WCMessenger.com http://www.wcmessenger.com Wise County Messenger Online Edition Sat, 22 Nov 2014 21:15:38 +0000 en-US hourly 1 True blue: Decatur faithful cheer volleyball team on its way to state competition http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/true-blue-decatur-faithful-cheer-volleyball-team-on-its-way-to-state-competition/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/true-blue-decatur-faithful-cheer-volleyball-team-on-its-way-to-state-competition/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 21:00:36 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83865 Carrying signs for her daughters, Maclaine and Caroline, Amy Lowery walked into the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland Friday afternoon after a hurried couple of days.

“I went yesterday to Tyler to pick up my mother. We call it the Grand Jan Dash,” Mrs. Lowery explains. “She’ll be here. She’s nearly 84 and didn’t want to miss this.”

Along with dealing with those logistics, Mrs. Lowery hides her nerves on this day.

Go Eagles

GO EAGLES – Fans of the Decatur High School volleyball team chant Friday in support of their defending state champions. The Lady Eagles made it to the state title match again by defeating Robinson. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“The parents, we’re a nervous wreck,” she said. “It’s incredibly exciting. We’ve been hoping all year to make it back here. For them as sisters, it’s amazing to get here again and have both them playing.”

The Lowerys were among hundreds of Decatur fans that made the journey east to Garland Friday to watch the Lady Eagles battle Robinson in the 4A semifinal at the University Interscholastic League volleyball championships.

Among the faithful in blue and white was a good share of the high school population, who ditched classes to attend. They were given an excused absence with a ticket stub, though.

“We came to support our team,” said Decatur senior Jasmyne Tate.

Hannah Dunning added: “I hope they can do it again.”

Devoted Fans

DEVOTED FANS – A Decatur fan can’t mask his support for the Lady Eagles, especially Ariana Buchanan. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Tate, Dunning and Macee Reed had little remorse about missing class to watch the Lady Eagles.

“Not even a little bummed,” Reed said.

It wasn’t just high school students that made the trip to Garland. Eighth-graders Ashlee Hudson and Ashleigh Rogers were among the early-arriving fans.

“It’s really cool,” Hudson said. “One day I might play volleyball, and it’d be really cool if we went to state.”

One More Time

ONE MORE TIME – Lady Eagle fans will cheer the team on one final time this season when Decatur fights for the state title at 2 p.m. today in Garland. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

It wasn’t just students who played hookie for the Lady Eagles. Leisha Young left her staff in charge of Cakes by Leisha to watch her nieces – the Lowerys – play Friday.

“There will always be cupcakes, but there can’t always be a state championship,” Young said.

Sheryl DuBois came to watch five members of the team that attend her church.

“I left two kids with the flu,” DuBois said. “My husband is at home with them. I told him ‘I’m going to go.'”

The Lady Eagles left Thursday for the match with a huge sendoff at the high school. Decatur ISD Superintendent Rod Townsend offered praise to the girls, who have captured the imagination of the community the past two years with back-to-back state trips.

“People don’t realize what winning at this level does for the confidence of the whole district,” Townsend said. “It changes the environment and the face of everything.

“I love these kids and watching them compete, especially with the attitude they have. This group is an amazing set of young ladies.”

Decatur fans will get to see their Lady Eagles play one more time. The Lady Eagles swept Robinson in three games, 25-18, 25-19, 25-7, to earn a spot in the state title game for the second straight year. They will play Argyle at 2 p.m.

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Dispatchers earn regional awards http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/dispatchers-earn-regional-awards/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/dispatchers-earn-regional-awards/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 20:58:58 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83860 The man on the other end of the line needs help. He can’t tell you his name, where he is or even exactly what is going on.

It’s your job to get him the help he needs.

That was the real life situation Wise County Communications Officer Caitlin Knobel faced last May when she took a 911 call from a man who said he was having a heart attack.

Her quick thinking resulted in a positive outcome and the award for Telecommunicator of the Year from the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG).

Award Winners

AWARD WINNERS – Four dispatchers at the Wise County Sheriff’s Office (from left) Jeff Doughty, Caitlin Knobel, Zachary Bryden and Angela Smith, were recently honored by the North Central Texas Council of Governments for their outstanding work. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The phone the man was calling from did not have a SIM card, making it difficult to pinpoint his exact location. The closest she could get was the nearest cell phone tower.

The man’s speech was slurred, and communication was very difficult. Knobel was able to find out that the victim was at a friend’s house, and there was a green Dodge Durango outside.

“I tried to keep him on the phone, to let him know we are coming,” Knobel said. “Every now and then, make sure he is OK and make sure he is still responding to you because you don’t want to lose that contact. We had deputies go around certain neighborhoods and turn their sirens on to see if we could hear them, and then we could hear them in the background. And then we’d pull up Google Maps to see if we could see houses and try to describe what we were looking at and what could be the correct address.”

