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Saint Jo Panthers fall to Gordon in the bi-district

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Saint Jo’s Devin Stewart takes a snap from center Cason Ruiz as the Panthers look to run a play against Gordon. (Photo by Jennifer Gaston)

The Saint Jo Panthers lost to undefeated, state-ranked Gordon on Thursday night to end their season in the bi-district round of the playoffs.
The Longhorns won 64-14, winning by mercy-rule in a game that looks on paper like a repeat of last year’s playoff loss against the same program.
Still, there were positives to take away from the game despite the final score.
Saint Jo came in as big underdogs against undefeated Gordon.
The Panthers knew the matchup was a big possibility if they did not win the district title which is why Coach Mark Stevens placed such on emphasis on their district game against eventual district champion Union Hill.
Still, Saint Jo was determined to give the Longhorns their best shot.
Unfortunately, the game started about as bad as a coach could hope.
After a tackle for loss on defense, the Panthers allowed Gordon to get loose for a long touchdown run on the second play of the game.
Then on offense, Saint Jo threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown on its first play.
The Panthers offense then was stopped on their next drive before the Longhorns took the ball down and scored fast to make it 24-0 after only four minutes of game action.
It was heading towards the 45-point mercy-rule kicking in at halftime with that type of pace, but Saint Jo rallied heading into the second quarter.
The Panther offense put together a scoring drive with Devin Stewart running for a 24-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 24-8.
Saint Jo almost scored again before halftime, but it was called back on a holding penalty. The Gordon led 40-8 at halftime.
After the Longhorns scored to start the second half, the Panthers scored on special teams when Stewart returned the kick-off back 77 yards for a touchdown.
Gordon picked up their intensity and scored three more times, with the last one coming with four minutes left in the game.
The Longhorns won by mercy-rule 64-14.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.

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SPORTS

Saint Jo hires new boy’s basketball coach

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Jacob Nocktonick brings his new wife, Adrianna, and his fur baby to Saint Jo. (Courtesy photo)

Saint Jo will have a new boy’s basketball coach this school year.
Jacob Nocktonick is coming to the district after spending the last two years at Bland as an assistant coach. It is his first head coaching job in basketball.
Nocktonick graduated from Princeton High School in 2015 where he played and loved basektball. He graduated in 2019 from Tarleton State University and despite playing basketball up until he graduated, he did not see coaching in his future. He worked for most of three years after college at a landscape supply company, but something was missing from his life.
“I realized after being out of it for three or four years, something was missing from my life that I really loved,” Nocktonick said. “That was playing the game I love and being around people that really love to be there.”
Nocktonick did not have much experience coaching before then, but through his experience at Bland, he knows he has found his true purpose.
“I missed that passion,” Nocktonick said. “I love it and love the kids I have been working with.”
Nocktonick is especially excited in his role in shaping young men for the future through basketball.
“At the end of the day, people aren’t going to remember me for my records,” Nocktonick said. “I get to touch lives in this role. It’s a lot different than other jobs because I have a lot of kids that look up to me. Even past players from Bland still hit me up, asking for life advice and it’s just different.”
He describes himself as the type of teacher who likes to climb up on his desk and get everyone involved more than just lecture through power point presentations. That extends to his coaching as well.
“I am extremely passionate and enthusiastic,” Nocktonick said. “I want kids to know when the time is to be serious, but know we are going to have fun, bond and become like family. I am not in this for the business. I am in this for the relationships.”

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.

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Bowie cheer earn camp awards

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The Bowie cheerleading squad attended cheer camp at Texas Women’s University on July 13-16 and earned a lot of awards. (Courtesy photo)

The Bowie cheerleading team went to cheer camp on July 13-16 at Texas Women’s University.
It was a good opportunity for the team to learn new things to take into the school year, according to cheer sponsor Destanie Curry.
“They learn their job is not to just lead the crowds in cheers, but they are ambassadors of their school and community and how to fulfill that role to the best of their ability,” Curry said. “Of course, they also learn stunt safety, new stunts, new cheer material and how to incorporate all this into pep rallies, routines and games.”
It can be intense, with campers expected to eat, sleep and breathe cheerleading from morning until night, staying positive and spiritful in everything they do since councilors are always watching and looking to see who will earn extra awards.
At the end of the four days, the Lady Rabbits cheerleading team took home several team and individual awards.
The team won one spirit stick daily and one on the final day. They were awarded each night to teams who demonstrated leadership, positive attitudes, excellent class participation and who respect and encourage one another, their coaches and staff.
Bowie earned its National Federation of State High School Association’s squad credential. The group earned Stunt SAFE, which was presented to teams that displayed excellent skills in spotting and stunt technique.
The final team award was in the Game Day Championship trophy. The competition included crowd involvement with a game day chant and cheer learned at the camp.
They were judged on crowd leading effectiveness, use of props, incorporation of stunts, technique and execution of skills.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.

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Nocona new press box put into place

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(Courtesy photo)

Nocona got its new press box into place this week at Jack Crane Stadium. The old press box, which was in place for more than 60 years, was taken out in early June and moved to Indian Valley Raceway. The new press box was by the Southern Bleacher Company out of Graham. Athletic Director Black Crutsinger said they looked at a lot of press boxes and decided they liked the one at Lindsay High School and went with that model. Sean Hutson operated the crane from the Hurd Crane Service that put the press box up for Nocona.

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