One step closer

The Knights were back to form in their crucial win over the Reagan Raiders, 49-11.

The Knights were able to strike quickly with a 76-yard touchdown run by Deron Gage to make the score 7-0. The Knights then forced Reagan to a three and out on the Raders’ first possession of the game. The Knights then drove close to the end zone on their next possession but fumbled the ball short of the goal line, giving the ball back to the Raiders.

The Raiders, backed into their own end zone nearly gave up a safety and eventually punted to the Knights.  Darius Lewis returned the punt for the Knights’ second score of the game. Gabe Williams recovered a Reagan fumble to start the second quarter, setting up a Deron Gage touchdown run. The Raiders responded with a field goal to make the score 21-3 close to the end of the first half. The Knights, however, were not done with their first-half scoring.

Cole Davis ran 42 yards tiptoeing down the Knight sideline to make the score 28-3 at half. Coming out of halftime the McCallum offense picked up where it left off, scoring three more touchdowns, all thanks to Jalen Sutton. The Reagan offense was able finally to find the end zone in the fourth quarter and added a two-point conversion to make the final score, 49-11. The victory provided a much-needed district win for the Knights, who face Crockett in the homecoming game for the school. The Cougars hold a one-game edge on the Knights in the standings, making the game a must-win if they want to make the playoffs this season.


AN UPLIFTING WIN: Alvino Carbajal lifts Deron Gage in the air after Gage scored a 78-yard touchdown run to get the Knights the 7-0 lead early in their 49-11 win over Reagan. Photo by Anna McClellan.

The team can use the momentum they got from this game next week. The game will be important for the football team and for fans, as it is homecoming week.

“We have got to build off this momentum,” offensive coordinator Jacob Alvarez said. “We have to have another good week of practice, having everybody there.”

We have got to build off this momentum”

— offensive coordinator Jacob Alvarez

As for the rest of the district, Seguin (6-2, 5-0) has pulled ahead of the other contenders in district, after they edged Dripping Springs at home (6-2, 4-1) to become the sole undefeated team left in district. LBJ (6-2, 4-1) had a bye week this week, and Crockett (4-4, 3-2) shut out Travis (0-8, 0-5), 57-0, at House Park.

The Knights remain in crunch time for the rest of the regular season.

“We played a great game on both sides of the ball,” senior running back Deron Gage said. “It all started with a great week in practice. Our practice habits are getting better, and it’s showing on the field. We’ll be practicing at House Park for the week so we can prepare for the game and come out with a win.”

Video by Gregory James and Steven Tibbetts.

A Pink Week pep rally postscript

Since there is no pep rally this week for the Reagan game, we are proud to take you back to last week’s Pink Week pep rally with this week’s #TuesdayTop10 photo gallery. These are just some of the picturesque moments from a pep rally filled with the from start to finish.

Band debuts industrial-strength halftime show

The marching band debuted its fully operational 2018 fall show, “Machines of Change,” this weekend, first at halftime of McCallum’s dismantling of Lanier at House Park and then again on Saturday at the Texas Marching Classic at the Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex in Round Rock.

The brass section this year has more power and determination in articulation and sound sophistication than in previous years.”

— Drum major Jonathan Forbes

Drum major Jonathan Forbes tells Macjournalism that this year’s show depicts the Industrial Revolution of the British Isles.

“Musically the show this year is spectacular,” Forbes said. “The brass section this year has more power and determination in articulation and sound sophistication than in previous years so it’s wonderful to hear powerful chords while the woodwinds bring beautiful melodies to life while also having fast fingers to work through difficult technique.”

To hear Forbes’ description is to understand why the band and color guard have to put in so many hours to bring the show the life.  The show begins with marchers swaying to represent wheat. The song, “Oh Danny Boy” conveys the idyllic calm of preindustrial British farmland. The second movement, “The Red Machine,” depicts the onset of the revolution followed by the third movement, “The Peterloo Overture,” and the fourth movement, “Jupiter,” which conveys the sophistication of the modern world.

