Summer Office Hours
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.
Students have an opportunity to improve their STAAR test scores during the next round of STAAR retesting June 25-28.
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Paris High seniors Tierra Yates and Quez Allen each punched tickets to the Class 4A state track meet on May 14 at Austin’s Mike Myers Stadium with second-place finishes in the discus at the Region 2-4A Track and Field Championships at Texas A&M-Commerce.
Allen saved his best throw for last, passing third-place finisher Dylan Templeton of Princeton (156-6.5) with his runnerup throw of 161-9. Bullard’s Jacob Allen won the event with a throw of 178-11. The top two finishers automatically advance to the state meet. The best third-place finisher from the four regional meets will also receive an at-large berth.
The boys discus event was completed on Friday. The girls discus competition started on Friday, but heavy rain postponed completion of the event to Saturday. Yates led the girls’ field into Saturday’s final rounds when she set a school record with a throw of 130-11 in prelims. Nish Robins held the previous best mark of 130-10 set in 2014.
Yates orginally set the school record in discus during her freshman year (2013). She finished fifth at last year’s regionals with a throw of 120-1, and it appeared that she might take first place this year until Lauryn Dixon of Princeton managed a first-place throw of 134-1 on her fifth of six attempts. Yates fouled on her final attempt to regain the lead.
A pair of Wildcats managed third-place finishes. Senior Quen Bills fouled on his first two attempts in boys triple jump before nailing a 44-7.25 on his final prelim jump. It earned him a third behind Liberty-Eylau’s Denzel Green (46-8) and Community’s Tommy Heard (45-1).
Senior Diarva Brown missed out on an automatic berth at state by 0.02 second in the boys 100-meter dash. Andre Norman of Celina won the sprint in 10.73, Thomas Whitson of Melissa was second with a 10.82, and Brown was third with a 10.84. During Saturday morning prelims Brown barely made finals when he qualified eighth in the field with a 11.26.
Brown qualified fifth for the 200 meters final, where his 22.42 was good for fourth place. DeMarviae Brown of Dallas Carter won the event with a 21.51.
Carter won the team championship in both boys and girls divisions. The Paris boys finished 12th overall, while Yates’ points were good enough for a tie for 22nd among the girls.
Paris High results:
The Paris Wildcats warmed up for their upcoming bi-district playoff series vs. Gilmer with a 4-2 win over the Gunter Tigers Saturday in a game played at Whitesboro.
Paris (18-7), the third-place team from District 15-4A, faces Gilmer (12-8), the District 16 runnerup, in a first-round series that will probably start on Friday. The Cats beat Gilmer, 9-1, in their final pre-district game on March 22 on the Buckeyes’ home field.
Gunter (23-5-1) is the champion of District 10-3A. The Paris-Gunter game was tied, 2-2, after two innings before the Cats broke away with single runs in the third and fourth innings.
Zach Norris started on the mound for Paris and pitched the first two innings. The sophomore had some control issues with 5 walks. He was charged with both Gunter runs (1 earned), and allowed 2 hits with 2 strikeouts.
Junior Phillip Sikes earned the win to raise his pitching mark to 7-1. He shut down the Tigers in the middle 3 innings with 8 strikeouts and just 1 hit. Senior Philip Nance pitched the final 2 innings to get the save.
Senior rightfielder Forrest White collected a pair of hits for Paris, while Sikes, Norris, Nance, junior Corey Allen, and senior Quinn Dillard also recorded hits. Sikes drove in 2 runs.
The Cats were missing a pair of starters for the Saturday game, which gave freshman Daniel Blackmon an opportunity to make his varsity debut at third base.
Cody Conway overslides home plate but dives back to tally the tying run before the Atlanta catcher can make the tag (photo by Joe Watson)
The Paris Wildcats made efficient use of their 6 hits on offense, while junior Phillip Sikes scattered 7 Atlanta hits in a 6-1 win over the Rabbits Tuesday at Hub Hollis Field.
The game closed out the District 15-4A schedule. The Cats, now 17-7 overall, finished in third place with a 6-4 mark and will open the playoffs next week with a first-round series against District 16-4A runnerup Gilmer. Check back for details on that series.
In other district games Tuesday, second-ranked Pleasant Grove beat Liberty-Eylau, 7-4, and Pittsburg edged North Lamar, 4-3. PG (9-1) is the district’s top seed, while NL (7-3) is second. Pitt and L-E tied for the fourth spot with 3-7 marks and will have a play-in game to settle the No, 4 playoff berth.
Meanwhile, the Rabbits (2-8) were eliminated from playoff consideration with the loss. Atlanta jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first and held that advantage until the fourth when a safety bunt by senior Payton Barrios drove in junior Corey Allen with the tying run.
Atlanta threatened to retake the lead in the fifth by loading the bases with 1 out. A grounder up the middle was snagged by senior shortstop Channing Parker, who stepped on second and relayed to first for an inning-ending double play.
Cats’ senior rightfielder Forrest White led off the bottom of the fifth with a second-chance single. White was initially called out on strikes before the base umpire ruled a foul tip and new life. White advanced to third when the Atlanta catcher tried to catch him drifting too far off base. Instead, the throw was high and skipped into leftfield, allowing White to score the go-ahead run, 2-1.
Paris bunched 3 hits with 2 walks to produce 4 extra runs in the sixth. Senior Cody Conway scored the first run of the inning on an RBI grounder by senior Quinn Dillard. The Cats then loaded the bases, and Sikes cleared them with a 3-run triple down the leftfield line.
Although Atlanta worked Sikes for a high pitch count, the Cats’ ace righthander finished with a complete game effort. He allowed just 1 walk, hit a batter, and struck out 8 Rabbits to improve his pitching mark to 6-1 for the season.
Zak Mahan, the third Rabbit pitcher of the evening, took the loss. Atlanta pitching allowed 7 walks, and the defense chipped in a couple of errors.
