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By Ellis Hayden

Seven turnovers would be OK if you were really hungry for a sweet apple or peach pastry.  But seven “football” turnovers by your football team is hard to swallow.  

The Union Grove Lions entered Friday nights’ game against the host Mt. Enterprise Wildcats as favorites to win the battle of 0-2 teams.  Unfortunately, the Lions headed back home to Union Grove with a record of 0-3, after losing 58-18.

Union Grove head football coach, Roger Adams said, “We fumbled the ball 7 times and loss four of them as well has having 3 interceptions.  Regardless of how good your team is, you can’t overcome that many turnovers.”   

Despite the loss, Coach Adams saw some positive things.  “Offensively, we moved the ball better against Mt. Enterprise than in our previous games. We rolled up over 350 yards of total offense.  Owen had 250 and Mayhan added another 60 yards.  Defensively, I was impressed with the play of Chase Day and J. D. Kessler throughout the game. (Day had 15 tackles, 2 tackles for loss; Kessler had 10 tackles, 4 tackles for loss) We see marks of improvements. But we still have work to do.” 

Mt. Enterprise capitalized on the Union Grove miscues early and often to jump out to a 32-0 lead midway through the second quarter.  The Lions fumbled the ball on its own 18 yard line on its second possession of the game and the Wildcats scored two plays later to take a 6-0 lead.  Union Grove dropped the ball again, and Mt. Enterprise scored again with two minutes to take a 12-0 lead after the first quarter. The Lions moved the football on their fourth series of downs, but the drive stalled at midfield and they were forced to punt.  

The Wildcat punt returner, Blake Parham returned the punt for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. Wildcat quarterback, Jase Jones connected with Parham for a 15 yard touchdown strike on their next series to up the score to 26-0.  On their next possession, the Lions’ quarterback, Austin Owens ran successive plays for 15, -5, 5 and 25 yards on the ground. On the next play, his pass to wide receiver Parker Thornton, was intercepted by the Wildcats at the 30 yard line.  From there, it took Mt. Enterprise just four plays to get into end zone and post another six points on the scoreboard to go up 32-0.

Determined to get things going on their next possession, Union Groves’ Owens took a quarterback draw 45 yards for the Lions first touchdown to make it 6-0.  After a successful onside kick attempt, it took the Lions just two plays; an 8 yard pass completion from Owens to Parker and 35 yard scamper by Owens to get on the scoreboard again.  At halftime the score was Mt. Enterprise 32 and Union Grove 12.

Mt. Enterprise opened the second half with 7 play 55 yard drive that culminated with a 22 yard pass completion from Jones to Christian Hammett into the end one.  That extended the Wildcats lead to 40-12.  The Lions advanced the ball to midfield before the fumbled again.  The Wildcats responded with a 50 touchdown run by Jones to make the score 46-12.  Shortly, before the end of the third quarter, the Lions were inside the 20 yard line of Mt. Enterprise, when the fumbled the ball away, yet again.  

In the fourth quarter, the Lions forced the Wildcats to punt, but Union Grove didn’t have the football long.   Owens pass to Thornton was intercepted.  Mt. Enterprise capitalized on it, scoring on Parham’s 40 yard scamper through the Union Grove defenders to take a 52-12 lead.

On the Lions next series, Mt. Enterprise got a steady diet of running back Alec Mayhan who rushed for 62 yards on the night.  He added a touchdown to his stats with two yard score to give Union Grove 18 points to Mt. Enterprise’s 52.   On the ensuing kickoff, Mt. Enterprise’s running back blasted through the Union Grove defense on first down for a 40 yard touchdown.  It was the final score of the night as Mt. Enterprise won 58-18. 


The Lions host Bogota Rivercrest (1-2) on Friday night for Union Groves’ homecoming game.  “We will have airplanes, monster trucks, motorcycles, lots of food and fireworks.  Hopefully, we will have a win to celebrate as well,” said Coach Adams.


Bears focused on season opener against Daingerfield

The Gladewater Bears kick-off the 2015 season on Friday night against the Daingerfield Tigers at Jack V. Murphy Bear Stadium.  Expectations are high following an 11-2 season last year, despite the losses of All- American Daylon Mack to Texas A&M and All State players Thorn Berry, Isaac Espinosa and Duke Gordon all to graduation.   All the pre-season polls have them picked in the top five in Class 4A in the state.   

Returning for 2015 is a talented group of seniors and juniors who were major contributors to the Bears’ deep runs in the playoffs in 2013 and 2014. There are a few sophomores who will make an immediate impact on the team this year.

