Category: Merkel Badgers

COUNTDOWN TO TWO-A-DAYS: Merkel Badgers

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 Saturday, Aug. 14. 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. 2, we’ll be spotlighting each 11-man team in the area and posing some of the key questions they’ll face in 2021 as part of our annual “Countdown to Two-a-Days” series.

Today, we stay in Class 3A Division II with the Merkel Badgers. On Monday, we will take a look at the Breckenridge Buckaroos, followed by the Clyde Bulldogs on Tuesday.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

GAME STORY: Jacksboro edges Merkel again, takes hard-fought area-round series 2-0

GRAHAM — After falling 2-1 to Jacksboro in 15 innings in the opener of their Region I-3A area-round series on Friday, the Merkel Lady Badgers found themselves in another tight contest with the Tigerettes on Saturday.

But as was the case in that marathon Game 1, Jacksboro proved to be just a little bit better, using a three-run fifth inning to eliminate MHS with a 3-0 win at the Graham softball field.

Merkel threatened to rally late, putting runners in scoring position in each of the final three innings, but as was the case the day before, the Lady Badgers just couldn’t solve JHS pitcher Alex Holman.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

EVAN REN: Handicapping the boys state track meet.

Having already released our picks for the girls state track meet earlier this evening, we now present the boys event, using the same approach. 

We’ll comb through each event involving a Big Country athlete (or athletes) and assess if they are favorites, dark horses or long shots to get on the medal stand. 

Let’s not waste any time. Let’s dive in. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

EVAN REN: Picking the favorites, dark horses and longshots at the girls state track meet

I don’t care who you are — even if you’re a non-fan when it comes to track and field. 

The excitement of the state meet in Austin will capture your attention if you catch sight or sound of it. It’s inescapable. 

And once per year, it is my pleasure to examine the multitude of Big Country athletes heading to Austin for the event and pick who we can expect to see on the medal stand from our area. 

Let’s begin with the girls side, looking at each event in which a Big Country athlete has qualified for state. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Clyde’s Phillips earns this week’s spotlight

In a week filled with unforgettable moments, several of our nominees handed in by area coaches could justifiably be called our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week. 

We finally settled on Clyde sophomore Payton Phillips, who stunned attendees at the Region I-3A meet by taking gold in both the long jump (18 feet, 6 inches) and the 100 hurdles (15.12) — breaking school records that were 25 and 15 years old, respectively. 

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

UPDATED: Merkel makes historical hire for new head football coach, athletic director

For the first time in history, three brothers will be head coaches of Texas high school football programs simultaneously.

The historical move came on Friday morning when Merkel named Fort Worth Paschal offensive coordinator Will Kates its new head football coach and athletic director during its school board meeting.

Kates comes from a coaching family as he joins two brothers that also lead programs. Matt Kates leads LaGrange, a 4A Division II school, while Ged Kates is the head coach at 5A Division I Richland. Will Kates is the youngest of the three. Continue reading “UPDATED: Merkel makes historical hire for new head football coach, athletic director”

FEATURE: Merkel players, coaches enjoying softball resurgence

If Merkel’s softball resurgence has caught you by surprise, you’re not alone. 

Sitting at 11-0 in District 6-3A, having already clinched at least a share of the title in a league that features quality competition from Ballinger, Jim Ned and Clyde, the Lady Badgers have been one of the best stories in the area this year. 

After finishing 0-12 in district in 2019 and dropping their only league game completed before COVID cut the 2020 season short, Merkel has emerged — seemingly out of nowhere — as a legitimate threat in Region I-3A this spring.

But while the dramatic nature of that turnaround has earned the Lady Badgers some newfound and well-deserved attention, coach Bobby Williams isn’t among those shocked by this season’s developments.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

GAME STORY: Whitehead, Merkel dominate Brady to clinch at least share of 6-3A title

MERKEL — Josie Whitehead pitched a five-inning one hitter and her teammates pounded out 16 hits Tuesday as the Merkel Lady Badgers shut out Brady 14-0 at home to claim at least a share of the District 6-3A title.

Whitehead was perfect after a one-out double in the first, retiring the final 14 batters she faced, including 10 of the final 12 batters by strikeout.

And while the freshman right-hander was dealing in the circle, the Lady Lady Badger lineup was lighting things up at the plate, following a four-run first with a seven-run second to put the game out of reach early.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

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.

You need to login to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us