The Port Arthur News
Tune into CBS Sports Network Tuesday night to see PN-G go International.
At 7 p.m., the International Bowl will air on Time Warner Channel 309. Port Neches-Groves football fans will see a familiar sight, as Indian head coach Brandon Faircloth brings his playbook to the game as offensive coordinator.
“If you watch the game, you’ll see the same thing you do on Friday nights in Port Neches,” Faircloth said.
Faircloth is joined by assistant head coach Joe Dale Cary, who will serve as offensive line coach this week. Both coaches were part of the game in 2010 and returned with Gonzaga College High School (Washington, D.C.) head coach Aaron Brady.
Brady has gone 23-11 since being named head coach at Gonzaga in 2010 and led the school to a Washington D.C. Catholic Athletic Conference championship game appearance in 2011.
The US Under-19 national football team is playing this week in Austin in the International Bowl at the Kelly Reeves Athletic Complex against an IFA World Team consisting of players 19 and under from outside the United States.
Players and coaches arrived in Austin last Wednesday and have been practicing up a storm. The teams ran through two-a-day practices from Thursday through Sunday, giving them eight practices together to develop a working knowledge of Faircloth’s playbook.
“We’ve had eight practices so far and our goal has been to keep it simple,” Faircloth said. “As the kids understand what we’re doing, we add more stuff. All the kids are real smart. We haven’t had to make any adjustments. They’ve just figured it out.”
Part of the fun for Faircloth is working with the athletes and new coaches.
“Things have gone really well,” Faircloth said. “We’re fortunate to have great kids and great coaches to work with this week. It’s been very similar to last year. They’re the same type of kids as last time we were here. (Team USA) is always looking to find ways to do it better each year and they’ve done it.”
One of the players Faircloth has worked closely with this week is 6-foot-2, 205 pound quarterback Shane Cockerille. The senior went to Gilman School in Baltimore and has committed to the University of Maryland. PN-G fans will find his playing style similar to many of Faircloth’s Indian quarterbacks, as he’s a dual threat who threw for over 1,000 yards and rushed for over 1,000 yards last season.
“We’ve worked closely with Shane this week,” Faircloth said. “He’s been a great leader. He’s a dual threat and has really picked up what we’ve asked him to do all week.”
Finland’s Tuomas Heikkinen is the IFAF World Team’s head coach. Heikkinen was the World Team’s defensive backs coach in 2011 and 2012, and the five-time Coach of the Year in Finland was inducted into the Finnish American Football Federation Hall of Fame in 2008.
The U.S. Under-19 team defeated The World, 21-14, in February 2011 in Austin, as well as 17-0, in January 2010 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The U.S. also won the gold medal at the IFAF Under-19 World Championship in Canton, Ohio, during the summer of 2009.