Gladewater athletic director and head football coach John Berry is “cautiously optimistic” about his team.  Based upon Gladewater’s performance in their two scrimmages, things are beginning to come together.  Gladewater performed better than both Class 5A teams Lindale and Pine Tree. About 400 folks turned out on Friday night to see the Bears dominate Pine Tree by scoring nine touchdowns and shutting out the Pirates.

 “First of all, no one got hurt, that is always a good thing,” Berry said. “Our kids got to see some different looks offensively and defensively from Pine Tree.  Our offense is looking good and I was proud of how they are lining up and knowing their assignments.  Our defense is growing. We are young there, but they were better than last week against Lindale.”

In his post-scrimmage remarks to the team Berry told the players, “After we watch film in the morning of this game, we put it behind us.  The rest of the week our focus is getting ready for Daingerfield.” 

Daingerfield is coming off an uncharacteristic 1-9 season.  The good news for Daingerfield is that they have eight offensive players returning on offense and five on defense.  Their top playmaker is senior Denzel Mims, a 6’3, 175 lbs. wide receiver, who has already committed to play for Baylor next season.  Mims is the current state champion in the Class 3A 200 meter dash.  Last year, he scored both touchdowns for the Tigers in their 34-13 loss to the Bears.  Keke Chism is a quarterback/wide receiver who is cut from the same mold as Mims is 6’3, 180 lbs. They will try to stretch the field against the young Gladewater defensive secondary. Defensively, Daingerfield is led by senior linebacker Justin Taylor.  He and the Tigers’ defense will have their hands full against the Bears’ dual threat offensive game plan.

Based upon what the Bears have done in their scrimmages, the Bears offense will cause opposing defensive coordinators sleepless nights.  The Bears have a fleet of running backs with seniors Justice Centers, Marcello Jackson, junior Darnel McKnight and sophomore Isaiah Davis to execute their powerful running attack.  Now they have the perfect complement, a deep-threat passing attack.  Seniors Caleb Williams, Blake Guthie and junior Cameron Callaway are sure handed “burners” at the receiver positions and sophomore quarterback Dadrian Strickland has the arm and accuracy to get them the ball. 

On the defensive side of the ball, senior Quanterius Strickland at 6’3 and 285 lbs. will try to fill the shoes of “Mack” as a defensive tackle.  Three year starter, linebacker Austin Blanco will fill the middle, once he is cleared to play after a summer injury. Jackson and McKnight will share some linebacker chores. Defensive back Austin Hawley, 6’1 195 lbs., along with some new faces in the defensive backfield will be tested by the Tigers. The Bears’ defensive coordinator, Barry Lindsey said, “We are getting better each week as our new folks learn their assignments.”

Kick-off is at 7:30 p.m. in the newly renovated Jack V. Murphy Stadium.  New seating, sound system and expanded parking as well as other improvements are sure to make the Friday Night Football experience move enjoyable this season.







By Cade Palmer

Nicknamed the Battle of Hawkins Creek, the Spring Hill, White Oak matchup represents one of the most historic and storied rivalries in East Texas. However, Friday night’s game between the two might be more aptly dubbed a surrender after the Roughnecks steamrolled their rival 48-0 and set the record for the greatest margin of victory in the history of the rivalry.

After last year’s match-up ended in a game winning field goal in the final seconds, football enthusiasts from across the county traveled to White Oak to watch what was supposed to be a tough football competition. The result was quite the opposite. After four consecutive wins, White Oak now leads the series 25-22. 

Receiving the ball first, the Necks immediately drove down the field and scored their first touchdown on a 14-yard completion from senior quarterback Cade Palmer to junior running back Connor Hearon. 

The ball was then kicked to the Panther offense, the same offense that scored 44 points against Winnsboro and 21 against Van even without four starting linemen. White Oak held them to 0. At first, it seemed the Panthers would match the Roughnecks’ touchdown, but penalties and then a stellar interception by senior cornerback Dax Davis gave the Necks back the ball. 

A good run by Hearon, capped off by a face mask penalty put the Necks on the Panther 30-yard line and in good position to make another run at the end zone. Another penalty, this time pass interference, gave the Necks the ball at the 1-yard line from which Hearon would walk in. 

The Roughneck defense would again stop their opponents, but a monster punt by the Panther senior Scott Deal put White Oak in deep on their own half of the field. A drive, sustained in part by Panther penalties, made it all the way to the 1-yard line before the Necks were stopped on fourth down. The Roughneck defense again came to the rescue keeping Spring Hill within the 5-yard line and on the field only four plays. This time, Deal shanked his punt giving the Necks the ball only 19 yards from the end zone.

