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Coach G, Knights step up to Taco Shack challenge

First-time father, leads Knights into annual Anderson battle as first-time head coach

GAMEPLAN%3A+Head+coach+Thomas+Gammerdinger+talks+to+the+defense+at+the+Taco+Shack+Bowl+in+2017+when+he+was+defensive+coordinator.++File+Photo+by+Gregory+James.
GAMEPLAN: Head coach Thomas Gammerdinger talks to the defense at the Taco Shack Bowl in 2017 when he was defensive coordinator.  File Photo by Gregory James.

GAMEPLAN: Head coach Thomas Gammerdinger talks to the defense at the Taco Shack Bowl in 2017 when he was defensive coordinator. File Photo by Gregory James.

GAMEPLAN: Head coach Thomas Gammerdinger talks to the defense at the Taco Shack Bowl in 2017 when he was defensive coordinator. File Photo by Gregory James.

Gregory James, photo editor

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Coach G and Baby G also known as Camila proudly display their Mac colors in preparation for today’s Taco Shack Bowl against rival Anderson. Photo courtesy of Thomas Gammerdinger.

It is a year of firsts for McCallum football and for first-year head coach Thomas Gammerdinger. The eight-year MACulty member and longtime defensive coordinator will head coach his first game of varsity football when the Knights play Anderson at House Park at 7:30 p.m. tonight. Not only is Gammerdinger a first-time head coach this year, he is also a first-time father. His daughter Camila was born the week before students started school.

I’m pretty busy, always short on time,” Gammerdinger told the Shield. “The head coach thing is obviously new for me and same for being a dad, so I’m always learning and constantly busy.”

For the team it is also the first time they will compete in 5A Division I. After last year’s run to the 5A Division 2 state semifinals, McCallum was moved up a division so that AISD rivalries with LBJ could be maintained. This year, in addition to playing important district games against old rivals Travis, Reagan, LBJ, and Crockett, the Knights will also play Dripping Springs and Seguin.

“Seguin and Dripping Springs will be tough and … a good measuring stick for how we stack up.””

— Head coach Thomas Gammerdinger

Seguin and Dripping Springs, will be tough and will be a good measuring stick for how we stack up against those teams.” Coach Gammerdinger said. 

A YEAR AGO TODAY: 2018 seniors Kegan Aleman, JB Faught and then junior Cole Davis lead the Knights onto the field to kick off the 2017 Taco Shack Bowl. File Photo by Ian Clennan.

As has been the case since Anderson moved up to 6A, the Taco Shack Bowl will kick off the high school football season for AISD and will give a lot of momentum to the team that wins it. The last two years, McCallum has won the game and advanced to at least the second round of the playoffs. After 16

Taco Shack Bowls, the series stands at eight games a piece for McCallum and Anderson.

We want to get momentum going to push us in the right direction,” Gammerdinger said. “It will be a big win for us if we can get it.”

Gammerdinger isn’t the only Knight taking on a new role tonight. Key players on both offensive and defense are also taking on new responsibilities. Quarterback Cole Davis was second string to Max Perez last season and will get the start in tonight’s game. Senior running back and wildcard player Deron Gage is out with a hernia, but senior Jalen Sutton will start in his place. At wide receiver, one player to watch tonight will be Takai Satberry. But Coach G also stressed the importance of the offensive and defensive lines that will be working to keep those guys “clean,” rather than having them pull grass out of their face masks all night. On defense, safety Gabe Williams will be a key player, as well as defensive linemen Lloyd Barriere and Alvino Carbajal.

“We want to get momentum going to push us in the right direction. It will be a big win for us if we can get it.””

— Head coach Thomas Gammerdinger

Coach G is optimistic about the game tonight and the season ahead. He believes the team is ready to have a good game tonight and a great season.

“I’ve been at McCallum a long time, and being head coach was always a goal,” Gammerdinger said. “Getting to accomplish that goal and do it a place I love being at is awesome.” 

The game is tonight at 7:30 p.m. at House Park.

TACO SHACK TROPHY: To the victor goes the spoils, and in this annual tradition those spoils are a nice shiny trophy….oh and bragging rights too. File Photo by Gregory James

1 Comment

One Response to “Coach G, Knights step up to Taco Shack challenge”

  1. Max Pipkin on October 4th, 2018 10:12 am

    I like this story a lot because it tells the reader about the football team’s journey up to the game against Anderson. It tells you that the team worked hard and that it payed off.

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Coach G, Knights step up to Taco Shack challenge