Sports and Outdoors

Sunday, September 12, 2010

 Lake Info

Normal Lake Level is 322.00 feet above Mean Sea Level.
Current level for Cedar Creek Lake is: 320.46 Water Temperature:
82  degrees - top
degrees - bottom


EHS eyes another playoff run
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

EUSTACE–With four returning starters from last year’s 3A regional quarterfinals team, it’s understandable that veteran Eustace head coach Chuck Powers might already be looking ahead to post-season play.
After all, Powers’ program (now in its 38th year) produced back-to-back regional quarterfinalists teams in the last two years, each of whom posted 10-0 district records, and there’s no one in the new District 6-2A who can match that – except Jewett Leon.
Now 19-6 on the season after Tuesday night’s wins over Westwood and Mabank (see related story, page 3B), the Lady Bulldogs will be opening 6-2A play at home against the Mildred Lady Eagles Tuesday, Sept. 14.
(Technically, Eustace opened district play Friday night with a first-round bye.)
Go ahead and circle Friday, Oct. 1, on the calender. None of the local football teams will be playing that night, but Eustace will host Leon in the first-round finale, with a second-round trip to Jewett scheduled Tuesday, Oct. 26.
The Leon Lady Cougars of District 11-2A also advanced to the regional quarterfinals last year, have everybody back from that team, and are currently ranked third in the state.
“They are No. 3, and deservedly so – they’re for real,” Powers said. “They have such a tradition down there. Their coach is the son of the man who coached their mothers (Powers is now coaching the grandchildren of some of his early players).
“They have a strong club program down there, and their kids play club ball year-round,” he added. “They play well together, and they have a couple of good-sized girls.
“I think if anybody in this district could match up with them, it would be us,” Powers said.
The potential is there for a home-and-home split, forcing a third-game playoff for the district championship (a sweep by either team seems unlikely), and there might be a fourth meeting down the road at the regional tournament. All of that is possible, if the Lady Bulldogs can stay healthy and continue playing as a unit.
“One of our strengths – in every match, win, lose or draw – we’ve done it as a unit, and not six individuals,” Powers said.
“That’s something I preach all the time,” he added. “Some groups buy into it better than others, and for this group, that’s a strength.”
Only two girls were lost from last year’s playoff team, but they were good ones – district MVP Jenny McConathy (now on Trinity Valley Community College’s first volleyball team) and the district’s top setter, Kim Austin Barnett (now attending Dallas Baptist College).
However, the Lady Bulldogs also have back two multi-sport standout athletes – junior Catania Grant (last year’s Newcomer of the Year) and senior Allie Cass.
Also back are seniors Vanessa Lopez and Harmony Allen, along with senior Shelley Temple, who was a regular sub last year.
They are joined by junior Shelby Stegent and a trio of sophomores, Bethany Strickland, Kacie Richardson and Mallory Keeling.
“Those returners have been tremendous leaders to set the stage for where we’re at now,” Powers said.
“Catania is stronger than she was last year. She’s playing hurt (a nagging shoulder injury), but she’s better now, hurt, than she was last year at 100 percent,” he said.
“Allie, I think, has worked her way into the second most-rounded volleyball player I’ve ever been blessed to coach,” Powers said, comparing Cass to now-departed multi-sport standout Alyson Harlan.
“She and Alyson both have a complete game – they hit well, pass well and serve well – and they both have a true love of the game,” he said.
“Shelley is really our knight in shining armor,” Powers said. “She’s worked so hard, and now she’s got a little vertical and strength, which makes her a legitimate threat.
“Of all the kids I’ve been blessed to coach, (Shelley) is one of the top two or three who gets all she has out of her body. Vanessa is like Shelley,” he added. “She gets everything out of her body, and she’s able to make things happen.”
Another multi-sport athlete, Allen, has been having medical issues for a year, limiting her playing time.
A number of visits to specialists has not determined what is causing her to abruptly tire, suffer dizzy spells and (on occasion) pass out.
“The time or two that it’s happened, it was a scary deal,” Powers said.
Those five players “are probably the best goal-setters, as a group, that I’ve ever had,” he said.
It’s probably no secret that Eustace and Leon are the top level of 6-2A, and it’s likely that everyone else will be playing for the third-place playoff spot.
“I expect Malakoff to come in third, from what I’ve seen and heard,” Powers said. “I like what Coach Neal is doing over there.
“Buffalo, Mildred and Malakoff all have new coaches, so the status quo could change,” he added.


