Category: Albany Lions

COUNTDOWN TO TWO-A-DAYS: Albany Lions

Football is just around the corner, and we at BigCountryPreps.com are committed to bringing you the information you need to prepare for your favorite team’s season.

We’ll be releasing our Big Country Preps Preseason Football Preview, the most comprehensive look at the upcoming Big Country football season anywhere, on Wednesday, Aug. 17. But you won’t have to wait until then to sate your gridiron appetite.

Leading up to the first day of fall football practice on Aug. 1, we’ll be spotlighting each 11-man team in the area and posing some of the key questions they’ll face in 2022 as part of our annual “Countdown to Two-a-Days” series.

We begin in Class 2A Division II with the Albany Lions. On Thursday we will take a look at the Hamlin Pied Pipers, followed by the Cross Plains Buffaloes on Friday.

Continue reading “COUNTDOWN TO TWO-A-DAYS: Albany Lions”

GAME STORY: New Home’s big third inning spoils Albany’s fast start, fuels Leopards to Game 1 win

SNYDER — Scoring runs in each of the first two innings, the Albany baseball team got off to exactly the type of start it was hoping for in Game 1 of the Region I-2A championship series against New Home. But the Leopards used a three-run third to shift the momentum in their favor and led the rest of the way in a 5-3 win Thursday at Moffett Field.

Lions ace Cole Chapman was sharp for most of the game, putting up zeros in three of the five innings he pitched. But the junior right-hander temporarily lost his control in the third, and New Home took advantage, scoring three runs on two singles and four walks to erase the early 2-0 deficit.

The Leopards added two unearned runs in the fifth to go up 5-2, and the Lions could get only one of those runs back in their final three trips to the plate, falling behind in a series for the first time in their playoff run.

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GAME STORY: Albany finishes strong, takes Game 1 from Coleman, 7-1

Through three and a half innings, Game 1 of a Region I-2A quarterfinal between Albany and Coleman lived up to its billing at McMurry University, with the score knotted at 1-1 in the bottom of the fourth 

From that point forward, however, an experienced Albany club owned Walt Driggers Field and closed with a 7-1 win on Friday. 

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GAME STORY: Albany’s Chapman comes through on mound, at plate in walk-off win over Eldorado

Junior standout Cole Chapman did it all for the Albany Lions on Thursday.

In addition to delivering a complete-game gem on the mound, the lanky right-hander also came through with the game-winning hit with two outs in the seventh inning to fuel AHS to a 3-2 walk-off win over Eldorado in Game 1 of a Region I-2A area-round series at Abilene Christian University’s Crutcher Scott Field.

Thanks to Chapman’s heroics, the Lions improved to 16-4 on the year and will need just one win when the best-of-three series resumes Saturday in San Angelo.

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GAME STORY: Lady Lions lose big lead, then rally to capture Game 1 from Hamlin, 10-7

While it may not have been a must-win situation for either team, both Albany and Hamlin put a good deal of importance in Game 1 of their Region I-2A quarterfinal series on Thursday, knowing a win would give them two shots to advance on Saturday. 

The Lady Lions earned the checkmark but had to rally to do it, topping  Hamlin 10-7 at McMurry University to take a one-game lead in the best-of-three matchup.

Carisa Barrera was 2 for 4 with a double and earned a save in the circle to lead Albany (15-13-1), which can close out the series with a win in Game 2 at 1 p.m. on Saturday at McMurry.  Game 3, if needed, will begin 30 minutes after Game 2. 

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP Player of the Week: Haskell’s Roewe hits for the cycle to claim award

Four hits in one day is a great day for any hitter. But to get one hit of each kind – single, double, triple and a home run – is one of softball and baseball’s genuine rarities.

Yet that is exactly what Haskell senior Emma Roewe pulled off last week when she hit for the cycle in a 17-7 area round win over McCamey.

But there was an added bonus: Nearly all of her hits had huge impact, beginning with an RBI triple to bring in the first run of the game.

She later broke a 7-7 tie with a two-run homer in the fourth inning and brought down the curtain with a walk-off double to score Olivia Camacho to bring the mercy rule into play.

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GAME STORY: Read spins gem, Albany bats explode late in series-clinching rout of Winters

Behind a gem of a start by Cole Read and a late explosion at the plate, the Albany baseball team rolled to a 12-0 win over Winters in Game 2 of its Region I-2A bi-district series, sweeping the best-of-three affair to advance to the area round next week.

Leading the Blizzards 3-0 after four innings Saturday at the Abilene Cooper baseball field, the Lions put up three runs in the fifth and six in the sixth to turn a tight game into a run-rule victory.

