Turkey time

Turkey Time 1

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

Turkey Time 2

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

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Della Lee Brooks

Della Lee Brooks

Della Lee Brooks, 81, of Chico, died Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Decatur.

Graveside service is 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 22, at Chico Cemetery with Pastor Ed Edington officiating. Della was born Oct. 29, 1933, in Barnsdall, Okla., to Leo Lindsay and Esther (Crow) Hill. She was a member of the VFW Women’s Auxiliary and loved to bake and crochet. She encouraged others and was a good friend to many.

She was preceded in death by her parents; an infant son; and grandson Brent Lemond.

Della is survived by her husband, Cecil Brooks of Bridgeport; daughter Rhonda Wilson and husband, Ron, of Whitehouse; sisters Vivian Welch of Pawhuska, Okla., and Wanda Weigart of Chico; grandchildren Ryon and Dustin Wilson; great-grandchildren Abigail and Gavyn Wilson; nephews Bradley, Kendall and Gregory North; niece Sherry Welch; and numerous great-nephews and nieces.

Memorials may be made to www.veteransinc.org.

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Lela Fay Griffis Duck

Lela Fay Griffis Duck

Lela Fay Griffis Duck, 94, of Chico died Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, in Bridgeport.

Funeral was Nov. 16 at the First Baptist Church in Chico with the Rev. Sam Caldwell officiating. Burial followed at Pleasant Grove No. 3 Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Rickey Denney, Stan Denney, Michael Duck, Willie Wilson, Dr. Jason Tibbels and Alex Plese.

Lela was born Jan. 25, 1920, at home in Crafton to C.W. “Charley” and Gertie Stockard Griffis. She remembered her parents telling her how everything was covered with ice that day.

“They could hear the galloping hooves of the doctor’s horse on the ice long before he arrived at their home,” she said.

Lela grew up in Crafton and attended school there. She married K.H. “Kinnie” Duck in Decatur Oct. 28, 1942, at Decatur Baptist College.

Lela came to know the Lord Sept. 1, 1952, in Park Springs where she lived and attended Park Springs Baptist Church. She joined the First Baptist Church in Chico on Oct. 5, 1963, and remained a member there. She was a homemaker most of her life, but as a young woman she worked in a florist shop in Lubbock and in the cafeteria at Harris Hospital in Fort Worth. She enjoyed cooking, working in her yard and vegetable garden, and sewing.

Lela was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; sisters Elsie Griffis, Reba Richey, Oleta Bender, Nelba Ruth Culverhouse and Genell Hopkins; brothers Horace and James Carol Griffis; and sister-in-law Leona Duck Powers, who she loved as a sister.

She is survived by her children, Lana and Gary Handshumaker of Alvord, Darla and Danny Hartsell of Bridgeport, Benny and Linda Duck of Bridgeport, and Bobby and Beverly Duck of Decatur; 11 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren; 10 great-great-grandchildren; her best friend, Ruby Partin of Chico; and other relatives and friends.

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Legend ChadaLynn Hooten

Cindy Burgess and Chad Hooten of Chico announce the birth of a daughter, Legend ChadaLynn Hooten, on Nov. 18, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 6 pounds, 15 ounces and was 18 inches long.

She has two brothers: Jacob Ray Bounds, 13, and Asher Hooten, 9; and one sister: Chadrie Hooten, 12.

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Paulette Gee

Paulette Gee, 64, of Chico, died Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, in Bridgeport.

Funeral was Nov. 17 at First Baptist Church of Chico with Pastor Ed Edington officiating. Burial followed at Chico Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Alex Hastings, Chaz Miller, Jackie Souther, Jackie Karch, Jordan Karch and Josh Richey.

Paulette was born June 20, 1950, in Ponder. She was a homemaker.

She was preceded in death by her son, Johnny Gee; and her grandmother, Minnie Page.

