Oct

12

Posted by : admin | On : October 12, 2017

The News Staff Reports
VAN–For one half of football Friday, the Athens Hornets gave state-ranked Van a scare.
In the second half, the Vandals responded as they left Van Memorial Stadium with a 56-38 victory over the Athens Hornets.
“I am very proud of our kids. If you were at the game, you saw a group of Hornets that played their hearts out,” Athens coach Paul Essary said. “We improved in some areas, and got some areas we have to improve. They exposed some weaknesses that we have got to get corrected before next week. Overall, I am pleased with the effort and intensity, class and character that we showed.”
Van is the No. 9-ranked team in Class 3A in the Associated Press football poll. The Vandals are 6-0 and 2-0 in District 8-4A, Division I play.
The Athens Hornets are 2-4 overall. They are 1-0 in district play following a 35-7 victory over the Mabank Panthers last week.
Athens returns to action Oct. 13 hosting the Kaufman Lions for Pink Out Night. The Vandals return to action next week at Brownsboro.
In the loss to Brownsboro, Athens scored the opening touchdown of the game as Xavius Fulton capped off a nine-minute drive with a five-yard run. The Hornets went for two as Jordan Mayhall scored for the 8-0 lead.
Van responded back as Garrett Moseley scored on a one-yard run. Calen McKinney booted the PAT good with 11:56 remaining in the first half.
Athens put together another strong drive as Fulton scored his second touchdown of the game on a one-yard run. Dakota Anderson booted the PAT good for the 15-7 lead.
Van showed off its explosive passing game as Gus Brewer hauled in a 27-yard pass from Moseley to cut the deficit to 15-14 with 8:41 remaining.
But once again, Athens responded right back as Fulton found tight end Rowdy Godwin wide open for a 29-yard touchdown. The score gave Athens a 22-14 lead with 7:59 remaining.
Van then scored the final 14 points of the first half on two long pass plays. Brewer hauled in a 41-yard reception with 5:40 remaining. Elijah Rankine then wrapped up the scoring with a 60-yard reception for the 28-22 halftime lead.
Van had the first four touchdowns of the second half on a 71-yard reception from Moseley to Bray Doring, an 8-yard reception from Moseley to Doring, a 14-yard run by Moseley and a 67-yard reception from Liam Nelson to Brewer for the 56-22 lead.
Athens capped off the scoring with a 53-yard touchdown run by Andrew McBride and a two-yard run by Mayhall.
The Hornets had two-point conversions on a pass play from McBride to Gary Lyons, and a McBride run.
“We shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times in getting some penalties. Defensively, we gave up some big pass plays, and we can’t do that,” Essary said. “We can’t give those plays up, and the quarterback is good and made the right decision at times. The receivers ran great routes, and they are the No. 6-ranked team in the Harris Poll for a reason. But I think this showed we are a good ball club as well.
“With the overall team effort, we executed pretty good tonight. We have to get better before next week.”

Oct

12

Posted by : admin | On : October 12, 2017

DSC_0016 CMYK
By Bodey Cooper
The News Staff Writer
MALAKOFF–The Malakoff Tigers kept their winning streak going Oct. 6 as they defeated the Groesbeck Goats on homecoming night.
The Tigers came into the game on a four-game winning streak, including winning their first district contest against Whitney Sept. 29.
The Tigers dominated the first two quarters, taking a 21-0 lead into halftime.
They tacked on that same amount in just 12 minutes in the third quarter, bringing a 42-0 lead into the fourth quarter.
The Tigers were outscored 14-7 by the Goats in the fourth quarter, but the Tigers won their homecoming game by a resounding score of 49-14.
They held the Goats to 290 total yards of offense while tying for most points in a game this season. The only other time the team has scored 49 points was in a win over Tyler Grace Sept. 22.
The loss drops the Goats to 3-2 overall with a 1-1 district record.
The Tigers remain perfect this season at 5-0, including a 2-0 record in district play.
They sit tied atop the 3A-1 Region III District 9 standings with West as the only teams to start district 2-0. The Tigers are the only team with an overall perfect record, with West and Whitney sitting at 4-1.
The Tigers head off on the road as they face the Eustace Bulldogs (3-2, 0-2 district) Friday, Oct. 13.

