THE WOODLANDS, Texas (KTRK) -- School is officially back in session, with all Houston-area districts now back in class.
ABC13 anchor Jacob Rascon visited his alma mater, The Woodlands High School. During his visit, he got a special look at a team leading the school to big things.
Jacob said it was his first visit back since he graduated in 2004 -- the same year many of the students he met at the school on Wednesday were born.
He visited the Hall of Champions, where framed jerseys of TWHS graduates who went on to play professional sports are displayed alongside plaques boasting dozens of state titles for everything from golf to baseball and cross country. In fact, the TWHS cross country team alone has won the state championship 16 times.
With more than 4,300 students, TWHS is one of the largest schools in the state... and it's only 10th through 12th grade!
The Texas Education Agency recently graded state schools for the first time since the pandemic began, and TWHS earned a 95.
Dozens of students woke up early to join ABC13 for the morning newscasts.
The 72-member Highstepper team is well-known around town. Their dresses have looked the same since 1976 when the team was created. Since then, the program has only had three directors, including current director Heather Hayes.
Jacob was also joined by the school cheerleaders and mascots! The cheer team placed second in last year's state competition.
They're looking forward to Thursday's season opener when TWHS takes on Northshore High School.
Danny Amendola, who recently retired after 14 NFL seasons, helped lead the football team to their first-ever state championship game Jacob's senior year, where Northshore ultimately won.
Fellow ABC13 anchor Eric Barajas is a Northshore alum, and he has agreed to buy Jacob BBQ when Northshore loses this time around... even though the Northshore team is the state title defender.
The drumline and a handful of other band members also joined Jacob. The 300-plus-member TWHS band has placed top 10 in the nation 15 times, including last year when they placed fourth in the nation and first in Texas.
Jacob was also impressed by the Robotics team, the Pastabots!
Led by Coach Lauren Hamel, a TWHS graduate herself, the robotics team has transformed from a small, after-school club only several years ago to a championship program.
The school now offers three robotics classes and carefully selects six robotics teams. Last year's seniors are now studying chemical, biomedical and other engineering at colleges such as Johns Hopkins, A&M, UT Austin and Georgia Tech.