Category: Six-man

FEATURE: Close-knit Benjamin volleyball team outperforming expectations despite youth

Photos by Brittany Lowe 

The Benjamin volleyball team’s theme this season is “Believe in We.”  

It’s a three-word motto the Lady Mustangs have taken to heart during a successful 2021 campaign despite depending on a heavy dose of underclassmen.  

That belief in each other has forged a dynamic team chemistry that is one of the reasons Benjamin is ranked No. 18 in the state at the Class 2A/1A level.  

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: Young takes spotlight with monstrous effort

Who says defensive players can’t be the Player of the Week?

That’s certainly not true at Big Country Preps, where our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week helped push Stephenville to a stunning 35-7 rout of perennial power Waco La Vega on Friday night.

Senior linebacker Reese Young takes our weekly accolade after charting an almost unbelievable 25 tackles to lead an SHS defensive effort that saw the Yellow Jackets hold La Vega to just 94 yards rushing on 44 carries.

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

FEATURE: German exchange student joins Raiders during unusual season

Photos courtesy by Roger Niehaus of the Lueders-Avoca Raiders Sports Facebook page.

Having a German exchange student join the football team hasn’t been the most unusual occurrence for the Lueders-Avoca Raiders this season.

After all, the six-man Raiders have had exchange students from Germany serve as the team kicker in 2018 and 2019. This season German exchange student Jasper Humphert is kicking, playing special teams, and filling in on offense and defense when the Raiders’ seven other healthy players need a breather.

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

FEATURE: Kirk, Abilene TLCA make a little history with first win

Cover photo courtesy of Brian Hobbs.

The first one is always the hardest.

For Jeremy Kirk and Texas Leadership Charter Academy of Abilene, that was certainly true.

The Eagles and their first-time head coach had seen their share of heartbreaking losses this year prior to Saturday’s win over Newman International Academy.

It was the first win in TLCA’s brief two-year varsity history and Kirk’s first win as a head coach as the Eagles knocked off NIA 66-18 in a neutral site game.

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: Snyder’s Benitez takes the top spot

Defensive specialists seldom get the attention they deserve in volleyball. Not unlike offensive linemen in football, who do the dirty work behind the scenes that enables the glamour positions to shine. 

That isn’t the case at Big Country Preps, where we take pride in giving credit to those willing to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty. 

Snyder libero Abby Benitez, perhaps the best defender in the entire Big Country, fits that mold and has captured our Capital Farm Credit/Big Country Preps Player of the Week award for the week ending Sept. 25. 

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: Stephenville QB takes the top spot

When you combine our two key factors in selecting our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week — quality of numbers and level of difficulty — nobody outperformed Stephenville quarterback Ryder Lambert last week in SHS’ 37-7 rout of Class 5A Abilene Wylie. 

Lambert connected on 22 of 28 throws for 458 yards and five scores to help push the Yellow Jackets to 4-0. 

Just four weeks in and the ‘Jackets are looking like they could win Texas’ most difficult 4A district (5-4A DI), despite having road dates with Waco La Vega and Midlothian Heritage. 

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

FEATURE: Tiny Paint Creek ends three-year football hiatus with big win

For most teams, a big win sealed with taking a knee is just that, a win.

For Paint Creek, that kneel down was a lot more than just a win.

Friday’s 52-0 win over Harrold came as the Pirates took the field for the first time in three years and coach Leonel Murguia wanted to make sure his team soaked it in.

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

SIX-MAN FEATURE: First-time head coach Kirk setting the bar high at TLCA

Sure there may be a huge hole in the middle of the practice field and they may not have goalposts to work on their kicking game, but the Texas Leadership Charter Academy Eagles are not seeing those as negative things heading into the year.

The Eagles, who just moved into the former State Street YMCA, will be fielding a UIL-sanctioned team for just the second time this year and have tapped former Stamford defensive coordinator Jeremy Kirk to lead the program in transition.

Despite the limitations on the practice field, Kirk is fired up for his first head coaching job and all of the history that his squad is poised to make.

