, Port Arthur, Texas


August 14, 2013

Coleman's Thursday football talking points

PORT ARTHUR — Some things to talk about while I wonder when BISD will do the right thing and name it Jerry LeVias Stadium already…

1) Coaching trees changes

Last year, Port Neches-Groves lost offensive coordinator Jared Wingfield to a job at Mabank. Wingfield was one of a number of area coaches moving on to different situations in the past year. Let’s check in on some of them to see how they’re doing.

Wingfield went 1-9 and 0-5 in District 15-3A with the Panthers. He hopes to make a jump this season and appears primed to do so, as the district features no teams that made it past bidistrict last season and his school has the biggest enrollment in the district.

Former East Chambers head coach Tony Valastro went 2-18 in two seasons at Galveston Ball, resigning after the season. He was replaced by former NFL runner Kimble Anders at Ball before moving over to Columbus as the head coach.

Former West Brook boss Craig Stump took over at Atascocita last season. Stump had a 5-5 record and a 3-5 mark in district play, which was pretty good given he plays in one of the toughest districts in Class 5A. This season will be no different as Westfield looks to make another run at the regional finals.

One last one, tangentially connected to the area. Port Arthur Memorial area playoff foe Clear Springs saw its head coach Clint Hartman leave for his alma mater, San Antonio East Central, after amassing a 40-18 record in five seasons with the Falcons. He’s replaced by defensive coordinator Paul Maldonado.

2) Nederland practices game situations

With one minute, 15 seconds on the clock, the Nederland Bulldogs raced down the field. Quarterback Preston White completed an out pass to Colton Kimler down the sideline, stopping the clock.

Then, he hit Trey Richardson on a post for a long game, finally setting up about 12 yards from the end zone. Three plays later, the Bulldogs faced fourth-and-10 with 13 seconds left. White found Sage Seay on his outside shoulder in the end zone for the score.

That wasn’t the transcript of a game from last year. That was the end of practice on Tuesday.

Of the three teams I’ve covered this fall, every one practices differently. They’re all doing the same drills, running, passing, tackling and all that. But, how they differ is pretty fascinating. For instance, I haven’t seen either Memorial or PN-G go into game mode with the clock running and assistant coaches acting like referees. That doesn’t mean they don’t do it, just that I haven’t seen it.

For Nederland, the work in situational drills like that is meant to move the team along and prepare for actual games.

“You try to make them game ready,” Nederland head coach Larry Neumann said. “You don’t want them to panic when those situations happen. I think we’ve been pretty clean, too, when we are doing it. We do some of this in the spring, so they’re pretty far ahead on knowing how to work in situations.”

3) Spotlight on Memorial’s Casey Williams

After starting 26 games in two seasons for the Port Arthur Memorial football team, the Titans will be without center Toan Nguyen this year.

Nguyen leaves big shoes to fill along the offensive line, but his replacement, Casey Williams, is doing a great job of that so far.

Williams got a late start on working his way in the lineup, but has steadily improved throughout the offseason and become one of the team’s anchors along the middle.

“He didn’t have athletic period last year,” Memorial head coach Kenny Harrison said. “He moved in to the period in January and he was a little behind. But, he worked and put the extra work in beyond what we asked him to do to try and catch up. He’s a high-character kid and he’s very reliable. He’s a true team player.”

In a spread offense, the snap from center can be vitally important. One bad snap can ruin a drive, so it’d be natural for Harrison to have some anxiety about a new center. However, Harrison says he feels just fine with Williams right now.

“We put him through a pretty good little boot camp, ” Harrison said. “He responded to that well. I feel pretty good about him. I don’t think he’ll get rattled. Once he gets into that first ballgame and gets a little contact, he’ll be fine.”

David Coleman is a sportswriter for the Port Arthur News. He can be emailed at and found on Twitter at @MDavidColeman.

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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