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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Once again, it’s that time of year when Americans of all races, religions, and political persuasions gather to give thanks for all the many blessings of the previous year. And we Roscoe folks have, as usual, plenty to be thankful for—a year with enough rain to put water back in area lakes and produce decent crops, a resurgent community that continues to move positively into the future, and an established reputation as a music venue where people from all over the Big Country can come to see their favorite country music stars, whether at the Lumberyard or city-sponsored events such as the free concerts at the Spring Fling, July 4, and the West Texas Wind Festival.

We have a school where over 90% of the seniors graduate with Associate’s Degrees and which is one of the state’s academic leaders, especially for smaller schools in rural settings, the new STEM Research Center in which students can get a jump start on their studies in the university as well as credentials and experience to help them find employment after graduation, and a coaching staff and overachieving football team who have exceeded all expectations and restored the Plowboys’ reputation as an area team to be reckoned with. Highland ISD has also received national acclaim for academic achievement by winning a National Blue Ribbon Award, one of only 335 schools in the nation to do so.

And, on top of all these achievements, of course, are all our personal reasons to be thankful for the many blessings we’ve received. For most of us, it’s been another good year.



Fans and cheerleaders celebrate Roscoe's victory over Hamlin. (Photo by Reuben Pantoja)
On Friday night in Tuscola, the Plowboys avenged an early-season 35-21 loss by beating Hamlin 35-14 and in the process ending the Pied Pipers’ season while extending their own.  The Plowboys were once again underdogs but proved the experts wrong by winning the area round. They now move on to the Regional round and will play undefeated Iraan on Friday in San Angelo.

The Plowboys came out firing on all cylinders. After receiving the opening kickoff, they put together a 62-yard drive that ended successfully when Vincent Pantoja crashed across from the one to put Roscoe up 7-0. Later in the quarter, Javier Leaños made a couple of great plays. The first came after Hamlin had stopped the Plowboys in midfield, forcing them to punt.  Leaños received a high snap from center and, forced to abandon the kick, ran instead and made the first down to keep the drive alive. Then, with the Plowboys on the Hamlin one, he made a spectacular one-handed catch of a Brayden Beal pass that put the Plowboys up by two scores 14-0. (Click here to view, but turn down volume as the sound is too loud.) Right before the end of the quarter, though, Hamlin got on the board with their first TD to narrow the score to 14-7. But the Plowboys responded on their first play after the ensuing kickoff, when Beal hit Kevin Lavalais with a pass play that covered 60 yards and resulted in another touchdown. At the end of one the Plowboys were ahead 21-7.

In the second quarter, the defenses dominated, and neither team managed to score. The Plowboys got a big break, though, when Hamlin’s quarterback, Ayron Wagner, was injured and had to leave the game with a broken collarbone.

In the third quarter, Hamlin scored first on a 9-yard halfback pass to narrow the score to 21-14, but Roscoe responded on its next drive with a 37-yard pass play from Beal to Jose Ortega to go up 28-14 and essentially put the game out of reach. The Plowboys then got an insurance touchdown late in the fourth quarter when Beal hit Rafael Aguayo with a 9-yard scoring pass to make the score the final one, 35-14.

For the evening, Roscoe had a balanced attack with 36 running plays and 32 passes. Beal completed 19 of those 32 passes for 315 yards and 4 TDs with no interceptions. Lavalais had 5 receptions for 111 yards and 1 TD; Ortega had 4 for 92 and 1 TD; Aguayo had 3 for 45 and 1 TD, Leaños had 3 for 12 and 1 TD; Isaiah Gonzales had 3 for 18; and Max Nemir had 1 for 37

The Plowboys ran for a total of 152 yards. Their top rusher was Vincent Pantoja with 18 carries for 88 yards and 1 TD. Francisco Garcia had 4 carries for 41 yards, Beal 10 for 23, Leaños 1 for 3, and Nemir 1 for -3. Erick Huidobro was 5 for 5 on extra-point kicks.

The Plowboys are now Area Champions with an eight-game winning streak and an 8-4 record on the year. On Friday, they face off against undefeated Iraan, who most likely will be their toughest foe so far. The Braves are 12-0 on the year and have been in the top 10 or top 5 in the state 2A rankings since the beginning of the season. They are coming off playoff victories over Miles 54-0 and Electra 41-20.

The game will be played in San Angelo on Friday at San Angelo Stadium. Kickoff is at 6:00pm. There will be no pep rally this week, but there will be a sendoff in Circle Drive followed by a honk rally at 1:00pm on Friday.



Jaycee Baker reads at yesterday's Blue Ribbon celebration as parents Jeremy and Eden Baker look on.
The Highland Independent School district held a celebration yesterday to honor students and staff for being awarded a 2015 National Blue Ribbon earlier this fall, one of only 25 schools in Texas and of 335 schools in the country to do so.

The school was accorded the prestigious honor for the high performance levels of its students and was nominated for the award by the Texas Education Agency.

The school was recognized by a news story on KTXS-TV of Abilene and a nice article on the KTXS-TV website. You can access both by clicking here.



The Community Center’s Thanksgiving Dinner on Sunday turned out to be a resounding success. When Community Center President Gail Presley went to the Buzzi Unicem USA cement plant in Maryneal to ask for a donation, they surprised her with a gift of eighteen turkeys and eight hams. Naturally, she invited them to come to the dinner. They called to say that 400 employees would be working on Sunday, so Gail and the volunteers decided to cater a dinner at the plant. So, in addition to the 200 people who were served at the Community Center on Sunday, almost 400 workers had Thanksgiving Dinner at the Cement Plant.

The Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department wound up cooking 25 turkeys and the Community Center volunteers cooked 16 hams. They also served mashed potatoes, corn, green beans, sweet potatoes, dressing, gravy, and rolls along with a large variety of desserts at both places. According to Gail, the experience was both crazy and exciting. Volunteers at the cement plant included Kalyn Tate, Cullen Presley, Kendra McGuire, Kamren Fisher, and seven Buzzi employees whose names she didn’t get. At the Community Center, the volunteers included Gail and Dewayne Presley, Misty and Russell Reynolds, Kay Atkins, Sonya Hudson and family, Aurora Rangel, Helen Perry, Elisha Jowers and family, Andi Hall and family, Dian Hudson, Connie Baize, the RCHS Spanish Club, and the Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department. Robert and Patty McBride provided desserts.

Local businesses also helped with the cost of the dinner. These included the Roscoe State Bank, Sweetwater Steel, Vickie’s Gifts, Higginbotham-Bartlett Lumber Co., Ivey Pump and Supply, Dan and Melinda Pulattie, Buzzi Unicem USA cement plant, Muncy’s, Plowboy Center Lodge, the Lutheran Church, Central Fasteners, Sweetwater Janitorial Supply, Rolling Plains Crop Insurance, and the Central Rolling Plains Co-op. RCHS provided ice and coolers.

At posting time, Gail still hadn’t calculated how much money was raised for the Community Center, but she did say it was a very rewarding experience to be able to serve the community in this way.



The Plowgirls faced some rough going in their first game this past weekend at the Leuders-Avoca girls’ basketball tournament, losing to Anson 64-17. High scorer for the Plowgirls was Veronica Cuellar with 7 points, followed by Haley Bridges with 6, Bonnie Wilkinson with 2, and Bergan Trevino with 2.

Then they beat Paint Creek 75-34, outscoring the Lady Pirates in all four quarters. High scorer for Roscoe was Bridges with 21, followed by Cuellar with 18, Trevino 12, B. Wilkinson 12, Caty Chavira 4, Karina Cisneros 2, Lyndi Wilkinson 2, and Alejandra Solis 2.

They then beat Woodson 36-29 for the Consolation Championship. Bridges again led the Plowgirls’ scoring with 15. B. Wilkinson had 7, Solis 4, Cuellar 3, Trevino 3, L. Wilkinson 3, and Cisneros 2.

Last night they lost at Westbrook 63-23. High scorer for the Plowgirls was Bonnie Wilkinson with 8, followed by Lyndi Wilkinson and Bridges, both with 5, Cisneros with 4, Trevino with 3, and Cuellar and Magali Casas, both with 2.

The Plowgirls play their first home game of the year against Trent next Tuesday at 6:30pm immediately following the JV games.



The Roscoe City Council will meet at noon today to consider a possible award for the Texas Water Development Board DSWRF (Downward Shortwave Radiation Flux) water system improvements. Bids for the horizontal boring project under the Union Pacific railroad tracks were received on November 18.

The Council will also consider a request to place antennae on City of Roscoe stand pipe.



The remains of my garden after Sunday morning's hard freeze.
The Roscoe area got its first freeze of the fall early Sunday morning when the temperature dropped to anywhere from 25°F to 29°, depending on location. The official low recorded by weatherman Kenny Landfried was 25°. It was the first time we’d had a low temperature that had even been in the thirties, but when it did come, there was no mistaking that we’d had a hard freeze. My tomatoes, peppers, and okra, which I’d continued to enjoy all the way up to Saturday, are now history.

Other than that and the subsequent chilly weekend, the weather was relatively unremarkable for this time of year, although it has been, and continues to be quite windy at times. The high temperature for the week was Friday’s 73° and the low was on Sunday morning at 25°. There was no precipitation.

That should change, though, possibly as early as tonight when forecasters are giving us a 30% chance of rain. That will increase to 70% tomorrow and 80% tomorrow night with 80% again on Friday and Saturday during the day, decreasing to 50% Saturday night. As a cool front moves through on Friday, the temperature will decrease to a high during the day of only 45° and a low of around 29°. Saturday’s high is projected to be only in the mid-thirties with a low of around freezing. Sunday will be a little warmer with a high of about 48°, and by Monday will be back up to a high in the mid-fifties and a low of about 40°.



Funeral services for Charles “Doug” Douglas Mahon, 83, were held at 2:00pm Sunday, November 22, at Champion Baptist Church, followed by interment at the Loraine Cemetery. Doug was freed from the constraints of this life to join his Heavenly Father on Wednesday, November 18.

The only son of Elmer Overton Mahon and Mary Mozelle (Newton) Mahon, he was born on June 24, 1932.  His sister Fairy Lynn (Mahon) Wright, wife of Max Wright, predeceased him this July, as well as baby sister Lucy.

Surviving him are his niece Maxie Lynn (Wright) Houser and husband Donald, nephew Mark Daniel Wright and wife Dianna, and Jimmy Greg Wright and wife Cherry.  Great nieces and nephews numbered 6, but great greats were many—Maxie’s children Channon C. Cain, wife Lauren and their children Chloe and Caroline, Meredith Cain Davila and husband Dax and their children Cain and Rocco; Mark’s children, Deedra Lynn Wright and Aaron Joseph Wright, his wife Kendal and their children Noah, Carson, Corren, and Daphne; and Jimmy’s children, Greg, his wife Christina and their children Ryan, Reagan, and Raef; and Nikki, her husband Jason and their children Madilyn, Kennedy, and Max.

