Seniors to State—Cameron Coker & Lyndsey Kinard will represent the Eagles at the state tournament in College Station. (Tyler Word Photo)
by Hale Hughes
On Monday and Tuesday, April 17 and 18, the Woodville High School tennis team competed at the Region III-3A tournament at A&M Consolidated High School in College Station. The teams that competed for the Eagles were Eli Shirley and Trevor Vardeman in boy's doubles, Caleb Powell and A.J. Worsley in boy's doubles, Yoselin and Leslie Miranda in girl's doubles, and Cameron Coker and Lyndsey Kinard in mixed doubles.
The boy's doubles teams bowed out in a tough first round, losing to #4 seed East Bernard and #3 seed McGregor.
"I thought we played good matches in both. Our energy level and play was good. We had few unforced errors and didn't give them many easy points. They were just better than us that day," said head tennis coach Tyler Word, in his first year at the helm of the Woodville tennis program. The Miranda twins played the #3 seeded team from Franklin and lost a tight three set match 6-4, 3-6, 6-4. Word was proud as he spoke of both Yoselin and Leslie's match and the effort they gave. "This was a tough loss because the Franklin girls breezed through to the finals and should have won the championship being up 6-1, 5-2. That tells you how close we were to advancing. That's just bad luck in the draws to get them first round. The girls fought hard as they have all year and I am so proud of them. The match just came down to a few points."
The mixed doubles team of Coker and Kinard were given the #2 seed going into the tournament with a 21-1 record. They breezed through the first two round by beating Westwood and Brazos with scores of 6-0, 6-0. The semifinal round they met an all too familiar opponent in #3 seed Kirbyville . They came in with a 2-1 record against them with all the matches this year being close ones, and this one proved to be a dandy as well. Coker and Kinard prevailed over the Wildcat duo in three sets with a 6-7 , 6-3, 6-1 win. "We knew coming into this that it was going to be a tough match," said Word. "Kirbyville played lights out in the first set and early in the second, making very few unforced errors. After the first set I told them that we were not playing bad, we just weren't being aggressive enough." Word continued, "We weren't sticking our volleys and we were giving them too many second chance opportunities. We came out playing a little conservative while Kirbyville was dictating play." Word reiterated to his team that it would take a more concentrated effort than that as he continued. "Anytime you are playing a team that is playing that well, you must end the points early." Coker and Kinard responded to Word's advice and that's what they did in the next two sets to take down Kirbyville.
In the championship match, Woodville's lone team of Coker and Kinard would match up with the #1 seeded team from Rockdale. Rockdale was the runner up in state last year so Word, Coker and Kinard all knew that this would prove to be a tough test. They played well, but lost the first set in a very close margin, 6-4. Word spoke about that great first set and the match. "This entire match came down to a few points," he said. "We played well in the first set and had a break point at 4-4 which would give us the lead on Cameron's serve. After losing that first set, we seemed to lose momentum and Rockdale seized on that and closing out the second and deciding set 6-0." Word never stopped analyzing while thinking of ways to help his mixed doubles team as they go forward. He said, "We've got to do a better job of not having a let-down anytime we lose a long deuce game like that. They knocked the air out of us and it just snowballed on us after that." With Coker and Kinard's second place finish, they will be advancing to the 3A state tennis tournament that will be held at Texas A&M University in College Station on May 18 and 19. Word was excited, but reserved as he gave his final thoughts on his senior duo playing in the state tournament. "We honestly have a great chance to make it to the finals. That said, we still have a lot of work to do this month to clean up on some things, but I know Cam and Lyndsey are up for the task and will work hard to ensure that they are prepared for the challenge that awaits us at state." This is Coker's second consecutive year to qualify for the state tournament, advancing last year in the boys' doubles team and his experience from last year should prove to be highly beneficial and a huge advantage for the Eagle team.
The Spurger track team—Shown, (Top row l to r): Chase Shook, Gantt Stone, Coltyn Simon, and Darrell Tompkins. (Bottom row, l to r) Fabian Hefty, Jayvn Fontenot, and Kaleb Hyden.
by Hannah Grissom
The Spurger Pirate track team competed, April 19, in the area track meet. It was held at Lufkin High School. Both girls and boys teams are coached by Coach Murphy Martin.
