Football News & Announcements

September 26: The Big Sting Game
October 17: GHS Homecoming
October 31: Senior Night, "Black-Out Night"
FOOTBALL: Hornets Facing Another Unbeaten Friday
For the third straight week, Gatesville finds itself opposite an opponent without a loss so far this season. This week, it's the West Trojans. Gatesville and West collide Friday night at 7:30 p.m. at Trojan Field. West, which dropped a classification prior to this season and competes in Class 3A, has steamrolled to three consecutive wins. The Trojans have knocked off Clifton (50-6), Salado (42-6) and Venus (42-19). None of the three are the same caliber of teams Gatesville has been playing during that same span, but GHS coach Kyle Cooper says West still is a threat. "They are playing well and they have a lot of momentum over there right now," he said. "They have looked good in their first three games, and no doubt they are doing things right on both sides of the ball." Cooper said Friday's game will have an added level of excitement for West, which will be celebrating its homecoming. Meanwhile, Gatesville is coming off an impressive 34-20 verdict over previously-unbeaten Waco Connally after successive losses to Brownwood and Stephenville to start the season. "It was good for our kids to get that win," he noted. "Despite the two losses, we made a lot of strides during that time and continued to get better. Our kids did a good job buying into what we were trying to accomplish."
FOOTBALL: Vernon-led Hornets Power Past Connally 34-20
Someone forgot to tell Gatesville it was the underdog here Friday night. The upstart Hornets rebounded from a pair of season-opening losses to down previously-unbeaten Waco Connally 34-20 at McKamie Stadium. “I was proud of our kids for their effort,” said GHS coach Kyle Cooper. “They did a good job of carrying out the game plan we had installed. More than that, I liked the way they kept believing in our system and what we were trying to accomplish.” It was a sweet victory for GHS, which had suffered lopsided defeats at the hands of Brownwood and Stephenville in its first two outings. Running back Dakota Vernon rushed for 259 yards and Jeff Speer added 199 total yards for the Hornets, who simply outmatched their visitors in a game that was not as close as the final score indicated. GHS accumulated 27 first downs and 470 yards offense, with 395 coming on the ground. “Offensively, we did a good job being physical and moving the ball,” he said. “Our defense had a great bend-but-don’t-break mentality all night long.” Gatesville, which built a 20-6 lead in the first half, flexed its muscle and might up front to control the line of scrimmage and allow Vernon and quarterback Jeff Speer to roam freely. After spotting their guests an early 6-0 lead, GHS answered when Andraque Jones found the end zone on a 3-yard scoring run. The Hornets produced scores twice in a six-minute span of the second frame – Speer on a 1-yard run and Brady Elliott on a 1-yard pass from Speer – to go ahead 20-6. Connally managed to cut the lead to 20-13 seconds before the first half ended, and the Cadets looked to be on the verge of another second-half comeback in the third quarter. GHS had taken the kickoff and drove the length of the field, but the scoring threat ended on a Hornet fumble at the Cadets' 12 yard line. Connally took just seven plays to tie the contest at 20-20. It would be the final trip to paydirt for the visitors. Gatesville, its line opening gaping holes and bottling up the inside for Vernon and Speer, came right back with an 11-play, 68-yard march. Speer, who rushed for 124 yards and passed for 75 (6-of-10), hit Andrew Wallace (3-50 receiving) for six yards on a key 4th-and-5 to keep the drive alive. Vernon punctuated the march with a 5-yard jaunt around right end that made it 27-20 with just 0:23 left in the third quarter. Speer would culminate the night’s scoring with a 5-yard keeper coming with just 2:22 remaining and punctuating another long march. This one lasted 10 plays and consumed more than six minutes off the clock, giving the Hornets a 34-20 lead. Defensive luminaries for GHS included Bryce Cole (15 tackles, 2 for loss, 1 caused fumble), Cooper Edmiston (10 tackles, 1 sack), Payden Smalley (8 tackles),Addison Santulan (7 tackles), and A. Jones (6 tackles, 1 caused fumble). “It was a nice win, especially after our first two weeks,” added Cooper. “We had made improvement from those first two weeks. I think our kids showed how they are capable of playing.” Gatesville travels to West (3-0) this Friday. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.
