Outdoor Learning Center makes nature the classroom

CyLynn Braswell offers one bit of advice for students planning to attend a session at the Northwest ISD’s Outdoor Learning Center.

“It’s not the place to try on new clothes,” said Northwest ISD’s Outdoor Learning Center coordinator. “You’re going to get dirty.

“For [students] it’s shocking when they are given permission to get dirty. When [students] are doing activities it’s great to watch them get dirty.”

Filling a Need

FILLING A NEED – GE employees build stream tables while volunteering at Northwest ISD’s Outdoor Learning Center last month. The 193-acre facility offers an opportunity for students to apply classroom lessons in the outdoors. Submitted photo

The district’s Outdoor Learning Center is located in Northlake, on Mulkey Road, on the 193 acres of the former Texas Lil’s Dude Ranch. It’s the outdoor laboratory for students to come out and test theories they’re learning in the classroom.

“We believe in experimental learning,” Braswell said. “We are taking the inside and bringing it outside.

“These are things our students are tested on that you really can’t learn by reading about in a book. They see it here, they are more empowered and impacted.”

As Braswell puts it, NISD has made a commitment to helping students get back in touch with nature while developing problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

“What we try to teach is not to look for the nearest electrical outlet,” Braswell said. “We’re helping kids reconnect with nature.”

Last year, more than 12,000 people visited the center. Braswell is hoping to break the 20,000 barrier this year.

“We’re open during the summer and have all types of curriculum plans,” Braswell said.

She adds that her goal in writing curriculum for students from elementary through high school is to “push the envelope of failure” and teach critical problem-solving through experimental learning.

Recently, more than 50 employees from the GE plant off Texas 114 and Farm Road 156 near Justin volunteered at the Outdoor Learning Center, building stream tables and helping with other needed labor.

“The stream tables turned out great,” Braswell said.

“We have three people here,” she said. “Something this labor intensive – it would be difficult for us to do. We’re blessed to have someone step in and help.”

The stream tables replicate erosion and weathering.

“It’s a mini-version of the Grand Canyon,” Braswell said.

Fifth graders, who visited the center this week, made predictions of how water would flow through the table, flooding the model homes on the board.

“It shows how that occurs in nature, like the Mississippi River flowing from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico,” Braswell said. “And we all like the destruction with the little houses getting flooded.”

Another popular lesson for students is building the seed bombs with different wildflower seeds that are planted at the center.

“They plant, make predictions and see if they are going to come true,” Braswell said.

The district is in the planning stages of building new facilities at the center. The district has allocated $10 million for updates, including construction, furniture, equipment and fees.

It’s a small investment for a lifetime of lessons for students that also comes with a few dirty clothes.

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Northwest Student Spotlights for Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Prairie View Elementary


Chloe Sisk

Grade: 5th

Parents: Craig and Seiley Sisk

Favorite subject: Writing

Hobbies or extracurricular activities: Newspaper Staff, choir, softball, writing, painting and enjoying nature.

Why this student was chosen: “Chloe is exemplary student. She is a member of our Hawk Talk newspaper staff, Prairie View Elementary Choir and most recently the founder of our PVE Green Team. She manages all of her extracurricular activities while maintaining an A average in all of her classes and is a student of great character. We are proud to honor Chloe.” – Principal Yolanda Wallace

Seven Hills Elementary


Ashley Polson

Grade: 5th

Parents: Mona and John Polson

Favorite subject: Math

Hobbies or extracurricular activities: Riding horses, training dogs, and 4H of Wise County.

Why this student was chosen: “Ashley is a Star Guard representative and greets Seven Hills families every morning with a smile and something positive to say. She works hard to meet her academic goals every day.” – Principal Michelle Pawski

Chisholm Trail Middle School


Garrett Vanetten

Grade: 8th

Parents: Tim and Mary Vanetten

Favorite subject : Orchestra, Algebra One and PAP Science

Hobbies or extracurricular activities : Listening to music, playing the Cello, viola, mini-harp, and guitar, reading books about physics and biology, playing online strategy games and spending time with family and friends.

Why this student was chosen: “Garrett is a leader on campus and exemplifies what it means to be a Chisholm Trail Bulldog. He works hard and is a role model to other students. Garrett has a bright future ahead of him and we look forward to him making a difference in the world.” – Principal Todd Rogers

Northwest High School


Bailey Brown

Grade: 12th

Parents: Rhonda and Eddie Brown

Favorite subjects: Broadcasting

Hobbies or extracurricular activities: NHSTV, NHS president, and Orange Out Founder.

Why this student was chosen: “Bailey is one of the kindest students I know. From her work with the Orange Foundation, to her academics, as well as her involvement in NHS, she is a great student leader.” – Principal Jason Childress

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Football: Texans stay alive in playoff hunt

Coming to workouts this week have been easier for Northwest coach Bill Poe and his Texans after beating rival Byron Nelson and ending a four-game skid.

“It was definitely a big win. It definitely lifted our spirits,” Poe said. “This week starting Monday everyone was in a good mood and ready to get going.”

Getting Back on Track

GETTING BACK ON TRACK – Northwest receiver Syrus Moore fights through a tackle. The Texans beat Byron Nelson to end a four-game skid last week. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

The win not only helped create a little enthusiasm but also kept the Texans in the hunt for one of the four playoff spots out of District 5-6A. Northwest moved to 3-4 and 1-3 in district.

