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Paris High School
2255 South Collegiate Drive
Paris, Texas 75460

School Hours: 8:30-3:50
Summer Office Hours: Mon-Thur, 8:00 am – 2:00 pm

Phone: 903-737-7400
Fax: 903-737-7515
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The PHS office will be open Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. during summer.  Limited services will be available so visitors are advised to call ahead (903-737-7400).

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Final academic reports for students in grades 9-11 have been mailed home.  Transcripts for seniors have been mailed to designated colleges.  Additional requests for transcripts must be made in writing and signed by the graduate.

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Students have an opportunity to improve their STAAR test scores during the next round of STAAR retesting June 25-28. 

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PHS News
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October 13, 2017

Paris, L-E Split Sub-Varsity Results

The Paris Wildcats freshmen held off the Liberty-Eylau Leopards, 20-12, in a District 14-4A matchup Thursday at Wildcat Stadium before the Leopards’ JV dominated the second game, 40-7.

Zy’kius Jackson gave the Paris freshmen an early lead on a 10-yard scoring run, but the Leopards went on top, 12-8, with three minutes remaining in the half.  Wildcat quarterback Javin Cary then found Santwan Gray for a 48-yard completion to put Paris in position to regain the lead, 14-12, on a 2-yard run by Jackson.

That same Cary-to-Gray combination worked for a 28-yard TD pass in the third quarter to extend the lead to 20-12, and the Paris defense held L-E at bay the rest of the night.

The JV game was a simple matter of too much Leopard speed.  L-E scored on a 68-yard sprint on the first play from scrimmage, and the Leopards scored again on their second possession to take a quick 14-0 lead just 2:11 into the game.

The only Paris score was the result of Jay Bell’s 25-yard fumble return for a touchdown.  Bryan Ramirez added the extra point. 

But the Leopards scored 4 more times, including a pick-6 interception return, to take a commanding 40-7 halftime lead.  The second half was scoreless with a running clock and L-E taking a knee at the Paris 1-yard line in the game’s final minute.

The Paris freshmen (4-1) and JV (3-3) travel to Princeton next Thursday to continue district play.

October 11, 2017

Ladycats Win to Set Up Friday Showdown

Paris High teams will be involved in two big battles with district championship implications Friday.  While the varsity football team and large contingent of Wildcat fans and support groups make the 100-mile journey east to face District 7-4A-1 co-favorite Liberty-Eylau, a much smaller entourage of close family and friends will gather in the Wildcat Gym to watch the surprising Ladycats host Pleasant Grove with the District 14-4A volleyball lead on the line.

That unusual scenario was set up by Tuesday’s district volleyball results.  Paris swept the Pittsburg Lady Pirates, 25-18, 25-16, 25-22, in the Wildcat Gym to improve the Ladycats’ district mark to 5-1.  Meanwhile, PG also improved to 5-1 with a tough 5-set win in the Hawk Gym over defending district champion North Lamar (3-3).  L-E is in third place in volleyball at 4-2, while Pitt (1-5) and Atlanta (0-6) are on the brink of playoff elimination.

Friday’s varsity-only match starts at 4:30 p.m.  Kickoff for the football game is 7:30.  Unless they have access to a fast-moving helicopter or time machine, Wildcat fans will have a tough choice to make.

Friday’s first-place volleyball battle seemed an impossibility early in the Ladycats’ 2017 season, even to their head coach Britney Humphrey.

“After the way we played at home against Prairiland and Leonard (in Aug. 15 and 22 losses), it didn’t look like we’d even make the playoffs this year,” Humphrey said prior to sending her team out to start the second half of district play.

Instead, the Ladycats have punched their postseason ticket early with Tuesday’s playoff-clinching victory.  They’ve won 8 of their last 9 matches to improve to 22-12 for the season including tough, 5-set road wins at Pitt, PG, and L-E.  The lone exception was last week’s flat performance in an embarrassing loss at crosstown rival NL.

Anyone who witnessed the Paris-NL match would have a hard time believing this was the same Ladycats team.

Paris sophomore Quinterria JenkinsWith an undersized frontcourt, Humphrey continues to make rotation adjustments to search for winning combinations.  Since the loss at NL, she has inserted 5-8 sophomore Quanterria Jenkins (shown right in photo by Joe Watson) into the lineup.  Jenkins paired up with 5-10 junior Peaches Jackson to make a solid 1-2 attack punch in the sweep over Pitt.

Jackson dominated play in Game 1 with 9 kills, a block, and the final 3 service points.  She finished with a match-high 14 kills and 3 blocks. 

After Humphrey called a timeout with her team down, 10-14, the Ladycats responded with an 8-0 run with senior Deagan Dingman at the service line.  The key stretch was punctuated by 3 kills and a block by Jackson plus a pair of Jenkins winners.  When Pitt closed to within 18-16, Jackson reeled off 3 straight winners to regain command at 21-16.

Paris never trailed in Game 2, but the Lady Pirates pulled within 10-9 when an alert dig save by Jenkins led to a crucial point.  The Ladycats then pulled away, and Game 2 ended on a big block by freshman Quiniya Savage.

Game 3 saw 3 lead changes and 5 ties before Paris took the lead for good at 21-20.  A pair of kills by sophomore Grace Woodby set up match point which ended on an errant Pitt kill shot.

Woodby, the team leader this season  in kill shots, finished with 8, while Jenkins had 7.

Backcourt support by senior libero Katy Hall and sophomore defensive specialist Riley Bills along with Woodby and senior setters Dingman and Sunny Scruggs was solid and has been a key ingredient in the Ladycats’ district success.

Still, the maturation of Jackson, a star on the basketball court, as a volleyball standout has been a big reason for Paris’ recent upswing. 

“She played on varsity as a freshman, but mostly sat on the bench,” Humphrey remembers.  “Last year (Humphrey’s first year as Paris head coach) Peaches asked to be on JV so she could get more playing time.”

Humphrey, who lost both 2016 middle blockers to graduation, needed Jackson to become a dominant force up front in 2017.  “She’s one of the hardest workers I have,” Humphrey said.

Assistant coach Matt Dickinson said the team has made adjustments to Jackson’s unique skill set.  “Peaches has vertical explosion we weren’t taking advantage of because of our tall sets that were giving teams time to set their blocks,” he said.  “We’re using quicker sets now that’s allowing Peaches to use her athleticism.

“There were a couple of times tonight when she was able to reach out for balls and bat them behind her back for winners.”

Even when she wasn’t slamming down winners, Jackson was able to draw attention at the net with fake sets to allow Jenkins some clear shots.

Both Paris JV squads managed wins Tuesday vs. Pitt.  The Blue squad won, 2-0, while the White squad won, 2-1.

October 8, 2017

Ladycats Win Again on District Road

There’s something about long bus rides that seem to bring the beast out of the Paris Ladycats, who won another 5-set marathon Friday in Texarkana to remain atop the District 14-4A volleyball standings at the halfway point.

Paris survived another district road test with a 25-14, 23-25, 25-21, 17-25, 15-12 win over the Liberty-Eylau Lady Leopards.  Despite playing 4 of their first 5 district matches on the road, the Ladycats are tied with Pleasant Grove at the district midpoint with 4-1 records.   With the loss, L-E falls into a second-place tie with North Lamar at 3-2 followed by Pittsburg (1-4) and Atlanta (0-5).

It was the third 5-set district win for Paris, which previously won matches at PG and Pittsburg.

Facing another opponent with a considerable height advantage, the Ladycats managed to play determined defense, paced by senior libero Katy Hall’s 53 recorded digs.  Sophomore Grace Woodby also logged 27 digs along with 21 kills.  Junior Peaches Jackson added 18 kills and 6 blocks.

Paris starts the second half of district play Tuesday by hosting Pitt in the Wildcat Gym.

October 9, 2017

Chorale Students Earn 8 All-Region Chairs

2017 All-Region Choir members All-Region Choir: (from left) Rowan Burns, Nicholas Reed, Nick Leija, Molly Burns, Jake Freelen, Jared Posey, Rhea Tabora, Brian Wright, Javian Dabbs, Yessy Ramirez

Paris High Chorale students earned eight chairs in the Region IV Small School Choir following auditions held Saturday at North Lamar.  Also, two PHS students were named alternates.
These students will perform at the All-Region Choir Clinic & Concert at Mount Pleasant on Nov. 11 and will participate in Pre-Area auditions in Gilmer on Nov. 28.  Students who earn a top 4 chair in his/her section at Pre-Area will advance to Area auditions at Texas A&M-Commerce on Jan. 13 for a chance for a seat in the Texas Small School All State Choir.  

The PHS Choir Director is Jan Blize assisted by Melody Logan, accompanist Dottie Billman and vocal coach Grant Taylor.

