Category: Jim Ned Indians

FEATURE: Pandemic couldn’t halt progress for Jim Ned sophomore Saling

His favorite sport was on hiatus. His freshman track season was on the verge of being canceled before it even really began.

But that didn’t keep Jim Ned’s Chris Saling from pounding the asphalt once a week, timer in hand.

When the UIL halted athletics last spring because of COVID, Saling still made it out to the track on days the Indians had meets scheduled. He detailed his progress in the 400, 800 and 3,200 meters by recording his times and sending them to coach Dustin Todd. 

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EVAN REN: Jones trying to take long-suffering Jim Ned softball program to an elite level

TUSCOLA — If one is to criticize Jim Ned softball coach Erica Jones about anything, not caring wouldn’t be it. You can also scratch a lack of intensity, focus and work ethic from the list of possibilities. 

Having worked several of Jones’ games over the last 15 years through her highly successful (and lengthy) tenure at Clyde and a pair of seasons at Anson, I’m as qualified as anyone to offer an accurate viewpoint.

I’ve seen her teams win. I’ve seen her teams lose — the latter of which almost always comes with a glint of tears in her eyes. 

This lady hates losing and after all these years, she’s still not very good at it. But then again, no true competitor is, or wants to be.

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GAME STORY: Ballinger softballers hold on for crucial road win at Jim Ned

TUCSCOLA — It took the better part of a month for Ballinger to get a second shot at Jim Ned, following a 10-8 loss to the Lady Indians way back on March 13 at home. 

On Friday, however, the Lady Cats utilized a huge start, some timely hitting and a handful of Jim Ned mistakes to get a measure of revenge in a 13-9 win. 

Alina Pena was 2 for 4 with a triple and four RBIs and went the distance in the circle to lead Ballinger (12-7, 7-3), which held off a Jim Ned rally after taking an early 8-0 lead. 

Jim Ned (13-7, 7-2) was led by starting pitcher Libbie Brnovack, who as 2 for 4 with a homer and two RBIs. The Lady Indians rallied with seven runs over the last four innings only to fall short.

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GAME STORY: Yardley’s gem, clutch offense lead Jim Ned past Clyde

CLYDE — In what’s become a rather predictable outcome, the Jim Ned baseball team rode a masterful Tuesday night pitching performance for a 10-0 run-rule shortened win over Clyde at Bulldog Field in District 6-3A action.

Having already seen a perfect game and no-hitter thrown by the Indians on Tuesday nights this season, Jim Ned saw Tate Yardley spin a two-hitter with six strikeouts as they improved to 18-0-1 this year and 7-0 in district.

Yardley faced a three-ball count with just three batters as he turned those into a strikeout, walk and ground out.

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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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FEATURE: Second-ranked Jim Ned loaded with pitching

Choose the best answer to complete the following statement:

The undefeated and No. 2-ranked Jim Ned Indians possess so much pitching depth this season that

  1. two of their starters have pitched perfect games while another has pitched a no-hitter.
  2. they actually enjoyed the tournament season, when most teams exhaust their pitching depth.
  3. third-year coach Ryan Lewis said, “Some of our pitchers don’t have as many innings as they’d like because there’s only one mound.”
  4. all of the above.
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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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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Yardley takes top spot with perfect game

Six innings of perfection, spanning through two games.

That is what Jim Ned junior Tate Yardley delivered to take our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week, beginning with a five-inning perfect game in a 21-0 mercy rule win over San Angelo TLCA on March 16. 

Yardley, who quarterbacked Jim Ned to a 3A DI state football title in December, was flawless in the TLCA win, sitting down 15 straight hitters, including 11 via strikeout.  It was the second straight week that a Jim Ned pitcher had delivered perfection, with teammate Blaine Palmer having charted a five-inning no-no in a mercy rule win over Brady on March 8.

Yardley extended his streak of consecutive hitters retired on Friday by striking out the side in an inning of relief to close out a 7-0 win over Wall. 

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Jim Ned hurler takes this week’s top spot

With the second-ranked Jim Ned baseball team off to a 12-0-1 start, it only stands to reason that some of the Indians will begin making appearances in this column. 