 Palmer connected with sophomore Colby Siegley who drove to the 1-yard line. Sophomore Heath Hood was brought in to play quarterback and drove up the middle for the touchdown. The Necks now led 21-0. 

As is now the norm for the Roughneck defense, a quick stop was made and White Oak was once again on offense. This time the offense was run by sophomore Chandler Gordy.  In for two plays, Gordy rushed for 18 yards. Palmer came back in, hit Davis on slant and brought the ball down to the 1-yard line. From there Palmer hit Hearon on another touchdown pass. 

“An effective offense needs a good running game to be a threat to the defense so that the defense is thinking about the run and then the offense is allowed to strike with a passing game,” Davis said. “In this instance the offensive line is still a key part as they allow the quarterback to make his decision on who he is going to throw to.”

Following another interception, this time from Hood, the Necks could only make it to the 30 before they were forced to kick a field goal. Here “the Brazilian” junior foreign exchange student Arthur Nakai took over. He booted the 47-yard field goal that sent the Necks into halftime with a 34-point lead. After halftime, Hood would lead the team from quarterback and hit senior receiver Austin Iske in the end zone for a touchdown. The final points of the game came from junior Jaylon Jeffery’s rush. 

Allowing only 130 yards and 0 points to the offensively apt Panthers was huge for the Roughneck defense. Total, only 15 points have been scored against the Roughnecks this season, compare that to the 138 points they’ve scored. 

“The more the coaches put us through in practice the more it brings the whole unit together,” senior runningback Zach Rowe said. “When the game day comes we have always seen everything we need to know and have it down pat to where no mistakes should be made.”

White Oak will need every inch of their defensive prowess this week if they are to defeat the Tenaha Tigers. Playing in Tenaha, the Necks will have to stomach a long drive and a home field advantage if they are to emerge victorious. Though the team is currently 0-2, as opposed to White Oak’s 3-0 record, both losses came in very close games. Tenaha lost their first game 35-38 to the Joaquin Rams and then their most recent game to the private school Brook Hill 32-33.


The team will be coming off their bye week and will have had a full two weeks to prepare for the Roughnecks. Players to watch for the Roughnecks include Connor Hearon, Dax Davis, Heath Hood, Swade Smith, and Chris Boyd. For the Necks to win, they must continue to perform well on defense to stop the run heavy Tigers. 


It’s football time again in the Ark-La-Tex. And, one of the marquee sporting events in the region is set to take place from September 10-12 at Shreveport’s Independence Stadium. The 2015 Lander’s Dodge High School Football Showcase will feature some of the south’s top football players and programs through the three-day, seven-game event.

The showcase kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 10 at 7 p.m. with the St. Thomas More Cougars out of Lafayette  taking on the El Dorado, Ark. Wildcats. Both teams have participated in the Battle on the Border previously. STM head coach Jim Hightower is second only to John Curtis Christian coach J.T. Curtis on Louisiana’s all-time win list among coaches. El Dorado has won nine Arkansas state football titles, including four in the last six years in Class 6A.

Speaking of J.T. Curtis and the JCC Patriots, they will play the Shades Valley Mounties in the 6 p.m. game on Friday, Sept. 11. J.T. Curtis, who is the all-time winningest coach in Louisiana football history with 530 wins, was recently inducted into the National Federation of High School’s Hall of Fame. The Patriots, who have won 26 state titles but lost, 17-14, to Jesuit in the Division I finals last year, have one of the top offensive lineman prospects in the country in 6’7”, 300 lb. tackle Willie Allen opening holes for their veer offense.


In the 2014 Battle on the Border, Shades Valley, which hails from Birmingham, Ala., had a huge 39-21 win over the Acadiana Wrecking Rams.  Acadiana would go on to win the Class 5A title in Louisiana, while the Mounties finished 9-3, losing out in the second round of playoffs.


The 8 p.m. game on Sept. 12 features a powerhouse matchup between the West Monroe Rebels and the Lufkin Panthers. The Rebels upset No. 1-seed Byrd before losing to Destrehan in the Class 5A state playoffs a year ago. Lufkin posted a 6-5 record in 2014, losing a rematch against the Longview Lobos, 43-42, in the first round of the Texas UIL 5A, Div. 1 playoffs.

