All the news that's fit to print.

In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

West Texas Wind Festival Enjoyed Saturday

Mo Pitney & band at the free concert.
Despite the ever-present Covid-19 threat, a respectable crowd was in town for the 14th Annual West Texas Wind Festival on Saturday. The weather was perfect, well, almost perfect, as there was a substantial southwest breeze, but, as Mayor Pete Porter said in his introduction to the band, “It is the West Texas Wind Festival.” Skies were clear, and the afternoon high of 86° was suitable for being outside, so no one was complaining about the weather.

Street vendors sold their wares on Cypress Street, and at the baseball field the roars of mud vehicles could be heard. As afternoon became evening, a crowd gathered downtown to hear Nashville country singing star Mo Pitney, who put on a good show. Giovannie & the Hired Guns, who opened for Pitney, were also a hit with many. As usual, the grand finale of the day was the fireworks show, although many of the audience who weren’t ready to go home went to the Lumberyard for a little dancing to the music of Lyndall Underwood and the Dusty Creek Band. Once again, the festival was an enjoyable event for those who attended.



The Roscoe cross-country teams competed in the Anson Invitational last wed.  Varsity girls and junior high girls both placed 2nd.  Top five finishers were awarded medals.  For varsity girls, Kaidy Ornelas placed 5th.  For junior high girls, Zoey Welch placed 1st and Ava Burrell 4th.

The Junior High team will compete in their district meet on October 20th in Colorado City.  The Varsity will compete in district the following week, October 26, in Coleman.



In a game rescheduled because three of the teams in the district were unable to play because of players with positive Covid-19 tests, the Plowboys traveled to Hamlin instead of playing Ralls at home. The Pied Pipers, currently ranked second in state, had little trouble with the Plowboys, defeating them 49-13.

The Plowboys, although outclassed, played hard the entire game and in the fourth quarter put together some good drives, scoring a couple of touchdowns before game’s end. Kolten Hope scored one on a run and Tyler Guelker the other on a 17-yard pass from Antonio Aguayo.

Hope had 132 yards rushing on 28 carries with 1 TD. Jax Watts completed 7  of 11 passing for 81 yards, and Antonio Aguayo had 3 receptions for 58 yards along with his 17-yard touchdown pass. Zeke Murphy led the defense in tackles while Aguayo had 1 interception.

Scoring by quarters:
                             1           2        3          4         T
Hamlin              21        14        8          0        43
Plowboys           0          0         0        13        13


Plowboys vs. Ralls at Plowboy Field Tomorrow

Because of the revised district schedule, the Plowboys will face Ralls tomorrow evening at Plowboy Field. They are playing on a Thursday because the only way the district could get all its games in before the playoffs was to have some on weeknights. Last week, three district teams were unable to compete because of positive Covid-19 tests, which was the trouble that caused the scheduling problem.

So, instead of playing Ralls last Friday, as originally scheduled, they face them here tomorrow evening. Ralls is a strong opponent. Texas Football magazine predicted them to finish second in district to Hamlin. The Jack Rabbits return 6 offensive and 5 defensive starters from last year’s 10-2 area finalists. They are led by QB/DB Xavier Garcia and RB/LB Bryson Jones.

This year, they are 4-3 so far with victories over Seagraves 44-0, Quanah 30-28, Plains 28-0, and New Home 46-15. Their losses were to Farwell 7-0, Clarendon 18-12, and their first district game to Hamlin 42-22.

Kickoff at Plowboy Field is at 7:00pm.

Junior High and Junior Varsity Plowboys play at Ralls today starting at 4:30 and 6:30pm.



Mudbog organizers were hoping for enough entries for Tractor Tire class. They were pleasantly surprised when 14 entries of that class showed up to compete.

Here is a list of the top three finishers in each class. Each vehicle made two runs, and the times listed are the number of seconds it took to finish both runs.

