Despite keeping those”yellow wagons” busy, the Orangefield Bobcats and first-year head coach Josh Smalley are ready to get their 2012 campaign kicked off.
The Bobcats open their season Friday night in Winnie against the East Cahmbers Bucs.
Orangefield has scrimmaged at Vidor, went to Hardin in a scrimmage last Friday, will head to Winnie Friday and will then go to Jasper Sept. 7 before finally hosting Newton Sept. 14.
“I guess you can kinda call us the road warriors,” laughed Smalley. “The kids are enjoying it though. The little road trip to Hardin last week went well for us.”
The Bobcats took on Hardin and Liberty a half apiece in that scrimmage in Hardin.
The Bobcats outscored Hardin 27-7 while falling a little short to Liberty 28-21.
“Offensively, we saw a lot of positives,” said Smalley. “We put together some nice drives and we scored on several quick plays too. Defensively, I thought we did pretty well for the most part. We did give up a few big plays but those things tend to happen in scrimmages. The kids, they know what they need to work on.”
Smalley sees plenty of positives as the Bobcats head into their opener.
“What we’ve really been impressed with is how the kids came in conditioned,” said Smalley. “They really were in good shape. That really showed at the Hardin scrimmage, playing both Hardin and Liberty in two live quarters each. It was basically a whole game and the kids responded well.”
The Bobcats are looking forward to heading to Winnie Friday in their season opener against East Chambers.
The Buccaneers went 9-3 last season under Coach Ross Sutherland, advancing to the Class 2A Division I Region III finals.
The Bobcats’ top concern will be trying to slow down running back Glenn Roberts. Roberts shredded defenses for 2,027 yards and 28 touchdowns on the ground and also had five touchdowns receiving.
“Roberts is tough to deal with for anybody,” said Smalley. “He was a Willie Ray Smith Awards finalist last year. He’s so hard to bring down. He’s built low to the ground so he can run through you or around you. We saw him go about 70 yards in a hurry in one play against Silsbee in a scrimmage. You’re not going to slow him down, you just want to contain him. I think he’s scored about 60 touchdowns the last two years. Hopefully we can move the ball offensively to limit his touches.”
The Bucs return five defensive starters as they look to defend their District 10-2A Division II title.
“East Chambers has quite the tradition, I think they’ve made the playoffs about nine years in a row,” said Smalley. “They’re pretty stout defrensively too. It will certainly be a great opening test for our kids and they’re really looking forward to it.”