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Javin Cary launches TD pass to KD Washington behind protection in freshman game
The Paris Wildcats swept the sub-varsity games with Quinlan Ford Thursday night at Wildcat Stadium, winning the freshmen game, 36-20, and the JV match, 26-0.
A strong south wind played a big part in the evening’s game strategy, but it didn’t prevent Rashad Wilson from opening the freshman contest with a 70-yard kickoff return to give the Cats a quick 6-0 lead. The Panthers, operating with the win at their backs in the first quarter, were able to tie the score, 6-6, on a 2-yard run.
Paris, with the win at the Cats’ backs in the second quarter, was able to score 22 unanswered points to take a 28-6 halftime lead. Zy’kius Jackson gave the Cats the lead for good on a 28-yard run on a motion sweep from a slot position. That score was set up by a 40-yard gain on a reverse by KD Washington.
The Cats then used the airways to score two more times before halftime on passes of 10 and 25 yards from Javin Cary to Washington. Jackson and Washington added conversion runs after the touchdowns.
The Panthers cut the lead to 28-14 on a 23-yard run in the third quarter with the wind at their backs once again, but the Cats put the game away on the first play of the final quarter with a 68-yard catch-and-run from Cary to Santwan Gray. Jackson ran for the two-point conversion to increase the lead to 36-14.
QF scored on the game’s final play from 2 yards out.
A pair of botched punt attempts gave the Paris JV great field position deep in Panther territory early in their game. The first Wildcat drive was halted at the QF 1, but the next possession ended with an 11-yard TD run by Montrel McCarty on the first play of the second quarter to take a 6-0 lead.
A 29-yard pass from Jadarius Dillard to Zantavious Braxton set up the next score on a 12-yard run by Dyvarious Douglas. A fumble recovery by Howard Browner in the final minute of the first half allowed the Cats to take a 19-0 halftime lead when Dillard found Braxton on a 55-yard post pattern.
The third quarter was scoreless but saw the Panthers convert a fourth-and-51 on a roughing the punter penalty. Fred Sanders also had an interception in the period.
McCarty scored again with 7:35 left in the game on a 15-yard run. Bryan Ramirez tacked on a couple of extra point kicks.
The Paris sub-varsity teams host Anna next Thursday at Wildcat Stadium.
Kobe Savage dives to score game’s first touchdown
The 2017 Paris Wildcats played in three spoiled Homecoming games this season. Unfortunately, the latest spoiler was their own as they allowed the Princeton Panthers to escape Wildcat Stadium Friday with a 21-16 win that has thrown a wrench into the District 7-4A-1 title chase.
After road wins last month during Homecomings at Sulphur Springs and Pittsburg, the Cats faced a similar fate themselves when Princeton (3-4) took a 21-10 lead into the fourth quarter. The Paris offense turned to its sparsely-used passing game to draw within 21-16 and was primed to save the evening when it began a potential game-winning drive at its own 21-yard line with 2:36 remaining and 1 timeout left. A 40-yard pass catch and run from Kobe Savage to backup running back James Neal moved the ball to the Princeton 39.
On the next play Savage rolled right and found tight end Demetric Glover at the Panther 29. Just a split-second before the ball reached Glover’s hands, Princeton defensive back Dillon Moncier made contact with Glover. The ball popped out of Glover’s grasp, and Panther DB Elishah Harrison alertly snagged Savage’s first interception of the year. (See “Late Interception” picture montage below)
The Wildcat coaching staff’s pleas for a pass interference call went unheeded and Paris never saw the ball again.
To be sure, the game should never have come down to an official’s ruling or lack thereof. The game started with a muffed kickoff return and recovery by Gerald Palmer at the Princeton 12. Paris scored on the turnover to take a 7-0 lead just 1:27 into the contest. However, the Cats’ normally dominant rushing game ground to a virtual halt by an aggressive Princeton defense as Paris failed to pad the lead despite the following opportunities to do so:
In fact, the game’s unsung MVP was Princeton punter Tristan Gee, who averaged 47.6 yards on 6 punts compared to 5 Paris kicks for a 34.2 average. The Panthers needed to go just 43, 30, and 54 yards to score their touchdowns thanks to positive field position.
After halftime, Paris turned into gracious hosts. The second-half kickoff was muffed by the Cats at the 30, and Princeton soon had the lead, 14-7, on a Brendon Strickland pass to Kole Massey. When Princeton stretched the lead to 21-10, Paris responded with a drive to the Panther 9 before a fumble was recovered by Lucas Delgado.
Paris outgained Princeton, 339 to 201, but the Panthers held Wildcat running back Donovan Williams to 106 yards on 25 tough carries and never allowed the Paris offense to get into rhythm.
With the win Princeton and Anna are the two remaining unbeaten teams in district play and control their own destinies. Paris and Liberty-Eylau are tied for second at 1-1, while North Lamar and Quinlan Ford are 0-2.
Paris (4-3 overall) will need help to repeat as district champions, but they try to keep in striking range with a trip Friday to Quinlan Ford (5-2).
How Wildcats’ Opponents Fared:
Late Interception Seals Homecoming Loss for Paris
Princeton defensive back Dillon Moncier contacts Demetric Glover before ball arrives
Ball pops free as Princeton’s Elisah Harrison enters the frame
Harrison secures the ball before it hits the ground for game-ending interception
Sunny Scruggs (4) and Peaches Jackson (6) form a wall to block Emma Stewart’s shot (photo by Joe Watson)
Seven years of crosstown misery ended for the Paris Ladycats varsity volleyball team Friday when a North Lamar Pantherette spike sailed beyond the end line. With it went a 13-match losing streak to the county rivals as Paris inched one step closer to an improbable district championship in a 22-25, 25-15, 25-18, 22-25, 15-11 victory.
The year was 2010, and Paris High fielded perhaps its best team in school history. That 2010 squad finished fourth ranked in the state with a 37-5 overall record and perfect 10-0 district mark that included a 3-match sweep over the Pantherettes. The last win by the Ladycats was on Nov. 6, 2017, in a regional quarterfinal pairing in the Prairiland gym.
That 2010 Paris High team had high expectations. The same could not be said for this current group of undersized overachievers who can claim the District 14-4A No. 1 playoff seed with a win Tuesday over Liberty-Eylau on Senior Night in the Wildcat Gym.
Paris and Pleasant Grove remain tied atop district standings with 7-2 records heading into their regular season finales, but the Ladycats hold the tiebreaker due to their series sweep over the Lady Hawks. PG closes district with a match against 1-8 Pittsburg. NL and L-E are tied for third with 5-4 marks.
“It was a great overall team effort,” an emotionally exhausted Paris head coach Britney Humphrey said afterwards. “In each set there would be a different player step up and take a leadership role.”
