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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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Saya Swain homered, drove in 3 runs, and struck out 12 batters but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Paris Ladycats from falling to the Pittsburg Lady Pirates Friday, 9-3, in a District 14-4A game.
The game was stopped after 5 innings due to rain.
The Ladycats, now 9-13 overall and 1-6 in district, host North Lamar Tuesday in a 6 p.m. start at the PJHS field.
Postseason basketball awards have been announced with Paris High represented on both All-District and All-Red River Valley lists.
The Ladycats finished with a season record of 14-18, 3-7 in District 14-4A. Junior Peaches Jackson was selected Tri-Offensive Player of the Year and freshman Quiniya Savage was chosen Newcomer of the Year. Senior Serenity Sanders made All-District First Team.
Savage was also the Newcomer of the Year on the All-RRV list as selected by The Paris News. Jackson and Sanders received first team nods, while freshman Bailee Brown and junior Carol Croom were picked to the second team.
The Wildcat boys finished 18-14 overall and runnerup in District 14-4A with a 7-3 mark. Junior Cameron Jones was the District co-Defensive Player of the Year, while sophomore Trea Johnson and senior Jordan Mitchell made the first team and sophomore Trevon Dennis the second team.
Dennis was selected as all-RRV Newcomer of the Year. Johnson and Mitchell made the first team, while Jones and sophomore Jameon Mitchell were picked for the second team.
This one hurt.
The Paris Wildcats’ 4-3 loss to the Liberty-Eylau Leopards Wednesday at PJC Hub Hollis Field hurt mentally, psychologically, and most of all to a young team’s chances of advancing to this year’s baseball playoffs.
Tuesday’s brief cloudburst postponed the District 14-4A game 24 hours from its original scheduled date. The extra day allowed Paris head coach Bill Sikes to send his senior ace Zach Norris to the mound to face the Leopards, who were winless in district and had dropped 10 of their previous 11 games.
The strategy seemed to be working early with the Cats taking a 3-1 lead after 3 innings. A win would have given Paris a 2-game lead over North Lamar and Atlanta and 3-game pad over L-E in the chase for one of the district’s 4 playoff spots.
However, by the fifth inning it was obvious that Norris was laboring on the mound. Some aggressive base-running by the Leopards resulted in double play put outs at home plate to end the fourth and fifth frames and allowed Paris to keep the 3-1 advantage.
“Zach got dehydrated and was having leg cramps,” Sikes said of the PJC signee who has working on 4 instead of his normal 6 days’ rest. “There was nothing wrong with his arm.”
Still, the cramps disrupted his rhythm and led to the fateful sixth inning when L-E combined a single hit with a walk, hit batter, and two crucial Paris infield errors to score three runs and take the lead, 4-3. The Cats committed 6 errors overall.
The inning started optimistically with Norris’ strikeout of Tre Hodge, a Texarkana College signee. Norris lost command with a full-count walk to Cutter Webb, then he plunked Dakota Miller on the next pitch.
The Leopard runners worked a double steal, but it appeared that Norris might work out of the jam when he fanned Kevin Garza for the second out. An infield grounder should have ended the frame but an errant throw skipped past first and scored a run to trim to lead to 3-2.
A bloop single to right by Ethan Brooks tied the score, 3-3, and another infield grounder was booted and allowed the go-ahead run, 4-3.
Sikes brought in Canyon Parker in relief to get the final fly ball out, but the damage had been done.
Meanwhile, the Wildcat bats went into deep cold storage after taking the early 3-1 lead. A Saxon Swain leadoff walk, Walker Preston sacrifice bunt, Leopard error, passed ball, and Zach Nation RBI single lifted Paris to a 2-0 lead after the first inning.
L-E scored a run in the second on a double by Hall and RBI single by Miller, the starting L-E pitcher. Two runners were caught stealing at second base by Paris catcher Nation, who threw out the first three Leopards who tried to gain an extra base.
Paris got the run back in the third. Again, Saxon led off with a walk, stole second, and advanced to third when the throw skipped into centerfield. Saxon would total 3 stolen bases in the game.
Norris dropped a Texas League single behind second base that scored Saxon. That brought a pitching change with Webb replacing Miller. Webb would shut down the Paris attack over the next 4.2 innings with 7 strikeouts (5 by called third strike).
“We got caught looking at good pitches,” Sikes said, “and when we did swing the bat, we swung at some bad pitches.”
Paris had one final chance to tie or win the game in the Cats’ final at-bat. Once more Saxon started the rally by reaching on an infield single and stealing second. Paris would load the bases with 2 outs on an intentional walk to Norris and base on balls by Dee Glover, but a fly ball ended the game.
“What can you do except come back tomorrow and get back to work?” a frustrated Sikes said about his team that relies on 5 key sophomores and 3 freshmen.
The loss drops Paris to third place in the district at 2-2, trailing Pleasant Grove (4-0) and Pittsburg (3-1). North Lamar, Atlanta, and L-E are tied for fourth with 1-3 marks.
Paris travels to Pittsburg Friday to close out the first half of district play.
Katy Hall, shown in photograph by Joe Watson from an earlier match vs. Celina, scores a 3-goal hat trick to lead Paris to a 4-1 win over Dallas Carter. Freshman Erica Garcia watches Hall’s manuever.
Senior Katy Hall scored a 3-goal hat trick as the Paris Ladycats advanced one step closer to a return trip to the regional girls soccer tournament with a 4-1 win Tuesday over Dallas Carter in an Area Round match played at McKinney Boyd High School.
The Ladycats (18-7-1) will face the Terrell Lady Tigers (22-5-2) Friday, 7 p.m., at Sulphur Springs Gerald Prim Stadium in a Region 2-4A Quarterfinal. The winner advances to the Region 2-4A tournament on Friday, April 13, at Longview Lobo Stadium.
The senior-laden Ladycats played in a regional semifinal match during their sophomore seasons two years ago where they lost, 3-1, to Athens.
