BEAUMONT — “Mainly, it’s about lining up,” Whaley said. “You need to be where you need to be to make plays on both passes and runs. You have to know where you need to be at all times. We three safeties have to do the shifting and all that. We have to know where everyone has to be at all times. It takes a lot of mental capacity, for sure.”
All that improvement has led to good results this season for Whaley. The senior has 32 tackles with one sack, one forced fumble and three pass breakups. His improved quickness has helped with that, but it’s his knowledge of the scheme and what he’s supposed to do that has made a big difference.
“Is he going to win a footrace with (Pearland Dawson standout receiver) Tony Upchurch?” Neumann said. “Probably not, but he’s going to be in position and know where his help is. He’ll know as much about their style and what he has to do as anyone on this team. That’s good enough for Nederland and good enough for me.”
BULLDOG BITES: Tickets for Nederland’s regional matchup with Pearland Dawson at Reliant Stadium went on sale Tuesday at Nederland High School. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and will be sold at the school through noon on Friday. Tickets will be $13 at the gate. Parking at Reliant will cost $10 per car. Texas High School Coaching Association and District 20-4A and District 24-4A passes will be accepted. … Nederland practiced at Reliant Stadium on Monday, at Lamar University’s Provost-Umphrey Stadium on Tuesday and will return to Lamar on Wednesday. …Nederland’s 11 victories give the Bulldogs 10 or more wins in consecutive seasons. Nederland has only done that two other times in school history. Bum Phillips and Emmett McKenzie combined for five straight 10 win or better seasons from 1953-57. Larry Neumann has done it twice now, winning 11 in three straight seasons from 1999 through 2001. Nederland has now won 10 or more games in a season 14 times in school history. Neumann has been the head coach for six of those 14 seasons, the most of any Bulldog head coach. … Junior running back Kendrick Hopkins needs 76 yards to top 2,000 for his career. Quarterback Carson Raines needs just 169 yards passing to top 4,000 for his career. … Receiver Seth Barrow can join teammate Michael Shaw in some elite company with one catch against Dawson. Barrow is one away from catching 50 for his Nederland career. Since 2004, only six players have caught that many, including two four-year players in Micah Mosley and Brent Salenga.