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updated 4:23 AM UTC, Aug 19, 2019


Bulldogs kick off new season with Midnight Madness

Colmesneil Volleyball 081519


By Brooke Mitcham

COLMESNEIL – On Friday, August 9, Bulldog Country welcomed the upcoming seasons with introductions and showcases. The night began at 10 p.m. with an introduction given by athletic director and head football coach Cody Day announcing football players and coaches as the bulldogs prepare to make a showing this season.

The 2019 varsity cheerleaders, cross country team, twirlers and Scarlet Stars were all also announced. Next Coach Nancy Bearden introduced JV and Varsity members of volleyball.

Once introductions were complete, the volleyball teams formed drills for the community to watch. Once volleyball wrapped up, the football boys took the field for practice at midnight. For the first time, the football team practiced in pads displaying drills and skills learned during previous practices. Head Coach Cody Day will be assisted this season by Caleb Hardy, Trevor Morgan, Coleman Butter and Byron Sanford.

Come out and watch the Bulldogs participate in a scrimmage at Taylor Field on Saturday, August 17 at noon.

Also, on Saturday, August 17, a benefit ragball tournament will take place at the baseball and softball fields in Colmesneil. The event will benefit the family of Cheyenne Courtney, a Colmesneil ISD student recently diagnosed with leukemia.

On Thursday, August 8 and Saturday, August 10, the Varsity Lady Dog volleyball team, led by head coach Karen Bearden and assistant coach Nancy Bearden, traveled to Onalaska for a two-day tournament. Thursday was filled with pool games to determine seeding for the games on Saturday. During the first pool game on Thursday, the Lady Dogs fell short in games against Huntsville JV. The second pool game against Lovelady showed improvement for the dogs, but the score still fell a bit short. During the third pool game, the girls found their groove and defeated Crockett. On Saturday, the girls’ first game was against Onalaska leading to tight scores and steady teamwork.

The girls lost two games by scores of two points. The next game proved to be an easy defeat against Latexo. After a long break, the girls played Huntsville JV for consolation and lost. On Tuesday, August 13, the Lady Dogs will host Anahuac at home beginning with JV at 4:30. On Friday, August 16, the teams will travel to San Augustine to play with JV beginning at 4 followed by Varsity.

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Woodville volleyball set to begin

Returning Starters – Pictured left to right: Emily Mixon, Jordyn Beaty, Shannon Whitehead, Jayda Argumon, Baylee Cooley, Kayla Merchant and Dana Carlton.Returning Starters – Pictured left to right: Emily Mixon, Jordyn Beaty, Shannon Whitehead, Jayda Argumon, Baylee Cooley, Kayla Merchant and Dana Carlton.


By Hale Hughes

WOODVILLE—The Lady Eagles will report for two-a-days this Thursday. Players arriving on campus this week will be met with high expectations from fifth year head coach Kaila Foster.

Woodville returns this year in District 21-3A with the regular playoff contenders like Central Heights and Diboll. “Central Heights always brings their A-game when they play against us,” said Foster. “Diboll has an abundance of talent returning much like we do. We split games with the Lady Jacks last year and they will give us a run for our money. We will have to make sure we play mistake free and with high intensity against both of those teams.” The other thing Foster noted is how well the rest of the district opponents rose to the occasion when playing the Lady Eagles. “They all seem to play their best games against us for some reason. We will have to bring our very best every game this year,” she said.

With a district title being the first of many goals this year, Woodville looks to make their mark with an abundance of returning players. In preparing to achieve that goal Foster noted that she is changing a few things going into this season. “We are going to be doing some more individual type stuff this year in training, so I can develop each player’s skills,” she said. “Another difference this year is that our offense will operate a little bit faster than it has in the past. That will give opposing defenses less time to prepare for what is coming at them.” Foster also mentioned that this year’s team will focus on keen defense and incorporate the improved defense into a direct relationship with the higher tempo offense that Foster is implementing. “The goal here is to immediately be able to transition into an offensive play off of any dig,” she explained.

“I have seven high-quality varsity players coming back this year and my expectations are very high considering the characteristics of returners I am getting back. At any given point of the season, any of those seven were in a starting role. There is a ton of varsity experience in those players and that should be very favorable for us going into this year. All seven will play pivotal roles for our team.” Foster then began singling out some of the players and what their roles would likely be. “Emily Mixon will be a power hitter from the outside. She has been putting in a ton of work and it shows. Mixon is absolutely smashing the ball right now. Jordyn Beaty will be a force to be reckoned with in the middle. Jayda Argumon returns as the district MVP from a year ago and will reprise her role as libero for us. She looks to be just as fast and just as good as she was last year. Shannon Whitehead will return as setter, the difference between this year and last is that she looks to be the sole setter for the team this go around. Dana Carlton has a year under her belt working in the middle and will be even better for us this year. Baylee Cooley will be stepping into more of a hitter’s role this year for us and will give us some added depth in that regard. Kayla Merchant will return opposite of Mixon and will also work in a hitter’s role from the outside.” Foster’s attention isn’t only on her varsity players. “I have several JV players returning this year. I am positive that I will have good numbers for both the varsity and JV teams.”

With two-a-days fast approaching, Foster gave insight on what the players can expect. “They can expect to be worked and worked hard,” Foster said. “We will be getting in shape physically with weights and cardio. Then we will have high intensity practices to prepare them for game situations.” Foster says it won’t be much a of a shock to the players. After being here for five years and establishing her program the older players know what she brings to the table and this past year she worked with the middle school players and have established some relationships and given those players a glimpse of what to expect in high school practices.

