Sports

Sat
07
Nov

District play wraps with four in playoffs


Grand Saline's Aaron Bolin (5), Connor Lowe (10) and Chris Wilson (17) celebrate after the Indians topped the rival Edgewood Bulldogs 31-28 on a rainy and muddy Friday night.

Teams from all across the state began the season with a hope for success on the gridiron and a shot at postseason play beginning next week. After 11 weeks of play, four Van Zandt County football teams, the Canton Eagles, Edgewood Bulldogs, Grand Saline Indians and Van Vandals, were successful in their respective attempts, navigating the hurdles and challenges thrown at them throughout the season to qualify for this year’s UIL State Football Playoffs.

Games results from the final week of district play included:

Canton

The Canton Eagles celebrated Senior Night at Norris Birdwell Stadium on Friday night, hosting the Bullard Panthers with a chance to claim the second seed overall in District 5-4A play. Unfortunately for Canton fans, Bullard started strong and held tough defensively to take sole possession of second place with a 34-14 win over the Eagles.

Fri
06
Nov

Playoff fates decided for county teams


Photo by David Kapitan Lineman Cash Nations (54) attempts to set the edge with a block against a Lone Oak defender while Aaron Bolin (5) makes a one-handed grab of a screen pass.

For the second consecutive week, Mother Nature played a leading role during football games involving county teams. On Oct. 23, Canton, Edgewood, Grand Saline, Van and Wills Point all fell victim to rainy conditions, delays caused by lightning or both.

With rain in the forecast once again for Oct. 30-31, four teams, Edgewood, Grand Saline, Van and Wills Point, and their respective opponents all chose to move games up a day to avoid any of the same pitfalls or delays.

Canton and their opponent Emory Rains couldn’t come to a mutual agreement on shifting to a new date, leaving their game left to be played under the Friday night lights. 

Sat
31
Oct

Volleyball playoff picture coming into focus

After months of practice and play, the Canton Eaglettes, Fruitvale Lady Cats, Grand Saline Lady Indians and Wills Point Lady Tigers will all take the first step of what each team hopes will be a long playoff journey with the start of bi-district play Nov. 2-3.

Due to some seeding issues yet to be determined, a schedule of all playoff times, locations and opponents had not been finalized as of press time.

The Canton Eaglettes were the lone county team to get an extra game on their calendar, facing off against Rains for a third time to determine which team will be crowned District 14-4A Champions, and which team will finish as the second overall seed.

Play between the Eaglettes and Lady Cats will begin at 5:30 p.m. Oct. 30 in Wills Point. Regardless of finish, both teams will be in action during the bi-district round against either the third or fourth seed from District 13-4A.

Sat
31
Oct

Myers wins Football Contest No. 9 in ‘tie-breaker”

With his prediction in the “tie-breaker” game, Scott Myers of Mineola is the winner of Football Contest No. 9 in the Van Zandt News.

Myers, along with D’Wayne Williams of Grand Saline, finished Football Contest No. 9 with winning percentages of 76 each forcing the “tie-breaker” game to be used to break the deadlock.

In the “tie-breaker” game, Myers predicted that the New York Giants would defeat the Dallas Cowboys by seven points which turned out to be the actual margin of victory in the game. Williams chose the Giants to win by three points.

As a result, Myers will receive $50.00 worth of coupons redeemable at the participating merchants on the contest pages.

To enter Football Contest No. 11, pick up an official entry form located in this issue and circle the team you pick to win in the game listed on each ad in the contest pages.

The person selecting the most correct games for that week will be the winner.

Fri
30
Oct

County schools compete at Regional Meet


Photo courtesy of Martins Mill ISD Facebook page Sammy Sierra of Martins Mill will be one of several Van Zandt County faces that will compete against the best of Texas at the State Cross Country Meet. Sierra qualified by placing 14th overall in the 2A boys race at the Regional Meet.

Individual students and teams representing all seven county schools traveled to Grand Prairie Oct. 26 to compete against the best runners in East Texas at the Regional Cross Country Meet.

Several local athletes had standout meets, qualifying for the State Cross Country Meet to be held in Round Rock Nov. 7.

Results for county athletes competing in the 2A Classification include:

-Boys: Sammy Sierra, Martins Mill, 14th place; Gavino Rongel, Fruitvale, 16th place; Gavin Sulc, Fruitvale, 70th place; Chaz Grimes, Fruitvale, 95th place; Johnathan Sheppard, Fruitvale, 111th place; Matt Martin, Fruitvale, 130th place.

