WCMessenger.com http://www.wcmessenger.com Wise County Messenger Online Edition Tue, 31 Mar 2015 16:44:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Tuesday, March 31, 2015 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/tuesday-march-31-2015/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/tuesday-march-31-2015/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 13:12:17 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89146

2 HURT IN DECATUR WRECK – Two people were taken to the hospital Monday morning following a single-vehicle wreck on U.S. 380 just east of Decatur. Department of Public Safety Trooper Greg Reyero said a pickup driven by Les Hargis, 74, of Borger was westbound around 8:45 when he apparently drove through a curve in the road, striking a light pole near the Shell station on the outskirts of Decatur. He and his wife, Deanna, 77, were both taken to Denton Regional Hospital by ground ambulances. Reyero said both patients were talking to medics at the time they were transported.

Grace FellowshipCOMMISSIONERS HIT THE ROAD – The first Wise County commissioners mobile meeting is 7 p.m. today in the Slidell school cafetorium. County Judge J.D. Clark will give a report on upcoming county issues, and Commissioner Danny White will talk about projects in Precinct 1. Sheriff David Walker will give a presentation on the county’s K-9 program, and community members will have the opportunity to address commissioners during open forum.

SKATE WITH THE EASTER BUNNY - Decatur Skate is hosting a skate night with the Easter Bunny 6-7 tonight. Cost is $7, which includes a photo. There will be games and Easter eggs. The event is a fundraiser for their youth roller hockey team. Call 281-974-9727.

BOND TOWN HALL – The Decatur school district will hold a town hall meeting 6 tonight at the DISD Administration Building, 307 S. Cates, to share information about the upcoming school bond issue on the May 9 ballot.

BLOOD DRIVE IN RHOME – Best Value Rhome Pharmacy, 400 S. Main St., will host a Carter blood drive 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday. Walk-ins are welcome.

EGG HUNT - The Hills Nursing and Rehab in Decatur will hold an Easter egg hunt at 4 p.m. Friday featuring the Easter Bunny and refreshments.

OFFICE CLOSING FOR HOLIDAY – Outreach Health Services-WIC will be closed on Thursday in observance of Good Friday. The office will be open Tuesday and Wednesday this week from 7 a.m.-6 p.m. (closed noon-1 p.m. for lunch). It will reopen at 7 a.m. Monday. Call 940-627-5796 to schedule your appointment. For breastfeeding questions call their hotline 24 hours a day at 1-800-687-1252.

SHERIFF’S OFFICE EGG HUNT – The Wise County Sheriff’s Office annual Easter Egg Hunt is 11 a.m. today. The event is for kids ages 5 and under. Hot dogs, snacks, chips and drinks will be provided. Bring a camera for photos with the Easter Bunny.

RIBBON CUTTING – The Decatur Chamber of Commerce will hold a ribbon cutting at noon Thursday at Decatur Children’s Dentistry, 1000 W. Business U.S. 380 in Decatur. An open house will take place from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.

RETIRING LIBRARIAN — The public is invited to Chico Public Library’s Open House in honor of retiring Librarian Karen Hornsby from 1-5 p.m. today. Community members are encouraged to stop by to visit with Karen in order to show their appreciation for her 25 years of service to the library.

FUNERALS – Service for Doug Younger, 75, of Oklahoma, formerly of Bridgeport, is 2 p.m. today at the First United Methodist Church of Bridgeport with burial at Sunset Cemetery. Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport is handling arrangements.

FUNERAL for Mary Jo Amos, 92 of Denton, formerly of Decatur, is 2 p.m. Friday in the Chapel at Mulkey-Mason Funeral Home in Denton with burial at Cooper Creek Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

SERVICE for Secundina Sifuentes, 76, of Boyd is pending at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

MEMORIAL service for Sue Peterson Vaughn, 79, of Alvord is 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 6, at the First United Methodist Church in Alvord. Coker-Hawkins is handling arrangements.

FUNERAL for Virginia Lea Kline, 84, of Decatur is 2 p.m. today at the First United Methodist Church in Decatur with burial at Roselawn Cemetery in Denton. Coker-Hawkins is handling arrangements.

GRAVESIDE service for Karen Lee Richey, 65, of Decatur is 2 p.m. Thursday at Pleasant Grove No. 1 Cemetery in Decatur. Family visitation is 6-8 p.m. Wednesday at Coker-Hawkins.

SERVICE for Betty Dillander, 81, of Bridgeport is pending at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

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2 hurt in Decatur wreck http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/2-hurt-in-decatur-wreck/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/2-hurt-in-decatur-wreck/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 15:07:37 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89136 3-30-15 wreck_web

Two people were taken to a hospital Monday morning following a single-vehicle wreck on U.S. 380 just east of Decatur. Department of Public Safety Trooper Greg Reyero said a pickup driven by Les Hargis, 74, of Borger was westbound when he apparently drove through a curve in the road, striking a light pole near the Shell station. He and his wife, Deanna, 77, were both taken to a hospital by ground ambulance.

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Monday, March 30, 2015 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/monday-march-30-2015/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/update/monday-march-30-2015/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 13:23:47 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89133

BROWNWOOD EDGES EAGLES – Brownwood’s three goals in the first half were enough to hold off the Decatur Eagles for a 3-2 victory in the 4A Region I bi-district soccer game at Eagle Stadium Friday.

LADY EAGLES WIN – The Decatur Lady Eagles moved to 3-0 in District 8-4A with a 4-0 softball victory over the Bridgeport Sissies Friday.

DECATUR TOPS BULLS – Jesus Gam went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs as the Decatur Eagles beat Bridgeport 8-2 Friday. Clayton Egle allowed two runs – one earned – on four hits in seven innings.

COMPUTER CLASSES – A beginning Excel class is 6:15-7:45 tonight at Decatur Public Library. The class is open to anyone. To register, call 940-393-0290 or visit www.decaturpubliclibrary.com.

BOND ISSUE PROGRAM – Decatur ISD Superintendent Rod Townsend will give a presentation of the $13.5 million bond issue on the May 9 ballot at this week’s Decatur Rotary Club meeting at noon Thursday at the Decatur Civic Center. The presentation is open to anyone in the community, but RSVPs are required. The presentation is free, but lunch is $10. To RSVP, contact Patricia Peters at 940-393-0292 or ppeters@decaturtx.org by 5 p.m. Tuesday.

CLAY SHOOT - The Barnett Shale Sporting Clay Shoot is Thursday at Northwest OHV Park, 2914 Texas 101, in Bridgeport. The morning flight is at 9 a.m., and the afternoon flight begins at 1:30 p.m. Cost is $100 per person or $500 for a five-person team. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Call the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce, 940-683-2076.

DECATUR 5K – The Decatur 5K and 1 mile kids fun run is 8 a.m. Saturday in downtown Decatur. Proceeds benefit the Jackie Murphree Scholarship Fund. Register online through 3 p.m. Friday at www.Decatur5K.com. Race day registration is also available. A related story was featured in the weekend Wise County Messenger.

EGG HUNT – The Rhome Easter egg hunt is 1 p.m. Saturday at Family Park, 400 S. Virginia. There will be egg hunts for different age groups, prizes, free raffle tickets and a bounce house. Cookies and punch will be served, and the Easter bunny will be available for photos. Call Jo Ann Wilson, 817-638-2388.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – Wise County Special Needs Baseball is looking for volunteers to help with games on Saturday mornings, April 11-May 30. Games are at 9 and 10 a.m. To sign up, go to www.signupgenius.com, click on “find a signup” and type in wcsnbvolunteers@gmail.com. Or, call 940-577-1848.

MEDICAL SCHOLARS – Wise Regional Health System-Bridgeport volunteers will award five $1,000 scholarships to continuing education students, high school students, employees and children of employees of WRHS and individuals with a Wise County address. The Virginia Wood Memorial Scholarships are to encourage individuals to further their education in the medical field. Applications are available online at www.wiseregional.com/scholarship and must be returned by April 1. Call Scholarship Chair Rachel Gasperson, 940-210-2452; or Evelyn Lewis, 940-393-1372.

FUNERALS – Service for Doug Younger, 74, a retired teacher with Bridgeport ISD is 2 p.m. Tuesday at the First United Methodist Church in Bridgeport with burial at Sunset Cemetery. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

FUNERAL for Larry McGahey, 65, of Boyd is 10 a.m. today at Watts Funeral Home in Madill, Okla., with burial at Powell Cemetery. Christian-Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd is handling arrangements.

SERVICES for Karen Richey, 65, of Bowie and Secundina Sifuentes, 76, of Boyd are pending at Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home in Decatur.

MEMORIAL service for Sue Peterson Vaughn, 79, of Alvord is 10:30 a.m. Monday, April 6, at the First United Methodist Church in Alvord. Coker-Hawkins is handling arrangements.

FUNERAL for Virginia Lea Kline, 84, of Decatur is 2 p.m. Tuesday at the First United Methodist Church in Decatur with burial at Roselawn Cemetery in Denton. Family visitation is 6-8 tonight at Coker-Hawkins.

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Police nab motorcycle thieves http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/police-nab-motorcycle-thieves/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/police-nab-motorcycle-thieves/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:39:58 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89128 A couple of teens made it only a few blocks riding stolen motorcycles Thursday before they were caught by Decatur Police.

Three motorcycles were stolen from Freedom Powersports at 201 W. Thompson St. in Decatur around the time the business was closing at 6:30 p.m. The suspects took the vehicles by starting them and driving off down city streets.

