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2019 Winter Sports Preview

New Albany | East Union | Ingomar | Myrtle | West Union

The New Albany Gazette


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2019 Winter Sports Preview

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Table of Contents 10-11 14-15 16-17 18-19 20-21 26-27 29-31 33-36 41 42

New Albany Basketball East Union Basketball Ingomar Basketball Myrtle Basketball West Union Basketball New Albany Soccer Cheerleading Squads Bowling Teams Girls Schedules Boys Schedules

Special Thanks Micha Washington, Scotty Shettles, Chase Brown, Tim McDonald, Trent Adair, Jonathan Ashley, Chris Greer, Rob Browning, J.C. Hayles, Timbo Henderson, Bert Anderson, Caryl Vogel, Mary Beth Muncie, Melanie Anderson, Amy Welborn, Ashley Garrett, Alison Rhea, Pam Bramlitt, Karen Taylor, Todd Lott, Wayne Dye, Brian Browning, Brooke Gordon, Kathy Clark, Rodney Clark and all our athletes from New Albany and Union County Schools that made this publication possible with their participation. On the cover: Front row left - Katherine Gonzalez, Kaitie Boatner. Back row left - Elijah Ingram, Jerod McDonald, Clayton Stanford, Mitchell Shettles. Table of Contents photo: Kneeling from left Leo Contreras, Braulio Cuellar, Max Spencer, Cade Huffman, John Davis, Cristian Perez. Standing left - Ayleen Gonzalez, Nayely Urzua, Kaitlin Horne, Katherine Gonzalez, Annalyn Hogue, Maggie Jo Everett, Claudia Jeter, Cameron Stout.

Articles written by Dennis Clayton, Sports Editor, Gene Phelps. Cover photo by Dennis Clayton. Advertising sales by Justine Stewart and Dennis Clayton. Layout/composition and ad design by Sonny Harrison. 2019 Winter Sports Preview | 7


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Dennis Clayton/Gazette Staff

2019-20 New Albany Lady Bulldog Basketball Team: Front row left - Ella Tyer, Makayla Penson, Ashanti High, Madison McDonald, Cartiana Bailey, Amiya Terry, Emma Laney. Back row left - Abby Laney, Jada Baker, Shaniah Gill, Kelsey Ledbetter, Analisa Cheairs, Maguire Miskelly, Laniya Terry, Dakoyta Lesure.

LADY BULLDOGS FEATURE TEAM LOADED WITH YOUTH New Albany graduated six players from last year’s team that made a playoff run into the third round of 4A girls and the 2019-20 version will be full of youth. Ashanti High, Kelsey Ledbetter and Cartiana Bailey return from last year’s team as the most experienced Lady Bulldogs under Coach Micha Washington.  “Kelsey is the “super senior” because she is the only senior that we have, so she has become more vocal,” Washington said. “I think all three of them are coming into their roles that we have to put the team on our back and we have to carry them. “I think with their experience, they are capable of doing it and they are willing to do so. That’s the role that we want them to take.” Ledbetter has been known for her three point shooting for the past couple

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of seasons and High can shoot the ball from the outside as well as down low. “Ashanti can play just about anywhere you put her on the floor, she’s just athletic and talented. She can play and pretty much adapt to any position you put her on the floor. “Kelsey is coming along too and is to the point that you can put her anywhere on the floor and she will take the initiative to do what she needs to do in that particular position.” The Lady Bulldogs are still on the hunt for a point guard and the coaches are trying to work with all of the team in getting the ball down the court since there is not a true point guard in the mix just yet.   “We are looking at Analisa Cheairs our presence in the paint, this is going to be her first year where we rely on her,” Washington said. “When she is in the paint, she’s a presence and we haven’t

had a post on the block in a long time. I think she is going to be a force to be reckoned with.” Sophomore Madison McDonald will be a player that could see significant playing time as a newcomer. There are a lot of freshmen on the team and Washington hopes one or more of those youngsters can make a contribution and give the team some quality minutes. “The playoff run last year was huge for our team, it changed our mentality 100 percent,” Washington said. “They all bought in and we peaked at the right time.  Washington hopes to see her young Lady Bulldogs buy into the program earlier and see positive results during the season and playoffs.


Dennis Clayton/Gazette Staff

2019-20 New Albany Bulldog Basketball Team: Front row left - Mason Simmons, Kam Carter, Mitchell Shettles, Isaiah Ball, Kevin Hernandez. Back row left - Reid Harris, Michael Casey, Michael Smith, Trey Berry, Artaveion High, Albert McDonald. Not pictured Tucker Shannon.

BULLDOGS NEED TO PLAY AS UNIT TO SUCCEED The New Albany Bulldogs return several key pieces to their team for the 2019-20 season and will be led by sharpshooters Mitchell Shettles and Isaiah Ball as Coach Scotty Shettles enters his second year with the Bulldogs. “We’ve got a total of five seniors, four of them played last year, so we are returning all of our starters,” Shettles said. Two of our seniors (Shettles and Ball) were starters and we are looking for them to be leaders, so we are hoping they can take us a long way this season.” Mitchell averaged 19 points a game while Ball averaged 18 points during the 2018-19 season. Mitchell hit 91 three-pointers for the Bulldogs and Ball connected on 62. Ball also was the team leader in assists with 84 plus steals with 49.  New Albany returns their leading re-

bounder in Artaveion High who pulled down 156 last season while averaging 11 points per contest. “We have had a guy to move in, Michael Cayson, who could possibly be one of our starters this year,” Shettles said. “We like what he does on the floor also. Reed Harris is another senior that returns for us.  “We are excited about our senior group, but we also have got a good junior and sophomore group.”  High leads the junior class and the Bulldogs look to him to be an even better player this year. Mason Simmons is another junior that played as a reserve last season and Shettles likes what he does does on the floor as well.  Another new face for the Bulldogs is junior Trey Berry and this gives New Albany a lot of options.  “Our sophomore group is probably the most talented group that I’ve had since

I’ve been here,” Shettles said. “I had them last year as freshmen and two of these guys played a good bit and Michael Smith started.” Albert McDonald, Kam Carter and Kevin Hernandez are younger players that Shettles says he is not afraid to play in any game because he thinks all three are ready to play as sophomores. “I’m excited about the whole group, so we are looking forward to getting it started,” Shettles said. “We’ve got to play together as a team, we’ve got a lot of kids that can play, but can we play together as a team and can we gel as a unit? “Also our defense has got to be better and we have been stressing to them in practice that we have got to play defense for 32 minutes.”

