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College Football Award Named After Tyler Rose

Every year SPORTyler and the Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce host the East Texas Kick-Off Luncheon to pay homage to the opening of football season in East Texas. This year the event will also serve as a platform for the launch of The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award by The Tyler Rose himself, Earl Campbell. This event was held at UT Tyler in the Louise Herrington Patriot Center on Wednesday. Guest speakers included former college and NFL player Gary Baxter, and former University of Texas Football Head Coach, Fred Akers. The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award will be presented yearly to the nation’s most outstanding Division I senior college offensive player of the year. Winners will be selected by a selection committee comprised of journalists, broadcasters, commentators, former winners and fans. The award winner will be announced in December of each year at an Awards dinner hosted in Tyler, Texas. The award will go to a player who is qualified as a senior academically and who exhibits the characteristics similar to those of the awards namesake: integrity, drive, determination, achievement in the face of adversity, and tenacity to persist. This award honors the legacy of Earl Campbell and recognizes his home community of Tyler, Texas. Before the start of each season a defined timeline will be established by the Board of the Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award. The award watch list will be selected by the board from sports information director nominations submitted by all college and university division schools. The watch list will be announced at the annual SPORTyler Football Kickoff Luncheon held each year in late August in Tyler, Texas. The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Selection Committee will be comprised of journalists, broadcasters commentators, and former winners. In addition there will be a fan vote counting as five percent of each stage of the voting. The selection committee will narrow the field to sixteen semi-finalists in October, four finalists in November and the award will be announced in December. The four finalists will be recognized at the announcement dinner held in December in Tyler, Texas. The winner and his respective school will receive a specially designed trophy and the winners name will be permanently added to the base of the original trophy on the display in Tyler, Texas. The initial award will be given out at the conclusion of the 2013 football season. “Nowadays you hardly ever find some of your top players staying for four years and becoming that leader and actually fulfilling that term of student athlete for a full four years. I think it’s a great idea and I’m honored to have a family member that the NCAA thinks so highly of to name an award after.” – Former Robert E. Lee Red Raider and Nephew of the Tyler Rose, Austin Campbell. The Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award is overseen by SPORTyler, Inc in conjunction with the City of Tyler, Tyler Conventions and Visitors Bureau and Tyler Area Chamber of Commerce. Located in downtown Tyler, Texas, SPORTyler is a non-profit organization that encourages student athletes to succeed on and off the field.

Pump Jacks Come Back in Game 3 to Win First TCL Title in Franchise History

Four runs in the sixth inning cap a comeback from a 3-0 early deficit Wednesday night as East Texas wins the 2012 TCL Championship.

The Pump Jacks were in first place for all but five days this summer. But they struggled down the stretch into the TCL Playoffs.

They had to come back from those struggles to re-focus against the top teams in the league in the TCL Playoffs. They had to come back from a 1-0 deficit in the TCL Championship Series against the Victoria Generals. And they had to come back from one last deficit, down 3-0 after the first inning.

They did all of that, beating the Victoria Generals 7-4 in Game 3 at Driller Park in Kilgore and claiming their first TCL Championship in ultra-dramatic fashion in front of the fans who have cheered for them all season long.

After falling behind 3-0 in the top of the first, the Pump Jacks pulled within one run in the third inning against Victoria starter Tyler Schnuriger. Louie Helmburg doubled to center field, beating a Generals defensive shift perfectly, and Kevin O’Leary followed with a double to right that scored Helmburg to get East Texas on the board. After a sacrifice bunt moved O’Leary to third, Tyler Sullivan came through with a bloop RBI single down the right field line to pull the Jacks within 3-2.

The score remained 3-2 as Schnuriger and reliever Jacob Lindgren held the fort. In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Pump Jacks took the lead for good in a controversial and exciting half-inning of baseball.

Whitt Dorsey led off with a single, and was replaced on a fielder’s choice by R.J. Santigate at first. He later advanced to second on a passed ball. With a full count on him, Taylor Murphy then hit a fly ball to deep right field. Victoria right fielder Chad Kruse appeared to make a diving catch, but then the ball got away from him. A hustling Santigate kept on running, and scored the tying run on the play to make the score 3-3. The play was controversial, as the umpires initially ruled Murphy out on the play, but they reversed the call upon a discussion, drawing ire from the Generals’ dugout.

The inning would continue. Against reliever James Ferguson, Logan Preston worked a walk, and was replaced on a fielder’s choice from Justin Wall at first, a call that Victoria once again had issue with. With Murphy now on third and Wall on first, Helmburg worked a walk to load the bases. The Generals went to Dallas Ponder out of the bullpen, and that’s when the turning point of the game, and the series, took place.

O’Leary strode to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded, in a situation every baseball player dreams of. With a 1-1 count, the shortstop hit a slow grounder towards his counterpart Brandon Tierney. The Victoria shortstop threw low to first, with O’Leary beating the ball as it skipped past Patrick Duncan and went down the right field line. Murphy and Wall scored on the enormous hit, while Helmburg was able to score all the way from first on the throwing error, sliding in just under the tag of the catcher, and giving East Texas a 6-3 lead.

The seismic momentum shift in the frame would be exactly what the Pump Jacks needed. Victoria got a run back in the seventh, but the Pump Jacks got it right back in the eighth when Preston reached on an error and ended up scoring on another passed ball.

The Pump Jacks then turned the game, and the season, over to legendary closer Jason Jester in the ninth. The Hallsville native responded and rebounded from his previous outing to give the Pump Jacks their first TCL Championship in textbook Jester fashion, striking out the side as the celebration at Driller began in earnest.

The star of the game was O’Leary, who went 3-for-3 with three RBI, including the game-winning hit in the sixth in his finest night of the season. Every Pump Jacks starter except one had a hit in the contest, with Sullivan and Murphy adding key RBI, and Helmburg scoring two runs, but the only Jack without a hit- Wall- scored the winning run on O’Leary’s immensely important hit.

