It was quite the whirlwind of spring sports and I was happily thrown into the mix midway as I made my place here in Baytown.
I learned that we have some fantastic teams in softball, baseball and soccer, some incredible track athletes, golfers and tennis players and there are coaches working here that y’all better hang on to. They are that good.
It was a great way to open my time here and I do look forward to seeing the volleyball teams get to work and of course seeing just how this area handles a football party.
For now, I’d like to wrap up the 2019 sports season by sharing some thoughts I have after covering some great games and seeing some truly amazing things.
Let’s hope for an even greater and memorable season next year.
Barbers Hill softball
This team was all grit and composure.
They were also about class.
So much so that when they battled Angleton in the Class 5A Region 3 final, I ended up wanting the Barbers Hill girls to do well, but I definitely wanted the Wildcats to lose even more.
Just being honest.
While Barbers Hill players were being “tagged” in the face “on accident” – and yes, the booing of the Angleton player in question was a bit much after the first minute – the Lady Eagles handled their business with extreme composure while backing a teammate.
Then when the adult fans of the Wildcats decided to heckle a young Barbers Hill pitcher during her warm ups after struggling a bit in the previous two games, that cemented it. I mean kids messing with other high schoolers? Fine. But the adults?
Get a job.
The behavior almost ruined what was one of the five best high school competitions I have ever covered.
It was a true pleasure watching a team so talented and good at what they did – and that includes a gifted coaching staff – that it will be interesting how focused and determined this young team will be after that disappointing playoff defeat.
Head coach Adam Shibley just does it right.
The young man is so precise in his thoughts, cool in tough situations and just seems to have a great grasp of how to guide his players that it is no surprise he got his squad into the Class 6A playoffs even when at one point that looked like it might not happen.
Needing to win at C.E. King late in the season, Sterling recorded a shutout, forged a tie for the final playoff spot and then swept West Brook to make the playoffs.
The Rangers have some really nice pieces coming back and it wouldn’t surprise anyone that they return to the postseason in 2020 and do even more.
Barbers Hill baseball
Talk about a gritty, go get it done, bunch.
Led by David Denny, the team plays to the coach’s standard: They play hard, they play to win while holding no quarter.
This team was a counter puncher’s dream. Many times I saw them take an early nick on the chin as the opponent would get an early lead, but the Eagles would respond by landing a King Kong stomp in return.
They too will bring back a great young core of talent next spring and they could be a very good bet on a longer playoff run.
Who knew that soccer was the king of sports in the Baytown area?
OK, calm down football fans and apologists, it’s not, but with some very exciting teams at REL and GCM on the boys’ side and the girls team at GCM and Barbers Hill showing promise – lets not forget the Crosby teams – the pitch is the place to be when the creepy rain-mist combo comes calling and the temperatures get a bit crispy.
Bring your scarf, wear a hoodie and watch those talented players represent the area very well going forward.
John Tremmel and tennis
How can anyone not love what the Sterling coach has done with the sport in Baytown?
His teams on both the boys and girls sides had excellent years, he has a lot of numbers coming out to participate and it appears they won’t be slowing down anytime soon.
It should be fun to see that program continue to build upon itself behind Tremmel’s enthusiasm for the sport and the players who feed of it.
Oh, by the way
Thanks to all the managers, statisticians and coaches that did their best to make this job as uncomplicated as possible.
Game Changer? If you were a person, I’d buy you a beer.
Alan Dale is The Sun sports editor. Contact him email@example.com