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17 PHS Chorale state qualifiers pose with director Jan Blize and accompanist Dottie Billman at the state Capitol
Paris High Chorale students returned from the UIL State Solo & Ensemble Contest in Pflugerville over the Memorial Day weekend with 3 gold and 11 silver medals for their performances.
Receiving gold medals for superior ratings were seniors Jake Freelen, Molly Law, and Averi McFadden. Students earning silver medals for excellent ratings were seniors Javian Dabbs, Elizabeth Frazier, Jessica Ibarra, Yessica Ramirez, Christiana Swindle; juniors Nick Leija II and Rhea Tabora; and sophomores Skyler Bryan, Rowan Burns, Isabella Garrard, Jared Posey.
Three students received good ratings: junior Nicholas Reed and sophomores Ariana Epperson and Ben Ruthart.
The 17 Chorale students also took a tour of the Capitol while in the Austin area. The PHS choir director is Jan Blize and accompanist is Dottie Billman. Other members of the entourage were Tina Freelen, Angela and Richard Calvin.
Sophomore Zach Nation congratulations freshman Bubba Gray for scoring the Cats’ lone run in their series sweep at the hands of the Center Roughriders
You won’t find the Center Roughriders listed in the final Class 4A top 10 rankings issued by Texas baseball coaches, but you’d have a hard time convincing Paris Wildcats head coach Bill Sikes that the District 16 champions don’t belong near the top of that list.
The Riders opened the schools’ best of 3 Area Round series on Friday with a 21-0 Game 1 romp, and followed with a workmanlike 7-1 Game 2 win Saturday afternoon back at Longview Lobo Field to advance to this week’s regional quarterfinals against Kilgore.
The Wildcats finished their season with a 12-18-1 record, but with 5 sophomores and 3 freshman who were key varsity contributors the Cats look to be a team of the future. By contrast, the Riders (23-5) list 7 seniors in their starting lineup and have won 17 of their last 18 games. Their potential lies in the present.
The Cats knew this before they boarded the bus Friday for the trip south. The team picked to finish dead last in District 14 was happy just to make the playoffs. They were ecstatic when a Game 3 comeback win over Van last week gave them a bi-district championship and a chance to extend their season.
“Hey, even if we get run-ruled twice, it’s been a great year,” Sikes had said prior to the first pitch on Friday. “We’re going to have fun and treat it as a learning experience that may help us two years from now.”
Then came the 21-0 blowout Friday punctuated by 16 walks delivered by 5 Paris pitchers plus a grand slam home run off the bat of Center standout Jaxon Covington.
Center jumped out to a 2-0 start in the first inning of Game 2 when Covington drove a Zach Norris pitch over the left centerfield wall. For the series Covington was 3 for 4 with a pair of homers, a double, 3 walks, a hit by pitch, and 7 RBI.
After a walk to cleanup hitter and Game 2 pitcher Tyler Fountain, Norris settled into a groove by retiring 14 of the next 16 batters. He struck out 5 Riders and got some clean defensive assists from teammates, but he ran out of steam in the sixth inning.
Covington started it off with a double. Three batters later, a hot shot bounced over third baseman Devin Gaines’ glove and Norris’ outstanding 4-year varsity career at Paris High was over.
He left with his team trailing, 4-0, and still no outs in the sixth. Sophomore Coleman Lewis came into the game and finally quelled the rally but not before the Riders added 3 more runs for a 7-0 lead.
The Cats were able to avoid a shutout series in their final at-bat with a big assist from the mid-day sun. Freshman Bubba Gray got it started with a double that the rightfielder lost in the bright sun and junior Walker Preston drove Gray home with a fly ball to right that glazed off the outfielder’s glove.
Otherwise, Center’s Fountain, a lefty, was able to scatter 6 Paris hits (by Preston, Norris, Layn Hall, Daniel Blackmon, Gray, Saxon Swain) with 6 strikeouts and a pair of Rider double plays.
Despite being outscored 28 to 1 in the series, Sikes was pleased with his team’s effort. “It’s been a good run,” he said.
It’s a run Sikes hopes his team will be able finish further down the playoff road in the future.
Even the scoreboard at Longview Lobo Field coudn’t keep pace with the high-octane Center offense which scored 12 runs in the fourth inning, then added 6 more in the fifth topped off by Jaxon Covington’s grand slam home run as the Roughriders took Game 1 of the Area Round baseball series with the Paris Wildcats
The Center Roughriders overwhelmed the Paris Wildcats by the footballl-like score of 21-0 Friday in Game 1 of their best of 3 Area Round playoff series at Longview HS Friday. The series resumes at 2 p.m. Saturday back at Longview. The Cats must win Game 2 to force a decisive third game.
A combination of 5 Paris pitchers tried unsuccessfully to slow down the District 16 champions, who took advantage of 16 walks, a hit batter, and 3 errors to accompany an 11-hit attack. Carthage took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first winning, exploded for 12 runs in the fourth, and finished the run-rule shortened game with 6 in the fifth.
Tall senior lefthander Jaxon Covington kept the Cats hitters off-stride allowing just 2 hits: A two-out single by Zach Norris in the first inning and a leadoff double by Daniel Blackmon in the second. Blackmon advanced to third base on a groundout but was thrown out attempting to score on a dropped third strike which turned into an unusual home-to-first-to-home double play.
Covington struck out 5 Paris batters and capped off the night at the plate with a grand slam home run in the fifth over the left-centerfield scoreboard.
(From left) Lilly Lewis, Sandra Strom, Graham Bain, and Garrett Wilson
Paris High senior Graham Bain has placed second in the statewide Air Force Associaiton Earle North Parker essay contest. Bain was previously named the winner of AFA North Texas chapter contest, while Lilly Lewis placed second, and Will Elliott received honorable mention.
All three seniors are students in Sandra Strom’s AP English IV class.
The topic of this year’s annual contest was Non-commissioned pilots: Historically, who did, and now who does/could pilot Air Force aircraft? Bain received a $1,000 prize from the local chapter and an additional $1,000 from the state organization. Lewis received a $750 scholarship from the local chapter and Elliott received $250.
The trio was honored recently at a dinner and reception at Texas A&M-Commerce, where Bain and Lewis were presented a U.S. flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol.
The Paris High choir program honors its eight Chorale seniors at the Dessert Theater on Thursday, May 17, 6:45 p.m., in the cafeteria.
Guests should place their $7 pie order by Thursday, May 10, from a Chorale student or choir director Jan Blize. The pies are from Sandwich Etc. and include choices of chocolate, coconut, cheesecake, caramel banana, strawberry, and sugar-free strawberry.
