Team needs a win, Kingsville loss next Friday

Pete Garcia, Alice Echo-News Journal

In all his years of coaching, including that fantastic run with the Sinton Pirates to the Class 3A state championship, coach Brent Davis has had his share of victory celebration watercan baths.

However, the ice-cold dousing he received on the Alice sidelines in Memorial Stadium Friday night was likely his sweetest in a very long time.

It signified Alice's 12-7 win against longtime rival Kingsville and means the Coyote football program is just one win over Robstown away from its first playoff berth since 2001.

Afterwards, Davis was emotional and choked up as he talked about how important the win over Kingsville is to his team.

"It's because of them," Davis said as he pointed over at his team. "They've worked so hard that you just want them to have some success because they deserve it."

After Friday's game, Alice and Kingsville are tied in the District 31-4A standings with identical 2-2 records. With a win over Robstown (1-3 and 2-7) and a Kingsville loss to state-ranked and undefeated Calallen Friday night, Alice is in the postseason.

If Alice beats Robstown and Kingsville pulls off an upset, the third place spot will be determined by a positive-points tiebreaker.

The last time the Coyotes were in the postseason was in 2001 under then-head coach Jim Clark. At the time, the program was one of South Texas' most consistent.

Under longtime coach Van Tom Whatley and then Clark, Alice was in the postseason from 1993-2001.

Its five-year playoff drought between 2002 and 2006 is the program's longest since its five-year absence from 1973 to 1977.

Friday night's win capped a long and emotion filled day for the program.

Following last week's 42-21 loss to the Flour Bluff Hornets, Alice was put in a must-win situation against Kingsville and this week against Robstown.

However, Friday began with school officials discovering a dead coyote hoisted on the campus' flagpole and a black "K" sprayed paint over the Coyotes' emblem on the center of Memorial Stadium.

Later, just before the football team made the short walk from Alice High School to Memorial Stadium, hundreds of fans, including cheerleaders, band members and other students, formed a "human tunnel" for the team. The squad was also escorted to the stadium by Alice police, fire trucks and ambulances with blaring sirens.

Alice and Robstown meet Friday in Cottonpicker Stadium. Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.