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Story in Many Pics: Bowie Beats Horizon 21-12

The Bowie Bears traveled to the High Desert home of the Horizon Scorpions to kick off the 2017 High School Football season Friday night.

While the Scorpions kept it close for a while, the Bears eventually got the upper hand and beat Horizon 21-12.

Our very own Kevin Venegas was on hand – with camera in hand – and brings you his view of the game in this ‘Story in Many Pics.’

Bowie Alumni Donate Blue Cleats to Bears Football Team

One for the money, two for the show, three to get ready and thanks to a generous donation, the Bowie High School football team is now ready to go, Bears, go.

They’re made of blue leather and not suede like the famous Elvis Presley song, but the Bowie Bears this season will sport new Under Armour cleats donated by the Class of 1975.

The Bowie alumni raised $1,600 to buy 25 pairs for the team, delivering the shoes on Aug. 11 before the start of practice.

“There’s a little less stress for the coaches and a feeling of connection to alumni groups by our current players,” football coach Roberto Padilla said. “Hopefully when they are older and they feel they can help their alma mater, they will come back and do so as well.”

Class of ’75 alum Jesus Gonzalez helped coordinate the fundraising efforts, reaching out to his fellow classmates and other Bowie alumni to raise the money.

“We sent a text to everyone we know that could help, and they came through,” Gonzalez said. “Everyone chipped in what they could, and we even have had some big donations, like from Jorge Molina, who sent $200 from Oahu, Hawaii.”

The Class of ’75 is always looking for ways to help their alma mater, celebrating their 40-year reunion two years ago by donating 30 pairs of cleats.

“We always try to help the school in one way or another,” Gonzalez said. “Whether it’s helping with fundraising or having cook outs before the game. It’s very rewarding. You feel good about helping someone else and giving back to the community.”

The students were grateful to start the season with new blue shoes to match their Bowie blue uniforms.

“I really like the shoes. They are in our school colors,” senior Troy Torres said. “We love the blue and white and will wear them with pride.”

Senior linebacker Ricardo Valles is looking forward to wearing the new cleats for his last year as a Bowie Bear.

“It’s a great feeling to be supported by our alumni like that,” Valles said. “I think it will help us play with more pride because we know we represent a lot of people in the community that support us.”

Gonzalez remembers his time as a bear fondly, even when times were tough. He hopes helping the team gives them the encouragement they need to keep playing with the pride the south-side school is known for.

“Helping them brings back memories when we used to play. We had to share shoes and equipment from the Varsity team. We never had anyone that would help us,” he said. “It’s great to know these kids won’t have to worry about that. They were very thankful, and we told them we were proud of them for everything they do – that they have the heart and attitude to win another championship.”

Bowie HS Gym to Bear name of Former Player, Coach Nolan Richardson

Students, staff and alumni of Bowie High School will gather on Saturday to officially dedicate the gym of the South Side school in honor of one of its legendary players and former coaches: Basketball Hall of Famer Nolan Richardson.

The EPISD Board of Trustees this spring unanimously approved a community-based request to name the gym after Richardson, the former Bear basketball legend who played college basketball for Don Haskins at UTEP and gained national fame as the head coach of the NCAA championship team from the University of Arkansas.

The name change for the gym was spearheaded by members of the Bowie alumni community, including the Memory Lane Committee. The group spent months advocating the change and speaking with community members about their plans.

Bowie Principal Dr. Michael Warmack said the school has welcomed the name change as yet another sign of pride for the school.

“Nolan Richardson stands as proof of the power of education and what a community like our can do to help students succeed,” he said. “Our students will play in a gym that bears the name of someone who, like them, came to this school and achieved his potential.”

The dedication ceremony will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24, at the Bowie High School gym, 801 S. San Marcial. The public is invited. Richardson is expected to be in attendance.

Bowie High Welcomes, Trains new Generation of Bears

Bowie High School welcomed more than 100 incoming freshmen during the school’s annual Cub Camp last week for a day filled with fun activities and learning.

New Tech administrator Amanda Burruel organized the event to help freshmen become acquainted with the campus, faculty and staff before the beginning of the new school year.

“The transition from middle school to high school can be difficult for some of the students,” Burruel said. “Anything we can do to connect them to the school and present to them what we have to offer will help them feel more at ease.”

The scavenger hunt or “Bear Hunt” was created to help students pinpoint places on campus, such as the library and counselor’s office.

They were asked to take a selfie at each destination on the scavenger hunt list.  Freshman Lesslie Alonso was hesitant about going to the camp at first but was happy she participated after learning what it was all about.

“I am now excited to start school,” Alonso said. “This has been a fun day.”

Students received a warm welcome from the Bowie mariachi group and cheer team, as well as principal Dr. Michael Warmack.

Alumnus ret. Col. Raul Garibay spoke to students about Bowie Pride and the Bowie Fight Song
Alumnus ret. Col. Raul Garibay spoke to students about Bowie Pride and the Bowie Fight Song

They also learned the Bowie fight song, singing along with Class of 1948 alumnus and retired Army Col. Raul Garibay.

