Friday, September 30, 2016

Mavs Take Second In Biggest Meet Ever

Marshall's track and field programs have traditionally been among the strongest in the state, and MHS' Maverick Relays are a big attraction in East Texas every spring. Today's installment of "The Red Brick Wall: Building A Legacy" looks at an article from the March 9, 1986 edition of the Marshall News Messenger which highlights that year's exciting results from the Maverick Relays.

By Mike Keeney
Sports Editor

Texas High's girls and boys varsity track teams captured first place in their divisions Saturday at the Maverick Relays here in Maverick Stadium.

The Texas High boys rolled up 108 points to Marshall's 92 1/2, while the Texas High girls team eased to the first-place trophy with a total of 186 1/2 points. Jacksonville, which got four first-place finishes from Angela Black, was second with 124 1/2 points. Nacogdoches finished third with 86 points, Marshall fourth with 84 points and Lufkin fifth with 67 points.

John Tyler took third in the varsity boys division with 85 points, while Kilgore took fourth (51) and Liberty-Eylau fifth (42).

The Marshall High junior varsity took first place in its division with 109 points, while John Tyler took second (84), Nacogdoches third (80) and Henderson fourth (31).

MHS track coach and host Willie Todd said this year's meet was one of the best in the event's history.

"I'm very pleased with the meet," Todd said. "All the comments I've heard have been nothing but positive. they all want to come back next year. It was well organized, thanks to the work of Coach (Buck) Buchanan and Coach (Dennis) Parker."

Todd was especially happy with the weather. The day started overcast and cool, but before the finals were run the clouds had burned off and the 500-plus fans were treated to bright sunshine and temperatures in the mid 70s.

"You couldn't ask for a better day," Todd said, looking up into the sunshine. "It's just what we wanted."

The race of the day came in the varsity boys' 400-meter dash, where Marshall's Willie Epps nipped Texas High's Steve Smith at the tape to take first place. In the process, Epps set a new meet record with his clocking of 47.62, shattering the old mark of 48.43.

Marshall's Willie Hanks finished third in the 400-meters.

"That was the race of the day," Todd said. "We knew we had to stay close at the start and that's what we did. that was a race out of this world."

In one of the stranger occurrences of the day, a lost shoe may have cost Maverick Kevin George a first-place finish in the 110-meter high hurdles.

George was leading Carthage's Henry Holley the first 60 meters, but as George was leaping the seventh hurdle, his left shoe flew off, which Todd said broke his rhythm and probably cost him the race. George finished second to Holley.

"Never in my life have I ever seen anything like that," an amused Todd said. "When Kevin lost his shoe it made him lose his concentration and I'm sure that's what cost him the race. Man, that was strange."

Marshall's only other first place finish came from Marc Clark in the 300-meter intermediate hurdles. Clark, who finished the race in 39.10, easily outdistanced Nacogdoches' Michael Morris for the first place medal.

The Lady Mavericks finished the meet in fine fashion by winning the 1,600-meter relay, thanks to the running of Tami Weisner. Miss Weisner took the baton from Rhonda Russell with her team in second place, but caught Texas High's runner with about 110 meters to go in the race and cruised home to victory.

Other members of the team, which ran the race in 4:17.84, were Madeleine Jackson and Roslyn Reed.

Miss Weisner also took first in the high jump with a leap of 5 feet, 2 inches.

Angelita Johnson picked up a first place finish for the Lady Mavs in the discus with a toss of 109 feet, 4 inches.

The Lady Mavs got second place finishes from Miss Jackson in the 100-meter hurdles and the 800-meter relay team of Miss Reed, Miss Russell, Miss Weisner and Miss Jackson.

Todd's team got a second-place performance from Gerald Robinson in the high jump and third place finishes from the 400-meter relay team of Kenneth Toney, Kenneth Jones, Epps and Bobby Haynes, from Hanks in the 400-meter and the 1,600-meter relay team of Hanks, Epps, Kevin Williams and Haynes.

