Fall sports report card: A lot of good, some just bad

File photo

Barbers Hill and Garret Hagler, 26, and REL and Daniel James, 9, both had seasons each team could build off of heading into the 2020 campaign. Barbers Hill is the reigning District 12-5A II champion.

With the Barbers Hill football playoff loss, winter sports have officially taken over. Soccer practices started yesterday while basketball is off and running.

It should be a fun, next couple of months with some promising teams on the pitch and a lot of young and potentially strong units on the hardwood.

But let’s take one, final, look at the fall. It was full of good and unfortunately a few bad items.

THE GOOD

Football – How can you not celebrate the historic season for Barbers Hill who went to the Region 3 semifinals for the program’s longest 5A trip? Or what about Crosby’s amazing turnaround from 0-3 and a new head coach – Jerry Prieto – being under fire for being guilty of applying for a job opening? That second-place district finish and playoff win sure must have helped Prieto. Especially since the team seemed to genuinely like the guy, huh? Sure, REL struggled to 5-5, but it was the program’s best record in seven seasons so…little victories. Lest not forget the playoff season at Anahuac and Shannon Carter’s cultural shift at Goose Creek Memorial which created a much more competitive group with more to come in 2020.

Volleyball – It was nice to see Barbers Hill parlay a tough non-district schedule into an unbeaten District 21-5A title and playoff win. They lose some key seniors, but the sophomore class is loaded and could be very scary. Goose Creek Memorial had the most wins in school history and battled Barbers Hill in an exciting 4-set bi-district loss and also returns some firepower next fall. The rebuilding jobs at REL and Anahuac were inspiring and let’s not forget how strong a season the Lee College team as head coach Danielle Essix had her own roster to work with. Who besides me is going to miss Sterling’s Jasmine Moore’s ability to jump through the roof for a kill? At least we have her equally aerodynamic teammate Bailee St. Roman coming back.

Cross country and tennis – Sterling’s squad got to the area round along with Barbers Hill in tennis and the Eagles and GCM cross country teams really illustrated some good depth this season and promises more for 2020.

THE BAD

Officiating continues to get worse

I know they believe it’s a thankless job, but game officials at the varsity level make some pretty good coin.

According to the UIL, varsity referees in volleyball and soccer ($75-$130), basketball, baseball, softball ($85-140) and football ($100-205), make what can amount to $40-70 an hour depending on travel and/or gate receipts for a regular season game.

Thankless? That’s more than most people in this country make in three jobs trying to make ends meet.

Maybe instead of whining about how fans are so mean to you, it might behoove one to learn something about a sport before putting teams and coaches hard work in jeopardy, huh?

Kind of like the bumbling of a 22-minute volleyball delay for a lineup check? Huh?

Or like the brilliant personal foul call made on a hard football tackle on a BALL. A hit so hard that the receiver holding it fell a little too hard to the ground.

And my favorite: Basketball and the consistent chicken winging of ballhandlers too scared to handle pressure so they are allowed to push off those evil defenders – already seen about 50 no calls in three games.

Thankless? Can I write LOL in this space?

THE UGLY

Why not just combine the UIL with TAPPS at this point?

I mean the reality for the separation is because public school coaches and parents whined so long about the “unfair advantage” that private schools have because they “recruit.”

Blah, blah, blah. That’s weak sauce you hear coast to coast and Texas is no stranger to needing plenty of cheese to go with that whine.

First off? Private schools can recruit. They need to. They don’t have natural boundaries set for them saying “Gee, you go there!” No. They have to go and let people know they exist.

The problem is when private schools poach.

It’s one thing to tell people you exist, it’s another to entice athletes to leave their natural home to go play somewhere else for favors.

But what makes the modern public schools any different? I mean one can argue, they poach more than anyone and those whispers even are spoken in the Baytown Sun readership area.

Personally? It’s a disgrace.

If you have to poach players someone else developed to make your team relevant? Well not only are you a bad coach most likely, you really should fire yourself.

No one who cheats should be put in a position of a “role model” for kids.

Period.

It’s honestly a pathetic practice, by a desperate cheater.

But why keep UIL and TAPPS apart? Unless TAPPS schools are afraid to play UIL programs now because their boundaries have no bounds plus they get an automatic student body.

Wow, those public schools really know how to recruit …

Alan Dale is the sports editor for The Baytown Sun. He can be reached at alan.dale@baytownsun.com or 281-425-8017. 

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