National Night Out

National Night Out

National Night Out

NATIONAL NIGHT OUT — Decatur Fire Captain Nate Mara clowns around with children at National Night Out on the Decatur Square Tuesday evening. A huge crowd turned out for the event hosted by the police department. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

National Night Out 2

Decatur Police Detective Daniel Sandate photobombs Karie Chapman, 13, (left) and Kamryn Walton, 12, at National Night Out Tuesday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

National Night Out 3

Olivia Knarr tries on a fire department headset and tests out the engine’s driver’s seat. National Night Out was hosted by the Decatur Police Department, and it gave citizens the opportunity to meet first responders from several agencies, including the fire department and emergency services. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

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Upcoming Meetings for Saturday, October 11, 2014

DECATUR COUNCIL – The Decatur City Council will convene at 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 201 E. Walnut. They’ll consider several appointments to the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of Adjustment and will vote on second readings to raise library fines, airport fees, water and wastewater fees. They’ll also look at continuing to contract with the Wise County Appraisal District for property tax collections, and look at a police department request to make Deer Park Road from Eagle Drive to Preskitt a one-way road northbound from 5:30 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 30.

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS – Wise County commissioners will consider on Monday a request from Fire Marshal Chuck Beard to hire an outside communications consulting agency to link all the radio towers and systems. They will also discuss trying to acquire two modular buildings through the federal government, as they continue to seek additional office space. Regular business will include consideration of bids, discussion of plats, project agreements and committee and department head reports. Commissioners meet at 9 a.m. in the third-floor conference room of the courthouse in Decatur. The meeting is open to the public.

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Football: Rained out – Decatur, Burkburnett action delayed

Football: Rained out – Decatur, Burkburnett action delayed

Storms brought a halt to the Decatur and Burkburnett game at halftime Friday.

Decatur led 14-12 when the District 4-4A Division I opener at Eagle Stadium was postponed until 3 p.m. Saturday.

Up and Over

UP AND OVER – Decatur’s Payton McAlister leaps over falling defenders in the Eagles’ district opener against Burkburnett Friday night. Because of storms, play was postponed until today at 3 p.m. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

Teams waited until nearly 11 p.m. before making the decision to finish the game the next day.

A weather delay pushed the start of the game back to 8.

The Eagles then got themselves off track with four first-half turnovers and six penalties for 55 yards.

Those mistakes left Decatur clinging to a 14-12 halftime lead despite outgaining Burkburnett 296 to 149.


REJECTION – Brandon Garza knocks down a pass Friday night. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The Eagles turned the ball over on their first two possessions, and found themselves down 6-0 after Burkburnett’s Brandon Ingram raced 85 yards down the sidelines for a touchdown with 6:21 left in the first quarter.

Decatur quickly responded driving 75 yards in 12 plays for the go-ahead score. Eddie Martinez took the ball the final two yards.

The Eagles added to their lead, taking advantage of a Burkburnett fumble recovered by Felix Guerrero at the Bulldogs’ 38-yard line. Payton McAlister punched the ball in on a 7-yard run to give Decatur a 14-6 lead.

Burkburnett missed a 31-yard field goal with 4:54 left in the first half but got the ball back a play later. Michael Brooking picked off a Justin Myers pass at the 20 yard line and returned the ball to the Decatur 3. Rizzon Hendricks scored on the next play.

Decatur moved the ball inside the Burkburnett 10 in the final seconds of the first half but couldn’t add to its lead. Jorge Martinez’ 26-yard field goal try went wide left.

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Cross Country: Runners wait on the weather

Pending the weather, the Decatur Eagles and Lady Eagles will get their final tuneup Saturday before the 8-4A championship cross country meet Oct. 23.

The Decatur squads were slated to run at the Flying Hawk Invite at the Tarrant County Northeast Campus Saturday.

Decatur coach David Park said he could scratch his two teams if the course is too sloppy due to expected rain Friday night and Saturday morning.

“I’m going to walk every inch of the course before we run,” Park said. “The last thing we want to do right now is slide down a hill and injure something.”

