Category: Big Spring Steers

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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GAME STORY: Snyder rallies from 9-0 deficit to capture important district win over Big Spring

SNYDER — From a coach’s perspective, there is a big difference between a 2-2 and 1-3 record in district play. And heading in to Tuesday’s matchup between Big Spring and Snyder at Moffett Field, each club was faced with a choice between both scenarios. 

With both teams holding 1-2 district marks, the danger of heading into the second half of league play with a sub-.500 mark supplied the incentive. It resulted in a wild, come-from-behind 11-10 win for Snyder. 

Jaden West was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Austin Escobedo delivered four innings of solid relief pitching to lead the Tigers (9-7, 2-2), who rallied from a 9-0 deficit to earn the win. 

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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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GAME STORY: Sweetwater girls rally in fourth for win over Big Spring

SWEETWATER — Both the Sweetwater and Big Spring girls basketball teams went into Tuesday night’s game tied for fourth place in District 3-4A and looking to get a leg up on the other one to close out the first half of district play.

Jazzy Villa made a pair of free throws coming off a technical foul between the third and fourth quarters to put the Lady Mustangs ahead and Sweetwater used a dominant defensive effort in the closing minutes to pick up a 51-47 win at Mustang Gym.

Sisters Kenzi and Kya Mitchell had 13 and 12 points, respectively, while Villa added 10 as the Lady Mustangs improved to 9-12 this year and 2-3 in District 3-4A action.

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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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