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.

Sep

07

Posted by : admin | On : September 7, 2017

By Bodey Cooper
News Staff Writer
BULLARD–The Malakoff Tigers defeated the Bullard Panthers in a close matchup, 48-34 on the road.
The Tigers battled the Panthers in a non-conference game Sept. 1.
The Tigers came out hungry, taking a 33-7 lead with four minutes to go in the second quarter. The Panthers struck back with a touchdown of their own with under a minute to go in the half, leaving them trailing the Tigers 33-14 going into the third quarter.
With seven minutes remaining, the Tigers struck first in the third quarter, taking a commanding 40-14 lead.
The Panthers battled their way back to with a couple of touchdowns, and trailed just 40-27 with 11 minutes to go in the fourth quarter.
The Panthers scored against the Tigers defense once again with five minutes to go, and closed the gap to 40-34.
The Tigers maintained possession and put the game away with their final touchdown with one minute remaining in the game to win 48-34.
Despite outscoring the Tigers 20-15 in the second half, the Panthers were unable to close the big hole they fell into early on in the game.
The Panthers move to 1-0 on the season. They take on Rusk in their first home game on Sept. 8 before their bye week Sept. 15.

Sep

07

Posted by : admin | On : September 7, 2017

IMG_2216 Jerquindon Taylor CMYK

The News Staff Reports
ATHENS–The Athens Hornets opened up the newly renovated Bruce Field era with a 6-0 victory over Mexia Friday in the season opener.
Athens (1-0) held Mexia out of the end zone with no time remaining as sophomore Rowdy Godwin tackled Mexia quarterback Travion Carter at the Hornets five-yard line.
“The defense made the tackle on that last play. Everybody had to do their job, and I think it was a great effort on all of their parts,” Athens coach Paul Essary said. “They had no timeouts, and we knew that. I almost burned one, but I knew that would give them a chance. We believed in the game plan, and they came through.”
This was just the second time the Hornets have won the season opener in the nine-year coaching career of Paul Essary at Athens.
“I don’t remember the last time we had a shutout,” Essary said. “For some reason, we have been snake bit. The only other time we won the first game here was in 2013, and that group was a pretty good ball club. This is a major milestone, and I am proud of these guys.”
The Hornets lone touchdown of the game came with 2:44 remaining as sophomore Jerquindon Taylor scored from six-yards out. The Hornets went for two, but failed on the conversion.The drive capped off a 12-play, 69 yard drive
Taylor finished the night with 17 carries for 67 yards and one TD.
In the first half, the Hornets offense put up 149 yards, compared to 19 for the Blackcats.
Essary credited the defense with solid play throughout the contest.
“The defense was flying around and playing hard. Mexia has some great athletes over there,” Essary said. “They can run, and it scared me to death. I am proud of the players and coaches, who had a great game plan.”
Mexia’s best drive prior to the final drive had them at the Hornets 27 yard line. The Blackcats went for it on fourth down and nine, but freshman Nathan Sims sacked Carter to end the drive.
Essary said following a 2-8 season last year, this was a big win for the Hornets to open up the season.
“This is the first win coming out of the House of Champions,” Essary said. “Our field house in my mind, and the team’s mind is built because of championships that were won before them. We call it the house that champions built. They wanted to win it not only for themselves, but for the guys who came before them and won those championships.”
Senior quarterback Xavius Fulton finished the night 6 of 14, passing for 89 yards and one interception. He rushed for 43 yards on 15 carries.
Junior JaQuaylon Bowman had two receptions for 37 yards, while Jordan Mayhall had two catches for 25 yards.
Mexia was held to 198 yards of offense as Carter was 9 of 21 passing for 104 yards. His top target was senior Davion Carter with seven receptions for 98 yards. Jadarian Smith had 14 carries for 84 yards for the Blackcats.
“A win is a win. Our motto is ‘Together We Can,’ and it took everything we could do,” Essary said. “We had to do a good job on special teams and offense with keeping the clock running when we needed to. The defense did a great job of competing and making big plays and finishing it out. They wanted to win it for the community and the ones who got it built. This was also the first win on this field.”
Athens returns to action Sept. 8 at Bruce Field against the Fairfield Eagles.

