(photo by Kevin Watson: Chisum quarterback Matthew Griffith running through the line on homecoming)
For the second week in a row the Chisum Mustangs had a lead in the second quarter. Both games saw that lead evaporate in the frame. And in the end, it was the Mustangs on the wrong side of a 19-18 score.
“When we watched film this week that’s all we watched was the second quarter [from last week] and how it kind of fell apart,” Coach Zack Millsap said after the game. “We got gassed. We started out hot and had the same situation.”
Wolfe City came into the game having put up 60 points in their opener last week against Leonard. This week, the Mustangs defense showed up for homecoming. Despite giving up just over 400 yards of offense to the Wolves, Chisum had the bend but don’t break attitude. They recovered a fumble and had two interceptions in the game.
The biggest defensive play came in the second quarter. Wolfe City got the ball inside the five yard line and a first and goal situation. The Mustang defense shut the door on the next four plays and kept Wolfe City out of the end zone.
“They played really well,” Millsap said about his defense. “We went into it knowing we had to stop the run…..they bought into what we told them all week that we had to stop the run.”
Meanwhile on the other side of the ball, the Mustangs got the scoring going on their first possession. It took one play for Matthew Griffith to run 79 yards for a touchdown. A little later in the first quarter, Jimmy Lewis tacked on a touchdown run of his own. His came from six yards out. Both two point conversions were no good so the Mustangs had a 12-0 lead.
Wolfe City rattled off the next 19 points. Their first touchdown came on a one yard run. The next came on a 44 yard passing play. The Wolves made one of the extra points and enjoyed a 13-12 lead at the halftime break. In the third quarter, Wolfe City added another score. This time it was because of a 38 yard pass. The extra point, once again, was no good.
Chisum had some life and they took advantage. They drove down the field methodically and capped the drive off with a four yard run. Unfortunately for the Mustangs, the two point conversion was no good once again making the score 19-18. That’s how the game would end as neither team would score again.
The Mustangs were led on defense by JImmy Lewis who had 11 tackles.
Offensively the Griffith led the way with 151 rushing yards. He also threw for 49 yards. Lewis had 74 yards rushing.
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North Lamar 27
Big Sandy 7
Valley View 46
Honey Grove 62
Grand Saline 14
Queen City 26
Alba Golden 56
The Prairiland Patriots barely missed the playoffs last season after finishing in a three way tie for fourth place in the district. Second year head coach Herb Smith hopes this season they can get over the hump and find themselves playing in later in November.
Although week one against Big Sandy had no playoff implications at all it was still a great test to see how his team would respond after a grueling month of practicing. And his team responded perfectly as they won their season opener 30-7 over the visiting team.
Having won the coin flip, Prairiland opted to receive the ball to open the game. It didn’t take long either as the Patriots went 45 yards in four plays to open the scoring. The big push coming on a third and 19 from their own 46 yard line. Mason Pusateri took the handoff from quarterback Keeton Kinabrew, darted around the corner and found himself in a foot race to the end zone. Eventually he was tackled at the one yard after a 53 yard gain. Logan Holderness punched it in on the next play.
“The line of scrimmage did a great job,” coach Herb Smith said after the game. “That’s our strength….our guys did a great job blocking down the field.”
Defensively, the Patriots held Big Sandy to a three-and-out on the next possession. It was time for the offense to get back to work. This time Prairiland marched 39 yards on two plays. Unfortunately, though, they coughed the ball up and turned it over via a fumble.
Once again the defense stepped up and forced a punt. And this time the Patriots capitalized. Kardadrion Coulter took the handoff on the first playoff of the drive and went 69 yards to the house for the score. Just like that it was 16-0.
On the next Big Sandy possession, the Patriot defense forced another punt. This time, though, the snap sailed over the punters head and was downed at the 11 yard line. After a couple of negative plays and a penalty the Patriot offense found themselves facing a fourth down and 17 from the 18 yard line of Big Sandy. The offense picked the right time to attempt their first pass of the game. Kinabrew found Luke Rhoades in the end zone for the score.
After Big Sandy got on the board during the next possession the Patriots marched down the field to wind down the clock going into halftime. Not before punching it into the end zone for one final score of the half. This time Kinabrew ran it in from one yard out to get the score.