Communications Manager Susan Gomez said Knobel used her “great listening skills” to pick up on background noises to help her locate the man. For instance, she could hear a train horn in the background, so she knew the home was close to railroad tracks. Between the work of Knobel, deputies, the fire department and medics, the victim was finally located in about an hour – at a home next to a house with a green Durango.

“That piece of information that Ms. Knobel obtained early in the conversation was key to locating this caller,” Gomez wrote in her nomination form. “Ms. Knobel remained calm through the entire call and did everything she could possibly do to locate this caller who so desperately needed medical attention.”

Although the victim was unresponsive when found by a deputy, he was taken to the hospital where he was treated for his medical issue and released.

Fellow Wise County Communications Officer Angela Smith was also nominated for Telecommunicator of the Year for a call from a suicidal man in July.

The caller said he wanted to end his life and said he had a gun. Smith kept talking to him and listening as he explained why he didn’t want to go on.

At one point, the man said he had the gun to his head with his finger on the trigger. Smith continued to tell him that help was on the way. Finally, the man locked the gun in another room, and soon after, a deputy arrived on the scene.

“That was probably the longest 35 minutes of my life,” said Smith, who has worked for the county for 10 years.

Gomez said that while both communications officers did outstanding jobs on their calls, she believed the judges awarded Knobel for her critical thinking skills in an unusual situation, particularly by someone who had not been a dispatcher very long at the time of the call. Knobel has worked for the county for about one-and-a-half years.

Two other communications officers received awards that were presented at the NCTCOG quarterly supervisors meeting and luncheon last week. Zachary Bryden, who has worked for the county nearly three years, was awarded 9-1-1 Professional of the Year.

“He was voted dispatcher of the year by the WCSO staff just a few months ago and is an extremely hard worker and will do anything asked of him without complaint,” Gomez said. “It only seemed right that he receive this recognition.”

Shift Supervisor Jeff Doughty, who has worked for the county for 10 years, was awarded Supervisor of the Year.

“He thinks a lot like I do,” Gomez said. “He tries to take care of stuff before I even ask for him to do it. Just working with him for so long, it makes my job a lot easier because I don’t really have to worry about it. If I’m not here, I know he’ll take care of what needs to be done.”

The regional 911 program includes 13 countywide and five municipal systems, which include 43 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs).

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Decatur teen injured in wreck http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/decatur-teen-injured-in-wreck/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/decatur-teen-injured-in-wreck/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 20:57:29 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83857 A Decatur teenager was flown to a Fort Worth hospital following a single vehicle wreck Thursday night north of Decatur.

Rural Wreck

RURAL WRECK – A Jeep crashed into a tree Thursday night between Decatur and Alvord, injuring the passenger who was briefly pinned in the vehicle. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Beau Bridgeman said Matthew Hatzenbihler, 18, of Alvord was driving a Jeep southbound on County Road 2395 at an unsafe speed when he lost control, swerved and hit a tree about a mile north of County Road 2175.

His passenger, Brittanie Martin, 18, of Decatur was taken by ground ambulance to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur where Air Evac Lifeteam 68 was standing by to transport her to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

Martin is a student at Alvord High School. Trooper Bridgeman said her injuries did not seem to be life-threatening.

Hatzenbihler was not injured.

The accident happened around 8:45 p.m. Wise County EMS and the Decatur Fire Department also responded.

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City of Bridgeport delays wastewater contract, nixes food truck inspections http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/city-of-bridgeport-delays-wastewater-contract-nixes-food-truck-inspections/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/city-of-bridgeport-delays-wastewater-contract-nixes-food-truck-inspections/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 20:54:47 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83854 The Bridgeport City Council Tuesday delayed action related to its agreement with U.S. Water (USW) Utility Group.

A proposed amendment to the city’s agreement with the company would expand USW’s professional services to include the city’s wastewater treatment plant, but it was tabled after a city worker expressed concern about the issue.

City Councilman David Correll asked that the amendment be made into a workshop item to be discussed at the next meeting.

“My first concern is with the displaced employee,” he said.

The amendment should be on the council’s Dec. 2 agenda.


Food truck regulations popped up again this week when the council voted to amend its Mobile Food Vendor Solicitation Code. The new amendment eliminates the need for local food truck vendors to get a health inspection by the city.

The decision was based on the fact that the state performs health inspections when it issues operating permits, and the city cannot currently afford to pay a health services employee to inspect food truck units.

