Clark appointed to late husband’s seat on board

{{platinum}}}The Chico School Board experienced the sudden and tragic loss of one of its members, Donald Joe Clark, last month. On Monday, they appointed someone to fill the seat who knows Clark better than anyone else: his wife, Lori Clark.

Lori Clark

Clark said Thursday that she contacted the board members not long after her husband’s funeral expressing a desire to fill the vacancy until the next election.

“I just felt like I needed to do it,” she said. “It was important to Donald, and I just felt like I needed to fill in his place. It’s what he would have wanted.”

Donald Joe Clark had completed about one-and-a-half years of his first term on the board when he died Sept. 25 in a motor vehicle accident on Farm Road 1810. His wife will fill the seat until next May, when an election will be held for the remaining year on his term.

Clark said she is undecided if she will seek election to the seat.

While this will be the first time Clark has served in elective office, she’s no stranger to education. After 26 years as an educator, she’s in her second year of retirement. The first 15 years of her career, she was a second grade teacher in Decatur, and her final 11 years were spent as an eighth grade English language arts teacher at Chico Middle School.

Clark also served on the district’s facilities committee, which has examined issues and helped prioritize those issues that are the most critical.

She said her husband was always concerned with what was best for both students and teachers.

“He was always very active when he was a student – active in a lot of student organizations, and he always helped out the ag department and was the football announcer for 22 years,” she said. “All the student organizations were really important to him.

“And of course, being married to a teacher, he was concerned about teachers’ experience and making sure they were not overlooked,” she added. “Of course, these things are important to me, too.”

She said she’s looking forward to serving the school generations of her family have attended.

“I’m glad to be involved,” Clark said. “I have a granddaughter in kindergarten and some more grandkids coming up, so the district has always been important to me. I graduated from there. My kids graduated from there, and now I’ve got grandkids coming through.”

The vote to appoint Clark was unanimous, and she said her fellow board members have been very welcoming.

In other business from Monday’s meeting, the board learned the school district had received a “superior achievement” designation through the Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) and hired Myrtle Blaylock as a part-time teacher at the elementary.

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Football: Dragons railroad Trenton, 76-21

The Chico Dragons brought a win to homecoming, defeating Trenton 76-21.

Looking for a Block

LOOKING FOR A BLOCK – Chico’s Jastin McBee points out defenders for his teammates to block during the Dragons’ 76-21 win over Trenton Friday. Messenger Photo by Mack Thweatt

Chico took the lead and never let it slip. In the first, the Dragons’ Jericoe McGuire completed passes for touchdowns to Kalan Johnson and Cameron Weatherly and ran in a third himself.

Keefer Wiley completed a 23-yard pass to Walker Cokeland to get Trenton on the board in the second. Later, Wiley would toss another pass to Cokeland scoring, but Chico’s offense was steadily running up the score, plastering 22 points to end the half 42-15.

The Dragons’ dominance didn’t abate in the third as McGuire passed and ran for two more touchdowns. Hagen Davis stole the ball from Trenton to score on a 50-yard interception return.

Trenton made their final trip across the goal line about four minutes into the third via a 16-yard pass from Wiley to Anthony Johnson.

Chico scored twice more in the fourth to end the game.

Making a Stop

MAKING A STOP – Chico’s Garon Davis brings down a Trenton runner during the Dragons’ 76-21 win on homecoming Friday. Messenger Photo by Mack Thweatt


Chico … 20 … 22 … 20 … 14 … – … 76
Trenton … 0 … 15 … 6 … 0 … – … 21


Chico – 10:39, 30 pass from Jericoe McGuire to Kalan Johnson; kick failed

Chico – 6:10, 12 run by McGuire; Pass from McGuire to Cameron Weatherly.

Chico – :57, 60 pass from McGuire to Johnson; kick failed.


Trenton – 7:00, 23 pass from Keefer Wiley to Walker Cokeland; Conner Brinkley.

Chico – 5:40, 45 pass from Mcguire to Corbin Blackwood; run failed.

Chico – 2:19, 58 fumble return Weatherly; Johnson run.

Trenton – :30, 42 pass Wiley to Cokeland; pass Wiley to Cokeland.

Chico – :02, 28 pass from McGuire to Johnson; McGuire to Blackwood.


Chico -10:51, 41 run McGuire; kick failed.

