Sports and Outdoors


 Lake Info

Normal Lake Level is 322.00 feet above Mean Sea Level.
Current level for Cedar Creek Lake is: 321.90
Water Temperature:
82  degrees - top
degrees - bottom




Texas Football picks 1 local team for playoffs
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–The 50th anniversary edition of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine contains a lot of looking back with its traditional look ahead to the 2009 football season.
Long considered the Bible of Texas sportswriters, Texas Football is just that – a comprehensive look at football across the state, from pros down to the smallest private school.
Last year’s issue predicted a remarkably unsuccessful season for the five Cedar Creek Lake area football teams, but that turned out to be a rare error, as Mabank almost made the 4A playoffs and both Eustace and Kemp broke decade-long playoff droughts.
Eustace fell in the bidistrict round to Nevada Community, but Kemp knocked off Farmersville to advance to the area round of the playoffs, while Trinidad made the playoffs again (as predicted), despite having graduated almost everyone.
What does the magazine foresee for lake-area teams this year?
Texas Football again sees the Mabank Panthers finishing last in the seven-team District 15-4A, primarily due to the fact the Panthers return only two offensive starters, neither of them being MVP candidate Kolton Browning.
Browning’s departure to Louisiana-Monroe leaves a huge hole for sixth-year head coach Jimmy Cantrell to fill at quarterback, and it’s likely the Panther spread offense will emphasize running more than it has in the past couple of years.
The Panthers do return eight starters on defense from last year’s 4-6 squad, and that may make them a threat in a district where only one team, the West Mesquite Wranglers, return more than six starters on offense.
Lancaster’s Tigers are picked to win the district, with West Mesquite, Forney and Red Oak taking the other three playoff spots.
Lancaster has the district’s largest enrollment, almost double Mabank’s enrollment, making it one of two Division I (big-school) representatives, along with Forney.
The Tigers have six offensive and five defensive starters returning from a 7-5 Division I area finalist squad.
Mabank’s defensive starters include linebacker Nolan Duncan, lineman Spencer Endelman and linebacker Dustin Schultz, while center Dillon Bramblitt, one of the strongest players in the district, will anchor the offensive line.
Ask any area coach, and they’ll agree District 14-3A is the most balanced district around.
Last year, Van established themselves early on as the class of the district, going 5-0 while forging an 11-2 record and advancing to the regional finals.
This year, the Vandals – and everybody else – will likely be better.
As noted earlier, the Eustace Bulldogs broke an 11-year playoff drought last year, and Texas Football predicts the Bulldogs will claim the district’s third-place playoff berth behind the Vandals and the Canton Eagles.
That playoff pick shows how much change third-year head coach Doug Wendel has made in the Eustace program, which forged just seven wins in the three years before Wendel took over.
The Bulldogs return eight starters on both sides of the ball, including an all-senior backfield – quarterback Chris Compton, fullback Shawn Baldwin and speedy tailback Trevan Johnson, who qualified for the regional track meet in five different events.
However, Wendel told the Eustace School Board Tuesday night he is more excited about returnees “who don’t get their names in the paper.”
“We have eight or nine seniors who have been Bulldogs since they were in kindergarten,” Wendel added.
At this point, it looks like the Week 7 matchup between the Bulldogs and the Eagles in Canton might be one of the games of the year.
Last year’s Eagle squad included 18 sophomores, so they also have almost everybody back.
Both teams combined for a memorable shoot-out in Eustace last year, running up 984 offensive yards in a 35-26 Bulldogs win.
The Kemp Yellowjackets return five starters on offense and seven on defense from last year’s 6-6 area finalist squad, which became the first Kemp team to make the playoffs in 11 years.
However, the ’Jackets will be missing one major contributor – two-way standout Josh Carr, now departed to West Texas A&M University.
In a district where everybody has most of their starters back, losing Carr’s playmaking ability may put the ’Jackets at a disadvantage, but they’ll have a mobile, experienced quarterback in senior Jeremy Quick, who will be operating behind a mostly veteran offensive line.
Like last year, most of Kemp’s offensive starters will start on defense, as well, and senior Wesley Kerr is expected to be a key contributor in the defensive backfield.
Another returnee is linebacker Zac Allison, who stopped Texarkana Pleasant Grove’s NeRonte Threatt during the ’Jackets’ stirring goal-line stand in their area championship loss to the Hawks last November.
“We’re losing some good ones,” third-year head coach Greg Anderson noted, “but we have some good ones coming back.”
Dropping down to the 2A ranks, the Kerens Bobcats are again picked to win District 14-2A, while the Malakoff Tigers appear ready to rebound to mid-pack after going 1-19 over the past two seasons.
Kerens has six offensive and nine defensive starters returning from last year’s 8-3 playoff squad, and Texas Football picks the Bobcats to lead the district, with Edgewood and Corsicana Midred taking the other two playoff berths.
Senior quarterback Pat Faulk is a key contributor for the Bobcats, rushing for 3,552 yards and 45 touchdowns and passing for 3,212 yards and 36 more TDs in the last two seasons.
He’ll have some help, as the Bobcats welcome back five more offensive and eight more defensive starters.
At Malakoff, there’s a new coach in town, Jamie Driskill, who will have eight offensive and nine defensive starters returning from last year’s 0-10 squad.
Dropping down to the six-man ranks, the Trinidad Trojans appear ready to continue as perennial playoff contenders.
Texas Football has the Trojans picked to win District 14, as they welcome back four starters on both sides of the ball from last year’s 8-3 playoff team.
The magazine notes: “When you have a running back named Marcus Allen who rushes for 1,676 yards and 33 TDs, life can’t be all that bad.”

Pitcher’s pop-up
Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Kemp Sting pitcher John Brooks Jr. bunts the ball up in the air as Kemp Roughriders catcher Matt Dedie reacts to the pop-up. Dedie almost made the catch, but Brooks later flied out. Most of the Cedar Creek Area Little League playoff contest passed in a pitcher's duel between Brooks and Roughriders pitcher Tyler Truitt Monday at the Kemp Area Sports Association fields. The Sting won 1-0, but both teams will advance to the Little League District tournament at The Colony during the week of June 29.



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