MILANO DECADE

Eagles fight through tragedy, coaching changes
High flying spikers Former Lady Eagle standout and current

Clockwise from the top, Becky Melton dominated Class A volleyball in leading the Eagles to four straight state tournaments (2002-05). Clockwise from the top, Becky Melton dominated Class A volleyball in leading the Eagles to four straight state tournaments (2002-05). coach Wendy King guided the volleyball team to four straight state volleyball appearances from 2002-2005.

That group, anchored by six ladies, who had played together since junior high, went 129-24 over their high school careers.

Those six were Rebekah Melton, Holly Scarpinato, Haley Love, Lauren Moore, Jenny Dent and Kelcey Albright.

Lost in the first round to Windthorst in 2002 and 2003. Were silver medalist in 2004 and 2005, losing both years in the state finals to, you guessed it, Windthorst.

The volleyball team hasn’t made it to the state tourney since, however, they have not missed the postseason since 2000.

First football playoff win

On Nov. 16, 2007 the Milano Eagles football team did what no other team in school history had done, won a playoff game.

Top right, popular football player Brandon Chapman (3) tragically drowned in 2000, stunning the Milano student body. Top right, popular football player Brandon Chapman (3) tragically drowned in 2000, stunning the Milano student body. The Eagles defeated Leakey 42-0 in bi-district action at Texan Stadium in Wimberley to claim the school’s first football postseason victory.

Under head coach Brad Jones, in his only year as head coach after being a Milano assistant principal for 13 years, the Eagles would finish the year at 8-4, falling the next week to Bremond in the area round.

‘Once in a lifetime player’

During her four years at Milano High School the 5-4 Melton set several school volleyball and track records. She was the key member to the Lady Eagles volleyball team that made four straight trips to the state volleyball tournament.

During that time Melton recorded 973 kills and 105 solo blocks. She was the district most valuable player multiple times and was named to the Texas Girls Coaches Association’s all-state team as well. She was recently named to the University Interscholastic League’s All-Century volleyball team.

At right in the middle, head football coach Brad Jones is doused with Gatorade after he led the Eagles to their very first playoff victory in 2007. At right in the middle, head football coach Brad Jones is doused with Gatorade after he led the Eagles to their very first playoff victory in 2007. In track, Melton went to four straight state track meets, in three events, earning five medals, including two golds in the triple jump.

After high school, she signed with Temple College, leading the team to back-to-back appearances in the NJCAA Division I national tourney. She was named the North Texas Junior College Athletic Conference’s MVP to two straight years.

Melton’s mother, sister and niece were killed in a fatal car accident near Griffin Chapel in Sept. 2007 and in mid-2008 Melton walked away from volleyball despite a pile of scholarship offers to further her education.

Below in the middle, Brian Martin led the district in scoring and rebounding in 2005 in Alvie King’s very first season as head coach as the Eagles made the playoffs. Below in the middle, Brian Martin led the district in scoring and rebounding in 2005 in Alvie King’s very first season as head coach as the Eagles made the playoffs. She is currently pursuing her degree in nursing.

Down goes Thorndale

The 2007 football season was a year of firsts as Milano also defeated Highway 79 rival Thorndale (on the Bulldogs’ homecoming no less) for the first time in 72 years.

On Oct. 5, 2007 the Eagles won 14-7 against Thorndale in Milano’s first victory over them since 1935. Then senior Chad Burgess intercepted a last ditch “Hail Mary” Thorndale pass at the 10 yard line in the closing seconds to clinch the win.

The two teams have met just 18 times with Thorndale leading the series 13-4-1. Milano won three of the first five meetings between the two teams from ’32-’36 and then 19-7 in 1935.

Below right, Brandon Moore accrued 3,000 yards of offense for the Eagles in 2000 during the second of their back-toback district titles. Below right, Brandon Moore accrued 3,000 yards of offense for the Eagles in 2000 during the second of their back-toback district titles. Dee Ann takes a shot

Dee Ann Washington was a track star at Milano and is now one at NCAA Division I McNeese State in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Class A girls state discus title in 2006 and was invited to compete in the Golden West Invitational in Folsom, California that same year, finishing 12th.

