It was a bittersweet week for first year Deweyville Coach Brandon Prouse. Last Friday his Pirates clinched a playoff spot with a win over West Sabine, but he also had to deal with the news that his father had passed away.
Dennis Prouse passed away at age 76. When Brandon was in school his father coached youth football in McLewis and baseball at Wesco. He was well known and remembered by those he coached but he didn’t go by Coach Prouse. He was known as Coach Ratman.
“I honestly don’t know how he got the name Ratman. He would never tell us,” Prouse said of the unusual nickname. “I’m pretty sure he got the nickname when he was a teenager. But everyone called him that. When he worked at Gulf/Chevron we would call and ask for Dennis or Mr. Prouse and they would say, Oh you mean Ratman. Even his name tag at the plant just said Ratman.”
Prouse and his family buried his father this past week, a man that influenced him as a person and a coach. And while reflecting on that before their game this past weekend against Centerville, a couple of players walked into his office and showed him a sticker with a halo and the initials DP underneath it. They asked if they could put it on their helmets to honor him.
“I have to tell you I got pretty emotional,” Prouse said. “Shows me what I already knew in that we have some great kids and community here in Deweyville. They’ve been through a lot but made the effort to help me through this period with a really nice tribute.”
The Pirates will open the playoffs against undefeated San Augustine on Friday at 7:30 in Beaumont.
“They’re a good team and we’re going to have to play our best to win, but I think our kids have what it takes,” said Prouse. “They run the spread offense with at least one receiver already committed to Stephen F. Austin. But we’ve seen the spread from almost every team we’ve faced so we just have to execute and of course not turn the ball over on offense.”
You can hear the Pirates and the Wolves on KOGT Friday night.