WCMessenger.com http://www.wcmessenger.com Wise County Messenger Online Edition Wed, 01 Apr 2015 17:04:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Man injured in weekend knife attack http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/man-injured-in-weekend-knife-attack/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/man-injured-in-weekend-knife-attack/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 17:02:26 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89254 A confrontation over vandalism turned into a vicious knife attack near Lake Bridgeport Sunday night.

Wise County Sheriff David Walker said investigators responded to a call about a stabbing near the intersection of Farm Roads 1658 and 2952 around 11 p.m. March 29.

Jason Kyle Gee

According to information gathered from witnesses, Clifton Alan Skinner, 33, of Decatur and Jason Kyle Gee, 27, of Runaway Bay were engaged in a verbal argument when Gee cut Skinner’s throat.

“It appears Gee was trying to vandalize Skinner’s vehicle, and when Skinner went to confront him, Gee slashed Skinner’s throat,” Walker said.

Skinner’s girlfriend drove him to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur where it was determined Skinner had a deep laceration to his throat and a small puncture wound to his bicep. Skinner was then flown to a Metroplex hospital.

Gee was arrested Monday and charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He remained in the Wise County Jail Tuesday with bond set at $35,000. He’s also being held on a parole violation charge with no bond.

“Once Skinner gave a statement to investigators, they arrested Gee, and he gave an admission in a statement that he did in fact cut Skinner’s throat,” Walker said.

The sheriff said investigators are continuing to talk to witnesses and trying to determine what might have led to the confrontation between the two men.

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/man-injured-in-weekend-knife-attack/feed/ 0
Charity raises more than $30,000 for veterans http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/charity-raises-more-than-30000-for-veterans/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/charity-raises-more-than-30000-for-veterans/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 17:00:11 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89249 The third annual Heroes Night Saturday raised $30,497 to provide mortgage-free homes to military veterans across America.

The event was planned by WC Challenger Charities (WCCC), the Military Warriors Support Foundation and 1,000 Miles Till Home, a local charity started by Wendell Berry after he ran 1,000 miles to raise awareness about the plight of veterans without homes.

One Home at a Time

ONE HOME AT A TIME – Retired Army Sgt. James Rivara (center) holds a key representing the mortgage-free home he will receive from 1,000 Miles Till Home, WC Challenger Charities and the Military Warriors Support Foundation. Also pictured are (from left) Retired Army Lt. Gen. Leroy Sisco, professional bull rider J.W. Hart, and WC Challenger Charities’ Andrew Rottner, Calvin Jackson, Wendell Berry, retired Sgt. James Gordan and Alan Sessions. Berry is holding a check representing a money raised Saturday at the third annual Heroes Night. Messenger photo by Jake Harris

Berry said Saturday he started the charity with the goal of getting just one veteran in a mortgage-free home. Since then, the organization, along with WCCC and the Military Warriors provided homes for 640 families in Texas, New Mexico and North Carolina.

“What started out as a dream to give one soldier one home led to this, and what a ride it’s been,” Berry said.

The organization has a newly designed website and a TV commercial that will play in every city where the charity is trying to house veterans.

“We always say, ‘Ordinary people can do extraordinary things one house at a time,’ and that’s all because of donations from people like you,” Berry told the crowd.

Retired Army Sgt. James Gordan, who received a home through the organization after he was wounded during his second tour in Afghanistan in 2006, shared his story with the crowd.

“We were having trouble making payments while I was in rehab, and I met [retired U.S. Army Lt. General Leroy Sisco with the Military Warriors Support Foundation] and he told me about the program. Now my wife and I don’t worry about mortgage payments anymore,” Gordan said. “We can focus on other things because we’re not arguing about how we’re going to pay the mortgage.”

In November, Gordan will receive the deed to the North Texas house he received through 1,000 Miles Till Home and the Military Warriors. He and his family have lived in it for three years while they worked to eliminate other debt, as required by the program.

“We teach every family that gets one of our houses how to care for the house and how to live in this great gift they’ve been given,” Sisco said. “And we’ve eliminated more than $9 million in debt since we started this.”

The night concluded with a check presentation to 1,000 Miles Till Home and an out-of-state house giveaway to another veteran, retired Army Sgt. James Rivara.

“This means a lot to me, I’m so thankful for this,” Rivara said.

Berry said the charity is looking to grow even bigger in the coming years with a veteran service hotline and a rehab center for Vietnam veterans in Wise County.

To learn more about 1,000 Miles Till Home, visit its website at 1000milestillhome.com.

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/charity-raises-more-than-30000-for-veterans/feed/ 0
Buses drive the need for bond http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/buses-drive-the-need-for-bond/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/buses-drive-the-need-for-bond/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:59:12 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89246 Few things are more iconic to public schools than the big, yellow school bus.

But they’re not cheap.

THE WHEELS ON THE BUS GO ROUND AND ROUND – And the wheels on the buses in the current regular route bus fleet at Decatur ISD have traveled more than 2,111,837 miles, or enough to drive around the world at the equator 85 times. Approximately 1,300 to 1,400 students per day use the buses to travel to and from school. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The cost of replacing a fleet of those buses is what’s driving the Decatur school district’s decision to call a $13.5 million bond issue, according to Decatur ISD Superintendent Rod Townsend.

Of that total, $2.5 million would be spent to purchase approximately 25 buses, and another $250,000 will be used to purchase smaller auxiliary vehicles such as vans.

Those buses and auxiliary vehicles would be used to replace a fleet where nearly 70 percent of the buses and 90 percent of the auxiliary vehicles have logged more than 100,000 miles.

The majority of the vehicles were purchased in 2005. Ten years ago, the district decided to end its contract with Durham School Services and provide its own transportation service. That required the purchase of 25 buses at a total cost of nearly $1.6 million.

In order to keep from having a need to purchase another 25 buses at a single time, the school board agreed to purchase one or two buses a year beginning a few years after the initial purchase in order to spread out the costs.

But from 2007 to 2013, the district purchased one bus per year rather than two. In 2011, Townsend said due to cuts imposed by the Texas Legislature that cost the district $3.7 million, the budget had to be tightened even more.

“That changed the way we do business,” Townsend said. “From that point on, we were able to replace about three buses, but there is no longer room in (the budget) for a $100,000 expenditure.”

He pointed out that the state’s transportation allotment funds less than 25 percent of the district’s transportation costs. The rest is funded by local taxpayers.

According to information collected at the beginning of the 2014-2015 school year, more than a third of the bus fleet had traveled between 120,000 and 140,000 miles. Another 31 percent of the bus fleet had logged between 100,000 and 120,000 miles.

In 2012, the district experienced problems with its diesel motors. One bus’ motor had to be completely replaced at a cost of $21,000.

“We began to talk about, ‘Do we want to spend that type of money on aged buses? That might extend the life of it, but will the body keep up?’ That’s when we decided, really the most economical way to do it is to call a bond and just replace the fleet,” Townsend said.

