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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year! and a Review of 2013

Happy New Year!  Here’s wishing the best for you and yours in 2014!  

As we move into the new year, this is perhaps also a good time to look back at the old one and take stock of what happened in and around Roscoe in 2013.

One of the first things that comes to mind is the City festivals that have now become an annual feature of the community.  All three of them—the Spring Fling in April, the Independence Day Celebration in July, and the West Texas Wind Festival in October—were once again successful in bringing life to downtown Roscoe and providing a venue for family fun and entertainment.  Vendors plied their wares in the downtown streets and parks while kids played in the bounce houses or ran for candy thrown from parade floats.  At the free concerts, noted country singers and their bands performed on the music stage as people danced “on the bricks” or relaxed in their lawn chairs.  The Plowboy Mudbog was a big hit at the baseball field and brought in enough money to support the town’s baseball teams, one of which made it to the State Finals in Ennis.  Cooks cooked, judges judged, prizes were awarded, and the festivals were always capped off with one of Robert McBride’s fireworks shows.

Under separate sponsorship was the Cinco de Mayo festival on May 4, which featured a morning parade and a free concert and street dance that evening.

Carl Childers speaks at groundbreaking for Young Farm Estates.
Perhaps the most exciting development for the City this past year, however, was the approval of a new housing addition, the Young Farm Estates, on Roscoe’s north side and the City’s annexation of some 172 acres of farm land to accommodate it.  The project was approved by the City in April, and the groundbreaking ceremony was held with fanfare on October 1.  Phase 1 of the project began shortly thereafter and has now advanced from the surveying stage to the laying of the sewer line.  Once complete, the first phase will have seventy lots for developers to build new homes on, which will greatly benefit the town in many ways.

At its October meeting, the City Council also approved the plat for a new five-acre RV park on the north side, next to the Young Farm Estates. It will have spaces for 54 RVs and be known as the Stone Tower RV Park.  Additionally, Smartt Industries has set up an office and warehouse just west of US 84 across the tracks from the American Legion.

The long awaited work on the new reverse-osmosis water treatment plant is also finally underway.  The $1,765,000 project got its final approval by the state last summer and the installation of the new computerized SCADA system and the laying of new water and sewer lines is now in progress.  The contractors, Associated Construction Partners of Boerne, plan to complete their work around the first of September, and the plant should be operational before the year is out. 

The Roscoe City Council also approved a $1,040,000 bond to upgrade the water and sewer lines on Roscoe’s south side, and 2014 will also see much needed replacements and improvements to the old lines that should put them in excellent shape for years to come.  

Several new businesses opened in Roscoe this past year, among them the Plowboy Center Lodge, McVey’s Nursery, the Rockin’ S Cantina liquor store, Burritos Zacatecas, Peppy’s Mexican Imports, the Laundry Express, the Purple Passion Salon, and the Southern Belle Salon.

Roscoe’s schools also continued their tradition of progress and excellence.  In May, RISD voters approved by a 3 to 1 margin the construction of a new $3.5 million Capstone STEM Research Center.  As one of Texas’ 23 designated high performance school districts, the RISD has leadership responsibilities, and school officials anticipate that the Research Center will give its students a leg up in employment or college with STEM (Science, Technology, Electronics, Math) knowledge and endorsements.  The program is also designed to serve as a model for other rural schools that want to provide their students with similar opportunities. 

Roscoe’s robotics team, the Plowbots, led by coach Dan Boren, went to the international meet in Las Vegas last spring and were members of a team that advanced to the semifinals.  This fall, they changed their name to Plowtech and won the Big Country Hub robotics meet in Sweetwater, which earned them the right to represent the Big Country Hub at the regional meet in Dallas. 

In July, two former Plowboys returned to Roscoe to coach the football team.  Jake Freeman, who was the defensive coordinator at Sweetwater, and Greg Althof, the offensive coordinator at Crane, immediately made their presence felt with improvements that made the Plowboys competitive with schools that would have previously blown them out.  The team finished 4-6 and 3-4 in district after going 2-8 the year before, and their prospects will only get better as they benefit from the off-season weight program and coaching system of the new coaches.

2013 WTC Graduates from RCHS
The high school also continued to excel as a collegiate high school.  Of the twenty-seven graduates who received their high school diplomas in May, nineteen (i.e., 70%) also graduated with Associate’s Degrees from Western Texas College in Snyder.  This was the best outcome yet, beating last year’s 13 of 25 RCHS grads who earned Associate’s Degrees.

The number of students also grew, and many were turned away because classes were capped at forty except for the seventh grade class, which was already larger than that.  The total enrollment for all grades at the beginning of the school year was 526, an increase of 79, or 15%, over 2012 and 163, or 31%, over 2011.

