Angelina College Athletics Weekly Update

Date:

It’s “March Madness” time, and both Angelina College basketball teams are about to jump straight into the craziness.

The Region XIV Conference Tournament tips off this week at Tyler Junior College’s Wagstaff Gymnasium in Tyler, and both the Lady Roadrunners and Roadrunners will be there fighting for potential berths in the upcoming NJCAA Division I National Tournament taking place later this month.

Links and other tournament information are included in this press release.

AC baseball and softball had busy weeks, the Roadrunner men’s soccer team is hosting a tryout session this month and there’ll be a special baseball tribute for a special young man coming up in two weeks.

Here’s a recap of this past week, along with upcoming events.

Lady Roadrunners Make History

The Lady Roadrunner basketball team has never missed a Region XIV Conference Tournament under head coach Byron Coleman. The 2019 squad even managed to win the tournament and qualify for the national tourney for the first time in program history.

But a Lady ‘Runner team had never finished as regular-season champs – until now.

AC’s ladies finished the 2023-2024 regular season with a record of 21-9, 13-3, earning the first-seed tiebreaker over Trinity Valley Community College, which also finished with a 13-3 record in conference play.

As such, the Lady ‘Runners will enter this week’s conference tournament as the No. 1 seed for the very first time. AC will face No. 8 seed Coastal Bend Community College at 1 p.m. on Wednesday.

The Lady Roadrunners swept the regular-season series with CBCC, taking wins of 92-68 and 85-63.

Roadrunners Cap Montgomery’s First 20-Win Season

The Roadrunner men also earned a milestone this season in providing head coach J.J. Montgomery – now in his third year at the helm – his very first winning season. AC’s 64-57 win at Victoria College on Wednesday closed out the ‘Runners’ regular season on a high note.

AC (20-10, 11-8) now enters the upcoming Region XIV Tournament as the No. 6 seed and will face 11th-seeded Coastal Bend Community College (15-15, 6-13) in the men’s opening round on Tuesday. Game time is set for 8 p.m.

AC and CBCC split their regular-season series, with the Cougars winning 81-68 in Beeville on Feb. 7 and the Roadrunners taking an 84-60 win at home on March 2.

Kenembeni Earns Player of the Week Honors

For the second time in as many weeks, a Lady Roadrunner basketball player took home Region XIV Player of the Week honors.

Last week it was AC’s Amyria Walker earning her second such honor of the season. This week, teammate Marie Kenembeni picked up the honor after averaging 15 points and 12 rebounds per game over a two-game stretch.

Walker finished the regular season as Region XIV’s leading scorer after averaging 20.2 points per game. Kenembeni finished sixth among conference scoring leaders with a 15.9 points-per-game average; she also finished sixth in rebounding at an 8.7 rebounds-per-game clip.

Roadrunner Baseball

The Roadrunner baseball team suffered a 15-5 loss to the 8th-ranked Tyler Junior College Apaches in Wednesday’s opener, but then AC bounced back with an 11-3 win over the Apaches in the nightcap. Hayden Hupe rocked a grand slam to finish with four RBI, and Jacob Tanguma homered and drove in two more runs. Michael Herndon added a pair of RBI in the win.

The ‘Runners hosted Paris College on Saturday, with the Dragons sweeping the doubleheader by scores of 8-7 (in 11 innings) and 9-3.

AC (10-15, 4-4) will host Joliet College in a single, nine-inning game starting at 2 p.m. at Poland Field. The ‘Runners then embark on a four-game road trip to Northeast Texas CC (Wednesday) and Bossier Parish CC (Saturday).

Lady Roadrunner Softball

An injury- and illness-plagued Lady Roadrunner softball team spent a tough week on the road, dropping a pair of games (10-0, 7-6) at LSU-Eunice on Wednesday – losing the second game on a Lady Bengal walk-off – and dropping three games at this past weekend’s Regional Crossover Tournament in Mesquite. AC fell 7-0 to Bossier Parish CC and 14-3 to Trinity Valley CC on Friday; then dropped a 10-9 decision to Kilgore College on Saturday.

The Lady ‘Runners (10-22) get a much-needed week off before hosting Alvin College this Saturday in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m. at Lady Roadrunner Field.

UPCOMING EVENTS OF NOTE:

Region XIV Basketball Conference Tournament Information

This year’s Region XIV Basketball Conference Tournament will take place from March 12-16 at Tyler Junior College’s Wagstaff Gymnasium in Tyler. The tourney opens on Tuesday, March 12 with the men’s first round starting at 1 p.m. Wednesday, March 13 features the women’s opening round, also starting at 1 p.m.; Thursday is the men’s quarterfinals round; Friday is the men’s and women’s semifinal round; and Saturday marks the championship games for both women (4 p.m.) and men (7 p.m.). Tournament winner earns an automatic bid to its sport’s respective national tournament (Casper, WY for the women and Hutchinson, KS for the men), and tourney runners-up are virtually guaranteed an at-large bid.

Live streaming for each game will take place on TJC’s YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/@TJCApacheAthletics).

Here’s the Region XIV Tournament link containing all pertinent tourney info: https://njcaaregion14.com/sports/NJCAA_Region_XIV_Basketball_Tournament_2024

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.

Roadrunner Men’s Soccer Hosting ID Camp March 23

The Roadrunner men’s soccer team has made back-to-back appearances in the NJCAA Division I National Tournament, and the program is doing everything possible to create a “three-peat.”

The program will host an ID camp for prospective players on Saturday, March 23 from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. on the AC soccer field at the Larry Phillips Sports Complex on the AC Campus.

I’m attaching the graphic with information; the graphic also contains a QR code for quick access to info.

Here’s the link providing registration and other information:

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mens-soccer-id-camp-march-23-2024-9-am-12-pm-registration-824047186317?aff=oddtdtcreator

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

Roadrunner Baseball:

Monday, March 11: AC vs. Joliet Junior College, single 9-inning game starting at 2 p.m. at Poland Field on the AC campus.

Wednesday, March 13: AC at Northeast Texas CC, DH starting at 1 p.m. in Mount Pleasant.

Saturday, March 16: AC at Bossier Parish CC, DH starting at 1 p.m. in Bossier City, LA.

Roadrunner Basketball:

Tuesday, March 12: AC vs. Coastal Bend CC, 8 p.m. at Tyler Junior College (Region XIV Tournament men’s opening round)

Lady Roadrunner Basketball:

Wed., March 13: AC vs. Coastal Bend CC, 1 p.m. at Tyler Junior College (Region XIV Tournament women’s opening round)

Lady Roadrunner Softball:

Sat., March 16: AC vs. Alvin CC, DH starting at 1 p.m. at Lady Roadrunner Field.  

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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