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Spurger Lady Pirates return to action after Hurricane Harvey

Lady Pirates Tanna Willis, Ashley Jenkins, Shelly Martin, Lauren Griffin, Abigail Sirmons and McKenzy Hatton take the court. Hannah Grissom photoLady Pirates Tanna Willis, Ashley Jenkins, Shelly Martin, Lauren Griffin, Abigail Sirmons and McKenzy Hatton take the court. Hannah Grissom photo

By Hannah Grissom

This past week was bittersweet for the Spurger Lady Pirates. On Tuesday, Sept. 12, the Lady Pirates took a big win over the Apple Springs Eagles. In the first set, the Pirates took the victory with a score of 25-12.

In the second set, the victories continued with a score of 25-3. In the third and final set, the Spurger Lady Pirates came out with their first district win. The final score was 25-13.

Junior Tabitha Martin served the most points in the second set with a total of 19 serves in a row.

In the third set, Tabitha served a total of 14 serves in a row.

The Lady Pirates faced off against the Chester Yellowjackets On Friday, Sept. 15. They came out with a devastating loss.

The first set the Pirates loss with a score of 10-25. The second set the ladies came out with a win of 25-13.

The Lady Pirates were super excited. The excitement did not last long.

The Yellowjackets played a great game and beat the Pirates with a final score of 9-25.

The Junior Varsity and Varsity Lady Pirates played at home Sept. 19, against the Colmesneil Bulldogs.

The Junior Varsity and Varsity Lady Pirates will also be playing at home Saturday, Sept. 23, starting at 1 p.m. against the Groveton Indians. Come and support your Spurger Lady Pirates.

Colmesneil notches big wins on gridiron, court

By Gabby Reynolds

Coach Ross McMurray and Kameron Lindsey celebrating their win. (Photo by Ben Zumwalt)Coach Ross McMurray and Kameron Lindsey celebrating their win. (Photo by Ben Zumwalt)Throughout the offseason, Colmesneil football has worked on mental toughness — which creates physical toughness.

After nine days with no practice, a lack of time to work on special teams, Bulldog athletes had a short week of practice during which teams tried to cram 13 days worth of practice into three days.

The toughness and desire to win lead the Colmesneil Bulldogs to a win Friday, Sept 8.

Are the Bulldogs resilient, are they ready to be the team to get through those times of fear, fatigue, and backs against the wall? Those questions were answered as yes Friday night. On the last defensive play of the game the Bulldogs were up 18-14, Crossroads had the ball with 1:30 left on the clock.

It was fourth and eight on the 30-yard line. The ball was thrown to a slightly open receiver in the end zone.

At that point the Bulldogs had to make the choice to either give up, or be resilient and push through.

Junior Ryan Bray hit him and dislodged the ball to turn the ball back over to the Bulldogs.
"Through last night I was proud of our boys for overcoming everything over the last few weeks and finding a way to win. Be resilient, tougher, and never quit," Coach Ross McMurray said.
The Bulldogs have a game against Mt. Enterprise on Friday, Sept. 15.

Volleyball
On Tuesday, Sept. 5, the Lady Dogs played Timpson and the team struggled after being out of practice for a week.

With only two days of practice to regroup and work together, the Lady Dogs can back Saturday and dominated their first district game against Leggett.

The team played together and kept the errors to single digits —making Leggett earn their points.
The Lady Dog's seniors led the charge.

Nature Jackson dominated the net with multiple kills. Rylee Smith was flawless with her serves. Gabby Reynolds was the quarterback of the court with her sets to every player and Lindsey Dobbins ran the middle preventing Leggett from scoring.

Junior Emilee James, provided more power in the middle as well by constantly attacking the ball.
Colmesneil's Freshman and JV teams both competed in the Warren Tournament.
JV played some bigger and tougher schools and competed well.

The freshmen placed third in the tournament after beating Kirbyville.

The Lady's Dogs have a game on Friday, Sept. 15, against Goodrich on their home court.

Warriors fall to Evadale 40-22 in season opener

Warren’s Michael Mouton with some tough yards against Evadale. (Doug Glosson photo)Warren’s Michael Mouton with some tough yards against Evadale. (Doug Glosson photo)

By Doug Glosson

Hurricane Harvey may have disrupted lives over the past couple of weeks, but many fans around Southeast Texas were finally able to attend their first high school football game of the season Friday night.

Warren started their season off by visiting the Rebels of Evadale. Evadale passed early and often, scoring on their first drive with a 31-yard touchdown pass to take the lead 7-0 over Warren.
Evadale would miss a field goal on their next possession and then block Warren's punt to put them on the Warriors 20-yard line.