The girls' team tied for second place at area against Moulton with 103 points.
Gabriella Urias-Jimenez placed second in the 1600m run. She also placed second in the 3200m run. Chloe Peterson, McKenzy Hatton, Vivian Zoch, and Shelly Pledger placed third 4x100 relay. Ashley Mock, Tabitha Martin, Pledger, and Gracie Greenwood placed fourth in the 4x200 relay.
In the 100m hurdles, Zoch placed second, Hatton placed third, and Shelly Martin placed fourth. In the 300m hurdles, Zoch placed first and Peterson placed third. Zoch placed second in long jump. Mock placed second in discus. Peterson placed second in high jump. The boys team, placed first at area with 117 points.
In the 100m dash, Kaleb Hyden placed second and Jayvn Fontenot placed third. Jayvn Fontenot placed second in the 200m dash. Fabian Hefty placed second in the 1600m run. Fabian also placed second in the 3200m run.
In the 100m hurdles Kaleb Hyden placed second and Chase Shook placed fourth. Kaleb Hyden placed second in the 300m hurdles. In shot put, Coltyn Simon placed first and Darrell Tompkins placed third. In discus, Coltyn Simon placed second and Darrell Tompkins placed third. Jayvn Fontenot placed third in triple jump. Chase Shook placed third in high jump.
Both girls and boys are advancing to Regionals which will be held at Sam Houston State University on Friday, April 28.
The Yellowjacket track teams did a great job competing at the area track meet on April 20. Shown, (Bottom row, l to r): Jaqualin George, Cord Neal, Annie Rayburn, Amory Parker. (Top row, l to r): Michael Castleberry, Colten Martin, Donna Martin, Dane Barnes, Cade Parrish, Faith Loughner, Caleb Sittig, J.T. Martin, Dakota Rucks. Not pictured was Danique Davis.
by Jana Rayburn
The Yellowjacket track teams were very successful in the area track meet, held on April 20 in Cushing. Many athletes are advancing to the regional meet this weekend. Coach Charlotte Barnes is excited about the number of athletes that are competing at regional and hopes to be sending some even farther to Austin.
Cord Neal placed 1st in the triple jump, 3rd in the long jump, and 3rd in the discus. Dane Barnes placed 2nd in the 3200M run and 2nd in the 1600M run. Annie Rayburn placed 1st in the 3200M run and 2nd in the 1600M run. Amory Parker placed 1st in the 100M hurdles and 2nd in the 300M hurdles. Faith Loughner placed 2nd in the 100M hurdles. Danique Davis placed 3rd in the long jump. Michael Castleberry placed 4th in the shot put. Jaqualin George placed 4th in the 400M dash. The relay team made up of Colten Martin, Castleberry, Caleb Sitting, and George crossed the finish line in 2nd place.
The 4 x 400M relay team of Martin, Neal, Castleberry, and Sittig, took 2nd place.
The regional meet will be held at Bowers Stadium on the campus of Sam Houston State University in Huntsville on Friday and Saturday, April 28-29. The 3200M run and field events get started at 8 a.m. Preliminary running events start at 5 p.m. Saturday, the shot put will get started at 1 p.m. The running finals also begin at 1 p.m.
The Yellowjacket tennis teams traveled to Georgetown High School to compete in the regional tennis meet on April 18. All the athletes played well, but were unable to advance farther. The athletes competing in the meet included Clay Thomson and Seth Read in mens doubles, Cord Neal in mens singles, Colten Martin and Annie Rayburn in mixed doubles, J.T. Martin and Ashlyn Overstreet in mixed doubles, and Selah Spaulding in womens singles.
The Chester Lady Jackets are gearing up for their play-off run both in practices and in the remainder of their district games. The team played two games last week against 2A district opponents.
They played Colmesneil on Monday, April 17. The Jackets had trouble with Colmesneil, eventually falling to the Bulldogs 1-14. Hitting for the Jackets were Ashlyn Overstreet, Katilyn Clack, Selah Spaulding, Ashlyn Redwine, and Donna Martin.
