Breckenridge Texan

Pearce looks back on first year as BISD Athletic Director

Pearce looks back on first year as BISD Athletic Director
June 03
16:53 2021

By Brant Thurmond/Breckenridge Texan

For Breckenridge Athletic Director Casey Pearce, his first year after returning home to his alma mater was nothing short of a challenge.

The new AD was excited to hit the ground running after taking the position in March of 2020. But the wheels came flying off as COVID-19 began to spread and was deemed a world-wide pandemic.

Pearce was able to meet with his student athletes and coaches the day the BISD Board of Trustees approved his hiring, but following that, meetings with players and coaches had to be done virtually, using Zoom.

As the pandemic continued and the UIL began to release protocols for the 2020 summer strength and conditioning guidelines, as well as guidelines for last fall’s sports, a sense of the “new normal” began to take shape in order to ensure a sports season for Texas high school athletes.

The 2020 Buckaroo football season was impacted by the pandemic as the Bucks had three games canceled due to COVID-19 (Eastland, Wall and Jim Ned).

The pandemic might have blocked Pearce’s plans, but he said COVID-19 did not define Buckaroo Athletics or cause them to live in fear of not getting back to normal.

“It was a challenging year, and I didn’t take the job expecting to deal with what we did, for sure,” Pearce said. “I feel like we did a pretty good job of finding a way through it, but I never felt like we got our toes in the ground and were able to grind the way we wanted to grind until this spring.

“Football season was tumultuous at best and basketball was even worse with trying to figure out how we were going to navigate through all this,” Pearce continued. “Then, we get to spring break (2021) and some mandates come down and all of a sudden it’s like this thing (COVID-19) has gone away. Getting through that and getting these kids through that was tough, but we aren’t going to let it define us.”

Despite the challenges of the year, Pearce said, progress was still made.

“I felt like we made ground on where we want to be,” he said. “I think we made headway, and this school district and administration has made headway with new faces and pushing the new things we want to try and achieve. We just got to keep moving.”

One of the most important times for the Buckaroos and Lady Buckaroos has been the offseason this spring, according to Pearce.

“The offseason has allowed the coaches to instill belief systems and a philosophy, and the players understand personalities of coaches and what is expected,” Pearce said. “The biggest deal in the coaching business is what kind of relationship can you build and will they (the athletes) trust, in the heat of battle, what you are doing, and I think we have established that.

“Things that people always want to talk about when a program is going through change is discipline, attitude and those kinds of things,” the coach continued. “I never sensed that as an issue at any point, whether we were first breaking-in in June or getting through the rough part of the fall. The attitude, buy-in and belief of what we are doing was never doubted by any of the kids. We just reinforced those things this offseason.”

Reflecting on the year, Pearce said that they gained ground within the athletic program on what is trying to be accomplished.

“We are in a very good place going into the summer,” he said. “We have youth that are going to compete for us this next year, but there is a hunger for what we are trying to get accomplished. It is not just high school kids. It is 6 through 12th grade. That is all we can do is cultivate that attitude and culture of competing and believing in what the plan is. Regardless of who is at the helm, kids must know how to compete. I think we have the right people in the right places for us to be successful.”

2020-2021 Sports seasons

Several Buckaroo and Lady Buckaroo sports teams were in the playoff picture for most of the year, but the Buckaroo baseball team was the only team that had a playoff berth. The Bucks were eliminated by the Early Longhorns in the Bi-District round of the baseball playoffs.

“The baseball team took a team that had five underclassmen playing for them on a regular basis and got in the playoffs,” Pearce said. “They were in second place in district for around four weeks in district. They did their job, and we got to find a way to follow suit.”

Pearce noted the importance of starting off the year on a positive note with football and volleyball seasons in the fall.

“Football and volleyball were at the bottom of the athletic program, and we got to get that corrected because the way you start the fall is crucial to how you progress,” Pearce said. “We got to get off to a good start. Our fall will dictate our entire year.”

The BHS track teams saw several athletes advance to the Regional Track meet and had two athletes advance to the state track meet in Austin.

Kylee Willis placed third in the high jump, and Sean Cooksey placed sixth in the 100-meter dash at the state meet.

Summer Strength and Conditioning Program

Summer strength and conditioning started for grades 6 through 12 on Tuesday, June 1. Workouts will take place from 8 to 10:30 a.m., and an evening session will take place from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday of each week. On Wednesday, only a morning session will take place. Each day, athletes will take part in activities in the weight room, conditioning, and sport specific skill training, as well. An off week will take place July 2-11.