PHS results:

  • 2nd chair Soprano 2: Rowan Burns
  • 1st chair Alto 1: Molly Law
  • 2nd chair Alto 2: Rhea Tabora
  • 3rd chair Tenor 1: Nicholas Reed
  • 2nd chair Tenor 2: Jake Freelen
  • 5th chair Bass 1: Jared Posey
  • 2nd chair Bass 1: Nick Leija II
  • 4th chair Bass 2: Javian Dabbs
  • Alternates: Yessy Ramirez and Brian Wright

October 10, 2017

Rojas First at District Cross Country

For the third straight year a Paris High Wildcat is the top runner in the district cross country meet as junior JP Rojas led the boys team to a third-place team finish at Saturday’s District 14-4A Championships in Atlanta.

JP Rojas of ParisRojas (pictured left) finished first overall with a time of 18:00.2, nearly one minute ahead of second place, to follow in the footsteps of the graduated Matt Cochran, who won individual boys titles in 2016 and 2015.  Rojas was third last year.

The third-place team finish, behind Atlanta and Pittsburg, qualifies the Wildcat boys for the Region 2-4A Championships on Monday, Oct. 23, at Grand Prairie Lynn Creek Park.  Other Paris finishers were Justin Medina (10th), sophomore Gavyn Hollje (17th), Alexis Luna (18th), and junior Kyler Beshirs (24th).

The Ladycats placed fourth overall, but senior Lilly Lewis qualified for regionals with a 10th-place showing.  Other Paris finishers were Elizabeth Cervantez (12th), Madison Toland (22nd), Evelyn Brown (25th), and Alex Perez (28th).

The Paris girls finished first overall in JV boys competition, while the Paris boys were runnerup.

October 4, 2017

NL Continues Win Streak over Ladycats

Mackenzie Mitchell gets a hit over freshman Quinoya Savage
NL’s Mackenzie Mitchell gets a hit over freshman Quiniya Savage (photo by Joe Watson)

After watching her Paris Ladycats drop the first set of Tuesday’s district volleyball match at North Lamar, head coach Britney Humphrey called a timeout when the Pantherettes jumped out to an 8-0 lead in Game 2.

“Don’t let them get in your head,” Humphrey pleaded in the huddle.

It was too late.  The Pantherettes had already camped out in the Ladycats’ collective cerebrum, pitched their tent, started a fire, and were roasting marshmallows en route to a dominant, 25-17, 25-15, 25-19 win in the Panther Gym to create chaos atop the District 14-4A standings.

The result dropped Paris (20-12 overall) into a 3-way tie for first place with Liberty-Eylau and Pleasant Grove with matching 3-1 district marks.  Defending champion North Lamar, after a rocky 0-2 start, is now just one match back at 2-2 followed by Pittsburg (1-3) and Atlanta (0-4).

Tuesday’s latest win was the Pantherettes’ 13th straight over the Ladycats.  NL has outscored Paris, 39-4, in sets over that timespan.  The last Paris victory in the crosstown series occurred during the 2010 season when the Ladycats swept all three meetings including a win in the regional quarterfinals.

How one-sided was Tuesday’s match?  Paris held set leads on just 4 occasions: 3-2, 4-3, and 5-4 in Game 1 and 1-0 in Game 3.  Pantherettes coach Misty Ford had to call just one timeout with her team leading, 21-16, in Game 3 after 5 Pantherettes unforced errors created a 6-0 Paris run.

Otherwise, it was clear sailing for the hosts who used their superior frontline height to keep the smaller Ladycats on their heels.  Senior 6-0 middle blocker Jacie McFatridge led the way with 11 kills, 4 blocks, and 4 service aces.

A trio of 5-8 hitters played big supporting roles.  Junior Mackenzie Mitchell dropped in 6 kills and 2 blocks, sophomore Macie Pointer had 4 kills and 2 blocks, and senior Amber White produced a pair of kills and 3 aces.

For Paris, sophomore Grace Woodby notched 7 kills, while 5-10 junior Peaches Jackson had 4 kills and 4 blocks, and senior Zanesha Dangerfield finished with 4 kills.  Still, the Ladycats were their own worst enemy, committing 33 total unforced errors in the match, including 6 on service and a couple of offensive sets they let fall untouched to the floor.

NL also dominated play in the JV matches Tuesday, winning both by 2-0 counts, although the Ladycats’ JV Blue squad managed a big comeback in Game 2 before falling.

Next up for Paris will be a trip Friday to the Texarkana Rader Dome to face L-E and close out the first half of the district round-robin.  Fortunately, the Ladycats will get a break in the schedule with 4 of their last 5 district matches on their home court including an Oct. 20 rematch with NL on Paris Homecoming in the Wildcat Gym.

October 3, 2017

Wildcat Golfers 4th at Denison Meet

The Paris Wildcats boys golf team placed fourth among eight schools Monday at the Stinger Invitational hosted by Denison at Tanglewood Resort.  Blaine Hill was fourth among boys medalists with a round of 80.

  • Girls Team Results: 1. McKinney North 382, 2. Pottsboro 471, 3. Paris 496
  • Paris Girls Results: Emily Eddlemon 110, Riley Bills 118, Ashlyn Callihan 123, Sara Davidson 127, Grace Perry 128, Ansley Downs 128, McKenna Downs 134, Clairah White 141
  • Boys Team Results: 1. Lovejoy 332, 2. Pottsboro 334, 3. Plano East 337, 4. Paris 378, 5. North Lamar 382, 6. Denison Black 389, 7. Callisburg 409, 8. Princeton 414, 9. Denison Gold 466
  • Paris Boys Results: Blaine Hill 80, Holden Stone 87, Tate Lewis 102, Justin Meredith 102, Mathew Scott 103, Coleman Lewis 109, Drew Bush 111

October 1, 2017

Cats Win Respect in Loss to Eagles, 27-7

Vershaud Richardson has double armful of Argyle runners
Vershaud Richardson has a double takedown of Argyle RB Don Williams (left) and QB Jon Copeland (photo by Joe Watson)

Coaches don’t like to talk about moral victories, but the Paris Wildcats held the state powerhouse Argyle Eagles to a season low in points and total yardage and sacked standout quarterback Jon Copeland 5 times in a 27-7 loss Friday night at Wildcat Stadium that raised heads across the Texas football landscape.

The Cats played host to a team that many were lauding as the best in Argyle’s short but storied history, a squad that had averaged scoring 40 points in the first half alone entering Friday’s final pre-district test.  Copeland was averaging 314 yards passing and 4 touchdowns per game despite seeing little action beyond halftime in those previous games.

Prognosticators said the underdog Cats could play well and still lose by 4 or 5 touchdowns.  Still, the Wildcat coaching staff prepared a game plan that they thought would give the home team a chance at a shocking upset.  So, what was that plan and why, ultimately, did it fall short of its goal?

The magic number: 8

Paris coaches hoped to limit the number of Argyle’s offensive possessions for the game to 8.  The Eagles had 10 (not counting the final-minute, kneel down series).  They believed the Wildcat defense could stop half those drives, the Eagles would score on two possessions, and a couple of series would end in turnovers.  Of the 10 Eagle possessions, 2 ended in field goals, 2 in touchdowns, 2 on downs, and 4 on punts.  It was a yeoman-like effort for the Paris defense, although the one series they wished they had back was the final Argyle drive of the first half when the Eagles went 72 yards, aided by a personal foul penalty, in the last 3 minutes to score their first touchdown and get some breathing room at halftime, 10-0.

No big plays

The defensive scheme was to pressure Copeland, particularly from outside rushers Vershaud Richardson and Perry Franklin, and not let the Eagles’ explosive air attack get untracked.  Copeland was held to 105 yards passing, 209 yards under his previous average, and was sacked 5 times (4 by Richardson and 1 by Perry).  The only blimp in that plan again came on that fateful final drive of the first half when Copeland found Cale Nanny open for a 35-yard catch-and-run for the TD.  Leading Eagles’ receiver Wes McCollum, who had averaged 136 receiving yards per game with 7 TDs, was shut out.

Win the turnover battle

The Cats needed to play an error-free game and force the Eagles into a couple of turnovers.  Instead of finishing a plus-2 in turnovers, Paris was minus-2, and those two mistakes were fatal to the Cats’ upset design.  A fumbled option pitch on Paris’ third play of the second half led to an Eagle field goal that increased their lead to 13-0, and a fumbled handoff on the Cats’ third series of the second half was scooped up and returned for a defensive score that made it a 20-0 game and essentially ended the game plan.

