Friday, June 19 possessed a cool evening on the tail end of spring. A break in the days of rain allowed the battle for the Texas Dixie League District 2C T-ball Championship. Our local chapter was chosen to host the event. The tournament had begun some weeks earlier with six entrants: Coldspring, Americans (Corrigan), Nationals (Corrigan), Onalaska, Trinity and Tri-cities. By the week prior to the championship, both Corrigan teams had be eliminated from the tourney. Nevertheless, local folks came to the fields to ensure the event went off easily as Trinity and Coldsprin munchkins tested their nerves against each other. In the end, Trinity took the victory with a final score of Trinity 30. Coldspring, 22. (Text by Joel R. Lambright, Jr.; Photo courtesy of Vanessa Tyler)
Hank Bostock attempts a pick off move to first baseman LaDarius Hamilton in the fourth inning. (Staff photo by Brian Besch)
A rough evening against one of the state's better teams left Corrigan-Camden on the short side of a 14-1 loss to Central Heights Thursday on the Bulldog campus.
"We competed at the plate better than we have been lately," Bulldog Coach Kevin Purvis said. "We put a bunch of balls in play, but when you're playing the third ranked team in the state, they generally make most of the plays that are right at them. They did that tonight, so hats off to them."
Blue Devil Hudson Arrant tossed five innings of one-run ball, allowing two walks that hurt him in the fourth. He gave up just two hits, while striking out six.
"They're loaded and have seven or eight guys they can throw and keep the ball around the plate with pretty good pop on it," Purvis said. "They're tough."
With some sore arms in the rotation, Chris Cobb got the start on the mound. The young pitcher recorded two strikeouts in two-plus innings of work, but the Blue Devils tagged him for nine runs. Hank Bostock then took the mound from right field and gave the Bulldogs three innings.
"The first kid we put up there was a freshman and hasn't gotten much work. He's been sick, but I thought he came out and threw well. There were couple of balls that were hit hard, but I wanted to get him some work. Hank came and threw strikes and shut them down for us."
Down 12-0 in the fourth inning, the Bulldogs were still giving full effort to mount an offensive attack. With two outs and no one on, Osiel Ramirez reached by a walk and Levi Hurley followed with an additional base on balls. A passed ball allowed both runners to move up 90 feet. A bad pickoff move at second gave another base to both, scoring Ramirez.
"They battle and they're never going to quit around here. That's what's been bred into them in all of our athletics. They're never going to quit and that's a good thing."
A rough stretch of games has the Bulldogs on the outside looking in at the playoff picture.
"They all ended up like the Woodville game (a 3-1 loss) with 4-1, 3-2 scores and us on the wrong end of it. One bounce or a hit, somebody makes a play or a hit with two outs and it would be different. Through this first round (of district play) we haven't gotten it, but I think will get it in the second round, hopefully. We're on life support right now for the playoffs, but we still get everybody again and we don't get those guys (Central Heights) again." Corrigan will head to Garrison on Tuesday in a matchup of Bulldogs.
McKenzie Eaton takes a big swing against the Central Heights Lady Blue Devils in a District 22-3A softball action. ( Photo by Linda Jacobs )
By LINDA JACOBS Contributing Writer
CORRIGAN—Hailey Nash smashed a game-winning two run homer over the centerfield fence in the ninth inning to power the Corrigan Lady Bulldogs to a 10-8 victory over Central Heights in District 22-3A softball action Thursday night in Corrigan.
Nash, a sophomore catcher for the Lady Dawgs, had already trotted around the bases with a solo homerun in the fourth inning to cushion an 8-5 lead for the home team.
Corrigan had jumped out early with four runs in the bottom of the first and would extend the margin to 7-1 before the Lady Blue Devils stormed back to knot the game eight all in the top of the fifth frame.
Nash was even in the count at 2-2 when she blasted the game-winning homer off Lady Blue Devil pitcher Tamara Crain, who tallied 14 strikeouts against the Lady Dawgs. "That second strike on her totally lit up Central Heights," commented Lady Bulldog coach Taryn Baker. "She turned and looked at me and I knew she was confident and had something up her sleeve. She did a great job." Nash would finish with a game-leading three RBIs.
Rachael Wright would connect two hits and McKenzie Eaton, Paige Hooks and Courtney Elliott each registered hits off Crain.
Pitching a gem of a game for Corrigan was freshman Makenna Hughes who worked out of several jams with a wily changeup that had the Blue Devils swinging at air a few times. Hughes finished with 10 strikeouts.