Sophomore Ron Dennis took fourth in the 3,200-meter run and fifth in the 1,600-meter run, while Willie Brown took fourth in the high jump, Dwyer Newsome fourth in the shot put and Harold Survia fourth in the long jump.

The JV swept to the first-place trophy behind the first-place finishes of the 400-meter relay team, Eric Perkins in the 300-meter hurdles and second-place finishes from Kenneth Miles in the 110-meter hurdles, Thomas Montgomery in the 400-meter dash and Kenneth Jones in the 200-meter dash.

Third-place finishes were turned in by Jones in the 100-meter dash, Miles in the 300-meter hurdles, J.D. Boyd in the 200-meter dash and the 1,600-meter relay team.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

High Schools To Be Merged

Pemberton High School began serving as Marshall ISD's ninth-grade campus in 1972 following integration of Marshall's school system. Following a bond election which created a new freshman wing at Marshall High School in 1986, Pemberton was closed as a public school and sold to Wiley College. This article, published in the March 11, 1986 edition of the Marshall News Messenger, covers the initial school board discussions and decision to create a new freshman wing at MHS to allow students in grades 9-12 to attend the current high school together.

By Mark Peterson
Staff Writer

Freshmen may soon walk the hallways of Marshall High School, joining the sophomores, juniors and seniors. And elementary students in the Marshall Independent School District can look forward to more classroom space.

The Marshall school board Monday unanimously approved the merger of Marshall and Pemberton High Schools and the addition of 20 classrooms to the district's elementary schools.

A resolution adopted by the board says the merger was recommended because of the expense of renovating the Pemberton High School building, which houses ninth graders. The estimated cost of renovating Pemberton is $1.6 million, said board member Ned Dennis.

The resolution states that "ninth grade students be housed in a separate wing yet to be constructed at Marshall High School."

The high school wing and elementary school additions will probably be funded with a bond issue, said Superintendent Pat Smith. The district will hire a financial adviser to study funding possibilities, she said.

"We will do a study to determine when to start construction."

A three-man consultant team hired by the district recommended the merger in November. Dr. Langston Kerr, dean of education at Stephen F. Austin State University and head of the team, said the committee believed it was more beneficial to the district to expand high-quality facilties at the high school than to try to renovate Pemberton.

The resolution calls for 20 new elementary classrooms so the district can meet a state-mandated limit on enrollment in pre-kindergarten through second-grade classes. House Bill 72, the state's new education law, sets a limit of 22 students per class for those grades. the 22-student limit will extend to third and fourth grade classrooms by the 1987-88 school year.

The consultant team recommended that four classrooms each be added to South marshall and William B. Travis Elementary schools, and six to David Crockett.

"The resolution follows findings of a monitoring team that studied the district's facilities and recommended certain changes," said board president Louis Williams. "The resolution is the product of recommendations and studies by the board."

The resolution also states that "the spirit of Pemberton High School be preserved" through the operation of a "heritage center" in the building. The center would house and preserve Pemberton memorabilia.

The resolution says the Pemberton auditorium and Pemberton name should also be preserved. The auditorium would be used by alumni and othe rschool patrons.

Friday, September 23, 2016

MHS Student Council Wins Top Award Again

The Marshall High School Student Council has enjoyed a long history of success and leadership among the student body at MHS. This article highlights the MHS Student Council's award-winning achievements at the Texas Association of Student Councils conference during the 1985-86 school year. It appeared in the May 22, 1986 edition of the Marshall News Messenger.


For the sixth straight year, Marshall High School was recognized as Outstanding Senior High Student Council at the recent 50th annual conference of the Texas Association of Student Councils in Austin.

The MHS Student Council was one of 350 student councils to that attended.

The MHS Student Council received five major awards during the state conference in recognition of their many projects during the school year. The local student council won the Outstanding Safety School for the fifth straight year. Safety chairman this year was senior Amy Huffman.

