Category: Early Longhorns

District 3-3A Division I: Week 4 Report

Jim Ned 28, Mason 19 — The Indians (4-0) passed their most difficult test of the early season in workmanlike fashion.

Harwell

Trailing 6-0 early on, the Jim Ned gained a permanent upper hand with three straight touchdowns — the first of which came at the 0:16 mark of the first quarter on a 1-yard run by Riley Perry. 

Perry added a 3-yard TD with 4:08 left in the half before a 65-yard punt return by Jamin Harwell put the Indians up by three scores with 9:07 left in the third quarter. 

Continue reading “District 3-3A Division I: Week 4 Report”

BCP GAME OF THE WEEK: Explosive Brady visits Dublin (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country Picks)

LAST WEEK: 41-8, .837

OVERALL: 130-27, .828

On a Friday where any one of four or five games is arguably a candidate for our Big Country Preps Game of the Week, our final decision — Brady at Dublin — was based on sharing the love. 

Jim Ned and Mason is on the board, as is Wichita Falls Rider at Brownwood, Hawley at Albany, Christoval at Cross Plains and, of course, the annual war between Brock and Breckenridge. 

But with Jim Ned a likely candidate for Game of the Week when it faces Wall and Eastland later this year, and Brownwood receiving live coverage for Snyder two weeks ago and Wylie next week, the field narrowed a bit. 

Hawley got our Game of the Week last Friday, and Albany will likely see the GOW when it faces Hamlin, so we’re heading to Dublin where Brady will be a part of its first-ever BCP spotlight game.

It shouldn’t disappoint. 

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BCP Podcast No. 62: Stephenville’s Sterling Doty visits with Evan, Daniel

After a successful five-year run at Magnolia High School, following a stint as an assistant and offensive coordinator at Cooper, Sterling Doty has returned home to lead the Stephenville program he helped to two state titles in the late 1990s.

This week, Doty took a few minutes to chat with Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood about his team, the pressure he faces as Stephenville’s coach and some of his influences for this week’s Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast. 

Also in this episode, Evan and Daniel discuss some of their takeaways from the third week of the Big Country football season and take a look at the top matchups in Week 4.

Continue to check back at BigCountryPreps.com each Wednesday night at 7 p.m. when Evan and Dan discuss the current happenings in Big Country High School sports — often with an interesting sports figure from around the area.

You can also peruse our BCP Podcast archive, which features dozens of our previous shows with prominent coaches and Big Country media fixtures. 

Inquiries regarding these podcasts may be directed to Evan Ren at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com. 

If you have a suggested topic of conversation or a recommended guest, don’t hesitate to contact us! 

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District 3-3A Division I: Week 3 Report

Early 19, Tolar 18 — Brent Grooms threw for 205 yards for a score and rushed for 57 yards and two more scores to help the Longhorns improve to 2-1 on the year. 

Early trailed 18-13 heading into the fourth quarter before earning a road win with a late score. 

Timmy Smithson was a favorite target of Grooms, hauling in six catches for 144 yards and a touchdown.

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BCP GAME OF THE WEEK: Hawley, Hamlin collide in matchup of 2A powerhouses (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country Picks)

 

LAST WEEK: 46-6, .884

SEASON TOTAL: 89-19, .824

I don’t know what has me more jazzed — the interesting slate of Big Country games we’ve got on tap this week, or the fact that I hit 88 percent of my picks in Week 2 and am at 82 percent for the season. 

I don’t mind saying, it’s way too early in to be picking at a rate that high. Normally the 80-percent plateau is crossed in the second half of the season, after you get dialed in on who’s who. But why should I complain? It will give me a leg up on Youngblood. 

Our Big Country Preps Game of the Week — Hamlin (2-0) at Hawley (2-0) — was actually circled on the calendar well in advance of the season. 

Yes, last year’s matchup resulted in a 32-6 Hamlin win. 

But the venue switches to Hawley this time around and unless I’ve missed my guess, the Bearcats are more than motivated after being escorted to the woodshed by the Pipers a year ago. 

