Alvord sweeps Chico

Ace Edgett threw a complete game to propel Alvord past Chico 7-1 Friday night.

Edgett gave up one run, scattering 10 hits. He struck out six and issued two walks.

Hunter Richey was a perfect 3-for-3, tallying four RBIs.

The Bulldogs swept the season series from the Dragons and improved to 5-3 in District 10-2A. Chico fell to 4-6 in 10-2A.

Alvord will travel to Lindsay Thursday. The Dragons headed to Muenster Tuesday.

BURKBURNETT 9, BRIDGEPORT 4

Bridgeport fell in non-district action to Burkburnett 9-4 Friday night.

Corbin Bailey, Daniel Delgadillo and Michael Marschall each drove in a run.

Kyler Holley took the loss for the Bulls. He scattered nine runs on 12 hits over four innings.

Bridgeport was back in District 8-4A action Tuesday against Krum.

BOYD 5, PEASTER 1

Boston McIntire struck out eight over four innings, leading Boyd to a 5-1 win over Peaster Friday night.

The Yellowjackets’ ace gave up two hits and no runs. Whitt Hill entered in relief and scattered one run on two hits.

Brian Couture went 1-for-3, collecting three RBIs. Boyd moved to 15-7-1 and 7-3 in District 7-3A.

The Yellowjackets welcomed in first-place Brock Tuesday.

PARADISE 6, MILLSAP 1

Trey Valentine drove in three runs in Paradise’s 6-1 win over Millsap Friday night.

Valentine went 2-for-3. Cade Goodman finished 2-for-4.

On the mound, Valentine allowed two hits in three scoreless innings with three strikeouts. Parker Cook pitched two hitless innings.

The Panthers improved to 13-8-2 and 7-3 in District 7-3A. Paradise hosted Peaster Tuesday

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Chism continues dominance, Decatur routs Krum

Reagan Chism struck out 10 and gave up just one hit, leading the Decatur Lady Eagles to a 10-0 win over Krum in six innings Friday night.

The Stephen F. Austin commit has not allowed a run in District 8-4A play.

Brison Hesteande went 2-for-3 and drove in two. She walked once.

Decatur is 7-0 in league play and hosted Argyle Tuesday. A win would secure the Lady Eagles’ second consecutive undefeated district title.

SPRINGTOWN 7, BRIDGEPORT 1

Bridgeport fell behind early and could not catch up to Springtown Friday, falling 7-1.

The Sissies gave up all seven runs in the first three innings. Katelyn McComis surrendered seven runs on 10 hits, striking out two.

At the plate, McComis drove in Bridgeport’s lone run.

The Sissies fell to 1-4 in District 8-4A and welcomed in Krum Tuesday. Bridgeport can clinch the fourth and final playoff spot in 8-4A with a win against Krum Tuesday or Argyle Friday.

PARADISE 15, MILLSAP 0

The Paradise Lady Panthers sent their seniors out on a high note, blasting Millsap 15-0 Friday night.

Paradise moved to 19-8 and 9-3 in District 7-3A with two games left in the regular season. The Lady Panthers played host to second-place Peaster Tuesday.

If Paradise wins its remaining two games and Peaster loses out, the two would tie for second in 7-3A. Both have already clinched playoff spots.

PEASTER 17, BOYD 3

Peaster racked up 12 hits Friday night, running away from Boyd 17-3.

Sydney Langley went 1-for-3 with a solo home run. Hannah Radke and Tristen Brieden collected a RBI apiece.

Ryleigh Ashford gave up 11 runs on 10 hits over five and one-third innings. She struck out one and walked five.

Boyd dropped to 5-7 in District 7-3A with two games remaining. The Lady Jackets are tied with Jacksboro for the fourth and final playoff spot in 7-3A.

ALVORD 10, ERA 7

The Alvord Lady Bulldogs got back in the win column with a 10-7 victory over Era Saturday.

Sydney Wade led the way for Alvord at the plate, going 4-for-5. Jocelyn Tambunga drove in two runs, finishing 3-for-5.

Alvord scored five runs in the final inning to erase a 7-5 deficit. Kinly Walker went the distance in the circle, scattering seven runs on 14 hits. She struck out seven.