              Driver                             Time
Street Class 
          1. Chris Sparks                  20.12
          2. Sydni Sparks                 28.11
          3. Demetria Pantoja         30.92

Super Street
           1. David Scott                   18.36
           2. Robert Sparks              21.88
           3. Chris Sparks                 22.67

           1. Brian Averehe              14.41
           2. Nick Pantoja                25.55
           3. Alex Pantoja                37.79

Super Modified
           1. David Smallwood        13.22
           2. A. Montgomery           16.32
           3. Adam Galvan               26.36

            1. Wacey Daniel               11.4
            2. Brande Oden               14.87
            3. Jesse Bacherini           27.08

Tractor Tire
             1. Toby Walker               16.38
             2. Jeremy Sisk                16.84
             3. Adam Smith               17.79



Lonnie Orman is growing lots of sunflowers on area farms this year, and yesterday he was the subject of the KRBC-TV news interview below. It lasts a little over a minute (1:17). The article is available on the Big Country Homepage by clicking here



Two of my daughters with their families are coming in from Chicago tomorrow to join with me and my other daughter and granddaughter already here for an early Thanksgiving. They wanted to get us all together before my eldest daughter and her daughter return to China.

 China is beginning to open back up for people employed there, so they will be leaving as soon as their visa and other paperwork are complete and airlines tickets purchased. She’s a teacher at the Xiamen International School there and will be returning to regular in-person classes as opposed to the online classes she’s been teaching by long distance from Roscoe this semester.

As a result, I will not be available to gather and write up the news for next week. I should be good to go the following week, though, and, if so, I’ll put two weeks’ news in that posting.  Edwin Duncan, Roscoe Hard Times.



Covid-19 numbers are growing in the United States. The past week has seen an increase of 60,000 cases a day, an increase of 34% from the average two weeks ago. The hardest hit states are in the north and northwestern states such as Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming, but case numbers are also rapidly increasing in New Mexico, where the governor has just issued new restrictions in an attempt to slow the spread.

Cases are also increasing in Texas, just not at the rate it is in the above-mentioned states. Increases have been in the numbers of new cases and hospitalizations, but not the number of deaths statewide, which has decreased slightly. By request, the Texas Health Department is sending extra health care workers to El Paso, Amarillo, and Lubbock, where cases have spiked in recent weeks.

In the Big Country, Taylor County continues to show a steady increase in its Covid-19 numbers. It now has 937 active cases compared to 719 a week ago, 519 two weeks ago and 433 a month ago. The county’s number of hospitalizations is also increasing with 37 yesterday compared to 27 last week and 20 a month ago. 17 of those are from out of county. Abilene hospitals have now had 65 total Covid-19 deaths, including 4 more in the last 5 days.

Locally, both Roscoe and Highland schools have been dealing with active cases, and I know of at least one local adult who is active. Nolan County now has 50 active cases, down from 61 last week but still up 28 from two weeks ago. Mitchell County has 39 active cases, 13 more than last week’s 26, and Fisher County has 15 active cases, up 5 from the 10 reported last week. These numbers are high compared to the past for each of these counties, so if you are local, remember to take proper precautions when out in public.

In Scurry County, the County Health Authority reports an average of 14 new cases per day for the past 21 days, and Dr. Bid Cooper reports area hospitals are reaching critical capacity levels. He says, “We desperately need your help to flatten the curve.” Scurry County’s number of active cases, however, has dropped to 103. That’s 8 less than last week but still 31 more than three weeks ago.

Here are the Big Country’s county totals for the year as of yesterday (with a week ago in parentheses): Howard, 1,040 (992); Scurry, 996 (911); Erath, 974 (933); Brown, 636 (609); Jones, 586 (573); Nolan, 378 (308); Comanche, 343 (334); Runnels, 287 (293); Eastland, 226 (213); Stephens, 151 (144); Mitchell, 154 (106); Knox, 110 (110); Callahan 110 (103); Coke, 90 (59); Fisher, 91 (75); Coleman, 84 (82); Haskell, 77 (74); Shackelford, 34 (30); Stonewall, 18 (17); Throckmorton, 16 (14); Kent, 10 (9).
Selected west Texas counties yesterday (with a week ago in parentheses): Lubbock, 15,908 (14,165); Midland, 4,550 (4,176); Ector (Odessa), 3,528 (3,345); Wichita (Wichita Falls), 3,023 (2,489); Tom Green (San Angelo), 2,514 (2,405).