Another star for East Texas was Lindgren (3-5), who appeared in relief for the first time all year, and held the Generals hitless through 2.2 innings to get his third win of the summer and settle down the Pump Jacks after they had fallen behind early. He got the win, while Schnuriger (2-5) took the loss. Jester got his 20th save as well for the Pump Jacks, extending his all-time TCL single-season record and sending the fans home happy one last time.

It capped a memorable season in East Texas, which saw the team climb all the way to #7 in the nation and go an incredible 26-6 at historic Driller Park. The storybook conclusion is a fitting end to a winning summer.

Cowboys’ Bryant arrested for misdemeanor

Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant was arrested Monday on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge, DeSoto (Texas) police confirmed.

According to police, Bryant was booked after turning himself in without incident. The alleged assault occurred Saturday, police said. No further information was immediately available.

A source said late Monday night that Bryant, in an argument with his half brother, wound up pushing his mother, Angela. According to the source, police responded to a call on Saturday night, but no arrests were made at that point. Further examination of the reports resulted in Monday’s arrest, the source said.

Bryant was charged with a Class A misdemeanor for assaulting a female family member, police told KDFW-TV in Dallas. The woman did not need to be taken to the hospital for her injuries, the report said.

KDFW-TV said police declined to elaborate on the circumstances surrounding the arrest or Bryant’s relationship to the alleged victim.

Bryant’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, declined to comment. Attempts to reach Bryant were unsuccessful. The Cowboys said they were aware of the incident.

“We are in the process of gathering information and will not have a comment at this time,” a team spokesman said in a statement.

The Class A misdemeanor is punishable by a fine of up to $4,000 and up to a year in jail. The arrest also subjects Bryant to possible penalty under the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

This is Bryant’s first arrest, but it is not his first incident that required police involvement since the Cowboys traded up to select the former Oklahoma State star with the 24th overall pick in the 2010 draft.

In January, Bryant was detained by police but not arrested after an alleged altercation at a Miami Beach night club.

Last summer, off-duty police working as security at an upscale Dallas mall kicked Bryant and friends out of the mall because of inappropriate attire (sagging pants) and language. Bryant was temporarily banned from the mall.

Bryant, who was widely considered a top-10 talent but slipped in the draft due to teams’ character concerns, has also been sued for unpaid debts for jewelry and sports tickets from before he was drafted.

Red Edges Blue in the FCA “Heart of a Champion Bowl”

By Bill Coates/KTBB Sports
The second annual “Heart of a Champion Bowl” East Texas high school football all star game was far more entertaining than the year one edition. Presented by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Red team scored ten fourth quarter points and defeated the Blue squad 24-17 on Saturday night at Lobo Stadium in Longview. Quarterbacks Justin Owens of Sulphur Springs, Corban Taylor of Paris and Chapel Hill’s Avery Saenz threw touchdown passes for the Red squad. The Red team also intercepted three passes including a third quarter steal by Longview’s Jordan Burton, who was named the defensive most valuable player.

The game’s offensive MVP was Whitehouse wide receiver Jonathan Aldridge of the Blue team. Aldridge had 4 catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns.

Teachers of the Year – 2012

Teachers of the Year:

Tyler ISD – Teacher of the Year 2011-2012
Secondary Teacher of the Year – David Howard – Robert E Lee High School
Elementary Teacher of the Year – Wanda Wilson (pictured) – Peete Elementary

TYLER – Tyler’s Teachers of the year have been announced. At Harvey Hall Tuesday night, the district honored Campus Teachers of the Year before naming District Teachers of the Year: W. A. Peete Elementary School Third Grade Teacher Wanda Wilson, Elementary Teacher of the Year; and Robert E. Lee High School Biology Teacher and Coach David Howard, Secondary Teacher of the Year.

With more than 16 years of teaching experience, Mrs. Wilson’s goal is to prepare students for the future. “It is my goal to foster students’ critical thinking skills, facilitate the acquisition of life-long learning skills, and prepare them to be competitive in today’s society,” Mrs. Wilson said. “Loving kids unconditionally helps them realize they are not defined by their circumstances and to seek and seize opportunities, strategies, and solutions that will assist and encourage an inward transformation of their self-worth.”

Coach Howard has spent the past 10 years teaching in Tyler ISD, and says that all the great teachers in his life taught him right from wrong while caring about him as a person. “I have been blessed with amazing people in my life that showed me the value of education,” Coach Howard said. “Education can be the key to open many doors in a person’s life and I consider it a privilege to play that role in the process.”

Teacher of the Month – May 2012

Tyler ISD – Leanne Lewis – Jack Elementary

Winona ISD – John Davis – Winona High School

Chapel Hill ISD – Suzanne Ybarra – Wise Elementary

Arp ISD – Edmond McAuley – Arp High School

Teachers of the Year:

Tyler ISD – Teacher of the Year 2011-2012
Secondary Teacher of the Year – David Howard – Robert E Lee High School
Elementary Teacher of the Year – Wanda Wilson – Peete Elementary

Troup ISD – Teacher of the Year 2011-2012
Karyn Ard

UT Tyler Names Kevin Baker Women’s Basketball Coach

Kevin Baker has been named the head women’s basketball coach at The University of Texas at Tyler, Dr. Howard Patterson, vice president for auxiliary services and intercollegiate athletics, announced Monday (May 14).

Baker, a native of Lufkin, comes to UT Tyler after serving for five years as the top assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Division II Lone Star Conference power West Texas A&M.

“We are extremely excited about the future of UT Tyler women’s basketball under Coach Baker,” Patterson said. “Out of a very deep pool of qualified applicants, we felt Kevin had the ideal combination of a winning track-record, basketball knowledge and experience, and recruiting ability, all with an emphasis on the academic success of his players, to bring UT Tyler women’s basketball to national prominence.”