The district has added five regular routes and three special education routes over the past 10 years, which have added to the mounting mileage.

While the buses transport between 1,300 and 1,400 kids twice a day to and from school, buses are also used during the day to transport students on field trips or athletic or academic competitions.

And some of those trips can involve multiple vehicles.

Take a typical Friday night in fall, for instance. The football team uses two buses, a Suburban and trailer. The band requires another three buses, two Suburbans with two trailers and a box truck. Another bus is used to transport cheerleaders.

It would also require two more buses for the volleyball team. If cross country has a regional meet, that would require another bus.

“You’ve easily got a dozen vehicles on the road,” Townsend said.

At last week’s Decatur Chamber of Commerce meeting, Townsend described one possible purchase with transportation bond funds would be a semi-trailer for the band. That would allow all of the band equipment to be loaded into a single trailer, eliminating the need to use two Suburbans and a box truck.

Bus Graphic


Transportation is only one part of the total bond package on the May 9 ballot. Over the next few weeks, we will examine other areas of the bond, including security, technology and facilities featured in Proposition 1, the multipurpose indoor practice facility featured in Proposition 2, as well as the financial impacts of the bond.

Have a question you’d like to ask about the bond package? Email it to bknox@wcmessenger.com and put “DISD Bond” in the subject line.


The school district will also hold town hall meetings on the bond issue at noon Thursday, April 9, and 6 p.m. Thursday, April 16, at the DISD Administration Building, 307 S. Cates.


Would the district buy the buses all at once?

“You have to look at where you would get your biggest discount. So we would probably try to buy 25 buses at one time and completely replace our route fleet and try to get those replaced – those that are becoming a maintenance issue. The cost of maintenance continues to go up on them, so we would try to get those off the route, about 25 buses. Those five or six we’ve bought over the past 10 years, we would probably keep those. They might only have 55,000 to 60,000 miles on them. The only ones we would be replacing would have 10 or 11 years of age on them.”

Would it be more economical to contract with an outside company like Durham to provide transportation?

“Using the rates with Durham at the time (prior to 2005) – and you know the rates have gone up – the transportation costs were about $1.5 million a year. Currently, we are budgeting about $1.1 million (for transportation).”

(He added that even if the district went back to using an outside firm, the school would still be responsible for the purchase of the buses.)

How long would it take for the bonds to be paid back on the bus and vehicle purchases?

“We already have an amortization schedule for a 10-year payoff specifically for buses.”

Would these purchases account for enrollment growth and the possible need for additional routes?

“Yes, I think we could add two to three more routes over the next five or six years. With the current buses we would keep, plus the 25, that would put us around the 35-bus range, and I think we could add two or three without too much trouble at all.”

If the bond fails, what will the district do to address its transportation needs?

“We’d have to back up, regroup and start reprioritizing some things. Some of the things we’ve grown accustomed to, that our kids have had access to, they wouldn’t have access to it. We have to provide transportation; there is no question about that. We don’t have to provide them with one-to-one laptops. … We don’t have to have the kind of vocational programs we have. We might have to redirect some of that money. We don’t have to have an ESL class in secondary. It makes no sense not to, but there are some programs that could be affected because of it. You have to provide transportation, and it may be that you put children on buses that are not 100 percent safe, but that’s not something we’re thinking about. We’re not at that point, but we are trying to keep from getting to that point.”

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/buses-drive-the-need-for-bond/feed/ 0
Upcoming Easter events http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/upcoming-easter-events/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/upcoming-easter-events/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:57:44 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89242 BOYD

BUNNY-PHOBIA – Reagan Seidel, 1, of Chico screams while trying to wiggle away from the Easter Bunny at Eggstravaganza in Bridgeport Saturday. The event was hosted by Bridgeport Parks and Recreation and included a carnival and egg hunts. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

EGG HUNT – The First United Methodist Church of Boyd will have an Easter egg hunt and lunch with the Easter bunny 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 4.


EGG HUNT – The Hills Nursing and Rehab in Decatur will hold an Easter egg hunt 4 p.m. Friday, April 3, featuring the Easter Bunny and refreshments.

BUNNY VISIT – Governor’s Ridge Retirement and Assisted Living will host an egg hunt 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, April 4. The event will include age-group hunts, photos with the Easter bunny, a free picnic lunch and gifts for the children. Call 940-627-1104.


MULTIPLE HUNTS – Grace Fellowship Church will hold Easter egg hunts in conjunction with weekend services. They include an egg hunt at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, April 4, with church service to follow at 6, and an egg hunt at 9:15 a.m. prior to the 9:30 service Sunday, April 5. A second service is 11 a.m. Sunday followed by another egg hunt.


EASTER EVENT – The Rhome Easter egg hunt is 1 p.m. Saturday, April 4, 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.

Filling Their Baskets

FILLING THEIR BASKETS – Young egg hunters dash across the Decatur Civic Center lawn Tuesday morning at the Wise County Sheriff’s Office Easter egg hunt. The Easter Bunny also made an appearance, posing for photos with children. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/upcoming-easter-events/feed/ 0
Northwest wins academic title in surprise comeback http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/northwest-wins-academic-title-in-surprise-comeback/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/northwest-wins-academic-title-in-surprise-comeback/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:56:12 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89238 Going into the final event last week – computer science – Northwest was in fourth place at the District 5-6A University Interscholastic League Academic meet.

“I thought that we had a good shot at winning second place overall, but winning the meet was a serious possibility in my mind,” said Jamie Weatherall, Northwest UIL coordinator.

But after Michael Asper’s victory, along with a team title in computer science, Northwest vaulted to the top. Northwest finished with 244 points to beat Denton Guyer by one-half of a point for the 5-6A sweepstakes trophy.

“When we won first place in computer science individually and as a team, I still didn’t realize we had won the academic championship as a school,” Weatherall said. “It wasn’t until I certified the final event total and clicked the link to see the summary total for each school that I realized we had won. I musthave had a look of extreme shock on my face because two coaches came over and looked at my computer screen to see what had caused my reaction. None of us could believe it at first, and then we just started screaming and jumping up and down.”

Weatherall said it’s the school’s first sweepstakes since 2003.

“Winning the title of 5-6A academic champions does so much for our program,” she said. “It validates the work the kids have put in, and it has ignited a fire in our coaches.”

Northwest captured team titles in computer science and spelling and vocabulary. The journalism team took second.

Six Northwest students won individual gold medals.

Nicholas Ignacio took first in calculator applications. He also finished third in number sense and fourth in mathematics.

Alyssa Osheim won headline writing. Andrew Smith captured the Lincoln-Douglas title. Jonathan Kilgore topped ready writing and Tara Wingate spelling and vocabulary.

Abigail Rosenthal garnered second place in editorial and news writing.

Kaitlyn Potter grabbed a bronze medal for third in literary criticism and Diamond Jackson in poetry interpretation.