FOOTBALL: GHS JV-9th Teams Sweep Connally
Gatesville High sub-varsity teams swept Waco Connally Thursday night. The Hornet JV won 26-22 for its first win of the season. The Hornet 9th Grade defeated the Cadets 23-8 for their second win in three outings. GHS squads will play three games here September 18 - 9th Black vs. Belton at 4, 9th Gold vs. West at 5:30, JV vs. West at 7 p.m.
FOOTBALL: GHS to Honor Military Members Friday
Friday night is Military Appreciation Night at McKamie Stadium, with Gatesville High to honor dozens of current military members during the Hornet-Waco Connally game. Some 200-plus soldiers, most set to deploy in a few days, will be stationed along the track. "This is our way to show support for the military and thanking them for everything they do for our country," said GHS athletic director / head football coach Kyle Cooper. "Besides the soldiers positioned along the field area, we will have a General form Fort Hood to do the coin toss and there will be a color guard here as well." Hornet fans are reminded to wear their black and gold but to also bring U.S. flags and anything red, white and blue they might have. Also in observance of Military Appreciation Night, any soldier attired in military dress or with a military ID will be admitted free to the game.
FOOTBALL: 2-0 Connally is GHS' Next Foe Friday
Gatesville continues its stretch of brutal non-district tests this week, as the Hornets host Waco Connally here Friday night. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at McKamie Stadium. Friday's game is Military Appreciation Night and will include numerous current military members sitting around the field. For GHS, it will be Week 3 of a demanding pre-district schedule and it comes against another powerhouse. Connally comes into this week's matchup still unbeaten after wins over 3A No. 1 Cameron (63-49) and China Spring (40-35). "They are talented, very talented," noted Gatesville coach Kyle Cooper. "They have great athleticism and speed. It will be a different challenge for us than what we have seen the first two weeks." The Cadets, once former district rivals of GHS, offer a different look on both sides of the ball. "They have speed at so many positions offensively, and defensively they load most of their guys in the box and dare you to beat them." Gatesville has already suffered losses to Brownwood (35-0) on opening night and to 4A No. 1-ranked Stephenville (49-6) last week. Despite the two setbacks, Cooper has seen improvement in his squad's performance from one week to the next. "We corrected a lot of things against Stephenville, things we didn't do a great job of the first week," he said. "Offensively, we moved the ball well last week and produced a lot of points, we just didn't get into the end zone to punctuate our drives." Despite the 0-2 start, he sees his troops still working hard every day and challenging on Friday nights. "Stephenville showed us that we weren't ready for the best team in the state, but I think we proved to ourselves that we could do some things against them," he explained. "However, we have got to keep improving and strengthening some areas of concern." After this week, GHS will face West (there, Sept. 19) and Salado (here, Sept. 26) to conclude the non-district portion of its schedule. After an open week, the Hornets will begin District 13-4A play October 10 at Waco La Vega. HORNET NOTES: Friday being Military Appreciation Night, many of the military men and women in attendance are set to be deployed shortly afterwards. Be sure to stop by and thank them for their service to our country...GHS will host its annual Big Sting Game on Sept. 26 against Salado....GHS Homecoming is October 17 against Lampasas.
FOOTBALL: No. 1 Stephenville Downs GHS 49-6
Top-ranked Stephenville spoiled Gatesville's 2014 home debut here Friday night, defeating the Hornets 49-6 in a non-district game at McKamie Stadium. It was another stinging loss for the Hornets, who are facing a monstrous early-season schedule. The visiting Yellow Jackets, ranked No. 1 in Class 4A this week, scored on seven of nine offensive possessions. Stephenville scored its first touchdown in just over a minute for a quick 7-0 lead, but GHS responded with a nice drive that pushed to the SHS 20 yard line before Abate Hennessy kicked true on a 37-yard field goal. The visitors came right back, scoring a pair of teedees within an eight-minute span to go ahead 21-3. Gatesville kept moving the ball and again marched from deep in its own end of the field well into SHS territory. The drive ended in another Hennessy field goal, this one from 23 yards to cut the gap to 21-6 with six minutes left in the first half. Stephenville put up another score right before the half ended, then the Yellow Jackets added a pair of third-quarter touchdowns to extend their lead to 42-6. Jeff Speer hit 11-of-19 passes for 108 yards, with Andrew Wallace grabbing four catches for 34 yards and Andraque Jones snaring four passes for 33 yards. Dakota Vernon rushed 16 times for 101 yards. Gatesville, now 0-2 this season, faces unbeaten Waco Connally here Friday. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m.