But entering Friday’s crucial contest with Keller Timber Creek (3-4) at 7 p.m. at Keller ISD Athletic Complex, Poe is preaching to his team to not look ahead.

“We know in the back of our minds if we win out we’ve got a chance of making the playoffs,” Poe said. “But we have to take it one game at a time and get mentally prepared to play this week against Timber Creek.”

The Texans face a Timber Creek squad that is reeling in district at 0-4. Keller handed Timber Creek a 21-6 setback last week.

But Poe said the Falcons’ offense is still capable of making plays on the ground. The Falcons are averaging four yards per carry led by tailback Recie Saunders and quarterback Conner Pittman.

“Their running game is very good. They do a good job of mixing it up with their attack and utilizing their quarterback,” Poe said.

Offensively, the Texans had a big night last week from Quentin Thorpe, who rushed for 122 yards and four touchdowns. That was after being limited to one carry against Keller Central the week before.

“It was nice to have him back,” Poe said. “He’s vital to our offense.

“But everything starts up front with the offensive line.”

NORTHWEST (3-4, 1-3) AT TIMBER CREEK (3-4, 0-4)

7:30 p.m. at Keller ISD Athletic Complex

Northwest: Harris Rating 229

Notable: Quentin Thorpe returned to the lineup to run for 122 yards and 4 TDs last week.

Keller Timber Creek: Harris Rating 215

Notable: The Falcons have dropped four straight games after starting year 3-0.

Harris line: Northwest by 11

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Volleyball: Byron Nelson sweeps Northwest

Byron Nelson completed the season sweep of their Northwest district mates Friday, beating the Lady Texans in three games.

Northwest fell 25-22, 25-22, 25-17.

The Lady Texans dropped to 14-24 and 4-7 in District 5-6A.

Northwest hit .111 against Byron Nelson, managing only 27 kills. Ashly Holt put down six, and Oakley O’Dell five.

Morgan Baker tallied 10 assists, and Analise Lucio eight.

Camryn Berryhill made 13 digs. Tatum Talley dug 12 shots.

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Football: Texans edge Byron Nelson

The Northwest Texans will have bragging rights for the next year.

The Texans claimed the first-ever meeting between Northwest and Byron Nelson 38-36 at Northwest ISD Stadium Friday night.

Quick Exit

QUICK EXIT – Texans quarterback Jesse Drummer scrambles to avoid Byron Nelson defenders Friday night in Northwest’s 38-36 win over the Bobcats. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford

Northwest kicker Chase Hamilton drilled a 31-yard field goal with just more than a minute to play to give the Texans a two-point lead.

Byron Nelson drove inside Northwest territory and attempted a 55-yard field goal as time expired, but came up short as the Texans picked up their first district win.

The victory kept the Texans in the tight race for a playoff spot out of District 5-6A and ended their four-game slide as they improved to 3-4 and 1-3 in their league.

Northwest running back Quentin Thorpe rushed for 122 yards and four touchdowns,

Thorpe, who managed only one carry last week against Keller Central, gave Northwest a 14-7 lead in the first quarter with his second 1-yard run.

He added a 3-yard dash to the end zone in second as the Texans took a 21-14 lead into the locker room. Thorpe’s final touchdown run from 2 yards out came at the end of the third quarter.

Northwest quarterback Jesse Drummer passed for 356 yards, completing 25 of his 35 attempts. He hit Syrus Moore for a 56-yard touchdown. Syrus Moore caught five passes for 97 yards. Emmanuel Moore hauledin seven catches for 160 yards but was held out of the end zone.

The Texans defense had its trouble slowing down Byron Nelson’s Courtney Miles. The Bobcats’ back rushed for 275 yards and four touchdowns. He opened the scoring with an 87-yard dash to the end zone.

Miles added a scoring runs of 62 and 1 yards in the second quarter. His final touchdown down tote put Byron Nelson up 36-35.

Out of Reach

OUT OF REACH – Northwest defender Blake Smith leaps for Byron Nelson’s Preston Haire Friday night, but is inches short. Messenger photo by Jimmy Alford


Northwest … 14 … 7 … 14 … 3 … – … 38
Byron Nelson … 7 … 7 … 13 … 9 … – … 36


Byron Nelson – Courtney Miles 87 run; Mason Shank kick.

Northwest – Quentin Thorpe 1 run; Chris Hamilton kick.

Northwest – Thorpe 1 run; Hamilton kick.


Byron Nelson – Miles 1 run; Shank kick.

Northwest – Thorpe 3 run; Hamilton kick.


Byron Nelson – Miles 62 run; Shank kick.

Byron Nelson – Preston Haire 22 pass to Chase Flickinger; kick failed.

Northwest – Jesse Drummer 56 pass to Syrus Moore; Hamilton kick.

Northwest – Thorpe 2 run; Hamilton kick.


Byron Nelson – Shank 21 field goal.

Byron Nelson – Miles 18 run; 2-point attempt failed.

Northwest – Hamilton 31 field goal.