Reason for optimism

So, while Paris (3-2) will receive congratulations statewide for its “moral victory” over 5-0 Argyle, Wildcat coaches and players will be back at work trying to fix deficiencies that separate them from perennial state contenders like the Eagles.  They have an open week ahead before beginning defense of their District 7-4A-1 title on Oct. 13 at Liberty-Eylau.

There is much reason for an optimistic district chase and extended playoff run, perhaps even a rematch with Argyle in the state semifinals.

If defenses win championships, then Paris appears primed for the battles ahead.  Richardson, the 6-3 junior defensive end, had the type of dominant game that attracts D1 recruiting interest with 10 total tackles, the 4 sacks, 7 tackles for loss, and a pass breakup.

Senior safety Jordan Furtch also had 10 tackles and a pass breakup, while senior inside linebacker Michael Godwin had 8 tackles and junior ILB TD Williams had 7 solo tackles.  Paris limited Argyle to a season-low 272 total yards.

Although the first-team offense was shut out, the unit was able to limit Argyle possessions with a bruising ground game.  Senior RB Donovan Williams carried 18 times for 86 yards.  He became the seventh player in PHS history to rush for 3,000 yards on his first carry of the night.  Williams now has 3,081 career yards and has a good chance of moving up to the No. 2 spot behind Quez Allen’s school record of 4,599.

Scoring Summary:

  • Argyle 3, Paris 0.  Travis Garner 29 FG, 7:33 1q.  The Eagles slash the Paris defense on a series of runs by Don Williams on the opening drive of the game to reach the Paris 5 with a first-and-goal.  However, Vershaud Richardson sacks QB Jon Copeland, and Perry Franklin and Cam Jones make successive solo tackles to force the Eagles to settle for 3 points.
  • Argyle 10, Paris 0.  Cale Nanny 35 pass from Copeland (Garner kick), 0:43 2q.  The Cats’ best drive of the first half ends on downs after a substitution penalty halts their momentum at the Argyle 22.  To make matters worse, they lose valuable tight end Tre Perry to a leg injury on the drive plus the Eagles go on a 72-yard, 8-play march to increase their lead just before halftime.  Copeland rolls right and finds Nanny curling open at the Paris 20.  He cuts past two Paris defenders and darts to the right pylon.
  • Argyle 13, Paris 0.  Garner 25 FG, 7:19 3q.  A fumbled option pitch is recovered by Hayden Clearman at the Paris 30.  Eagles reach the Paris 8 on first-and-goal but a false start and a pair of sure tackles by the Cats’ defense stalls the 8-play drive and Garner nails his second field goal.
  • Argyle 20, Paris 0.  Chase Petter 43 fumble return (Garner kick), 0:54.7 3q.  A fumbled handoff is picked up by Petter who has wide open spaces ahead to the end zone.
  • Argyle 27, Paris 0.  Noah Lang 5 run (Garner kick), 8:53 4q.  Eagles put the game away with a 10-play, 64-yard drive that features backup RB Lang.
  • Paris 7, Argyle 27.  James Neal 3 run (Antonio Saavedra kick), 4:17 4q.  The Cats’ second team offense breaks the shutout by scoring on the Eagles’ second D on this late 70-yard, 7-play drive.  Big plays were runs of 23 and 12 yards by Kobe Savage and a Savage pass of 26 yards to Demetric Glover.

How Wildcats’ Opponents Fared:

  • Terrell (1-4): lost to Kaufman, 22-19
  • Pleasant Grove (4-0): beat Liberty-Eylau, 51-14
  • Sulphur Springs (2-3): lost to Pine Tree, 55-47
  • Pittsburg (3-2): beat Tatum, 41-28
  • Argyle (5-0): beat Paris, 27-7
  • Liberty-Eylau (1-4): lost to PG, 51-14
  • Princeton (1-4): lost to Melissa, 48-35
  • Quinlan Ford (5-0): beat FW Castleberry, 53-0
  • Anna (4-1): beat Nevada Community, 41-21
  • North Lamar (2-3): beat Canton, 35-13

September 30, 2017

Ladycats Beat Atlanta for District Top Spot

Grace Woodby knocks down crosscourt winner
Grace Woodby knocks down a crosscourt kill shot vs. Atlanta (photo by Joe Watson)

The Paris Ladycats swept the Atlanta Lady Rabbits Friday, while Pleasant Grove knocked off previously unbeaten Liberty-Eylau, 3-1, to leave the Ladycats alone atop District 14-4A volleyball standings with a 3-0 record.

Now the challenge that awaits Paris (20-11 overall) is keeping that perch.  The Ladycats face a pair of tough away matches in the upcoming week starting with the crosstown trip to face defending district champion North Lamar (1-2) on Tuesday followed by a long road ride Friday to Texarkana to play L-E (2-1) and close out the first round of district action.

Paris struggled at times but easily disposed of the 0-3 Lady Rabbits, 25-19, 25-19, 25-13.  The Ladycats broke away from a 5-5 tie in Game 1 to pull out to a 23-13 advantage.  Paris coach Britney Humphrey began subbing freely and Atlanta took advantage with a 6-0 run to come within 4 points before a couple of unforced errors ended the set.

The Ladycats had an easier time in Game 2, jumping out to a 13-5 lead.  Although they couldn’t completely shake the Lady Rabs, Paris eventually took a 2-0 match lead on a crosscourt winner by sophomore Grace Woodby.

Game 3 was all-Ladycats following an early 3-3 tie.

In addition to hitting the 20-win mark for the season, the Ladycats notched their sixth straight victory.

September 27, 2017

Ladycats Win Another District Road Match

The Pleasant Grove Lady Hawks outscored the Paris Ladycats, 112-107, Tuesday night in the Hawk Gym, but the Ladycats won enough key points in crunch time to leave Texarkana with a huge District 14-4A varsity volleyball win, 31-29, 24-26, 25-21, 12-25, 15-11.

The results leave the surging Ladycats tied with Liberty-Eylau at 2-0 each atop the early district standings.  L-E knocked off North Lamar, 3-2, Tuesday at the Texarkana Rader Dome to drop the defending district champion Pantherettes to 0-2.  Paris, 18-12 overall and riding a 6-match win streak, returns home to the Wildcat Gym Friday for a 4:30 p.m. varsity-only match vs. Atlanta.

Paris and PG split JV matches Tuesday.  The Ladycats’ Blue squad fell, 24-26, 16-25, while the White squad won, 23-25, 25-21, 25-15.

Katy Hall digs a volleyLibero Katy Hall anchors the Ladycats defense but also delivered a big backline kill in win over PG (file photo by Joe Watson)

The Ladycats faced a brutal league schedule with 4 of their first 5 matches all on the road in what appears to be a wide-open district chase.  They appear to have caught big breaks in their first two district road matches.  Paris beat Pittsburg in 5 sets Friday when a pair of key Lady Pirate starters missed the final two games to attend the Pitt Homecoming coronation.  On Tuesday, PG was playing without a couple of injured players.

To the Ladycats’ credit, they capitalized on both occasions, rallying from an 0-2 defict at Pitt to sweep the final 3 games.  At PG Tuesday they jumped out to an early lead when senior libero Katy Hall’s backline kill ended a marathon Game 1 and they kept the pressure on by pulling away from the hosts in Game 3.

After PG forced a decisive fifth set, Paris stormed to a 10-4 lead in Game 5 and ended the match on a kill shot by junior middle blocker Peaches Jackson, who notched 16 kills and 14 block assists in the match.  Sophomore Grace Woodby had 20 kills and 29 digs, while Hall had 41 digs.

Senior Deagan Dingman logged 30 assists, senior Sunny Scrugs had 14 assists and 17 digs, and senior Zanesha Dangerfield added 6 kills.  Sophomore Riley Bills had 17 digs.

September 24, 2017

Cats Lose Focus, But Still Beat Pirates

Paris defense stops Pitt quarterback
Paris defensive front clamps down to stop Pitt quarterback Jaylon Jimmerson (photo by Melanie Meredith)


Football coaches, including Paris head coach Steven Hohenberger, preach the importance of maintaining focus in preparation for, and execution of, game plans.  Hohenberger couldn’t have asked for better focus than his team’s first-half showing Friday as the Wildcats tried to foil Pittsburg’s Homecoming at re-designed Pirate Stadium.

The Wildcat offense scored on 4 of its 5 first-half possessions and the defense shut out an explosive Pitt offense to take a 28-0 lead to the locker room.

Then the lights went out, literally, and the Cats’ keen focus went dark, too.

In a planned, theatrical stunt, Pittsburg officials turned off the field lights as the hometown team prepared to run onto the field to start the second half.  With the eerie siren from the movie The Purge blasting over the PA system, the Pirates re-emerged ready to overcome a 4-score deficit on a humid, breezeless first fall night and save Homecoming from disaster.

