Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas


October 28, 2013

CHS Football: Point After; Corsicana program produces winners

Corsicana — It’s been one of those years. Well, actually, it hasn’t been one of those years. This Tiger football season is unprecedented since my days of official journalism began. I have never been here. I have never sat in front of the keyboard faced with subject matter with only a single Week 3 win after eight weeks of football.

What to write? The silver lining? Hemingway couldn’t come up with a silver lining based strictly on wins, losses and playoff possibilities, but an old Corsicana boy can come up with the answer to the question posed many times by many folks since Friday night in Lindale. What are you going to write about?

I remember a young freshman that made a pretty darn good Subway sandwich telling me a few years ago as he washed bread pans that the coaches said he would probably be starting at corner ... for the varsity. I knew the kid was talented, but I kind of grinned at the thought of him starting for a team that was fresh off a two-deep run in the playoffs with some talent coming back. That freshman did play corner, and led the team in interceptions and interceptions returned for touchdowns. That team went 7-3 in the regular season. Today you know him as quarterback Devontay Bell.

Prior to his freshman season, I watched him carve up defenses at the seventh and eighth grade levels, where he played running back. He was also a pretty good defender too. He was on a Joe Allen-coached seventh grade team that didn’t lose a game.

Bell’s freshmen season ended at the hands of an incredible performance by an incredibly gifted quarterback who could scramble and run. He played for Bastrop and his name was Josiah Monroe. He basically single-handedly ended the Tigers 2010 playoff run before it began. I think Monroe played a pivotal role in Bell’s next position switch. I can’t prove it, but I’m betting former head coach Phil Castles reviewed the tape, thought about the quarterback position in 2011, called then quarterbacks coach Shade Boulware into his office and the plan was born to migrate Bell from corner to quarterback.

It was a fantastic plan. The “glory days” syndrome kicks in, but the move was the first one that was a giant catalyst for that tremendous semifinal run in 2011, when the Tigers went 13-2. The kid playing his third position in three years was the sophomore signal caller surrounded by a great group of seniors on their way to the Region II championship.

Last year was a disappointment for Bell. His season ended with a knee injury during Week 3. He rehabilitated. He worked all off-season to come back. He made it back for 2013.

Each week in 2013, you could see his confidence grow, the patented cuts more prevalent as each week passed. He rushed for 242 yards, scored one touchdown and threw for two more in the loss against Lindale last Friday.

The wins and losses haven’t come as he’d hoped. The season isn’t going the way he planned. Disney didn’t write this script. Someone bigger did and the Tigers are 1-6 with two to go.

What to write? In my years of covering this team, there have been many great wins. But what I take away from it are stories like Bell, watching him grow from a seventh grader to a senior, watching him switch positions multiple times, watching his growth and watching him deal with the frustrations of the last two seasons. Frustrations that will prepare him for the next step. Wins are fun, no doubt. Wins are the backbone of the tradition of Corsicana football. You can’t attend a game or read a story without hearing about them.

But wins are more than District 16-4A. This program produced Coach John Griggs. He’s a winner. This program produced Houston Texan Danieal Manning. He’s a winner. This program produced banker and KAND color man Rusty Hitt. He’s a winner. This program produced that big fella that blocks for Peyton Manning. His name is Louis Vasquez and he is a winner. And David Hawthorne, the Saints linebacker. Winner. The list could fill up a week’s worth of papers.

To Bell and his senior classmates, play hard these next two games and let the playoff slots fall where they may. There are many ways to win, just make sure you keep trying long after the shoulder pads are put away.

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  • CHS SotfballSpence.jpg GC Softball: Playoff Time

    There  were some bumps on the road and slides in the standings and a few bruises along the way, but five Golden Circle teams have reached the softball playoffs that begin with first round games on Thursday.
    For Corsicana it was a wakeup call during the second half of district play that gave the Tigers the push they needed, and for Mildred it was the culmination of yet another splendid season as the Lady Eagles made the playoffs for the fifth straight season. Blooming Grove is back again, a regular in post season play with a chance to make a run, and Hubbard begins its quest to get to the state tournament and Austin with a one-game playoff on Thursday against Itasca in Italy.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NVSBAhearn.jpg Navarro Softball: Bulldogs split with Kilgore, win final home game

    Kristen Ahearn was mad, steaming.
    Even her peanut butter and jelly sandwich that she ate between the doubleheader games didn't taste good. Nothing fit. Nothing was in sync. Nothing felt right or even tasted right.
    Then Ahearn found the cure.
    Simple enough: Just go out and blast a three-run homer.
    That's the short version of what happened Tuesday at Navarro College, where Ahearn's three-run bomb ignited the Bulldogs in the second game against Kilgore and Navarro went on to win 8-5 to close out its regular season with a bang and a smile from Ahearn.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • KerensBBAnderson.jpg 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.

    April 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • 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.

    April 22, 2014

  • 4-23-14 Rodeo clown.jpg Rodeo: Navarro County Derrick Days -- Burton is back

    He's 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.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Huggins 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.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • NC baseball Whoa 300th 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.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 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.

    April 21, 2014

  • 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.

    April 21, 2014

  • 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.

    April 18, 2014

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