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Bowie hires new softball coach

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Griffin Fields comes to Bowie from Iowa Park. He has a wife, Kelly, and three kids of college age Caden, Kyler and Gracyn. (Courtesy photo)

The Bowie softball program will be led by a new face this next school year.
Griffin Fields comes to Bowie after spending the last six years at Iowa Park. Before that he spent time at Muenster.
Fields spent his time as the assistant coach in softball at Iowa Park though he was the head girl’s basketball coach along with being the girl’s sports coordinator.
At Muenster before that he was the head softball coach and said he always wanted to get back to leading in that sport.
At Bowie he will also serve as an assistant girl’s basketball coach as well as leading the girls cross country team.
“I’ve known Coach (Matthew) Miller a long time,” Fields said. “Loved the job he does on the basketball side of things and with the girl’s program. It was just time for a change. I’ve been a head softball coach before and I always said I would like to get back to being the head softball position. Bowie was an opportunity where me and Miller could work together in basketball and also an opportunity for me to lead a softball program again.”
With his youngest two kids, Kyler and Gracyn, recently graduated from Iowa Park, the opportunity to leave for a good situation was now open for Fields.
“Being in the same district with Bowie the last two years and watching their program, especially this year with some good young pieces on the softball side of things that I think we can mold and grow and be successful with,” Fields said.
Field’s hiring allows previous Coach Heather Daniell to take a step back so she will have more time to go see her daughter play softball at Wayland Baptist University.
“She was looking to spend more time with her family and be able to go watch her kid play college softball more, so it was just a good fit for the softball program to let him lead that,” Athletic Director Tyler Price said.
The Lady Rabbits went 3-9 in district last year as the young team, featuring several key underclassmen that graduated only two seniors, showed some promise and increased competitiveness as the season wore on. Bowie last made the playoffs in 2019.
“I’ve seen a lot of really good softball over the last six years, being really fortunate at Iowa Park to see what it takes and learn from Coach (Eric) Simmons,” Fields said. “I think there pieces here and some kids that really want this program to be on the uptick and looked at in the area as one that is going to be competitive every time we step on the field.”

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

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Briles earns state honor

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Forestburg’s Brenna Briles won the 1A girl’s high jump at the state meet. (Photo by Cassie McFadden)

Forestburg’s Brenna Briles was named to the Texas High School Coach’s Association’s 1A Track and Field Super Elite Team. Briles won the 1A state title in the girl’s high jump in May. The THSCA Super Elite Teams consists of high school players nominated by current professional members of the Texas High School Coaches Association. The player must meet the THSCA award criteria to be nominated. The award recognizes student athletes across the state of Texas for their exemplary athletic achievement in their respective sport.

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Oil Bowl athletes compete well

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Nocona’s Skyler Smith drives into the lane as Prairie Valley’s Makaylee Gomez and Bowie’s Ziba Robbins converge on her in the Oil Bowl.

All 16 area athletes got the chance to play in the 87th Maskat Shrine Oil Bowl Classic on Friday and Saturday.
For the vast majority of the athletes it was not only the last time to represent their school weeks after graduation, it also was the last time many will play organized sports.
The basketball games started the weekend off Friday night. In the girl’s game, Nocona’s Skyler Smith and Bellevue’s Cirstin Allen played for the east team. The west team had Bowie’s Ziba Robbins and Prairie Valley’s Makaylee Gomez.
The west’s overall depth led to the team prevailing 73-56 as Robbins scored 13 points while Gomez scored five points. Smith finished with 14 points while Allen scored three points.
For Smith and Robbins, it was only the final high school game for each. Both are signed to play basketball in college, with Smith playing at East Texas Baptist University and Robbins at local Midwestern State University.
For Gomez and Allen, representing their schools one last time and proving they belong in a game with the area’s best players despite being from a 1A school was a good experience for both.
The boy’s game saw the two area’s players on the same east team. Nocona’s Javier Gaytan and Prairie Valley’s Tyson Easterling got some run in their final high school game.
The west won the high scoring shootout 91-70. Gaytan finished with 11 points while Easterling scored two points. Despite being on the losing end, both had fun one last time playing with the area’s best.
On Saturday, there were two volleyball games. The first game saw players from schools that were 2A and smaller play in a game while the second was for players from schools 3A and bigger. Nocona Coach Kara Lucherk coached east team in both games.
In the first game, Prairie Valley’s Kasi Phillips and Gold-Burg’s Jimena Garcia played for the west team. Bren Fenoglio from Nocona played for her old coach on the east team.
The west team easily won in straight sets as all three players expressed both sadness it was over and that they had fun.
The big school volleyball game was more of the same though it was the east team that won that game. Bowie’s Olivia Gill was sad in the outcome with her being on the west team, but was happy to put on her jersey one last time and get several chances to spike the ball over the net.
The football game saw six players from Bowie and Nocona suit up for the east team. While their team scored first, the west eventually came back to win 14-7, with an opposing player intercepting a pass in the end zone in the final minute to wrap the game up.
From Bowie, Troy Kesey was asked to block from his tight end position more than go out for passes and did his job. Seth Mann used his speed to provide continuous pursuit while playing defensive end.
From Nocona, Brady McCasland and Cooper Waldrip got to play new positions at cornerback for the first time. Charlie Fuller saw a few reps at wide receiver, but mostly played on defense at cornerback in small doses as well.
With all five athletes playing football for the final time, the novelty of playing in the game despite smaller roles than they were used to was fun for them.
Nocona’s Johnny Stone played only a couple of reps at his usual linebacker spot on defense, but he has more in his future. He is signed to play football at Nelson University this fall.

To see pictures of the athletes, pick up the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.

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Oil Bowl 2024 Interviews

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There were 16 athletes from our coverage area who competed in the 87th Annual Maskat Shrine Oil Bowl on June 14-15. The first video is an interview with the athletes who played in the girls basketball game (L-R) Skyler Smith, Ziba Robbins, Cirstin Allen and Makaylee Gomez. The second interview was the athletes who played in the boys basketball game (L-R) Tyson Easterling and Javier Gaytan. The third interview was athletes who played in the small school volleyball game (L-R) Jimena Garcia, Kasi Phillips and Bren Fenoglio. The fourth interview was the athlete who played in the big school volleyball game Olivia Gill. The fifth interview was with the athletes who played in the football game (L-R) Troy Kesey, Johnny Stone, Cooper Waldrip, Brady McCasland, Charlie Fuller and Seth Mann.
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