Sports and Outdoors


’Jackets blank Eustace, 10-0
Monitor Staff Reports
KEMP–The hosting Kemp Yellowjackets shut out the visiting Eustace Bulldogs 10-0 Tuesday in the District 12-3A opener for both teams.
Kemp was scheduled to visit Kaufman Friday, while Eustace was scheduled to host Crandall.
Tuesday, March 28, the ’Jackets are scheduled for a bye, while the Bulldogs will visit Wills Point for a 6 p.m. district contest. Next Friday, March 31, Kemp will host Crandall in a 4:30 p.m. game, while Eustace is scheduled to fill a bye with a visit to Quinlan for a non-district game.
Despite a chilly breeze, the ’Jackets got up on the Bulldogs early, thanks to some sharp hitting, a couple of Bulldog mistakes, and strong defense.
Reliever Michael Cook took the loss for the Bulldogs, while Kemp starter Mikie Scruggs improved to 3-0 with the win.
Scruggs gave up no runs, only one hit, no walks and notched four strikeouts. Reliever Tim Fuller pitched the last 1 1/3 innings and gave up no runs or hits and notched one strikeout.
Eustace reported hits from Aaron Coffee and Cook, while Kemp got hits from J.R. Frizzell (2-for-4) with an RBI double), Brett Kennedy (1-for-1 with two runs scored), Matt Carr (1-for-3 with an RBI).
Scruggs also added a hit, along with Josh Carr (an RBI double) and Oliver LaCour.

‘Mo’ knows
MHS sophomore excels at athletics, music, life
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

MABANK–Most everyone has heard the old boast, “I could beat you with one hand tied behind my back.”
“Mo” Lander can do it – whatever the challenge might be.
Born without a left hand, the Mabank High School sophomore is a starter at first base on the Lady Panthers softball team, and occasionally pitches.
She’s also state-level musician, playing the euphonium in the MHS marching band and trombone in the jazz band.
Lander will be among the Panther Band’s Solo and Ensemble group making the trip to Austin for state competition the day after school lets out.
Lander is also on the MHS yearbook staff (doing photography), the Lady Panther powerlifting team, takes pitching lessons each Wednesday and, not to forget, also holds down a job at Unlimited Movies in Gun Barrel City on the weekends.
“I’m a very busy person,” she admits with a grin.
On the softball field, opponents rarely notice right away she doesn’t have a left hand, because she lines up and participates in warm-ups like the other players – but then they are amazed at her ability.
“The first thing they ask me is how I do it,” Lander said. “I’ve done it all my life, so it comes natural to me.”
Second-year MHS softball coach James Driskill first saw Lander as an incoming freshman during a summer league game.
“I knew from the get-go that she could play,” Driskill said.
“She’s among four or five others who are softball lifers,” Driskill added. “That’s who you can build a team around, because they understand the game.”
Driskill has a group of four sophomores (including Lander) who start, and sometimes five or six sophomores start for the young Lady Panthers, who have only two seniors.
Mo started playing T-ball at age 5, and began organized athletics in sixth grade.
First base – along with pitcher and catcher – is a critical position on any softball team, and Lander could be one of the best, because she knows what to expect, Driskill said.
“She’s a good first baseman, and she’ll get nothing but better,” he added. “If I had 10 Mo Landers, we’d do well.”
Lander also began organized music in the sixth grade.
“Mo’s just great,” MHS associate director of bands Matthew Hiller said. “If more students had an attitude like Mo, our band would be unstoppable.”
Hiller met Lander as an eighth grader, and says her adaptation to the trombone is “remarkable.”
“They (the euphonium and trombone) are really similar – the mouthpiece is the same – but in order to change notes, instead of moving valves, you have to move the slide,” Hiller said.
“Somehow, she’s able to balance it (with her left arm),” Hiller said. “With some more practice, by next year she could be an All-State Band member.”
Lander is the only female in the marching band’s low brass section, which includes tubas, euphoniums, French horns, trombones and sousaphones, but she’s the section leader, bossing around the dozen or so boys in that group.
“She has a positive attitude all the time,” Hiller said. “She comes in ready to go to work.”
“People have always encouraged me to do what my dreams are,” Lander said. “I do what I want to do, and I don’t let that (lack of a hand) stop me at all.”
In powerlifting, for example, one would think not having a hand would be a definite hindrance. Lander has notched lifts of 115 pounds in the bench press, 185 pounds in the dead lift and has squatted 275 pounds.
Learning photography as part of the yearbook staff enabled Lander to get close to the action at varsity football games last fall.
“It’s fun for me to go out there and be a part of it,” she said.
Born Melody Lander 16 years ago, Mo got her nickname from her youngest brother, now 4.
“He couldn’t say ‘Melody’,” she said. “He said ‘Mo,’ and it just stuck.”
Lander counts getting her driver’s license as one of the biggest thrills of her young life.
Because she has three younger siblings who also have schedules to juggle – “my parents (Doug and Jeri Lander) are very busy people,” she says – getting her license made it possible for her to get where she needs to go.
That includes the Wednesday evening pitching/batting lessons from Canton resident Dale Williams, and a monthly drive to Belton in Central Texas, where her mom, Melissa Fetterhoff, lives.
She drives a 2004 Ford F-150 pickup and listens to country music (George Strait is a favorite).
A “mostly A” student, Lander said chemistry is her favorite course this year.
“I get it,” she said. “It comes to me more easily than my other classes.”
Lander hopes to attend the University of Texas at Austin on a softball scholarship after graduation, although, if athletics doesn’t pan out, she might go on a music scholarship.
“I may have to choose (between athletics and music),” she admitted. “Being in band is a big part of my life. It’s so much fun.”
When asked what she wants to do after school, Landers picked interior decorating.
“I love to pick at things, and rearrange things my own way,” she said.
However, athletics may also play a future role in her life. She’s going to help her stepmother coach 10 and under softball players this summer.
“When I was little, I wanted to be a teacher,” Lander said. “Now, I’m into sports. I didn’t think softball could be a professional sport, but coaching I might consider. We’ll see if I like it (this summer).”
“You’d never know she has a handicap,” Driskill said. “She jokes about it. I was trying to pick something up the other day, and she said, ‘Coach, I’d give you a hand, but I’ve only got one’.”
Noting Lander’s busy schedule, Driskill said, “I’m sure there are days when she gets worn out, but you’d never know it.”
“She’s a fun girl,” Hiller said. “You’ll laugh when you’re around Mo.”

