District — 16-3A
Coach — Shane Chambless
Last year — 2-6 in district
Key returnee — Chandler Clark (6-foot-6)
Fast facts — The Panthers should show improvement in what will be Chambless' second year in Bullard...Don't count the Panthers out of the playoff hunt in 16-3A...Bullard plays at home for the first time at 7 p.m. on Nov. 16 when the Panthers are slated to test Pittsburg.
District — 19-3A
Coach — Zach Allison
Last year — 7-12, 0-8 in district
Key returnees — Chaston Bennett (5-foot-9, Sr.), David Overstreet (6-foot-2, S.r) and Ray Foreman (6-foot, Jr.)
Fast facts — Overstreet and Foreman were both injured in football and may be joining the team late...If either or both are unable to play, it could be another long season in Eagleland...Allison, a Carthage native, played college basketball and has had success at DeKalb...Bennett was second team all district a year ago and Overstreet was newcomer of the year... Losing a couple of off season transfers to Alto will hurt the Eagles in 2012-13...Rusk should be a team on the rise, but may not have the fire power to challenge Fairfield and Mexia at the top of the loop pecking order just yet.
District — 18-2A
Coach – Jody Sory
Last year — 25-9, 12-0 in district
Key returnees — Bradley Stewart (6-foot-1, Sr.,), Wesley Thompson (6-foot-2, Sr.), Richard Lacy (5-foot-9, Sr.)
Fast facts — Troup returns six lettermen off of last year's team that made it as far as the regional quarterfinal...Tigers look to be poised to win a slew of games once again...Sory comes in after serving as a long-time assistant at Henderson and is recognized as a veteran coach that is very adept in the game of basketball...Troup, Frankston and Sabine are the league's elite programs.
Brook Hill Guard
District — TAPPS Division III, District 4
Coach — Wally Dawkins
Last year — 14-15, 4-5 in district
Key returnees — Grant Hanks (Soph.), Chase McDermott (Soph.), Andrew Swink (Sr.), Luke Humphries (Sr.), Phillip Kitt (Jr.)
Fast facts — Dawkins returns a nice core of players from last year...Add in newcomer Malik Alley and a winning season and another trip to the TAPPS state playoffs could easily be within reach for this group...District appears to be a bit weak, with McKinney Christian and Brook Hill the pre-season favorites.
Editors Note: Jacksonville's Robert Loper, long time head coach at Frankston High School, needs only 23 wins to reach the 800-career win plateau...Roper's team went 19-10 last year, so keep an eye on the Indians this year.
- Local Sports
New Summerfield downs Van, 3-1, to win small school soccer tourney
The book closed on the the first year of New Summerfield High School boy's soccer season on Saturday night, after the Hornets had polished off Van, 3-1, to win the Small School Soccer Championship Tournament, which was played on a rainy Saturday night at Bill McRae Field at Jacksonville College.
The Hornets ended up with a record of 11-5-0.
Troup baseball: Smith tosses a no hitter; fans 12 Harmony batters
Luke Smith turned in a dominating performance in Troup's 10-0 win over Harmony in a District 18-2A affair that was played at the Tigers' ball yard Friday.
Smith pitched a no-hitter against the Eagles and struck out 12 of the 18 opposing batters that he faced.
Priddy Good Stuff: Brook Hill disposes of Class 6-A Lake Hamilton, Ark.
Brook Hill evened its record at 6-6 Saturday afternoon by leveling Lake Hamilton, Ark., a Class 6-A school with an enrollment in excess of 900, 4-1, in final day play of the Longview Lobo Classic Challenge.
Eagle 9 drop decisions to Carthage
Baseball teams from Rusk and Carthage did battle Friday and Saturday by playing a single game in each community.
Unfortunately for the Eagles, the results was the same as the Bulldogs ran their worksheet to 7-6 on the year by beating Rusk 2-0 in Carthage Friday night and 6-0 Saturday afternoon at Eagle Park.
Indian baseball loses twice in Quitman tourney
After starting off the Quitman Tournament with a pair of wins, the Jacksonville baseball Indians' luck changed Friday and Saturday when the Tribe came up short, losing 13-3 to Mount Pleasant Chapel Hill, and tumbling 10-7 to the host Bulldogs from Quitman on Saturday.
Boys Powerlifting: Rosales, Turner to represent Rusk at state meet
Leo Rosales and Jeremy Turner of Rusk have punched their respective ducats into the upcoming state powerlifting meet.
Crimson Tide's Littlejohn moves to 5-0 with 1st SEC win
Rusk High School product Sydney Littlejohn, a true freshman at the University of Alabama, moved to 5-0 on the year Saturday when she earned her first Southeastern Conference victory of her career.
Prep Soccer: Hawkins boots Brook Hill girls to another state championship
Brook Hill successfully defended its TAPPS DIII girls's soccer state title on Friday by slipping past Austin Vertas 1-0 at Awty International School.
Elise Hawkins was the unlikely hero for the Lady Guard. The senior defender scored what turned out to be the only goal of the match around the 12-minute mark of the final period.
35-4A Soccer: Jacksonville girls down Lady Hornets, 1-0
Jacksonville's Fightin' Maidens collected a District 35-4A triumph Friday night at Tomato Bowl without even scoring a goal.
Yes that's right, because Lufkin Hudson knocked in the only goal of the match — an own goal — with 12:58 to play in the match.
After the Maidens (7-7-2, 6-2-1 District 35-4A) almost scored on their own, the ball deflected a few feet out in front of the Hudson goalkeeper and in the made rush to clear the ball already Hornet accidentally knocked the ball into the Jacksonville goal.
16-3A Softball: Springer fans 13 as Bullard stops Spring Hill, 4-1
Kristie “Coco” Springer, a Texas Woman's University signee, struck out 13 Spring Hill batters Friday night to help propel Bullard to a 4-1 win in a District 16-3A tilt that was played in Longview.
- More Local Sports Headlines
- New Summerfield downs Van, 3-1, to win small school soccer tourney