Sports and Outdoors

     

 Lake Info

Normal Lake Level is 322.00 feet above Mean Sea Level.
Current level for Cedar Creek Lake is: 321.16 Water Temperature:
80  degrees - top
78
degrees - bottom

 

 

 

 

  EHS hosts Ferris for homecoming
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

EUSTACE–Heading into their annual homecoming game this Friday, the Eustace Bulldogs should feel much more confident.
They managed to notch their first victory of the season over hosting Quitman last Friday night, and they did it the hard way – with a rookie quarterback and a goal line stand to preserve a precarious lead in the final minute.
Senior halfback Trevan Johnson was pressed into service at quarterback to replace classmate Chris Compton, who was on crutches last week with a deep muscle tissue bruise in his leg suffered against Edgewood.
“We were very pleased at how Trevan handled this,” head coach Doug Wendel said Monday. “He really took ownership of his responsibility, and actually wanted the opportunity.”
Johnson wound up with 25 carries for 171 yards, despite the fact that the Bulldogs were very much plain vanilla on offense.
“We could not run our three base option plays,” Wendel said. “Two of them we didn’t even attempt. You don’t start running the triple option in one week, or even two or three.”
Compton is still very doubtful for Friday night’s homecoming game against Ferris, even though he’s no longer on crutches.
“Chris spent every day last week in the training room. He didn’t even come out to the field,” Wendel said. “As of Saturday, he was ahead of schedule.
“My guess is he will be in training all this week, too,” Wendel added.
Once the Bulldogs get past the Ferris contest, they have an open week to rest and heal before starting District 14-3A play at home against Mineola Friday, Oct. 9.
It’s possible Compton could return for the Mineola game, although it’s more likely he’ll be back for a key road game Canton Oct. 16. Of course, he’ll be plenty rusty when he returns from such a long layoff, Wendel pointed out.
During last Friday’s 12-8 win against hosting Quitman, the Bulldogs held the home team on downs inside the 1, after Quitman put together a seven-minute drive, using almost all the fourth quarter.
“Jacob McCarter made four touchdown-saving tackles during that drive,” Wendel said. “On fourth-and-goal at the 1, Zach Stokes stopped (Devontae) McNeal.
“We run four quarterback sneaks and run the clock out,” he added. “Cody Folsom made seven tackles, five of them for losses. I thought he played his best game ever.
“It’s good to get a win in a hard-fought way, to gut out a win like that,” Wendel said. “We can build from that.”
The Bulldogs overcame a lot of adversity, including “way too many penalties” and three turnovers on a sloppy field, one coming on a kickoff return.
“We’ll continue to focus on us this week, and try to eliminate those mistakes,” Wendel said. “I think you’ll see a different offensive look this week.”
Ferris and Eustace, former district foes, have put together some exciting contests over the last couple of years.
Two years ago, in Wendel’s first season at the helm, the Bulldogs went into the final game against Ferris with a shot at making the playoffs.
Last year, the Yellowjackets blocked a field goal attempt – which would have put the Bulldogs ahead – and returned it for a touchdown, blowing open the contest and leading to a 30-14 Ferris win.
“I think they’re district contenders (in 12-3A),” Wendel said. “They have a Division I running back (James Hopkins) and an outstanding quarterback (Ryan Kidwill).”
The Yellowjackets run a Wing-T offense, and do it very well, he added.
“They’ve got an answer for everything you do, and it’s tough to cover everything,” Wendel said. “I’m always tempted each spring to go to this offense.
“They do it with options and misdirection,” he added. “The Wing-T, in and of itself, is tough to stop, but when you put options with it, it’s almost impossible to stop.
“Their coach (Randy Barnes) has been running this offense for about 20 years, and they’re really good at it,” Wendel said. “He’s got some talented backs carrying it out.”
All that aside, the Bulldogs may be over the early-season hump, having played mostly on the road so far.
Four of the Bulldogs’ next six games are at home, with the exceptions being key district contests against Canton and Wills Point.
“We’ll have to hold onto the ball,” Wendel said. “It’s going to be a short game, because both teams run. We’ll have to score touchdowns, and have one or two stops.
“If we play our best, I think we’ll be right there in the fourth quarter,” he added.

EHS loop favorite
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

EUSTACE–With three starters returning from last year’s regional quarterfinalist squad, along with two talented newcomers, veteran Eustace High School volleyball coach Chuck Powers might be forgiven for having high expectations this year.
However, maintaining focus has been a difficulty for his team, who were 18-9 prior to Tuesday’s final non-district match on the road against North Mesquite. The Lady Bulldogs open District 14-3A play at home Friday against Wills Point.
“Right now, consistency is our biggest unknown,” Powers said Monday. “We can play at a really high level, but when we’re bad, we’re really bad. That’s been our weakness.”
Returning this year are last year’s Newcomer of the Year, junior Allie Cass, along with seniors Jenny McConathy (a first-team all-district pick last year) and setter Kimberly Austin.
They’ve been joined by sophomore Catania Grant and junior Harmony Allen, giving the Lady Bulldogs a formidable front line.
“I’ve got four legitimate hitters, and never before in my 35 years have I had that luxury,” Powers said. “That’s why I have such high expectations, because I know what kind of talent is out there.”
Also out this year are seniors Aurora Beasley, Erica Sanchez and Kelsey Maltos, along with juniors Vanessa Lopez, Alyssa Walker and Shelley Temple.
Joining the Lady Bulldogs at Quitman Friday was senior Tori Bynum, who was a starter until suffering a serious back injury last year. “The doctors just cleared her last week,” Powers said.
Bynum is a multi-sport standout (cross country and track) who should give the Lady Bulldogs another top-quality athlete on the floor, not that they have any lack of talent out there now.
“On any given night, any one of them could step up, and that gives us a great deal of versatility,” Powers said. “If Jenny or Allie are not having a great night, someone else will step up. They’ve showed a lot of spunk that way.”
Friday night’s opener against Wills Point appears to be a key district match, as those two teams are the loop favorites. The teams are scheduled to open with 4:30 p.m. sub-varsity contests.
“I think the bottom half of the district (Mineola, Kemp and Canton) has made a big increase and picked it up a notch,” Powers said. “On the top end, I don’t think Van will be as strong, just knowing the kids they’ve lost (to graduation).
“I think the district should come down to us and Wills Point,” Powers said. “They’ve got a well-rounded team and a top-notch hitter (Precious Spencer).”
Friday’s opener was originally scheduled to be in Wills Point, but has been moved to Eustace because EHS is hosting Ferris for the annual homecoming contest that same evening (see related story).
“(Wills Point) coach Tracy Pierce was gracious enough to flop our home-and-home (schedule),” Powers said. “There’s not a lot of coaches out there who would do that.”
Powers admits his only worry is about his team’s consistency.
“We can match up with anybody,” he said. “We may be a little slow on foot speed, but we’ve got good vertical and good strength.”