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Dennis Clayton/Gazette Staff

2019-20 East Union Lady Urchins Basketball Team: Front row left - Abby Patterson, Mia Hutcheson, Karley Conwill. Middle row left - Jessie Roberts, Sylvie McVey, Bryanne Dill, Kaitie Boatner, Hannah White. Back row left - Callie Smith, Laura Cobb, Jorja Roberson, Carrie Wilkinson, Hope Robbins, Peyton Wildman, Maggie McVey, Cayley Johnson, Peyton Wages.

BROWN TAKES OVER AS LADY URCHIN COACH First-year East Union girls basketball coach Chase Brown likes all the ingredients he has to build his 2019-20 team. He has experience with nine players who’ve seen a lot of varsity action. “All of them have seen how fast the game goes. That’s a plus,” Brown said. “They’ve seen the division we play in, the county schools we’ll play. They know what to expect.” He has a talented senior point guard in Kaitie Boatner. “Kaitie’s attitude and drive is what you want out of a senior,” Brown said. “She’s 100 percent every drill. The offense runs on her and the defense runs on her. She’s the motor.” Boatner averaged 5.4 points per games last year, but will be counted on to be the scoring leader this season. “We want Kaitie to go score, especially in this dribble-drive we’re running,” Brown noted. “She’s going to have her chances to put up some points.”

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The dribble-drive scheme will allow the Lady Urchins to spread their shooting around. Last season’s leading scorer, Raelee Bell, has graduated. “Once this group learns the offense, they’ll score just as many points,” Brown said. “The dribble-drive keeps everybody moving and keeps everybody involved.” Joining Boatner at guard will be Sylvie McVey, Jessie Roberts, Bryanne Dill and Carrie Wilkinson. Brown likes his team’s height, starting with 5-foot-11 senior Hannah White. Hope Robbins, Maggie McVey, Peyton Wildman and Jorja Roberson will add depth inside. Robbins, McVey, Wildman and Roberson can play inside and out. “We have our post offense, where we run a three-out, two-in,” he said. “We do have size. We’ve got five post players. We’re going to use them to our advantage.” Brown can see the future in freshman

guard Abby Patterson, who is a transfer from girls basketball power New Site. “She’s going to be a good player,” he said. “She’s got a basketball IQ. She’s learning from Kaitie to help her at the point.” Brown also believes success begins with good defense. “Defense is where we’re going to hang our hat,” he said. “We’re going trap, run and jump … the things to throw teams off. We’re not going to let them run their plays and see if we can get a rebound.” Brown likes what he’s seen, effort-wise, from his team in the summer and in the preseason. “I’m encouraged with their hard work,” he said. “We’ve improved on defense. The offense is getting there. I want to see 100 percent effort the entire time. You’ve got to have that effort and drive … and these girls have that.”


Dennis Clayton/Gazette Staff

2019-20 East Union Urchin Basketball Team: Front row left - Rett Johnson, Hayden Roberts, Jude Treadaway, Jace Basil, Edgar Zapata. Back row left - DeJuan Hubbard, Rudy Baldwin, Taylor McDonald, Josh Henderson, Colton Plunk, Collin Stephens, Noah Johnson.

URCHINS HOPE TO FINISH SEASON STRONG East Union’s boys basketball team expects to take it lumps early in the season. Head coach Tim McDonald has five players he’s counting on this season playing for the school’s successful Class 2A football team: 6-foot DeJuan Hubbard, 6-3 Colton Plunk, 5-10 Hayden Roberts, 6-0 Collin Stephens and 6-0 Edgar Zapata. “There will be a slow start for us with football,” McDonald said. “We’re opening against New Albany and Ingomar. We’re going to get our feet wet right away. Both those teams are very good.” McDonald is counting on his football players to help the Urchins join the competitive mix in the Division 1-2A race. “Hopefully, by the end of the year, we’ll be knocking on that door,” he said. “They say it’s not how you start, but how you finish.” East Union finished fourth in the division last season with a 14-13 overall

record and a 2-3 league mark. Hubbard, a senior, returns as the leading scorer. He averaged 14.2 points per game and connected on 55 3-pointers. “DeJuan played really well during the summer,” McDonald said. “He shot the ball well and his defense improved.” Roberts, a talented sophomore, returns at point guard. McDonald needs him to distribute the ball first and score second. He averaged 7.1 points per game last year. “He’s a very gifted player,” the coach said. “He’s a better passer than anything. He’s always going to have the option to score. He penetrates as well as anybody. He’s going to be a great player.” Zapata and Basil will also see playing time at the guard position, along with 5-11 junior Saltillo transfer Noah Johnson and freshman Rhett Johnson. “Zapata’s work ethic is off-the-chart,” McDonald said. “He handles the ball

really well. Basil can shoot well from the perimeter and gives us that option off the bench.” Plunk, Stephens and 6-5 Josh Henderson give the Urchins plenty of firepower and strength inside. Plunk averaged 5.2 points per game while Henderson averaged 4.7 points and 3.2 rebounds. “Plunk our strongest player; he’ll have to do a lot of the dirty work,” McDonald said. “We expect Henderson to lead us in the rebounding. He does have a nice touch around the basket. He’s going to have to learn to play with his back to the basket.” Defensively, McDonald prefers manto-man over zone. He’s hoping his size inside will lead to more rebounding on both ends of the court. “It’s going to all come down to defense,” he said. “Can we guard the ball and rebound on both ends of the floor.”

