2016: Year in Review

Sports ‑ January through June

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January:

The Bullard Panther varsity basketball team struggled to an 0-3 record at the Tyler Junior College Wagstaff Holiday Classic.

The Bullard Lady Panther varsity basketball team compiled a 1-3 record at the 58th annual Whataburger Basketball Tournament, held around the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

The Brook Hill Guard varsity basketball team took home a 2-1 record after competing in the Diamond bracket at the Tyler Junior College Wagstaff Holiday Classic.

The Brook Hill Guard varsity football team claimed a total of nine District accolades on the TAPPS 4-A Division II District 2 Accolades List, including senior wide receiver Seth Brasher, senior defensive back Jacob Dumesnil, senior wide receiver Ryan Cox, senior defensive lineman Bryant Robinson, junior defensive back Jacob Johnson, junior linebacker Jordan McGowen, senior offensive lineman Robinson, junior running back McGowen, and junior wide receiver Parker Galbraith.

The Bullard Panther powerlifting team began the season with a third place finish at the Lindale Invitational Powerlifting Meet, while the Bullard Lady Panther powerlifting team took home second place honors at the event.

Bullard Panther sophomore quarterback Cleet Bowman and Brook Hill Guard senior quarterback McCray Fletcher were honored at the annual American State Bank Player of the Year banquet. Fletcher was the Week 6 winner of the ASB Player of the Week award after his performance in the Guard’s 53-20 victory against the Dallas Shelton Chargers, while Bowman received the award in Week 10 after his performance in the Panthers’ 47-9 win over the Melissa Cardinals.

Bullard Lady Panther varsity basketball senior center Lexi Kirgan was recognized with the prestigious McDonald’s All-American nomination.

The Bullard High School student athletic trainers swept the competition away at the 13th annual East Texas Athletic Trainers Association Student Workshop, held at the University of Texas at Tyler. In the event’s Student Trainers’ Olympics, the BHS trainers took home first place, with senior Justin Smith taking home first place in the ankle wrapping contest, as well as the inaugural East Texas Athletic Trainers Association/CSM Canvas Recognized Student Trainer of the Year award.

February:

Bullard Panther varsity golfer Jaxson Bellar finished in first place at the Longview Spring Hill Invitational Golf Tournament at Wood Hollow Country Club, helping his team to a third place team finish at the event.

The Brook Hill Guard’s middle school soccer team wrapped up their season after defeating Bishop T.K. Gorman for the TAP-SAC Middle School Soccer District Championship.

The Brook Hill Guard seventh grade basketball tea, finished the 2015-2016 season with a perfect 18-0 record, claiming the TAP-SAC Tournament Championship.

The Universal Interscholastic League announced its biennial reclassification and realignment, moving the Bullard Panther varsity football team from Class 4A Region II Division II’s District 5 to Class 4A Region II Division I’s District 9 until 2018 with the Carthage Bulldogs, Center Roughriders, Henderson Lions, Kilgore Bulldogs, Palestine Wildcats, and Tyler Chapel Hill Bulldogs.

The Bullard Panther varsity football team received four recognitions, while the Brook Hill Guard varsity football received two recognitions, on the ETSN.fm 2015 East Texas Super Team lists.

The Brook Hill Guard and Lady Guard varsity basketball teams honored a total of 11 senior players during the annual Senior Night ceremony. Guard seniors honored included guard Colton Adams, forward Ryan Cox, forward Mason Cudd, guard McCray Fletcher, and post Bryant Robinson. Lady Guard seniors recognized included Lexi Crenshaw, Myles Inglish, Charlie Niles, Jordon Philips, and Emily Webb.

Brook Hill swimmer Bailey Bickerstaff competed at the TAPPS Regional Swim Meet, placing second in the 100-meter backstroke and third in the 100-meter butterfly, swimming her way to compete in the TAPPS State Swim Meet.

After claiming a thrilling victory over the Gilmer Lady Buckeyes, the Bullard Lady Panther varsity basketball team was named the Co-District Champions and claimed the district’s top seed heading into the playoffs.

