Category: Eula Pirates

Big Country Preps Boys Basketball Position Rankings: Posts

After highlighting the Big Country’s top guards and forwards the past two nights, we now take a look at the area’s best big men.

For the final installment in our three-part boys basketball position rankings series, we rank the Big Country’s top 10 post players.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading through our rankings, and make sure to check back for all our boys and girls basketball coverage this season.

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Big Country Preps Girls Basketball Position Rankings: Posts

After focusing on the top guards and forwards the Big Country has to offer the past two nights, it’s time to shift our attention to the paint.

For the final installment in our three-part position rankings series, we list our top-10 post players for the 2022-23 season.

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading through these rankings, and make sure to come back next week when we’ll feature the top boys basketball players in the Big Country.

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Big Country Preps Girls Basketball Position Rankings: Guards

With the girls basketball season upon us, it’s time to take a look at the local and area players who will be making the biggest impact for their teams during the 2022-23 season.

For the first installment in a three-part series that will cover all positions, we’ll be focusing on the Big Country’s top guards, ranking our top 10 with a list of others to watch this season.

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

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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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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Stephenville pole vaulter Kirbo wins final award of 21-22 school year

As one of the defensive leaders for Stephenville’s state championship football team, Ben Kirbo was ensured a memorable senior year regardless of what happened at the Class 4A state track meet. 

But the SHS standout and future TCU pole vaulter wanted a little icing on his cake … and got it.

Kirbo vaulted 16 feet in Austin last week to win the Class 4A pole vault competition by a full foot over Pleasanton’s Preston Pilgrim and Argyle’s Mitchell Thompson. And in doing so, he earned our final Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week award for the 2021-22 school year.

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP Player of the Week: Haskell’s Roewe hits for the cycle to claim award

Four hits in one day is a great day for any hitter. But to get one hit of each kind – single, double, triple and a home run – is one of softball and baseball’s genuine rarities.

Yet that is exactly what Haskell senior Emma Roewe pulled off last week when she hit for the cycle in a 17-7 area round win over McCamey.

But there was an added bonus: Nearly all of her hits had huge impact, beginning with an RBI triple to bring in the first run of the game.

She later broke a 7-7 tie with a two-run homer in the fourth inning and brought down the curtain with a walk-off double to score Olivia Camacho to bring the mercy rule into play.

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GAME STORY: Hermleigh girls take down Eula in regional quarterfinals

For Duane Hopper, there truly is no place like home.

The former Wylie standout guard returned to his former gym on Tuesday night as the coach of the Hermleigh girls, and after a 54-39 win over Eula, Hopper has the Lady Cardinals in the regional tournament for the fifth consecutive year.

Having also starred for Hardin-Simmons University, having the chance to lead a team in front of his hometown crowd is something that he relishes, especially when Hermleigh was the only school to give him an opportunity coming out of HSU.

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GAME STORY: Quick start lifts Eula past Ira in bi-district playoff

MERKEL — Nyellie Lee scored a game-high 19 points and the Eula girls basketball team held Ira scoreless in the first quarter in a 64-26 win in a Region II-1A bi-district game Tuesday night at Badger Gymnasium.

The win came on coach Josh Fostel’s 44th birthday, marking the second day in a row an area coach earned a playoff win on his birthday in Merkel.

Eula led 18-0 after the opening quarter and scored the first 21 points of the game in rolling to the easy win.

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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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GAME STORY: Eula pulls away late in both games to sweep May

EULA — Cayden Franklin led a trio of Eula players in double digits with 16 points and the Pirates pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 62-46 win over May in District 13-1A play on Friday night at Mary Mosley Gymnasium.

It marked the Pirates 60th consecutive win in district play, a milestone first-year head coach Shae Sanford was happy to hit.

“It’s a pretty special tradition around here and I’m honored to get to be a part of it,” he said. “Hopefully we can extend it another five games this year and keep battling after that.”

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FEATURE: Eula’s Fostel adjusting to new role as girls basketball coach

EULA — After an 18-year run as one of the most successful boys basketball coaches in the Big Country (including a Class 1A Division I state title in 2011), Eula’s Josh Fostel stepped away from his position following last season with the hopes of spending more time watching his twin daughters (Laney and Layla) play. 

As it turns out, he is now coaching them. 

With longtime EHS girls coach Jamie Masonheimer accepting the same position at Clyde during the offseason, Fostel decided to take the reins of the girls program. 