2020-21 Sports Banquet

The annual sports banquet was recently held at the Breckenridge Athletic and Fine Arts Facility.

Each year, coaches recognize athletes for their achievements throughout the year and give a brief recap of how their sports did.

Among the many awards given at the banquet, were four superlative awards given to a boy and a girl athlete.

The All Around Senior Girl Athlete Award was presented to Kylee Willis. Jonas Arellano was chosen as the All Around Senior Boy Athlete. Riegen Robertson and Arellano were presented with the Athletic Award, which is given to the BHS athlete with the highest scholastic average. Both Robertson and Arellano were also the winners of the Buckaroo Coaching Staff Most Inspirational boy and girl award.

The Breckenridge American Most Inspirational boy and girl athletes were Evan Moore and Nayeli Hernandez.

Other awards recipients are as follows:

Football

Jackie Cooper Memorial Award- Jonathan Trejo; Lions Club MVP Award- Jonas Arellano; Fighting Heart Award- Logan King

Cross Country

Outstanding Boy- Evan Moore; Outstanding Girl-Riegen Robertson/Mia Arreola

Volleyball

Lions Club Award-Jesi Warren; Fighting Heart-Riegen Robertson; Determination- Haylie Mendoza; Outstanding Defensive Player- Lilly Woodward / Haigan Thompson

Basketball

Outstanding Player (Boy)-Jonas Arellano; Fighting Heart Award (Boy)- Jonathan Trejo; LT Cook Award (Boy)-Jayton Hash; Fighting Heart Award (Girl)- Nayeli Hernandez; Lions Club (Girl)- Aimee Toliver; LT Cook Award (Girl)- Kylee Willis; Determination (Girl)-ZaeaRagle

Golf

Most Valuable Boy- Jackson Curtis; Most Valuable Girl-ShaedonGrenko; Ivy Pitzer Sportsmanship Memorial (Girl)-Riegen Robertson

Tennis

Outstanding Boy- Keaton Ragle; Match Point Award (Girl)- Aimee Toliver andZaeaRagle; Jenny Sloan Stanley Award (Girl)- Lily Woodward

Softball

Players of the Year-Brittney Melton/ Elena Arellano; Fighting Heart- Chloe Whitmire / Elena Arellano; Lady Bucks Batting Champion- Brittney Melton

Track

BOYS

Elks Lodge Outstanding Boy– Sean Cooksey; Fighting Heart Award (Boy)- Evan Moore/Adrian Ruiz; Workhorse Award- Chase Lehr; Newcomer (Boy)- Angel Alvarado

GIRLS

Elks Lodge Outstanding Girl- Kylee Willis; Determination (Girl)-Shayli Harrison; Fighting Heart Award (Girl)-Alexis Navarro; Newcomer (Girl)- Haylie Mendoza

Baseball

Bill Black Memorial Award- Evan Moore; Buckaroo Batting Champion- Jonas Arellano; Fighting Heart Award- Ayden Reyes

THSCA Academic All-State

A rare occurrence took place with three BHS athletes receiving multi-sport Academic All-State honors. Riegen Robertson was a five-sport THSCA Academic All-State, while Jonas Arellano and Evan Moore were four-sport THSCA Academic All-State  athletes.

BUCKAROO FOOTBALL – 1ST TEAM – Jonas Arellano

BUCKAROO CROSS COUNTRY  – 1ST TEAM – Evan Moore, Riegen Robertson

BUCKAROO VOLLEYBALL – 1ST TEAM –Riegen Robertson

BUCKAROO GIRLS BASKETBALL – 2ND  TEAM –Riegen Robertson and Nayeli Hernandez

BUCKAROO BOYS BASKETBALL – 1ST TEAM –Jonas Arellano, Evan Moore

BUCKAROO GOLF – 1ST TEAM –Riegen Robertson

BUCKAROO BASEBALL – 1ST TEAM –Jonas Arellano, Evan Moore

BUCKAROO BOYS TRACK – 1ST TEAM – Jonas Arellano, Evan Moore

BUCKAROO GIRLS TRACK – 1ST TEAM – Riegen Robertson

BUCKAROO SOFTBALL – 2ND  TEAM –Caroline Turner

 

Cutline, top photo: Breckenridge Independent School District Athletic Director Casey Pearce addresses the student athletes and other attendees at the annual athletic banquet. (Photo by Tony Pilkington/Breckenridge Texan)

 

 


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