Normal Lake Level is 322.00 feet
above Mean Sea Level.
Current level for Cedar Creek Lake is:
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58 degrees - bottom
Area teams post
performances in ’08
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–For the high school sports fan, 2008 was certainly a
banner year – with the promise of better things to come.
Some teams who hadn’t made the playoffs in many years did so during
2008, including the Eustace Bulldog baseball team (for the first time
since 1989), the Eustace football team (for the first time since 1997)
and the Kemp Yellowjacket football team (for the first time since 1997).
It was a year of expected changes stemming from February’s biennial UIL
realignments, as Mabank was bumped back up to Class 4A after spending
two years in 3A, and Eustace remained in 3A. Both Mabank (984 students)
and Eustace (432) were “on the bubble” in terms of enrollment, and it
turned out Mabank was four students over the 4A cutoff and Eustace two
students over the 3A cutoff.
Eustace High School boys and girls soccer teams opened their first
varsity seasons. The boys played a junior varsity schedule in 2007, but
the girls were playing their first matches.
In the first of two one-point decisions, the hosting Kemp Yellowjackets
defeated the Eustace Bulldogs 55-54 in the District 13-3A basketball
opener for both teams.
The Eustace Lady Bulldogs defeated the visiting Ferris Lady
Yellowjackets 45-31 to collect their first district basketball victory.
Canton’s girls and Kaufman’s boys took the top spots in the annual
Mabank powerlifting meet.
In their second-round opener in Eustace, the Kemp boys nipped the
Eustace boys again by one point, 47-46, while the Mabank boys secured a
home-and-home split with Kaufman by winning 50-47.
Mabank officials got the news they were expecting, as the biennial UIL
realignment bumped MHS back up into Class 4A and into a new District
15-4A with Forney, Lancaster, West Mesquite, Red Oak, Mesquite Poteet
Both Kemp and Eustace stayed together in a new District 14-3A, along
with Canton, Van, Wills Point and Mineola.
Despite staying in 3A, Eustace head coach and athletic director Doug
Wendel noted the new district was much more equal in terms of
enrollments, as only one school, Wills Point, had a significant
Mabank’s girls secured the District 13-3A third-place berth, but lost to
District 14-3A runner-up Athens in the bidistrict round of the playoffs.
Out of the six boys basketball teams in the district, four of them –
Mabank, Kaufman, Ferris and Crandall – wound up tied for first, each
forging home-and-home splits with the others during the two rounds of
A mini-tournament at Ellis Davis Field House in Dallas determined the
Kaufman nipped Mabank, 66-63, to win the tournament and the first-place
berth, with the Panthers taking the second-place playoff berth.
Ferris stopped Crandall, 49-47, to take the district’s third-place
Mabank went on to defeat Brownsboro, 56-48, in the bidistrict round,
advancing to meet 10th-ranked Pittsburg.
In an area championship match in Tyler, Pittsburg used an 18-7 run
across the middle of the second half to break open a close game, and
went on to knock the Panthers out of the playoffs with an 82-65 victory.
Mabank junior guard Chelsey Dillon was named the district’s co-Defensive
Player of the Year, while sophomore wing Chelsea Alldredge was picked as
the Newcomer of the Year.
Team leaders at both Kemp (Sarah Smith) and Eustace (Cassie Freeman)
were named to the all-district first team by district basketball
Eustace’s girls and Kaufman’s boys won team titles at the District 13-3A
powerlifting meet in Crandall.
Eustace’s boys and girls both finished second at the annual Bulldog
Relays track meet, with Royse City winning the boys division and Rusk
winning the girls division.
Mabank junior Kolton Browning, who had been named the District 13-3A
football MVP after the close of the 2007 season, was again picked as the
07-08 basketball MVP by loop coaches.
Panther senior guard Albin Gashi was named the district’s Newcomer of
the Year, while Eustace’s David Graves and Kemp’s Chase Traughber were
both named to the all-district first team.
A combination of bad weather and TAKS testing led to most of the area’s
high school sports contests to be cancelled the first full week of
The annual Kaufman Relays were held, despite frigid temperatures and a
few flakes of snow. Eustace junior Cameron Coffey showed the hurdling
form that made him the man to beat at the district meet.
Kemp Independent School District trustees, administrators and players
formally dedicated the school’s new $500,000-plus baseball/softball
complex, located next to Yellowjacket Stadium.
Members of the 2007 district champion baseball team were on hand to join
in the baseball field’s dedication.
