Teams reach midway point of regular season

Van Zandt County football teams finished play a combined 3-3 overall Sept. 29, including wins by all three county representatives that finished the 2016 as either outright or co-district champions, the Van Vandals, Edgewood Bulldogs and Wills Point Tigers.

Through five weeks of the season, Van currently sits at 5-0, Edgewood is 4-1, Canton is 2-3, Wills Point is 1-4, and Fruitvale and Grand Saline are both 0-5. 


The Canton Eagles officially hit the halfway point of the regular season Sept. 29, wrapping up the non-district portion of their schedule with a 35-13 Homecoming night loss to the visiting Paris North Lamar Panthers.

The Eagle defense stood tall throughout most of the first half, bottling up a potent Paris North Lamar offense until late in the first quarter. Canton held an early 7-0 lead in the contest on a McGwire Martin touchdown run and looked to add another score just before halftime on a drive deep into Panther territory.


Vandals outlast Athens in offensive shootout, 56-38

The scoreboard at Van’s Memorial Stadium was kept plenty busy Friday night as the Van Vandals rallied with 42 unanswered points to outlast the visiting Athens Hornets, 56-38, in a battle of early District 8-4A, Division I co-leaders.

Coach Jared Moffatt’s Vandals are now 6-0 overall and 2-0 in district play as they will visit Brownsboro at 7:30 p.m. Friday to take on the surprising Brownsboro Bears, currently 4-1 overall and 1-0 in district action after blowing past the 0-2 Mabank Panthers, 47-16, Friday night in Mabank. Athens falls to 2-4 overall and 1-1 in district play.

The Kaufman Lions are the only other remaining unbeaten team in district play as they moved to 2-0 in league play with a 29-14 win over the 0-2 Crandall Pirates in Kaufman Friday night. The Terrell Tigers, 0-1 in the district, enjoyed an open date Friday night.


Lady Indians tighten grip on playoff position

The Grand Saline Lady Indians continued their playoff push last week, scoring victories over chief rival Edgewood and Alba-Golden to improve to 5-1 overall in District 12-3A play.

Grand Saline played host to Edgewood Sept. 22, battling back from a slow start to score a four-set victory over the Lady Dogs.

Edgewood stormed out of the gates against Grand Saline, easily taking the first set 25-13 to put the Lady Dogs in an early deficit.

Sets two and three would be the most competitive of the night with Grand Saline evening the match by taking the second set 28-26 before pushing their way into the lead by taking the third set 28-26.

The Lady Indians continued to carry the momentum of winning consecutive sets into the fourth, closing out the Lady Dogs 25-16.

Following the match, Grand Saline coaches recognized senior setter Lexi Lovett as the team's Player of the Match after she finished with 24 assists, 17 digs, four aces, four kills and a block.


Lady Dogs bounce back with win over Kemp

The Edgewood Lady Dogs returned home to face Kemp Sept. 26, looking to bounce back from only their second district loss of the season suffered last the previous week against Grand Saline.

Edgewood bounced back in impressive fashion against Kemp, scoring an easy 25-18, 25-12, 25-10 win over the Lady Jackets.

Nicole Neal finished with team-high 10 kills, followed by Kenzie Smith with nine, Ali Simmons and Katy Pool with four each, and Keeley Randle and Tabitha Parker with two each.

Neal also led Edgewood's efforts at the service line, finishing with seven of the Lady Dogs' 11 aces in the match. Tabitha Parker finished with two aces, and Libby Martin and Katy Pool finished with one each.

Kate Farnsworth finished with a match-high 12 digs, Tabitah Parker added 11, Kenzie Smith added nine and Nicole Neal totaled eight.

Sophomores Libby Martin and Tabitha Parker combined to record 23 of Edgewood's 25 assists in the match.


Lady Cats split district games

The Fruitvale Lady Cats began District 18-2A play last week, taking on teams from Miller Grove and Yantis. Fruitvale opened play against Miller Grove Sept. 22 by falling just short in a three-set loss, 25-20, 25-16, 25-21.

Coach Jerry Ptak stated, “The girls played hard, we had some young players step up and played well. Alex Mobley stepped in for injured Mattie Davis and did a great job, she did not miss a single serve.”

Callie Harris had seven kills and a block, Abby Williams had seven assists, Lulu Campbell had five assists and one kill, and Lauren Brown had one kill and one block.

The Lady Cats returned to action Sept. 26, traveling to Yantis and returning with a 25-19, 25-14, 21-25, 25-20 victory.