When officers responded, they located two men riding the suspected stolen motorcycles in the 600 block of East Hale Street. Once the suspects knew officers had seen them, they cut a barbed wire fence at 608 E. Hale behind the former Eagle Stop and attempted to evade officers in a field.

Chance Bowen

Officers surrounded the two suspects, who then abandoned the motorcycles and attempted to run on foot. Officers were able to catch the suspects and place them under arrest.

Freedom Powersports confirmed that the two motorcycles the suspects were operating were two of the three vehicles that had been stolen.

When questioned by police, the suspects, 18-year-old Luis Fernando Castillo of Krum and 19-year-old Thomas Chance Bowen of Decatur, offered information about other suspects involved in the thefts. That information led officers to a home in the Slidell area where two more suspects were located along with the third stolen motorcycle.

Castillo and Bowen were charged with theft of property valued at $20,000-$100,000, engaging in organized criminal activity, criminal trespass and criminal mischief less than $1,500 for cutting a fence where livestock was kept. Castillo’s total bond was set at $57,500, and Bowen’s was set at $52,500. Both remained in the Wise County Jail Friday morning.

Luis Fernando Castillo

Decatur Police say more arrests are expected in the case.

The three motorcycles, valued at more than $35,000, were returned to the dealership.

Decatur officers were assisted by Department of Public Safety Trooper Jeff Johnson with the apprehension of the suspects.

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Miles for smiles; Murphree closes in on 300 milestone http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/miles-for-smiles-murphree-closes-in-on-300-milestone/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/miles-for-smiles-murphree-closes-in-on-300-milestone/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:38:11 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89124 When snow and ice canceled the Cowtown Marathon March 1, Patrick Murphree feared that his daughter Jackie’s goal of hitting 300 miles at the Decatur 5K would not happen.

“We signed up for the Cowtown Marathon, and it was part of our mileage to get to 300,” he said. “After Cowtown, we would have needed to pick up one more 5K to hit 300 at the Decatur 5K.”

Raedy to Race

READY TO RACE – Jackie Murphree and her racing team will reach their goal of 300 miles at the Decatur 5K next weekend. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

But Mother Nature forced Murphree, Jackie and the team that pushed her through eight marathons and several other races to come up with Plan B. That turned out to be five races in the past five weeks, including last week’s Rock-N-Roll Half Marathon in Dallas.

“This is the closest thing to a whole running regimen that I’ve had,” said Murphree, who pushed his daughter in a 5K, 10K and part of the half marathon in the past four weeks. He will push her in a 10K in Plano Saturday to get to 297 miles.

“When Cowtown got canceled, we started looking to see if we could make it happen,” he added. “We started looking for races and how we can make it happen. The Plano Pacers 10K will put it where we’ll hit 300 up State Street, 0.2 miles from the finish line at the Decatur 5K.”

Hitting the 300 milestone at the Decatur 5K was important to Murphree. The race benefits the Jackie Murphree Scholarship, which is given to a Decatur graduate going into a medical field.

Murphree also added he wanted to share the milestone with the community and the team at Fit-N-Wise that works with Jackie.

“It’s a tribute to Mike [Bowers] and Fit-N-Wise for all the support of Jackie and working with her,” he said.

Jackie was injured in a car accident Aug. 17, 2007, after her vehicle was struck by a drunken driver in a section of U.S. 380 that was under construction. She was less than a mile from her home. The Decatur graduate and Texas A&M senior slipped into a coma and suffered a traumatic brain injury. She’s been unable to walk or talk since the accident, but during each run, she’s usually wearing a smile.

“To watch her has been phenomenal,” Murphree explains. “Her comfort level is amazing. She becomes a completely different person.”

Bowers, who pushed her during a portion of last week’s half marathon and during many other races, said it’s an amazing experience.

“There’s something about pushing Jackie. It’s a thrill beyond words,” Bowers said. “It’s great to be able to make her day. I feel honored that Pat gives us the ability to do it.”

The recent runs with Jackie come after a rough stretch beginning in late December. After three years without a seizure, she suffered what her father described as a “monster seizure” that lasted nearly 17 hours.

“It was a big setback,” he said. “There were lots of tests and lots of new doctors. She spent five days in the hospital. That’s how she spent her 28th birthday.”

Since December, Murphree said it’s been work to get her strength back up and bring a smile to her face. But the miles still manage to produce smiles.

“At the half, she had a big smile,” Murphree said.

Murphree’s chair for the races is a converted stroller for twins that has been customized with steerable front wheels and a windshield.

“It rolls very easy,” Murphree said.

But up the hills along the Decatur 5K course, which challenge the best runners, it’s a workout pushing 130 to 135 pounds between the chair and Jackie.

Murphree claims he hates running. But he enjoys the opportunity to get out on the streets with Jackie and see her light up.

He hopes to have plenty of company April 4 on the streets of Decatur.

“I’d like to see the Decatur 5K get as big as some other races,” Murphree said.

Three $1,000 scholarships have been awarded two of the last three years, but Murphree would like to give more away.

The one-mile kids fun run and 5K will start at 8 a.m. on the Square. Participants can register at www.decatur5K.com or on race day.

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Cops make drug arrests http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/cops-make-drug-arrests/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/cops-make-drug-arrests/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:37:00 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89121 Wise County narcotics investigators believe they have caught a major supplier of drugs to Wise County.

Jason Eric Peek

Sheriff David Walker said Deputy Jason Sorrow received information about a possible drug dealer headed to the Boyd area on Wednesday. Officers set up surveillance on Jason Eric Peek, 32, of Springtown and stopped his vehicle on Farm Road 730 near the south Boyd city limits. Peek was found in possession of 16 grams of methamphetamine and 19 Xanax pills.

He was arrested for manufacturing/delivery of a controlled substance in penalty group 1 4-200 grams and manufacturing/delivery of a controlled substance in penalty group 3/4 less than 28 grams. He posted $75,000 bond the same day and was released, according to jail records.

“He cooperated with our investigators to give up who he was getting his methamphetamine from,” Walker said.

He identified his supplier as William Brandon Crane, 39, of Bedford.

William Brandon Crane

Using this information, investigators working undercover set up a drug buy with Crane, who agreed to meet at the Dairy Queen in Rhome that day. When he arrived at the restaurant, instead of a buyer, Crane found a team of officers who placed him under arrest.

Walker said officers found 117 grams of methamphetamine, 511 grams of GHB (also known as a date rape drug) and 46 grams of Xanax in Crane’s possession.

Crane was arrested for manufacturing/delivery of a controlled substance in penalty group 1 more than 400 grams, manufacturing/delivery of a controlled substance in penalty group 1 4-200 grams and possession of a controlled substance in penalty group 3 28-200 grams. His total bond was set at $225,000. He remained in the Wise County Jail Friday.

Officers also seized Crane’s 2014 Toyota Tundra pickup and $1,300 in cash.

The arrests continue a trend of people bringing drugs from outside the county into our area, Walker said.

“We’ve seen more and more people from the Metroplex area coming up to Wise County as drug suppliers,” he said. “We will continue to do covert operations like this and seize everything we can.”

Walker said more arrests connected to the case could be made in the near future.

“We’ll continue to gather intelligence on anyone who is connected to these guys,” he said.

Wise County investigators were assisted by Boyd and Rhome police departments on the two arrests.

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Eagles dominate district UIL academic meet http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/eagles-dominate-district-uil-academic-meet/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/eagles-dominate-district-uil-academic-meet/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:35:22 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89117 Decatur captured the sweepstakes title at the 8-4A University Interscholastic League academic meet Tuesday in dominating fashion.

HARDWARE COLLECTION – Decatur High School won seven team titles and 12 individual gold medals on the way to winning the 8-4A University Interscholastic League academic meet Tuesday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Decatur won seven team titles and 12 individual gold medals on the way to piling up 551.83 points at the meet held at Weatherford College Wise County. Second-place Springtown finished with 306.83. Bridgeport garnered 209.

Thirty-four Decatur students advanced to regionals, placing in the top three in individual events or as part of teams. The regional meet is April 24-25 at Texas Tech University in Lubbock.

“In my 20 years, we’ve never come close to advancing that many kids to regionals,” said Cindy Berry, Decatur UIL coordinator. “We have a lot of kids that put in a lot of practice and went to practice meets. It really paid off Tuesday.

“We have good, dedicated coaches that have been working with kids. A lot of coaches coach multiple events.”

Decatur’s team titles include: current issues, journalism, literary criticism, number sense, science, speech, and spelling and vocabulary.

Decatur individuals swept the top three spots in four events. Brooklyn Blaylock, Payton McAlister and Allan Allsbrooks swept the medals in computer applications. Rachael Ussery, Nancy Torres and Mickey Drewry went first through third in feature writing and news writing. Sarah Crouse, Tucker Garrett and Taylor Yates garnered the top three spots in prose.

Decatur’s Brett Edwards and Truman Young finished first and second in current issues.

Meghan Darst and Payton Carroll took the top two spots in literary criticism. Luke Thomas and Truman Young won gold and silver in persuasive speaking.

Decatur’s Gavin Buchanan won physics and number sense. Karl Davila took gold in science and Kendall Hubbard in ready writing.

Bridgeport won the team crown in computer science. Noah Peterson won the event with Joshua Martz taking third.

Peterson also took gold in mathematics.

Dawson Smith and Yanet Ortiz finished first and second in poetry interpretation. Natalie Smith and Brianna Polk went one and two in spelling and vocabulary. Regi Lane added a district crown for Bridgeport in social studies.

