Aug

28

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : August 28, 2014

Monitor Photo/Summer Simpson The Mabank Lady Panthers volleyball team took second place in the championship bracket at the Eustace Tournament Aug. 23. Pictured are: (front row, left to right)  Gabby Duncan, Brii Young, Katie Gilbert, Miranda Gonzales, Meagan Holyfield, (back row, left to right) Kailey Currington, Haley Mashburn, Maddie Park, Bailey Swain, Madison Holyfield, Shyanne Vinson and Payton Costlow.

Monitor Photo/Summer Simpson
The Mabank Lady Panthers volleyball team took second place in the championship bracket at the Eustace Tournament Aug. 23. Pictured are: (front row, left to right) Gabby Duncan, Brii Young, Katie Gilbert, Miranda Gonzales, Meagan Holyfield, (back row, left to right) Kailey Currington, Haley Mashburn, Maddie Park, Bailey Swain, Madison Holyfield, Shyanne Vinson and Payton Costlow.


By Erik Walsh
Monitor Sports Editor

MABANK–Only former district rival Canton stood in the Lady Panthers way of taking the top spot at the Eustace Tournament last weekend. Mabank (10-5) finished the tournament with a second place finish in the championship bracket.
Mabank went 2-1 in pool play Aug. 21 against opponents Jacksonville, Canton and Scurry-Rosser. The Lady Panthers blew out Jacksonville 25-8, 25-12 and Scurry-Rosser 25-7, 25-15 before losing to the eventual champion Canton 23-25, 23-25.
Canton took first place in the pool with a 3-0 record, but Mabank finished as the top overall second place team due to its dominating wins against Jacksonville and Scurry-Rosser. The performance earned them a spot in the championship bracket.
Mabank returned to the court Aug. 23 for championship bracket play. The Lady Panthers faired well against the tournament’s best teams, defeating Brookhill 25-16, 25-16 and Palmer 25-22, 25-22 before facing Canton again in the championship bracket final. Canton bested Mabank again 14-25, 16-25.
Head Coach Stacy Shelton said the pool play series against Canton was very competitive and could have gone either way. Shelton attributed Canton’s success to their powerful middle blocker and hitter.
“Their middle blocker and hitter played a great game,” Shelton said. “We couldn’t keep up with her size and they took advantage of our weakness. Our size is our biggest handicap when we play big teams.”
Shelton noted the preseason is all about adaptation and is moving Bailey Swain back to the middle (where she has played for the past three seasons). In the meantime players are competing for Swain’s former outside hitter spot.
Shelton is proud of the way the Lady Panthers are playing.
“They played more cohesive in the past two tournaments than I thought they would this time of year,” she said. “It bodes well for the future. I can just imagine how we may be doing when district play comes around. We are really gelling.”
The Lady Panthers travel to the Tyler Tournament this weekend, Aug. 28-30 and face some of their toughest competition of the year. They will compete against Longview, Lufkin and Arp in pool play.
“We won the silver bracket last year,” Selton said about the Tyler Tournament. “We are looking to do the same or better this year.”
Mabank volleyball Eustace Tournament stats:
Meagan Holyfield: 7 kills, 3 digs, 2 aces, 48 assists
Madison Holyfield: 16 kills, 7 digs, 1 ace, 1 assist
Payton Costlow: 10 kills, 3 blocks
Brii Young: 9 kills, 3 digs, 2 aces, 1 assist
Bailey Swain: 14 kills, 20 digs, 1 block, 2 aces
Shyanne Vinson: 6 kills, 1 ace
Maddie Park: 12 digs, 3 aces
Gabby Duncan: 8 digs

Aug

24

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : August 24, 2014

Monitor Photo/James Robertson Kemp senior Jesus Perez finished 10th at the state 2A cross country meet last year. He predicts a better finish this year due to consistent training.

Monitor Photo/James Robertson
Kemp senior Jesus Perez finished 10th at the state 2A cross country meet last year. He predicts a better finish this year due to consistent training.


By Erik Walsh
Monitor Sports Editor

KEMP-Kemp senior Jesus Perez proved himself as one of the premier long distance runners in the Cedar Creek Lake area last year.
“JP,” as he is affectionately called by peers and coaches, consistently topped the leaderboards with the best times, even beating out individual runners at cross country powerhouse Eustace.
Perez won a close district race before having some knee problems and running what he calls a “poor regional race,” finishing seventh with a time of 17:13:80. The finish was good enough to qualify him for the state meet, which is the race Perez was saving his energy for to be in top form.
“I was feeling very horrible in the regional race,” Perez said. “So I made the decision to just hold onto my position in regional and just place for the state meet.”
He ran an “amazing race” at state, finishing with a 16:42 clip, good enough for 10th place.
Perez has been working hard to improve his times and gain a place on a university cross country team. He credits the techniques and advice given to him at Baylor and University of Dallas summer camps for improving his times.
“I’m surpassing what I did last year by far,” he said. “I’m already running better because of my increased mileage and better training.”
Perez sites sleep, nutrition, stretching and workouts among the most important things for a long distance athlete. “You don’t want to just be ready for the first race,” he said. “You want to be ready for the last race.”
To get ready for the last race, Perez begins his training with a base mileage, gradually increasing it as the months roll on, adding hills about a month into the season and eventually starts sprinting to be at his peak for the state tournament in November.
Perez hopes to attend a Division 1 university after his days at Kemp are done. “I’m talking with some schools and trying to get in,” he said. The frontrunner for his college picks is Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches. “It’s a great running school,” he added.
Perez is confident in himself individually, but also believes in his team.
“I think we are going to surprise a lot of people in the new district,” he said. “We will have a good chance to win it.”

Aug

22

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : August 22, 2014

Courtesy Photo The Mabank Lady Panthers pose in celebratory excitment after winning the Gold bracket at the Van volleyball tournament Aug. 16.

Courtesy Photo
The Mabank Lady Panthers pose in celebratory excitment after winning the Gold bracket at the Van volleyball tournament Aug. 16.


By Erik Walsh
Monitor Sports Editor

VAN–The Mabank Lady Panthers picked up some key wins in the Van volleyball tournament Aug. 15-16, en route to a Gold bracket victory.
The tournament began with a pool play round, where the 24 teams are seperated into six “pools” of four teams each. The squads in each pool battle each other one time, then are seperated based on results to one of three playoff brackets: Championship, Gold and Silver.
In pool play Mabank defeated Edgewood 25-21, 25-17 and lost to Spring Hill 25-15, 25-15 and Cayuga 25-16, 20-25, 26-28.
Spring Hill, the four-time defending tournament champion, went on to defeat Van to extend their tournament championship record to five years.
The Lady Panthers dominated the Gold bracket on the second day of play, crushing Harmony 25-8, 25-16 and Chapel Hill 23-25, 25-18, 25-11. The Lady Panthers took a load off their chests when they defeated district opponent Crandall in the Gold bracket 20-25, 25-23, 25-21.
“This was our first test against a district opponent,” head coach Stacy Shelton said about the match against Crandall. “It was a huge relief to everybody to beat them. It gives us some early confidence for district play.”