Indian JV, junior high squads compete against Centerville JV, junior high Tigers

by Jean Rasbeary

The Groveton Indians hosted the Centerville Tigers in District play Thursday afternoon and evening.
The 7th grade lost their game, the 7/8th grade game was won 36 – 24 and the JV game was lost 0 – 44. The JV game was started with the Tigers kicking off to the fearsome 15 and #11 Cameron Rasbeary carried the return for two yards to Groveton's 34 yard line. There was some confusion among the Indians as quarterback Haden Terry was brought down for a 10-yard loss. With 2 & 20 to go for a first down, Terry tried a pass but it was incomplete. He then completed a 5-yard pass to #11 Cameron Rasbeary and with 4th and 15, the Indians didn't punt but tried a pass and it was incomplete. Centerville took over on the Indians 29 yard line and five yards later; they scored their first TD. The extra point try was no good—Groveton 0 – Centerville 6. Centerville kicked a short kickoff to Cameron Rasbeary who caught the ball on Groveton's 34 which was exactly where they began their first play. Running back Colton JM Burton carried for two yards, Terry ran for three yards, Burton was thrown for a two-yard loss and, this time Terry punted the ball away with a 44-yard boot. The Indian defense tightened up this series of downs and the Tigers had to punt the ball back to Groveton's 44-yard line. Terry attempted two passes that were incomplete. It's hard to complete passes with the opposing players swarming on you and then the Indians got a 15-yard penalty. The Indians were 2 and 25 and Haden Terry ran for five yards, passed to Cameron Rasbeary for a 10-yard play before punting the ball back to the Tigers on a 37-yard kick. Centerville wasted no time marching the ball down the field but from the Indian's 11-yard line, they fumbled the ball and #2 Colton Burton recovered it.

After two incomplete passes and a two-yard run by Burton, Terry punted the ball 41 yards to the 35-yard line. Centerville got a 5-yard penalty and then their BIG running back #44 plowed through the Indians' line and scored on a 39-yard romp. He also ran over the two points – Groveton 0 – Centerville 14. With 3:18 left in the 2nd quarter, the Tigers scored again on a one-yard run and the pass play for the extra point was completed. The score: Groveton 0 – Centerville 22. Groveton made a valiant attempt to put the ball over the goal line starting on their own 19 with 3:07 left in the second quarter. Terry ran for 6 and 10 yards, Burton ran for -2 yards, Terry ran for 0 yards before completing a 20 yard pass to Miguel Venagas and a 30-yard pass to Cameron Rasbeary. They were helped by a personal foul call on Centerville and Groveton had the ball on Centerville's nine-yard line. Terry ran for three yards and attempted three passes but none were completed as the first half ended. The third quarter started off with Groveton kicking off to Centerville. Four plays later, they scored on a 14-yard run by #11. The extra point try by the quarterback was good. Groveton 0 – Centerville 30. The Tigers kicked off to Groveton's Colton Burton who was thrown for a 15-yard loss and a fumble which they immediately covered. The ball was now on the five-yard line and they completed the only pass they attempted for another touchdown. The extra point run by #2 was good.

The Tigers again tried a pooch kick but Rasbeary caught it on the 35-yard line. The Tigers received another 15-yard penalty but Groveton's offense just couldn't get started & the ball went back over to Centerville. Nine plays later they scored again and the extra points were good. The final score: Groveton 0 – Centerville 44. Final stats: Groveton attempted 16 rushes gaining 70 minus 17 yards lost, 53 yards total rushes. Groveton attempted 18 passes, completing 4 for 65 yards. Total yards: 118. Centerville attempted 33 rushes gaining 284 yards minus 2 yards lost for a total of 282 yards. They tried two passes, completing one for a 5 yard TD; total yards: 287.

On October 23, the JV will travel to Lovelady for their second district game. Please support their young athletes.

