ALUMNI CHALLENGE: Pasadena, Deer Park Old-Timers Set for Round 2

ALUMNI CHALLENGE: Pasadena, Deer Park Old-Timers Set for Round 2
Posted on 11/10/2014
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Alumni Challenge participants battle for the ball during the inaugural game in 2013.
skaer 2With a year to recover from their aches and injuries, alumni basketball players from Pasadena and Deer Park will let discretion be the better part of valor when they clash again during the McDonald’s Texas Invitational Tournament next week.

Yes, it’s true. Even living legends need re-enforcements.

About a dozen new recruits will be in uniform when the Texas Invitational plays host to the second Alumni Challenge showdown between old-timers from Deer Park High and the five Pasadena ISD high schools.

The game is set for Saturday, Nov. 22, at Phillips Field House with tip-off at 6 p.m. Although designed as a fun warm-up contest for the Boys Division I Championship Game at 8 p.m., the Alumni Challenge, in its debut last year, nearly filled the gymnasium.

Alumni cheerleaders and drill team members will be on hand to perform and cheer on their heroes to even greater glory.

Proceeds from the 80-team, three-day Texas Invitational benefit the education foundations of both school districts. A ticket to the Alumni Challenge will be good for admission to the Boys Division 1 Championship Game to follow.

The Alumni Challenge is sponsored by Loomis International. Larry C. Johnson, president of Loomis, played forward for Deer Park in the 1970s and will be participating in the game.

Deer Park won the inaugural contest, 35-30. The winner of this year’s game will take possession of a traveling trophy to be awarded each year to the prevailing squad.

The alumni coaches are both icons of the area’s basketball past. Directing the Deer again this year will be Ray Landers, who earned four district coach of the year honors during a 12-year varsity career at Deer Park that began in 1971.

Phil Eaton, who played at Pasadena High in the early 1970s and enjoyed a highly successful stint at the Eagles’ head coach in the 1980s, will once again coach the Pasadena ISD squad.

Landers will be assisted by David Nutt and Dean Evans. Easton will be assisted by Greg Clary and Rick Sherley.

In addition to Johnson, Landers coached eight of the 17 players on the Deer Park roster. David Adair (Class of 1972), Steve Hester (1972), Nick Snell (1978), Tom Fuller (1979), Keith Westerman (1979), Tim Johnson (1982) and Ed Berg (1982) all played for Landers.

Easton coached three of the 18 players on the Pasadena ISD roster: Jeff Wylie (Class of 1987), Marco Alvarado (1992) and Manny Coronado (1992).

Arguably, the two participants with the most celebrated careers in athletics are Wylie and Jason Skaer, a 1994 Deer Park graduate.

Skaer, a high-school All-American his senior year, played on Oklahoma State’s Final Four team in 1995.

Wylie, a forward for Pasadena High in the mid-1980s, reigned four years as Southwest Conference high jump champion at Baylor, twice earning All-America honors. Playing for the Eagles, he twice led Eaton-coached teams to district championships.

Wylie will be inducted into the Pasadena ISD Athletics Hall of Fame next April, as will the late Scott Talton, who won 500 games as the head basketball coach at Dobie.

Five of Talton’s former players will participate in the Alumni Challenge: Bill Cole (Class of 1982), Kevin Carpenter (1984), Chris Cole (1993), Deondray Carter (1995) and Talton’s son, Scott (2008).


Player Grad Year HS Head Coach
Bruce Newman 1967 Homer Powell
David Adair 1972 Ray Landers
Steve Hester 1973 Ray Landers
Larry C. Johnson 1978 Ray Landers
Nick Snell 1978 Ray Landers
Tom Fuller 1979 Ray Landers
Keith Westerman 1979 Ray Landers
Ed Berg 1982 Ray Landers
Tim Johnson 1982 Ray Landers
Adam Berg 1988 Ray Landers
Chris Bowyer 1993 Billy Carlisle
Oscar Madrigal 1993 Billy Carlisle
Jason Skaer 1994 Billy Carlisle
Ryan Nygaard 1996 Billy Carlisle
Chris Fountain 1999 Billy Carlisle
Ryan Bright 2004 Billy Carlisle
J.T. Fletcher 2004 Billy Carlisle
Jacob Munoz 2010 Louie Means

Player High School Grad Year HS Head Coach
Dickey Lay South Houston 1967 Gerald Robison
Don Fogo Sam Rayburn 1969 John Ulrey
Pat Naff Sam Rayburn 1969 John Ulrey
Jim Perritt South Houston 1970 Gerald Robison
Bill Cole J. Frank Dobie 1982 Scott Talton
Kevin Carpenter J. Frank Dobie 1984 Scott Talton
Robert Kolakowski South Houston 1984 Greg Clary
Jeff Wylie Pasadena 1987 Phil Eaton
Marco Alvarado Pasadena 1992 Phil Eaton
Manuel Coronado Pasadena 1992 Phil Eaton
Chris Cole J. Frank Dobie 1993 Scott Talton
Deondray Carter J. Frank Dobie 1995 Scott Talton
Cedric Ballard Sam Rayburn 1997 Boyce Paxton
Adrian Castro Pasadena 1997 Dave Ward
Kevin Richard Memorial 2006 David Bosley
Joe Buckner South Houston 2007 Barry Gibson
J.R. Ford South Houston 2007 Barry Gibson
Scott Talton J. Frank Dobie 2008 Scott Talton