Month: November 2019

BCP Podcast No. 71: Evan, Daniel discuss first week of football playoffs

After a rough first week of the high school football playoffs, the Big Country has just 12 teams remaining.

Forgoing a guest this week to dive into the bi-district results and area-round matchups, Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and and Daniel say goodbye to the teams that fell in their playoff opener and discuss the postseason future of those still playing.

Continue to check back at BigCountryPreps.com each Wednesday night at 7 p.m. when Evan and Dan discuss the current happenings in Big Country High School sports — often with an interesting sports figure from around the area.

You can also peruse our BCP Podcast archive, which features dozens of our previous shows with prominent coaches and Big Country media fixtures. 

Inquiries regarding these podcasts may be directed to Evan Ren at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com. 

If you have a suggested topic of conversation or a recommended guest, don’t hesitate to contact us! 

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GAME STORY: Stamford rebounds from Jim Ned loss with dominating win

STAMFORD — Coming off a disappointing 54-21 loss to Class 3A powerhouse Jim Ned on Saturday, the Stamford Lady Bulldogs entered Tuesday night’s game against Class 1A Jayton wanting to recapture some momentum and more importantly, some confidence. 

Mission accomplished. 

Laylonna Applin scored 15 points and Tylee Bevel added 14 more to lift Stamford to a 64-21 win over the Lady Jaybirds, lifting Stamford to 2-1 on the year. 

Jayton (1-3) was led by Kloe Thomas with 8 points and Katherine McGee with five. 

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FEATURE: Basketball takes center stage at ‘Meet the Cougars’ event

With the 10-1 Cooper football team preparing for Friday’s area-round playoff game against Azle, many around the south Abilene campus have yet to flip their sports calendars from the gridiron to the hardwood.  

But that didn’t keep a nice contingent of fans and students from showing up to support the Cooper basketball programs Monday night at CHS’ annual “Meet the Cougars” event at Cougar Gym.

With both the girls and boys seasons now underway, Cooper used the event to drum up some enthusiasm for local basketball, a sport that can be lost in the shuffle at times in a football-crazed town like Abilene and area like the Big Country.

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BCP Boys Basketball Position Rankings: Guards

With boys basketball season underway, it’s time to learn the names we’ll be reading about throughout the 2019-20 campaign.

For the first installment in a three-part series that will cover all position groups on the area boys basketball scene, we’ll be taking a look at the area’s top guards, ranking our top 10 with a list of others to watch this fall.

We hope you enjoy reading through our list.

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Marshall takes the award again

For the third time in a two-year span, Hawley’s Colton Marshall has captured the Big Country Preps Player of the Week award. And there is little doubt that he earned it. 

Helping Hawley to a 58-15 bi-district win over Chico, Marshall rushed for 271 yards on just 23 carries to help the Bearcats improve to 11-0.

By night’s end, the Big Country’s rushing leader had scored seven touchdowns and added three two-point conversions to lock up the accolade.

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FEATURE: Surprising De Leon rewarded for staying the course

Dickson

DE LEON — First-year De Leon head football coach Andrew Dickson kept insisting his Bearcats were a good team — even through seven regular-season losses.

Despite the mounting losses and offensive struggles caused in part by a 180-degree change in philosophy, the Bearcats finally proved their coach right at an opportune time. Jorge Gonzalez rushed for 197 yards and three touchdowns as the Bearcats, who entered the playoffs as a No. 4 seed with a 3-7 record, stunned the Bruceville-Eddy Eagles 48-41 in overtime in their Class 2A Division I bidistrict game Friday at Whitney.

Bruceville-Eddy, the No. 1 seed from District 8-2A, entered the playoffs with a 9-1 record, its first outright district championship in 39 years and a bye week to recuperate for the playoffs.

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GAME STORY: Dublin’s season ends with loss to Holliday

PONDER — At larger schools, it’s easy to find a good kicker, but the further you go down in classifications, the harder it gets.

Holliday found one in Logan Whitling and used his right leg to claim a 33-14 win over Dublin in a Region II-3A Division II bi-district game at Ponder Field on Friday night.

Whitling had a field goal in each quarter — connecting from 31, 28, 28 and 41 yards — as he was able to constantly put pressure on coach Bob Cervetto’s team.

