By SCOTT TYLER

H-P Sports Editor



During the first six months of 2005, the Dogwood Circle experienced a pair of state champions as the Palestine golf team won a state title along with an Elkhart freshman sprinter.

During January through June, several area basketball, baseball and softball teams reached the UIL state playoffs and many of these teams had some good success, including Palestine’s baseball team winning its first ever playoff series.

Following is a day-by-day breakdown of some of the top sports stories in the area for the first six months of 2005.



January

4 — Palestine’s Adrian Peterson and the Oklahoma Sooners fall to the University of Southern California 55-19 in the Orange Bowl.

11 — The Palestine boys’ basketball team defeats Westwood 95-75 in the first basketball game of the season between the cross-town schools.

11 — The Palestine Ladycats use an early scoring run to defeat Westwood 58-45.

14 — The Westwood girls pull off a 55-51 upset over Hudson as the Lady Panthers make eight three pointers.

14 — Grapeland boys’ head basketball coach Clint Graef resigns midway through the season for “personal and health reasons”.

25 — The Palestine Wildcats escape Central with a 54-51 win after rallying from a deficit with three minutes left in the game.

25 — Palestine’s Jasmine Thompson scores 25 points and grabs 14 rebounds in the Ladycats’ 44-33 win over Central.

26 — Elkhart’s Chris Yonts is named to the Texas Sports Writers Association’s All-State Class 2A third team.

27 — Palestine linebacker Ronald Brown is named to the Texas Sports Writers Association’s All-State Class 3A first team while Fairfield’s Kyle Lightsey and Alfraid Manning are selected to the third team.

28 — The Palestine Wildcats hold Hudson to four points in the second quarter for a 51-48 win.

28 — The Westwood Panthers keep their playoffs hopes alive with a 86-69 win over Huntington.



February

4 — In an emotional game, a day after the death of Westwood student and JV basketball player Josh Frazier, the Westwood Panthers use eight three pointers to defeat Palestine 89-72.

4 — The Palestine Ladycats clinch a playoff spot with a 66-37 win over Westwood.

4 — The Elkhart Elks lock up second place in District 21-2A with a 87-78 win over Malakoff.

8 — The Palestine Wildcats secure a playoff berth despite falling to Diboll 89-72.

7 — A slow start is costly to the Palestine Ladycats, who fall to Jasper 43-41 in the Class 3A-Region III bi-district playoff game.

7 — The Fairfield Lady Eagles lose to Waco-Robinson 41-31 in the Class 3A-Region III bi-district playoffs.

15 — The Palestine Wildcats suffer a double loss against Crockett, losing the district finale 86-76 and then losing the coin flip for the second-place seeding in District 21-3A.

15 — The Slocum Lady Mustangs defeat Colmesneil 61-24 in the Class A, Division I bi-district playoff game as MaCall Salmon makes six three pointers and scores 23 points.

15 — The Frankston Indians secure the District 21-2A title with a 76-58 win over Elkhart.

17 — Slocum’s Katie Lawrence converts on a three-point play with seconds left in the Class A, Division I area playoff game, lifting the Lady Mustangs over Douglass 47-45.

18 — The Buffalo Lady Bison defeat New Waverly 66-39 in the Class 2A-Region III area round of the playoffs.

21 — The Palestine Wildcats’ late rally against Coldspring falls short in the Class 3A-Region III bi-district playoffs as the Wildcats end their season with a 88-83 loss.

21 — The Slocum Lady Mustangs rally to defeat Rivercrest 46-43 in the Class A, Division I regional quarterfinals.

22 — Elkhart’s Cornelius Dawson scores 32 points, including hitting five three pointers as the Elks defeat Teague 88-75 in the Class 2A-Region III bi-district playoff game.

22 — The Fairfield Eagles use a big second quarter to defeat China Springs 58-39 in the Class 3A-Region III bi-district playoffs.

22 — The Neches Tigers fall to Teneha 49-42 in the Class A bi-district round.

