Sweltering Heat No Match for Yellowjackets


by Jana Rayburn

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.

Competition Begins for Woodville; Volleyball Girls Draw First Blood

Coach Foster looks on as outside hitter Josie Watts goes up and puts away a kill shot versus Hardin. (Hale Hughes Photo)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.

Warriors Getting Ready for Football Season

Warriors after a tough workout. (Doug Glosson Photo)Warriors after a tough workout. (Doug Glosson Photo)

by Doug Glosson

It is early August in Southeast Texas and that can mean only one thing, football has started.

Warren will see a couple of new teams this year after re-districting took place last year. They will see some familiar foes such as Woodville, Buna, Kirbyville, and Kountze, but will also see new ones as Cold Springs and Trinity joined the district. Warren has about 13 seniors on the team. Here is what a few of those seniors had to say about two-a-days and the upcoming season.
Tyler Murphy, halfback and weak safety, stated, "Two-a-days are going good. We are learning to trust each other. We are getting old and new plays down quickly as we started learning some of them last Spring. Everyone is focused and mentally prepared for this heat. As far as new teams in the district, we just have to treat every team as if they are the best team in the district. I expect us to be a lot more productive on offense. Our defense if usually pretty shutdown, but our offense should be solid. I expect a winning record."

Unfortunately, Murphy broke his leg in an inter-squad scrimmage on Friday and will be out the rest of the season. Murphy is hoping to be ready for power lifting at the end of the year.

Bronson (Possum) Foxworth, center and nose-guard, said, "Two-a-days are going good as seniors are taking it serious this year. I expect this year to go well and have a winning season." Foxworth also participates in shot-put during track season.
Kobi Evans, offensive guard and defensive tackle, said, "Two-a-days are going good as everyone is learning the new run style offense. I expect us to make a run at the playoffs and possibly go to State." Evans also participates in power lifting.
Andrew Gordon, quarterback and free safety, said, "I feel we are already better now than we were last year at this time. It is hot out there, but we are getting better every day. Kids are catching on to the plays and getting in shape, so it's going good. I expect a lot out of my senior year from this group. We had a lot of success my sophomore year on JV when we won the district, so we are ready to clash again."

Coach Buckner, head coach and athletic director, said "Two-a-days are hot but the kids are working their tails off. We are very excited about the work ethic of this group so far. We have increased 20 to 25 kids from this time last year, so that is a huge help for us. A lot of those kids are from the JV class a couple of years ago that won district, so we are happy to have them back. Until we can start hitting, we are doing a lot of footwork drills, position work, teaching the foundation of what we are going to do offensively, defensively, and special teams. Of course, we are doing as much conditioning as we can get in to get our kids ready for this heat when we start playing scrimmages and games. You can tell the kids came in ready and things started clicking quickly as far as learning the plays and their positions. To be successful, we are going to have to win the physical game and the kids have embraced that."

Warren will play their first scrimmage of the season at home against West Hardin on Friday, August 12, time to be announced.
Volleyball—After successful scrimmages against Splendora, Hemphill, and Colmesneil, the Lady Warriors varsity volleyball team will be in the Woodville tournament on Thursday, August 11 and Saturday, August 13. JV and varsity will play in Spurger on Friday, August 12 starting at 5 p.m., while JV only will play High Island, at home, on Tuesday, August 16 at 4:30 p.m.

Spurger Volleyball Two-a-days in Full Swing

by Andrew Harmon

The queens of Spurger's volleyball court took to the gym bright and early August 1, as they started their official preparation for the season. The Lady Pirates brutal two-a-days are scheduled from 9 a.m.-11 a.m. and then again at 12 noon - 3 p.m.
"I don't think I've ever felt so much pain at once," expressed team member Kelly Willson. But in true Pirate spirit, the ladies are determined to work through the pain and exhaustion in hopes of achieving a winning season.

One of the key areas of improvement quickly noticed by Spurger coaches this year is the overall positive and supportive attitude among team members. This coupled with strength training and a new mental toughness among players should certainly pay off with a much improved showing over last year.

After the first week of practice, the Lady Pirates displayed their skills in a scrimmage against the Lady Cardinals of High Island on Friday, August 5. The Spurger team did a great job of executing on the court what they had prepared for all week and they look forward to continuing improvement.

Cates Chooses Colmesneil

by Alicyn Mitcham

Colmesneil coaching staff has the opportunity to call Quentin Cates the new head basketball coach for the Lady Dogs and assistant volleyball coach.

Colmesneil-Sports 200pxHe has thirty years of coaching experience under his belt and has an exceptional basketball record. He has coached at Boles for the last four years, and before that, he was at Tenaha for five years. He coached at Gladewater Rains for the majority of his career.

Cates had a perfect season record coaching at Gladewater; going 30-0. At Tenaha, he had a 28-2 season, only losing to Carthage and Grapeland in a playoff game. He has coached a run of five all-state players in a row in the span of ten years at Rains High School. With a successful season this year, he will reach his 500 win of his career.

He came to Colmesneil because he heard great opportunities about the basketball team and also, his friend Coach Crews is going to be a coach at Colmesneil. When asked about the hopes and goals for this year, Cates said, "I would like to make three rounds deep a stepping stone instead of a goal. I want to go to Austin and be in the state game."

He says that he will define success during the basketball season by individual success, and believes that success is subjective on individual players. All athletes are measured differently, and we want every athlete to compete to the best of her ability.
"Individual success leads to team success. An athlete has to want to win for herself for that to transfer over to team success," Cates explained.

He became a coach because of the joy he felt coaching a little league team. He earned a degree in business in college while simultaneously coaching a little league team. The summer after he graduated, he married, and his wife helped him realize he wanted to be a coach.

"I just loved coaching, and I love the decision I made every day, " said Cates.
His favorite part of being a coach is the kids. He loves watching athletes being successful and take pride in their accomplishments, no matter how big or small. Some role models who helped him become the coach he is today include Jack Murphy and his father, Kenneth Cates.

Murphy is a Tom Landry winning coach. He worked with him at Gladewater, and he gave him the tools to be successful while teaching him how to be a coach. His father is a great role model and taught him how to be a man.

He is excited about the upcoming year and is looking forward to a great year. With a third round playoff run, the Lady Dogs are hopeful to continue this winning mentality.