When there are only around 40 kids in your high school, it’s tough sometimes.
Difficult to field teams, to have enough kids where if a player gets hurt, or doesn’t maintain their eligibility, someone has to step in and fill that spot.
That’s the situation faced by athletic director Tippi Falor at Seguin’s Lifegate Christian School, a private school just east of Seguin.
Falor took the job as A.D. just a year ago, after teaching at the school for seven years and coaching the track team for four.
“I’m a very sports-oriented person,” Falor said. “My entire family is involved in sports, so when it became available I knew that it was what I wanted to do.”
The school plays just five sports; 6-man football, volleyball, boys and girls basketball and track.
“It is difficult to fill out the teams,” Falor said. “Just this past year we were unable to field a middle school football team, which was the first time that’s happened in a number of years.”
The girls basketball team hadn’t had enough players to make up a team for the previous three seasons.
“We had gone three years without a team, because we only had five or six girls,” Falor said. “We have a good incoming freshman class with at least four or five girls that play basketball and volleyball, so we should be OK for a while.”
The football team looks all right, at least for next season.
“We didn’t have any seniors on the team this year, our junior class had six of the players on the team,” Falor said.
Following the graduation of those players after next season, the team may be in need of reinforcements, she said.
“It looks interesting …” Falor said.
A move from the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools (TAPPS) two years ago, the larger private school league in the state, to the Texas Christian Athletic League (TCAL) has also presented challenges.
The school is classified as 2A in TCAL, with nine schools total in the state. Lifegate won a TAPPS championship in football two years ago, Falor said.
“TAPPS was definitely bigger, so the competition (in TCAL) isn’t quite what we’ve experienced,” Falor said. “But it doesn’t take away from what they did.
“Coaches didn’t cut practices short. We didn’t say ‘oh, we’re in TCAL now, we don’t have to work as hard.’ The kids and the coaches still put everything they had into it.”
The Falcons won the TCAL Div. II 2A title, defeating Tyler King’s Academy 57-12, and going a perfect 10-0 through the season. It was the Falcons second title in as many years in the TCAL.
Junior Myles McCord earned player of the game honors with 192 yards rushing on just 18 carries.
He was also the team’s player of the year, rushing for nearly 1,400 yards on the ground, passing for 470 yards, and accounting for 41 touchdowns.
Sophomore Luke Landon provided a lot of points, with nine touchdowns and making 45 PAT’s, worth two points in 6-man football, as opposed to one point for running it in.
“He was very accurate this year, you could always count on him to make it,” Falor said.
Quinten Shellnut, along with McCord and Landon, played both sides of the ball and earned 1st team All-State honors, while rushing and receiving for 12 touchdowns.
Defensively, McCord led the team with 50 tackles, while freshman Joseph Menchaca and junior Malachi DeLeTorre had 33 each.
The Lady Falcons also won the TCAL championship, behind 6 foot 1 inch junior Gracie Peters.
“She was definitely our highlight player,” Falor said. “She’s been playing club volleyball for years.”
Lifegate finished the year with a 13-6 record.
Peters had 104 kills on the season to lead the team, and added 44 aces, 31 blocks and 70 digs while earning 1st team All-State and All-District honors.
Also making the All-District and 1st team All-State teams were junior Kayla Hallmark and sophomore Hailee McCulloch. Senior Kori Wright, and freshmen Hannah Osborne and Sarinna Skrzycki, were named All-District and 2nd team All-State.
Hallmark and McCulloch led the Lady Falcons basketball team to a 12-5 record and another TCAL title.
They, along with freshman Brie Alfaro, were named 1st team All-State.
The boys basketball team finished the year at 12-10, making the state semifinals.
Senior Justice Green led the team with 310 points on the year, Shellnut had 274 points, and McCord had 185 points and 18 3-pointers to lead the team. Green and Shellnut made 1st team All-State.
Junior David Brewer took the 1,600 meters and 3,200 meters at the TCAL 2A meet in May at Seguin High School, leading the team to a second-place finish overall.
“They came to me in the middle of the season and said they wanted to win a state title,” Falor said. “They decided they were going to compete in as many events as possible to max out the points they could earn.”
While they didn’t quite get there, Falor noted that the team won second place with only 6 boys competing, when the winning team (Texas Christian) had 16 boys competing.
McCord won firsts in the 100, 200 and 400 meters, while junior Kyle Wrinkle came just behind Brewer in the 1,600 (2nd) and 3,200 meters (3rd).
McCulloch was second in the discus and the shot put, while senior Myles Becker came third in the shot put.
For the girls, Skrzycki won the shot put and discus, while Peters won the triple jump, and finished second in the long jump, 100 and 200 meters.
“I would say it was a dream year,” Falor said. “We’re very proud of the kids and all the hard work they put in all year long.”