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 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.
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.
Donald Mayhugh has been named the new athletic director for Chester High School. Mayhugh was selected to replace Gary Beam, who left Chester after just one year in the position.
Mayhugh graduated from Texas A&M Commerce with a health education degree. He spent the last several years as the head coach for all boys sports at Martinsville High School.
Mayhugh is enthusiastic about becoming a Yellowjacket.
"I am excited about working with and assisting the different coaches on staff, as they have been very successful in the past," he said.
He hopes to learn a little from them and also help the other coaches any way he can. He is willing and ready to do whatever it takes to help all athletes at Chester to be successful.
He has held coaching jobs at small schools in the past and Mayhugh knows that one of the biggest hurdles will be sharing athletes with other sports. Sports and other school activities often overlap each other, and coaches must be flexible in scheduling practices and games that do not conflict with these other activities.
"I think that if you were to ask any coach this question, they would say their goal is to make the playoffs and win a championship," Mayhugh said.
He added that he feels both the boys and girls programs are in a good position and it is his goal — along with all the other coaches — to reach the playoffs in all the sports Chester High School participates in.
Mayhugh knows he is coming to a school that has had a pretty successful year all around in sports. The boys advanced past the district level in cross country, basketball, baseball, track, tennis, and golf. The girls advanced in volleyball, cross country, softball, track, and tennis. Mayhugh knows that several key contributors have graduated. He believes that it is important for the returning and incoming athletes to come back to school ready to take on bigger roles than they may have had in the last few years.
Mayhugh is already hard at work at Chester this summer and he is anxious to get started with his athletes this year.
Cord Neal from Chester won the gold in the triple jump at the Region 4 track meet in Huntsville last weekend. Neal earned a trip to Austin to compete in the state meet on May 11-13.
by Jana Rayburn
Region IV Track and Field Meet was held April 28-29 in Huntsville on the Sam Houston State University campus. The Chester Yellowjackets were just one of the many teams competing.
Cord Neal secured a trip to state with a 43' 5" triple jump for the first place medal. Neal also placed fourth in the long jump. The boys 4x200M relay team of Colten Martin, Caleb Sittig, Michael Castleberry, and Jaqualin George finished in fourth place with a time of 1:37.94. The boys 4x400M relay team of Neal, Martin, Castleberry, and George also placed fourth with a time of 3:40.15. Dane Barnes finished in fifth place in the 1600M run and seventh place in the 3200M run. Annie Rayburn finished fifth place in the 3200M run and ninth place in the 1600M run. Also competing for the Jackets were Amory Parker, Faith Loughner, and Danique Davis.
The Lady Jackets defeated the Zavalla Lady Eagles by a score of 13-10 on Monday, April 24. The Jackets took an early lead in the first inning, and kept hitting the ball. Zavalla got their bats going in the third inning to tie the score at 4-4. The Lady Jackets took the lead for good in the fourth inning as Ashlyn Overstreet doubled, driving in two runs. Belle Gilzow followed with a single, also driving in two runs. Gilzow pitched a good game for the Jackets, striking out six batters.
The Lady Jackets run ruled the Burkeville Lady Mustangs 15-0 in the first round of the playoffs on Tuesday, April 25. Donna Martin pitched a great game. Martin struck out four out of twelve batters faced, and allowed no hits. Hitting for the Jackets were Martin, Cowan, Spaulding, and Overstreet, with one hit apiece. Martin, Spaulding, and Overstreet also had two RBI's each. Coach Jeremy Wooten said this of his play-off run, "This team has made all of us proud. We are working hard and will be ready to battle."
The Lady Jackets will face the Kennard Lady Tigers in the regional quarterfinal round. The game will be Saturday, May 6 at 7 p.m. at the Groveton High School softball field.
The Chester boys baseball team played their final district game of the season on Wednesday, April 26 against the Zavalla Eagles. The Jackets defeated the Eagles 5-0. The senior players were honored just prior to the start of the game. Recognized were Cord Neal, Colten Martin, Clay Thomson, Junior Henson, and Cader Powell.
The Yellowjackets finished first in the 1A division of District 24. They will face either the Kennard Tigers or the Apple Springs Eagles. The Tigers and Eagles are currently tied and will play Tuesday, May 2. The Jackets are looking at a three game series early next week.
Warren seniors (left to right) – Kelby Weyler, Austin Scarborough, Ty Choate, and Hunter Welch. (Doug Glosson Photo)
by Doug Glosson
Baseball – The Warrior baseball team celebrated four seniors last Tuesday night.
Kelby Weyler has played varsity baseball all four years in high school. As a freshman, he was voted Pitcher of the Year, Co-MVP his sophomore year, and First Team All-District his junior year. Weyler will be attending Rice University in the Fall on a baseball scholarship and will pursue a degree in Sports Management. Austin Scarborough played all four years in high school and will attend Lamar Institute of Technology for a degree in Instrumentation.
Ty Choate played baseball, basketball, and football all four years as well as being involved in Christians in Action for three years. Choate will attend Lamar University for a year before transferring to Texas A&M University to earn a degree in Sports Medicine. Hunter Welch enjoys baseball, hunting, fishing, and four-wheeling and will be attending Lamar Institute of Technology in the Fall to study Instrumentation. All of these young men thanked their parents as well as all of their teammates for making the last four years a memorable time for them.
The Warren baseball team had an interesting week as they attempted to make the fourth and final playoff spot. It was not looking good after a loss to Hardin on Tuesday by a score of 5-1. Refusing to give up on the season, the boys showed up big at Anahuac on Friday, taking this one 8-0; forcing a three-way tie for fourth place in the district race.
By way of a coin flip, Warren had to travel to East Chambers on Saturday, where they took on 60 mph winds to take a 9-2 win, earning the Warriors a final showdown with Kountze on Monday night.
On Monday, the Warriors jumped out to an early 2-0 lead over Kountze, but let the door open with a couple of errors that the Lions were able to take advantage of. The Warriors had runners on in nearly every inning as well, but came up short by a score of 5-4, ending their season.
Softball – After beating Kountze last week and earning a spot in the playoffs, the Lady Warriors hosted Kountze last Tuesday to see who would be the third and fourth seeds. The Lady Warriors were down 5-3 in the fourth inning when Marion Purvis and Laikyn Bell both earned walks to put two runners on. After a double steal, Rachel Lee hit a two out RBI single, scoring Purvis. Bailey Hamilton then hit the ball to the shortstop, who could not handle it, scoring Bell and Lee; giving Warren a 6-5 lead.
With two outs and the Lady Warriors up in the top of the seventh 9-8, Kountze tied the game at nine with a homerun to left field. Warren however would come back in the bottom of the frame.
Purvis led off with a single and then moved around to third base by way of a stolen base and wild pitch. With two outs, Hallie Nevins slapped the ball to third. Kountze's third baseman bobbled the ball just enough for Nevins to make it to first base and hand the Lady Warriors a walk-off win with Purvis scoring from third. The win gave the Lady Warriors the third seed going into the game against Rice Consolidated of Altair on Thursday night in Centerville.
Warren started out well in this bi-district matchup, taking a 1-0 lead when Hamilton scored Bell from third on a fielder's choice. Rice took the 3-1 lead in the second inning, but the Lady Warriors tied the game at three in the top of the third inning with timely hits by Hamilton and Emily Cloud and a little help by Rice with a couple of errors. Rice, however, would continue to score in the fourth through sixth innings and close out the Lady Warriors season 11-4.