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The Paris Lady Cats varsity soccer team fell to Sulphur Springs, 3-0, Friday night at Wildcat Stadium. The Lady Cats, 3-4-2 in District 19-4A, will close out the regular season on Thursday, March 20, at home vs. district-leading Princeton.
The Paris Wildcats placed 15th overall at the Region 3 Division 2 Powerlifting Championships Thursday in Rusk. Center won the meet with 23 points.
Top finishers for the Cats were sophomore X-Zavius Gray (third in the 148-pound weight class) and junior Qurdale Huff (fourth in the super heavyweights). Gray improved his previous best total lift by 60 pounds to jump from seventh to third in regional standings. Huff added 55 pounds to his prior best to move up two places from sixth.
Senior Naire Gaines was on pace to finish third in the 123′s, but he scratched after failing to lift his opening weight on the final deadlift platform.
Paris Results (Squat-Bench Press-Deadlift–Total)
Paris moves to a gaudy 21-3-1 for the season and 8-1 in district play and now lead the district standings with an insurmountable 24 points (3 points awarded for a regulation win, 2 for shootout win, 1 for shootout loss). Second-place SSHS (6-3) stands at 18 points with just one round of matches remaining in the regular season. Paris closes out district play on March 20 following a Spring Break layoff with a match at third-place Princeton.
SSHS needed a win Friday to keep Paris from clinching its second district title in three years. Mindful of that fact and buoyed by pre-game Senior Night festivities, the Hopkins County Cats took the initiative in the match’s opening minutes, but Paris’ steel-gate defense proved impenetrable.
Then the Wildcats’ trio of Ouchita Baptist signees combined to produce the opening goal. Josh Kirby won a battle for possession along the right wing and passed to the center of the field where Blake Beshirs was waiting just outside the 18-yard box. Beshirs dribbled into the box where three SSHS defenders converged. Beshirs hurdled over onrushing goalkeeper Moises Torres, but Michael Cade was alertly following the play and stroked the rebound inside the left upper 90 of the SSHS goal.
The ice-breaker came with 31:06 left in the first half and immediately forced the hosts into desperation mode. Paris would eventually notch its 20th shutout in regulation, so SSHS knew that getting an equalizer goal would be close to mission impossible against a defense that features senior Zane Young as the midfield defender, senior Jackson Reeves and sophomore Freddy Medina on the wings and all-state candidate junior Leo Gutierrez backing up senior goalie Angel Rocha.
Rocha only had to make one serious save all evening. It came with about 10 minutes before halftime when he swatted away a free kick from 40 yards out that was headed to the right upper 90.
Paris also did a much better job of controlling play in midfield, an issue in the teams’ earlier match 18 nights ago at Wildcat Stadium. SSHS managed to notch the only goal given up by Paris in regulation during district to send that match to a shootout which Paris won. Midfielder Jose Escobedo played a big role in the rematch to keep SSHS from clogging up midfield with a defender marking Beshirs (a team-leading 18 assists).
Play began to get physical with officials allowing contact on both sides, and as the match proceeded, it became testy and heated. Near the end of the first half, a double yellow warning card was issued against a player on each side.
Paris responded by exerting some big offensive pressure on the left flank with Beshirs, Cade, Edgar Alvarez, Jesus Ruiz, and Dylan Kresen pushing the attack. Torres left the goal to turn back a rush by Kresen and the ball was sent into a pileup in front of the net where Kirby footed it into the goal for a huge 2-0 lead just 5:29 before halftime.
The lead expanded to 3-0 on a well-designed coast-to-coast breakout 13 minutes into the second half. Gutierrez started the counter-attack with a pass to Beshirs that began a skillful 5-on-2 breakaway. Beshirs flicked the ball inside to Cade, who returned it to Beshirs, who worked an “X” switch with Kresen to swing the attack to the deep left flank. Kresen caught up with the pass and left-footed the ball across the goalmouth where both Ruiz and Kirby were perched on the far post. Ruiz was the inside attacker and sent the ball into an open goal from point-blank range.
With 27:12 left in the contest, the district title was all but wrapped up. The finishing bow came with 17:53 remaining. Senior Ben Whitaker sent a through ball from midfield to Beshirs on a a run down the left wing. Torres came out for the tackle, but Beshirs kept control of the dribble and squared up for the strike into a now-deserted goal.
Paris coach Jeremy Beshirs (92-19-10 during his five years at the helm) began emptying his bench soon afterwards.
