Tag: Brock Eagles

BCP PLAYOFF FORECAST: Six Big Country teams reach December

LAST WEEK: 8-2, .800

SEASON TOTAL: 483-92, .840

With the overall size of the Big Country encompassing more than 75 communities, one thing is nearly always certain: Somebody in a group that big is going to be good enough to make a run a state championship. 

And sure enough, heading into December, no fewer than six teams in the Big Country Preps coverage area are still alive on the road to Arlington. 

Brock, Hawley, San Saba and Hamlin have all pushed to the regional championship round in their respective classifications in 11-man, while Strawn and Blackwell have reached the state semifinals in six-man.

The task of forecasting it all falls on me, and we’re at the stage where getting it right is a real challenge. 

This column is having one of its best seasons ever on pick accuracy, consistently hitting at more than 80 percent on a weekly basis and currently holding at 84 percent on the year.  So we shall see. 

Here’s a look at this week’s games: 

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GAME STORY: Brock tops Bushland in OT, advances to regional title game

IOWA PARK — It may not have been the prettiest performance in Brock history. But when Cash Jones crossed the goal line of Friday’s 20-17 regional semifinal win over Bushland, nobody wearing blue seemed to mind. 

Trailing 17-14 following a 41-yard field goal by Baylor Gillispie in Bushland’s half of the overtime, the Eagles closed deal by pushing 25 yards in four plays, capped by Jones’ run to the right corner of the end zone.

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EVAN REN: A quick look at what Brock’s Lady Eagles will face in Austin

There is no such thing as an easy draw in the state softball tournament, so when you speak about degrees of difficulty, it’s important to realize that everything is relative at this stage.

That said, the Brock Lady Eagles have an extremely difficult road in front of them in their fourth straight visit to Austin (even by state tourney standards), with third-ranked Emory Rains (33-1) in a Wednesday semifinal matchup and either top-ranked Halletsville (36-1) or No. 5 Danbury (29-5) awaiting them if they reach Thursday’s championship game.  

Rankings aside, Brock might be leading things off with the toughest team in the 3A field. And I’ll give you two good reasons for it. 

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FEATURE: Wall’s Seider switches to catcher and quickly becomes one of area’s best

Many baseball coaches will tell you it’s difficult to build a championship team around a poor backstop. 

Stolen bases, passed balls, poor pitch management and lack of infield leadership are just a few of the problems that can arise with a sub-par player behind the plate. 

The Wall Hawks, courtesy of senior Tanner Seider, have none of the aforementioned issues.

In fact, they’re well ahead of the learning curve. 

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FEATURE: Can Brock’s Lady Eagles hit their way to a state title?

If the old saying that pitching and defense win championships is true, then perhaps its premature to give too much attention to the offensive performance of the Brock softball team. 

Then again, there is another adage that for every rule, there is an exception. And with the current numbers being posted by Brock (31-6), one may be tempted to believe that offensive production alone could push the Lady Eagles all the way to the end of the state bracket. 

Skeptical? Try these stats on for size. 

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FEATURE: Brock’s Nelson a genuine rarity among high school pitchers

It is an accepted norm that successful high school baseball pitchers require high strikeout counts. 

The reason for that is simple: aluminum bats hitting into high school defenses is a recipe for run production, forcing pitchers to take matters into their own hands. 

There are very few exceptions. Yet the Brock Eagles and the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor have managed to find one in senior BHS southpaw Cooper Nelson.  

Nelson, a soft-throwing change-up specialist with razor-sharp control, has required only 49 strikeouts through 78 innings to post an 8-2 record and a microscopic 0.81 ERA.  

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GAME STORY: Brock hangs on to beat Clyde in decisive Game 2 (w/ two videos and box score)

With Brock handing Clyde a 10-0 drubbing in Game 1 of their Region I-3A quarterfinal series on Thursday, it may have been tempting for those watching to simply write off the Bulldogs in Game 2.

Brock coach Hart Hering knew better. 

With Clyde facing elimination, the Bulldogs nearly forced a Game 3, falling to Brock 8-6 at Abilene Christian University on Saturday.  

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GAME STORY: Breckenridge stuns Brock behind dazzling effort from Woodward (w/ box score, two videos and photo gallery)

BROCK — For at least three full innings during Friday’s game at top-ranked Brock, Breckenridge starting pitcher Owen Woodward was nervous, his breaking ball was hanging and he wasn’t quite sure if he and the Buckaroos were going to pull off the upset they had in mind. 

But after being staked to 1-0 lead in the third inning, the junior right-hander settled in, his curve developed a nasty snap in the late innings and he finished with a jaw-dropping three-hit shutout in a shocking 3-0 Breckenridge win. 

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GAME STORY: Brock uses big fourth quarter to eliminate East Chambers

SAN ANTONIO — Prior to Thursday’s Class 3A state semifinal with Winnie East Chambers, Brock coach Zach Boxell was concerned enough over a Buccaneer full-court press that he made it a top priority in his game prep. 

The extra effort paid off with a 58-49 Brock win at the Alamodome — pushing the Eagles (33-6) to Saturday’s state championship game where they will meet Dallas Madison (20-15) at 10 a.m. on Saturday.

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EVAN REN: Three keys for Brock and Jayton to win their semifinals

You won’t find cupcakes at a butcher shop. 

You won’t find them at the state basketball tournament either. In fact, the expiration date for easy-to-beat pastries usually doesn’t extend beyond the area round of the playoffs, depending on what the pairings dictate.  