Trenton – 8:15, 16 pass Wiley to Anthony Johnson; PAT failed.

Chico – 3:28, 19 pass from McGuire to Johnson; Cameron Starnes kick.

Chico – 3:02, 50 interception return Hagen Davis; Starnes kick.


Chico – 7:53, 43 run Johnson; Starnes kick.

Chico – 2:31, 8 run Starnes; Starnes kick.


First downs … 19 … 14
Rushes-Yards … 31-244 … 34-52
Passing Yards … 117 … 147
Total Yards … 361 … 199
Comp-Att-Int … 9-15-0 … 11-29-1
Punts-Avg … 2-15 … 6-8
Fumbles-Lost … 2-1 … 1-1
Penalties-Yards … 15-140 … 7-50


Rushing: Chico, Crese Redman 9-98; Trenton, Wiley 15-26.

Receiving: Chico, Johnson 4-137-4; Trenton, Nick Sambrano 3-54.

Passing: Chico, McGuire 9-15-0 for 117; Trenton, Wiley 11-29-1 for 147.

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Volleyball: Chico secures playoff spot

The Chico Lady Dragons couldn’t take down one of the top teams in 9-2A Tuesday, falling to Bryson in three games.

Diving Into Post Season

DIVING INTO POSTSEASON – Chico’s Destinee Hardee dives for a ball earlier this season. The Lady Dragons will head to the playoffs as the third seed from 9-2A. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Bryson won 25-10, 25-22, 25-18.

The loss dropped Chico to 9-3 in district, but they have wrapped up the league’s third playoff seed with two matches remaining. The Lady Dragons will open the playoffs against Collinsville Nov. 3-4.

Chico coach Missy Patterson said the two schools are still working on details.

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Football: Dragons eye end to district skid on homecoming

The Chico Dragons’ hopes of ending their playoff drought that dates back to 2001 took a big hit last week with a 40-25 loss to Bells.

The setback dropped the Dragons to 0-2 in 5-2A Division I.

“We didn’t get it done,” said Chico coach Stephen Carter. “We still have a chance if we take care of business.”

The Dragons’ first order of business is picking up a homecoming victory at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Dragon Stadium against Trenton (2-5, 0-2).

The Tigers are coming off a 45-23 loss to Valley View. Trenton has been outscored 80-29 in its two district games.

The Dragons are hoping to take out some frustrations on Trenton with their offense. Chico piled up 548 yards last week against Bells with Kalen Johnson running for 235.

“Kalen had a huge night,” Carter said. “He’s had 100 yards in the past two games.”

The Dragons couldn’t slow down Bells and quarterback Derrick Ponder, who threw for 313 yards and five scores.

TRENTON (2-5, 0-2) AT CHICO (4-3, 0-2)

7:30 p.m. at Dragon Stadium

Trenton: Harris Rating 135

Notable: The Tigers have been outscored 80-29 in six quarters during district.

Chico: Harris Rating 180

Notable: Kalen Johnson ran for 235 yards against Bells.

Harris line: Chico by 37

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Volleyball: Petty deals 8 aces to Graford

Britton Petty served up eight aces as the Chico Lady Dragons took down Graford in four games Saturday.

Chico won 16-25, 26-24, 25-22, 25-19.

The Lady Dragons moved to 9-2 in 9-2A with three matches left.

The Lady Dragons’ strong serving paced them to the win. Chico finished with 18 aces. Hannah Davis added four.

Bailey Hornsby put down four kills. Alli York added three.

Petty doled out five assists, and Laynee North four.

Defensively, Kiley Marburger blocked three shots. Brianna Martin made 12 digs. Destinee Hardee dug nine shots.

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Upcoming Halloween Events


SPOOKTACULAR – Bridgeport Parks and Recreation will host the Spooktacular Fall Festival 5:30 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25, at Bridgeport Community Center. The free event will include a zipline, rock wall, rat race, candy, games, popcorn, cotton candy, balloon animals and face painting. There will be magic shows at 5:45 p.m., 6:45 p.m. and 7:45 p.m., and a costume contest sponsored by Bridgeport Main Street at 6:15 p.m.

