The Lead Nov. 3, 2022: Schreiner University makes it official — football is back

The university will field a varsity intercollegiate program on 2025 — the first time since 1957.

Good morning, Kerr County!

The National Weather Service continues to tease us with threats of rain today and Friday, but the best chance of rain could be tonight. There's a 30% chance tonight. On Friday, the National Weather Service says there is a 40% chance of rain and thunderstorms on Thursday. After that, it's sunny and mild for the weekend.

On today's The Lead Live!

Today will be one of those surprise days when someone may just show up, but it's entirely likely that we will just talk to ourselves for an hour, but we will have plenty to talk about.

Things to do today!

  • Texas Furniture Makers Show — Kerr Arts and Cultural Center, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Information: The details: Texas Furniture Makers' Show® is an annual statewide Competition of the Finest Custom Furniture Makers in Texas. The show is held at the beautiful Kerr Arts & Cultural Center.


  • Lace Larabee and Andrew Markle — Arcadia Live, 6 p.m. Information:

Live music

  • Kerrville Strummers — Inn of the Hills, 7 p.m. Information: The details: Kerrville strummers is an event of local singer-songwriters getting together to play new music for the town. This event is on the first Thursday of the month.
  • Happy Hour with Jake and Keith — Joanne Marie and Me Wine Boutique, 6 p.m. Information:

It's official — football is back at Schreiner University

A rendering of the proposed helmets for Schreiner University's football program.

Schreiner University officially ushered a new phase in the school's century-old history by formally returning football to its intercollegiate athletic program in the fall of 2025.

With a reminder of the university's history on the gridiron, coupled with a careful assurance that adding football wouldn't distract from the university's mission, President Charlie McCormick laid out the case to members of the board of trustees, faculty and students during an event Wednesday afternoon at the Junkin Ministry Center.

For the first time, McCormick admitted initial skepticism to the notion of bringing back football — a hugely expensive endeavor. However, McCormick's mind changed after a conversation with a retired university president who changed his mind.

"He reminded me that one of the crises in American higher education is young men are attending and completing college at rates well below where they should be," McCormick explained. "Football can be one way and one of the most powerful ways for some young men to find their way to college. Football must be seen as mission-driven, especially at the Division III level."

To do all of this sets forth a cascading series of events that will drive the university in the years to come. In reality, the earnest effort of football's return began in 2017 when Athletic Director Bill Raleigh came aboard. It sped up when fellow Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference member Centenary College announced it would reinstate its football program. From there, the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference members started considering their options to bring football back to the Texas-centric conference.


Spring of 23: Confirm funding sources and start implementation planning

Summer of 23: Start process of hiring head coach

Fall of 23: With head football coach on board, start the implementation process of marketing, fundraising, purchasing, recruiting, building alumni relations and practice field and facilities

Spring of 24: Start process of hiring coordinators, continue recruiting and implementation of program

Fall/Spring of 24/25: Coaching staft work with newly recruited football athletes (possibly play JV contests if numbers warrant). Recruit first full varsity class (80% first year and 20% transfers), start filling out staff of athletic trainers, strength coach, equipment managet, assistant SID and administrative staff. Key is setting the culture for the program and preparing for the start of the program.

Fall of 25: Full football season with games played at Antler Stadium in town.

A rendering of the proposed re-alignment of existing facilities with a new football stadium and track complex.

As McCormick was making his announcement, the SCAC announced Tuesday it would reinstate football in 2024 by adding McMurry University and Arkansas' Lyon College as affiliate members. Centenary and Austin College will join Texas Lutheran, Southwestern and Trinity in the conference for the 2024 season.

"To be able to bring football back under the SCAC umbrella is something I'm not sure any of us thought we'd see again," said SCAC commissioner Dwayne Hanberry in a news release. "In 2012, we were down to two football-playing members and now, just a decade later, to rebuild and be back to eight teams – it's an amazing achievement and a credit to our institutions who have made this commitment to provide an AQ opportunity to our football student-athletes."

Schreiner still has plenty of questions to answer, including how it will manage its federal Title IX commitments. One consideration would be adding women's swimming. During a presentation to the Kerrville City Council, McCormick suggested that the city and university could work together to overhaul the city-owned Olympic Pool, which requires a multimillion-dollar renovation.

To build football, Schreiner will need to add more than 100 players to the university's enrollment — a huge one-time increase. And there's the perception of the negatives of football. Schreiner Vice President Charlie Hueber attempted to tackle that component of the announcement.

"I can understand the fear that this could be a negative change," Hueber said. "After all, I'm the dean of students and ultimately responsible for discipline. The term toxic masculinity has been used when talking about football and the troubles that have plagued other programs."

Hueber and McCormick said they hope to overcome those stigmas by hiring a coaching staff to instill the university's mission in the program. McCormick made it clear winning is important, but it will not drive the program — making a veiled reference to the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, a national NCAA Division III power. Of course, Trinity is also a national power and will be in the conference.

