Footballers get scrimmage tests Friday

Published 8:16 am Wednesday, August 16, 2017

After getting plenty of conditioning in and getting to hit with pads for the first time last Friday, area footballers will get to line up and hit a team with a different uniform on this week as everyone will be involved in scrimmages.

The West Orange-Stark Mustangs, looking to defend their District 12-4A Division II title and Class 4A Division II state title, will visit a strong Port Neches-Groves at The Reservation Friday with the freshmen starting at 5 p.m. followed by the junior varsity (6 p.m.) and varsity (7 p.m.)

Some say the Mustangs (16-0 last season) could be a little down this season as they look to rebuild. After all, Coach Cornel Thompson’s crew returns just seven starters – four on offense and three on defense – but the cupboard is far from bare as they do have some exciting players back.

Defensively the Mustangs return outstanding defensive backs Jarron Morris and Teshaun Teel from a defense that notched eight shutouts.

Offensively, the Mustangs return several key members from their offensive line along with solid running backs Kavyn Cooper and Justin Sibley, who both contributed nicely last season.

Gone is three-year starting quarterback Jack Dallas, who ran the ship to near perfection as WO-S made the state title game all three years. The Mustangs will look to run the ball a little more with a speedy Chaka Watson seeing plenty of time at quarterback.

The PN-G Indians will look to advance even further this season and return six starters on offense and five on defense from a squad that went 11-2 and reached the 5A Division II regional semifinals.

The Indians are picked to win the district by Dave Campbell Texas Football Magazine.

Coach Brandon Faircloth welcomes back junior quarterback Roschon Johnson, who little field up as a sophomore, accounting for 3,978 total yards and a stunning 56 touchdowns.

Johnson has some nice weapons back as well in the forms of receivers Preston Riggs, who had 1,045 yards receiving and nine TDs and back/receiver Preston Hughes, who amassed over 1,050 total yards and 11 TDs.

The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears have made the postseason three times in the last four years and had a big surge in District 10-4A Division I play to snag the third-place playoff berth a season ago before bowing out to Henderson in the bidistrict round.

LC-M would like to end its long drought of not winning a postseason game. The Bears have not picked up a playoff victory dating back to 1997 when they advanced all the way to the regional finals against La Marque.

Coach Randy Crouch and his staff return five starters back on both sides of the ball. The Bears will have three stout offensive weapons back in versatile back Chris Winters, receiver Katon Brown and fullback J’Lon Douglas, who is “rough-and-tumble” on both sides of the ball after being named the district Defensive MVP at linebacker last season.

The Bears will welcome Coldspring in for a scrimmage Friday with the freshmen starting at 9 a.m. followed by the junior varsity and varsity.

Coldspring made the playoffs again last season and return 10 starters off last season’s 5-6 unit. They are sparked by running back David Fulcher and quarterback Richard Higgins.

The Bridge City Cardinals will look to rise up again to compete for the District 10-4A Division I title as Coach Dwayne Dubois and staff welcome back several key components, especially on defense where nine starters return off last year’s 9-3 district champion.

The Cardinals had a big turnout on Monday as they literally tore up their practice field with all the rain as it turned into a mud pit.

The Cardinals went a perfect 5-0 in district play last year and went three-deep in the playoffs. The Cardinals ended an 11-year playoff win drought.

Offensively, the Cardinals will try to find their groove again despite losing District Offensive MVP in running back Cayce Draper and fellow back Patrick Morris, both 1,000-yard rushers along with quarterback Byron Trahan and the loss of all five offensive line starters that had been starting together for three years for the most part.

The Cardinals do return scatback Max Baker, who had nearly 1,000 yards along with standout defensive backs Justyn Romero and Hunter Denton along with linebackers Blake DiChiara, Brennon Tregge and Ethan Hamm and linemen Stetson Wilson and Zeke Mendez. Fullback/linebacker Andy Lara should give the Cardinals a boost after seeing some nice playing time as a freshman.

The Cardinals will the road to Buna Friday for their first scrimmage tilt.

The Cougars went 7-5 and two rounds deep for long-time coach Bradley Morgan and return eight starters including outstanding quarterback Alex Connell.

The Orangefield Bobcats entered the postseason fray for the fourth time in five years last season and finished in a three-way tie for second in 12-4A Division II.

Coach Josh Smalley and staff has seen a major turnout throughout the summer and have been thrilled about that and the Bobcats do welcome back six starters on each side of the ball.

. Key returners on offense include versatile back Christian Louvier and quarterback Mason Gonzales. Blake Bradley is back after being a standout on both sides of the ball along with Michael Teeples. Safety Zach Dischler returns to anchor the secondary and the Bobcats return the best kicker in the district in Jacob Rainey.

The Bobcats will play host to Shepherd in their first scrimmage Friday at 6 p.m.

Shepherd went 7-3 last year and made the playoffs and return 11 starters, seven on offense, including Trevor Moye, who accounted for 1,259 yards and 17 TDs.

Everyone will have their second scrimmage on Thursday Aug. 24. WO-S will visit Vidor, Bridge City will host Kirbyville; Orangefield will welcome Splendora and LC-M will host Newton.