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Coaching staff additions to Warrior ranks

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060922 scott keyScott KeyBy Chris Edwards
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WARREN – Some additions were named to the coaching ranks in Warrior country last week.

Warren ISD will welcome a new head baseball coach, along with a full-time trainer and conditioning coach.

Scott Kay, from Silsbee, was named to be the new head baseball coach for the Warriors.
In a statement from Warren ISD, the district is excited for Kay to join the ranks, as he “brings passion, energy, and knowledge to the table. He has a strong heart for kids and values the role athletics plays in the development of our young students.”

Kay, who graduated from Lamar University in 2018, joins the Warrior baseball program after serving as a head coach for both boys and girls sports at Beaumont’s Odom Academy.

In addition to Kay’s appointment, the Warriors’ athletics program also welcomed aboard, for the first time, a full-time athletic trainer and strength and conditioning coach, who will work with the Warriors and Lady Warrior teams starting in the fall.

“It’s my pleasure to announce for the first time in Warren ISD’s history a full-time athletic trainer and strength and conditioning coach,” Warren ISD Athletic Director Austin Smithey said.

Chase Burkhalter will join the Tribe’s faculty and staff as athletic trainer and Stratton Williams will serve as strength and conditioning coordinator for Warren ISD.

Burkhalter previously taught and coached at Newton ISD, and Williams, prior starting at Warren ISD last fall as the Warriors’ offensive coordinator, taught and coached at Rockport-Fulton High School.

In other Warrior baseball news, two team members were named to the District 22-3A All-District honors last week.

Parker Brocato was named first-team pitcher and Mason Scarborough was named second team second baseman.

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Yellowjackets honored at year-end awards

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060922 yellowjackets banquetChester ISD Athletic Director Coleman Butter was proud to recognize the athletes of CHS and talk about their accomplishments. Photo by Jana Rayburn

By Jana Rayburn

CHESTER – The Yellowjacket Athletic Banquet was held a few weeks ago in Julius P. Johnson Gymnasium. High school student athletes were recognized for their hard work put in this past school year, whether it be on the baseball or football field, in the gym, on the track, or on the golf course.

The Yellowjackets have had a successful year. As for the Lady Jackets, the volleyball team advanced to the third round of the playoffs, the basketball team finished district in second place, and the softball team advanced to the third round of playoffs again.

Several girls advanced to the regional track meet as well. The Yellowjackets had their best year in several years. The golf team advanced to compete in the state golf tournament and the baseball team advanced to the third round and gave Kennard a run for their money. Several boys also advanced to regionals in track.

This night of awards also recognized the Most Valuable Player in each sport. Lily Read was named MVP for volleyball and basketball. Bailey Fann was cross-country MVP.

Audrey Gilzow and Olivia Gilzow shared the MVP award in softball, and Trinity Jerkins was named Track and Field MVP. Aubry Bradley award winners were Kat Knox and Emma Grimes. Carson Thomson was named MVP for football.

Zayne Barnhart and Peanut Fann shared the cross-country MVP award. Jack Rayburn and Carson Thomson were co-MVP’s for basketball. Anthony White was the Track and Field MVP.

Will Thomason was the Golf MVP. The baseball MVP was shared between Carsyn Whitworth, Carson Thomson and Peanut Fann.
The Aubry Bradley award winner was Carson Thomson.

Receiving their letter jackets, for two years playing a varsity sport, were: Zayne Barnhart, Levi Barnhart, Elysia Gray, Hayden Guerra, Jaxon Hilliard, Kessler Romo, Alyssa White, Kinsley Barnes, Cole Clarke, Keighen Green, Koree Hilliard, Jeff Knox, Kat Knox and Travis Zulpo.

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Tennis legend Ramos retiring

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 Colmesneil Tennis TeamCoach Sergio Ramos with a group of Bulldog and Lady Dog tennis athletes on Friday. Photo by Chris Edwards

New tennis courts at Colmesneil unveiled

By Chris Edwards
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Tennis is, in the words of legendary coach Sergio Ramos, “a lifetime sport.”

Ramos, who is one of the winningest tennis coaches in Texas high school history, announced his retirement, and was celebrated on the same day as a new, state-of-the-art tennis facility was unveiled.

Ramos, who has taught and coached at Colmesneil High School for several years now, spoke to the public and helped unveil the district’s new tennis courts, which are made with post-tension concrete and made to last for many years.

Throughout his 55 years as a coach and educator, he said his goal has been to always promote tennis as a lifelong sport.

“Mental toughness is so important,” he said. “The game is 90% mental and 10% physical.”

In a career that goes back to the late 1960s, Ramos likely has one of the most decorated mantles in Tyler County, with awards and citations from numerous organizations, and as the feather in his cap: an induction in 2008 to the Texas Tennis Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

In addition to his numerous awards and honors, an annual tennis tournament in Beaumont was named in his honor and draws teams from all over the region.

A scholarship for high school senior tennis players was also set up to honor Ramos, in 2016, and Ramos has also been a leading light in the Tyler County community outside of the schools he has served, volunteering for a variety of causes, and serving with the Woodville Lions Club for many years.

Most of Ramos’ career was spent at Woodville ISD, and in that time, Ramos saw teams go to the state finals six different years. In addition to that, his teams won district honors 26 years in a row. His most recent teams won district honors, for CHS.

In addition to all of his prowess on the court and in the classroom, the Mexican-born Ramos also became a U.S. citizen in 1970. 

During the ribbon cutting ceremony at Colmesneil last Friday, Ramos said that although he might be retiring from coaching, he will still get out on the tennis courts as much as he can.

