CHS volleyballers Top Grapeland

CHS Volleyball

Crockett Lady Bulldogs notched a four-set victory over Grapeland in a non-district match at The Hop on Tuesday, Aug. 26.

The Lady Dogs edged the Sandiettes 26-24 in the first game, but Grapeland prevailed 16-25 in the second.

Crockett took the next two games 25-21, 25-22 to claim the match victory.

"We played awesome and we worked hard. Of course we're having some brain freezes that we're going to work on. This victory will build momentum heading into the Centerville Tournament this weekend (Aug. 28-30)," said Lady Bulldog head coach TaNesiah Johnson.

"We had an awesome practice yesterday, and practice makes perfect. I told the girls before the game if we play like we practiced, we wouldn't have a problem and we didn't," the coach added. "Tonight's win was based on hard work, team work, communication, and listening to your coaches."

Competing in the Groveton Tournament on Aug. 21-23, Coach Johnson's squad finished third in the silver bracket.

Crockett opened bracket play by beating Corrigan-Camden 25-18, 25-23 and then fell to class 4A Jasper 25-27, 25-15, 11-15.

Squaring off with Latexo for third place, the Lady Dogs prevailed 25-22, 25-16.

Earlier in tournament pool play, the Lady Dogs faced some tough competition in Jasper and Coldspring. "They were both tough teams, but we did play well. We only lost to Jasper by two points after missing three serves. I told the girls we should have won that game," said Johnson. "In my book they did win, because that's best we've played this season. They played hard and they hustled."

"I felt our preformance against Jasper actually set the tone for tonight," noted Johnson after the victory over Grapeland.

After the Centerville Tournament, the Lady Dogs will travel to Normangee on Tuesday, Sept. 2 and then make a trip to Corrigan-Camden on Friday, Sept. 5.

Crockett's JV will compete in a tournament at Corrigan on Sept. 4-6.

The Lady Dogs begin their diistrict campaign on Sept. 12 at Jewett Leon, which is ranked No. 6 in the state.

The district lineup also includes No. 8 Palestine Westwood, Onalaska, New Waverly, Buffalo, Elkhart and Trinity.

Texas Girls Coaches Association State Volleyball Poll
Aug. 25 - Class 3A
1. Brock 2. Callisburg 3. Troup 4. Hallettsville 5. Peaster 6. Jewett Leon 7. Commerce 8. Palestine Westwood 9. Franklin 10. Amarillo Highland Park.

Jackets Sting Bulldogs in Season Opener

Crockett quarterback Case Robinson  (12) pitches back to A.J. Phillips as linemen Harvey Stewart (61) and J.T. Taylor (60) hold off the Alto defense.Crockett quarterback Case Robinson (12) pitches back to A.J. Phillips as linemen Harvey Stewart (61) and J.T. Taylor (60) hold off the Alto defense.

The Alto Yellow Jackets swarmed into Driskell Stadium to spoil opening night for the Crockett Bulldogs 46-28 Friday night.

Alto, a highly ranked Class 2A squad, drew first blood on a 73-yard catch-and-run from quarterback Keenan Johnson to Jyran Shaw with 5:40 in the first quarter. The Bulldogs blocked the extra point.

After Don Gilbert returned Alto's kickoff to the Bulldog 17, Crockett took the lead with a four-play, 83-yard scoring drive. Quarterback Case Robinson connected with A.J. Phillips on a key 14-yard pass and then hooked up with Lucky Daniels on a 64-yard touchdown strike. Antonio Arcivar kicked the extra point to put the Dogs ahead 7-6.

Alto regained the lead late in the first quarter after a long kickoff return by Tyarius Hackett to Crockett's 33. The Jackets scored five plays later on a 7-yard keeper by Johnson and Jose Perez nailed the point-after for a 13-7 lead with 1:42 left.

Early in the second quarter, the Bulldogs drove to Alto's 19 yard line before running out of steam.
Alto's offense took over and immediately moved into scoring range when Johnson reeled off a 53-yard gain before being run out of bounds by Crockett's JaMarcus Moten at the Bulldog 29. Johnson scored two plays later from 14 yards out and Perez kicked the PAT for a 20-7 lead with 7:38 left in the second.

The Bulldogs kept Alto within reach when Robinson escaped trouble in the backfield and found Daniels wide open for a 69-yard touchdown strike. Arcivar's kick narrowed the gap to 20-14 with 6:31 before halftime.

