Category: Stamford Bulldogs

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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2022 Big Country Preps Softball Superlatives

Here are our superlative award winners for the 2022 All-Big Country Preps softball team. For the rest of this year’s selections, click the links below.

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GAME STORY: Late squeeze play ends Stamford’s season

AUSTIN — With the score tied 0-0 in the sixth inning of Tuesday’s Class 2A state semifinal and Division I caliber speedster Mihyia Davis on third base with one out, many people in attendance at McComb’s Field knew what was coming.

The Stamford bench knew it. The players knew it and so did many of the fans as Haven Prager squared to bunt home Davis on a squeeze play — the most likely way the Lions could score in the midst of a dominating performance from SHS pitcher Citlaly Gutierrez. 

Prager executed the bunt, which was mishandled, allowing Davis, a University of Louisiana-Lafayette signee to score the game’s only run in a 1-0 win for the Lady Lions — the first loss to a 2A school for Stamford in more than two years.

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STATE SOFTBALL PREVIEW: Coahoma, Stamford, Hermleigh set to compete for titles

The Big Country will be heavily represented at this week’s UIL state softball tournament as Coahoma, Stamford and Hermleigh will vie for championships.  

The action begins Tuesday as the Lady Cardinals take on Chireno at 10 a.m. in the Class 1A semifinals. Stamford will take the next step in defending its Class 2A championship by facing Lovelady at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the semis.  

Making its first state appearance since 2008, Coahoma will meet Franklin at 1 p.m. Wednesday in the Class 3A semifinals. All games will be played at the University of Texas’ Red and Charline McCombs Field.  

Here’s a look at what each team is facing in Austin: 

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GAME STORY: Gutierrez no-hits Hamlin to send Stamford softball back to state

Despite all she’s accomplished during her standout high school career, Stamford ace Citlaly Gutierrez admitted to being nervous heading into Wednesday’s one-game Region I-2A championship matchup with district rival Hamlin.

And playing in front of a packed, standing-room-only crowd at Abilene Christian University’s Poly Wells Field, it showed for an inning.

But after seeing her only two walks of the game result in a pair of unearned runs, the flame-throwing right-hander settled in to dominate Hamlin the rest of the way, collecting 16 strikeouts and no-hitting the Lady Pipers in a 10-2 victory that earned the defending Class 2A champion Lady Bulldogs their second consecutive trip to the state tournament.

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EVAN REN: Hamlin’s decision to turn regional championship into a one-gamer is the correct move

Everybody loves a three-game series and everyone loves a second chance. But for those in charge, logic must intercede. 

This week, the upstart Hamlin Lady Pipers will take on the defending Class 2A state champion Stamford Lady Bulldogs for the Region I championship at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Abilene Christian University. The matchup is huge and so is the excitement surrounding it. So why wouldn’t someone be geared up for a best-of-three?

It’s only natural, right? It’s what we should all expect … right?

Wrong.

After winning the pre-series coin flip, Hamlin coach Jason Botos elected to turn the regional championship into a winner-take-all, one-game crapshoot. And frankly, I agree with the move for several reasons. 

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Stephenville pole vaulter Kirbo wins final award of 21-22 school year

As one of the defensive leaders for Stephenville’s state championship football team, Ben Kirbo was ensured a memorable senior year regardless of what happened at the Class 4A state track meet. 

But the SHS standout and future TCU pole vaulter wanted a little icing on his cake … and got it.

Kirbo vaulted 16 feet in Austin last week to win the Class 4A pole vault competition by a full foot over Pleasanton’s Preston Pilgrim and Argyle’s Mitchell Thompson. And in doing so, he earned our final Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week award for the 2021-22 school year.

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GAME STORY: Stamford girls sweep Haskell out of regional quarterfinals

The Stamford Lady Bulldogs continued their march toward defending their Class 2A state softball championship on Wednesday, eliminating District 7-2A rival Haskell in two straight regional quarterfinal games, 10-0 and 16-6 at Abilene Christian University.  

