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COMMENTARY: The people who help define the best of Kerrville

David Jones, Diane Miller define the best of our community by going against the perceptions and expectations of some.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking about two events that I believe define what we want to be as a community. Some may call it ruminating, stewing or contemplating, but it’s defining.

The first one came a few weeks back at the Kerr Regional History Center when Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library librarian Diane Miller helped organize an event centered around the historic punch recipes of Kerrville-area churches. Now, the current attitude from some of our loose-mouthed politicians and nuts is that librarians are good-for-nothing groomers who peddle kiddie porn.

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But for those centered firmly in reality, this community looks more like Miller’s kindhearted effort to shine a light on a historic tradition like a good church-themed fruit and ginger-ale punch. Some of these traditions date back to the turn of the 20th century. For some of us, they were a nearly forgotten memory of social events that seem to have gone by the wayside.


Miller wasn’t alone in concocting this effort because plenty of folks showed up to celebrate the memories of the punches at Barnett Chapel, First United Methodist and other churches. It was a fantastic event that a calloused lefty might question as a crass separation of church and state, but it’s precisely the kind of thing that a regional history center should encourage.

Instead, a few virtue-signaling dopes want us to believe that the librarians of this world are evil. Sorry, Diane Miller is not.

In another universe, the recent record of Tivy High School football coach David Jones would lead to immediate termination. It’s a ridiculous notion, even in Texas, and that’s not to say winning isn’t necessary, but how about character?

In his last three seasons, Jones is 8-22, including a 5-6 campaign in 2022. Public high school sports are cyclical, especially when transfers are discouraged. A coach told me it is about a competition, not an exhibition. In his first eight seasons, Tivy won 71 games. The resume is good.

However, during the last Kerrville Independent School District Board of Trustees meeting, Jones introduced his all-district players. Instead of noting their football accomplishments, he candidly focused on the character of five young men.

On that night, standing to the right of Jones was running back Logan Edmonds, who had back surgery before his senior year. Just think about that for a second — none of us want to have back surgery. Edmonds pounded the ball for the Antlers; he willed Tivy to a stunning win over Veterans Memorial with a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

To Edmonds’ right was Jake Layton, a two-year starter at quarterback, who Jones asked to move to receiver and punter to make way for Kale Lackey. Layton did it without complaint and seemed everywhere on the field, especially when the Antlers needed a big play.

“He said coach, all I want to do is play,” Jones said of Layton. “‘I just want to help the team.’ He made all-district at receiver.”

On the other side was Kale Lackey, the quarterback who helped guide the Antlers back to the playoffs by throwing for 2,700 yards. Lackey is a two-sport athlete and will likely play college baseball, and Jones said he admired Lackey’s tenacity and work ethic. The only disappointing part of Jones’ laudations was he forgot to mention Lackey also raised a championship hog that fetched $12,000 at auction.

And to Jones’ left was Luke Johnson, a senior defensive back, who decided to make it his purpose to mentor incoming ninth graders by showing them respect and compassion.

Finally, Jones’ admitted his worries over allowing senior tight end Jackson Johnston to return to the field after suffering a gruesome leg injury in 2021. However, Jones left it to Johnston to decide, and the 6-foot-6 athlete made one big catch after another to earn all-district honors.

But the underlying element that Jones doted on these young men is that their ethics and values were more significant than football. Edmonds is headed to the University of Oklahoma to study biology. Luke Johnston is going to the University of Texas. Jake Layton is waiting on admission to Texas Christian, or Texas A&M. Jackson Johnston is already admitted to TCU but is looking for acceptance at the University of Texas. Finally, Lackey is still waiting to see where his baseball career will take him.

“I love these guys,” Jones said of the five players. “You need to know what kind of people who are in our program.”

You’re right, David Jones, but we need to remember that you’re part of our community as well. It’s more than football. It’s about character. A library is more than some books that make some uncomfortable; it’s about opportunity and inclusion. And a community is better because of people like David Jones and Diane Miller.


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