So when I say that Big Country representatives Brock (3A) and Jayton (1A) are in for a real challenge when they open play at the state tournament in San Antonio on Thursday, a shrug of the shoulders and a raise of the eyebrows is expected. 

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FEATURE: Top-ranked Brock heads to state on a mission

For most high school basketball programs, a trip to a state tournament is a historic achievement. For the Brock boys team, it’s almost an expectation.

That’s what happens when you’ve made 12 state appearances in your program’s history, including 11 since 1992 and five since 2012.

But don’t let the Eagles’ businesslike demeanor or tempered reaction to a dominant regional run fool you: There’s nothing easy about what they’ve done this season. And though they are a confident bunch, their sky-high expectations come with a matching drive and work ethic.

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GAME STORY: No. 1 Brock routs Childress for I-3A title, gets back to state tourney

PLAINVIEW — Coming into Saturday’s Region I-3A title game against Childress with four state tournament appearances since 2012 and the No. 1 ranking in Class 3A, the Brock Eagles were expected by most to represent their region at the state tournament next week in San Antonio.

But that didn’t make the achievement of clinching yet another state berth any less satisfying for coach Zach Boxell or his squad.

Bradon Smith scored 20 points and Scott Thomas added 16 to lift Brock to a 58-40 win over Childress at Wayland Baptist University’s Hutcherson Center, improving the Eagles to 33-5 on the year and completing a dominant run through Region I in which the Eagles won each of their first five playoff games by at least 14 points.

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Daniel Youngblood: Region tourneys offer challenges for area’s three survivors

After nearly four months of basketball, just three Big Country boys teams remain.

Brock, Jayton and Eula stand alone as the area’s last remaining survivors, and each now finds itself two victories away from a trip to San Antonio for the state tournament.

The Eagles, ranked No. 1 in Class 3A, must survive the field at the Region I-3A tournament in Plainview, while the Class 1A No. 9 Jaybirds and 11th-ranked Pirates will compete in the Region II-1A and Region III-1A tournaments, respectively.

Which, if any, of those teams will still be playing after this weekend? Only time will tell. But let’s take a look at what each group is up against, and what it will need to do to reach high school’s equivalent of the Final Four.

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GAME STORY: Wall girls rally to eliminate Brock (w/ two videos, box score & photo gallery w/37 images included)

PLAINVIEW — In the end, it all came down to how many extra shots were taken. 

Pounding the glass for 14 offensive rebounds, the top-ranked Wall Lady Hawks got 16 extra shots in their 56-49 win over Brock in Friday’s Region I-3A semifinal at Wayland Baptist University. 

That, combined with a 15-7 disparity in turnovers, was a handicap that Brock had no answer for as Wall (31-1) advanced to Saturday’s regional title game. There, they will face third-ranked Idalou (31-5), which closed the semifinal doubleheader with a 41-36 overtime win over Jim Ned. 

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GAME STORY: Brock uses huge third quarter to eliminate Colorado City (w/ two videos, box score and photo gallery)

CISCO — For two full quarters, the unranked Colorado City Wolves played No. 1 Brock to a near standstill at Ray Saunders Gym, heading into the locker room trailing 27-24. 

The third quarter, however, brought a stark reminder of why Brock entered this week sitting atop the rankings, with a backbreaking 20-3 run to put the game out of reach in just eight minutes. 

Bradon Smith scored 19 points and Scott Thomas tossed in 18 more to lead Brock, which then cruised to a 60-47 win. 

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GAME STORY: Brock eliminates Colorado City 36-18 behind big defensive effort

BROWNWOOD — How good was Brock’s defense in Friday’s 36-18 area round win over Colorado City? 

Good enough for the Lady Eagles to score only 36 points, yet dominate the game from start to finish. 

Olivia Lewis, Kasaundra Boxell and Evan Roberts scored seven points apiece and Jessica Leek added six to lift Brock (31-8), which advances to face Nocona (31-3) in the Region I-3A quarterfinals next week. 

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PHOTO GALLERY: Evan Ren’s Top 100 football photos for 2018

FEATURED SCHOOLS: Albany, Anson, Baird, Breckenridge, Brock, Brownwood, Clyde, Coahoma, Colorado City, Comanche, Cross Plains, Dublin, Eastland, Forsan, Hamlin, Haskell, Jim Ned, Merkel, Snyder, Stamford, Stephenville, Wall and Winters.

Photos may be purchased for $7 each by pushing the small shopping cart emblem below the lower right corner of the gallery.

DANIEL YOUNGBLOOD: Work never done for hungry Brock Eagles

With the success the Brock Eagles have experienced since starting up their football program eight years ago, the creeping nature of complacency is a natural and constant threat.

When you’ve only once in six varsity seasons lost as many as three games in a year— and you just happened to end that campaign in a state title game — it can be hard not to take that level of achievement for granted.

But if coach Chad Worrell and his Eagles have been spoiled by their success, they have a funny way of showing it.

In fact, talking to Worrell and his players about this year’s run, which has them set to face Malakoff in a state semifinal game at 4 p.m. Friday in Frisco, you might conclude they were the Rocky Balboa in this story — toppling one celebrated opponent after another on the way to their ultimate goal.

If you’ve ever wondered how this program has accomplished what it has in such a short period of time and continues year after to year to be great, it’s in that focus and hunger that you’ll find the answer. 

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