The City of Athens, Kiwanis Club, and Keep Athens Beautiful partner for Kiwanis Park improvements

Pictured from left are Kiwanis Club Members: Gerald McCool, Shelby Cummins, Jordan Risinger, Colin Barrett and Kristina Jacobson; Mayor Monte Montgomery, Outgoing Kiwanis Club President: Tilo Galvan; Incoming Kiwanis Club President: Rik Drummond, City of Athens Parks Department Superintendent: Shannon Easley, Parks Department employees: David Lawley, Tony Roberts, Scott Spencer, Jose Hernandez, Coy Seay, Peter Fitzharris and Kori Wallander. Keep Athens Beautiful Executive Director: Carol Morton, and City of Athens Assistant City Manager: Thanasis Kombos. (Courtesy photo)

Press release

Kiwanis Park is one of Athens’ most treasured parks. Whether it’s the splash pad that you or your children love, the famous rocket ship, or the pavilion space ideal for memory making birthday parties or family gatherings, Kiwanis Park truly offers something for the whole family to enjoy. For that reason, the City of Athens, Kiwanis Club, and Keep Athens Beautiful have come together to see that Kiwanis Park receive a few much-needed improvements.

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Athens EDC wins Community Economic Development Award

SEDC chairman, Bob Leak Jr., presented Lisa Denton, Executive Director for the Athens Economic Development Corporation, with award. (Courtesy photo)

Press release

The Southern Economic Development Council (SEDC) has announced the recipients of its annual Community Economic Development Awards (CEDA). Athens Economic Development Corporation submitted a process which transformed the loss of a biotech operation into an opportunity for growth and investment. The entry was the winner in the category of Communities with 5,001—15,000 in Population. Winners were recognized at an awards luncheon held in their honor Monday, August 21, at SEDC’s annual conference in Charlotte, NC.

“Economic Developers in the South are some of the best in the business,” said SEDC 2017 Chairman Robert E. Leak, Jr. “This award goes to communities that exemplify the highest level of economic development professionalism. We are proud to have them in the SEDC region.”

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Athens gets ready for first road trip, Red Oak

(Podcast: Listen to Coach Essary talk about last week’s loss to Fairfield and the upcoming game against Red Oak above.)

By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN

The Athens Hornets will hit the road for the first time this season, traveling to Red Oak to take on the Hawks Friday night.

Both teams are 1-1 to start the season.

The Hawks will provide a good challenge for the Hornets.

“Red Oak is a good football team; well coached,” said Athens Head Coach Paul Essary.

Essary said Red Oak will be the biggest team the Hornets have seen so far this season.

“The play hard and the execute well,” Essary said.

The Hawks like to run the ball and stopping that will be a key for the Hornets.

“We’re going to have to be physical on the defensive side,” Essary said. “On the offensive side we’re going to have to stay on our blocks and execute. We’re going to have to start catching the football a little bit better, and we’re working on that.”

The Hawks are a Class 5A school, so they have a bigger student population, but that doesn’t worry Athens.

“They’re going to dress out 50 to 60 players on the sideline. They’re twice the size school we are,” said Essary. “But that’s OK, you only put 11 out on the field at a time. It doesn’t matter how many are on the sideline.”

“We’re going to line up and get after it,” he said.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday in Red Oak.

AHS cross country medals

The Athens High School cross country team did well Thursday at the Midlothian meet, with many running personal bests, and six bringing home top-15 medals. There were anywhere from 76 to 91 runners in each division. Pictured, from left, are Cindy Lopez, 13th place, JV girls; Alexis Robles, 7th place, JV girls; Jesica Cleto, 8th place, JV girls; Aracely Castillo, 14th place, varsity girls; Daniela Jimenez, 15th place, JV girls; and Jose Escobedo, 8th place, varsity boys. (Courtesy photo)

Athens Hornets prepare to host Fairfield for Civil Service Night

(Listen to the podcast with Coach Paul Essary above.)

By Michael V. Hannigan/HCN

Friday night, the Athens Hornets will be looking to beat Fairfield for back-to-back home victories to start the season. Last week, the Hornets outlasted Mexia, 6-0, to open the new Bruce Field.

Fairfield lost their opener to No. 5 La Vega, 46-7, but Athens Coach Paul Essary said fans shouldn’t read too much into that score.

“I looked at (La Vega) on film,” he said. “If there’s anybody any better than them, I don’t want to play them because they’re pretty salty. La Vega is a good football team.”

Fairfield’s quarterback, Kameron Ransom, is the focus of the Eagle offense. Against La Vega he ran 29 times for 95 yards and threw for another 36.

“He’s a very explosive runner and he can throw the football well,” said Essary. “He’s the guy that makes their offense go.”

As for the Hornets, Essary said his team is trying to improve every day.

“We’re practicing the little things,” he said. “The little thing are what really make you click.”

Friday night is Civic Service Night at Bruce Field. Police, firefighters, EMTs, first responders and military personnel in uniform will be admitted free.

“They put their lives on the line every day for us,” said Essary, “and Athens ISD, Athens Hornets football and Coach Paul Essary appreciates what they do. My hat is off to them.”

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

(Follow Michael V. Hannigan on Twitter/Instagram @mvhannigan)