She is survived by her husband of 45 years, Leon Gee Sr.; sons Leon Jr. and Jerry Gee; daughter Kristi Gee-Bullion; parents Marie Page and Robert Byrd; grandchildren John Dylan, Heather, Sarah, Braden, Nichole and Kaiden Gee, Trinity Bullion, and Kourtnee and Cody Ireland; and great-grandchild Fable Gee.

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Jack L. Robinson

Jack L. Robinson

Jack L. Robinson, 84, died on Veterans Day, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, at his home in Chico, surrounded by family and friends.

Memorial service was Nov. 14 at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport with Jerry Carter and Dewayne Holden officiating.

Jack was born Sept. 26, 1930, in Wise County to Roy Z. and Maggie Robinson. Before his retirement, Jack was self-employed in the oilfield construction business. He enjoyed being outdoors, fishing, hunting, gardening and farming.

He was preceded in death by daughter Deana Len Robinson; his parents; brother Alton Robinson; and sisters Pat Lowrey and Delaine Boone.

He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Sue Robinson of Chico; sons Leslie Robinson and wife, Jane, and Phillip Robinson; daughters Linda Robinson Eubanks, Cathy Fostel and husband, John, and Suzanne Gardner and husband, Bill; grandchildren Shaun Robinson, Justin Cortez, Crystal Eubanks, Brandi McKenzie, Michelle Eubanks, Chris Gardner, Meagan Hood, Chelsea Castillo and Emily Romkema; and eight great-grandchildren.

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Chico park will honor Tuckers’ service

A former school playground has been given new life as a city park.

And soon, it will bear the name of a couple who have spent years giving to the Chico community.

The Chico City Council last Thursday voted to name the park behind city hall “Tucker Park” to honor Nobie and JoAnn Tucker.

Both the park and the Tuckers have served Chico for years. The park is the former playground area for the old Chico Elementary School. The former school is now home to Chico City Hall.

Nobie Tucker served as mayor of Chico for nearly 30 years, with his final term ending in 2001. He was also a volunteer fireman.

JoAnn Tucker used to dispatch the volunteer fire department in the 1980s before many of the county roads had names. She’d often give firefighters directions using landmarks.

Mayor J.D. Clark said former mayor James Robinson, before his death, wanted to honor Nobie Tucker, possibly by naming a street after him. Clark said the problem with renaming an existing street is the need for everyone on that street to change their addresses.

When the city decided to keep the old playground and turn it into a city park, Clark said it provided a great opportunity to honor the contributions of both Tuckers.

“I think they would probably enjoy and appreciate knowing that a park where kids are playing – and their kids and grandkids have grown up playing on this playground – I think they’d get a lot of joy out of knowing that they had a park named after them for the kids to enjoy,” Clark said.

Fencing and an entranceway similar to Robinson Park will be added, Clark said.

Messenger archive material was used for this story.

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Jack L. Robinson

Jack L. Robinson, 84, died on Veterans Day, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, at his home in Chico, surrounded by family and friends.

A memorial service will be 2 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14, at Jones Family Funeral Home in Bridgeport with Jerry Carter and Dewayne Holden officiating.

Jack was born Sept. 26, 1930, in Wise County to Roy Z. and Maggie Robinson. Before his retirement, Jack was self-employed in the oilfield construction business. He enjoyed being outdoors, fishing, hunting, gardening or farming.

He was preceded in death by daughter Deana Len Robinson; his parents; brother Alton Robinson and sisters Pat Lowrey and Delaine Boone.

He is survived by his wife of 41 years, Sue Robinson of Chico; sons Leslie Robinson and wife, Jane, and Phillip Robinson; daughters Linda Robinson Eubanks, Cathy Fostel and husband, John, and Suzanne Gardner and husband, Bill; grandchildren Shaun Robinson, Justin Cortez, Crystal Eubanks, Brandi McKenzie, Michelle Eubanks, Chris Gardner, Meagan Hood, Chelsea Castillo and Emily Romkema; and eight great-grandchildren.

