Category: Bangs Dragons

COUNTDOWN TO TWO-A-DAYS: Bangs Dragons

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 Saturday, Aug. 14. 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. 2, we’ll be spotlighting each 11-man team in the area and posing some of the key questions they’ll face in 2021 as part of our annual “Countdown to Two-a-Days” series.

Today, we stay in Class 3A Division II with the Bangs Dragons. On Tuesday, we will take a look at the Brady Bulldogs, followed by the Coahoma Bulldogs on Wednesday.

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GAME STORY: Swearingin, Bowie shut down Bangs in series opener

Bowie starter Kawlyer Swearingin was too much for the Bangs Dragons on Friday, tossing a complete-game shutout at McMurry University’s Walt Driggers Field to fuel the Jackrabbits to a 9-0 win in the first game of a best-of-three Region I-3A bi-district series.

The lefty pitched around four hits and three walks with the aid of 10 strikeouts, allowing his team to break a close game open with a pair of big innings.

The first of those came in the bottom of the fourth, when Bowie took advantage of a balk and two errors to plate three runs, and the second came two innings later, when the Jackrabbits pushed four runs across to all but seal the victory.

The outcome leaves Bangs (14-12-1) in need of two wins Saturday to extend its season to the area round next week.

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EVAN REN: Handicapping the boys state track meet.

Having already released our picks for the girls state track meet earlier this evening, we now present the boys event, using the same approach. 

We’ll comb through each event involving a Big Country athlete (or athletes) and assess if they are favorites, dark horses or long shots to get on the medal stand. 

Let’s not waste any time. Let’s dive in. 

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EVAN REN: Picking the favorites, dark horses and longshots at the girls state track meet

I don’t care who you are — even if you’re a non-fan when it comes to track and field. 

The excitement of the state meet in Austin will capture your attention if you catch sight or sound of it. It’s inescapable. 

And once per year, it is my pleasure to examine the multitude of Big Country athletes heading to Austin for the event and pick who we can expect to see on the medal stand from our area. 

Let’s begin with the girls side, looking at each event in which a Big Country athlete has qualified for state. 

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Clyde’s Phillips earns this week’s spotlight

In a week filled with unforgettable moments, several of our nominees handed in by area coaches could justifiably be called our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week. 

We finally settled on Clyde sophomore Payton Phillips, who stunned attendees at the Region I-3A meet by taking gold in both the long jump (18 feet, 6 inches) and the 100 hurdles (15.12) — breaking school records that were 25 and 15 years old, respectively. 

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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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