It didn’t seem possible after NL jumped out to a 1-0 start after prevailing in a close Game 1 that saw 9 ties and 3 lead changes. Paris had a shaky Game 1 with 12 unforced errors, including 4 missed serves.
Grace Woodby (left) and Katy Hall celebrate a winning point for Paris (photo by Joe Watson)
Senior libero Katy Hall, one of the Homecoming Queen finalists, attended the downtown parade and arrived just in time to get in some warmup serves. “We didn’t think she’d be back in time so I had to turn in different rotation and that messed us up in the first set,” Humphrey said.
Still, Paris held a 22-21 lead after a Peaches Jackson block before a Jacie McFatridge kill and block plus kills by Amber White and Macie Pointer gave NL a 4-0 finish to the set.
Senior Zanesha Dangerfield stepped up big in Game 2 with 7 of her 11 total kills. She sparked a 6-1 run that gave Paris control of the set with a 13-6 lead and eventually evened the match with the game winner.
Match momentum stayed with the Ladycats in Game 3 as they stormed out to a 6-0 advantage thanks to 5 of the Pantherettes’ 14 unforced errors in the set. Although NL rallied to tie the game at 9-9 and 11-11, the visitors could never push ahead.
NL closed to within 19-18 before committing a net serve and net violation followed by a lollypop kill by freshman Quiniya Savage off a Hall short serve that sent the Pantherettes into a timeout huddle down, 22-18. When play resumed, sophomore Grace Woodby kept the Paris scoring streak going, and Hall served an ace. At game point, Savage had a key block then got the winner by batting the ball into the left corner.
NL took a quick lead in Game 4, 3-2, and stretched it out to 18-9 before Paris staged a big comeback. Woodby logged 7 of her match-high 17 kills in the set including a winner to pull Paris within 23-22. However, the Pantherettes finished the game with a Mackenzie Mitchell kill off the block, and the Ladycat net violation evened the match and forced a decisive Game 5.
A pair of errors and a McFatridge block put Paris in a 0-3 hole in the final set, but consecutive winners by Jackson righted the ship. The next point exhibited the kind of defensive tenacity that has enabled the Ladycats to the top of the district against taller opponents. Sliding digs by Jackson, senior setters Sunny Scruggs and Deagan Dingman plus an alert bump save at the net by Woodby led to a 2-handed push kill by Hall.
A dig-kill by Hall into the far corner gave Paris its first lead in the game, 4-3. Another block by Savage and a Woodby 1-handed swat into the unguarded middle of the NL defense had Paris up, 8-4, but NL rallied with a 4-0 run to tie the score at 8-all.
A Woodby winner and two NL errors was followed by a Woodby saving dig and rare backline kill by sophomore Riley Bills. A service ace by Scruggs that skimmed and dropped over the net gave Paris 4 match points at 14-9, and the final errant Pantherette kill closed the book on 7 frustrating years of futility.
Jackson finished with 8 kills and 4 blocks, while Savage had 2 kills and 5 blocks. Still, the Ladycats’ success is centered through defense, and in that often overlooked category, Hall had 55 digs, Woodby 21, Scruggs 18, Bills 13, Dingman 11, and sophomore Quanterria Jenkins 6.
McFatridge topped NL with 10 kills, 8 blocks, and 3 aces. Pointer added 9 kills and White had 6 kills and 2 blocks.
On Tuesday, Paris and L-E will play JV matches starting at 4:30. Dangerfield, Dingman, Hall, and Scruggs will be honored in Senior Night ceremonies before the varsity match, which should began about 6.
After their series sweep of the Pleasant Grove Lady Hawks in District 14-4A volleyball Friday, the Paris Ladycats enjoyed some wiggle room in their championship quest. That comfort zone evaporated Tuesday in a 5-game setback in Atlanta to the Lady Rabbs, 16-25, 25-10, 10-25, 25-22, 15-11.
The Ladycats now must win their final two matches to reign as this year’s district champions. It starts Friday when Paris shoehorns a Crosstown Showdown rematch with the North Lamar Pantherettes into a busy Homecoming schedule.
The Paris-NL varsity rematch starts at 4:30 p.m. in the Wildcat Gym just after the 3 p.m. pep rally and 4 p.m. downtown parade. Homecoming Queen coronation is 7 p.m. followed by the district football game vs. Princeton at Wildcat Stadium. Paris senior libero Katy Hall is among this year’s queen finalists.
The Ladycats held a 2-1 lead over Atlanta, which Paris swept in a match two weeks ago, before dropping the final two sets. It was just the second district win by the Lady Rabbs. Peaches Jackson topped the Ladycats’ offensive stat line with 16 kills and 5 blocks.
Paris, 23-14 overall, drops into a first-place tie with PG with 6-2 marks. NL is in third at 5-3 followed by Liberty-Eylau at 4-4. The Pantherettes won this season’s first meeting at NL, 17-25, 15-25, 19-25, in one of the Ladycats’ worst showings of the season.
Paris defenders James Neal (right), Demetric Glover, Jalen Easter (45), and Michael Godwin (7) swarm L-E’s Ralph Crabtree for a loss
The T-shirt slogan for the 2017 Paris Wildcats is “Find a Way.”
The “Way” Friday night in the crucial District 7-4A-1 football opener at Texarkana Harris Field followed a curved line from Kobe Savage’s right arm into the waiting hands of Demetric Glover, just missing by milliseconds a tip attempt from the outstretched fingers of Liberty-Eylau defender Dominique Williams. Glover secured the catch at the L-E 5 and scored what proved to be the winning touchdown with just 2:05 left in a 28-24 Paris win.
“I’m not gonna lie to you,” Glover would say afterwards. “I thought he (Williams) was going to get his hands on it.”
The offense had found a way; now it was the defense’s turn.
The Wildcat D had stifled the explosive Leopard offense in the first half, limiting L-E to 70 total yards, but the hosts came alive after halftime to score on 3 of 4 offensive possessions. The Leopards used a pass interference call to set up a new set of downs at the Paris 44, but sure open-field tackles by Anqurrus Harris and Jaylen Henderson plus a dropped Leopard pass led to a 4th-and-9. Quarterback Decorian Phillips’ sideline lob to 6-3 receiver Dazawion Cooper was on target when Henderson leaped to contest the ball, which fell unclaimed to the ground.
The defense had found a way.
Earlier in the third quarter, special teams had found a way, too, via Montana Payne’s 46-yard punt which pinned the Leopards at their own 6-yard line. After a defensive stop and subsequent punt by L-E netted just 24 yards, Wildcat running back Donovan Williams scored his third touchdown of the night to help regain the lead, 21-14.
Also the Wildcat coaching staff found a way. They devised an unbalanced line formation on offense, shifting 6-7 left tackle Elijah Ellis to the right side to pair with 6-8 Ashton Savage to help pave the way for Williams TD runs of 5, 52, and 13 yards.
