Boyd school board to begin budget talks

The Boyd school board is ready to begin its work on the school district’s financial plan for next year.

Following its regularly scheduled meeting Monday, trustees will hold a budget workshop.

During the regular meeting, the board will discuss and consider:

  • purchasing tax property in Brighton Oaks;
  • an annual contract with King, Moore, Truelove and Pharis, Certified Public Accountants;
  • establishing a maximum class size;
  • the district’s food service program;
  • the district improvement plans;
  • budget policy regarding academic achievement graduation; and
  • a budget amendment.

They will also review handbooks for students/parents, employees, custodial/maintenance personnel and substitutes.

In closed session, trustees are to discuss personnel matters and real property. If they take action, they will reconvene into the public meeting to do so.

Trustees will also review minutes, pay bills and hear reports from the superintendent, assistant superintendent, superintendent’s secretary, business manager, director of technology, principals and athletic director.

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Boyd ISD Administration Board Room, 600 Knox Ave. It is open to the public.

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Variance creates needed parking

A variance granted Tuesday by the city council could help alleviate a parking issue in downtown Boyd.

The council granted a variance request for 5-foot setbacks for property at 313 E. Rock Island.

The additional space would allow for more parking around three office suites that are in the planning stage.

“One of our biggest problems in downtown and on (Texas) 114 is parking,” councilman Rodney Holmes said. “We can never have enough parking. I’m all for having as much parking as we possibly can on 114.”

City secretary Joy Patterson said she received no response to the six letters she sent to neighboring property owners.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, city officials heard from Greg Leveling of USW Utility Group about enlisting his company’s services to handle the city’s water.

They will further discuss the matter as they continue to develop next year’s budget plan.

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Brawner joins Boyd staff

Former Godley head football coach Randy Brawner is joining the Boyd coaching staff.

Brawner, who led Godley to a 9-4 season and the Class 2A Division I Region II semifinal last year, will coach the offensive line along with track at Boyd.

“He’s a good coach. I’m glad to get him,” said Boyd coach Brandon Hopkins. “He’ll help me running the offense. It’ll be a big plus.”

Brawner went 50-11 in five seasons at Godley. He was the offensive coordinator at Aledo before going to Godley.

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Merleta Hon

Merleta Hon

Merleta Hon, 90, a retired grocery store clerk, died Tuesday, July 15, 2014, in Boyd.

Memorial service is 2 p.m. Friday, July 18, at Trinity Baptist Church in Boyd with the Rev. Charles Day officiating.

Merleta was born May 25, 1924, in Winters to Homer and Eva (Taylor) Porter.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her first husband, William Day in 1959; her second husband, Frank Hon in 1976; and her brother, Billy Jack Cunningham.

She is survived by her daughter, Carol Waldrop and husband, Lee, of Boyd; son Charles Day and wife, Patsy, of Decatur; four grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; six great-great-grandchildren; stepdaughter Martha Roberts of Abilene; and other family members and friends.

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2 homes charred in separate fires

2 homes charred in separate fires

Fire ravaged two mobile homes in separate incidents early Friday morning. The blazes were reported within 30 minutes of each other.

Boyd Blaze

BOYD BLAZE – Firefighters from Boyd, Newark and Cottondale battled a house fire in the 300 block of Brighton Oaks Drive early Friday morning. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Just after 12:30 a.m., firefighters from Boyd, Newark, Cottondale and Briar responded to reports of a “fully-engulfed double-wide” in the 300 block of Brighton Oaks Drive south of Boyd.

The homeowner, Erik Harshman, and his dog escaped without injury. Harshman said he was asleep in his recliner when he awoke to a room filled with smoke.

“I felt like I was choking,” he said. “So I cupped my hands around my mouth and went to the floor to get enough fresh air. And I crawled out.”

Although the fire is under investigation, Wise County Deputy Fire Marshal J.C. Travis believes it started on the front porch.

Damage to the home was extensive, and Harshman lost most of his belongings, Travis said.

Red Cross of Tarrant County was called to assist.