These images from halftime of the McCallum-Lanier football game at House Park were taken by Grace Nugent and Annabel Winter.

The show is very sparkly compared to last year’s. It’s very fast-paced and very challenging.”

— Clarinet player Kyle Davis

The band then brought the show into the program’s second competition of the marching season at the Texas Marching Classic in Round Rock. The band competed against 15 5A and 6A bands in one of the most competitive marching band competitions in the region. While the band did not make the final round, clarinet player Kyle Davis said there was a lot to like about the band’s performance.

“Overall, the show is very sparkly compared to last year’s,” Davis said after the band’s performance on Saturday. “It’s very fast-paced and very challenging. Today at the competition, I think we did pretty well.”

These images of the marching band enjoying their last few moments before heading to the field to perform at the Texas Marching Classic were taken by Madelynn Niles.

Ronald Reagan High School won the competition, with Leander Rouse second and Hays High School third, but the finals were not without controversy. The final band to perform, Lake Travis, had to end its show prematurely due to inclement weather. Given the option of being judged harshly on a partial show or withdrawing from the finals and being designated an exhibition band, Lake Travis chose the latter. Several Lake Travis band supporters posted messages on the event Twitter page that they thought Lake Travis’s preliminary scores should have been used to determine their place in the final round.

MacJournalism is pleased to show our exclusive video of the band’s debut performance of this year’s halftime show at House Park.

We are also pleased to share not one but two exclusive photo galleries: one containing images from Friday’s performance and another of candid images of the band on Saturday before they performed at the Texas Marching Classic.

Knights fall to Tigers in offensive showdown

When the varsity football team faced the Dripping Springs Tigers last Friday at House Park, both of the team’s offenses were rolling.

It wasn’t that the offenses were making huge plays every time they touched the ball. Instead, both teams were consistently able to get multiple first downs and methodically drive the ball closer and closer to the opposing team’s end zone.

The biggest reason for the two offenses’ success was in the play of their quarterbacks. For the Knights, junior Cole Davis lit it up through the air, passing for three of the Knight’s four touchdowns. For the Tigers’ senior quarterback Tanner Prewit, the work was done on the ground. Prewit led his team in rushing yards and scored two rushing touchdowns.

Right as it appeared that the Knights would soon be down by three scores, safety Gabe Williams intercepted a pass near the 5-yard line to give the Knights a much-needed defense stand.”

The Knights got off to a good start, scoring a touchdown on a Cole Davis’ pass to Tino Depaz on the opening drive of the game. The Tigers then responded with three good drives in a row resulting in two field goals, one of them good from 42 yards, and a touchdown to take a 13-7 lead. The Knights scored their second touchdown, and only one through the ground, on a touchdown run by senior Deron Gage to briefly regain the lead before Dripping Springs pulled ahead 16-14 at the end of the half with yet another field goal.

Then, in the third quarter, the Knights offense blinked while Dripping Springs’ offense started to finish off drives with touchdowns instead of field goals. The Tigers scored two touchdowns on their first two possessions of the second half while the Knights offense was forced to punt twice in a row. Already up 30-14 late in the third quarter, the Tigers looked to effectively end the game with another drive that took them deep into McCallum territory. Right as it appeared that the Knights would soon be down by three scores, safety Gabe Williams intercepted a pass near the 5-yard line to give the Knights a much-needed defensive stand to and a chance for a comeback.

We played well, better than most people expected us to play, but I feel like in the end we should have come out with the win.”

— Senior Deron Gage

The Knights offense responded to the new glimmer of hope by scoring a touchdown on a pass from Davis to Cruz Escobar. The Knights failed on the two point conversion, however, which kept them behind two scores, but then surprised the Tigers with an onside kick that was recovered by Williams. Less than two minutes later, Davis connected with Gage to put the Knights behind 30-27 with about eight minutes left in the fourth quarter. The Knights defense just needed one more stop to give the offense a chance to complete the 16-point comeback. Instead, the Tigers scored on their biggest offensive play of the game, as Prewit ran in a touchdown from near midfield to put the Tigers up 37-27 with about seven minutes left.