The eight Chorale seniors will perform the following solo selections:
The program will include a variety of fun songs performed by the Chorale and guests will receive their pie choices delivered by singing servers to their tables.
Sophomore and junior members of the Chorale include Skyler Bryan, Rowan Burns, Quin Dangerfield, Cynthia DeHoyos, Ariana Epperson, John Frey, Bella Garrard, Nick Leija II, Destiny Millard, Jared Posey, Nicholas Reed, Ben Ruthart, Rhea Tabora, Kayanna Washington, Hailey Woolsey, and Brian Wright.
Freshman Trace McNeal delivers a clutch pinch hit to lift Cats to a 6-6 tie in Game 3
During the third inning of Game 2 Saturday, if you looked beyond the rightfield fence at Emory Rains HS you might have spotted a kettle of vultures circling above some potential prey below. In the third base dugout the Van Vandals (16-14) must have had a similar hopeful feeling facing a lineup of dead and/or inexperienced pitching arms that had the Paris Wildcats (12-16-1) looking like playoff road kill.
Van was well on its way to a 13-2, run-rule victory in Game 2 to even the Class 4A best-of-3 baseball series after Paris’ 10-2 win in the series opener Thursday at Chisum HS, and the Cats were down to their last pitching hope.
That last hope was senior Zach Norris, who hadn’t pitched since leaving the mound 11 days ago with elbow tenderness and hadn’t registered a complete game win since an April 10 victory over North Lamar.
“We were going to limit his pitch count to 50, no matter what,” Paris head coach Bill Sikes said.
Sikes still had a secret weapon left on his bench, but the Cats needed to catch some breaks along the way to be in position to use it. Saturday afternoon playoff doubleheaders under a sun-kissed May sky can be brutal on players and fans alike, and the buzzards were still patiently waiting.
That first break came when Sikes won the coin toss between games to decide the designated home team for Game 3 and get the important last at-bat.
The next came when the Cats pounced on Vandal starting pitcher Austin Hulsey for 3 runs in the first inning. Walker Preston, Norris, and Zach Nation loaded the bases on a walk, single, and hit batter, respectively. Layn Hall delivered an RBI single and Dee Glover forced in the second run on a bases-loaded walk.
That finished Hulsey’s stint on the mound and brought in senior centerfielder Gus Brewer, who induced a grounder to third by freshman Bubba Gray. The throw across the diamond bounced off the glove of Hulsey (now positioned at first base) and gave Paris a quick 3-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Norris was obviously not in top pitching form but he stranded 2 runners in scoring position in the second with a pair of strikeouts, got some defensive help in the third when Nation threw out a runner attempting to steal second and shortstop Saxon Swain and second baseman Carson Powell cleanly fielded tough infield grounders.
But Norris ran out of steam in the fifth. Casey Morrow drove in a pair of runs with a triple over the head of leftfielder Gray. Powell then made a great diving stop to get the first out of the inning on Chase Richardson’s grounder to the right side, but Morrow crossed home to tie the score, 3-3.
A walk to Manny Moore was the final batter Norris would face as Sikes made the switch to Game 1 winning pitcher Preston. Norris’ final pitching line read 3 runs, 4 hits, 6 walks, and 7 strikeouts.
Preston struck out two batters to end the fifth and he started the sixth with a strikeout before his tank also emptied. Consecutive walks preceded an RBI single to right by leadoff hitter Nathan Jay to give Van the lead, 4-3. Another walk forced Sikes to switch to Swain, who hadn’t pitched in a game since March 27.
He was greeted by Richardson’s 2-run single that bounced high over the mound and into centerfield to make it a 6-3 game. Preston then caught Moore’s fly ball to the deep rightfield corner and threw out Morrow at home to cut off an insurance run and end the sixth.
It was a nice play to finish what seemed like a lost cause. The baseball buzzards were soaring.
Catcher Zach Nation applies tag at home after taking Walker Preston’s long throw from deep rightfield
This was a day that seemed destined for the Brewer brothers from Van. Sophomore Hoss Brewer shut down the Cats on 3 hits (by Glover, Gaines, Nation) in Game 2. Senior Gus Brewer had allowed just one hit while striking out 8 in 6.1 innings of relief in Game 3.
“We didn’t have good quality at-bats,” Sikes said, “but he (Gus Brewer) really shut us down.”
That all changed with the Cats on the brink of playoff elimination.
Saxon did his part with an easy 1-2-3 top of the seventh against the Vandals. His clutch pitching line read 1.2 innings, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts.
Armed with their final 3 outs, Preston and Norris got the party rolling for Paris with leadoff singles, and Nation walked to load the bases. Van coach Rob Thomas then pulled Gus Brewer for Moore.
Moore allowed a 4-pitch RBI walk to Hall sandwiched around a pair of strikeouts. The score was now 6-4, but the Cats were down to their final out. It was time to bring in that secret weapon off the bench: Freshman Trace McNeal.
“We don’t even get here today if it weren’t for him,” Sikes said about McNeal, whose pinch hit RBI single accounted for the lone run in a key 1-0 district win at Atlanta. Coincidentally, it was a game-saving diving outfield catch by Preston that closed that win. Deja vu, perhaps?
Freshman Trace McNeal pauses with first base coach Hank Tullis after his clutch pinch hit ties Game 2
McNeal, who also had a clutch pinch hit seventh-inning single that tied the score in a warmup game vs. Carrollton Ranchview a week earlier, took a deep breath before stepping into the batter’s box to face Moore.
He saw two questionable outside pitches called strikes for a quick 0-2 count. The next pitch sailed high for a ball. The fourth pitch again seemed to catch the umpire’s outside strike zone but was called a ball. Moore made a pre-celebratory leap thinking the game was over, and the Van fans were indignant.
The Wildcats had caught another break.
The next pitch was a big curve that would slay most freshmen, but not McNeal, who kept his head down, made contact and drove the ball to right-centerfield (see picture above). The ball dropped, two runs scored, and the lost cause was now tied, 6-6.
McNeal had delivered again.
Fellow freshman Devin Gaines swung at the very next pitch for a high chopper to the right side of the infield. First baseman Hulsey couldn’t corral the big bouncer, but he had to range far enough to his right that he might not have beaten Gaines to the bag anyway.
Hall sprinted home to score the winning run, 7-6, then made a victory slide into the middle of Wildcat mayhem.
The team predicted to finish last in District 14-4A had survived their first playoff test to advance to next week’s Area Round vs. District 16 winner Center. That series will be played at Longview HS, with Game 1 Friday, 7 p.m., and Saturday’s action starting at 2 p.m.