In his five seasons in Canyon, Baker helped lead the Lady Buffs to a 120-36 record and three LSC championships. The team has been ranked in the top ten nationally for the past five seasons, and has made four trips to the NCAA tournament, including a run to the Elite Eight in 2008-09.

“I am honored and thrilled to be named the new head coach at UT Tyler. I want to thank Dr. Patterson, Dr. Mabry and everyone at UT Tyler for the opportunity to lead this program,” Baker said. “I am excited to take on the challenge of returning the Patriots to a championship level.”

As the recruiting coordinator for the Lady Buffs, Baker signed nine All-Lone Star Conference players and one All-American, including four all-state players in 2011.

Prior to his stint at West Texas A&M, Baker was one of the top high school girls coaches in Texas, posting a career record of 222-101. He is well-known in East Texas, having served as the Girls Athletic Coordinator and head coach at Palestine from 1998-2000, and the head coach at Nacogdoches from 2000-2003. He also served as head coach at Copperas Cove and Commerce as well as the assistant at Hudson and Princeton.

Baker continued, “I am proud of what we accomplished at West Texas A&M University, and I look forward to reaching even greater heights in Tyler. I am very excited about the quality athletic staff that I will be working with and I am proud to be a part of the UT Tyler family.”

Baker earned two degrees from Stephen F. Austin State, receiving his bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology in 1994 before continuing to earn his master’s in 1996.

He becomes the third coach for the UT Tyler women’s basketball program, taking over for Stasha Richards who resigned in April.

Brook Hill Baseball Repeats as State Champ

By Mike Alzamora/KTBB Sports
The Brook Hill Guard are once again State Champions. Brook Hill defeated Amarillo San Jacinto 11-6 Friday morning at Mary Hardin-Baylor’s Red Murff Field in Belton to claim the TAPPS 3A State Baseball Title for the second year in a row.

“All year long we were expected to get something done and that’s why it’s hard to repeat. And our kids to their credit they went out and they executed on a daily basis,” said Head Coach Terry Pirtle.

Pirtle has now led the Guard to two baseball state crowns and a football state title in the past 12 months.

“I’m very very proud of the group of seniors that we just graduated from Brook Hill,” added Pirtle.

Ricklan Holmes Named John Tyler’s New Head Football Coach

Tyler ISD announced Monday that John Tyler High School graduate and current Lions Assistant Football Coach Ricklan Holmes will serve as head football coach at John Tyler High School beginning in the 2012-2013 school year.

Shortly after the official announcement, an excited Holmes joined KTBB Sports Director Bill Coates LIVE on Sportstalk on ESPN East Texas 92.1 FM. Click Here to Listen to the interview.

After graduating from John Tyler in 1998, Coach Holmes went on to play football at Oklahoma State University where he graduated with a degree in business administration. Following his college football career, Coach Holmes spent three years as a free agent with the New England Patriots.

Prior to coaching at John Tyler, Coach Holmes served as the defensive coordinator for the varsity football team and head coach of the junior varsity football team at Putnam City High School in Warr Acres, Oklahoma.

Coach Holmes joined John Tyler in 2007 where he currently serves as the passing defensive coordinator for the varsity football team, head coach of the junior varsity football team, head strength and conditioning coordinator, and head girls track coach.
As assistant football coach, Holmes has earned far more wins than losses with the Lions. Last season the team took home their third consecutive district championship and reached the Class 4A Division One Semifinals.

“Coach Holmes has an outstanding reputation with his team of players and coaches at John Tyler High School,” Coach Rod Kaspar, Tyler ISD athletic director, said. “We look forward to his continued success as head coach of the Lions.”

Holmes has coached 15 Division I and II collegiate players, and one current NFL Player.

Cedeno Clark Named JT Head Boys Basketball Coach

By Mike Alzamora/KTBB Sports
Longtime John Tyler assistant boys basketball coach Cedeno Clark was just informed by the Tyler Independent School District that he is now officially the head man of the John Tyler Lions basketball program.

Laura Jackson, the district’s communications director informed the Tyler ISD faculty and staff Friday morning with the following e-mail:

“Today we have one personnel update. John Tyler High School has named Cedeno Clark Head Boys Basketball Coach. Coach Clark has been with Tyler ISD since 2004. He served three seasons as the Varsity Assistant for Boys Basketball at John Tyler High School, and has been the Assistant Head Boys Basketball Coach since 2009. If you see Coach Clark, please wish him well on this new endeavor.”

Clark took over as acting/interim head coach after then head coach Tony Pinson was hospitalized and placed on administrative leave back on February 15. Clark was 2-2 in the four games he coached including a Bi-District round playoff victory over Royse City. Pinson resigned citing health and personal reasons on March 26.

More information to come as it becomes available.

JT’s Rush Leaving for Conroe Oak Ridge

It was an emotional goodbye for John Tyler High School Head Football Coach Dereck Rush, who told his team Tuesday that he would not take the field with them next season.

Coach Rush, who had a 42-23 overall record in five seasons at John Tyler, will take the head coaching position at Oak Ridge High School in Conroe, Texas next school year. The Conroe ISD school board approved his hire at a meeting Tuesday evening.

“Dereck Rush is an outstading coach. He is going to be missed,” Tyler ISD Athletic Director Rod Kaspar said. “He took the John Tyler football team to the next level while encouraging his athletes to be leaders both on and off the field.”

Tyler ISD will begin accepting applications for the John Tyler head football coach position immediately.

Rush interviewed for the open head coaching position at Conroe Oak Ridge last week with Conroe ISD Athletic Director Danny Long, who was Tyler ISD’s AD until January of 2011 and hired Rush as head coach at John Tyler in 2007.

Before he was named head coach, Rush was an assistant coach at John Tyler for four seasons.

Rush guided the Lions into the postseason the last four years. As a matter of fact, he’s 35-8 in the last three campaigns reaching the ten win mark in each. Last year, Rush guided the Lions to the Class 4A State Semifinals after back-to-back State Quarterfinal appearances. CUJO also won three district titles under Rush.

“My time at John Tyler helped me grow as a coach,” Coach Rush said. “Words cannot explain how much I will miss my team of athletes and fellow coaches.”

JT will return 17 starters for the 2012 campaign, and many experts around the Lone Star State predict John Tyler to be one of the favorites to win the State Championship. Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine ranked JT No. 1 in its preseason 2012 Class 4A rankings.

Cowboys 2012 Schedule is Released

Sept. 5 at New York Giants, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 16 at Seattle, 3:05 p.m.
Sept. 23 vs. Tampa Bay, Noon
Oct. 1 vs. Chicago, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 7 bye
Oct. 14 at Baltimore, Noon
Oct. 21 at Carolina, Noon
Oct. 28 vs. New York Giants, 3:15 p.m.
Nov. 4 at Atlanta, 7:20 p.m.
Nov. 11 at Philadelphia, 3:15 p.m.
Nov. 18 vs. Cleveland, Noon
Nov. 22 vs. Washington, 3:15 p.m.
Dec. 2 vs. Philadelphia, 7:20 p.m.
Dec. 9 at Cincinnati, Noon
Dec. 16 vs. Pittsburgh, 3:15 p.m.
Dec. 23 vs. New Orleans, Noon
Dec. 30 at Washington, Noon

Yeacher of the Month – April 2012

Tyler ISD – Embria Williams – Orr Elementary School

Winona ISD – Shirelle Huff – Winona Middle School

Troup ISD – Terrell Knight – Troup Middle School

Chapel Hill ISD – Elizabeth Avila – Jackson Elementary

Whitehouse ISD Teacher of the Year
David McKain – Seconday Teacher of the Year

Azalea Orthopedic East Texas High School All Star Games on ESPN East Texas 92.1 FM

ESPN East Texas 92.1 FM and will provide “LIVE” play by play coverage of the Azalea Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Clinic East Texas High School All Star Basketball games on Saturday, April 14th from Wagstaff Gymnasium on the campus of Tyler Junior College.

The pregame show begins at 5:15pm prior to the start of the girl’s game at 5:30pm. The Boys Game tips off at approximately 7:00pm following the conclusion of the girls contest. Veteran ESPN East Texas play by play voice Mike Alzamora will broadcast both the girls and boys games.

The Azalea Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Clinic High School All Star games feature some of the top graduating players in East Texas and all proceeds benefit the Bethesda Clinic.

The game, which is in its eighth year, is sponsored by Azalea Orthopedics. The Classic gives high school seniors in the East Texas area the opportunity to showcase their talent for colleges and hometown fans. Azalea head athletic trainer Dan Fuller is the coordinator of the annual event.

2012 Boys West All-Star Team

Courtney Anderson #10 5’9” Westwood
2011, 12 All District
Micah Angton #12 6’1” Palestine
2010, 11, 12 All District
Josh Sharff #14 5’10” Edgewood
2012 All District
Caleb Willis #22 5’10” John Tyler
2011, 12 All District
Darius Clater #24 6’0” Jacksonville
2012 All District
Brad Robertson #30 5’10” All Saints
2009, 10, 11, 12 All District, 2010, 11 All East Texas, 2010, 11, 12, All State
(Texas A&M)
Nick Jones #32 6’4” Brownsboro
2010, 11, 12 All District, 2011 All Region
(University of Louisiana Monroe – Football)
Austin Langemeier #40 6’3” Brook Hill
2012 All District, 2012 All State, 2012 Academic All State
Jordan VanDeKop #42 6’6” Lindale
2011, 12 All District, 2011, 12 All East Texas, 2011, 12 All Region, 2011, 12 All State
(Oklahoma Christian University – Basketball)
Zac Bowman #44 6’6” Cayuga
2010, 11, 12 All District, 2012 All Region

Head Coach Brent Kelley Jacksonville
Assistant Coach Davin Nelson Jacksonville
Assistant Coach Jay Brashear Jacksonville
Assistant Coach Evan Harrison Jacksonville

2012 Boys East All-Star Team

Brandon Viesca #11 6’0” Tatum
2012 All District, 2012 All Region
Bridges Gibbs #13 6’2” Sabine
2012 All District, 2012 TABC All Region
JaQuan Kevon Jackson #15 5’11” Longview
2012 All District
Jarrod Coleman #21 5’7” Robert E. Lee
2011, 12 All District
Carson Clark #23 6’2” Troup
2009, 10, 11, 12 All District, 2011, 12 TABC All Region, 2011, 12 All State
Joey Stovall #25 5’10” Quitman
2011, 12 All District
Jimmy Negem #31 5’11” Grace
2011, 12 All District, 2011, 12 All East Texas, 2011, 12 All State
Brandon Robbins #33 6’1” Spring Hill
20010, 11, 12 All District, 2010, 11, All East Texas, 2011, 12 All Region, 2012 All State
(University of Texas Tyler – Basketball)
Correy Davis #35 6’1” Whitehouse
2011, 12 All District
Caleb Carr #41 5’11” White Oak
2009, 10, 11, 12 All District, 2010, 11, 12 All East Texas, 2011 12, All Region, 2011, 12 All State
(Abilene Christian University – Basketball)

Head Coach Brent Smith Troup
Assistant Coach Tell Ross Troup

2012 Girls West All-Star Team

Roddricka Patton #10 5’2” Neches
2009, 10, 11, 12 District MVP, 2010, 11, 12 TABC All Region, 2010, 11, 12 All State MVP
(Trinity Valley Community College – Basketball)
Sara Bullard #12 5’2” Frankston
2010, 11, 12 All District, 2011,12 All Region, 2011 All State
Taylor Maxvill #14 5’5” Emory Rains
2011, 12 All District, 2011, 12 All Region, 2011, 12 Academic All State
(University of North Texas)
Minta Spear #22 5’10” Bullard
2009, 10, 11, 12 All District MVP, 2009, 10, 11, 12 All Region, 2010, 11, 12 All State
(Texas Tech University – Basketball)
Courtney Dawson #24 5’9” Malakoff
2012 All District MVP, 2012 TGCA All Region, 2012 TGCA All State
LaQuesha Cooper #30 5’8” Brownsboro
2012 All District, 2012 All State
(Stephen F. Austin State University)
Chandler Short #32 5’9” Edgewood
2009, 10, 12 All District, 2012 TABC All Region, 2012 TGCA All State
(McPherson College – Basketball)
Latifah Rainey #34 6’0” John Tyler
2012 All District, @012 All Region
Susan Agesen #44 5’11” Edgewood
2012 All District MVP, 2012 TGCA All State
Samantha Atkinson #54 6’1” Buffalo
2012 All District, 2012 Academic All District

Head Coach Christi Coker Frankston
Assistant Coach Laura Williams Frankston
Assistant Coach Greg Gay Bullard

2012 Girls East All-Star Team

Akia Patrick #11 5’4” Longview
2010 Team MVP, 2012 All District, 2012 Academic All District
(LeTourneau University-Basketball)
Megan Strnadel #13 5’7” Grace
2011, 12 All District, 2011 All State
(Texas A&M)
Haley Hartt #15 5’9” Tatum
2011, 12 All District
Briana Brooks #21 5’5” Robert E Lee
2009, 10, 11, 12 All District
(University of North Texas – Basketball)
Nykia Clayton #23 5’7” Pine Tree
2011, 12 All District
(Tyler Junior College)
Cori Jo Navarro #25 5’4” TK Gorman
2010, 11, 12 All District, 2011, 12 All State
(Texas Christian University)
Clonisha Stewart #31 5’5” Whitehouse
2012 Team honors
(University of North Texas)
DiMond Edmond #33 6’0” Lindale
2010, 11, 12 All District
Montana Harrison #35 5’9” New Diana
2011, 12 All District, 2012 District MVP, 2012 All East Texas
(University of Texas Tyler – Basketball)
Aubrey Okray #41 5’3” West Rusk
2010, 11, 12 All District, 2010, 11, 12 TABC All Region

Head Coach Brad Davenport West Rusk
Assistant Coach Jeremy Thomas West Rusk
Assistant Coach Jennifer McCool West Rusk

KTBB Scholastic All-Stars Flag Football Tournament Photo Gallery

The first annual KTBB Scholastic All-Stars Flag Football Tournament was a huge success Saturday at the Green Acres Baptist Church South Recreational Fields better know as “The ROC” just south of Tyler.

The Goon Squad, a team made up mostly of former John Tyler players captured the first-ever title by defeating State Champs in the Championship Game. State Champs was comprised of members of this past season’s Chapel Hill Bulldogs Class 3A Div. I State Championship team.

Big thanks to all the teams, players, and coaches who participated as we hope to grow this tournament into an annual event.

Click on any of the Photos below to enlarge. You can also roll your mouse over the thumbnail to see a description or caption. All photos in the gallery were taken and edited by KTBB’s Mike Alzamora unless otherwise noted.

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East Texas Pump Jacks Unveil a Pair of Commemorative Logos

The Jacks revealed the winner of the team’s fifth anniversary contest and added a new mark celebrating Driller Park’s 65 years

When it came right down to it, the East Texas Pump Jacks concluded they couldn’t celebrate their own history without also giving a nod to the club’s noteworthy home, historic Driller Park.

The Pump Jacks today announced the winning entry in their fifth anniversary logo contest, then surprised fans with another commemorative mark celebrating 65 years since Driller Park opened.

The team’s logo features the now-familiar wordmark atop a banner listing the Jack’s inaugural season (2008) and the current year, with a large ‘5’ in the middle.

“We had some great, creative entries,” said Pump Jacks general manager Mike Lieberman. “We loved some of the ideas and we appreciate everyone who participated in the contest.

“Ian’s design was selected because it was clean and simple, yet it made a statement. It will look good on merchandise and in ads, perhaps even on this year’s Shirt Off Our Back jerseys!”

Logos were submitted from local fans and designers around the country, even a pair of entries all the way from France.

For winning, Wellman will receive a Pump Jacks team jersey and a T-shirt bearing the new logo. The team is in the process of designing fifth anniversary merchandise, which will be available both online and at the ballpark this summer.

The team explained that while the fifth anniversary logo contest was wrapping up, it was pointed out that Driller Park was celebrating a birthday of its own. The decision was made to develop a badge celebrating the event and introduce the two new marks together.

Driller Park was initially built in 1947 as a home for the minor league Kilgore Drillers. The Drillers christened the new ballpark with back-to-back Lone Star League championships in 1947 and 1948. The team shifted to the East Texas League in 1949, playing against teams in Tyler, Longview, Marshall, Gladewater and Paris. The Bryan Bombers, predecessors of the Jacks’ modern TCL rivals, the Brazos Valley Bombers, were also members of the league.

After the East Texas League folded at the conclusion of the 1950 season, Driller Park remained in use as the home of the Kilgore High School Bulldogs. The facility has become a baseball jewel, attracting scores of high school playoff games and even professional exhibitions.

Upon its 50th anniversary in 1997, Driller Park was granted an historical marker by the Texas Historical Commission. In doing so, Driller became the first baseball facility recognized by the state agency. It has since been joined by Majors Stadium in Greenville and Richards Park in Waxahachie. Richards Park is the only other facility still standing.

“Driller Park has a long and rich history that we’re proud to be a part of,” said Lieberman. “We wanted to find a way to celebrate our home and share its birthday with all of our fans.”

Fans will be able to pick up merchandise featuring the ballpark’s commemorative mark both at the historic facility this summer and on the Pump Jacks website.

