WCMessenger.com http://www.wcmessenger.com Wise County Messenger Online Edition Wed, 26 Nov 2014 18:45:01 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Wednesday, November 26, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/update/wednesday-november-26-2014/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/update/wednesday-november-26-2014/#comments Wed, 26 Nov 2014 14:27:56 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84016

BRIDGEPORT HOSPITAL TO BECOME COMMUNITY HEALTH CLINIC – After losing $6.2 million in 19 months operating as a hospital, Wise Regional Health System will convert its Bridgeport campus to an urgent care/ambulatory surgery center in January 2015. The change, which will eliminate the emergency room, was approved Monday evening at a hospital board meeting and announced to employees Tuesday. Wise Regional CEO Steve Summers said the ER in Bridgeport has consistently seen about 400 patients a month, but surveys indicate 95 percent of those could still be treated in an urgent-care environment. The other 5 percent – most of whom come in with chest pains – are being transferred to the Decatur campus already, since the system’s cardiac facilities are based there. Bridgeport, which will be staffed with nurse practitioners and operated as part of Wise Clinical Care Associates, will still have x-rays, suturing and other medical services – “everything an urgent-care clinic does,” Summers said. He estimates the change will save the system about $2 million over the next 12 months. The ER will continue to operate through Dec. 31 and the urgent-care clinic will open Jan. 1 or 2.

CHEER CAPTAIN IN MACY’S PARADE – Decatur varsity cheer captain Madison Grantham will be performing in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City tomorrow. Grantham was invited to participate in the parade with Spirit of America Productions, and they will perform with KISS about 11 a.m. The parade starts at 9 a.m. and will air on NBC. Grantham, who has been in New York all week for rehearsals, is among 700 girls participating from across the U.S.

WATER MAIN BREAK – The water outage in Bridgeport Monday was in response to a blown-out water main at 16th and Irvin Street, according to city spokesperson Tiffany Evans. Houses surrounding the affected area were without water until about 8:15, but most of the city still had water, Evans said. The cause of the water main break appeared to be aging infrastructure and ground movement. “Thank you to those employees who worked hard to fix this issue as quickly as possible,” Evans wrote in a Facebook post Monday night.

COUNTY HOLIDAY CLOSINGS – In observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, all Wise County administrative offices will be closed Thursday and Friday. Wise County dumpsites (Boyd, Chico, Cottondale, Decatur and Slidell) will close Thursday and Friday. All the dumpsites will reopen on Saturday with regular hours (7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m.)

BRIDGEPORT HOLIDAY CLOSINGS – All city of Bridgeport offices will be closed Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving Holiday. The Bridgeport Library will be closed Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Normal operating hours will resume on Monday.

DECATUR HOOPS TEAMS WIN – The Decatur Eagles forced six turnovers and held Argyle to a pair of field goals during an 18-8 closing run in a 47-40 victory Tuesday. Parker Hicks scored 18 and Cade Lamirand 16. The Decatur Lady Eagles improved to 6-0 with a 58-48 win over Mineral Wells. Macen Stripling poured in 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Shelby Drews scored 13.

BASKETBALL ROUNDUP – Girls: The Alvord Lady Bulldogs improved to 5-2 Tuesday with a 79-45 win over Henrietta. Cierra Rangel led four Alvord players in double figures with 15. Katie Clayborn scored 13, Brianna Ponder 12 and Paycee Edgett 10. The Chico Lady Dragons went on a 10-5 run in the third quarter to take the lead and held on for a 43-36 win over Perrin Tuesday. Whitney Renfro led Chico with 16 points. Alli York and Kylie Marburger added nine each. Caitlin Pruett tossed in 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as the Slidell Lady Greyhounds beat Valley View 59-47 Tuesday. Kayler Talamantes added 18 points and five boards. Kylie Franklin scored 13 and grabbed nine rebounds. Boys: The Chico Dragons used a 21-7 run in the second quarter to pull away in a 65-35 win over Perrin Tuesday. Jonathon Neighbors lead the Dragons with 16. Chris Gilmore added 15. Colleyville Heritage outscored Northwest 11-6 in the extra period for a 58-52 win Tuesday afternoon. Elijah Christman led Northwest with 15. Slidell beat Valley View 77-36 behind 20 points from Tyler Maynard, 15 from Khristian Talamantes and 12 from Dustin Davis.

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY – The fifth annual Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting local small businesses on one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year. Citizens are encouraged to shop at their favorite local stores this Saturday and help fuel the local economy.

TREE LIGHTING – The city of Bridgeport’s Santa and the Stagecoach Annual Tree Lighting Event is 5:30-7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 1, at Bridgeport City Hall. It will include live entertainment, a photo opportunity with Santa Claus, “Frozen” characters, kid crafts, food trucks and holiday family fun. Call 940-683-3400 or visit www.cityofbridgeport.net.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING – There will be no Update Thursday due to the Thanksgiving holiday, but any breaking news will be posted at WCMessenger.com. Update will return Friday.

FUNERALS – Funeral for James Ray “Red” Martin, 83, of Montague is 10 a.m. today at the Church of Christ in Saint Jo. Arrangements are being handled by Scott Funeral Home in Saint Jo.

FUNERAL for Christina Parsons, 88, of Bridgeport will be held in Augusta, Ga. Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport is handling arrangements.

FUNERAL for Roger Rhodes, 71, of Bridgeport is 10 a.m. Saturday at Cates Street Church of Christ in Bridgeport with burial at 2 p.m. Sunday at Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Plain Dealing, La. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Friday at Jones Family Funeral Home.

