The Lady Pirate's strong play during their first scrimmages bode well for the new season as the girls benefit from the last two years rebuilding the team. They competed with Goodrich in a scrimmage Friday night, grabbing their first victory this season, defeating the Lady Hornets three of four rounds. They followed up on Saturday with play against the Warren Lady Warriors, winning all three rounds. They weren't as successful against Hemphill, but played a solid game.
The team is excited to see the results of their hard work and team rebuilding, and move into the young season with a new head and assistant coach. Coach Stormy Hubbard, a Warren alumni, will serve as head coach this year. Coach Ruth Williams will assist. Importantly, the girls are excited with the talent the new coaches bring to the team.
"My last year is definitely going to be a great one," senior Courtney Crain said.
Woodville senior Shawnacey Williams goes up for a hard spike against Coldspring (Hale Hughes Photo)
by Hale Hughes
Woodville girls started competition with scrimmages last Friday in Hardin and Saturday in Woodville at the Summit. Three squads were formed from this year's crop of 35 Lady Eagle participants. For scrimmage play, the varsity squad was comprised of 13 members, the JV team had nine girls, and the freshman squad closed out the group with 13 girls as well.
Coach Kaila Foster acknowledged that Saturday's intensity was not as high as Friday's play, partly due to the level of competition from Hardin and West Hardin on Friday.
"The intensity yesterday was better when we played better competition, today we kind of played down a little bit," Foster said. On a scale of 1-10, Foster said she would say the Lady Eagles are "...about a seven" at the opening of the season. "There were times when the girls looked awesome, and then times when we looked like we've got a lot to work on," Foster commented.
All Woodville squads dominated Saturday scrimmage play, and smiles and laughter filled the Summit, both on the players, coaches, and the fan's faces. Solid serves, fierce volleys and defensive digs filled all three courts of the Summit during the scrimmages. Although early in the season, some solid kills peppered the play by the Eagles. Defensively, the girls were ready with single and double-team blocks at the net with support play behind them ready for passes.
There is a good element of competitive girls involved with the volleyball program and scrimmage play revealed that aspect of the girls. They came not just to play, but to win, and did so convincingly on all levels of competition, even though no official scores were kept.
"Attitudes are good going into the season," Foster said following Saturday's scrimmage play. With full-tilt, live games just around the corner, there is no time to waste. Woodville will look to the upperclassmen to lead the Eagles this year. The first volleyball game on the slate for the Lady Eagles is Tuesday against Diboll in the Summit.
School may be out for the summer but that does not mean the Yellowjacket football team has stopped working. Several of the Yellowjackets' work out, on their own time, three or more days a week. All players agree that any work done such as lifting weights, conditioning, and drills are important and prepare them for game time. Senior, Billy Thompson, says, "When practice starts we will be ready and have a head start on any team that has not been working all summer." Cord Neal hopes to achieve more interceptions this year while teammate Colten Martin has a personal goal of more tackles. The two are sure this will come from personal strength gained in the weight room. Along with the clanking of weights being shifted around you can hear the team talking about returning to playoffs this year. Hard work on and off the field will get the Yellowjackets closer to that team goal.
Colmesneil Bulldogs and Lady Dogs are hard at work getting ready for a new season. Athletes are excited by new coaching talent added to mix this year. Coaches Teague Kowalski, Joe Smart and Ross McMurray will assist Coach Edd Trotter leading the Bulldogs to another great season. Each coach has unique talents that should really complement returning seniors and new players.
This year's seniors Dalton Davis, Harrison Brown, Jermany Wooten, Glenn Brown, Kaleb Lindsey, Cole Johnson, Cameron Burnes and Trystan Rigsby will offer their experienced leadership to the incoming group of younger players.
The Bulldogs will make their debut Friday, August 28, at 7:30 p.m. on Taylor Field in Colmesneil.
The Lady Dogs start their season with a new face on the coaching staff, with Coach Micah Bumstead and Coach Justin Thompson leading the girls on the volleyball court. Returning players bring a solid talent base into the new season, and high expectations for a good year. Bumstead is excited that 23 girls showed up for practice, including nine returning varsity players. Seniors Taylor Barker, Destiney Kirkindoll, Haleigh Belt, Hannah Guillory and Merrick Graham will anchor the team. The girls first opportunity to show off their skill will be August 13 and 15 in the Woodville varsity tournament. They have a home game against Warren August 14.
JV play starts at 5 p.m. with varsity following. They play Anahuac August 18 at home. JV starts at 3 p.m. and varsity immediately after.
USA team Coyotes (Nathan Sheffield – Back Row 2nd from the left.)
by Kelsey Sheffield
From July 13-20, Nathan Sheffield traveled to Brisbane, Australia to play as a representative for the USA in a basketball tournament hosted by Down Under Sports. Sheffield was teamed with nine other young men from all around the United States and was coached from a family man from Utah.
The boys were a part of the tournament for three full days. They were only given three days to practice with guys they have never met, but the chemistry was undeniable. Sheffield's team, the Coyotes, went the first day undefeated.
The first day was a day of eight games. Each game was two fifteen minute halves and were officiated as a regular game. They won their first game against another USA team, the Bengals, 33-22. They defeated the next USA team, the Falcons with a score of 32-16. Their first team to play from another country, New Zealand, was the All-Saints team, where they had a huge victory of 54-17. Their next game was against a team from Australia where they had their fourth victory of 44-24.
Their next four games were all against teams from New Zealand and Australia, where they won by more than double digits with scores of 44-32, 29-17, 46-33, and their last game was the biggest victory of a score 60-13.
The remaining days of the tournament did not go so much in their favor, but they still represented the USA exceptionally well. In the Cross Over-Finals the boys mixed up pools to compete for the semi-finals. The Coyotes lost their first game with a close score of 24-27 to the USA team, the Eagles. In the semi-finals, the boys lost again with a score of 24-30. Considering they were still in such a high seeding with their early victories, the boys still made it to the finals.
In the finals, they won seventh place against a team from Australia, with a score of 24-13.
Sheffield shared that this was an opportunity of a lifetime. It was a refreshing week of playing with boys with not only compatible chemistry, but shared the same love for the game as well. He stated he was thankful for the opportunity to play with a program that gave him a chance to play with not only a respectful team, but an incredible coach. He only knew the boys for a short week, but grew personable and led the boys humbly. He acknowledged Sheffield as a key player of the team and personally thanked Sheffield for being the leader of the team with an Australian flag.