The Brook Hill Guard varsity basketball team finished in third place after the TAPPS District Tournament, advancing to the playoffs.

The Brook Hill Lady Guard varsity basketball team advanced to the TAPPS playoffs after achieving a 2-1 record at the TAPPS District Tournament.

The Bullard Lady Panther varsity basketball team honored the contributions and efforts of senior Hailey Chamberlain, Kristen Chamberlain, Tracey Johnson, and Lexi Kirgan at the annual Senior Night ceremony.

The Bullard Lady Panther powerlifting team claimed first place, while the Panther powerlifting team finished in third place at the Chapel Hill Invitational Meet.

The Brook Hill Guard varsity golf team placed second as a team at the Tyler Robert E. Lee Invitational Golf Tournament. BH golfer Brooks Garner led the charge for the Guard golf team, finishing as the third place individual.

The Bullard Lady Panther varsity softball team began the 2016 season by going undefeated, claiming first place at the Brownsboro Brenda Epperson Tournament.

Brook Hill football defensive end Bryant Robinson signed to play football for the Midwestern State University Mustangs, while kicker Caleb Chadwell signed to play for the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders during a signing ceremony inside Brook Hill’s Kyle Lake Athletic Center.

The Brook Hill Guard varsity basketball team used a strong second half to claim a first-round playoff victory against the Midland Christian Mustangs.

The Brook Hill Lady Guard varsity basketball team finished the 2016 season with a first-round playoff loss to the Austin Regents Lady Knights.

The Bullard Lady Panther varsity basketball team was named the Bi-District and Area Champions after defeating the Atlanta Lady Rabbits and Emory Rains Lady Cats, respectively.

The Bullard Panther varsity basketball team’s 2016 season came to an end with a loss to the Gilmer Buckeyes.

The Bullard Panther and Lady Panther varsity golf teams both took home first place finishes at the Eustace Invitational Golf Tournament.

Bullard High School freshman Jensen Smith, a member of the Panther Golf program, placed second at the North Texas PGA event at Van Zandt Country Club.

The Bullard Lady Panther powerlifting team was able to protect their home, finishing in first place at the Bullard Panther Invitational Powerlifting Meet. The Bullard Panthers also competed well at the event, finishing in third place.

March:

The Bullard Panther and Lady Panther varsity golf teams competed at the Eustace Invitational Golf Tournament at Pinnacle Golf Club in Mabank, with both teams finishing the event in first place.

The Bullard Lady Panther varsity basketball team claimed the Regional qualifier recognition after defeating the Canton Lady Eagles. The team was knocked out of the Regional Semifinals at Texas A&M University – Commerce after falling short against the Dallas Lincoln Lady Tigers.

The Brook Hill Guard varsity basketball team’s season ended after the team claimed a second-round playoff victory over the Austin St. Dominic Savio Eagles in overtime, but was defeated by the Fort Worth Southwest Christian Eagles.

The Bullard Lady Panther powerlifting team sent a total of six athletes to the Regional Powerlifting Meet, including Kaylee Barnum, Kelsey Green, Alexis Hathaway, Kennedy Key, Annabelle Price, and Katie Waters. The Bullard Panther powerlifting team also had a number of athletes qualify for the Regional Powerlifting Meet, including Kyle Alexander, John Campbell, Austin Davis, Mitchell Graham, Derek Landrum, Will McCowin, JW McFarland, Hunter Phelps, and Toby Thatcher.

The Bullard Panther varsity basketball team honored a total of three seniors during the Senior Night ceremony, including Andrew Coyne, Marquis Allen, and Brent Helm.

Brook Hill Athletic Director Wally Dawkins announced the school’s hiring of Scott Ryle, former head coach of the North Cobb Christian High School (Kennesaw, Ga.) head coach and Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom veteran, as the school’s fifth head coach of the Brook Hill Guard football program, succeeding former head coach Bobby Brasher.

The Bullard Panther varsity baseball team achieved a perfect 5-0 record to claim the championship at the Franklin RBI Invitational Tournament, defeating the host team Franklin in the championship matchup.