SERVICE for Peggy Barksdale, 76, of Bridgeport is 11 a.m. today at First Baptist Church in Justin with burial at Justin Cemetery. Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport is handling arrangements.

SERVICE for Teddy Lee Moore, 57, is pending at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

SERVICE for Kimberly Todd, 31, of Decatur is pending at Coker-Hawkins.

SERVICE for Maudie Gilmore, 69, of Newark is pending at Christian-Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd.

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/update/wednesday-november-26-2014/feed/ 0
Soaring to a 2nd state title; Decatur defeats Argyle in 4A volleyball championship http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/soaring-to-a-2nd-state-title-decatur-defeats-argyle-in-4a-volleyball-championship/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/soaring-to-a-2nd-state-title-decatur-defeats-argyle-in-4a-volleyball-championship/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:46:40 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84005 When sophomore Courtnie Roberts’ tip found an open spot on the floor, the Decatur Lady Eagles stormed the court at Curtis Culwell Center in Garland Saturday afternoon.

Piling in the center of the floor, the Lady Eagles celebrated their second consecutive state volleyball title. Decatur beat rival Argyle in four sets, 25-14, 27-29, 26-24, 25-19 at the University Interscholastic League volleyball championships.

Storming the Floor

STORMING THE FLOOR – Decatur players pile at midcourt after the last point of Saturday’s 4A Final. Decatur beat Argyle to win its second state title. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“It’s one of the sweetest feelings you could have, to finish our run as Eagles, win and get the gold medals,” said Decatur senior setter Stormi Leonard.

The victory closed out a 40-10 campaign for the Lady Eagles and sent seven seniors out as state champions – including four who were on varsity four seasons.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this team. These four led the way,” said Decatur coach Claire Benedict-Gay, nodding to Leonard, Makayla Mayfield, Cooper Martin and Caroline Lowery in the post-match press conference.

Emotional Win

EMOTIONAL WIN – Cooper Martin and Dylana Hutchins embrace after the Lady Eagles’ win Saturday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Mayfield earned the 4A finals MVP honor after putting down 21 kills on 52 attacks. She also made 16 digs and served a pair of aces.

“This year we really wanted it, because we knew it would be tough to do it again,” said Mayfield. “We wanted to accept that challenge to go out and win another state championship.”

Leonard and Martin joined her on the all-state team.

In front of a huge crowd split between Decatur blue and Argyle red, two of the state’s best programs met for a third straight postseason with the 4A title on the line.

Winning Embrace

WINNING EMBRACE – Decatur senior Cooper Martin hugs teammate Presley Gibson after the team receives their gold medals Saturday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Decatur took the first set by 11 points with seven kills from Mayfield.

Decatur had the chance to go up two sets, getting to set-point three times in the second game. Argyle stole the game on a Decatur error.

Argyle led most of game three and reached set-point at 24-21. Decatur then went on a 5-0 run to win the set and take a 2-1 lead.

“I don’t know,” Lowery said trying to explain the team’s rally. “We had to dig deep for that one. It was super intense.”

Riding that momentum, Decatur finished off the match in game four.

“We played good, but they played great. They played a phenomenal match, and they deserved it,” said Argyle middle blocker Katy Keenan.

Decatur was one of two repeat champions, joining Conroe The Woodlands in 6A.

“This was a bigger deal because it was our last time together,” Lowery said.

A special section chronicling the Lady Eagles’ quest for a second state title is inserted in this edition of the Messenger.

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/soaring-to-a-2nd-state-title-decatur-defeats-argyle-in-4a-volleyball-championship/feed/ 0
911 text service available http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/911-text-service-available/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/911-text-service-available/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:44:55 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=84000 ...

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/911-text-service-available/feed/ 0
Thieves target unlocked cars http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/thieves-target-unlocked-cars/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/thieves-target-unlocked-cars/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:43:53 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83997 ...

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/thieves-target-unlocked-cars/feed/ 0
Sobering evening: MADD class highlights danger of drunk driving http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/sobering-evening-madd-class-highlights-danger-of-drunk-driving/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/sobering-evening-madd-class-highlights-danger-of-drunk-driving/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:43:18 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83995 ...

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/sobering-evening-madd-class-highlights-danger-of-drunk-driving/feed/ 0
Driver error causes most fatalities http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/driver-error-causes-most-fatalities/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/driver-error-causes-most-fatalities/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:42:26 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83992 ...

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/driver-error-causes-most-fatalities/feed/ 0
Annual Messiah concert set for Dec. 1 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/annual-messiah-concert-set-for-dec-1/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/annual-messiah-concert-set-for-dec-1/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:41:33 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83989 ...

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/annual-messiah-concert-set-for-dec-1/feed/ 0
Paradise Intermediate School given $15K for playground http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/paradise-intermediate-school-given-15k-for-playground/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/paradise-intermediate-school-given-15k-for-playground/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:40:48 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83987 ...

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/paradise-intermediate-school-given-15k-for-playground/feed/ 0
Granger to continue as subcommittee chair http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/granger-to-continue-as-subcommittee-chair/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/granger-to-continue-as-subcommittee-chair/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:40:15 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83985 ...

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/granger-to-continue-as-subcommittee-chair/feed/ 0
Tour of Homes celebrates the season http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/tour-of-homes-celebrates-the-season/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/tour-of-homes-celebrates-the-season/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:39:30 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83983 ...

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/tour-of-homes-celebrates-the-season/feed/ 0
Resident plans to decorate downtown for Christmas http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/resident-plans-to-decorate-downtown-for-christmas/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/resident-plans-to-decorate-downtown-for-christmas/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:38:24 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83979 ...