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Dream team: Decatur writers sweep 2 events http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/dream-team-decatur-writers-sweep-2-events/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/dream-team-decatur-writers-sweep-2-events/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:34:27 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89114 Following her trip to the University Interscholastic League Academic state meet last spring, Rachael Ussery painted a picture of herself with Mickey Drewry and journalism sponsor Cindy Berry.

The painting was named the “Dream Team.”

EAGLE WORDSMITHS – Decatur High School writers (from left) Mickey Drewry, Rachael Ussery and Nancy Torres prepare for regional competition after sweeping the top three spots in feature and news writing at the 8-4A District UIL academic meet. Ussery is holding her painting, “The Dream Team,” which she created last year after her trip to the state academic meet in Austin. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

But after Tuesday, the figures in that tremendous trio have changed.

“Now, Nancy [Torres] has replaced me,” Berry pointed out.

Ussery, Torres and Drewry swept the top three spots in feature and news writing at the 8-4A District UIL academic meet, leading Decatur to the journalism crown.

“It was cool. We didn’t expect it,” Torres explained.

Drewry added: “We walked out proud of the medals.”

But they also felt the envious stares of competitors after watching the trio walk up twice and carry away medals.

“You could feel the haters,” Ussery said. “It’s deja vu with us going one, two, three.”

Of the dream team, Ussery and Drewry are the seasoned veterans as juniors. Both advanced to regionals last year with Drewry in news writing and Ussery in feature. Though only a first-year journalism student, Ussery advanced to the state meet.

“It was really unexpected considering that I had not finished my Journalism 1 class,” she recalled.

“I barely made it to state. I got third every time.”

This year, she took first in feature and news writing at district. She also took second in headline writing.

Drewry, who is on her second year on yearbook staff, claims she’s not a writer. Her accomplishments prove otherwise – winning bronze medals in news, feature and headline writing.

“I’m on the yearbook staff as a designer. I don’t write anything,” Drewry said. “I like the UIL contests. It’s more formula writing. Mrs. Berry told me I’d be good at it, and it’s my third year to do it.”

Of the three events, Drewry quickly points out that headline writing is her favorite.

“I love headline writing,” she said. “You can be more creative.”

Though she’s the senior, Torres is the rookie on the Dream Team.

“It’s my first year doing UIL academics,” said Torres, who serves as the editor of The Decatur Journal. “I wish I did it before.”

Torres finished second in news and feature writing and fourth in editorial.

“Feature is my favorite because you can take a subject and make it your own point of view,” Torres said.

Berry points out all three have varied backgrounds and experience.

“They really are an eclectic group,” she said. “Two are on the newspaper staff and another on yearbook. They all don’t write the same. But they know what it takes to be successful.”

All three point to Berry as a pivotal part of their success.

“She’s helped so much,” Torres said.

Drewry adds that Berry’s past success with writers also gives them a little motivation.

“We have a big reputation to live up to,” she said. “There’s a standard we have to be at.”

In the contests, the three are competing against each other. But they refuse to look at it that way.

“It’s us against everyone else in the room,” Ussery said.

“It’s definitely a team effort,” Drewry adds.

Now, the dream team moves on to regionals.


1. Decatur 551.83; 2. Springtown 306.83; 3. Bridgeport 209; 4. Castleberry 125.33; 5. Lake Worth 92.

4. Christopher Perez, Bridgeport; 5. Bronson Burks, Bridgeport; 6. Kayla Morgan, Decatur

Accounting Team:
1. Springtown; 2. Bridgeport

Calculator Applications:
4. Emily Baker, Decatur; 5. Gavin Buchanan, Decatur

Calculator Applications Team:
1. Springtown, 2. Decatur

Current Issues:
1. Brett Edwards, Decatur; 2. Truman Young, Decatur; 3. Tyler Hamblin, Bridgeport; 4. Michaela Cross, Decatur; 5. Carlos Arevalo, Decatur; 6. Jacob Mogus, Bridgeport

Current Issues Team:
1. Decatur

Computer Applications:
1. Brooklyn Blaylock, Decatur; 2. Payton McAlister, Decatur; 3. Allan Allsbrooks, Decatur; 4. Brandon Gatica, Castleberry

Computer Science:
1. Noah Peterson, Bridgeport; 3. Joshua Martz, Bridgeport; 4. Dimitri Gilbert, Decatur; 5. Chris Casey, Bridgeport; 6. Zane Brown, Bridgeport; 6. Jennifer Shaffer, Decatur

Computer Science Team:
1. Bridgeport; 2. Decatur

Editorial Writing:
3. Maddison Kyle, Decatur; 4. Nancy Torres, Decatur; 6. Vanity Johnson, Bridgeport

Feature Writing:
1. Rachael Ussery, Decatur; 2. Nancy Torres, Decatur; 3. Mickey Drewry, Decatur; 4. Vanity Johnson, Bridgeport

Headline Writing:
2. Rachael Ussery, Decatur; 3. Mickey Drewry, Decatur; 4. Lexie Chapman, Decatur

Informative Speaking:
1. Trey Dale, Decatur; 3. Jesus Gam, Decatur; 4. Jake Warren, Decatur

Literary Criticism:
1. Meghan Darst, Decatur; 2. Payton Carroll, Decatur; 5. Allison Garland, Decatur; 6. Kendall Martin, Decatur

Literary Criticism Team:
1. Decatur

1. Noah Peterson, Bridgeport; 4. Maddi Waskom, Decatur; 5. Emily Baker, Decatur

Number Sense:
1. Gavin Buchanan, Decatur; 3. Noah Peterson, Bridgeport; 4. Ancelmo Galindo; 6. Dimitri Gilbert; Decatur

Number Sense Team:
1. Decatur

News Writing:
1. Rachael Ussery, Decatur; 2. Nancy Torres, Decatur; 3. Mickey Drewry, Decatur; 6. Wendy French, Bridgeport

Journalism Team:
1. Decatur

Persuasive Speaking:
1. Luke Thomas, Decatur; 2. Truman Young, Decatur

Speech Team:
1. Decatur

Poetry Interpretation:
1. Dawson Smith, Bridgeport; 2. Yanet Ortiz, Bridgeport

1. Sarah Crouse, Decatur; 2. Tucker Garrett, Decatur; 3. Taylor Yates, Decatur

Ready Writing:
1. Kendall Hubbard, Decatur; 5. Madison Reed, Decatur; 6. Cody Teague, Bridgeport

1. Karl Davila, Decatur; 4. Gavin Buchanan, Decatur; 6. Brianna Jacobs, Decatur; 7. Patrick August, Decatur

Science Team:
1. Decatur

1. Gavin Buchanan, Decatur

Social Studies:
1. Regi Lane, Bridgeport; 2. Chloe Morris, Decatur; 6. Kayla Morgan, Decatur

Social Studies Team:
2. Decatur

Spelling and Vocabulary:
1. Natalie Smith, Bridgeport; 2. Brianna Polk, Bridgeport; 4. Riley Keller, Decatur; 6. Lexi Chapman, Decatur

Spelling and Vocabulary Team:
1. Decatur

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EDC kicks off retention program http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/edc-kicks-off-retention-program/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/edc-kicks-off-retention-program/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:33:01 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89111 The Decatur Economic Development Corp. is nurturing already established businesses with a new Business Retention and Expansion Program (BRE).

EDC Director Mary Poche said the term “economic development” most often brings to mind attracting new business and industry, but a healthy EDC will also help grow businesses that are already committed to the community.

“That’s an important element to any economic development program, to have a BRE,” Poche said. “Statistics show that most economic development happens with businesses that are here.”

The BRE will include quarterly meetings and workshops with upper management in the retail, industrial and professional segments. The first one is 8:30 to 10 a.m. Tuesday, March 31, at the Decatur Civic Center. Pat Boutier with the Texas Manufacturing Assistance Center will present “The Tactics of ‘LEAN,'” which is a strategy often used in manufacturing.

Poche said each meeting will have a speaker, focusing on a different industry segment, and it will provide an opportunity for local business leaders to network.

“For example, manufacturers in a community are often so busy, they don’t talk to each other,” she said.

Her hope is that the BRE will initiate conversation between business leaders that might not otherwise meet.

Although the first meeting is focusing on manufacturing, she encourages people from all types of businesses to attend.

“We may have small numbers this first time, but even if we have just five, we’ll continue,” she said. “Consistency is important to build the program.”

Poche said another important element to the program is the EDC learning the needs of local businesses.

“We’ll go out and call on them,” she said. “If they’re interested in expanding or thinking about leaving, we need to know that and see what we can do to get them to stay.”

Poche said there is EDC money available for various types of projects; it’s just a matter of knowing what a business needs.

“Some EDCs don’t always have the resources and staff for a BRE, but we do,” she said.

To attend Tuesday’s meeting, RSVP to iburnett@decatur-edc.com, 940-393-0350.

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WCHC raising awareness of child maltreatment http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/wchc-raising-awareness-of-child-maltreatment/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/wchc-raising-awareness-of-child-maltreatment/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:32:28 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89109 The Wise County Coalition for Healthy Children (WCHC), in recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, will be putting up blue ribbon replicas across Wise County Sunday. The action is to raise awareness of child maltreatment, an issue that includes child abuse, as well as neglect, bullying, human trafficking and other related trauma.

WCHC will place the first replica 3:30 p.m. Sunday at the Wise County Courthouse in Decatur. From there, they will travel to Boyd, Bridgeport, Chico, Paradise and Slidell.

“A strong family is the foundation of a strong community,” said WCHC chair Teresa Graves. “I believe there is no cause more important than giving every child the best chance at a successful life. Please join us in bringing awareness to the issue of child maltreatment during the month of April and help us to prevent it year-round.”