Bullard Panther powerlifters Will McCowin, JW McFarland, Hunter Phelps, and Toby Thatcher qualified to represent the team at the State Powerlifting Meet, while Lady Panther powerlifters Kelsey Green and Kennedy Key also qualified for the State meet.

The Brook Hill Guard and Lady Guard golf teams putted their way to a first and third place finish, respectively, at the Quitman Invitational Golf Tournament, held at The Links and Land’s End in Yantis.

Bullard Panther athletes Jake Allen, Mikah Hughes, and Ty Miller signed letters of intent to take their athletic abilities to the next level. Allen signed to participate on the Stephen F. Austin State University track and field team, while Hughes signed to play football with the Harvard Crimson and Miller signed to play baseball for Panola College.

Bullard Lady Panther powerlifter Kelsey Green finished ninth at the State Powerlifting Meet. Also competing at the State Powerlifting Meet for the Lady Panthers was Kennedy Key.

Brook Hill Guard varsity basketball players Colton Adams Ryan Cox, McCray Fletcher, Parker Galbraith, and Alec Kitt were named on the TAPPS 4A District 2 District Accolades list.

Bullard Lady Panther varsity basketball players Lexi Kirgan and Hannah Lloyd were recognized on the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches’ All-Region Accolades list.

The Bullard Panther and Lady Panther golf teams finished first and second, respectively, at the District Golf Tournament, allowing both teams to advance to the Regional Golf Tournament. Panther golfer Jake Searcy was named the District Champion after shooting a tournament-low 145, while Lady Panther golfer Emma French finished third with a score of 183.

April:

The 2015 Bullard 12U Dixie Ponytail All-Stars softball team was honored during the Opening Day ceremonies for the Bullard Baseball and Softball Association. The team competed in the World Series of Dixie Softball in North Carolina in 2015, finishing with a record of 2-2 and winning the tournament’s Sportsmanship trophy.

Bullard Panther Powerlifter Hunter Phelps claimed a “triple-crown” in the sport, claiming his third consecutive State championship in the 220-pound weight class.

Bullard High School athletes Brandon Mullican, Ashleigh Gillard, and Ty Miller, as well as cheerleaders Kinsie Carnes and Kelsey Green were selected to compete in 2016 FCA Heart of a Champion All-Star events. Brook Hill athletes Seth Brasher, Taylor Schultz, Morgan Moss, and Madison Parker, along with coaches Bobby Brasher and Anthony Springer were also selected, as well.

Brook Hill Guard baseball pitcher Ryan Cox pitched a no-hitter while striking out five batters in the team’s 14-0 win against the Carrollton Prince of Peace Eagles.

The Brook Hill Lady Guard middle school softball team defeated the All Saints Lady Trojans to claim the TAP-SAC Championship.

Former Bullard Panther pitcher and current New York Yankees relief pitcher Nick Rumbelow’s season ended less than a week after the 2016 Opening Day, as he was scheduled to have Tommy John surgery on his right arm.

Bullard Lady Panther senior center Lexi Kirgan was presented with the Most Valuable Player award after participating in the 13th annual Azaela Orthopedics All-Star Basketball Game at Tyler Junior College.

Several members of the Bullard Panther and Lady Panther varsity track and field teams claimed top finishes at the District 16-4A Track and Field Meet, advancing to the Area Track Meet.

Despite tough competition Bullard Panther and Lady Panther golf teams at the Regional Golf Tournament, Panther golfer Jaxson Beller finished the event as a Regional medalist and qualified for the State Golf Tournament.

The Brook Hill Guard and Lady Guard golf teams took home first and third place finsies, respectively, at the TAPPS District Golf Tournament, qualifying both teams for the Regional Golf Tournament.

With a victory over the Kilgore Lady Bulldogs, the Bullard Lady Panther varsity softball team claimed an undefeated record in district play and were named the District Champions. Senior pitcher Morgan Clark was key for the team in their accomplishment, pitching a perfect game in the team’s 10-0 victory over Kilgore.