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/resident-plans-to-decorate-downtown-for-christmas/feed/ 0
Auto mechanics students learn life skills http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/auto-mechanics-students-learn-life-skills/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/auto-mechanics-students-learn-life-skills/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:37:33 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83976 ...

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/auto-mechanics-students-learn-life-skills/feed/ 0
Bridgeport ISD Student Spotlights for Wednesday, November 26, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/bridgeport-isd-student-spotlights-for-wednesday-november-26-2014/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/bridgeport-isd-student-spotlights-for-wednesday-november-26-2014/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:36:42 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83973 Bridgeport Middle School


Jadon Maddux

Grade: 7th

Parents: Aimee Burtnett, John Maddux

Favorite subject: Pre-algebra

Activities: Football, basketball, baseball, track, LINC, going to TCU games, church youth group

Why this student was chosen: “Jadon is an outstanding student, an outstanding athlete and a leader in Student Council. He also serves on our Community Problem Solvers team that placed third in international competition last year. Jadon is kind, respectful, and uplifting to his teachers and classmates. He is a wonderful representative of Bridgeport Middle School.” – Principal Travis Whisenant

Bridgeport High School


Bry Warren

Grade: 12th

Parents: Jim and Candace Warren

Favorite subject: Environmental science

Activities: Football, powerlifting, hunting, fishing, completing requirements to be an Eagle Scout

Why this student was chosen: “Bry is one of the most polite and well-mannered students at BHS. He is hardworking in the classroom and on the field. He is a student of high character in all that he does. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for Bry. I have no doubt that he will go on to great things after high school.” – Principal Jaime Sturdivant

Editor’s note: The elementary and intermediate schools did not submit students for this week’s Spotlight.

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/bridgeport-isd-student-spotlights-for-wednesday-november-26-2014/feed/ 0
Education Briefs for Wednesday, November 26, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/education-briefs-for-wednesday-november-26-2014/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/education-briefs-for-wednesday-november-26-2014/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:35:39 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83969 ...

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/education-briefs-for-wednesday-november-26-2014/feed/ 0
News Briefs for Wednesday, November 26, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news-briefs/news-briefs-for-wednesday-november-26-2014/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news-briefs/news-briefs-for-wednesday-november-26-2014/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:35:06 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83967 ...

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news-briefs/news-briefs-for-wednesday-november-26-2014/feed/ 0
Volleyball: Back on Top – Lady Eagles reach goal, repeating as champs http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-back-on-top-lady-eagles-reach-goal-repeating-as-champs/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-back-on-top-lady-eagles-reach-goal-repeating-as-champs/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:34:33 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83965 Before starting the daunting task of defending a state title, Decatur senior setter Stormi Leonard pointed out her team might not be No. 1 all season with the tough road ahead.

But she also said the goal was the same as last year for her and the 11 returning players – including seven seniors.

Lifting the Trophy Again

LIFTING THE TROPHY AGAIN – The Decatur Lady Eagles celebrate second state title. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“It’s hard to believe this is our last year,” Leonard said in July during the team’s preseason camp. “Our goal is to win state and take it all in.”

On the state’s largest stage at the University Interscholastic League volleyball championships at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, the Lady Eagles were once again back on top. Decatur closed out a second straight 40-win season with a 4A crown by defeating longtime rival Argyle.

“This year we really wanted it because we knew it would be tough to do it again,” said Makayla Mayfield, who earned the MVP honor in the state final. “We wanted to accept that challenge and go out and win another state championship.”

At times, the Lady Eagles made it look easy but there was adversity. Playing in 6A showcase tournaments such as the Adidas Texas Volleyball Invitational, the Northwest ISD Volleyball Classic and PSA Lone Star Circle of Champions, the Lady Eagles managed to win two-thirds of their 30 matches against larger schools before entering district.

They also had to restructure their lineup after the loss of returning middle blocker Dylana Hutchins, who suffered a season-ending back injury.

A sweep at the hands of Coppell Sept. 16 was the final loss for the Lady Eagles. They won their next 20 matches – all but three in three games. Decatur rolled its district winning streak to 56 matches.

In the region final, after dropping the first set, the Lady Eagles rallied to win three state and eliminate last year’s 2A champions – Bushland.

Then in the state championship match against rival Argyle – a team they had faced the previous two postseasons – the Lady Eagles proved again their resolve. At set point in the pivotal third set, Decatur fought back with five straight points to take the game.

“I can’t describe what happened during that set because it was so crazy,” Leonard said. “We knew what it was like after losing that second set so close. That third set, something lit under us. We knew we had to finish it. We didn’t want to go five and weren’t going to go five.”

A set later, the task was complete. The state title trophy was back in their grasp.

“I couldn’t be more proud of this team. These four led the way,” said Decatur coach Claire Benedict-Gay, nodding to Leonard, Mayfield, Cooper Martin and Caroline Lowery in the post-match press conference. “They’ve been on varsity four years. They put up with me for four years, which is a feat in itself.

“I’m very hard on them. I have high expectations of them. They’ve led this team to what they wanted to end their careers at Decatur. I’m very proud of them.”

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-back-on-top-lady-eagles-reach-goal-repeating-as-champs/feed/ 0
Volleyball: Doubling up – Lady Eagles hold off Argyle to win second state title http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-doubling-up-lady-eagles-hold-off-argyle-to-win-second-state-title/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-doubling-up-lady-eagles-hold-off-argyle-to-win-second-state-title/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:28:48 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83962 Trailing Argyle 24-21, the Decatur Lady Eagles found themselves on the verge of falling down 2-1 in the 4A final Saturday.

