, Port Arthur, Texas


February 6, 2014

Big day for Titans

PORT ARTHUR — Lamar University Coach Ray Woodard knows exactly what Incarnate Word Coach Larry Kennan was going through on Wednesday, and even got a bit of a reminder about not counting your chickens until they hatch.

Last year Port Arthur Memorial quarterback Ricky Fisk was all set to become the first Titans player to ink with Lamar. It turns out Fisk jilted the Cardinals right before National Signing Day and instead decided to head to Morgan State.

Woodard, however, landed his first Titan when Melbrodrick Matthews stayed the course Wednesday and signed with the Cardinals.

Nederland’s Caleb Malveaux and Central’s Garrison Mitchell, meanwhile, were two locals who changed their minds in the 11th hour.

Malveaux decided against Kennan’s Incarnate Word Cardinals and signed with Houston Baptist. Mitchell flopped from Lamar to New Mexico.

“That is just part of it,” Woodard said. “You really can’t worry too much about it because it happens all over the country. Every now and then we get players who change their minds in the 11th hour.”

Matthews signed his letter of intent, along with nine other players from Memorial’s 8-4 team from this past season.

There had been talk over the past few years that perhaps Lamar did not recruit Titans football players with enough resolve.

“We recruit Memorial just as hard as every other high school we recruit,” Woodard said. “If someone is recruiting Memorial any harder than we are, they are cheating. For whatever reason, we simply had not had the process finish out the way it did today with Melbrodrick. We are thrilled to have him on our football team.”

Matthews called his signing a blessing and a relief to have out the way.

“I am just happy today,” Matthews said. “I feel a huge honor to become the first Titans player to sign with Lamar. I am going to do everything I can to prove myself to those guys.”

Melbrodrick shared the day with a very familiar teammate, his twin brother Meldrick.

Meldrick Matthews signed with Blinn Junior College.

“That is a great experience to be on that stage with him,” Melbrodrick said. “I know he will go on and do great things at Blinn. We will be split up for the first time in a very long time but we will stay in contact and I expect great things from him.”

Memorial Coach Kenny Harrison advised that Melbrodrick leaves the Titans program with the most starts in team history.

“Melbrodrick is going to be a great player  for the Lamar Cardinals,” Woodard said. “He is fast enough to come off the edge and is a very versatile player. He even has great coverage skills. We will use him in a variety of ways.”

Memorial receivers Albert Jacobs and Roderic Rucker made it three Titans players headed to Blinn Junior College.

Both DeKovin Antoine and Selah Fontenot signed with Bethel College in Kansas City, Ransom Howard inked with Avila College and Tayylor Labrie and Dante Lovilotte each signed with Kilgore Junior College.

Another first in Titans history was Trenton Swinton’s signing with the U.S. Naval Academy.

Swinton spent only one season with the Titans after moving to Port Arthur from Little Rock, Ark. He attended a small private school in Arkansas and knew if wanted to play college football he needed to find a new home.

“Academics has always been a big part of my life,” Swinton said. “I got in touch with the Naval Academy through my dad and it all started to fall into place. I play running back and that is almost perfect with Navy who runs that option. It was never easy. I always saw the bigger picture and now all the struggles are behind me.”

Swinton also pointed to a quote by Jim Rohn who said, “You can either modify your dreams or magnify your skills.”

“I ask people to choose one,” Swinton said.

Harrison called Swinton the perfect model of a student athlete.

“He is one heck of a football player but is also that great in the classroom,” Harrison said. “His athletic ability takes care of itself. His work away from the field takes a lot of effort and he puts in the time and dedication. I am very proud of that young man, just like I am proud of all these guys. It is a great day to be a Titan.”

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  • 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

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    The Southwest Regional Babe Ruth championship series is set and yes the hometown Mid County squad will be there to play.

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  • MC Babe Ruth goes 2-0

    First things first, give Clint Landry and the rest of the officials credit for making the Southwest Regional Babe Ruth tournament possible this weekend at Nederland High School.

    July 19, 2014

  • Up the odds for solid bank fishing

    There are certain limitations to fishing without a boat.

    July 19, 2014

  • Derek Williams, Summer Money League light up the lanes at Max Bowl

    Thursday nights Summer Money League produced some very impressive scores.

    July 19, 2014

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  • Babe Ruth.jpg Mid County Babe Ruth set to host Southwest Regional

    The Mid County Babe Ruth 18U team is once again knocking on the World Series door. Mid County will host the Southwest Regional at Nederland High School starting today. Mid County’s first game of the tournament is slated for 7 p.m. Friday against Pine Bluff, Ark. Thursday was a special day for Mid County Babe Ruth as two locals, Jimmy Collins (shown speaking) and Skip Hopkins (back left) were inducated intot he Southwest Regional Babe Ruth Hall of Fame. Both Hopkins and Collins have been involved in Babe Ruth for over 40 consecutive years either as player, coach or board member. There are nine teams in the tournament with the winner headed to Washington state for the World Series.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • West golf notepad: Eleven-year-old Henry scores ace in YMBL tourney

    July 15, 2014

From the Fieldhouse blog