After father's death, Grammer back on bench for alumni game
Jeremy Barnett never had trouble finding Jack Grammer in the Memorial gym.
"You could always spot him out in the crowd," Barnett said. "He had a neon orange cap on and he tried to come to most of the games. I remember him watching us at the Victoria Classic. He had to come check out us out."
Jack Grammer coached basketball at Austwell-Tivoli and Rice Consolidated for 29 years and won 615 games and a state championship.
John Grammer played for his father at Rice Consolidated and followed in his footsteps.
Jack Grammer attended as many of his son's games as he could when he coached at Port Aransas, Victoria High, Memorial and Victoria East.
Jack Grammer passed away on Thanksgiving Day at the age of 80. The funeral was Sunday in Eagle Lake, but Barnett knew John Grammer would be coaching when the Titans played their annual alumni game on Tuesday night at the East gym.
"It doesn't surprise one bit," said Barnett, who played for John Grammer and graduated from Memorial in 2005. "His dad wouldn't have wanted for him to miss a game. He needed to come out here and coach to get his team better. He knew that his son was passionate about coaching basketball. From the moment I met coach Grammer, he's always been the same."
John Grammer said his dad had been ill for some time. Grammer said the memorial services went well and he was happy to be back with his team.
"It's been a couple of years that he hasn't been able to move around," Grammer said. "It was sad, but it really went pretty well."
The Titans rewarded Grammer's presence with a 72-41 win over the alumni team, which included players from Victoria High, Memorial and Victoria East.
"Our guard play is going to have to improve," Grammer said. "We just don't have very much depth. We have four guards playing three positions. We've got to try and develop another guard somewhere."
Christian Herring scored 18 points, Xavier Ellis had 15 and Jalen Wilson had 10 as all nine Titans scored.
"He will coach you," Herring said of Grammer. "He won't let you do what you want. He's going to make you do the right thing to make you better.
"We've got to get more chemistry and get more games in," Herring added. "By district time we should be ready."
Barnett scored four points after learning of the game from alumni coach Maurice Callis on short notice. Barnett was fortunate to have a night off from his job as a driver for Union Pacific railroad.
Barnett was happy to support his former coach and has no doubt the Titans will continue to improve.
"You're going to have to give 100 percent out there with him or he'll be out there in the middle of the court letting everybody in here know about it," Barnett said. "Even if the game's not close he's going to make sure that you don't play down to the level of competition. You've got to execute and work on things to get better in every game."
NOTES• The alumni won the junior varsity game 48-46 on a shot by Justin Alexander with 1.5 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Jesse Ortega scored 11 points for the alumni, and Devin Delagarza paced the East with 13 points.
Victoria East 72, Alumni 41
ALUMNI: Devin Harris 6, Connor Graham 2, Maurice Callis 3, Jesse Ortega 4, Adrian Verduzco 4, Willis Woods 3, Ron Thomas 0, Jeremy Barnett 4, Darren Barfield 0, Caleb Garcia 5, Justyn Terrell 5, Taylor Wright 0, Darrein Franklin 5.
VICTORIA EAST: Jalen Wilson 10, Christian Herring 18, Terry Kinney 2, Trevon Ramey 9, Justin Shaw 7, Xavier Ellis 15, Taylin Sledge 3, Deondric Lofton 6, Trevor Austin 2.
Halftime: East 43-20. 3-pointers: Harris, Woods, Callis, Herring, Sledge. Records: East 2-1. JV: Alumni 48-46. (A) Jesse Ortega 11. E Devin Delagarza 13.