A Big Step
Friday night lights? Boys take the spotlight.
Saturday afternoon national spotlight? That could require a gifted female athlete.
Someone like Sarah Fuller. The college soccer player from Sachse, outside Dallas, calmly stepped onto a football field November 28 in Columbia, Missouri, and kicked off for Vanderbilt University—becoming the first woman to play in a major college football game. Two weeks later she became the first to score in a game when she kicked two extra points against Tennessee.
“I just want to tell all the girls out there that you can do anything you set your mind to. You really can,” said Fuller, who was the goalkeeper November 22 when Vanderbilt won the Southeastern Conference women’s soccer championship.
All of the Commodores’ kickers were sidelined by COVID-19, so the football team recruited Fuller, who wore No. 32, her soccer number, and a sticker on her helmet that said “Play Like a Girl” when she made history.
75 Years of Ropin’
The Texas High School Rodeo Association, the largest such high school group in the U.S., began in Hallettsville in 1946.
E.H. Green of Terrell bought what is believed to be the first gasoline-powered automobile in Texas, in 1899—a phaeton runabout.
Green was also in the first car wreck in Texas. George Dorris, co-owner of St. Louis Motor Carriage Company, which made the car, was driving Green to Dallas to show it off, and they got crowded off the road by a farm wagon and drove into a ditch.
April 10 is National Encourage a Young Writer Day. Here’s advice for young writers from Texas Co-op Power writers and editors:
Chris Burrows: Most editors are failed writers, but as T.S. Eliot famously said, “so are most writers.”
Travis Hill: Write first, agonize later. You can’t hone your prose if the page is blank.
Charles Lohrmann: Learn how to accept (and learn from) criticism without taking it personally.
Jessica Ridge: Revisions are fertile terrain for inspired writing. But know when to stop.
Tom Widlowski: Read whenever you can. It bonds you to fine writing.
“Writing is easy. All you have to do is cross out the wrong words.”
Turtles About Town
Some Kemp’s ridley sea turtles have taken up permanent residence on Galveston Island.
The beloved visitors to Gulf beaches in Mexico and South Texas come ashore to nest every spring and summer, but a collection of 31 painted statues around the island has made them permanent fixtures.
The Turtles About Town campaign—the creation of Turtle Island Restoration Network and Amy Owens, owner of Clay Cup Studios in Galveston—showcases conservation programs for the endangered turtles and the talents of Texas artists.
Check out our story Nature’s Nursery in this month’s issue to learn more about the Kemp’s ridley turtle.
One Giant Leap
Hail to Harvard College student James Connolly, who 125 years ago this month became the first modern Olympic champion. He won the triple jump April 6, 1896, in Athens, Greece.
Like a Flower
Tejana superstar Selena would have turned 50 this month. Her career was flourishing, and she was raking in awards and honors, including a Grammy in 1994 as the first female Tejano artist to win for Best Mexican-American Album—for Live—when she was fatally shot a year later by the former president of her fan club.
Her life was immortalized in the 1997 biopic Selena. Check out Reel Moments [September 2020] to learn more about Selena, who was born April 16, 1971, in Lake Jackson.
Baseball Is Life
April 27 marks the 125th anniversary of the birth of Texas baseball legend Rogers Hornsby.
Hornsby won the National League batting title six years in a row in the 1920s. He was also known for being ornery. Sports Illustrated once described him as “cold-blooded, pigheaded, humorless and obsessive, a curmudgeon who regarded as utterly worthless anything that did not involve throwing, catching or hitting a baseball.”
As Hornsby said: “People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.”
He was born in 1896 in Winters, about halfway between Abilene and San Angelo.
In 25 years, Major League Soccer has drawn top talent from all over the world: Argentina, Colombia, the U.K.—and Texas. Two of the 25 greatest-ever MLS players started here, according to a list compiled by the league.
Jeff Agoos propelled J.J. Pearce High School in Richardson to a state title in 1983—the precursor to a 15-year professional career that included five MLS Cups.
Clint Dempsey grew up in Nacogdoches and played for some of the greatest teams in the world, scoring more than 200 goals in club and international play.