BEAUMONT – New blood will roam the sidelines of the 3rd Annual Southeast Texas Ford Dealers All-Star Football Classic, which will be played on June 9 at 7 p.m. at Lamar’s Provost-Umphrey Stadium.
The West head coach will be Coldspring-Oakhurst boss Bryan Barbay, son of longtime Netwon head coach Curtis Barbay who coached in the first SETX All-Star Classic. The East will be directed by Vidor head coach Jeff Matthews. Both were voted in by the Southeast Texas Coaching Association.
“Those are some big shoes to fill,” Barbay said. “It’s hard to see yourself on the same level as (former West Orange-Stark head) coach Hooks and my dad, whenever they first coached in it. I still consider myself a young guy, and those guys are the legends of Southeast Texas. It’s an honor to do it, but I still don’t see myself on the same level as those guys.
Nine players from Mid- and South-County were selected for the contest, three each from Port Arthur Memorial, Nederland and Port Neches-Groves.
The Titans will be represented by guard Johnathan Ned and linebackers Joshua Pickett and Davonte McMillian. Nederland’s trio includes defensive tackle Corbin Carr, center Kanton Richard and safety Brett Butler. PN-G’s cast includes quarterback Travis Miller, receiver Jayce Nelson and defensive back Chase Romero.
The game was set up as a showcase for graduating seniors from the area and is also an opportunity for players who haven’t signed college scholarships to get one last opportunity to play for scouts.
This year’s selection process changed a bit from previous iterations. Each coach was able to comb through the area’s teams and select players from there. In the last couple of seasons, the selection process needed each team’s coach to nominate players for the event.
“We went through and picked through the players a while back, but we weren’t sure if everyone was going to be able to participate,” Barbay said. “I had coached in the first all-star game and we did it a little differently. We basically went through and chose from each school, through their all-district list and talking with area coaches.”
Still, there were complications. Some players left off the list like Memorial quarterback Terrence Singleton may not have been able to play because of restrictions from their future college.
The difficulty didn’t stop there, as each coach then had to decide on what kind of offense and defense to run. Coldspring and Vidor each run versions of the single-wing option attack, which is great for the regular season, but may not work as well in the more pass-friendly all-star format. That’s why the two quarterbacks appear to be PN-G’s Miller and Ozen quarterback David “Trey” Green for the West squad.
“We were trying to find us a quarterback,” Barbay said. “What we do at Coldspring is not what we’ll be able to do in this game. That means throwing the ball a lot more than we did, if you watched us or Vidor this season. We were looking for a quarterback who was a dual threat guy, but I think we got a pretty good one from Ozen. I’d never seen him play, but I heard good things about him.”
Vidor offensive coordinator Dwayne Dubois, who will serve in the same capacity for this game, said Matthews was very honored by his inclusion. Matthew was unable to attend the press conference announcing the teams Wednesday due to a scheduled medical procedure that was moved up to this week.
Dubois said that the East coaching staff had much the same process for selecting a team with one slight addition.
“In talking with coach Matthews, the one thing we wanted to do with our roster is pick one that can win,” Dubois said. “We wanted a team that could win this one, because that will be our goal coming in. We’re going to put the single wing in a drawer for this one, but we like the players we’ve got, especially with the running backs and receivers we have.”
Beaumont Ozen had the most players selected to the team with five. Both Beaumont West Brook and Coldspring had four players selected while eight total schools will have three representatives. PN-G will also be represented by assistant coach Mike Arnaud, who will be part of the East staff.
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