Pirate Keithlen Griffin returned the second half kickoff 94 yards, and the Pitt offense scored twice more in a 12-second timespan, aided by an onside kick recovery, to make it a win-able 31-20 deficit with 8 minutes left to play.

Fortunately for Paris the Cats recovered a second onside kick attempt and the offense chewed up much of the remaining time to score on a 9-play, 51-yard drive that dimmed the Pirates comeback rally, 38-20.

The Cats outgained the Pirates in total yardage, 372-276.  They hammered the Pitt defense with a steady dose of senior running back Donovan Williams (30 carries for 197 yards and the first two Paris scores).  They also unleashed the “Beast”, aka senior tight end Tre Perry, who caught a pair of TD throws from junior quarterback Kobe Savage.

Savage completed 7 of 11 pass attempts for 106 yards and added 78 yards rushing including the 11-yard TD run that closed out the scoring with 4:40 left in the game.  Senior place kicker Antonio Saavedra had a perfect night converting all five extra point kicks and hitting a key 29-yard field goal.

The Wildcat defensive strategy focused on stopping dual threat Pitt quarterback Jaylon Jimmerson, tough running back Jordan Turner, and 6-3 two-way star Keontae Burns.  Turner was held to 78 yards rushing, Burns caught just 1 pass for 12 yards, and Jimmerson was under extreme pressure from the Cats’ defensive front all night.

Junior end Vershaud Richardson amassed 11 tackles including a pair of sacks plus he blocked an extra point try.  Other sacks were registered by senior lineman Demetric Glover and senior linebacker Perry Franklin.  Collectively, the Cats had 14 stops behind the line of scrimmage.

Paris moves to 3-1 with the win while Pitt drops to 2-2.  The Cats will need to refocus quickly because they host state powerhouse Argyle on Friday, Sept. 29, at Wildcat Stadium.  The Eagles have won all previous seven matchups vs. Paris by lopsided scores and this year’s Argyle team is considered by many to be their best ever.

That’s something to keep in focus.

Scoring Summary:

  • Paris 7, Pitt 0.  Donovan Williams 43 run (Antonio Saavedra kick), 9:22 1q.  Wildcats take opening kickoff and score 6 plays (all runs) later on drive that covers 67 yards.  On 4th-and-1, Cats’ gamble pays off when Williams sweeps right end.  Big tackle Ashton Savage gets pancake block on OLB; Trey Perry, Montavius McCarty, and Kobe Dixon seal off the edge; and Donovan Williams cuts back inside leaving D1 prospect Keontae Burns grasping for air.
  • Paris 14, Pitt 0.  Williams 18 run (Saavedra kick), 11:02 2q.  Cats take their third offensive series 59 yards in 8 plays.  They score on Williams’ power run at right tackle.  Savage gets another pancake block, linemen Alex Rodriguez, Gunner Vest, and Elijah Ellis seal off backside pursuit, TE Tre Perry gets kickout seal, and Williams follows pulling guard Zaccheus Ellis past S Burns.
  • Paris 21, Pitt 0.  Tre Perry 44 pass from Kobe Savage (Saavedra kick), 4:47 2q.  After a paltry 8-yard Pitt punt, Cats start their next series at their own 44.  With Pirates loading up the box to stop Williams, Cats turn to the passing game for a couple of short completions.  On sixth play of drive, QB Kobe Savage rolls left and fires into the end zone.  Pirate DB Keithlen Griffin is in position for the interception, but WR Wesley Gage jumps and deflects the ball, which bounces off Griffin’s helment.  TE Perry, trailing on the play, alertly stretches out and corrals the loose ball before it can hit the ground.
  • Paris 28, Pitt 0.  Perry 26 pass from Savage (Saavedra kick), 1:41 2q.  Cats drive 56 yards in 5 plays to score when Savage hooks up with Perry on a seam route.  It’s a perfect throw to the Pitt 10 that beats Burns in coverage, as Perry gets his second TD of the evening.
  • Pitt 6, Paris 28.  Keithlen Griffin 94 kickoff return (kick blocked), 11:46 3q.  Griffin takes the second half kickoff and sprints untouched up the middle of the Cats’ coverage team.  Vershaud Richardson knives through to block the extra point.
  • Paris 31, Pitt 6.  Saavedra 29 FG, 8:37 3q.  Pirates try to get the ball into the hands of their play-maker Burns, but he fumbles the handoff from QB Jaylon Jimmerson and MLB TJ Williams pounces on the recovery at the Pitt 18.  Cats can only advance the ball 6 yards, but they do get important points to give themselves a a four-possession lead.
  • Pitt 13, Paris 31.  Jaylon Jimmerson 19 run (Alex Rodriguez kick), 8:30 4q.  After Cats come up a yard short on a fourth down try, Pirates launch their best drive of the night, going 59 yards in 9 plays.  Jimmerson tries a QB draw to the right, abruptly wheels around and almost trips but rights himself, slips a couple of tackles and darts to the left end zone pylon.  
  • Pitt 20, Paris 31.  Griffin 45 pass from Jimmerson (Rodriguez kick), 8:18 4q.  Pirates get an easy onside kick recovery when Cats’ outside kick coverage fails to challenge the ball.  Pitt immediately capitalizes when Jimmerson hits Griffin, who blows by single coverage on a fly route.
  • Paris 38, Pitt 20.  Savage 11 run (Saavedra kick), 4:40 4q.  Cats change their kick coverage to put the sure-handed Jordan Furtch up front for the recovery.  The Paris O puts the game out of reach with a 51-yard, 9-play march.  Savage keeps on an option play left, splits a pair of defenders at the Pitt 9, and jaunts into the end zone. 

How Wildcats’ Opponents Fared:

  •  Terrell (1-3): lost to Lindale, 35-17
  •  Pleasant Grove (3-0): beat Frisco, 43-13
  •  Sulphur Springs (2-2): lost to Whitehouse, 28-6
  •  Pittsburg (2-2): lost to Paris, 38-20
  •  Argyle (4-0): beat Abilene Wylie, 56-7
  •  Liberty-Eylau (1-3): beat Atlanta, 50-32
  •  Princeton (1-3): lost to Frisco Reedy, 49-21
  •  Quinlan Ford (4-0): beat Howe, 28-0
  •  Anna (3-1): beat Bonham, 35-28
  •  North Lamar (1-3): lost to Pottsboro, 14-11

September 24, 2017

Rojas Wins NL Cross Country Meet

JP Rojas checks his course time as he crosses finish line
Time to stop running:  Paris junior JP Rojas checks his course time before he crosses the finish line at the North Lamar cross country meet Saturday.  Rojas won his second meet of the season.  The Wildcats compete in two more invitational meets before the District 14-4A Championships on Oct. 11 in Atlanta. 

September 23, 2017

Ladycats Get Road Homecoming Assist

At the stroke of midnight the Pittsburg Lady Pirates’ district volleyball carriage turned into a big, juicy pumpkin that the Paris Ladycats eagerly carved with an important “W.”

With 5-11 junior middle blockers Malaysia Burns and Marlisha Swain dominating the net, Pitt was rolling toward a 3-set sweep of Paris Friday afternoon in the District 14-4A opener in the Pirate Gym.  The Lady Pirates took a 2-0 lead, 25-19, 25-20, and were leading in Game 3 before a Katy Hall service run that included a pair of aces and a big Peaches Jackson spike pushed Paris ahead, 17-15.

From that point, there were 5 ties and Pitt briefly regained the lead before the Ladycats won the final two points on Lady Pirate errors.  Pitt still led the match, 2-1, but suddenly two Lady Pirate starters were whisked away to participate in the Pitt Homecoming queen ceremonies at nearby Pirate Stadium.

Minus their setter and libero, there would be no Cinderella ending for the Lady Pirates, who faced a Grimm Brothers outcome with their top two playmakers out of the lineup.  Paris stormed to a 10-2 start in Game 4 and by Pitt’s second called timeout the Ladycats were in cruise control at 15-3.

They won the set, 25-11, to even the match at 2-2 and set up a decisive fifth set.

If the Lady Pirates were looking for sympathy, they wouldn’t find it from Paris head coach Britney Humphrey.

“Let’s shut ‘em down and keep ‘em down,” Humphrey told her squad as they began Game 5.
Riley Bills at service line for Paris
Riley Bills at service line in earlier match this season (photo by Joe Watson)

The Ladycats complied.  Sophomore Riley Bills, promoted from JV for service help, had a 4-0 run at the line which quickly put Paris up by 6-1.  The Ladycats maintained at least a comfortable 3-point edge throughout Game 5, and back-to-back kill shots by Deagan Dingman and Zanesha Dangerfield put the match away, 15-8.

