This week truly represents the half-way point of the season for Little Cypress-Mauriceville. The Bears have concluded the non-district schedule and now come the district games with the opportunity to make it to the post season.
Coach Randy Crouch talked about the preparations done by the Bears during their just concluded bye week. The coaches re-evaluated what the Bears had been doing on both sides of the ball and in the kicking game. They worked on fundamentals in order to get ready for a tough district schedule.
The week with no game was also a time to get players healed up. Seth Carpenter is still out with a knee injury. Crouch advised, “Everybody else seems to be okay as far as health wise.”
The district starts Friday with Bridge City coming to Battlin’ Bear Stadium. Crouch analyzed the Cardinals’ offense and praised them for doing some really good things with the football. The Cardinals will snap the ball under center or they can spread the formation into the Shotgun with one or two backs.
The quarterback is just a sophomore, but he is outstanding according to Crouch. Ethan Oceguera is a good leader on the field. He has the ability to throw the football and is an even better runner.
The Cardinals have several good running backs joining Oceguera in the backfield. Andy Lara is the fullback and is a load to tackle one-on-one. Bridge City will have the services of Rylan Ply again this week after breaking his thumb in Week 1.
Another strength on the Bridge City offense is the front line. “I really think their offensive line has done a good job in blocking, and they are executing the plays so we’re really going to have to be prepared defensively,” Crouch admitted.
Bridge City is young on defense, but Coach Crouch said the Cardinals have shown steady improvement on that side of the ball too. They use a 50 front on defense and do show variations off that.
The front line of the Cardinals’ defense impresses Crouch. They line up correctly and do their assignments. The Bridge City linebackers and secondary are good at keeping the football in front of them.
It will come down to execution for the Bears’ offense to be able to move the ball on Bridge City. Crouch emphasized, “Our offense is going to have to be really sharp this week and prepared for them.”
The game is a traditional rivalry for LC-M and Bridge City. Being the first game of district makes playing well vitally important for both teams to get a good start in the district race. The keys start like any other game, the Bears cannot afford to turn the ball over or commit a lot of penalties. The Bears must play as clean as possible.
With the start of district all the teams are even and have the same record. Crouch, the coaches, and the players have worked the last month or so to get ready for the district season hoping they have the players in the right place.
The coach predicts the district to be as even as it has ever been. It will be a battle every week whoever the opponent. “This week we have Bridge City, and we have a huge challenge,” Crouch concluded.
The Little Cypress-Mauriceville Bears play their first game in district at home Friday night against the Bridge City Cardinals. The game will be kicked off at 7:00 PM.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-
pictured: Landon Bearden