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The Paris High boys cross country team won their second meet of the season Saturday, placing first at the North Lamar Invitational.
Senior Matt Cochran finished first individually, while sophomore JP Rojas was third, senior Seth Hudgins fourth, sophomore Kyler Beshirs fifth, and freshman Gavyn Hollje eighth. Junior Lilly Lewis finished 10th among varsity girls.
The next scheduled action for Paris will be Saturday in Mount Pleasant.
Donovan Williams (25) breaks through a hole opened in the Pirate line for a 12-yard TD that gives the Cats a 14-7 lead
It takes a real commitment to be a Paris Wildcat fan for the 2016 football season. A Homecoming game scheduled for a 7:30 kickoff Friday at Wildcat Stadium didn’t end until nearly 1 a.m. Saturday. When it did finally end, the scoreboard showed the Pittsburg Pirates on the winning end of a 49-35 ledger. Only a handful of diehard fans remained to watch the final seconds tick away.
The casual fans who are fashionably late, hang around to watch the halftime show, then make an early departure to avoid end of game traffic would have a hard time explaining Paris’ 2-2 season record.
They certainly were nowhere to be found when the Cats made a long return trip to Terrell on a hot Saturday August afternoon to play their opening game 18 hours after a freak thunderstorm delayed the scheduled start.
They probably weren’t in the stands during the following two games when the Cats overcame two-score deficits to beat Pleasant Grove and Sulphur Springs.
And they sure couldn’t be found early Saturday morning when the Pirates (3-1) converted great field position to score on short drives of 13, 31, and 54 yards against an exhausted Paris defense and spoil Homecoming 2016.
Spectators and school staff were exhausted, too, after nearby lightning strikes caused the opening kickoff to be pushed back almost 90 minutes as the crowd was ordered out of the stadium to their cars or shelter in the nearby high school gym. The lightning detector issued an all-clear call allowing play to begin, but soon after the Pirates scored on their opening drive the detector flashed again, stopping play once more.
By the time play resumed, it was already past 10 o’clock. Neither band returned along with a majority of both schools’ fans.
They missed an impressive performance by Pirate wide receiver Dejour Dowell, who caught 6 passes for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns and set the winning Pitt drive in motion with a 59-yard kickoff return. Sophomore quarterback Jaylon Jimmerson, meanwhile, threw 3 touchdowns and ran for another.
Paris quarterback Ja’Kerion Brown rushed for 131 yards and passed for 126 more, but the Wildcat offense needed to approach perfection to keep pace with the Pirates in the fourth quarter. This time, it couldn’t.
Once again, the Cat defense was led in tackles by linebacker Dre McKinney (11 solo, 18 total). Linebacker Tyrel McCalester was also in tackle double figures with 13 along with a fumble recovery.
Paris played most of the second half without senior defensive back TD Williams, who was injured on offense during the Cats’ third-quarter drive which tied the game one final time at 28-all. Undoubtedly, the Cats missed his stabilizing presence on the field as Pitt closed out the game on a 21-7 run.
Paris now prepares to complete the pre-district portion of their schedule with their toughest test to date: A marathon trip Friday to Argyle (3-0) to face the second-ranked Eagles.
Only the truly committed will make the journey with them. They can only hope for good weather.
How Wildcat Opponents Fared:
Emily Williams hits the floor for a one-handed bump save at Chisum
It’s Homecoming week at Paris High. Appropriately, volleyball coach Britney Humphrey enjoyed a personal homecoming Tuesday when she took her squad to the school that gave her a head coaching start. They returned with a sweep over the Chisum Lady Mustangs, 25-21, 25-18, 25-15.
The Ladycats raised their season record to 14-13 with the win just 10 days before starting District 14-4A play. Paris travels to Anna on Tuesday to close out the pre-district portion of their schedule.
Once again, it was a stint by junior libero Katy Hall at the service line that set the match momentum. The Ladycats went from a 9-11 deficit in Game 1 to a 15-11 lead with Hall dropping in 3 unreturned serves.
When the Lady Mustangs battled back within a point, 20-19, Dextiny Patrick put the brakes on the Chisum comeback with a service break slam. A Javouseya Sims ace that skipped over the net was followed by a Zanesha Dangerfield kill and another Patrick point that helped close out the opening game.
Paris broke away from a 3-3 tie in Game 2 and never trailed the rest of the way.
Patrick, the senior middle blocker and Homecoming Queen nominee, led the way with 12 kills and 2 blocks. Junior Dangerfield added 6 kills and a block, while senior Lindi Hamner had 4 kills, 2 blocks, and 2 aces. Hall chipped in 3 backline kills to go with 4 aces.
The schools split preliminary matches. The Chisum freshmen beat the Paris JV White, 2-1, while the Paris JV Blue won, 2-0.
Dre McKinney (9) powers out of a tackle to plunge into the end zone for the winning 2-point conversion
For the second straight week, the Paris Wildcats showed enough grit to overcome earlier mistakes and seize control of a football game in crunch time.
Last week it was a 23-22 victory over Pleasant Grove where they overcame a 12-point deficit to score the game-winner with 35 seconds to spare. Friday at Wildcat Stadium it was a chain of fourth-quarter events which enabled Paris to erase a 14-point Sulphur Springs lead to notch the go-ahead points with 1:33 remaining then defend the 1-point edge with a final defensive stand.
