Sports and Outdoors


Kemp pushes Van Alstyne to third game
Panthers wrestle area baseball championship away
from plucky Yellowjackets

By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

FORNEY–Kemp’s Yellowjackets forced the mighty Van Alstyne Panthers to a third game before bowing out of the state baseball playoffs in the area championship round Saturday.
After losing the first game 16-3 in six innings last Thursday, the ’Jackets roared back with another late-game rally to defeat the Panthers 12-5 Friday.
In the deciding game of the best-of-three series at Forney’s Jackrabbit Stadium Saturday afternoon, the Panthers opened up an 11-2 lead in the first two innings and went on to defeat the ’Jackets 12-2 in five innings.
“The kids hit the ball hard, but right where they were,” Kemp coach Randal Forguson said afterward. “That’s what we did in the first game.
“Last night, we got two (hits) back-to-back and got hot. We just couldn’t put anything together today,” he added.
“I’m proud of these kids, with all the adversity they went through this season,” Forguson said. “We were a couple of bounces away from being right there in it.”
Strikeouts and pop-ups marked the ’Jackets attack in the opening game of the series, which no one wanted to talk about.
Friday night’s game, however, may have been one of their best efforts of the season – certainly Forguson thought so.
The ’Jackets opened a 1-0 lead in the first inning when sophomore third baseman Nick Sallings lined a two-out double to right field to score senior second baseman J.R. Frizzell.
Frizzell, batting second, hit a stand-up double to left center off Panther starter Josh Bowers to get on base.
However, Sallings was stranded when sophomore shortstop Matt Carr flew out to deep center.
The Panthers immediately threatened when a leadoff walk to junior Dustin O’Brien was followed by an error (a wide throw to first) to put senior catcher Shawn Ablett on base.
Kemp sophomore pitcher Mikie Scruggs then allowed his second walk to load the bases with two outs, but he recovered, striking out junior Chuck Hardwick looking to get out of the jam.
Kemp put together a three-run outburst in the top of the third, as Frizzell singled to left, junior catcher Brett Kennedy walked, and Sallings singled home Frizzell.
Matt Carr then singled home Kennedy, and Scruggs hit a sacrifice fly to right to score Sallings.
In the fourth inning, the Panthers got back into the game, scoring four runs on two hits and a Yellowjacket error, as well as two very questionable balk calls against Scruggs, one of which allowed Panther Adam Judd to score.
With the score tied at 4-4, both teams struggled in the fifth and sixth innings.
The Panthers got out of the fifth with a double play involving an interference call against Sallings at second that brought Forguson across the field to argue with the umpire and got Kemp fans very upset.
The ’Jackets got out of the sixth when Kennedy made a painful-looking tag against Panther Kyle Mounger at home, completing a double play started when Panther Matt Ritchey popped up.
Kemp broke open the contest in the top of the seventh, batting completely through the lineup against Panther reliever Jacob Hand.
Leadoff man Leif Skierski got things started with a double to left field, followed by a ground-out by Frizzell and a walk by Kennedy.
Sallings scored Skierski with a single to left, and Matt Carr doubled to center to score Kennedy.
Scruggs then hit to the left-center gap, winding up with a triple and scoring both Sallings and Carr.
Josh Carr followed that with a stand-up double to the exact same spot, scoring Scruggs, and senior Mike Haney moved Carr to third with a tap to second base.
With two outs, the Panthers committed an error on a routine tap to second by Oliver Lacour, which scored Josh Carr.
Skierski returned, and promptly singled to center, then stole second. Another Panther error on the pickoff throw to second allowed Lacour to score.
A rattled Hand then walked Frizzell and Kennedy’s single down the left-field line scored Skierski and moved Frizzell to third.
The streak ended when Sallings popped up to the catcher, leaving two runners on base.
Van Alstyne couldn’t match the eight-run outburst in the bottom of the seventh, although Scruggs did give up one run on a bases-loaded walk with two outs before a routine grounder to second ended the game.
Saturday, the Panthers took charge from the opening pitch, as leadoff man O’Brien singled off Skierski.
The Panthers then got a break in the form of an error on a routine popup, and Clayton Maloy’s bases-clearing single gave them a quick 2-0 lead.
Another single and a passed ball set up Cole Whitaker’s bases-clearing stand-up double to left, giving the Panthers a 4-0 lead.
Another error on a routine tap to short prompted a quick Kemp huddle, but Whitaker scored on a passed ball before Skierski caught Dustin Pogue looking for the first out.
Adam Judd tapped into a routine ground out, but Mounger’s stand-up double scored Hardwick.
The Panthers still had two baserunners when Matt Ritchey’s fly to left was caught by senior Juan MacKinnon to end the top of the first.
The ’Jackets came back with two runs in the bottom of the first, as Kennedy’s shot over the 325 sign in left field scored Skierski, who had walked.
Unfortunately, Kennedy’s home run proved to be the only scoring play of the day for the ’Jackets, and the Panthers added five runs to their total in the top of the second.
The Panther onslaught was aided by the third Kemp error, which set up a two-run shot over the 364 sign in left center by Shawn Ablett.
The next three Panthers all singled, and Judd’s double to left scored two runs, although Sallings was able to tag Pogue out at third.
Another single by Mounger scored Judd, and the damage was done.
Neither team threatened in either the third or fourth innings, but the Panthers were able to add the decisive run in the top of the fifth when Maloy (who tossed a three-hitter) hit a deep fly to right, scoring Ritchey.
That gave the Panthers the 10 runs needed to end the contest after five innings, and the ’Jackets went quietly in the bottom of the fifth, with two ground-outs, a walk, and a force out at second.

