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Pictured from left: Carson Bush, Dallas McFadden, Nick Hodges, Brendan Shelley, Roland Ramirez, Caleb Thornton, T.J. Belin, Braylin Umbrell, Andres Tovar, Aiden Bonacci.

October 3, 2017 - Texas Dynasty 11u Select Baseball Team participated in the Beisbol Classic in Sulphur Springs, TX this weekend and won 1st place. 

Joaquin Rams’ Stadium. September 29, 2017 –

(Photo Album) The Joaquin Rams’ Varsity Football Team walked away with a convincing 56-0 Homecoming win, over the Hawkins Hawks, at Rams Stadium, last Friday night. The win moved Joaquin High School’s record to 4-1 for the season. Hawkins fell to 0-5 for the year.

The Rams capped a 43-yard drive with a 1-yard keeper by quarterback Tray Wilkerson with 8:51 left in the first quarter. The extra point attempt failed and JHS led 6-0.

Rams defender Zack Bell recovered a Hawkins fumble with six and a half minutes left in the opening stanza.  Moments later Conner Bragg got Joaquin on the board again with 5:29 remaining on a 20-yard touchdown run. Hunter Gates added a 2-point conversion run to extend the Rams’ lead to 14-0.

With 3:33 left in the opening frame, Kase Yates scored on a6-yard touchdown run. Jesus Bravo added an extra point kick to give JHS a 21-0 lead.

The final score of the first period came on another Yates touchdown scamper with just 50 seconds left.  The extra point conversion attempt failed and Joaquin took a 27-0 lead into the second period of play.

Yates scored on a 41-yard run down the sideline with 8:20 left in the second quarter to give the Rams a 35-0 advantage, midway through the third period, after Bragg added a 2-point conversion run.

He added another 36-yard score with just second remaining before the teams went to the locker-rooms for the midway break at halftime. Joaquin enjoyed a 42-0 lead when they came out for the second half of play.

JHS added a touchdown with less than seven minutes left in the third period, and another on a 12-yard touchdown run by Tre Burns which gave Joaquin the final 56-0 advantage with just over five minutes left in the contest.

Joaquin rushed for 437 yards. They were 0-2 passing. They fumbled twice. Hawkins threw two interceptions and had a fumble.  They had only 69 yards of offense, all on the ground. They went 0-2 passing with two interceptions. Joaquin held a 13-3 advantage in attaining first downs.

The Rams have a bye week for October 6. They will travel to Alto for their first Region III District 11 Class 2A conference game with the Yellowjackets which kicks off at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 13, 2017. Alto is 1-4 and lost to Class 4A Rusk (4-1) by a 43-21 score on the road last Friday.

Rams Head Football Coach Wade Lawson stated after the game, “During the bye week will look at the Joaquin Rams. We will look at film and see what we can improve on and get better at. We compete in the toughest district in Class 2A, with two Top 12 ranked teams, and we need to keep getting better and improving what we can. Our kids like to work hard and they play hard for each other.”

Cooling water temps, changing seasons put bass in the mood to chomp

Bass can be caught a variety of ways using any number of baits during fall. One of the best for numbers when fishing away from the bank is a spoon or a spin bait like the Mann's Little George. (Photo by Matt Williams)

September 30, 2017 - You can always tell when fall hunting seasons begin inching closer in eastern Texas. One of the tell-tale signs is a obvious reduction in traffic around boat ramps at area bass lakes. Even the best lakes tend to see see fewer customers during fall as armies of bass anglers begin swapping their flipping' sticks and topwater outfits for scatterguns, deer rifles and archery gear.

That's not necessarily a bad thing, particularly for die-hard bass guys like my good friend Billy Rogers.

At 84, Billy Rogers always gets excited when deer season rolls around because it usually means less competition on his favorite fishing holes. (Photo by Matt Williams)Rogers is an 84-year-old bass nut from Nacogdoches who has never been one to get excited about a whole lot. But make one mention of deer season and you'll see a sudden twinkle in his eye, sort of like a kid who has been offered free rein in a candy store.

That's interesting, because Rogers hasn't taken a seat in a deer blind in years. To hear him tell it, he stays way too busy chasing thick-shouldered bass during fall to waste time fooling around with unpredictable whitetail bucks.

"I love it when deer season rolls around," Rogers said with an impish grin. "A lot of the guys who bass fish start thinking about deer hunting during the fall. Some of them give it up altogether and may not go back to the lake or wet a hook until next spring. That's fine by me."

The way Rogers sees it, the less boat traffic there is on the lake the fewer the hooks that will be in the water. That means more unmolested bass for him to catch.

"I've seen quite a few days during fall when my truck was the only one in the parking lot," he said.

Highs and Lows of Fall

Rogers' attraction to autumn bass fishing is based on much more than a lack of company on the water.