The Knights were able to respond to this near knockout blow from the Tigers with a field goal, putting them down seven with about four minutes remaining. Then the Knights defense did something that they had only been able to do once in the entire game. They forced a punt. The red hot McCallum offense got the ball back with about two minutes left in the game at their own 20-yard line. Quickly, the Knights moved the ball almost to midfield, but the Tigers stopped them on an incomplete pass on fourth down to win the game.

Head coach Thomas Gammerdinger talks to the team after their 37-30 loss to Dripping Springs. Coach G stressed the importance of mental effort and limiting mental mistakes. Photo by Annabel Winter.

Although some small mistakes added up to cost the Knights their third straight loss, they played well overall.

“We played well, better than most people expected us to play,” Gage said. “But I feel like in the end we should have come out with the win.”

After the game, head coach Thomas Gammerdinger preached the importance of staying focused and limiting mental mistakes.

“There were a lot of things that went wrong in this game,” Gage said. “But as we take the coaching I feel like we can make it better.”

This loss puts McCallum at 2-3 for the year and 0-2 in district play, but LBJ and Drippings Springs are most likely the two toughest teams to beat in the district. If the Knights limit some of their mental errors and continue to play at the level they showed against Dripping Springs, they may be able to win the rest of their regular season games and build some momentum heading into playoffs.

The second half of the Knights 10-game regular season starts on Friday when they will be facing Lanier.


In 5-set thriller, Mac earns respect but not a win

The image of outside hitter Preslie Boswell embracing middle hitter Shaine Rozman tells the story of the Knights’ Friday battle against Lockhart in a single snapshot.

Outside hitter Preslie Boswell hugs inside hitter Shaine Rozman after Rozman spiked an overpass to win the Knights’ fourth straight point in the fifth-set tiebreaker. Boswell had won the first two points with kills, and Rozman had won the last two. Photo by Selena De Jesus.

Both players are smiling but they also appear to be on the verge of tears.

“This was during the fifth set,” Rozman remembered after the match. “I had just gotten a kill by hitting an overpass. The fifth set was super emotional.”

The second-place Lions gave the third-place Knights their best shot, but the resilient Knights consistently mustered an answer. After the Lions took the first set 25-21, the Knights returned the favor, winning the second by the same score. After the Lions took the third set, 25-17, the Knights roared back, 25-22,  in the fourth to tie the match at 2.

With the match knotted at two sets a piece, the Lions pulled ahead by four in the fifth and final set. “It was maybe point 11 when I hit the over pass and we were ahead by two, it was after Preslie had just gotten a couple kills and I had as well (this was my second in a row).”

After Rozman gave the Knights a two-point lead, Boswell wrapped her arms around Rozman. She was happy but also fatigued.

“It was definitely challenging keeping our energy up because we were all so tired,” Rozman said,  “but we knew that if we won, we could possibly be second in our district behind Dripping Springs. So we were all super amped knowing what was at stake.”

The fifth set was the only time in the match that the Lions trailed. They mustered the will to erase the deficit and tie the match at 15. The teams were tied at 16. And 17. But after three ties extended the fifth set, the Lions strung together two points to win the set, 19-17, and the match, 3-2.

I think this was the best I’ve ever seen us play.”

— Junior middle hitter Shaine Rozman

It was a loss. But to a player, the Knights said it was their best performance of the season thus far.

“We had the best energy,” Rozman said. “I think this was the best I’ve ever seen us play.”

Wiley agreed.

“For sure, it was the best game we’ve played. [We] just [made] some small errors here and there, but when we were on we crushed it.”

Even head coach Amy Brodbeck offered the same assessment.

“The girls played outstanding. I was super proud of how they played. They were scrappy and smart.”