EHS athletes honored at fete
Monitor Staff Reports
EUSTACE–Two multi-sport senior standouts were named as the “Athletes of the Year” during the annual Eustace High School Athletic Awards event.
A nearly standing-room-only crowd packed into the EHS gym for Monday evening’s event, as coaches introduced athletes in each sport and handed out tribute awards.
Megan Maltos and Kody Petillo were named the school’s top athletes.
Maltos has played every girls’ sport at Eustace High School, and also plays flute in the band, while Petillo played football, basketball and ran track for the district-winning Bulldogs.
Maltos “was a part of five district championships” during her high school career, veteran girls coach Chuck Powers told the crowd, adding “She’s a coach’s dream to coach.”
This past school year, Maltos ran cross country, played volleyball, basketball and softball, was on the powerlifting team and also ran track. She also was named homecoming queen last fall.
Petillo, who has already signed a national letter of intent to play football for St. Ambrose College in Davinport, Iowa, was a first-team all-district selection on both offense and defense for the Bulldog football team, head coach and athletic director Brad Scoggin told the crowd.
In addition, Petillo also started on the basketball team and was a part of the first varsity track team in school history to win a district championship and go through the season undefeated.
“He’s done everything any of us coaches have asked him to do,” Scoggin said.
Maltos and Petillo posed for pictures in front of a display of trophies and awards, and Scoggin noted all of those trophies and awards were secured by EHS athletes during this past school year.
“Whoo! What a great year we’ve had this year,” Scoggin said.
The top performances of the year were turned in by the cross country and track teams.
At the start of the year, the boys and girls cross country teams both won district championships for the fourth straight year. The boys and girls both went on to win the regional championship for the second straight year.
Tanida Durnell won 10 of the 11 races the team competed in, the gathering heard.
In track, the girls had 14 qualify for regional competition and set two new school records. Chelsea Truitt qualified for regional competition in five different events.
The Bulldog boys track team, both varsity and junior varsity, went through the season undefeated, and coach Denver Stone said he had not been a part of that kind of accomplishment before.
As noted earlier, the Bulldogs made school history with the first district track championship, winning eight of 17 events, setting new school records in the 800 relay and 1600 relay, as well as the 200 meter dash and 300 meter hurdles, qualifying 15 runners for the regional meet.
The Lady Bulldogs volleyball team were bidistrict champions and an area runner-up.
Coaches handed out awards to athletes, opening with the cheerleaders.
Cheerleaders: Most Spirited Kelsi Robertson, Most Improved Rachel Cook, 3-Ds Candy Donaghue, Whitney Snow and Bethany Wood, Cheerleader of the Year Melanie Scott.
Volleyball: Heart Award Brittney Ward, Setter of the Year Whitney Spain, MVP Alyson Harlan.
Cross country: Boys MVP Joseph Calhoun, Girls MVP Tanida Durnell.
Football: Fighting Heart Award Jacob Skoda, Offensive Player of the Year Daniel Frazier, Defensive Player of the Year Carson Handlin, MVP Kody Petillo.
Girls Basketball: Lady Bulldog Dedication Megan Maltos, Bulldog Heart Award Brittany Ward, MVPs Kendall Hailey and Brittany Bearden.
Boys Basketball: Most Improved Colton Walsh, Most Dedicated Robert Bonner, MVP Miles Lytle.
Boys Powerlifting: Newcomer of the Year Zach Arambula, Fighting Heart Award David Hamilton, MVP Josh Johnson.
Girls Powerlifting: Newcomer of the Year Janice Martin, MVP Vanessa Maltos.
Girls Golf: MVPs Cortney Thomsen and Brittany Ward.
Boys Golf: no MVP named.
Softball: Defensive Player of the Year Jessica Buie and Megan Ott, Lady Bulldog Heart Award Rachel Watson, Coach’s Award Vanessa Maltos, MVP Alyson Harlan.
Baseball: Bulldog Heart Award Jacob Skoda and Robert Bonner, Outstanding Hitter J.D. Oldham, MVP Jacob Renteria.
Girls Track: Lady Bulldog Heart Award Jessica Parker, Outstanding Runner Tanida Durnell, MVP Chelsea Truitt.
Boys Track: Most Improved Michael Sapp, Newcomer of the Year Cameron Coffey, MVP John Oliver.
Earlier, Booster Club president James Cox presented Danny Davis Scholarships to Whitney Spain and J.D. Oldham, along with Booster Club scholarships to Justin Smith, Timothy Miller, Kody Petillo, Jacob Skoda and Daniel Frazier.
The first Courtney Howard Memorial Scholarships were presented to Laci Goodrich, Jamie Haas, Crystal Morrison, Kody Petillo, Whitney Spain, Brittney Ward, Kyle Roberts and Daniel Frazier.
Cox also introduced the Booster Club officers, vice president Tammy Spain (who won the 4-wheeler auctioned off all year by the Booster Club), secretary Karen Lytle, treasurer Melanie Oldham and concessionaire Mechelle Nixon.

