Sports and Outdoors


 Lake Info

Normal Lake Level is 322.00 feet above Mean Sea Level.
Current level for Cedar Creek Lake is: 320.68
Water Temperature:
na degrees - top
degrees - bottom



  Mabank hosts Kemp for homecoming
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–Throw the records out the window. It’s time for Mabank and Kemp to renew their annual rivalry.
It really doesn’t matter what sport is involved, or whether it’s boys or girls playing – the Yellowjackets and Panthers will provide fans with a show.
Friday night, the Panthers host the ’Jackets for homecoming, with the crowning of a homecoming queen during halftime ceremonies.
Both teams are coming into the game off losses.
Mabank is 1-1 after falling to the hosting Athens Hornets, 21-14, last week, while the ’Jackets haven’t seen much home-field advantage so far, falling to 0-2 with a 39-0 loss to Parish Episcopal last week.
Kemp head coach Greg Anderson has to be feeling frustrated by two straight home losses, because the ’Jackets are clearly playing at a much higher level than last year.
“You could look at the two scores and you could get depressed, but looking at the films, you can see how close we really are,” Anderson said Monday.
“I know the scores haven’t been very good, but I’ve seen them on film. They are much improved from last year,” Mabank head coach Jimmy Cantrell said Monday.
“What has hurt them (Kemp) has been mistakes,” Cantrell added. “We all know about turnovers and penalties. If they eliminate their mistakes, we’re looking at a football game.”
“(On film), you see 10 guys do their job, and one guy mess up, and it’s not the same guy every time,” Anderson said. “What we’re looking at is 99 percent fixable – that’s the good part.”
Turnovers were the crucial element in both teams’ losses last week.
The ’Jackets had four turnovers – two fumbles and two interceptions – and a number of penalties that wiped out what would have been first-down plays against the Parish Episcopal defense.
Kemp also had field position difficulties, but when they had excellent field position, thanks to kickoff returns by Korey Henderson, they weren’t able to take advantage.
In Athens, the Panthers gave up three touchdowns in the first half.
“Time of possession hurt us, and of course we had four turnovers, two fumbles and two picks, and that hurt us,” Cantrell said. “Special teams also played a role – they ran a punt back on us.
“They had a seven-minute opening drive, and we didn’t start playing defense until after that,” Cantrell said.
“Don’t take anything away from Athens. They prepared well for us, and they’re a good physical football team,” he added. “I don’t think our players were expecting that level of smash-mouth, and they’re every bit as good as Kaufman.
“They’re a little more dangerous than Kaufman, because they can throw,” Cantrell said. “Also, their defense gave us a lot of different looks.”
Despite all that, the Panthers had opportunities, but the lack of a true running threat allowed the Hornet defense to drop back into pass coverage against Mabank senior quarterback Kolton Browning.
Browning wound up as the Panthers’ leading rusher, with 44 yards on five scrambles.
“We’ve got to establish a running game with a back who can threaten people,” Cantrell said.
The ’Jackets have a threatening running back in Josh Carr, who makes defenders pay for less-than-perfect tackles.
“Carr is a tough kid. He rushed on us for a couple hundred yards last year,” Cantrell said.
“I’m sure they’re looking at Josh the way we look at Kolton,” Anderson said. “I’m sure they’re game-planning to try and slow him down, and it’s the same with us. Kolton is going to be one of the best quarterbacks we’ll see all year.”
Browning’s ability to evade rushers and keep his eyes focused downfield is one of his greatest strengths, Anderson said.
“Of course, he’s going to cause problems when he tucks the ball and runs,” Anderson added.
“Running the ball is something we’re both focusing on, although we’re a little more run-oriented than they are,” Anderson added. “I’m really impressed with Mabank’s defense, because they were playing some good athletes. They’ve come a long way on defense in a short time.”
“We need to be opportunistic and force turnovers,” Cantrell said. “This will be the third week in a row that we’ll see a ball-control offense. They definitely want to establish the run game, and they use a lot of misdirection stuff.”
Both coaches said mistakes will be the key factor in Friday’s matchup.
“I’ve noticed a big improvement in their younger players,” Cantrell said. “I’m impressed with them. They’re definitely playing with emotion, and I think they could be a playoff team in that district.”
“Both communities get excited,” Anderson said. “I know our kids are fired up to play.
“There will be a big crowd there, but I hope we won’t have any weather issues (from hurricane Ike),” he added.