Citlaly Gutierrez earned two wins in the circle and was a combined 5 for 6 with a double, three homers and nine RBIs to lead Stamford (23-4), which advances to face the winner of Clarendon and Floydada in the Region I-2A semifinals. 

Haskell (10-10) was led by Savannah Camacho, who was a combined 3 for 5 with a double, homer and three RBIs. Laney Hanson and Alyssa Stocks were both a combined 2 for 5 — the latter of whom had two RBIs. 

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP Player of the Week: Haskell’s Roewe hits for the cycle to claim award

Four hits in one day is a great day for any hitter. But to get one hit of each kind – single, double, triple and a home run – is one of softball and baseball’s genuine rarities.

Yet that is exactly what Haskell senior Emma Roewe pulled off last week when she hit for the cycle in a 17-7 area round win over McCamey.

But there was an added bonus: Nearly all of her hits had huge impact, beginning with an RBI triple to bring in the first run of the game.

She later broke a 7-7 tie with a two-run homer in the fourth inning and brought down the curtain with a walk-off double to score Olivia Camacho to bring the mercy rule into play.

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GAME STORY: Coleman rides big first inning to 7-5 win over Stamford in Game 1

A big first inning gave the Coleman baseball team a lead it would never relinquish Friday in Game 1 of its Region I-2A bi-district series against Stamford. But that didn’t mean things were easy for the Bluecats in their 7-5 win over the Bulldogs at Abilene High’s Blackburn Field.

Leading 6-1 after three innings, CHS nearly saw its lead erased in the bottom of the sixth. But with runners on second and third and no outs, Stamford could score only one of those runs, keeping the Bluecat lead at one heading into the final inning.

Coleman then plated an insurance run in its half of the seventh and reliever Ryland Gentry struck out the side in the bottom to save the victory for starter Jorge Salas.

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GAME STORY: Bad start dooms nervous Coleman in area round loss to powerhouse Stamford

When you have the misfortune of being paired off with the defending state champion early in the playoffs, nerves are often a culprit.

That was certainly the case for the Coleman Bluekatts in a 10-0 loss to Stamford in a Class 2A area round game at Abilene Christian University on Thursday.  

Hoping to get off to a good start and build some early confidence, the Bluekatts crippled themselves with three errors in a jittery six-run Stamford first inning and never recovered.

Stamford’s Citlaly Gutierrez tossed a five-inning no-hitter with 12 strikeouts and Laylonna Applin was 2 for 3 with two runs scored to lead Stamford (21-4), which advances to face either Haskell or McCamey in the regional quarterfinals. 

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FEATURE: Stamford’s Faulks a top regional threat in 300 hurdles

Dylan Faulks admits to having a love-hate relationship with the 300 hurdles.  

The Stamford senior owns one of the best times at the Class 2A level and is hoping to return to state next month. As a junior, Faulks finished seventh last year in Austin, but he’s already running a faster time heading into regionals.  

“The thing I like most about track is that it is a gut sport,” Faulks said. “Especially the 300s, not everybody can do it, so it makes it special.”  

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Stephenville’s Eakin snags this week’s top spot

For Stephenville standout Coy Eakin to land our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week really shouldn’t surprise anyone. 

Already signed to play football at Texas Tech, Eakin earned Offensive MVP honors in the wake of a spectacular performance in the Class 4A state title win over Austin LBJ in December, which netted him our final award for 2021. So this isn’t his first rodeo. 

Eakin’s latest big-time performance came at the District 6-4A track meet, where he captured two individual district championships in the triple jump (43-0) and long jump (20-10) and assisted in a third title with the 1,600 relay team (50.5 anchor leg). 

It’s important to note that Eakin took the district titles in the triple jump and long jump on short notice — having only practiced for both events for a week. That, ladies and gentlemen, is absolutely remarkable at the Class 4A level. 

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Kirbo vaults his way into the top spot

In a week loaded with top-flight performances, Big Country Preps would have had a difficult time choosing the Capital Farm Credit Player of the Week. 