Eustace’s boys track team won the Tesei Relays at Ferris with just eight
members participating, as Coffey posted dual hurdles wins for the second
Kemp’s Yellowjackets knocked off the Eustace Bulldogs, 9-2, in the
district opener for both teams at Kemp’s new baseball/softball complex.
Eustace’s girls hung on to nip the visiting Kemp Lady Yellowjackets,
15-14, in a key district softball contest at Eustace, while Mabank’s
boys kept themselves alive in the district baseball playoff race by
nipping the visiting Crandall Pirates, 3-2.
Brandon Carrico’s RBI single to deep right center in the top of the
sixth proved to be the game-winner, as Mabank edged hosting Kemp 1-0 in
a pitcher’s duel, with Kemp’s Nick Sallings and Mabank’s Chancz Sullivan
combining to strike out 25 of the 50 batters they faced.
Mabank’s girls and boys golf teams both won district championships and
advanced to the regional golf tournament.
The hosting Eustace girls won the district track meet team title, while
the Bulldog boys finished second, behind Kaufman.
Kemp’s win over Mabank, Kaufman’s win over Crandall and Eustace’s win
over Eustace in the final district baseball contests meant that Kemp,
Kaufman and Eustace all tied for first, forcing a playoff at Mabank High
Eustace swept both Kaufman and Kemp to secure the first-place playoff
berth and the baseball team’s first post-season appearance since 1989.
Mabank’s girls golf team, headed by Macey Thomas’ rounds of 88 and 95,
took second place at regional to advance to the state golf tournament
for the first time in school history. They finished eighth overall in
their first appearance at the state golf tournament.
Van, the runner-up in District 14-3A, knocked Mabank out of the softball
playoffs with a two-game sweep at Canton High School’s new
At the Region II track meet in Commerce, two hurdlers – Kemp sophomore
Sharda Bettis and Eustace junior Cameron Coffey – qualified for the
state track meet, with Bettis winning the 100 meter hurdles and
finishing second in the 300, while Coffey finished second in the 300 and
third in the 110.
Bettis finished fourth and Coffey finished sixth at the state track meet
two weeks later.
Kemp swept Brownsboro’s Bears in a best-of-three bidistrict baseball
playoff, advancing to the area round to face Texarkana Pleasant Grove
for the second straight year.
Both Kemp and Eustace are knocked out of the baseball playoffs in the
area round, as Pleasant Grove sweeps Kemp and Pittsburg sweeps Eustace.
Mabank names Kelsie Reynolds, Davis Kiker and Brandon Carrico as its
Athletes of the Year during the school’s annual all-sports banquet.
Both Kiker and Carrico starred on the Panther football and baseball
teams, and Carrico also was a top powerlifter.
Reynolds was considered the best setter in East Texas by opposing
volleyball coaches, and was the quarterback of the Mabank teams that
posted a 20-0 district record over the school’s two years of 3A
competition. She also starred on the girls basketball team.
Seniors Sarah Smith and Nick Lane were named the top Kemp High School
athletes at the annual spring sports banquet.
Smith was the school’s only first-team all-district selection in both
basketball and softball, while Lane qualified for regional competition
in both powerlifting and track.
Eustace High School names seniors Lucas Cope, Rebekah Walter and Caty
DiBari as the male and female Athletes of the Year at the school’s
annual all-sports banquet, held for the first time at the Cain Center in
Cope, who played at least three different positions in addition to
pitching, was the district’s baseball MVP, while freshman teammate
Braden Strickland was the Newcomer of the Year.
Kemp senior shortstop Matt Carr was the co-Offensive Player of the Year,
while teammate Mikie Scruggs, who pitched and played catcher, was the
district’s Utility Player of the Year.
Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine projected tough years for all
five Cedar Creek Lake schools. As it turned out, Mabank finished one
field goal away from the playoffs, while Eustace and Kemp both made the
playoffs for the first time in 11 years.
Incoming Mabank senior Kolton Browning, who was both the football and
basketball MVP as a junior, verbally committed to attending the
University of Louisiana at Monroe to study business.
Football and volleyball teams around the area began practices, with
football players braving some of the hottest weather of the summer.
As the season got underway, Mabank volleyball coach Stacy Shelton was
working with an all-new team, having graduated 12 of her 14 players from
last year, while veteran Eustace coach Chuck Powers was looking for his
young girls to jell.
At Kemp, the fact that volleyball coach Peggy Swierc was around for a
second year began paying dividends early.