Terrell is ranked No. 3 in Region 2 by the Texas Association of Soccer Coaches, while Paris is No. 5. Both teams finished runnerups in their respective districts. The Lady Tigers beat North Lamar and Ranchview by identical 4-0 results to advance to the third round.
Hall, the Ladycats’ leading scorer, was frustrated in Paris’ 1-0 bi-district win over Crandall when she was unable to convert on several golden scoring opportunities, including a header which bounced off the crossbar. She took those frustrations out on Carter, the District 10 champion, with a pair of early goals.
Senior midfielder Estephany Balderas also scored just before halftime to give Paris a commanding 3-0 lead. Hall picked up a third goal in the second half. A late Cowgirl goal kept the Paris defense from registering its 18th shutout of the season.
Ladycat assists were notched by Hall and senior teammates Deagan Dingman and Zanesha Dangerfield.
Defensive miscues proved costly to the Paris Ladycats softball team in recent District 14-4A action. They dropped a 6-2 game Friday in Atlanta and lost, 7-2, Monday in a home game vs. Liberty-Eylau.
Paris falls to 9-12 for the season and 1-5 in district play. The Ladycats’ next game is scheduled for Friday at Pittsburg.
The Ladycats took a 2-0 lead over Atlanta in the first inning, but the Lady Rabbits countered with single runs in the first and second to tie the score then plated 5 in the third inning. Saya Swain allowed just 4 hits and 2 earned runs while striking out 10, but Atlanta took advantage of 5 Paris errors.
Akerria Garvin went 2-for-3 at the plate, while Swain and Alexxis Braswell belted doubles.
The Ladycats had 10 errors in the loss to L-E. Swain surrendered no earned runs on 4 hits, a walk, and 15 strikeouts.
Paris tied the score, 2-2, in the bottom of the fifth on Kammie Franklin’s 2-run single, but the Lady Leopards scored 3 in the sixth and added a run in the seventh to take the win. Garvin had a double in the loss.
The Paris Ladycats had multiple chances to score on the Crandall Lady Pirates in Thursday’s Class 4A Bi-District Playoff at McKinney North High School, but it took a fortuitous big bounce to pave the way for a 1-0 win that advances Paris (17-7-1) to next week’s Area Round against District 10 champion Dallas Carter. That match will probably be scheduled for Tuesday. Deagan Dingman’s floater from 30 yards out bounced just outside the goalkeeper’s box and over the reach of Crandall goalie Daphne Gonzalez with 10:51 remaining in the first half (see photo above). Dingman then celebrates the goal (right) before the senior defender and the rest of the Ladycats defense goes back to work to register the team’s 17th shutout of the season.
Paris High saw a couple of long UIL competition droughts fall by the wayside Thursday. The Theater Department’s One Act Play The 39 Steps finished among the top 3 at the Area Round Contest in Denison to advance to the April 13 Region 2 finals at Texas A&M-Commerce for the first time in recent history.
The other milestone occurred at a windy McKinney North High School soccer pitch when the Paris Ladycats girls soccer team caught a couple of fortuitous bounces to edge familiar rival Crandall, 1-0, in a bi-district playoff match.
The surprising element was not that the Ladycats won or that they beat Crandall. The veteran Paris team is one of the top rated Class 4A squads in Region 2 and the two schools have evenly split their matches, 3-3-2, over the past 4 seasons.
The more stunning revelation is that the Ladycats’ playoff win is the first by the tradition-rich PHS athletic program in almost one calendar year. The last time Paris High advanced to the second playoff round in a team sport was May 6, 2017, when the baseball team won its bi-district series vs. Brownsboro.
The Ladycats will play District 10 champion Dallas Carter in an Area Round match Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., at McKinney Boyd HS. Paris is the designated home team.
Aided by a strong 20 mph wind at their backs, the Ladycats had several chances to put the Lady Pirates away early. A corner kick by Deagan Dingman 3 minutes after kickoff was headed off the crossbar by Katy Hall, who had a breakaway chance just 4 minutes later but her shot was knocked over the goalpost by Crandall goalie Daphne Gonzalez.
Paris had 4 corner kick setups in the first 20 minutes, and with 15 minutes remaining in the half Estephany Balderas flicked the ball to Josie Cade on the left flank, but her open shot carried just wide left of the top 90 goal corner.
“It’s all about momentum in the playoffs,” Paris head coach Matt Dickinson said. “Once you miss scoring on your opportunities, (the opponent) can make it tough on you.”
With the half about to close along with the window of opportunity provided by the favorable wind, the Ladycats caught a big break, or actually, a big bounce. Dingman, the senior top-side defender, stepped up to contest and win a loose ball at the 30-yard mark. Using a unguarded opening, she sent a high lob goalward. It bounced at the top of the goalie’s box and bounce over the reach of Gonzalez into the net.
With 10:51 remaining in the half, Paris had a precious 1-0 lead and less than 2 minutes later the Ladycats appeared to go up by 2-0 off a corner kick scrum when freshman Erika Garcia knocked a loose ball into the net. However, the side referee ruled goalie interference on the play.
Still, Paris took a 1-0 lead to halftime. Now it was time to switch ends and go into defensive mode against the Lady Pirates and Sam Houston State signee Madison Pottorff.
Hall had two more excellent scoring chances in the first 7 minutes of the second half before Dickinson pulled his leading scorer back into midfield in a defensive poster. He also assigned senior defender Sunny Scruggs to shadow Pottorff.
It took another lucky bounce to maintain the 1-0 lead in the 48th minute. Pottorff was able to wheel around two defenders in the corner to send a cross through the goalie’s box. Teammate Sammy Rodriguez fired at an open net from 10 yards out, but the ball bounced off the crossbar and a followup header by Libby Rodriguez went over the goal.
Midway through the second half Pottorff had a golden opportunity on a free kick from 20 yards out on the right flank. Instead of aiming for the goal, she sent a roller across the goalmouth where 3 teammates were positioned. Ladycat defensive sweeper Sarah Bloodworth was there for the clearing save.
