Category: Early Longhorns

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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FEATURE: Early pinning hopes of a deep playoff run on talented pitching staff

In baseball, there’s no substitute for quality pitching.

If you have it, you can win any game you play. If you don’t, your team’s ceiling drops precipitously.

The Early baseball team falls firmly into the first camp. And it’s for that reason, the Longhorns (18-4) are entering the playoffs with a sky-high confidence level and matching expectations.

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GAME STORY: Early softball rides fast start to Game 1 win over Henrietta

The Early softball team scored the first five runs of the game and held off a late Henrietta rally to claim a 6-4 win over the Lady Cats on Friday in the opener of a best-of-three Region I-3A bi-district series at Abilene Christian University’s Poly Wells Field. 

The Lady Longhorns were held to just five hits by a pair of Henrietta pitchers, but after plating two runs in the first to take an early lead, coach Alfonso Chavez’s team took advantage of some aggressive baserunning and two Lady Cat errors to pull the victory across the finish line.

Trailing 5-0 after four frames, HHS pulled within two with back-to-back two-run innings in the fifth and sixth. But Early pitcher Teagan Lopez stopped the bleeding there, pitching a scoreless seventh to close out a complete-game victory.

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP Player of the Week: O’Malley overcomes injury to punch regional ticket

Merkel’s Alyssa O’Malley is no stranger to our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week column. 

If she’s not in the weekly mix during the basketball season as one of the area’s top players, she’s competing for our top spot during the spring in track and field. 

Her latest exploit: How about four area championships in solo events, despite having a painful foot injury? 

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Stephenville’s Eakin snags this week’s top spot

For Stephenville standout Coy Eakin to land our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week really shouldn’t surprise anyone. 

Already signed to play football at Texas Tech, Eakin earned Offensive MVP honors in the wake of a spectacular performance in the Class 4A state title win over Austin LBJ in December, which netted him our final award for 2021. So this isn’t his first rodeo. 

Eakin’s latest big-time performance came at the District 6-4A track meet, where he captured two individual district championships in the triple jump (43-0) and long jump (20-10) and assisted in a third title with the 1,600 relay team (50.5 anchor leg). 

It’s important to note that Eakin took the district titles in the triple jump and long jump on short notice — having only practiced for both events for a week. That, ladies and gentlemen, is absolutely remarkable at the Class 4A level. 

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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: 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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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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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Cross Plains sophomore takes this week’s award

When Cross Plains’ Cadence Wedeking has the range zeroed in, the scorer’s table may want to have a spare pencil handy just in case. 

Our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week had one of “those nights” last week in a 69-20 win over Moran, connecting with five 3-pointers and finishing with 33 points. It was the third time this season the sophomore guard had connected from beyond the arc five times in one game.

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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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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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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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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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Class 3A area round report: A look at all of this week’s 3A area round games involving the Big Country

DIVISION I

Jim Ned 49, Muleshoe 20 Jim Ned rolled up 525 yards in total offense to corral the Mules. 

Xavier Wishert rushed for 312 yards on 34 carries and Tate Yardley threw for 128 yards and two more TDs to lead the Indians (12-0), who advance to face Brock in the Region I-3A DI semifinals next week. 

Leading 7-6 after the first quarter, Jim Ned secured the upper hand with consecutive second-quarter TDs — an 8-yard run by Wishert at the 11:56 mark, followed by a 15-yard TD pass from Yardley to Wishert at 5:27.

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GAME STORY: Early’s best season in 14 years ends with loss to Shallowater

CLYDE — A week removed from earning their first playoff win since 2007 with a stunning victory over Pilot Point, the Early Longhorns were hoping to spring another surprise area round. 

Unfortunately for the ‘Horns, the Shallowater Mustangs arrived at Bulldog Stadium fully prepped for a difficult matchup and defeated Early going away, 43-14. 

The Mustangs pounded out 291 yards rushing en route to the win, led by Keagan Campbell’s 96 yards on 14 carries. SHS now advances to face Whitesboro (8-4) in the Region I-3A DI semifinals next week.  Shallowater never trailed and was never threatened after building a 23-0 halftime lead.

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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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District 3-3A Div. I Week 11 Report: Early stuns Wall to force tiebreaker for the No. 2 seed

Early 24, Wall 14  — Jaxyn Price threw for 185 yards and two scores to lead Early to a big win over Wall. 

Trailing 14-10 in the fourth quarter, the Longhorns (8-2, 3-2) got a pair of late touchdowns to  force a three-way tie for second place in the league standings between the Longhorns, Wall and Breckenridge. 

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