Angelina College Athletics Weekly Update

Date:

(Women’s basketball photos by Camilla Bedin and Mary Kahraman; men’s basketball photos by Maria Andrade; soccer photos by Gary Stallard)

This week in Angelina College Athletics saw the men’s soccer team end its remarkable run at the NJCAA National Tournament in Wichita, while the men’s and women’s basketball team spent lots of time inside Shands Gymnasium.

Here’s a recap of the week, along with what’s coming our way this week. (HINT: It’s not much, meaning you’ll get a bit of a break for Thanksgiving.)

Roadrunner Soccer Season Ends in National Tournament

If anything, it’s a testament to just how hard it is to win a national championship.

After having the traditional dinner with AC president Dr. Michael Simon on Sunday, a Roadrunner soccer team that hadn’t lost a single match all season began pool play on Monday at the NJCAA Division I National Tournament in Wichita, Kansas, dropping a 3-1 decision to Cowley College. Omar Mora scored AC’s lone goal in the loss off a beautiful feed from Kaito Ueki, but the ‘Runners just couldn’t finish off other chances against a tough Cowley defense.

The Roadrunners then entered Tuesday’s match against defending national champion Monroe College needing to win by at least three goals. The match was just as intense as anyone would expect; unfortunately, the Mustangs – who would end the week with their second straight national title – proved too stubborn an opponent, sending the ‘Runners home with a 1-0 loss.

Mora earned a spot on the All-Tournament Team, and the Roadrunners earned the tournament’s Sportsmanship Award – awarded to the team conducting itself with the “highest degree of integrity, character and class.”

AC’s season ended with a 13-2-2 record, with the Roadrunners making Angelina College history as the only team (thus far) to appear in a national tournament in consecutive seasons in AC’s 55-year history.

Lady Roadrunner Basketball Hosts Angelina Classic

Shands Gymnasium stayed busy all weekend, as the Lady Roadrunners hosted the annual Angelina Classic – a two-day hoop-a-thon featuring six teams.

AC got in a tune-up before the classic, beating CCBC-Essex by an 87-78 score. Amyria Walker scored 26 points to lead the Lady Roadrunners, followed by Jade Fry with 21 points and Janay Quinn with 17 points and 10 rebounds.

On Friday, the Lady ‘Runners battled No. 8 McLennan College before falling to the Highlassies by a 69-54 score.

AC’s ladies bounced back in a big way on Saturday, torching LSU-Eunice in a 118-86 AC win. The Lady Roadrunners combined to burn the nets for 19 three-pointers, with Walker drilling seven of those on her way to a 32-point game. Alicia Rivera-Scott hit five threes for a 22-point game, Janay Quinn hit four treys in a 16-point game and India McMahon finished with 21 points that included a 3-of-4 performance from behind the three-point line.

NOTE: Nine games into the season, AC’s Amyria Walker leads Region XIV in scoring, averaging 23.9 points per game. Walker has two games of 30-plus points and seven games of 20-plus points so far.

The Lady ‘Runners (5-4) next play on Friday and Saturday as part of the Budke/Serna Classic at Trinity Valley Community College in Athens. AC faces Three Rivers Community College at 5 p.m. on Friday and South Plains College at 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Roadrunner Basketball Off to 5-1 Start

The Roadrunner men’s basketball team is off to a quick start, and although conference play hasn’t begun yet, AC showed it’s ready to run with the big dogs.

AC showed its capabilities with a nail-biting, 69-67 win over No. 27 Howard College on Tuesday. Xavier Owens had his best game of the season thus far, scoring 24 points that included a 6-for-8 effort from the free-throw line. Two of those free throws came late to seal the win.

Kai’Ree Murray added 12 points, and Patrick Johnson and Nehikare Igiehon added 11 points each.

The ‘Runners had a much easier time on Friday, rolling over Lonestar College-Tomball by an 85-42 final. Owens again led the team, this time with 17 points. Murray added 11, and every player on the Roadrunner roster found his way into the scorebook.

AC will host Strength N’ Motion at 6 p.m. Tuesday before taking off the rest of the holiday week.

Former Lady Roadrunner Softball Coach Sterling Passes Away

Angelina College Athletics members were heartbroken to hear of the passing of Abby Sterling, a former assistant coach for the Lady Roadrunner softball program.

Abby was part of the Roadrunner family in 2021-2022, also serving as our residence life specialist in addition to her softball duties.

In her year at AC, Abby was in the middle of just about everything. Her antics during the Trunk or Treat event are legendary, as were her improvised dance moves on the softball field.

Her memorial service took place this past weekend in Nederland, Texas.

Abby was 27 years old.

From all of us at Angelina College Athletics, we hope you and yours have a beautiful Thanksgiving holiday and weekend. If you happen to eat too much, let us know and we’ll help you find some bigger AC Athletics swag. (Trust me. I need ‘em every year.)

If there’s anything else you need from me, please let me know.

I’ll see you at the games.

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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