24 — The Elkhart Elks end their season against No. 1 and eventual state champion Kountze 105-61 in the Class 2A-Region III area playoffs.

25 — The Slocum Lady Mustangs struggle in the shooting department in a 44-29 loss to Muenster in the Class A, Division I semi-state semifinals.

25 — The Frankston Indians fall to East Chambers 54-44 in the Class 2A-Region III area playoffs.



March

10 — The Palestine boys’ track team wins the Westwood Relays title, finishing 55 points over the second-place team.

11 — Palestine’s Vallarie Birdow along with Westwood’s Kayla Smith and Rhegan Witt advance to the state powerlifting meet.

15 — Westwood’s Matt Paul holds Diboll to one hit in a 6-1 win.

16 —Four Palestine football players — Ronald Brown, Nigel Cooper, Fred Williams and Cameron Jones — sign letters-of-intent to play at Cisco Junior College.

18 — The Palestine boys’ track team wins the Dogwood Relays despite winning one event — the 1600-meter relay.

20 — Buffalo head football coach Gary Sutton resigns after one year with the Bison.

22 — The Palestine Wildcats defeat Rusk 13-7 for Palestine’s first district win and Rusk’s first district loss.

22 — Westwood stayed undefeated in district with a 6-4 win over Crockett as Matt Paul pitches the complete game.

22 — The Elkhart Lady Elks snap Alto’s 16-game win streak with a 3-2 10-inning win.

23 — Frankston’s Jonathan Hatton and Buffalo’s Jami Oliver are named to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches Class 2A All-State team.

24 — The Palestine Wildcats knock off another undefeated district team, this time Westwood, 11-4 as Cory Moore hits a two-run homer in a five-run first inning for Palestine.

24 — Slocum’s MaCall Salmon throws a no-hitter and scores the lone run in a 1-0 win over Palestine.

24 — Westwood’s Stefanie Snelson hits a two-run home run in the sixth inning, helping the Lady Panthers defeat Palestine 4-1.

24 — Elkhart’s Chris Cooksey throws a five-inning no-hitter in a 11-0 win over Malakoff.

29 — Cayuga’s Alicia Wallace throws a five-inning no hitter in a 11-0 win over Fruitvale.

30 — Westwood head volleyball and softball coach Stephanie Taylor resigns during the softball season “to pursue other professional opportunities”.



April

1 — Cayuga’s Chris Singleton throws a six-inning one hitter in a 11-1 win over Martins Mill.

2 — Palestine’s Michael Foley takes third place in the state powerlifting meet.

4 — The Palestine golf team opens the district tournament with a 42-stroke lead in the first round while the Palestine “B” team sits in second place.

5 — Palestine’s doubles team of Jessica Marino and Alexadria Boyd take first place in the district meet becoming the first tennis players from Palestine to reach the regional match in over a decade.

5 — Westwood’s Jennifer Grant qualifies for the regional tennis match after taking second place in the district meet.

7 — Westwood’s Matt Paul hits a three-run homer and pitches a complete game in a 4-2 win over Central snapping a Panther three-game losing streak.

8 — Palestine’s Chris Grissaffi hits a game-winning single in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Wildcats a 4-3 win over Central.

11 — The Palestine Wildcats win the District 21-3A golf title and Joseph Totah is the top individual medalist. The Palestine “B” team finishes second and also advances to the regional tournament.

11 — Westwood’s Elana Rodriguez wins the District 21-3A golf tournament by one stroke.

12 — The Westwood Panthers get a seventh-inning game-winning hit from Tyler Coates to defeat Huntington 5-4.

14 — The Palestine boys’ track team edges Westwood for first place in the District 21-3A track meet.

14 — The Westwood girls’ track team takes second place in the District 21-3A track meet.

15 — Palestine’s Poncho Castenada hits a game-tying single and scores the game-winning run in the sixth inning as the Wildcats defeat Rusk 3-2.

15 — The Cayuga Ladycats win the district title as Alicia Wallace throws a one-hitter to defeat Fruitvale.

