By GARY STALLARD, AC Athletics
With just six games remaining in the regular season, the Angelina College Lady Roadrunners find themselves in the midst of a logjam typical for Region XIV play – especially at this time of the year.
AC currently is tied with Paris College for fifth place in the standings, just one game behind Kilgore College. The conference tournament opens in a little more than three weeks, giving the Lady Roadrunners time to make a climb.
However, head coach Byron Coleman said his team isn’t as focused on the current standings as it is its current health. On a roster containing just 10 players, several are battling injuries that could force them to miss playing time right at crunch time.
“For us, I don’t know if the standings are as important as seeing us get healthy,” Coleman said. “We’re going to be more cautions from that perspective. At this point, we don’t care about the (tournament) seeding. We’ll go into the tournament and battle whoever we get, but we want to be healthy and playing well when we get into that stretch.”
The Lady ‘Runners (13-10, 5-7) on Wednesday will host No. 10 Tyler Junior College, at 20-4, 10-2 the second-place team in the conference. Coleman once again will face long-time friend and court foe Trenia Tillis Jones, head coach of the Lady Apaches. The coaches’ familiarity with one another often leads to highly entertaining action on the floor.
“We know what Tyler’s going to do, and they kind of know what we’re going to do,” Coleman said. “Trenia’s not going to deviate from what she does well. We just put the kids out there and watch them put on a show.
“We’ve known each other for years, and I always expect a good matchup with her teams.”
Game time on Wednesday is 6:30 p.m. at Shands Gymnasium. Live streaming is available at angelinaathletics.com.
Admission to the game is free.
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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