On the next play, Warren's Dylan McGallion picked off Evadale's pass, taking it 70 yards for the score to bring Warren within one at 7-6. Evadale did not go away from the pass however.
On their next possession, they started on their own 35, passing four times to get into the end zone and push the score up 14-6.

Warren would allow Evadale to score two more touchdowns, one rushing and one passing, before getting into scoring position with first and goal with a minute to go before halftime. The Warriors were unable to score as the pass was incomplete; finding themselves down 27-6 at the half.

In the second half, Warren went three and out on their next three possessions while Evadale tacked on another touchdown with a 10-yard pass as well as a 45-yard punt return to push the score up 40-6.

Warren would not quit, however, and scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter — a two-yard rushing touchdown by Cameron Kojak and a 15-yard touchdown run by Michael Mouton to pull closer at 40-22 as time ran out in the fourth.

The Warriors will be in action Friday, Sept. 15 in Tarkington; game starting at 7:30 p.m.
Volleyball

It was tough week for the varsity volleyball squad as they fell to Diboll and then to Buna in five sets in the district opener.

The freshman had a good week though by winning their own tournament and then beating Buna in straight sets. Next up, the freshman and JV will travel to Liberty for a tournament on Thursday, Sept. 14 and Saturday, Sept. 16.

All three teams will continue district play by hosting Anahuac on Friday, Sept. 15 and then host East Chambers Tuesday, Sept. 19; games starting at 4:30 p.m.

School athletics teaches important lessons

Student athletes learn important life lessons when they compete with a team. (Photo–illustration by Hale Hughes)Student athletes learn important life lessons when they compete with a team. (Photo–illustration by Hale Hughes)

By Hale Hughes

There is no doubt that school is a place for learning and while much is taught in class, there is a significant amount that is learned outside of the classroom, specifically the court or the field.

Athletics taught me a range of things, many of which became life lessons. These lessons aren't a part of any curriculum or on a list of mandatory common core elements that must be learned. They are experienced through effort, wins and losses, successes and failures, and I would like to share a few with you.

PARTICIPATION: Athletics is one of the first instances that individuals learn what it means to be a part of a team and to truly be a teammate.

One of the first things learned is the clear difference between participating and contributing.

It doesn't matter if you're fast. It doesn't matter if you're big or if you're small. It doesn't matter if you're tall or short. It doesn't matter a lot of things. You learn what physical effort really is.

You eventually learn that there is a common goal, and that goal is winning. The realization of this goal also teaches another valuable lesson of achieving that goal: practice, and lots of it. Success isn't given, it's earned.

That is a life lesson that's never forgotten. And while talent is appreciated, it's real effort that what is recognized. And it's not just the coaches who see it but teammates also see it. They also recognize the lack of it, and the true leaders of the team know how to call someone out for it and do so in a constructive manner.

TEAM: Teammates learn to bond over shared experiences, both good and bad. The bond between teammates is one that is similar to a friendship, but surpasses friendship in that it is typically more goal-oriented and the success of goals achieved and the devastation of missing or losing those shared goals links teammates even closer. Ask anyone who has ever won a state championship...in anything. There is a special blood transfusion that seems to occur when a team wins state and it's from that moment on teammates then become brothers or sisters for life. I've seen it first hand and it will continue to happen long after I am gone. This kind of bond teaches young athletes what it means to allow yourself to be vulnerable and generally creates friends for life.

HUMILITY/HUMBLENESS: Although winning is the goal as stated earlier, there will likely be an instance in which a loss occurs. It's inevitable and it should be experienced.

Being humbled with a loss is something everyone can learn from. It's not fun. It's not easy. It's heart wrenching and a necessary lesson of life. Knowing how it feels being on the losing end will also help athletes stay humble and decent following a victory and athletes learn to win and lose with grace, and will make them better people as they grow up.

FITNESS: For many people, being a part of school athletics is likely the most fit time of their lives.

I believe it's a good thing for individuals to know how what it means to be truly fit and how it affects their body.

I think it's a good thing for individuals to know their physical capabilities and limitations. It's also quite something to learn what it's like to impose your will physically over someone.

After all, that's essentially what sports are. Taking a set of goals, with predetermined rules and seeing which individual or team can use their skills to beat the other. It is typically within this realm that young people learn their best skillsets and what interests them the most, and will likely play a part in their decision making as they develop.

PRIDE: There is a pride that is taken when someone buys into their local sports program and that indescribable pride is another thing that I think every kid should feel a part of at least once in their lives. Representing someone other than yourself is something that athletics provides and in my opinion is something that should be experienced by everyone. There is a humility and humbleness that comes from representing your local school.

CELEBRITY: Not everyone will grow up to be a movie star or hero, but it's a special privilege to have your community cheer on local athletes and root for them.