15 — Elkhart’s Chris Cooksey throws his second no-hitter of the season in a 7-1 win over Alto.

22 — Palestine pulls even with Westwood in the district standings after the Wildcats defeat the Panthers 4-2.

22 — Buffalo Independent School District Board of Trustees names Mark Read the new Buffalo head football coach and Ron Shaw the new athletic director.

26 — Elkhart’s Kylie Lasiter qualifies for the state golf tournament after taking second place in the regional tournament.

27 — The Palestine golf team sits in first place in the regional golf tournament after shooting a 307 in the first round.

28 — The Palestine golfers head to the state tournament after winning the regional title.

28 — Westwood’s Elana Rodriguez finishes sixth in the regional golf tournament.

28 — Elkhart’s doubles team of Daniel Mendiola and Jeremaih Cline, along with Cayuga’s Emili Barbosa, qualify for the state tennis tournament.

29 — The Palestine Wildcats rally to defeat Huntington 7-5, clinching a playoff spot.

29 — Buffalo’s Josh Robinson takes second place in the Class 2A-Region III high jump event, qualifying for the state track meet.

30 — Elkhart’s Mary Dickerson qualifies for the state track meet in the 400-meter dash after winning the event at the Class 2A-Region III meet.

30 — Frankston’s Loren Brown qualifies for the state tournament in three events — the 200, 400 and long jump.



May

3 — Slocum’s MaCall Salmon throws a one-hitter in the Class A bi-district playoff game as the Lady Mustangs defeat Joaquin 7-0.

5 — Slocum’s MaCall Salmon signs a letter-of-intent to play softball at McLennan Community College.

5 — The Cayuga Ladycats defeat Dawson 3-1 in eight innings in the Class A bi-district playoffs.

6 — The Palestine Wildcats win their first ever baseball series, sweeping Kirbyville with wins of 12-6 and 5-2 in the Class 3A-Region III bi-district series.

9 — A pair of Elkhart football players sign letters-of-intent as Dramegon Powers signs with Washburn University and Joseph Wilkinson signs with East Texas Baptist University.

11 — The Elkhart doubles team of Daniel Mendiola and Jeremiah Cline reach the UIL state tennis semifinals.

11 — The Palestine Wildcats lose the opener of the Class 3A-Region III area playoff series, 6-0 to Bridge City.

12 — The Palestine golf team takes a five-stroke lead after the first round of the Class 3A state golf tournament.

12 — The Slocum Lady Mustangs fall to Rice 3-2 in the Class A-Region III quarterfinals.

13 — The Palestine golf team wins the Class 3A state golf title.

13 — The Palestine Wildcats’ season comes to an end after falling to Bridge City 13-0 in the second game of the Class 3A-Region III quarterfinal series.

13 — The Cayuga Ladycats fall to Douglass 2-1 in the first game of the Class A quarterfinal series.

14 — Elkhart freshman Mary Dickerson takes gold in the Class 2A state 400-meter dash.

14 — Buffalo’s Josh Robinson takes second place in the Class 2A high jump.

14 — The Cayuga Ladycats end their season after falling to Douglass 5-0 in the second game of the Class A quarterfinal series.

17 — Grapeland’s Joe Young steps down as the Sandies’ head football coach but remains the school’s athletic director.

20 — The Elkhart Elks lose the Class 2A-Region III quarterfinal series opener 2-0 to Woodville.

21 — The Elkhart Elks force a decisive third game in the Class 2A-Region III quarterfinal series with a 7-1 win, but Woodville wins the series with a 7-6 victory in the third game.

25 — The Oakwood Panthers hire James McAllister as their new head football coach, but McAllister resigns a week later.



June

13 — Kris Iske is named Grapeland’s new head football coach.

13 — Palestine’s Mark Gold, Elkhart’s Trey Farrow and Josh Paul and Grapeland’s Clay Boyd all are named to the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association’s All-State teams.

26 — The Palestine Poison take second place in the Texas Amateur Softball Association 18-and-under state tournament, qualifying the Anderson County team for the Western National Championships in Spokane, Wash.