The Calhoun Sandies are currently 2-3 in district play for the 2020-21 season, and they are looking to improve in their new district.

Last season, the Sandies finished with a 2-13 district record, and Sandies Head Coach Sonny Benefield talked about his team dropping from 5A to 4A and their new district in general.

“The teams don’t have as many subs. They have subs, but they are not the quality subs that the bigger teams have,” Benefield said.

With the Sandies dropping to 4A, Benefield said his team could compete now compared to the district they were in last season.

Benefield’s team understands “if they play good, they are going to be rewarded,” he said.

Playing the tough Corpus Christi teams has given the Sandies an advantage in the new district, and Benefield knows those teams were physical last season.

“They understand when they play those big schools, you are going to be physically beat up,” Benefield said.

Benefield scheduled a non-district game with El Campo, who had all five of their starters from their regional team and lost by eight, and his team played their tails off, he said.

The Sandies have three seniors in the starting lineup with Arly Sanchez, Rea Chrisco, and Katelyn Rothman, and Benefield said they know what to expect as leaders of the team.

When Benefield gets frustrated, his seniors tell the underclassmen to get after it, he said.

“We’re fixing to all run because they don’t do things singled out; it’s a team concept,” Benefield said. “So if you mess up and don’t do things right, he’s gonna put you at the end with everybody else, and we don’t like that.”

The Sandies face a bigger challenge this season with the COVID-19 Pandemic continuing to affect Texas and the United States. Benefield talked about the challenges of playing through a pandemic.

Benefield said that if one of his players is not infected but in quarantine, they can still run and stay in shape.

“That doesn’t mean you have to get out and run, run, run because that’s not basketball,” Benefield said. “Basketball is 94 feet, so it’s stop and go, stop and go, stop, cut, and do it.”

Benefield told his players to continue to stay in shape and not get out of shape because they were getting into shape before the first quarantine.

The Sandies have big expectations this season and a golden opportunity to make the playoffs.

“We got the talent, you listen, we play together as a team, we can get in the playoffs,” Benefield said. Benefield added when they make the playoffs, his team might have a shot of going a couple of rounds deep.

“We can get there, and I said [to the team] I don’t care if it’s fourth or first…but if we get into the playoffs, you don’t know what is gonna happen,” Benefield said.

The Sandies resumed play Tuesday, Jan. 19 against West Oso.

Their remaining schedule: Friday, Jan. 22: vs Beeville (7:30 p.m.), Saturday, Jan. 23: vs CC Miller (2 p.m.), Monday, Jan 25: at Rockport (6 p.m.), Tuesday, Jan. 26: at Ingleside (7:30 p.m.), and Friday, Jan. 29: vs Sinton (7:30 p.m.)