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Clark recommends mayor seat stay vacant until election

After his victory Tuesday, J.D. Clark had a little city business to take care of in Chico.

Two days after being elected Wise County judge, Clark Thursday submitted his resignation as Chico mayor to the city council, to be effective when he takes the oath of office as judge.

“Can we turn it down?” council member Fletta Barrett joked.

“You can’t make me show up,” Clark quipped.

For the first time since his election in 2006, Clark will no longer serve on the city council in his hometown.

“When I was 20 years old, I joined the council as a young man who believed that a group of people could work together to improve their community, and I still believe the same today,” Clark said in a written statement he read to the council. “I am proud of the progress we have made and the ways in which we have responded to challenges that have arisen along the way. The lessons I have learned while serving as mayor have been invaluable.”

Since the mayor position will be on the May 2015 ballot, Clark recommended the seat remain vacant until the time voters elect a new mayor. In the meantime, Mayor Pro Tem Karen Garrison will fill the duties of mayor.

“Remaining as mayor pro tem will allow Ms. Garrison to remain a voting member of the council and to also count for a quorum, which will ensure that the business of the city can be handled in a timely manner,” Clark said.

He went on to say that he plans on remaining an active member of the community and thanked everyone for the opportunity to work for the city of Chico.

The council unanimously accepted Clark’s resignation.

While the mayor position will remain vacant for a few months, another vacant seat at the table was filled. The council appointed Gary Fatheree to a vacant council seat.

The 14-year resident said he works in the oilfield as a drilling consultant, so he has knowledge of budgets and project planning, attributes he thought could help him serve as a member of the council.

He was one of two citizens to express interest in filling the seat. Greg Taylor, a seven-year resident, also spoke to the council about the vacancy.

In other business, the council:

  • approved expanding the existing contract of Pat Dillon with Southwest Consultants to include administrative support duties with the city on a temporary basis, to be reevaluated at the Feb. 3 meeting.
  • hired Craig Moss Backhoe to help the city finish its water and sewer line project so the street paving project can move forward. The $49,280 contract would include a 16-day timetable and a four-man crew.
  • added Dec. 26 as a holiday for city staff.
  • appointed Crystal Timmons and Amber Marshall to the Park Board.
  • approved recommendations by the EDC to hold a public hearing on expanding Wiley Hardware and spending the $1,000 donation from Devon Energy for Christmas lights on the square.
  • learned Steven Yancey will be a resident deputy for the city of Chico.

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Football: Chico playoff hopes dashed

Chico’s 34-27 victory over the Valley View Eagles Friday night wasn’t enough to clinch a playoff spot for the Dragons. They needed to win by 12 against the Eagles to see playing time next week, and while they put up 442 yards of total offense and never gave up their lead, the Dragons’ season ended Friday night.

Dragon Crossing

DRAGON CROSSING- Crese Redman crosses the plane for the Chico Dragons’ first offensive touchdown of the night against the Valley View Eagles. Redman would go on to lead the dragons in rushing with 135 yards on 18 carries. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

“It’s a real bittersweet win,” Chico head coach Stephen Carter said. “I wish we would have played better earlier in the year so we wouldn’t have been in this predicament tonight, but I thought that game was the best we’ve played all season. I’m happy for the win, but we just didn’t get it done this year.”

Chico drew first blood on a pick six from Kalan Johnson six minutes into the game, and Crese Redman closed out the first quarter with an 11-yard run, putting the Dragons up 14-0.

Valley View got started late in the second quarter on a possession that saw star running back JD Johnson limp off the field after a 41-yard run that put the Eagles within scoring distance. A few plays later, quarterback Riley Willis ran in from 6 yards out to finally put Valley View on the board. Chico was scoreless in the second quarter.

Valley View continued shortening the gap in the third quarter, making it a two-point game when Austin French ran it in from 10 yards out to make it 14-12. Five minutes later, Chico responded with a 6-yard touchdown pass from Jericoe McGuire to Jastin McBee to make it 21-12.

