Respect the Navarro basketball brand.
That’s the parting message Runnin’ Bulldogs coach Johnny Estelle sent home with his players, who closed out the first semester of basketball with a ho-hum 71-57 victory over Southwest Christian College.
Navarro won’t play again now for 23 days — the Bulldogs will next hit the court in the new year, Jan. 2 at Ranger.
In between then, the players have finals, Christmas, family time, New Year’s Day and 15 more regular season games to ponder.
Estelle had a basic message for his team in his final post-game talk late Monday night.
“I want them to try and understand what the Navarro brand means,” Estelle said. “We want our younger guys to know how much time and hard work the guys put in before them to have the success they had. And how you have to work hard to play like that.”
Estelle wanted to remind them of the D’Andre Browns and Matt Presseys that came before them, that brought their teams together, peaking in the second semester and making it to the national tournament.
Don’t mistake him, Estelle is pleased with how the first semester went.
Navarro had a seven-game winning streak and won eight out of nine, losing only to No. 15 San Jacinto on Saturday.
The Bulldogs were a bit lackluster Monday night, but that’s understandable after getting home late Saturday night from Houston and having only a walk-through on Sunday to prepare for Southwest Christian.
Put in perspective, it was a good win, especially considering Navarro made only 3 of their 16 3-pointers for 18 percent, well below its season-average of 27.3 from behind the arc.
Navarro could be 13-2 instead of 11-4 overall at the break if Estelle had broken from his and Lewis Orr’s tradition of waiting to shrink the bench and the rotation after Christmas.
Monday night provided another example of why he doesn’t. Jamar Goodwin led Navarro with 10 points. The Bulldogs have five players score between seven and nine points.
Estelle’s approach provides more time for evaluation. Goodwin has come on strong in the last two games, perhaps feeling the competition around him.
Terrance Syon, who scored eight points and had seven rebounds, is Navarro’s most improved player. Probably because he’s a sophomore, but also because the 14 players he’s competing with for playing time have pushed him to another level.
It’s part of the Navarro brand. Work for everything. Compete at all times. Be a good teammate.
It’s something everyone on the roster will think about for the next three weeks.
Estelle reminds players what it takes to be champions
Respect the Navarro basketball brand.
GC Football: Two-a-days: Back to Action
When the sun comes up Monday morning it's not just the dawn of a new day, but the dawn of a new season — it's the beginning of two-a-days.
Eight of the nine schools in the Golden Circle will begin football practice Monday while Corsicana waits until Aug. 8 to start. The Tigers begin a week later because they held spring practice.
For last year's playoff teams such as Mildred, Blooming Grove, Kerens, Frost and Hubbard Monday begins a road back to the postseason and for everyone else its the start of a new march. For everyone, it's the most optimistic day of the year.
Morgan: ESPN was wrong in suspending Smith
I won’t be watching ESPN this coming week. For a network that has been made into an empire by covering baseballs, footballs, basketballs, golf balls, soccer balls, tennis balls (I’ve never watched hockey, but I understand they have no balls), this network is much like hockey. They lack the things they are covering.
GC Volleyball Summer Tour:The tradition is back at Kerens
Breanna Baxter is back.
That's bad news for anyone facing the Kerens volleyball team this year.
But there is so much more than Baxter, an all-state player in volleyball, basketball and track & field who was the Golden Circle Female Athlete of the Year in 2014.
TTBBA: Mildred 14U repeats as state champs
The Mildred Eagles completed their season by winning back to back 14U TTBA state titles. The Eagles went 18-0 and captured the title in Hillsboro, where they won five games.
GC Volleyball Summer Tour: Dawson eyes playoffs
Nothing feels the same at Dawson.
It's not only a new season in a new district but second-year Coach Alica Sexton enters the year after having a full season with her kids — a season that revamped the program at Dawson, where they hadn't won in years.
Navarro Football: Nothing changes for success-minded Bulldogs
It didn't take long for Navarro football Coach Brian Mayper to deliver his preseason message at the SWJCFC Media Day Thursday.
“No surprises at Navarro,'' said Mayper, the first of the seven conference coaches to speak to the media. “We're running the same stuff. You guys know we're going to run the ball. And thank God, we're not changes defenses again this year.''
Mayper's real message is that life at Navarro is all about winning, and all about a culture that expects to win.
“We expect to win them all. If you don't, you're in the wrong business,'' Mayper said. “I think our kids expect it, too.''
GC Volleyball Summer Tour: Frost set for a big season
Everybody's back at Frost.
“This will probably never happen again,'' said Frost volleyball Coach Elaine Woods, who returns every player from last year's team.
They are not only back, but they are talented — arguably the most talented group of volleyball players in Frost history.
Former Cowboy Keith Davis delivers motivational speech
Keith Davis believes in dreams.
He lived his.
That was one of the messages Davis, a former Dallas Cowboys safety, delivered to a standing-room-only crowd of youngsters Tuesday at the Boys & Girls Club, where he spoke with enthusiasm and energy about life inside and outside of the NFL.
TTBB: Wortham takes second at state tournament
The Wortham Bulldogs made an impressive run at the Texas Teenage Baseball Association High School Eligible State Tournament in Buffalo and took second in the state.
Tiger Sharks make splash at state meet
There are leaps and bounds, and then there's what the Corsicana YMCA Tiger Sharks did over the weekend at the Lone Star state swimming meet in Frisco.
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