Indians fall to Centerville Tigers despite valiant play

The Groveton Indians had plenty of fight in them Friday night against the Tigers. (Photo by Martha Harrison Mericle)The Groveton Indians had plenty of fight in them Friday night against the Tigers. (Photo by Martha Harrison Mericle)

by Jean Rasbeary

Dave Campbell's Football Magazine picked the Centerville Tigers as the #1 team in 12-2A Division 1 and, I do believe they were right.

The Groveton Indians met a very talented and determined team last Friday night. Centerville's big #66 kicked off to Groveton and the ball went to the end zone where Groveton's #1 Jamie Jacobs attempted to bring it out. He made a yard so the Indians took over on the one-yard line.

Dekedrick Odom carried for 9 yards and 6 yards giving Groveton a first down. On the next play, the center hiked the ball & it sailed over quarterback Glenn Thornton's head for an 11-yard loss but he covered the ball on their own 5-yard line. Two passing attempts were incomplete so Thornton had to punt. It was a short kick going 19 yards to Groveton's 35-yard line.

Two plays later, Centerville scored their first TD and big #66 kicked the extra point. With 9:21 left in the first quarter, Groveton 0 – Centerville 7. Groveton's Jacobs carried the ball 24 yards after the Tiger's kickoff guy landed the ball in the end zone once again. However, you remember that penalty bug, he came with us to Leon County; yes, Groveton got a 10 yard holding penalty pushing them back to the 14 yard line.

Thornton attempted two passes that were incomplete and he ran for ten yards getting them back to the original line of scrimmage but had to punt again. This time, the Indians were stingy with their yards as the Tigers moved the ball to Groveton's one-yard line and had to turn it back to the Indians. Dekedrick Odom took the ball and attempted to run but the Tigers pounced on him and the Tigers scored a safety as they caught him past the goal line. With 5:28 left in the first quarter, Glenn Thornton punted for 39 yards and #7 touched the ball and fumbled it. All the Groveton fans thought we had recovered the fumble but the zebras said Centerville had it.

Centerville was called for holding on the next play so they began play on the Indians 45-yard line. Big #6 for the Tigers carried for 42 yards and the next play they scored on an 8-yard run. #66 kicked the extra point and Centerville led 16 – 0. The big kicker sailed the ball to the end zone but the Tigers were called for a 5-yard penalty and the next kick he shanked out of bounds and Groveton got good field position as they started work on the 45-yard line. Oops, the penalty bug popped up and the Indians got a 10-yard holding penalty so back we go to the 35 yard line. Thornton attempted a pass but it was picked off for a 5 yard run back. Centerville now has the ball on Groveton's 36-yard line. With runs of two yards, 22 yards, and 5 yards and a pass for 7 yards, Centerville scored again. #66 missed the extra point try; Centerville 22 – Groveton 0. And, finally the first quarter ended with Groveton on their 19-yard line and Thornton punted for 31 yards. Six plays later, the Tigers scored on a 25-yard pass play and #66 made the extra point. The Indians couldn't move the ball so Thornton punted for 35 yards and Centerville scored three plays later on an 18-yard pass play. #66 kicked the extra point, Centerville 36 – Groveton 0. Once again, it was three and out and Thornton punted the ball back to the Tigers.