In the football season openers, Mabank came from behind to edge Kaufman,
42-39, while an error-prone Kemp squad got blown out by Brownsboro,
Eustace fell to hosting Grace Community in a Thursday night shoot-out,
36-28 – both Mabank and Kemp contests Friday night were interrupted by
Mabank’s Panthers fell to hosting Athens, 21-14, while Kemp fell to 0-2
with their second straight home loss to Parish Episcopal.
Eustace held on a last-minute two-point conversion to record their first
win on the road against Dallas Life Oak Cliff, 21-20.
In a matchup of former district foes, the Mabank Lady Panthers nipped
the visiting Eustace Lady Bulldogs 3-2. The narrow win was Mabank’s
final non-district match before beginning District 15-4A volleyball
For the third straight game, mistakes proved to be fatal for the Kemp
Yellowjackets, as they gave up three first-quarter touchdowns to the
hosting Mabank Panthers, who ended up winning their homecoming contest
In a game that featured two “Built Ford Tough” players of the week –
Edgewood quarterback Weston Jamison and Eustace fullback Shawn Baldwin –
visiting Edgewood put across a winning two-point conversion and then
blocked a last-second Eustace field goal to win a wild 44-42 shoot-out.
Baldwin, a junior, attended his mother’s funeral that afternoon, but got
to the stadium as the teams were warming up and posted one of the best
games any Eustace player has ever had, scoring five touchdowns while
rushing for 226 yards on 35 carries.
Mabank’s Lady Panthers won their District 15-4A opener with a 3-0
blanking of visiting Lancaster.
Eustace’s Bulldogs opened a lead against Quitman, and held off the
visiting Bulldogs to win their homecoming contest 41-32.
Kemp’s Yellowjackets posted a turnaround performance against Rains,
coming from behind to score with 39 seconds to play and recording their
first win of the season, 24-20.
In what was later noted as the season’s turnaround play, junior
quarterback Jeremy Quick hit senior receiver James Trim for a 32-yard
gain on fourth-and-22 with the game clock running out and no time outs
The ’Jackets followed that up with a 63-27 blasting of hosting Palmer in
a game that wasn’t that close, as Kemp had a 42-7 lead at halftime.
Eustace fell to hosting Ferris, 30-14, as the Bulldogs suffered a
blocked field goal that was returned for a touchdown to blow open a
Kemp and Eustace girls opened District 14-3A volleyball play, with Kemp
falling on the road at Mineola and Eustace knocking off visiting Wills
In one of the closest matches of the season, the visiting Wills Point
Lady Tigers squeaked past the scrappy Kemp Lady ’Jackets 3-1.
Wills Point nipped Kemp, 33-31, in the deciding fourth game, a marathon
contest that had fans on both sides of the Kemp gym on their feet and
left players on both teams exhausted.
Mabank beat the visiting Terrell Tigers 35-21 in the District 15-4A
football opener for both teams, but the story of the game was the
bench-clearing brawl that ended the contest with 7:48 to play.
After both school districts conducted investigations, the district
executive committee agreed to support the two schools’ actions, and
issued a private reprimand.
Mabank suspended two players for one game, while Terrell suspended seven
players for one game.
In the District 14-3A football openers, eventual district champion Van
played keep-away from the visiting Kemp ’Jackets, winning 40-7, while
the Eustace Bulldogs fumbled the ball three times – including twice in
the fourth quarter – and lost 7-6 at Mineola.
At Red Oak, the Mabank Panthers missed a game-winning field goal in the
waning seconds, and the Hawks made them pay in overtime, winning 32-26.
In retrospect, the Panthers wound up just that one field goal away from
making the playoffs.
Returning home, the Panthers dominated the error-prone Mesquite Poteet
Pirates, winning 32-7.
Kemp bounced back from the Van loss to dominate the hosting Wills Point
Tigers, blocking three punts en route to a 33-20 win in a game that
wasn’t that close.
Eustace also bounced back to take a key district victory, knocking off
the visiting Canton Eagles 35-26.
The Eustace girls continued to roll through the district, knocking off
the Wills Point girls on the road, and were rewarded with their first
top-20 state ranking.
In a key district matchup, the visiting Bulldogs pulled away late from
the Kemp ’Jackets, 37-15, in a game that was a lot closer than the score
Mabank fell to 4-4 on the season and 2-2 in district play with a 49-35
shoot-out loss to the hosting Forney Jackrabbits.