Rozman said the team wanted this match, and it showed in the hustle and urgency with which the team played. Liana Smoot landed in the bench area twice after leaping out of bounds to keep a ball in play, and she said that Wiley was simply everywhere … covering tips short and going deep to neutralize kill attempts and keep points alive. Wiley had a game high 41 digs, but she wasn’t alone. Three other Knights had double-digit digs: Boswell had 17, Sophia Henderson 13 and senior co-captain Claire Caudill 10.

After middle hitter Liana Smoot got a kill and a point for Mac, her teammates encircle her to celebrate. One of four returning players from last year’s varsity, Smoot has her own cheer. After a Smoot kill, fans chant “Smoot, there it is!” Photo by Selena De Jesus.

On offense, Henderson racked up 42 assists. When she wasn’t setting up the next kill attempt, she was quick to dump the ball in the perfect spot to kill a Lion rally. Boswell led the team with 21 kills and a 29.2 percent kill percentage. Smoot added 12 kills at 26.1 percent.

The Lions brought out the best in these Knights.

“I thought we could beat them if we did our best, and we almost did,” Wiley said. “We just had too many errors and that’s what decided the game basically.”

The Lions consistently threw the first punch, winning the first and third sets and jumping out to a big lead in the fifth. They smartly served away from Wiley and forced other Knights to receive serve. Rozman said that good teams know to serve away from the other team’s libero because liberos are most likely to receive the serve expertly and set up a counter attack.

The Knights weathered that strategy, and Brodbeck also made other adjustments to get her team back in the match. At the beginning of the match, the Knight would send three blockers to the front of the net to set up a wall against a Lion kill shot. Seeing the triple wall, the Lions exploited a weak spot by tipping the ball over the wall for an easy point.

“We adjusted our defense because they kept tipping really short, and the ball kept dropping behind the block,” Rozman said. “We changed to a double block and the third front-row person would cover short.”

When we were on, we crushed it.”

— Senior libero Lindsey Wiley

The Knights also made adjustments on offense to exploit holes in the Lion defense.

“We started hitting towards deep corners where their defense wasn’t,” Rozman said.

After the adjustments, the Knight beat the Lions in the fourth set, a performance that Wiley said was the team’s most quality set of the night.

“We had kills from Preslie and some aces that really put us ahead and gave us the momentum we needed to win the fourth set.”

Boswell had five aces in the match, and Caudill chipped in three while ace server Janael Copeland added two.

“We have some people that will come in specifically to serve and then come back out after we lose a point,” Wiley said. “Janael comes in for one of the middles to serve and after the other team gets the serve back that’s when she comes out, and I come back in. But other than that, usually a back-row player subs in for a front-row player once they reach the back row and they serve instead.”

Despite the 2-1 loss to Lockhart, sophomore libero Kai Hall said the team played one of its best district games of the season: “Our offense was on, and we had a couple of great digs from the back row,” Hall said. “We fought hard against the Lions, and I hope they’re ready for next year.” Reporting by Bella Russo. Photo by Ale Luera.

The varsity’s tight loss was typical of the evening. The JV and the freshmen teams also pushed the Lions to a tiebreaker final set, and both squads also extended the game into extra points after the final set was tied at 24. Unfortunately for the home teams, both lost the decisive set, 26-24.

The matches had a playoff atmosphere or perhaps more accurately the atmosphere of a rivalry game. The intensity was surprising since it’s the first year that Lockhart and McCallum have been in the same district.

The girls played outstanding. They were scrappy and smart.”

— Varsity head coach Amy Brodbeck

Despite the newness of the rivalry, the Lions have emerged as a team that Mac would very much like to beat. At the beginning of the year, the Knights were much more concerned about Tigers than Lions. The arrival of Dripping Springs in District 25-5A attracted much more attention than the arrival of Lockhart.

Perhaps that’s because the Lions are not in McCallum’s football district, but if their entry into the district was unheralded, their play on the volleyball court since has changed that. The Lions volleyball team has blazed through district play. The team’s only loss came against at first-place Dripping Springs on Sept. 21.

Senior co-captain Lindsey said earlier this season that she had two goals for the team this season: make the playoffs and give Dripping Springs a run for its money.

