FOOTBALL: Vincent present in Titans’ minds
Houston Madison (0-1) at Memorial (1-0)
Prep football; 7 p.m. Friday, Memorial Stadium; lsnsports.com
To Memorial senior safety Jacob Washington, Tuesday’s practice at Memorial Stadium went as if assistant coach Kary Vincent Sr. were present.
“We’re thinking that he’s here,” Washington said. “We’re practicing like he’s here, and we’re going to dedicate this game to him.”
The mood during practice did not seem somber, although it was two days earlier that Vincent was placed in an intensive care unit at a Dallas-Fort Worth area hospital. Vincent had suffered from a case of pneumonia while traveling to Arlington to see his son Kary Jr. and LSU play Miami at AT&T Stadium, Titans head coach Brian Morgan said.
Morgan did not have an update on Vincent Sr.’s condition but said Monday that the 48-year-old had pneumonia in July. Vincent Sr., who leads cornerbacks and special teams, coached during Memorial’s 48-20 win over Deer Park last Friday.
Morgan said the coaching staff talked openly with the team about Vincent before practice.
“Most of the team found out either Sunday or Monday, kind of through social media, like a lot of people did,” Morgan said. “So, you know, there were text messages when guys called or asked me or texted and asked me. I just gave them the information I knew. Today, when we had that vacant [class] period, it was my first time talking with the kids. We had a good talk about it. We just told them the situation that he’s in. We were very open and honest, make sure they know it’s a very serious situation, but that’s not going to stop us from preparing for our game this week with [Houston] Madison.”
Many of the Titans (1-0) have known Vincent since middle school and are very close to the former Thomas Jefferson wide receiver and track standout who was drafted out of Texas A&M by the New Orleans Saints in 1992. Vincent is in his 16th season of coaching, all in Port Arthur ISD.
“But I think they understand there’s nothing we can do to help Coach Vincent right now other than to keep him in our thoughts,” Morgan said. “We’re going to go about our business until we know something different.”
Business as usual was the scene of Tuesday’s practice, the Titans preparing and planning to win for a coach who’s “fighting for his life,” as Vincent’s son Kameron tweeted Monday.
“It’s gone pretty good for a Tuesday,” said Washington, who intercepted a pass against Deer Park. “It’s kind of windy out here. We didn’t have practice yesterday because of the rain, but it’s going pretty good.”
The business at hand is trying to defeat a Madison team (0-1) that hired another Port Arthur ISD grad, Lincoln grad Shawn Narcisse, as head coach just four weeks ago. Madison is coming off a 21-14 loss to Houston Westside.
Luckily for the Titans, they’re opening the season with a second straight home game.
“I asked them if we can play 10 home games,” Morgan said. “They told me no, so we’re very fortunate to play a couple of home games to start. Our kids take it very personal to win and have home field advantage.”
I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews