By George Slaughter
Funeral services have been set for Morton Ranch High School teacher and assistant football coach Stephen Papp, who was killed in an automobile accident over the weekend.
Authorities have not yet released details about the accident. Papp’s funeral is set for 3 p.m. Friday at Good Shepherd Episcopal Church, 2929 Woodland Hills Dr., in Kingwood, which was his hometown.
Morton Ranch football coach Ron Counter said a coaching friend called him with the news Sunday. Later that day, he said, Papp’s sister e-mailed him and Morton Ranch principal Julie Hinson to confirm the news.
Hinson said Papp was a world history teacher in addition to serving as an assistant football and track coach. He had also worked at Cinco Ranch and Mayde Creek high schools.
Hinson said Papp was “very loved” at Morton Ranch.
“He was one of the sweetest, kindest men that I’ve met,” Hinson said. “There are not enough words to express when you have a loss of any staff member. It’s going to be tough, but we’re a family at Morton Ranch, and we’ll continue to support each other. It’s been a hard week.”
Counter described Papp as a very smart young man who was really passionate about football.
In addition to coaching the freshman “A” team, Papp was the Mavericks’ video coordinator. Counter said that Papp would download all the practice and game videos and get it ready for the players and coaches to watch, working into the early morning hours as needed.
Papp’s work was even more remarkable given that he was a cancer survivor who had other significant health issues, Counter said.
“I was talking to the players, and sometimes they don’t realize the hours the coaches would put in,” Counter said. “He did a great job. He put in long hours, like all coaches. Sometimes it was very taxing on his body.”
Counter said he was “almost speechless” about Papp’s death.
“I don’t know what to say at a time like this,” Counter said. “I still can’t believe it happened. I really feel bad for Stephen’s family. It’s a big loss for us losing a coach like Stephen. It’s a tough loss for Morton Ranch High School.”