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BASKETBALL

Kilgore boys open season today at Nac;

Lady Bulldogs in Grand Saline tournament

Kilgore High School’s boys basketball program will start the 2018-19 season today at Nacogdoches, a 5 p.m. freshmen game start, with junior varsity and varsity to follow.

After the departure of Jerry Timmons, coach Jeff Coleman – who led Kilgore to a regional final a few years ago – is back in the role of head coach of the Bulldogs. Coleman coached the Lady Bulldogs a year ago. He is assisted by T.J. Gillen-Hall and Karl Kilgore.

This game was originally scheduled to be played at Kilgore, but will be at Nac instead.

The Bulldogs will play at Marshall on Tuesday, also a 5 p.m. freshmen start with the other teams to follow, and will play their home opener next Friday, Nov. 23, against Elysian Fields.

With Coleman moving back to coaching the boys, Kilgore has a new coach: Shun McGill, who will lead the Lady Bulldogs this season.

The girls have already started their season, and are competing this weekend in the Grand Saline tournament – see an update on the Lady ‘Dogs in Wednesday’s edition.

They are set to play at home on Monday night at 5 p.m. against Palestine – that’s freshmen first – and then will visit Mount Pleasant Chapel Hill on Tuesday.

VOLLEYBALL

KHS, LC players named all-district

Kilgore High School volleyball players Skyler Day and Lauren Bryant were a part of superlative honors in the District 16-4A all-district team, as chosen by the coaches. And Leverett’s Chapel’s Jillian Shaw also earned a special honor.

Day, along with Gilmer’s Aaleya Morton, as named co-most valuable defensive player, and Bryant was named the district’s top server.

Also for Kilgore, Jada Abercrombie and Nicki Rawls were named first-team all-district; Miah Thomas and Rylie Mann were named all-district second team; and Shelby Page and Ashton Vallery were named honorable mentions.

Earning academic all-district honors for KHS is an impressive list: Abercrombie, Alexis Anderson, Bryant, Mackenzie Cavanaugh, Day, Mann, Dayton McElyea, Shelby Page, Haley Page, Rawls, Thomas, and Vallery.

KHS, coached by Lacy Coldiron, has made the playoffs in three of the last four seasons, and this year, Kilgore went in as the third seed, losing in Sulphur Springs to North Lamar.

Shaw was named newcomer of the year in District 19-2A volleyball’s all-district team. Yesenia Avalos of LC earned first-team all-district honors, and Michelle Jamaica was named second team. Avalos, Shaw, Jamaica and Katie Hughes were all named to the academic all-district team, and Lexi Haley and Britney Frazier were named all-district honorable mentions.

Overton also plays in that district. Haley McMillian of the Lady Mustangs was named first-team all-district, and teammate Jaylin Blakeney was named to the second team. Academic all-district players from Overton are Ryan Lee, McMillian, Blakeney, Sraah Garrett, Nautika Trotty, Mary Fenter, Jayla Herndon and Aubrey Henson.

Honorable mention all-district for Overton: Garrett, Lee, Fenter, Trotty, Herndon and Aubrey Henson.

FOOTBALL

Bowl game tickets on sale Monday

Tickets for the TIPS-CHAMPS Heart of Texas Bowl, in which Kilgore College will take on Pima (Ariz.) Community College, will go on sale on Monday at KC’s athletic office in the student support building. All tickets are $20.

The game is set for an 11:05 a.m. kickoff on Saturday, Dec. 1 at Waco ISD Stadium.

KC won the Southwest Junior College Football Conference’s regular season and playoff championships, and are 8-2 on the season.

The Rangers have won seven straight games, and are ranked fourth in the latest NJCAA poll.

Pima lost to Snow (Utah) in the Western States Football League championship game – Pima’s Aztecs had won six straight before that loss. Pima is ranked 20th.

KC and Pima met once before, in the inaugural Pilgrim’s Pride Bowl in Mount Pleasant back in 2004. Pima won that game, 10-7.

KC is the winningest junior college football program in Texas (504-295-14). The Rangers are regularly in the SWJCFC playoffs – eight times in the 12-year current tenure of coach J.J. Eckert.

But it’s been a while since KC won a bowl game. The Rangers are 11-10 in their history in bowl games, but the last win was the Heart of Texas Bowl in 2006, when the game was still played in Copperas Cove.

For more information on tickets, call (903) 988-7537 or (903) 988-7536, or see the bowl’s web site, heartoftexasbowl.com. The game also has a Facebook page.

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