Four games are on the docket for Saturday, Sept. 12 beginning at 11 a.m. with the Parkway Panthers versus the Gladewater, Texas Bears. The Panthers feature a high-powered offense led by Louisiana Tech commitment, quarterback Keondre Wudtee. The 6’4”, 181 lb. Wudtee has one of ESPN’s 300 top players to throw the ball to in receiver C.J. Morgan. Morgan, who is committed to Mississippi State, is a two-way player for the Panthers but is listed as a cornerback on most recruiting lists.

Gladewater will be making its second appearance in the Battle on the Border. The Bears lost, 42-21, to St. Thomas More in the 2014 Battle on the Border. Gladewater wouldn’t lose again until the third round of the UIL 4A Div. 2 playoffs when it fell to eventual state champion Gilmer, 41-35.

Warren Easton, one of the oldest public schools in New Orleans, will be making its first appearance in the showcase when the Eagles face off against the Evangel Eagles at 2 p.m. Warren Easton had one of the top wide receiver prospects in the nation last year in Tyron Johnson, who’s now at LSU, and again this year the Eagles feature a top pass catcher in Clyde Leflore-Chriss.  Evangel participated in the inaugural Battle on the Border and makes its return in 2015. Wide receiver Corey Henderson, a Tennessee commitment, hopes to help the Eagles fare better this time around.

Also making their first appearance in the showcase is the Maumelle, Ark. Hornets, who will battle the defending Class 4A State Champion Neville Tigers at 5 p.m. The Tigers from Monroe are expected to be one of the top teams in the state, and feature one of the country’s top defensive lineman prospects in 6’3”, 305 lb., tackle Rashard Lawrence.

The showcase finale is scheduled to start at 8 p.m. and features two perennial powerhouse programs in the Longview, Texas Lobos and the Byrd Yellow Jackets. The two schools combined records over the last two seasons are 43-8, including a perfect 6-0 (Byrd 4-0, Longview 2-0) in Battle on Border games.

The Lander’s Dodge Battle on the Border High School Football Showcase is a premier local sports event.  Tickets for the Battle on the Border start at $10 for advanced general admission, and one ticket is good for all seven games.



It’s football time again fans!


Going into the “Battle on the Border” contest at Shreveport’s Independence Bowl, the Gladewater Bears knew their opponent, Bossier City’s District 1-5A Parkway Panthers were going to tough to beat. But  costly  Bear turnovers enabled Parkway to build a 47-6 lead.  Despite a valiant second half effort by the Bears who scored 21 unanswered points, it was too little too late. The Parkway Panthers defeated the Gladewater Bears, 47-27.

“We knew coming in that Parkway was a very good team with some very talented athletes, they didn’t need our help,” said Gladewater head coach, John Berry. The “help” that he was referring to was the four fumbles loss and the interception of which three were turned into touchdowns by Parkway on the next possession.  “We have to do a better job of protecting the football.  Without the turnovers, I believe that the game would be more competitive,” said Berry.  

The Parkway Panthers took a 6-0 lead at the midway point of the first quarter on a 57 yard sweep around the left side by running back Robert McKnight.  Both teams turned the ball over on downs at midfield on their next two possessions.  That’s when the “turnover virus” struck.  Gladewater fumbled and Parkway recovered the ball, on the next play, the Bears’ Isaiah Davis intercepted a Parkway pass at the Gladewater 21.  Two plays later, Parkway’s Loyd Cole intercepted a Gladewater pass and scored a touchdown to give Parkway a 13-0 lead.  

On the ensuing kickoff, Gladewater’s Darnell McKnight fielded the kick at the 10 yard line and returned it 90 yards for a Bears’ touchdown to put the Bears on the scoreboard was 13-6.  Following an unsuccessful onside kick attempt by the Bears, Parkway took over at the midfield.  Parkway’s quarterback, Keondre Wudtee connected with his favorite target, C.J. Morgan on a 48 yard pass to the one yard line.  McKnight took it the final yard for the touchdown.  Parkway led 20-7 with a minute remaining in the first quarter.  

Another fumble by the Bears at their own 16 yard line, set up Parkway’s next score.  Two plays into the second quarter, the Panthers’ Eric Williams carried the ball into end zone from nine yards out.  Parkway led 27-7.  On Gladewater’s next possession, the Bears fumbled the ball away for a third time at their own 32 yard line. Parkway scored a minute later, when Wudtee scrambled 15 yards for the touchdown to give Parkway a 33-7 lead.

On the Gladewater’s next possession, running back Justice Centers, who rushed for 76 yards on 17 carries in the first half, pounded the Panther defense on seven consecutive carries for 32 yards to the Parkway 43 yard line.  The drive stalled and the Bears punted.  Parkway responded by going 78 yards in 11 plays capped by 18 yard touchdown run by McKnight with less than a minute remaining in the half.  The halftime score was Parkway 40 and Gladewater 6.