The Great Pumpkin

THE GREAT PUMPKIN – Piles of pumpkins can be found at farmer’s markets, produce stands and grocery stores around the county. Some families transform them into jack-o-lanterns, while others choose to enjoy their natural beauty. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

FALL FEST – The First Baptist Church of Bridgeport will have a Family Fun Fall Fest 6:30 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29, at the church’s Family Life Center. There will be free food and candy, a bounce house, obstacle course, games and prizes. Wear costumes. The church is at the corner of Texas 114 and Cates Street.

COSTUME PARADE – Bridgeport Main Street’s Suit Up and Say Boo Halloween Costume parade down Halsell Street is 5 to 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31. It begins at Bridgeport Stage, 1009 Halsell St. The street will be closed from 4:45 to 6 p.m. for the event.

HALLOWEEN NIGHT – Various streets will be closed 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 31, in the Oakland Heights Addition for trick-or-treating.

FEARAPHOBIA – The Fearaphobia Haunted House at 1407 Carpenter St. in Bridgeport is open 6 to 10 p.m. Thursdays and 6 p.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays until Nov. 1. Tickets are $15 and $10 at the door for adults and children under 12, respectively, and $10 and $5 online at There will also be a children’s haunted house for those who feel they might get too scared going on the actual tour. If the event breaks even, designer Robert Chaney plans to give the proceeds to a local charity.


HAUNTED HOUSE – The Chico Community Volunteer Fire Department will have a haunted house 6 to 9 p.m. every Friday and Saturday in October at the Old Chico Middle School, 400 S. Hovey St. Admission for 12 and under is $3 and 13 and older is $5. All proceeds will benefit the fire department. The haunted house will also have a “kid’s hall” for smaller children.


SPOOKY TALES – Decatur Public Library is hosting Tales from the Critt, a Halloween-themed spoken word program with audiobook ace C.J. Critt, 6:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27. A veteran of Broadway and a staff writer at Radio Disney as well as the original voice of America’s favorite bounty hunter, Stephanie Plum, Critt will channel the voices of various mystery and suspense authors she has recorded in her 20-year career with Recorded Books and Harper Audio, and will treat the audience to some classic spooky fare and a lively question-and-answer session. Suggested age is 13 and up.

TRICK OR TREAT NIGHT – Decatur City Council voted to move the city’s trick-or-treat observance to Thursday, Oct. 30, to avoid a conflict with the Eagles’ final home football game Oct. 31. The council agreed to designate Deer Park Road as one-way, northbound, between Eagle Drive and Preskitt Road from 5:30 to 10 p.m. on the 30th to help ease traffic problems in some of the city’s more popular trick or treating areas.

FALL FESTIVAL – Gover-nor’s Ridge Fall Festival is 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30. There will be a bounce house, games and prizes, a merry-go-round, goblin walk and a hot dog supper, plus trick or treating.

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Football: Bells outpaces Dragons, 40-25

Chico played tough, but in the end couldn’t overcome Bells, losing 40-25.

The Panthers (5-2, 2-0)struck the first blow with a touchdown midway through the first quarter followed by a kick by Derrick Ponder. The Dragons (4-3, 0-2) answered back with a buzzer beating 65-yard run by Kalan Johnson. Failure to put the PAT kick between the uprights put Chico behind.

The Dragons saw a glimmer of light in the second with a 34-yard pass from Jericoe McGuire to Corbin Blackwood for Chico’s third touchdown of the night. Chico pulled ahead 19-14, but Bells scrambled in the final seconds of the half to take back the lead, leaving the Dragons behind 21-19.

Both teams played close to the vest, each touting 21 first downs. Chico dominated rushing, laying down 366 yard to Bells’ 98, while the Panthers passed for 313 yards to Chico’s 182. All-in-all, Chico had the higher total yardage with 548 to Bells’ 411.

The Dragons’ Johnson helped Chico’s number by rushing 235 yards.

Bells never let the lead slip in the last half, out scoring the Dragons 19-6 to finish the game.


Chico … 6 … 13 … 6 … 0 … – … 25
Bells … 7 … 14 … 13 … 6 … – … 40


Bells – 5:39, 6 run Ethan Standford; Derrick Ponder kick.

Chico – 0:0, 65 run Kalan Johnson; kick failed.


Bells – 9:39, 26 pass from Ponder to Chris Hall; Ponder kick.

Chico – 5:13, 9 run Johnson; Cameron Starnes kick.

