Football returned to the Katy area last night with Katy ISD teams participating in scrimmages in preparation of the delayed beginning to the Class 5A and 6A seasons following shutdowns due to the …
Football returned to the Katy area last night with Katy ISD teams participating in scrimmages in preparation of the delayed beginning to the Class 5A and 6A seasons following shutdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic. Some schools had their lone preseason game Thursday night while others are scheduled for Friday night.
The Katy Tigers were among the teams hitting the field Thursday for their first interscholastic competition of the year at Legacy Stadium against the Klein Collins Tigers and although score wasn’t kept in the early portion, after the two live quarters of play that ended the night, Katy held a 10-0 lead.
While the crowd wasn’t as thick as it ordinarily would have been without the pandemic and social distancing, as many Katy Tiger fans as could did attend the game.
The teams with twin mascots switched offensive possessions every 15 plays for about two hours before the live periods were played with time and score being kept and Katy High head football coach Gary Joseph said he was pleased with the effort put forth by his team.
“They faced a little adversity going in, but they responded well. Even when they got some big plays early on, they had a good response and that’s part of growing up,” Joseph said. “Proud of our quarterbacks and running backs, they ran hard. We’ve got a ways to go but it’s a starting point.”
Joseph said there wasn’t much the team wouldn’t be working on but for it being the first live action against another team following an extended offseason, he saw plenty of both positives and negatives from the scrimmage.
“I saw some good things and saw some things we’ve definitely got to clean up on but for a first scrimmage and first time out it wasn’t bad,” Joseph said. “Wasn’t a lot of procedure penalties and you’ve gotta be encouraged by that. Our kids just gotta continue growing up and growing into their roles.”
The team hasn’t had much time to develop its identity, but the head coach was happy to have his athletes back out on the field playing football once again after it seemed doubtful for so long.
“The biggest thing I wanted them to do was to compete, go out and have fun,” Joseph said. “You’ve been off for all this time and now we’ve been working all this time through the summer, you wanted to get out there and compete against other people. You get very comfortable competing against yourself, the kids get used to seeing the same thing over and over again and they get better at it but you want to see them do those things against different people in different concepts.”
The next time the Katy Tigers go up against a different team it will be for real as the regular season begins Sept. 25 with a trip to League City to square off with the Clear Springs Chargers.
“It’s going to be good; I expect a little more fire from our kids,” Joseph said. “You don’t want a false sense of excitement; you want kids to actually be excited about it and that’s something they’ve been wanting to do since last March – so here we are.”
As Joseph said, there are plenty of things to work on but one of the bigger things he mentioned was team unity and developing the camaraderie that will help carry the squad through a hopefully long season.
“We’ve still gotta pull together. The mark of a great team is people that care and love for each other and we’ve gotta continue working on the chemistry of our kids and football team and making sure they pick each other up when they’re down or if something bad happens,” Joseph said. “The same thing that people talk to them all the time about. It’s easy to worry about me but it’s not about me on a football team. It’s about us and we’ve just gotta continue working to get better at it.”
Katy High took the first step to achieving that goal by finally returning to Mike Johnston Field at Legacy Stadium and Joseph was thankful for the opportunity.
“It’s awesome, a great thing to be back,” Joseph said looking around the empty stadium after the game. “Proud to be back, proud of Katy ISD for letting us get back. We’ve just gotta continue to keep this on a roll.”
Correction: The field is named Mike Johnston Field at Legacy Stadium. The correction has been appended throughout.