By Michael W. Love of Texas Sports Center.com
Huntington Head Baseball Coach Kelly Dickinson confirmed today that he will take over the position of head baseball coach in Jasper left vacant by Shawn Mixon, who recently resigned, stating that it had everything to do with family. Mixon wanted to be more involved with his daughters sport of softball, and to see her play. In fact, he took a job in his home town of Woodville to coach the very team she will be playing for.
Coach Dickinson has made great strides with the Huntington baseball program in the past two years. The team has been moving forward and getting better with each season, so much that they were only a half game out of replacing Jasper as the third team in the district to make the playoffs. A Jasper team that forced a best 2 out of 3 against a very strong China Springs team in the 3rd round.
Now Incoming Jasper Baseball Head Coach Kelly Dickinson shakes hands with outgoing Head Coach Shawn Mixon, after a game in Huntington in the late spring of 2012. Photo by Michael W. Love of Texas Sports Center.Com
Jasper Bulldogs Head Baseball Coach Shawn Mixon turned in his resignation on Tuesday morning after 10 years at the helm. He and Assistant Coach Steve Smith have led the Jasper Bulldogs to more than 350 games together with two appearances in the Texas State Championship Round in Austin. They led their team to Jasper's first state baseball title in 2007. Coach Mixon came to the winning tradition of Bulldog baseball in 2002 and never missed a step as the Jasper Bulldogs has qualified for the playoffs each season for the past 20 consecutive years. In 2012 the Bulldogs entered the as the 3rd seeded team in District 18-3A behind Hudson and Dibol, but it was Jasper alone in their district that made it to the third round of the playoffs before falling short against China Springs in a 2 out of 3 battle.
Coach Mixon said in a phone conversation, that his resignation had nothing to do with Jasper or its school system, and that he really loved being a Jasper Bulldog. It had everything to do with his immediate family and wanting to be there to see his teenage daughter play the game he has had the privilege of coaching these many years.
Mixon said he knew that this day would eventually come, because he could see that his coaching baseball on Tuesday and Friday nights would be troubled by the fact that he wanted to be there to support his daughter as she moves into the high school sports arena. While speaking with him, it was evident by his voice that he was struggling to talk about not being at the Dawg Diamond on game nights, or at the Bulldog's field house each day getting his players ready for a new season. Although it will be tough not being in Jasper, he said it's all worth it to see his girl grow up and play softball in Woodville where he and his family have continued to live during the years he has been the head baseball coach in Jasper.
Coach Smith will also step down from the role of baseball coach, but he will remain in Jasper and continue his teaching career as always. He hangs up his cleats after 19 years with the team. Coach Smith and others laid the bricks that run the length of both sides if the field, from the dugouts to the foul poles which gives the Dawg Diamond its unique look and feel. It's a ballpark that makes you feel at home even if you’re not a Jasper Bulldog.
I personally spent more than 200 hundred games in the dugouts with the coaches and players, taking their photo's as they made spectacular catches, hit home runs and ran the bases. I got a chance to get to know the players as they grew up under the tutelage of both Coach Mixon and Smith. I was always made welcome and treated like one of the family. I can say with all honesty that I had never been around better-coached teams or a more dedicated duo to their cause. Their absence on Jasper's diamond will be remarkable to say the least.
Coach Shawn Mixon congratulating players after a win against Madisonville in a playoff game in May 2012
Now the search is on. This may be one of the most applied for jobs in the state as far as head baseball coaching positions go. Not just because of the fishing either, but it doesn't hurt.
Jasper Baseball has long been recognized as a team to be dealt with for 20 plus years and has become one of the most successful programs in Southeast Texas. Jasper rally's behind their team each year fueled by it's booster club, which raises more than $30,000.00 in a single night at their annual baseball banquet each year to pay for field repairs, maintenance and upgrades to fields, dugouts and lighting and much more.
That money is also responsible for the large banner sign on the left field fence along with beautiful statue in the shape of Texas to commemorate their 2007 3A Texas State Championship Title.
With dedicated fans, loyal financial support and a long winning tradition, it would be just about any coaches dream job. This sounds like an appeal, but it's just the facts. Jasper has some of the most talented baseball athletes to come on the scene in a long while, and most of them have been teammates since T-ball. This particular group will be high school freshman in the spring of 2013. I just wanted you to know what your getting if you are chosen for this prestigious position.
Thank you to Coach Shawn Mixon and Coach Steve Smith for exciting baseball and a great experience we all will recall with gratitude and pride for many years to come.
The 3A- Quarterfinal match up between the Bridge City Cardinals and the Robinson Rockets came down to a one game playoff due to a coin flip won by Robinson who favored the single game contest.
The game was played at College Park High School in The Woodlands on Saturday evening, and it proved to be a very low scoring game as the pitchers were both very good but not perfect as both gave up more than 5 hits a piece by the 5th inning.
Bridge City fell behind in the first inning after getting a double in the first at bat but couldn't capitalize. That opened the door for Robinson to take an early lead after two strike outs to start the inning, then strung together back to back to back singles to take a 1 to nothing lead after one.
The Cardinals got on the board in the 3rd when they got a base runner who reached on an error, advanced on a sac fly then, then moved to third on a called strike throw to first and scored on a single. Bridge City took the lead with another run with the help of another error by the Rockets and single to make the score 2 to 1 in favor of Bridge City in the top or the 3rd inning.
The Robinson Rockets would take over in the bottom of the fifth inning when they scored 5 runs on 4 hits and a pair of errors put Bridge City down 6 to 2 and that would be the final score as the Robinson Rockets move to play the China Spring Cougars who had already eliminated LaGrange in two games over the weekend.
