P.J. Giddens named to Academic Football All-Southland Conference

Giddens proudly wears the Bearkat uniform for Sam Houston State Univerisity.Giddens proudly wears the Bearkat uniform for Sam Houston State Univerisity.By: Gayle Erwin

P.J. (Patrick) Giddens, a 2014 graduate of Coldspring-Oakhurst High School and Trojan Football Star has been named to the Academic All-Southland Football team for the 2015 season. The team of 26 are chosen based on academic achievement and athletic performance on the football field. Giddens, attending Sam Houston State University and proudly wearing the Bearkat uniform is now into his junior year. Majoring in General Business according to Giddens and maintaining a 3.83 Grade Point Average (GPA). Giddens played in every game during the Kats’ 11-4 drive to the NCAA semifinals as a reserve safety and special teams player.

According to the article releasing the information on the team, the Academic All-Southland football teams are voted on by the head coaches, sports information directors and academic advisors from each Southland Conference Universities. Student-athletes must possess a 3.0 cumulative GPA, have completed one full academic year at the nominating institution and participated in at least 50 percent of the team’s competition to qualify for the all-academic squad.

Trojans look forward to successful season

Trey Cole (3) stops at the top of the key and launches a “3-pointer” during the 67-58 win over Trinity. Photo by Charles BallardTrey Cole (3) stops at the top of the key and launches a “3-pointer” during the 67-58 win over Trinity. Photo by Charles Ballardby Charles Ballard

Coldspring: On December 15 the Lady Trojans posted their first district win for the 2015 season. Folks, this team is for real. Loaded with freshmen that want to win and one senior that is determined to lead them to victory started a new tradition, in the city of Coldspring. I have said many times I have not seen this type of commitment from the Lady Trojans in many years. Not only did they win with a score of 54 to 31, over the Lady Shepherd Pirates, it was a decisive win. Once they started scoring they kept the momentum in the Lady Trojans side of the basketball court all night long. Coach Monique Whittaker, head basketball coach for the Lady Trojans commented, “Last night’s game against Shepherd was a must win. We set a few team goals this week and one of those goals is to make it to play-offs. We are expecting to go into the Christmas break 2-0 in district. We can achieve that goal if we play how we did last night.”

The Lady Trojans never lost the lead during the entire game. This team has the right attitude to do a great job for Coldspring High School. The ladies led at one point by 21 points. Coach Whittaker said, “ I am so proud of these girls, they definitely got better. I know Tarkington plays hard and are well coached. We have to go in focused and locked in. It should be a good game.”
First blood went to the Lady Trojans as they ended the first period with the lead of 14 to 6, where Destiny Thompson, Sydney McAuliffe and Jade Eldridge all posted 4 to 5 points. The second period was soundly the Trojans as they posted 17 more points against the Shepherd’s 10 points as the final buzzer sounded the Trojans had managed to win the first 23-4A game of the 2015-2016 season with a score of 54 to 31, sending the Trojans to a 1-0 and the Pirates to a 0-1 season start.

Stats: Destiny Thompson had 7 points and went to the line 4 times and posted 3 points from the foul line. Sydney McAuliffe posted 13 points and visited the foul line 6 times, gathering 2 line points. Jade Eldridge posted 11 points and went to the line 5 times sinking 1 of the foul line shots. They scored 14 points the first period, 17 points the second period, 10 points the third and 13 points during the fourth, keeping the win at Coldspring.

Trojans Take Trinity to school
The Coldspring Trojans with a smooth 500 record 5-5 moved to a 6-5 record with the win over Trinity, winning 67-58. Coach Greg Devers stated “This was the first game that I had all ten players suit up; and it showed when we had our biggest scoring half of the year with 41 points and taking a 11 point lead into halftime.” The Trojans managed to take Trinity to school during a pre-district game on Tuesday. Coach Devers added, “ We had fresh legs and you need that when you are pressing. Also I believed that the players were fired up for it being our first home game of the year last night”.

The Trojans are a high energy basketball team. Ed Hayes, Senior Post, said, ”I like the way we are playing and I feel good about going deep into the playoffs this year, I feel really good about this year.” The guys have played several very good teams and have faired very good so far.