Gladewater received the second half kickoff, but were forced to punt on their first series.  Parkway’s quarterback, Wudtee, who has verbally committed to play at Louisiana Tech, showed off his skills by connecting on six consecutive pass plays to put the Panthers on the scoreboard.  With 8:47 remaining in the third quarter, Parkway had a commanding 47-6 lead.   

With Blake Guthrie under center in the second half, Gladewater had its longest sustained drive of the game on next possession.  Starting at its own six yard line, Marcello Jackson, Isiah Davis and Guthrie marched the ball down the field in a 17 play, 94 yard drive for a touchdown.  Jackson had runs of 12,14, and 15 yards on his way to a game high 173 yards and a touchdown.  Guthrie capped off the drive with keeper for the one yard touchdown.  The third quarter came to an end with the score Parkway 47 and Gladewater 13.  

On the first play of the fourth quarter, Parkway fumbled the ball at its own 39 yard line and Gladewater’s junior linebacker, Michael Batchelor scooped it up and took it the distance making it Parkway 47 and Gladewater 20.  

After a 12 yard return on the kickoff, the Panthers took over at their 15 yard line.  On the second play of the possession, Wudtee’s pass was intercepted by the Bears’ Austin Hawley at the Gladewater 39 yard line.  The Bears’ Jackson churned out runs of 3,9 and 9 before Davis fumbled at the Panther 34 yard line.

Parkway turned the ball over again to Bears with a fumble at their own 40 yard line.  Two Jackson runs of 23 and 17 yards put the Bears in the end zone for the third time in the period of five minutes on the game clock.  With 7:00 minutes remaining, Gladewater trailed 47-27.

With the Bears threatening, Parkway tried to run out the clock using McKnight and Williams running the ball. The Panthers marched to the Bears’ nine yard line but fumbled with Gladewater recovering the ball.  With two minutes remaining, the Bears drove down the field, but time expired before they could get more points on the scoreboard. 

“We are making progress.  Our offensive line, especially Dre Tennison, did a good job. Marcello Jackson’s competitiveness challenges tacklers with every carry.  Our defensive line created pressure. Our defensive backfield played better than the previous week,” said Berry

The Bears rushed for 241 yards and passed for 45 yards for 286 total yards. The offensive leader for the Bears was Marcello Jackson, who rushed for 173 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown.  Justices Centers rushed for 76 yards, all in the first half.  Blake Guthrie completed 3 of 8 passes for 45 yards with Cameron Callaway getting two receptions for a total of 39 yards.  Darnell McKnight had 4 kickoff returns for 136 yards including a 90 yard touchdown return. 

Defensive stars for Gladewater were linebackers Bryston Oliver (13 tackles, 2 TFL and a sack) and Batchelor (8 tackles and fumble recovery for a touchdown).  Defensive back, Austin Hawley had 11 tackles and an interception.  Defensive back Adam Kegarise had 11 tackles on the night.  The Bears gave up 493 yards total offense, but they forced three fumbles and intercepted two Parkway passes.

Parkway’s Wudtee completed 13 of 22 passes for 243 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.  He rushed for 15 yards and a touchdown.  Robert McKnight rushed 8 times for 105 yards and 3 touchdowns.  C.J. Morgan, committed to Mississippi State, caught 3 passes for 102 yards.

Gladewater falls to 1-2 on the season and travels to Carthage (2-1) to meet the Bulldogs on Friday night at 7:30 pm. 


“We face another good team this week in Carthage.  Offensively, they put up 600 yards of total offense on previously unbeaten Hallsville.  The quarterback, Jarod Blissett throws the ball well. I noticed that last year when we played them.   This year his receivers are better and so are they as a team.  Coach Surratt does a great job down there.  We will have to protect the ball and play well to win,” said Berry.



Kassidy Kruse has been named to the 2014-15 TEXAS GIRLS COACHES ASSOCIATIONTRACK & FIELD ACADEMIC ALL-STATE TEAM and Cheyenne and Summer Grubbs have been named to the 2014-15 TEXAS GIRLS COACHES ASSOCIATIONTRACK & FIELD ALL-STATE TEAM.


1A-2A-3A-4A -  Erin Williams of Rogers High School coached by Loyd Morgan, Coach and 5A-6A -  Taylor Bennett of Klein Collins High School coached by Jennifer Gegogeine.


1A-2A-3A-4A – Linda Richter of  Cameron Yoe High School and 5A-6A – Shannon Utley of Summit High School.