Category: Abilene High Eagles

GAME REPORT: Ramirez, Thomas fuel Abilene High to impressive road win over Frenship

Photos by Katie Perkins, HubCitySports.com

WOLFFORTH — Abel Ramirez accounted for more than 300 yards of total offense and Da’King Thomas rushed for 151 yards and three touchdowns to fuel Abilene High to a dominating victory over Wolfforth Frenship on Friday at Peoples Bank Stadium.

The Eagles finished with 553 total yards, rushing for 294 and passing for 259, finding the end zone five times in the first half before putting the game away with two more touchdowns in the third quarter.

AHS, which scored with two seconds remaining in the second quarter to take a 34-21 lead into the halftime break, went up by 27 points in the third quarter before allowing a late touchdown to break up the second-half shutout.

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS GAME OF THE WEEK: Roscoe travels to Ralls for crucial district game (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country Picks)

LAST WEEK: 40-7, .851
SEASON TOTAL: 287-63, .820

Week 8? Are you kidding?

I ask the same question, or some variant of it virtually every year. We just finished with two-a-days. How can we possibly be this deep in the season so quickly?

Yet hear we are. A cold weather snap approaching. Thanksgiving right around the corner —as are the playoffs.

This week’s Game of the Week will see me traveling north to Ralls where the surprising Roscoe Plowboys, off to their best start in years, will be in a showdown for the district lead.

The column hit at 85 percent accuracy last week and is now up to 82 percent on the year. So we’ll see if we can keep the momentum going through the home stretch.

Let’s have a look at this week’s picks: 

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Big Country Preps’ Pick ‘Em Panel vs. Twitter Polls (Week 8)

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.

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FEATURE: AHS seniors Dickinson, Stuckey turn heartbreak into leadership opportunity

Before the season, the inside linebacker duo of Jayton Stuckey and Maison Dickinson were expected to be the leaders of the Abilene High defense.

Both all-district performers in the 2020, the two senior standouts were considered by coach Mike Fullen to be the heart and soul of that unit.

With a knee injury ending Dickinson’s season in AHS’ opener against Amarillo Tascosa and a hand injury claiming the remainder of Stuckey’s campaign just five games in, things haven’t worked out as either had hoped or expected this fall. But while they’re no longer able to contribute on the field, the two have maintained active roles on the team and in doing so, have remained a significant part of the Eagles’ heartbeat.

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Big Country Volleyball Statistical Leaders (through Oct. 12)

Big Country Preps is publishing area volleyball statistical leaders each Tuesday at 7 p.m.

This database will be continually updated for our subscribers throughout the remainder of the season, using only those statistics submitted by area coaches.

We will continually update the database throughout the regular season.

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS GAME OF WEEK: Unbeaten Early, Jim Ned clash in huge district opener (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country Picks)

LAST WEEK: 39-4, .906
SEASON TOTAL: 247-56, .815

Gramps Ren is back in the groove, hitting over 90 percent of his picks a week ago, to push this column’s season percentage to .815 as we head into district play across the area.

Whether or not I can keep the momentum remains to be seen, entering what might be the toughest week of area picks I’ve seen this year, with multiple games that I would rate as near-tossups.

This week’s Big Country Preps Game of the Week will see us heading to Tuscola where Jim Ned will begin its District 3-3A DI title defense against a red-hot, unbeaten team from Early.

Let’s have a look at this week’s picks …

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Big Country Volleyball Statistical Leaders (through Oct. 5)

Big Country Preps is publishing area volleyball statistical leaders each Tuesday at 7 p.m.

This database will be continually updated for our subscribers throughout the remainder of the season, using only those statistics submitted by area coaches.

We will continually update the database throughout the regular season.

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sweetwater QB Holsey takes the spotlight

A quick look at the box score from Sweetwater’s 70-54 win over Eastland and one just knew that the Capital Farm Credit/Big Country Preps Player of the Week was located somewhere in that massive pile of numbers. 

SHS quarterback Leo Holsey emerged as the top man, hitting 17 of 19 throws for 434 yards and six touchdowns.

Add his 101 yards rushing on 15 carries with three more scores and the choice was made easy — even on a night with 1,277 yards in combined total offense between the two teams. 

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GAME STORY: Midland Legacy outlasts Abilene High for thrilling win

For 2½ quarters Friday night, the Abilene High football team executed its game plan about as well as it could against District 2-6A favorite Midland Legacy. 

