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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

RHS/RCHS Homecoming 2021 This Weekend

Roscoe High School exes will gather from far and wide this weekend for RHS/RCHS Homecoming 2021 to renew acquaintances and friendships with old classmates they once knew well and saw on a daily basis.

There will be plenty of things to see and do—a pep rally, a football game with the crowning of high school royalty, a downtown parade, coffees, lunches, a cornhole tournament, and live music and dancing, among other activities.

Here is the final schedule for RHS/RCHS Homecoming 2021:

HOMECOMING!
ROSCOE COLLEGIATE HIGH SCHOOL
SEPTEMBER 24 & 25, 2021
 
FRIDAY

1:30 pm           EXES RECEPTION & REGISTRATION in
                          Special Events Center

2:40pm           PEP RALLY - New Gym, Special Events Center

4:00-7:30pm POTATO BAKE – $8 plate Special Events Center  
                          Concession Area. Hosted by RCHS Band Boosters

7:00 pm           PLOWBOYS vs. NEW HOME LEOPARDS
                          Watch RHS Ex, Jake Freeman, as he coaches
                           the Plowboys to a BIG WIN!!
                           Band will perform during halftime and
                           Homecoming court will be announced.

8pm-9:30pm  VISITATION, COFFEE & REFRESHMENTS will
                           be held in the Special Events indoor Concession
                           Area, just east of the Football Concession.
                                 
SATURDAY

8:30-9:30am  COFFEE & DONUTS - Roscoe Community Center on
                         Broadway & Bois d’arc. Come have Coffee & visit with
                         old & new friends. Hosted by Roscoe School Board.

10am                PARADE – Downtown Roscoe
                          For more information on a float entry, call Misty
                          Reynolds @ 325-338-1005

11am-2:30       SILENT AUCTION – School Cafetorium

11:30-1:30       LUNCH - $12. Enchilada stack w/beans, rice, drink,
                          and dessert – School Cafetorium. Prepared by Juan
                          and Janie Abrigo. Sponsored by Roscoe State Bank.

1:30-2:30         SHORT PROGRAM & VISIT WITH FRIENDS
                           School Cafetorium.

2:30pm            SILENT AUCTION ENDS

2:30-??             THE COMMUNITY CENTER will be open and
                           available for anyone who needs a place to meet with
                           classmates.  Coffee & tea will be available, but any
                           snacks will be on you.
                           ROSCOE HISTORICAL MUSEUM & local businesses
                           will also be open for the afternoon.

6:00pm            FAJITA DINNER & CORNHOLE TOURNAMENT
                           Old Town Park across from City Hall (100 Cypress)
                           For more info, contact Geory Martin 325-242-0130.
                           Hosted by PLOWBOY ATHLETIC BOOSTERS

7:30-11:30       FREE OLD TIME STREET DANCE “on the bricks”
                          Downtown Roscoe - 419 SWING BAND - Live Music
                          (A mix of Traditional Country and Western Swing)

EVERYONE IS WELCOME TO ATTEND ALL MEALS & EVENTS
 
--o--

PLOWBOYS STUN CHRISTOVAL 42-30

Seth Wilcox (4) is on his way to the Plowboys' first touchdown.

The Plowboys are on a roll. They have now won three games in a row, and their biggest win of the season so far came Friday evening as they surprised the Christoval Cougars 42-30.

The contest was one of the most exciting any fan could hope to witness. There were lead changes, long drives, big plays, turnovers, quick strikes, touchdowns called back by penalties, defensive goal-line stands, and a fight to the finish—in short, just about everything that makes a football game fun to watch.

It was also another one of those games that no one gave the Plowboys a chance to win. All the Abilene sportswriters picked Christoval, just as they all had done with Stamford two games earlier. Their picks came as no surprise. After all, the Cougars made it to the regional finals last year and returned most of the starters from that team. As a result, they’ve been in the state’s top ten for class 2A-II all season and were ranked number 7 entering Friday’s game.

And that status seemed well deserved with the way the game began. The Plowboys received the kickoff, went three and out, and punted. The Cougars took over on their own 34 and began a long drive that took up half the quarter. However, the Plowboys finally held them on downs and took over only to go three and out again. This time, the Plowboy punt was hurried and went almost straight up against a stiff south breeze. When it landed, it bounced backwards, resulting in a punt of zero yards. Christoval took over on the Plowboy 38 and drove to the 9, where an end-around run resulted in a touchdown, an extra-point kick, and a Cougar lead of 7-0 with 1:16 left in the quarter. After the kickoff, the Plowboys started on their own 23, and on the first play from scrimmage, Antonio Aguayo threw a long pass to Seth Wilcox, who took it all the way for a 77-yard touchdown and the evening’s first surprise. The extra-point kick was wide, but the score was 7-6, and the Plowboys were in the game.

The Cougars took the Plowboy kickoff, and, as the second quarter began, drove from their own 34 to the Plowboy 23, where a completed pass to the end zone and an extra point put them back on top 14-6. On the next Plowboy drive, a Cougar intercepted a Plowboy pass and returned it for an apparent touchdown, but a penalty negated it. The next time Christoval got the ball, they fumbled, the Plowboys recovered and drove to the 7, where Aguayo ran it in to narrow the score to 14-12. Later, the Plowboys started from the 48 and moved to the Cougar 8, where Aguayo went around left end for another TD. This time the extra-point run was good, and at halftime the Plowboys led 20-14.

The third quarter began slowly before turning into a wild sequence of events with three lead changes and three touchdowns in four plays. The Plowboys kicked off and the Cougars went three and out and punted to the Plowboys who did the same. The Cougars then drove from their own 21 to the Plowboy 37, where their big running back, Fava, ran right up the middle for a touchdown to tie the game. The extra-point run was good and Christoval was back on top, 22-20. They then kicked off, and Aguayo returned it 85 yards up the right sideline for a Plowboy touchdown. The extra-point try was again no good, but the Plowboys were ahead 26-22. Aguayo then kicked the ball through the end zone, and the Cougars began on their own 25. On the first play, Fava again broke loose and ran 75 yards for a touchdown. The extra-point run was good, and the Cougars were back on top 30-26. Then, both sides had scoreless possessions until late in the quarter when Ivan McCann ran 36 yards for another Plowboy TD, breaking a couple of tackles on the way. This time the extra-point run was good, and the Plowboys retook the lead 34-30, which was the score at quarter’s end.

In the fourth quarter, the Cougars were driving, but the Plowboys intercepted a pass. They went to the Cougar 35, where Watts threw a pass to a wide-open Lupe Leaños, who took it in for an apparent touchdown, but a penalty brought it back. A few plays later a Plowboy pass was intercepted in the end zone and the Cougars took over. Then, from the 10-yard line, the Cougar quarterback faded back to throw a pass and was sacked in the end zone for a two-point Plowboy safety, making the score 36-30 Plowboys. The Plowboys took the kick on their own 34 and moved to the Cougar 13, where McCann ran untouched into the end zone. The extra-point try was no good, but the Plowboys now had a 12-point lead, 42-30. However, since the Cougars had made several big plays for touchdowns, no one could relax with four minutes left in the game as they made a final attempt to score. The Plowboys held, though, until time expired, and they were able to celebrate a shocking upset, which no doubt has raised eyebrows of football fans all over west Texas.  

Scoring by quarters:
                           1          2          3          4          T
Christoval        7          7         16         0          30
Plowboys         6         14        14         8          42

Total stats for the two teams were very close. The Plowboys amassed 375 total yards in the game to Christoval’s 368 and 14 first downs to Christoval’s 15. The Plowboys had 60 yards in penalties and Christoval 63. The big difference was in the number of turnovers. The Plowboys had only one, an interception, while Christoval had 4, 1 fumble and 3 interceptions.

Jax Watts completed 7 of 12 passes for 104 yards with 1 interception, and Antonio Aguayo completed 1 of 1 for 77 yards and a TD. The leading receiver was Seth Wilcox with 2 catches for 83 yards and 1 TD. Aguayo caught 5 for 34 yards, and Lupe Leaños caught 1 for 31 yards.

Ivan McCann led all rushers with 19 carries for 114 yards and 2 TDs. Aguayo had 19 carries for 78 yards and 2 TDs, and Tyler Guelker had 4 carries for 10 yards.

On defense, Watts had 2 interceptions and Guelker had 1.

