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Lady Jacket Volleyball starts with a win

Varsity and junior varsity Lady Jacket volleyball players pose before the game.  Pictured are:  Bottom row, left to right:  Carmen Mahaffey, Haley Cowan, Amory Parker, Meagan Clarke, Danique Davis; Middle Row, left to right:  Aaliyah Colwick, Chianne Chandler, Faith Loughner.; Back Row, left to right:  Jasmine Mitchell, Brianna Kort, Josey Sturrock, Belle Gilzow, Taylor Handley, Annie Rayburn, Sarah Brown.  Not pictured are Ashlyn Overstreet and Kristiana Smith.  Varsity and junior varsity Lady Jacket volleyball players pose before the game. Pictured are: Bottom row, left to right: Carmen Mahaffey, Haley Cowan, Amory Parker, Meagan Clarke, Danique Davis; Middle Row, left to right: Aaliyah Colwick, Chianne Chandler, Faith Loughner.; Back Row, left to right: Jasmine Mitchell, Brianna Kort, Josey Sturrock, Belle Gilzow, Taylor Handley, Annie Rayburn, Sarah Brown. Not pictured are Ashlyn Overstreet and Kristiana Smith.

Lady Jacket Volleyball starts with a win

By Jana Rayburn

The Chester varsity volleyball team opened up their season with a win against the San Augustine Lady Wolverines on Tuesday, August 8 in Chester. The Lady Jackets took game one with a score of 25-18. Game two went to the Lady Wolverines 22-25. The Lady Jackets came back determined to finish them off, and took both games three and four with scores of 25-13 and 25-17. The junior varsity team was also victorious against San Augustine, beating them in two games. Coach Dewayne Armstrong was pleased with how well both the varsity and JV played against San Augustine. Armstrong also said, "I am very proud of the hard work and dedication displayed in just the first two weeks of the season and I am excited to see how far we can go this year."

The Lady Jackets will be competing in the Groveton volleyball tournament to be held August 17 and 19. On Thursday, August 19, Chester will face Huntington at 3:00 p.m., Warren at 4:00 p.m., and Neches at 6:00 p.m. The tournament bracket for Saturday will depend on the results from Thursday's pool games.

The Lady Jackets will host the Hemphill Lady Hornets on Tuesday, August 22 at Julius P. Johnson Gymnasium in Chester. The junior varsity game will start at 4:30 p.m. and the varsity game will follow.

The Yellowjacket cross country teams are hard at work preparing for another stellar season. The boys and girls are getting ready for their first meet of the season, which will be held in Chester on Saturday, August 26. The 3rd Annual Jana Broxson Memorial Cross Country Invitational is hosted by Corrigan-Camden and benefits a scholarship to a Corrigan-Camden senior. Jana Broxson was a long-time employee of Corrigan-Camden ISD, but was a friend to all. Jana lost her hard-fought battle with cancer, but this event helps her memory live on. In addition to the varsity, junior varsity, and junior high division races, there will be a One-Mile Fun Run for the kids and an Open 5K Team Run.

The Jacket football team continues with their workouts, and Coach Jeremy Wooten is pleased with the progress the team has made in such a short period of time. The Jackets will travel to Apple Springs to scrimmage the Eagles on Friday, August 18 at 6:00 p.m.

Yellowjacket football, volleyball in full swing

By Jana Rayburn

The rain did not prevent Yellowjacket Seth Read from putting in work on the first day of two-a-day workouts at Aubry Bradley Stadium. (Jana Rayburn photo)The rain did not prevent Yellowjacket Seth Read from putting in work on the first day of two-a-day workouts at Aubry Bradley Stadium. (Jana Rayburn photo)Football season got underway earlier this week, and the Chester Yellowjackets showed up ready to get the season started. Coach Jeremy Wooten and his Yellowjackets started two-a-day workouts on a rainy Monday morning.

He was very pleased with the young men he will be coaching this season.

The Jackets will have a tough schedule this season, so these summer workouts will be very important to get these athletes ready for competition.

Volleyball season has also begun, and the Chester Lady Jackets have hit the gym ­— and the football field — and the hills on CR 2590. The team has taken advantage of the first week of two-a-days to get in shape.

Meagan Clarke said the workouts have been challenging. Clarke knows these challenges are necessary.

"The tough workouts will help us prepare to face our competitors," Clarke said.

The two-a-day workouts consisted of conditioning during the morning sessions and instruction/technique during the evening sessions.

The next few weeks will be very important because the team will learn to work together toward a common goal.
Haley Cowan believes the team will have an advantage this season.

"We help each other when we need it and encourage each other to improve our skills", said Cowan.

The teams traveled to San Augustine on Aug. 4 to participate in a three-way scrimmage with the San Augustine Lady Wolverines and the Shelbyville Lady Dragons. Both varsity and junior varsity teams played well and showed promise for the season to come.

These scrimmages helped the girls work out the kinks in game situations.

The Lady Jackets will play in Newton Friday, Aug. 11 at 4:30 p.m., and the team will be back on the road with a game in High Island Tuesday, Aug. 15 at 4:30 p.m.

Lady Dogs come together at volleyball season opener

Lady Dogs come together in scrimmage against Warren.  (Chrissy Reynolds photo)Lady Dogs come together in scrimmage against Warren.  (Chrissy Reynolds photo)

By Andrew Harmon

After a week of practices, the Colmesneil Lady Dogs Volleyball Team started their 2017 season on Saturday, Aug. 6 with a scrimmage against the Warren Lady Warriors. This was the first opportunity the Lady Dogs had, to see how skills developed from individual summer training would come together against an opponent.

