EEISD's baseball team overcomes school bus sex scandal
Tue, 30 Apr 2013 01:25:26 GMT —
A student sex scandal on board a school bus didn't stop the Edcouch Elsa baseball team from calling this season a victory.
The Yellowjackets just missed making the playoffs.
But after losing their coaching staff and some key players in the controversy that rocked the team last year, they are proud with their program's success.
We are on the right track, Coach Brady Honeycutt said.
It was a road game in 2012 when the team first became the focus of a district investigation.
A baseball player and female trainer, both seniors at the time, were reportedly caught on bus surveillance video rounding the bases, according to Gustavo Acevedo, the school district's attorney at the time.
Both the head coach and assistant coach were subsequently fired from the team but later cleared of any wrongdoing.
The two were accused of either sleeping on the bus or turning a blind-eye to the off-field action.
The video in question was never been released to the public to protect the identities of the students on board the bus.
The attorney general's office sided with the district to keep the video private.
Brady Honeycutt was later named head coach.
He agreed to allow Action 4's Ryan Wolf to join the team on a road game one year after the controversy.
"Does it feel like there TMs been any change?" Action 4's Ryan Wolf asked.
"That's what we try to instill in them," he responded on the bus. "They know what's expected. They know when we step on the bus what we are here to do. We're not here to mess around, joke around. We put the cell phones away. If they want to listen to music that's okay."
The coaching staff, which doubles up as bus monitors, are now staggered on board for better oversight of players with them positioned across the front, middle and back rows.
Female students are no longer permitted to ride with the team.
"It was a personal decision on my behalf based on what happened in the past," the coach said. "I just didn't want any other problems, any other issues."
Coach Honeycutt is charged with rebuilding the program from the ground up.
Several seniors, he admitted, did not return either because of the fired coaches or new leadership style.
Under the young skipper's watch, past problems aren't to be discussed, while players must realize they are student TMs first, athletes second.
"It's a completely different morale," Honeycutt said. "It's a completely different mind frame, philosophy... everything."
Joe Martinez says the coach has earned the community's respect.
He's seen the positive changes from the stands as a fan and father to Jackets player Jacob Martinez, a freshman third baseman.
"I'm proud of him because he's done something good right there for this program," he explained. "I teach him to always go out there and respect and be the best you can be. And Coach Honeycutt instills that in his players."
The coach admits his program's true success won't be measured in a single season.
He believes the team will ultimately prevail with the focus back on the field and not on the bus.