Williams amassed 166 yards on 24 carries, and in the process passed Frank Jackson (1954-56) into fifth place on the PHS career rushing list. Williams now has 3,240 career yards and trails only Quez Allen (2012-15, 4,599), Deon Hill (1996-98, 3,812), Jesse Henderson (2001-03, 3,381), and Marcus Henderson (1988-90, 3,284)
Meanwhile, QB Savage added 81 yards on 12 carries, often on counters to the weakside while L-E’s defense focused on stopping Williams. The junior signal-caller also passed for a season-high 114 yards on 6 of 10 completions.
Demetric Glover waits for Kobe Savage’s winning throw that just misses the reach of L-E’s Dominique Williams
The TD catch by Glover was just the second of the senior’s career. Glover’s only other score came in the 2015 playoff loss to Kaufman in Allen’s final PHS game.
Defensively, the Paris staff knew it had to limit the Leopards’ ability to stretch the field, which put extra responsibility on the Cats’ defensive line to provide stops. The unit came through in a big way, as Michael Godwin, playing much of the game as a down lineman, led the way with 9 tackles. End Vershaud Richardson had 8 stops, and tackle Jalen Easter had 7.
Oddly enough, the Cats might not have needed the late-game heroics had it not been for a wild double turnover with Paris holding a 14-0 lead.
Henderson intercepted a Phillips pass and picked up blockers and steam heading upfield when he was blindsided by L-E’s El-amin Greer (see photo below). The big hit popped the ball free and into the grasp of L-E lineman Conner Green. It was a huge momentum changer in the game, as the Leopards eventually turned favorable field position into their first points to make it a 14-6 halftime score.
With the win, the Cats have taken a big first step towards defense of their district championship. Paris (now 4-2) and L-E (1-5) have won the past 6 district titles.
The next obstacle arrives Friday, Oct. 20, in the form of Homecoming 2017 guests Princeton, who withstood a challenge from Quinlan Ford, 28-24, to win their district opener. Anna beat North Lamar, 44-12, in other district action.
The last time Princeton visited Wildcat Stadium was 2014 on the heels of a similar big Paris win over L-E. The Panthers edged the Cats in a wild, 65-64 marathon that sent Paris into a tailspin and destroyed hopes of a district title defense.
The 2017 Cats will try to find a way to avoid deja vu.
How Wildcats’ Opponents Fared:
Ball is jarred loose after Jaylen Henderson interception by El-amin Greer’s blindside hit
Grace Woodby (front) and Katy Hall anchor the Paris defense with a combined 72 digs in win over Pleasant Grove (photo by Joe Watson)
Playing their best match of the season, the Paris Ladycats took control of the District 14-4A volleyball chase Friday afternoon in the Wildcat Gym with a 25-21, 26-24, 28-26 win over the Pleasant Grove Lady Hawks.
The Ladycats, a team that looked totally lost just 10 days ago in their only district setback at the hands of crosstown rival North Lamar, now finds itself all alone atop the league standings with just three matches remaining. Paris holds a virtual 2-match lead over the field with a 6-1 record after the season sweep of PG, which falls to 5-2.
North Lamar and Liberty-Eylau are tied for third at 4-3. Paris travels to Atlanta on Tuesday before closing out the regular season at home vs. NL and L-E.
“It was weird how well we flowed on the court and played together as a team,” Paris head coach Britney Humphrey said. “We shut down their best hitters. It was our best game of the year.”
Defense continues to hold the key to the Ladycats’ recent success. Senior libero Katy Hall recorded 43 digs. Hall, averaging 5 digs per set for the season, is averaging 12.5 digs per set in the three matches since the NL debacle.
Sophomore Grace Woodby also contributed 29 digs to go with her 5 kills. Sophomore Riley Bills had 13 digs, senior setter Deagan Dingman 13 digs, senior setter Sunny Scruggs 9 digs, and sophomore Quanterria Jenkins 7 digs.
Meanwhile, junior middle blocker Peaches Jackson continues to dominate the frontcourt with 13 kills and 4 blocks. Dingman and Scruggs helped feed a rapidly improving offense with 12 assists each.
Paris (23-12) has won 9 of its last 10 matches as the Ladycats try to clinch their first district title since 2010.
Peaches Jackson knocks down another spike against PG’s Georgia Cobb (photo by Joe Watson)
The Paris Wildcats freshmen held off the Liberty-Eylau Leopards, 20-12, in a District 14-4A matchup Thursday at Wildcat Stadium before the Leopards’ JV dominated the second game, 40-7.
Zy’kius Jackson gave the Paris freshmen an early lead on a 10-yard scoring run, but the Leopards went on top, 12-8, with three minutes remaining in the half. Wildcat quarterback Javin Cary then found Santwan Gray for a 48-yard completion to put Paris in position to regain the lead, 14-12, on a 2-yard run by Jackson.
That same Cary-to-Gray combination worked for a 28-yard TD pass in the third quarter to extend the lead to 20-12, and the Paris defense held L-E at bay the rest of the night.
The JV game was a simple matter of too much Leopard speed. L-E scored on a 68-yard sprint on the first play from scrimmage, and the Leopards scored again on their second possession to take a quick 14-0 lead just 2:11 into the game.
The only Paris score was the result of Jay Bell’s 25-yard fumble return for a touchdown. Bryan Ramirez added the extra point.
But the Leopards scored 4 more times, including a pick-6 interception return, to take a commanding 40-7 halftime lead. The second half was scoreless with a running clock and L-E taking a knee at the Paris 1-yard line in the game’s final minute.
The Paris freshmen (4-1) and JV (3-3) travel to Princeton next Thursday to continue district play.
Paris High teams will be involved in two big battles with district championship implications Friday. While the varsity football team and large contingent of Wildcat fans and support groups make the 100-mile journey east to face District 7-4A-1 co-favorite Liberty-Eylau, a much smaller entourage of close family and friends will gather in the Wildcat Gym to watch the surprising Ladycats host Pleasant Grove with the District 14-4A volleyball lead on the line.
That unusual scenario was set up by Tuesday’s district volleyball results. Paris swept the Pittsburg Lady Pirates, 25-18, 25-16, 25-22, in the Wildcat Gym to improve the Ladycats’ district mark to 5-1. Meanwhile, PG also improved to 5-1 with a tough 5-set win in the Hawk Gym over defending district champion North Lamar (3-3). L-E is in third place in volleyball at 4-2, while Pitt (1-5) and Atlanta (0-6) are on the brink of playoff elimination.
Friday’s varsity-only match starts at 4:30 p.m. Kickoff for the football game is 7:30. Unless they have access to a fast-moving helicopter or time machine, Wildcat fans will have a tough choice to make.
Friday’s first-place volleyball battle seemed an impossibility early in the Ladycats’ 2017 season, even to their head coach Britney Humphrey.
