Category: Coleman Bluecats

FEATURE: Aggressive, care-free Coleman softball team proving to be a difficult foe

Photos courtesy Coleman softball parents and Kathy Turner of Coleman Today News

Saturday was a missed opportunity for Coleman’s softball team.  

With a chance to win the District 6-2A title outright, the Bluekatts suffered a lopsided loss against Eldorado.  

But second-year coach Cody LeCroy looks at the situation as a learning experience for a youthful Coleman squad that has unlimited potential. After all, when you start more freshmen than seniors, you’re bound to have a couple hiccups along the way.  

“You don’t want to lose by any means. I told them, remember this feeling, it’s not a good feeling,” LeCroy said. “Remind yourself how much harder we have to work and how important the little things are.”  

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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. 


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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Yardley takes top spot with perfect game

Six innings of perfection, spanning through two games.

That is what Jim Ned junior Tate Yardley delivered to take our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week, beginning with a five-inning perfect game in a 21-0 mercy rule win over San Angelo TLCA on March 16. 

Yardley, who quarterbacked Jim Ned to a 3A DI state football title in December, was flawless in the TLCA win, sitting down 15 straight hitters, including 11 via strikeout.  It was the second straight week that a Jim Ned pitcher had delivered perfection, with teammate Blaine Palmer having charted a five-inning no-no in a mercy rule win over Brady on March 8.

Yardley extended his streak of consecutive hitters retired on Friday by striking out the side in an inning of relief to close out a 7-0 win over Wall. 

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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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GAME STORY: Coleman boys rally late to edge Colorado City; Lady Wolves roll to big win

COLEMAN — Clutch shooting gave the Coleman boys their first lead of the night with just over two minutes to play, and the Bluecats sealed the game at the free-throw line in a 42-38 come-from-behind win over Colorado City on Tuesday night in District 8-2A play.

Corbin Rosales had the go-ahead layup before a dagger 3-pointer by Braxton Smith gave the Bluecats an insurmountable lead as Coleman improved to 12-6 overall and 5-1 in district play, keeping pace with Winters atop the district standings.

Jalen Holloway finished with a game-high 13 points for Coleman, while Rosales and Smith each finished with 10. Mason Randle led the Wolves with nine points.

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Wylie guard quartet share this week’s honor

With four guards capable of leading them in scoring on a given night, the Wylie Lady Bulldogs are blessed with a diverse offensive attack. 

But that level of balance and unselfishness does come with one small downside. When it comes time to recognize those players for their accomplishments, it can be hard to differentiate between them and determine which is most deserving of being honored.

So this week, we abdicate that duty and honor all four — seniors Morgan Travis, Emma Melton and Makinlee Bacon and sophomore Caroline Steadman — as our Big Country Preps Player of the Week for the week ending Jan. 23.

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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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