Spurger's Lady Pirates spent August 18-20 participating in the Buna volleyball tournament. Although the Lady Pirates came up short, they received important court practice needed to reach their goal of making the playoffs this season.
In the first game of the tournament, the Lady Pirates took on the host team of Buna. With a huge home court advantage, the Lady Pirates knew this would be a tough match. Losing by single digit points, team members reflected on their shortcomings. "Our passes weren't too great at the beginning but we saw some improvement during the game," said Destiny Moore. "We can always improve on everything but we definitely need to improve on communicating with each other."
In game two, the Lady Pirates competed with Kirbyville's tough Lady Wildcats and the team shifted focus on improving communication with each other throughout the game. Although the team fell short, the Lady Pirates were competitive until the last hit, threatening to take the game back, even in the final seconds. "Keeping our heads up throughout the entire game is what will take our game to the next level," said Chloé Peterson, "That is our biggest problem. I know we will come together and fix this before district."
In the final matchup, the Lady Pirates found themselves playing East Chambers. The Spurger ladies knew this would be one of the most skillful opponents they meet. However, the Lady Pirates vowed not to go down without a fight. Falling short in the end, the Spurger team feels they learned from the loss. The tough games now will help them in future competitive district meets. "I'm ready for us to get more practice games in before district," said Cassidy LeBouef, "We will grow stronger as a team."
The Lady Pirates know the main goal is to make playoffs and to not get overwhelmed by these early losses. It is a mutual idea that they will work on the fundamentals and communication for future games. The team is confident they will have a much better outcome in the upcoming Warren volleyball tournament.
Coach Troy Carrell directs the Eagles just prior to athlete introductions during Meet The Eagles. (Hale Hughes Photo)
by Hale Hughes
Last Saturday the Woodville Athletic Booster Club hosted its annual "Meet The Eagles" behind the Summit. This is a tradition for Eagle fans old and new and a time for the community to gather and support our young athletes of Woodville High School. Hundreds of the Eagle nation faithful turned out for great food, fellowship and celebration of the upcoming school year and athletic program.
This year was unique as several new coaching staff members were introduced to the community. Although most of the staff has been working for several weeks now with the athletes, this was the first time many of the community members had an opportunity to put a face with a name and talk with them. Returning as the girls' athletic director, Coach Troy Carrell will return and will continue to be the head girls' basketball coach. Joining him will be the returning Mixon duo of Jennifer and Shawn. Kaila Foster is also returning as well as Sherry Sharum, Michelle Merchant and Ryan Kelly. New additions to the girls' staff this year is Chelsie McClendon and McKenzie St. Charles and new tennis coach Tyler Word.
There are several new faces on the boys' side of the staff this year as well. With new athletic director Ty Robinson, several of his staff members came with him. Coaches Woody McClendon and Justin Havard bring a vast amount of football knowledge to Woodville and share in Head Coach Robinson's vision for Woodville athletics. Also new to the Eagle staff this year is Lane Shands who will be taking over the varsity basketball program. Eugine Lafitte is a state champion winning coach hired this year from Douglas Coach Brad Green returns this year with Reggie Williams and Randy Williams. Coach Troy Carpenter is yet another new face and has already proven to be a force on the field. Rounding out the new faces is the new athletic trainer, Coach Dante Johnson who recently graduated from Sam Houston State and is coming in fresh from working with the Houston Texans during the off-season and should be a great asset to this year's staff.
All athletes representing Woodville High School were asked to attend and were introduced to the fans following the food festivities. It's apparent that the Eagles have a truly blessed program and has some truly talented athletes, several of who are likely to play at the next level.
Fans are invited to continue to support the Eagles and Lady Eagles during this season and schedules can be found on the WISD school website.
The future looks bright for the new staff members and each of the Eagles. These coaches and individuals have made a choice to work, a choice to sacrifice, to put themselves on the line every week, sometimes twice a week for the next school year, to represent you, this community and Woodville High School. That kind of commitment and effort deserves and demands our respect. These are our Eagles, and it was an honor to have met each of you this past weekend.
