PRUETT COLUMN: Three words for three teams

Published 5:18 pm Saturday, July 30, 2016

Football practice starts Monday.

Can you believe it?

The Port Neches-Groves Indians hit the field first in Mid- and South County with a 6 p.m. practice time Monday.

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The Nederland Bulldogs start at 8 a.m. and Port Arthur Memorial’s Titans take the field at 8:20 a.m.

Now if you are a regular reader of this Sunday column, you know I am a huge fan of Colin Cowherd. I listen to him on a daily basis.

Cowherd had a great idea on Thursday by describing each NFL team in three words.

If you are curious, Houston had the word “boring” in its description and Dallas was summed up with “Tony Romo’s health”.

I figured it would be a great way to kick off the high school season. I will now describe the upcoming season for each of our three teams in three words.

Here goes nothing:


Memorial: Play with fire

The Titans were pushed around the last couple of years in District 21-6A by teams like Deer Park, La Porte and North Shore.

Memorial had and still has the talent and coaching to be a very good football team. The drop down to Class 5A should even the playing field a bit for coach Kenny Harrison.

What the Titans need to do is get some of that swagger back. The Titans do not start District 22-5A play until Sept. 16 at home against Central.

Memorial needs to come out swinging against the Jaguars and then against Ozen the next week in Beaumont before facing Nederland on Sept. 30.

The Titans could really use pushing the Jags and Panthers around in those first two district games and gaining some confidence.

Memorial could also use staying healthy this season. The Titans had some key injuries the past two years.

If the Titans get rolling early and have a better feel about themselves than they have had over the last couple of years, a district title is well within Memorial’s reach.


Nederland: Stay the same

Why change what has been working for coach Larry Neumann?

The longest-tenured coach in Southeast Texas continues to win games and district titles. Nederland has won at least a share of five straight league championships and has made the playoffs every year since 2008.

Neumann changes his schemes around, but he never changes his philosophy and that is to be ready by the time district starts. The man will tinker with his depth chart more than almost anyone, and he and his staff are perfect at putting players in the right spots.

This year he will do it again after losing both quarterback Mitchell LeBaron and running back Austin Krautz.

Krautz will be the toughest man to replace for the Bulldogs. He was a threat to score from anywhere on the field.

Neumann will find the right guy to plug in Krautz’s place, but fans might not know exactly who that is until Nederland plays Livingston at Bulldog Stadium on Sept. 9 to start 22-5A play.


PNG: Must replace Morse

There is no bigger loss in the entire District 22-5A ranks than Adam Morse’s graduation from PNG.

Morse graduated as a two-year starting quarterback for coach Brandon Faircloth and led the Indians to a share of the district title last year. Morse threw for 2,748 yards and 36 touchdowns as a senior.

Sophomore Roschon Johnson appears to be the next in line for the Indians under center with junior Austin Bost also in the running.

The difference between this year and the last several for PNG, like for the rest of 22-5A, is the fact this district is now a nine-team league. This gives the Indians only two non-district games to get the new signal caller ready for Sept. 9’s league opener at Lumberton.

PNG lost returning running back Jace Runnels and linebacker Parker Shults to injuries over the summer, so the growth of a quarterback is huge at The Reservation.


  • Gabriel Pruett: 721-2436. Twitter: @PaNewsGabe


    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.

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