5 things about Austin High
In the playoff hunt
Austin is very much alive with four games remaining. The Maroons have won back-to-back district games and sit tied for fifth with Del Valle. Lake Travis, Bowie and Westlake appear to have the inside track on the first three playoff spots, and Hays, Del Valle and Austin High are battling for the fourth. The Maroons may have the inside track. After playing Lake Travis this week, the Maroons will have played each of the top three teams. Del Valle and Hays still must play both Bowie and Westlake. Next week’s match-up at Del Valle could go a long way toward determining the outcome of the race.
Ending more than one playoff streak
In his third year, AHS head coach Mike Rosenthal wants to end two playoff streaks. Under L.D. Williams, the Maroons didn’t win much but won when it counted, making the playoffs in 2010 and 2011 despite only six wins over that stretch. The current two-year drought comes after a stretch when, Austin High had made the playoffs five times in six years before Williams left. Not only are the Maroons looking to get back to the playoffs after a two-year absence, they’re looking for their first playoff win since 1957, when Jim Tolbert’s team went 12-1 and won the state championship. They’ve lost 13 straight playoff games since that season.
Rosenthal played offensive line at Notre Dame and in the NFL before retiring and getting into coaching. Under his tutelage, the Maroons have a very solid offensive line that has provided quarterback Beau Kalbacher with time to throw. Kalbacher’s thrown 242 passes – more than Dominic De Lira and Charlie Brewer combined – for 1,449 yards and 13 scores. Austin High is averaging 30 points per game and has scored at least 35 in its last three district games.
Keeping up with the Joneses
Two of Austin High’s top graduates will likely miss Homecoming because they are busy leading their college teams. Cayleb Jones, who graduated from Austin High in 2010, leads Arizona in receiving with 39 catches for 592 yards and six scores. Not to be outdone, younger brother Isaiah Jones is putting together a solid season at East Carolina, where he ranks second on the team with 42 catches for 478 yards and four scores. They played Pop Warner football in Lake Travis in the early 2000s.
Austin High has plenty of famously accomplished graduates since it’s opening in 1881, but few are more well-known than golf icons Ben Crenshaw and Harvey Penick. Crenshaw won two Masters titles, the second of which came shortly after Penick, the renowned teacher, passed away in 1995