The Jacks will kick off their fifth anniversary season on the road on June 1. The team returns to historic Driller Park for the home opener on Wednesday, June 6, against the McKinney Marshals.

The team announced two weeks ago the first two players on its fifth anniversary roster, brothers Ty and Brooks Marlow. Ty, a 2011 TCL all-star with the Pump Jacks and the team leader in home runs, is batting .408 with eight home runs and 43 RBI in just 29 games at McLennan Community College this spring. Brooks, just a freshman, is the starting second baseman at Texas and the Longhorns’ team leader in RBI. The Jacks expect to announce more players next week.

Season tickets for this summer are already on sale! Lower Box seats, which include in-your-seat wait service, are just $199 each, and Upper Box seats are $150. Grandstand season tickets are $105 for adults and $85 for children and seniors.

To follow all the news about the roster, promotions for the coming season and new anniversary merchandise, visit the team’s official web site at

You can also interact with other members of Pump Jacks Nation by visiting the Jacks on Facebook and Twitter.

UT Tyler Women’s Basketball Coach Resigns

Stasha Richards has announced her resignation as the head women’s basketball coach at The University of Texas at Tyler, effective May 31, 2012.

Richards, a former Division I standout for Baylor, has chosen to pursue other career opportunities.

“We are thankful to Coach Richards for her hard work and leadership these last three seasons, and we wish her great success in the future,” Vice President for Auxiliary Services and Intercollegiate Athletics Dr. Howard Patterson said.

Richards has served as the head coach at UT Tyler since 2009. In her three seasons at the helm, the Patriots were a combined 33-42, including a 12-13 record this past season.

A search for her replacement will begin immediately.

Assistant coach Cassie Little will assume interim head coach duties until a successor is named.

JT’s Coach Pinson Resigns

By John Sims/KTBB News
Tyler ISD officials say John Tyler High School basketball coach Tony Pinson has resigned for personal reasons. According to a news release, “There is no longer an ongoing investigation. Tyler ISD will immediately begin the process of filling John Tyler High School’s head basketball coach position.” Word of an investigation involving Pinson surfaced in February, when it was reported by KETK. The TV station said Pinson had been placed on administrative leave. When the story was first reported, Pinson told KTBB, “Whatever rumors are out there aren’t true.” He did confirm that he was hospitalized for 5 days with congestive heart failure and was recovering at home under strict doctor care and guidelines.

Tyler ISD released this statement in February: “During the course of the investigation, the district cannot discuss details; however, we do want to ensure parents and the community that the investigation does not involve Tyler ISD students.” Assistant coach Cedeno Clark took over for Pinson while the school district conducted its investigation.

TJC Women Fall Short of Title as TVCC Continues its Dominance

By Mike Alzamora/KTBB Sports
As March Madness begins to heat up, the Tyler Junior College Apache Ladies were denied their shining moment. The top-ranked and undefeated Trinity Valley Lady Cardinals, wearing the home uniforms, and sitting on the home bench ended TJC’s season with a 75-67 victory in the Region 14 Women’s Tournament Championship game Sunday at Wagstaff Gymnasium. TVCC won its fifth consecutive tournament title and advanced to the NJCAA national tournament in Salina, KS, where the Lady Cards were runners-up a year ago.

The Apache Ladies came out determined not to allow Trinity Valley to beat them for the third time this season. TJC led through most of the first half but went cold just before halftime, allowing the Lady Cards to take a 34-27 lead into the locker room. Tyler continued to fight. Behind sophomore guard Markisha Hawkins’ 19-second half points, the Apache Ladies regained the lead momentarily as they appeared poised for their third come-from-behind effort in as many games. But sophomore guard Breanna Lewis hit a pair of huge three-pointers for TVCC, and spearheaded by the play of All-American sophomore guard Sha’Kayla Caples, the Lady Cardinals regained the advantage and took control of the contest.

Caples finished with 30 points and 11 rebounds earning tournament MVP honors, while Lewis wound up with 15 as she canned 5 three-point baskets for the game. Hawkins ended up with 22 points, but fouled out in the final minute and shed a few tears as her TJC career came to an end. Sophomore forward Cecilia Okoye added her second straight double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, while sophomore forward Ashley Benjamin had a game-high 15 rebounds. Freshman guard Kearia Arion chipped in with 12 points off the bench.

The Apache Ladies end the 2011-12 campaign with a final record of 25-8 and will lose eight sophomores to graduation. Trinity Valley is now 32-0 as they will head to Kansas for the women’s national junior college tournament from March 20-24.

Carr Leads White Oak Boys to 2A State Crown, 61-53

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Caleb Carr scored 17 points, 11 in the fourth quarter, to lead the White Oak Roughnecks to the Class 2A state championship Saturday with a 61-53 win over Brock at the Frank Erwin Center on the UT Campus in Austin.

Carr opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer to push White Oak’s lead to 50-40. Brock rallied to get within 56-53 on a Tre Ewell’s 3-pointer before Carr ended the rally with four consecutive free throws in the final 41 seconds. Carr was 8 of 10 from the free throw line.

Levi Yancy and Jerred Whisenhunt each scored 11 points for White Oak (37-1), which won its first state championship since 1957.

Kanton Wood scored 16 points and grabbed 13 rebounds for Brock (30-7), which couldn’t match the state championship won by the Brock girls a week earlier.

Cardiac TJC Women Rally Past Blinn into Title Game

By Mike Alzamora/KTBB Sports
In a tale of two halves, the Tyler Junior College Apache Ladies completed one of the best comebacks in the program’s recent history to advance to the Region 14 Tournament Championship game for the second time out of the last three years on Saturday. TJC, the No. 2 seed, trailed at halftime 45-25 to the sixth-seeded Blinn Lady Buccaneers, whom they had defeated by 17 points just a week ago on this same Wagstaff Gymnasium floor. The Apache Ladies chipped away, and chipped away with momentum building as they inched closer and closer. They outscored Blinn 44-20 in the second half to win in come-from-behind fashion for the second consecutive game. This time, 69-65 beating the Lady Bucs for the third time in the current campaign, ending their season for the third straight year.

