No dog in Shark fight, but why not?
Imagine our surprise.
Friday night, we ran across a score somewhere: Sabine Pass 45, Cypress Christian 0. The Sharks are turning things around, we thought.
The 1-9 season must have worn heavily on the returning Sharks. They want to make an impact in their district and give Jefferson County another winning team. Trey Harvey finally had them going in the right direction, we thought.
So, I contacted him to catch up (and would’ve done it if the score was reversed). Heaven knows I’m not trying to ignore anyone in my coverage area. It’s not my style.
“Congratulations on your win!” I emailed.
Then, I felt bad. The score was reversed.
Cypress Christian won 45-0. The Sharks are now 0-2. The week before, it was Cushing 35, Sabine Pass 14.
I don’t have a dog in any fight as a professional journalist, but struggles like Sabine Pass’s make me pull for the underdog. I have a heart for the small schools. I graduated from one. So did my mom. I began my career covering them.
That alone makes me keep an eye out on SP.
Harvey has had a really interesting offseason, to say the least. It hasn’t been limited to trying to turn around a program by any means.
He and his wife welcomed a child into the world.
“It’s a delicate balance,” he emailed me last month as we were finishing work on our annual football section. “Family is always first. I’ve always told my players that. Most of my players have been with me since middle school. They are all excited about the new Shark fan.”
That in mind, Harvey and the Sharks are already winning. The perception of the team is something they still want to change, the coach added.
“They have been talking about it all offseason,” he said. “It has driven them to work harder in the weight room and during offseason conditioning.”
I saw some of that conditioning for myself when I took an impromptu visit, but I missed Harvey.
Any coach will tell you, it’s still a long season with eight games remaining. Going into the season, the Sharks had plenty of expectations to with six offensive and eight defensive starters returning.
But, it’s 2A football. Many players have to play both ways and on special teams, as Harvey pointed out, and they’re trying to increase their numbers.
Naturally, I asked Harvey who was standing out in camp.
“Running back D’coven Turner has been working hard,” Harvey said. “Offensive line are all returning, which is a huge plus. They all know our system and have been working hard in the weight room.”
Harvey also reported progress in working on fewer drops and better routes as well as the quarterback studying the playbook to make the right reads.
Now, it’s just a matter of translating everything into wins on the field. Sabine Pass gets another shot tonight at Lutheran North in Houston.
Harvey has many new faces on his staff and he’s still working hard to set the Sharks’ sails straight. Everybody loves a winner, but it’s hard not to pull for any team that’s had it rough on the field.
Nobody will argue Harvey is winning off of it.
I.C. Murrell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews