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We’ve seen the Kilgore baseball team make its playoff run, all the way to the state tournament. Now it’s time to see how the Kilgore Boys Baseball Association all-star teams can do.

Many of the KBBA all-star teams will begin their tournaments this weekend – only two of the three oldest groups get another weekend before starting.

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TOPEKA, Kan. – How ‘bout them Capco boys!

In one of the most dominating team performances in NHRA Top Fuel drag racing history, Steve Torrence beat his dad Billy in a final round duel between the No. 1 and No. 2 qualifiers Sunday and won the 31st annual Menard’s Heartland Nationals at Heartland Motorsports Park.

TENNIS

KHS tennis camps begin June 24, July 22

Kilgore High School is hosting a pair of tennis camps this break.

The regular summer tennis camp will be June 24-27, for third through fifth graders, and for sixth through 12th graders (in the upcoming 2019 school year). Third through fifth grade campers will attend each day from 8:30 a.m. until 10 a.m., at the cost of $50 per camper.

In the last few days, so many awards and honors have rolled in for members of the Kilgore High School baseball team, they’re having to beat them off with a stick.

Or maybe a bat.

Kilgore High School was represented by a pair of teams in state competition this week: the baseball team did compete in Austin, obviously, and the Kilgore High School’s FFA shooting team was in the thick of the battle in the San Antonio area.

TOPEKA, Kan. – For a track that played such a pivotal role in his drive to the NHRA’s Top Alcohol Dragster championship back in 2005, Heartland Park has been less than kind to Steve Torrence since he turned pro and began rewriting the Mello Yello record book in his Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster.

AUSTIN – The magical ride of the 2019 Kilgore High School baseball team finally ended on Wednesday, but in the state’s semifinals.

Kilgore lost to Sweeny, 5-1, in the University Interscholastic League’s Class 4A semifinals, played at UFCU Disch-Falk Field on the campus of the University of Texas in Austin.

CHICAGO – Surging Steve Torrence won for the 10th time in the last 15 Mello Yello tour events Sunday, driving his Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster past No. 1 qualifier Mike Salinas in the final round to win the NHRA Route 66 Nationals for the second time in three years.

FOOTBALL

KC camp next week

Kilgore College’s annual football skills camp will begin Monday, June 10 and run through Friday, June 14, at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium, here in Kilgore, on Harris Street.

The Kilgore Bulldogs are hours away from their first state tournament game in 47 years.

Kilgore (32-7 on the season) will take on Sweeny (30-9) today at 1 p.m. in the University Interscholastic League’s Class 4A state baseball tournament. The game will be played at UFCU Disch-Falk Field at the University of Texas in Austin.

There are four programs in the UIL’s Class 4A state baseball tournament next week – and Kilgore High School will be one of them. Kilgore’s baseball program, guided by coach Eugene Lafitte, won the Class 4A Region II championship on Thursday night at Dallas Baptist University.  The Diamond ‘Dogs will represent the region in the University Interscholastic League’s Class 4A state tournament next week at UFCU Disch-Falk Field at the University of Texas in Austin.

Kilgore qualified for the University Interscholastic League's Class 4A state baseball tournament back on Thursday night, then had to play the waiting game to see who they'd face in the 4A semifinals next Wednesday in Austin.

It's Sweeny.

The most fun columns to read are normally the ones where we talk about how exciting it was for Kilgore to beat “X,” and the way the Bulldogs – in whatever sport – came from behind, or had to hold on, for a hard-fought victory and earn a big win, whether it’s a football playoff, an area track meet or a baseball best-of-three.

FOOTBALL
Rangers camp June 10-14 at R.E. St. John
Kilgore College’s annual football skills camp will begin Monday, June 10 and run through Friday, June 14, at R.E. St. John Memorial Stadium, here in Kilgore, on Harris Street.

CHICAGO – So far this season, Mello Yello drag racing Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence has roped calves with world champion cowboy Tuf Cooper, worked the takeout window at an Arby’s restaurant in Georgia, blocked hats at The American Hat Company in his native Texas and put together a program with the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation through which first responders got free tickets to the AAA Texas Fall Nationals this October.

Kilgore High School baseball is in the final eight in the state in the UIL Class 4A playoffs, and got even more good news this week.

First Tee, a youth development program involving golf that instills life values in children and teens, will begin a six-week instruction period out at Tempest Golf Club, just off Highway 135, outside of Liberty City.

Former Kilgore College Ranger and current Philadelphia Eagles football star Lane Johnson has given a $500,000 gift to the college to construct “The Lane” Athletic Performance Center.

BASEBALL

Bulldog summer camp set for Monday, Tuesday

The Kilgore High School baseball team is in the midst of a playoff run, but their annual camp for boys in second through ninth grades in the 2019-20 school year is next Monday and Tuesday, May 27-28, at Driller Park, from 8:30 a.m. until noon.

TYLER – In the first of two games Thursday night here at Mike Carter Field against Melissa, the Kilgore High School Bulldogs seemed to have little go right.

In the second, the Diamond ‘Dogs had little to go wrong.

In 2018, Houston-area defensive tackle Dominic Livingston was a top get for the LSU Tigers football program.

In 2019, Livingston is a top get for Kilgore College football and for coach Willie Gooden.

Athletes from all Sabine High School sports, plus a few other special folks, were honored at the school’s annual all-sports banquet last Thursday night at the auditorium.

RICHMOND, Va. – Steady Steve Torrence repeated as Top Fuel champion at the NHRA Virginia Nationals Sunday and, in so doing, became just the ninth driver in history to win as many as 30 tour events in drag racing’s premier division.

Some very familiar faces – and some not seen in Kilgore for some time – are going to be inducted in Kilgore College’s athletics Hall of Fame this fall.

BASEBALL

Bulldog summer camp on Monday, Tuesday

The Kilgore High School baseball team is in the midst of a playoff run, but their annual camp for boys in second through ninth grades in the 2019-20 school year is next Monday and Tuesday, May 27-28, at Driller Park, from 8:30 a.m. until noon.

RICHMOND, Va. – Steve Torrence sends his Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster after its third straight tour victory this week when he defends his title in the 12th NHRA Virginia Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park.

VOLLEYBALL

Co-ed fundraiser tourney June 1

There will be a co-ed volleyball tournament, open to the community, on Saturday, June 1, at Meadowbrook Park, the park across Houston Street from Meadowbrook Golf and Event Center.

Four times in the last seven years, the Kilgore High School tennis program has sent a boys doubles team to the University Interscholastic League’s state tournament, played at Texas A&M University in College Station.

Kilgore High School’s Cameron Jackson medaled in what will go down as one of the most storied sessions of 100 meter dash contests in the history of the University Interscholastic League’s State Track & Field Championships.

TENNIS

Jack Tyra, Kalen Ray at state tourneament Thursday

Jack Tyra and Kalen Ray from Kilgore High School will compete tomorrow morning in the University Interscholastic League’s Class 4A state tennis tournament. The UIL’s state tennis tournament for all six classifications is at the George P. Mitchell Tennis Center and Omar Smith Intramural Tennis Center on the campus of Texas A&M University at College Station.

The Region XIV Conference softball tournament at Angelina College in Lufkin, in which Kilgore College is a participant, has been postponed until Sunday in lieu of more anticipated rain and bad weather.

It’s not as large a contingent as in recent years past, but three Kilgore-area track and field athletes will make the trek to Austin this weekend to compete on their sport’s biggest stage in the state of Texas.

With 52 wins in the last three seasons, counting the current one, you might hope someone involved with the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association’s voting process might recognize Kilgore High School.

That has happened this week. And so did another win.

After what seemed to be an endless series of lightning delays, Kilgore led Midlothian Hertiage 2-0 with about 18 minutes left to play in the University Interscholastic League’s Class 4A Region II championship – 18 minutes and 34 seconds from a fourth trip to the state tournament since 2011.

But 18 mostly agonizing minutes later, shockingly – in a bad way – it was over.