Written by Jess Paniszczyn
In their heyday, they ruled the halls at MacArthur High School. Members of one of the school’s most successful football teams, they were finally stopped on the gridiron by Odessa Permian at the 5A football state quarterfinals. But their stories did not end there.
After high school, some went on to college; others went into business. They started families and built their lives. Each found a measure of success in the ‘real world,’ until they lost everything through their own poor choices.
Today they have not only found the strength to begin again, but through Rock Bottom Outreach, they bring their message of decisions and consequences to high school athletes. On Sept. 25, five of these men returned to where their journey into manhood and independence began, MacArthur High School, bringing their message of redemption to their fellow Cardinals.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 October 2013 02:42
Written by Elaine Paniszczyn
Roars of race car engines rounding tracks in videos on big screens mixed with vintage rock ‘n roll music as race car drivers, builders, owners, and fans admired cars, memorabilia and photos and talked all things racing at the Racers Reunion in Irving on Sept. 21.
The annual event which highlights vintage open-wheel racing gave tribute to race car builder Frank Kurtis who built all kinds of winning race cars and to four journeymen, men who were hired to drive race cars.
“They were hired because they’re experts at driving – sort of like top guns,” said Natalie Stevens, wife of Bart Stevens, organizer of the event. “People would build cars, sponsor cars, and they would hire these guys simply for the sole purpose of driving.”
This was the fourth racers reunion held in Irving. It was held in San Antonio in the 1990’s.
“We revived it up here in DFW and started drawing in more people from the Midwest,” Bart Stevens said. “We have 13 race cars on display, and we’ll have nearly 200 people here. It’s called bench racing in the afternoon where people just tell stories, make up stuff, and exaggerate on the history. Memorabilia and photo albums are laid out.”
The journeymen were drivers who were hired to produce results.
“They weren’t with a team on a regular basis – sometimes week to week – sometimes half of a night they would race, and they would get fired,” Stevens said. “They were on the road. They were hired to do a job, and in their case it was to race.
“This year we are featuring Buddy Cagle out of Tulsa,” he said. “He ran during the late ‘40’s and ‘50’s all through the Midwest.
“Bill White is out of Little River Academy, south of Temple,” Stevens said. “He was a hard charger – always won, always produced. His sons (Paul and Keith) are currently still racing. They’re racing tonight at Texas Motor Speedway. They’re champions in other divisions themselves.
“Jim McElreath from Arlington, TX raced in Indianapolis and all through the Midwest,” Stevens said. “He was very successful and raced all sorts of cars. He was kind of a mentor to Johnny Rutherford, who will be addressing us through video tonight.”
At the banquet Saturday night, they played 1950’s footage of McElreath from the Devil’s Bowl that was near Buckner and Loop 12.
“Gordon Woolley out of Waco, TX would start his season in Tampa and then go straight to El Centro, CA and then up through the Midwest,” Stevens said.
Woolley said it was an exciting life.
“They’d call me and say, ‘Will you come drive my race car?’ and I’d say, ‘Where you at?’ and ‘As soon as I can get my helmet bag, I’ll be in this car and be up there as soon as I can get there.’ I went all over the United States.
“In Knoxville, IA they have Nationals every year that pays big money. It started in 1960. In 1962, I ran second in the Nationals at Knoxville. Jerry Ricker out of St. Paul, MN won first. He beat me about a foot or something.
“It only paid $600, and I got 40 percent of that, which wasn’t very much money.” Woolley said. “But this last year it paid $200,000 to the winner, but that’s how cheap it was then. You were just running for nothing.
“I had my wife and three daughters in Waco. My wife was a school teacher. Whatever I won, I’d send some to them and some to the church.
“I drove race cars 48 years,” Woolley said. “In 1946 in Waco, they built a race track … out at the lake, and I had a little garage down in east Waco, and I fixed up an old car, and that’s how I started.”
Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 October 2013 02:41
Written by Jess Paniszczyn
The Via Real restaurant hosted a Pre-Gala Party, on Sept. 19, benefitting the Irving Schools Foundation’s Legacy Gala. Each partygoer was charged an entry fee of one auction item or a bottle of wine which will enhance the Legacy Gala planned to be held in the Four Seasons Resort & Club in Las Colinas on Oct. 25.
