Sports and Outdoors


Eustace to Host Kemp for Opener
Monitor Staff Reports
EUSTACE-Being able to take a week off and get relatively healthy may make the difference for the Eustace Bulldogs Friday night, when they host Kemp in the District 13-3A opener for both teams.
For the second straight year, the Bulldogs will open district play at home against the 'Jackets. Last year's double-overtime thriller was the first in a series of district losses for an injury-ravaged Eustace team.
"We're going to be as healthy as we have been all year this week, thank the Lord," Eustace head coach Brad Scoggin said.
Eustace comes into Friday's district opener at 1-4, while Kemp is 0-5 after last Friday's loss to Hillsboro.
This year's 'Jackets are a typical Kemp team, in that they play hard, Scoggin said.
"Defensively, they'll get after you. They run to the football well," he said. "Offensively, they're predominately a running team, but they've started throwing the ball lately.
"They've got kids who can make some plays, no doubt," Scoggin added. "We've got to take care of the ball, offensively, and keep it out of their hands. Their offense can get on a roll and control the ball for a while."
Mistakes, such as fumbles, bad snaps and interceptions, will play a key role in who wins the game, he added.
"It's do or die time now. We've learned a lot of lessons in the first five games," Scoggin said.
"Our schedule is set up pretty well for us (with both Kemp and Mabank coming to Eustace). Now, we have to take advantage of it," he added.
"I'm excited. I think this will be a very competitive district race," Scoggin said. "I think the off week has helped us with our focus."


'Jackets Looking to Bounce Back
Monitor Staff Reports
KEMP-The Kemp Yellowjackets will be looking to bounce back for the "second season" of District 13-3A play Friday, after going 0-5 in the first five games.
The latest loss was last Friday's 42-28 setback against Hillsboro, where the error-prone 'Jackets battled both themselves and the Eagles.
"When you turn the ball over seven times, you're not going to beat a lot of people," Kemp head coach Walt Mangan noted. "The good news is that we can forget about the first five (games), and everybody's starting over at 0-0."
For the second straight year, the 'Jackets will open district play on the road against the 1-4 Eustace Bulldogs.
Last year's matchup was a double-overtime thriller won by the 'Jackets - easily one of the most entertaining games of the season for fans on either side of Bulldog Stadium.
On paper, both teams look evenly matched again this year. Turnovers likely will play a key role in who wins, just like last year, Mangan said.
"We have to take care of the football and execute on offense," he said. "I'm sure (EHS coach) Brad (Scoggin) is telling his kids the same thing."
Hillsboro actually was a pretty good tune-up for the district opener, as Eustace runs nearly the same offense, Mangan said.
"They're going to run a multi-set offense, and try to get mismatches on the outside," he said. "They're going to look a lot like Hillsboro.
"If he's healthy, (Bulldog quarterback) Mike Cook will be their key. He was the one who hurt us last year," Mangan said. "Defensively, they've gotten a lot better every week."
The challenge for the 'Jackets may be to maintain their concentration for a full game, as occasional mental lapses have really hurt, such as blown coverages against both Hillsboro and Van that led directly to touchdowns.
"Two of the last three games, we've really been beating ourselves," Mangan said.
Also, injuries to the offensive line have really hurt the 'Jackets, and they lost another OL backup and defensive starter when Travisdale Barker hurt a knee against Hillsboro.
In addition, a couple of player defections last week means the 'Jackets go into district play with just seven healthy offensive linemen, so any more injuries will be a crucial blow.
"The offensive line is a big key for us," Mangan said. "If we can run 20 times a game, we'll be where we want to be. We'd much rather run the ball than throw it."

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Both Kemp quarterback Matt Carr (10) and tight end Jacarri Culberson (89) signal touchdown as Yellowjacket running back Bret Kennedy plows over from one yard out for the first Kemp score Friday.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Kemp's Matt Brown (15) has a near-touchdown pass tipped away by a Hillsboro defender Friday.


Lady Bulldogs Stop Ferris
Monitor Staff Reports
EUSTACE-The hosting Eustace Lady Bulldogs got back on track Friday, as they defeated the visiting Ferris Lady Yellowjackets in three games.
Now 20-8 on the season and 3-2 in District 13-3A volleyball play, the Eustace Lady Bulldogs were scheduled to open the second round of district on the road at Kaufman Tuesday, before hosting Kemp Friday, Oct. 13.
Next Tuesday, Oct. 17, the Lady Bulldogs will host Crandall, with a playoff berth likely on the line. All evenings open with 4:30 p.m. sub-varsity matches.
Friday's 25-18, 25-17 and 25-18 win over Ferris got the Lady Bulldogs back in the win column after dropping back-to-back matches against Crandall (Sept. 29) and Mabank, the first-round winner.
"After a rough week, we played pretty aggressively," veteran Eustace head coach Chuck Powers reported.
"I thought our net play by Alyson Harlan (10 kills, two blocks, three digs and two assists), Cassie Freeman (nine kills, three blocks, one dig) and Rebekah Walter (one kill, five blocks) really carried us," Powers said.
Jessica Parker led the Lady Bulldog defensive effort with 17 assists, one dig and one kill, while Traci Garrett had seven digs and four kills.
Cati DiBari and Ashley Houston each had two digs, while Chelsea Truitt added one dig.
Kayla Stacks had two digs, one assist and one kill, while Camille Rogers added one block.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Eustace senior Alyson Harlan (3) returns a Ferris serve, while teammates Cati DiBari (2) and Cayce Hampton (at left) get into position during the Lady Bulldogs win over visiting Ferris Oct. 6.


