WCMessenger.com http://www.wcmessenger.com Wise County Messenger Online Edition Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:35:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Thursday, November 20, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/update/thursday-november-20-2014/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/update/thursday-november-20-2014/#comments Thu, 20 Nov 2014 14:10:30 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83722

MAINTENANCE CONTRACT TABLED – The Bridgeport City Council voted Tuesday night to table a motion to enter into a contract with USW Utilities for maintenance on the water treatment plant. The decision was made after it was discovered that the city worker who would be affected by the contract wanted to continue working for the city, citing better retirement benefits as a factor. The issue was made into a workshop item for the council’s next meeting. The council also passed an amendment to city code that will require food trucks in the area to undergo initial inspection. Read more in the weekend Wise County Messenger.

SUICIDE PREVENTION MEETING – The Community Alliance for Suicide Prevention will hold a public meeting at 6 tonight at the Weatherford College Wise County lecture hall. A panel of community leaders, healthcare professionals, suicide loss survivors and a suicide prevention specialist will be on hand to answer questions. The public is invited to share their thoughts and opinions. Light refreshments will be served. Call Patti Shearin at 817-264-4611 or email patti.shearin@dshs.state.tx.us.

OFFICE CLOSED FRIDAY – The Veteran Service Office in Decatur will be closed Friday so staff can attend quarterly training in Dallas. The office will reopen 8 a.m. Monday.

BULLS SEND-OFF RALLY – The Bridgeport Bulls football team will be traveling to Stephenville Friday to play the Sweetwater Mustangs. The buses will pull out of town at 3 p.m. Fans are asked to line Halsell Street as the buses go by, honk their horns and wave signs as a show of support for the team.

MOCKINGJAY RELEASE PARTY – Decatur Public Library is hosting a “Mockingjay Part I” movie release party 4 p.m. today for teens (sixth through 12th grade). There will be Hunger Games inspired activities and snacks. For information, visit www.decaturpubliclibrary.com or call 940-393-0290.

LITTLE DRIBBLERS – Wise County Little Dribblers registration is 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday at Hibbetts in Decatur. Last day to register is Nov. 29. Any children in Wise County ages pre-k through fourth grade may participate. Registration is $65 and $30 for each additional child. Practices start the week of Jan. 5.

FREEDOM TEXAS – Freedom Texas will hold a public meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 25, in the meeting room at Pizza Hut, 501 S. Washburn St., in Decatur. This is a group that educates people about the sovereignty, security and self-sufficiency of Texas and promotes its eventual independence. Anyone who wishes to learn more about these subjects is invited. Contact Brenda Vaughn, 940-748-2535.

WILLY WONKA – Decatur High School Theater presents Roald Dahl’s “Willy Wonka, The Musical” 7 p.m. today through Saturday in the DHS auditorium. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and children.

SPECIAL STORY TIME – Fall Friday Fun is 10:30 a.m. Friday at Decatur Public Library. The special story time event is for preschoolers and families with young children. For information, visit www.decaturpubliclibrary.com or call 940-393-0290.

ALVORD SCHOOL BOARD – The Alvord school board will meet tonight. The agenda includes reports from principals, the superintendent and board members as well as the routine approval of bills and the tax collection report. Also due are reports on Highly Qualified Teachers and the district’s wellness policy, as well as budget amendments, student transfers and any personnel recommendations that may come forward. The meeting is 7 p.m. at the Administration Building, 100 Mosley Lane. It’s open to the public.

FUNERALS – Funeral for Terry F. Wood, 68, of Decatur is 2 p.m. today at First Baptist Church of Decatur with burial at East Bridgeport Cemetery. Coker-Hawkins Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

FUNERAL for Darrell Ray Morris, 54, of Alvord is 10 a.m. Friday at Coker-Hawkins with burial at Oaklawn Cemetery. Family visitation is 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the funeral home.

FUNERAL for Melvin Lester Vickers, 76, of Decatur is 11 a.m. Friday at Decatur Church of Christ with burial at Oaklawn Cemetery. Visitation is one hour prior to the service at the church. Coker-Hawkins is handling arrangements.

GRAVESIDE service for Della Brooks, 81, of Chico is 11 a.m. Saturday at Chico Cemetery. Visitation is 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport.

MEMORIAL service for John Harold Payne Sr., 60, of Azle is 2 p.m. Saturday at the home of Terry Thomas. For directions, call Pat, 817-399-8583; or Sandy, 817-361-3969. Christian-Hawkins Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

SERVICE is pending for William Green, 77 of Boyd at Christian-Hawkins.