Four TJC players scored in double figures led by sophomore forward Cecilia Okoye who finished with a double-double of 15 points and ten rebounds. Sophomore guard Markisha Hawkins had 14 points before fouling out, twelve of them in the second half. Sophomore guard Ericka House and sophomore forward Ashley Benjamin added 10 points a piece. Meanwhile, sophomore guards Miki Turner and Christie Mooney scored 20 points each for Blinn.

The Tyler women improve to 25-7 on the season, while the Lady Bucs end the year at 22-10. The Apache Ladies will face No. 1-ranked Trinity Valley in Sunday’s title game. TJC lost twice to the Lady Cardinals in the regular season and in the 2010 Championship game 88-71. Tipoff is 5:30pm at Wagstaff Gym and you can listen to it LIVE on KTBB AM 600 and beginning at 5:15pm.

TJC Apaches Lose Heartbreaker to Lamar State-Port Arthur

By Bill Coates/KTBB Sports
The Lamar State-Port Arthur Seahawks defeated the Tyler Junior College Apaches 62-58 in a Region XIV men’s tournament quarterfinal game on Friday at Wagstaff Gym. Tyler trailed 60-58 with possession of the ball and 30 seconds left in regulation. The Apaches failed to convert the scoring opportunity and Elijah Pittman’s dunk sealed the win. The end of the game was marred by a bench clearing incident involving both teams. Tournament officials and Tyler Junior College police stepped in to clear the floor without furthur escalation. One Lamar State player appeared to pick up a chair before being restrained.

Brandon Peters led the Seahawks with 21 points. Hersey Robinson paced the Tyler scoring with 16 points. The Apaches end their season with an 18-12 record. Lamar State-Port Arthur advances to the conference semifinals.

White Oak Ousts Champ Idalou in 2A Semis, 67-45

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Jerred Whisenhunt scored 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting and White Oak pulled away in the second half of a 67-45 win against defending state champion Idalou in the Class 2A semifinals Friday at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin.

White Oak (36-1) led 25-14 at halftime before pulling away in the third quarter on a 14-5 run sparked by two baskets from Whisenhunt.

Cayleb Carr added 13 points and eight rebounds for White Oak, while Skylar Sutton and Kris Anderson scored 10 apiece.

White Oak’s only loss came to Clarksville, which will play in the Class 1A Division I title game Saturday.

Alan Zahn and Koal Houchin scored 11 points apiece to lead Idalou (30-6), which was making its third straight trip to the state tournament.

White Oak will play Brock in the 2A State Championship game at 2:00pm Saturday at the Erwin Center.

Teacher of the Month – March 2012

Tyler ISD – Lindsey Lott – Woods Elementary School

Lindale ISD – Ashleigh Brashear – E.J. Moss Intermediate School

Winona ISD – Pam Edwards – Winona Elementary School

ARP ISD – Aleesa Morris – Arp Elementary School

Troup ISD — Professional of the Month – District Nurse Laurie Wilson

Whitehouse ISD – Joanna Stamps – Elementary Teacher of the Year

TJC Women Survive & Advance to Region 14 Semis

By Mike Alzamora/KTBB Sports
The Tyler Junior College Apache Ladies erased a 12-point second half deficit and held off 7th-seeded Angelina for an 84-83 victory Thursday in the Region XIV Conference Tournament quarterfinals at Wagstaff Gymnasium. Angelina freshman guard Diamond Webb had a chance to tie the game from the free throw line with one-second left and likely send it into overtime after she was fouled on a three-point attempt and was awarded 3 free throws. Webb made the first two to bring the Lady Runners within one, but missed the third. TJC freshman post Kirbi Clark secured the rebound and the Apache Ladies victory which sends them to the conference semifinals for the third year in a row.

The No. 2-seeded Tyler women trailed at halftime 36-32 after only shooting 31 percent from the floor in the opening half against a team they had swept in the regular season. Sophomore guard Markisha Hawkins sparked TJC’s comeback, leading the way with 26 points to go along with 3 steals. Sophomore forward Cecilia Okoye added 22 points and 8 rebounds, while sophomore guard Ericka House chipped in with 11, including 3 three-point baskets. Sophomore post Carlisha Wyatt finished with 30 points and nine rebounds to lead Angelina, while Webb wound up with 23.

The Apache Ladies improve to 24-7 on the season, while the Lady Runners end the 2011-12 campaign with a 12-18 overall record. TJC will face Blinn in the women’s semifinals Saturday at 3:00pm. You can listen to that contest LIVE beginning at 2:45pm on ESPN East Texas 92.1 FM &

TJC Apaches Edge Kilgore in Tournament Opener

By Bill Coates/KTBB Sports
The Tyler Junior College Apaches opened the Region XIV men’s basketball tournament with a 67-62 victory over the Kilgore Rangers on Wednesday at Wagstaff Gymnasium. Tyler held a seven point halftime lead. Kilgore cut the margin to one before the Apaches pulled away for the win. Freshman forward Chris Coleman hit three key free throws in the final minute and finished with 8 points and 6 rebounds. Four Apaches finished in double figures. Freshamn point guard Trent Washington played all 40 minutes with 14 points. Sophomore wing Jaron Johnson and Hersey Robinson added 12 points each. Freshman post Daniel Edozie contributed 11 points. Braylon Lazare led Kilgore with 18 points.

The Apaches move into the quarterfinal round on Friday at 6:00pm against Lamar State-Port Arthur. Wednesday’s first two tournament games saw Jacksonville College defeat Lee College 78-65 in overtime. Blinn College knocked out Coastal Bend 104-70.

