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Woodville Begins Dirt Removal For New Turf At Eagle Stadium

Major Turf Upgrade At Eagle Stadium—If you have been around Eagle Stadium over the last week, you have probably wondered why the are digging up the playing field. It is all part of a major upgrade to the stadium which will replace the grass with a very high tech turf product that should significantly increase both “playability” and durability of the field. To read the entire story, see Page 7A in this issue. (Hale Hughes Photo)Major Turf Upgrade At Eagle Stadium—If you have been around Eagle Stadium over the last week, you have probably wondered why the are digging up the playing field. It is all part of a major upgrade to the stadium which will replace the grass with a very high tech turf product that should significantly increase both “playability” and durability of the field. To read the entire story, see Page 7A in this issue. (Hale Hughes Photo)

by Hale Hughes

Woodville ISD has started the process to install a new turf field for the upcoming football season.

Woodville school board members have selected Hellas Construction for the task. Hellas is based out of Austin and is the premier turf company with multiple choices of turf to choose from. Being from Texas, Hellas has become the "go-to" organization for turf installation for a thousands of Texas high schools, American universities, semi-pro and pro stadiums. Their success in Texas has helped Hellas make the leap to being a national leader with teams all over America from California to Florida choosing Hellas for their turf needs. Hellas' footprint is unsurpassed in the turf market. They have completed thousands of playing venues, including the Cowboys' AT+T Stadium, Baylor's new McLane Stadium, University of California and Texas Tech to mention a handful.

Woodville is the newest member to join the Hellas turf team and has elected to go with their top-of-the-line, state-of-the-art newest turf—the Matrix® Turf system and Geo Plus. This premier turf has organic and eco-friendly infill (mulch matter) and is recognized for its playability and cooler temperatures. The new turf will be installed over Hellas' Cushdrain® shock pad, which is an elastic layer that is paved-in-place over the laser-graded foundation and will improve drainage, increase longevity, and dissipate the point of impact for athletes.

Excitement around the town, school, students and faculty is evident when seeing the heavy equipment removing the sod and topsoil from the football field. Woodville head football coach Mike Waldie was enthusiastic when explaining the premier turf to be installed. "Most turf fields have the little rubber pellets in it. This Geo-Tec turf field is the most advanced version of turf. We won't have the black rubber pellets anymore. It's all a mulch, a more natural texture." Waldie continued, "This new Geo-Tec turf is better for a couple of reasons. First, you won't have any of the pellet 'splash' anymore—it won't get in your eyes, etc. Secondly, it is guaranteed to be 40-45 degrees cooler than previous artificial turfs, which is huge here in East Texas." Waldie went on to say that this turf is so new that Woodville was one of the first teams—high school, collegiate, or pro to have this type of playing turf installed. "It's exciting to have the top-of-the-line, newest field possible."

Waldie has coached teams on turf before his tenure at Woodville and is comfortable with the playing surface. He said, "Bottom line is this: Getting a multi-purpose turf field—no doubt a commitment for football—but what it can be used for year-round as far as off-season, soccer, track, baseball and softball is immeasurable. Teams will have an advantage to be able to practice on it if they choose to. Waldie brought up another Friday night staple regarding the turf—The WHS marching band. "There's so many things about the turf—consider the band. They work on getting ready for huge competitions and they've had to paint lines on a concrete parking lot so they can practice without ruining the grass on the football field. Now, they'll have a turf field they can use whenever they want." Waldie commented on the resiliency and durability of the turf by adding this, "We could even host a marching band competition and not worry about the wear to the field. From a hosting standpoint, people really think about the advantage of having turf brings to your community. There are so many other true multi-purpose opportunities this turf field will have."

Waldie also addressed the new turf from a practice from a point-of-view, both in-season and off-season:
Regarding the spring season: "We just went through the wettest spring in recent memory, and all of those rainy days, we missed getting practice reps in. We were supposed to have 18 practices in the month of May for our version of spring football and were only able to get seven of them in due to inclement weather or poor field conditions." Waldie stated. "Having a turf field will negate that scenario in the future. Unless it is pouring rain at that moment, turf fields are dry and ready to play or practice on, whereas grass fields are soaked and you have to wait hours or days for it to dry."

Regarding the fall season: "I can't tell you how many times last year we had to go to the old middle school gym to practice. We probably spent at least 10 days in there last year, and when you talk about the lack of prep—only having three days to get ready for a Friday night football game, and one week we had to go into the gym twice. That won't be an issue with a turf field". Waldie explains, "We may have a day in which it rains during practice, but we can come in, let that weather pass and be able to go out 10 minutes later and not be relegated to a gym practice due to wet field conditions."

