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Calhoun coach shocked by realignment to Houston-area district (w/ video)

By Julie Garcia
Feb. 3, 2014 at 4:05 p.m.
Updated Feb. 2, 2014 at 8:03 p.m.

Calhoun Coach Richard Whitaker works the phones to set up schedules with other coaches. His football squad will face  new opponents  from Roesenberg, Angleton and Richmond in the teams' new  5A realignment.

For more on the UIL realignment, see Page B1

On Monday morning, Calhoun football coach Richard Whitaker was shocked that his school was realigned into a new district in the South Houston area and would not be facing Victoria schools in the regular season.

"I did not have any imagination of us not being in the same district together," Whitaker said. "It's very shocking and troubling now that we have to travel so far to play and not have those games that are within 30 miles."

The news impacted social media within the hour with many Calhoun fans upset about the change.

"I wish they would have kept Calhoun and Victoria in the same district - makes no sense," said David Coffey on Facebook.

However, some see a silver lining.

Though initially disappointed by the realignment decision, Port Lavaca resident Tanya Boerm has decided to "embrace the challenge."

"I believe us here in South Texas (Victoria East, Victoria West, Gregory-Portland, etc.) are overlooked a lot of times," Boerm said. "I feel like they don't get the recognition they deserve being in South Texas."

On Monday morning, the University Interscholastic League released its realignment packets at the Region III Education Service Center in Victoria.

Besides the changes in district matchups, each classification number scaled up. For example, 4A is now 5A.

East and West were kept in relatively the same district (District 30-5A) with seven other schools around the Corpus Christi area, but Calhoun was moved into a six-team district that also includes two teams in Richmond, two in Rosenberg and one in Angleton.

"I'm hopeful that maybe this will give my son that is left (at Calhoun) - and I have a few nephews on the team - an opportunity to have a big scout look at them because they're in that area," Boerm said.

Boerm is the mother of Hunter and Cameron Boerm, both major players for the Sandcrabs in 2013. Cameron will be a senior next season.

As a mother, Boerm is happy for the new opportunities, but as a member of the Sandcrab Nation, she is disappointed.

"As a mom, I'm a little relieved because Victoria East always gave us a great game and physical game, so I was concerned about the teams playing their best and hitting their hardest," she said. "As a fan, it's kind of sad because those are the best games, when you've got all that emotion, and they're really pumped up to play each other."

Calhoun had been in the same district with Victoria East and Victoria West since the high schools opened four years ago.

"I've heard that East would have a 'Crab Bowl; those things are comical, funny, good sportsmanship and drives camaraderie on each team," Boerm said.

Port Lavaca native Alex Hernandez Jr. compared the change in districts to Texas A&M leaving the Big 12 for the Southeastern Conference.

"It's a completely different conference with South Houston schools," Hernandez said. "It's a bigger city, bigger schools - we're like the wicked stepchild that's two hours away from either.

"I saw the realignment and was like 'What's going on?'"

Hernandez, a lawyer who travels from Victoria to Port Lavaca, said this will ruin the historic rivalries Calhoun has with Gregory-Portland and Calallen.

"Even today, we have the 'Friday Night Lights' feel and vibe," Hernandez said. "Every football season, even if we're not in high school or have kids, the thing that brings us together is high school football. We're a really tight-knit community."

But Whitaker doesn't believe this will make a difference in Calhoun's fanbase.

"We have great fans," the coach said. "I think the rivalry between us and Victoria is a shame that it's not going to continue," Whitaker said. "That had become a great rivalry; whether we played here or there, we always had great fan support from a local team. We're certainly going to miss that."

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