Before the game seven Wildcats from the Class of 2016 were honored on Senior Night. The group included catcher Tyler Sanders, first baseman Philip Nance, second baseman Barrios, shortstop Parker, utility player Conway, centerfielder Dillard, and rightfielder White.
Paris head baseball coach Bill Sikes had an eery feeling prior to Saturday night’s District 15-4A makeup game at crosstown rival North Lamar.
“Both teams were quiet, the stands were quiet,” he said. “It was one of the wierdest Paris-North Lamar games I’ve ever been involved in. Of course, it got real tense later.”
Call it the calm before the storm, but the Cats weathered an intriguing, 10-inning contest to take a 3-1 win over the Panthers and clinch no worse than the No. 3 playoff seed from the district.
Paris, 16-7 overall, is now 5-4 in district play. The Cats close out the regular season Tuesday at Hub Hollis Field against the Atlanta Rabbits (2-7). It will be Senior Night for seven Wildcats who contributed with key moments in Saturday’s win.
For North Lamar (6-2), the loss hurt, but did not eliminate the Panthers from catching third-ranked Pleasant Grove (8-0) for the district top spot. The Panthers play a makeup game Monday at PG.
One of the Cat seniors who played a major role in Saturday’s game was Channing Parker, who had not pitched since a 1-0 loss to NL on March 28. Parker started and pitched the first 8 innings, giving up 1 run on 7 hits, 2 walks, and 10 strikeouts.
“Channing threw really, really well,” Sikes said. “I guess that rest did wonders for his velocity.”
The Panthers got 2 of their hits off Parker in the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. It stayed that way until the top of the sixth when the Cats managed to load the bases with 1 out. Another senior, Cody Conway, hit a slow roller to first that brought home the tying run and set the stage for extra innings.
Neither team had a perfect night defensively but each produced some highlight reel outfield plays. “Their outfield was outstanding,” Sikes said.
The Panthers threw out two runners attempting to score at home. One of those putouts might have been a game-changer. The Cats tried to score the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth when Parker was sent home from second; instead, Parker was ejected from the game when the umpire ruled excessive contact on the tag at the plate.
Sikes turned to sophomore Zach Norris for relief pitching, but the ejection put the Cats in a lineup bind and they had to bring in freshman Walker Preston for his varsity debut in leftfield. Norris (5-3) allowed just 1 hit with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts in 2 innings to get the win.
Although the Panthers loaded the bases in their half of the ninth with 2 outs, Norris got a strikeout to escape the jam and send the game to the fateful 10th.
Paris managed to get Phillip Sikes to third with 1 out when Norris hit a deep grounder to shortstop. The Panthers came home but couldn’t catch the speedy Sikes who scored the go-ahead run. The freshman Preston avoided a double-play on a grounder that advanced the lead runner, and junior Corey Allen brought home an insurance run with a single.
While Sikes was complimentary of the Panther outfield, he also singled out his own rightfielder Forrest White for defense. “Forrest made a play in right center that I thought was the play of the game,” he said. He ran forever but was able to run down a line-drive shot headed for the gap.”
Paris still has an outside shot to tie the Panthers for second place if the Cats beat Atlanta and NL loses to PG and Pittsburg (2-7) in its remaining games.
Either way, Sikes is pleased to be seeded second or third and placed into a more manageable playoff bracket. The Cats will draw an opponent from District 16-4A in the bi-district round, which starts May 4, but they will avoid a first-round draw against Bullard, the state’s seventh-ranked team.
Paris High junior Matt Cochran finished third at this year’s Region 2-4A Tennis Championships in boys singles to qualify as an alternate to the state tournament.
Cochran, seeded third at regionals, beat No. 4-seeded Luis Flores of Gladewater in the first round, then upset No. 2 seed and last year’s state runnerup Bradley Loftis of Dallas Madison in the quarterfinals. Cochran fell to top-seeded Matt Hynek of Argyle in the semifinals before beating Nick Clark of Van in the third-place match.
At the District 15-4A Tennis Championships at Texarkana College, Cochran won his seventh straight tournament by capturing the boys singles title. The mixed doubles team of junior Ashlyn Fleming and junior Ramiro Ramirez won a district title to advance to regionals where they lost in the first round. Also, freshman Sahil Prakash finished third in boys singles.
Seniors Tierra Yates and Diarva Brown each won an individual event at Thursday’s Area 15-16 Track and Field Championships in Gladewater.
Paris High advanced 6 individuals and a relay to the Region 2-4A meet to be held April 29-30 at Texas A&M-Commerce.
Yates set a personal best in winning girls discus with a throw of 116-11. The only other girls’ regional qualifier was the 4x200 meter relay team of Tarsha’la Fisher, Dextiny Patrick, Cap Johnson, and Amagane Hamilton, which finished fourth. The top 4 finishers in each event advance to regionals.
Brown won the premier event, the boys 100-meter dash, with a time of 10.825, and was nosed out in the 200 meters by 0.017 seconds in a photo finish to Atlanta’s Jeremy Smith, 21.906 to 21.923.
Other boys qualifiers were senior Quez Allen (second in discus), senior Quen Bills (third in triple jump), and freshman Juan Rojas (fourth in 3200 meters).
Gilmer won the overall girls team title while Paris was ninth. Liberty-Eylau used a close win in the meet’s final event, the 4x400 meter relay, to edge past Atlanta for the boys championship. Paris finished eighth.
Paris results (regional qualifiers in italics)
The Paris Wildcats fell to the third-ranked Pleasant Grove Hawks Friday night at Hawk Field, 10-0, in a game that was ended with 1 out in the fifth by the run rule.
Hawk junior Caleb Bolden raised his pitching record to 7-0 with a 1-hitter, a leadoff single by Phillip Sikes in the second inning. Sikes stole second base but was stranded at third. Bolden walked 3 and struck out 2.
