Aug

31

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : August 31, 2016

By Robyn Wheeler
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–Mabank ISD Board of Trustees adopted its 2016-17 budget and tax rate at the Aug 22 monthly meeting. Local, state, federal and other revenue is expected to total $33,242,854, which is a little more than $182,000 more than last year’s budget. Expenses total $33,853,123, slightly up from the 2015-16 expenses of $33,097,778.
The board decided to propose the same tax rate as last year, which comes to $1.04 for maintenance and operations (M&O) and 32.5 cents per $100 of property value to service the district’s total construction debt of $41,229,976. The proposed rate is less than needed to raise the same amount of money that funded last year’s budget, which comes to $1.044 (M&O) and 34 cents per $100 (I&S), totaling 1.384 – which is in excess of the rollback rate of 1.365. However, Superintendent of Business Operations Scott Adams explains that the effective tax rate is actually slightly less than the rollback rate, due to the increase in assessed values throughout the district. In fact, the proposed rate reflects an increase over last year by .51 percent.
New property added to the tax roll is valued at $10,472,840, adding to the total taxable property value of $1,137,767,449 — slightly more than last year’s $1,129,614,499.
The district is carrying unencumbered balances in its M&O Fund of $4,600,000 and $3,100,000 for interest and sinking (I&S).
The majority of the school district’s general fund budget is allocated to payroll, totaling $21,815,171, or a little more than 77 percent of the budget. Last year, the tax rates reflected a total expenditure per student of $9,367 per student with funds raised locally accounting for slightly more than half the cost at $4,754. This year, the district will educate the same child with $9,280, of which $4,695 is raised through local property taxes. The balance of both amounts is funded through the state.
The school food service fund budget indicates a $1,632,106 total revenue and expenses of $1,688,780, reflecting a slight deficit. Contracted services are allocated up to $1,458,708. Revenue for the debt service is budgeted at $3,723,000, a little lower than last year’s budget of $3,821,456. However, the district will pay $3,851,456 on its debt this coming year, drawing about $125,000 from its I&S fund balance, Adams said.
In other business, trustees:
• heard about a new TEA innovative course titled: Peer Coaching for Students I-IV — a year-round program that pairs a student with a special education student. Teachers and staff are saying the new class has been a rewarding experience for all involved. Four students have enrolled in the program so far.
• accepted a donation of $2,500 for beginning of the year supplies for each grade level.
• heard campus openings went smoothly although traffic was a little congested as in past years however principals reported a decrease in traffic each day.
• heard the district scored a superior rating on its preliminary Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST), receiving a 96 out of a possible 100. Adams noted that 95 percent of school districts throughout the state earn a superior rating.

Aug

31

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : August 31, 2016

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By Erik Walsh
Monitor Staff Writer
KEMP–The Kemp Yellowjackets only played half a ball game, but still managed to score four touchdowns in a 26-8 victory over visiting Rio Vista at Yellowjacket Stadium Aug. 26.
The Yellowjackets’ offense opened up with a 19-point lead in the first quarter and never looked back before the game was called short due to lightning in the area.
Kemp forced Rio Vista to punt on their first possession and quickly got on the scoreboard with a 60-yard touchdown run by Josiah Brewington.
Rio Vista got the ball back, but Kemp forced a turnover when Malik Prox stripped the ball from the quarterback. Marcus Sullivan recovered the ball for the Yellowjackets. Kemp quarterback Dreyson Watters rewarded the Kemp faithful with a 45-yard touchdown run to give the ’Jackets their second touchdown of the night and a 13-0 lead.
Kemp’s defense stopped Rio Vista again on the next possession and Brewington scored another touchdown, this time on a 8-yard pitchout.
The Yellowjackets’ Alex Cooper scored the final TD of the night for Kemp in the second quarter on a 50-yard touchdown pass from Watters.
Yellowjacket’s Head Coach Brandon Hankins was pleased with the ’Jackets performance, but had hoped to play a full game.
“You never want to not finish the game, whether you win or lose,” Hankins said. “Rio Vista is a two-hour drive, so I understand why they wanted to leave. It would have been nice to get a full game in; I was hoping for it.”
Hankins said that if the contest would have been a district game, the two teams would need to play out the rest of the ball game the following day, or on a Monday.
“If it was a district game, the teams would meet on the following Saturday or Monday to finish the game,” he said. “Being a preseason game, it’s not beneficial for either team to come back. Kids could get hurt and it’s not a game that counts for the standing. We got the win, so that’s nice.”
Up next for Kemp is the Cedar Creek Lake rivalry game against the Mabank Panthers Sept. 2. Hankins said he knows the game is important to the community, but he is approaching it like any other contest.
“The rivalry is for the community,” he said. “The players and coaches don’t put so much stock into it. We approach it like any other ball game. We need to tackle, block and do what we need to do to win. If we build it up (the hype) to the level that some community members do, our kids wouldn’t be able to function. They need to go out and execute their jobs. It’s the best chance of winning.”
Hankins said both sides played very hard and represented their communities well last year in Mabank’s win at Panther Stadium.
“We didn’t come out on top last year,” he said. “Both sides handled it very well. It’s going to be a good ball game and the stands are going to be loud. They got good kids, we got good kids, its going to be fun.”