The two squads are coming off tremendous showings at the Reunion Run last week. Tyler Wilson and Jessica Kyle won their races. The Lady Eagles swept the top six spots in the 4A and under race. The Eagles put six in the top 10.

“We’re very fit and running well,” Park said. “The guys have come a million miles from the start of the season. With the girls, the times continue to fall and they continue to tighten.”

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Golf: Jones owns Fossil Creek

Drew Jones fired a 69 to win Tuesday’s golf tournament at Fossil Creek.

Jones’ round led the Decatur Eagles to a second-place finish with a 332. Frisco Wakeland won the tournament by two strokes.

Cade Lamirand shot an 85 for the Eagles. Bryce Elder added an 88. Hayden Bennett fired a 90, and Brendan Kerby 95.

The Decatur “B” squad shot 396. Jackson Bearden carded a 92. Alex Lambert hit 96. Holden Walker shot 102, Kale Bronniman 106, and Drew Graves 113.

The Decatur girls shot 479 to also bring home second place. Kaylee Higdon paced the Lady Eagles with an 100. Sarah Crouse hit 105. Rylie Burdon and Madeline Semmelman both shot 137s.

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Volleyball: Mayfield, Decatur sweep Sissies – Lady Eagles continue district streak

Playing her final volleyball match at Bridgeport Tuesday gave Makayla Mayfield an extra boost of energy, which she released on the rival Sissies.

The 2013 Texas Sportswriters Association 3A MVP buried 15 kills as the Lady Eagles swept the Sissies 25-5, 25-9, 25-4.

Stroing Defense

STRONG DEFENSE – Decatur’s Cooper Martin, Emily Oxford and Caroline Lowery jump to block the shot of Bridgeport’s Ally Raby Tuesday during the Lady Eagles’ win. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“It was my last time to play in this gym, and I wanted to come out and play well,” Mayfield said. “I knew there would be opportunities to swing and work my shots. It was fun.”

The victory extended the Lady Eagles’ district winning streak to 53 matches dating back to October 2008. The program has also won 125 straight sets since dropping one in October 2009.

Decatur improved to 26-10 and 3-0 in District 8-4A.

The Sissies were the last team to win a set against Decatur, five years ago. But Decatur made it clear early Tuesday that Bridgeport would not be the team to end the streak.

When Bridgeport grabbed its only lead at 2-0 in the third set, Decatur responded with 24 straight points to get to match point, 24-2. Ariana Buchanan served all 24 points and was a hitting error away from becoming the second player in a week to serve out an entire match.

Bridgeport added another point on Mariah Leyva’s second ace of the match. Raena Slate ended the match with a kill.

Decatur coach Claire Benedict-Gay said she liked how her team responded in the third game after falling behind.

“What I love about these girls is that they are going to compete on their own side of the net,” said Benedict-Gay. “We have to get better each time we touch the ball.”

Cooper Martin joined Mayfield in double figures in kills with 12. Caroline Lowery added seven.

Setter Stormi Leonard spread the ball around, collecting 34 assists.

She gave several of her hitters chances from the back row, including Mayfield. The senior outside hitter buried the ball from wherever she was.

“We worked her all over the net and she came through,” Benedict-Gay said.

Leonard’s work at the service line with back to back aces led Decatur to a 6-0 lead in the opening set.

Two Mayfield kills around a finisher from Courtnie Roberts built the advantage to 18-3. A Bridgeport service-receive error closed the game.

Leonard’s ace to start the second set put Decatur on its way to a win. Three straight kills from Mayfield built the Lady Eagles’ lead to 9-4. She made it 21-9 with a finisher from the back row. Mayfield collected eight kills in the set.

Martin made it game point and a Bridgeport hitting error closed the second set.

Kendall Scott led Bridgeport with four kills. Ameilia Hurtado had three digs for the Sissies, who fell to 5-22 and 0-3 in District 8-4A.

“We played too tense and dwelled on mistakes,” said Bridgeport coach Rebekah Cummings. “We hope to rebound to get a win in this first round.”