“After the way we played at home against Prairiland and Leonard (in Aug. 15 and 22 losses), it didn’t look like we’d even make the playoffs this year,” Humphrey said prior to sending her team out to start the second half of district play.
Instead, the Ladycats have punched their postseason ticket early with Tuesday’s playoff-clinching victory. They’ve won 8 of their last 9 matches to improve to 22-12 for the season including tough, 5-set road wins at Pitt, PG, and L-E. The lone exception was last week’s flat performance in an embarrassing loss at crosstown rival NL.
Anyone who witnessed the Paris-NL match would have a hard time believing this was the same Ladycats team.
With an undersized frontcourt, Humphrey continues to make rotation adjustments to search for winning combinations. Since the loss at NL, she has inserted 5-8 sophomore Quanterria Jenkins (shown right in photo by Joe Watson) into the lineup. Jenkins paired up with 5-10 junior Peaches Jackson to make a solid 1-2 attack punch in the sweep over Pitt.
Jackson dominated play in Game 1 with 9 kills, a block, and the final 3 service points. She finished with a match-high 14 kills and 3 blocks.
After Humphrey called a timeout with her team down, 10-14, the Ladycats responded with an 8-0 run with senior Deagan Dingman at the service line. The key stretch was punctuated by 3 kills and a block by Jackson plus a pair of Jenkins winners. When Pitt closed to within 18-16, Jackson reeled off 3 straight winners to regain command at 21-16.
Paris never trailed in Game 2, but the Lady Pirates pulled within 10-9 when an alert dig save by Jenkins led to a crucial point. The Ladycats then pulled away, and Game 2 ended on a big block by freshman Quiniya Savage.
Game 3 saw 3 lead changes and 5 ties before Paris took the lead for good at 21-20. A pair of kills by sophomore Grace Woodby set up match point which ended on an errant Pitt kill shot.
Woodby, the team leader this season in kill shots, finished with 8, while Jenkins had 7.
Backcourt support by senior libero Katy Hall and sophomore defensive specialist Riley Bills along with Woodby and senior setters Dingman and Sunny Scruggs was solid and has been a key ingredient in the Ladycats’ district success.
Still, the maturation of Jackson, a star on the basketball court, as a volleyball standout has been a big reason for Paris’ recent upswing.
“She played on varsity as a freshman, but mostly sat on the bench,” Humphrey remembers. “Last year (Humphrey’s first year as Paris head coach) Peaches asked to be on JV so she could get more playing time.”
Humphrey, who lost both 2016 middle blockers to graduation, needed Jackson to become a dominant force up front in 2017. “She’s one of the hardest workers I have,” Humphrey said.
Assistant coach Matt Dickinson said the team has made adjustments to Jackson’s unique skill set. “Peaches has vertical explosion we weren’t taking advantage of because of our tall sets that were giving teams time to set their blocks,” he said. “We’re using quicker sets now that’s allowing Peaches to use her athleticism.
“There were a couple of times tonight when she was able to reach out for balls and bat them behind her back for winners.”
Even when she wasn’t slamming down winners, Jackson was able to draw attention at the net with fake sets to allow Jenkins some clear shots.
Both Paris JV squads managed wins Tuesday vs. Pitt. The Blue squad won, 2-0, while the White squad won, 2-1.
There’s something about long bus rides that seem to bring the beast out of the Paris Ladycats, who won another 5-set marathon Friday in Texarkana to remain atop the District 14-4A volleyball standings at the halfway point.
Paris survived another district road test with a 25-14, 23-25, 25-21, 17-25, 15-12 win over the Liberty-Eylau Lady Leopards. Despite playing 4 of their first 5 district matches on the road, the Ladycats are tied with Pleasant Grove at the district midpoint with 4-1 records. With the loss, L-E falls into a second-place tie with North Lamar at 3-2 followed by Pittsburg (1-4) and Atlanta (0-5).
It was the third 5-set district win for Paris, which previously won matches at PG and Pittsburg.
Facing another opponent with a considerable height advantage, the Ladycats managed to play determined defense, paced by senior libero Katy Hall’s 53 recorded digs. Sophomore Grace Woodby also logged 27 digs along with 21 kills. Junior Peaches Jackson added 18 kills and 6 blocks.
Paris starts the second half of district play Tuesday by hosting Pitt in the Wildcat Gym.
|All-Region Choir: (from left) Rowan Burns, Nicholas Reed, Nick Leija, Molly Burns, Jake Freelen, Jared Posey, Rhea Tabora, Brian Wright, Javian Dabbs, Yessy Ramirez|
Paris High Chorale students earned eight chairs in the Region IV Small School Choir following auditions held Saturday at North Lamar. Also, two PHS students were named alternates.
These students will perform at the All-Region Choir Clinic & Concert at Mount Pleasant on Nov. 11 and will participate in Pre-Area auditions in Gilmer on Nov. 28. Students who earn a top 4 chair in his/her section at Pre-Area will advance to Area auditions at Texas A&M-Commerce on Jan. 13 for a chance for a seat in the Texas Small School All State Choir.
The PHS Choir Director is Jan Blize assisted by Melody Logan, accompanist Dottie Billman and vocal coach Grant Taylor.
For the third straight year a Paris High Wildcat is the top runner in the district cross country meet as junior JP Rojas led the boys team to a third-place team finish at Saturday’s District 14-4A Championships in Atlanta.
Rojas (pictured left) finished first overall with a time of 18:00.2, nearly one minute ahead of second place, to follow in the footsteps of the graduated Matt Cochran, who won individual boys titles in 2016 and 2015. Rojas was third last year.
The third-place team finish, behind Atlanta and Pittsburg, qualifies the Wildcat boys for the Region 2-4A Championships on Monday, Oct. 23, at Grand Prairie Lynn Creek Park. Other Paris finishers were Justin Medina (10th), sophomore Gavyn Hollje (17th), Alexis Luna (18th), and junior Kyler Beshirs (24th).
The Ladycats placed fourth overall, but senior Lilly Lewis qualified for regionals with a 10th-place showing. Other Paris finishers were Elizabeth Cervantez (12th), Madison Toland (22nd), Evelyn Brown (25th), and Alex Perez (28th).
The Paris girls finished first overall in JV boys competition, while the Paris boys were runnerup.
NL’s Mackenzie Mitchell gets a hit over freshman Quiniya Savage (photo by Joe Watson)
After watching her Paris Ladycats drop the first set of Tuesday’s district volleyball match at North Lamar, head coach Britney Humphrey called a timeout when the Pantherettes jumped out to an 8-0 lead in Game 2.
“Don’t let them get in your head,” Humphrey pleaded in the huddle.
It was too late. The Pantherettes had already camped out in the Ladycats’ collective cerebrum, pitched their tent, started a fire, and were roasting marshmallows en route to a dominant, 25-17, 25-15, 25-19 win in the Panther Gym to create chaos atop the District 14-4A standings.
