Sports and Outdoors


Wendel new Eustace AD
Monitor Staff Reports
EUSTACE–School trustees officially hired Doug Wendel as the new Eustace Independent School District Athletic Director Tuesday night.
Wednesday, Wendel was on the job, saying his first head coaching position was “a dream come true.”
“I’ve always wanted to get back to a place like where I grew up, and run a first-class program,” he said.
Wendel, 33, grew up in Eufaula, Okla., “a small town on a big lake (Lake Eufaula).”
“This (Eustace) is like the same exact town where I grew up,” he said with a wide grin. “I can’t tell you how excited I am.”
In his 14th year in education and 10th year teaching in Texas, Wendel comes to Eustace from Lake Highlands High School in Richardson, where he was the first assistant and running backs coach.
Wendel has coaching experience at the middle school level and at the high school level.
He also has soccer coaching experience. Eustace opened soccer programs at both the middle school and high school this year.
Wendel has also been a head track coach – named Coach of the Year in 2003 by the Northwest Morning News – and was a nominee for the AFLAC National Assistant Football Coach of the Year that same year.
A 1997 Oklahoma State University graduate (BS in secondary education, social studies, health and physical education), Wendel was a graduate assistant for four years at Stillwater High School before moving to Texas.
Wendel coached at Plano High School and R.L. Turner in Carrollton before rejoining head coach Scott Smith (who moved from Plano) at Lake Highlands.
“I would have loved to stay there, but it’s been my dream to be at a 3A school,” he said.
“I’ve always felt it was impossible to go back home, but this gives me the best of both worlds,” Wendel added. “I’m as close (to home) as I can get.”
Wendel comes into a Eustace High School football program that has not seen much success, but is getting some first-class facilities, such as artificial turf and a new track at Bulldog Stadium, along with a new competition gym in the planning stage.
“The board is very cohesive, and the principals and administration are doing what they can to be the best,” Wendel said. “I believe if they give me the opportunity and a little bit of time, I have full confidence that we can move forward.”
The “spread” offense has been in vogue at Eustace for the last few years, but Wendel prefers a ground-oriented option attack – the “flexbone” – and added, “my emphasis will be on simple, physical and execution.”
Wendel said his wife, Kara (a stay-at-home mom to their son Drew, now 2), and mother also were very pleased with the community. Kara is working to complete her master’s degree in administration this semester.
“I’m excited about the school and the community,” he added. “If I was writing a script, I couldn’t write it any better.”

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
New Eustace High School head coach and athletic director Doug Wendel marks his first day on the job Wednesday.


Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Mabank Panther pitcher David Taylor fires toward the plate during a non-district baseball game against the visiting Quinlan Ford Panthers Wednesday. Results of the game were not available by presstime Thursday.

Lady Panthers split at Dallas tournament
Monitor Staff Reports
DALLAS–The Mabank Lady Panthers softball team went 2-2 in the Dallas Elsie Moreno Tournament last weekend.
The Lady Panthers were scheduled to play in the Malakoff Lady Tiger Invitational tournament this weekend, opening pool play with Elkhart, Grapeland and Scurry-Rosser.
Monday, Feb. 26, the Mabank girls will host the Palestine Westwood Lady Panthers, opening with a 5 p.m. junior varsity game, followed by the 7 p.m. varsity contest.
Next weekend, March 1-3, the Lady Panthers are scheduled to participate in the Grandview tournament, before returning home to host Dallas Molina Monday, March 5.
At Dallas, the Lady Panthers opened with a big win over Woodrow Wilson behind the pitching of Karyln Bellows, and followed that with a 5-1 win over Skyline behind the pitching of Brandie Lander.
Mabank dropped their next two games, losing to eventual tournament runner-up Hillcrest 3-1, and falling to third-place winner Garland Sachse 7-5.
Lady Panther senior Krista Jennings and freshman Brandie Lander both were named to the 14-member all-tournament team.
Royse City won the tournament over Hillcrest, with Sachse taking third and Highland Park taking the consolation trophy.
Jennings led the Lady Panthers in hitting, including a home run against Sachse, and Lauren Norwood had a double and a triple in that game.
Katie Cross and Lander both had big doubles in the tournament.

Upcoming Games


Feb. 27
MHS @ Westwood
KHS @ Tyler All-Saints
EHS @ Kerens

March 1-3
MHS @ Fairfield tourney
KHS @ Nacogdoches tourn.
EHS @ Fairfield tourney

March 6
MHS @ Van
KHS @ Canton
EHS vs Rains


Feb. 26
MHS vs Westwood

Feb. 27
KHS @ Cross Roads
EHS vs Cayuga

March 1-3
MHS @ Grandview tourn.
KHS @ Scurry-Rosser tourn.
EHS @ Spring Hill tourn.



Feb. 27
MHS vs Waxahachie*
(boys & girls)

March 2
MHS girls vs Terrell*
MHS boys @ Terrell*


Feb. 26
Eustace Invitational (girls)
(Cedar Creek Country Club)