Meeting Agendas for Saturday, February 14, 2015

BRIDGEPORT – The Bridgeport School Board will decide Monday whether or not to create a soccer program. They will also approve the school calendar for 2015-2016 and will discuss stadium renovations and the animal science barn. The meeting is 7 p.m. at 2107 15th Street. The meeting is open to the public.

DECATUR – The Decatur School Board’s open session will take place earlier than normal Monday. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. with the closed session at the end of the meeting. The closed session usually takes up the first hour of the meeting. The open meeting agenda items include calling a trustee election and routine items such as monthly recognitions of students and employees, employment of personnel, superintendent communications and financial information. The meeting will be at the DISD Administration Building, 307 S. Cates St. It is open to the public.

CHICO – The Chico School Board will consider calling a bond election at its meeting Monday night. They will also call an election to fill three trustee positions and will hold a public hearing on the 2013-2014 Texas Academic Performance Report. The board will consider accepting donated materials, supplies and labor to construct two batting cages for softball and baseball. The meeting is at 6:30 p.m. in Chico Elementary School, Room 150, 1120 Park Rd. The meeting is open to the public.

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Basketball: Sissies ready for playoff return

Diana Garcia quickly points out how far the Bridgeport Sissies have come in one year.

“For two years we didn’t win a district game,” said the Bridgeport senior. “That pushed us. Going from fifth to second [in district] is a pretty good accomplishment.”

After taking second in 8-4A, the Sissies will return to the playoffs Tuesday for the first time since 2012, with a 4A Region I bi-district game against Alvarado at Boswell High School.

The Sissies head into the playoffs at 25-5 and went 6-2 in 8-4A. Bridgeport improved by 13 wins this season.

Bridgeport coach Dallas Taylor took over the program when this year’s seniors were freshmen.

“It’s nice to see the kids get to where they need to be and be rewarded for their hard work,” Taylor said.

“The kids are playing well and responding to what we’re doing with them. I feel we’ve got a good chance of winning [Tuesday].”

Alvarado finished third in 7-4A, going 4-4 and 16-14 overall.

Taylor said the Lady Indians present some challenges down low with center Allison Thompson.

“They are post-oriented and have a lot of big players,” Taylor said. “It should be a good matchup for our posts. Besides Landrie [Walsh] all our posts are younger but they are responding to what we want to do.”

The Sissies should have the advantage in the backcourt. Senior point guard Bailey Thompson is coming off a 15-point effort Tuesday in the Sissies’ 76-27 victory over Castleberry. Walsh added 14 points.

Thompson said the Sissies are ready for the playoffs and in no hurry for this season to end.

“We know with the next loss our season will be over,” Thompson said. “That’s a big motivator.”

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Basketball: Bulls wrap up 8-4A crown

The Bridgeport Bulls put away Castleberry early Tuesday and wrapped up the District 8-4A title.

The Bulls opened the game on a 35-4 run and went on for an 84-50 victory.

Bridgeport (25-4) moved to 7-0 in 8-4A. It was off Friday and will look to close out a perfect run through the league Tuesday at home against Springtown.

Ethan Chapman led the Bulls with 20 points. Keenan Holdman added 16. Caleb Smith chipped in 11 and Chayton Stotts 10.

“Ethan got us off to a quick start in the first quarter and our momentum continued into the second quarter,” said Bridgeport coach Alan Green.

After taking a 51-15 halftime lead, the Bulls’ bench got extended playing time in the second half.

“It was a great game for us to get guys some good minutes that usually don’t see the court,” Green said. “John Freeman and Dillon Banner are both very hard workers and come to practice every day with a great attitude and give 100 percent effort knowing heir playing time will be limited.”

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Dayana Del Carmen Teo

Leslie Teo of Bridgeport announces the birth of a daughter, Dayana Del Carmen Teo, on Feb. 7, 2015, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 6 pounds, 6 ounces and was 20 1/2 inches long.

Grandparents are Tracie Howard of Bridgeport and Julio Teo of Maryland.

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Basketball: Soaring back to the top – Lady Eagles capture second straight title

In the final minute Friday, Decatur coach Billy Garner called a timeout and for the last time Lady Eagles seniors left the floor. But it was not until after garnering more hardware.

