Page 1

2012 FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Including photos and information on teams from: • • • • • • • The Mexia News

Mexia Groesbeck Fairfield Teague Wortham Coolidge Navarro College

August 30, 2012


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The Mexia News

2012 FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

A look at District 19-3A for 2012 BY STEPHEN R. FARRIS Mexia News Sports With Mexia prepares to flex its’ muscles against their opponents this season, the rest of the district will be working hard to stop the Blackcats oncoming assault. First up …

PALESTINE WILDCATS

Finishing 4-1 in district and 7-4 overall, with a bi-district playoff appearance in Division I 3A, Coach Lance Angel’s Wildcats return a stout team with seven offensive and eight defensive starters ready to do battle this year. Darrius Stephens (5-10, 160 lbs., 4.5) amassed over 1,000 yards rushing and scored 10 touchdowns for the Wildcats last season. He’ll be joined in the backfield by quarterback Brain Gummelt (61-117-1,055-0, 14 TDs). The zero interceptions is an amazing feat for any quarterback to actually accomplish in this day and age of speed linebackers and de-

fensive backs. Speaking of defense, Palestine should be solid in that area, too, as defensive lineman Walter Sheridan (6-0, 260 lbs., 5.1), linebacker Jadarius Beasley (5-10, 170 lbs., 4-3) and defensive lineman Juan Trejo (5-9, 170 lbs., 4.8) will use their speed to stop runners in their tracks. The Wildcats look for a few players from last year’s undefeated freshman and junior varsity teams to step up and contribute at the varsity level.

FAIRFIELD EAGLES The Eagles are also under the leadership of new head coach John Bachtel. Bachtel served as offensive coordinator since 2009, and stepped in as the Interim Athletic Director/Head Football Coach after the departure of Darrell Piske, who took the same job at Tyler’s Robert E. Lee High School. Bachtel takes over at the helm of an Eagle team that finished the regular season 10-0, before suffering their first loss of the season in the first round of last year’s bi-district playoff game. The

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Mexia Blackcats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Pages 4-7 Mexia Lady Cats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Pages 8-12 Navarro College Bulldogs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12, 27 Groesbeck Goats . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 13 Wortham Bulldogs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 16-18 Wortham Lady Bulldogs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 19 Coolidge Yellow Jackets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 20

Eagles return seven starters on offense and defense this year, including District 20-3A MVP running back Andre Welch (6-0, 215 lbs., 4.7) who scorched opponents for 1,208 yards on the ground on 89 carries and scored 12 touchdowns, and fullback Cody Sell (6-0, 220 lbs., 4.9). Add to that quarterback Aaron Cain (6-0, 175 lbs., 4.7), who threw for 902 yards (55-102 c/a) and eight touchdowns. Defensively, Fairfield will have back the workhorse linebacker Alex Ward, after recording 78 tackles for the team in 2011. Free Safety Cooper Cole (6-1, 190 lbs., 4.7) is picked by Texas Football as the preseason favorite for defensive MVP.

RUSK EAGLES The Eagles are actually the sole survivor in District 19-3A, after all of the other teams left for districts elsewhere. While everyone is talking about how Rusk is the newcomer, in reality it’s the other way around. Rusk finished 2011 at 4-8, but their 2-2 district record was good enough to earn them a spot in Class 3A’s Division II playoffs, finishing as an area finalist. The Eagles were one of only two teams from last season – the other was Palestine – that were less than a touchdown away from upsetting Fairfield during the regular season. Rusk lost that game by only four points, 21-17. Rusk is reloaded and ready to make things happen this year under the guidance of Head Coach Ted Patton. Leading the way in Patton’s lineup will be 5-10, 160 lb. running back/defensive back Chaston Bennett and quarterback Kody Stanley (6-1, 175 lbs., 4.7), and on defense, linebacker David Overstreet (6-1, 185 lbs., 4.5) and Darren Franklin (6-3, 300, 5.7) will be

forces to reckon with. Running back Bennett gained 1,480 yards on the ground on 150 carries, and scored 21 times while pulling double duty smacking down opposing ball carriers at defensive back. Overstreet had a spectacular 2011 season making 63 total tackles, eight for losses and four sacks. They’ll no doubt be a tough opponent in the district.

GROESBECK GOATS The Goats also have a new head coach, Kodi Crane, former defensive coordinator for San Angelo Central last season, will basically be starting with a fresh team as only five offensive and five defensive starters return from last year’s 2-8 team. Crane will rely on runningback Matt Barnes (6-2, 225 lbs., 4.7), along with quarterbacks Colt McCoy and Klein Wiley, both of which have 4.8 times in the 40.Barnes had nine touchdowns and 762 yards rushing, while McCoy and Wiley combined in passing for almost 900 yards and seven touchdowns in 2011. Defensively, Groesbeck returns linebacker Martin Balderas and defensive back Jamareus Tatum to help lead the defensive unit this year. Balderas recorded 61 tackles, four of those for losses, and a sack, while Tatum 78 tackles, five of which were for a loss. The offensive line should be solid with Blaine and Barrett Meyers stepping in this year, while McCoy and Wiley – if Coach Crane stays with alternating QB’s – will have several targets to throw to in wide receivers Michael Adams, Traye Roberts and Kris Hutchensen. The Goats could upset some folks this season if opponents view those games with them as “pieces of cake.”

Navarro College Volleyball . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 21 Fairfield Lady Eagles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 22 Fairfield Eagles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Pages 23-24 Teague Lady Lions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Pages 25-26 Teague Lions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Page 26

This special section includes sports information provided to The Mexia News by the various schools’ athletic departments. Every attempt was made to acquire information on each team. The 2012 Fall Sports Preview is produced by The Mexia News, 214 N. Railroad St., Mexia, TX, 76667, phone 254-562-2868, fax 254-562-3121.

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2012 FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

The Mexia News •

PAGE 3

Football and medical care Football and medical care have a lot in common. have a lt in common. You need a plan to take care of opposition, You need a plan to take carethe of the opposition, whether it’s another team or whether it’s another team oraa disease. disease. You need team players worktogether together You need team players whowho work to achieve the to achieve the plan. plan. You need to be flexible... if one play doesn't work, if one play doesn’t work , you try another. you try another. Really, it's about Really, it’s aboutquality. quality. ParkviewParkview Regional Hospital Regional Hospital salutes salutes all the quality individuals are all the quality individualswho who are striving make this striving totomake this a winning season. a winning season.


