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District soccer rivals bid farewell, for now, to their longtime rivalries Friday night as form held true in this season’s 11-4A soccer chase. The Princeton Lady Panthers edged the Paris Ladycats, 2-1, at Wildcat Stadium, while at Jackie Hendricks Stadium the Paris Wildcats blanked Princeton, 1-0.
The results secured a fifth straight district championship for the Princeton girls and Paris boys. Unless they meet in the upcoming playoffs, the schools will see their soccer rivalry end since Princeton will be moving up to Class 5A next year.
The Ladycats (16-7-1) have registered 16 shutouts this season, including 8 in district play but the powerful Lady Panther attack dented the Paris defense for a goal in each half. Ladycat senior forward Katy Hall picked up her 10th district goal to avoid the shutout.
Final district girls standings showed Princeton (18-4) with a perfect 24 points, while Paris was second with 18 followed by North Lamar 12, Community 6, and Bonham 0.
The Wildcat boys team entered Friday’s match needing a tie or win to clinch their fifth straight title. They got a first-half goal from Felix Vasquez (pictured), assisted by Kyler Beshirs, and made it stand up for the win. It was the senior’s team-leading eighth goal of the season and the team-leading sixth assist for the junior midfielder.
It was the fourth straight shutout by Paris (14-7-2), which began district play with back-to-back 1-0 defeats at the hands of North Lamar and Community. The Cats battled back to finish district with six consecutive wins to take the district’s top spot with 18 points. Community finished second with 15 followed by Princeton 14, Bonham 7, and NL 5.
UIL Bi-District playoff action begins Thursday. The Wildcat boys will face the No. 4 seed from District 12, while the Ladycats are matched with the No. 3 finisher.
Details should be available soon.
Both Paris High varsity soccer teams took care of business Tuesday night in a Wildcat Stadium doubleheader. As a result, the Ladycats and Wildcats will be playing for District 11-4A titles Friday in their regular season finales vs. Princeton.
The Paris girls celebrated Senior Night with a 4-0 win over the Bonham Lady Warriors. All four goals, appropriately, were scored and set up by seniors.
The Wildcat boys, meanwhile, relied on a versatile offense to produce a 3-0 result against the Warriors. It was the fifth straight district win for the Cats (13-7-2) and third straight shutout.
Morial Amin-Allen (No. 5) challenges a North Lamar player for possession in a photo taken by Joe Watson
The Ladycats (16-6-1) close out the regular season Friday with a chance to tie the Princeton girls for the district title, but it will be a monumental task. The Lady Panthers haven’t lost a district game since 2014 and dealt the Ladycats a 3-1 setback at Princeton in this season’s earlier meeting.
Friday’s title match will be at Wildcat Stadium with a 7:15 p.m. start preceded by the JV game at 5:30.
Princeton leads the girls standings with 21 points, while Paris has 18, North Lamar 9, Community 6, and Bonham 0. A win in regulation counts 3 points, while a shootout win is worth 2 and a shootout loss 1.
The Ladycats started the scoring early when stalwart defender Sarah Bloodworth followed up a Deagan Dingman corner kick with a chip shot from 12 yards that just cleared the crossbar. With 12 minutes left before halftime, a long throw-in by Sunny Scruggs bounced across the goalmouth and was cued into the net by a sliding Estephany Balderas.
In the second half Katy Hall picked up her ninth district goal with a left-footed strike from the left flank that found the far right upper 90. Hall also set up the last goal when her cross from the right flank was knocked in by Morial Amin-Allen just inside the left post. It was the first varsity goal for Amin-Allen, a converted goalkeeper.
It was also the 16th shutout of the season for the Ladycats' defense.
Boys Race Crowded at Top
The district boys race tightened considerably with Paris’ win over Bonham and North Lamar taking Community to a shootout before the Braves prevailed. Community has a slim lead, 16-15, over Paris, but the Braves have completed the regular season. Princeton is in third place at 14 followed by North Lamar 5, and Bonham 4.
There could be a three-way tie following the Cats’ match at Princeton Friday, but Paris would own the tiebreaker in such a scenario and take the important No. 1 seed into the playoffs. The Cats can become 5-time district champions with a tie or win in regulation. A loss to Princeton would give the Panthers the championship with Paris finishing third.
An Alan Garcia corner kick resulted in the Cats’ first goal Tuesday. JP Rojas was credited with the goal, but a closing Bonham defender accidentally kicked it into the net for an “own” goal.
It remained a 1-0 game at halftime although the pesky Warrior attack had several opportunities to tie but misfired wide of goal each time.
At halftime Paris head coach Jeremy Beshirs listened to the advice of assistant coach Clint Cobb and inserted Venezuela exchange student Carlos Perez into the forward attack.
“In practice he’s one of our better players around the goal area,” Beshirs said.
Teammates (from left) Justin Medina, Kyler Beshirs, and JP Rojas congratulate the tall Carlos Perez for scoring the Cats’ second goal
The tall Perez justified the coaching decision when he took a cross from Cole Miller, quickly turned to beat Bonham’s back defender and the goalie from 10 yards away for his second goal of the season and a 2-0 Paris lead as the second half began.