The win was the fourth straight for Paris, now 17-12,  With the district chase expected to be a wide-open affair this season, a road win is a treasured commodity.

The Ladycats will aim for another strong road showing Tuesday with a trip to Pleasant Grove, who beat the defending district champion North Lamar Pantherettes, 3-1, in district play Friday.

Paris returns home to the Wildcat Gym Friday, Sept. 29, for a 4:30 p.m. varsity match vs. Atlanta.

September 21, 2017

PHS Places Third at McKinney Golf

Paris High boys golf team
PHS boys golf team places third at Oak Hollow BBQ Classic

The Paris High boys golf team finished third behind Denton Guyer Wednesday and Blaine Hill finished as individual boys medalist at the Oak Hollow BBQ Classic hosted by McKinney Boyd.

Hill shot a low round of 73.  Other PHS scores were Holden Stone 84, Tate Lewis 94, Nick Gentry 96, and Coleman Lewis 102. 

The Wildcats and Laydcats golf teams will host a tournament Monday at Paris Golf and Country Club.

September 22, 2017

Paris Sweeps Pirates in Sub-Varsity Football

The Paris freshmen and JV football squads swept a doubleheader with Pittsburg Thursday at Wildcat Stadium.  The Wildcat freshmen won, 27-6, while the JV dominated the Pirates, 47-12.

The Paris freshmen remain unbeaten at 3-0 after running back Zy’kius Jackson scored on runs of 3 and 5 yards and quarterback Javin Cary connected with Santwan Gray for TD passes of 32 and 40 yards.  TD Washington ran for a two-point conversion, while Jesus Rangel kicked an extra point.

Gray and Jermaine Williams had interceptions to keep the Pitt offense in check.  The only Pirate score came on a 22 yard pass with 43 seconds left in the first half, but Paris immediately countered with a Cary to Gray TD throw to take a 21-6 halftime lead.

The Paris JV (3-1) scored on its first two possessions against an outmanned Pirate team, which suited up just 17 players and saw 2 of those leave the game by midway through the second quarter with injuries.  Officials allowed the clock to run without stoppages the rest of the evening.

Running back Do’Rian Williams scored on runs of 3 and 54 yards and a pass of 25 yards from quarterback David Medina.  Jadarius Dillard also scored three times on a 65-yard kickoff return and runs of 40 and 10 yards.  Keiotti Bray scored on a 48-yard run and a two-point conversion run.  Bryan Ramirez kicked three extra points.

Defensively, Deuntre Adamson collected an interception and Jordan Russell had a fumble recovery.

Both Paris sub-varsities travel to Argyle next Thursday to finish pre-district play.

September 19, 2017

Ladycats Celebrate Birthday with Sweep

Teammates sing happy birthday song to Grace Woodby
Ladycats serenade Grace Woodby (far right) with happy birthday song after win over Anna

Peaches Jackson lit the candles, but birthday girl Grace Woodby delivered the knockout blow in the Paris Ladycats’ pre-district volleyball finale Tuesday.  Paris swept Anna, 25-18, 25-22, 25-18, in the Wildcat Gym and now prepares to open District 14-4A with a trip Friday to Pittsburg.

The Ladycats trailed on just two occasions (16-17 in Game 2 and 0-1 in Game 3) as they displayed sound positioning on defense and good ball movement with their dual-setter offense. Woodby, celebrating her 16th birthday, registered her 12th kill on match point.  Her teammates then broke into a happy birthday serenade.

The Lady Coyotes threatened to extend the match to another set when Paris head coach Britney Humphrey called timeout with her team clinging to an 18-17 lead in Game 3.  When play resumed, Jackson destroyed Anna’s hopes with a pair of kills and two blocks to set the plate for Woodby’s match-winner.

Jackson, the junior middle blocker, tied Woodby for team-high honors with 12 kills, and she added 4 blocks and 3 aces to her impressive stat sheet.

Humphrey got a complete team effort from all eight players.  Senior Zanesha Dangerfield had 9 kills, and freshman Quiniya Savage had 4 (3 in the pivotal first game).  Senior libero Katy Hall notched 3 kills while anchoring the defense, and senior setters Deagan Dingman and Sunny Scruggs each contributed a kill while running the offense. Sophomore Quanterria Jenkins was a spark on her service rotations with 3 aces.   

The Ladycats have now won three straight home matches to improve their season record to 16-12.  They face a challenging district schedule with 4 of their first 5 matches on the road.

Meanwhile, it was a clean sweep for the Ladycats vs. Anna as both JV squads easily won their matches by 2-0 counts.  The Paris JV Blue team was coming off a first-place finish in the Robin Hill Memorial Scholarship Tournament last weekend in Bonham.

September 16, 2017

Paris Runs Past Sulphur Springs in Classic

Donovan Williams scores winning touchdown in second overtime for Paris
Donovan Williams ends a 2-overtime, instant classic with his fourth touchdown for Paris

On his 27th and final carry of the evening, Paris High running back Donovan Williams found a hole in the Sulphur Springs defense carved out by teammates that was large enough to drive a golf cart through.  The speedy Wildcat senior cut to the visitors’ sidelines and 25 yards later sprinted untouched then collapsed, face-down, in the corner of the Gerald Prim Stadium end zone.

Paris officially claimed a 26-23, double-overtime win to spoil the SSHS Homecoming before a packed crowd in an evenly-contested game that will go down as an instant classic in this 93-year old regional rivalry.

“We just kept running it and running it and running it,” an emotionally-drained Paris head coach Steven Hohenberger said.  “Our line kept battling, and in the end, I think we just wore them down.”

Just two hours earlier, the thought of a pleasant ride home for the Lamar County faithful seemed out of the question.  SSHS jumped out to a 14-0 lead by the end of the first quarter after burning an inexperienced Paris secondary on a couple of long Ryan Humphries TD passes.

There had been a week of soul-searching on the PHS campus after the team had taken a physical beating in a Week 2, 45-13 loss to Pleasant Grove.  Another lopsided setback in Week 3 could have resulted in a negative ripple effect for a team still searching for its identity.

Instead, the offense trotted onto the field and 65 yards later Williams trotted past the SSHS goal line for the first of his four touchdowns on the evening.  The big Paris offensive line (tackles Ashton Savage and Elijah Ellis, guards Zaccheus Ellis and Alex Rodriguez, center Kaleb Long, tight end Tre Perry), overpowered by PG just one week ago, was on track to redemption.

The beleaguered Paris defense did its part by forcing a punt and an interception by Jaylen Henderson on the next two SSHS possessions.  In between, the Cats’ offense drove 69 yards but came away without points when a field goal attempt was spoiled by a faulty snap and hold.

The teams went to halftime with SSHS holding a 14-7 lead, but that quickly changed after intermission, and this annual Battle of the Wildcats became a crowd-pleasing, old-fashioned dog fight. 

The Paris defense did its part with a 3-and-out after the second half kickoff to SSHS, and the Paris offense slugged out a 63-yard march that ended with Williams in the center of a scrum at the SSHS 5-yard line that Wildcat teammates pushed, pulled, and otherwise cajoled into the end zone to create a 14-14 tie game.

During the final, agonizing 19 minutes of regulation, each team had golden opportunities for go-ahead points.  An apparent, 17-yard sideline catch by talented SSHS receiver Simeon Taylor  was ruled out of bounds only after a lengthy conference by the two end zone officials.  SSHS then missed a 41-yard field goal that hooked way left.  Paris drove to the SSHS 34 only to see Williams stone-walled on 3 straight carries.

The overtime session was the first for Paris since 2010 in the first game ever played at Wildcat Stadium, a 27-24 win over Gainesville. 

Paris went on offense first in the overtime, and SSHS let Williams slip out of the backfield on a pass pattern where junior QB Kobe Savage lofted a 30-yard TD completion.  However, another errant snap and hold prevented the extra point kick and left Paris with the task of protecting a precarious 20-14 lead.

After SSHS tied the score, 20-20, on Cor’tavius Pruitt’s 19-yard run, place kicker Angel Tavera was in position to become the Homecoming hero, but his conversion kick barely cleared the linemen’s heads and hooked even more wildly left.

SSHS went back on offense in the second overtime, but a high center snap and pair of incompletions brought Tavera back on the field for a field goal try from 36 yards.  This time, he was on mark and SSHS went up, 23-20.

The lead lasted two plays before the Paris offense decided to end it by giving the ball to Williams one last time.  He finished with 163 yards on 27 carries.  Savage added 68 yards rushing on 11 carries, while junior James Neal produced 36 on 6 rushes to give Williams some rest from the running back grind.  Savage also completed 5 of 8 pass attempts for another 73 yards through the air to allow Paris to outgain SSHS in total yardage, 351-297.

