Coach DeWayne Armstrong gives the Lady Jacket volleyball team some pointers. The team is preparing for their district opener at Apple Springs on Friday, Sept. 8 at 4:30 p.m. (Jana Rayburn.)
By Jana Rayburn
Chester I.S.D. and the surrounding community were very blessed to come through the last week without any physical damage.
Even though Chester received several inches of rain, our schools, athletic fields, and homes are dry. We are very thankful for this, and ready to get back to a sense of normalcy both in the classroom, on the field, and in the gym. Chester High School took a week off from school and athletic competitions for Hurricane Harvey, but the athletes are working hard to be ready for some big games coming up this weekend. The Lady Jacket volleyball team will have their first district game against Apple Springs on Friday, Sept. 8 in Apple Springs. The varsity game will start at 4:30.
This is a huge game for the Jackets. The Lady Jackets have some unfinished business to take care of, as the Lady Eagles defeated Chester in both district games last year.
The junior varsity team will compete in the Corrigan JV volleyball tournament Thursday and Saturday, Sept. 7 and 9. Game times are to be announced.
The Lady Jackets will host the Colmesneil Lady Bulldogs for a district game on Tuesday, Sept. 12. The junior varsity game will get started at 4:30 p.m., with the varsity to follow.
The Chester varsity football team will play its first game of the season Friday, Sept. 8 as they play host to Marshall Christian Academy Guardians. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. at Aubry Bradley Stadium.
The Yellowjacket cross country teams will travel to Grapeland on Saturday, Sept. 9 for their first meet of the season. The past two meets were cancelled due to the weather, so Coach Charlotte Barnes is excited to see how our runners measure up against competition. The meet will begin at 8 a.m. with the varsity girls division.
Keyonna Pairie gets some air as she spikes the ball past a defender in last weekend’s huge Woodville Tournament. (Hale Hughes photo)
By Hale Hughes
Last weekend, Woodville hosted the largest preseason tournament in the area as 24 teams converged on the Summit to officially get the 2017 season underway. Pool games were held on Thursday, giving teams two games each to prepare for Saturday's tournament bracket play. All three courts at the Summit were used and fans were shoulder to shoulder and stacked as much as three deep in some areas to see all the action that East Texas had to offer.
Teams classified from 2A-5A travelled from as far as Beaumont to compete in this massive tournament. Teams were divided into three brackets, gold, silver and bronze and played a best-of-three series for each match.
Brackets and teams were evenly matched as many of the games went to the third and decisive game to decide the winner. Woodville was no stranger to close games and had their fair share of competition.
Head coach Kaila Foster saw flashes of brilliant play from the Lady Eagles as they would rally hard to win points and showed real promise for the season ahead. However, being early preseason, she also saw some sloppy play and noted that her team was still a bit out of shape and conditioning was still an issue.
Foster's hometown Lady Eagles wasn't the only team to see disorder in their game and some coaches even took their teams out in the sweltering Saturday heat to have them run alongside the track to make up for erroneous execution during games on the courts.
Some fans were disgruntled by having to sit on the floor surrounding the courts in such close proximity to the action, but there was no denying that the atmosphere at Summit was electric. It was good business for Woodville as well. Concessions at the Summit were constantly busy and some teams gathered their players between games and bused them to local restaurants to feed them. It seemed there was as much action as the Summit could contain, until it couldn't contain it.
Shortly before 6 p.m., a transformer blew and left the Summit without power and in the dark.
Foster and girls' athletic director Troy Carrell scrambled to find a way to finish the tournament.
After quick discussions and a few phone calls amongst the coaches and referees, it was decided to relocate the players from each of the remaining schools as well as the coaches and referees to Lumberton to finish the remaining games in what was sure to go down as a very wild and memorable tournament.
Senior Laikyn Bell with the kill against Groveton. (Doug Glosson photo)
By Doug Glosson
The Lady Warriors, coming off their first season to make the playoffs in several years, have been hard at work aiming to make another run to the playoffs in 2017. With eight seniors and two juniors, they are poised to make that run.
On Aug. 4, the Lady Warriors hosted Groveton for a timed 50-minute scrimmage.
In the first 25 minutes, the Lady Warriors started out slow, finding themselves down to Groveton 16-9, but with Erin Foster serving and a timely kill by Claire McEachern, Warren was able to make a run to tie the game at 18.
The game was tied at 22 when Foster placed a nice kill just over the net to go up by one. The Lady Warriors would not look back from this point on.
Laikyn Bell served as Warren went on a 10-0 run to push their lead up 32-22 and go on to take the first 25 minute of play 35-25.
In the second 25 minutes, the game stated close for several points. The Lady Warriors were down by one at 15-14 before a couple of aces by McEachern and kills by Foster, Bell, and Samantha Marlar helped Warren go on a 6-0 run and take a lead they would not relinquish.
A block and a kill by Bailey Hamilton followed by another kill by McEachern finished off the scrimmage against Groveton with the Lady Warriors up 32-24.
"I thought we looked really strong. We started off a bit slow, but after we got warm, we really started to groove. It was like we picked up where we left off at the end of last season," Coach Michelle Weichert said. "We have six returning varsity, so we should do well. We are looking to continue our playoff run this season.
Outside Hitter of the Year 2016, Laikyn Bell, will be a huge part of our offense, paired with our big middle, Bailey Hamilton, outside Lindi Barnett, right side Claire McEachern, and three time varsity setter Erin Foster will round out the offense. We have a lot of experience with seniors Kynsi Gillis and Taylor Renick at the libero position, and we pick up three more seniors, Steffanee Fregia, Samantha Marlar, and Alexis Arriola. I hope we dream big and work hard. We have the potential to make a good run this year. I'm super excited to see how these girls perform this year, having four years to watch them develop and grow into these amazing athletes. They have big shoes to fill, but I'm certain they are ready to shine."
"We have a tough schedule this season in hopes of preparing them for playoffs. These girls really make our job fun, and I am very blessed to have had this opportunity to coach them all through their high school careers," the coach continued. "No matter what we do this season, these girls are very special and will do wonderful things in their futures."
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.
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 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.