Raising the Bar: Eagles continue to grow and improve

By Reece Waddell | Published Saturday, June 9, 2018
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Adding to Trophy Case

ADDING TO TROPHY CASE – Decatur coach Mike Fuller presents his team with the area trophy after the Eagles’ victory over Andrews last season. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

When the dust finally settled on the 2017-2018 school year, the Decatur Eagles had five district championships and seven playoff appearances to their name.

Every team except girls basketball qualified for the postseason, with boys and girls track, softball and boys and girls cross country capturing league titles. Football advanced to the regional quarterfinals for the first time since 2013. Volleyball also advanced to the regional quarterfinals before falling to 4A runner-up Argyle.

PULLING AWAY – Decatur’s Triston Read brings home the District 9-4A title for the Eagles in the 4×400 relay. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Boys basketball finished third in district and made the playoffs, losing to eventual 4A runner-up Dallas Carter in the bi-district round. Boys and girls soccer made the postseason, with the boys finishing second in district behind Bridgeport – the 2016 4A runner-up.

Baseball lost a dramatic series to Crandall in the regional quarterfinal, knocking off Dallas Pinkston and Princeton to claim bi-district and area titles. Softball completed an undefeated run through district play and made it all the way to the regional final, falling to Emory-Rains one game shy of the state tournament.

“It was kind of across the board a successful year,” said Decatur athletic director Mike Fuller. “We look forward to trying to build on that and see what happens in the future. I was pleased this year how all of our teams competed and how they represented our school and our town.”


Behind dominant pitching from junior Reagan Chism and a lineup that featured five freshman and four sophomores, the Lady Eagles cruised to a District 9-4A title. Decatur went 10-0 in league play, knocking off defending 4A champion Krum twice.

Even without sophomore catcher Jordyn Smith, who missed the first six district games after undergoing surgery, the Lady Eagles still continued to dominate. Decatur averaged 7.2 runs per game.

Opponents managed just 1.8 runs per game against Chism, who was named 9-4A MVP. She pitched in 30 games and had a 1.57 ERA with 259 strikeouts.

Sophomore Jaci Ticknor, the district Offensive MVP, hit .417 and drove in 41. Freshman Brison Hesteande earned Newcomer of the Year and batted .455 with 12 RBIs.

Decatur finished the season 25-6 overall. The Lady Eagles dispatched Dallas Roosevelt, Melissa, Bonham and Rusk to claim bi-district, area, regional quarterfinal and regional semifinal titles.

“Our softball team with so many freshman, sophomores and juniors – watching them compete the way they did was pretty special,” Fuller said. “It was a good year all around.”


After a 69-36 loss to Wichita Falls Hirschi in mid-October, Decatur was 3-4 and thoroughly banged up. But true to their motto, Eagle fight never died.

Decatur rattled off five straight victories to make a run all the way to the regional quarterfinal. The Eagles beat Gainesville, Burkburnett and Sanger to end the regular season 6-4.

Decatur followed those wins up with a victory over Abilene Wylie – the 4A runner-up in 2016 – in the bi-district round. They went on to beat Andrews in a 55-48 shootout in the area round, advancing to the third round of the playoffs for the first time in four years.

Fuller said for his team to build on last season, conditioning will be crucial. The Eagles will also play another tough slate of non-district games in 2018, with contests against Kennedale, Midlothian Heritage and Graham.

“It’s going to be important that we get in really good shape this summer. I think a key will be staying healthy and avoiding some injuries,” Fuller said. “We’ll see some of the best teams in the area for sure, and in my opinion, a bunch of top teams in the state. It will be helpful like it always is.”


Fuller said there are no head coaching changes for the upcoming school year.


Sport … ’16-17 record … ’17-18 record … Postseason

Football … 7-5 … 8-5 … Regional quarterfinal

Volleyball … 27-21 … 28-14 … Regional quarterfinal

Cross country … Girls 5th in 4A

Boys basketball … 27-8 … 17-17 … Bi-district

Girls basketball … 17-14 … 14-17 … Missed playoffs

Boys soccer … 9-8-3 … 16-11-2 … Regional quarterfinal

Girls soccer … 0-11-2 … 2-13-3 … Bi-district

Baseball … 27-12 … 20-16 … Regional quarterfinal

Softball … 14-8-1 … 25-6 … Regional final

Track … Boys and Girls 1st in 9-4A

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