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Dennis Clayton/Gazette Staff

2019-20 Ingomar Lady Falcons Basketball Team: Pictured from left - Kylee Johnson, Mia Skelton, T’nya Jones, Audrey Maupin, Macie Phifer, Kaylee Johnson, Sanaa Finley, Camleigh Ball, Lexi Campbell, Katie Beth Hall, Macy Hall, Lindsey Dillard.

INEXPERIENCED WILL BE KEY WORD FOR LADY FALCONS The Ingomar Lady Falcons have enjoyed a huge amount of success for the past 5-6 years, but this year’s version for the team will have Sanaa Finley as the lone veteran and a host of underclassmen looking to make a contribution on the hardwood. “I personally think Sanaa has the potential to be a double-double type player and we’ve challenged her to do that,” Ingomar coach Trent Adair said. “We’re hoping that she gives us an inside presence that helps make it easier on our perimeter players. I definitely think she’s capable of that, athletically and physically, she’s gifted. Our goal is for her to put it together and have a big senior season.” Outside shooting could prove to be a challenge for the Falcons according to Adair and he thinks his team will need to really work hard to develop some scorers and shooters. 

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“Katie Beth (Hall) has proven that she can shoot it pretty consistently outside in the flow of what we are doing, but this year it’s going to be work to figure out ways to score.” Ingomar again hopes to build a team around defense and Adair says that this year the Lady Falcons will need it more than the previous years. “The past few teams have been good defensively, but they could get by at times with not being great defensively,” Adair said. “We could get away with it offensively because we were gifted. We had so much experience and could score enough that we could give up a few. This team is really going to have to be good on that end.” Ingomar will be back at home in Division 1A basketball this season after spending a few years in 2A.  “I think we’ve got some quality teams and I think two of your better 1A

teams are TCPS and Baldwyn that are in the conversation,” said Adair. “The other teams in our division are not bad either, Wheeler is solid and Smithville has a young guard that is really good. “From a basketball standpoint, we are going to to have to be really good defensively to be successful and can we find ways to score, can we develop offensively are going to be the million dollar questions I think. Can we have some people emerge as scoring threats and can Sanaa give us a consistent inside game plus have some perimeter players that can give us a good offensive game? If we can do that, we will be in our division games with a chance to compete.”


Lynn West/Gazette Staff

2019-20 Ingomar Falcon Basketball Team: Front for left - Harrison Boyd, Bauer Bishop, Hunter Bynum, Nathan Weeden, Nyheim Jones, Clayton Stanford, Luke Roberts, Spencer High, Adin Johnson. Back row left - DJ Beard, Weston Byrd, Sam Smith, Zack Mims, Tyson Smithey, Zack Shugars, Caleb Ball, Eli Reed, Kyle Robertson, Breyden Bell, Sam Huffstatler.

FALCONS NEED TO REGAIN THEIR HUNGER TO WIN Coach Jonathan Ashley is hoping that his 2019-20 Ingomar Falcons will not be satisfied, but will cultivate a hunger for success that propelled his previous team to the state championship game in 2A. “Last year’s group of guys were the probably the hungriest team I’ve ever coached,” Ashley said. “They wanted it, they sold out, the knew they had to defend it every night. We are trying to get back to that place, it may be a long road to get there.” The Falcons will have five seniors on this year’s team along with junior Zach Shagars coming back from an injury as one of the key components for Ingomar and where they plan to find leadership. “Zach’s is the loudest voice and we miss him, we are different without him and having him back has been good,” said Ashley. “Nathan Weeden and Clayton Stanford are more reserved

guys personality-wise and we’ve really tried to stress to them that they have got to step into that leadership role more of calling on guys and they’ve got be more worried about more than just what they are doing. They’ve got to be pulling other guys along with them.” Hunter Bynum, Luke Roberts and Nyheim Jones are the other Falcon seniors that Ashley will be looking to for leadership. Tyson Smithey and Spencer High are a couple of juniors that could make serious contributions to the Falcons efforts this year. Another junior that can help Ingomar’s efforts is Eli Reed.  “We are really working with my freshmen and sophomores to try to push those guys to understand what it’s going to take to play in the league that we play at a competitive level,” Ashley said. “The motor, the toughness, the expectations of what it’s going to

take every night, every time you walk out there in practice. We need those older guys to set that tone and lead by example.” Ashley said that on any given night in 1A basketball that anything can happen and that his team needs to be focused on themselves, not on their opposition. “Everybody else is going to present a problem without us compounding it,” said Ashley. “We’ve got to concentrate on us and fix us, fix our attitude and our effort. “We’ve got guys that played a lot of minutes and contributed mightily to a team that in a lot of eyes, not in mine or Coach Johnson’s, but in a lot of eyes probably over-achieved last year. Same faces, same talent and it’s going to come down to how hard they want to work at it and how much they are willing to push themselves is the X-factor.”

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Dennis Clayton/Gazette Staff

2019-20 Myrtle Lady Hawks Basketball Team: Front row left - Mollie Moody, Lexi Hutcheson, Kinsley Gordon, Trinity Enis, Breanna Smith. Back row left - Olivia Decanter, Aaliyah Pickens, Brittany Vanzant, Charlize Williams, Hannah Lauderdale, Raykiah Stricklen, Mattie Raines.

LADY HAWKS HOPE TO BUILD ON LAST SEASON Confidence is the buzz word in Myrtle’s girls basketball camp this season. Second-year head coach Chris Greer believes his Lady Hawks can build on their 10-19 record from last season. “This is a great group of kids,” he said. “They’ve just got to get their confidence up. They’re used to the system and they’re used to me. They’re really improved. They’re working hard. “A lot is going to depend on how they deal with adversity … are we going to suck it up and play, or not play.” Greer returned to the sideline last season after taking six years off from coaching basketball. He’s got five experienced players returning in his starting lineup. Sophomore guard Kinsley Gordon is the team’s top returning scorer. She averaged 17 points per game last season. Junior guard Breanna Smith is back after averaging 10 points per game.

