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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Texas Tech Signs Agreement with Roscoe Collegiate High School

Texas Tech Provost Lawrence Schovanec signs the MOU as Roscoe Superintendent Kim Alexander, left, and Texas Tech Dean of Education Scott Ridley, right, look on. Texas Tech President Duane Nellis signed the document later.
Officials from Texas Tech University were in town on Friday to sign an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with the Roscoe Collegiate Independent School District.  The agreement covers a number of issues and, most importantly, will strengthen ties between Roscoe’s STEM program and Tech in a number of ways, including an early start for RCHS students on an engineering degree at Tech.    

In the MOU, Texas Tech agrees to do the following:

        1. Assist with the formation of a partnership with Western Texas College in designing a dual-credit engineering program for RCISD students, which may offer transferable credits to TTU.

        2. Identify potential dual-credit courses in science, agri- science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at RCISD and provide consultation in the development of such courses. 

(Note: dual-credit courses are those which count for both high school and college credit.)

        3. Partner with RCISD in developing service-learning projects at or near Roscoe.

        4. Arrange for selected senior engineering students at Tech to visit RCISD and offer support to its pre-engineering students.

        5. Host selected RCISD juniors and seniors for a three-day experience on the Tech campus in Lubbock.

        6. Provide admissions and recruiting presentations to RCISD sophomores, juniors, and seniors and furnish recruiting materials for RCISD classrooms and hall displays.

        7. Partner with RCISD to review and assess partnership outcomes each year.

This initial MOU is good until August 31, 2016, at which time it will be reviewed and renewed, possibly with changes, or not renewed, as the case may be.  The agreement has been in the works for some time.  Last May, Dr. Alexander worked with Texas Tech’s Dean of Engineering on a proposal to create a pathway for RCHS graduates to advance to Tech (via Western Texas College) with the goal of obtaining an engineering degree in two years—and this general MOU will open the door to more direct MOU’s with more colleges and specific programs at Tech.

RCHS has also reached agreements with WTC and with Texas A&M and its AgriLife Extension to facilitate the transfer of coursework to the Biomedical Sciences Program in the A&M College of Veterinary Medicine.

The signing of the MOU on Friday was the culmination of a day-long program in which Roscoe Superintendent Kim Alexander did a presentation on Roscoe’s STEM program to Tech officials as well as several area educators and administrators.  In the question-and-answer session that followed, he was assisted by Roscoe’s Early College High School Director Jacob Tiemann, Dean of Academic Affairs Marsha Alexander, and High School Principal Edward Morales.



Left to right: Dr. Mario Torres, Associate Professor at Texas A&M in the Department of Educational Administration and Co-Director of the Administrative Leadership Institute; Marsha Alexander, Dean of Academic Affairs, Roscoe Collegiate ISD; Dr. Frederick Nafukho, Head of the Department of Educational Administration at Texas A&M.
Editor’s note: The Administrative Leadership Institute at Texas A&M has presented its first ever Texas School District Excellence Award, and the winner is Roscoe Collegiate ISD.  Here is the complete press release.

Texas School District Excellence Award

At the Dr. John R. Hoyle Memorial Administrative Leadership Institute on November 12 & 13, 2014, Roscoe Collegiate ISD received the Texas School District Excellence Award.  A selection committee consisting of three Texas A&M University Education Department faculty members and a representative from the Texas Association of School Administrators make the final decision from a group of nominated school districts.  The Institute is very proud to present this award for the first time this year.

This award is given to honor an outstanding Texas School District in memory of Dr. John R. Hoyle.  Dr. Hoyle made many contributions to Texas A&M University and to K-12 education, with an emphasis on working with public schools throughout the state.  He was a true veteran in the field of educational administration and as a teacher, researcher, and author, his spirit and commitment to the profession was inspirational.  Throughout his career, he challenged and encouraged educators to serve with enthusiasm and reach for excellence.  Dr. Hoyle retired from Texas A&M University in 2009, but continued to work closely with the university and the organization of the Administrative Leadership Institute prior to his death in 2012.

The district that receives this award must be one that shares the vision of Dr. Hoyle and must personify the theme of the institute:  Leading Change:  New Times, New Requirements. Other requirements include: 1) demonstrating quality of instruction based on consistent achievement of all student groups, 2) have effective outreach demonstrated through media, 3) be committed to equity and diversity of students, 4) have efficient and effective fiscal management, and 5) incorporate a culture that stresses the best interests of its students.