First Downs … 18 … 16
Rushes-Yards … 37-153 … 37-322
Passing Yards … 356 … 141
Total Yards … 509 … 463
Punts-Average … 4-31.25 … 3-34
Fumbles-Lost … 1-1 … 1-1
Penalties-Yards … 7-64 … 5-31


Rushing: Northwest, Quentin Thorpe 25-122; Byron Nelson, Courtney Miles 29-275.

Passing: Northwest, Jesse Drummer 25-35-356; Byron Nelson, Preston Haire 13-26-141.

Receiving: Northwest, Emmanuel Moore 7-160, Byron Nelson Pascal Mondombo 6-74.

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Volleyball: Northwest streak ends

Keller brought an end to the Northwest Lady Texans’ winning streak Tuesday with a three-game sweep.

Keller won 25-18, 27-25, 25-23, dropping the Lady Texans to 4-6 in 5-6A and 14-23 overall. The Lady Texans fell a match behind Keller Central for the league’s fourth and final playoff spot.

Keller limited Northwest to 30 kills on 120 attacks (.150 hitting percentage). Sam Stalknaker and Oakley O’Dell led the Lady Texans with six kills apiece. Bailey Cagle added five kills.

Morgan Baker made nine assists, and Analise Lucio eight.

Defensively, Baker recorded 14 digs. Analise and Liana Lucio finished with 11 digs each.

Northwest looked to rebound Friday at home against Byron Nelson, who is tied for second in the district at 8-2 with Keller. Guyer leads the league at 10-0.

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Volleyball: Lady Texans halt Chargers

The Northwest Lady Texans staved off the Keller Central Lady Chargers’ rally to win a second straight District 5-6A match.

The Lady Texans won in five games, 25-18, 25-22, 21-25, 13-25, 15-9. Northwest (14-22) moved to 4-5 in 5-6A with the victory, its third in four matches.

The Lady Texans held off Central with their defense, making 108 digs. Christine Ruybalid made 23 digs. Tatum Talley made 20. Morgan Baker had 16, and Camryn Berryhill 15.

Berryhill led the Lady Texans with 21 kills. Tessa Harfield added 18 kills, and Ashly Holt eight.

Baker handed out 37 assists. Analise Lucio doled out 16.

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Football: Texans need win against Byron Nelson

The Northwest Texans’ playoff hopes were dealt a major blow Friday night when the Keller Central Chargers rallied to win in the final two minutes.

The loss was the Texans’ third straight to start District 5-6A play and fourth overall.

Now, the Texans likely will need to win their final four to lock down one of the league’s four playoffs bids.

“Looking at records, this is starting the playoffs for us,” said Northwest coach Bill Poe. “But we’re just focused on getting a win. We’ll take it one game at a time and let things take care of itself.”

The Texans will try to right the ship in their historic first matchup with the school they share a stadium with Byron Nelson at NISD Stadium at 7 p.m. Friday.

Playing the school they share a district with provides easy motivation for Poe’s Texans.

“It’s easy to get the kids going this week,” he said. “They’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. It’s bragging rights for a year.”

To bring home bragging rights, the Texans must slow down the Bobcats’ running attack and running back Courtney Miles. Miles has 1,057 yards and 12 touchdowns.

“He’s a very good runner,” Poe said. “He does a good job of making plays in space and has good speed once he gets in space. Defensively, our focus will be to shut down their running game.”

Northwest had a few breakdowns defensively in the second half against Central. The Chargers scored three second-half touchdowns to get the 28-24 win.

“They did a good job of driving down the field,” Poe said. “The kids fought hard. It was unfortunate we couldn’t pull it off.”

The Northwest offense had some struggles in the second half after a strong start. With touchdown passes to Emmanuel Moore and Gavin Holmes by Jesse Drummer, the Texans jumped out to a 17-0 lead.

Northwest found the end zone only once after halftime.

“We unfortunately made a few mental mistakes and had our backs against the wall driving into the wind after the front moved in,” Poe said. “We had a couple of three-and-outs.”

The Texans were also without running back Quentin Thorpe most of the night. Thorpe was injured in the loss to Denton Guyer and only carried the ball once against Central.

The Texans’ leading rusher is expected to be 100 percent Friday.

BYRON NELSON (2-4, 1-2) AT NORTHWEST (2-4, 0-3)

7 p.m. at NISD Stadium

Byron Nelson: Harris Rating 228

Notable: The Bobcats are averaging 5.82 yards per carry on the ground behind Courtney Miles.

Northwest: Harris Rating 227

Notable: Jesse Drummer has thrown 21 touchdowns and 6 interceptions, piling up 1,473 yards.

Harris line: Pick

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Football: Chargers overrun Northwest

The Northwest Texans couldn’t hold off the Keller Central Chargers in the second half Friday night.

Central’s Jake McClurg tossed an 11-yard touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter to lift the Chargers to a 28-24 win over the Texans at Keller ISD Athletic Complex.

The loss was the Texans’ fourth straight. Northwest (2-4) remains winless in 5-6A at 0-3.

Northwest jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter on a 24-yard touchdown catch by Emmanuel Moore from Jesse Drummer and a 25-yard field goal by Chris Hamilton.

Moore caught 10 passes for 132 yards.

Drummer threw for 236 yards, completing 24 of his 38 attempts with three touchdowns.