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Lexi Hutcheson, a 5-foot-9 junior, can scored on the perimeter and inside. Freshman Raykiah Strickland also plays inside and out. Charlize Williams, a sophomore, adds power inside. Senior Brittany Vanzant can play inside as a sixth man. Sophomore guard Trinity Enis will be counted on for defense coming off the bench while freshman Molly Moody has the same role offensively. “Gordon, Smith and Strickland give us speed we haven’t had,” Greer said. “Strickland’s shot has really improved. Gordon can be like the old guards we’ve had in the past. I’d like to see Smith and Strickland handle the ball more and have Gordon out at the two more.” Hutcheson is being counted on to connect from the perimeter more this season. “If she can get her confidence shoot-

ing, she could be one of the best 3-point shooters in Northeast Mississippi,” Greer said. “If she can hit the 3-pointer we can have a good year.” Greer likes the idea of more powerful inside play with Vanzant, Williams and Jayde McDonald, a senior, seeing minutes in the paint. “We wanted to go inside more last season,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll be better there. They’re a year older and they’ve been working hard.” Two other players expected to play the four/five position are sophomore Aaliyah Pickens and junior Hannah Lauderdale. Greer is counting on some seventh and eighth graders to add some depth once their season ends. “I got back in coaching to make it to state and win state,” he said. “If we can ever get that confidence, we could do some things.”


Dennis Clayton/Gazette Staff

2019-20 Myrtle Hawks Basketball Team: Front row left - Dylan Gaines, Caleb Sullivan, A.I. Nugent, Elijah Ingram, Hunter Baggett, Will Greer. Back row left - Jaden Taylor, Elijah Thompson, Caden Hutcheson, Brayden McNeal, Andrew Phillips, Greg Woods, Carl Graham.

HAWKS LOADED WITH FIVE AT GUARD POSITION Myrtle’s starting lineup features … well, five guards. But they’re five very talented, experienced guards. The Hawks return A.I. Nugent, a 5-foot-9 junior who averaged a teamhigh 12 points per game. Joining him are 5-10 junior Elijah Thompson, 5-6 point guard Elijah Ingram, 5-8 sophomore Jaden Taylor and 5-8 senior Hunter Baggett. Ingram averaged 10 points per game while Taylor and Thompson chipped in between 8 to 10 per game. “Sometimes we don’t know where our scoring’s coming from,” Myrtle coach Rob Browning said. “I’ve got four or five who can easily give me 15 or 20 points.” A five-guard lineup has its advantages and disadvantages. “When you’re all guards that can be a positive,” Browning said. “When you get a rebound, we don’t feel like we have to outlet the ball to a certain

person, we can just go. At the same time, when you’re trying to guard bigs it becomes a weakness. “I know we can score. It’s can we stop somebody from scoring?” Taylor, Baggett and Nugent have good hands and made big plays/stops on the defensive end last season. Myrtle will have a newcomer, 6-4 Brayden McNeal, in lineup when he returns from shoulder surgery. He’s a transfer from Arkansas. “Thompson, Nugent, Baggett can rebound,” Browning said. “If we get Brayden McNeal back … 6-4 is a huge asset. We’re happy to have him. He fits in with our group pretty well. He’ll definitely help us in the post if we can get him back.” Others expected to see playing time are junior guard Carl Graham and junior forwards Andrew Phillips and Greg Woods. Myrtle also has a group of sophomores bidding for playing

time. “I’ve got a slew of sophomores I’m waiting on to separate themselves,” Browning said. “There’s about five who have a chance to make varsity and have some minutes. If we could get to where we could play eight or nine guys, that would be a big plus for us.” Last season’s team finished 9-18, but Browning is challenging this group to take a giant step forward. “For two years we’ve been really young and we’ve taken our fair share of whippings,” he said. “We’ve been in some games we should have won and couldn’t find a way to win them. I thought we had a really good summer. We were very competitive. We’ve got to take that next step to be a good 1A basketball team.”

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Photo courtesy of Karen Taylor

2019-20 West Union Lady Eagles Basketball Team: Front row left - Claire Douell, Mary Greer, Annie Orman, Eden Conlee, Mackenzie Morris, Sophie Hooker, Molly Jackson. Back row left - Ella Kate Taylor, Emma Callicutt, Anna Carwyle, Josie Baird, Emma Carwyle, Isabella Evans.

HAYLES WANTS LADY EAGLES TO BE CONSISTENT Annie Orman makes West Union basketball go, but the 5-foot-7 junior guard is not a one-woman team. Second-year head coach J.C. Hayles knows he has others ready to contribute in a big way to help Orman and the Lady Eagles advance to the MHSAA Class 1A state tournament this season. Orman, an Ole Miss softball commitment, averaged 23.7 points per game last season. “It’s no secret, we rely on her a lot to score,” Hayles said. “Her basketball IQ is starting to grow and progress a lot. It used to be, I’m good player, a good ball handler and I’m going to the goal. “Late last year, she showed she could hit the outside shot more consistently. She’s starting to play more under control. That will help us out as a team.” The Lady Eagles finished the season 16-17 overall and lost in the second round of the Class 1A state tournament to Tupelo Christian Prep. In the final two months of the season,

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West Union won 12 games. “We learned a lot from our mistakes early,” Hayles said. “We learned to be more consistent and it showed by how we played down the stretch. We want to expand on that this year. “Being consistent comes with age and experience … understanding what it takes to be successful.” For West Union to be successful offensively, Hayles needs a player to step up and become the consistent scorer behind Orman. That could be junior guard Eden Conlee. “That’s one thing we’re lacking as a team last year,” he said. “We need somebody who is going to consistently score 10 points a night. Conlee, if she can make her free throws and knock down her outside shot, could do that for us.” Defensively, the Lady Eagles will look to sophomore guard Emma Callicutt, 5-6 sophomore forward Josie Baird and 5-7 junior forward Mackenzie

Morris. “We’re relying on Callicutt to be a good on-ball defender,” Hayles said. “She’s tough, a little stick of dynamite.” Baird and Morris are being counted on to replace what little height the team had last season. “Last year we were a small team compared to the teams we played and we graduated our two tallest players,” Hayles said. “We’re lacking in length and will have to make up for it with heart and toughness.” Freshman point guard Ella Kate Taylor returns to make plays and score from the outside. Junior guards Mary Greer and Sophie Hooker and sophomore forwards Anna and Emma Carwyle will all play key roles.


