Category: Jim Ned Indians

2022 DISTRICT PREDICTIONS: Evan and Daniel 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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JIM NED FEATURE: After missing most of last season, Hernandez is eager to make up for lost time

Sergio Hernandez (No. 24) gaining tough yardage at Snyder in last season’s non-district game on Sept. 24, 2021.

TUSCOLA — After helping Jim Ned win a Class 3A DI state championship as a sophomore in 2020, Jim Ned running back-linebacker Sergio Hernandez couldn’t wait for another shot at a state title.

He was one of the biggest overall contributors to 8-0 start last season, playing a key role in Jim Ned’s defense while giving the Indians an additional backfield option to All-Big Country Preps running back Xavier Wishert. 

 That is, until a Week 9 game against Breckenridge when something unfortunate intervened — a “Lisfranc” injury. Which, according to orthobullets.com “is  a tarsometatarsal fracture dislocation characterized by traumatic disruption between the articulation of the medial cuneiform and base of the second metatarsal.”

In layman’s terms: A broken foot. 

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2022 JIM NED FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Indians hope to reload following heavy graduation losses

 

TUSCOLA — To say that graduation took the most talented group of athletes in school history from Jim Ned, is no understatement. 

No fewer than seven Jim Ned football players from last season’s team will be playing ball collegiately, five of them in football uniforms and another two will be playing baseball. 

The class of ’22 made a three-season contribution to the greatest five-year run in school history that saw Jim Ned post a 51-12 overall record. This included a 33-6 mark between 2019-2021 and a Class 3A DI state title in 2020, with the Class of ’22 leading the way.

The age-old question for Jim Ned at this point is: Will the Indians rebuild or simply reload? And there are reasons to believe it will be the latter. 

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COUNTDOWN TO TWO-A-DAYS: Jim Ned Indians

Football is just around the corner, 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 Wednesday, Aug. 17. But you won’t have to wait until then to sate your gridiron appetite.

Leading up to the first day of fall football practice on Aug. 1, we’ll be spotlighting each 11-man team in the area and posing some of the key questions they’ll face in 2022 as part of our annual “Countdown to Two-a-Days” series.

We stay in Class 3A Division I with the Jim Ned Indians. On Tuesday we will take a look at the Brock Eagles followed by the Snyder Tigers on Wednesday.

Continue reading “COUNTDOWN TO TWO-A-DAYS: Jim Ned Indians”

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: 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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GAME STORY: Merkel girls dominate Jim Ned, 14-2

TUSCOLA — Even under normal conditions, Merkel riseballer Josie Whitehead has proven to be one of the Big Country’s most dominating pitchers. 

But with a strong wind blowing in her face and providing her with extra movement on Tuesday, she was nearly unhittable at Jim Ned, tossing a three-hitter in a 14-2 win. 

Carrying perfect game into the fifth inning, Whitehead fanned the first 10 batters she faced and closed her six-inning mercy-rule win with 15 strikeouts and only one walk as Merkel (23-1, 13-0) cemented a District 6-3A championship. 

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GAME STORY: Palmer narrowly misses another perfecto in crucial district win over Clyde

TUSCOLA — In the end, one run would have been enough. 

But on a night when Jim Ned starting pitcher Blaine Palmer was nearly unhittable, the Indians drove in enough runs to end a crucial district game with Clyde, 10-0 in only six innings. 

Braden Lewis was 2 for 4 with a double, triple and three RBIs and Troy Doran was 2 for 3 with a double and two RBIs to lead Jim Ned (15-1, 6-0), which solidified its hold on the District 6-3A lead with the win.

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Jim Ned duo shares this week’s spotlight

Even in high school baseball, perfect games are rare. Two perfect games in one week in the same league are extremely uncommon. 

Two perfect games in one week, thrown by a pair of teammates are about as elusive as a Lochness Monster sighting.

And coincidentally, that’s about how often Big Country Preps names two players for the Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week. 

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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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GAME STORY: Jim Ned edges Brady in thrilling pitcher’s duel

TUSCOLA — The Jim Ned baseball team has won countless games the past few seasons on the strength of stellar pitching and dependable defense.

That trend continued on Tuesday night in the Indians’ District 6-3A opener as Jim Ned knocked off Brady 2-0 at Indian Field behind a dominant performance on the mound by Blaine Palmer.

The senior allowed just two hits, one in the sixth inning and another in the seventh, and had 16 strikeouts while giving up just a single walk. He needed just 93 pitches to throw the complete-game shutout.

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GAME STORY: Canadian tops Jim Ned in regional thriller

WOLFFORTH — Trailing Canadian by three with six seconds to play, the Jim Ned Lady Indians had the shot they wanted and the player they wanted taking it — senior guard Claire Graham. 

As fate would have it, however, Graham’s shot went in, bounced out, went in again and then bounced out again to leave Jim Ned on the short end of an eventual 37-32 loss in the Region I-3A semifinals on Friday.

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GAME STORY: No. 5 Jim Ned girls ride fast start to blowout win over Brock, advance to I-3A semis

CISCO — After getting off to a slow start in its area-round win over Holliday on Friday, the Jim Ned girls basketball team took a distinctly different path Monday against Brock.

The fifth-ranked Lady Indians raced out to a 19-5 first-quarter lead and never let the Lady Eagles recover in a 61-34 win in a region quarterfinal matchup at Ray Saunders Gym.

Jim Ned frustrated Brock with its pressure defense and made shot after shot on the other end to cruise into the Region I-3A tournament later this week at Wolfforth Frenship High School.

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GAME STORY: Jim Ned girls turn slow start into big win over Holliday

STAMFORD — Heading into Friday’s Region I-3A area-round matchup with Holliday, the fifth-ranked Jim Ned girls basketball team had won 31 games by 1,100 points, an average of 35.5 points per game.