The Texans extended the lead to 17-0 in the second quarter with Drummer connecting with Gavin Holmes for a 22-yard touchdown.

McClurg’s 35-yard run to pay dirt cut the Texans’ lead to 17-7 at halftime.

A pair of touchdown runs by J.T. Smeby in the third quarter gave the Chargers a lead, 21-17.

But Drummer hit Moore for a 13-yard touchdown to give the Texans the advantage back. The Texans couldn’t make that lead hold up.


Northwest … 10 … 7 … 0 … 7 … – … 24
Central … 0 … 7 … 14 … 7 … – … 28


Northwest – Emmanuel Moore 24 pass from Jesse Drummer, Chris Hamilton kick

Northwest – Hamilton 25 field goal


Northwest – Gavin Holmes 22 pass from Drummer, Hamilton kick

Central – Jake McClurg 35 run, Logan Dierking kick


Central – J.T. Smeby 6 run, Dierking kick

Central – Smeby 10 run, Dierking kick


Northwest – Moore 13 pass from Drummer, Hamilton kick

Central – Jaxon Nichols 11 pass from Jake McClurg, Dierking kick


First Downs … 21 … 15
Rushes-Yards … 39-79 … 35-186
Passing Yards … 236 … 124
Total Yards … 315 … 310
Comp-Att-Int … 24-38-1 … 11-19-0
Punts-Average … 2-25 … 4-41.7
Fumbles-Lost … 1-1 … 1-0
Penalties … 9-65 … 8-75


Rushing: Northwest, Blake Ibarra 8-38, Justin Butler 9-29, Jesse Drummer 20-7, Emmanuel Moore 1-2, Quentin Thorpe 1-3. Central, D’Antavian 3-28, K.T. Smeby 17-96, Jake McClurg 9-50, Nick Rischer 6-12.

Passing: Northwest, Drummer 24-38-1-236. Central, McClurg 11-19-1-124.

Receiving: Northwest, Emmanuel Moore 10-132, Colton Boyd 2-26, Justin Butler 2-18, Gavin Holmes 8-49, Ibarra 2-11. Central, Jaxon Nichols 1-25, Nick Rischer 6-68, Caleb Cilumba 4-31.

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Volleyball: Lady Texans crush Denton Ryan

Big offensive nights by Tessa Harfield and Camryn Berryhill gave the Northwest Lady Texans the season sweep of Denton Ryan Tuesday.

Harfield and Berryhill put down 17 kills each as the Lady Texans won 21-25, 25-16, 25-19, 25-18.

The Lady Texans improved to 3-5 in District 5-6A and 13-22 overall.

Along with her 17 kills, Berryhill made 23 digs and served five aces.

The Lady Texans put together a strong night at the net, hitting .266 with 55 kills. Bailey Cagle added eight finishers.

Setters Morgan Baker and Analise Lucio handed out 20 assists each. Oakley O’Dell added six helpers.

Defensively, Tatum Talley had 19 digs, Lucio 17, and Christine Ruybalid 16.

Northwest returned to the floor Friday against Keller Central, looking for a second straight win.

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Cross Country: Lady Texans place 7th

Running on the course of the state championships in Round Rock, the Northwest Lady Texans took seventh in the gold division Saturday at the McNeil Invitational.

Northwest finished with 260 points.

Northwest senior Cassidy Adams completed the 5K course in 18:56 for 17th. Baylee Nelson ran 19:41 for 42nd. Emma Frandsen took 45th in 19:47. Micah Soloman was 75th in 20:16. Robyn Day completed the course in 20:52 for 121st.

Rebekah Christman was 133rd in 20:58, and Kylee Durham 170th in 21:32.

The Northwest boys finished 14th in the gold race with 440 points.

Jacob Suchors turned in a 16:07 for 21st. He was a spot ahead of teammate Trevor Bohr, who ran 16:09.

David Flanagin took 99th in 17 minutes. Jared O’Conner was 121st in 17:10, and Ismael Munoz 227th in 17:58.

Colton Kelly ran 18:18 for 267th, and Alex Martinez 18:23 for 277th.

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Volleyball: Denton Guyer sweeps Lady Texans

The Northwest Lady Texans pushed Denton Guyer in the first set, but couldn’t find a way to steal a game Friday against one of District 5-6A’s leaders.

The Lady Texans (12-22, 2-5) fell 25-22, 25-14, 25-21 in the finale to the first half of league play.

Northwest hit .212 for the match and put down 32 kills. Camryn Berryhill led the effort with 13 kills. Tessa Harfield added six.

Morgan Baker doled out 17 assists, and Analise Lucio 10.

Lucio also made a team-high 17 digs. Berryhill finished with 11.

Northwest started the second half of district at Denton Ryan Tuesday, looking to get back in the playoff hunt.

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Football: Denton Guyer outpaces Texans

Ten seconds into the game Friday, the Northwest Texans found themselves facing an uphill climb against Denton Guyer.

Shawn Robinson’s pass for Adam Scott was tipped into the hands of Alex Honey, who took the ball 75 yards to the end zone on Guyer’s first play.

Running Away

RUNNING AWAY – Guyer’s Shawn Robinson sprints to the end zone during the Wildcats’ win over Northwest. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“That was a freak play,” said Northwest coach Bill Poe. “We had kids in position and happened to tip the ball up right into another kid’s hands.”