Lacy tops 12-3A all-district picks
Monitor Staff Reports
CEDAR CREEK LAKE–District 12-3A coaches released the girls basketball All-District team Wednesday, naming Kemp’s Meagan Lacy as the “Freshman of the Year.”
Crandall, Kaufman and Wills Point dominated the all-district selections, with Crandall seniors Kacey Russell and Amber Murphy sharing the Most Valuable Player honor.
Kaufman junior Jasmine Hughey was named the Offensive Player of the Year, while Wills Point sophomore Jamie Thompson was named the Defensive Player of the Year.
Wills Point sophomore Taylor Austin and Kaufman junior Lauren Perrin were named as Co-Newcomers of the Year.
The only Kemp senior, Julie Addison, was named to the first team All-District squad, joining three Crandall players, three Kaufman players and two Wills Point players.
Other first-team picks were Kaufman’s Britney Strimpke, Nikki Harris and Samantha Clark, Crandall’s Meagan Hashman, Sarah Wood and Megan Cullum, and Wills Point’s Shanna Smith and ShaRhonda Jones.
Eustace placed two Lady Bulldogs on the All-District second team, senior Kendall Hailey and junior Brittany Bearden.
Kemp junior Ashley Zellmer was named to the second team, along with Wills Point’s Misty Gipson and Danielle Booker, Crandall’s Bobbie Staley and Kaufman’s She’Tara Steine.
Gaining honorable mention were Eustace seniors Whitney Spain and Morgan Heitman, along with Kemp sophomore Sarah Smith and junior Alex Valentine.

Upcoming Games

March 28
Mabank vs Red Oak*
Kemp @ Eustace*

March 31
Mabank @ Lancaster*
Kemp @ Kaufman*
Eustace vs Crandall*

April 4
Mabank @ Ennis*
Kemp idle

March 28
Mabank @ Athens*
Kemp idle
Eustace @ Wills Point*

March 31
Mabank vs Corsicana*
Kemp vs Crandall*
Eustace @ Quinlan Ford

April 1
Kemp vs Bullard

April 4
Mabank vs Red Oak*
Kemp @ Wills Point*
Eustace vs Kaufman*



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