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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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BIG COUNTRY PREPS GAME OF THE WEEK: Cisco to battle Coleman with top seed in the balance (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country Picks)

LAST WEEK: 35-11, .760
SEASON TOTAL: 322-74, .813

This week’s Big Country Preps Game of the Week will send me south to historic Hufford Field in Coleman, where the Bluecats (6-0) will play host to perennial power Cisco (6-1) in what is essentially the District 4-2A Division I championship.

Opened way back in 1934, Hufford is one of the Big Country’s oldest and most unique venues and if you are looking for a game to go to on Friday, this one will not only offer some good football, but some nostalgia as well.

The immense rock wall surrounding the field was built in 1940 by the Works Progress Administration or WPA as the nation battled its way out of The Great Depression.

Hope to see you there.

Here are this week’s picks:  

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Jim Ned’s Wishert claims the top spot

It’s one thing to rush for more than 300 yards and three scores against a struggling program. We see that all the time from the area’s top running backs. 

But it’s an entirely different thing when those yards come against a solid team with a sturdy defense. That’s earning it the hard way.

Jim Ned’s Xavier Wishert, our Capital Farm Credit/Big Country Preps Player of the Week, took that route on Friday night when he charted 313 yards rushing and three scores on just 20 carries in a 37-20 road win over the Wall Hawks. 

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS GAME OF THE WEEK: Roscoe travels to Ralls for crucial district game (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country Picks)

LAST WEEK: 40-7, .851
SEASON TOTAL: 287-63, .820

Week 8? Are you kidding?

I ask the same question, or some variant of it virtually every year. We just finished with two-a-days. How can we possibly be this deep in the season so quickly?

Yet hear we are. A cold weather snap approaching. Thanksgiving right around the corner —as are the playoffs.

This week’s Game of the Week will see me traveling north to Ralls where the surprising Roscoe Plowboys, off to their best start in years, will be in a showdown for the district lead.

The column hit at 85 percent accuracy last week and is now up to 82 percent on the year. So we’ll see if we can keep the momentum going through the home stretch.

Let’s have a look at this week’s picks: 

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Big Country Preps’ Pick ‘Em Panel vs. Twitter Polls (Week 8)

Each week here at Big Country Preps, we’ll post our picks for all of that week’s 11-man games, in addition to the results of Evan Ren’s Twitter polls for each matchup.

For those interested in voting, polls go up on Monday night each week and close Thursday morning.

Disagree with our picks or the Twitter consensus? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Big Country Volleyball Statistical Leaders (through Oct. 12)

Big Country Preps is publishing area volleyball statistical leaders each Tuesday at 7 p.m.

This database will be continually updated for our subscribers throughout the remainder of the season, using only those statistics submitted by area coaches.

We will continually update the database throughout the regular season.

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS GAME OF WEEK: Unbeaten Early, Jim Ned clash in huge district opener (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country Picks)

LAST WEEK: 39-4, .906
SEASON TOTAL: 247-56, .815

Gramps Ren is back in the groove, hitting over 90 percent of his picks a week ago, to push this column’s season percentage to .815 as we head into district play across the area.

Whether or not I can keep the momentum remains to be seen, entering what might be the toughest week of area picks I’ve seen this year, with multiple games that I would rate as near-tossups.

This week’s Big Country Preps Game of the Week will see us heading to Tuscola where Jim Ned will begin its District 3-3A DI title defense against a red-hot, unbeaten team from Early.

Let’s have a look at this week’s picks …

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Big Country Volleyball Statistical Leaders (through Oct. 5)

Big Country Preps is publishing area volleyball statistical leaders each Tuesday at 7 p.m.

This database will be continually updated for our subscribers throughout the remainder of the season, using only those statistics submitted by area coaches.

We will continually update the database throughout the regular season.

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS GAME OF THE WEEK: Steers plays host to Littlefield, Gramps Ren rebounds (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country Picks)

LAST WEEK: 45-6, .882
SEASON TOTAL: 208-52, .800

After a disastrous night of picking football games on Sept. 19 that saw his season percentage dip below .800, Gramps Ren has rebounded. Thank you, thank you. 

Last Friday saw this column hit with more than 88 percent accuracy on games throughout the Big Country, pulling its season percentage to an even .800 as we hit the season’s midpoint. 

This week I’ll be heading west — way West — to the very edge of our coverage area to get a first-hand look at the Big Spring Steers in their matchup with Littlefield in our Big Country Preps Game of the Week. 

Let’s dive in to this week’s picks, shall we? 

