My Take

NEAL

Summer Solstice has past, the heat index in East Texas has sky rocketed and we are only about a week away from Dave Campbell's Texas Football magazine hitting the streets, and when that happens, thoughts usually quickly turn to high school football.

That makes this a great time to clean off the legal pad before diving into all the gridiron-related topics.

High school football players, take note.

There have already been at least two deaths this summer — one in South Florida and the latest in Amite, La. — involving high school football players following outdoor off-season conditioning workouts. The sessions in Amite were even scheduled in the evening to avoid work outs taking place during the hottest part of the day.

So, to those that have not been participating in your respective school's summer workout program, please re-think your decision and get out there and start getting your work in. More importantly, get acclimated to the stifling heat and humidity BEFORE two-a-days begin.

It's good to see that most of the head coaches of the various sports will be returning at Jacksonville High School. A recent check-in with athletic director Wayne Coleman revealed that his only opening for a head coach is in girl's power lifting. That may just be a record for retaining coaches.

Do you long-time Jacksonville College basketball fans remember Phillip Stitt? Stitt served as a assistant men's basketball coach at then JBC in the mid 90s. Earlier this month he was hired as the head men's basketball coach at Langston University, an NAIA institution in Oklahoma.

Former JHS quarterback Tristen Shewmake, who transferred back to Bullard High School in the spring, has received two collegiate offers for his services. Arkansas Baptist College (NJCAA) and East Texas Baptist University (NCAA, Division III) have expressed a keen interest thus far.

Two kids from southern Cherokee County did well at the Texas High School Rodeo Association State Finals (June 8-15). Rusk's Kolt Dement won first place in bareback riding and Reagan Davis from Alto nabbed a state title in pole bending. Davis had a busy week as she also finished in seventh place in barrel racing.

Kristen Reeves, who is from Bullard, just missed earning a championship. She claimed second place in goat tying. Reeves did double duty as well and came in 10th place in breakaway roping.

Ok, the docket is now cleared.

To borrow a Hank Williams, Jr. line, “Are you ready for some football?”