Students received their three-weeks academic progress reports on Tuesday during their second-period classes. The current grading cycle concludes with semester exams scheduled this Friday, Monday, and Tuesday.
All PISD campuses will be closed for the Christmas holidays beginning Wednesday, Dec. 20. School resumes with the second semester on Thursday, Jan. 4.
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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.
Coach Britney Humphrey huddles with the Ladycats during a timeout (photo by Joe Watson)
The Paris Ladycats finally got that elusive first home win Tuesday night, but not before head coach Britney Humphrey had to call two timeouts in the third and final set of a 25-19, 25-11, 25-23 win in the Wildcat Gym over nearby neighbor Chisum.
“I don’t want to go to another set,” Humphries told her team during the Game 3 timeouts. The first came just after an errant kill shot gave the Lady Mustangs a 14-13 lead. After Paris surged to a 21-17 advantage, Chisum used a service ace by co-captain Jalie Swaim mixed in with 3 Ladycat unforced errors to climb back to a 21-all tie.
Humphrey, who coached previously at Chisum, then called her final timeout to once again plea with her team to pick up their intensity and focus on putting the match away. When Chisum helped the Paris cause with a long serve and unforced error to give Paris a 23-21 lead, the Lady Mustangs then called their last timeout to regroup.
A Ladycat net serve and bad spike created the final tie at 23-all before an errant Chisum kill and Peaches Jackson block ended Paris’ 2017 home win drought. The Ladycats (14-12) had lost their previous 3 home appearances.
They return to the Wildcat Gym Friday to face Bonham before ending the pre-district portion of their schedule next Tuesday, Sept. 19, at home vs. Anna. District 14-4A play begins Sept. 22 at Pittsburg.
Paris broke away from a 13-13 tie in Game 1 to take the lead for good on a crosscourt kill by Zanesha Dangerfield followed by 3 straight Chisum errors.
The Ladycats never trailed in Game 2 although the Lady Mustangs closed to within 8-7 before a kill shot by freshman Quiniya Savage, a Sunny Scruggs knuckleball ace serve, and consecutive blocks by Grace Woodby and Deagan Dingman created breathing room. A Jackson block ended the second set and put Paris on the brink of a match win with a 2-0 lead.
In previous home losses the Ladycats’ serve-receive game failed them. This time it was generally solid, anchored by libero Katy Hall. Paris had only 5 bad serves the entire match.
Paris swept both JV matches by 2-0 counts.
Jaylen Henderson, followed by wingman Travius Bronner, provides a rare bright spot for Paris on a 96-yard kickoff return at Pleasant Grove
At the conclusion of each varsity football game, Paris High band director Charles Grissom gives band students a brief synopsis of their night’s performance before issuing a final directive to pick up the pieces and head home.
“We were never here,” he reminds them.
Wildcat football fans who made the 90-mile trek east to Texarkana’s Hawk Stadium Friday could empathize. They had just watched a physical Pleasant Grove Hawks’ team thoroughly dominate the Cats for most of two and a half hours on an otherwise pleasant evening of early-season Texas high school football.
Except for a couple of moments that energized the visitors’ bleachers, the hometown Hawks methodically used their old-school, wing-T offense and impenetrable defense to power past Paris, 45-13. The Cats, down 7-28 by halftime, were never really in the game.
PG controlled time of possession and held a 363 to 146 edge in total yardage. The Hawks seemed determined to not let Wildcat senior running back Donovan Williams beat them. They limited Williams to 44 yards on 18 carries.
Junior quarterback Kobe Savage had limited success running the ball for 46 yards and he completed 2 passes for 64 yards, both to senior slot receiver Montavius McCarty, to spark the Cats’ opening drive of the game. Savage’s 10-yard TD run momentarily tied the score at 7-7.
Wildcat senior safety Jordan Furtch stopped the Hawks on fourth down on the next PG possession with an outstanding open-field tackle. However, three plays later PG had the lead for good when 300 pounder Austin Toler picked up a Cat fumble and sprinted 37 yards.
Paris was in position to regain the tie when the Hawks fumbled a punt and Travius Bronner regained possession for the Cats at the PG 31. The Cats’ offense could gain just 6 yards on 4 downs.
PG then scored on its next two drives to take a comfortable, 28-7 halftime lead.
Furtch was the Cats’ leading tackler with 15 for the game (10 solo), but that’s never a good sign for a safety because it usually means your opponent has breeched your front line of defense.
