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First 10-0 regular season a possibility for Sandcrabs

Oct. 17, 2011 at 5:17 a.m.

Calhoun's Brandon Griffith falls over Victoria East's Logan Hawkins during the Sandcrabs District 30-4A -opening win against the Titans.

PORT LAVACA - Thaelen Villarreal had two uncles and two cousins play on the 1960 Calhoun team that advanced to the Class 3A state final before losing to Brownwood.

But Villarreal and his teammates have a chance to do something no other Calhoun team has ever done.

The Sandcrabs have the opportunity to become the first team in school history to finish the regular season with a 10-0 record.

Calhoun went 9-1 during the regular season in 1960, losing to El Campo.

"That would be very, very special," said Villarreal, a senior left tackle. "That means a lot to me."

Calhoun maintained the No. 6 ranking in the state Class 4A poll after its 40-19 win over Gregory-Portland.

The Sandcrabs will take a 7-0 record and 2-0 District 30-4A mark into Friday night's game at Victoria West.

"We haven't really talked about that," Calhoun coach Richard Whitaker said about finishing the regular season unbeaten. "The first goal going in every year is to make the playoffs. The No. 2 goal is to align ourselves the best we can in the playoffs so we have a chance to make a long run. Our No. 3 goal is to win a district championship."

The Sandcrabs would move a step closer to a district title and clinch a playoff berth with a win over West.

"We've been real straight up with the kids about what each game means, the type of teams we've played," Whitaker said. "We look them in the eye and tell them the way things are. I think they've responded very well. There's a lot of experience on the football field and it just makes the coaches' jobs easier."

Calhoun has rushed for an average 438.3 yards per game, and Whitaker gives much of the credit to the offensive line.

"It's hard work and dedication," said Villarreal, who has eight big-hit blocks, 16 clearing blocks and 14 pins. "We try to stay together as a team as much as we can.

"We come in week in and week out and we work very hard," he added. "A lot of hours in the weight room and a lot of time watching film. Every week we try to get a little bit better than the last week."

The Sandcrabs led Gregory-Portland by five points at halftime before outscoring the Wildcats 23-7 in the final two quarters.

"There are games looking around the dressing room I don't know if they're ready to play or not and they come out and play," Whitaker said. "When we play with high energy we're a lot better.

"I thought we had that against East, but I didn't think we had that against Gregory-Portland so that's something we're trying to work on is getting that energy level up for every game.

"That's hard for kids. If you want to make a run in the playoffs, you better be able to do that. That's where we're trying to get right now."

Calhoun quarterback Joseph Bargas missed the second half of the Gregory-Portland game with what has been diagnosed as whiplash.

Whitaker is hoping Bargas will be able to play against West.

"Three wins is probably going to put you in (the playoffs)," Whitaker said. "We've got a chance this week to put that behind us. That's something to focus on this week."

State rankings

Refugio remained No. 1 in the state Class 2A poll and received 24 of 25 first-place votes following its 69-13 win over Hebbronville.

Ganado held the No. 1 spot in the Class 1A poll and received 18 first-place votes after its 56-14 win over Louise.

Schulenburg dropped from No. 8 to No. 9 in the Class 2A poll despite its 48-0 win over Danbury.

The Shorthorns traded places with Eastland, which was No. 9 last week.

Gonzales received five votes in the Class 3A poll, and East Bernard received two votes in the Class 2A poll.

Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361- 580-6588 or mforman@vicad.com, or comment on this column at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.

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