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2014 Decatur Lady Eagles: A Look Back http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/uncategorized/2014-decatur-lady-eagles-a-look-back/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/uncategorized/2014-decatur-lady-eagles-a-look-back/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 19:00:09 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83718 Decatur-Volleyball-Page

Blue-Streak

Fantastic Four
Decatur senior quartet tries to lead Lady Eagles to second crown
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, November 19, 2014
Read full story…

ELATED STATE
Lady Eagles claim clash of champs
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, November 19, 2014

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Serious power
Competitive Lowery fuels Lady Eagles
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, November 19, 2014

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Decatur faces Robinson for spot in finals
Rockettes beat Bellville to reach state tourney
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, November 19, 2014

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Lowery lifts Lady Eagles to regional finals
Hitter buries 12 kills in win
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, November 15, 2014

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Defense spurs Lady Eagle to win
Decatur makes 52 digs in sweep
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, November 15, 2014

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Mayfield lands at TWU
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, November 15, 2014

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Martin joins DBU
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, November 15, 2014

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Lady Eagles dispose of Iowa Park in 3
By Bob Buckel
Published Wednesday, November 12, 2014

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Lady Eagles ready to get back on court
Decatur meets Iowa Park in area match
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, November 8, 2014

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Lady Eagles blast Venus in playoff opener
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, November 5, 2014

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Perfect again
Lady Eagles close sixth straight unbeaten run through district
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, November 1, 2014

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Lady Eagles spike Sissies
Decatur hits .639 in 55th straight win
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, October 29, 2014

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Lady Eagles reach milestone
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, October 25, 2014

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Decatur picks off Grapevine
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, October 22, 2014

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Saturday Sports Buffet: Family flock
Lady Eagles share variety of family relationships
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, October 18, 2014

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Senior sweep
Lady Eagles cruise to win on Senior Night
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, October 18, 2014

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Lady Eagles extend winning streak
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, October 15, 2014

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Mayfield, Decatur sweep Sissies
Lady Eagles continue district streak
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, October 11, 2014

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Lady Eagles storm Castleberry
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, October 8, 2014

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Lady Eagles sweep Legacy
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, October 4, 2014

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Lady Eagles keep district streak rolling
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, October 1, 2014

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No. 2 Decatur takes down Argyle in four
Pep talk fuels late surge
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, September 27, 2014

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Lady Eagles sweep Abilene Wiley
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, September 24, 2014

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Eagles face pair of rivals
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, September 20, 2014

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Covering all bases
Sophomore fills multiple roles for Lady Eagles
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, September 13, 2014

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Lady Eagles serve up home win over Ryan
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, September 13, 2014

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Decatur wins in 4
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, September 10, 2014

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Decatur rolls past Fossil Ridge
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, September 6, 2014

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Decatur goes 3-3 in tourney
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, September 3, 2014

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Lady Eagles return home, slam No. 1 Brock
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, August 30, 2014

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Decatur keeps tough schedule in perspective
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, August 30, 2014

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Lady Eagles take second at NISD
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, August 27, 2014

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Lady Eagles fall to Aledo
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, August 23, 2014

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Decatur stays atop 4A poll
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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Lady Eagles battle for gold
Decatur goes 4-1 at elite tourney
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, August 16, 2014

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Decatur heads to tough tourney
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, August 13, 2014
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Starting on top
Lady Eagles begin season ranked No. 1 in TGCA poll
By Richard Greene
Published Saturday, August 9, 2014

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Quarterback on court
Senior setter leads Decatur into season
By Richard Greene
Published Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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Fantastic Four: Decatur senior quartet tries to lead Lady Eagles to second crown http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/fantastic-four-decatur-senior-quartet-tries-to-lead-lady-eagles-to-second-crown/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/fantastic-four-decatur-senior-quartet-tries-to-lead-lady-eagles-to-second-crown/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:56:45 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83679 The statistics, accolades, wins and titles tell a story of unparalleled success for the quartet of Caroline Lowery, Cooper Martin, Makayla Mayfield and Stormi Leonard.

But it’s friendship that powers the success of Decatur’s “Fantastic Four.”

“We’re so close. We’re best friends on and off the court,” Lowery explained. “They’re like a security blanket. We’ve played club for years. I’ve been honored to get to play with them.”

Cencter of the Action

CENTER OF THE ACTION – The Decatur senior quartet of Makayla Mayfield, Stormi Leonard, Cooper Martin and Caroline Lowery have helped the Lady Eagles to four straight district titles and a second state tournament berth. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Friday the four will don the Decatur blue and white for the Class 4A semifinal at Garland’s Curtis Culwell Center at 1 p.m. to play for a spot in the University Interscholastic League championship on Saturday – the opportunity to win a second state title.

