Angelina College Athletics Weekly Update

Date:

Another full week of Angelina College Athletics action (we sure stay busy around here) including a new coaching hire, some recognition for some deserving student-athletes, and – of course – plenty of game action.

Here’s a recap of the week, along with a list of upcoming events:

Lady Roadrunner Basketball Remains Atop Standings

The Lady Roadrunners have remained perched atop the Region XIV basketball standings for most of the season. On Saturday, they stayed there – by a mere two points.

AC’s ladies traveled to Kilgore to battle the second-place Lady Rangers and escaped with a thrilling 83-81 win. The result kept the Lady Roadrunners (16-8, 8-1) with just one loss in conference play while Kilgore dropped to 14-9, 7-2.

In Saturday’s win, Maria Kenembeni wrecked the Rangers with a 25-point, 13-rebound effort. Amyria Walker added 23 points and Janay Quinn another 10 for AC. Collectively, the Lady Roadrunner defense forced 17 Kilgore turnovers, converting most of those to transition scores on the AC end.

The Lady ‘Runners host Jacksonville College Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. before traveling to Athens on Saturday to take on No. 13 Trinity Valley Community College at 2 p.m.

Roadrunner Basketball Splits Road/Home Games this Week

AC’s guys rebounded from Wednesday’s road slip (an 81-68 to Coastal Bend Community College in Beeville) with a solid performance at home on Saturday. The Roadrunners topped Victoria College in a 76-63 win at Shands Gymnasium.

Xavier Owens led the team with 16 points, while Keddric Mays added 14 points in the win.

The ‘Runners (16-8, 7-6) still hold the third-place spot in Region XIV’s South Zone, two games back of second-place Blinn College and two games ahead of fourth-place Coastal Bend.

AC gets the night off on Wednesday before hosting No. 12 Lee College on Saturday at 4 p.m.

Lady Roadrunner Softball with High-Speed Week

No team was busier this week than the Lady Roadrunner softball team, which played a total of eight games in six days – capping the week Sunday in Waco.

The Lady ‘Runners began the week with their home opener on Monday, sweeping Kilgore College 15-7, 7-1 at Lady Roadrunner Field. In the opening game, AC’s Skyler Martin drove in eight runs, including a grand slam. Riley Davila drove in another four runs, and Kaetlyn Dunbar doubled twice in the win.

In the late game, it was Dunbar’s turn to trot the bases, with the sophomore rocking a three-run homer and finishing the game with three RBI. Davila drove in two more to help AC cap the sweep of the Lady Rangers.

AC dropped both games of a doubleheader Wednesday at No. 18 Bossier Parish CC (losing 11-0, 8-0) before hitting Waco for the rain-soaked McLennan Tournament. The Lady ‘Runners actually led Crowder College 2-0 on Saturday before rains washed out the game and left it declared a “no contest.” AC then battled No. 6 McLennan before falling 4-1.

The Lady ‘Runners are scheduled to play at Kilgore College on Wednesday in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.

AC then will play four straight games at home beginning on Friday: The Lady Roadrunners play Monroe College and Butler College starting at noon on Friday, then play Butler twice on Saturday starting at 2 p.m.

Roadrunner Baseball Falls at Temple College

AC Baseball’s only two games of the week were on the road against a strong Temple College team, with the ‘Runners coming out on the short end of 9-6, 10-3 finals.

Taz Pate homered and drove in three runs in the opener, then added a solo shot for another RBI in the nightcap.

The Roadrunners (2-6) on Wednesday will travel to Alvin College for a pair of seven-inning games starting at noon. AC returns home on Saturday for a twin bill against Temple College starting at 1 p.m. at Poland Field on the AC campus.

Gardea Named Head Women’s Soccer Coach

Sergio Gardea, who has spent the past few years helping build Jacksonville College programs, recently was named the head coach of the Lady Roadrunners. Not only does Gardea bring familiarity with a tough Region XIV conference, he also brings a resume filled with success as both a player and a coach.

Gardea also worked at Jacksonville with current AC men’s head coach Martin Melchor and was instrumental in lifting the Lady Jaguar program to new heights.

For his full story and bio, visit the Angelina College Athletics website at www.angelinaathletics.com

Nice Ring to It: Roadrunner Men’s Soccer Receives Conference Championship Rings

In 2023, the Angelina College men’s soccer team accomplished a program first – and it wasn’t even their trip the NJCAA Division I National Tournament in Wichita, Kansas.

No, the team already had been there, done that when it came to qualifying for a national tournament. After all, the program’s first appearance at nationals had occurred the year before.

