Tag: Eastland Mavericks

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: Eastland football coach/AD James Morton talks about dealing with the lockdown

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 preparing for his fifth season as the head football coach/athletic director at Eastland, James Morton was anticipating a productive overall spring from the EHS athletic program.

That is, until the COVID-19 lockdown and subsequent cancellation of all spring sports was imposed by the University Interscholastic League as a safety measure.

Morton, who has guided the Mavericks to a 34-14 record and four straight postseason appearances during his tenure, has since found himself stuck in wait-and-see mode with every other coach in Texas.

He has, however, been able to reflect on the pandemic, while drawing upon 28 seasons of head coaching experience to get him through it. He now sits with Big Country Preps’ Evan Ren to speak about his approach.

Here are a few excerpts from that conversation: 

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

WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: Was this the best Eastland softball team ever? We will never know

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 four years, Eastland softball coach Tera Davis has been quietly cultivating a powerhouse.

This year was to be the culmination of her hard work, with a roster loaded with talented seniors and one of the top pitchers in the Big Country, coming off a 29-6 season that saw them reach the Region I-3A quarterfinals.

If Eastland softball was ever to go to the state tournament, 2020 in the minds of many, would have represented the best opportunity the Lady Mavericks had seen in decades. 

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

GAME STORY: Lady Mavericks use defense to eliminate C-City, advance to area round

CLYDE— The most painful loss of the year is often the last one. And in Monday’s Class 3A bi-district matchup between Eastland and Colorado City, it was the C-City locker room that had a somber tone in the game’s aftermath. 

Backed by intense half-court defensive pressure that limited C-City standout Mia Monroe to just four points, the Lady Mavericks advanced with a 45-33 win at Clyde High School. 

Makena Moreno score 11 points and Jordan Mayes added eight more to lead Eastland (23-12), which held the Lady Wolves to just nine points after halftime. The Lady Mavericks now advance to face the winner of Tuesday’s bi-district matchup between Brock (27-7) and Holliday (18-13) in the area round. 

Colorado City (23-9) was led by Kaci Hudson with 12 points and Kirsten Koch with eight. 

“We started off playing a little zone and then we started playing some man (to man),” Eastland coach Troy Doyle said. “In the second half, we ran a little half-court trap and that gave them some problems.” 

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

District 3-3A Division I: Week 10 Report

Eastland 42, Clyde 27 Behren Morton was 22 of 36 for 288 yards and four scores as Eastland recovered from its first loss of the year (at Wall on Oct.

Bonilla

25) with a big win over Clyde. 

Anthony Bonilla was Morton’s favorite target, hauling in seven catches for 142 yards and a score. He also rushed eight times for 69 yards and two more touchdowns as the Mavericks improved to 8-1 overall and 3-1 in district play. 

Dylan Neuman led Clyde (6-3, 2-2) with 231 yards passing, including a 37-yard TD pass to Jax Roam in the fourth quarter.

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

BCP GAME OF THE WEEK: Wall defense shuts down powerful Eastland 28-14

WALL — A workmanlike offensive effort, backed by yet another dominating defensive performance, pushed the second-ranked Wall Hawks to a 28-14 win over No. 7 Eastland in the Big Country Preps Game of the Week on Friday.

Mason Fuchs threw for 81 yards, rushed for 62 and accounted for two touchdowns to lift Wall (8-0, 3-0 District 3-3A Division I), which now has sole possession of first place in the league standings. 

Eastland, which was limited to 218 yards in total offense, was led by Behren Morton, who threw for 166 yards and one score and Anthony Bonilla, who caught one TD pass and rushed for another. 

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

District 3-3A Division I: Week 7 Report

Dickey

Wall 35, Clyde 7  In a high-profile game between the district favorite and perhaps the most-improved team in the league, the Hawks got the better of the upstart Bulldogs. 

Mason Fuchs threw for 79 yards, rushed for 23 and threw one TD pass to lead Wall (6-0, 1-0), tallied 222 rushing yards via committee. 

Leading 14-0 at the break, third-ranked Hawks blew the game open with a 5-yard TD run by Cinch Dickey at the 7:30 mark and a 17-yard TD jaunt by Chase Rios at 0:53. 

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

District 3-3A Division I: Week 4 Report

Jim Ned 28, Mason 19 — The Indians (4-0) passed their most difficult test of the early season in workmanlike fashion.

Harwell

Trailing 6-0 early on, the Jim Ned gained a permanent upper hand with three straight touchdowns — the first of which came at the 0:16 mark of the first quarter on a 1-yard run by Riley Perry. 