The four know that Friday or Saturday will be their last time together on the floor.

FIRING AWAY – Senior Cooper Martin and the trio of seniors she’s been on varsity with four years will try for a second state title this weekend. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“It didn’t hit me until yesterday when Makayla tweeted out this was the last weekend of volleyball,” Leonard said. “This will be the last time we play together and put on this jersey. It’s sad to think it’ll be over. But it’s also exciting because we really want to win it again.”

The quartet first came together in fifth grade during intermediate school. Since then, they’ve been inseparable.

“We’ve been on the same club team, then played together in middle school and high school,” Mayfield said. “I’m either with them for volleyball or hanging out.”

Sometimes that spills over into the night for impromptu slumber parties.

“I’ve had them stay over on a school night,” Leonard said. “They are my family. My grandparents consider them their grandchildren. I see them more than my family.”

And like family, their relationships thrive on their vastly different personalities – ranging from goofy to intense.

“I’m the goofy outspoken one that is willing to do anything,” Leonard said.

Lowery is on the opposite end.

“I’m the serious one,” Lowery said. “People say they are scared of me off the court.”

Mayfield is the shy one in the group.

“I don’t talk much. Stormi does enough talking for all of us,” Mayfield jokes.

“The four of us keep each other accountable. We know what to say to each other and who will take it the best.”

Martin is the balance of all of the personalities.

“I’m the mix of Stormi and Caroline,” Martin explains. “It’s what helps us get along so well; we are so different.”

Decatur coach Claire Benedict-Gay agrees.

“They all bring something different,” she said. “At different times one personality is needed, and other times they need to be serious. Sometimes it’s best when nothing is said.

“With them being so different, they’ve been able to gel,” she said. “And with them being such friends off the court, it’s what kept them together and made them into a fierce group.”

After a successful middle school run, the four were identified quickly by Benedict-Gay as future cornerstones of the program. All four made the varsity as freshmen to play reserve spots behind the talented cast of seniors that included Kortney Tompkins and Joey Redwine.

“From the beginning, we knew this was a class to be reckoned with,” the Decatur coach said. “Their freshman season, they played some in different roles. But they were there and learned the system.”

Their sophomore year, the keys were handed over to the quartet to become the team leaders. They guided Decatur to its first region final before falling to Argyle.

At the end of the year, Leonard earned Wise County MVP and Martin the Offensive Player of the Year. Mayfield and Lowery earned all-county spots, and the quartet swept the superlative awards in 9-3A.

As juniors, the team was on a mission – win state. After sweeping their district, they dispatched Argyle in the playoffs in another five-set classic before taking the region title. They then cruised through the state tournament to capture the program’s first state title last November.

“It didn’t hit us what we accomplished until we saw it on TV,” Martin said. “We just did that. Then on the bus ride home, we said doing it twice would be pretty amazing.”

The Lady Eagles battled through an early schedule filled with state-contending 6A and 5A schools, finishing with a winning record. With the quartet leading the way, Decatur swept its district again, extending the program’s league winning streak to 56 games.

“It’s crazy when you think about what they’ve accomplished,” Benedict-Gay said. “They’ve never lost a district match or set. It’s hard to see them go. They’ve definitely set a high bar for the future of Decatur volleyball and will leave large shoes to fill.

“They’ve been like children. I’ve seen them grow not only through volleyball but life.”

After high school, Mayfield is headed to play at Texas Woman’s University with former Lady Eagle Redwine. Martin is going to Dallas Baptist to continue playing. Leonard is planning on playing on the next level, and Lowery has made the decision not to play in college, foregoing several opportunities.

“It’s crazy this is the last one,” Lowery said.

After four years have flown by one win at a time, the foursome has just one fantastic ending in mind – winning a second state title.

“It feels like our freshman year was last year,” Mayfield explained. “It’s crazy we’ve already spent four years playing. Hopefully we can end it on a good note.”

UIL VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS

at Curtis Culwell Center in Garland

4A SEMIFINALS

Friday, Nov. 21
Decatur vs. Robinson, 1 p.m. Argyle vs. Liberty Hill, 3 p.m.

4A FINAL

Saturday, Nov. 22
4A Final, 2 p.m.

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Warden dies in Austin wreck http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/warden-dies-in-austin-wreck/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/warden-dies-in-austin-wreck/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:55:19 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83675 ...

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Early morning fire ‘suspicious’ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/early-morning-fire-suspicious/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/early-morning-fire-suspicious/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:54:16 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83672 ...