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Local church helps man rebuild house http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/local-church-helps-man-rebuild-house/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/local-church-helps-man-rebuild-house/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:31:55 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89107 A new home is on the horizon for a Sunset resident after his house burned last fall.

Mark Kelley, along with members of Trinity Fellowship Church in Decatur, are rebuilding his house on County Road 1790 northwest of Alvord.

Blueprint for Success

BLUEPRINT FOR SUCCESS – Mark Kelley examines the blueprint for his new house on the first day of construction on County Road 1790 northwest of Alvord. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Kelley lost his home following a chicken brooder fire in November but made it out unscathed with his two dogs.

“The fire was a lot bigger than I thought it was, and even as I was dialing 911, I knew nothing was going to be salvaged.”

Bill Henderson, who works with Kelley at Lowe’s in Decatur, attends Trinity Fellowship. When he learned of Kelley’s hardship, he shared the story with a Trinity outreach group – the Kingdom Workers. With the church’s help, they started work on the new house in February. About 12 people were on site the first day to assist in construction.

“We just try to help out with whatever the community needs, and that could be helping build a house or helping someone in other ways,” Henderson said.

Kingdom Workers

KINGDOM WORKERS – Two members of Trinity Fellowship Church’s Kingdom Workers group examine blueprints before starting work on Mark Kelley’s new house in Sunset. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

As of this week, the house is framed, but recent inclement weather halted the building process. Kelley said once a roof is in place, he’ll move in while continuing work on the inside.

“As long as it has water and electricity and a roof, I’d be happy to just live in it while I work on it,” he said. “Right now, I’ve been working on it in the mornings before work and then after work when I get home. Most of the work happens on the weekends.”

Kelley himself doesn’t attend Trinity Fellowship but said he is extremely appreciative of the church’s help.

“It wouldn’t look anywhere near the way it looks now without them,” he said.

Team Effort

TEAM EFFORT – The Kingdom Workers with Trinity Fellowship Church help Mark Kelley begin construction on his new house. Kingdom Workers is an outreach group that helps meet the various needs of community members. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

This is Kelley’s first time building a house, and he said he gets a lot of help from his brother who lives in Florida.

“He’s the one that made the blueprints and everything, so sometimes at night I’ll just sit and examine it and look at the plan and then look it up online to figure out how to build something if I get stuck,” Kelley said.

Kelley hopes to complete the construction by the beginning of April. Until then, he’ll still be working with the Trinity Fellowship volunteers right beside him.

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Employment rate shows increase for February http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/employment-rate-shows-increase-for-february/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/employment-rate-shows-increase-for-february/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:30:19 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89102 The price of West Texas intermediate crude oil hit $50.58 per barrel in February. That number is up about $3 from January, but it’s still $50.24 less than the same time last year.

Recent data from the Texas Workforce Commission shows that Wise County’s unemployment rate also decreased from 4.2 percent to 4.1 percent in the first two months of 2015, although the two statistics aren’t necessarily related.

“[There’s not] any rapid response data showing recent layoffs in Wise County, and it’s common for statistics to be revised the month after publication,” Renee Moffett, North Central Texas Workforce research specialist, wrote in an email.

The Workforce Solutions North Central Texas sector serves 16 counties, including Wise. Wise County falls into the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) category.

The Texas Workforce Commission releases monthly newsletters with employment data every third Friday of the month. According to its latest newsletter, the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA’s mining, logging and construction sector saw the fifth largest monthly change in employment from January to February 2015, adding 2,800 jobs.

Overall, the state of Texas saw a decrease of 1,100 oil and gas extraction jobs during that same time period.

The Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA tied for 11th place for best unemployment rate in February with Longview, Sherman-Denison and Waco.

To view more of the commission’s monthly reports, visit www.dfwjobs.com.

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Commissioners travel north for first mobile meeting http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/commissioners-travel-north-for-first-mobile-meeting/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/commissioners-travel-north-for-first-mobile-meeting/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:29:45 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89100 The first installment of Wise County Commissioners Court on the Road is next week in Slidell.

The public is invited to the school cafetorium 7 p.m. Tuesday to talk with commissioners and other county officials.

The meeting is the first of four to be held quarterly throughout the county and is part of a community outreach program proposed by County Judge J.D. Clark and approved by commissioners Feb. 26.

“Instead of expecting everybody to come to county government, then [let’s] take the county government out to everybody else,” Clark urged commissioners.

Slidell students will lead the Pledge of Allegiance to begin Tuesday’s meeting, and Clark will report on upcoming county issues.

Commissioner Danny White will talk about projects in Precinct 1, and Sheriff David Walker will explain the county’s K-9 program.

Community members will have the opportunity to address commissioners during open forum. The rules are the same as a regular commissioners meeting: A speaker should first identify himself or herself by first and last name. There is a three-minute limit, and large groups interested in the same topic should select a spokesperson.

State law prohibits commissioners from deliberating on anything brought up in open forum unless it is on their posted agenda.

Commissioners Court on the Road will be at Alvord City Hall in late June. A specific date and time has not yet been set.

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Van proves nimble, suited for hauling http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/business/van-proves-nimble-suited-for-hauling/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/business/van-proves-nimble-suited-for-hauling/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:29:07 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89098 We put the new 2015 Chevrolet City Express van to the test, and it passed with flying colors.

The City Express is a new, small delivery van that Chevrolet has developed along with Nissan that went on sale a few months ago. For about that long, I have been looking out my office window into the parking lot of Decatur florist Ray Cornelison and seeing his new delivery van and finally realized it was a City Express.

Perfect Fit

PERFECT FIT – The 2015 Chevrolet City Express delivery van is pictured at the Messenger warehouse in Decatur alongside a full-size Chevrolet Express van. The smaller van is designed for city delivery work such as the daily Update route. Messenger photo by Ken Roselle

The Messenger is a user of delivery vans, so when James Wood Fleet Manager Jason Culpepper called to offer one for a test, it was a perfect opportunity for us to put the new City Express on our daily Update route.

The City Express is a direct competitor to the Ford Transit Connect and the Ram ProMaster City – all three designed for those like Ray, who really don’t need a full-size van.

Our Update delivery driver Steve Crossland piloted the City Express all over Wise County for a couple of days and averaged 20 miles per gallon. That’s about five miles per gallon better than he gets on our full-size Chevrolet V-6 Express van.

The City Express is perfectly suited for small loads. It’s five doors and its narrow body gives the driver easy access to the cargo from either side or the rear. Buyers with valuable cargo will want to go up to the LT trim level to get power door locks. They’re not available on the base LS model that we tested, and it’s a real pain to try to lock and unlock five doors. Unfortunately, the power door locks are not an option on the LS model and to climb up to the LT version costs an additional $1,560.

The City Express is powered by a 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine developing 131 horsepower. Crossland, used to driving our V-6 and V-8 vans, said the little van was sluggish. The engine is paired with an automatic transmission and electronic stability control. The load floor is 48 inches wide and the 40/60 split rear doors open up to 180 degrees.

“The number of parking conditions we have to go in and out of is varied, and the size of this van works very well in these situations,” Crossland said. “Additionally, the door and window height works better for drive-through window Update drops since the vehicle is lower to the ground.”

There was another reason he liked the “lower to the ground” height of the City Express.

“For anyone with a slight mobility issue, the step down is much easier on a cranky knee that stepping down from a larger commercial van,” he said.

Messenger General Manager Mark Jordan, who supervises our vehicle fleet, also commented on the large cargo space and easy accessibility.

“You can reach well into the overall cargo area from any of the door openings. Even though the City Express is very nimble and easy to navigate in a tight spot, the standard backup sensors are a welcome addition to back up to a delivery dock,” he said.

As nice as it is, the City Express is not for everybody. It’s designed for small business owners, like a florist. I have seen one in Decatur owned by a plumbing company, but if you haul heavy loads (like newspapers) you will need a full size van.

But that’s the magic of the van market today. Chevrolet has the full-size Express van and the smaller City Express. Ford has the full-size Transit and the Transit Connect and Dodge has the Ram Pro Master and the Pro Master City.

The Chevrolet City Express is a clone of the Nissan NV200 van, but the Nissan is not sold in Wise County. While sharing a basic design, Chevrolet does add a few styling cues that make it look a little different than the Nissan.

For driver and occupant safety, the City Express has six standard air bags and standard electronic stability control. Also on the standard equipment list is an AM/FM stereo radio with CD player. That should keep the driver safe and entertained. Power windows are standard.

“Overall it’s a very good vehicle for light delivery in a city environment,” Jordan said. “It would also be perfect for carrying light duty tools to and from a worksite. The good gas mileage is a bonus for those who must drive a lot of miles in a week.”

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American Luxury Limousine Service http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/business/american-luxury-limousine-service/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/business/american-luxury-limousine-service/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:28:12 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89095 Address: 901 W. Walnut Street

Phone: 940-626-9951

Email: info@allimoservice.com

Website: www.allimoservice.com

Owner: Chase Coffman

Hours: By appointment

Products/services: Limousine service

Classy Ride

CLASSY RIDE – American Limousine Service celebrated its ribbon cutting March 19 with the Decatur Chamber of Commerce. Pictured are (from left) owner Chase Coffman, Scarlett, Hannah and Kahle Coffman, Kim Cantrell and Paul Cantrell. Messenger photo by Laura Belcher

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Softball: Lady Eagles score dramatic win http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/softball-lady-eagles-score-dramatic-win/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/softball-lady-eagles-score-dramatic-win/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:21:51 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89092 Caitlin Butler added a little drama in the bottom of the seventh after her lead off bunt singled in a tie game, getting in a pair of rundowns before diving into third base.