The Paris defense showed good sideline-to-sideline pursuit in taking away SSHS’ vaunted bubble screens.  Cornerback Cam Jones had 7 solo tackles, while defensive end Vershaud Richardson was credited with 14 total tackles and linebacker Gerald Palmer had 11.  Eight other Paris defenders were in on at least 5 tackles, including outside linebacker Perry Franklin, who had 3 big tackles behind the line of scrimmage.

The results left both teams with 2-1 records.  Paris continues its rugged pre-district slate next Friday with a trip to Pittsburg, another school that will be celebrating Homecoming in a newly refurbished stadium.

Scoring Summary:

  • SSHS 6, Paris 0.  Landry Tyson 34 pass from Ryan Humphries (run failed), 5:17 1q.  SSHS opening drive after a Paris punt takes 11 plays and 91 yards to score.  There’s lots of pre-snap movement by both teams including 3 SSHS linemen in motion before the ball is snapped, but amazingly there’s no flag and Humphries is able to hit Tyson in stride on a fly pattern.  SSHS tries the swinging gate conversion run, but the Cats are ready for it and Jordan Furtch knives through to stop Colten Allen in his tracks.
  • SSHS 14, Paris 0.  Simeon Taylor 33 pass from Humphries (Allen run), 0:32 1q.  The second SSHS series travels 53 yards in 5 plays.  Humphries finds Taylor streaking down the right sidelines and Allen sweeps right end on the conversion run and just crosses the goal line.
  • Paris 7, SSHS 14.  Donovan Williams 16 run (Antonio Saavedra kick), 9:20 2q.  Paris offense delivers a much-needed answer, driving 65 yards in 9 plays.  Williams has 6 carries for 58 of those yardage.  The right side of the line (Ashton Savage, Alex Rodriguez, Kaleb Long) do a great job collapsing the defensive front, pulling guard Zaccheus Ellis gets a kickout block to create a seam, and Wesley Gage and Kobe Dixon shield secondary pursuit to enable Williams to find a crease to the end zone.
  • Paris 14, SSHS 14.  Williams 8 run (Saavedra kick), 6:59 3q.  After Paris defense holds SSHS to 3&out on opening series of second half, Cats drive 63 yards in 8 plays to tie the score.  The big play is a 26 yard completion of the Kobe’s (Savage to Dixon).  On the TD run, Williams is stopped at the SSHS 5 but stays upright as teammates push the scrum into the end zone.  Saavedra’s kick ties the game.
  • Paris 20, SSHS 14.  Williams 30 pass from Savage (kick failed), 1st OT.  After a false start puts the Cats behind the sticks, Williams is allowed to release out of the backfield and Savage finds him down the right seam for an easy connection.  Paris fails to convert the crucial extra point when the snap and placement is bobbled.
  • SSHS 20, Paris 20.  Cor’tavius Pruitt 19 run (kick failed), 1st OT.  A holding call negates an SSHS TD run, but Pruitt sprints into the end zone on a mis-direction counter around the left end on the very next play.  The SSHS place kicker badly hooks the extra point left.
  • SSHS 23, Paris 20.  Angel Tavera 36 FG, 2nd OT.  SSHS has 1st-and-goal at the Paris 7, but a pair of incompletions and a high snap and 12-yard loss leads to Tavera’s field goal.
  • Paris 26, SSHS 23.  Williams 25 run, 2nd OT.  On the second play of Paris’ possession, Williams ends it when his linemen clear a huge hole at right tackle.  He makes a sharp cut to the right sideline behind Luke Kyle’s downfield shield and collapses prone in the corner of the end zone.

How Wildcats’ Opponents Fared:

  • Terrell (1-2): beat Forney, 23-9
  • Pleasant Grove (2-0): was idle
  • Sulphur Springs (2-1): lost to Paris, 26-23 (2 OT)
  • Pittsburg (2-1): lost to Henderson, 35-21
  • Argyle (3-0): beat Celina, 49-34
  • Liberty-Eylau (0-3): lost to Texas High, 37-23
  • Princeton (1-2): beat Creekview, 51-21
  • Quinlan Ford (3-0): beat Venus, 42-3
  • Anna (2-1): beat Van Alystyne, 33-15
  • North Lamar (1-2): lost to Greenville, 35-31

September 17, 2017

Ladycats Sweep Bonham in Volleyball

The Paris Ladycats made a clean sweep of all three volleyball matches Friday as they hosted Bonham in the Wildcat Gym.  Paris (15-12) now closes out pre-district play Tuesday by hosting Anna back in the Wildcat Gym.

The Ladycats varsity topped the Lady Warriors, 25-16, 25-21, 25-18.  Sophomore Grace Woodby notched 18 kills as she continues to lead the team in that offensive category.  Junior Peaches Jackson had 12 kills.  Senior Sunny Scruggs was credited with 4 kills, 18 assists, and 12 digs.

Paris opens District 14-4A play next Friday, Sept. 22, with a trip to Pittsburg.  The district race figures to be a wide-open affair this season with defending champion North Lamar and runnerup Pleasant Grove rating as slight co-favorites.

September 15, 2017

Paris Freshmen Outlast Sulphur Springs

Zy'kius Jackson sidesteps two tackles for a nice gain
Freshman Zy’kius Jackson sidesteps a pair of tacklers for a nice gain for the Paris freshmen

The Paris Wildcats freshman football team scored three times in the final seven minutes to outlast the Sulphur Springs Wildcats in an entertaining game Thursday night at Wildcat Stadium.

SSHS won the JV clash, 41-14, pulling away from the hometown Cats after leading at halftime by a 12-6 score.  Both Paris sub-varsity squads return to Wildcat Stadium next Thursday, Sept. 21, to host Pittsburg in their next encounters.

Zy’kius Jackson scored on runs of 84, 44, and 36 yards to pace the Paris freshmen to their win.  Jackson also had a 76-yard TD run nullified by an illegal block.

The Paris defense also contributed for a pair of scores.  KD Washington returned a fumble 55 yards after a quarterback sack for the Cats’ first points, and Santwan Gray picked off an SSHS pass for an 80-yard interception return to give Paris its biggest lead of the night, 47-32, with 1:10 remaining in the game.

Quarterback Javin Cary found Washington on TD throws of 46 and 58 yards, while Jesus Rangel kicked 5 extra points to complete the scoring ledger for the Paris freshmen.

In the JV game, SSHS jumped out to a 12-0 lead before Paris closed to within 12-6 on an 8-yard run by Dyvarious Douglas just 54 seconds before halftime.  Using their polished passing attack, SSHS extended the lead to 27-6 before Paris scored again on a 38-yard pass from David Medina to Trevon Dennis with 9:06 left in the game.  The visitors then scored twice more to secure the win.

Joey Mecaskey-LaRue and Tavarious Nickerson recovered fumbles for the Paris defense.

September 13, 2017

Ladycats Get Wakeup Call to Sweep Chisum

Coach Britney Humphrey huddles with the Ladycats during a timeout
Coach Britney Humphrey huddles with the Ladycats during a timeout (photo by Joe Watson)

The Paris Ladycats finally got that elusive first home win Tuesday night, but not before head coach Britney Humphrey had to call two timeouts in the third and final set of a 25-19, 25-11, 25-23 win in the Wildcat Gym over nearby neighbor Chisum.

“I don’t want to go to another set,” Humphries told her team during the Game 3 timeouts.  The first came just after an errant kill shot gave the Lady Mustangs a 14-13 lead.  After Paris surged to a 21-17 advantage, Chisum used a service ace by co-captain Jalie Swaim mixed in with 3 Ladycat unforced errors to climb back to a 21-all tie.

Humphrey, who coached previously at Chisum, then called her final timeout to once again plea with her team to pick up their intensity and focus on putting the match away.  When Chisum helped the Paris cause with a long serve and unforced error to give Paris a 23-21 lead, the Lady Mustangs then called their last timeout to regroup.

A Ladycat net serve and bad spike created the final tie at 23-all before an errant Chisum kill and Peaches Jackson block ended Paris’ 2017 home win drought.  The Ladycats (14-12) had lost their previous 3 home appearances.

They return to the Wildcat Gym Friday to face Bonham before ending the pre-district portion of their schedule next Tuesday, Sept. 19, at home vs. Anna.  District 14-4A play begins Sept. 22 at Pittsburg.

Paris broke away from a 13-13 tie in Game 1 to take the lead for good on a crosscourt kill by Zanesha Dangerfield followed by 3 straight Chisum errors. 

The Ladycats never trailed in Game 2 although the Lady Mustangs closed to within 8-7 before a kill shot by freshman Quiniya Savage, a Sunny Scruggs knuckleball ace serve, and consecutive blocks by Grace Woodby and Deagan Dingman created breathing room.  A Jackson block ended the second set and put Paris on the brink of a match win with a 2-0 lead.

