Category: Albany Lions

CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Escalon takes this week’s accolade

Our Big Country Preps Player of the Week for the Week ending April 17 could have only been better had he thrown a no-hitter. 

Breckenridge freshman Camden Escalon came within one hit of a no-no on Saturday in an 18-0 rout of Wichita Falls City view. 

Along the way he fanned 10 hitters against only two walks to improve his personal record to 2-0 on the year. 

As a team Breckenridge enters this week at 13-6 and 6-3 in district play. 

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FEATURE: Albany’s Chapman on track despite loss of 2020 season

Photos courtesy of Albany High School student Elia Hebel

No 2020 track and field season. No problem in 2021 for Albany sophomore Cole Chapman.

Some athletes feel like they lost a year’s development after COVID-19 prematurely shut down the 2020 spring sports season. But Chapman appears to be on schedule. His top triple jump mark of 43 feet, 7 inches led the Big Country through last week’s track meets, and his best of 21-7 in the long jump ranked No. 2.

He contributes a lot of his success this spring to working on Saturdays with Albany assistant coach Ryder Peacock, a former state champion high jumper from Woodson who also competed collegiately.

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Evan Ren’s 2021 Gym Rat Team: The toughest, hardest-working teammates in the Big Country

While scoring and rebounding garner much of the attention in basketball, there are other elements, crucial to success, that seldom grab headlines. 

Behind the scenes is where character, effort and sacrifice set the foundation for teams to reach their full potential. And it is with our Big Country Preps Gym Rat Team that we salute the individuals who bring these elements to the table. 

This team isn’t about who the best players are — though some of the area’s top players are on this list. 

The Gym Rat Team is about outworking, outhustling and outgiving everyone around you, both on the floor and off. Hard-working, honest, selfless, tough, coachable kids are what we seek for this roster. 

A Gym Rat Team member can be your best player or the last player off the bench. But the one thing all of them bring is an uncompromisingly good attitude. 

It is for that reason that our Gym Rat Team is selected entirely by area coaches. And Big Country Preps is truly honored to present these individuals to you — the best “team players” (boys and girls) that the area had to offer during the 2020-21 season.

Players are listed in no particular order. 

Enjoy.

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Jim Ned hurler takes this week’s top spot

With the second-ranked Jim Ned baseball team off to a 12-0-1 start, it only stands to reason that some of the Indians will begin making appearances in this column. 

This week, Jim Ned’s Blaine Palmer has snagged our Capital Farm Credit/Big Country Preps Player of the Week for the week ending March 13 with a two-sided performance worthy enough for a doubletake. 

To begin with, Palmer delivered five perfect innings in a 20-0 win over Brady that saw him fan 14 hitters. He followed that with four solid innings in a 13-1 win over Eastland in the Jim Ned tournament with four more Ks. 

His pitching line for the week: nine innings, one hit, 18 Ks, no walks and no runs allowed.

Oddly enough, his pitching performance was so good, it nearly overshadowed a red-hot week at the plate that saw him finish a combined 7 of 10 with a double, two triples and seven RBIs. 

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SIGNING DAY: Eastland’s Morton headlines this year’s Big Country recruiting crop

With National signing Day officially in the books, it’s time to take a quick look at this year’s Big Country signees — the most notable of which is Eastland quarterback Behren Morton, who has inked a Letter of Intent with Texas Tech. 

Wall offensive lineman Tate Williams (Baylor) and Cash Jones of Brock (Georgia) were the area’s only other players to sign with power conferences.

Angelo State was among the busiest of the area’s bigger universities, snagging Tyler Simpson of Blanket, Logan Glover of San Saba and Kason Phillips of Stephenville. 

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS 2020 MAX EFFORT TEAM: The hardest-working volleyball players in the Big Country

Our All-Big Country Preps Volleyball team, released today, is in place to honor those who achieved the most on-court success in 2020. It is off the court, however, where character, grit and work ethic are often measured. And it is with our Big Country Preps Max Effort Team that we wish to honor those players who were the hardest-working, best teammates in the area this fall. 

This team isn’t about who the best volleyball players were.

The Max Effort team honors hustle, discipline, toughness, coachability and selflessness — traits that coaches wish every player had.

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Evan Ren’s 2020 True Grit Team: The toughest, hardest-working players in the Big Country!

Most of us know a football player who lives in the weight room, who’s always dependable and who always does what his coaches ask him. He always puts the team first. He’s early to arrive and late to leave. And he seldom needs direction because he always pays attention. 

You know the type. But you seldom hear about them, since there is no specific category to put them in and the media doesn’t recognize these qualities.

This is the guy who always sets a good example. He doesn’t complain and above all else, is tough mentally and physically. He’s not necessarily the best player on his team (though some are). But he’s definitely the guy who gets the most out of whatever talent he was born with.

Welcome to the 2020 “True Grit” team — the one place in the Big Country where guys who fall into this category are recognized for it.

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Dublin’s Escobar takes the top spot

He’s been consistently pouring in points since the season’s outset. So it’s not a surprise that Dublin senior guard Daniel Escobar has taken our first Big Country Preps Player of the Week award for 2021. 

Helping the Lions to wins over Eastland (69-42) and Millsap (79-43), Escobar finished the week with a total of 63 points through the two games, including a 38-point night in the Eastland win. 

But scoring was only a portion of his overall contribution. 

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