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BCP Podcast No. 61: Chris Joslin talks Coahoma football with Evan, Daniel

After a late arrival at Coahoma, Chris Joslin led the Bulldogs to a 4-7 record in his first season as a head football coach. This year, with most of that squad back, he has his team off to a 2-0 start, through which it has outscored its first two opponents by a combined 78-9 margin.

This week, Joslin took some time to talk to Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood about this year’s team and his transition to the head coaching role on the Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast.

Also in this episode, Evan and Daniel discuss the most interesting developments of Week 2 of the Big Country football season and take a look at the top matchups of Week 3.

Continue to check back at BigCountryPreps.com each Wednesday night at 7 p.m. when Evan and Dan discuss the current happenings in Big Country High School sports — often with an interesting sports figure from around the area.

You can also peruse our BCP Podcast archive, which features dozens of our previous shows with prominent coaches and Big Country media fixtures. 

Inquiries regarding these podcasts may be directed to Evan Ren at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com. 

If you have a suggested topic of conversation or a recommended guest, don’t hesitate to contact us! 

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Brady’s Bauer snags the top spot

Just how much the Brady football team will improve this season has yet to be determined. But one thing is certain: The Bulldogs are explosive. 

Headed by our Big Country Preps Player of the Week, senior quarterback Walker Bauer, Brady handed a solid Class 2A Division II team from Haskell a 59-24 loss on Friday. 

It was the biggest offensive output in coach Shay Easterwood’s tenure as BHS’ head coach.

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District 3-3A Division I: Week 2 Report

Fielding

Eastland 49, West 7 Behren Morton threw for 281 yards and four scores and Brandon Fielding rushed for 81 yards and two touchdowns on nine carries as Eastland improved to 2-0.

The Mavericks raced out to a 35-0 lead by the second quarter before coasting the rest of the way. 

By night’s end Eastland (2-0) had accumulated 432 yards in total offense. West (1-1) was limited to 150. 

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BCP GAME OF THE WEEK: Cisco, Wall square off in a clash of area powers (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country Picks)

LAST WEEK: 43-13, .767

SEASON TOTAL: 43-13, .767

The beauty of Week 1 of the football season is that it throws all sorts of new questions into your face. The beauty of Weeks 2 and 3 is that most of those questions get answered. 

Our Big Country Preps Game of the Week — Wall at Cisco — should serve as a moment of clarity. 

Just how good is this Wall team that routed perennial power Mason 47-7 at the Puncher Dome last week? Entering as a nine-point favorite, the Hawks shattered the computer projections leading some to believe this could be a vintage Hawks football team. 

At this point, however, we don’t know exactly where Mason stands. 

We do, however, have a pretty fair idea about Cisco, which handed a rapidly improving (albeit young) Class 4A Sweetwater team a 49-27 loss in the Mustang Bowl. This is your standard, tough Cisco football team with an excellent running game and physical defense. 

So we’ll find out precisely where Wall is on Friday. 

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BCP Podcast No. 60: Evan, Daniel talk Big Country pigskin with Texas Football’s Greg Tepper

As the managing editor of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine and an analyst for Fox Sports Southwest, Greg Tepper is respected statewide for the passion and knowledge he brings to his Texas high school football coverage.

This week, Tepper took a few minutes to chat with Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood about the Big Country football scene and his work for this week’s Capital Farm Credit Wenesday Night Podcast. 

Also in this episode, Evan and Daniel discuss the biggest surprises of high school football’s opening week and preview some of the Big Country’s top matchups in Week 2.

Continue to check back at BigCountryPreps.com each Wednesday night at 7 p.m. when Evan and Dan discuss the current happenings in Big Country High School sports — often with an interesting sports figure from around the area.

You can also peruse our BCP Podcast archive, which features dozens of our previous shows with prominent coaches and Big Country media fixtures. 

Inquiries regarding these podcasts may be directed to Evan Ren at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com. 

If you have a suggested topic of conversation or a recommended guest, don’t hesitate to contact us! 