That was all the scoring the game would see as both teams failed to reach the goal line in the second half. The closest anyone got was Big Sandy. Late in the fourth quarter and the game pretty much over the Wildcats moved the ball 78 yards to the Patriot one yard line. The running back for Big Sandy took the handoff and had the ball stripped away before crossing the goal line. The Patriots recovered in the end zone by John Huff for a touchback.
“Coach Hart and the defensive staff did an unbelievable job with the game plan,” Smith said when asked about the defensive effort. “The kids played hard. They forced fumbles. They tackled well in open space.
PHS: Holderness 1 yard run; Pusateri 2pt conversion; 10:00; 8-0
PHS: Coulter 68 yard run; Pusateri 2pt conversion; 4:21; 16-0
PHS: Rhoades 18 yard catch from Kinebrew; Pusateri 2pt conversion; 11:53; 24-0
BSHS: Francis 20 yard run; Duhart kick; 9:24; 24-7
PHS: Kinabrew 1 yard run; Conversion no good; 0:15; 30-7
Prairiland Offensive Stats:
Coulter: 96 yards, 1 TD;
Holderness: 63 yards, 1 TD;
Pusateri: 58 yards;
Bridges: 33 yards;
Kinabrew: 3 yards, 1 TD;
Gordon: 2 yards
Kinabrew: 2-3-0, 52 yards, 1 TD
Holderness: 39 yards;
Rhoades 13 yards, 1 TD
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(Photo by Joe Watson)
The North Lamar Panthers open their season tonight at home against Ranchview. It’s the third season under head coach Brenton Whitaker. Although the team has only managed four wins in the first two seasons, the progression has moved forward for Whitaker and his staff. After only winning one game in his first year, North Lamar won three games last season including their first district win since 2019.
I had a chance to sit down and talk with coach Whitaker earlier this week to get his thoughts on the upcoming season. Here’s that interview.
Greg Higgins: Talk about two-a-days, practicing and how you feel the team is progressing so far this year.
Whitaker: It’s really exciting to see, being the third year here and having the consistency in the schemes. It’s really starting to take hold amongst the kids. You can really start seeing that progression.
We got Ranchview this week and they scrimmaged a flex bone team in their first scrimmage. It’s their first year putting the offense in and I can remember what it was like for us our first year here. They looked similar to it. So it’s really cool to see that progression from year one to now and how kids are really taking hold and buying into it and the progress that you make. And the cool thing is is now we get to nitpick on little things versus just wondering like is this even possible is it going to happen.
GH: Were there any students that surprised you during camp this year?
BW: I think you always have a couple surprises. One of our biggest surprises was Tyler Silva. He is a sophomore. We knew going into the summer that he was kind of one of those bubble kids. He could be on JV or he could be on varsity. And he does a lot of soccer camps. He’s really involved in band so he does band camps over the summer so we didn’t see him much. Then he showed up to get equipment and he somehow gained like 20 pounds. Seem like he grew a couple of inches. He walked through the door and we were like oh my gosh who is this kid. So that was a pleasant surprise. He has come out and his play has matched his physical growth. So that’s been a really good surprise for us.
Another sophomore, Dalton Nichols, who moved in October of last year as a freshman and he was one of those kids that we knew could be a Friday night guy. Could be a Thursday night guy. And he really showed up in the first two scrimmages, where he really earned his way into a varsity spot. His play on the field just surprised the heck out of the entire staff. And we knew he was definitely a Friday night guy for us.
We’ve had a couple of other surprises. Cory Fouse has come in and played really, really well. He surprised us with his growth and maturity over the summer with what he’s been able to do. All of these juniors were on JV last year with the exception of a couple of them and so we had high hopes for them and its nice to see a lot of them stepping into those roles and being exactly what we wanted them to be.
GH: Did anything standout from the two scrimmages that you had? Positive or negative?
BW: Let’s see. If I go back to the Farmersville scrimmage, we had a lot of quarterback exchange issues. That was resolved from scrimmage one to scrimmage two. And I think that was just because you got two centers that have never lined up against varsity competition and getting used to a new quarterback with Blake [Hildreth] not having taken snaps from them under a live game situation yet. Those are always little speed bumps that you’re expecting.