In the closing minutes the Cats added an insurance goal by talented freshman Jesus (Chu-cho) Rangel, which ties him for the team lead in goals scored with 7. Rangel, elevated to varsity just before district began, headed a cross from Justin Medina towards the goal from 25 yards out. The ball bounced high over the goalie’s head. As the goalie and Felix Vasquez became entangled, Chu-cho followed the ball with a smaller tap-in header.
Beshirs said having interchangeable parts like Rangel, Perez, Miller, Vasquez, and Tony Saavedra in forward positions has made the offense more potent. Each brings a different skill set which can be troublesome to defend.
“I tell them that if I call on you for just 10 minutes (on the field), then give me your best 10 minutes,” he said. “It’s not about scoring individual goals. It’s about team.”
The philosophy has helped lift the Cats from a deep hole to start district play (when they lost back-to-back 1-0 shutouts to North Lamar and Community) to the brink of another district championship.
Sophomore Saya Swain struck out 17 Pittsburg batters, but 3 walks, 5 timely Lady Pirate hits, and 5 Paris Ladycats’ fielding errors enabled the Lady Pirates to leave town Tuesday with a 9-2 District 14-4A softball win at Ladycat Field.
Saya Swain connects at the plate on a 2-run double that scores both Paris runs (photo by Joe Watson)
Two of Swain’s walks scored single runs in the first and third innings for Pittsburg, but a 2-out rally in the bottom of the frame tied the score, 2-2, on a Swain double which brought home El Infante, who had singled, and Quiniya Savage, who reached on an error.
Paris had a chance to take the lead when Taylor White followed with a single, but pinch runner Abby Lawson was thrown out at the plate. The Ladycats had two runners tagged out at home during the game along with some critical base-running gaffes.
Pitt regained the lead, 4-2, in the fourth when a pair of bloop singles set up Trinity Aycock’s 2-run double to the leftfield foul pole. The freshman Aycock went 3-for-4 with 6 RBIs. The Lady Pirates added another run in the sixth and 4 more in the seventh.
Swain went 3-for-4 at the plate, and Infante was 2-for-4. Alexxis Braswell also collected one of Paris’ 7 hits.
The loss drops Paris to 8-9 overall and 0-2 in district. The Ladycats face a tough test Friday at North Lamar in a 6 p.m. start.
Zach Norris greeted by teammates after fourth-inning leadoff homer in win over Bonham
It’s been a rough Spring Break for the Paris Wildcats baseball team, which finished on an upbeat Friday with a 16-8 win at Bonham.
The victory broke a 3-game losing streak for the Cats, who dropped a 5-4 decision on Monday to Caddo Mills, lost by an 8-3 count to Wills Point on Tuesday, and were shut out, 1-0, Thursday at Athens. There were some good phases to highlight in each loss, and Paris head coach Bill Sikes remains upbeat just one week away from the District 14-4A opener at North Lamar.
“This has been a fun group to work with,” Sikes said. “We’re young. At times I look at on the field and we’re playing 2 freshmen, 4 sophomores, and 2 juniors, but they listen well and do everything you ask them to do.”
Paris, now 6-8-1 on the season, closes out the pre-district portion of their schedule Monday at Gilmer.
Friday’s game was influenced by a gusty southwest wind clocked at 30 mph and blowing out to rightfield. The Cats pounded out 18 hits, while the Warriors managed 8. Each team committed 2 errors and produced 4 hit batters.
Senior righthander Canyon Parker (2-1) pitched into the sixth inning before reaching the pitch count limit. Junior Walker Preston finished the sixth, and sophomore Saxon Swain pitched the seventh.
The entire Paris lineup plus pinch hitter Bubba Gray contributed to the offensive fireworks with at least one hit, but senior Zach Norris was particularly impressive with a 4-for-5 day that included a double and a leadoff homer in the fourth over the short leftfield wall.
The Nos. 5-8 batters also had multi-hit days. Sophomore Zach Nation was 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs, junior Daniel Blackmon was 2-for-3 with 3 RBIs, sophomore Layn Hall was 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs and a pair of circus catches in centerfield, while sophomore Carson Powell was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Earlier in the week the Cats’ 3-run, last-inning rally left them short in a 5-4 loss to Caddo Mills at Hub Hollis Field on Monday. Norris had a 2-run double, and sophomore Coleman Lewis went the distance on the mound for Paris.
Back at Hub Hollis on Tuesday the defense faltered with 4 errors in the 8-3 loss to Wills Point.
On Thursday the Cats drove to Athens for their third meeting this season against longtime assistant coach Dallas Robertson. They hit the ball hard, but right at somebody and were held to 2 hits. Meanwhile, Norris (2-3) went the distance with a 3-hitter but was victimized with the lone run with 2 outs in the sixth on a misplayed hit-and-run.
At the White Oak Tournament prior to Spring Break, Paris finished 2-1-1.
