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City Council celebrates Titans football for success, discipline & new standard

Port Arthur elected leaders took turns lauding the success and character of the city’s favorite football sons — the Memorial Titans.

During this week’s city council meeting, numerous board members highlighted the young men’s accomplishments, which started with recognition of a perfect 2020 regular season record and undefeated run through District 9-5A-I.

The Titans might have lost in the playoffs to Fort Bend Hightower Dec. 11, but their impact is still being felt in Port Arthur.

Councilman Cal Jones, a self-proclaimed football fanatic, singled out coach Brian Morgan for leading a big change in discipline that goes a long way in players and is appreciated by the community.

“Talent won’t get it by itself,” Jones said. “Talent plus coaching will get the job done. It takes both. I was upset for awhile, but I’m getting over it now. Before you got there, Brian, we would always have problems at the end in the last quarter. That hurts me personally as a citizen. I take it personal. We always found a way to give up (a lead) in the last minute of a game. It was a hard pill to swallow for a while.”

By finishing 9-0 in the regular season, the Titans are the first Port Arthur high school football team to finish with an unblemished regular season since the Stephen F. Austin team of 1993.

Morgan said it was a crazy year, dealing with COVID-19 while trying to mold a safe and successful squad.

Memorial running back Branden Chaney offers a fist bump to the back judge after scoring a touchdown against Hightower in the second quarter in Port Arthur. (I.C. Murrell/The News) 12-11-20

He praised the team’s strong senior class full of great leaders, noting seniors Branden Chaney and Tre’Vonte Caines were with him on the call as they dialed in remotely to the city council meeting.

“They did a great job,” Morgan said. “Our whole senior class kind of set a new standard for the football program, and we just appreciate all of your support. We’ll be sure to pass it on to them, as well.”

The Rev. Donald Ray Frank Sr., city councilman, encouraged Chaney and Caines to continue working for future success by using the same effort they displayed during the football season.

“You are not only a great football team but a great group of young men,” Frank said. “The expectations that we placed on you have been well rewarded. Thank you so much for a great year with plenty of excitement.”

Mayor Pro Tem Charlotte Moses said the whole community was proud of the Titans and is looking forward to a great season in 2021 but would continue to praise this season’s team for “everything you have done.”

Memorial head coach Brian Morgan, center, talks with assistant coach Darrell Granger, right, and an official before a final spring practice in 2019. (I.C. Murrell/The News) 5-15-19

Councilman Kenneth Marks said the Class of 2021 seniors set an example for future players and coaches that come through Port Arthur.

“You all did an excellent job this year in putting together an undefeated season,” Marks said. “What I liked from what I saw was you all were a lot more disciplined than the teams we had in the past. We’ve always had talent but somehow we would always let things get away from us. I really appreciate the effort and leadership that you all have shown as coaches and senior players. Again, congratulations, and I praise you highly.”

The praise for the football team was part of a proclamation read this week by Port Arthur City Council members in celebration of the Memorial Titans.