The Hawks picked up a run in the second inning without hitting the ball out of the infield. They chased junior starter Corey Allen (1-1) in the third with 5 more runs, added 3 runs in the fourth against senior reliever Philip Nance, and ended the game early with a walkoff RBI single in the fifth.
PG amassed 13 hits in a game that Hawks coach Riley Fincher said was “probably the most complete game we’ve played in district.”
The Hawks are now 8-0 in district, while North Lamar, a 5-3 winner over Liberty-Eylau Friday, still has title hopes with a 6-1 mark.
The loss dropped Paris to 15-7 overall. The Cats, who clinched a playoff berth despite Friday’s lopsided loss, remain in third place in District 15-4A standings with a 4-4 record. They play a makeup game Saturday, 6:30 p.m., at North Lamar, before closing out the regular season on Tuesday back at Hub Hollis Field against Atlanta.
L-E (3-6) is in fourth place, while Atlanta and Pittsburg are tied at 2-7.
As expected, the District 11-4A boys soccer champions Paris Wildcats dominated this season’s all-district superlatives. The Cats, 11-9-3, were undefeated in district before being eliminated in the area round playoffs to Kaufman.
Senior Justin Mitchell, the team’s leading scorer, was named co-MVP, while junior Colin Harris was Offensive MVP, junior Cade Blackmon was Goalkeeper of the Year, and Jeremy Beshirs was Coach of the Year.
First team selections went to junior Seth Hudgins, sophomore Montana Payne, and senior Roberto Luna on defense and to junior forwards Christian Mitchell and Zach Lamb.
Named to the second team were freshman Kyler Beshirs, sophomore Nich Mitchell, and juniors Stanley Watkins, Keith Hall, and Jose Resendez.
Receiving honorable mention were sophomores Cole Miller and Felix Vasquez, juniors Dakota Payne and Jared Gibo, and seniors Rodolfo Medina and Bernardo Luna.
The Paris Wildcats still have three baseball games left on the District 15-4A calendar, but playoff intensity has already arrived. Tuesday night at Hub Hollis Field, the Cats battled past Mother Nature and the Pittsburg Pirates for a 7-5 win that solidified their hold on third place.
Paris, 15-6 overall, stands 4-3 in district behind third-ranked Pleasant Grove (7-0) and North Lamar (5-1). The Cats still have games remaining against those two teams and needed Tuesday’s win to separate from the rest of the district pack: Liberty-Eylau (2-5), Pittsburg (2-6), and Atlanta (1-6).
“You don’t want to finish fourth in our district,” Paris head coach Bill Sikes said about a potential bi-district matchup against ninth-ranked Bullard, the probable District 16 champion.
Paris has a makeup game pending at NL whenever Pos Long Field dries out. Meanwhile, the Cats are scheduled to make the long trip to Texarkana Friday to face PG before the regular season finale on Tuesday, April 26, back at Hub Hollis vs. Atlanta.
Paris and Pitt were the only district foes able to take advantage of a small window of opportunity to get in their Tuesday contest. Things were bright and sunny for the Cats after they pieced together 4 hits and a couple of walks during a 2-out, second-inning rally to take a 4-0 lead.
Singles by Tyler Sanders and Zach Norris and a walk to Channing Parker loaded the bases. Payton Barrios plated the first run on an RBI single, and a walk to Forrest White forced in the second run.
The Pirates switched pitchers at that point, and Cody Conway greeted reliever Christian Netro with a 2-run double. The damage could have been worse, but a shot off the bat of Phillip Sikes was snagged on a diving centerfield catch.
Normally a 4-0 lead should have been lights out for a Paris win with Sikes, the Cats’ junior ace, on the mound. But the Pirates were able to chip into the lead with a run in the third inning on a bases-loaded walk, and more control problems ended Sikes’ night in the fourth after two more Pirate walks scored on an errant Paris infield throw.
Coach Sikes turned to the sophomore Norris (4-3) to finish out the night, but he was greeted by an RBI double that tied the game, 4-4. The Pirates then loaded the bases with no outs, but a comeback to the mound started a rare pitcher-catcher-first double play and Norris got his first strikeout to stop the bleeding.
The bottom of the Pirate lineup teammed up to plate the go-ahead Pitt run in the fifth. No. 8 hitter Dakota Torrey walked and advanced to second on a wild pitch, and No. 9 batter Netro’s single produced a brief 5-4 Pitt lead.
Another big 2-out rally gave Paris enough offense for the win. An RBI single by Norris tied the game, and an RBI double by Channing Parker (shown in picture by Joe Watson) proved to be the game winner. Parker, making his first appearance in the lineup since an injury late in the Cats’ 4-1 win at Pittsburg on April 2, added an insurance run courtesy of a Pirate throwing error on the play.
Norris and Co. didn’t need the extra run protection. Another Wildcat double play ended the Pitt sixth, and a Norris strikeout stranded a Pirate base runner on third in the seventh.
Senior Tierra Yates defended her District 15-4A title in the girls discus, while seniors Quez Allen (discus) and Diarva Brown (100 meters) were event winners in the varsity boys division at the track and field championships Thursday at Atlanta’s Rabbit Stadium.
The top four finishers in each varsity event advance to next week’s Area 15-16 track meet. The Wildcats qualified 7 individual entries and 2 relays, while the Ladycats qualified 5 individuals and all 3 relays to the next level.
Liberty-Eylau won the team trophies in girls and JV boys, while host Atlanta took the varsity boys division. Paris was fourth in girls and varsity boys, while the Cats were third in JV boys.
The JV Wildcats produced a pair of event winners in Michael Godwin (discus) and Kobe Savage (300-meter hurdles). Discus was by far the best event arena for Paris athletes, who swept all three divisions and qualifed four field entries for the area championships.