The Brook Hill Guard varsity softball team honored senior players Lexi Crenshaw, Myles Inglish, Morgan Moss, Maddie Parker, and Taylor Schultz at the annual Senior Night ceremony.

Several athletes on the Brook Hill Guard and Lady Guard varsity track and field teams performed well at the TAPPS District 2-4A Track Meet, qualifying to advance to the TAPPS Regional Track Meet.

After claiming a third place finish at the TAPPS Regional Golf Tournament at Fire Wheel Country Club in Garland, the Brook Hill Guard varsity golf team qualified to participate in the TAPPS State Golf Tournament.

The Bullard Panther and Lady Panther varsity track and field team finished strong at the Area Track and Field Meet, sending a number of athletes to compete in the Regional Track and Field Meet.

May:

After rallying in game three of a three-game series, the Bullard Lady Panther varsity softball team claimed the Bi-District Championship against the Pittsburg Lady Pirates.

Bullard Lady Panther varsity basketball senior center Lexi Kirgan was named as the Tyler Morning Telegraph/ETFinalScore.com All-East Texas Girls Basketball Team’s Player of the Year.

The Brook Hill Guard varsity baseball team claimed a share of the District Championship title, along with the Frisco Legacy Eagles and Tyler All Saints Trojans, after taking two victories against the Tyler Bishop T.K. Gorman Crusaders.

The Brook Hill Guard varsity baseball team honored a total of seven senior players, including Seth Brasher, Cole Cannon, Parker Clark, Ryan Cox, McCray Fletcher, Chase Moore, and Mason Smith, at the annual Senior Night ceremony.

The Brook Hill Lady Guard varsity softball team was named the Co-District Champions after claiming the victory against district opponent Dallas Christian.

The Bullard Lady Panther varsity softball team paid respect to the contributions of five senior players at the annual Senior Night ceremony. Seniors honored at the event included Katie Bell, Morgan Clark, Ashleigh Gillard, Baylee Taylor, and Sarah Wakefield.

Bullard Panther varsity golfer Jaxson Bellar finished tied for 19th place at the UIL State Golf Tournament at Onion Creek Club in Austin.

The Bullard Panther varsity baseball team finished the regular season with a perfect record in district play, allowing the team to clinch the District Championship.

Bullard Panther varsity track and field thrower Jake Allen finished in first in the shot put (59-3) and the discus (178-7) events at the UIL Region II 4-A Track and Field Meet, allowing him to advance in both events to the state track and field meet.

The Brook Hill Lady Guard softball team swung heavy bats to collect victories against Houston Cypress and Midland Christian to claim the Regional and Area Championships, respectively, and advance to the State tournament.

The Brook Hill Guard varsity baseball team took the third seed in the district and claimed the victory over the Fort Worth Christian Cardinals to become the Area Champions.

The Bullard Lady Panther varsity softball team battled to claim two wins in the best-of-three series against the Brownsboro Lady Bears, allowing the team to claim the Area Championship.

The Bullard Panther varsity baseball team had its season ended after the team suffered two losses in a best-of-three game series against the Pittsburg Pirates in the first round of the playoffs.

Bullard Panther and Lady Panther athletes were recognized for their achievements on the fields of play at the annual Bullard High School Athletic Banquet.

The Brook Hill Guard baseball team overpowered the competition, outslugging the Fort Worth Southwest Christian Eagles in the Regional round of the TAPPS Baseball Playoffs, advancing to the State tournament.

Bullard Panther varsity track and field thrower Jake Allen was named the Class 4-A Region II State Champion in the discus competition, throwing a distance of 177-0. Allen also claimed the silver after placing second in the shot put competition with a throw of 58-1.

Patrick Carr, a pitcher for the Regulators, part of the Bullard Baseball and Softball Association, pitched a no-hitter in the team’s 4-1 victory over the Bandits.

Bullard Lady Panther varsity basketball senior center Lexi Kirgan represented the team at the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches’ All-Star Game, held at the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio.

