2019 was one heck of a way to close out a decade in Austin County’s sports history. From the top of Bellville to the southern-most point in Wallis, it was The Sealy News’ honor to bring you the sports news for the county and there was certainly no shortage of tremendous accomplishments.
This past calendar year had numerous achievements not only on the district and regional levels but also at the state- and nation-wide levels with another border-breaking performance to boot.
The staff compiled the top 10 stories of the year on both the news and sports side and we hope you enjoy this recap to find out what the top sports story was this year.
Until then, we pick up with #8 and some honors for Austin County representatives:
The annual Honors Award Banquet for the Texas Girls Coaches Association is the kick-off event of the summer clinic but before then, some recognition was handed out.
Coaches of state-championship winning teams were honored with rings, presented by Balfour, then sub-varsity and varsity coaches of the year awards were presented before career victory milestones were acknowledged.
Three legendary coaches were inducted into the TGCA Hall of Fame; Guyla Smith of West ISD, Beverly Humphrey from Lancaster ISD, and Susan Brewer of Bellville ISD.
Brewer was previously honored for notching her 1,000th win on the volleyball court in 2018 and added another title to her name on top of the 32 district championships, 20 regional championships and 15 state tournament appearances where her Brahmanettes won nine titles.
Despite being in her fourth decade at the helm of the Bellville volleyball program, her excitement for the road ahead is still resounding; “The best is yet to come,” she said in her speech.
After the ceremonies, she elaborated on the honor and opportunity to accept another prestigious award.
“It was a little bit overwhelming, I never thought about being in the hall of fame and to be inducted was really wonderful and the two other ladies were pretty special,” Brewer said.
“When you start coaching, you never think about the end, you think about what you do every day and I love what I do every day,” she added. “I love my kids, I love what I do and I love working in Bellville; Bellville, America is great.”
Prior to her award, the sportswriters who followed those coaches all along were honored and The Sealy News’ Cole McNanna was honored as one of two sportswriters of the year.
Nominated by Sealy girls’ basketball head coach Anthony Branch, McNanna was chosen for the tireless work he has put into covering girls’ athletics of Austin County just as stoutly as the boys.
Originally from Milford, Massachusetts, he graduated as the Curry College Journalism Student of the Year last May and soon overcame the hurdles attached with starting a new job.
“There may have been a few glitches when Cole came on board with The Sealy News, but it was not long before his flair and eagerness to learn proved him to be a wonderful writer,” said Karen Lopez, publisher of The Sealy News.
“I knew that I had made a perfect choice with Cole when concepts burgeoned daily with him,” she said. “Even with his shoulders laden with four sports pages to fill each week, Cole continues to impress me and our community.”