BCP PODAST ARCHIVE 

BIG COUNTRY PREPS FACEBOOK PAGE 

BIG COUNTRY PREPS TWITTER PAGE 

District 3-3A Division I: Week 1 Report

Wall 47 , Mason 7 — Mason’s 40-game home winning streak was ended in a resounding way by the Hawks, who dominated from start to finish in a Thursday night game televised by Fox Sports Southwest. 

Wall (1-0) pounded out 353 yards rushing and Mason Fuchs threw two first-half TD passes in what was a largely unexpected rout. 

The Hawks limited Mason to just 111 yards in total offense, including 84 yards rushing on 40 carries.  

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FEATURE: Sustained success puts milestones in reach for Big Country football programs

Anyone who follows high school football in Texas knows that the Big Country has a rich tradition of producing winners on the gridiron.

But just how rich is that history?

Of the top 100 winningest 11-man programs in Texas history (regardless of classification), 11 call the Big Country home.

Brownwood is the standard-bearer with 738 wins in program history, which ranks sixth all-time. The Lions have a winning percentage of .654, which ranks 38th of programs that have a minimum of 500 games played.

The Lions, who have been playing football since 1907, are one of just 12 programs in the state to scale the 700-win plateau. But that number could grow by as many as six teams this fall, with three of those six teams hailing from the Big Country.

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BCP Preseason Position Rankings: Quarterbacks

After a week of highlighting area standouts, we close our eight-part preseason position rankings series with the Big Country’s top gunslingers.

To complete our look at the area’s best players, we’ve ranked our top-10 quarterbacks with a list of others to watch in 2019.

We hope you enjoy this list and that you have enjoyed our position rankings as we get set to kickoff a new season.

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BCP Preseason Position Rankings: Running Backs

As we wind down our eight-part preseason position rankings series, we’ve finally arrived at the Big Country’s top ball-carriers.

After breaking down this year’s crop of receivers and tight ends Monday, we move now to the area’s top running backs, ranking our top 10 with a list of others to watch in 2019. Don’t forget to check in Wednesday night when we unveil our top 10 area quarterbacks to conclude this series.

We hope you enjoy tonight’s list and encourage you to check out the other position groups, which are linked below.

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BCP Preseason Position Rankings: Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

We’re now approaching the home stretch of our eight-part preseason position rankings series, and it’s time to look at the Big Country’s top pass-catchers.

After starting the offensive portion of our series Sunday with the big boys up front, we now shift our attention to the playmakers on the edges, ranking our top 10 wide receivers/tight ends with a list of others to watch in 2019.

We hope you enjoy our list and encourage you to check out the other position groups, which are linked below.

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BCP Preseason Position Rankings: Offensive Linemen

With the defensive and special teams rankings behind us, it’s time to look at the area’s offensive standouts. And we’ll start where any productive offense begins: on the line.

For the fifth installment of our eight-part preseason position rankings series, we turn our attention to the big boys, ranking the Big Country’s top-10 offensive linemen with a list of others to watch in 2019.

We hope you enjoy reading through our rankings.

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BCP Preseason Position Rankings: Kickers/Punters

After recognizing the top defensive players throughout the Big Country over the past three days, it’s time to honor the specialists.

We continue our eight-part preseason position rankings series by naming our top five kickers and punters to watch this fall.

We hope you enjoy this list and that you have enjoyed our position rankings as we get set to kickoff the 2019 season.

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BCP Preseason Position Rankings: Defensive Backs

After starting with the linemen and linebackers, we turn to the secondary to complete our look at the top defenders in the Big Country.

For the third installment in our eight-part preseason position rankings series, we key on the defensive backs, giving our list of the area’s top-10 players and others to look out for in 2019.

We hope you enjoy our list.

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BCP Preseason Position Rankings: Linebackers

After taking a look at the area’s top defensive linemen on Wednesday, it’s now time to examine those who will backing them in 2019.

Continuing with Big Country Preps’ eight-part preseason position rankings series, here’s our top 10 linebackers to watch this fall as well as a list of the others we’re expecting big things from.

We hope you enjoy our list.