Squeezing Out a Win

SQUEEZING OUT A WIN – Ashley Johnson lays down a bunt during the Lady Eagles’ win over Castleberry Tuesday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“I’m sure I gave everyone and my team a heart attack,” Butler said.

Jenny Bradford brought an end to the drama and the game with a sacrifice fly to right, scoring Butler and giving the Decatur Lady Eagles the 5-4 walk-off victory over the Castleberry Lady Lions.

“I was just trying to do my best for the team,” Bradford said. “I knew if I could get something in the air, it’d get it done with Caitlin’s speed.”

Bradford’s game-winning RBI improved the Lady Eagles to 2-0 in District 8-4A and kept them in a tie with the Bridgeport Sissies atop the league. The Lady Eagles and Sissies meet Friday.

“We’ll be ready,” Bradford said.

In the first inning, it didn’t appear the Lady Eagles would stay atop the league. Castleberry loaded the bases with a walk and two errors. With two out, Ayanna Sanchez doubled down the left-field line to plate three runs.

But after that rough start, Butler struck out the next six.

“I had to get back into it. I thought of my team and they were counting on me,” Butler said. “My balls weren’t moving much at first. I tried to get them with the curveball and screwball. Then I was able get them with the riseball.”

She allowed just four more base runners after the first inning. The Lady Lions’ fourth run came after a dropped third strike and error in the top of the sixth.

Butler allowed just two hits and struck out 11 in seven innings.

“Our defense did a good job behind her and she refocused,” said Decatur coach Carly Cloud.

Decatur trailed 3-0 until the bottom of the fourth. The Lady Eagles turned a pair of Castleberry errors around three hits into four runs. Taylor Butler provided the big hit, battling back from an 0-2 count to get an opposite-field two-run single to score Braelyn Hanes and Ashley Johnson.

After Castleberry tied the game in the top of the sixth, Decatur stranded the go-ahead runs at second and third in the bottom of the inning.

But a perfect top of the seventh for Butler allowed the Lady Eagles to walk-off with their dramatic ending.


Castleberry … 300 … 001 … 0 … 4 … 2 … 2
Decatur … 000 … 400 … 1 … 5 … 9 … 3

WP: Caitlin Butler. LP: Ariana Ramos

2B – Castleberry, Ayanna Sanchez. RBIs – Castleberry, Sanchez 3; Decatur, Taylor Butler 2, Jenny Bradford.

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Basketball: Clearing up title talk http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/basketball-clearing-up-title-talk/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/basketball-clearing-up-title-talk/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:20:57 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89089 Before season started, the buzz was alive in North Texas basketball circles.

“Mark Cuban’s sister has some foster kids at Bridgeport.”

“Michael Finley’s kid is playing at Bridgeport.”

“Bridgeport moved in these four kids and put them in a house together to play basketball there.”


CENTERPIECES – Ethan Chapman (3), Caleb Smith, Devonte Patterson and Keenan Holdman (5) joined the Bulls this season after moving into Bridgeport and led the team to its first state title. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Rumors and speculation ran rampant about juniors – Keenan Holdman, Devonte Patterson, Caleb Smith and Ethan Chapman – that moved into Wise County and enrolled at Bridgeport.

With no official word about them, the misinformation snowballed and peaked at the state tournament, where fans and media were skeptical of the Bulls’ championship.

After hoisting the 4A state championship trophy and accounting for 456 of the Bulls’ 519 playoff points, people wanted answers about their sudden arrival.

SHARING IN THE JOY – Devonte Patterson holds Noah, Neal Hawks’ son, after the state title game. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The story begins with Neal Hawks, a Nebraskan often referred to as a prominent businessman and Mark Cuban’s brother-in-law (they married sisters).

Unlike the Dallas Mavericks’ owner, Hawks is reserved and calculated in his public life. He keeps to himself and doesn’t like to do interviews.

The son of Howard and Myrna Hawks said his father was the first in his family to leave the farm, attending college at the University of Nebraska before taking a job with GM in Anderson, Ind.

Howard is now chairman of the board of regents at Nebraska.

After GM, the Hawks patriarch served as president of three subsidiary groups, Northern Natural Resources, Northern Liquid Fuels Group and Northern Plains Natural Gas Co., before founding the energy company Tenaska.

Hawks also attended the University of Nebraska, earning a law degree, and after working for a corporation in Omaha, he began a career in real estate.

He discovered a passion for the game of basketball at Nebraska and joined a traveling basketball team comprised of ex-Huskers who played all over the country for about 10 years.

Though Hawks isn’t one to reveal his exact worth, he humbly admits that he has been fortunate when it comes to his money and success.

He also gained a passion for charity, especially involving children. That passion indirectly brought him to where he is today with six boys under his roof.

Neal Hawks

A single man at the time, Hawks became the legal guardian of Chapman in 2007, and after marrying his wife, Jamie, in 2010, the Hawks’ life changed even more when they received a call from an aquaintance in Flower Mound where they were living at the time.

“One day out of the blue, my wife got a call from a lady that she knew but didn’t know well,” Hawks said. “She told my wife about this young man [LaJohn Williams] who needed help because of his home and school situation. This was about four years ago, and we had him come over and talked to him.

“Jamie and I really liked him, so he moved in with us and went through three years at Flower Mound High and is now at college.”

Soon after, Keenan Holdman came into the fold and found his place as part of the Hawks’ family. Then Caleb Smith followed.

Hawks said that he simply saw opportunities to give these kids a better education and living situation. He said the boys were behind academically, so they decided to help them “catch up” by homeschooling.

“After my wife and I discussed it, we decided that homeschooling was the way to go because we have the ability to have a tutor/teacher work with them 1-on-1 or 1-on-3 and you can focus on the areas that they need help in moreso than an eight-period school schedule where you’re in class with a 30 other people and one teacher for 50 minutes a session,” Hawks explained.

Devonte Patterson was the last boy to join the Hawks family.

“We got a call one day from a gentleman in Wichita, Kan., that I had never spoken to before in my life,” Hawks said. “I didn’t know his name or anything about him. Somehow he had heard that we helped kids.

“I find it interesting that it gets around like that,” he said. “He told us all about Devonte. Devonte’s grandmother had recently died, and she was the glue that held the family together. We had him come down for a weekend, and we loved his infectious personality.”

Though the transition from Patterson’s life in Wichita to his new home with the Hawks wasn’t perfect, they eventually became a tight-knit family unit. When Neal and Jamie had their first biological child, Noah, Patterson’s relationship with his new brother was unbreakable.

“They share a bond that is pretty incredible,” Hawks said. “We’ve been very fortunate to have Devonte come into our lives. Where he was then, and where he has gotten himself to is nothing short of incredible.

“When he moved in with us, he had never played an organized sport. So the Devonte Patterson you see down on the floor of the Alamodome kicking some butt is a long way removed from the kid that moved in with us and had never played basketball almost four years ago. He’s done that himself. He worked and worked at it and put thousands of hours in the gym and weightroom.”

With five young men living and studying under their roof, Hawks wanted the boys to experience the thrill and life lessons learned from organized sports.

He formed the Flower Mound Rebels with other homeschooled kids.

“When we were the eighth-grade Flower Mound Rebels, we had nine or 10 kids,” Hawks said. “It wasn’t just kids that lived in my house. There’s a lot of homeschool teams out there. We had a good time doing it. When we were a freshman team … we probably played about 70 games, some were local and others we had to travel to.

“We’d take our tutor along with us, and that’s the great thing about homeschool is you can take kids all over and they can still take care of their school work,” he said.

As the team traveled, Hawks took the boys to museums, making lifelong memories and increasing the boys’ knowledge and understanding of how the country works.

In 2011, Hawks approached coach Brad Chasteen to coach the Rebels. Chasteen was teaching and coaching at Coppell High School at the time. He was originally skeptical of Hawks’ motives.

“Being a traditional coaching guy, I was a little hesitant,” Chasteen said. “In 2011-12, I worked them out Sunday nights, and I got to see up close and personal what these boys were about.

“It was a unique situation,” he said. “They had a tremendous passion.”

After the 2012 school year, Chasteen retired from Coppell and began coaching the Rebels, traveling all over the globe with Hawks and the boys.

“It was something that I would never have had the chance to do on my own,” Chasteen said. “I got to ‘double-dip’ as they say, being paid to coach the Rebels and also collecting retirement. My kids were out of school by that time so it was the perfect situation for us.”

Being so close to the boys, Chasteen said that they showed all of the characteristics of brothers.

“When you homeschool and live together and play ball together, you’re together more than average brothers,” he said. “If they didn’t care about each other and love each other, they couldn’t make it work.” Chasteen believes the boys not only advanced academically with their studies, but they also advanced at five times the rate of his average pupil.

“There’s no question that the extra work they have done has sped up the learning curve significantly,” he said. “If these kids were under my tutelage in a traditional setting, they would be good players but not where they are now.”

The boys also got advice and coaching from Mavericks legend Michael Finley.

“If I had to pick a guy out of the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex that I would like my kids to mold themselves after, it would probably be Michael Finley,” said Hawks, who met him during his charity work.

Hawks said that after Finley took a front office job with the Mavericks, his ability to work with the boys was limited due to NBA rules regarding employees and high school athletes.

Last year, Neal and Jamie decided that it was time to bring the boys into a public school environment.

Williams was heading to Blinn College and the other four boys were at a point where Hawks felt they could handle their studies on their own.

