Four to compete at 4A State Tennis Tournament

Juniors Maddie Booth and Claire Hiler won four of five matches during play last week to finish second overall in girls doubles.

The Wills Point Tiger tennis program has been no stranger to on court success, qualifying multiple players to compete at the State Tennis Tournament in each of the past two seasons.

Another chapter to that legacy was added April 18-19 with four players, the mixed doubles team of Chase Daniell and Kelsey James and the girls doubles team of Maddie Booth and Claire Hiler each bring home top finishes at the Regional Tournament in Longview to qualify for this year’s State event at College Station May 18-19.

Chase Daniell and Kelsey James were the Regional Champions in mixed doubles, marking their second Regional championship as a team and their second joint trip to State. The trip to College Station will serve as James’ third, after she also qualified back in 2015.

Maddie Booth and Claire Hiler placed second in girls doubles and will be headed to State also, while Cassidy Wilcoxson placed third in girls singles and will be an alternate in that event.


Lady Tigers close out 2017 season

Photo by David Kapitan

Jeslyn Martinez finished 1/2 with a double during the district finale against the Brownsboro Bearettes April 21.

The Wills Point Lady Tigers fell victim to a dominant pitching performance in their final game of the season, getting one-hit by two Brownsboro pitchers in an 11-0 road loss April 21.

Play between the two teams was originally scheduled for April 18 but inclement weather forced multiple delays, eventually leading to the Friday night matchup between the Lady Tigers and Bearettes.

Wills Point opened play on a positive note with leadoff hitter Jeslyn Martinez reaching scoring position with a double to right field. Martinez was stranded at second base after a fly out, strikeout and line out to end the inning.

The Lady Tigers looked to be well on their way to getting out of the first inning in a tie, but a two-out fielding error on a groundball helped the Bearettes score three runs for a 3-0 lead.


Rowland signs autographs

Jacob Rowland, a member of the Wills Point High School Class of 2015, signed autographs for the next generation of student-athletes at the annual Texas State University Maroon and Gold Spring Game April 15. Rowland, a redshirt sophomore this season, was named a Class 4A All-State Honorable Mention performer by the Associated Press Sports Editors his senior season at Wills Point, played in 10 games along the offensive line for the Bobcats in the 2016 season. A construction science and management major, Rowland was named to the Sun Belt Conference Academic Honor Roll for the 2015-'16 school year. 


Lady Tigers defeat Panthers, fall to Vandals

Photo by Tonia Edwards

The Wills Point Tiger athletic program recognized senior softball contributors ahead of the team’s final home game of the season.

The Wills Point Lady Tigers were in action twice over the past week, taking on both Mabank and Van in District 13-4A action.

Wills Point, coming off a win over Canton, put together another impressive showing against Mabank April 12, ripping off four multi-run innings in a 16-4 demolition of the Lady Panthers.

Play against the Lady Panthers was originally scheduled to take place a night earlier, but inclement weather resulted in the game being pushed back 24 hours.

Wills Point scored first against Mabank, but trailed 4-1 to the Lady Panthers after two innings of play. The turning point for the Lady Tigers occurred in the top of the third as Wills Point's offense caught fire, plating two in the inning, seven more runs in the fourth, and three runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to pull away for the easy win.


Track teams compete at District 13-4A Meet

Photo by David Kapitan

Jacob Moore, along with teammates Brandon Smith, Nathan Johnson and Chase Phillips, finished fourth overall in the 4x100 relay.

Track and field teams from Canton, Van and Wills Point all faced their biggest tests of the season April 12-13, traveling to Rains High School to compete in this year’s District 13-4A Meet. Outside of the three county schools in the field, other competitors included athletes from Brownsboro, Emory Rains and Mabank.

Canton performed exceptionally well at the meet, pacing the field by winning first place overall in both the varsity boys and varsity girls division. Canton’s varsity boys athletes totaled 124 points for the two-day event, topping Emory Rains with 112, Mabank with 72, Wills Point with 64, Brownsboro with 47 and Van with 29.

Individual varsity boys results included:

-100: Cooper Bledsoe, Van, second; Brandon Smith, WP, third; Dalton Williams, Canton, fifth; Kyle Rose-Peterson, Canton, eighth

-200: Dylan Cox, Canton, first; Bray Doring, Van, sixth; Jacob Moore, WP, seventh; Brandon Smith, WP, eighth

-400: Bryce Wilkens, Canton, first


Tigers among Salt Capital competitors

Photo by Ayla Rightenour

The Wills Point Tiger and Lady Tiger track teams competed for the final time before the District 13-4A Meet in Rains April 12-13 with an appearance in Grand Saline for the Salt Capital Relays April 6.

