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Towery to direct Cardinal Offense

There is a new face in Bridge City that is working to improve the football fortunes for the Cardinals. Coach Chris Towery is the new offensive coordinator and conditioning coach for Bridge City High School.

Towery is a native of Pineville, Louisiana, and played football at the University of Southwestern Louisiana which is now known as University of Louisiana at Lafayette. He was a reserve quarterback for the Ragin' Cajuns.

Upon graduation from college Towery coached at several jobs in Louisiana. This included a couple of head coaching positions.

A highlight of his coaching career was serving as the offensive coordinator at Redemptorist Catholic High School in Baton Rouge. The Wolves were the class 3A state champions in Louisiana for the 2005 football season with Towery guiding the offense.

In addition to coaching at high schools, Towery has also coached at a couple of division one universities. He has worked at the University of Houston and at his alma mater the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

More recently Towery coached as the offensive coordinator at Tyler Junior College in north Texas. The last three years he was the head football coach at nearby Sulphur High School in Louisiana before accepting the position as the offensive coordinator for the Bridge City Cardinals.

The assets Coach Towery brings to Bridge City are his experience working with offense and conditioning. "I kind of coached a little bit of everything on offense, but I'm kind of known as a quarterback guy while also working with the kids on strength and conditioning," Towery summarized.

The Cardinals' offense under Towery will be a heavy 11-personnel team using one running back and one tight end primarily or in some occasions they may switch to two tight ends. Towery explained, "I guess what you would call it is kind of a pro-style Spread or a hybrid Spread. We have about six base run plays. We get into a lot of formations, we're going to be extremely formation heavy, and we'll have different facets of the drop back passing game."

As would be expected operating from the Spread formation the passing game will be the primary focus for the Cardinals. "We'll change the launch points in the passing game from play action throws to sprint outs. We're going to be very RPO (run pass option) heavy. I think that's the one thing that's going to be a little bit different. A lot of different kinds of RPOs to put the defenses in conflict built into our run game, so I think that's what were going to try to master the most," Towery described.

Bridge City's new head football coach Chad Landry is happy to have Chris Towery on his staff as the season is only a little over two months away. Landry elaborated, "Coach Towery is a guy with a ton of experience, and has done a great job leading our strength and conditioning program right now this summer. He's doing a great job relating to the kids, Seven on Seven has been great, and the kids are really gravitating towards him. It's been really good."

Seven on Seven practice is allowed during the summer football workouts which allows the quarterbacks and wide receivers to work against defensive secondary personnel on the passing game. This is important because the Cardinals will be emphasizing the pass during the upcoming season.

Towery has only had since the middle of May to work with the quarterbacks and wide receivers to make them familiar with his offense so many of the players were working off of cards to learn the offense. The Cardinals have done a good job picking up the concepts of Towery's passing schemes despite the fast paced learning experience.

During the recent the Seven on Seven regional competition Bridge City played in Sour Lake at Hardin-Jefferson High School. Towery was not actually on the sideline for the Cardinals so they got to call their own plays.

The Cardinals made it to the qualifying game against West Orange-Stark with a chance to reach the state tournament. "We were up a halftime, but those West Orange-Stark guys are pretty good, and they got us in the second half. We kind of ran out of gas, so give credit to the Mustangs they did what they had to do to beat us to make the state tournament. Our Cardinals gave a great effort just to get to that level."

Bridge City went to Wimberley for another Seven on Seven tournament. The Cardinals won two of the three games they played there including beating Wimberley the defending state 4A Division II runners-up Towery recalled.

The quarterbacks and the receivers have done well during the summer workouts. Towery said, "We just want to see them compete. The one thing about Seven on Seven is I don't want it to become its own sport in the minds of the kids. I want them to understand that this relates to football and that we're trying to get better at playing football, and this is only important because it's going to enhance our play on Friday nights."

Two of the quarterbacks used by the Cardinals last season are back and should see time on the field. Both Hutch Bearden and Josamany Robleto had injuries that curtailed their playing time, but Hutch and Josamany are healthy now and will split time at quarterback for Bridge City.

Towery evaluated Bearden and Robleto as quarterbacks. "Both of them have a lot of talent with their arms. There's some things we need to tweak a little bit, but both of them can be really good players. I have no qualms about getting them both in the game at quarterback since they bring different talent sets to the table that help us be successful," Towery stated.

Bearden and Robleto are both smart which Towery added he is finding out in the workouts. Towery analyzed, "Both of them can process things quick, and then they can help out at another position. If one is on the field at quarterback the other may play some as a wideout."

There are some Cardinals showing their stuff during the summer who will be catching passes from whichever quarterback is throwing the ball. Seniors Gavin Bodin and Jerris Brown saw playing time last season on the Bridge City varsity.

An up and coming wide receiver for the Cardinals is sophomore Abraham Munguia. "He has been really good in Seven on Seven during the summer. Mungia is a dynamic little football player and a good little corner on defense too," Towery insisted.

The Cardinals could be dangerous offensively with their talented quarterbacks and receiving corps. Towery believes, "I think Abraham is going to bring some things to the table with Jerris and Gavin which are going to make us better if we can get these guys throwing and catching together on the same pace."

Another standout during this summer is junior Bryce Linder who played mostly defensive end last year. Towery is hoping to have Linder also play on the offensive side of the ball.

Bryce is slotted to be the tight end for the Cardinals in their 11-personnel offense. "We are trying to get him bigger and stronger while trying to teach him how to run routes, but I think Bryce is going to bring some things to the table for us from a tight end perspective," Towery responded.

The offensive line at Bridge City is still under development. Towery credited coaches Jimmy Converse and Jimmy Hallman with doing a really good job in getting the Cardinal lineman ready to play.

Towery indicated, "As we get further into the summer we'll figure out who those five guys are that will start. I will say they've got to play together, they've got to be a good unit together, they've got to work together, and they're the most important five guys on the field when we are on offense."

The Bridge City offense struggled last year and was plagued by injuries. Four or five different Cardinals were shuttled in at quarterback at various times because of injuries.

Avoiding injuries or at least keeping them to a minimum will be a key for Bridge City this coming season. "I think if we can stay healthy we've got the two guys at quarterback that can make a difference there for us. I'm not against playing both of them in certain situations," Towery replied.

A key though is the Cardinal players learning the new offense. Towery advised, "If we can focus in on learning it and get really ingrained in it I think we will be improved offensively. It comes back to making sure we're teaching the kids the right way to run the offense. They have to understand it. It's not what we know it's what they know. If we can make them understand the concepts that we're going to put in then I see us doing some good things on offense."

The other job Towery serves as an assistant is the strength and conditioning coach. Again the coach is taking on that assignment a bit late because strength and conditioning is a January through summer preparation for football season and he has only been in Bridge City since May.

With the shorter time frame Bridge City is doing some outside of the box stuff. Towery has the Cardinals doing speed training including sprint mechanics, hip explosion techniques, and deceleration sprints instead of just running straight forward sprints.

In the weight room Towery has the kids doing specific lifts according to a chart he has on the importance of what is done with weight lifting. The Cardinals are doing a lot of power cleans, a lot of Olympic lifts, a lot of plyometrics, and a lot of hip explosions while also benching and squatting like everybody else does.

In the order of importance how much weight a kid can lift is not necessarily the top priority. "I don't really care what a wide receiver bench presses. Can he come out of his hips, can he run, can he accelerate, can he be an explosive guy, so we're emphasizing those things that are a little bit more dynamic," Towery concluded.


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