Sports and Outdoors


Practices open around lake area
By Kerry Yancey
Monitor Staff Writer

CEDAR CREEK LAKE–Football and volleyball practices got underway Monday morning around the area.
Trying to beat the expected heat, most coaches set practice very early in the morning and late in the evening, but Monday’s weather turned out unexpectedly cool, with scattered light (very light) showers.
Football players started in shorts and T-shirts, as no one is allowed to don pads until Friday – although everybody has an intrasquad scrimmage set Saturday, either before (at Eustace) or after media day.
Media day introductions are scheduled for 8 a.m. Saturday at Mabank, 9 a.m. at Kemp and 11 a.m. at Eustace.
The first football scrimmages will be Saturday, Aug. 19, as Eustace hosts Palestine Westwood in a 9 a.m. tilt, while Mabank travels to Mineola and Kemp visits Grand Saline.
Volleyball players have a somewhat quicker schedule, as the first scrimmages open this weekend.
Friday, Eustace opens a two-day scrimmage session, hosting Kemp and others, while Mabank travels to Emory Friday for a scrimmage against the Rains Lady Wildcats.
Mabank will go on the road again Saturday, visiting Wills Point for a scrimmage.
Mabank, Kemp and Eustace volleyball players all will open at home Tuesday, Aug. 15, as Mabank hosts Palestine and Wills Point, Eustace hosts Malakoff and Kemp hosts Ennis, all starting around 5 p.m. with sub-varsity matches.
At Mabank, coach Stacy Shelton said she had 13 players set for the varsity, although one player had already been lost with a broken ankle prior to the start of practices.
Kemp coach Patsy Davis also opened with 13 players, with a couple more expected to join by the time school opens next week.
At Eustace, veteran coach Chuck Powers said he had about 50-something players, “about normal for us,” including 17 freshmen.
On the gridiron, Mabank head coach Jimmy Cantrell said he had between 130 and 140 players out, adding a few more are expected to come out once school opens.
“We’re in pretty good shape overall,” Cantrell said, pointing to the just-completed six-week summer performance course (see related pictures at left) as a big help in off-season conditioning.
At Eustace, head coach Brad Scoggin welcomed back around 85 players, again with more expected to join after school opens.
“We look pretty good,” he said.
At Kemp, practices opened with around 70 to 72 players, somewhat of a disappointment for head coach Walt Mangan, who was hoping to see 80 or 85 players come out.
“We’ve got a lot of freshmen missing,” he said. “We’re more prepared for the start of things this year, though.”
Most players reported in pretty good condition, Mangan added. “We’re still not in the shape I wanted us to be in, but we’re making progress.”

MDA Rodeo set Aug. 17-19
Special to The Monitor
ATHENS–It’s MDA rodeo time again in Athens.
Stace Smith Pro Rodeos, winner of back-to-back awards – PRCA Stock Contractor of the Year (2004-05) and the PRCA Rodeo of the Year for the 2005 MDA Benefit Rodeo, is producing the biggest concert and rodeo production of the year for East Texas.
This year’s MDA Rodeo again will be held at the Henderson County Fair Park Coliseum in Athens Thursday, Friday and Saturday, Aug. 17-19.
The event will feature two of the world’s top country and western entertainers, Pat Green and Restless Heart, along with top PRCA cowboys from throughout the United States.
Action actually opens at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 16, with the timed event slack at the Fairgrounds, followed at 8 p.m. by the rodeo kickoff party at the Coal Miners club, located on State Highway 31 between Athens and Malakoff, featuring Cooder Graw.
Thursday will feature the Kid’s Rodeo, with special events for kids beginning at 6:30 p.m. Admission on Thursday night will be $5 per adult and the kids are free.
Books open at 5:30 p.m., and entries are limited.
Friday night, Pat Green will be performing after the rodeo, and Saturday, Restless Heart will be performing.
Rodeo action opens at 7:30 p.m. both nights, with the concert following around 9:45 p.m. Gates will open at 6:30 p.m.
Friday night tickets are $19.50 in advance and $22.50 at the gate. Saturday tickets are $19.50 in advance and $22.50 at the gate. Kids 12 and under get $5 off the adult ticket price in advance and at the gate both Friday and Saturday.
Each night’s rodeo will feature professional announcers, contract acts, rodeo clowns, bullfighters, NFR qualified stock, and some of the fastest and most exciting rodeo action ever, with events for the kids during each performance.
The rodeo is a fund-raiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). Some form of muscular dystrophy affects more than 400 families in the East Texas area. A portion of the proceeds from this rodeo will directly benefit those families.
The MDA works in local communities to combat neuromuscular disease through (1) basic applied scientific investigation, (2) local comprehensive programs of medical services and clinical care, and (3) widespread professional and public health education.
There is no single disease called muscular dystrophy. The term designates a group of hereditary muscle-destroying disorders, which vary in inheritance pattern, age onset, initial muscles attacked and the rate of progression.
Come on out and enjoy quality entertainment while contributing to a good cause. The major sponsors of the event are Kelly Harris Tire, Wrecker & Quick Lube Service, Elder Dodge of Athens, KNUE and KLTV Channel 7.
Tickets can be purchased at Lone Star Western Wear in Athens and Corsicana, and Cavender’s Boot City in Tyler and Palestine.
For additional information, visit the website at, or call Stace Smith Pro Rodeos at (903) 489-2652, or toll-free at 1-888-822-5919.

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