FOOTBALL: DeShazo tabbed Bridge City coach, AD

By Van Wade

The Orange Leader

BRIDGE CITY – After being so productive for 16 years as an assistant coach, Allen DeShazo will get to “run the ship”.

The Bridge City Cardinals ship.

DeShazo was named the new Athletic Director and head football coach for the Cardinals at the BCISD School Board meeting Thursday night.

DeShazo replaces Dwayne DuBois, who left late in the spring to go back to Hardin-Jefferson in Sour Lake.

DeShazo, a 1998 Vidor High School graduate, served as an assistant coach at Hardin-Jefferson from 2002-05 and 2013-15. He was at Little Cypress-Mauriceville from 2008-2013 and has had two stints at Bridge City from 2005-08 and 2015 to now.

“It’s a dream come true for my family and myself because we love Bridge City and the community,” said DeShazo. “What’s great, is that we don’t have to change a lot of things. We have a hard-working group of kids here. The kids have responded with all of the workouts we’ve had of late and they’re eager to get going. We have to be stronger and mentally tougher than who we play and they realize that and they’ve been getting after it.”

DeShazo was the Cardinals’ defensive coordinator last season and offensive coordinator the previous two while also serving as head boys track coach.

DuBois notched a 17-14 record at his alma mater the last three seasons. DuBois was a 1986 graduate of Bridge City High School.

He helped guide the Cardinals to back-to-back playoff appearances in both 2015 and 2016.

The Cardinals captured the District 10-4A Division I title in 2016 and won two playoff games with wins over Center (35-28), Bay City (39-19) before falling to Stafford in the 4A Region III semifinals. The playoff win over Center was the Cardinals’ first playoff victory dating back to 2005. The Cardinals slipped to 1-8 last season, battling a lot of injuries in the process.

“We want to create a program with some consistency and to be a part of the staff on those teams was awesome,” said DeShazo. “I credit Coach DuBois for doing a great job here and I learned so much from him. He has a tremendous relationship with kids and I want to do the same.”

DeShazo certainly has learned from some outstanding coaches.

“Coach Mathews at Vidor has been a big influence,” said DeShazo. “I was blessed to work with Coach (Clade) Tarver here and of course Coach (Randy) Crouch at LCM, along with Coach DuBois, so I’ve been able to pick some good minds.”

DeShazo and his wife Jamie, the head girls track coach at Bridge City, have two awesome little boys in Jaxon and Jadon.

“To have Jamie here in the same district has been amazing and she does a super job, especially with the girls track program,” said DeShazo. “Our two little ones love it here. We just love the family atmosphere. This just feels like home.”

DeShazo is eagerly ready to “tackle” the AD duties as well.

“The best thing about that is the success all of our programs are having already with outstanding coaches,” said DeShazo. “That’s what is so great, we have so many excellent head coaches in place already. They all know that I will always be available when they have questions about something, I’ll always have an open-door policy. I know I have to find a head boys track coach now though.”

The Cardinals are still going to utilize the Slot-T, an offense that made the Cardinals successful in 2015 and 2016 along with what H-J ran during DeShazo’s stint in Sour Lake.

“We’re not planning on changing our style much, just a few tweaks here and there,” said DeShazo. “The kids just have to continue to put forth the work to get stronger and faster. That style of offense is built on being strong, especially up front and that’s what we’re looking for.”

With the new district alignment, Silsbee, Cleveland and Navasota are out of the loop and Lumberton, Livingston and Splendora have entered the mix.

“It’s going to be a tough district for sure and everyone is about equal across the board as far as talent goes,” said DeShazo. “It’s going to come down to who is more stronger, in better shape and has the most mental toughness and we definitely want to be right in the mix, battling it out for a district title.”

The Cardinals will certainly have a tough non-district slate to get them ready for district play as they will take on the likes of Diboll, Anahuac, West Orange-Stark, Jasper and Silsbee.

DuBois will return to Sour Lake again after he had successful run as head coach in 2013 and 2014.

The Hawks compiled a 19-7 mark in two seasons, going 8-5 in 2013 and 11-2 in 2014, advancing to the third round of the postseason each time.

DuBois is taking over for Jared Sloan, who accepted a job at Rice Consolidated.

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