“Can you believe it?” Sikes asked as he and assistants Tony Sanders, Grant Chappell, and Hank Tullis cleaned up a dugout littered with debris from their doubleheader survival test. “We’re bi-district champions. Who’d have thought it?”
Certainly not the baseball buzzards, who were nowhere in sight as a happy group of Wildcats mingled with their fans outside.
Zach Nation gives Paris a 3-0 lead with this bases-loaded single that drives in two runs in the third inning
As he strolled back to the dugout following his post-game team huddle, baseball coach Bill Sikes paused, formed a window frame with his hands, and pointed them towards the centerfield sign that reads “We Are Mustangs.”
“We’re going to add the words ‘and Paris Wildcats’ to that sign out there,” he said.
He was kidding, of course, but the new artificial turf field at the Cats’ Lamar County southern neighbors certainly has that “at-home” feeling in its brief two-year history. Paris is now 6-0 in games played at Chisum following Thursday night’s 10-2 win over the Van Vandals in Game 1 of the teams’ bi-district playoff series.
The series resumes on Saturday at Emory Rains. Game 2 is scheduled for a 3 p.m. start. The Vandals (15-13) must win that game to force a decisive Game 3 doubleheader.
While the Cats (11-15-1) are unbeaten on the Chisum field, their record at PJC’s Hub Hollis Field is only 4-9 the past two seasons. Rainouts and scheduling conflicts have turned the Chisum facility into a welcome home away from home.
Heavy rain moved through northeast Texas Thursday but didn’t detour the series’ scheduled start. However, the dirt pitching mound, the only surface not covered by rug, required extra preparation after soaking up precipitation despite being covered by tarps.
“It was like quicksand out there,” Paris starting pitcher Walker Preston (2-3) said.
Despite the less-than-ideal pitching conditions, both teams agreed to play the game. “He (Van coach Rob Thomas) said they were already here and didn’t want to make the long trip for nothing,” Sikes said.
Thomas sent his No. 1 pitcher, senior Casey Morrow, to the mound to face Preston (pictured right), who couldn’t hold a 6-0 lead in his most recent appearance Saturday at Carrollton Ranchview in a 12-11 warmup loss.
This time, Preston was solid, allowing just 2 hits in 4.2 innings with 5 strikeouts. He got flawless defensive support, especially in the fourth inning when centerfielder Layn Hall ran down a fly ball off the bat of catcher Ry Woodard. The Cats got a double play assist from a Van base runner trying to score from second base. The Vandal was called out when he tried to bypass third base to take a bizarre straight line retreat to second. It preserved an early 3-0 Paris advantage.
Preston lost command of his pitches in the fifth inning with 4 walks to force in the first Van run and trim the Paris lead to 6-1. Sikes turned to sophomore Coleman Lewis, who left the bases loaded with a 3-pitch strikeout.
Lewis pitched the Cats into the seventh before suffering similar control problems. He hit two straight batters to force in the second Van run, and was pulled for fellow sophomore Carson Powell, who induced a double-play grounder that ended the game.
“Walker and Coleman both pitched well,” said Sikes, who was equally pleased with his team’s offensive execution. “I thought we had some great at-bats tonight.”
Sophomore catcher Zach Nation got the Cat attack rolling with a 2-out bloop single to right in the first inning to give Paris a 1-0 lead, and he drove in two more runs in the third with a bases-loaded flare to left after an intentional walk to senior Zach Norris.
The bottom of the order fueled a 3-run rally in the fourth to provide a more comfortable 6-0 lead. Senior Dee Glover drove in a run on an infield single, and the Cats scored two more runs on sophomore leadoff hitter Saxon Swain’s single that was bobbled by the Vandal leftfielder.
That knocked Morrow off the mound and brought in a succession of three Van relievers to finish the game. Again, the bottom part of the Paris lineup paved the way for a 4-run outburst in the sixth. Swain’s RBI double inside the rightfield foul line was followed by a 2-run single by Preston and an RBI single by Norris to give Paris a 10-1 cushion.
Nation produced 3 of the Cats’ 11 hits, while Preston and Saxon each collected 2 hits, but the entire lineup did its part reaching base, moving runners, and getting clutch hits.
“Hey, we’ve got at least two more games to play,” said an exuberant Sikes who hopes to be able to send senior Zach Norris (6-4) to the mound in a Game 2 clincher. The bi-district winner moves on to the area round next week against the winner of Center vs. Gladewater.
The Paris Wildcats couldn’t hold a 3-2 lead as the Pittsburg Pirates used a 6-run outburst in the seventh inning to take an 8-3 win Tuesday night in the District 14-4A finale at PJC Hub Hollis Field.
However, the Cats got big assists from North Lamar and Pleasant Grove to secure the district’s No. 3 playoff seed. NL routed Liberty-Eylau, 10-0, while PG rallied past Atlanta, 10-5, in other district games. Final standings show PG with a perfect 10-0 record, while Pitt is second at 7-3, Paris and Atlanta tied at 4-6, L-E 3-7, and NL 2-8.
The Cats (10-14-1), who swept Atlanta and NL this season, will open the playoffs next week against the Van Vandals (15-10), the No. 2 seed from District 13. Game 1 of the best of 3 series is scheduled for Thursday, May 3, 7 p.m., at Chisum HS. Game 2 will be Saturday, May 5, 3 p.m., at Emory Rains HS with Game 3, if needed, to follow.
“We won the games that counted,” Paris coach Bill Sikes said.
The Cats started the game knowing that their postseason hopes were on the line. Depending on district outcomes Tuesday, they could finish third, fourth, in a 3-way tie for the final two playoff berths, or completely eliminated.
Early on, it looked like they would need no outside help as Paris jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning. A leadoff single by Saxon Swain and errant pickoff throw set up Walker Preston’s RBI single. Zach Norris followed with a hit, Daniel Blackmon reached on a bad hop grounder, and with two outs Dee Glover delivered a two-run single.
The Cats would leave two runners stranded in scoring position that inning, two more in the second, one in the fourth, and the bases loaded in the fifth as the offense fizzled despite collecting 10 hits against Pirate pitchers Brett McGee and Derrick McCellon.
Nine strikeouts were a factor in the lack of clutch hitting along with the failure to get down attempted bunts and a pair of base-running mistakes.
“We needed to score runs when we had the chance early,” Sikes said.
Paris starter Zach Norris pitched the first five innings, but he struggled with his control, allowing 5 hits, 2 walks, and a hit batter while striking out 10. The Pirates closed the gap to 3-2 in the fifth on a pair of doubles down the third-base line, a single, and an infield error.
Norris recovered to strike out the final two batters he faced before leaving the game with some arm soreness. Sikes said he didn’t know how the other district games were progressing, but he didn’t want to risk injury to his senior ace.
