by Hale Hughes
The Eagles and Lady Eagles both continue their remarkable seasons. The Eagles were in a knot with other teams in the district but played their way out of it and after knocking off Newton, Woodville baseball took sole possession of second place in district, and more importantly the better playoff seed. The Eagles look to continue their momentum in a single game playoff bi-district game against Crockett that is slated for Friday night at Frank Morris Park in Lufkin. It should be a good contest, but the Eagles are a determined bunch and look to go farther than they did last year.
This playoff atmosphere is a familiar one for head coach Eugene Lafitte, as he has two state championships on his resume and the Eagles will look for his guidance as they navigate the playoff gauntlet. Seniors Tyler Hollingsworth, Ivan Lockhart, Kris Traylor and Chancy Northern will lead this talented bunch. Strong pitching by Hollingsworth, Lockhart, junior Ty Bryant and strong closes by Northern have proved to be sufficient for the Eagles thus far from the mound. Aggressive base running by the likes of Lockhart and Traylor have helped earn runs while quality glove work by Reed Weaver, and Reese Shaw hasn't gone unnoticed.
Quality at-bats by Cade Bass, Hollingsworth, Marcos Broom and Bryant have kept games manageable this season for Lafitte, and will certainly be called upon as the playoffs get underway as Woodville goes for the bi-district title.
The University Interscholastic League (UIL) has softball a week ahead of the boys, and the third ranked Lady Eagles dropped Coldspring from playoff contention, winning bi-district in front of a full crowd at Angelina Junior College in Lufkin.
The Lady Eagles jumped out to a modest 3-0 lead after the first inning. An uneventful scoreless second inning came and went, but an absolute laser show erupted from the bats of the Lady Eagles in the third inning as senior Bailey Stewart started it off with a triple. More hits came as fellow senior Faith Sirmons, Shelby Mixon, Koral Sylestine and Gracin McCollum all continued the hit parade as Woodville pumped nine more runs in for the Lady Eagles to break the back of the Lady Trojans.
It was a batting spree all the way around as batter after batter continued to find open ground to hit to and it was just more than anything Coldspring could overcome, as they were completely dominated from start to finish 15-0 as the Lady Eagles run ruled them in five innings, not even batting the bottom of the fifth. It was simply no contest for the Lady Eagles, District 22-3A's best. They dominated Coldspring from start to finish, and were led by the superb play from Mixon in the circle. Woodville was superior in every way. Their offense was relentless, their base running was quick and assertive, and their defense was simply solid in all positions.
Eagle fans will once again be split between baseball and softball as the Lady Eagles softball team will play Buna in Jasper on Friday night in the area round of the UIL playoffs, the same night and time that the boys will be taking on Crockett, and both will be single elimination games. It's an exciting time to be supporting either team and the coaches appreciate all the fans, parents and community who come out to support their programs.
UIL Regional Track Highlights: Carrington Marendes and Claire Robinson have both qualified for the state track meet. Marendes will continue to compete in the wheelchair 100m and 400m as well as the shot put and Robinson will compete in the 300m hurdles May 11-13 in Austin.