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Football scrimmages all set for Thursday

Local football teams will finally get a chance to take on someone else in another uniform as they are getting prepared for their lone scrimmages this week.

The Bridge City Cardinals will host the Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears in a scrimmage at Ward Stadium Thursday with the freshmen starting at 5 p.m. followed by the JV and varsity.

The West Orange-Stark Mustangs will welcome in the Vidor Pirates Thursday with start times slated for 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The Orangefield Bobcats will venture to Lumberton to face the Raiders Thursday with 5 p.m., 6 p.m., and 7 p.m. starts.

More rules were issued out by the University Interscholastic League as they passed another motion for extracurricular activities across the state.

The UIL medical advisory committee met and made the decision that requires students who test positive for COVID-19 be cleared by a physician before returning to extracurricular activities.

That includes athletes competing in all sports and also cheerleaders, drill team and band members.

Last week schools Class 4A-and-under wrapped up their second week of practice while 6A-5A will have to wait as schools, coaches and players will not only be battling the salty August heat, but the COVID-19 virus as well this season.

Class 1A-4A can start playing games the week of Aug. 27-29 while 5A-6A games will begin on Sept. 24.

The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Battlin’ Bears have been beating the heat and getting productive practices in during these trying times during the COVID-19 virus.

The Bears had solid numbers, getting close to matching last year’s turnout.

The Bears are sticking to the morning routine pretty much until school starts Aug. 17.

Coach Randy Crouch and the entire coaching staff and the great custodial and maintenance crews have done a tremendous job in keeping the school as safe as possible during the pandemic.

The Bears have made the postseason six out of the last seven years and the program snagged its first playoff win since 1997 last season when they rolled past Stafford 48-21 in a bidistrict romp.

Coach Crouch and Co. welcomes seven starters back on each side of the ball as they will look to better last season’s 6-5 mark and 3-2 district record.

The Bears start their season at home Aug. 28 against Hamshire-Fannett.

Bridge City Athletic Director and head football coach Allen DeShazo liked the numbers he had during the entire summer workout program and was impressed with the numbers at practices.

It was certainly been a different start for the Cardinals, who usually opened up their first week of practice in the mornings, but now they are going in the evenings due to school starting so early.

The Cardinal coaching staff has been adamant about the COVID-19 protocols that have been put in place and it is something they know they will have to battle this season, but it is all about keeping everyone healthy.

The Cardinals will look to fly into the playoffs again this year as the program is going from 4A Division I down to 4A Division II after Coach DeShazo and staff led them to the postseason last year.

The Cardinals return six starters on each side of the ball from a 3-7 bidistrict campaign.

Bridge City will open its season at home Aug. 28 against Buna.

Over at West Orange-Stark, the Mustangs will be on a quest for their 11th straight district title as they will look to carry on a great tradition.

The Mustangs have reached at least the Class 4A Region III Division II Finals the last nine years under the guidance of head coach Cornel Thompson, plus a run to four straight Class 4A Division II State Championship Games from 2014-2017 with two state titles in 2015-2016.

WO-S return four starters on offense and six on defense off a 10-2 team that advanced to the Region III Finals.

The Mustangs have certainly be doing a great job in maintaining all of the social distancing and mask rules throughout their first weeks of practice.

WO-S will face Waco La Vega in their opener Aug. 28 at Madisonville High School.

The Orangefield Bobcats have been busy with afternoon practices and they started school last Monday.

The Bobcats will look to punch in yet another playoff ticket this season as they have moved back up to 4A Division II after competing in 3A Division I.

Coach Josh Smalley and staff welcome the return of seven offensive starters and four defensive starters off a 9-2 playoff unit. They did lose a large senior class and will turn to a younger group this year, hoping they will rise up.

Orangefield will open its season Aug. 28 at Anahuac.

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