The Lady Bulldogs improved to 11-12-1 and 6-6 in District 12-2A. Alvord hosted Tioga Tuesday and has clinched the final playoff spot in 12-2A.

CHICO 12, MUENSTER 11

Reagan Hardee drove in four runs to lead Chico past Muenster 12-11 Thursday.

The Lady Dragons scored five times in the seventh inning to rally for the win. Macy McDaniel went 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a walk.

Chico moved to 5-6 in District 12-2A. The Lady Dragons traveled to Collinsville Tuesday.

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Jury finds man guilty of robbing mom

It took a Wise County jury a little more than half an hour Wednesday to find a Chico man guilty of robbing his mother last summer.

Justin Russell Carlton

Justin Russell Carlton, 28, was found guilty of the second degree felony charge of robbery, stemming from an incident on Aug. 28.

Carlton’s mother, Cheryl Walls, called 911 during an argument with her son in her vehicle. Walls testified that after she pressed an emergency button on her phone, her son grabbed the phone from her hand and wouldn’t give it back. Carlton also had a box cutter in his hand.

Walls dropped her son off at his home nearby and returned to her home where she called the Wise County Sheriff’s Office and told dispatchers her son was high on methamphetamine and possibly other drugs and was acting “crazy.” She also said Carlton had threatened to kill any officer that attempted to detain him.

According to the 911 call played for the jury, Walls said her son grabbed her arm, took her phone and threatened her.

She later testified that when she called the sheriff’s office, she was more concerned about the safety of her son than her own safety.

Although she was the victim in the case, Walls signed an affidavit of non-prosecution, asking the district attorney’s office not to pursue criminal charges in the case.

“Just to be clear, I understand that I called police for fear of my son hurting himself as again he needs help for certain issues and I do not wish to participate in the prosecution of these allegations against my son as I am certain there are more deserving criminal matters to be tried in which the victims do wish to aid the state,” she stated in an affidavit filed last week.

Assistant District Attorney Jay Lapham in his closing remarks to the jury, pointed out their job was to render a verdict based on the facts and evidence of the case and hold Carlton accountable for his actions.

“The district attorney’s office operates for everyone. We hold everyone to the same standard. What happens when he gets on drugs again? What if he wants your phone? If you find him ‘not guilty,’ what message is that sending him? That his behavior is OK? That his mom will fix it? He was 27 when he committed this offense. He wasn’t a juvenile,” Lapham said.

Defense attorney Paul Belew argued to the jury that Carlton’s actions that day did not constitute robbery but instead a cry for help.

“(Walls) called and said she was having issues with her son,” Belew said. “She wanted someone to come out and diffuse the situation, and they did.”

Carlton elected before the trial, which began on Tuesday, to have District Judge Brock Smith assess punishment in the case.

Lapham pointed out that Carlton has previous felony convictions, including a robbery conviction from 2010 in Tarrant County in which he received a 12-year sentence.

If those previous convictions are proven true, the punishment range for the latest robbery conviction would be 5 to 99 years or life in prison, Lapham said. The judge could also grant probation.

The date for the sentencing hearing has not been set.

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Chico man convicted of robbery

It took a Wise County jury a little more than half an hour Wednesday to find a Chico man guilty of robbing his mother last summer.

Justin Carlton

Justin Russell Carlton, 28, was found guilty of the second degree felony charge of robbery stemming from an incident on Aug. 28 of last year.

Carlton’s mother, Cheryl Walls, called 911 during an argument with her son in her vehicle. Walls testified that after she pressed an emergency button on her phone, her son grabbed the phone from her hand and wouldn’t give it back. Carlton also had a box cutter in his hand.

Walls dropped her son off at his home nearby and returned to her home where she called the sheriff’s office and told dispatchers her son was high on methamphetamine and possibly other drugs and acting “crazy.” She also said Carlton had threatened to kill any officer that attempted to detain him.

According to the 911 call played for the jury, Walls said her son grabbed her arm, took  her phone and threatened her.

She would later testify that when she called the sheriff’s office, she was more concerned about the safety of her son than her own safety.

