If you grow up and graduate from any of the high schools in the SE Harris County area, you know of San Jacinto College. If, like me, you are a bit older, you also are aware of the awesome tradition of the San Jac Ravens basketball team and their baseball team. Some of you even know that Roger Clemens got his start at San Jac.
Unfortunately, that era is over for most sports at the junior college:
This could possibly be a first for a Texas college. Within minutes of starting its meeting, the nine-member San Jacinto College board voted unanimously to discontinue the men’s and women’s basketball, men’s soccer and women’s volleyball programs effective as of May 2018.
It’s sad. I mean, really, it is. The Runnin’ Ravens have brought a lot of joy to a lot of people through the years. And my wife and I have been loyal supporters throughout that time.
But honestly, the basketball program needed to go.
It’s been years since they got rid of the cheerleaders for lack of interest. Seldom did they have the community involved at halftime. And most of the games, there were 20-25 people in the stands, other than the 15 or so behind the Ravens’ bench. Which was a big problem.
If you are a fan of F-bombs reverberating around a relatively quiet arena, current coach Scott Gernander, Jr. is your man. Even when his very young children are around the bench. And his dad, the previous coach of the Ravens, is a bombastic presence behind the bench, always quick to blame the referees for terrible calls. Even though the Ravens rarely lost at Anders Gymnasium. Those 15 or so people behind the Ravens’ bench are ‘nasty’. In every which way.
Gernander, Jr.’s language was so bad that I wrote each of the regents about it two years ago. I thought that it didn’t make a difference but perhaps it did help the regents decide that it just wasn’t worth it to keep the Ravens’ going. Which makes me sad but it was simply the truth.
Or maybe it was the fact that the Ravens basketball team wasn’t even close to being a community college team. This year’s roster includes four players from Texas, and only two from the taxing district. Five of the players on the roster came from countries other than the United States (Bahamas, Russia, Senegal, Nigeria, Canada). The other five were from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Louisiana (2) and Delaware. Not exactly representative of the community.
So while I’m personally sad that the Runnin’ Ravens will cease to exist next year, as a taxpayer, I cannot disagree with the decision of the board.