The result dropped Paris (20-12 overall) into a 3-way tie for first place with Liberty-Eylau and Pleasant Grove with matching 3-1 district marks. Defending champion North Lamar, after a rocky 0-2 start, is now just one match back at 2-2 followed by Pittsburg (1-3) and Atlanta (0-4).
Tuesday’s latest win was the Pantherettes’ 13th straight over the Ladycats. NL has outscored Paris, 39-4, in sets over that timespan. The last Paris victory in the crosstown series occurred during the 2010 season when the Ladycats swept all three meetings including a win in the regional quarterfinals.
How one-sided was Tuesday’s match? Paris held set leads on just 4 occasions: 3-2, 4-3, and 5-4 in Game 1 and 1-0 in Game 3. Pantherettes coach Misty Ford had to call just one timeout with her team leading, 21-16, in Game 3 after 5 Pantherettes unforced errors created a 6-0 Paris run.
Otherwise, it was clear sailing for the hosts who used their superior frontline height to keep the smaller Ladycats on their heels. Senior 6-0 middle blocker Jacie McFatridge led the way with 11 kills, 4 blocks, and 4 service aces.
A trio of 5-8 hitters played big supporting roles. Junior Mackenzie Mitchell dropped in 6 kills and 2 blocks, sophomore Macie Pointer had 4 kills and 2 blocks, and senior Amber White produced a pair of kills and 3 aces.
For Paris, sophomore Grace Woodby notched 7 kills, while 5-10 junior Peaches Jackson had 4 kills and 4 blocks, and senior Zanesha Dangerfield finished with 4 kills. Still, the Ladycats were their own worst enemy, committing 33 total unforced errors in the match, including 6 on service and a couple of offensive sets they let fall untouched to the floor.
NL also dominated play in the JV matches Tuesday, winning both by 2-0 counts, although the Ladycats’ JV Blue squad managed a big comeback in Game 2 before falling.
Next up for Paris will be a trip Friday to the Texarkana Rader Dome to face L-E and close out the first half of the district round-robin. Fortunately, the Ladycats will get a break in the schedule with 4 of their last 5 district matches on their home court including an Oct. 20 rematch with NL on Paris Homecoming in the Wildcat Gym.
The Paris Wildcats boys golf team placed fourth among eight schools Monday at the Stinger Invitational hosted by Denison at Tanglewood Resort. Blaine Hill was fourth among boys medalists with a round of 80.
Vershaud Richardson has a double takedown of Argyle RB Don Williams (left) and QB Jon Copeland (photo by Joe Watson)
Coaches don’t like to talk about moral victories, but the Paris Wildcats held the state powerhouse Argyle Eagles to a season low in points and total yardage and sacked standout quarterback Jon Copeland 5 times in a 27-7 loss Friday night at Wildcat Stadium that raised heads across the Texas football landscape.
The Cats played host to a team that many were lauding as the best in Argyle’s short but storied history, a squad that had averaged scoring 40 points in the first half alone entering Friday’s final pre-district test. Copeland was averaging 314 yards passing and 4 touchdowns per game despite seeing little action beyond halftime in those previous games.
Prognosticators said the underdog Cats could play well and still lose by 4 or 5 touchdowns. Still, the Wildcat coaching staff prepared a game plan that they thought would give the home team a chance at a shocking upset. So, what was that plan and why, ultimately, did it fall short of its goal?
The magic number: 8
Paris coaches hoped to limit the number of Argyle’s offensive possessions for the game to 8. The Eagles had 10 (not counting the final-minute, kneel down series). They believed the Wildcat defense could stop half those drives, the Eagles would score on two possessions, and a couple of series would end in turnovers. Of the 10 Eagle possessions, 2 ended in field goals, 2 in touchdowns, 2 on downs, and 4 on punts. It was a yeoman-like effort for the Paris defense, although the one series they wished they had back was the final Argyle drive of the first half when the Eagles went 72 yards, aided by a personal foul penalty, in the last 3 minutes to score their first touchdown and get some breathing room at halftime, 10-0.
No big plays
The defensive scheme was to pressure Copeland, particularly from outside rushers Vershaud Richardson and Perry Franklin, and not let the Eagles’ explosive air attack get untracked. Copeland was held to 105 yards passing, 209 yards under his previous average, and was sacked 5 times (4 by Richardson and 1 by Perry). The only blimp in that plan again came on that fateful final drive of the first half when Copeland found Cale Nanny open for a 35-yard catch-and-run for the TD. Leading Eagles’ receiver Wes McCollum, who had averaged 136 receiving yards per game with 7 TDs, was shut out.
Win the turnover battle
The Cats needed to play an error-free game and force the Eagles into a couple of turnovers. Instead of finishing a plus-2 in turnovers, Paris was minus-2, and those two mistakes were fatal to the Cats’ upset design. A fumbled option pitch on Paris’ third play of the second half led to an Eagle field goal that increased their lead to 13-0, and a fumbled handoff on the Cats’ third series of the second half was scooped up and returned for a defensive score that made it a 20-0 game and essentially ended the game plan.
Reason for optimism
So, while Paris (3-2) will receive congratulations statewide for its “moral victory” over 5-0 Argyle, Wildcat coaches and players will be back at work trying to fix deficiencies that separate them from perennial state contenders like the Eagles. They have an open week ahead before beginning defense of their District 7-4A-1 title on Oct. 13 at Liberty-Eylau.
There is much reason for an optimistic district chase and extended playoff run, perhaps even a rematch with Argyle in the state semifinals.
If defenses win championships, then Paris appears primed for the battles ahead. Richardson, the 6-3 junior defensive end, had the type of dominant game that attracts D1 recruiting interest with 10 total tackles, the 4 sacks, 7 tackles for loss, and a pass breakup.
Senior safety Jordan Furtch also had 10 tackles and a pass breakup, while senior inside linebacker Michael Godwin had 8 tackles and junior ILB TD Williams had 7 solo tackles. Paris limited Argyle to a season-low 272 total yards.
Although the first-team offense was shut out, the unit was able to limit Argyle possessions with a bruising ground game. Senior RB Donovan Williams carried 18 times for 86 yards. He became the seventh player in PHS history to rush for 3,000 yards on his first carry of the night. Williams now has 3,081 career yards and has a good chance of moving up to the No. 2 spot behind Quez Allen’s school record of 4,599.
How Wildcats’ Opponents Fared:
Grace Woodby knocks down a crosscourt kill shot vs. Atlanta (photo by Joe Watson)
The Paris Ladycats swept the Atlanta Lady Rabbits Friday, while Pleasant Grove knocked off previously unbeaten Liberty-Eylau, 3-1, to leave the Ladycats alone atop District 14-4A volleyball standings with a 3-0 record.