Doug attended Highland High School and was a longtime, faithful member of Champion Baptist Church. He spent his latter years in Snyder as a resident of Snyder Oaks Care Center, where he developed happy, genuine relationships with staff and residents alike.  After a sudden illness November 16, his friends there sent many warm wishes to him and his family.  They will long be appreciated by Doug’s family, who understand the sweet bond had by them all. From a long line of hardy Mahons, Doug also strongly held to integrity, moral standards, and Christian values.  He was honest in his expression.  Delightfully, his wit was undaunted and his smile was quick.  His interest in others, and his love for children and pets, spoke volumes about his unselfish and patient nature.  He was content with whatever his circumstances in life.  His unmatched recall of events, his fascination with history, and his love for baseball, especially the Chicago Cubs, were evidence of his interesting personality.  Much beloved and admired as an outstanding friend, uncle, great-uncle, and great-great-uncle, his family and friends mourn his passing but celebrate his “Home Run.”

Pallbearers were Channon Cain, Greg Wright, Aaron Wright, Raef Wright, Randall Bankhead, and Brad Thompson.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Plowboys Wax Wink 68-31, Hamlin Next

Cheerleaders and fans celebrate the Plowboy victory over Wink. (Photo by Patty McBride)
It was a tale of two halves Thursday night in Big Spring—not exactly Jekyll and Hyde, but not far from it. The first half was a struggle in which the Wildcats came out smoking, and the Plowboys were playing catch-up into the second quarter. The second half was a complete rout as the Plowboys pulled away and left the Wildcats in the dust with five touchdowns in the third quarter and another in the early fourth, immediately followed by both coaches agreeing to run the clock to finish the game.

Unlike the Plowboys’ previous three games in which they quickly jumped out to three and four touchdown leads over their opponents, the team gaining the early momentum Thursday night was Wink. Early on, they scored to go up 7-0. The Plowboys came right back and tied it up on a 5-yard run by Vincent Pantoja, but then Wink responded with a 67-yard TD pass and went ahead 13-7. Then the next time the Wildcats got the ball, they scored again to go up by 12, 19-7, and Plowboy fans were understandably nervous. However, Roscoe made another touchdown right before the end of the quarter on a 2-yard run by Pantoja, and at the end of one, Wink was ahead 19-14.

The Plowboys scored the first two touchdowns of the second quarter, the first by Brayden Beal on a 4-yard run and the second a 9-yard pass from Beal to Kevin Lavalais to put them ahead 28-19. But on their next series, Beal got hit in the backfield and the ball went right into the hands of a Wink defender, who ran it in for another Wildcat TD to narrow the score to 28-25, which was what it was halftime. It still appeared to be anybody’s game.

But the second half was all Roscoe, as the Plowboys came out fired up, grabbed the momentum, and went on a scoring spree that put the game away. Pantoja scored first on a 44-yard run, and on Wink’s first drive Lavalais intercepted a pass and returned it 44 yards for another TD. Wink responded with a scoring drive to get within fourteen, 45-31, but then Roscoe scored three more touchdowns before the end of the quarter, the first on a 41-yard run by Beal, the second a 14-yard pass from Beal to Max Nemir, and the third a 2-yard run by Jose Ortega. At the end of three the score was 61-31 Roscoe.

By this time, the Plowboys had sent in several JV players, and Wink was exhausted and demoralized. So when Francisco Garcia scored on a 66-yard run to put the Plowboys up 68-31 early in the fourth quarter, both coaches agreed to run the clock to get the game over with. Plowboy subs played the rest of the game, and neither side scored again.

In this game the Plowboys relied more on running than passing. They ran the ball for 41 plays to only 14 passing. The leading rusher was Pantoja with 20 carries for 157 yards and 3 TDs. Garcia had 6 carries for 110 yards and 1 TD, Beal 7 for 83 and 2 TDs, and Ortega 4 for 19 and 1 TD.

Beal completed 8 of 14 passes for 94 total yards with 2 TDs and 1 interception. The leading receiver was Lavalais with 3 catches for 41 yards and 1 TD. Nemir caught 2 for 32 yards and 1 TD, Rafael Aguayo had 2 for 24, and Diego Garza had 1 for -3. Erick Huidobro was good on 8 of 10 extra-point kicks.

Next up for the Plowboys is a re-match with Hamlin, who on Friday won over Santo in overtime 31-24.  Like Roscoe, the Pipers are now 7-4. Their losses were to Anson, Hawley, Stamford, and Seymour. Hamlin beat Roscoe 35-21 in the second game of the season, but a couple of key Plowboy players including Vincent Pantoja were out for that game, and the Plowboys have improved as the season progressed. They will also have all their players ready to go this week, so it should be quite a game.

The game will be played on Friday in Tuscola. Kickoff is at 7:30pm.



What: Community Wide Pep Rally
When: Thursday night at 6pm
Where: Old Town Park across from Roscoe City Hall
Why: To support the Cheerleaders, Coaches, and the PLOWBOYS!!!
We're Behind Ya Rootin' for Ya—Go Plowboys Go!!!