What the program had never done was win a Region XIV conference championship. Despite knocking on the door for several years, not until 2023 did the Roadrunners finally kick down the door with emphasis.

The ‘Runners didn’t lose a regular-season match in 2023, finishing the year 13-2-2, with the only losses occurring in the national tournament. One of those losses came to the eventual national champion.

And for the first time, the Roadrunners captured the Region XIV conference title, beating Northeast Texas Community College in the quarterfinals, Blinn College in the semifinals and Tyler Junior College in the finals.

On Friday, Angelina College staff presented the team and coaches with rings commemorating the big milestone.

TINY DANCERS

Allison Wethington, 8 (wearing pink) and Ava Nash, 12 (wearing maroon) performed at half time of Saturday’s Roadrunners vs. Victoria College basketball game. The two tiny dancers are part of the Academy of Gymnastics and Dance in Lufkin, and they did a beautiful job entertaining the crowd.

UPCOMING EVENTS OF NOTE:

Women’s/Men’s Basketball Sophomore Day: Saturday, March 2. AC teams hosting Coastal Bend CC in a doubleheader starting at 2 p.m. Sophomore Day festivities will take place before each game.

Tyler Rayburn Baseball Tribute: Tyler Rayburn was a key (and very popular) part of the Angelina College baseball team for a couple of years. Sadly, we lost Tyler when he passed away in 2023, but the Roadrunner baseball program plans to honor his memory with a tribute tentatively scheduled for Saturday, March 23 at Poland Field. The Roadrunners host TCS Post Grad in a doubleheader that day, so the ceremony (including a ceremonial first pitch) will take place before the first game, currently scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.

Softball National Champions 10-Year Reunion: Yes, 2024 marks the 10th anniversary of Angelina College’s only national title: The Lady Roadrunner Softball team’s 2014 national championship. Current plans include hosting a reunion ceremony tentatively scheduled for Saturday, April 20, when the Lady Roadrunner softball team will host Blinn College in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. We’ll issue more information once we’ve solidified all the plans.

This Week’s Schedule (NOTE: Baseball and softball subject to change with pending inclement weather):

Roadrunner Baseball:

Wednesday, Feb. 14: AC at Alvin College, DH starting at 12 p.m. in Alvin.

Saturday, Feb. 17: AC vs. Temple College, DH starting at 1 p.m., Poland Field on the AC campus.

Lady Roadrunner Basketball:

Wed., Feb. 14: AC vs. Jacksonville College, 6:30 p.m. at Shands Gymnasium.

Sat., Feb. 17: AC at Trinity Valley CC, 2 p.m. in Athens.

Roadrunner Basketball:

Saturday, Feb. 17: AC vs. Lee College, 4 p.m. at Shands Gymnasium

Lady Roadrunner Softball:

Wednesday, Feb. 14: AC at Kilgore, DH (doubleheader) starting at 1 p.m. in Kilgore (could possibly be moved to AC)

Friday, Feb. 16: AC vs. Monroe College (12 p.m.); AC vs. Butler CC, 2:30 p.m.

Saturday, Feb. 17: AC vs. Butler CC, DH starting at 2 p.m.   

For up-to-date information on any potential schedule changes, AC fans can visit the Angelina College Athletics website (www.angelinaathletics.com) or follow on social media (@ACAthletics on X/Twitter, or Angelina College Athletics Facebook page.)

For any other information, contact Gary Stallard at gstallard@angelina.edu.

We’ll see you at the games.

Gary Stallard
Email: gstallard@angelina.edu.
Phone: (936) 465-4614

Gary Stallard
Sports Information Director Gary Stallard, who also serves as a Liberal Arts Instructor, begins his eleventh season with Angelina College. Following a career as a U.S. Marine, Stallard completed his bachelor’s degree at Stephen F. Austin University, where he majored in English and Journalism. For more than 16 years, he has worked as a sports writer/columnist/photographer for the Lufkin Daily News; he continues to contribute free-lance articles on occasion. Stallard has won several awards for writing, including the Golden Hoops Award for basketball writing in 2003, Regional Sports Writer of the Year in 2004, and the Texas Press Association’s first-place award for column writing in 2007 and in 2014. He has also done basketball, football and baseball radio and live streaming play-by- play and color commentary for an ESPN affiliate. Currently Stallard serves as play-by-play broadcaster for AC basketball, baseball and softball games. Prior to arriving at Angelina College, Stallard taught English at Lufkin High School for four years. He currently teaches Developmental Writing classes at AC. He and his wife Susan live in Lufkin.

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