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Kara Jannell Overton and Brad H. Hardt

Kara Jannell Overton, daughter of Michael Overton and Leisa Waylett of Decatur, will marry Brad H. Hardt, son of Cheryl Hardt of Flower Mound Nov. 7, 2014, at the Decatur Civic Center’s Chisholm Room.


Kara Jannell Overton and Brad H. Hardt

The ceremony will be officiated by Jerry Miller, pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Decatur. A celebration and reception of their marriage will follow in the east wing of the Civic Center.

The bride-elect is a graduate of The University of North Texas. She is currently enrolled in a Master of Healthcare Administration (MHA) program at Grantham University.

She works for Denton Cardiology and is a member of American College of Healthcare Executives.

The prospective groom attended North Central Texas College, where he received his paramedic certification and license. He is currently enrolled in Southern Columbia University’s Business Administration program.

He serves as a board member and operations manager of Michael’s Memories. He is also a member of the Coppell Firefighters Association.

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Eva Rae Wilson

Chance and Emily Wilson of Decatur announce the birth of a daughter, Eva Rae, on Sept. 29, 2014, at Wise Regional Health System in Decatur.

She weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

Grandparents are Allen and Judy Bingham and Randy and Melissa Wilson, all of Decatur.

Great-grandparents are Frank and Sue Maxwell and Rodney and Mary Ella Wilson, all of Greenwood, and the Rev. Kenneth Bingham.

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Lunch-hour tipping leaves motorists stiffed

Lunch-hour tipping leaves motorists stiffed

Some motorists found the going slow on U.S. 81/287 in Decatur Tuesday afternoon, thanks to a truck that was going too fast.

An accident on U.S. 81/287 at the Farm Road 1810 intersection around 12:30 p.m. resulted in an overturned trailer and gravel spilled on the roadway.


CLEANUP – A front end loader from the Texas Department of Transportation scoops up a load of rock as it clears the roadway Tuesday. Traffic was slowed or stopped for about 45 minutes. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

Decatur Police officer Keith Hilton said Manuel Pena, 41, of Fort Worth was entering the southbound lanes of 287 from FM 1810 when he came around the curve too fast. The trailer tipped over, separating from the tractor and spilling gravel on the roadway. No one was injured.

The Texas Department of Transportation responded to clear the roadway of the rocks. Decatur Police and Fire departments worked traffic control in the area, as stop-and-go traffic was allowed on the shoulder during cleanup.

The roadway was reopened around 1:15 p.m.

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Saturday fire still under investigation

A Wise County woman remains in Parkland Hospital’s burn unit after a Saturday fire destroyed a travel trailer in which she was living.

Patricia K. Woods, 40, suffered burns on her lower extremities in the fire, which broke out sometime around mid-morning on Saturday.

Reignited and Gutted

RE-IGNITED AND GUTTED – A recreational vehicle where two people were living caught fire, then re-ignited after they went to the hospital Saturday, resulting in a total loss. The home was in the Brushy Creek RV Park northwest of Decatur. Messenger photo by Bob Buckel

Woods and Johnny Moore, 46, were purchasing the trailer from the owner of Brushy Creek RV Park, off U.S. 81/287 just behind the highway roadside rest area northwest of Decatur. They had lived there about three weeks.

After the fire broke out, Moore reportedly took Woods in a private vehicle to Wise Regional Health System in Decatur, where she was treated and later transferred by helicopter to Parkland Hospital in Dallas.

According to Deputy Wise County Fire Marshal J.C. Travis, while they were at the hospital, Moore mentioned to someone that they thought they had put the fire out, but were not sure.

The Decatur Fire Deptartment was called at 11:18 a.m. and when they arrived at the location, the RV was fully engulfed again. They extinguished the fire and stayed on the scene until 1:25 p.m. – but the RV and contents were a total loss.

Travis said the couple were doing some remodeling on the RV.

He said the cause of the fire is currently under investigation.

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Navy veteran is new homeless counselor at VSO

If it seems like Elroy Roberson knows what he’s doing as a VA homeless veteran outreach counselor, it’s no accident.