The council also:

  • amended the FY 2014-15 budget to allow for the $129,857 needed to fund the search for Brandon Emmons’ replacement as city administrator and to fund a new street maintenance worker position;
  • refunded its Series 2005 Certificates of Obligations (COs) for total debt service savings of almost $160,000;
  • amended the “Bulky Waste Pickup” section of the city code to correct the monthly rate from $2.75 to $3.75;
  • approved a lease-purchase agreement with Government Capital Corp. for a new 2014 GapVax MC1007 Sewer Cleaning Truck, to be financed at an annual rate of $54,580.13 for seven years; and
  • officially entered into an agreement with Strategic Government Resources to provide an interim city administrator.

The council’s next meeting will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 900 Thompson St. and is open to the public.

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Bridgeport student council to serve lunches for Thanksgiving http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/bridgeport-student-council-to-serve-lunches-for-thanksgiving/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/bridgeport-student-council-to-serve-lunches-for-thanksgiving/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 20:53:52 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83852 Some Bridgeport Middle School students will spend their Thanksgiving break serving others.

For the fifth consecutive year, the Bridgeport Middle School Student Council will serve free sack lunches 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily Nov. 24-26 at Harwood Park. A few students from other schools will also be helping the group.

“It’s just grown bigger and bigger every year,” eighth grade teacher and event coordinator Larry Owens said.

The students fed more than 350 people last year and are expecting to serve more than 500 lunches this year.

“The most rewarding part about it is just knowing that we’re doing something for the community,” Owens said.

The student council is still seeking donations of some grocery items including cases of water, Capri Suns, individual bags of chips and homemade baked items. Donations can be dropped off at Bridgeport Middle School. For information, call Owens at 817-821-3857.

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Boyd middle school graduates first D.A.R.E. class http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/boyd-middle-school-graduates-first-d-a-r-e-class/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/boyd-middle-school-graduates-first-d-a-r-e-class/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 20:53:27 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83850 Close to 100 Boyd Middle School sixth graders graduated from the district’s first D.A.R.E. program Friday morning.

Making the Right Decision

MAKING THE RIGHT DECISION – Boyd Police Chief Greg Arrington shakes the hand of a sixth grader at the D.A.R.E. graduation Friday at Boyd Middle School. About 100 students were recognized for their completion of the program. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) is a national initiative started in 1983 as a way to “teach students good decision-making skills to help them lead safe and healthy lives,” according to the group’s website.

It’s a program that Boyd Police Chief Greg Arrington had wanted to bring to his community for a long time.

“I taught D.A.R.E. for 13 years, and I thought it would be a good thing to bring back to the school here,” Arrington said. “Superintendent (Ted) West and I sat down and decided that we needed to get an officer in the classroom, and we started researching things, and all roads led back to D.A.R.E.”

Arrington said the curriculum for the class had changed a lot since he last taught it, and he had to get re-certified to be an instructor.

“The last curriculum mainly focused on [drug] abstinence, like ‘Don’t do this; don’t do that,’ and the new curriculum focuses more on decision-making processes and how to apply that to any aspect of life,” Arrington said.

The decision-making process – Define, Assess, Respond, Evaluate – is something that everyone can use, whether they are deciding whether or not to do drugs or deciding to do something more benign, like choose which school they want to go to, Arrington said,

Members of the Decatur, Rhome, Boyd and Bridgeport police departments attended the ceremony, as did Wise County Sheriff David Walker, Precinct 3 Constable Doug Parr and County Judge J.D. Clark, who gave the commencement speech.

Clarks Choices

CLARK’S CHOICES – Wise County Judge J.D. Clark speaks to a group of D.A.R.E. program graduates Friday about the importance of making the right choices, with illustrations from his own life. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

“One of the biggest freedoms you’ll ever have is the freedom to make your own choices,” Clark told the new D.A.R.E. graduates. “You are defined by the choices that you make.”

After the success of this year’s program, Arrington said he hopes it will continue next year.

“The teachers love it, and the kids love it, so hopefully we can do this again,” he said.

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Thornberry to chair powerful committee http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/thornberry-to-chair-powerful-committee/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/news/thornberry-to-chair-powerful-committee/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 20:52:10 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83846 Congressman Mac Thornberry, whose sprawling district includes the entire Texas Pandhandle and the western half of Wise County, has been chosen to chair the House Armed Services Committee.

New Chairman

NEW CHAIRMAN – Congressman Mac Thornberry (center), whose district includes western Wise County, is the first Texan to chair the House Armed Services Committee after a vote Wednesday. Submitted photo

Thornberry is the first Texan of either party to lead the committee, which oversees the Pentagon, all military services, and all Department of Defense agencies.

“I am grateful for the opportunity and also mindful of the responsibility it entails,” Thornberry said. “The men and women who serve our nation in the military deserve the full support and backing of the Congress and of the country. Providing that support will be my top priority.”

