, Port Arthur, Texas

August 27, 2013

Coleman talking points: PN-G switching to white helmets

David Coleman
The Port Arthur News

PORT ARTHUR — Some things to talk about while I wonder how 92 degrees can ever be considered “cool”...

1) PN-G moves to white helmets

Change is good.

After a 2-8 season, the Port Neches-Groves football team could use a little change, so the Indians are reaching into the wayback machine for a new look.

For the first time since 1995, the Indians will be wearing white helmets.

“Just change,” PN-G head coach Brandon Faircloth said. "We have pictures in our hallways of those teams who made the playoffs in those helmets. As I walked by one day, I was like, ‘I like white helmets.’ I wore white helmets in high school. The last school I was at (Odessa Permian) wore white helmets. I’ve always thought they looked real sharp.”

The Indians are waiting until Friday morning to unveil the new lids, which will have a dark purple PN-G logo on the side, three stripes on the top and the player's number on the back. The reveal won't be nearly as dramatic as the way Magnolia West debuted its new look this year (seriously, search YouTube for Magnolia West new uniforms. You will not be disappointed), but the new look should spark PN-G's new generation of players.

“It just excites the kids," Faircloth said. "Kids these days, they like change. They like new. Their life changes every day with technology. Anything we can do to help that is great.”

2) Nederland roster battles

Zero Week gets here quick, doesn’t it? For Nederland, that means all those position battles that have been raging during two-a-day camps are finally winding down. On Friday, the Bulldogs will take the field at Crosby with 11 starters on both sides of the ball. Who will some of those starters be?

At left, or “quick” tackle, will be sophomore Justin Carr, who beat out fellow sophomore Seth Parker for the starting job thanks to solid play in the two scrimmages.

At cornerback, junior Trey Richardson and sophomore Austin Krautz will be the starters with senior Shane Benoit rotating in during games.

Another secondary spot was also up for grabs. Senior Osmar Mendoza will start at safety next to Sage Seay and Colton Kimler.

Junior Leon Mayfield locked up his spot at the Sam, or strong, linebacker spot with a solid game against Dayton. That puts Brandon Dial back as the starting tight end.

On the defensive line, there are plenty of possibilities due to matchups. Senior De Shawn Washington and Caleb Malveaux will start at two of the spots on the line. Junior end Connor Hughes has also secured a starting spot heading into Zero Week with Nathan Tran playing either end or tackle and William Holman also playing inside at tackle in situations.

3) CSN Houston to air high school games

Want another reason to be upset your cable provider hasn't picked up CSN Houston yet? Well, the new station, co- owned by both the Astros and Rockets, will be airing 11 live high school football games on Thursday nights this season.

UIL restricts live broadcasts on Friday, but Thursdays are fair game under the rules. To that end, CSN Houston has put together an impressive lineup this season. Week Zero opens with Port Lavaca Calhoun at Corpus Christi Carroll, but there are plenty more marquee matchups with Southeast Texas ties.

For instance, in Week 4, CSNH will show Cibolo Steele taking on San Marcos. Steele, of course, knocked off Port Arthur Memorial in the state semifinals two years ago.

In Week 8, CSNH will show Porter going to Humble Summer Creek. The Bulldogs are a top ten team in Class 4A, and could be the best team in Region III by that point.

The broadcast schedule wraps up in Beaumont for the Week 10 matchup between Baytown Sterling and West Brook. Hey, they can't all be great games, right?

October will mark a year since CSN Houston came online, with only 40 percent or Houston receiving the channel currently and most of the major cable providers refusing to reach an agreement with the regional sports network. It's been a frustrating, drawn-out negotiation that doesn't figure to end soon.

Which is a shame, since the channel continues to churn out quality product.

The Port Arthur News Friday Night Experience, by the way, kicks with Memorial facing Central.

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