Posted by : August 10, 2014| On :
By Erik Walsh
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–Mabank Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Jared Wingfield discussed some of the intricacies of the Panther’s upcoming football schedule including looking outside the immediate area for pre-season training and a new competitive district schedule. Most striking is the absence of Cedar Creek Lake area school Malakoff. Replacing Malakoff this pre-season is Whitney.
“We are already playing a lot of local teams,” Wingfield said. “We will be facing Canton (Sept. 5), Eustace (Sept. 12) and Kemp (Sept. 19) all in the pre-season. We want to put the boys in front of some kids they don’t know. Additionally, Whitney is a small-town on a lake, much like Mabank, and I think there will be many similarities between our players. It’s a good way to start off the season.”
Mabank plays Whitney Aug. 29 on the road.
It’s also worth noting that Mabank’s last pre-season game of the year is against Teague, a smaller 3-A school that the Panthers landed as its homecoming game Sept. 26. A hopefull homecoming win, followed with a bye week Oct. 3 could give Mabank the momentum and rest it needs to compete in 4-A District 8.
The Panthers begin their District 8 schedule Oct. 10 in Wills Point. The next week, they host last years District Champion Athens Oct. 17. Wills Point finished last season with just three wins (3-8), including a close 41-36 shoot-out victory over Mabank.
Athens lost many key seniors following its perfect 10-0 regular season in 2013. They also suffered a blow by losing its offensive coordinator.
“Athens will be a little down this year, but they should still field a very good team,” Wingfield said.
On Oct. 24 the Panthers travel to Van to face the always tough Vandals, a team that is just two seasons removed from the district championship in 2012. They finished 2013 with a 4-7 record after sustaining heavy injuries early in the season.
Mabank will face a new district opponent when they travel to Kaufman Oct. 31. Mabank faced the Lions last year during the pre-season, when Kaufman won 55-7. Kaufman went on to become the 3-A District 14 champions with an 8-4 record. They have since lost their head coach and will need to retool to contend this year in a new district.
The Panthers last game of the year comes at home Nov. 7 against Crandall. The Pirates finished last year with a 5-6 record.
In other news,
The Panthers finished its last day of practice without pads Thursday at Panther Stadium. Wingfield said that when the pads come on, the best players rise to the top.
“Starting Friday we’ll get to see the kids that separate themselves as the most physical of the bunch,” Wingfield said. “Anybody can go through the mechanical motions without pads, but when the player needs to make contact and actually tackle a guy, things can change quickly.”
Players will have opportunities to make an impression on their peers and coaching staff soon. The Panthers host the their first scrimmage of the year next Friday, Aug. 15 at home against Scurry Rosser at 7 p.m.
Wingfield said he will be picking up his newly adopted four-year-old Ukrainian daughter from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport Aug. 8. It is the Wingfield’s second adoption.
Posted by : August 7, 2014| On :
By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
CEDAR CREEK LAKE—Nine young people between the ages of 7 and 17 came back as champions from an international competition in Grapevine – The Legends of Kung Fu Tournament July 19-21. Each one trains at the Five Tigers Kung Fu School in Mabank.
Each Five Tigers competitor came back with a gold medal in her/his fighting division. Their sensei, Ellis Beam, said there were 225 competitors, both boys and girls, in beginner, intermediate and advance divisions.
“All our students returned with gold medals in their fighting division,” he said. “It’s rewarding to know the training these students are getting here and the effort they are making is recognized within the larger martial arts community.” The school has about 30 students in all, he said.
For some, it was their first competition in the Chinese martial art form. Zachary Kong, 7, has been training for two years. He said, “I feel good about winning.” He won gold in the beginner sparring division. He was also excited to receive a red pair of nunchucks, his parents purchased at the competition for him. He also won a silver medal in forms.
Forms are a string of movements done in succession which are judged on the timing of the movements, speed, agility, technique and stance – which demonstrates the competitor’s strength. Each form has a name, such as Plum Flower, Ung Long Choy and Plum Flower Staff.
