Texas Death Row Sports Events By Bill Coble

Not all death row inmates are on lock down status. About half are on the work program. There are four work capable wings. All four wings have dayrooms where we can watch TV, play chess, dominoes and Scrabble. But 9only three wings have a recreation yard. H-18 and H-20 share the same yard, where we play Basketball, Handball and Volleyball.

Unlike general population, we do not have a recreation officer for death row, someone to coordinate and supervise sports activities. No one to take pictures of the winning teams or hand out ribbons.

But fortunately, we have men here who can and will take time to work together to organize teams, make schedules and coordinate tournaments.

The coordinator for H-17 was Norman Green. On July 4, 1997, H-17 held their tournament that started at 8:00 a.m. with Basketball. There were four teams with three men on each team. It was a double elimination with second place going to Odell Barnes, Carl Blue and Tony Fuentes. First place was Ronald Howard, Gustavo Garcia and Robert Campbell.

At 11:00 a.m. was the start of the Volleyball tournament. There were four teams with six men on each team. Second place went to Clifford Boggess, Jack Clark, Michael Moore, Danny Hittle, Tony Fuentes, and Jeffery Tucker. First place was Norman Green, Gustavo Garcia, Arturo Aranda, Odell Barnes, Robert Campbell and Ron Styron.

At 5:00 p.m. was the doubles Handball tournament. This was also a double elimination tournament, with six teams of two men on each team. Second place was Arturo Aranda and Tony Fuentes. First place was Robert Campbell and Odell Barnes.

At 7:00 p.m. was the singles Handball tournament. There were eleven men that participated in this event. Second place was Gustavo Garcia. First place went to The Handball King (the old man),,Arturo Aranda.

The coordinator for H-18 and H-20 was Bill Coble. These tournaments were all double elimination. We started on Friday, July 4, 1997, at 11:00 a.m., with Volleyball. There were six teams with five men on each team.

We had a short break between the first and second game, when free world people came in to pass out apples, oranges, banana and hot dogs.

Second place went to Troy Kunkle, John Elliott, Orien Joiner, Deryl Madison and Guy Alexander. First place went to David gardner, Juan Soria, Dennis Dowthitt, Rick Rhoades and Bryan Knight. The winning team showed all around team effort with each man playing extremely well.

On Saturday, July 5, 1997, we started with Basketball at 7:30 a.m. We had six teams with four men on each team. We had three referees, Joe Lave, Windell Broussard and James Meanes. I would like to thank these men for a job well done. In Basketball, it was the referees that brought out the laughter and the chatter from the sidelines.

Second place was Arthur Brown, Anthony Graves, David Gardner and John Elliott. First place was Shelton Jones, Deryl Madison, Bobby Moore and Gaylon Walbey.

At 11:00 a.m., was the start of Handball. There were eight teams of two men. Second place was Bryan Knight and David Gardner. First place was Rick Rhoades and Larry Robison. Sideline judges were Juan Soria and Bill Coble.

At 4:00 p.m., was the Around The World. We had six teams of two men. Second place was the old men Bill Coble and Sam Felder. First place was Tony Barrientes and Ricky Green.

The winners of each event received a soda and a bag of popcorn. All other men received a bag of popcorn for each event they participated in.

A big thanks to our tournament sponsor, Richard Ellis.