Three wins to open the season had the Vidor Pirates sailing into district. A triple overtime loss to Crosby and a last second lost to Port Neches-Groves to open district action crushed the Pirates. Vidor sunk to four and six at the end of the year missing the playoffs.
Coach Jeff Mathews said he accepts the blame for the Pirates not recovering mentally from those two emotional losses. “When they suffer those type of losses it’s my job as a head coach to pick them back up, I failed to do so,” Mathews admitted.
The Pirates return several key players on offense according to Mathews. It starts with running back Brad Nunez who rushed for almost fourteen hundred yards last season. He earned all-district honors, and this will be his third year as a starter for Vidor.
At fullback is Zach Seigrist who started about half the season and gained over six hundred yards rushing. Gage Galloway has been moved from quarterback to tight end for the Pirates. Ammon Hutson was all-district at guard for Vidor. Mathews advised, “We’ve got about six starters back, but those are our main players.”
Taking over the quarterback duties for the Pirates’ Slot-T offense is Dylan Dial. Mathews has a lot of confidence in Dial who is a field general who can put the Vidor offense in the right formations or audible into different looks when necessary. The coach thinks Dial will be a great player.
Vidor has a trio of starters identified by Coach Mathews that will be leaders on defense. At linebacker Mason Brown is a three-year starter who led the Pirates in tackles last year and will be a force to reckon with for opponents again.
Josh Wright returns for Vidor. He was all-district last season at cornerback.
Mathews and his coaches have moved Gage Galloway to defensive end. Much is expected of him. “He’s a big tall kid, 6-3, 220, can move, we think he’s a game changer,” Mathews praised.
There are six starters back on both sides of the ball for Vidor. Mathews believes experience will help the Pirates this season. Logan Bell will be another tight end on offense. Tyler Webb at over three hundred pounds is a big mover at offensive tackle.
On defense Colby Smith was a part-time starter last year. Cole Meyers, Ty Vincent, Kaine Sanchez, and Dayton Whitmire all bring experience to the Pirates’ defense. Mathews observed, “We’ve got a lot of experienced starters, six and six on both sides of the ball, and those other five players have some experience so we think some big things are going to happen.”
Making the playoffs is always tough in the Pirates’ district. The preseason prognosticators are looking for Nederland to be the top dog again in the district. Mathews credits the Bulldogs’ Head Coach Monte Barrow as doing a great job to get them ready every game and instilling them with the attitude that they can win each time they step on the field.
Coach Mathews analyzed what is needed for Vidor to achieve that same attitude and capture a berth in the post season. The Pirates need to finish games which they failed to do last year when they led or were tied late in all six games they lost.
Practicing hard is important in setting that tone for the Vidor players in Mathews’ mind. He sites the kids as sometimes just trying to get through a practice instead of trying to get better.
Mathews wants to make the playoffs and thinks the Pirates can do it. He points to what Vidor needs to do is not turning the ball over, committing stupid penalties, finishing drives, and not making mental mistakes. “We’re demanding perfection everyday effort wise, knowing what to do, and they’ve responded, but we’ve just got to get better every day,” Mathews concluded.
-Dan Perrine, KOGT-