Regional spots, playoffs are at stake during Championship Week

By BOBBY "BUTCH" BURNEY | News-Telegram Sports Editor

April 6, 2008 - After months of preparation, everything in District 11-4A will come to a head this week.

Seven days from now, District 11-4A will have crowned its champions in boys and girls golf, track and tennis, and will be narrowing its playoff picture in softball and baseball, making April 7-11 truly a Championship Week.

While some of the sports may have to work around the threat of rain, if everything comes off as scheduled, the final round of the 11-4A golf tournament will be played on Monday, the track and field meet will be contested Monday and Wednesday, the tennis tournament is set for Tuesday and Wednesday, while baseball and softball will play three times in the next week.

Golf

The SSHS girls have all but wrapped up the district title after taking a 125-stroke lead over second-place North Lamar following the second of three rounds.

The third and final round will be played Monday at Hide-A-Way Lake Golf Course in Lindale with girls teeing off at 8:30 a.m. and boys to follow at 9 a.m.

Sulphur Springs not only leads the district, but has three of the top four individual scores and seven of the top 20.

The real race is for second place, with one stroke separating North Lamar and third-place Mount Pleasant. The top two teams and top two individuals not on those teams advance to regional.

On the boys side, Sulphur Springs is in fifth place behind the top two teams of Lindale and Texas High, both of which will be hard to dislodge from advancing to regional.

Individually, sophomore Adam Perry is tied for seventh place, and will need to make up five strokes to earn a regional berth.

Track and Field

The district meet will get underway at 10 a.m. Monday with the field events and the running of the 3,200-meter run at Sam Parker Field in Mount Pleasant. The running preliminaries will follow in the afternoon.

The meet will conclude at 6 p.m. Wednesday with the running finals. Along with varsity boys and girls, JV boys and girls will also be contested.

The top three in each event advance to the regional meet in Denton on April 25-26.

The Wildcats have enough depth this year to push Texas High for the district championship. They have several athletes who have good chances to advance, including sophomore hurdler Shane McQueen, sophomore triple jumper Bryant "Day Day" Jackson, senior high jumper Kaylon Page, senior shot putter Rodney Evans who is a two-time regional qualifier, distance runners Tate Ramirez (a two-time regional qualifier), Tyler Wilson, Dylan Rutherford and Ross Hicks, and the relay teams.

The SSHS girls won't be able to push for a district championship because they rely on so many underclassmen, but they will be trying to finish better than fifth, which they haven't done in a decade.

The top contenders to qualify for regional are juniors Delandria Pryor in the shot put and Mackenzie Cross in the high jump, senior Kelsey Evans in the 800, and freshmen distance runner Megan Massey and sprinter Bradyn Burney.

Baseball

Sulphur Springs and Texas High are scheduled to face off at 7 p.m. today at Eagle Stadium in a battle of district unbeatens. It is a make-up of last night's postponed game.

The winner will own a 4-0 record and the outright lead in the district. The loser will be 3-1 and be in second by itself after Lindale (2-2) beat North Lamar (1-3) by a score of 5-4 in nine innings on Friday, and Paris (1-3) upended Mount Pleasant (1-3) by the same score in eight innings.

The Wildcats will also travel to North Lamar on Tuesday to end the first round of district and be on the road to Mount Pleasant on Friday.

Softball

The Lady Cats (5-1) can clinch a playoff spot by defeating Texas High (2-4) on Monday in a game postponed from Friday. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. at Lady Cat Park.

It doesn't get any easier for Sulphur Springs as they will face North Lamar (6-0) in a showdown for first place on Tuesday at Lady Cat Park. The Pantherettes handed SSHS its only loss so far in district.

On Friday, the Lady Cats travel to Mount Pleasant.

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