Monitor Photo/Jennifer Hannigan
Mabank Panther Trey Smith (22) tries to get outside
against the Athens Hornet defense during the Panthers'
21-14 road loss to the Hornets Friday. Smith scored one
of Mabank's two touchdowns in the game.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Kemp Yellowjacket Cris Murray (5, left) tries to strip the ball from Parish Episcopal
Lion Brant Costilla (1) as an unidentifiable Yellowjacket defender drags Costilla
down during the first quarter of Kemp's 39-0 loss to the visiting Lions Friday.

Eustace home for Edgewood
Monitor Staff Reports
EUSTACE–After two straight road contests, the Eustace Bulldogs have their home opener Friday night, hosting the Edgewood Bulldogs in what should be an interesting matchup of two very different offensive styles.
Both teams will come into the contest at 1-1, following victories last week.
Eustace held off the hosting Dallas Oak Cliff Lions, stopping a two-point conversion try in the final minutes to preserve a 21-20 win, while Edgewood squeaked past the visiting Canton Eagles in a wild home-field shoot-out, 48-40.
Those results show two very different offensive philosophies – Eustace only threw the ball five times against the Lions and didn’t complete any of them, while Edgewood rolled up 512 yards against Canton, with only 39 coming via the rush.
“We’re going to dare them to run it,” Eustace head coach Doug Wendel said Monday.
While Eustace did a number of good things in Dallas, “we have an awful long way to go,” Wendel said.
“Special teams has to get better in a hurry, and we have to eliminate or significantly reduce our penalties,” he added. “We’ve also got to establish a passing game.”
One big help is the Bulldogs are getting healthier, as some players lost early on are returning to the lineup, Wendel said.
“Coach (Chris) Choate and his staff did an outstanding job of improving the defense,” he added. “We played the counter better and our secondary – even though they will be tested this week – played well.”
A couple of personnel moves helped the defense, as Shawn Baldwin moved from linebacker to defensive tackle and made some big plays, while Jacob Patillo stepped in at middle linebacker “and was a natural,” Wendel said.
“We’re getting healthier, and we’re excited about playing at home,” he added.
The defense will be tested by the “unique” Edgewood spread offense and senior quarterback Weston Jameson, the son of veteran basketball coach Jay Jameson.
“They drop their quarterback very deep, let him run around and just heave it up,” Wendel said. “Their No. 1 (junior Darrius Rogers) is a very fast, good receiver.”
Since Edgewood passes the ball about 75 percent of the time, Eustace coaches will try to force Jameson to pull the ball down and run, or hand it off, Wendel said.
“We know they are going to complete some passes and score some points,” he said. “We are going to have to match those touchdowns. We want them to have to work for it, and have to drive instead of just score.”
Ball control and limiting the number of possessions each team has will be the key to success, Wendel said.
Eustace has been able to move the ball on offense pretty much at will in the first two games, with mistakes and turnovers proving to be more adept at stopping the Bulldog option than the opposing defense.
The best way to stop Edgewood is to keep Jameson standing on the sideline, Wendel pointed out.
“I think a seven-minute drive will frustrate them,” he said. “I hope we can do that. If it’s more than eight or nine (possessions), it’s not going to be good for us.”




Upcoming games


Sept. 12
EHS vs Edgewood

Sept. 19
MHS @ Van
KHS vs Rains
EHS vs Quitman HC

Sept. 9
KHS vs Cross Roads

Sept. 12
MHS vs Lancaster*
KHS vs Quinlan Ford
EHS vs Edgewood
Cross Country


*District contest



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