They opened with an 8-0 win over Henderson with Norris pitching a 2-hitter with no walks and 12 strikeouts. He also went 2-for-3 at the plate with 2 RBIs. Swain was 2-for-3 with 4 RBIs.
In the second Thursday game the Cats lost to Redwater, 2-0. Each team managed 5 hits. Parker went the distance for Paris.
On Friday the Cats battled Tatum to an 8-8 tie in a game called due to a tournament time limit, and in the Saturday finale they beat Athens, 4-1. Swain allowed 4 hits, walked 3, and fanned 2 to get the win, and junior Walker Preston was 3-for-4 with an RBI. Senior Demetric Glover was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Senior Jayla Sims won her second straight fifth-place medal at the Texas State Girls Powerlifting Championships in Waco Saturday with a career best 900-pound total lift in the 165-pound weight class.
Sims’ series included a 350-pound squat, 190-pound bench press, and 360-pound deadlift. She was tied for seventh after two rounds but posted the second highest deadlift in her class to jump into a medal finish. Kerrington Biggers of Synder won the 165s with a 1,070 total.
Sims finished fifth in the 148-pound weight class as a junior. Her previous career total lift was 870 pounds to win at regionals this season.
Junior Ansley Downs placed 12th in the 114s with a total lift of 665 pounds. Downs had a 265-pound squat, 125-pound bench press, and 265-pound deadlift. Kaitlyn Pelitire of Beeville Jones won the 114s with a 950-pound total.
Beeville Jones won the team title.
Wildcat boys team (from left) Holden Stone, Tate Lewis, Drew Bush, Mathew Scott, Blaine Hill with coach Randall Lewis
The Paris Wildcats boys golf team won Monday’s Sonic Drive-In Invitational at Paris Golf & Country Club while the girls finished second.
Junior Blaine Hill finished second in boys medalist with a round of 84 and freshman Tate Lewis was 2 shots back with a career low 86. The District 14-4A Golf Championships are next week with Round 1 Monday at Texarkana Northridge Country Club and Round 2 Tuesday at Paris G&CC.
Liberty-Eylau scored 6 runs, aided by 4 Paris errors, with 2 outs in the fifth inning to break up a pitchers’ duel and lead the Lady Leopards to an 8-1 win over the Ladycats in the District 14-4A softball opener Friday in Texarkana.
Paris (8-8) had tied the game at 1-1 in the fourth inning when freshman Alexxis Braswell (pictured left in photo by Joe Watson) plated senior Kammie Franklin, who had singled and reached second base on an error.
Ladycat sophomore pitcher Saya Swain gave up 7 hits and walked 5, while striking out 12. L-E pitcher Isabella Gunderson gave up 5 Ladycat hits, walked 2, and struck out 6.
L-E (14-3-1) took a 1-0 lead in the first on an inside-the-park home run by leadoff hitter Savannah Phelps. After the big 6-run outburst in the fifth, the Lady Leopards added an insurance run in the sixth.
The Ladycats host Pittsburg Tuesday at 6 p.m. on the PJHS field. Pitt beat Atlanta, 7-4, Friday while North Lamar shutout Pleasant Grove, 5-0, in other district games.
Ladycats soccer team unveils pre-match proposal on behalf of their coach
The Paris Ladycats and Wildcats registered wins over Nevada Community Friday by identical 2-0 counts to keep their District 11-4A soccer title hopes alive.
The Cats got goals from seniors Tony Saavedra and Felix Vasquez to knock off the previously district-leading Braves on the road. Sophomore Justin Medina and junior Alan Garcia assisted on the goals.
It was the fourth straight win for Paris (12-7-1). The Cats began district with 1-0 losses to North Lamar and Community but have battled back into position to win their fifth straight district title if they can win their final two matches in regulation against Bonham and Princeton.
Princeton beat Bonham in other district action Friday to pull into a tie with Community with 14 points. Paris has 12 but still has two matches remaining while Princeton and Community each have one left. A regulation win is worth 3 points.
Meanwhile, the drama at Wildcat Stadium for the girls match was reserved for pregame introductions (see photo above) when the Ladycats unfurled a wedding proposal banner that read “Will You Marry Our Coach” for Aimée Ragan, the financee of head coach Matt Dickinson.
She said yes.
Just 5 minutes into the match, senior midfielder Estephany Balderas ran down a deep throw-in from senior Laney Madding that bounced 35 yards past two defenders. Balderas got off a shot past a charging Community goalkeeper that found the net for a 1-0 lead.
Midway through the first half Balderas made it a 2-0 score after working a give-and-go at midfield with senior Katy Hall. That started a 4-player rush that overwhelmed the Lady Braves defense. Balderas dribbled the final 10 yards with the thru ball from Hall and beat the goalie from 12 yards out to the nearside corner post.
It appeared that Balderas would get a 3-goal hat trick just before halftime when she kneed a ball into the goal from 12 yards out off a corner kick scramble, but it was negated by an offsides call.
The second half was scoreless with the Lady Braves going into a defensive shell although the Ladycats had some scoring chances by out-flanking the Community defense with runs by Hall and senior Zanesha Dangerfield along the right sidelines.
