PRUETT COLUMN: High school football loses its biggest fan

Published 4:31 pm Saturday, November 21, 2015

Orangefield super fan Bennie Cotton, who arguably saw more Texas high school football teams play than anybody else, passed away unexpectedly last Sunday less than 48 hours after going to Baytown to watch Port Neches-Groves’ bi-district game against Dayton.
The last time former Port Arthur News sports editor Bob West wrote about Cotton in 2011, he had been in the stands for games involving 770 different Texas high schools. Cotton started fanning out across the state to watch schoolboy games in the 1960s and some years had seen as many as 50 different schools by the time the playoffs were over. Coaches all over state knew who Cotton was and many rolled out the red carpet when they learned he was headed their way. …
The Port Arthur News sports department had an abrupt end to high school football season this Friday. Nederland and Port Neches-Groves were both eliminated from the playoffs by two teams with strong rushing attacks.
Nederland faced what coach Larry Neumann called the best running back he has ever coached against in George Ranch’s Darius Anderson. Anderson piled up 224 yards and three touchdowns in the Longhorns’ 63-30 win.
Angleton and running back Billy Foster eliminated PN-G and coach Brandon Faircloth. Foster rushed for 312 yards and five touchdowns in the Wildcats’ 48-30 win. Both sports editor I.C. Murrell and I want to congratulate both these teams and the Port Arthur Memorial Titans on successful seasons. …
Speaking of the Titans, Friday was a great day for coach Kenny Harrison and his program.
Harrison learned his team would compete next year in Class 5A instead of Class 6A. This is huge for Harrison and the Titans. Harrison has a few naysayers around town after his teams have failed to make the playoffs the last two seasons. This should give Harrison new life around Memorial because the playing field is now tilted in the Titans’ favor.
Harrison and the Titans will be one of the district favorites in a 5A league next season, but there will be more pressure to win now more than ever. Let me say this, if the Titans were in 22-5A this past season, they would have made the playoffs and Kameron Martin would have been one of the top players in the district, if not the top. …
Lets make fun of the Dallas Cowboys for a few just to get Murrell’s blood boiling a little bit. Actually, all jokes aside, I am very eager to see how the 2-7 Cowboys do today in the return of Tony Romo.
The absence of Romo made it very apparent who the most important member on the Dallas roster is, and it is not Greg Hardy or Dez Bryant. The Cowboys lost all seven games without Romo, including last weekend’s loss to the lowly Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Romo went on record this week saying the Cowboys will win the rest of their games and get in the playoffs. That bold prediction can start to come true today at Miami. The toughest games on the schedule for the Cowboys are next week’s game at home against Carolina and a Dec. 13 matchup at Green Bay.

Gabriel Pruett can be reached at 721-2436 or On Twitter: @PANewsGabe.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

About Gabriel Pruett

Gabriel Pruett has worked with both the Port Arthur News and Orange Leader since 2000. A majority of the time has been spent covering all aspects of Southeast Texas high school sports. Pruett's claim to fame is...being able to write his own biographical information for this website.

email author More by Gabriel