Copperheads seek consistency
After two months of Coach Bryan Blake and his staff clamoring for consistency out of the Katy Copperheads, the team reeled off its first winning streak of the year (three in a row) and they finally look poised to make the playoff run we have all been expecting. Haunted by injuries throughout the first half of the season, the team has persevered and shown the grit and determination that has season ticket holders talking tailgate, wins, and post game parties.
With a preposterous schedule to start the season (no bye game until Week 10), the Copperheads welcomed their first bye week in early May with a winning record; however, a second road trip to archrival and division leader Beaumont lingers.
The second game of the three-game series with Beaumont resulted in not only a 53 - 42 loss, but also saw our starting quarterback Marc Saldana go down with an injury that has plagued him for most of the season. "We're healthy for the first time," Saldana said, just hours after he led Katy to a 54 - 12 win over Arkansas.
"This team is starting to come together at the right time. Defensively we have been playing great all year, and now the offense is finally catching up. We still haven't played a complete game but it's coming. And athlete to athlete, I know we're the best team in our conference." What defines a complete game remains to be seen, but winning games is all that matters at this point in the season.
Thanks to a recent road loss to St. Louis, the Beaumont Drillers found themselves tied with Katy in the South Division, thus setting up a monolithic road game that drips of playoff participation. A Copperheads' win in Beaumont could lock up the Southern Division and essentially guarantee the team a spot in the playoffs.
"This game (Beaumont) will definitely determine who is on top in our division," defensive leader Kailin Williams said. "They (Drillers) are our biggest rival, but we've grown as a team and we've grown as a defense since the last time we faced them. They're good, but we'll be ready and we know we can play with anybody in the league."
With so much at stake it could be easy to forget that we still have crucial games against Monroe and West Palm Beach, but with three of our final four games at home, a win over our I-10 rival would be reason to invest in playoff tickets.
"This is a huge game for us, but it promises nothing," Coach Blake explained. "Due to some scheduling problems it looks like West Palm Beach will have to face us twice in the Merrell Center (Sunday June 18 and Saturday June 24), but regardless of where we play or who we play, we need to continue to win football games."
As sports fans, the playoffs are the best time of the year and all we could ask for from our expansion team is to be in contention. They have exceeded expectations and are bringing pride, joy and national recognition to our hometown.
With the playoffs on the line, this is the time to show the team's owners, dancers, and players that they are playing in the right city. It's time for us to turn Katy's Snake Pit into one of the most feared arenas in the league, and provide this team with the same home field advantage their competition enjoys.
"I'm looking forward to playing at home after all these road games," Williams said during a late night bus trip home from a win in Fayetteville, Arkansas. "When we get back to the Snake Pit, we need the house packed and rocking with all of our fans."
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National Indoor Football League Stories from May 19, 2006
- Copperheads seek consistency - Texas Copperheads
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- Commentary: NIFL daily buzz - OSC Original by Jerry Hewitt
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