, Port Arthur, Texas


July 2, 2013

PNG future brightens with 7 on 7

PORT NECHES —  Things didn’t go the way fans might have expected on the Reservation last season. Loss after loss piled up for the Port Neches-Groves football team with the only note of hope shining from the young players in the starting lineup.

After the coaching staff decided to move away from spring workouts this year and wait for two-a-days in August, that left an even longer gap between the disappointing end of the 2012 campaign and when fans could see the first glimmers of the 2013 Indians appear.

Luckily, there was a bridge from one season to another this summer in the form of the 7-on-7 football tournaments and games that the Indians participated in along with a number of local teams.

Played without offensive or defensive linemen, with no blitzing and no running the ball, it’s a passer’s best friend. It was also just the tonic for quarterback Ky Walker, after the junior broke his hand minutes after making his first start under center for the Indians.

“I’ve preferred this much better (than spring workouts),” Walker said. “We aren’t wearing pads in spring and we’ve cut down on injuries a little bit, which I like. As far as 7-on-7 goes, this is one of my favorite parts of preparation. It’s basically what I do without the pressure of a d-line. It’s fun. It’s just coming out here and having a good time.”

The Indians ended their 7-on-7 season on Tuesday, playing in a bi-weekly scrimmage against area teams like Hamshire-Fannett, Little Cypress-Mauriceville and Beaumont West Brook. PN-G played in two different state qualifying tournaments, making the semifinals in Lufkin.

However, only teams who make it to the finals of the qualifiers get tickets to the state tournament in Leander.

“The one in Lufkin, we did really well,” Walker said. “We beat Atascocita, Lufkin and Tyler John Tyler. They were all very big schools. They were big, tall and fast. John Tyler reminded me a lot of West Orange-Stark. Personally, I think we have one of the best 7-on-7 teams around.”

Because 7-on-7 isn’t an official event, coaches can’t instruct players at games. But, that doesn’t mean the timing and chemistry the team builds isn’t vitally important for the approaching season.

“I can’t even stress how important this is,” Walker said. “Me and my friends are out here I don’t even know how often. Even if it’s just in the yard, we’re throwing. That preparation, that timing, the more you can prepare like that, the more it carries over to Friday nights.

“The preparation is important, but it’s also about the team bonding with your receivers. My recievers are at my house every night. We just like being together. It’s awesome.”

That experience with teammates is exactly what should help junior running back Brant Halfin. Last season, Halfin played for the JV as a sophomore, so the time bonding with his offensive skill position teammates is a great way to prepare for two-a-days.

Even if the 7-on-7 experience isn’t always a great one for running backs.

“We’re bonding better,” Halfin said.  “Without pads you can’t do much. Our team is bonding and our chemistry is much better than it was last year. It’s just hard to do much without pads. You can’t block, which is what I’ll be doing a lot. You can’t run the ball. I just run normal pass routes, gos and flies, but I’m more of a decoy in this offense.”

The 2013 season will open for PN-G and other teams that did not participate in spring workouts on August 5.

Text Only
  • West column: Results, not words needed for The Palms, Belle Oaks

    July 29, 2014

  • Despite obstacles, progress is being made at The Palms

    July 29, 2014

  • West golf notepad: Barbaso claims first win in Boys 16-18

    July 29, 2014

  • Trophy stab 1.jpg WEST COLUMN: Bum Phillips trophy an impressive piece of work

    There was lots of excitement around the Port Arthur News this week, with the long-awaited delivery of the magnificent Bum Phillips trophy that will be presented annually to the winner of the Nederland-Port Neches-Groves football game.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ned 13U Babe Ruth wins

    It was a much better day Saturday for the Nederland 13U Babe Ruth team compared to Friday.

    July 26, 2014

  • MOORE COLUMN: Flounder dream started in Bridge City

    The first flounder that grabbed my attention lived in what is now the Lower Neches Wildlife Management Area in Bridge City. 

    July 26, 2014

  • TODORA COLUMN: Hermsen rattles racks in Monday Seniors League at Max Bowl

    Mondays Seniors League had some nice scores this past week. Rick Hermsen started with a 263, finished with a 270 and fit in a 212 in the middle for a nice 745.

    July 26, 2014

  • ESTRADA COLUMN: PED update /Key injuries with contrasting outcomes

    The results of Saturday night’s UFC on Fox: Lawler vs. Brown event were not available as of the time of this writing. It will be covered in a future column.

    July 26, 2014

  • Nederland 13U Babe Ruth loses 9-0

    The Nederland 13U Babe Ruth team lost 9-0 Friday to Bryant.

    July 25, 2014

  • Bassmaster Elites are coming back

    The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
    The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
    I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
    It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
    • Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
    Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
    Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
    • East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
    • Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
    • Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
     It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
    The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
    We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
    It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
    (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on

    July 23, 2014

From the Fieldhouse blog