When talking about the new culture Athletic Director Shane Mobley wanted to bring in during his first year, he emphasized the importance of laying the foundation. He said the seniors did a good job of doing that in their final year but he also pointed out the younger athletes as the ones to do it consistently in the coming years.
Junior varsity players showed they were willing to do what it takes to win in the new era of Sealy athletics but two of them stood out, in particular, this past year. The JV football team finished its season undefeated in the fall while the JV softball team capped off its season with a perfect record just a few months ago.
The football team not only just finished their season with a 9-0 record but did so finishing a seven-game streak in which they won with double digits. Head Coach Clark Harrell said their success came from the team not relying on physical dominance but rather through a better work ethic.
“It’s not like you watch our bunch and you’re blown away by speed or size or strength. They just play really tough and give great effort as a group,” Harrell said. “One of the biggest parts is how close that bunch is and that’s something they do is just love each other and be close as a family.”
He went on to say their future at the varsity level will be something all Sealy fans should be looking forward to. Not only for bringing their talent but to bring the culture the team enjoyed in the fall.
“I’m really excited to see what they do because obviously varsity football is a different animal but this group does have something special in the way they compete and love each other,” Harrell said. “I’m excited to see how that all translates to the next level.”
Culture is something that was an important factor in the JV softball’s team season as they enjoyed immense success after losing their first game of the season. The path to an undefeated record in the district wasn’t an easy one with the Lady Tigers winning close games and blowouts.
“Needville was the game that we were really worried about and they jumped on us early but they still came back to win it so it just shows their sheer determination,” Head Coach Richard High said. “Whatever it took to get us to the point of an undefeated district record through hitting or defense or whatever, they did and it just shows how strong these girls are mentally.”
High said one of the most unique aspects to the way the team played was their unselfishness and willingness to do whatever it took to ensure they could end district play the way they did.
“Nobody out there says they aren’t going to play a certain position and they were hugely unselfish which helped out a lot,” he said. “They came together and the experienced players were patient and helped the newer players learn the game and it just came together in a really unique way.”
Many members of the junior varsity squads across all sports from this past year will likely go on to become varsity players next season. It is something the players earned by growing and being willing to learn to become better throughout the season, something High said was no different with the softball team.
“The accomplishment of looking back to these players who hadn’t played in so long at the start of the season and now they are at this next level, it was just something that was really special and I’m honored just to be able to play a part in that,” he said.