BEAUMONT — BEAUMONT — Two teams open the season from very different vantages at the Thomas Center Friday.
Beaumont Central has a fresh start with a new coach and is looking to get back into the playoffs after falling just short last season.
Port Arthur Memorial continued its successful run under Kenny Harrison last season, but fell in its final two games, ending the season with disappointment.
Add in the very close 23-20 victory at Memorial Stadium last season, where Central nearly upset the heavily favored Titans and this week’s matchup should be one of the best in the area.
“They’ve got a lot of confidence,” Memorial head coach Kenny Harrison said. “They’ve got a new coach and a little swagger about themselves. There’s a lot of excitement going on around there. You can tell by the way those kids played in the scrimmage. They’re very athletic.”
Central brought in former West Orange-Stark assistant Tobey Foreman to replace Andrew Washington as head coach. Foreman brings an intensity to the program and has tried to erase the struggles of last season by turning the page.
They’ll be doing that with a talented cast of juniors who will be playing in key roles. Harrison has been familiar with these players for quite some time now and has a great deal of respect for their athleticism.
“I got to see these kids plays as ninth graders,” Harrison said. “You could tell even back then how athletic they were back then. I can remember thinking back then that they’re going to have a pretty good football team in a few years. After we beat them that year, I don’t know if they lost another game. It was a close ball game and I knew that their time was coming.”