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GAME STORY: Cooper defense answers call in 42-21 win over Del Valle

On a night when the Cooper offense was bottled up for the most part by a scrappy El Paso Del Valle squad, the Cougar defense made sure CHS would have a spot in the second round of the Region I-5A Division I playoffs.

Brady Miller, Dylon Davis and Isaiah Boutte all returned interceptions for scores Friday as the Coogs picked off six passes in total to fuel coach Aaron Roan’s squad to a 42-21 victory over the Conquistadors and into the area round, where it will face Azle next week at Tarleton Memorial Stadium in Stephenville.

Despite being outgained 404-236 and running just 36 offensive plays to Del Valle’s 75, Cooper never trailed in improving to 10-1 on the season.

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GAME STORY: Wall eliminates Boyd with big fourth quarter

Wall’s Drew Morrison led all rushers with 105 yards on 19 carries.

CISCO — A lot of defense, mixed with a lot of patience got the Wall Hawks through the bi-district round on Friday in a 32-7 win over Boyd at Chesley Field. 

Drew Morrison rushed for 105 yards and a touchdown on 19 carries to lead a Wall rushing attack that produced 324 yards with five different players finding the end zone. 

Leading 13-7 heading into the fourth quarter, the Hawks put the game away with 19 straight points over the final 12 minutes. 

The Hawks (11-0) now advance to the area round, where they will meet Shallowater (7-4) at 7 p.m. next Friday in Snyder. 

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GAME STORY: Christoval ends Cross Plains’ season with defensive effort

BALLINGER — The Cross Plains football team did everything it needed to do in order to win Thursday night’s Region II-2A Division II bi-district game at Bearcat Stadium against Christoval.

Having played the Cougars three times in the past two seasons, including a 26-14 loss in Week 4 this year, the Buffaloes knew they were going to have to keep the Christoval offense on the sidelines.

The Buffaloes did just that in the second half, holding the ball for over 16 consecutive minutes, but a pair of costly pick-six interceptions cost Cross Plains in a 28-14 loss.

Continue reading “GAME STORY: Christoval ends Cross Plains’ season with defensive effort”

GAME STORY: Brock sends message with shutout win over Clyde

After struggling to narrow wins over Boyd (13-6) and Paradise (24-22) to end the regular season, the Brock football team wanted to send a message in its playoff opener against Clyde.

Mission accomplished.

The Eagles pounded out 258 yards rushing while the holding the Bulldogs to a single first down in a 24-0 shutout Thursday at Shotwell Stadium, earning an area-round date with Denver City next Thursday at the same site.

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GAME STORY: Cisco avenges Spearman upset with 41-17 win

WOLFFORTH — A year ago, while suffering a bi-district loss to Spearman, the top-seeded Cisco Loboes were their own worst enemy, coughing up six turnovers in a 33-29 upset that stunned the Big Country and the entire state of Texas.

Thursday night in Wolfforth, however, the Loboes did a complete 180, charting no turnovers in a come-from-behind 41-17 win at People’s Bank Stadium. 

Stanley Callahan rushed for 212 yards and a touchdown and Isaac Acosta rushed for 82 yards and three TDs on just five carries to lead Cisco (10-1), which advances to face Crane (9-2) in the Region I-3A Division II area round.

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Big Country Preps’ Pick ‘Em Panel (Week 11)

Each week here at Big Country Preps, we’ll post our picks for all of that week’s 11-man games, in addition to the results of Evan Ren’s Twitter polls for each matchup.

For those interested in voting, polls go up on Monday night each week and close Thursday morning.

Disagree with our picks or the Twitter consensus? Let us know in the comments section below.

Continue reading “Big Country Preps’ Pick ‘Em Panel (Week 11)”

BCP PLAYOFF FORECAST: Evan Ren’s Big Country Playoff picks

LAST WEEK: 34-7, .829

OVERALL: 431-83, .839

I say the same thing at this point every season.

We no longer have a Game of the Week. Once the playoffs start, they’re all the Game of the Week. We’ll only be limited by how many games we can get to and Big Country Preps will endeavor to get to as many as possible. 

Nonetheless, some games warrant a close inspection as we head into the bi-district round.  So here’s a quick peek at the five games we view as the most intriguing heading into this week’s action, with the remainder of my postseason picks listed below.

