Tag: big country preps

FEATURE: Early’s Smithson a small, but determined target

EARLY — At only 5-foot-8 and 160 pounds, Early receiver Timmy Smithson doesn’t cast an imposing shadow. In fact, some may say he barely casts a shadow at all. 

That is, until one looks at his résumé. 

Smithson, who earned all-state honors as a junior last season, accomplished this feat despite getting extra defensive attention while playing in one of the most difficult 3A districts in Texas. 

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EARLY TEAM PREVIEW: Longhorns making no excuses in brutal district

EARLY — If one were to cite the chief problem with the Early football program, it may very well be geography. 

After racing out to a 4-1 record during the non-district portion of their 2018 schedule, the Longhorns jumped headlong into what one computer power rating service ranked as the second toughest 3A district in all of Texas. 

They closed with an 0-5 finish, a 4-6 overall mark and spent Thanksgiving at home.  By season’s end that same computer service rated Early (despite its last-place finish) high enough to have reached postseason play in several other districts. 

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FEATURE: Anson’s Hagler equipped for success in senior campaign

           Drew Hagler

ANSON — For two straight seasons, Anson senior dual-threat quarterback Drew Hagler has posted numbers to rival any high school signal caller in the Big Country. 

As a sophomore in 2017, he threw for 1,547 yards, rushed for 1,266 and accounted for 28 touchdowns.  Last year as junior, while playing on a youthful 5-6 team making its Class 3A debut, he put up 2,021 yards through the air, rushed for 1,163 and had a hand in 29 scores.

This year, however, a senior-dominated Anson club with experience throughout its roster, has furnished Hagler with the opportunity for a breakout campaign, even by the standards he has already set. 

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BALLINGER TEAM PREVIEW: Bearcats ready for three-way district dogfight

BALLINGER — It could be argued that third-year Ballinger coach Chuck Lipsey inherited a program at the shallow end of a down cycle in 2017.

It can also be demonstrated that he has gradually taken the Bearcats from mediocrity to the level of area threat. A 4-7 mark in his debut campaign was followed by a 7-4 mark and bi-district loss to Childress last season.

That upward trend is about to continue — at least, if the preseason numbers and natural progression hold true, and the Bearcats avoid injury problems.

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BCP BOYS ATHLETE OF THE YEAR AND SUPER DOZEN: Yeager claims top spot

On the heels of announcing our first-ever Big Country Preps Girls Athlete of the Year, it’s now time to announce our first boys winner.

Again, our Athlete of the Year and subsequent “Super Dozen” represent the Big Country Athletes who contributed the most to their athletic programs — most often over a broad range of disciplines. 

So, at this time, Big Country Preps proudly announces its Boys Athlete of the Year: Kevin Yeager of De Leon. 

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FEATURE: Dominant pitching a big reason for Wall’s No. 1 ranking

By MIKE LEE (Special to Big Country Preps) photos courtesy of Stephanie Weishuhn

Most Class 3A baseball teams hope to have one or two starting pitchers who can consistently shut down opponents.

Wall has five pitchers with earned run averages of 0.60 or less, and it’s not like the undefeated Hawks have played a weak schedule. Their nondistrict victims include Class 6A Odessa High and 4A opponents Pecos, Andrews, Seminole, Dumas, Lubbock Estacado, Lamesa and Snyder.

It’s no wonder Wall is 31-0 and has been ranked No. 1 in 3A in the Texas Association of Baseball Coaches poll since the first week of April. Wall will face Alpine in the regional quarterfinals at 6 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday in a best-of-three series scheduled for Christensen Stadium in Midland.

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GAME STORY: Big Spring edges Sweetwater in twice-interrupted thriller (photo gallery to come late tonight)

SWEETWATER — Through 3½ hours, two lightning delays and five jams that saw runners in scoring position, Big Spring right-hander Maddie Daniels somehow managed the outward appearance of being calm in Friday’s game at Sweetwater. 

That was for the benefit of her teammates. 

On the inside, she was anything but relaxed as she battled through a marathon 4-3 win over their District 5-4A rival. 

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FEATURE: Hill embracing role as Cooper Cougars’ ace

Cooper junior Braiden Hill has a lot of physical tools that make him a successful starting pitcher. He’s big, he throws hard and he’s got a good second pitch he can turn to when that fastball’s not going quite where he wants it to.

But it’s Hill’s mentality that has taken him from a solid rotation piece for coach Cody Salyers last season to the unquestioned ace of the Cougar pitching staff this year.

The strong-armed right-hander believes he’s better than every batter he faces, and it’s his goal each at-bat to prove that.

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Evan Ren’s 2019 Big Country Gym Rat Team: The hardest workers in the area!

Following a basketball program on the surface can only provide one with so much insight. Behind the scenes, however, is where character is often measured. And it is with our Gym Rat Team that we wish to tip our caps to those individuals who exuded the most of it. 

This team isn’t about who the best players are, though some of the area’s top players did make this list. 

The Gym Rat team is about effort, discipline, toughness, coachability and selflessness — traits that coaches love above all else and that championship foundations are built upon.

It is for that reason that our Gym Rat team is selected entirely by area coaches, described in their own words. And Big Country Preps is absolutely honored to present these individuals to you — the best “team players” (boys and girls) that the area had to offer during the 2018-19 season.

Players are listed in no particular order. 

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All-Big Country Preps Girls Basketball Team: Second-Team Roster

Here are our third-team selections for the inaugural All-Big Country Preps girls basketball team. For the rest of this year’s boys and girls basketball selections, click the links below.

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All-Big Country Preps Girls Basketball Team: Third-Team Roster (w/ honorable mention)

Here are our third-team selections for the inaugural All-Big Country Preps girls basketball team. For the rest of this year’s boys and girls basketball selections, click the links below.

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