The Hawks’ ground attack was spearheaded by fullback TJ Cole (21 carries for 133 yards and 2 scores) and running back Josh Roberts (7 for 66, 2 TDs). Toler also got into the act offensively, taking a pass from sophomore QB Ben Harmon 32 yards to the house to finish off the night’s scoring.
The only break from PG’s grinding dominance came near the end of the third quarter when the Cats pulled within 31-13 on a 96-yard kickoff return by junior safety Jaylen Henderson.
The future doesn’t get any easier for the Cats (1-1), who continue a tough pre-district schedule next Friday, Sept. 15, at longtime rival Sulphur Springs (2-0). The game will begin a three-game stretch of visits to newly renovated stadiums (Sulphur Springs, Pittsburg, Liberty-Eylau).
How Wildcats’ Opponents Fared:
The Paris Ladycats hope to discover some home cooking as they close out the pre-district portion of the volleyball schedule. The Paris varsity will be searching for its first win of the season on their Wildcat Gym home court Tuesday when they host Chisum. Freshmen and JV matches start at 4:30 p.m. followed by varsity.
The Chisum match starts a string of three straight home games before beginning District 14-4A play on Sept. 22 at Pittsburg. Paris, 13-12 for the season, hosts Bonham Friday and Anna next Tuesday, Sept. 19.
The Ladycats dropped a close match last Friday at Wills Point, 21-25, 23-25, 25-22, 18-25. Senior libero Katy Hall was credited with 25 digs, while senior setter Deagan Dingman notched 31 assists. Junior Peaches Jackson posted 14 kills and 12 blocks.
The Pleasant Grove Hawks proved to be gracious guests Thursday, allowing the Paris Wildcats to win the turnover battle, 8-3, and survive with a 27-20 win in JV football at Wildcat Stadium.
There was only one sub-varsity game played Thursday as the schools combined their freshmen and JV squads. The Cats’ freshmen and JV teams return to Wildcat Stadium next Thursday, Sept. 14, to host Sulphur Springs in a doubleheader.
The Paris-PG game was not decided until the final play when a Hawk pass from the Paris 1-yard one was deflected in the end zone by Kentavious Johnson. PG had two drives in the final 3 minutes that were thwarted by the opportunistic Paris defense.
Jalen Gray returns a PG takeaway for a touchdown to protect the Paris lead
With the Cats clinging to a 21-20 lead, the Hawks had a 1st-and-goal at the Paris 3, but two plays later freshman linebacker Jalen Gray stole the ball from a Hawk ball carrier and sprinted 82 yards for an insurance score and 27-20 lead. Gray had a big role in the win, causing 2 of PG’s 5 fumbles and stopping an extra point run which would have given the Hawks a 22-21 advantage.
Paris hauled in three interceptions in the third quarter to protect a 21-14 halftime lead. Johnson had the first interception, while freshman Santwan Gray picked two. Defensive linemen Hunter O’Neal and Leander Butler recovered PG fumbles which started Paris drives that ended with a pair of acrobatic TD catches by Jadarias Dillard.
Freshman Javan Cary completed a 25-yard pass to Dillard, who out-jumped two defenders for possession for the game’s first score midway through the opening period. Kick placement holder Dyvarious Douglas took the EP snap and raced to the end zone to give Paris a lead it would never surrender, 8-0.
After PG closed the gap to 8-6, the Cats used long runs by Dillard and Johnson to score midway through the second quarter on a 7-yard run by Dillard. Rino Moore kicked the extra point to increase the lead to 15-6.
Johnson hooked up with Dillard on a 54-yard bomb with just 38 seconds left before halftime. It was Dillard’s third TD of the evening. The EP kick failed, but Paris was ready to go to the break up by 21-6.
However, PG completed a 68-yard pass with just 5.5 seconds remaining on the clock, and ran for 2 points to pull within 21-14.
Kobe Savage hands off to Donovan Williams who cuts behind a block by Elijah Ellis (photo by Joe Watson)
It took nearly three-quarters of a game, but the Paris Wildcats discovered their 2017 template for success in time to race past the Terrell Tigers, 47-20, in the football season opener Friday night at Wildcat Stadium.
The Cats scored 28 unanswered points in the final 15 minutes to overcome a 20-19 halftime deficit. With senior running back Donovan Williams rushing for 4 touchdowns among 31 carries for 224 yards, the Paris offense wore down the smaller Terrell defense.
