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New opponent Kelly Catholic to cap Sharks’ season

KELLY CATHOLIC (7-2) AT SABINE PASS (1-5)

PREP FOOTBALL; 7 P.M. FRIDAY; SHARK STADIUM

 

“It’s been a trying season,” Sabine Pass head football coach Jason Thibodeaux said.

The Sharks’ football program came back this year after canceling the 2018 season. Injuries had left too few players to continue. The school didn’t rejoin UIL competition for football this year though, leaving Thibodeaux to craft an entirely non-district season.

This left several holes in the Sharks’ schedule, and cancellations created more holes. Their previous game was on Oct. 18 against Legacy Christian Academy, a 41-28 loss for the Sharks, and it’s been three weeks since Sabine Pass has taken the field against another team.

The Sharks will get one last hurrah for homecoming week this week as they host Kelly Catholic at 7 p.m. Friday for the last game of the season. Galveston O’Connell, which had been scheduled to play the Sharks, canceled its football season and put Thibodeaux in a much too familiar bind.

“I didn’t want to have to tell these seniors like I did last year: ‘You’ve played your last game. Thank you for your hard work and dedication to the program,’” he said. “I needed to find a game for these seniors to at least finish their season.”

The Sharks have been knocking off the rust and getting back into the swing of things this week, though Thibodeaux was hoping his team might have had more experience toward the end of their season. Sabine Pass has gone 1-5 this year, and despite following a season that ended prematurely, he had also hoped for more success.

“Looking back after being out a whole year, that’s really a whole year of not learning the X’s and O’s of football,” he said. “It’s kind of like taking a home economics class and next year jumping to a math class. You’re going to be a little behind. And having games canceled didn’t really help either this season as far as getting on the field and playing instead of practice and learning.”

That’s going to change next year. Sabine Pass is signing back up for placement in a UIL district in Class 2A Division II. Thibodeaux expects to get six or seven guaranteed games, along with some preseason games he’s already scheduled.

Three promising juniors and freshmen are also expected to return next year. Juniors Grayson Johnson, Ahmad Lorthridge and Jeremy Fontenette would help lead the team while freshmen Rylan Johnson (Grayson’s brother) and Alex Juarez are showing quite a bit of promise, Thibodeaux says.

“Our juniors will come back and that’s the heart of our team,” he said. “We’ve had some freshmen that have stepped up, and I’ve got two eighth graders that are really looking forward to joining the squad next year.”

Sabine Pass’s football program is promising to be more successful next year, Thibodeaux believes.

“I’m excited,” he said. “I’m ready to get back into it because I know we’re going to be guaranteed games. Trying to scramble and find games this past year was really a nightmare.”