Straight from the Bull's Pen - November 7, 2021
What a week for Bellville Athletics! The Brahmanettes won their second playoff match and will have played in the Regional Qualifying Round by the time you read this. My prediction is that the Brahmanettes won the match and are moving on to the Region III Tournament in Bryan this weekend. The team has maintained their superhero qualities and managed to overcome some tight sets to continue to their goal of the State Championship in Garland. If they make it to the Regional Tournament, I encourage you to take the short drive to Bryan, wear red and cheer on the Brahmanettes.
And congratulation to Senior Lawson Meiers as he ran in the State Cross Country Meet last Saturday. He had his best time of the year as he finished 60th out of 150 runners. Check out the other articles in the Sports section for more information on both Volleyball and Cross Country.
The Brahmas are undefeated District Champs after outscoring Giddings 56 - 10 on Friday night. As the thermometer reached a crisp 49 degrees, the action on the field from the Five and Dime Offense kept things hot. Robert Briggs decided to shine on Senior Night with several runs, a pass reception and a punt return that all are indescribable. Let’s just say you had to be there to see it for yourself. Briggs rushed for 216 yards and had 39 yards receiving. He also added 69 yards or returns while scoring 5 touchdowns. You can see most of these plays on our Instagram account, bellvillesports.
And as I mention on the broadcast, if you haven’t been able to attend a Brahma game this year, you are missing out on history being made. Richard Reese is establishing a new rushing record every time he touches the ball and scoring record when he scores a touchdown. This team is also approaching the total points scored record for a season.
With Briggs performance Friday, he eclipsed the 1,000 yard mark for rushing at 1,037 yards, joining Reese who has accumulated 1,698 yards on the season. In all purpose yards, Reese has 1,838 and Briggs has 1,827. Each one is averaging over 182 yards per game in offensive production for the team. And both have relied on each other during the season, as they have relied on the other members of the offense for support.
Bruce White and I had a short text conversation, or maybe it’s called something else now, about Bellville’s best one-two running back combinations. You have to put Reese and Briggs at the top of the list, with other duos of Ernie Koy and Joe Ed Lynn, Allen Ward and Reese Burger, and others we haven’t thought of. We will do some research and if you have any great Brahma rushing duos, please let us know.
Speaking of success, defensive lineman Cole Powell almost had that moment of touchdown glory and dream of all defensive linemen come true when he scooped up a fumble caused by fellow lineman Salvador Reyes and was two steps or three yards short from taking it all the way. I spoke to his parents after the game, and both were thrilled he almost scored. Even though he didn’t cross the goal line he will always remember picking that ball up and sprinting 31 yards toward touchdown glory, only to have his dream suddenly stopped by the faster Sweeny running back. That turnover turned into another Brahma score as Richard Reese carried it over for the touchdown.
The special teams player of the week in my opinion goes to backup placekicker Fernando Grajales, who made all eight of his extra point attempts. The Brahmas led 35 - 3 at halftime, and scored another 21 in the second half. Sweeny scored with just over 9 minutes remaining in the 3rd quarter, and their Coach asked for a running clock to speed up the game. This has happened several other times during the season, and I can’t remember that happening as often before. I know it’s a long drive back to Sweeny, but it has to put thoughts of hopelessness in the minds of the opposing players.
I’ve mentioned it previously, but this team seems to certainly have the inherent qualities of a family. From the opening kickoff to the postgame high-fives, the players all seem to be loving and having fun at what they are doing. Their theme for the year of “Band Of Brothers” is so fitting when you step back and take an observer’s look from afar. I’m sure there are several good reasons for this, but could last years isolation from other due to Covid been the start of something special? I recall Coach Rowe describing all the special things they had to do and participate in to just keep practicing.
Or, is it leadership from within the team themselves? I’ve never coached professionally, but have spent my time coaching youth baseball and football. I remember reading books on how to get the best out of your players, even if they were only 7 years old. I could give my best coaching impression of Tom Landry, Vince Lombardi or even John Madden, and a June bug crawling across the toe of a player’s shoe would elicit more of a response than my rehearsed five minute pregame speech of greatness.
What I did discover in my time in the coaches box was that the team members would follow what several of their teammates did. It’s hard to describe in young children, but some individuals are just natural leaders and have an influence over others. Once I figured out that I only had to convince two or three of them and not the whole team, things became a whole lot easier. These young leaders became the backbone of the team. They may not have been the best players physically, but they had the drive and desire to make themselves and the team better. They were trusted by the other team members, unselfish, and knew it took more than a few of them to make a winning team.
Trust, confidence, reliable, ability, strength - is what I think great teams are built on. Take a look at this Brahma team, and I also include the Brahmanettes, and you may see who these leaders are, and you may not. But, without them you wouldn’t have the success both teams have achieved so far.
This Thursday is Veteran’s Day, a legal holiday dedicated to veterans of all wars. In 1918, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th months, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I. It officially became a federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In 2018 I wrote a series of articles on the 1938 Brahma football team. Of that team, 28 of them served in World War II, and two gave the ultimate sacrifice. Many other former students of Bellville High School have served our country and they all deserve our thanks and prayers, along with all our Military.
On December 8, 2018, the Bellville VFW Chapter hosted six WWII Veterans for a program of honor and remembrance. Several videos of that day are posted on the BellvilleSports.com website under the “More Menu Links” tab on the top right. Scroll down to the bottom and click “Bellville VFW WWII Veterans Program”. I encourage you to watch these videos and listen to their stories. According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs, 240,329 of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II were alive in 2021. Of those, 234 die each day. These local members of the Greatest Generation share a small portion of their lives and you will see in person what courage, sacrifice and leadership are made of.
Here’s a reminder for our upcoming playoff broadcasts on BellvilleSports.com. The broadcast rights of the games are owned by entities that have their own preferred broadcast network for video. If one of those outlets plan to show the game, we are not allowed to. We will have audio of all the games if approved by the UIL. If we don’t see you at the games, we will see you on the broadcasts!