Secondary Fire

SECONDARY FIRE – A grass fire at the corner of Coyote Trail and Ridge Trail spread to an adjacent mobile home and completely gutted the double-wide. It was not occupied. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Just before 1 a.m., firefighters from East Wise were dispatched to reports of a grass fire at the intersection of Coyote Trail and Ridge Trail in New Fairview. However, the flames spread quickly and clipped a vacant double-wide in the 100 block of Ridge Trail.

Rhome, Decatur and Paradise fire departments were called in to assist.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Wise County Fire Marshal Chuck Beard said the home is a total loss.

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Boyd City Council to discuss budget

Planning for the 2014-2015 budget will soon begin in the city of Boyd.

The council will wrap up its meeting Tuesday discussing the financial plan for the upcoming fiscal year.

Officials will begin the meeting with a closed session to discuss pending or threatened litigation and real estate.

The council will convene into open session to consider taking action on those matters before holding a public hearing to consider granting a variance request for 5-foot setbacks for property at 313 E. Rock Island.

Greg Leveling of USW Utility Group will also talk to the council about water and wastewater operation.

The council will also review minutes and invoices, and hear reports from the police, public works, parks and library departments.

The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Boyd Community Center, 420 E. Morton Ave. It is open to the public.

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Remington Gage Erskine

Hubert and Leticha Erskine of Boyd announce the birth of a son, Remington Gage, on July 8, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 6 pounds, 5 ounces and was 18 inches long.

He has two brothers: Jeron, 2, and Eddie, 1; and two sisters, Acelee, 7, and Stephanie, 21.

Grandparents are Crissy Wisener of Boyd and Sharry Blanton of Azle.

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Coach for all seasons; Hopkins leads teams to playoffs in fall, spring

For Boyd’s Brandon Hopkins there truly is no offseason.

While serving as athletic director at his alma mater, he is the head coach of the Boyd football and softball teams. He also assists the girls basketball team and track squad.

“I do stay busy – but that’s why I do the job. I like to coach kids and help make kids better,” Hopkins said. “Coaching here to me is not a job. It’s part of my life. And I’ve never thought of it as a 9-to-5 job.”

Juggling a Busy Schedule

JUGGLING A BUSY SCHEDULE – Boyd athletic director Brandon Hopkins stayed busy this year coaching the Yellowjacket football team and Lady Yellowjacket softball team to the playoffs. He also served as an assistant for the girls basketball team that made the playoffs. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Hopkins’ tireless work ethic rubbed off on his teams this past year. His Yellowjackets football team took third place in District 5-2A to advance to the playoffs. The Boyd softball team set a school record for wins with 25 and made it into the second round of the playoffs. The Boyd girls basketball team also advanced to the postseason with him on the bench assisting Lynn Cranfill.

For his hard work and success in 2013-14, Hopkins earned the Wise County Coach of the Year honors.

Green and gold are the only school colors Hopkins has ever worn, going all the way through school at Boyd. He earned second team all-state his senior year on the football field, catching 35 passes for 700 yards.

He also excelled on the baseball diamond, earning a chance to pitch at Cooke County College in Gainesville. After a year-and-a-half playing baseball, he finished college at the University of North Texas.

When he graduated, he was quickly hired by his high school coach, J.G. Cartwright. The interview process didn’t take long in 1997.

“I knew everything about him,” Cartwright said in 2012. “I knew he was intelligent and the type of coach he’d develop into.”

Hopkins spent 15 years on the sidelines with Cartwright. He took over as offensive coordinator for the Yellowjackets in 2001 and called plays for Boyd’s state championship team in 2004.

When Cartwright decided to retire in 2012, he recommended Hopkins to replace him. The Boyd school board agreed with the recommendation and hired him as the head football coach and athletic director.

“That meant a lot,” Hopkins said about Cartwright’s blessing. “We were so close, and he knew I’d do a good job.”

Under Hopkins, the Yellowjackets have carried on the same success. Boyd went 7-5 in Hopkins’ first season at the helm, advancing to the area round of the Class 2A Division I playoffs.