In the presentation of the award, Dr. Mario Torres said, “Dr. Kim Alexander has done phenomenal work transforming this small district into comprehensive STEM and Early College Academies, equipping an astounding percentage of their high school students with Associate Degrees upon graduation, which is a remarkable example of Dr. Hoyle’s vision for education.”  In Dr. Alexander’s absence Marsha Alexander, Dean of Academic Affairs, accepted the award.



Jayden Gonzales and Alfonso Islas in front of the White House.
Two Roscoe eighth graders, Jayden Gonzales and Alfonso Islas, were in Chevy Chase, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, DC, to attend the National 4-H Youth Conference from Friday, November 16, to Sunday, November 18.  They were accompanied by Roscoe teacher Debbie Nevins.

Besides attending the conference, the two were able to get in some sightseeing while in Washington.  At the Newseum they saw parts of the Berlin Wall.  They also visited the White House, the National Mall, and the Washington Monument, as well as several of the nearby Memorials, including the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial, and the Vietnam Memorial.

They were selected to go for their winning essays on helping older people to learn more about social media and how to use it.  The 4-H Tech Wizards program is an after-school, small-group, mentoring program that uses youth interest in science and technology to engage them in learning.  They can then use their skills to participate in community service to educate older adults in the use of social media, which they recently did on parents’ night at the school.



Plowgirl Danielle Dean shoots a free throw at last night's game with Westbrook.
Both the Plowgirls and Plowboys won their games against Westbrook here last night, the Plowgirls by a score of 40-29, and the Plowboys 54-40.

The Plowgirls led all the way after the first quarter, which was close, but which ended with Roscoe up 8-6.  By halftime they had extended the lead over the Lady Cats to 24-14, and by the end of three they were ahead by twelve, 33-21.

High scorer for the Plowgirls was Samantha Ortega with 13, followed by Olivia Saddler with 11, Mia Herrera with 10, Danielle Dean with 4, and Selena Perez with 2.

Plowboys Isaiah Gonzales (13) and Luis Villa (11) go for a rebound in last night's game with Westbrook.
The Plowboys opened their basketball season with a relatively easy victory.  The lead went back and forth at the start of the game, and by the end of one, Westbrook was ahead 10-9.  However, the Plowboys went ahead to stay in the second quarter, outscoring the Wildcats 18-9 to lead at the half 27-19.  They extended their lead in the third quarter to 45-28, and won going away, 54-40.

High scorer for the Plowboys was Javier Leanos with 19.  Kevin Lavalais had 10, Asman Acuna 8, Isaiah Gonzales 7, Cutter Davila 5, and Luis Villa 2.

The Plowboys' and Plowgirls' next games will be next Tuesday, December 2, against the Trent Gorillas in Trent.



Pat Waters & the Chain Link Band
After stuffing yourself with Thanksgiving Dinner on Thursday and spending the day shopping on Black Friday, what better way to relax and let your hair down Saturday night than dancing the night away to traditional country music by Pat Waters and his Chain Link Band at the Lumberyard? 

Pat Waters came to a music career relatively late in life, not buying his first guitar until he was twenty. Born and raised in Bridgeport, where they probably would just as soon not hear the word Sweetwater, he went to college at North Texas and graduated with a degree in marketing and a minor in international business.  He and his uncle then partnered up, and now they own an oil field construction company and a trucking company.  He got his first gig by answering an ad in the Dallas Morning News and playing two songs in an opry house for $25 and, in doing so, found that music was something he wanted to pursue.

He considers himself a family man and homebody who takes his sons hunting and fishing.  He’s never been big into alcohol, and since 2001 has been the “National Spokesman for Drug Free Promotions.” His music is traditional country, and his latest album is Sorry ‘Bout the Mess with a single by the same name now currently getting play on the radio.  He has received rave reviews both in Texas and in Nashville.

He is scheduled to take the stage Saturday night at around 9:00pm.  Cover charge is $10.  For more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.  Note, however, that the Lumberyard will be closed Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving. 