Groveton was hit with a 15-yard personal foul penalty that helped move the Tigers down the field and four plays later, they scored on a quarterback run for 21 yards. #66 kicked the extra point. The next series of downs had quarterback Thornton being intercepted by Centerville's #7 for 0 yards and then #2 Alex Jones returned the favor intercepting a Tiger pass and going 23 yards. Centerville helped us with a 15-yard penalty and the Indians had good field position. However, after a 2-yard run by Odom, a 3-yard pass from Thornton to Odom, a run by Odom for -2 yards and an attempted pass play from Thornton to Odom that was incomplete, the Tigers took over once again. The Indians were still battling though as Centerville moved the ball down to the Indians 27 yard line. Colton Alsbrooks intercepted a Tiger pass on the 12 yard line and moved it up the field...but guess what...Groveton was penalized for a block in the back and as the first half ended, Groveton had the ball on their own 4 yard line. Groveton kicked off the third quarter with a 50 yard blast by #21 Nick Martinez and the Tigers could only return it for 10 yards. Eleven plays later, the Tigers showed a little kindness to the Indians as they kicked a 21-yard field goal with 5:27 left in the third quarter. Centerville kicked off with a 51-yard blast and Jamie Jacobs sailed for 91 yards and Groveton's first and last score of the game. The extra point pass try was no good. Centerville 46 – Groveton 6. Martinez boomed a 50-yard kickoff and six plays later, the Tigers scored their final touchdown, kicked the extra point and with 2:29 left in the third quarter, the score was Centerville 53 – Groveton 6. The fourth quarter was an exercise in futility for the Indians as they only got to run four plays and then punt the ball away. And, now we know why Centerville was ranked as the #1 team in our District. The final stats reflected just how strong they were. First Downs: Groveton 2 – Centerville 29; Rushing: Groveton 19 attempts with 60 yards gained – 16 yards lost= 44 yards averaging 2.3 yards per carry.

Indians defeat Hull-Daisetta Bobcats 70-34 for District win

Groveton Indian #6 Dawson Chumley brings down one of the Hull Daisetta Bobcats (Photo by Martha Harrison Mericle)Groveton Indian #6 Dawson Chumley brings down one of the Hull Daisetta Bobcats (Photo by Martha Harrison Mericle)

By: Jean Rasbeary

The Groveton Indians kicked off District play in a big way. It has been an emotional week with some key players going down due to injuries. Brandon Kemper had surgery on Wednesday to repair his knee, Colton Alsbrooks had a new brace on his strained knee and Kelvin James was unable to play...three seniors. You wondered if the younger guys would step up and guess what?

With dark clouds looming in the sky, a few raindrops falling and everyone wondering how the game would turn out, Groveton kicked off to the Bobcats and the battle was on! Nick Martinez had a great night kicking off – 11 times he sailed the ball for an average of 46.2 yards! Hull-Daisetta's speedster, #3 Shedric DeBlanc, ran the ball 27 yards to their 41. Four plays later, DeBlanc scored on a 51 yard run and he also ran in the extra points – with 10:13 left in the first quarter, Hull-Daisetta led 8 – 0. The Bobcats kicked off to Groveton with a short kick and Dawson Chumley called for a fair catch on Groveton's 29-yard line. Jamie Jacobs ran for 6, Glenn Thornton threw a 4 yard pass to Kaylon Horace, Dekedrick Odom ran for six, Thornton passed to Saul Chavez for a big 15 yards, Thornton ran for 25 yards carrying to the Bobcat's 9 yard line, and Dekedrick Odom scampered in for a 9 yard touchdown. The extra point pass from Thornton to Chavez was good and the Indians tied the game with 7:27 left in the first quarter. At this point, we felt a little relieved that things were going so well; little did we know that the Indians had a lot more on their minds. Martinez kicked off a booming ball for 46 yards and #25, Martin Doucet, carried it to their 26-yard line. Groveton's defensive players, #44 Trey Hance and #2 Alex Jones stepped up plus the Bobcats tried holding which resulted in a ten-yard penalty so they had to kick the ball back to the Indians. It was a short punt only going 22 yard and the Indians took over on their own 43. The first play from scrimmage was a beautiful pass play from Thornton to Odom and resulted in a 57-yard touchdown.

The extra point pass to Chumley resulted in the Indians leading 16 -8 with 5:14 left in the first quarter. This time, Martinez was really pumped as he sailed the kickoff 60 yards so Hull-Daisetta took over on their own 20. It was three plays and punt for them and, again, the punter only kicked for 28 yards. Groveton took over on their 31 yard line but were called for a delay pushing them back to their 26. Glenn Thornton passed to Jamie Jacobs for 19 and a first down, Dekedrick carried for 9 yards, Thornton ran for 3 and passed to Odom for a 31 yard run.

