Sports Shorts, April 23

LSC-PA faculty and athletes, Kelly's Jaila Leaven,and Corey Dauphine

Locals qualify for UIL state golf tournament

The 2015 UIL boys and girls state golf tournament will be held Monday, April 27, through Thursday, April 30, at select golf courses in Austin.

On the boys side, Port Neches-Groves qualified in Class 5A and will play at Wolfdancer beginning Monday at 8 a.m. Team members are Braden Bailey, Brandon Soileau, Josh Elmore, Tyler Feemster and Cameron Keith.

Qualifying as a single medalist was Hunter Huff of Nederland.

In Class 3A, Skylar Petroski of Bridge City will play at Grey Rock on Monday.

For the girls, Port Neches-Groves’ Karlei Hemler will play at Wolfdancer on Monday as a lone medalist in the 5A tournament.

In Class 4A, the Lady Bears of Little Cypress-Mauriceville will play at Onion Creek on Monday. Team members are Lauren Cox, Ashley Young, Kacie Nichols, Hope Henry and Theresa Beckett.

Lauren Hale of Buna qualified for the 3A tournament, which will also be played on Monday at Grey Rock.

Kelly athlete signs with LeTourneau

Kelly Lady Bulldog Jaila Leaven signed a National Letter of Intent to play college basketball for LeTourneau University in Longview. During her senior season at Kelly, Leaven was named first team all-district as well as honorable mention all-state while averaging 17.2 point, 4.1 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 3.2 assists per game.

As a junior, she was named the Max Preps Player of the Year.

LSC-Port Arthur sports banquet

Lamar State College-Port Arthur’s Athletic Department hosted a special banquet to honor its high-ranking student-athletes April 17 at the Carl Parker Center in Port Arthur. Students who earned a 3.0 grade point average or better were invited to attend the event and in turn, each athlete invited a special instructor or professor to attend.

During the event, each athlete was introduced and given the opportunity to introduce their invited member of the LSC-PA faculty.

Pictured above (front from left) are Freddie Williams Jr. (basketball), Ashley Gallentine (dance), Kristina Merka (volleyball), Audrey Jones (volleyball), Me’Shell Spears (volleyball), Marko Zelic (basketball), and Mambi Diawara (basketball); (middle) Kenady Magouirk (softball), Ashley Bunner (softball), Taylor Harvill (softball), Rondaysha Thomas (volleyball), Ricki Gilbert (softball) Angelica Rogers (softball), Brianna Miller (softball), Brooke Wilhelm (softball), Breyn Pulcher (softball), and Kim Villareal (softball); and (back row) advisor Lawanda Brown, registrar Connie Nicholas, and instructors Michelle Judice, Dr. Percy Jordan, Dr. Laura Stafford, Mavis Triebel, Anthony Diehl, Michelle Askew, Caitlin James, Christina Wilbur, James Knowles and Monteel Coppell.

Not pictured are scholar-athletes Bekah Blanda (softball), Marci West (softball), Alana Ailles (volleyball), Kelsey Harmel (volleyball), Julia Mauer (volleyball), Ma’Shell Spears (volleyball), Leiyona Young (volleyball), Addison Burleigh (dance) and Jessica Buckner (dance).

Moonlight Bicycle Madness

The City of Beaumont Recreation Division will host its annual Moonlight Bicycle Madness bike ride on Friday, May 8, with registration from 7-9:30 p.m. This popular annual event is open to riders of all skill levels, and the 14-mile course, which begins and ends at Rogers Park (1455 Dowlen), includes rest stops, live entertainment and door prizes. Helmets and lights are strongly recommended.

Advance registration is also available at the Sterling Pruitt Activity Center (2930 Gulf), and Bicycle Sports (2770 I-10 E.,) and online at

Registration is $10 or $20 with a T-shirt. The ride will begin at 10 p.m. For more information, call (409) 781-1298.

Charity tournaments

Girls’ Haven has announced that the annual Girls’ Haven Benefit Golf Tournament will be Monday, May 11, at Beaumont Country Club. Last year, the tournament raised $110,000 for Girls’ Haven.

The course will open up at 11 a.m. for practice and there will be a lunch held at the Country Club Grill at 11:30 a.m. There will be a shotgun start for all of the teams at 1 p.m. Refreshments will be provided and an awards ceremony will follow the tournament.

For more information, contact Alice Teeler at (409) 832-6223.

Memorial sprinter to compete at nationals

Senior Corey Dauphine has been invited to participate in one of the most prestigious track meets in the United States — the Prefontaine Classic. Considered a Diamond League level event, the meet is for professional and world-class athletes and will take place in Eugene, Ore., on May 29-30. Dauphine is also slated to play football at Texas Tech in the fall.

Former Ozen player transfers

Nekia Jones, a former Ozen basketball standout, is leaving the University of Texas Lady Longhorn basketball program and has transferred to North Texas.

A sophomore, Jones averaged 5.9 points and 2.7 rebounds in 43 career games but missed the last 14 games of the season due to a knee injury. She will have to sit out one season before playing for North Texas, who competes in Conference USA.

Lumberton hires Babin

The Lumberton Raiders football program scored a touchdown when they hired Chris Babin as their new head football coach and boys’ athletic coordinator.

Babin, who played football for Lumberton and graduated in 1999, played indoor football for the Beaumont Drillers and was the offensive coordinator for Lumberton in 2007-08, the only two seasons the Raiders made the playoffs.

Babin has been a head coach at Houston Scarborough, Deweyville and comes over from Warren.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Babin. “Who wouldn’t want to come back home and lead the program where you played? It’s amazing, and I’m ready to get started.”

Lamar Dance Team presents spring show ‘Ten’ May 8-9

The Lamar University Dance Team will present its spring show “Ten” May 8-9 at the Jefferson Theatre. The dance team has been practicing and preparing since the beginning of January. “Ten” represents a total of 33 dances with some members performing in as many as 15 dances.

The show presents 11 different styles of dance, ranging from Bollywood and ballet to Salsa and hip-hop.

With the aid of 10 choreographers, thousands of rhinestones and countless hours of rehearsal and practice, the Lamar Dance Team is prepared for show time. “Ten” will be held at the Jefferson Theatre in Beaumont on May 8-9 at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at the door for $10. For more information, email brixey [dot] blankenship [at] lamar [dot] edu.