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

CLASS 1A REGIONAL TRACK RECAP: Cross Plains boys, girls have big showing in San Angelo

The Cross Plains girls and boys track teams topped the list of Big Country teams competing at LeGrand Stadium in the Region II-1A meet on Friday and Saturday. 

Fueled by wins in the 400-, 800- and 1,600-meter relay teams , the Cross Plains girls (60 points) earned a second-place finish behind regional champion Irion County (71.33). 

Cross Plains’ Addison Long, Tori Taylor, Abbigale Shepard and Katie Goins combined for gold in both the 400 and 800 relays.  Cadence Wediking joined Long, Shepard and Goins for the win in the 4×400. 

Other top area teams included Munday and Blackwell, which tied for fourth in the 30-team field, along with Roby, which finished sixth. 

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

FEATURE: May’s Reese Chambers seeking return to state in sprints

The present and the future will intersect this week for Reese Chambers.

The May senior will compete in the sprint races at the Region II-1A track and field meet at San Angelo. This is the week in which Chambers can qualify for next month’s UIL state meet after finishing fifth in the 100 meters and ninth as a member of the 400-meter relay at state as a sophomore in 2019.

The top two finishers in each event at regional guarantee themselves a spot in the UIL Class 1A state meet on May 8 in Austin.

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

DANIEL YOUNGBLOOD: Big Country Preps Top 10 Stories for 2020

The year 2020 is finally behind us — a fact I think we can all celebrate as a positive.

A wretched year in so many ways, 2020 presented unique challenges most of us never could have envisioned and brought levels of heartbreak and hardship we may never experience again in our lifetimes. 

But even out of bad years, good stories can arise. And as a website devoted to highlighting the positives in our narrow area of focus, we’re going to revisit some of the best today.

As has become a New Year’s Day custom here at Big Country Preps, it’s time once again to revisit the biggest Big Country sports stories of the past year. And while narrowing and compiling that list is never easy, and always leaves worthy stories unaccounted for, we hope you enjoy looking back at some of the highlights from a tough year.

As we say goodbye to 2020 (thankfully), we turn our attention to the local athletes and coaches who produced some positive memories for area sports fans. 

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the top 10 stories from last year:

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

GAME STORY: Top-ranked Sterling City dispatches May for first state title

ARLINGTON — For one play on Wednesday, everything was good for May in the Class 1A Division I state championship game against top-ranked Sterling City at AT&T Stadium.

Kaden Halk had a 67-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game to stake the Tigers to a quick 8-0 lead, but after that, it was all Eagles as Sterling City took a 68-22 win in a game was stopped just 23 seconds into the second half because of the 45-point rule.

May, now 1-5 all-time in state championship games, finished the season at 13-2 with both losses coming to Sterling City.

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

CAPITAL FARM CREDIT WEDNESDAY NIGHT PODCAST: Evan & Dan talk playoff football

VIDEO PODCAST NO. 12: Evan Ren and Dan Youngblood speak about last week’s playoff action, and this week’s state title games

Top games of this week discussed: May vs. Sterling City, Jim Ned vs. Mt. Vernon, Abilene vs. North Crowley 

Top games of last week discussed: Jim Ned vs. Mount Vernon, Cooper vs. Mansfield Summit, Abilene vs. El Paso Eastwood, Wylie vs. Grapevine.

 

 

GAME STORY: May outlasts Blum in epic overtime state semifinal

DUBLIN – It was incredibly ironic that a six-man football game that included 178 points and 1,157 total yards of offense was decided by two defensive stands.

The May Tigers outlasted the defending state champion Blum Bobcats 92-86 in overtime Saturday night in a Class 1A Division I state semifinal game. The win advanced third-ranked May (13-1) into the state championship game against No. 1 Sterling City at 2 p.m. on Dec. 16 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. Sterling City handed May its only loss this season 44-40 on Sept. 4.

“I’m overcome with emotions. We’re going to state,” said May junior Kaden Halk, who rushed for 302 yards and scored seven touchdowns Saturday. “Since the eighth grade, our coaches have told us that defense wins championships. This wasn’t a championship game, but it got us to a championship game.”