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The Mexia News

2012 FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

2012 a true new year for Blackcats

BY STEPHEN R. FARRIS Mexia News Sports New season, new coach, new district and new beginning as the Mexia Blackcats look to march back into the playoffs again this season. The Blackcats move from District 20-3A leaving behind Madisonville and Palestine Westwood from last season’s six team district to play in District 19-3A consisting of five teams this year, Mexia, Palestine, Fairfield, Groesbeck and newcomer Rusk. Madisonville (3-7, 2-3) last season moves to District 18-3A, while Westwood drops down to District 11-2A. With Rusk, one might say everyone else is a newcomer as they are the lone team returning in District 19-3A. The Eagles finished the season (4-8, 2-2), making it as far as the area round in the playoffs. Texas Football magazine has this year’s district picked to finish like this: 1. Palestine 2. Fairfield 3. Rusk 4. Mexia 5. Groesbeck First year Head Coach Lamonte Chambers has stepped in to take the reins from former coach Paul Weaver, who posted a record of 9-13 over the past two-years he was here in Mexia. Chambers was an assistant coach at San Antonio Madison in 2011. The former Wortham native took

over the Blackcat program during the winter and will serve as the school’s athletic director as well as head football coach. With a team filled with talent, Chambers feels the predicted finish of the district will lean more towards the side of the Blackcats. His version is: 1. Mexia 2. Fairfield 3. Palestine 4. Rusk 5. Groesbeck Chambers offensive scheme will utilize the basic I formation in the back field, emphasizing the Mexia running game this year. Returners Brady Walker, Broderick Reeves and Kaylon Watson should see significant time in the back field, along with returning juniors Ike Jones and Tyler Porter at the wide outs. “I’m excited about our chances this year,” said Chambers. “We’re going to get there!” Reeves led the team in rushing last season, carrying the ball 146 times for 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns. Watson is a versatile athlete, rushing and passing from the quarterback position last year. The junior completed 50 of his 111 passes for 680 yards with six touchdowns and 10 interceptions to go along with the 764 yards and two touchdowns he picked up on the ground. He’ll more than likely split

time at quarterback with junior teammate Brady Walker, although Coach Chambers has mentioned Walker will probably be the signal caller to maintain the offense starting the season. Outside linebacker Cameron Gentry (26 tackles, nine assists, sack, interception, pass deflected in 2011) may see some time in the back field this season. The junior carried the ball nine times for 32 yards last year, and has the athletic prowess to pull off a double duty role. “They’re showing a lot of improvement,” Chambers said referring to Reeves and Watson. “We’ve got a different system, a different scheme and they’ve really responded to that. I’m very pleased with the turnout from those guys, and they’re excited about this season and what’s in store.” At wide receiver, the Blackcats will look to juniors Ike Jones (15-212, 2 TDs) and Tyler Porter (7-134, 1 TD), with a little help from tight-end Taylor Threat, who not only provided extra blocking on the offensive line but also contributed at the outside linebacker position with 26 tackles, six assists, three sacks and a fumble recovery last season. Providing protection up front will be juniors Levi Darby and Christian Barco returning from last year, and should get some help from Jacob Reyes, Ricky Reyes and Tre Craig in keeping defenders away

from the Blackcat ball carriers. On the defensive side, gone are graduated seniors defensive back Alaric Strain, who recorded 38 tackles, six assists, an interception and three fumble recoveries, along with outside linebacker Leon Gray (58 tackles, 17 assists) and Diontre Oliver (27 tackles, 11 assists). This year’s defense will be led by returnees, seniors Kieston Carter, LB/WR (50 tackles, 14 assists and a pass deflection in 2011), Afrem Banks, DB/WR (17 tackles, five assists, two fumble recoveries, two pass deflections and an interception in 2011), Sergio Rios, DB (16 tackles, 7 assists), Cortlund Rice, DL (five tackles, five assists), Travonne Green, DB, and Junior Sarabia, DB. Juniors Gentry and Threat should also make an “impact,” on this year’s opponents, defensively. “They’ve been impressive,” Chambers said of his defense. “They’re making tackles, flying around the ball, every one of them wants to hit somebody and that’s good. They’re doing the things we want them to do under the new scheme of things, and as the year goes we’ll get better because on defense it really, really is a trusting thing that everybody will be where they’re supposed to be, and we’re getting to that point to where our kids are doing that, and that’s a big plus!” The Blackcats will open their season Friday night against China Springs.

MEXIA BLACKCATS 2012 VARSITY FOOTBALL ROSTER

2 – Kylynn Martinez, Sr., WR/SS 3 – Ladarius Chivers, Sr., RB/SS 4 – Kylon Watson, Jr., RB/FS 5 – Ike Jones, Jr., WR/SS 6 – Afrem Banks, Sr., RB/FS 7 – Sergio Rios, Sr., TE/LB 8 – Junior Sarabia, Sr., WR/SS 9 – Tyler Porter, Jr., WR/DB 10 – Brady Walker, Jr., QB/LB 11 – Deandre Hudson, Sr., WR/LB 12 – Shawn Hobbs, Jr., RB/DB 14 – Kendric Mack, Jr., WR/DB 20 – Tray Green, Sr., WR/DB 21 – Kieston Carter, Sr., RB/LB 22 – Brodrick Reeves, Sr., RB/DB

25 – Arick Craft, Jr., WR/SS 33 – Taylor Threat, Jr., TE/LB 34 – Donnell Gamble, Jr., RB/DL 50 – Robert Robinson, Sr., DL/OL 51 – Diego Hernandez, Sr., TE/LB 52 – Christian Barco, Jr., OL/DL 55 – Jacob Reyes, Jr., OL/DL 56 – Austin Gose, Jr., OL/DL 57 – Devin Reeves, Jr., OL/DL 58 – Courtland Rice, Sr., OL/DL 64 – Ricardo Molina, Jr., OL/DL 70 – Levi Darby, Jr., OL/DL 72 – Trey Clark, Sr., OL/DL 79 – Trey Craig, Jr., OL/DL 85 – Jonathan Shaw, Jr., TE/LB

