Saturday, September 19, 2009

TYC's football season underway

Last year's story about the Grapevine high school that put on a heart-warming reception for the Gainseville Tornadoes football team - one of two made up of students from Texas Youth Commission juvenile detention facilities - will be made into a movie called One Heart, featured on this promo web site. The coach at Faith Christian HS (Grapevine) who came up with the idea to have half his own fans root for the TYC kids was honored at the most recent Superbowl for engineering the remarkable event.

The other TYC team is the Giddings Indians. These teams don't play against public schools but participate in a league run by the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools.

For reasons I can't explain, the teams' football schedules are nowhere on the TYC website. Maybe that partially explains why they have few fans in the stands! But a friend at TYC forwarded me the Giddings Indians' schedule: Giddings Indians TAPPS (5A)
  • Thursday, Sept. 24 Cornerstone San Antonio 7:30
  • Thursday, Oct. 2 Open
  • Thursday, Oct. 8 St. Joseph Victoria 7:30
  • Thursday, Oct. 15 Hyde Park Austin 7:30
  • Thursday, Oct. 22 San Marcos Baptist San Marcos 7:30
  • Friday, Oct. 30 San Antonio Christian San Antonio 7:30
  • Friday, Nov. 6 Texas Military Institute, San Antonio 7:30
And here's the remaining schedule for the Gainesville Tornadoes, according MaxPreps:
  • Friday, Sept. 25 Bishop Dunne, Dallas, 7:30
  • Thursday, Oct. 2 Bishop Lynch, Dallas, 7:30
  • Thursday, Oct. 8 Open
  • Friday, Oct. 16 Nolan Catholic, Fort Wort, 7:30
  • Friday, Oct. 23 John Paul Stevens II, Plano, TBA
  • Friday, Oct. 30 Trinity Christian, Addison, 7:30
  • Friday, Nov. 6 Faith Christian, Grapevine, 7:30
Every single outing for these kids is an away game and they don't typically have a lot of folks show up to cheer for them. Because of privacy issues involving juvenile offenders, the papers can't even print box scores with the kids' names, and even if they did, many of their games are outright drubbings. It's hard to field a competitive team when kids cycle in and out throughout the season because of academic or disciplinary problems, or simply because their sentence is up.

Youth have to earn the right to participate in sports through good behavior while in detention, so the kids participating in youth sports at TYC are generally among the ones at least trying to work the program and get on the right path. They deserve someone to come cheer them for that effort alone, even if the outcome of the games may be lopsided.

If any of the contests on the upcoming schedule are near where you live, consider spending an evening rooting for the underdogs and giving just a little encouragement to some youth who don't receive a lot.


whitsfoe said...

You know we had a couple of kids that went on to play college basketball. I think one is still at UT Arlington.

Hey Grits.... you ready for some pay back tonight? Wasn't it Plato that was running his mouth about Tech? Um Hummm

Anonymous said...

I might have to check out one of the San Antonio games.

Bill B.

Anonymous said...

Whitsfoe - you are like a wife, remembering everything regardless how long ago. If we win tonight, I'll be back as my mouthy self. If not, see ya later.


Anonymous said...

I'm guessing that the reason the schedules are not publicized have to do with security issues. I know that usually, we cannot even disclose specific dates, locations and times of any type of travel with the youth. I would think, that with all the new programming that promotes interaction with the community this would change, but to my knowledge it is still a big no-no at my facility to disclose the details of any type of travel to anyone, even the youth, until almost the time for the event. I'm quite sure it stems from escape risks, and I'd have to admit that one such successful attempt would likely shut down the entire program.

RAS said...

We don't have enough kids or money to field a team at Pyote but we did take nearly a fourth of our kids to watch Monahans' homecoming game against Pecos. A good time was had by all; except Pecos.

RAS said...

There's a rumour that we're going to be closed in December; it's still a thousand miles to Brownwood and back from El Paso.

Anonymous said...

Way past due....should have closed three years ago, with all the sexual abuse of youth.

mwr said...

It is a shame that the actions of two individuals places such a stigma upon the rest of the hardworking and honest staff at that facility. Having worked at other facilities in TYC and also have worked in private, public and collegiate educational settings, there are are good and bad apples across the board in all. Admittedly, there is no excuse for the actions that did occur at West Texas, however, the institution and the great staff that once worked there (with the exception to the two individuals who broke the law) do not deserve to be closed down and have jobs lost because of a persona of risk and danger to youth that does not exist now that the two are gone. If so, then we need to close every University at which a rape has occured. If we did that, there would suddenly be no place to go after high school.

