After a brief three-year stay in Texas Christian Athletic League (TCAL), the O’Connell Buccaneers are moving back to the Texas Alliance of Accredited Private Schools (TAPPS) conference beginning with the upcoming school year.
The Buccaneers are no strangers to TAPPS, which is the largest league of private schools in the state of Texas.
From 1989 to 2015, the Buccaneers competed in TAPPS before testing the waters with TCAL. According to O’Connell athletic director Derek Martin, the decision to go back reflected the need to go in a different direction with the athletic program.
“TAPPS is where O’Connell used to compete in,” Martin said. “We joined TAPPS in 1989 when I was still a student athlete. It’s the hardest private school league in Texas. We’ve been in TCAL for three years, but we want to go in a different direction with the athletic programs. It was time to go back to TAPPS, and we want to grow our athletic program. From an athletic standpoint, it was the right direction. We’ve had some good years with TCAL, but we decided that this is the right move for us.”
The decision to go back to TAPPS has been a priority for the school for the past year, Martin said.
“When I first came down last summer, I got together with our principal and we had some discussions,” Martin said. “We knew O’Connell needed to be back in TAPPS. Once it was known that our school board wanted to go through with it, we had to go through the vapplication process. I’m very familiar with TAPPS schools and the leadership at TAPPS. After doing the application and the paperwork was done, they accepted us back into TAPPS.”
Martin said he is looking forward for O’Connell to have the opportunity to compete back in TAPPS.
“The organization is top-notch,” Martin said. “The competition is great. We’ll go up and compete against the best schools in the state. It’s very well organized. It gives us a lot of room to grow. They allow competition in a lot of different programs, not just athletics. They have a lot more sports that they sponsor. It’s honestly the premier league of the competition. We go from 1A to 6S in TAPPS, granted our numbers are small, but we have competition at all levels. The organization with TAPPS with what they offer is what we like most about it. We’ve never had any issues with TAPPS.”
The Buccaneers football team will be in TAPPS Division IV, District 4 this year along with Brazos Christian, Legacy Christian Academy, Legacy Prep Christian Academy and Rosehill Christian.