Chester upsets Apple Springs in last District game

by Jana Rayburn

Cord Neal gets set to shoot a free throw against the Eagles.  Neal scored 27 points during the game.Cord Neal gets set to shoot a free throw against the Eagles. Neal scored 27 points during the game.The Chester boys basketball team has finished out their regular season in 3rd place and are headed into post-season play.

The Jackets played their final district game in Apple Springs on Monday, February 13. This game was a must win for the Jackets, and despite an overly aggressive Eagle team, the Jackets got the win 70-50. Cord Neal was high point of the night with 27 points. Other Jackets contributing on the scoreboard were Dane Barnes with 16 points, Seth Read with 12 points, Colten Martin with 8 points, and Jaqualin George with 7 points.
The Jackets have a tough starting lineup and a strong bench to pull from. Senior Neal leads the team in scoring, and is definitely a presence on the court. Neal averaged over 25 points per game during district play. Barnes is a strong ball handler and an overall smart player. He has high percentages in both 3-pointers and free throws. Read is a beast under the goal. He is aggressive on offense and on defense. Martin is a strong rebounder, and is a reliable and consistent presence on the court. George has speed, and his defensive skills are an asset for the team. Clay Thomson uses his height to his advantage, rebounding and playing hard under the goal. Freshman J.D. Clarke has stepped up this year and improved with each game he played. Junior Henson brings aggressiveness to the game. J.T. Martin is hard working and enthusiastic. The Jackets are also lucky enough to have two great managers in Cooper Bendy and Stran Hines.

The Chester Lady Jacket softball team has been hard at work preparing for this season. Coaches Jeremy Wooten and Becki Byrd believe they have the right group of girls to have a successful season. Coach Byrd added, "We are a work in progress right now. The games we play before district starts will be the time for our players to get used to their positions in game situations. We need to get all the kinks worked out before our first district game on March 7."

The Lady Jackets will play Lovelady in an away game on Tuesday, February 28 at 6 p.m.