Anonymous said...

TYC always tries to brush-over its abuses, yet everyone knows it continues on, even today. Just look at the blogs about Mart and the other abuse centers across the state. Stop the excuses and close TYC completely. Nothing can be worse than the past and present TYC.

diogenes said...

Good grief, comments get re-enabled on TYC strings and here we go again. Lets stay on topic, people.

Regarding sports, there is the conflict between getting public support and maintaining security. I'm curious, though, about the private school who play against the TYC teams: do their season schedules list the TYC teams as opponents, or do they use TBA or something to help maintain the security?

If we can figure out the security/public support issues, we could really expand the practice of using teams to encourage good behavior and teach positive skills. Some TYC facilities have teams for more than just football. I've been on trips with baseball and basketball teams from WTSS. Some games were just between TYC facilities, but others were for tournaments that included teams from local private and parochial schools.

What I would like to see is opportunities for youths to attend other types of competitions, instead of just athletics. Theater, speech, debate, music, academics, etc. also hold competitions that TYC youth could participate in if the time and resources were available. The skills learned from these competitions are just as valuable for success in society as what is learned on the sports teams, if not moreso. I'm sure the interest is there for some youths, and the same good behavior incentives as for the sports teams can be applied.

We would still have the issues of security vs public awareness and support.

Anonymous said...

Yeh, Genes; keep taking these criminals off campus and let them rape some local folks. What is wrong with you TYC people? YOU are the problem, even more than the youth. We sent these youth to TYC to get them off the streets and you take them right back. Go fire yourself.

Anonymous said...

12:12, I kind of agree with you. These kids didn't come to TYC to learn to play ball and have a good time.

They came to TYC for punishment. They are felons--this is not an opinion, thanks to SB103, they are all felons.

I would hate to think that I was a victim of robbery, or gang violence, or assault and the punishment for the person who violated my rights is to go play football, watch TV, etc.

Something has to change. I'm not against rehabilitation, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

Anonymous said...

7:58, 12:12, every TYC youth eventually comes back to the community. We don't lock them up and throw away the key forever for anybody, with virtually no exceptions they're ALL coming back out, mostly in just a year or two. The goal is teach them to behave better, not just to punish.

Have you ever trained a dog? If all you do is punish you get a dangerous antisocial animal. For dogs that will be around humans, punishment has to be combined with rewards. Same's true with the kids at TYC.

Anonymous said...

9:33, would you feel the same if the kid raped your 3 year old daughter?

Mark # 1 said...

9:40, are you not paying attention, or just acting like you're not? As is clearly set forth, these kids ARE coming out. I will let that settle in for a second. . .Now, do you want them coming back out as an anti-social psychopath, or as an individual with at least a rudimentary set of tools which will allow him to be a normal, law-abiding citizen? Or do you fail to recognize that kids are different? By and large, the "tuff on crime" regurgitude is inapplicable to juvenile corrections; unless of course you think you know more than the experts on the matter of juvenile psycho-social development. . .

Anonymous said...

These so-called 'experts' from TYC have caused most of the problems we now try to correct. Look at the top management in TYC now and look at all the trouble in TYC Now. Anyone paying attention?

RAS said...

Anon 9:40 Do you think that all juvenile convicts should be sent to prison for life? It sure sounds like it. My God, what happened to you to warp your expectations for improving people so badly.

PirateFriedman said...

The main thing I got out of this story is that conservative Christians often do kind things to people to save their souls from eternal torment.

Nothing wrong wrong with that, just something strange for those of us who don't think that way.

Anonymous said...

The cost of staff time, charter busses, uniforms, etc. should also be a major consideration.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Pirate, I don't think the Christian's goal was to save kids souls from eternal torment. At all. There was no proselytizing going on.

This was a straight up application of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Nothing strange about it; it's just that some people aren't so narrowly and punitively focused that they're rendered incapable of seeing the humanity in others, even if they've done wrong in the past. That's wholly laudable and logical, not "strange" in the least, IMO.

2:11 - Have you registered complaints with your local school district about the money spent on sports? I'll guarantee it's a lot more than what TYC lays out, if that's a big concern for you.