Michael Oros sits in the dugout on a ball bucket with his clipboard throughout the Texas Collegiate League season at Riverside Stadium during the summer.
The Generals head coach realized that around time last year, Hurricane Harvey had wreaked havoc on Riverside Stadium and the crossroads area.
“It’s crazy to think that it’s almost a year since Harvey hit,” Oros said. “The whole field was underwater from the pictures that I saw. Back in Kingwood we were dealing with Harvey, too. We had a lot of flooding that damaged a lot of homes and the high school.”
During the school year, the 28-year-old is a physical education teacher at Hidden Hollow Elementary school and an assistant coach on the Kingwood High School baseball team in the Houston area. He also works with the Mustangs’ football team as a statistician and film crew member.
His Generals are currently competing in the Texas Collegiate League playoffs.
The team just lost a 2-1 decision to the Acadiana Cane Cutters in Game 1 of best-of-three series on Thursday night in Youngsville, La.
Game two will be played on Friday at Riverside Stadium at 7:05 p.m.
The Generals will need to win to force a Game 3 on Satuday at Riverside Stadium.
Oros recalls when Kingwood athletic director/head football coach Barry Campbell gave him a call to go check on the school during Harvey.
“Barry had told me and another coach to go check on the school because we had left out some equipment out that needed to be indoors,” Oros said. “When we got there the school had already started flooding. I called Barry back and told him it was gone, he said ‘What’s gone?’ I told him the school was already flooding and the football field was under water. It was a site that I will never forget.”
With steady rain coming down during Harvey, Kingwood High School flooded as well as parts of the community due to Lake Houston coming out of the banks.
Oros, who grew up in Kingwood and graduated from the high school in 2008, decided to lend a hand.
“The coaching staff decided that we wanted to help people whose houses had flooded and wanted to get them to safety,” Oros said. “It was a spur in the moment idea, but we wanted to help people that were stranded.”
The Mustangs’ coaching staff decided to use an aluminum jon boat, which is usually used for fishing and hunting, to help people get out of the flooded waters in the community.
Oros used his 2014 Chevy Silverado, which is lifted six inches and has 35-inch rims with big rough tires, to transport people from the jon boat to the checkpoint.
He spent two days using his truck to transporting people from flooded waters to the Kingwood Community Center where people were being taken to other shelters.
It didn’t hit him until he dropped off the last group of people.
“At the moment I didn’t really think about what we were doing as a group,” Oros said. “I would say after the seventh group of people that I dropped off is when it hit me. I realized that these people were going to shelters and they had lost everything. We truly were helping people and I knew we had made the right decision as a coaching staff.”
The damage had been done to the Kingwood community and then it was just waiting for the water to go down.
“You go from it being flooded for 12 hours and then the next 48 hours all the rain is gone and it’s dry,” Oros said.
Kingwood High School was damaged, including all athletic facilities and the students would be moved to Summer Creek High School for the fall semester and for couple months of the spring semester.
Kingwood students would return to their school on March 19.
“It had its challenges going from Kingwood to Summer Creek because we were sharing schools,” Oros said. “I thought the Humble school district did a great job making a plan to make sure the kids stayed in school. Once baseball season started things got better.”
The baseball team began practice on their field on March 12 and received help from MLB teams and other people across the state.
The baseball team received help from the Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros and the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association
The Rangers donated wooden bats, the Red Sox donated baseballs and the THSBCA offered funds and supplies for the baseball program.
Astros’ outfielder Josh Reddick provided the Mustangs with new baseball uniforms for the season, which Kingwood made the playoffs and advanced tothe Class 6A regional quarterfinal.
The Astros also provided the Mustangs varsity team with a ticket to Game 2 of American League Division Series against the Red Sox.
“We got so much help from major league teams and the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association,” Oros said. “We didn’t have anything at all to start out with. It was nice to see other people lending a hand to our community. The kids were really excited to see Reddick and were excited about the new uniforms.”
“To go to that playoff game as a team was nice, he added. “But the Astros put the icing on the cake for the city of Houston winning the World Series.”
Oros followed up with Mike Yokum about the repairs needed at Riverside Stadium and kept his eyes on Victoria during Harvey.
“Me and Mike talk almost most every day so he was keeping me updated,” Oros said. “He was telling me what was going on every day and wanted needed to be repaired. It still shocks me that all this was under water at one point. The two places that I care most, Victoria and Houston, were both affected by Harvey. I’m glad that things are moving in the right direction, but I know people still need help in Houston and Victoria.”