Virtually every track team from Van Zandt County, including Fruitvale, Grand Saline, Martins Mill and Wills Point sent teams to Grand Saline April 6 for the annual Salt Capital Relays.

Wills Point would place second overall in the varsity boys division of the meet with 150 total points, behind Commerce with 168 and ahead of Alba, Grand Saline, Oakwood, Martins Mill, Fruitvale and Miller Grove. 

Top individual finishers in the varsity boys division included:

-100: Chris Wilson, GS, fifth; Ethan Clark, GS, sixth

-200: Shushan Bradley, WP, fourth; Trevor Harrell, WP, fifth; Jordan Smith, GS, sixth

-300: Brandon Smith, WP, first; Montana Martin, GS, second; Jaxson Taylor, GS, fourth

-400: Aidan Phillips, WP, first; Christopher Delacruz, WP, second; Will Green, WP, sixth

-800: Eric Grant, GS, first; Cade Davis, WP, second; Aidan Phillips, WP, third; Adam Shorter, WP, sixth


Tennis teams capture district titles

Photo by David Kapitan

Chase Daniell and Kelsey James defeated teams from Brownsboro, Canton and Van to finish first overall in mixed doubles at the District 13-4A Tournament to qualify for Regionals.

The Wills Point Tiger tennis team marked off two more items from their list of season goals last week, capturing the District 13-4A championships in both the varsity boys and girls divisions while also qualifying 10 players for the Regional Tournament.

Regional qualifiers for Wills Point include Cassidy Wilcoxson in girls singles, Jack Johns in boys singles, Chase Daniell and Kelsey James in mixed doubles, Maddie Booth and Claire Hiler in girls doubles, Hope Turner and Maddie Baker in girls doubles, and Mikey McCormack and Kash Adams in boys doubles.

Impressively, Joshua Schreffler, and the mixed doubles team of Justin McGough and Hannah Gern finished third in their respective brackets to serve as alternates at the Regional Tournament.

Individual match results included:


Lady Tigers turn tables on Canton in 5-2 win

Photo by David Kapitan

Harley Sieber delivered a key sacrifice while also playing an error-free game in left field for Wills Point.

Canton and Wills Point squared off once before during the 2017 season, going down to the wire in a 5-4 Eaglette victory back on March 15.

The Lady Tigers exacted a measure of revenge on Canton on Friday night, equalizing the season series behind a stellar pitching performance and timely hitting in a 5-2 win over the Eaglettes.

Canton jumped in front 1-0 in the bottom of the first after a Lady Tiger fielding error allowed Eaglette leadoff hitter Kylie Floyd come home.

The Eaglettes doubled their advantage to 2-0 in the top of the third as Brooke Arnold tripled deep to left, coming home to score on a passed ball just four pitches later.

Wills Point would bounce back quickly, taking a 3-2 lead in the top of the fourth with a Kamree Clark RBI single to right, and Olivia McMath sacrifice that was misplayed in the field and an Alexis Mosley groundball that was also mishandled.


Tigers to begin round two of district

Photo by David Kapitan

The Wills Point Tigers, 2-3 overall through the first round of district play, will look to strengthen their grip on a top four finish in order to qualify for the UIL State Baseball Playoffs with a home game against Van and road games in Brownsboro and Rains in the coming weeks. 

The Wills Point Tigers put a bow on the first round of district play on Friday night, making their way to Canton for a meeting with the district-leading Eagles.

Aided by a strong pitching performance from Johnnie Krawietz, Canton kept Wills Point bats in check for a 4-1 win over the Tigers.

Detailed game information of the Canton-Wills Point game were not immediately available as of press time.

With the first round of District 13-4A play officially in the books, Canton is in first place overall with a perfect 5-0 record. The Eagles are followed by Mabank and Brownsboro, tied for second at 3-2 overall, Wills Point and Rains, tied at 2-3, and Van at 0-5.


Tigers earn split versus Bears, Wildcats

Photo by David Kapitan

Sophomore Jayton Oldacre fires a pitch during District 13-4A play against the visiting Emory Rains Wildcats.

The Wills Point Tigers continued District 13-4A play last week, tangling with Brownsboro and Rains for the first time this season. The Tigers earned a split in those two contests, keeping their overall district record at 2-2 overall through four games.

Wills Point persevered to outduel Brownsboro 6-5 in a game highlighted by major shifts in momentum March 31.

The Tigers held the advantage early, countering a first inning run by the Bears with three in the bottom of the first and two more in the bottom of the third for a 5-1 lead.

Not to be outdone, Brownsboro came roaring back late with three runs in the top of the fifth and a game-tying run in the top of the seventh to force Wills Point into extra innings.

Relief pitcher Mason Cox got three quick outs against the Bears in the top of the eight, setting up a walk-off situation for the Tiger offense.


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