The 3A-4A Senior Division Vidor Pirates took home the Southeast Texas Junior Football League (STJFL) championship trophy Sunday, Nov. 10, after defeating the Port Neches-Groves Purple team 35-0 at the league’s Super Bowl at Provost Umphrey Stadium in Beaumont.
Leading the way for the Pirates ground and pound assault was Brad Nunez, who grinded out 133 yards on 10 carries and rushed for 2 touchdowns. Linebacker Gage Galloway, finished the game with 4 tackles and 4 assists and also contributed on offense by rushing for 26 yards on 5 carries.
The Pirates, comprised of 11- and 12-year-old players, finished the season undefeated at 10-0, success that Coach Brock Galloway credited to teamwork, practice and discipline. The defense allowed zero points all season long, a STJFL first, according to Coach Galloway, utilizing a 4-2-5 approach similar to the TCU Horned Frogs defensive scheme, masterminded by Gary Patterson.
“We try our best to take away the outside and funnel everybody back to the middle,” Coach Galloway said. “We practice very physical and play very physical.”
Quarterback Bryce Bowman captained the offense, and running back Brad Nunez fielded the scoring attack with 1,203 yards on 108 carries in 2013. The Pirate offense averaged around 25 points a game for a total of 243 points for the year.
Gage, an “iron man” football player contributing both as a running back and tight end on offense and linebacker on defense, said he was able to watch Montana Quirante, former star linebacker/quarterback for Vidor High School, play on several occasions and hopes to one day be a star “iron man” player himself for VHS. Sunday, Gage was able to meet Quirante, who attended the STJFL Super Bowl game to support the Pirates.
Like Quirante once did for the black and gold, Gage racked up the tackles this year, totaling 60 for the season.
Gage said although he plays both sides of the ball, he favors defense.
“I like hitting people,” said Gage, perhaps following in the footsteps of his favorite NFL player, San Francisco 49er linebacker Patrick Willis.
Coach Galloway said his Pirate teams have seen a string of success in recent years.
“Really, the last four or five years, we’ve done well, but the last two years have been exceptional,” said Coach Galloway, who led the Junior Division Pirates to a state championship in 2012. Although the league decided not to have a state championship in 2013, the Pirates will be competing in the third annual I-20 Youth Football Classic tournament in Shreveport, La., Nov. 23-24 against teams from Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.
Coach Galloway, who has coached youth football for eight years, said that this will be his last season, as he plans to focus on preparing his son, Gage, for Junior High and High School football.
“This is my last run,” Coach Galloway said.