FOOTBALL: Sub-Varsity Teams 1-2 vs. Stephenville
Gatesville High JV and 9th teams won one of three outings at Stephenville Thursday night. The 9th Gold team picked up its first victory with a 41-22 win. The JV lost 33-14, while the 9th Black squad fell 20-14. All three teams are in action next week.
FOOTBALL: No. 1 Stephenville Next GHS Foe Friday
Gatesville will make its 2014 home debut this week, and the Hornets get to face the state's top-ranked team in the process. GHS will host No. 1-ranked Stephenville here Friday night, with kickoff slated for 7:30 p.m. at McKamie Stadium. "I see it as a great opportunity for our kids and our program," said Gatesville coach Kyle Cooper. "They are a good football team, a very storied program, and we have an opportunity in front of us." Stephenville, one of the largest schools in this classification, comes in as the No. 1 team in Class 4A. The Yellow Jackets opened the season with a 43-0 win over South Anchorage, Alaska last week. "They are very solid and have some exceptional talent at many positions. We are going to have to contain their playmakers, play very good football ourselves, and not make a lot of mistakes." NOTES: It is Parent Night here Friday, with parents of all football players and fall activities being introduced prior to kickoff...FOOD: Hornet Booster Club and Gatesville Volunteer Fire Department will be offering free hot dogs starting at 6 p.m. in the parking lot next to Primary School...The newly-completed restroom/concession building should be in full swing for Friday's game. The million-dollar project is the final major phase in the refurbishing of McKamie Stadium.
FOOTBALL: Brownwood Downs GHS 35-0 in Opener
In a span of less than four minutes Friday night, the tone of Gatesville's season opener at Brownwood changed in a hurry. Trailing just 7-0 through the game's first 20 minutes, Gatesville surrendered three touchdowns in just over three minutes off the clock before halftime and the host-Lions used that momentum on their way to a 35-0 victory at Gordon Wood Stadium. "We did some good things," said Gatesville coach Kyle Cooper. "We moved the ball well most of the night. We have got to do a better job of putting our kids in better situations." The upstart Hornets, until that final four minutes of the opening half, had survived two turnovers and its defense had risen to the challenge on all but one series. However, Brownwood produced takeaways on the Hornets' next two offensive possessions and cashed in on both opportunities, scoring a touchdown with 3:40 left in the half and another teedee just over a minute later for a 21-0 lead. GHS, which moved the ball well most of the night, drove from its own 25 yard line to the Lions' 32 as time was expiring. Jeff Speer connected with Andraque Jones for 11 yards and hit Andrew Wallace for a 19-yard gain on a key 3rd-and-12 play during the march. But that drive stalled on downs and Brownwood would score again, this time with just 0:28 left before halftime to forge ahead 28-0. Gatesville started its motor again on the first series after intermission, driving from its own 13 to inside the BHS 30 yard line. Speer had a pair of key runs and hit Wallace on another third-down strike during the march, which ended on the Hornets' fourth turnover of the game. Brownwood tacked on its final score with 3:12 remaining in the game. Gatesville will make its home debut next week, as the Hornets host top-ranked Stephenville. Kickoff for Friday's game is 7:30 p.m. at McKamie Stadium.
FOOTBALL: Sub-Varsities Fall to Brownwood Thursday
Gatesville High sub-varsity teams fell to Brownwood here Thursday night. The JV lost 34-20, 9th Black lost 20-14, and 9th Gold lost 26-12. All three teams will be in action again September 4 at Stephenville.
