, Port Arthur, Texas


April 16, 2013

West on golf: PN-G set to defend regional championship

PORT ARTHUR —     Step two on the road to the boys 4A state golf championships begin today in Huntsville for Port Neches-Groves, and coach Ricky Keyes believes his No. 4 ranked Indians are well prepared to defend the Region III title they won last year.

    “We’ve played a demanding schedule this year with the goal of winning the state championship,” said Keyes. “For the most part, the kids have played well. I do think we may have gotten a little burned out from all the traveling. But we’re tournament toughened and we’re ready.”

    PN-G took the first step to get back to Austin by winning its fourth consecutive District 20-4A championship by 46 strokes last week at Wildwood Golf Club. Sophomore Braden Bailey led the way by claiming medalist honors for the second consecutive year. Bailey signed off on a 36-hole score of 147.

    To return to the 4A state tourney, the Indians must finish in the top three among 16 teams competing over 36 holes Wednesday and Thursday at Raven’s Nest Golf Club. Their biggest challengers are expected to be No. 7 ranked Huntsville, who has a home course advantage, and Montgomery.

    To win last year’s Region III title, PN-G came from four shots behind Montgomery on the final day, finishing with a 606 (301-305) total that bested the first-day leaders by four strokes. Huntsville placed third at 612.

    Four of the five players whose scores counted toward the 2012 Region III victory — Bailey, Lonnie LaBove, Jarrod Brown and Tyler Rawson — will be teeing it up today. The fifth team member is Brandon Soileau, who played at regional last year as a member of the Indians’ “B” team. Soileau, after shooting 157 for the “B” team in district last week, was promoted to the No. 5 spot for regionals.

    To get to this point, PN-G has played in nine tournaments during the 2012-13 school year. It won four of those, including district, and finished second in three.  Bailey, who has been the medalist in three tournaments, leads the Indians with a 74.4 stroke average. LaBove is next at 76.7, followed by Brown (77.7), Rawson (79.4) and Soileau 82.6.

    Brown set the pace for the Indians here last year, opening with a one-under par 71, then adding a 77 to finish second in medal play with a 148. LaBove shot 152 (74-78), Bailey rebounded from a first-day 79 with a 74 for 153 and Brandon Provost carded a 154.

    While the Indians are no less than co-favorites with Huntsville and Montgomery, the player to beat for the medalist trophy is Huntsville’s Chandler Phillips. Phillips, the state’s No. 5 ranked 4A player, won the medalist trophy by 12 strokes last year on the strength of a final-round 66.

    Nederland, the runner-up to PN-G in last week’s District 20-4A tourney, is also in the field. Heading up the Bulldogs’ lineup is Michael Glover, who finished second to Bailey last week at Wildwood back-to-back rounds of 75 and a 150 total.

    Joining Glover will be Thaine Tillie,  Cole Trevino, Hunter Huff and Avery LeBlanc.


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  • Bassmaster Elites are coming back

    The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
    The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
    I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
    It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
    • Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
    Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
    Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
    • East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
    • Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
    • Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
     It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
    The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
    We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
    It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
    (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on

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    There are certain limitations to fishing without a boat.

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    Thursday nights Summer Money League produced some very impressive scores.

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  • Babe Ruth.jpg Mid County Babe Ruth set to host Southwest Regional

    The Mid County Babe Ruth 18U team is once again knocking on the World Series door. Mid County will host the Southwest Regional at Nederland High School starting today. Mid County’s first game of the tournament is slated for 7 p.m. Friday against Pine Bluff, Ark. Thursday was a special day for Mid County Babe Ruth as two locals, Jimmy Collins (shown speaking) and Skip Hopkins (back left) were inducated intot he Southwest Regional Babe Ruth Hall of Fame. Both Hopkins and Collins have been involved in Babe Ruth for over 40 consecutive years either as player, coach or board member. There are nine teams in the tournament with the winner headed to Washington state for the World Series.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

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From the Fieldhouse blog