Texas now has had a total of 833,557 cases (800,415 a week ago), 83,973 of them active (77,126 a week ago), and 17,087 total deaths (16,622 a week ago).



The weather for the past week has been typical for what this region gets this time of year—mostly sunny skies with daily highs ranging from the mid to upper 80s and the lows from the 60s to mid-40s.

After last Wednesday’s unusual high of 96°F, a cold front blew in that lowered temperatures considerably. Thursday’s high was only 77°, and the Friday morning low was down to 43°. Friday’s high was only 70°, but then on Saturday there was a warm southwest wind, and the weather for the West Texas Wind Festival was pleasant, despite the breeze, which was stiff at times. The high that afternoon was 86°, but the evening cooled down to just about perfect for the evening concert and fireworks show. Sunday was also ideal for outdoor activities with sunny skies and a high of 80° with only a mild breeze. On Monday, another cold front came through, lowering the high to 68° and bringing overcast skies, the first time we’ve seen a cloud cover practically the entire month. The accompanying north winds were nippy and dropped the morning low to 43°.

Today and tomorrow will be warm with predicted highs both days of 86° and strong southwest winds. Tomorrow evening’s game with Ralls at Plowboy Field should be warm but windy. Another cold front blows in on Friday morning, also with strong winds but from the north. Temperatures will fall to a high of about 64° Friday afternoon and going down to 43° Saturday morning. Saturday’s high will be about 74° with a light south wind, and Sunday will have southwest winds and a high all the way up to 85°.

Starting on Monday when another cold front arrives, we’ll have our first chance of rain for the month. Right now, the forecasters are giving us a 40% chance of thunderstorms on Monday, 50% on Tuesday, and 40% on Wednesday with strong north winds and lows in the mid-thirties. Some places could even see a freeze if the temperature drops below the current prediction.


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

West Texas Wind Festival This Saturday

Mo Pitney
Plans are being finalized for the fourteenth annual West Texas Wind Festival this Saturday, and organizers are anticipating a good crowd, especially for the free concert and the fireworks show.

The downtown streets will be lined with vendors in the afternoon and evening, and the downtown shops will be open for business. The Roscoe Historical Museum will also be open, and the Roscoe Express Shuttle will be on hand to take people to and from selected parking areas, the Plowboy Mudbog, and downtown all afternoon at no charge.

The Plowboy Mudbog competition begins at noon at the baseball field at Second and Sycamore in east Roscoe. It will go on until 4 or 5pm depending on the number of entries. Admission is free.

Music for the free concert and street dance on Cypress Street will begin at five with Lyndall Underwood and the Dusty Creek Band. At six, east Texas country singer Dylan Wheeler will get a turn, and at seven Giovannie & the Hired Guns, an up-and-coming young Texas group from Stephenville, will take over. Then at around eight, Nashville star Mo Pitney will take the stage.

The 27-year-old Pitney was born into a musical bluegrass family in southern Illinois but has lived and worked in Nashville since becoming a professional musician.
He got a standing ovation after singing, “Country,” in his first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry. Besides his own songs, such as “Ain’t Bad for a Good Ol’ Boy” or “Boy & a Girl Thing,” he is well known for his covers of traditional country classics, such as “Borrowed Angel,” “Who’s Gonna Fill Their Shoes?” or with his wife Emily, “Storms Never Last.”

The fireworks show will follow Pitney’s performance at about 9:40pm and conclude this year’s Wind Festival, although those who aren’t ready to go home yet can move over to the Lumberyard, where Lyndall Underwood & the Dusty Creek Band will play until midnight with no cover charge.

Plowboy Mudbog

As always, mudboggers will be coming in from near and far to try their vehicles in Roscoe’s blackland mud at the Plowboy Mudbog,

Registration for entrants begins at 9:30am Saturday morning at the northwest corner of George Parks Baseball Field at Second and Sycamore Streets.  The driver entry fee is $30.

