Bay City welcomes Needville in District 14-4A home opener
When it comes to life in District 13-4A, every week is a challenge and for Bay City that challenge steps up this week when the Blackcats host Class 4A ranked Needville at Memorial Stadium Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Needville opened up district play last week with a 47-27 win over El Campo.
When opponents look at Needville, talk normally begins with senior Ashton Stredick and his impact on the Bluejay offense. Stredick has already rushed for 891 yards and 13 touchdowns through five games and is the key offensive component for Needville.
“They have a good running back and a solid defense and they ranked in the top 15 in Class 4A,” said Bay City Head Football Coach Pat Matthews.
Last week against West Columbia, Bay City dropped a disappointing 50-6 game that Matthews believes might have been different if the Blackcats would have finished some key drives in the first half of the game.
“We have to minimize our mistakes,” Matthews said. “We had more than 260 yards rushing against Columbia and we got down in the red zone three times but we only got one touchdown out of those three visits. We went into halftime down 23-6 and it easily could have been 23-17. It is this that we have to continue to build upon and try to get our kids to play full speed for four quarters.
“We need to learn how to handle adversity,” Matthews said. “When it hits us, we have a hard time trying to overcome it. We have to be more mentally prepared. We know things are happen but we have to play all four quarters of the football game.”
Dealing with a relatively young squad, Bay City has had to go through a learning curve this year on the football field.
“At times there were bright spots but we have to find a way to finish a game,” Matthews said. “We have to find a way to be more competitive.”
Matthews said even though his team made mistakes against Columbia, he said doesn’t take anything away from the Roughnecks and the performance they put out on the field during the district opener.
“But we have to look at more of what we are doing,” Matthews said. “There were some bright spots last week. I thought offensively we found a running game and we were able to sustain some drives. We made some mistakes on defense that allowed the game to get out of hand. West Columbia is a good football team that will make a playoff run but we had a lot of self-inflicted wounds that hurt us in the game.”
This year in District 14-4A, there are several teams that are bringing senior-led teams to the field and that is the challenge Bay City faces every week.
“This year, we have a lot of teams that finally have that group of seniors that they have been waiting on and they have kids that have been in the system for two or three years and these teams are hitting their stride right now,” Matthews said. “This year in this district, it could be anybody’s ballgame every week.”
Bay City has 12 seniors but the rest of the team is made up of sophomores and juniors.
“A lot of those young guys didn’t get a lot of experience last year either,” Matthews said. “But that is not an excuse. When we put a team out onto the field, we have to put a better product than what we are doing. The hat is on us to make sure that gets done. It is one thing to be young, but it is a another thing to be young and competitive. We need to find out how to get our older guys to get the younger guys to play and be our seniors to become the playmakers that we need to fill in some of the roles of the guys that have moved on.”
This week, Bay City has worked on minimizing its mistakes and translating that onto the football field. The Blackcats have also failed to play a full four quarters of a game as well and Matthews believes his team is ready to make that move and advance this year.
“We are still trying to figure out what will motivate our kids,” Matthews said. “We are more concerned with our ability and how we play when we get on the field. When we figure out how to play four quarters and put together consistent drives and play consistent on defense, then I think we will put ourselves in favorable situations.”