School Spotlight: Saint Mary’s Hall (San Antonio, Texas)

Saint Mary’s Hall-located in San Antonio, Texas-is a private school playing in the six-man district of TAPPS, Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools. They are ranked as the 5th best team in 6 man football in Texas, along with being ranked as the 19th best team in all of TAPPS. The Barons, whose colors are purple and white, had a good year going 6-3 before losing a close playoff game to Veritas Academy. This program has an interesting history switching athletic conferences and different styles of football. This week, I talked with Coach Lee Ortiz about going from a 11 man team to 6 man along with the future of this program.

SMH’s football field

Saint Mary’s Hall first joined TAPPS in 2016 after many years playing in the Southwest Preparatory Conference. Football has been still new at this school, with the first year fielding a varsity team in 2010. Around 3 years ago, they shifted from a 11 man team to a 6 man team due to not having the numbers to field a competitive 11 man team each and every year. However, this turned out to be a blessing in disguise as they have been more competitive in the 6 man league with the amount of students they have. Having back to back years of going 6-3 has given this program a lot of talent to work with. They even have utilized two female kickers, Hunter Hoelscher and Greer Kemmett, in the past proving those who have talent can earn a sport on the team. This team knows how to be competitive and utilize the talent they have, even transiting from 11 man football to 6 man football.

While talking to Coach Ortiz, I asked him how the transition went. Admitting that it was tough, he seemed optimistic from it. Going from 11 man to 6 man requires a lot of getting used to with different rules and regulations. It started off a little rough since everyone is accustomed to playing by normal American football rules. However, when the team started to get accustomed to the new game, they started winning and having success while utilizing players talents. The success they have had the past two years making the playoffs will hopefully spring SMH back into 11 man football. While it seems like a possibility, this program is focused on building on the success they had earned the past couple of years. The success they worked hard for has gotten Coach Ortiz excited about the next season, with a lot of key contributors coming back on both sides of the ball. Multiple players play a variety of positions so there is a lot of versatility in this program.

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