The touchdown pass was the first of three for Robinson in the Wildcats’ 43-33 victory over the Texans at Northwest ISD Stadium.

Robinson threw for 312 yards, going 15-for-23. He added 46 yards on the ground, including a 37-yard scamper to the end zone as Guyer (4-1) improved to 2-0 in District 5-6A.

Northwest (2-3) fell to 0-2 in the league.

“We’re two games down but our fate is still in our own hands,” said quarterback Jesse Drummer, who threw for 217 yards and three touchdowns, completing 19 of his 30 attempts.

All three of Drummer’s touchdown passes were second-half connections with Emmanual Moore. Moore hauled in 13 passes for 167 yards. He’s scored eight touchdowns in two league games.

Drummer’s 49-yard and 37-yard scoring passes to Moore pulled the Texans within 10 with 4:57 left.

“We settled down and played our football,” Drummer said. “We made a couple of mistakes early that hurt us.”

After the two scores, Guyer leaned on running back David Rolen to melt away the clock with nine carries to end the game. Rolen finished with 160 yards.

Guyer chewed up 309 yards on the ground and finished with 621 total yards.

The Wildcats took a 23-3 lead midway through the second quarter on Robinson’s touchdown run.

Up until that point, the Texans managed only a 30-yard field from Chris Hamilton.

“We didn’t get into rhythm as quick as we wanted,” Poe said. “In the second half, we started throwing and catching. You can’t have that kind of slow start especially against a program like Guyer, which does a great job.”

The running legs of Quentin Thorpe finally got the Texans going. The senior back, who rushed for 87 yards on 18 carries, broke free for an 18-yard scamper inside the Guyer 10-yard line. He scored three plays later.

A pair of Robinson fumbles to close the half gave the Texans a pair of opportunities to inch back into the game. After not taking advantage of the first, the second fumble with 46 seconds left before halftime gave Northwest the ball at the 22-yard line. The Texans’ converted the gift into Chris Hamilton’s second field goal to close within 10, 23-13, at the break.

But that was a close as the Texans would get to climbing back into the game with the defending state champ.

The Texans will try rebound next week at Keller Central and get into the playoff race.

“There’s still a lot of games left,” Poe said. “We’re behind the eight-ball. But seeing way my kids fought back, we’re being setting good for the rest of the season.


Guyer … 15 … 8 … 14 … 6 … – … 43
Northwest … 3 … 10 … 7 … 13 … – … 33


Guyer – 11:50, Alex Honey 75 pass from Shawn Robinson, Antonio Terzini kick

Guyer – 4:25, David Rolon 1 run, David Haynes run

Northwest – 0:19, Chris Hamilton 30 field goal


Guyer – 7:20, Robinson 37 run, Honey pass from Haynes

Northwest – 3:02, Quentin Thorpe 1 run, Hamilton kick

Northwest – 0:00, Hamilton 32 field goal


Guyer – 7:29, Honey 43 pass from Robinson, Terzini kick

Northwest – 5:06, Emmanual Moore 25 pass from Jesse Drummer, Hamilton kick

Guyer – 3:28, Christian Moore 1 run, Terzini kick


Guyer – 10:02, Haynes 7 pass from Robinson, kick failed

Northwest – 8:39, Moore 49 pass from Drummer, Hamilton kick

Northwest – 4:57, Moore 37 pass from Drummer, run failed


First Downs … 24 … 17
Rushes-Yards … 53-309 … 36-108
Passing Yards … 312 … 217
Total Yards … 621 … 325
Comp-Att-Int … 15-23-0 … 19-30-0
Sacks-Yards lost … 6-41 … 5-22
Punts-Average … 4-21.7 … 7-35.2
Fumbles-Lost … 2-2 … 1-0
Penalties-Yards … 15-84 … 2-10


Rushing: Guyer, Christian Moore 6-52, David Rolon 24-160, Shawn Robinson 17-46, Adam Scott 2-26, Michael Carrillo 4-25. Northwest, Quentin Thorpe 18-87, Blake Ibarra 5-11, Jesse Drummer 13-10.

Passing: Guyer, Robinson 15-23-0-312. Northwest, Drummer 19-30-0-217.

Receiving: Guyer, Alex Honey 5-143, Moore 1-(minus 2), Scott 3-98, J.T. Ashcraft 2-34, David Haynes 4-50. Northwest, Emmanual Moore 13-167, Gavin Holmes 1-(minus 1), Colton Boyd 2-9, Syrus Moore 3-42.

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Football: Northwest hopes to end losing streak

After facing two of 5-6A’s most potent offenses in the past two weeks, the Northwest Texans find themselves in an 0-2 hole in their league.

The Texans (2-3), who have dropped three straight, will look to end their skid and get back on the winning track Friday, heading to Keller to take on the Central Chargers at 7 p.m.

“We have to step up our game,” said Northwest coach Bill Poe. “The situation we are in, we need to take a do-or-die mentality. But we have to just take it one game at a time.”

The Texans face another tough challenge against Central (3-2, 1-1). The Chargers, who are coming off a 44-39 loss to Keller, present one of the area’s most balanced offenses.

