Extra Points: Katy focused on discipline, truth in spring season
Katy wrapped up its spring football season Tuesday evening with its annual Red-White game at Rhodes Stadium.
The game is not a typical spring football game. It is more of a community event than glorified scrimmage.
There are two “quarters” of 10-minute periods, followed by a brief “halftime” in which the drill and dance team is introduced and performs a routine. The second half consisted of two 15-minute periods.
Each varsity football player is introduced prior to the game. Cheerleaders are introduced. At halftime, there is an auction on behalf of the Katy athletic booster club. A football signed by the 2021 14-1 state semifinalist Tigers team went for $700.
“This game’s for the kids, so they can enjoy it, have fun, play in front of a crowd,” Katy coach Gary Joseph said. “Spring training is a grind, and it’s supposed to be, but to have them get together, mix it up a little bit, be competitive and have some fun is a big thing.”
Pictured is the crowd at Katy's Red-White spring football game Tuesday at Rhodes Stadium.Dennis Silva II | VYPE Media
More observations from Katy’s spring football season.
>> WANTED: BETTER
As Joseph reminded players afterward, there is a lot of work left to do.
“We’ve got to get better,” he said. “We’re not a finished product. We have to start developing some leadership. Games like (the spring game) can help with leadership. A game like this is about the little things, like center-quarterback exchanges. Everybody’s working on fundamentals, but you’ve got to be able to do the little things, too. That’s what games like this are for.”
Incoming senior linebacker Damian Neveaux said a focus of the team’s has been discipline. Lack of focus at critical junctures in the Class 6A-Division II state semifinal game against Austin Westlake last season cost the Tigers. Throughout the season as well, Katy had its share of moments where it uncharacteristically was inattentive and sloppy.
“We have a bunch of people on our team that’s ready to go to work,” Neveaux said. “We don’t have a lot of highly-ranked players, but they work hard. My concern would be discipline, but that’ll come during the summer. We’ve got to be more disciplined and ready to go.”
>> THE TRUTH
Part of last year’s discipline concerns was a sense of entitlement, Joseph said.
“They need to quit worrying about themselves and worry about being a football team and a football player,” Joseph said. “Sometimes they put too much pressure on themselves because they try too hard to impress somebody. If you do that, the game’s never going to be fun. The game will never slow down for you, because you’re always going to sit there and play in doubt. Gaining confidence is a big thing. The discipline of doing the little things right is a big thing.”
This spring, Joseph had his players focus on their “truth.” In its essence, it’s about remembering what the Katy football program is built upon.
Joseph said that means trust, respect, unselfishness, tradition and heart.
“We’ve made a big statement this year that it’s about the truth,” Joseph said. “It’s about the bottom line. They’re learning some things in what the truth actually means.”
Katy's 2022-2023 team captains, from left to right: senior Jacob Egg, senior Seth Davis, senior Damian Neveaux and senior JR Ceyanes.Dennis Silva II | VYPE Media
>> TIGERS NAME CAPTAINS
Katy named its four captains for the 2022-2023 season.
They are senior offensive lineman Jacob Egg, senior running back Seth Davis, senior receiver JR Ceyanes and Neveaux.
“It means a lot,” said Neveaux, the team’s leading tackler last season. “I’ve been dreaming about this since I was a little kid.”
Players elected the captains. Joseph said it was probably the closest race the program’s had in captain voting since he’s been at Katy (he arrived at Katy in the early 1980s as defensive coordinator). There were four other players within four votes.
“They have to understand that it’s their football team now,” Joseph said. “It’s not last year’s team or last year’s leadership. A lot more will be expected from them. When bad things happen, they’ve got to step up.
“It’s not just the four captains that have got to be leaders. Those are the people that represent you, but we’ve got to have leadership at all positions and all phases of this thing.”
>> UP NEXT
Katy will start strength and conditioning in early June. That is the cornerstone of its offseason program. Players and coaches will tell you one of the critical reasons to their sustained success over the last few decades is the buy-in from players to the strength and conditioning camps.
The Tigers will participate in 7-on-7 this summer. They did not last year.
Katy opens the season Aug. 26 against Clear Springs at Challenger Stadium at 7 p.m. Its non-district schedule concludes hosting Atascocita on Sept. 2 at Legacy Stadium at 6 p.m. There are only two non-district games this year since District 19-6A, once again an all-Katy district, expands from seven to nine schools with the addition of Jordan and Paetow.
The Tigers open district play Sept. 10 against Tompkins at Legacy Stadium at 6 p.m.
Other key district dates:
>> Sept. 29, Rhodes Stadium, 7 p.m.: The Tigers get their first look at Jordan’s Warriors.
>> Oct. 6, Legacy Stadium, 6 p.m.: The Tigers are the away team versus Class 5A, Division I state defending state champ Paetow.
>> Oct. 21, Rhodes Stadium, 7 p.m.: The Tigers are the home team against Cinco Ranch, which made a surprising run to the third round of the postseason last year and figures to make another strong run in 2022 with a plethora of dynamic returning talent.