STEALING A WIN – Decatur’s Makayla Mayfield steals the ball from Bridgeport’s Bailey Thompson during the Lady Eagles’ win Friday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Led by seniors Jasmyne Tate and Makayla Mayfield, the Lady Eagles celebrated a second straight district title with a 57-31 win over the rival Bridgeport Sissies.

Tate poured all of her game-high 14 points in the second half, including six in the Lady Eagles’ 23-7 closing run.

“This means a lot to me to get to celebrate with my group of girls,” said Tate, who missed all of last season and much of her sophomore year because of knee injuries.

Mayfield finished with 11 points to go along with five steals, four assists and five rebounds.

“I just wanted to leave it all on the floor with this being my last time to play here,” said Mayfield, who also helped the Decatur volleyball team to four district titles and a pair state titles on the floor.

The Lady Eagles improved to 7-0 in 8-4A and 20-6 overall. The district champions will look to close out a perfect run through the league Tuesday against Springtown. But Garner did not downplay the significance of winning a second straight title.

“I’m very proud of them,” Garner said. “We lost four seniors [from last year]. To come back and do it again especially with Jasmyne coming back was really fun to watch.”

The Lady Eagles relied on their trademark defense to put the finishing touches on the title. Decatur held Bridgeport to 31 percent shooting (14-for-44). Bridgeport was 4-for-19 in the first half, scoring just 10 points. Decatur led 20-10 at the break.

“Our defense was great. They changed the lineup on us and took out No. 3 [Diana Garcia],” Garner said. “So, we switched and put Jasmyne on [Landrie] Walsh and Makayla on [Bailey] Thompson. Our help defense was also good in the lane.”

Bridgeport coach Dallas Taylor said they were hoping to exploit some matchups with changes.

“It helped our matchups and we were supposed to take advantage of it,” Taylor said. “We didn’t execute.”

Mayfield said she didn’t know she would be on Thompson until the start of the game. She stayed with Bridgeport’s leading scorer, holding her to six points – all in the second quarter.

“I just tried my hardest to not let her get the ball,” Mayfield said.

Along with keeping the ball out of Thompson’s hands, Mayfield made five steals and deflected another three passes. Two deflections came in the final 42 seconds of the first half in which she also hit a 3-pointer, blocked a shot, got a steal and nearly hit a runner at the buzzer.

“Makayla disrupted a lot of what they wanted to do,” Garner said.

Decatur went up by 16 midway through the third quarter on a Tate layup off a pass from Mayfield.

With six points inside from Gabby Mindieta, Bridgeport closed the third on a 10-4 run to get back within 10, 34-24.

The Sissies’ run didn’t last. Decatur scored the first nine points of the fourth, going up 19 on Shelby Drews’ 3-pointer. Drews finished with nine.

Hannah Dunning had 12 for the Lady Eagles. Macen Stripling, who battled foul trouble all night, scored seven.

Walsh led Bridgeport with seven.

Bridgeport fell to 5-2 in 8-4A and 23-5 overall. The Sissies will go into the playoffs as the league’s second seed. “We’ll be ready for that first playoff game against Alvarado,” Taylor said. “I feel there will be two good teams representing our district in the playoffs.”

DECATUR 57, BRIDGEPORT 31

Bridgeport … 4 … 6 … 14 … 7 … – … 31
Decatur … 9 … 11 … 14 … 23 … – … 57

Bridgeport (23-5, 5-2) – Diana Garcia 4, Bailey Thompson 6, Lauren Stowers 2, Taylor Stone 2, Abby Hatton 2, Landrie Walsh 7, Megan Sturdivant 2, Gabby Mindieta 6.

Decatur (20-6, 7-0) – Makayla Mayfield 11, Shelby Drews 9, Hannah Dunning 12, Savannah Thompson 4, Macen Stripling 7, Jasmyne Tate 14.

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Basketball: Bulls sweep Eagles – Bridgeport wraps up 8-4A title

After the Decatur Eagles erased an 11-point, third-quarter deficit to tie the game, the Bridgeport Bulls used the final 78 seconds of the frame to put their stamp on it.

BATTLING INSIDE – Decatur freshman Mason Hix tries to grab a rebound away from Bridgeport’s Keenan Holdman and Caleb Smith Friday during the Bulls’ district-clinching victory. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Back-to-back 3-pointers from Andrew Horton and Caleb Smith ignited a 10-2 run to close the frame and put the Bulls back up eight. Behind that surge, the fifth-ranked Bulls went on to complete the season sweep of the No. 15 Eagles with the 65-54 victory at Decatur High School gym.