Fall, which officially got underway on Sept. 22, is the harbinger of shorter days, longer nights and frequent cold fronts that typically increase with intensity each time a weather system comes rolling in. This results in a gradual decrease in water temperature that won't begin to reverse itself until next spring.

Another common sign of fall is low water levels. In a normal year, water levels on most reservoirs are well below full pool as the result of hot summer weather, day-to-day evaporation, daily water usage and minimal rainfall to replace what is taken out.

The low water pushes bass off of shallow flats and concentrates them along the edges of creek channels, river channels and other structure that provides easy access to the security of deep water. This narrows the size of the playing field and offers a pretty good hint as to where anglers might begin searching for fish, and which tactics should work best for exploiting them.

Of course, anybody who has spent much time around East Texas lately knows we're coming off a summer that was anything but normal as far as the weather goes. Hurricane Harvey saw to that, and water levels on many lakes in southeast Texas are well above normal for this time of year because of it.

Shad On the Move

The changing seasons and cooling water puts bait fish on the move and bass are quick to follow.

Threadfin shad are filter feeders by nature. Studies on shad movements indicate the succulent forage fish gravitate towards shallow water during fall, usually via creeks, drains and ditches that connect skinny water to deep. Take a look around in late September and October you should see pods of shad dimpling the surface in the mouths coves and major and secondary creeks.

The gradual influx of forage sometimes sparks some big time feeding binges that can play right into the hands of bass anglers who know what to look for and which cards to play when opportunities are golden.

Bottomline: Fall fishing in Texas can be pretty darned at times. Here are some fishing tips that might help turn an otherwise average day of autumn fishing into a banner one:

Up A Creek

If there is one time of the year that it doesn't hurt to be up a creek without a paddle, it's fall. Channels also act as highways for shad and other forage. By concentrating your efforts to channels you are sure to boost your chances of finding and catching fish.

Dissecting a Creek

Fall bass won't be everywhere along an underwater channel. Instead, they are usually found in relatively small areas, often in big numbers.

Locating theses "magic stretches" is a process of elimination that takes time to accomplish, but there are some things you can do to speed up the process.

* Location, Location: The upper 2/3 portion of a creek will usually be the most productive by the time October rolls around. Most pros say it's best to start at the back and fish your way out. If water levels are low it should make the channel fairly easy to follow, especially if there is grass or stumps lining the edges.

* Homing in on Hotspots: While fall bass are apt to be gather anywhere along a creek, they are prone to gravitate to places that offer something different from the surrounding area. Well-defined bends are always worth a look, as are other "oddities" such as slight indentions in a straightaway of grass, points of grass, a place where two creeks intersect or stick-ups/laydowns lodged on the creek bank.

Wakes, Boils and Birds

Perhaps the most obvious sign of a productive area are fish actually feeding. Keep an eye peeled for wakes and boils on the surface.

Another good visual aid to key is birds, especially blue herons. The big birds will often take a ringside seat when bass are feeding and pick off stray or wounded shad driven to the surface. If you see a heron perched on a stump adjacent to a channel, and the bird appears to be on point, it would be wise to move in and check it out.

Keep Your Distance

Let's say your are easing down channel and a well placed cast to a definitive creek bend or indention in a grass bed produces a fish. It would be wise hold off a ways and and work the area thoroughly from a distance. Remember, fall bass often run in gangs. Move too close and you could booger the spot prematurely.

Boat Position

When fishing a creek, try to keep the boat positioned on the middle of the channel. This will allow you to work both sides effectively. If you come upon a stretch that looks especially good, position the boat so you can cast parallel to the grass line, lay down or whatever it is that you suspect may be holding fish. This will allow you to keep the bait in the strike zone for the longest period of time.

Back to School Bass

As earlier mentioned, fall bass often run in gangs or schools. At times the fish will drive pods of shad to the surface or pin them against a shoreline so they can feed on them at will.

Schoolies are often so aggressive they will pounce on just about anything you throw at them, but certain baits tend to produce better than others.

Topwater baits like a Pop-R, Yellow Magic, Tiny Torpedo and Cordell Near Nuthin' (if you can find one) are veterans on the list. Other favorites are lipless crankbaits, square bill crank baits, buzz baits and small spoons.

When School Lets Out

Just because surface schooling wanes doesn't always mean the bite has died, or that the fish have left the area. They could be suspended just beneath the surface, waiting for another unsuspecting pod of shad to come swimming by. This is when a Texas rig worm matched with a light slip sinker, diving plug or the Alabama rig can pay off.

Match the Hatch

It is always a good idea to use baits and bait colors that simulate what bass are feeding on. During fall, that would be shad on most Texas lakes.

The best hard bait colors to throw now are Tennessee shad, chrome/blue, chrome/black, clear or bone.

