Football teams have voluntary practices, games set for Sept. 15

Published 4:00 pm Friday, September 8, 2017

As the Orange County area continues to clean out their homes and trying their best to get their lives back in order, our local athletic teams are trying to get back on track.

Football teams have lost two games thus far and for Orangefield it will be three before the Bobcats take the field for the first time.

Defending Class 4A Division II champion West Orange-Stark started voluntary practices earlier this week. Little Cypress-Mauriceville had its first voluntary practice Thursday evening as did the defending District 10-4A Division I champion Bridge City Cardinals.

Orangefield will have its first voluntary practice Monday at 9 a.m.

A game that is scheduled for Sept. 15 is Woodville at LC-M as the Bears got a makeshift game against the Eagles.

WO-S and Bridge City will “tentatively” possibly play Sept. 15 at WO-S.

“Everyone is so spread out right now and that’s so understandable,” said West Orange-Stark coach Cornel Thompson. “We’re doing our best to find out where all of our kids are. We have food available for them, a bunch of MREs that gracious folks have delivered to us at the fieldhouse. The fieldhouse is operational, all the showers work.”

Coach Thompson got all the coaches in for a meeting earlier in the week.

“We wanted to get together as a coaching family, find out where everyone is at, what’s the status of their situations and go from there and try our best to get everybody helped out as much as possible,” said Thompson, who got water in his house as well.

The Mustangs have missed games with Nederland and the Orange Bowl with LC-M.

At LC-M, the schools in the district took in a lot of water.

“Prayers go out to the entire LC-M family and the entire Southeast Texas area,” said LC-M coach Randy Crouch. “I’ve simply never seen anything like this and it’s so heartbreaking to see all of the pictures. The high school held up pretty well with a little water. Our other schools got hit pretty hard, especially Mauriceville Junior High, which had several feet in it. It’s going to be a long process but our community is so strong and hopefully we’ll be back stronger than ever.”

The Bears were originally going to go to Sour Lake to take on Hardin-Jefferson Sept. 15 but Crouch got word from H-J coach Jared Sloan that the Hawks’ field was unplayable because when Harvey hit, the field had water up to the goalpost crossbars.

“We’re very fortunate to get the game with Woodville and for them to come to our place,” said Crouch. “The kids are certainly going to be excited when they know we have a game lined up.”

The Bears have missed games against Jasper and WO-S.

The Orangefield school district really took the onslaught of Harvey’s wrath as both the high school and elementary took in plenty of water. The junior high was spared.

“We’re just going to wait and see because there is so much cleanup to do with our facilities,” said Bobcat coach Josh Smalley. “I know the kids are anxious to get back to practice, but it could be quite awhile. We would really love to be back before the LC-M game here Sept. 22, that would be a good thing.”

The Bobcats have missed games with Buna, Kirbyville and Woodville.

“Through this tragedy I have seen the best of humanity,” said Smalley. “Help for our community

has poured in from all over the county. Our kids are awesome and have been helping their community recover. Volleyball started practice. We are slowly getting back to some sense of normal.”


Bridge City coach Dewayne Dubois was excited about the Cardinals coming back for a voluntary practice Thursday and Friday.

“We’re so proud of our kids and what they’ve been doing,” said DuBois. “They’ve helped so many families across the community, moving furniture and sheetrock out of houses. We’re looking forward to seeing those guys and I’m sure they’re looking for some normalcy.”

The Cardinals have missed games against Hamshire-Fannett and Houston North Forest.

Perhaps the best thing going for the football teams is that district play does not start until Oct. 13.

LC-M opens up 10-4A Division I play Oct. 13 at home against Silsbee while Bridge City will venture to Cleveland.

WO-S will open District 12-4A Division II play Oct. 13 when they visit Hamshire-Fannett while Orangefield will be at home against Liberty.