Still, it was the Wildcat defense that set the plate for the second half point blitz. Terrell’s speedy offensive skill players were able to stay with the Cats drive-for-drive in the first half thanks to Degarian Fuller’s 103 rushing yards and some big throws by quarterback Victor Robinson.
“They popped a couple (of passes) on us in the first half,” Paris defensive coordinator Larry McFarlin said, “but those are things that can be corrected. We came out and took it to them in the second half.”
The Tigers did not cross midfield after halftime. Three Cat defenders were credited with double-digit tackles: Senior linebacker Michael Godwin with 15, junior end Vershaud Richardson 11, and senior safety Jordan Furtch 10. Godwin and senior linebacker Perry Franklin each netted 8 solo stops.
Linebacker Michael Godwin collects one of his team-leading 15 tackles with this stop of JT Richardson (photo by Joe Watson)
The Wildcat defense also cashed in points on a pick-6 by junior safety Jaylen Henderson.
The Paris offense, meanwhile, sputtered on three straight series midgame, but took advantage of superior field position to unleash a relentless ground game. The Cats’ average starting position was their own 39, compared to the Tigers’ 22.
The big Paris offensive line, missing two of its starters to injury, nonetheless overpowered the Terrell defensive front in the fourth quarter. Junior quarterback Kobe Savage was steady in his varsity debut and started the Paris points onslaught with a short TD pass to junior tight end TJ Williams. The Paris second-team offense scored the game’s final points on a 36-yard sprint by junior James Neal.
Special teams was the unsung hero, despite a couple of missed extra points. Kick coverage was outstanding, while senior Montavius McCarty and junior Luke Kyle showed potential in the return game.
Paris has a tough pre-district road ahead, starting with a trip to Texarkana Friday to face a dangerous Pleasant Grove team. The Cats won’t return to Wildcat Stadium until Sept. 29 to host Argyle.
How Wildcats’ Opponents Fared:
The Paris Ladycats surprised Class 5A Texas High by winning the opening game of their varsity volleyball match Friday in Texarkana before the taller Lady Tigers stormed back to win, 22-25, 25-16, 25-14, 25-14.
Paris, now 13-11, has an open date Tuesday before traveling to Wills Point on Friday to continue the pre-district portion of the schedule.
Sophomore Grace Woodby and junior Peaches Jackson each collected 10 kills, while Jackson added 6 blocks. Senior setter Deagan Dingman had 25 assists.
The Paris Ladycats were outgunned by Class 5A Sulphur Springs, 17-25, 19-25, 9-25, in a pre-district varsity volleyball match Tuesday in the Wildcat Gym.
The road doesn’t get any easier this week when Paris, now 13-10, travels to another 5A school, Texas High, on Friday. The Ladycats’ next home match will be Sept. 12 when they host Chisum.
Paris was swept by the taller SSHS squad 10 days ago at the Wills Point Tournament, but the Ladycats showed some outstanding defensive coverage to force 7 ties and 6 lead changes in Game 1 of Tuesday’s rematch before the visitors pulled away from a 14-all tie. Unforced errors proved to be Paris’ undoing down the stretch.
The home team regrouped to take a 4-0 start in Game 2 only to see SSHS, 15-9 and led by former Paris Junior College coach Justin Maness, go on an 8-0 run to take control. Paris closed to within a single point on two occasions before the Hopkins County team cruised to a win and 2-0 match lead.
Game 3 was a complete mismatch as the Ladycats had no answer to SSHS’ superior firepower at the net.
SSHS won both sub-varsity matches by a 2-0 count in the freshmen contest and 2-1 score in JV.
With the 2017 varsity football season home opener coming up Friday, Sept. 1, 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. A 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:
Kobe Savage cuts behind Demetric Glover's shield block for a nice gain vs. Denison
The Paris Wildcats traveled to Denison Munson Stadium Thursday for their final preseason scrimmage before officially opening the 2017 season vs. the Terrell Tigers. Freshmen and JV squads have road games scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 31, at Terrell Memorial Stadium, while the varsity Cats host the Tigers on Friday, Sept. 1, in a 7:30 p.m. start.
Tickets for the varsity game can be purchased at the fieldhouse athletic office all week or on game days at the PHS School Store. The Terrell home opener is designated as Law Enforcement Night.