The win gives Paris (15-6-1 overall) 15 points. Princeton remains perfect with 21 points, but the Ladycats can set up a potential championship tie with the Lady Panthers in a rematch on March 23.
It was the 15th shutout of the season for the Paris girls.
Paris High athletes won three individual events at the Gilmer Buckeye Relays on Friday, March 9.
Senior Montavius McCarty smoked the field to win the varsity boys 100-meter dash in a career-best 10.57. Second place was 11.03.
Junior Evelyn Brown won the varsity girls 800-meter run, and freshman Zack Jackson won the JV boys high jump.
The next action for the Wildcats and Ladycats track and field teams will be Thursday, March 22, with the annual Deon Minor Relays at Wildcat Staidum.
Elvira Infante takes a home run swing (photo by Joe Watson)
The Paris Ladycats softball team closed out the pre-district portion of their season with two wins in four games. The Ladycats (8-7) open District 14-4A play on Friday, March 16, at Liberty-Eylau.
On March 8 Paris beat Saltillo, 10-6, before losing to Honey Grove, 14-4.
Against Saltillo, freshman Jaidyn Clark picked up the pitching win and helped her cause at the plate with a double, triple, and 2 RBIs. Senior Kammie Franklin had two doubles, and sophomore Elvira Infante went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Junior Evelyn Brown had a double and 2 RBIs in the loss to Honey Grove.
On March 10, the Ladycats beat Sulphur Bluff, 13-2, then dropped a 12-6 decision to North Hopkins.
Paris broke open the Sulphur Bluff game with a 10-run third inning rally. Infante homered and produced 5 RBIs in the game. Freshman Alexxis Braswell went 3-for-3 with 3 runs and an RBI, while junior Akerria Garvin had two hits including a double. Infante pitched all 3 innings and allowed just 3 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 4.
Freshman Quiniya Savage was 3-for-3 with a triple in the loss to North Hopkins. Infante had 3 RBIs, and Garvin was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Jesus Rangel strikes insurance goal to seal Wildcats’ 2-0 win over North Lamar
The Paris Wildcats were reliving a nightmare Tuesday night as they hosted the North Lamar Panthers in a District 11-4A boys soccer match.
Back on Feb. 16, the Cats wasted several prime scoring opportunities, including a pair of penalty kills, only to watch their county rivals convert a PK of their own with 12 minutes remaining. The 1-0 victory broke a 13-game win streak by the Cats over the Panthers.
Deja vu was heavy on the minds of players, coaches, and fans Tuesday in the rematch at Wildcat Stadium. Just 30 seconds into the match Paris senior Cole Miller fired a shot that ricocheted off the crossbar and over the NL goal. Seconds later a long throw-in bounced high and was awkwardly knocked over the bar by Panther goalie Nick Kear.
Seven minutes into the match senior Felix Vasquez was awarded a PK that Kear easily swatted over the goal to keep it scoreless.
Operating with a strong north breeze at their backs, the Wildcats laid siege on the Panther goal with golden chances galore, including 9 corner kicks in the first half. With 3 minutes left before halftime, junior winger JP Rojas turned the right flank with a cross towards the goalmouth that junior left winger Alan Garcia sent goalward on a sliding strike. Kear recovered in time for a one-handed swat as the ball crossed the goalline. The two-man referee crew (instead of the normal three) ruled no-goal, and the live rebound went right back to Garcia whose followup shot just missed wide left.
Frustration carried over into the second half for the 4-time defending district champions, who now had to labor against the wind to mount their attacks on the NL goal. Another corner kick set up a Garcia header that just missed over the net.
Finally, 142 minutes, 4 seconds into this season’s Paris-NL series, the scoreboard agony ended. With 17:56 left in the match, Garcia ran down Vasquez’ big bouncing thru ball. Garcia gained control 15 yards out and his left-footed flick found the long lost promised land inside the far right goalpost.
The Cats had a 1-0 lead, but that seemed to evaporate with 10:30 left when a rare NL corner kick bounced through a crowded box to the far side post where a Panther’s shot careened off the football goalpost crossbar and into the net. The visitor’s side erupted, thinking they were looking at a tie score, but Paris still had the lead.
A beautiful 35-yard run through 3 defenders by Miller preceded a thru ball that Jesus Rangel ran down from 15 yards out. The talented freshman turned, squared up on goal, and fired a low bender that skipped under a diving Kear to seal the 2-0 win.
In other district action Tuesday, Community upset Princeton in a shootout to take the boys district lead with 14 points. Princeton has 11, Paris 9, Bonham 4, and North Lamar 4. Despite starting district play with consecutive 1-0 losses to NL and Community, the Cats, now 11-7-2 overall, can still claim the district title if they win their final three matches in regulation.
They face a crucial road test Friday at Community.
Ladycats Sweep Pantherettes
Meanwhile, across town at R. L. Maddox Stadium, the Paris Ladycats (14-6-1) completed a series sweep over the Pantherettes by an identical 2-0 outcome.
