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.
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.
CHS Baseball/Softball: Whitehouse sweeps Tigers in baseball and softball
The Tigers lost a tough game to Whitehouse, 11-3 as the Wildcats' ace, Pat Mahomes, who went four innings and gave up all three runs on two hits and five walks
GC Basketball/Baseball: Mildred's Connor Hill sees life clearly
There was never any doubt for Connor Hill, never any question about what he would do or how he would do it.
Sure, there was that meeting with his mother and father and talks with the doctor when he was 10, talks and meetings that came accompanied with worry and concern.
But never from Connor.
He just never dwelled on the fact he played sports with one eye. He didn't worry or talk about it when he was 10 and he never talked about it at Mildred High, where Hill emerged as a star on the basketball court and baseball diamond.
GC Track & Field: Roundup — Frost girls win area meet
The Frost Lady Polar Bears made a shambles of their district track & field meet last week, scoring 206 points, and they were dominate again in the area meet Thursday, scoring 162 points to win the meet at Blooming Grove.
Morgan:The new endangered species
Am I just that old, or have amateur athletics gone absolutely nuts these days? On second thought, don’t answer that unless it’s yes to the nuts part.
High School and college basketball are on the verge of being totally ruined by AAU basketball. Top roundball prospects are identified by the junior high level if not earlier.
GC Track & Field: Area meet Roundup
Corsicana's Gilfillan wins 4A area pole vault title; Frost girls win 1A area team title, Frost boys finish second
GC Baseball: Mildred falls to Riesel, 9-0, on the road
Mildred managed a hit and struck out 12 times in a 9-0 loss on the road that could have given the Eagles some cushion in the 23-2A standings. They are now 5-6 with a game at league-leading Teague Tuesday.
CHS Soccer: Tigers boys and girls top off season with strong showing on All-District teams
That tough and gutsy style of play sent both the boys and girls teams into the playoffs and on Thursday the Tigers were rewarded again for their fine seasons as two boys won special honors,four boys were named to the All-District first team and two girls earned first-team honors.
Michael Roman, who did a little of everything — and did it well — was named the District 28-4A Utility Player of the Year, and sophomore defender Jesus Barreto was named the district's Newcomer of the Year.
- More Sports Headlines
- Area schedule for the week