The Lady Jackets played Big Sandy in a home game on Friday, April 21. The Jackets had a tough time at the plate, losing to the Lady Wildcats 0-12. Clack did a good job in the outfield, making and assisting with several plays.
This night was also designated to honor the seniors on the team. Donna Martin has played softball for Chester all four years of high school. She has led the team in pitching for most of her high school career. Ashlyn Redwine has been playing softball for two years. These two will be missed next year.
Coach Jeremy Wooten says he is proud of the team, "These girls have stepped up and played hard, overcoming injuries and other obstacles, to make their way into the play-offs." Wooten says that the girls are coming together at the right time, and he hopes to make a good run in the play-offs. The team's motto is 'one game at a time'.
The Chester Yellowjacket baseball team lost to the Colmesneil Bulldogs 1-11 on Thursday, April 20. Then, the Jackets hosted the Chireno Owls the very next afternoon. Although the score was back and forth most of the game, the Owls got to work at the plate late in the game, and the Jackets lost 4-9.
Warren Varsity Tennis—Shown, from left, are John Applewhite, Cameron Kojak, Jami Miller, and Seth Brown at district tennis tournament. (Coach Ronate Sloan Photo)
by Doug Glosson
Tennis – The Warren tennis teams started out the season slow, but in the end, many of the athletes showed much improvement as well as some having personal bests.
The varsity consists of John Applewhite, Kyler Bradford, Seth Brown, Cameron Kojak, Colton Ford, Chandler Langham, Jami Miller, Kyndell Gore, Kynsi Gillis, Samantha Marlar, and manager Linzy Tingle.
In the Woodville tournament on March 17, in boys singles Applewhite placed first and Bradford third. Brown and Kojak won consolation in boy's doubles, while Miller won consolation in girl's singles.
The district meet was held on March 27 in East Chambers. Applewhite finished with third place in boy's singles, Miller fourth in girl's singles, and Brown and Kojak placed fourth in boy's doubles.
Baseball – Warren was on the road for both games last week. Their first stop was at Bob Hope, where they took care of business quickly in five innings, winning 13-0. The Warriors then traveled to Hardin to take on the Hornets. With strong pitching performances by Hunter Welch and Jacob Riley, timely hitting by Easton Perfect and Bryce Harrington, and top plays in the outfield by Ty Choate, Warren took the game 8-3; tying Buna for second place in district at 4-2.
Coming up, JV will be in Kirbyville for the JV tournament April 6-8. Varsity will start the second half of the season at home against Kirbyville on Friday April 7, and then will travel to Buna on Tuesday, April 11. Games start at 6 p.m.
Softball – The Lady Warriors had a mixed week as they won one and lost one. At Bob Hope on Tuesday, Hailey Craigen threw a perfect game with no runs and no walks, while striking out six in three innings of work in an 18-0 win. Craigen also helped herself at the plate with three RBI's. Emily Cloud and Hallie Nevins pitched in as well with two hits and two RBI's each.
Warren then traveled to Hardin, where the Lady Warriors got down early and could not recover, losing this one 11-1 in six innings; leaving them with a district record of three wins against four losses.
Next up, the Lady Warriors will be at home against Kirbyville on Friday, April 7, and then will travel to Buna on Tuesday, April 11. Games start at 6 p.m.
We Three Kings: Kesean Paire, Garrett Castillo and Carrington Marendes play at the National Wheelchair Basketball Tournament in Louisville, KY. (Photo Melissa Castillo)
by Hale Hughes
Last week, the National Wheelchair Basketball Association (NWBA) held their national tournament in Louisville, Kentucky. The tournament consists of six classifications in which only the top 16 teams are allowed to compete. Teams must qualify for this tournament by winning a qualifier tournament or have a highly coveted invitation.
The Hot Wheels team, based out of Houston was one of the few teams that earned their place at the tournament by winning the Atlanta, Georgia tournament earlier this year. The Hot Wheels are coached by Trice Ham who has high expectations for his players on and off the court. Ham, although not governed by the UIL, holds his players to the same standards enforced by the UIL, and will bench any player not passing all his or her classes. The NWBA is a co-ed association and girls play right next to the boys. The wheelchair is the great equalizer and any gender strengths or weaknesses are balanced once the players take the court.