Athletic Director/Head Coach: Lamonte Chambers Assistant Coaches: Tonny Leamon, Ronnie Burton, Keith Vest, Justin Adams and Matt Matus Superintendent: John Turpin Principal: Larry Adair Trainer: Chris Parks


The Mexia News •

2012 FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

PAGE 5

2012 Mexia Blackcat Varsity Football

02 Kylynn Martinez

03 Ladarius Chivers

04 Kylon Watson

05 Ike Jones

06 Afrem Banks

07 Sergio Rios

08 Junior Sarabia

10 Brady Walker

11 Deandre Hudson

12 Shawn Hobbs

14 Kendric Mack

20 Tray Green


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The Mexia News

2012 FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

21 Kieston Carter

22 Broderick Reeves

25 Arick Craft

33 Taylor Threat

34 Donnell Gamble

50 Robert Robinson

51 Diego Hernandez

52 Christian Barco

55 Jacob Reyes

56 Austin Gose

57 Devin Reeves

58 Courtland Rice

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The Mexia News •

2012 FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

PAGE 7

Mexia Blackcats Football 2012 Schedule

64 Ricardo Molina

70 Levi Darby

72 Trey Clark

Aug. 31 Sept. 8 Sept. 14 Sept. 21 Sept. 28 Oct. 5 Oct. 12 Oct. 19 Oct. 26 Nov. 2 Nov. 9

@China Springs Dale Hanson Classic vs. Alvarado, @Waxahachie La Vega @Connally @Robinson Homecoming, vs. Kaufman @Groesbeck* bye Fairfield* @Palestine* Parents’ Night, vs. Rusk*

* District game

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85 Jonathan Shaw

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The Mexia News

2012 FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Mexia Lady Cats coming off successful season BY STEPHEN R. FARRIS Mexia News Sports Coming off another successful season in 2011 in which they made it as a Class 3A, Region III, regional quarterfinalist runner-up in the playoffs, the Mexia Lady Cats hit the net jumping this week, working out and preparing for the season opener against Lorena on Tuesday at home. Last year even though Mexia lost to Gatesville in the quarters, the girls capped off an exceptional season making it to the playoffs and taking home the district crown, yet the team still feels they have some unfinished business to take care of. Coach Sherri Cain has high hopes for this year’s team. The hope is that the Lady Cats will start the season with the same momentum they left off with from last year. With the short practice week before the first game, Coach Cain is ensuring that momentum continues to move forward by working her team through drill after drill

getting players to perfect their technique in blocking, digging, spiking and serving the ball, including a trip on Wednesday to the Sonic Drive-in’s new sand volleyball court for an outside day workout. The conditioning has been tough, but Coach Cain wanted to make sure the girls worked hard during two-a-days so they will be ready to face strong opponents early in the schedule. “I needed them to get used to the training, both physically and mentally,” Cain said. “I needed to train them on how to keep focused and to keep doing things right ... to keep from crumbling in times of frustration.” So far it seems to be working. During Thursday morning’s practice, Coach Cain split up her passers and defensive specialists, and later on brought in the hitters. Players worked on set plays at the net coupled with working on their techniques from serving, setting up the ball, blocking and timed hitting drills.

“We want them to learn the correct fundamentals and technique,” said Cain. “Doing it correctly gets it done a lot easier than doing it wrong.” No team wants to make it harder on themselves than it has to be, and Coach Cain’s “hard work” program has taken hold, especially among varsity members who were seen working repetitiously to get each drill perfect. Coach Cain likes what she’s seen so far this week, and feels the Lady Cats should be ready to do battle Tuesday evening. “My kids, just over the summer and from the end of volleyball season last year, their maturity level has gone up a whole lot and that makes a big difference when you’re at this level of play,” Cain said. “I have a lot of seniors this year and they have high expectations of themselves. I have a lot of high expectations for them. Lorena’s going to be tough, but everyone gives us a tough match for some odd reason. Everyone wants to beat us. But I

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think they (Lorena) know we’re athletic and that we’re good, so it’s going to be a tough match.” Lorena shared their district title with Gatesville last season, and also made it as far as the regional tournament. “Playing a team of that caliber for our very first match,” said Cain. “I think it’s going to be a good test for our team.”

2012 MEXIA LADYCAT VOLLEYBALL ROSTER 1 Ykeisha Stevenson 2 Aliyah Ransom 3 Ariel Ballard 4 Mariyah Wiley 5 Kendall Gipson 8 Mary Speights 9 Michelle Robles 10 Cheyenne Thompson 11 Destiney Gage 13 Ashley Johnson 14 Que'Shea King 15 Amy Johnson

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2012 FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

PAGE 9

1 Ykeisha Stevenson

2 Aliyah Ransom

3 Ariel Ballard

4 Mariyah Wiley

5 Kendall Gipson

8 Mary Speights

9 Michelle Robles

10 Cheyenne Thompson

11 Destiney Gage

13 Ashley Johnson

14 Que’Shea King

15 Amy Johnson

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The Mexia News

2012 FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

2012 Mexia Lady Cats Varsity Volleyball Mexia Lady Cat Volleyball 2012 Schedule August

23-25 @ Leon Tournament 24 Bryan Rudder 28 Waco High 30-Sept. 1 @ Robinson Tournament 31 @ China Spring

September

4 7 11 14 15 18 21 25 28

@ Gatesville Leon @ LaVega Corsicana Leon Tournament @ Palestine* Open Rusk* Groesbeck*