Sophomore Coleman Lewis was summoned in relief. Lewis previously shut down the Pirate attack for 5.1 innings of a 2-1 loss at Pittsburg two weeks ago, and he held the 3-2 lead with a scoreless sixth inning. The seventh was a different story. Before the frame ended, the Pirates had scored 6 runs on 4 hits, 3 walks, a hit batter, and an error.
Despite the loss, Sikes was upbeat and proud of his young team’s efforts in earning a playoff spot. The Cats, with 5 sophomores and 3 freshmen on the varsity roster, were picked to finish last in district.
Paris sophomore Saxon Swain led off Saturday’s playoff warmup baseball game at Carrollton Ranchview with a home run over the leftfield wall. Before the first inning ended, the Wildcats had sent 12 batters to the plate and carved out a 6-0 lead over the District 10 champions.
It appeared the Cats were primed for a run-rule victory, but the Wolves had other plans in mind to celebrate their Senior Day. So, 24 combined hits, 10 combined errors, 12 combined walks, and 4 combined hit batters later, the marathon slugfest ended unceremoniously with a walk-off walk and a 12-11 win by the hosts.
“We finally got the bats going,” Paris head coach Bill Sikes said of his team’s 13-hit attack before adding, “if it weren’t for the walks (8 allowed) and errors (5), we would have won that game by 5 to 6 runs.”
Sikes held back senior pitching ace Zach Norris for rest before this week’s bi-district playoff series vs. Van, and sent juniors Walker Preston and Daniel Blackmon plus sophomores Coleman Lewis and Carson Powell to the mound to face the Wolves (14-4-1). Preston started but was relieved by Lewis in the second after a 2-out, 6-run rally by Ranchview put the Wolves ahead, 7-6. The big blow was a bases-clearing triple that was misplayed by an outfielder dealing with a tough mid-day sun.
Lewis had the best success with 5 strikeouts and a pair of shutout innings of relief to keep the Cats (10-15-1) within reach. After the Wildcats scored 3 runs in the fifth to retake a 9-7 lead, Blackmon came in to start the bottom of the inning. He departed the mound after giving up a pair of leadoff walks to turn the pitching duties over to Powell.
Ranchview scored 4 runs to go back on top, 11-9, after 5 innings. Freshman Trace McNeal tied the score, 11-11, with another clutch pinch hit, a 2-out triple down the rightfield line in the seventh. McNeal had the game-winning RBI off the bench in a 1-0 win at Atlanta three weeks ago.
Still, the outcome seemed inevitable when the Wolves started the bottom of the frame with a hit batter and ground rule double. After an intentional walk to load the bases, the game ended, fittingly, on an RBI walk.
Swain led the Wildcat offense with a 3-for-4 day at the plate and 4 RBI. Preston, Blackmon, McNeal, and freshman Devin Gaines each had 2 hits. Senior Dee Glover had a strange stat line, reaching base 3 times on hit by pitches including an RBI.
Paris senior Montavius Mccarty was the lone Wildcat to make an appearance on the medal stand with his third place finish in the boys 100-meter dash at Saturday’s Region 2-4A Track and Field Championships held at Texas A&M-Commerce.
Mccarty’s time was 10.98, just .05 second off second place and an automatic qualifying spot in the state finals. The top two finishers in each event qualify for state along with the best third place finish from the four regional events.
Dallas Carter won both boys and girls divisions at the regional meet.
The Paris Wildcats closed an 0-4 deficit to tie their District 14-4A baseball game at Liberty-Eylau’s H.E. Markam Park Friday only to see the Leopards respond with a 5-4 walkoff win that keeps the Leopards’ postseason hopes alive.
In other Friday games, Pleasant Grove beat North Lamar, 13-3, and Atlanta beat Pittsburg, 4-2.
The Cats (10-13-1, 4-5), relegated to a district cellar finish in preseason prognostications, face this reality as they prepare for Tuesday’s district finale vs. Pittsburg on Senior Night at PJC Hub Hollis Field:
On the bright side, Sikes should have his senior ace, Zach Norris, ready to send to the mound to face the Pirates on Tuesday. Norris has a 4-1 pitching record in district.
Finding a dependable No. 2 starter has been a different story. Junior righthander Walker Preston was the pick to face the Leopards Friday.
Preston did a creditable job holding the Leopards to 1 earned run on 5 hits with 3 walks, 3 hit batters, and 7 strikeouts in 6 official innings. He had control issues in the second when L-E scored 4 runs on a single hit with the aid of 2 hit batters, a walk, and a wild pitch. An infield error cleared the bases.
Nearing his pitch count limit, Preston ran out of gas in the bottom of the seventh. A leadoff single by speedy outfielder Marzavian Riles and steals of second and third put the winning run just 90 feet away from home.
L-E would load the bases on a pair of walks (one intentional), and Sikes summoned sophomore Coleman Lewis in relief. His first offering skipped by home plate, and Riles scored the winning run.
Preston also had a good night at the plate, going 3 for 4 against Wildcat nemesis Cutter Webb, who pitched 4.2 innings of shutout relief against Paris on April 3 to enable the Leopards to beat Norris and the Cats, 4-3. Webb scattered 6 hits, 3 walks, a hit batter, with 4 strikeouts to continue his shutout streak vs. Paris the first 5 innings of Friday’s game.
Preston led off the Wildcat sixth with a single. Paris eventually scored the Cats’ first run on a Leopard throwing error. With Webb also approaching the 110-pitch limit, the Cats loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh.
Down to their final out, Norris tied the score, 4-4, with a 3-run double that ended Webb’s night and brought in reliever Bryan Moore. Sophomore Zach Nation launched a drive that looked like it might score the go-ahead run, but Riles ran it down for the final out.
Paris High athletes won 3 events at Thursday’s Area 13-14 track meet at Emory Rains and qualified 13 individual entrants and 3 relays for next week’s Region 2-4A Track and Field Championships.
The regional track meet will be held Friday and Saturday, April 27-28, at Texas A&M-Commerce.
“It’s the most we’ve qualified for regionals in quite awhile,” said head track coach Herb Smith. We have someone entered in almost every (boys) event. I’m really poud of them.”
Senior Jalen Easter won varsity boys discus, while senior Montavius Mccarty finished first in the boys 100 meters and freshman Jalen Gray won the boys 400 meters.
Just as they did at the District 14 meet last week, the Wildcats finished a strong, but distant, second to Atlanta in the boys division, 172 to 95. The top four finishers in each event advance to regionals.
The Ladycats finished in a tie for seventh in the girls division, which was won by District 14 champion Liberty-Eylau.
