NEDERLAND — Neumann gives plenty of credit to his student athletes, but he said the real key is that so many of the young men and women at Nederland choose to play multiple sports.
“We’ve had some exceptional athletes come through here and they’ve been exceptional in more than one sport,” Neumann said. “They bring that talent, but the other players around them, who might not be as gifted, tend to rise to their higher level. We’ve always encouraged our athletes to pursue more than one sport. Sometimes, it’s difficult to do, but our coaches are all great at supporting that and helping our crossover athletes.
“We discourage specialization. We want them to do all that they can do. That’s a key ingredient to our success. If our players weren’t competing in so many sports, if they were specialized more, I don’t know that we’d have as much success as we have had.”
Nederland’s 44 playoff victories over the past five school years are on par with schools with much larger athletic reputations in the state. Teams like Katy, a powerhouse in football, have a few more playoff victories over the five year stretch, but don’t stack up in wins over the past two seasons or in total district titles.
The same goes for North Shore, one of the best Class 5A schools in all sports year to year. Nederland has more playoff victories in the past five years and an equal number of district titles and wins in the past two seasons as the Mustangs.
To find schools that have more victories in the past five years, you have to look at schools that have won multiple state titles, like Austin Lake Travis or Brenham. Both of those schools doubled or nearly doubled Nederland’s win total, but the Bulldogs still topped each in one area. Nederland has more playoff wins in the past two years than Brenham (18 to 15) and has more district titles in the past five years than Lake Travis (15-14).