In 2013, the Yellowjackets faced a lot of adversity due to injuries.

“We didn’t play one full game with all our starters,” Hopkins said. “We fought the injury bug and concussions. We had our top receiver go down the first game and then lost another top receiver.”

But despite the injuries and an 0-4 start with losses to Gunter, Palmer, Godley and Sanger, the Yellowjackets turned things around in District 5-2A play. Boyd won four of its first five district games to earn a playoff spot.

“The kids overcame a lot,” Hopkins said. “The kids stepped up and made plays. Considering all the injuries, it was a good year.”

Boyd quarterback Clay Barnett credited Hopkins for helping to guide the team to the playoffs.

“He’s a good coach. He’s quiet at times but knows how to get his point across and make people work,” Barnett said.

Van Alstyne made it a brief playoff stay for the Yellowjackets, handing them a 35-8 loss in bi-district. But Hopkins didn’t have long to dwell on the loss. He was helping out the girls basketball team the next day.

It was the first of many days on the court with the Lady Yellowjackets, who made the playoffs.

And as basketball went into February, Hopkins found himself doing double duty, helping with practice in the gym, then heading to the softball field.

He took over the softball program 17 years ago and has taken the Lady Yellowjackets to the playoffs most years. This year, with a roster full of veterans, the team turned in their best season ever, going 25-8 and reaching the area round.

Working with a talented team, Boyd all-state catcher Savannah Foster said the skipper pressed the right buttons.

“He’s a good coach. He doesn’t say much, but if we do something wrong he says what we need to do to fix it,” Foster said. “He definitely wants to see all his athletes do well. You can see he enjoys coaching.”

While balancing all his duties, Boyd athletes never feel Hopkins sells any of them short.

“He does a good job staying on top of everything,” Foster said.

Barnett added: “He handles it all well. He’s always there and focused on what he’s doing.”

As a head coach of boys’ and girls’ sports, Hopkins said he gets an opportunity few athletic directors get.

“It’s an interesting dynamic. There’s not many ADs who switch over and coach two girls sports,” he said. “I have just as much interest in the girls side as the boys side.”

Coaching all the sports means long hours throughout the year, especially in the spring with extra maintenance on the softball field.

Even his summers are full, with workouts and 7-on-7 tournaments

“I take the week of Fourth of July off,” he claims.

“You’ve got to enjoy what you’re doing. I’m not in it for the money. It has to mean a lot to you.”

But he doesn’t claim all the credit for the success of his Boyd teams this past year.

“I have a great family and a wife that helps tremendously,” Hopkins said. “You’ve also got to have good coaches around you. All our coaches do their part.”

One day, Hopkins expects to slow down a bit. But that won’t be anytime soon.

“When you know you can help, why not help?” Hopkins said. “If there’s a need, I’m going to do it.”

That’s the Boyd way – the only way he knows.

“It’s a blue-collar town. It’s not glitz and glamour. It’s all about hard work,” Hopkins said. “We try not to take the easy route. If it’s easy, everyone would do it.”

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Trio earns TSWA recognition

Boyd catcher Savannah Foster received her second state recognition after a stellar junior season.

The Boyd backstop earned honorable mention over the weekend on the Texas Sportswriters Association’s Class 2A softball team.

Foster, who made the Texas Girls Coaches Association team and was the 9-2A Defensive Player of the Year for a third time, batted .460 from the leadoff spot with 28 RBIs, two homers, six triples and 17 doubles. She owned a .980 fielding percentage and threw out 11 of 14 base runners attempting to steal. She also picked off another six runners.

Foster’s battery mate Chelsea Arlington also received honorable mention. Arlington went 14-6 with a 4.30 ERA in the circle for Boyd. At the plate, she hit .443 with three home runs and 57 RBIs.

Northwest outfielder Tuesday Dermargosian earned honorable mention for the 5A squad. The speedy outfielder batted .567 and scored 23 runs.

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Mavine Hardage Meason

Mavine Hardage Meason

Mavine Hardage Meason, 68, a deli operator, died Thursday, June 26, 2014, in Boyd.

