It's that time of year again. Fall is in the air, and, with it come the sounds of feet hitting the pavement, balls bouncing and just an overall excitement among the kids. High school and middle school athletics in Port Aransas are getting ready to be in full swing, and I know the coaches and the athletes are ready, so I'm going to take this opportunity to update you on a few things that are going on in the athletic departments on both campuses.
We were fortunate this year because we have returned all but two members of our coaching staff, and we were able to replace those coaches with very qualified individuals. I am very excited with the direction the athletic program is headed and am looking forward to a successful year in every sport.
Let me first reacquaint you with the returning coaches.
Randy Henderson remains head girls' basketball coach and also will be the assistant girls' softball coach. Karen Hall will head up girls' softball and be the assistant coach for girls' basketball at the high school level. Javier Mendoza will continue to coach middle school girls' basketball, and middle school boys' and girls' track. He also has welcomed the opportunity to coach middle school cross-country this year. Christine Kreutziger is the middle school cheerleading coach, while Brian Flack continues as head baseball coach and also will assist boys' basketball. Piper Boies is the head boys' and girls' tennis coach and also will coach middle school tennis. I am the athletic director for Port Aransas ISD. I also am the head coach for boys' and girls' cross country, boys' and girls' track, boys' and girls' golf and middle school boys' basketball.
The new additions to our staff this year are Marilee McFadden and Paul Patteson. McFadden will be the varsity cheerleading coach and Patteson will be the head boys' basketball coach at Port Aransas High School and assistant baseball coach.
I know we are going to have a busy year, but I am very confident in all of our coaches. I know that they will do an excellent job.
If you ever need to talk to any of the coaches, please feel free to contact us at school.
Right now the only sport we have competing is cross-country. Port Aransas High School has 12 athletes, while Brundrett Middle School has 24 athletes participating this year. These students have been running in practice, either before or after school, Monday through Friday, and running in meets on Saturday since the first of August. This group of athletes has been working very hard to get ready for their district meet and seem to be peaking at the right time. Several members of the high school team have set personal best times in the past two weeks. The district meet was Monday, Oct. 22, for both groups in Corpus Christi at West Guth Park. By the time this article is published, we already will have run at district, and we should have an update concerning that meet in this edition of the South Jetty. The regional meet for the varsity teams will be held Nov. 3 in San Antonio at Brooks City Air Force Base Golf Course. Class 1-A varsity girls are scheduled to run there at 10:50 a.m., and Class 1-A varsity boys are scheduled to run at 11:10 a.m.
Basketball season is right around the corner. The girls started after school practice Oct. 17, and the boys started Oct. 24. The girls' first scrimmage is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 27, in Robstown, and their first game is scheduled for Nov. 6 at home. The high school boys' and middle school boys' and girls' first games are scheduled for Nov. 13 and Nov. 8, respectively. These opening games will be played at home.
Currently there are 25 boys and 26 girls participating on the high school level, and 30 boys and 23 girls at the middle school level. These are some of the largest numbers we have had in a while.
A large number of the athletes also are currently participating in Fellowship of Christian Athletes. This is a student-led group that meets once every week, alternating between the middle school and high school students. There are currently around 75 athletes participating between the two campuses. We already have taken the high school group on two trips this year. The most recent outing was to "Fields Of Faith," which is a nationwide event led by students on athletic fields across the country. This year the event was held at Gregory- Portland and was run by their FCA leaders. There were 16 schools and several hundred students represented from the Coastal Bend. Although Port Aransas' student population is smaller than any other participating school, our club's attendance, comprised of 33 students, proved to be the largest group from any attending school. I think everybody had a good time.
I would just like to echo how excited I am about the upcoming school year, but not just for fall sports. There are 13 kids practicing tennis every afternoon. That number does not include the athletes currently practicing basketball, ready to participate when that season ends in the spring. There are 20 boys involved in off-season baseball every other afternoon and several girls in off-season softball as well. The kids are putting in a lot of time and work to make this year a success in every sport, and I am really looking forward to watching them perform.
I came across this quote a number of years ago and included it in my article last year, but feel so strongly that it bears repeating. This fits right in with our philosophy on sportsmanship at athletic events and the role that parents and guardians can play in helping us with this. I know that I, and the rest of the coaching staff, would appreciate your support.
"One of the missions of co-curricular school activities is to serve as an extension of the classroom. There are strong lessons to be learned in athletics. One of those lessons is to set and maintain high standards of sportsmanship, ethics and integrity in our schools and our society. It is up to us to provide the direction and constant vigilance under which good sportsmanship can prosper and have a positive impact on our children, the leaders of tomorrow, and ourselves.
"The value of the lessons learned by exhibiting good sportsmanship will last a lifetime. If we ever lose sight of that, then athletics, or any co-curricular activity, is not worth sponsoring. The positive actions of a coach, athlete or spectator at an event can influence how our school is perceived in our own community and the communities of those schools we meet on the field of play.
"We are asking for your support in this effort by emphasizing to your son or daughter what is expected of them at an athletic event as a competitor or spectator. After all, such events are an extension of the school day, and we should expect the same type of respectful behavior exhibited in the athletic arena as we do in the classroom. We urge you to ask your children to demonstrate self-control and self-discipline and at the same time, enjoy the games.
"Finally, we ask you to set a good example when in the stands at an event. It is only through these efforts that we can clearly communicate what is acceptable behavior. We hope that your positive example will help set the tone for those around you so we may all enjoy the games our athletic teams are involved in."
We are expecting to have another strong year for Marlin athletics. The athletes are working hard in practices, and are putting in a lot of time on their own. We are hoping to at least match the success we had last year if not improve on it. We would appreciate all of the support we can get from the parents and community.