Lady Dogs finish second at Dig-Fest

The Edgewood Lady Dogs played host to some of the best teams from around the area last weekend, welcoming 15 schools to participate in the third annual Back to School Dig-Fest Aug. 24, 26.

The lineup of teams included a heavy dose of Van Zandt County with Canton, Fruitvale, Grand Saline and Wills Point in the field alongside teams from Boles, Como-Pickton, Cumberland Academy, ETCA, Hawkins, Keene, Life Waxahachie, Lone Oak, Paris, Sabine and Troup.

Pool play for the two-day event began Aug. 24 with teams divided into four separate pools. Top two finishers in each of the pools advanced to the Championship Bracket, while teams finishing in the bottom two of each pool advanced to compete in the Consolation Bracket.


Scrimmages wrap up as season openers loom

The countdown to the start of a new football season is now less than a week away for Van Zandt County teams, with openers for Canton, Edgewood, Fruitvale, Grand Saline, Van and Wills Point all scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Sept. 1. With the opening kickoff for another season closing in, county teams wrapped up their scrimmage schedule last week with final tune-ups for the Eagles, Bulldogs, Indians and Vandals taking place Aug. 24 and for the Tigers Aug. 25.


The Canton Eagles wrapped up their preseason with a scrimmage against Kaufman at Norris Birdwell Stadium Aug. 24, getting in their final reps before traveling to Brownsboro Sept. 1 for the first week of non-district play.


Van, Bullard meet for third time


The 2017 season may be less than a month old, but that has not stopped the Van Lady Vandals and Bullard Lady Panthers from crossing paths three times already this season.

Van and Bullard originally matched up against one another during pull play of the Van Lady Vandal Varsity Tournament Aug. 11 with the Lady Panthers scoring a 25-18, 25-20 victory over the event hosts.

The Lady Vandals bounced back during the event, winning back-to-back matches against Paris and Troup to meet up with Bullard for a second time in as many days in the finals of the Van Tournament.

Bullard once again managed to hold off Lady Vandals, tallying a 25-20, 30-29 win to claim a 2-0 lead in the season series. 

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Lady Tigers to continue tournament play

The Wills Point Lady Tigers looked to turn the page after a disappointing run through their home tournament Aug. 18-19, welcoming the Caddo Mills Lady Foxes to Wills Point Aug. 22 for a non-district tilt.

Despite their best efforts, a strong surge by the Lady Foxes and questionable officiating that drew the ire of fans, coaches and players proved too much to overcome in a 28-26, 25-19, 25-27, 21-25, 9-15 loss.

Wills Point struggled to find their footing early against the big hitting of Caddo Mills, falling behind 24-19 in the first set. With their backs against the wall, Wills Point turned the tide with their service game, running off six straight points to extend the set. 

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Lady Cats win four of six

The Fruitvale Lady Cats continued non-district play last week, competing at the Eustace Tournament Aug. 17, 19 followed by a home date against East Texas Christian Academy Aug. 22. Fruitvale would play six times overall during the week, finishing with a 4-2 mark.

Fruitvale began pool play at the Eustace Tournament Aug. 17, winning three straight matches against Athens, East Texas Christian Academy and Kemp.

Coach Jerry Ptak stated, “The girls played outstanding against Athens. They lost the first set against Kemp but fought back to take the next two and nd played two close sets against ETCA but took them both.”

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New hunting and fishing licenses go on sale Aug.15


What's so great about that?


Well, if new licenses are soon on sale, hunting seasons can't be far behind. And hunting seasons signal a change in the weather -- in this case, a change for the better. Raise your hand if you're as sick of this oven-like, breath-sucking heat as I am.

Sometime around mid-September each year, the first cool spell arrives. Occasionally, it comes a little earlier. Let's hope this year is one of those occasions.

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County football teams begin scrimmages

Canton, Edgewood, Fruitvale, Grand Saline, Van and Wills Point all took a major step forward towards the start of the 2017 this week, participating in their first preseason scrimmages against other schools Aug. 18-19.


The Canton Eagles were scheduled to be home twice, hosting Mt. Vernon Aug. 18 and Kaufman Aug. 24 in a pair of scrimmages to prep for the season opener Sept. 1.

Mt. Vernon should provide a solid test for the Eagles, coming off a season in which they finished 5-5 overall with a loss to White Oak in the bi-district round of the playoffs.

The Tigers will bring plenty of experience with them to Canton, returning eight starters on both sides of the ball.


The Edgewood Bulldogs will look to pick up where they left off during the 2016 season with scrimmages set to include a home matchup with Hughes Springs Aug. 18 and a scrimmage on the road in Mt. Vernon Aug. 24.


The Locker Room Show” returns to KMOO Monday night

The 2017 high school football season will feature the return of “The Locker Room Show” every Monday night from 6:30-8:30 p.m. beginning Aug. 28 on Mineola radio station KMOO (99.9 FM).

“The Locker Room Show” features high school football correspondents from around the KMOO listening area reviewing the previous Friday night matchups and looking ahead to the following Friday night gridiron contests.

David Barber, sports correspondent for Van Zandt Newspapers, will be among the guests on the program each week.

The program will air live on location usually from an area restaurant in the KMOO listening area.

The first show for the 2017 season will originate from Moore’s Store in downtown Ben Wheeler Monday night leading up to KMOO’s live play-by-play broadcast of the regular season opener featuring the Van Vandals and the Mineola Yellowjackets set for Friday, Sept. 1 at Van’s Memorial Stadium.


“Hump Day Huddle” to air every Wednesday

Van Zandt Newspapers L. L. C. and Canton radio station KWJB (95.1 FM and 1510 AM) in Canton have announced a joint effort to cover high school football in Van Zandt County for the 2017 season.

As part of that agreement, a new weekly radio show will air every Wednesday during the season called “Hump Day Huddle,” hosted by David Barber, sports correspondent for Van Zandt Newspapers, and T. A. Hale and Shawn Stewart from the KWJB “Buzz Brothers.”

“Hump Day Huddle” will air every Wednesday at 10 a.m., 12 noon and 5 p.m. during the high school football season exclusively on KWJB.

The one-hour show each week will feature varsity football information on the Canton Eagles, the Van Vandals, the Wills Point Tigers, the Grand Saline Indians, the Edgewood Bulldogs and the Fruitvale Bobcats.

Barber, Hale and Stewart will review the previous Friday night football action in the county and look ahead to the upcoming Friday night matchups.


Lady Dogs win three of five matches

The Edgewood Lady Dogs got a jumpstart on the 2017 last week, hosting the Van Lady Vandals Aug. 8 before competing four times over two days at the Fairfield Tournament.

Edgewood opened its season in thrilling fashion against the Lady Vandals, securing a 25-11, 20-25, 19-25, 25-15, 15-12 win.

After an off date, the Lady Dogs traveled to Fairfield Aug. 10 for their first tournament appearance off the year. Edgewood suffered back-to-back losses to open tournament play, falling to both Life Waxahachie and Rockdale.

Poor play in both the first and third sets proved costly for Edgewood in a 25-13, 23-25, 25-10 loss to the Lady Mustangs.

The Rockdale Lady Tigers handed the Lady Dogs a second loss in as many matches later the same day, outdueling Edgewood 28-26, 25-19 in a two match sweep.

Led by 14 kills from Kenzie Smith and nine assists from both Tabitha Parker and Libby Martin, Edgwood made short work of Wortham in a 25-17, 25-17 win Aug. 12.


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