Entries will be in five classes, possibly six:
          1. Street: 35” tires & under with limited engine modification
          2. Super Street: 35” with engine vac under 13”
          3. Modified: 36” to 39” with limited engine modification
          4. Super Modified: 36” to 39” with engine vac under 13”
          5. Open: 40” and over.
          6. Tractor Tires (possibly)

Since there’s an advantage in going last rather than first, each mud vehicle makes two runs, with the second run in reverse order from the first. Street and Super Street classes will do both their runs first, and then the rest of the classes will follow in order.

The public gate will open at 11:00am with mudbog competition beginning at noon.  Admission is free of charge.

Spectators are encouraged to bring sun block, canopy, and lawn chairs. For more information, see the Plowboy Mudbog Facebook page, or contact Felix Pantoja at 325-514-8384.

Downtown Schedule:
          5:00pm – Lyndall Underwood & the Dusty Creek Band
          6:00pm – Dylan Wheeler
          7:00pm – Giovannie & the Hired Guns
          8:00pm – Mo Pitney & Band
          9:40pm – Fireworks Show
        10:00pm – Event Ends

So, make plans now to attend, bring lawn chairs and coolers, and help us celebrate the day! Also, please be considerate of others by maintaining social distance and wearing masks. We don’t want the event to be a Covid-19 hotspot!



There will be plenty of games to play at the Fall Festival.
The Roscoe Elementary School and Early Childhood Center are holding their annual Fall Festival this Friday, October 16, 5:00-7:00pm, at Circle Drive in front of the Elementary School building.

As always, there will be activities of all kinds, prizes, and games of luck and skill. These include a cake walk, bingo, bounce house, snacks, booths, and much more to make the festival a fun evening for everyone.

Proceeds benefit the Roscoe Elementary School and Early Childhood Center.



After a long meeting this morning, District 5-2A-II officials have decided that Roscoe will not be playing Ralls here Friday night but Hamlin in Hamlin. This schedule change has come about because some of the Ralls Jack Rabbits have tested positive for Covid-19, meaning that the team would be unable to play the Roscoe game this week.

A tentative schedule for the remainder of the season for all the teams in the district was devised earlier this week, and Roscoe Edu-Cast posted that revised schedule, but that schedule was not confirmed.

I just received the updated schedule from Coach Jake Freeman. Here it is:









The Varsity Plowgirls finished second at the Irion County Invitational Meet last Wednesday, and the Varsity Plowboys fifth. Individual medalists were the following:

Varsity Plowgirls: Kaidy Ornelas 3rd, Itzel Ortega 5th, Jissel Rodriguez 7th, and Candy Ortega 9th.

JV Plowgirls: Jaden Amador 1st, Cheyenne Moorhead 10th.

The RCHS cross-country teams are competing today at the meet in Anson.



Cody Thompson addresses the City Council at yesterday's meeting.
At its monthly meeting in City Hall yesterday evening, the Roscoe City Council received reports from the City Manager and Chief of Police and approved several action items including approval of the quarterly investment report.

City Manager Cody Thompson stated that work is 95% complete at both the old and new sanitary sewer plants but that workers are still waiting on the new pump for the north side lift station. Regarding personnel changes, he said that Joe Vick will be leaving as his wife has taken a managerial job in Tyler. Employees Brandon Reed and Josh Jones have both completed 20-hour potable water and wastewater courses with the TCEQ (Texas Commission for Environmental Quality), and Reed will take Vick’s job of managing the City reverse-osmosis water treatment plant.

City employees are preparing for the West Texas Wind Festival, which will be this Saturday.

Broadband service for Roscoe is being planned to be maintained and improved in the City, and a state grant application for $14,000 in Coronavirus Relief Funds has been completed. A transmission tower behind and above City Hall was erected this week with ten more smaller relay towers to be placed strategically around town to create a cloud of full service for the entire community. Since the FCC has dropped the requirement for AT&T to maintain copper wiring for landlines, they have begun pulling out of smaller towns, which will demand local action to maintain internet wi-fi capabilities.

Roscoe’s annual Christmas Open House shopping event is planned for Sunday, November 8. The general election is Tuesday, November 3, and early voting at the County Clerk’s office began yesterday.

