Tag: De Leon Bearcats

FEATURE: De Leon left-hander Lane Powledge is throwing smoke again

Photos by Melissa Sones

Lane Powledge’s elbow issues of 2020 were left in 2020.

Through last week’s baseball games, the De Leon senior left-handed pitcher was 5-1 with a 1.75 earned run average. He also is the Big Country leader with 71 strikeouts in 28 innings.

“This year he’s off to an all-state start,” De Leon head coach Ricky Barrett said. “We’re a different team when he’s on the mound. He’s pitching lights out. He’s ready to go all the time.”

After going 9-2 with a 1.15 ERA as a sophomore in 2019, Powledge was just starting his pitching comeback from an elbow injury in mid-March last year. He threw 42 strikes in 48 pitches in his first appearance of 2020, and followed with a five-inning one-hitter to beat Santo.

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FEATURE: Yeager returns to De Leon as its new offensive coordinator and brings back an old stand-by

DE LEON — He is credited for guiding the De Leon football program to its greatest heights since its glory days under Jack Waggoner and Grady West in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. 

So when former DHS coach David Yeager departed prior to last season to allow him to watch his son, Kevin, play at Incarnate Word University in San Antonio, there was a tangible amount of sadness in the De Leon community. 

Yeager, however, never fully left De Leon, keeping a home there locally. And this year, courtesy of second-year coach Andrew Dickson (a former Yeager player and assistant), the Bearcats’ old mentor will be returning to DHS as its offensive coordinator. His return, however, won’t mean that the Bearcats will be spreading the field and throwing the football as they did during his last four years in De Leon. 

On the contrary, De Leon will be making a subtle shift from the wing-T that Dickson introduced last season, to the slot-T (a close cousin of the wing-T) which Yeager had success with early on at DHS.  For Dickson and Yeager, it’s all about tailoring your offense to best suit the talent you have on hand. 

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2020 DE LEON FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Young Bearcats heading into difficult new district

Second-year De Leon coach Andrew Dickson accepted the challenge of retooling the DHS football program last year in the wake of a massive talent exodus.

Graduation had claimed multiple All-Big Country Preps players in quarterback Kevin Yeager, receiver Chris Cox, linebackers Tony Evans and Bray Tovar and defensive back Eli Gilmore, among others. 

Nonetheless, Dickson led his club to a 4-8 finish under a new wing-T system — overcoming a 1-4 start to push two rounds deep into the playoffs. 

The 2020 season, however, will offer its own set of challenges. The biggest of these will be a serious lack of experience, with only seven lettermen back after 12 seniors were handed their diplomas. 

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COUNTDOWN TO TWO-A-DAYS: De Leon Bearcats

Football is fast approaching, and we at BigCountryPreps.com are committed to bringing you the information you need to prepare for your favorite team’s season.

We’ll be releasing our Big Country Preps Preseason Football Preview, the most comprehensive look at the upcoming Big Country football season anywhere, on Friday, Aug. 14. But you won’t have to wait until then to sate your gridiron appetite.

Leading up to the first day of fall football practice on Aug. 3, we’ll be spotlighting each 11-man team in the area and posing some of the key questions they’ll face in 2019 as part of our “Countdown to Two-a-Days” series.

After featuring Coleman on Wednesday, we stay in District 4-2A Division I with the De Leon Bearcats. On Friday, we will take a look at the Goldthwaite Eagles followed by the San Saba Armadillos on Saturday.

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WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: De Leon softball may have broken new ground in 2020

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.

While the De Leon softball program has developed a solid reputation in recent years as one of the Big Country’s consistent winners, the 2020 season may have represented a high-water mark. 

We’ll never know. 

In the wake of the University Interscholastic League’s COVID-19 lockdown and subsequent cancellation of all high school spring sports in the state of Texas, the Lady Cats will be left wondering what heights they may have reached this year for the rest of their lives.

With a talented corps of seniors — Micaela Miller, Kylea DeLaTorre, Coral Sparger and Brooke Stelter — and considerable early-season momentum, De Leon pushed through a difficult early season with a 9-4 overall record and a 2-0 start in District 9-2A. 

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WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: Bearcats never got to enjoy fruits of tough pre-district schedule

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.

