Special to The Monitor
HENDERSON COUNTY–The Athens Cain Center Megalodons finished their summer season this past weekend with a second place finish in the East Texas Summer Swim League Medium Team Division.
Due to the gaining popularity of swimming in Athens over the past year, the Megalodons moved up from the Small Team Division to the Medium Team Division.
The scoring during this weekend’s meet was led by the six-and-under division swimmer Jocelyn Villagrana.
Eight-and-under division swimmers were Evan Loper, Emma Kirksey, Riley Loper, Katie Golmon and Allison Roberts.
The 10-and-under division scoring was led by Beau Thompson, Gabrielle Baez, Jayce Baez, Katlyn Roberts, Sophie Wright, Avery Robinson and Evan Roach.
The 11-and-12-year old division scoring was led by Lexi Pugh, Shelby Lehr and Nash Dansby.
The 13-to-14-year old division was led by Chloe Wright, Anna Parsons, Tristan Catugal, Torryn Traxson, Gage Hardin, Skylar Fain, Brodi Phillips and Ethan Bowland.
The seniors were led by Lauren Takata, Sarah Barnes, Caysea Clark, Jami Boyd and Dawson Walker.
Coach Willy Robson said, “We had an extremely good meet, and the kids swam very well.”
In preparation for this meet, the swimmers have been practicing Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. since June 1.
All of the Megalodons qualified for the All-Star meet July 23-24 in Nacogdoches.
Evan Roach, Evan Loper and Riley Loper all qualified for the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation State Swimming Championships to be held in McAllen July 28-31.
The team will continue practicing until Athens schools start.
The Megalodons will then practice from 5-6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Cain Center pool.
Anyone interested in joining the swim team can contact the Athens Cain Center at (903) 677-2000.
Posted by : July 27, 2016| On :
Special to The Monitor
Posted by : July 20, 2016| On :
By Ryan Moulds
Monitor Sports Writer
ATHENS– Kris Baumann has announced his resignation as head men’s basketball coach/associate athletic director at Trinity Valley Community College. Baumann has accepted a position as assistant coach on the men’s basketball staff at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP).
“I’ve been coaching 17 years in junior college basketball and Trinity Valley is by far the best job I’ve ever had,” Baumann said. “It’s difficult to leave a place this special. “What sets this place apart from others is the people who work at the college, our fan base and the community. It truly is a special place.”
Baumann leaves after a four-year tenure at TVCC in which the Cardinals posted a 110-26 record. Baumann, owner of a 280-146 career record, guided the Cardinals to the national tournament in each of his last three seasons, claiming their first Region XIV championship since 1999 this past season.
In addition to claiming the regional title in the 2015-16 season, the Cardinals were an unprecedented 19-0 in conference play and were ranked No. 1 in the NJCAA the second half of the season. The Cardinals, who own a 33-game conference winning streak, also matched a school record for wins in a season, going 33-2.
During Baumann’s tenure, the Cardinals reached the Elite 8 in 2015 and the Sweet 16 in 2014 and 2016. The Cardinals were the No. 1 seed at the tournament this past season.
Prior to his arrival at TVCC in the summer of 2012, Baumann spent six seasons at Garden City Community College in Kansas. He was 120-75 at Garden City, where his 2009 squad advanced to the national tournament and finished sixth.
He also served three years as head coach at Lamar Community College and stints as an assistant coach at Chipola Junior College and Tallahassee Community College.
Baumann attended and played at the University of Idaho, where he became one of the top three-point shooters in school history. He was voted team captain both his junior and senior seasons and received the prestigious Ronald White Award.
He received his bachelor’s degree in general studies from the University of Idaho and Masters of Administration and sports management from Columbia Southern University.
UTEP is under the leadership of head coach Tim Floyd who will be entering his seventh season with the team. UTEP finished with a 19-14 record last season and was 10-8 in conference play. They finished sixth in Conference-USA.
