Aug

24

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : August 24, 2016

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By Erik Walsh
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–We are Mabank. The words are plastered on signs all over town, on t-shirts and even the band bus. It’s just three words, but sometimes small things can help bring teams and communities together.
“The words are about bringing an attitude to Mabank that will unite the entire school to be proud of who we are,” Panthers Head Coach Mikey Thompson said.
The words are helping with optimism and attitudes, now it’s up to Thompson and the coaching staff to bring the best out of the Panthers to win some games in the highly competitive 4-A District 8.
“I’m excited about this year’s team,” Thompson said. “Our biggest strength is on the offensive and defensive lines. The will do some heavy lifting for us this year. We will have a hard time winning if they don’t play their best.”
Thompson says the team is gelling together well during workouts and practice.
“We’ve build a lot of team comradery so far,” he said. “We’ve been here working out all summer. The kids have bought and committed to our program and to what we are trying to do here.”
The Panthers will get some new looks in their predistrict schedule this year, facing off against Palestine, Canton and Ferris. However, some things are better when they don’t change. The Panthers will face their familiar rival Kemp, in their yearly tradition, Sept. 3 in Kemp.
“We will be playing against some quality opponents before district play begins,” Thompson said. “They should help us be ready for district play.”
The Panthers will be facing familiar district foes Athens, Van, Kaufman and Brownsboro, as well as gaining Crandall and Terrell. Terrell dropped down two classifications to join 4A.
Starters for this year’s Panthers squad include running back Jace Lair, tight end Kegan Richardson, cornerbacks Hunter Caves and Jacob Bishop, linebackers Tyrce Grey and Jacob Zubl and linemen Noel Rojo and Jacob Felts. The quarterback position was still undecided during two-a-days, as sophomores Clay Conway and Brady Manning were competing for the job.
Thompson says the heart and soul of the Panthers team is Rojo.
“Rojo is the guy every one of us respects,” Thompson said. “He is the hardest working man in Mabank.This is his third year on the varsity squad and he doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk. He’s everything that we want to teach the kids here in Mabank.” Thompson’s praise continues. “Rojo is a vocal leader and leads by example. He pushes the kids hard and they let him. We love him to death, all 115 football players, 15 coaches and 16 athletic trainers. He’s the model citizen of what we want Mabank ISD to be all about.”

Aug

19

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : August 19, 2016

By Erik Walsh
Monitor Staff Writer
CAYUGA–The Mabank Lady Panthers varsity volleyball team lost a close one in Cayuga Aug. 16.
Mabank faced a deficit after the first game with a 28-26 loss, followed by two close wins both by 25-23 scores. Cayuga won the fourth set 25-21 to force a fifth and final game, where they defeated the Lady Panthers 15-5.
Despite the loss, Mabank Head Coach Stacy Shelton was pleased with the Lady Panthers performance.
“The girls play really,” Shelton said. “We had great team work, defense and good offense for four sets before we fell apart in set five.”
Shelton said Mabank would have took the match in game four if the Lady Panthers would have served better.
“We missed six serves in the fourth game,” Shelton said. “You cannot miss that many serves in rally scoring and expect to win games.”
Shelton reported that Junior Kailey Currington had a great offensive showing for the night and the whole team played well defensively against Cayuga hitters.
“They had one player that gave us some trouble but other than that we played well,” she said. “I think missing all those serves and losing the fourth set rattled us a bit and we had trouble in the final game. “
Mabank falls to 3-4 on the season and begins pool play at the Eustace tournament Friday. Mabank plays at 2, 4, and 6 p.m. against Buffalo, Malakoff and Boles. How Mabank performs against its pool opponents will determine where they are seeded on Saturday bracket play.

Aug

19

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : August 19, 2016

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By Erik Walsh
The Monitor Staff Writer
MALAKOFF–The Malakoff Lady Tigers emerged victorious in three sets over cross-lake rivals Eustace Lady Bulldogs in a Aug. 16 matchup in Malakoff.
The clean sweep by Malakoff was the only meeting of the two teams this season. The Lady Tigers won by scores of 25-19, 25-22 and 25-23.
In sub varsity action, the Eustace freshman defeated Malakoff in two sets, 25-18, 25-15; and the Malakoff JV won in three sets, 25-23, 22-25 and 15-10.
Eustace jumped out to a 4-1 lead in game one before extending it to 11-8. The Lady Tigers fought back to take the lead 20-18 before taking the victory 25-23.
Malakoff never trailed in game two, jumping out to a 4-1 lead to begin the set. Eustace eventually tied it up 7-7, but the Lady Tigers reclaimed the lead and never surrendered it. Malakoff went up 15-12 before extending the lead to 18-15, then 22-19. They won game two 25-22.
Statistically, Sydnee Wynn led Eustace in kills with 13, Reece Thorne led the team with two digs, and Miranda Fontenot had a 100 percent service rate in 12 attempts. She also led the team with two service aces. Fontenot and Wynn had one block each.
After the hard fought game both teams set their sights at the Eustace tournament this weekend. The Lady Bulldogs first game is Aug. 18 at 8 a.m. against Blooming Grove. The loss drops Eustace’s record to 4-4.
The Lady Tigers open pool play in the Eustace tournament at 3 p.m. against Quinlan Ford. The win over Eustace gave Malakoff its first win of the season.