2020 was an eventful year for Farmersville athletics. With schools across Texas trying to react to the coronavirus pandemic, Farmersville saw several of their sports end prematurely, some before they even really started, while others saw games canceled. This sport season was not without its highs, however, including a strong playoff run for the Lady Farmers volleyball team and strong performances from members of the powerlifting team. Here is a look back at Farmersville sports during 2020.
Spring Sports- Baseball/Softball/Golf/Track and Field
The first major aftershocks of 2020 were dealt during spring break, when the spread of COVID canceled many UIL athletic events across Texas. Originally only a two week delay, the growing pandemic ended up canceling entire sporting seasons for high schools across the state, including Farmersville ISD. Additionally, several winter sports, including powerlifting, soccer and wrestling, ended their seasons abruptly.
Among Farmersville’s spring sports, softball was the furthest along in their season, with the Lady Farmers preparing for district competition at the time of the season stoppage. Holding a 7-3-1 record, the team was in prime position to capture a second straight district title. Graduating seniors included outfielder Keely Valliant, catcher Kaylea Bridges, shortstop Christa Lannon and pitcher Mary Hibbitts.
For the baseball team, coach Jon Nordin led the Farmers to an 8-5 overall record, including wins at the Aubrey tournament and the Edgewood tournament, which was shut down midway through for the pandemic. The Farmers graduated three players from the baseball team this season: Marshall Varner, Schon Nichols and Slade Thomas.
The Farmersville varsity track and field team competed once, participating in the Van Alstyne Panther Relays Thursday, Mar. 5. In the competition, the boys finished seventh and the Lady Farmers finished eighth. Van Alstyne won the boys competition with a score of 126, while Aubrey took the top spot in the girls event with a score of 134. Notable performances include Josh Hoar’s win in the boys 300 hurdles, Kylie Self’s third place finish in the 100 and 300 hurdles and Makayla Grabowski’s performance, finishing sixth place in the 800 and fifth place in the 1600.
The Farmersville golf team had two performances under their belt before the season was canceled, competing in the Eustace Polar Bear Invitational Feb. 24-25 before finishing their season at the Yellowjacket Invitational Mar. 2 and 3. Ayden Butler led the way for the Farmers at the Yellow Jacket Invitational, while Aiden Mcqueary was the top boys golfer at the Eustace Polar Bear Invitational. Breanna Bush was the top finisher for the Lady Farmers in both competitions. Also competing for Farmersville were Tristan Huff, Josh Holeman and Aiden Butler on the boys side and Kylie Medellin and A.J. Lehman on the girls side.
One of the first teams to have their season affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the Farmersville powerlifting team were unable to finish up their season.
Competing at the Region 6 Div. 2 powerlifting meet Thursday, Mar. 12 at Kennedale, Farmersville emerged as the top boys powerlifting team among the 17 schools who competed, earning 38 points.
Individual lifters making the cut for state were Jerry Cortez, Colby Stinedurf, Ethan Cortez and Gabe Sandoval.
Jerry Cortez placed first in the 132-pound weight class with a total of 995 pounds. Stinedurf was first in the 165-pound weight class with 1,460 total pounds. Ethan Cortez claimed first in the 181-pound class with 1,355 pounds. Batson finished first in the 242-pound weight class with 1,580. Sandoval ended up second in the super heavyweight class with 1,445 pounds.
Others competing were Schon Nichols, who finished fourth in the 123-pound class with 920 pounds, Jacob Tull, who finished ninth in the 148-pound class with 1,045 pounds, Kam Cottle, who bombed out in the 165-pound class, Rhett Attaway, who finished third in the 181-pound class with 1,325 pounds, and Elijah Ellis, who bombed out in super heavyweight.
On the Lady Farmers side, sophomore Vanessa DeJesus Amador finished third in the 181-pound weight class at the Thursday, Mar. 5, girls regional meet with a total lift of 565 pounds. Senior Gracie Smith was fourth in the 259-plus division, lifting 850 pounds.
2020 was a year of change for Farmersville boys basketball. After finishing a less-than-stellar 2019-20 campaign, the team were placed in an altered district under the guidance of a new coach.
Last season, the Farmers finished the year 6-21 overall and last in the standings at 0-10. Making the playoffs from Farmersville’s district were Crandall 8-2, with Quinlan Ford, Community and Sunnyvale tying for third place at 5-5.
Josh Hoar led the way for Farmersville in all-district honors, earning a spot on the all-district second team. The coaching staff named Sloan Thomas, Braiden Lair and Andrew Linton honorable mentions. Academic all-district went to Ethan Cortez, Adrian Castillo, Chester Helmberger, Hoar and Landry Lokey.
