State Champion!

Crockett's Holcomb Wins Gold, Bulldogs Finish 4th At State

Crockett senior golfer Will Holcomb capped off his high school career with a gold medal performance at the UIL Class 3A State Championships Wednesday and Thursday at Austin.

Best In Texas - Newly crowned UIL Class 3A Medalist State Champion Will Holcomb and CHS Coach James Evans show off their gold medals.Best In Texas - Newly crowned UIL Class 3A Medalist State Champion Will Holcomb and CHS Coach James Evans show off their gold medals.The Sam Houston State University signee shot an even par 72 both days for a total 144 to win the state title by a six-stroke margin. Colton Hilburn of Merkel won a playoff to claim second place with a 150 total.

The CHS team finished fourth with a score of 690. Case Robinson shot 169, Tyler Dowell 173, Colby Davenport 204 and Grant Brannen 229.

"The first day I hit the ball solid and didn't really stress out at all. I pretty much hit the ball where I wanted to and didn't get into any trouble," recalled Holcomb. "But Thursday I started off nervous and didn't swing fluidly. I finally settled down a little bit, but I made a couple of dumb decisions. I was really blessed on a couple of holes when I'd hit a shot I wasn't sure was good. But I caught a break and it went in. That wasn't me-- it was God."

"I know all parents pray for their kids to do well. God chooses who he wants to put there, and luckily it was me," he said.
Holcomb described his play on the front nine Thursday as "up and down."

"It was such a grind and I really didn't enjoy it too much. I was stressed out all day," he said. "But I made some key putts at key moments, so it was fun to see that happen."

This was Holcomb's fourth trip to the state tournament.

"I've always dreamed of winning the state championship and had a goal to win three or four because Jordan Spieth had won so many. I want to compare myself to the best so I can be my best," said Holcomb.

"It felt great receiving that gold medal. As much as I would have liked to have won it in past years, I realize that doesn't define me. It really is just for fun," he added.

Now, Holcomb begins preparing for the college level.

"I'll be playing in some bigger tournaments and hopefully do well," he said.

Sandies Claim Silver At State

The Grapeland Sandies golf team made an impressive showing at the Class 2A UIL State Championships to bring home the runner-up trophy during competition Monday and Tuesday in Austin.

Seeking to unseat defending state champion Normangee, the Sandies shot a two-day total of 631 (312-319).
Normangee shot a 304 on Day 1 and then shaved off six strokes to post a 298 on Day 2 for a total of 602. Quanah finished third with a 654.

"I couldn't be more proud of our boys. We went with the goal of winning, but it is still an honor to come home with a runner up finish," said Grapeland golf coach Cannon Earp. "I believe Normangee's final round was a season best for them, and on top of them being the defending champs with tons of experience, that made them tough to beat."

The Sandies were paced by Top 10 finishes from freshman Rick Frauenberger, who carded a total of 153, and sophomore Brayden Cheatham with a 155. "That's really, really impressive for being as young as they are," pointed out Earp.
Sophomore Case Boyd barely missed a Top 10 finish as well, finishing 11th with a two-day total of 157 (76-81).
Junior Riley Chipman shot 83s in both rounds to finish with a 166.

"Riley was a little disappointed with how he played, but he has been such a great competitor for us all year and we wouldn't have made it as far as we did without his consistent play. We are already looking forward to next year!" said Earp.

"The fortunate part is that we return everyone for next year, so we feel like we can make a run to win it all," said Earp.

CHS Boys Qualify For Area Track in 17 Events

Making a strong showing in the District 21-3A track meet at Leon on April 12-13, the Crockett Bulldogs qualified for area competition with top-four finishes in 17 events.

Crockett racked up five first place finishes, in addition to taking second in three events, third in four events and fourth in five events. The area meet was scheduled Wednesday at Driskell Stadium.

The 400-meter relay team of Alton Owens, LaDarrian Jones, DaMarcus Griffin and DaMarkus Richardson clocked in first with a time of 42.21 at the district meet.

In the 800-meter relay, Damarkus Richardson, Lucky Daniels, DaMarcus Griffin and LaTavian Jones cruised to a first place finish with a time of 1:28.49.

Crockett's 1600-meter relay team of Lucky Daniels, Mario Monsivais, De'Kiedrian Rollins and John Rodgers finished third with a time of 3:41.53.

In the 200-meter dash, Griffin came in first at 22.06 and Daniels was third at 23.01. Rodgers was second in the 400 dash at 51.77.

In the 100-meter, Richardson posted the winning time of 10.43 while teammates Owens was third at 11.00 and Jones was fourth at 11.01.

AD Watkins finished fourth in the 300-meter hurdles with a time of 42.47. Anderson was fourth in the 110 hurdles at 17.10.
Crockett had six area qualifiers in field events. Daniels took first in long jump with a distance of 21'3/4" and Chamar Wiley-Harris was fourth at 19'10.75".

Tim Riley took second in discus with a throw of 128'1/2" and fourth in shot put with an effort of 39'9.5".
Griffin placed second in triple jump with a distance of 43'7.5".

Derrick Sherman was third in high jump at 6'0".

Grand-Slam Opener For Crockett Little League

Kendall Rhodes, Will Pounds and Tyrone Colter (left to right), members of the 1996 Crockett Bulldogs State Championship Team, throw the ceremonial first pitches to launch the 2016 season of Crockett Merchants Little League on Saturday.Kendall Rhodes, Will Pounds and Tyrone Colter (left to right), members of the 1996 Crockett Bulldogs State Championship Team, throw the ceremonial first pitches to launch the 2016 season of Crockett Merchants Little League on Saturday.

Crockett Merchants Little League began its 63rd season Saturday by paying tribute to three longtime supporters who played vital roles in making it the oldest continuously operated Little League in Texas.