“What I told our guys is big-time players make big-time plays. These guys did,” said Bridgeport coach Alan Green.

“What a great atmosphere. These are the type of games that you want to compete in. I’m proud of my guys. They’ve worked so hard in practice and come together. I’m just really proud of them.”

Bridgeport (25-4, 6-0) took a two-game lead on Decatur and wrapped up at least a share of the District 8-4A title.

“This means a lot, but we’re not satisfied. We have bigger goals,” said Bridgeport junior Keenan Holdman, who led all scorers with 21 points to go along with his eight rebounds. “We are also not going to discount this win in a tough place against a good team. It’s another step moving forward.”

Holdman had 10 points in the fourth quarter to help the Bulls put the game away.

Decatur (21-10, 4-2) remains in second place in the district with two games left. Decatur coach Drew Coffman felt his team showed some things they can build on Friday.

“I was proud of our fight. We were disappointed the first time we played them. We didn’t feel like we competed like we should have,” Coffman said. “We learned a lot about ourselves [tonight]. We’re as good as anyone in this region if we play well and compete.”

TIGHT DEFENSE – Bridgeport’s Keenan Holdman guards Decatur’s Cade Lamirand during the Bulls’ win Friday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Decatur came out firing, taking an 11-4 lead just more than four minutes in. Horton then hit the first of his two big 3-pointers that ignited a 9-0 run for Bridgeport to end the first quarter with the Bulls up 13-11.

Horton had eight points, going 3-for-3 from the field.

“Those were two huge shots Andrew had for us,” Green said. “Like we talked about after the first game with Jacob [Delangel], when you do things right and work hard, you shouldn’t be surprised by success.”

Bridgeport locked down defensively, holding Decatur to just three field goals in the second quarter, building the lead to as many as 13. The Bulls took a 29-18 lead into halftime.

“You win the game on the defensive end,” said Holdman, who helped lead the defensive effort in the second, while also scoring nine of the Bulls’ 16 points in the frame.

Decatur senior Holt Garner got dialed in on the perimeter in the third quarter, knocking down three 3-pointers in five trips down the floor in a 12-2 run that trimmed the Bulls’ lead to one.

“Holt got hot for a stretch and it opened things up,” Coffman said.

Decatur tied the game at 38 with Parker Hicks’ putback with 1:36 remaining in the third. The tie lasted only 18 seconds before Bridgeport put together the game-defining spurt that included a trey and pair of layups for Smith, who finished with 19 points.

Decatur never could make another run as Bridgeport tightened up the defense again.

“We didn’t shoot well in the first half and that opened opportunities. But once we did hit a few shots, they reacted accordingly,” Garner said. “Toward the end, we didn’t focus enough on getting the ball inside.

“They are a good test. That’s the caliber of teams we’ll be looking at in a few weeks. We learned what we need to work on.”

BRIDGEPORT 65, DECATUR 54

Bridgeport … 13 … 16 … 19 … … 17 – 65
Decatur … 11 … 7 … 22 … … 14 – 54

Bridgeport (25-4, 6-0) – Jacob Delangel 11, Keenan Holdman 21, Caleb Smith 19, Andrew Horton 8, Chayton Stotts 6.

Decatur (21-10, 4-2) – Holt Garner 9, Parker Hicks 13, Cade Lamirand 11, Aaron Shetter 6, Ethan Sij 2, Mason Hix 13.

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Local students graduate A&M

Several Wise County students were among the 3,800 Texas A&M University graduates in fall 2014.

Those receiving degrees included:

  • Decatur – Adam K. Harrison, Bachelor of Science in agricultural economics; Laura K. Waggoner, Bachelor of Business Administration in marketing
  • Boyd – Malisa D. Nelson, Bachelor of Science in university studies
  • Bridgeport – Jackson K. Kleeb, Bachelor of Environmental Design, Davis C. Manoushagian, Bachelor of Arts in international studies

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Bridgeport City Council takes no action on billboards

The Bridgeport City Council took no action during their Tuesday night meeting, but they did discuss hotel revenue tax dollars and possible billboard signs in the city.