The win was their first since 2011 over their fellow Wildcats from Hopkins County and raised their season record to 2-1 with the Pittsburg Pirates (2-1) looming as the guest opponent for Friday’s Homecoming back at Wildcat Stadium. Fans should probably not plan to make an early exit from their seats.
After scoring on their first two possessions to take a 14-7 lead, the hometown Cats sputtered on offense with 4 fumbles and 2 interceptions making for 4 turnovers that paved the way for the visitors to carve out a 28-14 advantage entering the final quarter of play.
But goats can easily become heroes in a sport played with a prolate spheroid. A trio of Paris seniors, in particular, proved the point.
Dre McKinney, who anchors the Paris defense, became the primary weapon in the Cats’ short-yardage, power running game and scored 4 touchdowns on a rugged 11 carries for 39 yards. He also willed his way into the end zone for the winning two-point conversion run after Paris elected to eschew a tie and probable overtime situation to gamble for the win. McKinney owned 2 of those earlier fumbles on offense.
Jalon Pipkins, despite drawing a crowd as Paris’ primary deep threat from his wide receiver position, made a pair of circus catches among his 3 receptions for 106 yards that were crucial in the comeback. His 68-yard TD catch from Ja’Kerion Brown tied the game, 28-all, with 6:18 remaining. He made an even more spectacular grab on fourth down against double coverage to keep the game-winning drive alive. The Paris basketball standout earlier in the game mistimed a jump that allowed SSHS standout Simeon Taylor to haul in a 38-yard heave from Ryan Humphries and achieve a 14-14 tie.
And then there’s Brown, the diminutive quarterback and focal point of the offense’s biggest plays, both good and not-so-good. His two interception throws and a lateraled fumble hamstrung the Paris attack in the middle portions of the game, but he was a huge factor down the stretch. He hooked up with Jordan Furtch on 3 aerial connections for for 43 yards that fueled Paris’ first scoring drive of the fourth quarter. He found Pipkins over the middle for the 68-yard catch-and-run on the next drive. Brown saved the best for last when he teamed up with Pipkins again to convert a critical fourth-and-10 then set up McKinney’s last TD plunge with a 19-yard scramble to the SSHS 2-yard line. Brown passed for 226 yards on 12 of 23 attempts and rushed for 77 yards on 13 carries.
It was a bittersweet ending for SSHS (1-2) and junior QB Humphries, who completed 14 of 23 passes for 225 yards and 4 scores. Humphries engineered a final frantic drive from the SSHS 22 against a prevent-minded Paris defense that ended at the Paris 31.
As time expired, Humphries ducked to avoid a blitzing McKinney only to be subdued by a collapsing circle of Cat defenders Tyrel McCalester, Demetric Glover, and Vershaud Richardson. While McKinney again topped the tackling stats with 15, McCalester registered 12, and Richardson 10 along with his second punt block of the season.
|Jalon Pipkins hauls in 68-yard TD catch from Ja’Kerion Brown, then the pair unite for an end zone celebratory bump
How Wildcat Opponents Fared:
Katy Hall gets one of her three backline kills to drop as Lindi Hamner (13), Zanesha Dangerfield (10), Deagan Dingman, and Javouseya Sims cover the court
Playing one of their best matches of the season, the Paris Ladycats quickly disposed of the Wills Point Lady Tigers, 25-21, 25-9, 25-15, Friday in a vollleyball match in the Wildcat Gym that took 65 minutes to finish.
The pre-district rematch didn’t start like a walk in the park for Paris, who were swept by the Lady Tigers three weeks ago at a tournament in Wills Point. Paris head coach Britney Humphrey had to call an early timeout for a team tonque-lashing after her squad started Game 1 in a 1-6 hole. Humphrey’s message was well-received, as the Ladycats went on a 6-0 run following the timeout to seize the lead and match momentum.
Although WP would eventually regain a 17-14 advantage, a Lindi Hamner sideout kill followed by a 7-0 Katy Hall service run proved to be the critical difference in securing a 25-21 Game 1 win.
It was all downhill for Paris in Games 2 and 3. Another Hamner sideout and a 5-0 service run by setter Deagan Dingman this time had the Lady Tigers calling timeout on the ropes at 0-6. They never recovered as their serve-receive and passing game hit the skids.
Paris closed out Game 2 on an 8-0 run with Dingman back on the service line, and the Ladycats continued control in Game 3 with a 4-0 start. Although the Lady Tigers would work back to a 6-6 tie, WP never gained a lead.
When WP pulled within 12-11, Humphrey called her first, and only, timeout of Game 3, and her squad returned to the court for a 5-0 run to provide some final separation. A Dextiny Patrick block and Javouseya Sims ace finished the match.
The Ladycats pulled back to break-even for the season at 13-13 with a total team effort. Among frontcourt players, Hamner topped out with 6 kills and 3 blocks, while Patrick had 4 kills and the block. Zanesha Dangerfield had 6 kills, and Sims and Anahdian Mitchell managed 5 apiece.
