Calhoun gets early start to 2013 season


Aug. 28, 2013 at 3:28 a.m.

PORT LAVACA - Calhoun's season opener will be televised, but coach Richard Whitaker isn't worried about a lack of fan support.

Whitaker doesn't know if anyone in Calhoun County has access to the Comcast network, which is broadcasting the game.

Even if they did, Whitaker would still expect the Sandcrabs' legion of followers to be out in force for Thursday's 7 p.m. game against Corpus Christi Carroll at Corpus Christi's Buccaneer Stadium.

"I told our kids to expect more fans from Calhoun County than from Corpus," Whitaker said. "I'm sure Carroll fans are going to be excited for the first ball game. I can't go anywhere in this town without talking about football, so I know they're excited. This is a big moment for them. We just want a good showing."

Calhoun has done its best to prepare in a week when it was forced to practice inside for two days because of rain.

"It's an obstacle in our way," said senior running back Brandon Smithwick. "But we always find ways to work around them and work hard in practice."

The Sandcrabs are coming off a 10-1 season, but are still smarting from their Class 4A, Division II area playoff loss to Edcouch-Elsa.

"I think they're really focused about what they want to get accomplished and how they want to start the season off," Whitaker said. "You want to start the season off feeling good about your team and yourself. You never want to have your head down from the get-go and you never want to have to recover from that."

Carroll is attempting to bounce back from a 1-9 season.

The Tigers lost their first nine games, were shut out four times, and yielded 35 or more points in eight games.

"They like to spread the field a lot," said senior defensive back Mauro Garcia. "We'll have to watch the pass a lot. As long as we stay focused, I think we'll be OK."

Whitaker has the normal early-season concerns, but has been pleased with what he's seen from his team leading up to the game.

"You're always concerned about turnovers early in the season - you're concerned about penalties and blocking mistakes and lining up wrong on defense," Whitaker said. "We're showing a lot of video and hoping they are going to be able to retain things we showed them in spring and two-a-days."

The Sandcrabs had to make some adjustments this week, but still followed their routine.

"We do it every day," Smithwick said. "It's nothing new. It's the same thing over and over again so it's easy."



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