The fourth quarter started off with a bang when Crese Redman ran 23 yards for a touchdown just 10 seconds after the clock started ticking, widening Chico’s lead to 28-12.

Valley View shot back on their next drive with a 53-yard QB keeper from Willis and a two-point conversion pass to Travis Foerster, closing Chico’s lead to eight points.

The Dragons seemingly put the final nail in the coffin with just over a minute left to play when McGuire hit Jackson for a 29-yard reception, making the score 34-20.

An Chico unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after the ensuing kickoff set the stage for Valley View’s next drive. The Dragons picked up two penalties during Valley View’s last drive, and the Eagles made it all the way to Chico’s 20-yard line before they hit fourth down.

A fake field goal play ended in a 9-yard touchdown pass from Willis to Austin French with 11 seconds left to play, making it 34-27 Chico.

“That drive killed us,” Carter said. “We had a total of four penalties for 40 yards the entire game, and two of those came on that one drive. But it is what it is, and we’re young, returning a lot of guys, so these kids are going to work hard next year and get after it, so I’m excited about next season and the future.”


Chico … 14 … 0 … 7 … … 13 – 34
Valley View … 0 … 6 … 6 … … 15 – 27


Chico – 6:02, Interception return 30 Kalen Johnson; Cameron Starnes kick.

Chico – 1:02, 11 run by Crese Redman; Starnes kick.


Valley view 1:23, 6 run Riley Willis; kick failed


Valley View – 9:18, 10 run Austin French; PAT failed.

Chico – 4:37, 6 pass from Jericoe McGuire to Jastin McBee; Strarnes kick.


Chico – 11:50, 23 run Redman; Starnes kick.

Valley View – 10:54, 53 run Willis; Pass from Willis to Travis Foerster.

Chico – 1:37, 29 pass from McGuire to Johnson; kick failed.

Valley View – :11, 9 pass from Willis to French; Rusty Shale kick.


First Downs … 21 … 18
Rush Att-Yards … 52-321 … 31-218
Passing Yards … 121 … 89
Total Yards … 442 … 307
Comp-Att-Int … 8-13-1 … 9-28-2
Punts … 0-0 … 4-25
Fumbles … 3-1 … 1-0


Passing: Chico – Mcguire 8-13-1 for 121; Valley View – Willis 28-9-2 for 89.

Rushing: Chico – Redman 18-135; Valley View – Willis 9-79

Receiving: Chico – Johnson 4-96; Valley View – French 3-28.

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Volleyball: Lady Pirates sink Lady Dragons

The Chico Lady Dragons’ first playoff appearance in three seasons was cut short Tuesday night.

Collinsville’s Lady Pirates swept the Lady Dragons out of the playoffs with a 25-14, 25-14, 25-14 victory in the Class 2A bi-district match at Texas Woman’s University’s Kitty Magee Arena in Denton.

TAKING A SHOT – Chico’s Destinee Hardee serves the ball during the Lady Dragons’ loss to Collinsville. Messenger Photo by Mack Thweatt

Chico struggled throughout the match with unforced errors.

“We gave them too much,” said coach Missy Patterson. “We didn’t force anything and made things too easy for them. When we did the little things we were OK. But we struggled making simple passes.

“None of them have been to the playoffs before, and we didn’t handle the pressure. Hopefully, it was a learning experience.”

Chico fell behind early in all three sets.

Collinsville built a 20-10 lead in the opening set and won on a Chico error.

The Lady Pirates scored the first seven points in the second game.

Chico fought back to pull within three, 15-12, on a Collinsville error. Collinsville then turned the tide with five straight points. Two York kills brought Chico back within six, before Collinsville put the set away.

Collinsville jumped out to an 8-1 lead in the third set on a Brooke Johnson kill. The Collinsville advantage grew to 20-10 with back-to-back aces from Laurine McAden.

The match ended with a pair of Chico errors.

The match was the final one for four Chico seniors. The Lady Dragons will return eight players, including leading hitter Alli York and setter Britton Petty.