But Stephenville pole vaulter Ben Kirbo made the decision easy by accomplishing something which hasn’t been done by a Stephenville track athlete in nearly three decades.

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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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GAME STORY: Moore, Wylie outlast Gutierrez, Stamford in 1-0 walk-off thriller

The Wylie softball team didn’t muster much offense off Stamford ace Citlaly Gutierrez, but with the way Rylee Moore pitched for the home team Saturday, coach Heather Collier’s Lady Bulldogs didn’t need to.

WHS pushed across one run in the bottom of the eighth and that was all that was needed to pick up a 1-0 walk-off win over Stamford in the final nondistrict game for both teams.

Limited to just four hits while striking out 15 times, Wylie put a pair of runners on base in the bottom of the eighth and got an RBI single from Ryleigh Whitehead to break a scoreless tie and improve to 11-4 heading into Tuesday’s District 4-5A opener against Lubbock Monterey.

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GAME STORY: Stamford rides four-run first, ace Gutierrez to 5-2 win at Cooper

A four-run first inning was all Citlaly Gutierrez needed to pitch the Stamford softball team to a 5-2 nondistrict win over Cooper on Tuesday at Cougar Diamond. 

Taking advantage of the early run support, the future University of Texas hurler limited a tough Lady Cougar lineup to just one earned run on three hits and a trio of walks, striking out nine Cooper hitters to eclipse the 900-strikeout mark for her career.

Cooper battled the standout pitcher, putting runners on base in six of the seven innings and getting the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh. But Gutierrez got slugger Kaleigha Kemp to strike out to close out a complete-game victory.

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GAME STORY: Stamford holds off Martin’s Mill, advances to title game

SAN ANTONIO — With 7:24 to play, everything looked great for Stamford in Friday’s Class 2A state semifinal with Martin’s Mill. The Lady Bulldogs led 57-34 and all that stood between them and the 2A state championship game was a short stretch of clean basketball. 

Then it happened: Martin’s Mill exploded for 30 points in the final seven-minutes in an insane comeback attempt that nearly saw the Lady Mustangs pull off a miracle. 

Stamford survived the onslaught with a 68-64 win at the Alamodome that had coach Joe Crabb breathing a sigh of relief during the post-game news conference. 

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FEATURE: Stamford senior Bevel thankful for opportunity to be part of state run

When Stamford standout Tylee Jo Bevel tore her ACL in June, she thought her high school basketball career was over.

Nursing an injury that often takes a full year of recovery time, Bevel had surgery in July expecting to be spectator for her final high school campaign. Fate, though, would have very different plans.

Not only has Bevel been able to get back on the court, she’s been an integral part of a spectacular run to the Lady Bulldogs’ first state tournament appearance. And as her team prepares for Friday’s Class 2A state semifinal matchup with Martin’s Mill, the 6-foot forward is beyond thankful to have gotten the opportunity to write a suitable ending for her decorated Stamford career.

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GIRLS STATE TOURNAMENT PREVIEW: Stamford, San Saba, Robert Lee and Huckabay head to San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO — Four shots … the Big Country has four shots to leave a permanent mark in the UIL history books. 

Bringing home a girls state basketball championship is a rare opportunity for most schools. But the Big Country is sending four clubs with a chance for this achievement in 2022.  And not surprisingly, all four come at the small school levels, which have long been area strongholds. 

Stamford and San Saba have reached the state equivalent to the Final Four in Class 2A, while Huckabay and Robert Lee have reached the same point in Class 1A. 

All four will converge in the Alamodome over the next two days — one win away from playing for a state championship. 

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GAME STORY: AHS overcomes no-hitter by Gutierrez for extra innings win

After nine games on the road and a canceled tournament, Jenna Bane made her home debut as Abilene High’s softball coach against Stamford on Tuesday night.

It was a debut she’s likely never going to forget.

The Lady Eagles were no-hit by SHS’ standout pitcher Citlaly Gutierrez, striking out 22 times. But Kinzley Cantu’s ninth-inning fly ball to right scored Aubriana Camacho to break a scoreless tie and lift AHS to a hard-fought 1-0 walk-off win over the defending Class 2A state champion Lady Bulldogs.