For the sixth straight year, the MHS council won Outstanding SMILE (alcohol education) project. SMILE chairman for 1985-86 is Greg Schwartz.

Marshall also won the title as Outstanding Energy School. Marshall has won the award since the competition was first created. Martheil Mauthe was this year's energy chairman. During the conference, Marshall's scrapbook was judged along with more than 100 scrapbooks in the 5A competition category. Marshall was one of six schools to win the top award as a superior scrapbook. Historian Merja Kenola was in charge of the scrapbook.

As a result of winning in the safety competition, Melissa Whitis, 1986-87 safety chairman, will join the official Texas delegation as it travels to Longbeach, Miss., in June to attend the annual National Student Safety Program Conference. Martheil Mauthe, this year's energy chairman, will represent Texas in June at the annual National Energy Education Day Awards Ceremony. Both projects are now eligible to win national prizes.

The MHS SMILE project is also entering national competition this year. After receiving encouragement from many Marshall people, the student council has entered the project in the Reader's Digest competition which is offering scholarships to schools sponsoring outstanding alcohol programs.

Some 3,500 student council leaders and sponsors attended the two-day conference. Delegates from Marshall included president William Sperier Jr., parliamentarian Greg Schwartz, juniors Martheil Mauthe and Emily Smith, sophomores Susan Blackburn and Annette Williams, and president-elect Stephanie McGee. Student council sponsor Anne Newman also attended the meeting.

Throughout the conference, Marshall delegates helped to run a booth that offered project information to the delegates.

A highlight of the conference was the election of officers for the 1986-87 school year. Sperier nominated Medina Valley High School of San Antonio to serve as TASC vice president school. Humble High School was elected to serve as president; Teague City High School as secretary and Lewisville high School as parliamentarian.

With a theme of "TASC Golden Encounters: Past, Present and Future," the conference program presented workshop sessions on leadership skills, effective student council projects, and student activity program development. The program included a presentation made by Sperier, whose session highlighted the Texas Sesquicentennial projects sponsored the past year at Marshall High School.

Keynoting the final general session was Jim Wacker, head football coach at Texas Christian University. In his speech, Wacker talked about "Striving for Excellence." Wacker said success is not meaningful unless it is accomplished through truth and integrity.

The Texas Association of Student Councils includes more than 1,100 Texas high school and junior high school student councils.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Students' Works Celebrate Texas

This article appeared in the June 8, 1985 edition of the Marshall News Messenger. It spotlights the work of Marshall Junior High School Art instructor Mrs. Nancy Whatley and her students for the Texas Sesquicentennial Celebration.

By Cindy Edwards-Rinkle
Lifestyle Editor

In conjunction with the Texas Sesquicentennial, Marshall Junior High School Art Department painted history murals in the walls of the hall and compiled in a sesquicentennial sketchbook.

Art instructor Nancy Whatley said the students wanted a special project for the state's 150th birthday.

"They (students) first through about doing a calendar but we had so many good sketches, we decided to do a sketch book," Mrs. Whatley said.

The project was begun more than two months ago. Photographs were taken of historic places in the country. Then, in their free time, the students worked on the sketches, said Mrs. Whatley. "The project was something the students really wanted," she said. "They feel proud to see their names and drawings in it."

The art department had 200 copies printed. "Those sold out days after it was published. An additional 200 were printed and are on sale for $2. Any proceeds will go into the art department budget."

From the budget, paint was purchased and two wall murals were done, Mrs. Whatley said.

The first wall is near the art department. The second wall is in the history wing of the former high school.

Most of Mrs. Whatley's students are in her homeroom class. However, others are scattered in classes throughout the day.

They all get together before school, during lunch hours or after school to work on various projects.

"The students are very talented," she said. "They really enjoy art."

Mrs. Whatley has been teaching art for nine years. She lived in Pasadena before moving to Bivins.

She taught at Stephen F. Austin State University as a graduate assistant.