Before the meet in California, Washington had won the discus event in every meet she had participated in her senior year. She was also fourth at state in the shot put.

Washington also set school records in the discus and shot put and was district champion three times in the discus.

At McNeese, she competes in the discus, shot put and hammer. Washington qualified for regionals in the 2009 outdoor season form McNeese and was also named to the Southland Conference All-Academic team. Back-to-back

At left, Dee Ann Washington (left) grabbed a state title in the discus in 2006. Along with her volleyball prowess, Becky Melton (right with Washington) made four trips to the state track meet as well. At left, Dee Ann Washington (left) grabbed a state title in the discus in 2006. Along with her volleyball prowess, Becky Melton (right with Washington) made four trips to the state track meet as well. Milano won the second of its back-to-back district football at the decade’s entrance. The team went 19-1 over those two seasons under coach Chad LaGrone. The Eagles lost to eventual state champion Bartlett in 1999 in bi-district and were defeated in the final two minutes of a 2000 game against High Island. Milano had a 28-20 lead and the ball with just over two minutes left. The Eagles lost to High Island 29-28. Milano’s only loss those two years was to Iola in 2000.

1,000 x 3

Having a player reach 1,000 rushing yards in a single season in a school with little football playoff history might be hard to come by, but Milano had an exception during the decade with three players tallying up the yardage.

At left in the middle, Chad LaGrone led the Eagles to backto back district titles in 199900 for the first time in school history and is still the school’s all-time winningest coach. At left in the middle, Chad LaGrone led the Eagles to backto back district titles in 199900 for the first time in school history and is still the school’s all-time winningest coach. In 2000, then junior Brandon Moore put up school record numbers for both rushing and passing during the Eagles’ district championship run. Moore tallied 1,587 yards on the ground and 1,310 in the air during Milano’s 9-1 season.

Chad Burgess also reached the 1,000 mark on the ground and in the air during his senior season in 2007. He rushed for 1,580 yards and threw for 1,205. That was the same season Milano got the school’s first ever postseason victory in the bi-district round over Leakey.

Just this fall a third young man joined that elite group. Eagles quarterback and senior Matthew Jentsch finished his productive season with 1,333 rushing yards and 341 in the air.

Tragedy strikes

It happened during the summer break, but the sadness lasted throughout the decade.

On June 5, 2000 Milano student Brandon Chapman, just 16 years old, drowned during a church trip to Inks Lake near Austin.

Chapman was a letterman in football, baseball and track. He also played basketball and ran cross country while in high school. He earned third team allstate receiver honors in 1999. Chapman’s untimely death stunned MHS, especially his coaches and classmates. His funeral was held on the Eagles’ football field where hundreds filled the stadium to pay their respects. Football teammates wore their jerseys and the scoreboard was adorned with zeros and threes. Chapman’s No. 3 football jersey has since been retired.

Breaking the streak

On Jan. 23, 2009 Milano’s varsity boys basketball team drove down Highway 79 and broke the then two-time defending state champion Thorndale Bulldogs boys basketball six season district game winning streak. MHS won the dramatic game 73-70 in overtime at Bulldog gym, ending the Thorndale streak at 51. The Bulldogs made a three-point shot in closing seconds of regulation to force overtime. Thorndale then missed a three point shot at the buzzer that would have sent the game into a second OT.

Never met a shot...

In consecutive season Milano boys basketball team made it into the state record books.

In a Nov. 2004 routing of Buckholts, the Eagles attempted 83 three-pointers in the 83-28 road win. However, the team shot just 20-percent from behind the arc, making 17 of the 83. Milano is also No. 2 on the list, attempting 73 three-point shots during a game in 2005.

The Eagles also hold the state record for three-pointers made with 25, another feat they accomplished in 2005. The old record was 24 by Troup in an 1994 game against Union Grove.


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