Photo courtesy of Karen Taylor

2019-20 West Union Eagles Basketball Team: Front row left - Trey Haynes, Kaiden Gaines, Reese Taylor, CJ Shirley, Jon Paul Porter, Josh Kent. Second row left - Caleb Graves, Daniel Conlee, Wesley Harrell, Mitchell Hester, Dylan Ewing, Brandon Phillips, Levi Floyd. Back row left - Luke Jennings, Boo Robertson, Luke Willard, Jerod McDonald, Braden Willard, Sam Callicutt, Jacob Sanford.

EAGLES COUNTING ON WILLARD TO LEAD TEAM West Union is counting on 6-foot-2 senior guard/forward Luke Willard this season to return the Eagles to the 1A state basketball playoffs. Willard averaged 15.3 points and 7.2 rebounds per game last season for a team that finished 17-19 overall and lost to state tournament finalist Okolona in the second round of the postseason. “It’s time for Luke to step up and have the year we’ve been expecting,” coach Timbo Henderson said. “He’s had the ability to score at will since he was in junior high. Sometimes he’s a little too unselfish. I think he understands we’re going to be looking at him to score.” Henderson hopes Willard’s improved perimeter shooting game will make his star an all-around match-up problem for opponents. “He can dominate a lot of 1A players in the post,” the coach noted. “We want him to be an outside threat they have to guard.”

West Union lost its leading scorer and top 3-point shooter, Cole Phillips, to graduation. However, talented senior guard Sam Callicutt returns. He was the team’s second-leading 3-point shooter last season with 49 3-pointers. “We need Callicutt to knock down shots when he’s open and not be afraid to shoot,” Henderson said. “We want him to have that confidence Cole had last year.” Boo Robertson, a 5-9 senior, returns at point guard. He will also be counted on to score. “I like Boo with the ball,” Henderson said. “He’s a fierce competitor. He wants to attack the basket. We need him to be a scoring threat.” Inside, West Union will look for rebounding from Willard and Callicutt, along with 6-3 senior forward/ post Jerod McDonald, who averaged 4.8 rebounds per game last season. Jacob Sanford, who worked hard in the weight room during the offseason, is a

back-up post player. Braden Willard, a 6-foot senior guard/ forward, is being counted on to start or play the sixth man role. Junior guard/ forward Caleb Graves and junior guards Dylan Ewing and Brandon Phillips give the Eagles some depth. “Graves, Ewing and Phillips will all get opportunities to play,” Henderson said. Two freshmen who could see a lot minutes are Daniel Conlee and Trey Haynes. Henderson is counting on a strong defense and a few new offensive looks to help make his team a playoffs contender. “If we need to press we can. If we need to step back in a 2-3 zone we can,” he said. “We’ve pushing up-tempo. That would be an advantage for us.”

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Gara Beth Self of Ingomar was named Girls Basketball Top Overall Player and 2A Girls Basketball Top Player at the Daily Journal Area Winter Sports Awards last year. Self signed to play with University of Louisiana-Monroe.

Photo courtesy of Lauren Wood

Zach Shugars of Ingomar was named Top 2A Boys Basketball Player at the Daily Journal Winter Sports Awards.

Photo courtesy of Lauren Wood

Macy Hitt of East Union was recognized as the Girls Bowling Top Overall Player at the Daily Journal Winter Sports Awards.

Photo courtesy of Lauren Wood

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®


Dennis Clayton/Gazette Staff

2019-20 New Albany Lady Bulldog Soccer Team: Front row left - Brandy Gonzales, Amanda Contreras, Rosa Lopez, Maleni Gonzales, Josie Campbell, Auri Mathis, Ruby Cortez, Chloe Hudson, Ashley Castellan, Leslie Castellan, Lauren Hopson. Second row left - Lilly Stout, Kimberly Huerta, Giselle Rojas, Marbella Ortega, Sarah Vega, Ingrid Ojeda, Lucy King, Zoie White, Heidi Clayton, Bessy Sauceda, Morgan Pipken, Kylie Jo Dains, Landry Kent. Back row left - Coach Bert Anderson, Claudia Jeter, Lauren Whiteside, Sammi Jo Doyle, Nayely Urzua, Katherine Gonzalez, Caroline King, Maggie Jo Everett, Annalyn Hogue, Kaitlin Horne, Cameron Stout, Mia Regalado, Rebecca Coltharp, Catherine Truemper, Fernanda Vega, Ayleen Gonzales, Coach Katelyn Watson.

LADY BULLDOGS HOPE TO CAPTURE DIVISION TITLE The New Albany Lady Bulldogs will return to their former division and again face the teams of Corinth, Ripley Tishomingo County plus newcomer North Pontotoc. New Albany hopes this return can lead to success on the pitch and in the division race for the top spot. “We have a lot of experience coming back from last year and we have a lot of pieces that can work, but now we just have to get those pieces to work together for a full 80 minutes in the game,” New Albany coach Bert Anderson said. “Compared to the last two years, our division is not as competitive from top to bottom, but we are still in a very competitive division.  “After missing the playoffs the last two years, that is our number one goal to win the division this year. We know if we can win division then it will set us up for the first round of playoffs.

