The Bridge City Cardinals last year won their first district title since 2002 and advanced to the third round of the playoffs before being eliminated. Head Coach Dwayne DuBois believes Bridge City is confident the Cardinals can build on that success in 2017.
Bridge City will have a few of the weapons back from last season for Coach DuBois to use in the Cardinals’ Slot T offense. Max Baker returns after rushing for almost a thousand yards and over ten touchdowns as a running back in 2016. Andy Lara played very well when Cayce Draper was injured last year and will take over as the Cardinals’ fullback. He is a strong sophomore, and the coach expects a lot out from him. Track star Hunter Denton was a return specialists last season, but will see more time as a wide receiver. DuBois indicates Logan Hamm who started every game on defense will move over to the offensive side at running back. A lot of work will need to be done according to DuBois to completely rebuild the offensive line.
DuBois has a familiar young man to take over as quarterback for Bridge City. Caleb DuBois the coach’s son missed last season with an arm injury, but he will run the Slot T for the Cardinals. Caleb has been working in the run oriented offense since he was in middle school. “Should be a smooth transition for him,” Coach DuBois stated.
On defense, the Cardinals will be switching from the 4-2 to a 50 look. The coach said he has as many defensive returning lettermen as any team in Southeast Texas starting with the front seven. The defensive front has Stetson Wilson a three-year letterman at tackle. Zeke Mendez at defensive end will also be a three-year letterman. At the other defensive end is Ethan Hamm. All three were first or second team all-district last season.
Linebacker Blake DiChiarra was all-district and is back. Logan Hamm will continue to be a starter at an outside linebacker for Bridge City as will fellow sophomore Jackson Tims. Brennon Tregre saw playing time on the varsity last year. DuBois indicated, “He’s probably going to be a little bit of a defensive end, linebacker type kid.”
The Bridge City secondary is experienced as well, DuBois informs. Denton will be switched from cornerback to safety joining returning starter Justyn Romero at the other safety position. Coach DuBois feels pretty comfortable with those two three-year starters in the back.
At cornerback Caleb Honeycutt played a lot for the Cardinals last year. Kelton Brooks will battle with Ethan Morgan and Trenton Lagrappe for the open spots in the Bridge City secondary.
The goal every year is to make the playoffs, win a district championship, and even to take a state title. Despite playing in a very difficult district, Coach DuBois indicated it is no different for the Bridge City Cardinals who as the defending district champions the coach tells them they will have a target on their backs. “We’re feeling confident, I know there’s some great teams out there, and so we’ll just take them one week at a time,” DuBois concluded.