Hometown News For Orange County, Texas

Kaz's Korner

Coach T., Randy Crouch inducted; Eagles, Chiefs in SB LVII

Last weekend was a very important one as far as football both locally and nationally are concerned.

Two high school head coaches who "made their bones" here in Orange-West Orange-Stark's Cornel Thompson and Little Cypress-Mauriceville's Randy Crouch-received the ultimate honor of their long and stellar careers when they were inducted into the Southeast Texas Coaches Association Hall of Honor Saturday afternoon at the MCM Elegante Hotel in Beaumont.

Two other coaches were inducted posthumously-Vidor native Pat Day and Terrance Robert Culley, who grew up in East Texas.

There was a big crowd-about half from Thompson's family tree and the remainder were former players, assistant coaches, faculty members and friends of the two honored guests.

Being inducted into the Hall of Honor was a lifetime dream of Thompson. "I thought I had to die to get into the Hall," Coach T quipped. He got this prestigious honor less than one year after announcing his retirement last spring. The school district also named their new sophisticated weight training complex in his honor.

Coach T began his 51-year coaching career at Kirbyville High School as the varsity baseball coach and was named head baseball coach at Stark High two years later.

When Stark and West Orange merged in 1977, he became linebackers coach and later named Assistant head coach and defensive coordinator under Head Coach Dan Hooks.

When Hooks retired, Thompson was named head coach of the Mustangs in 2010 and his teams finished no less than the fourth round of the state playoffs. The Mustangs also boasted an unblemished 53-0 district record and were 41-9 in the state playoffs.

He's enjoying his retirement with the family, raising longhorn cattle and is writing a book which he hopes will be available in early fall.

Randy Crouch graduated from Sulphur (La.) High School and played football at Louisiana Tech in Ruston, LA, where he was All-Conference and All-American and was on three National Championship teams (1972, 1973 and 1974).

Randy began his coaching career in 1975 as a student assistant at Louisiana Tech and an assistant coach at Sulphur High in 1976. He always seemed to be in the right place at the right time and was head football coach and athletic director at De Quincy ( La.) High School for one year before assuming the same position at Sulphur.

He finally got to Texas in 1994 and was offensive coordinator at LCM from 1994 to 1997. In 1998, he moved to West Orange-Stark and became offensive coordinator for Coach Hooks until 2008.

In 2009 he became the head football coach at LCM where he stayed until his retirement in 2020. He is enjoying his retirement at Ruston, La.

We finally learned who will be in Super Bowl 57 Sunday night when the Kansas City Chiefs booted a field goal as time ran out to nip the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20. The Philadelphia Eagles took advantage of two injured quarterbacks and overpowered the San Francisco 49ers 31-7 to win the NFC championship.

The 49ers defense, which was No. 1 in the NFL this year, was on the field much too long and began wearing out in the second half, unable to stop the Eagles potent offense. Before the game started, former New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton predicted that whoever wins the NFC will win the Super Bowl on Feb. 12 at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

Philadelphia's Jalen Hurts is the first quarterback in NFL history with 10-plus rushing touchdowns in back-to-back seasons. The Eagles advance to the Super Bowl for the fourth time in franchise history.

Kansas City is the first NFL team to appear in five consecutive conference championships and hosted all five games and advanced to the Super Bowl for the third time in four seasons. The Chiefs' quarterback Patrick Mahomes is the youngest player to reach 10 playoff wins (27 years, 134 days).

KWICKIES...The last Super Bowl matchup between 14-win teams occurred Jan. 31, 1999 in Super Bowl XXXIII between Atlanta and Denver which was won by the Broncos 34-19 and was the final game of quarterback John Elway's career.

Patrick Mahomes has a chance to reach two Super Bowl MVP's and two victories only in his sixth season. Tom Brady did it in his 11th season, Joe Montana in his 12th season and Peyton Manning in his 18th season.

Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore was relieved of his duties last weekend. The rumor is that Head Coach Mike McCarthy will take over that job himself because right now he is skating on very thin ice because the Cowboys haven't gotten to the conference championship game since 1995, the year they won their last Super Bowl.

Several NFL teams are requesting interviews with Kansas City's offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy with a few even wanting him as their offensive coordinator.

Look for the Super Bowl betting line to fluctuate dramatically in the next two weeks. The line opened early Monday at even and two hours later Philadelphia was favored by 2 ½ points.

JUST BETWEEN US...I really feel sorry for Cincinnati's defensive end Joseph Assai, who hit Patrick Mahomes after he was out of bounds with 19 seconds left in regulation and the score tied at 20-20. The 15-yard penalty moved the football into field goal range for Chiefs' kicker Harrison Butker, who calmly split the uprights and punched his teammates ticket to the Super Bowl.


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