Plowboys vs. New Home for Homecoming

The Plowboys can’t let up this week as they face another good team for Homecoming. Like the Plowboys, the New Home Leopards are a 2A-II school and 3-1 for the year. Last Friday, they defeated Floydada (2A-I) 34-20 and also have victories over Plains (2A-II) 47-8 and Compass Academy (3A-II, a charter school in Odessa) 53-0. Their only loss so far was to Lubbock Roosevelt (3A-II) 49-0.

Texas Football picks them to finish second this year in District 2-2A-II. The other teams are Smyer, Sudan, Ropesville, and Bovina. The Leopards return 5 starters on both offense and defense and were 5-5 last year. For those who don’t know, New Home is a small town (pop. 361) between Lubbock and Tahoka, 109 miles northwest of Roscoe.

Kickoff at Plowboy Field is at 7:00pm.

--o--
 
HOW THE PLOWBOYS GOT THEIR NAME

The 1926 Roscoe Ploughboys (The first existing mention of the team name)
Before 1925, Roscoe High School’s football teams had no team names or colors and were simply referred to as Roscoe or Roscoe High, and the same lack of team names and colors was true of other schools as well. Sweetwater High’s football team was called the Salty Pups, but it was just a nickname and not officially recognized by the school. In the early 1920s other schools began to adopt team names and colors, and many Roscoe students wanted to do the same. My dad, who graduated from RHS in 1921, said that many of his friends wanted to call the team the Wildcats with the colors of black and gold, but nothing ever came of it.

However, according to what I heard while growing up, around 1924 a couple of Roscoe football players, one of them Sam Fitzhugh, went on to become stars at Tarleton State, then known as John Tarleton Agricultural College. Right before a school holiday, the Tarleton coach asked them what they were going to do over the break. When they told him they were going to Roscoe, he said, “Bring me back a couple more of those Roscoe plowboys.” The story got around, people liked it, and so they decided to name the school’s team the Plowboys.

An interesting fact about Tarleton is that they named their team the same year, and they also became the Plowboys with the colors purple and white. According to their website, they got the name when the coach, William J. Wisdom, suddenly thought of the name Plowboys as he walked across campus. Could it be that the reason he thought of the name came from his request to his Roscoe players? That’s not mentioned in the official Tarleton history, but the connection certainly seems more than coincidental. Concerning the school colors, Roscoe’s adoption of purple and white is said to come from the suggestions of the same Roscoe players who were on the Tarleton team at that time.

Tarleton’s colors are still purple and white, but their team name is no longer the Plowboys and hasn’t been since 1961 when they changed it to the Texans. As far as I know, Roscoe is the only school in Texas (or any other state) that has that team name, and I strongly suspect that the only Plowgirls are also the ones in Roscoe.

--o--

COVID-19 NUMBERS SHOW SOME IMPROVEMENT

In the United States, new cases and hospitalizations are beginning to drop in most states, including hard-hit southern states such as Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, but they are still rising in others such as Alaska, West Virginia, Kentucky, Montana, and Wyoming.

In Texas, the numbers are beginning to decrease. As of yesterday, 11,210 Texans were hospitalized with Covid-19, compared to 12,973 last week and 13,499 two weeks ago. The number of new cases also fell again this week with a 7-day average of 2,198 fewer than last week. The number of active cases in Texas has also fallen to 290,799 compared to 303,932 last week. .

The number of deaths, however, continued to increase slightly with a seven-day average of 20 more deaths than last week, and ICU shortages continue to be a problem.  

In Taylor County, the number of active cases is slightly higher at 2,525 compared to 2,493 a week ago. In Abilene, there are 93 Covid-19 hospitalizations, 4 less than week’s 97, with 30 of those in the ICU compared to 20 a week ago. Taylor County reported 5 more Covid-19 deaths Monday, which makes 32 so far for the month of September.

In our four-county area, all four counties have shown improvement over last week. Nolan County now reports 153 active cases, 54 less than last week’s 207; Mitchell County has 47 active cases, 13 fewer than last week’s 60; Fisher County has 9 active cases, 1 less than last week’s 10; and Scurry County has 185 active cases, 81 less than last week’s 266. Nolan County reports 48 total Covid-19 deaths with 11 of those so far this month.

Roscoe Collegiate ISD has no infected students or staff and only 3 students in quarantine.  Two are in Early Childhood and the other is in Elementary.

Here are the estimated active cases of the Big Country’s counties (compared to last week’s number in parentheses): Brown, 411 (481); Howard, 292 (318); Scurry, 185 (266); Erath, 155 (153); Nolan, 153 (207); Stephens, 108 (109); Coke, 52 (64); Jones, 50 (140); Mitchell, 47 (60); Eastland, 45 (27); Comanche, 38 (44); Callahan, 35 (37); Haskell, 13 (5); Runnels, 9 (36); Fisher, 9 (10); Coleman, 5 (16); Shackelford, 4 (4); Stonewall, 2 (3); Kent, 2 (0);Knox, 1 (3); Throckmorton, 0 (0). The total of all these counties is 1,626, a drop of 357 from last week’s 1,983. Last week had a drop of 145 from the previous week, so the numbers are going in the right direction in the Big Country.  

Selected west Texas counties’ estimated active cases (with last week’s in parentheses): Lubbock 5,175 (4,568); Midland 2,266 (2,676); Ector (Odessa) 1,945 (1,940), Tom Green (San Angelo) 1,648 (1,735); Wichita (Wichita Falls) 2,114 (2,032). Last week’s total for these more populated counties was 12,951. Now it is 13,235, a gain of 284. So these more populated counties are on the whole still having their problems with active cases.

--o--

WEATHER REPORT: AUTUMN ARRIVES

Saturday morning's sunrise.
According to the astronomers, fall will begin this afternoon at exactly 2:21pm. That’s the brief moment when day and night are almost exactly equal everywhere on earth. However, according to that cold front that blew in Monday night, fall began the moment the norther arrived in Roscoe with its strong north wind that continued into the day yesterday. And what a change it was! For the temperature, summer became fall in a very short time.

Monday was a blazer, reaching 104°F according to the Weather Channel. I checked the forecast that morning and was amused by the prediction that gave a 1% chance of rain along with a high of 102°. But that afternoon when the temperature had exceeded the forecast, I went outside to water my garden and was surprised by a small cloud overhead that sprinkled hard enough to get me wet.

Then about an hour later, around 7 o’clock, the winds really picked up—and it actually rained for about five minutes. It wasn’t much—a tenth of an inch at most—but it meant that it had rained in Roscoe when the chance for precipitation was 1%. How often does that happen? Unfortunately, that’s the most rain we’ve got so far this September, a month that averages over three inches.

The late summer continued almost right up to the end. The high this past week was in the nineties every day except Monday when it was 104°. Up until the norther arrived, the low for the week was Saturday’s 66°, but early yesterday morning the temperature had dropped to 52°, and with the stiff breeze, felt even colder than that.

The forecast for the next few days is for slightly cooler weather and continued sunny or mostly sunny skies. The high today should reach 83°, warming to 89° tomorrow, 90° on Friday and Saturday, and 92° on Sunday and Monday. Lows should be a little more like fall, though, with early mornings dropping into the upper fifties and low sixties.

Unfortunately, there is no rain in the forecast, not until next Tuesday, that is, when there is a 38% chance of afternoon thundershowers.

--o--

† MATTHEW CLARK, JR.

Graveside service for Matthew Clark, Jr., 59, of Sweetwater and Roscoe, will be today, Wednesday, September 22, at 10:00am at Roscoe Cemetery with son-in-law Matt Gentry officiating. He passed away on Monday, September 20, at Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital.

Matthew Clark, Jr., was born on June 9, 1962, in Sweetwater to parents Matthew, Sr., and Alice Clark. He married Mina Francis on November 25, 1989, in Roscoe. He lived most of his life in Nolan County. He loved to fish every chance he got and loved to barbecue and crack jokes and to go camping and always smiled. He loved people and plants and family.  

Survivors are his wife, Mina Clark; daughter, Jennifer Gentry; son, Luke Clark; granddaughter, Lauryn Gentry; and son-in-law, Matt Gentry.

Pallbearers are Little Ronny Williams, Mark McCann, Freddie Clark, Matt Gentry, and Billy Clark.

--o--

† EDWIN GEORGE ALTHOF, JR.

Graveside services for Edwin George Althof, Jr., 89, of Henrietta, Texas, will be at 2:00 pm Friday, September 24, in the Roscoe Cemetery with Phillip Tomlin officiating. McCoy Funeral Home is in charge of local arrangements. He passed away on Monday, September 20.

