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Born, bred and will die a Sandcrab: Calhoun spirit as lively as ever

By KBell
Oct. 8, 2011 at 5:08 a.m.

Randy Roberts holds pinkies with his neighbors in the stands as the Calhoun High School band plays the alma mater before the team's football game against Victoria East High School on Friday night at Sandcrab Stadium in Port Lavaca.

PORT LAVACA - On a bleacher besieged by black sat a slight, unassuming, gray-haired woman, nearly 80 years old.

But ask her about football, and you'll find her low-key appearance deceiving: Ima Roberts is a die-hard Calhoun High School Sandcrab fan.

"I'm Sandcrab born, I'm Sandcrab bred and when I die, I'll be Sandcrab dead," she said through a grin.

That was a cheer she remembered from her time at Port Lavaca High School, back in the late 1940s.

And it's a mantra the grandmother, sporting a black tee from her closet full of Sandcrab gear, continued to epitomize at the Calhoun versus Victoria East football game Friday night.

"I have always loved football. I used to write my book reports on the teams - high school, college, professional - but none of them are as good as the Sandcrabs," Roberts said.

Just after security let a flood of Calhoun fans fill the last two sections of the visitor's side of the stadium, Roberts let on about the age-old rivalry between Port Lavaca and Victoria.

"When she was a cheerleader in high school," she said, pointing to her daughter, "the Stingarees used to beat us all the time. We're here for revenge tonight."

At her mom's reminder of the rivalry, Sandy Crenshaw, was ready - after all these years - to reveal a prank she pulled in high school.

She told the story of how she and her brother drove to Victoria one night with seven or eight big blue crabs from Port Lavaca in tow. They carefully aligned the smelly crabs along the sidewalks of Victoria High School, hung up a Sandcrab banner, and drove right back home to Sandcrab nation.

"It was good, old fashioned fun," Crenshaw remembered.

Her brother, Randy Roberts, offered another memory from his times as a Sandcrab football player. It was 1979, he gathered.

"It was the first game of the year . Victoria and Calhoun, and I got chills right before kickoff. We played the best game ever, and we almost won," he said, laughing.

The Sandcrabs didn't always come out on top of the Victoria rivalry. Just last year, the East Titans upset the Sandcrabs, 35 to 14.

But this year, Calhoun is ranked sixth in the state, and the Sandcrabs pinched out a 53-7 victory against the Titans.

Win or lose, though, Ima Roberts and her family - and heck, a good chunk of the town - turn out to the Sandcrab football games, home or away.

Superintendent Billy Wiggins said this year's successful football team hasn't really changed the already dedicated and dynamic support for the Sandcrabs.

But Roberts, who turns 80 next month, had a different opinion.

"It gets a little better every year," she said.

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