Tag: Merkel Badgers

FEATURE: Merkel likes Ike as a speedy weapon in new hybrid offense

MERKEL — A year ago, Merkel’s Isaac “Ike” Sebastian was lost in the shuffle, happy whenever he got a chance to touch the football and contribute something — anything in a dreary 2-8 campaign.

What a difference a year can make. 

Sebastian, now a senior, has emerged as one of the fastest athletes in the Big Country, with legitimate sub-4.6 speed in the 40, good hands and improving field vision. And, in a possible stroke of good fortune, Sebastian will be perfect fit in Merkel’s new wing-T hybrid offense introduced by first-year coach Britt Hart. 

The combination could (in the hopes of the Merkel staff) create something very explosive. 

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COUNTDOWN TO TWO-A-DAYS: Merkel Badgers

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 Eastland on Sunday, we stay in District 5-3A Division II with the Merkel Badgers. On Tuesday, we will take a look at the Breckenridge Buckaroos followed by the Clyde Bulldogs on Wednesday.

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WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: Young Merkel Badgers see progress halted by COVID-19

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.

Unlike many of the teams asking themselves, “What might have been?” after the University Interscholastic League’s decision to cancel the remainder of the spring sports season due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Merkel baseball squad will feature a very similar roster when play returns next year.

The Badgers lose just one senior, outfielder Hunter Barnes, from this year’s group, which was off to an 7-2-1 start when play was halted.

But for a program on the rise, that was hoping to build on last year’s 9-14 record and bi-district playoff appearance, the effects of this stoppage will still be felt in a major way. Instead of getting to use the District 5-3A season to show how much they’ve grown and the playoffs to take the next step in their development, the Badgers will be spending their spring and summer at home, hoping the lost time won’t have cost them too much when they finally get back on the field next year.

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WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN: Merkel’s Pursley sees potential state title put on hold indefinitely

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.

Kaydi Pursley held the highest of expectations for her final high school track season.

After finishing second in the UIL 3A 100 hurdles in 2019, a state title was on the Merkel senior’s mind. Pursley also wanted to medal in the pole vault, too.

But those goals are in limbo right now with the coronavirus pandemic shuttling UIL athletic activities for at least another month and maybe longer.

Pursley has spent the past couple weeks working on staying in shape. Even if she has represented Merkel for the last time, Pursley knows she must be ready in the fall when she joins Abilene Christian’s track program.

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GAME STORY: Merkel sweeps Stanton on special night at MHS

MERKEL — The 1000-point barrier is a celebrated milestone that few high school players achieve. So when Merkel senior Kayde Pursley topped the very rare 1,500-point plateau last week against Brownfield, those close to the program made up their minds to do something special in her return game on Friday at MHS. 

Following a 59-7 blowout of Stanton, an announcement of Pursley’s accomplishment was read over the PA system, after which she was presented with a banner showing her climb through the milestones, along with a plaque.  The brief ceremony preceded the boys game which saw Merkel hold off a Stanton rally for a 52-39 win to complete a doubleheader sweep.  

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District 4-3A Division II: Week 4 Report

Anson (1-2) — The Tigers are one of three teams in this district to have won their first game prior to their bye week. Whether that’s an advantage or disadvantage is open for debate.

AHS will open league play next Friday with a difficult road trip to Bangs. 

Ballinger (3-0) — The undefeated Bearcats enjoyed a week off, giving them a little extra time to prepare for the visiting Cisco Loboes in their district opener next week.

This will be one of the biggest games to be played in Ballinger several years.

The winner of that matchup will have a leg up in district play, if the preseason projections are accurate, that is. 

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PHOTO GALLERY: 7-on-7 Division III state qualifying tournament (93 images)

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PHOTO GALLERY: DIVISION II STATE QUALIFIER AT JIM NED

 

GAME STORY: Lady Badgers season comes to an end, but future is bright

GRAHAM — While it wasn’t how coach Laura Lange or her squad envisioned it ending, the Merkel girls basketball season came to a close with a 63-47 loss to Nocona on Friday night.

The loss marked the end of Mireya Salazar’s career at Merkel, but the future is bright for the Lady Badgers as the remaining nine players return for next year — a number that includes just two juniors.

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FEATURE: Merkel standout Pursley will likely choose track over hoops

MERKEL — The general consensus is she’s good enough to play basketball at the college level and is likely to get her share of attention from recruiters. 

But chances are you won’t see Merkel’s Kaydi Pursley suiting up for any collegiate hoops program at any level. 

It’s simply not in her plan.

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Star QB White to have some hefty support

If the thought of Merkel speedster Jonah White having the football in his hands on every play isn’t scary enough for the opposition, things are about to get worse.

In addition to his shift to quarterback, which will have him directing the Badgers’ gun option offense, White will now have an offensive line averaging 6-foot-2 and 285 pounds creating running lanes for him.

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Merkel Badgers hope to challenge for district title

Entering his fifth season as coach of the Merkel Badgers, coach John Cornelius’ program is finally reaching the point where his system is firmly in place.

Players who began his tenure in middle school are now on the varsity roster, with as much as four years of experience in his playbook.

It began to pay off with last years’ 7-6 finish and a playoff push that went three rounds deep. This year, with six starters on both sides of the ball and 14 returning lettermen, the Badgers may have enough familiarity with the system to reload, rather than rebuild.

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