“My wife and I talked about it and we decided that if we wanted the boys to be successful in college, and we hope that all four of the juniors and LaJohn down at Blinn will complete college, they needed to get back into a setting where they were responsible to eight or 10 people a day,” Hawks said.

Looking for the ideal community, Hawks discovered Bridgeport.

Bridgeport’s size and location were a draw – a small-town feel that was out of the Metroplex, but also close enough to attend Mavericks and Dallas Cowboys games.

With Jamie’s family in Rockwall and Dallas, and Bridgeport being right along the road to to their ranch in Rotan, the location couldn’t have been better.

The Hawks built a home on 15 acres that could house two adults, a nanny/tutor, six young men and a young child.

“I hope everybody noticed that we didn’t come in and rent a house,” Hawks said. “We came in and built a house. We’re here in Bridgeport and we intend to stay in Bridgeport.

“The people have welcomed us with open arms and that’s probably been the best thing about our move. The friends we’ve made and the kids just being fully accepted in the school and the community has been amazing. We all know about the awful stuff going on in Ferguson, Mo., but I want to say that we have not experienced any of that in Bridgeport. The people, community and schools have been great. We love it here.”

Hawks and the boys also had fun with the Bridgeport/Decatur rivalry.

“The kids had some great signs,” Hawks laughingly admited. “We took a lot of them home. ‘Bridgeport Hawks’ and ‘Put in the Bridgeport kids now.’ None of them were mean-spirited and I thought they were pretty funny.”

Hawks is puzzled by the rumor that his boys were somehow recruited by Bridgeport.

“Why would we come to Bridgeport for basketball?” Hawks questioned. “No offense to anyone, but that seems like a pretty unlikely scenario.”

Other rumors regarding the Bulls’ new players centered on Hawks and his relationship with the boys. To some degree, Hawks understands why people would question their unique situation and how it relates to youth sports.

“It makes sense in a couple of ways to me,” he said. “I certainly don’t want to include everybody in Wise County or everybody in Texas, but I think there are a lot of people out there in our society that don’t think that you would actually just help kids to help them. There has to be some kind of other motive, and that’s a sad thing. I like kids. My wife and I like kids. We’re really fortunate to have these boys in our home and have them be part of our family. We’re proud of them and happy that we made the discision to help them.”

He adds: “This doesn’t have anything to do with basketball. LaJohn, as a matter of fact, is about 5’7″ so I’m pretty sure that when we told him he could move in with us and we’d help him, basketball wasn’t at the forefront of our mind. It’s not about that, and I’m sure there are a lot of people who will look at that statement with skepticism. We use athletics as a spring board to success academically and behaviorally.”

When speaking on his role in the boys’ lives, Hawks’ says that it is close to father and son.

“It’s maybe not exactly father/son but it has a lot of father/son components to it,” he said. “We have our fun and our love and our family time. From the background that some of them came from there probably weren’t too many rules and I’ve got a lot more rules than they would like to have.”

Those rules include a 10:30 bed time on school nights and them leaving their cell phones in the downstairs kitchen before heading upstairs for bed.

Hawks also wants them to keep some perspective on life, buying them older, but reliable used cars instead of brand new cars. Hawks says that if they weren’t involved in sports, he would expect his boys to get jobs and contribute by paying for things that he and Jamie currently provide.

When it comes to school work, there is no compromise.

“We don’t care if you play basketball,” he explained. “We expect respect in our house for Jamie and I and for your brothers. We expect you to work hard in school. You’re not going to get anywhere if you don’t work hard at school. Basketball is irrelevant if you don’t work hard at school. I try to stay out of them deciding what they want to do, and what they don’t want to do. When I get involved is when they decide to do something, we’re going to do it to the best of their ability. We’re not going to do anything half way. I believe in that.”

Hawks appears to practice what he preaches, teaming up with John Robinson, owner of JRob’s to establish a workout regimen with the boys.

Robinson said that the beginning of their training had more to do with getting their bodies right and preparing a foundation. Once that was accomplished, their performance on the court skyrocketed. Robinson also focused attention to the mental aspect of their training, throwing new things at them in workouts and forcing them to overcome the mental walls physical fatigue can build. Robinson says that their mental toughness was on full display at the state tournament in the Alamodome.

“You saw the other teams start to slow down or have to substitute,” he said. “But these kids got faster and stronger as the game went on. That’s because they’ve done the work and earned that ability. The training we do is a lot about taking on more once you’re tired.” They also continued their work with Chasteen which the retired Coppell coach hoped would not step on the toes of Alan Green, the Bulls head coach.

“During the regular season there is some shooting and skill work,” he said. “I try to coordinate with Coach Green. Usually the travel team coach isn’t in unison with the high school coach. It’s the opposite. There have been times when the whole program comes and works with me two nights a week and sometimes three.”

He also praised Green for how he molded the team and guided them through the season and the playoffs on the way to a championship.

As much as Chasteen, Finley, Green and Robinson have helped the four boys understand what it takes to be great basketball players, Hawks hopes that he can show them what it takes to be good to others.

“I’ve always tried to include them in our Seats for Soldiers night where we get all of the front row seats for a Mavs game and give them to wounded soldiers from the Brooke Army Medical Center,” he said. “I think the important lesson for them is that they’re fortunate right now. There’s a lot of people in the world that aren’t as fortunate, and whether they need your help financially if you’re able to give it, or they just need a hug or a smile and some encouragement…there’s a lot of people out there that need help and I hope that if they’re in position to do that, they will step up and do that stuff.”

Last Christmas, Hawks got in touch with a woman that had recently moved out of a shelter and into an apartment with her two sons. He and Jamie encouraged their boys to help buy presents for all three and give the small single-mother family a special holiday.

That Christmas was also memorable for the boys because it happened to be right in the middle of their dominant 2014 basketball season.

At one point, however, it seemed that their state championship hopes might be derailed when Devonte Patterson was suddenly suspended from the team. The suspension only fueled the rumor fire that had spread across the area. Hawks was willing to shed a little light on what happened that day.

“I’m not going to go into the details for him because he is still a student,” he said about Patterson. “Devonte made a mistake. He’s 18-years old and he owned up to it. He has satisfied the school’s punishment for it. He’s still satisfying my punishment for it at home. I will say that it wasn’t for the consumption of drugs or alcohol, because that rumor is out there. He also has not failed a drug test or anything like that. I’m actually proud of him for the way he’s handled it. He’s moved forward and, like I said, he’s still satisfying his home requirements but we’re moving on.”

When Patterson returned to the team after fulfilling his suspension, the Bulls continued their trail to the state tournament.

In San Antonio, speculation about the Bulls picked up.

But Hawks says the boys’ ability to play legitimately under UIL rules was proven well before the season.

“There’s different provisions in the UIL bilaws and constitutions for different types of guardianship,” Hawks said. “We’re aware of those rules and we vetted them. We went to the Bridgeport superintendent and athletic director and we’re comfortable with where we’re at on those rules and that we’ve complied with them.

“One thing I’d like to clear up is that we’re referred to as transfers a lot. We’re not transfers, we’re move-ins. We’ve never participated in any UIL contest for any other schools, so we’re not tranfers, we’re move-ins.”

Cuban was also brought up at the tournament and though Mark’s wife Tiffany, and Neal’s wife Jamie are sisters, Neal describes he and Mark’s relationship as a friendship that doesn’t require them to hang out together all of the time. He says that they don’t see each other that often and that Cuban’s involvement with the Bridgeport Bulls is nonexistant.

The real story is that these move-ins came to Bridgeport to be part of a community, and in return, they brought the town its first state championship. Hawks said that it’s the community of Bridgeport that makes the state championship so special.

“They haven’t always had that support,” Hawks said. “They’ve played in a lot of empty gyms. Now, they have this community that they’re entrenched in with all of this support. I think it might actually mean more to them than anybody else, because it means so much to them being accepted by our new friends in Bridgeport.”

Hawks says that the boys have started working out again with Robinson after a two-week hiatus from their more extreme training following the title run. LaJohn is doing well at Blinn.

Keenan Holdman was named to the National Honor Society Wednesday night and Caleb and Ethan are making A’s and B’s. Hawks also says that Patterson is close to being an A/B student. Neal and Jamie continue to work with Big Brother Big Sister, where Hawks says that he’s been for 10-15 years. He is also on the board of an organization called Promising Youth Alliance, or PYA, a collaboration between the Boys and Girls Club, Big Brother Big Sister and Phoenix house that allows them to help underprivaledged children who have also been around drug and alcohol abuse.

The two parents are bracing themselves for the next four kids leaving the nest after next year.

“They will all have opportunities beyond high school,” Chasteen said. “Coach Green and I talk to Divison I college coaches all the time.

“That being said, there will come a day when there’s no more basketball. Hopefully they can transfer what they’ve learned from me, Neal and Coach Green into everyday life.”

Many have speculated a great deal about this team that came together in Bridgeport and took the 4A state title.

Many people have opinions about who these boys are, who Neal Hawks is, and how the town of Bridgeport got their state championship. Many of those opinions had little factual ground to stand on. Perhaps now the stories told about Bridgeport’s state championship can just be about a great team that won it all.

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Saturday Sports Buffet: Taylor shines on collegiate courses http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/saturday-sports-buffet-taylor-shines-on-collegiate-courses/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/saturday-sports-buffet-taylor-shines-on-collegiate-courses/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:18:55 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89084 During his four years at Northwest, Troy Taylor emerged as one of the top 5A distance runners in Texas, closing his high school career with silver and bronze medals at the state meet.