Paris Finishers (area qualifiers in italics)
Varsity Girls Results
Varsity Boys Results
JV Boys Results
Paris High head basketball coach Billy Mack Steed has been selected by his peers to direct one of the Texas Small School (Classes 1A-4A) Boys All-Star Teams at next month’s TABC Clinic in San Antonio.
Steed’s team will include Paris twins Jared and Jordan Embry. The Small School Boys All-Star Game is scheduled to tipoff at 6 p.m. on Friday, May 20, at Trinity University. The all-star games are part of the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches’ annual clinic at St. Mary’s University.
Steed has compiled 9 straight 20-win seasons during his tenure at Paris High. His teams have managed a 245-54 record during that timespan for a winning percentage of .819.
Overall, Steed’s coaching record is 476-172 for a .735 winning percentage. He was chosen by peers for the Don Coleman Outstanding Coach Award for Class 4A following the 2014-15 season where the Cats finished 35-1, losing only to state semifinalist Dallas Madison.
His most recent team was 33-3 with 2 of those losses to state champion Dallas Lincoln.
Members of PHS UIL Academic Team pose with their medals
Paris High won two individual events and one team event at the this year’s District 15-4A UIL Academic Spring Meet held at Texarkana College and the Region 8 Educational Service Center in Pittsburg.
The top three individual event winners qualify to advance to the Region 2-4A UIL Academic Spring Meet on Saturday, April 23, at Texas A&M-Commerce. Paris finished in fourth place overall. Atlanta won the team chase.
The majority of Paris points was provided by the regional qualifying calculator applications team, led by a 1-2-4 finish from sophomore Anna Floyd, junior Chelsea Savage, and junior Matt Cochran. Sophomore Erica Cole won the spelling and vocabulary event. Other regional qualifiers were sophomore Meghan Lamberson (second in feature writing), freshman Quinn Andrews (third in computer applications), and senior Shreya Singh (third in L-D Debate).
PHS Results (regional qualifiers in italics)
In a search to find some much-needed offense at home, the Paris Wildcats baseball team took a ‘road trip” Tuesday night for their District 15-4A encounter with the Liberty-Eylau Leopards at Hub Hollis Field.
After getting shut out in their only two previous home games (1-0 to North Lamar and 3-0 to Pleasant Grove), the team boarded a bus for the short drive instead of allowing players to take their personal vehicles to the PJC field. The Cats even made their traditional stop at a convenience store for snacks before the game.
While the Cats were able to push across their first home scores of the season, their normally reliable defense and pitching failed them. It was a long bus ride “home” after a 10-3 loss to the Leopards (1-5).
“Sometimes you have to do what you have to do,” Paris head coach Bill Sikes said about the attempt to shake up his team which has produced a respectable 14-6 overall record despite producing just 4 or fewer runs per game in 10 of those outings.
Despite the loss, the Cats still stand third in district standings at 3-3. However, their chances of catching third-ranked Pleasant (6-0) or North Lamar (5-1) appear remote with just four games remaining. Paris visits NL Pos Long Field Friday followed by a trip to Texarkana next Tuesday to face the Hawks.
Pittsburg stands in fourth place at 2-4, while Atlanta and L-E share the cellar at 1-5.
The Leopards hadn’t shown much offensive firepower coming into the game. They had managed just 1 run or fewer in 4 of 5 district games, but they broke out of their slump with 9 hits, 3 walks, and a hit batter and were gifted by 6 Paris errors in field.
Sophomore starter Zach Norris (3-3) didn’t have his best outing, but he managed to keep Paris in the game despite a 3-run fourth where the Leopards managed just one hit. It was 4-0, L-E, heading into the bottom of the fifth when the Cats’ offense perked to life and ended a 18-inning home scoring drouth.
The rally was keyed by back-to-back RBI doubles by Phillip Nance and Corey Allen, but further damage was curbed by an inning-ending double play. Paris left 7 runners on base.
L-E got those 3 runs back in the sixth on a 2-out rally. Norris departed the mound after picking up his 8th strikeout, but hitting a batter and allowing a double. Sikes brought in junior ace Phillip Sikes to put out the fire, but after starting with an 0-2 count Cutter Webb ripped a 2-run single. A lost fly ball scored the third run and gave the Leopards a 7-3 lead.
They added 3 more runs in the seventh off lefty reliever Allen, who hadn’t pitched since early in the season. Another Paris outfield error and 3-base throwing error helped cement the defensive collapse.
To make matters worse, the Cats may have lost another starter to injury during the game.
“We’re a little thin right now,” Sikes admitted.
Behind another strong pitching performance by junior Phillip Sikes, the Paris Wildcats closed out the first half of District 15-4A play with a 4-1 victory at Atlanta Friday night.
Sikes improves his pitching record to 5-1 with his third district win. Paris, now 14-5 for the season, stands in third place with a 3-2 mark. Pleasant Grove remains a perfect 5-0, while North Lamar is second at 4-1, Pittsburg stands 2-3, Atlanta 1-4, and Liberty-Eylau 0-5.
The Cats start the second go-round Tuesday by hosting L-E at Hub Hollis Field before traveling to Pos Long Field on Friday to face the NL Panthers.
Paris scratched across a run in the top of the first inning without benefit of a hit. Atlanta tied the game in the bottom of the first, 1-1, off three straight singles.
Sikes settled down after the first to shut out the Rabbits the rest of the way. Meanwhile, junior Corey Allen led off the top of the second with a double and came home on senior catcher Tyler Sanders’ groundout RBI.
Allen jump-started the Cats’ offense in the fourth with another leadoff double. RBI singles by sophomore Zach Norris and senior Payton Barrios closed out the scoring for the night.
Sikes, the state Class 4A strikeout leader, posted another double-digit card with 11 strikeouts. His coach, and uncle, Bill Sikes was pleased with his approach on the mound.
“Phil had a good night,” the elder Sikes said. “He got ahead of hitters and got a bunch of ground balls.”