In previous home losses the Ladycats’ serve-receive game failed them.  This time it was generally solid, anchored by libero Katy Hall.  Paris had only 5 bad serves the entire match.

Paris swept both JV matches by 2-0 counts.

September 9, 2017

Hawks Run Away from Cats for 45-13 Win

Jaylen Henderson's 96-yard kickoff return
Jaylen Henderson, followed by wingman Travius Bronner, provides a rare bright spot for Paris on a 96-yard kickoff return at Pleasant Grove

At the conclusion of each varsity football game, Paris High band director Charles Grissom gives band students a brief synopsis of their night’s performance before issuing a final directive to pick up the pieces and head home.

“We were never here,” he reminds them.

Wildcat football fans who made the 90-mile trek east to Texarkana’s Hawk Stadium Friday could empathize.  They had just watched a physical Pleasant Grove Hawks’ team thoroughly dominate the Cats for most of two and a half hours on an otherwise pleasant evening of early-season Texas high school football.

Except for a couple of moments that energized the visitors’ bleachers, the hometown Hawks methodically used their old-school, wing-T offense and impenetrable defense to power past Paris, 45-13.  The Cats, down 7-28 by halftime, were never really in the game.

PG controlled time of possession and held a 363 to 146 edge in total yardage.  The Hawks seemed determined to not let Wildcat senior running back Donovan Williams beat them.  They limited Williams to 44 yards on 18 carries.

Junior quarterback Kobe Savage had limited success running the ball for 46 yards and he completed 2 passes for 64 yards, both to senior slot receiver Montavius McCarty, to spark the Cats’ opening drive of the game.  Savage’s 10-yard TD run momentarily tied the score at 7-7.

Wildcat senior safety Jordan Furtch stopped the Hawks on fourth down on the next PG possession with an outstanding open-field tackle.  However, three plays later PG had the lead for good when 300 pounder Austin Toler picked up a Cat fumble and sprinted 37 yards.

Paris was in position to regain the tie when the Hawks fumbled a punt and Travius Bronner regained possession for the Cats at the PG 31.  The Cats’ offense could gain just 6 yards on 4 downs.

PG then scored on its next two drives to take a comfortable, 28-7 halftime lead.

Furtch was the Cats’ leading tackler with 15 for the game (10 solo), but that’s never a good sign for a safety because it usually means your opponent has breeched your front line of defense.

The Hawks’ ground attack was spearheaded by fullback TJ Cole (21 carries for 133 yards and 2 scores) and running back Josh Roberts (7 for 66, 2 TDs).  Toler also got into the act offensively, taking a pass from sophomore QB Ben Harmon 32 yards to the house to finish off the night’s scoring.

The only break from PG’s grinding dominance came near the end of the third quarter when the Cats pulled within 31-13 on a 96-yard kickoff return by junior safety Jaylen Henderson.

The future doesn’t get any easier for the Cats (1-1), who continue a tough pre-district schedule next Friday, Sept. 15, at longtime rival Sulphur Springs (2-0).  The game will begin a three-game stretch of visits to newly renovated stadiums (Sulphur Springs, Pittsburg, Liberty-Eylau).

Scoring Summary:

  • PG 7, Paris 0.  TJ Cole 8 run (Dillon Williams kick), 8:22 1q. Hawks score on opening possession of game, driving 85 yards in 9 plays.  Big play is a 46-yard completion from Ben Harmon to brother Aaron.
  • Paris 7, PG 7.  Kobe Savage 10 run (Antonio Saavedra kick), 6:40 1q.  Cats answer on their first drive, going 75 yards in 5 plays.  Paris surprises PG defense with a pair of Savage to Montavius McCarty passes covering 40 and 24 yards to get in position to score on a QB scramble up the middle.
  • PG 14, Paris 7.  Austin Toler 37 fumble return (Williams kick), 1:58 1q.  Three plays after the Paris defense stops a PG drive on a nice fourth-down tackle by Jordan Furtch, the Cats try a pass to the left flat that’s ruled a fumble.  Big, 300-pound Toler picks it up and rumbles into the end zone to get a defensive lineman’s dream touchdown.
  • PG 21, Paris 7.  Josh Roberts 38 run (Williams kick), 7:42 2q.  Hawks score on wingback reverse to finish an 8-play, 75-yard drive.
  • PG 28, Paris 7.  Cole 3 run (Williams kick), 1:28 2q.  Cats’ offense crosses midfield but a fumble is recovered at the Hawk 42.  Ten plays later PG pads its halftime lead with another Cole burst up the middle.
  • PG 31, Paris 7.  Williams 37 FG, 1:39 3q.  Hawks take over at midfield following a Paris punt and travel 30 yards in 6 plays before settling for the three points.
  • Paris 13, PG 31.  Jaylen Henderson 96 KO return (run failed), 1:26 3q.  Henderson finds a big seam up the middle, jukes the kicker at midfield, and is off to the races.  Cats try for 2-point conversion run, but Donovan Williams is stuffed in the backfield by MLB Caleb Porchia.
  • PG 38, Paris 13.   Roberts 3 run (Williams kick), 11:16 4q.  Any glimmer of hope for a Wildcat comeback is immediately dashed when Cole returns the ensuing kickoff 59 yards to the Paris 23.  Five plays later Roberts scores his second TD on a sweep around the right end.
  • PG 45, Paris 13.  Toler 32 pass from Ben Harmon (Williams kick), 9:09 4q.  Now in desperation mode, Cats attempt, and fail, on fourth down run at their own 36.  Three plays later, Toler delivers the dagger blow taking a short pass over the middle from his tight end position and imitates a runaway freight train into the end zone.

How Wildcats’ Opponents Fared:

  • Terrell (0-2): lost to Kennedale, 55-6
  • Pleasant Grove (2-0): beat Paris, 45-13
  • Sulphur Springs (2-0): beat Avalon School (MD), 18-13
  • Pittsburg (2-0): beat Pine Tree, 27-23
  • Argyle (2-0): beat LaGrange, 70-0
  • Liberty-Eylau (0-2): lost to Carthage, 48-38
  • Princeton (0-2): lost to Van, 48-34
  • Quinlan Ford (2-0): beat Winnsboro, 40-7
  • Anna (1-1): beat Callisburg, 20-6
  • North Lamar (1-1): lost to Mount Pleasant, 21-17

September 10, 2017

Ladycats Return Home to Prepare for District

The Paris Ladycats hope to discover some home cooking as they close out the pre-district portion of the volleyball schedule.  The Paris varsity will be searching for its first win of the season on their Wildcat Gym home court Tuesday when they host Chisum.  Freshmen and JV matches start at 4:30 p.m. followed by varsity.

The Chisum match starts a string of three straight home games before beginning District 14-4A play on Sept. 22 at Pittsburg.  Paris, 13-12 for the season, hosts Bonham Friday and Anna next Tuesday, Sept. 19.

The Ladycats dropped a close match last Friday at Wills Point, 21-25, 23-25, 25-22, 18-25.  Senior libero Katy Hall was credited with 25 digs, while senior setter Deagan Dingman notched 31 assists.  Junior Peaches Jackson posted 14 kills and 12 blocks.

September 8, 2017

Cats' JV Accepts PG Gifts to Win, 27-20

The Pleasant Grove Hawks proved to be gracious guests Thursday, allowing the Paris Wildcats to win the turnover battle, 8-3, and survive with a 27-20 win in JV football at Wildcat Stadium.

There was only one sub-varsity game played Thursday as the schools combined their freshmen and JV squads.  The Cats’ freshmen and JV teams return to Wildcat Stadium next Thursday, Sept. 14, to host Sulphur Springs in a doubleheader.

The Paris-PG game was not decided until the final play when a Hawk pass from the Paris 1-yard one was deflected in the end zone by Kentavious Johnson.  PG had two drives in the final 3 minutes that were thwarted by the opportunistic Paris defense. 

Jalen Gray returns a fumble for a Paris scoreJalen Gray returns a PG takeaway for a touchdown to protect the Paris lead

With the Cats clinging to a 21-20 lead, the Hawks had a 1st-and-goal at the Paris 3, but two plays later freshman linebacker Jalen Gray stole the ball from a Hawk ball carrier and sprinted 82 yards for an insurance score and 27-20 lead.  Gray had a big role in the win, causing 2 of PG’s 5 fumbles and stopping an extra point run which would have given the Hawks a 22-21 advantage.

Paris hauled in three interceptions in the third quarter to protect a 21-14 halftime lead.  Johnson had the first interception, while freshman Santwan Gray picked two.  Defensive linemen Hunter O’Neal and Leander Butler recovered PG fumbles which started Paris drives that ended with a pair of acrobatic TD catches by Jadarias Dillard.

