Vandals prep for District 13-4A play

Photo by David Kapitan

Vandal players and coaches gathered together prior to the first pitch of their game against Mineola.

The Van Vandals took their final steps before opening up District 13-4A play this week, hosting Atlanta, Edgewood, Gladewater, Mineola and Pittsburg for this year’s three-day I-20 Classic.

Van finished the tournament with a 2-2-1 record overall, with wins over both Pittsburg and Gladewater and a tie against perennial baseball power Edgewood.

Casey Morrow pitched the opening game against Edgewood March 16, giving up just two hits over six innings in a 3-3 tie that occurred after reaching the time limit.

The Vandals would fall short in their next two games, losing 10-6 to Atlanta March 16 and 7-6 to Mineola March 17.


Late score pushes Jackets past Van

Fans that attended the March 7 game between Van and Mineola were treated to a thrilling pitcher's duel, with starters from both sides trading zeroes on the scoreboard throughout.

In the end, a seventh inning run by Mineola would prove to be the difference in a 2-1 Yellowjackets win over the Vandals.

Weather caused the game's location to be in doubt, with the site changing from Van to Mineola and back to Van throughout the day.

Once play finally began, Mineola struck first by plating a run in the top of the second inning to take a 1-0 lead over the Vandals.

The margin would not last for long as the Vandals drew even in the bottom of the third courtesy of a Sean Beasley RBI.

Van's inning began with Gus Brewer delivering a hard ground ball single. Jacoby Bogue followed suit by reaching on an error by the Mineola shorstop, giving the Vandals runners on first and third with no outs.


Lady Vandals compete at Rattler Spring Break Classic

Photo by David Kapitan

Kelsie Briggs and Morgan Benge helped to guide Van to a 5-1 win over Monterey March 9. Briggs and Benge combined for four total hits in the game on offense, while Briggs allowed just one earned run in four innings on the mound.

The Van Lady Vandal softball team participated in its longest road trip of the year March 9-11, heading south to San Marcos to compete at this year's Rattler Spring Break Classic.

Available box scores show Van going 1-2 overall, recording a win over Monterey and losses to both Lampasas and Johnson City.

The Lady Vandals struck quickly against Monterey, scoring four runs in the first inning en route to a 5-1 win.

Morgan Benge and Kelsie Briggs each went 2/2 in the game with an RBI, and Alex Walton, Racheal Thomas, Hallie Wilkerson and Riley Mitchell each added hits.

Kelsie Briggs got the win over Monterey, allowing just six hits and an earned run in four innings of work.

Lampasas turned the tables on Van in game two of the tournament, scoring three runs in the first and eight in the third on their way to an 11-1 win over the Lady Vandals.


Vandals compete at Lindale Tournament

The Van Vandals were in tournament mode for the second weekend in a row March 2-4, competing at this year's Lindale Baseball Tournament.

Van finished 1-3 overall at the event, suffering losses against Texas High, Lindale and Gilmer before bouncing back for a win over Sulphur Springs in their tournament finale.

The Vandals began their tournament run March 2, losing 13-0 over five innings against Texas High.

Van surrendered five runs in the first, four runs in the second and four more in the top of the fifth in the loss.

Four Vandal errors helped the Texas High cause in the game, helping lead to seven runs.

Casey Morrow helped to lead the Vandal offensive attack, going 2/2 with a double. Jacoby Bogue and Thomas Slayden each went 1/2 at the plate.

To read the full article, subscribe to the Van Banner or pick up a copy from one of our vendors. 


Lady Vandals split versus Henderson, Pollok Central

Photo by David Kapitan

Kelsie Briggs got the best of Henderson Feb. 28, helping guide the Lady Vandals to a 1-0 shutout win.

The Van Lady Vandals took to the field twice over the past week, hosting both Henderson and Pollok Central in non-district action.

Runs were at a premium during Van's game against Henderson Feb. 28 with the two teams combining for just five hits and a run over seven innings.

Van would get the better of the matchup, getting an RBI from Riley Mitchell in the second inning and a stellar outing from pitcher Kelsie Briggs in the win.

Briggs pitched all seven innings for the Lady Vandals, allowing just two hits while striking out three over seven innings on the mound.

Leading hitters for the Lady Vandals included Mitchell going 1/2 with an RBI, Baleigh Briggs going 1/3 with a double and a run scored, and Racheal Thomas going 1/3.