John Jay at the IBAT convention in Galveston.
Austin, Texas.—The Independent Bankers Association of Texas (IBAT) is proud to announce that John Jay, president of the Roscoe State Bank and chairman of the IBAT Board of Directors this past year, is now continuing to serve as Immediate Past Chairman of the Board for 2015-16. He officially accepted this position during the association’s 41st annual convention held in Galveston on September 19-22.

Jay has been the president of Roscoe State Bank since 1990. He is the seventh person to hold the position since the bank’s opening on December 6, 1906. For the past year he has served as chairman of the IBAT Board of Directors, the association’s highest leadership position.

In addition to Jay’s many leadership roles with IBAT, including his service as IBAT Chairman and IBAT Services Chairman, he has dedicated much of his time to his community. He has previously served on the boards of Sweetwater Enterprise for Economic Development (SEED), Nolan County Foundation, Sweetwater Industrial Foundation, Rolling Plains Technical Foundation and Hendrick Medical Foundation. A Roscoe native, he received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Texas A&M University. Jay and his wife Sandy have three children, Bonnie, Jared and Clint.

He joins Chairman Rogers Pope, Jr., of Texas Bank and Trust in Longview, Chair-Elect Darla Rooke of Junction National Bank in Junction and Secretary-Treasurer Joe Kim King of Brady National Bank in Brady. New board members include Gary Owens of Southwestern National Bank in Houston and Kenneth Zapalac of National Bank & Trust in La Grange.

Austin-based IBAT represents more than 2,000 independent banks and branches in 700 Texas communities. Additional information about the new board of directors can be found at



Camden Boren and Murissa Horton in Louisville, Kentucky.

Camden Boren and Murissa Horton represented the Roscoe Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter at the National FFA Convention held in Louisville, Kentucky, the last week of October.  They competed in Animal Systems Division 3 of the Agriscience Fair and placed 4th out of 21 teams in the nation.



It’s that time of year again. The Plowgirls officially began their basketball season last week in Robert Lee with a 57-19 loss. They played their second game last night in Colorado City and lost by a score of 58-11.

Haley Bridges was the Plowgirls’ high scorer with 6 points. Lyndi Wilkinson had 3, and Veronica Cuellar had 2.

This weekend the Plowgirls will travel to Leuders for the Leuders-Avoca Tournament.

The boys won’t be playing basketball until they finish their football season.



Q: What does the Lumberyard do as an encore after having Travis Tritt here last week? A: Follow up with another big weekend featuring Reckless Kelly and Ray Wylie Hubbard on Friday and Gary P. Nunn on Saturday.

Reckless Kelly
Reckless Kelly, a band based in Austin, was originally formed in Idaho. Two of its members, Willy and Cody Braun, have two other brothers, Micky and Gary, who are frontmen for another Austin band, Micky and the Motorcars. They all got their start playing in their father’s band, Muzzie Braun & the Boys, a western swing band, and still go to Idaho every summer to play at the annual Braun Brothers Reunion.

Reckless Kelly relocated to Austin in 1996 and became popular in various clubs and locations there. Their first album, Millican, was released in 1998. Since then, they have produced seven others, the most recent being Long Night Moon, released in 2013.  Popular singles include “Wicked Twisted Road,” “Seven Nights in Eire,” “Nobody’s Girl,” “Long Night Moon,” “The Last Goodbye,” “1952 Vincent Black Lightning,” and “Pennsylvania Avenue.”

Ray Wylie Hubbard
Ray Wylie Hubbard, both a singer and songwriter, is a long-time fixture of the Austin outlaw scene. He first achieved fame with his song, “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother,” originally recorded by Jerry Jeff Walker, and has since written and recorded several others including “Screw You, We’re from Texas,” “Snake Farm,” and “Drunken Poet’s Dream.” Over his long career, he has produced sixteen CDs, the most recent being The Ruffian’s Misfortune, released earlier this year.

Hubbard will take the stage at about 8:00pm and will be followed by Reckless Kelly at about 10:00.

Gary P. Nunn
On Saturday night, Gary P. Nunn and his Bunkhouse Band will be the featured act. Nunn, also a pioneer of the outlaw music scene in Austin with his Lost Gonzo Band, played with Willie Nelson, Michael Murphy, and Jerry Jeff Walker in the seventies—and has been a fixture of the Texas music scene ever since.

His fame as a performer is matched, if not exceeded, by his songwriting skills.  What self-respecting Texan can’t sing along to “I want to go home with the armadillo, good country music from Amarillo and Abilene” from his “London Homesick Blues”?  He’ll be singing that and “That’s What I Like about Texas,” “Adios, Amigo,” “Macho Man from Taco Land,” and “Terlingua Sky,” along with others, including songs from his latest album, One Way or Another.

For reservations call the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.

Travis Tritt put on a great show at the Lumberyard Friday.



Flags were flapping in the breeze at the school yesterday.
As the old saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather around here, stick around a few minutes,” which is the way it’s been this past week. We got a little bit of everything, sunshine and clear skies, heavy low clouds and a fast-moving front with thunder and lightning—even a little rain and some light hail in places.

But what really stands out, at least to me, is the god-awful wind we’ve had the past few days. You’d think it was the middle of March the way it’s been blowing both day and night. It started on Saturday but really picked up on Sunday with sustained winds of 26mph and gusts up to 36mph. Monday was worse with sustained winds of 33 and gusts up to 41 and yesterday with sustained winds of 31 and gusts up to 40. They finally calmed down yesterday about 5pm and have been relatively calm since.

