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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

RHS/RCHS Exes Enjoy Homecoming 2021

The RHS Class of '71 celebrated its 50th anniversary this year.
There weren’t as many attendees as in homecomings past. Still, Roscoe High alumni from various locations and walks of life were in town for a fun time at Homecoming 2021 last weekend. There were various venues and ways to meet up with old classmates and plenty of activities to participate in.

Whether it was at the Friday pep rally, potato bake, evening coffee, or football game, or the Saturday morning coffee and donuts at the Community Center, the Homecoming parade, enchilada lunch and silent auction at school, the evening fajita dinner, cornhole tournament, or live music by the 419 Swing Band downtown, all provided opportunities for renewing old friendships and seeing former acquaintances for the first time in years.

Deserving special mention are some of the older alums who attended—Mava Adams Cooper, 94; Frances Althof Hughes, 92; and Herbert Williams, 92, all RHS graduates of the mid-1940s, and Dorothy Meares, 93, a former teacher at Roscoe for 30 years. A large group from the RHS Class of ’71 also came to celebrate their fiftieth anniversary.  

But whether old, middle-aged, or young, the common thread that binds us exes is the time we spent as teenagers in Roscoe and the memories of our formative years, the teachers we learned from, and our activities, accomplishments, infatuations, agonies, and shenanigans as we made the transition from childhood to the world of adults, along with the classmates we shared those experiences with. And it is always interesting to learn what’s happened to everyone and to find out what they’re doing now.

Our thanks go out to the Homecoming Committee, especially Connie McIntire Baize, and all the others who took the time and trouble to make this event a success. We also appreciate all the exes who made the effort to come back, reminisce with us, and once again touch base and make new memories.



Seth Wilcox (4) runs 34 yards for the Plowboys' first TD.
The Plowboys pleased a large homecoming crowd Friday evening as they pummeled the New Home Leopards 44-12 in a game that was close only for the first quarter. The Leopards, who were 3-1 coming into the game, were scrappy and played hard throughout, but the Plowboys were a better team and beat them down over the course of the contest.

Sophomore Seth Wilcox had his biggest game yet, making three touchdowns and causing a two-point safety, and senior Antonio Aguayo was instrumental in the victory with his hard running for one TD, a leaping 16-yard catch for another, and strong kicking, including a 27-yard field goal just before halftime. The entire defense also played a good game, shutting down the New Home offense until late in the fourth quarter. The Leopards’ only points before that came on an interception return.

The Plowboys started strong, making their first touchdown before two minutes were gone. After receiving the opening kickoff, they moved quickly down the field, and scored when Wilcox ran 34 yards for the touchdown. The Aguayo kick was good, and the Plowboys were up 7-0.  After New Home’s first offensive possession, which went nowhere, the Plowboys second drive was cut short when a Leopard intercepted a Plowboy pass and took it 38 yards for a touchdown. The extra-point kick was wide, but New Home was in the game at 7-6. Later, a second Plowboy touchdown was stopped by a fumble into the end zone that New Home covered, and the quarter ended with the score 7-6.

On the third play of the second quarter, the Plowboys completed a 39-yard pass to the New Home 3-yard line, and on the next play Wilcox ran for the TD, making the score 13-6. Then, after a Leopard punt, the Plowboys took the ball to the 16-yard line, where a touchdown pass to Aguayo made the score 19-6. Later, the Plowboys scored again when Watts completed a 5-yard pass to Ivan McCann to make the score 25-6. Then, on the last play before the half, Aguayo kicked a 27-yard field goal, making the halftime score 28-6 Roscoe.

In the third quarter, the Leopards received the kickoff and started on their 10. On their third play, Wilcox tackled the ball carrier in the end zone for a safety to increase the lead to 30-6. Later, the Plowboys got two more TDs, one an 8-yard run by Aguayo and the other a 19-yarder by Wilcox. At the end of the quarter, the Plowboy lead was 44-6.

New Home scored their only offensive touchdown of the game on the first play of the 4th quarter, and that was the end of the scoring for the evening, as the Plowboys won by a final score of 44-12.

Scoring by quarters:
                            1          2          3          4           T
New Home       6          0          0          6          12
Plowboys          7          21        16         0          44

The Plowboys dominated the statistics for the game just as they did the score. They had 313 total yards to New Home’s 35 with 152 of those passing yards and 161 rushing yards. Roscoe had 17 first downs to New Home’s 6. They also had more turnovers with 3, 2 of them interceptions and the other a fumble. New Home had only one, an interception in the fourth quarter. The Plowboys had 61 yards in penalties to New Home’s 5.

