Senior BH girl becomes first to score for program
It was a welcome celebration for the Barbers Hill football program after it captured its first district title in eight years – and first under head coach Tom Westerberg – when it wrapped an unbeaten run last week.
The Eagles (9-1, 7-0) took four years to get to that promised land and the reward is the opportunity to host a bi-district playoff opener at 7 tonight against Houston Sterling High School.
Sterling (5-5), comes in on the heels of a 48-41 defeat at Fort Bend Willowridge which relegated them to the No. 4 seed out of District 11-5A II.
Westerberg will not look past the threat the Raiders possess.
“They do a good job and they are a good football team and have one of the most dynamic players in the Houston area, Frank Brown,” Westerberg said. “He plays receiver, plays a little bit of running back and plays corner. He is a Division I athlete and they do a good job with him and his team. It’s going to be a good game.
“They showed one thing against Willowridge defensively using a 4-man front. It was a crazy game.”
Barbers Hill is known for its hot starts and it might come in handy against Sterling which they recognize as having plenty of athletes.
“They don’t have a lot of kids, but the ones they have are pretty good,” Westerberg said.
The opportunity to host a playoff game is a fringe benefit for a title.
“It’s a big deal to play at home, so we are excited about it,” Westerberg said.
Taking a moment to absorb the reality of winning a district title, Westerberg acknowledges what it can mean for the program.
“It’s big and it’s a matter of seeing the kids fulfill the goal of winning the district championship,” Westerberg said. “The seniors were freshmen when we got here. Four of them were on the varsity as sophomores and so it’s big to watch them grow over the years. We can hope that it builds because our JV did the exact same thing we did: Lose to Magnolia and win nine straight games and win pretty soundly in a lot of games. We are starting to build some momentum and that’s huge.
“As a program we are now considered one of the teams at the top. We are trying to build it where we are competing for a district championship every year. The first two years, we probably weren’t on the same page with the teams we got beat by. Now we are and we can compete with the teams at the top level.”
Junior kicker Alvaro Garcia acknowledges his teammates have put in a lot of time and hard work to get here.
“Everyone has been really pumped and really excited to keep this going,” Garcia said. “Coach Westerberg is a great coach who got us ready for this. We may not have a lot of D1 and D2 superstars, but we all play really well as a team and connect with each other.
“We put in a lot of work.”
Garcia was also hyped about senior Paige Sanders becoming the first girl to score in a varsity football game when she kicked an extra point in last week’s win over Santa Fe.
“I put in a lot of work and it was something I had to step out of my comfort zone to do,” Sanders said. “The recognition is nice because I sacrifice a lot to be here because I am in choir and a lot of other after school activities to get this one play in.
“It was fun. I get really worked up and nervous and had to bring it down and concentrate on the one thing I had to do. When I made it and turned around everyone was so excited.”
Sanders missed an earlier PAT opportunity in the season before coming true last week.
“I was ecstatic,” Garcia said. “I knew she was nervous, but when I saw the kick go through, I was so proud of her.”
“He’s been helping me since last spring,” Sanders said. “He’s been my mentor the whole time.”