Although she was the victim in the case, Walls signed an affidavit of non-prosecution asking the district attorney’s office not to pursue criminal charges in the case.

“Just to be clear, I understand that I called police for fear of my son hurting himself as again he needs help for certain issues and I do not wish to participate in the prosecution of these allegations against my son as I am certain there are more deserving criminal matters to be tried in which the victims do wish to aid the state,” she stated in an affidavit filed last week.

Assistant District Attorney Jay Lapham in his closing remarks to the jury, pointed out their job was to render a verdict based on the facts and evidence of the case and hold Carlton accountable for his actions.

“The district attorney’s office operates for everyone. We hold everyone to the same standard. What happens when he gets on drugs again? What if he wants your phone? If you find him ‘not guilty,’ what message is that sending him? That his behavior is OK? That his mom will fix it? He was 27 when he committed this offense. He wasn’t a juvenile,” Lapham said.

Defense attorney Paul Belew argued to the jury that Carlton’s actions that day did not constitute robbery but instead a cry for help.

“(Walls) called and said she was having issues with her son,” Belew said. “She wanted someone to come out and diffuse the situation, and they did.”

Carlton elected before the trial, which began on Tuesday, to have District Judge Brock Smith assess punishment in the case.

Lapham pointed out that Carlton has previous felony convictions, including a robbery conviction from 2010 in Tarrant County in which he received a 12-year sentence.

If those previous convictions are proven true, the punishment range for the latest robbery conviction would be 5 to 99 years or life in prison, Lapham said. The judge could also grant probation.

The date for the sentencing hearing has not been set.

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Superintendent search begins

The search for the next superintendent at the Chico Independent School District is officially under way.

The school board officially accepted the resignation of Superintendent Don Elsom at its April 3 special meeting. Elsom announced earlier this year his intention to step down following the fall 2019 semester. He has been Chico superintendent for three years.

At another special meeting a week earlier, the board selected the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) Executive Search Services to look for qualified applicants to be the next superintendent.

According to a time line approved by the school board, applications will be accepted until midnight May 1. The applications will be reviewed May 7.

The initial interviews for the selected candidates are scheduled for May 14 through May 16 with follow-up interviews scheduled for May 28 through May 30.

An optional site visit to the candidate’s home district is scheduled for June 3.

The schedule calls for naming a lone finalist for the position June 4. Since districts are required by state law to wait 21 days before making the hiring official, that vote is scheduled for June 26.

Because the school board wanted to receive public input on selecting the next superintendent, an online survey is now available for the public, including community members, students, faculty and staff. To take the survey, visit wcmess.com/chico.

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Chism no-hits Bridgeport

Reagan Chism continued her dominance in District 8-4A Friday night, tossing a no-hitter in Decatur’s 14-0 win over Bridgeport.

The senior struck out 14 in five innings of work. The Lady Eagles racked up 13 hits in the victory, scoring eight runs in the second inning.

Decatur improved to 5-0 in 8-4A and has yet to allow a run in league play. The Lady Eagles hosted Springtown Tuesday.

The Sissies were off Tuesday and will play Springtown Friday on the road.

PARADISE 13, BOYD 2

Makenna Hudson drove in four runs Friday night, propelling Paradise to a 13-2 victory over rival Boyd in six innings.

The Lady Panthers collected 14 hits. Tori Green went 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Maddi Terry was 2-for-2 with two walks, driving in one.

Kendall Candioto struck out 14 over six innings. She gave up two runs on five hits, earning the win.

Paradise improved to 17-8 and 7-3 in District 7-3A. The Lady Jackets dropped to 13-14 and 4-6 in 7-3A.

The Lady Panthers traveled to Jacksboro Tuesday. Boyd welcomed in Millsap.

VALLEY VIEW 16, ALVORD 1

Valley View ran away from Alvord 16-1 in five innings Monday night.

The Lady Bulldogs committed seven errors in the loss. Rami Fritz drove in Alvord’s lone run of the game.

The loss dropped the Lady Bulldogs to 10-12-1 and 4-5 in District 12-2A. Alvord will go to Era Saturday.

CHICO 17, TIOGA 2

Chico thumped Tioga 17-2 in three innings Monday night.

