I am on to other things here in Beeville and hope my replacement, Kevin J. Keller, the best. He has sports experience and knowledge and should do well.
In remembering my 12 plus years as the sports editor, I was witness to a lot of good, if not great athletes, along with a few great coaches and a lot of nice parents, grandparents and just plain fans of the Trojans, Bobcats and Eagles. I thank you all for your kindness and cooperation in bringing the local sports to photo and print over the years.
Getting back to those great athletes over the years, I would like to name a few that bring back good memories. The two best running backs in Trojan history for me (from 2001 to 2014) were Spenser Chaisson and JoJo Gonzales. Chaisson had the size, speed and elusiveness to create havoc for a opponent’s defense. Gonzales also had speed, elusiveness and the slot-T offense run by head coach Chris Soza was fitted to his style.
The best quarterback, it’s a toss-up between Brian Bonner and Eric Soza. Both were good passers; Soza had the better touch and was a better field general. Bonner had the stronger arm and was a better runner with better speed. They played different style offenses, but both were stars and both went on to stellar college careers; Bonner as a defensive back at TCU and Soza as a QB at UTSA.
In volleyball, the Kremers sisters Kristen and Keliegh were both outstanding and both went on to play college volleyball. Hope I spelled their first names right; never could get them right back when they were playing.
In basketball, there was Mike Chargulauf in post or at the wing when I first got here. He had a strong competitive nature and a soft, turnaround jumper that was deadly for head coach Mike Luce. For the Lady Trojans, I would have to select Victoria Elizalde as the player I enjoyed watching compete. A recent (2013) grad, Elizalde did it all on the court – shoot, handle the ball, distribute the ball, defend and rebound. Her career at Hutson-Tillotson in Austin just started last year, and the dual sport (soccer, too) freshman excelled on the field and the court.
Speaking of Lady Trojan soccer, I have to choose a group of sisters, the McKinney sisters. It started with Maggie several years ago and ended last year with Heather and Claire. In between there was Morgan, who was probably not the most talented sister at soccer, but she never wanted to lose and never gave in to an opponent. That same attitude was first seen in Maggie, a good player but a better competitor. Heather was the leader, along with Elizalde, of the recent Lady Trojans and made the Region IV semifinals three times, if I remember correctly. She is currently on scholarship at UIW in San Antonio. One other sister also needs to be mentioned, Paige. She was a basketball player and a fantastic student, and an even better young lady.
Rogelio Salazar, Beeville’s state wrestling champion, stands out for his trip to a state title his senior year.
In baseball, I’ll go back a few years for pitcher/shortstop Estevan Vasquez. He was an ace pitcher on the mound for the Trojans in my early years who went on to play and prosper at UTSA after graduation from A.C. Jones.
In softball, I would probably have to go back to the district winning squad in my early years for pitcher Amanda Dominguez. She was a slight young lady and the coach’s daughter but a good pitcher who led the Lady Trojans to a couple of fine finishes against tough district foes.
The best track athletes of my time were Derek Holland and Ervin “Cooper” Dickerson. Both went on to college careers; Holland in track at the University of Texas and Dickerson at TCU in football. Holland still holds the record in the discus, and no one has even come close to his 200-foot plus throws back in the early 2000s. He won the state championship in the discus. Dickerson was a state finalist in the hurdles and was one of the most gifted athletes in Beeville history. He played and excelled in all, except baseball.
I know I have probably left out some good Beeville athletes and a few from Skidmore-Tynan and Pettus, but these, and even those not mentioned, bring back many fond memories I will always cherish. Thank you, Beeville.