From the Sports editor: Big sporting award events set, spring season nears

Published 2:48 pm Thursday, January 23, 2020

There is no question, it’s about to be a very busy time of the year for sports fans across the area.

Whether it is attending some long-standing awards banquets are preparing for some nice spring weather and spring sports, fans will certainly find a way to dill their dockets.

It could be a week of honors for athletes and coaches with a couple big events going on.

We will know the Willie Ray Smith Sr. Finalists tomorrow night for the upcoming WRS Banquet, which will be held Feb. 10 in Beaumont.

There will be four Offensive Finalists and four Defensive Finalists announced tonight.

Orange County Offensive Finalists include Bridge City’s Andy Lara, Little Cypress-Mauriceville’s Ethan McCollum, Orangefield’s Chase Broussard, Vidor’s Brad Nunez and West Orange-Stark’s Quincy Ledet.

Defensive Finalists from the county include Bridge City’s Jackson Tims, Little Cypress-Mauriceville’s Matthew Lopez, Orangefield’s Clayson Choate, Vidor’s Gage Galloway and West Orange-Stark’s Tyrone Brown.

Good Luck to those young men!

A major event this Saturday will be the Southeast Texas Coaches Association Hall of Honor Banquet in which they select four outstanding people to enter their Hall of Honor.

One of the four Hall of Honor inductees will be long-time Little Cypress-Mauriceville baseball coach Steve Griffith.

Griffith had a superb run at his alma mater in putting LC-M baseball on the state map.

Griffith led the Bears’ program to over 600 wins, becoming one of the winningest coaches in the history of Class 4A baseball.

Coach Griffith powered the Bears to 21 playoff appearances. He led the program to the Class 4A State Championship Game in 1996 and guided the Bears to six Class 4A Region III Finals.

The other three Hall inductees will be Coach Matt Burnett, who flourished as a player and head football coach at Port Neches-Groves High School; trainer Johnie McDonald; and Barbers Hill volleyball coach John Leonard.

The SETCA will also award their Coaches of the Year in each sport.

Those locally honored will be Orangefield’s Stephanie Williams for Girls Cross Country; Orangefield’s John Davis for Girls Powerlifting; Bridge City’s Ericka Richard for Boys Powerlifting; Little Cypress-Mauriceville’s Bart Williams for Boys Golf; and WO-S’ Ed Dyer has been named Assistant Coach of the Year.

For those wanting to attend the SETCA Banquet, it will be noon Saturday at the Compro Event Center in Beaumont.

It’s starting to get quite busy as Spring Sports are about to kickoff for our local high school teams.

Golf is already in full swing as well as soccer.

Softball practice will crank up this Friday with regular-season games starting on Feb. 17. Baseball practice will begin Jan. 31 with the first regular-season games slated for Feb. 24.

Track season is right around the corner too as well as powerlifting meets and tennis tournaments.


Van Wade is the sports editor of The Orange Leader. He can be reached at