While it wasn’t as comfortable as most of their games this year, just eight of which were decided by 15 points or less, the Lady Indians were able to move on in their pursuit of their third state championship with a 59-36 win over the Lady Eagles at Bulldog Gymnasium.

Jim Ned has made the state tournament three times in school history, winning the title in the 1993-94 and 2007-08 seasons and falling in the semifinals in 2011-12 to Brock, which went on to win the title. To get back to state this year, the Lady Indians will first need to survive a brutal Region I-3A field.

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FEATURE: Solid foundation, depth the keys for Jim Ned girls heading into playoffs

Claire Graham is focused on enjoying the moment.

As Jim Ned’s lone senior, she knows more than most about the challenges that lay ahead in a difficult Region I-3A.

But Graham also is aware of the keys to district and postseason success. The Lady Indians’ leadership is a main reason why they’ll head to the playoffs with a 30-1 record and No. 5 state ranking.

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GAME STORY: Jim Ned girls, boys sweep Merkel in Saturday afternoon doubleheader

TUSCOLA — In a weather-delayed doubleheader that was equally important for both sides, Merkel paid Jim Ned a visit on Saturday with playoff seeding in the balance. 

Jim Ned was not a generous host, handing their guests back-to-back lopsided losses — 77-23 in the girls game and 54-37 in the boys contest. 

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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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UIL REALIGNMENT: Big Country football landscape will change dramatically

While icy road conditions may have changed the UIL’s method of delivering the news, the results of its biennial realignment still offered the usual mix of surprises on Thursday. 

Held via live feed over the internet, area coaches learned their fate on the web. 

Topping the list of stunners for area teams would be the shift of Brownwood from its centralized home in District 5-4A DI to the far west in District 2.  There, the Lions will join Big Spring, Lubbock Estacado, San Angelo Lake View and Andrews — the last of which will produce a 480-mile round trip.

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GAME STORY: Wall, Jim Ned split important doubleheader

WALL — The combination of 11 Wall 3-pointers and a raucous home crowd were too much for Jim Ned to overcome in an important District 6-3A road game on Tuesday.

Everson Armstrong scored 26 points and buried six shots from beyond the arc to lead Wall (18-10, 9-1) to a 50-42 win in the nightcap of a varsity doubleheader at WHS.

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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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GAME STORY: Merkel boys, Jim Ned girls claim wins in key District 6-3A doubleheader

MERKEL — Merkel’s Ryder Hoyle had perhaps the play of the game Tuesday night against district rival Jim Ned, and it wasn’t even one that added points to the scoreboard.

Instead, his rotation from the backside allowed him to make a thunderous block on a second-quarter dunk attempt and propelled the Badgers to a 42-37 win over the Indians in a thrilling District 6-3A matchup on Tuesday night.

After the game, Merkel coach B.C. Lee gushed over Hoyle and his block, which helped move MHS into at least a three-way tie for the district lead after two weeks.

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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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GAME STORY: Jim Ned sweeps Wall in District 6-3A action

TUSCOLA — The Jim Ned boys basketball team held Wall scoreless for almost the first six minutes of the second half as part of a 21-4 run as the Indians took down the Hawks 55-49 in District 6-3A play Friday at Bill Thornton Arena.

Ben Eshelman had a game-high 19 points for the Indians, who won their first matchup against the Hawks under first-year head coach Blake Allen.

A Jim Ned graduate who has played in the rivalry and was an assistant coach under Eric Phelps prior to this year, Allen said being the one roaming the sidelines was a different feeling than he’s had before.

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GAME STORY: Jim Ned girls, boys pull away from Ballinger for doubleheader sweep

TUSCOLA — For a quarter Tuesday, the Ballinger Ladycats gave third-ranked and undefeated Jim Ned all it could handle in the opening game of a District 6-3A basketball doubleheader at Bill Thornton Arena. But the Lady Indians countered with a 17-4 run through the second period and were never threatened again in a 62-37 victory.

Facing a zone look from the Ladycats, it took Jim Ned a little time to find its footing offensively. But after Ballinger rallied from an early 8-2 deficit to take a brief lead at 11-10, coach Hunter Cooley’s squad finished the first quarter on a 5-2 run before hitting six of its eight 3-pointers over the next two periods to pull take an 18-point lead into the final quarter.

From there, it was academic as the Lady Indians improved to 16-0 overall and 3-0 in league play with the comfortable win.

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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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GAME STORY: Brock dominates Jim Ned to advance to Region I-3A title game

BROWNWOOD — To whatever degree Brock may have wished to atone for last year’s regional semifinal loss to Jim Ned, the Eagles found a way to erase all debts on Friday with a stunning 70-25 romp over the defending state 3A DI champions at Gordon Wood Stadium. 

Kutter Wilson rushed for 295 yards and five touchdowns and Tyler Moody threw for 229 yards and four more scores to lift Brock (13-0), which advances to face Whitesboro in the Region I-3A title game next week. 

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EVAN REN’S WEEK 14 PLAYOFF FORECAST: 16 area teams still battling for regional titles

LAST WEEK: 17-4, .809
SEASON TOTAL: 487-105, .823

Some areas have quantity. Others have quality. The Big Country has both — at least, this year it does. 

Entering Week 14 there are no fewer than 16 area teams with a shot at reaching December. And with six of them paired off against each other, the Big Country is guaranteed to have at least three survivors a week from now. 

I have a strong feeling we’re going to see more area survivors than that. But we will have some casualties this time around. There’s no avoiding it with the level of competition our teams are facing. 

With 11-man teams reaching the regional semifinal round and six-man teams playing for regional titles, there are nothing but monsters remaining to block the path to Arlington. 

Who will make it through? 

Here’s this week’s forecast: 

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