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

LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: Abilene High boys top Class 3A No. 3 Peaster 57-50

The Abilene High boys basketball team took care of Class 3A No. 3 Peaster on Friday, using a 14-9 first quarter to take control early and holding from there for a 57-50 victory.

The Eagles (4-1) led 31-26 at halftime and 41-38 after three quarters, before putting the game away with a 16-12 run through the fourth quarter.

D.J. Modest led a list of four AHS players to score in double figures with 13 points, followed by Kelton Jackson and Nathan Watts with 12 and Jalen McGee with 10. Jackson Stevens just missed joining that group with eight points.

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

GAME STORY: Strawn’s season ends in semifinal loss to Richland Springs

DUBLIN — A valiant second-half comeback attempt fell eight yards short as the Strawn Greyhounds saw their season come to an end in a 59-56 loss to Richland Springs in a Class 1A Division II state semifinal loss Friday at Bob and Norma Cervetto Field.

Faced with a fourth-and-10 from the Coyotes 24, Kadin Parsons was forced to dump a pass off as time expired to Luke Eli and the senior was forced out of bounds at the Richland Springs 8 to end the game.

It was a heartbreaking end to the career for the senior, who had five touchdowns in the game. As the Coyotes surrounded him, Eli kneeled down next to the end zone that he was valiantly trying to reach.

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

Big Country Preps’ Pick ‘Em Panel (Week 15)

Each week here at Big Country Preps, we’ll post our picks for all of that week’s 11-man games and select area six-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.

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: May’s Halk takes the top spot

We always have our eye out for a possible six-man football player to take our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week award. But he must have one of “those games” — one that even makes the six-man community sit up and take notice, by virtue of its importance, or volume of numbers. 

Last week’s effort by May running back-defensive back Kaden Halk in a 72-38 win over Leakey qualifies on both fronts.

Only a junior, Halk tallied 356 yards rushing and seven touchdowns on just 16 carries and added a 42-yard TD reception to help push the Tigers (12-1) to the Class 1A DI semifinals where they will face Blum (9-3) at 6 p.m. on Saturday in Dublin. 

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: Cooper star Garcia nabs award with five-TD game

Over his time at Cooper, big numbers have become the norm for standout back Noah Garcia. The senior is, after all the Cougars’ all-time leading rusher with more 4,500 yards and 55 touchdowns to his credit.

But Friday’s performance in a 48-0 road win over Fort Worth Arlington Heights was noteworthy even by his standards.

In rushing for 172 yards and four touchdowns and adding a 48-yard touchdown reception in just over three quarters of action, Garcia accounted for 30 of his team’s 48 points. 

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

EVAN REN: Sunday odds and ends … and a few gripes

Sixty years and 11 presidents ago, the Hermleigh Cardinals enjoyed their last 10-0 regular season in 1960. This year, however, offered HHS an opportunity to snap that streak with a 9-0 start. 

They would only need to beat Ira last week in their season finale to make it happen. 

Well … it didn’t happen. In fact, it wasn’t even close. 

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

2020 SIX-MAN DIVISION I PREVIEW: May and Ira enter as Top-10 squads

As strong as the Big Country is in Class 1A Division II, the area lacks for strength at the top of the Division I ranks.

Seventh-ranked May and No. 10 Ira are the lone squads in the top 20 of the Dave Campbell’s Texas Football/Associated Press state rankings entering the season.

Those two are expected to be the front runners this fall, but if you’re looking for a team that could turn brackets upside down, look no further than District 3-1A Division I with Knox City.

Read on to see how BigCountryPreps.com sees the area district races playing out this season.

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

2020 SIX-MAN DIVISION II PREVIEW: Four teams vie to carry the flag

After dominating the field all year, the Big Country was surprisingly shut out of a trip to Arlington’s AT&T Stadium at the six-man level in 2019.

This fall seems to be shaping up for that to be a one-year aberration as Jayton, Blackwell, Strawn and Gordon enter the season ranked fifth through eighth, respectively, in the Dave Campbell’s Texas Football/Associated Press top 10 for Class 1A Division II.