But the defending state champions refused to let the set get away. Starting with a Cooper Martin kill, Decatur went on a 5-0 run to take the set 26-24 on a tip from Caroline Lowery.

What a Rush

WHAT A RUSH – Decatur players storm the floor and pile onto teammates after the final point of Saturday’s Class 4A title match. Decatur beat Argyle in four games to claim their second state title. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“I don’t know,” Lowery said trying to explain the team’s rally. “We had to dig deep for that one. It was super intense.”

Decatur rode the momentum from the rally to a fourth-set victory and their second straight state crown. Decatur defeated Argyle 25-14, 27-29, 26-24, 25-19 at the University Interscholastic League volleyball championships at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland.

“I couldn’t be more proud of my team and these seniors,” said coach Claire Benedict-Gay.

Decatur finished the season at 40-10 and ended the year with 20 straight victories.

But the one victory that mattered to Decatur’s seven seniors was Saturday’s and capturing the state title for a second straight year.

“It’s one of the sweetest feelings you could have to finish our run as Eagles, win and get the gold medals,” said Decatur senior setter Stormi Leonard, who dished out 59 assists in her final match.

A meeting with Argyle for the third straight postseason provided the expected drama from a budding rivalry. Decatur stormed through the first set behind the hitting of Makayla Mayfield, she put down seven of her match-best 21 kills in the opening game.

Mayfield earned the 4A title match MVP, making 16 digs to go along with her kills.

“This is really awesome. I really enjoyed finishing out that way and winning state again,” Mayfield said.

Argyle fought back, taking a 23-21 lead on a Katy Keenan block in the second set. Keenan made two of her six blocks in the set. She also had a team-high 15 kills.

Decatur rallied to take a lead on a Martin kill. Decatur then three times got to set point with Argyle staving it off. Argyle evened the match on a Decatur error with a 29-27 win.

With its tough play at the net, Argyle jumped in front in the third set and took a 20-17 advantage on Alexa Bass’ ace.

Benedict-Gay then called one of her few timeouts of the season.

“I don’t call timeouts often unless I see them frazzled,” the Decatur coach explained. “A lot of times I let them get themselves out of a bind. It was definitely time to talk to them. They just needed to calm down. I needed to remind them they are in this together.

“This is a family. We win as family or lose as a family.”

Decatur couldn’t immediately get itself back in the set. Eighmy Dobbins’ kill put Argyle up 23-18. Argyle got to set point, 24-21, on Keenan’s kill.

But Decatur refused to just move ahead to the fourth set.

“As a team, we focus on the points at hand,” Leonard said. “Every point mattered because all the sets were so close. Every set we were just focused on that set. They gave us all they had.”

Decatur took the next five points starting with one of Martin’s 17 kills. Maclaine Lowery then brought Decatur within a point forcing a service-receive error with a hard serve. A pair of Argyle hitting errors put Decatur ahead for Lowery to earn the win and all the momentum.

“It was a battle. We let that third set get away,” said Argyle coach Clark Oberle. “If we could’ve gotten two more points, it may have been a different story.”

Lowery’s tip to end the third set was one of several tips for Decatur after they adjusted to Argyle’s blocking. Argyle had seven blocks but none in the final set.

“Stormi did a good job late when they started stacking on our hitters with their block of mixing the ball around and getting us shots they weren’t ready for,” Martin said.

Lowery’s tip put Decatur up 8-5 in set four. The lead grew to 15-6 on a Martin kill.

After back-to-back kills for Lowery made it 22-14, Argyle closed within four, 23-19. But Lowery ended the run with a kill. Courtnie Roberts then tipped home the match and state championship winning point.

“It’s indescribable,” Lowery said. “And to be able to do it with my best friends is amazing.”


Argyle … 14 … 29 … 24 … 19
Decatur … 25 … 27 … 26 … 25


Kills: Katy Keenan 15, Halee Van Poppel 11, Alexa Bass 7, Eighmy Dobbins 5, Allison White 5

Assists: Bass 19, Strealy Sizelove 18, Maddie DeGuire 2, Dobbins 2, Keenan 1, Emma Malone 1

Digs: Keenan 12, Van Poppel 12, Bass 11, DeGuire 11, Dobbins 7, Sizelove 6, Malone 2

Aces: DeGuire 4, Dobbins 2, Bass 1


Set … Kills … Errors … Pct.

1 … 8 … 5 … .065
2 … 12 … 5 … .159
3 … 14 … 5 … .178
4 … 9 … 3 … .250

Total … 43 … 20 … .160


Kills: Makayla Mayfield 21, Caroline Lowery 19, Cooper Martin 17, Courtnie Roberts 6, Stormi Leonard 2, Raena Slate 1, Taylor Uselton 1

Assists: Leonard 59, Martin 2, Kelsie Worley 2, Maclaine Lowery 2, Mayfield 1

Digs: Maclaine Lowery 18, Mayfield 16, Martin 15, Caroline Lowery 12, Roberts 1, Uselton 1

Aces: Mayfield 2, Caroline Lowery 2, Roberts 1, Maclaine Lowery 1


Set … Kills … Errors … Pct.

1 … 17 … 3 … .438
2 … 22 … 6 … .320
3 … 13 … 6 … .159
4 … 15 … 5 … .333
Total … 67 … 20 … .301

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-doubling-up-lady-eagles-hold-off-argyle-to-win-second-state-title/feed/ 0
Volleyball: Long road back to top http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-long-road-back-to-top/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-long-road-back-to-top/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:08:05 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83959 4A REGION I BI-DISTRICT

Starting the postseason portion of their state title defense, the Decatur Lady Eagles looked in championship form.

