Category: Coleman Bluecats

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: 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: Coleman rallies for pair of wins over Forsan, sweeps way into I-2A quarters

After having the opener of its area-round series with Forsan postponed by inclement weather on Friday, the Coleman baseball team showed up to Hardin-Simmons University’s Hunter Field ready to compete on Saturday. 

Despite trailing at different stages of both games, the Bluecats swept the Buffaloes, following an 8-5 win in nine innings with a 13-8 victory in Saturday’s late game to win the best-of-three area-round series and earn a date in the Region I-2A quarterfinals with Albany.

After extending Game 1 with a run in the seventh inning and limiting Forsan to a single run in a bases-loaded, no-out situation in the eighth, Coleman used a three-run ninth to put the Buffaloes on the brink of elimination. And after absorbing a two-run Forsan first and trailing 4-3 heading into the home half of the third in Game 2, the Bluecats scored 10 of the final 14 runs to survive and advance.

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GAME STORY: Coleman rides big first inning to 7-5 win over Stamford in Game 1

A big first inning gave the Coleman baseball team a lead it would never relinquish Friday in Game 1 of its Region I-2A bi-district series against Stamford. But that didn’t mean things were easy for the Bluecats in their 7-5 win over the Bulldogs at Abilene High’s Blackburn Field.

Leading 6-1 after three innings, CHS nearly saw its lead erased in the bottom of the sixth. But with runners on second and third and no outs, Stamford could score only one of those runs, keeping the Bluecat lead at one heading into the final inning.

Coleman then plated an insurance run in its half of the seventh and reliever Ryland Gentry struck out the side in the bottom to save the victory for starter Jorge Salas.

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GAME STORY: Bad start dooms nervous Coleman in area round loss to powerhouse Stamford

When you have the misfortune of being paired off with the defending state champion early in the playoffs, nerves are often a culprit.

That was certainly the case for the Coleman Bluekatts in a 10-0 loss to Stamford in a Class 2A area round game at Abilene Christian University on Thursday.  

Hoping to get off to a good start and build some early confidence, the Bluekatts crippled themselves with three errors in a jittery six-run Stamford first inning and never recovered.

Stamford’s Citlaly Gutierrez tossed a five-inning no-hitter with 12 strikeouts and Laylonna Applin was 2 for 3 with two runs scored to lead Stamford (21-4), which advances to face either Haskell or McCamey in the regional quarterfinals. 

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GAME STORY: Coleman Bluekatts explode late, rally for 7-2 win over Winters

WINTERS — For four innings Friday, the Coleman softball team had trouble solving Winters pitcher Kacie Lindley. 

The Bluekatts had at least one base runner in each of those frames, leading off the first inning with a double by Brylei Gilbreath and the second with a triple by Alana Young, but they had no runs to show for their efforts as Lindley made the pitch she needed to escape trouble each time she found herself in it.

That changed in the fifth inning, though, when Coleman finally broke through against the Lady Blizzards starter, pushing across three runs to erase a 1-0 deficit and open the offensive flood gates in a 7-2 win at the Winters softball field.

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Kirbo vaults his way into the top spot

In a week loaded with top-flight performances, Big Country Preps would have had a difficult time choosing the Capital Farm Credit Player of the Week. 

But Stephenville pole vaulter Ben Kirbo made the decision easy by accomplishing something which hasn’t been done by a Stephenville track athlete in nearly three decades.

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Jim Ned duo shares this week’s spotlight

Even in high school baseball, perfect games are rare. Two perfect games in one week in the same league are extremely uncommon. 

Two perfect games in one week, thrown by a pair of teammates are about as elusive as a Lochness Monster sighting.

And coincidentally, that’s about how often Big Country Preps names two players for the Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week. 

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: C-City pitcher Kaci Rivera takes the top spot

It’s difficult to top back-to-back shutouts when searching for a Player of the Week, especially when one of the vanquished is a solid team from a higher classification.

That was the case last week for Colorado City softball pitcher Kaci Rivera, who held both Big Spring (7-0) and Borden County (6-0) to a goose egg, with 23 strikeouts in 14 innings of work. 

Our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week allowed only five total hits in the two games, to go with two walks. 

“Kaci has really started to show her dominance on the mound,” coach Krysten Marr said. “She is a fierce competitor on both sides of the ball and we are excited to see how she does going into district play.”

