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Lady Dogs hone skills in volleyball camp

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072822 volleyball campLady Dogs practice their skillsets during last week’s volleyball day camp. Photo courtesy of Cody Day

By Chris Edwards
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COLMESNEIL – Last week, Colmesneil ISD hosted a volleyball skills day camp.

The camp took place on Friday, and Evan Amstutz was welcomed to Bulldog Country to conduct the camp.

Amstutz currently serves as the associate head coach at Stephen F. Austin State University. The camp was set up for all high school Lady Bulldog volleyball athletes and consisted of two sessions, the first focusing on the offensive side of the net and the second, on defense.

The Lady Dogs went through a variety of exercises and saw demonstrations aplenty at the day-long training in the R.B. Moffett Gymnasium.

Amstutz demonstrated all areas of play, from setting and attacking to a variety of defensive skills, including footwork maneuvering; posture; platform creation and angle cues.

Practices to begin

Bulldog and Lady Dog athletes are seeing their summer break wind down, with football and volleyball practices approaching next week.

According to CISD Athletic Director Cody Day, volleyball practice and football practices both begin on Monday, August 1. All athletes need to arrive on campus at 3:15 p.m. to receive their gear. practices will last from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., and practice schedules will be available to the athletes on Monday.

All students who wish to participate in CISD athletics must bring their physical form with medical history portion filled out.

For athletes who still need a physical exam, they can call 409-200-2811 to schedule.

Junior high sports will start their practices after the beginning of school, Day said.

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Muncrief to head up Lady Jacket softball

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072822 Muncrief softball Crystal Muncrief is the new girls athletic coordinator, head softball coach and cross-country coach at Chester High School. Muncrief is pictured with her family: son Hunter, Coach Muncrief, husband William and daughter Susan.  Photo by Jana Rayburn

By Jana Rayburn

CHESTER – There are several new faces on the Chester coaching staff. One of those faces is not entirely new.

Crystal Muncrief grew up in Barnum and is the daughter of Donald and Mary Riley. After graduating from Chester, Muncrief went to college at Stephen F. Austin State University. Muncrief previously taught at Pineywoods Community Academy, Lufkin ISD and West Sabine ISD.

She was the high school softball coach at West Sabine for the past six years and also coached basketball and cross-country. Her time at West Sabine was very successful for Muncrief, as her softball team advanced to the state tournament twice under her leadership.

Muncrief is married and has two children. Her daughter Susan played softball at Angelina College and will be attending Lamar this year while working at Chester ISD. Her son Hunter graduated from SFA in May. William, Muncrief’s husband, is originally from Woodville and helps coach softball outside of school.

Along with teaching art and graphic design at Chester, Muncrief will be the girls coordinator while coaching cross-country and softball.

Muncrief’s goal for this year is for her teams to play to their full potential, with the end goal of winning a state championship. What she is looking forward to the most is to be back home in the community she grew up in. “The reception I have gotten from faculty, parents, and students has made me feel welcome and excited about the future”, said Muncrief. She added, “I was fortunate enough at West Sabine to coach some wonderful athletes that were able to take us to Austin two different times. I wanted to come to Chester to hopefully give the athletes and the community here an opportunity to experience something like that. What I saw looking at Chester’s athletes made me think that we can do it.”

Make plans to meet Muncrief, as well as the entire Yellowjacket coaching staff, at ‘Meet the Jackets’ on Saturday, August 6. The event will get started at 8 a.m. on the football field. The coaches will be introduced, and you will be able to get your first look at the 2022 football team.

At 10:30 a.m., we will move to the gym to meet the volleyball and cross-country coaches and athletes, just before the volleyball team scrimmages Centerville at 11 a.m.  