Aug

31

Posted by : admin | On : August 31, 2017

DSC_0004 Malakof FB CMYK
By Russell Slaton
The News Correspondent
MALAKOFF–The Malakoff method of reloading the ranks continues for the 2017 Tigers football team, a state semifinalist last season.
Coach Jamie Driskell, entering his ninth season as Malakoff head coach tonight (Sept. 1), relies on a talent pipeline that in 2016 saw Malakoff’s seventh and eighth-grade, junior varsity and varsity teams go undefeated during the regular season.
The 2017 starting lineup was hardly settled when two-a-days started earlier this month, thanks to Malakoff’s depth. “We have enough kids that they’re going to have to compete for their spot and they’re going to have to bring it every day, and if they have a bad day or a bad week there’s going to be somebody right there on their heels to take their position,” Coach Driskell said.
Starters lost from last season include graduates Tyler Russell, QT Barker, Danyal Littleton, Payton Lowrie, Chase Busch, Larry Coker, C.J. Overton and Jack Patton. “We have some holes to fill but kids are stepping up and working hard,” Coach Driskell said.
Players expected to step into those major roles include Adonia Dixon-Thomas, Andreas Garrett, Jake Lee, Parker Busch, Ethan Snow, Lincoln Rogers, Kyler Dalrymple, Eric Littleton, Austin Prevost and Brendon McClintock, all of whom will fight for starting positions. “It’s going to be interesting to see how it all pans out,” said Coach Driskell.
The offense will be led again by senior quarterback Judd Miller, while middle-linebacker Parker Busch is expected to serve as the on-field defensive general as the starting middle linebacker. Malakoff has two new coaches this year: Trent Montgomery and Shannon Fink from Schulenberg ISD. Montgomery is eager to start his first year in coaching.

Aug

31

Posted by : admin | On : August 31, 2017

IMG_2246 Athens FB team pic CMYK

By Erik Walsh
The News Staff Writer
ATHENS–The Athens Hornets enter the 2017 as underdogs in 4A Region, District 8.
Dave Campell’s Texas Football magazine, perhaps the biggest authority in high school pre season football rankings picked Athens to just miss the state playoffs. According to their estimations, the Hornets should finish a hair behind Van, Kaufman, Terrell and Crandall.
All four of those teams advanced to the post season last year and won their opening round games. Division-winner Van advanced to the fourth round and is expected to be a top team in all of 4A once again this year. Kaufman was no slouch at all, getting ranked in the top 15 in Texas. Two teams are predicted to finish behind Athens: Brownsboro (sixth), and Mabank (seventh).
Hornets coach Paul Essary will have his work cut out for him with such tough firepower coming at them in district play.
“I am pleased with where we are at,” he said. “We are making improvements, and are running a new offense. It takes time. I think it is coming along well, and I am looking forward to the challenge of next week.”
Athens brings back 15 starters and 19 lettermen with six defensive starters from last year’s team.
Now that the scrimmage season is over. The Hornets can focus all their attention on the home opener this Friday against Mexia. Game time is 7:30 at Bruce Field.
District play gets underway for Athens Sept. 29 when the Hornets host Mabank on Homecoming.
The Hornets host Crandall for their final home game of the season and senior night Oct. 27. The Hornets have a bye week Nov. 3 and the regular season finale Nov. 11 in Brownsboro.

