Senior Haylie Tullos makes contact to advance runners and reach base in the regional semi-final round versus Malakoff. (Hale Hughes Photo)
by Hale Hughes
Woodville Lady Eagles took the field against the Malakoff Lady Tigers last Friday night at Central Pollock in the UIL Class 3A Division III regional semi-final game played just north of Lufkin at Central Pollock High School.
What was to be a three game series from Thursday-Friday was changed due to weather circumstances to a single game series and played out in front of a packed house at the Lady Bulldog field.
The Lady Tigers from Malakoff proved to be opportunistic right from the start, when their best player was struck by a pitch and with some offensive help and aggressive base running, ended up scoring the first run of the game and taking the early lead 1-0 after the first inning over the Lady Eagles.
Head coach Shawn Mixon kept Woodville calm throughout the game and the Lady Eagles never seemed to get too rattled as the game went back and forth with scoring opportunities for both teams held scoreless through the second, third and fourth innings.
Woodville broke through in the bottom of the fifth inning. With one on and two out, junior Chloe Weeks held her ground and had a great at bat, fouling away would be strikes and getting a hard-earned walk to first base. Senior Haylie Tullos was up next and garnered a hit just over the second baseman's head to advance Weeks to second and give the Lady Eagles a good scoring opportunity late in the inning. Mixon made the most of the two-out rally and subbed in Gracin McCollum for Weeks as a pinch runner.
Fellow senior Avery Tolar was up next and took full advantage of the situation, with a soft hit to the infield, forcing Malakoff into an error that loaded the bases for Woodville.
With the bases loaded and two out, freshman Kaitlyn Odom came through with a tremendous effort in what was likely the highlight of the night for Woodville and blasted what could only be described as a herculean hit over the right fielder's outstretched glove to clear the bases for Woodville and earn Odom a three RBI triple, providing the Lady Eagles a solid 3-1 lead as the innings were winding down.
With all the momentum going their way, Woodville added another run in the bottom of the sixth to give some insurance to the Lady Eagles and they headed into the final inning with a 4-1 lead over the Lady Tigers.
Malakoff again proved to be opportunistic in the final inning as they were able to get a hit and were aggressive against the Eagles, advancing the runner to second base. With one on and one out, Mixon encouraged the Lady Eagles to just get an out and forget about the lone runner, reminding them that a single run doesn't change anything. Malakoff was however, able to get a hit and score the base runner, and one batter later, the Lady Tigers got a hard hit that ricocheted off the pitcher Shelby Mixon, giving not enough time for shortstop Tolar and second baseman Bailey Stewart to convert a force out at second base. With momentum seeming to slip to the Lady Tigers and with two runners on, Malakoff sent in their pinch runner to run at second base. A hard hit back to Mixon made for essentially a sacrifice hit that advanced the runners to second and third, but gave the Eagles their all important second out of the inning.
With two out and a two run lead, Woodville faced Malakoff's best player again and made a choice to walk her to load the bases.
Maintaining the two run lead and runners on base, all the Lady Eagles needed was an out. Any base. Just a simple force out or pop fly would end the game.
But Malakoff proved they were able to handle the pressure and their batter hit a pitch hard right up the middle to score three runs, giving them a 5-4 lead in the top of the final inning. One batter later Malakoff adds a blooper hit to right field to add another run, making it 6-4 in favor of the Lady Tigers.
Woodville finally got the third out, but the damage was done, and in the bottom of the seventh, Woodville failed to convert with any at bats from the top of the lineup.
This was the fourth straight game for Woodville softball in which the outcome has been decided in the final inning. It has also become an all-too-familiar situation for the Lady Eagles, who have again closed their playoff run with a loss in the fourth round playoffs for the third consecutive year. This loss was a particularly tough one, because, fundamentally, the Lady Eagles did enough to win this game.
Woodville ends their season ranked atop the polls with a record of 31-3 with only a bitter taste of what might have been.
Lady Warriors working on their skills for upcoming season. (Michelle Weichert Photo)
by Doug Glosson
Spring League started Tuesday, May 17, with teams from Warren, Woodville, Kountze, and Silsbee. Warren Teal won both games on the night, beating Warren Green and Warren Purple.
