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Martin & Cotton return as Galveston O'Connell jumps back to TAPPS

Galveston O'connell will return to TAPPS this upcoming school year

Sometimes you don’t know how great you have it until you leave.

That’s the case at Galveston O’Connell, which tested the TCAL waters for three seasons before announcing its TAPPS return for the upcoming school year. The move is a year in the making, after lifetime Buccaneers came home to lead the charge.

The first was Derek Martin, who returned to his alma mater as athletic director and head boys basketball coach last summer. It’s fitting that he’s back for the Bucs’ second run at TAPPS because he helped the basketball and track teams excel in their first three seasons in the league between 1988 and 1991.

“It’s been exciting to be back home, and I’m grateful for the opportunity,” said Martin. “When I was a student-athlete here, I learned so many things that prepared me for the real world. We had coaches and teachers that always went the extra mile for us, and that cared enough about our future success to invest their time into us. And that hasn’t changed at all to this day.”

One of his mentors was Tim Cotton, who coached him in both sports, and has decades-long experience with high school football. He was retired for six years when the O’Connell football job opened in 2017, but couldn’t turn it down.

“The commitment that the TAPPS league made to private schools was something that intrigued me,” said Cotton. “And then to have the opportunity to come back and re-establish those values at O’Connell was something I couldn’t pass up.”

Both have lengthy ties to TAPPS, so they know how to prepare their programs for success.

Martin spent the majority of the past 20 years with TAPPS programs O’Connell and Baytown Christian, serving in roles like JV boys basketball coach, varsity boys and girls basketball coach, and athletic director.

Cotton has been coaching even longer, with stops at O’Connell, Marian Christian and Westbury Christian.

Both want to build on past athletic achievements, so football’s a great time to start.

The program is two years removed from a playoff win, and its strong junior class will put it in contention for another one in 2018. It includes versatile and all-state Izeal Owens, running back/linebacker Josh Hickman and strong-armed quarterback Tanner Adkins.

“With [Hickman] and Owens, we’re going to have two young leaders, [so] I think we’ll make the playoffs this year,” said Cotton. “And once you get into the playoffs, anything can happen.”

This article appears in the May issue of VYPE Magazine. Pick up your copy at any one of our locations today!

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Houston stays hot at the plate

Astros overpower White Sox in series opener

Abraham Toro made a loud return to the Astros' lineup on Thursday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

With a two-game sweep of the struggling Rangers behind them, the Astros welcomed in a much fiercer opponent in the Chicago White Sox, owners of the best record in the AL, for an exciting four-game set. It was all Astros in this one, as their offense would once again propel them to a lopsided win.

Final Score: Astros 10, White Sox 2

Astros' Record: 40-28, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (5-3)

Losing Pitcher: Dylan Cease (5-3)

Houston builds a big lead

Houston wasted no time in the bottom of the first, getting two on base on a single and an error to set up a three-run home run for Michael Brantley, putting them ahead 3-0 before Chicago and Dylan Cease could record an out. They extended the lead in the bottom of the fourth, putting two on base on a walk and hit batter before an RBI ground-rule double by Carlos Correa brought in one. That left runners on second and third, and Abraham Toro took advantage by scoring both on a two-RBI single, then with one out, Jose Altuve hit a sac fly to make it a 7-0 lead.

Urquidy brings the good stuff

Meanwhile, Jose Urquidy was cruising through Chicago's lineup. He allowed just one hit through the first five scoreless innings but would let the White sox get on the board in the top of the sixth after a leadoff double and two-out RBI single. They added one more on another single, making it 7-2 before Urquidy could get out of the inning.

Jose Altuve got one of those runs back in the bottom of the inning, hitting his fourth home run in three games to make it a six-run game at 8-2. Urquidy returned to the mound in the top of the seventh, getting a quick 1-2-3 frame to end his successful night. His final line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 93 P.

Astros take the opener

In the bottom of the seventh, Houston pushed the lead to eight runs with a leadoff single, setting up a two-out two-run homer by Toro, bringing him to four RBI on the night. With Urquidy's night over, Brandon Bielak came in as the first reliever out of the bullpen, sitting down Chicago in order. Ralph Garza Jr. came in to get an inning of work to finish off the game with Houston's large lead. He made it a quick one, with Chicago going down in order one more time as the Astros took the opener and notched their fourth-straight win.

Up Next: Game two of this entertaining series will be another 7:10 PM Central Start on Friday. Carlos Rodon (6-2, 1.89 ERA) will try to help Chicago even the series, while Luis Garcia (5-4, 2.98 ERA) will try to put Houston up 2-0.

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