On the backline, Hall provided 3 kills and 2 aces from her libero position, setter Dingman had a kill and 2 aces, and defensive specialist Sarah Bloodworth was a stablizer during her stints on the service line.
Paris travels to nearby Chisum, where Humphrey coached the past two seasons, on Tuesday. The Ladycats’ final pre-district match will be on Sept. 20 at Anna. They begin District 14-4A play on Sept. 23 at Atlanta.
Paris Wildcats sub-varsity football teams managed to split their games Thursday at Sulphur Springs. The freshmen lost, 25-7, while the JV won, 26-21.
Do’Rian Williams had the only touchdown scored by the freshmen Cats on a 68-yard run that cut the SSHS lead to 19-7 in the third quarter. The Paris freshmen are now 0-3 for the season.
The Paris JV produced the winning drive in their game late in the third quarter when Ty Garvin dove in from a yard out, then added a two-point conversion run. James Neal scored a pair of first-half TDs on runs of 5 and 60 yards. A 26-yard TD pass from Anqurrus Harris to Cameron gave Paris a 12-0 start by the midway point of the second quarter.
The win lifted the Paris JV to 2-1 for the season. The two squads continue pre-district play next Thursday at Pittsburg.
The Paris Ladycats dropped their third straight match Tuesday in the Wildcat Gym, but in the process, they may have returned to full strength as they enter the final pre-district stretch before starting district play on Sept. 23 at Atlanta.
Badly in need of a major sparkplug, the Paris volleyball team, now 12-13 for the season, welcomed back senior middle blocker Lindi Hamner after a two-week injury absence. With her team down, 7-15, to the Melissa Lady Cardinals in the opening game, Hamner entered the rotation and provided an immediate momentum changer with 3 kills and 3 blocks down the stretch.
The Lady Cardinals held on to win Game 1, 25-21, and ultimately take the match, 25-21, 22-25, 25-20, 25-14, but Paris head coach Britney Humphrey left the court feeling better about her team’s progress with just 3 pre-district matches remaining.
With a full complement of players in the lineup, Paris erupted to an 11-2 start in Game 2. Melissa fought back to tie the score twice before points by junior libero Katy Hall and senior middle blocker Dextiny Patrick provided some needed separation. A drop kill by junior setter Deagan Dingman gave the Ladycats 3 game points, and a Melissa kill error evened the match at 1-1.
The pivotal third game was tied at 10 before 5 straight Lady Cardinal points gave Melissa a lead it would not lose. Paris pulled within 17-18, but a 4-0 Melissa run punctuated by a slide kill from outstanding 6-1 sophomore Susan Blake proved too much to overcome. Blake gave Melissa a 2-1 lead with a spike off a Ladycat block.
After a Patrick spike inched the Ladycats within 9-10 in Game 4, Melissa found another gear to finish out the match on a 15-5 run.
Hamner finished with 10 kills and 5 blocks, while Patrick recorded 7 kills. Dingman was credited with 18 assists, 3 aces, and 8 digs. Hall added 13 digs, 2 kills, and 2 aces, and senior Anahdian Mitchell had 10 digs.
Paris hosts Wills Point on Friday for three matches starting at 5 p.m.
Wildcat players mob Jordan Furtch on sidelines after his second interception of the game and fourth of the season seals a win over Pleasant Grove
Paris Wildcat football fans witnessed a rarity last week in the team’s 29-0 loss to Terrell. It was the first time the school had been shut out in 9 years. In Friday’s home opener at Wildcat Stadium, they saw something almost as unusual in a 23-22 victory over the Pleasant Grove Hawks.
It was the first come-from-behind win over a quality opponent in the final minutes since the 2014 playoff win over an undefeated Van team, a span of 15 games over 3 seasons.
After falling behind, 10-22, to the Hawks with 3:29 remaining in the third quarter, the Cats scored the final 13 points on a pair of long, sustained drives to take the lead on JaKerion Brown’s 6-yard quarterback scramble with 35.3 seconds left in the game.
The Paris defense then sealed the deal when Jordan Furtch snared his second interception of the game (and fourth of the young season). The win evens the Cats’ record at 1-1. The game was the official opener for PG, which was idle last week.
The lack of game experience for PG may have benefitted Paris, which collected 4 Hawk turnovers plus a punt block. In addition to Furtch’s pass pickoffs, Jalon Pipkins recorded his first INT of the season. TD Williams also claimed a fumble recovery after a hit by Dre McKinney.
The Hawks also drew more penalty flags (12 for 90 yards) compared to the Cats (10 for 65). Still, PG was able to take a 16-10 halftime lead with a rushing attack that featured burly Keshawn Jones (26 carries for 168 yards). Paris made enough defensive adjustments in the second half to keep the game in check and allow the offense a stage to generate the winning points.
McKinney, the Cats’ senior linebacker, was credited with 19 tackles (10 solo) and now has racked up 42 stops in just 2 games. Another senior linebacker, Tyrel McAlester, was in on 11 tackles. Furtch also hit the double digit mark with 10 tackles, while Zanderius Hearn topped the defensive line with 10. Sophomore Vershaud Richardson had 7 solo tackles and the punt block.
