Week 13 – Austin Vandegrift vs Steele Knights

On Friday, I was at New Braunfels Canyon high school for a 2nd round 6A Division II playoff game between the Austin Vandegrift Vipers (7-4, 4-2) and the Cibolo Steele Knights (7-4, 5-2).

When I arrived at the stadium and as I rummaging thru my backpack to get everything out that I needed immediately; mainly my media passes and my camera, I realized my memory card for my camera was still in my laptop.  Luckily, I am a writer 1st and photographer 2nd, so I ended up taking a few pictures on my phone.  It was actually nice not having it around my neck and I was able to enjoy the game as a fan.  Yes, I was camera jealous and found myself staring at some of the other cameras and yes, there were a bunch of them.  I did tell myself that my next camera needs to have a viewfinder!

Just by me writing about it reminded me to take it out of my laptop and put it back in my camera for the next game.

This was my 1st time seeing Steele and I was excited.  I mean, this is a big time football program, they won a state championship in 2010, several former players are either in the NFL or playing college football, and they have tremendous support.  Was it just me or was the local media forgetting about Steele?  All I read about was Judson, Smithson Valley, and O’Connor.  I was like don’t forget about Steele.  Yes, they lost to those 3 teams, but I know Steele doesn’t care and they will be in a very similar position in the playoffs as they do every year.

It’s always nice to see and talk with people I know.  One of them was Bobby Stautzenberger, from the Texas Sports Radio Network; also known as the local boss for TSRN.  I worked for TSRN from 1997 to 2015; the last 12 I worked side-by-side with Bobby. The other was Ed Suarez.  Ed is the Director of Public Relations for the SCUCISD.  I worked quite a few TSRN games with Ed.  I also remember watching Ed on Fox29 as one of the sports anchors along with Ernie Zuniga and Chuck Miketinac; it’s funny that I know all of them and they know me.  I worked with Ernie and Chuck when I was the statistician for Thursday Night Lights on CW35.

The only thing I knew about Steele is they have a stud senior running back in Brenden Brady who will be playing college football at Rice and a stud senior defensive back in Caden Sterns who will be playing college football at UT.

Well, Brenden Brady was really impressive as he had 37 carries for 199 yards and 3 touchdowns.  I am trained to focus primarily on the offense and the only chances I got to see of Caden was for punt and kick-off returns.  I remember his brother Jordan when he played at Steele and he played offense and defense.  Jordan played college football at Oklahoma State and is now in the NFL for the Kansas City Chiefs.  Basically, Caden has really good family genes; just like the Green’s from Madison high school.

Even though Steele won 36 to 18, it was closer than that and Austin Vandergrift never gave up.

The Steele Knights will play Weslaco East on Friday at The Alamodome. I will be at Heroes stadium for a 3rd round 4A Division II playoff game between the Cuero Gobblers (11-0) and the Navarro Panthers (11-1) on Friday.

If you want to share my photos, all I ask is for you to either give me credit or tag me on Twitter @statmanspeaks or Facebook @ The Mark Speaks.  The entire photo galley for the game can be found here: https://thestatmanspeaks.smugmug.com/High-School-Football/Football-Games-2017/Austin-Vandegrift-vs-Steele-Knights-11242017/.

Here are some photos from the game:

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