Poor defense and timely hitting by Pollok Central proved to be a recipe for disaster in a 10-4 Lady Vandal loss March 3.


Rucker earns Newcomer of the Year honors

Photo by David Kapitan

Lady Vandal freshman Macy Rucker took home another top honor on the court, following up an All-District First Team selection as a volleyball player with Newcomer of the Year honors for basketball.

With another season officially in the books for District 13-4A girls basketball teams, coaches released their list of student athletes that have earned Superlative and All-District recognition for the 2016-'17 season.

Canton and Van each took home one Superlative honor and multiple All-District nods, while Wills Point placed two on the Honorable Mention All-District team.

Superlative honorees included:

-MVP: Tamaria Manning, Brownsboro

-Offensive Player of the Year: Kenna Kellam, Rains

-Defensive Player of the Year: Kenley Nixon, Canton; Hannah Hudson, Mabank

-Newcomer of the Year: Macy Rucker, Van

-Sixth Man of the Year: Aleiah Williams, Brownsboro; Brianna Martin, Mabank

To read the full article, subscribe to the Van Banner or pick up a copy from one of our vendors. 


Season ends for Vandal basketball

The Van Vandals faced arguably the toughest test of any Van Zandt County team in the bi-district round of the playoffs, taking on the 14th ranked Paris Wildcats in Greenville. The Vandals struggled throughout the game against the Wildcats, falling behind in the first quarter and never recovering in a 63-42 loss.

Paris was unstoppable in the early going, seizing an 18-5 over the Vandals after one quarter of play.

Paris continued to keep their foot on the accelerator in the second, adding another 17 points to stretch their advantage to 35-13 entering the half.

Van began to find a rhythm offensively in the third quarter, matching their entire first half point output with a 13-point quarter but still falling further into a 54-26 hole.

To read the full article, subscribe to the Van Banner or pick up a copy from one of our vendors. 


Lady Vandals finish 3-2 in Lindale

Photo by David Kapitan

Morgan Benge catches an offering from Kelsie Briggs during the three-day Lindale Softball Tournament.

The Van Lady Vandals participated in their first tournament of the year Feb. 23-25, going 3-2 overall during the annual Lindale Softball Tournament.

Van's tournament run included wins over both Chapel Hill and Scurry-Rosser on the first day of the event, and a win over Grand Saline on the final day of the tournament.

The Lady Vandals began play against Tyler Chapel Hill Feb. 23, building up a four run lead before weathering a late rally for a 4-3 win.

Bailey Daniels got the start and win for Van, allowing three runs while striking out seven in five innings of work. Daniels also helped her own cause at the plate, going a perfect 2/2 with two singles.

Riley Mitchell and Morgan Benge each finished 1/2 at the plate, with Racheal Thomas getting the lone Van RBI in the win.

Van made short work of Scurry-Rosser in their second game of the tournament, easily cruising to a 9-1 over the Lady Cats.


Daniels commits to TSU

Photo by Dylan Turner

Van Lady Vandal standout Bailey Daniels made it official Feb. 1, signing her letter of intent to compete collegiately at Texas Southern University after graduation. Daniels was joined by family, teammates, and coaches during the signing ceremony, which also included four other Vandal student-athletes signing their letters of intent. Lady Vandal softball coach Robert Klick had high praise for Daniels at the event, stating, “She’s an awesome young lady, we as a softball team are so proud that she is going to the next level, and we appreciate what you’ve done for us, and we love you!”

For more stories like this one, subscribe to the Van Banner or pick up a copy from one of our vendors.


Lady Vandals win three Forney Tournament

The Van Lady Vandals 2017 softball season was kicked into overdrive last week with the team taking to the field five times over a three-day span at this year's Forney ISD Softball Tournament.

Van finished 3-2 overall during the early season tournament, defeating Rowlett, Denton and Creekview while come up short in one-run losses to both Frisco and Allen.

Play for the Lady Vandals began against Rowlett Feb. 16 with Van registering a 7-4 win.

Hallie Wilkerson, Alex Walton and Riley Mitchell each finished play with 2 RBI, and Racheal Thomas finished 3/4 with an RBI and a run scored.

The Lady Vandals improved to 2-0 in the tournament later the same evening, putting together an offensive clinic in a 23-0 rout of Denton.

Van scored a lone run in the first, eight in the second and 14 in the third to run rule the contest.

To read the full article, subscribe to the Van Banner or pick up a copy from one of our vendors. 


Subscribe to RSS - Sports