The Highland Park Scots celebrated homecoming by clinching a playoff spot with a 49-24 victory over Carrollton Creekview on Friday night at Highlander Stadium. It was also the team’s final home game of the regular season.
Quarterback Brooks Burgin threw for 253 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 53 yards and another score. Running back Cole Feigl also had a big night with 12 carries for 92 yards and a touchdown, along with six catches for 77 yards.
“It was a fantastic time,” Feigl said. “I couldn’t have done it without my O-line. They did a fantastic job, and the receivers’ blocking was great. It was not just a run game. Burgin is just a play-maker overall. We couldn’t do it without him, the line, and the receivers.”
The Scots (7-1, 5-0) are still on track to win what would be their fifth straight District 10-4A championship. Highland Park is at Carrollton Newman Smith next Friday night. The Scots will then play at Terrell on Nov. 8 to close out the regular season.
The Saint Michael Preschool’s 1.3-acre slice of heaven opens this Sunday just in time for its annual Trunk or Treat Halloween celebration.
“The playground is similar to Coffee Park,” Saint Michael spokesman Lowell Duncan said. “It has the cutting-edge playground equipment for children ages 2 to 5.”
But what, exactly, is cutting-edge playground equipment?
“We really wanted to do something that tied in the kids’ sensory needs and physical needs that aren’t on the normal playground in Dallas,” said Katie Riley, director of the preschool. “Some of these things include hills and spinners, texture, and all different types of equipment that address things that kids don’t see every day.”
Previously, the preschool students played on two older playgrounds that were intended for smaller children. The new playground was built on land north of the church building, which was purchased five years ago and was formerly occupied by apartment buildings.
“Before, there wasn’t any where to run or roll or do cartwheels,” Riley said. “This playground is going to give kids the opportunity to have lots more room to run and lots more room to let physical energy out.”
The funds for the playground were raised through the annual “Chairish Our Children” event, when parents bid on youngster-sized desks and chairs in a silent auction. In one night, they were able to raise more than $134,000. Additional funds came from the Saint Michael Foundation, the Moody Foundation, and the Corrigan Goddard Foundation.
The Sunday opening is in conjunction with the “Trunk or Treat” celebration, during which parents will pull their cars into the north parking lot and pass out candy and goodies from their trunks to children dressed in costumes. The celebration will begin promptly at 10 a.m., when Father Greg Pickens will bless the new facilities.
The man who is believed to be the first person ever killed by Highland Park police was shot in the back, according to an autopsy report released by the Dallas County medical examiner’s office.
The autopsy, which was first reported by The Dallas Morning News, also says Hartman had methamphetamine in his blood.
Hartman was shot the evening of June 4 in Park Cities Plaza, the shopping center on Mockingbird Lane near SMU. Less than two hours later, the town’s Department of Public Safety released a statement that said the two officers who had detained him returned fire after he shot at them first.
The Dallas County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident, to determine how the officers apparently missed Hartman’s gun and how he freed himself from a set of handcuffs. Because the case will go to a grand jury, Sgt. Lance Koppa, the town’s spokesman, declined to comment on the autopsy results.
Hartman’s family filed a lawsuit against the town in state district court on July 30. The case was transferred to federal court a month later because the family is claiming his constitutional rights were violated.
Three months after he reported receiving more than $700,000 in political donations, Park Cities native Chart Westcott officially launched his campaign for the Legislature on Tuesday.
In a video called “Making Government Work,” Westcott says he’s seeking the Republican nomination for House District 108 because he doesn’t want what’s happening in Washington to happen in Austin.
“We have a dysfunctional Congress filled with liberal Democrats unwilling to work with Republicans on any level,” Westcott says as the video shows Rep. Nancy Pelosi, Sen. Harry Reid, and President Barack Obama. “We have a president who ignores the will of the people, dictates policy by executive order, while running up more debt than any president in history.”
The M Streets resident then transitions to a summary of his platform issues: lowering taxes, balancing budgets, reducing regulations, giving parents’ more options for their children’s education, and “standing up for our traditional Texas values of faith, family, and the sanctity of life.”
The video concludes with a plug for Westcott’s website, where there’s definitely a focus on federal issues, even though he is seeking a state office. “I will fight the Obama Administration at every level and on every issue I can,” the site says under the heading “Fighting Washington & Obamacare.”
Westcott, 28, is one of three Republicans who have expressed interest in the House seat that University Park’s Dan Branch is vacating to run for attorney general. The others are small-business owner Court Alley, 33, of Devonshire and attorney Morgan Meyer, 39, of University Park. Another University Park attorney — Leigh Bailey, 34 — is running as a Democrat.
Westcott is a graduate of Greenhill and Vanderbilt, and he has a law degree from SMU. His website says he is a partner and general counsel of Commodore Partners, a private equity company that focuses on investments in technology and real estate. The top result on a Google search for “Commodore Partners” is the website for Westcott LLC, the investment firm founded by the candidate’s father, Carl Westcott of Highland Park.
The extensive list of supporters on Chart’s website reads like a who’s who of the Park Cities and Preston Hollow. Among those who have endorsed his candidacy are Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and legendary players Troy Aikman, Daryl Johnston, and Roger Staubach. Aikman is the honorary chairman of his campaign.
