Straight From the Bull's Pen - November 16, 2022
From my familiar spot at the kitchen table this morning, the thermometer stationed on the window sill just behind the grandkids high chair reads 38 degrees. I can’t see a cloud in the sky from my vantage point, but I can see the goats standing in the early morning sunrise trying to absorb some warmth. I fully understand their plight, as our broadcast team was trying to find warmth and stay dry on Friday night in Splendora.
The reward for being the person that produces the broadcast using delicate computer equipment meant that I was located in the press box this time, but the harsh elements were as near as the open window in front of me. Greg and I were overlooking Dan, John and Josh as they were standing outside in the cold wind and rain that began at halftime. During halftime, they did enjoy a brief respite as we huddled in the cramped room. Dan chose to stay inside the second half and I don’t blame him. Here’s a tip: The weather inside a gym for volleyball is almost always perfect…
The dedicated Bellville fans appeared to be more prepared for the weather than their counterparts from West Orange Stark, and kept the Bellville stands occupied while their side sought out better cover. The field was situated such that the parked cars were facing into the endzone, and many decided to watch from their heated seats. As their cars were idling, their headlights came on and shown onto the field. The PA Announcer made several announcements to turn off the headlights, and we repeated it if they were listening to our broadcast. One holdout was finally approached by a referee and backed out of his space. With today’s complicated autos, they probably didn’t know how to turn their lights off!
In last week’s Bellville Times, the main headline was that “Tis the season for state playoff trips”. Bruce could be a fortune teller, as he got the trip part right. The headline could have been “On the Road Again” as playoff season offers the casual football fan great opportunities to experience parts of Texas they may have never seen before. If you made the trip to Yoakum, Splendora and San Antonio this past week like we did, you drove almost 700 miles. Gas stations love us! The Texas Tourism Office should produce a Travel Guide aimed at those of us that take to the highways and back roads during the playoffs.
For example, Yoakum, the site of the Brahmanettes Regional Quarterfinal match, was incorporated in 1889 and named for Benjamin F. Yoakum, a Vice President of the San Antonio and Arkansas Pass Railway. In 1914, the population was 7,500 and in 1926, growing tomatoes in the area became a major business and it was known as the tomato capital of Texas. Who knew?
Splendora, the site of the Brahmas Bi-District game, was also created by a railway company. In the late 1800’s, The Houston, East and West Texas Railway decided to build a narrow-gauge spur at the location, originally known as “Cox’s Switch”. In 1896, they changed the name to Splendora because of the “splendor of its floral environment”. The town wasn’t incorporated until December 1966. Now you know the rest of the story! Your homework assignment this week is to research Navasota and Garland, the sites of the next round of the playoffs.
Covering the Brahmanettes volleyball team can take the place of a medical stress test. I have made a list to check off taking my blood pressure medicine on game days. After the La Vernia match, I texted our football broadcast team that I didn’t think that it couldn’t get any more exciting than the Brahmas football game on Friday night, but the volleyball game trumped it. The five set Match against the Lady Bears left many of those in attendance searching for their lost voices and a quiet place to relax.
Although BellvilleSports.com couldn’t provide video, we do have the audio of the two Regional matches available on our website. Amy Aschenbeck and Lori Jackson do an awesome job of bringing you the action on the court. We will also have audio of the State Championship games again this year.
As I congratulated Coach Susan Brewer outside the Littleton Gym afterward, she even smiled and appeared to breathe a sigh of relief. In fact, Coach Grady Rowe exuded a similar cheerfulness as we shook hands after the Brahmas first win over West Orange Stark in five tries. If you observe both coaches during their respective match or game, they actively participate from the sidelines and probably feel as exhausted as their players. But knowing them, their attention turned to the next opponent shortly thereafter.
But wow, congratulations to the Brahmas and Brahmanettes on their hard fought victories this past week. As the Brahmas move on to the Area Round to face Madisonville, the Brahmanettes punched their ticket for a return trip to Garland and the State Championships! This will be the third year in a row for them to make it all the way to the Final Four. They will be joined by Randall, Huffman Hargrave and Aubrey. The Brahmanettes first semifinal match will be against Aubrey (38-9) on Thursday at 7:00pm. The championship game is scheduled for Saturday at 1:00pm.
Almost each day I share a quote with my wife and children. One in particular this past week caught my attention as it applies to current events. It is from Ashley Montagu and simply states “The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us”. Looking back over the past few weeks, who couldn’t smile and revel in the success of our local sports teams, band and other extracurricular activities such as the Bellville FFA’s recent achievements.
Witnessing the look on the parent’s, grandparent’s and fans faces after an unexpected victory only draw us in closer to the teams and their successes. You come to appreciate all the hard work the students, coaches and teachers put in to achieve their goals. In Bellville we have come to expect success and that’s why our community is special. In small town Texas, many times you can see a symbiotic relationship exists between the schools and town. If the schools are successful, there is a good chance that so is the town. And vice versa, the level of support from the community makes the schools much better. Bellville is blessed to be on the winning side.
BellvilleSports.com will have audio coverage of all the football playoff games, but will not know on video until a day or more before the games take place. We have to apply to the UIL and Sports in Action for approval, and the farther we get into the playoffs, the less likely it will be to receive permission. Follow our social media channels for updates. For comments or story ideas, my email is Steven@ BellvilleSports.com. We will see you at the games!