Kesean Paire, Garrett Castillo and Carrington Marendes are three young men from Woodville who compete for the Hot Wheels Team in the Junior/Varisity division and are sponsored by TIRR Herman Memorial Hospital. These three young men sacrifice a great deal to be a part of the Hot Wheels organization by traveling to Houston each Tuesday for practice and then traveling all over the nation on the weekends to play. Some of the recent places these young men have traveled to are Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, and Illinois. Paire and Castillo are new to the game this year, but Marendes has been playing for a few years now and has found a great deal of success in the past, winning the national title a few years ago and being named to the First Team All-Star National Tournament team last year.
The Hot Wheels played in the Exposition Center in Louisville last weekend and finished fifth, losing only one game to the eventual champion by a close six points. According to Tony Castillo, it was the only game that the eventual champions were seriously challenged as they went on to win the tournament by beating other teams by significant margins, usually by 20 or more points. The Hot Wheels didn't lose another game and finished with a 33-4 record for the year that saw them ranked as high as third in the nation this year.
Another highlight for the Hot Wheels team this year was that they were able to meet with the Paralympic Wheelchair Basketball team just before they traveled to the Olympics and bringing back the gold medal. There's a great deal of pride, self-worth, accomplishment and integrity that bonds these players together, regardless of team and much respect is shared among the players. There is a great comradery built amongst the players and the best players are recognized for their efforts.
College scouts were at the Louisville tournament looking for players that fit the leadership mold that their respective schools are looking for that have the talent and desire to take their game to the next level after high school. Several of these scouts spoke with the Woodville players and are anticipating great things from these three young men in the coming years.
by Andrew Harmon On Friday, March 31, the Colmesneil Bulldogs took on the Chireno Owls. After defeating Chireno earlier in the season, Colmesneil’s team knew they were capable of a repeat. However, Chireno came ready to put up a fight. The first inning started with a ground out and a strikeout for the Bulldogs. After moving to the field for a quick three outs, Colmesneil returned to the batters box eager to correct their previous mistakes. Senior Mason Williams started off the second inning with a deep shot to center field and advanced to second base. Williams was left stranded on third as the Owls took their next turn at bat. The Bulldogs quickly ended the inning with a triple play. Senior Colt Brown, caught a fly ball from right field, beamed it to first baseman Williams, where it was shot to third baseman sophomore, Tanner Rhodes for the final out. The Bulldogs gained more confidence with each turn at bat and continued defensively playing the outfield. The game ended with a 5-2 Colmesneil win over Chrino, advancing their record to 13-1 for the season. The Bulldogs have great momentum, moving into their next week of play when they are scheduled to meet West Sabine, Brookeland, and Zavalla. Colmesneil looks forward to another shot to claim first in district play.
by Andrew Harmon
On Friday, March 31, the Colmesneil Bulldogs took on the Chireno Owls. After defeating Chireno earlier in the season, Colmesneil's team knew they were capable of a repeat. However, Chireno came ready to put up a fight.
The first inning started with a ground out and a strikeout for the Bulldogs. After moving to the field for a quick three outs, Colmesneil returned to the batters box eager to correct their previous mistakes.
Senior Mason Williams started off the second inning with a deep shot to center field and advanced to second base. Williams was left stranded on third as the Owls took their next turn at bat. The Bulldogs quickly ended the inning with a triple play. Senior Colt Brown, caught a fly ball from right field, beamed it to first baseman Williams, where it was shot to third baseman sophomore, Tanner Rhodes for the final out.
The Bulldogs gained more confidence with each turn at bat and continued defensively playing the outfield. The game ended with a 5-2 Colmesneil win over Chrino, advancing their record to 13-1 for the season.
The Bulldogs have great momentum, moving into their next week of play when they are scheduled to meet West Sabine, Brookeland, and Zavalla. Colmesneil looks forward to another shot to claim first in district play.