Aug

31

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : August 31, 2016

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By Erik Walsh
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK – The Mabank Panthers offense sputtered in its season opener at Panther Stadium Aug. 26, as the Palestine Wildcats outpaced the Panthers 21-7 after a long rain and lightning delay.
After the Wildcats scored on the game’s opening drive, scoring was sparse throughout the first half. The only points scored before halftime were a big 40-yard run when the Wildcats went for it on fourth-and-six. Palestine gave the ball to wide receiver Tyler Gray on an end-around, where he sprinted 40 yards to put the Wildcats up 7-0 (after the extra point) with 8:55 remaining in the second quarter.
Mabank’s defense held off Palestine in the second quarter to hold the Wildcats to just a seven-point lead. After a Palestine 2-yard touchdown run was called back for a false start, the Panthers’ defender Jacob Zubl secured a tackle in the backfield to force a field goal attempt, which the Wildcats missed to keep the score within just one touchdown. It would stay that way for the rest of the first half. After the defensive stand, the teams traded punts and the occasional turnover before the half ended and rain and lightning delays postposed the game for more than an hour.
When the second half finally got underway, Palestine marched 60 yards on the first drive for six-yard touchdown run by quarterback Claude Rodgers. Palestine led 14-0 lead with 3:54 left in the third quarter.
Mabank finally got on the board when Jonah Armstrong capped a 70-yard drive with a 10-yard touchdown run on a fourth-down reverse with 10:34 remaining in the game. Armstrong also kicked the extra point to make the score 14-7.
After the Panthers touchdown, it was all Palestine on the scoresheet. Irric Deyon scored on an eight-yard touchdown run with 6:40 left to give Palestine a 21-7 lead before both teams traded turnovers in the final quarter. Senior Mabank corner Hunter Caves intercepted a pass with just two minutes remaining to give the Panthers a fighting chance, but time expired on their offense and the game ended.
The Panthers struggled on offense, especially in the first half. Palestine held them to just 60 total yards and three first down in the opening half. In the second half, the Panthers offense gained about 100 more yards for the night.
The win breaks an eight-game losing streak for the Wildcats (1-0), and extends Mabank’s (0-1) losing streak to six consecutive games. Next week Mabank will play in Kemp for a Cedar Creek Lake rivalry game, and Palestine will play Jacksonville Sept. 2.
Mabank Head Coach Mikey Thompson said he was proud of the way the defense played, allowing only 21 points, but says the offense needs to step up.
“We only managed one good offensive drive,” Thompson said. “That’s going to need to improve moving forward.”
Thompson said to win next week against Kemp, the Panthers’ offense will need to stay on the field longer and use the run game for clock control.
“The best defense is a good offense,” he said. “Kemp has a good offense and the best way to shut that down is by them not getting the ball.”