Volleyball- On August 16, the Lady Dogs fought a long, hard battle against the Anahuac Tigers in Anahuac. They lost the first two matches of the game, but in the third match, showed their endurance and passion. In the third game, they dug deeper and won the match 26-24. In the fourth match, they fought to overcome the Tigers, and won the match. In the last match of the game, they united as a team, but failed to overcome the Tigers. They lost the game, but showed hustle and heart.
On August 20, the Lady Dogs played against San Augustine in Colmesneil. They started the first match strongly, but deteriorated as the game progressed. After two grueling games where they could not keep up with San Augustine, the team attempted to battle back in the third match. After an effort made by the team, they lost to San Augustine. Despite the loss, they are looking forward to their season. On August 26, they will play an away game against Deweyville beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Football- The Bulldogs are continuing to band together and learning their roles as a team. They were scheduled to play a scrimmage this week, but due to the weather, the game was not finished. The parts of the game that they were able to play showed progress in the offensive line and defensive line.
Coach McMurry said, "We're still not where we would like to be, but we did grow and we seemed to push ourselves longer than the first week of practice. I am happy that our kids buy into what we ask of them. We have great kids who want what we want."
They are seeking to become mentally and physically tougher in the upcoming weeks. The Dogs are looking forward to a win against Deweyville on Friday night, August 26. The game will start at 7:30 p.m. and will be played in Deweyville.
Bailey Hamilton for the kill as Lindi Barnett, Haley Briers, and Claire McEachern look on. (Doug Glosson Photo)
by Doug Glosson
Volleyball - The Lady Warriors varsity volleyball team had a busy weekend as they played eight games in three days, ending on a good note winning the silver bracket in the Groveton tournament. In between tournament days, the Lady Warriors traveled to Jasper to take on the Lady Bulldogs.
The first set started out well with Erin Foster serving seven straight and a kill from Bailey Hamilton to take a 7-0 lead. The lead grew to 19-5 before Jasper went on a 13-5 run to get within five at 23-18. Rachael Lee then served out the set to win it 25-19. The second set would stay closer as the Lady Warriors took an 11-10 lead with good serving by Foster and kills by Hamilton, Claire McEachern, and Brooke Foster. Warren then went on to win 25-20 and take a 2-0 set lead. Jasper, however, would make a comeback in the third set, taking it 25-22.
The Lady Warriors would not be denied the win though as they took the fourth and deciding set 25-15, with a key kill by Laikyn Bell, and block by Hamilton.
The Jasper game was sandwiched in between a tournament in Groveton. On Thursday, the Lady Warriors started out in the hole by losing to Diboll but rebounded nicely beating Crocket and Groveton to find themselves in the silver bracket. On Saturday, Warren started out well taking down Kennard, but then lost to New Waverly. They then took on Grapeland, winning in straight sets to get to the championship against New Waverly. The Lady Warriors were ready this time around, taking the game and the silver bracket championship in two sets.
Upcoming schedule – Varsity tournament in Warren on August 25 and 27. All three teams play in Warren against Woodville on Friday, August 26, starting at 4:30 p.m. Warriorette parent night is August 30 at 5:30 p.m. Football – after being off last week, the Warriors JV football team will take on Huntington at home on Thursday, August 26 at 5:30 p.m, while the varsity will travel to Huntington on Friday; game starting at 7:30 p.m.
Being a Chester Yellowjacket football player is not for the weak at heart. The team has now completed their first week of workouts and the remaining athletes have proven their desire to be fit, strong, and ready for a challenging season. Coach Beam and Coach Wooten put the boys through an entire week of workouts intended to improve speed, increase agility, and build up endurance. These workouts have been tough and the temperature has been hot, but the players have showed up and worked hard.
All four senior players talked about how hard this week has been physically. But in the same breath, they all agreed that it will be worth it when the season gets underway. They appreciate both Beam and Wooten and all the time and effort they have put into the team already.