Funeral is noon Saturday, June 28, at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport with Pastor Allan Lobaugh officiating. Burial will follow at Anetta Cemetery.

Pallbearers are Calvin Hunter, Kevin Parsley, Ronnie Blackwell, Jason Peninger, Jerry Mullings and Tanner Floyd.

Mavine was born June 1, 1946, in Gurdon, Ark., to Dayton and Jessie Mae (Smith) Hardage. She married Kenneth Meason Sept. 7, 1964, in Marietta, Okla.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Kenneth; and two sisters.

Survivors include her daughters, Sherry Sexton of Azle and Debra Meason and husband, John, of Lakeside; sons Kenny Meason and wife, Vonica, of Arizona, Mike Meason of Azle, Brian Meason and wife, Allison, of Springtown and Rusty Meason and wife, Suzanne, of Saginaw; 18 grandchildren; sisters Martha Frame of Boyd, Linda Jenkins of Boyd and Beverly Harvey of Azle; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

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Preslie Avalea Christian

Kyler and Payton Christian of Boyd announce the birth of a daughter, Preslie Avalea, on June 24, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 7 pounds, 11 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long.

Grandparents are Rickie Crow and Corky Miller of Newark and Kenneth and Julie Christian of Decatur.

Great-grandparents are Judy Greer of Decatur and Larry and Jeannie McCormick of Azle.

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Five teams picked for playoffs

Football fans in Decatur, Alvord, Boyd, Chico and Northwest can make their plans for the postseason according to polls in Dave Campbell’s Texas Football.

The annual football guide hit stands this past week and picked five of the county’s seven teams to earn playoff spots. Only Paradise and Bridgeport were not predicted to make the playoffs.

No area teams were in preseason rankings for the six classifications. The University Interscholastic League renamed the classifications for this fall with 5A becoming the new 6A. The old six-man or Class A Division II is now Class A. The other classes all moved up with the old 3A now being 4A.

The Decatur Eagles under new head coach Mike Fuller were picked third in the new 4-4A Division I behind Graham and Gainesville. Wichita Falls Hirschi was tabbed fourth, Burkburnett fifth and Mineral Wells last.

Fuller, who arrived in the spring from Colleyville Heritage to take over a Decatur team that went 9-4 and made the 3A Division I region semifinals, downplayed the predictions.

“I don’t put much stock in it,” he said. “We’ll show up each Friday night and compete.”

In 3-4A Division II, Bridgeport was picked sixth behind Celina, Bonham, Aubrey, Anna and Krum. The Bulls are coming off a winless campaign in 2013.

Under their new head coach Bill Poe, the Northwest Texans are picked fourth in 5-6A. State champion Denton Guyer is the choice to win the league followed by Keller Fossil Ridge and Denton Ryan. Byron Nelson is picked sixth in the eight-team district.

The Boyd Yellowjackets were picked second in 4-3A Division I behind Breckenridge. Bowie was tabbed third, Brock fourth, Ponder fifth and Paradise sixth. Boyd quarterback Clay Barnett was picked as the league’s preseason offensive MVP.

“Looking at the district, anyone can beat anyone,” said Boyd coach Brandon Hopkins. “It’ll be such a competitive district. Anything can happen.”

In the 5-2A Division I, Alvord was tabbed to grab the district title behind preseason offensive MVP Joe Randall, who ran for 1,251 yards and 16 touchdowns last season. Chico was picked second led by preseason defensive MVP Hagan Davis.

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Everett James Palen and Emery Jo Palen

Holly Reddy and Kyle Palen of Boyd announce the birth of twins, Everett James and Emery Jo, on June 5, 2014, at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital in Hurst-Euless-Bedford.

Everett weighed 5 pounds, 15 ounces and was 18 1/2 inches long.

Emery weighed 5 pounds, 7 ounces and was 18 1/2 inches long.

Grandparents are Lisa and Tom Schrader of Grand Prairie, Jim Reddy of Granbury, Randy and Lorna Reynolds of Keller and Robert and Dawn Palen of Dublin, Calif.