In their final public tuneup the Wildcat varsity lost to Denison, 16-0, in their controlled scrimmage that simulated regular game conditions (kickoffs, punts, extra points, change of possessions), but without live rushes on special teams. The Paris defense did a creditable job limiting the Denison offense, but the Paris offense was held to a total of 4 first downs on three scrambles by junior quarterback Kobe Savage and a nice burst by senior running back Donovan Williams.
Paris did not complete a pass during the timed half, and a Denison interception on the Cats’ first snap set up the Yellowjackets’ 43-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead midway through the first quarter.
The Cats had their best offensive production on their second drive, but it ended on a fourth-down fumble at the Denison 35-yard line.
The Paris defense then held Denison to 3-and-outs on the following two series, and a Montana Payne punt pinned the Yellowjackets at their own 1-yard line to start the next Denison drive. However, aided by a pair of face mask penalties, the Jackets were able to engineer a 99-yard scoring drive. All plays were runs, including a 1-yard quarterback TD run that extended the lead to 10-0 with 3:57 left in the half.
Denison then grabbed its second interception on the next Paris snap and put together a 40-yard drive, all rushes, that ended with a 2-yard scoring run. The extra point was missed to make the final 16-0.
The schools’ reserves then took the field and exchanged possessions with a set number of plays. Paris sophomore Do’Rian Williams scored on a long run near the end of the scrimmage.
The Paris Ladycats brought a 4-match losing streak to a grinding halt by capturing third place of the championship bracket at the Edgewood Volleyball Tournament last weekend.
Paris swept its pool play matches Thursday with wins over Canton (26-24, 25-17), Lone Oak (25-10, 25-13), and Hawkins (25-15, 25-13).
On Friday the Ladycats traveled to Sherman and fell in straight sets to an experienced Class 5A team, 11-25, 14-25, 20-25.
They returned to Edgewood for Saturday’s finals. In the bracket quarterfinals they swept Keene, 25-14, 25-10, as freshman Quiniya Savage posted 5 blocks. Paris fell to Life Waxahachie in the semifinals, 25-20, 14-25, 19-25. Sunny Scruggs and Peaches Jackson each recorded 7 kills.
The third place match saw Paris rally to beat Wills Point, 17-25, 25-20, 25-19. Deagan Dingman collected 24 assists in the win, while Jackson had 7 kills and 4 blocks.
The Ladycats have a pair of tough matches on this week’s calendar against Class 5A schools. They host Sulphur Springs Tuesday in the Wildcat Gym before a road trip on Friday to Texas High.
Home, bittersweet home.
For the second time in the past week, the Paris Ladycats lost a volleyball match on their home court to a Class 3A team they could have, perhaps even should have, beaten. Last week it was a stunning 3-set sweep at the hands of county neighbor Prairiland. Tuesday it was a 5-set marathon loss to the Leonard Tigers in the Wildcat Gym, 25-12, 25-27, 12-25, 25-20, 12-15.
Paris coach Britney Humphrey knew she faced a challenging task this season replacing graduated all-district middle blockers Dextiny Patrick and Lindi Hamner. Without the pair in this year’s lineup, the Ladycats must rely on defensive positioning and a solid serve-receive game. When those attributes fail them, as they did in their two home losses, scrappy teams like Prairiland and Leonard find themselves emboldened and primed to knock off a bigger school like Paris.
Sophomore Grace Woodby sends a winner down the line in the Ladycats’ loss to Leonard (photo by Joe Watson)
In both losses, Paris actually started strong before unforced errors and an inability to win clutch points proved to be the Ladycats’ downfall. They jumped out to a 7-0 start against Prairiland in the Aug. 15 home opener. One week later, they never trailed as they cruised to a Game 1 win over Leonard that ended on a Zanesha Dangerfield ace serve.
The Tigers regrouped for a Game 2 struggle that featured 9 ties and 3 lead changes. Still, Paris had a golden opportunity to get a 2-0 match lead with a pair of set points. An errant pass erased one of those set points at 24-23 and a net service squashed another chance at 25-24.
Leonard gladly accepted the gifts and watched the Ladycats misfire on two more unforced errors to even the match, 1-1.
The Ladycats came unglued in Game 3 as Leonard (10-5), a young team that features a pair of freshmen and a sophomore in their rotation, jumped to a 2-1 match edge.
Paris launched a comeback attempt in Game 4. The Ladycats enjoyed a 9-1 start, but the Tigers closed the gap to 13-10 before Paris resumed control of the scoreboard behind a Katy Hall service run that included an ace. A 2-handed push kill at the net by Sunny Scruggs ended the game and forced a decisive Game 5.
