DuBois, DiChiara eager to spark Cardinals

Published 9:38 am Wednesday, August 30, 2017

By Ronnie Hughes

Leader Correspondent


BRIDGE CITY – The Big Red Cardinals of Bridge City have been on fire in district 10-4A Division I play since head coach Dwayne Dubois took the reigns in 2015.

Following a dismal season in 2014 which the Cardinals went 1-5 in district play they have made the playoffs in 2015 and won the 10-4A title last season and went three rounds deep in the playoffs.

The Cardinals look to continue their winning ways in 2017 with nine starters returning to defense. The offense however will feature new faces, but they seem to be firing on all cylinders and the season has yet to begin.

Blake DiChiara is one of the nine defensive players returning this season. The strong side linebacker is going into his second year on varsity, but he has already nabbed First Team all-district honors in 2016. He spent the summer perfecting his game, hitting the weights and thinking about games against teams such as Silsbee which he knows the team will need to bring their A-Game.

DiChiara loves the dirty work and getting in the trenches to make stops against the opposing offense. He’s often seen preparing like Rambo before games with dreams of playing at a major D1 school. He admits that nobody will square up with him, because he’s similar to colliding with a speeding train. His joking demeanor, good nature and hard hitting work ethic is just enough to keep the Cardinals on track while maintaining good chemistry in the lockeroom.

“I read the guards and the running backs side to side,” said DiChiara, when asked about his role on defense. “I find my position and attack like Rambo, they never see me coming whether its in the trenches or playing outside.”

The young Cardinal offense is headed up by senior quarterback Caleb Dubois, who is returning after missing last season due to having Tommy John surgery following a baseball injury. The nine month recovery was successful with doctors telling the young Dubois he had a much faster recovery time than most with the surgery. Caleb is back under center though in 2017 and is one hundred percent and ready to shine in his senior season.

“I will admit I was scared at first when the injury occurred, because you never know at what level or if you’ll play again,” said Dubois. “ I was just happy I had the best doctors, family and friends who supported me that made my recovery easier.”

The competitive Dubois worked hard to get back into football shape and is every bit ready to lead the Cardinals down the field. In a district that features Silsbee and a re-surging Navasota team, the Cardinals have little room for error and those are games that add fuel to Dubois and DiChiara to make sure they remain focused and play as a unit while keeping some of the younger guys positive.

Dubois admits he pushes himself hard, but being the son of the head coach, nothing is sugar coated. He knows just like all the players when he’s messed up or has a bad game or practice he’s going hear about it. He laughingly says his mom will give it to him the most honest while some of his biggest encouragement comes from his brother who’s in the Marines and will call him to keep him positive at times.

When the A-Honor roll student, Caleb needs to clear his mind and step back from the game for a bit he enjoys things like fishing, hunting and video games. The one thing he says he looks forward to besides football is beating coach or as he calls him away from the field, Dad, in a game of ping-pong.

Caleb calmly says with a smile, “He will keep trying to win after losing several times before he realizes I can’t be beat.”

The Cardinal football family is a tight-knit group and it starts with leaders like DuBois and DiChiara, who bring different personalities and dynamics to the locker room as well as the gridiron. The two seniors both mentioned sophomore fullback Andy Lara, who’s one of those guys that is tough as nails, will get those tough to get yards when they need them and will be a leader of the program for the next few years.

DuBois, a two sport athlete (football and baseball), wants to ensure the Bridge City football program is in good hands after his final season. More so than being known as an athlete he wants to leave a bigger impact on his school and community. An impact that the younger athletes can look up to and know what Cardinal football represents.

“My legacy here will be I was a hard worker. I was the guy that never gave up and I am an example of someone who gave his all for his community and teammates,” said DuBois. “I am blessed to be able to play this game and I thank God I have these guys on my team and the support from my family.”