The weather has been generally unremarkable for the past week.  The big chance we had for rain on Friday and Saturday amounted to less than a tenth of an inch, little more than a heavy sprinkle.  Some weather forecasters actually predicted a 100% chance of rain on Saturday morning.  In my humble opinion, any meteorologist who predicts 100% chance of rain for Roscoe should receive a stern warning the first time he or she does it, and should be permanently relieved of any further forecasting duties the second time.  I’ve lived in places, such as on the coast in northern California, where 100% chances of precipitation were not only possible but regularly occurred.  But in Roscoe there is always a chance it won’t rain, no matter how promising the outlook.

Highs ranged from 73°F on Sunday to 57° on Monday and yesterday, while lows ranged from 51° Saturday morning to 34° Monday morning.

The weather should be clear and sunny through Sunday if not longer.  Highs will be in the sixties today and tomorrow and warming up to the seventies Friday through Sunday.  Lows will be in the forties, and breezes should be relatively light.

There is no rain in the forecast.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Plowboys' Season Ended on Wink's Fourth Quarter Comeback, 36-28

It was a tough way to end the season. Playing in Big Spring in the bitter cold and outplaying Wink for most of the game, the Plowboys faltered in the fourth quarter, and the Wildcats played just well enough to win 36-28 with two late touchdowns.

The game started off right for the Plowboys.  On the second play from scrimmage, Kevin Lavalais took a  Cutter Davila pass and raced into the end zone to complete a 70-yard pass play.  After a successful Eric Huidobro kick for the extra point, the Plowboys were ahead 7-0.  Wink came right back, though, with a 41-yard touchdown pass.  However, their extra point attempt failed, and the score was 7-6.  Before the quarter was over, Vincent Pantoja broke loose on a 46-yard run, which with another successful extra-point kick put the Plowboys out front, 14-6.

In the second quarter the Plowboys drove all the way to the Wink 16-yard line only to see the ball knocked from Davila’s hands all the way to midfield where a Wildcat recovered it.  Wink then drove down the field for their second touchdown and, with a successful two-point conversion, tie the game at 14-14.

Max Nemir returned the ensuing kickoff 34 yards, and shortly thereafter Davila hit Lavalais with another scoring pass, this one for 31 yards.  Huidobro’s extra-point kick was again good, and at halftime the Plowboys led 21-14.

Wink received the second half kickoff and drove the ball down the field for another Wildcat TD, and with a successful 2-point conversion moved ahead of the Plowboys for the first time by the score of 22-21.  However, the Plowboys once again answered.  On a fourth and 3, Davila hit Nemir with a 31-yard pass play for another score.  The extra-point kick was good, and the Plowboys were back in front 28-22.

Then came the fateful fourth quarter.  Wink regained the lead on a 52-yard run and a two-point conversion to go ahead 30-28.  Roscoe couldn’t get any drives going, and Wink did, scoring another TD to go up 36-28.  Wink’s defense then took over and held the Plowboys off for the rest of the game.

It wasn’t the best way to end the season, but the Plowboys went farther this year than most people ever thought they would.  Despite being picked to finish last in district by Texas Football magazine and others, they wound up tied for second and won the tie-breaker to be the official runner-up to Winters, the district champs.  They also made the playoffs for the first time since 2010 and in doing so put the program back on a positive track.  Let’s hope their success carries over to next year’s team and even greater accomplishments in the future.



Sam Ortega shoots a free throw in last night's game with Colorado City.
In a game played at home last night, the Plowgirls played with spirit but showed early season form as they fell to the Lady Wolves from Colorado City, 51-36.

The Lady Wolves jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter, but the Plowgirls fought back and by the end of the quarter had narrowed the margin to one, as Colorado led 10-9.  Then in the second quarter the Plowgirls outscored the Lady Wolves 12 to 9 to lead at the half by two, 21-19.

In a low scoring third quarter the Lady Wolves regained the lead and at the end of three were up 27-24.  The fourth quarter was all Colorado, however, as they outscored the Plowgirls by ten to win the game, 51-36.

High scorer for the Plowgirls was Mia Herrera with 12, followed by Olivia Saddler with 11, Selena Perez 6, Danielle Dean 4, and Sam Ortega 3.

In the early game, Colorado’s JV team beat the JV Plowgirls 30-14.  Roscoe scorers were Acebedo and Trevino, both with 5, and Wilkinson and Whitley, both with 2.