Oct

12

Posted by : admin | On : October 12, 2017

Bryce Cook (left) and Tyler Spillman

Bryce Cook (left) and Tyler Spillman

By Bodey Cooper
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–The Trinity Valley Community College football team is mourning the deaths of two Cardinal players who were killed in a head-on crash Monday morning.
Freshmen Tyler Spillman and Bruce Cook were heading back to Athens early Monday morning when they collided head-on with an 18-wheeler.
According to the Department of Public Safety, the wreck happened on FM 488 around 3:45 a.m. north of the Fairfield area. They had been in the Houston area and left around midnight. They both had a team meeting at 9 a.m. Monday morning, followed by practice at 10:45 a.m., according to their coach, Brad Smiley. Players were allowed to go home that weekend since they had an open date on the schedule, he added.
Spillman and Cook were traveling northbound on FM 488 in Freestone County, approximately one-and-a-half miles north of FM 416, when their vehicle crossed the center median and into the path of a southbound 18-wheeler tanker truck which burst into flames upon being struck head-on, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The driver of the 18-wheeler was taken to Navarro County Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.
Spillman and Cook were pronounced dead at the scene.
For the year, Spillman had five tackles and 1.5 sacks as a defensive lineman. Cook had five tackles, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one pass broken up.
Both young men were from Spring. Spillman graduated from Klein Collins High School and Cook graduated from Westfield High School.
TVCC released a statement on their Facebook page remembering both players and what they meant to the team as well as the campus.
“We are saddened by the news that Cardinal football players Bryce Cook and Tyler Spillman have passed away. Their leadership on our football team and overall presence on our campus will be sorely missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bryce’s and Tyler’s families, friends and teammates during this difficult time.”

Oct

05

Posted by : admin | On : October 5, 2017

IMG_4666 Athens FB #20 CMYK

By Bodey Cooper
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–The Athens Hornets made the most of their homecoming night with a big victory over the visiting Mabank Panthers.
In each team’s first district game of the season, the Hornets defense shut down the Panthers, and the offense didn’t take a break either.
The Hornets’ defense prevented the Panthers from getting a first down on their first two possessions of the first quarter.
After a punt by the Panthers, the Hornets took over on their own 35-yard line.
The Hornets finished off the 65-yard drive with a two-yard rushing touchdown by quarterback Xavius Fulton with 6:53 remaining to give the Hornets a 7-0 lead.
One main area that the Panthers struggled with was punt and kickoff returns, which the Hornets took advantage of late in the first quarter.
With the Hornets punting, the Panthers returner fumbled the ball, allowing junior Quintavian Gardner to make the recovery, giving the Hornets good field position late.
Once again, Fulton made the Panthers pay with a three-yard rushing touchdown with :08 left to give the Hornets a 14-0 lead heading into the second quarter.
The Panthers’ defense took advantage of one of the few mistakes Fulton made with an interception by Marcos Gallegos to give the Panthers possession on their own 34-yard line.
The Panthers tried to put together a late offensive drive, but were unable to progress as the Hornets’ defense stopped them on fourth down and took over on their own 42-yard line.
After a Panthers timeout, Athens wide receiver Jordan Mayhall put together a big 35-yard run to get the Hornets within scoring distance late in the first half.
The Hornets took their timeout late with :13 remaining in the second quarter to discuss strategy on the upcoming play.
The drive was once again finished off by Fulton on a 12-yard rush to give the Hornets a 21-0 lead with :04 left, a lead they would take into halftime.
The Hornets struck just 2:57 into the second half on an eight-yard rushing touchdown by running back Nathan Sims to push the Hornets’ lead to 28-0 over the Panthers.
The Hornets added on late with 3:28 left on a big 42-yard touchdown by Fulton to make it 35-0 Hornets in the third quarter.
The Panthers finally broke through the Hornets’ defense :39 into the fourth quarter on a three-yard rushing touchdown by wide receiver Chaseon Parks. That would be the only points the Hornets would allow as they finished off homecoming night with a 35-7 victory.
Afterwards, Hornets Head Coach Paul Essary discussed how important that first district win was for his team.
“It’s big to get a win at all more than anything,” Essary said. “The first step to the state playoffs is to win that first district game. This is a tough district and it’s an exciting district.”
Essary also said the play of quarterback Xavius Fulton, as well as other members, has been important for this Hornets team, not just against the Panthers, but all year.
“He’s the leader, he’s got to go in there and perform,” said Essary of Fulton. “I thought the offensive line played well and I thought the running backs played well and the receivers blocked exceptionally.”
The defense shut down the Panthers all night, and allowed only seven points while making key plays throughout.
“I thought they played lights out the first half, and even in the second half,” stated Essary. “It doesn’t matter whether you’re up 28 or down 28, you got to come out ready to play. It doesn’t matter what the score is, you have to come out and play ever play as hard as you can.”
Essary said he and the team will celebrate the win, but then it’s right back to work to prepare for their next district contest against Van.
“I’ll let the team enjoy it, and we’ll go over the film and fix some mistakes,” Essary said. “By the time the kids see the film, the coaches and I will have already seen it twice, and we’ll get prepared for our next opponent.”
The loss drops the Panthers to 1-4 overall and 0-1 in district play. The Hornets move to 2-3 overall, but they now are 1-0 to start their district schedule.
The Hornets face the red-hot Van Vandals (5-0) on the road, who come in undefeated with a district win already under their belt.