Warren Green beat Woodville, and Silsbee won both on the night, beating Woodville and Warren Purple.
In the JV Division, Silsbee came away with two wins, and a Warren split on the night, beating Kountze and falling to Silasbee. Thursday, proved a rough night for Warren Green, falling to Silsbee and Warren Purple, and Warren Teal falling to Silsbee and Woodville. In the JV Division, Silsbee still proved dominant beating Warren and Kountze.
Spring League has one more night of pool play with a tournament to wrap up the season on Thursday May 26. Coach Weichert said, "I've seen a ton of positives from our girls. They are understanding their roles as well as helping our younger athletes to develop. I've seen a lot of leadership from our junior and sophomore classes, with plenty of talent from our freshmen group.
"I'm so blessed to have XCEL VOLLEYBALL CLUB come in to run Spring League for us, for the third year in a row, to help our athletes gain game like competition."
Monday night, the Woodville school board unanimously voted on the recommendation of superintendent Glen Conner to hire Ty Robinson as the new athletic director and head football coach for the Eagles.
Robinson comes from a family of football coaches. His brother, Bo, coaches at Yoakum and his father, Wendell, was longtime coach at Robinson's hometown of Bremond and was made a member of the Texas High School Coaches Association Hall of Honor in 2002.
Robinson graduated from high school in Bremond and went on to get his degree from Texas Tech University in 1997. While at Tech, Robinson played linebacker for the Red Raiders from 95-97, graduating with a degree in History.
Robinson has coached all over Texas, including some perennial powers such as Odessa Permian and Navasota. He comes to Woodville from Yorktown where he has been the athletic director and head coach since 2013. Prior to Yorktown, he was the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Palestine from 2010-2013.
Robinson previously coached at Jasper in '07 and '08, which is where he first learned of Woodville, travelling through here many times as he and his wife Lara visited their hometown of Bremond.
"Just driving through Woodville, I always thought this was a beautiful town," said Robinson.
The Robinson's have two daughters. Claire is a 16-year-old sophomore and is a track star. She currently holds the #2 time in Region IV 2A in the 300m hurdles. Ellie is 13 and is passionate about playing basketball and participating in track, specializing in the high jump. She has won just about every meet she has entered this year.
Robinson and his wife enjoy taking their family to the beach at Corpus Christi, and said he and his wife both enjoy reading in their downtime.
Robinson said he is looking forward to meeting the student athletes in Woodville. He said his hopes for Eagle athletics is to "get better every day "and continued to explain the process, laying the foundation and then building on it.
Robinson said he plans on bringing with him an offensive coordinator, defensive coordinator and a special teams coordinator to round out his staff for the upcoming fall football season.
Robinson says he has a "multiple set" style offense tailored to best suit the specific talents of the individual athletes. He said he hopes to sustain long drives of 18 plays or more, some that will last an entire quarter and are designed to frustrate and wear down opposing defenses while learning their tendencies in the process. He explained it as "Three yards and a cloud of dust."
Robinson spoke of his favorite defense, and said a 4-2-5 has become his staple.
"It is a defense that we utilized when I was playing for Tech and it is a very powerful and flexible defense. We will be able to utilize that set to match up well against opponents."
When asked what the community can expect from him, he thought for a moment and simply said, "Work," and he paused.
"We are going to work really hard. I have really high expectations for the student athletes here and we will use the weight room multiple times during the day."
He closed by saying, "I will address the students with my expectations from them when I meet with them this week."
Track- On April 14, the Colmesneil track team competed in the Evadale district track meet. The Lady Dogs ran a great meet, placing second overall as a team. Jackie Hughes started the day off well as she finished the 3200 in first place with a time of 14:08 minutes.
Rylee Smith finished in fourth place, and Bayleigh Thedford came in fifth place. In long jump, Desiree Hallo finished in fourth place with a jump of 12' 8". Jackie Hughes jumped 27' 4" in triple jump, and placed third. In high jump, Nature Jackson placed second with a jump of 4' 6". Emilee James came in third with a jump of 4' 6". Gabby Reynolds placed fifth with a jump of 4' 4".