2 5 9 12 16 19 23

Bye Fairfield* Palestine* @ Groesbeck* @ Rusk* Bye @ Fairfield*

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The Mexia News

2012 FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Navarro Bulldogs expect successful year

OFFENSIVE LINE Sophomores Aleon Calhoun (6-6, 335, Navasota), Mitchell Bell (6-4, 320, Houston Worthing), John Studdard (6-2, 260, Hutto), Malcolm O’Dear (6-4, 325, Fort Worth Dunbar), and Zach Fondal (6-5, 290, Pasadena Dobie) return 12game seasons of experience. TCU transfer Carter Wall (6-5, 290, Richmond Travis) also figures prominently in the rotation. Topquality freshman candidates Jarvis Adams (6-4, 310, Jasper), Beaumont West Brook’s Jermaine Bowman (6-1, 290, 4.7) and Jared Castle (6-3, 260, 4.8) Tim Hines (6-5, 305, Bryan), QB Stump Franciscos Tsagatakis (6-6, 250, Montreal), and William Reed (6-4, 302, Jacksonville) will provide stiff chal-

lenges to push for starting jobs and add depth. QUARTERBACKS Darian ‘Stump’ Godfrey (6-1, 190, Gilmer) emerged from spring as the clear No. 1 quarterback. “He could become one of the best in junior college ball this year,” head coach Brian Mayper said. “He has a live arm. He’s comfortable in the pocket and makes good reads -- plus, he’s an elusive runner.” Godfrey completed 57-of-97 with 5 TDs and rushed 107-287-4 during the University of New Mexico’s final 7 games last year. The 2009 Mr. Texas Football and Godfrey Class 3A Offensive Player of the Year led Gilmer to a 413 record as a three-year starter and piled up 11,694 yards offense . Godfrey fin-

ished his career tied for 4th on THSFB all-time TD pass list and 10th in yardage. Freshmen James Jordan (6-1, 185, Keller Fossil Ridge), Riley Toler (6-2, 210, 4.8, Kilgore) and Alex Allen (6-2, 200, 4.6, Daingerfield) bring diverse skills for display to the multiple offense, and will get every opportunity to step up and perform as they learn the system.

rusher, totaled 48-281-4 – third-best marks on a team despite playing in only six games. Shead, a former Parade All-American who finished his high school career as the state’s all-time leader in career TDs (147) and second all-time in rushing yards (10,291 yards), transferred from The University of Texas. Washington rushed 352-3136-46 while leading RB Traylon Shead RUNNING BACKS Corsicana to the 2011 Class The running game should be much 4A Division II semifinals. A double-signee improved with a tailback rotation of rewith Lamar University, Washington toturning sophomore Tyler Middleton (6-0, taled 535-4,653-54 in a two-year varsity 180, Midland), redshirt freshmen Traylon career. Wright, the younger brother of Shead (6-2, 225, Cayuga), and true fresh- Navarro defensive tackle Antonio Wright, men Cameron Washington (5-10, 185, rushed for 2388-24 and caught 16-311-6 Corsicana), and Tim Wright (5-10, 185, during Lamarque’s 2010 run to the Class Lamarque). Middleton, the top returning

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The Mexia News •

2012 FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

PAGE 13

2012 Groesbeck Goats Varsity Football

Groesbeck Goats 2012 Football Roster

1 – Trey Roberts, Sr., DB 2 – Raul Gonzalez, Sr., Rec 3 – Sterling Cable, Jr., DE 4 – Danny Huckeby, Jr., Rec/DB 5 – Jamareus Tatum, Sr., DB 6 – Cody Wilson, Jr., RB/LB 7 – Lance Logan, Sr., DB 8 – Evan Ruen, Sr., DB 9 – Klein Wiley, Sr., QB/DB 10 – Matt Barnes, Sr., Rec 11 – Colt McCoy, Sr., QB/DB

12 – Tyrell Miles, Sr., RB/DB 13 – Michael Adams, Sr., Rec/DB 15 – Kris Hutchinson, Sr., DB 22 – Juan Salinas, Sr., Rec/DE 24 – McKenzie Masters, Sr., Rec/LB 28 – Martin Balderes, Sr., TE/LB 33 – Randall Masters, Jr., Rec/DE 35 – Harley Jones, Sr., Rec/DB 42 – Devin Kozak, Soph., LB 52 – Raymond Wilie, Jr., OL/DT 53 – Dalton Longenbaugh, Jr., OL/DE

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2012 FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

2012 Wortham Bulldogs

Go get ‘em Bulldogs Good Luck!

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2012 FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

New day in Wortham BY STEPHEN R. FARRIS Mexia News Sports

New Head Coach Shane Doege brings a breath of fresh air to a Wortham Bulldog football team that finished 1-9 in 2011. Doege will implement a Pro I offensive scheme, coupled with a 4-2-5 defense and with nine offense, and eight defensive players returning, this could mark a long awaited return to the playoffs this season. Tyvon Freeman (43-222 yards rushing in 2011), and Brysen Rhodes (21-207 yards receiving in 2011) with their experience should provide some leadership to underclassmen coming up to varsity. Doege, promoted in early May, will have junior Blake Hutson (66 tackles as a sophomore) returning to lead the defensive charge for the Bulldogs. Also returning this season are junior Steven Hutson (6-0, 240 lb. OL), who was First Team all-district in 2011, TE/TB Chris Lee (6-0, 180 lb. Sr.) a Second Team all-district selection at TE and Skylar Jordan, a 6-3, 270 lb. junior right tackle. Zach Richardson could see a lot of playing time on both the offensive and defensive lines, while sophomore Shane Sykora (5-10, 155 lb. FB/OLB) could be a valuable contributor playing both ways for Wortham. Wortham will be in the district this year with longtime rivals Hubbard, Frost and Dawson. Meridian will join the crowd as well this season. Hubbard is picked as the favorite this year, while Texas Football magazine has the Bulldogs slated to finish in the fourth spot. Doege is confident Wortham will finish higher up.

Wortham 2012 Varsity Football Schedule

Aug. 18 – @Kerens (Scrimmage) Aug. 23 – Riesel (Scrimmage) Aug. 31 – @First Baptist Academy Sept. 7 – Texas Christian Academy Sept. 14 – @Cayuga Sept. 21 – Cross Roads Sept. 28 – @Itasca Oct. 5 – Axtell Oct. 12 – @Meridian* Oct. 26 – Hubbard* Nov. 2 – Bye Nov. 9 – Dawson** * Denotes district game ** Denotes Homecoming

2012 Wortham Bulldogs Football Roster

2 – Brandon Campbell, Sr. 3 – Micah McCord, Sr. 4 – Kyle Goerner, Sr. 5 – Tyvon Freeman, Jr. 6 – Michael Anderson, Sr. 7 – Brysen Rhodes, Jr. 8 – Chris Lee, Sr. 10 – Witty Busby, Jr. 21 – Haven Proulx, Sr. 40 – Shane Sykora, Soph. 44 – Tyler Castlow, Sr. 45 – T.J. Shaw, Sr.