Paris was primed to complete the comeback with advantages of 10-5 and 11-6 before a pair of bad serves gave Leonard an opening. The Ladycats had their final lead, 12-10, but the Tigers’ leadoff server closed out the match with a 5-0 run.
The Ladycats fared better in the sub-varsity matches. The JV squad swept Leonard, 2-0, while the freshmen rallied to win, 2-1.
The Paris varsity, now 8-7 for the season, enters its final pre-district tournament Thursday and Saturday at Edgewood. All three Ladycat teams travel to Sherman Friday for matches. The next home matches are scheduled for Tuesday in the Wildcat Gym vs. Sulphur Springs.
Wildcat defense swarms to stop a Celina ball carrier in their preseason scrimmage at Wildcat Stadium (Photo by Joe Watson)
The Paris Wildcats held the first of two scheduled preseason football scrimmages Friday night when they hosted state powerhouse Celina for freshmen, JV, and varsity sessions at Wildcat Stadium.
The Cats dominated the early part of the varsity scrimmage, which consisted of 30 offensive snaps by each school. Paris outscored Celina, 3-0, during this part of the controlled scrimmage.
The teams then participated in a timed quarter that included punting but no live rushes and no returns. The Bobcats outscored Paris, 2-0, during the period on a 60-yard run and a 42-yard pass.
The Paris No. 1 offense was impressive in its first 15 plays against the Bobcats’ No. 1 defense. Senior running back Donovan Williams broke free for a 70-yard TD run off right tackle on the sixth play of the night. On the next series, the Cats quickly rediscovered the end zone when a long run by junior James Neal and Kobe Savage to Tray Johnson pass set up a 5-yard Williams scoring run. Savage then connected with a wide-open Montavius McCarty over the middle for a 65-yard TD pass to complete the opening display.
The No. 1 defense then held Celina’s No. 1 offene scoreless during their allotted 15 plays aided by fumble recoveries by middle linebackers Michael Godwin and T.J. Williams along with a quarterback sack and fumble on a pass rush by defensive end Vershaud Richardson.
Celina dominated time of possession during the timed quarter. Although the Cats couldn’t generated any offense during the quarter of play, the defense technically scored on a 20-yard fumble return by sophomore cornerback Jameon Mitchell. Under mutually agreed scrimmage rules, play was whistled dead on turnovers, so the Paris offense took the field at the Celina 20 but the possession went nowhere.
Mitchell also had an interception near the end of the quarter that was negated by offsetting penalties. Celina then scored on a long pass to complete the night.
The Cats have their final scrimmage scheduled for Thursday at Denison. The varsity season opener will be Friday, Sept. 1, when they host Terrell at Wildcat Stadium.
Remaining season tickets go on sale to the general public Aug. 21-25 at the fieldhouse athletic office.
Katy Hall’s kick-save can’t curtail Prairiland’s momentum
Paris High head volleyball coach Britney Humphrey tried everything to kick-start her team in Tuesday’s home opener match vs. county neighbor Prairiland. Ladycats senior libero Katy Hall literally tried to kick-start her teammates with an unusual, but legal, kick-save at the midpoint of Game 3.
Although Hall’s foot-dig (see photo above) kept a rally alive, the Lady Pats eventually won the point, and they went on to sweep the match, 26-24, 25-14, 25-19. The loss drops the Ladycats to 6-3 for the young season. They try to regroup this weekend by participating in the Wills Point Tournament.
It was a lackluster and disappointing loss for the Ladycats, who were coming off a 5-1 showing at the Van Tournament last weekend which earned them the consolation championship of the Gold Bracket. Paris won its pool with a perfect 3-0 record against Marshall, Arp, and Gladewater on Friday. The Ladycats lost their first match Saturday against host Van before rebounding with wins over Brownsboro and John Tyler.
The Ladycats looked primed to continue that success in Tuesday’s match in the Wlidcat Gym as they rolled to a 7-0 start in Game 1 before a double-hit error. The Lady Pats took advantage of the sideout to steady the ship and climb back into a 15-all tie. Paris held a game point at 24-23 following a Peaches Jackson winner, but an errant kill shot produced the final tie at 24-24. A Caitlyn Fosse spike and Audrey Gray ace closed out the first game for the Lady Pats.
Prairiland broke away from a 10-10 tie in Game 2 to steamroll to a 2-0 match lead behind kills from Gray, T. J. Fosse, and Brook Tuck plus a service ace by libero Kayla Spray. A crosscourt spike from diminuitive hitter Trynity Chapman ended the game as Humphrey huddled with her team in the hallway to try to shake their malaise.
