Schreiner University celebrates its uniqueness with TexFest

There were plenty of uniquely Texas things on display Saturday.

On a campus that celebrates the uniqueness of Texas, there certainly were some unique things going on at Schreiner University on Saturday.

The best examples?

How about these:

  • The dean of students Charlie Hueber plays a Country-fied version of Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back" at Trailhead Beer Garden.
  • Then there was the Schreiner University barbecue team, which Hueber also coaches, selling out of pulled pork sandwiches. Not many universities can brag they have a competitive barbecue team, which also features award-winning snickerdoodle cookies.
  • Finally, student Zachary Lyman leading a graffiti-focused art installation.

We're reasonably sure Hueber was singing about pork butt.

Schreiner University Dean of Students Charlie Hueber sings a rendition of a Sir Mix-A-Lot song on Saturday at Trailhead Beer Garden.

All of this was part of the TexasFest celebration at the university, which started Friday with Texas Heritage Days — a hands-on historical experience for school-age children. The day was full of music, as well. On Saturday, events in and around Trailhead Beer Garden included music, food, cool drinks, volleyball and Lyman's art installation.

The barbecue team sold out of pulled pork sandwiches in nearly 30 minutes. However, Angel Winkler was able to grab one of the final sandwiches. Winkler, a senior from San Antonio, serves as a judge on the team.

Schreiner University senior Angel Winkler takes the last bite of the last pulled pork sandwich available at TexFest on Saturday.

Winkler said the best pulled pork had the right amount of seasoning and tenderness. Nothing worse than dry pulled pork.

In two years of competing, Schreiner's biggest prize is for team captain Abby Kohlleppel's snickerdoodle. The award-winning cookie has Hueber's enthusiastic endorsement.

"Abby is a star," said Hueber, adding the barbecue team was born out of university president Charlie McCormick's cabinet meeting in 2019. How Hueber explains a barbecue team aligns with the vision of being a "Uniquely Texas" institution.

"Nothing says Texas more than barbecue," Hueber said.

The team has about 15 students involved with the team, but parents and alumni augment it. Two emerging barbecue cooks are Ely McAlexander, a freshman from Burleson, and Tanner Sargent, a sophomore from Valley Mills. Now, McAlexander said he's always enjoyed brisket and the first friend he made at Schreiner was Sargent, who Winkler says is a master of ribs.

Hueber agrees with that assessment.

"I think our best thing is our ribs," Hueber said.

Across from the barbecue pit, Lyman was handing out spray paint cans to use on a series of canvas drop cloths hung to create a safe space for graffiti experimentation.

Lyman said he'd been thinking about the idea for some time. So, he consulted with Micah Wrase, the head of alumni relations, about sponsoring the project. With Wrase's backing, the sophomore from Medina wrote a proposal for the university to consider and a funding proposal from Hometown Crafts to consider supplying the paint.

"There are not a lot of places you can experiment with this," said Lyman, an active member of Kerrville's Big Seed art movement. On this day, the opportunity to express yourself with spray paint drew those of all ages.

Lyman said he's hoping to continue to grow the initiative further, maybe even make it akin to Kerrville's Chalk Festival, which is next month.

For now, Schreiner was able to celebrate some things that make it unique and some things that may set it apart in the years to come.

Schreiner University Communications and Marketing Manager Toby Appleton plays guitar and sings on Saturday afternoon.

Schreiner University freshman Phoenix Miller performs on Saturday.

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