Waldie's enthusiasm was as evident as it was contagious. He continued to explain the impact he expects the turf to make. "It is just unbelievably exciting as far as the progression that I think we can make from the lack of missed practices and prep time."

According to Waldie, "When you can get the playing surface perfect, theoretically there are no 'advantage factors' that affect the outcome of the game. Having a turf field feeds into our current strengths—a wide open offense, and speed is one of our strengths. This turf field is going to allow us to control what we want to do offensively and defensively and not let a playing surface become a factor in the game plan—and that's huge—immeasurable at times."

The turf is expected to be completed before the season begins. Homecoming vs Joaquin on Friday, September 4 will be the first game on the new turf.

Lady Warriors attend Jasper Summer Volleyball League

Lady Warriors, far court, participate in summer league (Juli Barnett Photo)Lady Warriors, far court, participate in summer league (Juli Barnett Photo)

by Doug Glosson

The Warren Lady Warriors are getting a head start on the upcoming volleyball season by attending the summer volleyball league in Jasper.

Lady Warriors attending include Katlan Payne, Devan Barnett, Erin Foster, Samantha Marlar, Rachael Lee, Brielle Johnston, and Katlyn McGough.

They are playing regular games for three weeks starting on June 22 with a tournament the week of July 13.

The first week, Warren 2 lost to Jasper in three sets, 9-25, 25-14, and 9-15, Warren 1 beat Huntington 2 in two sets, 25-12 and 25-19.

In other action, Warren 1 lost to Huntington 1 and Warren 2 beat Jasper 2.
In week two, Warren 1 beat Huntington B team in two sets, 25-20 and 25-8 and Warren 1 won against Warren 2 in two sets, 27-25 and 25-18.

In other play, Warren 2 lost to Huntington in three sets, 25-12, 22-25, and 15-6.

Next games in Jasper will be on Monday, July 6 at 4:30 p.m.

Spurger Alumni Baseball Game

Some of the participants of the Spurger alumni baseball gameSome of the participants of the Spurger alumni baseball game

by Kelsey Sheffield

On Saturday, June 27, the Pirates baseball program hosted their first alumni baseball game.
Players from the past decades of teams took part of the game against the upcoming varsity team.
The Spurger athletic program was excited to recognize the baseball program, since they have have been overlooked for the past few years. The program has been a strong knit group of athletes, and the alumni game was a representation of the bond of the game throughout the Pirates.

Although they came out with a few more years under their belt since the last time they played at their home field, the previous Spurger graduates still had some competition to give the current Pirate team.

In all fun and games, the alumni did not shy away in showing the young Pirates they still had it, in coming away with a victory.

The Pirates' baseball department is looking forward to coming together to compete and enjoy their love of the game of baseball with the rest of the Pirate family.

Woodville Hires New Volleyball Head Coach

by Hale Hughes

Woodville ISD has hired their second head coach in as many weeks.

Woodville-Sports Kaila-Foster 150pxKaila Foster has been named as the new head volleyball coach this week by WISD. Foster is an east Texas native from this area, graduating from Kountze High School.
Coach Foster played two years of college volleyball at Paris Junior College and at Oklahoma City University before graduating from Lamar University. Coach Foster has previously coached at Spurger ISD and West Hardin.

When asked what drew her to Woodville, Foster replied, "I was ready to get back into a head position." She continued, "Since I'm from Kountze, I knew how Woodville has always been very successful in their sports and at this point in my career, I am ready to come into a successful program and not one that is having to rebuild. I just want to help these girls get to the next level, because they are already pretty successful. I'd like to see them get to regionals and beyond."

When asked about game day ideas and plans, Coach Foster said, "There are set offenses and set defenses in volleyball, but I'm not going to change much with the defense because Coach Willis put in what I like to run defensively." She continued, "Coach Willis was actually a key part of me being here. She took an administrative job with WISD, but she was part of the interview process and through discussions with her, I found that we have a lot of the same coaching ideas and philosophies for this team."

Coach Foster said that she believes that the players will find this coaching change a seamless one.

Says Foster, "Coach Willis started teaching players to read the opposing offense and shift the defense accordingly and that is what I like to have in place. I like to put players in game type situations so they are mentally going to know, not me just telling them what to do. I want the game to be so ingrained in the players that they will instinctively know what to do themselves."

"Playoffs is a given," Foster said when asked about her goals for the team. She said, "But I don't just want playoffs, I want them to do well in playoffs. I definitely want to see them make the regional and possibly the state tournament this year. I watched them play summer league and I believe they have the potential to make it."

