Congratulations to the Apple Springs Lady Eagle volleyball team. They finished 11-3 in district play, conquering first place in the 23-1A division. The Lady Eagles will have their first playoff game Tuesday, November 8.
Congratulations to our seniors: Lillian Hollins, Ramsi Bentley, Danielle Lankford, Mikayla Davidson, and Cortney Conner. Head Coach: Giff Durham Assistant Coach: Missy Eichman
The Apple Springs Eagles defeated the Chester Yellowjackets last Friday 44-39. The game was a classic back and forth struggle for both teams that finally ended with the Eagles running out the clock to seal the victory.
Adrien Lee began the night for the Eagles with a 51 yard kick return for a touchdown. Lee would add one more score before the night was over. The Eagles other running back, Lane Spring would also find the end zone for Apple Springs. Quarterback Daulton Coleman ran for one touchdown and teamed up three times with wide receiver Justin Owens for touchdown passes.
The Eagle defense also had a night of highlights. The Eagles took the ball away from the Yellowjackets on five different occasions. Adrien Lee had two interceptions on the night while Dylan Conner had one. Lane Spring and Justin Owens both had fumble recoveries.
The Eagles will try to secure a piece of the district runner-up honors this Friday as they host the Leveretts Chapel Lions at 7:30 p.m.
Sophomore # 5 Matthew Howell forces the Lions’ second fumble of the night while # 8 Junior Ethan Cathey finishes the job. (Martha Mericle photo)
By Jean Parker Rasbeary
When we left Groveton at 5 p.m. on Friday, it was bone dry in Trinity County. When we reached Lovelady 30 minutes later, the ground was covered with water, the bleachers were drenched, water was standing on the football field and the visitor stands were almost filled. By game time, it was standing room only unless you were smart enough to bring your lawnchairs.
Tension was in the air as both teams warmed up on the field. Groveton won the toss so Lovelady kicked a 29-yard kickoff and Trey Hance carried it 4 yards to Groveton's 31-yard line. Quarterback Glenn Thornton carried for 5 yards was thrown for a 2 yard loss and threw an incomplete pass to Dawson Chumley. Thornton punted a 35-yard punt and Lovelady took over on their own 27-yard line. They tried a sneaky pass play that went incomplete and on the next play, they fumbled and Groveton recovered the ball.
With 4th and 16, Glenn ran for 7 yards so Lovelady took over the ball. On the first play, Groveton jumped offside. Three plays later, Lovelady fumbled again and Groveton recovered the fumble. Finally, the pregame jitters settled down and the Indians went to work. From Lovelady's 20-yard line, Ethan Cathey carried for 2 yards, Glenn ran for 7 and 3 yards and a first down at the 8-yard line. Glenn was thrown for a 1-yard loss and fumbled but the Indians recovered the fumble. From the 9-yard line, Glenn passed to Haden Terry for 9 yards and the first Indian touchdown. The extra point kick by Saul Chavez was good. With 7:16 left in the first quarter, Groveton led 7 – 0. Saul kicked a 41-yard kickoff and the Lions carried it for 11 yards. Lovelady started play on their 29-yard line but 4 plays later, they fumbled again and the Indians recovered it. Groveton started play on the 31-yard line. Glenn completed a 4 yard pass to Eli Stewart, he ran on the next play but came up -4 yards, completed a 5 yard pass to Saul Chavez and a 7 yard pass to Haden Terry. From the Lion's 19 yard line, Groveton's Ethan Cathey ran for 4 yards, Haden Terry ran for 8 yards and an Indian first down at the 7 yard line. Four plays later, Glenn connected with Cathey for a 6-yard pass and Groveton's 2nd score with 2:40 left in the 1st quarter. Chavez kicked the extra point and the score is now 14 – 0. Saul boomed a 50-yard kick off and a Lion took it on the 10-yard line. They carried it 27 yards before fumbling the ball and Groveton recovered the fumble. Groveton started play on their own 37-yard line. Glenn ran for a yard, passed to Terry for an 8-yard gain, ran for 7 yards for a first down on the 48-yard line. Thornton passed to Cathey for 9 yards and to Eli Stewart for a 6-yard gain. At the beginning of the second quarter, the Lions' defense stiffened and Glenn was thrown for a 13-yard loss. With 3rd & 23, Glenn completed a pass to Dawson Chumley for 13 yards and with 4th & 10; he completed a 13-yard pass to Haden Terry for a 1st down at the 24-yard line. Glenn tried a run but suffered a 2-yard loss, and then the Indians did a no-no and held a Lion pushing us back to the 36 yard line. With 2nd and 22, the Indians tried a pass but it was incomplete before Glenn connected with Saul Chavez for a 19-yard gain and then passed to Eli Stewart for a 17-yard touchdown pass! The extra point kick by Chavez was good and with 8:15 left in the second quarter, Groveton led 21 – 0. Groveton tried a little trickery but the onside kick only carried 8 yards so we got a 5-yard penalty and the Lions got the ball on their 39-yard line. Good defensive play by the Groveton Indians Trey Rocka and Elijah Hardeman shut down the Lions and Groveton took over on the 45-yard line.
