — during the last two seasons was fellow senior Greg Terry. With Parker-Harden’s power style and Terry’s finesse, C-O gave opposing defenses headaches.

“I like to get a kid like Tay on one side and a quick, slasher type runner on the other side,” Stanley said. “It gets down to if we’re getting 6, 7 or 8 yards on our tunnel sweep play, I’m going to keep running that play. When a defense does something to adjust, then we hit them out the backdoor with our slasher. It was a lot of fun with these guys. They made it easier to call the offense. A lot of teams tried to make us beat them with someone other than Tay. Greg Terry in his own right had great seasons. Defenses had to respect him on the counter and it kept Tay honest. It was a good combination.”

Just another group of great Coldspring-Oakhurst running backs.

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Trojans, Pirates begin playoff quests

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                               JASON CHLAPEK | SJNT Coldspring-Oakhurst guard Duke Lawniczak (with ball) dribbles in the paint against Shepherd post Bradley Davis during a game between the Trojans and Pirates earlier this season. 

By Jason Chlapek
SJNT staff writer

COLDSPRING — The road to San Antonio begins tonight and tomorrow night for the Coldspring-Oakhurst and Shepherd boys basketball teams, respectively.

The Trojans, defending Region III-Class 3A champions, face Van Vleck at 6:30 p.m. today at Friendswood High School in a 3A bi-district contest. Coldspring (16-3) is the runner-up out of District 23-3A.

The Pirates begin their playoff journey Friday when they face Lumberton at 7 p.m. at Warren High School. Shepherd (13-13) tied for third with Hamshire-Fannett, but is the No. 4 playoff seed out of 21-4A.

The Trojans and Pirates are both limping into the postseason. Coldspring lost two of its last three contests, including a 58-54 setback at the hands of Anderson-Shiro in last week's regular season finale.

Shepherd has lost three in a row, including a 65-40 defeat against district co-champion Huffman Hargrave in last week's regular season finale. Bradley Davis and Dillen Johnson led the Pirates with 13 and 10 points, respectively.

                               JASON CHLAPEK | SJNT Coldspring-Oakhurst guard Jared Curry (left) and Shepherd guard Christian Castillo chase down a loose ball during a game between the Trojans and Pirates earlier this season. 

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