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BCP Girls Basketball Position Rankings: Posts

After highlighting the top guards and forwards on the Big Country girls basketball scene the past two nights, it’s time to turn our attention to the paint.

For the final installment in our three-part position rankings series, we list our top-10 posts in the area for the 2019-20 season.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading through these rankings, and make sure to come back next week when we’ll feature the top boys basketball players in the Big Country.

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SIGNING DAY: Abilene High’s Washington heads list of Big Country softball signees

With the college signing period for all sports but football and basketball kicking off Wednesday, three of the Big Country’s top softball players are taking the opportunity to ink their letters of intent this week. 

Abilene High’s Alyssa Washington, Albany’s Aubrey Moon and Eastland’s Brynna Foster all made their college commitments official Wednesday, though Moon’s ceremony won’t take place until Thursday. 

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BCP Podcast No. 70: Evan, Daniel chat with Sweetwater’s Ben McGehee

After coaching Sweetwater to a 10-win season in his first year as the school’s football coach in 2017 and experiencing a tough 1-9 campaign with a young squad last season, Ben McGehee has the Mustangs back on the rise this fall. Leading an SHS team that is still among the youngest in the Big Country, McGehee guided the Mustangs to back-to-back wins in their final two regular season games to move to 4-6 and secure a playoff berth.

Earlier this week, McGehee took some time to chat with Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood about his team’s run to the postseason, the potential of his young nucleus and what his experience at Sweetwater has been like for this week’s Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast.

Also in this episode, Evan and Daniel discuss the Big Country’s bi-district playoff landscape, previewing the top area matchups of the first week of the postseason.

Continue to check back at BigCountryPreps.com each Wednesday night at 7 p.m. when Evan and Dan discuss the current happenings in Big Country High School sports — often with an interesting sports figure from around the area.

You can also peruse our BCP Podcast archive, which features dozens of our previous shows with prominent coaches and Big Country media fixtures. 

Inquiries regarding these podcasts may be directed to Evan Ren at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com. 

If you have a suggested topic of conversation or a recommended guest, don’t hesitate to contact us! 

BCP PODCAST ARCHIVE 

BIG COUNTRY PREPS FACEBOOK PAGE 

BIG COUNTRY PREPS TWITTER PAGE 

FEATURE: Veteran’s Day carries special meaning for Haskell’s Hodnett

HASKELL — For some, life represents little more than organized chaos, with a mix of our decisions and random luck determining the final outcome. 

Don’t tell that to Haskell football coach Brian Hodnett, who is literally a jar of peanut butter and a canteen of water away from not even existing. 

For Hodnett, the chaotic violence that occurred on a distant battlefield 75 years ago shapes his life to this day. But as far as he’s concerned, luck had nothing to do with it. 

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FEATURE: ‘Meet the Eagles’ offers a glimpse into the future

Late in the 20th century, one of the toughest tickets in town to get was a seat in Eagle Gymnasium for an Abilene High basketball game.

That’s something second-year boys coach Justin Reese and seventh-year girls coach Terri Aston are trying to bring back.

“We knew that the hard work would eventually pay off,” Aston said after Monday night’s second annual ‘Meet the Eagles’ event. “We have put in a lot of time and effort trying to make this gym turn out the way that it used to. Justin and I come from the generations where you couldn’t even get in the gym and if you wanted to, you had to get here early enough to get a seat.”

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BCP Girls Basketball Position Rankings: Guards

With girls basketball season upon us, it’s time to take a look at the players who will be making the biggest impact during the 2019-20 season.

For the first installment in a three-part series that will cover all position groups, we’ll be taking a look at the area’s top guards, ranking our top 10 with a list of others to watch this fall.

As with any such list, these rankings are subjective. We hope you enjoy reading through them.

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Hamlin’s Williams takes the top spot

Williams

Not since 2001 had the Hamlin Pied Pipers topped Albany in a game of football — a time span that included 12 straight defeats. 

So it goes without saying that when coach Russell Lucas’ crew finally broke through with a 66-20 win over the one area team they wanted to defeat more than any other, emotions were running a bit high at Piper Stadium on Friday. 

And no player wearing green contributed more than senior Jevon Williams, who helped turn our Big Country Preps Game of the Week into something lopsided. 