The Plowgirls’ next games will be at the Lueders-Avoca tournament Thursday through Saturday while the JV Plowgirls play at a tournament in Cross Plains.  They will both return to play Westbrook here at home next Tuesday.

The Plowboys will also play their first basketball game of the season against Westbrook here next Tuesday.  The JV Plowgirls start at 4:00, the JV Plowboys at 5:15, the varsity Plowgirls at 6:30, and the varsity Plowboys at 8:00.



Thanksgiving Dinner at the Community Center last year.
If you want to enjoy a good Thanksgiving dinner but not the hassle of fixing it, or if you just want to visit with friends after church, the solution to your problem is at the Roscoe Community Center, which is hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner with turkey, dressing, and all the trimmings this Sunday, November 23, from 11:00am to 3:00pm.

There is no charge for the dinner, but donations will be accepted, and all are invited.  Along with the Thanksgiving Dinner, there will also be a bake sale.



Snowfall on Sunday afternoon. 
This past week has been generally cold and windy, and on Sunday we got our first snow of the year.  It didn’t last long, but it created havoc while it did.  It was preceded by enough precipitation to freeze over the highways with black ice and cause numerous wrecks on I-20 all the way from here to Abilene and points east.  In one case, a woman who totaled her car just south of Roscoe wound up spending the night at the Plowboy Center Lodge.  Her husband, who drove out from Dallas, reported that I-20 looked like a “war zone” with cars turned over or in ditches, wrecks with multiple vehicles, and so on.  By the next afternoon, however, the snow and ice were all gone except in a few shady spots.

The days this past week warmed up somewhat in the afternoon sun—it got up to 64° Saturday afternoon for the week's high.  But the nights and early evenings were either chilly or downright cold, especially when it was windy.  The low was 21° on Sunday and none of the daily lows for the week were above freezing.  Wind chills were often way below that.

A warming trend is forecast for the rest of this week with a 58° high this afternoon and highs in the sixties through Sunday.  Lows should be in the forties and fifties through Saturday.  

 On Friday night and Saturday, there is a 50% chance of rain. 



Services were held at the First Baptist Church for Willard McFaul, 85, on Saturday, November 15, followed by interment in the Roscoe Cemetery.  His last train departed this earthly station on Wednesday, November 12, at Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene.

His journey on the rails of life began on July 20, 1929, in Kaufman County, Texas. In 1945 he reached his destination, Roscoe, where he lived the remainder of his life. He was a 1947 graduate of Roscoe High School. He and his high school sweetheart had a long, happy marriage of 65 years. They were married on November 25, 1948. Willard worked over 40 years on the railroad. He began his career with the Roscoe, Snyder and Pacific Railroad where he worked 33 years. He then worked eight years for the Texas Northwestern Railway Co. in Sunray, Texas, and several years for National Railcar and Eagle in Roscoe. He enjoyed pheasant hunting on the Texas Plains and deer hunting in Colorado. His greatest joy in life was bringing a smile, a chuckle or hardy laugh to friends, family, even strangers, with a joke or humorous story. Someone once said that Willard was the Will Rogers of his era. “He never met a man he did not want to like.”  He was a member of the First Baptist Church, where he welcomed folks each Sunday morning with a warm handshake, a bulletin, and a funny saying. He was also a member the Sweetwater Men's Bible Class and was a Mason who had received his 50 year pin.

He is preceded in death by his parents, four brothers, and two sisters. He cherished the journey with those he leaves awaiting their ticket into heaven: wife, Emily McFaul of Roscoe; son Wayne McFaul and wife Annette of Gilmer, Texas; daughter Susie Alford and husband Jerry of Roscoe; daughter Cathi McFaul of Mansfield, Texas. Also, four grandchildren: Justin McFaul and wife Lindsey, Misti DeLoera and husband Armando, Jonathan McFaul and wife Jamie, and Jerad Alford and wife Candace, as well as nine great grandchildren and a trainload of friends and family. Surely now he is “satisfied with the status quo.”

Pallbearers were Justin McFaul, Jonathan McFaul, Jerad Alford, Armando DeLoera, Bryan Heaps, and Tommy Frierson.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Shoppers Flock to Christmas Open House

Vickie's Gifts was full of shoppers during Christmas Open House.
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, the City’s “People’s Tram” transported many of them from one store to another.