Senior libero and team co-captain Lindsey Wiley uncorks one of her 21 service attempts during the Knights’ 3-2 home loss to Lockhart on Friday night. Wiley had one ace and one service error. She also led the team with 41 digs to bring her district-leading total to 501. Photo by Selena De Jesus.

Two losses to Lockhart earlier this season captured the Knights’ attention. The volleyball program had Oct. 5 circled on its collective calendar since the team endured an ill-fated district road trip to Lockhart on Sept. 11.  The Knights lost on the road that day, 3-1. It was the team’s first district loss, and it was doubly disappointing because the Lions had already beaten these Knights, 2-1, in a non-district tournament match at the Bastrop tournament on Aug. 17.

“We felt like we could’ve played so much better,” Rozman admitted. “We made it our goal to beat them at home because we know we have enough skill to beat them.”

The Knights came close to pulling out the win, but even in defeat they showed a will to win that shows how much this young varsity team has grown together.

Coach Brodbeck instructs the Knight in their post-game huddle, after losing the fifth set of their home match against the Lockhart Lions. The Knights played their best volleyball of the season but came up just short of a key district victory against the team just ahead of them in the standings. Photo by Selena De Jesus.

Rozman is one of a team full of first-year varsity players. Only four players (Wiley, Caudill, Smoot and Henderson) played varsity last year.

“The team has meshed so well together, and I’ve made so many great bonds with my teammates,” Rozman said. “Playing on the varsity level has definitely made me a better player; playing more competitive teams has helped me grow as a player for sure. Especially since junior year is hard, I’ve had to learn a lot about time management balancing school and volleyball. Even though this year has been really hard, I make it one of my top priorities to have fun, and I always have fun playing volleyball.”

While the rest of the season promises to be fun, Wiley has goals in sight for her team. She wants to take a set off Dripping Spring when they travel to the Tigers’ den on Oct. 19, and she wants to win the team’s remaining matches without dropping a set.

They will get a chance to start that streak tonight when the team travels to Crockett to take on the Cougars.

Starmites: A Behind the Scenes Look

In covering the first six performances plus the final dress rehearsal of Starmites: The Musical, we feel we have documented the intergalactic set, the cosmic costumes and the stellar performances of the cast fairly well. But what about the backstage life of our out-of-this-world cast? Thanks to photojournalism students Evelyn Griffin and Bela Tapperson, we are proud to bring you this exclusive backstage pass to Starmites: The Musical. If you haven’t seen it, you still have two opportunities, Saturday night and Sunday afternoon.

The free art of ATX

Everyone loves art, especially when it’s free, which is the great thing about street art. You may have noticed some driving or walking past. The great thing about Austin is the art, especially of the street variety, which is even more unique, funny, creative, and weird than anywhere else. We are pleased to take you along with Olivia Watts on her adventure to find the best Austin street art in this week’s #TuesdayTop10.

VSA honors Mac junior

Junior Jackson Sutton was awarded the Director’s Commendation at last Sunday’s inaugural Very Special Artists Texas Artist of the Year Awards ceremony at the Sterling Event Center.

The event featured food, live guitar and vocal performers. The guest of honor included Sutton and the other two honored artists, their families and friends, and supportive community stakeholders.

In addition to Sutton’s award, the VSA recognized Jordana Gerlach with the SPARK Award and Joan Fabian with the Haven Allen Artist of the Year Award.

Sutton has long been known for his artwork. His artwork was featured in a March 2017 cover story in the Shield.

Sutton said that in his art pieces, he likes to make the viewer feel a sense of nostalgia, and he combines other elements from older times and current times to convey this idea. Many of his works are also inspired by Jackson’s early fascination with other cultures and peoples, and he specifically draws a lot from Mayan and Latin American art.

In addition to being a visual artist he is also a poet, linguist, composer, writer and philosopher. You can check out his other works at

We are pleased to feature photos from Sunday’s event as this week’s #TuesdayTop10 photo essay. Photos by Ellen Fox, Edward Johnson and Anna McClellan.