The former Navy veteran, who began working at the Wise County Veterans Service Office Tuesday, has built a career helping homeless and mentally disabled veterans. He’s worked with the Salvation Army and the VA, and pastors a church in Fort Worth, where he says his desire is to see everyone healed.

HELPING THE HOMELESS – Elroy Roberson just joined the Wise County Veterans Service Office as a homeless veterans counselor. He works with the VA and Wise County to offer housing solutions to veterans in need. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

He also knows first-hand what it’s like to be a veteran experiencing homelessness.

Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., Roberson moved to the metroplex to attend Bishop College in Dallas. He then spent 20 years as an aircraft handler for the Navy, and decided to move back to the DFW area after he was discharged.

“After getting out of the Navy, I was promised a job in Texas, so I left everything I had in New York and moved,” Roberson said. “When I got here, I found out I didn’t have the job, and then, for about eight months I experienced homelessness.

“That was when I realized that this could happen to anyone.”

With tears in his eyes, Roberson recalled his experiences during those months after he left the Navy in 1994.

“It was a struggle. I slept in my car a lot. Lots of times, people don’t know what it’s really like, and that’s why I’m so passionate about this issue,” Roberson said. “It’s not always that the person’s on drugs, or has mental health issues, but there is depression.

“I would get these wild thoughts when I thought I couldn’t make it. All it takes is one person to step in and help to change someone’s life for the better.”

Roberson eventually got a job working at a mental health hospital in Lancaster while also working part-time at the Salvation Army. After that, he said, his life turned around. He’s been at the VA since January, and pastors the Spirit and Truth Fellowship Christian Center – a church he started in Fort Worth.

He’s working on an MBA at DeVry University so he can become an administrator in the VA. Now, he wants to be that “one person” to help Wise County veterans get their lives back on track, by any means necessary.

“If that means putting people in my car and driving people to the outpatient clinic in Fort Worth, then so be it,” Roberson said.

The VA currently allots $300 million in grants for programs to help the country’s nearly 50,000 homeless veterans. Texas has one of the highest populations of veterans in the U.S. – more than 1.5 million – and a certain percentage of those are on the street.

According to a recent CBS DFW report, at least 2,500 homeless veterans live in North Texas. The VA hopes to end veteran homelessness in America by next year.

Roberson said many homeless veterans from areas like Wise County don’t want to live in Dallas or Fort Worth. That means much of the local center’s efforts center on shuttling people to VA hospitals.

The VA also partners with Catholic Charities Fort Worth for CCFW’s Supportive Services for Veteran Families program, which helps find housing for low-income veterans and their families who are at risk of becoming homeless.

The program Roberson is most excited about is the upcoming Stand Down fundraising event, a four-day affair where different organizations can donate clothing, blankets and coats, and offer haircuts, showers and checkups for veterans. There is no date set for the event yet, but Roberson said other cities had great success with it in the past.

Wise County veteran service officer Laura Spain said Roberson’s hiring is a good thing for the county.

“We’re excited he’s here,” Spain said. “If you ask anyone, someone’s got a friend of a friend or someone who knows someone who’s homeless. And we’re trying to help those people.”

As for Roberson, he just wants to touch the lives of the veterans he meets.

“This job is really a blessing to me, to be able to tell people that hey, I’ve been where you’ve been. It can happen to anyone,” Roberson said.

Roberson will be working at the Wise County Veterans Service Office every Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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Cross Country: Perfect run – Lady Eagles take top 6 spots at Reunion

Led by Jessica Kyle, Decatur completed the perfect race Saturday at the Reunion Run.

The Lady Eagles swept the top six spots, and seven of the first eight, on their home course at Joe Wheeler Park.

Pulling Away

PULLING AWAY – Decatur’s Jessica Kyle surges ahead of teammate Nicole Neighbors near the one-mile mark of Saturday’s 4A-and-under race at the Reunion Run. Kyle won the race. Messenger photo by Richard Greene

“We all ran really good,” Kyle said. “Getting a perfect score is promising, especially because we’re not even to district yet.”

Decatur finished with 15 points, winning the 4A-and-under title. Springtown was second with 98. Alvord finished sixth with 159, and Slidell ninth with 190.