Central enters their sixth game with 1,070 rushing yards and 1,096 passing.

Quarterback Jake McClurg has thrown nine touchdowns and for 1,061 yards. He’s also added 398 rushing with three scores.

Central is led in rushing by K.T. Smeby 448 yards and seven touchdowns.

“They have great balance as far as running and throwing,” Poe said. “They are averaging 440 yards per game. Their quarterback does a great job executing. It’ll be a challenge for our defense.”

The Texans’ defense has faced two of 5-6A’s best quarterbacks the past two weeks in Fossil Ridge’s Bryce Baccarini and Guyer’s Shawn Robinson. The Texans gave up more than 300 yards passing last week to Robinson. Guyer finished with 625 total yards.

Poe said the defense took some steps forward after allowing Fossil Ridge to run 401 yards the week before. The explosive plays are still hurting the Texans.

“We’ve got to eliminate the big plays,” Poe said.

Offensively, Emmanuel Moore hauled in three more touchdowns against Guyer. He has 11 this season.

But he and the Texans got off to a slow start against Guyer, managing only a touchdown and settling for two field goals in the first half.

“Our key is putting together two good halves,” Poe said. “Our mindset needs to be to play a complete game.”


7 p.m. at Keller ISD Stadium

Northwest: Harris Rating 227

Notable: Emmanuel Moore has 8 TDs in past two games.

Central: Harris Rating 228

Notable: The Chargers have 1,070 yards rushing.

Harris line: Central by 1

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Volleyball: Lady Texans stop skid

The Northwest Lady Texans brought an end to their four-match slide in 5-6A Tuesday, rallying to beat Keller Timber Creek.

The Lady Texans won 23-25, 25-17, 25-9, 25-23, moving to 12-21 and 2-4 in district.

Camryn Berryhill and Tessa Harfield turned in big efforts at the net. Berryhill put down 17 kills. Harfield added 15 kills on 28 attacks.

Northwest hit .209 for the match with 54 kills.

Morgan Baker doled out 28 assists. Analise Lucio added 19 helpers.

Northwest served 10 aces. Baker, Berryhill and Tatum Talley recorded three each.

Berryhill made 18 digs. Talley finished with 17, and Christine Ruybalid 16.

Northwest played host to Denton Guyer Friday.

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Sheriff’s Office to provide Northwest SRO

A sheriff’s deputy will replace a Rhome police officer as a School Resource Officer at Northwest ISD’s Wise County campuses.

The deputy will serve three schools – Chisholm Trail Middle School and Prairie View Elementary in Rhome and Seven Hills Elementary in Newark.

Glenda Beam, NISD’s director of safety and security, said the district will pay $40,600 of the officer’s compensation package, and the county will pay $15,000 to $18,000, depending on the officer’s insurance plan.

Beam contacted Sheriff David Walker in mid-September about providing a school resource officer after the district and the city of Rhome failed to reach an agreement regarding compensation. Rhome pulled its officer from the schools Sept. 12. The Sheriff’s Office sent an officer to fill the SRO duties Sept. 15.

“They asked us to come in and help out in an an emergency situation so we could have some sort of protection in those three schools,” Walker told county commissioners Monday. “For a temporary fix, what we’ve been doing is we’ve had off-duty officers down there working, but we can’t do that long-term.”

County Judge Glenn Hughes asked Beam if the district has an alternative.

“At this point in time, we haven’t really thought of one,” she said. “We could always go to Denton County but don’t want to. We’d prefer, since (the schools) are in Wise County, to work with Wise County.”

Precinct 3 Commissioner Harry Lamance was concerned about Walker taking an officer off the street or out of the office to fill the post, but the sheriff said he had an officer interested in the SRO job. That person would likely be transferred to the school district post, and Walker would hire someone to fill the vacancy.

The new SRO would undergo on-the-job training at first and receive more specific training in the summer.

“How about the qualifications of the person going down there?” asked Lamance. “As long as they’re good folks … Them being at a school, it needs to be a humdinger in my opinion.

“If we’re doing it for any school in Wise County, then we have to do it for this school and that’s a fact,” he continued. “Now how we do it, I’m not exactly sure, but that sounds about as good as we can get.”

The motion to contract with Northwest ISD passed unanimously. The county’s share of the compensation package will likely come from a payroll contingency fund, but next fiscal year it will be included in the WCSO budget.

Under the agreement, the WCSO will also provide the officer’s vehicle from the department’s fleet.

Northwest is the fifth school district for which the WCSO is providing a school resource officer. In June of 2013, commissioners approved agreements with Alvord, Chico, Paradise and Slidell ISDs.

The Decatur, Bridgeport and Boyd school districts have SROs through their respective police departments.

Although the Boyd officer works limited hours, there is always a police presence on campus because the department is housed in the district’s old administration building.

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Football: Northwest takes on defending champs

After facing the explosive offense from Keller Fossil Ridge in the District 5-6A opener, the Northwest Texans’ task gets no easier this week against Denton Guyer.

The Texans welcome last year’s 4A Division I champions to Northwest ISD Stadium for a 7 p.m. kickoff Friday.

