Photo via Ashleigh Arnaud,


The case of Baytown Lee football is quite peculiar. With a long and quite successful history, the Ganders have fallen on hard times the last several years.

Lee has won just one game in the last three years, and that was last year’s 16-14 season-opening victory over Houston Westbury to end the Ganders’ 27-game losing streak.

The Ganders haven’t seen a winning season since the 2006 campaign, yet they made the playoffs twice (2007, 2009) and ended with losing records both of those seasons.

After the win over Westbury last year, Lee fell to city rival Sterling, 30-8, to end the two-game non-district slate. Lee suffered losses at Ozen and Nederland, scoring just one touchdown in each affair. The offense picked up in the middle of the season, but the defense gave up gobs of points in losses to Lumberton (55-21), Port Neches- Groves (48-16), Livingston (63-35) and Vidor (45-14).

The season concluded with losses to Port Arthur Memorial and Beaumont Central.

Tim Finn comes to Baytown Lee after five years at Wharton, where he led the Tigers to the second round of the playoffs or farther in each of his five years.

Key Losses

OL Jose Martinez
Martinez was the only Lee player to make the all-district squad last season.

Key Returners

RB/LB Jaylen Johnson, OL/DL Phoenix Shackelford, WR/DB Montrel Motton
Johnson had 650 rushing yards and four touchdowns, Motton is a threat on both sides of the ball and Shackelford is a beast at 6-foot- 1, 295 pounds.

The Verdict

New head coach Tim Finn compiled a 40-20 record in five years at Wharton, meaning he averaged an 8-4 record. He took Wharton to the third round of last year’s Class 4A playoffs.

To put that in contrast, Baytown Lee hasn’t won eight games in a season since the 2003 team went 9-1 in the regular season and lost in the bi-district round. The Ganders haven’t been beyond the area round since the 1997 season — well before any of the current varsity players were even born.

Finn should bring a new energy to Baytown and an expectation of winning that starts with the culture of the program.

The Ganders return some talent on offense, and their defense will need to stiffen if they want to have a shot at making the playoffs. Should they make it, they’ll go the Division I route as they’re the second-most populated school in District 22-5A.


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