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Tyler County Sports

Eagles take on state champs in opener

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090122 woodville advance

By Chris Edwards
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FRANKLIN – The weeks leading up to district for the Woodville Eagles are looking to be quite a challenging series of propositions for Coach Ty Robinson and his current squad.

The Eagles opened their season last Friday on the road against the defending 3A D II state champions the Franklin Lions. Woodville fell behind by 22 points at halftime, but a couple of short runs in the second half put some points on the board for the Eagles.The Lions dominated the first half of the game on three scores, with a 22-0 lead at halftime.

In the second half, penalties allowed the Eagles to gain some ground. In the third quarter, with 14 seconds remaining, senior running back Jatavian Taylor rushed from the one-yard line to put a score on the board for Woodville. The Lions notched up 16 penalties to the Eagles’ 5.

Another touchdown in the fourth quarter from QB Ralon Williams put the Eagles up to 12, for a final score of 22-12, with a Franklin win. Franklin accumulated 306 yards of offense, and held the Eagles to 203, including 111 on the ground.

Williams stated after the game that it was a “great time” competing against Franklin. “Got off to a slow start but we picked it up in the second half. I love this team!,” he said.

Williams and Darius Bean were the top players in Friday night’s contest. Williams obtained 113 passing yards and 31 rushing yard. Bean got 84 receiving yards and 12 total tackles.

This Friday, the Eagles take on another formidable foe in pre-district play, when they host the Newton Eagles at home.

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Bulldogs get narrow win from Oilers

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090122 comsneil bulldogs

By Chris Edwards
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JASPER – The Colmesneil Bulldogs began their season with a most narrow of narrow victories against West Hardin.

The ‘Dogs traveled to Jasper last Thursday to play the Oilers. The game was moved up a day and the location changed due to expected incoming weather that would likely effect field conditions.

Touchdowns from the Oilers’ Kyle Taylor, on a 34-yard run and from the Dogs’ Mason Teel (on a two-yard run) in the first quarter sealed the score 6-6 all the way to the half.

Taylor scored on a short (one-yard) kick early in the third, giving the lead to West Hardin (13-6). A TD from Reed Best put the score at 12-13, with the Oilers still leading.

In the fourth quarter, the Oilers’ Weston Louviere scored on a 65-yard pass from Taylor, for a 12-19 score, however, with three minutes left in the game, Best scored on a three-yard run, with a successful two-point conversion, reversing the fortunes of the Dogs, 20-19.

Thursday was Best’s night to shine as the senior wide receiver picked up 98 passing yards and 76 yards rushing. All told, the ‘Dogs ran 64 plays for a total of 243 yards (98 passing, 145 rushing).

This week, the Bulldogs will take on KIPP East End High School in Houston.

In the weeks leading up to district, Colmesneil is facing some salty opponents, with Cayuga, Overton and

Cushing, all on the agenda for September.

The Bulldogs will start district against Lovelady on Friday, Oct. 7.

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Lady Jackets notch impressive win over Colmesneil

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082522 Chester VBall GameLady Jacket Kaylee Tolar get up high for a kill last week against Groveton.The Lady Jackets defeated the Lady Indians 3-1. Photo by Jana Rayburn

By Jana Rayburn

The Lady Jackets defeated the Colmesneil Lady Dogs last Tuesday, August 16, and this win was impressive due to the fact that four players were out with injuries.

The Lady Jackets beat the Lady Dogs 3-1 and every player stepped up and contributed. The Lady Jackets competed in the Groveton volleyball tournament on Thursday, August 18 and Saturday, August 20.

The team defeated Coldspring and lost to Centerville in pool games on Thursday. On Saturday, the Lady Jackets lost all three bracket games against Shepherd, Groveton, and New Waverly. The Lady Jackets played at home on Friday, August 19 against Groveton. The Lady Jackets defeated the Lady Indians 3-1.

Coach Patrick Sluga had nothing but positive things to say about his team. Lauren Citrano led the team in serves. Josie Pecina, who was pulled up from the JV team to help out, also served well this past week. Emma Byrd led the team in assists and Kaylee Tolar led in kills.

The varsity team is now 9-6, and Sluga says with some injured players returning this week, he fully intends for this record to improve.

The Lady Jackets will play in the Warren volleyball tournament on Thursday, August 25 and Saturday, August 27. Pool game times on Thursday will be 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Bracket play on Saturday will be determined by Thursday’s results. Chester will host Lead Academy on Friday, August 26.

The varsity game will be at 6 p.m. The team will travel to Huntington on Tuesday, August 30 and will take on the Lady Red Devils after the conclusion of the JV game, which starts at 5 p.m.

The Chester JV volleyball team played their first game in a few weeks when they traveled to Colmesneil last Tuesday, August 16. The Lady Jackets lost the game but played well and Coach Courtney Tonnies saw a lot of positives from her team. The JV competed in the Silsbee Tournament on Thursday, August 18 and Saturday, August 20. The girls got a lot of time on the court and gained some experience during the two-day tournament.

Additionally, Faith Jerkins was named to the All-Tournament team. The JV girls played at home on Friday, August 19 against the Groveton Indians. Even though the JV lost, they never quit.
The JV will face Huntington on Tuesday, August 30 at 5 p.m. in Huntington.