Sikes said his outfield had problems locating the ball in the Atlanta twilight, but otherwise his defense had another solid outing.
“The sun was tough early,” he said.
A history-making soccer playoff journey by the Paris Ladycats ended Friday night with a 3-1 loss to Athens in a Region 2 semifinal at Tyler Rose Stadium, but with a young squad and just two senior starters, the Ladycats hope to make it back to the regional tournament and beyond in future seasons.
The Paris girls became the first soccer team in school history to make the regional tournament earlier in the week when they beat Kaufman in a 3-2 shootout win at Wildcat Stadium. The core of the team is a group of sophomores who have helped revitalize the program under second-year head coach Matt Dickinson.
The semifinal match was scoreless at halftime, but the Lady Hornets knocked in a pair of goals 15 minutes into the second half.
One of those key Paris sophomores, midfielder Estephany Balderas (shown in picture by Joe Watson), scored the Ladycats’ lone goal Friday in the form of a penalty kick with 15:50 left to play to trim the Athens lead to 2-1. However, the Lady Hornets added an insurance goal five minutes later to put the match away.
Paris finishes with a 10-13-2 mark.
Ladycats mob sophomore Sarah Bloodwood after she scores the clinching goal in a 4-3 shootout win over Kaufman to advance to the regional soccer tournament. (Picture by Joe Watson)
Sophomore Sarah Bloodworth normally serves as the center cog of the Paris Ladycats defense, but Tuesday night she scored possibly the most significant goal in Paris High soccer history, enabling the Ladycats to advance to an historic first-ever appearance in the regional soccer tournament.
Bloodworth scored the winning goal in a 3-2 shootout victory over the Kaufman Lady Lions in a Class 4A regional quarterfinal win before a big home crowd at Wildcat Stadium. With the win, Paris punched a ticket to this week’s Region 2 Tournament at Tyler Mary Francis Rose Stadium and a date in the 6:30 p.m. Friday semifinal against District 15 runnerup Athens.
An estatic Paris head coach Matt Dickinson, in his second year at the helm, has revitalized the program due primarily to the influx of a talented group of sophomores like Bloodworth. Another sophomore, versatile Emily Williams, scored the match’s first goal with 17:16 left until halftime off traffic in front of the net created by a corner kick.
Kaufman, the District 10 champion, tied the match at 1-1 with a tally just 1:24 remaining in the first half.
The score remained tied through regulation and overtime, thanks to 21 saves by junior goalie Lindi Hamer and the Paris defense. That sent the match to a winner-take-all best of 5 penalty kick shootout.
Another pair of sophomores, Katy Hall and Deagan Dingman, scored shootout goals to give Paris a 2-1 lead heading into the final round. Kaufman, shooting first, then tied the shootout at 2-2 setting the stage for Bloodworth’s historic finisher.
An estatic Paris head coach Matt Dickinson was pleased by the turnout. “The crowd at our game was incredible,” he said. “It was by far the biggest crowd I've ever seen for a high school soccer match.”
The Ladycats, 10-12-2, who finished third in District 11, will be facing an Athens Lady Hornets team which beat Pleasant Grove, 6-3, in their quarterfinal match. The winner of Friday’s semifinal faces the winner of Nevada Community vs. Kilgore in Saturday’s 1:30 p.m. final with a trip to the state tournament on the line.
Pitching and defense kept the game close, but the Paris Wildcats failed to get the clutch hit that might have made a difference in Tuesday’s 3-0 loss to second-ranked Pleasant Grove in a District 15-4A game at Hub Hollis Field.
Sophomore Zach Norris (3-2), making an emergency start after normal No. 2 pitcher Channing Parker missed the game due to a minor injury, kept the potent Hawk attack at bay. He allowed just 2 earned runs on 4 hits, with 3 srikeouts. However, PG scored 3 runs off the 4 walks that Norris allowed.
The Wildcats, now 13-5 overall, left 8 runners on base. Consecutive singles by Corey Allen, Tyler Sanders, and Norris loaded the bases in the fourth inning, but a flyout and line drive double play ended the Cats’ best offensive chance.
Hawk starter Will Hlavinka was relieved by Joe Pearlman who finished off the win by retiring 9 of the 10 batters he faced with 5 called strikeouts.
PG leads the district standings at 4-0 followed by North Lamar at 3-1. Paris and Pittsburg are tied for third place at 2-2.
Paris makes the long journey to Atlanta (1-3) on Friday to close out the first half of district play.
Phillip Sikes gets his 14th, and final, strikeout to complete the Cats’ 5-2 win at Pittsburg.
In a game the Paris Wildcats desperately needed to pull back into the District 15-4A title picture, junior Phillip Sikes registered 14 strikeouts to outdueled Pittsburg ace Dakota Torrey in a 5-2 win Saturday.
With the win, the Cats, 13-4 overall, pulled in a tie for second place with North Lamar with identical 2-1 district marks. Paris hopes to frame their title aspirations Tuesday when the Cats host No. 2-ranked Pleasant Grove (3-0).
Sikes raised his pitching record to 4-1 with the complete game effort. He allowed just 3 Pirate hits and walked 4 in addition to the 14 strikeouts. He was touched for a run in the fifth inning on a walk, passed ball, and bad-hop RBI single and surrendered a solo homer to sophomore catcher Brett McGee over the short rightfield wall in the sixth.
Meanwhile, Torrey, a first-team all-district selection from 2015, struggled with command of his curve ball. It eventually caught up to him when the Cats padded an early 1-0 lead with 3 runs in the fourth inning of 5 of their 7 total hits collected in the game.
“He (Torrey) didn’t have his best velocity,” Paris head coach Bill Sikes said afterwards. His team was able to combine some patience at the plate and tee off on Torrey’s fastball. Paris still left 10 runners on base but showed improvement after a frustrating 1-0 loss to North Lamar on Tuesday when the Cats left 13 runners aboard.