Main Street Manager Tiffany Evans led a discussion about the Main Street Facade Grant program, which is funded by Hotel Occupancy Tax revenues (HOT dollars).

The goal of the program is to promote preservation in Bridgeport’s historic district by offering matching fund grants to business and/or property owners for facade improvements. Several council members spoke about how the program should provide more incentives to businesses that wish to participate.

The program currently matches businesses’ funds on a 2:1 ratio. No businesses have applied for grants so far this year, Evans said.

The council also discussed an amendment to the billboards ordinance after it was brought up in a public forum last meeting.

Mayor Corey Lane said he felt like there wasn’t a strong need for any amendments right now since the city already allows businesses to advertise on signs they own.

“There is currently no regulation banning advertising signage, so what’s the reason to even bring this to the floor?” Lane asked.

Councilman David Correll agreed with the citizen that originally brought up the issue that there should be more advertising in the city, but he feels like the current ordinance is adequate.

It defines a billboard as “an off-premises sign containing at least 128 square feet per face and that is owned by a person, corporation or other entity that engages in the business of selling the advertising space on the sign.”

A 2005 ordinance prohibited billboards within city limits but grandfathered in all billboards that had been previously erected under the condition that they not undergo any additional changes. It also states that billboards were prohibited for aesthetic purposes and safety concerns – they could cause distractions to drivers, and if a billboard falls down during a wind storm, it could do major damage.

“I’m not against people advertising their business, but I’m just not seeing a need for an amendment to the current ordinance,” Lane said.

An item that was on the consent agenda but not discussed was the police department’s racial profiling data for 2014.

According to the data in the agenda packet, the Bridgeport Police Department made 2,046 vehicle stops last year, resulting in 192 arrests. Of those 2,046 stops, 1,420 were Caucasian, 551 were Hispanic, 64 were African-American, eight were Asian, two were Middle Eastern and one was Native American.

Race was only known prior to the stop in 24 instances. After the stops, 221 searches were conducted and only 28 percent of the searches were consensual.

The council’s next meeting will be 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10 at 900 Thompson St. in a special closed session. Its next regularly scheduled meeting will be 7 p.m. Tuesday Feb. 17.

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Meeting Agendas for Saturday, February 7, 2015

BRIDGEPORT – The Bridgeport City Council has a special meeting 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 10, to discuss in closed session the city administrator position.

WEATHERFORD COLLEGE – The Weatherford College board meets 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, in the Doss Student Center on the Weatherford campus. Along with a host of reports, possible action items include adoption of 2015-16 tuition and fees, lab fees and academic calendar, and ordering an election for places 3, 4 and 5 on the board.

DECATUR – Decatur City Council will consider how to distribute hotel occupancy tax funds when they meet at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 9, at City Hall, 201 E. Walnut. The council will also look at bids for grounds maintenance services at Oaklawn Cemetery and consider approving a lease assignment at the airport. A report on police racial profiling, nomination to the board of directors for Wise County Appraisal District and street closure requests for two events – the Glitzy Girls Trailer Park April 11 and the Wise County Youth Fair kickoff parade Feb. 28 – are also on the agenda.

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Basketball: Bulls squish Frogs

During this crucial part of the season, it’s important for a team with high goals to be playing their best, or at least close to it.

Despite beating Lake Worth 74-46 Tuesday night, Bridgeport Bulls coach Alan Green thinks his team can be better.

On the Stampede

ON THE STAMPEDE – Bridgeport’s Keenan Holdman splits a pair of Lake Worth defenders on his way to the basket during the Bulls’ win Tuesday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“We’re kind of at a grind time of the season, and I think you saw a little bit of that out of us tonight,” Green said. “We’ve got to put a stop to that right now and be ready to go every game.”

Green went on to say that it takes every ounce of focus and energy to be at one’s best during this part of the grind.

Though the Bulls may have made some mistakes along the way, they also managed to get five players into double digits.

Caleb Smith tossed in 15. Ethan Chapman had 14, Jacob DelAngel and Chayton Stotts 12, and Keenan Holdman 10.

The team’s versatility when it comes to scoring points was on full display.

That being said, the shooting percentages weren’t as high as Green and his team would have liked. The coach thinks that led to poor defensive play.