Paris results (regional qualifiers in italics):
Daniel Blackmon knocks a double over the third base bag to drive in the first two runs
As a high school baseball coach, it’s hard to find a comfort zone when your team is picked to finish last in district and you have to fill out a lineup card that relies on 5 sophomores and 3 freshmen. But Paris coach Bill Sikes is feeling a lot more optimistic about his young team’s playoff chances following a 10-0 rout of Atlanta Tuesday night at PJC’s Hub Hollis Field.
The win leaves the Wildcats solidly in third place in District 14-4A with a 4-4 record. Pleasant Grove rallied past Liberty-Eylau, 12-6, and Pittsburg overcame North Lamar, 10-6, in other district action.
With two games remaining on the schedule, PG has clinched the No. 1 playoff seed with a perfect 8-0 mark, while Pittsburg is 6-2, Paris 4-4, Atlanta 3-5, L-E 2-6, and NL 1-7. The Cats are in shape to secure a playoff berth and can wrap up the district’s third seed with a win Friday at L-E. Paris returns to Hub Hollis next Tuesday to play Pittsburg in the district finale.
“Who’d ever thought we’d be in this position eight games into the district schedule?” said an elated Sikes.
He wasn’t feeling that way after the first three Atlanta hitters jumped on starting pitcher Zach Norris (6-4) for hard hit flyouts to start the game.
“I thought we were in trouble when they rocked Zach that first inning,” Sikes said, “but he loosened up, got into a rhythm and battled on a night when he didn’t have his best stuff.”
The senior righthander and PJC signee only had 5 strikeouts, allowed 5 hits and 1 walk, but one of those strikeouts ended a bases-loaded threat in the fourth inning and those young infielders bailed him out of jams in the second and fifth.
“I thought the infield really looked comfortable tonight,” Sikes said. “We’ve been relying on two sophomores and a freshmen (plus a junior learning a new position). There’s nothing like getting game experience.”
That junior, first baseman Daniel Blackmon, was the bell cow of the Wildcat offense, too. His 2-run double over the third base bag in the bottom of the first inning (see photo above) was followed by a RBI bloop single to right by sophomore centerfielder Layn Hall to stake Paris to a quick 3-0 lead.
Blackmon and Hall also started a big two-out rally in the third inning which chased Rabbit ace Jake Thompson from the mound. Before the Rabbits’ agony ended, the inning was kept alive by a wild pitch, walk, non-caught third strike, passed ball, RBI singles by Javian Dabbs and Saxon Swain, a hit batter, and Norris’ 2-run double to the leftfield warning track.
“It’s the first time all year that Daniel has looked really comfortable at the plate,” Sikes said. “The whole team had some good swings tonight.”
Blackmon also had several good fielding plays at first base including an unassisted groundout to end the fifth and evoke the 10-run rule.
The Paris Ladycats closed out a year of improvement and disappointment in softball Tuesday with a 6-3 loss to the Atlanta Lady Rabbits on Senior Night at their PJHS home field.
Paris finished 9-16 overall and 1-9 in District 14-4A. Although they managed to be competitive, the Ladycats’ Achilles heal was their fielding, especially late in games. That trend held true in the finale as the Lady Rabbits scored five runs in the fifth inning to break open a 1-1 pitchers’ duel. An inability to successfully field bunts proved to be a downfall.
Sophomore pitcher Saya Swain allowed just 3 hits and 2 walks but no earned runs due to 4 Paris errors in the game. Swain struck out 12 batters to finish with 211 strikeouts for the season.
Atlanta scored its first run in the second on a bunt single over second, two stolen bases, and a dropped third strike, but Paris tied the score, 1-1, in the bottom of the frame when freshman Alexxis Braswell drove in Kammie Franklin on an infield single.
Franklin, the lone honoree on Senior Night, was 2-for-3 at the plate. Swain also went 2-for-3 with a double and RBI, while freshman Quiniya Savage had a triple, and junior Akerria Garvin had a run-producing single.
Akeirra Garvin flies to a home plate landing after launching a solo home run
The Paris Ladycats beat the rain by moving Friday’s starting time 90 minutes forward and using Chisum’s turf softball field to host the Pleasant Grove Ladys Hawks. Unfortunately, they couldn’t beat the one district opponent they’ve been able to beat with consistency the past two years.
In the final analysis, the Ladycats beat themselves with a combination of defensive errors, passed balls and wild pitches coupled with some timely hitting by the Lady Hawks. In the process, PG snapped a 3-game losing streak to Paris, 8-6.
Paris (9-15) closes out the 2018 season Tuesday by hosting Atlanta in a 6 p.m. start on the PJHS field.
PG jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, but a solo homer by Akeirra Garvin over the rightfield fence pulled Paris within 3-1 after one inning.
Saya Swain winds up to deliver a pitch to the plate in Paris’ loss to PG (photo by Joe Watson)
The Lady Hawks got the run back in the top of the second, but the Ladycats tied the game, 4-4 in their half of the inning. A walk to Taylor White and singles by Shea Dial and Evelyn Brown loaded the bases. An error scored one run and both Quiniya Savage and Saya Swain were hit by pitches to force in two more runs.
After PG regained the lead, 5-4, with a run in the third, Paris scored twice in the fourth to briefly go in front, 6-5. Singles by Brown and Savage preceded Swain’s RBI single. Garvin then stole third base and raced home on an errant throw.
PG reclaimed the lead for good with two runs in the fifth on a walk, misplayed single that rolled to the fence and high wild pitch. The Lady Hawks plated an extra run in the sixth on a double, passed ball, and infield error.
Paris advanced a pair of runners into scoring position in the sixth, but a groundout ended the threat.
Swain did not have her best control in the pitching circle but still stuck out 15 batters. She needs one more strikeout in Tuesday’s finale to reach the 200-strikeout plateau for the season.
The odds of the Paris Wildcats dealing the first District 14-4A loss Saturday to third-ranked Pleasant Grove on the Hawks’ home field were slim. So it should come as no surprise that PG ran its district record to a perfect 7-0 with a 10-0 win over a Paris baseball team that was missing five players from the lineup for a combination of factors.
Paris head coach Bill Sikes turned to sophomore Coleman Lewis, who was outstanding in a long relief role a week ago vs. Pittsburg. The Hawks greeted him with 4 runs in the first inning on 2 walks, a hit batter, and 2 Cat errors.
They added another run in the second on an error, walk, hit batter, and groundout before notching their first hit of the game. Before the inning ended, PG was sitting on a 10-0 lead.
Junior Walker Preston replaced Lewis on the mound to get the final out in the second and shut down the Hawks over their last two innings at the plate. The game ended early due to the 10-run rule.