Visitation will be today, September 22, at Davis Funeral Home in Henrietta 6:00 to 7:30pm.

Edwin was born on March 25, 1932, in Roscoe to Edwin and Esther Althof, Sr. He served his country in the US Army during the Korean Conflict and married Johnnie Ova (Kemper) on December 9, 1972, in Roswell, New Mexico. Edwin was a member of the Henrietta Church of Christ and a member of the Roscoe Lions Club. He worked most of his life as a farmer.

Edwin was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Wilbert Althof, Raymond Althof, and Clarence Althof; and sister, Elnora Peters.

Survivors include his wife Johnnie of Henrietta; son, Edwin Russell Althof and wife Tamyra of Tucson, Arizona; stepdaughter, Becky Baber and husband Bill of Byers, Texas; stepson, Wyndel Culp and wife Deha of Lamesa; grandchildren, Hannah Althof and Emily Hunt and husband Cole, Jason Baber and wife Heather, Byron Baber and wife Kim and Tye Baber and wife Audra, Kylia Marshall and husband Andrew, Maggie Miller and Dallie Miller; six great-grandchildren; and sister, Frances Hughes.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the charity of your choice.

--o--

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Plowboys Maul Miles 43-24

The Plowboys made it two in a row Friday night when they defeated Miles in Miles 43-24. They are now 2-1 for the season.

They jumped out to an early lead, scoring first when Jax Watts completed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Seth Wilcox. The extra-point try failed, but the Plowboys were ahead 6-0. Miles came right back, though, and tied the game 6-6 on a 37-yard pass play. Before the end of the quarter, the Plowboys scored again, this time on a 2-yard run by Ivan McCann, and a successful two-point conversion made it 14-6, a lead the Plowboys would hold for the rest of the game.

In the second quarter, the Plowboys made two more touchdowns while holding the Bulldogs scoreless.  Wilcox ran 75-yards for the first to put the Plowboys up 20-6., and Antonio Aguayo went in from the one for the second. He also ran for the two-point conversion, and at halftime the Plowboys had a commanding lead, 28-6.

In the third quarter, the Bulldogs made a comeback, scoring twice and holding the Plowboys scoreless. Their first came on a 33-yard run and the second on a 98-yard punt return. They failed to convert either extra-point try, however, but at quarter’s end had narrowed the score to 28-18.

Then, in the final stanza, the Plowboys pulled away. McCann scored on a 37-yard pass play from Watts to put the Plowboys up 35-18, and Aguayo was on the receiving end of another 37-yard Watts pass play for the other, increasing the score to 43-18. The Bulldogs scored last to narrow it to 43-24, the game’s final score, but the Plowboys had come away with another convincing victory.

Scoring by quarters:
                          1          2         3          4          T
Roscoe            14        14        0        15         43
Miles                6          0        12        6          24

The Plowboys gained 366 total yards for the game, 205 by passing and 161 by running, while Miles had 282, 166 by passing and 116 by running. The Plowboys had 14 first downs, and Miles 15. The Plowboys had only 1 turnover, an interception, while Miles had 3, 1 fumble and 2 interceptions. The Plowboys had 93 penalty yards and the Bulldogs 36.

Seth Wilcox led the Plowboys in rushing with 3 carries for 69 yards and 1 TD. Ivan McCann had 13 carries for 47 yards and 1 TD, Tyler Guelker had 4 carries for 35 yards, and Antonio Aguayo had 4 carries for 10 yards and 1 TD.

Jax Watts had 14 pass completions in 23 attempts for 181 yards and 3 TDs, while Aguayo passed twice for no completions. Aguayo was the leading receiver with 6 catches for 67 yards and 1 TD, followed by Guelker with 3 catches for 57 yards, McCann with 3 for 56 and 1 TD, and Wilcox with 2 for 27 and 1 TD.

On defense, both McCann and Guelker had interceptions, 1 each.

Plowboys Face Christoval Here Friday

After two games on the road, the Plowboys return to Plowboy Field Friday with another tall order to fill. After facing Hawley, the state’s 2A-I fifth-ranked team in the opener, the Plowboys will face Christoval, the state’s 2A-II seventh-ranked team, for their second home game.

Christoval is loaded again this year. The team is 3-0 after wins over Wink 14-6, San Angelo Grape Creek 55-0, and Sonora 33-14. Texas Football magazine predicts them to repeat as District 14-2A-II champions. Last year, they were 12-2 on the year, undefeated in district, and made it to the regional finals before their season ended. This year, they return 8 starters on offense and 9 on defense from that team.

On offense, the Cougars are led by quarterback Kyle Loehman, running back Josh Fava, and wide receiver Beau Jolly. On defense, they are led by linebacker Jake Boness and defensive back Jolly.

Kickoff at Plowboy Field is 7:00pm.

--o--

CITY COUNCIL HEARS REPORTS, ADOPTS BUDGET

City Manager Cody Thompson reports to the City Council.
At its monthly meeting in City Hall last night, the City Council heard reports from the City Manager and Chief of Police, discussed with a resident concerns about a city ordinance, approved 2020-21 budget amendments, adopted the 2021-22 budget, and set the property tax rate.

City resident Joe Velasquez, whose situation had been discussed in a previous council meeting, asked for clarification about what he would need to do with his business at 500 Bois d’Arc to avoid legal problems with the City. He received several suggestions from Council members as well as statements from City Attorney Zollie Steakley concerning the legal processes involved.    

City Manager Cody Thompson updated the Council on City matters. He said the American Relief Funds from the Texas Division of Emergency Management should be received within the next few days. He said the money would come in halves, the first $150,000 now and the other $150,000 later. He said he hoped the City would be able to use some of the funds for swimming pool repair.

He said funds are earmarked for fire hydrant and water valve replacements as well as some needed water line replacements that don’t require prior state approval. He said the work would not be done by city employees but would be contracted out.

On Thursday morning, engineers and contractors will hold a meeting at the City Swimming Pool for an onsite visit.  

TxDOT (Texas Department of Transportation) has completed plans for relocating the 8” sanitary sewer main on the south side of I-20 service road. The relocation is necessary for the upcoming re-alignment of I-20. TxDOT will provide funding for the project, and the bidding and relocation should begin within the next couple of months.

The West Texas Wind Festival is being planned for October 16, but certain specifics, including the headline music artist for the event, have not yet been determined.

City Police Chief Felix Pantoja gave the Police Report for the month of August, saying the Department had handled 88 calls, made 3 arrests, given 8 code-violation warnings, and issued 3 citations. He said the new Tahoe police vehicle is back from the shop with new equipment but still lacks prisoner petition cages.

The Council approved a request from Linda Hatcher and Aaron Brown to place banners downtown for school activities.

After some discussion, the Council approved the proposed 2020-2021 budget amendments on a vote of 2 to 1 with 1 abstention.

The Council approved the adoption of the 2021-2022 budget.

The Council then approved City Ordinance No. 156, which sets the City property tax rates for the 2021-2022 budget year. Tax for the General Fund will be $0.540980 per $100 valuation, and for Debt Service $.0203756 per $100 valuation. These are the same amounts as for the current year, so no one’s taxes will change in the coming year unless there is a reassessment of their property’s value.

--o--

PLOWGIRLS FINISH SECOND AT COLEMAN MEET

The varsity Plowgirls were runners-up at the Cross-Country meet in Coleman on Monday. Zoey Welch placed fifth. They were competing against about fifteen schools.

The junior high girls competed well with Sophie Gleaton, Nyleen Aguilar, and Kennedy Baker all placing in the top ten.

The next meet for the varsity will be the Lubbock Invitational on September 25. The junior high team will compete next Wednesday, September 22, at Merkel.

--o--

COVID-19 NUMBERS STILL HIGH BUT BETTER TREATMENT IS NOW AVAILABLE LOCALLY

The Delta variant of Covid-19 continues to be a problem on the national, state, and local levels. On the national level, the hardest-hit states are those of the old South along with Oklahoma, Kentucky, West Virginia, and Wyoming. These are also states with low vaccination rates.

In terms of vaccinations, Texas is right in the middle, ranking 25th of all the states with 72% of adults with at least one shot and 61% fully vaccinated. The number of hospitalizations statewide continues to decrease with 480 fewer patients than last week. As of yesterday, 12,973 Texans were hospitalized with Covid-19, compared to 13,499 last week. That’s a drop of 526 patients. The number of new cases also fell by 630 over the seven-day average of last week.