“We need to be more crisp,” he said. “We’ve got to make the easy play and we’ve got to make our shots. It’s easier to guard when things are going your way and you’re making shots. It takes a little extra to want to go guard when you’re missing shots.”

Right now, the team is concerned with preparations for their road game against the Decatur Eagles.

“We’ve got to take it a day at a time,” the coach continued. “One practice at a time. We can only control our attitude and effort. At this point of the season, whatever we’ve got on the floor needs to be focused and energetic.”

If the Bulls get to where their coach wants them to be, they have a chance to continue their winning ways into the playoffs.

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Saturday Sports Buffet: Diving in – Bridgeport’s Lindsey earns SEC honor

As Levi Lindsey entered high school, he thought about diving into a new sport – literally.

But the then budding gymnast’s family couldn’t swing the long drive for diving workouts.

Going in Headfirst

GOING IN HEADFIRST – Bridgeport’s Levi Lindsey earned SEC Diver of the Week after winning the 3-meter and platform in a meet with Cincinnati. Photo courtesy UK Athletics

“It was 65 miles away and my dad said he couldn’t drive me because of work,” Lindsey recalled. “When I turned 16, my parents said if I wanted to drive there I could.”

Just three years later, the Bridgeport native’s near-daily trek to Southlake for workouts has taken him where few could have envisioned.

This week, Lindsey was named the Southeastern Conference Diver of the Week. The University of Kentucky freshman swept the 3-meter and platform events in a meet against Cincinnati Jan. 30. He scored career highs in both events and qualified for the NCAA zone meet.

“I was really happy. I knew going into the meet I was going to do good and break my personal record,” Lindsey said. “I have a good shot of going to the NCAAs.”

Before taking up diving, Lindsey spent 12 years competing in trampoline and tumbling, rising to the Junior Olympic ranks.

“He started when he was 5 in gymnastics in trampoline and tumbling,” recalled his father, Milton Lindsey.

Making the Plunge

MAKING THE PLUNGE – After 12 years as a gymnast, Levi Lindsey has become a Division I diver in college. Photo courtesy UK Athletics

That background in gymnastics immediately paid dividends for Lindsey when he started diving, as he knew how to control his body while doing flips and twists.

“It helped tremendously,” he said. “I had been doing back triple [flips] since I was in fourth grade. In diving I just had to go an extra half turn.

“A lot of people I compete against now have a lot more experience diving. But I’m just as experienced because of my 12 years as a gymnast.”

The one difference that took some getting used to in making the switch from gymnastics to diving was the landing – going headfirst instead of on his feet.

“[In gymnastics] you were always told don’t land on your head,” Lindsey said. “Now, you land on your head.”

It didn’t take long, as Lindsey recalls, to adapt to diving and hone his technique. He qualified for the age group nationals and placed fourth in the 3-meter competition.

Along with the 3-meter, Lindsey competes in the platform. At first, he admits he was a little scared of making the plunge off the tower.

“I used to be scared but now I like it a lot,” he said. “My coach, Ted [Hautau], said I’m going to be a good tower diver. I’ve been listening to him. It’s now my favorite [event].”

In high school, Lindsey said few people in Bridgeport knew he dove. He said it wasn’t until around graduation, when his signing with Kentucky was announced, that people in his hometown knew of his talents.

“No one knew I was going to college for diving,” he said. “We had a lot of kids in my hometown getting scholarships for ag and 4-H. When it was announced I was going to such a big college, is when people got interested.

“I’m super grateful for this opportunity.”

With only three years’ experience, Lindsey said he’s far from reaching his potential.

“When I first started diving, I wasn’t very good. Then things started to click after that first phase,” he explained. “After another phase, more started to click. I’m still picking things up now.”

Lindsey has lofty ambitions, starting with his freshman season.

“Over four years, I want to go to the NCAAs,” Lindsey said. “I’m trying hard to get there this year. Hardly any freshmen go to the NCAAs but I know it’s in me.”

As he’s already proven, he’s willing to go to any lengths to accomplish his goal.