FOOTBALL: Hornets, Brownwood Meet in Friday Opener
The countdown clock in the newly-adorned Gatesville High dressing room has slowly been dwindling for several months. That time has now arrived. Gatesville opens the 2014 grid season Friday night at Brownwood, with kickoff slated for 7:30 p.m. at Gordon Wood Stadium. It will be the first of 10 regular-season assignments awaiting Coach Kyle Cooper's team and it comes against a storied program in Texas schoolboy football. "No doubt, Brownwood has a ton of tradition on its side," said Cooper. "They still have a solid program, are well coached, and will be a good football team." The Hornets and Lions are not strangers on the gridiron, having played the past two years while both occupied spots in old District 8-3A. Gatesville won in 2013 en route to winning the league title, but Brownwood won last year's meeting 69-33 to keep GHS from the postseason. "Despite the score, we did some good things there,” he said. “We set a record for offensive output in a game with over than 500 yards. Turnovers really hurt us. We were just young, and we made some young mistakes.” The Hornets have had an entire offseason to think about that season-ending loss and 3-7 record in 2013. And, Cooper says, that time has allowed and introduced a new change in attitude among his troops. "We call it MUFLY," he said. "Make up for last year." That change was evident early in camp and has been prevalent in the squad's two preseason scrimmages against McGregor and Waco High, a pair of Central Texas playoff teams every year in classes 3A and 5A respectively. "We have done a lot of good things in those two scrimmages," he added. "Our defense has been the most impressive. The kids have done a great job flowing to the ball and we have been really pleased with that unit's ability to create turnovers and make big plays." HORNET NOTES: If you are making the drive to Brownwood Friday, don't forget Underwood's Cafeteria. Ask for the beef steak and get all of the cobbler and whipped cream you can stomach...The game will be broadcast live on Hornet Radio. Go to the Hornet Athletics' home page and click on the Hornet Radio link on the right side of the page. Lee Jaynes and Dusty Boyd will be doing commentary...Directions to stadium: Take Hwy. 84 East through Evant, Goldthwaite and on to Brownwood. A few miles before getting to Brownwood, go left on Hwy. 2126 and that will take you to the southwest side of town for 2-3 miles. Go right on Dickman Drive and the stadium will be a couple of blocks. Wear your black and gold.
FOOTBALL: Grid Teams Facing Brownwood This Week
Gatesville High grid teams open the 2014 season later this week, with all four GHS squads facing Brownwood. Sub-varsity teams take the field Thursday night, with the JV Gold (4:00 PM), 9th Grade (5:00 PM) and JV (7:00 PM) teams playing here at McKamie Stadium. The Hornet varsity ushers in the new campaign Friday night, going on the road to face the Lions. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Gordon Wood Stadium.
FOOTBALL: Hornets Facing 5A Waco High Friday
In what will be its final test prior to the 2014 season, Gatesville will host Waco High in a controlled scrimmage here Friday morning. The JV and 9th Grade teams play at 9 a.m., followed by the Varsity teams at 10:30 a.m. Gatesville coach Kyle Cooper sees Friday's outing as a chance for his squad to really see where it is at this point in the season. "It's going to be a great measuring stick for us right now," he said. "Waco High has a great program and they are well-coached. They are big up front and fast in the backfield. It will be a great challenge for our kids." Gatesville, which opens the new season August 29 at Brownwood, got its first outside test last week in a scrimmage at McGregor. The two teams played to a 1-1 tie overall (No. 1 squads were 1-1, No. 2 squads were 1-1, no score in actual game-type segment). "I thought it went real well," noted Cooper. "The biggest plus was the number of takeaways by our defensive first unit...we came up with four turnovers. At this point, our offense is a little behind our defense mainly because we are trying to be more up-tempo and more multi-formational. We want to be masters of tempo every possession."
FOOTBALL: Season Ticket Sales Start Today
Reserved-seat tickets for the upcoming 2014 season will be available this week from Kay Smart in the GHS ticket office. Tickets, which cost $35 each and cover all five home games this season, will be available for purchase Monday through Wednesday from 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM and Thursday and Friday from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM. Only those individuals that purchased season tickets for the 2013 season will be allowed to purchase tickets during the special option period. All remaining tickets go on sale to the general public August 25 on a first-come, first-serve basis and will be available until the first home game September 5. Tickets will be sold only during school hours.
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