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Decatur School Board continues discussion of possible bond issue http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/decatur-school-board-continues-discussion-of-possible-bond-issue/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/decatur-school-board-continues-discussion-of-possible-bond-issue/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:53:25 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83669 ...

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Paradise City Council amends water rules http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/paradise-city-council-amends-water-rules/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/paradise-city-council-amends-water-rules/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:52:54 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83667 ...

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Paradise ISD board remains the same http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/paradise-isd-board-remains-the-same/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/paradise-isd-board-remains-the-same/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:51:48 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83664 ...

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Agenda Brief for Wednesday, November 19, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/agenda-brief-for-wednesday-november-19-2014/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/agenda-brief-for-wednesday-november-19-2014/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:51:17 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83662 ...

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Closing in on Bridgeport stadium renovation http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/closing-in-on-bridgeport-stadium-renovation/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/closing-in-on-bridgeport-stadium-renovation/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:50:44 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83660 ...

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Paradise City Council to interview prospective members http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/paradise-city-council-to-interview-prospective-members/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/paradise-city-council-to-interview-prospective-members/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:50:04 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83658 ...

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Boyd dual-credit class prepares students for real world http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/boyd-dual-credit-class-prepares-students-for-real-world/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/boyd-dual-credit-class-prepares-students-for-real-world/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:49:38 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83656 ...

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Boyd ISD Student Spotlights for Wednesday, November 19, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/boyd-isd-student-spotlights-for-wednesday-november-19-2014/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/boyd-isd-student-spotlights-for-wednesday-november-19-2014/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:48:29 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83653 ...

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Education Briefs for Wednesday, November 19, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/education-briefs-for-wednesday-november-19-2014/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/education/education-headlines/education-briefs-for-wednesday-november-19-2014/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:46:48 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83647 ...

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Rue picked for White House summit http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/rue-picked-for-white-house-summit/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/rue-picked-for-white-house-summit/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:46:21 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83645 ...

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News Briefs for Wednesday, November 19, 2014 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news-briefs/news-briefs-for-wednesday-november-19-2014/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news-briefs/news-briefs-for-wednesday-november-19-2014/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:45:25 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83642 ...

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Volleyball: ELATED STATE – Lady Eagles claim clash of champs http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-elated-state-lady-eagles-claim-clash-of-champs/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-elated-state-lady-eagles-claim-clash-of-champs/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:44:53 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83640 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.

Jumping for Joy

JUMPING FOR JOY – Decatur libero Maclaine Lowery jumps in celebration after the Lady Eagles beat No. 2 Bushland in four games Saturday in the 4A Region I final at The Coliseum in Snyder. Decatur will take on Robinson in the 4A semifinal at 1 p.m. Friday in Garland. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“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.”

Decatur returns to the University Interscholastic League volleyball championships at Curtis Culwell Center in Garland for a second straight year. They will take on Robinson in the 4A semifinal at 1 p.m.

“This has been on my mind the whole year,” said setter Stormi Leonard, who dished out 42 assists, earning a spot on the all-region team. “To make it back my senior season is all that I wanted.”

Argyle and Liberty Hill will play in the other state semifinal.

ON THE ATTACK – Decatur’s Caroline Lowery hits the ball during the Lady Eagles’ win over Bushland in the 4A Region I final. She was named the MVP of the regional tournament. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“It’s easier to get to the top of the mountain. It’s hard to stay there,” said Decatur coach Claire Benedict-Gay. “Setting up the preseason matches I did – and we were struggling mentally through them – but they were necessary for us to get where we wanted to be. We knew this team was in our region.”

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.

“They served very well. That’s something we work on is siding out quickly,” Benedict-Gay said. “They kept us out of our system that first set. We finally settled down and started passing better and were able to run our entire 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.

“Making sure all our hitters were available was big for us,” Benedict-Gay said. “When they had to defend everyone, it left some 1-on-1s and some open shots.”

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.

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Volleyball: Serious power – Competitive Lowery fuels Lady Eagles http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-serious-power-competitive-lowery-fuels-lady-eagles/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-serious-power-competitive-lowery-fuels-lady-eagles/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:43:58 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83636 In the Class 4A Region I semifinal, Caroline Lowery swung her powerful arm and spiked the ball off a Big Spring player, who took several seconds before being able to get off the court.

The Decatur senior’s fury unleashed on a volleyball can be a terrifying sight to even her teammates.

“She gave me a concussion my sophomore year during a drill,” Decatur setter Stormi Leonard recalled. “I had a pad up as a blocker and the ball went by it and I took the hardest hit straight in the face.”

