LOCAL SPORTS IN BRIEF

THE BIG DOG – Kilgore boys basketball coach Jeff Coleman (above) gives directions to his players during a game against Chapel Hill last week. The Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs were off earlier this week, and will both be at home Tuesday night to take on District 16-4A rival Gilmer.
THE BIG DOG – Kilgore boys basketball coach Jeff Coleman (above) gives directions to his players during a game against Chapel Hill last week. The Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs were off earlier this week, and will both be at home Tuesday night to take on District 16-4A rival Gilmer.
Photo by MITCH LUCAS
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FOOTBALL

Kilgore banquet next Thursday

Kilgore High School’s football banquet is next Thursday night, Jan. 24, at 6 p.m. at the Devall Center’s ballroom on the Kilgore College campus.

Tickets are being sold in advance, at $20 each, at the KHS athletic department office on campus.

The booster club organizes and decorates for the banquet each year, which honors the varsity, junior varsity, and freshmen football players.

BASEBALL

Kilgore’s Lafitte to coach HOC game this summer

Kilgore High School baseball coach Eugene Lafitte, who guided the Diamond ‘Dogs within a win of the 4A state tournament last year, has been chosen as one of the coaches for the 2018 Northeast Fellowship of Christian Athletes Heart of A Champion baseball all-star game this summer.

Lafitte, along with Harmony’s Ronnie McNeel and Grace’s Sam Blackman, will coach senior all-stars in the baseball contest at Irwin Field on the University of Texas at Tyler campus on June 7. That weekend has turned into a festival of sorts for East Texas senior athletes – the all-star softball game is also June 7, at UT-Tyler’s Suddenlink Field, and the football all-star game is June 8 at Rose Stadium.

This is the ninth year for the football game, the fifth for softball and the fourth for baseball. Over 300 players are nominated from 70-plus East Texas schools for the contests and 200 are chosen, including senior cheerleaders.

The announcement of the all-stars is set for Feb. 17 at First Baptist Church in Tyler, and in April, there will be a tailgate and meet-the-players day.

The goal of the games is to bring glory to God, recognition to the work of the FCA in Northeast Texas and highlight the talent of the athletes and coaches in the East Texas area.

For more, visit www.netfca.org.

YOUTH BASEBALL

KBBA registration starts Feb. 9

The Kilgore Boys Baseball Association will begin its 2019 season – its second full season in the new parks on Commerce Street – this spring, and registration is almost here.

Sign-up will be at the concession stand at the old parks on Harris Street, and will be on Saturday, Feb. 9 and on Saturday, Feb. 16, from 8 a.m. until noon both days. Online registration will also be available this year (and will go live Feb. 1).

Players will need to provide a copy of their birth certificates. Registration fee this year is $100 per player.

For more, see the association’s Facebook page (Kilgore Boys Baseball Association) or their website (www.kilgoreboysbaseballassociation.com).

SOCCER

KHS boys win, girls lose in tourney play Thursday

As both Kilgore High soccer programs continue in tournaments, prior to the beginning of their district schedules, the Bulldogs are in Terrell and the Lady ‘Dogs in Longview.

On Thursday, coach Tom Wait’s Bulldogs played twice – they won both. The ‘Dogs beat Ferris, 2-0, Thursday morning and then beat Red Oak, 1-0, Thursday afternoon. Kilgore was to play Marshall in the event on Friday, and it wraps up today.

The Bulldogs are 7-1-2 on the season, and will be a little more local next weekend – they’ll play at Hallsville next Friday, Jan. 25, a 5:30 p.m. junior varsity start, with varsity to follow. Kilgore’s first home game of the season is Tuesday, Jan. 29 against Pittsburg.

Coach Heidi Hagan’s Lady Bulldogs have had several close losses, and dropped a 1-0 decision to Jacksonville on Thursday in the Longview tournament. They were to play Lufkin on Friday, and the tournament continues today.

The girls play at Hallsville – JV at 5:30, varsity at 7 – on Tuesday night, and then will host Henderson next Friday.

BASKETBALL

Bulldogs, Lady Bulldogs host Gilmer on Tuesday

Kilgore High School basketball teams are both home Tuesday night against Gilmer, as District 16-4A play continues.

The Bulldogs and Lady Bulldogs were on the road Friday, both at Henderson for district games that concluded after the deadline for this print edition of the News Herald. Tuesday’s home games against Gilmer will begin at 5 p.m. – KHS has two gyms and subvarsity games start at 5. The varsity girls will play at 6 in the main gym, followed by the varsity boys.

Kilgore’s boys, coached by Jeff Coleman, are 17-7 in the 2018-19 season and 4-1 in district play. They’re alone in second place in the district standings, trailing only Spring Hill. That will get decided next Friday – Kilgore plays at Spring Hill that night.

Coach Trushundra McGill’s Lady ‘Dogs began the second round of district play at Henderson last night (they defeated Henderson the first time around). Kilgore is 18-7 overall this year, and 4-2 in district play, tied with Gilmer for second place.

The top four teams in the standings in both boys and girls make the UIL Class 4A playoffs following the regular season.

RODEO

Donkey rodeo here at KHS gym on Feb. 4

New rodeo stars will be born during the wild and crazy “Dairyland Donkey Basketball Show” at the Kilgore High School gym on Monday, Feb. 4, starting at 6:30 p.m.

It’s basketball on real, live donkeys and should be wilder than a rodeo and funnier than a circus. All local players will be riding, so come out and see someone you know try to ride a donkey and play basketball at the same time.

This fun-filled show is for a great cause – it’s sponsored by Kilgore Ag Backers and all of the proceeds will benefit local agriculture students.

Advanced tickets can be bought for $7 on the KHS campus from Mrs. Murphy in room 120 or in the ag building, or locally from Kilgore Feed and North Creek Animal Hospital.

Tickets may also be available for $10 at the door if there is space available.

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