All Out Effort

ALL-OUT EFFORT – Northwest’s Savion James rushes in to attempt to block a kick against Fossil Ridge. James and the Texans face Denton Guyer at home Friday. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

“We knew going in that it would be tough,” said Northwest coach Bill Poe. “We have to be ready for the challenge.”

Northwest (2-2, 0-1) has dropped two straight, including a 52-42 loss last week against Fossil Ridge. The Texans never found an answer for the Panthers’ potent offense, allowing 597 yards, including 397 rushing.

“The biggest thing was just tackling,” Poe said. “When we had an opportunity to make a tackle, we didn’t. If you don’t tackle well and you don’t win the turnover battle, it’s tough to win.”

Offensively, the Texans had a strong night aside from the two turnovers, running for 122 yards and throwing for another 302.

Receiver Emmanual Moore caught 11 passes for 221 yards and five touchdowns.

“We want to be balanced,” Poe said. “We were clicking and in rhythm most of the night. The kids responded from the previous game and we made some good progress. Jesse [Drummer] was making good throws down field, and Emmanual did a phenomenal job catching and running hard after making the catch.”

The Texans will need to be better on both sides of the ball to keep up with Guyer. The Wildcats have won three straight since their season-opening loss to Allen, 55-41. Last week, Guyer beat Keller 40-33.

“They are a very explosive team. They are very good especially at running the football,” Poe said. “They run a variety of formations.”

Shawn Robinson, who has taken over at quarterback for University of Texas freshman Jerrod Heard, leads the Wildcats in rushing and passing. He’s rushed for 551 yards and thrown for 686 and seven scores.

“He’s done a fantastic job manning their offense,” Poe said.

Anthony Taylor has added 377 yards rushing. Alex Honey and Adam Scott have caught 13 passes each.

DENTON GUYER (3-1, 1-0) AT NORTHWEST (2-2, 0-1)

7 p.m. at Northwest ISD Stadium

Denton Guyer: Harris Rating 250

Notable: Shawn Robinson leads the Wildcats in rushing and passing this season.

Northwest: Harris Rating 225

Notable: Emmanual Moore caught 5 TDs and 11 passes for 221 yards last week.

Harris line: Guyer by 21

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Cross Country: Adams brings home 3rd in Denton

Cassidy Adams brought home third place Saturday for the Lady Texans in the girls elite race at the Ken Garland Invitational in Denton.

Adams completed the 5K course in 19:19. Keller’s Meghan Lloyd won the race in 19:01.

Adams led Northwest to a fifth-place finish with 95 points. Keller won the meet with 35.

Baylee Nelson took 15th in 20:23. Emma Frandsen ran 20:33 for 21st. Rebekah Christman was 34th in 21:19. Kylee Durham finished as the Lady Texans’ fifth runner in 21:25 for 36th.

Robyn Day was 39th in 21:28, Micah Solomon 43rd in 21:32, and Lindsay Klasek 57th in 22:16.

The Northwest Texans finished fifth with 167 points in the elite boys race. Keller Timber Creek won the meet with 44 points.

Jacob Suchors took tenth in 16:31. Trevor Bohr ran 16:42 for 13th. David Flanagin came in 32nd in 17:31. Jared O’Connor was 60th in 18:14. Ismael Munoz finished as the Texans’ fifth runner in 18:33 for 68th.

Alex Martinez was 85th in 18:59, Colton Kelly 88th in 19:01, Austyn Bazet 95th in 19:15, and Jackson Miller 96th in 19:18.

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Volleyball: Lady Texans lose 4th straight

{{platinum}}}Keller Fossil Ridge dealt the Northwest Lady Texans a fourth straight setback in District 5-6A Friday.

The Lady Texans fell 25-19, 25-18, 25-13 and to 11-21 on the season.

Tessa Harfield led the Lady Texans with eight kills. Bailey Cagle and Camryn Berryhill had three each.

The Lady Texans hit only .025 for the match, with 15 hitting errors on 81 attacks.

Morgan Baker finished with nine assists.

Christine Ruybalid made 10 digs and Tatum Talley added eight.

Northwest tried to end its slide Tuesday at home against Keller Timber Creek.

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Football: Fossil Ridge shoots down Texans, 52-42

In an offensive shootout, Northwest receiver Emmanual Moore and Keller Fossil Ridge running back Keyshawn Mitchell kept trading huge plays and scores Thursday night. The two accounted for nine touchdowns and 500 yards of offense.


UNSTOPPABLE – Northwest’s Tanner Savoy holds on to Fossil Ridge running back Keyshawn Mitchell Thursday night during the Panthers’ 52-42 victory. Mitchell ran for 279 yards and four touchdowns. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty

But Mitchell got the benefit of two big interceptions by his defense that allowed Fossil Ridge (4-0, 1-0) to pull out the 52-42 victory at Keller ISD Athletic Complex in the District 5-6A opener.

The Fossil Ridge defense picked off passes from Northwest’s Jesse Drummer on the opening drive of the game and midway through the fourth quarter with the Panthers protecting a 45-35 lead.

“We had a couple of turnovers, and in a game like this you can’t have them,” said Northwest coach Bill Poe. “If you don’t win the turnover battle, it’s tough to win.”

Those turnovers were magnified because the Texans’ defense never found a way to slow Mitchell and the rest of the Fossil Ridge offense. The Panthers scored on eight of their 11 possessions, piling up 597 yards.

