PRUETT COLUMN: Faircloth’s resume starting to speak for itself

Published 7:51 pm Saturday, November 19, 2016

Brandon Faircloth is just one of those coaches, and sometimes that can be a stressful thing for him.

What do I mean by that? No matter what he does, a group of his team’s fans are going to find a way to gripe. Heck, they even put for sale signs in the man’s front yard last year in an act of pure stupidity.

It is time for every Port Neches-Groves fan to wake up and realize how good of a coach Faircloth has been in his time at PNG High School. It started in 2009.

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Well, 2016 might be the best head coaching performance of Faircloth’s career.

This season started with four primetime starters not being on the PNG roster.

Offensive lineman Jim Hauck moved, running back Jace Runnels was lost for the year and so was defensive lineman Parker Shults, and defensive back Nathan Vidrine decided to only focus on baseball.

These were not four average players. These four guys were great players for the Indians and have been missed all year, no matter how well PNG has.

Faircloth started the season off with two huge decisions that have shaped the Indians’ season. The first one, I must say I even was hoping deep down the guy was right on, but I wasn’t quite sure how it would end. I knew Logan LeJeune was a beast but I had grown used to seeing him in the secondary.

Faircloth and his staff decided LeJeune was needed at linebacker, and the rest is history. LeJeune has been one of the top defensive players in all of Southeast Texas this year.

Faircloth’s second decision was naming sophomore Roschon Johnson as the team’s starting quarterback.

Now hindsight is 20/20, so it may look right now like it was an easy decision to make. Johnson has rushed for over 200 in each of his last three games.

It was not an easy call. Faircloth also really liked Austin Bost at quarterback, and Bost has proven why in the times he has gone under center this year.

Faircloth needed Bost in the secondary, so the decision was made. It has worked out on both ends.

Now, the Indians are in the playoffs and the injury bug will not stop biting.

Preston Hughes and Keynel McZeal were lost in the Nederland game. Bost was injured last week against Barbers Hill. None of them played Friday except Bost, who was the holder on extra points.

There went another three star players out.

Faircloth calmly went about his business, plugged in freshman Gavin Deslatte as a running back and beat Fort Bend Willowridge 28-14 Friday. Deslatte ran for 108 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown in his varsity debut.

PNG this season has scored 451 points, third most in school history. The Indians scored 492 in 1999 and 485 in 2010.

Faircloth’s 61 career wins at PNG ranks him No. 4 among the all-time coaches in school history. Matt Burnett is first at 96, Doug Ethridge places second at 88 and Gene McCollum is third with 68 victories.

His overall record is 62-30, meaning his average record is either 8-2 or 7-3, whether you care to round up or not.

Still with all this, Faircloth’s detractors will point to one thing and one thing only. It’s his 2-6 record against the Bulldogs.

Forget the fact the Indians have only missed the playoffs once in Faircloth’s eight seasons.

Detractors don’t remember the three district titles, how he was named Texas Football Magazine’s Class 4A Coach of the Year in 2009 and they certainly do not recall the 24 times an Indians player has been named to the all-state squads since 2009. In the eight years before Faircloth’s arrival, only seven players were given the honor.

Call me a homer. Call me a suck up. Call me whatever you want.

It was time to set some misinformation right.

PNG, Nederland and Port Arthur Memorial are all blessed with good coaches. Before you call for a coach’s job, remember the grass is not always greener.

If you can’t get behind a coach who has the resume like Brandon Faircloth, then maybe it is you that needs the “for sale” sign in your yard.

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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