Coach Foster says she expects around 40-50 high school girls to participate in volleyball this fall. Two-a-days practices start August 3. Coach Foster says she expects the girls to come in excited, ready to work hard, sweat and put in the time needed to be regional and state bound. Foster commented, "I am very excited to have this opportunity with Woodville at this particular time."
The first scrimmage vs Hardin and West Hardin will be Friday, August 7, the same week that two-a-days begin. Saturday, August 8 will provide the first home scrimmage game versus Shepherd and Coldspring.

Coach Foster would like to let the Woodville community to know that she is the proud mother of a one year old son and she looks forward for our community meeting him and welcoming them in.

Colmesneil's Fishing team advances for a chance to fish at Nationals

Colmesneil’s Kameron Lindsey, Cole Johnson, Gavin Allen, and Cameron Burns all played in the TASO underclassman baseball game at Lamar.  (Shonda Lindsey Photo)Colmesneil’s Kameron Lindsey, Cole Johnson, Gavin Allen, and Cameron Burns all played in the TASO underclassman baseball game at Lamar. (Shonda Lindsey Photo)

by Alicyn Mitcham

Taso Baseball Game- Colmesneil's Kameron Lindsey, Cole Johnson, Gavin Allen, and Cameron Burns all played in the Taso underclassman baseball game at Lamar. The teams were separated into two teams of red and blue.

Lindsey and Johnson were on the blue team and Allen and Burns were on the red team.
Both teams played hard but the blue team came out victorious with a final score of 14-7.

Fishing Team- Randal Patrick, Jake Pattillo, Eli Dinger and Stephen Thomas qualified for the TBF/FLW Texas Open on Sam Rayburn at Cassels-Boykin, two day tournament. They qualified for this tournament by being the top from Deep East Texas Fishing Series.

To close up the fishing series with Deep East Texas Fishing Series, Patrick and Pattillo came in fourth overall, with a total fishing weight of 62.84. Dinger and Thomas came in sixth overall, with a total fishing weight of 58.50. These are the only two teams from Colmesneil to qualify.
On day one, Dinger and Thomas brought in the five fish weight limit, with the weight of 15 pounds, but they had a dead fish so their weight was 14.8 pounds.

On day two, Dinger and Thomas brought in 16.3 pounds for a total weight of 31.1 pounds. This weight brought Dinger and Thomas to second place in the tournament. Placing second in the tournament qualified Dinger and Thomas for the SAF/FLW southern conference championship on the Arkansas River in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, on October 17 for a chance to advance to SAF/FLW national championship.

Patrick and Callie Tubbs, who substituted for Pattillo, brought in one fish on day one, with a weight of 1.23 pounds. On day two Patrick and Tubbs brought in nine pounds, this weight was not enough to bring them to the top, but they enjoyed their time on the lake and improving their weight from the first day.

Chester Senior Athletes in review

by Wendy Whitworth

Cody Riley was a member of the football team for three years. He was awarded first team all-district center, honorable mention, and second team all region offense tight center. He was a member of the fishing team for two years and the baseball team for one year. Riley was a mugs 150pxhomecoming escort, a dogwood escort for royal duchess, and a dogwood lady in waiting escort. He was awarded Who's Who in English V. Riley is a member of Hillister Assembly of God. He was accepted to Oklahoma State University, Institute of Technology to pursue a career in Caterpillar Diesel Mechanics.

Keaton Whitworth was a member of the football team for four years. He was awarded first team all district utility back, first team wide receiver, first team quarterback, second team safety, second team utility back, honorable mention corner back, and second team all region defense utility player.

Whitworth was selected for the U.S. and Canada Bowl Game by the U.S. Six Man Coaches Association.

He played baseball for four years. He was awarded second team all district catcher one year and all district honorable mention for two years.

He was selected to play in the TASO All-Stars game. He ran track for three years. He was a regional qualifier for two years and 4x400 relay team state qualifier for one year.
Whitworth played golf for one year and was a regional qualifier. He was a member of the basketball team for two years, the tennis team for one year the fishing team for one year, ran cross country for one year and FFA for four years.

He was awarded the Aubry Bradley/Julius P. Johnson award.

Whitworth was the salutatorian, a member of the BETA club and was voted most likely to succeed. Keaton was awarded Who's Who in Spanish I, Economics, College English 1301, Agricultural Mechanics Camp; and Metal Technologies.

He was the escort to the dogwood queen, was given the Mr. CHS award and the Mr. Stinger award. He is a member of Chester First Baptist Church. Whitworth has 12 hours in the Angelina College Dual Credit Program. He will attend Angelina College to pursue a career in Fluid Power.