Kemp seeking to be a contender
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–The Kemp Lady Yellowjackets have been right there in almost every match, but don’t have wins to show for it.
“We’ve been playing very well, and we’ve been in every game,” third-year head coach Peggy Swierc noted Monday. “We just haven’t pushed it over the edge to a win.”
Kemp opens District 14-3A play at home Friday when they host the Mineola Lady Yellowjackets, with 4:30 p.m. sub-varsity contests starting the evening.
The Lady ’Jackets have been able to hang with some of the heavy hitters, taking Athens to four games a week ago, and Swierc praised the team’s attitude and work ethic.
“They come in every day ready to work,” she said. “Their attitude has been great.
“As I’ve told them repeatedly, all these games are just preparation for when it counts,” Swierc said. ”We have all the tools it takes to be a contender in this district.”
One of the strengths of this year’s squad is experience. Nine of the 11 players are seniors, and seven started at least some games last year.
Returning senior starters include Amanda Lawrence, Kimmie Gorka, Hannah Carpenter (who was lost to a broken ankle last year), Shelbie Wright, Kylie Goswick (who also broke an ankle last year, a week after Hannah went down), Sharda Bettis and Amanda White, who has stepped into the libero spot this year.
Joining them are seniors Kayleigh Morton (just now coming back from an early knee injury) and Lacy Pettigrew, who played on the junior varsity last year.
The two juniors out, Amber Brewer and Heather Henderson, also both played JV ball last year.
“Our hitting and blocking are strengths,” Swierc said. “Our passing is a weakness.”
Now in her 32nd year of education, Swierc said she’s starting to see the results of establishing a program (as opposed to a new coach fielding a team each year) at Kemp High School.
“We’re trying to build a program here, and see to the success of all the kids in everything,” she said.
The program puts an emphasis on overall physical conditioning. For example, each week the Lady ’Jackets observe “black Wednesday,” and nobody touches a ball that day.
Instead, the girls hit the track and the weight room, “and do all the things we need to increase our jumping and our strength,” Swierc said.
“All of our coaches are on board for that, and that’s really helped our success,” she added.
Moving into a brand-new high school, with all the facilities close at hand, has also developed a lot of pride and excitement in the players, Swierc said.
“We’re physically much stronger through our weight program,” she explained. “We’re now physically able to get up and we have better control of our bodies.
“We’re jump-serving this year, and that’s something that’s being implemented down through the grades,” she added. “That’s all due to the program kicking in.”
Last year, the girls basketball team advanced to the playoffs for the first time in at least 16 years, and that helped the girls get a taste of what it means to go to the playoffs, Swierc said.
“I can definitely tell the difference this year, because the kids know what they’re working toward,” she added.
Swierc said she agreed with veteran Eustace coach Chuck Powers that the bottom half of District 14-3A is much improved.
“Us, Canton, Van and Mineola are all very even,” she said. “Wills Point and Eustace are the two strongest teams in the district, but the other four of us are all in the same boat, and any one of us could win on any given night.
“If Eustace and Wills Point are not on their game, and take us lightly, they could get beat,” she added.
 

 

Upcoming games

Cross country

Sept. 26
MHS @ Lion’s Den Invit.
KHS @ Lion’s Den Invit.
(Ennis)
EHS @ Rowlett

Oct. 2
MHS @ Lindale
KHS @ Lindale
EHS @ Lindale
(Garden Valley golf course)

Oct. 10
MHS @ Jacksonville
KHS @ Jesuit Classic
(Norbuck Park, Dallas)
EHS @ Union Grove

Volleyball

Sept 25
MHS bye
KHS vs Mineola*
EHS @ Wills Point*

Sept. 29
MHS @ Forney*
KHS @ Wills Point*
EHS vs Canton*

Oct. 2
MHS @ Terrell*
KHS @ Canton*
EHS vs Van*

Oct. 6
MHS vs Lancaster*
KHS vs EHS*

Oct. 9
MHS vs Red Oak*
KHS vs Van*
EHS vs Mineola*
(*district contest)

Football

Sept. 25
MHS open
KHS vs Palmer
EHS vs Ferris (HC)

Oct. 2
MHS @ Terrell*
KHS open
EHS open

Oct. 9
MHS vs Red Oak*
KHS vs Van*
EHS vs Mineola*

Oct. 15
MHS @ Mesquite Poteet*

Oct. 16
KHS vs Wills Point*
EHS @ Canton*
(*district contest)

 

 


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