Category: Early Longhorns

GAME STORY: Brock remains unbeaten in district with big win at Early

EARLY — Hoping to force a first-place tie in District 8-3A with perennial power Brock, coach Todd Hatton and a youthful Early baseball team knew they needed a quick start when the Eagles paid them a visit on Tuesday. 

It didn’t happen. 

Quite the contrary, it was Brock that got out of the gate quickly, smothering Early with a six-run first inning and a six-run second in a 12-1 win via the five-inning 10-run rule. 

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FEATURE: Young Early baseball team making waves ahead of schedule

Last year’s COVID pause came at a tough time for the Early baseball program.

Off to a solid start with seven returning seniors on the squad, the Longhorns appeared poised to build on the co-district championship they achieved the year before.

Fast forward to this season, and things looked less certain for coach Todd Hatton and his bunch.

With just two seniors, four juniors a slew of sophomores, and a limited number of games last spring through which to gain experience, EHS entered the season as something of a wild card. But sitting at 14-6 overall and 6-1 in league play heading into the second half of District 8-3A action, the youthful Longhorns can’t help but be pleased with their current position — and the rapid progress they made to get here.

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

A strained hip may have slowed Aspermont junior Sadie Gentry, but you’d never know it by watching her compete. 

A week ago, Gentry took gold in the high jump (4-8) and the 400 meters (63.8) at the District 15-1A meet. She then helped the 400- and 1,600-meter relay teams take district titles as in 52.9 and 4:33, respectively.

Her four district titles were more than sufficient to earn her our Capital Farm Credit Player of the Week/BCP Player of the Week award for the week ending April 3. But when you add the fact that she was nursing a sore hip and following orders to not overdo it, her performance becomes even more significant. 

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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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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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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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