Macy McDaniel went 1-for-3 at the plate, driving in two runs. Cassie Byers walked three times, tallying two RBIs.

Michaela Martin got the win in the circle, striking out five. The Lady Dragons improved to 3-6 in District 12-2A and will host Muenster Friday.

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Read leads Decatur past Bridgeport

Triston Read drove in three runs Friday night, leading Decatur to an 8-0 win over Bridgeport.

Read went 2-for-3 at the dish and scored a run. Bodi Rascon was also 2-for-3, collecting two RBIs and a walk.

Wilson Hicks and Chase Oberle combined for six scoreless innings and 10 strikeouts.

The Eagles improved to 21-3 and 2-1 in District 8-4A. Decatur took on Springtown Tuesday at home.

The Bulls dropped to 0-4 in 8-4A. Bridgeport welcomed in Burkburnett Tuesday in non-district action.

POOLVILLE 4, ALVORD 1

Alvord could not catch up to Poolville in a 4-1 loss Friday night.

Ace Edgett took the loss for the Bulldogs. He surrendered four runs on 12 hits, striking out eight.

William Martin drove in Alvord’s only run of the game.

The Bulldogs fell to 3-3 in District 10-2A and played host to Saint Jo Tuesday.

SAINT JO 11, CHICO 8

Chico gave up a late lead Friday night as Saint Jo came away with an 11-8 victory.

The Panthers tallied nine runs in the final two innings. The Dragons led 6-2 through the four frames.

TJ Milam gave up four runs on four hits in two-thirds of an inning in relief. Chico starter Austin Lacy struck out seven over five innings, scattering two runs on four hits.

The loss dropped the Dragons to 3-5 in District 10-2A. Chico headed to Perrin-Whitt Tuesday.

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Alvord, Chico claim crowns

The Alvord social studies and Chico computer science squads captured titles at the District 11-2A UIL academics meet.

Alvord finished third in the district with 152 points. Chico was fourth with 138. Muenster won the sweepstakes with 444.

Chico grabbed the computer science crown behind Daniel Parra taking second, Layne Spradlin third and Domanich Harper fifth.

Chico’s Lazara Losoya won the league title in chemistry, and Brianna Henry captured the physics top honor.

With Trenton Strode finishing first and Abbey Bloomer fifth, Alvord won the social studies league crown.

Other Alvord regional qualifiers were Austin Griffin taking second in current issues, Denisse Garcia second in copy editing and Maggie Wicks third in literary criticism.

Team: 1. Muenster 444; 2. Era 435; 3. Alvord 152; 4. Chico 138; 5. Poolville 137; 6. Universal Academy 37

Accounting: 6. Jarrod Williams

Current issues: Team: 2. Alvord; Individuals: 2. Austin Griffin, Alvord; 4. Trenton Strode, Alvord; 6. Clayton Machal, Alvord

Computer applications: 4. Layne Spradlin, Chico; 5. Daniel Parra, Chico

Copy editing: 2. Denisse Garcia, Alvord; 6. Abbey Bloomer, Alvord

Computer science: Team: 1. Chico; Individuals: 2. Daniel Parra, Chico; 3. Layne Spradlin, Chico; 5. Domanick Harper, Chico

Feature writing: 5. Isabella Campbell, Alvord

Headline writing: 6. Pipper Lovelace, Alvord

Literary criticism: Team: 2. Alvord; Individuals: 3. Maggie Wicks, Alvord; 4. Maley Mader, Alvord; 5. Quincy Calhoun, Alvord

Chemistry: 1. Lazaro Losoya, Chico

Science: 4. Trenton Strode, Alvord

Physics: 1. Brianne Henry, Chico

Social studies: Team: 1. Alvord; Individuals: 1. Trenton Strode, Alvord; 5. Abbey Bloomer, Alvord

One-act play: 1. Chico; 4. Alvord

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Board accepts Sanders’ resignation; Chico AD out after one season

After an hour in closed session, Chico ISD trustees unanimously accepted the resignation of athletic director and head football coach Clayton Sanders at a special meeting Wednesday.

Sanders tendered his resignation to the district last week, but the board took no action at the March 27 meeting. Sanders was subsequently placed on paid administrative leave, pending an investigation into alleged inappropriate actions.

