Winds of Change

Breaking down HS coaching carousel

Dr. Mike Jackson new coach at Grand Oaks Vype

Originally appeared on Vype.com

So, what’s new in Houston HS sports?

Let’s start with football. While the state title games are over, the coaching carousel has been in full swing, especially with UIL realignment on the horizon.

n case you missed it, here’s what has happened. But more importantly, let me help our followers read between the lines.

Starting up north, District 12-6A has had some serious turnover.

Conroe – Cedric Hardeman of Alief Taylor replaces Robert Walker

Hardeman gets his players into college, period. He’s one of the best promoters in the city. Should use that to draw athletes to Tiger program. Will implement 7 on 7 and recruiting seminars.

The Woodlands – Mark Schmid Resigns; OC Jim Rapp is the Leading Candidate

This is a huge job in the State of Texas. Rapp will likely get this job as DC Pat Kennedy has been hired to open the new Montgomery School – Lake Creek. Big question is who will Kennedy take with him to Montgomery?

Big word here in this entire picture is RESIGNS. Will Mark Schmid coach next year? In a recent conversation with Schmid, the former Highlanders coach said there is a good chance we would be seeing him back on the sidelines in 2018. Schmid confirmed to VYPE that he is currently weighing options and could make a decision as soon as February. Schmid does currently live in Brenham. Stay Tuned.

Grand Oaks – Dr. Mike Jackson of La Marque opens new school

Dr. Mike has been at St. Pius, Chavez and La Marque in the past and has had success. See the word DR. in front of his name. He’s a tremendous administrator and will do a great job opening a new school on the athletic front. They will not play their first varsity district football game until 2021.

 

Lake Creek (Montgomery) – Pat Kennedy, DC of The Woodlands opens new school

Great first hire by Lake Creek. Kennedy is TOUGH, but the kids who play for him really respect him. He is used to winning and his defenses have been some of the best in the state. He’s going to have to be patient in this build out of the new school, which will likely be a Class 5A.

Another amazing hire at Lake Creek is Tommie Sledge, the volleyball coach at Oak Ridge, who has led the War Eagles to the state tourney a few times. With Royal Oaks opening and cutting into the Oak Ridge zone, Sledge will open Lake Creek which draws from the Woodforest Community that has kids who play select volleyball.

DISTRICT 16-6A

 

Aldine ISD – Richard Delgado Retires; Hired assistant AD Dre Thompson. District must hire new superintendent

What does all of this mean? Dre Thompson is a great hire and understands the importance of athletics, and keeping Aldine kids in Aldine. The KEY is the new Superintendent. This new hire MUST understand the IMPORTANCE of ATHLETICS in the school curriculum – such as Athletic Periods and Coaching Benefits, just to name a few. The future success of ALDINE ISD will start at the tippy top – the new Superintendent.

 

Eisenhower – Kerry Bamburg is Out; Keeath McGee and Eric Jackson are Finalists

The Ike Eagles have been a power program for years in Houston. In fact, AD Dre Thompson was once the head coach there and wants to get the right guy in place. If so, the Eagles can return to the top of the district. Ike has been to the state finals in 1999 and the state semis eight times.

Keeath Magee is no stranger to the Houston-area. He was the head coach at Willowridge, then left to be the head coach at North Crowley, then left to be the coach at Beaumont Ozen. Then to Pearl River CC, then was an assistant at Westfield and is now an assistant at A&M Consolidated.

Eric Jackson was the GHFCA Assistant Coach of the Year at Ike in 2015. He’s a defensive coach.

 

MacArthur – Andy Garza is Out; MacArthur Wayne Crawford and Scott Joseph are the finalist

Big Mac hasn’t been in playoffs since 2007 – which is a decade. Building from the junior highs will be paramount for this new hire. Wayne Crawford is an existing offensive coach at Mac, while Scott Joseph is the Morton Ranch DC. He was recently at Navarro CC and is the brother of Gary Joseph.

DISTRICT 19-6A

Katy Taylor – Chad Simmons replaces Trey Herrmann

Stability, stability, stability. Coming over from his DC post at Cinco Ranch, Simmons is a solid pick to replace Herrmann, who was placed on admin leave. It left the Mustangs in a mess with a ton of talent in the stable last year with Ian Beek, Ottito, Max Wright (ACL), etc. It was a bad situation all the way around. Simmons will bring a much-needed TOUGHNESS to Katy Taylor.

DISTRICT 21-6A

Summer Creek – Brian Ford Retires

Retires? He’s too young to retire. Brian Ford is off to the golf course after opening Summer Creek a decade ago. He built a solid program over the years, which is coming off a playoff appearance. Ford is from the North Shore David Aymond coaching tree and helped the ‘Stangs win their first state title in 2003. So who gets the job? DC Corey Sterling is definitely a candidate, who joined Ford from North Shore as well.

DISTRICT 22-6A

Pasadena ISD has two positions to fill at Dobie and South Houston, while legendary coach Chris Massey leaves Deer Park to pursue a career with Balfour Rings.

Deer Park – Chris Massey has Retired

Interviews begin Friday

South Houston – Dwayne Lane hired as Clear Creek Head Coach; Open

Lane brought a new culture to South Houston in a very short time, leading the Trojans to back-to-back playoff appearances for the third time in the school’s 60-year history. He got the call to come home to Clear Creek, where he used to work for coach Darrell Warden. His son is a freshman at Clear Creek as well. He couldn’t pass up the opportunity. 