The Cardinals were out hit 9 to 5 and committed 3 errors to 2 by the Rockets. Bridge City finished their season 25 – 3 and 1 tie with the Buna Cougars in pre-district play.
The District 18-3A All District selections were made public this week after the last remaining district team, Jasper Bulldogs play off run ended in the third round against the China Spring Cougars last week end.
All-District honories are selected by each team's coach, and then they are voted on by the opposing coachs of the district, who are restricted from voting for their own players.
This year's District 18-3A MVP of 2012 is, Hudson Sr. Austin Kimble.
First-team team Pitchers:
First-team 1st Base:
First-team Utility Player:
Second-team team Pitchers:
Huntington Soph. Paul Fernandex
Central Soph. Chase Taylor
Diboll Jr. Jay Lowe
Second-team 1st Base:
Hudson Jr. Michah Ellison
Center Jr. Lou Burns
Huntington Sr. AJ Noel
Jasper Sr. Jessie Due
Diboll Jr. Jason Cook
Hudson Soph. Cody Sanches and Jr. Garrett Fenely
Jasper Sr. Matt Perdue
Central Sr. Clayton Collmorgan
Huntington Sr. Kerry Thompson
Hudson Sr. Austin Guerra
Second-team Utility Player:
Huntington Sr. Devin Horton
Hudson Sr. Cameron Hathorn
Center Fr. Josh Burns and Soph. Ross Mahon
Central Sr. Colton Boles, Soph. Zach Kornegay and Jr. Joseph Lansford
Jasper Sr. Lane Kipp
Kirbyville Sr. Randall Allday and Soph. Rhett Allday
Huntington Soph. Efran Alberto and Sr. Matt Mcgaughey
Diboll Sr. Zane Anthony, Sr. Doug Waters, Sr. Cody Gelvin, Sr. Hunter Willis and Sr. Germariyea Mott
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The photo gallery will allow you to see the photo's in large easy to view format, so take your time a enjoy them game by game. There really were some spectacular plays that we all need to remember again.
The Jasper Bulldogs and the China Springs Cougars squared off on Friday evening in a double header at Fireman's Park in Brenham, Texas. Jasper took game one but it was a battle as both teams took a lead only to give them up later but Jasper held on to win 9 to 8.
Game two was quite different, as Jasper jumped out with a 2 run lead to in top of the first but then gave up 5 runs in the bottom of the inning. That was the last lead the Bulldogs would see the rest of the night as the China Springs Cougars hit just about every thing Jasper threw at them. China Springs racked up 17 hits and committed 3 errors, while Jasper eventually got 7 hits most late in the game and also matched the Cougars in errors with 3, allowing China Springs to score 13 runs to Jasper's 7.
The two game split forced a tie breaker that will be played on Saturday at Fireman's Park at high noon and pitching as always will be the big story in determining who moves on to the next round. Both teams hit the ball deep with plenty of power, good speed on the bases, the defenses were pretty even and pretty athletic, as several great plays were made throughout the two games. If both starting pitcher's get into a zone, it could be a fast game and a nail biter. If not, the bases could be loaded a lot for one or both teams and make it a high scoring game.
The scoreboard pretty much tells the story of game two's dueiling pitchers .The Cougars racked up 17 hits to fuel their 13 runs to even the series. Photo by Michael Love
The Jasper Bulldogs, the last remaining team from the 18-3A District after both Diboll and Hudson lost out in the 2nd round of the playoffs, travel to Brenham, Texas to take on the China Springs Cougars in round 3. After splitting the double header 9-8 Jasper and 13-7 China Spring on Friday , they met again on Saturday for a high noon showdown.
Jasper couldn't get anything going in their first at bat but the Cougars did with unearned 4 runs on 2 errors. Jasper continued to struggle allowing China Spring to pull away as they scored 2 more in the second and 1 in the third inning to take a 7 to nothing lead and it looked like the Cougars were headed to the next round in a hurry.
Jasper finally got a run in the 4th inning to squash the wrought and they also stopped the Cougars from scoring in the bottom of the inning. Bulldogs pitcher Tyler Bolton and the defense got a little tougher and slowed down the offensive display that had gone on for two and half games by China Spring. They left no doubt in this series that they could hit the ball deep and into the gaps just where they needed it at the right time.
Despite that, Jasper did manage to make several plays on defense to keep them off the scoreboard for the of the game as they picked up a run in the 6th and the 7th inning falling short by the score of 7 to 3. Congratulations to both teams for a great athletic display of heart and effort. Good luck to the Cougars on your bid for a championship. To the Jasper Bulldogs, your community and fans are very proud of you. And from this sports writer, you are all a great group of young men and wish all of the graduating class good luck and great success in your future.
China Spring will now move on to face LaGrange in the Regional Semi-finals on the weekend of May 26th.
Bridge City defeated Hufman 7 to 5 in a one game "winner take all" contest last Thursday May 18th, and now moves on to Regional Semi-finals against the number 1 team in the state, the Robinson Rockets.
Jasper's Jessie Due lines this ball just out of reach of a Cougar down the third base line to cap a 6 run scoring effort in game one in the third inning to take the lead 6 to 4. Photo By Michael Love of Texas Sports Center. Com
While the Cougars were getting in a rundown, a base runner tries to go home but Catcher Jo Walker met him with a high tag that ruffled a few feathers, but never the less it was a much needed out for the Bulldogs as the game was already out of hand. Photo