Foster believes that a handful of her Lady Eagles are in a great position to garner individual accolades this season. Foster thinks that pound for pound, player for player that her Lady Eagles can match up individually with any other players they’ll face this season. The trick for Foster will be getting all of those components that each player brings to the table working as a unified, self-sacrificing, ball-smashing machine. Without any ego or hesitation, Foster stated, “We have the talent to be at this year’s regional tournament and making a serious run at the state tournament title. That’s exciting to me as a coach and the only thing standing in our way are things that are out of our control.” Foster says she and her players will be focusing on what they can control: attitude, preparation and effort, and the rest will fall into place.

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Woodville Lady Shockers host basketball tournament



By Hale Hughes

WOODVILLE—The Lady Shockers sixth and seventh grade team hosted a summer tournament this last weekend at the Summit to support their efforts to attend Nationals in Fresno (near Dallas) on July 24-28.

It was a great turnout as fourteen teams from the area including Houston, Livingston, Woodville, Newton, Kirbyville, Jasper all converged together to compete and support the Lady Shockers basketball summer league team.

This summer league team was put together approximately five months ago and they have been competing regularly in tournaments primarily in Houston put on by Prime Time but have also played in tournaments in Beaumont where they have notched one of their signature wins over the number one ranked AAU Texas Storm team.

“There has been so much progress in these players over the last few months,” Brooke Taylor, one of the team’s coaches, said.

“We are playing teams that recruit players from all over a wide region and we are basically a Woodville team with the exception of one player from Silsbee, and we are competing with these large city teams and giving them a real run for their money and that just speaks to the talent we have here in our local community.”

According to Taylor, this team has picked up a handful of second and third place finishes over the past few months.

“We want to build this team for the future with playing time, chemistry and comradery,” Taylor said. “We are young. We are a team of fifth and sixth graders playing in a sixth grade through seventh grade age group. It makes the competition a little tougher, but we are reaping the benefits by getting better as a team.” When not playing in tournaments, Taylor noted that you’ll still see these girls together whether it be a church or just hanging around at each other’s houses. “Chemistry is key, and these girls are a big family and we try our best to capitalize on that close-knit relationships that we have with one another.”

The players on the Lady Shockers team are KK Foster, Kristen Bettes, Antavia Martin, Rhianna Hart, Ma’Ryiah Alfred, Jayla Harmon, Shaniyah Hart, Chrislyn Brooks, Yaheira Battise and Kenley Hadnot.

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TC Thunder Volleyball hosts Woodville summer camp

Super Staff – Pictured are the coaches from last week’s camp. (L to R) Luciana Babin, Gabi Reis, Nyla Shepard and Claire McEachern. (HALE HUGHES | TCB PHOTO)Super Staff – Pictured are the coaches from last week’s camp. (L to R) Luciana Babin, Gabi Reis, Nyla Shepard and Claire McEachern. (HALE HUGHES | TCB PHOTO)


By Hale Hughes

WOODVILLE –Tyler County Thunder Volleyball held its second annual summer camp last week at the Summit Gymnasium at Woodville High School. Luciana Babin once again headed things up to host a terrific camp for all volleyball players in the community, county and surrounding areas. Over 70 volleyball campers turned out for the three-day camp that was held Tuesday-Thursday and well over a dozen players took part in position-specific clinic on Friday.

This camp was created by three former Louisiana State University (LSU) volleyball players that left a great legacy at the LSU program. Luciana Babin, who was named as SEC Freshman of the Year, Gabriela Reis who is the daughter of Luciana’s sister Daniella Reis who was an All American and a member of the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame in her own right, and Nyla Shephard, also an All American who competed in 2 NCAA Final Four Tournaments. The LSU trio also enlisted the help from recent Warren High School grad Claire McEachern. Their goal is to share with volleyball players of Southeast Texas the skills, discipline and leadership that they learned during their time while playing at LSU. 

“We can see the kids growing in their skills from last year,” said Shephard. “We feel like they can greatly benefit from any training they can get outside of the training they receive in school,” she added. Babin noted that it was great to see so many players that attended last year return for this summer’s camp.

“We work them on several physical drills, whether it be hitting, blocking, setting or ball control, but we also work on their mental approach to the game and to keep them sharp competitively, having a positive attitude in all situations and truly being a team player as well,” Babin explained.

“This isn’t something that we only teach, but we lead. We say these things but then we also get in there on the court with these campers and play right alongside them, displaying these character traits and showing them how to respect the game with our actions as well as our words.”

This really is a first-rate camp,” Babin said. Babin explained that it is a combination of several elements that make a really successful camp. “First of all, we have great facilities in being able to use the Summit and we are very grateful to Woodville High School allowing us to use this gym. We provide world class teaching from players who have played at an elite level and we have a diverse and high number of players who want to get better.”

Volleyball players from throughout the area attended the camp. Players from Jasper, Corrigan, Colmesneil, Warren, Chester were in attendance as well as some from as far as Colorado, Waco and Los Angeles, California. “We have received a lot of positive feedback about our camp and the skills and tools we teach and provide,” Babin said. “Many of these players have attended other college camps and report to us that they learn as much or more from the camp held right here in Woodville,” Babin added. “None of this would be possible without help from our local sponsors. Citizen’s Bank, Magnoia Bar and Grill, Elijah’s Café and the Stagecoach Inn have been instrumental in allowing us to provide this camp for the kids in our community and surrounding areas.”

Babin closed by saying “Tyler county is a great place to live. We encourage the people in the community to support their kids in their sporting endeavors. Every kid has the opportunity to come out and participate and doesn’t have to travel hours away to get first class instruction. It’s a great environment and we love being able to do this for the people and kids from Tyler County.”

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