Police Chief Felix Pantoja was called away before he was able to present his Police Report for September, but he left his handout before leaving. It states that the Department received 79 calls for service in September and that Roscoe Police issued 4 citations, issued 11 warnings, made one arrest, and handled one vehicle crash.

The Council then approved an ordinance reducing the posted speed limit from 75mph to 65mph during the future reconstruction of 1-20 and US Highway 84. It also approved a fireworks permit for the West Texas Wind Festival and approved the Quarterly Investment Report.



Nationally, the number of Covid-19 cases is showing a slight increase with the hotspots now being the upper Midwest and Rocky Mountain states. Texas also reports a slight increase in numbers of new cases and hospitalizations while the number of new deaths is about the same as last week.

Governor Abbott is allowing bars to open in counties if the local judges agree, and County Judge Downing Bolls is opening the bars in Taylor County today, but only at 50% capacity and with other restrictions in place. A spike in Tarrant County has its health director calling for a switch to virtual learning in the schools, while the Tarrant County Judge is allowing the county’s bars to open today.

Taylor County is also showing a significant increase in its number of active Covid-19 cases. It now has 719 compared to 519 a week ago and 409 a month ago. Many of the new cases are coming from the universities in Abilene, particularly ACU, which more than doubled its number of active cases from 44 last week to 114 yesterday with 275 others in quarantine. Hardin-Simmons has 33 active cases and McMurry 22. The county’s number of hospitalizations is about the same with 27 yesterday compared to 24 last week and 20 a month ago. Abilene hospitals have now had 61 total Covid-19 deaths, 3 more than last week.

Nolan, Mitchell, and Fisher County cases are also on the rise. Nolan County now has 61 active cases, up 39 from the 22 a week ago. Mitchell County has 26 active cases, 12 more than last week’s 14, and Fisher County has 10 active cases, up 9 from the 1 reported last week. These numbers are new highs for each of these counties, so if you are local, remember to take proper precautions when out in public.

Scurry County’s numbers have leveled off. There are now 111 active cases. That’s 1 less than last week but still 39 more than two weeks ago. The county also reports another death since last week for a total now of 12.

Here are the Big Country’s county totals for the year as of yesterday (with a week ago in parentheses): Howard, 992 (933); Erath, 933 (887); Scurry, 911 (773); Brown, 609 (593); Jones, 573 (577); Comanche, 334 (317); Nolan, 308 (278); Runnels, 293 (283); Eastland, 213 (196); Stephens, 144 (138); Knox, 110 (104); Mitchell, 106 (101); Callahan 103 (98); Coleman, 82 (81); Fisher, 75 (70); Haskell, 74 (72); Coke, 59 (53); Shackelford, 30 (29); Stonewall, 17 (16); Throckmorton, 14 (9); Kent, 9 (9).
Selected west Texas counties yesterday (with a week ago in parentheses): Lubbock, 14,165 (12,766); Midland, 4,176 (3,987); Ector (Odessa), 3,345 (3,254); Tom Green (San Angelo), 2,405 (2,339); Wichita (Wichita Falls), 2,489 (1,989).

Texas now has had a total of 800,415 cases (743,284 a week ago), 77,126 of them active (71,611 a week ago), and 16,622 total deaths (16,111 a week ago).



Sunday's sunset.
The past week has been sunny and hotter than we usually get in October. In fact, the weekend was downright hot with a 97°F high on Saturday and a 98° on Sunday. Preceding the weekend heat were highs of 90° on Wednesday and 86° on both Thursday and Friday. Monday was a nice break with a maximum of 77° and a low of 58°, while yesterday was warmer with a high of 87°. The heat returns today, however, as the temperature will rise to around 97° this afternoon.

The break in the heat comes tomorrow with the arrival of a cold front that will drop temperatures by about 25 degrees and feel even colder than that with strong north winds of 25-35mph and gusts over 40mph. Tomorrow's high will be 71° and the night’s low will be about 45°. Friday’s high will be only about 70° with a low of 51°. Saturday will be warmer, though, for the Wind Festival with an afternoon high of 84° under mostly sunny skies and breezes from the southwest.