“We’ve got a good group of young players we hope that will step up,” Patterson said. “We’re losing some seniors, and they worked so hard.”

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Courtesy absent in traffic encounter

It seems public service is suddenly being viewed as a position of privilege by law enforcement. I feel responsible to report this event because with freedom comes responsibility to protect those who may not be able to speak for themselves, helping ensure justice for all.

On Oct. 24 at around 7:47 a.m., my wife and I were taking my dad to surgery and traffic was heavy between Bridgeport and Decatur. I was driving in the right-hand lane at roughly the 70 mph speed limit as other traffic passed on the left. As I approached a slower vehicle in my lane, I checked the mirror and noticed there was ample room for me to merge into the “fast lane” so I went off of cruise control, signaled and merged left.

As I completed the merge, I glanced in my mirrors again and noticed the pickup I had merged in front of was less than a foot off of my rear bumper, having apparently closed the space as I merged. As I proceeded past the slower car at nearly the speed of the traffic in front of me, out of my peripheral vision in the mirror, I notice what appeared to be a flashing headlamp.

Again, I glanced at my left mirror and noticed the only light visible, while the pickup was less than a foot away, flashing as the vehicle drove on the left shoulder near the dirt berm. The pickup behind me was almost pulled off of the roadway and experienced control issues.

At this point the pickup driver activated the blue and red law enforcement lights in the windshield.

Once stopped, the officer identified himself as an investigator with the Wise County Sheriff’s Office. He also said he was not flashing his headlights but used some other name, which I believe refers to the alternating headlamps.

The officer asked me if I was in a hurry and if I saw him. The officer also took my driver’s license to his vehicle. Here I will say I was already stressed about the reason I was on the road in the first place.

Since I had no opportunity to ask him my questions, I’ll ask them here.

Was he really driving 70-plus mph only 15 feet behind the vehicle I merged behind, or did he close that distance after I started the lane change in violation of traffic law, placing others in danger?

Did he intentionally drive off of the marked roadway to flash his lights to intimidate me, or was he really trying to stop me for changing lanes in front of him?

Did he take my license to his vehicle for personal reasons or to verify that I am not a serial lane changer?

Does he have some special right to be first in line and only drive in the passing lane?

Does the speed limit of 70 mph not apply to him while he is on a routine trip to work?

Maybe I did miss seeing how very close he was to the car I merged behind. If so, I am sorry. Unfortunately, the message to all the drivers who witnessed this is that it is OK to raise the stakes by getting aggressive.

This is not the example I want for my kids or the mindset of someone I want stopping my daughter.

I generally fall on the side of law enforcement, but if this version of public service is what comes from the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, it might be time for a change in leadership.

Dale Boehm

EDITOR’S NOTE: We spoke with Sheriff David Walker about this incident, and he talked to the investigator involved. The investigator said Mr. Boehm’s vehicle cut him off, and he pulled to the side so that Mr. Boehm could see the flashing headlights, which Walker said is standard procedure. The driver was issued a warning.

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Wreck near Chico kills 1, injures 1

Wreck near Chico kills 1, injures 1

A Decatur man was killed Saturday night in a single-vehicle wreck near Chico.

Carlos Infante, 23, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident on Farm Road 1810, in front of the Hanson Aggregates quarry east of Chico.

Crash Scene

CRASH SCENE – DPS officers investigate at the scene of Saturday’s wreck near Chico. Messenger photo by Brian Knox

Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Carson Bening said Infante was driving a passenger car westbound on FM 1810 around 10:15 p.m. when he apparently lost control, hit a pipe fence and then crashed into an Oncor electric pole, splintering it. Infante was ejected.

A passenger, Edgar Gonzalez, 36, of Decatur was also seriously injured. Air Evac Lifeteam 68 landed at a softball field just down the road to transport Gonzalez to John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth.

He was listed in stable condition Sunday, according to Bening. No information was available from the hospital Tuesday.