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Chester varsity, junior high cheerleaders attend camp

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072122 cheeleaders attend campThe Chester varsity and junior high cheerleaders attended cheer camp last week at Academy of Gymnastics and Dance in Lufkin.  Varsity cheerleaders pictured (top row): Kaleigh Acrey, Blakeney Whitworth, Lauren Citrano, Emma Byrd, Kyli Handley, Abby Grimes, Lily Read, Marae Pounds (mascot), Lily Payne, and Josie Pecina.  Junior high cheerleaders pictured (bottom row):  Hailey Purvis, Danielle Hicks, Macey Davis, Madilyn Myers, Brenna Whitworth, Sadie Garsee,and  TanaLyn Knox.  Not pictured is Kendal Watton.

By Jana Rayburn

The Chester Varsity and Junior High Cheerleaders officially started their 2022-23 season with cheer camp last week. Both teams attended cheer camp in Lufkin at the Academy of Gymnastics and Dance on July 11-13. This three-day camp was individualized for Chester, and the girls learned new cheers and chants, worked on stunting and tumbling, and learned dances to be performed during the next school year.

The varsity squad is young, and comprised of freshmen and sophomores with three returning cheerleaders. Squad members are Kaleigh Acrey, Blakeney Whitworth, Lauren Citrano, Emma Byrd, Kyli Handley, Abby Grimes, Lily Read, Lily Payne, and Josie Pecina.

Marae Pounds is “Buzz”, the mascot. Varsity coach Amanda Pounds was very impressed with her team this week.
Pounds said, “I have to brag on their communication skills. The girls were very enthusiastic and had so many ideas for the upcoming year.”

During camp, Emma Byrd took the lead in helping keep everyone on track and organized. Abby Grimes, Lily Read, and Marae Pounds all had great ideas and were especially excited about planning homecoming festivities and pep rallies.

Kyli Handley and Kaleigh Acrey worked hard on stunting and tumbling and hope to incorporate more of these skills into pep rallies and games during the next school year. Pounds said the girls are committed to working hard this year.

Nine out of 10 squad members are also volleyball athletes, some will run cross country, a few have livestock and projects for the county fair, and several will be taking college classes. The girls will have to balance all of these activities that take place at the beginning of the school year.

Pounds has no doubt that her team is ready for this challenge.

The junior high squad is coach by Carrie Garsee.

The girls had a blast at camp and were able to bring home several new cheers, chants, and dances. Like the varsity squad, these junior high cheerleaders are very excited about the upcoming season. The junior high squad should be fun to watch this year as they are ‘full of spirit’.

Junior high cheerleaders for this year are Hailey Purvis, Danielle Hicks, Macey Davis, Madilyn Myers, Brenna Whitworth, Sadie Garsee, TanaLyn Knox and Kendal Watton.

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Hanks named Lady Eagles head coach

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071422 lady eagles coach

From Staff Reports

WOODVILLE – There is excitement over at the Woodville ISD athletics program, as Woodville High School alumnus Brock Hanks was announced to step in and head up the Lady Eagles softball program.

Hanks, a 2004 WHS grad, previously coached and taught at Warren ISD, and has eight years of experience under his belt.

Hanks inherits a program that saw success last season with the girls achieving the Area championship and notching a 25-9-2 overall record for the season.

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Gilzows set to play softball at Kilgore

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070722 chester athletes Audrey and Olivia Gilzow have made it official. The twins are headed to play softball for Kilgore Junior College this fall. Pictured with Audrey and Olivia is Coach Marty Thompson. Photo by Jana Rayburn

By Jana Rayburn

CHESTER – Audrey and Olivia Gilzow, 2022 graduates of Chester High School, are headed to Kilgore to play softball for Kilgore Junior College.

Audrey and Olivia have played softball most of their lives and helped advance the Lady Jackets to the third round of the state softball playoffs three of the past four years.

During high school, Audrey played in the infield, primarily at third base, and was very successful at the plate. She ended the season with a 460 batting average and had six home runs. Olivia pitched for the Lady Jackets, and also played at first and second base. Like Audrey, Olivia was a force at the plate, with a batting average of 440 and seven home runs during this past season.

The day after their high school graduation, Audrey and Olivia headed to Kilgore for a tryout camp. The coaches at Kilgore offered both Audrey and Olivia scholarships, and the girls have accepted the offers. They will move to Kilgore in August to start classes and softball practice.

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