By GARY STALLARD
Somebody’s walking out of Shands Gymnasium on Saturday with a trophy.
No, the Lady Roadrunner and Roadrunner basketball teams aren’t finished with their seasons just yet.
But the Great Teacher Tussle of 2018 will play its championship game at half time of the Roadrunner men’s game, and if the preceding contests have been any indication, there’ll be plenty of action on the floor.
Since early January, faculty and staff from various Lufkin Independent School District schools have met at AC for basketball battles for supremacy. On Saturday, the last two teams standing will face off for bragging rights – and a trophy to stand proudly in the schools’ hallways.
The final round will feature members of Burley/Slack against the Brandon/Dunbar squad. Game officials will be LISD superintendent Dr. LaTonya Goffney and board member Hall Henderson.
AC men’s head coach Kyle Manary said the events began as more of an exhibition last season but evolved into real competition simply because the schools had so much fun participating.
“This is a way to show our community how much we appreciate all the hard work these teachers do day in and day out,” Manary said. “It’s a way for all of their students and coworkers to see them outside of the classrooms and cheer them on and support them.
“It’s been an unbelievable experience, and I believe it help brings our next generation of learners closer to their role models and heroes. It’s always about shaping the next generation.”
On Saturday, the team from Burley/Slack will square off against the Brandon/Dunbar squad. Officials will be LISD superintendent LaTonya Goffney and Board of Trustees member Hall Henderson.
The Teacher Tussle title game will take place at half time of the men’s battle with Coastal Bend Community College scheduled to tip off at 4 p.m. The Lady Roadrunners face CBCC’s Lady Cougars at 2 p.m. Those games mark the end of the regular season for both AC basketball teams, with the Region XIV conference tournament tipping off Tuesday in Jacksonville.
There will be no admission charge for Saturday’s games for any Lufkin ISD students, parents, faculty and staff.
The e-mail address for AC’s Sports Information Director is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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