Crawford’s Kirk Allen knows how to coach softball, but he isn’t very lucky at coin flips.
During the first four rounds of the Class 2A playoffs, Allen wanted to play a best-of-three series. But the opposing coaches wanted a one-game playoff, and they won the coin flip every time.
In the Region II finals, both Allen and Honey Grove coach Lee Frost agreed to a best-of-three format that will be played at Argyle High School beginning Wednesday at 6 p.m. Game two will be played Saturday at noon, and a third game will follow if necessary.
Despite losing four straight coin flips, the No. 1 Lady Pirates (31-3) romped to a 19-3 win over San Saba in bi-district followed by an 11-2 win over Lindsay in area, a 12-1 win over Collinsville in the region quarterfinals and a 3-1 win over Ivanhoe Sam Rayburn in the region semifinals.
After losing to Bells in 11 innings in the third game of last year’s region finals, the Lady Pirates will have considerable motivation.
“We’ve been playing really well, but I don’t think we’ve played our best game yet,” Allen said. “We hope we have that in us. The competition has gotten better each round, and I think we’ve stepped up to match the team we’re playing.”
The Lady Pirates feature a pair of talented pitchers in junior right-hander Makey Dunbar (17-0) and senior right-hander Cambree Aguirre (14-3).
Kyla Mach is Crawford’s most prolific power hitter with 11 homers while Cece Villa is hitting .600 and Avery Ward .500. Grace Powell has been a productive leadoff hitter, and Hannah Morton, Addi Weaver, Kylie Ray and Lexi Moody have each made strong contributions.
Honey Grove (25-6) is led by the sister pitching duo of Bree and Maddison Cason, while catcher Makiyah Johnson leads the offense.
“Both of their pitchers can get up to 55 to 57 mph and they’ll come with curveballs and screwballs,” Allen said. “They’re good, solid pitchers who will keep their team in the game. Their catcher is a power slapper and they’ve got one of the best outfields we’ll see all year. They’re real, fast athletic kids.”
Johnson unveils Discovery Den
Former Kansas City Chiefs and Waco High linebacker Derrick Johnson unveiled his “Discovery Den” to students and teachers at Waco’s J.H. Hines Elementary School on Monday afternoon.
The Discovery Den, which is part of Johnson’s Defend the Dream Foundation, has transformed a corner of the school library into an area with 600 new, age-appropriate books. Johnson attended Hines Elementary School when he was growing up in Waco.
This is Johnson’s first Discovery Den in Waco after installing 15 in Kansas City schools since 2015. Johnson’s Defend the Dream Foundation began in 2012 to provide low income and inner city youth with opportunities and resources.
Former Iredell coach headed back to sidelines
Former Iredell football coach Don Coffell will be back on the sideline next year.
Irion County has hired Coffell as its new head coach for a program that will be fielding a six-man varsity team for the first time since 1975. Irion County moved to 11-man the next year.
Coffell had a 16-year run as Iredell’s coach that ended in 2011, recording an 81-76 overall record. His best seasons were 9-3 campaigns in both 2006 and 2010.
Since then, he’s taught and coached other sports at Iredell, including basketball, golf, and track and field.
Centex students to compete in state rodeo finals
A pair of Central Texas students will compete in the Texas Junior High School Rodeo Association State Finals coming up this weekend.
Lorena’s Wyatt Jones and Rosebud-Lott’s Ace Ashford have qualified for the event, which starts Sunday in Gonzales and runs through June 1. They’ll compete in six rodeos over a five-day period.
Jones, a seventh grader from Lorena, qualified in chute dogging, breakaway roping, light rifle, and team roping, where his partner is Ashford.
Belton sending six more to college programs
Belton will hold a signing ceremony for six college-bound athletes at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Belton Athletic Complex weight room.
The group includes girls soccer players Gracie Green and Yuli Cruz, who are both staying home to play at Mary Hardin-Baylor, football’s Marques Aguilar, another UMHB signee, track and field’s Kaylee Hausam (Harding University), and track and field’s Sela Anderson (Southwestern).
Super Centex nominations sought for baseball, softball
Central Texas baseball and softball coaches whose seasons are complete may submit nominations for the Super Centex teams.
Nominations should include players’ positions, classifications, statistics, and any pertinent awards or honors they’ve received. They may be sent to Chad Conine at email@example.com, or Brice Cherry at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Trib is also accepting nominations for the All-Academic Super Centex Team, which is open to senior varsity athletes in all sports with a 90 GPA or above. Nominations should include the student’s GPA, sports achievements, academic honors, and community involvement. Send nominations to Brice Cherry at email@example.com.