Kelsey Drake of Roscoe was the winner of the Grand Prize, a gift basket 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, and the Turquoise Toad.  

The City also extended its monthly Trades Day event in the Community Center to include Sunday afternoon as well as Saturday.



The Plowboys are District 6-2A-II runners-up as everything fell in place for them Friday night.  They beat Bronte, Winters beat Menard, and Miles beat Roby, which was the only possible way for the Plowboys to wind up second in district.  But they did, and now they’re headed to the playoffs.

They drew first blood at their game in Bronte when Vincent Pantoja ran the ball into the end zone from four yards out.  The kick was good, and the Plowboys were ahead 7-0.  The Longhorns came right back and tied it up 7-7 on a forty-yard run, but that was Bronte’s high point of the evening, as the Plowboys took the lead for good when Cutter Davila hit Kevin Lavalais on an 84-yard scoring pass play.   The kick was again good, and at the end of one Roscoe led 14-7.

The second quarter was all Plowboys.  Davila hit Lavalais for another touchdown, this one on a play covering 85 yards.  The kick was no good, but the Plowboys now led 20-7.  Later, Pedro Huidobro kicked a 21-yard field goal to make it 23-7.  Then Davila hit Isaiah Gonzales for a 24-yard touchdown pass to give the Plowboys a 30-7 halftime lead.

Bronte scored first in the third quarter to make the score 30-14, but Pantoja answered with his second TD of the evening on a 65-yard run to make the score 37-14 at the end of three.  In the fourth quarter Bronte scored on a 3-yard run to narrow the gap to 37-20, but later Davila completed a 25-yard pass to Lavalais for his third TD of the evening.  After the kick, the Plowboys led 44-20, and that was the game’s final score.

Pantoja was the Plowboys’ leading rusher with 168 yards and two TDs in 25 carries.  Davila completed 13 of 20 passes  for 350 yards and 4 TDs with one interception, and Lavalais was the leading receiver with 5 catches for 191 yards.  On defense, he also had two interceptions.

The Plowboys’ first playoff game is tomorrow night at Memorial Stadium in Big Spring against Wink.  Like Roscoe, Wink is 5-5 on the year, but the Wildcats finished 2-2 in their district while the Plowboys were 3-2.  

The only common opponent for the two teams this year was Eldorado.  The Plowboys beat them 20-12 in a close game while Wink lost to them 49-48, also in a close game.  Both games were played in Eldorado.  On paper, then, it appears that the Plowboys and Wildcats are pretty evenly matched, so it should be a good game.  The team that wins will probably be the one that can handle the cold weather the best.  The forecast temperature for the game is near freezing, so if you’re planning to attend, be sure to bundle up.

Kickoff is at 7:00pm.  Even though the teams are playing at a neutral site, the Plowboys have been designated as the visitors, so people attending the game should sit on the visitors’ side.  Go, Plowboys!



After their presentation, students posed for a photo with City officials.
The City Council got a treat at its monthly meeting Monday evening when a group of RCHS FFA students did a presentation on the use of drones in agriculture, explaining how they can increase efficiency and cut farming expenses while helping the environment.  The benefit of drones is already being experienced in places like Idaho and Australia, but Texas currently has very strict laws concerning the private use of drones, so it may be a while before they can be used here for agriculture.  Students participating in the presentation were Rainee Ruddick, Cutter Davila, Gabriel Alvarez, Chase Cathey, and Olivia Saddler.

City Manager Cody Thompson reported some operational problems at the R-O Water Treatment Plant caused by a faulty check valve, which resulted in some filter membranes getting soaked with chlorine.  The fault was with the manufacturers, so they will replace the membranes at their expense.  There are also some electrical problems that remain to be fixed.

Thompson also said the City had planned to use a special camera to scope the inside of all the sewer lines, using $60,000 left over in the fund for the sewer-line replacement program, but the old lines, many of them eighty to a hundred years old, were so clogged with debris that extra money would be needed, extra money that the City doesn’t have.  Instead, the City will scope as much as it can with the available funds.  That will allow the scoping of about half  of the City lines.