After the traditional parade through downtown Crockett, the teams and supporters gathered at the Major League Field for the opening day festivities.

Master of ceremony Derek Martin, who presented a brief summary of each honoree's contributions to CMLL, said, "All three were very integral in what this Little League has meant to Houston County, to Texas and to folks in and around East Texas. Their contributions spanned several decades."

Kandias Choate, CMLL secretary, presented old team photos and appreciation plaques to the families of each honoree-- Bob Overstreet Jr., Bobby Rains and Buddy Robinson.

Bob Overstreet Jr., known as "Little Bob", passed away in October 2015. He played on the Callaway Cubs, played Minor League in the 1950s, coached Senior League baseball, and then coached the Cubs for many years. He coached Little League for almost 20 years and is described as an ardent supporter of Crockett Merchants Little League and Bulldog sports. "Bob was one of the integral pieces of Crockett Merchants Little League throughout the years," said Martin.

Bobby Rains, who passed away in November 2014, coached during the 1960s, 70s and 80s. He coached the Minor League in the 60s and later coached the Dairy Queen Yankees for 20 years during the 70s and 80s. "Bobby and all those who volunteer their time, provide dedication, mentorship and leadership for these young men and women. What they learned by dealing with these coaches, parents and volunteers has carried them on throughout the remainder of their lives. When they look back they hold these coaches and mentors in fond memory," said Martin.

Lynn Gunnels, Bobby's sister, shared some of her memories of CMLL from the 1970s and 80s.

Buddy Robinson, who passed away in February 2016, coached the Sullivan Motor Tigers from 1960-62, then transitioned into the Crockett Senior Teenage League from 1966-67, which he and Morris "Boog" Easterly organized and coached. Robinson later coached the Knox Motor Indians from 1971-72.

The Senior League was organized by Buddy and Stanley Mims from 1973-74 to provide an opportunity for older players to participate after leaving Little League. He also umpired many games at Little League fields.

Buddy and his wife Linda were married June 1 with the stipulation for the honeymoon that they be able to volunteer in the concession stands at the Little League field. "That's just a testament to his dedication for this Little League," said Martin.
Linda Robinson recalled some of her fond memories during their years of service.

Next in the lineup was recognition of the 1996 Crockett Bulldogs State Championship Baseball Team, which compiled a 27-6 record en route to the crown.

Amid cheers and applause, nine of the 1996 Bulldogs returned to the field where they began their baseball careers.
Will Pounds recalled hitting his first home run at the Major League Field, but noted that he struck out in the next inning.
Other team members introduced were Adam Farek, Marshall Stephens, Tyrone Colter, Reggi McKnight, Jamie Parker, Will Driskell, Kendall Rhodes and John Pugh, along with head coach Tommy Parker and assistant coach Mark Parker.

"Crockett Merchants Little League is a vital part of baseball here. Crockett has always been a baseball town and it always will be a baseball town," said Tommy Parker. "I just congratulate the parents, the coaches, the teams and everybody that participates. You've got to put in a lot of work raising kids. There's not a better way to be with your children than playing baseball. Every one of the players on this team came through Crockett Little League. There were a lot of good teams—they all didn't win state championships-- but there were a lot of really good players, some who played college baseball and a lot who had opportunities to play professional baseball. It's a testament to people like the three that were honored today. They put in the time and effort to get this program going a long time ago, and I'm so happy that it's still going."

Three members of the 1996 team—Kendall Rhodes, Tyrone Colter and Will Pounds—had the honor of throwing the opening pitches to the catchers for the Cubs, Astros and Dodgers.

Concluding the program, CMLL President Blue Choate led the players in reciting the Little League player's pledge. The parents followed by reciting their pledge.

Choate then called members of the 2016 board to the infield for recognition.

In closing, Choate challenged the CMLL participants with, "Let's make this a great season!"

Before the teams hit the diamond for their season openers, CMLL held its annual cake auction and raised approximately $10,000 which will be used for facility improvements next year.

4-H Shooters Right On Target In Brazos County

Brian Fiolek, Jamie Welch, Jack Crow, Sydnee Craven, Camryn Craven, Kara Fiolek, all members of the Houston County 4-H Shooting Sports Club, posed with their certificates and prizes won at the Brazos County Shoot last weekend, April 16-17. (Courtesy Photo)Brian Fiolek, Jamie Welch, Jack Crow, Sydnee Craven, Camryn Craven, Kara Fiolek, all members of the Houston County 4-H Shooting Sports Club, posed with their certificates and prizes won at the Brazos County Shoot last weekend, April 16-17. (Courtesy Photo)

By Sydnee Craven - Reporter
Houston Country 4-H Shooting Sports Club

Houston County 4-H shooters did really well at the Brazos County Shoot this past weekend, April 16-17. Every shooter entered placed in one or more events.

Here are the results:
Jamie Welch - Third in Bunker Trap and Whizbang, second in Skeet;
Jack Crow - Second in Sporting Clays;
Brian Fiolek: First in Bunker Trap, Third in International Skeet, First in American Trap;
Kara Fiolek - First in International Skeet, Trap and Whizbang; Third in Bunker Trap and Skeet, Senior Ladies HOA;
Sydnee Craven - Third in International Skeet, Second in Trap and Skeet;
Camryn Craven - First in Skeet and Whizbang, Third in Trap and Sporting Clays.

Sandiette Golfers Win Tournament

The Grapeland Sandiettes took first place in their own tournament held Tuesday, March 15 at Spring Creek Country Club.
Latexo finished second and Cross Roads was third in the team standings.

Grapeland's Emily Walker captured top medalist honors with a score of 82. Latexo's Jenna Lawrence and Grapeland's Hannah Chipman both shot 88, but Lawrence won a playoff to claim second place.