May

26

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : May 26, 2017

Monitor Staff Reports
MABANK–The Mabank Panther Baseball Camp will be held June 12-15 at Mabank High School. The goal of the camp is to develop each camper’s skills in baseball through individual fundamentals and team play, while incorporating sportsmanship and solid team values.
The camp will include daily lectures by the Mabank High School Panther Coaching Staff, fundamental stations, team competition and drills and individual contests. The campers will receive certificates and awards at the end of the camp.
Each camper will receive a camp t-shirt and a free string backpack for attending camp. The camps are open to all incoming 1st-9th grade student.
The cost of the camp will be $60 for early registration before June 3rd and $70 after the early registration deadline. There will be a sibling discount of $10 offered for each additional camper from a family. A concession stand will be openduring the camp with drinks and snacks
For questions or additional information, please contact Panther Head Coach Brandon Kajihiro at 972-834-9144 or email at bkkajihiro@mabankisd.net.

May

26

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : May 26, 2017

By Pearl Cantrell
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK—Just four years ago a debate team was started at Mabank High School under the direction of teacher Jason Caldwell, who will begin 2017-18 school year as assistant principal. This year a state champion has emerged. Senior Ian Snyder emerged victorious in the Lincoln-Douglas Debate category. It was his first year to compete at state and his last year to qualify for state competition.
Snyder found an unbeatable negative argument regarding globalization as it relates to free trade. He used the argument at Regional to qualify for State and stuck with it. Though his debate consultant counseled him to change it up, he stuck with his gut, being convinced his case was unbeatable on the two points of globalization leads to deforestation of the areas of greatest bio diversity and the second point that is clashes with indigenous cultures and their worldview. “It’s an unsolvable problem,” he said.
This year, Snyder said he really pushed hard in developing his research and finding an unsolvable problem related to globalization and was sure he had found it.
In the 40-some debates using these two points, Snyder said he’s only lost one round on both sides (affirmative and negative), but this wasn’t one of those times.
After nervously getting through the three preliminary rounds May 22, a dinner break was used to go over critique from the judges. After that it was hours of shoring up the weak areas with his consultant, a graduate from Southern Methodist University who started working with him after he emerged in third place at District competition. The extra coaching helped push him to the top position at Regional and then State.
Snyder calls debate “an adrenalin rush like no other. I did some wrestling in Middle School and felt physically confident, but being confident about my ability to think through an issue and present it in a convincing way to win an argument in the eyes of impartial judges, that’s a greater feeling of accomplishment.”
Snyder got involved in debate as a new transfer freshman to Mabank, primarily because of the interest Caldwell took in him and Caldwell’s interest in starting up a debate team. “Debate opened my eyes to the political landscape. Without debate, I wouldn’t have discovered what I want to do,” he said.
Snyder wants to sit on the Supreme Court as a presiding justice. He and best friend Josiah Sohasky (2016 MHS graduate) have both set long-term visions for themselves. Sohasky now studying at Liberty University (one of the best universities in the nation), plans on winning the U.S. Presidency.
Snyder has been accepted to Cameron University in Lawton, Okla. Where he is majoring in communication/public relations and education. “I want to return to Mabank to take over the speech and debate program, while saving money for law school,” he said. “I know my dream is going to take a lot of time and effort.”
Snyder and Caldwell have figured out the finances for a degree from Cameron with an out-to-state tuition waiver for academic achievement and a debate specific scholarship at $1,000 per semester. “That leaves about $400 a semester, which I can earn working while going to school,” he figures.
“History and English are my strengths and interests. I know I can use my education to help make the future better.”

May

26

Posted by : Monitor Admin | On : May 26, 2017

Thurman Cousins exemplifies a life of service, retired from the U.S Army as a Command Sargent Major with 25 years of service and again from the Texas State Mounted Patrol with 22 years at age 75.


By Denise York
Monitor Staff Writer
MABANK–Born the first of nine children of a sharecropper family, in a cornfield six miles west of Chickasha, Okla. on Feb. 1, 1933, Thurman Cousins grew up knowing the value of hard work and service. So it was no surprise when just after high school graduation, he enlisted in the Army.
He was one of eight in his graduating class of Scurry-Rosser High School, then a three-room schoolhouse with 86 total students, and the only one who hadn’t received his draft notice. He enlisted so he could go with the boys he knew.
After completing 20 weeks of combat training, they went to Japan and from there the classmates got separated and Cousins and a few others went to Korea. He remarks that it was the “most miserable place he had ever been” because of the cold, often up to 45 degrees below zero. “Even putting on all the clothing the Army had given us, it wasn’t enough to keep us warm. And there was nowhere to go to get warm.”
Cousins was evacuated by helicopter to deal with frostbite and ice under his skin five times. Every time, he says, they would clean him up, feed him and send him back to Korea. In all, he spent 42 months in Korea, six after the treaty had been signed and the war was over.
But after returning home Nov. 23, 1953, there were no jobs to be had. He took a brief stint working cattle before re-enlisting despite his mother’s protests. “I knew I could make $51 a month, get my clothing, maybe have a place to sleep and maybe get three meals a day, so I went back.”
That was the time of the Cold War, so staying in the combat unit meant training ten months out of the year and a lot of travel. He spent 15 of the 25 total years overseas, stationed in Germany, Scotland, England, France, the Azores, the Philippines and Guam. He was part of Operation Big Lift in 1962 when Charles De Gaulle was President of France and wanted Americans and military equipment out of his country.
In 1965, he trained 500 draftees and took them into the conflict in Vietnam. Cousins described the war as very bloody. He recalls having to count bodies after battles. “We were shooting every day. In one night, we lost 147 and they lost 2,800 that we could count. Vietnam is the only war where we never lost a battle but we lost the War. The politicians of the time gave it away.” He completed three tours in Vietnam and what kept him there was a sense of duty.
“I had a commitment to the men in my command. I wanted to bring them home,” he said.
“In 1969, one of my men got hit with a bullet that split his femur and he was medivaced out. It took more than three months for it to heal. When he came back, I asked him why he didn’t go home. He told me ‘They kept trying to send me home but I came back because I knew you were here and I wanted to be where you were.’ It brought tears to my eyes, his dedication,” he said.
Both Cousins’ father and step-father served in World War II. He had four uncles who served, all four of his brothers enlisted and at least 16 cousins.
His two sons also served. “Of my immediate family, we have 119 years of service.”
Cousins was awarded 53 medals during his military career and would have more if paperwork hadn’t gotten lost. The last one was an Order of Saint Barbara Medal on a scarlet ribbon. It is presented to a gentleman or lady who has performed in a manner that brings credit on themselves and the Field Artillery. The medallion is authorized to be worn with the uniform on Memorial Day by recipients past and present, even though it is not an official medal (awarded for gallantry or faithful service).
Cousins made many lifelong friends in the Army, two of which were his commanders in Vietnam, Captain Louis Lopez, with whom he served tours in Vietnam and Colonel Lee Roper. Of them, he said, “They will always be my commanders. They are excellent men, with vast knowledge and experience, unreproachable integrity. We saw a lot together. Because of them and men like them, we survived together.”
Cousins retired Aug. 1, 1975 as Command Sargent Major with 25 years in the army, but his service did not stop there. He pursued a degree in criminal justice and joined the State Mounted Patrol for 22 years.
He retired from the Mounted Patrol at the age of 75 and for three years after went back to help train.