PG’s Nick Voyles allowed 3 hits and struck out 6 to get the pitching win. Freshman Devin Gaines collected 2 of those hits, and Daniel Blackmon got the other.
The Cats now turn their full attention to a crucial home game Tuesday at PJC’s Hub Hollis Field against Atlanta. The two teams are tied for the fourth and final playoff berth with 3-4 records. A Paris win would virtually clinch a playoff spot for the Cats, who defeated Atlanta, 1-0, in the earlier meeting.
Regional UIL medalists Meghan Lamberson and Reese Napier
Paris High placed in two individual events and the One Act Play, The 39 Steps, finished fourth at the Region 2-4A UIL Academic Spring Meet held at Texas A&M-Commerce.
It was the first time in recent school history that a theater performance has advanced to the regional level.
Senior Reese Napier finished fifth in current issues, and senior Meghan Lamberson was sixth in feature writing.
Paris’ Montavius Mccarty beats Atlanta’s Reggie Blaylock to the finish in varsity boys 100 meter dash (the Cats’ Donovan Williams in lane 2 finishes fourth)
There’s a stark contrast in Montavius Mccarty and Jalen Gray, but the Paris Wildcats’ senior and freshman represent the present and future of the school’s track program and they share a common trait.
“They’re both hard workers,” said Paris head track coach Herb Smith.
Freshman Jalen Gray uses his long stride to run past the field down the homestretch of the varsity boys 400 meters
Mccarty, the 5-6 senior, used his veteran savvy and and silky-smooth technique to edge Atlanta’s Reggie Blaylock by .05 second and win the varsity boys 100-meter dash Thursday at the District 14-4A Track and Field Championships at Atlanta Rabbit Stadium. Gray, a 6-3 freshman, relied on his long legs to overcome his technical inexperience and run down the field to finish first in the varsity boys 400 meters in a career-best 50.601 seconds.
“Man (Mccarty’s well-known moniker around PHS) is really quick out of the blocks,” Smith said. He gets out front and is hard to catch. Jalen has incredible God-given talent. We’re working on his (techniques on the) curves, but he has so much potential.”
Potential also describes the Wildcat track program in general. The Cats finished a distant second to host Atlanta, 226-126, in the varsity boys team chase, but the Rabbits won’t get to defend their district title next year since the school is moving down a classification to 3A.
That should give Paris an open window to aim for the school’s first boys district track championship in a quarter-century next season. As for the present, the Cats qualified 12 individuals and 2 relays for Thursday’s Area 13-14 meet at Emory Rains. The other relay (4x200) was disqualified for an exchange out of the zone.
The top 4 finishers in each district varsity event move on to the next postseason round.
The Paris JV boys finished third in their division. A dropped baton on the 4x100 meter relay destroyed the Wildcats’ chances of repeating as JV boys district champions. Mccarty’s younger brother Montrel (aka Woody) won the JV 100 meters, while Quay Porter was first in the JV 400 and had a sizzling anchor leg on the 4x400 meter relay.
The evening’s fighting heart award had to go to junior Kobe Savage in the grueling 300-meter hurdles. Savage was tied for the lead when he got off-stride and fell at the last curve hurdle, but he got up and made up enough ground in the final 100 meters to barely finish fourth and qualify for area.
Liberty-Eylau repeated as varsity girls winner, while the Ladycats were sixth. Paris qualified 4 individuals and 2 relays for the area round.
Atlanta won a sparsely contested JV girls division, and Paris was fourth.
Paris results from Thursday events (area qualifiers in italics):
All Eyes on the Ball: Quiniya Savage parks a Reagan Richardson pitch over the centerfield wall
There’s still miles of ground to make up, but the long-standing competitive divide between North Lamar and Paris in softball is narrowing. Tuesday’s 5-1 loss to the third-ranked Pantherettes was the latest evidence.
A decade has passed since a Paris team beat the perennial powerhouse in softball. Double-digit, run-rule bashings have been the pattern in recent years. That doormat trend changed dramatically last season with the arrival of Saya Swain and new head coach Kara Crawford, the former NL standout.
Saya Swain delivers a pitch to the plate against North Lamar (photo by Joe Watson)
Swain, the sophomore sensation and Iowa State commit, is averaging 2 strikeouts per inning pitched and holding opponents to a .130 batting average. She’s also batting .333 with a team-leading 14 RBI, 8 doubles, and 2 home runs. Her presence in the lineup has overnight transformed a district punching bag into a rival not to be taken for granted.
Tuesday at the Ladycats’ PJHS home field, Paris (9-14) battled NL (21-2) to a 1-1 tie through four innings before Ladycat fielding miscues paved the way for the Pantherettes to score the go-ahead run in the fifth and tack on 3 more runs in the sixth.
Swain walked 1 and struck out 13 Pantherettes. For the season, she’s 16 strikeouts shy of reaching the 200 plateau.
For the Pantherettes, Reagan Richardson and Jaycie Hall split time in the pitching circle and had a combined 15 strikeouts. Richardson and younger sister Macy each collected two hits
The unexpected hitting spotlight, however, was on Paris freshman Quiniya Savage, the budding 3-sport standout who shocked the overflow crowd by leaving the yard with a Richardson pitch (see photo above). Savage’s solo homer over the centerfield wall tied the game at 1-1 in the third inning.
Savage is one of the 3 freshmen and 3 sophomores in the Paris starting lineup that should improve with time, which is running out on the 2018 season. The Ladycats host Pleasant Grove Friday and close the regular season on Tuesday at home vs. Atlanta.
One last delivery: Zach Norris tosses his glove in celebration of his 13th strikeout to end a 5-2 win over North Lamar
Before his team took the field for Tuesday’s key District 14-4A baseball survivor’s match at PJC Hub Hollis Field vs. North Lamar, Paris coach Bill Sikes jokingly suggested that he should offer to play his remaining home schedule on the opponents’ fields.
Hub Hollis had become a voodoo parlor for the Wildcats, who hadn’t won a game on their designated home turf since March 24, 2017. That 7-seven losing skid featured some of the worst moments in recent Wildcat baseball memory.
Of course, Sikes was not serious about offering to surrender the home field advantage in remaining 2018 district games, but the Cats sure needed a confidence boost in their bid to capture a playoff berth this season.
They got it Tuesday in the form of a 5-2 win over the Panthers that evened Paris’ district record to 3-3 and left NL on the verge of playoff elimination at 1-5. In other district games, Pleasant Grove stayed unbeaten at 6-0 with a 12-3 rout of Pittsburg, now 4-2, while Atlanta edged Liberty-Eylau, 2-1, to pull into a tie for fourth with the Leopards at 2-4.
“That felt good,” Sikes said. “We haven’t played that well here in a long time.”