Glenn Thornton made a great run of 14 yards for a 1st down. Glenn completed a pass to Haden Terry for another 10 yards, had an incomplete pass from the 22-yard line so he took off for another 10 yards. When our guys were tackled, the wet playing surface became a "slip & slide"! From the 12-yard line, Ethan Cathey ran for 5 yards and Glenn carried for 7 yards and another Groveton touchdown. The extra point kick by Saul was good so with 5:00 left until halftime, Groveton led 28 – 0. The Indian's kickoff went out of bounds so we were penalized 5 yards and kicked to the Lions from our 35-yard line. The Lions had a 16-yard return run and the Indians helped them by roughing their quarterback on the first play from scrimmage & being penalized 15 yards. I know everyone was pumped and trying their best to stop them but penalties can kill you, especially in the next games that are so important. Lovelady scored six plays later on a 25-yard pass play and the extra point kick was good so with 3:17 left in the second quarter, the score was Groveton 28 – Lovelady 7. Lovelady tried some trickery also with an onside kick, but Groveton got the ball on their own 45-yard line. Glenn Thornton completed a 50-yard pass to Eli Stewart who out run everyone and scored with 3:05 left in the second quarter. Things got a little hairy right here as the ball came out from the center kinda bouncing so Saul tried to pass the ball but it was intercepted by the Lions and they ran it all the way back for what everyone thought was 2 points for the Lions. But, the referees called it back because the Lions were offside on the extra point try. This time, Glenn passed to Eli Stewart for the two point extra point and now the score was Groveton 36 – Lovelady 7. Saul kicked a 48-yard kickoff and Lovelady carried it 27 yards before our defense stopped them. Good defensive plays by Saul Chavez, Glenn Thornton and Matthew Howell made it hard going for the Lions. Six plays later and one 5-yard penalty, the ball went back to the Indians. Glenn completed a 3-yard pass to Chumley and next play we were called for another 10 yard holding penalty. Glenn completed a 14-yard pass to Haden and tried two rushing plays before the clock ran out and it was halftime. Groveton kicked off to the Lions and they began play on their own 36-yard line. They tried a rushing play for no gain. I watched a referee see Ethan Cathey trying to stop the runner and a guy had his jersey stretched out...holding him... but no call was made even though I mentioned it to him rather loudly. However, it didn't really matter because Saul, Ethan, and Rocka shut them down as they had to punt the ball from their own 35-yard line, one yard from where they started play. Groveton got the ball on their own 24-yard line and up stepped Mr. Ethan Cathey who carried the ball 31 yards, dragging Lions along the way! After a pass play from Glenn to Haden for 10 yards, a 5 yard gain from Glenn to Matthew, an 18 yard gain from Glenn to Saul, an 8 yard run by Ethan and a 9 yard pass from Glenn to Dawson, the Indians scored again. The extra point kick was off to the left so with 7:29 left in the third quarter, the score was Groveton 42 – Lovelady 7. Saul kicked a 40 yard kickoff and the Lions started play on their own 33 yard line...to no avail as Ethan shut down their speedy running back for a -2 yard loss, and two pass plays for no gain resulted in a punt. But, the Indians couldn't move the ball and Glenn sent a 45-yard punt to the Lions 46 yard line. The Lions couldn't make a first down so they punted the ball to Dawson Chumley who carried the ball 41 yards & making one of the Indian's outstanding