Defensively the way we flew around and we were tackling really well. And our effort. That’s been a big improvement from last year to this year.
Then we went to Quinlan and our snaps got better but our D-backs had an issue with fumbling the ball. So there’s always gonna be some negatives. Something you have to improve on. The one thing that really stuck out to me at Quinlan. You know my first two years here when we scrimmaged them, they just physically abused us. They did. They overpowered us and they kind of pushed us around. Up one side and down the other. Both sides of the ball. And this year was the first time we answered the bell physically and we were able to punch them back. It was the best we had played them in my three years here. Seeing that progression, and again, seeing that the kids are buying into it and kind of taking ownership of it. You can tell that what we’re trying to build here is really starting to sink in.
GH: You mentioned Blake. Last year we saw him kind of take off from the beginning of the year to the end of the year. He took on that quarterback leadership role and really stepped into that. What have you seen so far this year to show that he’s going to be able to take that next step and keep the progression going?
BW: I think for him it is his leadership. Growing up he was always more athletic than those kids around him so he was always playing up and playing with older kids. So he never had to be that vocal leader. He was always a watch me work guy. I feel like this year he has kind of stepped into that vocal leadership role to match his play. That’s going to be big time for us.
Also, another year of familiarity in the offense. Being the quarterback and running the show. You can tell his progression. In his confidence in his reads and his steps. Throwing the ball. All of those things have improved tremendously. You know we had a bell cow in Quay Mason last year that we got to rely on at fullback. And he graduated, so now we have a bevy off fullbacks but we have that mainstay at quarterback. And Blake can kind of get things going for us. We’re excited for it.
GH: Obviously the heat has been ridiculous with all these days in a row over a 100 degrees. What are some things that you guys have had to do to help combat the heat while still trying to get ready to play football?
BW: That’s been a big conversation around here. We have a varsity roster of 30 kids. It’s a little lighter than we would like but that’s what we have. Our big discussion throughout the summer, because we knew it was going to be that way…was how can we get the kids ready in the least amount of time required. For that very reason. Because on Friday night, we need them to be as fresh as they can be. So for fall camp we kind of just ran them through our normal course and kind of grind on them a little bit. Make them sweat it out and make them earn it a little bit.
Then going into this week, our athletic director Jay Cline had a great idea. We have them coming in a little early so actually we’re doing an hour of practice in the morning in the indoor with the fans on. So then in the afternoon it’s only an hour and a half outside. That alone has been a huge difference. I think our kids are really gonna be a lot more fresh and ready to go for Friday because they’re not spending two and a half hours outside in that ridiculous heat.
That’s one way we’re doing it. The other way is just preaching on them about being hydrated. And that hydration doesn’t start the night before a game. It started on Monday. So getting those things going to try and get them to understand that. I’m hoping that will mitigate some of those issues on Friday.
GH Probably helps that you’re at home on Friday and not traveling two and a half hours on a bus.
BW: That and everyone wants to complain about us being on a grass field. But being on natural grass when it’s 105 is a heck of a lot nicer than being on turf. You know that turf will 10 to 15 degrees in a hurry. I’ve seen it melt cleats just getting out there for warmups. Defintely being at home and in our environment and being comfortable will be a big help to us.
GH: Talking about this upcoming season. Coming off a season where you went 3-7 and won the first district win in several season. What does a successful season look like for you this year?
BW: That’s always a loaded question and you get that a lot. You hate to put a number of wins as a success because you never know what’s going to happen throughout the season. We only have 30 on varsity so you get a couple of bad injuries and we’re in a bad spot.
I think the biggest thing is if you see the culture we’re trying to instill start to take over. Which we’re seeing and you’re seeing. The juniors play out of respect for the seniors that have been here and are earning their stripes. And trying to leave this place more successful than they found it. Those are the things we look for to deem whether it’s a successful season or not.
I truly believe that if we can stay healthy and we get a little luck, that that we can definitely compete with just about everybody on our on our schedule. If we can do those things and we can make every week just a grind game, and make some people put on alert that North Lamar is different than it was in the past. That’s what’s gonna make me think this was successful.