Sunday’s high will be about 80° and will set the trend for next week whose days all have highs in the seventies and lows in the fifties.

Once again, however, there is little chance of any rain as skies remain almost completely sunny.



Services for Sebastiana Flores Diaz, 56, of Roscoe will be held at a later date. Viewing and visitation was on Sunday and Monday at McCoy Funeral Home with cremation following. She passed away on Thursday, October 8, at Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital.

Sebastiana was born January 20, 1964, in Mexico.

She is survived by her husband, Alfonso Diaz of Roscoe; son, Rene Diaz of Roscoe; daughters, Brianda Diaz of Chattanooga, TN, Mayra Diaz of Chattanooga, TN, Alma Diaz of Charlotte, NC, and Maria Elena Diaz of Charlotte, NC.



A graveside service for Billie Jean (Holley) Martin, 78, of Roscoe was at 2:00pm on Monday, October 12, at Roscoe Cemetery with Reverend David Draper officiating. She passed away on Thursday, October 8, at Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital.

Billie was born September 19, 1942, to parents Joe Holley and Wilma Hyde Critz in Artesia, New Mexico. A 1960 graduate of Roscoe High, Billie was a secretary at Roscoe High School for 40 years. She was a loyal Plowboy fan and supporter. She married Johnny Martin on July 21, 1988, in Sweetwater.  She enjoyed spending time with family, especially her grandkids and great-grandkids.

Survivors include her husband, Johnny Martin of Roscoe; daughter, Sonya Bowman of Sweetwater; sons, Randy Pieper of Blackwell and Britt Pieper of Sweetwater; grandchildren, Steve Allen Eldred of Alba, Texas, Brittany Elliott of Blackwell, Austin Pieper of Weimar, Texas, Alex Massey of Roscoe, Michael Massey of Roscoe, and Cyera Pieper of Sweetwater. Gran dearly loved and enjoyed her eight great-grandchildren.

Billie was preceded in death by her parents.

Pallbearers were Michael Massey, Steve Eldred, Austin Pieper, Josh Boston, Patrick Ivy, and Jason Elliott. Honorary Pallbearer was Jim Boston.


Wednesday, October 7, 2020

RCHS Royalty Crowned at Football Game

Football Beau Zeke Murphy and Football Sweetheart Lizzy Rubio.

Friday was Mum Night, and at halftime of the football game, the 2020-21 Roscoe Collegiate High School royalty was crowned. This year’s Football Sweetheart is Lizzy Rubio, and her Beau is Zeke Murphy. Nominees for Football Sweetheart were Alexis Arce, Gabriella Dyck, and Lizzy Rubio. Nominees for Football Beau were Kolten Hope, Juan LeaƱos, and Zeke Murphy.

Band Sweetheart Athena Newman and Band Beau Caleb Reed.

Band Sweetheart is Athena Newman, and Band Beau is Caleb Reed. Nominees for Band Sweetheart were Sydni Jackson, Mikayla Smith, and Athena Newman. Nominee for Beau was Caleb Reed.

FFA Beau Reese Kiser and FFA Sweetheart Marcella Saenz.
FFA Sweetheart is Marcella Saenz, and FFA Beau is Reese Kiser. Nominees for FFA Sweetheart were Marcella Saenz and Lisa Tollison. Nominees for FFA Beau were Antonio Aguayo and Reese Kiser.



Tyler Guelker returns kickoff for 70 yards and an apparent TD.
To say the game Friday evening got off on the wrong foot for the Plowboys would be a major understatement. Here’s what happened. 

The Plowboys received the opening kickoff, and on the third play of the game, Plowboy Jax Watts threw a short pass to Seth Wilcox, who took it down the left sideline 51 yards to the end zone for an apparent Plowboy touchdown. However, a flag for holding was thrown, and the play was called back. 

