The state of Ross S. Sterling sports
Year one is in the books for Robert Toomer as the Ross S. Sterling campus athletic coordinator and he like his fellow Baytown brethren hopes to see gains as his tenure continues.
Being in charge of one of the smaller Class 6A athletic programs has its challenges – which some of the teams on campus have met – and now it’s about taking that next step to respectability across the board.
“The overall athletic program is in pretty decent shape,” Toomer said. “I feel that our girls are much stronger than our boys athletic program. Overall, we are going in the right direction. The biggest thing about our school is that our study body supports our athletic department. They are phenomenal. They have the Rowdy Rangers that they bring to football games and pep rallies.
“Anytime you see an athletic department not heading in the right direction changes need to be made. I am very confident that our coaches are going to get on the right track, it’s just going to take some time.”
Toomer’s ‘All Hands on Deck’ mantra seems to be filtering through the department as he hopes that all coaches an players continue to aim for 100 percent effort.
Now it’s about following the standard.
“We now have to catch up with our tennis team, which is phenomenal, our volleyball team, our girls track team and get to the level they are now,” Toomer said. “Winning becomes contagious.”
Toomer was pleased to see the spring sports have an ending that included a district title by the tennis team and a rousing finish for the baseball squad that made it to the 6A playoffs.
“The ending is the big part and when baseball made the playoffs by rallying back and having to come from behind, I think that exemplified what we are trying to accomplish at Sterling,” Toomer said. “Even if we are down, don’t give up. We want to see the faculty members at the game and the student support. All hands on deck is working with the understanding that we might not be playing baseball, but we can support baseball.
“Baseball is on the right track and that enthusiasm trickles over to football. We took the football team, when baseball made the playoffs, and went over to their practice and high-fived them. I think we are feeding off each other. Sterling has the potential to be an amazing place athletically.”
One thing that can sometimes be a deterrent for motivation and confidence is being a small 6A team that faces bigger schools with more resources.
Toomer believes that is something to get over.
“We don’t make the rules, we have to abide by them and we don’t care about 6A or 5A,” Toomer, the Rangers football coach, said. “We tell our kids we have to play 11 at a time in our sport. We have to understand that our best 11 and their best 11, you got to play. You can’t whine about it. If you talk about us being one of the smaller schools in 6A, you are giving them an excuse and we don’t want an excuse.
“We want to be competitive, we want to give 100 percent if we win or lose. This is the classification we got put in and we have to be competitive. We know it’s tough so that should give us more motivation to show up in the summer and workout and pay attention to detail.”
Toomer doesn’t mind his kids having a chip on their shoulder when it comes to facing the big boys and showing them they can and will compete.
“Some 3As can beat 5As,” Toomer said. “It’s a numbers game and we have to play the hand we are dealt.”