After another long kickoff return to the Bulldog 24 put Alto right back in striking distance, Johnson continued his scoring exhibition with a 29-yard scamper for a 27-14 edge.

Late in the first half the Bulldogs methodically drove down the field e before being turned away by the Alto defense at the 2 yard line.

After halftime, the Jackets turned the ball over on a fumble at Crockett's 11 yard line but scored on their next possession on a 41-yard aerial to L'Darius Pope.

The Bulldogs continued to battle back and put together a scoring drive that included a 23-yard run by Chamar Wiley-Harris, an 18-yard toss to
AD Watkins and a 17 yard keeper by Robinson. Wiley-Harris capped the drive on a 16-yard run and Arcivar's kick made it 33-21 with 1:34 in the third.

After Alto scored two unanswered touchdowns, the Bulldogs closed out the game with a 57-yard touchdown scamper by Wiley-Harris with 3:16 left.

The Bulldogs travel to Rusk for their next matchup on Friday, Sept. 5.

Sandies Start Season Against West Hardin

Grapeland SandiesGrapeland Sandies

West Hardin's Oilers will make the long trip from Saratoga to face the Grapeland Sandies in an opening night contest Friday at 7:30 p.m.

West Hardin, coming off a 3-6 season, competes in a district with Lovelady, Centerville, Groveton, Hull-Daisetta and Anderson-Shiro.

Grapeland head coach Shawn Brown considers team speed to be the Sandies' primary strength heading into the 2014 season.

"We have speed on both sides of the ball," said Brown, who has six returning starters both ways.
Returning starters are: Zach Lewis, defensive back and receiver; Isaac Lewis, linebacker and quarterback; Riley Chipman (4.7), defensive back, quarterback/receiver Jaques Faulk (4.6), defensive back, quarterback/wide receiver; Daniel Johnson, defensive line and offensive line and Rodney Davis (4.5), defensive back and receiver.

Kicking duties will be handled by Jaques Faulk, Isaac Lewis, Zach Lewis and Riley Chipman.

"That'll be a team effort with several people doing different things," said Brown.

Rounding out the squad are Dustin Ackley, Dontaviun Bass, Ryan Beasley, Jose Castillo, Roderick Cook, Ethan Dailey, Aaron Davis, Cedarian Davis, Jermorris Davis, Scotland Duval, Dylan Gilpin, Ashton Henry, Carlton Jennings, Tanner Keith, Kaleb Leonard, PJ Lewis, Cameron Mixon, Keiundris McQuirter, Cameron Reiss, Jonathan Rodgers, Jason Walker and Jesse West.

While only 28 athletes are participating in football this year, Brown has been pleased with the effort.

"You always worry about (depth), but you have to work with the numbers you have. Then again, I'd much rather have 25 guys getting after it than 250 that aren't. We've got enough kids. We just have to really make sure we have our minds in the right spot and we're in good shape. We've taken care of the shape end of it and we'll take care of the other end as well," said Brown.

The Sandies' new football district includes Alto, Cayuga, Price Carlisle, Kerens and Malakoff Cross Roads.

Alto, ranked No. 19 in the Texas Football's Preseason Poll, is favored to win the district crown.

"There' still a lot of good teams in this new district. You have to play hard and compete, and that's what's going to matter," said Brown.

Coaching assignments for the Sandies are: Wayne Mahaffey, offensive coordinator, quarterbacks, runningbacks; Jacob Magee, offensive line; Craig Earp, receivers; Kevin Johnson, running backs; Matthew Gayle, defensive line, and Cannon Earp, secondary.

Lovelady Hosting Colmesneil Bulldogs

Lovelady VarsityLovelady Varsity

Lovelady gridmen start their campaign against a familiar rival-- the Colmesneil Bulldogs-- Friday night in the Lions Den at 7:30 p.m.

Colmesneil reached the Class 1A DI area finals and returns six starters both ways from a 10-2 season. Despite losing some key seniors to graduation and having a new head coach, the Bulldogs are favored to win their district this year.

The Lions graduated just four seniors so they have plenty of experienced personnel in the lineup.

"We have a lot of kids coming back, so the experience factor would be our biggest strength," said Lions head coach Kerry Therwhanger. "Ten of our players started three playoff games on defense last year and seven have experience as offensive starters playing three rounds deep."

Besides experience, Lovelady's speed and coaching consistency will give the Lions an edge during the upcoming football season.

Three athletes—Golden, Williams and Fields— finished second in the state track meet last spring.
"Going into a new district, I consider our coaching continuity to be a strength. Four of the six teams have new coaches and new coaching staffs, so I think having the same system and not having to learn new things is an advantage for us. It's tough when a new coach comes in and makes changes," Therwanger said.