It was Kyle’s teammate Nicole Neighbors who set the early pace, leading through the first 800 meters. Kyle tracked her down before hitting the mile split.

“She went out fast and I was trying to catch her,” Kyle said. “At the beginning I was blocked in by a lot of people. After the first turn, it started to thin out.”

Once taking the lead, Kyle cruised to the finish for her second win on the course in 12:24. She also won the district meet there last year.

“I like it. There’s not many challenging hills,” Kyle said.

Finishing behind Kyle was freshman Taylor Butler in 12:37. Butler passed Neighbors in the final meters for second. Neighbors took third in 12:40.

“It was my best finish all year,” Butler said. “It was 15 seconds less than Sanger. I did exactly what Coach [David] Park said.”

Butler and fellow freshman Elizabeth Culpepper did take a wrong turn on the course and ran a few meters more than 3,200. But even with the detour, the two held their spots. Culpepper finished fifth in 12:44, just behind Georgian Palomo in fourth in 12:41.

Paola Paloma took sixth in 13 minutes. Lluvia Ramos ran 13:07 for eighth.

Decatur’s Nancy Torres finished 13th in 13:23, and Hope Fuller 14th in 13:25.

“It was a good day on tired legs,” Park said.

Alvord’s Brooklyn Mitchum ran 13:15 for 11th. Clara Breashears took 18th in 13:45. Hannah Carpenter ran 14:42 for 42nd, and Lulu Murillo 15:27 for 50th. Dessie Putnam was 60th in 17:00, and Cheyann Palmer 61st in 17:11.

Kayson Roof led Slidell, taking 29th in 14:08. Caitlin Pruett ran 14:31 for 36th. Makayla Fitzgerald finished 44th in 14:47. Sydney Keating was 52nd in 15:33, finishing second and a spot ahead of Kylie Franklin.

Megan Garcia ran 18:07 for 62nd.

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Football: Playing tough – Older brothers prep Durdon for gridiron

Football: Playing tough – Older brothers prep Durdon for gridiron

With three older brothers, Ryan Durdon found out quickly he had to be tough to hold his own in backyard pick-up games.

“Being the youngest definitely made me tougher. Everything turned into a fight,” Durdon laughs. “I didn’t have a choice.”

Tough Man to Stop

TOUGH MAN TO STOP – Decatur receiver Ryan Durdon leads the Eagles in receiving while also starting in the secondary for the Eagles. He is averaging 20 yards on his 22 receptions this season. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

The Decatur junior has turned that toughness into becoming a two-way star for the Eagles, who start District 4-4A Division I play Friday night.

Durdon enters district as the Eagles’ leading receiver with 22 catches for 443 yards. Defensively, he has bounced around between cornerback and safety, making 10 tackles. He is expected to be back at corner Friday.

His solid play at wide receiver and safety, where he filled for an injured teammate, earned him the Eagles’ top offensive and defensive honors against Carrollton Ranchview.

“I’ve never had that happen,” said Decatur coach Mike Fuller.

But Durdon also plays on most of the Eagles’ special teams units, meaning he gets little rest on Friday nights.

“It’s fun,” Durdon said. “I’ll do whatever they ask me to.”

Fuller said the biggest problem with Durdon being on every unit is getting a chance to talk with him.

“He only comes off when we’re kicking extra points,” Fuller said. “But it seems he goes harder with no rest.”

Durdon’s impressive play on offense has helped the Eagles fill the void left with the graduation of last year’s top targets, Cain Lowe and Austin Givens. What makes his 20-yard-per-catch start even more special is the fact that he didn’t play the position last year. As a sophomore he strictly played defense.

“I forgot what it was like to play offense and catch the ball,” Durdon said.

Fuller credits Durdon’s strong hands and willingness to go up and attack the ball at its highest point with his development as a receiver.

But he doesn’t stop with just pulling in the reception. He’s proven to be one of the hardest runners to bring down in the open field, often dragging tacklers several yards before being stopped.

“I’m just trying to do what it takes to win,” Durdon said. “I’m just trying my hardest to help the team win.”

Durdon gives quarterback Justin Myers credit for allowing him to make plays down field.