Aug

24

Posted by : admin | On : August 24, 2017

News Staff Reports
ATHENS–The Athens Hornets opened their scrimmage season against the Royse City Bulldogs Friday, Aug. 18.
In the 90-play portion of the scrimmage, Royse City outscored Athens, 2-0. In the live quarter, Royse City scored the only touchdown early in the quarter.
The Bulldogs touchdown in the live quarter came with 11:47 remaining on a 70-yard run.
Even with that results, ninth-year Head Coach Paul Essary was pleased with the effort.
“I think we will see some bright spots when we watch the video,” Essary said. “Of course, we will see some spots that we need to improve on. Like I told the kids, if we were where we needed to be right now, we wouldn’t need the practice. We have a long way to go so we can continue to practice.”
The Hornets come in with a young squad following a big graduating class on offense and defense.
Essary said the players are adjusting to new roles on the team.
“We have a lot of young guys playing for the first time tonight,” Essary said. “We have some guys who are coming back, and it doesn’t matter if they are a sophomore, junior or senior, they are still young. We have seven or eight sophomores and juniors starting on offense. We have about seven guys on defense. It didn’t matter if we were all seniors, we want to keep improving.”
During the 90-play portion, the Athens second team defense had a fumble recovery.
With the touchdowns that Royse City scored, Essary said the defense is adjusting to the speed of the varsity level. He knows by the time the Greenville scrimmage happens at Bruce Field Friday, that unit will be ready.
“We had some guys who have moved into some key positions,” the coach said. “This is the first year for one of them to play varsity football as a freshman. The other three spots are their first time to be in that position. They have varsity experience, but two of the outside linebackers have moved to safety. The inside linebacker has moved to the outside.”
Senior Gary Lyons had a fumble recovery in the live quarter for the Hornets. Essary said he was impressed with the first scrimmage for Lyons.
“Gary is getting better every day,” Essary said. “He has not played football since he was in the eighth grade, and he is relearning the speed of the game. He will continue to get better.”
On offense, Essary was pleased with the way senior quarterback Xavius Fulton handled the offense.
“Xavius is a heck of a competitor. Sometimes, he was a little too much of a competitor tonight. I was wanting him to go down a little earlier,” Essary said. “He is throwing the ball well, and we will start catching the ball a little better. It all comes with practice. We saw some bright spots on the defensive line. Everybody is trying and getting better.”
The final scrimmage for the Hornets is set for Friday at Bruce Field. The freshman and JV begin at 5 p.m. with the varsity at 7 p.m.

Aug

24

Posted by : admin | On : August 24, 2017

A view of the east end of new construction work at Athens High School, which will house new classrooms, kitchen and cafeteria. The cafeteria is expected to be open by Christmas, and the balance of work at AHS should be finished in the summer of 2018. Students were greeted at the beginning of the school year with six brand new science classrooms and two new labs.

A view of the east end of new construction work at Athens High School, which will house new classrooms, kitchen and cafeteria. The cafeteria is expected to be open by Christmas, and the balance of work at AHS should be finished in the summer of 2018. Students were greeted at the beginning of the school year with six brand new science classrooms and two new labs.


By Toni Garrard Clay
AISD Communicaitons Coordinator
ATHENS–Athens ISD Director of Operations Barry Choate summed it up succinctly when he called the amount of construction that took place across the district this summer as “intense.” Major work took place at four of the five campuses and continues at the high school.
Inside the main building at the high school, six new science classrooms and two new labs greeted students on the first day of school. While the rooms are located in the same space as the old science hall, they are entirely new. “That space was bulldozed,” said Choate. “We dug up the floor and put new plumbing in and used a new configuration for the rooms.”
On the north end of the high school annex, a new Career and Technical Education (CTE) building now stands. The building is divided into four sections. It houses a brand new Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning class (HVAC) made possible through a joint venture with Trinity Valley Community College and a $350,000 equipment grant. It’s also the site of the machining and woodshop classes, and a powder-coating booth and oven for painting projects. “These classes are light years ahead of where we were,” said Choate.
The construction across the front of the high school’s main building will be completed in stages. On the east end, the new kitchen and cafeteria should open by Christmas. The old kitchen will be turned into classroom space. The old cafeteria will become two new classrooms and a lecture hall that is more than double the space of the existing lecture hall.
The high school’s new office space and the gym, as well as the balance of any remaining work, are projected to be completed during the summer of 2018.
The most visible completed project is at Bruce Field, where a new football/soccer field house and restroom/concession facility sit at either side of newly-installed turf. While the turf was the result of fire damage last spring, the construction across the district is the fruit of community support through the passage of a bond in November 2015.
At Central Athens Elementary, a beautiful new library has been built, as well as new office space. Both were severely undersized previously. At Bel Air and South Athens elementaries, new activity centers have been built to replace the too-small ones previously used.
“We’re grateful to the community for making these improvements possible,” said Superintendent Blake Stiles. “It’s sending a message to our students that they’re valued.”