The 400 meter relay finished in third place with a time of 57.0 seconds. The relay consisted of Nature Jackson, Leah White, Lainey Spradlin, and Gabby Reynolds. Alexis Follmar finished in sixth place in the 800 meter run. In the 100 meter hurdles, Mylee Powell finished second with a time of 19.24 seconds. Emilee James came in third with a time of 20.12 seconds.
In the 100 meter dash, Nature Jackson came in fourth with a time of 14.15 seconds.
In the 300 meter hurdles, Emilee James came in second place with a time of 56.47 seconds. Mylee Powell came in sixth with a time of 1.02 minutes. Jackie Hughes came in first in the 1600 meter run with a time of 6:45 minutes. Rylee Smith came in third with a time of 6:98 minutes. Nature Jackson came in first in the 400 meter run.
The 1600 meter relay finished in third as a team. The relay consisted of Leah White, Lainey Spradlin, Desiree Hallo, and Gabby Reynolds. They finished with a time of 5:20 minutes.
On the Bulldogs side of the meet, they did well. In discus, Mason Williams came in sixth place. Blaine Turner was the district reigning pole vault champ with a jump of 11 feet. Kaleb Lindsey finished first in the 100 meter dash with a time of 11.75 seconds.
The area track meet will be held in San Augustine on Thursday, April 21.
On April 12, the Colmesneil Bulldogs played San Augustine. The game began with the Dogs first scoring in the second inning and maintaining their lead. The Dogs played one of their best defensive games this season, but their bats were at a lull. Mason Williams had a great pitching night striking out eight batters. The team had a third inning rally scoring three runs. The Dogs won the game 6-1.
On April 15, the Dogs played Broaddus. In this game, they had seven hits and played great defense winning the game 7-1. The Dogs are working on confidence at the plate in the upcoming games.
On Tuesday, the varsity will play a game in Chester starting at 4 p.m. If they win the game in Chester, they will clench a spot in the playoffs.
On Friday, the Dogs will host senior night against West Sabine. JV will start at 4:30 p.m. and varsity will follow at 6:30 p.m. Softball- On April 12, the Lady Dogs played Big Sandy.The game began with the Lady Dogs coming out swinging. The team scored six runs in the first inning.
Mckayla Marshall did work on the rubber, allowing no earned runs and striking out three. The game was not the Lady Dogs' best defensive game committing seven errors. Despite the Lady Dogs defense, they won the game 8-4.
On April 15, the Lady Dogs played Apple Spring. They got the bats started early scoring seven runs in the first inning, and built on those runs scoring three runs in the fourth and fifth innings. The Lady Dogs won the game 10-0.
If the Lady Dogs and Groveton both win out for district, they will play a in game against each other, the location and times are TBA.
Track - Mallory Walters of Warren came prepared last Thursday as she participated in the district track meet in Anahuac. She placed first in the 3200-meter event with a time of 13:29, and placed second in the 1600-meter with a personal best this season of 6:06.
Mallory WaltersAs if that wasn't enough, in preparation for the upcoming area meet, Walters ran in the first annual Green and White 5k in Livingston Saturday morning where she placed first overall female, before making it back to Warren just in time to play in a softball game against East Chambers.
Other athletes that did well were Hunter McGallion, who placed second, and Josh Burks, who received fourth place in discus. All three advanced to the area meet in Needville on Wednesday April 20. Baseball – Last Tuesday the Warriors dropped a game to Kirbyville 1-8, but rebounded on Saturday to defeat East Chambers 10-6 in extra innings to keep them in the playoff hunt.
Next up, JV and varsity will be home against Kountze on Friday April 22 and home against Buna on Tuesday, April 26. Games start at 4:30 p.m.
Softball - The Lady Warriors softball team had a very competitive week.
Last week against Kirbyville, the Lady Warriors were down 2-0 going into the sixth, and were unable to score, losing the game 5-0. However, on Saturday against East Chambers, the Lady Warriors found themselves down 11-2 going into the third inning.
They chipped away at the deficit and by the end of the sixth inning, the Lady Warriors took the lead 12-11. The Lady Bucs were able to score a couple of runs in the top of the seventh inning to take a 13-12 lead, but in the bottom of the seventh the Lady Warriors would not be denied.
