Bulldog seniors ready to leave it all on the field; playoff hopes still alive

Published 12:42 am Thursday, November 3, 2022

NEDERLAND — Even with the Nederland Bulldogs still alive for a shot at the playoffs, the seniors will play their last game at Bulldog Stadium Friday.

The kickoff was moved up to 6 p.m. Those not able to make the game can watch for free on the Sheffield Productions YouTube page.

If the Bulldogs get into the playoffs, their seeding would force them to play on the road throughout.

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Seniors Landen Caywood and Jack Bieber grew up dreaming of wearing a Nederland jersey.

“As a kid, my family always came and watched Nederland,” Bieber said. “I loved watching them. To play on the field and be a part of that is something that means a lot to me and my family. It is going to be sad, but I am glad I had the experience.”

Caywood said the feeling hasn’t quite sunk in, yet.

“It will probably hit on Friday night after the game is over,” he said. “It is what you dream of as a kid. You dreamed of getting on that field and that is what we got to do.”

The Bulldogs are coming off an emotional loss to rival Port Neches-Groves. Once Bieber realized the team still had a shot to make the playoffs, he had a direct message for his team. Head Coach Monte Barrow asked Bieber to break down the huddle before leaving the locker room.

“The game is over. Let’s focus on Texas City,” Bieber said to his teammates. “That is how it is. That game was important for the playoffs, but I realized there was still a chance. We couldn’t care about last week.”

Both seniors said it would mean everything to extend their final season another game.

“At the start of the season, everyone was counting us out,” Bieber said. “I really want to make the playoffs to prove everyone wrong.”

To make the playoffs, Nederland will have to either beat Texas City by more than 14 points, or win and rely on Fort Bend Willowridge to beat a favored Santa Fe and force a three-way tie, which would cause a coin flip for fourth place.

“This week is about the seniors,” Barrow said. “The little brothers want to play for the big brothers and send them off right. They are going to help until this season is over, whenever that may be.”

Barrow said he is encouraging his seniors to take in every moment.

“It is a special thing,” Barrow said. “I’m sure they felt like they got cheated this year with the number of home games they had. It will be senior night and their last time to step on the field as a player. You want to have memories you can look back on and be proud of. They have done that every week and I expect it to be no different this Friday.”