The rains came, as predicted, on Sunday and Monday. It wasn’t a lot. On Sunday afternoon, my rain gauge recorded .18”, and when we got another shower that evening, I got .06” more for a Sunday total of .24”. Then on Monday night when the front from the southwest passed through, I got .44” more for a two-day total of .68”. It didn’t hail here in Roscoe, but it did in some places north and west of town. I’m not sure about south and east, but in any case the hailstones were small and didn’t fall long or do much damage.  Roscoe’s official rainfall for the two days was .61”, enough to create puddles in the streets and ditches.

Temperatures were generally average or a little above, but when Monday’s storm blew through, the mercury dropped from 70° to about 50° in less than an hour. In general, though, temperatures were mild for this time of year. The high was on Monday at 73° and the low was this morning’s 41°.

The forecast through Friday is for sunny skies with highs in the sixties, lows in the forties, and lighter breezes. A front is predicted to arrive on Saturday, though, which will drop the day’s high to only about 49° and a low of around 35°.  Sunday’s high will be only slightly warmer at about 53°.

Still, over half of November is now gone, and we still haven’t had a freeze. And even if we get a light frost on Saturday, it appears that we may not get a hard freeze until after Thanksgiving. At least, that’s what the meteorologists are saying. On the other hand, there is a long-range forecast for rain starting next Tuesday and running through Friday, so we could have a wet Thanksgiving. Chances given are for 70% next Tuesday, 70% Wednesday, and 50% for Thursday and Friday. We’ll see.

Saturday's sunset at Old Town Park downtown. (Photo by Sheree Corzine)


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Plowboys Blast Bronte 54-19, Wink Next

Plowboys Vincent Pantoja (30), Kevin Lavalais (19), and Rafael Aguayo (25) show off their trophy after defeating Bronte for a 5-0 district record. (Photo by Lus Pantoja)
The Plowboys played their final regular season game with a convincing 54-19 win over the Bronte Longhorns to finish district play with a perfect 5-0 record. They now move on to the playoffs with a game against Wink at Memorial Stadium in Big Spring tomorrow evening.

The Plowboys used the same formula for success that they used in their previous three games—jump out to an early lead in the first quarter and then cruise for the next three. It didn’t seem that easy at the outset, though. On their first drive, the Plowboys moved effectively down the field only to bog down in the red zone. They were stopped on a fourth-and-goal at the three-yard line, and Bronte took over. With two big running backs, the Longhorns initially moved the ball well against the Plowboys, but they had two critical fumbles, both covered by Roscoe, and the Plowboys were off to the races.

Their first touchdown came when Brayden Beal pitched out to Jose Ortega, who ran down the right sideline 24 yards into the end zone. The extra point was good, and the Plowboys were ahead 7-0. They completed their next possession with Francisco Garcia running up the middle for an 11-yard TD to make the score 14-0. Rafael Aguayo was next when Beal hit him on a 27-yard pass play that put the Plowboys up 21-0. Then, on the next drive Beal hit Diego Garza on a pass play that covered 83 yards before Garza was stopped at the Bronte one. On the next play, however, Vincent Pantoja ran untouched into the end zone to make the score 27-0, which is what it was when the first quarter ended.

The Plowboys extended their lead to 34-0 in the second quarter on an 8-yard Beal pass to Kevin Lavalais. Bronte then regained some momentum by scoring the next two touchdowns, and at halftime the score was 34-13.  In the third quarter, though, the Plowboys held the Longhorns scoreless and got another touchdown on a Beal pass to Pantoja for 19 yards to extend their lead to 40-13.

Bronte opened the scoring in the fourth quarter to make it 40-19, but the Plowboys responded with two more touchdowns, one on a 43-yard pass play to Lavalais and the other on a 7-yard interception return by Ortega to make the final score 54-19.

The Plowboys dominated the statistics as well as the score, making 26 first downs to Bronte’s 15 and 576 total yards to Bronte’s 295. Beal completed 23 of 34 passes for 370 yards and 4 TDs. Lavalais had 10 receptions for 130 yards and 2 TDs, Max Nemir 4 for 59 yards, Ortega 3 for 38 yards, Garza 2 for 98 yards, Pantoja 2 for 22 yards and 1 TD, and Aguayo 1 for 27 yards and 1 TD. Pantoja led the Plowboy rushing with 20 carries for 94 yards and 1 TD, while Ortega had 4 for 69 and 1 TD, Beal 4 for 23, and Garcia 4 for 11 and 1 TD. Erick Huidobro was 6 of 6 on extra-point kicks. (Two other attempts failed when he never got a chance for a kick.)

On defense, Ortega had 9 tackles and 2 assists, Paul Pantoja 7 and 2, Aguayo 6 and 3, Garcia, 5 and 2, Nemir 3 and 3, while several others had one or two tackles.

The game with Wink on Thursday will be a re-match of last year’s bi-district game in Big Spring, a game played in bitter cold and won by the Wildcats 36-28, who came from behind in the fourth quarter to take the victory and end the Plowboys’ season. This year Wink is 5-5 and coming off a 34-7 win over Irion County to earn the right to move on to the playoffs. Like the Plowboys, they have an effective passing attack. The two teams’ only common opponent is Eldorado, who beat Wink 31-24 and whom the Plowboys beat 33-27.

Kickoff at Memorial Stadium in Big Spring tomorrow is at 7:00pm.

Here are some video highlights of the Bronte game:

Click four-cornered icon in lower left-hand corner for full screen.



