Woodville hosts volleyball camp for area girls

CAMP PARTICIPANTS – Junior high through freshman level athletes brushed up on skills at the Lady Eagles’ volleyball camp. (Hale Hughes Photo)CAMP PARTICIPANTS – Junior high through freshman level athletes brushed up on skills at the Lady Eagles’ volleyball camp. (Hale Hughes Photo)

By Hale Hughes

WOODVILLE—The Woodville Lady Eagles hosted a volleyball camp this past week and used the Summit as their venue. There was a great turnout as 44 kids ages six through the ninth grade attended. Camp for girls ages six through 11 was held in the mornings and these were affectionately referred to as "The Volley Tots".

Head volleyball coach Kaila Foster said, "We try to create a very fun atmosphere, especially for the Volley Tots as we introduce them to the game of volleyball." Foster continued, "We also work to introduce these young girls to our high school players to create a relationship with one another, so these girls have someone that they can identify with and root for as they watch our varsity and JV teams during the school year. It's a way to include the community and get them excited about what we are doing in our program."

Foster explained, "These camps are the only opportunity for these young girls to play. Volleyball does not have the 'little league' or 'youth leagues' that football, baseball and softball have. Typically, these girls won't get to really play the game of volleyball until they reach the seventh grade, so this gives us an opportunity to show them that this is a sport with an entirely different skill set."

Foster had plenty of praise seeing her players taking on the role of a coach during this camp. She said, "It really helps our high school girls to be able to teach the game as opposed to learning the game during the season. They get to see things develop and it really increases their mental game as well as their volleyball I.Q." Foster continued, "They've done a really great job making small or large adjustments, depending on the situation. Some of my players have retained a lot of the techniques they've been taught." Foster added that those small intangibles have her excited for the upcoming year. She continued to explain how her player/coaches developed with their teams in the duration of camp. "We have broken the older group of girls' teams up into four teams of six and the high school players have been working in a coaching role all week with their teams. The high schoolers have had to put together a rotation of players and a scheme of how they wanted to run their teams."

There have been approximately a dozen of Fosters high school players helping to conduct the camp. It's been a busy and productive week for all involved with twenty youngsters in the morning and 24 sixth-graders through ninth-graders participating during the camp.

Foster explained her approach for the junior high players and was careful to work with the current junior high on staff at the middle school. Foster said, "The junior high coaches really work hard to teach the basics; passing, setting, serving. We try to work during this camp to round out some of that with passing, and then getting into defensive position. We also work on the serve-receive game and getting the ball to the setter and setting up specific hitters in assigned and pre-arranged positioning as opposed to just setting the ball. This week we really push the service receiving game as well as hitting."

Foster said the community was key in making this camp happen. "Our program appreciates the community's involvement and participation in this camp as well as the support of our players. Girls from camp have come to watch the high school girls play and it has had a huge impact on our high school girls to have that kind of support. I am grateful to Tyler County for sending the 44 girls to our camp."

Cameron Thomas signs with Tyler Junior College Apaches

Cameron Thomas (center) is all smiles after signing his letter of intent to cheer for Tyler Apaches.Cameron Thomas (center) is all smiles after signing his letter of intent to cheer for Tyler Apaches.

By Hale Hughes

WOODVILLE— Last week Woodville's Cameron Thomas signed his letter of intent and will attend Tyler County Junior College in the fall where he will continue his cheer career on the Apache cheer squad while majoring in Sonography.

Thomas is a 2018 graduate from Woodville High School. He was the varsity cheer captain this past year for the Woodville Eagles and cheered four years for WHS.

Thomas was named a two-time Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) All-American and National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) All-American individually and was also a two-time state finalist with the cheer squad.

Thomas will be employed by NCA to teach cheer camps to youth, junior high, and high school cheerleaders during the summer. This is a select group Thomas has been assigned to and Thomas is sure to represent Woodville and the Tyler County community well. Thomas was selected by the NCA staffers for his physical skills, outgoing personality as well as areas of leadership and teamwork. Thomas has been chosen to help carry the NCA torch to inspire, encourage, motivate cheerleaders and be a role model for others to become leaders in their own communities.