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District 3-6A: Week 11 Report

Euless Trinity 56, North Richland Hills Richland 7 — Playing Richland in a winner-take-all matchup for the District 3-6A title, the Trojans made quick work of the Rebels, rushing for 229 yards and forcing five turnovers in a blowout win.

No. 23 Trinity (9-1, 5-1) built a 42-0 lead by halftime, eliminating all suspense from this one early. Running back Zechariah Moore led the Trojan offense, rushing for 124 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, while quarterback Marcus Ervin completed both of his pass attempts for 137 yards and a score.

The Trojans, this district’s top seed in Class 6A Division I, will open the playoffs against Arlington Lamar. Richland (4-6, 4-2), the top seed in Division II, will play Arlington High in the bi-district round.

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District 2-5A Division I: Week 11 Report

Amarillo High 49, Cooper 35 — The No. 8 Cougars outgained the Sandies 520-346 on Friday, but a rough second quarter put them in a 21-point hole they could never quite dig out of in suffering their first loss of the season.

Amarillo High, which went 10 of 15 on third downs and had five conversions of third-and-8 or longer,  led 28-14 at halftime and pushed its lead to 35-14 in the third quarter, before Cooper quarterback Aidan Thompson led a pair of rallies to pull the Coogs within seven. Blake Bedwell put the game away for the Sandies, though, scoring his third touchdown with 1:57 remaining.

Thompson finished 19 of 34 for 221 yards and three touchdowns to lead Cooper, which also got 226 yards and two TDs rushing from Noah Garcia. AHS, which clinched the District 2-5A DI title with the win, was paced by Bedwell (17-88, 3 TDs rushing) and quarterback Will Maynard (11-23-0—136, 2 TDs passing; 11-64 rushing). 

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District 3-5A Division II: Week 11 Report

Valentine

Wylie 28, Plainview 6 — Coach Hugh Sandifer’s Bulldogs outgained Plainview 313-228 Friday, building a 21-0 halftime lead on their way to a comfortable win in the season finale for both teams.

With the victory, Wylie (2-8, 2-3) had a chance to make the playoffs with a Canyon Randall win over Lubbock Cooper, but the Raiders just missed the upset in a 37-31 loss.

Junior running back Noah Beach, who was playing for the injured Jaxon Hansen, led the effort for WHS, rushing for 89 yards and a touchdown while adding 21 yards receiving. Quarterback Balin Valentine also had a solid night, passing for 150 yards and two touchdowns.

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FEATURE: No. 1 Wall to enter playoffs without starting quarterback

The undefeated and No. 1-ranked Wall Hawks will enter the Class 3A Division I playoffs this week with starting quarterback Mason Fuchs still sidelined from a concussion suffered Oct. 25 during a District 3-3A DI game against the Eastland Mavericks.

Drew Morrison, a junior and the Hawks’ backup quarterback, started the final two regular-season games — wins of 20-6 over Breckenridge and 49-7 over Early.

“I don’t think Mason will be able to play this week,” Wall coach Houston Guy said, referring the Hawks’ bidistrict game against Boyd scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday at Cisco. “His first full day back at school wasn’t until Friday so he obviously has not returned to practice.

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District 13-3A Division II: Week 11 Report

Linnard

Brady 36, Sonora 35 — The Bulldogs outscored Sonora 14-6 over the final 12 minutes Friday to edge the Broncos by a point and wrap up the No. 2 playoff seed in this district.

Brady (5-5, 4-1) was outgained 436-339 but forced the game’s only turnover and stopped Sonora on two of three fourth-down conversion attempts to sneak out the victory. Receivers Caleb Galindo (9-162, 1 TD) and Paker Linnard (4-98, 1 TD) both had a big night catching the ball for the Bulldogs, while Benjamin Galindo, J.D. Ibarra and Ty Wlaker all had rushing scores. 

Brady now advances to the playoffs to take on Ganado (7-3) next week.

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District 4-3A Division I: Week 11 Report

Wilson

Brock 24, Paradise 22 — Trailing Paradise 16-10 at halftime, the Eagles rallied with a touchdown in each of the final two quarters to end the Panthers’ season with a heartbreaking loss.