Racing to the Top

RACING TO THE TOP – Northwest High School graduate Troy Taylor is becoming one of the nation’s top runners while competing for the Mean Green at the University of North Texas. This weekend he will run in the Jerry Thompson Mile Invitational in Austin. Submitted photo

Three years later as a University of North Texas junior, the Rhome resident is becoming one of the nation’s top runners.

Taylor qualified for the NCAA Nationals in cross country in the fall and followed that up with a Conference USA indoors crown in the 3,000 over the winter.

“It’s been a great year. I’ve stayed healthy, and I’m running well,” Taylor said.

This weekend he returns to Austin and Mike Myers Stadium, where he closed his high school career, for the 88th Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays. Taylor will run in the Jerry Thompson Mile Invitational Saturday along with taking part on the distance medley.

“It’s always one of my favorite events, and I’ve always run fast there,” Taylor said. “I hope to get a good time and win.”

It’s Taylor’s second year to take part in the invitational race.

Taylor’s personal best in the mile is 4:03. His 1,500 time converts to a 4:02.

“I want to break a four-minute mile,” he admits. “I’m close.”

After a strong spring last year in which he made the NCAA West Prelims, he found an even higher level in the fall in cross country. He took third at the Conference USA Championships, leading the Mean Green to a title.

He then took ninth at the NCAA Division I South Central Regionals to earn a spot at nationals. He ran a 31:54.2 10K and finished 145th in the nation.

“It was nice running at the NCAAs,” Taylor said. “I’ve been wanting to do that. Hopefully I can make it again.”

While he’s proud of what he’s accomplished individually, he takes great pride in helping build a strong program at UNT under the direction of Stefanie Slekis. He said it’s been a similar experience to his time at Northwest with George Lutkenhaus.

“I’ve been lucky with the coaches I’ve had,” Taylor said. “[Slekis] is a great coach and has built the program. All of our guys are returning next year. It’s a great group of guys.”

Taylor’s main goal for this year is to make the NCAA Nationals. If not this year, definitely in his final year.

But along the way his goals are simpler.

“I’m just trying to run fast and win big meets,” he said.

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Track: Kevetter gets in work http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/track-kevetter-gets-in-work/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/track-kevetter-gets-in-work/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:17:54 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89081 Before heading down to Austin for the Texas Relays, Decatur senior hurdler Jacob Kevetter got in one more practice run Thursday night.

Handing Off

HANDING OFF – Decatur’s Ryan Durdon takes the baton in the 4×100 Thursday at the Fit-N-Wise Invitational. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Kevetter cruised through the 110 hurdles to an easy victory at the Fit-N-Wise Invitational at Decatur High School.

“I thought it would be a good warmup,” Kevetter said. “It was a good effort. I was just trying to get a good feel for tomorrow.

FIGHTING TO FINISH – Battling the wind and a tough field, Jessica Kyle took second in the 800 Thursday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“There will be a lot of good people. I hope to get my best time.”

Kevetter turned in a 15.34 in the prelims Friday afternoon at the Texas Relays. It was the 14th best time in the Division I high school field. The nine times qualifying for the finals were 15.20 or better.


Decatur’s Macen Stripling brought home three gold medals at the Fit-N-Wise Invitational Thursday.

The senior won the 100 hurdles, high jump and teamed with Taylor and Caitlin Butler and Bailey Berry to take the 4×400 in 4:26.78.

Stripling eased over the hurdles, running a 15.74, winning by nearly a full second.

“It was a good. My first few steps have been bad,” Stripling said. “I’ve been trying to get a better start. I still need to get out of the blocks faster.”

She won the high jump, clearing 5-0. She made three solid attempts at 5-4. On her second try at the height, she cleared it but couldn’t get her legs over.

“I want to clear 5-4 at every meet and then get 5-6,” Stripling said. “I know I can do it.”


Decatur junior Jessica Kyle jumped out to the early lead in the 800 Thursday but couldn’t hold off Liberty Christian’s Elizabeth Reneau in the final 200. Reneau passed Kyle and won in 2:26.27. Kyle turned in a 2:29.18.

“I feel like I ran well,” Kyle said. “The wind was horrible.”

Kyle fought the strong north wind at the front of the pack for both laps with Reneau making the pass beginning the final curve.

“I just ran how I normally go out,” she said. “I didn’t want to get stuck behind anyone.”

Decatur’s Kaylee Rhine took third in the race in 2:37.43.

Kyle earned a second medal, taking third in the pole vault, clearing 7-6.


In the final 400 meters of the 800 Thursday, Hunter Helm cut a five-second gap to just one.

Helm charged to a third-place finish behind Castleberry’s Adrian Perez and Colleyville Heritage’s David Perkins in 2:18.81.

“I made up a lot of ground,” Helm said. “I could’ve got first if I’d started my kick at 300.

“The wind on the backstretch was tough. You just had to lower your head and run through it.”

Helm acknowledged that it hurt his time. He turned a 2:08 the week before.

“I would like to have gone 2:04 this week but the conditions were not right,” he said. “There’s definitely room to improve.”

Christian Isaac finished eighth in 2:18.78.



Team: 1. Birdville 133; 2. Decatur 93; 3. Denton 75; 4. Lake Dallas 53; 4. Colleyville Heritage 53, 6. Springtown 51; 7. Liberty Christian 49; 8. Gainesville 43; 9. Richland 32; 10. Kennedale 31; 11. Castleberry 4

100: 7. Kallie Boner, Decatur, 13.15

200: 8. Brooklyn Bedford, Decatur, 28.17

400: 7. Taylor Butler, Decatur, 1:09.22

800: 2. Jessica Kyle, Decatur, 2:29.18; 3. Kaylee Rhine, Decatur, 2:37.43

1600: 5. Elizabeth Culpepper, Decatur, 5:53.38; 8. Georgina Palomo, Decatur, 6:00.02

3200: 5. Georgina Palomo, Decatur, 12:56.9; 6. Elizabeth Culpepper, Decatur, 12:59.37

100 hurdles: 1. Macen Stripling, Decatur, 15.74; 5. Caitlin Butler, Decatur, 16.78

300 hurdles: 3. Caitlin Butler, Decatur, 51.68

4×100: 6. Decatur (Kallie Boner, Kelsie Worley, Brooklyn Bedford, Bailey Berry), 53.79

4×200: 4. Decatur (Brooklyn Bedford, Macen Stripling, Bailey Berry, Taylor Butler), 1:55.34

4×400: 1. Decatur (Taylor Butler, Caitlin Butler, Bailey Berry, Macen Stripling), 4:26.78

High jump: 1. Macen Stripling, Decatur, 5-0; 6. Kallie Boner, Decatur, 4-8

Pole vault: 3. Jessica Kyle, Decatur, 7-6

Long jump: 6. Taylor Butler, Decatur, 15-11.75; 8. Kelsie Worley, Decatur, 15-10

Triple jump: 3. Taylor Butler, Decatur, 33-11; 5. Macen Stripling, Decatur, 33-6.75; 7. Makayla Mayfield, Decatur, 32-10

Shot put: 5. Madison Kyle, Decatur, 31-7


SPLASH LANDING – Decatur’s Dane Fitzgerald lands in the pit after his long jump effort. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Team: 1. Birdville 96; 1. Kennedale 96; 3. Colleyville Heritage 83; 4. Richland 66; 5. Liberty Christian 62; 6. Denton 56; 7. Decatur 46; 8. Castleberry 40; 9. Burkburnett 22; 10. Springtown 19; 11. Gainesville 18; 12. Lake Dallas 17.5

400: 4. Christian Isaac, Decatur, 54.92; 7. Hunter Helm, Decatur, 55.15

800: 3. Hunter Helm, Decatur, 2:13.81; 8. Christian Isaac, Decatur, 2:18.78

1600: 6. Parker Cullop, Decatur, 4:52.21; 7. Alan Rangle, Decatur, 4:54.43

3200: 6. Alan Ragle, Decatur, 10:45.4

110 hurdles: 1. Jacob Kevetter, Decatur, NT

4×100: 5. Decatur (Ryan Durdon, Dylan Nation, Dane Fitzgerald, Addison Nation), 45.24

4×200: 3. Decatur (Addison Nation, Dane Fitzgerald, Ryan Durdon, Dru Anderson), 1:36.34

4×400: 5. Decatur (Dru Anderson, Ryan Durdon, Dane Fitzgerald, Dylan Nation), 3:50.93

Long jump: 2. Dane Fitzgerald, Decatur, 21-7.5; 7. Dru Anderson, Decatur, 20-7.5

Discus: 3. Cole Stallard, Decatur, 120-0

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Track: Lady Panthers capture relays http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/track-lady-panthers-capture-relays/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/track-lady-panthers-capture-relays/#comments Sun, 29 Mar 2015 00:15:18 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89076 Led by Kyndall McCasland, Taylor Richards and a dominant relay performance, the Paradise Lady Panthers beat Graham by 15 points to take first place at the Jacksboro Invitational Thursday.

TAKING FLIGHT – Bridgeport’s Bailey Thompson takes off in the triple jump during the Jacksboro meet Thursday. Messenger Photo by Mack Thweatt

McCasland posted a 49.42 in the 300 hurdles to take first place at the meet and Taylor Richards won gold in the long jump and third in the triple jump.

The Lady Panthers relay teams took first in the 4×100 and 4×200, and got the silver in the 4×400.

Other top finishers include Slidell’s Caitlin Pruett who won the 800 with a time of 2:33.01, and Boyd’s Linsay Thorpe won the gold in the discus and silver in the shot put.