Grace Woodby gets a crosscourt spike over the block of Caitlyn Fosse (Photo by Joe Watson)
Instead, the visitors continued to hold the upper hand as the third game got underway. A Grace Woodby spike found the far line and pushed Paris in front, 7-6. Then came the kick-save by Hall, also a standout on the soccer field. It seemed to energize the Paris crowd and the Ladycats. Zanesha Dangerfield earned a point with a kill shot off a block, and Deagan Dingman got a well-placed kill to regain the lead at 12-11.
When an unforced error made the score 13-11 in Paris’ favor, the Lady Pats called a timeout. They emerged from the break in play with a 4-0 run aided by kills from T. J. Fosse and Madison Clark plus another Spray ace. They had 7 match points, and while Paris fought off 2 of those match clinchers, T. J. Fosse provided the final point.
Paris won the schools’ JV match in a 2-0 sweep.
The Paris Ladycats opened the 2017 varsity volleyball season by splitting double-dual matches Tuesday at Mount Pleasant. They easily dispatched Maud, 25-11, 25-13, 25-5, but fell to their Class 5A hosts, 25-21, 23-25, 23-25, 18-25.
Senior libero Katy Hall notched a combined 49 digs, while senior setter Deagan Dingman collected 39 total assists. Junior Peaches Jackson was credited with 11 kills in the win vs. Maud, while sophomore Grace Woodby had 8 kills vs. Mount Pleasant.
Paris participates in the Van Tournament starting Thursday, then returns to the Wildcat Gym for the home opener Tuesday against Prairiland.
Paris High students earned 3 gold and 8 silver medals for their performances at the UIL Choir State Solo & Ensemble Contest over the Memorial Day weekend in Pfugerville.
A total of 19 PHS choir students had qualified for the state contest.
Seniors Tieren Gates and Deja Sikes along with junior Molly Law received superior ratings on their solos to earn gold medal awards.
Earning silver medals for excellent ratings on solos were seniors Tierra Ellis and Malcolm McCarty; juniors Javian Dabbs, Jake Freelen, and AveriMcFadden; and sophomores Akeirria Garvin, Rino Moore, and Nicholas Reed.
Freshman pitcher Saya Swain was selected as Newcomer of the Year by District 14-4A softball coaches, while eight teammates were chosen to the All-District Second Team.
Swain was a big reason for the Paris Ladycats’ competitive resurgence in 2017. Paris broke a 50-game district losing streak that dated back to 2012. The Ladycats were eliminated from the postseason by a 1-0, extra-inning loss in the season finale.
Named to the All-District Second Team were sophomore catcher Taylor Looney, junior first baseman Kammie Franklin, freshman second baseman Taylor White, senior shortstop Makayla Brown, sophomore third baseman Akerria Garvin, senior outfielder Codi Clark, junior outfielder Alexis Muse, and sophomore utility player Evelyn Brown.
The Paris Wildcats and Gilmer Buckeyes Area Round baseball playoff was delayed 42 hours due to heavy rains that rolled through East Texas this week. Once first pitch finally arrived Saturday afternoon at Northeast Texas Community College Eagle Field, it took just 92 minutes to end the Cats’ 2017 season.
In a fast-paced and error-free pitchers’ duel, the Buckeyes (16-14) advanced to next week’s Region 2-4A quarterfinal against Kilgore with a 1-0 victory that sealed the Paris season at 19-12.
Paris shortstop Zach Norris lands on his back after snaring a first-inning blooper while avoiding a collision with teammates X’Tavous Young (hands up) and Corey Allen
The game was eerily reminiscent of last week’s 2-0 win by Brownsboro in Game 1 of the bi-district series where the Bears’ only hit off Cats’ senior pitcher Phillip Sikes drove in the winning runs. This time Sikes surrendered just 4 hits to Gilmer, but the Buckeyes bunched 2 of them in the third inning to eke out the game’s only tally.
The winning rally started with a 2-out infield single by leadoff hitter Jayden Hall. Sikes struck out 11 batters in the game, but his inability to control his curveball proved his undoing. One curve broke into the dirt one foot in front and wide of the plate and bounced past catcher Zach Nation allowing Hall to advance to second base. Sikes then hung a curve ball that Jeremy Kelly blooped off the end of his bat into shallow right-centerfield to drive Hall home.