Bait size also can make a big difference at times. For best results, try to use a lure that is fairly close to the same size as the forage on which the fish are feeding.

Waking the Blade

A spinnerbait can be deadly medicine during fall. The trusty blade comes through shallow cover extremely well and it does a good job of simulating fleeing bait fish.

Spinnerbaits can be fished in a variety of ways and at varied speeds. A good retrieve to try during the fall is a fast or "waking" retrieve, especially when fishing in relation to scattered clumps of aquatic vegetation or around lay down logs or bushes. The idea is to keep the bait moving at a rate of speed fast enough that it bulges or wakes the surface without actually breaking through. The speedy retrieve sometimes triggers bass to pounce on the bait without taking time to evaluate it. This is sometimes called a "reaction strike."

Offshore Options

As productive as creek fishing can be, offshore structure on many lakes will continue to hold big numbers of fish right on through fall. Humps, channel ledges, points and ridges are good places to look, particularly if the bottom is hard.

Assorted baits will get you bit out there. A shaky head, Carolina rig or spoon can be hard to beat. The trick is to use your electronics to graph structure to determine if fish are present. If so, pop a waypoint or drop a buoy to mark the spot for easy reference and have fun.

There's nothing more fun than whackin' 'em when there is nobody else around.

Matt Williams is a freelance writer based in Nacogdoches. He can be reached by e-mail, mattwillwrite4u@yahoo.com.

September 29, 2017 - Friday Night Football Schedule for September 29th, week 5.

Friday Night Football
Center 39 - Bullard 35, Final Score
Joaquin 56 - Hawkins 0, Final Score
Shelbyville 14 - Corrigan Camden 26, Final Score
Timpson 20 - Lovelady 14, Final Score
Tenaha - Open

September 26, 2017 - The season has begun for Tenaha’s Cross Country teams. Twenty-six Middle School and High School students are competing this year. The High School teams competed recently at Broaddus High School. The boys’ team placed 4th overall and the girls’ team placed 7th. There were over twenty teams competing.

On September 20th the teams travelled to West Sabine where the High School boys’ placed 2nd overall and Araceli Vazquez placed 4th individually for the girls with the time of 13 minutes and 40 seconds. The Junior High was scheduled to participate in this meet but was cancelled due to severe weather.

There are only a couple of Cross Country meets left before District competition. The teams are scheduled to compete in Zavalla on September 27th at 1:30pm and Lufkin “Coke Classic” on October 4th at 3:30pm. District competition for both High School and Junior High will be held in New Summerfield on October 11 beginning at 1pm.

September 22, 2017 - Several more hunting seasons are set to open in coming weeks and one is set to close as summer gives way to fall.

The first is the Youth Only squirrel season on Sept. 23-24. The two-day season is intended to give young hunters age 16 and under an early crack at the bushytails before the regular season gets underway on Oct. 1.

Also on tap are the Archery Only seasons for white-tailed deer, mule deer and Rio Grande turkey, which runs Sept. 30 - Nov. 3. The general deer season for whitetails opens Nov. 4.

The early archery season is typically plays right into the hands of East Texas whitetail hunters because it offers the opportunity to get in the woods ahead of the rut, before bachelor groups of bucks start busting up and changing their movement patterns. It also gives hunters the chance to hunt before acorns start to fall, thus boosting chances of success while hunting in relation to corn feeders.

The 16-day early teal season will close on Sept. 24.

September 22, 2017 - Friday Night Football Schedule for September 22nd, week 4.

Friday Night Football
Center 42 - Diboll 45, Final Score
Joaquin 47 - Huntington 0, Final Score
Tenaha 62 - Clarksville 6, Final Score
Timpson 38 - Hawkins 14, Final Score
Shelbyville Open

September 17, 2017 - (Coronation, Game Photos: Album1, Album2; Parade Photos: Album1, Album2, Album3) - The Timpson Bears took on the Cross Roads Bobcats during their 2017 Homecoming game Friday, September 16, 2017 at John Herbert Eakin Stadium in Timpson.

Before the game began the Homecoming court walked onto the field and were introduced. Crowned Timpson Bear Homecoming Queen for 2017 was Jasmine Rogers.

An exciting game between the Bears and Bobcats ended with Timpson taking the win, 28-8.

September 16, 2017 (Coronation Photos, Game photos: Album1, Album2) - It was homecoming weekend in Center and Friday, September 16 the coronation ceremony was held prior to the game. Congratulations to Jennifer Huichapa who was crowned the 2017 Homecoming Princess and congratulations Elizabeth Chavez for being crowned the Center HS Homecoming Queen!