Region XIV Conference Junior College Basketball Tournament Schedule & Results

March 7-11, 2012
Wagstaff Gym – Tyler Junior College

Men’s First Round
Game 1: #9 Jacksonville 78 #8 Lee 65 – F/OT
Game 2: #5 Blinn 104 #12 Coastal Bend 70 – Final
Game 3: #7 Tyler 67 #10 Kilgore 62 – Final
Game 4: #6 Navarro 71 #11 Lon Morris 60 – Final

Women’s Quarterfinals
Game 5: #1 Trinity Valley 104 #8 Panola 31 – Final
Game 6: #4 Lon Morris 77 #5 Kilgore 57 – Final
Game 7: #2 Tyler 84 #7 Angelina 83 – Final
Game 8: #6 Blinn 61 #3 Paris 56 – Final

Men’s Quarterfinals
Game 9: #9 Jacksonville 96 #1 Paris 86 – Final
Game 10: #5 Blinn 81 #4 Trinity Valley 69 – Final
Game 11: #2 Lamar State-PA 62 #7 Tyler 58 – Final
Game 12: #6 Navarro 78 #3 San Jacinto 69 – Final

Women’s Semifinals
Game 13: #1 Trinity Valley 95 #4 Lon Morris 72 – Final
Game 14: #2 Tyler 69 #6 Blinn 65 – Final
Men’s Semifinals
Game 15: #5 Blinn 83 #9 Jacksonville 67 – Final
Game 16: #6 Navarro 78 #2 Lamar State-PA 65 – Final

Women’s Championship:
#1 Trinity Valley 75 vs. #2 Tyler 67 – Final
Men’s Championship
#6 Navarro 75 #5 Blinn 69 – Final

TJC Women Back on the Winning Track

By Mike Alzamora/KTBB Sports
The Tyler Junior College Apache Ladies snapped out of their two-game losing streak by defeating Blinn 92-75 on Sophomore day Saturday afternoon at Wagstaff Gymnasium. TJC closed out the regular season with a 14-4 conference mark and will head into next week’s Region 14 Tournament as the No. 2 seed on their home floor. The Apache Ladies will await to find out their opponent in Thursday’s quarterfinals when they will play at 6:00pm.

The Tyler Women led at the half by only six points, but sparked by freshman guard Kearia Arion’s 21 points off the bench, were able to blow the game open in the second half. TJC led by as many as 22 before settling for the 17-point victory. Sophomore forward Ashley Benjamin added 19 points, while sophomore forward Cecilia Okoye pitched in with 13 despite playing most of the game in foul trouble. Freshman forward Shaniqua Dogins led the way for the Lady Buccaneers with 15 points.

The Apache Ladies finish the regular season 23-7 overall, while Bline drops to 21-8 on the year and 9-8 in league play. The Lady Bucs still have a game left to play Monday at home against Paris before coming back to Tyler for the conference tournament.

TJC Swept by TVCC in Hoops Doubleheader

By Mike Alzamora/KTBB Sports
Both Tyler Junior College Apache basketball teams came up on the short end of the stick Saturday afternoon in Athens. The TJC men were defeated 71-56 by the Trinity Valley Cardinals, while the No. 16 Apache Ladies fell to the top-ranked Trinity Valley Lady Cardinals 90-55.

The TJC Women saw their 11-game winning streak snapped as the Lady Cardinals dominated the contest from start to finish. Oklahoma State transfer Keuna Flax led TVCC with 27 points, while freshman guard Brittney Gill added 24. The Apache Ladies were led by freshman guard Kearia Arion who finished with 14 points off the bench. Sophomore forward Cecilia Okoye added 12.

In the men’s contest, sophomore guard D.D. Scarver was the difference as he scored 31 points for the Cardinals inlcuding a perfect 12-of-12 from the foul line. The Apaches were led by freshman point guard Trent Washington who made four 3-pointers to finish with 16 points. Freshman swingman Hersey Robinson was the only other TJC player in double figures. He chipped in with 12.

The Apache men fall to 16-10 overall and 9-8 in conference play, while Trinity Valley improves to 19-9 and 12-5 respectively. The TJC Women are now 22-6 on the season and 13-3 in league action. The Lady Cardinals remain undefeated, now at 27-0 and 16-0 respectively. Both TJC teams will head to Kilgore for a doubleheader Wednesday beginning at 5:30pm at Masters Gymnasium. TVCC will visit Paris.

You can hear the Apache Ladies Wedenesday on AM 1490 beginning at 5:15pm, while the TJC Men can be heard on ESPN East Texas 92.1 FM starting at approximately 7:15pm.

JT’s Season Ends with Loss to Ennis, 57-54

By Mike Alzamora/KTBB Sports
The John Tyler Lions saw their 2011-12 season come to an end as they were defeated 57-54 by the Ennis Lions in the Class 4A Area Round of the Boys High School Basketball Playoff Friday night at the Terrell Athletic Complex.

JT trailed most of the way, and fell behind by as many as 12 in the fourth quarter. However, the Lions made a furious rally to get within one of Ennis at 50-49 with 2:25 to play. But CUJO could not overcome a one-man machine that was Ennis’ head coach’s son Jordan Mason. The Colorado State signee blitzed JT for 31 points including four 3-point baskets as Ennis advanced to the Class 4A Region 2 Quarterfinals where they will face Manor.

JT had three players score in double figures led by junior post Tyus Bowser who finished with 16 points. Junior Wing Fred Ross and senior point guard Caleb Willis added 14 points a piece.

Facing many questions about their future, the John Tyler Lions finish their season with a final record of 24-8. Uncertainty remains as to whether Head Coach Tony Pinson will return to the Lions bench next season, as he is currently on administrative leave pending an investigation by the Tyler Independent School District. Assistant Coach Cedeno Clark led the Lions in their last four contests. Ennis, on the other hand improves to 21-12.

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