"I think her (changeup) stands out a little bit more than the other ones because it is so off speed, but she really does have a great screwball and a drop curve as well," said coach Baker.
Hughes gave up eight hits to the Blue Devils, including a pair of homeruns that helped to get Central Heights back in the ballgame.
"There were a couple of times she had the option of shutting down, but she didn't," said Baker. "It's so hard to have a couple of homeruns hit off you and still have the mentality to fight through it, and she did.
"This has been probably the most fight that I've seen in us all season," added Baker. "What a great time, because we're starting our second round of district and for them to start off the second round of district this way is really great. I mean they fought from the beginning to the very end. They wanted it so bad and I'm just so proud of them. They did such a great job."
The Lady Dawgs drew first blood in the bottom of the first inning. Blue Devil junior Rachel Williams started on the mound and was hobbled for four quick runs. Corrigan sent their entire lineup to the plate during the inning and registered RBI singles from Rachael Wright and Courtney Elliott.
The visitors got their first run of the game in the top of the second. Allyssa Mooney started the action by reaching on an error. She advanced to second on a wild pitch and to third on a ground out and later scored on a wild pitch for a 4-1 margin.
Corrigan started the second inning with the top of their lineup back at the plate. The first two batters, Keely Smith and McKenzie Eaton hit deep flies to right field and both were misplayed by the Blue Devil outfielder. Smith was able to round all the bases and Eaton landed at third. Eaton later scored on a passed ball for a 6-1 advantage. Hailey Nash scored the Dawgs' final run of the inning. She was issued a walk and would later score on a passed ball to extend Corrigan's lead to 7-1.
Central Heights added a run in the top of the third off two walks and two errors for a 7-2 margin. The Lady Dawgs went quietly in the bottom half of the third, as Crain faced just four batters, fanning three out of the four.
The Blue Devils inched closer in the top of the fourth, scoring three runs on three hits. Kamryn Moore started the frame by belting a standup double to deep left field. Moore scored on a sacrifice fly to right field for a 7-3 score.
With two outs in the inning, cleanup batter Kennedy Powell unloaded a two run homer to centerfield to make it a 7-5 ballgame. Hughes handled the final out on a bouncer back to the mound.
Nash led off the bottom of the fourth and crushed the first pitch over right centerfield for a solo home run and an 8-5 lead for the Lady Dawgs.
Paige Hooks followed with a single to center and Eryka Price boarded on an infield error, but both were stranded as Crain struck out one, followed by two infield pop ups.
The game was tied in the top of the fifth when the Blue Devils plated three runs off two hits, one walk and one Corrigan error.
Riley Farrell reached on an error to lead off the inning and Allyssa Mooney followed with a homer over the left field fence to make it an 8-7 contest.
Hughes allowed a walk and a single with a strikeout in between to put a pair of runners in scoring position. Pinch runner Shelby Toner scored on a sacrifice grounder to knot the score at 8. The inning was halted on a pop fly to third baseman Keely Smith.
The two teams were scoreless over the next three innings. The Blue Devils would strand five and put runners in scoring position in the sixth, seventh and ninth innings.
Central Heights' biggest threat came in the ninth when they loaded the bases. Hughes started the frame with a strikeout, but gave up a single to left field. Another Blue Devil reached on an error. Hughes fanned Ashley Lucas for the second out of the inning, then walked Carmen Acosta to load the bases.
Cleanup batter Kennedy Powell, who had homered in the fourth, came to the plate next. Hughes got ahead in the count 1-2 and caught Powell looking at a third strike to end the threat.
The game came to a conclusion in the bottom of the ninth when Nash came through in dramatic fashion for the Lady Dawgs.
Crain started the inning with a strikeout to leadoff batter Keely Smith. First baseman McKenzie Eaton got on board with a single down the leftfield line. She advanced to second on a wild pitch.
Nash put the 'W' in the book by lofting her second homerun of the game to plate both her and Eaton for the 10-8 victory.
Corrigan's next two games will be on the road at Garrison and Hemphill.
The Lady Dawgs return home April 14, hosting the Woodville Lady Eagles (Parent Night).
For many folks around Groveton, Dave Dial is a familiar sight. He can, no doubt, be described by many as "that guy who runs."
Dial, who recently logged mile number 170,000 in Groveton last November, is a man on the move. Tall and whippet-thin, the soft-spoken, well-read and traveled Dial is a man of many talents and interests who has parlayed his passion for fitness and the lifetime commitment to his chosen sport into a mirror for his life's trajectory--one marked by a positive mindset and a lust for life that is sure to inspire anyone who comes into contact with him.