It was all the run support that Gilmer pitcher Nathan Mize needed. The lefthander allowed just 2 hits (a single by Corey Allen in the second and a bloop single by Chandler Aynes in the fourth), while striking out 5 and walking 2.
A double-play grounder ended the Cats’ second inning. In the fourth, Paris managed to combine Aynes’ hit with a walk to Sikes and a double steal to advance runners to second and third with just 1 out. But Mize fielded a bouncer to the mound to prevent the Cats from scoring and a flyout ended the threat.
The only Paris batter to reach base in the final three innings (on a walk) was eliminated by a Mize pickoff move to first.
Paris had similar lack of success in the bi-district series opener against Brownsboro lefty Jake Conner, but the Cats were able to overcome the loss by sweeping Games 2 and 3 of that series. Heavy rains this week forced cancellation of scheduled Thursday and Friday playoff action which reduced the area round to a single winner-take-all game.
Paris did manage a defensive gem when shortstop Zach Norris snared a first-inning blooper while tumbling backwards and avoiding a collision with outfielders X’Tavous Young and Allen (see picture above).
It was the final game of their careers for seniors Sikes, Aynes, Young, and Allen.
2017 Class 4A Bi-District Champion Paris Wildcats
On the brink of playoff elimination, the Paris Wildcats rediscovered their early-season mojo which had catapulted a young team with 6 new starters to a pair of tournament titles and a No. 20 state ranking. Relying on shutdown pitching and scoring runs by any means necessary, the Cats rebounded from a 2-0 series opening loss at Brownsboro Friday to maul the Bears in a Saturday doubleheader at Chisum, 10-1 and 14-2.
Paris (19-11) won the Class 4A bi-district series, 2 games to 1, and advances to this week’s Area Round against the Gilmer Buckeyes (15-14). Due to heavy rains on Thursday that forced cancellation of a scheduled doubleheader on Friday, it becomes a one-game, winner-take-all playoff on Saturday, 1 p.m., at Northeast Texas Community College (Mount Pleasant).
The Cats and Buckeyes are familiar playoff foes. Paris swept last season’s bi-district round against Gilmer in a pair of shutouts. Gilmer won an area round matchup in 2013, 2 games to 1, and Paris won a 2012 bi-district series, 2-1. The Buckeyes beat the Cats, 3-2, this season in a pre-district game at PJC’s Hub Hollis Field.
Brownsboro, the District 13 runnerup which ends its season at 14-15, won a bonafide pitchers’ duel on Friday as lanky lefthander Jake Conner shut down the Paris bats on a 2-hitter. Conner allowed a 2-out double in the first inning to pitching rival Phillip Sikes, an infield single to X’Tavous Young in the sixth, and 2-out, back-to-back walks to Zach Norris and Daniel Blackmon in the fourth. Otherwise, he was flawless, striking out 11 Wildcats.
Sikes (6-4) was the hard-luck loser. He struck out 13, walked 4, and hit a batter. The only hit he surrendered was the ultimate game-winner, a 2-out single by Braydon Ballard in the hole between shortstop and third in the fourth inning to drive home both Bear runs.
The inning started with a brilliant diving catch by rightfielder Walker Preston on a sinking liner. The next two Bears reached base on a hit by pitch and a walk. Ironically, Sikes might have escaped the damage except for a foul popup that was lost in the lights and gave the Brownsboro walker a second life. Sikes followed with a strikeout that should have ended the inning before Ballard stepped to the plate.
It was a tough loss for the Cats, but they immediately went to work preparing for a long afternoon on a sunny Saturday on Chisum’s artificial turf field. Paris coach Bill Sikes had all of his remaining pitchers participate in bullpen work before boarding the bus home in case they were needed the following day.
Baseball karma had suddenly changed uniforms. The first sign came in the second inning of Game 2 when the Cats scored their first run on an infield popup off the bat of Young that was lost in the sun. As an infielder lunged at the last second, the ball bounced 3 feet beyond his glove and allowed Preston to motor home from second base.
Karma continued its onslaught in the Paris third when the Cats scored two more runs on infield singles by sophomores Daniel Blackmon and Walker to extend the lead to 3-0.
Meanwhile, junior Zach Norris (7-1), who pitched the Cats into the playoffs with a clutch win in the regular season finale at Pittsburg, was sailing along until 3 straight infield errors in the fourth produced a Bear run. A double then put the tying runners in scoring position with just 1 out. Norris ended the theat with back-to-back strikeouts.