Now the challenge that awaits Paris (20-11 overall) is keeping that perch. The Ladycats face a pair of tough away matches in the upcoming week starting with the crosstown trip to face defending district champion North Lamar (1-2) on Tuesday followed by a long road ride Friday to Texarkana to play L-E (2-1) and close out the first round of district action.
Paris struggled at times but easily disposed of the 0-3 Lady Rabbits, 25-19, 25-19, 25-13. The Ladycats broke away from a 5-5 tie in Game 1 to pull out to a 23-13 advantage. Paris coach Britney Humphrey began subbing freely and Atlanta took advantage with a 6-0 run to come within 4 points before a couple of unforced errors ended the set.
The Ladycats had an easier time in Game 2, jumping out to a 13-5 lead. Although they couldn’t completely shake the Lady Rabs, Paris eventually took a 2-0 match lead on a crosscourt winner by sophomore Grace Woodby.
Game 3 was all-Ladycats following an early 3-3 tie.
In addition to hitting the 20-win mark for the season, the Ladycats notched their sixth straight victory.
The Pleasant Grove Lady Hawks outscored the Paris Ladycats, 112-107, Tuesday night in the Hawk Gym, but the Ladycats won enough key points in crunch time to leave Texarkana with a huge District 14-4A varsity volleyball win, 31-29, 24-26, 25-21, 12-25, 15-11.
The results leave the surging Ladycats tied with Liberty-Eylau at 2-0 each atop the early district standings. L-E knocked off North Lamar, 3-2, Tuesday at the Texarkana Rader Dome to drop the defending district champion Pantherettes to 0-2. Paris, 18-12 overall and riding a 6-match win streak, returns home to the Wildcat Gym Friday for a 4:30 p.m. varsity-only match vs. Atlanta.
Paris and PG split JV matches Tuesday. The Ladycats’ Blue squad fell, 24-26, 16-25, while the White squad won, 23-25, 25-21, 25-15.
Libero Katy Hall anchors the Ladycats defense but also delivered a big backline kill in win over PG (file photo by Joe Watson)
The Ladycats faced a brutal league schedule with 4 of their first 5 matches all on the road in what appears to be a wide-open district chase. They appear to have caught big breaks in their first two district road matches. Paris beat Pittsburg in 5 sets Friday when a pair of key Lady Pirate starters missed the final two games to attend the Pitt Homecoming coronation. On Tuesday, PG was playing without a couple of injured players.
To the Ladycats’ credit, they capitalized on both occasions, rallying from an 0-2 defict at Pitt to sweep the final 3 games. At PG Tuesday they jumped out to an early lead when senior libero Katy Hall’s backline kill ended a marathon Game 1 and they kept the pressure on by pulling away from the hosts in Game 3.
After PG forced a decisive fifth set, Paris stormed to a 10-4 lead in Game 5 and ended the match on a kill shot by junior middle blocker Peaches Jackson, who notched 16 kills and 14 block assists in the match. Sophomore Grace Woodby had 20 kills and 29 digs, while Hall had 41 digs.
Senior Deagan Dingman logged 30 assists, senior Sunny Scrugs had 14 assists and 17 digs, and senior Zanesha Dangerfield added 6 kills. Sophomore Riley Bills had 17 digs.
Paris defensive front clamps down to stop Pitt quarterback Jaylon Jimmerson (photo by Melanie Meredith)
Football coaches, including Paris head coach Steven Hohenberger, preach the importance of maintaining focus in preparation for, and execution of, game plans. Hohenberger couldn’t have asked for better focus than his team’s first-half showing Friday as the Wildcats tried to foil Pittsburg’s Homecoming at re-designed Pirate Stadium.
The Wildcat offense scored on 4 of its 5 first-half possessions and the defense shut out an explosive Pitt offense to take a 28-0 lead to the locker room.
Then the lights went out, literally, and the Cats’ keen focus went dark, too.
In a planned, theatrical stunt, Pittsburg officials turned off the field lights as the hometown team prepared to run onto the field to start the second half. With the eerie siren from the movie The Purge blasting over the PA system, the Pirates re-emerged ready to overcome a 4-score deficit on a humid, breezeless first fall night and save Homecoming from disaster.
Pirate Keithlen Griffin returned the second half kickoff 94 yards, and the Pitt offense scored twice more in a 12-second timespan, aided by an onside kick recovery, to make it a win-able 31-20 deficit with 8 minutes left to play.
Fortunately for Paris the Cats recovered a second onside kick attempt and the offense chewed up much of the remaining time to score on a 9-play, 51-yard drive that dimmed the Pirates comeback rally, 38-20.
The Cats outgained the Pirates in total yardage, 372-276. They hammered the Pitt defense with a steady dose of senior running back Donovan Williams (30 carries for 197 yards and the first two Paris scores). They also unleashed the “Beast”, aka senior tight end Tre Perry, who caught a pair of TD throws from junior quarterback Kobe Savage.
Savage completed 7 of 11 pass attempts for 106 yards and added 78 yards rushing including the 11-yard TD run that closed out the scoring with 4:40 left in the game. Senior place kicker Antonio Saavedra had a perfect night converting all five extra point kicks and hitting a key 29-yard field goal.
The Wildcat defensive strategy focused on stopping dual threat Pitt quarterback Jaylon Jimmerson, tough running back Jordan Turner, and 6-3 two-way star Keontae Burns. Turner was held to 78 yards rushing, Burns caught just 1 pass for 12 yards, and Jimmerson was under extreme pressure from the Cats’ defensive front all night.
Junior end Vershaud Richardson amassed 11 tackles including a pair of sacks plus he blocked an extra point try. Other sacks were registered by senior lineman Demetric Glover and senior linebacker Perry Franklin. Collectively, the Cats had 14 stops behind the line of scrimmage.
Paris moves to 3-1 with the win while Pitt drops to 2-2. The Cats will need to refocus quickly because they host state powerhouse Argyle on Friday, Sept. 29, at Wildcat Stadium. The Eagles have won all previous seven matchups vs. Paris by lopsided scores and this year’s Argyle team is considered by many to be their best ever.
That’s something to keep in focus.
How Wildcats’ Opponents Fared:
Time to stop running: Paris junior JP Rojas checks his course time before he crosses the finish line at the North Lamar cross country meet Saturday. Rojas won his second meet of the season. The Wildcats compete in two more invitational meets before the District 14-4A Championships on Oct. 11 in Atlanta.
At the stroke of midnight the Pittsburg Lady Pirates’ district volleyball carriage turned into a big, juicy pumpkin that the Paris Ladycats eagerly carved with an important “W.”
