On Thursday night, Vista Ridge running back Stedman Mayberry will record the first carries of his senior season.
A Texas State pledge who is coming off a 1,500-yard, 17-touchdown season, Mayberry will lead his team into a road game against Bastrop. But don’t expect Todd Patmon, Bastrop’s head coach, and Jamie McGee, the Bears’ defensive coordinator, to be the only opposing coaches who are interested in how Mayberry performs against Bastrop’s the 4-3 defense.
Steve Mayberry, Bastrop’s longtime running backs coach, is Stedman’s father.
“It’s a pretty cool experience, not a lot of people get to do that,” Stedman said about facing his dad’s team. “I’m not going to take it lightly on him, and I know that he’s not coaching to take it lightly on me. It’s going to be fun.”
This will mark the second straight year that son has opened a football season against father.
In 2012, Mayberry played for two quarters of Vista Ridge’s 30-0 shutout of the Bears. He finished with 133 yards rushing and one touchdown.
Steve Mayberry had a front-row seat for Stedman’s performance. The coach admitted that watching the game — while also juggling his coaching responsibilities — was tougher than he originally thought.
“I was running over my own coaches when he was running,” he said.
So what did the coach say to his son in the handshake line?
“You left two touchdowns on the field,” Steve Mayberry recalled with a laugh.
“Always getting his coaching in when he can,” Stedman retorted.
Mayberry is entering his third full season on Vista Ridge’s varsity and his umpteenth year as a running back. It’s the same position his father played at Kenedy High and Texas A&I.
Steve Mayberry began working at Bastrop High in the mid-1990s, and he became the school’s running backs coach in ‘96. He also serves as the Bears’ head track and field coach.
“It’s going on 19 years, I’m still here,” Steve Mayberry said. “It must be something about Bastrop that I like because I’m still there and I’m still having fun.”
Aside from critiquing film, Steve has never coached his son. He stayed away from coaching youth-league football teams because he thought he’d get to see Stedman play for him in a Bears uniform.
But the family, who has lived in Cedar Park since 2001, eventually decided to send Stedman to nearby Vista Ridge, not Bastrop High.
“At the end of the day, this is what’s happening. This is what’s real,” said Stedman, when asked about not playing for his father. “You can’t make believe about what could have happened.”
Bastrop has three additional Thursday games this fall, so Steve will get to watch Stedman play on several Friday nights. First, though, he’ll get to coach against him on Thursday night.
“I told him that we’re going to make sure that he has to play four quarters this year,” Steve Mayberry said.
Steve may be the only Mayberry who is hoping the Bears can keep Stedman in check Thursday night.
Steve’s brother has informed him that he’ll be rooting for the Rangers, and his wife’s rooting interests also rest with Vista Ridge.
“I will be rocking the red and black,” Cynthia Mayberry said. “There will be a victory in my household (regardless), but I will be sitting on the side of the person that I gave birth to.”
Chat about area high school football with Rick Cantu and Sean Shapiro, sports editor of the Cedar Park-Leander Statesman, starting at 1 p.m. Thursday.
Let’s kick things off
The high school football season opens Thursday in Central Texas with these games:
Vista Ridge at Bastrop, 7 p.m.
Lockhart at Victoria West, 7 p.m.
Akins at Crockett, 7:30 p.m. (Burger Stadium)
Anderson at McCallum, 7:30 p.m. (House Park)
East View at Lanier, 7:30 p.m. (Nelson Field)
Bosqueville at Bartlett, 7:30 p.m.