Yellowjackets host Indians, Eagles in home openers

Yellowjacket Dane Barnes goes up for a shot in the Jackets' home opener against the Apple Spring Eagles. (Photo by Jana Rayburn)Yellowjacket Dane Barnes goes up for a shot in the Jackets' home opener against the Apple Spring Eagles. (Photo by Jana Rayburn)The Chester varsity boys hosted the Zavalla Eagles on Tuesday, Nov. 21. The Jackets were defeated by the Eagles 53-69. Cade Parrish led the Jackets with 20 points. Dane Barnes was close behind with 17. Dean Brown, J.D. Clarke, and J.T. Martin also got on the board for the Jackets.

The Chester varsity girls basketball team played the Groveton Lady Indians in their first game of the season on Monday, Nov. 20. This was a tough loss for the Lady Jackets, with the final score 21-45.
Ashlyn Overstreet scored 8 points for the Lady Jackets. Also scoring for the Lady Jackets were Carmen Mahaffey, Danique Davis, Annie Rayburn, Taylor Handley, and Meagan Clarke.
The Lady Jackets took on the Zavalla Lady Eagles on Tuesday, Nov. 21, and the Lady Jackets got the win. The Lady Jackets outscored the Lady Eagles 21-20. Mahaffey led the Lady Jackets with 7 points. Also putting points on the board were Handley, Clarke, Rayburn, Overstreet, and Jasmine Mitchell.
Both the varsity boys and girls will play in the Apple Springs Tournament on Thursday through Saturday, Nov. 30 – Dec. 2.

On Tuesday, December 5, both teams will be on the road. The varsity girls will travel to Burkeville for their first district game and the varsity boys will travel to West Hardin to take on the Oilers. Both the girls and boys games will begin at 6 p.m.

Woodville falls in area round

By Hale Hughes

CYPRESS—This area playoff game was dramatic from the onset as Woodville's CJ Wooten returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown within a mere 14 seconds into the game. Woodville's power runner Zack Martin ran in the two-point conversion to give the Eagles the early lead and put Rockdale on notice that Woodville was here to win.

Woodville began the game with huge momentum as the Eagle defense forced a three and out for the Tigers.

A miserable punt by Rockdale gave the Eagles tremendous field position at the Tiger 32-yard line. It looked like the Eagles were sure to go up early by two touchdowns, but the Tiger defense held, forcing the Eagles to settle for a field goal.

Tyler Greer's kick was good and gave the Eagles an 11-0 lead with 6:56 left in the first quarter.
Woodville's success on their two opening drives seemed to wake up the Tigers.

Rockdale pieced together some momentum with a big run, mixed in with some of their passing attack and got on the board at the 4:47 mark of the first quarter to close the gap 11-7, still in favor of the Eagles.

That offensive momentum for the Tigers translated to some defensive momentum as well as Rockdale stopped the Eagle offense on their next possession.

Woodville punted and the Tigers took the ball and drove on the Woodville defense before a fumble stopped Rockdale.

Woodville had another offensive opportunity but was stopped quick on the possession. Rockdale returned the punt to the Woodville 25-yard line to give the Tigers their best starting field position with just over a minute in the first quarter.

Rockdale took the ball and gained their first lead of the game in the early part of the second quarter with a TD pass across the middle making the score 14-11 in favor of the Tigers.

CJ Wooten was the star for Woodville with his two kickoff returns for touchdowns coupled with two rushing touchdowns delivering four scores for the Eagles on this night.

Wooten appeared to be in video game mode and was the class of the field with his speed. Rockdale simply didn't have an answer for Wooten once he was in the open field. He scored his second kickoff return touchdown on the ensuing kickoff with a 95-yard return to allow the Eagles to immediately retake the lead 17-14 at 10:53 mark of the second quarter.

The Woodville defense held the Tiger offense and forced a punt with Woodville taking over on their own 12-yard line.

Woodville strung together a 13-play, 88-yard scoring drive highlighted by a 38-yard run by Martin that culminated with Wooten scoring around the left side, giving Woodville a 24-14 lead with 4:03 in the second quarter. This would prove to be Woodville's best offensive drive of the game.

Rockdale took over and quickly moved the ball on a five play, 63-yard scoring drive highlighted by two passes both to their tight end, first with a 44-yard pass reception to get the ball down to the 25-yard line and then a 10-yard strike across the middle for a touchdown.

This narrowed the Eagle lead to 24-21 with 2:33 left in the half. The Eagles would take that lead into the halftime break.