The Plowboys then drove the ball down to the Eagle 18-yard line. On the next play, just before the ball was snapped, a Seagraves lineman jumped across the line for a neutral zone infraction. Watts, thinking he had a free play, threw the ball to the end zone, where it was intercepted and returned 100 yards. However, there was some confusion, and none of the referees ever threw a flag for the obvious offsides, so instead of the Plowboys having the ball on the Seagraves 13, Seagraves was given a touchdown on the play and went up 6-0. 

Tyler Guelker then caught the following kickoff at the Plowboy 30 and returned it 70 yards for another apparent Plowboy touchdown. But once again, the Plowboys were called for holding, and the ball came back to the Plowboy 46. So, with less than half of the first quarter gone, the Plowboys had been in the end zone twice with both called back, and the referees had failed to throw a flag on an obvious Seagraves offsides infraction, which they instead ruled a Seagraves touchdown, and Seagraves was ahead 6-0—not a good start!

After the holding call, the Plowboys started on their 46, but on the second play Seagraves intercepted a Plowboy pass and drove to the Plowboy 28, where Smith ran it in for a touchdown. The two-point extra point try succeeded, and Seagraves led 14-0, the score at the end of the first quarter.

Shortly after the beginning of the second quarter, Smith broke through for another touchdown, this one a 68-yarder, increasing Seagraves’ lead to 20-0. Neither side was able to score for the remainder of the quarter, and at halftime the score remained 20-0.

In the third quarter, Seagraves received the kickoff and went on a drive that ended with Flores going the final 29 yards for a touchdown to up the lead to 26-0. The Plowboys received the kickoff and spent almost the entire remainder of the quarter on a long drive that started on their own 30 and ended with a one-yard touchdown pass from Watts to Antonio Aguayo. The two-point conversion try failed, and the score was 26-6, also the score at the end of the quarter.

Shortly after the final period began, Smith broke free for the final TD of the game, a 63-yarder that made the score 32-6. The final Plowboy drive ended on the Seagraves 5-yard line as time expired.

Scoring by quarters:
                             1          2          3         4           T

Seagraves         14         6          6          6          32
Plowboys           0         0          6          0           6

Jax Watts completed 16 of 32 passes for 101 yards, 1 TD, and 2 interceptions. Seth Wilcox and Kolten Hope led the receivers along with Antonio Aguayo and Zeke Murphy. The defense was led by Hope and Jordan Blain.

The Plowboys have an open date this weekend and will resume on October 16 when they face the Ralls Jack Rabbits at Plowboy Field to open district play.



Roscoe’s Cross-Country Meet was held on Saturday at Highland High School, and Roscoe came away the winners. The varsity Plowgirls and Plowboys both finished first, and so did the Junior High Plowgirls.

Varsity Plowgirl individual medalists were Jissel Rodriguez 1st, Katie Ornelas 2nd, Candy Ortega 3rd, Itzel Ortega 4th, Yaniez Aguilar 10th.

Varsity Plowboy individual medalists: Caleb Reed 2nd, Graham Gleaton 3rd, Aiden Hermosillio 5th.

Junior High Plowgirl individual medalists: Zoey Welch 2nd, Ava Burrell 3rd.

The teams are scheduled to participate in today's cross-country meet at Irion County.



The Covid-19 numbers remain fairly stable in the Big Country although there have been increases in some area counties. The big Covid-19 news this week, however, was the White House announcement that President Trump, along with several members of his staff, tested positive for the coronavirus. There was concern for his health for a couple of days, but he is out of the hospital now and is reported to be doing much better.

On a national scale, Texas has fallen to number 22 in numbers of new cases per capita, while states whose numbers weren’t that bad in July are now the Covid-19 hot spots. These include Wisconsin, North and South Dakota, and Utah. Texas is showing a slight increase in the number of cases, 395 more than a week ago, and hospitalizations, 117 more than a week ago. But the numbers have diminished from the July peak, and they are small for such a large state.

More locally, however, Taylor County is showing a steady increase in its number of active cases. It now has 519 compared to 463 a week ago and 385 a month ago. Many of the new cases are coming from the universities in Abilene, particularly ACU, which doubled its number of active cases over the weekend from 22 to 44. However, the county’s number of hospitalizations is about the same with 24 yesterday compared to 25 last week and 20 a month ago. Abilene hospitals have had 58 total Covid-19 deaths with 16 of those coming in the past month.