The offensive improvement started in the Cats’ first at-bat when Forrest White led off the game with a base on balls, was bunted to second by Cody Conway, and scored when Sikes lofted a towering fly to right that was lost and dropped in the tough twilight sun.
The lead ballooned to 4-0 in the fourth. Solid singles by Sikes and first baseman Philip Nance was followed by an RBI sacrifice fly off the bat of Corey Allen. The Cats loaded the bases on another screaming single by catcher Tyler Sanders and a walk to third baseman Zach Norris.
The Cats turned to small ball for more scoring. Shortstop Channing Parker sent a dribbler down the third base line for an RBI infield single, and second baseman Payton Barrios drove home the third run of the frame with a well-placed bunt to the right side of the infield.
After Pitt trimmed the lead to 4-1 in the fifth, the Pirates relieved Torrey on the mound with quick-working Jace Wood. The Cats greeted him with their final run that was set up by another Norris walk and a seeing-eye double to the left-ceterfield gap on another tough sun catch. Barrios plated Norris with his second RBI bunt of the night.
Wood loaded the bases in the seventh, but avoided damage with a strikeout and groundout.
“He was so wild, we couldn’t hit him,” the Paris coach said.
Pittsburg fell to 1-2 in district with the loss and is 10-7-1 overall.
Senior Zay Gray battled back from a sixth-place start and benefitted from a pair of main competitors’ mistakes to take the second place medal in the 148-pound weight class at Saturday’s Texas High School Powerlifting Division 2 (Class 4A) Championships in Abilene.
Gray managed a total lift of 1,270 pounds to finish second behind Rio Hondo’s Heliseo Guerrero, who had a winning total of 1,365. Gray was in sixth position and out of a top-5 medal running following an introductory lift of 475 pounds in the squat.
However, event favorite Lorenzo Sanchez of Taylor, who had the top qualifying total coming into the meet, bombed out when he failed to complete a successful squat. The 148 entries received another boost in the bench press when No. 2-ranked Alan Alfaro of Rio Hondo faultered and was scratched from the competition.
Gray, meanwhile, managed a 295 bench press, surpassing his previous best by 20 pounds to improve to fourth place after two platforms, just 5 pounds out of second place. He finished with a 500-pound deadlift to edge out the third-place finisher, Christian Arzabala of Andrews, by 10 pounds.
Gray’s 5 points earned with the second-place medal was enough to earn Paris the 16th spot overall in team points. Rio Hondo won the team title with 22 points.
Paris Ladycats celebrate their area soccer championship.
Paris High soccer teams took a two-hour bus drive southeast Friday for a Class 4A Area Round doubleheader at Kaufman with the hope that Wildcat Stadium would host a similar doubleheader for Tuesday’s regional quarterfinal round.
The Ladycats punched their ticket and advanced with a 2-0 win over Ferris, but the Wildcats will be watching from the stands Tuesday after falling to the host Kaufman Lions, 2-1.
The Paris girls will host the Kaufman Lady Lions Tuesday in a 7 p.m. start. The Ladycats (10-12-2) previously upset Kaufman, 2-1, in a pre-district game two months ago at Wildcat Stadium.
The Lady Lions went on to take the District 10 title, while the Ladycats finished third in District 11. Kaufman advanced to the quarterfinal with a 4-3 overtime win over North Lamar Friday in their area round match.
The Ladycats jumped out to a 2-0 lead over Ferris thanks to a pair of goals by junior Tieren Gates just 14 minutes into Friday’s match. The first goal came in the fifth minute when Gates sent a loose ball in front of the Ferris goal into the nets. Goal No. 2 came 25:47 until halftime when Gates took a feed from sophomore Estephany Balderas and after a short run bounced a roller from 20 yards out under the goalie’s reach.
Despite some shaky Yellow Jacket defense and multiple opportunities, the Ladycats were never able to pad the lead. They were awarded a penalty kick with 12:14 left in the match after Gates was tackled in the box when Emily Williams found her streaking on a cross from the left wing. However, the resultant PK drifted wide left.
Paris goalkeeper, junior Lindi Hamner was forced to make one noteworthy save, swatting away a Ferris shot from 10 yards away that was making its way inside the hear post.
Ferris finished fourth in District 10 and dropped both its matches with Kaufman by scores of 5-1 and 3-1. Paris will need to step up its game by leaps and bounds to eliminate Kaufman from the playoffs and advance to next week’s Region 2 tournament in Tyler.
Meanwhile, after winning the District 11 boys championship, the Cats hoped to be serious regional challengers, too, but for the second straight year they were bounced out of the playoffs in the area round by Kaufman. The Lions won in 2015, 3-2.
Paris used its forward speed to control play early, but the normally reliable Wildcat defense made the first of two key gaffes that ultimately decided the match. The Cats had allowed just 5 goals in their past 10 matches.
However, the defense was caught flat-footed in the 15th minute when Kaufman midfielder Abraham Garcia was able to turn the left flank, send the ball across the goalmouth into the right flank, where it was retrieved and returned to the middle for the first score by Javier Castaneda with 25:22 left until halftime.
The score remained 1-0 the rest of the half, and the second half deteriorated into a physical contest with a half-dozen yellow cards and multiple stoppages. The Cats still generated multiple chances for the equalizer, including a header by senior Justin Mitchell that was barely tipped over the crossbar by sophomore goalie Oscar Morales with 24 minutes remaining.
Junior forwards Stanley Watkins, Christian Mitchell, and Colin Harris kept the pressure on the Lion defense with several dangerous scoring chances. It finally paid off for Paris with 11:04 left.
Harris won a takeaway at midfield and passed to sophomore Nick Mitchell who was streaking down the left wing. The Lions committed not one, but two, fouls on the play, first taking down Mitchell on an attempted side tackle inside the 18-yard box. Nick was able to slide the ball to brother Christian, who was mugged in a triple-team takedown.
