Sports

AC basketball to offer  youth camps in June

Angelina College’s basketball coaches and players will team for an instructional youth summer camp scheduled to take place in June at Shands Gymnasium on the AC campus.

Open to boys ages 8 and up, the camp will focus on teaching youngsters the fundamentals, drills and other skills necessary to grow individual abilities. 

The camp will divide into two sessions: From June 10-14, youngsters ages 8-12 will participate in sessions running from 8 a.m. until 1p.m., Monday the 10th through Thursday the 13th, and from 8-12 on Friday the 14th. 

The second session is for boys ages 13 and up and will run from Monday, June 17 through Friday, June 21. Times are 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. until noon on Friday.  

Campers are asked to wear basketball shorts and shoes appropriate for gym work.

Cost for the camp is $50 per player. To register, contact Angelina College’s Community Services at tscott@angelina.edu, call (936) 633-5206 or register in person at AC’s Community Services Building in Room 101. 

For camp information, contact Nick Wade at nwade@angelina.edu or Zac Kircher at zkircher@angelina.edu.

Lady Roadrunner basketball earns post-season honors

The post-season accolades continue to compile for the Angelina College Lady Roadrunner basketball team with Region XIV conference officials releasing the All-Region and All-Conference list this week.

Natasha Mack, the reigning NJCAA National Player of the Year, earned the conference’s Most Valuable Player award along with First Team All-Region and First Team All-Conference nods.

Mia Williams earned First Team All-Conference honors, and Mia Perkins received an Honorable Mention All-Conference award.

Mack and Williams are two home-grown East Texans who were familiar with one another long before they became AC teammates. Mack was a standout at Lufkin High School, while Williams left Diboll High School as one of the school’s best-ever athletes. Although competing in different classifications and districts, the two competed against one another frequently.

When the pair joined forces with the Lady Roadrunners, they became a formidable inside-outside duo responsible for leading Angelina College to national prominence. AC cracked the nation’s top 10 earlier this season, and the week of March 11 qualified for the NJCAA Division I national tournament, which tipped off in Lubbock on Monday, March 18.

Perkins, who attended Westbury Christian High School in Houston, provided the perfect complement to Mack’s inside presence. Perkins finished fifth in the conference with 5.6 rebounds per game and finished second with 109 offensive rebounds, ensuring the Lady Runners enjoyed multiple opportunities for second-chance buckets. Perkins pulled down a season high 19 rebounds on Feb. 23 against Paris College. In the Region XIV tournament semifinals against No. 4 Trinity Valley Community College, she helped vault AC into the finals with an 18-point, eight-rebound effort.

Mack finished the season as the conference leader in four different categories, including scoring (23.8 ppg), rebounding (11.6 rpg), field-goal percentage (59 percent) and blocked shots (5.6 bpg). She notched a rare triple-double on Nov. 6 against LSU-Eunice with 22 points, 13 rebounds and 10 blocks; and she scored in double figures in each of AC’s 32 games, charting double-doubles in 23 of those.

Williams earned a deserved reputation as a three-point sharpshooter, finishing fourth in the league after converting 36.6 percent of her attempts. She hit six three pointers against Panola College on March 2 and made four or more three pointers in seven games this season.

However, those numbers fail to account for her overall value as a playmaker and facilitator. Williams finished ninth overall in assists with 3.8 dishes per game and often was the leader on numerous Lady Roadrunner fast breaks.

The trio was part of an historic run for the Lady Roadrunners, who became the first Angelina College women’s basketball team to win the conference tournament championship and qualify for a berth in the national tournament.

The Lady Roadrunners, the fourth overall seed going into the national tournament, began their trek for a championship on Wednesday, March 20 against the winner of the Hutchinson/Western Nebraska game.

All games took place at the Rip Griffin Center on the Lubbock Christian University campus.


Nick Wade named head coach of Roadrunner Basketball

2_Nick Wade and Allison 2

With his wife Allison at his side, Angelina College’s Nick Wade addresses the crowd during Tuesday’s press conference at Shands Gymnasium introducing Wade as the new head men’s basketball coach.

To find the fifth head men’s basketball coach in the program’s history, Angelina College needed to look no farther than its own bench.

AC has named Nick Wade its new head coach, and in doing so ensured they got a guy familiar with the program, the conference and the community.

Wade spent the past two years as an assistant coach under Kyle Manary, who resigned in May. Before arriving at Angelina College, Wade for three years was part of a Lee College program that set a record for wins in program history. The Rebels in 2013 won the Region XIV conference championship and advanced to the national tournament’s Sweet 16.

In his two years at AC, Wade has been part of a Roadrunner team that earned conference tournament berths in both 2017 and 2018, with the team advancing to the semifinal round in ’17.

Asked about his personal coaching approach, Wade said anyone who watches area high school basketball will recognize his team’s style of play. A regular attendee with his wife Allison at local games, Wade said he’s picked up what he considers the most important trait for any team.

“One of the biggest things I’ve noticed watching games in this area is the grit you see from every player on every team, whether it’s from the bigger or smaller schools,” Wade said. “The way those coaches get the most out of every player is something I want to make sure we do here with our guys. That never-quit attitude applies at any level, and I want our fans to notice it when they come to our games. I want our players to show that same kind of grit.”

As a first-time head coach, Wade knows his first task is to build a foundation, starting with his staff and extending toward getting the right players for his system.

“Sure, we want talent, but we also want to make sure we’re developing our players to be good men,” Wade said. “We live in a great community, where people support each other, and I want our players to feel a part of it while doing their part.”

Wade’s playing career included time at Austin College, where he led the team in three pointers made and in three-point field goal percentage. In 2010, the ‘Roos earned their first 20-win season while winning the SCAC West Division championship.

In his coaching career, Wade has developed more than 20 Division I athletes, three of which went on to professional careers. He’s also spent time coaching in the high school ranks, with stints at Conroe Oak Ridge High School and McKinney Boyd High School.

In a profession known for constant turnover and uprooting families, settling down and growing roots is a challenge. However, Wade said he and his family feel they’re home in Lufkin – and they hope to keep it that way for quite a while.

“I definitely have to thank our administration – Dr. (Michael) Simon, Dean (Steve) Hudman, Coach (Guy) Davis and everyone else on this campus for this chance,” Wade said. “But mostly I want to thank this community for the way it has opened its arms to my family and me. I can’t wait to see everyone at our games.”