Bening said speed was definitely a factor in the crash. It was not known if alcohol or drugs may have also played a role.

Infante was a car salesman at James Wood Motors in Decatur. Executive Manager Carey Williams said Infante’s death was a huge loss for everyone who knew him.

“Carlos was a guy who just lit up the room with his smile,” Williams said. “His personality was not something you came across often. He never met a stranger. For 23 years old, it was very rare to find someone at that age so well-liked.”

Williams said Infante, a life long Decatur resident, began working in the make-ready department of the dealership when he was just 17 and later went into sales.

Graveside service for Infante was Tuesday at Oaklawn Cemetery in Decatur.

Other agencies who assisted at the crash scene included Wise County EMS, the Wise County Sheriff’s Office and the Chico Fire Department.

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Football: Chico can win a post-season spot

The Chico Dragons’ playoff hopes are still alive.

Even after last week’s 72-14 loss to Alvord, the Dragons have a path to the postseason for the first time since 2001. All the Dragons need is to beat Valley View Friday by more 12 points or more.

The Dragons will try to accomplish that Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Dragon Stadium.

“We can get it done,” said Chico coach Stephen Carter. “We just need to get back on track.”

Carter expects his team to rise to the occasion after last week’s disappointing result. The Dragons gave up 616 yards to Alvord and managed only 214 yards.

“We haven’t been ourselves,” Carter said. “Offensively, we’ve been clicking all year but recently have missed opportunities.”

To reach that 12-point differential, Carter said the offense’s goal is to score on every possession.

“There’s no tomorrow,” he said. “It’s all or nothing.”

The Dragons will need big games from quarterback Jericoe McGuire and backs Kalan Johnson and Crese Redman. McGuire ran for 110 yards last week against Alvord.

Defensively, the Dragons will be tested by Valley View’s running back JD Johnson and quarterback Riley Willis. Willis threw for three scores in the Eagles’ win over Blue Ridge. Johnson added 100 yards on 18 carries.

“We’ve got to stop the run. They want to run the ball out of their option game,” Carter said.

VALLEY VIEW (3-6, 2-2) AT CHICO (5-4, 1-3)

7:30 p.m. at Dragons Stadium

Valley View: Harris Rating 172

Notable: JD Johnson has 433 yards rushing in the last 3 games.

Chico: Harris Rating 179

Notable: The Dragons are looking for their first playoff spot since 2001.

Harris line: Chico by 11

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Luis Carlos Infante

Luis Carlos Infante

Luis Carlos Infante, 23, a car salesman, died Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, in Chico.

Graveside service was Nov. 4 at Oaklawn Cemetery with minister Mike Wheat and Pastor Kevin Casey officiating.

Carlos was born March 10, 1991, in Decatur to Raul and Maribel (Pacheco) Infante. He was married to Jocelyn Arechiga and worked as a car salesman in Decatur for James Wood.

Survivors include his wife, Jocelyn Infante; son Jayden Noel Infante and daughter Isabella Infante, all of Decatur; parents Maribel and Baldemar Villarreal; brothers Raul Infante and wife, Christi, of Fort Worth, Jorge Infante and wife, Chayo, of Decatur, Miguel Infante and wife, Jasmine, of Decatur, and Ricky Villarreal of Decatur; and sister Jasmine Villarreal of Decatur.

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Madison Renee Caldwell

Jarod and Megan Caldwell of Chico announce the birth of a daughter, Madison Renee Caldwell, on Oct. 24, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 6 pounds, 1 ounce and was 18 inches long.

Grandparents are Jimmy and Shirley Jackson of Bridgeport, Richard and Cathy Walls of Alvord, and John and Connie Thomas of Bowie.

Great-grandmother is Shirley Weaver of Chico.

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Ashton Lane King

Felisha Roe and Edward King Jr. of Chico announce the birth of a son, Ashton Lane King, on Oct. 23, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

He weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

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B.J. and Norma Womack

Billy Joe and Norma Jean Womack of Chico celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary Thursday, Oct. 30.

