Workouts going well for young Redbirds, DeShazo

Published 11:18 am Thursday, August 9, 2018

BRIDGE CITY — Several new faces will dot the roster and the coaching staff this season as the Bridge City Cardinals will look to make noise again.

First-year head coach Allen DeShazo will lead the Cardinals out on the field after replacing Dwayne DuBois. DeShazo, who served as defensive coordinator last year and as offensive coordinator the previous two seasons, is excited about the direction the Cardinals are going in early workouts.

“Our kids, they’ve been a hard-working group ever since offseason started and they’ve responded well in our first few practices,” said DeShazo. “Our big goals over the summer was to get stronger and they’ve done that for the most part. When we hit the field, we want to be both stronger and mentally tougher than who we play. The kids realize that and they’ve really been pushing it.”

The Cardinals, after winning a district title in 2016, went through a ton of adversity last season, especially with an injury bug that was rampant that ended up producing a 1-7 campaign.

However, the cupboard is far from bare this year as the Cardinals have good numbers out at every level as they will look to get that winning groove back.

“This is the biggest group we’ve had here since I’ve been here with a group of a little over 100,” said DeShazo. “We’ll look to carry about 35 on the varsity and we have about 42 freshman out. They’re buying in what we want to do and that’s been great to see.”

Two things DeShazo and staff are not changing is the offensive and defensive philosophy. The Cardinals still plan to run the Slot-T on offense and a 3-4 defense.

“We’re definitely keeping the same schemes because the kids know what that’s all about, even going back to when they played at the junior high level,” said DeShazo. “We’re going to have a few new wrinkles here and there.”

The Cardinals return nine starters, six on offense and three on defense.

DeShazo is counting on a small senior group to help pave the way for the younger guys with the season cranking up soon.

“We’ve got about 14 seniors that we’re expecting solid leadership from,” said DeShazo. “We don’t have you would call ‘rah-rah’ guys but we have some seniors that lead by example and a strong work ethic.”

Bridge City will scrimmage Buna at Larry Ward Stadium Aug. 17 and will scrimmage at Hamshire-Fannett on Aug. 23.

The Cardinals will start their season on the road Aug. 31 at Diboll. They will open up District 11-4A Division I play Oct. 12 against LC-M.

“We’ve got a lot of things to work on for sure before district gets here,” said DeShazo. “Our non-district is loaded with folks like Diboll, WO-S, Jasper and Silsbee. It’s going to be a growing process early on as we get a good look at all of our kids before district starts. The kids are excited and the staff is excited, it’s always a great time of year for sure.”