Friday night isn’t just for football, as volleyball teams from around the area are in action, just like the San Eli Eagles.
The Eagles hosted their rivals from Fabens, with Freshmen, JV and Varsity teams in action.
**Editor’s note: A previous version of this story was incorrect, the scores given were the varsity scores, not the JV/Freshman scores. We apologize for the error.
When I’m out, shooting a high school football game, I’m not just focusing on the game. What I do is try to take in everything: the game, the fans, the families, the coaches, cheerleaders, flag girls, even the JROTC kids doing push-ups each time their team scores.
That’s how I came to know the Fabens Color Guard.
What is a color guard? Others may know them as “flag girls.” They are the ones you see, during halftime, out there with the marching band, doing routines with flags, or other props.
The color guard that we see today has its history with the military. During the early days of the Civil War, soldiers had a marching band accompany them onto the battlefield. As part of that band, there was someone carrying the flag, the “colors.”
It was during this war that the first color guard was born.
As time passed the color guard became associated with marching bands in both high school and university. What we see today, on the football fields of high schools and universities nationwide is the product of Peggy Twiggs who is the inventor of the “Peggy spin” which took flag spinning to new level.
What happened is that one day, while Peggy was just standing around and board during a regular practice, she began to twirl the flag in ways JROTC cadets would with their rifles. That was the beginning of what we see today.
As I covered games with Fabens, I reached out the color guard coach, Rebecca Elaine Soto. I mentioned that I wanted to talk to the her girls, and we were set. So, I was able to meet with five members of the team: Banai, Azucena, Ezvidi, Jessica and Emiley.
The Fabens Color Guard, according to Ezveidi is, “it’s basically dancing with a lot of routines, and like just breakdowns with polls and flags. Just creating a big show for them.”
The last game I covered with them and Fabens was on a cold night. Still, they were out there. I thought back to that night, and so many others where it’s been either cold or raining and wondered why girls even do the color guard.
“Because it’s fun,” says Emiley. “You get to express yourself. You get to just let loose.”
Expressing themselves and having fun on the field is something each of these girls does. They are out there cheering (before their routine at the halftime show) not only for the players but the cheerleaders as well.
For that first semester, when football season is running, they are there doing their thing. But what happens to the color guard when after the last football game is played?
“We do it for the first semester,” says Emiley. “Then, second semester we go back to our instruments.”
Emiley and Azucena play the flute. Jessica plays the bass clarinet, while Ezveidi is a percussionist and Banai plays the euphonium.
During that first semester though, they can be found performing one routine after another. Cheering the crowd and players on. Receiving rave reviews and compliments from everyone who sees them.
“We like what they do,” says Hector, a student, whom I spoke to during their last game. “It is cold out here, and there they are, giving it their all. They stay out for all of the game. They bring up the excitement level.”
Another student, Esme, shared her opinion as well.
“They’re so cute, look at them,” she said. “They have more cheer energy than you would think. I love them.”
“’It’s so cool,’” says Emiley, quoting what others have said. “’The pole is bigger than you, but you do all this.”
What’s the best thing, in their opinion, of being in the color guard?
“Friendships,” says Azucena. “Like on here, we’ve made a lot of friendships.”
That, right there, is that anything you do in school is about, I think. In high school, we tend to form some of the friendships that will last throughout our lives. The people we meet there help to make us who we are. These girls, who they are, and who they are going to be is because of who they are friends with.
Often, when I’m interviewing kids in high school, I can see friendships, but that’s it. With these girls, their bond is closer than that, closer than just being friends. No. These girls are like family.
During our photo shoot, they were encouraging each other, pepping each other up. They were. Also, I noticed, sad about the ones there were not there for the shoot or interview. This was something they wanted to share, as friends and family.
When they realized that Ezveidi was not going to be there next year, you could see them become sad. As a joke, I said she could fail, but Emiley looked at her, shuck her head no, and told her not to.
Then there are the girls I saw on the field, during the games I covered. They were also concerned about the players, and not just from their team. During one game, when a guy from the other team was hurt, one of the girls said that she hoped he was okay. The others echoed her thoughts.
There are times when I look at the next generation and worry. There are times when I think we are turning the future of our world over to a bunch of kids who don’t want to do anything more than look out for themselves.
Then, I meet people like Banai, Emiley, Ezveidi, Jessica and Azucena, and I see there is hope for us all after all.
The parents of these girls have done an amazing job in raising them, imparting values, desire, compassion and drive into each of them.
I have no doubt we will be hearing more of them in the future. With Banai waning to join the El Paso Police Department; Emiley wants to attend acting school in California; Ezveidi wants to work with animals (Animal Sciences major); Azucena want to be a business major; Jessica wants to be a graphic artist.
Still, no matter what these five girls do, we will be hearing more about them in the future. They are positive, full of energy, great role models, and the future of our country.
There is so much more you can learn about them; so, take the time and check out the video above, you’ll be glad you did!
Most college students look forward to the much-needed time-off during summer vacation, but one former Wildcat spent his summer on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Fabens High School graduate Rodrigo Estrada interned at the White House this summer in the Executive Office of the President as he helped develop and executive domestic policy.
“No two days were the same at the White House and I never knew who I’d bump into on my way to the office, whether it be cabinet secretaries or the vice president himself,” Estrada said.
“As an intern, I conducted research on labor policy, quantified the effectiveness of recent reforms, drafted memoranda, and generated reports to better inform policy-making. It was a fast-paced environment, but everyone was always willing to lend a helping hand,” Estrada said.