Upcoming Games

CC Christian Softball League
Saturday, May 20

7 a.m. Justice
Hillcrest Red vs CLC Frogs
7 a.m. Tommy Smith
Grace Extreme Impact vs CLC Flame Kickers
8 a.m. Justice
CLC Frogs vs CLC Flame Kickers
8 a.m. Tommy Smith
A Sinner’s Hope Baptist vs Hillcrest Red
9 a.m. Justice
A Sinner’s Hope Baptist vs FBC Kemp
9 a.m. Tommy Smith
no game
10 a.m. Justice
CC Bible Bearers of Light vs FBC Mabank Puddle Monkeys
10 a.m. Tommy Smith
FBC Eustace Disciples vs Prairieville Illustrated
11 a.m. Justice
FBC Mabank Puddle Monkeys vs Prairieville Illustrated
11 a.m. Tommy Smith
FBC Eustace Disciples vs Hillcrest Blue
noon Justice
FBC-GBC Halos vs CLC Crushers
noon Tommy Smith
Hillcrest Blue vs FBC Mabank Sea Donkeys
1 p.m. Justice
FBC-GBC Halos vs St. Jude Saints
1 p.m. Tommy Smith
CLC Crushers vs Prairieville Armadillos
2 p.m. Justice
Prairieville Armadillos vs St. Jude Saints
2 p.m. Tommy Smith
no game
3 p.m. Justice
Providence Baptist vs Legendary Baptist
3 p.m. Tommy Smith
Calvary Jesus Freaks vs CC Church of God
4 p.m. Justice
CC Church of God vs Providence Baptist
4 p.m. Tommy Smith
Legendary Baptist vs Calvary Jesus Freaks
First team listed is home team