This week, Jim Ned’s Blaine Palmer has snagged our Capital Farm Credit/Big Country Preps Player of the Week for the week ending March 13 with a two-sided performance worthy enough for a doubletake. 

To begin with, Palmer delivered five perfect innings in a 20-0 win over Brady that saw him fan 14 hitters. He followed that with four solid innings in a 13-1 win over Eastland in the Jim Ned tournament with four more Ks. 

His pitching line for the week: nine innings, one hit, 18 Ks, no walks and no runs allowed.

Oddly enough, his pitching performance was so good, it nearly overshadowed a red-hot week at the plate that saw him finish a combined 7 of 10 with a double, two triples and seven RBIs. 

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Morrison takes home this week’s accolade

When one hears the name of Trace Morrison, the first thing that may come to mind among Big Country Sports fans is Stephenville’s utility man extraordinaire who earned All-Big Country Preps honors as a receiver, punter and place-kicker.

Well, you’ve got the right guy. You’ve just got the wrong sport this time around. 

As it turns out, Morrison is also one of the area’s top baseball players, as evidenced by him taking our Capital Farm Credit/Big Country Preps Player of the Week award for the week ending Feb. 27.

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GAME STORY: Shallowater defense shuts down Jim Ned in 55-34 win

CHILDRESS — The Jim Ned girls fully understood the challenge they faced in Friday’s Region I-3A semfinal with defending state champion Shallowater. But the Lady Indians still arrived at Childress High School with every intention of avenging last season’s 47-40 loss in the semis to the Fillies.

Nothing, however, could fully prepare the Lady Indians for the combination of defensive pressure and long-range sharpshooting Shallowater hit them with in a 55-34 SHS win.  

Jenna Willer, Bree Brattain and Taylor Moravich scored 12, 11 and 10 points respectively to lead Shallowater (27-0), which extended its winning streak to 36 straight games dating back to last season. 

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GAME STORY: Moudy’s 30-point night fuels No. 2 Brock past Jim Ned

BRECKENRIDGE — Brock senior Quinn Moudy got hot and stayed that way most of the night Tuesday, dropping 30 points on Jim Ned to fuel the No. 2 Eagles to a 47-29 area-round win over the Indians at the Breckenridge Fine Arts Center.

After scoring just three points in the opening quarter, Moudy went off for 15 in the second, helping BHS turn a tight game through the first 12 minutes into a 29-14 lead by the halftime break.

The Eagles (26-2) closed the opening half on a 12-0 run to swing the momentum in their favor for the remainder of the contest.

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GAME STORY: Jim Ned clamps down defensively to eliminate Holliday

BRECKENRIDGE — Entering Saturday’s 3A area round game with Holliday as a heavy favorite, the Jim Ned Lady Indians and their fans weren’t expecting a major scare from HHS. 

Yet that’s exactly what they received for the better part of two quarters at the Breckenridge Fine Arts Center, before a dominating defensive effort helped Jim Ned pull away for a 48-32 win. 

Lexi Wishert and Alexis Espinsosa tallied 11 and 10 points respectively to lead Jim Ned (26-2), which advances to face Bowie at 6 p.m. on Tuesday in Breckenridge. 

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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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GAME STORY: Two fast starts for Wall, two Jim Ned rallies produce split doubleheader in Tuscola

TUSCOLA — A high-profile Friday doubleheader saw Jim Ned suffer two straight slow starts against Wall at Bill Thornton arena. The Jim Ned girls overcame theirs, topping their area rival 52-36. 

The boys weren’t so fortunate, falling to the Hawks 55-50, despite a frantic effort to erase an early deficit that had ballooned to 16 points by the second quarter.

On the girls side, Ashton Garner, Alexis Espinosa and Ashlynn Galvin dropped in 15, 14 and 13 points respectively to lift the 15th-ranked Lady Indians (21-2, 11-1). The win forces a first-place tie in District 6-3A with No. 14 Wall (20-3, 11-1), which suffered its first district loss of the year. 

Trailing 17-8 at the end of the first quarter and 21-13 with 4:46 left in the second, the Lady Indians closed the half on a 14-0 run and never relinquished the lead beyond that point. 

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