The Port Arthur News
PORT ARTHUR —
Some things to talk about while Siri becomes a fan of the Astros…
1) Practices adjusting to school time
After two weeks of two-a-day workouts, freed from any rigid schedule of, you know, school, football coaches around the area are adjusting things for the start of classes next week.
Well, some of them are. Both Port Neches-Groves and Nederland have adjusted their practice times this week to a more traditional morning/afternoon workout schedule, mirroring what they’ll do during the season. It’s partly for practical concerns, as coaches need to attend teacher inservices during the day.
It’s also to get players used to the schedule approaching quickly, with practices in the afternoon heat and quick workout sessions during the athletic period. Nederland attempted to put their student-athletes on that schedule this week specifically to get them acclimated to the season’s routine.
At Memorial, the schedule already matched up with how they will do it in season. The Titans have been holding their second two-a-day workout since last week in the afternoon, following a walk-through in the morning.
That’s exactly how the Titans run things during the school year, so they don’t need to adjust much to get in line with class beginning next week.
2) Nederland’s defensive line
If the Nederland Bulldogs could have a defensive line consisting of just two players, they might have one of the best in the state. Seniors De Shawn Washington and Caleb Malveaux are two of the best tackles in the area.
The question Nederland’s coaches are faced with now is how to deploy them with the other two starters on the defensive line. Do they start Washington and Malveaux at defensive tackles, clogging up the middle and putting Washington’s quickness on those unsuspecting guards and centers?
Or, do they jump Washington out to end and have someone play tackle inside next to Malveaux? Can they jump both Washington and Malveaux out to end and fill in with other players inside?
The answers to those questions will largely depend on the play of those supporting players. Connor Hughes and Beau Stewart have been working at defensive end around the two tackles. When Washington moves outside, William Holman comes in to fill his spot inside. Nathan Tran is another name working his way into the mix after a knee injury kept him out of the first week of practices.
Whatever formation Nederland settles on, though, will not be one they’re married to long-term. The Nederland front has always relied on matchup-specific game plans. If it makes more sense for Washington to play outside against Crosby, he will. But, the next week against Goose Creek Memorial, he may slide back inside.
3) Spotlight on PN-G’s Bradley Broussard
Indians fans at the scrimmage against Hamshire-Fannett last week probably noticed outside linebacker Bradley Broussard. He was wearing No. 35 and practically lived in the Longhorn backfield with his speed off the edge.
Broussard should be a familiar name by now, as he played at a pretty high level last season for the Indians, too. But, one of the consequences of a 2-8 season is that breakout players tend to get overlooked by the end of the campaign.
That shouldn’t be the case for Broussard this year, as his play on the field will get him noticed. His character, though, is what stands out to head coach Brandon Faircloth.
“He’s consistent,” Faircloth said. “He’s as steady of a player as we have. You always know what you’re getting. You’re getting a hard worker and a good athlete. He’s a great kid. If you could have your son be like, I’d put him in that group. He’s a great leader.”
Broussard brings plenty of on-the-field prowess to the Indians linebacking corps. His speed makes him quite a weapon against teams, as he’s able to both drop into pass coverage and get to the quarterback with ease.
“He’s a safety that plays outside linebacker,” Faircloth said. “He’s got good range. He’s got speed and he’s strong. He’s a big-time player for us. We have to get everyone else playing at his level, because he’s a great player for our defense.”
David Coleman is a sportswriter for the Port Arthur News. He can be emailed at email@example.com and found on Twitter at @MDavidColeman.