Chico – 1:09, 34 pass from Jericoe McGuire to Corbin Blackwood; PAT failed.

Bells – 0:0, 16 pass from Ponder to Standford; Ponder kick.


Bells – 7:40, 15 pass Ponder to Tristan Conway; Ponder kick.

Chico – 7:19, 80 run Johnson; PAT failed.

Bells – 5:57, 42 pass from Ponder to Standford; kick failed.


Bells – 9:53, 5 run by Dillon Gary; kick failed


First downs … 21 … 21
Rushes-Yards … 43-366 … 18-98
Passing Yards … 182 … 313
Total Yards … 548 … 411
Comp-Att-Int … 17-27-1 … 18-45-0
Punts-Avg … 3-15 … 4-40
Fumbles-Lost … 0-0 … 1-1
Penalties-Yards … 8-90 … 14-135


Rushing: Chico, Johnson 14-235; Bells, Conway 4-49.

Receiving: Chico, Blackwood 7-105, Bells, Stanford 7-142

Passing: Chico, McGuire 17-27-1 for 182; Bells, Ponder 18-45-0 for 313

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Volleyball: Chico inches toward playoffs

The Chico Lady Dragons moved closer to locking up a playoff spot out of District 9-2A Tuesday with a sweep of last-place Perrin.

Chico won 25-10, 25-22, 25-21 moving to 8-2 in district.

The Lady Dragons are third behind Tolar and Bryson.

Alli York and Britton Petty buried eight kills each for the Lady Dragons, who notched 35 finishers and hit .300. Kiley Marburger added six kills, and Hope Webb five.

Petty handed out 20 assists. Laynee North finished with 13.

The Lady Dragons served 14 aces. Destinee Hardee served seven, and Hannah Davis four.

Davis made six digs. Bailey Hornsby and York dug four shots each.

After meeting Graford Saturday at home, the Lady Dragons will have three matches remaining.

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Volleyball: Chico tames Ranger in 4

Alli York served eight of the Chico Lady Dragons’ 22 aces in a four-game victory over Ranger Saturday.

Chico won 25-22, 25-19, 17-25, 25-18 to move to 7-2 in District 9-2A. The Lady Dragons are in third place, two matches in front of Ranger.

Tolar leads the league at 9-1. Bryson is a half-match behind Tolar at 8-1.

Chico was solid throughout the match at the service line, serving at a 92 percent clip. Hannah Davis and Britton Petty served four aces each. Laynee North added three.

Offensively, York put down 10 kills. Kiley Marburger added five, and Petty three.

Petty doled out 16 assists, and North seven.

Defensively, Brianna Martin and Destinee Hardee made 11 digs each. York had nine.

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Football: Chico looks to ring Panthers’ bell

The Chico Dragons couldn’t get out of their own way last Friday night in dropping the 5-2A Division I opener at Blue Ridge.

The Dragons turned the ball over five times and were flagged 15 times for 140 yards in penalties in the 34-25 loss.

“The bottom line is you can’t win a game with penalties and turnovers,” said Chico coach Stephen Carter.

Chico (4-2) will look to rebound quickly, heading to Bells at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

The Chico miscues last week gave Blue Ridge quarterback Ty Agen too many chances to make plays through the air and on the ground. Agen threw for 166 yards and ran for 164.

“We were so focused on stopping the pass that they got us with quarterback draws and put us in a bind,” Carter said.

Offensively, Chico moved the ball aside from the turnovers. The Dragons finished with more than 300 yards, running for 296.

“We just kept shooting ourselves in the foot,” Carter said. “They never stopped us. We stopped ourselves.”

The Dragons will get some reinforcements this week with Crese Redman returning from a knee injury. The Dragons’ leading back and starting safety was held out last week after suffering a knee strain against Diamond Hill-Jarvis.

“He will help us,” Carter said.

The Dragons will face another talented passing attack led by Bells quarterback Derrick Ponder. He’s thrown for 2,356 yards and 27 touchdowns in just six games.

“He’s by far the best quarterback we’ve seen,” Carter said. “He throws the ball well.”

His receiver Ethan Sanford has caught 67 passes fro 917 yards and eight scores. Noah Straw also has eight touchdown receptions and 602 yards.

Bells beat Valley View 45-9 last week in the district opener.