Behind merciless hitting, brilliant decision-making and pinpoint serving, the Lady Eagles dispatched Venus in three sets, 25-6, 25-3, 25-7, in their Class 4A Region I Bi-district match at Chisholm Trail High School.

“We wanted to come out focused, have fun and set a tone for how we’re going to play in the playoffs,” said senior hitter Makayla Mayfield, who led the team with 12 kills.

Playing the fourth-place team from District 7-4A, Decatur (34-10) never let underdog Venus (18-20) in the match. Venus scored back-to-back points only four times.

“I feel every match we’ve got to get better,” said Decatur coach Claire Benedict-Gay. “That’s the mentality we have to keep.”

Offensively, Decatur buried 43 kills. Setter Stormi Leonard worked the ball around with six different players registering kills. Courtnie Roberts put down 11. Caroline Lowery added eight and Cooper Martin seven.

“All of our offense got some swings,” Benedict-Gay said. “We’ve worked hard in practice moving the ball around. It’s good to see that carry over from practice.”

The Lady Eagles would have had more kills if their serving hadn’t been so sharp. Decatur finished with 12 aces. Martin led the way with four. Mayfield added three.

“Our serving was consistent,” Mayfield said. “We kept the ball in play.”

With back-to-back kills from Emily Oxford and a finisher from Martin, Decatur jumped out to a 12-2 lead in the opening set.

The Lady Eagles’ lead grew to 23-4 with a Martin block and kill. The set ended on a Venus error.

Martin’s second ace in a 10-point stretch gave Decatur a 13-1 lead to start the second game. After a pair of Venus points, Mayfield put down a kill and then went to the service line. She served out the final 11 points, ending the set with an ace.

Mayfield served the first five points in the third game with Leonard’s kill making it 5-0.

Maclaine Lowery’s two aces put Decatur up 13-6. Venus scored just one more point in the match. Roberts and Mayfield took turns burying shots in a closing 9-0 run. Leonard ended the match with a block – her fourth of the night.

Winning Feeling

WINNING FEELING -Decatur’s Stormi Leonard celebrates a point with her teammates during the Lady Eagles’ sweep of Venus. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty


The Decatur Lady Eagles continued their defense of last year’s state championship with a solid 25-5, 25-16, 25-8 win over Iowa Park in the Class 4A Region I area match at Jacksboro.

Decatur (32-9) led 15-4 in the first game before Iowa Park was able to put a kill on the floor. After a missed serve, Caroline Lowery went to the serving line for Decatur, and the Lady Eagles scored the next 10 points unanswered.

Lowery had an ace, Makayla Mayfield and Emily Oxford had kills, and Cooper Martin dinked one in – but several points also came on blocks as the Lady Hawks had no answer for Decatur’s lineup at the net.

In the second set, things got a little more interesting as Decatur had a few lapses in communication that allowed balls to fall in.

Decatur jumped up 7-1 early, but Iowa Park kept hanging around. It was 16-6 when a long pause in the action to discuss an Iowa Park substitution seemed to throw the Lady Eagles off their rhythm.

After Mayfield landed a kill, a Decatur block went out of bounds, then a serve went long. It was 22-10 when Decatur missed a dig, Iowa Park landed a dink and Decatur let an easy ball drop.

Iowa Park blocked a kill, then Decatur was called in the net on a kill and it was 22-15, with lots of excitement on the Iowa Park side.

But when Martin pounded a kill to the floor, Lowery went back to the serving line at 23-15.

After a kill by Iowa Park, Mayfield answered with a hard cross-court kill from the side to end the rally.

The third set started with a long rally that ended when Martin put down on another kill. It was 4-2 before successive kills by Courtnie Roberts, Mayfield and then Roberts again prompted an Iowa Park timeout.

The Decatur girls went on an 11-1 tear to finish off the match, led by Mayfield, Martin, Lowery and Roberts. Setter Stormi Leonard ended the contest with a patented dink shot that made it to the floor.

Leonard finished with 33 assists to go with her six digs, a kill, an ace and a block.

Mayfield had a strong match at the net with 20 kills. She also had nine digs and two blocks. Martin put down 10 kills to go with four digs, a block and an ace.

Maclaine Lowery made 20 digs as Decatur defended most of Iowa Park’s hits at the net. She also served two aces.

Caroline Lowery finished with six kills, six digs and four aces. Roberts put down five kills and had three blocks and three digs.

Oxford had two kills and a block, and Taylor Uselton had a dig.


Tested at the net by Stephenville’s hitters, the Decatur Lady Eagles simply refused to let the ball hit the floor.

The Lady Eagles made 52 digs, turning aside Stephenville shots. Decatur then finished points with near-pinpoint accuracy from multiple hitters to sweep the Class 4A Region I quarterfinal, 25-17, 25-12, 25-14, at Weatherford High School.

“We knew we’d have to play our ‘A’ game, and we tried to be as scrappy as we could,” said Decatur senior Cooper Martin, who put down 14 kills, blocked two shots, made seven digs and served four aces.

Decatur responded to a strong Stephenville attack led by Morgan Gibson, who registered a team-high 10 kills, with solid blocking at the net and determination to keep the ball in play. Emily Oxford made five of the Lady Eagles’ eight blocks.

Makayla Mayfield led a trio of Decatur players in double figures in digs with 14. Maclaine Lowery had 11 and Caroline Lowery 10.

“They were very aggressive and had some good hitters who were putting the ball in some spots we weren’t used to playing,” said Decatur coach Claire Benedict-Gay. “We adjusted to their hitters and played good defense.”