For the well-traveled running man, Groveton is a natural place to hang up his running shoes when he's not participating in prestigious marathons, like those which take place in cities like Boston, New York and Houston. "I've had relatives in this area...Dials in my lineage have always been in these parts," he said. "My great-great-great grandfather Hirambric Dial was the first [to settle in the area] in 1836."
Dial, who was born in Trinity County in 1960, moved with his family nine years later when his father got a job with Gulf Oil. It was during his childhood years that he can recall his want to run, in Groveton nonetheless ("I wanted to get out of the car as a six-year-old and run home"). Although he said he always loved to run as a child, it was the summer he turned 15 that he began seriously running and logging his mileage.
Dial can recall such points in his youth, but he cannot pinpoint any one catalyst that got him started as a runner. "I guess it's just in my DNA," he said. "What keeps me going is the satisfaction I feel when I'm out there on the roads."
In the years since then, Dial has captured accolades such as the Texas Junior Record for his participation in the 1980 Boston Marathon at age 19 (with a time of 2:24:18). He has trained with some of the world's most elite runners, such as four-time Boston and New York City Marathon winner Bill Rodgers, a man whom Dial is proud to call a longtime friend. Dial has also instilled his passion for running and physical fitness to young people as a track and cross-country coach in public schools and also as a coach and mentor to other marathon hopefuls. He has also helped spread his love of running through his work as a pitchman for longtime sponsors like Injinji toesocks and Skechers shoes, for whom he has tested products over the years.
If all that wasn't enough, Dial has also managed to use his running as a vehicle to raise funds for educational and Native American causes. It's the act of helping others that Dial counts among his highlights during his running career. He said he gets a huge level of satisfaction from raising funds through running and the coaching and mentoring of other runners.
All of Dial's dedication has come at a price on his body. He recounted a few surgeries and having to endure post-surgical rehab, but despite the grind, any physical issues he has endured have all been worth it. "For my two cents, nothing can replace the way I feel when I'm out on the roads, so I'm not going to let anything take that away from me," he said. Dial mentioned that he never takes a day off from running unless he too sick or injured to train, and that has not happened since October of 2007.
The "roads" that Dial frequently refers to have captured his mental and physical focus for 40 of his years, thus far. He said he recently cut back his daily run to 12 miles, which is his lifetime daily average. "I'm keeping up the status quo while letting some old wounds heal."
Some of the advice Dial gives to those who want to pursue running or jogging is to start slowly. He said that many people second-guess their fitness goals after bad experiences brought on by trying to do too much too soon. "If one can practice a little patience, remember, Rome wasn't build in a day...and begin building a routine, you get your feet under you, thereafter, consistency is the key to being a runner long-term," he said. "Just keep in mind it's not going to happen overnight."
When he isn't training, Dial tends to his father's cattle and land and keeps busy with a variety of other endeavors, which include camping and running mountain trails and keeping up with his favorite NFL teams. He has also worked as a freelance journalist, for which he has won awards and had his work as a songwriter and poet published. The gusto that he has pursued his sport through the years extends to his other passions. For instance, Dial is highly knowledgeable about nearly any genre and artist of music one can imagine and he is a huge football fan.
The word "dedication" could be made into the alliteratively named Dial's middle name and it would suit him to a finely crossed "T". Despite all of his achievements, he isn't one to rest on any laurels, for every new day is another period of time to train, to hit those roads which he is so fond of. In the meantime, Dial said he's looking to do "something really big," which might be to run across the United States.
If anyone could accomplish such a feat, Dave Dial can.
COLLEGE STATION—The 2014 Corrigan-Camden football season came to a crashing halt Friday night at Tigerland Stadium in College Station. Everything that could go wrong, did...and the Rogers Eagles took advantage to defeat the Bulldogs 40-14 to capture the Class 3A Division II Area championship.
Corrigan's strength all year has been the 1-2 punch of Keegan Mitchell and Malyk Johnson, but both running backs were on the sideline with ankle injuries after a combined 11 carries. Mitchell, who was just 48 yards shy of reaching 2,000 rushing yards this year, went down after a one yard run on his first tote of the ballgame and Johnson carried just 10 times for 15 yards.
"We just didn't do enough things right to win," commented Bulldog head coach Seven Armstrong. "We got dinged up, but that's part of the game. When that happens, somebody has to step up and it didn't happen. "I just feel like we were flat. We were flat from the very beginning, we were flat in warm-ups and it was unlike them. I don't have any answers, I really don't."
The Eagles (10-2) scored 27 unanswered points before the Bulldogs got a jolt of life in the second half when LaKendrick Moore returned a kickoff 78 yards for Corrigan's first score of the ballgame with 2:13 left in the third quarter.
