Aston and Ashtyn have certainly represented the Rose City well. Aston Francis and Ashtyn Beal have garnered superlative awards on the basketball court after outstanding seasons for their schools. 


Aston Francis and the Windy City have been a great fit.

The Wheaton College standout guard from Tyler has been honored as a unanimous first-team selection to the All-College Conference for Illinois And Wisconsin for the second consecutive year.

Also, the All Saints Episcopal School graduate was chosen by the league’s coaches as the recipient of the “Fred Young Most Outstanding Player” award.

Francis, a former All-East Texas Player of the Year, averaged 27.4 points per game this season with a school-record 117 3-pointers. The Thunder guard distributed 4.48 assists and grabbed 4.8 rebounds per game.

Francis led NCAA Division III in 3-pointers per game and he was fourth in the nation in scoring.

The junior, who transferred from Tyler Junior College after his freshman season, posted historic numbers in 16 CCIW games this season. He averaged 30.0 points per game with 5.9 rebounds and 4.1 assists. Francis is just the second player in conference history to average 30.0 points per game for a full conference schedule, and his 480 points in league play this year is the highest point total to lead the league since Leon Gobczynski scored 506 points in 1975.

Francis’ 86 3-pointers this season shattered his own CCIW record of 67 three-pointers in league play that he had set last year.

He is a business/economics major.

Along with conference honors, Francis has been recognized as a third team All-American by DIII News. The DIII News honor joins his second team All-America selections from the National Association of Basketball Coaches and

In addition to the three All-American selections this year, Francis was named the Central Region Player of the Year.  

Francis’ 712 total points this year is the second-highest single-season total in program history as he is just the second player in Wheaton history to surpass the 700-point milestone in a single season. Three-time NABC All-American Kent Raymond is the program’s only other 700-point scorer with 738 points in 2007-08.  

Wheaton College, just outside of Chicago in Wheaton, Illinois, finished the season 17-9.


John Tyler High School graduate Ashtyn Beal had another great season for the Collin College women’s basketball team.

The 5-8 sophomore was not only voted first-team All-North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference, but also the Defensive Player of the Year.

It was the second straight season Beal was first-team all-conference.

Beal helped lead the Lady Cougars to the co-championship of their league, the fourth consecutive for the Plano-based school. Collin finished 26-5 overall and 11-3 in conference play.

Beal averaged 11.3 points per game for CC and shot 78 percent from the free throw line.

After her standout basketball season at John Tyler High School, Beal topped off an incredible senior year by being named recipient of the second annual Earl Campbell Tyler Rose Award Scholarship.

Beal was also the JTHS salutatorian for the Class of 2016.

Beal helped lead her Lady Lions to the District 16-5A girls basketball championship. She was a former district Most Valuable Player and was a three-time first-team all-district selection.


Sports Editor

I am a native Tylerite and I grew up reading the Tyler Morning Telegraph and The Tyler Courier-Times. My parents took both the morning and afternoon papers. I came to work here 34 years ago at the age of 23, right after college.

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