“We know Justin is going to get the ball to us,” he said.

Defensively, Durdon started the season at cornerback. But injuries forced him to the unfamiliar spot of safety for a pair of games.

“I like safety,” Durdon said. “When Carsen [Medlin] was injured, I played it for the first time and loved it.”

He filled in at safety again with Payton McAlister slowed. But after Aaron Shetter went down with an injury, he moved back to corner.

He doesn’t mind shifting spots.

“I just love football,” he said.

Those tough games with his older brothers gave him plenty of preparation.

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Football: Eagles open 4-4A play with test against Burkburnett

Mike Fuller’s message to his Decatur Eagles throughout the season has remained consistent: improve each week and get ready for district.

Through the team’s 3-2 start, Fuller says his team has accomplished that in his first year on the Decatur sidelines.

“We’ve gotten better at something every week,” Fuller said. “With maybe the exception of the Ranchview game, we got better as a team each game. But we learned from that. From the first game to the fifth, we are nowhere near the same team. And we’re not where we will be at the end.”

But starting Friday improving will not be just enough as the Eagles start playing for one of the four playoff spots out of District 4-4A Division I. The Eagles start district at home at 7:30 p.m. against the Burkburnett Bulldogs (1-4).

“We want to be district champs,” said Decatur receiver Ryan Durdon. “It’s important to get that first one.”

And with the schedule rolling into district play, the intensity steps up a notch.

“When you show for a district game, the lights are brighter, the bands are louder and the fans are louder. There’s just more electricity because it means something,” Fuller said.

For teams like Burkburnett, it’s a chance to turn around early season struggles. The Bulldogs have dropped three straight since beating Aubrey 41-28. Brownwood hammered Burkburnett 51-8 its last time out.

“It’s a new season for them,” Fuller points out.

Burkburnett brings to town a power running attack led by Marquis Askew-Betts and Bryan Lewis, who have combined for 740 yards and nine touchdowns.

“They are scary to watch. It’s an offense you only see when you face them,” Fuller said. “The big challenge is playing assignment football. And even though you know your assignment, you think you see something and take a wrong step and you get beat.”

The Eagles offense could help the defense by scoring early and forcing Burkburnett’s ball-control offense to play catch-up.

“They are not a team that is built to make the big comeback,” Fuller said.

So far this season, the Decatur offense has not missed a beat behind quarterback Justin Myers, who has thrown for 954 yards and ran for 636.

Through five games, the Eagles are averaging 287 yards rushing and 192 through the air,

“We’re halfway to last year’s total,” Fuller said. “I’m proud of where we are.”


7:30 p.m. at Eagle Stadium

Burkburnett: Harris Rating 199

Notable: The Bulldogs average 236 yards rushing.

Decatur: Harris Rating 215

Notable: The Eagles’ 479 yards per game is 19 yards off 2013.

Harris line: Decatur by 17

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Cross Country: Wilson’s career best leads Eagles to victory

As Tyler Wilson turned the corner after hitting the mile mark Saturday, Decatur cross country coach David Park screamed for him to pick up the pace if he wanted to finish the 5K course in the 16s.

The Decatur senior followed instructions, blazing through the rest of the course at Joe Wheeler Park in a personal best 16:16 to complete a wire-to-wire win at the Reunion Run.

Leading the Pack

LEADING THE PACK – Decatur’s Tyler Wilson smashed his personal record Saturday, running 16:16 and winning the Reunion Run at Joe Wheeler Park in Decatur. Messenger photo by Richard Greene

“At the beginning it didn’t feel like a race, but just another run,” Wilson said. “Once I got started, I kicked it into gear.”

Wilson’s previous best was 17:07.

On a cool morning with virtually no wind, the course provided little challenge for Wilson, who won by 30 seconds over Peaster’s Will McIlroy.

Wilson said it was not only Park’s words that helped him pull away but also hearing McIroy’s coach.

“I heard his coach yell he was 30 yards back and after that I turned it on,” Wilson explained.

The Decatur senior hopes to turn in another dominating performance on the course later this month at the 8-4A meet Oct. 23.

