• 66°

Mosley established leader for ‘Dogs

NEDERLAND — These have been Micah Mosley’s best of times (sophomore season) and worst of times (junior season) at Nederland High School.

Now those two impostors need to vanish and permit Micah to enjoy the present times more than ever. They may include the act of throwing an occasional left-handed pass as a senior… or maybe even executing a surprise roll-punt, in memory of former Bulldogs standout Ryan Butler.

More likely, the senior year for Nederland’s tailback will contain receptions of Alex Moshier’s passes, handoffs from Moshier and more handoffs.

For Nederland to return to district title contention, Mosley needs to deliver a big year behind one of the more proven offensive lines in recent NHS annals.

One of the more impressive players to ever enter coach Larry Neumann’s football program, Mosley has not disappointed one bit in attaining high expectations especially when he’s experienced a regular, hurricane-free, injury-free season.

Free from significant injuries and hurricanes as a sophomore, Mosley played in all 12 games, rushed for 1,349 yards and 17 touchdowns while earning a spot on The Port Arthur News Super Team.

A broken jaw in last year’s two-a-days preceded Hurricane Rita and Mosley rushed for 731 yards and seven TDs in seven games. Mosley missed the first three due to the jaw recuperation. The hurricane ripped into the 2005 season one week after his return against Friendswood.

“It was just a messed-up season with the hurricane for everybody and mine was a little more messed up with the broken jaw,” he recalled Tuesday. “I definitely had high expectations for myself that I wasn’t able to fulfill. But I think a lot of people were not going to be able to fulfill their goals after that hurricane. I don’t think it was only my goals, but definitely a lot of others.”

To his credit and mental toughness, Micah played on and Nederland carried onits winning tradition through the storm… through a ninth straight 4A bidistrict round victory… through a hard-earned win over arch-rival Port Neches-Groves… and even 10 carries for 54 yards amounts to a decent performance against a huge playoff opponent loaded with college prospects named Kilgore.

Mosley adapted to his circumstances by being fitted for a longer face mask and a double-sided mouthpiece. The bottom teeth had to be protected, of course. Yet Micah never felt that he became a more tentative runner as a result of his broken jaw.

C.E. King probably didn’t think Micah ran tentatively with 20 carries for 181 yards and a touchdown. PN-G didn’t either, since Mosley treated the Indians to 22 carries for 121 yards.

“I could feel it (the broken jaw) every time I got hit but toward the end of the season, I didn’t notice it,” he said. “I don’t think it affected how I played.”

Knowing Micah, he will be quite wired up on Sept. 1 when the Nederlanders play the first Class 4A game ever at Reliant Stadium against La Marque in the season opener at 5 p.m.

Players such as Ryan Butler and Ron Mohica will be difficult for the 2006 Bulldogs to replace, yet Nederland returns eight offensive and four defensive starters plus an enormous carryover from a 4-2 junior varsity team. When it comes to leadership, Mosley understands much falls on his shoulders.

“Every year you’re going to have some big shoes to fill,” he said. “You’re going to lose good players from that class that were seniors, but every year we’re going to reload and have somebody fill this position and fill that position.

“I think we’re going to be just as good as any year you want to think of.”

Neumann certainly feels secure in the leadership level which Mosley brings to his fellow Bulldogs.

“Micah is a young man with great character,” Neumann said. “He’s had some hard luck in this program. He broke his leg in his freshman year but he should be a strong leader for us.”

THURSDAY: Port Neches-Groves



BULLDOG BITES

Starting QB Alex Moshier leaves this morning to compete in the Babe Ruth World Series in Newark, Ohio with the Mid-County Babe Ruth 17-18 all-star team. Moshier has been playing catcher and may have to play shortstop during Mid-County’s upcoming tournament…. Moshier definitely should be able to practice and participate all week during the week of the Jasper scrimmage (Aug. 25) but his availability for the Silsbee scrimmage (Aug. 19) is dependent upon the duration of the Mid-County Babe Ruth team’s tournament participation….Other NHS players to miss work due to Babe Ruth tournaments include junior defensive back-backup QB Ryan Sampere, senior WR Josh Cabra and junior WR Adam Broussard, as well as Reagan Stanley…. Senior Micah Mosley will take the snaps in Moshier and Sampere’s absence…. The retirement of Phil Pate in the spring and resignation of Kevin Simon in the winter have created two new spots in Nederland’s varsity coaching staff. Kansas native Jae Stoker has been inserted into Pate’s offensive line coaching spot beside veteran offensive line tutor David Crommett. Defensive line coach Terry Pool has switched to working with the defensive backs while Pearland native Greg Bonvillian has shouldered the new defensive line coaching responsibilities. Stoker and Bonvillian have previous SE Texas background on the resumes, working at Buna and Hardin-Jefferson respectively…. Crommett is coaching with crutches in his arms after sustaining a leg fracture in April. Doctors had to insert a steel plate into his tibia…. Two seniors and a sophomore are engaged in the most interesting pre-season position battle, the starting right offensive tackle spot which is surrounded by five other returning offensive line starters. Those three candidates are seniors Ari Paskell (6-1, 282) and Colby Miller (6-1, 220) and sophomore Stefan Huber (6-4, 220)….