Elysian Fields athletic director and head football coach Scott Ford said the year in sports for the Yellow Jackets was a success, starting from the beginning and all the way through the spring.

“The volleyball team ended their season with an overall record of 25-14 finishing third in district,” Ford said. “Samantha Spears was a first-team-all-district player. The football team was 6-5 finishing second in district with our biggest win being a 41-38 victory at home versus Daingerfield. We had 13 sophomores and three freshmen letter and our eighth grade was undefeated so I really believe our football foundation is solid moving forward. Jade Ashalintubbi signed a full athletic scholarship to Houston Baptist. He was also named top offensive linemen of the year in the district. Running back Michael Ramirez was named the offensive player of the year and sophomore quarterback Ryan Wilkerson was named the district’s newcomer of the year.”

Ford added that the success continued on the hardwood.

“I was extremely proud of coach Sierra Bradshaw and our girl’s basketball program,” he said. “A year after losing two college caliber players and starting point guard Amanda Gardener to an ACL injury, she guided them to almost 20 wins and a bi-district championship. It was encouraging to see the girls rally through adversity and make it a successful season. Samantha Spears and Christen Smith were first team all-district performers. The boy’s basketball team finished the season one game out of the playoffs but the JV finished 16-3 and was district champion and both junior high teams won district so we feel like the future is bright there also.”

The Yellow Jackets continued to leave their marks in spring sports.

“For the second year in a row power lifter Chandler Bush qualified for the regional power lifting meet,” Ford offered. “For the last two years I feel as though he was as consistent a lifter as there was in the region. I’m very proud to say that my wife, Kelli Ford, has worked very hard the last four years to build our tennis program into a power. We swept district in boys’ singles with junior Daniel Shelton winning the title for the second year in a row. Senior Justice Gooch fought his way back through the bracket to capture second place and securing a regional berth. Daniel went on to win the regional championship and advanced to state making the final eight in the state. He will be back next year for what we hope is a stellar senior year.

“Our girls won the overall team title in district also fighting off strong opponents like Hughes Springs and New Diana,” Ford continued. “Hayley Alaniz finished second in district, advancing to regionals for the second consecutive year. She had to defeat teammate Kaitlyn White to earn it so we were represented with a third place finished also. Alaniz will return next year for her senior year. Our girls’ doubles team comprised of Kendal King and Heather Auvil also finished second and advanced.”

Ford added EF didn’t get the results it wanted on the track from a team perspective but several individuals went above and beyond.

“For the second year in a row Mattie Harris advanced in the 100 meter dash to area and regionals,” he explained. “I was super proud of that and I’m excited because she will only be a junior next year and will lead our girls track program the next two years. Tyrese Hardemann was an area and regional qualifier in the triple jump and was a part of our 4x100-meter-sprint relay that advanced to area and regionals. Other members were Chris Smith, JaDarryl Jones, and Kelvin Stevenson. I was extremely proud of the way our softball and baseball teams performed as both finished second in extremely tough districts. The real encouraging thing is both teams return seven starters.”

The softball won 20 games and earned a sport in the playoffs with the help of pitcher Shayla Mathews who was named the district’s top pitcher and Kayla Evans who earned first-team all-district honors.

“Virtually every girl athlete I’ve named was an academic all district performer also,” Ford said. “We are proud of the standard they have set. The Jacket baseball team was led on the hill often by senior Justice Gooch as he had an exceptional year this year. We are also hoping to get Dallas Baptist commit Jonathan Ramsey back healthy next year. He was unable to pitch this year due to injury.”

Ford is optimistic about what lies ahead for his athletic program.

“Overall it was an extremely successful year and the foundation is laid for success in the coming years also,” Ford said. “I want to make sure that our community and surrounding communities know that our faculties, administration, superintendent, and school board support the mission of the athletic program. We could not have success without that support.”