The Glenn Glitch

Gabe Williams stood hopefully in the end zone with the football in his arms. The game was over, and he had either scored the game-ending, game-winning touchdown or he hadn’t.

On fourth down with nine seconds left in the fourth quarter and Glenn leading 30-26, Glenn elected to punt the ball. After the punt landed on the field, the clock ran out and the Glenn players and the referees headed off the field.

I think Coach G is a great man and coach. He’s dedicated to this team and to the game. I wouldn’t want any other head coach.”

— Cruz Escobar

Game over.

The way the McCallum players on the field saw it, however, the Grizzlies never touched the ball down, so the ball should have been still live. Hoping it was, Williams scooped it up and ran to the end zone. But the referees had already called the play and the game over.

Even though the Knights didn’t win this one, the game’s final play revealed what the previous two wins had already made clear: the Knights never give up … not until and, in this case even after, the clock runs out.

“I’ll ride with y’all until the wheels fall off no matter what the outcome is,” Coach G told the team after the game.

They never gave up on the game, and they played until the last down. The stick-with-it attitude of this team was proven before when they came from two scores behind to beat Anderson by one point in the Taco Shack Bowl and when they battled their way to score 27 unanswered against Lehman the week after to win 40-27. No matter the circumstances, this Knights team does not give up easy.

This past Thursday, the Knights traveled to Leander to face the Glenn Grizzlies at Gupton Stadium. The team again rallied from two touchdowns down to take a late lead, but the Knights this time did not get the result that they hoped for, losing 30-26. After a back-and-forth game, the Knights nearly completed a crucial third-down pass play in the end zone. But despite the missed opportunity, the Knights had another good night offensively overall, with 258 yards total, 180 of them coming from the passing game.

DAVIS GOES THE DISTANCE: After shedding several tackles, Cole Davis ran the ball in from 14 yards out to score the game tying touchdown. Photo by Grace Nugent

Takai Satberry led the receiving corps with 98 yards on five receptions, and Cruz Escobar and Darius Lewis had touchdown receptions of 25 yards and 36 yards respectively. For Escobar, it was his first touchdown of the year.

“It felt good to get my first varsity touchdown,” Escobar said.  “It’s something I will always remember, and I hope there’s more to come in the future.”

Gabe Williams and Connor Boggs each intercepted a Grizzlie pass during the game. The Knights made several big plays in the game to be in a position to win. The team rallied from a two-touchdown deficit to tie the game at the half and then took the lead on a 3-yard run by Cole Davis, set up by Tino Depaz’s 97-yard kickoff return that opened the second half.

DOWN THE SIDELINE AGAIN: In a play reminiscent of his game-winning touchdown versus Lehman, Takai Satberry makes a long run after making a short catch and eluding Glenn defenders to put the Knight in the red zone late in the fourth quarter. Satberry had five catches for 98 yards for the game. Photo by David Winter.

“I think we played really hard but we had too many mistakes to overcome,” Williams said. ” I think this game taught us that if we don’t come out completely focused we won’t be as successful as we want to be.”

I think this game taught us that if we don’t come out completely focused we won’t be as successful as we want to be”

— Gabe Williams

This is the first year that McCallum has played Leander Glenn. The team continues the toughest portion of its schedule next Friday when it plays arch-rival LBJ to start district play. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Nelson Field. The Knights hope to rebound off this loss and beat LBJ for bragging rights and a chance to get back in the W column.

“Even though we put up one hell of a fight, we ended up beating ourselves,” Escobar said after the game. “From the turnovers to making mistakes on offense and not having good practices the week prior, it cost us.  I think Coach G is a great man and coach. He’s dedicated to this team and to the game. I wouldn’t want any other head coach.”

Lindsey Plotkin
Sophomore Connor Boggs, shown here running back his first-quarter interception, made a huge impact on the game. In the first half alone, he intercepted a pass, knocked down a pass and recovered Glenn’s onside kick attempt. Photo by Lindsey Plotkin.