During halftime, the Center Alumni Association recognized their 2017 Hall of Honor inductees who are Joy Ann Weaver Havran, a 1967 CHS graduate, and Luke Motley III, a 1957 CHS graduate (Center Alumni Association Honors Havran, Motley as 2017 Hall of Honor Inductees). They were both honored at the Annual CHS Alumni Association meeting held Saturday morning. (Photos coming Sunday)

Although the Center Roughriders lost to the Gladewater Bears, the game was a hard fought battle with the Roughrider defense holding the Bears to only two touchdowns and a field goal. The score was 0-0 until 9:18 in the second quarter and the Bears were the first to score a touchdown. Several plays later the Bears have possession but fumble the ball and the Riders recover placing them within scoring range. The Bears defense remains a problem and the Riders fail to get into the end zone. With 5:54 in the second quarter, Center makes a field goal attempt and its good bringing the score to Center 3 and Gladewater 7. Gladewater manages to score again as the clock runs out for the first half for a score of 3-14. The Bears kick a field goal with 3:39 left in the game for the final score of 3-17.

Friday, September 16, 2017. Garrison Bulldogs’ Stadium –

The Shelbyville Dragons Varsity Football Team found it hard to keep the first-down chains moving offensively, last Friday night. The Dragons played well, against Garrison High School, at times but were not able to hang with the hometown Bulldogs who took the 28-0 win, which boosted the Bulldogs’ pre-district record to 1-2.

The loss moves Shelbyville’s record to 0-3. They will use an open week to regroup, and heal some injuries, in preparation to host Corrigan-Camden for the Dragons’ Homecoming on September 29, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. The Corrigan-Camden Bulldogs last lost to Shepard High School and have a 0-3 season mark as well.

Garrison wasted no time getting on the board in last Friday’s contest. While going for it on fourth-down-and-short yardage, with 10:30 left in the opening period, Bulldog quarterback Makedric Collins broke free on a 41-yard run which moved the ball from the Bulldogs’ end of the field to the Shelbyville 29-yard line. On, first down, the Bulldogs recovered their own fumble. Three plays later saw Collins go in for a 15-yard touchdown run with 8:34 left in the opening period. Aidan Britton added an extra point kick to give the Bulldogs a 7-0 advantage.

The first Shelbyville drive saw the GHS defensive line held Shelbyville to just four yards on two runs. On third down, the Dragons got an illegal substitution penalty, and then a false start. The drive was cut short and SHS was forced to punt the ball back to Garrison with almost seven minute still remaining in the opening quarter. Garrison took over at their 19-yard line.

Bulldog running back Sebastian Porter gained a total of 22 yards on three consecutive runs but the Shelbyville defense eventually forced Garrison to turn the ball over on downs at the ‘Dogs 41-yard line with 4:58 left in the opening stanza.

Shelbyville gained their first first-down on runs by Jacobi Jackson and Kyle Tindoll to start the drive. A 12-yard pass completion negated a false-start penalty and gave SHS their second first-down which moved the pigskin to the Bulldogs 17-yard line. The Dragons turned the ball over on downs at the Bulldog 9-yard line four plays later. The first period ended with Garrison leading 7-0.

Sawyer Hendricks helped Shelbyville out when he recovered the football near midfield on Garrisons’ next offensive drive.

Caleb Campbell made a 27-yard reception which gave Shelbyville a first down at Garrisons’ 22-yard line with 11 minutes left in the first half. The Shelbyville offensive drive was cut short when they fumbled at the Bulldog 18-yard line with 10:50 remaining in the first half.

Sabastian Porter scored Garrisons’ second touchdown of the night when he went in the end zone on a 10-yard scoring run with 5:29 left in the second quarter. Britton added his second extra point kick of the day to put GHS up 14-0.

Kasper Hodge scored Garrisons’ third touchdown on a 51-yard touchdown reception from Drew Wise just 35 seconds before the halftime buzzer. The two teams went in for the halftime intermission with Garrison up over the Shelbyville Dragons by a score of 21-0.

Porter scored the game’s final touchdown when he broke a tackle at the line-of- scrimmage and raced 69 yards to the end zone with 4:11 left in the third stanza. Leading 28-0 at this point, the Bulldog defense stiffened. Garrison controlled the clock offensively and only allowed SHS three first downs for the remainder of the contest, while relaxing to prevent-style defensive formations.

Garrison held a 14-7 advantage in gaining first downs. Shelbyville was penalized 30 yards and Garrison 25. Garrison rushed for 447 yards and allowed Shelbyville 128 rushing yards. Shelbyville completed 3 passes on 7 attempts for 17 yards, and SHS was intercepted once.

Garrison completed 2 passes on 5 attempts for 38 yards. GHS held a 605 to 145 yard advantage in total offense.

Shelbyville Head Football Coach Charles Tindoll stated, “We will have to work on running a more diversified multiple option offense. We will work hard and we aren’t ready to hang things up yet! We expect Corrigan- Camden to have some good athletes. We will use the off-week to heal some injuries but I don’t think we are looking at anything that’s season ending.”

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