, Port Arthur, Texas

October 7, 2013

White remains calm under pressure

Gabriel Pruett
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — Nederland quarterback Preston White knows there is pressure being the signal caller for the Bulldogs.

    There is pressure when a linebacker comes roaring through the offensive line. Pressure again shows up when the game is on the line and the Bulldogs need White to be at his best. Then, there is simply pressure being the quarterback at Nederland.

    White welcomes the pressure and is confident he and his teammates are on a fast track to achieving their goals this season.

    “There is a bunch of pressure to keep the winning tradition going here at Nederland,” White said. “It is a good pressure to have on your shoulders. I like the pressure of being the leader of this team.”

    Winning is something White and the Bulldogs have done a lot of this year over the last few seasons. Nederland is currently riding a 19-game District 20-4A winning streak. White did not blink when it came time to decide what his goal was for the Bulldogs this year.

    “We want to go undefeated through district and win another championship,” White said. “That is the first goal for this team.”

    Nederland Coach Larry Neumann and his staff have watched White grow up, both on and off the field.

The first-year starter played behind Carson Raines who was the quarterback to bring the Bulldogs to the state semi-finals last year.

    Quarterbacks coach Monte Barrow recalled one time last year during a junior varsity game when he realized White would be the guy to replace Raines.

    “It was a Thursday night and White took a hit,” Barrow said. “He comes running to the sideline and his chin was completely split open. We had already signaled to the second string guy to get ready to go in but Preston wouldn’t let that happen. He said he wanted to go back out there and that is what he did. That night spoke a lot about his toughness both mentally and physically.”

    Physically, White does not look like a typical quarterback. He stands six-feet tall and only weighs 145 pounds. Neumann called his quarterback a lean young man who can still be an effective runner when the time is called.

    “Preston might not always be the guy whose name is blinking in neon lights after a game but he has done a lot of things this year to make us a successful football team,” Neumann said. “There are times when we have told him he needs to head out of bounds instead of taking the big collision head on. He has done that very well but there are other times he has picked up some big yards with his feet. I have been more than proud of Preston’s play this year.”

    White this past week against Livingston rushed for 41 yards on five carries. On the season, he is 49-for-70 passing for 790 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions.

    “You can tell by looking at him he is not a bulky quarterback,” Barrow said. “It can be a surprise how quick he can get the ball to a receiver. I bet there has been a defensive back who thought they had a shot at the ball only to find out how fast Preston can get the ball out of his hand and to a receiver.”

    There are a few spots in White’s game Neumann said the quarterback does need to improve in. While White is an accurate quarterback, there are times a deep ball has fallen to the field.

    “It is a positive factor he is pretty accurate with the football,” Neumann said. “I am very confident Preston can work out the kinks on a few of his deep passes. He will be the first to tell you there are throws throughout this season he wished he could have back.

    “He has been great in the mid-to-short range passes. The fact is no quarterback makes every throw. I haven’t seen Preston rattled in any situation. I am sure his motor is running pretty high at times but he doesn’t let it show.”

    White has always dreamed of being the starting quarterback for the Bulldogs. He remembers going to games as a little kid and shaking hands with the Nederland players.

    “That was a big deal as a kid,” White said. “Those little kids look up to us. I always try to remember to see the kids after the games and shake their hands.”

    Bulldog Bites: Preston White is the son of Karen and Anthony White...Preston would like to attend Texas A&M after graduating from Nederland. In a twist, though, Preston said his favorite college team is the Florida Gators and that was a Tim Tebow fan...One fallen quarterback White is not a fan of is Houston Texans starter Matt Schaub. Preston is a Texans fan and likes J.J. Watt the most...Homecoming events kick off at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday with the Pots and Pans Parade followed by the Bonfire at 8 p.m...The homecoming parade will begin at 4 p.m. Friday with the queen coronation starting at 7 p.m.