“There were some actions taken that we would not consider in the best interest of kids,” Chico Superintendent Don Elsom said. “There were some actions we felt needed to be corrected. We’ve taken steps to make sure those actions never happen again.”

Trustees also unanimously accepted the resignation of defensive coordinator Matthew Sawyer, effective immediately.

Sawyer had also been on paid administrative leave.

Elsom said the district will continue to pay Sanders until the end of his contract on June 30. He added he did not believe the actions were criminal in nature.

Sanders has denied the allegations.

“There were some things we needed to fix,” Elsom said. “I can’t go into specifics, but there was no reason for us to call the police or get them involved.”

Chico will now begin the search for its third athletic director and head football coach in as many years.

In Sanders’ only season as head coach, the Dragons went 5-6 before falling to Hawley in the bi-district round of the playoffs.

Elsom said the district has posted the job and hopes to have a new athletic director and head football coach in place by the end of May.

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Elsie Marie Kennedy

Funeral for Elsie Marie Kennedy, 89, of Chico is 3 p.m. Sunday at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport. Burial will follow at West Bridgeport Cemetery. Visitation is one hour prior to the service.

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Sanders placed on leave: Chico AD under investigation for alleged inappropriate actions

Sanders placed on leave: Chico AD under investigation for alleged inappropriate actions

Roaming the Sidelines

ROAMING THE SIDELINES – Chico head coach Clayton Sander gives instruction during a game. In Sanders’ only season as head coach, the Dragons went 5-6. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

After nearly two hours in closed session Wednesday night, Chico ISD trustees took no action on the resignation of athletic director and head football coach Clayton Sanders.

Chico Superintendent Don Elsom declined to comment on the situation after the meeting. In a statement issued Thursday morning, Elsom said Sanders and defensive coordinator Matthew Sawyer have been placed on administrative leave with pay, pending an investigation into alleged inappropriate actions.

Sanders and Sawyer have tendered their resignations to the district.

“I want to emphatically deny anything like that,” Sanders said in a phone interview Monday regarding his resignation. “The way I look at it is there’s no criminal charges. There’s no proof. There’s only hearsay and there’s only rumors. There’s no factual proof of anything that I’ve done wrong or that my staff has done wrong.

“If any of it was true, we would be in handcuffs, and if any of it was true there would be proof of that. There would be repercussions. None of that is true. You’re going to hear a lot of rumors and hearsay. The proof is in the pudding. I’m still a free man and my staff is still free, from what I understand. It’s unfortunate.”

Trustee Brian Hand said a complaint was lodged by a coach against Sanders and Sawyer regarding their coaching tactics.

He added that trustees were not made aware of Sanders’ resignation until Wednesday’s meeting.

Sanders said in his resignation letter that, “there will always be cynics and gossip spread far and wide, especially in a small town, but the quality of people will always rely on the facts, not hearsay.”

He went on to say that, “the facts are that we coach very hard, but fair and with love. The facts are that there was an unwavering high expectation to rise to and meet, and both coaches and student-athletes were held to that high standard consistently. The truth is that my family and I gave everything we could possibly give to both the student-athlete’s and the community. The truth is we changed selfish boys into unselfish men, and for that, I am the proudest.”

Sanders has been with the district since 2017. He first served as an assistant before being hired to replace Lane Wilson last March.

“First of all, I want to thank Coach Sanders for his hard work in starting out a community goal of a new and better Chico,” Hand said in a statement. “This was the brain work of the entire community, as we wanted to raise the expectation for our youth and our town. Clay Sanders’ contribution to that cannot be understated!”

In Sanders’ first and only season as head coach, Chico went 5-6 and advanced to the bi-district round of the playoffs before falling to Hawley.

“As we move forward for a brighter future for Chico, we will always be thankful for the push start we received in [Sanders’] short tenure at Chico,” Hand said.

Elsom said Chico High School Principal Randy Brawner will serve as the acting athletic director for the high school until a new athletic director is hired. Monte Sewell, the middle school principal, will serve as the acting athletic director for the middle school.

Elsom said the district will begin a search for its third athletic director and head football coach in as many years soon.

