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Panthers do well at home tournament; softball loses to Tioga

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The Saint Jo Panthers went 3-0 at their hosted tournament last week.
The Panthers had wins against Henrietta JV, Olney and Petrolia.
The win against Henrietta JV was a blowout win in three innings 15-1. Logan Brawner led the team with three RBIs while Payton Harris and Trevor Connor each drove in two runs. Matthew Butler-Everson struck out four batters while giving up one run.
The next game against Olney was much more competitive. The Panthers went up 4-1 after the first inning and that was the final score after five innings when the game ended.
Jace Johnson, Caleb Workman and Conner each drove in one run each. Collin Thomas pitched all five innings and struck out six while giving up one run.
The game on Saturday against Petrolia saw Saint Jo go up 5-0 after the first inning. After adding two more runs in the second inning, Petrolia scored three runs in the third inning. The Panthers added two runs in the same inning to make the score 9-3 as the game ended.
Harris led the team with three RBIs. Harris also started the game on the mound and gave up three runs. Brice Durham pitched the rest of the way and gave up no runs in 1.2 innings of work.

Softball
The Saint Jo Lady Panthers lost a tough game against Tioga on March 9.
Tigoa won 19-4 in three innings against the Lady Panthers.
The Lady Bulldogs did all of their damage in the first and third innings. Saint Jo was led by Reagan Wilson driving in one run. Krista Reeves, Elaina Everson, Taylor Patrick and Kayden Skidmore all scored one run each.
Reeves also started on the mound and pitched 2.1 innings while Kailyn Faber pitched the rest of the game.

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Nocona, Saint Jo finish in top 25 of Lone Star Cup

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On the Thursday the final Lone Star Cup standings were released for the 2023-2024 school year.
Montague County had two schools that finished among the top 25 in their classification.
Nocona finished tied for 13th place in 2A while Saint Jo was tied for 24th place in 1A.
It is the highest finish for Nocona ever since the Lone Star Cup started up in the late 1990s. While it is associated with and measures the overall success of a school’s athletic program, it also takes into account the school’s success in academic and other programs like band, one-act-play, robotics, etc.
Nocona scored points in volleyball, football, cheerleading, girls and boys basketball and baseball. Unfortunately, its state appearance in film did not count towards the total. It all added up to 41 points, which is the most in program history
For Saint Jo, the success of its volleyball, football, softball, baseball, girl’s and boy’s basketball teams led to 32 points.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the weekend edition of the Bowie News.

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UIL changes playoff format

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The University Interscholastic League announced on Tuesday changes for the upcoming school year when it comes to playoff formatting.
For 2A-5A schools, playoff formatting for volleyball, basketball, softball, baseball and soccer will now be split up into two divisions that will model itself like the 6A football playoffs. For 1A schools, this will only be applied for basketball. In all, there will be 12 state champions in those sports now.
This means there will be two playoff divisions within every classification. Districts will stay the same and not be affected. Four teams from every district will still make the playoffs, but now the two biggest schools of the four will play in the bracket with the other bigger schools while the two smaller schools will play in the other bracket.
This will not be like 1A-5A football, where divisions are hard cut by enrollment numbers and district alignments are set up with this in mind. Some districts that feature schools with low enrollment numbers within a classification will have to send two schools to compete in the big school bracket.
At lower levels, it might still set up a scenario where a team faces a school with twice the enrollment numbers. The thought process is it should happen less.
With fewer teams in the playoff bracket, certain parts of the playoffs like the area round and the regional tournament will not be featured as there will be less games to play on the way to the state tournament.
While the announcement was surprising to some, other coaches said they first heard about it at the basketball state tournament. UIL polled coaches, who were reportedly all for the change according to Nocona athletic director Blake Crutsinger.
For some schools, the changes will not mean much besides fewer games. Bowie is in that spot. With an enrollment number of 493, only Vernon and Iowa Park are the schools in its district that are bigger and would have to finish at the top two spots in the standings in order for Bowie teams to play in the smaller bracket.
For other schools, the change could be a big deal. Nocona’s enrollment of 234 is only 20 short of the 2A limit. The Indians will most likely play in the bigger bracket in every sport.
The Lady Indians basketball team finished as runners-up at state this year and will return four of their five starters. The teams that have beaten them the last two years, Martin’s Mill and Lipan along with several other 2A basketball powers have low enrollment numbers and would probably be in the smaller school bracket.
For 1A schools, the change is welcome but the fact volleyball was not included was sad to see for some coaches. From a numbers perspective, there are almost twice as many schools that offer basketball (213) than volleyball (123) in 1A.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the weekend edition of the Bowie News.

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4H Horse Club winners announced

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These girls were all around winners at the June 8 Montague County 4H Horse Club show. High Point buckle winners were Emersyn Denoon and Laney Dyer, reserve all around halter winners were Kenzi McEwen and Audrey DeMore.

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