Category: Brock Eagles

Evan Ren’s 2022 BCP Baseball/Softball All-Hustle Team: The hardest-working players in the area!

OTHER 2022 ALL-BIG COUNTRY PREPS TEAMS

Character, grit and work ethic aren’t seen in a box score. And it is with our Big Country Preps All-Hustle Team that we wish to honor those players (male and female) who exemplify those qualities. 

The All-Hustle team isn’t about who the best baseball and softball players were. It honors the best teammates. 

It is here where effort, discipline and coachability — traits that coaches wish they had in every player and upon which championships are built — are honored.

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

Big Country Preps is now honored to present these individuals to you — the best team players (boys and girls) that the Big Country had to offer during the 2022 baseball and softball seasons.

The players below are listed in no particular order. 

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GAME STORY: Brock can’t hold onto early lead, rally late in 16-13 state title game loss to London

ROUND ROCK — A second seventh-inning rally in as many days was just too much for Brock to ask for, as the Eagles saw their bid for the Class 3A state championship come up a few runs short in a 16-13 loss to Corpus Christi London on Saturday at Dell Diamond.

BHS, which scored two seventh-inning runs to claim a 7-6 walk-off win over Diboll in the state semifinals on Friday, rallied from a six-run deficit to pull within two (15-13) after 5½ innings Saturday. But after London tacked on an insurance with a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the sixth, the Eagles could manage only a walk in their final trip to the plate, seeing their season end with loss to the Pirates for the second straight year.

Brock, which scored four in the first inning and five in the second, led 9-4 after 1½ innings and maintained a 9-7 advantage until the bottom of the fourth. But the Pirates scored five runs in that inning to take their first lead at 12-9 and tacked on three more in the fifth to increase their lead to six heading into the sixth inning.

Those two rallies concluded a stretch of 11 unanswered runs for London, which was able to hold from there to win the highest scoring state championship game in UIL history.

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GAME STORY: Brock rallies for wild walk-off win over Diboll in Class 3A state semifinals

ROUND ROCK — On a day when virtually any ball hit in the air to the right side was an adventure, the Brock baseball team was both the beneficiary and victim of some high-sun wackiness in its Class 3A state semifinal matchup with Diboll on Friday at Dell Diamond.

But with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh, the Eagles caught the biggest and final break when what appeared to be routine fly ball off the bat resulted in a two-run, walk-off error and a dramatic 7-6 win over the Lumberjacks.

With his team down to its final out after watching Diboll rally from a 5-4 deficit in the top of the inning, Brock catcher Gavin Boedeker stepped the plate as the Eagles’ last hope. The junior sent the first pitch he saw off reliever Gabe Smith in the air to medium deep right field, but after fighting the sun and drifting to the spot, DHS outfielder Riley Sarmiento had the ball bounce off the heel of his glove and out, allowing Peyton Shaffer and Cam Harris to score the tying and winning runs, respectively.

It was a wild ending to an intensely competitive affair, sending the Eagles to their first state championship game since 2006.

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STATE BASEBALL PREVIEW: Brock looking to break through state semifinal barrier against Diboll

First-year Brock baseball coach Tim Arden wasn’t coaching the Eagles when they fell in the Class 3A state semifinals to Corpus Christi London last June, but he knows the impact that loss had on his returning players.

Back in the same round one year later, with a semifinal matchup against Diboll set for noon Friday at Round Rock’s Dell Diamond, this year’s BHS team is determined to avoid the same fate suffered in 2021.

Whether it’s a rematch with London (24-13) or a date with Gunter (36-1), the Eagles want to be playing for their second state title when the championship game begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday. But having seen each of their last four state trips end in the semifinals, they know well the challenge that lies ahead.

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FEATURE: Brock banking on pitching and defense heading into state tournament

BROCK — While it may sound clichéd to say that pitching and defense wins championships, one is hard-pressed to find teams in this year’s state baseball tournament that run contrary to the axiom.

And Brock (the lone representative in the Big Country Preps coverage area still that is still alive) fits the old saying as well as any other.

The Eagles (35-3) will face Diboll (38-4) in the Class 3A state semifinals at 1 p.m. on Friday at Dell Diamond in Round Rock. The winner will advance to face either Gunter (36-1) or Corpus Christi London (24-13) at 9 a.m. on Saturday. 

“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to the kids,” first-year coach Brock coach Tim Arden said. “When I walked in, one of the first things I did was a defensive drill on pickoffs and rundowns. 

“And the way they executed pickoffs and rundowns without me saying a word, I knew I had a lot (of ability) to work with. These kids know how to play baseball and they’ve got the fundamentals down. … It’s by far the best defensive team I’ve ever coached.”

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GAME RECAP: Brock outlasts Bowie in nine innings to clinch sweep, earn return trip to state

COPPELL — It took two extra innings Thursday, but the Brock baseball team finally got to the Bowie pitching staff, scoring three ninth-inning runs to break a 1-all tie for a 4-1 win in Game 2 of the Region I-3A championship series. 