They will be tested on Friday night with Big Sandy. Coach Devers said, ” Big Sandy comes into the game on Friday (@ 5:00 ranked #1 in the state in 2A with a 15-0 record. We need to be prepared for their full court press and “up-tempo” style. We need to control the boards and limit them to one shot a possession.” Although the Big Sandy game will have no bearings on the play-off record it will prepare the Trojans for a tough battle through District play.

During the first half Trey Cold had four 3-pointers which helped the 11 point lead during the first half.

This year is forming up to be a great year for the Mighty Trojans and the Lady Trojans. Both are high energy teams and have the winning attitude that it will take to go far in the playoff season, and that is the way I see it “Above the Rim”

COCISD Athletic Director Mark Byrd named District Coach of the Year

Byrd Coach of Year

Coldspring-Oakhurst Consolidated ISD is proud to announce Athletic Director Mark Byrd was named District 8-4A Football Coach of the Year for the 2015 season by his fellow district coaches.
Coming out of a 9-year tenure at District 20-6A Houston Westside where he had a successful run as head coach over the past eight years with a 59-24 record, Byrd faced a challenging start to the season. As the new COCISD athletic director and head football coach, his players had a short training season, all-new coaching staff and an entirely new system to learn.

In spite of these hurdles, Coach Byrd and his staff lead the Trojans to 5-0 district record, district championship and bi-district championship wins for the sixth year in a row.

“Coach Byrd has brought a great level of integrity and character to our athletic program,” said Superintendent Dr. Jerry Gibson. “I am excited by the results we have seen on the field and in the players. We are blessed to have Coach Byrd and his entire coaching staff working with our students.”

Trojans sit atop 8-4A

Ed Hayes (20) crashes the tough Diboll defensive line for another first and ten. (Photo by Charles Ballard}Ed Hayes (20) crashes the tough Diboll defensive line for another first and ten. (Photo by Charles Ballard}

At the Goal line
By Charles Ballard
San Jacinto News-Times
Sports Reporter

Coldspring—The Trojans, with a 2-0 district record, sit atop the 8-4A-D2. The red hot 5-1 Diboll Lumberjacks came to town last week and were the next in line for the Trojans to battle. Although the Sporting venue’s did not pick the “Jacks” as heavily as the Pirates the Trojans came in to the game as an underdog, as most would say. However, those that watch the Trojans knew that things have changed from the first few games of the season. Last week Coach Mark Byrd, Athletic Director and Head Football Coach for the Trojans made the comment that, “We could not get Daylon Giddens healthy quick enough.” Daylon is a work horse for the offense of the Trojans. Daylon ran 21 times for 200 yards against the “Jacks” and had three receptions for 120 yards. Folks, it has been awhile since a 320 yards has been totaled up by one individual, on the Trojans side of the field. Don’t get me wrong, it was a total team effort. Prosperity Gomez, one of the Trojans outside linebackers was all over the field and in the “Jacks” offensive face. I am sure that some of the Lumberjack running backs woke up with nightmares of Prosperity hitting them over and over again.

The Lumberjacks won the opening coin toss and elected to receive the ball first and put the Trojans facing the scoreboard. The “Jacks” managed to get all the way down to the 13 yard line and fumbled, causing a loss of yardage. With 4th and long the Lumberjacks decided to go for it and did not make a first and ten. The Trojans took over the ball with 9:13 on the clock and walked down the field taking a lot of time off the game clock. With 1:14 on the clock Daylon takes it from the 18 yard line and set the score at (6 – 0). The 2 point conversion was not made so it stayed (6-0) as the first quarter ended. Diboll went for a 3 and out and could not convert. They punted the ball and the Trojans started deep in their own territory. Trey Higgins, QB for the Trojans, sitting close to the goal line had trouble with the ball and lost it in the end zone. He dives for it, but a Lumberjack picks it up for a touchdown. The “Jacks” PAT is good, so Diboll takes the lead by one point. The lead did not last long as the Trojans managed to put one more across the goal line with an off tackle run, would be by none other than; you guessed it Daylon Giddens. The Trojans ended the half with the lead and a good momentum for the second half. The Lumberjacks managed to regroup and come out strong in the second half sending the score to 20 points forcing the Trojans to score one more than the “Jacks”. The final score of the game 28 for Coldspring and 20 for Diboll. Many knew this was going to be a tough game, including myself. After hearing Diboll toppled Madisonville and going 5 and 1 in pre-district, many were saying this was the battle for 8-4A-D2. Whether or not it was the battle for district it was a very good game.
The Trojans scorched up 425 total yards of offense; with Daylon Giddens posting a huge 320 yards of offense. Trey Higgins went 8 for 18 posting 190 yards in the air. The team had a total of 17 first downs. Ed Hayes went for 3 receptions totaling 61 yards.

