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'Dixie' lives on in Refugio

Posted at 10:42 PM, Nov 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-27 11:25:42-05

REFUGIO, Texas — The Refugio High School band will still be able to play the school's fight song, 'Dixie', despite a dozen people calling it racist and giving emotional testimony at Monday's school board meeting.

"I just think that it's time for the song to be retired," song opponent Frank Hosey said.

The Refugio ISD School Board had an item on its agenda that read, "Consider discontinuing the use of the Refugio High School Fight song." With a 5-2 vote, the board decided to keep the song, to the disappointment of Hosey and others.

"I don't like the song because it was a minstrel song played by white people with black faces and red lips," he said. "I don't enjoy that."

Besides the five school board members who voted to continue to allow 'Dixie' to be played, the song has other supporters in the small town as well.

"I don't think there's anything wrong with it," Patsy Williams, who lives across the street from RHS said. "I just remember when I was in high school. Always we were ready to hear that song. It just motivated us to have more spirit."

But it could motivate some parents to hold their kids out of Friday's important playoff game according to another Dixie opponent.

"There have been threats of some people not wanting their kids to play football this weekend as a form of protest," James Durst said. "That's pretty extreme, but sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do."

KRIS 6 reached out to Refugio Head Football Coach Jason Herring to see if he's concerned that some parents might follow through with the threat to not allow their student-athletes to play. He replied to all four of our questions with the same response.

"Our goals have not changed," he said. "Our goal is to win the state championship."

KRIS 6 also sought comment on the situation from Refugio ISD's superintendent, and all of its school board members. The only person we were able to talk to was Terry Rocha, wife of school board president Andy Rocha.

"We have no comment," she said before hanging up.

Refugio faces Shiner at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Class 2A Region 4 semifinal at Converse's Judson Stadium outside of San Antonio.