"In teaching art, so much of it is developing positive self attitude," she said. "I teach art to motivate the students."

Mrs. Whatley not only shares her talents with her students but she also shares them with the community.

"It's my way of expressing myself and my talent," she said.

Projects which have been completed under Mrs. Whatley's ledership include the FireAnt Poster Contest, Keep Marshall Beautiful Poster Contest sponsored by Marshall Public Library, "From Liberty's Point of View" PTA Cultural Arts Contest, mascot signs for Maverick Baseball Stadium, Spiderman posters for Child Abuse Prevention Month, Sesquicentennial Sketchbook, springtime murals for Harrison County Sesquicentennial Banquet, Stagecoach Days Art Contest, and many more.

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Maverick Maker: Dennis Parker's Offseason Program Builds More Than Muscle For Mavericks

It's football season in Marshall, and the Mavericks are back on the field under the Friday night lights. But the real push toward this season -- and most seasons in Maverick history dating back to 1984 -- begins in the spring with the annual "Maverick Maker" offseason program. This article from the Feb. 17, 1985 edition of the Marshall News Messenger highlights the very first "Maverick Maker" under then-new head coach Dennis Parker.

By Mike Keeney
Sports Editor

Just what is a Maverick Maker?

It's different things to different people.

To Marshall High head football coach Dennis Parker it's the perfect way to get his team in shape for offseason work and a means of pulling the squad closer together as a family, so to speak.

To 72 Marshall football players it's two weeks of hard, excruciating work, demanding the most of their bodies and minds as they shoot for perfection.

Once they reach perfection the Maverick Maker is over, so the incentive is there to do it right, quickly.

Parker has final say on when he feels the entire team has completed the Maverick Maker to his satisfaction. That was accomplished a week ago and Tuesday night the player's parents along with the Marshall Maverick Booster Club, will get a first-hand look at the Maverick Maker when they view a videotape of it at a 7 p.m. meeting in the teacher's lounge in the high school.

"We want to let the parents see what their kids have done, that way they'll know if we're working them too hard," Parker said with a laugh. "They (parents) need to see what their boys are going through. We're not trying to hide anything. We're proud of our program. Any chance we get to show it off we will."

Parker said the Maverick Maker, while physically demanding, is more mental than anything else.

"The Maverick Maker is really more mental than it is physical. they need to learn that when they get knocked down they have to get back up."

While it is also mentally demanding, it is also physically demanding. The 45-minute exercise session is broken into three parts: mat work, weight work and agility work.

The 72 varsity and junior varsity candidates are broken into three groups, with each group spending 15 minutes at the designated sessions. Parker roams between the three rooms, while assistants Ardis McCann, Bill Harper, Leonard McAngus, Buck Buchanan, Willie Todd, Tom Thrower and Ken Ivy send the Mavericks through their workout.

Things begin when they Mavericks come busting out of the varsity locker room after getting instructions from Parker. The noise the group makes is deafening as they sprint out ready to attack the Maverick Maker.

As time passes the noise level increases, but mostly one hears words of encouragement from one player to another, which is what Parker and his staff are after.

"That's what they've got to learn from this, to help pick the other guy up. We're not going to win with one or two guys, it takes the whole team and that's what we're trying to get across, that we're a family. Everybody talks about coming together as a team in September, they're a team right now," Parker said, glancing toward the varsity locker room.

Parker is an old hand at introducing such a program. he was associated with it at Converse-Judson, where it was called the Blast Off, in connection with the team's nickname of the Rockets.

"I've used it before and everywhere I've been it's produced results. Not only in getting the squad in shape but in developing a real bond between the players."

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Still Stringing Them Along

Marshall ISD's Orchestra program had very humble beginnings compared to some of the other Fine Arts staples such as Band and Choir. This article, dated Nov. 16, 1984, highlights some of the early days of MISD's strings program leading up to what has now become a program available for students in middle school through high school.