CORRECTION: Earlier versions of this story had the location of Friday’s LBJ game wrong. The game is at NELSON FIELD not House Park.

Second time’s the charm

It was going to be a long night. The entire gym, packed with enthusiastic fans donning purple and blue knew it. The parents, who found themselves on the edge of their seats before the two teams had even shook hands, knew it. The volleyball teams and coaches of McCallum and LBJ sure knew it too.

This summer, a streak of wins at the Jason Landers tournament pitted Mac against rivals LBJ in a tightly contested match before school had even started. After a hard fought game taken to the last possible set, the Varsity Volleyball team had claimed the victory for McCallum.

When the two teams faced off again last Friday, McCallum was able to win for a second time.

In Friday’s rematch, the two teams played again under even higher stakes. Not only was it the first game of the district season, but the Knights had to defend their previous win and protect their home turf. Everyone was looking to prove themselves against LBJ once again, and even though the last game had been a success, the Knights knew this time still wouldn’t be easy.  

I knew then that my girls were never going to give up; they were going to fight for it.”

— Head coach Amy Brodbeck

The first set proved the team right. Both teams fought for points in a frantic back and forth that took the set past game point. LBJ eventually pulled ahead to win the game by two, leaving the first set lost 30-28 to LBJ.

Despite the loss of the first set, the varsity picked it up during the second and third sets, winning both 25-18 and 24-16. All McCallum needed to do was win the fourth set to defeat the Jaguars for the second time this season, but LBJ wasn’t going down without a fight.

The fourth set went LBJ’s way, but not before McCallum stormed back from an 11-point deficit early on to make it close. The set ended with a second set win from LBJ 25-20, which would forced the match into a tie-breaking fifth set.

One more set to go, the outcome still in doubt, yet the varsity volleyball team was already proud of its game.  

“We still lost [the fourth set] but to come back and it be only a five-point difference felt amazing,” head coach Amy Brodbeck said about her team’s resilience despite losing the set. “I knew then that my girls were never going to give up; they were going to fight for it.”

The varsity entered the last set in commanding fashion and were able to crush LBJ 15-6, ending the night with a second come-from-behind victory over their rivals and a 1-0 start to the district season.

“Everything that could have gone right went right in the last set,” senior libero Lindsey Wiley said after the game. “We had been up and down, not only in the set but in the whole game, but we were able to come back. It feels amazing.”

The varsity team breaks down their huddle after winning the fifth set against LBJ 15-6. “Great job, I love you all, we’re 1-0 in district, lets go get ’em!” Coach Brodbeck said to her team to end the game. Photo by Bella Russo.

For Coach Brodbeck, the highlight of the night was her team’s tenacity and technical strength, even when the Knights were behind.

“Everybody was just doing fantastic.” Broadbeck added. “The passes were getting there, the sets were there. Everyone had errors, but we just came together, and it seemed to work. It was a team effort.”

When the varsity team came together for the last huddle of the night, the gym was still abuzz with energy.

Everything that could have gone right went right in the last set.”

— Senior libero Lindsey Wiley

“Everybody was super excited and pumped up.” Brodbeck said.” I basically told them, ‘Great job, I love you all; we’re 1-0 in district, lets go get ’em!” 

The varsity team weren’t the only ones to defeat LBJ on Friday as all three subvarsity team’s all defeated the Jaguars: a four-on-the-floor perfect sweep for the night. 

The junior varsity, much like the varsity, got off to a rough start. After losing the first set 25-19, the team was able to recover to dominate the last two, 25-19 and 25-15, to win the match, 2-1.

A gym over, the freshman A team also beat LBJ, 2-1, winning the first set, 25-17, losing the second, 21-25, and brawling it out in the third to win, 25-20.

The freshman B team not only beat one of McCallum’s biggest district rivals, but also won its first game of the season, and accomplished all of this in straight sets.

“I was so excited to finally win a game, and I’m proud of all my teammates in tonight’s game.” freshman Audrey Racine said.

