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

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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Astros defeat the Orioles, 14-11. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images.

Jake Meyers hit a three-run homer, Jose Altuve and rookie Joey Loperfido added three hits each and the Houston Astros used a nine-run sixth inning to pull away for a 14-11 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.

Houston set a season-high in runs, a day after the Orioles had their highest-scoring game of the year in a 17-5 win over the Yankees.

The Astros trailed by 1 and had two on with two outs in the fifth inning when Meyers sent a pitch from Grayson Rodriguez (8-3) into the seats in left field to make it 5-3.

Houston sent 13 batters to the plate as they tacked on nine runs in the sixth to extend the lead to 14-3. The nine runs are the most by the Astros in an inning this season. They hit five doubles in the frame, including two from Loperfido.

Baltimore’s Gunnar Henderson homered twice to give him 24 this season, which ranks second in the majors behind Aaron Judge’s 27. The Orioles, who lead the majors with 123 home runs, have homered in 20 consecutive games, which is tied for the longest streak in franchise history.

Henderson’s first home run was a solo shot in the seventh. Henderson, Jorge Mateo and Anthony Santander each hit two-run homers in Baltimore’s seven-run eighth that cut the lead to 14-11.

Adley Rutschman had a career-high five hits as Baltimore lost for just the second time in six games.

Houston starter Jake Bloss allowed six hits and two runs with two strikeouts in his major league debut before leaving with right shoulder discomfort with two outs in the fourth inning.

Bloss joined the major league team despite never pitching in Triple-A with Houston’s rotation decimated by injuries. The 22-year-old Bloss, who was drafted in the third round last year, was 4-2 with a 1.74 ERA in 12 minor league starts between High-A and Double-A this season.

Shawn Dubin (1-1) permitted three hits and a run in 2 1/3 innings. Bryan Abreu pitched a scoreless ninth for his first save.

Rodriguez allowed nine hits and seven runs in 5-plus innings.

There was a delay in the middle of the fourth inning when home plate umpire Scott Barry left the game after being hit in the mask with a foul tip. Second base umpire Tom Hanahan took over behind the plate.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: C Victor Caratini was placed on the 10-day injured list with a strained left hip flexor. … Loperfido was recalled from Triple-A Sugar Land to take his spot on the roster.

UP NEXT

Houston RHP Ronel Blanco (7-2, 2.43) opposes RHP Corbin Burnes (8-2, 2.14) when the series continues Saturday.

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