Trustees took no action on the resignation of Elsom. He has indicated that he will retire in December and will assist in the transition in the fall after a new superintendent is hired.

“We’re still working it out,” Elsom said. “We should have it next meeting.”

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Pursuit ends in arrest

A Bridgeport man was arrested after leading officers on a 15-minute high speed pursuit in the Chico area Thursday afternoon.

Brad Ray Bryant

Wise County Sheriff Lane Akin said deputies were attempting to serve a parole violation warrant on Brad Ray Bryant, 32, of Bridgeport when he fled from deputies in a pickup.

The pursuit started on County Road 1540 south of Chico just after 5 p.m. before the pursuit entered the Chico city limits. Officers reported that Bryant continued to drive on county roads north and east of Chico, eventually reaching Farm Road 1655 before he headed back south.

At one point, a pursuing officer reported Bryant was traveling 120 mph.

The pursuit then headed back into Chico and then south on Texas 101 toward Bridgeport.

Bridgeport Police officers shut down traffic at the intersection of U.S. 380 and Texas 101 in case the pursuit reached their city, but it ended just north of the city.

Bryant was arrested and charged with felony evading arrest with a vehicle in addition to the original parole violation warrant.

Wise County court records show Bryant pleaded guilty in January 2016 to theft of property in the amount of $1,500 to $20,000 and tampering with oil/gas rigs to limit/control operation and sentenced to six years in prison. The records do not indicate when Bryant was paroled.

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Bobby C. Richey

Memorial service for Bobby C. Richey, 79, of Chico is 7 p.m. Saturday at Hawkins Funeral Home in Bridgeport. Visitation is one hour prior to the service.

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Lincoln Caleb Fincher

Aaron and Katie Fincher of Chico announce the birth of a son, Lincoln Caleb, March 25, 2019, at Wise Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 6 pounds, 8 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

He has two brothers, Boston, 8 and Sawyer, 4.

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Chico athletic director Sanders placed on administrative leave pending investigation

UPDATED 2:16 p.m.

After nearly two hours in closed session Wednesday night, Chico ISD trustees took no action on the resignation of athletic director and head football coach Clayton Sanders.

Clayton Sanders

Chico Superintendent Don Elsom declined to immediately comment on the situation after the meeting. In a statement issued Thursday morning, Elsom said Sanders and defensive coordinator Matthew Sawyer have been placed on administrative leave with pay pending an investigation into alleged inappropriate actions.

Both Sanders and Sawyer have tendered their resignations to the district.

“I want to emphatically deny anything like that,” Sanders said in a phone interview Monday regarding his resignation. “The way I look at it is there’s no criminal charges. There’s no proof. There’s only hearsay and there’s only rumors. There’s no factual proof of anything that I’ve done wrong or that my staff has done wrong.

If any of it was true we would be in handcuffs, and if any of it was true there would be proof of that. There would be repercussions. None of that is true. You’re going to hear a lot of rumors and hearsay. The proof is in the pudding. I’m still a free man and my staff is still free, from what I understand. It’s unfortunate.”

Trustee Brian Hand said a complaint was lodged by a coach against Sanders and Sawyer regarding their coaching tactics. He added the board was not made aware of Sanders’ resignation until Wednesday night’s meeting.

“This resignation was brought on by many, many things that were allowed to transpire against myself, my staff, and the athletic program,” Sanders said in a resignation letter Thursday afternoon. “Although I personally documented these inequities, I guarded any potential distraction the best I could from both the student-athletes and coaching staff, and took them on my shoulders to bear. Unfortunately, it has gotten to the point where this burden has led me to make the decision to resign.”

Sanders said in his resignation letter that, “there will always be cynics and gossip spread far and wide, especially in a small town, but the quality of people will always rely on the facts, not hearsay.”

Sanders went on to say that, “the facts are that we coach very hard, but fair, and with love. The facts are that there was an unwavering high expectation to rise to and meet, and both coach and student-athletes were held to that high standard consistently. The truth is that my family and I gave everything we could possibly give to both the student-athlete’s and the community. The truth is we changed selfish boys into unselfish men, and for that, I am the proudest.”