In short, Roscoe is doing fine and making significant progress as we move into the New Year.  Here’s hoping you’re all doing the same!



The weather for 2013 was about average as temperatures and rainfall go, but of course its impact depends a lot on when things happen.  According to Kenny Landfried’s official records, Roscoe got a total 18.44” of precipitation in 2013, which is 3.4” below the 78-year average of 21.85” (since official records began in 1936).  Some areas around Roscoe got more, others less. Lyndall Underwood, on the west end of town, recorded only 17.06” for the year, and I don’t know what the totals were around Champion, but from the reports I got during the year, I’m pretty sure it was more than what either Underwood or Landfried recorded.

Also, the timing of the rainfall was a bit unusual.  Following a relatively dry spring, there was barely enough moisture to plant cotton in June, and by early July the cotton was suffering from lack of rain, and it appeared that we were headed for another crop failure.  But then in mid-July, when it’s normally dry, an unexpected front moved in from the northeast, and we got about 3½ inches of slow rain over three days, which saved the day for a lot of farmers. 

Then, if we’d got another good rain in mid to late August, we might have been looking at another bumper crop like the one in 2010.  However, that August rain unfortunately never came.  Still, most farmers in the area wound up with what amounts to a pretty decent crop.  The average number of bales ginned at Roscoe’s Co-op Gin for the last five years is 62,000, and last year the number was slightly above that at 67,000.  This year, according to Gin Manager Larry Black, the number of bales already ginned is right at 50,000 with 12,000 more ready to be ginned and about 15,000 more—give or take 5,000 or so—still to be stripped.  That puts the total for this year’s crop at about 77,000 bales, or about 10,000 more than last year.

Roscoe’s temperatures were a bit milder this year as well.  Two years ago, the area broke all the old records with 81 days in which the temperature reached 100°F or more.  Last year the number of triple-digit days dropped to 34, and this year there were only 16. 

The hottest temperature in 2013 was 105° recorded on June 5, and the coldest was 10° on December 7 and 8.  The last day in the spring that the temperature dropped below freezing was May 3, when it fell to 31°.  The first day it dropped below freezing in the fall was November 7, when it fell to 30°.



The Eula Tournament last week was a mixed bag for the Plowgirls, who won two and lost two. 

They lost their first game on Friday to Hamlin 53-21 in a game that was never really close.  Hamlin led 16-7 at the end of one and at halftime 31-11.  High scorer for the Plowgirls was Eva Aguayo with 8, followed by Shelby Brown and Sunshine Saddler, both with 4, Whitney Williams and Cha Cha Chavez with 2, and Ashton Payne with 1.

They then defeated Stamford 44-40 in a close game.  Roscoe led at the end of one 15-5, but Stamford came roaring back in the second quarter, and the score was tied at halftime 19-19.  Stamford was ahead at the end of three 32-30 but was not able to keep the Plowgirls from overtaking them in the fourth.  Eva Aguayo led the Plowgirls with 21 points, while Payne had 9, Brown 8, Saddler 3, Williams 2, and Chavez 1. 

The Plowgirls then defeated Hawley 47-36 to stay alive in the Consolation Bracket.  Roscoe jumped out to an early 10-2 lead but led at halftime only by one, 16-15.  They had a strong third quarter, though, and won by a margin of 11.  Aguayo had 18 points, Brown 11, Payne 10, and Saddler 8.

The Hawley victory put the Plowgirls into the Consolation Championship game with Paducah.  Unfortunately, they lost that one 38-14 in a game the Lady Dragons dominated.  Williams and Magali Casas both had 4 points, and Aguayo, Williams, and Saddler all had two.

Next on the schedule for the Plowgirls is a home game against Hermleigh on Friday.  The game will start at 6:15pm.



The Plowboys’ woes on the basketball court continued this past weekend at the Eula Tournament as they lost all three of the games they played with none of them really close. 

They first lost to the Graford Jackrabbits on Friday 56-32.  High scorer for the Plowboys was Javier Leanos with 14.  Anthony Ortegon had 8, Jesus Leanos and Cutter Davila both had 4, and Shelton Toliver had 2. 

They then fell to Comanche 57-33.  Shelton Toliver was high scorer for the Plowboys with 9, followed by Ja. Leanos with 8, Kevin Lavalais with 6, and Davila and Ortegon, both with 5.
Then on Saturday they were defeated by the Paducah Dragons 59-43.  The Plowboys’ high scorer in that one was Jesus Leanos with 13, followed by Luis Villa with 12.  Ja. Leanos had 9, Dillon Freeman 5, and Ortegon 4.

The Plowboys will have no games in the coming week.  Their next game is against Ira on Friday, January 10.


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