Tag: Hico Tigers

FEATURE: Hico’s Cooper Roach expected to make huge impact following knee surgery

HICO — Through the final eight games of 2019, Hico running back-linebacker Cooper Roach was stuck on the sidelines with an injured knee, watching his shorthanded teammates struggle through what was left of an 0-10 season.

Lost for the season in Week 2 against area rival Hamilton, Roach had injured his MCL and meniscus, forcing him into surgery and months of arduous rehabilitation. 

His injury was doubly crippling for the Tigers, who not only lost one of their top offensive weapons, but one of their best tacklers as well — effectively costing them two key players instead of one. 

The 16-year-old was hoping to be a major contributor last year, but never got the opportunity. He now enters his third varsity season with hopes of making up for lost time and helping the Tigers to snag their first playoff spot since 2017.

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2020 HICO FOOTBALL PREVIEW: Tigers believe they can take a step forward

The 2019 campaign was a difficult one for the Hico Tigers, who labored through an 0-10 record short on overall numbers and short on experience.

However, there are multiple reasons to believe HHS can take a step forward this fall, not the least of which was realignment, which dropped the Tigers to District 8-2A DII for the 2020 and 2021 seasons. Numerically things are looking up as well, as long as the Tigers are fortunate enough to avoid the medical tent. 

Coach Randy Thornton has 11 of 22 positions occupied by returning starters, with 12 lettermen back from his 2019 club. This includes some capable skill people in running backs Jaydon Qualls and Reese Polk (5-10, 155), along with receiver Angel Gonzales (5-8, 145). 

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COUNTDOWN TO TWO-A-DAYS: Hico Tigers

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 Cross Plains on Sunday, we stay in District 8-2A Division II with the Hico Tigers. On Tuesday, we will take a look at the Santo Wildcats, followed by the Anson Tigers on Wednesday.

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WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: COVID-19 was the last of Zant’s setbacks in 2019-2020  

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.

Photos by Chester Reynolds 

The cancellation of high school sports because of the COVID-19 pandemic was the last of three setbacks Hico senior Karson Zant faced during the 2019-2020 school year.

Zant rehabilitated through a football knee injury last fall and a baseball shoulder injury early this spring. But after returning to good health for Hico’s first two district baseball games, Zant ran into an obstacle he couldn’t rehab. On March 13, the COVID-19 pandemic initially suspended and eventually canceled all spring sports, including baseball.

“I thought for sure we were coming back when they first stopped everything,” said Zant, who continued to work out for baseball on his own. “I saw a quote on Twitter about the layoff that really motivated me. It said something like, ‘There are people who will not take this seriously. But six or seven of your teammates will work hard during the time off and come back and look completely different.’

“That kept me motivated to work harder to be better and help my team.”

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GAME STORY: Hico rally falls short in bi-district loss to Windthorst (video, box score & photo gallery w/14 images included)

MINERAL WELLS — A dash of early foul trouble led to a bad second quarter for the Hico Lady Tigers, and eventually, a 39-35 bi-district loss to Windthorst on Tuesday. 

Kora Pennartz scored 11 points and Mollie Kirk tossed in eight more to lead Windthorst (19-11), which advances to face Valley View in the 2A area round.  

Forced to sit starter Lauryl Stegall in the second quarter due to early foul trouble, Hico saw an 11-11 deadlock become a 27-19 halftime deficit which would prove costly by game’s end.

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Tigers eager to face the 7-2A Division I gauntlet

If the old adage that “familiarity breeds contempt” is true, then District 7-2A Division I might be one of the most contentious group of teams in the Big Country.

Close proximity and a history of success for several teams is the driving force behind this league — a formula for intense rivalries and several high profile games throughout 2018.

For Hico Coach Randy Thornton, however, the weekly intensity offered by this league is really more about respect than anything else. But it’s still something he’s looking forward to.

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Experience a Hico strength in 2018

The numbers are smiling on the Hico Tigers in 2018, and the timing couldn’t be better. That’s because from top to bottom, District 7-2A Division I is perhaps the top 2A league in Central Texas.

Hico returns eight offensive and seven defensive starters among 13 lettermen from last year’s 7-4 playoff team. But the Tigers will have to contend with toughies from De Leon (12-1), Crawford (11-3) and Goldthwaite (4-7), along with what is expected to be a radically improved team from San Saba (3-7) that returns 18 of 22 starters.

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