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Basketball coach Botard leaving Nocona for Quinlan Ford job

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In another change to the Nocona athletics staff, boys basketball coach Bret Botard announced through his Twitter account on Tuesday he had taken the same position at Quinlan Ford, located east of Dallas.
The move was made more for family reasons, as stated in his tweet.
“While this move puts my wife and I within 30 minutes of many family, friends and our grandchildren, we are very sad to leave Nocona,” Botard said.
Botard went out of his way to thank the people of Nocona, the staff he worked with and especially, his players.
“Lastly, to my players,” Botard said. “I love you. You are a special group of young men. You did everything that was asked of you by me and the rest of the coaching staff. Along the way, you made some history here in Nocona. You accomplished things here that hadn’t been accomplished in over 30 years. Realize that you were the driving force behind this.”
Botard had an extremely successful three-year tenure at Nocona, posting a 73-29 record with three playoff appearances, including reaching the regional semifinals in 2017. The past two seasons saw the Indians compete in a tough district that featured state ranked and tough Holliday and Bowie. A couple of his former players expressed some of the impact he had on their team.
“Coach Botard wasn’t just a coach to our team, he was like our other dad,” recently graduated Jeremy James said. “There were days when none of us were in a good mood, but when we walked into the gym he brought an energy to us that always made us laugh and have a good time. Another great thing about coach was that he believed in us when absolutely no one else did. Overall, Coach Botard was an amazing man and will be missed at Nocona.”
“One thing about him is that he always expected our best effort,” recently graduated McCasland said. “If he knew we weren’t giving it, he made sure we did. He loved every one of us like his own and as hard as he was on us, it was always out of love.”
In his wake, Football Coach/Athletic Director Brad Keck now has to go through the process of hiring a new boys basketball coach for next year. With the search happening during the summer rather than the spring, Nocona will be under the pressure to hire someone sooner rather than later.
“Its kind of wide open right now,” Keck said. “We don’t really have a timeline or a person in mind. I posted the job and taking resumes right now. With it being summer now, there is a little bit of a since of urgency to get something done. We just want to find the right fit for our kids and the right fit for our town, while also doing it pretty quickly.”

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the weekend edition of the Bowie News.

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Forestburg Boys Interview

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Interview with Forestburg basketball players Talan Jones (left) and Kyler Willett following their bi-district playoff win against Newcastle on Feb. 20, 2024.
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Nocona Boys Interview

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Interview with Nocona basketball players Brady McCasland (left) and Conley Kleinhans following their bi-district playoff win against Haskell on Feb. 19, 2024.
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Saint Jo beats Bellevue in play-in game for 3rd place

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Devin Stewart scored 22 points for Saint Jo and helped the Panthers beat Bellevue on Friday night.

The Saint Jo Panthers were able to bounce back and beat Bellevue on Friday night in Bowie to earn the third seed in district play.
The Panthers won 69-51 against a hot Eagles team coming into the game.
Bellevue had won the last four district games heading into the game, including a dominant win against Saint Jo just the previous week.
The Eagles comeback win against second seed Forestburg earlier in the week clutched at least a playoff spot, with a play-in game against the Panthers for the third seed.
The first quarter was competitive as Bellevue led 15-12 as the Eagles had five different players score at least one point.
The Panthers answered back in the second quarter, scoring 22 points as the team got a big lift from Devin Stewart who scored nine points during that period.
Bellevue kept up, scoring 16 points even as it fell behind a little bit.
Saint Jo led 35-31 at halftime.
The Panthers defense stepped up in the third quarter, limiting the Eagles to only one basket and some free throw attempts as Bellevue scored seven points.
Saint Jo got a big boost from Barrett Johnson, who scored 10 of his team’s 14 points as the Panthers lead extended.
Saint Jo led 49-38 heading into the final period.
While the Eagles scored a bit better in the fourth quarter, scoring 13 points, it was not enough to keep up with the Panthers. Saint Jo went 12-16 from the free throw line in the final period alone, which helped the team score 20 points and pull further ahead.
The Panthers won 69-51.

To read the full story, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.

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