The day after Thanksgiving is known as the busiest shopping day of the year, but it’s also a day when the high school boys basketball season gets its unofficial start as the eighth annual Fred Williams Classic is held at Ozen High School on Nov. 23.
This year, five games are scheduled with doors opening at 2 p.m. Admission is $5 for the entire day. Ozen is at 3443 Fannett Road in Beaumont.
The first game on the docket is set with Port Arthur Memorial vs. West Orange-Stark at 2:30 p.m. Following the opener will be Class 4A No. 1 Ozen Lady Panthers vs. Houston Wheatley at 4 p.m.
Back on the boys side, Class 3A No. 7 Hardin-Jefferson will play Beaumont Central at 5:30 p.m. followed by one of the best rivalries on the hardwood — 3A No. 5 Silsbee vs. 2A No. 5 Kountze.
Headlining the Classic will be Beaumont city rivals Ozen vs. West Brook at 8:30 p.m.
The Classic honors former boys basketball coach Fred Williams, who is currently the mayor of Kountze. After attending Houston Yates High School, Williams earned a degree at Texas Southern University and got his first coaching job at Kountze High School in 1966. He went on to coach varsity basketball at Silsbee, Beaumont Hebert and West Brook.
Williams led Hebert to three consecutive state championships (1980-82). Coach for 16 years, his teams won 15 district championships with five state tournament appearances. Williams was inducted into the Texas High School Basketball Hall of Fame in Waco and has been honored by the University Interscholastic League (UIL) for his three championships. Williams has two sons, one being Travis, the boys head basketball coach at Port Arthur Memorial.
In a previous interview, Williams told The Examiner, “When I was coaching, my focus wasn’t just centered on just winning the game. Of course I wanted to win, but my main thrust was to instill in those guys the importance of being an example on and off the court, teaching character and imparting a need to continue their education so that they could become productive citizens.”
Around the golf course
The Southeast Texas Junior Tour held the Wildwood Jr. Open on Nov. 17 at Wildwood Golf Course near Village Mills. Winning the Boys 16-18 division playing 18-hole championship tees was Jeffry Roundtree with a score of 75. Finishing second was Cameron Keith with an 84, followed by Thomas Willis with an 85.
Bryce Shaver continued to terrorize the greens as he won the Boys 14-15 division while playing the 18-hole regular tees with an 84. Jessica Rogina was second with a 90 and Tyler Feemster was third (93).
In the Boys 12-13 division playing 18 holes on regular tees, Collin Todora was first with a 90, followed by Josh Elmore (96) and Peyton Weems (97).
Jack Burke claimed first in the Boys 10-11 on the red tees (9 holes) with a 42. Hunter Christman was second with a 49 and Timothy Feemster was third with a 52.
Micah Pew earned first place in Boys 7-9 (6 holes modified) with a 26. Will Van Pelt had a 37 and Ely Whisenant shot a 40.
In Girls 16-18 (18 hole red tees), Karlei Hemler was first with an 82 and Allison Davis was second with a 90.
Ashley Young finished first with a score of 109 in Girls 14-15 (18 hole red tees).
The next Junior Tournament will be at Bayou Din on Saturday, Dec. 1. Entry forms are available at stjga.com or by calling Clint Martin at (409) 796-1327 or Ed Campbell at (409) 722-8286.
How about a double eagle? Also known as the albatross, Mark Gonzales used a 3 Wood for his deuce on the 11th hole at Henry Homberg Golf Course at Tyrell Park on Nov. 3. Aaron West witnessed the incredible shot.
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Chad Cooper can be reached at (409) 832-1400, ext. 241, or by e-mail at cooper [at] theexaminer [dot] com.