Sports and Outdoors


 Lake Info

Normal Lake Level is 322.00 feet above Mean Sea Level.
Current level for Cedar Creek Lake is: 322.00
Water Temperature:
62 degrees - top
degrees - bottom




Kemp stops Brownsboro
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

CORSICANA–After a slugfest opener Friday night, the Kemp Yellowjackets won their bidistrict baseball championship series with a narrow 4-1 win over the Brownsboro Bears Saturday.
The series win propelled the ’Jackets into the area round of the playoffs against the Pittsburg Pirates, with a best-of-three series opening at 7 p.m. Thursday (tonight) at Driller Park in Kilgore (see related story).
Friday night’s contest was a see-saw thriller, with the ’Jackets eventually putting enough runs together late in the ballgame to take a 13-7 victory over the Bears, who tied with Van for second place in District 14-3A.
The ’Jackets, who tied with Kaufman and Eustace for first in District 13-3A, lost a playoff series to Eustace in Mabank April 22 to become the district’s second seed.
A strong north wind played a role in Saturday’s sun-splashed contest, as outfielders from both teams had difficulty judging fly balls.
The game opened as a pitcher’s duel between Brownsboro’s Keaton Pursell and Kemp’s Nick Sallings, who was making his first start on the mound since injuring his hand following an April 1 loss to Mabank.
Pursell got the ’Jackets to tap into three straight ground outs, while Sallings faced five batters, allowing a single by the second Bear batter, first baseman Ryan Epperson.
Epperson advanced to second when a pick-off throw went way high, and Sallings walked the next batter, shortstop Brad McDonald, to put runners at first and second with one out.
Sallings got Pursell to fly out to right (moving Epperson to third), and struck out Daniel Suggs looking to strand both Epperson and McDonald.
Pursell again sat the ’Jackets down in order, and Sallings got two quick outs.
The third batter, Clint Cundiff, reached base on an error, and then took second on another Kemp pick-off error.
Cundiff got greedy, however, and was thrown out trying to take third on a passed ball.
Kemp’s error-prone ways finally bit them in the third inning.
Pursell again sat the ’Jackets down in order, and another Kemp fielding error allowed Bear leadoff batter Deandre Taylor to reach first base.
Kemp fans were heartened when centerfielder Aaron Hazley made an outstanding catch of Ryan Smith’s deep fly ball at the warning track for the first out, but the ’Jackets committed another error on a hit up the middle by Epperson.
With runners at the corners, McDonald then tapped into a possible double play, but the ’Jackets misfired on the throw back to second, allowing Taylor to score and Epperson to advance all the way to third.
“Can we not do that again?” Yellowjacket coach Cody Ross asked, and the ’Jackets didn’t commit another error.
With two outs, the ’Jackets deliberately walked Pursell, and Sallings got Suggs to tap into a routine grounder, leaving two Bears stranded.
Having committed five errors without a single baserunner in the first three innings, the ’Jackets finally got rolling in the top of the fourth.
Kemp leadoff man Mikie Scruggs popped out to short, but the next two batters, Zach Allison and Matt Carr, hit back-to-back stand-up doubles, with some help from the wind.
Carr’s hit scored Allison, and Josh Carr followed with Kemp’s third straight hit, a stand-up triple to the 390-foot centerfield wall, which scored Matt Carr and put the ’Jackets ahead, 2-1.
Kemp’s Dudley Chambers popped up for the second out, but Pursell walked Kevin Betts, who promptly stole second base.
Josh Carr and Betts were stranded, however, when Aaron Kyle struck out looking.
Sallings had been growing stronger and stronger through the first three innings, but gave up a stand-up double to leadoff man Brett Tidwell.
Tidwell was quickly picked off on a sharp defensive play by Matt Carr, and Sallings started dominating the Bears, racking up two straight strikeouts.
Sallings retired nine of the next 10 batters he faced, two with strikeouts.
The ’Jackets added two more runs in the top of the fifth.
With two out, the ’Jackets strung together three straight hits – back-to-back stand-up double to center by Scruggs and Betts, followed by an RBI single from Matt Carr.
Betts’ hit scored Scruggs, and Betts scored on a passed ball to give the ’Jackets a 4-1 lead.
After the game, Ross was asked, “What is it with the two-out rallies?”
“I don’t know,” he laughed. “I’ll take them any way they come.”

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Kemp shortstop Matt Carr (10) picks off Brownsboro’s Brett Tidwell at second base when Tidwell was not prepared for a quick throw back to second. The play was the first out in the bottom of the fourth inning during Kemp’s 4-1 bidistrict baseball championship win over Brownsboro at Corsicana Saturday.

