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
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
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
“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
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
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 www.ssrodeo.com, or
call Stace Smith Pro Rodeos at (903) 489-2652, or toll-free at