The Lady Dogs handled themselves well throughout the entire game. Keeping their composure and quickly meshing on the court. Although the score was not recorded, it was a well-matched battle. The spectators showed excitement after the game because of the level of play displayed by Colmesneil's players.

"It went really great," said senior, Nature Jackson. "I saw a lot of potential with our team, and the progress we have made since Tuesday. I know we will only get better!" This was a shared view among her teammates.
On Tuesday, Aug. 8, the Lady Dogs scrimmage Onalaska in Colmesneil and have another chance to display their talents.

Yellowjacket athletes look forward to challenging season

Yellowjackets Cooper Bendy and Seth Read spot J.T. Martin as he puts in work in the weight room.Yellowjackets Cooper Bendy and Seth Read spot J.T. Martin as he puts in work in the weight room.

By Jana Rayburn

Texas high school football is kind of like that Texas Aggie saying, "From the outside looking in, you can't understand it. And from the inside looking out, you can't explain it." Yes, high school football is a really big deal in Texas, and 6-man football is getting more attention every year.

Football season will begin for most schools across Texas on Aug. 7, as two-a-days officially start on that date. However, many young men have been taking advantage of open weight rooms this summer, as they know that every edge they can gain before two-a-days will be crucial in their development as an athlete. Practice will start with conditioning, and full-contact may begin at the end of the week.

You would be hard-pressed to find someone more excited about the start of this season than Chester's head coach, Jeremy Wooten.

Wooten is counting down the days until he can get his team on the field and get to work. Wooten said he will have a team meeting on Aug. 6 at 6 p.m. Two-a-day workouts will begin the next morning at 8 a.m.

Senior Cooper Bendy is looking forward to his last year as a Yellowjacket. Bendy has taken advantage of the open gym and weight room this summer, and feels the summer workouts have helped him get stronger.

Senior Seth Read has also put in work this summer. Read is ready for the challenges he and his team will face this upcoming season.

"I think the biggest challenge this year will be for us older guys to step up and fill the leadership roles," Read said. "It will also be tough for the younger guys, who until this year have not gotten that 'on field' experience yet."

Read is looking forward to playing for Coach Wooten. He believes that Wooten will bring the team closer together.

Junior J.T. Martin is realistic about the upcoming challenges the team will face.
"We lost our quarterback, running back, and a great receiver. The backfield will have big shoes to fill without Colten Martin and Cord Neal, who graduated this past June," he said.
Martin has been working hard this summer to get stronger and faster, and says he is ready to get the team together and get to work.

These three agree that this season will not be without its challenges, but with Wooten leading them, they believe that the team will bond together and have a great time.

Chester will have two full weeks of practice before they scrimmage Damon High School at Aubry Bradley Stadium Friday, Aug. 18 at 6 p.m.

Coach Brinkley inspires her students to set high goals

by Hanna Grissom

Coach-BrinkleyCoach Carrie Brinkley graduated from Spurger High School where played volleyball, softball, tennis, ran cross country and track.

That's where Brinkley learned that winning is not everything.

"In life you are not always going to win, you have to learn to persevere and move on," she said.

"If you want something you have to put in hard work to get it. Hard work gets results," Brinkley said. "Being involved in sports taught me how to trust others as well as myself. Sports also taught me to accept criticism and use it to improve. You have to take chances. Life is short and you don't want to regret that you didn't give something a chance."

Brinkley went to Lamar University. Her inspiration to become a coach came from her high school coach, Debbie Hollyfield.

Throughout middle school and high school Carrie never even gave college a thought. She never made straight As or even Honor Roll. She didn't believe she had what it took to cut it in college.
She breezed through high school until halfway into her senior year. Coach Hollyfield helped Carrie believe in herself on and off the court, on the field, and throughout numerous counseling sessions on long bus rides.

"She motivated me to do something with my life," Brinkley said. "I will forever be in her debt for what she has done for me."

Brinkley has been coaching since 2006. She coaches the Spurger Pirate Tennis Team. Her goal as a coach is to make a difference in at least one student's life for the better. Carrie wants to be an example like her coach.

"You actually have to listen and show love to the kids you coach, not just coach them.

Brinkley wants her athletes to learn important life lessons through playing sports. She wants them to feel as if they belong to something awesome and for them to believe in themselves. She is loved by each and every one of her athletes.

Murphy Martin: A coach for all seasons at Spurger

by Hanna Grissom

Coach Murphy Martin graduated from Woodville High School in 1987. While in high school, Murphy played football, basketball, and ran track. From playing sports he learned to work hard and how to be part of a team. He also learned how to fail and not give up when things didn't go his way.

Growing up, Murphy played every sport he could. His dad was one of his very first coaches when he played Little League.

"He showed me how to work hard and practice even harder, so I could achieve my goals," Martin said.
He also had many coaches in high school that took the time to help him become a better person and player.

"I felt as if I could help others as well. So I decided to become a teacher and a coach," he said.
Coach Martin went to Stephan F. Austin University where he got his bachelor degree in All-level Kinesiology in 1992.

Murphy has been coaching for 24 years. He coached for three years at Hardin High School, for two years at Woodville High School and for 19 years at Spurger High School.

He is currently the Head Boys and Girls Cross Country Coach, the Head Boys and Girls Track Coach, the Assistant Boys Basketball Coach, and is teaching Special Education in the Junior High and High School.
His main goal as a coach is to treat his athletes with respect and teach them they can do anything they set their mind to accomplish.

"I want to try to instill in them how to work hard, set goals, and accomplish those goals; pushing them hard in practice while relating to them, like my coaches did to me," Martin said.

He wants athletes to give their all in every challenge they might face in life and to treat others with respect.