Jarius Stewart pitches the ball to one of his teammates during Monday’s practice in preparation for the district opener against the Beeville Trojans. (Jared Van Epps/Wave Photos)

The Calhoun Sandcrabs return to the practice field from their open date to prepare for Friday’s district opener against the Beeville Trojans.

Sandcrabs Head Football Coach Richard Whitaker talked about the district opener against the Trojans, and they present a problem to his team.

“Beeville presents a problem with the offense they run, what we call a slot-T offense. It’s a lot of misdirection,” Whitaker said.

Whitaker added his defense has to be in tune on the field as to what they recognize in Beeville’s formations.

“If you are not following closely, those guys can really mess you up, and it is a very difficult offense to stop,” Whitaker said, “so that’s been the preparation this week. It’s just doing a lot of teaching with our kids and trying to get them to recognize [Beeville’s formations]. We’ll be doing a lot more the same this week.”

Regarding Beeville’s defense, Whitaker said they run a defense similar to Calhoun, but he added it could be something different before game time.

“I say that’s what they’ve been running this year, but just like the last two ball games, we prepared for something, and when we got to the game, they ran something completely different,” Whitaker said. “Who knows what they’re gonna run.”

This week, Whitaker and the Sandcrabs are tweaking the offense. He said the last two games the offense has been “a little sloppy”, although his team has been producing a bit.

“Our technique hasn’t been as good as it was against El Campo,” Whitaker said, “and we want to get back to that and make sure our steps are good, and our nose is on the right spot.”

Whitaker and the Sandcrabs have history against the Trojans going back to the 2006 season. The Crabs and Trojans have squared off eight times with Calhoun winning six of those games.

Whitaker talked about seeing a familiar face in Beeville’s Coach Chris Soza.

“Chris Soza and I faced each other several times, so our staff and their staff are very familiar with each other,” Whitaker said, “so when you talk about secrets and things like that, there’s not a lot of secrets about execution and preparing the kids for the upcoming game.”

Whitaker and the Sandcrabs have been focusing on Beeville since day one of the season, and he said this is the biggest game on Calhoun’s schedule “all year long.”

“Your first district game is always the biggest game of the year, and we want to start out right,” Whitaker said. “With only five district games, you can’t put yourself in a hole, and that something we’ve been preaching to our kids, and hopefully, our kids will be ready to go.”

Whitaker talked about the keys to victory for the district opener. He said, what is scary about facing Beeville, is they use the same “formula to win” as Calhoun.

“They want to take care of the ball, they want to run the clock, and they want to make first downs,” Whitaker said, “so if we can’t get off the field defensively, you’re looking at a game where you’re going to have few possessions.”

Whitaker stated one of the key things for victory in the district opener is “every” offensive possession will be critical.

“We need to get points. We don’t need to have turnovers because you’re going to wake up, and that game is going to be over with pretty quick,” Whitaker said. “so every possession is going to be vital to us.”

The Calhoun Sandcrabs will head to Beeville to play the Trojans in the district opener.

Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.