Category: Merkel Badgers

District 5-3A Div. II Week 8 Report: Mavericks surive scare from Comanche

Eastland 21, Comanche 20 — Eastland was fortunate to survive what was nearly the area’s top upset of the year, holding off winless Comanche by a single point.

Judson Beard rushed for 181 yards and two scores and caught three passes for 8 yards and another score to lead the Mavericks (3-4, 2-0)  which held off a late Comanche rally to get the win.

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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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District 5-3A Div. II Week 7 Report: Eastland takes early district lead with win over Millsap

Eastland 48, Millsap 27 — Keaton Hicks and Cooper Wright combined for 218 yards passing and three touchdowns as Eastland started district play with a key win. 

Hicks and Wright also rushed for a combined 140 yards and two TDs, joined by Judson Beard, who rushed for 74 yards and two more scores. 

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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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District 5-3A Div. II Week 6 Report: Mavericks fall in shootout in the Mustang Bowl

Sweetwater 70, Eastland 54 — With most of the district enjoying a bye week, the Eastland Mavericks found themselves involved In one of the most explosive games the area has seen in the last five years, Sweetwater outlasted EHS in a slugfest at the Mustang Bowl, that believe it or not, ended at a surprisingly early 9 :50 p.m. 

Leo Holsey threw for 434 yards and six scores and rushed for three more TDs to lead Sweetwater, which levelled off at 3-3 with the win. 

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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 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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District 5-3A Div. II Week 4 Report: Mavs earn first win of the season

Eastland 28, Breckenridge 19 — Judson Beard rushed for 123 yards and two scores and Keaton Hicks threw for 116 yards and another touchdown to help Eastland (1-3) collect its first win of the year. 

The Mavs led 21-19 in the fourth quarter when Hicks hit Jared Cruz with a 32-yard TD strike to provide Eastland with a two-score cushion.

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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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District 5-3A Div. II Week 2 Report: Merkel improves to 2-0 with win at Stanton

Merkel 19, Stanton 0 — Isaiah Burns rushed for 91 yards and a score and Joey Zink rushed for 66 yards and another TD to lift Merkel to a win on the road. 

Colby Hadley was the top MHS receiver, hauling in two catches for 42 yards and a score.

The Badgers managed just 242 total yards, but limited Stanton (1-1) to 188. 

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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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BCP Football Preseason Position Rankings: Quarterbacks

After a week of highlighting area playmakers, we wrap up our eight-part preseason position rankings series with the Big Country’s best signal callers.

To complete our look at the area’s top players, we’ve ranked our top 10 quarterbacks with a list of others to watch in 2021.

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

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BCP Football Preseason Position Rankings: Running Backs

As we wind down our eight-part preseason position rankings series, we arrive finally 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 backs, ranking our top 10 with a list of others to watch in 2021. Don’t forget to check in Wednesday night when we conclude our series with the top 10 area quarterbacks.

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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