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Current level for Cedar Creek Lake is:
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62 degrees - bottom
MHS girls golf making history
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–Mabank High School’s girls golf team is making history with a
trip to the state tournament Thursday and Friday, May 8-9, at Roy Kizer
Golf Course in south Austin.
Although the MHS boys golf team actually won state back in 1988, no
girls team has ever advanced to the state tournament.
“It’s always a coach’s dream to take a team to state, but very few do
it,” coach Debbie Ewing said Wednesday.
Ewing has never taken a team to state in any sport, and she said she was
honored and proud to be associated with the Lady Panther squad – seniors
Macey Thomas and Lauren Slaton, sophomores Whitney Evans and Katie Hibbs,
and freshman Caitlyn Jones.
“I have tremendous happiness for the girls and what they’ve
accomplished, because it’s all them,” Ewing said.
Although it sounds like a cliché, the key for the Lady Panthers has been
teamwork, she added.
“They’ve all improved their scores to the point where we win as a team,”
Ewing said. “Macey had her best day ever at the Regional tournament, and
that’s what put us over the top.”
For Thomas and Slaton, that’s been nearly a 60-stroke improvement from
when they were freshmen.
Thomas shot a 140 then, but posted an 88 at the Regional tournament,
while Slaton has improved from a round of 144 to a best round of 86.
“None of us had ever picked up a club before our freshman year,” Thomas
recalled. “We’re competing against girls who have played since they were
6. When we started, we didn’t know what ‘par’ or ‘bogey’ meant.”
“The first two years, we mostly talked about rules and etiquette – just
learning the game,” Ewing said.
“I’m glad we were lucky enough to keep the same coach through all four
years,” Slaton said. “We really do call her mom.”
Slaton recalled she had tried other sports in junior high, but had not
been successful at any of them.
Her folks, Roy and Joanna Slaton, suggested she try golf, and former
Cedar Creek Country Club pro Larry Harper started giving her lessons.
“(Harper) taught me from scratch – my stance, how to grip the club, how
to swing,” Slaton recalled. As she became more proficient, she dropped
from three lessons a week to one, and then started playing on her own.
“When we were freshmen, it (golf) was just something to do,” Slaton
said. “When we were juniors, I realized it was an actual sport that you
“It’s (golf’s) something you can play when you get older,” she added.
“Most sports you can’t play when you get older, but you can play golf
until you fall over.”
“I have never been a natural athlete at anything – volleyball (she was a
first-team all-district pick last fall), powerlifting or golf,” Thomas
said. “I got to start because I was a hard worker.
“Playing golf, something clicked, and it became natural for me,” she
Ewing and her husband Glen taught Thomas how to play.
“I had a few lessons, but for the most part, it was them, along with my
dad,” Thomas recalled. “I had a horrible baseball grip when I started.
“At home, my folks (Dennis and Debra Thomas) always provided mental
support, and my dad gives me tips,” she added.
“These kids’ parents are just outstanding supporters,” Ewing said.
“They’ve been to every tournament, and have not only supported their own
child, but the rest of the teammates, too.”
Thomas and Slaton are close friends on and off the course.
“Each of us are like counselors,” Slaton said. “If I’m having a bad day,
Macey says ‘it’s time for a counseling session.’”
“We sing to each other – we really do,” Thomas said.
“It’s a different song every day,” Slaton added. “Whatever’s stuck in
As one might expect, both Thomas and Slaton are straight-A students
involved in a multitude of activities, including National Honor Society,
Beta Club, athletics (both are powerlifters) and student council.
Slaton, who is tied for fourth in her class academically, is the editor
of the high school newspaper, president of the Beta Club, the mascot on
the varsity cheerleading squad, and a student/worship leader at Elm
Thomas was the FFA chapter president this past year, along with winning
the Daughters of the American Revolution good citizen award, and has
co-edited a book aimed at teen girls, “This Little Light of Mine,” which
is in the process of being published. She attends the Mabank Church of
Both of them admitted they really hadn’t grasped the fact of actually
competing at a state-level sporting event, but are both honored and
thrilled at the prospect.
“I know we’re going, but it’ll be like a slap in the face when we tee
off in the first round,” Slaton said.
“In any tournament, I don’t breathe for the first hole,” Thomas said. “I
may pass out.”
“I do the ‘in through the nose, out through the mouth’ thing before I
hit,” Slaton said.
“These two girls are the most outstanding girls I’ve ever coached in any
sport,” Ewing said. “They are awesome teammates and leaders.”
Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Mabank High School’s Lady Panther golf team members are (from left)
Thomas, Lauren Slaton, Whitney Evans, Katie Hibbs and Caitlyn Jones. The
team is the first MHS girls golf squad to advance to the state
Cotton Cup Classic golf
Monitor Staff Reports
KEMP–Players are needed for the second annual Kaufman County Cotton Cup
Classic golf tournament, set Monday, June 16, at the Cedar Creek Country
Presented by American National Bank of Texas, the tournament offers
players two different formats – scramble play or stroke play, matching
city against city – Forney against Terrell, Crandall/Scurry against
Kemp/Mabank, for example.
Proceeds from the tournament will go towards creating a Children’s
Advocacy Center for the county. Last year’s inaugural tournament raised
$10,000, but the campaign needs another $16,000 to reach its goal.
Kaufman’s team, headed by Andrew Jordan, won the inaugural Cotton Cup
last year, and this year, Terrell captain Ken Lane is rounding up some
of the top players in the northern portion of the county with the aim of
winning the cup.
The event will open with an 11:30 a.m. lunch, followed by a 1 p.m.
When registering, players may choose to play either a four-man scramble
(handicapped) format, or non-handicapped stroke play with $10 skins,
matching city/area against city/area.
For $1,000, a team can be a lunch sponsor, covering registration for
four golfers, along with four hole-sponsor signs, or the team could be a
hat/prize sponsor, complete with hole signs and custom hats.
Major sponsors ($500) get registration for four golfers, along with two
Registration fee for a team is $300, or $160 for two players, or $90 for
a single player. Hole-sponsor signs are $100.
To register, contact the Kaufman Chamber of Commerce at (972) 932-3118
(fax 932-8373). Make checks payable to Children’s Advocacy Center, PO
Box 146, Kaufman, TX 75142.
Kaufman Chamber executive director Lee Ayers chairs the tournament
committee, with District Judge Mike Chitty as honorary chairman.
Committee members include Sheriff David Byrnes, Court-at-Law Judge
Erleigh Norville Wiley, Chuck Cade, Roy Ferrell, Brent Gentzel, District
Attorney Rick Harrison, County Treasurer Johnny Countryman, Michelle
Joseph, David Miller, Ken Lane, Melinda Polk, Andrew Jordan, Natalie
Harrison, Anne Glasscock and Shannon Tipton.
Xtreme fall to Wolves, 12-0
Monitor Staff Reports
ARP–The Athens-based Texas Xtreme were defeated by the East Texas
Wolves, 12-0, during an April 26 game played in Arp.
Xtreme owners/coaches Gary Craig and Larry Anding were pleased with the
team’s performance, as only 16 players were in uniform, with eight
starters from last week’s game.
Almost every Xtreme player played both ways, most for the entire game.
Offensive coordinator and quarterback/running back Brandon Thompson was
sidelined after being injured in last week’s game and missed his first
start in his seven-year semi-pro career.
Quarterback Ahmed Brown also was out, due to injury, so Cory Davis
stepped in at quarterback for the first time, and didn’t fare well.
While some players had been on the Xtreme roster for a couple of weeks,
two saw their first playing time, going both ways most of the contest.
Six interceptions, untimely penalties and dropped passes foiled scoring
opportunities for the Xtreme offense.
Defensive starters Brandon Lyons and Amos Berryman were key rushing
performers, and Lyons also played quarterback extensively in the fourth
quarter, while Berryman made his first appearance at punter.
Offensive standouts were Eric Williams, Chris Ross, Jerry Martin, Mike
Spencer, Ben Swain, Flem Kindle and Noah Guinn.
With only one linebacker available, the Xtreme defense was forced to
play a 5-2 formation the entire game, as Guinn also played the entire
game at linebacker.
Coach Craig was pleased with the defensive effort, as the Wolves started
six possessions in Xtreme territory and were stopped five times.
The Wolves scored their first touchdown on their third possession, but
the PAT was blocked.
The Wolves scored their second touchdown just before halftime on a short
drive, and a two-point conversion try failed.
Defensive standouts were Allen Beasley (one fumble recovery and three
sacks), Kerry Yarbrough (one fumble recovery and four sacks), Brandon
Lyons (one sack), Marvin Lyons (one sack), Jimmy Roberts (four tackles
and three passes defended), Flem Kindle, Jerry Martin and Berryman.
Brandon Lyons and Berryman both left the game at times with injuries but
returned to action.
Craig and Anding were overwhelmed, as many of Xtreme players played
through injuries and fatigue.
The Xtreme were scheduled to host the Port City Jaguars at 7 p.m.
Saturday (yesterday) at Brownsboro High School Stadium.
Saturday Fun Sail 11-2
(8:30 a.m. Don’s Port)
Saturday Fun Sail 11-2