Odom ran for nine before crossing the goal line for a 12-yard touchdown. He also ran in the extra points, so with 1:31 left in the first quarter, Groveton led the Bobcats 24 – 8. Due to the good defensive plays by Donovan Whitton and Colton Ray, Hull-Daisetta could not make a first down so Groveton got the ball on their own 46-yard line. Glenn Thornton and Dekedrick Odom took turns pushing the ball down the field and with 10:36 left in the second quarter, Glenn Thornton ran the ball in for a five-yard touchdown. The extra point try was no good so the score was Groveton 30 – Hull-Daisetta 8. Once again, Martinez put the ball on Hull-Daisetta's 12-yard line where Doucet ran for 19 before Trey Hance put him on the ground.

The Bobcats had some good runs but a holding penalty and an unsuccessful pass play turned the ball back to the Indians. Since they didn't punt, Groveton took over on the Bobcat's 39-yard line. Dekedrick ran for 22 yards, Thornton ran for eight yards and then passed the ball to Chumley for 5 yards and another Indian score. The extra point try by Jacobs was no good. With 6:28 left in the second quarter, Groveton led 36 – 8. Nick Martinez kicked off and Doucet ran for 12 yards. In three straight plays, Groveton's defense led by Martinez, Ethan Reynolds and Haden Terry shut the Bobcats down and with 4th and 4 to go for a first, they didn't punt but fumbled the ball and Groveton took over on Hull-Daisetta's 41 yard line. Once again, Thornton passed to Chumley for 27 yards and Odom scampered in for a 14 yard score.

The extra point try had a high snap and was no good. Groveton 42 – Hull-Daisetta 8. With 4:10 left in the second quarter, the defensive players, Ethan Reynolds, Ethan Cathey and Martinez gave the Bobcats fits and this time they punted. Dekedrick Odom thanked them and flew 53 yards for a beautiful touchdown! The extra point try was no good, Groveton 46 – Hull-Daisetta 8. Groveton helped the Bobcats out by getting a facemask penalty and they moved the ball down the field to our 19-yard line where quarterback Cade Huckabay passed to DeBlanc for a 19 yard score. DeBlanc ran the extra points in and the score to end the first half was Groveton 48 – Hull-Daisetta 16. After the halftime performances by two Red and Black bands, Hull-Daisetta did an onside kick and the Indians were not ready for their trickery. The Bobcats recovered it on Groveton's 48-yard line.

But, Ethan Cathey made the going too tough so they couldn't move the ball. I don't know what they were thinking but they kept trying to make the fourth down plays instead of punting the ball away and Groveton took over on their own 49-yard line. This was not a good series for the Indians as we had another holding penalty and two dropped passes. We were on the Bobcat's 28-yard line when they intercepted our pass and Doucet flew down the field for an 80 yard score. He tried to run in the extra points but the Indian defense said "No Way"! They tried another onside kick but Trey Hance covered the ball on the 45-yard line. They kept giving us good field position and we appreciated it! Thornton ran for 8 yards, Odom ran for 8 yards, Thornton passed to Chumley for 14 yards before the Penalty Bug popped up with another holding penalty but Dekedrick Odom was not to be denied as he flew for 35 yards and another Indian score. The pass from Thornton to Chumley scored the extra points, Groveton 56 – Hull-Daisetta 22. The Bobcats were still trying though as they took the ball on their own 25-yard line and 8 plays later; they scored on a one-yard run by Huckabay. Extra point try was no good. With 1:11 left in the 3rd quarter, Groveton 56 – Hull-Daisetta 28. The Bobcats kept trying to get the ball back as they tried another onside kick but this time, Cameron Rasbeary #24 recovered it and Groveton took over on the 50-yard line. Odom ran for a 50 yard TD but it was wiped out by ANOTHER holding penalty! Odom ran for 32 yards and 7 yards before Saul Chavez plunged in for a one yard TD! The pass play for the extra points was no good, Groveton 62 – Hull-Daisetta 28. Martinez sent another kickoff into the end zone so the Bobcats took over on their 20-yard line.