The NCA is recognized as being one of the most elite cheer companies in the country. NCA was founded in 1948 and has spent the last 70 years teaching not only the technical skills needed for the activity of cheerleading, but also the teamwork, values, and dedication involved in this activity as an ambassador for schools. NCA believes in the impact of game day cheerleading as well as the importance of being a positive and influential group on campuses in our area.

Yellowjacket athletes recognized for achievements

Yellowjacket athletes Seth Read and Meagan Clarke were awarded  the Aubry Bradley/Julius P. Johnson Awards in an awards ceremony last week at Chester High School.Yellowjacket athletes Seth Read and Meagan Clarke were awarded  the Aubry Bradley/Julius P. Johnson Awards in an awards ceremony last week at Chester High School.

By Jana Rayburn

Last week, the athletes at Chester High School were recognized and honored during an awards ceremony.

The Aubry Bradley/Julius P. Johnson Award is the highest honor awarded to a Chester athlete. Athletes deserving of this award display leadership, hard work, athletic ability, academic ability, and competitiveness. These are all traits that Coach Bradley and Coach Johnson demanded from the athletes they coached. Every year, a female and male athlete is chosen for this honor. This year, the Aubry Bradley/Julius P. Johnson Award went to Seth Read and Meagan Clarke.

Coach Jeremy Wooten recognized the football team. This was a hard year for the Jackets, who played in one of the toughest districts in the state. Earning MVP honors this year was Seth Read.

DeWayne Armstrong took the podium to show nothing but praise for the volleyball team for another successful season. The team came just one game shy of a regional tournament appearance. The co-MVP's this season are Amory Parker and Meagan Clarke.

Coach Charlotte Barnes and the cross country team had a very successful season, advancing both the boys and girls teams to the regional meet. Dane Barnes once again advanced to the state meet, earning him the boys MVP honors. Annie Rayburn made history at CHS by being the first ever cross country athlete to medal at the regional meet, which also qualified her to advance to the state meet. Rayburn was named the girls MVP.

Cory Hines praised the hard work and improvements made by the girls basketball team. MVP is Jasmine Mitchell. Hines is excited about the future of the girls basketball program at Chester, and believes the best is yet to come.

Coach Donald Mayhugh commended his Yellowjacket basketball team for their unwavering dedication and hard work. The team improved a great deal this season and Mayhugh said he is already excited about the future of the program. Seth Read was named MVP for this year.
Coach Wooten was excited to recognize the achievements made by the softball team. The girls advanced even farther than last year, and the future of the softball program looks promising. Wooten named Josey Sturrock as the seasons MVP.

he baseball team made it to the second round of the playoffs. Coach Tanner Neal recognized the efforts of the entire team. Seth Read received the MVP award.

The track teams were recognized for their hard work and grit displayed throughout the season. Most of the athletes advanced to the regional meet. Cade Parrish and Faith Loughner were both named as MVPs.

Armstrong and the tennis team also had a successful season. Most of the team advanced to the regional meet. Seth Read and Selah Spaulding received the MVP awards.

Woodville competes in Spring League Volleyball

woodville spring league

By Hale Hughes

BEAUMONT—Several young women have taken up the cause to compete this spring in a newly formed league for spring volleyball. Teams competing in the league were Beaumont Central, Beaumont Ozen, (who will combine next year to create the new Beaumont United), Westbrook, Beaumont Kelly, Beaumont Legacy, Evadale, and Woodville.

The league was open for current eighth-graders to Juniors. Woodville sent two teams to compete, both JV and Varsity. There were 18 total girls from Woodville. They were Jordyn Beaty, Hallee Hughes, Emily Mixon, Adrian Prince, Jayda Argumon, Dana Carlton, Keyonna Paire, Linda Perkins, Shannon Whitehead, Shayla Williams, Kajaigh Eckert, Baylee Cooley, Hailey McClure, Natalie VonEssen, Riley Vaughn, Ambria Scott, Aly Tullos and Jaydee Borel.

Head volleyball coach Kaila Foster sees benefits to league participation.