Read pitched into the sixth, before handing the ball to reliever Cooper Fairchild, who recorded the final outs to complete the combined shutout. The Lions starter allowed just five hits and three walks while striking out five to earn the win.

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GAME STORY: Chapman, two big innings fuel Albany past Winters in Game 1

Junior ace Cole Chapman gave Albany a strong start on the mound and his offense did the rest as the Lions opened their Region I-2A bi-district series against Winters with a 11-4 win at Abilene Cooper. 

AHS scored two in the first and four in the third to take an early 6-0 lead, before extinguishing a potential Winters rally with a four-run sixth inning to put the game away.

The victory improved the Lions to 14-4 on the year and put coach David Fairchild’s team one win away from a series victory and a trip to the area round.

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GAME STORY: Albany softball takes series opener against Hawley

In the postseason, teams must do two things: avoid mistakes on defense and capitalize on offense.

Thursday night at Cooper High School, the Hawley softball team made several mistakes and Albany was able to capitalize on them as the Lady Lions won 14-6 to take the opening game of the Region II-2A bi-district series.

Albany scored three runs off wild pitches on 1-2 counts with two outs in the second and third innings on their way to posting a pair of five-run frames in getting the win.

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP Player of the Week: O’Malley overcomes injury to punch regional ticket

Merkel’s Alyssa O’Malley is no stranger to our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week column. 

If she’s not in the weekly mix during the basketball season as one of the area’s top players, she’s competing for our top spot during the spring in track and field. 

Her latest exploit: How about four area championships in solo events, despite having a painful foot injury? 

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Big Country Girls Basketball Statistical Leaders (through Feb. 3)

Each Thursday night, Big Country Preps will publish area boys and girls basketball statistical leaders.

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

Teams that do not submit their statistics in a given week will not be listed when our stats are posted, but will be added to the lists below as they are received in the coming days. 

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UIL REALIGNMENT: Big Country football landscape will change dramatically

While icy road conditions may have changed the UIL’s method of delivering the news, the results of its biennial realignment still offered the usual mix of surprises on Thursday. 

Held via live feed over the internet, area coaches learned their fate on the web. 

Topping the list of stunners for area teams would be the shift of Brownwood from its centralized home in District 5-4A DI to the far west in District 2.  There, the Lions will join Big Spring, Lubbock Estacado, San Angelo Lake View and Andrews — the last of which will produce a 480-mile round trip.

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Big Country Boys Basketball Statistical Leaders (through Jan. 20)

Each Thursday night, Big Country Preps will publish area boys and girls basketball statistical leaders.

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

Teams that do not submit their statistics in a given week will not be listed when our stats are posted, but will be added to the lists below as they are received in the coming days. 

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Big Country Girls Basketball Statistical Leaders (through Jan. 20)

Each Thursday night, Big Country Preps will publish area boys and girls basketball statistical leaders.

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

Teams that do not submit their statistics in a given week will not be listed when our stats are posted, but will be added to the lists below as they are received in the coming days. 

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EVAN REN’S 2021 TRUE GRIT TEAM: The toughest, hardest-working players in the Big Country!

Most high school football teams have that one player acknowledged by the coaching staff as the prime example of what a teammate should be. 

He’s the guy who seldom misses any practice time and is a regular in the weight room. He’s early to arrive. He’s late to leave, takes pride in being coachable but seldom needs direction. 

He always sets the right example for younger players. He doesn’t gripe and, above all else, he’s tough enough to make all the aforementioned traits possible. 

Know someone like that? Here is where they are honored. 

Welcome to Big Country Preps’ “True Grit” team — a collection of area players nominated by their head coaches, who exemplify the character traits football mentors want throughout their roster. 

Not all of them are great players. In fact, many of them will never play a down of college football. But every single one of them is making the most of their high school football experience and has helped those around them do the same.

We are absolutely honored to present these young men to you — the toughest, hardest-working football players the Big Country had to offer in 2021. 

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2021 BIG COUNTRY PREPS MAX EFFORT TEAM: The hardest-working players in area volleyball!

While our All-Big Country Preps Volleyball team is in place to honor those who achieved the most on-court success, our “Max Effort” team is something much more uncommon. 

This is a special accolade, which has nothing to do with talent or stats.

It is here where character, grit and work ethic — traits that coaches wish every player had — are recognized. It is here where we honor the best teammates and best citizens that area volleyball has to offer.

It is for that reason that this team is selected by area coaches and described in their own words.