“This is huge. I just want to take it up another notch. If I can beat this at district, it would be outstanding,” Wilson said.

Wilson’s performance was only part of an impressive run for the Eagles. Decatur won the meet with 22 points. Peaster was second with 96.

Alvord brought home fifth with 114, and Slidell sixth with 120.

Decatur placed six runners in the top 10. Parker Cullop finished third in 17:23.

“I was hurting at the end but the downhill finish helped,” Cullop said.

“We did good as a team. Everyone is improving a lot.”

Allen Rangle took fourth in 17:37. Charles Doubrava ran 18:01 for sixth. Bryse Hoyt was eighth in 18:12.

Hunter Helm ran 18:19 for 10th, Joaquin Aldape 18:31 for 18th, and Cason Lowe 19:49 for 34th.

Victory Christian’s Justin McBride posted a top-10 finish, taking ninth in 18:16.

Alvord’s Matthew Johnson turned in his team’s best finish, 21sth in 18:55.

Logan Watkins took 24th in 19:02. Bobby McKinnon was 44th in 20:46, Tanner Baker 45th in 20:49, and Cody Putnam 63rd in 25:59.

Khristian Talamantes finished 26th for Slidell in 19:05. Kyler Carnes ran 19:34 for 31st. Shelby Vanover took 33rd in 19:47. Colton Crane was 37th in 20:23, and Dustin Davis 40th in 20:33.

Francisco Martinez ran 21:15 for 52nd, and Walker Gladden 22:43 for 59th.

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Volleyball: Lady Eagles storm Castleberry

The Decatur Lady Eagles reached perfection Friday in the second set.

With Courtnie Roberts serving 24 straight points, the Lady Eagles won the second game 25-0 over Castleberry.

Decatur (25-10, 2-0) swept the match 25-5, 25-0, 25-4.

“It was definitely cool, but anyone on our team could’ve done it,” Roberts said, downplaying her feat. “I happened to be back there for their weakest rotation.”

Roberts served seven aces during the run that started after Decatur got a sideout for the first point.

The Decatur sophomore said she fought her nerves with each serve, especially after reaching game point.

“At point 24, I was on the line saying, ‘Please, Lord, don’t let me miss this!” Roberts explained. “I have a habit of missing that serve.”

The perfect set was a first for the Decatur seniors and coach Claire Benedict-Gay.

“I’ve never seen it, been a part of it or even heard about it,” said senior setter Stormi Leonard.

“It was so fun. I give a lot of credit to us because we didn’t mess up. When things get slower the more weaknesses are evident. It’s really awesome to be so clutch.”

Along with Roberts making aggressive serves in the match, the Lady Eagles’ front line kept putting down kills. Decatur hit .525 for the match with 35 kills.

“We had to play a little bit,” Benedict-Gay said.

Caroline Lowery recorded 11 kills. Makayla Mayfield added nine.

Leonard handed out 24 assists.

Mayfield made 14 digs. Leonard had seven digs. Maclaine Lowery and Roberts finished with six digs each.

Decatur stretched its district winning streak to 52 straight matches, dating back to October 2008. The program has won 122 straight sets since last dropping one in October 2009.

“We give a lot of credit to the older girls before us who showed us how to play during district. We’re determined to not break the streak,” said Leonard – reaching down to knock on the gym floor.

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Rodeo: Tucker wrestles up win in 6.8 seconds

Decatur cowboy Camerron Tucker needed just 6.8 seconds to complete his winning run Saturday in steer wrestling at the North Texas High School Rodeo Association event.

Tucker led a trio of Decatur cowboys Saturday. Dillan McGuire finished third in 13.2, and Chase Wilson fourth in 17.182.

Northwest’s Trinton Barfield took second in 8.415.

In chute dogging, Nicholas Martinez brought home second in 2.782. Northwest’s Cole Gerrek was third in 2.849, and Decatur’s Wilson fourth in 2.958. Decatur’s Jacob McLeod finished ninth in 4.906.

Decatur’s Jake Cobb took third in ribbon roping in 9.267. Alvord’s Tanner Baker was fourth in 10.237, finishing a spot ahead of Decatur’s Lawson Harris in 11.766.