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GAME STORY: Stamford girls down defending champ Lipan to claim first state berth

McKINNEY — Facing the defending state champion Lipan Lady Indians with a trip to the Class 2A state tournament on the line, the Stamford Lady Bulldogs looked like anything but a team playing in its first region title game Saturday at McKinney North High School.

Having already achieved the program’s deepest playoff run ever with Friday’s 59-49 region semifinal win over Muenster, SHS led the Lipan wire to wire, building a double-digit lead in the third quarter before pulling away in the fourth for a 49-33 victory.

The victory, which extended the Lady Bulldogs’ streak of double-digit playoff wins to five, improved Stamford’s record to 34-2 and earned coach Joe Crabb’s squad a trip to San Antonio next week for the state tournament.

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GAME STORY: Stamford girls take care of No. 6 Muenster to earn first region final appearance

McKINNEY — The Stamford girls basketball team made a little history Friday night at McKinney North High School, rolling through No. 6 Muenster 59-49 in the Region II-2A semifinals to cement the 2021-22 campaign as their greatest season ever.

The Lady Bulldogs never trailed after the 1:27 mark of the first quarter, increasing their lead to 20 points in the fourth before the Lady Hornets got hot from 3-point range late to pull back within 10 by the final buzzer.

The victory improved SHS to 32-2 on the year, earning the Lady Bulldogs their first region championship appearance in program history. They’ll now take on defending state champion Lipan (31-5) at 1:30 p.m. Saturday with a spot at the Class 2A state tournament on the line.

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GAME STORY: No. 13 Stamford girls overwhelm Tolar in 70-28 area-round win

EASTLAND — Playing a Tolar team that had amassed 26 wins coming into Friday’s Region II-2A area-round matchup at Marshall Gym, the 13th-ranked Stamford girls basketball team didn’t want to give the Lady Rattlers any opportunity to get momentum on their side. 

So the Lady Bulldogs didn’t.

Instead, coach Joe Crabb’s squad opened the game on a 17-2 run and cruised from there to a dominating 70-28 win to advance to the Region II-2A quarterfinals where they’ll face district mate Haskell next week at a time, date and place to be determined.

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Wall’s Richardson is in this week’s spotlight

With big numbers spaced over three games, Wall senior guard Jacob Richardson claims the Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week award for the week ending Feb. 12. 

Helping the Hawks to clinch a District 6-3A title with a 3-0 mark, Richardson poured in an average of 26.7 points in wins over Clyde, Ballinger and San Angelo TLCA. 

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Cross Plains sophomore takes this week’s award

When Cross Plains’ Cadence Wedeking has the range zeroed in, the scorer’s table may want to have a spare pencil handy just in case. 

Our Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week had one of “those nights” last week in a 69-20 win over Moran, connecting with five 3-pointers and finishing with 33 points. It was the third time this season the sophomore guard had connected from beyond the arc five times in one game.

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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: Stamford, Cisco split varsity doubleheader at CHS

 CISCO — Stamford girls basketball coach Joe Crabb fully expected the Cisco Lady Loboes to hit his team with their best shot on Tuesday night and he had his 14th-ranked Lady Bulldogs ready for it. 

Laylonna Applin scored 21 points with three 3-pointers to lead Stamford (27-0, 9-0 District 10-2A), in a workmanlike 55-45 win in Game 1 of a varsity doubleheader.  The Cisco boys took Game 2 with a 63-30 win in the nightcap. 

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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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FEATURE: Stamford girls still thriving under new coach and new tactics

Joe Crabb knew he was inheriting a talented girls basketball team when he became Stamford’s coach over the summer.  

But Crabb had no idea the profound impact the Lady Bulldogs would have on him in such a short amount of time.

“It’s a special, special group to me. I’ve liked all my kids I’ve ever coached, but I feel like we’re a really close group,” Crabb said. “It’s been a blast. They’ve given me a new lease on life, rejuvenated me for sure.”  

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