Banquete high school has an enrollment of just more than 250. But year in and year out, it produces one of the top baseball programs in South Texas.
For the ninth year in a row, Coach Rusty Miller and his Bulldogs find themselves deep in the playoffs.
You may recall that just two seasons ago, the Bulldogs made it to the state tournament.
The Bulldogs are getting ready to face Blanco in a best-of-3 Class 3A region semifinals starting tomorrow in Jourdanton.
So practicing on a hot day like this afternoon has become customary for these young men.
And they are a young team. Their starting first baseman Chris Pacheco is the only senior on the team.
“Baseball here in Banquete is different from other schools,” Pacheco said. “I think it has a lot to do with our coaching staff. Our coaches put a lot into our program and set the tone and are real consistent on how we do things here and I think that’s why we have been able to be so successful.”
Miller said because of demands on his athletes – most of whom play other sports – his baseball squad often peaks later in the season.
But when it happens, watch out.
“We just try to do the process,” Miller said. “What we focus on each and every day is getting better, not worrying about wins and losses and just try to have the best kids out here we can.
“We focus on academics as well as athletics. 80 percent of our baseball program plays football, 70 percent of them play basketball so it takes a while to get going but usually later in the year we are on track.”
They certainly are. They again get Blanco in a best-of-3 series starting Friday night in Jourdanton.
And speaking of Banquete, the Bulldogs’ softball team has made school history this year.
They are in the regional finals for the first time and are just two wins from going to state.
We will have more on them tomorrow on KRIS 6 Sports, as big things are happening in Banquete.