"They get time on the court together in a more relaxed and fun atmosphere while they get to know one another and how they play as a group. The UIL prohibits us from working with the girls until August, but this gives them a huge opportunity to hone their skills on their own before the school season starts."

"I am excited to see how my varsity will begin to take shape into and I also have a unique opportunity to sit back and watch and evaluate younger players who may be able to contribute on the varsity level."

"It's good to see them get their hands on the ball. I was happy to see them come together as a team. I was excited to see how well they handled and passed the ball, considering most of them haven't touched a ball since November,"

Foster spoke about the community providing multiple opportunity for high school girls to get their hands on a volleyball.

"We made the spring league available for them during May, and then we are hosting a volleyball camp for young girls that the high school girls will be teaching from June 4-7. TC Thunder is also hosting a volleyball camp June 26-29 that Luciana Babin is heavily involved with. The final opportunity comes in late July which is the summer league that will be played in Lumberton right before two-a-days start for us. So, there's lots of opportunity for our girls to begin two-a-days ahead of the curve."

Foster was asked what she expected of the girls attending two-a-days in August.

"Across the board, I hope for improvement. I believe there's room for everyone to improve their game regardless of skill or talent level," Foster said. "We really do have a big chance to go far this year and I hope these girls take advantage of the opportunities in front of them."

Changes in the district and changes to the playoff bracket will give Woodville an unprecedented opportunity to make a very deep playoff run this year, the coach added.

"With six seniors and several juniors who are familiar with my game plan, We are planning on speeding up that offense this year to make it more difficult for defenses to adjust to what we do schematically," Foster said.

"I expect (the seniors) to be ready to lead, ready to play, ready to work hard and be in the shape that they know they need to be in to compete," she said. "I have very high expectations from the senior group, but at the same time I've gotten to know them, and they are great kids. I believe they won't let me down."

Conditioning and ball handling skills are important for underclassmen.

"Get your hands on the ball. Don't wait, and work during the summer months to be in shape. Don't wait for two-a-days to get you in shape or you'll be behind."

It's evident that the bar is being raised and participating in these leagues and camps are sure to give opportunity and exposure to the girls to improve their skills in the offseason and summer months.

Colmesneil Softball ends successful season

Senior, McKayla Marshall, had many successful at bats during her high school career.Senior, McKayla Marshall, had many successful at bats during her high school career.

By Gabby Reynolds

The Ladydogs competed against Timpson for their second round of playoffs. The final score of this game was 11-5 with Colmesneil in the lead.

The Ladydogs will be moving to the third round of playoffs this week. They started the game off with two strikeouts by Mckayla Marshall and one line out by Mckayla Marshall.

Jackie Hughes and Nature Jackson each hit a double in the first inning. Taya Fowler hit a single and Shelby Patrick was walked.
The second inning, Mckayla Marshall pitched one strikeout and had one fly out. Shelby Patrick also had a pop out.

In the third inning, Mckayla Marshall pitched two strikeouts and Chloe Redden caught a fly out. Jackie Hughes, Nature Jackson, Mckayla Marshall and Desi Hallo each hit a single. Chloe Redden was also walked this inning.

The fourth inning, Mckayla Marshall pitched one strikeout, Nature Jackson had a ground out and Shelby Patrick had a fly out. Mckayla Marshall hit a double, Jackie Hughes, Nature Jackson and Jamie Alegre each hit a single.

In the fifth inning, Mckayla Marshall pitched a strikeout and had a ground out. Shelby Patrick also had a ground out. The sixth inning, Mckayla Marshall pitched a strikeout, Shelby Patrick and Nature Jackson each had a ground out.
Shelby Patrick and Jamie Alegre each hit a single. In the seventh inning, Chloe Redden and Jackie Hughes each had a fly out.

The Ladydogs winning this game put them in the third round of playoffs with a game against Woden.

The Ladydogs fought hard in their final game of the season against Woden on Friday, May 11.

The game started with a ground out by Shelby Patrick, a line out by McKayla Marshall and a ground out by Jamie Alegre.

The second inning, McKayla Marshall had a line out, Shelby Patrick had a ground out and Desi Hallo had a pop out. Mckayla Marshall was walked at her at bat in the second inning.

