NORTH EAST FOOTBALL AND VOLLEYBALL UPDATE
One of the realities of the North East athletic program is that there is a large amount of activity taking place at all times. As football and volleyball teams enter the playoffs we also begin our basketball and wrestling programs. Along with basketball comes weekend tournaments in our gyms. As volleyball reaches its playoff time, Littleton Gymnasium becomes the site of UIL Regional Volleyball tournaments in the UIL 2A and 3A divisions. It is a busy time of the year for several sports at the same time.
I mention the total involvement of our athletic programs only to explain one of the questions that has come up. The question is why Churchill and Reagan played each other in Edinburg for the regional title and a trip to the state tournament. The UIL sets all regional tournament sites and selects the officials who work those matches or games in any sport that has a regional tournament. For the past two years regional volleyball and basketball tournaments have been held at Pan American University in Edinburg. The folks in Edinburg have done a great job with these tournaments and have been good hosts. If Churchill and Reagan had met in San Antonio there is no doubt that we would have had a great crowd. I must tell you however that a fine contingent of loyal fans made the trip to Edinburg to support these two fine teams. This should be the last year of the volleyball and basketball rotation that has placed these regional events at a site in deep South Texas.
Churchill and Reagan played an outstanding match for the UIL Region IV title. After splitting the first four games they battled each other point for point until the Lady Chargers finally came away with a 15 - 13 victory in the deciding game. To have two North East schools be the top two Region IV schools is a credit to athletes and coaches. The win earned Churchill a spot in the state tournament.
The state volleyball tournament took place this past weekend in the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland. The UIL 5A Division included The Woodlands (#1 in the nation), Southlake Carroll (#3 in the nation), Clear Falls, and our own Churchill. The Lady Chargers disposed of the #3 team in the nation in the semifinals in four games. In the championship match the Lady Chargers took The Woodlands to the brink in the first two games before coming out on the short end. The Woodlands closed out the match in three games but not before realizing they had overcome a great effort on the part of Churchill. CONGRATULATIONS TO THE UIL 5A RUNNER UP - THE CHURCHILL LADY CHARGERS. I think we can realistically say our Chargers may have a legitimate claim to the #2 spot in the nation. A job well done ladies.
In UIL football playoffs the two largest schools by enrollment from each UIL district are placed in Division One and the two smallest of the top four teams in each district are placed in Division Two. That scenario has placed Reagan as our top seed in Division Two and Johnson as the second seed. In Division One Madison earned the top seed and Churchill the second seed.
The opening weekend of football playoffs saw North East schools win three of the four games against teams from district 25-5A. The Johnson Jaguars proved they were a strong playoff opponent for anyone as they took out the #1 rated San Antonio area team Smithson Valley in the first round with an exciting 49 - 45 victory. Reagan and Madison both won handily and Churchill could not overcome six turnovers in a loss to Judson.
This past weekend in the coldest weather of the season Reagan fell to Steele. Johnson overcame Brandeis in overtime and Madison defeated O’Connor all of which were in second round games. Each of the two games on Friday night was played in very cold and wet weather. The Madison game was in the Alamodome on Saturday as part of the only weekend in which the Dome is available for football playoffs.
I would be remiss if I failed to acknowledgement the Madison band, cheerleaders, dance team, and pep squads for their obvious support and involvement in the game Saturday in the Alamodome. You were part of creating a connection between athletes and fine arts students that can be very special in your everyday life at school and in your community. If in reading this you are not aware of what happened in the Alamodome game, speak to someone in attendance at the Madison - O’Connor game and they can fill in the details.
This coming Thanksgiving weekend finds Johnson and Madison traveling to Corpus Christi for third round playoff games. The Jaguars play host to Laredo Alexander at 7:00 PM following a 2:00 PM game between Madison and Sharyland. Both games will take place on Friday, November 29 in Buccaneer Stadium in Corpus Christi. The stadium is located just off I-37 as you drive into the city.
I close by congratulating all four of our playoff teams in volleyball and football. I can assure parents and fans that to simply reach the playoff level in these sports is an outstanding accomplishment. To advance into the second round or deeper in the playoffs is very special. I hope you recognize the sincere dedication of the athletes and coaches in all our schools and you are appreciative of the accomplishment of your student athletes who reached the playoffs. A special word of “best wishes to Johnson and Madison football athletes and coaches” as they enter the UIL Regional Finals this weekend in Corpus Christi.
I hope all of you who are involved in our athletic programs as athletes, coaches, administrators, teachers, parents, and fans have a great Thanksgiving with family and friends.
Executive Director for Athletics