The Paris bats went back on the offensive with a 7-run outburst in the bottom of the fourth that put the game away. Freshman catcher Zach Nation led off the frame with a single and he ended the scoring spree with a 3-run double down the leftfield line. Corey Allen and Blackmon also had RBI in the inning, and the other 2 runs scored on an error.
Brownsboro starter Bryce Smith had reached his pitch limit and left the game as Ballard came on in relief. While the Cats couldn’t push across another run to force the 10-run rule to end the game prematurely, Sikes had the luxury to pull Norris off the mound and save his remaining 35 allowed pitches for Game 3, if needed.
Norris gave up just the 1 hit and 1 run while walking 2 and striking out 7. Blackmon pitched 2 innings and Chandler Aynes got the final 3 outs. Both Blackmon and Aynes gave up 1 hit each with pairs of strikeouts.
Senior lefthander Corey Allen (left) closes out the bi-district series by pitching Paris to a Game 3 win
Sikes sent Allen (4-1) to the mound to start Game 3. The senior had impressive wins over a pair of state-ranked teams in Godley and Farmersville along with a victory over playoff-bound Henderson, but he hadn’t seen regular duty since district began and was shaking off the effects of a week-long illness.
Still, he limited the Bears to just 2 runs and 5 hits while walking 1 and striking out 3. The game ended after 5 innings due to the 10-run rule.
Paris jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third on a 2-out single by Young followed by RBI triples by Sikes and Allen that sandwiched a Brownsboro error. It was obvious that the Bears had exhausted their pitching in the Paris fourth when the Cats sent 15 players to the plate, scoring 9 and leaving the bases loaded.
The Bears contributed 3 errors to the Paris cause, while Walker had an RBI single and Norris had a 2-run single. Paris also got RBI walks from Sikes, sophomore Jack Davison, and Walker plus an RBI hit-by-pitch by Aynes.
The final 2 Paris runs came in the fifth inning on a 2-out double down the leftfield line by pinch-hitter Canyon Parker making his first varsity plate appearance.
Afterwards, an elated Paris coach Sikes was thrilled with his team’s comeback effort.
“Who would have believed this bunch could be bi-district champions?” he said. “This is fun. Let’s keep this going.”
Paris High continues to receive recognition as a top performing public high school. PHS recently was named a Silver Award winner in the U.S. News’ Best High Schools study.
The magazine ranked high schools throughout the nation based on four criteria: student performance compared to state averages, performances by disadvantaged students, graduation rates, and college readiness.
PHS was ranked 194 among all Texas high schools (including magnet and college preparatory schools) and No. 2,287 nationally. The top 500 schools nationally (top 2.4%) in the rankings received Gold Awards, while the next 10.3% received Silver Awards, and the next 16.8% were awarded Bronze Awards. Approximately 70% of all schools were unranked.
Among Texas high schools, 17 received Gold Awards and 118 received Silver. PHS was the only high school in Region 8 (northeast Texas) to receive a Gold or Silver Award. For more information on the rankings visit the U.S. News website.
Last fall, Paris High was the only high school in Region 8 to earn a perfect 7 of a possible 7 distinctions on 2016 campus accountability ratings by the Texas Education Agency.
PHS was 1 of 77 high schools statewide to gather a perfect 7 of 7 distinctions, which places the school in the top 6% of high school campuses statewide. Also, 38 of those 77 high schools are either magnet or early college high schools, which further distinguishes PHS as 1 of 39 traditional public high schools in Texas to achieve the feat.
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 November winner is sophomore Skyler Bryan. See monthly winners on our Students of the Month page.
A group of 13 Paris High students qualified for the state finals of various contests for the Texas Association of Future Eductors during regionals held recently in Pittsburg. Read more.
Paris High students (from left) Jake Freelen, Nick Leija, Nicholas Reed, Rhea Tabora, and Rowan Burns will advance to Area Choir auditions on Jan. 13 at A&M-Commerce as the result of pre-area auditions held recently. Read more.
Wildcats Come Home. After spending the first three weeks of the 2017-18 boys basketball season on the road, the Paris Wildcats continue a long homestand Monday when they host the Greenville Lions for three games in the Wildcat Gym. The freshmen game tips off at 5 p.m. followed by JV (about 6:30) and varsity (8). The Cats will host Mount Pleasant Thursday, Dec. 21, before taking time off for the Christmas holidays.