Tompkins coach Todd McVey remembers it well to this day.
Then-sophomore Marquis Shoulders, a transfer from Cypress Springs, misread the ball on a kick return in his first junior varsity home game in 2018. Shoulders was clearly frustrated, and McVey approached him to have a quick chat.
“It was his first time out there and he kind of fumbled it a bit,” McVey said. “He got frustrated and I had to give him a talk on the sideline. It was that year of learning for him. That JV year was really good for him. He was our MVP and he got to key in on his craft and it paid off for him.”
The 2020 high school soccer seasons were one many lost because of the global pandemic. Due to precautions for the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, the season was initially postponed in March before the UIL canceled all remaining spring sports seasons in April.
Still, the soccer seasons, boys’ and girls’, were on the brink of the playoffs, with just two more nights of district play remaining. With that, a lot was determined about who were the best players and which teams were the best through district play, which allowed for all-district picks to still be made by District 19-6A’s coaches.
At around 4:30 on a hot Friday, May 1, afternoon, more than 30 vehicles were parked at Stanley Elementary. Parents, junior varsity players and other supporters of the Seven Lakes High baseball program started decorating their cars, trucks and jeeps with balloons, ribbons, self-made congratulatory signs and player banners.
On what was supposed to be “Senior Night” for the 16 Spartan seniors at their last regular season home game, a surprise drive-by organized by loved ones instead took place. Precautions for the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, forced the UIL to cancel its remaining spring sports season, including high school baseball, last month.
The Spartans’ senior players never got a chance to play their last home baseball game and enjoy their “Senior Night,” when seniors and their parents are recognized by coach J.R. Voyles prior to the game for their contributions to a program that is, year in and year out, one of the finest in the region.
The school is almost ready for occupancy and for faculty to move into, but Rabe has already put together the Warriors’ athletics staff in a little less than three months. Jordan is scheduled to be ready to open by the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
“This is an opportunity to not have to do anything over. You get to go in and do everything from day one. It’s real exciting,” Rabe said after he was hired. “It’s a special opportunity to be able to open up a high school. You look across the state and there’s not many of those that happen. You see several each year, but it’s a small opportunity to be able to jump in and do that.”
Jordan High submitted an initial enrollment number of 1,586.69 in late October.
Because Jordan is opening on an even year (2020) and beginning with ninth and 10th grades, Jordan’s individual sports will go varsity right away but team sports will wait until the fall of 2021, when the school has ninth, 10th and 11th graders. The only sport that is not able to be placed in realignment on the “middle” year, or halfway between the two-year realignment, is football.
Football for Jordan High won’t be realigned by the UIL until 2022, which will be Jordan’s first varsity football season. Until then, the district will try to mix and match schedules for Jordan to play football, just not under the UIL umbrella.
Here is a list of the head coach for each respective sport at the school, with the coach’s former school/job in parentheses:
Baseball: Zach Maddox (Tompkins High baseball assistant coach)
Boys Basketball: Charlie Jones (George Ranch boys basketball head coach)
Girls Basketball: Andy Rice (Taylor High girls basketball assistant coach)
Boys Cross Country: Mabry Allen (Mayde Creek football assistant coach)
Girls Cross Country: Kymberlee Trnka (Mayde Creek cross country head coach/assistant track coach)
Football: Mike Rabe (Mayde Creek football head coach)
Golf: Ken Rose (Arlington Martin golf head coach)
Boys Soccer: Jason Meekins (Ridge Point boys soccer head coach)
Girls Soccer: Rennie Rebe (Pflugerville Hendrickson girls soccer head coach)
Softball: Jennifer Hooker (Taylor softball assistant coach)
Swimming: Scott Slay (Richmond Foster swimming head coach)
Tennis: Paul Wallace (Morton Ranch tennis head coach)
Boys Track: Ryan Henry (Mayde Creek boys track head coach/assistant football coach)
Girls Track: Kymberlee Trnka (Mayde Creek cross country head coach/assistant track coach)
Athletic Trainer: Shelle Brown
Volleyball: Jen Vaden (Mayde Creek volleyball head coach)
Wrestling: Mike White (Cypress Woods wrestling head coach)
Award-winning sports writer Dennis Silva II covers sports in Katy, Texas and surrounding areas in southwest and northwest Houston.