FOOTBALL: Titans wrap up Morgan’s first camp

Zach Bass has never been on a team that’s missed the UIL postseason either as a player or coach.

“Those are the kind of things I like to hang my hat on,” he said. “Taking what these kids already do well and adding a level of physicality, I think, can bring them to the next level.”

Physicality is the one-word philosophy Bass is bringing to Port Arthur Memorial as its new offensive coordinator, citing the style of play he’s embraced since his days playing at Nederland in the mid-2000s.

At Memorial, physicality up front — where Bass also coaches the offensive line — usually translates into production.

“If you look at the offensive production he’s been involved with at Port Neches with coach [Brandon] Faircloth, I thought it was huge to get a guy who’s been around some pretty successful offenses,” Memorial coach Brian Morgan said. “He brings a good background, some similar thoughts to what I like and so far, we’ve meshed well. To me, it was huge to get a great technical O-line coach at Memorial.”

Bass spent the past three seasons coaching the O-line at PNG after a five-year run at La Porte. While this is his first time as an offensive coordinator, he’s helped organize the run game at La Porte, a former Memorial opponent in District 21-6A before the Titans joined PNG in 22-5A in 2016.

“We’re excited with what we have potential-wise, having coached at La Porte for five years against these guys and then having coached at PNG against these guys,” Bass said. “I’ve always admired the speed and athleticism and the competition here at Port Arthur. Finally having the chance to work with this caliber of athlete and kid, the potential is limitless.”

Bass announced on Facebook he is one of many new faces for Morgan’s first season at the helm, and he’s seen positives from an offense that will finish spring drills with an open scrimmage at 4:45 p.m. Wednesday at Memorial Stadium.

“Being that I’m not technically here full-time or anything, you only get to see the kids every so often,” Bass said, asked about his biggest adjustments to the Titans program. “New kids, new faces, new terminology. There’s always a bit of a learning curve, but the beautiful thing is that these kids have shown a propensity to want to do well and want to learn. They ask good questions, and they love to compete.”

Morgan has touted “a lot of learning and a lot of teaching” in a rare spring camp designed to acclimate his players to his system. Morgan was promoted to head coach in March after one season as special teams coordinator and safeties coach in his second stint at the school.

For Wednesday’s scrimmage, he’s looking for the players to simply compete.

“It’s going to be a competitive scrimmage-type situation until we feel like we’ve seen enough,” he said. “If that’s early, that’s early. The most important part is to come out healthy.”

Morgan has been pleased the most with the progress on the defensive line and at running back.

Rising senior Da’Juan McMillan, at 6-feet-2 and 280 pounds, is one of whom Morgan called “top-notch” defensive linemen — a mix of sophomores through seniors this coming season — in the 4-2-5 scheme.

“We’re doing a little bit of things differently, schematically, and technique-wise for him,” Morgan said. “It kind of caters to his skill set. He plays a three-technique. He’s very strong, he’s very powerful. So, his scheme is catering to him more than it has in the past.”

Graduating seniors Elijah Hines and Kobi Martin made almost all of the Titans’ carries from the running back position, but Morgan said upcoming sophomore Brandon Chaney and upcoming junior Jatavian Neal would get most of the carries if Memorial had to play now. Rising senior JaVontae Hopkins will see some time at running back this season, and junior-to-be Kason Williams has been working at that position as well.

Kam Ladia, who’ll be a senior, has seen plenty of reps as the first-string quarterback with Brian Milton in a second-string role.

“With Kam Ladia, he’s got a great arm,” Morgan said. “He can throw it around. He’s a little short of experience playing. That’s his drawback. The backup, Brian Milton, is a calm and collected guy. He operates well. He’s a little better runner than Kam.”

Morgan added Jacob Washington, who’s played safety, will see time at QB as well.

As multiple an offense gets in high school football, Morgan’s goal with the offense is to add looks no defense either has seen from the Titans or can prepare for.

“We’re just trying to add different wrinkles and some different schemes, let those kids do what they do and do it well,” Bass said.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

BREAKING NEWS

Boiled Water Notice for City of Port Arthur

Local

Motiva makeover benefits Lamar Park in Port Arthur

Local

Chili’s permanently closes in Port Arthur; area locations remain open

Local

First Financial Bank, Southeast Region announces promotion for Blaine Caillier

Local

Response leaders update tornado recovery process; Port Arthur officials seek more data

Beaumont

2 arrested, confess to Kidd Grocery armed robbery

Local

$57K seized, suspected cocaine discovered following Port Arthur search

Local

Environmental Champions celebrated; Port Arthur LNG helping fund projects throughout the city

High School Sports

Track and field athletes ace area meet, advance to regionals next week

Local

Trees For Houston tree giveaway open to public at First Baptist Church in Nederland

Local

Area female recovering after being struck by train

Local

Port Neches Police Department arrests and responses: April 1-7

Local

Port Arthur man found guilty following 2022 Beaumont killing

Local

Port Arthur Police tout weapons seizures during recent arrests

Local

Entergy Texas says “most customers” to have power restored by end of day Wednesday

Local

STORM STORIES — Residents describe sound of tornado amid scattered Port Arthur destruction

Local

Red Cross opening Port Arthur shelter; provides avenue to donate and volunteer

Local

Resources shared for Port Arthur residents impacted by tornado, bad weather

Local

Pastor of tornado-damaged church puts strength in faith; “the whole roof went boom,” neighbor says

Local

Likely tornado and bad weather strike Port Arthur, leaving lots of damage

Local

Severe weather leads to Port Arthur ISD school closures; impacts felt all across region

Local

Best of 2024 nominations nears its end; see how to vote now

Local

Animal rescue operator finds story inspiration with “Adventures of Keke;” local book signing planned

College/Pro Sports

Chloe Gomez connects on goal with college scholarship decision