When Dime Box head football coach Rick Frey and his staff began practices, they knew they were starting from the ground up with a group of 17 kids who had never played football before.
Frey knew he had a competitive group, though, and that spirit — and a little bit of basketball knowledge — made the learning curve easier.
“We had to teach everything from how to block properly to how to tackle properly, proper form,” Frey said. “They soaked it up like a sponge, and there were a lot of things we were able to teach based off of basketball principles, especially on the defensive side, like how to run a zone. Well they know how to run a zone in basketball, so we tried to incorporate that into football and show them how similar [it was] in a lot of ways.”
Dime Box went 4-1 in its first-ever season of football and enjoyed plenty of community support along the way. Frey was surprised to see a healthy crowd at the Longhorns’ preseason scrimmage at McDade, and that continued throughout four road games, culminating with a crowd between 200-300 people Saturday in Dime Box’s season finale, a 64-32 win against Houston Mount Carmel that was played on the Longhorns’ baseball field.
“Our baseball field was pretty much surrounded,” Frey said. “We had a couple sets of bleachers filled, and then a bunch of people came with lawn chairs or just stood around. It was a pretty big crowd.”
All 17 players stayed on the team for the whole season, including six seniors who played big roles. Though senior Ray Gilbert led the offense, capping the season with a 250-yard, seven-touchdown performance on Saturday, several other players stepped up throughout the season. Frey knew he could count on his three linemen, and senior tailback Kalep Toney had more than 200 yards and four touchdowns in a 59-54 win against Houston Texas Christian when Gilbert was injured. Quarterback Blake Scott and wide receiver Jer’Perion Gilbert were underclassmen who made big contributions, including an interception returned for a touchdown by the latter against Mount Carmel.
Frey said his team learned a lot, especially from a 26-13 loss to San Antonio Jubilee Academy on Sept. 20. That experience will be invaluable with 11 players returning along with several current eighth-graders joining the ranks. Superintendent Nicholas West makes the final decision on whether to continue the football team, but Frey is optimistic his squad will enter the UIL realignment and be assigned a district for the 2020-21 football seasons.
“Our community support was really positive; the kids were really positive,” Frey said. “I would think yeah, we’re definitely going to continue with it, but again, that’s [West’s] decision, not mine. I’m not going to come out and say, ‘Oh, yeah, definitely, definitely.’ But all signs indicate that we have really good support for it both in the school and out of the school, so I would think so.”
Rams, Eagles gearing up for rivalry showdown
There will be a different sort of crosstown showdown on Friday night, but one just as intense as the annual matchup between Bryan and A&M Consolidated.
St. Joseph will travel to rival Allen Academy for a TAPPS 6-Man Division II District 3 game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Baker Field. The Rams won last year’s matchup 72-37.
Allen Academy (6-0, 1-0) is undefeated coming into this game and returns many of its playmakers from last year’s squad. With a year of experience and some added depth, Allen Academy opened the season with a pair of shutouts and is averaging 53 points per game to opponents’ 11.8.
St. Joseph (4-2, 1-1) is coming off a 34-32 loss to Conroe Covenant Christian, but before that, the Eagles had won four in a row, led by junior QB Trace Brightwell. Fellow junior Twister Barrington is a bruising presence on either side of the ball, while James Najvar has emerged as a weapon at receiver to help create a potent, multi-facted offense.
Montgomery football team under investigation
The Montgomery football team is forfeiting its game against No. 9 Huntsville on Friday because of an investigation into a possible hazing incident, according to a report by the Conroe Courier.
The decision to forfeit was made “following a recent investigation into allegations of violations of the MISD Athletic Code of Conduct by student athletes,” according to a statement posted to the school district’s Twitter. As of Friday, the investigation was turned over from the Montgomery ISD police department to the Montgomery County Sherriff’s Office.
The district police department began an investigation into an alleged hazing incident involving several Montgomery students at a private residence, according to the Courier.
The investigation was opened three days after the Bears (1-5, 0-2) lost their District 10-5A Division II opener to Rudder 56-50, and the investigation was turned over to the sheriff’s office the same day Montgomery lost 41-21 to A&M Consolidated.
In the polls
A&M Consolidated, which takes on No. 8 Lamar Consolidated on the road in a highly anticipated District 10-5A Division II game at 6 p.m. Saturday, held steady at No. 4 in the Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Class 5A Division II top 10.
After a dominant 80-6 win in its District 10-3A Division I opener, Rockdale moved up one spot to No. 6. The Tigers (5-0) will host Lago Vista at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Bremond, which had been ranked sixth in Class 2A Division II, fell out of the rankings after a 47-21 loss to Hamilton. Calvert fell one spot to No. 6 in Class A Division II after losing 34-31 to Coolidge. The Trojans play their final nondistrict game at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Milford.