The Paris goals scored were the 26th of the season for Cade, 19th for Beshirs, 12th for Kirby, and 7th for Ruiz. Cade now has 55 career goals, while Beshirs stands at 52 for his career.
On a frigid, humid night with wind chills in the 20s, the Paris High girls and boys soccer teams hosted a District 19-4A doubleheader with the fledgling and currently homeless Bonham Purple Warriors. The varsity girls played to a scoreless tie after 100 unproductive minutes, while the Wildcats varsity peppered the Warrior defense in an 11-0 rout.
While the results were in stark contrast, both Paris varsities were held by a common thread: both teams’ goalkeepers could have taken the night off without being missed. The Bonham soccer program, in its first full year of UIL district affiliation, is still searching for its first district win in a season where goals are rare.
They’ve also had to be road warriors, with their home field currently out of use due to turf reconstruction. Tuesday’s matches were originally scheduled to be played in Bonham but were shifted to Paris as a result.
It was an encore evening for the Paris boys, now 20-3-1 overall with a district-leading 7-1 record. The Cats celebrated Senior Night on Saturday which normally coincides with the final home match.
It was a mismatch played almost entirely in the Warriors’ end of the field. Although the Bonham defense and some Wildcat misfires kept Paris off the board for the first 12:17 of play, once the inevitable dam burst, the Cats flooded the Warrior net with goals. By the 11:05 mark before halftime Paris held a 6-0 lead and coach Jeremy Beshirs began substituting freely.
The Cats didn’t score again until 21:20 remained in the match, but Paris was able to take advantage of an exhausted Bonham defense to add 5 more goals to the total. The individual count:
The Cats are on the verge of securing their second district title over the past three seasons if they can defeat defending champion Sulphur Springs Friday at Gerald Prim Stadium. They close out district play two weeks later (after a Spring Break layoff) with a match on March 20 at Princeton.
Meanwhile, the girls’ match was mostly a slugfest in midfield with the Lady Cats occasionally mounting a foray deep in Lady Warrior territory. Paris didn’t tally its first shot on goal until 11 minutes were left in the first half, and it was a harmless, mild strike.
A much better opportunity came just before halftime on a free kick by Julianna Clipson from 22 yards out that drifted 3 feet wide of the far post. Clipson had three more excellent scoring chances in the second half off set pieces including a shot from 23 yards away that the Bonham goalie was able to poke over the goalpost.
The teams played a pair of 10-minute overtime periods with no serious threats to dent the scoreboard.
The Lady Cats, now 3-3-2 in district, close out the regular season at home vs. Sulphur Springs Friday and on March 20 vs. Princeton.
– Tickets still available for PHS Football Fundraising Dinner, Auction and Unofficial Awards
The Paris High School Football Program would like to invite everyone to attend the first annual Wildcat Football Pigskin Pig-out on Saturday, March 22, 2014. All money raised will be used for equipment and supplies not funded by the school district.
The highlight of the evening is the live and silent auction featuring a variety of sports memorabilia and catered dinners. A complete list of auction items will be published soon. In addition, the intrigue surrounding the first Unofficial Awards will be a source of humor, surprise, nostalgia and honor.
Tickets are $10 per person and are available for purchase from Athletics Secretary Nancy Morgan in the Athletics Office of the field house at Wildcat Stadium. The menu includes Pittsburg Hot Links, Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Baked Beans, Cole Slaw, Peach Cobbler or Banana Pudding and Iced Tea.
Monday, March 17, is the last day to purchase tickets in the Athletic Office from 7:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. All offices are currently closed for Spring Break so if you need to secure your ticket before March 17, contact Jeanne Kraft at email@example.com.
Wildcat Football sponsors are:
Guaranty Bond Bank
The Paris News
RB Sporting Goods
Sandra & Bert Strom
R. Wesley Tidwell, Attorney at Law
J. Stephen Walker, Attorney at Law
Hiring Partners, Inc.
ORR Honda of Paris
Paris Snax Sales, Inc.
Pittsburg Hot Links
Tijerina Urology Clinic
Century 21 Executive Realty/Sherrie White
Liberty National Bank
Sonic Drive In
Toyota of Paris
Pig-Out Dinner Sponsors
First Federal Community Bank
Jeanne & Wally Kraft
Platinum Palliative & Hospice Care, Inc.
The Sabin Warrick Company
Dr. Richard Bercher
K & S Rentals