The Commerce Journal

January 6, 2013

A LOOK BACK AT 2012 IN COMMERCE SPORTS

High school, university have opposite turnouts

By Caleb Slinkard
The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE — Last year was a disappointing year for Texas A&M University-Commerce, but change is on the horizon as the university searches for a new athletic director and head football coach. The volleyball progam made significant strides under head coach Craig Case, and the men’s basketball team is off to a fast start this year.

For Commerce High School, 2012 was a year that will not be forgotten any time soon. The football squad won their first playoff game in a decade, and the volleyball program went undefeated in district play en route to a 30-8 record and deep playoff run.



A&M-COMMERCE LOSES ATHLETIC DIRECTOR, HEAD FOOTBALL COACH

2012 was not a good year for A&M-Commerce sports. The football, soccer, men’s basketball and women’s basketball squads all posted losing records. Only the volleyball team recorded a strong season, with a 20-11 record. The 2012-13 season has also been a positive one so far for the men’s basketball team, as they enter 2013 with a 9-3 record and head coach Sam Walker is knocking on the door of the all-time wins record.

The disappointing seasons were enough for the university to not renew Athletic Director Carlton Cooper’s contract after five years with A&M-Commerce. The university has narrowed its search for a new AD to four finalists.

Head football coach Guy Morriss was hired in 2008 with much fanfare, and he immediately delivered with a 5-5 season and a Lone Star Conference North Division Championship.

But the honeymoon did not last long, as the Lions posted records of 3-8, 1-9 and 1-9 in the next three seasons. He resigned at the conclusion of the 2012 season. The only national news that Morriss made while head coach were his comments following a campus-wide theft of the student newspaper, The East Texan. Morriss will serve as a special assistant to the new athletic director.



CHS FOOTBALL AND VOLLEYBALL TEAMS HAVE SEASONS TO REMEMBER

Commerce High School celebrated bi-district championships for both their varsity football and volleyball teams. The football team finished the season with a 7-5 record and their first playoff victory in a decade. The volleyball squad went undefeated in district play and finished with a 30-8 record. They lost to eventual state champions Brock High School.