Aug

24

Posted by : admin | On : August 24, 2017

News Staff Reports
TRINIDAD–The Collin Street Baker/Texas Sports Writers Association named two Trinidad Trojans to the All-State baseball team in Class A.
First baseman Johnny Ayala was named to the first team, while Jayden Garcia was named to the second team as a second baseman.
During his junior season, Ayala batted .538 with 25 RBI, 10 doubles, a triple and 23 runs scored.
Garcia had a .450 batting average with seven doubles, seven RBI and 14 runs scored.
Here is the Class A Collin Street Bakery/Texas Sports Writers Association’s All-State baseball team.
FIRST TEAM
Pitchers – Alex Hernandez, Avalon, Jr.; Brent Mynar, Abbott, Sr.; Trace Richey, Borden County, Jr.
Relief pitcher – Hunter Pope, Abbott, Jr.
Catcher – (tie) Matthew Urbanovsky, Abbott, Jr.; Isaiah Solis, Springlake-Earth, Jr.
First Baseman – Johnny Ayala, Trinidad, Jr.
Second baseman – (tie) Will Koberick, Tioga, Sr.; Michael Deleon, Springlake-Earth, Sr.
Shortstop – Hunter Jones, Borden County, Sr.
Third Baseman – Victorino Silva, Booker, Sr.
Outfielders – Braden Rohde, Fayetteville, Jr.; Weston Cantrell, Abbott, Sr.; Clayton Hopgood, Avalon, Soph.
Designated Hitter – Rhett Newton, Avalon, Fr.
Player of the Year –
Brent Mynar, Abbott, Sr.
Coach of the Year
Kyle Crawford, Abbott
SECOND TEAM
Pitchers – Baylee Graves, Dodd City, Sr.; Chris Luna, Bartlett, Sr.; Alex Magers, D’Hanis, Soph.
Relief pitcher – Dylan Chambers, Avalon, Sr.
Catcher – Kale Yarbro, Borden County, Sr.
First Baseman – Cris Salgado, D’Hanis, Sr.
Second Baseman – (tie) Jayden Garcia, Trinidad, Sr.; Cesar Rosales, Booker, Sr.
Shortstop – Holden Senclair, Cross Plains, Sr.
Third Baseman – Trever Tidball, Union Hill, Fr.
Outfielders – Travis Price, Tioga, Sr.; Reid Kubala, Fayetteville, Jr.; Devin Smith, Savoy, Soph.
Designated Hitter – Payton Hemmitt, Fayetteville, Sr.

Aug

17

Posted by : admin | On : August 17, 2017

Malakoff cheer NCA 2 CMYK

By Bodey Cooper
News Staff Writer
ROCKWALL–The Malakoff Tigers varsity cheerleaders recently attended NCA camp in Rockwall where they walked away with many awards and honors.
Among them were the Herkie Team Award, Small Varsity Top Team Performance, the Excellence in Stunting Award, three Superior Ribbons, the Spirit Stick Award and a bid to the NCA National Competition.
The Tigers also had nine cheerleaders and their mascot nominated for All-American. The Tigers’ Paton Willbanks was the only Malakoff cheerleader to make the All-American team and she also won the Best Toe Touch award at the camp.
The NCA All-American Cheerleader Award is the highest award received from the camp. After being nominated for the award, the cheerleader must try out to make the squad.