His supporters also include a number of elected officials, including former Dallas County Judge Lee Jackson, County Commissioner Mike Cantrell, and State Board of Education member Tincy Miller.
“I am supporting Chart because he has a passion for our great country and for Texas,” Miller said. “He believes in the exceptionalism of America and the strong work ethic that our country exemplifies — especially in Texas. Our state is a magnet for the entrepreneur embracing our free-market system. I see him as the next ‘Reagan Conservative’ generation.”
The Highland Park Scots had their last home game pretty much in hand by halftime, having staked a 28-6 lead over Mesquite Poteet. Fortunately for the fans, the Sparkling Scots provided a little excitement in the third quarter.
The Sparkling Scots are a group of five special-needs students who perform alongside the high school’s varsity cheerleaders. Their third-quarter performance on Oct. 11 was the second of three scheduled for the first-year program. The group will also be on the sidelines during this week’s homecoming game.
“The Sparkling Scots have added so much spirit to the pep rallies and games,” HPHS principal Walter Kelly said. “They are an important part of our school community, and to truly be a community, everyone should have the chance to make a contribution.”
The Sparkling Scots are part of the Sparkle Effect, a program launched in Iowa five years ago that has already expanded to more than 70 high schools in 20 states. The Highland Park squad was initiated by parent Kelly Waterman.
“We moved here from another high school that had the program,” Waterman said, “and we saw firsthand what the benefits were, not only for our girls, but for the varsity cheerleaders. The varsity girls got as much out of it as our girls.”
Claire Sorrells said the Sparkling Scots pick up on cheers really fast. Teammate Allison Horn said the two squads hold practices together, with the varsity cheerleaders teaching the Sparkling Scots how to jump and stretch.
“Whenever they cheer, they look so happy,” Horn said.
Although one Sparkling Scot was run over by a football player Friday, the overall enthusiasm wasn’t dampened.
“When they are with us, they just inspire the crowd and everyone else,” cheerleader Madelyn Marks said.
Being champions for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is in the Haggar family’s genes.
Their relationship with the Memphis hospital began when Joe Haggar Sr., founder of his namesake clothing company, connected with comedian Danny Thomas, founder of St. Jude, over their common Lebanese heritage. Two generations later, Lydia Haggar Novakov, Marian Haggar Bryan, and Joe Haggar III are carrying on the family tradition by spearheading two major fundraisers in the Dallas area. Bryan and Novakov are co-chairing the Evening Under the Stars party, and Haggar is co-chairing the St. Jude Golf Classic.
“Our grandfather embraced Danny’s dream of establishing a hospital for helpless children who didn’t have the funds to get the medical treatment, cures, and attention that they needed,” said Bryan, a Preston Hollow resident. “Our dad, at an early age, was exposed to these two amazing men, and he loved it. He really made the commitment at an early point in his life that that was what he wanted to be involved with and do.”
Much like their father, the Haggar siblings fell in love with everything St. Jude stood for. They have been leading Dallas fundraising efforts for a combined 39 years.
“Once you visit the hospital, and see what is being done for these little kids, you’re hooked,” said Haggar, also a Preston Hollow resident. “My favorite part, without question, is my fabulous memory of walking down the corridor of St. Jude and seeing little kids being treated, and knowing that 50 years ago this wasn’t an option.”
The Haggar family has left a strong footprint at the hospital, seeing it through from a dream to a facility that treats 7,800 patients for free each year.
“They have had such an incredible impact on St. Jude,” said Bonne McCalmont, the hospital’s senior regional events specialist. “The Haggars have opened so many doors for us to start relationships with different people and companies, and have created a lot of opportunities for St. Jude.”
One of those relationships was with the Chili’s restaurant chain, which contributes $5 million a year for the Chili’s Care Center, where bone marrow transplants and research take place.
“St. Jude is the premier research institution for pediatric cancer and other catastrophic diseases,” said Novakov, a resident of the Park Cities. “Every child benefits from the research done there because the information is shared freely. That’s their primary purpose — to eradicate childhood cancer and catastrophic diseases and help every hospital in this country have accessibility to the latest and greatest information.”
Hundreds gathered Tuesday morning at Bradfield Elementary for the dedication of Johnny’s Place, creating a tone that was more celebratory than sad.
Johnny’s Place is a memorial that has been in the works for months, dedicated to the memory of Johnny O’Leary, a second-grader who died of cancer last school year.
But the memorial doesn’t honor just one child. The design features one flowering tree surrounded by colorful, etched petals in the ground to remember not only Johnny but also Liberty and Faith Battaglia, who were killed by their father while attending Bradfield more than 10 years ago.
The colorful petals remind visitors to remember the joy of the children’s lives, and not the sadness of their deaths.
Principal Chris Brunner gave the opening remarks, while organizer and Bradfield mom Tracy Wallingford thanked those involved.
“Clearly, it takes a village,” Wallingford said. “There are so many people who have helped us.”
Everyone from the landscapers to the Highland Park Town Council to the school community and the families who donated were included in her comments.
