By ERIC VICCARO
Both triumph and tragedy surfaced here in the north Texas sports scene during the 2014 calendar year.
On the positive side, now second-year Bowie High School head boys’ basketball coach Doug Boxell earned his 700th win of the season and Forestburg made only its second playoff appearance in school history.
There was also melancholy as we heard about the four North Central Texas College softball players who lost their lives in a tragic vehicular accident north of Ardmore, Okla.
The former Top O’ The Lake Golf Course was sold and transformed into Twisted Oaks Golf Club.
There were other changes throughout the county, most notably former Nocona boys’ basketball coach J.D. Mayo took a job with Joshua and former Lady Indian volleyball coach Sandy Langford left Nocona for Glen Rose.
Bowie had a college signing of spectacular note when Lady Rabbit center Jordan Brightwell put pen to paper on a National Letter of Intent to play basketball for NCAA Division I Tennessee State in Nashville.
No. 1 sports story of the year: NCTC softball accident
There was plenty of shock when the news spread on Sept. 26 that four North Central Texas College softball players were killed in an auto accident on Interstate-35 in Oklahoma.
Fifteen players and coaches were injured in the wreck. The team was returning from a scrimmage against Southern Nazarene University of Bethany, Okla.
The four players killed were Brooke Deckard, Jaiden Pelton, Meagan Richardson and Katelyn Woodlee. The four were deemed, “The Angels In The Infield.”
A scholarship has been started in honor of those who perished, and there’s also an NCTC Softball Benefit Fund.
There was a prayer vigil on campus on Sept. 29, and it became a national story carried on all four major network outlets.
In the month of November, softball dignitaries such as Jennie Finch came to Gainesville as more than $19,000 was raised from a pair of alumni softball games, and live and silent auctions.
Editor’s Note: Read more, and see a photo page, in the mid-week Bowie News in print and with your electronic subscription.
North Central Texas College softball players Meagan Richardson, Brooke Deckard, Katelynn Woodlee and Jaiden Pelton all lost their lives in a vehicular accident back in late September. The story received national attention on college athletics and travel. (Photo graphic provided by North Central Texas College)