With 12 minutes remaining Pottorff was the target of a teammate’s cross but sophomore Riley Bills went low for a clearing header. The Lady Pirates’ final gasp came on a corner kick with 1:30 left. The taller Pottorff was challenged by Balderas and the Crandall star’s header was easily secured by goalkeeper Grace Woodby.
It was the 17th shutout of the season for Woodby and primary defenders Bloodworth, Bills, Brylei Moore, Scruggs, and Dingman.
“They (the Lady Pirates) always give us problems,” Dickinson said. “They’ve got a D1 player (Pottorff) who’s not easy to deal with. But we came out on top, and I’m proud of our effort tonight.”
The Paris Wildcats varsity boys soccer team showed grit and determination this season to battle back from an 0-2 start in District 11-4A to claim their fifth straight district soccer title. Unfortunately, their district wars did little to prepare them for the step up in competition once the playoffs began.
District 10 left no doubt they are a stronger soccer alignment by sweeping all four bi-district playoff matches. The Wildcats were caught up in that sweep Friday in a 2-1 high noon setback at the hands of District 10’s No. 4 seed Mabank in a match played at McKinney’s Ron Poe Stadium.
In other district boys action, District 11 runnerup Community lost in a shootout to Terrell, No. 3 seeded Princeton fell 2-1 to Crandall, and No. 4 Bonham was routed by District 10 champion Ferris 6-0.
Paris head coach Jeremy Beshirs always knew that the key to a long playoff run was getting past the Cats’ first-round opponent, but he was optimistic about his chances against Mabank, which had to beat Kaufman in their regular season finale to even make the playoffs.
“If we can handle their two big guys up top, we’ll be all right,” he said prior to the match.
They couldn’t. Two almost identical breakaways in the first 12 minutes of the second half resulted in skillful goals by senior forwards James Coker and Jaycob Gonzalez and a fatal 2-0 Mabank lead.
The Panthers were, by far, the more physical team, but the Cats could not point to officiating for their setback. Mabank was whistled for a 4-to-1 edge in fouls, but Paris couldn’t take advantage until it was nearly too late.
With 5:34 left on the clock, a foul was called at the edge of the 18-yard box for a push in the back of midfielder Kyler Beshirs. Senior Cole Miller took the penalty kick and beat goalkeeper Cristofer Pacheco-Mendoza to the left post to cut the lead in half, 2-1.
As Mabank went into defensive mode and stalled time off the scoreboard, the Cats were given just one final opportunity to knot the score with 2:22 left on the clock. A free kick by Alan Garcia from 35 yards out was just out of the controlling reach of Miller, and as Montana Payne collided with Pacheco-Mendoza, the rebound was cleared by Mabank defenders.
The Paris season ends at 14-8-2. It was the first bi-district loss by the Cats since the 2014 season when they were defeated by The Colony, 2-1.
Mabank (9-10-1) moves on to play Wilmer-Hutchins in the Area Round.
Wildcat rightfielder Walker Preston makes diving catch to secure Cats’ 1-0 win over Atlanta (shown in photograph by Joe Watson)
A clutch pinch hit by freshman Trace McNeil and a game-saving diving catch by rightfielder Walker Preston backed the 2-hit pitching from senior Zach Norris to give Paris a 1-0 win over Atlanta Friday in District 14-4A baseball at Atlanta City Park.
The victory leaves the Wildcats tied with Pittsburg in district at 2-1 behind defending champion Pleasant Grove (3-0). Atlanta is tied with North Lamar for fourth at 1-2, and Liberty-Eylau is 0-3.
Weather permitting, Paris hosts L-E Tuesday, 7:30 p.m., at PJC Hub Hollis Field before closing out the first half of district play Friday, April 6, at Pittsburg.
Norris (4-3) was locked in a scoreless pitcher’s duel with Atlanta sophomore Kade Wood until the top of the seventh inning when sophomore centerfielder Layn Hall reached on a hit by pitch. Hall advanced to second base on a passed ball, and McNeil came to the plate to register his first varsity hit with a run-scoring single up the middle.
The Rabbits’ leadoff hitter reached in the bottom of the seventh on an error and was in scoring position at second base with two outs when Preston lunged to his left to snag the final out.
“If he doesn’t catch that ball,” said pitching coach Grant Chappell, “it goes all the way past him and the tying and winning runs both score.”
Norris struck out 13 and walked none to earn his second district win on the mound.
The Paris Wildcats varsity boys track and field team finished a close second to Tatum, 134-116, at Thursday’s Blackberry Relays in Lindale.
Freshman Jalen Gray won the 400-meter dash, and the Paris sprint relay of Travius Bronner, Do’Rian Williams, Montavius Mccarty, and Donovan Williams were also event winners.
Paris will be back in action on Thursday, April 5, at the Kaufman Golden Lions Relays.
Paris varsity top 3 event winners follow.
Varsity Boys Results
Varsity Girls Results
Paris Junior Blaine Hill fired a two-round total of 152 to finish in a tie for third place at the District 14-4A Golf Championship and will advance to regionals along with the Paris girls team, which finished in second place.
Round 1 was contested Monday at Texarkana Northridge Country Club, and Round 2 was Tuesday at Paris Golf & Country Club.
Pleasant Grove destroyed the field to take the boys team title by 131 strokes over second place North Lamar, 592-723. Paris was third with a composite score of 736.
Braxton Watkins of PG was the top boys medalist. He shot a 2-day total of 140.
Atlanta took the girls team trophy and PG’s Allison Jones was the low medalist with a 183.
The top two teams qualify for regionals along with the top two individual finishers not on those teams. The Region 2-4A boys tournament will be April 23-24 at Canton’s Van Zandt Country Club followed by the girls tournament on April 25-26.
Hill was named to the All-District First Team. Paris selections on the Second Team were sophomores Holden Stone, Emily Eddlemon and Riley Bills, along with freshmen Tate Lewis and Clairah White.