Jayton and Strawn are perennial powerhouses that saw their 2019 seasons end with losses to eventual state champion Richland Springs, while Blackwell and Gordon had resurgences last fall before losing in the regional finals.

Who is this year’s surprise? BigCountryPreps.com is looking at the area districts to help you identify who that could be.

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

EVAN REN: We’re pushing ahead at Big Country Preps — getting the the ball rolling

“A day of worry is more exhausting than a week of work.” — John Lubbock

My business partner, Daniel Youngblood, is the king of not worrying.

I’ve never seen anything like it.

If NASA were to announce that an asteroid impact was imminent in 15 minutes and that Abilene would be at ground zero, anything beyond a shrug of the shoulders from Youngblood would surprise me. Of course, I wouldn’t be there to see it. I’d be 25 miles down the road with the accelerator smashed to the floor, one hand on the steering wheel and a rabbit’s foot in the other.

The recent turmoil in the world has put both of our natures on display — him letting it all roll off his back and me, well … being me.

If fate allows it, a return to normalcy is the objective here and the sooner the better. As the designated worrier at Big Country Preps, I’ve been on pins and needles throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and the massive social unrest created by the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. And let’s just call it what it was — a murder.

That said, I’m currently doing my best to steal a page from the Youngblood stress-free handbook and turning my attention from our tumultuous, viral-plagued world to something I can understand: football. That means that heading into the summer months, we’ll be diving headlong into our previews for the upcoming season.

Continue reading “EVAN REN: We’re pushing ahead at Big Country Preps — getting the the ball rolling”

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: Jayton standouts may very well have reached state tennis tournament

The “What Might Have Been” feature series is Big Country Preps’ effort to celebrate area athletes who have seen their seasons affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The series will continue through June 15. If you have a suggested story for the “What Might Have Been” series, please contact Big Country Preps at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com.

For those who keep track of Big Country high school athletics, the names of Tye Scogin and Tripp Scott are likely to ring a bell. The Jayton High School standouts have become familiar to area fans as key elements in back-to-back trips to the state basketball tournament by JHS. 

What very few realize, however, is that they were about to form what was anticipated to be one of the area’s top boys doubles teams in tennis — one that may have had a shot at a regional title and trip to state. 

We’ll never know. 

With the University Interscholastic League’s mandatory lockdown of all school activities across Texas due to COVID-19 and the subsequent cancellation of all spring sporting events as a safety measure, the Scogin and Scott duo never had a chance to materialize.

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

EVAN REN: 10 things I’ll take away from the COVID-19 pandemic

I’ve always held to a personal axiom that perspective is everything. True or not, how we view a situation becomes the truth in our minds.
There’s no escaping it and every one of us has our own perspective

Well, the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown have changed my perspective in several ways on several different things. And for a middle-aged guy who is pretty well set in my ways, this is like the planets aligning.

I’ve managed to list my top 10 takeaways from lockdown, as they pertain to this website and what we’re trying to accomplish here.

Let’s dive in: 

Continue reading “EVAN REN: 10 things I’ll take away from the COVID-19 pandemic”

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: Trips to state in multiple sports stopped suddenly for HHS Gonzales

The “What Might Have Been” feature series is Big Country Preps’ effort to celebrate area athletes who have seen their seasons affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The series will continue through June 15. If you have a suggested story for the “What Might Have Been” series, please contact Big Country Preps at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com.

Makia “Kiki” Gonzales claims she knew nothing about the shot put when she began throwing it in the seventh grade.

“I knew nothing except the slide, you know where you move sideways across the ring to throw it,” the Hermleigh senior said. “My coaches tried to get me to try another release like the spin, but I was comfortable with the slide. So we worked on getting lower in the ring so I could use all my strength from my arms and legs when I threw.”

Gonzales blossomed into a 5-foot-11 athlete with plenty of quickness, strength and power — all key ingredients for the shot put. She qualified for the UIL Class 1A State Track and Field Meet in the shot put as a freshman, sophomore and junior — finishing eighth, fourth and fourth, respectively. She threw her best of 39 feet, 7 inches at the 2019 regional meet.

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