Oct

05

Posted by : admin | On : October 5, 2017

By Bodey Cooper
The News Staff Writer
WHITNEY–The Malakoff Tigers kept their undefeated record intact with a road victory over their district rival Whitney Wildcats Sept. 29.
With the game tied 7-7 early, the Tigers struck with a long passing play by quarterback Judd Miller.
Zee Bailey made the 52-yard reception to give the Panthers a 13-7 lead.
The Tigers then pounced on one of many mistakes made by the Wildcats’ offense. Sophomore defensive end R.J. Carr intercepted a pass and ran it back 44 yards for a touchdown to give the Tigers a 19-7 lead.
The long passes from Miller continued as he connected with wide receiver Ethan Snow on a 46-yard touchdown pass on second down to push the Tigers’ lead to 25-7.
The Tigers converted late on a red zone opportunity as Kederrius Thomas picked up a five-yard receiving touchdown on third and goal to push the Tigers to a 39-7 win over the Wildcats.
The Tigers were impressive on third down against the Wildcats, finishing the night 5/10 on third down attempts.
Their defense forced four turnovers from the Wildcats, including one fumble and three interceptions.
The Tigers’ offense finished the contest with 209 passing yards and 138 rushing yards for a total of 347 yards.
The loss was the first of the year for the Wildcats, dropping them to 3-1 overall, and 0-1 as they begin district play.
This was the first district game as well for the Tigers, who pushed their district record to 1-0 and their overall record remains perfect at 4-0.
The Tigers will host the Groesbeck Goats (3-1) in their second district game of 2017 Oct. 6 at 7:30 p.m.

Sep

28

Posted by : admin | On : September 28, 2017

DSC_0006 Malakoff FB #8 CMYK

By Bodey Cooper
The News Staff Writer
TYLER–The Malakoff Tigers escaped Tyler with a victory over the Tyler Grace Community Cougars Sept. 22 to remain undefeated in 2017.
After going down 7-0 early in the first quarter, the Tigers struck back quickly.
After the touchdown by the Cougars, Tigers’ senior wide receiver Adonia Dixon-Thomas returned the kickoff about 100 yards for a touchdown.
The Cougars would tack on another touchdown and head into the second quarter with a 13-6 lead.
After falling behind 20-6 early in the second quarter, the Tigers responded back on a great pass by senior quarterback Judd Miller. Senior running back Zee Bailey made the 33-yard reception for a touchdown and cut the Cougars’ lead to 20-13 at halftime.
Both teams traded blows in the second half, with the Tigers and Cougars scoring more in the third quarter than they did in the first half combined.
The Cougars put up 14 points in the third quarter, while the Tigers added another 20 points to their total.
This quarter included an impressive 70-yard rushing touchdown by the Tigers’ Miller on a third down and three. Sophomore wide receiver Andreas Garrett also had a 29-yd receiving touchdown in the third quarter for the Tigers.
The Cougars had 27 points in the second half. Meanwhile, the Tigers exploded for 36 points to take the 49-47 victory on the road.
Bailey led the way for the Tigers with 13 carries for 142 yards, including one receiving touchdown.
Miller also did well with 11 carries for 92 yards, 70 of which came on his rushing touchdown in the third quarter.
The win pushes the Tigers to 3-0 in the pre-district part of their schedule. The Cougars dropped to 1-3 on the season.
The Tigers head to Whitney Sept. 29 to face the undefeated Wildcats (3-0) at 7:30 p.m. This will be both teams’ first district matchup of the season.