CHICO (4-2, 0-1) AT BELLS (3-3, 1-0)

7:30 p.m. at Panther Stadium

Chico: Harris Rating 173

Notable: Chico turned the ball over five times last week in the loss to Blue Ridge.

Bells: Harris Rating 194

Notable: Bells quarterback Derrick Ponder has thrown 27 TDs and is averaging 392 yards per game.

Harris line: Bells by 27

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Chico City Council buys backhoe, pickup

The Chico City Council took care of routine business at Tuesday’s meeting.

The council agreed to purchase a backhoe for $88,196 as well as a 2014 Chevy Silverado pickup for $23,000.

A couple of items were approved related to the upcoming Chicofest: a route for the 5K run, and the closing of Jacksboro and Weatherford streets on the square.

Several items related to routine interlocal agreements between the city and the county were also approved, including for road repairs, animal control services and fire protection and first responder services.

The council will hold a special meeting at 6 p.m. Oct. 28 to award bids for the city’s water filtration project.

Next month’s council meeting was moved to the first Thursday, Nov. 6.

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Football: Dragons behind Blue Ridge, 34-25

As Friday night turned into Saturday morning, the Chico Dragons were waiting for a break in the weather to finish up the District 5-2A Division I opener in Blue Ridge.

The Dragons trailed Blue Ridge 34-25 with 4:32 left in the game.

Chico lost a fumble at the 40-yard line just before the game was stopped by storms.

Chico fell behind as Blue Ridge quarterback Ty Agan tossed four touchdowns. He hit Brevin Wiggins for two scores.

Along with struggling to stop Agan, the Dragons were whistled for more than 100 yards in penalties in the first half.

Without Crese Redman in the lineup, the Dragons turned to Kalen Johnson and Tyler Alexander to power their ground game. The two scored a pair of touchdowns apiece.

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Volleyball: Lady Dragons take down Newcastle

The Chico Lady Dragons’ work on the defensive side of the net led to a sweep of Newcastle Tuesday.

Chico made 42 digs in the 25-21, 25-21, 25-19 win to keep them on pace to lock up a playoff spot out of District 9-2A. Chico moved to 6-2 in the league.

Brianna Martin and Destinee Hardee paced the defensive effort. Martin made 14 digs, and Hardee 12. Alli York added eight digs.

Britton Petty and Hope Webb led the Lady Dragons attack with six kills each. Bailey Hornsby and Kiley Marburger added four kills apiece.

Chico tallied 27 kills, hitting .141.

Petty handed out 14 assists. Laynee North added six helpers.

At the service line, York and Hannah Davis recorded four aces.

Chico will look for a third straight Saturday, taking on Ranger at noon.

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Stabbing suspect in custody

It took some legwork – literally – but Wise County Sheriff’s investigators finally got an aggravated assault suspect in custody Monday afternoon.

Rickey Gene Stilwell

Rickey Gene Stilwell, 35, of Chico, was facing a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon when WCSO Investigator Anissa Satterfield came knocking at his door Monday afternoon.

Stilwell tacked on a charge of evading arrest when he decided to flee the scene on foot.

It didn’t work. After crossing several fences, ending up at the gates of a quarry and turning back, Stilwell was finally run down and arrested around 4:30 Monday afternoon. He was taken to the Wise County Jail, where he was booked on both charges.

“Basically he ran from the house on foot,” Sheriff David Walker said. “He saw the deputies closing in, so he turned around and ran into the woods, right into another group of investigators.”

Walker said the deputies created a perimeter and closed in on the fugitive. One had a good vantage point and was able to track his movements and direct the other officers closer and closer to him.

Once they caught him, he did not resist arrest – in fact, Walker said he apologized to the officer that took him in to custody.

Bond was set at $100,000 on the assault charge, a second degree felony, and $10,000 on the evading arrest charge. He remained in jail Tuesday afternoon.

Walker said his investigators had been working on the case for several days, interviewing the victim and witnesses before getting the arrest warrant Monday afternoon.

The affidavit says the victim, Adam Johnson, 29, went to a residence in the 1100 block of Farm Road 2952 in Chico Saturday to retrieve belongings and collect some money he said was owed to him.

At some point during what appeared to be a normal conversation, witnesses said Stilwell suddenly stabbed Johnson twice in the chest with a blunt object, piercing his lung.