Sanders has been with the district since 2017. He first served as an assistant before being hired to replace Lane Wilson last March.

“First of all, I want to thank Coach Sanders for his hard work in starting out a community goal of a new and better Chico,” Hand said in a statement. “This was the brain work of the entire community as we wanted to raise the expectation for our youth and our town. Clay Sanders’ contribution to that cannot be understated!”

In Sanders’ first and only season as head coach, Chico went 5-6 and advanced to the bi-district round of the playoffs before falling to Hawley.

“As we move forward for a brighter future for Chico, we will always be thankful for the push start we received in [Sanders’] short tenure at Chico,” Hand said.

Elsom said Chico High School principal, Randy Brawner, will serve as the acting athletic director for the high school until a new athletic director is hired. Monte Sewell, the middle school principal, will serve as the acting athletic director for the middle school.

Elsom said the district will begin a search for its third athletic director and head football coach in as many years soon.

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Board takes no action on Sanders’ resignation — Chico AD suspended with pay

Updated 10:58 a.m. 

After nearly two hours in closed session Wednesday night, Chico ISD trustees took no action on the resignation of athletic director and head football coach Clayton Sanders.

Clayton Sanders

Chico Superintendent Don Elsom declined to comment on the situation after the meeting. Thursday morning, he confirmed Sanders and his assistant, defensive coordinator Matthew Sawyer, were suspended with pay pending a personnel investigation.

Trustee Brian Hand said a complaint was lodged by a coach against Sanders and Sawyer regarding their coaching tactics. He added the board was not made aware of Sanders’ resignation until Wednesday night’s meeting.

Sanders has been with the district since 2017. He first served as an assistant before being hired to replace Lane Wilson last March.

In Sanders’ first and only season as head coach, Chico went 5-6 and advanced to the bi-district round of the playoffs before falling to Hawley.

“Rumors are going to be rumors,” Sanders said in a phone interview Monday regarding his resignation. “You’re going to have all kinds of rumors out there. I don’t live my life on rumors. I live my life on facts. The proof is in the pudding. Those kids know and those families know I gave them everything I had. The fact of the matter is, it’s time. Whether I leave kicking or screaming, it’s just time.”

Elsom said Chico High School principal, Randy Brawner, will serve as the acting athletic director for the high school until a new athletic director is hired. Monte Sewell will serve as the acting athletic director for the middle school.

This story will be updated as more information is made available. 

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District considers resignations: AD, Supt. tender letters

The Chico ISD school board Wednesday night will consider the resignations of superintendent Don Elsom and athletic director and head football coach Clayton Sanders, according to an agenda posted on the district’s website.

Sanders, who was previously an assistant at Chico, was named head coach March 5, 2018, taking over for Lane Wilson. In his first and only season with the Dragons, Sanders led Chico to a 5-6 record and third straight playoff appearance.

The Dragons fell in the bi-district round to Hawley 69-15.

Should the board accept Sanders’ resignation, Chico would be searching for its third athletic director and head football coach in as many years.

The agenda also includes accepting Elsom’s resignation. Prior to last month’s meeting, Elsom submitted his intent to “resign and retire” at the conclusion of the first semester of the 2019-2020 school year.

Elsom explained the timing of the resignation was to allow the district time to plan for the transition from one superintendent to the next.

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Delivering the news: Elementary students produce daily program

Newsmakers

NEWSMAKERS – Chico Elementary students Savanna Sitek and Emmie Esparza are among the many anchors to work on the Dragon Tells set this spring. The YouTube program airs daily at the campus. Messenger photo by Richard Greene

It’s Terrific Tuesday, the Dragon Tells anchors proclaim before pitching it to their reporter in the cafeteria for a rundown of the day’s menu.

Quickly, programming jumps to the next reporter for a list of birthdays before the segue into the birthday dance, a highlight of the daily Chico Elementary YouTube broadcast, according to second grader Emily Esparza.

“I like the dancing,” Esparza said.

Since January, classes at the school have tuned in each morning for the newscast anchored by various students under the direction of instructional technologist Breann Cox. The two- to three-minute broadcast includes the U.S. and Texas pledges followed by the lunch menu, birthdays and the daily features like Wacky Science Wednesdays and Youth Sports Friday.