Seniors Katy Hall and Deagan Dingman scored the goals with senior Estephany Balderas getting an assist. Hall now has scored 8 goals in 5 district matches.
Sophomore goalie Grace Woodby (pictured right by Joe Watson) and the Ladycats defense notched their 14th shutout of the season.
The win clinches a playoff berth for the Ladycats, who can finish no worse than second in the district. Princeton leads the girls standings with a perfect 18 points, while Paris has 12, NL 6, Community 3, and Bonham 0.
The Ladycats host Community Friday at Wildcat Stadium.
The Wildcat girls and boys golf teams competed in the Melissa Invitational Tournament at The Bridges in Gunter on Monday. The girls finished in fifth place with a team total 459 led by Ashlyn Callihan's personal best of 111. Blaine Hill led the boys to a fourth place finish of 361 tying for second medalist with a round of 82.
The next tournament will be at Paris Golf and Country Club on Monday, March 19.
Other PHS scores:
The Paris Wildcats pitching staff surrendered 38 runs at the Krum Tournament as the Cats won just one of four games last weekend.
The lone exception was a 3-2 win over Bonham on Friday as senior Canyon Parker made a successful varsity pitching debut. Otherwise, the Cats lost to Sunnyvale, 10-1, on Thursday, to Alvarado, 13-3, on Friday, and finished with a 13-4 loss on Saturday to Greenville.
“Canyon threw strikes (20 first pitch strikes) and kept the ball down,” Paris coach Bill Sikes said, “which is what you have to do to be successful.”
The Cats’ top two starting pitchers, senior Zach Norris and junior Walker Preston, had control issues in the first two tournament games. Norris gave up 5 hits, 5 runs (2 earned), 4 walks, and had 9 strikeouts in 5 innings on the mound vs. Sunnyvale. Preston struck out 6 batters in just 2.1 innings as Alvarado bolted out to a 9-1 lead.
Paris jumped out to a 3-0 lead over Bonham and halted a last-inning rally with the potential tie run on third base. Parker pitched all 6 innings, allowing 4 hits, 1 earned run, 2 walks, and 5 strikeouts. He was also 1-for-2 at the plate with an RBI.
Norris went 2-for-3 with a double and RBI. Preston also doubled, while sophomore Saxon Swain and senior Demetric Glover had the other Paris hits.
The Cats turned to Swain for the start vs. Greenville, but a couple of Paris errors opened the floodgates for an 8-run first inning by the Lions, who collected 12 hits against 4 Wildcat pitchers.
Sophomore Zach Nation went 2-for-3 with a solo homer, while freshman Bubba Gray was 2-for-2 with a solo homer and 2-run double.
Paris, now 3-4 for the season, sees its final tournament action at White Oak starting Thursday with an opening game vs. Henderson.
The Paris Ladycats won 3 of 4 games in a round-robin softball tournament at Celeste last weekend to improve their season record to 6-5. They are scheduled to host Anna in their final pre-district action Friday on the PJHS field.
On Friday they defeated host Celeste, 12-4, and North Hopkins, 4-3. On Saturday they lost to Cooper, 5-3, before edging Leonard, 1-0.
The Ladycats scored in each inning, topped by an 8-run fourth, to overwhelm Celeste. They ran wild on the base paths with 15 steals. Freshman Quiniya Savage had 5 of those stolen bases and was 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI. Junior Akerria Garvin went 3-for-5, while senior Kammie Franklin was 2-for-3 with 2 RBI, sophomore Taylor White 2-for-4 with a double, and freshman Alexxis Braswell had an RBI double. Sophomore Elvira Infante picked up the pitching win with 4 innings of 1-hit ball, 7 walks, and 4 strikeouts.
North Hopkins jumped out to a 3-0 lead on Paris, which rallied with 2 runs in the second, the tying run in the third, and winning run in the fourth. Infante was 3-for-3 at the plate. RBIs were collected by freshman Jaidyn Clark, sophomore Saya Swain, and Garvin, who doubled. Swain pitched 4 innings in relief and allowed just 2 hits with 10 strikeouts to get the win.
The Ladycats tied their game vs. Cooper, 3-3, in the top of the third before the Lady Bulldogs plated 2 runs in the bottom of the inning to get the win. Swain was 2-for-2 with 3 RBI and a pair of doubles, while White went 2-for-3. Infante took the loss in the circle.
Swain pitched a 2-hit shutout with 11 strikeouts and had the lone RBI in the fifth inning of the win over Leonard. Clark, who scored the winning run, Infante, Garvin, and Franklin had the Ladycats’ only hits in the game.
The Paris Wildcats tennis team returned from a tournament in Atlanta last week with four first-place finishes.
In the JV tournament on Thursday, Rodrigo Ramirez won boys singles. The varsity tournament on Friday saw wins from junior Sahil Prakash in boys singles, seniors Gabe Allen and Zain Syed in boys doubles, and seniors Reagan Benson and Ramiro Ramirez in mixed doubles.