The number of deaths, however, continued to increase slightly with a seven-day average of 12 more deaths than last week. Active cases are also up at 303,932 compared to last week’s 287,279 and 275,121 two weeks ago. ICU shortages are also still a problem with some hospitals treating seriously ill patients in ambulances or makeshift shelters.  

In the Big Country, the number of active cases continues to rise. Taylor County reports 2,493 compared to 2,266 a week ago. In Abilene hospitals there are 97 Covid-19 hospitalizations, 3 less than week’s 100, with 20 of those in the ICU. Taylor County had 15 more Covid-19 deaths this last week with 4 of those yesterday.

The good news from Abilene is the monoclonal antibody treatment now available. Hendrick Health reports administering over 700 infusions to Covid-19 patients, and only 1% had to be admitted to the hospital. This is the same antibody therapy that was given to Donald Trump, Greg Abbott, and several other media personalities and politicians who tested positive. The degree of success Hendrick reports suggests it could be the answer to serious Covid-19 cases. The treatment is available to patients over the age of 12 who have tested positive and have a co-morbidity, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or obesity, or are over the age of 65. For details, read this article from today's Abilene Reporter-News.

In our four-county area, all four counties have shown improvement over last week. Nolan County now reports 207 active cases, 56 less than last week’s 263; Mitchell County has 60 active cases, 33 fewer than last week’s 93; Fisher County has 10 active cases, 5 less than last week’s 15; and Scurry County has 266 active cases, 37 less than last week’s 303.

Roscoe Collegiate ISD has 3 infected students and 3 others in quarantine in Secondary.  Early Childhood has 2 students in quarantine, and Elementary has 1 staff member in quarantine.

Here are the estimated active cases of the Big Country’s counties (compared to last week’s number in parentheses): Brown, 481 (441); Howard, 318 (273); Scurry, 266 (303); Nolan, 207 (263); Erath, 153 (175); Jones, 140 (140); Stephens, 109 (129); Mitchell, 60 (93); Coke, 64 (76); Comanche, 44 (52); Callahan, 37 (44); Runnels, 36 (42); Eastland, 27 (57); Coleman, 16 (9); Fisher, 10 (15); Shackelford, 4 (5); Haskell, 5 (2); Stonewall, 3 (2); Knox, 3 (1); Kent, 0 (0); Throckmorton, 0 (0). The total of all these counties last week was 2,122. Now it is 1,983. That’s a drop of 139 and that includes the gain of 85 in Brown and Howard Counties, so most of the lesser-populated counties in the Big Country are showing improvement. We’ll have to see if this trend continues.

Selected west Texas counties’ estimated active cases (with last week’s in parentheses): Lubbock 4,568 (4,355); Midland 2,676 (2,376); Ector (Odessa) 1,940 (1,955), Tom Green (San Angelo) 1,735 (1,573); Wichita (Wichita Falls) 2,032 (1,864). Last week’s total for these more populated counties was 12,123. Now it is 12,951.

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WEATHER REPORT: MORE HOT, DRY WEATHER

Yesterday's sunrise.
We’re only a week away from the autumnal equinox, but you wouldn’t know it from the weather as the hot, dry days more typical of August continue unabated for another September week. 

Highs were in the 90s with lows in the low 70s or mid-60s. Skies were mostly sunny, the wind was from the south or southeast, and once again, there was not even a hint of precipitation.

The high temperature for the week was Friday’s 98°F followed by Saturday’s 96°, and the low for the week was this morning’s 63°.

The weather for the upcoming seven days should be more of the same with plenty of sunshine, southerly winds, hot afternoons, and warm nights. Today’s high should be only 91°, but tomorrow will climb to 93° leading into a hot weekend with highs of 97° on Friday and Saturday and 96° on Sunday. Lows will range from 66° to 70°.

And, once again, there is no precipitation in the forecast.

--o--


Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Plowboys Shock Stamford 37-26

The Plowboys got their first victory of the year Friday at Stamford, upsetting the Bulldogs 37-26 at their homecoming celebration.

Stamford fans can’t be blamed for expecting the game to be an easy win for the home team. After all, the Bulldogs had beaten the Plowboys the last three years in a row, and all the Abilene sportswriters were predicting a Stamford victory. Stamford had also easily won their first game of the year over Hamlin 34-6, while Roscoe had lost theirs 34-14—and to top it all off, the Harris poll had the Plowboys as 31-point underdogs. But, as ESPN sportscaster Chris Berman always says, “That’s why they play the game,” and the Plowboys came away with a big win.

The Bulldogs scored first. The Plowboys received the opening kickoff and drove to the Stamford 11-yard line, but a fumble was recovered by the Bulldogs, who then put together a long drive and scored on a 21-yard pass play. The conversion attempt failed, but the Bulldogs led 6-0. However, Roscoe came right back and tied the game on a 5-yard run by Ivan McCann and took the lead when Antonio Aguayo’s extra-point kick was good. At the end of the first quarter, the score was 7-6.

Stamford went back on top in the second quarter on a 30-yard pass play. This time they converted the two-point attempt and led 14-7. Then a Plowboy drive was stopped at midfield, but Aguayo’s punt went all the way to the 2-yard line, and on Stamford’s second play, Aguayo tackled the ball carrier in the end zone for a 2-point safety, making the score 14-9. The Plowboys re-took the lead on their next drive when Aguayo scored from the four to make the score 16-14 Roscoe for a lead they would never relinquish. The Plowboys got another touchdown shortly before halftime when McCann ran it in from 2 yards out, making the halftime score 23-14.

Early in the third quarter, the Plowboy offense drove all the way to the Stamford 22 but once again fumbled. A Stamford player scooped up the ball and ran 77 yards for a touchdown, narrowing the score to 23-20. On Roscoe's next offensive series, Aguayo scored on a reverse play that covered 54 yards, putting the Plowboys up 30-20, which was also the score at the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, the Plowboys extended the lead to 37-20 on a drive ending in a Jake Gonzales 1-yard run. The Bulldogs made the game’s last touchdown to narrow the lead to 37-26, but it was too little too late, and the Plowboys came away with a convincing victory and a big upset few expected.

Scoring by quarters:
                           1          2          3          4          T
Roscoe              7          16        7          7          37
Stamford          6          8         6          6          26

For the game, Stamford had 17 first downs to the Plowboys’ 10, but the Plowboys had 320 total yards to Stamford’s 312. The Plowboys had only 2 turnovers, both fumbles, while Stamford had 4, 2 fumbles and 2 interceptions, one of them a leaping catch by Ivan McCann. Stamford also had 82 penalty yards to the Plowboys’ 51.

Antonio Aguayo led the Plowboy offense. He caught 4 passes for 73 yards and ran the ball 4 times for 62 yards and 2 TDs. He also kicked 5 extra points and scored a safety. Ivan McCann ran 10 times for 56 yards and 2 TDs and had 1 pass reception for 5 yards. Seth Wilcox caught 1 pass for 38 yards and ran twice for 32. Jake Gonzales had 11 carries for 45 yards and 1 TD, and Tyler Guelker ran 4 times for 9 yards.

Jax Watts completed 8 of 14 passes with 0 interceptions, although he did have 1 fumble.

Trace Guelker led the Plowboys on defense with 14 tackles, 10 of them solo. McCann had 13 with 7 solo, and Jake Gonzales had 11 with 6 solo. Jacob Kiser had 8, Reese Kiser 8, Tyler Guelker 8, Aguayo 6, and Keller Vinson and Peyton Friedman both had 5. Others included Michael Fulton 4, Britt Justice 4, Watts 3, Jake Madden 2, Wilcox 1, Parker Gleaton 1, Xavier Lopez 1, and David Diaz 1.

Plowboys Tackle Miles in Miles Friday

After their big win over Stamford, the Plowboys face another non-district opponent Friday when they take on Miles in Miles. The Bulldogs are a 2A-II school like the Plowboys and are in District 14 with Christoval, Menard, Eldorado, and two others. They return 8 starters on offense and 9 on defense from a team that went 3-8 last year. One of those victories was a 29-7 win over Roscoe, so the Plowboys have a score to settle with them this time around.

Texas Football picked Miles to finish fifth in district this year, just ahead of Menard, and they are currently 0-2. Their first game was a 24-0 loss to Coleman, which has a strong 2A-I team this year. That score, however, doesn’t look so bad until you learn that the game was called on account of lightning at the end of the first quarter. Then, this past week they lost 54-0 to Coahoma, also a good 3A-II team. On paper, it appears that the Plowboys have little to fear Friday—although they should keep in mind that that’s what Stamford thought this past week, and look at what happened to them!

