Author: Daniel Youngblood

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 

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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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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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 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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GAME RECAP: Wylie closes season with win, just misses playoffs

PLAINVIEW — Noah Beach ran for 89 yard and a touchdown, and Balin Valentine threw for two scores Friday to lead the Wylie Bulldogs to a 28-6 win over Plainview on Friday in their final game of the season.

The win was almost enough to put coach Hugh Sandifer’s Bulldogs (2-10 overall, 2-3 in District 3-5A Division II) in the playoffs, but district champion Lubbock Cooper rallied in the final minutes to edge Canyon Randall 37-31, eliminating Wylie from postseason contention.

Still, though, the victory was a positive end to a difficult season for Sandifer and his team.

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GAME STORY: No. 8 Cooper can’t complete rally, suffers first loss to Amarillo High

AMARILLO — A 21-point hole proved too large to climb out of Friday as the No. 8 Cooper Cougars suffered their first loss of the season, a 49-35 setback to Amarillo High in a winner-take-all matchup for the District 2-5A Division I title at Dick Bivins Stadium.

Missed opportunities early in each half allowed the Sandies to take a pair of three-score leads, and the inability to stop AHS on third downs throughout the contest kept the Coogs from ever getting closer to the lead than seven points in the second half.

The loss dropped coach Aaron Roan’s squad to 9-1 on the year and 5-1 in league play, pushing Cooper into 2-5A DI’s No. 2 seed in the playoffs.

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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)”

FEATURE: No. 8 Cougars ready for district title clash with Amarillo High

The last time Cooper completed the regular season undefeated, the Cougars’ current seniors were in diapers. The last time it won a district championship, that same group was playing freshman ball.

The No. 8 Coogs can accomplish both feats on Friday, but it will take a road win against an Amarillo High squad that has won six consecutive games and downed coach Aaron Roan’s squad 58-27 last year in Abilene.

The outcome of Friday’s game, which will decide the outright championship in District 2-5A Division I, won’t have any impact on Cooper’s postseason goals. But it will determine whether the Coogs enter the playoffs on a 10-game winning streak or a one-game losing skid.

And for a team that has a 16-0 record and state title atop its list of 2019 aspirations, you had better believe that matters.

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BCP Podcast No. 69: Denney Faith, Russell Lucas talk Albany-Hamlin matchup with Evan, Daniel

During their time at their respective schools, Albany’s Denney Faith and Hamlin’s Russell Lucas have been among the most successful football coaches in all of the Big Country.

With their teams set to clash in what may be the game of the year in this area, the two mentors joined Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood to talk about the Albany-Hamlin rivalry and this year’s matchup in particular for this week’s Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast.

Also in this episode, Evan and Daniel take a look at the area’s most intriguing district races heading into the final week of the regular season.

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 

District 3-6A: Week 10 Report

Euless Trinity 42, Abilene High 21 — The District 3-6A favorite Trojans forced three turnovers and turned all three into touchdowns Friday to end the Eagles’ season with a three-score victory.

AHS (3-7, 2-4) grabbed the momentum late in the third quarter and early in the fourth, following a kickoff return touchdown by Colton Smith with a stop. But trailing 28-14, the Eagles had a promising drive end inside the Trinity 40 with a fumble, and the Trojans scored 14 unanswered points to put the game away.

Sophomore Abel Ramirez, who was making his first career start at quarterback, passed for 152 yards and two TDs for AHS, hitting Tre Phillips for scoring strikes of 28 and 33 yards. Running back Phonzo Dotson led the Eagles in rushing with 56 yards on 13 carries.

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District 2-5A Division I: Week 10 Report

Lubbock Monterey 62, Amarillo Caprock 27 — In a game that will likely end up deciding District 2-5A DI’s fourth playoff seed, the Plainsmen used a 28-0 run through the third quarter to turn a seven-point game at halftime into a rout.

Quarterback Coreon Bailey had a huge night for coach Wayne Hutchinson’s squad, passing for 327 yards and five touchdowns on 22-of-25 passing while rushing for a game-high 109 yards and another score. M.J. singleton led Monterey (4-5, 2-3) in receiving with 140 yards and a TD on seven catches.

