Tag: Forsan Buffaloes

Evan Ren’s 2021 Gym Rat Team: The toughest, hardest-working teammates in the Big Country

While scoring and rebounding garner much of the attention in basketball, there are other elements, crucial to success, that seldom grab headlines. 

Behind the scenes is where character, effort and sacrifice set the foundation for teams to reach their full potential. And it is with our Big Country Preps Gym Rat Team that we salute the individuals who bring these elements to the table. 

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

The Gym Rat Team is about outworking, outhustling and outgiving everyone around you, both on the floor and off. Hard-working, honest, selfless, tough, coachable kids are what we seek for this roster. 

A Gym Rat Team member can be your best player or the last player off the bench. But the one thing all of them bring is an uncompromisingly good attitude. 

It is for that reason that our Gym Rat Team is selected entirely by area coaches. And Big Country Preps is truly honored to present these individuals to you — the best “team players” (boys and girls) that the area had to offer during the 2020-21 season.

Players are listed in no particular order. 


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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 Colorado City on Thursday, we stay in District 3-2A Division I with the Forsan Buffaloes. On Saturday, we will take a look at the Haskell Indians, followed by the Hawley Bearcats on Sunday.

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WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: Forsan’s Smith was on the verge of breakout season

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 or until the UIL rules that high school athletics statewide may resume. If you have a suggested story for the “What Might Have Been” series, please contact Big Country Preps at Evan.Ren@BigCountryPreps.com.

Photos courtesy of  Jodi Mims 

Tucked away in a quiet corner of West Texas, roughly 14 miles southwest of Big Spring, an unheralded Forsan sophomore was poised to make a splash. 

At age 16, Aubrie Smith remains relatively unknown in Big Country circles. But at the time of the COVID-19 lockdown, her 2.64 ERA and 57 strikeouts in 42 innings were beginning to make a sizable blip on the area radar. 

“This year we were better,” coach Shanna Taylor said. “Our record was 12-3-1 and we were beating some bigger schools. And honestly, Aubrie was one of the top pitchers that I’ve seen this season. 

“It was looking like we were going to have a really good year, so this is extremely frustrating for us on all fronts.” 

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EVAN REN: This week in Big Country girls basketball (Feb. 17-23)

With the regional semifinal round just one victory away, a dozen Big Country teams are still alive with hopes of reaching the Texas high school equivalent of the Sweet 16.  

This week’s regional quarterfinal round will be accompanied by two things: pure elation and pure devastation once the final horns blow. And not all of our area clubs will be among the survivors.  

Nonetheless, I’ll go out on a limb and say no fewer than six Big Country teams will retain a pulse after Tuesday night. 

That said, let’s have a look what’s on tap. 

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FEATURE: Defense, experience propel Forsan girls into second round

FORSAN — They’ve labored through streaks of inconsistent scoring output throughout the season. But the Forsan Lady Buffaloes have had one key advantage all along to act as compensation — experience. 

Heading into Friday’s Class 2A area round matchup with Plains, Forsan has been held under 40 points no fewer than 10 times. Yet through combination of solid defense and the ability to adjust on the fly, the Lady Buffs enter this week at 22-6 while allowing only 30.8 points per game. 

The Lady Buffs may not shoot the lights out. But chances are, neither will you. 

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FEATURE: High-scoring Forsan guard hoping to get collegiate look

Kobe Richardson

FORSAN — He stands in at only 6-foot-0 and 160 pounds. And he plays Class 2A high school basketball on an 11-13 team in a place so isolated, that many Big Country residents can’t even tell you where it’s at. 

But despite some of the hurdles that Forsan’s Kobe Richardson faces in his goal of landing a collegiate roster spot, the senior guard does have several check marks in the plus column.   

This would include an uncanny ability to get the ball in the hole — as either a spot-up shooter, or by getting to the hoop off the dribble with either hand. 

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Enormous Forsan Buffaloes hoping to surprise

The Forsan Buffaloes aren’t getting a lot of love from the experts heading into the 2018 football season and, on paper, one might view that as justifiable.

The Buffs return only 11 of their 22 total starters from a 3-7 team with a district-low 13 lettermen and are picked dead last in District 3-2A Division I by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine.

Tenth-year coach Jason Phillips, however, has at least one ace up his sleeve that may help his team pull a surprise: The Buffaloes are enormous.

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Forsan a stepping stone? Not exactly

For many, it’s an unknown.

“Where is Forsan at anyway?” One may ask at a game involving the Buffaloes.

“Way out in far West Texas, I think,” would be an common answer.

For coaches who are uninitiated, a mentioning of a job opening Class 2A Division I Forsan may come with a knee-jerk “stepping stone” assumption before applying for the gig.

That’s the way it is for Forsan. But for the coaches who live and work in this small community, located 14 miles southeast of Big Spring, it is a one-of-a-kind place, where many choose to remain.

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