Leading 27-13 with 6:19 remaining in the third quarter, the Eagles had moved the ball on virtually all of their possessions to that point, finished all but three in the end zone and, for the most part, kept the explosive Rebel offense in low gear.

But Legacy finally hit overdrive in the final 18 minutes, outscoring the AHS 29-6 over that span to spoil a gritty effort by coach Mike Fullen’s Eagles and escape Shotwell Stadium with a thrilling 42-33 win.

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FEATURE: Physical Abilene High line fueling potent run game … and enjoying every minute of it

There aren’t many situations in which being called a hog is a good thing. For the Abilene High offensive line, it’s not only a term of endearment, it’s a mentality. 

Dubbed by coach Mike Fullen as the H.A.W.G.’s (short for “hostile and wild group”), the AHS O-line has internalized that description this season, adopting a mindset of toughness and physicality that shows up in its play.

And in so doing, that bunch has formed the foundation of a physical — and at times, dominant — run game that is quickly becoming a significant part of the Eagles’ offensive identity. 

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS GAME OF THE WEEK: Steers plays host to Littlefield, Gramps Ren rebounds (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country Picks)

LAST WEEK: 45-6, .882
SEASON TOTAL: 208-52, .800

After a disastrous night of picking football games on Sept. 19 that saw his season percentage dip below .800, Gramps Ren has rebounded. Thank you, thank you. 

Last Friday saw this column hit with more than 88 percent accuracy on games throughout the Big Country, pulling its season percentage to an even .800 as we hit the season’s midpoint. 

This week I’ll be heading west — way West — to the very edge of our coverage area to get a first-hand look at the Big Spring Steers in their matchup with Littlefield in our Big Country Preps Game of the Week. 

Let’s dive in to this week’s picks, shall we? 

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Snyder’s Benitez takes the top spot

Defensive specialists seldom get the attention they deserve in volleyball. Not unlike offensive linemen in football, who do the dirty work behind the scenes that enables the glamour positions to shine. 

That isn’t the case at Big Country Preps, where we take pride in giving credit to those willing to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. 

Snyder libero Abby Benitez, perhaps the best defender in the entire Big Country, fits that mold and has captured our Capital Farm Credit/Big Country Preps Player of the Week award for the week ending Sept. 25. 

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GAME REPORT: Abilene High opens district play with big road win over Odessa Permian

ODESSA — Riding a two-game winning streak into the start of District 2-6A play, the Abilene High football team kept the momentum going in its opener Friday, rolling through Odessa Permian 42-21 at Ratliff Stadium.

Da’King Thomas rushed for 175 yards and two touchdowns, Abel Ramirez threw for two TDs and ran for two more, and the Eagle defense limited the Permian offense to less than 100 yards rushing as AHS controlled the game from start to finish.

The Eagles led 21-7 by halftime and increased that advantage to 42-14 in the fourth quarter to improve to 3-2 on the season and 1-0 in league play.

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FEATURE: Abilene High QB Ramirez showing off dual-threat chops for 2-2 Eagles

Last year as a junior, Abilene High quarterback Abel Ramirez established himself as one of the area’s most efficient passers, topping 2,200 yards with a 20-to-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

After losing his three leading receivers to graduation and watching senior running back Da’King Thomas miss two of the Eagles’ first three games this season due to injury, Ramirez is showing he can run a little bit, too.

With an abundance of skill talent around him in 2020, Ramirez didn’t necessarily need to be a dual-threat guy in his first full season as a starter. Circumstances have changed that this year, and through four games, the senior playmaker has risen to meet that challenge.

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS GAME OF THE WEEK: Jim Ned, Snyder clash in battle of unbeatens (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country picks)

LAST WEEK: 36-16, .692
OVERALL: 163-46, .779

After four straight weeks of picking 80 percent or better, the USS Ren ran aground last Friday, bottoming out with a season-low .692 percentage and dropping my season tally to .779.

I generally like to be above 80 percent by midseason, so last Friday served as a wakeup call. Actually, it was more of a gut punch. But I’ll get over it.

This week’s Big Country Preps Game of the Week will see me traveling to Snyder, where the unbeaten Class 4A Tigers will play host to 3A DI state champion Jim Ned in what should be an absolutely electric atmosphere. 

You all set? Let’s dive in to this week’s picks. 

