Posted on 18. May, 2012 by Richard Greene
With Troy Taylor’s dash to the finish line in the Class 5A 1,600 Saturday evening at the state meet, the sun set on the high-school sports season for Wise County.
A year that began in the searing heat back in August has produced several great moments and triumphs by local champions.
The Alvord, Decatur and Slidell cross country teams battled their way to state.
The Decatur, Bridgeport and Boyd football teams made the playoffs. Bridgeport, Decatur and Chico volleyball teams also made the postseason.
On the basketball court, the Alvord girls came within a game of the state tournament. Slidell overcame injury after injury to make a third straight trip to the regional tournament. The Decatur, Bridgeport and Boyd girls also made the postseason.
The Decatur Eagles, Northwest Texans and Slidell Greyhounds tasted the boys basketball playoffs.
In pool, Decatur enjoyed its most successful year. Freshman Katey Rowden became the program’s first regional champion and state qualifier.
Another first happened on the soccer field as the Decatur Lady Eagles behind Bobbi Clemmer picked up their first district wins and were in the playoff hunt until the final game of the season. The Decatur Eagles made their second trip to the playoffs, posting their best district record.
The Bridgeport Bulls won a one-game playoff over the rival Decatur Eagles to earn a trip to the baseball playoffs.
The Paradise Panthers made the area’s longest run in the baseball playoffs with a come-from-behind win in the bi-district series to beat Krum and make the area round. The Panthers then took fifth-ranked Melissa to three games before falling last weekend 3-2 in the series finale.
In softball, Paradise and Chico made the area round after bi-district wins.
On the track, 11 athletes represented the county at the state meet. Jordan Ward captured history with her 14.06 in the 100 hurdles — one of two gold medals. Taylor brought home a silver and bronze. Desiree Freier flew to a gold in the pole vault. Chelsey Steele took a bronze in the 100.
As the year closes, there’s plenty to celebrate from those successes on the field to the end of a great career by retiring Boyd football coach J.G. Cartwright.
In a few weeks, we will attempt to tie it all together with the Messenger’s 2011-12 Best of Sports edition. We will name the county’s top male and female athletes, along with the top game, coach and team.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this year as much as I have. Thanks to the many coaches and athletes that have allowed me to tell their stories this year.