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




Loop crown on the line for Bulldogs
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

EUSTACE–The Eustace Bulldogs will be going for the District 14-3A championship when they travel to Van for the season finale Friday night.
Hold on. Let’s run that by again.
The Bulldogs ... going for the district championship.
It’s been a long time since anybody’s been able to say something like that in a football story. The Bulldogs haven’t been in the playoffs since 1997, but they’re going this year, no matter what happens Friday night.
For faithful Eustace fans, just the fact the Bulldogs are going to the playoffs – let alone having a shot at the loop crown in the last game – more than justifies bringing in new head coach and athletic director Doug Wendel less than two years ago.
“It’ll be a different pressure than what we’ve had the last couple of weeks,” Wendel admitted with a grin Monday.
“We’re excited about going out to practice and focusing on improving,” he added.
The Bulldogs clinched a playoff berth with last Friday night’s 41-30 win over the 0-9 Wills Point Tigers. They’ll face the winner of Friday night’s Nevada Community-Quinlan Ford matchup in the first round of the playoffs.
Friday’s game actually doesn’t mean anything in terms of playoff seeding, because Van will go as the district’s Division I (big-school) representative, while Eustace will advance as the Division II representative.
That said, Wendel expects both teams to be fired up, as Van (8-1, 4-0 district) would like to close out the season as the unbeaten district champions, while Eustace (5-4, 3-1) also wants to snag the crown and hand the Vandals their first district loss.
Kemp and Canton will battle in Kemp Friday night for the third-place playoff berth (see related story, page 2B).
Wendel said he was pleased with the Bulldogs’ effort against the physically more talented Tigers.
“I was pleased that we only had two penalties,” he said. “I think our offense is executing at a high level.”
Perhaps the key to the offense working was the play of junior quarterback Chris Compton, who gained 130 yards on 16 carries and scored once on a one-yard plunge.
From the sideline, it was easy to tell Compton was in serious pain after getting banged up on the first Eustace possession of the second half, but he was able to take advantage of the Tiger defense’s preoccupation with fullback Shawn Baldwin and halfback Trevan Johnson.
“Chris showed a lot of guts,” Wendel said. “His performance is one I’ll remember for a long time.
“I felt if we continued to run the option well, they weren’t going to stop us,” he added.
“Van has a great run defense. They play good technique, and they’re very aggressive,” Wendel said. “It’s going to be a challenge for us. I think they’re as physical as Ferris was.”
Van presents a number of different defensive looks, he said.
“They try to take away what you do best,” Wendel said. “We have four or five options we run, and it’s hard to take away all of them.
“We’re not going to change what we’re doing,” he added. “We’re not going to come out and throw 30 passes.”
Van, however, just might do that – they have thrown more than 30 passes in a game from a spread offense this season, but they’ve also lined up in the traditional Power I and run the ball.
“Offensively, they’re pretty hard to prepare for,” Wendel said. “We expect both (looks). I don’t think they’ll change their personality. Van is Van, and they’re going to run the ball. That’s what we’ve got to stop.”
Wendel said he was looking forward to facing a physical team, such as the Vandals.
“I’d like to see where we match up,” he said. “It’ll be an indicator of our progress.”
Wendel said he really hasn’t thought about his team making the playoffs and going for the district championship in his second year.
“I think I’ll feel pretty good about it after the season’s over,” he said. “Saturday, about 2, I always start to feel nervous about the next game.”

Midway knocks out Mabank in bidistrict
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

CORSICANA–Mabank’s Lady Panthers found their fifth straight trip to the playoffs a brief one, as Waco Midway’s Pantherettes knocked them out with a 3-0 bidistrict volleyball win Monday.
The Lady Panthers started the season with two strikes against them – losing almost everybody (all but two subs) from a squad that went 20-0 in Class 3A district play, plus bouncing back up to Class 4A in last February’s UIL realignment.
Mabank finished the season 12-22, including a 5-7 District 15-4A record. The good thing is veteran Mabank coach Stacy Shelton has almost everybody coming back next year, as she loses only her two seniors, setter Erica Umana (a returnee) and Melody Cook.
Grabbing the district’s fourth-place playoff berth was a major accomplishment in a district that featured third-ranked Red Oak, but that also meant facing defending Class 4A state champion Waco Midway in the first round.
In front of a sparse crowd at Corsicana High School, Midway knocked off Mabank 25-21, 25-6 and 26-24.
“The girls played really well in the first and third games, but game two was horrible,” Shelton said afterward.
“Our lack of playoff experience with these athletes really hurt us,” she added. “None of these girls have actually played in a volleyball playoff match before, and Midway’s girls showed a little more composure than we did.
“I thought our offense did a great job, but our serve receive, which has hurt us all year long, was our downfall,” Shelton said. “That is something we definitely need to work on for next year, along with many other things.”
In the opening game, Mabank’s girls showed some obvious jitters early, but settled down and eventually tied the score at 9-9.
The serve receive problems Shelton noted were quite apparent in the opening game, but Mabank was able to hang close, staying within two points at 17-15 following a Torrie Garrett kill, and 19-17 on a Midway miss.
Midway took a 22-18 lead when Mabank mishandled a serve, but a spike by Alison Castle and a Midway miss pulled the Lady Panthers within two again at 22-20.
A kill by Cook pulled the Lady Panthers within a point at 22-21, but that’s as close as they would get. Midway scored the next three points to take the first game.
Mabank was never in the second game, falling behind 4-0 early.
The Lady Panthers closed to seven points at 12-5 when Midway was called for a lift, but Midway ran off the next 10 points before Garrett’s spike finally broke the run at 21-6.
Facing elimination, the Lady Panthers came out strong in the third game, but immediately fell behind again.
Midway’s Ale’tra Ware gave them a 6-2 lead, but Umana’s long hit was just inside the back line to break the run, and the Lady Panthers started climbing back into the game.
Castle caught a break when her serve skipped off the top of the net and fell in for an ace, bringing Mabank within a point at 7-6, but her next serve went into the net.
Lauren Norwood again pulled the Lady Panthers within one, and Midway’s next serve return went out of bounds to tie the score at 8-8.
A Mabank block and a Midway miss prompted Midway to call time with the Lady Panthers up by two, 13-11.
Allyson Butler’s spike kept the Lady Panthers ahead, and Cook nailed the next serve for Mabank’s second ace.
Mabank caught another break when Midway was called for moving during the serve, which wiped out Norwood’s serve into the net and gave Mabank a 16-12 lead.
Midway started battling back, taking advantage of a Mabank miss and a call against the Lady Panthers. A tip by Midway’s Tammy Mader pulled them within a point at 17-16 and prompted Shelton to call a time-out.
Cook made it a two-point game, but the Lady Panthers missed a block and hit out to tie the score at 18-18, and another miss gave Midway the lead.
Cook nailed two hits to again tie the score at 19-all and 20-all. Midway opened a two-point lead, but a Mabank block and a Garrett kill tied the score again at 22.
Midway took a two-point lead when Mabank was called for being in the net and hit long, but Garrett’s tip closed the gap and Midway hit out to tie the score again at 24.
The Lady Panthers had been able to overcome a couple of odd calls, but the next one (which drew howls from Mabank fans) gave Midway a 25-24 lead, and a Midway tip ended the game and the match.
“I thought our girls represented Mabank well, and for such an up-and-down season, we gave it our all,” Shelton said.
Castle and Norwood each notched six kills, while Norwood added six digs and one save, and Castle had two digs.
Garrett finished with four kills and three blocks, along with one dig, while Cook finished with five kills, three blocks, two digs and one ace.
Umana finished with 20 assists and one kill, while freshman Taylor Brown added three assists.
Butler finished with three kills, two blocks and one assist.
On defense, Hayley Spurgeon had 13 digs, while Lauren Hamilton (the other returnee) had four digs and Shaylee Williams added one dig.