plays as Dawson hurtled over a Lion defender making the fans roar! From the Lions 39 yard line, Cathey carried for 1 yard, two pass plays netted no yards before Glenn connected with Saul Chavez for a 30 yard run down to the 9 yard line. Mr. Cathey stepped up and carried for 9 yards and another Indian touchdown. The extra point kick by Saul was good so with 1:43 left in the third quarter, Groveton led 49 – 7. Saul Chavez got stronger as the game went on as he kicked the ball 60 yards and the Lions start play on the 20-yard line. They gained 0 yards in three plays so they punted the ball out of bounds at the Indian's 33 yard line. Excitement time again!! Glenn passed to Dawson Chumley for a 67-yard touchdown!! It was beautiful!! The extra point try went wide right so with: 15 seconds left in the third quarter, Groveton led 55 – 7. We really like this 55 point score! Saul kicked off to the Lions but they could only get it to their 49 yard line so the Indians took over from there. Groveton & Lovelady both lost their cool and both were called for an unsportsman penalty. It was offsetting but nobody likes to see that kind of conduct in a game. Groveton only gained 6 yards in this series of downs so Lovelady got the ball back on the 45-yard line. They completed a 55-yard pass play for their second score of the game. The extra point kick was good so with 8:36 left in the game, the score was Groveton 55 – Lovelady 14. Groveton started play on their 30-yard line after a kickoff return of 10 yards by Saul Chavez. Haden ran for 5 yards, 9 yards and passed to Anthony Chavez for 10 yards. He ran for 6 yards, 15 yards and 4 yards but a fumble was recovered by the Lions on the 29-yard line. Seven plays later, Lovelady scored on a 7 yard pass play but the extra point kick was no good. The final score was Groveton 55 – Lovelady 20. What an exciting game and everyone was focused, excited & playing to the best of their ability!! Now, to the business at hand! We have faced our next opponents once this year and fell a little short at the end. We DO NOT WANT THAT TO HAPPEN SATURDAY NIGHT IN WOODVILLE! IF EVERYONE DOES THEIR JOB, EVERY PLAY, THE INDIANS CAN'T BE STOPPED!! We can't look ahead....take this battle ONE STEP AT A TIME!!! TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS and I promise you, this will be the best ride of your lives. Three times before, we have completed this run and the thrill is like no other. YOU CAN DO THIS INDIANS....ON THE WAR PATH IN 2016!!! GO BIG RED!!!
Groveton Indian Junior # 15 Haden Terry holds for the extra point kicked by Junior # 7 Saul Chavez. Saul is a versatile player. He is the place kicker.He carried the ball two times for six yards.He caught six passes for a total of 125 yards and two touchdowns. Photo by Martha Mericle
By Jean Parker Rasbeary
Ladies & Gentlemen, Boys & Girls...if you missed this game, you missed a treat! The score could have been much higher as the Indians scored almost every time they got the ball. However, we had a shaky beginning as Saul Chavez kicked off to the Sandies and they scored on a 72-yard pass with 11:49 left in the first quarter. They ran the extra points and the score was Groveton 0 – Grapeland 8. Grapeland kicked an onside kick and the Indian's front line couldn't handle it & Grapeland got the ball again. Eight plays later, the Sandies scored on a 14-yard pass but the extra point try was no good. I admit, at this point, I was getting a little worried. But, never fear, Groveton's #54, Cody Fairchild, recovered the ball and the Indians were on the warpath! They started on the 50-yard line, Glenn Thornton ran for 19 and 5 many penalties.