50 – Xavier Brackens, Sr. 54 – Steven Hutson, Jr. 55 – Blake Hutson, Jr. 62 – Skylar Jordan, Jr. 64 – Colton Smith, Sr. 68 – Zach Richardson, Soph. 70 – Angus Worcester, Jr. 74 – Cameron Lewis, Jr. Head Coach – Shane Doege Assistant Coaches – Gary Beam, Ben Gorden, Leroy Johnson and Scott Ohlemeier Managers – R.J. Batts, Alex Smith and Seth Sykora

Good Luck to All Area Teams Proud to support area youth •Mexia Blackcats •Teague Lions •Groesbeck Goats •Fairfield Eagles •Wortham Bulldogs •Coolidge Yellow Jackets

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The Mexia News •

2012 FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

2012 Wortham Lady Bulldogs

PAGE 19

Wortham Lady Bulldogs 2012 Varsity Volleyball Roster 00 – Kenzie Sessions, Senior, Libero 1 – Kendle Rhodes, Freshman, Setter 2 – Ashley Anderson, Sophomore, DS 3 – Hannah McCord, Junior, OH 4 – Sara Sessions, Junior, Setter 5 – Amber Libhart, Senior, MB 6 – Kennedy Vogel, Senior, MB 7 – Camey Shaffer, Junior, OH 8 – Davesha Eggins, Senior, OH 9 – Jaclyn Black, Senior, OH 10 – Kierra Busby, Junior, OH 11 – Elisha Libhart, Sophomore, OH 12 – Katie Looney, Junior, DS

Wortham Lady Bulldogs Volleyball Schedule

Pictured are members of the Wortham Lady Bulldogs, winners of the Palestine Westwood Tournament held August 16-18. Back row, left to right, are Kierra Busby, Hannah McCord, Kennedy Vogel, Jaclyn Black, Kenzie Sessions, Amber Libhart, Davesha Eggins, Elisha Libhart and Ashley Anderson. In front, left to right, Katie Looney, Kendle Rhodes, Sara Sessions and Camey Shaffer.

Aug. 28 – @Abbott Aug. 30-Sept. 1, Centerville tournament Sept. 4 – @Chilton Sept. 8 – Cayuga Sept. 11 – @Cross Roads Sept. 15 – Coolidge Sept. 18 – Hubbard Sept. 22 – @Trinidad Sept. 25 – Dawson Sept. 29 – @Kerens Oct. 2 – @Cayuga Oct. 6 – Cross Roads Oct. 9 – @Coolidge Oct. 13 – @Hubbard Oct. 16 – Mart Oct. 16 – Trinidad Oct. 20 – @Dawson Oct. 23 – *Kerens Oct. 29-30 – Bi District Nov. 1-3 – Area Nov. 1-3 – Regional Quarterfinals Nov. 9-10 – Regional Tournament Nov. 15-17 – State Tournament

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PAGE 20 •

The Mexia News

2012 FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Yellow Jackets face stout competition BY STEPHEN R. FARRIS Mexia News Sports

Coolidge Yellow Jackets

The Coolidge Yellow Jackets will find the breathing room a little easier in District 14-6M, but the competition will still be stout. Leaving the district due to the UIL realignment were Abbott and Aquilla, but that still leaves Penelope, Buckholts and newcomer Mt. Calm, who joins in after a 50-year plus absence from football. The Yellow Jackets, under the direction of athletic director/head coach James Pinnell, will work from the Tight T&I offense setup, and defensively they will utilize a 2-3-1 formation. The Yellow Jackets finished 2011 with a 4-6 record overall, and 1-2 in district play. The four wins put them three games better than their 2010 finish. Coolidge returns three lettermen, all starters from last season. The Yellow Jackets will be a young team this year and will be learning a new offense, but with their speed and quickness as a plus they will surprise a lot of their opponents this season. Coach Pinnell will look for quarterback Eddie Rivera, offensive end Victor Milus and center Brady Moore to be team leaders this year. Rivera finished the 2011 campaign with 548 yards passing and 11 touchdowns, while Milus caught 10 passes for 167 yards, scoring four touchdowns last season for the Yellow Jackets. Coach Pinnell predicts Penelope will be the team to shoot down at the top spot heading into the season, followed by Buckholts then Coolidge and Mt. Calm follow in that order.

Wishing the area teams a safe and healthy season.

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The Mexia News •

2012 FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Navarro College Volleyball

2 – Allie McCrady, 5-4, College Station, TX 3 – Kendall Womble 5-8, LaPorte, TX 4 – Tori Bradbury 5-11, Waller, TX 5 – Xzache Mathis 5-11, Longview, TX 6 – Julynn Claytgon 5-9, Caldwell, TX 8 – Nadelina Nesheva 6-1, Sofia, Bulgaria 9 – Autumn Ellison 6-2, Dallas, TX

10 – Madi Cabler 5-7, Pearland, TX 11 – Asia Thompson 5-4, Crowley, TX 13 – Bianca Patterson 5-9, Harker Heights, TX 15 – Anny Jimenez 6-0, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic Kasey McBrearty, Head Coach Shea McBrearty, Assistant Coach Brooke Abrameit, Student Assistant

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PAGE 21


PAGE 22 •

The Mexia News

2012 FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

2012 Fairfield Lady Eagles Fairfield Lady Eagles 2012 Varsity Volleyball Roster 1 – Karonesha Lowery 2 – Ashley Kethley 3 – Kassi Floyd 4 – Melissa Lopez 5 – Tiara Tatum 6 – Sarah Sloat 7 – Michaela McGeary 8 – Amy Lansford 9 – Lauren Cole 10 – Caitlynn Stone 15 – Bree Bossier 16 – Katie Berger Head Coach - Dennis Johnson Manager - Toni Flori

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Good Luck to all area Teams! Enjoy a fun & safe season...