The Paris Ladycats continued their recent mastery over the Pleasant Grove Lady Hawks in softball by taking a 5-2 win Monday in Texarkana.
Last season the Ladycats broke a 50-game district losing streak with a 6-0 win over PG. Their only other district win last season was a 7-6 decision in the rematch so Monday’s victory gives them a modest 3-game winning streak over a District 14-4A rival.
Next up for Paris (9-10, 1-3) is a scheduled trip Friday, weather permitting, to play Atlanta to close out the first round of district play.
Sophomore Saya Swain played her customary key role in the pitcher’s circle and in the batter’s box in the win at PG. She struck out 15 Lady Hawks, allowed no earned runs, and was 3-for-3 at the plate.
With PG protecting a 2-1 lead and 2 outs in the seventh inning, the Hawks intentionally walked Swain to load the bases. Paris then scored the tying and go-ahead runs on passed balls. Kammie Franklin then followed with a 2-run double to pad the lead.
The Ladycats were coming off a 7-0 loss at state-ranked North Lamar. Franklin collected the only Paris hit in the game.
Daniel Blackmon strokes a 2-run single in fourth inning
The 2018 Pleasant Grove Hawks may not have the front-line pitching which has made them a perennial power in Texas high school baseball, but their bats still pack a punch as they proved Monday night in an 18-6 dismantling of the Paris Wildcats at PJC Hub Hollis Field.
The Hawks (12-3) pushed across 8 runs in the third inning, 5 in the fourth, and 4 in the seventh against 5 Wildcat pitchers. Their hitting arsenal included 14 hits (5 doubles), 8 walks, and 3 hit batters along with a pair of Wildcat errors. Just like PG teams of recent note, this year’s version will make you pay for mistakes.
The Cats (7-9-1) did have a brief moment of hope early in the game. After PG took a 1-0 lead, Paris tied the score in the bottom of the first on a Walker Preston single, wild pitch, groundout, and PG error, the first of 4 uncharacteristic Hawk fielding errors.
Starting Paris pitcher Canyon Parker (2-2) retired the Hawks in order during the second. It was the only time all evening the PG would go down 1-2-3. It was the calm before the storm.
As a blustery south wind released surreal clouds of thick tree pollen reminiscent of Dust Bowl days, the PG hitting onslaught reached a fever pitch in the 8-run third. The Hawks sent 14 batters to the plate and accounted for 7 hits, including 4 doubles. It could have been worse: They left the bases loaded.
They also left no doubt on the game’s outcome the following inning when the shellshocked Cat pitching staff contributed 4 walks to a 5-run frame. At that point, Paris fans could have been excused for wishing for the 10-run mercy rule staring at a 14-1 deficit.
Instead, first baseman Daniel Blackmon stroked a 2-run single to the left-centerfield gap to make it a 14-3 margin after 4 innings. In the fifth, a Zack Norris RBI double and another Blackmon RBI single ensured that the game would not end after 5. A Layn Hall groundout accounted for the final Paris run and a 14-6 score.
PG made sure there would be no incredible comeback with 4 more runs in the seventh.
In other district action Monday, North Lamar bounced back from last week’s loss to Paris by pounding Atlanta, 9-3, and Pittsburg subdued Liberty-Eylau, 6-2. Paris makes the long trek to Atlanta Friday, weather permitting, to continue district play.
2018 Paris High District Trophy Collection (from left) Zain Syed, Reagan Benson, Coach Jim Davis, Ramiro Ramirez, Sahil Prakash, Gabe Allen
The Paris High tennis team returned from last week’s District 14-4A Championships at Texarkana College with an impressive trophy haul, paced by championships from senior Reagan Benson in girls singles and junior Sahil Prakash in boys singles.
Both players will advance to the Region 2-4A Championships at Longview High April 19-20 where they’ll be joined by senior teammate Ramiro Ramirez, who finished runnerup to Prakash in boys singles. The senior boys doubles team of Gabe Allen and Zain Syed took third place at district and will serve as alternates to regionals.
The boys doubles team of sophomore Alec Fleming and junior Mason Sikes finished in fourth place.
The regional trip will be a return experience for both Prakash and Ramirez. Prakash was runnerup to PHS teammate Matt Cochran in 2017, while Ramirez made the trip in 2016 as a member of the district-winning mixed doubles team.
Benson finished third in girls doubles at last season’s district meet, and Ramirez and Zain Syed were fourth in boys doubles.
The PHS tennis coach is Jim Davis.
Paris sophomore Layn Hall and NL second baseman Chase Lester react to Hall’s 2-run double that provided some separation in the Cats’ 8-3 win Friday
Veteran baseball coach Bill Sikes knows he’s dealing with a short deck this season. There’s a reason his 2018 Paris Wildcats are picked to finish dead last in District 14-4A: The lineup card he filled out for Friday night’s district opener vs. North Lamar showed 4 sophomores and 2 freshmen among the starting 9.
But the riverboat gambler has an ace up his sleeve that he can throw down once a week that just might produce enough winning hands to upend the district cart. Friday was case in point. Senior righthander Zach Norris (pictured left), the PJC signee, set down 17 Panther batters in a row to give the young Wildcats time to overcome some mistakes in the field to show their potential at the plate in an 8-3 win over their county rivals.
“That was a good win for us,” Sikes said. “We worked hard getting them ready for that game. I’m proud of them.”
Sikes is realistic about this year’s team, now 7-8-1, and the first inning offered plenty of frustration dealing with a young team’s growing pains.
Sophomore leadoff hitter Saxon Swain got the Cats off to a flying start with a double to the leftfield corner on a 2-0 pitch from Panther starter Zeke Wood. A passed ball advanced Swain to third base, and he scored the first run on an RBI grounder to the right side of the infield by junior Walker Preston.
Wood struggled with command early and ran his pitch count to 32 in the first inning by loading the bases on a pair of walks and a dropped third strike, but he escaped further trouble with a strikeout to end the inning.
