Comment about Port Lavaca

Mark Howell

Finally getting back to you with some notes on Sandcrab Nation. Your post earlier today was very good analysis of their approach to the football. Here’s some broader background info.

– Calhoun ISD may be the only 4A team in the state where the school district boundaries and the county are one and the same. Plus the school is named after the county rather than the city of Port Lavaca. (PLC is the school name used by other folks. With the county its just CHS- Calhoun High School. It was weird when I first started seeing us referred to as PLC on bulletin boards.}

– Sandcrab Stadium is also a throwback. Built in 1956 its has the solid feel of most construction from that era. Newer stadiums have turf, fancy scoreboards, and better PA systems but they all look like scaffolding. They don’t build solid concrete stadiums like ours any more. A time traveler from 1975 would feel at home in a Sandcrab game from 2011. The big difference would be that the current team expects to win games.

– Your blog notes downplayed the historic futility of the Calhoun football. The Crabs had a playoff drought lasting 44 years that finally ended in 2006. There were several multiyear stretches where they did not win a single district game. CHS would schedule nondistrict games against smaller 3A schools just to be able to compete.

– Calhoun County population more than tripled between 1945 and 1980 (6K to 20K) as four major industrial plants came on line. Since that time though there’s been little growth and the high school numbers have dropped. Class sizes peaked at CHS 30 years ago. Many, perhaps most, of these grads ended up in SA/Austin area. They don’t often make it back to the hometown during the regular season but man do they come out of the woodwork for the playoffs. A good friend of mine has lived in Austin her whole adult life summed it up. “Austin is where I live but Port Lavaca is where I’m from.” Therein lies the key to Sandcrab Nation.

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One thought on “Comment about Port Lavaca

  1. Mark,
    Interesting points. I’ve heard similar things from most of my small town programs; the program is sustained when locals move away to get educated but come back to raise a family. If this isn’t happening the numbers start to slide, enrollment drops and 5A schools become 4A ,,,etc,,,

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