Pattye Knight, Johnny’s first-grade teacher, read E.E. Cummings’ poem, “I Carry Your Heart With Me.”
“I want to read a poem that Johnny introduced to his family,” she said before starting to recite. “I hope that every time you read it, you’ll think of him.”
To end the occasion, third-graders sang “Hymn of Promise” before students, parents, and friends who had been holding onto purple balloons through the ceremony let go and watched them float off among the clouds. Loud “oohs” and “ahhs” could be heard from practically every child.
With the ceremony finished, students and teachers filed back in to continue the school day, but many remained to look at the new addition to the school’s landscape. A few grew quiet and embraced in long hugs.
Johnny’s parents, Stin-elli and Tim O’Leary, did not speak during the ceremony, but left their remarks in the program: “Johnny’s Place will always be a special place for us as we continue in this journey of life through our son’s grace.”
Johnny’s memory also continues through the Johnny O’Leary Memorial Fund of the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foun-dation.
Just six days after its huge home win over Mesquite Poteet, Highland Park cleared another big obstacle in the District 10-4A race by coming away with a 35-14 win over West Mesquite on Thursday night at Memorial Stadium.
With the victory, the Scots (6-1, 4-0) are alone atop the District 10-4A standings. That gives Highland Park the inside track to claiming their fifth consecutive district championship. It also means the Scots are in control of their own destiny with three games left in the regular season — at home against Creekview (Oct. 25), at Carrollton Newman Smith (Nov. 1), and at Terrell (Nov. 8).
“You’ve got to win some football games like that,” Scots head coach Randy Allen said. “I knew we’d be a little flat emotionally. We had one less day of prep. Their record didn’t impress you, so I knew our guys — they weren’t listening to me when I told them they were as good as Poteet. I’m really proud of our guys.”
Quarterback Brooks Burgin was once again outstanding. The junior threw for 220 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 101 yards and three touchdowns, all while dealing with heavy pressure and taking a couple of tough shots. In his district play, Burgin has now thrown 11 touchdowns with one interception and rushed for eight touchdowns.
Thursday’s game looked like it was going to be 7-7 at the half before Burgin connected with Andrew Frost on a 48-yard touchdown pass with 18 seconds left in the second quarter. The Wranglers also cut the lead to 21-14 in the fourth quarter before the Scots put together two more touchdown drives to seal the deal.
A resolution was finally reached on lights for Highland Park High School facilities at Tuesday night’s University Park City Council meeting.
For years, it has been argued that the lack of lights on the softball field has created a Title IX violation. This year, the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights even started looking into it.
But this wasn’t just about softball — district officials fought for lights on the tennis courts, as well.
With this week’s unanimous vote, there will finally be light for softball and tennis players, following months of discussion.
“As you will recall … we closed the hearing on this, I think, two meetings ago, and we have received, since then, innumerable emails that we have read and have here,” Mayor Dick Davis said.
For months, teammates and parents argued that no lights meant fewer games, lower attendance, and more missed class, leading to tougher academic circumstances.
Neighbors argued against an increase in traffic and noise, in addition to lights that would shine through their windows at night.
Studies were done on foot-candles of light and decibels of noise to get down to specifics. Even in the last meeting, a few details needed to be ironed out.
The phrase “non-UIL games” was changed to “non-UIL events” in the clause that bans private, club, or adult leagues from using the lights and sound system. The clause allows lights to be used by minors who attend Highland Park ISD schools. “In that, essentially, we have a broader definition,” city manager Bob Livingston said in the pre-meeting work session.
Additionally, the council added a clause that would ban whistles from being used at non-UIL games after 6 p.m.
As established earlier, cutoff time for the lights will be 9 p.m., with no innings starting after 9 p.m. for non-UIL games. No use of lights or music will be allowed on Sundays.
The unanimous vote passed before a small group of players and neighbors in attendance.
Highland Park’s Town Council approved two proposals from consulting firm NBBJ on Monday — one to guide the development of Highland Park Village and another to create a traffic study of the town. Both have been in the works for a few months.
“Everyone is well aware of what we’re doing,” Mayor Joel Williams said. “I will tell you that … Councilman [Andrew] Barr has gone way beyond the call of duty.”
By that, Williams meant that Barr revised the proposal regarding the Village. Originally, the costs of the Village study were going to be split between the town and the Village, including an economic analysis.
Under the approved proposal, the economic analysis’s costs will be solely the Village’s responsibility; the rest of the costs will be split down the middle. Councilman Stephen Rogers still wasn’t thrilled.
“I’d say that the product is obviously better than what we had,” Rogers said of the revised proposal, but he was still opposed to the idea of taxpayers footing the bill for a study about a shopping center’s development.
For the proposal regarding the Village, Rogers was the only dissenting vote. Representatives for the Village had no comment.
The proposal regarding the town’s traffic study was a different matter.
“The proposal that’s in your packets is very different from the proposal that we reviewed two weeks ago,” Williams said.
During meetings with NBBJ last month, Williams expressed concern that the proposal was more like a mobility study and needed more focusing.
The vote to approve the updated traffic-study proposal passed unanimously.
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