By TONY EIERDAM
Needing to win to stay alive in a chase for playoff berths, both the Mineral Wells Rams and Lady Rams came away with 1-0 victories over Saginaw Friday night in key District 12-4A matches at Ram Stadium.
In a system that awards three points for a win, one point for a tie and no points for a loss, the Rams now have 25 points. The win put a four-point cushion between the Rams and fourth-place Saginaw as the Rams now need just a tie in one of its final two matches to clinch a playoff spot.
However, if Brewer lost to Azle on Friday the Rams would have already clinched a playoff spot.
“This was a big win,” Rams head coach Rolando Borjon said. “When we got the wind in the second half we were able to keep the ball on our side of the field for long stretches which took the ball away from their offense.
“The win puts us in a better spot in the standings, but we still have two more games left.”
The Lady Rams raised their district mark to 6-5-1 (19 points) and remain in fourth place. The top four teams qualify for the playoffs.
In the first game of the doubleheader, the Rams were facing a stiff, steady wind (25-35 miles per hour) in the first half.
MWHS goalkeeper Caleb Bandy kept the game scoreless with a pair of diving saves and two jump saves, and he also stopped a hard drive from 15 yards out.
The Rams had one great scoring opportunity, but that shot hit the cross bar as the match was scoreless at half.
With 26:49 to play, Rams senior forward Serjio Castillo received a pass form about 45-50 yards out in the middle, he quickly turned to avoid a defender and sent a towering shot at the Saginaw goal. The ball beat the goalkeeper, hit the right post and bounced in to give the Rams a 1-0 lead.
“I am always told to shoot from anywhere,” Castillo said. “With the wind like it was (to the Rams’ backs in the second half) I knew any shot might be hard to stop.
“I just turned around and sent one to the goal, and it went in.”
Bandy had to turn back one more Saginaw scoring opportunity to preserve the shutout and the win.
“Serjio came up with a big shot, and Caleb was great in goal,” Borjon said. “Bandy has come up big in the last two or three games, and in all of district play.
“He is three-for-three in penalty kick stops in district, and (Friday night) he kept us in the game. He kept the score from being 2-0 in the first half. When you have a ‘keeper like that it puts less pressure on the offense.”
The Lady Rams actually scored their lone goal while going into the wind.
Saginaw was whistled with an infraction inside the box, and the Lady Rams were awarded a penalty kick.
Senior Molly Clarke fooled the Saginaw ‘keeper by electing to shoot the ball down the middle, but high. The ball snuck in under the cross bar and into the twine to give the Lady Rams a 1-0 lead with 12:02 remaining in the first half.
In the second half, the Lady Rams peppered the Saginaw net, but much to the Saginaw goalkeeper’s credit, she turned back every opportunity.
However, with the play mainly in the MWHS offensive end, Saginaw did not have any good scoring opportunities as the Lady Rams hung on for the win.
“This puts us in good position to clinch a playoff spot,” Lady Rams assistant coach Taylor Eggleston said. “The girls knew this was a big game, and they came out focused.
“The girls executed well, and they controlled play when they had the wind.”
By TONY EIERDAM
- Local Sports
Swimming to State
KELLER – The Mineral Wells Water Moccasins are heading to the Texas Amateur Athletic Federation's state meet in College Station, July 31-Aug. 3, after an outstanding performance in the Region 4 Championships that saw seven local swimmer qualify.
Mineral Wells summer track sends 11 to state meet after strong regionals
THE COLONY – The future continues to look bright for Mineral Wells track and field, as 11 members of legendary head coach Jackie Harvey's summer track club punched their tickets to the TAAF state meet in College Station – to be held July 31-Aug. 3 – after a dominant showing at the regional meet in The Colony, July 18-19.
FWIW: Good, clean hate – Ranking the area's best rivalry games of the 2014 football season
By CLINT FOSTER
Football season is fast approaching and with it those glorious games between teams that love to hate each other, which we call rivalries.
I'm speaking, of course, about sports hate – the only beautiful kind. It's the stuff built on history and tradition that inspires simply the fiercest and most entertaining games of every season.
Palo Pinto County and the surrounding area have no shortage of fierce football rivalries.
The University Interscholastic League's realignment often causes new rivalries to be born and old ones to be rekindled. But which rivalries are the area's very best for 2014? The one's you circle your calendar for and make sure you don't miss.
I can think of at least 10.
So, for what it's worth, here's my list of the area's best, can't-miss football rivalries of the upcoming 2014 season.
Local Bowlers Roundup set for first weekend of August
Mineral Wells Women's Bowling Alliance invites you to join them Aug. 3 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Mountaineer Lanes for their second annual Bowlers Roundup. The event will feature snacks, tips from the pros, information on league bowling and two hours of great exercise.
Something in the water
Mineral Wells is well known as the home of Crazy Water, and by all accounts the city's swim team went absolutely berserk in their one and only home meet of the summer on Saturday.
Throughout the summer, the Mineral Wells Rams have been hard at work preparing for football season.
Hooks and Slices 7/11
In the Holiday Hills Country Club Guys and Dolls tournament, locals Denny and Sherry Hall turned in rounds of 77 and 73 to take first place in the opening round and second place on Sunday in the fourth flight. George and Linda Hutton turned in two solid rounds to place both days. The twosome shot 71 and 72 to take first place on Saturday and second place on Sunday in the second flight.
GRAPEVINE – The Mineral Wells High School cheerleaders attended the Universal Cheerleaders' Association's cheer camp in Grapevine two weeks ago and proved that spirit will definitely be high at every Rams and Lady Rams sporting event this coming school year.
Millsap selects Lee as new head volleyball coach
MILLSAP – The board of trustees at Millsap ISD recently announced their hire of Denise Lee as the new head volleyball coach for Millsap High School.
Waldrum leads the way in MW's latest swim meet
TROPHY CLUB – The Mineral Wells Water Moccasins city swim team took to the pool once again June 28 and showed valiant effort against some tough competition at its latest meet in Trophy Club.
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- Swimming to State