Grinding through adversity, Crosby perseveres with Prieto
Trudging through a school year that brought massive budget cuts, layoffs, and the exit of their football coach, the Crosby Cougars are soldering on. Inept financial decisions by district officials brought with it a cavalcade of coaching departures and a trickle down effect of morose and antipathy. Spring brought storms of mundane morale and streams of crumbling culture.
Welcome to Crosby Jerry Prieto.
Mild mannered, polite, and confident the former offensive coordinator of Corpus Christie Veterans Memorial brings hubris to a ship blown off course by winds of malfeasance.
Crosby had to hire a winner, a sure thing. Their whole athletic department was riding on this decision.
Prieto was the guy.
Not only an outstanding offensive mind in football Prieto is a coaches' coach having coached basketball, track, powerlifting, and wrestling.
In just two years, designing an offense that would ultimately be unstoppable, Prieto engineered a CCVM offensive machine that could only be beaten by its own unduly defense. In 2018 the Eagles would go 12-1 and average 38 points a game in the regular season. In the playoffs Prieto's offense was in high gear, averaging 55 points over three games before ultimately losing to cross town rival CC Memorial in a 62-55 shoot out.
Prieto's concepts of the spread offense and getting his talent "in space" brought migraines to opposing coaches. His offense brought comparisons to Art Briles's Stephenville teams of the late eighties and the Lake Travis dynasty of a decade ago.
So here we go.
Crosby is not quite ready to challenge Port Neches-Groves or Nederland for the district title just yet, they did lose 32 seniors to graduation. But the Cougars bring back a solid offense line that includes seniors Keegan Schexnayder and Blaine Berry.
Prieto has confidence in his talent.
"Our offensive line is going to carry us," said Prieto.
"We have some younger talent with good skill sets that will fit well with the spread they already had here. I'll bring in a few tweaks from Veterans (Memorial) but we'll have success liked they've had in the past."
Defensively Prieto will rely on new defensive coordinator Jackson Tarr, who comes over from Hightower. Tarr will rely on senior LB Hunter Bailey and junior ATH Deniquez Dunn to man a defense who collapsed over three games last season. Losses to Santa Fe (20-27), Barbers Hill (30-49), Nederland (22-45) kept the Cougars out of the playoffs for the first time since 2004.
"Our leader will be (Hunter) Bailey on defense," said Prieto.
"He brings great leadership, discipline, and is our role model there. We have some kids on offense who have shown great instincts on defense so there's a good chance we move athletes over to defense."
Restoring a winning culture back to Crosby will be Prieto's top priority. Early August training culminating through two scrimmages between Angleton and Splendora will bring the opening weekend versus New Caney.
"We have to be true to ourselves," said Prieto.
"We've been successful here before, we'll make adjustments and we will move forward."
Theres a new tail wind blowing in Crosby, a cool breeze of belief and confidence. The ship's heading on a true course.