Farmersville graduated five players from the 2019-20 team: Castillo, Helmberger, Lokey, Linton and Sean Wright. Returning players playing for the 2020-21 team include Cortez, Thomas, Lair, Hoar, Tre Brewer, Brayden Bolch and Brajoen Tidwell.
Leading the Farmers this season is former Farmersville basketball player Jeff Green. After coaching Community girls basketball the last few years, Green now leads a Farmersville group that has battled through COVID cancellations during their pre-district schedule.
2020 also presented a new district outlook for Farmersville, with their new district opponents consisting of Caddo Mills, Kaufman, Community, Ford, Sunnyvale and Terrell.
In the 2019-20 season, Farmersville returned to the girls basketball playoffs after a five-year hiatus.
The return was short lived, however, as the Lady Farmers lost to the Van Lady Vandals in the Class 4A Region II bi-district 49-24.
Farmersville finished the regular season 10-17, earning third seed from 13-4A with a 5-5 district record, tying with Community Sunnyvale secured the first seed in the district with a 10-0 record, followed by Crandall at 6-4.
Big wins for the Lady Farmers during the 2019-20 season include a 27-point victory over Blue Ridge, a 37-point victory over rival Ford and a 20-point win over Community in the season finale that earned them the tiebreaker.
Several members of the Lady Farmers earned all-district honors for their play in the 2019-20 season. Reese Fetty and Kylie Self made the first team all-district, while Rylee Ortega led the way as the 13-4A co-Sixth Man of the Year along with Sunnyvale’s Brinley Andrews. Alex Brooks and Jenson McTee earned second team all-district, while Aubrie Rich was named as an honorable mention.
Academic all-district went to Rich, McTee, Self, Ortega, Fetty, Brooks, Wendy Trejo, Morgan Erwin, Jacie Senn, Cassandra Ferretiz, Kandace Kenney, Audri Boring and Rylie Tuck.
Departing members of the senior class include Ferretiz, Rich and Senn.
In their second year as a program, the Farmersville girls soccer team finished fifth in District 13-4A before the season was shut down.
With their last two games canceled due to the pandemic, the Lady Farmers finished their season with a 6-12-3 overall record, including a 2-6 record in district competition.
Sitting at fifth place in district, Farmersville was 1.5 games behind fourth place Community and a game ahead of last place Sunnyvale. Crandall led the way in district with an undefeated record, with Caddo Mills in second place at 5-3.
Big wins for Farmersville included a 5-0 win over Pittsburg, a 7-0 road victory over Grand Saline and a 5-3 win over Greenville. Farmersville’s two district wins occurred in their first two contests, defeating Community 1-0 and Ford 4-0.
This year, the Lady Farmers graduated three soccer players: defender Macie Edwards, striker/midfielder Aubrie Rich and goal keeper Gracie Guynes. Returning players for the 2021 girls soccer team include junior forward Sabrina Parker, senior defender Madison Price and junior goalkeeper Arianna Dematteo.
Similar to the girls soccer team, the Farmersville boys soccer team finished just outside of playoff position as the season abruptly ended.
With two games to go on their schedule, the Farmers had a 3-18-3 overall record, holding fifth place in their district with a 1-5 record against rivals. Farmersville’s lone win against their district opponents occurred Saturday, Feb. 22, with the Farmers defeating Caddo Mills in a road matchup 1-0.
Community led the district at the season’s end, going 4-0-1 in district competition. Sunnyvale and Crandall were the other two teams that had confirmed their playoff spot, earning second and third place respectively.
Wins outside of district competition for Farmersville include a 3-2 win over Chapel Hill and a 4-2 road victory over Grand Saline.
The Farmers graduated four seniors this year: Eli Alonso, who led the team in scoring with nine goals, defender Oscar Luna, midfielder Adrian Serrato, midfielder Kevin Anchondo and defender Rangel Nunez.
After securing a playoff spot last season, Farmersville football struggled to reach the same success in 2020, finishing in fifth place in district with a 2-7 overall record.
Victories for the Farmers this season include a two-point win over Krum, which was capped by a onside kick recovery, and a dominant win over rival Wills Point. This season, the Farmers were a young team that had a strong rushing attack and a defense that managed to slow some quality opponents.