The last time Paris won a game at Hub Hollis, it was a 19-strikeout, 1-hitter by Phillip Sikes that propelled the Cats to a 9-0 victory over North Lamar. Last season’s extremely wet spring forced the move of two district games and the bi-district playoff series vs. Brownsboro to Chisum’s artificial turf field.
While senior pitcher Zach Norris (5-4) didn’t match Sikes’ near-perfection Tuesday, he was solid in allowing just 1 earned run, 5 hits, no walks, 2 hit batters, and 13 strikeouts in picking up the complete game win.
After a messy defensive outing in the Cats’ previous 4-3 home loss to L-E, Paris fielding showed marked improvement. Still, there were some anxious moments. The Cats’ only error scored the Panthers’ first run in the fourth inning. Then an RBI single by Austin Exum produced NL’s second run, and a long throw to the plate allowed Exum to move up to second base but he was tagged out attempting to take an extra base on a close call at third.
The only other jams that Norris saw the rest of the way were in the sixth inning when a foul popup left Panthers stranded on second and third and in the seventh inning when NL left runners on first and second after his 13th strikeout ended the game.
Meanwhile, NL committed five errors, only one of which resulted in an unearned Paris run, but the others helped extend innings and ultimately may have contributed to an early exit by Panther starter Zeke Wood.
Paris broke on top, 3-0, in the third on a 2-out, 2-run double to the base of the leftfield wall by catcher Zach Nation (see photo left). An infield error kept the inning alive, and courtesy runner Coleman Lewis scored on a wild pitch.
After the Panthers closed to within 3-2 in the top of the fourth, the game settled into a pitchers’ duel between Nation and Wood, who finished with 8 strikeouts.
“We need a run here,” Sikes said in the sixth inning as he nervously paced the dugout nursing a 3-2 lead.
He got two of them. First baseman Daniel Blackmon led off with a single up the middle and pinch runner Javion Dabbs stole second base. After a wild pitch and a 4-pitch walk to freshman Trace McNeal, Wood gave way to reliever Luke Parsons.
Freshman Bubba Gray worked a full-count walk to load the bases and bring dangerous leadoff hitter Saxon Swain to the plate with 1 out. Swain popped up to shallow left-centerfield but some apparent miscommunication among Panther outfielders and a late break allowed the ball to fall untouched and score two big insurance runs.
It was the fifth straight win over their Lamar County rivals dating back to a 1-0 loss at NL on March 28, 2016.
The Cats, now 9-11-1 overall, hope to avoid a rainy weather forecast Friday with a game at PG before returning to their newly exorcised Hub Hollis home Tuesday for another critical matchup vs. Atlanta.
The Atlanta boys and Liberty-Eylau girls have taken the lead in the varsity divisions of the District 14-4A Track and Field Championships after the first day of the two-day meet Wednesday at Atlanta’s Rabbit Stadium.
Paris stands in fourth place among varsity boys, sixth in varsity girls, and second in both JV divisions. Paris won two events Wednesday in the JV girls division: Atajdren Gill in discus and Hannah Gibbons in high jump.
Finals were contested in all field events and the 3200-meter run on Wednesday followed by prelim heats in all other running events. Finals in those running events will be staged starting at 6 p.m. on Thursday.
The top four finishers in each varsity event advance to next week’s Area 13-14 meet.
Paris Results (area qualifiers in italics):
2018 Paris High Chorale in concert
The Paris High Chorale received a superior rating in sight reading and an overall excellent rating in concert at the recent UIL Choir Concert / Sight Reading Contest at Mount Pleasant High School.
The Chorale received a plaque for their unanimous superior rating from all three judges for the sight reading portion of the contest. The group received a superior rating from one judge for their concert performance and excellent ratings from the other two judges.
PHS choir director Jan Blize commended her students for their practice outside of class time, including several sessions during Spring Break, in order to prepare for an extra early contest date set by the UIL.
“The contest is about the journey of learning and making music together rather than the destination of receiving ratings,” she said. “I would like to thank this year’s Chorale for making this year’s concert / sight reading journey one of which I am most proud to see students bond together and take so much personal initiative.”
Blize was assisted by PJHS choir director Melody Logan and accompanist Dottie Billman along with special assistance from Head Start director Eva Williams.
Chorale members include Skyler Bryan, Rowan Burns, Javian Dabbs, Quin’Tarious Dangerfield, Cynthia Dehoyos, Ariana Epperson, Alexandra Folmar, Elizabeth Frazier, Jake Freelen, Isabella Garrard, Jessica Ibarra, Molly Law, Nick Leija, Averi McFadden, Destiny Millard, Jared Posey, Yessica Ramirez, Nicholas Reed, Ben Ruthart, Christiana Swindle, Rhea Tabora, Kayanna Washington, and Brian Wright.
PHS UIL Academic Team: (from left) Kira McFadden, Anna Floyd, Quinn Andrews, Savanna Sandor, Mikayla Rogers, Number Sense Coach Renee Townsend, Nichole Hawkes, Allena Taylor, Ryan Tijerina, Aislinn Taylor, Allyssa Standifer, Morial Amin-Allen, Amanda Blouin, Britni Leigh, Science Coach Jennifer Hudson, Reese Napier, Meghan Lamberson, Graham Bain, Journalism Coach Savannah Abbott, Social Studies and Current Issues Coach Tracy Roden, Zach De la Garza, Matthew Wintz, UIL Coordinator Amy Burrows (Not pictured: Robotics and Computer Applications Coach Jodi Andoe and Ready Writing Coach Angie Black)
Paris High won four individual events and three team events at this year’s District 14-4A Academic Spring Meet held in Pittsburg.
The top three finishers in each individual event and winning teams qualify to advance to the Region 2-4A Spring Meet Saturday, April 14, at Texas A&M-Commerce.
Senior Anna Floyd was a winner in calculator applications and computer science, senior Reese Napier led a 1-2-5 finish in current issues, and senior Meghan Lamberson was first in feature writing. The winning current issues team included senior Graham Bain and Lamberson. Junior Quinn Andrews and Floyd were members of the winning computer science team.
In addition, the PHS theater production of The 39 Steps advanced from district and will be competing at regionals Friday, 7 p.m., at A&M-Commerce.
Atlanta accumulated 570 total points to win the team trophy. North Lamar was second at 406, followed by Pleasant Grove 299 and Paris 255.
Paris results (regional qualifiers in italics)
Ladycats Estephany Balderas (10) and Zanesha Dangerfield (14) watch a perfectly-placed long shot by Deagan Dingman give Paris a brief 1-0 lead
Two years ago, the Paris Ladycats shocked the soccer world and perhaps even themselves when they qualified for a berth in the regional tournament. That 2016 team, which included eight sophomores, lost in a regional semifinal to Athens, 3-1.
