, Port Arthur, Texas


December 24, 2012

Nederland, WO-S, PA Memorial dominate Super Team


PORT ARTHUR — It’s usually an over-simplification to conclude the best players play for the best teams and the best teams own all the best players.

Then there’s the star-studded 41st annual Port Arthur News Super Team which endorses that idea almost totally.

If one eliminates Port Arthur Memorial, Nederland and West Orange-Stark, this Super squad is not very, very Super at all.

Two state quarter-final teams and one talented 5A playoff club comprised exactly 80 percent — or 28 of this year’s 35 coach and/or player honorees.

It’s easier just to report that Beaumont Ozen and Port Neches-Groves placed two players apiece while Bridge City, Beaumont West Brook and Little Cypress-Mauriceville each added one.

All five of this year’s special honorees hailed from the terrific trio of NED-WOS-PA. That would be one MVP, one offensive and one defensive player of the year and a pair of graybeards sharing the coach of the year award. The three schools thoroughly consumed all 13 of the defensive unit selections. They hogged 10 of the 14 offensive unit positions.

It really has been a team thing in 2012. It starts with the two schools to travel deepest into the post-season, Nederland in 4A Division 1 and WO-S in 3A Division 2.

Cornel Thompson of the Mustangs and Larry Neumann of the Bulldogs automatically shared coach of the year honors because each team advanced to the quarter-finals in their respective brackets.

Their quarterbacks were awarded spots on the offensive unit. The total impact of Ricky Fisk’s contribution to Port Arthur Memorial’s success was hard to overlook because the amount which the Titans coaches would place on his shoulders and legs.

Fisk became the second Titans quarterback in as many years to earn Super Team MVP, wearing the same number and picking up where Terrence Singleton left off. Fisk did it all, just like Terrence. He completed 138 or 221 passes for 2,025 yards and 20 scoring passes. He rushed for 12 scores and 897 yards.

Give Fisk plenty of credit but West Orange-Stark and Nederland proved this was a tremendous year for defense, too. As many as six or seven defenders from those quarter-finalists could have been selected defensive player of the year. The honor came down to pure tackle numbers and none of them put together more in this area than WO-S senior inside backer Joe Lynch with 118 stops, 13 tackles for losses and six sacks.

All sorts of possibilities were considered for offensive player of the year, too. The unavoidable reality is this. With 1,351 rushing yards from junior tailback Kendrick Hopkins, the Bulldogs usually had enough of a dependable ground game when they needed it.

Kendrick’s relentless skill as a grind-it-out runner far surpassed any running threat from WO-S or Memorial in terms of offering that complement to the passing attack. Seth Barrow, Carson Raines, Michael Shaw, and the Doggies aerial show was mighty good too, but they were all mighty glad to have Hopkins on their side.

If all those decisions were not tough enough, the hardest call of them all may have been at center. Toan Nguyen earned second-team 21-5A all-league honors, starting 26 straight games at Memorial. His quarterbacks for two seasons have been in the shotgun. Nguyen has had to be excellent at executing the snap and directing the offensive line calls. He has been and the Titans offense has been the beneficiary.

Junior Cole Brown captured first-team 20-4A all-league honors and Nederland’s offensive efficiency required very little validation. Brown amounted to an automatic answer whenever The News sportswriters ever inquired about the identity of the Bulldogs best all-around offensive lineman.

It was hard to separate stars on defense, too. Nederland’s defensive front simply amounted to the area’s best. WO-S had the linebacker portion of the team well-covered.

As for blue-chip recruits, there were not that many but the standout teams spoke for themselves.

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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