Freshman Javan Cary completed a 25-yard pass to Dillard, who out-jumped two defenders for possession for the game’s first score midway through the opening period.  Kick placement holder Dyvarious Douglas took the EP snap and raced to the end zone to give Paris a lead it would never surrender, 8-0.

After PG closed the gap to 8-6, the Cats used long runs by Dillard and Johnson to score midway through the second quarter on a 7-yard run by Dillard.  Rino Moore kicked the extra point to increase the lead to 15-6.

Johnson hooked up with Dillard on a 54-yard bomb with just 38 seconds left before halftime.  It was Dillard’s third TD of the evening.  The EP kick failed, but Paris was ready to go to the break up by 21-6.

However, PG completed a 68-yard pass with just 5.5 seconds remaining on the clock, and ran for 2 points to pull within 21-14.

September 2, 2017

Defense, Rushing Game Keys Cats' Win

Donovan Williams follows Elijah Ellis block for short gain
Kobe Savage hands off to Donovan Williams who cuts behind a block by Elijah Ellis (photo by Joe Watson)

It took nearly three-quarters of a game, but the Paris Wildcats discovered their 2017 template for success in time to race past the Terrell Tigers, 47-20, in the football season opener Friday night at Wildcat Stadium.

The Cats scored 28 unanswered points in the final 15 minutes to overcome a 20-19 halftime deficit.  With senior running back Donovan Williams rushing for 4 touchdowns among 31 carries for 224 yards, the Paris offense wore down the smaller Terrell defense.

Still, it was the Wildcat defense that set the plate for the second half point blitz.  Terrell’s speedy offensive skill players were able to stay with the Cats drive-for-drive in the first half thanks to Degarian Fuller’s 103 rushing yards and some big throws by quarterback Victor Robinson.

“They popped a couple (of passes) on us in the first half,” Paris defensive coordinator Larry McFarlin said, “but those are things that can be corrected.  We came out and took it to them in the second half.”

The Tigers did not cross midfield after halftime.  Three Cat defenders were credited with double-digit tackles: Senior linebacker Michael Godwin with 15, junior end Vershaud Richardson 11, and senior safety Jordan Furtch 10.  Godwin and senior linebacker Perry Franklin each netted 8 solo stops.

Michael Godwin collects one of his team-leading 15 tacklesLinebacker Michael Godwin collects one of his team-leading 15 tackles with this stop of JT Richardson (photo by Joe Watson)

The Wildcat defense also cashed in points on a pick-6 by junior safety Jaylen Henderson.

The Paris offense, meanwhile, sputtered on three straight series midgame, but took advantage of superior field position to unleash a relentless ground game.  The Cats’ average starting position was their own 39, compared to the Tigers’ 22.

The big Paris offensive line, missing two of its starters to injury, nonetheless overpowered the Terrell defensive front in the fourth quarter.  Junior quarterback Kobe Savage was steady in his varsity debut and started the Paris points onslaught with a short TD pass to junior tight end TJ Williams.  The Paris second-team offense scored the game’s final points on a 36-yard sprint by junior James Neal.

Special teams was the unsung hero, despite a couple of missed extra points.  Kick coverage was outstanding, while senior Montavius McCarty and junior Luke Kyle showed potential in the return game.

Paris has a tough pre-district road ahead, starting with a trip to Texarkana Friday to face a dangerous Pleasant Grove team.  The Cats won’t return to Wildcat Stadium until Sept. 29 to host Argyle.

Scoring Summary:

  • Terrell 6, Paris 0.  Degarian Fuller 13 run (kick failed), 7:23 1Q.  Tigers grind out an 11-play, 80-yard  opening drive with a couple of passes thrown in.  Fuller scores on a 4th-and-1.
  • Paris 6, Terrell 6.  TJ Williams 11 pass from Kobe Savage (kick failed), 4:17 1Q.  Cats answer with an 8-play, 61-yard drive aided by a face mask penalty.  They surprise Terrell with their first pass play out of a double H-back set as Williams slips past the defense unguarded in the end zone.  The extra point kick bounces off the upright.
  • Paris 13, Terrell 6.  Donovan Williams 10 run (Montana Payne kick), 2:06 1Q.  It takes Paris just 2 plays to cover 58 yards following a Tiger punt.  Williams streaks for 48 yards on the first play and scores from 10 on the second.
  • Terrell 13, Paris 13.  Marqueece Jackson 52 pass from Victor Robinson (Justin Valadez kick), 11:51.  The Tigers catch a pair of big breaks when they recover their own fumble during a wild scramble on the final play of the opening quarter, then on the first play of the second period Robinson barely corrals the snap and lobs a floater downfield that Robinson hauls in on a comeback completion.  As the defender stumbles, Jackson sprints the final 30 yards into the end zone.
  • Paris 19, Terrell 13.  Williams 3 run (kick blocked), 8:13 2Q.  Cats travel 66 yards in 9 plays, including a roughing the passer penalty.  There’s one pass completion along the way.  Williams scores his second TD of the night.
  • Terrell 20, Paris 19.  Fuller 1 run (Valadez kick), 0:57 2Q.  Tigers drive 75 yards in 9 plays to score just before halftime.  They complete three passes and get a questionable pass interference call.
  • Paris 26, Terrell 20.  Williams 5 run (Antonio Saavedra kick), 3:11 3Q.  After a pair of punts by each team to open the second half, the Cats get prime field position following a 14-yard Luke Kyle punt return to the Tiger 36.  Paris needs 9 plays, including a 4th-and-2 conversion burst by Williams to get the senior his third TD run.
  • Paris 33, Terrell 20.  Williams 9 run (Saavedra kick), 7:52 4Q.  Cats again enjoy a short field to go 46 yards in 5 plays, all runs by Williams.  He scores his fourth TD cutting outside behind pancake blocks by Ashton Savage and Zaccheus Ellis.
  • Paris 40, Terrell 20.  Jaylen Henderson 43 interception return (Saavedra kick), 7:16, 4Q.  Henderson gathers in Robinson’s badly underthrown pass, heads towards the home sidelines, then reverses field toward the opposite pylon for the pick-6.
  • Paris 47, Terrell 20.  James Neal 36 run (Saavedra kick), 1:42, 4Q.  The second team offense gets the final score on an 8-play, 57-yard drive that showcases talented junior TB Neal.

How Wildcats’ Opponents Fared:

  • Terrell (0-1): lost to Paris, 20-47
  • Pleasant Grove (1-0): beat Arkansas High, 27-20
  • Sulphur Springs (1-0): beat Sherman, 42-21
  • Pittsburg (1-0): beat Crandall, 33-28
  • Argyle (1-0): beat Lovejoy, 42-21
  • Liberty-Eylau (0-1): lost to Gilmer, 57-58
  • Princeton (0-1): lost to Celina, 26-34
  • Quinlan Ford (1-0): beat Emory Rains, 48-22
  • Anna (0-1): lost to Whitesboro, 6-7
  • North Lamar (1-0): beat Leander Glenn, 37-27

September 3, 2017

Taller Lady Tigers Outlast Ladycats

The Paris Ladycats surprised Class 5A Texas High  by winning the opening game of their varsity volleyball match Friday in Texarkana before the taller Lady Tigers stormed back to win, 22-25, 25-16, 25-14, 25-14.

Paris, now 13-11, has an open date Tuesday before traveling to Wills Point on Friday to continue the pre-district portion of the schedule.

Sophomore Grace Woodby and junior Peaches Jackson each collected 10 kills, while Jackson added 6 blocks.  Senior setter Deagan Dingman had 25 assists.

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Happening Now at PHS
Student of the Year

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.  At the end of the year, the name of one of the monthly winners is drawn to receive a $100 Applebee’s gift card.  The 2017-18 winner is Michael Godwin.  See monthly winners on our Students of the Month page.

New Directors Named

Jeff Chapman (left) has been named girls athletics coordinator and head girls basketball coach, and John McCullough (right) is the new Director of Career and Technical Education and Director of Secondary Education.  Read more about ChapmanRead more about McCullough.

PHS Athletic Awards

Paris High students were recognized for their athletic accomplishments at the recent Athletic Awards Banquet.  Read more.

Events on the Cat Horizon

Summer Athletic Camps.  PHS athletic staff will be offering summer camps for multiple age groups this summer.  Click on each sport for more information.

  • Softball, July 12-13, 6-8 pm, incoming grades 5-8
  • Volleyball, July 16-18, 9 a.m. to 12 noon, incoming grades 4-6
  • Volleyball, July 16-18, 1 to 4 p.m., incoming grades 7-9