“Today we are collecting gifts for the silent auction and the wine pull,” said Nancie Rissing, an Irving Schools Foundation’s Board member. “We are going to take these to the Gala... It is going to be an awesome time to celebrate. We are also going to be celebrating the Teachers of the Year that evening. It will be great fun.”
Crystal Scanio, Executive Director of Irving Schools Foundation, is anticipating using the proceeds from this year’s Gala to expand the scholarship opportunities for Irving students.
“We’ve raised $233,000 out of our $300,000 goal,” Scanio said. “So the hope is we will get $300,000 before the Gala, but even if we don’t get to that point, then we will raise it at the Gala. One thing I want to share is that we keep our expenses low. Last year we spent about $50,000 on the actual event. We raised $257,000 at the actual event, so $207,000 went directly back to the schools. I know that is a major concern with a lot of people as they are looking to fund certain events or help certain charities.
“We want to expand our scholarships. Currently we offer about 114 scholarships. We want to expand that to 125.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 October 2013 02:40
Written by Jess Paniszczyn
More than 2,400 runners played in the mud when The Patriot Games held its North Texas Obstacle Challenge at Trinity View Park, benefiting Irving Police Athletic League (PAL), on Sept. 21. The mud run included a 5K, 10K and a 1 mile kids run, complete with 32 obstacles.
Founded by two former Marines, the Irving race was The Patriot Games’ sixth stop.
“Basically this is what we have done in the military, and we are bringing it to everybody,” said Tommy Cudd, CEO of The Patriot Games. “We have cargo nets and mud crawls. We are kind of famous for our stairway to Heaven.
“People enjoy the obstacles, because they are challenging and hard. They are facing their fears and looking at heights they haven’t faced. They have to use teamwork sometimes to overcome the challenge. I think people come out to challenge themselves and prove to themselves that they can do it.
“Every event we do, we get bigger and better, and we outdid ourselves this time. Everyone’s enjoying it.”
Dripping with dirt and mud, Nolan Sittig crossed the finish line and headed for the shower area.
“My favorite part was finishing,” Sittig said. “The log crossing was more challenging than any of the other obstacles. You have to balance. You have to step. Your feet are muddy. Your shoes are plumb full of mud, because you just came out of a mud pit, so it made it a lot harder.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 October 2013 02:39
Written by Alonzo Olmedo
The MacArthur Cardinals prepare for a crucial district match-up against the Euless Trinity Trojans. After the Cardinals produced over 400 offensive yards over winless R.L. Turner in a 63-7 dominating victory, MacArthur will now look to go 2-0 in district play and keep the momentum rolling against a playoff caliber team in Euless Trinity.
Euless Trinity enters the game ranked 22nd in the state of Texas according to the AP Texas high school polls. The Trojans have 12 returning starters on both offense and defense from last year’s 10-3 season that also went 7-0 against district opponents. The Trojans under head coach Steve Lineweaver has had fourteen consecutive playoff appearances and three state championships since 2009. With an overall record of 153-24, Coach Lineweaver has created a blueprint on how to coach a program with continued success.
The last time MacArthur head coach Brian Basil defeated Euless Trinity was back in 2004 in a 41-28 rout. Since then, the Trojans have gone 6-0 against the Cardinals. In those six meetings, the Trojans have outscored the Cardinals 227-79. The Cardinals will look to break their six game losing streak and remain undefeated against district opponents this year.
The Cardinals will have to create problems for Euless Trinity at their weakest positions on the field. MacArthur junior wide out Mykeal Webster will be the key to MacArthur’s offensive game plan. Webster leads all other wide outs in Irving in yards per catch this season. The Trojans seem to be most vulnerable when Trinity’s defensive backs are left in one on one situations. Webster who averages near 14 yards per catch can blossom in the play action pass calls against the Trojans defense. MacArthur junior quarterback Logan Austin is bringing a four touchdown performance against R.L. Turner. Austin has completed 51 percent of his passes and thrown for 766 passing yards this season.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 01 October 2013 02:37