Nocona boys open the season against Saint Jo with a win
The Nocona Indians opened their season against Saint Jo at home on Friday night.
The Indians pulled out a close win 53-46 against their 1A neighbor Panthers, a rare matchup between the two schools.
Nocona came into the game following its third fourth-place-finish in the district that resulted in a tough loss against state-ranked Peaster in the first round of the playoffs. The team returns only two starters, but several players with varsity experience that will be looked at to contribute in bigger ways this year.
Saint Jo is coming off a season where it finished third place in district and had a disappointing first round exit in the playoffs against Perrin-Whitt. Unlike the Indians, the Panthers return all but one player from last year’s team.
The thing these teams have in common is that both have new head coaches, Brody Wilson at Nocona and Ryan Bruce at Saint Jo.
The game started off fast, frantic and sloppy for both sides with neither wanting to give an inch. Combined with few fouls being called early on, every point felt it was earned with bruises.
Nocona opened with some full court pressing, but outside of a couple turnovers it did not drum up much chaos in Saint Jo’s offense though it did keep the game up-tempo.
The Panthers led 12-8 after the first quarter as both teams missed several chances around the rim, but the physical play and first game rustiness meant few went in.
The second quarter saw Saint Jo extend its lead up to 19-13 and led for most of the quarter. Brice Durham made two 3-pointers during the quarter, making three in the first half and scoring 10 points to lead the Panthers in scoring.
Nocona was outhustling Saint Jo on the glass, getting offensive rebounds from Conley Kleinhans that resulted in multiple extra looks, but still not much was going in.
Down 22-17 with two minutes before halftime, the Indians went on a 7-0 run to close the quarter and led 24-22 heading into the second half.
The second half saw Nocona start to knock down some perimeter shots. Michael Wetmore made three 3-pointers in the quarter, some off the dribble, to help the Indians extend their first real lead of the game to 40-32 heading into the fourth quarter.
Saint Jo tried to make up the difference, but the Indians started to stall on offense which eventually led to free throws. The Panthers were never too far behind, but could never get closer than six points.
With Kleinhans scoring seven of his team’s 13 points in the final period, Nocona was able to close out the win 53-46 to earn the first win of the season.
To read the full story, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.
Bowie baseball all-district list released
With Holliday falling to Brock last week, the 7-3A baseball all-district list has been released.
A lot of Bowie Jackrabbits were honored with the team finishing second in the district standings.
Among the superlatives, Edmond DeLeon was named co-pitcher of the year as the freshman proved to be the team’s best pitcher.
Bowie had five first team selections in district. Seniors Kynan DeMoss, Carson Sanders and Brody Armstrong were selected along with juniors Troy Kesey and Tucker Jones.
On the second team, Bowie had three players selected. Seniors Seth Hall and Connor Earp along with junior Cy Egenbacher were named to the list. An honorable mention selection was senior A.J. Whatley.
To see the team awards and more photos, pick up a copy of the weekend edition of the Bowie News.
Jackrabbits earn bronze at state
The Bowie boy’s golf team made some school history on Monday and Tuesday as the Jackrabbits finished third at the 3A state golf tournament to bring home a bronze medal.
Bowie made up a nine shot lead the original third place team, Orangefield, had after the first day to overtake the Bobcats and earn the program’s first team medal at state.
The Jackrabbits were coming into the tournament with some hope they could compete amongst the top. The first time the program made it to state as a team two years ago, Bowie had a slim shot at trying to break into medal contention. A rain delay did not help things and the Jackrabbits finished in a respectable sixth place.
Two players from that team who were freshman, Cy Egenbacher and Andrew Sandhoff, were looking to do better two years later.
The weather was perfect on day one at the Jimmy Clay Golf Course. Coach Matthew Miller said the course was described as having nine holes with narrow fairways that heavily punished wayward tee shots and then nine holes with more open space where players could look to be more aggressive.
The first day it seemed like every team at the front of the leaderboard had about the best round of golf they had shot all season. Almost every team except the Jackrabbits.
Bowie was sitting in fifth place with a 325 score, which was good but not the best the team had shot all season. Egenbacher and Zac Harris shot the lowest score for the Jackrabbits as both shot 78. Sandhoff shot around what he usually has with an 82 and Hunter Lea was the fourth player who shot 87. The fifth golfer Rayder Mann was only one shot more than Lea with an 88, though his score did not count towards the team total on day one.
