Alto Strong(er)

by John (Robinhawk) Hawkins Publisher

News-making events are nothing new to Alto and what occurred last week with the UIL is just another in a long line of unfortunate luck that has befallen the small town.

The tragic passing of Cam’ron Matthews in 2015 on the football field and Devonte Mumphrey earlier this year on the basketball court left everyone devastated.

Then there is the destruction caused by the two tornados that ravaged the town and the school in 2019.

It seems as if the town and the school just can’t catch a break. Added to these past tragedies is the ruling last week from the UIL (University Interscholastic League), the governing body for all high school sports in Texas.

The reprimand and penalties that fell on the school resulted in the banning of Alto High School’s football team from any honors or playoff games for at least the next two years. Even if the team has a winning season, they will not be allowed to advance.

Whether the miscount of just three students was an error or the result of ill will from past employees, I cannot say but that ruling in no way stemmed from anything the students did. It was wholly on the administration’s shoulders and I commend Superintendent Kelly West for being honest, open and “owning” the mistake and taking responsibility.

These students work hard, practice hard and study hard, and we as adults should do everything possible to build them up. To make them understand their importance in this world. Even with this reprimand, these kids need to be able to enjoy their high school days. They will not come around twice.

This is just another opportunity for Alto to show the strength and resolve of this community.

I have worked with members of the Alto school board and the administration, and I know first-hand the care and commitment Superintendent Kelly West and AHS principal Shanequa Redd-Dorsey share for the well-being of their students, and I have seen the result of the nurturing that all the staff provides.

Alto has always bounced back from every disaster and I have no doubt this small city will once again be Alto Strong.