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(Logan Dority getting ready to serve against Prairiland Tuesday night)
By Greg Higgins
Coming into Tuesday’s game, both the Prairiland Lady Patriots and North Lamar Pantherettes were hoping to prove something. If not to anyone else, at least to themselves.
For the Lady Patriots, it’s about proving they’re heading in the right direction. For North Lamar, it’s about proving they can make a run for a district title and a deep playoff run.
With both teams having things to prove, both teams played like it; sending the game to five sets with North Lamar eventually coming out on top (18-25, 25-17, 25-16, 23-26, 15-6).
The first set saw Prairiland jump out early. Defensively, the team was all over the court. That style continued the whole game as the Lady Pats totaled 92 digs in the game. Five different players had at least 10 digs in the game, being led by Lanna Riney with 22.
“I want to look at the stats and see how many digs we had,” Prairiland head coach Brandon Oats said after the game. “Our defense was good tonight. It was one of our better efforts. It shows we need to play defense to make things run and we did tonight.”
On the other side, North Lamar finished with 116 total digs as a team. They were led by Zoey Figueroa and her 41 digs. Logan Dority added 11 digs to go with 34 assists, eight kills and a block.
“This was our game to win and we had to put everything out there and reduce our mistakes,” Dority said after the game.
Stats for Prairiland:
Lana Riney: 22 digs, 1 assist
Reese White: 32 assists, 12 digs
Jasmine Elrod: 5 digs, 1 block
Maebry Parris: 10 kills, 10 digs
Ryleigh Sims: 9 kills, 2 blocks, 21 digs
Addi Bettis: 11 kills, 1 block, 18 digs
Aubree Phillips: 1 block
Skylar Johnson: 5 kills, 1 block, 4 digs
Stats for North Lamar:
Emery Reeves: 7 digs
Roselyn Spencer: 5 kills, 6 assists, 2 digs, 2 blocks
Zoey Figueroa: 1 ace, 2 kills, 8 assists, 41 digs
Claire Emeyabbi: 1 ace, 76 assists, 12 digs
Libby Jones: 1 ace, 7 kills, 3 assists, Logan Dority: 11 digs, 34 assists, 8 kills, 1 block
Lane Alexa: 3 kills, 1 assist, 1 dig
Lauren Dority: 2 kills, 4 assists, 10 digs, 1 block
Natalie Washington: 1 dig,
Lilly Stewart: 2 aces, 1 assist, 3 digs,
Theari Dorsey: 2 kills, 1 assist, 3 digs,
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Congratulations to the Chisum Lady Mustangs volleyball team. They beat Brook Hill 25-20 and 25-17 in the championship game to win the North Hopkins Tournament.
(Photo by Joe Watson)
North Lamar senior Libby Jones trying to push the ball across the net Tuesday against Texas High.
Coming into Tuesday’s game with Texas High, the North Lamar Pantherettes had a record of 7-2. Looking to build on the success they saw at the Tyler Tournament over the weekend, North Lamar welcomed a 5A team to Lamar County. Just like last a year ago when these two teams played, they needed five sets to determine the outcome. This time it was the visitors walking away the victory 25-22, 13-25, 25-18, 16-25, 7-15.
The first set went back-and-forth with the largest lead being five once time by North Lamar (13-8). That lead quickly evaporated though as Texas High scored six straight points. North Lamar eventually regained control of the set before winning 25-22.
The second set was a different story, however. After taking a 1-0 lead, North Lamar watched the visiting team rattle off 14 of the next 16 points to jump out 14-3. Every time the Pantherettes had, what appeared to be, a kill for a point Texas High’s defense would make a play to save the rally and get the point.
Set three almost mirrored set one for North Lamar. The difference being North Lamar took control of the match early and maintained a six to eight point advantage for most of the set. It was Libby Jones that got the rally going from the service line. With the game tied at five, Jones served six straight times for North Lamar.
Unfortunately for North Lamar, sets four and five were too reminiscent of set two. Texas High’s scrappy defense proved to be the difference maker as they won both sets rather easily.