Jax Watts completed 13 of 17 passes for 152 yards and 2 TDs along with 2 interceptions. Leading receivers were Seth Wilcox with 3 for 69 yards, Antonio Aguayo with 7 for 67 yards and one TD, Lupe Leaños with 1 for 6, and Ivan McCann with 1 for 5 and 1 TD.

Wilcox led rushers with 6 carries for 69 yards and 3 TDs, McCann had 6 for 45 yards, Jake Gonzales had 8 for 41, and Aguayo had 8 for 25 and 1 TD.

Plowboys vs. Sudan in Sudan Friday

After two home games, the Plowboys are once again on the road this week as they take on Sudan this Friday. The Hornets are struggling this season and appear to be just about where the Plowboys were this time last year. With their 26-20 defeat by Crosbyton this past week, they are now 0-5 on the season with losses to Olton 38-26, Sundown 40-0, Farwell 62-0, and Stamford 46-20.

If the Plowboys come to play and take care of business as they should, this one could be over early.

Kickoff in Sudan is at 7:00pm.



Football Sweetheart Jacey Rodriquez and Football Beau Antonio Aguayo.
The 2021 Homecoming royalty was crowned at halftime of Friday evening’s football game. This year’s Football Sweetheart is Jacey Rodriquez, and her Beau is Antonio Aguayo. Nominees for Football Sweetheart were Shauna McCambridge, Kaylea Perez, and Jacey Rodriquez. Nominees for Football Beau were Antonio Aguayo, Xavier Lopez, and Jacob Gonzales.

FFA Sweetheart Cameron Greenwood and FFA Beau Jacob Stegge.
The FFA Sweetheart is Cameron Greenwood, and her Beau is Jacob Stegge. Nominees for FFA Sweetheart were Carson and Cameron Greenwood. Their escorts were Jacob Stegge and Conner Sanders.

Band Beau Conner Sanders and Band Sweetheart Jane McAnally.
The Band Sweetheart is Jane McAnally, and her Beau is Conner Sanders. Nominees for Band Sweetheart were Jane McAnally, Athena Newman, and Mikayla Smith, and Band escorts were Lee Barnhill, Marcus Espinoza, and Conner Sanders.  

Flower bearers were Leah Seals, Amarachi Ughanze, and Sawyer Moses. Crown bearers were Ian Cruces, Niko Evans, and Braxton Rackley.



The RCHS Cross-Country team at the Mae Simmons course in Lubbock.
The varsity Plowgirl and Plowboy runners competed at the Lubbock ISD Invitational Cross-Country Tournament on Saturday.

The Plowgirls placed 12th out of 28 teams. Top runners were Zoey Welch, who finished 12th, Jissel Rodriquez 30th, and Yaniez Aguilar 66th out of 185 runners.

Top finishers for the Plowboys were Graham Gleaton at 32nd and Brayden Covington 50th out of 122 runners.

Next up for the team is the District Meet in Coleman next Monday, October 4.


KTXS-TV made Plowboy Antonio Aguayo its Big Country Player of the Week for his performance against Christoval.

And an article on the Big Country Homepage, "Roscoe is off to a great start," was posted on Thursday, September 23. It may be accessed by clicking here.

The KTXS-TV article and video on Antonio Aguayo as KTXS Player of the Week may also be accessed by clicking here.



In the United States, new cases and hospitalizations keep on declining except in a few northern states, such as Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Maine, with the worst outbreak in Alaska.  

In Texas, the numbers continue to drop. As of yesterday, 9,551 Texans were hospitalized with Covid-19, compared to 11,210 last week and 12,973 two weeks ago. The number of new cases also fell again this week with a 7-day average of 4,008 fewer than last week. The number of active cases in Texas has also fallen to 253,666 from the 290,799 last week, and more ICUs are available than at any time since early August.

The number of deaths, however, continued to increase slightly with a seven-day average of 31 more deaths than last week.  

In Taylor County, hospitalizations have dropped enough for Hendrick Health to move its dial from Level 6 Emergency to Level 5 Critical. The number of active cases is also slightly lower at 2,327 compared to 2,525 a week ago. In Abilene, there are 72 Covid-19 hospitalizations, 21 less than week’s 93, with 22 of those in the ICU compared to 30 a week ago. Taylor County reported 5 more Covid-19 deaths Monday, which makes 37 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 52 active cases, 101 less than last week’s 153; Mitchell County reports 9 active cases, 38 fewer than last week’s 47; Fisher County has 8 active cases, 1 less than last week’s 9; and Scurry County has 146 active cases, 39 less than last week’s 185. Nolan County reports 50 total Covid-19 deaths, 2 more than last week and with 13 of those coming this month.