The elder Mitchell brother, Justin, converted the penalty kick with a shot inside the left post that beat Morales and tied the score at 1-1.
The elation didn’t last long, however, as a second Wildcat defensive breakdown proved to be the game- and season-ender. Once again, dangerous Lion midfielder Garcia was allowed to turn the flank. His hard strike from 10 yards out was repelled by Paris junior goalie Cade Blackmon and cleared 30 yards out from the goal.
Diminutive Lion Caleb Linn controlled the ball and quickly spotted unmarked teammate Brandon Morales all alone 10 yards on the left side of the goal on a well-played cross. As Morales settled the ball, Blackmon and defender Roberto Luna closed the gap for a 3-man collision, but Morales was able to get enough momentum on the ball to send it goalward. A second Cat defender tried to clear with a sliding tackle but inadvertently knocked it in for the 2-1 deficit.
Using typical stalling tactics, the Lions were able to finish the frustrating night for the Cats and milk the remaining time off the clock although Watkins managed a couple of serious scoring tries in the final 10 minutes.
Kaufman advances to the quarterfinal round where the Lions will face district rival Crandall, a 3-1 winner over North Lamar in a Friday area round match.
Twins Jared and Jordan Embry followed up on their co-MVP district selections by being named All-Red River Valley boys basketball co-MVPs, as selected by The Paris News.
Sophomore guard Josh Robinson was chosen Newcomer of the Year, while senior Jalen Wallace and junior Jalon Pipkins were picked to the first team. Senior Clint Franklin received honorable mention.
The Paris Wildcats loaded the bases in their final at-bat, but couldn't push across the tying or potential go-ahead run as the North Lamar Panthers won Round 1 of the baseball Crosstown Showdown with a 1-0 decision Monday night at Hub Hollis Field.
It was a game ripe with opportunties for the Cats, making their long-awaited home debut. They left 13 runners stranded on base and were just 2 of 16 batting (.125 average) with runners in scoring position.
The zenith of frustration for Paris was the seventh inning, kept alive by a trio of NL errors. Leadoff batter Corey Allen reached base when his routine grounder short-hopped under an infielder’s glove. Allen should have been out a second time on a attempted steal but was safe when the throw down to second was misplayed.
With one out, the third Panther error almost proved to be their downfall but resulted in redemption. First baseman Philip Nance lofted a short fly into rightfield that sliced into and out of the glove of Tyler Biard. As pinch runner X’Tavous Young attempted to score the tying run from second, Biard retrieved the ball and threw to second baseman Brayden Steed. The relay home to catcher Jake Wynn was in time to tag out Young on a head-first slide. (see photo left)
The drama was far from over, even with 2 outs. Pinch runner Zach De La Garza replaced Nance, who had managed to reach second base on the throw home. Sophomore Zach Norris then ripped a single to right, but De La Garza held up at third. When senior Tyler Sanders was walked on four straight balls to load the bases, Panther coach Scott Scudder pulled starter Matt Gibbons in favor of lefthanded reliever Jake Roberts.
Roberts got out to an 0-2 count on Wildcat starting pitcher Channing Parker, who fouled off a series of six straight pitches. After missing the plate with his first called ball, Roberts struck out Parker to end the game.
“We put this game behind us and move on to getting ready to face Pittsburg,” an obviously disappointed Paris head coach Bill Sikes said afterwards.
Paris, now 12-4 for the season, evens its District 15-4A record at 1-1 with the loss, tied with Pittsburg for third place. The Cats travel to Pittsburg Friday in hopes of a quick rebound.
NL, meanwhile, is now 3-8-2 after a tough pre-district stretch, but the Panthers are tied with district favorite Pleasant Grove with 2-0 marks. NL hosts PG Friday for sole possession of first place. Atlanta and Liberty-Eylau are both 0-2 in district play.
Paris out-hit NL, 6-3, but left a runner on base in every inning. Parker was the hard-luck loser despite outdueling winning pitcher Gibbons in strikeouts, 8-4. Both starters gave up 4 walks and hit a batter.
“I thought Channing pitched well for us,” Sikes said. He got into some jams, but worked his way out of them.”
With the exception of the fateful top of the fourth inning, that is. Parker recorded 3 of his base on balls in that inning, including a leadoff walk to centerfielder Trey Scudder, who then stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch.
Designated hitter Ashton Chaffin then found the hole between shortstop and third on a 1-2 pitch to drive in what would prove to be the game-winner. Parker would record 3 of his 8 strikeouts to get out of further damage, but the Panthers had a 1-0 lead.
The Wildcat defense played well enough to come away with the win. The Cats committed 2 errors (compared to NL’s 4) and logged three highlight reel plays in the outfield.
In the first inning, junior leftfielder Corey Allen dove to snag a drive off the bat of Chad Box. Allen had one of the Cat errors in the second inning when he juggled the pickup on a single by Gibbons. When first baseman Kevin Dickey tried to score on the play, Allen’s throw to the plate was relayed by shortstop Phillip Sikes to catcher Tyler Sanders for the tag at home.
Rightfielder Forrest White also made an outstanding catch to end the NL fifth when he chased down Scudder’s foul fly ball at the pine tree-lined fence.
When Parker walked the leadoff batter in the Panther sixth, Sikes switched positions between Parker and third baseman Norris, who picked up the final 6 outs with no walks or hits and 2 strikeouts. Norris has now pitched 3 perfect innings in relief during district play.
An 8-run fifth inning broke up a competitve Crosstown Showdown softball game Monday and paved the way to a 13-1 win by the North Lamar Pantherettes over the Paris Ladycats at Ladycat Field.
The Ladycats avoided the shutout with a run in their final at-bat, but the game ended via the run rule.
The win evened NL’s record in District 15-4A at 2-2, while Paris falls to 0-4 and closes out the first round Friday at Pittsburg.