While first place Callisburg would go on to set 3A state records for lowest score and the first of two Brock teams was up by 14 shots in second place, third place Orangefield was up only nine shots after its best round by far and the team was frontloaded with a player who would go on to win the individual gold. If his teammates could faulter a bit on day two, the door would be open.
Bowie was not the only team in position to try and make a play for third place. Fourth place Gunter was only two shots ahead of the Jackrabbits and the teams were paired together for the second day. Maypearl and Diboll also were in the mix only one and two shots behind Bowie in sixth and seventh place.
Miller tried to ease his player’s mind heading into the second day, putting little pressure on them to try and keep them loose.
“We talked Monday night and the message was, you have no pressure,” Miller said. “You have 18 holes left for the year. Go out and have fun, enjoy yourself. Go post a number and see what can happen.”
Of all of the teams in the top six, three posted a better score on day two with Bowie improving the most. The weather was not quite as good with the temperature reaching the 90s and with a breeze affecting balls more than the windless day before had.
Still, four of the five players posted equal or better scores for Bowie the second day. Egenbacher shot a 78 again to lead the team with the lowest score. His two day total of 156 put him in a tie for ninth place individually.
Sandhoff made a two shot improvement as he shot 80 for a total of 162, which was the second lowest two day total for Bowie and put him in a tie for 24th.
Lea made the biggest jump, improving by eight strokes from day one as he shot a 79, the second lowest score of the day for Bowie. His two-day total was 166.
Mann also made a big jump, improving by seven strokes from day one as his 81 score was counted towards the second day total of 318, which was a seven stroke improvement from day one.
Harris did not quite have as good a day as day one. After tying for the team’s lowest score on day one, his 85 score did not count towards the team total though his 163 two-day total was the third lowest on the team.
After improving by seven shots, as important was that other team’s had worse days. Playing partners Gunter were nine shots worse, eventual champions Callisburg were 17 shots worse and most importantly Orangefield was 16 shots worse.
Bowie passed the Bobcats to finish in third place, its 643 two-day total five shots better, to earn the bronze medal.
To read the full story, pick up a copy of the weekend edition of the Bowie News.
Lambert enters the hall of fame
Cody Lambert, a pioneering figure in rodeo, was inducted into the Bull Riding Hall of Fame during the 9th annual induction ceremony and reunion on May 20 in the Fort Worth Stockyards.
The Bowie cowboy was part of the class that includes Cody Snyder, Dickey Cox, Kenny Wilcox, Rickey Lindsey, Rick Chatman, John Gloor, R.C. Bales, Bernis Johnson, Ronnie Bowman and bull O18 Cowtown.
The Bull Riding Hall of Fame is located at Cowtown Coliseum in Fort Worth. Its goal is to honor all of the bull riding champions, as well as preserve the history of bull riding, housing inductee exhibits, accomplishments, photos, videos and personal effects. It has four categories: Bull riders, bull fighters, bulls and legends.
Lambert makes his home outside of Bowie with his wife, Leanne. They met on the circuit as she was a barrel racer and they married in May 1982. They welcome son Riley four years later.
He grew up in the rodeo with two grandfathers who competed, so it was no surprise when he fell in love with the sport. His father was a successful racehorse jockey winning the first All American Futurity and he went on to be a top trainer.
Lambert began bronc riding at the high school level, before attending Sul Ross University where he won the Men’s All Around at the 1982 National Collegiate Rodeo Association Finals. In a March 2021 interview in the North Texas Farm and Ranch, he recalls when he went professional the only two events that made sense were saddle bronc riding and bull riding.
He qualified to compete in the National Finals Rodeo in saddle bronc riding in 1981, 1990 and 1991. in bull riding he would make an appearance in the finals in 1985, 1986, 1988, 1989 and 1991-1993. He also became a Texas Circuit Finals Champion twice in saddle bronc, twice in bulls and three years as All Around.
“Looking back on it, I don’t know that bull riding was my best event. I think I worked a lot harder at the bull riding It was a different kind of challenge, so I think I put more into it,” Lambert told NTFR.
To read the full story, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.
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