“A couple other districts had similar news shows in the morning,” Cox said. “It was a way to get information out to the parents, and they were able to see what we were doing.”

Cox films all the episodes on Thursdays for the following week with students reporting to her studio during their visits to the computer lab. She said it does not take away from their classroom time.

“They are still working on computers and getting those computer skills, just in a different avenue of it,” Cox said.

Teachers nominate students for the highly-sought anchor roles.

“I want it to be kids that deserve the right to have that extracurricular,” Cox said. “They are also nominating kids that I wouldn’t have thought to pick. They send me kids that are so shy. Then I set them over by the green screen, and they are a totally different person.”

Fifth grader Savanna Sitek said she wasn’t nervous to be in front of the camera.

“I forget that people are watching,” Sitek said. “I enjoyed telling the school what’s happening.”

The popularity of the news show has students asking constantly to be anchors.

“They are begging. If they see me now, they ask, ‘When do I get to be on Dragon Tells?'” Cox said.

After her anchors are selected, Cox shares a Google document on the Tuesday before the filming. The students then come up with the stories.

“I’m blown away with the things they come up with,” Cox said.

Along with the birthday dances, another popular segment has been librarian Tammie Richey reading stories.

“I like it when Mrs. Richey reads to us,” Esparza said.

While helping to keep parents, staff and students informed, Cox sees the program as a way to connect with students to teach them valuable skills and motivate them to keep up with their studies.

“I was fortunate enough to be introduced to this back in high school,” Cox said. “I was the outside-the-box student. I didn’t like the mundane math and reading classes. I had a teacher that introduced me to videography. It’s amazing if you introduce them to something they are passionate about. It motivates them in all avenues of life.”

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Chico Student Spotlight for Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Emiliano Quezada

Chico Elementary

Emiliano Quezada

Grade: 5

Parents: Jorge and Maria Quezada

Favorite subject: math

Hobbies: UIL number sense and horseback riding

“Emiliano is a wonderful young man. His parents have so many reasons to be proud of him. Among his greatest qualities are his quiet leadership among his peers and consistent respect for himself and others. He is always among our top students academically, socially and emotionally.” – Principal Karen Decker

Shelby Hood

Chico High School

Shelby Hood

Grade: 11

Parents: Brandie and Jerry Hood

Favorite subject: physics

Hobbies: volleyball, basketball, softball, powerlifting, select sports, youth group, leadership group and helps at the homeless shelter

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Chico Educator Spotlight for Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Jerry Schultz

Jerry Schultz

Position: band and choir director

Experience: 18 years

Hobbies: “I am actively involved with the North Richland Hills Baptist Church where I teach a Sunday morning bible fellowship class and play trombone in the orchestra. I enjoy hiking and I love going to the movies.”

Why did you choose education as a profession?: “I had many wonderful teachers who made an impact on my life who inspired me to become a teacher, especially my band director who had such a passion for music and love of teaching. I wanted to work in a profession where I could help people.

“I like the relational aspects of the job. I truly enjoy getting to see students every day. I like watching them learn, grow and reap the benefits of our hard work. I appreciate the opportunity I have to bring joy into people’s lives through music.”

Patricia Sarchet

Patricia Sarchet

Position: fifth-grade math teacher

Family: Husband Jeff and three daughters, Ashley, Lauren and Morgan

Experience: “I have over 20 years experience in education as a teacher and as a substitute teacher. I have taught in Oklahoma, California, Kansas and Texas.”

Hobbies: sewing, counted cross-stitch, reading and gardening

Why did you choose education as a profession?: “The reason I chose education was because of the great relationship I developed with my first-grade teacher. She made me feel that I was a very special little girl. I remember when I decided to change majors in college, I called her and told her about it. I wanted her to know about the impact she had made in my life. I also wanted to have that opportunity to make my students feel that way as well.

“My favorite thing about teaching is seeing the ‘light bulb’ click on when one of my students finally get something that has been hard for them to understand. I like building good relationships with my students and helping them realize that there is more to school than just reading, writing and math. They also need to learn how to function in the real world. I hope that I am able to get that across to them.”

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