Even though the team is still savoring their victory four days later, Varsity head coach Brodbeck still feels that there is a lot more work to be done before the Knights move on to play the rest of the teams in the district.

I was so excited to finally win a game, and I’m proud of all my teammates in tonight’s game.”

— Freshman Audrey Racine

“I want to be able to try and beat [Dripping Springs],” Brodbeck said. “That is a goal that I have, and I know it’s a goal that my girls have. I want to keep that willingness to never give up, and that willingness to improve. Improving each step of the way is going to get us there.”

In addition to our story, we are pleased to make the volleyball teams four-match sweep of the Jags our #TuesdayTop10 photo essay. In looking through our images, we may have gotten a little carried away and included a few more behind the required 10. We are pretty sure when you see them, you won’t mind. Photos by Lily Dashner, Bella Russo, Winston Pham, Gabby Sherwood, Maeve Walsh

Love #TacoShack, baby!

As students march into the gym for the Taco Shack pep rally, the band blares the school song, the cheer and dance teams perform, and the crowd goes wild. New teams are announced, and the classes compete in the spirit contest. It is Thursday, Aug. 30, the afternoon before the Taco Shack Bowl football game at House Park.

Student sing the school song at the Taco Shack pep rally on Aug. 30 in the large gym. Video by Ellen Fox.

The pep rally started out with McCallum cheers and the introduction of the varsity volleyball team. After, the cheer team performed its dance routine to a Rihanna and Drake mash-up, the Blue Brigade performed its dance to “Born this Way” by Lady Gaga.

Then came time for the hula hooping contest. The four contestants, one of each grade, were freshman Alba Perez, sophomore Blake Houston, junior Ruby Del Valle, and senior Ethan Blanton. With some great hula skills, Houston won the contest for the sophomores.

The Blue Brigade performs to Lady Gaga at the Taco Shack pep rally on Aug. 30 in the large gym. Video by Ellen Fox.

Then, the spirit stick contest started. Each grade yelled their victory battle cry, but in the end, it went to the class ‘19. Confetti poppers went off, and seniors received their spirit stick with pride.

For seniors, it was the ultimate Taco Shack experience, Mac won the decorating contest in the morning and the game in the evening with a thrilling 21-20 comeback victory.

We are pleased to share our exclusive gallery of still photos and videos from the Taco Shack pep rally.

For more videos, check out the MacJournalism YouTube channel.

Still photos by Ian Clennan, Ellen Fox, Gregory James, Sarah Mbaya, Stella Shenkman, Gabby Sherwood, Kristen Tibbetts and Dave Winter.

Video by Ellen Fox.

Not merely freshmen

It is true that the varsity’s 21-20 comeback victory over Anderson on Thursday was Coach G’s first varsity win as head coach, but the freshmen beat the varsity to the punch by providing their coach with his first ever victory as head coach and athletic director when they pulled off their own comeback victory over Anderson the day before at House Park.

Trailing 6-0, the team rallied to win 8-6. And just like the varsity, it was a defensive play that kept the Knights within striking distance so the offense could rally and take the lead for good. Anderson was driving in the third quarter and threatened to go up two touchdowns when they ran a pass play into the south end zone at House Park. Peyton Bergeron cut in front of the intended Anderson receiver and turned a possible touchdown into a pivotal turnover that kept the score, Anderson 6, Mac 0.

The offense took it from there, turning the opportunity into a lead change. Running back Breyonn Wooley ran the ball in for the Knights touchdown and quarterback Jaxon Rosales followed that with a 2-point conversion to capture a lead that became the final margin of victory, 8-6.

We are pleased to share our exclusive pictures from last Wednesday’s game in this week’s #TuesdayTop10. With the exception of Rosales’s game-winning plunge for the two-point conversion, these are new images that we did not post to our Instagram account the day after the game. We hope you enjoy them.


Photos by Marley Angle, Risa Darlington-Horta, Madelynn Nile and Janssen Transier.