Thornberry was selected to serve as chairman by the Steering Committee of the House Republican Conference. The entire House Republican Conference ratified his selection Wednesday morning.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), praised the Clarendon native for his work on national defense.

“During his time in Congress, Mac has been instrumental in ensuring that our military personnel have the tools, authorities and resources they need to keep America safe. He has also worked to keep the Pentagon and others accountable for taxpayers’ money. Mac is a respected voice, experienced lawmaker and effective leader. I look forward to working with him as the next chairman of the Armed Services Committee.”

Outgoing chairman Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) said the committee “will be in the most capable of hands with Chairman-select Thornberry and so will our Armed Forces.”

He continued, “During my four years as chairman, I’ve come to rely on Mac as a policy expert, a gifted communicator, a trusted confidant and a friend. He has skillfully helped our committee as vice chairman, and his national security smarts have earned the respect of both Congress and defense experts alike.

“But most importantly, Mac is a leader with a servant’s heart. His devotion and loyalty is, above all, to the men and women of our military.”

Thornberry’s counterpart in the Senate is Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who will chair the Armed Services Committee.

The key duties of the committee are to write a defense authorization bill each year, authorize military spending and set policies for the Pentagon to follow.

“This opportunity is only possible because of the help and support I have received over the years from my family, employers and mentors, co-workers, my official and campaign staffs, and especially from the people of the 13th congressional District of Texas,” Thornberry said. “I am extremely grateful for the confidence they have shown in me and will do my best to live up to the responsibilities of this position on their behalf.”

Thornberry, who has served in Congress since 1995, has been a member of the Armed Services Committee through his tenure. He has also served on the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence since 2004.

Prior to his election, he worked as a congressional staff member on defense issues and as a deputy assistant secretary in the State Department in the Reagan Administration.

“Our country faces a wide array of serious national security challenges from the renewed aggression of major powers to terrorism and attacks in cyberspace,” he said. “Congress has an indispensable role to play in meeting those challenges, and the Committee will work to see that our country remains strong.”

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Silhouette Dance Company http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/business/silhouette-dance-company/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/business/silhouette-dance-company/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 20:51:04 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83843 Address: 1401 S. U.S. 287, Suite 300, Decatur

Phone: 817-371-0040

Website: silhouettedancecompany.com

Owner: Ashley Ness

Products/services: All styles of dance classes, private dance lessons, competition teams, drill team classes

Ribbon Cutting 2

RIBBON CUTTING – The Decatur Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting Nov. 14 at Silhouette Dance Co. in Decatur. Pictured are Alex Cole, Ashley Ness, Cason Latus, Pam Ness, Ashley Ness, Ava Ness, Andy Ness, Cooper Ness, Paula Woods and Dick Ness. Messenger photo by Leisa Gage

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United Metal Services http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/business/united-metal-services/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/business/united-metal-services/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 20:48:36 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83840 Address: 9886 U.S. 287, Rhome

Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Phone: 817-636-0965

Fax: 817-636-0966

Email: jessica@united-metal.net

Website: united-metal.net

Owner/manager: Jessica Sims

Products/services: Metal fabrication

Ribbon Cutting 1

RIBBON CUTTING – Decatur Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting Nov. 14 at United Metal Services in Rhome. Pictured are employees Jaime Ortiz, Ramon Ortiz, Efrain Rangel, Garrett Sharp, Cody Lightfoot, Philip Sims, Ben Butterworth, Juan Leija, Suren Espinosa, Ruben Castillo, Ricardo Garcia-Ortiz, Jessie Gloria, Chad Duke, Jackie Richardson, Robert Johnson, Michele Kelly, Jessica Sims, Brad Harfield, Desi Aguilar, Helio Hernandez, Ted Sims, Sean Lanciano, Ricardo Guerra, Maurice Blair, Joe Degollado, Jessica Wood and Vanessa Henry. Photo by Southern Girl Photography

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Willy Wonka The Musical http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/photo-features/willy-wonka-the-musical/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/photo-features/willy-wonka-the-musical/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 20:47:32 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83837
Willy and Friends

WILLY AND FRIENDS – Josh Santos, performing the part of Willy Wonka, was joined by Aubrey Buel, Caitlynn Baber, Lexi Nivins, Kirsten Shaw and Taylor Yates, who were playing the parts of the Oompa Loompas, during Thursday night’s performance of Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka The Musical at Decatur High School. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Song and Dance

SONG AND DANCE – The play will be performed at 7 p.m. Saturday in the DHS Auditorium. Tickets are $10 for adults or $7 for students and children. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

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Turkey time http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/photo-features/turkey-time/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/photo-features/turkey-time/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 20:45:11 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83833
Turkey Time 1