Roscoe Collegiate ISD has no infected students or staff and only 3 students in quarantine—the same as last week.  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, 272 (411); Howard, 197 (292); Scurry, 146 (185); Stephens, 126 (108); Erath, 78 (155); Jones, 54 (50); Nolan, 52 (153); Coke, 46 (52); Eastland, 32 (45); Comanche, 25 (38); Callahan, 19 (35); Haskell, 17 (13); Coleman, 14 (5); Runnels, 10 (9); Mitchell, 9 (47); Fisher, 8 (9); Stonewall, 7 (2); Shackelford, 5 (4); Throckmorton, 4 (0); Knox, 2 (1); Kent, 1 (2). The total of all these counties is 1,124, a drop of 502 from last week’s 1,626. Last week also had a drop from the previous week, so the numbers continue to go in the right direction in the Big Country.

Selected west Texas counties’ estimated active cases (with last week’s in parentheses): Lubbock 4,894 (5,175); Ector (Odessa) 1,834 (1,945), Wichita (Wichita Falls) 1,747 (2,114); Midland 1,706 (2,266); Tom Green (San Angelo) 1,070 (1,648). Last week’s total for these more populated counties was 13,235. Now it is 11,251, a drop of 1,984. So, these more populated counties are also moving in the right direction.  



Yesterday's sunrise.

After the previous week’s heat capped off by the 104°F day last Monday, this past week has been a welcome transition to some cooler weather and the first real indication that the seasons are changing.

The high for the week was Saturday’s 91°, followed by Sunday’s 90°, but the other days all had highs in the eighties, and what was even more noticeable was the coolness of the late nights and early mornings, when daily lows dropped into the fifties. Along with the milder temperatures, the skies were cloudier than usual although never completely overcast.

We were even given a chance for rain yesterday, and a cloud bank did build up to the south and southeast. Unfortunately, it moved east of us.

Today, the forecast is for clear, sunny skies and a high of 95° with southwest winds, but that all changes tomorrow afternoon when there is an 83% chance of thunderstorms with potential for heavy rainfall. That rainy forecast extends into Friday when the high is projected to be only 79° under cloudy skies with a 59% chance of rain. Saturday’s high will be slightly warmer at 82° but with the chances for precipitation diminishing to 40%. Sunday should be sunny with the rains moving elsewhere and only partly cloudy skies. The high for it and the following days will be only around 80° as we move into fall.

Here's hoping the forecast for rain is right.



Funeral services for Eloy Lomas, 56, of Roscoe were at 10:00am Monday, September 27, at McCoy Chapel of Memories with Pastor Lester Cavitt officiating. Interment followed at Sweetwater Cemetery under the direction of McCoy Funeral Home. He went home to be with the Lord on Thursday, September 23, at Shannon Medical Center in San Angelo.

Eloy was born in Del Rio on January 12, 1965, to Abraham and Juanita Lomas along with eight brothers and one sister. He married Mary Arredondo Lomas on October 17, 1987. They welcomed three sons together. He was a jack of all trades whether doing carpentry, mechanic work, or just hard labor. His passions were fishing and being a husband, dad, grandfather, and friend. He was always willing to help out anyone in need. One of his most important loves in life was serving God.

Eloy leaves behind his wife, Mary Lomas; three sons, Eloy Lomas, Jr., Eric Lee Lomas and wife Maricela Lomas, and youngest son, Roman Scott Lomas; eight grandchildren, Noel, Aiden, Zion, Joseph, Nariah, Serenity, Leilani, and Eliana Lomas.

He is preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Joe and Steve Lomas; one sister, Rosa Elva Lomas; and two children, Olivia and Matthew Lomas;

Pallbearers were Brandon Speed, Salvador Zapata, Brian Lomas, George Jennings, Royce Jennings, Julian Ruiz, and Alex Ruiz.


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:

SEPTEMBER 24 & 25, 2021

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.

                           be held in the Special Events indoor Concession
                           Area, just east of the Football Concession.

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.

                           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.

                           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)



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.


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.



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.



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.



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.



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.


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.



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.



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.



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.



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.


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!



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.


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