SIDEDISHES

  • An unparalleled season of success continues on the hardwood for Wise County girls basketball teams. With two games remaining in the regular season, seven Wise County girls basketball teams are either in the playoffs or ensured themselves of a tiebreaker game. Decatur, Bridgeport, Paradise, Slidell and Boyd are guaranteed spots. Alvord and Northwest looked to punch their tickets Friday
  • Two girls basketball teams could be ending postseason droughts. Bridgeport is back in the playoffs for the first time since 2012. The Northwest Lady Texans are trying to make the postseason for the first time since 2009
  • The National Signing Day hoopla continues to grow each year. But as pointed out this week in multiple spots, the hype and stars around recruits’ names mean nothing now. A prime example was last Sunday’s big game. No five-star recruits were in the starting 22 for either team
  • Like everyone else, I couldn’t believe the Seahawks elected to throw the ball from the 1-yard line in the final minute Sunday instead of feeding the ball to Marshawn Lynch. But it’s not the first time I disagreed with a Pete Carroll decision with the game on the line. During the BCS title game against Texas, I couldn’t believe USC elected to go for it on fourth down near midfield late in the game instead of punting and pinning Vince Young and company deep on its end of the field
  • Softball scrimmages are underway and that means double duty for Boyd athletic director Brandon Hopkins. Along with coaching the softball team, he continues to fill in as the Lady Yellowjackets’ basketball coach for the ailing Lynn Cranfill
  • Last year, Isaac Davis emerged for the Slidell Greyhounds to average 21.8 points per game. This season, Tyler Maynard has topped Davis’ incredible year. After his 38-point night Tuesday, Maynard is averaging 24.5. That is 11 points more than his average last year.

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Basketball: Sissies lock up playoff spot

The importance of Friday’s game against Decatur grew considerably for the Bridgeport Sissies after they beat Lake Worth 50-34 Tuesday night.

Right Touch

RIGHT TOUCH – Bridgeport’s Taylor Stone takes a shot during the Sissies’ win over Lake Worth. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The victory over the Lady Frogs clinched second place in District 8-4A, but now the Sissies hope to move even higher in the standings by beating the first-place Lady Eagles.

“Our theme is: one minute, one quarter, one game at a time,” said Bridgeport coach Dallas Taylor. “We’re looking at Friday night to see how that goes. We’re looking at a possible tie for first there.”

Still, the coach wants her players to enjoy what they’ve accomplished to this point – and the fact that they are in position to control their own destiny. They are also headed to the playoffs for the first time since 2012.

“I think our kids feel good about it,” Taylor said. “I hope they feel good about it. It’s been a long road and they’ve worked hard. They’re getting what they’ve earned for their hard work.”

Against Lake Worth, a hot start on both ends of the floor led to a 33-10 halftime lead.

Bailey Thompson scored 11 of her game-leading 19 points in the opening half.

The entire team was determined to move the ball around the perimeter, looking for open shots.

“A lot of ball movement and getting them out of a position was our goal tonight,” Taylor added.

With the lead, the second half was a chance for the entire roster to get minutes. Eight of the Sissies’ 11 players contributed points in the effort.

“We rotated a lot of kids in and that was really a goal of ours there in the last half,” Taylor said. “We wanted to get some playing time for our entire roster.”

Diana Garcia scored seven points while constantly picking the ball away from Lake Worth dribblers. Lauren Stowers and Landrie Walsh chipped in six points each. Elaina Peyton, Taylor Stone, Megan Sturdivant and Gabby Mindieta all had three points.

If the Sissies go to Decatur and win, there will be a district tiebreaker decided on by the coaches. Some coaches choose to flip a coin or leave things to a game of chance, while others choose to play a game and decide it on the court.

If it comes down to it, Taylor thinks she knows which direction they’ll be going in.

“Knowing ol’ Billy over there and knowing me, we’ll probably play it if it comes to that,” the coach admitted.

Before they get to that point, the Sissies will have to get past a Lady Eagles team that beat them 54-41 Jan. 20.

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More guns would make Texas safer

I read the article in the Messenger today (“More guns make no one safer,” Bob Buckel, Jan. 31). Then I reread it. If I got it right, he’s saying more people carrying guns equals more shootings and deaths?

I think he is wrong. If that logic is correct, more spoons equals more fat people, and more cars equal more road rage. Texans have had the ability to carry a concealed handgun ever since 1996. I don’t hear of gunfights and shootings every day, at least not from CHL holders.

There are several other states that currently allow open carry. I noticed they don’t seem to be having shootings every day. What gives? I guess he must mean Texans are more prone to violence. But wait, I’m from Texas, and I have never shot anyone, nor do I want to.