With 5-11 junior middle blockers Malaysia Burns and Marlisha Swain dominating the net, Pitt was rolling toward a 3-set sweep of Paris Friday afternoon in the District 14-4A opener in the Pirate Gym. The Lady Pirates took a 2-0 lead, 25-19, 25-20, and were leading in Game 3 before a Katy Hall service run that included a pair of aces and a big Peaches Jackson spike pushed Paris ahead, 17-15.
From that point, there were 5 ties and Pitt briefly regained the lead before the Ladycats won the final two points on Lady Pirate errors. Pitt still led the match, 2-1, but suddenly two Lady Pirate starters were whisked away to participate in the Pitt Homecoming queen ceremonies at nearby Pirate Stadium.
Minus their setter and libero, there would be no Cinderella ending for the Lady Pirates, who faced a Grimm Brothers outcome with their top two playmakers out of the lineup. Paris stormed to a 10-2 start in Game 4 and by Pitt’s second called timeout the Ladycats were in cruise control at 15-3.
They won the set, 25-11, to even the match at 2-2 and set up a decisive fifth set.
If the Lady Pirates were looking for sympathy, they wouldn’t find it from Paris head coach Britney Humphrey.
“Let’s shut ‘em down and keep ‘em down,” Humphrey told her squad as they began Game 5.
Riley Bills at service line in earlier match this season (photo by Joe Watson)
The Ladycats complied. Sophomore Riley Bills, promoted from JV for service help, had a 4-0 run at the line which quickly put Paris up by 6-1. The Ladycats maintained at least a comfortable 3-point edge throughout Game 5, and back-to-back kill shots by Deagan Dingman and Zanesha Dangerfield put the match away, 15-8.
The win was the fourth straight for Paris, now 17-12, With the district chase expected to be a wide-open affair this season, a road win is a treasured commodity.
The Ladycats will aim for another strong road showing Tuesday with a trip to Pleasant Grove, who beat the defending district champion North Lamar Pantherettes, 3-1, in district play Friday.
Paris returns home to the Wildcat Gym Friday, Sept. 29, for a 4:30 p.m. varsity match vs. Atlanta.
PHS boys golf team places third at Oak Hollow BBQ Classic
The Paris High boys golf team finished third behind Denton Guyer Wednesday and Blaine Hill finished as individual boys medalist at the Oak Hollow BBQ Classic hosted by McKinney Boyd.
Hill shot a low round of 73. Other PHS scores were Holden Stone 84, Tate Lewis 94, Nick Gentry 96, and Coleman Lewis 102.
The Wildcats and Laydcats golf teams will host a tournament Monday at Paris Golf and Country Club.
The Paris freshmen and JV football squads swept a doubleheader with Pittsburg Thursday at Wildcat Stadium. The Wildcat freshmen won, 27-6, while the JV dominated the Pirates, 47-12.
The Paris freshmen remain unbeaten at 3-0 after running back Zy’kius Jackson scored on runs of 3 and 5 yards and quarterback Javin Cary connected with Santwan Gray for TD passes of 32 and 40 yards. TD Washington ran for a two-point conversion, while Jesus Rangel kicked an extra point.
Gray and Jermaine Williams had interceptions to keep the Pitt offense in check. The only Pirate score came on a 22 yard pass with 43 seconds left in the first half, but Paris immediately countered with a Cary to Gray TD throw to take a 21-6 halftime lead.
The Paris JV (3-1) scored on its first two possessions against an outmanned Pirate team, which suited up just 17 players and saw 2 of those leave the game by midway through the second quarter with injuries. Officials allowed the clock to run without stoppages the rest of the evening.
Running back Do’Rian Williams scored on runs of 3 and 54 yards and a pass of 25 yards from quarterback David Medina. Jadarius Dillard also scored three times on a 65-yard kickoff return and runs of 40 and 10 yards. Keiotti Bray scored on a 48-yard run and a two-point conversion run. Bryan Ramirez kicked three extra points.
Defensively, Deuntre Adamson collected an interception and Jordan Russell had a fumble recovery.
Both Paris sub-varsities travel to Argyle next Thursday to finish pre-district play.
Ladycats serenade Grace Woodby (far right) with happy birthday song after win over Anna
Peaches Jackson lit the candles, but birthday girl Grace Woodby delivered the knockout blow in the Paris Ladycats’ pre-district volleyball finale Tuesday. Paris swept Anna, 25-18, 25-22, 25-18, in the Wildcat Gym and now prepares to open District 14-4A with a trip Friday to Pittsburg.
The Ladycats trailed on just two occasions (16-17 in Game 2 and 0-1 in Game 3) as they displayed sound positioning on defense and good ball movement with their dual-setter offense. Woodby, celebrating her 16th birthday, registered her 12th kill on match point. Her teammates then broke into a happy birthday serenade.
The Lady Coyotes threatened to extend the match to another set when Paris head coach Britney Humphrey called timeout with her team clinging to an 18-17 lead in Game 3. When play resumed, Jackson destroyed Anna’s hopes with a pair of kills and two blocks to set the plate for Woodby’s match-winner.
Jackson, the junior middle blocker, tied Woodby for team-high honors with 12 kills, and she added 4 blocks and 3 aces to her impressive stat sheet.
Humphrey got a complete team effort from all eight players. Senior Zanesha Dangerfield had 9 kills, and freshman Quiniya Savage had 4 (3 in the pivotal first game). Senior libero Katy Hall notched 3 kills while anchoring the defense, and senior setters Deagan Dingman and Sunny Scruggs each contributed a kill while running the offense. Sophomore Quanterria Jenkins was a spark on her service rotations with 3 aces.
The Ladycats have now won three straight home matches to improve their season record to 16-12. They face a challenging district schedule with 4 of their first 5 matches on the road.
Meanwhile, it was a clean sweep for the Ladycats vs. Anna as both JV squads easily won their matches by 2-0 counts. The Paris JV Blue team was coming off a first-place finish in the Robin Hill Memorial Scholarship Tournament last weekend in Bonham.
Donovan Williams ends a 2-overtime, instant classic with his fourth touchdown for Paris
On his 27th and final carry of the evening, Paris High running back Donovan Williams found a hole in the Sulphur Springs defense carved out by teammates that was large enough to drive a golf cart through. The speedy Wildcat senior cut to the visitors’ sidelines and 25 yards later sprinted untouched then collapsed, face-down, in the corner of the Gerald Prim Stadium end zone.
Paris officially claimed a 26-23, double-overtime win to spoil the SSHS Homecoming before a packed crowd in an evenly-contested game that will go down as an instant classic in this 93-year old regional rivalry.
“We just kept running it and running it and running it,” an emotionally-drained Paris head coach Steven Hohenberger said. “Our line kept battling, and in the end, I think we just wore them down.”
Just two hours earlier, the thought of a pleasant ride home for the Lamar County faithful seemed out of the question. SSHS jumped out to a 14-0 lead by the end of the first quarter after burning an inexperienced Paris secondary on a couple of long Ryan Humphries TD passes.