Kim Alexander
RISD Superintendent Kim Alexander was appointed yesterday to the newly created Texas Commission on Next-Generation Assessments and Accountability. The Texas House of Representatives  (HB 2804) has established the commission to develop and make recommendations for new systems of student assessment and public school accountability. The commission’s work will be completed on or before September 1, 2016.

Governor Greg Abbott appointed Mike Morath of Dallas as presiding officer. He also appointed Andrew Kim, Theresa Trevino, and Quinton Vance. Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick appointed Kim Alexander, Paul Castro, and Michael McLendon. Speaker Joe Strauss appointed Pauline Dow, Maria Hernandez Ferrier, and Catherine Susser.

Dr. Alexander is the only commission member from a rural school district.


U.S. Congressman Rep. Randy Neugebauer was in town yesterday and took a tour of the new STEM Research Center. Here he presents RISD Supt. Kim Alexander with a flag that has flown over the Capitol Building in Washington, DC.



Police Chief Felix Pantoja reports to City Council yesterday evening.
There were no earthshaking developments or decisions at last night’s City Council meeting in City Hall. Instead, the Council took care of routine business and heard reports from the City Manager and Police Chief.

City Manager Cody Thompson reported on the success of the West Texas Wind Festival, which ran smoothly and was apparently enjoyed by those who attended. He also said that the Roscoe Christmas Open House on Sunday once again brought in a large crowd of shoppers to Roscoe’s downtown businesses and was considered a success by all who participated.

The City has purchased two additional pre-owned Ford trucks for $20,000. One is an F-250, the other an F-450. Both have utility beds and are in good shape for their miles and year model. Thompson said that City employees are no longer driving their own vehicles but thinks it was nice of them when they did so without complaining.

Two new single-family homes will soon be started at Young Farm Estates. Both will be built for sale by builders from Abilene.

The City is opening bids next Wednesday, November 18, for two road bores under the Union Pacific railroad so that casing and water pipes can be installed for future use on Roscoe’s north side.

A drone video funded by the City’s A and B Boards is being put together to promote future tourism and development for the City of Roscoe.

City trash pickup on Thanksgiving weekend will be on Friday, November 27.

Roscoe’s Christmas Parade will be on Saturday, December 19, at 2pm. Line-up is at 1:30 in the 400 block of Broadway. All are invited to be in the parade.

City Hall is closed today in observance of Veterans Day.

Roscoe Police Chief Felix Pantoja reported on City Police activity for the month of October.



Shoppers filled the Wildflower Boutique on Sunday. (Photo by Delma Boston)
Cars lined the streets of downtown Roscoe on Sunday afternoon as a largely female crowd partook of some early Christmas cheer and good bargains at several Roscoe businesses.  Sales were brisk as a large number of shoppers showed up to enjoy the event, and the Roscoe Express shuttle transported many of them from one store to another.

Gloria Escabita of Roscoe was the winner of the Grand Prize, a gift basket with a retail value of over $500 with something in it from each of the participating businesses: Vickie’s Gifts, the Wildflower Boutique, the Lumberyard, Southern Belle Salon, Rockin’ S Cantina, McVey’s Nursery, Main Street Antiques, Peppy’s and the Roscoe Thrift Store.

And the winner is . . . Gloria Escabita (right) with Lumberyard Manager Sheree Corzine.



Janna Atkins takes questions from the audience at the Open Carry Law talk in the Community Center on Thursday.
A larger than expected crowd was on hand at the Roscoe Community Center last Thursday to learn more about the new Texas Open Carry firearms law that goes into effect January 1. Present in the audience were business owners, school officials, law enforcement officers, and citizens who plan to utilize the new law, as well as others from Roscoe and surrounding communities.

The guest speaker, Janna Atkins of the West Central Texas Regional Law Enforcement Academy in Abilene presented details of the new law and the ways it will apply to different public and private spaces. After her talk was done, she took questions from the audience and answered them insofar as possible. She did say that the law as written now will need some fine-tuning by the state legislature. One example she gave was the stipulation that anyone openly carrying a handgun must have it in a belt or shoulder holster, but that the law as now written provides no definition of just what constitutes a belt holster or shoulder holster.

She also emphasized that although the new law has been passed, it does not go into effect until January 1 for most public spaces and not until September 1 for public colleges. People who openly carry handguns before then are subject to arrest and fines. She also explained that business owners who do not want guns in their businesses may prohibit them but may do so only with signs or other notices that strictly follow the exact required wording in both English and Spanish and conform to stated size requirements. She also said the existing laws concerning concealed weapons are being extended to open carry by simply deleting the word ‘concealed,’ so that in almost all cases, the laws for handguns carried openly will be the same as those now used for concealed firearms .

There were many other questions asked and answered, too many to discuss here, and although the state has not yet provided an online site for frequently asked questions, it has made the law public here.  Most people who want to cut through the legalese, though, and just get simple answers to their questions will have better luck consulting this Frequently Asked Questions page (click here) sponsored by Open Carry Texas, a registered non-profit proponent of open and constitutional carry of firearms.

The talk was sponsored by the Roscoe Police Department.



Plowboy Coach Jake Freeman
There is a nice interview of Plowboy head football coach, Jake Freeman, by sportswriter Evan Ren in the Monday, November 9, edition of the Abilene Reporter-News. Ren speaks with Freeman about the recent success of the Plowboys and their climb from a 2-8 season in Freeman’s first year here two years ago to district champions this year.