“I attribute the success to the hard work our kids have put in,” Weatherall said. “We have several kids who gave up hours of their time to practice and study on their own as a team. The kids have been pushing the coaches, and that’s really wonderful to see.”


Team: 1. Northwest 244, 2. Denton Guyer 243.5, 3. Keller 220.5, 4. Keller Central 237, 5. Byron Nelson 205, 6. Denton Ryan 179, 7. Timber Creek 161, 8. Fossil Ridge 48

Calculator Applications: 1. Nicholas Ignacio

Computer Science: 1. Michael Asper

Computer Science Team: 1. Northwest

Editorial Writing: 2. Abigail Rosenthal, 4. Alyssa Osheim

Headline Writing: 1. Alyssa Osheim

Lincoln-Douglas: 1. Andrew Smith

Literary Criticism: 3. Kaitlyn Potter

Mathematics: 4. Nicholas Ignacio; 6. Michael Asper

Number Sense: 3. Nicholas Ignacio

News Writing: 2. Abigail Rosenthal

Journalism Team: 2. Northwest

Persuasive Speaking: 5. Anais Donald

Poetry Interpretation: 3. Diamond Jackson, 5. Alexa Dilone

Prose Interpretation: 4. Ashleigh Allison

Ready Writing: 1. Jonathan Kilgore, 5. Michael Knowles

Social Studies: 4. Anna Baxleyova

Spelling and Vocabulary: 1. Tara Wingate, 5. Maddie Smith

Spelling and Vocabulary Team: 1. Northwest

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/northwest-wins-academic-title-in-surprise-comeback/feed/ 0
Decatur freshmen steal the stage in OAP victory http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/decatur-freshmen-steal-the-stage-in-oap-victory/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/decatur-freshmen-steal-the-stage-in-oap-victory/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:55:35 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89236 Decatur freshmen Benji Walker and Taylor Yates earned Best Actor and Actress Saturday for their performances in the “Twelve Dreams” at the 8-4A One-Act Play contest.

Decatur, Bridgeport and Springtown advanced to bi-district from the district contest.

With first-time director Mallory Bryant-Gawne, Decatur ranked first, bringing in 37 points behind Walker and Yates.

“It really is a huge honor,” Bryant-Gawne said. “This is my first year directing high school level one-act play, and the two leading actors are both freshmen. It really and truly is a lot like winning the lottery to move on with these accolades. We have a strong ensemble cast, and I believe in my own theatrical skills and abilities and we have a strong show – so I have no doubt that we will continue to advance.”

Decatur’s Cayden Candioto made the all-star cast. Angela Ferris earned honorable mention.

Mark Harle received the Best Technician honor. Alexis Hamm was recognized for Best Lighting.

Bryant-Gawne said “Twelve Dreams” by James Lapine is a unique and difficult piece of theatre.

“It is based on an actual case study by psychology theorist Carl Jung about a little girl who had a series of 12 dreams that, by psychological standards, seem to predict her death,” she said. “The play leaves the audience out of breath and uncomfortable all at the same time due to the flowy, abstract nature of reality flowing in and out of disturbing dream sequences and, in the end, it is implied that the little girl Emma (played by Taylor Yates) does die.

“The cast and crew must work as an ensemble to pull off this difficult piece of unique theatre,” Bryant-Gawne said. “Transitions between reality and dreams are key. They perform this in a very clean, well-rehearsed manner, and the result is a 40-minute play that feels like only a few minutes.”

Bridgeport presented “Teach Me How to Cry” and finished second with 29 points. Shelby Rooke, Joshua Bridwell and Kellen McCauley made the all-star cast. Emilee Newton received honorable mention.

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/decatur-freshmen-steal-the-stage-in-oap-victory/feed/ 0
UIL academic team snags 2nd http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/uil-academic-team-snags-2nd/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/uil-academic-team-snags-2nd/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:55:01 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89234 Led by its team of journalists that captured first and second in headline and news writing, Paradise brought home second place at the District 9-3A University Interscholastic League Academic meet Friday.

Paradise piled up 280 points. Holliday won the sweepstakes trophy with 586.

“We were excited. We were in a tougher district with a couple of schools we usually compete with at the regional level,” said Paradise UIL coordinator Megayla O’Rear. “Holliday last year at district was 500 points ahead of second place.

“We talked with the kids that they had to work a little harder, and they did,” she said. “I’m very proud of them.”

Paradise students won titles in three events – news writing, headline writing and chemistry. Paradise brought home the journalism team award.

Paradise will advance 15 students to the 3A Region II meet April 23-25 at Tyler Junior College.

“We have a lot of good coaches in different events,” O’Rear said. “We were able to take students to several invitational meets and work with them. It paid off.”

Juliana Smith and Jamie Talley took the gold and silver medals in headline writing. Bailee Miller and Avery Caddell pulled off the same feat in news writing.

Faith Blankenship garnered second in feature writing to give Paradise a fifth medal in journalism.

Zachary Loney won Paradise’s third gold medal in chemistry.

Austin Medlin took silver medals in calculator applications and persuasive speaking.

The Paradise calculator applications squad along with the speech and number sense teams finished second.

Nicholas Loney in current issues, Tryston Webb in computer applications, Tanner Aberl in informative speaking, Carlos Powers in number sense and Sarah Horton in ready writing brought home bronze medals.


Paradise’s cast and crew in “Twelfth Night or a What You Will” earned a spot at bi-district with its performance last week at the 9-3A One-Act Play contest.

Paradise, Nocona and Bowie were the three productions to advance.

Paradise’s Michael Hasty earned all-star cast as Sir Toby Belch.

Andrew Alexander garnered honorable mention with his work as Sir Andrew Aguecheek.

Stage manager Heather McDuff received all-star crew.


Team: 1. Holliday 586, 2. Paradise 280, 3. City View 216, 4. Bowie 110, 5. Henrietta 85, 6. Jacksboro 72, 7. Nocona 59, 8. Boyd 10

Calculator Applications: 2. Austin Medlin, Paradise; 5. Hunter Anthony, Paradise

Calculator Applications Team: 2. Paradise

Current Issues: 3. Nicholas Loney, Paradise

Computer Applications: 3. Tryston Webb, Paradise; 4. Hunter Anthony, Paradise

Computer Science: 3. Hunter Anthony, Paradise; 6. Caiden Berry, Paradise

Editorial Writing: 2. Faith Blankenship, Paradise

Feature Writing: 6. Jamie Talley, Paradise

Headline Writing: 1. Julianna Smith, Paradise; 2. Jamie Talley, Paradise; 6. Avery Caddell, Paradise

Informative Speaking: 3. Tanner Aberl, Paradise

Mathematics: 4. Caiden Berry, Paradise; 5. Nicholas Loney, Paradise; 6. Braden Thomas, Boyd

