Inside the Program: John Cooper School Boys Basketball
By Bradley Collier
KLEIN CAIN’S SOPHIA ESCONTRIAS FOUND HER PASSION EARLY… SOCCER.
I guess there could be an argument who the alpha is on a soccer team. It could be a mid-fielder who touches the ball the most, or a fast-twitch, goalscoring forward. Most coaches would say the backbone is the goalie.
That is the case at Klein Cain. The Hurricanes made school history last season reaching the Regional Quarterfinals in the UIL playoffs. Protecting the goal was the first-teamer Escontrias. She returns to lead the ‘Canes in 2022.
“Goalies can make or break a game and I like the idea of being there for my team when they need me,” she said. “Not many people will accept the responsibility of being a goalie but as soon as I experienced it, I knew it was the position for me.”
So, why soccer? What drew her to the sport at an early age?
“I love the atmosphere that surrounds the sport,” she said. “I started soccer when I was five-years-old. It’s been my life. I’ve made so many connections through the sport and it’s made me such a confident person.”
Escontrias also pays it forward. The senior enjoys coaching the sport she loves to youth teams in the area. Like any other teen, she tunes into Netflix, loves music and enjoys time with her family.
“I got into coaching as a way to help young kids understand the game and find the love of soccer like my coaches did for me,” she said. She’s also looking to the future.
She’s committed to play soccer at St. Thomas and pursue her next passion.
“I plan on studying biology in college, which will lead me to my goal of earning my doctorate in physical therapy,” she said. “That’s the plan.”
THE BAUTISTA NAME IN THE WRESTLING WORLD IS ONE OF LEGEND.
Jesus Bautista was an All-American and then his son, Joaquin Bautista, was a State Champion wrestler in New Mexico at Santa Fe High School before going on to wrestle at the University of Minnesota.
Joaquin then had three children – Christina, Joaquin Jr. and then Roberto.
Christina, who is now an assistant wrestling coach at Cinco Ranch High School, won a State Championship at Colleyville Heritage High School and was a two-time All-American. Joaquin Jr. was a state runner-up at Cy Lakes High School and now wrestles at University of the Ozarks.
That leaves the baby of the family – Roberto.
“It’s been a family sport for generations,” the Klein High senior said. “He’s been one to carry on the legacy in our family and we hope to do the same thing. We knew we were going to wrestle. We were going to keep it in our family forever. We expect us to be the best family in Texas in wrestling.”
Joaquin added: “I started him in the little kids program. Because I was competing and training so much, that was my chance to spend time with him. I’ve been developing him since he was small for this.”
In his sophomore season at Klein High School, where dad is in his third year as the head wrestling coach, Roberto took fourth at State and last year finished as a State runner-up.
Going through the ups and downs of a dad-coach relationship can be hard sometimes, Joaquin said, but having dad as his coach is something Roberto wouldn’t change and vice versa.
“It’s tough but it’s also really good because he pushes me more and more every day and makes me the best I can be,” Roberto said. “Overall, he makes me a good wrestler.”
Joaquin added: “I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world. I know a lot of times coaches say, ‘I want my son or daughter to be coached by somebody else so they can be a regular kid’. I never wanted that. If I have the expertise, why put your kid’s career in someone else’s hands?”
Since that State title loss, Joaquin said Roberto has been working out non-stop to not only get back to that match but to be standing on top of the podium when it’s all said and done. “He’s the best one out of all of us at his age,” Joaquin said. “He’s way better than I was, which is the way it’s supposed to be. There’s a lot of pressure, he’s got to perform.”
But what we really want to know is – who wins on the mat between father and son?
“I could take him down every once in a while, but he’s got that old-man strength,” Roberto said.
Willis ISD, just north of Houston, made a big hire last week when naming Jason Glenn as the district’s Executive Director of Athletics and Fine Arts.
Glenn was the head coach and athletic coordinator at Klein Oak High School before being named Klein ISD’s director of student outreach a year ago.
VYPE's Matt Malatesta was at the Willis School Board Meeting as Glenn was announced by Superintendent Dr. Tim Harkrider. Assistant Superintendent Brian Greeney was the principal at Klein Oak when Glenn coached for the Panthers.
He played his high school football at Nimitz before playing at Texas A&M. He played seven seasons in the NFL.
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