Sep

28

Posted by : admin | On : September 28, 2017

IMG_2222 Athens FB #37 CYMK

Special to The News
ROBINSON–The Athens Hornets head into the District 8-4A, Division 1 opener on a three-game losing streak.
Robinson walked out of its homecoming game with a 34-20 victory Sept. 22 at Rocket Field.
Athens (1-3) had four turnovers in the contest, which head coach Paul Essary said was the defining moment of the game.
“The four turnovers killed us on offense tonight,” Essary said. “Those were effort turnovers with running with the football and running hard. Waco Robinson was stripping the football, and they did a good job of stripping the football. I don’t think they ever stopped us as much as we stopped ourselves.”
Robinson (1-3) jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first 14 minutes of the game. The first touchdown came with 7:08 remaining in the first quarter.
Rockets running back Isaiah Houston had a six-yard run as Adrian Ceballos booted the PAT good for the 7-0 lead.
The second touchdown came with 3:17 remaining in the opening quarter. Quarterback Mason Cooper found Houston on a 54-yard pitch and catch for the 14-0 lead.
The final touchdown came with 10:12 remaining in the second quarter. Cooper found Noah Richard for the 19-yard touchdown and a 21-0 lead.
“We spot them 21-0, which is starting to look like a habit,” Essary said. “We are giving up some big plays, and things that we just have to concentrate on. We have to continue to work.”
Athens added its first touchdown with 2:25 remaining in the half as freshman Nathan Sims had a 35-yard run for the score. Dakota Anderson picked up the extra point to cut the deficit to 21-7 at halftime.
Sims finished the night with 165 yards rushing and one touchdown.
“The inside run game was good tonight,” Essary said. “We could tell early that they were going to try and take away our outside run. They wanted to control Xavius Fulton, which opened up some inside run. Down the stretch, we started catching the football, but it was a little late. We started moving the football, and we will get better.”
In the third quarter, Cooper once again found Richard on a 23-yard touchdown with 4:24 remaining to give Robinson a 28-7 lead.
Richard then scored his third touchdown of the night on a 45-yard touchdown for the 34-7 lead with 10:50 remaining in the game.
Athens scored the final 13 points of the game. Rhejhi Sherfield had a 65-yard interception return for a touchdown with 4:28 remaining for the 34-14 deficit.
Fulton then scored the final touchdown with 47 seconds remaining on a one-yard run.
Athens returns to action Friday as they host the Mabank Panthers for homecoming at Bruce Field. Mabank was a 35-14 winner over Ferris at home.
“We are playing Mabank, but the real thing is I am worried about the Athens Hornets,” Essary said. “I am wanting to get our kids focused and ready to play on our homecoming. Everybody wants to win that first district game. Next week starts district, which is a brand-new season. Whether you are 0-4, 4-0 or 1-3, it is a new season. Everything starts over next week for District 8-4A.”

Sep

21

Posted by : admin | On : September 21, 2017

Malakoff Elementary School Principal Ronny Snow (back row,sixth from right) stands with representatives from Dr. E. R. Richter Elementary School and members of the National Guard who helped unload the trailer full of needed supplies Sept. 6.

Malakoff Elementary School Principal Ronny Snow (back row,sixth from right) stands with representatives from Dr. E. R. Richter Elementary School and members of the National Guard who helped unload the trailer full of needed supplies Sept. 6.


By Denise York
The News Staff Writer
MALAKOFF–Malakoff Elementary School Principal Ronny Snow drove the band trailer filled with cleaning supplies and needed items nearly 200 miles to Dr. E. R. Richter Elementary School in Dayton. He explained this as part of his principal’s report at the school board meeting Monday.
In an effort to provide immediate relief to fellow Texans suffering from the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey, Snow set out to help the school whose families were hard hit by the storm’s flooding. The community had more than 50 inches of rain during the event and although the school itself was not flooded, many area families lost everything to the flood waters.
Snow found all this out on a Google Doc circulated by Assistant Superintendent Sybil Norris. Snow adopted Richter on the “Principals Helping Principals” document and turned to his school community for help in meeting the needs. Snow told trustees, “We put the call out on Thursday and people dropped things off on Friday, Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday after school, we loaded up and headed southeast.” The Parent Teacher Organization helped with 200 brand new shirts in needed sizes, purple which is the school color at Richter.
The trailer, filled with basic cleaning supplies, clothes with the tags still on them – sized and boxed, shoes, water, Gatorade, non-perishable food, backpacks with school supplies in them and much more, was unloaded at the site with help from the National Guard. Snow said he was proud of his community and proud to be a Texan.
But that is not all. Superintendent Randy Perry announced during his report that the school district adopted Dickinson ISD, a larger district than Malakoff, but still a one high school town, Perry said. Dickinson is located on the coast between Kemah and Texas City. Perry told the group, “They have enough clothes and stuff. What they really need is money and gift cards so people can get what they need.” The middle school has already held a dance which raised $1,000 for the effort.
In other business, trustees:
• heard that Mickey Smith has earned the designation of Certified Texas School Business Official
• reviewed ACT scores which are significantly improved, over 20 percent better than state average. Principal Brumit said his goal is to have 50 percent of his seniors pass the ACT.
• heard the high school plans to hold a FAFSA night Oct. 16 for parents of seniors to assist them in applying for financial aid for their students
• agreed to continue to retain Walsh Gallegos Legal Services for the district
• heard quarterly and annual financial investment reports
• nominated Phil Tucker to Place 4 for the Resolution Henderson County Appraisal District Board of Directors
• heard enrollment is 1390 with 311 transfers, 89 of which are new transfers.