Although the article can be shared by e-mail or on Facebook and other social media, the availability doesn’t extend to blogs like the Roscoe Hard Times unless you already have an online subscription with the Reporter-News. If you do, you can access the article by clicking here.

Otherwise, you will either have to locate a print edition of Monday’s Reporter-News, or, if you are my Facebook friend, you can find the article on my Facebook page.



Travis Tritt
In the past few years, several country greats have played at the Lumberyard—Ray Price, Merle Haggard, Mel Tillis, the Bellamy Brothers, Johnny Rodriguez, and many others. This Friday will add one more to the list when Travis Tritt comes to town. Tritt, a singer and songwriter, has been a major force in country music for the past quarter-century, and his top hits and albums are too numerous to list. He has received two Grammy Awards and four Country Music Association awards and has been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1992. He has also acted in movies and in several TV shows and episodes.

He has charted more than 40 times on the Hot Country Songs charts, five of which were number ones: “Help Me Hold On,” “Anymore,” “Can I Trust You With My Heart,” “Foolish Pride,” and “Best of Intentions.” Others that made the top five include “Here’s a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares),” “This Whiskey Ain’t Workin’” (with Marty Stuart), “Nothing Short of Dying,” “Tell Me I Was Dreaming,” “More Than You’ll Ever Know,” “It’s a Great Day to Be Alive,” “Love of a Woman,” as well as numerous other hits.

In addition, seven of his albums are certified platinum, one of which, It’s All About to Change, is certified triple-platinum. Originally from Georgia, he’s been married to his wife, Theresa, since 1997 and has two sons and one daughter.

Opening for Travis Tritt will be the new, improved Jamie Tollison Band. Live music begins at 8:00pm. Tritt and his band will take the stage around 10:00pm.

On Saturday night at the Lumberyard, the annual Ducks Unlimited dinner and auction will be held.

Doors open at 5:30pm, and the barbecue dinner is at 6:00pm, followed by both silent and live auctions along with door prizes.

Live music will be provided by Three Stories.

Tickets, available at the door, are $35 per person, $45 for couples, and $25 for green wings (17 and under). Tickets include membership in Ducks Unlimited, the barbecue dinner, three drinks per person, and cover charge for the live music.

Ducks Unlimited is an international nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of wetlands and associated upland habitats for waterfowl, other wildlife, and people.

For reservations and more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



The sunrise on Sunday morning.
Sunny and partly cloudy skies, mild temperatures, and windy weather characterized the weather this past week. The weekend was cooler as a cold front moved in on Friday morning dropping temperatures from Thursday’s high of 81°F to Friday’s 69°, Saturday’s 63°, and Sunday’s 64°. Lows were in the mid-forties on those days, cold enough to turn on the heat in the forties and force people to wear a little extra clothing.

Although it may have seemed chilly on those three days, it’s only because temperatures this fall have been running from three to eight degrees above normal, except for the occasional cold front. Low temperatures especially have been and will continue to be above normal for the next week or so. We have yet to see lows dip below 40° and for at least the next week the lows are projected to be in the mid-forties to low fifties.

Today’s high should be around 72°, but another cold front is due tonight, dropping tomorrow’s high to 67°, Friday’s to 61°, and Saturday’s to only around 57°. Sunday will be a bit warmer with a high of 60° and Monday’s should be around 66°.

Today will continue to be windy with west winds from 20-25mph, but they will diminish considerably when the cool front moves through tonight, and tomorrow will be relatively calm with east winds of only 5-10 mph.

There was no rain this past week, and the only possibility in the coming week is on Sunday when there will be a 30% chance. Otherwise, clear or partly cloudy skies will prevail.


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Plowboys Ambush Menard 49-13, Win District

Javier Leaños (4) catches a pass en route to a TD against Menard. (Photo by Patrick Dove-San Angelo Standard-Times)
Last Friday evening you couldn’t blame Menard fans for expecting their 7-1 Yellow Jackets to take down the upstart 4-4 Plowboys. After all, Menard’s only loss, 15-13 to Baird, came in their second game of the year and was decided by just two points. Since that time they had won six games in a row, many by a wide margin, and were 3-0 in district play. Besides, they were playing on their own home turf, so there were plenty of reasons to be optimistic.

Consequently, the game’s first quarter must have come as something of a shock to them. Mixing an explosive passing game with effective runs, the Plowboys scored touchdowns on their first four drives, and by quarter’s end led by three touchdowns.

The Plowboys started fast. After receiving the kickoff, they scored on just the second play from scrimmage when quarterback Brayden Beal hit Kevin Lavalais for a TD on a 41-yard pass play to put the Plowboys up 7-0. They scored again on their next possession when Beal hit Javier Leaños on a play that covered 49 yards. The third touchdown was also a Beal to Leaños pass, this one for 16 yards, extending the Plowboys’ lead to 21-0. Then Menard completed a drive of their own with a 4-yard touchdown run that narrowed the score to 21-7. However, shortly before the end of the quarter, Vincent Pantoja scored his first TD of the evening on a 4-yard run, and the Plowboys were once again ahead by three scores, 28-7.

In the second quarter they added another TD on another 4-yard run by Pantoja while holding the Yellow Jackets scoreless, and at halftime were up 35-7. For all practical purposes, the eventual outcome was already clear and the game essentially over.

In the third quarter, the Plowboy defense once again kept the Yellow Jackets out of the end zone, while Beal hit Jose Ortega on a 5-yard scoring pass to make the score 42-7. In the fourth, Menard got another touchdown to make it 42-13, but Pantoja also scored on a 1-yard run, making the final score 49-13.