B.J. and the former Norma Chilcutt were married Oct. 30, 1954, in Springtown.


B.J. and Norma Womack

They have two daughters: Sherri Simmons and husband, Paul, of Paradise and Rhonda Dunlap and husband, Milton, of Jacksboro.

Their grandchildren are Ashley Dunlap and husband, Phil, of Bridgeport; Dustin Dunlap of Weatherford; Bristyn Deaver and husband, Riley, of Weatherford; Justin Simmons and wife, Amy, of Granbury; Josh Simmons and wife, Lana, of Bowie; and the late Asa Robinson.

The couple has eight great-grandchildren: Braylea and Londyn Dunlap, Falyn Deaver, Avery and Kinley Simmons, and Jagar, Jaxan and Jatan Simmons.

B.J. is a retired minister, and Norma is a homemaker and retired substitute teacher.

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Football: Scary good – Randall runs wild as Bulldogs maul Chico

The Alvord Bulldogs blew out the visiting Chico Dragons Friday night, winning 72-14 to go to 4-0 in district and set themselves up for a championship showdown next week at Bells.

Top Dog

TOP DOG – Alvord’s Joe Randall (25) scored seven touchdowns and had 332 yards on just 13 carries against Chico Friday. Messenger Photo by Mack Thweatt

Joe Randall rushed for 332 yards, and seven of his 13 touches resulted in touchdowns.

Three plays early in the second quarter told the tale.

After a three-and-out stand by the Bulldog defense, Randall fielded a punt and scored what would have been a 54-yard touchdown. It was called back because of an illegal block.

On the next play, quarterback Cassidy Patterson caught a 47-yard reverse-pass for a touchdown – but it was called back as an illegal forward pass.

The penalty put the ball at the Alvord 46. On the next play, Patterson scrambled, stepped up into the pocket and hit White across the middle. He made four Dragons miss, changed direction and sprinted to the opposite flag, scoring with 9:24 to play before halftime. Jos Luna’s kick made it 33-0.

It was just that kind of night for the Bulldogs.

“I’ve got to tip my hat to these coaches,” Alvord head coach Pete Hart said after the game. “They did a great job of getting these kids ready to play, and we countered everything they did offensively, just like we had planned to. It was just a great job by our kids.”

Patterson, who had 98 yards on seven carries himself, started the scoring with a 33-yard run in the game’s first minute.

After a 35-yard punt by Chico’s Jaston McBee – he booted seven punts for a 32-yard average – Patterson tossed two incomplete passes before pitching the ball to Randall. He broke two tackles and outran everybody for a 63-yard touchdown.

A promising Chico drive stalled and the teams exchanged punts before Alvord’s Brett Martin recovered a fumble to put his team in business at it’s own 42.

Randall took an inside handoff, followed his blockers and tightroped down the sideline for 58 yards with 3:36 left in the first quarter.

The next time he touched the ball, he went 46 yards but was tackled at the Chico 11. Patterson scored from 12 out and it was 26-0 after one quarter.

After White’s touchdown catch, the Bulldogs got the ball back again on a Chico fumble, and Randall promptly went 15 yards untouched for his third touchdown.

It was 40-0 before Chico got on the board. Quarterback Jericoe McGuire called his own number and went 81 yards, winning a track meet down the sideline midway through the second quarter. Cameron Starnes’ kick made it 40-7.

Damon Ledet and Randall answered for Alvord, capping drives with runs of 1 and 2 yards, and it was 54-7 at halftime.

The third quarter saw Randall score from 51 and 4 yards out. With 9:51 to play in the fourth, he scored on a six-yard run to break Randy Hamilton’s 21-year-old Alvord single-game scoring record.

Chico’s Kalan Johnson ended the scoring when he caught a nine-yard pass from Crese Redman with 5:22 to play. Starnes’ kick put the final margin on the board.