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BCP Podcast No. 58: Evan, Daniel discuss predictions for upcoming football season

With the 2019 high school football season now less than two weeks away, Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood have decided to utilize this week’s Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast to break down every 11-man district race and dive deeper into their predictions for the upcoming season.

In this episode, Evan and Daniel share who they think will win each district and why, and go into deeper detail why they picked they teams they did to advance to the playoffs.

Continue to check back at BigCountryPreps.com each Wednesday night at 7 p.m. when Evan and Dan discuss the current happenings in Big Country High School sports — often with an interesting sports figure from around the area.

You can also peruse our BCP Podcast archive, which features dozens of our previous shows with prominent coaches and Big Country media fixtures. 

Inquiries regarding these podcasts may be directed to Evan Ren at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com. 

If you have a suggested topic of conversation or a recommended guest, don’t hesitate to contact us! 

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BCP Preseason Position Rankings: Defensive Linemen

With football season fast approaching, it’s time to take a look at the players who will be making the biggest waves in 2019.

For the first installment in an eight-part series that will cover all position groups, we’ll be taking a look at the area’s top defensive linemen, ranking our top 10 with a list of others to watch this fall.

As with any such list, these rankings are subjective. We hope you enjoy reading through them.

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DISTRICT PREDICTIONS: Evan and Dan make their picks

Without further ado it is time for us to make our Big Country predictions, district-by-district.

This is the culmination of several weeks of research and two solid months of summertime labor, so we’re more than ready to post it. 

So dive in and study our take on the upcoming season, along with the more than 80 preseason stories we posted earlier today.  Enjoy!  We’ll see you on the road. 
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FEATURE: Early’s Smithson a small, but determined target

EARLY — At only 5-foot-8 and 160 pounds, Early receiver Timmy Smithson doesn’t cast an imposing shadow. In fact, some may say he barely casts a shadow at all. 

That is, until one looks at his résumé. 

Smithson, who earned all-state honors as a junior last season, accomplished this feat despite getting extra defensive attention while playing in one of the most difficult 3A districts in Texas. 

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EARLY TEAM PREVIEW: Longhorns making no excuses in brutal district

EARLY — If one were to cite the chief problem with the Early football program, it may very well be geography. 

After racing out to a 4-1 record during the non-district portion of their 2018 schedule, the Longhorns jumped headlong into what one computer power rating service ranked as the second toughest 3A district in all of Texas. 

They closed with an 0-5 finish, a 4-6 overall mark and spent Thanksgiving at home.  By season’s end that same computer service rated Early (despite its last-place finish) high enough to have reached postseason play in several other districts. 

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BCP COUNTDOWN TO TWO-A-DAYS: Early Longhorns

Football is fast approaching, and we at BigCountryPreps.com are committed to bringing you the information you need to prepare for your favorite team’s season.

We’ll be releasing our Big Country Preps Preseason Football Preview, the most comprehensive look at the upcoming Big Country football season anywhere, on Friday, Aug. 16. But you won’t have to wait until then to sate your gridiron appetite.

Running through the first day of fall football practice on Aug. 5, we’ll be spotlighting each 11-man team in the area and posing some of the key questions they’ll face in 2019 as part of our “Countdown to Two-a-Days” series.

After featuring Brady on Tuesday, we move to District 3-3A Division I with the Early Longhorns. On Thursday, we will take a look at the Clyde Bulldogs, followed by the Breckenridge Buckaroos on Friday.

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BCP Podcast Greatest Hits Part 1: Evan, Daniel revisit conversations with Sandford, Galyean, Schniers

With Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood taking a two-week break from the Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast to focus on the 2019 Big Country Preps Preseason Football Preview, we take a look back at three of our favorite interviews from the first year of our weekly podcast.

In Part 1 of our two-part “Greatest Hits” series, we revisit our conversations with Early head football coach and athletic director Blake Sandford, Eastland boys basketball coach Doug Galyean and Wall baseball coach Jason Schniers.

We hope you enjoy this trip down memory lane.

BCP BOYS ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AND SUPER DOZEN: Yeager claims top spot

On the heels of announcing our first-ever Big Country Preps Girls Athlete of the Year, it’s now time to announce our first boys winner.