The Mexia News •

2012 FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

PAGE 23

2012 Fairfield Eagles Varsity Football

Texas

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PAGE 24 •

The Mexia News

2012 FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

Fairfield brings ‘thunder and lightning’ in 2012

BY MICHAEL DILLIN Special to The News The Fairfield Eagles varsity football team are coming off a perfect regular season (10-0) under then-Coach Darrell Piske . But their magical 2011 run ended abruptly in the opening round of the playoffs with a 28-14 loss to Lorena. It might have been different, but five turnovers were too much to overcome even though the Eagles outgained Lorena by 75 yards. Made even more frustrating because Fairfield’s opening drive took them to the Lorena’s one-yard-line when star running back Andre Welch reached forward with the ball to cross the goal line, only to fumble and have it returned 99 yards for a Lorena touchdown. The 14-point swing made for an incalculable psychological setback. But that was last year. This year, Piske has moved on to become head coach at Tyler’s Robert E. Lee, and has been replaced by now-Head Coach and Athletic Director John Bachtel. Bachtel has coached at almost every level, including 4-A Waco Midway (where his father Kent was head coach for 26 years), 3A China Spring, 2A Bangs,

and 1A Bosqueville where he was head coach. Bachtel and his coaching staff have a lot to work with and a lot of hope for the 2012 season. Seven starters on offense are returning, along with seven starters on defense. The Eagles bring a potent running game into this year’s campaign, aka Thunder and Lightning. Tailback Andre Welch, yes, the one who fumbled in the playoffs, is considered the “thunder.” The powerfully-built back is a load to bring down – so much so he was named the 20-3A offensive player of the year as a junior. The “lightning” comes in the form of junior Larry Rose, who brings the kind of speed that can break open a touchdown run from any point on the field. Both Welch and Rose were 1,000 yard rushers, with Rose hitting the 1,000 yard mark even though he didn’t play until the sixth game of the season. Aaron Cain, a steady, competent man behind center, already has one year as a starting QB under his belt. “Everyone knows we’re a running team,” says Coach Bachtel. “We ran about 80 percent of the time last year. But we’re going to throw more this year.” The Eagle passing game has a head start as a dozen

Fairfield Eagles 2012 Football Roster

2 – Cooper Cole, Sr. 3 – Larry Rose III, Jr. 4 – Jacob Gallegos, Jr. 5 – Alex Ward, Jr. 6 – Rowdy Dotson, Sr. 7 – Aaron Cain, Sr. 8 – Dorian Henderson, Sr. 9 – Chance Carroll, Soph. 10 – Chris Lide, Jr. 11 – James McClelland, Jr. 12 – Bryson Gates, Jr. 15 – Jacob Judd, Sr. 20 – Ben Barlow, Sr. 22 – Danny Cockerell, Jr. 23 – Will Akers, Sr.

24 – Joesph Jackson, Jr. 30 – Cullen Lyles, Sr. 31 – Andre Welch, Sr. 40 – Cody Sell, Sr. 50 – Jeremiah Simpson, Jr. 53 – Dalton Barker, Sr. 56 – Deonte Carr, Sr. 61 – Will Doyle, Sr. 63 – Luke Rachel, Jr. 70 – Dillen Kilpatrick, Jr. 71 – Sam Robinson, Jr. 72 – Wyatt Curry, Jr. 74 – Zacharry Pratt, Sr. 77 – Kolton Gatson, Jr. 80 – Tristen McGowen, Jr.

of its players participated in the TXState7on7 tournament in College Station this summer, making it to the semi-finals. “Our kids have been throwing and catching with each other a lot this summer, so it puts us that much more ahead of the game insofar as our preparation for this season,” Bachtel says. Fairfield will need an edge. Because of a late-summer switch in the schedule, the Eagles will play on the road six times in the regular season, with only four home games. And, they play a much tougher non-district schedule, against teams such as Canton, Center, Navasota, Glen Rose and Madisonville (even though Madisonville was in the district last year). They also welcome Rusk to their district schedule. “We went 10-0 last year,” says Bachtel, “but the best opponent we faced was Lorena in the playoff game. This year when we get to the playoffs, we will already have faced four teams that most likely will be better than whoever we draw in the first round.”

Fairfield Eagles 2012 Football Schedule Aug. 31 Sept. 7 Sept. 14 Sept. 21 Sept. 28 Oct. 5 Oct. 12 Oct. 19 Oct. 26 Nov. 2 Nov. 9

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The Mexia News •

2012 FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

PAGE 25

Teague Lady Lions hope for turnaround season BY STEPHEN R. FARRIS Mexia News Sports The Teague Lady Lions have hit the court in full swing this season, looking to make a return to the playoffs, a feat they haven’t quite been able to accomplish since 2006. Head Coach Melissa Padgett feels this could be the season to turn that all around, especially with three of her front line players measuring at 5-10 and taller, coupled with a setter who is returning for her fourth stint as a varsity letterman. The team will be focusing more on their defensive game in a season with seven players returning, four of those were starters from last year’s squad. Padgett noted that the team’s key to success this season will be their mental toughness and team unity. “The girls are working harder than they have ever worked before to accomplish something new,” Padgett said. “These girls have set a goal, and we work

up the ladder each day to achieve it.” Padgett has a good foundation to build on this year with senior setter Haley Guerrero, making her appearance as a four-year letterman on the varsity team. At 5-6, she shows great command of the floor, athleticism and desire. “Her position is key for any team,” says Padgett. “But we are hoping she can unlock many doors for the Teague Lady Lions.” Guerrero led the team in assists last season. Outside/Middle Blocker, 5-10 senior Kiera Abram, is the power and fire of the team. The girls put a lot of trust in her to put away the ball on the front row. “She is very consistent and smart,” Padgett said. “She sees the court and places the ball where the defenders are not, but she does this with force and power.” Padgett has a pair of aces not only for this season, but next season as well. Both Nicosha Nelms and Kirby Cooper are juniors, and both stand at 5-11. Nelms plays at the middle blocker position and is very