Freshman David Castaneda is looking forward to being a high school student.

“I’m happy to start,” Castaneda said. “A lot of my family has come to Bowie so it’s great to be part of that history.”

His mother and 1985 Bowie alumna Rosa Maria Castaneda hopes his experience at south side school is as memorable as hers.

“I want the best for him,” Rosa Maria Castaneda said. “I want him to be someone in the future.”

The camp closed with an extracurricular fair to inform about the many activities available on campus.

“Part of being a high school student is being able to take advantage of these programs like New Tech that we know helps students be successful,” Burruel said.

Students received their very own Bowie High t-shirts, helping cement the fact they are now part of the “Osos Orgullosos” legacy.

“Bowie is a great high school — the greatest high school in the world,” Warmack said. “We want these incoming freshmen to feel like they are a part of that.”

Bowie Band Program Growing and Improving

A small Bowie band emerged with top ratings in UIL at the Marching Competition in the fall and Concert and Sight Reading Competition last month – the first time in more than a decade the band earned a First Division rating.

This performance by the Bears is another sign that the Bowie High School Band is experiencing a sort of renaissance that is bringing back a storied tradition of having outstanding music programs at the South Side school.

“The Bowie Band under Jasmine Torres’ leadership and vision has been able to accomplish some amazing things in just a short period of time,” said Michael Phillips, director of Fine Arts. “Ms. Torres does not see a small number of students as a detriment but as a positive. Every student is held to a high standard of accountability.”

It’s then quite appropriate that students sometimes play the “Rocky” theme song on their own before band class: “Trying hard now…Getting strong now…Won’t be long now.”

“Last year, there was a lot of improvement,” Torres said. “We were definitely taking our first steps to putting us on the map, but we weren’t quite there.”

In the fall of 2014, the band had 19 students – most with little to no music experience – and a brand new director one year out of graduating from UTEP. Torres’ first steps were to institute systems to give the program more structure and a true chance for success.

“It made going into this year easier,” she said. “The kids knew what to expect and what was expected of them. They came back improved.”

Students could feel the higher expectations set by their band director and fell in line. Today, the band has 26 members. In marching season a flag corps was added, boosting the band to 30 members.

“I see us growing bigger and becoming more successful,” said sophomore Kevin Nino, who had limited experience playing the baritone last year when he joined the band. “We’ve progressed a lot because of the help of Miss Torres.”

Freshman Alexis Chavez, a clarinet player, was leery about joining the band at first, but Torres helped convince her to try it.

“It’s worth not getting the extra hour of sleep to come in everyday,” Chavez said.

news2_2424_mJust like Nino and Chavez, band members are committed to their craft and see the gains the band has made in the short time they have been involved..

“We are the heart of the school,” Nino said. “We have the most pride.”

He especially likes the band’s job of cheering on their team during football season. “We’re helping our team to win when we are on the field,” he said.

Their commitment to learning and improving in the band room is obvious.

“The kids have a lot more pride because they know exactly where they started and the behind-the-scenes to get here,” Torres said. “It takes a committed student to be here at 6:30 a.m. every morning. They know all those sacrifices meant something. They stand a lot taller.”

Principal Michael Warmack beams with pride talking about the Bowie band.

“Getting the students into band was just the first step,” he said. “Ms. Torres has also worked hard with students throughout the year preparing them for competitions. Add to this, several of our alumni associations have also come through with donations which enabled us to hire band-techs, mostly college students, to work with our students in small groups.”

The band techs have helped refine the students talent on their individual instruments.

“Most of our students are not financially able to take private lessons and the extra help they receive at school makes a huge difference in their confidence, ability, and sound,” Warmack said.

Warmack’s goal for Bowie is to have 100 percent of the student body participate in an extra curricular activity such as band.

“Engaged students are better students academically and they are better students in terms of discipline,” he said. “They bring a pride back to Bowie that will make future students want to attend Bowie High School. We hope to continue the growth and success next year.”

Music and instruments are the tools to any band class but teaching work ethic is key to building the band.

“Our circumstances don’t mean anything,” Torres said. “Yes, there are limits but not excuses. You need insane, relentless work ethic.”

Torres has already seen this “insane, relentless work ethic” in her students.

“They’ve become more passionate, more proactive, more desiring to help,” she said. “What I see in them makes me really proud that band has been a tool to teach them this. I’m humbled to be their teacher. They have taught me more than they realize.”

Story in Six Pics: Falcons bury Bears 62 to 14

It was playoff time in the Sun City Thursday night, as the Bowie Bears visited the Eastlake Falcons. The high-desert raptors took it to the Pride of the Southside, as the Bears lost to the Falcons 62 to 14. Check out our very own Mike C’s view of the contest in tonight’s Story in Six Pics

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Story in Six Pics: Bowie blanks Jefferson 28 to 0

It was the Battle of the Southside Thursday night at the Sun Bowl, as Bowie took on their down-the-street rival Jefferson. The Bears took back the helmet, defeating the Silver Foxes 28 to 0, and securing a playoff spot.

Andres Acosta brings you all the action via this Story in Six Pics (and a few extra, too) Feel free to share!

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