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Bulldogs dominate Indians in rivalry game

The Van Vandals and Edgewood Bulldogs each logged impressive wins during the fourth week, knocking off Palestine and Grand Saline respectively. The week proved to be less kind to the rest of Van Zandt County’s football teams with Canton, Fruitvale, Grand Saline and Wills Point all coming up short on the scoreboard.

Through four weeks of the season, Van currently sits at 4-0, Edgewood is 3-1, Canton is 2-2, and Fruitvale, Grand Saline and Wills Point are all 0-4. 


The Canton Eagles traveled to Waxahachie Sept. 22, looking to improve to 3-1 on the season with a win over the Life Oak Mustangs. Turnovers would be the story of the game, however, with four costly Canton turnovers leading directly to a 20-14 loss.

Life Waxahachie intercepted two Canton passes in the first quarter, including a pick-six by Gage Mayfield to take a 13-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.


Vandal defense shines in win over Crandall, 34-14

In a season filled with impressive offensive numbers, it was the defense that shined the brightest for the undefeated Van Vandals Friday night as they pulled away in the second half to open District 8-4A, Division I play with a 34-14 victory over the upset-minded Crandall Pirates in Crandall.

Coach Jared Moffatt’s Vandals are now 5-0 overall, but more importantly, they are now 1-0 in District 8-4A, Division I competition tied with the Kaufman Lions and the Athens Hornets at the top of the district standings.

Two of the three co-leaders will go head-to-head Friday at 7:30 p.m. when the Vandals host Athens at Van’s Memorial Stadium in the only contest featuring a Van Zandt County team.

Against the Pirates, the Vandal defense forced five Crandall turnovers including a 15-yard scoop-and-score by Vandal linebacker Beckett Preston early in the fourth quarter that put the game out of reach.


Tiger netters dominate Mt. Pleasant

The Wills Point Tiger tennis team dominated its home court in impressive fashion, improving their record to 6-1 overall with a 19-0 sweep of Mt. Pleasant Sept. 14.

Individual match results included:

-Chase Daniell def. Dakota Elswick, 8-1

-Kash Adams def. Jose Guiterrez, 8-1

-Jack Johns def. Yair Long, 8-1

-Josh Schreffler def. Ronaldo Zuniga, 9-7

-Aidan Phillips def. Johann Sanchez, 8-2

-Justin McGough def. Julian Coronado, 8-6

-Austin Etheridge def. Edgar Cordova, 8-0

-Daniell/Phillips def. Elswick/Guiterrez, 6-1, 6-3

-Adams/Johns Def. Sanchez/Zonga, 6-1, 6-0

-Schreffler/Etheridge def. Cordova/Long, 6-2, 6-4

-Maddie Booth def. Jenn Figueroga, 8-2

-Claire Hiler def. Avera Ayers, 8-2

-Hope Turner def. Pauline Muniz, 8-3

-Hannah Gern def. Cheyenne Clark, 8-3

-Maddie Hiler def. Stacey Henderson, 8-2

-Katelyn Bryant def. KeKe Craddock, 8-0


Mike Wheeler of Canton wins in football contest

With a winning percentage of 85, Mike Wheeler of Canton is the winner of Football Contest No. 3 in the Van Zandt News.


Wheeler wins $50 in merchandise coupons redeemable at the participating merchants on the contest pages.


Contest winners are asked to call 903-567-4000 to make arrangements to pick up their coupons.


The contest pages for Contest No. 5 can be found in the middle of the sports section in this issue of the News.


The rules of the contest are as follows:


In each advertiser’s space on the page is the name of the two teams (high school, college or pro) who will oppose each other in the coming week


You should circle the name of the team you believe will win in each ad.


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



Lady Indians top Mineola, Scurry-Rosser

The Grand Saline Lady Indians propelled themselves into a second-place tie in District 12-3A play last week, winning matches against both Mineola and Scurry-Rosser to improve to 3-1 overall.

Grand Saline opened last week with a match in Mineola Sept. 16, scoring a four-set win over the Lady Jackets. Lady Indian coaches recognized senior Mallory O’Donnell as the team’s Player of the Game for the match after she finished with 18 digs and seven kills overall.

Grand Saline returned to action Sept. 19 to take on a Scurry-Rosser team that finished 13-1 overall in district play in 2016 en route to the District 12-3A title.

Coach Kelly Ridge’s team came out red-hot against the Wildcats, easily taking the first set 25-19. Grand Saline’s stellar play continued in the second set with the Lady Indians outpointing Scurry-Rosser 25-21 to take a commanding two sets to none lead.


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