The Stephenville defense had few answers for the Decatur offense that put down 48 kills and hit .433 for the match. Six different Lady Eagles registered kills, with Mayfield and Martin finishing with 14 apiece. Caroline Lowery added nine and Courtnie Roberts five.

“Everyone across the net stepped up,” Benedict-Gay said. “That’s our strength – having several people who can put the ball down. Stormi [Leonard] did a great job spreading the ball around.”

Leonard handed out 38 assists and called her own number three times.

In the first set after Stephenville had rallied to cut Decatur’s six-point advantage to two at 15-13, Leonard called Caroline Lowery’s number to put the end to the run. Martin then put down four of her six kills in the set to put the Lady Eagles up 21-16. Martin wore Stephenville’s defense out, hitting down the line.

“That’s my favorite shot,” Martin said.

Mayfield and Lowery tips ended the set.

Lowery landed back-to-back aces to get Decatur out to a 7-3 lead in the second set. Decatur finished with nine aces on the night and served at a 90.3 clip.

Three kills from Martin in four points put the Lady Eagles up 19-10. Mayfield then finished off the set with a kill.

Decatur fell behind in the third set 6-4 on a Codi Beyer ace. Mayfield landed back-to-back kills to even the game and send Decatur on a 13-2 run to build a 17-8 advantage.

After Roberts’ kill put the Lady Eagles at match point, Mayfield finished it off.


The Decatur Lady Eagles struggled to break out of an early slumber against Big Spring until Caroline Lowery delivered a wake-up call late in the first set.

Lowery punished back-to-back kills to put Decatur (37-10) in front 18-17. The Lady Eagles never trailed again on the way to a sweep of Big Spring in the 4A Region I semifinal at The Coliseum in Snyder.

“We weren’t expecting them to come out with as much fire. We knew they wanted to beat us after last year,” said Lowery, who finished with 12 kills, two aces and 1.5 blocks. “Once we got calm, everything came together.”

Decatur won 25-19, 25-13, 25-14, making a region final for a third straight year.

Decatur defeated Big Spring last year in the 3A semifinal in three sets. Big Spring looked determined early for a different outcome behind the hitting of junior middle blocker Erin Pollard, who put down three early kills. She finished with eight.

Decatur also helped Big Spring early with three service errors and four hitting errors.

With her team down 14-12, Decatur coach Claire Benedict-Gay called a timeout.

“This team feels pressure, like they have a statement to make,” said Benedict-Gay. “It took them a second to calm down and realize that they can control their side of the net.”

Even after the timeout, Decatur trailed until Lowery buried a kill with a big swing. Decatur setter Stormi Leonard immediately went back to Lowery for another kill to put the Lady Eagles in front.

“She definitely stepped up and made some great shots,” Benedict-Gay said. “She’s just a fighter. It’s been a few matches since I’ve seen that level from her. It’s good to see.”

Decatur ran off nine of the final 11 points in the set. Makayla Mayfield’s kill put the Lady Eagles at game point. Lowery’s ace finished off the set.

Lowery started the second set with a kill and then extended the Lady Eagles’ lead to 4-1 with a blast to the center of the floor.

“Our mentality was to crush them,” Lowery said. “We wanted to keep pushing them down and didn’t want them to come back.”

Two Courtnie Roberts blocks and one from Lowery stretched Decatur’s advantage to 15-8.

A Leonard ace made it game point. Mayfield then finished off the set with one of her nine kills.

Sensing a chance for the sweep, Decatur jumped to a 10-3 lead in the third set on a Roberts ace.

Decatur finished with eight aces and served at 87.8 percent.

The Decatur advantage grew to 10, 24-14, on a Cooper Martin kill. Martin put down 12 of the Lady Eagles’ 39 kills. Decatur hit .330 for the match.

Stormi Leonard dished out 31 assists.

Her final assist on the left side allowed Lowery to appropriately end the match with a kill off the Big Spring block.


VICTORY – Cooper Martin pumps her fist as her teammates cheer in the background. Martin downed a dozen of the Lady Eagles’ 39 kills against Big Spring. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty


In the clash of defending state champions, the Decatur Lady Eagles absorbed the first body blows from Bushland and middle blocker Anna Graham.

But the Lady Eagles (39-10) quickly got off the canvas after dropping the first set, making adjustments and beginning to land their own punches. Behind the clutch hitting of Caroline Lowery and Makayla Mayfield, they took the final three sets and the Class 4A Region I Final at Western Texas College’s The Coliseum in Snyder.

Decatur won 19-25, 25-20, 25-16, 25-17.

“They came out with fire, and we were a little nervous because we knew it was only one game to state,” said Lowery, who was named the 4A Region I tournament MVP after putting down 16 kills in the final. “We worried too much about what they were doing [in the first set] instead of what we needed to do. After that, we started to play our game.”

Bushland (37-5), last year’s 2A champions, had the Lady Eagles on the ropes early behind Graham, who buried 17 kills from the middle of the floor.

“Their middle blocker was phenomenal. That’s something we’ve not seen,” Leonard said. “That’s not the game we play, and it’s something we’re not used to.”

Decatur also struggled to handle Bushland’s serving and to get a good pass to get into its offense.

Bushland took the lead 13-12 on the first of two Decatur service errors in the opening set. That started a 6-0 run for the Lady Falcons.

Bushland captured the set on another Decatur service error.

After dropping their first set in a while, Decatur rebounded quickly.

“From our tough preseason, we played some really tough teams that pushed us, and we knew what it was like to be in the situation – to be down and have to come back,” Lowery said.

Mayfield put Decatur up 6-3 with a big swing in the second set. The Lady Eagles then got their two middles, Courtnie Roberts and Emily Oxford, involved in the offense, putting down kills around another from Mayfield to put Decatur up 10-4.

