“OUCH…!” Mini Cooper, (Drevion Cooper #1) takes a load of punishment for every inch of yardage that he chews up during the first scrimmage of the season, against the Jasper Bulldogs. Photo by Charles Ballard
by CHARLES BALLARD SJNT Sports Reporter
JASPER -- As the sun began to set in Deep East Texas, the heat began to rise in the little town of Jasper, Texas. What some say would be a very, close match of talents turned out to be a true scrimmage. Coach Bryan Barbay of Coldspring and Darrell Barbay of Jasper, brothers with very close family ties, did not go head to head in the first scrimmage of the 2013 season. Rather Coach Tabor Westbrook took the helm of the offensive team and called the plays while Coach Bryan Barbay oversaw the entire process. I feel Coach Barbay may have been waiting till the playoffs to make his play. He used this chance to switch players into different positions, to see how it would affect the team. Coach Darrell Barbay, on the other hand, used this chance to fine tune his offense and defense. Yes; Darrell did switch players and positions but not as much as Bryan did. Junior running back for the Trojans Alec Dunham said, "Coach is trying different people at different positions to see how it will go." I'm not worried about the scoring right now Coach will get things back to normal soon, when it counts. You can rest assured."
Quarterback Kaleb Morrison (14) fires a pass to Douglas Johnson during the early part of the Coldspring vs. Jasper scrimmage. Photo by Charles BallardSo, who won the scrimmage? Well Jasper scored 5 touchdowns against the Trojans during the scrimmage, while the Trojans did not score. On the other hand; the Trojans had 60 yards of offense and the Bulldogs had only 5 during the called live 12 minute quarter at the end of the scrimmage.
Who looked good, you ask? Well, first I think the Trojans did well, simply by the way they were substituting personnel in and out during the scrimmage. Kaleb Morrison got a firsthand look at what it is going to take to lead this team to victory. Kaleb did take quite a few snaps during the 2012 season but his job was support and not leadership last year. Kaleb had a very nice pass to Douglas Johnson, one picked off and two incompletes. Brett Sykes (7) a junior for the 2013 season looked very promising.
Tristan Aleksick (12), cornerback for the Trojans said, "We are not playing very well, we have a few things to work out and get back to being the winning Trojans."
Josh Dumatrait (60), guard for the Trojans said, "The Coach is trying different people in different positions to see what best fits the team."
I will expect to see a more normal situation during the next scrimmage, although there will still be a lot of moving around positions during the pre-district games.
Patrick “PJ” Giddens (24) follows close behind lead blocker Josh Dumatrait (60) during Friday night’s scrimmage against the Jasper Bulldogs. Photo by Charles BallardWillis Wildcats, will be the next scrimmage. The location will be Willis, Texas. The Wildcats will be a lot better team than last year's stock. The Trojans put 5 TD against the Wildcats last year. The Cats have 23 returning athletes. Starters for offense are 6 and 9 for defense. The one main threat will be the two time State Champion 440 sprinter Chris Platt. The Trojans will have to stop his speed or it will be a long night. Linebacker Hunter Sartain and defensive end Tyrell Lewis will be a couple more threats to the Trojans offense. If the Trojans manage to hold these two off Kaleb's back and give him time to execute the ball it will be a lot better for the Trojans.
Trojan fans, don't look at the scrimmage between the Jasper Bulldogs as what to expect the new 2013 Trojans will look like. It was simply a scrimmage to try out new personnel at new positions. I can assure you that when District 22-AAA rolls around the Trojans will be in fine form.
Daylan Giddens, (9) chases down the Jasper running back for a quick sack during the scrimmage against Jasper. Photo by Charles BallardWith all the above said; I will see you in Willis, Texas for the second and final scrimmage for the 2013 season.
Edward Hayes (20) finds an opening in the tough Navasota Rattlers defensive line and makes a big gain following Jejuan McKibbins (11), for the Coldspring Trojans. Photo by Charles Ballard
By CHARLLES BALLARD SJNT Sports Reporter
That's the reason they're called "State Champs"
COLDSPRING -- As I was exiting the Coldspring Trojans field last Friday I heard a disappointed fan say, "That is the reason they are called the state champs," speaking of the Navasota Rattlers. Well as I mentioned last week the Rattlers are not the power house of 2012 but they have very strong venom. The young sophomore from Navasota filled the shoes of the former QB of Navasota very well.
Navasota is noted for their aerial attacks and they continue to pass the ball. They lined up in a wide spread offense and maintained that game plan the entire game.
The Rattlers elected to receive and managed to forge their way all the way to the 11-yard-line and could not push the 6-point TD, so they kicked a perfect field goal. Any pro team would have loved to have that field goal; it split the uprights perfect and had tons of distance just in case. The score with less than 4 minutes off the game clock was Navasota 3 and the Trojans 0.
The Trojans had trouble getting going in the first quarter and went 3 and out on their first carry. During the second position of Navasota, the Trojans managed to force a punt and put the ball deep into Trojan territory. Young QB Brett Sykes managed to get the ball to the 30 with a first and 10, but then a hand off error gave the ball back to the Rattlers and set up the second score for the Rattlers. 10 to 0, was what was on the score board, this is something the Trojans have seen only a few times.