Number Sense: 3. Carlos Powers, Paradise

Number Sense Team: 2. Paradise

News Writing: 1. Bailee Miller, Paradise; 2. Avery Caddell, Paradise; 4. Allison Rutledge, Paradise

Journalism Team: 1. Paradise

Persuasive Speaking: 2. Austin Medlin, Paradise; 5. Jada McCoy-Reynolds, Paradise; 6. Jacob Branscum, Paradise

Poetry Interpretation: 4. Faith Blankenship, Paradise

Prose Interpretation: 5. Cheyanne Alvarez, Paradise

Speech: 2. Paradise

Ready Writing: 3. Sara Horton, Paradise

Chemistry: 1. Zachary Loney, Paradise

Social Studies: 5. Trever Shuker, Paradise

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/uil-academic-team-snags-2nd/feed/ 0
Shred Day surpasses expectations http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/shred-day-surpasses-expectations/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/shred-day-surpasses-expectations/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:54:26 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89232 More than 50 trash bins of paper, debit and credit cards were shredded Saturday as part of an initiative by the Bridgeport Middle School Problem Solvers.

The students hosted “Shred Day” at Brookshire’s in their quest to prevent identity theft.

A Lot of Paper

A LOT OF PAPER – The Bridgeport Middle School Problem Solvers help Wise County residents take paper to the shred truck at Brookshire’s last Saturday. The event was the result of a countywide Shred Day planned by the students. Messenger Photo by Jake Harris

“It was really crazy when we showed up ,” said Bridgeport Middle School advanced academics teacher Paula Shepherd. “There were people waiting for us when we got here to set up around 10:30. The shred guy said a normal day is about 75 boxes worth, and we had about 300.

“There were boxes [of paper] everywhere at one point!”

All of the Problems Solvers were present, including Jacob Richey, who helped hand out surveys to event participants.

“Everyone helps out and does a little bit of everything, but right now I’m handing out the surveys,” Richey said. “Other kids help unload the cars or help bring things to the shredder.”

The truck, on hand from Magic Shred of Denton, was whirring and spitting with paper non-stop the duration of the event – 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The shred project was the culmination of a year’s worth of work for the students, who sought a way to combat the nearly 25,000 annual cases of identity theft in Texas. The students found that shredding documents with important information like Social Security numbers, bank account numbers and the like could greatly reduce one’s risk of becoming an identity theft victim. The class partnered with local businesses to bring their project to the public.

Besides the gratification that comes with community outreach, the students, calling themselves Team W.I.S.E. (Wise-County Identity Safety Education) also won a state prize for their work. They placed first in the middle school leadership category of the Community Problem Solvers state competition in February.

The team’s project will be on display at the Texas Future Problem Solvers’ State Bowl in Austin April 24-26.

This is the second consecutive state title for the Problem Solvers. Last year their plan to reduce traffic congestion during school pickup and dropoff times won their project category and tied for second place overall in their division.

They took that same project to the Future Problem Solving Program International Conference in Ames, Iowa, last June and won third place.

They didn’t qualify for internationals this year, but Shepherd said she is looking forward to taking the students to the state competition this month in Austin.

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news/shred-day-surpasses-expectations/feed/ 0
Extension Service hatches fun program http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/education/education-headlines/extension-service-hatches-fun-program/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/education/education-headlines/extension-service-hatches-fun-program/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:53:27 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89229 For several years, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension – Wise County has brought the Egg-to-Chick program to local schools.

The project, which allows students to witness the incubation, growth and hatching of chicks, is underway in the second and third grade classrooms at Chico Elementary.

Coming Out of Their Shells

COMING OUT OF THEIR SHELLS – Chico second graders Aaron Werner, Cole Barnett, Giselle Mandujano, Edith Armador and Eric White wait in anticipation with teacher Sheri Claborn for their eggs to hatch. The Egg-to-Chick project is done every year through Texas A&M AgriLife Extension – Wise County and gives kids the chance to gain hands-on experience with the hatching process. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“For the kids who have never seen that, it’s a good experience for them to witness the process,” said Chico second-grade teacher Sheri Claborn. “We count down the days, and we keep track on the board.”

The eggs take 21 days to hatch, and during that time, students are responsible for checking the incubator temperature and humidity, among other things, on a daily basis.

After they hatch, the chicks stay in a brooder for two weeks before being adopted by students, pending parents’ permission.

“They love it,” Claborn said. “They check the incubator every day even though we’re a long way from hatching. We learn about the life cycle and what an egg is made of. We do a lot of stuff that goes along with that.”

The Extension Service not only provides the equipment but also the eggs, which Extension Agent Chrissy Karrer said has been difficult in the past. Karrer, along with Wise County 4-H program assistant Andrea Clark, facilitates the program.

With between one and two dozen eggs per incubator, Karrer said they now use eggs from local producers, hatcheries and Texas A&M University.

“Hatching in the classroom has been around for a really long time to introduce agriculture to children in the classroom, especially in urban classrooms because there’s a disconnect between students and agriculture there,” she said.

Though Chico is probably not considered “urban,” Claborn agrees the hands-on learning method can be one of the most beneficial for students, giving them more ways to retain information. It also allows them to explore a project with a fulfilling end.

“I would like to do more because I think it’s a very worthwhile thing,” Claborn said. “We do a lot of hands-on. We do different things with the weather and monitor that. On Earth Day, we recycle paper.

“I think these kinds of projects help kids gain a total knowledge of what they’re learning by actually seeing the process and being involved with it,” she said.

One year Claborn saw an egg was close to hatching, so she held it up to the light so the students could watch the chick inside as it fought to free itself.

Karrer said the project is conducted in the same grade levels every year at the school, and this has led to excitement about reaching a certain grade and getting to participate in the program.

Karrer said there may also be a correlation between the popularity of the Egg-to-Chick program and the growth of the county’s annual coop tour.

“We have our fifth annual coop tour this year, and the popularity of that has grown,” Karrer said. “It may have something to do with this program. It’s a connection that I think has to do with these kids bringing chicks home and having backyard birds.”

Egg-to-Chick at Chico has given a whole new meaning to “homework,” while teaching students about nature and farming, plus lessons in responsibility.

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/education/education-headlines/extension-service-hatches-fun-program/feed/ 0
Education Briefs for Wednesday, April 1, 2015 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/education/education-headlines/education-briefs-for-wednesday-april-1-2015/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/education/education-headlines/education-briefs-for-wednesday-april-1-2015/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:52:26 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89226 ALVORD

GOOD FRIDAY – Alvord ISD is open Friday, April 3.

HAT DAY – Alvord Middle School will allow students to wear hats Friday, April 3.


GOOD FRIDAY – Boyd ISD is open Friday, April 3, to make up a bad weather day.


SCHOOL CLOSED – Bridgeport ISD is closed April 3 for Good Friday.


GOOD FRIDAY – Chico ISD is open Friday, April 3, to make up for a bad weather day.