Dobie – Mike Norman is out… New hire within days

DISTRICT 23-6A

AD Ben Pardo has some key hires to make as Pearland and Dawson are open. After talking to Pardo, the decision will come down in early February. These will be big hires as dominos are sure to fall if other coaches outside the program are hired.

Pearland – Interim HC Jim Farmer

Dawson – Eric Wells resigns after opening school 11 years ago

DISTRICT 24-6A

Clear Creek – Darrell Warden Retires; Dwayne Lane of South Houston returns to run the program

OTHER CLASSES

Willis – Audie Jackson is out

Navasota – Patrick Goodman reassigned

La Marque – Dr. Mike Jackson moved to Grand Oakes

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Houston goes up 1-0 in the series

Altuve, Correa help lift Astros to ALCS Game 1 win over Red Sox

Carlos Correa's go-ahead homer in the seventh inning of ALCS Game 1 helped lift the Astros to a 1-0 series lead. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Despite one rough loss to the White Sox in the ALDS, the Astros looked like the dominant team they are capable of being, taking that series 3-1 to advance and taking ownership of home-field advantage in the ALCS against the Red Sox, who upset the Rays. In Game 1, despite trailing for the middle portions of the game, Houston would get more highlight moments from the faces of the franchise to start the series with a win.

Final Score: Astros 5, Red Sox 4

ALCS Series (Best of Seven): Houston leads 1-0

Winning Pitcher: Ryne Stanek

Losing Pitcher: Hansel Robles

Houston strikes first, but Boston sends Valdez to an early exit

Both starting pitchers worked in and out of trouble in the early goings of ALCS Game 1, starting with Framber Valdez in the top of the first. After erasing a leadoff single by inducing a double play, he went on to load the bases on a single and two walks but would strand all three runners to keep Boston off the board. The Astros jumped in front in the bottom half, with Jose Altuve working a leadoff walk, moving to second on a one-out single by Alex Bregman, advancing to third on a wild pitch, then ultimately scoring on a sac fly by Yordan Alvarez to put Houston ahead 1-0 after one frame.

They had a chance to extend their lead in the bottom of the second, taking advantage of a shaky inning by Chris Sale, who loaded the bases with one out as Houston would get two singles and a hit-by-pitch. That flipped the order over to the top, but a great diving catch by former Astro Kiké Hernández would end the inning. Hernández led off the top of the third against Valdez, and he would tie things up with a solo homer.

Things went downhill from there for Valdez and the Astros, as a one-out walk followed by a single gave the Red Sox the go-ahead run in scoring position. On a groundball that likely should have been a double play to end the inning, it would get through Altuve's legs, scoring a run and keeping the inning alive for Boston. They took advantage, getting an RBI double to extend their new lead to 3-1. Valdez would get one more out before Dusty Baker would give him the early hook, bringing in Yimi Garcia, who finished the frame.

A battle of the bullpens, Altuve ties it up

Like Valdez, Sale would also not make it through three innings, getting two outs while putting two on base before Boston would start their bullpen's night as well. Both sets of relievers settled the game down, with the Red Sox stranding two of Houston's runners in the third as well as the fifth, maintaining their two-run lead. After Garcia finished the third, Cristian Javier entered to eat up a couple of innings, and he would do just that by getting through two frames with just one hit, four strikeouts, and no runs.

Next, Phil Maton took over in the top of the sixth and erased a leadoff walk to keep things in striking distance for the home team. In the bottom of the sixth, Houston put another runner on base, getting a one-out single by Chas McCormick. Two batters later, with two outs, Jose Altuve provided yet another career postseason highlight, tying the game 3-3 with a two-run home to re-energize the Minute Maid Park crowd.

Astros take ALCS Game 1

Now a brand new ballgame in the top of the seventh, Brooks Raley came in to face three batters, getting two strikeouts while allowing a single before Dusty Baker would move on to Ryne Stanek, who would get the third out. With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Carlos Correa continued his march to a monster off-season contract, putting Houston back on top with a solo homer, making it 4-3.

Houston kept the script after Stanek with the new lead in hand, going to Kendall Graveman as the setup man in the top of the eighth. Despite a two-out single, he would get out of the inning with the lead intact, putting Houston three outs away from the victory. After a walk, single, and hit by pitch to start the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded, Altuve would drive in his third run of the game, getting a sac fly to extend the lead to two runs at 5-3.

That insurance run proved pivotal, as closer Ryan Pressly was met with a leadoff solo home run by Hernandez, his second of the night for Boston, to make it 5-4. Pressly refocused and was able to get the next three batters in order, though, wrapping up the win to start Houston off with a 1-0 series lead and putting them three wins away from advancing to the World Series.

Up Next: The two teams will have a moderately quick turnaround, with ALCS Game 2 scheduled to start at 3:20 PM Central on Saturday ahead of NLCS Game 1 between the Dodgers and Braves getting the night slot. The pitching matchup is expected to be Nathan Eovaldi for Boston, who is 1-0 with a 2.61 ERA in his two starts this postseason, going opposite Luis Garcia, who had a rough outing in the ALDS for Houston, giving up five runs without completing three innings in Chicago.

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