Thompson also reported that the natural gas lines have now been installed at Young Farm Estates, and Oncor will start on the electrical lines this week.  The Stone Tower RV Park and its washateria will also be open shortly, and the construction of the three houses being financed by the Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs is coming along on schedule.



The Plowboys may still be playing football, but the weather has turned cold and basketball season has just begun for the Plowgirls.  Unfortunately, they lost their opening game last night to Robert Lee, 37-28.

The first half was close.  The Plowgirls were ahead by two at the end of the first quarter, 7-5, but fell behind in the second and at the half Robert Lee led 15-12.  The third quarter belonged to the Lady Steers (?) as they outscored the Plowgirls 13-4 and jumped out to a 28-16 lead.  The Plowgirls outscored them in the fourth quarter 12 to 8, but by then it was too late, and Robert Lee won by 9, 37-28.

High scorer for the Plowgirls was Mia Herrera with 9, followed by Olivia Saddler with 8, Sam Ortega with 5, Danielle Dean with 3, and Selena Perez with 3.

The Plowgirls’ next game is next Tuesday, November 18, at home against Colorado City.  The varsity game is scheduled to start at 6:30pm (JV girls at 4:00), but that could change. 



Ice in the birdbath.
The area got its first taste of winter with a cold front that blew in Monday night about midnight with rapidly falling temperatures and winds gusting up to 39mph.  In one hour the temperature went from 67° to 43°, a drop of twenty-four degrees, and by yesterday morning it was down to 30° to 32°, depending on location.  Then, the first hard freeze since last winter came early this morning as the temperature fell to 25°.  The high today is forecast to be only about 33° with a low tomorrow morning of around 22°.  Already, Monday afternoon’s 81° seems like a distant dream.

Tomorrow should also be very cold with a projected high of 35° and a low of about 25°.  Friday will be about ten degrees warmer with a high of 45° and a low of 35°.  Then, Saturday should be sunny and nice with a high of 60° before another front moves through, causing Sunday’s high to be only in the mid forties with a low of around thirty.

No rain has fallen in the past week, and none is in the forecast.  


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Blackland Smokehouse Under New Ownership

Amanda and Cole Fullwood
Cole and Amanda Fullwood are the new owners of the Blackland Smokehouse in downtown Roscoe.  They bought the restaurant from Randy and  Fonda Williams last Monday and took over the operation on Tuesday.  They are planning no major changes and will be serving the same barbecue the Blackland Smokehouse has come to be known for.

They will be serving something special on Fridays.  This past week it was pulled pork tacos.  Their hours are 11:00am-2:00pm Tuesdays through Fridays, Friday evenings from 5:00-8:00pm, and Saturdays from 11:00-2:30pm.

Cole, the son of Scott and Lisa Fullwood, graduated from Highland High School in 2005.  Amanda is from Sweetwater and graduated from Sweetwater High, also in 2005.



Shoppers in the Wildflower Boutique at last year's Open House.
Christmas Open House, the Sunday afternoon shopping event that went over so well last year, is back for an encore.  Between 1:00 and 5:00pm, it will include most of Roscoe’s downtown businesses: Vickie’s Gifts, Wildflower Boutique, Southern Belle Salon, the Turquoise Toad, the Lumberyard, McVey’s Nursery, and possibly others.

The event features shopping, refreshments, and door prizes.

The Roscoe Community Center will also host Trades Day that afternoon as well as the day before at its regular time of 8am-4pm.  To reserve a spot or for more information, contact Connie Baize at 325-338-1287.



The Plowboy offense against Menard Friday evening.
Roscoe’s tendency to start slowly cost them Friday night, as they let a good team like Menard (7-1 on the year coming into the game) get a quick jump on them that they were never able to overcome.  On Menard’s third play from scrimmage, their big running back Grant Emmons ran for about sixty yards down the field before being stopped, and two plays later he ran it in for a TD from nine yards out.  The extra point was good, and the Yellow Jackets were ahead 7-0.

Roscoe responded with a long drive down the field deep into Menard territory, but then Vincent Pantoja fumbled, a Yellow Jacket caught the loose ball on the bounce and dashed down the sidelines 70 yards for another touchdown.  The extra point was again good, and the score at the end of the quarter was 14-0 Menard.  Then, a couple of minutes later, Menard scored another TD when Eddie Duque ran to paydirt from 21 yards out.  After the extra point, the Yellow Jackets were up 21-0, despite the fact that the two teams seemed to be fairly evenly matched otherwise.