Wildcat first baseman Philip Nance prepares to tag out an L-E base runner who was picked off first base and caught in a well-executed run-down as catcher Tyler Sanders guards the exit
Paitience and perseverance paid off for the Paris Wildcats in a 7-1 win over the Liberty-Eylau Leopards Friday night in the District 15-4A baseball opener at Texarkana Markham Field.
“What pleased me most about tonight,” Paris head coach Bill Sikes said, “is that we found a way to ground out a win. I’m not sure we would have done that last year.”
The Cats will host North Lamar, a 3-1 winner over Atlanta Friday, in a significant Crosstown Showdown Monday, 7:30 p.m., at Hub Hollis Field with the early lead in the district standings on the line. Perennial powerhouse Pleasant Grove also won its district opener Thursday night, 7-1, over Pittsburg.
Friday’s game was a matchup of two of the district’s top returning pitchers: Paris junior Phillip Sikes vs. L-E senior and MVP football quarterback Kemon Freeman. The duo kept it a scoreless game through the first three innings.
The Cats broke through in the fourth with a pair of runs. Leadoff hitter and senior Forrest White started the rally with a bloop single over the second baseman’s head. Some adept base-running resulted in a stolen base and advance to third on a groundout.
Senior first baseman Philip Nance then delivered an RBI single over the second base bag. A misplayed grounder off the bat of sophomore third baseman Zach Norris kept the inning alive, and a wild pitch advanced the runners a base. A slow-roller to the left side of the infield allowed senior catcher Tyler Sanders to notch a rare RBI infield single for an unearned run and 2-0 lead.
The score remained that way until the sixth when the Cats plated three more runs aided by a walk, two more infield hits, and a costly 3-base Leopard throwing error. Sikes got it started with a 1-out double to the rightfield fence.
A wild pitch and walk by Nance put Cat runners on the corners when a line drive shot by Norris was snared by the L-E third baseman. With 2 outs, Sanders bounced a grounder to the left of the pitching mound. Freeman dove to corral the ball, but his throw from his knees pulled the first baseman off the bag and Sanders had his second RBI infield hit of the game as Sikes trotted home.
In a bit of deja vu, senior shortstop Channing Parker followed an identical dribbler to the same location. This time, Freeman made a wild, and ill-advised, throw that caromed into rightfield foul territory and allowed Nance and courtesy runner X’Tavous Young to score two more unearned runs and expand the lead to 5-0.
By now, both Freeman and Sikes were tiring from high pitch counts, and the Leopards took advantage of it with their lone run in the bottom of the frame. A Leopard base-running error kept L-E from getting a badly-needed big inning.
Sikes walked the first two batters, but picked off the leadoff hitter in an extended, and well-executed, rundown. The Lousiana Tech commit then struck out the No. 3 batter and had an 0-2 count on L-E cleanup hitter Triston Brooks, who blooped a fly into left-centerfield that was lost in the lights and fell for an RBI double.
“We haven’t played any games under the lights,” the Paris coach said. “We lost those games due to the recent rainouts. That’s something we need to work on.”
Sikes (3-1) hit Freeman with a pitch, but finished his night with his 12th and final strikeout of the evening. He allowed 4 hits and 4 walks. Norris finished in relief with a perfect seventh inning that included 2 more strikeouts.
“Phil didn’t have command of his fastball,” the elder Sikes explained about his nephew’s command difficulties, “but he was able to get his curve over.”
Sikes was able to hold the speedy Leopard runners close to the bag and enabled Sanders to throw out a couple of base stealers in addition to the pickoff play.
Meanwhile, Freeman returned to the mound for the top of the seventh to notch his 8th and 9th strikeouts before the Cats added two more insurance runs with another 2-out rally. Junior Corey Allen doubled to the rightfield wall and scored on Sikes’ RBI single to the left-center gap (ironically, also on a 0-2 count).
Nance’s sinking liner to right was dropped by a diving outfielder, and Norris drove a ball into center for a solid RBI single to score courtesy runner Zack De La Garza with the final run.
Paris, now 12-3 for the season, is expected to send Parker (also 3-1) to the mound for the start against the Panthers on a rare Monday night due to statewide STAAR English testing which starts Tuesday.
The learning curve to winning softball games remains a steep one for the Paris Ladycats. Three days after forcing regional power Atlanta to go a full seven innings in a respectable 7-1 loss, the error bug bit again Friday at Texarkana Markham Park in a 15-2 defeat at the hands of the Liberty-Eylau Lady Leopards in a District 15-4A outing shortened to 5 innings by the run rule.
Coming off Tuesday’s impressive outing against the Lady Rabbits, Paris head coach Donya Mooney (pictured discussing strategy with assistant Ray Jack in photo by Joe Watson) was hoping to see her team finally break a district winless streak that now stands at 40 games. The Ladycats’ last district win was in 2012 on the same L-E field by a 5-4 count over the Lady Leopards.
Since that fateful day, Paris has gone through a parade of five head softball coaches with none lasting more than a year at the helm. Lopsided losses and early endings have been the tough norm. Friday’s game against a young L-E team, which starts five freshmen, seemed like a prime chance for a breakthrough.
It wasn’t to be, as the hosts jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning aided by a pair of walks and two errors. Three more Ladycat errors in the second expanded the lead to 8-2. L-E added two more runs in the third and finished off Paris with five runs in the fourth.
The Ladycats committed a total of seven errors in the game so it’s back to the practice field in the long trek for a happy post-game celebration.
After three games, Pleasant Grove and Atlanta are tied atop district softball standings at 3-0. Pittsburg, North Lamar, and L-E are tied for third at 1-2, while Paris is still in search of that elusive district win at 0-3.
The Ladycats’ next opportunity comes in a rare Monday game at home against crosstown rival North Lamar. JV action starts at 4:30 followed by varsity at 6 p.m. The schools are playing on a Monday due to statewide STAAR English testing that starts Tuesday.
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.