Cobb also was third in calf roping with a run of 13.383. Baker finished fifth in 14.404. Harris took seventh in 16.942.

Baker was fourth as the header in team roping with a time of 18.397. Paradise’s Paitane Brown took second in team roping as the heeler in 14.32.

Baker finished as the top rookie cowboy with 140 points.

Alvord’s Mikayla Cox garnered sixth in steer undecorating in 2.653 seconds. Decatur’s Carolyn Spear was eighth in 3.607.

Northwest’s Eliesha Hobbs finished eighth in walk-up goat tying in 8.505.

Boyd’s Treavor Hadden O’Neal scored a 64 to take second in bull riding.

The Decatur squad was the top scoring team with 504 points.

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LeRoy Harold Kemper Jr.

LeRoy Harold Kemper Jr.

LeRoy Harold Kemper Jr., 76, a printer, died Friday, Oct. 3, 2014, in Decatur.

Memorial service was Oct. 6 at Christian-Hawkins Funeral Home in Boyd with the Rev. Gary Sessions officiating.

LeRoy was born Dec. 11, 1937, in Florence, Colo., to LeRoy Harold Sr. and Florence Wanda (Sweet) Kemper. He married Barbara Ann Hunter Jan. 20, 1956, in Irving.

LeRoy was the print manager for Image Printing and a driver for Solaris Hospice.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Earl, Merl, David and Robert Kemper; and sister Kathy Beachamp.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Barbara Kemper of Paradise; son LeRoy H. Kemper III of Paradise; daughters Debra A. Kemper of Paradise, Donna S. Kemper of Keller and DenaJo A. Kemper Coles of Bridgeport; granddaughters Misti Lea Flores of Flower Mound, Wanda K. Kemper of Paradise, Amanda Nicole Plott of Pflugerville, Samantha A. Stringer of Keller and Sarah E. Faughtonberry of Paradise; grandson Donovon Leach of Brock; eight great-grandchildren; sisters Arlene Willet, Nadine Burian and Ann Cowen; and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

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Location: 1650 S. FM 51, Suite No. 700, Decatur

Phone: 940-626-4295

Fax: 940-626-1592



Owner: Bill Winters

Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday

Products/services: Insurance – auto, home, life and retirement

Ribbon Cutting

RIBBON CUTTING – Decatur Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting Oct. 2 at Allstate. Pictured are (from left) Bill Winters, Tarma Winters, Cheryl Haynes and Jesse Lovelace. Messenger photo by Laura Belcher

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Brenda T. Cunningham

Brenda T. Cunningham

Brenda T. Cunningham, 62, died Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, in Decatur.

Memorial service was Oct. 3 at the First United Methodist in Decatur with Dr. Brian Bosworth and Zack Landis officiating. Arrangements were under the direction of White Family Funeral Home in Bowie.

Brenda was born Aug. 23, 1952, in Dallas to Neil and Bobbie (Mosley) Thomas. She graduated from Athens High School and Sam Houston State University with an Master of Business Administration in 1978.

Brenda married Jim Cunningham Nov. 25, 1981. She worked in human resources for various entities including the city of Huntsville, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Xerox, Pro Travel, Mead, Children’s Hospital and Boeing. Brenda also served on the Texas Master Gardener Association (TMGA) executive committee for many years and was president in 2012.

Brenda bravely fought and overcame breast cancer in 2010 and remained entrenched and active in the TMGA at the state level until her passing. She had been an active master gardener in Dallas County for 15 years.

Brenda is survived by her husband, Jim Cunningham of Sunset; daughter Nikki Hudiburgh and husband, John, of Frisco; son Ryan Cunningham and wife, Andrea, of Plano; grandchildren Charlie Cunningham of Plano, Cora Cunningham of Plano and Finley Hudiburgh of Frisco; mother Bobbie Thomas of Mabank; sister Linda Gamble of Forney; and her little puppies, Bo and Rolo.

Memorial donations may be made to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, P.O. Box 650309, Dallas, TX 75265-0309.

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