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In the end zone; Cardona scores on first carry in Oil Bowl

In the end zone; Cardona scores on first carry in Oil Bowl

Fino Cardona’s first carry Saturday night in the Oil Bowl ended like 64 of his rushes during his record-setting career at Boyd – in the end zone.

Cardona scored from 21 yards out with 7:33 left in the third quarter of the West team’s 28-0 win in the 2014 Oil Bowl Classic at Wichita Falls’ Memorial Stadium.

Off to the Races

OFF TO THE RACES – Boyd’s Fino Cardona turns the corner on his way to the end zone during the Oil Bowl Saturday. The Yellowjacket carried the ball three times for 38 yards in the West team’s 28-0 victory. Messenger photo by Mack Thweatt

“They handed me off the ball and a lineman broke through the line. I stiff-armed him and then broke down the sideline, untouched,” Cardona said.

The recent Boyd graduate carried the ball three times for 38 yards, finishing as his team’s third leading rusher. Carlos Fleeks of Wichita Falls Rider led all rushers with 98 yards on 10 attempts with a touchdown. Fleeks was the game’s Offensive MVP.

Cardona, who ran for a school-best 4,641 yards and 64 touchdowns over three seasons for the Yellowjackets, was thrilled to be back on the field.

“It felt amazing. It was awesome to play again,” Cardona said. “I felt I could hang with all of them.”

Cardona entered the all-star game hoping to land a spot on a college roster in the fall. He said he will go to McMurry University in Abilene Friday for a visit.

“I talked with them before I went,” Cardona said.

Mainly, Cardona wants a chance to stay on the field.

“I love the feeling and the competitiveness,” he said.

A pair of Northwest Texans – lineman Kris Key and cornerback and running back Dennis Adrole – also saw action for the West squad. Adrole carried the ball four times for 21 yards.

Plowing a Path

PLOWING A PATH – Northwest graduate Kris Key makes a block during the Oil Bowl Saturday as his teammate Dennis Adrole (7) runs by on a route. The West squad won the game 28-0. Messenger photo by Mack Thweatt

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Boyd, Alvord compete for state bids

Sixteen teams will vie for the two spots into the Texas 7-on-7 Championships Saturday as one of the final state qualifiers.

Boyd and Alvord will be the only two Wise County teams in the tournament that starts at 9 a.m. They are both in Pool A with Bells and Mineral Wells.

The top team from each pool advances to the semifinals. The semifinal winners earn state berths.

Games will be played at Yellowjacket Stadium and the old football field.

The state tournament is July 10-12 at Veterans Park and Athletic Complex in College Station.

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Betty Ann Monroe

Betty Ann Monroe, 54, of Boyd died Thursday, June 12, 2014, at her home.

No services are planned at this time.

Betty was born July 4, 1959, in Wise County to John Jerry and Fayrene (Davidson) Monroe. She loved animals, her family and friends.

She is survived by brothers B.J. Fitzgerald and wife Laura, and Jerry Fitzgerald; sisters Debra Brazier and husband, James, and Faye Cook; numerous nieces and nephews; and special niece, Sherri Brown.

She was preceded in death by her parents; and brother John “Dobber” Monroe.

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Angelo State announces graduates, honor rolls

Angelo State University in San Angelo recently announced its Dean’s List for the 2014 spring semester, as well as degrees awarded in spring commencement.

Both lists include Wise County residents.

Students achieving the dean’s list must be enrolled full time and maintain a 3.25 or better grade-point average on a 4.0 scale.

Sarah A. Murray of Boyd, along with Sydney E. Gregg and Neil F. Livingston of Decatur, earned that distinction.

Among the 709 graduates earning degrees at ceremonies held May 10 in San Angelo were two Wise County residents.

Garrett A. Tidwell of Boyd and Megan K. Arthur of Decatur both earned bachelor of science degrees.

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Thrilling ride: Boyd resident pushes limits on bike

After already making two runs, Shandra Crawford pulls back on the nearly 20 pounds of gear in the sweltering heat Friday morning.