The third inning, Desi Hallo and Nature Jackson each had a ground out.

The fourth inning, Nature Jackson and Desi Hallo each had a ground out and Jackie Hughes had a pop out. McKayla Marshall was walked at her bat in the fourth inning.

The fifth inning, Jackie Hughes and Desi Hallo each had a pop out and Desi Hallo also had a ground out. Shelby Patrick was walked in the fifth inning and Desi Hallo hit a single.

This third round game was fought very hard by the Ladydogs and the town of Colmesneil is very proud of their season.

Three Woodville athletes medal at State


by Hale Hughes

AUSTIN—The UIL hosted its annual State Track and Field Meet at Mike Myers Stadium in Austin last week. The Texas state meet is regarded as one of the premier events in the nation with a large portion of national records set in Texas, with California being the other major state contributing to national high school records. It's an event for the best of the best, the elite. Woodville sent three athletes and three athletes brought home medals. Tyler County was represented by three individuals: Sophomore Jordyn Beaty, who competed in the shot put and discus throw, Senior Tony Land who competed in both 110m and 300m hurdles and Junior Carrington Marendes, who competed in the seated shot put, the 100m and 400m wheelchair events.

Beaty got things started on Friday as she competed first for the Woodville athletes as she took to the discus event and finished with a fifth-place finish with a throw of 120' 07". Beaty would follow that effort up with a trip to the shot-put area. Beaty took to the circle and seemed to be a bit more focused and had a firm hold on second place for much of the event with a 37 and one-half inch throw. With the fifth round of throws, another competitor who had been throwing in the 36' range for the competition managed a throw just over 39 foot to overtake second and Beaty followed that with a toss of 38' 11" to secure a bronze medal in her first trip to Austin. One can only assume great things and repeat trips to Austin will happen for this standout sophomore.

Tony Land was up next for the Eagles as he drew lane six for the 3A 110m hurdles. The field was off to a quick start as the gun went off and after the third hurdle the leaders started to separate themselves with Land leading the hurdlers early. Land continued that trend and with three hurdles left it was apparent that the race was his to lose. Land didn't let the pressure get to him and he glided over the final hurdles to grab the first gold for Woodville for the weekend in a time of 14.19. Celebrations were short as Land quickly escaped the sun and retreated to the shade to recover for the upcoming 300's. Land was poised as he took to his blocks and was simply elegant as he glided over the first hurdle and gained a quick lead over the field. It was evident that Land was the class of the field as they rounded the corner for the homestretch and Land's smooth skillset for hurdling combined with his sheer foot speed was too much as Land swept the 3A hurdle events for the Eagles. Land's winning time was 38.87.

Carrington Marendes was slated for his competitions on Saturday and started his events with the shot put. A solid effort on his fifth attempt resulted in a throw of 22' 09" and secured the bronze for Marendes, ensuring that every athlete from Woodville would come home with a medal. Not satisfied, Marendes followed up with a tremendous effort in the 100m, narrowly missing out on gold by a mere six tenths of a second. Marendes seemed to use that second-place finish to fuel his fire for his final event, the 400m. Marendes had a good start and was matched wheel to wheel with the same foe he faced in the 100m as they were the class of the field. A strong headwind down the backstretch tested the competitors, but it was Marendes with his sheer brawn that saw him grab an early edge in the final corner. It was close down the back stretch, but Marendes held his lead and grabbed gold in the 400m with a time of 59.44 to complete the cycle, garnering a first, second and third place medal.

Woodville brought home six total medals, three golds, a silver and two bronze which is an epic feat for any school. "It's a huge accomplishment," said Principal Morgan Wright. "These other kids see what is possible from right here and know that these young athletes have put in the work to receive the kind of success they are seeing." Athletic director Ty Robinson also praised the work ethic of the athletes. He said, "These kids have worked really hard for this and as a coaching staff, we have told our athletes repeatedly that we can be the best in state and win championships. Some kids hear that and think maybe it's just coach speak, but then a lot of kids see someone like Tony not just win but sweep the hurdle events at state and they see that kind of success is real and it can happen. It raises their expectation to what our expectation is for them as coaches."