Chico Elementary School students celebrated Thanksgiving Friday, dressing as pilgrims and Native Americans. Belinda Bowyer’s kindergartners Chevy Crawford and Joseph LaCombe feasted on a smorgasbord of food, including rolls, pies, corn and, even though the holiday is often called “Turkey Day,” they also munched on fried chicken. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

Turkey Time 2

Landen Durham feasted on a smorgasbord of food, including rolls, pies, corn and, even though the holiday is often called “Turkey Day,” they also munched on fried chicken. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

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Volleyball: Back to ‘Ship – Lady Eagles sweep Robinson to reach 2nd state final http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-back-to-ship-lady-eagles-sweep-robinson-to-reach-2nd-state-final/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-back-to-ship-lady-eagles-sweep-robinson-to-reach-2nd-state-final/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 20:36:31 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83829 In the return to the state stage, the Decatur Lady Eagles looked right at home Friday afternoon.

Rushing the Court

RUSHING THE COURT – Decatur’s Lady Eagles celebrate their win over Robinson in three sets to take the 4A semifinals Friday at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland. Decatur faces Argyle for the state title 2 p.m. today. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

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

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

Decatur will now play in the 4A final at 2 p.m. Saturday against Argyle.

“We’re going to do our best to get a state title and leave it all on the court,” said senior outside hitter Makayla Mayfield.

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

Above the Rest

ABOVE THE REST – Courtnie Roberts and Makayla Mayfield go up for a block against Robinson Friday afternoon. The Lady Eagles won in three games, 25-18, 25-19 and 25-7. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“We were too relaxed and not as ready as we should have been,” said Decatur senior outside hitter Caroline Lowery. “We picked it up in the third game where we needed to be.”

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

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

Decatur had just one service error in the match.

“The experience from last year helped us slice up the court,” Lowery said.

Lowery and Courtnie Roberts served three aces each.

Court is in Session

COURT IS IN SESSION – The Lady Eagles served a swift defeat to Robinson Friday. Decatur had 42 kills and 53 digs to dominate play. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Volleyball: Clear vision – Lady Eagles driven for 2nd title http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-clear-vision-lady-eagles-driven-for-2nd-title/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-clear-vision-lady-eagles-driven-for-2nd-title/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 20:34:17 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83823 With a big lead in the third set Friday afternoon, the Decatur Lady Eagles refused to let their minds drift from the task at hand.

The team just kept their tunnel vision and closed out Robinson, just like the rest of their playoff opponents, in three games. In two playoff runs, the Lady Eagles have dropped just three sets. In three matches at the state tournament, they are now a perfect 9-0.

Richard Greene

Richard Greene

“They are as disciplined as they are athletic,” said Decatur coach Claire Benedict-Gay. “They hate to lose far more than they like to win and don’t settle. That’s a huge driving.”

That drive and discipline is the reason the Lady Eagles will play for a second straight state title Saturday at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland.

Like so many times during the match, the Decatur coach never called a timeout during the brief Robinson runs, letting her seniors right the ship.

“They know what to do. The seniors are the ones that lead the group,” Benedict-Gay said.

They also know what they want. Since last year when they received their rings for the 2013 title, this group has not been satisfied with past accomplishments. All they’ve talked about is winning a second state title. Even during a brutal stretch in August and September, playing the top teams in 6A and 5A and picking up all 10 of their losses, the focus stayed on November and Garland.

Little changed walking on the floor Friday. It showed, winning the first two sets by seven and six points before burying Robinson in the third set by 18.

“We know where we want to be,” said senior Cooper Martin.

Fellow senior Makayla Mayfield added: “We’re going to do our best to get a state title and leave it all on the court.”

While pointed out in the press conference that it will be the last match Saturday for seven Decatur seniors, including four-year varsity standouts Martin, Mayfield, Stormi Leonard and Caroline Lowery, they are not ready for any talk about their legacy or the end.

“That’s what we thought about today, but we moved past that,” Benedict-Gay said. “They want to go out on top.”

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Football: Crawford runs over Bulldogs – Alvord’s season ends in area round http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-crawford-runs-over-bulldogs-alvords-season-ends-in-area-round/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-crawford-runs-over-bulldogs-alvords-season-ends-in-area-round/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 20:33:37 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83821 After a penalty wiped out an apparent recovery of the opening kickoff, things quickly continued downhill for the Alvord Bulldogs Friday night.

Out of Reach

OUT OF REACH – Alvord’s Jaylon White extends for a pass in the end zone but can’t make the connection. The Bulldogs lost 57-7 to Crawford Friday to end their stint in the playoffs. Messenger Photo by Mack Thweatt

Crawford scored two plays later and then got a safety on Alvord’s first possession to grab a quick 10-0 lead less than three minutes into the game. The Pirates kept sailing away for a 57-7 victory over the Bulldogs in the 2A Division I Region II area game at Granbury’s Pirate Stadium.