Again, our Athlete of the Year and subsequent “Super Dozen” represent the Big Country Athletes who contributed the most to their athletic programs — most often over a broad range of disciplines. 

So, at this time, Big Country Preps proudly announces its Boys Athlete of the Year: Kevin Yeager of De Leon. 

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BCP GIRLS ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AND SUPER DOZEN: Masonheimer takes top spot

An Athlete of the Year award for the Big Country has been a long time coming, and Big Country Preps is officially ending the wait. 

What better way to end our first school year than by honoring our top all-around athletes. By that, we mean those athletes who competed at a high level over a broad range of disciplines and had the biggest overall impact on their athletic programs (as nominated by area athletic directors). 

So without further ado, we proudly announce our first Big Country Preps Girls Athlete of the Year: Anna Masonheimer of Eula. 

From start to finish, Masonheimer was a key contributor to Eula’s athletic success during the 2018-19 school year, beginning with her helping the EHS cross country team reach the regional meet. 

She was the MVP of Eula’s district champion basketball team, earning all state honors from both the Texas Association of Basketball coaches and the Texas Girls Coaches Association. But she was just getting started at that point. 

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BCP Podcast No. 52: Evan, Daniel take look at ‘Texas Football’ projections

The arrival of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine means the high school football season is just around in the corner.

In this week’s Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast, Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood break down Texas Football’s projections for Big Country area schools, looking at team rankings, key district races and some local and area individuals honored by the publication. 

Big Country Preps Baseball-Softball All-Hustle Team: Our hardest-working players!

OTHER 2019 ALL-BIG COUNTRY PREPS TEAMS

Our All-Big Country Preps Softball and Baseball Teams, released Friday and Saturday, respectively, are in place to honor those who achieved the most on-field success in 2019. It is off the field, however, where character, grit, and work ethic are often measured. And it is with our Big Country Preps All-Hustle Team that we wish to honor those players, male and female, who were (simply put) the hardest-working, best teammates in the area this spring. 

This team isn’t about who the best baseball and softball players were.

The All-Hustle team honors effort, discipline, toughness, coachability and selflessness — traits that coaches wish they had in every player and upon which championships are built.

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 the Big Country had to offer during the 2019 season.

The players below are listed in no particular order. 

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All-Big Country Preps Baseball Team: First-Team Roster

Here are our first-team selections for the inaugural All-Big Country Preps baseball team. For the rest of this year’s selections, click the links below.

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All-Big Country Preps Baseball Team: Second-Team Roster (w/ honorable mention)

Here are our second-team selections for the inaugural All-Big Country Preps baseball team. For the rest of this year’s selections, click the links below.

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2018-19 IN REVIEW: Softball (w/ two photo galleries)

Prior to the release of our All-Big Country Preps softball and baseball teams on Friday and Saturday, Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood will review the 2018-19 school year throughout this week and the top athletic stories produced by the area in football, boys and girls basketball, baseball and softball.

I’ve got a soft spot in my heart for fastpitch softball — I admit it. 

A long time ago, it was common for men to play the game. My dad played it. I played it. So I still thoroughly enjoy getting to as many girls softball games as possible — just to see some fastpitch again.

So, it is with pleasure that I review the the 2019 season — the top teams, the top games, the top surprises and the clubs that are about to make a splash in 2020.

 That said, it’s time to dive in.

Continue reading “2018-19 IN REVIEW: Softball (w/ two photo galleries)”

7-ON-7 FOOTBALL: Jim Ned claims state berth on home field

The Jim Ned 7-on-7 State Qualifying Tournament was a good one for the home team Friday as the Indians rallied for a 33-13 win over Llano in the event’s semifinals to earn their second straight trip to the Division II state tournament.

Jim Ned, the only Big Country team to advance past pool play, trailed Llano 13-6 late in the first half but scored a touchdown and conversion on the final play before halftime to send the teams to the break tied at 13. The Indians then outscored the Yellowjackets 20-0 over the final 20 minutes to punch their ticket to College Station on June 27 and 28.

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