For the evening, Beal completed 12 of 20 passes for 197 yards and 4 TDs with no interceptions. Top receivers were Leaños with 4 receptions for 93 yards and 2 TDs, Lavalais with 2 receptions for 50 yards and 1 TD, and Ortega with 4 catches for 27 yards and 1 TD. Max Nemir had a catch for 15 yards, and Pantoja had one for 12. Erick Huidobro was perfect with 7 for 7 extra-point kicks.

Pantoja was the top rusher with 26 carries for 142 yards and 3 TDs, followed by Beal with 13 carries for 66 yards, Nemir 3 for 16, Rafael Aguayo 2 for 7, Ortega 2 for 3, and Francisco Garcia with 1 for 6.

Top defensive players were Aguayo with 10 tackles and 6 assists, Garcia with 6 tackles and 3 assists, Ray Bohall and Nemir, each with 4 tackles and 1 assist, Lavalais with 3 tackles along with 2 interceptions, and several others with 1 or 2 tackles.

The Plowboys racked up 437 total yards, 240 by rushing and 197 by passing, compared to Menard’s 175 total yards, 114 by rushing and 61 by passing. Roscoe also had 21 first downs to Menard’s 10.

The victory makes the Plowboys outright district champs. Their first playoff game will be with the loser of the Eldorado-Irion County game.

But before that happens, the Plowboys will wind up their regular season here in Roscoe on Friday when they play district foe Bronte. The Longhorns are 4-5 on the year and 2-2 in district play. They are coming off consecutive wins over Winters 33-8 and Roby 28-6, so the Plowboys will need a good game to beat them.

Kickoff is at 7:30pm.



Vickie's Gifts was full of shoppers at last year's Christmas Open House.
Christmas Open House, the popular Sunday afternoon shopping event that launches local merchants and shoppers into the holiday season, is back. Between 1:00 and 5:00pm, it will include most of Roscoe’s downtown businesses: Vickie’s Gifts, Wildflower Boutique, Southern Belle Salon, Roscoe Thrift Store, the Rockin’ S Cantina, McVey’s Nursery, Main Street Antiques, Peppy’s, and the Lumberyard.

The event features shopping, refreshments, and a drawing for a grand prize worth over $600 made up of items from each of the businesses. Shoppers will receive cards at any participating business and complete them by getting them stamped there and at all the others. They will then submit them at the Lumberyard on 7 Cypress Street for the drawing to be held there at 5:00pm.

The Rockin’ S Cantina, a liquor store and gift shop, will set up its gift selections temporarily at 801 Broadway (the old Smacker’s Café on the corner of Broadway and Main) because liquor stores can’t be open on Sunday.

The Roscoe Express shuttle will operate all afternoon carrying visitors from one business to the next at no charge.


The Roscoe Police Department will host a presentation for business owners and the general public on the new Texas Open Carry firearms law that goes into effect on January 1, 2016.

Janna Atkins from the West Central Texas Regional Law Enforcement Academy in Abilene will be the guest speaker.

The meeting will be held in the Roscoe Community Center tomorrow, November 5, from 10:00 to 11:00am. There is no charge to attend, and everyone is invited.


The Roscoe Lions Club, officially chartered on October 13, has named its officers:

President:  Shane Tomlin
Vice President: Wes Williams
Secretary/Treasurer:  Chris Hartman
Membership Chairman: Jason Freeman

Meetings are held from noon to 1pm on the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of each month at the Roscoe Community Center. If you are interested in becoming a member, now is the time to do it! Please contact one of the officers above or just come to one of the bi-monthly meetings.

The Club will host its “Charter Night” on Thursday, November 12, at 6pm at the Community Center. It will receive its official Charter from the Lions Club District Governor. Tickets are $10 per person and dinner will be served at 6:30pm. All members and anyone interested in the Roscoe Lions Club are invited. RSVP’s are requested by this Friday, November 6. Please send RSVP to Shane Tomlin at 325-235-6992 or


A Pancake Supper in the Roscoe School Cafetorium before the football game this Friday, November 6, from 5:30-7:30pm will benefit the Roscoe FFA and 4-H programs. Members are also selling raffle tickets for a Yeti Hopper. The winner will be announced at the football game.

Prices are $5 for kids 9 and under and $8 for everyone else. 


Skies were clear at yesterday's sunset.
The predicted rain for Friday came, but it wasn’t as bad as some had feared or as good as others had hoped for. Most of the people I talked to got around a half-inch, some more, some less, depending on the area. I had .66” in my rain gauge, and the official total for Roscoe recorded by Kenny Landfried was .61”.

After the sky cleared, we had several beautiful fall days with sunshine and light breezes. Halloween was a perfect evening for the kids to be out. Weekend temperatures had highs in the low seventies and lows in the mid to low fifties. On Monday, the winds shifted to the south, and the high rose to 82°. Yesterday’s high was just a bit cooler at 79°, and winds were blustery with gusts up to 28mph. Today will be a bit cooler with a forecast high of only 73°.

We may get some more rain tonight or tomorrow. Chances for tonight are 40%, increasing to 50% during the day tomorrow. A cool front will then move in and clear the skies until Friday night when we get a 30% chance for rain continuing through the day on Saturday and then falling to 20% Saturday night. After that we’ll get clear skies again with somewhat cooler temperatures—highs in the sixties and lows in the upper forties and low fifties into early next week.