High school roundup: Mavericks tops in sportsmanship
Pasadena Memorial's football team was named the winner of the Touchdown Club of Houston's Class 5A Sportsmanship Award last week at the J.W. Marriott Hotel in downtown Houston.
Mavericks coach John Snelson and senior fullback Daniel Talavera accepted the trophy.
"When it comes down to it, we're all going for the district championship and the state championship," Snelson said. "But if you're involved in an organization that's doing things the right way, and acting right, and showing respect for the flag, that's a pretty neat deal.
"So I was very honored to accept that award on behalf of Pasadena Memorial High School. It wasn't just a coaches' award or a football team award but really a community/high school award."
Three other Pasadena ISD teams — Dobie, Pasadena High and South Houston - were among the 16 finalists for the honor. All four district teams received finalist plaques.
Schools were rated for sportsmanship qualities by Houston area football referees. Scores were awarded in sportsmanship categories for coaches and players and also support groups, such as parents, band and pep squads. Grades were also submitted for respect shown by players and their fans for the American flag.
And while Snelson was honored, he wasn't exactly sure what put his team over the top.
"I have no idea," Snelson laughed. "We've got real good leadership. Our band directors and cheering sponsors and our principals all do a great job of trying to teach our kids how to act, and our parents do a great job, too."
Memorial's honor is the second in a row for a Pasadena ISD football squad in the Touchdown Club's sportsmanship competition. Dobie took second place last year when only three places were handed out to all classifications.
"We all got into coaching because we want to help kids and there's more to athletics than just winning and losing games," Snelson said. "We want to help kids be productive members of society and would like to think that we're doing a good job of that.
"And so whenever your organization gets rewarded for doing the right things and acting right, it makes you feel good."
Competition this year was divided into Class 5A, 4A and 3A/private school groups.
Among those attending the luncheon were Pasadena ISD Superintendent Dr. Kirk Lewis and trustees Nelda Sullivan and Fred Roberts. Principals Dr. Angela Stallings of Memorial, Dr. Steve Fullen of South Houston, Joe Saavedra of Pasadena High and Steve Jamail of Dobie also attended.
Among the guests at the South Houston table was former Houston Oilers quarterback Dan Pastorini, a former teammate of Trojans Coach C.L. Whittington.
The speaker for the event was Brad McCoy, who's a veteran high school football coach and the father of former Texas Longhorns quarterback and current Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy.
Pasadena Memorial earns rare victory
The Pasadena ISD boys basketball teams continue to take advantage of a short-handed Deer Park team, with Pasadena Memorial recently beating the Deer for the first time in their school's history.
The Mavericks won 46-39 at Cotton Watkins Gym, giving the school district its first win inside the Deer's gym since 2007.
When the two teams met earlier this season at the Clear Creek ISD Classic, Deer Park won 63-49 win behind Thomas Walkup's monster effort. He had 36 points, 11 rebounds and five assists that night.
But with Walkup still out with a broken foot, it was Memorial's Brady Toler leading the show. He had 11 points.
Deer Park entered the season 29-1 against Pasadena ISD teams. But they also took losses to South Houston and Dobie in the first round of 22-5A play.
Pony sign-up this month
The city of Pasadena's Pony baseball program is opening registration for the spring, 2011 season this month.
All 13- and 14-year-old boys are eligible for a league that has sent several all-star teams to the Pony World Series. One of the league's former players owns a long-standing World Series record.
Sign-up will take place 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 5, 12 and 19 and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Feb. 15 and 17, all at Gardner Field.