As to his comment about the police shooting a kid with a toy gun, I guess he can tell the difference between the two and is willing to pay with his life if he is wrong. I have seen a few toy guns that looked very similar to actual guns. Without actually handling them, I’m pretty sure he couldn’t tell the difference. Has he ever been a police officer?

I would submit, if everyone were armed, there would be virtually no crime. And if a crime did occur, the average Joe would be able to defend himself.

Brian Bernardo
Bridgeport

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Grant Edward Schlegel

Scott and Morganne Schlegel of Bridgeport announce the birth of a son, Grant Edward Schlegel, on Feb. 1, 2015, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 7 pounds and was 21 1/4 inches long.

He has one sister: Taylor, 5.

Grandparents are Richard and Linda Vassar of Bridgeport, Stephen Schegel and Cathy Adams of Coshocton, Ohio.

Great-grandparents are Joan Schegel of Coshocton, Ohio and Ruby Bailey of Levelland.

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Ethan Thomas Richards

Tiffany and Abe Richards of Bridgeport announce the birth of a son, Ethan Thomas Richards, on Jan. 30, 2015, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 6 pounds, 8 ounces and was 18 1/2 inches long.

He has one brother, Zachery, 16; and one sister, Jordan, 7.

Grandparents are Joyce and Lonnie Norris of Springtown and Sarah Rodriguez of Bridgeport.

Great-grandparents are Gabriel and Anita Rodriguez of Frisco.

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Correll honored at banquet; He won Outstanding Citizen and Individual Business Leader of the Year

David Correll, with State Farm insurance, took home two awards Saturday night at the Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce’s annual banquet.

Outstanding Citizen

OUTSTANDING CITIZEN – From left, Chamber President Gilbert Horton, 2014 Outstanding Citizen of the Year William Myers, 2015 Outstanding Citizen of the Year David Correll and Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kelsey Cooley celebrate Correll’s award. Messenger photo by Jake Harris

Correll was honored for his work in the community with the Outstanding Citizen of the Year Award and Individual Business Leader of the Year Award.

In addition to his insurance business, Correll is a member of the Bridgeport City Council, Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce, Paradise Chamber of Commerce and Amigos de Wise County. He also serves as the vice president of the Bridgeport Lions Club, the chairman of promotions for Bridgeport Main Street, the secretary of Sissies Elite Basketball and is founder of Bridgeport Express Softball.

“I think if you live in a community, you should give back,” Correll said after he accepted his Outstanding Citizen award. “This is a great honor – I always nominate Fred Meyers, just because of how much he has given back to Bridgeport.”

The golf-themed event at the Decatur Civic Center also featured a mystery dinner theater presentation of “Murder on the Fairway,” where guests were able to guess which character “murdered” another golfer. They also enjoyed rounds of miniature golf on a course designed by the Bridgeport Robotics Club.

Outgoing Chamber of Commerce President Gilbert Horton kicked off the awards presentation and introduced Shawn Mann as the Chamber president for 2015-2016.

Other award winners included:

  • Bridgeport Animal Hospital, Corporate Business Leader of the Year
  • Kim Lawson, Presidential Award
  • Pam Lanfear, Director of the Year
  • Jared McComis, Dr. James Hunter Humanitarian Award
Humanitarian Award

HUMANITARIAN AWARD – Sylvia Elenburg, last year’s recipient of the Dr. James Hunter Humanitarian Award, presents Jared McComis with the 2015 award Saturday night for his work with Bridgeport youth sports. Messenger photo by Jake Harris

Presedential Award

PRESIDENTIAL AWARD – Kim Lawson accepts the 2015 Presidential Award Saturday night at the Decatur Civic Center. Messenger photo by Jake Harris

Corporate Business Leader Award

CORPORATE BUSINESS LEADER AWARD – Shawn Mann (middle) presents Jeff Williams (left) and Bill McGee of Bridgeport Animal Hospital with the 2015 Corporate Business Leader of the Year Award Saturday night at the Decatur Civic Center. Messenger photo by Jake Harris

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Basketball: Lady Eagles, Sissies set for rematch

The Decatur Lady Eagles locked down defensively, holding the Bridgeport Sissies to 15 field goals and 31 percent shooting in their victory Jan. 20.

That victory put them atop District 8-4A.