SCHOOL CLOSED – Decatur ISD is closed April 3 for Good Friday.


GOOD FRIDAY – Northwest ISD is open Friday, April 3.


GOOD FRIDAY – Paradise ISD is open Friday, April 3, to make up for a bad weather day.


SCHOOL CLOSED – Slidell ISD is closed April 3 for Good Friday.

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/education/education-headlines/education-briefs-for-wednesday-april-1-2015/feed/ 0
Chico ISD Student Spotlights for Wednesday, April 1, 2015 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/education/education-headlines/chico-isd-student-spotlights-for-wednesday-april-1-2015/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/education/education-headlines/chico-isd-student-spotlights-for-wednesday-april-1-2015/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:51:53 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89224 CHICO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Patrick Charles

Patrick Charles

Grade: 2nd

Parents: Thomas and Christina Charles

Favorite subject: Science, math

Activities: Collects rocks, collects eggs from his family’s chickens.

“Patrick is very curious in the classroom and sees the material in different ways that are unique. He works hard and really wants to do well even when he has to go the extra mile.” – classroom teacher Sheri Claborn


Robert Nicholas “Nico” Starnes

Robert Nicholas “Nico” Starnes

Grade: 8th

Parents: Bobby Starnes and Kerri Breeze

Favorite subject: Athletics

Activities: Football, basketball, track (set the school record for the 100 meter dash this year)

“Nico is an outstanding athlete and has been a hardworking student. He is always involved in school activities.” – Principal Brad Bland


Maricruz Ortega

Maricruz Ortega

Grade: 11th

Parent: Adriana Coll

Favorite subject: Art

Activities: Drawing, painting, playing volleyball

“Maricruz has developed into an outstanding young woman, both socially and intellectually. She works hard in the classroom and gets along with her peers. She is highly respected by all of her teachers due to her diligent work ethic and her pleasant attitude in the classroom.” – teacher Tobie Hart

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/education/education-headlines/chico-isd-student-spotlights-for-wednesday-april-1-2015/feed/ 0
News Briefs for Wednesday, April 1, 2015 http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news-briefs/news-briefs-for-wednesday-april-1-2015/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news-briefs/news-briefs-for-wednesday-april-1-2015/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:50:21 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89219 BOYD

FUN RUN – The First Baptist Church in Boyd is having a 5K fun run Saturday, April 18, to support the church’s children’s department and Wise Choices Pregnancy Resource Center. To register, go to active.com and search “FBC Boyd.” Cost is $25 per runner for ages 9 and older. Race-day check-in and signup starts at 6:30 a.m., and last call is 7:45 a.m. The race starts at 8 a.m. T-shirts will be available for purchase. Email Scott Smith, avteam@fbcboyd.org or Carol Smith, carolsmith_81@yahoo.com.


CLAY SHOOT – The Barnett Shale Sporting Clay Shoot is Thursday, April 2, 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.

BUTTERFIELD STAGE DAYS – The Butterfield Stage Days Festival is 10 a.m. Saturday, May 9, at Harwood Park in Bridgeport. Booth space and sponsorship opportunities are available. Call the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce, 940-683-2076.

FIREFIGHTERS NEEDED – The Bridgeport Volunteer Fire Department is searching for new members. Applicants must be 18 years or older, live in Bridgeport and have a high school diploma and a clean record. Call Bridgeport Training Captain Tanner Reeves, 940-577-0930.


LEARN TO CROCHET – Decatur Public Library is offering free Learn to Knit classes Thursday evenings in April, 6:15 to 7:45 p.m. Participants should bring a pair of knitting needles and yarn. The classes are free and open to all ages. No registration necessary. Call 940-393-0290 or visit www.decaturpubliclibrary.com.

DECATUR 5K – The Decatur 5K and 1 mile kids fun run is 8 a.m. Saturday, April 4, 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 March 28 Wise County Messenger.

BOND TOWN HALL – The Decatur school district will hold a series of town hall meetings to share information about the upcoming school bond issue on the May 9 ballot. The meetings are noon Thursday, April 9, and 6 p.m. Thursday, April 16. All meetings will be at the DISD Administration Building, 307 S. Cates.

GLITZY GIRLS – The second annual Glitzy Girls Trailer Park is Saturday, April 11, on the Decatur Square, and they are seeking vendors. Call 940-577-3487 or email toollady1@aol.com.

BACK THE BLUE – The Decatur Police Department’s Back The Blue Scholarship forms are now available for all Wise County seniors going into a criminal justice-related field of study. Students can pick up forms from their school counselor or come by the Decatur Police Department at 1601 S. State St. Applications and supporting documents must be submitted by April 17.


GOLF TOURNAMENT – The Paradise Chamber of Commerce is seeking sponsors for its first golf tournament Saturday, May 16. Call Deborah Mann, 940-393-1434.


EGG HUNT – The Rhome Easter egg hunt is 1 p.m. Saturday, April 4, 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.

LIBRARY STORY TIME – The Rhome Public Library will host story time 1 to 2 p.m. every first and third Wednesday, February through May, for preschool-age children. Call 817-636-2767.


FIREFIGHTERS NEEDED – The Runaway Bay Volunteer Fire Department is searching for new members. Applicants must be 18 years or older and pass a background check. Call Runaway Bay Fire Chief Brian Bernardo at 940-391-9158 or City Hall at 940-575-4745.


OFFICE CLOSED – Outreach Health Services-WIC will be closed Thursday, April 2, in observance of Good Friday. It will be open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. (closed noon to 1 p.m.) Tuesday and Wednesday and will reopen 7 a.m. Monday, April 6. Call 940-627-5796 to schedule an appointment. For breastfeeding questions, call the 24-hour hotline, 1-800-687-1252.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – Wise County Special Needs Baseball is looking for volunteers to help with games on Saturday mornings, April 11 through 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.

COOP TOUR – The fifth annual chicken coop tour is Saturday, May 2. If you have a chicken coop that you would like to put on the tour, call Extension agent Chrissy Karrer at 940-627-3341.

GRANGER RESCHEDULED – The “Conversation with Congresswoman Kay Granger” luncheon has been rescheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday, April 8, at the Decatur Civic Center. An earlier event was canceled because of the weather. Reservations can be made by calling Kristi or Donna at the Messenger, 940-627-5987. Advance reservations are required.

CASINO NIGHT – CASA of Wise and Jack counties is hosting a casino night, “Playing from the Heart,” Saturday, April 25, at the Decatur Civic Center. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres will be served at 6 p.m. with dinner and a presentation to follow at 6:30. Casino games will start at 7 p.m. There will be a live auction, silent auction and door prizes every 15 minutes. Tickets are $90 per couple, $50 for an individual and $1,000 for a high roller package, which includes reserved seating for eight. CASA is also seeking sponsors for the event. Call 940-399-3291 or email kayla.prock@casawise.org.