For the second straight week the Cats started a game in a big hole due, in part, to a mis-firing offense and special teams. The Hawks were awarded a safety when a short punt snap led to an intentional grounding call in the end zone. PG added their first touchdown a couple of minutes later after a short drive following the free kick.
The dubious shutout streak ended for Paris 60 minutes and 48 seconds into the season when Brown lofted a 6-yard pass to the 6-3 Pipkins. The basketball star out-jumped his defender to pull down the catch and pull Paris within 9-7 as the second quarter began.
Paris would take the lead, 10-7, on a 30-yard field goal by Zach Lamb which was set up by a Richardson’s punt block.
The Hawks parlayed a long kickoff return into a 49-yard march to reclaim the lead, 16-10, just before halftime, and had to travel just 48 yards for a third-quarter score which padded the lead to 22-10 before Paris staged its comeback.
The Cats return to Wildcat Stadium Friday to welcome regional rival Sulphur Springs (1-1), which took a working vacation to Orlando, FL, Friday where the Hopkins County Wildcats lost to Seminole Ridge, 49-10.
How Wildcat Opponents Fared:
JaKerion Brown avoids two tacklers and scrambles into the end zone for the game’s winning points
Deagan Dingman back-sets Dextiny Patrick for a kill shot that helps Paris take Game 1
The Paris Ladycats claimed the key points down the stretch to win their opening game in Friday’s pre-district volleyball match vs. Texas High in the Wildcat Gym. But things fell apart from there as the Lady Tigers left town with a 22-25, 25-16, 25-19, 25-11 win.
Paris had beaten Texas High two weeks ago in the Wills Point Tournament, but the Ladycats had one of their two top middle blockers in the lineup for that match. With senior Lindi Hamner sidelined by a leg injury, the Ladycats had a tough time matching up against the taller Lady Tigers’ frontline.
Still, Paris jumped out to a 1-0 start. The Ladycats broke an 18-18 tie with a kill by their other frontline stalwart, senior Dextiny Patrick, sandwiched between two other points off Texas High miscues. When the Lady Tigers threatened to close the gap, junior Zanesha Dangerfield had a couple of awkward, but effective, kills to help finish Game 1.
Unfortunately, it was all downhill after that, and it wasn't the direction Paris coach Britney Humphrey wanted her team to follow. The remaining three games were all Texas High, which jumped to big leads in each.
Paris saw its season record even at 12-12. The Ladycats host Melissa Tuesday in the Wildcat Gym with a trio of matches starting at 5 p.m.
With the 2016 varsity football season home opener coming up Friday, Sept. 2, it’s a good time to remind everyone about procedures governing attendance by Paris ISD students at varsity home games.
Sections A and B (south end of the home side bleachers nearest Loop 286) are reserved for Paris ISD students only. An additional concession stand and restroom facilities are available for convenient student access at the south end of the stadium.
Any PISD student, grades pre-K through 12, must either sit with a parent/guardian or in the designated student sections. PISD students will be issued wristbands when they purchase their tickets. They must wear the wristbands when they enter the stadium and may not remove the wristbands while at the game.
The wristband will be used by PISD administrative staff to record visits to the concession stand and/or restroom facilities. A student will be allowed to leave the bleachers to visit that area twice during a game. If the student leaves the bleachers a third time, he or she will be removed from the stadium.
Other provisions of the policy remain the same from previous seasons:
The Paris Ladycats fell to 12-11 for the volleyball season with a 25-23, 25-18, 25-13 loss at Sulphur Springs Tuesday. SSHS also swept both sub-varsity matches. The Ladycats varsity hosts Texas High Friday, 4:30 p.m., in the Wildcat Gym.
Jordan Furtch looks for running room after his second pass interception
The sudden cloudburst above Terrell Memorial Stadium Friday night that forced postponement of the Paris Wildcats’ scheduled football opener was a reminder of the unpredictable nature of Texas weather.
When the Wildcat players, coaches, cheerleaders, and very close circle of friends and family returned to Terrell 16 hours later, they were met with a more harsh reminder why few Texas schools choose to play Saturday afternoon games in August on artificial turf fields.
Although temperatures were slightly below average, a thin wispy cloud cover did little to shelter participants and spectators from the summer sun’s UV rays. Umbrellas brought along to guard against another cloudburst instead were unfurled as solar shields as the Tigers handed the Wildcats their first shutout in nine seasons, 29-0. The last time a Paris team failed to score a point was 2007 in a 41-0 pounding at Noyes Stadium at the hands of the Mount Pleasant Tigers.
In the modern era of wide-open spread offenses, shutouts are rare. So are sub 200-yard offensive showings. The Cats could only manage 140 total yards, their lowest team output since Quez Allen’s sophomore season.
Both teams were very one-dimensional. Paris passed for just 36 yards on 3 completions, all to Kelo Scott. Terrell, playing without injured veteran quarterback Klayton Henderson, managed just 30 on 1 completion.
When a pair of interceptions by junior cornerback Jordan Furtch stopped two Terrell first-half drives, the Tigers turned to workhorse running back Elijah McQueen (27 carries for 196 yards) to wear down a beleaguered Paris defense.
A tough Terrell defense, meanwhile, chipped in 9 of the winning 26 points with a fumble recovery in the end zone on the Cats’ first possession of the game and a safety to start the fourth quarter.
