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September 23, 2021

GRIDIRON GURUS: WEEK 5

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

With a full slate of games scheduled at all levels of high school college and professional football, THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick’ems panel will begin sizing up the high school district races across the Heart of Texas.

Throughout the rest of the 2021 football season, THE SPORTS BUZZ Gridiron Gurus pick’ems panel will test their luck picking a slate of high school football games across the Heart of Texas, a selection of Texas college football games, 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, Brett (29-9) finally had a good week, but the high school schedule was not kind to any one on the panel. In fact, Don (23-15) went 17-4 in college games, but took a beating in the high school games with a 5-10 record. With that said, Wade (25-13) and Toney (23-15) kept the entire panel respectable once again.

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.

AIMING FOR MORE

in Volleyball

Already surpassing last season, the Class 2A Meridian Lady Jackets notch District 11-2A volleyball win over Three Way in five-set thriller

After opening District 11-2A competition with back-to-back lopsided losses, the young and inexperienced Meridian Lady Jacket volleyball program showed some grit in posting only its second district win in more than 40 years.

Despite losing the opening set convincingly, the Lady Jackets battled back to prevail in a hard-fought and dramatic five-set victory over the Three Way Lady Indians, 13-25, 25-22, 18-25, 25-20, 15-7, last Saturday in Yellowjacket Gymnasium.

“The girls showed a tremendous amount of determination and mental endurance on Saturday,” Meridian volleyball’s first-year head coach Lauren Cartwright said. “After a five-set match, we were able to walk away with the win. Our team came together to make some smart plays and work around Three-Way’s defensive coverage.”

Last season, the Lady Jackets won their first district match in 41 years in a hard-fought and thrilling 25-23, 25-15, 20-25, 22-25, 15-13 victory over Three Way to advanced to the Class 2A postseason to take on top-ranked Crawford in a Bi-District playoff matchup.

Tuesday night, the Lady Jackets (1-3 in district, 4-12 overall) traveled to Hico and the Lady Tigers swept past Meridian, 25-17, 25-14. 25-8, as senior Mackenzie Lane led in kills, while senior America Ramirez set the pace in digs, blocks and serving.

“I was proud of the way we played in the first set,” Cartwright said. “The girls did a great job playing out every volley. We look forward to our match up with Tolar. They have an exemplary program and we are preparing accordingly.”

But just four games into the first round of district play in 2021, the Lady Jackets will be looking for more this season.

“We look forward to playing two powerhouse programs this week in Hico and Tolar,” Cartwright said.

After making their road trip to visit Hico Tuesday, the Lady Jackets return home to host Bluff Dale in a District 11-2A contest at 11 a.m. Saturday in Yellowjacket Gymnasium.

But for now, the Lady Jackets will still enjoy their first district win in 2021.

“The volleyball program motto this year is ‘We Before Me,’” Cartwright said. “Our student athletes did an exemplary job of living that out on Saturday.”

Although the Lady Jackets own a long history of playing volleyball, the program was initially dropped following the 1973-74 school year. Meridian reinstated volleyball for the 1978-79 school year, but promptly dropped it again the following season.

After a 41-year absence, MISD athletic director Wade Morton and MISD superintendent Kim Edwards locked in and decided to bring volleyball back in 2020. And certainly, Cartwright appears to have the Lady Jacket primed to take their game to the next level this season.

In the district opener, the perennial powerhouse Hamilton Lady Bulldogs swept past Meridian in straight sets, 25-8, 25-16, 25-8, before their home crowd. Then last Tuesday, the Evant Lady Elks knocked off the Lady Jackets in straight sets, 3-0.

“Our focus in district will be to play our very best, working on our goals and staying focused on the fundamentals,” Cartwright said. “The girls have already come a long way in preseason, and I look forward to seeing how we grow throughout our district schedule this season.”

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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