Calhoun spring game preview: Sandcrabs will have different look
May 16, 2012 at 12:16 a.m.
There were a lot of expectations emanating from Port Lavaca last year regarding the Calhoun football team. For 12 weeks Richard Whitaker and his boys met those expectations. Perhaps the tryptophan Thanksgiving weekend tripped up the Sandcrabs against Kerrville Tivy in the regional round.
With less than 10 days remaining before Calhoun's May 24 spring game, here are five things to watch this year.
WHERE IS THE OFFENSE?
• Calhoun's devastating triple-option offense ran for 5,749 yards in 13 games in 2011. That makes for a gaudy average. The problem is 90 percent of that production, primarily Joe Bargas, Brandon Griffith, Jeremy Loya and Daniel Brooks will graduate next month. The team's top returning rusher is junior Devian Cantu, who ran for 108 yards on nine carries. To make things worse, Cantu missed half the spring playing center field for the Sandcrabs baseball team.
WHO WILL BE THE NEXT BARGAS?
• For years Whitaker has praised the decision-making ability of quarterback Joe Bargas, who produced 3,939 total yards in his career. Calhoun will have to find a new trigger-man for the triple option. Rising junior Hunter Boerm was promoted from the junior varsity late in the season and saw action in a playoff blowout over San Antonio Lanier. Earlier this spring, Whitaker said Boerm will have competition for privilege to replace Bargas.
FINDING A WAY TO WIN
• The regional round loss to Tivy means Calhoun has not won a close contest since October 2010 when it beat Gregory-Portland 33-30. In that period since the 2010 win in Portland, Calhoun won 17 of 19 games, but none of those wins were decided by less than 10 points. With all the graduation losses, this current group will have to find a way to win at the varsity level. However, Whitaker is not concerned because both the Calhoun junior varsity and freshman programs were dominant a year ago. Though, it's a different level of football, kids usually don't forget how to win games that quickly.
STEPPING UP THE D
• Calhoun's top defenders Nick McCrory and Alex Trevino, who combined for 209 solo tackles, will also graduate this year. Both were linebackers in the Sandcrabs 50 defense. In their place a trio of rising seniors will have to replicate their 2011 production. Christian Litsey was a revelation on the defensive line. Marcus Klamm recorded 108 total tackles at linebacker and Trey Robinson, who had a team-leading seven interceptions a year ago will also be key cogs in the much maligned defense.
• With the exception of Calallen, the Sandcrabs didn't test themselves in non-district play a year ago. Now that Calallen is in a reconfigured District 30-4A with the Sandcrabs, Calhoun found a few teams that might provide a stern test prior to district play. It opens the season against Corpus Christi Carroll, and is tentatively scheduled to play Class 3A, Division I quarterfinalist La Vernia and an improving Somerset team. If Calhoun can win at least two of those games, it may gain confidence entering a district where the final three playoff spots are likely to be up for grabs.