Goose Creek CISD sports have had a run of late that exemplifies the term “mixed bag.”
The district has very good to struggling sports programs spread out across Robert E. Lee, Ross S. Sterling and Goose Creek Memorial high schools.
District athletic director Dr. Bernard Mulvaney is feeling quite good moving forward as a revolution of sorts is taking place with the installment of turf, all-season fields at football stadiums and softball and baseball fields at all three schools.
“We are in great shape,” Mulvaney said. “Participation is up, we had a successful season with our junior high kids and that’s our foundation. We had some good quality teams when it came to baseball, basketball, soccer … Robert E. Lee did some great things on the football field. I am very excited about our athletes.
“What I am most excited about is that the Board of Trustees have come up with a way to invest back into our athletes with the turf fields that we are getting. They have broken down on the football-soccer competition fields and those will all be done by August and baseball-softball will be done by January.”
The turf fields came in May when voters approved the district’s $335 million bond.
The bond included a new fieldhouse with new restrooms and locker rooms at Stallworth Stadium and official tracks at each junior high school.
“It’s kind of hard to practice track when there are no tracks to practice on,” Mulvaney said.
Stallworth Stadium would then be the central hub for varsity football games and soccer and sub-varsity football games would now be played on schools’ respective home fields.
“That’s the whole point of Stallworth: It should be for varsity football,” Mulvaney said.
With the new high school enrollments to be recorded in October for the University Interscholastic League, talk of having all three high schools in the 5A classification continues.
“Obviously, Lee will be 5A and the last few years GCM has fluctuated between 6A and 5A being 5A this year,” Mulvaney said. “The big question will be Sterling. They are going to be close. That cutoff enrollment number for 6A keeps getting higher and higher. So, Sterling may have a great opportunity to be a big 5A school. That would be nice. The districts we are in, they are tough. If you put all three schools in one district, we get to dictate more about what happens in that UIL district.”
Sterling is one of the 15 smallest 6A schools while GCM is one of the 15 biggest 5A schools.
The lack of investing in athletics may have led to some coaches leaving for greener pastures, according to Mulvaney. He hopes that more consistency within staffs would help breed program stability.
“With all the things that we are doing – where are athletic periods are in the daily schedule, the turf, stipend raises – we are investing heavily in our coaches so they can invest heavily in our athletes,” Mulvaney said.
Now as the amenities improve, Mulvaney would like to see an overall growth amongst the sports and see improvement on the field and court and noted Sterling tennis, REL and GCM football and track teams show some jumps from recent successes and results.
“That’s the short-term goal,” Mulvaney said. “The long-term goal is stability and investing in these kids. So when someone asks about their experience in Goose Creek athletics they can say their coaches cared and did everything they could. I think right now we get a bad rap and that couldn’t be the furthest thing from the truth.”