vocal when she steps out on the court, giving her team inspiration throughout each game. Noted as a fierce blocker with a great swing by her coach, Nelms has a way to get her teammates up and through rough moments. Cooper brings athleticism to the outside hitter position with her great swing, passing, desire and leadership. Abram led the team in 2011 in kills and blocks, while Cooper led in digs. “Kirby’s presence on this team represents everything you look for in a volleyball player,” said Padgett. “I look to see her help lead us to a district championship.” Another standout is 5-5 senior Kali Crowhurst, splitting time at libero and setter. Kali had been playing on the right side and at setter until Padgett moved her to libero, where she believes it has made a huge difference for the team. She was also the statistical leader for her team in aces last season. Padgett stated, “She is the most versa-

tile player on the team and can fill any position. She has a great serve and natural ability on the back row, and we look to see big stats from her this season.” Top newcomers this year are 5-5 outside hitter, junior Kenya Busby, who will be a great asset to the serve-receive rotation and defensively as well. Busby was a defensive specialist turned outside hitter, and right now Coach Padgett is looking towards her for consistency and leadership. Joining Busby at a top newcomer is 56 sophomore right side hitter, Alie Watson. Watson is one of the youngest team members, but according to Coach Padgett, she is the best asset to the team as far as determination and hard work goes. “I would put her on any team I coached, because she will never give up or in to pressure,” Padgett says. “She is a strong lefty and great on the back row.” Teague will be in the district will Rice, Blooming Grove, Marlin, Mildred and Buffalo.

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PAGE 26 •

The Mexia News

2012 FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

2012 Teague Lady Lions Volleyball Roster 1 – Morgan Sims, Sr., DS 3 – Haley Guerrero, Sr., Setter 4 – Nicosha Nelms, Jr., Middle Blocker 5 – Kelsie Lummus, Jr., Hitter/Setter 6 – Alie Watson, Soph., Outside Hitter 7 – Kenya Busby, Jr., Outside Hitter 8 – Sibyl Burrell, Sr., Right Side Hitter 9 – Sarah Dawson, Sr., DS 10 – Kirby Cooper, Jr., Outside Hitter 12 – Kiera Abram, Sr., Middle Blocker 20 – Kali Crowhurst, Sr., Libero

Teague Lady Lions 2012 Volleyball Schedule Aug. 30-Sept 1 – @ Robinson Tournament Sept. 4 – OPEN Sept. 7 – Madisonville Sept. 11 - @ Groesbeck Sept. 14 – Franklin Sept. 18 – Leon Sept. 22 - @ Rice Sept. 25 - @ Blooming Grove Sept. 28 - @ Marlin Oct. 2 – Mildred Oct. 5 – Buffalo Oct. 9 – Rice Oct. 13 – Blooming Grove Oct. 16 – Marlin Oct. 20 - @ Mildred Oct. 23 – Buffalo Head Volleyball Coach: Melissa Padgett Assistant Volleyball Coaches: Lauren Scruggs and Christina Blake Athletic Director: Daniel Johnson

2012 Teague Lions Football 1 – Aaron Mitchell, Soph., WR/LB 4 – Darrell Brooks, Sr., WR/DB 6 – Roper Hunt, Jr., WR/DL 7 – Will VanWinkle, Soph., WR/OLB 9 – Jared Arey, Jr., WR/LB 10 – Evan Goodwin, Sr., WR/DB 11 – John Love, Soph., RB/DB 15 – Austin Skinner, Soph., QB/DB 17 – Jakob Dancer, Jr., TE/LB 18 – Kiel Meredith, Jr., WR/DB 20 – Taylor Kerzee, Sr., WR/DB 22 – Zach Harris, Soph., WR/DB 34 – Will Graham, Sr., RB/LB 44 – Jordan Maggard, Sr., WR/DB 50 – Jason Smith, Soph., OL/DL 51 – Kelton Henderson, Sr., OL/LB 53 – Hunter Welch, Sr., OL/LB 54 – Jose Diaz, Sr., OL/DL 55 – Trae Bell, Sr., OL/OLB 56 – Juan Rubio, Jr., OL/DL 57 – Ben Long, Jr., OL/DL 61 – Drake Chambers, Sr., OL/DL 65 – Chris Jasso, Sr., OL/DL 70 – Jonathan Roberts, Jr., OL/DL 71 – Gary Dyer, Sr., OL/DL 73 – Christian Henson, Sr., OL/DL 75 – Ryan Mitchell, OL/DL, Fr. 77 – Aaron Guest, Soph., OL/DL

Athletic Director/ Head Football Coach: Daniel Johnson Assistant Football Coaches: Graham Snelding, Sheldon Moor, Johnathan Salda, Justin Waltz, Dexter Patrick, Jeff Callahan, Chad Satterwhite, Shawn Moore, Bryce Perkins, Jacob Watson Derek Tyler


The Mexia News •

2012 FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12

4A Division II finals. Then, there’s former two-time Class AA state champion Tarlandas Mitchell from Alto (5-8, 195), who enrolls after spending the last four years as a pitcher in the Chicago Cubs organization. Mitchell, a 22nd round draft pick with a 96 mph fastball, turned down a Navarro football scholarship offer in June, 2008, to sign with the Cubs after a high school football season in which he accounted for 3,300 yards offense during the Yellow Jackets’ run to a second state title. Sophomore Wareall Grogan (5-11, 227, Nederland) returns at fullback and will be pushed by Corsicana’s Dominic Kelly (6-0, 230). “We’ll rotate a lot like we did in 2007,” Mayper said. “We’ve got a good mix of power and speed backs. I’m confident any one of them can carry the load for us.”