Glenn then ran for 13 and Groveton's first score. Glenn also ran in the extra points so with 7:40 left in the first quarter, the score was Groveton 8 – Grapeland 14. Saul Chavez kicked an onside kick and Groveton covered the ball on the 50-yard line. Saul ran for 2 yards, two pass attempts were incomplete (Sandies should have been called for pass interference but they were not). Groveton was called for a hold and then for an illegal block. These officials obviously were new to officiating because each penalty resulted in a very long discussion in the middle of the field before each decision was made. This was probably the longest quarter in all of football history! The Indians must have decided to get the show on the road; Glenn completed a 12 yard pass to Dawson Chumley and a 45 yard pass to Saul Chavez for a touchdown. Ethan Cathey pushed over for the extra points and with 5:25 left, the score was Groveton 14 – Grapeland 14. Grapeland started their next drive on their own 28-yard line but could not get it past the Indian 30 yard line. Ethan ran for 8, Glenn passed to Eli Stewart for 16, Glenn ran for 2, passed to Dawson for 14, Glenn ran for 7, then completed an 11 yard pass to Saul before the penalty bug bit again. Groveton was called for a hold but Glenn completed a 22-yard pass to Dawson for a touchdown. The extra point try was no good. Groveton 22 – Grapeland 14. Grapeland found the going hard and had to punt the ball back to the Indians as the second quarter rolled around. The referees took over the ball game as there were 12 plays run and they called penalties on four of the plays. Two against Grapeland for -30 yards and two against Groveton for -10 yards before Glenn passed to Saul Chavez and a 4-yard touchdown. The extra point pass from Glenn to Ethan was good. Groveton 30 – Grapeland 14. Groveton's defense stiffened and with 7:17 minutes left in the second quarter, Groveton scored again on an 18-yard rumble by Ethan Cathey. The extra point try was no good. Groveton 36 – Grapeland 14. Saul kicked a 40-yard kickoff to the Sandies and seven plays later, #43,Trey Rocka, sacked the quarterback and gave the ball back to Groveton.
The Sandies and the Indians went back and forth until 1:02 left in the second quarter, Glenn scored on a 5 yard run and Ethan Cathey ran in the extra points. Groveton 44 – Grapeland 14. After an entertaining halftime performance, Grapeland kicked off and Trey Hance carried the ball 11 yards to set up the Indians 1st down on their own 45 yard line. The ball went over on downs as Groveton couldn't advance it. However, on Grapeland's second play, the quarterback attempted a pass, and it was intercepted by a flying Saul Chavez for a 54-yard touchdown. With 9:58 left in the third quarter, Groveton led 50-14 as the extra point try was no good. Two plays after the kickoff, Grapeland threw a 54-yard touchdown pass but the extra point try was no good. Groveton 50 – Grapeland 20. Grapeland's kickoff was carried 34 yards by Dawson Chumley to give the Indians good field position. Glenn Thornton completed a 38 yard pass to Saul Chavez and then, Glenn ran for an 11 yard touchdown. The extra point try was no good. Groveton 56 – Grapeland 20. By now, several players had been replaced and at the beginning of the fourth quarter, Haden Terry completed a 36-yard pass to Mathew Howell for 36 yards. The extra points were good as Haden passed to Eli for 2 points. With 11:51 left in the fourth quarter, Groveton 64 – Grapeland 20. With 7:38 left in the game, Grapeland scored on a run but the extra point try was no good. Groveton 64 – Grapeland 26. Grapeland scored two more times on a 69-yard pass play and on a 10-yard pass play. One extra point try was good. The Indians haven't played Grapeland in several years but, other than the horrible officiating, it was an exciting game with lots of Indians taking part in the win. Keep on Working Indians. Keep the focus on one game at a time, and don't look past anyone.
Editor's Note: The following piece was written by Coach Don Hill's daughters in tribute to their father, the former Groveton High School head football coach who led the Indians to two state championships. Coach Hill died last week in a Lufkin hospital. News of his passing spread throughout the community and on social media, where Groveton alumni and faculty paid tribute to Coach Hill's leadership skills, his gentle spirit and kindness.
"Preparation leads to the promised land of success"
By LaNette Hill, Jarrett Hill, and Marissa Hill
In the words of the late, great coach John Wooden, "failing to prepare is preparing to fail".