Sparring is free-style fighting while wearing protective gear.
Seven-year-old Maggie Williams came back with two gold medals – one in sparring and a second in forms. She’s been with the school for nearly a year. She really liked looking over the weapons on display at the competition.
Sarah Beam, 8, competed at the intermediate level winning gold medals in sparring and forms and a silver in weapons, using a saber. She said practice made the difference in her performance. “I practice my forms every day,” she said.
Logan Atkinson, 10, competed at the advanced level taking gold in forms and bronze in weapons – spear.
Eleven-year-old Lee Anne Kong has been training with Five Tigers Kung Fu School for two years and this was her first competition. She said she really had a lot of fun being with her friends. She brought back a gold, silver and bronze medal in sparring, forms and weapons, saber.
Hunter Stipe, 12, just started on his second year of training. He’s involved in lots of different sports all year long, but is really excited about his martial arts training. He feels the training makes him stronger and work harder than he would otherwise. He expects the training to give him an edge in his other sports activities, and even in his scouting. He described the competition as an “awesome opportunity.” He also earned two gold medals in the beginner division for sparring and forms. “I feel proud of myself.”
Twelve-year-old Natalie Smith trains at the dojo four times a week and has been with the school for four years. Sparring is her favorite because “You have this feeling of pushing yourself to the limit so you can win,” she said. “Sparring is a lot of fun.” She competed at the advanced level and won a gold medal in sparring and silver in hand forms.
Addison Tregre, 15, is a first-degree black belt and also serves as an instructor at the school. She took gold medals in forms and sparring at the advanced level and a bronze medal in weapons – spear. She’s been practicing kung fu for eight years and trains three times a week. Since she’s been to a couple of these competitions in the past, she wasn’t as nervous as she has been in the past, so she enjoyed watching the other competitors. She feels that her practice of the martial arts has given her a sense of confidence and self respect.
Ariel Ashton, 17, just started martial arts last year and has really seen a difference in herself. “I didn’t have a lot of self-confidence before and I didn’t have many friends,” she said. All that’s different now. “I used to never talk to people, now I talk a lot more.” She’s an honor student at Eustace High School. She competed as a beginner and earned gold medals in sparring and forms.
Two adult Tai Chi students also competed. Ben Edens won gold in straight sword and second in hand forms. His wife, Isabelle, gained a bronze medal in hand forms.
Posted by : August 3, 2014| On :
Budke to be inducted into 2015 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame
Special to The Monitor
ATHENS–Trinity Valley Community College (TVCC) 1993-2000 head Lady Cardinals women’s basketball coach Kurt Budke will be inducted into the Class of 2015 Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame June 13, 2015, in Knoxville, Tenn.
Budke died in a plane crash in 2011.
During his coaching years, the team appeared in the national tournament six times, winning four national championship titles.
In Budke’s career at TVCC, the Lady Cardinals lost at home only twice.
He led the team to some of their best season records ever, including an undefeated 36-0 season in 1999.
At the junior college level, Budke has a combined record of 273-31 (.898), resulting in the highest winning percentage in National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) history.
He was the NJCAA National Coach of the Year in both 1995 and 1998 and was the Texas Coaches Association Coach of the Year for each of the four years the Lady Cardinals took the national title.
In addition, he is the youngest coach to ever be inducted into the National Junior College Athletic Association Hall of Fame.
From 2002-05 at Louisiana Tech, he compiled a record of 80-16 leading Louisiana Tech to three consecutive NCAA tournament appearances.
At Oklahoma State, his teams went 112-83 highlighted by a Sweet 16 appearance in 2008.
That same year, he became a member of the inaugural class of the TVCC Cardinal Hall of Fame.
Budke is one of six inductees, joining players Janeth Arcain, Janet Harris, Lisa Leslie, and coaches Gail Goestenkors and Brad Smith.