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Corpus Christi Caller-Times


Nathan Zabel spent last week in his family's yard cleaning up after Hurricane Harvey hit their Ingleside home. Zabel's Ingleside teammate Nic Patrick was doing the same.

Zabel and his family evacuated to College Station but returned to no power or water and a damaged town. Football was the last thing on his mind.

Much of his time last week was spent removing trees that had fallen on their house. There was some roof damage, but overall, the home was intact.

Patrick, meanwhile, went to Dallas and returned to a house that was structurally sound, but without power and water.

Football practice beginning Monday for the Ingleside seniors was a nice respite from the chaos that Hurricane Harvey left in its wake. But this Friday, two weeks to the day after the storm's landfall in the Coastal Bend, the Mustangs will be back on the field in Edna for a game.

"It feels great after having a standstill on your whole life and then now I'm finally able to get back to doing what I do my senior year, get back with my friends and go play some football," Zabel said before practice Tuesday.

The Mustangs are one football program among about six whose towns took direct hits from the storm that will be back on the field this week.

Rockport-Fulton had voluntary workouts last week and began preparations for this week's opponent - Sinton - on Monday. Class 2A No. 1 Refugio began practice on Monday morning with no power in its field house and the Hallettsville High School helping to feed the players.

Aransas Pass will return to the field on Wednesday as their weight rooms were re-opened on Monday with the goal of playing Taft on Sept. 15.

Woodsboro also has begun preparations this week for a game against Skidmore-Tynan.

The recovery will be long and arduous for these towns but for the players and coaches competing under the lights two weeks after the storm is part of that rebuilding process.

"There's been a handful that have lost everything," said Aransas Pass coach Ryan Knostman. "You almost kind of feel guilty, I guess. The damage and destruction ... it was so random that one house would be fine and then the next-door neighbor's is gone."

Knostman said the school's fieldhouse had some water damage but much of the program's equipment was intact. He added the school's volleyball team will begin workouts on Thursday in preparation for a return to play in a little more than a week.

Knostman, along with Rockport-Fulton Head Coach Jay Seibert, said area towns are offering facilities if teams want to practice or play games. Ingleside Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Hunter Hamrick said the school's volleyball team is working out at Gregory-Portland, and Knostman said Sinton has offered up their football field for games when needed.

Seibert said Gregory-Portland coaches gave his staff two rooms with projectors to work on a game plan for this week's game.

Knostman said the school's fieldhouse does have power but joked they have returned to the "dark ages of coaching" or "pre-Hudl" as he called it.

"Luckily for me we've got coaches on staff that started prior to the pre-Hudl age and they are leading us on how to navigate without a computer," Knostman said. "But we are finally (Tuesday) getting back to at least concentrating on football for a little bit."

Knostman, Hamrick and Seibert were optimistic about the numbers of players that are returning to play even though their schools have been shut down for the next few weeks.

Beyond numbers, though, getting back into the practice routine is the big part for these towns and programs.

"We've been waiting for a while to get back out there," Patrick said. "It feels great to even practice and I think it'll mean a lot that we've persevered through this."



Banquete's football field had a light pole collapse during Hurricane Harvey but coach Kevin Hermes said there is a possibility the team will be able to play home games this season. The Bulldogs will play on the road in Ben Bolt but then the next three games were scheduled for on the road.

The team's next home game is scheduled for Oct. 13 against Hebbronville to start 16-3A Division II play.

Hermes said once they start to fix the light pole it can take about two weeks.

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September 6, 2017


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