RECEIVERS

Gone is NJCAA career- and single-season record-setting All-American and conference MVP Marquez Clark, but a pass-catching fleet is assembled, featuring sophomore first-team All-SWJCFC tight end Gerard Shillow, Jr, (6-3, 245, Round Rock Stony Point). Shillow looks to improve on his 28-239-2 receiving totals from 2011 “Shillow had a great spring and he’s a very vital, important part of our offense,” Mayper said. “He competes after the ball. He plays like a wide receiver playing tight end and blocks well, too.” Sophomores Eddie Johnson (6-3, 230, Midlothian) and Brandon Welch (6-1, 191, MLB D.J. Texarkana Texas High) along with transfers Tony Drake (5-9, 175, Dallas Skyline/Tr-Colorado State) and Chris Jones (6-0, 170, Daingerfield/Tr-University of Texas) meshed and flourished during spring. Johnson was Navarro’s No. 3 receiver in 2011 (33-654-8 in 11 games). Sophomore wide receiver Marcus Vaughn (6-1, 200, Pearland), quarterback-turned-wideout Chris Gibson (6-2, 190, Fort Worth Eastern Hills) and Jordan Jolly (6-1, 180, Fort Bend Elkins) also return to compete for rotation slots. In 2011, Vaughn was Navarro’s fifth-leading receiver (19-2472). As a freshman in Navarro’s 2010 national championship campaign, Jolly totaled 21-351-3.

Freshmen candidates include Jonathan Aldridge (6-0, 175, 4.5, Whitehouse), Terrance Hagan (6-2, 185, Galena Park), Markell Steward-Gillespie (6-5, 195, 4.5, Klein Forest) and Darrin Terry (5-11, 165, 4.5, Daingerfield) . “We want to be more balanced offensively,” Mayper said, “and when we spread the ball around, we want an even distribution across our receiving corps.”

DEFENSIVE LINE Navarro, employing a 4-3 defensive scheme, believes its unit strength is found in its defensive front – despite losing two first-team All-SWJCFC performers and one second-teamer. The all-sophomore rotation currently includes ends Michael Jolivet (6-4, 225, Beaumont West Brook) and Arnold Blackmon (6-2, 225, Houston Bellaire) and tackles Chris Cormier (6-2, 338, Alief Hastings), Antonio Wright (6-1, 270, Lamarque), Andre Young (6-1, 290, Euless Trinity) and Terell Brooks (6-4, 290, Duncanville). As many as five freshmen will be competing for slots – including Glen Antoine (6-1, 285, Round Rock), Jeremy Day (6-0, 255, Houston Jones), Kerry Holliday (6-3, 240, North Forest), Jonathan Williams (6-4, 310, Port St. Lucie, Fla.) and Tevin Bryson (6-3, 285, Humboldt, Tn)

LINEBACKERS Sophomore second-team All-SWJCFC middle linebacker D.J. Simon (6-1, 220, Klein Forest) will be flanked by Steve Orisakwe (6-0, 205, Pearland Dawson) and walkon Malcolm Howard (6-1, 195, Houston Yates) when camp opens. Simon is the team’s top returning tackler (64, with 5 TFL, 2 Ints) and Simon had 4 games of 8-plus tackles in 2011. That linebacking corps is counting on a spirited battle for playing time with five freshmen and Stephen Maeweather who returns for his sophomore campaign. The freshman prospects include CeaVan Bowman (6-1, 195, 4.5, Keller Fossil Ridge), Brandon Gamble (6-1, 195, Manvel), Richard Jones (5-11, 205, 4.5, Mesquite Horn), Deonte Wortham (6-2, 200, 4.6, Wilmer-Hutchins) and Dominic Kelly (6-0, 230, Corsicana). Maeweather (6-2, 203, 4.6, Houston Sharpstown) originally signed with Oklahoma State in 2009.

SECONDARY

Safety positions appear secure head-

ing into two-a-days with sophomores Thomas McDonald (6-4, 170, Corsicana), Desmond Mathis (5-11, 185, Brenham), and DeJuan Shelton (6-2, 192, Whitehouse). McDonald had a returning unithigh 33 tackles and 2 interceptions last season. Sophomores also man the corners, with John Wesby (6-1, 162, LaPorte) and Montell Garner (5-10, 190, Colleyville Heritage). Garner picked off three passes and made 21 stops during the 2011 campaign. Six cornerbacks and three safeties from the signing class will be brought into the mix to compete for playing time in the rotation. Among those freshmen DB candidates are Robert Felder (5-10, 170, 4.4, Brenham), Bobby Fields (5-11, 173, North Forest), Robert Lewis (6-0, 175, 4.4, Hewitt Midway), Alex Miller (6-2, 175, 4.48, Allen), Micah Thomas (6-1, 188, 4.5, North Forest), KeUntis Thompson (6-3, 175, 4.4, Brownsboro) and Bobby Walker (6-0, 195, 4.5, Palestine)

PAGE 27

Navarro College Bulldogs 2012 Football Schedule Date

Opponent

8-25

Arkansas Baptist

9-01

Hutchinson CC++

9-08

Open Date

9-15

Cisco *++

9-22

Kilgore *

9-29

Trinity Valley *

10-06 Tyler (Homecoming) KICKING Victoria St. Joseph freshman Patrick Sohrt (6-2, 190) likely will handle placekicking and punting chores as summer workouts begin. Australian-born punter Andrew Dobbs also will get every consideration to ply his craft. Denton Guyer freshman Brent Nicholson (6-3, 240) and sophomore John Studdard assume deep-snapper positions.

RETURNS Sophomore-transfer receivers Tony Drake and Chris Jones likely will man kickoff and punt-return duties initially, however all-purpose Darrin Reddick (511, 185, Fort Bend Willowridge) and running backs Tyler Middleton, Cameron Washington and Tim Wright may be considered for some of the duties.

*++ 10-13 Southeast Prep++ 10-20 Blinn *++ 10-27 Northeastern Oklahoma A&M * 11-03 SWJCFC Semifinal Playoffs 11-10 SWJCFC Championship 12-01 NJCAA Bowl * Conference Play ++ Home game

COACH COMMENTS BRIAN MAYPER / ABOUT THE JOB: “I’m excited about the opportunity. Navarro is one of the best junior college football jobs in the nation. It’s a great atmosphere where we can be successful in the classroom and on and off the field.” BRIAN MAYPER / ABOUT THE SEASON: “We expect to compete in the Southwest Junior College Football Conference. We feel very good about our growth and where we are going. I’m impressed with our work ethic so far. It’s going to be important to be in good shape in order to compete week in and week out with everyone in this league.”

Beat ‘Em Cats!

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PERFORMANCE FORD

PAGE 28 •

The Mexia News

2012 FALL SPORTS PREVIEW

For Great Service Contact:

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