Kemp goes for playoff spot
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

KEMP–Friday night’s season finale will have the Kemp Yellowjackets facing the visiting Canton Eagles, with the District 14-3A third-place playoff berth on the line.
None of the Kemp players have ever been in a situation where the playoffs were riding on the game’s outcome.
The last time the ’Jackets had a legitimate shot at a playoff berth in the final game was in 2000 (although they were close in 2006, when they finished 5-5), and the last time Kemp made the playoffs was back in 1997, head coach Greg Anderson said.
“We’re certainly excited to be in the position we’re in, although it’s not going to be an easy task,” Anderson said.
The ’Jackets put themselves in a position to make the playoffs with a very narrow 24-21 win over hosting Mineola last Friday night, while the Eagles fell to the league-leading Van Vandals in their annual grudge match, 24-14.
Now 4-0 in district play, the Vandals will host the 3-1 Eustace Bulldogs Friday, with the district championship at stake (see related story, page 1B).
Both Canton (5-4) and Kemp (4-5) come into Friday’s contest at 2-2 in district play. Whoever wins Friday’s contest at Kemp will face Farmersville in the first round of the playoffs, Anderson said.
“We are going to have to play a good game. They (Canton) are well-coached, and they have a history of making the playoffs,” he said.
If it’s a close game, the ’Jackets might have an edge. Last Friday night, Mineola had two shots at a tying field goal with no time left, but missed both times.
“We jumped on them quick and got out in front, 21-0, by halftime,” Anderson said. “They’re a good football team. We just had a couple of crucial mistakes that killed drives, and that gave them opportunities to get back into it.”
It didn’t help that both the game clock and play clock weren’t working after halftime, he pointed out.
As time was running out, Mineola lined up for a tying field goal, but pulled it wide left. However, the ’Jackets were flagged for roughing the kicker, and Mineola got a second chance 15 yards closer.
“We got good pressure on him, and I think he rushed it,” Anderson said. “Our kids, late in the game, have confidence now that things may go their way in the end.”
A pre-season pick as the district favorite following three straight playoff runs, the Eagles “are young, but they’ve got a good group,” Anderson said. “I know coach (Lance) Angel will have his group ready to play.”
Canton runs the spread offense, “and they’re really good at it,” Anderson said. “They use the entire field, and they control the clock. Even though they throw it, they still have 10- or 12-play drives that use up the clock.
“Their defensive line and run defense is as good as anybody in the district,” he added. “In that, our good (running attack) is going against their good.”
While it’s true for every football game, this matchup will turn on the play of each team’s offensive and defensive lines, along with turnovers and mistakes, Anderson said.
“We have the advantage of playing at home,” he added. “It’s senior night, and there’s certainly no better way for them to finish their season than to gain their first playoff opportunity.”


Upcoming games


Nov. 7
MHS @ West Mesquite*
KHS vs Canton*
EHS @ Van*
(end regular season)

*district contest

Nov. 6-8
Area playoffs

*district contest

Boys Basketball

Nov. 11
EHS vs Brownsboro (scr)

Nov. 15
EHS @ Lovejoy (scr)

Girls Basketball

Nov. 8
MHS @ Frisco Liberty (scr)
KHS @ Kaufman (scr)

Nov. 11
MHS vs Kerens
KHS @ P.Westwood

Nov. 13-15
MHS-Lady Panther Inv.

Nov. 14
MHS vs Wills Point
KHSvs Palmer

Cross Country

Nov. 8
Regional meet
(Vandergiff Park, Arlington)

Nov. 15
State meet
Old Settler’s Park
(Round Rock)


Copyright © 2008, MediaOne, L.L.C.