By Constancio Martinez Jr.
Special to the PRESS
The first game of the Port Isabel Tarpon season has become their last.
The Point Isabel Independent School District has canceled the Tarpons’ second game, scheduled for Nov. 6 against the Raymondville Bearkats.
PI-ISD, in a press release, stated a student athlete possibly came in “close contact” with someone at an “athletic event” who tested positive for COVID-19.
The game would have sent the victor to the Number 3 seed in the playoff season, the lone district game in an unusually short season.
The teams had faced each other 35 times within the last 39 years, with Port Isabel having a 21-14 advantage. The Bearkats, however, have beaten the Tarpons the last three years.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the district was separated into Northern and Southern Zones. The Northern zone consisted of the following teams: Sinton, Rockport-Fulton, CC West Oso, Ingleside and Robstown, with the top three teams earning playoff spots. The Southern zone consisted of Port Isabel, Raymondville and Rio Hondo. Prior to the season, Rio Hondo canceled their football program, leaving PI and Raymondville fighting for the final playoff seed.
Last year, the Bearkats were firing on all cylinders as they beat the Tarpons 63-7. Two key offensive players returned this year for the Kats: quarterback Jayson Cantu and standout runningback ZaRaivion Armendarez. Armendarez was instrumental in Raymondville’s 39-33 win over Victoria West back on Oct. 9. He carried the ball 24 times for 265 yards (11.0/average) with five receptions for 92 yards while scoring six touchdowns (4 rushing, 2 receiving). Cantu completed 12 out of 17 attempts for 170 yards and two touchdowns.
On the defensive side of the ball, Dylan Ramirez (#11) picked up 19 tackles (14 solo) and 1 sack versus Victoria West. Arturo Sayas (#2) was also a force, as he picked up 15 tackles (5 solo) and two sacks.
The Tarpons lost running back Brayan Medina to graduation. Even though the Tarpons had a down year, Medina still managed to rush for 1,180 yards in 2019, finishing with a career 3,034 rushing yards. Adrian Nino, Jordan Camacho and Gilbert Medina were among a bevy of standout running backs. Receivers Angel Nino and Daniel Zamarron were set to return as well. QB Krieghbaum (2019 stats: 84-162-6, 1213 yards, 16 touchdowns) returned for the one-game season.
The Seawall Defense included the following key defensive players, defensive ends Edgar Orduna and Luis Bustamante; Angel Fernandez as middle linebacker; the secondary: Will Camacho and Gilbert Medina. Standout sophomores Cross Martinez (OLB) and Rudy Barrera (Safety/Backup QB) who led their Freshmen team to an undefeated season were also on the varsity squad.
Tickets will be reimbursed Friday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Nov. 6.