Scurry-Rosser HS coach still in hospital

A 64-year-old high school football coach remains in Baylor Hospital with skull fractures and bleeding in his brain.

Coach Mark Bachtel was hurt in a freak accident in a game last week.

Bachtel is a name synonymous with high school football all across North and East Texas.

Two of Bachtel’s sons are coaches and one is a former coach turned pastor. They have accepted what’s happened to their dad, who, while showing some improvement, is still in critical condition.

Late in the Scurry-Rosser Malakoff game Friday night, a play ended out of bounds. Players from both teams rolled up the dad, who hit his head on the concrete.

Bachtel's sons have been encouraging those two student athletes.

“There’s a sense of guilt that they carry along anytime they are associated with this type of an accident, and it’s an accident,” said son Jason Bachtel. “They're 16 and 17-year-old kids. They don’t see the real world picture completely and now they see, ‘Hey, everything’s gonna be OK,’ and they understand it was just an accident.”

Scurry-Rosser students wore green this week in a show of support for the man known as “Papa Bachtel."

“Our kids obviously know that Papa Bachtel is not here with us right now, but they also know that, shoot, if he were there with us right now, he’d be getting on their tail, telling them, ‘It’s time to go to work; we still got a long ways to go.”  

The sons also talked about their father’s faith on Tuesday.

“His personal relationship with Jesus Christ, he would go through this moment if it just brought one more person to Christ,” said Jason. “Mark is just a vessel of God's will, and we understand that if this is God's will to touch one more person towards the gospel then we are perfectly and greatly appreciative that they are able to use our father. It’s an honor to see Jesus Christ use him in that way.”

Jason Bachtel is Scurry-Rosser's head coach, and he hired his dad as defensive coach four years ago.

He added that football is important to his dad, but the most important things in his life are the love for family, friends and the people he's touched over the years.

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