One major difference in the Trojans this year, they are indeed a well balanced offense. Along with number 99, Jake Monroe and Andrew Harrison number 50 holding the defense together it makes for a very well balance team effort.
The 8-4A-D2 district sits with Coldspring 2-0, followed by Huntington 1-1, Shepherd 1-1, Diboll 1-1 and Tarkington at 1-,1 followed by Madisonville with a 0-2 record.

Coldspring will be facing Tarkington at Tarkington this Friday at 7:30. It is way too early to start predicting playoff positions but if Coldspring can hold their momentum and secure the first place in their own district it will look very good for a nice run in the playoffs. Coldspring could face Orangefield or Hamshire-Fannett depending on their win loss records.

What a game last week against The Lumberjacks. There were a lot of familiar faces on their sideline. Diboll could be setting up for a true and great rivalry, and that is the way I see it “At the Goal Line”

Pirates take to air against Longhorns, 36-14

Zach Truelove (15) of Shepherd had the best game of his career Friday night against the Longhorns, throwing for 232 yards and 3 TDs while rushing for another to lead Shepherd to a 36-14 win over Tarkington on Homecoming Night in Shepherd.Zach Truelove (15) of Shepherd had the best game of his career Friday night against the Longhorns, throwing for 232 yards and 3 TDs while rushing for another to lead Shepherd to a 36-14 win over Tarkington on Homecoming Night in Shepherd.

By Mark Anderson
San Jacinto News-Times
Sports Reporter

SHEPHERD—The Shepherd Pirates, minus the services of quarterback Royce See, took to the air on Friday night against the Longhorns. When the homecoming game for the Pirates was over, Zach Truelove, with three touchdowns by air, one by land, and one courtesy of Jonathon Marshall rumbling in from two yards out, outscored the Longhorns by a final score of 36-14.

Getting Untracked Early
The Pirates got their offense untracked early. Early in the first quarter, Jonathon Marshall, lined up in the backfield, took the handoff from Truelove, and bolted through the line, and suddenly, the race to the goal-line was on. Marshall was dragged down inside the five-yard line, but took the ball again and found the end-zone. The extra point made it 7-0, Pirates.

The Longhorns answered back in the first quarter, however. C.J. Emmert, finally getting his shot at the helm after the graduation of Hunter Johnson, engineered a drive that ended with sophomore running back Cody Parrish scoring to knot the game at 7-7.

It looked like it was about to be a hard-fought battle to the end—that is, until the second quarter rolled around.
Creating Separation for the Pirates

In the second quarter, Truelove knocked whatever rust was off his arm and fired it up. The Pirates began their scoring in the second quarter when Catarino Moreno caught a pass from Truelove and went 13-yards into the end-zone to put the Pirates up, 14-7.

Truelove added the second touchdown of the quarter when he ran for a short touchdown run to put the Pirates up, 21-7. If you are keeping score, that is two touchdowns by land and one in the air (sorry, none by See on this night).
Later in the second quarter, the Pirates increased their lead to 28-7 when Truelove hit Tanar Castleman with a perfect strike. to put the Pirates up 28-7 going into the homecoming festivities.

The homecoming festivities also involved many of the players. The sophomore Duke was Trevor Moye; and the Senior King nominees included Javier Vela, Catarino Moreno, Tanar Castleman, Deonte Skinner, Royce See, and homecoming King Antonio Moye.

Longhorns Did not Quit
When action resumed in the third quarter, the Longhorns, who had not been successful through the air, fired up their offense and stuck it in the run gear. On the night, the Longhorns rushed for a grand total of 193 yards of offense. In the third quarter, Coach Brandon Carpenter of Tarkington began to have his offense grind it out on the ground.