The Lady Bulldogs clinched a playoff berth (and the district
championship) with a win over visiting Van, the only team to beat them
in the first round.
Mabank’s young Lady Panthers, who took the district’s fourth-place
playoff berth with a 5-7 record, were knocked out of the state
volleyball playoffs in the bidistrict round by Waco Midway at Corsicana
West Mesquite’s Wranglers branded the Mabank Panthers with a 52-28 hot
iron in the regular-season finale for both teams. The Panthers finished
4-6 on the season and 2-4 in district play.
With a playoff berth on the line, Kemp defeated the visiting Canton
Eagles 34-21, grabbing a post-season berth for the first time in 11
In a game that didn’t have anything at stake – both teams already had
secured playoff berths – the Van Vandals completed an unbeaten district
slate with a 41-0 blanking of the Eustace Bulldogs in the final game to
be played at Van Memorial Stadium.
It was an expensive loss for the Bulldogs, as star fullback Shawn
Baldwin suffered a season-ending knee injury on the third play of the
Eustace’s Lady Bulldogs knocked off New Boston, 3-1, in the area round
of the playoffs, but fell to Princeton, 3-1, in the regional
quarterfinals, ending Eustace’s season at 29-10.
Three new girls basketball coaches opened their tenures at area schools
– Cody Christenberry at Mabank, DaLinda Cassell at Eustace and Kent
Smith at Kemp.
Playing with a howling north wind, the Kemp Yellowjackets and Eustace
Bulldogs each played bidistrict championship games about 25 miles apart
in Richardson and Carrollton.
Kemp held off a fourth-quarter comeback attempt by the defending state
(2A) champion Farmersville Farmers to take a 24-21 victory, while
Eustace fell just short in an expected shoot-out to the Nevada Community
The Bulldogs and the Braves combined for almost 900 yards of offense,
but neither team suffered a turnover, despite the bone-chilling wind.
As expected, four-year Eustace starter Cassie Freeman was named the
district’s volleyball MVP, with senior teammate Nicole McNeel named the
Setter of the Year and Lady Bulldog sophomore Allison Cass named the
district’s co-Newcomer of the Year.
The Yellowjackets lost one half of their one-two running attack to
injury early, and had no answer for Pleasant Grove’s speed, as the Hawks
took a 37-13 win in an area football championship game at Marshall. The
’Jackets finished their season at 6-6.
Running back/linebacker Josh Carr, arguably the ’Jackets’ most valuable
player on both sides of the ball, was named the district’s co-Offensive
Player of the Year, while teammate Korey Henderson was named the
district’s Return Specialist of the Year.
Mabank’s Kolton Browning wasn’t the District 15-4A football MVP again,
but he was the Offensive Player of the Year.
Eustace teen Trevor Lane collected a rare 20-point buck in Comanche
County Nov. 28.
Mabank’s Panther basketball team finished third in the 10th annual Cedar
Creek Lake Shoot-Out tournament, knocking off Dallas Roosevelt to claim
The Lady Bulldogs won the consolation trophy at their own Roundball
Roundup tournament, marking the first trophy the EHS girls had collected
in several years.
Mabank’s Lady Panthers finished second at the fourth annual
Scurry-Rosser Wildcat Booster Club Holiday Tournament, falling to
hosting S-R 64-59 in overtime.
MHS @ Terrell*
MHS vs Red Oak*
KHS @ Van*
EHS @ Mineola*
MHS @ Mesquite Poteet*
KHS @ Wills Point*
EHS vs Canton*
MHS vs Forney*
KHS vs EHS*
MHS @ Lancaster*
KHS @ Mineola*
EHS vs Wills Point*
KHS vs LaPoynor
EHS @ Frost
MHS vs Terrell*
KHS @ P.Westwood
EHS vs Cross Roads
MHS @ Red Oak*
EHS @ Brownsboro
MHS vs Mesquite Poteet*
MHS vs Forney*
KHS vs EHS*
MHS vs Lancaster*
KHS @ Mineola*
EHS vs Wills Point*
MHS g @ Greenville
EHS b/g vs Ferris
MHS g vs Ennis
EHS b/g @ Kaufman
MHS b/g @ Eustace tourn.
EHS hosts tournament
MHS g @ Ennis
MHS b vs Corsicana
EHS b/g vs Palestine
EHS b @ Kennedale tourn.
MHS b @ Ferris
MHS g vs Mt. Pleasant