26 | 2019 Winter Sports Preview

We are using our non-division games to prepare us for division.” New Albany will be using Caroline King and her multiple talents on the soccer field in a variety of ways, especially in pushing the ball upfield on the attack. Anderson hopes that a year of maturity for his backline will allow him to use King more in the midfield where she can make things happen for the Lady Bulldogs. “In the past we have had a lot of defensive-minded players, this year we have a lot of offensive-minded players,” Anderson said. “We just have to get them working together and get a possession-type attack going, I think that will help us defensively and offensively.”  Senior Cameron Stout returns for the Bulldogs and is looking forward to the campaign in 1-4A.  “Being a senior to me means being

the leader for the team, so it’s important for me to do what I’m supposed to do,” Stout said. “We are definitely shooting to be division champs, that’s what we want and we have been working really hard on getting closer as a team.” Kaitlin Horne rejoins the Lady Bulldogs after having not one, but two knee surgeries involving each knee and she is excited to be back. “Being able to play this year has made a really big difference in my happiness for sure,” Horne said. “Coming back and playing for my senior year is astounding. It’s amazing.  “Practicing is a lot easier than therapy, I was in the best shape in my life when I was going to therapy. It has helped me a lot coming back.”


Dennis Clayton/Gazette Staff

2019-20 New Albany Bulldog Soccer Team: Front row left - Eduardo Lopez, Nelson Sanchez, Hector Marcial, Brysen Thompson, Gael Perez. Second row left - Whit Robbins, JD Campbell, Omar Gonzalez, Jerry Hernandez, Uriel Aguirre, Wilmer Magana, David Matamoros, Jorge Perez, Jorge Favela, Jaime Eli Mejia, Alejandro Castelan, Brady Horne, Elian Cuellar, Bryan Betancourt. Back row left - Cristian Perez, Edwin Patino, Daniel Avila, Brian Romero, Braulio Cuellar, Leo Contreras, Jaime Jose Ramirez, Ray Bright, Ruben Pantoja, Dillan Reynoso, John Davis, Parker Clayton, Alejandro Rodriguez, Cade Huffman, Max Spencer.

BULLDOGS WANT TO PERFORM WELL IN DIVISION New Albany’s Bulldogs will return the bulk of their key players for 2019-20 and they hope that will translate into a highly successful return into 1-4A. “Our team this year has got a lot of upperclassmen that have gained a lot of crucial experience from the past couple of years and we return a good group that played a lot of minutes this last year,”New Albany coach Caryl Vogel said. “We definitely have that leadership there and we also have some quality players that can really set us apart from the other teams. “From top to bottom, I think this is one of our stronger teams that we’ve had, especially when you are looking at the starting 11 and you’ve three or four guys that can come on and you won’t have a drop-off. It’s a good solid group for a 4A high school.” New Albany advanced to the North championship match last year before

losing to a talented West Lauderdale team. New Albany hopes that playoff experience will carry over into this season. “The thing that I’ve tried to stress to the players is that in the eight years that I have been here, we’ve never had a team go undefeated in division play and that’s what I’ve really stressed to them is let’s be the first team to do something different. Let’s try to be that first team that goes undefeated in division play because over the past four or five years, it’s always been a nail-biter.”  Vogel is really stressing division play as the starting point for a successful season and then hopefully that will translate into a success run in the playoffs.  “It’s not a guarantee that you will get to the playoffs, you’ve five teams and only the top two make it with

strong programs like Corinth, Ripley and Tishomingo County and North Pontotoc coming in. It’s going to be very difficult and a different style than we’ve played against the last two years.” New Albany wants to focus on scoring goals this season as they had some contests in the previous season that they had more opportunities at the goal, but could not find the net. “It’s going to come down to putting the ball in the back of the net,” Vogel said. “We are looking for junior Dani Avila, sophomore Eli Mejia and senior Max Spencer to really lead our front line and then we are looking at seniors John Davis and Cristian Perez in the midfield to really provide us with those opportunities. It really comes down to creating quality chances and converting those chances.”

2019 Winter Sports Preview | 27


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NEW ALBANY | EAST UNION | INGOMAR | MYRTLE | WEST UNION Spring Sports Preview 1 New 2019 Albany Gazette

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2019-2020 cheerleaders

Dennis Clayton/Gazette Staff

2019-20 New Albany Bulldog Cheerleaders: Front row left - Bailey Robertson, Sarah Robbins, Jodi Parks co-captain, Laura Ruth Welborn co-captain, Leah Robbins, Annalyn Hogue, Anna Tarrant, Heaven Freeman, Madeline Blackburn, Justise Hawkins. Back row left - Gracie Stanford, Gracie Mason, Natalie Creekmore, Molly Keener, Charlsie Stacks, Cassidy Ketchum, Maggie Scott co-captain, Chloe Amos, Chloe Cobb captain, Peyton Henry.

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Dennis Clayton/Gazette Staff

2019-20 East Union Urchins Cheerleaders: Front row left - Kylie Rackley, Karley Conwill, Jesley Wages, Abbie Nieminem, Mary Herod, Cierra Goad. Middle row left - Annalise Bailey, Laura Cobb, Kiersten Hitt, Brooklyn Shelton, Kaitlyn Watson, Anna Liz Ray, Taylor Oliver, Tristan Dye, Whitney Grimes, Peyton Wages. Back row left - Tyler Chadwick, Brooklyn Goad, Katie Gentry, Jessie Roberts, Savannah Greer, Anna Mims, Mary Kate Nobles, Isaiah Sheffield.

Lynn West/Gazette Staff

2019-20 Ingomar Falcon Cheerleaders: Front row left - Emma Bramlett, Jordan Gooch, Carlisle Smithey. Middle row left Alex Seger, Kiarra Mathis, Taylor Browning, Larsen Jolly, Kinsley Sprouse. Back row left - Aynzley Riddle, Paige Boyd, Riley Ozbirn, Arden Robbins, Hailee Alexander, Kathryn Smith.