There had been a week of soul-searching on the PHS campus after the team had taken a physical beating in a Week 2, 45-13 loss to Pleasant Grove. Another lopsided setback in Week 3 could have resulted in a negative ripple effect for a team still searching for its identity.
Instead, the offense trotted onto the field and 65 yards later Williams trotted past the SSHS goal line for the first of his four touchdowns on the evening. The big Paris offensive line (tackles Ashton Savage and Elijah Ellis, guards Zaccheus Ellis and Alex Rodriguez, center Kaleb Long, tight end Tre Perry), overpowered by PG just one week ago, was on track to redemption.
The beleaguered Paris defense did its part by forcing a punt and an interception by Jaylen Henderson on the next two SSHS possessions. In between, the Cats’ offense drove 69 yards but came away without points when a field goal attempt was spoiled by a faulty snap and hold.
The teams went to halftime with SSHS holding a 14-7 lead, but that quickly changed after intermission, and this annual Battle of the Wildcats became a crowd-pleasing, old-fashioned dog fight.
The Paris defense did its part with a 3-and-out after the second half kickoff to SSHS, and the Paris offense slugged out a 63-yard march that ended with Williams in the center of a scrum at the SSHS 5-yard line that Wildcat teammates pushed, pulled, and otherwise cajoled into the end zone to create a 14-14 tie game.
During the final, agonizing 19 minutes of regulation, each team had golden opportunities for go-ahead points. An apparent, 17-yard sideline catch by talented SSHS receiver Simeon Taylor was ruled out of bounds only after a lengthy conference by the two end zone officials. SSHS then missed a 41-yard field goal that hooked way left. Paris drove to the SSHS 34 only to see Williams stone-walled on 3 straight carries.
The overtime session was the first for Paris since 2010 in the first game ever played at Wildcat Stadium, a 27-24 win over Gainesville.
Paris went on offense first in the overtime, and SSHS let Williams slip out of the backfield on a pass pattern where junior QB Kobe Savage lofted a 30-yard TD completion. However, another errant snap and hold prevented the extra point kick and left Paris with the task of protecting a precarious 20-14 lead.
After SSHS tied the score, 20-20, on Cor’tavius Pruitt’s 19-yard run, place kicker Angel Tavera was in position to become the Homecoming hero, but his conversion kick barely cleared the linemen’s heads and hooked even more wildly left.
SSHS went back on offense in the second overtime, but a high center snap and pair of incompletions brought Tavera back on the field for a field goal try from 36 yards. This time, he was on mark and SSHS went up, 23-20.
The lead lasted two plays before the Paris offense decided to end it by giving the ball to Williams one last time. He finished with 163 yards on 27 carries. Savage added 68 yards rushing on 11 carries, while junior James Neal produced 36 on 6 rushes to give Williams some rest from the running back grind. Savage also completed 5 of 8 pass attempts for another 73 yards through the air to allow Paris to outgain SSHS in total yardage, 351-297.
The Paris defense showed good sideline-to-sideline pursuit in taking away SSHS’ vaunted bubble screens. Cornerback Cam Jones had 7 solo tackles, while defensive end Vershaud Richardson was credited with 14 total tackles and linebacker Gerald Palmer had 11. Eight other Paris defenders were in on at least 5 tackles, including outside linebacker Perry Franklin, who had 3 big tackles behind the line of scrimmage.
The results left both teams with 2-1 records. Paris continues its rugged pre-district slate next Friday with a trip to Pittsburg, another school that will be celebrating Homecoming in a newly refurbished stadium.
How Wildcats’ Opponents Fared:
The Paris Ladycats made a clean sweep of all three volleyball matches Friday as they hosted Bonham in the Wildcat Gym. Paris (15-12) now closes out pre-district play Tuesday by hosting Anna back in the Wildcat Gym.
The Ladycats varsity topped the Lady Warriors, 25-16, 25-21, 25-18. Sophomore Grace Woodby notched 18 kills as she continues to lead the team in that offensive category. Junior Peaches Jackson had 12 kills. Senior Sunny Scruggs was credited with 4 kills, 18 assists, and 12 digs.
Paris opens District 14-4A play next Friday, Sept. 22, with a trip to Pittsburg. The district race figures to be a wide-open affair this season with defending champion North Lamar and runnerup Pleasant Grove rating as slight co-favorites.
Freshman Zy’kius Jackson sidesteps a pair of tacklers for a nice gain for the Paris freshmen
The Paris Wildcats freshman football team scored three times in the final seven minutes to outlast the Sulphur Springs Wildcats in an entertaining game Thursday night at Wildcat Stadium.
SSHS won the JV clash, 41-14, pulling away from the hometown Cats after leading at halftime by a 12-6 score. Both Paris sub-varsity squads return to Wildcat Stadium next Thursday, Sept. 21, to host Pittsburg in their next encounters.
Zy’kius Jackson scored on runs of 84, 44, and 36 yards to pace the Paris freshmen to their win. Jackson also had a 76-yard TD run nullified by an illegal block.
The Paris defense also contributed for a pair of scores. KD Washington returned a fumble 55 yards after a quarterback sack for the Cats’ first points, and Santwan Gray picked off an SSHS pass for an 80-yard interception return to give Paris its biggest lead of the night, 47-32, with 1:10 remaining in the game.
Quarterback Javin Cary found Washington on TD throws of 46 and 58 yards, while Jesus Rangel kicked 5 extra points to complete the scoring ledger for the Paris freshmen.
In the JV game, SSHS jumped out to a 12-0 lead before Paris closed to within 12-6 on an 8-yard run by Dyvarious Douglas just 54 seconds before halftime. Using their polished passing attack, SSHS extended the lead to 27-6 before Paris scored again on a 38-yard pass from David Medina to Trevon Dennis with 9:06 left in the game. The visitors then scored twice more to secure the win.
Joey Mecaskey-LaRue and Tavarious Nickerson recovered fumbles for the Paris defense.
Each month Paris High staff recognizes a student who goes above and beyond the norm of student expectations to help make the school a better place for learning. The February winner is Payne Couts. See monthly winners on our Students of the Month page.
Paris High juniors (from left) Jeremy Seals, Evelyn Brown, Ansley Downs, and Alyssa Tacuyan have been selected to attend the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) camp. Read more.
Deon Minor Relays. Wildcat Stadium will be the site of the annual Deon Minor Relays Thursday, March 22, as the Wildcats and Ladycats track teams welcome other regional schools to this big pre-district warmup meet. Field events will start about 3 p.m. with running finals around 5:30.
District Soccer. The Paris Ladycats and Wildcats varsity soccer teams host Bonham for a District 11-4A doubleheader Tuesday at Wildcat Stadium. The girls game starts at 5:30 p.m. followed by the boys at 7:15.