“It’s a team effort for Joe,” Hart said. “He’s a great running back, but our offensive line does a great job opening holes, and downfield, the receivers are getting on bodies.”

Hart said his Bulldogs have bought into the team concept.

“Joe’s going to get what Joe gets, but Joe only gets it if the other 10 guys are doing their job – and the other 10 guys are doing their job.

He said Bells will be a challenge, but his guys are eager to win that gold football.

“It’ll be a big challenge for us again, but we’ll go and do battle and see what happens,” he said.

The Dragons still control their destiny as they can make the playoffs with a home win over Valley View next week.

Giving Chase

GIVING CHASE – Alvord’s Mason Clower (2) breaks a long run late in the game as Chico defenders Hagan Davis (54) and Tyler Alexander (23) run after him. Messenger Photo by Mack Thweatt


Chico … 0 … 7 … 0 … 7 … – … 14
Alvord … 26 … 28 … 12 … 6 … – … 72


Alvord – 11:33, Cassidy Patterson 33 run, run failed

Alvord – 10:06, Joe Randall 63 run, run failed

Alvord – 3:36, Randall 58 run, Jaylon White run

Alvord – 0:07, Patterson 12 run, kick failed


Alvord – 9:24, White 54 pass from Patterson, Jose Luna kick

Alvord – 8:10, Joe Randall 15 run, Luna kick

Chico – 5:46, Jericoe McGuire 81 run, Cameron Starnes kick

Alvord – 3:05, Damon Ledet 1 run, Luna kick

Alvord – 0:07, Randall 2 run, Luna kick


Alvord – 9:41, Randall 51 run, kick failed

Alvord – 3:20, Randall 4 run, kick failed


Alvord – 9:51, Randall 6 run, kick failed

Chico – 5:22, Kalan Johnson 9 pass from Crese Redman, Starnes kick


First Downs … 10 … 18
Rushes-Yards … 27-155 … 31-508
Passing Yards … 59 … 108
Total Yards … 214 … 616
Comp-Att-Int … 10-21-0 … 4-13-0
Punts-Average … 5-27.2 … 1-39
Fumbles-Lost … 2-2 … 2-0
Penalties-Yards … 5-65 … 4-45


Rushing: Chico, Jericoe McGuire 7-110, Crese Redman 11-35, Kalan Johnson 7-11, Jastin McBee 2-(minus 1). Alvord, Joe Randall 13-332, Cassidy Patterson 7-98, Mason Clower 2-41, Jaylon White 2-8, Brett Martin 2-25, Damon Ledet 3-4.

Passing: Chico, McGuire 8-19-0-41, Redman 2-2-0-18. Alvord, Patterson 4-13-0-108

Receiving: Chico, McBee 2-15, Corbin Blackwood 3-1, Johnson 2-46, Cameron Weatherly 1-(minus 3). Alvord, Heath Walker 1-32, White 1-54, Ledet 2-22.

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Volleyball: Lady Dragons make playoffs

The Chico Lady Dragons make their return to the playoffs for first time since 2011 Tuesday.

The Lady Dragons, who finished third in District 9-2A, will open the postseason at 7 p.m. at Texas Woman’s University in Denton against former district rival and 10-2A runner-up Collinsville.

The entire Chico roster will be making their playoff debut.

“They are excited and will be as ready as they can be,” said Chico coach Missy Patterson. “It makes it that much more exciting with it being their first experience. It may be overwhelming but they’ve got to step in there and do it.”

Patterson said it should help her young squad, facing a familiar foe in Collinsville, who it shared a district with last year.

“They are an old rival,” Patterson explained. “Sometimes when you know people on the other team it gets you fired up. They’ve got a little more height. We know how they move and execute. Blocking is something we have to figure out. We make things too easy on offense for opponents sometimes.”

The Lady Dragons head into the playoffs after dropping their last three district matches. Chico lost its regular season finale Tuesday to Poolville 26-24, 25-23, 25-22.

“We did not play good against Poolville,” Patterson said.”I hope that fires them up.”

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