30 | 2019 Winter Sports Preview


Photo courtesy of Brooke Gordon

2019-20 Myrtle Cheerleaders: Front row left - Cloe Hogue, Olivia Decanter, Lily Jeter, Sarah Kate Thompson, Keragen McCullough, Kinsley Gordon. Back row left - Rebekah Medlin, Alana Holguin, Cailyn Rape, Kinzie Claire Waits, Maggie Moody, Breanna Smith.

Photo by Trent

2019-20 West Union Basketball Cheerleaders: Front row left - Mallie Morris, Cameryn Hooker, Madison Bennett, Macy Whittington, Lilly Willard. Second row left - Laken Carwyle, Emma Howard, Caroline Boatwright, Cheer Coach Karen Taylor, Ella Kate Taylor, Sydney Sanders, Alana Martin. Back row left - Maddie Hooker, Kristin Anderson, Nathalie Naranjo, Jordan Thomas, Harley Sullivan.

2019 Winter Sports Preview | 31


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2019-2020 BOwling

Photo courtesy of Wayne Dye

2019-20 New Albany Bulldog Bowling Team: Front row left - Abby Taylor, Mentora Wood, Chloe Hill, Shomai Berry, Ashley Sanders. Back row left - Mary White, Johnny Hurd, Randy Tullet, Matthew White, Bradley Robbins, Joshua White, Isabell Robbins. Not pictured - Jasmine Sanders, Noah Gray, Colby Elders, Coaches Wayne Dye and David White.

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2019-2020 BOwling

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2019-20 East Union Lady Urchin Bowling: Front row left - Jessica Henderson, Jaelynn Adams, Sarah Butts Denton. Back left - Katelynn Jones, Mikyra Sparks, Taylor Hunt, Brandi Mooneyham, Brooklynn Hunt.

Photo courtesy of Dorenda Gentry

2019-20 East Union Urchin Bowling: Front row left - Kayleb Hooper, Levi Orman, Ethan Brooks, Caleb Pannell, Levi Johnson. Back left - Devin Coghlan, Mason Timmons, Logan Akins, Skyler Hunt, Rudy Baldwin, Caleb Bishop.

34 | 2019 Winter Sports Preview


2019-2020 BOwling

Photo courtesy of Brooke Gordon

2019-20 Myrtle Lady Hawks Bowling Team: From left - Rebekah Medlin, Ashley Tabor, Sarah Kate Thompson, Kinsley Gordon, Breanna Smith, Gracie Martin, Amanda Watkins. Not pictured - Isabella Robinson.

Photo courtesy of Brooke Gordon

2019-20 Myrtle Hawks Bowling Team: Seated from left - Paxton Gordon, Dylan Gaines, Blake McNeal, Luke Gaines. Back row left: Bryson Treadaway,  Jaden Taylor, Gage Enis,  Conner Coleman, Charles Hefner, Ethen Hunt.

2019 Winter Sports Preview | 35


2019-2020 BOwling

Photo courtesy of Karen Taylor

2019-20 West Union Lady Eagle Bowling Team: Front row left - Summer Killough, Abby Clark, Lacy Raines, Keilee Owens, Justice Williams. Back row left - Coach Kathy Clark, Kayla Shaffer, Lannie Robbins, Heather Killough, Jennalea Greer, Halei Leahey, Coach Rodney Clark.

Photo courtesy of Karen Taylor

2019-20 West Union Eagle Bowling Team: Front row left - Dustin Gadd, Carson Guerra, David Clayton, Tyler Griffin, Easton Bogue. Back row left - Coach Kathy Clark, Cooper Crawley, Cooper Guerra, Levi Johnson, Christopher Shaffer, Coach Rodney Clark.

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girls Schedules New Albany Basketball

East Union Basketball

west Union Basketball

November 5 Pontotoc 9 Lewisburg Tournament 12 South Pontotoc 15 East Union 19 West Union 21 @ Lafayette 22 @ Itawamba AHS 25 Dossett Big 4 Tournament (Saltillo)

November 5 Aberdeen (@ Tupelo) 15 @ New Albany 19 Ingomar 22 @ Blue Mountain 25 @ Falkner

November 5 North Pontotoc 7 South Pontotoc 12 Alcorn Central 15 Ingomar 19 @ New Albany 22 Aberdeen (Homecoming) 25-26 Oxford Lady Charger Challenge

December 3 Myrtle 6 Corinth 10 @ Baldwyn 12 @ Tishomingo County 16 @ Ingomar 20 North Pontotoc 27-28 New Hope Holiday Classic

December 3 @ West Union 6 South Pontotoc 10 Smithville 12 Jumpertown 16 Tremont 19 Pine Grove 27-28 @ Wheeler Tournament

December 3 East Union 6 @ Pine Grove 7 South Pontotoc Lady Cougar Challenge 10 @ H.W. Byers 13 Ashland 17 Hickory Flat 20 @ Myrtle

January 7 @ Ripley 14 @ Corinth 16-18 Union County Tournament (New Albany) 21 Tishomingo County 28 @ North Pontotoc 31 Ripley

January 3 @ Ingomar 7 Myrtle 10 Mantachie 11 @ Hickory Flat 16-18 Union County Tournament (@ New Albany) 21 @ Walnut 24 Strayhorn 25 Robertson Classic 28 New Site 31 @ Potts Camp

January 2 @ TCPS 3 @ North Pontotoc 7 @ Ingomar 10 Coldwater 14 @ Ashland 16-18 Union County Tournament (@ New Albany) 21 H.W. Byers 23 @ Hickory Flat 28 @ Coldwater 31 Myrtle

February 4 @ Kossuth 6 Ingomar

February 4 West Union 6 @ Wheeler

February 4 @ East Union 6 Falkner

Myrtle Basketball November 5 @ Smithville 14 Smithville 15 @ Hatley 19 @ Vardaman 21 TCPS 22 @Walnut 25 North Pontotoc December 3 New Albany 6 Ingomar 10 Coldwater 13 Hickory Flat 17 @ H.W. Byers 20 West Union January 3 Baldwyn Tournament 6 @ Wheeler 7 @ East Union 10 @ Ashland 14 H.W. Byers 16-18 Union County Tournament (@ New Albany) 21 @ Coldwater 24 Ashland 28 @ Hickory Flat 31 @ West Union February 3 @ Houlka 4 @ Nettleton