The Wildcat defense kept it close for a half (0-10), but the unit was worn down by the oppressive sun and steady ground barrage from McQueen and Co. The Cat offense offered their defensive brothers little time for a sideline breather amid a cacophony of bobbled snaps, fumbles (3 lost), and busted plays. Two more turnovers came on special teams with a fumbled kickoff and roughing the punter penalty.
After the final touchdown, the stadium PA announced the score as “Terrell Tigers 26, Palestine Wildcats 0.” Luckily, the Cats didn’t lose their bearings on the trip home, where they now try to correct the miscues in time to host the Pleasant Grove Hawks Friday night at Wildcat Stadium.
The Hawks had an open date so this pre-district game will serve as their season opener.
How Wildcat Opponents Fared:
For the third straight time, the Paris Ladycats varsity volleyball team finished strong on Day 2 of a volleyball tournament. The Ladycats won the championship of the Challengers Bracket Saturday in Whitesboro.
They swept matches with Valley View, Collinsville, and Gainesville. During pool play on Thursday Paris started with a win over Tom Bean before dropping matches with Denison and Pottsboro to finish third in the pool.
Paris used Friday to host Sherman in the Wildcat Gym. The varsity lost, 14-25, 21-25, 24-26. The Ladycats JV Blue won, while the JV White lost.
The Ladycats, now 12-10, continue pre-district Tuesday with a trip to Sulphur Springs before closing out the week on Friday by hosting Texas High.
The Paris Wildcats lost both ends of their season-opening, sub-varsity doubleheader Thursday night at Wildcat Stadium to the Terrell Tigers. The freshmen Cats were swamped, 48-6, while the Paris JV dropped a closer, 14-7 decision.
Terrell held a 26-0 halftime lead in the freshman game behind a dominant running attack and added TD runs of 39, 83, and 40 in the second half.
Paris finally got on the scoreboard with 3:29 remaining in the third quarter on a 23-yard run by Do’Rian Williams. Deuntre Adamson kicked the extra point. A long pass completion from Kentraevious Johnson to Zakivion Blake keyed the 58-yard scoring drive.
In the JV game, a trio of first-half interceptions helped stake Paris to a 7-0 halftime lead. The turnovers included a 31-yard interception return by Luke Kyle. The pick-6 and conversion kick by Antonio Saavedra came with 5:18 left in the first quarter.
Terrell penalties and interceptions by Cameron Jones and Ty Garvin stymied the Tigers in the opening half, but the visitors managed a pair of scoring drives, including the game-winner with less than two minutes remaining, to come from behind in the second half.
The Paris sub-varsities travel to Texarkana next Thursday for a pair of games against Pleasant Grove.
The Paris Ladycats varsity volleyball team climbed above the .500 mark for the first time this season with a 3-game sweep at Leonard on Tuesday, 25-10, 25-9, 25-17.
Junior setter Deagan Dingman collected 23 assists, and junior libero Katy Hall managed 25 digs. Junior Zanesha Dangerfield had 7 kills, senior Linda Hamner 6 kills, and senior Javousey Sims added 16 digs.
The Ladycats, now 8-7 for the season after winning 7 of their last 9 matches, will play in the Whitesboro Tournament Thursday before hosting Sherman Friday in the Wildcat Gym for their home opener. The varsity match starts at 4:30 p.m. followed by freshmen and JV.
Ladycats capture consolation title at Wills Point Tournament
The Paris Ladycats varsity volleyball team brought back another piece of hardware from tournament play over the weekend and climbed to the .500 season mark in the process. The Ladycats, now 7-7, travel to Leonard on Tuesday to continue pre-district play.
Paris edged Kaufman, 27-25, 25-21, Saturday to claim the consolation crown of the Wills Point Hardman Tournament. Junior Zanesha Dangerfield knocked down 6 aces in that match.
Earlier in the day the Ladycats lost to host Wills Point, 26-28, 20-25, to start play in the championship bracket. They bounced back with a 25-14, 24-26, 25-17 win over Texas High. Senior Lindi Hamner had 9 kills and junior Deagan Dingman recorded 25 assists.
The Ladycats went 2-1 on Friday to finish second in their pool. They started with a 26-28, 25-21, 26-24 comeback win over Greenville. Hamner collected 14 kills, senior Dextiny Patrick had 11 kills and 4 blocks, Dingman had 37 assists, and junior Katy Hall notched 17 digs.
Paris then swept Mineola, 25-12, 25-22, behind Dingman’s 20 assists. The Ladycats fell to Mount Pleasant, 21-25, 25-16, 19-25, to finish out group play. Hamner collected 10 kills in that match.
Donovan Williams sprints free for a 79-yard TD run for the Wildcats
Blame it on the rain.
Whether it was the weather delay due to lightning in the area or the intermittent light rain that fell throughout Thursday night’s football scrimmage at Wildcat Stadium, the Denison Yellow Jackets put a damper on what had been an upbeat Paris Wildcat preseason camp with a 17-15 decision during two full quarters of live game action.
The teams simulated all normal aspects of a regular half of play except no pressure and no returns were allowed on kicks.