The Bullard Panther varsity baseball team honored a total of three seniors, including Jody Alexander, Ty Miller, and Nick Provencher, at the annual Senior Night ceremony.

The Bullard Lady Panther varsity softball team’s season came to an end after the team dropped two games in a best-of-three game series against the Texarkana Pleasant Grove Lady Hawks.

The Brook Hill Lady Guard varsity softball team ended its season after coming up short in a one-game State Semifinal contest against the Dallas Christian Lady Chargers.

Bullard Lady Panther varsity softball outfielder Baylee Taylor and head student trainer Justin Smith signed commitment letters, taking their talents to Hill College in Hillsboro and Tyler Junior College, respectively.

Brook Hill athletes Bailey Bickerstaff and Brooks Garner signed letters to take their abilities to the next level. Bickerstaff signed to swim at Hillsdale College in Hillsdale, Mich., while Garner signed to play golf for McMurry University in Abilene.

Team Juniors dethroned Team Seniors in the annual Bullard High School Powderpuff Football Classic, 22-6.

Candise Wise, an assistant coach for the Brook Hill Lady Guard varsity volleyball team for three years, was announced as the team’s new head coach.

Bullard Panther varsity baseball players Jody Alexander, Cleet Bowman, Josh Chewning, Nic Costas, Cody Rowan, Peyton Miller, and Ty Miller were recognized for their abilities on the field on the District 16-4A postseason accolades list. The Panther baseball coaching staff was also recognized as the district’s Coaching Staff of the Year.

A total of eight members of the Bullard Lady Panther varsity softball team received District 16-4A postseason honors list, including Morgan Clark, Destinee Dixon, Ashleigh Gillard, Aspyn Grossman, Zoe Hancock, Ashlyn Seaton, and Baylee Taylor.

June:

The Brook Hill Guard varsity baseball team’s season fell short as the team dropped a one-game State Semifinal contest against the Midland Christian Mustangs.

Bullard Lady Panther varsity softball senior outfielder Baylee Tayler was recognized by the Northeast Texas Fellowship of Christian Athletes organization, as she was selected to the organization’s All-Star Softball game roster.

Brook Hill Guard varsity baseball senior pitcher Mason Smith made his college commitment official, signing to play for the University of Texas at Tyler Patriots.

The Brook Hill School’s athletic department recognized the talents, abilities, and achievements of its athletic teams and team members at the annual Brook Hill Athletic Gala.

Brook Hill alumnus and Texas A&M baseball senior outfielder JB Moss collected a Southeastern Conference-record five runs batted in while going an impressive 3-5 at the plate, including two doubles, helping the Aggies to defeat the Florida Gators for the SEC Championship.

Bullard Panther basketball assistant coach Monta Jeffley was promoted to fill the head coaching vacancy after being approved for the position by the Bullard ISD Board of Trustees.

Flint native Mackenzie Brown was named to the Team USA Olympic Women’s Archery Team after competing in the Olympic trials in Florida.

JB Moss, a Brook Hill graduate and senior outfielder for the Texas A&M Aggies baseball team, was selected as the 199th pick (seventh round) by the Atlanta Braves in the 2016 Major League Baseball Draft. Moss rejoined fellow Brook hill graduate and teammate AJ Minter, who was selected as the 75th overall pick (second round) by the Braves in the 2015 MLB Draft.

Bullard Panther track and field senior thrower Jake Allen was recognized as the 2016 Tyler Morning Telegraph/ETFinalScore.com All-East Texas Track and Field Boys Performer of the Year.

Out of a total of 44 competitors, the team of Sean Crisp, Wayne McIntyre, Tim Henry, and Jay Miller were crowned as the champions of the fourth annual Bullard Area Chamber of Commerce golf tournament at Eagle’s Bluff. The event netted a total of $5,000, up 25 percent from the previous year’s event.

Bullard resident Sam Smith was named the winner of the Eagle’s Bluff Men’s Golf Association’s Championship with a tournament-low score of 75.

See the Wednesday, Jan. 4 issue of the Bullard Banner News for the second part of the annual Year in Review, covering sports stories from July to December 2016.

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