“Both of the witnesses said it appeared as if for no reason Stilwell hit Johnson twice in the chest and took off,” the affidavit says. “After closer observation, it was obvious Johnson had been stabbed.”

Satterfield also spoke with Johnson, who confirmed he was stabbed by Stilwell.

Walker said it appears the incident had been building for several days and may be related to other disturbance calls in and around Chico.

“It’s been crazy,” he said. “In a nutshell, it’s kind of a convoluted mess. We’re trying to sort it all out.”

He noted that after Johnson was attacked, those at the house attempted to take him to the hospital in Bridgeport. They said they could not find it, and wound up in the AutoZone parking lot – spawning a rumor that he was stabbed there.

There was also a rumor that he was stabbed in the cemetery, although Walker said there’s no evidence so far indicating they were even in the cemetery.

“We’re pretty sure the previous stuff – shooting at houses, going door-to-door, standing in the road – was all the same group,” Walker said. “I think it’s all related, and we’re trying to pull it all together.”

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Stephens answers the call to be a teacher

Heather Stephens is only about six weeks into her new job as a third grade English language arts teacher at Chico Elementary, but she already has unique insights into some of her students’ lives.

You learn quite a bit about what’s going on when you’re a 911 dispatcher.

POSITIVE RETURNS – New third grade teacher Heather Stephens is enjoying getting to know her students at Chico Elementary. She previously taught a year at a school in Henderson and has spent several years as a dispatcher for the Wise County Sheriff’s Office. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Stephens worked fulltime in the communications department at the Wise County Sheriff’s Office from 2006 to 2010, when she moved to Henderson for a student teaching job at Wylie Elementary. When she became pregnant with her second child, she and her husband decided to move back to Wise County to be closer to his family.

She returned in the summer of 2013 and once again joined the communications division of the sheriff’s office. This year, she was hired as a third grade teacher at Chico. While she is now a full-time teacher, she still works part time as a dispatcher when needed.

“One of the girls here asked me, ‘How can you work at the sheriff’s office and work here (at school)?'” she said. “I’ve always done it. You have to work. When I was in college, I competed on the equestrian team, I had a full load at school and I worked at Tractor Supply.

“I don’t know what I would do if I had too much time off.”

Stephens said she enjoys aspects of both jobs, but each comes with unique challenges.

“At the sheriff’s office, when you leave for the day, your work’s done. But it weighs on you emotionally,” she said.

“Here, your work continues because you are building on concepts, and the kids are in your heart. They affect you differently – being able to see their struggles – but it’s not as much of a negative aspect as the sheriff’s office.”

There, she noted, “you see a lot of death.”

As a dispatcher, Stephens often has to talk to people in the midst of the most traumatic situations of their lives. Working at the sheriff’s office, she also is aware of the kinds of things criminals are capable of doing.

She may have just met her students this year, but she’s often aware of the history of the neighborhoods where they live.

“I kind of get a good sense of what their home life struggles are a little bit more because on some of their addresses, I’ve taken many calls at their houses,” Stephens said. “Some of them live close to other incidents that I’ve taken involving thefts or narcotics. You can’t say that every family is that way on that road, but you kind of have an idea of what they see every day and what they deal with.”

Armed with that knowledge, Stephens said in her classroom, she tries to nurture their hearts as well as their minds – even if it’s just a compliment on their clothes matching, or saying they did a good job brushing their hair. It might be the only positive comment they receive all day.

But it’s not just the students who get the positive vibes. Stephens said she likes how her students are still young enough to see the needs of others and take action.

“With the kids, especially at this age, they’re still eager to help others,” she said. “Especially in third grade, you don’t have a lot of bullying or the ‘I’m better than you’ personalities. Generally when you see a kid struggling, or their feelings are hurt, they’ll come over to make sure they are taken care of.”

In a way, Stephens’ two jobs are strikingly similar, whether as a dispatcher she’s staying on the line with someone who is threatening to take their own life, saying a few encouraging words to someone whose house is on fire or whose loved one is seriously injured, or nurturing a child with a smile, a positive comment or an enlightening lesson.

Principal Karen Decker said Stephens has been a wonderful addition to the school.

“She is so upbeat and knowledgeable,” Decker said. “She is a very giving teacher, making efforts to meet every child’s individual academic and social needs. She brings a plethora of excitement to our campus – and staff, students and parents alike are thrilled to have her at Chico Elementary School.”