The other issues are facilities, and the university expects to spend millions on building an on-campus football stadium, re-aligning its current baseball and football stadiums and adding a field house that could serve multiple sports in a re-designed athletics complex. The plan could also include an extension of Olympic Drive through the campus and connecting to Memorial Boulevard — it's a sweeping plan, still years away.

For now, Schreiner is moving forward with football and expects to have a coach in place by the summer of 2023; the program will begin in earnest. Raleigh said the Mountainers will likely play their first few seasons at Kerrville Independent School District's Antler Stadium.

And this should be interesting — more naughty books

Just when you thought we might be through with the discussion about LGBTQ+-themed books at the Butt-Holdsworth Memorial Library, the Kerrville City Council will trudge through another call to discipline the library staff at its meeting next week.

Despite the fact the Kerrville Police Department told four complainants about the library content they could find no crime, the City Council will consider if that the library display in September violated Texas Penal Code.

The agenda item, obtained by The Lead, was submitted by a resident on Monday and asks the City Council to consider reviewing and revising library policies and to "hold accountable those responsible for violating our community standards. There's also a reference to violation of the penal code, which seems moot since law enforcement won't seek prosecution of the allegations.

The way the city is structured, only City Manager E.A. Hoppe can discipline Library Director Danielle Brigati and her staff, and Hoppe previously told the City Council he was proud of the librarians.

The sponsor of the agenda item is City Councilmember Roman Garcia, who previously attempted to request disciplinary action against the library staff, but the City Council rebuffed his efforts.

However, Kerr County-based "patriot" groups galvanized by the controversy — part of a statewide effort to rid libraries of LGBTQ+ books — are gathering signatures for a petition to present to the City Council that decries the books.

The notion of regulating obscenity is challenging and (another reminder) is set forth by the following legal doctrine established by the U.S. Supreme Court in the landmark Miller vs. California decision. Here are the standards to determine obscenity:

  1. Whether the average person, applying contemporary "community standards," would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest;
  2. Whether the work depicts or describes, in an offensive way, sexual conduct or excretory functions, as specifically defined by applicable state law and;
  3. Whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.

Only one of the books in question, "Gender Queer," has a sexually explicit cartoon that depicts two adult women having oral sex. What complicates the book is that the gender issues related to the narrative make some uncomfortable.

There's no mention in the agenda item, that library patrons checked out "Fifty Shades of Grey," a sexually explicit bestseller about bondage and domination, more than 80 times. It makes the "community standards" argument challenging for proponents of action against the librarians, but this is a time of cultural battle, and anything is possible.

Schreiner tests its mettle against UTSA

Schreiner University guard Alex Dehoyos showed little fear against UTSA's interior size on Wednesday night.

SAN ANTONIO — In the opening moments of Wednesday night's basketball game, Schreiner University held a 5-2 lead against the host UTSA Runners; there was a flash that the visiting Mountaineers could run with a Division I program.

Schreiner men's basketball coach Marwan Elrakabawy is a realist. Despite lofty expectations, the Mountaineers were outsized and outgunned against mid-major UTSA, coming off a wretched 10-22 season. What Elrakabawy was looking for was meeting his expectations for the Mountaineers.

So, Schreiner lost 92-60, but the Mountaineers showed flashes in the exhibition game, which featured a sizable Schreiner crowd.

"You set your objective early, and the objective was to get better," said Elrakabawy, now in his fourth season.

Schreiner University's Darian Gibson attacks the lane against UTSA.

Schreiner's Jackson Reid connects on a first-half 3-pointer against UTSA.

The Mountaineers ran with UTSA for about five minutes, tying up the Runners 10-10 before the size and outside shooting opened a gap midway through the first half.

However, Schreiner's Alex Dehoyos proved his mettle by attacking the middle of the UTSA defense with 10 points, including a spectacular fade-away jumper over 6-foot-11 center Jacob Germany.

But UTSA's length helped push the Mountaineers out of the way. UTSA has nine players on its roster 6-foot-6 or taller, while Schreiner had just one.

"There's no temptation to do anything different than what we did," Elrakabawy said. "When the ball moved, we had energy. We can score against Division I talent."

The Mountaineers got a big game from first-year player AJ Aungst, who scored a team-high 11 points, including three 3-pointers. Elrakabawy played nearly the entire team, and 16 players scored at least one point in the game. The starters of Jackson Reid, Kamden Ross, Darian Gibson, Dylan Mackey and Dehoyos played about 15 minutes each.

In a twist, Elrakabawy brought Jalen Ned off the bench and Bronson Evans — both part-time starters last season.

UTSA's 3-point shooting in the first half helped the Runners separate from Schreiner. The Runners hit 8-of-16 from 3-point range and finished the night 12-of-28.

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