The victory clinched a series sweep for the Eagles, who punched their ticket to the Class 3A state tournament for the second consecutive year.

Ian Fuchs and Dusty Baker were dominant on the mound, allowing one run on six combined hits and two walks over nine stellar innings, and the Brock offense found its groove late against reliever Kynan Demoss to outlast the Jackrabbits and improve to 35-3 on the year.

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GAME RECAP: Boedeker tosses two-hit shutout as Brock takes Game 1 from Bowie

COPPELL — Tristan Boedeker was nothing short of dominant on Wednesday, collecting 10 strikeouts during a two-hit shutout to lift the Brock baseball team to a 3-0 win over Bowie in Game 1 of the Region I-3A championship series.

The senior right-hander needed just 98 pitches to dispatch the Jackrabbits, throwing 64 of those for strikes. He walked just two to go with his two hits allowed, never allowing a Bowie baserunner to reach scoring position.

The Eagle lineup, meanwhile, gave its starter all the run support he would need during a two-run first inning, spoiling an otherwise strong outing for Bowie starter Carson Sanders.

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GAME STORY: Big fifth-inning lifts Brock to another run-rule victory over Holliday in Game 2

The Brock baseball team needed a few more innings to get going in their second game against Holliday than they did in Game 1. But in the end, the result was the same. 

Coach Tim Arden’s Eagles used a nine-run fifth inning to break open what was a 1-all ballgame to that point, before tacking on three more runs in the sixth to follow Friday’s 10-0 win with a 13-1 run-rule victory less than 24 hours later.

Saturday’s result completed an impressive sweep at Abilene Christian University’s Crutcher Scott Field and earned Brock a Region I-3A semifinals date with Idalou (22-5) next week.

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GAME STORY: Strosnider, Brock bats shine in run-rule win over Holliday in opener

Facing off with an outstanding Holliday team in what could be considered the state’s premier region quarterfinals series, the Brock baseball team took the suspense out of Game 1 quickly on Friday, run-ruling HHS 10-0 at Abilene Christian University’s Crutcher Scott Field.

Left-hander Sawyer Strosnider took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, and his lineup provided near constant support off Holliday starter Grant Cox, scoring in four of their six trips to the plate before putting the run rule in effect with two outs in the sixth. 

Brock (30-3) outhit its counterpart 12-1, getting three hits from Strosnider, who also scored a team-high three runs to lead the offense as well. That effort sets up coach Tim Arden’s team with a chance to eliminate Holliday (31-4) when the series resumes at 4:30 p.m. Saturday back at ACU.

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GAME STORY: Brock outlasts Coahoma to sweep weather-delayed area-round series

The Brock baseball team overcame a long weather delay and a scrappy Coahoma team to advance to the Region I-3A quarterfinals on Friday, sweeping the Bulldogs 3-0 and 12-2 at Abilene High’s Blackburn Field.

Due to a thunderstorm that swept through Abilene in the fifth inning of Game 1, the Eagles didn’t finish their 4:30 series opener until after 9:30, which pushed the end of Game 2 past midnight. 

But Brock got a pair of strong pitching performances and found its offense in the late game to put away Coahoma and earn a third-round playoff matchup with the winner of Jim Ned and Holliday next week.

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FEATURE: Brock baseball quickly adapts to Arden’s change in style without missing a beat

BROCK — Under former coach Hart Hering, the Brock baseball team had nearly turned “small ball” into a science — literally bunting and pitching its way to a state tournament appearance in 2021.

The Eagles were so good at it that frustration on the part of the opposition wasn’t uncommon. 

But with the arrival of new coach Tim Arden, came a completely different offensive approach — not dissimilar to that used by former Baltimore Orioles manager, Earl Weaver. Rather than scratching a few runs across, then protecting the lead with pitching, the Eagles are now playing for big innings early on, while saving the short game for situations when it benefits them most. 

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GAME STORY: Brock boys come up one bucket short in OT thriller against City View

LUBBOCK — Four quarters weren’t enough to decide a winner between the Brock and Wichita Falls City View boys basketball teams Saturday in the Region I-3A title game at Lubbock Christian University’s Rip Griffin Center.

And even after four extra minutes, the gap between the two squads was razor thin.

Unfortunately for the Eagles, the one bucket that separated them from the Mustangs at the end of a 46-44 heartbreaker was the difference between closing their season at the state tournament and not.

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GAME STORY: Jones, Brock dominate Merkel in area-round win

CISCO — Brock senior Nathan Jones missed the first 31 games of the Eagles basketball season as he recovered from a broken foot suffered during football season.

That hasn’t stopped the Big Ten-bound star from dominating on the basketball court the last two weeks in his first four games of the year.

The latest example came Friday night, when Jones put up 32 points and 18 rebounds to lead Brock past Merkel 83-36 in a Region I-3A area-round game at Cisco’s Ray Saunders Gymnasium.

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GAME STORY: No. 5 Jim Ned girls ride fast start to blowout win over Brock, advance to I-3A semis

CISCO — After getting off to a slow start in its area-round win over Holliday on Friday, the Jim Ned girls basketball team took a distinctly different path Monday against Brock.