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GAME STORY: Abilene High volleyball battles but falls in three at home to Frenship

The Abilene High volleyball team competed well with Wolfforth Frenship on Tuesday night, but untimely mistakes by the Lady Eagles allowed the visitors to leave Eagle Gym with a 25-21, 26-24, 25-18 sweep in District 2-6A action.

Coach Caroline Cleveland’s squad had opportunities in all three games, but the Lady Tigers executed just a little better down the stretch in each to keep the Abilene High at arm’s length throughout the match.

AHS (19-11 overall) trailed by just a point (21-20) late in Game 1, rallied from a 24-20 deficit to tie things up in Game 2 and were deadlocked as late as 13-all in Game 3. The Lady Eagles could never come up with the runs they needed to take control of any of those games, however, in falling to 0-3 to start league play.

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FEATURE: Resurgent Lady Eagle volleyball a Big Country surprise in 2021

Abilene High School is enjoying a turnaround season under first-year head volleyball coach Caroline Cleveland.  

The Lady Eagles have won 19 games heading into Tuesday’s match against Frenship. Even though they haven’t gotten off to the best district start, Cleveland sees how much potential her girls possess nearly every day.  

One example of that upside is sophomore setter Shea Bruntmyer, who is thriving in her first season as a six-rotation player.  

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Big Country Volleyball Statistical Leaders (through Sept. 21)

Big Country Preps is publishing area volleyball statistical leaders each Tuesday at 7 p.m.

This database will be continually updated for our subscribers throughout the remainder of the season, using only those statistics submitted by area coaches.

We will continually update the database throughout the regular season.

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Stephenville QB takes the top spot

When you combine our two key factors in selecting our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week — quality of numbers and level of difficulty — nobody outperformed Stephenville quarterback Ryder Lambert last week in SHS’ 37-7 rout of Class 5A Abilene Wylie. 

Lambert connected on 22 of 28 throws for 458 yards and five scores to help push the Yellow Jackets to 4-0. 

Just four weeks in and the ‘Jackets are looking like they could win Texas’ most difficult 4A district (5-4A DI), despite having road dates with Waco La Vega and Midlothian Heritage. 

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GAME REPORT: Fast start, Thomas’ return propel AHS to road win over Grand Prairie

GRAND PRAIRIE — Da’King Thomas made an instant impact in his return to the Abilene High lineup Friday, rushing for 129 yards and two touchdowns to fuel the Eagles to a 35-28 road win over Grand Prairie.

Behind Thomas, who did the bulk of his damage in the first half, AHS built a 28-7 lead by halftime. And after watching the Gophers pull within a touchdown with a pair of third-quarter scores, quarterback Abel Ramirez provided what would prove to be the game-winning TD in the form of a 32-yard run early in the fourth quarter.

The win, the Eagles’ second in a row, evened the team’s record at 2-2 heading into next week’s District 2-6A opener at Odessa Permian.

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FEATURE: Abilene High inside linebacker Stuckey a natural leader on, off field

Going into last week’s game against Cedar Park Vista Ridge with his team off to an 0-2 start, Abilene High senior Jayton Stuckey challenged his younger teammates to persevere. 

A key contributor for an AHS team that overcame an 0-3 start to reach the third round of the Class 6A playoffs last fall as a junior, the standout linebacker saw firsthand how quickly a season can change when a talented team just stays the course. And he wanted to relay what his experience had taught him to those who weren’t part of last season’s run.

That message proved valuable on Friday, when the Eagles found themselves down to the Rangers 19-9 with less than seven minutes remaining. And following the words and actions of the senior captain, AHS rallied back for a 23-19 win. 

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Big Country Volleyball Statistical Leaders (through Sept. 14)

Big Country Preps is publishing area volleyball statistical leaders each Tuesday at 7 p.m.

This database will be continually updated for our subscribers throughout the remainder of the season, using only those statistics submitted by area coaches.

We will continually update the database throughout the regular season.

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Clyde’s Phillips takes this week’s top spot

Clyde junior Payton Phillips first hit the area radar screen last spring when she took double gold at the Region I-3A track meet in the both the long jump and 100 hurdles. 

But our Capital Farm Credit/Big Country Preps Player of the Week is also one of the area’s top volleyball setters as well, as last week’s effort in a three-set win over Graham and four-set loss to Stephenville illustrated. 

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