The Cats, who had shut down 7th-ranked Celina in their first scrimmage just one week ago, didn’t show the same crispness and enthusiasm against Class 5A Denison, which raced out to a 17-2 lead midway through the second quarter of action. The Paris offense finally broke junior running back Donovan Williams free for a 79-yard touchdown sprint with just 2:16 remaining in the session.
The Jackets then fumbled a handoff that senior outside linebacker Tyrel McCalester picked up and returned 11 yards for a defensive TD that closed the gap to 17-15 with 1:32 left to play. The Cats elected to go for a two-point conversion and the tie, but senior Ja’Kerion Brown’s back-shoulder fade pass to senior Jalon Pipkins seemed to be a case of simultaneous possession between Pipkins and the Jacket defender. At any rate, the two tumbled out of the end zone and back onto the field of play and no points were awarded.
A fumbled Denison snap had previously given Paris its only other points of the evening when McCalester tackled the Jacket quarterback in the end zone.
Denison scored on its first possession with a 37-yard field goal that was set up by a long pass completion against a blown Wildcat coverage.
A negative-2-yard punt set up the Jackets for a 13-yard drive in two plays to make it a 10-0 score with 6:30 left in the first quarter.
After an exchange of punts on the teams’ next possessions, the Cats had their best drive of the night, but it bogged down at the Denison 9 when Williams was tackled for a loss on 4th-and-1.
McCalester’s tackle for the two-point safety came two plays later, but the visitors rebounded on their next offensive series with a 63-yard, 5-play drive capped by a 32-yard, play-action pass for a 17-2 advantage.
The schools’ second-team units took the field for a controlled scrimmage following the live half. Paris had the only score in those remaining alternating series on a 3-yard run by senior Dre McKinney.
The Cats open the regular season next Friday, Aug. 26, at Terrell. Advance tickets for that game can be picked up in the athletic office on Thursday and Friday (until 1 p.m.) for $5 adults and $3 students. All tickets at the game will be $6.
Deagan Dingman back-sets for a Dextiny Patrick kill as Zanesha Dangerfield (10) and Coach Britney Humphrey eye the play.
When Britney Humphrey returned to Paris High this year to take over the reigns of the Ladycats’ volleyball program, she knew she had inherited four veteran stalwarts for her match rotation. That foursome: Senior middle blockers Dextiny Patrick and Lindi Hamner, junior setter Deagan Dingman, and junior libero Katy Hall played prominent roles in Tuesday’s 25-18, 25-11, 25-21 sweep at Prairiland.
But it was a trio of varsity newcomers whose supporting roles in court coverage, block assists, ball saves, and occasional kills that made the 3-game sweep possible. Senior Anahdian Mitchell and juniors Javouseya Sims and Zanesha Dangerfield may not make the statistical haul that the four returning veterans provide on a nightly basis, but they showed, at least on Tuesday, that they could be dependable cogs for the 2016 season.
While Patrick and Hamner took turns anchoring frontline play and Dingman and Hall had their shining moments, particularly at the service line, the Ladycats dominated the pre-district match because they had a huge advantage in making less unforced errors. Those same court mistakes were a big reason Paris posted a substandard 13-24 record just one year ago.
After Paris took the opening set, 25-18, the Ladycats took control of Game 2 and the match by breaking away from a 5-5 tie. With Dingman at the service line, Hamner started a 7-0 run with a nice slide kill followed by a block and a dig kill from Hall. Following a Prairiland timeout, the run continued with two more Hamner blocks.
A kill by Sims, another Hamner block and kill, and a pair of Lady Patriot errors ended the Game 2 rout, but the hosts rebounded in Game 3 and threatened to extend the match when they fought back to take a 19-18 lead.
Dangerfield had a key kill to stop the slide, and a trip to the service line by Hall was the cure the Ladycats needed to close out the match. She had a trio of unreturned serves, including a couple of aces, plus a big saving dig that preceded another Sims point to push Paris to the win brink. A kill by Sims ended the match.
Paris, 3-5, but winners in 3 of its last 4 matches, hopes to keep the momentum going into this weekend’s Hardman Invitational Tournament in Wills Point. The Ladycats open pool play on Friday vs. Greenville (2 p.m.), Mineola (5 p.m.), and Mount Pleasant (7 p.m.) Bracket play will be Saturday.
Senior quarterback Ja’Kerion Brown scored the only two touchdowns of the evening as the Paris High varsity played a preseason scrimmage Friday at Celina Bobcat Stadium. The Cats outscored Celina, 1-0, in touchdowns, during the controlled portion of the scrimmage before winning a live quarter, 7-0.
Brown had 8 carries for 122 yards and the 2 scores. He also teammed with senior Jalon Pipkins to complete 2 of 4 passes for 24 yards. Brown played running back and slot receiver in his previous two varsity seasons with Paris.
Junior Montavius McCarty had 1 rush for 31 yards, while junior Donovan Williams had 8 carries for 25 yards against the Bobcats, who were state finalists in Class 4A-II last season. Celina did not cross midfield during the first part of the scrimmage, and when the Bobcats threatened to score during the live quarter, Pipkins intercepted a pass to end the threat.