The final minutes of the second quarter were all Roscoe, though, as they scored two touchdowns, the first a 56-yard pass play from Cutter Davila to Kevin Lavalais, and the second a 24-yard run by Pantoja.  The momentum had shifted, and what had looked like a rout was now a ball game.  At halftime, the score was 21-14 Menard.

Menard received the second half kickoff and drove down the field into Plowboy territory.  Roscoe then held them for three consecutive plays, but then on a fourth and goal from the 21, Menard scored again on a touchdown pass to Emmons.  The extra point was no good, but the Yellow Jackets had extended their lead to 27-14.  Nevertheless, the Plowboys once again fought back and before the end of the third quarter scored again, this time on a four-yard pass from Davila to Max Nemir.  The extra point attempt was no good, but the score was now 27-20.

In the fourth quarter, Menard scored their final TD on a 39-yard run by Emmons.  They then attempted a two-point conversion that failed.  At the time, it didn’t seem to make any difference, but it could turn out to have major implications in determining the district runner-up, as you shall read below.  In any case, that pretty well finished off the Plowboys for the evening, who were unable to score any more, and Menard ran the clock out to win the game 33-20.

However, despite the 13-point loss to Menard, there is still a chance that the Plowboys could wind up as district runner-up, although for that to happen, three games this weekend will have to end a certain way; namely, Winters must beat Menard, Miles must beat Roby, and Roscoe must beat Bronte.

Winters and Menard play one another for the district title in Menard on Friday.  Winters is currently 4-0 in district play while Menard is 3-1, their district loss coming at the hands of Miles last week 36-10.  If Menard beats Winters, then they both finish 4-1 in district and are the champion and runner-up.  On the other hand, if Winters wins, they will be outright district champs, and Menard will be 3-2 along with Roscoe and Miles, assuming that Miles (2-2) beats Roby (1-3) and Roscoe (2-2) beats Bronte (0-4).

In case of such a three-way tie, the tiebreaker is computed like this: a team that beats another by 15 points gets +1, a team that loses to another by 15 gets -1, and any other win counts as 0.  Miles beat Menard 36-10 for +1, but lost to Roscoe 26-8 for -1, so Miles winds up with 0.  Roscoe beat Miles 26-8 for +1 and lost to Menard 33-20 for 0, so Roscoe winds up with +1.  Menard beat Roscoe 33-20 for 0 and lost to Miles 36-10 for -1, so Menard winds up -1.  So, then, if Menard loses to Winters to finish district play at 3-2, Miles beats Roby to finish 3-2, and Roscoe defeats Bronte also to finish 3-2,  then Roscoe will win the tiebreaker and will qualify for the playoffs as the district runner-up.

The Plowboys’ final regular season game is with Bronte in Bronte Friday evening.  Kickoff is at 7:30pm, and the Plowboys need to win.  Go, Plowboys!



Roscoe Police Officer Steven Spencer made another bust on I-20 last week.  On Thursday afternoon, he conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle in which the driver was a 27-year-old man from Pennsylvania.  The actions of the driver caused Spencer to suspect illegal activity, and he obtained consent to search the vehicle.  In a natural void in the trunk area, he located a large bundle that turned out to be marijuana.  He arrested the driver, who was then booked by the Nolan County Sheriff’s Office on a state jail felony (6 months to 2 years and a $2,000-$10,000 fine) charge for possession of more than four ounces and less than five pounds of a controlled substance.

Officer Spencer also wants everyone to be aware of a new kind of scam that is currently being used on people, especially the elderly.  Criminals are using the Internet to locate obituaries in which they can learn of relationships that intended victims have.  They will then contact someone and say that some relative is in the hospital or jail in some place like Mexico or Jamaica and needs money immediately to save their lives or to get out of jail or something similar.  The victim is urged to wire them money, but of course the money goes to the criminals.  This scam has been perpetrated on people in Nolan County.  Officer Spencer also wants to remind people never to give out vital information about themselves (social security or credit card numbers, bank account numbers, internet usernames or passwords, etc.) to anyone who contacts them and asks for it, even if they say they are from a bank or other legitimate organization or corporation.  A real bank will never ask someone to disclose that kind of information over the telephone. 