For the boys, Chris Hernandez took his second consecutive gold medal in the high jump, clearing 6 foot for Bridgeport, and his teammate Eric Aguilar got the silver in the 1600 and 3200.

The Paradise boys’ 45.17 was good for a gold medal in the 4×100.


Boys team results: 3. Bridgeport, 4. Paradise, 6. Boyd, 11. Chico

100: 2. Austin Hogan, Paradise, 11.30; 6. Cash Preather, Paradise, 11.78; 9. Zildjian Brooks, Paradise, 11.85; 12. Roger Mastin, Bridgeport, 12.04; 14. Keenan Holdman, Bridgeport, 12.18; 16. Frank Williams, Chico, 12.25; 20. Cameron Starnes, Chico, 12.54; 21. Caleb Smith, Bridgeport, 12.56; 22. Justin Milligan, Boyd, 12.59; 23. Jesse Neagle, Chico, 12.60

200: 3. Troy Thompson, Boyd, 24.04; 5. Xavier Kyle, Boyd, 24.55; 9. Nick Loney, Paradise, 24.95; 11. Chris Hernandez, Bridgeport, 24.98; 15. Ethan Chapman, Bridgeport, 25.63; 16. Dillon McAlister, Bridgeport, 25.65; 17. Jesse Neagle, Chico, 25.73; 19. Frank Williams, Chico, 25.85; 20. Jayston McBee, Chico, 25.93, 21. Brayden Ford, Paradise, 26.00; 27. Tyler Arozemena, Paradise, 27.70

400: 7. Conner Snell, Paradise, 57.44; 10. Ryan Dunn, Bridgeport, 57.87; 12. Francisco Martinez, Slidell, 58.30; 13. Cameron Hammett, Boyd, 59.06; 14. Jacob Roper, Bridgeport, 59.08; 16. Brayden Ford, Paradise, 59.54; 17. Kyler Carnes, Slidell, 1:00.78; 19. Walker Gladden, Slidell, 1:00.97; 20. Isaiah Williams, Chico, 1:01.45; 22. Brady North, Chico, 1:03.26; 23. Keeton Ford, Boyd, 1:03.67; 24. Tyler Hamblin, Bridgeport, 1:04.43; 25. Tyler Arozemena, Paradise, 1:04.97

800: 6. Conner Snell, Paradise, 2:20.20

1600: 2. Eric Aguilar, Bridgeport, 4:48.87; 5. Aaron Hammett, Boyd, 4:57.39; 6. Salvador Garcia, Bridgeport, 5:00.81

3200: 2. Eric Aguilar, Bridgeport, 10:49.62; 3. Marco Martinez, Boyd, 10:50.07; 4. Aaron Hammett, Boyd, 10:54.72; 5. Salvador Garcia, Bridgeport, 11:10.16; 6. Nathan Garcia, Boyd, 11:10.26

110 hurdles: 9. Grayson Cobb, Paradise, 18.15; 11. Colton Crane, Slidell, 20.06; 12. Tyler Sparks, Chico, 21.69; 13. Jace Hardee, Chico, 21.85

300 hurdles: 3. Tyler Raby, Bridgeport, 43.58; 8. Grayson Cobb, Paradise, 48.42; 9. Colton Crane, Slidell, 50.66, 11. Tyler Sparks, Chico, 55.67; 12. Jace Hardee, Chico, 1:04.20

4×100: 1. Paradise, 45.17; 3. Boyd, 45.70; 4. Bridgeport, 45.86; 5. Chico, 46.35; 6. Bowie, 47.18

4×200: 3. Boyd, 1:34.95; 4. Paradise, 1:35.60; 5. Bridgeport, 1:37.34; 8. Chico, 1:38.54; 10. Slidell, 1:48.61

4×400: 4. Paradise, 3:38.08; 6. Bridgeport, 3:39.04; 8. Chico, 3:50.94

High Jump: 1. Chris Hernandez, Bridgeport, 6-00; 5. Brayden Ford, Paradise, 5-06

Pole Vault: 3. Zildjian Brooks, Paradise, 10-06

Long Jump: 2. Seth Keener, Bridgeport, 19-03; 3. Cash Preather, Paradise, 19-02.50; 5. Ryan Dunn, Bridgeport, 18-11; 7. Darian Sotomi, Paradise, 18-10; 8. Kalen Johnson, Chico, 18-09.25; 11. Jacob Roper, Bridgeport, 17-11.50; 12. Crese Redman, Chico, 17-03.75; 13. Corbin Blackwood, Chico, 17-02.50; 17. Khristian Talamantes, Slidell, 15-09.75

Triple Jump: 3. Cash Preather, Paradise, 40-07; 4. Tyler Raby, Bridgeport, 40-00.75; 5. Chase Williams, Bridgeport, 39-11; 6. Caleb Smith, Bridgeport, 39-05

Shot Put: 3. Anthony Ortiz, Bridgeport, 44-01

Discus: 6. Anthony Ortiz, Bridgeport, 110-06.50


Girls team results: 1. Paradise, 6. Bridgeport, 10. Slidell, 12. Boyd, 13. Chico

100: 10. Courtney Cline, Paradise, 14.03; 19. Shelby Preston, Bridgeport, 14.77; 20. Ayesha Parr, Chico, 14.78; 21. Allison Maddux, Chico, 15.03; 22. Morgan Abbot, Boyd, 15.04; 26. Sydnie Parketon, Chico, 15.51; 27. Vanity Johnson, Bridgeport, 16.11

200: 2. Aliya Read, Paradise, 27.64; 3. Allie Raby, Bridgeport, 27.69; 12. Courtney Cline, Paradise, 29.00; 13. Brandi Anderson, Bridgeport, 29.51; 20. Britton Petty, Chico, 30.14; 21. Hunter Rodgers, Paradise, 30.27; 22. Bailee Harris, Boyd, 30.54; 26. Macie Lingle, Chico, 31.07; 30. Jessica Byers, Chico, 32.43

400: 5. Mikaela Beck, Paradise, 1:05.51; 6. Caitlin Pruett, Slidell, 1:06.64; 8. Hunter Rodgers, Paradise, 1:06.98; 9. Kaitlyn Robinson, Paradise, 1:08.86; 12. Bailey Thompson, Bridgeport, 1:10.04; 18. Laynee North, Chico, 1:12.38; 20. Brandi Anderson, Bridgeport, 1:12.52; 25. Kayler Talamantes, Slidell, 1:14.19; 26. Jessica Byers, Chico, 1:14.37; 27. Sofia Scott, Boyd, 1:15.29; 28. Kiley Marburger, Chico, 1:19.71

800: 1. Caitlin Pruett, Slidell, 2:33.01; 3. Diana Garcia, Bridgeport, 2:36.26; 6. Taylor Richards, Paradise, 2:40.84

1600: 3. April Courtney, Paradise, 6:07.23; 4. Hannah Pearson, Paradise, 6:07.40

3200: 2. Hannah Pearson, Paradise, 13:17.40

100 hurdles: 4. Stormi Lamb, Paradise, 17.76; 10. Alli York, Chico, 18.62; 11. Amber French, Paradise, 18.69; 13. Whitney Renfro, Chico, 19.56; 14. Raven Leal, Chico, 20.61; 15. Sydney Keating, Slidell, 21.16; 16. Kylie Franklin, Slidell, 21.27; 18. Brooklyn Rambsel, Slidell, 21.97

300 hurdles: 1. Kyndall McCasland, Paradise, 49.42; 2. Courtney Cline, Paradise, 51.11; 4. Kayson Roof, Slidell, 52.48; 7. Stormi Lamb, Paradise, 53.26; 8. Whitney Renfro, Chico, 53.36; 10. Sadie White, Bridgeport, 54.30; 11. Kristain Bowen, Boyd, 55.52; 16. Raven Leal, Chico, 57.37; 17. Sydney Keating, Slidell, 1:01.08; 19. Brooklyn Rambsel, Slidell, 1:03.44

4×100: 1. Paradise, 52.49; 5. Bridgeport, 53.96; 6. Chico, 58.35

4×200: 1. Paradise, 1:50.63; 6. Chico, 2:02.70; 7. Slidell, 2:09.64

4X400: 2. Paradise, 4:19.50; 4. Bridgeport, 4:30.80; 7. Boyd, 4:39.87; 9. Slidell, 4:46.08; 10. Chico, 4:52.03

Pole Vault: 2. Kayson Roof, Slidell, 7-06; 4. Britton Petty, Chico, 7-00

Long Jump: 1. Taylor Richards, Paradise, 16-06.5; 4. Bailey Thomas, Bridgeport, 16-04.5

Triple Jump: 3. Taylor Richards, Paradise, 33-10; 4. Allie Raby, Bridgeport, 33-10; 7. Amber French, Paradise, 32-02; 8. Kaitlyn Robinson, Paradise, 32-00; 11. Alli York, Chico, 30-09; 13. Shelby Preston, Bridgeport, 29-07; 15. Macie Lingle, Chico, 26-02

Shot Put: 2. Lindsey Thorpe, Boyd, 35-05; 6. Bailee Miller, Paradise, 31-05; 7. McKenna Flake, Chico, 28-00; 9. Natalie Smith, Bridgeport, 27-10; 11. Jessica Redwine, Chico, 27-01; 11. Samantha Hancock, Bridgeport, 27-01; 14. Ashtin Cozby, Boyd, 25-08; 17. Bailey Hornsby, Chico, 25-01; 19. Kaitlyn Melvin, Paradise, 23-07

Discus: 1. Lindsey Thorpe, Boyd, 86-05; 3. Sadie Freeman, Chico, 83-03

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