The Cats will hold their second and final scrimmage Thursday when they host Denison at Wildcat Stadium. Freshmen are scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m. followed by JV at 5:30 and varsity at 7. Denison outscored North Lamar, 6-0, in touchdowns Friday in a scrimmage at Munson Stadium.
The Paris Ladycats varsity volleyball team finished the first week of the season with a pair of wins on Saturday to take third place in the silver bracket at the Van Tournament.
The Ladycats beat Arp, 25-20, 25-11, in the third-place match. Junior setter Deagan Dingman collected 15 assists, 12 digs, and 4 aces in the final match.
Pool play was shortened to just two matches on Friday due to weather-related power outage. Paris lost to Bullard, 25-19, 25-17, then fell to Groesbeck, 25-23, 22-25, 25-20.
In Saturday’s bracket play, Paris opened with a 25-19, 27-25 win over Mineola before losing to Spring Hill, 25-23, 25-11, setting up the third-place match vs. Arp.
Earlier in the week, the Ladycats lost both ends of a double-dual meet with Denison and Whitesboro. They fell to host Whitesboro, 25-16, 25-19, 25-12, despite 9 kills by senior Dextiny Patrick. Denison beat Paris in a tight match, 25-18, 26-28, 28-26, 25-23. Patrick had 10 kills and 5 blocks vs. the Lady Jackets, while senior Lindi Hamner had 8 kills and a block.
The Ladycats (2-5) take the short trip south to Prairiland Tuesday for three matches, starting at 4:30 p.m. with the freshmen and JV. Varsity should follow around 6.
Several Paris Wildcats earned selections for outstanding play during the recent baseball season, topped by junior Phillip Sikes, who was named co-MVP of the All-Red River Valley team and co-Defensive MVP of District 15-4A.
The All-RRV team is selected by The Paris News while league coaches pick the All-District team.
Sikes compiled a pitching record of 8-2 and played shortstop to lead the Cats to a 21-9 season record and 6-4 third-place finish in 15-4A. Senior Channing Parker was a first-team All-District pick at pitcher and also earned a first-team nod on the All-RRV squad.
Second team All-District berths went to senior first baseman Philip Nance, sophomore third baseman Zach Norris, senior catcher Tyler Sanders, senior rightfielder Forrest White, and senior designed hitter Cody Conway. Senior second baseman Payton Barrios, senior centerfielder Quinn Dillard, and junior leftfielder Corey Allen received honorable mention.
Nance and White were also first-team selections on the All-RRV team. Second team mentions were Allen, Barrios, and Norris. Receiving honorable mention were Conway, Dillard, and Sanders.
The Paris High Theater Department wrapped up a successful 2015-16 run recently with a banquet where theater co-sponsors Amy Burrows and Jayna Shull presented awards for outstanding achievement.
Senior Maggie Maxwell (right) received the Best Actress and Most Valuable Troupe Member awards. Maxwell was a cast member of the production of Disney’s High School Musical, was named to All-Star Cast of the UIL One Act Play Dark Road, and directed the recent production of Brothers Grimm Spectaculation.
|Meanwhile, other top awards went to seniors Caroline Janes and Alex Montellano for Best Supporting Actresses. Janes, Montellano, and Maxwell participated in One Act Play each of their four years at PHS. Sophomore Hannah England (bottom, left) received the Most Valuable Newcomer award and Abby Cannon (bottom, right) was selected Most Valuable Freshman.|
The Paris Education Foundation recently awarded scholarships totaling $108,250 to graduating seniors of the Class of 2016. Receiving awards were Quez Allen, Payton Barrios, Pharceni Battle, Patxsonnia Brown, Adlih Calderon, Katie Chaix, Macey Chapman, Sloan Clay, Mary Cobb, Cristiain Cortes, Da’Quayvious Council, Tamekia Dixon, Gabrielle Finch, Juan Flores, Justice Flowers, Kaitlin Frazier, Maria Gomez, Maria Gonzalez, Asia Garvin, Blaine Grissom, Ty Gray, X’zavius Gray, Evelyn Gulde, Mary Hervey, Mason Hamm, Caroline Janes, Brittanee’ Johnson, Mikayla Johnson, Onyxia Johnson, Mallory Kennedy, Sara Lancaster, Jada Lee, Maggie Maxwell, Quintarius Mitchell, Alexandrea Montellano, Jesus Morales, Romy Newberry, Omar Palomares, Channing Parker, Cheyenne Plummer, Shikha Prakash, Darius Samuels Jr., Tyler Sanders, Mallory Shoemake,Caitlin Simpson, Shreya Singh, Angeline Tacuyan, Kendra Thomas, Anna Grace Thrasher, Taylor Threadgill, Roman Villarreal, Katie Watson, Jeffery White, Alexis Willison, Erin Wright, Zoie Young, and Thomas Zimmerman.
After a listless 4-0 loss on Thursday to Athens in the opening game of their best-of-three Area Round playoff series, the Paris Wildcats returned to West Mesquite Tillery Field on Saturday hopeful not to go down without a fight.
They landed a haymaker in Game 2 as senior pitcher Channing Parker outdueled Hornets ace Brandon Boyd, 2-1, to even the series at a game apiece. They held the upper hand midway through Game 3 with a 2-0 lead and appeared to have the Hornets’ No. 3 pitcher, Paden Quade, teetering on the ropes.
