The Shield Online

Mac to play Coach Houston’s Bulldogs on Friday

Two games into their first season without him, varsity Knights headed for a showdown with their former coach

Coach+Alvarez+gives+the+final+postgame+speech+of+the+season+to+the+JV+Knight+squad+after+it+defeated+Reagan+in+the+final+game+of+the+season+at+Mac.+The+Alvarez+era+begins+with+two+Friday+games+versus+Wimberley+and+Burnet.+Photo+by+Dave+Winter.
Coach Alvarez gives the final postgame speech of the season to the JV Knight squad after it defeated Reagan in the final game of the season at Mac. The Alvarez era begins with two Friday games versus Wimberley and Burnet. Photo by Dave Winter.

Coach Alvarez gives the final postgame speech of the season to the JV Knight squad after it defeated Reagan in the final game of the season at Mac. The Alvarez era begins with two Friday games versus Wimberley and Burnet. Photo by Dave Winter.

Coach Alvarez gives the final postgame speech of the season to the JV Knight squad after it defeated Reagan in the final game of the season at Mac. The Alvarez era begins with two Friday games versus Wimberley and Burnet. Photo by Dave Winter.

Delaney Carter and Molly Gardner, MacJournalism Sports Team

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Coach Houston brings the 2017 varsity Knights together before they defeated Crockett at Northwest Park on April 7. Photo by Adrian Pena.

The varsity baseball team is competing in the annual Fredericksburg baseball tournament this weekend, and the second opponent McCallum will face is Burnet High School, managed by former Knights coach, Russell Houston. Houston worked as the head baseball coach at Mac for 12 years before leaving last summer to join the Burnet staff. Houston coached the Knights to 228 wins and nine district championships, including the last seven in a row.

“I’m not really sure how it will feel,” Houston said of the impending game, rescheduled for 3:40 p.m. Friday after rain cancelled all of the tournament’s games today. “I think it will be very difficult for me. I spent a lot of time with those young men and at McCallum. It was very hard to leave. I loved the time I spent there and I love all of those young men. They are like family.”

While it won’t be easy for his former players either, they said they are looking forward to the reunion.

“Houston always used to say that we were like his family because he spent more time with us than his actual family,” senior infielder Reace Lane said. “He acted like it too. He didn’t treat us like his athletes: he treated us like his kids. He taught us a lot about life as well as baseball. He taught us how to act around adults, how to handle a horrible situation, and especially how to be a better person. Houston showed us how to think and contribute to the team, not just yourself, which is something that will stick with us forever.”

After Houston left in July, Jacob Alvarez assumed the varsity head coaching position. Alvarez had previously been the JV coach and has coached almost all of the varsity boys at some point before they stepped onto the diamond as varsity athletes.

“I see Alvarez more as an older brother honestly,” senior center fielder Koehler Vandament said, “an older brother that’s there to show you the ways that he’s learned from his experience through life, and I think he really helps us to push through and understand what we’re going through.“

Houston coaches up then junior Davis Roe during the team’s victory over Crockett at Northwest Park on April 7. Photo by Adrian Pena.

Senior second baseman Davis Roe played for Alvarez when was on JV-A as a sophomore and for Houston as a junior last year.

“I think Coach Alvarez is really good at communicating with the team and being very approachable on and off the field. He’s very organized and has done really well managing not just the coaching aspect but all of the fundraising and organizational aspects of being a head coach.”

Alvarez said he understands why the team’s reunion with its old coach is a big deal.

“This is a guy who has built them up from being freshmen up to seniors now,” Alvarez said.  “They get to play a guy who knows them, knows what kind of players they are, knows what kind of people they are. It will be fun.”

The Knights were originally scheduled to play Houston’s Bulldogs at 2 p.m., but the incessant rain today caused all of the tournament  games to be postponed. The Friday game will now start at 3:40 p.m. The team opens the tournament on Friday morning with a 11:30 a.m. first pitch against Wimberley. Hopefully, the bad weather won’t rain out the reunion.

Pullquote Photo

He taught us how to act around adults, how to handle a horrible situation, and especially how to be a better person. Houston showed us how to think and contribute to the team, not just yourself which is something that will stick with us forever.”

— Senior infielder Reace Lane

“The entire team is really looking forward to playing Burnet, not because we’re angry: we understand that he left to move his family to a better place,” Lane said. “It’s going to be like playing a friend. We both really want to beat each other.”

Vandament, Lane’s varsity teammate this year and last, said that he has mixed emotions about playing his old coach’s team.

“I think it will be bittersweet to play Coach Houston,” he said. “He is my old coach and has been a very important person in my life throughout high school, but at the same time he’s our opponent. I expect us to go out and compete against him and win. It will be an emotional game, but we will play with respect and class. He taught us that no matter how you feel about another team you just step onto the field and all those feelings go away; you are just there to beat them and go home.”

With Houston at the helm, McCallum played Burnet last year in the same tournament and beat the Bulldogs, 9-6.

“The team is pretty confident that we will win against Burnet again this year, our team is pretty solid,” senior pitcher and shortstop Eric Worden said. “I think as long as we play relaxed we’ll be fine.”

While Houston’s old team will be fine, Roe thinks it might be a tougher day for the old ball coach.

“Coach Houston knows most of us better than his own team,” Roe said. “He’s been around us seniors for three years and had gotten to know us probably better than he would’ve liked to. How this translates onto the field remains to be seen. We’re a pretty strong team without a lot of weak spots, so I feel confident in our chances despite his knowledge.”

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Mac to play Coach Houston’s Bulldogs on Friday

    Sports

    A Pearl in the pool

  • Mac to play Coach Houston’s Bulldogs on Friday

    Sports

    You Can Bet On It

  • Mac to play Coach Houston’s Bulldogs on Friday

    Sports

    Down and derby

  • Mac to play Coach Houston’s Bulldogs on Friday

    Sports

    Texas Rowing Center wins Central Youth team title

  • Mac to play Coach Houston’s Bulldogs on Friday

    Sports

    Medina Valley edges Mac in bizarre bi-district game

  • Mac to play Coach Houston’s Bulldogs on Friday

    Photo Galleries

    Macjournalism sports photo porfolio places in Top Program competition

  • Mac to play Coach Houston’s Bulldogs on Friday

    Sports

    VIDEO: Can you help a brother out?

  • Mac to play Coach Houston’s Bulldogs on Friday

    Sports

    Varsity baseball knocks off top rivals this week

  • Mac to play Coach Houston’s Bulldogs on Friday

    Sports

    Running back

  • Mac to play Coach Houston’s Bulldogs on Friday

    Sports

    Gillespie caps off career as District MVP

The Student News Site of McCallum High School
Mac to play Coach Houston’s Bulldogs on Friday