The Plainsmen will close out the regular season this week against a struggling Lubbock High squad, needing a win to clinch a postseason spot in earnest. The Longhorns (2-7, 2-3), which got 207 yards and two TDs receiving from Jose Reynoso, can still make the playoffs, but it would require upsetting Lubbock Coronado in their regular-season finale.

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District 3-5A Division II: Week 10 Report

Lubbock Cooper 49, Wylie 14 — With the game tied at 7 early in the second quarter Friday, the No. 6 Pirates got an 85-yard kickoff return touchdown to start a run of 42 unanswered points over the middle two quarters of a blowout win.

Cooper (8-1, 4-0) outgained the Bulldogs 340-158, pounding out 239 yards rushing on just 29 carries. Isaiah Johnson led the Pirates with 77 yards and three touchdowns on six rush attempts, while Tyler Hairston added 69 yards on four carries.

Wylie (1-8, 1-3), which got a 32-yard touchdown reception from Creed Cooper and a 1-yard scoring run from quarterback Balin Valentine, will likely wrap up its season Friday at Plainview. Cooper, which has already clinched the No. 1 playoff seed in this district, will host Canyon Randall in its regular-season finale.

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District 13-3A Division II: Week 10 Report

Comfort 49, Brady 34 — The Bobcats outscored the Bulldogs 39-21 in the second half Friday to pull away for the win and claim their first district title since 2006.

Comfort (7-2 overall, 4-0 in district) outgained Brady 394-293, taking the lead for good in the third quarter before creating some separation in the fourth. It was the first district loss for the Bulldogs, who had won three straight games after going 1-4 through nondistrict.

Brady (4-5, 3-1) will try to clinch District 13-3A DII’s No. 2 playoff seed next week when it hosts Sonora, while Comfort will wrap up its regular season at Ingram Moore.

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District 4-3A Division I: Week 10 Report

Brock 13, Boyd 6 — The Yellowjackets held the Eagles to just 262 yards of total offense Friday, but that was all Brock needed to earn a big win and clinch the No. 2 playoff seed out of District 4-3A DI.

BHS, which limited Boyd to 105 total yards, broke a 6-all tie in the final minute of the game on Cash Jones’ second of two rushing touchdowns. Jones finished with 121 of the Eagles’ 196 rushing yards while also completing a pair of passes for 31 yards and adding two catches for eight yards.

Brock, now 7-2 overall and 4-1 in league play, will wrap up the regular season next week at home against Paradise. Boyd (6-3, 3-2), meanwhile, will travel to Whitesboro for a game that will decide the No. 3 playoff seed.

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District 7-2A Division I: Week 10 Report

Salinas

San Saba 48, Crawford 28 — The Armadillos faced their stiffest test to date and passed it Friday, outscoring the Pirates 34-14 in the second half to break open a tie game at halftime.

Crawford (6-3 overall, 3-1 in district) scored the game’s first touchdown to hand San Saba its first deficit of the season and regained the lead at 14-7, but the Armadillos answered both times to go to halftime tied at 14. After being outscored 20-7 in the third quarter, the Pirates pulled within six points (34-28) at the six-minute mark of the fourth, but SSHS responded with a long rushing touchdown by Eli Salinas and a pick-six by Logan Glover to secure the three-score win.

The No. 3 Armadillos (9-0, 4-0), who got rushing touchdowns of 37, 18, 80 and 33 yards from quarterback Sean O’Keefe, will close out the regular season next week at De Leon. Crawford, meanwhile, will host winless Hico.

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District 7-2A Division II: Week 10 Report

Sepeda

Hamlin 41, Cross Plains 0 — The sixth-ranked Pied Pipers did their part to set up a massive Week 11 clash with No. 2 Albany, returning from their bye week with their second shutout win in three district games.

Hamlin (6-2 overall, 3-0 district) outgained the Buffaloes 395-197, getting 182 yards and three touchdowns passing from Braydin Warner, 83 yards and two TDs rushing from Jackson Sepeda and 85 yards and two scores receiving from Jevon Williams.