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Chico ISD Student Spotlights for Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Elementary School


Noah Sigsbee

Grade: Kindergarten
Parents: Jeff and Mandy Sigsbee

Favorite subject: Phonics (wants to learn to read)

Activities: Playing with younger brother, watching TV and playing with his dinosaur

Why this student was chosen: He is always willing to help the teacher when she needs something and is willing to help other students as well. He does very neat work and completes it on time. He is always willing to share his crayons, etc., when someone needs something. – Principal Karen Decker

Middle School


Jessica Richey

Grade: 8th
Parents: Doug and Tammie Richey

Favorite subject: History

Activities: U.I.L., One Act Play

Why this student was chosen: Jessica is involved in U.I.L. One Act Play. She is a very good student and always is on top of her game. She is a pleasure to be around. She is a very quiet student and you hardly know she is around (great kid). – Principal Brad Bland

High School


Stacee Brown

Grade: 11th
Parents: Tracy and Tamara Unger

Favorite subject: Math

Activities: She likes all sports, reading, Girl Scouts and church activities

Why this student was chosen: Stacee Brown is an outstanding student at Chico High School. She is an excellent student academically and participates in many different sports. Stacee demonstrates excellent character and work ethic, a quality that is hard to find these days. She is very dependable and such a pleasure to be around. We are lucky to have such a dedicated student on our campus who exemplifies such wonderful qualities. – Principal Lisa Slaughter

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Football: Dragons eye playoffs

The Chico Dragons are in a familiar spot, entering district play at 4-1.

But unlike the past three seasons, the Dragons hope in five weeks to be headed where they’ve not been since 2001 – the playoffs.

Chico coach Stephen Carter is confident this group can end the program’s postseason drought and snag a playoff spot out of District 5-2A Division I. The Dragons’ first test on that quest is on the road at Blue Ridge at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

“From the start of the year, this group of kids have been way different,” Carter said. “They have a great attitude and have worked hard every day. There is no selfishness. They know what they want to accomplish. They want to be in the playoffs.”

After beating Diamond Hill-Jarvis to complete the 4-1 non-district schedule, the Dragons were open last week.

“We got a lot of work done. There was a lot of things we needed to work on,” Carter said. “We also started preparing for Blue Ridge.”

The Dragons will be looking to slow down the Blue Ridge passing attack led by quarterback Ty Agan, who has thrown for 1,098 yards and 11 touchdowns. His top targets are Brevin Wiggins with 20 catches for 381 yards and Dakota Bell with 17 receptions for 288.

“Their quarterback and receivers are one of the best combinations in the district,” Carter said. “They scare me with their explosiveness.”

But the Dragons offense has been explosive also, averaging more than 450 yards per game. Crese Redman and Jerico McGuire are chewing up 266 yards per outing on the ground.

“We should be able to run the ball,” Carter said.

One worry for Carter is the long road trip to start district play. The team is planning to take a break halfway to keep fresh.


7:30 p.m. at Tiger Stadium

Chico: Harris Rating 181

Notable: The Dragons are 4-1 for a fourth straight year.

Blue Ridge: Harris Rating 163

Notable: Ty Agan has thrown for 1,098 yards and 11 TDs.

Harris line: Chico by 14

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Volleyball: Chico drains Poolville

The Chico Lady Dragons picked up a key win to end the first half of District 9-2A play Friday over Poolville.

Chico held on 24-26, 25-21, 25-19, 25-23, moving to 5-2 in district.

The entire Chico lineup played solid on the defensive side of the net. Hope Webb made nine digs. Laynee North and Destinee Hardee finished with six each.

Kiley Marburger and Alli York blocked two shots each.

At the service line, Chico earned 12 points on aces. The Lady Dragons’ service percentage for the match was 93.1 percent with seven errors on 102 attempts.

York served four aces in 20 trips to the service line. Hardee and Britton Petty recorded three aces each.

Offensivley, York put down four kills. Bailey Hornsby, Marburger and Webb had three finishers apiece.

Chico started the second half of league play Tuesday in Newcastle.

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Agenda Briefs for Saturday, October 4, 2014

BRIDGEPORT COUNCIL TO MEET – The Bridgeport City Council will discuss community center rental fees, Halloween road closures, radio-powered utilities measurements and natural gas and water line contracts at its meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. at 900 Thompson Street. The meeting is open to the public.

