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THE MATCHES REALLY COUNT: DISTRICT PLAY BEGINS FOR AREA VOLLEYBALL TEAMS

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VOLLEYBALL SEASON REALLY kicks into overdrive as Districts 24-6A and 22-5A start play on Friday night, with Friendswood at Texas City being the featured match of the evening. Meanwhile, cross-country teams hit the trails of Hometown Heroes Park, while Galveston will hosts the annual Ike Invitational, one of the highlights of the fall tennis schedule.

Wednesday: Framber Valdez (4-7, 5.62 ERA) gets the call for the Astros in the third game of the series against the A’s, who will pitch Brett Anderson (11-9, 4.08 ERA). AT&T Sportsnet Southwest will air the game beginning with the pregame show at 6:30pm, leading into the 7:10pm game time.

Thursday: Houston closes out its four-game set with Oakland when Justin Verlander (18-5, 2.52 ERA) continues his push for the American League Cy Young Award when he takes A’s hurler and La Grange native Homer Bailey (12-8, 4,87 ERA). Game time is at 7:10pm, with AT&T Sportsnet Southwest bringing the coverage that starts with the pregame show at 6:30pm.

Friday: District play begins in 24-6A and 22-5A.

In 24-6A, Clear Creek meets Clear Brook, Clear Falls is at Clear Springs and Clear Lake visits Dickinson, with all three matches starting at 6:00pm. The 22-5A season starts with a huge matchup between Friendswood and red-hot Texas City beginning at 6:00pm, while Galveston Ball at Santa Fe gets underway at 6:30pm.

Most of the area’s tennis teams will be in Galveston for the two-day Ike Tournament. Host Galveston Ball will be joined by Clear Brook, Clear Springs, Santa Fe and Texas City.

One of the biggest cross-country meets of the season will be at Hometown Heroes Park in League City, where Clear Creek will host the Wildcat Invitational that will include Clear Brook, Clear Falls, Clear Springs, Dickinson, Galveston Ball, Santa Fe and Texas City. The meet will begin at 8:30am.

The Astros open a weekend series against the Royals with Gerrit Cole (16-5, 2.73 ERA) continuing his bid for 300 strikeouts this season. Cole, who comes into the start with 281, will be countered by Danny Duffy (6-6, 4,71 ERA). AT&T Sportsnet Southwest will start the pregame show at 6:30pm with game time set for 7:10pm.

Saturday: Clear Creek’s tennis team will compete against George Ranch in a home match for the Wildcats beginning at 8:30pm.

Zack Greinke (14-5, 3.09 ERA) faces the Royals, with whom he played with from 2004 to 2010, in the middle game of the weekend set against Kansas City. Mike Montgomery (2-6, 4.77 ERA) gets the call for the visitors when AT&T Sportsnet Southwest starts coverage at 6:10pm, which comes after the pregame show, that starts at 5:30pm.

RACKING THE MILES: HOUSTON AREA DOTTED WITH LOCAL TEAMS IN ACTION
THURSDAY:
No local varsity games are scheduled for the day.

FRIDAY: The high school football action kicks off at 7:00pm with Clear Creek at Channelview, Angleton at Clear Brook (Veterans Memorial Stadium), George Ranch at Clear Springs (Challenger-Columbia), Dawson at Dickinson, La Porte at Friendswood, Clear Falls at Goose Creek Memorial, Brazoswood at Santa Fe, Clear Lake at Texas City and Galveston Ball at Wheatley (Barnett Stadium). La Marque visits Hitchcock at 7:30pm. NRG Stadium will host #20 Washington State against Houston. ESPN will have the game at 8:15pm.

SATURDAY: A big day of college football gets underway with Houston Baptist at South Dakota at 2:00pm (ESPN3), followed by Sam Houston State at North Dakota at 4:00pm. Lamar visits #16 Texas A&M (ESPNU) and Nicholls travels to Prairie View at 6:00pm. TSU is at Louisiana at 6:30pm (ESPN3) and #12 Texas takes on Rice at NRG Stadium at 7:00pm.

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