The Pied Pipers will now prepare to take on Albany for the outright district title next week, while Cross Plains (6-3, 1-2) will travel to Roscoe with a chance to clinch the No. 3 playoff seed out of District 7-2A DII.

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District 1-4A Division II: Week 10 Report

Carr

Sweetwater 35, Fort Stockton 21 — The Mustangs gave their dimming playoff hopes a big shot in the arm Friday, upsetting Fort Stockton at home to give themselves a chance to reach the postseason with a win in their District 1-4A DII finale against Monahans.

Quarterback Leo Holsey passed for 232 yards and three touchdowns while adding 115 yards and an additional score on the ground to lead Sweetwater (3-6, 2-3), which used a 21-point third quarter to erase a 14-7 halftime deficit. Darian Carr added seven catches for 125 yards and two TDs as the Mustangs outgained the Panthers 429-371.

With five teams sitting at either two or three district wins heading into Week 11, the battle for 1-4A DII’s final three playoff spots could be a mess, but Sweetwater could clinch a postseason berth with a win at Monahans and a Snyder loss to Pecos. Fort Stockton (6-3, 2-3), which closes with winless Lamesa, needs a Snyder win or a Sweetwater loss next week to extend its season to an 11th game.

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GAME STORY: Trinity pulls away from Abilene High to end Eagles’ season

Three Abilene High turnovers led to three Euless Trinity touchdowns Friday at Shotwell Stadium, accounting for the Trojans’ margin of victory in a 42-21 win that ended the Eagles’ season at 3-7.

Abilene High battled the District 3-6A-leading Trojans throughout the game, rallying from a 21-0 halftime deficit to steal the momentum early in the fourth quarter. But a fumble inside the Trinity 40 allowed the Trojans to build their lead back to 21 points and pull away for the comfortable win.

The loss was the Eagles’ first at home in district play and ended any hopes AHS had of reaching the postseason heading into its Week 11 open date.

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FEATURE: Abilene High DL Cortez excited to test strength against Trinity

At 5-foot-11½ and 275 pounds, Abilene High defensive lineman Xavier Cortez will never be the biggest guy on a Class 6A football field. But he’s put in years of work to ensure that he’s among the strongest and most physical. 

With just one more game guaranteed in his high school football career, Cortez could put both of those qualities to the test for the final time Friday at Shotwell Stadium. And if that is the case, he’s excited to do it against a Euless Trinity team and program known for its strength and physicality.

“I’m excited,” said Cortez, who had been nursing a calf bruise leading up to the Eagles’ regular-season finale. “I’m really excited about it, just to get out there and play.”

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Big Country Preps’ Pick ‘Em Panel (Week 10)

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 10)”

FEATURE: Wylie CB Ward making most senior season

In a Wylie program that places great value on senior leadership and experiences significant roster turnover each and every year, one-year starters are a common occurrence.

Unless roster holes open up early opportunities, most players are asked to wait their turn and to be ready to lead the program when it comes.

Senior cornerback Braxton Ward may be one of the best examples on the Bulldogs’ 2019 roster of this concept.

After getting the bulk of his playing time on special teams and as a backup to two seniors last season, Ward has emerged as one of Wylie’s top defensive players this year. And though his time as a Bulldog starter was a long time coming and will be relatively short in duration, he’s done his best to maximize his impact on the WHS program.

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BCP Podcast No. 68: Brady’s Shay Easterwood talks Bulldog turnaround with Evan, Daniel

It’s taken Brady native Shay Easterwood three years to lay the foundation for the BHS football program, but with his team sitting at 4-4 overall and 3-0 in District 13-3A play, he has the Bulldogs in position to compete a district championship this season.

Earlier this week, Easterwood took some time to chat with Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood about the pressure of coaching at his alma mater, the Bulldogs’ turnaround this fall and his goals for the rest of the season for this week’s Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast.

Also on this episode, Evan and Daniel discuss the Big Country football landscape, highlighting last week’s top results and this week’s most intriguing matchups. 

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