Norris also had a shaky start on the mound. Panther leadoff hitter Alec Asay singled, stole second, and tied the game, 1-1, when Wood took a 2-strike pitch to rightfield for an RBI single.
Two batters later, the Cats faced a 2-out situation with runners on the corners, which set up the perfect double-steal scenario.
“We had worked on that play all week,” Sikes said.
But sometimes practice doesn’t always mean perfection under bright lights. When first base runner Cade Conway got a big jump, Norris wheeled and threw in the direction of a sophomore infielder. Instead of stepping up to guard against a steal of home, the fielder broke to cover second base. Norris’ throw zipped into rightfield for an error, and NL had a 2-1 lead.
Norris, who wears his emotions on his undersleeves, kept his upperclass frustrations in check and ended the frame on a strikeout. It was the beginning of a 17-batter streak of dominance by the Wildcat ace.
Meanwhile, the game settled into a pitchers’ duel for the next three innings with the only base activity coming on a single by Swain and a passed ball strikeout by Wood.
The heavy first-inning workload finally took effect on Wood in the fifth. Preston drew a base on balls, stole second, and advanced to third on another passed ball. Cleanup hitter Dee Glover then stroked a 2-out liner to right that tied the score, 2-2.
Sophomore catcher Zach Nation reached on an error. It was Wood’s final pitch as NL head coach Kent Craig brought in lefthander Luke Parsons in relief.
Junior first baseman Daniel Blackmon drove in Glover with the go-ahead run, 3-2, off a bloop single to right. Sophomore centerfielder Layn Hall then delivered a 2-run double that kissed the leftfield line and made the score 5-2.
Another 2-out rally in the sixth cemented the win for Paris. It started with a single by Preston, walk by Norris, and a wild pitch that advanced the runners to second and third.
Glover (pictured right) fought off a 9-pitch at-bat to deliver a dagger 2-run single to left that drove in Preston and pinch runner Javion Dabbs. It was the third RBI of the night for the senior designated hitter. After a Glover steal of second, Nation’s RBI single to the hole between short and third produced the Cats’ final run and an 8-2 lead.
The shutdown streak finally ended for Norris with 1 out in the seventh when Conway singled. An infield error and walk loaded the bases and Jay Walters’ infield single trimmed the lead to 8-3. Norris then got his 13th strikeout to end it.
For the game Norris (3-3) gave up 4 hits, 1 earned run, and 2 walks.
Sikes hopes the momentum and experience from Friday’s game translates into more wins down the stretch.
“If we can just scratch out 3 or 4 more wins in district we have a chance (to make the playoffs),” he said.
The road ahead is a tough one, as Paris hosts state powerhouse Pleasant Grove Monday night at PJC Hub Hollis Field. That game has been moved up 24 hours in hopes of avoiding heavy rains in the forecast.
In other district action Friday, PG rallied from a 4-1 deficit to beat Pittsburg in 8 innings, 6-4, while Atlanta also won in 8 innings, 7-6, over Liberty-Eylau.
District soccer rivals bid farewell, for now, to their longtime rivalries Friday night as form held true in this season’s 11-4A soccer chase. The Princeton Lady Panthers edged the Paris Ladycats, 2-1, at Wildcat Stadium, while at Jackie Hendricks Stadium the Paris Wildcats blanked Princeton, 1-0.
The results secured a fifth straight district championship for the Princeton girls and Paris boys. Unless they meet in the upcoming playoffs, the schools will see their soccer rivalry end since Princeton will be moving up to Class 5A next year.
The Ladycats (16-7-1) have registered 16 shutouts this season, including 8 in district play but the powerful Lady Panther attack dented the Paris defense for a goal in each half. Ladycat senior forward Katy Hall picked up her 10th district goal to avoid the shutout.
Final district girls standings showed Princeton (18-4) with a perfect 24 points, while Paris was second with 18 followed by North Lamar 12, Community 6, and Bonham 0.
The Wildcat boys team entered Friday’s match needing a tie or win to clinch their fifth straight title. They got a first-half goal from Felix Vasquez (pictured), assisted by Kyler Beshirs, and made it stand up for the win. It was the senior’s team-leading eighth goal of the season and the team-leading sixth assist for the junior midfielder.
It was the fourth straight shutout by Paris (14-7-2), which began district play with back-to-back 1-0 defeats at the hands of North Lamar and Community. The Cats battled back to finish district with six consecutive wins to take the district’s top spot with 18 points. Community finished second with 15 followed by Princeton 14, Bonham 7, and NL 5.
Paris and Princeton split their JV matches with the Ladycats winning, 2-0, and Wildcats falling, 3-0.
UIL Bi-District playoff action begins Thursday when the Ladycats play Crandall, the No. 3 finisher from District 12. The Wildcat boys will face Mabank, the No. 4 seed from District 12, on Friday, 12 noon, at McKinney Ron Poe Stadium.
Montavius Mccarty hands baton to Donovan Williams for anchor leg of Paris’ winning sprint relay (photo by Joe Watson)
If Thursday’s Deon Minor Relays are any indicator, the Paris High Wildcats track team is on pace to make some waves at the District 14-4A track and field championships in three weeks.
For the first time in recent memory, the Wildcat varsity boys won a multi-team event when they easily out-distanced the pack by 81 points over runnerup Sherman, 191-110, at the annual meet held at Wildcat Stadium that bears the name of PHS alumni and world class track star Deon Minor. Mount Pleasant was third with 94 followed by North Lamar at 80.
Paris also won the JV boys division, 202-104, over Mount Pleasant with Sulphur Springs next with 97 and NL at 82. The varsity girls division had Mount Pleasant on top with 166, then New Boston 99, Paris 76, Commerce 74, and NL 62, while JV girls showed Sherman with 124, Sulphur Springs 109.5, MP 92.5, Paris 68, and NL 58.