SCHOOL BOARD TRAINING SET – The Bridgeport school board will conduct its “Team of 8″ training and consider and take action on certified personnel at its meeting Monday night at 7 p.m. at 2107 15th Street.

CHICO COUNCIL MEETS TUESDAY – The Chico City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, at City Hall. Agenda items include the Chicofest 5K route, Chicofest street closures, a lease/purchase of a backhoe, a purchase of a vehicle, a contract with the Wise County Appraisal District, various interlocal agreements with Wise County, a zoning change at 305 E. Kentucky and regular monthly reports.

P&Z COMMISSION TO MEET – Decatur’s Planning and Zoning Commission will meet 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, in the council chamber at City Hall. Replat applications from Brenda Scott, as well as feedback from the city council regarding variance requests to the city’s sidewalk, curb and gutter ordinances, and the handling of escrowed funds for those items, are among the items to be considered.

WEATHERFORD COLLEGE BOARD TO MEET – The trustees of Weatherford College, which operates a campus in Wise County, will meet 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9, on the college’s main campus in Weatherford. Among the agenda items are reports on construction, enrollment and finances, contracts for printing, welding supplies, sonography and radiology equipment, policies and the annual evaluation of the college president, Dr. Kevin Eaton. The meeting is open to the public.

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Volleyball: Family court – Mom, daughter share success

There’s one player on Missy Patterson’s roster that she admits she’s harder on than the rest of the team – her daughter, Alli York.

“I don’t have to worry about a mad momma; I’m already there,” Patterson said.

FAMILY BOND – Missy Patterson and her daughter Alli York have helped Chico to a 4-2 start in 9-2A. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Now in their third year together with the Lady Dragons, the Chico mother and daughter, are hoping to celebrate their first playoff berth together. The Lady Dragons (11-6) entered Friday’s match at home against Poolville at 4-2 in 9-2A with a hold on one of the league’s playoff berths.

“That’s been the ultimate goal, to get to the playoffs,” York said. “I hope this is the year.”

York agrees that her mother pushes her more and stays on her. But she doesn’t mind.

“I feel more comfortable and there’s not as much pressure with me being an upperclassman now,” York said. “It’s my time to lead.”

But two years ago, when she first earned a spot on the varsity squad, she admits it was tough.

“I went through a lot my freshman year,” she said.

Patterson also recalls it being a difficult time, as her daughter tried to prove to everyone her spot was warranted.

“It was tough having to make the decision for her to be a varsity starter,” the coach said. “She deserved it and proved herself. She also made it in basketball. But it was tough because volleyball is the first sport of the year.”

York’s freshman year, the program was rebuilding after graduating a big senior class and playing in a league with state powers Lindsay and Collinsville. Chico finished fifth in the district that year. Last year, the Lady Dragons improved and finished fourth.

The mother and daughter each say they struggle with setbacks.

“We both take it really hard. We’re both emotional and competitive,” Patterson said. “She gets down when we have a bad game.”

But they love getting to share in the team’s successes together.

“Those are the times I’m glad to be there and enjoy the moment,” Patterson said. “With her being my daughter, I expect more out of her.”

There have been times when the two haven’t seen eye-to-eye, like during a recent match. Patterson let York know about it.

“I got on her good, and she stepped it up after that,” Patterson recalls. For the most part, York has been consistent all year. She leads the Lady Dragons, averaging 2.3 kills per set. She also is the team leader in aces and is second in digs.

As the coach’s daughter, York also is the one her teammates expect to voice their concerns to Patterson.

“I’m the one that has to stand up for what the team wants heard,” York said.

Patterson adds: “She gets to be the spokesperson.”

Off the court, volleyball is often the topic of conversation for the two.

“It definitely goes home with us,” York said.

After the Poolville match, the Lady Dragons will start the second half of 9-2A play Tuesday at Newcastle. Chico is in third place behind Bryson and Tolar.

“I want nothing more than to make the playoffs. It’s there for the taking,” Patterson said.

York adds: “It’s all about who has more heart and who wants it more.”

No matter how the season ends, the mother and daughter will always treasure their time on the court together.

“I wouldn’t trade it,” Patterson said.

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