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GAME STORY: Coleman upset bid falls short in regional quarterfinal loss to Christoval

BRONTE — Just two years removed from suffering through a 7-23 season, nobody in the Coleman camp was complaining about a 52-34 regional quarterfinal loss to Christoval on Tuesday —least of all CHS coach Cameron Lowman, who has labored to build the program back up.

The Bluecats even led the area power for most of the opening period before Christoval took the game over with a 20-10 second quarter and a 17-7 third. 

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Wall’s Richardson is in this week’s spotlight

With big numbers spaced over three games, Wall senior guard Jacob Richardson claims the Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week award for the week ending Feb. 12. 

Helping the Hawks to clinch a District 6-3A title with a 3-0 mark, Richardson poured in an average of 26.7 points in wins over Clyde, Ballinger and San Angelo TLCA. 

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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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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Merkel senior takes this week’s award

 

When selecting our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week, it’s not entirely about numbers, though that’s certainly a part of it. The quality of the competition counts, as does the importance of the game itself.

And when factoring in all of the above, nobody had a better overall week than Merkel senior Alyssa O’Malley, who has been among the area’s most consistent performers all season. 

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Strawn’s Rigdon nabs honor with 54-point effort

More often than not, our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week has led a winning effort of some sort. But we do make exceptions, and this week’s accolade is an example of that. 

In last week’s 69-68 loss to Huckabay, Strawn freshman (yes, freshman) Grayson “Chaka” Rigdon put forth an absolutely show-stopping performance, dropping 54 points on HHS to go with 14 rebounds, two assists and three steals. This came on the heels of a 24-point, 10-rebound night he had in a 64-41 loss to Lingleville. 

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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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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Stamford’s Applin wins this week’s award

While scoring a lot of points is always an attention-getter, the Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week column puts a great deal of value in players who can contribute in a variety of ways. And today’s winner is a prime of example of that. 

Stamford junior guard Laylonna Applin takes our accolade after helping the Lady Bulldogs to a 5-0 record on the week, with wins over Burkburnett, Christoval, Class 4A No. 13 Sanger, the San Angelo Central JV and Veribest. The last for victories came in the Ballinger tournament, at which Applin was named MVP.

Yes, she did plenty of scoring, dropping in an eye-popping 134 points through five games. But Applin did a lot more than just put the ball in the hoop.

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GAME STORY: Hawley wins physical battle with Coleman

With over 8,000 fans in attendance, the Region I-2A Division I semifinal between Hawley and Coleman lived up to the expectation of a street fight and the associated hype as a matchup of unbeaten teams.

Austin Cumpton ran for 120 yards and two touchdowns, including one on which he flipped over the pile and landed on his head, to fuel the Bearcats to a 21-7 win Friday night at Wylie’s Hugh Sandifer Stadium.

Hawley coach Mitch Ables knew his squad was going to be in for a fight and was looking forward to watching the game film to see how hard both defenses were hitting.

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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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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Hico sophomore Booth earns the spotlight

Big numbers will generally get one strong consideration for our Capital Farm Credit/Big Country Preps Player of the Week award. But when those numbers come against a team from a much larger classification, it quickly makes us take notice. 

Class 2A Hico’s Grace Booth did exactly that last week in a 61-57 win over Class 4A Mineral Wells, dominating both ends of the floor to lead the Lady Tigers in their season opener. 

Aside from the 40 points she poured in, Booth snagged 10 rebounds to chart a double-double. She also forced multiple turnovers (viewable on the video above), including three steals.

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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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GAME STORY: No. 9 Coleman blasts Anson 62-12 in triumphant playoff return

Playing their first playoff game since 2017 after having the postseason trip they earned last year wiped out by COVID, the Coleman Bluecats weren’t about to let Thursday’s bi-district matchup with Anson go by without savoring the experience.

And by the time they left the field at Wylie’s Hugh Sandifer Stadium with the gold ball they had earned with Thursday’s 62-12 win, coach John Elder and company had given themselves — and the many blue-clad fans in attendance — a memorable experience to enjoy.

The ninth-ranked Bluecats rushed for 425 yards while limiting the Tigers to just 237 yards of total offense to run away from the Tigers and earn an area-round matchup next week with the winner of Farwell and Post at a time, date and location to be determined.

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