With the victory Rogers will advance to the Region III semi-finals to battle the Crockett Bulldogs. The two teams are scheduled to play Friday night at College Station High School.. The District 11-3A third place Bulldogs edged Clifton 48-44 to advance to the third round of the Class 3A Division II playoffs.
Rogers will be relying heavily on their tough running game, led by Brody Malovets. The senior tailback bruised the Bulldogs for 267 yards on 34 carries and scored three touchdowns. Malovets was the Eagle workhorse for sure. He gained 182 of his 267 yards in the first half. Malovets ran for 22 of the Eagles 28 plays in the first half.
Malovets had rushed for 336 yards the week before in a Bi-district victory over Blooming Grove, scoring twice on runs of 72 and 82 yards. Malovets didn't escape on any huge explosive runs but did rush for double digit carries eight times, including two runs of 33 and 35 yards against the Bulldog defense.
"He's a great football player," said Armstrong. "We knew that coming in. We watched lots of film on him and we said this was the guy we had to stop, there were no ifs, ands, or buts, this is who it is. "We didn't tackle well defensively and we didn't block well offensively," added Armstrong. "It was just one of those nights where absolutely nothing went right and you can't play like that against good people."
The Eagles would finish the game with 326 rushing yards, 27 passing yards and 23 first downs.
The Bulldogs, who picked up just one first down in the first half, was held to their lowest total of the year. They finished with 121 yards rushing on 31 carries and added 27 passing yards on 2-of-9 attempts.
Freshman Christian Mitchell led all rushers with 40 yards on five carries and scored on a 10 yard run for the Bulldogs final touchdown of the game with 6:27 left in the fourth quarter. Sophomore Jaylon Williams carried four times for 27 yards. Both Mitchell and Williams played hard on defense as well.
"We had some young kids step up and play tonight," stated Armstrong. "They had to, didn't have no choice and they wound up playing more snaps than what they're used to playing."
The kicking game was detrimental to the Bulldogs as well. Time and time again the Eagles were starting drives inside Bulldog territory. Their longest drive of the game was a 65-yard drive. Twice in the first half the Eagles scored on short drives of 28 and 35 yards after taking advantage of short punts.
"We didn't do a good job punting the football. We just didn't do a good job in the kicking game and they did. It's a field position game and we lost it to them all night long," said Armstrong.
The 65-yard drive and the two possessions inside Bulldog territory gave the Eagles a 20-0 lead at halftime. Malovets scored all three Eagle touchdowns on runs of four, three and two yards.
The Bulldogs were held to just 36 yards and one first down in the first half. The Eagles halted the Bulldogs twice on fourth downs and forced them to punt twice.
A fumble by Corrigan on their second possession of the third quarter would lead to a 5-play, 57 yard scoring drive by Rogers. The Eagles capitalized on the turnover when quarterback P.J. Martin scored on a 2-yard keeper to extend their lead to 27-0 with 2:25 left in the third frame.
On the ensuing kickoff LaKendrick Moore gave the Corrigan fans something to cheer about when he zig-zagged his way through the Eagle defense on a 78-yard kickoff return for the Bulldogs first touchdown with 2:13 left in the third. Sammy Martinez bolted across on the 2-point conversion to make it a 27-8 ballgame.
Levi Hurley kicked a great onside kick that was almost recovered by the Bulldogs, but like the night had gone from the get-go, the Eagles recovered and scored on another short drive to go up 34-8 with 8:40 left in the game. "Levi kicks a great onside kick and the ball bounces around on the turf forever," said Armstrong. "I think three of our guys had it in their hands and they wind up recovering it. It was just one thing after another. If it could go wrong tonight, it went wrong."
Corrigan's final touchdown of the game covered 66 yards in eight plays. QB LaKendrick Moore completed two passes on the drive (16 and 11 yards) to Sammy Martinez. The 16-yard catch came on a timely third and seven situation. The Eagles were also charged with a facemask penalty on the play which moved the ball to the Eagle 32 yard line.
Moore completed an 11 yard pass to Martinez on the next play for first down yardage at the 21. Mitchell finished the last two carries of the drive, gaining seven yards to the 10 and then scoring on a sweep to the left with 6:27 left in the ballgame for a 34-14 margin.
Corrigan tried another onside kick, but it was recovered by Rogers at the Bulldog 36 yard line. They crossed the Corrigan goal line in six plays, scoring on an eight yard run by Jody Chance with 2:59 left in the game. Final, Eagles 40, Bulldogs 14.