The Bobcats completed their second pass play of the night and it went for a 76 yard score from Huckabay to Doucet; the extra point run was stopped by Trevor Brooks, Groveton 62 – Hull-Daisetta 34. Again, they tried another onside kick but Nick Martinez recovered it on the 49-yard line. At this point Haden Terry came in as quarterback and after a five yard delay penalty, he ran for 17 yards, Jacobs ran for 10, Terry ran for 3, Jacobs ran for 8 and 4 before Terry punched in a 9 yard touchdown run.

Terry also ran the extra points in so the final score was Groveton 70 – Hull-Daisetta 34. What a great way to start off District Play.

Next week will be a big test, as the Indians will travel to Centerville to take on the projected #1 team in the District.

Veteran writer, editor Van Thomas dies

LIVINGSTON – Van Thomas, 81, longtime sports editor of the Polk County Enterprise died at his Livingston residence early Friday, Oct. 10.

Van ThomasVan ThomasMemorial services were held at 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 12, at Cochran's Funeral Home in Livingston. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be made to the Livingston Green and White Scholarship Fund.

He was born July 21, 1933, in McCrory, Arkansas, the son of James Harve Thomas and Tess McDaniel. He was preceded in death by his parents; five brothers, Billy Mac Thomas, Jack Thomas, Jean Thomas, James Thomas and his twin brother, Vance Thomas; and a sister, Ruby Thomas.

Thomas joined the Enterprise staff as sports editor in August 1979 and over the years became a fixture at area sporting events. He covered the Livingston Lions football games for 34 years until declining health forced him to stop prior to the start of the 2014 season.

Although he no longer covered the games, he continued writing his column, "Once Over Lightly." His final column appeared in the Thursday, Oct. 9, edition.

"It's going to be hard to imagine life around the office without Van Thomas," Polk County Enterprise Publisher Alvin Holley said Friday. "He was almost always the first to arrive and was one of the last to leave.

"He always had a story, a smile and a handshake to give all of those who came to see him, and many people did," Editor Greg Peak added. "Hardly a day would go by when he did not have someone he had covered during their high school athletic careers stop by to say hello and chat."

A community birthday celebration honoring him on his 80th birthday was held on July 21, 2013 at the Polk County Courthouse's gazebo. During that celebration, Livingston's downtown Christmas lights were turned on in honor of the occasion for the first time other than during the holiday season.

Thomas served in the U.S. Army and, following his discharge, began covering sports for newspapers. After first working in northern California, he moved to East Texas where he covered athletes for more than 55 years as sports editor for the Henderson Daily News, Longview Morning Journal, Nacogdoches Daily Sentinel and Polk County Enterprise.

While working for the Longview Morning Journal, Thomas spent the summer of 1967 serving as a war correspondent in South Vietnam.

Thomas also was a longtime member of the Texas Sportswriters' Association.

Survivors include a sister, Wade Holder of Little Rock, Arkansas; sister-in-law, Mary Thomas of Dallas; nephews, Keith Thomas of Burleson and Harvey Thomas of Memphis, Tennessee; nieces, Judy Whitehead, Gloria Allgood, Lisa Thomas and Betty Cary, all of Little Rock, Arkansas, and Doris Farley of Dallas; and numerous other relatives and friends.

Cochran Funeral Home of Livingston directed the arrangements. To sign an online guestbook go to

Groveton Lady Indians Varsity Defeat Chester

Groveton Lady Indians Varsity played Saturday morning at John W Reynolds Sr Athletic Complex Gymnasium. They defeated Chester with scores of 25-19, 25-21 and 25-17. (Photo by Martha Harrison Mericle)Groveton Lady Indians Varsity played Saturday morning at John W Reynolds Sr Athletic Complex Gymnasium. They defeated Chester with scores of 25-19, 25-21 and 25-17. (Photo by Martha Harrison Mericle)

Groveton Lady Indians Varsity played Saturday morning at John W Reynolds Sr Athletic Complex Gymnasium. They defeated Chester with scores of 25-19, 25-21 and 25-17.
Photo by Martha Harrison Mericle