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Cy Ranch’s Cephus named Texas Coach of the Year

February 14, 2019

Heading into the 2019 high school baseball season, the National Federation of State High School Associations revealed its coach, section and national award honorees for all sports across the country for the 2017-18 school year.

Cypress Ranch head baseball coach Corey Cephus was named the Texas Coach of the Year for baseball.

Cephus led Cy Ranch to the Class 6A state semifinals last June, after taking care of Cy-Fair in the regional finals. The squad finished 32-9-2 overall and 13-4 in district, losing to Reagan in the semis, 5-1.

“It is an incredible honor to be selected as the NFHS Texas Coach of the Year for 2017-2018,” Cephus said via CFISD.

Cephus was selected by the NFHS Texas’ association and the University Interscholastic League, who with the help of member state associations recognize individuals who are leading their sport, shaping their athletes and contributing in a positive way to their community, according to NFHS.

Cephus steered the Mustangs to the state tournament for the third time in program history in only year two since taking over for John Pope.

“I owe much to my assistant coaches, Jake Leonhardt, Zach Herbst and Marcus Mendoza, as well former players and the Cypress Ranch community,” Cephus said via CFISD.

Before taking the job at Cy Ranch, Cephus was an assistant at Langham Creek.

“I learned a great deal from Hall of Fame Coach Jim Gilligan at Lamar University, and Armando Sedeno, my mentor for 16 years during my time at Langham Creek High School,” Cephus said via CFISD. “They both played a prominent role in developing me as a player, coach and person. I would also like to thank John Pope for his endorsement to take over the program he started from ground zero.”

19 other high school head coaches from around the state also received coach of the year awards in their respected sports, and four were also named sectional coaches of the year.

In addition to the first two, Highland Park’s Randy Allen also received the National Coach of the Year award for football.

Cephus is only the recent CFISD coach to receive an honor in the past year. Former Cy-Fair head coach Woody Champagne was inducted into the Texas High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in January, and former Jersey Village head coach Mike Maddox was inducted in 2018.

“Our department is extremely proud of Coach Cephus, his staff and his program on him being honored as the 2017-2018 NFHS Texas Baseball Coach of the Year,” CFISD director of athletics Ray Zepeda said via CFISD.

CFISD has also had similar success on the field via its players.

Beside Cy Ranch facing Cy-Fair in the regional final last year, where the Mustangs claimed CFISD’s fifth state berth since 2007, Cy-Fair won the state title in 2007 and Cy Ranch in 2012 and 2015. Langham Creek were state semifinalists in 2016.

“We have always felt that some of the best high school baseball in the state is played here in Cypress and Coach Cephus’ honor validates that,” Zepeda said via CFISD.

The NFHS has been distinguishing coaches via an awards program since 1982. According to the NFHS website, the NFHS has a contact in each state who is accountable for choosing worthy coach award recipients, with the individual often working with the corresponding state coaches’ association.

After that, sectional and national award winners are determined by the NFHS Coaches Association, which has an advisory committee composed of a chair and eight sectional representatives.

Overall, the NFHS will recognize 806 coaches this year with state, sectional and national awards. To see all the coaches who where recognized, visit nfhs.org.

Cy Ranch, along with CFISD’s other 11 teams, are set to start district play, Feb. 26. For softball, the district season kicked off the second week of Feb.

“Coach Cephus is a tremendous person and he is very deserving of this award,” Zepeda said via CFISD. “We feel fortunate that he is a part of our athletic family.”

Cy Springs wins sportsmanship award

The Cy Springs football team was awarded the Touchdown Club of Houston’s Class 6A Sportsmanship Award, late January, over 14 other programs at the Bayou City Event Center during the club’s 14th annual Comerica Bank High School Sportsmanship of the Year Luncheon, presented by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

The Panthers, also finalists in 2013 and 2016, placed ahead of Katy Tompkins, second, and Pasadena Memorial, third, to earn the No. 1 spot in Class 6A. Angleton and the Kinkaid School rounded out the winners.

Cy Park and Cy-Fair were also acknowledged as 6A finalists during the luncheon.

“It shows to everyone in the community that we have good kids and are men of character,” Cy Springs head football coach and campus athletic coordinator Rusty Rohan said via CFISD.

Voting was managed by the Texas Association of Sports Officials Houston football chapter.

Six criteria helped determine finalists: actions of the football team, coaches, and of the support groups at games, including parents, band and other auxiliary groups; respect for the American flag; and scores based on the number of personal fouls incurred during games and on the number of unsportsmanlike conduct fouls.

“We want to continue having good sportsmanship and being representatives of Cy Springs, but also translating that to wins on the field,” Rohan said via CFISD.

alvaro.montano@chron.com