Centerville is the only other school in the district with the same head coach. Groveton, Hull-Daisetta, Anderson-Shiro and West Hardin all have new staffs.

With only one starting spot to fill on defense, Therwhanger said, "Defensively, we'll just pick up where we left off last year."

Returning defensive starters include three juniors-- ends Taylor Connell and Mason Lowery, and tackle Dustin Ham.

Lovelady's linebacker crew is solid with four returning seniors-- Jose Mora, Dillon McLaughlin, Brandan Pollock and Sean Bridges­­-- but Therwhanger notes that's one position where the Lions lack depth.

The defensive secondary is in capable hands with returning juniors Jacob Jeffus and Emanual Williams at cornerback, and senior Taylor Golden at safety.

Returning defensive players McLaughlin, Bridges, Connell, Mora, Golden and Jeffus all received all-district honors last year.

Sophomore Lee Holsey, who quarterbacked the Lion JV last year, has earned the starting spot as varsity signal caller.

Returning starters in the backfield are McLaughlin at fullback, and Golden and Williams at halfback.

Opening holes up front for the ground attack are three returning starters- senior Alex Rodriguez at right tackle, Pollock at right guard, and Lowery at left guard.

Jacob Jeffus returns as a wide-out and will be joined by Jose Mora or senior Brady Fields.

The Lions will rotate their wide-outs to shuttle in plays.

Two first-year starters round out the offensive line. Sophomore Brandon Gearheart moves up from the junior varsity to snap the ball and senior Joe Wooley, a backup last year, will man the left tackle slot.

Returning All-District performers on offense are Williams, Lowery, McLaughlin, Jeffus, Connell and Rodriguez.

Mora returns to handle all the kicking duties after receiving All-District First Team honors as the Lions' punter last year.

Crockett Gridmen Kick Off With Alto

Crockett VarsityCrockett Varsity

After a month of workouts and going through their final dress rehearsal, it's finally showtime for the Crockett Bulldogs.

Coach Jimmy Thompson's crew will host the Alto Yellow Jackets Friday night in Driskell Stadium starting at 7:30 p.m.

"They're very athletic like Alto teams of the past," said Thompson. "Their quarterback is a big, strong kid that runs and throws well. Their running back is not big, but he's shifty and extremely quick."

Thompson and his staff scouted Alto during a scrimmage against Corrigan last week.

"Alto had a couple of receivers who nobody could catch once he broke. They throw and catch the ball well," he added. "They did a good job of lining up and running right at Corrigan, too. I felt like they were very solid."

Alto is ranked No. 19 in Texas Football's Class 2A Preseason State Poll and is picked to win its district.

"In some ways they're similar to us-- they have a lot of athletes on the field. The biggest difference is they've had the same system for several years and we're trying to get ours installed in a month."

Thompson said the Bulldogs' strengths are their speed, quickness,and passing game.

"Plus, our kids really want to learn and really want to do well. We've probably thrown a lot at them in a short period, but that's my fault. I've got to back off and make sure that we know what we're doing on our plays. But the kids are trying-- I'll give them that."

Thompson said one of his primary concerns is "mental and physical toughness."

"We have to learn to fight through fatigue and learn to be mentally and physically strong when we get tired. We have to get to where even though we're tired, we're going to do everything in our power to be successful. Not just one person, but all 11."

Junior quarterback Case Robinson, an all-district first teamer, returns to bark the signals.
Joining Robinson in the backfield are starting running backs A.J. Phillips and Chamar Wiley-Harris.
The Bulldogs will rotate several receivers utilizing Michael Hall, Rasheed Epps, Lucky Daniels, AD Watkins and Tyler Dowell.

JaMarcus Moten could also see action as receiver and running back, and Coach Thompson said he expects to see Xavion Dixon and De'Anthony Epps in the backfield as well.

Manning the offensive line are center Javarious Taylor and guard Tim Riley. Trendell McWhirter and Ricardo Hidalgo will share time at the other guard position.

Offensive tackles in the starting mix are David McNabb, Cordell Ferguson, Jacoby Bowens and Harvey Stewart. Two tackles, Cody Braun and Ozzy Ory, are currently on the injured list.

"We have pretty good depth everywhere, except the offensive line," said Thompson. "At receiver I think we can go two-deep and be pretty good. We have several receivers who can play in different spots, so it gives us some flexibility."