The team plays at a tournament hosted by Pleasant Grove on Thursday (JV) and Friday (varsity) in its final scheduled meet before the District 14-4A Championships the week of March 26 at Texarkana College.
Seniors Wesley Gage and Jayla Sims won their weight classifications at the regional powerlifting meets to advance to the state championships along with junior Ansley Downs, who finished second.
Gage held a 615-605 lead over runnerup Zaahid Abdullah of Waxahachie Life in the 132-pound weight class at the Region 3 Division 2 (Class 4A) Boys Championships Friday in Malakoff when he finished strong with the top deadlift of 415 pounds to punch his ticket to the state championships March 24 in Abilene.
Sophomore Deuntre Adamson also medaled at regionals with a fourth-place finish in the 114s. Unfortunately the Wildcats’ top hope for state, sophomore Keiotti Bray, won’t be returning to state after a disqualification in the 123s. Bray held a 5-pound lead over eventual winner Eric Reaper of Chapel Hill heading into the deadlift.
The Paris boys finished eighth in team standings at regionals. The Ladycat lifters were fifth at the Region 3 Division 2 Girls Championships Saturday in Fairfield.
Sims will be making a return trip to the girls state championships on March 17 in Waco. She finished fifth in state in her weight class in 2017. She easily won the 165s at regionals by a 60-pound margin.
Downs was runnerup to Sydney Jo Sears of Center, 670 to 655, in the 114s. The top two finishers in each weight class earn automatic bids to state.
Other regional medals earned by the Ladycats included senior Anna Perez (third in the 123s), freshman Rayn Hayden (fifth in the 148s), freshman Mi’nea Williams (fifth in the 181s), and sophomore Raelynn Johnson (fifth in the 198s).
Paris boys results (squat-bench press-deadlift—total)
Paris girls results (squat-bench press-deadlift—total)
Paris High junior Nicole Hawkes was elected to represent the State of Texas as an ambassador at the recent Texas Crime Stoppers conference in Houston.
The aim of the ambassador program is to establish a network of informed and influential individuals throughout Texas who can actively represent Crime Stoppers. Ambassadors are selected to represent their peers all over the state and serve as the youth voice for Crime Stoppers in Texas.
They are expected to exhibit a high degree of maturity, responsibility, flexibility, and leadership at all times. There are only 12 ambassadors elected in the state of Texas.
The Princeton Lady Panthers exerted their four-year district dominance Tuesday night with a 3-1 win over the upstart Paris Ladycats in a District 11-4A first-place showdown at Jackie Hendrix Stadium.
At the halfway mark of district play leads the pack with 12 points followed by Paris with 9, North Lamar 6, Nevada Community 3, and Bonham 0. Princeton has not lost a district match since 2014.
The Ladycats, now 13-6-1 for the season, avoided the shutout on a Katy Hall goal. It was the senior’s seventh goal in four district matches. Season Sunny Scruggs provided the assist.
Paris draws a bye in district action Friday before beginning the second half on Tuesday, March 6, at North Lamar.
Cole Miller eyes an open-net header off a cross from Alan Garcia
The 4-time defending district boys champion Paris Wildcats climbed back into the thick of this year’s title chase with a 3-1 win over chief rival Princeton Monday night at Wildcat Stadium.
After a pair of stunning, 1-0 setbacks to start the 2018 district campaign, veteran Paris coach Jeremy Beshirs juggled his lineup in an attempt to put key players in position to finish scoring opportunities. The strategy has worked to produce 10 goals in the past two matches.
At the midpoint of district play, Nevada Community leads the standings with 9 points, while Princeton has 7, and Paris 6. North Lamar (3 points) plays Bonham (2) Tuesday to also reach the halfway mark. Wins in regulation are worth 3 points, shootout wins 2 points, and shootout losses 1 point.
The Paris and Princeton boys moved their starting time up by 24 hours to avoid another round of storms forecast for Tuesday. The teams exchanged opening goals on defensive miscues.
Princeton struck in the opening minutes when the Cats couldn’t control a juicy rebound, but Paris tied the score, 1-1, on a Panther own goal when a Princeton defender accidentally headed a Kobe Dixon deep throw-in into his own net.
Just four minutes later, with 23:53 left in the half, the Cats were awarded a penalty kick on a foul in the 18-yard box. Junior Alan Garcia’s strike found the top right 90 for a 2-1 lead.
Each team missed a golden scoring opportunity before halftime, but Paris turned up the offensive pressure in the second half. After five near-misses, the Cats finally connected on a key insurance goal with 17 minutes left in the match.
Junior right winger JP Rojas sent a cross that just missed a bicycle kick by senior Felix Vasquez. Left winger Garcia ran down the volley and chipped into the middle where senior Cole Miller’s open net header (see photo above) made it a 3-1 game.
Paris, now 10-7-2, has a bye Friday to start the final round of district matches. The Cats will host North Lamar Tuesday, March 6, at Wildcat Stadium.
The Paris track team competed at the Sulphur Springs Wildcat Relays Monday against five regional Class 5A schools. The Wildcat JV boys won their division, while the varsity boys were second and Ladycats fifth. There were no field events at the meet.