Baumann’s junior college signees went on to play at Auburn (Archie Miaway), Charlotte (JC Washington), Cincinnati (Kareem Johnson and Octavius Ellis), East Carolina (Corey Farmer and Clarence Williams), Fresno State (Quinton Hosley), Gonzaga (Abdullahi Kuso), Iowa State (Jhaustin Thomas), Kansas State (Janerio Spurlock), Louisiana Tech (Marcelle Davis, Lavelle Felton and Michael Wilder), Memphis (Geron Johnson), Middle Tennessee (Trevor Ottley), New Mexico State (Supo Jegede), North Texas (Richard Thomas), Purdue (Jon Octeus), Stephen F. Austin (Leon Gilmore), Texas A&M (LaKeith Blanks), UAB (Will Campbell), UCF (Lavelle Payne) and Wyoming (Thomas Manzano), among numerous Division I schools.
Posted by : July 15, 2016| On :
Special to The Monitor
TOOL–Texas’s Heath Kirkland just made his dream come true again.
The 43-year-old dirt bike racer has qualified for the largest amateur motocross race in the world, the 35th Annual Rocky Mountain ATV/MC AMA Amateur National Motocross Championship, presented by AMSOIL, to be held this August at the historic Loretta Lynn Ranch in Tennessee.
Kirkland took on over 22,000 hopefuls from across America to earn one of just 1,482 qualifying positions.
“The Amateur National at Loretta Lynn’s is the event every motocross racer in the country wants to compete in,” said Event Director Tim Cotter. “A win at Loretta’s gives a racer instant national notoriety and can serve as a springboard to a lucrative professional motocross career.”
Most of America’s top professional motocross racers, including James Stewart, Ricky Carmichael, Travis Pastrana and Ryan Dungey, have won AMA Amateur National titles at Loretta Lynn’s.
Kirkland, who works at Heath Kirkland Motorcross Academy as an instructor and mentor, has been riding dirt bikes since he was 12 years old. He has won several titles and competed with the very best in the sport.
He believes in giving back to the sport one child at a time. Kirkland now lives in Tool while training for a comeback into the sport as a senior rider. Many people have told him he wouldn’t be able to do this, but he did it all while recovering with a broken arm.
With the help of many sponsors who help pay his way to the races, Kirkland has had the opportunity to pursue his dreams. He has won several races in the last year and competes nearly every weekend at tracks across the state of Texas.
Heath was featured in Motorcross Action Magazine in 1988 at the World Mini Grand Prix.
Kirkland will make the long journey to Hurricane Mills, Tenn. along with his wife Michelle, daughter Lillie and some close family. The race is August 1-6. Kirkland and his family will be camping onsite for the week-long event and will participate in many non-racing evening activities.
Kirkland is just one of the over 22,000 racers across the country who spent the last four months qualifying for the event. The top finishers in Area Qualifiers and Regional Championships earn a gate position in the National Championship race at the Loretta Lynn ranch.
Racers may enter a wide variety of classes, from minicycle classes for children as young as four, all the way up to a senior division for riders over 50.
There are also classes for women and classes for both stock and modified machines. In total, there are 38 different classes of competition. Kirkland will compete in the highly competitive Senior 40+ Class.
The track is built on a section of Loretta Lynn Ranch and Campground in Hurricane Mills, Tenn. The course contains a variety of jumps, corners and other obstacles designed to test the skills and stamina of the racers. The motocross track is used only once a year for motorcycles, so there is no hometown advantage. Racers compete in three 15-20 minute races over the course of the week per class, sometimes in grueling temperatures. Proper training and preparation are paramount.
Most riders attend the event with the help of their families. In fact, many consider the event their family’s summer trip, nicknaming it the “World’s Greatest Motocross Vacation.” Besides the races, the week-long event hosts many family-friendly activities, including swimming, talent show, concerts and live entertainment.
The race action will be broadcast live daily at www.RacerTV.com, August 1-6, for a total of 40 hours of live coverage. In addition, two highlight shows featuring the event will air on NBC Sports Network in the fall.
For additional information on the Amateur National, visit the official website at www.mxsports.com or call (304) 284-0101.