Perry added a 3-yard TD with 4:08 left in the half before a 65-yard punt return by Jamin Harwell put the Indians up by three scores with 9:07 left in the third quarter. 

Continue reading “District 3-3A Division I: Week 4 Report”

FEATURE: Eastland’s got a secret — quality receiving and rushing

                Alex Gonzales

EASTLAND — Behind every great quarterback is a quality group of skill personnel that enables him to achieve his full potential. 

In Eastland, where much of the preseason writing is focused on standout quarterback Behren Morton, a secret has been inadvertently created by the media. 

The Mavericks are loaded at the skill spots.

“Actually, we need to back up a year,” Eastland coach James Morton said. “The reason Behren has gotten the attention he has gotten is because of those skill guys and they’re all back for another year. 

“A quarterback is only as good as his skill guys. … I think Behren would be the first guy to tell you that.” 

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

EASTLAND TEAM PREVIEW: Mavericks counting on both lines to develop

EASTLAND — Most preseason conversations regarding the 2019 Eastland Mavericks will center around highly touted quarterback Behren Morton. 

That’s understandable, given that the 6-2 junior is already receiving more Division I collegiate interest than most players could ever dream of. 

The son of Eastland coach James Morton earned that attention with 2,664 yards passing last year as a sophomore, hitting 203 of 315 passes with 18 TDs to only two picks.

The quarterback spot, however, won’t be what determines how far the Mavericks get in 2019. That, in the view of its coach, will be the performance of guys in the trenches. 

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

FEATURE: Eastland’s Foster maturing into quality pitcher

EASTLAND — Two years ago as a varsity greenhorn, Eastland pitcher Brynna Foster had a lot of learning to do. 

She had the raw talent to pitch. But her velocity and movement had yet to develop fully. Her changeup came on predictable counts, and as a freshman, she still lacked the poise that only maturity can bring. 

Yet she was still effective enough to help the Lady Mavericks into postseason play, despite her youthful shortcomings. 

Two years later, with improved velocity, and a rise, curve, screwball, drop and changeup that she can deliver on any count, Foster is not only dramatically better, but she’s currently one of the top pitchers in the entire Big Country. 

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

GAME STORY: Eastland escapes Comanche sweep (box score and photo gallery w/38 images included)

COMANCHE — For four full innings, the Comanche Maidens looked poised to piece together a season sweep of ninth-ranked Eastland on Tuesday, leading the Lady Mavericks 2-0 heading into the fifth. 

It didn’t happen. 

Plagued by a series of fielding miscues down the stretch, Comanche saw Eastland take the lead for good with three unearned runs over the fifth and sixth frames and escape CHS with a 4-2 win. 

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

Bruising offensive line a key for Mavs in 2018

For the better part of a decade, the Eastland football team has gained the reputation as a team that won’t hesitate to hurt you through the air.

Though most recently, under former coach Cliff Watkins and current mentor James Morton, the Mavericks have seen a gradual evolution back to a more physical mindset.

Both approaches have been successful, with Eastland reaching the playoffs in nine straight seasons — five of which saw the Mavs chart double-digit wins.

This year, however, may see Eastland rely more on physicality than we’ve seen in the last l0 years, with a large, experienced offensive line running interference for gifted sophomore quarterback Behren Morton (1,031 yards, 10 TDs passing).

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

Eastland Mavericks to face merciless schedule

If the Eastland Mavericks are to keep their current streak of nine straight playoff berths alive, they’ll have to negotiate a minefield to get there.

A combination of graduation losses and a difficult realignment have placed the Mavs in the unusual position of facing uncertainty.

With a modest 11 of 22 positions occupied by returning starters and only 12 lettermen to choose from, a young Eastland group will need to wade through the new District 3-3A Division I to get a playoff spot.

That’s easier said than done in a league featuring perennial power Wall (12-1), a Breckenridge team expected to be its best in years, and rapidly improving groups from Jim Ned, Clyde and Early.

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

BCP Podcast No. 7: Evan, Dan talk football with Wichita Falls’ Zach Duncan

Zach Duncan

Like Big Country Preps co-founders Evan Ren and Daniel Youngblood, Wichita Falls Time Record News area writer Zach Duncan has been covering high school sports in his market for a long time.

Entering his 15th football season with the Wichita Falls newspaper, Duncan has seen more great games than he can count and worked with some outstanding coaches and players. This week, he took some time to share some his favorite football stories and talk shop with Evan and Daniel.

Also in this episode, Evan and Daniel discuss District 3-3A Division I and District 7-2A Division II — two all-area leagues that should be competitive from top to bottom.