Colten Martin said, "Our workouts focus on us building up strength and speed at the same time. We've had to step up on our conditioning so that we can play at our best every snap. Every person on the team will be expected to step up and contribute to the team."
Cord Neal believes week one was a success. He said, "We learned a lot from Coach Beam and Coach Wooten. We learned the new offense schematics and defense. This years' team is relatively young, but I expect great things out of them."
Clay Thomson also thought the week went well for the Jackets, adding, "Even though we have had several players quit, I feel confident that with the players we have left, we can be just as good as any other six man team out there."
Junior Henson is not afraid of all the hard work. He said, "The harder we work, the better we will become. The workouts push all of us on the team to work harder and harder."
The Yellowjackets will hold their Purple and Gold Scrimmage on Friday, August 12 at 7:30 p.m. This will give all those eager Jacket Fans a look at the Chester Yellowjacket football team.
The Lady Jacket volleyball teams traveled to Warren on Friday, August 5 to scrimmage the Lady Warriors. The Lady Jackets made a strong showing. Both Coach Armstrong and Coach Byrd were pleased with their performance.
Byrd said, "We did a good job. We got a good look at the girls and we know what we need to work on." Both coaches are looking forward to this season and seeing improvements each week.
The Lady Jackets will have a home game on Tuesday, August 16 at 4 p.m. against Nacogdoches Area Home School.
Coach Foster looks on as outside hitter Josie Watts goes up and puts away a kill shot versus Hardin. (Hale Hughes Photo)
by Hale Hughes
The Lady Eagle volleyball team traveled to Hardin and Beaumont last week to test themselves in the first competitive action for Woodville High School athletics. The freshmen team, JV team and varsity teams all participated in games Friday in Hornet Stadium and in Beaumont on Saturday.
According to head coach Kaila Foster, the teams looked good and the competition exposed areas that each team needed work on. Foster praised the defensive work quality of serves when discussing the games over the weekend and mentioned that the offense was off to sluggish starts. "We will improve with more practice. It just comes with hitting off of our sets more," stated Foster. "We'll need to do a better job of closing our blocks as well," she continued. "I expect us to have those issues fine-tuned at the beginning of district play."
The Lady Eagles competed well and hung tight with much larger and tougher competition with Ozen & Westbrook (5A & 6A). Friday's competition versus Hardin has been the only 3A competition Woodville has seen. It's not an accident either, according to Foster. "I purposely scheduled these games to toughen us up. I don't want to go into a playoff game and not have a good, healthy tough game to draw from."
Foster still uses the sting of defeat last year to keep that fire lit in her player's bellies.
"I don't want a repeat of last year. We can talk about being ahead by six points in game five, but the bottom line is, they advanced and we did not." Foster says she wants this year's to be ready for tough competition and thinks it will benefit WHS both in district play, but especially during the playoffs to having played the larger, tougher competition schools to learn from. It's apparent that Foster has lofty goals and is hungry for these girls. Although she is tough on them, she also recognizes the work that the upper classmen have put in.
Foster spoke about the leadership of the squad as it related to the games over the weekend. "Our six seniors are really stepping up and bring a presence to the court that can't be taught. It's my opinion that they are coming in ready this year and ready to dominate." Foster is excited and Woodville fans will have their first opportunity to see these Lady Eagles compete in the Woodville volleyball tournament this weekend, August 11-13, in the Summit.
For those that attend the games, you will see that Foster has some new faces on the sidelines with her this year. Added to the coaching staff are Chelsie McClendon and McKenzie St. Charles. Both new coaches bring enthusiasm and intensity to the program that meshes well with the style of play Foster is implementing for the Lady Eagles. Players already have been bonding with them and a good foundation is being built with the new staff members.
Fans will have an opportunity to meet these new coaches on Saturday, August 20 at 6:00 p.m. when the Woodville Athletic Booster Club has its annual "Meet The Eagles" tailgate behind the Summit. There are multiple coaches across the Eagle athletic spectrum, from football to tennis to basketball and volleyball. Everyone is encouraged to come out and support the players and meet the new coaching staff during the final weekend before school starts on Monday, August 22.