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CHRIS MOORE — High school football season still feeling hurricane season’s impact

Southeast Texas high school football can’t catch a break as multiple teams have called another audible on a season that has already gone off script.

First, the coronavirus forced a delay of game for all UIL. Then, Hurricane Laura forced the football season out of the pocket.

Nederland football was sacked by a COVID-19 outbreak and now Hurricane Delta is showing a blitz.

Memorial and Port Neches-Groves announced their games against La Porte and Tomball, respectively, have been moved up to Thursday due to the potential for inclement weather Friday.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Nederland head coach Monte Barrow said there were no plans to move Saturday’s game against Jacksonville.

The Bulldogs finally opened their season against Lufkin last Friday after a COVD-19 outbreak among numerous players forced them to cancel their week 1 game against Huntsville.

Last week, Houston Austin canceled the game against Nederland, citing fear over the outbreak. Barrow and his staff were able to move quickly to plug the Panthers into the open spot.

The 2020 season will likely be a battle of attrition and ability to adapt.

The better teams at the end of the season might not be the ones who play the best or have the most scholarship commitments. It will likely be the teams that can overcome adversity and adapt to an unpredictable schedule.

Most high school football players are used to playing through adversity. PNG has battled through some tough first halves only to have games come down to the wire in the fourth quarter. Memorial has had to score late touchdowns in each of its first two games to clinch victory.

We are still very much in the midst of hurricane season, which doesn’t officially end until Nov. 30. Last week’s cold front brought a false sense of security to the region, and the fear of more potential storms became fleeing thoughts for many.

While many of us were wiping our brows at Hurricane Laura’s near miss in late August, the hurricane season has a second-half comeback. While it appears that the storm is forecasted to hit mid Louisiana, the impacts will likely be felt in Southeast Texas, although the extent is unclear.

This season will tests players’ and coaches’ resiliency, if nothing else. Those who can adjust will likely be more successful. These are the times that leaders, whether they are coaches or players, step up.

Coaches need to be able to be consistent for their players in uncertain, unprecedented times. If they are able to do that, leaders among the players will emerge and follow.

Just like in a hurricane, people look to sound structures for comfort and support. This weekend, we might find out more about who those coaches and players.


Chris Moore is sports editor for Port Arthur Newsmedia. He can be reached at chris.moore@panews.com.