“We played good defense but they did miss some shots,” Decatur coach Billy Garner recalled. “We will have to come out with the same intensity this time.”

That will be 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Decatur High School gym, when Decatur takes on second-place Bridgeport for a second time.

Since their last meeting, both teams had gone 2-0 heading into Tuesday’s games. Bridgeport had a scare Friday, trailing Springtown by nine at halftime before rallying to pick up the 61-59 victory.

“We picked up the defense and started executing on offense,” said Bridgeport coach Dallas Taylor of Friday’s win.

“Springtown is not an easy place to play. We’re figuring out how to win ballgames. The kids are playing hard.”

In that first meeting with Decatur, Bridgeport’s leading scorer, Bailey Thompson, was held to five points. She did not have a field goal until the game’s final minute.

Landrie Walsh led the Sissies with 14 points against Decatur.

“We’re hoping our shooting percentage goes up,” Taylor said. “We’ve got to do a lot of things better this time. We’ll show up with a game plan and try to execute.”

Throughout 8-4A play, Decatur has been consistent on the defensive end. Bridgeport’s 41 points were the most Decatur has allowed in district. The Lady Eagles, who were off Friday, limited Lake Worth to just 15 in their last game.

“We preach a lot about our play on the defensive end,” Garner said. “There are nights you can’t throw the ball in the ocean but you can play hard on the defensive end.”

In district, Decatur post Macen Stripling has been tough for teams to contain. She is averaging 17.2 points per game and has gone for more than 20 points three times.

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Earl Havens Whirley

Earl Havens Whirley

Earl Havens Whirley, 81, formerly of Bridgeport, died Tuesday, Jan. 27, 2015, in Fayetteville, Ark.

Earl was born May 18, 1933, in Mitchell County to Romeo and Willie (Havens) Whirley. He married Martha Goodall Sept. 17, 1989, in Fayetteville, and he proudly served his country in the U.S. Air Force. He was an offshore drilling superintendent for Chevron. Earl was a Baptist and a member of the National Rifle Association.

Survivors include his wife of 25 years, Martha Louise Ellis Whirley; son Warren Whirley; daughters Sharon Jackson and husband, Skip, and Monda Court and husband, Brad; stepson Billy Goodall; stepdaughters Glenda Jean Goodall and Penny Hollenback; brother J.L. Whirley; sister Bobby Jean Harkey; five grandchildren; four step-grandchildren; five step-great-grandchildren; and one step-great-great-grandchild.

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Brandon William Goines

William and Rebekah Goines of Bridgeport announce the birth of a son, Brandon William Goines, on Jan. 24, 2015, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 8 pounds, 4 ounces and was 20 inches long.

He has two sisters: Brittany, 15; and Courtney, 9.

Grandparents are Sally and Walter Dale, and Amos and Pat Goines.

Great-grandparents are Frances and Gerald Duckworth.

Posted in New Arrivals0 Comments

Burglars hit 2 pharmacies

Two Wise County pharmacies were burglarized in the early morning hours Tuesday.

Bridgeport Police Chief Randy Singleton said an alarm company contacted his department at 4:01 a.m. to report front glass breakage at Valu-Rite Pharmacy, located at 709 Woodrow Wilson Ray Circle. Officers responded and confirmed that a burglary had taken place.

Singleton said security cameras captured video of the break-in.

“Three people entered the store dressed in camouflage-colored jumpsuits and wore white bandannas over their faces with dark hoodies,” Singleton said.

One person remained in the vehicle, described as a white SUV.

Singleton said the smash-and-grab style burglary lasted about one minute, and certain narcotics were stolen. The burglars also left shelves and medicine bottle knocked over in addition to broken glass at the front of the store.

Rhome Police Chief Brandon Davis said his department received an alarm call at 4:33 a.m. from the Best Value Pharmacy at 400 S. Main St. in his city. Police arrived two minutes later to find a similar scene to that in Bridgeport. The suspects had broken the front glass, stolen items and quickly fled.

Davis said it appears the two burglaries on Tuesday could be connected, and it could be connected to a similar break-in at the Rhome pharmacy just 10 days earlier.

“These guys are professionals. They’ve done their homework,” Davis said.

Anyone with information on the burglaries can call the Bridgeport Police Department at 940-683-3430 or the Rhome Police Department at 817-636-2400.

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