Sports and Outdoors

 Lake Info

Normal Lake Level is 322.00 feet above Mean Sea Level.
Current level for Cedar Creek Lake is: 321.85 Water Temperature:
87  degrees - top
degrees - bottom


Make holiday boating safe – don’t mix with alcohol
Special to The Monitor
ALEXANDRIA, Va.–The July 4th holiday is expected to bring record numbers of boaters, sailors and anglers to the water.
Along with hot dogs and apple pie, alcohol will be on hand for many on this national day of celebration.
Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatU.S.) has three tips that can help ensure it’s also a safe holiday for everyone aboard.
• Designated drivers are good – but don’t forget your guests.
“To use a designated skipper would seem like welcome advice,” BoatU.S. Director of Damage Avoidance Bob Adriance said. “However, having a designated skipper aboard may suggest to everyone else that they are free to drink as much as they want, and that’s the trouble.”
The BoatU.S. insurance claims files don’t lie – statistics show that sober boating guests are much more likely to be injured on a boat than the captain and regular crew. Adding alcohol to the mix only increases the risk for injury.
Adriance says guests’ lack of basic boating skills are the main reason.
“Someone who boats infrequently may not be familiar with wakes, docking or boarding, which increases their chances of falling overboard,” he said. ”Boat operators need to really ask themselves, how much attention can I devote to watching inebriated guests while trying to safely make my way home?”
• For the boat’s operator, even small amounts of alcohol increase the risk of an accident.
The July 4th celebrations mean many boaters will be running at night.
The challenge is that small amounts of alcohol lower a boater’s ability to discern moving objects, faint lights, and unlit objects on the water, and it also takes very little alcohol to affect a person’s night vision.
Glare from a masthead light or the moon can significantly impair night vision when blood alcohol levels are as low as .01 percent, or about half a beer.
Alcohol also affects peripheral vision. Even small amounts affect a person’s ability to judge the speed and distance of an approaching boat – all conditions expected on recreational boating’s busiest traffic time of the year.
• Sun, wind and waves take their toll.
On the holiday weekend many boaters, sailors or anglers will stay out all day.
However, a few hours in the sun, combined with the wind, motion, noise and vibration typically found aboard a boat can produce “boater’s hypnosis,” which reduces an operator’s performance as much as alcohol would.
U.S. Coast Guard tests found that an operator who has two beers and four hours of exposure to the elements can be expected to demonstrate the equivalent performance of a rested operator who has had six beers.
The best advice? “Know when it’s time to call it a day and save the alcohol for when you are safely back home,” BoatU.S. Foundation Director of Boating Safety Chris Edmonston recommended.
For more information on alcohol and boating, go to
To see how some boaters fared in a test of operating a boat under the influence, visit


Malakoff youth headed for national rodeo finals
By Michael V. Hannigan
Monitor Staff Writer

MALAKOFF–Justus Whitcher is all cowboy, and he’s got the hardware for proof.
The 18-year-old dominated the Texas High School Rodeo Association finals in Abilene June 13-19, taking first place in calf roping and steer wrestling and earning the title of State Champion All-Around Cowboy.
The win qualified the Malakoff teen to compete in the National High School Finals Rodeo in Gillette, Wyo., July 18-24.
Justus brought home three trophy saddles and five belt buckles for his efforts.
RodeoJustus.jpg (269000 bytes)
Monitor Photo/Michael V. Hannigan
Justus Whitcher holds some of the belt buckles he’s won and shows the saddles he’s collected by winning the State Champion All-Around Cowboy title at the Lone Star High School Rodeo Association finals in Abilene June 13-19. That win qualified him to compete in the National High School Rodeo Finals in Wyoming July 18-24.

The Ariat Boot Company, Cinch, and Ristol Hats also honored him with a pair of boots, jeans and a hat as part of the National High School Rodeo Association (NHSRA) All-Around Champion awards.
The awards were started seven years ago to recognize students, like Justus, who have earned the right to be called the best young rodeo athletes in the country.
Justus, who said his favorite event is whichever one he’s winning at the time, is looking forward to the national-level competition.
“I got a chance,” he said. “I think I just have to not worry about anybody else, and just do what I can do and not beat myself.”
He practices daily with his stepfather Butch Myers, who was the 1980 World Champion Steer Wrestler, and gives a lot of credit to Myers and his mother, Jackie Whitcher.
“They support me all the way,” Justus said. “They are the ones who allow me to do all this – my mom has been there all the way for me.”
Justus plans on going to college after graduation and hopes to continue to rodeo.
“It is something I enjoy doing,” he said. “You’ve got to have something you like to do; you can’t just do something you don’t want to do.”
Justus, along with his sister, Jayla, used to attend Malakoff schools, but changed to Athens Christian Preparatory Academy last year. Justus will be a senior this year.


Upcoming Events


July 10
Marker Bouy Regatta

July 24
Race Day
skippers meeting 9 a.m. race 10 a.m.

Aug. 14
Fun Sail 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

Aug. 28
Race Day
skippers meeting 9 a.m. race 10 a.m.

Sept. 11
AMU race 11 a.m.-2 p.m.


Aug. 2
Practices open

Aug. 2
Practices open

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