September 21, 2018
The Premont Cowboys are riding high as varsity football returned to this South Texas high school for the first time since 2011. Premont ISD administrators canceled student sports to improve education. This class 2A school has increased its enrollment by 20% since last year to over 500 students under the leadership of Premont ISD Superintendent Steve VanMatre. The community of Premont voted yes in 2017 to a $10.6 Million bond for a new elementary school, renovations to the high school and new football and softball athletic facilities built by Hellas Construction.
“In 2015 Premont ISD was in a financial crisis. The Texas Education Agency was planning to shut down Premont ISD in 2015, but Texas A&M Kingsville President Dr. Steven Tallant stepped up with the commissioner of education saying they could help.” VanMatre said “Both provided some extensive training. They had their grant writers write successful grants to bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars for rich programming and it’s really yielding some great results.” VanMatre added, “We would not be a district if it were not for Texas A&M Kingsville.”
From design to construction, Hellas manufactures and installs its own synthetic turf customized for each facility’s needs including in Premont where Matrix Helix Turf was installed. Hellas’ Matrix Helix Turf has Shape Memory Technology, which twists and strengthens each fiber for more resiliency. This particular Matrix turf minimizes splash out of infill and has natural shades of green to look more like natural grass.
Texas A&M Kingsville formed a partnership with the Premont ISD to improve academics in 2013 and curriculum consultants from Ed Point LLC have provided staff development to Premont employees for four years. A new $1.5 Million redesign grant will cover salaries for Early College administrators and fees for PSAT testing. Head Start and a secondary campus being designated as an early college high school by TEA, have reeled in some families.
Premont High School played all Junior Varsity games on the road in 2017. Cowboys head coach Ruben Cantu has been in Premont ISD for a few years and had his football team practicing ten miles south at his alma-mater Falfurrias high school in August, while their football stadium was being built. Cantu, who won the 2003 state championship in the 100 meters, had his team ready to kick off the 2018 football season when the Cowboys hosted Monte Alto.
Cowboys return-man Trey Davila took the opening kickoff close to 90 yards for a touchdown for a 6-0 Premont lead, only to have it called back due to a penalty. Premont would eventually score the game’s first touchdown on a quarterback keeper from Jordan Gonzalez. In the end, the Blue Devils won 19-6, but it wasn’t about the scoreboard, it was about a new sense of pride not seen in Premont in years.
Hellas Construction, Inc. headquartered in Austin, TX, is one of the largest sports construction contractors in the United States. Specializing in the general construction of sports facilities and sports surfaces. Hellas champions innovative artificial turf manufacturing, base construction, field, track and tennis planning, installation and maintenance.
Premont High School– Located in Premont, TX and established in 1921, this Class 2A public school is located in Jim Wells County 70 miles south of Corpus Christi, Texas. Premont ISD is a member of the University Interscholastic League of public schools.
Texas A&M University Kingsville– Kingsville, TX opened in 1925 and is the oldest continuously operating public institution in South Texas. Known as the Texas College of Arts and Industries in 1929. By 1967 the name changed to Texas A&I University. In 1993 the school changed to its current name Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
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