Here are the stats for North Lamar:
Logan Dority: 6 kills, 2 blocks
Lauren Dority: 7 kills, 2 blocks
Natalie Washington: 3 kills, 2 blocks
Libby Jones: 8 kills, 4 blocks
Roselyn Spencer: 5 kills,
Tonight’s volleyball action in the RRV:
Texas High at North Lamar
Van Alstyne at Paris High
Hooks at Chisum
Cumby at Prairiland
James Bowie at Detroit
CHAAMP at Clarksville
Thursday’s Volleyball Results:
Paris High went 1-1 in Sulphur Springs. They beat Grand Saline but lost to Farmersville.
North Lamar went 3-0 in Tyler. They beat Jacksonville, Center and Tyler High.
Detroit beat Sam Rayburn, Yantis, and Savoy in their own tournament.
Prairiland lost to Wills Point and beat Sulphur Bluff in Sulphur Springs.
And at the Chisum tournament, Chisum beat Rivercrest, Leonard and Atlanta in pool play.
Games for Friday
North Lamar at the Tyler Tournament
Paris at the Sulphur Springs Tournament
Prairiland at the Sulphur Springs Tournament
Detroit at Daingerfield
Maud at Clarksville
Farmersville at North Lamar
Chisum at Cooper
North Lamar at the Tyler Tournament
Paris at the Sulphur Springs Tournament
Prairiland at the Sulphur Springs Tournament
Chisum hosting the Chisum Tournament
Detroit Hosting the Detroit Tournament
Clarksville at the Detroit Tournament
Whitehouse at Paris (Scrimmage)
Tioga at Prairiland (Scrimmage)
(Photo by Joe Watson)
The first night of volleyball in the Red River Valley happened last night.
Paris High went on the road and defeated Denison in three sets (26-24, 25-23, 25-13). Jayla Jones finished the game with eight kills for the Lady Cats. Elizabeth Harper finished with 15 assists while Lynna Martin had nine assists. Here are the rest of the stats for Paris:
Jayla Jones - 8 kills, 4 blocks
Makya High - 7 kills, 6 blocks, 2 digs
Kiera Martin - 5 kills, 2 aces, 8 digs
Elizabeth Harper - 4 kills, 15 assists, 8 digs, 5 blocks
Kailah Ethridge - 3 kills, 1 block
Annie Gibbons - 1 kill, 2 aces, 4 digs, 1 block
Anaiyah Peavler - 1 kill
Mackenzie Martin - 9 digs
Detroit beat Ore City in three sets (25-13, 25-12, 25-5). Clara Carpenter finished with 11 kills. Ava Sessums had 14 assists to lead Detrot. The JV also beat Ore City 25-7, 25-14. Here are the rest of the stats for Detroit:
Clara Carpenter - 11 Kills, 3 digs, 1 block
Ava Sessums - 3 kills, 14 assist, 7 aces
Madison Allensworth - 4 kills, 5 assist
Kayleigh Griggs - 1 kill, 5 aces
Cheyenne Snodgrass - 4 kills, 2 aces
Payton Bailey - 3 kills, 1 ace
Shyann Dotson - 1 kill, 3d
Chisum beat DeKalb in three sets (25-13, 25-20, 25-15)
North Lamar beat Sherman in five sets.
Prairiland lost to Caddo Mills and Royce City. Both in three sets.
Volleyball games kick off tonight. Here’s a list of games going on for 8/8:
Sherman @ North Lamar
Paris @ Denison
Chiusum @ DeKalb
Prairiland @ Royse City vs Caddo Mills/Royse City
Detroit @ Ore City
Clarksville @ Yantis
North Lamar Football Teams Beat the Heat with Water Slides and Celebrate the End of First Week of Practice
Front left: Trail Wilkins
Front Right: Parker Scott
Back Left: Aiden Adamson
Back Right: Parker Wideman
The North Lamar football teams came up with a creative way to cool off from the scorching 100+ degree weather as they celebrated the end of their first week of practice. The players enjoyed a thrilling day with water slides, making the most of their well-deserved break.
Members of the school board and booster club generously served hot dogs and hamburgers to the players, further adding to the festive atmosphere of the event. The delicious meal provided the much-needed energy boost for the athletes after a week of intense training.