But like the District 13 champions they are, the Hornets, coached by longtime PHS assistant Dallas Robertson, picked themselves off the canvas, regained the momentum with a 3-run fourth inning, and Quade found a second wind to finish the game by retiring 9 of the final 11 Paris batters he faced.
The Hornets won Game 3, 4-2, and advance to play North Lamar in this week’s regional quarterfinals in a 3-game series starting Thursday in Lindale.
“I spent 10 years over there,” Robertson told an Athens reporter after the game. “I told the boys that it was not going to be an easy day.”
The Cats quickly got the upper hand on Boyd, who came into the game with a perfect 8-0 record. Forrest White, normally the leadoff hitter but moved to No. 3 in the lineup on Saturday, lofted a shot over the centerfielder’s head for a 2-out double in the first inning.
Cleanup hitter Philip Nance (pictured left reacting to his RBI) then pulled a Boyd curve ball into the hole between shortstop and third to bring in the Cats’ first run.
More problems awaited Boyd in inning 2 as lefthander Corey Allen led off the inning with a single. Designated hitter Cody Conway followed with a walk. With 2 outs, shortstop Phillip Sikes lined a Boyd inside fastball into centerfield to drive in courtesy runner X’Tavous Young for a 2-0 lead.
Paris missed a chance for further separation in the third inning. With 2 outs, Zach Norris singled and Allen sent a double to be base of the rightfield fence. A groundout ended the Cats’ last best chance against Boyd.
Meanwhile, Parker, the Cats’ No. 2 pitcher who missed five district games with a shoulder injury, had the Hornets off-balance at the plate. When he needed an assist from his defense, he got it.
Catcher Tyler Sanders gunned down the speedy Landon Bynum trying to steal second base to end the first inning. An excellent play by second baseman Payton Barrios on a slow roller ended the second. And when Athens put together 2 of their 5 hits off Parker in the fifth, first baseman Nance ended the threat with an unassisted line-drive double play.
Parker only collected 4 strikeouts, but he stranded Bynum and his 2-out triple in the fourth by getting cleanup hitter Quade to chase a wicked third strike curve ball. Parker also got back-to-back strikeouts of the Hornets’ Nos. 1 and 2 hitters to end the sixth.
He still had to withstand a shaky seventh to get the series equalizer. Bynum led off with a double and scored Athens’ only run one out later on Alex Fernandez’ RBI single. Fernandez, who then stole second base, advanced to third on a groundout, but another infield grounder stranded the game’s potential tying run.
After a 30-minute wait, the teams returned to the field for Game 3 with Athens serving as home team.
The Hornets put their trust in Quade on the mound, but it looked like his outing might end early due to an incident on the basepaths. He led off the Athens second with a single, but was picked off first by Paris starter Norris and caught in a lengthy rundown. He was tagged out while trying to slide back to first and stayed down for several minutes.
The Hornets had another pitcher warming up in the bullpen, but Quade recovered in time to go back to the mound for the Paris third.
He was greeted by a Sikes leadoff single. Sikes stole second and advanced to third on a flyout. With 2 outs, Nance’s single brought him home. Norris followed with a double down the rightfield line to put runners at 2nd and 3rd, but the Cats lost a chance to deliver a knockout blow when a groundout ended the inning.
Still, they were back at it in the fourth. Sanders was beaned in the helmet to start the frame, and Conway bunted courtesy runner Zach DeLaGarza to second. With 2 outs, Sikes delivered a double down the third base line to score run No. 2.
The sophomore Norris (5-4), whose top pitching moments have primarily come in relief this year, lost command of his pitches in the fateful fourth. He walked Cameron Woodward, and Bynum followed with his third hit of the day.
The two Hornets runners moved up to second and third on a controversial call by the home plate umpire who ruled a passed ball on an apparent foul bunt off the bat of Quade.
Consecutive sacrifice flies tied the score at 2-all, but the Homets weren’t through. Boyd lined a double, and Luis Valdez sent him home with the go-ahead run on an RBI single.
The Cats sent Parker back to the mound in the fifth to try to keep it close, but he ran out of gas in the sixth when the Hornets tacked on an insurance run on a Bynum walk, bunt, and RBI single by Fernandez.
Paris changed pitchers once last time, and Nance got the final two outs. The Cats then went down, in order, in their final at-bat.
And so the Hornets (22-7) survive another playoff elimination round, and they did it because they were the more efficient team on Saturday. They only left 6 runners on base in combined Games 2 and 3, while the Cats left 15. They took advantage of their opportunities.
The Cats finish their season at 21-9. They will graduate a strong group of seven seniors including infielders Parker, Barrios, Nance, Conway, and Sanders, and outfielders White and Quinn Dillard.
Senior Tierra Yates saved her best throw for last to earn a medal at the Class 4A Track and Field Championships Saturday at Austin’s Mike Myers Stadium. Yates threw the discus 127 feet, 3 inches, to claim sixth place in the girls event. The winner was Orange Grove’s McKenzie Chapa with a throw of 147-11.
Fellow senior Quez Allen finished eighth in the boys discus with a throw of 143-0. Bullard’s Jacob Allen won the event with a 177-2.
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.