Thompson said the Bulldogs will operate out of the spread offense.

"Right now we feel like we're better suited to spread the field out. That's really contrary to whatI've done in the past, but I'm trying to tailor my coaching to the skill of my players. We're much better and have more depth at those spots than we do trying to line up and power opponents. Hopefully, at some point we'll be able to do that."

Kicking duties will be in the capable hands of senior Antonio Arcivar, who last season earned All-District Superlative Kicker/Punter honors.

On defense, the Bulldogs will work out of a 3-4 set.

Defensive personnel are:
Cornerbacks- Chamar Wiley-Harris, Don Gilbert and Lucky Daniels.
Safeties- JaMarcus Moten, Lucky Daniels, Z'Vondrick Evans, Vunterrious Leonard and A.J. Phillips.
Linebackers- David McNabb, Ricardo Hildalgo and De'Anthony Epps.
Outside linebackers- Michael Hall, Latariyon Tryon, Jordan Washington, Vunterrious Leonard and Xavion Dixon.
Defensive line- Starters Cordell Ferguson, Nathan Sanders and Tim Riley; backups Trendell McWhirter, Tyler Dowell, Jacoby Bowens, Harvey Stewart and JaVon Colter.

"These are the ones who've played themselves into the mix," said Thompson. "We've been trying to alternate in three defensive linemen every three or four plays to keep them fresh."

Thompson said the starting lineup is subject to change.

"We're in the infant stage of figuring all this out. Unfortunately, we don't have the luxury of waiting much longer. We have to make some decisions. We may find out some of these guys are lights-out when you turn on the Friday night stadium lights. Some players come to life, but others just don't handle it very well," he said.

"I'll be interested to see how we do in a full-length game.

Perry Hopes To Capture World Championship

Dustin Perry, 21, of Lovelady recently broke a national shooting sports record by winning his second national title.  On Sept. 11, he will depart for Spain to compete in the world championship contest. (Courtesy Photo)Dustin Perry, 21, of Lovelady recently broke a national shooting sports record by winning his second national title. On Sept. 11, he will depart for Spain to compete in the world championship contest. (Courtesy Photo)

Shooter First To Repeat National Title

Excerpt From USA Shooting News

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO (Aug. 10, 2014) - Of the 15 shooting disciplines, there's perhaps none more well-balanced than the field of talent that continually competes nationally in men's and women's skeet. That played itself out over a four-day competition for national supremacy amidst a driving thunderstorm in Colorado Springs.

Dustin Perry, 21, of Lovelady became the only repeat champion in the five open division categories by virtue of a shoot-off with Hayden Stewart (USAMU/Tenn).

Perry's great shooting since winning Nationals more than a year ago continued at the USA Shooting National Championships and now he has the additional confidence boost he was looking for heading into the upcoming World Championships in September.

He earned his first World Cup medal (bronze) in May at the Tucson World Cup and again earned a bronze at the Spanish Grand Prix. The fight he faced (during the week) out at the International Shooting Park might have been just as tough with a plethora of world-class scores being put up.
Perry finished third overall in points at 245 with Stewart and Phillip Jungman (Caldwell) outshooting him at 247 and 246 targets. A win (Friday, Aug. 8) in the finals against Mark Weeks (USAMU/Clinton Township, Michigan) combined with a fourth-place finish (Sunday, Aug. 10) would make up the difference he'd need to force a shoot-out with Stewart who finished fourth and third in each of the finals.

Showcasing Perry's growth and the tough competition present during his second title run, Perry missed 10 shots over 225 targets in 2013 on his way to the title. In 2014, he missed just five targets and still would need a finals win and a shoot-off to capture his second straight victory.
Perry shot 245 out of 250 targets in the four-day competition. He accumulated 5 points in the first final round by winning gold. After a 28-target shoot off to get in the bronze medal match in the second final, he failed to win the bronze medal and was awarded 2 points in the second final.
With overall target and point accumulation of 252, Perry and Stewart were tied and forced to shoot in a sudden death shoot-off. In a rain drenched shoot-off, Perry came out on top to win the National Championship.

"This was the toughest competition I've ever fought in in the States." Perry said after the event concluded. "There were just unbelievable world class scores from everybody. It's really impressive the depth we have in this event with so many people capable of shooting well."

In an Aug. 14 interview with the NRA News-Sportsman Channel, Perry said he began shooting with the Houston County 4-H Shooting Club when he was in the eighth grade.

On Sept. 11, he will fly to Spain to compete in the world championship shooting competition.