Destructive Force

DESTRUCTIVE FORCE – Decatur’s Caroline Lowery blasts a ball over Big Springs defenders during the Class 4A Region semifinal. Lowery put down 12 kills in the win. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Lowery’s power and skill has turned her into one of the state’s top hitters. Entering Friday’s Class 4A semifinal against Robinson, she has a team-high 471 kills, averaging 3.9 per set. Her hitting percentage on 1,107 attempts is .319.

“She’s had a great year and been a great leader,” said Decatur coach Claire Benedict-Gay.

Lowery generates her jaw-dropping power despite being far from the tallest player on the floor. Instead of relying on height, she uses strength.

“I go to the gym and JRobs and work out,” Lowery said. “I’m always working the muscles in my legs.”

Another Honor

ANOTHER HONOR – Decatur’s Caroline Lowery accepts the Class 4A Region I tournament MVP award. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Benedict-Gay added: “She’s just strong. She works out in the gym and our offseason program. But she also plays a lot of volleyball.”

On top of that raw strength is a competitive drive to be the best that she credits her father Chris, a former football player at Oklahoma State, with giving her.

“He’s always been part of the reason. He’s pushed me – but I wanted to be like him,” Lowery said.

That competitiveness doesn’t stop when she steps off the volleyball court.

“I’ve always been competitive. I hate losing so much,” Lowery said. “That’s why in training I work so hard. My goal is to win everything.”

That strong desire to win gives her a near-stoic and intimidating demeanor between the lines, in sharp contrast to some of her light-hearted teammates.

“I don’t laugh for smile,” Lowery said. “Some of it is to intimidate the other team.”

Sometimes that intimidation carries over off the floor.

“People say they are scared of me off the floor,” Lowery admits.

While her demeanor intimidates some, her coach identifies with it.

“It is almost scary at times. She’s just extremely competitive,” Benedict-Gay said. “I appreciate it. I was that way when I played.”

While her ability to kill the ball has helped the Lady Eagles become a terrifying force, Lowery has turned into a complete player. She has a team-high 87 aces from the service line, and her 426 digs are second on the team.

Last year for part of the season, Lowery fought through a shoulder injury and wasn’t available to hit. She only played on the back row.

“It killed me, especially when we played Argyle at a tournament,” Lowery said. “I knew I could help. I hate sitting out more than anything.”

But after the state tournament this weekend, Lowery plans to stop playing volleyball. Despite inquiries from scouts about playing on the next level, she has decided not to pursue any college volleyball opportunities.

She plans to go to Oklahoma State, like her father.

“I could go somewhere else, but I don’t want to go to a college that I don’t want to just for volleyball,” Lowery said. “I want to study abroad.”

While she admits there’s a little burnout after playing club volleyball for many years, Lowery knows it will be a tough transition.

“It’s a huge part of my life,” she said. “It hasn’t hit me yet.”

But she could have at least two matches to take her own shots at anyone on the other side of the net.

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Volleyball: Decatur faces Robinson for spot in finals – Rockettes beat Bellville to reach state tourney http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-decatur-faces-robinson-for-spot-in-finals-rockettes-beat-bellville-to-reach-state-tourney/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-decatur-faces-robinson-for-spot-in-finals-rockettes-beat-bellville-to-reach-state-tourney/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:42:33 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83632 After recording 38 wins, the Decatur Lady Eagles are just two more away from the prize they covet – a second state title.

But to get that opportunity for a second state crown, the Lady Eagles (38-10) must get past Robinson in the 4A semifinal at 1 p.m. Friday at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland.

Robinson (39-11) earned its spot in the state tournament by beating Bellville – who lost to Decatur in the state final last year – in the Region III final. Robinson won the match 25-23, 16-25, 25-23, 25-22.

The Rockettes, who are making their first state appearance since 1971, are led by outside hitter Bailey Meggs, who was the Region III tournament MVP.

She had 36 kills over two matches at the region tournament.

“They have one really good hitter,” said Decatur coach Claire Benedict-Gay. “We have to be smart, make adjustments and pass the ball well.”

After facing the strong attacks of Big Spring and Bushland, the Lady Eagles feel they are prepared.

“We just need to focus on the gameplan and take care of stuff on our side of the net,” said Decatur senior setter Stormi Leonard.

Of teams at the state tournament in all classes, Decatur has faced four – League City Clear Falls, Argyle, Aledo and Brock.

The Lady Eagles are 3-2 against them, including a split with Aledo.

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Football: Catching on – Holdman becomes instant threat for Bulls in first season http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-catching-on-holdman-becomes-instant-threat-for-bulls-in-first-season/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-catching-on-holdman-becomes-instant-threat-for-bulls-in-first-season/#comments Wed, 19 Nov 2014 16:42:08 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83630 ...

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