--o--

CROSS-COUNTRY TEAM COMPETES IN BROWNWOOD, EULA

The RCHS Cross-Country team had two more good outcomes in their two most recent meets, the first the Brownwood Invitational last Wednesday and the second the Eula Invitational yesterday.

In the Brownwood Invitational, a huge meet with teams of schools of all sizes, the high school Plowgirls finished sixth of the 25 competing teams. Top finishers were Zoey Welch, who finished 4th and Jissel Rodriquez 13th out of 181 runners.

For the junior varsity Plowgirls, Jaiden Amador was 18th out of 90 runners. For the junior high Plowboys, Graham Gleaton finished 39th out of 137 runners.

Yesterday at Eula, the varsity Plowgirls placed 3rd out of 20 teams. Top finishers were Zoey Welch in 3rd, Jissel Rodriquez 8th, and Mahalia Calderon-Ruiz 18th out of 158 runners. The top varsity Plowboy was Graham Gleaton, who was 26th out of 112 runners.

The 8th grade girls placed 3rd overall out of 14 teams. Top finisher was Sophie Gleaton, who was 19th out of 110 runners.

--o--

REMEMBERING 9/11

There are certain public events in life that occur with such impact that anyone who lives through them always remembers where they were and what they were doing when they happened. Examples that spring to mind are Pearl Harbor, the Kennedy Assassination, the Moon Landing, and the Coming of the New Millennium on January 1, 2000.

Another one we will all be acutely aware of in the coming days is the one popularly known as 9/11, the day Al Qaeda terrorists commandeered four passenger jets and flew two into the Twin Towers in New York City, one into the Pentagon in Washington, DC, and yet another that the heroic actions of passengers caused to crash in rural Pennsylvania instead of the Capitol Building, where it was headed.

This Saturday, September 11, will mark the twentieth anniversary of that day that shocked the world and resulted in two long hard-fought wars that consumed this nation’s attention, resources, and sacrifices—one in Iraq and the other in Afghanistan, which has just ended after twenty long years.

Where were you when you heard the news?

I was at Towson University in Maryland that Tuesday morning about to begin my nine o’clock Medieval Literature class. A student came into the room and said a jet liner had just crashed into one of the Twin Towers in New York City.

Assuming it was some sort of accident, I went ahead and started class and didn’t think about it again until shortly later when a student came to the door and said another plane had just crashed into the other tower. At this point, we were all alarmed because the events could no longer be assumed to be accidental.

Not knowing what to do, I resumed with the class until another professor came to the door and said that yet another plane had crashed into the Pentagon, and that all classes were immediately cancelled by order of the university president.

The students dispersed and scattered, but a large number of the professors stayed in the building as the events unfolded that day, and I was one of them. It’s a day I’ll never forget, and I’m willing to bet the memory is impressed just as indelibly in your mind as it is in mine.

--o--

COVID 19 UPDATE: AREA SITUATION SERIOUS

In Texas, the number of Covid-19 hospitalizations decreased by 269 patients compared with a week ago. As of yesterday, the number was 13,499 compared to last week’s 13,768. That’s the good news.

The not-so-good news is the state’s ICU capacity continues to diminish. At least 95 of Texas’s some 200 hospitals with ICU units are filled to capacity. These include Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene and Brownwood (with Abilene Regional at 98%) and Rolling Plains (all 6 ICU units filled) in Sweetwater for the week from August 28-September 3.

New cases in Texas increased by 2,538 compared with the 7-day average of a week ago, and active cases are now at 287,879 compared to last week’s 275,121. The average number of deaths has also  increased by 47 over the 7-day average a week ago. Yesterday 128 new deaths were reported.

The numbers are also up in Taylor County. Active cases are now at 2,266. That’s 308 more than last week’s 1,958. In Abilene hospitals there are 100 Covid-19 hospitalizations, 10 less than week’s 110, with 20 of those in the ICU. The percentage of Covid-19 patients in the Abilene trauma area was at 19.10% on Monday. Taylor County has had 10 more Covid-19 deaths since last week and Brown County 4.

Of all 126 Hendrick Covid-19 patients (including Brownwood), 102 (81%) are not fully vaccinated. Of the 27 Covid-19 patients in ICU, 24 (89%) are not fully vaccinated.

In our four-county area, all four counties have more active cases than last week. Nolan County now reports 263 active cases, more than double last week’s 114; Mitchell County has 93 active cases, 23 more than last week’s 70; Fisher County has 15 active cases, 3 more than last week’s 12; and Scurry County has 303 active cases, 113 more than last week’s 190.

Roscoe Collegiate ISD has 6 infected students with 10 others (plus 1 staff) in quarantine. Of the 6, 4 are in Elementary, and 2 in Secondary.

Here are the estimated active cases the Big Country’s counties (compared to last week’s number in parentheses): Brown, 441 (387); Scurry, 303 (190); Howard, 273 (218); Nolan, 263 (114); Erath, 175 (119); Jones, 140 (130); Stephens, 129 (35); Mitchell, 93 (70); Coke, 76 (68); Eastland, 57 (37); Comanche, 52 (39); Callahan, 44 (17); Runnels, 42 (24); Fisher, 15 (12); Coleman, 9 (9); Shackelford, 5 (6); Haskell, 2 (3); Stonewall, 2 (1); Knox, 1 (2); Kent, 0 (0); Throckmorton, 0 (0). The total of all these counties last week was 1,484. Now it is 2,122.

Selected west Texas counties’ estimated active cases (with last week’s in parentheses): Lubbock 4,355 (4,186); Midland 2,376 (1.817); Ector (Odessa) 1,955 (1,925), Tom Green (San Angelo) 1,573 (1,834); Wichita (Wichita Falls) 1,864 (628). Last week’s total for these counties was 10,390. Now it is 12,123.

--o--

WEATHER REPORT: SUMMER HEAT, A SURPRISE SHOWER

Southern sky on Monday.
September began a week ago today, but you wouldn’t know it from the weather we got this past week, which was an unbroken continuation of the August heat spell. Every day had highs in the mid to upper nineties and morning lows in the seventies except for Sunday and Monday which fell to 69°F and 68° respectively. The hottest days were Wednesday and Saturday, which both reached 99°.

Yesterday in the middle of a hot afternoon just after five o’clock, the sun was shining and the temperature 95° when it started raining from a cloud that didn’t look like it was capable of doing it. The shower was not widespread, as the sky was clear west and north of town. (I haven’t heard what happened south of town.) The shower lasted about fifteen minutes, and I had .22” in my rain gauge when it was all over. It was the first precipitation of any kind that we’ve had in a while, so it was welcome. Here’s hoping it will be a primer for more.

The forecast is for a continuation of the hot spell. Today and tomorrow are expected to reach 96°, Friday 99°, Saturday 100°, and Sunday 96° with northeasterly winds today and southerly winds in the days following. Early morning lows will be in the high 60s all week, and skies will be clear or mostly clear.

There is no rain in the forecast.

--o--

† MATTIE LOUISE McWHIRTER

A private graveside service will be held for Mattie Louise Woodard, 82, at Georges Creek Cemetery in Glen Rose under the direction of McCoy Funeral Home of Sweetwater. She went home to Jesus on September 5, surrounded by her three daughters and her faithful dog Injee.

Louise was born in Cleburne on March 10, 1939, to Frank and Earline Woodard. She grew up playing with her brother Jimmy, who predeceased her in 2018, and their sister Sharon. During her childhood, Louise attended Westside Church in Cleburne, and later married the love of her life, H. C. “Mickey” McWhirter, in the same church on December 4, 1959. Louise and Mickey were blessed with three daughters: Valerie, Pamela, and Jill. While raising her family, Louise went back to school. She graduated in 1979 from Tarleton State University with honors and was able to fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher. She taught one year in Rio Vista and kindergarten for 20 years at Highland.

After retirement in 1998, Louise spent two years with her beloved husband Mickey, until his passing in November 2000. She then worked as a substitute teacher and long-term reading teacher at J. P. Cowan School in Sweetwater. In addition to her brother Jimmy and her husband Mickey, Louise was preceded in death by her parents.

