For Bridge City, future is now

Published 10:54 pm Wednesday, September 9, 2015

BRIDGE CITY — When Dwayne DuBois returned to alma mater Bridge City, he heard plenty of talk about next year, as in how good his Cardinals would be then.

After two wins over state-ranked teams to start the season, next year can wait. The Cardinals are 2-0, already matching their win total the past two years.

“When you come in a new place, I don’t think it’s fair to the seniors to tell them, ‘I’m going to write this year off. We’re trying to win now,’” said DuBois, who actually coached at Bridge City in the late 1990s.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I don’t care if you’re in a first year or fifth or 10th year in a system, you want to win. Yeah, we want to be better next year, but our goal is to win a district championship and make the playoffs, just like those guys who’ve been in the system for five or 10 years.”

Part of the history and tradition that Bridge City has within its football program is one reason DuBois cited for coming home. The 2013 Southeast Texas Coaches Association Coach of the Year went 19-7 and coached in the third round of the playoffs the past two years at Hardin-Jefferson.

Another reason? Well, Bridge City is just home. He and his wife graduated from high school there.

Now, their son Camden gets to be the quarterback here.

“Maybe there’s a perception out there that Bridge City is low on talent,” DuBois said. “There are talented kids here, kids who can run and big, strong athletic kids. There’s always been a lot of honor and pride in Bridge City. That’s one of the reasons I came back.”

So far, the move is paying off.

Class 4A Bridge City took a 24-21 win at 3A sixth-ranked Kirbyville in the opener and began the home slate last Friday by shocking 3A fourth-ranked Newton 18-13.

The Cardinals have done it with a balanced running attack out of the Slot-I formation, a change from the Spread offense past coach Cris Stump employed. They’ve enjoyed two different leading rushers, each going for 100 or more yards in a game.

Junior tailback Patrick Morris rushed for 125 of Bridge City’s 287 ground yards at Kirbyville. Junior fullback Cayce Draper had 139 yards and two touchdowns against Newton.

With Camden DuBois at quarterback and Colt Poole at halfback, the Cardinals are just playing an old-school type of offense, not necessarily employing a running back-by-committee approach, Dwayne DuBois said. But that approach could take shape as the season goes on and he tries to keep two-way players fresh.

Defensively, the coach added, the Cardinals are playing at a high level under coordinator Darin Fletcher. Junior defensive back Zach Honeycutt returned an interception 100 yards for a TD at Kirbyville.

BC is experienced at linebacker with seniors Derick Dearing and Kade Wheat and classmate David Sourdellia leading the defensive line as a tackle. Senior Riley Harris and sophomore Justyn Romero have played strong games in the secondary.

Now, the Cardinals will try to build on a winning streak when 5A Lumberton (1-0) visits Friday. The Raiders were off last week after edging Hamshire-Fannett 28-27 on the road.

“[First-year head coach Chris Babin is] bringing a new attitude and new culture to Lumberton,” DuBois said. “They’re developing a tough, hard-nosed gritty attitude in football. They’re a much-improved ballclub.”

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

email author More by I.C.