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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.


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