She leaves behind a loving family, all of whom loved her dearly: her sister Sharon Clark (husband Larry), and daughters Valerie Shoemaker (Kurt), Pamela Hamer (Mitchell), and Jill Sims (Vance). Also, grandchildren Nolan Cornutt (Krisha), Mitch Cornutt, Sam Cornutt (Lacie), Katie (Chris Hartman), Chase Sims (Molly), Clint Sims, Miriam Bracken (Jim), and Jaeger Shoemaker. In addition, she is survived by nine great-grandchildren, three nieces, and one nephew.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Georges Creek Cemetery and to Hendrick Hospice of Abilene.

--o--

† ASCENSION “CHONITA” CASTILLO

Funeral services for Ascension "Chonita" Castillo, 76, of Sweetwater, were held at 2:00pm, yesterday, September 7, at Cate-Spencer & Trent Funeral Home Chapel with Johnny Deleon officiating. Burial followed at Roscoe Cemetery with graveside rites by Erik Almonte. She lost her battle with pancreatic cancer on Friday, September 3, in Prosper, Texas. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the early part of 2021 after over a year of searching for a diagnosis.

Ascension was born in Las Canoas, SLP, Mexico, moved to Roscoe in l969 and Sweetwater in 2006. After a ten-day courtship, she married Jose Eli Castillo, her husband of forty-two years. She gained a daughter, Janie, and he gained a daughter, Leonor. They later raised three other daughters, Rebecca, Elizabeth and JoAnna and granddaughter Vickie.

Ascension had a passion for gardening, loved shopping, and had a special talent for cooking. If there was any place she could spend all day, she often said it was the beach, but her heart was fullest being surrounded by family.

Ascension was a selfless mother, grandmother, and friend. She will be missed by her many friends and large extended family. She leaves a great legacy of kindness, generosity, and friendship to all she met.

She is survived by six daughters, Janie Smith and husband Russell of Snyder; Leonor Ortega and husband Robert of Sweetwater; Rebecca Murphy and husband Michael of Frisco; Vickie Simpson and husband Jackie of Weatherford; Elizabeth Taylor and husband Cameron of Prosper; and JoAnna Lee and husband Jared of The Colony, Texas; nine grandchildren, three great-grandchildren; one brother, Agustin Vitales of Birmingham, Alabama; three sisters, Natividad Rios of Monterrey, NL, Mexico, Eusebia Godines of Tortugas, SLP, Mexico, and Piedad Hernandez of Cardenas, SLP, Mexico; and numerous nieces, and nephews.  

She was preceded in death by her parents, Esteban and Librada Vitales; husband, Jose Eli Castillo; three brothers, and two sisters.

Pallbearers were Robert Ortega, Michael Murphy, Cameron Taylor, Jared Lee, Russell Smith and Richard Tsambikos.

--o--

 † LINDA DARLENE (PIEPER) WRIGHT

On July 22, Linda Darlene Wright, loving mother and grandmother, passed away peacefully in Denton, Texas, at the age of 74.

Darlene was born April 25, 1947, in Sweetwater to Arnold Pieper and Stella Margaret Rogers. She graduated from Roscoe High School in 1965. She married her true love, Truett Dave Wright on December 12, 1964. She moved to the Fort Worth area in 1986 after her husband’s passing and worked for Domino’s National Commissary from 1986 to 1998. Darlene became a Distribution Clerk for the U.S. Post Office and retired from the Roanoke post office in 2009 after ten and a half years.  

Darlene was preceded in death by her mother; Stella Margaret Rogers; father, Arnold Pieper; and her husband, Truett Dave Wright.                     

She is survived by her daughters, Dawn Ide and husband Bill and Darla Yoder and husband, Joe; grandchildren, Matthew Yoder, Ryan Yoder, Brittnee Ide, and Truett Ide;  and many nieces, nephews, and friends.

Darlene loved playing Blackjack and watching the Texas Rangers, and she was proud to be a Roscoe Plowboy!  She was loved dearly and will be missed by all who knew her.

No memorial service has been held and family has requested no flowers, but donations should be made to Diabetes, Heart, or Cancer foundations. White’s Funeral Home, Springtown.

--o--

† KATHRYN E. BAILEY

Kathryn E. Bailey, 78, of Roscoe and Sweetwater, passed away Sunday, September 5, at her residence in Roscoe.

Per her wishes, Kathryn will be cremated with all services directed by McCoy Funeral Home.

Kathryn was born December 10, 1942, in Sweetwater to Jesse Wilson and Ladonna Lillian (Stonelake) Morgan. She had lived in Nolan County since 1942. She married Dud Walter Bailey. She was a member of Faith Harvest Pentecostal Church in Sweetwater and was a homemaker.

She is survived by two daughters, Cindy Bailey of Roscoe, Cynthia Marie Bailey and Gilbert Lopez of Roscoe; two granddaughters, Kelly and Shelly Bailey of Sweetwater; four grandsons, Michael Dwayne Bennett of Roscoe, Kevin Bennett of Roscoe, Scotty Bailey of Sweetwater, and Douglas Wallace of Sweetwater; her brother, Jerry Bailey of Sweetwater; a daughter-in-law, Mary Brumit of Jacksonville, Texas; and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband Dud Walter Bailey; two sons, Doug Bailey and Lewis Brumit; a daughter, Kathy Brumit; and her sister, Mary Bailey.

--o--

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Plowboys Fall to Hawley in Opener

Jax Watts fires a pass to Antonio Aguayo (8) in the fourth quarter.
It’s usually hard to be positive about a football team that loses its first game by twenty points, as the Plowboys did Friday night, falling to Hawley 34-14. But despite the final score, the Plowboys showed a lot of promise and probably proved something to themselves as well as to their fans in the way they played the game.

For one thing, no one gave them a chance to seriously challenge Hawley, a team ranked as high as fifth in state and favored to go deep in the playoffs in class 2A-I this year, just like they did last year. The Plowboys, coming off a losing season and still young in many skill positions, were predicted to finish fourth in their five-team 2A-II district.

And the game could hardly have had a worse beginning for the Plowboys. They received the opening kickoff, lost yardage on their first play and on the second tried a pass that was intercepted and returned 18 yards for a touchdown—and before many fans had settled into their seats, the Plowboys were behind 7-0. After receiving the second kickoff, they went three and out, punted, and on Hawley’s first offensive possession, the Bearcats drove from midfield to the Plowboy 32, where a short pass and a missed tackle resulted in a second touchdown. With less than three minutes gone in the first quarter, Hawley was ahead 14-0.

At that point, it appeared that the rout was on, and the Plowboys could have given up, but they didn’t. The next time Hawley got the ball, the Plowboys held them and forced them to punt. Then, with the ball on their own 33, Jax Watts threw a long pass to a wide-open Tyler Guelker, who took it in untouched for a 67-yard TD, and the Plowboys had narrowed the score to 14-7.

From then on, the two teams played toe-to-toe for the rest of the game. Late in the second quarter, the Plowboys drove from their own 19 to the Hawley 38, and it appeared they might tie the score before halftime. But another errant pass was intercepted by Hawley and returned 62 yards for a touchdown, and instead of 14-14, the halftime score was 21-7.

In the third quarter, the Bearcats capped a long drive with another touchdown to make the score 27-7, and in the fourth quarter both teams scored a touchdown to make the final score 34-14. The Plowboys’ final touchdown came after they drove to the Hawley 12, where Jax Watt threw a touchdown pass to Seth Wilcox.

The Plowboy defense played a good game against the big Hawley backs. Running back Austin Cumpton is big and tough, and the Plowboys frequently were unable to bring him down with just one defender but did a good job of gang tackling and keeping him from breaking lose. He never did make the yardage most expected him to. And their passing game, which the Bearcats used to outscore Albany 4-0 in a scrimmage, never did get untracked against the Plowboy defensive backs.

Despite the score, the Plowboys had more first downs than Hawley, 15 to 14. Hawley had more total yards with 287, but not by a lot as the Plowboys had 251. Third-down and fourth-down efficiency was equal with the Plowboys 4 for 15 on third-down tries and 2 for 7 on fourth downs. Hawley was 3 for 11 on third downs and 2 for 7 on fourths.

The Plowboys’ downfall was the turnovers that cost them in points and killed their momentum. Hawley made 5 interceptions with 2 returned for touchdowns. The Bearcats lost one fumble and had one interception.

Jax Watts completed 18 of 30 passes for 233 yards and 2 TDs. Antonio Aguayo was the leading Plowboy rusher with 6 runs for 30 yards, and Jake Gonzales had 11 yards in 11 carries. Tyler Guelker was the leading receiver with 2 receptions for 81 yards and 1 TD. Aguayo had 7 catches for 61 yards, Ivan McCann had 5 for 51, and Seth Wilcox had 3 for 33 and 1 TD.

