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Bobcats and LadyCats Recognized for Volleyball and Football Honors

by Gordon Grubbs

December 14, 2011

Last week several Newcastle Bobcats and LadyCats were notified of their selection for 2011 District honors.  Both Newcastle teams made the state playoffs and the Bobcat football team won district, bi-district, area, quarterfinals and were defeated in the state semifinal game by ultimate state champion, Richland Springs.  The only other Bobcat loss came early in the season at the hands of the TAPPS six-man state champion, Abilene Christian High School Panthers. No shame in losing your only two games to Texas state champions!   The Bobcats’ final, division II state ranking was third.

The LadyCat volleyball season was up and down with a really tough pre-district schedule.  The LadyCats did very well during district play and their only loses were to eventual district champions, Poolville Lady Monarchs.  The LadyCats finished district play in second place and were forced to play that first bi-district game against, Archer City, one of the playoff qualifiers from the toughest district in 1A volleyball.  Braidi Warren heads the list of LadyCat volleyballers receiving district honors as she was named as the district’s Offensive MVP!  Braidi’s power at the net and her ambidexterous kills made her the obvious choice as the most valuable offensive player in the district.  Named to the all-district first team were Amy Clayborn and Courtney Spitzer.  Both of these girls really came on during district play and provided fire power at the net when opponents started keeping the ball away from Braidi.  Two other strong players for the LadyCats being named to the all-district second team were Courtney Bailey and Jenna Evans.  Courtney did a courageous job of overcoming her season ending knee surgery from last year and Jenna stepped into the setter’s position and did a great job considering her lack of experience at that position.  Each of these girls deserved the honors they received and played hard for the LadyCats but, here’s the bad news – they are all seniors and we will be losing them to graduation!  Ouch!  However, our two youngsters – Charitye Lowe and Jessica Bohannon were named as all-district honorable mention recipients and they will have some awfully big shoes to fill when these seniors are gone!  The academic all-district team members were not available at the time of publication.

The state semifinalist, Newcastle Bobcats, absolutely dominated the district football honors!  Two of the three top individual awards were snagged by Bobcats.  Senior, Hagen Bennett took the top defensive prize being named as the district “defensive MVP” and sophomore, Tyler Mays was selected as the district’s “newcomer of the year”.   Both of these honors were well deserved for these young men.  Rather than write a narrative about each of the all-district first team recipients, I will list them and after you see them all, you will understand why I simply listed them!  The Bobcats walked away with a boat load of honors.

                First Team Offense:                                                       

  • Michael Moreno – Running Back
  • Ryan Bohannon – Tight End
  • Wade Spitzer – Wide Receiver
  • Special Teams Player – Tyler Mays

First Team Defense:

  • Ryan Bohannon – Lineman
  • Wade Spitzer – Linebacker
  • Shot Lowe – Cornerback
  • Michael Moreno – Safety
  • James Guerin – Utility Player

          Second Team Offense:

  • Hagen Bennett – Blocking Back
  • James Guerin – Center
  • Justin Bohannon – Utility Player

           Second Team Defense:

  • Justin Bohannon – Utility Player


The Newcastle Bobcats had four players named to the “Academic All-District” team – Shot Lowe, Wade Spitzer, James Guerin, and J.W. Shields.

Each fall the football districts get to select two players to represent our district in the summer All-Star game in Lubbock.  Hagen Bennett will be one of the two district players representing our district at the All-Star game and Wade Spitzer and Ryan Bohannon were selected as alternates.

Yes, it has been a very successful fall for the Bobcats and LadyCats.  Both teams worked really hard and the LadyCats volleyball team had to overcome the hardships created by our construction project and a whole lot of games on the road!  But both teams hung in there and made us all proud!  Oh by the way, I failed to mention that both of our coaches – Spitzer and Gooch – were named as the district “Coach of the Year”!  We’ve known that our football coaches - Coach Spitzer and Wilkinson – are the best around and get more out of their athletes than any six-man football program in the state; however, since this was Coach Gooch’s first year to coach volleyball, we didn’t exactly know what we had in him!  Now we do and we are mighty glad to have him and each of our coaches.  Not too many school districts have only three coaches that do everything and WIN!  We have a lot to be proud of here in Newcastle!


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