The Class of 2018 which formed the core of that historic first-ever regional tournament appearance for a PHS soccer squad has labored two long years to make a return appearance. They were minutes away from achieving that goal before they were blind sighted by a pair of Terrell Lady Tigers’ scores which shut that window forever and sent Paris home with a 2-1 loss in a regional quarterfinal match played at Sulphur Springs Gerald Prim Stadium.
“Our seniors have left an incredible legacy for others to follow,” Paris head coach Matt Dickinson said afterwards.
There may have been more talented girls groups to play soccer at PHS, but none can match the 4 playoff wins this year’s senior class leaves in their wake. For a few precious moments Friday, a 5th playoff win was in sight.
A scoreless first half saw just one prime scoring opportunity when Estephany Balderas settled a cross from Deagon Dingman and fired a shot from the top of the 18-yard box that sailed a couple feet wide right of the top 90. After the teams changed ends for the second half it appeared that the Ladycats would immediate seize momentum from a favorable 10-12 mph north wind at their backs.
A foul against Emily Williams positioned Dingman with a free kick from 38 yards out on the left wing. The senior topside defender, who scored the only goal in a 1-0 bi-district win over Crandall, was spot-on perfect with a bullet that found the Terrell net just under the crossbar (see photo above).
The Ladycats had a 1-0 lead, the wind in their sails, and a rock-solid defense that had notched 17 shutouts this season. But their opponents still had 38:32 left on the clock and a multi-faceted offense featuring five double-digit goal scorers. By comparision, Paris only had Katy Hall (22 goals) and Balderas (12), and there’s a big dropoff in goal production after that duo.
The Lady Tigers went right to work using their superior short passing game to go on attack. The offensive pressure produced a corner kick by standout midfielder Mayeli Torres, a University of the Southwest signee. Instead of aiming for the goal area, Torres diverted to the top of the 18-yard box where a hard-charging Jaelyn Young found an opening in the Paris defense and sent the ball past goalie Grace Woodby to her right side.
The lead had lasted just 5 minutes, 24 seconds.
Over the next 20 minutes the Ladycats tried to offset the Lady Tigers’ midfield advantage with some long through balls to Hall on counter-attacks. With 27 minutes remaining a Ladycat corner was deflected out to Sarah Bloodworth whose low shot from 12 yards out ricocheted off a defender’s legs back to Bloodworth. Her rebound shot raised just over the crossbar.
Two minutes later the Ladycats found Hall on a breakaway. She stopped her dribble to take a shot from 22 yards that just missed wide right.
With 13:30 left, a Terrell defender made an ill-advised clear into the middle, where Sunny Scruggs was looming. Scruggs fired from 30 yards away but didn’t get a clean strike and the ball drifted into the goalie Alex Trevizo’s arms.
It appeared the match was heading for overtime when the lights went out on Paris’ postseason march. Torres again started the scoring chance with a corner kick that was headed out by Scruggs and cleared to midfield by Hall, but a Lady Tiger defender quickly sent the ball back into scoring position and Terrell smartly worked it around the Paris defense.
Terrell regained possession on the left flank where it was crossed to an onrushing teammate. A wicked left-footed shot sliced across the goalmouth and eluded Woodby’s diving grab. The Ladycat defense was slow to respond, and Genesis Nunez easily tapped the ball into the net.
Just 2:09 remained in the Ladycats’ season and the careers of Bloodworth, Brylei Moore, Morial Amin-Allen, Hall, Scruggs, Balderas, Dingman, Josie Cade, Laney Madding, Zanesha Dangerfield, and Emily Williams.
They went down swinging, taking a pair of corner kicks in the final minute. On the last corner, the ball was headed out, and Bloodworth was again poised for the score. She tried to lift the ball into the top 90, but it missed 3 feet wide of the goal.
It was over. The Ladycats’ season had ended at 18-8-2. Terrell, meanwhile, had claimed its 13th straight victory and will take a 23-5-2 record to Friday’s Region 2-4A tournament where the Lady Tigers will face Pleasant Grove in a semifinal. Mabank, a 1-0 winner over District 14 champion Princeton, faces Kilgore in the other semifinal.
Agony & Ectasy: As happy Terrell Lady Tigers exit the field, the faces on the Paris Ladycats reflect the sudden end for the soccer careers for the Class of 2018
The Paris Wildcats closed out the first half of the District 14-4A baseball round-robin with a tough 2-1 loss at Pittsburg Friday. They return home to PJC Hub Hollis Field Tuesday night to host the North Lamar Panthers in a 7:30 p.m. start.
That game will be crucial in both Lamar County schools’ second-half district push to make the playoffs. At the district midpoint, Pleasant Grove is a perfect 5-0 followed by Pittsburg at 4-1. Paris and Liberty-Eylau are tied for third at 2-3, while North Lamar and Atlanta are both 1-4.
The Wildcats were coming off a 6-error outing in a disappointing 4-3 setback to L-E earlier in the week. The stage was set for another bad outcome Friday when the Pirates jumped on starter Canyon Parker in the first inning for a pair of runs on 3 walks, 2 hit batters, and a single hit.
Sophomore Coleman Lewis (pictured right in a game earlier this season by Joe Watson) came on in relief to get out of the inning and pitched 5.1 innings of scoreless ball, allowing just 1 hit with no walks and 3 strikeouts. Lewis’ showing, supported by error-free defense in support, kept the Cats in the game.
“That was the best game we played all year,” Paris head coach Bill Sikes said.
The Cats broke through against Pirate ace Derrick McCellon in the fifth when Carson Powell walked and was singled home by Walker Preston. However, Preston was called out attemping to steal second on one of several questionable base umpire’s calls that drew the ire of the Wildcat coaches.
Ty Jordan relieved McCellon on the mound and got the final 6 outs, 3 by strikeout.
Saxon Swain and Layn Hall had the only other two hits by the Wildcats, now 8-11-1.
Paris High School National Honor Society and PHS Cheerleaders will be collecting donations to aid in finding a cure for childhood cancer. Click here for details.
Personal and business ads are now available for the 2018-2019 Owl. Click here to access the online order form.
The PHS choirs will present a “Champions and Heroes” themed concert on Tuesday, October 2nd. The concert will be presented in the Weger Fine Arts Building on the PJH campus beginning at 6:30pm. The event is free of charge. Enjoy this great opportunity to hear each of the secondary choirs present one song each as well as combined choir performances. A special guest appearance by “The Cool Kids Choir” from the PHS Life Skills Class is also scheduled.