Having already locked up the No. 2 playoff seed in this district, Brock didn’t need a win for its playoff standing. But coach Chad Worrell’s squad, which outgained Paradise 287-267 and got a pair of rushing touchdowns from Cash Jones (19-108 rushing), will now enter the playoffs at 8-2 and on a five-game losing streak.

Brock, which also got 102 rushing yards from Kutter Wilson, will open the postseason against Clyde at 7 p.m. Thursday at Shotwell Stadium.

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District 5-2A Division II: Week 11 Report

Munday 62, Memphis 20 — Munday sent outgoing head coach Patrick Corcoran off as a winner with 42-point victory on the road. 

Corcoran, who is stepping down from his position after 15 seasons and two state titles, closed his final season at 2-6 and 1-4.  

His final career mark was 122-59, all at Munday. 

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District 7-2A Division I: Week 11 Report

Salinas

San Saba 54, De Leon 7 — The No. 3 Armadillos closed out an undefeated regular season Friday, piling up 477 yards in a blowout road win over the Bearcats.

Quarterback Sean O’Keefe passed for 162 yards and three touchdowns, while adding 135 yards and two scores on the ground for San Saba, which also got 113 rushing yards, 83 receiving yards and three total TDs from running back Eli Salinas.

The Armadillos (10-0, 5-0) will open the playoffs next week against Riesel, while De Leon (3-7, 2-3) will take on District 8-2A DII champion Bruceville-Eddy (9-1) in the bi-district round.

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District 7-2A Division II: Week 11 Report

Cross Plains 45, Roscoe 20 — The Buffaloes wrapped up this district’s No. 3 playoff seed and eliminated Roscoe from playoff contention with a blowout road win over the Plowboys on Friday.

Cross Plains (7-3 overall, 2-2 in district) built a 19-0 lead by halftime and pushed its advantage to 45-8 with three fourth-quarter touchdowns. Quarterback Caleb Hernandez had a big day for the Buffs, passing for 127 yards while rushing for 63 yards and four scores on just eight carries.

CPHS will open the playoffs next week against Christoval, which topped the Buffs 26-14 in September. Roscoe, meanwhile, closes its season at 1-8 overall and 0-4 in district play.

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District 1-4A Division II: Week 11 Report

Holsey

Sweetwater 66, Monahans 40 — The Mustangs completed a surprise run to the playoffs, following last week’s upset of Fort Stockton with a blowout win over the Loboes.

Leading 40-32 at halftime, coach Ben McGehee’s squad outscored Monahans 26-8 over the final two quarters to improve to 4-6 overall and 3-3 in league play. Darian Carr played a major role in helping the Mustangs to their first-half lead, returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown, catching three touchdown passes from Leo Holsey and intercepting a pass before the break.

SHS will have a tough assignment in the bi-district round of the Class 4A DII playoffs, playing fifth-ranked and undefeated Lubbock Estacado at 8 p.m. Friday at Lubbock’s Lowrey Field.

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District 6-3A Division II: Week 11 Report

Dublin 59, Millsap 20 — Cy Wing was 26 of 37 for 398 yards and four scores to lead Dublin to a rout of Millsap. 

Wing also rushed for 37 yards on 12 carries and two more TDs to lift the Lions to 8-2 overall and 4-1 in league play. 

Second-seeded Dublin will square off with Holliday (7-3) in the first round of the playoffs at 7 p.m. on Friday in Ponder. 

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District 4-3A Division II: Week 11 Report

Humphries

Cisco 38, Bangs 20 — Stanley Callahan rushed for 248 yards and three scores to lift Cisco to a surprisingly tough win over stubborn Bangs. 

Leading 18-12 at the break, the Loboes (9-1) finally took control with a 6-yard TD run from Callahan and a 33-yard scoring run from Jailynn Humphries in the third quarter. 

Bangs (6-4) was led by Ethan Sanchez with 109 yards rushing and one score. 

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District 3-2A Division I: Week 11 Report

Rodela

Hawley 62, Ozona 37 Colton Marshall rushed for 282 yards and four scores on 26 carries to help the Bearcats wrap up the district title. 

Xavier Rodela threw for 183 yards and three scores to help bolster Hawley’s offense. 

The Bearcats (10-0, 4-0) will open with Chico (3-7) in bi-district play on Thursday at 7 p.m. in Mineral Wells.  

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