Sep

21

Posted by : admin | On : September 21, 2017

IMG_2208 Athens FB #8 Xavius Fulton CMYK

Special to The News
RED OAK–The Athens Hornets were looking to play a homecoming spoiler Friday in their first road test of the year against a Class 5A opponent.
In the end, Red Oak (2-1) beat Athens, 28-20, to improve to 2-1 with their second straight victory. Red Oak defeated Arlington Heights in overtime last week.
“I was real thrilled with the way we fought,” Athens coach Paul Essary said. “Red Oak is a good Class 5A football team. They won one in overtime against Arlington Heights, which is picked to win their district. We almost took them to overtime, but it was just one play here and there. I am really excited about our future. I really believe our future is bright.”
The contest was Red Oak’s homecoming game at Billy Goodloe Stadium.
Athens returns to action Friday as they travel to Waco Robinson to face the Rockets. The contest is homecoming for the Rockets with kickoff scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
“I am excited because I know Robinson will have a big crowd,” Athens coach Paul Essary said. “We like to play and coach in front of a big crowd. They better be ready because we are going to be better next week. I don’t know anything about them and have not seen them on film. I am just worried about the Athens Hornets right now.”
Essary said the coaches and players will watch the film early this week, and get ready for another homecoming showdown.
“You have to regroup and we will watch film, and see what we did good and exciting and things that we have to correct,” Essary said. “We got some things corrected last week that we did better on tonight. We will keep going and I am excited for the future.”
Last year, the Hawks doubled up the Hornets with a 42-21 victory at Bruce Field.
In the first half, Red Oak scored three touchdowns with the first coming at 6:13 in the first quarter. Carson Forbes found Hunter Smith with a 23-yard reception. Nicholas Alvarado tacked on the extra point afterward.
C.J. Palmer then scored his first of two rushing touchdowns with a five-yard run with 6:55 remaining in the second quarter.
Athens then countered with a 54-yard touchdown reception from senior quarterback Xavius Fulton with 3:50 remaining. Dakota Anderson picked up the PAT to reduce the deficit to 14-7.
Palmer then countered with a 23-yard touchdown run with 2:51 left in the half. Palmer had 133 yards rushing on 11 carries in the first half.
Palmer finished the night with 218 yards on 25 carries and three touchdowns.
“I knew he would be a good tough runner inside,” the coach said. “We have one guy on the defensive side that weighs over 200 pounds, and he probably weighs 225 pounds. He is a strong kid and they were having to throw bodies in there. Hats off to him because he kept running hard tonight.”
In the second half, Athens led off the scoring with a 10-yard run by Fulton with 7:13 remaining in the third quarter to make the score 21-14.
Red Oak answered with Palmer’s third touchdown of the game on a three-yard run with 3:35 remaining to give them a 28-14 lead.
Fulton finished the night 8 of 23 passing for 173 yards. He rushed for 97 yards on 21 carries.
“We got the passing game going tonight,” Essary said. “We got to running the football inside. I am excited for what we are going to be when we hit district. We have one more game to get better to get ready for district. If we continue to make strides on each side of the ball, we will be in good shape. It will be a good fun fight in district.”
Rhejhi Sherfield had three reception for 84 yards, while freshman Nathan Sims had one receptions for 54 yards and a touchdown.
The Hornets look to get back on track as they hit the road against Waco Robinson (1-2) Sept. 22.
This is the last regular season game for the Hornets before district play begins on Sept. 29 against the Mabank Panthers on homecoming night at Bruce Field.

Sep

21

Posted by : admin | On : September 21, 2017

By Bodey Cooper
The News Staff Writer
COOLIDGE–The Trinidad Trojans lost their first game of the season by a final score of 54-6 against the No. 12-ranked Coolidge Yellowjackets Sept. 15 on the road.
The game was called after the third quarter under the mercy rule, which Trinidad inflicted on Gustine in their first game this season.
Senior Trojans quarterback Colby Snider was 4/15 for 33 yards passing with three interceptions.
Talon Sims led the way offensively for the Trojans with 13 carries for 46 yards.
Meanwhile Johnny Ayala had four carries for 24 yards and the only touchdown for the Trojans. He also had two receptions for 20 yards.
The Trojans offense struggled against the Yellowjackets, putting up only 101 total yards of offense.
The Trojans are now 2-1 on the season as they face off against Fruitvale at home Sept. 22.