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS GAME OF THE WEEK: Jim Ned, Snyder clash in battle of unbeatens (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country picks)

LAST WEEK: 36-16, .692
OVERALL: 163-46, .779

After four straight weeks of picking 80 percent or better, the USS Ren ran aground last Friday, bottoming out with a season-low .692 percentage and dropping my season tally to .779.

I generally like to be above 80 percent by midseason, so last Friday served as a wakeup call. Actually, it was more of a gut punch. But I’ll get over it.

This week’s Big Country Preps Game of the Week will see me traveling to Snyder, where the unbeaten Class 4A Tigers will play host to 3A DI state champion Jim Ned in what should be an absolutely electric atmosphere. 

You all set? Let’s dive in to this week’s picks. 

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Big Country Volleyball Statistical Leaders (through Sept. 21)

Big Country Preps is publishing area volleyball statistical leaders each Tuesday at 7 p.m.

This database will be continually updated for our subscribers throughout the remainder of the season, using only those statistics submitted by area coaches.

We will continually update the database throughout the regular season.

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Big Country Volleyball Statistical Leaders (through Sept. 14)

Big Country Preps is publishing area volleyball statistical leaders each Tuesday at 7 p.m.

This database will be continually updated for our subscribers throughout the remainder of the season, using only those statistics submitted by area coaches.

We will continually update the database throughout the regular season.

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS GAME OF THE WEEK: Brady cancels, Ren goes scrambling (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country Picks)

LAST WEEK: 42-9, .823
SEASON TOTAL: 85-21, .801

I was very much looking forward to our Big Country Preps Game of the Week – Coleman (2-0) at Brady (2-0). Unfortunately, COVID intervened by midweek, forcing a cancellation of the contest.

On a positive note, there are several other quality games throughout the area for us to focus on, and (taking a bow) the column is already hitting over 80 percent on picks and we’re only in Week 3.

Numbers of that sort are generally reserved for Weeks 7-10, so I’m feeling pressure to keep the early momentum going.

In the absence of our Game of the Week, I’ll be heading to Cross Plains on Friday, where Haskell will be paying a visit to the Buffaloes (COVID allowing, of course).

Let’s dive in to this week’s picks:

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BIG COUNTRY PREPS GAME OF THE WEEK: Stephenville play host to Sweetwater (w/ Evan Ren’s Big Country Picks)

LAST WEEK: 0-0, .000
SEASON TOTAL 0-0, .000

At last, here we are. 

The 2021 football season has arrived, giving us a much-needed diversion every Friday night, in isolated spots all over Central Texas. As always, I will endeavor to pick the winner of all our area games, from Class 1A through Class 6A, with the top matchup serving as our Big Country Preps Game of the Week.

Our first spotlight game should come as no surprise, with long-time Hamlin coach Russell Lucas debuting as the head coach of the Sweetwater Mustangs — one of the most -storied programs in the Big Country.

Their opposition?

The Stephenville Yellow Jackets at Tarleton State’s Memorial Stadium. 

With that, let’s dive into the picks, shall we? 

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EVAN REN: The top area games worth traveling to in 2021

Every year, one of the things I look forward to most, is mapping out the upcoming football season — charting the games I believe will have the greatest impact. 

First and foremost, it’s a preseason menu for area fans who enjoy driving to some of the Big Country’s best football games on a weekly basis. Call it a football roadmap of sorts.

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GAME STORY: Borden County eliminates Lady Pirates with dramatic play at the plate

For five full innings, the Eula Lady Pirates struggled with Borden County starting pitcher Rexie Sanders as the Lady Coyotes gradually built a 6-0 lead.

Eula, however, didn’t leave Poly Wells Field at ACU without creating some drama — tallying three runs in the last two innings and bringing the tying run to the plate in the seventh in a 6-3 loss which ended with bang-bang play at home.

Brookie Gray was 1 for 4 with an RBI triple and Sanders held on for a complete game in the circle to lead Borden County (14-3), which now advances to the Class 1A state semifinals. 

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GAME STORY: Fast start propels Eula to 7-5 win over Cross Plains in series opener

A big first inning put Eula up 4-0 and the Pirates never trailed after that in handing Cross Plains a 7-5 loss in Game 1 of a best-of-three Region I-1A bi-district baseball series Thursday at Abilene Cooper’s Cougar Field. 

EHS took advantage of two hits and three Cross Plains errors during that first inning, which staked starter Paxton Rock to an advantage he’d never relinquish in earning a complete-game win.

The victory gives the Pirates a chance to close out the series on Friday when the two teams return to Cougar Field at 4 p.m. for Game 2. Game 3, if necessary, would be played 30 minutes after the conclusion of the second game.

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