Big Country Preps is now honored to present these individuals to you — the hardest-working, toughest volleyball players in the Big Country. Ladies and gentlemen: Our 2021 Big Country Preps Max Effort Team. 

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GAME STORY: Albany meets its match in 35-14 state semifinals loss to Stratford

LUBBOCK — Through their first 13 games, the Albany Lions built and unblemished record by being the most physical team on the field.

On Thursday, in its Class 2A Division II state semifinal matchup against Stratford, coach Denney Faith’s squad finally ran into a team it couldn’t move.

SHS controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, outrushing Albany 299-32, and the Lions couldn’t generate enough in the passing game to compensate, allowing the final 25 points in a 35-14 loss at Lowrey Field.

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BCP WEEK 16 PLAYOFF FORECAST: Seven Big Country Preps teams still alive

LAST WEEK: 7-0, 1.000
SEASON TOTAL: 506-106, .826

As Week 16 arrives, Big Country Preps still has an astonishing seven teams still active — Stephenville, Brock, Hawley, Albany, Westbrook, May and Strawn — the last three of which will be playing for the Class 1A Division I and Division II titles next week. 

In the meantime, we have four 11-man state semifinal games involving teams in our coverage area to discuss this week, including three Thursday dates. 

The column remains red hot at the moment, going 7-0 on picks last week and 19-1 over the last two weeks. 

Here’s this week’s playoff forecast: 

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GAME STORY: Albany pulls away from Windthorst to avenge last season’s loss

GRAHAM — As quarterback Cole Chapman continued backpedaling to take one last knee Friday night, Albany’s celebration could finally commence.  

The fourth-ranked Lions had waited a long time to get the better of defending champion Windthorst. Thanks to another quick start and a relentless defense, Albany avenged last year’s disappointment with a 28-14 victory at Newton Field. 

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BCP Week 15 Playoff Forecast: Big Ev picks 92 percent over Thanksgiving. Can he keep it going?

LAST WEEK: 12-1, .923
SEASON TOTAL: 499-106, .825

Alright, we’re getting down to the nitty gritty — football in December with seven Big Country teams still fighting for a trip to Arlington. If I’m correct, we’ll have quite a few area survivors to congratulate by Sunday.

The column connected on 92 percent of its picks last week, so we’ll see if I can keep the hot streak going.

Here’s this week’s forecast: 

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Stephenville linebacker Young takes award once again

It’s not easy for defensive players to wrestle the spotlight away from those on offense. It’s just the nature of things. 

But in the case of Stephenville linebacker Reese Young, he’s beginning to make a habit of it. 

Young, who charted 22 tackles (14 solos) in SHS’ 21-17 regional semifinal win over Argyle last week is our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week for a second time this year. 

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EVAN REN’S WEEK 14 PLAYOFF FORECAST: 16 area teams still battling for regional titles

LAST WEEK: 17-4, .809
SEASON TOTAL: 487-105, .823

Some areas have quantity. Others have quality. The Big Country has both — at least, this year it does. 

Entering Week 14 there are no fewer than 16 area teams with a shot at reaching December. And with six of them paired off against each other, the Big Country is guaranteed to have at least three survivors a week from now. 

I have a strong feeling we’re going to see more area survivors than that. But we will have some casualties this time around. There’s no avoiding it with the level of competition our teams are facing. 

With 11-man teams reaching the regional semifinal round and six-man teams playing for regional titles, there are nothing but monsters remaining to block the path to Arlington. 

Who will make it through? 

Here’s this week’s forecast: 

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Class 2A area round report: A look at all of this week’s 2A area round games involving the Big Country.

DIVISION I

Cisco 69, Panhandle 21 Hunter Long rushed for 334 yards and three scores as Cisco eliminated Panhandle. 

Trent Huston added 146 yards rushing and three more TDs to help Cisco, which built a 48-7 halftime lead before putting things into cruise control.

The Loboes (10-2) finished with 686 yards in total offense including 664 on the ground. They advance to face New Deal (11-1) in the Region I-2A DI semifinals next week. 

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Class 2A bi-district report: Hawley cruises past San Saba, into area round

DIVISION I

Hawley 56, San Saba 9 Austin Cumpton rushed for 111 yards and five touchdowns while the Bearcat defense limited San Saba to just 98 total yards in a lopsided victory for Hawley.

The Bearcats (11-0), who also got 97 yards and one TD rushing from Lawson Bailey, led 42-0 by halftime and added another touchdown in the third quarter before the Armadillos finally got on the board.

San Saba, which closed its season at 2-9, was led by Wesley Lackey with 99 yards and one rushing touchdown on 10 carries.

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