-Girls: Taylor Sparks, Martins Mill, 63rd place; Hailey Celsur, Martins Mill, 80th place; Mollie Daniel, Martins Mill, 82nd place; Grace Camacho, Martins Mill, 146th place; Landrey Rogers, Martins Mill, 149th place.

Fri
30
Oct

Local teams battle opponents, wet weather


Photo by Tracy Erwin Bulldog blockers help to clear a path for a ball carrier during a wet night across East Texas Oct. 23. Weather also impacted games originally scheduled for Oct. 30, with Edgewood, Grand Saline, and Van-Wills Point all opting for an Oct. 29 start date.

The biggest football week of the year came with an added opponent for opposing teams looking to either strengthen their grip on a playoff spot or to get back in the chase – stormy weather.

Conditions caused several schools to juggle their schedules, and periodic lightning strikes set in effect mandatory 30 minute delays for schools looking to get games completed before even more rain swept through the area into the weekend.

Despite the slippery conditions, Canton, Grand Saline and Van all picked up key victories while Edgewood, Fruitvale (in a game played Oct. 22) and Wills Point all suffered defeats.

Games results included:

Edgewood

The Edgewood Bulldogs hit the road to Lone Oak on Friday night for the first of back to back road games. The Buffalo defense played a starring role in the contest, shutting down Edgewood’s offense to give the team a 22-0 win.

Fri
30
Oct

Vandals, Bulldogs clinch playoff spots


Lineman Cash Nations (54) attempts to set the edge with a block against a Lone Oak defender while Aaron Bolin (5) makes a one-handed grab of a screen pass for the Indians.

For the second consecutive week, Mother Nature played a leading role during football games involving county teams. On Oct. 23, Canton, Edgewood, Grand Saline, Van and Wills Point all fell victim to rainy conditions, delays caused by lightning or both.

With rain in the forecast once again for Oct. 30-31, four teams, Edgewood, Grand Saline, Van and Wills Point, and their respective opponents all chose to move games up a day to avoid any of the same pitfalls or delays.

Canton and their opponent Emory Rains couldn’t come to a mutual agreement on shifting to a new date, leaving their game left to be played under the Friday night lights.

Games results included:

Edgewood

An up and down Edgewood season got back on track Oct. 29, with the Bulldogs making the long trip to take on Paris Chisum.

Mon
26
Oct

Lady Indians locked into second position

Grand Saline’s hopes of a district volleyball team were officially put to rest last week with a loss to top seed Alba Golden Oct. 16. Despite the hiccup, the Lady Indians bounced back with a win over Winona Oct. 20 and a guaranteed appearance in the playoffs for the first time in several years.

The Lady Indians couldn’t quite get on track against the Lady Panthers, falling in three sets by a score of 25-12, 25-20, 25-16.

Playing in her second to last home game, senior Hannah Chandler led all Grand Saline players with 14 kills. Cassidy Smith registered two kills and Lexi Lovett added one.

Lovett led all Grand Saline players with five digs and five assists.

As a whole, the Lady Indians finished with the same number of successful serves received (27) as serving received errors (27).

Sun
25
Oct

Tigers eying perfection following sixth win


Courtesy Photo The Wills Point Tigers K-2 midget football team is currently undefeated on the season, running their record to a perfect 6-0 with a 20-6 win over Mabank Oct. 17. One of the season’s highlights has been two touchdowns scored by team member CJ Blevins, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was 1 year old.

The Wills Point Tiger K-2 midget football team came away with another win Oct. 17 against the Mabank Panthers, dominating yet another game with a final score of 20-6. The win gives the Tigers a perfect 6-0 record heading into their next game against Eustace.

Fans of the team noted that the players are not only talented on the field, but that they also have a very special young man who is committed to the team.

The young man, 8-year old CJ Blevins, is at every practice and sees them through each game watching every play and cheering for every touchdown.

The second grader was diagnosed with cerebral palsy along with a Chiari malformation when he was a year old and has always dreamed of playing football. 

Sat
24
Oct

Lady Cats earn split versus Cumby, Como

The Fruitvale Lady Cat volleyball team was in action twice over the past week, looking to strengthen their playoff positioning with matches against Cumby and Como-Pickton.

Against Cumby, the Lady Cats started strong only to fade down the stretch, losing 20-25, 24-26, 25-16, 25-15, 15-4. Coach Jerry Ptak noted, "We had it all going our way the first two sets, and then we lost it and couldn't find a rhythm again." Emily Driskill had 6 kills and Brinkly Earl had 4 kills in the match.

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