Rodrigo recalls many discussions in Mr. Flores’ AP History class that fueled his passion for politics and offers advice for students who want to become involved in the political world.
“At such a polarized and divided moment in our nation’s history, it is imperative that we actively engage those with whom we share differences of opinion in an attempt to build bridges of understanding and not wall ourselves off in intransigence. Be open to a diversity of views and engage your community through service and advocacy whenever you are afforded the opportunity, no matter how small.”
Estrada attends the University of Chicago and is pursuing a degree in economics.
Author: David Natividad – Fabens ISD
In one of the region’s classic high school football rivalries, the Clint Lions made the eight-mile-drive down Texas 20 to Amador Villalobos Jr. Athletic Complex to take on Fabens Wildcats.
As of recent years, the Lions have had the upper hand on the Wildcats, but with a game that has ramifications years after the last whistle has blown, both teams bring their ‘A’ Games for this match up.
Our very own Andres Acosta was there as the Wildcats got the upper hand in this yearly rivalry, and brings you his view of the game in this ‘Story in Many Pics’
Western Technical College has announced the recipients of the 2017 Cotton Valley Scholarships.
Alan Sanchez Aguirre and Bryan Saucedo, both 2017 graduates from Fabens High School, will receive $25,000 in scholarships towards tuition, books, uniforms, laptops, and Matco tools at Western Tech.
“It is rewarding for us at Western Tech to be able to give the gift of education to well-deserving students like Alan and Bryan,” said Brad Kuykendall, Chief Executive Officer of Western Tech.
“We also applaud the efforts of Texas State Board of Education District 1 Representative, Georgina Cecilia Perez, who plays such a critical role advocating for long-term education. We look forward to the bright futures Alan and Bryan have as they start their careers at Western Tech,” Kuykendall added.
A scholarship presentation was held earlier this month at Western Tech where the students received their awards from the Cotton Valley Scholars of the Rural Schools Education Program & Scholarship Foundation.
Both Alan and Bryan are enrolled in the Associates of Occupational Studies in Diesel Mechanics program.
The Fabens Alumni Association’s 2016 FAA Fall Fiesta to benefit Fabens ISD scholarships and grants is set to return this weekend.
Officials say the fiesta is set for Saturday, October 15, at the Lower Valley Lions Club Little League Field (16151 North Loop) Festivities include food, drinks, and games for all ages.
Gates will open at 2 p.m., opening ceremonies will be at 3:30 p.m., followed by performances including the Fabens Folklorico, under the direction of Rosemary Contreras-Olivas and Santiago and Susan Chavez, dance music by Sonido with DJ Robert Sepulveda and featured performers, Tito Lujan and The Texas 20 Band.
Profits from the fiesta will help to fund the FAA scholarships for graduating Fabens High School students and grants to campuses within the Fabens Independent School District.
Since its inception in 2007, the FAA has contributed more than $44,000 in scholarships and grants to the Fabens ISD.
The fiesta is slated to stay open through 1 a.m
The 10th annual battle for the ‘Cotton Bowl Trophy’ between Clint and Fabens ended up as most rivalry games in this series do: a classic battle to the end, with the Lions edging out the Wildcats 24 to 22.
While it may have been a “Tale of Two Halves,” that only tells half the story. As most games in this five-decade-plus rivalry, the Wildcats squandered a 16-3 halftime lead, allowing 21 unanswered points from Clint, only to have a fighting chance in the game’s final minutes failing to tie the game on a two-point conversion.
The Wildcats jumped to a two-score halftime lead, primarily off of Clint mistakes. The first score on a safety and then extended a nine to three lead on a fumbler recovered for a 40-yard touchdown.
Clint, a team well-known for running the ball, tried a different approach in the first half of the game by passing on first and second down, but turned to their running game which helped them score 21 unanswered points in the second half for the definite lead.
“I’m proud of them, they came back after the half when we were down two scores,” Clint Head Coach Rosvel Martinez said. “It showed a lot of character and that’s what you ask for. Big win, not just because it was Fabens, a rival, but it’s our first district game so it kind of puts us in a good seat.”
The workhorse behind that comeback win for the Lions was senior running back Jesus Almanza, who finished the night with 244 yards and three touchdowns.
“The line was doing pretty good, but they were aggressive at the beginning, but somehow we pulled it off,” Almanza said. “We started believing in ourselves again, started playing Clint-Lion football like we’re used to.”
“We were trying to throw a little bit, trying to spread them out, they’re defensive scheme was pretty good,” Matinez said. “At halftime we said, let’s go back to what we know how to do, what we do best is running the ball and that’s what we did and came out on top.”
Clint held a 24-16 lead with under five minutes to play, but a rare pass attempt was intercepted by the Wildcats, who scored a touchdown with 2 minutes left in the game. Fabens failed to tie the game on the ensuing two-point attempt.
“We were just trying to put them away and just not a very smart call on my end,” Clint offensive coordinator, John Wilson said. “It’s one of those plays that if it works, you’re a genius, if it doesn’t you’re a knucklehead. I shouldn’t have put ourselves in that spot…Fabens is a heck of a team, they fought hard and it’s always like that when they play us.”
The Lions would hold on to the two-point lead and improve their record to 4-3 as the head into their bye week. Fabens will now face Mountain View to continue District 2-4A play; Fabens drops to a 1-6 mark overall.
Regardless of the win-loss records, anytime the teams get together, the result is memorable.
“It’s always special against Fabens, but it’s a district win, we move on and have to get ready for Mountain View [after bye week],” Wilson said. “It’s always nice when you get Fabens, it’s a good rivalry. I’m proud of our kids, they played their tails off.”