Carpenter was rewarded for his faith in his sophomore running back when Parrish scored again on the ground to bring the Longhorns to within 28-14.

In the fourth quarter, however, Truelove and the Pirates put this one away for good This time, Kameron Wright, finally feeling better after overcoming various ailments, caught a pass from Truelove and took it 34 yards to the end-zone Castleman caught it in full stride and never slowed down. Castleman’s touchdown made it 34-14, and Coach Chip Keel decided it was time to end any chance of a comeback by Tarkington. Keel elected to go for the two-point conversion. Jonathon Marshall took the handoff and powered his sway in to make it 36-14, Pirates.
Now the Pirate faithful could enjoy homecoming—and they did.

On this night, the Pirates played a complete game. They won the turnover battle because Tarkington fumbled twice and Shepherd was intercepted only one time. They won the yards on the ground by a total of 7 yards, 200-193. What separated them on this night, however, was Zach Truelove. Truelove was 13-22 for 232 yards and 3 TDs and added another on the ground. While he only ran three times, he made them count, rushing for 31 yards and a score.
“We played well as a team tonight,” defensive coordinator David Benbow said. “Everybody did their job against a tough offense to prepare for in 3 days. Lots of misdirection so it is tough to simulate in practice.”
Although the Pirates did not have a sack or interception, the defense was ready and got the job done on this night.

Kudos to Zach Truelove
When asked afterwards if he knew he would be starting, Zach answered, “I knew I was going to start all week.” Truelove said he prepared for this start by “by watching hours of film and just winning the day each day of practice.”
The film work on Truelove’s part paid off handsomely. When asked if he saw anything he did not expect Friday night, Truelove was fairly direct. “Everything we studied and planned on was what they did.” Truelove’s diligence paid off on this night.

Remember something here, if you would. Zach has become a consummate teammate. It cannot be easy to have that kind of talent and not start at quarterback, but that is just how good Royce See is. However, when his number was called, his preparation, not only this week, but leading up to this week, served him well. He may not have been the homecoming king—that honor went to Antonio Moye—but on this night, he made homecoming special for the Pirate faithful.

Next week, the Pirates pack their gear and hit the road for Madisonville in a district matchup. The following week, they will return home to face Diboll.

Pirates shut out Wildcats, 56-0

Kameron Wright (2) of Shepherd had plenty of room to run on the play, as one defender was left grasping thin air, and two more are laying helplessly on the ground.  Wright was very effective for the night, and so was the Shepherd offense, which put up 56 points on the board defeating Splendora, 56-0. (Mark Anderson Photo)Kameron Wright (2) of Shepherd had plenty of room to run on the play, as one defender was left grasping thin air, and two more are laying helplessly on the ground. Wright was very effective for the night, and so was the Shepherd offense, which put up 56 points on the board defeating Splendora, 56-0. (Mark Anderson Photo)

By Mark Anderson
San Jacinto News-Times
Sports Reporter

SHEPHERD—The Shepherd Pirates hosted the Splendora Wildcats on Friday night at the “Shipyard of Pain,” picking up where they left off in Splendora last season by shutting out the Wildcats by a final score of 56-0.

It could have been worse.

It was a mere 364 days ago that the two teams met on a rain-soaked field in Splendora last season, and the Pirates trounced the Wildcats by a final score of 61-16. For the last two years, the Pirates have scored a grand total of 117 points to the Wildcats 16. The Wildcats’ offense was caged on Friday night, as they could manage only a mere 80 yards total for the night.
On the offensive side of the ball, Shepherd may have also found a pair of breakaway backs for the night during the game. Kameron Wright announced his presence with authority, carrying the pigskin 11 times for 127 yards, including a 51-yard touchdown run. Wright also added 42 yards via the passing game to his total.

Tanar Castleman was also a major factor on the ground for the night, carrying the ball only 6 times, but picking up 79 yards, including a 38-yard run that revealed his toughness, as defender after the defense simply could not bring him down. He also added a touchdown from the 2-yard line later in the game.

