Calhoun seniors help school to historic year
CALHOUN ATHLETICS AT A GLANCE
FOOTBALL, 12-1, regional round
• VOLLEYBALL, 25-15, regional quarterfinals
• GIRLS HOOPS, 19-13, area round
• BOYS HOOPS, 28-5, bi-district round
• BASEBALL, 15-12, area round
• SOFTBALL, 21-9, area round
This week's commencement closed the book on what has arguably been the most successful athletic year in the long history of what is currently Calhoun High School.
If there was a common theme, it was the senior leadership that encouraged the unprecedented success.
The football team recorded its first undefeated regular season. The softball team won its first district championship. The baseball team advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs for the first time.
First-year volleyball coach Virginia Parsons' team advanced to the regional round for the first time in a decade.
Calhoun's boys basketball team won the District 30-4A crown - their first district title in 19 years - while Sherman Chew led the girls basketball team to its second playoff appearance in more than two decades.
"The legacy of any team is on the seniors. It doesn't matter how many seniors you have," said Calhoun football coach and athletic director Richard Whitaker. "Every team made the playoffs and we had a few historical teams. It's a legacy that will be carried on for years and years and it's a legacy they should be proud of (setting)."
Legacy, history, amazing togetherness were some of the words Sexton used to describe the 2011-12 athletic year. Sexton was an all-area selection for the volleyball team and a starting guard for the Sandies surprising basketball team.
"This was our year that we've all been waiting for," Sexton said. "We did amazing things. I thought we did well in every sport. Every one loved each other."
Sexton added the last sentence with a bit of sarcasm much to the amusement of her classmates.
Until this year, baseball had a sort of afterthought baseball was at the school until this year. The team had never won a playoff baseball series, and had missed the playoffs the year before.
When the season started, few figured the Sandcrabs would make the playoffs, let alone stand a chance against San Antonio Brackenridge in the bi-district round. Somehow, the Sandcrabs won a pair of one-run games in San Antonio to advance.
The outfielder, who led the Sandcrabs in RBIs while hitting .366, noted the expectations from the community, their coaches, peers and others fueled the respective programs to success.
"We were able to bond together a lot more," said McCrory, who will accept an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy. "In previous years, it was all about that year's senior class so we were in the shadows. Now it was our year. I was able to get closer to a lot of seniors I haven't talked to before. I think we left a good example behind us."
Castillo agreed, noting the softball team rallied around its five seniors to dramatically win its first district title in April.
The Sandies were down to their final strike in the seventh inning before senior Marissa Snyder walked to extend the game. They eventually won 6-5 in 10 innings.
"I think we stepped up a lot better this year than any other year," said Castillo, who will attend Sam Houston State on a softball scholarship next year. "I guess we seniors brought the team together more."
All four said they couldn't have been nearly as successful without their coaches. Williams said assistant baseball coach Terry Parsons was unfailingly positive. His wife, Virginia, the volleyball coach Sexton said was the best teacher of the game she has ever encountered.
That may be true, but the Calhoun coaches consistently deflected the praise back to their players. Whitaker always reminds each senior class that they control what people following them will remember.
If that is the case, it's safe to say the athletic legacy of Calhoun's Class of 2012 will not fade any time soon.