Being recognized as a local athlete is another thing I think that helps secure a positive self-esteem in young people. Being noticed in your town, area, and in other rival communities is a tremendous coming of age lesson that helps and allows young people to manage their reputation and their character as they transition into young adults.

GOALS: Hinted at earlier, being an athlete initiates goal setting for people at an early age. When successful people are seen, what is likely seen is individuals who have set goals for themselves.

Goal setting is something that can be applied to just about any facet of life whether it be a career, relationships, physical, mentally or even spiritually oriented.

Learning to set goals is invaluable and athletics provides a tremendous opportunity to introduce them to young people.

Lady Jackets determined to serve up a win

Coach DeWayne Armstrong gives the Lady Jacket volleyball team some pointers.  The team is preparing for their district opener at Apple Springs on Friday, Sept. 8 at 4:30 p.m. (Jana Rayburn.)Coach DeWayne Armstrong gives the Lady Jacket volleyball team some pointers. The team is preparing for their district opener at Apple Springs on Friday, Sept. 8 at 4:30 p.m. (Jana Rayburn.)

By Jana Rayburn

Chester I.S.D. and the surrounding community were very blessed to come through the last week without any physical damage.

Even though Chester received several inches of rain, our schools, athletic fields, and homes are dry. We are very thankful for this, and ready to get back to a sense of normalcy both in the classroom, on the field, and in the gym.
Chester High School took a week off from school and athletic competitions for Hurricane Harvey, but the athletes are working hard to be ready for some big games coming up this weekend.
The Lady Jacket volleyball team will have their first district game against Apple Springs on Friday, Sept. 8 in Apple Springs. The varsity game will start at 4:30.

This is a huge game for the Jackets. The Lady Jackets have some unfinished business to take care of, as the Lady Eagles defeated Chester in both district games last year.

The junior varsity team will compete in the Corrigan JV volleyball tournament Thursday and Saturday, Sept. 7 and 9. Game times are to be announced.

The Lady Jackets will host the Colmesneil Lady Bulldogs for a district game on Tuesday, Sept. 12. The junior varsity game will get started at 4:30 p.m., with the varsity to follow.

The Chester varsity football team will play its first game of the season Friday, Sept. 8 as they play host to Marshall Christian Academy Guardians. Kickoff is at 6:30 p.m. at Aubry Bradley Stadium.

The Yellowjacket cross country teams will travel to Grapeland on Saturday, Sept. 9 for their first meet of the season. The past two meets were cancelled due to the weather, so Coach Charlotte Barnes is excited to see how our runners measure up against competition. The meet will begin at 8 a.m. with the varsity girls division.

Lady Eagles host huge preseason tourney

Keyonna Pairie gets some air as she spikes the ball past a defender in last weekend’s huge Woodville Tournament. (Hale Hughes photo)Keyonna Pairie gets some air as she spikes the ball past a defender in last weekend’s huge Woodville Tournament. (Hale Hughes photo)

By Hale Hughes

Last weekend, Woodville hosted the largest preseason tournament in the area as 24 teams converged on the Summit to officially get the 2017 season underway. Pool games were held on Thursday, giving teams two games each to prepare for Saturday's tournament bracket play.
All three courts at the Summit were used and fans were shoulder to shoulder and stacked as much as three deep in some areas to see all the action that East Texas had to offer.

Teams classified from 2A-5A travelled from as far as Beaumont to compete in this massive tournament. Teams were divided into three brackets, gold, silver and bronze and played a best-of-three series for each match.

Brackets and teams were evenly matched as many of the games went to the third and decisive game to decide the winner. Woodville was no stranger to close games and had their fair share of competition.

Head coach Kaila Foster saw flashes of brilliant play from the Lady Eagles as they would rally hard to win points and showed real promise for the season ahead. However, being early preseason, she also saw some sloppy play and noted that her team was still a bit out of shape and conditioning was still an issue.

Foster's hometown Lady Eagles wasn't the only team to see disorder in their game and some coaches even took their teams out in the sweltering Saturday heat to have them run alongside the track to make up for erroneous execution during games on the courts.

Some fans were disgruntled by having to sit on the floor surrounding the courts in such close proximity to the action, but there was no denying that the atmosphere at Summit was electric. It was good business for Woodville as well. Concessions at the Summit were constantly busy and some teams gathered their players between games and bused them to local restaurants to feed them. It seemed there was as much action as the Summit could contain, until it couldn't contain it.

Shortly before 6 p.m., a transformer blew and left the Summit without power and in the dark.

Foster and girls' athletic director Troy Carrell scrambled to find a way to finish the tournament.

After quick discussions and a few phone calls amongst the coaches and referees, it was decided to relocate the players from each of the remaining schools as well as the coaches and referees to Lumberton to finish the remaining games in what was sure to go down as a very wild and memorable tournament.