“They played lights out. They executed flawlessly offensively,” Poe said.

Mitchell did the bulk of the damage, running for 279 yards on 33 carries and scoring four touchdowns. He found the end zone twice on runs from 24 and 1 yards out in the first half. In the second half, he added a pair of 6-yard scoring runs.

Fossil Ridge quarterback Bryce Baccarini inflicted his share of damage against the Texans, running for 111 yards and a 16-yard touchdown.

Baccarini also threw for a pair of scores. His 32-yard touchdown pass on a fourth-and-5 to Cameron Castleberry stretched the Panthers’ three-point lead to 10 with 9:04 left.

Nearly every punch the Fossil Ridge offense threw, the Texans (2-2, 0-1) matched behind big plays from Moore. The senior receiver hauled in 11 passes for 221 yards and five touchdowns.

“It was an unbelievable night,” Poe said. “We knew we had to get the ball in his hands to make plays.”

Moore’s fifth touchdown grab from 34 yards out with 1:52 left gave the Texans a little bit of late hope. Northwest recovered the ensuing onside kick but couldn’t go anywhere, turning the ball over on downs.

Moore started his big night on the opening kickoff with a 69-yard return. Unfortunately two plays later the Texans lost the ball due to an interception at the 4-yard line.

Soon after Fossil Ridge drove the length of the field for a score, Moore hauled in a 55-yard strike from Drummer. On the Texans’ next possession, he ran under a 43-yard toss to the end zone from Drummer to tie the game at 14.

“It was intense. It was a shootout,” Moore said.

After Fossil Ridge built a 28-14 lead on two Mitchell runs, the Texans’ defense made its lone stop of the first half in the final minute. Getting the ball at the 41-yard line, Drummer marched the Texans for a score five plays later. He connected with Gavin Holmes with a 27-yard strike to pull Northwest within seven, 28-21.

Drummer found Moore for 33-yard touchdown in the middle of the third quarter. Then after Fossil Ridge got a 31-yard field goal from Cody Seidel, Drummer went to Moore again with a 21-yard touchdown on a backwards dive into the end zone to bring Northwest within three, 38-35, going to the final quarter.

“That’s just us playing together and the bond we’ve formed from last year and over the summer,” Moore said. “It’s nothing special.”

Drummer finished 20-for-33 for 302 yards with six touchdowns passes and two interceptions.

Fast Start

FAST START – Northwest’s Emmanual Moore breaks into the open field on the opening kickoff. Moore caught five touchdown passes in the game. Messenger Photo by Joe Duty


Northwest … 14 … 7 … 14 … … 7 – 42
Fossil Ridge … 14 … 14 … 10 … … 14 – 52


Fossil Ridge – 7:52, Cody Seidel 37 pass from Bryce Baccarini, Seidel kick

Northwest – 7:26, Emmanual Moore 55 pass from Jesse Drummer, Chris Hamilton kick

Fossil Ridge – 4:56, Baccarini 16 run, Seidel kick

Northwest – 2:32, Emmanual Moore 43 pass from Drummer, Hamilton kick


Fossil Ridge – 10:43, Keyshawn Mitchell 24 run, Seidel kick

Fossil Ridge – 4:19, Mitchell 1 run, Seidel kick

Northwest – 0:06, Gavin Holmes 27 pass from Drummer, Hamilton kick


Fossil Ridge – 9:33 Mitchell 6 run, Seidel kick

Northwest – 7:50, Moore 33 pass from Drummer, Hamilton kick

Fossil Ridge – 5:23, Seidel 31 field goal

Northwest – 0:04, Moore 21 pass from Drummer, Hamilton kick


Fossil Ridge – 9:04, Cameron Castleberry 32 pass from Baccarini, Seidel kick

Fossil Ridge – 3:16, Mitchell 6 run, Seidel kick

Northwest – 1:52, Moore 34 pass from Drummer, Hamilton kick


First Downs … 20 … 29
Rushes-Yards … 32-122 … 54-397
Passing Yards … 302 … 200
Total Yards … 424 … 597
Comp-Att-Int … 20-33-2 … 12-21-0
Sacks-Yards lost … 4-22 … 1-6
Punts-Average … 1-29 … 0-0
Fumbles-Lost … 0-0 … 3-0
Penalties-Yards … 6-65 … 6-60


Rushing: Northwest, Quentin Thorpe 21-123, Jesse Drummer 6-(minus 8), Justin Butler 2-(minus 1), Blake Ibarra 2-6, Emmanual Moore 1-2. Fossil Ridge, Keyshawn Mitchell 33-279, Bryce Baccarini 20-111, Anthony Smith 1-7.

Passing: Northwest, Drummer 20-33-2-302. Fossil Ridge, Baccarini 11-20-0-159, Mitchell 1-1-0-41.

Receiving: Northwest, Emmanual Moore 11-221, Colton Boyd 2-7, Gavin Holmes 3-37, Blake Ibarra 2-19, Syrus Moore 3-22. Fossil Ridge, Cameron Castleberry 4-109, Brian Ochoa 1-2, Ryan Franklin 1-7, Cody Seidel 1-37, Mitchell 2-14, Dylan Nuese 3-21.

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