Numbers were the difference for Vidor last football season. The Pirates were usually limited to forty players on the sideline while opponents normally suited up close to seventy each Friday night. Vidor was 5-4, losing those four games by a combined 11 points.
Coach Jeff Mathews analyzed the Pirates he has back on offense. Returning after missing last season is Quentin Root. He started at quarterback as a sophomore and played as a tremendous leader for the Vidor offense. Mathews is glad to have him back.
In the offensive line is Tyler Webb an all-district performer at tackle. Starting center Caiden Veazey returns as does Bryce Munoz at the other tackle and Logan Bell at tight end.
Two other lettermen on offense are Easton Walker at split end and Trenton Conn at halfback. “Those guys all played last year as starters and I think they’ll be a lot better players this year than they were last year which is good news for the Pirates,” Mathews said.
The Vidor defense has some starters back as Mathews identified them. The defense starts with Jordan Smith who was the unanimous all-district noseguard last year. The coach thinks Smith will be a big factor this season for the Pirates.
Two-year starter at defensive end Colby Smith returns for the Pirates. Ty Vincent is back and was all-district as a junior at linebacker.
Another pair of two-year starters are Dylan Dial and Dayton Whitmire at the safeties. Back at one of the cornerbacks is Nathan Bullard. All these players have been great leaders for Vidor on defense. Mathews acknowledged, “It’s good to have them back and see all those familiar faces.”
There are some new faces Coach Mathews hopes to give some playing time on the Vidor varsity this season. Lane Wilhelm has moved from fullback to linebacker and has had a good start to the two-a-days. At another linebacker position Conner McKay has done really well in workouts.
Moving in at defensive end is Tristan McGowan to fill the big shoes of Gage Galloway. Mathews is confident McGowan will be a pretty good football player himself.
On offense the Pirates have some new running backs. Big things are expected from Jason Watson. At tailback Devon Peterson and Wesley Sepulvado should be doing some good stepping with the football for Vidor.
The biggest holes to fill are the two guard positions for the Pirates’ Slot-T offense according to Mathews. The guards in the Slot-T are crucial positions because they are asked to do a lot of moving and are basically fullbacks with bigger uniform numbers.
Five Pirates are vying to be the starters at the two guard positions. They are battling it out right now in the workouts. Mathews explained, “We’re grading them every day at practice and it is so close right now to see who’s going to be the starter that we really hate to name one yet so we told all five of them they’re starters right now until one of them falls through.”
With the lowering in classification for Vidor, Coach Mathews is optimistic the numbers will favor the Pirates this season, but he not taking anything for granted. He believes the talent level is going to be the same with new district opponents like Little Cypress-Mauriceville, Huffman, Splendora, Lumberton, and Livingston the Pirates will have to face.
The equalizer for Vidor is it will not be the smallest team in the district. In Classification 4-A a lot more teams have players going two-way which suits the Pirates much better than when they competed in the 5-A district.
The competition is going to be the same, and the Pirates must give their maximum efforts to achieve success in their new district. “We’re excited to move down to have a better chance at success, but we know it’s not going to come easy we’re going to have to work to get everything we want,” Mathews concluded.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-
2020 Pirates Schedule
Aug. 28 – at Silsbee, 7pm
Sept. 4 – St.Pius (cancelled)
Sept. 11 – Brazosport, 7pm
Sept. 18 – at Bay City, 7pm
Sept. 25 – at Jasper, 7pm
Oct. 2 – OPEN
Oct. 9 – Splendora (HC), 7pm
Oct. 16 – LCM, 7pm
Oct. 23 – at Livingston, 7pm
Oct. 30 – Huffman, 7pm
Nov. 6 – at Lumberton, 7pm
District 10-4A D1