Photos by Madisyn Stone

Judging solely by its record, it would be easy to underestimate the potential the De Leon baseball team possessed in 2020.

Sitting at 3-5 when the COVID-19 outbreak stopped their season in its tracks, the Bearcats hardly had the type of win-loss mark you’d expect from a two-time defending district champion that was gearing up for a run at its third in a row.

But records can be deceiving, and that was certainly the case for De Leon, which had played six of its first eight games against larger competition in preparation for its District 6-2A schedule. With pre-district matchups against Class 4A playoff teams from China Spring and Glen Rose, as well as Class 3A No. 1 Brock, the Bearcats were put through a ringer that first-year head coach Ricky Barrett was certain would pay off in time.

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FEATURE: Former Jim Ned standout Meagan Mitchell trying to right the De Leon ship

DE LEON — While her married name of Meagan Mitchell may not ring a bell to Big Country hoops fans, her maiden name, Meagan O’Dell, will be remembered by many who were paying attention. 

Mitchell, a former all-state selection at Jim Ned who went on to play collegiately at Tarleton State, was one of the top players in Tuscola under former coach Jim Avery, which included a trip to state in 2012, where she made the all-tournament team. 

Now at age 25, Mitchell finds herself rebuilding a long-struggling De Leon team, using the same principles she learned under Avery and under former Tarleton State coach Ronnie Hearne. 

It took a little while, but those concepts are beginning to catch on at DHS, and it’s translating into wins.

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De Leon’s Yeager out to end stellar high school career on right note

When it comes to pure production, few quarterbacks in Texas high school football history can match Kevin Yeager’s achievements.

The De Leon standout has been torching defenses from his quarterback spot for four years now, and he’s piled up stats in the process that have him in or approaching the top 10 on career leaderboards for a number of passing categories.

But it’s not climbing those lists that fuel Yeager’s drive to extend his senior season. Instead, it’s something far more personal.

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Big Country Preps Player of the Week: Hamlin’s Sepeda snags the accolade

Big Country Preps Player of the Week isn’t strictly about numbers. 

Sometimes, drama can be the deciding factor. And in that regard, Hamlin’s Jackson Sepeda takes home this week’s Oscar after helping Hamlin to an incredible 21-18 win over heavily favored Wellington — one of the biggest upsets the Big Country has seen in the last decade. 

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Yeager, De Leon rout Riesel to earn rematch with San Saba

WHITNEY — Senior quarterback Kevin Yeager passed for three touchdowns and ran for three more to lead De Leon to a 44-21 win over Riesel on Friday and earn a rematch with district mate San Saba in the Region II-2A Division I championship game.

Riesel, which lost starting quarterback Steven Searcy in the early in the second quarter, trailed 13-0 at that point and never got closer than two scores after Yeager’s second of three TD passes made it 27-13 at halftime.

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De Leon football a family affair for Yeager boys

With David Yeager serving as the head coach and his youngest son, Kevin, as a four-year starter at quarterback, football has long been a family affair in De Leon. But that will be taken to a whole new level this fall.

In addition to those two Yeagers, who Bearcat fans and followers are no doubt familiar with, David’s oldest son, Kody, also will be playing a prominent role in De Leon’s football success as the school’s new offensive coordinator.

With David overseeing the operation, Kody calling the offensive plays and working directly with the quarterbacks, and Kevin putting the teaching he gets from both into practice, the Yeager boys will be working side by side to lift the De Leon Bearcats to new heights in 2018. And with Kevin’s looming graduation placing an expiration date on the experience, the three plan to extend it as long as possible.

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No. 4 De Leon Bearcats eager to live up to hype in 2018

Coming off a 12-1 season and ranked fourth in Class 2A Division I by Texas Football magazine, the De Leon Bearcats have every reason to be excited about the 2018 campaign.

Coach David Yeager’s team brings back a strong nucleus of 14 lettermen, including one of the top small-school quarterbacks in the state in Yeager’s son, Kevin. And realignment moved the only team that beat the Bearcats last season — the eventual state champion Mart Panthers — out of their bracket and into 2A DII.

While those facts and others have many around the state viewing De Leon as a legitimate state championship contender, Coach Yeager wants his team focused on more immediate goals. And that starts with putting the preseason hype in the proper perspective.

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