“They are a great football team,” said Alvord coach Pete Hart. “I thought we got the first kickoff, but they called us for interference. They then scored quickly. There’s a reason they are 11-1.”

The loss ended the Bulldogs’ season, its first under Hart, at 7-4.

“I’m not going to let this loss take away from a great season,” Hart said. “Unless you win a state championship, you are going to lose sometime. I can’t say enough about these seniors. They’ve led the program all year. They’ve set a standard for the rest of our kids to live up to.”

It was the final game for 15 Alvord seniors, including Joe Randall. The four-year starter was held to 33 yards on 12 carries in his final game. He finishes his career for Alvord with 4,643 yards and 60 rushing touchdowns.

“I wouldn’t trade this team for the world,” Randall said. “It was a fun ride.”

From the opening carry – a 36-yard romp by Braden Murphy – the Pirates’ physical running game was more than Alvord could handle. Murphy finished with 202 yards and three touchdowns. He ran for 147 on 17 carries in the first half as Crawford built a 42-7 lead.

Crawford scored on every first-half possession, racking up 274 yards. Barclay Brunson cashed in from a yard out on the first drives.

Murphy then added a pair of scoring runs from 25 and 5 yards. Crawford ended the half with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Wyatt Griffith to Max Viladevall.

Crawford added a pair of scores in the third quarter, including a 24-yard touchdown run from Murphy the play after the Pirates collected an interception.

The Pirates piled up 306 yards on the ground.

“They did a great job of getting to everyone on our defense,” Hart said. “They matched up with us better than anyone all year.”

The lone highlight for Alvord in the first half and the night came from Randall, who took a middle screen from Cassidy Patterson 56 yards for a touchdown that briefly cut Crawford’s lead to 26-7 with eight minutes left in the first half.

Alvord got no closer.

Alvord managed just 137 yards against Crawford’s speedy and physical defense.

“They were fast,” Randall said. “We prepared well. They were fast, and it felt like they were everywhere.”

LAST GAME – Joe Randall’s high school football career ended Friday night. Randall was held to 33 yards on 12 carries. Messenger Photo by Mack Thweatt


Alvord … 0 … 7 … 0 … … 0 – 7
Crawford … 18 … 24 … 15 … … 0 – 57


Crawford – 11:38, Barclay Brunson 1 run, Max Viladevall run

Crawford – 9:30, Safety, snap through end zone on punt

Crawford – 4:36, Brunson 1 run, Wyatt Griffith run


Crawford – 9:09, Braden Murphy 25 run, Murphy run

Alvord – 8:00, Joe Randall 56 pass from Cassidy Patterson, Jose Luna kick

Crawford – 4:34, Murphy 5 run, Murphy run

Crawford – 1:06, Max Viladevall 30 pass from Wyatt Griffith, Murphy run


Crawford – 6:36, Brunson 1 run, Viladevall run

Crawford – 6:04, Murphy 24 run, Coalson Foss kick


First Downs … 10 … 20
Rushes-Yards … 17-31 … 48-306
Passing Yards … 106 … 103
Total Yards … 137 … 409
Comp-Att-Int … 9-23-1 … 4-6-0
Sacks-Yards lost … 1-12 … 1-1
Punts-Average … 2-36 … 1-36
Fumbles-Lost … 2-0 … 1-0
Penalties-Yards … 0-0 … 2-25


Rushing: Alvord, Joe Randall 12-33, Mason Clower 1-5, Jaylon White 1-1, Cassidy Patterson 4-3, Team 1-(minus 11). Crawford, Braden Murphy 21-202, Noah Bleything 3-15, Wyatt Griffith 7-33, Peyton Rathke 4-9, Barclay Brunson 3-9, Garrett Dutschmann 8-32, Max Viladevall 2-3, Lucas Steinkamp 2-4.

Passing: Alvord, Cassidy Patterson 9-22-1-106, Randall 0-1-0-0. Crawford, Wyatt Griffith 4-6-0-103.

Receiving: Alvord, Randall 4-78, White 1-0, Heath Walker 3-25, Damon Ledet 2-9. Crawford, Viladevall 2-42, Murphy 1-55, Rathke 1-16.

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Football: Mustangs stampede Bulls 46-14 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-mustangs-stampede-bulls-46-14/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/football-mustangs-stampede-bulls-46-14/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 20:32:20 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83817 The Bridgeport Bulls (8-4, 4-2) ended their season with a whimper at Tarleton State University’s Memorial Stadium Friday night, as the Sweetwater Mustangs won the area title 46-14.

