Calhoun High School caps off another successful sports season for 2018-19 school year.
Calhoun had five playoff teams, both powerlifting teams advanced to state, two athletes represented the school at the state-level, and six seniors signed to play in college.
Athletic Director Richard Whitaker said he is proud of his coaches for preparing their athletes for competition.
“Secondly, I am proud of our kids. It is one of the things I tell everybody all the time about Calhoun High School is we have blue collar kids, and they are hard working,” Whitaker said. “They are all coachable, and they all want to be successful.”
Highlights from the season, the football team made it the quarterfinals, softball advanced to the area-round, boys basketball, boys soccer and volleyball each made it to bi-district. The boys and girls powerlifting teams advance to state. Remi Parker and Emme O’Donnell went to state for cross-country, and O’Donnell qualified for state in track.
“We felt we should have been in the playoffs (football) last year 2017-18 and we’re not and just fumbled an opportunity in a big game” Whitaker said. “This year the kids were really focused and wanted to get back there.”
Whitaker talked about the boys basketball team returning to the playoffs, and how they played good basketball the last couple of years.
Whitaker said the boys played competitive in every game in a really tough district to get back to the playoffs.
The Sandies powerlifting team finished third in the state, which ended the title streak, but Whitaker is proud of the girls and the program.
Whitaker said what coaches Jason Bagwell and Kellie Whitaker have done with the girls for a long period has been amazing.
“I know coach Bagwell and the girls were devastated because they didn’t win state,” Whitaker said. “But that has been the most amazing run in the nation in any sport.”
Whitaker said he sees a bright future for track/cross-country star O’Donnell.
“Emme O’Donnell getting into two state events this year in track as a sophomore, it’s an amazing accomplishment. I am so proud of her and it looks bright in the future.” Whitaker said.
Calhoun had six players sign to play at the college level: Zoe Flores signed to play softball for Concordia University-Nebraska, Skyleigh Sears signed with Midland University in Nebraska for powerlifting, James Grantland signed to play baseball for San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Remi Park signed to run cross country for Norwich University in Vermont, Present May signed to play soccer at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, and Sylias Montgomery signed to play football for Concordia University-Wisconsin.
“One of the greatest things about being in this profession is you have kids that have dreams,” Whitaker said. “They grow up in the playgrounds and in the little league fields or in the gyms or the football fields.”
Whitaker added these kids dreamt of having the opportunity to play at the next level.
“This year we had a great group of kids, and I know they are going represent Calhoun very well,” Whitaker said.
“And as I tell all of them…all you can ask for life is an opportunity, and they were given an opportunity and hopefully they make the best of that opportunity when they get there,” Whitaker added
The teams and athletes had a lot love and support from the community that traveled to see them, and Whitaker said the fans have been the highlight since he got to Calhoun.
“The fans’ support for all our sports has been amazing,” Whitaker said. “A lot of the schools don’t get that kind of support, and I know they are envious of us.”
Whitaker added that other athletic directors and coaches talk about the Calhoun fans, and how great they ard.
“It’s a great community. It certainly motivates our kids when they look into the stands and see all the folks that are there supporting them,” Whitaker said.
Whitaker said next year that Calhoun will be the team that everyone needs to prepare for in all sports.
“We’re going to compete very well and have the opportunity to make the postseason in all of our sports and have kids advance in the individual sports,” Whitaker said.