By Diane Hughes
Staff Writer

A handful of Marshall students cast aside their textbooks once a day in favor of violins, violas and cellos -- it's time to make music.

The strings course is one of the most little-known programs in Marshall schools although it has been around for more than 10 years, according to teacher Kevin Jagoe.

"I've run into too many people who lived in Marshall all their lives and gone to the public schools and weren't aware of the program's existence," he said.

The obscurity often leads to misconceptions. "I don't know what people think a strings class should sound like," said Jagoe. "I get asked a lot, how can you stand that screeching sound."

Squawking and screeching have no place in Jagoe's classes. It's merely a matter of pressing the strings all the way to the fingerboard, he explained.

Most children can identify a violin or a bass, but are unfamiliar with cellos or violas, he said.

"A lot of people don't even know what strings are," said Jagoe. " A lot of children come in and ask me if I teach guitar."

The strings program may be less popular than the band, but the 39 students in the program this year are there because they want to be, said Jagoe.

"I think some of them see this is an instrument that not everyone is playing... and I think that's why some of these kids are here, because they want to do something different."

He teaches beginners' classes in sixth and seventh grades, an eight-grade class and one ninth-grade student.

Some students grow discouraged in the first few weeks of the course because the time is spent learning to handle the instrument rather than playing songs. Eight to 10 weeks elapse before the students can play a simple song, said the teacher.

If they started out with songs, before they were sure of bowholds and fingering, they would pick up bad habits and still be struggling by the end of the year, he said.

"You have to be able to crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can run, and we are in the crawling stage of learning the instrument," said Jagoe.

Two concerts are planned this year, one by advanced students Dec. 8 at Marshall Mall, the other in the spring.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Student Programs Future With Computer Know-How

This article appeared in the Nov. 8, 1984 edition of the Marshall News Messenger. It features the story of Shane Franklin, who wrote a computer program to develop his own video game while a student in teacher Larry Hanes' computer class at Marshall High School.

By Richard Fluker
Special Correspondent

Pardon Shane Franklin if he's overly enthusiastic about a computer game called "The Road Race."

Not only did he write the program, but he also had it published in the November edition of "The Rainbow," a magazine for owners of TRS-80 Color Computers. Franklin was 14 when he submitted his work.

He's 16 now and a junior at Marshall High School. His computer wizardry has earned him a reputation and enough money to keep him in an arcade for maybe an afternoon.

"I signed a contract last December giving the magazine all the rights to the game for $25," he said. "But it's the publicity that counts."

Franklin got the idea for "The Road Race" from a hand-held game. It took him a couple of days to get the design straight in his head, then about four hours of serious programming.

"It really wasn't difficult to program," he said. "It just fell right in."

The object of the game is to complete a Grand Prix-type course in as little time as possible. the course is "tough," and you have to stay at the right speed to negotiate the curves. Blow your engine or run off the road and all you can do is wait for another turn.

Several friends have copies of "The Road Race," but Franklin is still the best driver. His success as a player, however, is not limited to his own game.

"Shane pretty well beats everybody up here in computer games," said Larry Hanes, teacher of the computer class at MHS.

Next for the young programmer is a joint project with classmates Stacy Doss and James Trachier. The trio is writing a more complicated, time-consuming program for an adventure-type arcade game.

Franklin's interest in computers was whetted by the movie Tron. He asked for a computer for Christmas and a couple of years later, Santa managed to get one down the chimney.

Now, while many other teenage boys are beefing up their trucks, Franklin is beefing up his computer with a disk drive and other extras. And while others are passing time in their pickups or on the practice field, Franklin is busy pecking at his computer keyboard for at least an hour and a half a day.

He hopes to make computers a permanent part of his future. Tentative plans call for a major in computer engineering at Louisiana State University or Texas.

If that dream doesn't materialize, computers will still have a place in Shane Franklin's life, he declares.

"Even if I'm doing something like hauling garbage, I'll still be writing computer programs and trying to sell them."