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September 09, 2021

GRIDIRON GURUS: WEEK 3

in Predictions

PUTTING IT ON THE LINE: Picking Heart of Texas high school football games, NCAA college football games in Texas, as well as the Cowboys & the Texans

After picking winners in the high school and college football ranks for the last two weeks, THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick’ems panel as the National Football League to their picks sheet this week.

Throughout the rest of the 2021 football season, THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick’ems panel will test their luck picking a slate of Class 3A, 2A and 1A high school football games across the Heart of Texas , a selection of Texas college football games fron NCAA Div. I, II and III, as well as matchups involving the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans.

Joining THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick’ems panel this season will be Toney Rogers, a local business owner in the Heart of Texas, while Don Nicholas, Field Representative for U.S. Congressman Roger Williams (TX-25), Meridian Yellowjacket football head coach Wade Morton and The Sports Buzz’ Brett Voss return from last year.

Last week, Wade killed his counterparts on the panel with an impressive 23-5 win-loss record, selecting three exclusive winners as Santo knocked off Valley Mills, Moody edged Hico, and Stephen F. Austin defeated Tarleton State. In just his second week on the panel, Toney (20-8) put together an outstanding pick sheet, while Brett (19-9) and Don (18-10) followed closely behind.

Rogers, owner of Armadillo Prints, NeTex Entertainment Agency as well as T-3 Business Consulting & Marketing, has served as an announcer for various high school to professional sporting events for several years, such as being the Voice of Crawford Lady Pirate Softball and announcing for UBU Bodybuilding Expos, while serving as Marketing Director for the Waco Tornado indoor football team and Marketing Director for North Texas Falcons Pro Football Team.

In addition to being involved in the entertainment industry for more than 40 years as a professional musician and a booking agent, Rogers has also been involved in several community organizations such as Clifton Park Board President, Legacy Park Board, Entertainment Director for Clifton’s Fallfest, CISD Advisory Board and a member of Lions Club of Bosque County.

Join us every Thursday throughout the 2021 football season as THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick their winners for a select group of the week’s high school games, your favorite college teams from the NCAA Div. I, Div. II and Div. III, as well as the state’s two NFL teams, the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans.

Be sure to make your picks as well!

©2021 Southern Cross Creative, LLP. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

THE TIME IS NOW

in Volleyball

With a playoff berth in their sights, Class 3A Clifton Lady Cubs open tough District 17-3A competition by hosting the West Lady Trojans Friday

CLIFTON — After losing two of their last three preseason matches due to Covid protocol cancellations last week, the Clifton Lady Cubs made the most of their one last tune-up Tuesday before opening play in the tough District 17-3A Friday.

With the cancellation of matches against Class 4A Waco Connally at home Aug. 31 as well as a road matchup against Class 4A Hillsboro last Friday, Clifton traveled to Covington for its final non-district match on Tuesday and came home with a convincing 25-9, 25-9, 25-15 straight set victory.

Now, the Lady Cubs (13-9) focus on opening District 17-3A competition at home against West (17-8) at 4:30 p.m. Friday in the Clifton High School Gymnasium.

“It was a good win, especially after not playing for a week,” Clifton volleyball head coach Paige Poth said. “Errors have been kept to a minimum, and it was a good way to finish pre season and be ready for Friday’s district play.”

Despite showing flashes of promise last season, District 17-3A proved to be too much to handle for a young Lady Cub squad with only one senior on the roster. This season, Clifton has 11 returning players and plans on taking the next step to the promise land. But the Lady Cubs will have to do so against the likes of Class 3A’s third-ranked Lorena (18-2), ninth-ranked Troy (13-3), West and Riesel, along with Whitney, McGregor and Waco Harmony Science Academy.

“We are a very competitive team,” Poth said. “Like any other team in the district, we are working hard to make it into the top four teams. Our expectation is to be one of those top four teams, and we are confident going into this district play together and meeting those expectations together.”

Throughout the 2020 season, the tough District 17-3A included two state-ranked teams, the Troy Lady Trojans (11-1 in district, 24-5 overall) and the Lorena Lady Leopards (11-1, 23-4). Clifton (3-9, 7-13) finished tied for fifth in district, just one spot out of advancing to the playoffs.

“We definitely played in a competitive district, but we held our own and fought each game,” Poth said. “I was proud of the way the girls fought and played last season. Looking at the progress, we finished a spot higher than the previous season and made huge steps in continuing to develop our program.

“We have 11 kids coming back this year ready to pick up where we left off.  I’m very excited to see where this new season takes us.”

Prior to the cancellations, the Lady Cubs played some high level competition at the San Marcos Ragin’ Rattler Tournament Aug. 26-28.

“We played up against some great teams from all classifications,” Clifton volleyball head coach Paige Poth said. “We made some big plays against those teams, and took away many lessons that will move over to the practice court.”

After opening the tournament by losing four straight matches to Class 4A Corpus Christi Calallen, 25-23, 25-20, Class 5A Pflugerville Hendrickson, 25-17, 25-14, Class 6A Austin Bowie, and Class 6A San Angelo Central, the Lady Cubs rebounded to win their last two matches against Class 5A Manor and Class 5A Bastrop Cedar Creek, 17-25, 25-23, 25-7, to take third place in the Copper Bracket.

“I think we did great things in the pre-season.” Poth said. “I feel confident going into district play on Friday knowing that the girls are going to do great things this season. We played tough opponents and took something away from every single game we played.

“The mindset going into this season was we are going to play some of the best teams around and each of those experiences is beneficial no matter the outcome. Each opponent they played was going to get us ready for our district play, and our mindset going in on Friday is ‘We’re in this together.'”

Photos by SIMONE WICHERS-VOSS

©2021 Southern Cross Creative, LLP. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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