Hurdlers looking for gold
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

AUSTIN–Two hurdlers will be trying to bring the gold back to Cedar Creek Lake at the state track meet in Austin Friday.
Kemp High School sophomore Sharda (pronounced Char-DAY) Bettis will be running in both hurdles races, after winning the 100 meter and taking second in the 300 meter at the Region II meet April 26.
Eustace High School junior Cameron Coffey will be running in the 300 after grabbing second at the regional track meet. He finished fourth in the 100.
Both of them have been running hurdles since seventh grade.
“I’ve just always done it,” Coffey said. “I started getting serious about it last year.
“I started liking it, and I was winning,” he added. “I realized how good I could be, I guess.”
“Me and my cousin have always been competitive,” Bettis said. “She started doing hurdles, and she told me she was better at it. I beat her every time.”
Both Coffey, 17, and Bettis, who just turned 16 in March, have been to state before.
Coffey, the son of Stacy and Chris Coffey, advanced to state in cross country back in the fall, finishing fifth on the team in his first season.
“I’ve been ready for this since I started cross country,” he said. “That was my motivation for starting in cross country – reaping the benefits in the spring.”
Bettis, who moved to Kemp with guardians Sandra and Jimmy Sterling last summer, won state in Gulfport, Miss., as a freshman.
“I won the 100 and finished fourth in the 300 when my knee gave out,” she recalled. “I’ve rehabbed it (the knee), and it’s fine now.
“It (the Mississippi state meet) was not as competitive as it is here,” she added. “I was a freshman and beating all those seniors.
“Everything’s different here,” she said. “I left a big, big school and came to a little, little school.”
That’s enabled the gregarious Bettis to make a lot of new friends. She’s the sophomore class president and student council reporter, and she’ll be a varsity cheerleader next year.
“You get a chance to know everybody (in a small school),” she said. “I make friends everywhere I go.”
Bettis competed at the Texas Relays in Austin last month.
“The track there is totally different – it’s huge,” she said. “There was about 15,000 people there, and they were all staring at me.”
Coffey also starts at centerfield on the Bulldogs varsity baseball team, which is making its first playoff appearance since 1989.
The Bulldogs will face Pittsburg in the area round of the playoffs at 7 p.m. Thursday (tonight) and 3 p.m. Saturday, May 10, in Greenville. If a third game is necessary, it will follow the second game.
With his speed, Coffey is a serious base-stealing threat, and has managed to stretch singles into triples.
As one would expect, both of them are excellent students.
Coffey ranks seventh in his class, while Bettis is an A-B honor roll student.
“I was one grade away from getting all As,” she said.
Coffey is closer to graduation, but hasn’t thought much about what he wants to do, other than go to college.
“Right now, all I’ve been doing is sports,” he said. “That’s what I’d really like to do in college.”
Coffey also might look at math as a major.
“I like math a lot,” he said. “I understand it real well.”
Bettis isn’t planning much farther ahead than determining what she’ll wear at the state meet – matching socks and fingernail colors.
“They (the socks) will be pink with fur around them,” she said with a big grin. “Just look for the pink socks.”

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Kemp High School sophomore Sharda Bettis stretches
prior to working out at the KHS track Monday.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Eustace High School junior Cameron Coffey enjoys
a rare moment of relaxation in the high school lobby Monday.

KHS, EHS area baseball games set
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Area baseball playoff series open Thursday (tonight) for both the Eustace Bulldogs and the Kemp Yellowjackets.
Both teams tied for first in District 13-3A play, along with Kaufman, and Eustace won a playoff series in Mabank April 22 to get the first-place playoff berth and a bye for the bidistrict round of the playoffs.
Kemp, the second-place seed, defeated Brownsboro in a best-of-three bidistrict playoff Friday and Saturday (see related story).
Eustace will play Pittsburg at 7 p.m. Thursday (tonight) and 3 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at Greenville High School, with a third game (if necessary) immediately following.
Kemp will play Texarkana Pleasant Grove at 7 p.m. Thursday (tonight) at Driller Park in Kilgore, with a second game at 7 p.m. Friday and a third game (if necessary) set for noon Saturday.
Directions to Greenville High School: From Eustace, take Farm-to-Market 316 north to FM 2709, turn right (east) and follow FM 2709 to intersect with State Highway 19. Follow SH 19 north through Canton to Emory. At Emory, turn left (west) on U.S. 69, and follow it to Greenville, where it will intersect with Interstate 30. Turn left (west) on I-30 to the SH 34 exit. Go through the light by Applebee’s along the service road one block to Sayle, then take a right on Sayle. The second four-way stop will be at the high school, which will be on your left. The field will be on your right as you cross the parking lot. Figure about two hours travel time.
Directions to Driller Park: From Kemp, take U.S. 175 to Athens (take Loop 7 around Athens), and turn left (east) on State Highway 31. Follow SH 31 all the way through Tyler to Kilgore. In Tyler, you could turn north (left) and go around on Loop 323 to again join SH 31, but it likely will be quicker to stay on SH 31 and drive straight through town. Once in Kilgore, turn right (south) on SH 135, and follow the loop around the traffic circle to Commerce Street. Turn right again (south) on Commerce and follow it south to the park, which will be on your left. Figure on more than two hours travel time.


Upcoming games





May 10
Saturday Fun Sail 11-2

May 24
(8:30 a.m. Don’s Port)

June 14
Saturday Fun Sail 11-2

*District contest


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