Voters and Election Volunteers in the Community Center yesterday.
Surprise, surprise.  The Republicans took almost all the state offices in yesterday's General Election.  If you thought Wendy Davis would win the Governor's race or Leticia Van de Putte the Lieutenant Governor's, or that Kinky Friedman would become Texas Commissioner of Agriculture via write-in votes, then you're obviously delusional.  

However, I don't think you could have expected as close a race as the one for Nolan County Judge.  With just 16 provisional votes countywide remaining to be verified, Whitley May (R) has a three-vote lead over Peter Sheridan (D) at 1312 to 1309.

Despite the general lack of suspense, there was a big turnout for a midterm election for Nolan County Precinct 6 in the Community Center yesterday.  In all, there were 331 votes in Precinct 6 and 2,714 countywide.  Here's the breakdown for the main races:

                                                                     Precinct 6         Nolan County
U. S. Senate
John Cornyn (R)                                                268                          2046

David Alameel (D)                                               47                             417
Rebecca Paddock (L)                                            7                               78
Emily Sanchez (G)                                                   4                               26

U. S. House of Representatives
Randy Neugebauer (R)                                     247                          1955
Neal Marchbanks (D)                                            63                           490

Chip Peterson (L)                                                   16                             144

Greg Abbott (R)                                                   273                          2088
Wendy Davis (D)                                                    51                             471
Kathie Glass (L)                                                         4                               26
Brandon Parmer (G)                                                1                               15

Lieutenant Governor
Dan Patrick (R)                                                     258                           1985
Leticia Van de Putte (D)                                        61                            485
Robert Butler (L)                                                        9                              90
Chandrakantha Courtney (G)                                0                                7

Nolan County Judge
Whitley May (R)                                                    178                         1312
Peter Sheridan (D)                                                152                         1309

District Clerk
Jamie Clem (R)                                                      225                          1834
Jerry Lou Hunt (D)                                               100                           758



Chris Cagle
Your only chance to see country music star Chris Cagle live could very well be his appearance at the Lumberyard Friday night.  The noted Nashville songwriter and singer is on an American tour and will stop over here on his way from a show in Houston to another in Kansas.

Born in De Ridder, Louisiana, Cagle grew up in Sugar Land and Baytown, Texas.  After graduating from high school, he attended UT-Arlington for a year and performed at nearby clubs.  In 1994, he moved to Nashville, where he worked odd jobs until he got his start writing songs for David Kersh.  His first album, Play It Loud (2000) featured “My Love Goes On and On,” which reached number 15 on Hot Country Songs, and “I Breathe In, I Breathe Out,” which reached number one.

Since then, he has produced four more studio albums: Chris Cagle, Anywhere But Here, My Life’s Been a Country Song, and Back in the Saddle, as well as one compilation, The Best of Chris Cagle. 

Top singles include “My Love Goes On and On,” “Laredo,” “I Breathe In, I Breathe Out,” “What a Beautiful Day,” “Chicks Dig It,” “Miss Me Baby,” “What Kinda Gone,” “Got My Country On,” and Let There Be Cowgirls.”

The show begins at around 9:30.  Tickets are $20. For reservations or more information, phone the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Yesterday's rain created a big puddle in my driveway.
It’s been a mixed bag for the weather this past week with some days sunny, some partly cloudy, and some completely cloudy.  High temperatures have varied from 80°F last Thursday to only 64° yesterday—and that was at midnight.  During the day yesterday, temperatures were mostly in the high forties.  Lows have ranged from 61° on Monday to 40° Saturday morning.  Winds went from light breezes up to Friday to downright windy (with gusts in the 30-36mph range) starting on Saturday and continuing through yesterday.

But of course the big news for the week was the rain we got, starting at about 3:00am early yesterday morning and continuing all day long yesterday.  It varied between a drizzle and light rain most of the day with only occasional heavier downpours, but it all added up to somewhere between one and a half and two inches, enough to drench everything and create puddles all over town and in the fields.

The forecast is for continued cool and mostly cloudy weather today with a high of 58° and a low of 42° with a 20% chance of more rain.  Tomorrow the sun will come back out and high temperatures will rise into the upper sixties and remain that way through the weekend.  Lows will be in the forties.

After today, no more chances of precipitation are in the forecast.


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