In every facet of life, Don Hill believed in being prepared. It didn't matter if it was Groveton vs. Alto under the Friday night lights, or feeding his flock on first Sunday dinners at Rose Hill Missionary Baptist Church. To him, the key to success and excellence was preparation.
The Face of a Champion – A recent photo of Coach Don Hill on the sidelines while he coached the Trinity Tigers. For more tributes to Coach Hill, see next week’s edition of The Groveton News. If you wish to share your memories, post them to the Groveton Ex-Students’ Association Facebook page.Merriam-Webster's dictionary tells us that 'preparation' is the activity or process of making something ready or becoming ready for something. Coach Hill believed in being ready for success. That meant you had to log the man hours, the sweat, and the tears to ready yourself. Over the past few years, there were many Friday nights where I would call him and ask how the game went that night. Win, lose, or draw, I'd get the same answer every week. "We gotta get better. We can't make stupid mistakes come time for district. That's how you get your behind beat." Naturally, I'd ask, "What do ya'll need to do?" He'd tell me nearly everything he was thinking. "I need my linebackers to be better. I need them to be vicious, to have that killer instinct. They gotta want to rip the other boys' heads off." A killer instinct indeed.
It was in these moments that you knew he adored football just because of how he talked about it. He had so much passion for the game and had every intention of passing it on to his players. He was clearly successful at instilling the love of football because his own son pursued the education and coaching field. And if you watch Jarrett coach football or basketball, you'll witness many 'Don Hill' tendencies.
As much passion as Coach Hill had for football, he also had it for his calling in the ministry. It was his idea to start having dinners on first Sundays, so the church family could have fellowship. Every dinner was done with excellence. He didn't advocate for 'half-stepping' as he would say, which meant don't bring something to the church for other people to eat that you wouldn't eat yourself.
He poured so much of himself into the church. After going to work on Saturdays, he would come back and mow the churchyard. Sometimes people would ask, "Coach Hill, why do you do so much out there? You're the pastor." And his answer was always, "And? I'm supposed to let that yard get ugly because of that?" He didn't believe in recognition and titles; he wasn't interested in glory. He was interested in the task at hand, and to him, accomplishing that had nothing to do with seeking attention.
While he didn't seek attention, he did seek to help other people, whether it was by action or just imparting his wisdom. Many times as a teenager, I remember telling him about an issue I was facing with someone at school or with a friend. One particular time, I was telling him that someone made a statement about me that wasn't true. He cut me off right after the phrase "They said" came out of my mouth. He looked at me and asked, "Who is they?" I looked at him confused. "I don't know." He told me, "You can't be worried about what people say. A pair of lips will say anything. You continue to do what YOU are supposed to do, and it'll work out in the end."
It was funny how he could give you the best piece of wisdom in the most humorous way. He said things that you wouldn't even think about, but as soon as he explained it to you, it was like you had a revelation while splitting your side laughing. I can't count the number of times he said something with his dry humor, and I fell out of a chair laughing. If you went to him in a bad mood, you were guaranteed to leave the conversation with a lighter spirit. He could prepare you for success with his wisdom and teachable moments.
Winning was a major theme in Coach Hill's lifetime. If a score was being kept, he wanted to be the top-dog. That included football, basketball, track, as well as the game of life. He was determined to be successful, even when facing his greatest opponent, death. About two weeks ago, the family was told to come in to the hospital because once they took him off all medications, he wouldn't last 30 minutes. That 30 minutes turned into 10 days. It was nothing for Coach Hill to prove somebody wrong; in fact, he lived for it. In football, he knew success didn't come instantly; it came in your preparation during the off-season. The same was true for him in life. He believed that your faith in God and service to Him would prepare you for anything, even if it was death.
Services will be at Trinity High School Gymnasium, Saturday, March 19, 11 a.m., 500 E. Caroline Street in Trinity. A viewing will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Emmanuel Funeral Home on Cemetery Road. Coach Hill's interment will follow the service at Parker's Ridge Cemetery in Groveton.