From the Pressbox | February 21, 2019

refwAnd so it has come to pass. There will be no more girls’ basketball contested in Marion County until November, when Mark Allen’s squad again gets on the court.

Jefferson’s Bi-District dismissal from the schoolgirl playoffs comes with District 15-3A company, however, and with District Champ Tatum eliminated as well, it’s time to recognize the best players in our competitive neighborhood.

The Lady Bulldogs were well-represented on the list this season with two girls garnering First Team honors and three more picking up Second Team taps while six more received Honorable Mentions from the district’s coaches. Two of the honorees double-dipped and were named to the Academic All-District squad.

Senior forward Elaina Langbartels and junior guard Mackenzie Jordan were selected to the 15-3A First Team, with Langbartels’ hoops career ending with a team-high 9.7 points and 7.9 rebounds per contest. Jordan will return for another season after finishing as the second-leading scorer on the team (8.6 ppg) and third-leading rebounder (6.1 rpg). Jordan’s 11 blocked shots was second only to Langbartels’ 26 swats while Jordan was the team leader in steals with 65 thefts.

Senior Hannah Welch (5.8 ppg, 6.5 rebounds and 38 steals), junior Nia Garrett (5.9 ppg, 3.3 rpg and 62 steals) and freshman Tierrani Johnson (7.6 ppg, 4.2 rpg and 56 steals) earned 15-3A Second Team honors while the Honorable Mentions went to Mikiah Allen, Maddie Bristow, Brianna Carter, Jaden Carter, Katie Holliday and Ma’Kiya Young.

Surprising Daingerfield led the way amongst the district’s superlatives, picking up both Offensive (Jacylyn Garrett) and Defensive (Mikayla Roberson) Players of the Year while Essence Allen of Tatum was named the overall District 15-3A Most Valuable Player.

Elysian Fields’ sophomore Christen Smith was tabbed as the Newcomer of the Year while Coach of the Year honors were shared by Tatum’s Patricia Nelson and Daingerfield’s Marcus Latimore.

Tatum’s Lady Eagles carried the 15-3A banner farthest in the schoolgirl playoffs with victories over Troup and Atlanta before a third-round elimination by Winnsboro, 59-46. Daingerfield beat White Oak in Bi-District but was ousted by New Boston in the Area playoff, 60-52. Elysian Fields got past Arp but then was dismissed by Mount Pleasant Chapel Hill, 73-27.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch….

Have you seen any of the Alliance of American Football games yet? It’s an eight-team developmental league that’s so far received respectable marks through the first two weeks and even “you-gotta-see-this-guy”-kinda coverage from the networks.

San Antonio’s Commanders are Texas’ team in this spring-time league that features a 10-game regular season schedule with championship playoffs to follow. Teams in Memphis, Orlando, Atlanta and Birmingham make up the Eastern Division while the San Antonio squad is joined in the West Division by teams in Arizona, Salt Lake City and San Diego.

Will anyone move up from this NFL-sanctioned gridiron minor league?

Even just two weeks in, the media darling has been former Texas A&M-Commerce quarterback Luis Perez. His story of bowling instead of high school football, then walking on at a California JUCO before moving to Commerce and leading the Lions to an NCAA-Division II Natty has raised everyone’s eyebrows, if only because he’s out of the mold. His demeanor and leadership have impressed many in the media while his precision passing and beautiful deep-ball passes are wowing the scouts.

By the way, the head coach that brought him along in Commerce is now SFA’s boss Lumberjack – Colby Carthel has another former player in the league as well. Dustin Vaughan, who led West Texas A&M on some deep playoff runs before signing with the Dallas Cowboys, is the backup in San Antonio.

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