Meet records were set in seven events including Paris’ Kobe Savage in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 40.87. North Lamar’s Seybian Holt broke records in high jump (6-8) and long jump (22-2), while NL’s Kobey Emeyabbi tied the record in pole vault (13-0).
On the girls’ side, records were set in the 100 and 200 meters and long jump by Sherman and MP athletes.
Paris has traditionally fielded a strong stable of sprinters. The Cats set a state record in the 4x200 meter relay just five years ago. But they have lacked the depth needed to challenge for team track trophies.
That may be changing. The Cats are still strong in the sprints. Seniors Montavius Mccarty, Donovan Williams, and Travius Bronner were 1-2-3 in the 100 and joined sophomore 200-meter winner Do’Rian Williams on the winning 4x100 and 4x200 meter relay teams.
But now they’re showing some strength in the hurdles. Boobie Douglas won the 110-meter high hurdles and finished right behind fellow junior Savage in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles.
Plus, they have an arsenal of competent quarter-milers, led by freshman Jalen Gray who turned in an impressive 51.33 winning time in the 400 meters. Paris finished the night by sweeping all three point-heavy relays with a win by the 4x400 team of Gray, Savage, and juniors Anqurrus Harris and Jadarias Dillard.
There’s still work to do, especially in the field and distance events, but Paris head coach Herb Smith expects some help in the longer races once the soccer season ends.
“It makes a difference when you can get your full team together and start working on technique,” he said.
Among field events, senior Jalen Easter pulled off a rare triple when he placed in the pole vault (4th) as well as the discus (1st) and shot put (3rd).
The Paris winners in the JV boys division were Zantavious Braxton (100 meters and long jump), Jermayne Williams (200M), Javin Cary (400M and discus), Tyrelle Lewis (300M hurdles), Cam Jones (high jump), and the 4x100 and 4x400 relays.
The best finish in the girls varsity division was a second-place showing by sophomore Grace Woodby in the pole vault, while JV girls winners were Ashneke Brown (300M hurdles), Imani Braxton (discus), and Hannah Gibbons (high jump).
Paris is scheduled to attend the Blackberry Relays in Lindale on Thursday before the district meet on April 11-12 in Atlanta.
Both Paris High varsity soccer teams took care of business Tuesday night in a Wildcat Stadium doubleheader. As a result, the Ladycats and Wildcats will be playing for District 11-4A titles Friday in their regular season finales vs. Princeton.
The Paris girls celebrated Senior Night with a 4-0 win over the Bonham Lady Warriors. All four goals, appropriately, were scored and set up by seniors.
The Wildcat boys, meanwhile, relied on a versatile offense to produce a 3-0 result against the Warriors. It was the fifth straight district win for the Cats (13-7-2) and third straight shutout.
Morial Amin-Allen (No. 5) challenges a North Lamar player for possession in a photo taken by Joe Watson
The Ladycats (16-6-1) close out the regular season Friday with a chance to tie the Princeton girls for the district title, but it will be a monumental task. The Lady Panthers haven’t lost a district game since 2014 and dealt the Ladycats a 3-1 setback at Princeton in this season’s earlier meeting.
Friday’s title match will be at Wildcat Stadium with a 7:15 p.m. start preceded by the JV game at 5:30.
Princeton leads the girls standings with 21 points, while Paris has 18, North Lamar 9, Community 6, and Bonham 0. A win in regulation counts 3 points, while a shootout win is worth 2 and a shootout loss 1.
The Ladycats started the scoring early when stalwart defender Sarah Bloodworth followed up a Deagan Dingman corner kick with a chip shot from 12 yards that just cleared the crossbar. With 12 minutes left before halftime, a long throw-in by Sunny Scruggs bounced across the goalmouth and was cued into the net by a sliding Estephany Balderas.
In the second half Katy Hall picked up her ninth district goal with a left-footed strike from the left flank that found the far right upper 90. Hall also set up the last goal when her cross from the right flank was knocked in by Morial Amin-Allen just inside the left post. It was the first varsity goal for Amin-Allen, a converted goalkeeper.
It was also the 16th shutout of the season for the Ladycats' defense.
Boys Race Crowded at Top
The district boys race tightened considerably with Paris’ win over Bonham and North Lamar taking Community to a shootout before the Braves prevailed. Community has a slim lead, 16-15, over Paris, but the Braves have completed the regular season. Princeton is in third place at 14 followed by North Lamar 5, and Bonham 4.
There could be a three-way tie following the Cats’ match at Princeton Friday, but Paris would own the tiebreaker in such a scenario and take the important No. 1 seed into the playoffs. The Cats can become 5-time district champions with a tie or win in regulation. A loss to Princeton would give the Panthers the championship with Paris finishing third.
An Alan Garcia corner kick resulted in the Cats’ first goal Tuesday. JP Rojas was credited with the goal, but a closing Bonham defender accidentally kicked it into the net for an “own” goal.
It remained a 1-0 game at halftime although the pesky Warrior attack had several opportunities to tie but misfired wide of goal each time.
At halftime Paris head coach Jeremy Beshirs listened to the advice of assistant coach Clint Cobb and inserted Venezuela exchange student Carlos Perez into the forward attack.
“In practice he’s one of our better players around the goal area,” Beshirs said.
Teammates (from left) Justin Medina, Kyler Beshirs, and JP Rojas congratulate the tall Carlos Perez for scoring the Cats’ second goal
The tall Perez justified the coaching decision when he took a cross from Cole Miller, quickly turned to beat Bonham’s back defender and the goalie from 10 yards away for his second goal of the season and a 2-0 Paris lead as the second half began.
In the closing minutes the Cats added an insurance goal by talented freshman Jesus (Chu-cho) Rangel, which ties him for the team lead in goals scored with 7. Rangel, elevated to varsity just before district began, headed a cross from Justin Medina towards the goal from 25 yards out. The ball bounced high over the goalie’s head. As the goalie and Felix Vasquez became entangled, Chu-cho followed the ball with a smaller tap-in header.