As the season approaches, the teams are gearing up for two important scrimmages before their official kick-off. These practice matches will be essential in fine-tuning their skills and strategies for the upcoming season.
“We’ve been working since December to improve for this upcoming season. I’m excited for the school district and community to see that improvement in action. The retention both offensively and defensively from spring to now is better than I expected. I’m ready to see what kind of product we can put in the field.” says Head Football Coach Brenton Whitaker.
Mark your calendars for their first game, as well as Senior Night, on August 25, where North Lamar will honor the senior players for their dedication and commitment to the North Lamar football program. It promises to be a memorable event filled with heartfelt celebrations and recognition. North Lamar football teams are excited to showcase their hard work and determination throughout the season. Fans and supporters are encouraged to come out in full force to cheer on their beloved teams.
Football and volleyball start tomorrow in the area. Good luck to everyone!
Below is the information for Paris High volleyball tryouts:
(Photo by Joe Watson)
The North Lamar Pantherettes are Area Round champions after a dominating performance Friday night over Kaufman. North Lamar scored the first nine points of the game en route to a 52-31 win.
Once again the defense was on point as well. Kaufman only managed one point in the first quarter. It wasn’t until the game was 10 minutes old before they made their first field goal.
Meanwhile North Lamar put up 15 points in the first quarter. Four of the five starters scored in that opening quarter. The second quarter was the only down quarter for the Pantherettes as they were outscored 12-10.
After both teams traded baskets in the third quarter, North Lamar put the an exclamation point on the game in the fourth quarter. Going into the final frame, North Lamar led 36-24. Like they did in the first quarter, the Pantherettes scored the first nine points of the quarter to blow the game open at 45-24.
Scoring for North Lamar:
Allee Andrews - 1
Cydnie Malone - 14
Alexa Lane - 2
Hannah Kent - 2
Roselyn Spencer - 14
Maddie Walters - 10 Heavenly Johnson - 8
North Lamar will play Dallas Pinskston in the Regional Quarterfinal
(Three Paris Junior College players were chosen to compete in the Texas New Mexico Junior College All Star Game this weekend. Shown from left are Mason Hardwick, Barrett Riebock and Dylan Crooks.)
Three Paris Junior College players earned the honor of participating in the Texas-New Mexico Junior College Baseball Coaches Association All-Star game taking place Sept. 23-24 at Dallas Baptist University.
Sophomores Dylan Crooks of Euless, Mason Hardwick of North Richland Hills, and Barrett Riebock of Rockwall will compete with from some 40 colleges. Crooks and Hardwick are pitchers and Riebock is an outfielder.
“We’re extremely proud to have Barrett, Mason and Dylan represent us this weekend at the Texas-New Mexico JCBCA All-Star Game,” said PJC Baseball Coach Clay Cox. “It’s a testament to their hard work and success on the field last season. This event brings together some of the best players across Region V and XIV and we look forward to seeing them compete and represent Dragon baseball and PJC.”
Dragons baseball had one of their most successful seasons last spring, ending as 2022 National Junior College Athletic Association Region XIV - North Regional Baseball Champions. Coach Cox was named NJCAA Region XIV Conference Coach of the Year and Region XIV Coach of the Year.
Hardwick was named All Conference Honorable Mention Pitcher and Riebock earned All-Conference First Team Outfield and All-Region XIV First Team Outfield honors. Riebock was also on of nine players nationally named to 2022 NJCAA Division I Baseball Gold Glove Team. Winners of the American Baseball Coaches Association/Rawlings Gold Glove Awards® are determined by the NJCAA Division I Baseball Committee.
The Dragons next home appearance is against Brookhaven College starting at noon on Monday, Sept. 26 at Hub Hollis Field in the Barney Bray Sports Complex.
School hasn’t quite started but volleyball has. Here are the results from Tuesday. These are the results that we have been given.
Prairiland over Hughes Springs 3-0 (25-17, 25-22, 25-9)
Texas High over North Lamar 0-3
Van Alstyne over Paris 0-3 Chisum defeated Hooks 3-0 (25-13, 25-14, 25-12)
Miller Grove beat Rivercrest
Detroit over Dodd City 3-0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-19)