Yellowjacket Football

The Chester Yellowjackets traveled to Bryan for their last scrimmage of the season. The Jackets only got a handful of plays in before the weather forced a cancellation. Coach Justin Hilliard saw some good things in the 30-minute scrimmage.
Hilliard said the boys showed great potential with multiple big plays.

The Jackets will travel to Galveston on Friday, August 26 for the first game of the season against the O’Connell Buccaneers. The game will be played at Weis Collegiate Academy Field. The address to the stadium is 7100 Stewart Rd. Galveston, TX 77551.

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Schools encouraged to enter pep rally video contest

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081822 video contest

Texas singer/songwriter Rhyder to perform concert for winner

By Chris Edwards
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With the familiar glow of Friday night lights soon to be upon us (and scrimmages already taking place) the sounds of fall are a welcome accompaniment to high school football action.

Whether those sounds are familiar selections from high school bands to lead the teams into battle, or songs written about the excitement of football, the topic has served as an inspiration for many a songwriter.

Carthage-based Texas country music legend, Brandon Rhyder, an award-winning singer/songwriter has put his two cents into the “football songs” canon. Rhyder’s single “Under the Lights on Friday Night” is such an authentic depiction of high school gridiron action that several coaches from around the state have weighed in.

“I have coached a lot of college players and a few NFL players and the one thing they always say is there is nothing like Friday Night High School football…Brandon’s song is a great song that sums it all up,” said Scott Surratt, the Athletic Director and head coach of the Carthage Bulldogs.

As part of the promotion for the single, a lucky school can win a concert with Rhyder. Schools are encouraged to submit a video from a pep rally, to show how much school spirit the school has.

The videos, limited to one submission per school, must be submitted to Rhyder by Oct. 14. They can be submitted via email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Rhyder, who has made a career out of wholesome subject matter (e.g. “Freeze Frame Time” and “Battery”) said the subject for the song was a natural for him, and he has watched his own son grow up with a love of the game.

“I have watched my son, Dusty, play this game from flag football to Pop Warner to junior high to the varsity level. He’s been talking about this moment since he was five years old,” Rhyder said in an interview.

Tom Westerberg, who serves as HC for the Salado Eagles said Rhyder’s song “brings back great memories of me playing in small town Salado and now for the kids who are making their own memories.”

The single can be streamed on all streaming platforms, as well as from Rhyder’s official website, BrandonRhyder.com.

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Lady Jackets take second place in Woodville tourney

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081822 Lady jackets take secondA jubilant group of Lady Jackets celebrates a win at the Woodville tournament. Photo by Jana Rayburn

By Jana Rayburn

The Lady Jacket volleyball team had a great first week of play. The Lady Jackets swept the Sabine Pass Lady Sharks on Tuesday, August 9 at J.P. Johnson Gymnasium in Chester.

Thursday, August 11, the Lady Jackets traveled to Woodville for the first day of the Woodville Volleyball Tournament. Chester easily defeated Woodville JV in two sets but lost a close game to Warren. The Lady Jackets came back Friday, winning all three pool games against Colmesneil, Hemphill, and Anahuac. Saturday’s bracket started with a game against Woodville.

The Lady Jackets lost the first game 20-25, won game two 25-15, and won the third game 15-12. This win moved the Lady Jackets into the championship game against Tarkington. The Jackets had some unfortunate injuries during the game, and ended up losing 25-23, 20-25. The Lady Jackets faced some larger schools, and never gave up. While this was a total team effort, several players stood out during the three-day tournament.

Lily Read, Marae Pounds, and Kinsley Barnes led in kills. Emma Byrd has some great assists and key points. Kaylee Tolar and Lauren Citrano served the ball well. Blakeney Whitworth had well-timed timed hits, Kyli Handley had a few great digs and saves, and Abby Grimes had some good back row attacks. Coach Patrick Sluga said, “The final game didn’t end up the way we wanted, but these girls played until the very end. Everyone will be talking about Chester volleyball after last weekend.”

The Lady Jackets will play in the Groveton Tournament on Thursday, August 18, and Saturday, August 20. Chester will host Groveton on Friday, August 19 for JV and varsity games. The JV game will start at 4:30 p.m., with the varsity game to follow. The varsity team will travel to Apple Springs on Tuesday, August 23 to face off against the Lady Eagles in a 4:30 p.m. match.

Yellowjacket Football

The Chester Yellowjackets traveled to Sugar Land for the first scrimmage of the season. Even though the team left very early in the morning, they showed up and turned some heads last weekend.

Defensively, the Jackets were tough. Jesse Bittick had 23 tackles during the scrimmage, including 10 for loss. Kessler Romo had an interception. Keighen Green had a big day, scoring three touchdowns.

Green had 120 yards rushing and 85 yards receiving.

Coach Justin Hilliard was happy with his team. “There are some minor corrections to be made, but we moved the ball well on offense and had some really good defense,” Hilliard said.

The Jackets will traveled to Houston on Thursday, August 18 to scrimmage against Emery Weiner. The scrimmage will started at 6 p.m.

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