Varsity Boys Results
Varsity Girls Results
JV Boys Results
Another Paris Ladycat recorded a hat trick, while the Paris Wildcats finally caught a break as both Paris soccer teams swept a varsity doubleheader Friday at Bonham.
The Ladycats notched their 13th shutout of the season to improve to 13-5-1 and remain perfect in district at 3-0 with a 5-0 win. Senior Estephanie Balderas (shown in photo right by Joe Watson) scored three goals and assisted on one of two goals by senior Katy Hall, who had the hat trick Tuesday in a win over Community.
Hall also had an assist, while senior Deagan Dingman was credited with two assists and sophomore Gabby Acevedo had another assist. The Ladycats close out the first half of district play Tuesday when they travel to Princeton, ranked No. 1 in the region.
The Wildcat boys, meanwhile, broke a 2-match scoring drought with a 7-2 victory. Paris jumped out to a 5-1 halftime lead over the Warriors, who had upset Princeton in a shootout win Thursday and may have been experiencing a physical and emotional comedown.
Senior Cole Miller broke the scoring barrier just 8 minutes into the match. Although Bonham tied the score at 1-1 on a strike from 40 yards out, the Cats closed out the first half with four goals in the final 13:38.
Freshman Jesus Rangel scored on a header off a free kick from senior Montana Payne, then added a second goal on a 1-on-1 breakaway. Senior Felix Vasquez buried a shot from 40 yards for the next goal, and junior Kyler Beshirs made it a 5-1 lead after taking a pass from sophomore Justin Medina.
The Cats continued the scoring onslaught in the second half. Junior Alan Garcia connected off an assist from junior JP Rojas, and junior Jose Araujo finished the scoring assisted by senior Tony Saavedra.
Paris coach Jeremy Beshirs was pleased with his team’s effort and credited defenders Payne, Kobe Dixon, Aaron Araujo, Isaac Vasquez, and goalkeeper Jesus Herrera.
The win gives the Wildcats a 9-7-2 overall record and 1-2 district mark. The Cats host Princeton Monday at Wildcat Stadium. That match has been moved up 24 hours to avoid another round of wet weather expected to move into the area.
The Paris Wildcats were able to play two games at the Emory Rains baseball tournament before heavy rains washed out their remaining tournament schedule.
Wildcats senior pitcher Zach Norris ran out of gas in the sixth inning Thursday as the Bullard Panthers scored all their runs in a 5-0 decision, while the Cats bounced back on Friday with a 13-3 win over Athens in a game halted after 4 innings.
Paris and Bullard were engaged in a scoreless pitchers’ dual until the sixth inning uprising. Norris surrendered just 2 hits and struck out 13 but walked 4. Sophomores Coleman Lewis and Saxon Swain came on in relief to get the final out.
The Wildcat bats were silent except for senior Demetric Glover who was 2-for-2 at the plate. Swain drew a pair of base on balls.
The quiet bats roared to life Friday against Athens for 11 hits and a big 9-run rally in the second inning. Norris went 3-for-4 with a double and 2 RBI. Swain was 2-for-3 with 2 RBI, a double, and a triple. Senior Canyon Parker was 2-for-2 with 2 RBI. Junior Daniel Blackmon and freshman Devon Gaines also produced 2 RBI each.
Junior Walker Preston got the pitching win despite some wildness. In 4 innings he allowed no earned runs, 2 hits, walked 5, hit 2 batters, and struck out 3.
Paris, now 2-1 for the season, hopes for a break in the weather in time for the Krum tournament. They’re scheduled to play Alvarado and Bonham on Thursday, Iowa Park Friday, and Lake Worth Saturday.
Cameron Jones’ innocent looking gesture draws first of two puzzling technical fouls
Even the most ardent Wildcat fan knew a fourth straight trip to the regional boys basketball tournament was probably not in the cards for 2017-18. Paris head coach Billy Mack Steed certainly knew his streak of 10 straight 20-win seasons at PHS was in jeopardy.
Tuesday’s 46-43 loss to Mabank in a Class 4A bi-district game played at Greenville shouldn’t come across as shocking news to those who followed the Cats’ roller coaster season. With just one returning starter off last season’s regional finalists and relying on a core group of four sophomores, this year’s edition fell 3 wins short of a return trip to Commerce with a final record of 18-14.
The streak is over.
However, the bittersweet ending was exasperated by a couple of puzzling fourth quarter technical fouls called on Paris that helped turn the outcome in Mabank’s favor.
The game was kept at a snail’s pace and close throughout with 8 lead changes. The largest Paris lead was 8 points on 2 occasions in the second quarter, while Mabank led by 5 near the end of the third period.
The momentum shifted back to the Cats on a 6-0 run capped by a nice fake and pullup 15-footer by point guard Cameron Jones, the lone holdover starter from last season’s 28-5 team. As Jones back-pedaled into a defensive posture he briefly raised an index finger to his lips (see photo above). Without prior warning, one of the referees from the Longview chapter immediately assessed the technical for taunting.