“It’s like in the ‘Christmas Story’ – putting the kid in the snowsuit,” Crawford jokes.

Then in go the earplugs before she stuffs on the helmet with her blonde braids sticking out the sides. The gloves complete the ensemble.

Speeding Along

SPEEDING ALONG – Shandra Crawford flies into a turn during practice Friday at Eagles Canyon Raceway near Slidell. Crawford will be one of hundreds of racers competing at the Central Motorcycle Roadracing Association event Saturday and Sunday. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Crawford cranks up her Yamaha YZF-R6 and it’s back on to the track for another high-speed run around the hairpin turns of Eagles Canyon Raceway with her knee nearly dragging the ground.

“The object is to push it without landing on your head,” she explains.

Crawford, who lives just outside Boyd, will be pushing the limits on the track in as many as seven races Saturday and Sunday at the Central Motorcycle Roadracing Association event at the Slidell raceway.

“This is the most technical track in Texas. It’s my personal mission to get good at this track,” Crawford said.

Hot Wheels

HOT WHEELS – After a fast run on the track, Shandra Crawford heads to the pits Friday at Eagles Canyon Raceway. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

She is one of hundreds of racers who will be on the 2.5-mile course on Farm Road 51 east of Decatur this weekend. Saturday will feature six-lap sprints for several divisions, solo 30s and a six-hour endurance race to close the day. Sunday will be full of sprints for all classes.

An admitted adrenaline junkie, Crawford, 37, first took the track in California in 2005. It didn’t take long for the Michigan transplant to get hooked. A year later, she was racing.

“The first time is scary,” Crawford said. “I got on in 2005 and stayed on ever since.

“It’s like people getting tattoos. After your first, you continue to get them.”

Crawford’s passion for racing soon made her give up other extreme sports such as distance running and scuba diving to concentrate on racing and the thrill of turning speeds in excess of 100 mph.

After starting racing in California, she began racking up titles in WERA Motorcycle Roadracing.

“I’ve placed in 23 championships and am in the running for two more championships,” Crawford said.

After years of racing on the west coast, Crawford’s career in graphic design brought her to Texas two years ago.

“I had the opportunity to pick up clients in Texas,” Crawford said. “Lucky for me they race bikes here, too.”

She quickly found that her new home provided even more racing opportunities and more competition.

“The largest group of racing ladies is in Texas,” she explains. “More people in Texas race. I enjoy the larger grids. It helps me grow as a racer.”

Crawford is in her second season racing in the CMRA, competing in sprints and on the team Defy The Odds for the endurance events of four to eight hours.

For the 5-3, 115-pound Crawford, holding up a bike weighing more than 400 pounds around the tight turns requires strength and skill. She claims the key is to relax.

“If you relax, you go better and are not as sore. But you have to be aware of fatigue,” Crawford said.

On a soupy day like Friday, she poured down water and sports drinks after every run.

“I’ll lose five to seven pounds over the weekend,” Crawford said.

“You’ve got to work hard to get off the Texas barbecue.”

Along with demands on the body, racing stretches the budget between tires, gas and race entries.

“Any hobby costs money,” she said. “But I do have a budget.”

She has purchased crashed bikes and rebuilt them.

“What I couldn’t fix myself, I hired a mechanic to help with,” Crawford said.

She relies on her sponsors, Kabuto helmets, Cortech, Dunlop, North Texas Superbikes, Driven, GPR, RK Excel, DP Brakes, Pit Bull and Stone Brewing, Co., to keep her on the track.

Crawford has qualified for nationals in Alabama in October in three classes. But right now, she’s concentrating on moving up in the CMRA standings. She is third in the F1 Ladies class.

She competes with men and women in her multiple racing classes.

“It’s tough. If you’re going to gain a position, you have to work at it,” Crawford said about racing the men. “It makes them try hard when they see my braids.”

Her bike also gives up some horsepower to some bigger bikes on the track.

“I’m racing against bikes that are significantly bigger,” she said. “It’s fun to chase them down.”

