By Dave Rogers

For The Record

You can call it swagger if you like, a way of letting the world know you know you’ve accomplished something of value.

“Swagger, or confidence, I don’t have any problem with that,” Bridge City’s third-year head football coach, Dwayne DuBois, said when describing the been-there, done-that air of some of his more veteran players.

“In the third year in a program, they should have more confidence,” the coach said.

The Cardinals made the playoffs in 2015, the coach’s first in charge. Last year, they won District 10-4A Division I and went three rounds deep into the postseason.

“They should walk around with more confidence,” DuBois, a BC alum, said.

“Our kids have confidence in their ability but they also have a lot of respect for our opponents.

“’Respect all, but fear none,’ we say.”

The Cardinals face a beefy late September schedule.

They play at West Orange-Stark, the back-to-back defending Class 3A Division II state champion, Sept. 15, then host Newton Sept. 22 and travel to Jasper Sept. 29.

A year ago, Bridge City found itself with back-to-back open dates after Brock, a Class 2A state champion from Northeast Texas, backed out of game with the Cards.

“This year, we were able to fill in with Jasper,” DuBois said. “You want to play teams that’ll make you better.”

The Cards, 9-3 a year ago, open District 10-4A play Oct. 13 at Cleveland. They host LCM Oct. 20 and travel to play at Silsbee and Navasota the next two weeks before concluding regular season play against Huffman.

“We’re building to our first non-district game, but our goal is to get better every day,” DuBois said.

The Cards open the season Sept. 1 with a home game against Hamshire-Fannett. This week and next, they scrimmage Buna and Kelly (Aug. 18) and Kirbyville (Aug. 24).

Max Baker, a second-team all-district pick, and fullback Andy Lara should be the leaders of the Cards’ Slot-T offense. Breakaway threat Hunter Denton, last year’s Special Teams Player of the Year in 10-4A, and Logan Hamm should also carry the rock.

Caleb DuBois, the coach’s son, will be at quarterback.

“Caleb was injured last year and didn’t get a chance to play,” Coach DuBois said. “That’ll help the transition, because he’s been in this system since the seventh grade.”

The Cardinals have only three returners on offense to go with nine on defense.

“Even though someone’s not returning, I expect the same results from different kids,” the coach said.

The BC O-line will have all new starters.

“It remains to be seen who’ll be in there, but they are all battlers,” the coach said.

Adam Snyder and Jacob Cunningham are competing at the center spot, with Kevin Ross, Blaze Montagne, Manuel Gomez and Josh Sanders others getting a look on the line.

Ethan Hamm and Brennon Tregre are competing at tight end with Kelton Brooks, Corey Westland and Marcus Abrego at wideouts.

Defensively, Stetson Wilson, Zeke Mendez, and Hamm are all three-year lettermen and all-district picks returning on the line.

Blake DiChiara is an all-district linebacker returning, with Tregre and newcomer George Fleming joining him inside.

Hamm, Jackson Tims, Alphie Heraldez and Preston Peterson are competing at outside backer.

In the secondary, the Cards return all-district safety Justyn Romero, Denton and cornerback Caleb Honeycutt.

Ethan Morgan, Trent LaGrappe, Cace Skinner and Brooks are other DBs who should play.

“I expect our kids to compete every day in everything they do,” DuBois said. “Hopefully they community has the same high expectations we have inside these walls.”

Bridge City

Aug. 18 – Buna/Kelly at Buna (scrimmage), TBD

Aug. 24 – Kirbyville (scrimmage), TBD

Sept. 1 – Hamshire-Fannett, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 8 – at North Forest, 7 p.m.

Sept. 15 – at WOS, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 22 – Newton, 7:30 p.m.

Sept. 29 – at Jasper, 7:30 p.m.

Oct. 6 – bye

Oct. 13 – at Cleveland, 7 p.m.

Oct. 20 – LCM, 7 p.m.*

Oct. 27 – at Silsbee, 7 p.m.*

Nov. 3 – at Navasota, 7 p.m.*

Nov. 10 – Huffman, 7 p.m.

* District 10-4A I games