Sports fans, I could go on with play by play but there is really no reason to dwell on the 24 -0 Navasota win. All during the game the Trojans seemed to have a lack of focus and could not commit to the game at hand. Although the game has nothing to do with district play and whether or not the Trojans make the playoffs or not, I consider it a game of pride. The Trojans just could not mount an offense against the big defensive line of the Rattler's. The defensive team of the Trojans on the other hand did hold Navasota to only 24 points on the board. This is something most teams just cannot do.
So with that said; you ask could the Trojans have beaten the Rattlers? If the Trojans could have mounted some sort of offensive and posted the normal 20-30 points they would have scored. My answer would have been, yes. This year's Rattlers are a very good team but not any better than the Trojans. In short story form, the Trojans turned the ball over way too many times against a team that will capitalize on the mistakes you make, and that is exactly what happened. The Trojans made too many mistakes and the Rattlers used those mistakes to win the game.
No Stats were posted as of the writing so we will post them next week if they become available. After the Trojans stepped in a snake pit and got bitten they will turn around and be in the middle of a den of Cougars. The LaMarque Cougars will be ready to give the Trojans a run for their money. Ranked above the Navasota Rattlers, in many sports venues they will come to play and win.
The first 2012 meeting of the Cougars and the Trojans found a 27-21 win for the Trojans in overtime. Many said this was just a wakeup call for the Coug's. They met again in the playoffs and the Cougars managed to win only to get beaten the next round against Navasota.
Coach Mike Jackson of the LaMarque Cougars will be returning 19 letterman with 8 offensive starters and 4 offensive starts. The loaded offensive team will be a force for the Trojans to stop. The Cougars went 4-0 in their district and managed to end up in the quarter finals against Navasota, only to reap the venom of the Rattlers.
Summary: if the Coldspring Trojans that played the Willis Wildcats and the CE King Panthers show up at Trojan stadium, it will be a great game. If the Trojans that faced the Navasota Rattlers last week show up it will get ugly. I am not sure as to how many points the Cougars have scored but they are a team that will not let up. The Coug's like the Trojans are a running team and will throw the ball just to keep the defense honest. So mark my words, if the right team shows up it will be the game of the year.
SHEPHERD -- The 2013 football season has officially started Friday, Aug. 30, for the Shepherd Pirates as they hosted the Kountze Lions at Pirate Stadium.
The two schools were playing to a packed crowd in anticipation of last year's offensive shootout that saw the Pirates and the Lions with a combined score of 78 points and Kountze winning late in the 4th quarter over Shepherd 43 to 35. This year's matchup proved to be totally opposite as it became a game of defense and field position.
Both schools struggled with offensive plays the entire game in moving the ball; it seemed as one team started becoming successful the other team's defense would ultimately shut them down. On the Pirates first possession of the game as they had what looked like the home field momentum going had compiled a couple first downs on their way into Kountze territory, when the Pirates sophomore QB #10 Roy See threw an interception to Kountze safety #6 Jayden Cunigan stopping the Pirates drive. This was the first of two interceptions for the Kountze safety, as he also intercepted another pass from See in the 3rd quarter. The game went back and forth with both offenses stalling and failing to put up any points for a full 4 quarters of football. Shepherd's 2nd year head coach Chip Keel tried a fake punt and fake field goal in hopes to keep drives going and to get that one score that he knew would decide the game; however both attempts failed. A sigh of relief for Shepherd came in the 3rd quarter when Kountze kicker #15 Blake Best missed a 33-yard field goal which went wide left, but had the distance keeping the score 0 – 0. Through each turnover on downs and miscues the Pirates defense was relentless throughout the night forcing punts and causing a fumble and recovering it when the Kountze offense moved deep into Pirate territory during the 3rd quarter. This was a game of defense no doubt and it would be the Pirates defense who finally took the game over.
Deep in the 4th quarter Pirates soccer style punter #6 Alex Rios punts the ball 38 yards that lands on the Kountze 1-yard line; this punt could have possibly been the play of the game. The very first play for Kountze on their own yard line was stuffed by the stingy Pirates defense cutting off all the escape routes from the end zone while Pirates defensive lineman #40 Jonathan Marshall tackled the Kountze running back for a safety with only 4:32 on the clock in the 4th quarter. The Pirates went on to win the game with the defense making one last stop to put their signature on the season opener winning over Kountze 2 – 0 for a final score. Unless you like defense this game was far from today's standards of high scoring big plays and would not be considered pretty, but getting a W in the win column is what mattered most for the Pirates. This Pirate team is a young squad and with winning their confidence will grow high and turn the culture around in Shepherd for the future of Pirate football. The Pirates hope to extend their winning streak next Friday as they travel to Woodville.
MEET THE PIRATES was held Friday, August 16 at Shepherd High School. School teams and squads introduced, along with their coaches, included Varsity and JV Volleyball; Varsity, JV and Freshman Football; High School Band and Color Guard; High School Drill Team; High School Cheerleaders; Middle School Drill Team and Middle School Cheerleaders. The Pirates will play their first football game of the season Friday, Aug. 30 at home against Kountze after this Friday night's scrimmage with New Waverly at home.