Back To The Grind: Roadrunners Resume Play After Holiday Break

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Gary Stallard
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.

This time of year creates more than a little anxiety for junior-college coaches. It has nothing to do with holiday shopping.

The Angelina College Roadrunners resume play tonight, exactly three full weeks since the team’s last game: a thrilling 89-84 overtime win on the road against conference foe Kilgore. The win moved AC to 9-4, 2-2 on the season, good enough for a third-place tie in Region XIV’s South Zone. In addition, both of AC’s conference wins came on the road.

Now comes the hard part. The team has to regroup and regain its hard-earned momentum before Saturday, when the most grueling two months of the season begin. The ‘Runners will play 15 conference games in the next eight weeks – all in an effort to claim a spot in the very same conference tournament they’ll be hosting in March.

As is usually the case, head coach Todd Neighbors made sure to schedule at least one “tune-up” game before resuming league play. Tonight, AC will host McLennan College, with the Highlanders boasting a 13-1 record. Facing such a tough team after a long layoff equates to throwing his guys into the fire, but Neighbors has never been one to ease his way back into the grind.

Jerami Grace (15.2 ppg) and Shannon Bogues (15.1 ppg) lead the Highlanders in scoring; Zach Charles leads the team in rebounding at 8.1 boards per game.

AC’s Corinthian Ramsey (23.9 ppg) leads the ‘Runners – and Region XIV – in scoring, with Kahari Beaufort (14.6 ppg) and Trent Brinkley (13.8 ppg) right behind him.

Game time at Shands Gymnasium is 7 p.m.

The game will be live-streamed by logging onto roadrunnerslive.com. Pre-game commentary starts at 6:55 p.m.

The e-mail address for AC’s Sports Information Director is gstallard@angelina.edu

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