Junior offensive lineman Eber Padilla and junior safety Oscar Flores were both given first team all-district honors for their performance. Both quarterbacks for Farmersville, junior EJ Chairez and sophomore Cooper Strawn, earned second team all-district alongside senior running back Braden Lair, senior fullback Travis Zingaro, junior wide receiver Aidan Gray, senior offensive lineman Cogan Grabowski, senior linebacker Randy Johnson, junior defensive back Tre Brewer and senior punter Lalo Artega.
Honorable mentions for Farmersville include offensive lineman Jeremy Chairez, offensive lineman Dakota Malena, offensive lineman Hudson Gray, defensive lineman Kam Cottle, defensive back Brennan Pollard, safety Carson While, linebacker Jacob Tull, linebacker Brajoen Tidwell, defensive end Tristan Huff, defensive end Caiden Obrien, defensive line Jackson Johnson and defensive end Elijah Ellis.
In addition to their work on the field, several Farmers earned honors in the classroom as all-academic athletes. Six Farmers earned academic all-state honors: Grabowski, Zingaro, Lair, Artega and Ellis. Other academic-all district recipients include Strawn, Aidan Gray, Hudson Gray, Padilla, Johnson, Brewer, Pollard, Tull, Darrell Foltz, Lawson Odom, Cash Whitsell, Liam Magee and Malena.
At the end of the season, Farmersville head coach Brandon Hankins stepped down from his coaching position, shifting into a fulltime athletic director role. Taking over for Hankins is Rains coach Randy Barnes, who led the Wildcats to a 6-4 record this season.
After a long and successful season, the Farmersville volleyball team captured their third straight appearance in the regional semifinals, losing to Kennedale in four sets.
Fielding a group with several underclassmen, the Lady Farmers had a memorable 2020 season, finishing with a 26-3 record and earning a share of first place in their district. After winning 11 straight matches to close the season, the Lady Farmers ended the regular season ranked the fourth best team in 4A.
With their success, several Lady Farmers were honored as part of the district’s all-volleyball teams. A big part of Farmersville’s success this year, senior Reese Fetty earned district’s MVP honors after recording 437 kills, 48 total blocks, 215 digs, a team-high 46 serving aces and 40 assists. Sophomore Angie Lee made the most of her opportunities in her second year playing volleyball, earning newcomer of the year at the middle blocker position after recording 75 blocks and 145 kills. Farmersville coach Harold Davis finished as district co-coach of the year, along with Community’s Justin Maness.
Three other Lady Farmers earned first team all-district recognition; junior Jenson McTee, who finished the season with a team-leading 483 assists and a team-high 248 digs, senior Alex Brooks, who finished second on the team in kills with 169, and senior Kate Ingram, leading the team as the libero. Seniors Kylie Self and Wendy Trejo earned second team all-district honors, while junior Lexi Hacker and freshman Rendi Fetty both earned all-district honorable mention.
The Farmersville cross country team finished their season on a cold Monday morning at the district competition in Kaufman Monday, Oct. 26.
Running alongside four other teams, the Farmers were unable to qualify for the regional race. On the boys side, Josh Hoar led the way for the Farmers on the podium, finishing 14th overall with a 19:33 three-mile run. For the Lady Farmers, Makayla Grabowski was the first to cross the finish line, earning 15th place after running at a 15:06 pace.
Amon Odom was the next Farmer to finish in competition, running at 19th overall with a 20:42 pace. Mikey Klemiuk finished in 21st with a 21:01 three-mile run followed by freshman Sawyer Trippett, who finished in 27th place with a 21:32 three-mile run. Rounding out the meet for Farmersville was Zackary Gennette, who finished 30th overall with a 22:34 run.
Kate Rich finished right behind Grabowski on the girls side, finishing in 18th place with a 15:29. Laruen Hall rounded out the varsity girl runners, ending in 22nd place with a 16:16 run.
The host Kaufman Lions dominated both sides of the meet, winning the boys and girls team championship.
Farmersville team tennis put a bow on their inaugural season of competition at the same place it started, competing in a bi-district playoff match against Wills Point Monday, Oct. 26 at the Melissa Sports complex.
Competing on a wet and cold Monday morning, the Farmers battled fiercely and valiantly through the harsh elements before ultimately losing to Wills Point. In doubles competition, the mixed duo of Angel Lopez and Phoebe Attaway were able to take the final point to a set tiebreaker. Sabrina Parker was able to match her in singles competition, taking Wills Points’ number one girl, Grayce Malone, to a tiebreaker in their second set.
Farmersville’s appearance in the bi-district playoffs marks the end of an eventful first season for the program. The highlight of the season occurred Tuesday, Sept. 29, where they defeated Terrell on the road 10-2.
By Jackson King * [email protected]