Austin Alvarado has helped the 2013 senior class at Stamford high school become one of the most consistent 1A schools in the entire state of Texas.
The senior has helped his talented class win a half dozen district titles in three sports. They won the 2012 1A Division 1 state title football, 2012 regionals in basketball, and three straight trips to the state tournament in baseball, which included an appearance in last year’s state finals.
In the Bulldogs first football district game of 2012 versus Haskell, Alvarado’s dream of helping Stamford return to the state finals for a second consecutive year came to a crashing halt on the first play from scrimmage.
The senior remembers the play like it was yesterday, and he broke down the play second by second.
"I was running the ball. It was the first play on offense and it was designed for me to have a zone or block for Hagen. I was gonna try to get out of bounds as soon as I got out of bounds just remember him tackling me wrong and when he tackled me wrong my foot got underneath me and when it got underneath me I just remember hearing a pop. Went to Abilene the next morning and they told me that I had broken in two different places and that I'd have to have surgery and miss the reminder of football season."
Sitting out football and basketball season was the hardest thing Austin has ever had to do as a high school athlete. The possibility of missing baseball, the sport which he's helped the Bulldogs reach three straight state tournaments, never became a possibly in his mind.
"He's really been the foundation of our team,” says Lannie Templeton, who enters his 22nd year as Stamford’s head baseball coach. “He started as a catcher as a freshmen and he's just kind of worked his way through. He's a big cog in what we try to do offensively and defensively."
"You could tell that he would've given anything to be out there with his teammates playing football,” said senior pitcher Kyle Barnett. “But I think it gave him hope that he was gonna be back for baseball."
"They're like 'you've done a lot for the team. You're the reason we won it. We won it for you, and it just felt real good to know that they were still behind me 100 percent and they were with behind the whole rehab and what not. The coaches never gave up on me."
Stamford is currently 9-0 overall and 5-0 in district 8-1A.
The Bulldogs pick up district play Friday, April 5th at Rotan.