40 | 2019 Winter Sports Preview

Ingomar Basketball November 1 @ Houlka 8 Pine Grove (Homecoming) 12 Ripley 14 @ Hickory Flat 15 @ West Union 19 @ East Union 21-22 Ingomar Invitational 25 Central Hinds Academy (MVSU Delta Duels) December 3 East Webster 6 @ Myrtle 7 Kossuth (South Pontotoc Classic) 10 Houlka 13 Houston 16 New Albany 19-21 Smokey Mountain Classic (Gatlinburg, TN)

January 3 East Union 7 West Union 10 North Pontotoc 14 @ Tremont 16-18 Union County Tournament (@ New Albany) 21 @ Baldwyn 24 Smithville 28 TCPS 31 @ Wheeler

February 1 Robertson’s Classic (@ Booneville) 3 @ Biggersville 6 @ New Albany

NEW ALBANY SOCCER November 2 @ Center Hill (Classic game) 7 @ Lake Cormorant 9 Oxford Tournament (2 games) 12 Hernando 15 Pontotoc 19 Saltillo 22 DeSoto Central (@Tupelo HS) December 3 New Hope 6 @ North Pontotoc 7 @ Amory 10 @ Ripley 13 Corinth 20 Tishomingo County January 3 @ Itawamba AHS 4 @ Olive Branch 6 @ TCPS 10 Senatobia 14 @ Tishomingo County 17 @ Corinth 21 Ripley 24 North Pontotoc


Boys Schedules New Albany Basketball

East Union Basketball

west Union Basketball

November 5 Pontotoc 12 South Pontotoc 15 East Union 19 West Union 21 @ Lafayette 22 @ Itawamba AHS 25-26 New Albany Thanksgiving Tournament

November 15 @ New Albany 19 Ingomar 22 @ Blue Mountain 25-26 New Albany Tournament December 3 @ West Union 6 South Pontotoc 10 Smithville 12 Jumpertown 16 Tremont 19 Pine Grove 27-28 @ Wheeler Tournament

November 5 North Pontotoc 7 South Pontotoc 12 Alcorn Central 15 Ingomar 19 @ New Albany 22 Aberdeen (Homecoming) 25 Dossett Big 4 Shootout (@ Saltillo)

December 3 Myrtle 6 Corinth 10 @ Baldwyn 12 @ Tishomingo County 16 @ Ingomar 20 North Pontotoc 28 Rumble on the River (@ ICC) January 7 @ Ripley 11 Ultimate South Tournament (@ Memphis) 14 @ Corinth 16-18 Union County Tournament (New Albany) 21 Tishomingo County 25 Hot Bed Classic (New Albany) 28 @ North Pontotoc 31 Ripley February 4 @ Kossuth 6 Ingomar

Myrtle Basketball November 14 Smithville 15 @ Hatley 19 @ Vardaman 21 TCPS 22 @Walnut 25 North Pontotoc December 3 New Albany 6 Ingomar 10 Coldwater 13 Hickory Flat 17 @ H.W. Byers 20 West Union January 3 Baldwyn Tournament 6 @ Wheeler 7 @ East Union 10 @ Ashland 14 H.W. Byers 16-18 Union County Tournament (@ New Albany) 21 @ Coldwater 24 Ashland 25 Hotbed Classic 28 @ Hickory Flat 31 @ West Union February 3 @ Houlka 4 @ Nettleton

January 3 @ Ingomar 7 Myrtle 10 Mantachie 11 @ Hickory Flat 16-18 Union County Tournament (@ New Albany) 21 @ Walnut 24 Strayhorn 25 Hotbed Classic (@ New Albany) 28 New Site 31 @ Potts Camp February 4 West Union 6 @ Wheeler

Ingomar Basketball November 1 @ Houlka 8 Pine Grove (Homecoming) 12 Ripley 14 @ Hickory Flat 15 @ West Union 19 @ East Union 21-22 Ingomar Invitational 25 Heritage Academy (MVSU Delta Duels) December 3 East Webster 6 @ Myrtle 10 Houlka 13 Houston 16 New Albany 19-21 Smokey Mountain Classic (Gatlinburg, TN) January 3 East Union 4 Tangle on the Trail (@ Booneville) 7 West Union 10 North Pontotoc 14 @ Tremont 16-18 Union County Tournament (@ New Albany) 21 @ Baldwyn 24 Smithville 25 Hotbed Classic (@ New Albany) 28 TCPS 31 @ Wheeler February 3 @ Biggersville 6 @ New Albany

December 3 East Union 6 @ Pine Grove 10 @ H.W. Byers 13 Ashland 17 Hickory Flat 20 @ Myrtle January 2 @ TCPS 3 @ North Pontotoc 7 @ Ingomar 10 Coldwater 14 @ Ashland 16-18 Union County Tournament (@ New Albany) 21 H.W. Byers 23 @ Hickory Flat 25 Hotbed Classic (@ New Albany) 28 @ Coldwater 31 Myrtle February 4 @ East Union 6 Falkner

NEW ALBANY SOCCER November 2 @ Center Hill (Classic game) 7 @ Lake Cormorant 9 Oxford Tournament (2 games) 12 Hernando 15 Pontotoc 19 Saltillo 23 Clinton (@Tupelo HS) December 3 New Hope 6 @ North Pontotoc 7 @ Amory 10 @ Ripley 13 Corinth 20 Tishomingo County 21 West Lauderdale (@Tupelo HS) January 3 @ Itawamba AHS 4 @ Olive Branch 6 @ TCPS 10 Senatobia 14 @ Tishomingo County 17 @ Corinth 21 Ripley 24 North Pontotoc

2019 Winter Sports Preview | 41


Welcome

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It's a great time to             Visit New Alban

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Profile for Journal Inc

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