DEAF COFFEE CHAT – The deaf community is invited to a Deaf Coffee Chat 7 p.m. Saturday, April 25, at Starbucks in Decatur.

RELAY FOR LIFE – Relay for Life of Wise County is 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. April 24-25, 2015, at McCarroll Middle School track on Thompson Street in Decatur. The annual American Cancer Society event raises funds for cancer research and education. Visit www.relayforlife.org/wisecotx or call Kathy Odell, 940-255-2944.

SONFLOWER CAMP – Sonflower Camp for Kids with Disabilities will be June 8-10 at Joe Wheeler Park in Decatur. Mark your calendars now and plan to come as a camper or as a helper. Call Andrea Duwe, 940-395-3356; or Elaine Huff, 940-627-4222.

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/news-briefs/news-briefs-for-wednesday-april-1-2015/feed/ 0
Baseball: Egle, Decatur stop Bulls – Hurler holds Bridgeport to 2 runs on 4 hits http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/baseball-egle-decatur-stop-bulls-hurler-holds-bridgeport-to-2-runs-on-4-hits/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/baseball-egle-decatur-stop-bulls-hurler-holds-bridgeport-to-2-runs-on-4-hits/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:49:18 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89217 The Decatur Eagles were selective at the plate Friday night in Bridgeport, forcing the Bulls to put three separate pitchers on the mound for a total of 167 pitches.

The Eagles managed eight walks and eight hits in their 8-2 win over Bridgeport.

In Safely

IN SAFELY – Decatur’s Jesus Gam slides into third base safely Friday during the Eagles’ 8-2 victory in Bridgeport. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

But Decatur coach Brian Tickell concentrated on the work of Clayton Egle on the hill.

“Clayton Egle for sure on the mound,” Tickell said. “At one point he struggled a little bit and walked a lead-off batter, but he has a lot of guts.

“He just beared down and threw strikes. He threw 88 pitches in seven innings, so he threw strikes. He forced Bridgeport to put the ball in play, and we played good defense behind him.”

OUT OF REACH – Travis Fuentes was barely able to handle a throw to second base as Derek Potts slid safely in. The Bulls could not overcome a fourth inning rally by the Eagles who won the game 8-2. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Egle struck out five and walked two, allowing four hits and a single earned run in the win.

Though his pitcher was the first player he mentioned, Tickell didn’t shy away from praising his offense after it put up eight runs on the rival Bulls.

“A.J. Johnson is still seeing the ball really well,” Tickell said. “Tyler Ticknor had two walks and a double. Our on-base percentage is awesome right now. We’re seeing a lot of pitches and making pitchers work.”

After three and two-thirds innings in which he threw 91 pitches, Bridgeport’s Jared Huff was replaced by Chayton Stotts, who threw 54 pitches in two innings.

Mason Baker came on in relief of Stotts for the final out of the sixth and the entirety of the seventh inning. The three hurlers struck out eight while allowing eight hits.

It was Bridgeport’s eight walks allowed that gave the Eagles more opportunities.

“Our deal is that we have to throw strikes and that was the bottom line in this game tonight,” said Bridgeport coach Ted Leps. “Plus your defense kind of falls asleep when the ball isn’t being put in play. You have five errors and that many walks in a game and you won’t win many games at all That’s something we’ve got to really work on.”

Though disappointed about losing the first two games of district play, the coach still thinks the Bulls can reach their season goals.

“We have six games left in district,” Leps said. “Our goal every year is to make the playoffs, and two games doesn’t make or break you. We’ve got to keep going and getting better.”

The Eagles lost 6-4 to Azle in a non-district game Saturday.


Decatur … 021 … 401 … 0 … 8 … 8 … 3
Bridgeport … 001 … 001 … 0 … 2 … 4 … 5

WP: Clayton Egle. LP: Jared Huff

2B: A.J. Johnson

RBI: Decatur, Jesus Gam 2, Michael Hicks, A.J. Johnson, Tyler Ticknor; Bridgeport, Corbin Coleman

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/baseball-egle-decatur-stop-bulls-hurler-holds-bridgeport-to-2-runs-on-4-hits/feed/ 0
Track: Jumping into record books – Hernandez raises bar after 3 years off http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/track-jumping-into-record-books-hernandez-raises-bar-after-3-years-off/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/track-jumping-into-record-books-hernandez-raises-bar-after-3-years-off/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:39:42 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89213 Chris Hernandez competed in one track meet as a freshman and decided to stop.

RAISING THE BAR – After a three-year layoff, Bridgeport’s Chris Hernandez returned to the track and set the school record in the high jump at 6-5. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“I just didn’t like it,” he recalled. “I was into football and soccer. I wasn’t into high jumping.”

Three years later, Hernandez decided to give jumping another try and instantly made Bridgeport history. The senior cleared 6-5 at the Double B Relays his first meet of the season to set a school record in the high jump.

“I was just hoping to get first,” Hernandez said. “Then I started trying to beat the school record.”

With his record-setting effort, he took gold at the Double B Relays and followed it with a victory at Jacksboro, clearing 6-0.

Bridgeport coach Justin Garza admits that Hernandez has been a nice surprise, returning to the track after a three-year absence.

“We’re glad to have him out here,” Garza said. “It was ridiculous the first rattle out of the bag to come out and break the school record. That was the first meet and we only look for him to get better.”

Garza credits some of Hernandez’ success to natural ability, but also said he takes competing seriously.

“He does what he needs to be good,” the Bridgeport coach said. “He comes out and puts in the work. He had good form but coach [Ray] Callaway worked with him to fine tune it.”

While his success may be a surprise to some, it’s not to Hernandez.

Raising the Standard

RAISING THE STANDARD – Bridgeport’s Chris Hernandez cleared 6-5 in the opening meet of the year, setting a school record. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“I knew it was in me. I knew I could high jump since middle school,” Hernandez said. “I just stopped after my freshman year.”

As he neared the end of high school, he changed his mind and wanted to take another stab at competing.

“I just wanted to do a sport and try it out and see if I could go somewhere with it,” Hernandez said.

The spot he hopes it takes him eventually is Austin and the state track meet. His early success has him on the right path. His 6-5 effort would have placed him sixth in 3A last year at the state meet.

“Hopefully I can make it. I’m trying my best,” Hernandez said.

“By the end of the year, I’m hoping I can clear 6-8 or higher.”

When preparing to jump over the bar several inches above his head, Hernandez said he never thinks about the height.

“I get in my sprint, jump and end up on the mat,” he explains. “I don’t think about it.

Hernandez also doesn’t think about the past and what might have been if he’d returned to the track sooner.

“There’s not any regret. I should’ve done it before, but now as a senior it feels good to be doing it,” Hernandez said.