The Pirates and Wildcats both came into the game with identical 2-0 records. However, the Pirates quickly established dominance in the first quarter. They took the opening kickoff, and moved quickly down the field. Zac Truelove’s touchdown pass to Kameron Wright was nullified by an offensive lineman wandering too far downfield. That opportunity would go by the boards, and Splendora took possession of the ball on the 20-yard line after a missed field goal.

Splendora’s offense went nowhere, and neither did the punt on fourth down, which garnered a grand total of two yards. Shepherd took possession at the 28-yard line, and Royce See took the snap, and suddenly, there was an opening down the left sideline. See took off and tumbled into the end zone as Emmett Champagne tried in desperation to bring him down. The extra point effort was no good, but the Pirates had a lead they would never relinquish this night, 6-0.

Splendora got the ball back in good field position, but on a third and forever, they punted the ball away. On the second play, from their own 49-yard line, Kameron Wright turned the corner and then turned on the jets. Despite several Wildcats having an angle on him - he could not be caught. He then raised his left hand as he crossed into the end zone. The two-point play made it 14-0, Pirates, with 7:37 left in the first quarter.

Shepherd was presented with another opportunity to score shortly after that. With the ball on the 20-yard line, Truelove hit Catarino Moreno with a short pass, and Moreno started for the cone at the goal line. At about the 3-yard line, he was met by the omni-present Emmett Champagne. Moreno and the Pirates won that battle of wills as Moreno dove into the end zone to make the score 21-0.

After the kickoff, the Wildcats took possession of the ball on the 30-yard line. Two running plays found tough sledding, so on the third play, Noah Dain went to the air—and was picked clean by Tanar Castleman, who had nothing but grass between him and the end zone. Just before crossing the goal-line, however, Castleman raised one finger in the air—and the yellow flag went flying. The touchdown was nullified, and the ball was moved to the 15-yard line.

Three plays later, the Pirates had moved the ball to the 5-yard line, and on first and goal, See took the snap, faked a handoff, went right, then reversed his field. He outran the Wildcats to the end zone for an apparent touchdown. However, there was another yellow flag on the field. A block in the back nullified the touchdown. A field goal attempt just missed and the Pirates walked away on that series without points.

The two sides exchanged possession, and when Shepherd got it again, they made it count. With half of the second quarter gone, the Pirates got the ball and marched down the field. On second down and eight yards to go, Truelove took the snap and rolled to his right. Once again, Emmett Champagne appeared on the scene, this time to try and sack Truelove. But Truelove let the pig fly about a step and a half before he could arrive, and on the other end, See leaped high above the defender and snagged the pass for a touchdown to make the score 28-0.

Amazingly, the Pirates were not finished.

After getting the ball back with time dwindling in the first half, the Pirates found themselves on the 25-yard line with 36 ticks of the clock left. Inexplicably, the Wildcats called timeout. The Pirates came back on the field quickly, and once the Wildcat defense had lined up, Royce See took the snap and lofted a pass right down the middle for a wide-open, uncovered Jonathon Marshall. Marshall snagged See’s pass and strolled into the end zone untouched to put the Pirates up 35-0 with 30 ticks of the clock left in the first half.

In the second half, the Pirates added three more touchdowns to seal the fate of the Wildcats. About halfway through the third quarter, the Pirates got the ball back and began to go deep in Pirate territory. The ball was moved back to the 15-yard line, making it first and goal from the 15-yard line. That’s when Truelove took the snap and started running for the goal line. Hoffart simply could not keep up with Truelove, and Truelove went into the end zone untouched to make it 42-0, with 4:24 in the third period.

In the fourth quarter, the Shepherd offense once again found themselves deep in Pirate territory. This time, it would be Castleman who would score with 10:28 left in the game to make it 49-0, Shepherd.

On the ensuing kickoff, Splendora lost possession when Evan Nichols fumbled, and Brandon Cheves recovered for the Pirates. Again, however, the Pirates were not able to cash in, and a field goal went awry to give the Wildcats the ball back at the 20-yard line.

The final touchdown for Shepherd came with 3:02 left in the fourth quarter. Three runs made it fourth and six. Deonte Skinner was given the ball, and Skinner made it 56-0 for the final score.

Next Friday night, the Pirates will be going to Huffman-Hargrave to take on the Falcons. Game time is will be 7:30pm.