Running Away with the Game

RUNNING AWAY WITH THE GAME – Jacob Roberts (4) tries to stop Isaiah McGee (5) from running into the end zone. McGee had 141 yards receiving and picked up two touchdowns for Sweetwater. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“I told the guys that, you know, any time you make the playoffs, you’re going to either go to the championship, or you’re going to run into somebody that’s going to give you a tough game, and that’s what happened tonight,” head coach Danny Henson said. “But I thought we prepared for it as best we could, and I’m proud of the guys for their hard work this season.”

The Mustangs ran out of the gates early, scoring on a 20-yard touchdown reception from Kaegan Jeffrey to Michael Lawrence and sealed the deal with a two-point conversion. Sweetwater converted for two on all but one of their scoring plays and managed to score on every single one of their drives in the first half. Jeffrey would go on to have five touchdown passes and throw for almost 300 yards.

“They just overwhelmed us with their speed – their quarterback has a great arm, and they’ve been doing that to teams all year,” Henson said.

Bridgeport fought back on a Hail Mary from Trey Cook to Keenan Holdman late in the first, but by that point, the Mustangs were already up 24-7. Bridgeport’s only other score would come midway through the third quarter when second string QB Corbin Coleman passed to Hayden Sutherland from 14 yards out.

Trey Cook ended the night with a touchdown play and 69 yards of passing, and lead rusher Brazier Talley managed 126 yards.

For Sweetwater, T.C. Huitt rushed for 63 yards and one touchdown.


Sweetwater … 24 … 22 … 0 … … 0-46
Bridgeport … 7 … 0 … 7 … … 0-14


Sweetwater- 9:13- Michael Lawrence 20 pass from Kaegan Jeffrey, Max Gomez pass from Isaiah McGee 2 point conversion

Sweetwater- 7:30- Isaiah McGee 80 pass from Kaegan Jeffrey, Adrian Vizzera pass from Jeffrey 2 point conversion

Sweetwater- :57- Gomez 12 pass from Jeffrey, Gomez 2 point conversion

Bridgeport- :42- Keenan Holdman 61 pass from Trey Cook, DeLuna kick


Sweetwater- 10:13-T.C. Huitt 16 run, Lawrence pass from Jeffrey 2 point conversion

Sweetwater- 6:16- McGee 18 pass from Jeffrey, Jeffrey 2 point conversion

Sweetwater- 2:07- Gomez 34 pass from Jeffrey, kick no good


Bridgeport- 5:34-Hayden Sutherland 14 pass from Corbin Coleman, DeLuna kick


First Downs … 23 … 6
Rushes-Yards … 167 … 120
Passing Yards … 318 … 104
Total Yards … 485 … 224
Punts-Average … 4 … 5
Penalties-Yards … 6-50 … 3-15


Passing: Sweetwater – Jeffrey, 16-20-283, 5 TDs, Gomez, 5-7-35; Bridgeport – Cook, 2-12-69, 1 TD, Corbin Coleman, 4-5-35, 1 TD, 1 INT

Rushing: Sweetwater – T.C. Huitt, 8-63, 1 TD, Jeffrey 7-48; Bridgeport – Brazier Talley, 14-126, Grayson Mathes, 9-39

Receiving: Sweetwater – McGee, 6-141, 2 TDs, Lawrence 6-78, 1 TD, Gomez 2-41 1TD; Bridgeport – Holdman 1-61, 1 TD, Dylan Garrison 3-21

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Basketball: Bulls fall short against Kennedale http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/basketball-bulls-fall-short-against-kennedale/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/basketball-bulls-fall-short-against-kennedale/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 20:31:27 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83814 Taking on last year’s Class 3A state semifinalist Kennedale, the Bridgeport Bulls’ comeback attempt fell just short Tuesday night.

GOING TO THE GOAL – Ethan Chapman runs in for a layup against a Kennedale defender Tuesday night. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Kennedale held off the Bulls for the 64-61 win at Bridgeport High School in the season opener for both teams.

Bridgeport cut a 10-point deficit going into the fourth quarter to just three.

“This was the first varsity game in a Bull uniform for many of the key players and it showed,” said Bridgeport coach Alan Green. “Our crowd was great tonight and the atmosphere was electric. We have to learn to execute in this type of environment with great focus. “There are many things we have to get better at and it starts with taking pride in our defense. The bottom is we have a long way to go.”

Devonte Patterson led the Bulls with 28 points. Andrew Horton added 15, Ethan Chapman eight and Jacob Tibbels five.

The Bulls trailed 21-17 after the first quarter. Bridgeport then went on an 18-11 run to take a 35-32 halftime lead.

Kennedale erased the deficit, doubling up Bridgeport 26-13 in the third quarter.

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Basketball: Pruett posts double-double in win http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/basketball-pruett-posts-double-double-in-win/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/basketball-pruett-posts-double-double-in-win/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 20:30:32 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83811 The Slidell Lady Greyhounds evened their record on the season Tuesday with a 53-30 win over Chico.

Caitlin Pruett posted a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds. She went 9-for-10 from the free-throw line.

As a team, Slidell went 18-for-21 at the line.

“It’s a good win but we will have to start shooting the ball better as a team,” said Slidell coach Cody Vanover. “We did a good job from the free-throw line.”

Slidell out shot Chico 14-3 in the first quarter and built a 30-11 halftime lead.

“We came out strong and jumped on them early,” Vanover said. “We were a little too aggressive defensively and got into a bit of foul trouble.”

Chico cut Slidell’s lead to 15, 40-25, in the third quarter. The Lady Greyhounds then ended the game on a 13-5 run.

Kylie Franklin scored nine points, hitting seven free throws in eight attempts. She had two rebounds and six steals. Megan Garcia hit three 3-pointers for nine points.

Kayler Talamantes had eight points and nine rebounds. Jessy Goode finished with six points and eight boards. Brooklyn Rambsel chipped in four.

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Basketball: Sissies miss mark against Peaster http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/basketball-sissies-miss-mark-against-peaster/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/basketball-sissies-miss-mark-against-peaster/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 20:29:57 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83809 The Bridgeport Sissies struggled to knock down shots Tuesday in their first loss of the season.

The Sissies (2-1) shot 18 percent in a 58-31 loss to Peaster at home.

TAKING THE SHOT- Gabby Mindieta prepares her jump shot against a Peaster defender Tuesday night. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“What was looking to be a promising night turned into a struggle as our kids shot 10 of 55 from the field,” said Bridgeport coach Dallas Taylor. “We continuously got good looks at the basket with 34 of those shots in the paint.

“We must take care of the basketball and convert easy opportunities into baskets.”

Landrie Walsh led the Sissies with 11 points. Bailey Thompson added nine points and six steals. Abby Hatton finished with five points and five rebounds. Lauren Stowers grabbed five boards along with her three points.

“Hatton and Stowers both crashed the boards hard in the second half,” Taylor said. “Thompson gave a good defensive effort getting six steals.”

Bridgeport fell behind 11-3 in the first quarter and trailed 31-15 at the break.

Peaster took a 41-21 lead into the fourth quarter.

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Rodeo: Wilson earns top honors http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/rodeo-wilson-earns-top-honors/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/rodeo-wilson-earns-top-honors/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 20:28:59 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83806 Decatur’s Chase Wilson won the all-around cowboy award this week at the North Texas High School Rodeo Association event.

Wilson won the steer wrestling with a run of 3.492 seconds and chute dogging with a run of 2.689.

Alvord’s Tanner Baker was the top rookie after winning the ribbon roping with a time of 6.473. He finished sixth in calf roping with his run of 25.409.

Decatur’s Dillan McGuire finished second to Wilson in steer wrestling with a time of 7.2. Camerron Tucker was third in 8.233 and Northwest’s Grady Payne fifth in 9.333.

Decatur’s Carolyn Spear took fourth in steer undecorating in 1.772 seconds. Spear finished sixth in barrels in 16.455.

Northwest’s Cole Gerrek garnered fourth in chute dogging in 3.024 seconds. Tyler Norton was fifth in 3.059, Preston Clark sixth in 3.153, and Payne ninth in 3.624.

Decatur’s Nicolas Martinez finished seventh in 3.387.

Northwest’s Alexis Barfield took third in poles in 21.62.

In bulls, Northwest’s Colton Kelly won with a 70. Boyd’s Treavor Hadden O’Neal was second with a 65.

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Volleyball: Berryhill earns 5-6A spot http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-berryhill-earns-5-6a-spot/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2014/sports/volleyball-berryhill-earns-5-6a-spot/#comments Sat, 22 Nov 2014 20:27:22 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=83804 Camryn Berryhill put down a team-high 181 kills during district play and hit .216 for the season for the Northwest Lady Texans.

Her efforts landed the outside hitter on the 5-6A first team.

She was one of two Lady Texans to receive all-league honors. Morgan Baker, Tatum Talley and Christine Ruybalid received honorable mention.

Along with her hitting, Berryhill led the Lady Texans with 16 aces during district and made 200 digs.

Middle blocker Tessa Harfield earned a second-team selection with 130 kills and 30 blocks.

The setter Baker finished with 285 assists along with 13 aces and 140 digs. Talley made 219 digs. Ruybalid had 194 digs.

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