The special teams that had kept the Eagles' in the game during the first half had a meltdown in the second half. With two punts blocked and one resulting in a scoop and score for Rockdale, the Eagles were dealt a serious blow to its hopes for making school history by advancing to the regional round.
Rockdale simply rolled in the second half, notching 34 more points against the Eagles. Woodville would add a second half Wooten touchdown, but the outcome was fairly certain at that point, with a final score of 55-30 in favor of the Tigers.

ROCKDALE: The Tiger offense used a sharp passing attack sprinkled with periodic runs to move the ball against the Eagles. Rockdale's offense was slowed at times by the Eagle defense but the Tigers continued to find more success against Woodville as the game progressed.

WOODVILLE: The Eagles' special teams kept pace with the Tiger offense for much of the first half with Wooten returning two kickoffs for scores. The Eagles' two leading rushers for the season, Martin and DaMichael Brooks were kept out of the end zone. Special teams play was disastrous for the Eagles in the second half, with three blocked punts and one returned for a score. The Tigers also were successful against the Eagles with an onside kick late in the game that led to an additional Rockdale touchdown. Woodville had won its previous nine consecutive games, losing only to 4A Madisonville on September 8.

WOODVILLE: The Eagles end their season 9-2. The boys will start their basketball season and join the Lady Eagles who started their season three weeks ago.

The Lady Dogs had a great season

The Ladydog Volleyball team before bi-district playoffs.The Ladydog Volleyball team before bi-district playoffs.

By Gaby Reynolds

The Colmesneil Lady Dogs finished their season on Nov. 4. The Lady Dogs were second in district and bi-district champs. Last Tuesday the Lady Dogs fought hard for their bi-district win against Hull Daisetta.

The Ladydogs were down by two games and came back and won the last three. They went on to area where they played the three-time defending state champs. Although the game did not turn out the way that they hoped it would have, the Ladydogs learned a lot about the future of their volleyball program. Each and every player has worked hard and came along way during the season.

"I would like to especially thank our seniors, Bethany Gilbert, Lindsey Dobbins, Rylee Smith, Gabby Reynolds, and Nature Jackson for their leadership throughout the year," Coach Ashley Currington said. "Each one of them have left a legacy in this program that their teammates will carry on. They have left a lasting impact on me and I am grateful to have been a part of their junior and senior season. I am excited and I look forward to the even bigger and better things the program will achieve next year."

Eagles notch convincing wins in football, volleyball


By Hale Hughes

Moran on the Move:  Woodville’s Kemo Moran returns a kickoff for the Woodville Eagles. (Hale Hughes photo)Moran on the Move:  Woodville’s Kemo Moran returns a kickoff for the Woodville Eagles. (Hale Hughes photo)Head football coach Ty Robinson took his team to Buna for a District 22-3A tilt against perennially tough Buna who seems to battle Woodville each year.

With the home field advantage, this year would prove no different.

It was Buna who drew first blood, scoring first against the visiting Eagles to give the Cougars an early 8-0 lead. The Buna defense was a challenge and the Eagles proved to be up to the task by answering with an 86-yard TD run by junior Zack Martin to bring the game close with the Cougars leading 8-7 at halftime.

It's not known what coach Robinson said in the dressing room to his squad during the break, but whatever it was, he should bottle it up and sell it.

The Eagles came out after halftime and simply took over the game. It was like watching two entirely different teams. The Cougars who had looked good for the first two quarters, now looked very beatable.

Conversely, the Eagles who looked equally good the first half, were simply sensational the final two quarters.

"We knew this was going to be a dogfight," Robinson said after the game. "It always is with them. This community has a lot of pride in their team and it shows. I have a great deal of respect for Buna and you just can't take them lightly."

Woodville would go on to score five second half touchdowns, spreading the ball all over to multiple ball carriers. Martin added another touchdown run in the second half to give him two touchdowns on the night, while senior fullback Reed Weaver added two touchdowns of his own to increase Woodville's lead. Junior quarterback Reese Shaw notched a touchdown and so did senior CJ Wooten.

Woodville's offensive power seemed too much for the Cougar defense the second half.

Woodville seemed to take the wind out of the Buna offense who just couldn't seem to get any momentum going like they had at the beginning of the game.

"Our kids really came out after halftime and responded," Robinson said. "We had a few breaks in the third quarter that helped us gain momentum and give us the upper hand."

When asked to elaborate, Robinson replied, "I think the key shift in the game was during Buna's first drive in the third quarter.
Linebacker Marcos Broom stripped the ball from their fullback and we recovered it. It seemed to ignite us and deflate them all at the same time."

Woodville won the game by a final margin of 43-14, once again having the Eagle offense flirting with 40-plus points for the fourth week in a row.

