The Lady Bulldogs shake off the rust during their first preseason practice Monday, Aug. 4.
The Lady Bulldogs volleyball team will start the 2014 season by playing their first match in the Andrew J. Hopkins Activity Center on Tuesday, Aug. 12.
The season opener will pit the Lady Bulldogs against the Latexo Lady Tigers. The junior varsity squads will start things off at 5 p.m. in The Hop.
Later this week, the Lady Dogs will be competing in the Grapeland Tourney on Thursday and Saturday.
New head coach TaNesiah Johnson had approximately 30 players on the practice court when preseason drills began Monday, Aug. 4 After four workouts, Johnson had a chance to gauge her team's early progress during a scrimmage at Rusk.
Before starting District 21-3A, Crockett will make tourney appearances at Groveton and Centerville, in addition to several other non-district matches.
Crockett's new eight-team district lineup includes Buffalo, Elkhart, Jewett Leon, New Waverly, Onalaska, Palestine Westwood and Trinity.
Leon, a perennial volleyball powerhouse, was a state semi-finalist in Class 1A (now 2A) last year and is ranked No. 4 in the TGCA Class 3A Preseason Top 10.
Westwood was champion of Crockett's district last year and reached the regional semifinals. Elkhart, Buffalo, New Waverly and Onalaska were also playoff teams.
The Lady Lions prepare for their upcoming season opener Tuesday, Aug. 12 against Trinity.
Preseason volleyball practice got underway in Lovelady on Monday, Aug. 4 with 23 players reporting for duty.
After a weekend scrimmage, the Lady Lions will open the season Tuesday, Aug. 12 at home against Trinity.
Coach James Price has all but two players from last season returning, but he says the Lady Lions are still a young squad with just two senior members.
"I only had two seniors last year. Except for one new setter, it's almost the exact same team, so we'll be better this season," said Price.
Two returning all-district performers head up the Lady Lions squad.
Sophomore Sydney Price earned All-District Server of the Year honors as a freshman, and senior Kendall Miller was a First Team All-District honoree.
Returning starters-- in addition to Price at setter and Miller at middle blocker-- are senior Avery Brumlee, Malanta Wiley and Kelsey Dorman.
Returning back row players are Hannah Sample, Schuyler Schultz and Allison Hay.
"We're still very young with only two seniors. We've got a couple of years ahead where we'll be improving," said Price. "We're in a strong district, so we're gonna have to be really good to make the playoffs." For the next two years Lovelady will compete in District 20-2A against Centerville, Grapeland, Iola, Kennard, Latexo, Normangee and North Zulch. It's been four years since Lovelady has qualified for post-season, but the Lady Lions barely missed advancing last year. "It's' going to be hard this year when we've got Big Centerville, Iola, Normangee and North Zulch in our district," said Price. Centerville, which is dropping down in classification, won its district and reached the regional final in Class 2A (now 3A) last year. Iola reached the Class A (now 2A) regional final and Normangee went three rounds deep into the playoffs. Lovelady's previous district included perennial powerhouse Leon, which has moved up in classification. "Leon is gone, but this is still going to be a tough district," said Price.
Dual Gold Medalist—Jordan Washington displays gold medals he won in the state meet.Jordan Washington, a member of the Houston County Panthers-1 track team, picked up two gold medals in the 2015 TAAF Games of Texas and qualified for the 2015 National Games of America next summer in Lincoln. Neb.
Competing Saturday, Aug. 2 and Sunday, Aug. 3 in College Station, Washington led the way by winning gold in the 110-meter hurdles with a time of 14.87. He later won another gold medal in the 200-meter hurdles with a time of 39.06.
When asked how he felt about his two victories, Washington responded, "It really doesn't feel like I won because I did not run my best times."
The Panthers 4x100-meter relay team of Nicholas Harris, Damien Richardson, Ricktavius Lomas and Rkelian Wiley fell short of making the finals.
Jamarquis Burton competed in the prelims of the 100-meter and 400-meter along with Damien Richardson. Ricktavius Lomax competed in the prelims of the 200-meter.
Team members want to thank everyone that supported their fund-raisers and made donations to help cover expenses for their trip to state. They also thank those who kept them in their prayers as they represented Houston County on the state level and the upcoming national level.
With season openers just three weeks away, the Crockett Bulldogs, Grapeland Sandies and Lovelady Lions hit the practice field Monday, Aug. 4 for the first week of gruelling preseason drills. After four days of conditioning, players will strap on full pads as the intensity level is turned up a few notches.
BULLDOGS New head coach Jimmy Thompson welcomed approximately 60 gridmen for the first day of workouts.
"We're a little bit rusty right now," said Thompson while looking on during Tuesday's workout.
"We're a long ways from being where we need to be. We're putting in a new system, so we're having to do a lot of teaching right now."
Developing "mental toughness" in the players is another area the CHS staff is focusing on. "When we get tired, it's easy to start feeling sorry for ourselves. But I think becoming mentally tougher is something we as coaches can teach them," Thompson said.
The Bulldogs have been working out from 8 a.m. until noon each day and will report for a Saturday workout this week.
Coach Thompson will have a chance to gauge his team's early progress during a scrimmage against Elkhart on Friday, Aug.15 in Driskell Stadium.
LOVELADY The Lions started their preseason workouts with 47 prospects, an increase of about 10 over last year.
"We have good numbers this year," said Lion head coach Kerry Therwhanger. "We're expecting a couple more players who aren't here yet, so we should peak at 49."
Therwhanger noted the Lions only lost four seniors and the addition of 12-14 incoming freshmen helped boost this year's numbers.
"Plus, we had a couple of transfer students who came in after football. This is the most players since the 2009 season," he said.
Overall, the Lions are "in good condition," reported Therwhanger.
"They're a little sore from the first day of workouts," he said Tuesday. "We started with some conditioning drills-- agility-type stuff to loosen them up-- and then we go into our workout."
The Lions will have their first workout in pads Friday and will return Saturday morning for an abbreviated practice.
Lovelady's first scrimmage will be Saturday, Aug. 16 at Trinity.
GRAPELAND The Sandies kicked off practice Monday with 23 reporting for duty, but head coach Shawn Brown expects five additional latecomers to boost the total to 28.
The first order of business was a conditioning test, which consisted of players running 110s.
"They take our conditioning test every year just to make sure we know who's ready and who's not," said Brown.
Before hitting the practice field, the coaching staff conducted parent and team meetings. "We try to make sure their body's in the right place and their mind's in the right place before we get to football," he added.
So far, Brown has been pleased. "They're getting after it, their minds are in the right place, and they're all giving great effort. That's what we're always trying to stress."
For the first week, the Sandies will report at 7 a.m. each day with meetings and weight lifting to break up the workout session. Practice will end around noon with a walk-through.
The Sandies will host Overton for their first scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 16.