By Mike Keeney, Contributing Writer
MacArthur High School head football coach Wayne Crawford led the Generals to their first playoff berth in 12 years as the Generals qualified for the Class 6A playoffs by finishing in fourth place in the rugged District 16-6A.
Crawford’s coaching effort earned him the Northeast News’ Coach of the Year honors.
In only his second year as MacArthur’s head coach, the Generals turned around a tough start to the season losing three of their first four games, but rallied to win four of their final six games to earn the school’s first playoff berth since 2007.
“I thought our season was gratifying,” Crawford said. “We got better week in and week out. Our goal was to beat all the teams in Aldine and we accomplished that goal.”
Indeed the Generals did just that. After a rough 56- 0 loss to DeKaney to open league play, the Generals rebounded with a 32-29 win over Eisenhower, then ran off wins over Aldine High (47-7), Davis High (25-22) and qualified for the playoffs with a 14-7 season-ending victory over Nimitz.
“We gave away two early games, but our kids never hung their heads,” the California native said. “We were a bit down after the DeKaney game, but we readjusted our goals. We figured if we could get back to 3-3 we’d get back in this thing. It was a testament to the character of our kids. They kept believing in what our staff was teaching them and telling them and it worked out for all of us.”
Crawford spent 28 years in California coaching high school football and was lured to Texas by former MacArthur coach Andy Garza who hired him as his quarterbacks coach.
“A friend told me, ‘you haven’t coached high school football until you’ve coaching high school football in Texas.’ An opportunity came open here and I decided to make the move. Texas is definitely a great football state.”
General fans are glad Crawford made the move and he’s excited about the future of the program.
The Generals will return 27 lettermen next season and Crawford and his staff will spend the offseason looking to add more players to the program.
“Having 27 kids that can play varsity football is important, but we will continue to recruit in the ninth and 10 grades looking for more kids. Our staff will remain intact, so that’s important as well.”
While the goal in 2019 was to be the best team in Aldine, Crawford said it might be time to set a bigger goal for the 2020 season.
“Well, I guess we need to set the goal to be district champions,” he said, with a smile. “This year was a very enjoyable season, but it will be exciting to build on this momentum, move forward and not go backwards. Each year we want to build on what we’re doing.”