Plowboys Face Stamford in Stamford Friday

The Plowboys’ mettle will be tested again on Friday when they play the Stamford Bulldogs in Stamford. The Bulldogs are coming off a shellacking of the Hamlin Pied Pipers, 34-6. The Pipers jumped out to a 6-0 lead on a long opening drive but never threatened again the rest of the game as the Bulldogs ran up 34 unanswered points.

Like the Plowboys, the Bulldogs are an improved team. They have a new head coach, Britt Hart, who was 58-12 at Falls City before going to Merkel last year. They are returning 7 starters on offense and 8 on defense. The Abilene Reporter-News picks them to finish third in a strong 2A-I six-school district behind Hawley and Anson. They have good team speed on both offense and defense.

The Bulldogs run the Wing-T formation on offense with Dylan Faulks and Isaiah Gonzales switching between quarterback and wide receiver, and Hayden Henager and Kolbie Proffitt are both experienced running backs. On defense, they are led by Henager and Proffitt, both linebackers who had good years in 2020.

Kickoff in Stamford is at 7:30pm.

--o--

RCHS CROSS-COUNTRY CRUISES TO WIN AT WTC

Zoey Welch won the girls' cross-country race at WTC.
The Plowgirls finished first and the Plowboys second in the high school division in a six-team meet at Western Texas College on Saturday. The junior high Plowgirls also won their division.

Zoey Welch won the race in the high school girls’ division, and Kaidy Ornelas was second. Jissel Rodriguez finished fifth, and Mahalia Calderon-Ruiz was ninth.

Graham Gleaton was eighth and Marcus Hernandez ninth in the high school boys’ division.

In the junior high girls’ division, Sophie Gleaton was the winner, Ava Burrell was second, and Celeste Rangel was third. Danica Heaps finished sixth, Gabi Solis eighth, and Kennedy Baker ninth.

In the junior high boys’ race, Barrett Floyd finished eighth.

Both Plowboys and Plowgirls are competing in today’s cross-country high school meet in Brownwood. They will also compete in the meet in Eula next Tuesday.

--o--

SCHOOL BOARD HOLDS COMMUNITY MEETING

RCISD School Board, l to r: Eloy Herrera, Jerad Alford, Aaron Brown,  Cheyenne Smith, Allen Richburg, David Pantoja, Kenny Hope.

The Roscoe Collegiate ISD Board of Trustees held an informational meeting at the school cafetorium yesterday evening to update the community on the school district’s goals, programs, activities, and accomplishments. At the end of their presentation, they opened the meeting up to questions and concerns from the audience.

Each of the board trustees played a role in presenting the district’s current concerns, duties, and responsibilities to the audience. Some of the concerns discussed were improving the test scores on the STAAR test in Elementary School, improving teacher morale, and the extending of the Montessori method in the Elementary grades. This year’s slight drop in enrollment was also a topic of concern.

But the speakers also took time to point with pride at some of the unique accomplishments of the Roscoe school system along with the related CEN and P-TECH programs that allow local graduates and residents to earn associate’s and bachelor’s degrees tuition-free and without ever leaving Roscoe. They also spoke of the professional certification programs such as Edu-Weld, Edu-Drone, Edu-Make It, and Edu-Vet that prepare RCHS students for careers upon graduation.

In the question-and-answer session that followed, audience concerns included Covid-19 and school masking, better coordination between early childhood and the primary grades, Roscoe students who transfer to other area schools, student preparation for college placement testing, and others.

RCISD Superintendent Andy Wilson, who spoke at the conclusion of the meeting, introduced Marina Wilcox, the Assistant Superintendent, to the audience.

--o--

COVID 19 UPDATE: AREA SITUATION WORSENS

The number of Covid-19 hospitalizations in Texas continues to grow. As of yesterday, the number was 13,768 compared to last week’s 13,666, and the state has agreed to hire 8,000 contract health workers as hospitalizations approach the record. More people under 50 years old are now hospitalized than at any other time in the pandemic, and 21.5% of hospital beds in Texas are used by Covid-19 patients.

New cases number 8,410 compared to last week’s 15,516, which is good news. But active cases are now at 275,121 compared to last week’s 256,388, and the average number of deaths has increased by 65 over the 7-day average a week ago.

The numbers are also up in Taylor County. Active cases are now at 1,958. That’s 404 more than last week’s 1,554. In Abilene hospitals there are 110 Covid-19 hospitalizations, 32 more than week’s 78, with 20 of those in the ICU. The percentage of Covid-19 patients in the Abilene trauma area has now exceeded 15% for seven days in a row. Taylor County has had 7 more deaths since last week and Brown County 6.

The situation is such that Hendrick Health has opened its Emergency Operation Center to address capacity constraints and moved its Community Safety Dial to Level 6, Emergency, its highest level. It is also calling for medical personnel in the area, including retired nurses and doctors, to help care for patients as temporary employees.

Of all 126 Hendrick Covid-19 patients (including Brownwood), 107 (85%) are not fully vaccinated. Of the 30 Covid-19 patients in ICU, 28 (93%) are not fully vaccinated.

In our four-county area, three counties have more active cases and one fewer. Nolan County now reports 114 active cases compared to last week’s 100; Mitchell County has 70 active cases, 18 more than last week’s 52; Fisher County has 12 active cases, 3 fewer than last week’s 15; and Scurry County has 190 active cases, 29 more than last week’s 161.

Covid-19 has also hit Big Country schools. Abilene ISD reports 194 cases (146 students, 48 staff) and Wylie ISD 82 active cases. Other schools have closed temporarily. Baird has canceled classes and after-school activities until next Monday. Gorman delayed the start of school for a week, Winters closed down Monday, and Leuders-Avoca and Colorado City last week. Colorado also canceled its football game with Albany but is planning to resume classes today. Statewide, more Texas students tested positive last week (20,256 reported cases) than any time since the pandemic began.
 

Roscoe Collegiate ISD currently has 9 infected students with 8 others (plus 3 staff) in quarantine. Of the 9, 1 is in Early Childhood, 4 in Elementary, and 4 in Secondary.

Here are the estimated active cases the Big Country’s counties (compared to last week’s number in parentheses): Brown, 387 (249); Howard, 218 (214); Scurry, 190 (161); Jones, 130 (136); Erath, 119 (98); Nolan, 114 (100); Mitchell, 70 (52); Coke, 68 (47); Comanche, 39 (20); Eastland, 37 (30); Stephens, 35 (6); Runnels, 24 (30); Callahan, 17 (14); Fisher, 15 (15); Coleman, 9 (11); Shackelford, 6 (2); Haskell, 3 (5); Knox, 2 (2); Stonewall, 1 (0); Kent, 0 (0); Throckmorton, 0 (0). The total of all these counties last week was 1,192. Now it is 1,484.

Selected west Texas counties’ estimated active cases (with last week’s in parentheses): Lubbock 4,186 (3,250); Ector (Odessa) 1,925 (1,857), Tom Green (San Angelo) 1,834 (1,542); Midland 1,817 (834); Wichita (Wichita Falls) 628 (628). Last week’s total for these counties was 8,171. Now it is 10,390.

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WEATHER REPORT: A TYPICAL AUGUST WEEK

Summer clouds on Monday afternoon.

There were no surprises in the area weather this past week, as every day was pretty much the same as the one before and the one after. All seven days were partly cloudy with those puffy late summer clouds, winds were mostly from the south, and afternoon temperatures were in the mid to high nineties with early morning lows around 70°. The high for the week was 98° on both Thursday and Friday, and the morning  low was 68° on both Saturday and Sunday.

We now move into the month of September, which, along with May, is historically one of the two wettest months of the year in the Roscoe area, averaging just over 3 inches for the month. However, you wouldn’t know it from the forecast for the coming week, in which there is not a single day with a predicted chance of rain higher than today’s 16%.

Temperatures will also remain summerlike with predicted highs of 96° today, 97° tomorrow, 96° Friday, 98° Saturday, and 96° on Sunday and Monday. Lows for all these days will range from 71° to 73°. Skies will be partly cloudy with winds from the south or south-southeast. In other words, we can look forward to the same weather we’ve had for more than the past two weeks.