Beshirs said having interchangeable parts like Rangel, Perez, Miller, Vasquez, and Tony Saavedra in forward positions has made the offense more potent. Each brings a different skill set which can be troublesome to defend.
“I tell them that if I call on you for just 10 minutes (on the field), then give me your best 10 minutes,” he said. “It’s not about scoring individual goals. It’s about team.”
The philosophy has helped lift the Cats from a deep hole to start district play (when they lost back-to-back 1-0 shutouts to North Lamar and Community) to the brink of another district championship.
Sophomore Saya Swain struck out 17 Pittsburg batters, but 3 walks, 5 timely Lady Pirate hits, and 5 Paris Ladycats’ fielding errors enabled the Lady Pirates to leave town Tuesday with a 9-2 District 14-4A softball win at Ladycat Field.
Saya Swain connects at the plate on a 2-run double that scores both Paris runs (photo by Joe Watson)
Two of Swain’s walks scored single runs in the first and third innings for Pittsburg, but a 2-out rally in the bottom of the frame tied the score, 2-2, on a Swain double which brought home El Infante, who had singled, and Quiniya Savage, who reached on an error.
Paris had a chance to take the lead when Taylor White followed with a single, but pinch runner Abby Lawson was thrown out at the plate. The Ladycats had two runners tagged out at home during the game along with some critical base-running gaffes.
Pitt regained the lead, 4-2, in the fourth when a pair of bloop singles set up Trinity Aycock’s 2-run double to the leftfield foul pole. The freshman Aycock went 3-for-4 with 6 RBIs. The Lady Pirates added another run in the sixth and 4 more in the seventh.
Swain went 3-for-4 at the plate, and Infante was 2-for-4. Alexxis Braswell also collected one of Paris’ 7 hits.
The loss drops Paris to 8-9 overall and 0-2 in district. The Ladycats face a tough test Friday at North Lamar in a 6 p.m. start.
Zach Norris greeted by teammates after fourth-inning leadoff homer in win over Bonham
It’s been a rough Spring Break for the Paris Wildcats baseball team, which finished on an upbeat Friday with a 16-8 win at Bonham.
The victory broke a 3-game losing streak for the Cats, who dropped a 5-4 decision on Monday to Caddo Mills, lost by an 8-3 count to Wills Point on Tuesday, and were shut out, 1-0, Thursday at Athens. There were some good phases to highlight in each loss, and Paris head coach Bill Sikes remains upbeat just one week away from the District 14-4A opener at North Lamar.
“This has been a fun group to work with,” Sikes said. “We’re young. At times I look at on the field and we’re playing 2 freshmen, 4 sophomores, and 2 juniors, but they listen well and do everything you ask them to do.”
Paris, now 6-8-1 on the season, closes out the pre-district portion of their schedule Monday at Gilmer.
Friday’s game was influenced by a gusty southwest wind clocked at 30 mph and blowing out to rightfield. The Cats pounded out 18 hits, while the Warriors managed 8. Each team committed 2 errors and produced 4 hit batters.
Senior righthander Canyon Parker (2-1) pitched into the sixth inning before reaching the pitch count limit. Junior Walker Preston finished the sixth, and sophomore Saxon Swain pitched the seventh.
The entire Paris lineup plus pinch hitter Bubba Gray contributed to the offensive fireworks with at least one hit, but senior Zach Norris was particularly impressive with a 4-for-5 day that included a double and a leadoff homer in the fourth over the short leftfield wall.
The Nos. 5-8 batters also had multi-hit days. Sophomore Zach Nation was 2-for-4 with 2 RBIs, junior Daniel Blackmon was 2-for-3 with 3 RBIs, sophomore Layn Hall was 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs and a pair of circus catches in centerfield, while sophomore Carson Powell was 2-for-4 with an RBI.
Earlier in the week the Cats’ 3-run, last-inning rally left them short in a 5-4 loss to Caddo Mills at Hub Hollis Field on Monday. Norris had a 2-run double, and sophomore Coleman Lewis went the distance on the mound for Paris.
Back at Hub Hollis on Tuesday the defense faltered with 4 errors in the 8-3 loss to Wills Point.
On Thursday the Cats drove to Athens for their third meeting this season against longtime assistant coach Dallas Robertson. They hit the ball hard, but right at somebody and were held to 2 hits. Meanwhile, Norris (2-3) went the distance with a 3-hitter but was victimized with the lone run with 2 outs in the sixth on a misplayed hit-and-run.
At the White Oak Tournament prior to Spring Break, Paris finished 2-1-1.
They opened with an 8-0 win over Henderson with Norris pitching a 2-hitter with no walks and 12 strikeouts. He also went 2-for-3 at the plate with 2 RBIs. Swain was 2-for-3 with 4 RBIs.
In the second Thursday game the Cats lost to Redwater, 2-0. Each team managed 5 hits. Parker went the distance for Paris.
On Friday the Cats battled Tatum to an 8-8 tie in a game called due to a tournament time limit, and in the Saturday finale they beat Athens, 4-1. Swain allowed 4 hits, walked 3, and fanned 2 to get the win, and junior Walker Preston was 3-for-4 with an RBI. Senior Demetric Glover was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Senior Jayla Sims won her second straight fifth-place medal at the Texas State Girls Powerlifting Championships in Waco Saturday with a career best 900-pound total lift in the 165-pound weight class.
Sims’ series included a 350-pound squat, 190-pound bench press, and 360-pound deadlift. She was tied for seventh after two rounds but posted the second highest deadlift in her class to jump into a medal finish. Kerrington Biggers of Synder won the 165s with a 1,070 total.
Sims finished fifth in the 148-pound weight class as a junior. Her previous career total lift was 870 pounds to win at regionals this season.
Junior Ansley Downs placed 12th in the 114s with a total lift of 665 pounds. Downs had a 265-pound squat, 125-pound bench press, and 265-pound deadlift. Kaitlyn Pelitire of Beeville Jones won the 114s with a 950-pound total.