The fifth-ranked Lady Indians raced out to a 19-5 first-quarter lead and never let the Lady Eagles recover in a 61-34 win in a region quarterfinal matchup at Ray Saunders Gym.

Jim Ned frustrated Brock with its pressure defense and made shot after shot on the other end to cruise into the Region I-3A tournament later this week at Wolfforth Frenship High School.

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GAME STORY: Brock girls advance to regional quarterfinals with 53-26 win over Coahoma

CLYDE — A combination of Brock’s defense and foul trouble ended the Coahoma girl’s season on Saturday in a 53-26 area round win for the Lady Eagles. 

Hallie McPherson scored 17 points and Halli Hyatt added 14 more to lead Brock, which advances to face Jim Ned in the Region I-3A quarterfinals at 6 p.m. on Monday in Cisco.  

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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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GAME STORY: Brock sweeps varsity doubleheader from Early

BROCK — With both clubs chasing Peaster for a possible league title and a No. 2 seed also in the balance, the Brock and Early boys arrived for Friday’s District 8-3A matchup  knowing full well what was at stake.  

And so did the crowd at BHS, as the Eagles rallied from a six-point first-half deficit to top Early 45-34 in an atmosphere the rivaled playoff intensity. Tyce Gentry scored 15 points and Sawyer Strosnider added 10 more to lead Brock (20-8, 8-1), which remains one game behind Peaster in the league title hunt. 

The win capped a varsity doubleheader sweep for BHS, which also took the girls game 52-26 earlier in the evening. 

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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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DANIEL YOUNGBLOOD: Brock ran into under-the-radar buzzsaw in Lorena

ARLINGTON — During a 15-0 run to the state championship in which they outscored their opponents by an average margin of 51-13, the Brock Eagles looked nearly invincible.

Ranked No. 2 for most of the season behind defending state champion Jim Ned, the Eagles cruised through Region I, routing the top-ranked Indians 70-25 in the third round before finally being tested in a 35-28 overtime win over Mount Vernon in the state semifinals.

It wasn’t until the state title game, however, that Brock finally met its match. And after Thursday’s 35-18 loss to Lorena, no other explanation’s really necessary.

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GAME STORY: Brock falls to Lorena 35-18 in Class 3A Division I state title game

ARLINGTON — Missed opportunities and inconsistency.

The stat sheet from Brock’s 35-18 loss to Lorena in Thursday’s Class 3A Division I state championship game largely masks both factors. Yet both were key reasons why the Eagles fell short at AT&T Stadium. 

Rhett Hanson rushed for 196 yards and three scores and Ryne Abel threw for 163 yards and another TD to lead Lorena (14-2), which earned its first state football title since 1987 and the 200th career win for coach Ray Biles. 

Brock finished its season at 15-1 — led by Tyler Moody with 170 yards passing and two scores and Kutter Wilson, who rushed for 171 yards and another TD. The Eagles were only outgained 370-359, but the game’s keys weren’t found on paper. 

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BCP WEEK 17 PLAYOFF FORECAST: Six area teams reach Arlington with state titles on the line

LAST WEEK: 3-1, .750
SEASON TOTAL: 509-107, .826

What a year for area football.

Six … count’em … six teams from the Big Country Preps coverage area still have a pulse in Week 17 and will compete for state titles at five different levels.

Strawn, May, Westbrook, Hawley, Brock and Stephenville will all make their way onto the turf at AT&T Stadium this week with a shot at the history books.

The Big Country Preps staff will be on hand at Jerry World, of course, soaking it all in and sharing it with you, our subscribers.

It’s difficult to believe, but its time to make my final round of picks for 2021. 

Here’s this week’s forecast: 

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GAME STORY: Brock uses rare center-eligible pass to beat Mt. Vernon

MCKINNEY — With the score tied a 28 in overtime, nobody was really surprised that the Brock Eagles went to standout tight end  Nathan Jones for what proved to be the game-winning touchdown against Mount Vernon. 

The way they did it, however, caught nearly everyone off-guard including every defender on the Mount Vernon defense.  

With Jones lining up t center, the Eagles shifted two linemen to the right, leaving Jones at the end of the line, still snapping the ball, but eligible for a pass.  After snapping the ball to Tyler Moody, Jones did a short out pattern into the end zone where Moody found him all alone for a 35-28 lead.

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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: Brock advances to state semis rout of Whitesboro

ARLINGTON — With Brock coming off an emotionally charged win over defending state champion Jim Ned last week, there was some concern in the Eagle camp about being mentally ready for Whiteboro in Thursday’s Region I-3A Division I title game. 

It took less than a quarter at Globe Life Field for Brock to end any doubts about their readiness in a lopsided 49-14 win. 

Tyler Moody threw for 222 yards and two touchdowns and Brett Tutter added 94 yards rushing and three scores in a reserve role to lead the Eagles (14-0), who advance to face either Mount Vernon (13-0) or West (13-0) in the state semifinals. 

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