Games in Southeast Texas do not get any bigger than this Friday’s meeting between Nederland and Port Neches-Groves.
This will be the 90th game between the two schools and it will be a first for Nederland senior Caleb Malveaux.
The three-year starter has never played the Indians at Bulldog Stadium.
“I am really glad this one is at home,” Malveaux said. “Playing the Indians at home will be very special.”
Malveaux and his senior teammates have never lost to the Indians. In fact, the Bulldog seniors have never lost a District 20-4A game as Nederland is riding a 20-game district winning streak.
The last time PN-G defeated Nederland was in 2009, 23-7.
“I don’t ever want to lose in district,” Malveaux said. “I want to be a part of the class who can say that. I definitely do not want our first district loss to come against the Indians. It doesn’t even matter if it is part of Spirit Week, you will never see me wear the color purple. I will never wear purple.”
The PN-G/Nederland rivalry dates back to 1925. PN-G holds a 48-34-7 lead in the series. It is a match-up that pits neighbor versus neighbor and spouse versus spouse.
Malveaux only knows one PN-G Indians player, nose tackle Chris Mangini. He knows Mangini through powerlifting so there has not been a chance to text any Indians players with trash talking.
“We have a lot of respect for those guys and their program,” Malveaux said. “Both sides want to win the game but after it is over we are all cool with each other. It is a very hyped up game. I don’t think the rivalry can get any bigger.”
Big is exactly how Nederland Coach Larry Neumann can describe the style of play he has seen out of his 296-pound offensive/defensive lineman.
“What makes him special is he has an unbelievable motor,” Neumann said. “Caleb is not done until the whistle blows.”
Twice over the last two weeks the whistle has blown with Malveaux standing in the endzone with the football in his hands. Neumann has called running plays for Malveaux against both Livingston and Little Cypress-Mauriceville.
Malveaux scored against both opponents.
“If we told him to practice to be our punt return guy he would be out there right now,” Neumann said. “He made a cut against the Bears last week that made it look like he has been in the backfield his whole life. He scored from six yards out and is near 300 pounds. That shows what a great athlete Caleb is. Now I hope he doesn’t plan on seeing 15 to 20 carries against the Indians this week but he has proven to be a weapon for our team.”
Malveaux, though, did say he would not mind Neumann calling his number all night if it meant the Bulldogs would come out the winners.
“It has felt great scoring in two straight games,” Malveaux said.
So where does Malveaux fit in the offensive game plan this week?
“I think Coach should design plays for me 20 times this week,” Malveaux said laughing. “It doesn’t matter to me as long as we keep winning games. That is the most important part of this season. I am pumped with how well we have been playing.”
Neumann knows he has a special player on his hands in Malveaux. Malveaux teams up with DeShawn Washington to give the Bulldogs a formidable defensive front.
“Both of those guys’ styles are rubbing off on the rest of our defense,” Neumann said. “Caleb is the point of that spear. He has become a pillar of our program and every week the guy is nominated to be one of our captains. That shows the quality of the person he is as a young man. We are lucky to have Caleb on our team.”
Bulldog Bites: Caleb Malveaux is the son of Eric and Renee Malveaux...Caleb hopes to attend college and play football...He has two offers from college teams, Lamar University and Incarnate Word...Malveaux has hopes to major in engineering...Malveaux claims to still be a Houston Texans and J.J. Watts fan.