People, Places and Things – April 2021

Since the last newsletter in March several coaches have turned in their milestone information:
500 Brian Legan Sundown boys
400 Doug Davalos RR Westwood girls
400 Aaron Wollam Palacios girls
300 DaJuanna Denton Somerset girls
300 NeKisha Durham Waller girls
Congratulations to all. For a complete list see the March newsletter in the TABC archives.

Coach Larry Tidwell, a TABC pioneer and two-time board member, took on yet another challenge this season as the head coach at Dallas Christian College. The Lady Crusaders are members of the National Christian Colleges Athletic Association and had not had a winning season in 16 years. Coach Tidwell started the season with only six players and battled all year with 5’2 guards and post players that were 5’7. After a 1-7 start and with the help of high school and JuCo coaches, he found players who thought their playing days were over and turned DCC women’s basketball into a winner. They finished 15-10 and qualified for the NCCAA national tournament where they finished 4th and ended the season with a #10 national ranking. With a running start next year Coach Tidwell says a national title is not out of reach.

LaDonna Ogle, wife of Littlefield boys coach Rob Ogle, passed away on Monday, March 22 at the age of 51. Visitation was held on March 27 in Plainview. Our thoughts and prayers are with Rob and his family.

Elija De La Garza of PSJA North boys scored 2,444 points during his outstanding high school career. He led the Raiders of district 31-6A into the state playoffs while averaging 26.2 points per game as a senior. He will play next year for Coach Jimmy Smith at Trinity University. His head coach at PSJA North was Ascencion Alonzo and the varsity assistant was Romeo De La Garza his father.

Most of us are ready to say goodbye to the 2020-21 season for pandemic reasons. But some of our membership are looking to next season with extra excitement. Since 1938 the New Caney boys have had only five playoff teams with this past season being one of the five. Coach Matt Farmer of New Caney returns six lettermen including first team all-district sophomore Jaxon Olvera and district 20-5A Newcomer of the Year sophomore Kendall Dove. The Eagles have high hopes for the coming year going for two playoff appearances in a row along with a playoff win.

Bryan Rudder girls coach John Shelton is retiring after 34 years with the past 31 as a head coach. He put together a 672-294 career record including 27 playoff appearances, four regional tournaments and three final fours (2 at Buffalo, one at Franklin). His 2002 Buffalo team was the 2A state champion. After 3 years as an assistant coach he was head coach at Princeton, Buffalo, Bryan, Rudder, Franklin, Alvord, and back to Rudder. Shelton’s wife Dede is a teacher in Navasota and they plan to make the Brazos Valley their home. While John always knew he wanted to coach, what retirement holds for him remains a mystery. He would like to continue working with young people. That is what he does best.

Rio Grande Valley legend Joe Rodriguez passed away on March 6, 2021 from complications from a stroke. A star athlete in multiple sports at Edinburg HS, he played basketball and baseball at Pan American College, coaching ladder at Brownsville ISD, the couple had four children. He loved coaching and was named South Texas Coach of the Year six times in three different sports before spending the last 27 years of his career as Athletic director for BISD. During his storied career he touched many lives and tutored many future coaches in the Valley and beyond. Joe has been inducted into many Halls of Fame and honored many times and he will be missed by many. He was 85.

Even though the games were not played due to Covid, the McDonalds All America High School teams were announced. The roster included four Texas players, two boys and two girls. The girls’ roster included Rori Harmon and Kyndall Hunter both from 6A Cypress Creek HS and coached by Jennifer Alexander. On the boys squad was Damion Collins of 3A Atlanta coached by Jarrod Boston. Also, Harrison Ingram from Dallas St Marks of SPC coached by Greg Guiler. Congratulations to all.