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/track-jumping-into-record-books-hernandez-raises-bar-after-3-years-off/feed/ 0
Track: Kevetter takes 14th in Austin http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/track-kevetter-takes-14th-in-austin/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/track-kevetter-takes-14th-in-austin/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:38:23 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89209 Decatur senior Jacob Kevetter ran 15.34 Friday in his heat of the Division I 110 hurdles at the Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays.

Kevetter had the 14th fastest time. The nine finals qualifying times were 15.2 or better.

Springtown’s Dillon Springfield won the finals race in 14.24.

Decatur’s Gunner Parker turned in the 15th fastest time in the 100 Division I prelims, running 11.6. He needed a 11.27 to make the finals.

Northwest’s 4×800 squad of Katherine Chavez, Baylee Nelson, Cassidy Adams and Rebekah Christman finished eighth in 9:45.61.

Chavez, Nelson and Adams joined Paighton Kelly on the girls distance medley that finished 15th in 12:50.59.

The 4×400 with Janae Tatum, Breyana Smith, Kelly and Nelson ran 3:59.59 for 25th.

The 4×100 with Emalee Wright, Tatum, Morgan Baker and Micah Solomon turned in a 51.01 with the 81st fastest time in Division II.

Wright ran a 13.46 in the 100 Division II prelims. She ran 16.27 in the 100 hurdles prelims.

The Northwest boys 4×800 with Jacob Suchors, Jarred O’Connor, Ismael Munoz and Austin Bazet ran 8:22.01 for 14th.

O’Connor, Munoz and Suchors joined Jacob Gustin on the boys medley relay that finished 28th in 10:57.11.

Suchors took 22nd in the 1,600, running 4:22.89.

Northwest alum and North Texas junior Troy Taylor was seventh in the Jerry Thompson Invitational Mile, running 4:12.23.

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/track-kevetter-takes-14th-in-austin/feed/ 0
Softball: Butler, Lady Eagles blank Sissies http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/softball-butler-lady-eagles-blank-sissies/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/softball-butler-lady-eagles-blank-sissies/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:37:45 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89207 The Decatur Lady Eagles got a run in each of the first three innings Friday night in their 4-0 win over the home Bridgeport Sissies.

The Sissies never mounted a rally against Decatur pitcher Caitlin Butler and the Lady Eagles’ defense.

Infield Wall

INFIELD WALL – Briana Crooks tags out a Bridgeport base runner in Decatur’s 4-0 win over the Sissies. Decatur’s infield was a dominant presence, allowing only one hit despite the Sissies putting the ball in play 16 times. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“They’re playing as a team and making the routine plays,” Decatur coach Carly Cloud pointed out.

Bridgeport only managed one hit in the contest, despite putting the ball in play 16 times. The Sissies did work three walks.

It was the solid infield defense of Decatur that kept Bridgeport from getting runners around the bases.

Butler struck out five and allowed just one hit in her seven innings of work.

Bridgeport’s Hailey Hollingsworth gave up six hits and two earned runs with four walks and three strikeouts in her seven innings.

Butler also led the Decatur offense with two hits and a walk. The Lady Eagles’ Kelsie Roberts and Jenny Bradford each drove in a run.

Hayley Davidson was responsible for Bridgeport’s only hit – a blooper single to left field. Hollingsworth, Shiloh Weirich and Diana Garcia all got on base with walks.

For Decatur, it was their ability to balance timely hitting with smart base running, taking advantage of every opportunity to move players around the bases.

“Our mentality is to get runners on and move them around,” Cloud said. “Little things add up to big things. When it comes to stealing bases, you want to be aggressive but you’ve got to be smart too.”

Bridgeport coach Ruben Garza said that his team has to find a way to not just put the ball in play, but to find gaps in the field upon contact.

“Tough loss,” Garza said. “We didn’t hit the ball as well as we should have. We’ve got to bounce back. We’ve got Castleberry next Thursday. We’ve got to keep playing.”


Decatur … 111 … 010 … 0 … 4 … 6 … 1
Bridgeport … 000 … 000 … 0 … 0 … 1 … 4

WP: Caitlin Butler. LP: Hailey Hollingsworth.

2B: Decatur, Kelsie Roberts, Taryn Trull

RBI: Decatur, Kelsie Roberts, Jenny Bradford

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/softball-butler-lady-eagles-blank-sissies/feed/ 0
Baseball: Boyd bats beat up pair http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/baseball-boyd-bats-beat-up-pair/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/baseball-boyd-bats-beat-up-pair/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:36:38 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89204 The Boyd Lady Yellowjackets’ offense piled up the runs Friday and Saturday in wins over Jacksboro and Bowie.

Boyd hammered Jacksboro 15-0 Friday and turned around and beat Bowie 10-4 the following day.

Boyd moved to 13-4 and 5-1 in District 9-3A with the two wins.

The Lady Yellowjackets pounded out 13 hits against Jacksboro.

Chelsea Arlington blasted a home run and drove in three runs. Chandler Hammon and Britney Howard knocked in three runs each and doubled.

Boyd scored eight runs in the first and six in the third.

Hammon struck out two and allowed three hits in three innings.

Against Bowie, the Lady Yellowjackets pushed across two runs in the third and three more in the fourth to take control of the game.

Boyd had to overcome six errors, including four in one inning.

Arlington kept Boyd in the game, allowing four runs – one earned – on six hits over six innings. She struck out four.

Kristin Rasbury went 3-for-3 and scored three runs. Savannah Foster, Howard, Kaytlin Bullard and Kassidy Lester drove in two runs each. Foster, Bullard and Lester doubled.


Mikena Mader belted a pair of homers and drove in six runs Friday in the Alvord Lady Bulldogs’ 16-1 win over Chico.

Alvord scored 11 runs in the first and five in the third.

Mader pitched three innings, allowing five hits and striking out four.

Brittany Gayler added three hits for Alvord. Kaely Beaver went 2-for-3 with a triple.

Alli York went 2-for-2 and scored a run for Chico.

The Lady Dragons fell to Valley View 14-0 Monday. Destinee Hardee had a double.


Holliday used a three-run sixth inning to get past Paradise 10-8 Friday.

The loss dropped Paradise from its solo hold on first place in District 9-3A and into a three-way tie with Holliday and Boyd at 5-1.

Paradise committed three errors.

Allie Rutledge went 3-for-5 and scored a run. Kailey Thomas finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs.


Tuesday DerMargosian doubled, going 2-for-2 and scoring three runs in the Northwest Lady Texans’ 5-2 win over Denton Ryan Friday.

Rhianna Speicher drove in a pair of runs on two hits. Sydnee Hickle, Kelsey Rhine and Emily Worley added RBIs.

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/baseball-boyd-bats-beat-up-pair/feed/ 0
Powerlifting: Lifters close out season at state meet http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/powerlifting-lifters-close-out-season-at-state-meet/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/powerlifting-lifters-close-out-season-at-state-meet/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:35:49 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89202 Tyler Jennings and Bronson Burks of Bridgeport and Jacob Hartsell and Dakota Williams of Decatur competed at the Texas High School Powerlifting Association championships in Abilene Saturday.