On the next Paris possession the same official assessed a second T against the Paris bench for a derogatory comment he claimed he heard. According to Steed, the official said one of the Paris players accused him of being “cross-eyed.” When asked to identify the player, the official told Steed he “didn’t have to.”
The sudden chain of events sent Mabank’s leading scorer, point guard Caleb Dally, to the line for 6 straight free throws that shifted the scoreboard to the Panthers’ side at 40-37 with 4 minutes left to play.
Paris posted up Trea Johnson for a spin move and 3-point play that tied the game, 40-40. Dally and Jones then exchanged 3-pointers to retie the game at 43.
Despite the drama and adversity, the Paris defense would put the Cats in position to take the lead three times in the final 2:34. The first opportunity came on a 5-second call, but a bad pass returned possession to the Panthers with 1:44 remaining.
A steal by Jameon Mitchell started a Paris breakout that ended quickly on an offensive foul. The final chance came at the 56-second mark when Johnson took a baseline charge. The Cats ran the time down to about 20 seconds but another unforced turnover on a pass into the paint led to a wild scramble.
Dally finally regained control, drove down low and passed to teammate Cade Bell, who drained a 3-pointer from the top of the key with 6.3 seconds left to give the Panthers a 46-43 lead.
Paris had an opportunity to tie, but Jones was double-teammed and rushed a wild shot that missed badly.
Earlier in the game Paris had led, 9-6, after a slow-paced first quarter that ended on Jones’ buzzer-beating 3 pointer. Jameon Mitchell opened the second quarter with a 3, and the Cats soon appeared primed to break away from Mabank (17-19 and third-place finisher in District 13).
An alley-oop pass by Jones and dunk by Perry Franklin had the Paris fans on their feet celebrating an 18-11 advantage.
“I thought at the time that play would really get us going,” Steed said.
Instead, the Panthers would enjoy a 9-3 advantage in fouls called in the first half, and a 6-for-6 finish at the foul line chipped the Cats’ lead to a single point, 20-19, at halftime.
Dally finished with a game-high 31 points for the Panthers, while Bell scored 12. Seth Grimes (3 points) was the only other Mabank player who notched points. By contrast, Jones was the only Wildcat in double figures with 17, but 7 other teammates managed points.
The Panthers were 14 of 16 from the foul line, compared to 5 of 7 for the Cats. Mabank enjoyed a 19-11 edge in foul calls. While the foul discrepancies and two untimely technical calls drew the ire of Paris players, coaches, and fans, the Cats had themselves to blame for missed opportunities, including several misfires in the paint that would have provided some separation.
Paris fans have been spoiled by a tremendous 4-year run which saw the Cats roll up a 119-18 overall record and produce 5 all-state players. They’ve seen some great teams find ways to win and great players make shots when the outcome is on the line.
This season has been a transition year. With a solid nucleus returning and joined by an outstanding freshman group that went 20-1 plus a talented eighth-grade bunch, better days are ahead.
‘You better get in your licks this year,” Steed kept saying throughout 2017-18’s thick and thin, “because in a couple of years we’re going to be really good again.”
A 3-goal hat trick by senior Katy Hall was all the scoring the Paris Ladycats needed to defeat the Community Lady Braves, 3-0, in a District 11-4A soccer match Wednesday in Nevada.
The match was originally scheduled for Tuesday, moved up to Monday, then postponed to Wednesday in an unsuccessful attempt to avoid this week’s rainy weather.
While the teams ultimately couldn’t avoid miserable conditions, it didn’t deter Hall and her Ladycat teammates, now 2-0 in district and 12-5-1 overall. Senior midfielder Deagan Dingman provided a pair of assists and the Ladycat defense notched its 12th shutout of the season.
The Paris varsity teams up with the Wildcat boys varsity for a doubleheader visit to Bonham Friday. The Ladycats close out the first half of district play next Tuesday with a key contest at state-ranked Princeton.
The unthinkable has happened to the 4-time defending district champion Paris Wildcats boys soccer team who found themselves on the losing end of another 1-0 decision Tuesday at Wildcat Stadium.
After dropping the District 11-4A opener Friday at North Lamar, 1-0, on a penalty kick late in the match, the Cats fell by that same score Tuesday when they hosted Nevada Community. Again, it was a second-half goal that decided the outcome.
The match was played under miserable conditions with heavy rain and a cold front that blew through during the contest. The Braves caught a break when a shot from long range into the stiff north breeze found the Paris net.
“We’ll come back from this,” Paris coach Jeremy Beshirs promised. “I’ve got players who are giving their best efforts. We’re just not scoring right now. As a coach I’ve got to find ways for us to be successful.”
The Cats (8-7-2) will try for their first district win Friday with a doubleheader visit along with the Ladycats varsity girls team at Bonham before hosting district favorite Princeton next Tuesday back at Wildcat Stadium.
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.
Choir Pre-UIL Concert. The Paris High Chorale and PJHS Combined Girls Choir will stage a Pre-UIL Concert Monday at the Weger Auditorium on the PJHS campus. It begins at 6:30 p.m.