Coach Sergio RamosCoach Sergio Ramos speaks. Photo by Chris Edwards

Ramos, during his remarks, had several friends from the tennis world come and speak about him, including former Lamar University tennis coach Ron Westbrook, who agreed that tennis is a lifelong sport.

Davy Wong, a former Lamar tennis player and current women’s tennis coach, also spoke, as did Sheila McGinnis, a high school tennis tournament director and Cindy Benson, who is the Texas representative for the United States Tennis Association.

Former Colmesneil HS tennis players Judge Jacques Blanchette and Jeff Moffett were also present to help celebrate the new courts being open for play.

Longtime CISD administrator Walter McAlpin, who is also retiring this year, introduced Ramos, and joked about his lack of experience in the game of tennis when he came to Colmesneil. McAlpin initially served as tennis coach, when the courts were located in front of a then-new high school addition, which faced FM 256. 

Until recently, the teams were practicing in the old gym with a moveable net.

Prior to the ribbon cutting, Ramos addressed the recent tragedy in Uvalde, and said that it was important to reflect and pray in the face of such devastating events.

Ramos, who is known for dispelling wisdom to his players, is fond of saying that “when excellence and winning become a tradition, everything falls into place.” He said that applies when things are going good. When things are going ‘not so good,’ he shares these words, “Remember who you are and remember who you represent.”


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Lady Indians moving forward

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The Lady Indians continue their romp through the 3A postseason with two wins over West Sabine. Courtesy photoThe Lady Indians continue their romp through the 3A postseason with two wins over West Sabine. Courtesy photo

Special to the News-Standard

LUFKIN — The Lady Indians are moving on to the regional semifinals after two wins over West Sabine in the quarterfinal rounds on Thursday and Friday.

West Sabine, the defending regional champs, lost 3-1 on Thursday and 5-0 on Friday. 

Coach Chris Sexton said Game 1 was a pitching and defensive dual between the two teams with both teams pitching shutouts until the fifth, when West Sabine notched a run. 

The Lady Indians would respond in the bottom of the sixth when, with two runners on, Megan Luce comes up and on the first pitch hits a 3-run homer over the centerfield wall, giving the Lady Indians a 3-1 lead.

The girls would hold lead through the seventh and for the win. 

Lexi Easterling, Kiki Smith, Landree Martin and Luce provided the hits for Groveton, with Luce’s homer being the key to the win.

Luce also got the win on the mound, pitching just over 6 innings; Martin closed the game, and the two combined for 6 strikeouts while allowing only 4 hits.

In game 2, the Ladies started fast at the plate, scoring 3 runs in the first. The bats went cold until the fifth when the ladies put up 2 more for a 5-0 lead. 

Sexton said West Sabine would threaten a couple times to score, but the pitching and defense were on point to finish the game and the ladies come away with a 5-0 victory.

Abby Lee, Easterling, Smith, Martin and Luce each got a hit in the contest.

Martin had full mound duty, allowing only four hits and one base on balls while tossing nine strikeouts.

Groveton faces Kerens at Whitehouse High School in Whitehouse for a three-game series on Thursday.

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Yellowjackets sweep North Zulch; Headed to playoff round three

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baseball illus

By Jana Rayburn

The Chester Yellowjacket baseball team swept the North Zulch Bulldogs last weekend in the Regional Quarterfinals.  North Zulch was a well-coach and tough team, and this made for two exciting games.  Game one was played in Jasper, and the Jackets won 7-6.  The Jackets were led by Peanut Fann on the mound, Carsyn Whitworth behind the plate, Will Thomason at third base, and Jack Rayburn in the outfield.  These four defensive standouts made it possible for the Jackets to take game one.  Fann threw a complete game.  Offensively, Chester was led by Bradley Davison who had two hits and four RBI’s and Cole Clarke who had three hits and scored three runs as well. Trayce Knox scored the winning run in the home half of the 7th and gave us the momentum going into Saturday’s game, which took place in Mumford.  Game two was another battle, but the Jackets are no stranger to tough and close games. Defensively, the team was led by Carson Thomson on the mound, who threw a complete game two hitter and only allowed one run.  Doing the catching again was Carsyn Whitworth, who did a great job holding the runners close to bases and throwing one Bulldog out trying to steal second. Jack Rayburn caught two fly balls in the outfield and Will Thomason and Luke Read did great jobs on the infield protecting our narrow lead. Offensively, we had just four hits, but they proved to be enough to win this tight game.  Carson Thomson and Cole Clarke scored the two runs needed to take the win by a score of 2-1.
 The Yellowjackets will play the Kennard Tigers in a series for the Regional Semi-final round.  Game one will be on Thursday, May 19 at 6 p.m.  Game two will be on Friday, May 20 at 5 p.m.  Game three, if necessary, will be played 30 minutes after the conclusion of game two.  All games will be played at Gary High School.  Come out and support these boys and coaches, as they have put in many hours to get to this round. 

The Chester Lady Jackets season came to an end last week, as they were knocked out of the playoffs by Chireno.  Game one of the series took place on Thursday, May 12 at Central High School.  Olivia Gilzow pitched a phenomenal game, striking out eight Lady Owls and hitting a home run in seventh inning.  The game stayed scoreless through the third inning.  Chireno put up the first run in the fourth inning, and never lost their lead.  The Lady Jackets lost 3-5.  Game two on Friday was also played at Central High School.  Kaylee Tolar and Olivia Gilzow both put in time in the circle.  Chester started off behind but rallied back in the bottom of the seventh inning and came close to catching the Lady Owls.  The Lady Jackets lost 6-7.   

It was truly a team effort and the Lady Jackets kept on pushing and supporting each other until the end. Coach Marty Thompson and assistant coach Lindsey Thompson were proud of the fight the girls put up and the great season they had. 

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