Eustace beats Mabank, Westwood
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

EUSTACE–After opening flat against Palestine Westwood’s Lady Panthers, the Eustace Lady Bulldogs rebounded to knock off Westwood 3-1 and followed that with a 3-0 sweep of the visiting Mabank Lady Panthers during a dual match Tuesday.
Now 19-6 on the season, the Lady Bulldogs were scheduled to host Athens and Edgewood in a dual match Friday night before opening District 6-2A play at home against Mildred Tuesday, Sept. 14.
Mabank’s Lady Panthers fell to 11-14 on the season with the loss, and were scheduled to host the Rains Lady Wildcats Friday night.
Tuesday night, the Lady Bulldogs opened the dual match with an uninspired showing against Westwood, winning the first game 25-20, but losing the second, 25-20. The Lady Bulldogs responded by winning two straight, 25-17 and 25-22, to claim the match.
Senior Allison Cass led the Lady Bulldogs with 28 kills, and junior Catania Grant added 18 kills, with senior Shelley Temple racking up 52 assists.
In the final match of the evening against Mabank, the Lady Bulldogs won three straight, 25-17, 25-18 and 25-22, even though the Lady Panthers held a big lead late in the third game.
EHSvsMHSvb.jpg (431967 bytes)
Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Mabank Lady Panther Makenna Allen (14) tips the ball over Eustace Lady Bulldog defenders Bethany Strickland (6) and Catania Grant as Lady Panthers Kourtney Holyfield (12) and Megan Royal (1) look on during the second game of Eustace's 3-0 win over the visiting Lady Panthers Tuesday.

During the second game, Mabank sophomore setter Kourtney Holyfield did something this reporter had never seen before – returning a Eustace hit with her right foot.
The ball hit Holyfield’s instep and bounced right back over the net. Both teams recovered from the surprise in time to play out the point, which the Lady Panthers won.
“I have seen that on TV, but that was the first time I have seen it live, and where it was playable,” veteran Eustace coach Chuck Powers said later. “That was unusual.”
Cass and Grant again led the Lady Bulldog attack, with both notching 12 kills and Cass adding five blocks. Temple had 28 assists and Vanessa Lopez added four kills and two blocks.


Upcoming Events


Sept. 25
Race Day

Oct. 9
Fun Sail

Oct. 23
Race Day

Nov. 6
Fun Sail or Make-up race


Sept. 17
MHS @ Palestine
KHS @ Malakoff
EHS @ Quitman

Sept. 24
MHS @ Brownsboro
KHS vs Fairfield
EHS @ Ferris

Oct. 1
MHS idle
KHS idle
EHS idle

Cross country

Sept. 17
EHS @ Sky Ranch

Sept. 18
MHS @ Crandall Relays
KHS @ Palestine Relays

Sept. 25
MHS @ Canton Relays
KHS @ Canton Relays
EHS @ Lions Den Relays


Sept. 14
MHS vs Malakoff
EHS vs Mildred*

Sept. 17
MHS idle
KHS vs Venus
EHS @ Buffalo*

Sept. 21
MHS @ Rains
KHS vs Quinlan Ford
EHS vs Malakoff*

Sept. 24
MHS vs NForney*
KHS vs Kaufman*
EHS @ Blooming Grove*

Sept. 28
MHS vs N.Forney*
KHS @ Crandall*
EHS vs Teague*
(*district contest)

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