Local Sports in Brief

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RUNNING

Local runs in Boston Marathon

Gary Cassity of Kilgore completed a long-time goal on Monday, running in the 2017 Boston Marathon.

Cassity, a native of Carthage (where he was a track and cross-country standout), was one of a handful of East Texans that competed in the field of about 30,000 for the marathon, the 121st running of the event.

Cassity, 48 years old, finished the marathon in 3 hours, 39 minutes and .02 seconds. The top men’s finisher in the event was Geoffrey Kirui of Kenya, who ran the race in 2 hours, nine minutes and 37 seconds, edging out Galen Rupp of the U.S. by 22 seconds. The all-time record for finish in the marathon was set by Geoffrey Mutai in 2011, in 2 hours, three minutes and 2 seconds.

Among the runners that Cassity had a better time than was former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL/ CFL star quarterback Doug Flutie, who clocked in at 4 hours, 50 minutes, 41 seconds.

Cassity had qualified last year in the Houston Marathon.

The very first Boston Marathon was ran in 1897. The course is 26 miles and 385 yards. 

TRACK & FIELD

Kilgore qualifiers in area meet Thursday

Track and field athletes from Kilgore High School who qualified for the area meet will compete at Spring Hill High School on Thursday.

Top-four finishers in district events at last week’s District 15-4A meet move on to area. For Kilgore’s boys track team, that includes Jonathan Shepherd in the 100 meter dash; Melek Hamilton in 200 meter dash; Trystan Dobbs in the 800 meter run; Josh Fletcher in the 300 meter hurdles; all three relay teams (400 meter, 800 meter and mile relay); Braden Grush in the discus; Deiontrae Wheat and Terrell Shelton in the triple jump; and Shelton in the high jump.

Kilgore girls area qualifiers are Irelyn Williams in the 100 meter dash; Jamaria Thomas in the 400 meter run and in the long jump; Symonne Brooks in the triple jump and both the 100 meter and 300 meter hurdles; all three relay teams; and Gracie Clower in the pole vault.

The goal this week is to do well again, and move on to regionals on April 28-29 at Texas A&M-Commerce.

KHS track is coached by Phillip Lane and Robert Cooley.

COLLEGE SOFTBALL

Rangers drop two to Tyler; Saturday

doubleheader a cancer fundraiser

Last Saturday’s home doubleheader against Region XIV Conference foe Tyler Junior College didn’t go well for Kilgore College whatsoever – the Rangers lost both games, 3-1, and 11-0.

The Rangers are down to their final two dates, both of them doubleheaders: today at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens (at 2 p.m. and at 4 p.m.), and Saturday at home against Bossier Parish, at 1 p.m. and at 3.

KC plays its home games at the brand-new Ballpark at KC Commons, located at the former site of Kilgore Heights on Houston Street.

At 28-20, the Rangers are about to qualify for the Region XIV tournament for the first time in the program’s five-year history. KC is currently third in the East Zone of the conference, with the four games left to play. Angelina College is in fourth, and Navarro in fifth (but by six games back). 

The tournament is played at Angelina in Lufkin, and starts May 6. Right now, Tyler would be the top seed.

Speaking of Tyler, the Apaches frustrated KC on Wednesday.

In the first game (3-1 TJC), KC actually had nine hits, but never led – TJC scored all three runs in the top of the fifth.

Jo Rivera was 3-for-3 for the Rangers with an RBI and also earned a walk. Also for KC, Taylor Christopher, Brianna Davis, Kaitlyn Stebelton, Shelby Edwards, Manda Wilmoth and Kilgore’s own Cailon Palmer each had a hit. Katy Worrell took the loss, allowing eight hits and three runs (none of them earned) over seven innings. She struck out five.

Game two was even more frustrating, as KC couldn’t get its offense going and only had two hits: one by Stebelton and another by Christopher.

Saturday’s opponent, Bossier, is in second place, and has won seven straight.

That doubleheader here on Saturday, the final regular season games of 2017, will serve as a StrikeOut Cancer fundraiser.

There will be a pregame ceremony honoring softball players’ family members and KC employees who have fought or are fighting cancer. KC seeks donors to pledge $50 for each strikeout that KC pitchers throw that day.

Other activities include a pink softball raffle (the balls will be autographed by the current Rangers), as well as special T-shirts on sale.

StrikeOut Cancer is an effort by the American Cancer Society and the National Fastpitch Coaches Association that began over a decade ago, and teams have raised tens of thousands of dollars to help fight the disease. The goal is not just financial support, but to raise awareness for breast cancer and support for cancer research.

Anyone who’d like to contribute is invited to call KC softball coach Leslie Messina at (903) 983-8648, or to e-mail her at lmessina@kilgore.edu .

OUTDOORS

KHS DU banquet is May 11

The third annual Kilgore High School Ducks Unlimited banquet is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 11 at Kilgore’s Bodacious Barbecue, located at I-20 and Highway 42 North.  Kristin Clark Pieper and Travis Orms are the faculty sponsors for the club, and Emalie Hanewald is the president.

“We had our first banquet in 2015,” Hanewald said. “We competed with clubs from other Texas high schools to see who could raise the most money for conservation, and we were the state champions that year and again in 2016.”

Advance tickets for the 2017 KHS-DU banquet will cost $45 for a single ticket, $70 for a couple’s ticket, and $25 for a child (under 17). Tickets are available from any KHS-DU member. Tickets purchased the night of the event will cost slightly more.

The DU event will feature several shotguns, rifles and pistols as part of a live auction, as well as hunting and fishing gear and home décor items in the live auction, a silent auction and a variety of raffles.

With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest wetland conservation organization. Its mission is to conserve, restore and manage wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl. Since its founding in 1937, DU has raised more than $2.5 billion, which has contributed to the conservation of almost 13 million acres of wetland habitat throughout the North American continent. 

For more information about Ducks Unlimited, visit the organization’s Web site at www.ducks.org. For information about DU activities in Texas, visit www.ducks.org/texas. For information about the banquet, contact the club’s mentor, Dereck Borders, at dborders@tenaska.com.

BENEFIT

Sabine to benefit young Sophie

Liberty City and the Sabine community is organizing a benefit for young Sophie Collins on May 6-7.

Sophie is a Sabine T-ball player who was in a serious car accident April 10 with her mother, Marion. Unfortunately, Marion didn't survive the accident, and Sophie has been in a Dallas hospital recovering 

All sorts of activities are planned for the fund-raiser: six-and-under T-ball and eight-and-under coach pitch tournaments, a plate lunch sale, T-shirt sales and a silent auction.

Everything will be on-site at the Sabine Youth Sports Complex in Liberty City.

The cost of entry for the tournaments will be $200 per team, and there will be admisison of $5 at the gate. Saturday games will begin May 6 at 8 a.m., and Sunday games will begin at 1 p.m. May 7.

There will be plate lunches served both days, starting Sautrday at 10:30 a.m. until the food is gone, and beginning Sunday at noon until the food is gone. Donations per plate, and the fare is pulled pork with fixings or fajita plates.

The silent auction will be both days, as well, and will close before the start of the final tournament games. The T-shirt sales will be all weekend, until the shirts are gone.

For more information or to sign up for the tournament, check out this website: sabineyouthsports.com.

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