Tribe shows its uncommon spirit at practice
Published 10:11 am Friday, November 25, 2016
PORT NECHES — Port Neches-Groves sports fans and community-minded folks alike had the chance to come out Thanksgiving morning and support their high school football team during their special morning practice.
“I’m out here to show my support,” Bevil Deckert said. “I love the PNG High School. Its fan base is second to none.”
While Deckert may not strictly be a PNG alumnus, he expressed his support like any other Indian at the stadium that day. Deckert also has family members that are PNG alumni.
“All my kids and my wife went to school here,” Deckert said. “I’ve been here (in Port Neches) for 30 years.”
As for the act of coming down to the stadium to support the PNG football team on Thanksgiving, no one seemed to think it out of the ordinary.
“We are like a family here,” Troy Cropper said.
Deckert nodded and said, “We have our family here. This is just what we do.”
Deckert also spoke well of the coaches leading the team.
“We have lots of good leadership. We have great coaches.”
The sense of community was thick as fellow Indian fans expressed their support.
“I come out and watch them practice. You got to come and support them,” Ted Stansbury, whose great nephew plays for PNG, said. “I’ve got my family here.”
“Port Neches is a big community. It’s just like family,” Stansbury said.
“The kids here grew up with each other and played baseball, football and other sports. They’re family, too.”
Stansbury commented on the PNG school spirit as shown through game attendance.
“At games, you look at the opposing side and you might see they have a lot of people. But with PNG, you look at our side and you won’t believe how many came to support.”
Again, the theme of support from family and friends appeared evident on the sidelines.
“I’ve just come to support the kids,” Chris Peveto said. “I have three kids in elementary. I’ve got one son who’s nine, so he plays football and baseball.”
Peveto remarked on the tradition of PNG football.
“PNG has a big tradition of football. So any time they’re in the playoffs, the whole community comes to support them.”
As for the apparent meaning of support, Peveto said, it could mean something special for the football players.
“As an athlete myself, when I was playing, if I saw the support coming from the stands, it made it special,” Peveto said. “I think it’s the same thing here. It probably makes them want to play harder.”
Peveto, who moved to Port Neches about 16 years ago, commented on the intensity of the Port Neches-Groves football spirit.
“Football here is unbelievable. This is not your typical kind of high school.”
For others such as Kyle Adams, whose stepson plays on the team, the early morning practice seemed to be a way to combine both support and tradition in the community.
“I want to follow the pride and tradition of Port Neches,” Adams said, who also has a history of coaching youth football for 5 years.
When asked about the apparent oddity of playing on a Thanksgiving morning, Adams smiled and shook his head.
“Everyone was supportive. In fact, my wife made sure that I was up and ready to leave.”
“I know it does them well,” Adams said. “They’re making sure that we’re here.”