Jennings finished 12th in the state among 209 lifters in the 242 weight class for Division 2.

He improved his personal best on bench press to 380 pounds.

Jennings received one of the 18 $1,000 scholarships given to powerlifters by the association.

Burks finished 10th out of 218 lifters from the 275 class. He got his personal best in the squat with a lift of 575 pounds and bench pressed 325.

“I am very proud of these young men for their hard work,” said Bridgeport coach Davis McAlister. “I’m also proud of all of the lifters that chose to represent Bridgeport this season.

“Bronson and Tyler have sealed their status as the first two boys in Bridgeport history to make it to the state level competition in powerlifting.”

Decatur’s Williams finished 16th in the 220 class with a squat of 500, a bench press of 285 and a deadlift of 500 for a total of 1285.

The total number was down for Williams, who wasn’t feeling well for most of the trip, according to coach Scott Warner.

“He tried his best but we came to find out that he had mono,” Warner said. “I’ve never seen him down like he was that day in three years as his coach. But he competed hard and did well.”

Hartsell was 11th in the super heavyweight division, squatting 550 pounds, bench pressing 415 and pulling 560 on deadlift.

“It was a great experience and a shock factor a little bit considering how strong the other guys were,” Warner said. “It was impressive. Overall, we went down there and had a lot of fun. We had a good time and they enjoyed getting away.

“I’m proud of the way they worked at it for the last four years. They completed their goal of getting to state.”

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/powerlifting-lifters-close-out-season-at-state-meet/feed/ 0
Baseball: Yellowjackets hold off Millsap http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/baseball-yellowjackets-hold-off-millsap/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/baseball-yellowjackets-hold-off-millsap/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:35:08 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89200 The Boyd Yellowjackets scored five runs in the first three innings to take a 5-0 lead over Millsap Saturday afternoon.

The Bulldogs rattled off five runs in the bottom of the third inning to tie the game.

The Yellowjackets showed their resolve by continuing to score, racking up three runs in the fourth and another four runs in the final three innings.

After holding Millsap scoreless in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, the Bulldogs rallied for four runs in the bottom of the seventh, but Boyd held on for the 12-9 win.

Colton Batterton went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a home run. Cameron Clark also drove in a pair of runs.

Hayden Ford got the win with his two and two-thirds innings. Evan Stephenson, Colton Meadows and Colton Bruce also took the mound for Boyd.


Chico and Perrin-Whitt were tied at 6-6 heading into the sixth inning when Tyler Melton hit a grand slam that fueled the Dragons to victory.

Melton had two doubles to go with the grand slam in Chico’s 12-7 win Monday.

Melton was also called in for some damage control on the mound after Jeremy Blanks allowed four earned runs, throwing 105 pitches in four innings.

Blanks struck out seven of the batters. Melton delivered five outs with four strikeouts and no hits or earned runs to fuel a comeback.

Kalan Johnson finished things off on the mound with a solid inning.

The Dragons were down 3-0 before a pair of runs in the third inning and another in the fourth had the teams tied.

The tie continued when they both scored three in the fifth.

But a six-run sixth inning, led by Melton’s heroics, put the game out of reach for the Pirates.

Blanks also had a big day at the plate, driving in two runs with a triple.


Despite throwing solid five innings with seven strikeouts, no earned runs and two hits, John Bridgeman couldn’t overcome the five Paradise errors that led to three unearned Holliday runs.

The Panthers were down 3-2 in the fifth, but Holliday exploded with four runs in the sixth. The Eagles held the Panthers scoreless in the top of the seventh to close the game out.

Austin Hogan and Sam Robinson each drove in a run for Paradise in the loss.


Northwest had two outs and were tied 3-3 with Denton Guyer when things took a turn for the worse for the Texans.

In the bottom of the sixth, two singles and a walk loaded the bases for Guyer.

Still, with two outs it seemed there was still a chance Northwest could escape the inning unscathed.

But Dustin May lost some accuracy and hit the next batter to walk home the go-ahead run.

Guyer then doubled for two runs and scored again before the Texans could end the rally.

The climb back proved too massive for the Texans with only one inning to go. Guyer held Northwest scoreless in the top of the seventh to get the 7-3 victory.

Dodger Gilliland’s lone hit was a two-run homer that tied things up for the Texans in the top of the sixth.

It was one of only three hits Northwest could conjure against the stingy Guyer pitching.

The Texans did keep things close for most of the game with solid defense, committing only one error in the contest.


The Olney Cubs picked up a win over Alvord Friday, 8-3.

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/baseball-yellowjackets-hold-off-millsap/feed/ 0
Soccer: Brownwood holds off Eagles for 3-2 win http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/soccer-brownwood-holds-off-eagles-for-3-2-win/ http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/soccer-brownwood-holds-off-eagles-for-3-2-win/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 16:34:14 +0000 http://www.wcmessenger.com/?p=89198 Off a mad scramble in front of the goal, Decatur senior Leo Lopez headed in the ball to bring the Eagles within a goal in the 46th minute Friday night.

But Decatur couldn’t find the equalizer, falling to the Brownwood Lions 3-2 at Eagle Stadium in the Class 4A Region I bi-district match.

Taking a Kick

TAKING A KICK – Decatur’s Juan Tapia tries to keep the ball inbounds Friday during the Eagles’ 3-2 loss to Brownwood. Tapia scored one of the Eagles’ two goals. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Brownwood’s three first-half goals brought an end to the Eagles’ season.

“We did good with only a couple of seniors. We were mostly underclassmen,” Lopez said.

Decatur coach Christopher Chance said the team took big steps forward, going 4-5 in district.

“It’s grown by leaps and bounds,” he said. “My first year, we were 11 individuals. I’m proud of how they came together. We learned to play the right way. The only thing holding us back is inexperience.”

Brownwood outshot Decatur 10-4. The Lions took advantage of set plays for all three of their goals.

Abraham Oviedo booted a goal in from 25 yards out on an indirect kick 17 minutes into game.

Five minutes later, Reid Longabaugh put the ball into the left side of the goal off a throw-in.

Longabaugh struck again with only 20 seconds left in the first half, hammering the ball into the upper left of the goal off another throw-in.

“They had good teammates that worked together,” Lopez said about Brownwood’s three goals.

Along with getting the three goals, Brownwood dominated the midfield in the first half and won a majority of the 50-50 balls.

“That’s been a problem all year,” Chance said. “They were a better team.”

In between Longabaugh’s goals, Decatur cut the deficit to one when Juan Tapia found the back of the net in the 37th minute.

Tapia managed three of the Eagles’ four shots on goal. Decatur put the ball wide or over the goal three other times in the second half.

http://www.wcmessenger.com/2015/sports/soccer-brownwood-holds-off-eagles-for-3-2-win/feed/ 0