Beeville Jones won the team title.
Wildcat boys team (from left) Holden Stone, Tate Lewis, Drew Bush, Mathew Scott, Blaine Hill with coach Randall Lewis
The Paris Wildcats boys golf team won Monday’s Sonic Drive-In Invitational at Paris Golf & Country Club while the girls finished second.
Junior Blaine Hill finished second in boys medalist with a round of 84 and freshman Tate Lewis was 2 shots back with a career low 86. The District 14-4A Golf Championships are next week with Round 1 Monday at Texarkana Northridge Country Club and Round 2 Tuesday at Paris G&CC.
Liberty-Eylau scored 6 runs, aided by 4 Paris errors, with 2 outs in the fifth inning to break up a pitchers’ duel and lead the Lady Leopards to an 8-1 win over the Ladycats in the District 14-4A softball opener Friday in Texarkana.
Paris (8-8) had tied the game at 1-1 in the fourth inning when freshman Alexxis Braswell (pictured left in photo by Joe Watson) plated senior Kammie Franklin, who had singled and reached second base on an error.
Ladycat sophomore pitcher Saya Swain gave up 7 hits and walked 5, while striking out 12. L-E pitcher Isabella Gunderson gave up 5 Ladycat hits, walked 2, and struck out 6.
L-E (14-3-1) took a 1-0 lead in the first on an inside-the-park home run by leadoff hitter Savannah Phelps. After the big 6-run outburst in the fifth, the Lady Leopards added an insurance run in the sixth.
The Ladycats host Pittsburg Tuesday at 6 p.m. on the PJHS field. Pitt beat Atlanta, 7-4, Friday while North Lamar shutout Pleasant Grove, 5-0, in other district games.
Ladycats soccer team unveils pre-match proposal on behalf of their coach
The Paris Ladycats and Wildcats registered wins over Nevada Community Friday by identical 2-0 counts to keep their District 11-4A soccer title hopes alive.
The Cats got goals from seniors Tony Saavedra and Felix Vasquez to knock off the previously district-leading Braves on the road. Sophomore Justin Medina and junior Alan Garcia assisted on the goals.
It was the fourth straight win for Paris (12-7-1). The Cats began district with 1-0 losses to North Lamar and Community but have battled back into position to win their fifth straight district title if they can win their final two matches in regulation against Bonham and Princeton.
Princeton beat Bonham in other district action Friday to pull into a tie with Community with 14 points. Paris has 12 but still has two matches remaining while Princeton and Community each have one left. A regulation win is worth 3 points.
Meanwhile, the drama at Wildcat Stadium for the girls match was reserved for pregame introductions (see photo above) when the Ladycats unfurled a wedding proposal banner that read “Will You Marry Our Coach” for Aimée Ragan, the financee of head coach Matt Dickinson.
She said yes.
Just 5 minutes into the match, senior midfielder Estephany Balderas ran down a deep throw-in from senior Laney Madding that bounced 35 yards past two defenders. Balderas got off a shot past a charging Community goalkeeper that found the net for a 1-0 lead.
Midway through the first half Balderas made it a 2-0 score after working a give-and-go at midfield with senior Katy Hall. That started a 4-player rush that overwhelmed the Lady Braves defense. Balderas dribbled the final 10 yards with the thru ball from Hall and beat the goalie from 12 yards out to the nearside corner post.
It appeared that Balderas would get a 3-goal hat trick just before halftime when she kneed a ball into the goal from 12 yards out off a corner kick scramble, but it was negated by an offsides call.
The second half was scoreless with the Lady Braves going into a defensive shell although the Ladycats had some scoring chances by out-flanking the Community defense with runs by Hall and senior Zanesha Dangerfield along the right sidelines.
The win gives Paris (15-6-1 overall) 15 points. Princeton remains perfect with 21 points, but the Ladycats can set up a potential championship tie with the Lady Panthers in a rematch on March 23.
It was the 15th shutout of the season for the Paris girls.
Paris High athletes won three individual events at the Gilmer Buckeye Relays on Friday, March 9.
Senior Montavius McCarty smoked the field to win the varsity boys 100-meter dash in a career-best 10.57. Second place was 11.03.
Junior Evelyn Brown won the varsity girls 800-meter run, and freshman Zack Jackson won the JV boys high jump.
The next action for the Wildcats and Ladycats track and field teams will be Thursday, March 22, with the annual Deon Minor Relays at Wildcat Staidum.
Elvira Infante takes a home run swing (photo by Joe Watson)
The Paris Ladycats softball team closed out the pre-district portion of their season with two wins in four games. The Ladycats (8-7) open District 14-4A play on Friday, March 16, at Liberty-Eylau.
On March 8 Paris beat Saltillo, 10-6, before losing to Honey Grove, 14-4.
Against Saltillo, freshman Jaidyn Clark picked up the pitching win and helped her cause at the plate with a double, triple, and 2 RBIs. Senior Kammie Franklin had two doubles, and sophomore Elvira Infante went 2-for-3 with an RBI.
Junior Evelyn Brown had a double and 2 RBIs in the loss to Honey Grove.
On March 10, the Ladycats beat Sulphur Bluff, 13-2, then dropped a 12-6 decision to North Hopkins.
Paris broke open the Sulphur Bluff game with a 10-run third inning rally. Infante homered and produced 5 RBIs in the game. Freshman Alexxis Braswell went 3-for-3 with 3 runs and an RBI, while junior Akerria Garvin had two hits including a double. Infante pitched all 3 innings and allowed just 3 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 4.
Freshman Quiniya Savage was 3-for-3 with a triple in the loss to North Hopkins. Infante had 3 RBIs, and Garvin was 2-for-3 with an RBI.
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.
Paris High students were recognized for their athletic accomplishments at the recent Athletic Awards Banquet. Read more.
Summer Athletic Camps. PHS athletic staff will be offering summer camps for multiple age groups this summer. Click on each sport for more information.