Mayfield finished the second set with a kill.

Decatur jumped out to a 5-0 lead in set three and took a 16-7 advantage on a Mayfield kill that bounced off a Bushland defender and nearly made it into the stands.

Mayfield finished the set with one of her 18 kills.

With a state berth in sight, Decatur took a 12-6 lead in set four on a Roberts block. A Roberts kill made it 19-10.

Lowery increased the lead to 23-16. Two Bushland hitting errors closed the match – and sent the Lady Eagles back to state.


In their return to the state stage, the Decatur Lady Eagles looked right at home Friday afternoon.

Behind pinpoint serving and a versatile attack, the Lady Eagles dispatched Robinson in the 4A semifinals of the University Interscholastic League volleyball championships at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland.

Decatur won 25-18 25-19 25-7. The Lady Eagles moved to 3-0 and have won nine straight games at the state tournament in the past two years.

The bright state lights had little effect on the Lady Eagles.

In the third set, the Lady Eagles put Robinson away with five of their nine aces. Lowery and Makayla Mayfield served two each. Cooper Martin buried four kills.

“We had a game plan coming in. We wanted to make sure we attacked at the pins and wanted to keep them out of system with our serving,” said Decatur coach Claire Benedict-Gay.

Decatur had just one service error in the match.

Lowery and Courtnie Roberts served three aces each.

Decatur jumped out to a 15-5 lead on Stormi Leonard’s lone kill. A Lowery ace made it 20-4. After a pair of Robinson points at match point, Mayfield ended the match with her 15th kill.

Decatur put down 42 kills, hitting .323 for the match. The Lady Eagles hit .500, putting down 13 of their 24 chances in the final set.

Martin finished with 12 kills and Lowery nine. Leonard doled out 37 assists.

Defensively, the Lady Eagles made 53 digs and limited Robinson’s Bailey Meggs to seven kills on 34 attacks. Maclaine Lowery made 17 digs and Leonard 15.

Decatur used a 9-2 run early in the first set to take an 11-5 lead on a Caroline Lowery ace. The Lady Eagles maintained the edge, taking the game by seven.

The Lady Eagles again jumped out to an early advantage in the second set, 5-1, on a Mayfield ace and Robinson error. Robinson never got closer than four the rest of the game.

Down 2-0, Robinson had no answer in game three.


Season Record: 40-10
8-4A record: 8-0
Playoffs record: 7-0

Azle … 25-15, 25-19, 25-10
Joshua … 25-14, 25-12, 25-17
Round Rock McNeil … 25-20, 25-22
Houston Bellaire … 23-25, 25-18, 25-16
League City Clear Falls … 22-25, 15-25
Leander Rouse … 25-23, 25-19
Lewisville Marcus … 25-16, 25-18
Austin Westlake … 25-13, 25-23
Pearland … 19-25, 18-25
San Antonio Alamo Heights … 25-23, 19-25, 9-15
Aledo … 20-25, 25-20, 20-25, 25-18, 6-15
Hereford … 25-18, 20-25, 25-13
North Richland Hills Birdville … 25-18, 25-16
Arlington Lamar … 25-20, 25-20
Saginaw Boswell … 25-15, 25-19
Prosper … 21-25, 25-20, 23-25
Frisco Wakeland … 25-18, 25-23
Waco Midway … 23-25, 25-21, 25-17
Rockwall Heath … 19-25, 12-25
Brock … 25-15, 25-21, 25-18
Allen … 23-25, 25-23, 25-15
Prosper … 26-24, 20-25, 15-25
Garland Sachse … 25-14, 25-19
Grapevine … 25-14, 25-16
Austin Westlake … 22-25, 25-17, 25-27
Prosper … 25-20, 20-25, 13-25
Keller Fossil Ridge … 25-18, 25-22, 25-18
Fort Worth Chisholm Trail … 25-8, 25-12, 23-25, 25-8
Denton Ryan … 25-18, 25-12, 25-16
Coppell … 12-25, 21-25, 22-25
Abilene Wylie … 25-15, 25-13, 25-20
Argyle … 25-20, 21-25, 25-18, 26-24
Lake Worth … 25-6, 25-10, 25-10
Mansfield Legacy … 25-11, 25-10, 25-16
Castleberry … 25-5, 25-0, 25-4
Bridgeport … 25-5, 25-9, 25-4
Springtown … 25-9, 25-16, 25-13
Lake Worth … 25-6, 25-12, 25-5
Grapevine … 25-20, 25-11, 25-18
Castleberry … 25-6, 25-7, 25-9
Bridgeport … 25-9, 25-5, 25-4
Springtown … 25-13, 25-7, 25-11
Aledo … 25-22, 25-18, 25-15


Venus … 25-6, 25-3, 25-7
Iowa Park … 25-5, 25-16, 25-8
Stephenville … 25-17, 25-12, 25-14


Big Spring … 25-19, 25-13, 25-14
Bushland … 19-25, 25-20, 25-16, 25-17


Robinson … 25-18, 25-19, 25-7
Argyle … 25-14, 27-29, 26-24, 25-19

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-long-road-back-to-top/feed/ 0
Volleyball: Mayfield shines in title match http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-mayfield-shines-in-title-match/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-mayfield-shines-in-title-match/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:06:27 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83955 On her way to earning Wise County Female Athlete of the Year last year, Makayla Mayfield was best characterized by coaches and teammates as unflappable.

She showed that again Saturday in the 4A state title match against Argyle.

Mayfield buried a match-best 21 kills on 52 attacks, hitting .250. She also made 16 digs on defense and served a pair of aces as Decatur captured its second straight state championship.