Rachel Lee started off the inning with a double. Ashlynn Whisneant followed Lee with a RBI double to tie the score at 13. Katie McCluskey then laid down a sacrifice bunt to get Whisneant to third. With two outs in the inning, Emily Cloud hit a swinging bunt that ended up only three feet in front of the plate, but it was enough to get Whisneant home for the winning run.
The Lady Warriors play their final game of the season at home against Kountze on Friday April 22 which is senior night at 6 p.m.
Tennis – the Warren tennis team attend the district meet in East Chambers on April 6-7. Jami Miller placed third in girl's singles; John Applewhite and Seth Brown placed fourth in boy's doubles.
Golf Team advances to state—Shown, from left, are Levi Watts, Chris Carter, Coach Fudge, Bailey Goins, Jared Greer, and Clay Thomson.
by Becki Byrd
The Yellowjacket golf team participated in the regional golf tournament on April 11 and 12. The team placed third overall and will advance to state. Bailey Goins placed second overall.
The state tournament in Austin will be on April 27 and 28. The team members are Chris Carter, Bailey Goins, Jared Greer, Clay Thomson, and Levi Watts. They are coached by Chris Fudge.
The district track meet was held this week in Livingston. The boys team took the title as District Champions coming in first place overall. The girls team placed third overall. All varsity team members that participated in the track meet will advance to the area meet which is April 20 in Flatonia.
Dane Barnes placed second in both the 1600M run and 3200M run. Tyler Blevins placed third in the shot put, Chris Carter placed first in the 400M dash, Fourth in the long jump, Carter was also a member of the 4x100M relay placing second, and the 4x400M relay that placed first.
Jaqualin George placed third in the 200M dash, George was also a member of the first place 4x400M relay and second place 4x100M relay. Jared Greer placed third in the 400M dash, second in the triple jump, and first in pole vault. Ladarius Kirkwood placed third in the 300M hurdles, second in 4x100M relay, and third in the 4x200M relay.
Colten Martin placed second in the 800M run, fifth in the shot put, and first in the 4x400M relay. Cord Neal placed second in the 400M dash, third in long jump, fourth in discus, first in triple jump, and was on the first place 4x400M relay team. Caleb Sittig placed fifth in the 1600M run, fourth in the 3200M run, and third in the 4x200M relay. Dakota Thomas placed sixth in the 1600M run, fifth in the 800M run, and third in the 4x200M relay. Jutty Vaughn placed first in the 100M dash, second in the 200M dash, second in the 4x100M relay. Levi Watts placed third in the 4x200M relay, second in the shot put and discus.
For the girls team, Danique Davis placed sixth in the long jump, and second in the 4x400M relay. Chloe Johnson took the first place district champion title in the shot put. Carmen Mahaffey placed sixth in the 200M dash and 400M dash, second in the 4x400M relay.
Donna Martin placed first in the 3200M run, and second in the 1600M run. Ashlyn Overstreet placed second in the discus, and was also a member of the second place 4x400M relay. Amory Parker placed third in 100M hurdles, first in 300M hurdles, and was also on the second place 4x400M relay. Kalee Thomson placed first in the 1600M run, and second in the 3200M run. Baseball - A five-run explosion in the fifth inning hoisted Chester Yellowjackets to a 9-2 win in seven innings over Brookeland at Chester on Wednesday.
The Yellowjackets scored in the fifth on a three-run home run by Cord Neal, and a passed ball. Neal racked up three RBIs on one hit for Chester. Jared Greer baffled Brookeland , striking out 13 batters. Greer allowed two earned runs on four hits and four walks over seven innings. Levi Watts also had a RBI double.
The Yellowjackets beat Burkeville on Friday 11-3 at Burkeville in seven innings.
Chester scored five runs in the fourth on a two-run double by Watts, a two-run double by Billy Thompson, and an error. Watts racked up three RBIs on four hits for the Yellowjackets. Neal handled Burkeville's lineup with ease, racking up 12 strikeouts. Neal allowed three earned runs, four hits and four walks over six innings. The game was never in doubt after the second, as Chester Yellowjackets scored three runs on two singles.
The Lady Jacket softball team lost against Centerville on Tuesday at home with a score of 7-4. On Friday they traveled to Spurger and won 6-3.