, Port Arthur, Texas


June 18, 2013

Memorial's Harrison learned from Bayou Bowl experience

PORT ARTHUR — There were some tense moments last Saturday for Port Arthur Memorial head coach Kenny Harrison. The fourth-year Titans boss was the offensive coordinator for Team Texas in the 11th annual Bayou Bowl in Baytown, but his offense wasn’t moving much.

    At halftime, Texas trailed Louisiana 7-6.

    “I was like, ‘Man, six points…,’” Harrison said. “I didn’t want to be the one to come in here and let the Bayou Bowl get tied up 5-5-1. The thing was, some of the things we did, we shot ourselves in the foot with turnovers and penalties. I don’t think it was so much what Louisiana was doing as much as what we didn’t do. The kids were playing hard and excited. We had some mental mistakes that cost us 14-21 points in that first half.”

    In the second half, Harrison’s offense made up those points they left on the field in the first half, as Team Texas scored two touchdowns en route to the 22-14 victory. Cinco Ranch running back Adam Johnson scored the only two TDs for Texas, breaking a pair of long runs.

    That helped Texas keep its edge in the bowl series at 6-4-1.

    Johnson played for Texas head coach Don Clayton last season at Cinco Ranch, and Harrison had nothing but good things to say about what he saw from Clayton last week.

    “It was a good learning experience,” Harrison said. “I got to learn from some unbelievable coaches. Coach Don Clayton is just an unbelievable coach.  It was great getting to see how he does business and getting a chance to observe him. It was great. I enjoyed it.”

    Team Texas went with Memorial’s Ricky Fisk in the first half of the game at quarterback, with center Toan Nguyen also starting on the offensive line. Receiver John Leday, who’s reporting soon to the University of Houston, played sparingly to avoid getting dinged up.

    All three played well when they were in the game, according to Harrison.

    “Toan did really well,” Harrison said. “He didn’t have any bad snaps, which is always a plus. Rick did okay. We had short practices during the week and he was trying to adjust to new receivers. He had gotten used to his guys being in one place and had to adjust to where new guys might be. He got a good opportunity of what it’s going to be like in college.

    “John did a good job on a punt return and caught a couple of passes. We were hesitant with him because he’s reporting to UH soon. We were fortunate that he got to play in the game. They’re all college guys, so we just wanted to keep from putting them in some situations.”

    The player who made the most favorable impression on Harrison in a short time was Fort Bend Dulles quarterback Robert Harris. The 6-foot, 190 pound signal caller is set to attend Mary-Hardin Baylor in the fall and ran the offense well behind Fisk.

    “He started the second half and sparked the team,” Harrison said. “He’s a heck of an athlete and a great football player. We knew that going in, but he’s the kid that impressed me the most. He came in with a positive attitude and did a tremendous job.”

    Overall, it was a good learning experience for Harrison and one he can build off of the next time he gets to coach in an all-star game.

    “I enjoyed it,” Harrison said. “It was definitely a learning experience for me. The thing about an all-star game is you don’t get many practices. Being my first time, I was trying to gauge how much to put in. If I’m fortunate to coach in another one, I’ll be a lot better than it was this time.”


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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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From the Fieldhouse blog