I hope the weathermen are wrong. The area could use a good rain.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Plowboys Open Season with Hawley Friday

Plowboys tackle Hawley ball carrier in last year's game.
Are you ready for some football? After pre-season scrimmages with Menard and Forsan, the Roscoe Plowboys begin the 2021 season at Plowboy Field Friday evening in a contest with the Hawley Bearcats.

This non-district matchup will be a tough test for the Plowboys because Hawley is a formidable foe, possibly the best 2A team in the Big Country. Hawley is a 2A division I school (the Plowboys are 2A division II) and are picked to win their district by both Texas Football and the Abilene Reporter-News. They are also ranked in the 2A top ten in Texas. Texas Football has them at number 9 and MaxPreps at number 5.

Last year they went 5-0 in district and 10-3 overall, losing to Cisco in the regional semifinals. This year they return 8 starters on offense and 9 on defense. Players to watch include running back Austin Compton (6-1, 205) and quarterback Rodey Hooper (6-2, 185) on offense and linebacker Compton and defensive back Kason O’Shields (6-0, 160) on defense. Unlike recent years when they relied on the run, they are now a pass-happy team and will most likely come out throwing the ball.

The Plowboys return 10 starters on offense and 9 on defense. They will counter on offense with senior back Antonio Aguayo (5-10, 165) and sophomore quarterback Jax Watts (6-1, 165) and on defense with linebacker Jake Gonzales (5-9, 190) and linemen David Diaz (5-9, 195), Britt Justiss (6-0, 240), and Diego Vela (5-11, 265).

Kickoff is at 7:30pm.    

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PLOWBOYS HAVE GOOD SCRIMMAGE WITH FORSAN

The Plowboys played well on Thursday against a good 2A-I Forsan team in Forsan. Both teams scored once in the scrimmage before playing in game conditions in the last part of the workout. In that one, Forsan scored late to outscore the Plowboys 14-7, but both teams played evenly throughout, and Coach Jake Freeman was pleased with what he saw.

The Plowboys moved the ball well when on offense with Jax Watts hitting Antonio Aguayo on a long pass for a touchdown, and Ivan McCann breaking a tackle on a long run for another score. They also defended well when Forsan had the ball.

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RCHS CROSS-COUNTRY TEAM STARTS STRONG AT JIM NED

Kaidy Ornelas was 1st and Zoey Welch 2nd at Jim Ned.

The Plowboy/Plowgirl Cross Country team had an excellent day at the Jim Ned Warpath Invitational Cross-Country Meet in Tuscola on Saturday. The girls finished third out of 14 teams in the 4A and under division.

Kaidy Ornelas won first place, and her teammate Zoey Welch was second in a race with 131 runners. In all, eight Plowgirls set personal records. Both coaches, Heather Greenwood and Shella Arnwine, were excited to see the Plowgirls do so well in their first meet of the season.

The Plowboys placed ninth out of 14 teams. Graham Gleaton finished twentieth and Brayden Covington twenty-seventh out of 102 runners.

The team competes in its second meet of the season on Saturday at Western Texas College in Snyder.

Kneeling: Jissel Rodriquez and Zoey Welch. Standing: Cameron Greenwood, Mia Lavalais, Mahlia Calderon-Ruiz, Jacey Rodriquez, Yaniez Aguilar and Kaidy Ornelas. Back: Mackenna Garcia and Malejia Munn (Cross-Country photos by Shella Arnwine)

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SCHOOL BOARD COMMUNITY MEETING TUESDAY

The Roscoe Collegiate ISD Board of Trustees invites the Community to join in a community-wide informational meeting.

The meeting will be held in the school cafetorium, at 7:00pm Tuesday, August 31, to hear concerns and questions from the community and to keep the public informed of school district goals, programs, and activities.

Submit questions, concerns, and comments to this link: https://forms.gle/mqu7jyZtqvyccmoQ7

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COVID-19 UPDATE HAS BOTH GOOD AND BAD

There is mixed news regarding the spread and treatment of Covid-19 in Texas this week. The bad news is that the number of hospitalizations and active cases in the state continues to rise, and the availability of ICU units is critical in many places. The good news is that a few counties have better numbers, and treatments received a boost this week with the increased availability of the antibody treatments.

These are the same treatments that were given to Donald Trump and Governor Greg Abbott when they tested positive for the virus. It has been hard to get in the past, and only certain people could get it, but it is now becoming more available, including here in our area. Its use should decrease the intensity of the infection and the number of future hospitalizations.

For the present, however, the number of Covid-19 hospitalizations in Texas continues to grow. As of yesterday, the number was 13,666 compared to last week’s 12,227. New cases number 15,516 compared to last week’s 20,123, active cases are now at 256,388 compared to last week’s 218,811, and fatalities yesterday numbered 199 compared to last week’s 96.

The numbers are mixed in Taylor County. Active cases is now at 1,554, 256 more than last week’s 1,298. But there is one less hospitalization, 78 compared to last week’s 79. The percentage of Covid-19 patients in the Abilene trauma area last week was 15.15%, but by yesterday it had dropped to 14.61%, about half a percentage point.

Of all Abilene COVID-19 inpatients, 88.17% are not fully vaccinated. Of the Covid-19 patients in ICU, 96% are not fully vaccinated.

In our four-county area, three counties have more active cases and one fewer. Nolan County now has 100 active cases, 25 more than last week’s 75; Mitchell County has 52 active cases, also 25 more than last week’s 27; Fisher County has 15 active cases, 5 fewer than last week’s 20; and Scurry County has 161 active cases, 17 more than last week’s 144.

Here are the estimated active cases the Big Country’s counties (compared to last week’s number in parentheses): Brown, 249 (224); Howard, 214 (212); Scurry, 161 (144); Jones, 136 (125); Nolan, 100 (75);Erath, 98 (120); Mitchell, 52 (27); Coke, 47 (27); Eastland, 30 (26); Comanche, 20 (29); Runnels, 30 (25); Fisher, 15 (20); Callahan, 14 (21); Coleman, 11 (28); Stephens, 6 (12); Haskell, 5 (4); Knox, 2 (1); Shackelford, 2 (0); Stonewall, 0 (1); Kent, 0 (0); Throckmorton, 0 (0). The total of all these counties last week was 1,119. Now it is 1,192.

Selected west Texas counties’ estimated active cases (with last week’s in parentheses): Lubbock 3,250 (2,970); Ector (Odessa) 1,857 (1,649), Tom Green (San Angelo) 1,542 (1,218); Midland 834 (349); Wichita (Wichita Falls) 628 (628). Last week’s total for these counties was 6,814. Now it is 8,171.

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WEATHER REPORT: HOT AND DRY

It’s been another week of typical August weather for west Texas and the Roscoe area. Afternoon highs have been in the mid to upper-nineties and morning lows in the low to mid-seventies with south winds under partly cloudy skies. One day has been pretty much the same as the one before—and the one after. Since last Wednesday, the high temperature was yesterday’s 99° and the low was yesterday’s 69°. And there has been no precipitation, not even a threat.

The forecast for today and tomorrow is more of the same with today’s high reaching 98° and tomorrow’s 96° under mostly sunny skies with southerly winds. The lows will be 72°. The temperature will drop slightly toward the weekend with Friday’s high at 94°, Saturday’s 92° and Sunday’s also 92°.

There is no rain in the forecast.

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† MARTINA HERRERA

Holy Mass of Christian Burial for Martina Herrera, 62, of Roscoe, is today, Wednesday, August 25, at 10:00am at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church with Father Nilo Nalugon officiating. Interment will follow at Roscoe Cemetery. She passed away at Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital on Monday, August 16.

Martina was born on February 23, 1959, in Dolores, Mexico, to parents Severiano and Juana Gonzalez. She married Juan Herrera on March 4, 1978, in Dolores. She was a member of Guadalupana Society and Grupo Missionero with Holy Spirit Catholic Church. She loved spending time with her grandchildren. She loved her speaker and loved dancing. She spent so much time caring for her plants.

Martina is survived by her husband, Juan Herrera; children: Andres, Agustin, Lucina, Maria, Lourdes, Imelda, Jaime, Ramiro, Sara, Elisa, Teresa, Marta; grandchildren: Jonathan, Giselle, Karen, Erik, Sarai, Joshua, Hannah, Axel, Brenda, Julissa, Julian, Henry, Brisa, Clarissa, Jiovanni, Arabella, Aaliyan, Aranza, Mike Jr., Fernanda, Alexa, Ezra, Lheo, Gianna; and great-grandchild: Michael.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Severiano and Juana Gonzalez, and twin daughters, Maria Juana and Maria Artemia.

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