Mabank Jabs Lady 'Jackets
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK-Mabank's Lady Panthers finished the first round of district play without losing a game, as they defeated the visiting Kemp Lady Yellowjackets 3-0 Friday.
Now 22-4 on the season and 5-0 in District 13-3A volleyball play, the No. 13 Lady Panthers were scheduled to visit the Crandall Lady Pirates (tied for 20th in the Oct. 9 Texas Girls Coaches Association poll) in a key second-round contest Tuesday.
Now 8-14 on the season and 0-5 in district play, Kemp was scheduled to visit Ferris Tuesday, and Friday, Oct. 13, they will visit Eustace. Next Tuesday, Oct. 17, the Lady 'Jackets will visit Kaufman.
Oct. 13, the Lady Panthers will host Kaufman's Lady Lions, and Oct. 17, they host the Ferris Lady Yellowjackets for Parent's Night.
Each evening opens with 4:30 p.m. sub-varsity matches.
Against Kemp Friday, the Lady Panthers won 25-7, 25-10 and 25-23, in a performance that didn't win raves from Mabank head coach Stacy Shelton.
"Very sluggish performance from our team," Shelton said afterward. "It was a hard match to play. We like to play at a fast pace, and it wasn't that style of match.
"We got too relaxed in the third game, and had a lot of hitting errors and defensive mistakes, which allowed Kemp to stay in the game," she added. "We were lucky to beat them in that particular game."
It was indeed the closest game Mabank has seen in district play - their previous closest game was the third game against Crandall in the Sept. 22 district opener (25-20).
Mabank's powerful net game was on display in the first two games of the match, as nine different players racked up 33 kills and three blocks against the Lady 'Jackets.
Miranda Groom and Shadia Rueb led the way, as Groom had eight kills, one block and one serving ace, while Rueb had seven kills, one block and one ace.
Bridgette Tanner had five kills, one block and two aces, while Macy Thomas had an ace and an assist.
Kelly Hitzfeld had three kills and four digs, while Hali Schultz had one kill and one dig and Pheng Leav had five digs.
Kelsi Reynolds had 17 assists, one save and one dig, while Erica Umana had eight assists and Lindsie Amyx had two digs.
Haley Brackenridge and Ashley Corter each had kills, while Katie Cross had two kills.
Alex Valentine led the Lady 'Jacket scoring with five points on five kills, while Julie Gorka had four points on four kills.
Jamie Hunter scored three points on two kills, four assists and one ace, while Ashley Zellmer also had three points on three kills and six assists.
Sabrina Trammell scored two points on one ace and one kill, while Meagan Lacy scored one point on two kills, one ace and four assists.
Paige Moore added two assists, Keleigh Collinsworth had one ace and one dig, and both Birttany Updike and Taylor Sharp added digs.
Mabank won the junior varsity contest 25-8 and 25-17, as the Lady Panther JV also improved to 5-0 in district competition.

Monitor Photo/Kerry Yancey
Mabank's Miranda Groom (8) blocks a hit by Kemp's Jamie Hunter (3) during their District 13-3A match Friday. Also shown are Kemp's Alex Valentine (at right) and Mabank's Kelsi Reynolds (12), Kelly Hitzfeld (7) and Bridgette Tanner (5).


Panthers Prep for District Opener
Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK-Offensive consistency will be the key for the 2-3 Mabank Panthers Friday when they host the 1-4 Kaufman Lions in the District 13-3A opener for both teams.
"The key will be establishing some long drives on offense, and keeping their offense off the field," Panther head coach Jimmy Cantrell said.
"We've made a few little subtle changes in our offense to help us," he added.
Early in the season, the Panthers could pass, but didn't have much of a run game, and in the last couple of games, the Panthers ran well, but didn't have much of a passing attack.
Mabank's defensive play, however, has improved each week.
Both teams come into the district opener off bye weeks, having won their final pre-district games - Mabank defeated Wills Point 10-7, while Kaufman won a shoot-out with Athens, 35-26.
The Lions are primarily a running team, using a Wing-T look most of the time.
"Their quarterback (Michael Cox) has played really well," Cantrell said.
"Their offensive line has impressed me," he added. "They're getting a lot of people on the ground, and that's going to be a key for our defense, to avoid getting cut. That's how they whipped Athens."
The Athens game was also a breakout performance for Lion running back Justin Kapp, who had 190 yards on 27 carries.
"He's a hard runner," Cantrell said.
Whichever team wins the war in the trenches probably will win the game, Cantrell said.
"Our offensive and defensive lines have played well this week," he added. "Coach (David) Walker has done a super job."



Upcoming Games
Cross Country
Oct. 14
MHS @ Hillcrest Inv.
EHS @ Van Inv.
KHS @ Ferris Inv.

Oct. 23
District 13-3A meet
(Cedar Creek CC)

Oct. 13
MHS vs Kaufman*

Oct. 20
KHS vs Crandall* (HC)

Oct. 27
MHS vs Ferris*
KHS @ Kaufman*
EHS @ Crandall*

Nov. 3
MHS @ Crandall*
KHS vs Ferris*
EHS vs Kaufman*

Nov. 10
EHS @ Ferris*
(end regular season)

*district game

Oct. 13
MHS vs Kaufman*
EHS vs Kemp*

Oct. 17
MHS vs Ferris*
EHS vs Crandall*
KHS @Kaufman*

Oct. 20
MHS @ Eustace*
KHS vs Crandall*

Oct. 24
MHS @ Kemp*
EHS @ Ferris"
(end regular season)

*district match