Woodville (6-1,4-0) looks ahead to Kountze, (1-4, 0-3) at Eagle Stadium on Oct. 27. The Eagles follow with a bye week and then will face the district's only other unbeaten team in district play, Coldspring, (4-2, 3-0) at Coldspring on Nov. 10 to close out the regular season.

Lady Eagles tame Bulldogs
The Woodville Lady Eagles hosted rival Garrison Friday for Senior Night, honoring their 2019 seniors before the game. Seniors Sydney Smith, Alexis Ferguson and Josie Watts were recognized for their four years of effort and success by head coach Kaila Foster before a packed crowd at the Eagle Summit.
Yoselin & Lesli Miranda were also recognized before the home crowd as seniors for their efforts competing in cross country.
Woodville dominated Garrison from the first serve, taking down the visitors in straight sets 25-7, 25-7, 25-11.
It was a great win for the Lady Eagles and a sure momentum boost as the Lady Eagles take winning momentum into the playoffs as they prepare for the post season.

Pirates’ Cross Country team runs through district

By Hannah Grissom

On Wednesday, Oct. 11, the Spurger Pirate Cross Country team ran in the District meet. This meet was held in Lufkin, Texas.

The junior high teams got to participate in the District meet. The junior high boys placed second overall.

Colton Jenkins placed the highest by receiving second.

The junior high girls also placed second overall. Shoney Eason placed the highest by receiving second place as well.

The Spurger High School boys, placed second in District with Gantt Stone placing seventh, Chase Shook placing eighth, and Christian Urias-Jimenez placing 10th .

The Spurger High School girls however, were District Champions. Sayri Urias-Jimenez placed second, Lana Whiteside placed third, McKenzy Hatton placed fourth, Lauren Griffin placed fifth, Justine Loechel placed seventh, Abigail Sirmons placed ninth, and Shelly Martin placed tenth. The high school teams ran Oct. 23, in Corpus Christi for the Regional meet.

Yellowjackets fall to Lions in district opener

By Jana Rayburn

Chester high school and junior high football teams hosted Leverett's Chapel on Friday, Oct. 20.
The junior high game was played first, and the Jackets fell to the Lions 0-20. Carson Thomson led the team as quarterback. Luke Read and Colton Pursley also played a great game for the Jackets.

The high school took the field next, and although the Jackets battled the entire game against one of the best teams in the district, Chester fell to Leverett's Chapel 6-54.

Coach Jeremy Wooten said this about Friday night's loss, "Our youth showed tonight. We played without one of our senior leaders, who is out with an injury."

Wooten had nothing but praise for the underclassmen who stepped up and showed some grit.
Seth Read led the team brilliantly on only his second game as quarterback. Dean Brown had some great catches as wide receiver.

Defensively, there were a lot of good hits. J.T. Martin got some hard hits, and Brown got some great tackles. Jake Pitre made numerous tackles against much larger opponents. Braydin Davis stepped up on defense with numerous quarterback hurries, a fumble recovery, and a couple of tackles.

The junior high will travel to High Island to battle the Cardinals on Thursday, Oct. 26. Kick-off will be at 5 p.m.

Friday, Oct. 27 will be a big night at Aubry Bradley Stadium in Chester. This will be both Homecoming and Senior night for the Yellowjackets. The football game Friday, Oct. 27 will pit the Jackets against the High Island Cardinals with kickoff at 7:30 p.m.

Homecoming coronation will be held pre-game beginning at 7 p.m. and Senior night recognition will be held at half time.

The Yellowjacket cross country teams both earned the right to compete in the Region IV Cross Country meet in Corpus Christi. The girls team won the district championship, while the boys finished in third place. Boys team members are Dane Barnes, Cade Parrish, J.T. Martin, Levi Goins, and Austin Haskett. Girls team members are Haley Cowan, Selah Spaulding, Annie Rayburn, Faith Loughner, Brianna Cowan, and Jasmine Mitchell.

Coach Charlotte Barnes is hopeful that some of the athletes will advance to the state meet, as they have put in a great deal of practice. The state meet in held in Round Rock at Old Settlers Park on Saturday, Nov. 4.

The Lady Jackets volleyball team is nearing the end of district play. The team defeated the Leggett Pirates in three straight sets on Tuesday, October 17 and easily beat the Goodrich Lady Hornets in three straight sets on Friday, Oct. 20.

The Lady Jackets have clenched their spot as the number one seed in Class 1A. They will have two byes before their first playoff game, which will be the regional quarterfinal round.

To get some practice in before their playoff run, the Lady Jackets will play a warm-up game against the Hull Daisetta Lady Bobcats. This game will be played on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 2 p.m. at Warren High School. This will be the second meeting between these two teams, as the Lady Jackets defeated the Lady Bobcats in 5 sets earlier in the season.