After almost 10 years of riding, Crawford said she still gets nervous before each race.

“When you don’t get nervous, you cease to grow,” she explains.

But the nerves soon fade into the thrill of ride.

“After half of the first lap, you get into the zone,” Crawford said.

“It’s chill and quite mellow. It’s a hard feeling to describe.”

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Boyd High School STAAR test results shine

All the numbers are in and Boyd ISD students have shown stunning STAAR test improvement.

The school board heard reports this week from all principals, but the best news came from the high school, where an average of 23 percent more students passed across the board compared to 2013 scores.

“I’m loving these numbers,” said board Vice President Jana Tate.

Assistant Superintendent Barbara Stice said the results reported Monday night are for all students tested, and the passing percentages could change slightly when adjusted for certain factors, such as taking out students who moved in after Oct. 31, 2013, and segregating eighth-grade algebra test-takers from their high school counterparts.

BHS passing rates by subject:

  • English I – 73 percent passed compared to 48 percent in 2013
  • English II – 77 percent passed compared to 55 percent in 2013
  • Biology – 97 percent passed compared to 74 percent in 2013
  • Algebra I – 90 percent passed compared to 59 percent in 2013 (This percentage will decrease after eighth graders are taken out)
  • U.S. History – 86 percent (No student elected to take this test in 2013.)

“It’s a lot better than last year,” said BHS Principal Scott Nedrow. “I told you all last year we had a plan of action, and I think these scores speak for themselves.

“There is room for improvement. When you make these kind of gains in a year, there is no reason we can’t be in the 90s next year,” he said. “Until we’re at 100 percent, there is still room for improvement. I’m very proud of the high school staff.”

Nedrow credited the newfound success to several strategies, including freshmen creative writing classes and algebra labs, as well as school administrators and teachers planning assessments and discussing instructional plans.

“I’m proud of my staff,” Nedrow said.

While the gains in passing rates weren’t as large for the middle school, they did see improvement in all areas.

“We really thought, based on assessments, we would be in the 90s in most areas, but we came up a little short,” said BMS Principal James McDonald. “Don’t get me wrong. I’m proud of our campus, we have improved, we’ve seen gains and that is outstanding. The algebra scores are phenomenal. However, we know we are not where we could be.”

Every BMS eighth grader that took the algebra test passed, up from 91 percent in 2013.

McDonald talked about the overall improvement and how close they were in some areas to 90 percent passing.

“If you look at our assessment and our benchmarks, the data showed we would be higher,” McDonald said. “Now we are doing a lot of planning, saying ‘this is what we got and this is where we need to be.’”

In eighth grade, passing rates saw a 5 percent bump in reading, math and science. Social studies was the area with the highest increase at 13 percent.

In seventh grade, 3 percent more passed the reading test, 5 percent more passed math and 6 percent more passed writing. Sixth-graders saw an 11 percent rise in reading passing rates and a 17 percent rise in math.

Boyd Intermediate School fifth-graders saw little improvement with only 2 percent and 1 percent gains in reading and math, respectively. Fifth-grade science saw a 3 percent decrease in passing.

Fourth-grade passing rates didn’t change in reading, but writing and math saw 11 and 12 percent jumps. Third-grade math improved 5 percent, but reading fell 7 percent.

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Boyd High School ballfields get upgrades

Boyd baseball players will get a much improved ballfield next season.

During Monday night’s regular meeting, the Boyd school board approved $37,037 of much-needed work for the infield.

Boyd Athletic Director Brandon Hopkins said the infield is currently in dire shape with little grass or good soil.

The work will be done by Master Turf Products and Service and is slated to start this month. The improvements include 100 to 125 tons of new dirt and rebuilding home plate and the pitching mound. The entire infield will be laser graded, and the grass will be resodded from dugout to dugout.

Boyd baseball players will be playing on Bermuda Tiff 419 next spring. BHS’ outfield also needs work, but Hopkins said that will have to be done at a later time.

The board also renewed several contract agreements as well as the district’s various insurance policies.

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