Mayfield earned the MVP of the finals with her performance.

Top Honor

TOP HONOR – Makayla Mayfield accepts the 4A title match MVP award. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“It was awesome,” Mayfield said. “I really enjoyed finishing that way.”

Performing on the big stage was nothing new for Mayfield, a four-year standout on the volleyball court.

As a sophomore, she helped Decatur to the region final. She earned 9-3A Defensive Player of the Year after a team-leading 349 digs and serving 60 aces. She also added 351 kills, including 17 in the region final against Argyle.

In her junior season, Mayfield recorded a team-high 508 kills and made 540 digs. She also had 79 aces and 34 blocks.

“Makayla was the rock for the team. She was always the go-to person,” said Decatur setter Stormi Leonard over the summer. “You could never tell she had the whole team, all the pressure, on her.”

After leading the Lady Eagles back against Argyle last postseason, she continued her strong play through the state title match.

She was named Class 3A volleyball Player of the Year by the Texas Sportswriters Association, 9-3A MVP and Wise County MVP in volleyball.

But those weren’t the only highlights of her junior year. Mayfield quickly joined the Lady Eagles basketball team, averaging 3.2 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game.

Just as she did in volleyball, Mayfield came up huge in big moments. In the 9-3A tiebreaker against Krum, Mayfield helped lead a second-half surge with her on-the-ball defense. Her steal and layup in the fourth quarter started a game-winning run.

In the 3A Region II area game against Princeton, Mayfield was forced to play heavy minutes due to an injury to guard Murphy Graham and foul trouble. In the closing seconds, her team was down 47-45. Backup point guard Sidney Carter fought through the press and got the ball to Mayfield on the wing.

Mayfield, who had not hit a 3-pointer all season before hitting one in the first half, drained the shot from the wing at the buzzer to give Decatur the 48-47 victory.

“I’m not the person to give it to at the end of the game,” Mayfield recalled. “It happened really fast. I just threw it up there. When it went in, I was in shock.”

Back on the volleyball court this fall, she was determined to help the Lady Eagles get back to the state tournament. She put down 496 kills, hitting .312 for the season. She also made a team-high 543 digs and served 65 aces.

Saturday, after her final performance as a Lady Eagle, she was once again a champion.

“This year we really wanted it because we knew it would be tough to do it again,” said Mayfield. “We wanted to accept that challenge and go out and win another state championship.”

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-mayfield-shines-in-title-match/feed/ 0
Volleyball: Leading way back to top – Leonard racks up 59 assists in finals http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-leading-way-back-to-top-leonard-racks-up-59-assists-in-finals/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-leading-way-back-to-top-leonard-racks-up-59-assists-in-finals/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:05:34 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83952 While hanging out with a pair of Decatur quarterbacks, Grayson Muehlstein and Justin Myers, Stormi Leonard got a few lessons on taking a snap and dropping back to pass.

“I’ve always wanted to play football,” Leonard said. “But I never could.”

Big Helping Hand

BIG HELPING HAND – Decatur senior setter Stormi Leonard hands out one of her 59 assists in the 4A title match win over Argyle Saturday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Though not on the gridiron, Leonard was undoubtedly the quarterback for the Decatur Lady Eagles volleyball team the past three seasons.

Leonard, a four-year varsity player, is the school record holder for assists with 3,955 over her career.

She handed out 1,356 on the way to the 3A crown in 2013. This year on the way to repeating as state champions, she doled out 1,433.

But the all-state setter meant far more to the Lady Eagles than those numbers show.

“She’s the whole package,” said Decatur coach Claire Benedict-Gay. “She brings a lot of life to the floor. She’s always dancing and smiling. She’s very entertaining.”

Leonard also bears the brunt of her coach’s displeasure when something goes wrong.

“She takes the most heat from me. I’m harder on her than anyone,” the coach explains.

The job description isn’t ideal: part cheerleader, quarterback, psychologist and fall-guy.

“Some days are harder than others, but I wouldn’t want another job,” Leonard said. “You have to have lots of patience and the ability to work with everyone – the different hitters and passers. You also have to deal with the coach and refs.

“If a hit isn’t right or a pass wasn’t good, it’s up to me to fix the mistake.”

Leonard started playing setter in junior high after she realized her height (5-7) would limit her as a hitter.

“I’m short,” Leonard said with a dead-pan delivery. “I used to hit, and then in seventh grade, I accepted the fact that I’m not going to be a hitter.”

She started working with former Decatur standout Fleming Smurthwaite, and by her freshman year, she was a part-time setter on the Lady Eagles’ varsity with Joey Redwine.

The job was hers full-time the past three years.

In her final match Saturday, the quarterback turned in a Super Bowl caliber performance, handing out 59 assists – 20 more than her entire freshman year.

And it was her audibles in the offense to get around a tough Argyle block that allowed Decatur to rally in the third set and win the title in the fourth.

“Stormi did a good job late, when they started stacking on our hitters with their block, of mixing the ball around and getting us shots they weren’t ready for,” said senior Cooper Martin.

But as most quarterbacks give credit to their offensive line, Leonard quickly deflected any credit to her hitters.

“The hitters did a great job of taking care of the ball and good job adjusting to the good and bad that I gave them,” Leonard said. “They were doing everything they could to keep the ball in play.”

Few quarterbacks get a chance to leave as a state champion. Leonard has now experienced that twice.

“To finish out our run as an Eagle and get a gold medal is insane,” Leonard said.

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-leading-way-back-to-top-leonard-racks-up-59-assists-in-finals/feed/ 0