FROST — —
Maliko Bruce took a circuitous rout to Frost.
By the way of the Virgin Islands.
With a lot of heartbreak along the way for the Frost nose tackle and the team’s biggest dude.
Bruce moved in with his aunt in Mertens after his mother died of breast cancer when he was 16 years old. Now two years later, the hurt is still there. But he’s found an unlikely source — football — to help honor his mother’s memory.
In only his second year playing the sport, Bruce has become a dominant cog in a Frost defense that is allowing 13 points a game in the playoffs. At 6-5, 280 pounds, he is a tower in Class 1A football, and he’s asserted himself like it.
Frost (12-1) plays Tenaha (8-4) in a Region-III 1A DII final at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Van.
Bruce has 43 tackles, nine tackles for losses, four sacks and 11 quarterback pressures. He understands at his size, he doesn’t have to get on the stat sheet to make a difference.
Bruce can blow up plays by getting penetration in the middle of the line, messing up the timing of the offense. Or he can force double teams. Swat down passes. You name it.
“My job is to beat people off the line,” Bruce said Tuesday.
He grew up playing basketball and baseball in the Virgins Islands. Frost coach Eric Blenden saw Bruce in the hallways when he first got to the school — he was close to 300 pounds — and thought, “Man, I hope he can play football.”
Bruce was unsure about it. But the coaches knew he was strong enough. The first time he hit the bench press he lifted the same weight as the other players. His coaches told him to double it, which he did, and still did it with ease.
Bruce started the last two games last year and had a big sack against Wortham. But he admits football was tough at first, especially the conditioning part of it.
“I couldn’t go more than two plays,” he said.
He’s improved this season, and even played some fullback, rushing for two touchdowns. He rarely comes out of the game on defense.
“He’s doing a great job from where he came from a year ago,” Blenden said.
Bruce talks very little about his mother or the deadly disease that took his mom away from him. Not even to Blenden or his teammates. He is focused on the team and playing for her memory.
Frost NT who lost his mom two years ago has made huge strides on field
FROST — —
Maliko Bruce took a circuitous rout to Frost.
GC Baseball: Kerens beats Cayuga 5-1, wins first district title since 1981
The wait is over.
And it came just in time for Brett Anderson, who left it all on the mound Tuesday night at Kerens, where he pitched a masterpiece to lead the Bobcats over Cayuga, 5-1, and help the program win its first baseball district title since 1981.
“I've got no gas left. I'm out,'' said Anderson, a senior lefty who stopped Cayuga cold, holding the three-time defending district champs to just three singles while striking out 14.
GC Basebal Roundup: Corsicana blasts Jacksonville; BG wins huge district game
The Corsicana Tigers wrapped up district play with a dominating 9-0 win over the Jacksonville Indians behind Trevor Nolen, who shut out the Indians and allowed only one hit over 6 1/3 innings. Donovan Fields came on to retire the final two hitters. The Tiger pitchers limited the Indians to only 25 plate appearances in the game and no runner to reach third base.
Rodeo: Navarro County Derrick Days -- Burton is back
Professional rodeo entertainer Ronald Burton returns to the Navarro County Exposition Center April 25-26 to entertain the crowd at the 2014 Navarro County Derrick Days Pro Rodeo.
Huggins to call shots at Derrick Days Rodeo
West Huggins will serve as the announcer for the 2014 Navarro County Derrick Days Pro rodeo. The Gardendale native is the reigning three-time United Professional Rodeo Association Announcer of the Year.
Dill gets 300th win in Navarro baseball sweep of Bossier Parish
Navarro baseball’s weekend in Louisiana was significant on a number of fronts. On one hand, coach Whoa Dill notched his 300th win. On the other, and perhaps more importantly, the Bulldogs simply continued to play well. The Bulldogs swept Bossier Parish to move 14-11 in Region XIV East Zone play, and 27-17 overall.
Mildred sending five to regional track meet
Sasha Ballard set a school record in the 800 meters and paced a contingent of five Mildred thinclads heading to Stephenville for the regionals later this week.
Kerens boys grab four gold medals at area track meet
Tavion Hall and Jalon Moss each snared a pair of gold medals as Kerens boys finished second at their area track meet last week with 88 points.
Area schedule for the week
Here's a look at this week's schedule for Golden Ciircle teams and Navarro College. The schedule does not include upcoming bi-district playoff games in softball because times and sites have yet to be determined.
GC Baseball/Softball: Blooming Grove sweeps Rice in baseball and softball
Blooming Grove's Lions needed this one.
Heck, they need all of them.
That's where they're living today on the Blooming Grove diamond, where everyone knew going into Friday's game with Rice that the Lions need to win their final three games to have a chance of nailing down the final playoff spot in District 23-2A.
One down, two to go.
“It's in our hands,'' said Blooming Grove Coach Matt Anderson moments after his kids beat Rice 8-0 Friday night. “As long as we take care of our business we'll be fine.''
GC Softball/Baseball Roundup: Frost girls win district title
Frost's Lady Polar Bears needed to win to nail down the district title and they never trailed, jumping out to a 7-0 lead en route to an 11-7 clinching victory over Itasca Friday on the road. They wrapped up their second district title in a row with a 9-1 record and enter the playoffs next week at 13-1.
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- GC Baseball: Kerens beats Cayuga 5-1, wins first district title since 1981