Nolan County reports 22 active cases, up 4 from 18 last week. Mitchell County has 14 active cases, 3 up from 11 last week, and Fisher County has 1 active case, the same as last week.

Scurry County’s numbers continue to rise. There are now 112 active cases (97 last week). That’s 15 more than last week and 40 more than two weeks ago. They are also reporting 3 additional deaths since last week for a total now of 11.

Other problem counties are Howard and Lubbock. Both have shown considerable increases recently. The escalating Lubbock numbers are not linked just to college students. On Friday Lubbock Health Authority leader Ron Cook said, “Our numbers in Lubbock, our positive cases are really exploding, our hospital ICUs are at or near capacity, and it’s clearly evident that we’re not doing a good job of wearing a mask and social distancing.” Lubbock’s community spread numbers have doubled to over 5,100.

Here are the Big Country’s county totals for the year as of yesterday (with a week ago in parentheses): Howard, 933 (823); Erath, 887 (880); Scurry, 773 (646); Brown, 593 (580); Jones, 577 (577); Comanche, 317 (309); Runnels, 283 (278); Nolan, 278 (260); Eastland, 196 (182); Stephens, 138 (136); Knox, 104 (92); Mitchell, 101 (91); Callahan 98 (94); Coleman, 81 (77); Haskell, 72 (69); Fisher, 70 (66); Coke, 53 (53); Shackelford, 29 (34); Stonewall, 16 (14); Kent, 9 (9); Throckmorton, 9 (8).
Selected west Texas counties yesterday (with a week ago in parentheses): Lubbock, 12,766 (11,764); Midland, 3,987 (3,759); Ector (Odessa), 3,254 (3,155); Tom Green (San Angelo), 2,339 (2,261); Wichita (Wichita Falls), 1.989 (1,797).

Texas now has had a total of 743,284 cases (773,435 a week ago), 71,611 of them active (67,570 a week ago), and 16,111 total deaths (15,604 a week ago).



Sunday's sunset.

The October weather so far has been a stretch of clear skies and sunny days with hardly a cloud in the sky since the new month began. Temperatures have been mild, and in general the weather has been pleasant, not too hot and not too cold.

The high temperature for the past week was yesterday’s 89°F, and the low was Friday morning’s 53°. Other daily highs ranged from 78° to 87°. The wind was up a bit Monday, but it has also been completely calm at other times with most days having light to moderate breezes. In short, we’ve had some nice mild fall weather for over a week now.

The forecast is for more of the same although a bit hotter in upcoming days. Today’s high should reach 90°, tomorrow’s 88°, and Friday’s 89°, with a summer-like weekend with highs of 93° on Saturday and 94° on Sunday. Lows during this five-day stretch will all be in the low to mid-sixties. On Monday, a cold front will move through and lower the high to 82° and the low to 55° with the following days even milder.

There is no rain in the forecast.



A private service will be held at a later date for Martha Lee (Marty) Johns of Maryneal with McCoy Funeral Home in charge of arrangements. She passed away Saturday, October 3, at Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital.

Marty was born September 3, 1950, at Ballinger to the late Milton J. and Martha Jo (Lewis) Wood. She attended Sweetwater schools and had worked for Rycroft Vending Company and as a cook at Reagan Junior High School. She lived in Nolan County all of her life. She married Walter Gene Johns on July 13, 1968, in Sweetwater.

Marty is survived by her husband of 52 years, Gene of Maryneal; sons, Jimmy Johns and wife Mitzie of Roscoe and Ricky Johns of Maryneal; grandchildren, Kelsi Johns of Temple and Jordan Johns of Roscoe; sisters; Sherry Secrest and husband J.W. of Sweetwater and Ida Faye Cheshire and husband Ronny of California; and brother, Johnny Wood and wife Linda of Clyde.

She is preceded in death by her sisters, Linda Gilgore and Micky Lowry. 

Marty loved her family very much and loved living on the ranch at Maryneal.




Blog Archive